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Anorak | Madeleine McCann: The Todorovs, a dead Bulgarian and a purple haze

Madeleine McCann: The Todorovs, a dead Bulgarian and a purple haze

by | 21st, November 2017

Madeleine McCann returned to the newspapers yesterday with news that the “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”. The Mirror saved this news for page 4, and reading on you wonder how it made it into the paper at all.

The story begins in typical ‘Our Maddie’ reporting style, using a shortened version of the child’s name in a report based on opinion. We read: “A criminologist claims to have identified a mystery woman being sought by British police in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.” Is a claim newsworthy?

We read that “Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment.”

And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

Grab your torch. Let’s go!

The 58-year-old was working with her husband at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Luisa and her husband Stefan, 50, gave statements to police five days after the three-year-old’s disappearance. They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.

Seems fair. But then this: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”

Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people?

Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.

Claims. Believed. Any facts?

Gonzalez is quoted:

“I have been combing through all the police files trying to identify who the woman in purple could be. It has been widely reported that Yard officers are in Bulgaria. Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”

And after that speculation presented as news, we get the unchanging fact of this long-running story:

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, were dining in a tapas restaurant when she vanished.

Child vanishes. And that’s the story’s single thread. But the reporting remains frenzied. The Mirror’s story, which supports a Daily Express ‘exclusive’, is repackaged to read:

Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy

‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times

Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury

MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun

Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express

The Express’s story is pretty incredible:

Waitress Luisa Todorov, 58, is believed to be the mystery woman seen by two witnesses standing outside apartment 5a of the Ocean Club from where Madeleine was taken 10 years ago.

She has become the focus of Yard inquiries for months as officers want to know if she saw anything suspicious on the night of Madeleine’s abduction from Praia da Luz when she was aged just three.

But she spoke to police already, right? We were told that. And given that she worked in manual labour, might that huge reward have tempted her to talk more?

 

 

And:

One witness saw her standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007 and another saw her about half an hour later nearby.

They saw her, or they saw a woman dressed in purple who we are told might have been her?

Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.

Unless she wondered off, of course.

The Express adds:

In August 2007 a British woman reported seeing a child who looked mile Madeleine at Varna airport in Bulgaria, but the information was very sketchy and did not check out.

And hold on a moment. The Indy had other news, reporting on November 6:

 

 

The story began:

Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”.

Oh?

On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.

Intently?

The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.

The name of this convicted, dead paedophile? It’s not given. But two “believed” in one sentence is peak reporting.

And what about the woman in purple? British expat, Jenny Murat, introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”

Such are the facts.

 



Posted: 21st, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink