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Madeleine McCann Category

News digests and reviews of the missing child in the news. Madeleine McCann vanished on Thursday, 3 May 2007 from a rented holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Madeleine, on holiday with her twin siblings and parents Kate and Gerry McCann,became the biggest news story of the past decade. We’ve followed it closely ever since the story broke.

Madeleine McCann: Christian Brueckner facts exposed

Maddie MCcann

Madeleine McCann: an at-a-glance look at reporting on the missing child.

The media continues to look at Christian Brueckner, which given his status as a prisoner of the German state is a news beat light easy on shoe leather.

The Star kicks things off by telling readers that the man suspected of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann once live next to a British policeman in Portugal. Do you know your next door neighbour? Do you know what they’re up, if they have a criminal record for child abuse or work for an organisation some see as institutionally racist?

The insight into life on Brueckner’s street comes via Austrian couple Oliver and Karin Stenard. They tell a telly show in Portugal that they employed Brueckner as a handyman. He lived opposite them with his girlfriend. “The next door neighbour at the time’s an English policeman,” the Star quotes one saying. “He’s working for Scotland Yard.” The Sun watches the same show. The Sun presents its review of the show as an “exclusive”.

What of this copper? Was he sent to Portugal to watch the suspect? That seems unlikely because he is said to have already owned the property in 2007 when Brueckner was there and Madeleine McCann vanished. “Scotland Yard detective who lived next door to Madeleine McCann suspect in the Algarve ‘is working with police to find her’,” says the Mail. Now he is or then he was? The Mail adds:

The British police officer owns a house next door to a property where the German paedophile worked following the youngster’s disappearance, the drifter’s former Algarve bosses say.

We’re then told the suspect allegely exposed himself to children:

…angry parents revealed he had escaped trial in the Algarve despite exposing himself to four young children in a playground while he was on the run from German police for a separate sex crime. One of the parents fought back tears in an interview last night as she admitted: ‘If he had snatched one of the children and put them in his van, we might never have seen them again.’

He didn’t snatch the woman’s child. And as far as the evidence goes we do not know if he has ever snatched a child. “Madeleine McCann suspect ‘could have snatched another child’, say parents of young girl he allegedly exposed himself to.” says the Telegraph. Well, he could have. And then again, he might not have. As for snatching “another child”, well, police have yet to charge him snatching any child.

Nelia Bras, mum of one of the youngsters Brueckner allegedly pleasured himself in front of, added: ‘My daughter was eight at the time. He spoke to her in English and asked her, ‘What’s your name?’

‘It’s very traumatic knowing that someone who’s been linked to so many cases and is perhaps a very dangerous man was so close to my little girl and spoke to her and could have snatched her or any other child who was there.’

And then the speculation is cranked up.

“Christian Brueckner was living in the house in Foral when Madeleine McCann disappeared,” says Karin Stenard. “Foral is a big area and there was no-one around at the time. I say he killed her and there was a lot of space to bury her. I think her body may be buried there and I told the police that.”

The report below the TV show on Portuguese broadcaster RT’s website tells us (via Google Translate):

Germany knew that Christian Bruckner had been a pedophile since 1994, found him twice in Portugal and never associated him with the disappearance of Madeleine Mccann. Nor do the Portuguese authorities, although they have extradited him twice for sexual crimes against children. The first in 1999, the second in 2017.

For 22 years, this man lived among us and traveled without any motorhome control in Europe, benefiting from the free movement guaranteed since the Schengen agreement.

Burckner was last extradited in 2017, after being caught in the act of committing a crime that today qualifies as sexual abuse against four Portuguese children, all of them girls under the age of 14.

Despite the flagrant crime in a playground in São Bartolomeu de Messines, this crime by Brukner against Portuguese children was never prosecuted and remains unpunished.

Allegedly.

Posted: 5th, July 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: monsters, psychopaths and Christian B

What news of Madeleine McCann, the innocent child famous for being missing since May 2007? The Mail kicks off today’s round-up of news and in the main no news of Madeleine McCann with the line: “The lawyer for Madeleine McCann’s kidnap and murder suspect Christian Brueckner has insisted his client is ‘no psychopathic monster’.” Fair dos? But is he a murderer?

We know Brueckner is a paedophile and a rapist. But did he kidnap Madeleine McCann and murder her, as German authorities suspect he did? He is no monster says his brief. He is a man. Good. They’re easier to spot and punish. And what do we mean when we label someone a psychopath? Do we mean a predator lacking in all empathy? If we do, do we assume that they can be cured. Do they see them as victims of biology or nurture?

The American Psychological Association says psychopathy is characterized by “exploitation of others, deceitfulness, impulsivity, aggressiveness . . . [and] accompanied by lack of guilt, remorse and empathy.”

In 2017, research by New York-based psychologist Paul Babiak’s suggested up to 4% of business leaders in the US could be psychopaths. A study of supply chain managers found between 3% and 21% had clinically significant psychopathy, compared to 1% of the general population.

And they can pull. “Psychopathic men are really good at pretending to display what women are attracted to,” says Kristopher Brazil, one of two researchers at Brock University in Canada who led a study into why women love a psychopath. “They’re really good at putting on this mask, and making themselves look attractive… You exude a larger-than-life presence, and give off an impression of greatness.”

The Mail broadens its position, relaying the words of Brueckner’s suit:

Friedrich Fulscher described the 43-year-old serial paedophile as a ‘friendly conversationist’.

He went on to claim: ‘The prosecutor’s office seems to have shot at our client and is now trying to correct their lack of evidence by any means possible.

‘I experience him as a very calm and friendly interlocutor, and the atmosphere between us has always been very pleasant.’

The suspect’s innocent must be presumed. And as for the suspect coming across as decent bloke, well, if all paedophiles and rapists were easily identifiable the judiciary would have a far simpler time of things.

Fulscher was talking about his client to Germany’s RTL. The IBT notes:

This account of Brückner’s demeanor follows other reports that have surfaced in recent months about his behavior behind the scenes. Not only did a former roommate state that he had once been “obsessed with the dark web,” but others claimed that he had once “freaked out” when McCann’s name was mentioned.

And..? Not much. Such are the facts.

Posted: 3rd, July 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeline McCann: on a crime stroll with the revolting Christian Brueckner

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

The Mirror says Christian Brueckner, the man suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann, “‘made [a] all from ‘same place” where she vanished about an hour later”. He did? Well, so it is “claimed”. And why is ‘same place’ in inverted commas? The teaser is more precise – sort of: “Paedophile Christian Brueckner allegedly used a mobile phone outside the Ocean Club about an hour before Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s holiday flat at the same complex in May 2007.”

The news is alleged. And the source is an entertainment TV show in Germany:

Rudi Cerne, the host of Aktenzeichen XY… Ungelöst (Case number XY… Unsolved), told Focus: “The call came from the same place where the little girl was last seen alive. I get the impression something important is happening now.”

Rudi gets the impression… More after the ads… Stay tuned… Cerne shared his thoughts in a trailer for tomorrow night’s TV programme. “The only thing I can say at the moment is that this also includes the telephone number of the Portuguese prepaid card that was called from the German suspect’s cellphone,” he says. “Not even an hour before Maddie disappeared. The call also came from the same place where the little girl was last seen alive, in Praia da Luz in the Algarve.” Lest you mistake the toothsome, tanned TV host for a detective, he then note: “I’m not an investigator.”

In another of its myriad stories on the missing child, the Mirror announces: “Madeleine McCann suspect had rape case bungled by police two years before she vanished – Christian Brueckner, 43, could have been jailed for the brutal rape of a US woman in 2005 – almost 18 months before Madeleine McCann was taken – but blunders by Portuguese police kept him free until 2017.”

In December 2019, Brueckner was convicted of rape. He is appealing the conviction. Says the Mirror:

A rope, hair and some clothes from a house where Brueckner, 43, raped an American woman in 2005 didn’t get tested for DNA, leaving him at large until 2017 when he was caught.

The villa the rape took place in is a 10-minute stroll from the Praia da Luz apartment where Madeleine, who was three at the time, vanished in May 2007.

What other heinous crimes took place in the area in 2005, when the American woman was raped, are not said. As for that crime scene being a “stroll” from the place where Madeleine McCann vanished from, well, she vanished in May 2007. You can walk slowly.

Maddie McCann

The Mail repeats the story, observing that the suspect could have been caught two years BEFORE the innocent child went missing. In which case… if he did do it, she would not have gone missing. We’re told:

The 2005 rape case inquiry was abandoned five months after the horrific attack, while neither a red T-shirt stuffed in the victim’s mouth nor a nylon rope used to tie her hands together were DNA tested, according to The Sun

Over to the Sun, then:

Maddie suspect rape..

After her disappearance Portuguese police failed to seal off the McCann family holiday apartment for almost 24 hours.

It led to a crime scene contamination by up to 50 people. Cleaners washed bed sheets and ash from officers’ cigarettes was found in evidence samples. The 2005 rape inquiry was abandoned after just five months.

Is there a source for new that Portuguese police made a hash to the rape case?

Official documents show Carlos Farinha, then Director of the Judicial Police’s Forensic Science Laboratory, wrote in a letter dated November 28, 2009: “We have learned by telephone that the examination is no longer necessary. We are therefore cancelling the tests and returning the material sent to us for analysis.”

Adding:

German prosecutors are now convinced the mistakes made by Portuguese police in the 2005 rape case left child sex offender Christian B free to snatch Madeleine.

They might be convinced. But they don’t have any evidence to charge the depraved criminal.

Posted: 1st, July 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Christian Bruckner will never be ‘free’, Wolters is missing evidence and Maddie link to Rochdale pub

Madeleine McCann: an at-a-glance look at news of the missing child.

Christian Brueckner could be out of prison next week, says the NY Post. The convicted peadophile and rapist suspected to murdering the missing child has applied for parole having served two-thirds of a sentence for drugs.

In the Sun we hear from an unnamed source “close to the German investigation”. “If the superior court decides to free him then it will severely impact the case,” says someone. “He could vanish and then we will not be able to put him on trial. We are fighting for him to be kept in court.”

How likely is it that if he is released from prison the man suspected of killing the child who has obsessed media for over a decade will vanish and not be closely watched by a million reporters, police, members of the public and bounty hunters keen to get their hands on the scoop and the reward money? And there’s the matter of his conviction for rape.

Christian Brueckner was pinched in 2018 on a warrant issued for a drugs offence in 2011.

But he was subsequently put on trial and convicted of raping a 72-year-old American woman at her villa in Praia da Luz in 2005. He was sentenced to seven years in December. But because he is appealing against the rape conviction, under German law the sentence is yet to be imposed.

So he will walk “free”? No. He won’t.

Maddie McCann

The Mirror looks at the child’s parents, as ever it has done. “Madeleine McCann parents face more pain as police say suspect could escape justice.” This headline pivots on your concept of justice. The teaser nails its:

“German authorities are convinced paedophile Christian Brueckner killer Maddie but prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters sais the investigation ‘could be stopped if we fail to find the missing evidence'”

In the dash to scream “no news” first, the Mirror makes two typos in one line. But worse than that is the interpretation of what justice is and if you can achieve it without evidence. German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters tells German newspaper Braunschweig Zeitung: “You have to be realistic that the investigation may not lead to a charge for the murder of Madeleine. It could be stopped if we fail to find the missing evidence. But we are still convinced of the guilt of the accused and hope for further promising investigative approaches.”

May. Could. If. Missing evidence. The German prosecutors case looks watertight, in the same way a sieve makes a good lifeboat.

The Metro chips in with: “Madeleine McCann suspect might not be charged despite ‘concrete evidence’ of murder.” When “concrete evidence” is couched in inverted commas it’s not all that concrete. Says Wolters: “I am currently unable to predict the outcome of our investigation but we are still convinced of the guilt of the accused and hope for further promising investigative approaches.” But is there to convince a judge and jury?

Is the suspect about to walk free, then? Wolters explains: “Of course, it is always good to know where a suspect is to be able to access them if necessary. And, of course, detention always offers a certain guarantee that the detainee will not commit any further crimes.”

And on it goes. But wait. The Manchester Evening News has news!

Maddie McCann parents

“Lawyer who represented Madeleine McCann parents wants to turn village pub into nursery.” In Rochdale.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: suspect says he didn’t do it; no evidence to charge him

To coincide with the resumption of the football season, the Mirror leads with a photo of Madeleine McCann in her Everton kit. The news is that convicted rapist and peadophile Christian Brückner / Christian Brueckner says he didn’t dit not kidnap and murder the missing child. Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher says his client “denied any involvement”.

As the suspect denies all and wallows in solitary confinement in a German prison for depraved and violent crimes, the Mail looks at the vehicle he drove back and forth between Germany and Portugal. Says the paper:

It is not clear when Brueckner bought the 30-year-old Tiffin Allegro but he was known to be driving a vehicle matching its description in 2007, when Madeleine, three, vanished.

And..?

People who knew him described a ‘large cream-coloured Winnebago campervan,’ which he allegedly bragged could hide ‘drugs and children’.

Police have located the van on land owned by the suepct. According to Spiegel, police found the van when they investigated the vanishing of five-year-old Inga Gehricke.

Germany’s Spiegel TV reported that during a six-day search of the site detectives found numerous items of children’s clothing, most of them ‘small swimsuits’ in the motorhome. Brueckner does not have any children.

The convicted rapist has no children.

Police also found six memory sticks with more than 8,000 files, mostly containing pictures and videos of child abuse. They were in a bag in a hole in the ground, underneath the body of his dead dog. Brueckner, now 43, was convicted of possessing the child porn but not charged in relation to Inga. He was identified as a suspect in the McCann case in recent weeks and police near Hanover have reopened the file into Inga’s disappearance, looking again at Brueckner.

A bloke called Dieter tells the Mail that he once looked around the van:

“Brueckner told me again, ‘I have 50kg of grass, and I transport it around Europe’. I thought he was joking at the time. He said, ‘In my van, I can take 50kg of grass – nobody can see it … I can transport children, kids, in this space. Drugs and children, you can transport them in this van – it’s a safe space in the van. Nobody can find them. Nobody can catch you’.”

The Sun picks up more of the Spiegel report:

While living in Braunschweig, Christian B ran a kiosk between 2013 and 2015 and he was pictured inside wearing dark sunglasses.

Bjorn told the documentary how Christian B had been contacted in 2013 by police investigating Madeleine’s disappearance.

He said: “One day I came into the kiosk and he was a little bit distraught and said, ‘Hey, look what I’ve got here’ — and he showed me a subpoena for the Madeleine McCann case.

“You could see it churned him up a bit but he wasn’t panicking and he wasn’t saying ‘they are on my heels’.

“I think he said he had been there but that he had nothing to do with it and that was that.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Wolters might be wrong, the missing letter and wafer-thin concrete

On June 15 the Sun told readers that Madeleine’s McCann’s parents were due to receive a letter from German prosectors. The letter would tell Gerry and Kate McCann how their daughter died, allegedly at the hands of convicted rapist and paedophile Christian Brueckner, currently serving time in a German prison. By way of a clue, the Mail added that police in Portugal were getting ready to search wells around the Algarve resort where the child vanished in 2007.

One day on and with the murder suspect is not talking, the Sun told readers that the McCanns had been sent the “saddest letter”.

MAddie McCann letter

The “concrete evidence” of Madeleine McCann’s death was not revealed in the missive. But the letter had been sent, That much was certain. “Prosecutors in Germany have written to Kate and Gerry McCann to tell them Madeleine is dead,” said the Sun. They have “concrete evidence” suspect Christian B killed her but cannot yet reveal details.”

And then the fact was undone by a “BOMBSHELL”, of which there have been many. This one is that the McCanns have yet to receive the letter.

Wolters letter mccann

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has already proven to be less than certain, having informed us that he assumed Madeleine McCann was dead adding later that she might not be. Maybe the letter was sent to the family’s reps, the police or has been delayed in the post. The McCanns note on their website:

“The widely reported news that we have received a letter from the German authorities that states there is evidence or proof that Madeleine is dead is FALSE. Like many unsubstantiated stories in the media, this has caused unnecessary anxiety to friends and family and once again disrupted our lives.”

Says Wolters, as quoted in the Express:

“We have re-established contact with the McCann family in writing. We, of course, really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them that we assume Madeline is dead. But we can’t say why she is dead. It is more important that we are is successful and we are able to get the culprit as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be.”

“Might be.” She might be dead. He might be a murderer. Or to put it another way, she might not be dead. He might not be a murderer.

Wolters is quoted more on the Sun:

“It would be easier for them [the McCanns] if I could tell them what we know but I can’t. All I can say is there is no forensic evidence but there is other evidence which indicates she is dead. I don’t want to go into any details about the letter, when it was written or how it was sent. All I will confirm is that it has been written.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 16th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: German police catch suspected murderer but think victim could be alive

Madeleine MCCann wolters

Christian Brueckner has yet to be arrested or charged with the alleged murder of Madeleine McCann. there is no news. So the media returns to its default poistion: watching the parents. The Sunday Mirror leads with news that Kate and Gerry McCann have called on the German prosecutor who assumes their daughter is dead to provide evidence.

Last week. Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office, told Sky News:

“The hard evidence we don’t have, we don’t have the crucial evidence of Madeleine McCann’s body. We expect that she is dead, but we don’t have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann. At the moment, we also don’t have enough proof for a trial at court, but we have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed. That’s why we need more information from people, especially places he has lived, so we can target these places especially and search there for Madeleine.”

Seems fair to ask him what he’s seen, no, especially if you’re the parents of the missing child and are desperate for news. Surely Wolters is not just speculating, riffing in the public arena in the hope that someone takes the line and points the finger? “German Prosecutors Dash Hopes of Finding Madeleine McCann alive,” says the New York Times. Can we see the evidence, please?

Hold on a mo. Wolters is talking to the Mirror:

“Because there is no forensic evidence there may be a little bit of hope (that she is alive). We don’t want to kill the hope and because there is no forensic evidence it may be theoretically possible. I know it’s important for the British people when I say she is dead, but I did not know it was so important.”

There is no forensic evidence so it’s theoretical she is alive. It’s also theoretical that she is dead. The theories can go on and on infinitum until we see evidence. And at the moment the theory is that convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner murdered the innocent child. And German cops are so certain he did it they’ve not charged him anything in relation to the case. Will they?

Says Wolters:

“I think the Portuguese officials still think that Maddie’s parents are responsible for her disappearance. From our perspective, the suspect is in jail in Germany right now. And this is not the case for Maddie’s parents. We think that the parents don’t have anything to do with it. We are convinced that our 43-year-old suspect is the murderer of Maddie McCann.”

Wolters is convinced the German police have identified the suspected murderer. Although the victim might be alive. Clear?

The Times says the rapist and child abuser is “receiving counselling in prison while he is held in isolation to prevent other inmates attacking him”. If he’s in isolations, how… Never mind. Here comes the depraved criminal’s lawyer, Friedrich Fülscher, to tell RTL TV how his client is coping:

“How should a person who is isolated in a correctional facility and who is accused by half the world’s population of the worst crimes?”

Confessing would be useful. But he’s not done so.

Posted: 14th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: B is for Brueckner or Brückner and René Hasee is blond and missing

René Hasee

Madeleine McCann returned to the front pages with a new suspect and a flurry of questions, none of which will be answered until we know what happened to her. But guessing is an armchair sport. So a German police worker assumes the missing child is dead. British police think she might not be. The tabloids mangle the most basic facts to fit a narrative. The BBC breaks ranks and renames her ‘Madeline’ over the media’s usual ‘Maddie’, and readers get to know of other missing children who convicted paedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner, aka Christian Brückner and Christin B might or might not have kidnapped and murdered.

On the matter of his name, there is a little confusion. German media only identify him as Christian B. German privacy laws make it illegal to name convicted criminals, let alone suspects. As for his spelling, well, while the tabloids do away with the umlaut (Sun, Mail, Mirror, Star), the broader-sheets (Guardian and Telegraph) use it. The BBC refers to him only as ‘Christian B’, which given that you can find his name all over the web and on the Mail’s hugely popular website, is peculiar. The BBC redacts the suspect’s full name on its website and puts a large black square over photos of his face. The Sun sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t.

Today’s front page news is that police are looking at Christian Brueckner in connection with the vanishing of René Hasee. The German chid went missing from the Algarve in 1996. He was six. Yesterday I mentioned Hasee and that his story was of interest, so too that fact that like Madeleine McCann, he too is blond. The Mail highlighted the importance of being blonde whilst missing in its story, “Two fair-haired little girls who vanished on a family trip… with the same man now under scrutiny.” Aref Ishmaili and other missing darker skinned children do not make the front pages.

So is the depraved criminal a serial child killer? The Guardian says “German prosecutors believe the 43-year-old convicted paedophile may have also been involved in the disappearance of Inga Gehricke”. Believe. May. Any facts? Any..? Yes, you, the Daily Mail:

Madeleine McCann’s suspected murderer Christian Brueckner was a twisted loner who was hated by the other children at school, a former classmate has revealed.

Er..

The former pupil said: ‘I’ve only ever had one fight in my life and that was with Christian Brueckner. He spent a year talking about me behind my back. He would not stop making nasty comments. One day I exploded and told him to go back to the orphanage where he had come from. We all knew he was adopted, so I shouldn’t have said that but I lost my temper with him. He jumped on me and we traded punches until a teacher pulled us apart. Everyone hated him in class and they all kept their distance. But it wasn’t just the children – it was the teachers as well.

Are we trying to build up a sympathetic backstory or nail the swine?

an “alleged breakthrough”

Any more facts? Yes, you, the Mirror. Today the paper calls the naming of suspect Christian Brueckner an “alleged breakthrough” in the Madeleine McCann investigation. That’s a bit of a climbdown because last week he was the “Maddie suspect” and we saw the “Face of Maddie ‘killer suspect'”.

Brace yourselves for more of this sort of thing. Sky says “almost 400 tip-offs about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been handed to British police since a new suspect was identified on Wednesday”. Will anything prove to be more than circumstantial? We all hope so. But no body and no evidence are not paths to justice. The only thing we know with absolute certainty is that in May 2007, Madeleine McCann vanished.

Posted: 7th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The Sun versus Christian Brueckner and what Tasmin Sillence really saw

maddie mccann suspect witness

The Sun has been talking about depraved criminal Christian Brueckner with a “Key Madeleine McCann witness”. But has the paper been sticking to the facts to get a story? The paper reports:

The woman reported the sighting within hours of three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007, and has always been viewed as a credible witness. Her confirmation came amid claims of glaring blunders by Judicial Police feared to have let the beast cheat justice.

The Sun understands from another British witness that Portuguese detectives circulated a photograph of Christian B years ago but failed to act. The second woman saw the image in 2007, and also confirmed it was a man she had seen behaving bizarrely in the days after Madeleine went missing…

A Sun trawl of witness statements all pointed to a man matching the paedophile’s description.

“Claims.” “Understands.” The hunt for facts continues. Can the Sun cut through the fog and help us form a clearer picture?

The Sun mentions British-born Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2007 and living in Portugal since she was two months old. Twice she saw the man in the area of the McCanns’ apartment. The Sun says she “told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block. Tasmin provided police with the photofit picture circulated at the time which bears a striking resemblance to Christian B, 43. It would appear Christian B’s name and background were known to police all along.”

But that’s not exactly what she told police.

christian maddie

The Sun says this is what Tasmin Sillence told police in her statement of 9th of May 2007:

“She saw the man, this time in front of the Ocean Club reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house.”

And:

She added that his face was pockmarked, he looked “ugly” and was casually dressed and wearing large-framed sunglasses.”

The Sun has got things in a muddle. Facts matter. This is what she told them, her words helping to form the efit image you can see above. (He words have been translated from Portuguese by Google translate):

Concerning the individual, she describes him as being: Caucasian race, light skin, so he wasn’t Portuguese, but could be British, according to her criteria. Approximately 180 cm tall, thin complexion, 30/35 years of age. Short hair, like shaved with 1 cm of length and fair, but she isn’t sure if it was blonde because the sun was reflecting, and made perception more difficult. She didn’t see the eyes because he wore dark glasses of black colour, with a structure of mass, a thick frame. He had a large forehead. Nose of normal size, a bit pointy and sharp. Large ears, close against the head. Mouth with thin lips, she didn’t see his teeth. Chin pointing up, which stood out on a face that she describes as sharp. No beard, no moustache, a clean shave. No other special signs, apart from some small pimples on the face as a result of shaving. He looked ugly, even ‘disgusting’.

Christian Brueckne has pockmarked skin. The witness did not say the man she saw did. He had a bit of pimply shaving rash. And there’s more.

Let’s recall for a second times what the Sun says:

What the Sun says she saw

Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time, told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block.

But the police report does not present the same picture. In it we learn:

She also mentions that she lived in the apartment where the missing child was staying, that belonged to her Grandmother, who is already deceased. That she didn’t actually reside there, but spent extensive and repeated periods of time there, with her Grandmother and her Mother. The apartment was bought in 1994 and sold in 2002 and therefore she knows it perfectly, both from the inside and from the outside.

She wishes to clarify. On the 30th of April, Monday, at around 8 a.m. and when she was walking to the bus stop for the school bus that leaves at 8.15, a path that she walks every day when there is school, she noticed the presence of a male individual, at the back of Madeleine’s house, on a little pathway to the apartments that exists there, looking in an ostensive manner at the house’s balcony. This happened when she was walking down the street, on the left side, which was right in front of the balcony, and the distance between them was the width of the road. That when she was walking down she decided to look at the pathway, because as she lived there, she likes to watch the house and the neighbouring garden. She walked with her mother, that she is certain she didn’t see the man, and she was walking two dogs on a leash, which forced them to cross the road, a bit further down. At that moment she saw the man more closely, as they crossed the road, and then lost visual angle when they finished crossing.

Says that the man didn’t see the deponent, because he was staring at the balcony.

She presumes that nobody was on Madeleine’s house’s balcony, but she cannot state it beyond doubt.

On May 2, she saw the same man for the second time. She did not see him again:

She started walking up the street on the left side going up, and saw the man, this time in front of the ‘Ocean Club’s’ reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house in an ostensive manner, where he stood he could observe, she thinks, the house’s two side windows and part of the balcony. She thinks that he could also be looking at the other residences that are located in the same direction.

And then this:

When asked she says that she saw Madeleine once, on a day that she cannot indicate, on the balcony where the man was staring at, the first time. She even waved at her because it was a small child, in a caring gesture.

She did not see the man stare at the balcony and then “moments later” see Madeleine McCann on the same balcony. She used to look at the McCann’s rented holiday home a lot, as she says. She once lived there. She could recall the two dates and times she saw the man and how she did not see anyone on the balcony on either occasion. She did see once Madeleine McCann on the balcony the man had observed but not when he was there. She did not see him looking at Madeleine McCann.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine MaCann: Christian Brueckner, blonde Inga Gehricke but not darker Aref Ismaili

Inga Gehricke

After moral panics, conspiracy theories, false accusations, arguidos and hundreds of journalists typing the words “every parent’s worst nightmare”, we are now invited to wonder if Christian Brueckner kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann. As pastimes go, debating an innocent child’s fate is one down from dogging. But you can play armchair detective from the comfort of your own home and shape the single-thread story – child vanishes – to fit with your own prejudices.

And so to Christian Brueckner. Did he also kidnap and murder a child in his native Germany, a girl called Inga Gehricke? We don’t know. And innocence, even when the suspect is a convicted paedophile and rapist should be presumed. Evidence and proof are the stuff of justice. But the ‘maybe’ keeps us reading. The tabloids lead with the story of what might or might not have happened.

Inga appeared on these pages in 2015. A child killer named Silvio S had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. But he had nothing to do with Inga’s vanishing from a family trip to the woods in Wilhelmshof. The Sun told readers Inga is known as “The German Madeleine”. As we’ve noted, many countries seem to have a version of the missing child. Madeleine McCann is the media’s benchmark for all the world’s missing children – but only the white ones:

Australia has an Our Maddie – Chloe Campbell Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

Brazil has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Isabella Nadoni Is Brazil’s Our Maddie

Israel has an Our Maddie– Madeleine McCann: Israel’s Rose Is The International Our Maddie

France has an Our Maddie –Typhaine Taton Is France’s Madeleine McCann

America has an Our Maddie – America’s Madeleine McCann Turns Up Alive

Spain has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Mari Luz Cortes, Maddy 2 And Gerry McCann Writes

New Zealand has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Patronising Aisling Symes

South America has an Our MaddieA Madeleine McCann Found In Panama

Holland has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Milly Boele Is Holland’s Our Maddie

Australia has an Our Maddie – Kiesha Abrahams Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

What else Inga Gehricke and Madeleine McCann have in common is made plain in the Daily Mail: they are both blonde:

It was Madeleine McCann’s blondness that helped turn her into the media’s ‘Our Maddie’, Would a black child have been news for 13 years, his or her face on the national newspapers’ front pages and leading the TV news bulletins? No need to answer. The answer is ‘no’. Black lives matter. Blonde lives sell papers.

Aref Ismaili has been missing since April 4, 2016. He had fled from Afghanistan to Germany under adverse circumstances with his parents. Aref Ismaili vanished in the small town of Wanfried in Hesse, Germany. He has dark hair and dark eyes. His face is not familiar to people the world over.

This is news as much as it is entertainment. Take this story also in the Mail: “Luxury villa where new Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner raped a 72-year-old US tourist is just a ten minute walk from apartment where the toddler vanished 18 months later.” The circumstantial nature of the link is clouded further by pictures of the luxury villa (price on application; there’s a swimming pool). Again the Mail notes Inga’s “blonde hair and blue eyes”.

In 2017, Jens-Uwe Gehricke recalled in German media how he’d seen his daughter Inga shortly before she disappeared on the footpath that leads from his friends’ house to the barbecue area on the edge of the forest. Inga was carrying two large bottles of water. She wanted to help prepare for a barbecue. Shortly afterwards, two other children watched her again as she made her way back home. That was around 6:30 p.m. Nobody knows what happened then. Said Jens-Uwe Gehricke: “It was only 100 meters to the house. But she never got there.” Read that and your skin crawls and your heat breaks.

But if we’re looking for links why not look at the vanishing of six-year-old René Hasee? Eleven year before Madeleine McCann disappeared, the boy from Elsdorf, Germany, was on a summer holiday with his family in Aljezur, not far from Praia da Luz when he disappeared. René Hasee is blond, so we may well hear of him in the British tabloids before any mention of Aref.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: assumed dead, photos of German paedo Christian B and Jimmy Savile

Yesterday Madeleine McCann returned to the front pages. A relaxing of the Covid-19 induced lockdown meant the time was ripe for police and media to bring us an update on Operation Grange, the investigation into what happened to the innocent child who vanished in May 2007. News is that a convicted German child abuser named Christian Brueckner, 43, was in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished from the Praia da Luz resort where she’d been holidaying with her family and their friends.

The prisoner has been spoken to by British and German police. Today papers lead with the opinion of German police that Madeleine McCann is dead. Well, maybe she is. They “assume” she is. You might assume she is not. In the field of cold case facts, assumptions are not evidence of anything other than opinion and prejudice. British police are keeping an open mind.

Want to see what the man named in Germany as ‘Christian B’ looks like, the man the Guardian says is the “strongest” suspect yet? This is how the BBC reveals the face of the suspect:

Have we come any distance since the early days of the investigation, when these suspects occupied newspaper front pages?

belgium-suspect1

Picture 1 of 6

If The Dandy comic did abductions

But in the newspapers and all over the web we can see the suspect’s face:

The Daily Mail publishes a picture of Christian Brueckner in a bar in 2011 and posted to his Facebook page. He has more than 17 criminal convictions. But what links him to the missing child? Well, allegedly he confessed or boasted to a friend that he’d kidnapped Madeleine McCann as they watched a TV show on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance. The Sun says Christian Brueckner also showed his friend a video on his mobile phone of him raping a woman. You might well wonder how the revolting Christian Brueckner came to have any friends and at what point you grass your drinking buddy to the police?

The bigger question is why we should accept Christian Brueckner at face value. This is a man described by German prosecutors as “a predator convicted of crimes against little girls”. He is a deeply nasty individual who has led a “sordid” (Times) life. The Sun tells us he is in prison for “raping a 72-year-old woman in the Algarve resort [Praia da Luz] in 2005”. German police say they suspect him of selling drugs and burglarising homes when he lived in a rented home near Praia da Luz. They suspect him of murdering Madeleine McCann.

And then the paper says: “The rapist’s alleged confession led to the latest breakthrough, but Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry’s hopes of finding her alive were yesterday dealt a crushing blow.” But the German authorities don’t know anything. They are assuming and believing. The investigation and the current appeal for help and witnesses is the enduring hope that this story will reach a conclusion.

‘Christian B’ on the BBC. In Germany, privacy laws mean authorities will not fully identify any suspects. Suspects in criminal cases are often only identified in German media by their first name followed by the first letter of their surname.

German public prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters adds: “The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig is investigating a 43-year-old German national on suspicion of murder. From this you can see that we assume that the girl is dead.” And then we learn: “B was investigated by Portuguese cops in 2008 over Madeleine’s disappearance but was ruled out at the time.”

So they bungled it or correctly ruled him out? Says the Sun, “Experts said B matched the profile of a Jimmy Savile-style “paraphiliac”, who targets victims of all ages.” Jimmy Savile was never arrested. He was neither tried nor convicted of any crime.

The investigation continues…

Posted: 5th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: maybe the German in the van took her – or maybe not

maddie mccann

There’s a new suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It’s a 43-year-old German man. No need to look for him. He’s already in prison. German media has identified him as ‘Christian B’. Hans Christian Wolters, from the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office, says: “We are assuming that the girl is dead. With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he’s already serving a long sentence.”

The story leads the news cycle. The Times says he’s a “paedophile”. The Telegraph says it’s the “biggest breakthrough yet”. It’s “time to nail” him, says the Star. Great news. And it is – until you get the facts… How can you charge a man with a crime with no evidence he committed one – and no evidence any crime took place?

The Mail and Sun both lead with questions. “Did German take Maddie in this van?” wonders the Sun, making the suspect’s nationality a key part of the story. “Have they found man who took Maddie?” asks the Mail.

And one more question: did police working on Operation Grange keep the story from media until coronavirus had been washed from the front pages? Was it done to help their appeal for anyone who saw the man or his van to come forward? If they did, it’s worked. Did they also want to show us that for £11m, the cost of the investigation so far, you get results?

The BBC leads its story by telling us, “He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine was last seen, when she disappeared in Portugal 13 years ago.” Believed by..? “Someone out there knows a lot more than they’re letting on,” says Det Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell.

So did you see a man with a camper van in Portugal 13 years ago? He has short short blond hair and about 6ft tall with a slim build at the time. German and British police have spoken with him about Madeleine but he’s not confessed.

Time to review the evidence:

The Express says he was known to be in Praia da Luz when Madeleine McCann vanished. He had 30-minute phone conversation with a “mystery caller” the night Madeleine went missing. The day after Madeleine vanished in 2007, the suspect transferred the Jaguar to someone else’s name. The BBC says this is “suspicious”.

On the night of the vanishing, he received a phone call at 7.32pm, which ended at 8.02pm. Madeleine is believed to have disappeared between 9.10pm and 10pm that evening.

The Telegraph says he’s a multiple child sex offender.

The Mail says the suspect was renting a “ramshackle farm building” two miles from Praia da Luz where the McCann family were holidaying.

German police also suggested there “may” have been other people involved who are still at large, says the Mail. As one German officer puts: “There is reason to assume that there are other persons, apart from the suspect, who have concrete knowledge of the course of the crime and maybe also of the place where the body was left.”

It all adds up to a lot of belief, assumption and maybe. Plus ca change.

And you can help find Maddie. Scotland Yard is launching a joint appeal with German and Portuguese police with a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for Madeleine’s. Remember when the reward was huge and the innocent girl who became the media’s ‘Our Maddie’ was spotted in: Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustralia, France, IndiaDubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (taken there by boat).

The last word is with the parents who issue this statement:

“We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine. All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”

Madeleine McCann is missing.

Posted: 4th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Maddie’s 10 birthday cakes

mccann

Madeleine McCann: an at-a-glance look at the missing child in the news.

The Sun: “BIRTHDAY WISH Madeleine McCann’s mum Kate still throws her a birthday party each year with cake and presents in the hope she’ll come home.” This is news? No. It’s voyeurism. The story contains one fact: child vanishes. But ever since Madeleine McCann vanished in 20017, we’ve been gawping at the parents. “Nearly 12 years of presents and cards are waiting in her unchanged pink bedroom in Rothley, Leics,” says the Sun. Is the cake uneaten, stored in Tupperware?

“Ex-GP Kate” – the tabloid rules dictate that the parents’ jobs then and now must be mentioned in every no-news update – said: “I do all the present buying. I think about what age she is and buy something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate so there’s a lot of thought goes into it… There are gifts people have sent – from teddy bears to rosary beads – and photographs and pictures Sean and Amelie have drawn for her pinned on the walls.” Stuffed toys, god and purgatory. “She also has a keepsake box in which the twins leave little things for her: the last sweet in their packet, a new drawing, sometimes just a leaf that has taken their fancy. Everyone sits in there from time to time to feel close to her. The children sometimes borrow toys to play with for a while but they always return them for Madeleine.”

The Express also wants its readers to hear those words. It presses f9 on the keyboard and creates another ‘Our Maddie story. “Madeleine McCann: How Kate McCann STILL keeps birthday presents in hope of Maddie’s return,” says the paper’s headline.

We’re not watching Madeleine McCann. We’re not looking for her. We just stare at the familiar. We’re being asked to look at woman who appears to have been buried alive. Can the New Zealand Herald offer relief from the mawkish and claustrophobia of a child’s bedroom without a child?

NZ Herald: “Insider: What I think really happened to Madeleine McCann.”

Oh, go on, then, tell us. It turns out we already know what “I” really think. The man revealing the contents of his mind to deadline – aka speaking – is Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ media handler. “Now he has revealed what he believes really happened, saying the investigation points to an abduction but still shares hope she could be alive.”

Believes. Points to. Hopes.

No facts. Opinions are all we have. The single thread story feasted on by a voracious media is a nagging dry cough with no product.

And here’s De Montford University journalism lecturer Lee Marlow to share his opinions, which you might have caught on the recent Netflix documentary the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The university’s website quotes him:

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to be involved in the documentary, to be honest. I didn’t know if people would be interested and I was a bit doubtful of their intentions. But I met with the producers. They told me what they wanted to do. They outlined their plans and seemed thorough and decent and they reassured me it wouldn’t be a garish, sensationalised, tabloid hatchet job. They were true to their word, too. It wasn’t that.”

What was it? It looks a lot like bald entertainment. Says Mr Marlow:

“I know the parents didn’t want to get involved and I can see, journalistically, that weakens the documentary. But it’s their choice. They were asked and they said no. The people behind the documentary respected their decision, which is also entirely right, I think. Should it have been shelved because the parents didn’t want to be involved? No, I don’t think so. Most of what was in the documentary is a matter of public record. All they did was collate it, re-tell the story and try to fill in as many gaps as they could.”

Madeleine McCann documentary
The Imagining

Most of it? All of it. The show offered nothing new on the case. We’ve learned nothing since she vanished.

Posted: 29th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the cloning programme

mccann maddie

Madeleine McCann: an at-a-glance round-up of stories about the missing child in today’s media.

The website Mama Mia has “6 unanswered questions we have after watching The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann“. Tosh. There is only one question, and it’s unchanged since the child banished in 2007: what happened? The Netflix show shed light only on itself.

9News (Australia): “EXCLUSIVE ‘Maddie’s DNA possibly in car boot’: Top US scientist has key to unlock baffling McCann forensic riddle.”

Possibly. On planet Maddie, a possibility – a thing without proof – is an exclusive. We meet Dr Mark Perlin, “one of the leading DNA scientists in the world”. He’s not worked on the case. He says “modern methods” are best. 9News is all in, chiming: “Dr Perlin’s powerful DNA testing software, widely regarded as the most sophisticated on the planet, is a quantum leap ahead of the forensic science used in 2007, when the McCann samples were tested.” Regarded by whom? And why is Dr Perlin in the news? Answer: “Nine.com.au sent [Perlin] a copy of the FSS [the Forensic Science Service] DNA report which was handed to Portuguese police in September 2007.” Nine then interviewed Dr Whatshisface in the fifth episode of Maddie, “Nine.com.au‘s podcast investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance”. Dr Perlin has a company that he says could look at any DNA and maybe – maybe – crack the case. Or not. Possibly.

Yahoo: “Madeleine McCann Facebook page warns against ‘nasty comments’.”

Moderators behind the official Madeleine McCann Facebook page have put out a post warning against “nasty comments” following Netflix’s documentary on the case. The post reads, “As a reminder, all posts are hidden until they are approved. If you make a nasty comment, your post will be deleted and you will be banned. This is a place of hope. We will not tolerate negativity towards Madeleine, her family or anyone else on this page. “

In the Daily Telegraph most talk os possible things. Here’s Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman. “I asked the British authorities what they think happened and if there was any family involvement, ” he says “and they assured me it was just a rare case of stranger abduction. It’s very rare, but it can happen. A sexual motive is an obvious possibility.” Adding: “A child was taken to order from that room.”

It can happen? But did it happen?

The Sun: “HUNTED BY PAEDOS Madeleine McCann was ‘snatched to order’ by paedo gang who spied on her room, Kate and Gerry’s spokesman believes.”

Belief. So not a fact, then. He adds: “A lot of it is misinformed, misguided and based purely on assumptions or lack of knowledge. People deciding that the don’t like the McCanns. People also assumed the worst. That [the McCanns] were getting drunk, that they were having fun and that they did not care about their children.”

One man’s guess is not as good as another man’s guess.

The Sun: “MADDIE TROLLS Madeleine McCann’s parents ‘angry and upset’ as trolls bombard them with hate mail in wake of Netflix documentary”

Armchair detectives can be nasty. The Sun adds: “Heart doctor Gerry, 50, and former GP Kate, 51, now a medical worker, of Rothley, Leics, have slammed the programme saying it will “do absolutely nothing” to help the worldwide search to find her and could even hinder it.”

But we need an end to the story.

The Sun: “THE MADDIE FILES Madeleine McCann conspiracy theorists made bonkers claim Maddie was born as part of a government cloning project.”

Discuss in the form of an eight-part documentary or podcast.

Posted: 27th, March 2019 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the international Belgian paedo mob

Madeleine Mccann
The News: What you missed (but didn’t) / what we already know / and a big maybe

Now that Madeleine McCann is back in the news thanks to a Netflix docu-drama, the tabloids can revisit the same old with some degree of surety that readers remain interested in the missing child.

Daily Star (page 19): “Maddie was kidnapped ‘to order’.

Who sent the order? The paper tells us it was a “peado gang”, precisely a “Belgian paedophile ring”. Seems hard to fathom that depraved perverts would go to so much trouble as to import a white child from a foreign country? But if it’s on the Netflix drama The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is must have weight. And we read the theory that “someone linked to the mob” spotted Madeleine McCann on holiday in Portugal, took her photo and “secretly” sent it to Belgium. The “purchaser” is “said to have approved her”.

maddie mccann reward
A huge reward that went unclaimed

A source from detective agency Metodo 3, once hired to track down the child all those moons ago, opines: “To take her without leaving a trace? It was well-organised group.” Because as everyone knows, the more people involved in a crime, the less likely it is that something will go wrong and someone will claim the huge reward.

The Star says the Belgian tip-off was noted by a Scotland Yard officer 10 months after the child vanished. The report runs: “Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine was taken.” It’s a sickening theory. But at least it’s only speculation. We see no facts to support it.

Posted: 19th, March 2019 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: spotted in 90 countries; Netflix is ill; and the making of Our Maddie

kate mccann maddie

“How much worse can it get for the Portugal travel and tourism industry?” asks one website in response to the eight-part Netflix drama, a feast on the Madeleine McCann story. The question is left unanswered. But we can guess because when it comes to the media’s ‘Our Maddie’, aside from the single fact – child vanishes – guessing is all we have.

The Tab taps into the media narrative of a Maddie in every county, by telling us “These are all the Maddie McCann ‘sightings’ since she went missing in 2007”. Spoiler alert: she’s not been spotted anywhere since she vanished. Other children have. But not her. The last few years have thrown up very few ‘sighting’ but by 20011, the innocent child who vanished had been spotted in India, Canada, ItalySwedenPortugalSpain,  Morocco, Majorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItaly, Germany, Australia, France, DubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (by boat). The Tab has more but, unhelpfully, without links:

Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, The Gambia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ibiza, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The world is full of sleuths and suspects. And Maddies. And you can play along. Irish website Extra invites its readers to play armchair detective. The headline appears to be more suggestive than a puppy sat by a pile of poo: “HERE ARE THE 48 QUESTIONS KATE MCCANN DIDN’T ANSWER ABOUT MADDIE’S DISAPPEARANCE.” Stop Press: before you read on and start speculating, Kate McCann is not a suspect in her daughter’s vanishing. Gerry McCann is not a suspect. Both are innocent. In fact, there are no suspects. Everybody is innocent.

Not that this is all about an alleged crime. It isn’t even about the McCanns as real people – not since Madeleine McCann, the name her parents call her by, was reworked into ‘Maddie’ by a press pushed for headline space and concerned the story of the missing English blonde might sound a bit, you know, French. This is entertainment.

Get this in the Mail: “Madeleine McCann’s parents are ‘furious’ after retired detective repeats claim in new Netflix series that they put toddler’s life at risk by publicising her distinctive eye mark.” After the fury, the story:

Gerry and Kate McCann, both 51, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were said to be livid that Goncalo Amaral has again said the three-year-old’s life was endangered after the couple revealed the distinctive mark in her eye.

The abductor may have felt forced to kill the toddler after the mark was publicised, Mr Amaral, 59, suggested, due to her being easily identified.
Mr Amaral, who led the police investigation into the 2007 Praia de Luz disappearance, originally made the comments in a book he wrote in 2008.

He said it over ten years ago. An unnamed source tells the Sunday Mirror: “Mr Amaral doesn’t seem to have any compassion for Kate and Gerry and is only interested in publicising himself. To criticise them for doing ­everything they could to help find their daughter is insensitive in the extreme… If there is any defamatory content in there then, of course, they will consider what next steps need to be taken.”

A reported statement from the McCanns – via Digital Spy – reads:

“The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate.We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it. Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.”

And on and on it goes. Screw the lowered ambition of a trite documentary. Why not go for the theatre play? The Mousetrap could use a rival.

Posted: 17th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: TV at its most pathetic

mccann maddie podcast

Netflix’s Madeleine McCann documentary was full of shocks and theories from experts in ‘Our Maddie’ Studies (OMS). So dire was the that the missing child’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, refused to take part. How can you fill an eight-part TV show if the people who knew the subject best won’t say anything new? Will eight hours of grainy footage, newspaper cuttings and speculation be enough to keep subscribers tuned in to a show without end?

The director wants “to take the viewer on the journey that the public went on”. This is what happens when you watch the X Factor too often: you realise a journey can lead nowhere.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann opted for timeline over insight. So we get Madeleine McCann jetting off on her hols; Madeleine McCann playing on her hols; Madeleine McCann going missing on her hols; get the full glossary of OMS terms – Cuddle Cat, Tapas 7, Arguido, Amaral – and then lots of ‘Our Maddie’, and how the British child became public property and a docu-drama on pay-for-view US telly.

The single thread story spun by a voracious media was all Netflix had and it wasn’t going to bother finding anything more.

If you know what happened to her, call the police. If you want to see a crime show, watch an Agatha Christie.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Netflix show says actors kidnapped child

madeleine mccann netflix

There’s a  “Maddie shocker” on the Daily Star’s cover. The paper doesn’t tell you what it is until you reach page 13. That location’s a clue, isn’t it. It tells us that the story isn’t shocking and certainly doesn’t reveal what happened to Madeleine McCann back in May 2007.  But let’s take the bait and flick through…

The story is about that new Netflix drama into the child’s vanishing. It will, says the marketing and the tabloid, “contain explosive new claims”. They’d best be good. We’ve heard some pretty edgy stuff in the decade and more since a 4-year-old girl on holiday became ‘Our Maddie’.

The Mail also trails the show. It tells us: “Haunting last footage of Madeleine McCann boarding a plane to Portugal with her family days before her disappearance is unearthed in new Netflix documentary.” Haunting because..? No reasons are given. She didn’t go missing on the plane to The Algarve. She didn’t board the plan and then – poof!  – vanish. It’s not haunting to see the child on the plane’s steps. It’s ghoulish.  

On page 29, the Mail conducts an interactive study. “Is this Maddie playing in Portugal just days before she vanished.” Before. Not after. So let’s say ‘yes’, it is her. Because a four-years-old on holiday will do a lot of playing. The Mail says the image of a child seen from the back who might or might be Madeleine McCann is “haunting”. The Mail sees ghosts where the rest of us see a flesh and blood child, and a mystery most likely rooted in the criminal rather than the supernatural.

Indeed, as part of Netflix’s armchair detective show, we see a “dramatic reconstruction of Maddie’s abductors…running through the resort’s streets with a child in their arms.” These kidnappers are played by “actors”. This is no CCTV footage of this as an actual event. And for reasons uncertain, the “couple” seen carrying a child in plain view constitute one man (brown skinned; 30-ish; jeans and trainers) and one woman (white; 30-ish, headscarf). Why they’re portrayed like this is unsaid. But, you know, telly. And it’s hard to get Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to patch up their differences, even if it is to help with an open case. Also, very few actors resemble this early suspect:

One artist’s impression of the suspect

The “fleeing couple” also look not a lot like these “suspects”:

belgium-suspect1

Picture 1 of 6

If The Dandy comic did abductions

But there has been a breakthrough. Over in the Sun we get the answer to the Mail’s question. “Maddie,” says the paper, “New pic playing on hols.” Not now. Way back then.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Netflix and Maddie Podcast in ratings battle

mccann maddie podcast

Netflix and chill to the Maddie McCann documentary soon-to-be streamed to your living rooms. It’ll be a show that tugs hard on the single-thread story: child vanishes. What light it will shed on the vanishing is clear to anyone whose followed the story since May 2007, when the British child disappeared on a family holiday to Portugal. None. This is entertainment. Child vanishes, possibly abducted and, if the media narrative is right, maybe sold into slavery and sexually abused. Netflix and chill.

Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have taken no part in the show, say reports. But they’ll know about it, and if the McCanns take out a Netflix subscription they can watch it and thereby find out if Maddie is a hit.

But who needs to wait for Netflix’s hot take when the ‘Our Maddie’ show has barely paused for breath since it first aired on May 3 2007. On today’s 9News (Australia) you can read: “Top Maddie cop: ‘I’ve seen nothing to make me think Gerry and Kate McCann had something to do with daughter’s disappearance’.” Well, d’uh. If you had done, Mr Top Cop, you’d have surely questioned them about it. But the bigger question remains: can you build a media career on knowing nothing?

Before we hear from Jim Gamble, the former head of Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP), know this: “Maddie is currently the number one podcast on Australia’s iTunes chart, reaching that spot inside of 24 hours of launch.” We’re Number 1!

In episode two of Maddie, Nine.com.au’s new podcast investigating Madeleine’s disappearance, Gamble outlined the profilers’ mission, and potential crime scene scenarios his team explored.

“When the case first began to unravel … I began to simply watch the news feed and then get direct feedback from our team on the ground,” Gamble said. “Being a police officer, I am a cynic… I believe that any good investigator clears the ground beneath their feet. So of course the first people you suspect are the parents, because they are there, they are in proximity, it is their child. Did I believe at the beginning that the parents could possibly have done it? Yes. As time went on, did I see evidence that supported that hypothesis? No, I did not.”

Adding apropos of ‘ME!’:

“Now that’s not to say that something couldn’t turn up in the future where I think: ‘Oh flip, you know I was right in the beginning and I’m wrong now’. But I’ve seen nothing, been briefed on nothing and heard nothing that would make me think that Gerry and Kate McCann [had] something to do with their daughter’s disappearance.”

What utter balls. Speculation is not news. But enough of that old copper because here comes another one. The Mail hears the plod of shiny boots on media studio carpet: “Friend of Kate McCann slams retired police chief who said their claims Maddie was abducted through their apartment window raised a ‘red flag’.”

A family friend to Kate McCann has slammed claims made by a top superintendent that the story around her disappearance raises ‘red flags’.
In a podcast by 9 News, retired superintendent Peter MacLeod cast doubt on the logistics of an abductor theory and said it would have been ‘difficult’ for a kidnapper to have entered the Praia da Luz apartment as three-year-old Madeleine slept. However a friend of the family refuted the ‘spurious allegations’ and the suggestion that Madeleine’s parents, from Rothley, Leicestershire, had anything to do with her kidnapping.

The family “friend” remains nameless, as ever it was. The Mail quotes McLeod:

During the podcast, titled Maddie, the retired police chief said: ‘The window is only an absolutely maximum 50cm wide, in reality 46 wide, and it’s already a metre off the ground. I had a look at that and my shoulders are wider than that little window. So although you could climb in sideways you certainly can’t jump in if you are a normal sized person.’

[Size of his shoulders unstated but available on request.]

‘I frankly do not think it’s possible. It would be difficult enough to get yourself in. You’d have to grab hold of windows, grab hold of things. Then you’ve got to pick up a child without waking it up without waking the other two children. I do not think it can be done, or let me put it another way, I do not see how anyone could do it.’

Insight be damned!

A “friend to the McCann family” tells the Sun: “Spurious allegations discussing what might have and might not have happened that night have been made umpteen times. Anybody can do a podcast, it doesn’t mean it’s right, and one spouting off about what they did and subsequently said is something quite frankly they will ignore. What would he know?”

Well ignored. And now for the main event… which will be right after over a decade of prequels…

Posted: 6th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: three cops; one source; and freedom of no information request

maddie mccann reward

There’s been very little news of Madeleine McCann. The story has lost its push. But the Star and other tabloids plough gamely on, waiting for an new fact to add to the only one we know: child vanishes.

The Star, Sun and Mail all bring news that police were “secretly investigated for misconduct”. To the Star and Sun they are “Madeleine McCann cops”, part of the missing child’s private and personalised police force. The Mail and Star’s stories are based entirely on the Sun’s.

The Sun’s scoop tells readers that the police officers who worked on the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance were accused of “neglect or failure in their duty”. The Sun sums up:

Each officer was accused of “neglect or failure in their duty” while working on the Met Police’s £12million investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. But two allegations were not upheld and one was later withdrawn after Scotland Yard found there was no case to answer.

It is not clear if the complaints were made by members of the public or Madeleine’s family.

Sources even hinted that internet trolls could be responsible.

We know that no officers did anything wrong thanks to a freedom of information request. And after the facts, we get the theorising in the Star:

Madeleine’s parents Kate, 50, and Gerry, 49, of Rothley, Leics, believe their girl, who would now be 16, could still be alive.

Believe. Could. Guexses and hunches in place of news and facts.

And in the Sun we get an unnamed “source “to tell us:

One said: “Because the precise details of the allegations aren’t made public, it’s entirely possible good officers have been subjected to a complaints process even though there may be little merit in the allegations against them.”

There may be little merit in the story; there may be some merit in the story. The source is available for comment either way…

Posted: 14th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Rangers fans, David Baddiel and ‘active leads’ keep the story moving

That the story of Madeleine McCann has taken on a life of its own is not news. The single thread story – child vanishes – has been spun. But the tabloids love to find a new angle. And they do it in the shape of David Baddiel, the comedian, who “lashes out at McCann trolls”. What he actually did was to see ‘Our Maddie’ trending on Twitter and tweet: “Most people don’t know what it’s like to lose a child and should shut the fuck up.” That’s considered polite discourse on Twitter. But a BBC comic exchanging barbs with fellow twitter users passes for news. And it allows the Star to fill half a page with no news of the missing child.

The Sun also has no news. “‘MADDIE ‘COULD BE ALIVE’,” says the headline. “Madeleine McCann investigator claims missing child could still be ALIVE and hidden in a lair.” Could. Claims. More facts? Can we handle more facts? “David Edgar is convinced Maddie was abducted by a child sex gang and could still be being held in Portugal, where she vanished 11 years ago.” Edgar pulls on his media suit and tell us: “She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time.” 

Is that the “new hope” another Sun story hints to? “NEW MADDIE HOPE,” says the paper. “Madeleine McCann parents meeting with Scotland Yard detectives to discuss TWO ‘specific and active’ new leads.”.The Mirror echoes the news: “Fresh hope in Madeleine McCann search as police pursue two vital new leads.” Both scoops stem from a “Whitehall source” telling the Daily Mail: “Metropolitan Police officers had a sit-down meeting with Madeleine’s parents to tell them exactly where they were with their inquiries. They informed them they had two specific and active leads that still needed to be chased and that although the investigation was taking longer than they initially thought officers said they were confident and hopeful they could get a result.”

Why the source is unnamed is moot. Is it a secret? What are the leads? We’re not told.

But let’s end this round-up with where we began: trolls. “‘MADDIE 0 RANGERS 21’ Madeleine McCann troll slammed after comparing £11.75m search fund to Rangers footballer’s price tag,” says the Sun. It’s a tweet the Sun is happy to reproduce:

“Cost Of Madeline McCann Search: £12,000,000
“Cost Of Alfredo Morelos: £1,000,000
“Goals For Rangers: Madeline: 0 Morelos: 21”

The Sun senses a story. “But a number of people were furious at the comparisons, replying to the post with fury,” says the paper, possibly contains its furious fury. “One person commented: ‘Not a good tweet!!!'” No. A better tweet would be from someone famous or in a position of authority. Then it could be front-page news, and they could be publicly shamed and hounded from their job. Try harder, twitter. 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Police get 6 more months to find Madeleine McCann

“YOU’VE 6 More Months to find Maddie.” You. (Me?!) Yes, you. You might qualify for the huge reward the News of The World posted for information leading to the return of the papers’ ‘Our Maddie’. But that money most likely vanished when the paper was spiked. Of course, its not really about you. The Star’s headline, which you’ve just read, refers to the police working on Operation Grange, the investigation into the child’s disappearance in May 2007.  The front-page news is that coppers have been given a further £150,000 to “chase a final line of enquiry’.

 

maddie McCann reward

No-one claimed the huge reward

 

Wondering what this final line might be, we race to page 7. We hear from the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell. He says Kate and Gerry McCann, the girl’s parents, are “very encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done in there each for the daughter.” Ergo: the police have yet to find her or what happened to her. We’re told Operation Grange has “cost taxpayers £11.75m”.  And a Home Office spokesman says money will fund the investigation until March 31 2019. Things are “ongoing”. But there not word on what the “final line of enquiry” is.

 

daily star madeleine mccann

 

As for the other tabloids which once featured Madeleine McCann on their front pages, the Sun shows her only on page 8. In a slim, short column punctuated by an advert for an M&S meal deal and news that Goldie Hawn, the actress, is still blonde at 72, we get the figures and news of that “final line of enquiry”. The Express (Page 10) adds news that police have been “secretly visiting Portugal in the past year”. But it’s not a secret is it. Its entirely expected. And in the Mail, nothing.

Madeleine McCann is missing. And that is the only thing we know.

 

Posted: 14th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The European Court of Human Rights has the final say on Amaral’s pay

McCann amaral

 

Madeleine McCann returns to the fore with news that Gonçalo Amaral, the “poisonous, grazing, shambles” ex-copper, has made money from her story. How much the Sun has made from ‘Our Maddie’ stories is not calculated, but the missing child is on the paper’s front-page once more so her face must shift copies. Amaral has apparently made £350,000 from his book, the Truth of the Lie, and a DVD. This, says the paper, is a “fortune” – the kind of money that buys a studio flat in a decent bit of London.

On page 7, we spot the McCanns, Kate and Gerry. The Sun says they’re challenging the Amaral decision at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are taking on the Portuguese State not Amaral, as the Portuguese Resident website notes. The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral’s book but saw the decision reversed on appeal – a move supported by Portugal’s Supreme Court. Contesting that ruling at the ECHR is, says the Sun, the McCann’s “final effort to avoid paying £750,000 compensation to the man who cruelly claimed Maddie’s parents covered up her death” in May 2007. The McCanns deny any part in their daughter’s disappearance.

Can the ECHR come good for the Brits? Let’s see what the Sun has had to say about the court in the past:

A third of those who have won against Britain at the European Court of Human Rights are terrorists, prisoners or criminals, figures show.Among claimants the court found in favour of since 1975 are murderers, terrorists in Iraq and IRA gunmen. It [the figures] is a response to criticisms of the Strasbourg court by Tory ministers and The Sun… Commons Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill MP said: “This is well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights. It’s mission creep, law made by judges who are not judges and many from countries with questionable human rights and very little judicial experience.” – “European Court of Killers’ Rights”, the Sun 2016.

 

 

Via ‘The Sun gets regulator reprimand and publishes correction for misleading on European human rights’ – read more about the story and the apology from Adam Wagner

 

Jon Henley wrote in 2013: “Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?”:

Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”.

An unnamed source tells the Sun: “Kate and Gerry have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour. It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter.” Best of luck. The Sun seems to doubt the court’s trustworthiness. The paper says it could be an 8-year wait for the case to be heard. The Express says the cost could be “astronomical”.

An ECHR spokesperson is quoted in the Sun: “The case McCann and Healy v Portugal is still under consideration and there is no fixed time for examining it. There is no date fixed date for any judgement or decision to be delivered.” And so it goes…

  • If you have evidence about the search for the missing child contact the police. Or you could call Amaral – the Sun says he might be planning a sequel. Meanwhile… a child is missing.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Fugitive Daley Smith lets Madeleine McCann do his PR

Daley Smith is getting to be quite famous. On the run from police, Daley Smith has now upped his game by comparing his escape to the police search for Madeleine McCann. On Facebook, Smith says he’s going to throw a party when he reaches the milestone of 100 days at large. It’s been 88 and counting. But this is about the media’s favourite missing child, and the Sun says, “Smith has sparked fury with his sick posts about Madeleine McCann”. Do we need to hear the man’s sickness?  Apparently, yes. He is “claiming: ‘It’s my personal opinion that her mum and dad covered the whole thing up’.” If the police don’t get him, doorstepping journalists, internet trolls or the McCanns’ lawyers might. (Just to state: the McCanns are not suspects.)

And now he’s added to the sickness with a poem:

“Cheshire police have got more chance of finding Madeleine Mcann [sic], I may as well be in Japan, they’ve even been harassing my nan, but everything hasn’t gone to plan. They’ve fucked with the wrong man, I feel like Peter Pan. So far I don’t know how far I’ve ran, but it’s been mad since this Journey began.”

Daley, who has been charged with possession with intent to supply class B cannabis and concerned with the supply of cocaine, according to police, seems fully aware of how using Madeleine McCann can further his own career, such as it is. Last night his account featured this ‘sick joke’:

 

daley smith mccann

Speech bubble ours

 

That message was posted after Smith found a message from someone claiming to represent ‘Kennedy News’. All the photos in the Sun’s story carry the ‘Kennedy News and Media’ watermark, which seems odd given that you can see the same images for free on Facebook.

 

daley james sun maddie mccann

 

Madeleine McCann is missing. Daley James Smith is in the papers, on tour and on Facebook.

Posted: 18th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann stars in a sick Facebook quiz and audience growth campaign

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. The Daily Record directs our gaze towards a Facebook Post we’re pretty sure nearly everyone missed. Lots of children whose names you will be more familiar with are mentioned in a post on a page run by the “Savage Banter Casuals”. Says the Mirror:

Paige Doherty and Milly Dowler among child murder victims mocked by ‘banter’ Facebook post.

And then more savage banter:

Madeline McCann, Kriss Donald, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman and Keith Bennett are included in the so called ‘humorous’ social media quizz.

 

madeleine mccann quiz

Best to stick with the tabloidese ‘Maddie’

 

That, of course, is Madeleine McCann and a ‘quiz’. It’s always bet to spell a missing child’s name correctly. But when you’re incandescent with rage, mistakes are easy to make. Thanks to the Record reading an obscure Facebook post, we get to know of a “sick and vile” Facebook quiz “making fun of child murder victims” that “has been revealed”. That’s “revealed” as in ‘read’. And also seen: “The face of each child was photoshopped on top of the English football team, with the caption: ‘Sunday night quiz, name the full 11’.”

The Record reproduces the photo:

 

madeleine mccann quiz

The sick quiz

 

And then the paper helps quizzers with the correct answers. Spoiler alert!

Clockwise, starting from the top left, the tragic kids being mocked in the post are: Madeleine McCann , Tia Sharp, Paige Doherty (pictured twice), Steven Lawrence, Milly Dowler, Kriss Donald, Sarah Payne, Jessica Chapman, Keith Bennett and Holly Wells.

 

maddie mccann

If you don’t want to know the answers, look away now.

 

We then get a small story of each horrific case, and hear from Disgusted of Facebook telling us it’s “disgusting using murdered children’s faces as a joke”. Adding:

The post has now been removed and page administrators have apologised for causing offence.

So the Facebook page is not all that “savage” then. It’s actually just adolescent, sad and apologetic.

In other news, the Daily Mirror’sAudience Growth Editor” hits the web with a story: “The Cry author says Madeleine McCann case DID inspire BBC drama.” 

The scene where they react to Noah no longer being in the car prompted many viewers to compare the the show to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Madeleine McCann went missing from her bed in a real-life horror show. Noah was made up.

In 2007, four-year-old Maddie disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal sparking a huge media campaign to find her, that’s still ongoing to this day.

Not so much. It’s more of a police investigation than a media campaign. But, sure, the media did turn the single-thread story of an innocent missing child into ‘Our Maddie’, “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

 

the cry mccann

 

The Cry author told The Herald about the inspiration for her work in a story headlined “The Cry author Helen FitzGerald on how real-life heartache inspired BBC drama”:

THERE is a moment in the first episode of new Sunday night drama The Cry when Jenna Coleman’s character, a washed-out new mother weighed down with baby, buggy and bags, struggles up the steps of her tenement flat.

“I watched it thinking – my God, that was my life,” marvels Glasgow author Helen FitzGerald, upon whose novel the new series is based.

Yes, indeed – author bases work of fiction on own life’s experiences, ideas and thoughts. Who knew? But will that help “audience growth” as much as zooming in on the Maddie McCanna angle? As the Mirror works out which missing child gets the most clicks (who needs Facebook for “sick” stuff?), we learn that like The Cry, FitzGerald’s life was set in Australia, what with her having been born there.

Australian-born FitzGerald, author of a string of successful thrillers, is certain the roots of her novel – which has been adapted by screenwriter Jacqueline Perske – lie [sic] in her experience of new motherhood.

And Madeleine McCann, right? After 15 paragraphs of how her own life shaped her work, we finally reach the Mirror’s headline news:

FitzGerald, now 52, was a teenager in Australia in 1980 when Lindy Chamberlain was wrongfully convicted of murdering her nine-week-old daughter. She claimed she saw a dingo leave the tent where Azaria was sleeping, during a family camping holiday…

In 2007, four-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz, sparking another high profile media campaign in which accusations were levelled at Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.

Adding:

“I saw Lindy speaking on television to the McCanns, giving them support and I thought – what a terrible community this is, what an awful thing by which to be bound together.”

She adds: “I have always believed both of them. But thinking about their cases made me wonder – what kind of couple would get away with something like this? What would have to be going on behind the scenes in that relationship?”

And on motherhood:

“Does anyone remember Mr Chamberlain’s name?” she says, wryly. “Lindy was incredibly naïve and open and just had no clue, and she got slaughtered by the media. Her case was really the first example of trial by television.

“Women are always the target, especially when babies are involved. No matter how much we talk about parental or gender equality, that’s what happens.”

Actually, no. We can’t recall his name. Maybe that can be a quiz question? But he’s called Gerry McCann. But, then, he’s not the inspiration for the book and the TV drama as such as Lindy Chamberlain’s story was.

Spoiler: Lindy Chamberlain’s husband was Michael Chamberlain.

Fact: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. If you know what happened to her, call the police. Please don’t speculate here.

Posted: 15th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment