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Madeleine McCann: most of the British Press ignores the 10th anniversary

by | 3rd, May 2017

Ten year ago today Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Today the media marks the unhappy truth that a decade of reporting, fund-raising, investigating and watching has added not a single new fact to the original report: child vanishes. This is a round-up of the anniversary’s reporting. It’s a the usual mixture of speculation, name-calling and gawping.

 

madeleine mccann newspapers

 

Daily Mirror (front page): “As the McCanns mark 10 agonising years without their Maddie, how can Portuguese police keep being so vile”

Are feelings of paramount importance when investigating what happened to an innocent child? The Mirror’s front page promises more on pages 13 and 17.

Page 13: We see Madeleine McCann holding tennis balls. She is “THE LOST GIRL”. The headline tells us: “Portuguese cops: Brits’ search for Maddie is a waste of £11m.”

Is that an opinion exclusive to former Portuguese police officer Carlos Anjos, who says the the theory that the child was taken dying a burglary is “absurd”?  He states: “Not even a wallet disappeared, no TV disappeared, nothing else disappeared. A child disappeared.”

Is that “vile”? Isn’t it just a statement of fact? Reading on we are told that Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a prayer service in Rothley, Leicestershire. We get to read a “leaked” 2010 Home Office report, which says: “The McCanns acknowledge a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”

We read of “more bile” from another former Portuguese policeman, this time it’s Goncalo Amaral, who appeared on the telly to tell viewers that the child could have been cremated. He says: “Three figures went into the church. They had a box. It is possible the child’s remains were in the box and cremated a well.” Can he prove his theory? Clearly not. But we get to hear Amaral’s opinion, and we are told how to read it.  It is “vile”. It is full of “bile”. It is a “snub”. It’s speculation. There’s been a lot of that.

Page 17: “Fresh hell adds to Maddie pain.”

Alison Phillips uses her column to record “another agonising anniversary for the McCann family”. She spots the “slug-like” Amaral. She says the chances that the parents will be reunited with Madeleine are “less likely than ever”. Having told of the parents’ hurt and suffering, Phillips says: “Yet as the family mark 10 agonising years without Maddie today, how can some Portuguese cops be so cruel?” Amaral has been “airing his ludicrous claims about her disappearance.” He’s been on “local” TV in Portugal.

On May 10 2007, the Mirror produced “6 THEORIES” of its own. They were: “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.

They never did get to the burglar theory.

Phillips returns to Amaral’s appearance on the TV, where he was “again pointing the finger at Maddie’s parents”, making “ludicrous claims about her disappearance”. Phillips wonders: “Why the Portuguese broadcasters give him airtime is a total mystery”. For those of you missed the show, the Mirror helpfully transcribes parts of it. Why a British newspaper gives him front-page coverage is a total mystery. Phillips says Anjos and Amaral could do “everyone a favour…by keeping their opinions strictly to themselves.” Even if it does give a columnist one less thing to write about.

She then notes – get his  – “…these men know every smear or suggestion will be lapped up and repeated by sickos and saddos on social media.” There are some nasty sods on twitter and Facebook. Perish the thought that the mainstream media would stoop do low as to point the finger and whisper.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE: Parents Kept Info From Cops.”

The story begins:

“Madeleine McCann’s parents withheld information from police that had been gathered by private investigators hunting for her, says a Home Office report. The couple believed their treatment by Portuguese police was ‘inhumane’.”

Page 9: “Maddie’s parents did not trust them”

Jerry Lawton writes that the parents “did not truth detectives handling the case after they were declared suspects… Though the couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted in 2008 and the case archived as unsolved, the McCanns withheld details unearthed by their private eyes from both them and their local Leicestershire  force , the report states.”

Daily Express: nothing. Not a single word is published on the child who has featured on the paper’s cover many times.

Telegraph (page 23): Allison Pearson says it is “miracle” of faith and fortitude that the McCanns are still together. She then embarks on a ‘Maddie & Me’ story:

My own children were small when she was taken and, for a while, my son was obsessed with her. I had to answer endless questions. “No, they didn’t find her yet, sweetheart. Yes, it’s very sad. No, a bad man will not take you. Because Mummy and Daddy will keep you safe, that’s why.”

In the past decade, how many parents have mentally run the “Madeleine safety test” before daring to leave their children even for a moment? It’s no consolation to the McCanns, but that may be her lasting legacy.

The Sun (page 6): “MADDIE BRUSH’S RERURN”

“A hairbrush belonging to Madeleine McCann has been returned to her parents on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.”

Are the two moments linked, the brush’s return and the anniversary? Surely this isn’t some kind of macabre tribute?

The brush was in the possession of Danie Krugel, a private investigator. It was “handed” to the ex-cop after he offered to help the search for the the child. The McCanns spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says: “Gerry did give a hairbrush to Mr Krugel at the time to assist in his work. He eventually returned to  South Africa and the hairbrush slipped their minds. But they were delighted to get one of Madeleine’s possessions back.”

The paper goes on to refer to Amaral and his “vile suggestion Madeleine’s body had been frozen before being cremated”. Mitchell says the claim is “deeply offensive”.

Daily Mail (Page 31): “McCanns fell out with Portuguese and UK police”

Madeleine McCann’s parents fell out with both the Portuguese and British police investigating her disappearance, a leaked report revealed today. Gerry and Kate McCann’s relationship with detectives became so poor that they refused to share information dug up by their own private investigators.

A Home Office report ordered by then Labour minister Alan Johnson before the 2010 election shows that the couple’s ‘turbulent relationship’ with police led to a breakdown in trust.

It says that the McCann’s felt badly treated by the Portuguese authorities who closed the investigation into Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance.
But when the Met Police came in they then fell out with police in Praia de Luz – and later the McCanns too, the report says.

 

madeleine mccann theories

 

The Mail says its report is rooted in a Sky News scoop. Over on Sky, alongside a story on – yep – 6 theories on what happened to Madeleine McCann, we read:

The revelations are contained in a report ordered by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson who wanted to know if it was worth getting Scotland Yard involved after Portuguese officers closed their first investigation. The report said: “It is clear that from the beginning the McCanns felt there was a lack of clarity and communication on the part of the Portuguese police. Despite the involvement of British consular staff, they were, by their own accounts, left for long periods without any updates or communication with the investigators. They state they were taken to the police station on more than one occasion and then left for hours waiting to speak to someone who never materialised.

“They describe this situation as inhumane, with no real consideration for their emotional and physical wellbeing.”

The report, written by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also said too many UK law enforcement agencies had rushed to help and caused chaos, and that frequent criticism of the Portuguese investigation led to accusations the UK was acting like “a colonial power”.

The report said: “Clearly, the McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. They now openly acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”…

The report said: “It is clear that the McCanns and the private investigators working on their behalf have gathered a large amount of information during the course of their enquiries. This information does not appear to have been shared fully with the Leicestershire constabulary or the Portuguese authorities.

“It is imperative that they are encouraged and persuaded to share this information.”

What happened to Madeleine McCann? She vanished. And that’s the sum of the facts.



Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink