Anorak

Madeleine McCann | Anorak

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 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


Madeleine McCann: Scotland Yard’s ‘unofficial’ investigation

Madeleine McCann – a look at reporting on the missing child. Today the Star brings ‘Our Maddie’ news on page 19. The paper says “official cash” to fund the search for the missing child has “dried up” – so “Scotland Yard  is “footing the bill”. Is Scotland Yard an unofficial outfit, a private company or some kind of rogue agency?

Reading on we get a fuller picture: the Metropolitan Police is continuing its investigation – Operation Grange – without knowing if it will get more government funds. So all that’s happening is the Met is investigating the vanishing as it would investigate any other alleged crime. An unnamed Home Office wonk is quoted as saying requests for more funds are “being considered”.

In other news: there is no news.

 

 

Posted: 4th, October 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Gerry’s tears, Pope is religious and Maddie is missing

Did you tune in to BBC Radio 4 show on fathers and daughters to hear Madeleine McCann’s father, Gerry McCann, as he “weeps uncontrollably”, as the Daily Star says he did? TV loves tears, from cake baking shows to pro-celebrity dance contests, no broadcast is complete without a close up of someone crying. But does it work for radio? In “MADDIE DAD BREAKDOWN” the Star leads with Gerry McCann saying how he “believed in heaven”. The man who along with his wife, Kate McCann, met the Pope when the hunt for his daughter was in full cry, is religious. Want more news?

 

maddie mccann

 

The front-page story continues on Page 5. The Star’s editorial says “Gerry McCann’s heartbreak over missing Madeleine must touch every parent’s heart… Listeners will have sobbed along with Gerry as his tears flowed.” All of them? Having spent 11 years watching the parents and now listening to them, many people will be interested in the actual investigation and what happened to an innocent child? Well, the Star says the Metropolitan Police should get more cash because “we may be looking for a serial offender” and “it could be money well spent”. May. Could. Reporting on the disappearance of a missing child  continues to be sensationalist and speculative.

 

maddie mccann

 

The Mirror also leads with Madeleine McCann, and news that Gerry “dreams of hugging” her again. Over pages 4 and 5, we’re told Gerry McCann wholeheartedly believes his daughter is alive – “a view backed up up by Scotland Yard’s plea for more funds to probe the mystery.” What plea? There has been some newspaper talk of funds running low and police considering applying for more. Indeed, the Star says there is a “debate” over whether police will request more funds or not. If there is a plea for money – and does Scotland Yard plea or merely ‘apply’? – the Mirror has no details about it. It would be useful to know what progress police think will be made with more fund.

 

maddie mccann

Daily Star

 

The Sun picks up the radio broadcast, and pretty much transcribes the whole thing:

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her. I remember just being in the bedroom – the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone.”

And amid the pain and the emotion, the Sun surmises the story so far:

“A number of potential leads have emerged since the little girl vanished, but none amounted to anything and no arrests have ever been made.”

Can you arrest anyone when all you know is that a child vanished?

This is the BBC’s story, and it’s useful to see their take on it:

Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, sparking a worldwide search for her whereabouts.

A search stoked by a media feeding frenzy.

Mr McCann was speaking to BBC Radio 4 for a programme about the relationship between fathers and daughters. He said that he was sure immediately that his daughter had been abducted.

After being told by his wife Kate that their daughter was missing, Mr McCann said “automation kicked in” and he began searching the apartment.

“We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm,” he said.

“You’re in this quiet little holiday resort – that seemed idyllic – out of season and I certainly didn’t speak Portuguese so I asked [our friend] Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police.”

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her,” he continued.

“I felt that every moment that we couldn’t find her was worse.

“I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying: ‘Pray for her.'”

And the “plea” for money:

The Home Office said last week it is currently considering a police request for an extra six months’ funding for Operation Grange.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Amaral maybes plus Grange possibles equal a fresh appal

More on what the Sun calls the “MADDIE FUND CRISIS” as missing Madeleine McCann’s mum, Kate McCann, calls time on a store set up to raise money to fund the search for her disappeared daughter. Says Kate McCann:

“Unfortunately due to many commitments and pressures, I am unable at this time to attend to website orders. We greatly appreciate your support. Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated to Madeleine’s Fund through our Online Store (donations can still be made via one of the methods below). Your support means a lot to us. Your kindness and generosity is no less appreciated however and continues to buoy us up. Thank you again.”

This is seen a “fresh blow” because someone has claimed that public donations to the Maddie Fund have fallen to “virtually zero”. Why are they telling us this? Why is it news? And it is news on pretty much every mainstream newspaper’s website:

An unnamed “source” tells the Sun: ‘The idea that money is still flooding in is just wrong. Donations dried up a long time ago. At times the story comes into the news a few kind people send in a quid or two but their is nothing of any real value.” Who thought money was flooding in to the McCanns’ fund?

Are we hearing this because, reportedly, the police investigation, Operation Grange, is running low on money? The other part of the recent Maddie news is that if the Met shelves the investigation, the McCanns will use money in the fund to continue the search. The third part of the recent news blast is that Goncalo Amaral, the former Portuguese police detective, could sue the McCanns and take what money there is for himself. Maybe.

So is that about raising awareness for the missing child, assuring readers that the McCanns are not minted and that the innocent child needs the help of a well-funded police force if she is to be found?

Meanwhile, the facts are unchanged: child vanished. No suspects. No arrests. No concrete proof that a crime occurred. But lots of ‘news’…

Posted: 24th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Amaral wants his money and a final appeal

In “MADDIE HUNT CRISIS” Sun readers get the latest instalment in the tabloid saga that is the search for Madeleine McCann. After months of nothing, recent days have brought news that Operation Grange, the Metropolitan Police investigation into the disappearance of the three-year-old child in 2007, might need more funds, speculation about those funds and what it could all mean, and a chance to gawp at the child’s father, Gerry McCann, who features on a BBC Radio 4 show about mental health, loss and poetry.

Now readers are invited to wonder what it’d mean if the McCanns were to lose a “€850k case against [the] cop who claimed they were responsible for daughter’s death.” The copper is  Goncalo Amaral, 58, of course, who led the search for Madeleine McCann. He later claimed in a book, The Truth of the Lie, that “Madeleine McCann died in Portugal and her parents Kate and Gerry McCann covered it up”. Amaral is the “disgraced cop” who “ludicrously claimed” and “shamefully claimed they were responsible for her death”. It’s hideous stuff. The single fact remains: child vanishes. There are no suspects. Everything is speculation. Innocence of any alleged crime must be presumed. The McCanns are innocent.

The Sun notes:

Kate and Gerry [McCann], both 50, won a 2015 libel case against him but it was later overturned and Amaral was awarded compo. The McCanns’ lawyers have now lodged final paperwork at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, with a hearing expected this year…

Amaral shamelessly repeated his allegations last week in a glossy magazine interview — and even claimed: “My family has suffered a lot.”

The issue is not about what he said, but his right to say it in Portugal. It was always a big risk to sue Amaral in a foreign country. Whoever took the risk assessment for the McCanns got it wrong. Amaral’s book might well be nasty and opportunistic, but he went in with his eyes open. He must have some nous to rise high in the ranks of the Portuguese police. And his publishers should know their field. The libel case against him was a costly misstep. An unnamed “source close to the McCanns” is quoted: “It seems you can say anything you like about someone in Portugal, no matter how awful, and get away with it.” Well, quite. They value free speech. “If the European Court rules against them the trustees will decide on how best to make any payments. It would be a blow but Kate and Gerry would keep their heads up and carry on searching.”

And the money?

The latest figures show £728,508, or around €819,400, is in Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned — mostly from public donations. That could all go if the decision to award Amaral €483,000 is upheld — with the McCanns paying costs on top.

Two more people are quoted:

Retired Det Chief Insp Mick Neville, who last year investigated the case, said: “It is tragic that funds to try to find her could be lost because of this legal action. There is every reason to believe she may be alive.”

The McCanns’ Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte said: “This will be our final appeal. The basis is the violation of my clients’ fundamental rights.”

Meanwhile, an innocent child is missing.

Posted: 18th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: a bride of Christ, an old story and grief recast as a mental health issue

No word on Madeleine McCann in any of today’s printed tabloids. But there is is news on the web. Following the non-news that the Met might or might not seek money to continue Operation Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, the Express online delivers: “Madeleine McCann’s father reveals mental health battle in HEARTBREAKING interview.” As ever it was, the Press are watching the parents.

Madeleine McCann’s father will speak about the grief and depression he faced over losing his daughter in a heartbreaking interview on Radio 4, in a bid to remove the prejudice men face when talking about their feelings.

What prejudice? No TV or radio show is complete without a man crying, whether it be over a DNA test on mid-morning telly or a well-baked cake on prime time. “I decided it was a good opportunity to say something about the special bond between fathers and daughters,” says Gerry McCann, “thinking that speaking openly might help other men in similar positions. It feels like the right time.” Fir enough. But isn’t there is a special bond between men and their children, regardless of gender. The sane can surely sympathise with parent whose lost a child, but why is this news? Someone from the BBC explains:

“We look at Gerry’s experiences, his thoughts and feelings, and the wider context in society of mental health issues surrounding a loss. Susan Roberts, our producer, has already interviewed Gerry over the past few weeks, it has been recorded and we are now doing the final edit. It’s very emotional and helps get across the point of view of mental illness associated with a loss or bereavement of a family member or friend, that there is no stigma in men opening up and discussing emotions with someone is important. In our show there is a parallel between the poem of a father’s loss and the real life experience, reflecting the two.”

Eh? Grief and loss is now a form of mental illness? It’s not a human reaction to loss. It’s a treatable condition. As for the tosh about men not emoting and expressing themselves, how may poems has the producer ever read? What about books, films, music and art? Did women write them all? As for facts about the missing child, we’re told: “There have been 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine in 101 countries, but all of them have been ruled out.”

 

 

Pearl poem

 

Over in the Mail, where the BBC press release is an “exclusive”, we learn:

He will be interviewed by poet Simon Armitage on a special Radio 4 show: Pearl: Two Fathers Two Daughters. The show will weave together two voices of grief: Mr McCann’s and that of an anonymous poet from 600 years ago who laments the loss of his daughter in a poem entitled Pearl.

Mr Armitage, who wrote a poem to mark the 1,000 days of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, has written a new translation of Pearl. We don’t know who wrote the original version about the loss of a child and her father’s pain. The New Yorker reviewed the poem steeped in New Testament imagery and numerology in 2016. In one scene her father sees his lost daughter as the bride of Christ:

In the poem, the narrator visits the spot where a pearl once slipped from his grasp and got lost among “Gilofre, gyngure, & gromylyoune, / & pyonys powdered ay bytwene” (“ginger, gromwell, and gillyflower / with peonies scattered in between”). Swooning into unconsciousness, he comes to in a dream, in a place he has never been before, where cliffs split the sky (“ther klyfez cleven”). Across a river, he sees his pearl again, but now the “perle” is no mere thing—she is a young girl, richly arrayed in an elaborate outfit covered in pearls. Pearl also seems to be her name, or at least it is how the man addresses her: “ ‘O perle,’ quod I . . . ‘Art thou my perle?’ ” In reply, she calls him a jeweller, and he refers to her as a gem (“ ‘Jueler,’ sayde that gemme clene”).

Overcome with joy at finding his lost pearl, and unable fully to understand the complicated things she says to him, the dreamer plunges into the river to swim toward her. He is desperate to “swymme the remnaunt, thagh I ther swalte”—to swim across, or die trying. This angers the ruler of the celestial land, called the Prince: the dreamer does not belong there. He is flung out of his dream as punishment. He wakes up, and the poem ends with a short meditation on the glory of God, and then the words “Amen. Amen.”

The child in Pearl is dead. We do not know what happened to Madeleine McCann, save for her vanishing.

On a final note the Mail tells us:

The doctor’s new-found openness to help others cope with loss comes after Prince Harry, now Duke of Sussex, spoke about his struggles with mental health in a groundbreaking podcast interview on May 2017 with the Daily Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for her revered ‘Mad World’ series. The young royal spoke openly about bottling up his emotions and being unable to grieve for years after the loss of his mother Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.

From Princess Diana to Madeleine McCann. When private grief became celebrity mourning.

 

Posted: 17th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Could, May and Perhaps rejoin the hunt

Madeleine McCann is back in the news. And it’s all abut the money.

The Metro tells us that the “hunt for Maddie McCann has cost £11600000 so far”.  Not quite. That’s what Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange has cost. The Met’s investigation into the vanishing of Madeleine McCann began in 2011. Before that Portuguese police were investigating the case of the British child who went missing on the Algarve in 2007.  That wasn’t without cost. And there was the private investigation funded by well-wishers and run by Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The headline figure is wrong. But, then, the story isn’t about the missing child; it’s about us and if British readers can turn her into a talking point. Is she worth it?

The Metro oozes: “Speculation is growing into whether UK police will stop the hunt when the funding ends as no request for more cash has yet been made.” Who is speculating? Hopefully you are. And hopefully tomorrow you’ll tune in for an update on the single thread story spun out of control by a voracious media.

No news on the money means the story has been kickstarted as far afield as New Zealand, where the Herald announces: “Hunt for Madeleine McCann may end within three weeks.” When the word “may” appears in a headline you know your story is in trouble. But she was spotted “in a New Zealand supermarket”, so maybe the story is local to New Zealand after all?

She’s also been spotted in:

Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustralia, France, IndiaDubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (by boat).

In the Daily Record, readers are told: ‘Kate and Gerry McCann have vowed “the search will go on” for their missing girl amid reports police could shelve their hunt.’ Could. Or could not. An unnamed source tells us:

“They will never stop looking for Madeleine or hoping that one day she will be found. More than 11 years on there is still no evidence to suggest that she is dead or has been harmed. If the police search comes to an end, there are other avenues to explore. They have carefully managed the money in Madeleine’s Fund for that eventuality. Whether they choose to employ private investigators or go down another route is something for them to decide.”

To recap: There is no news.

Posted: 13th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: more police, more PR and more money or else

maddie mccann madeleine mccann

 

Stories on Madeleine McCann stories can be divided into two files. There’a huge fat as a skyscraper file marked “Speculation”. And there’s another very slim file marked “Facts”. In this second file are two sections: a) ‘All We Know’ – which can be distilled into the single thread ‘child vanishes; and b) ‘Fees’. Today’s Star leads with news that “MADDIE COPS” are ‘demanding’ more cash in their hunt for the missing child. That police want money is less surprising than a puppy sat beside a pile of poo, but to the Star news that the police would like more cash (not less -shocker!)  is a “reveal” – one right up with the reveal that Sooty did not grow Harry Corbett out of his arse.

We read the usual facts: the Met Police’s investigation into Madeleine McCann has cost “the taxpayer” £11m. We’re hard-pressed to think of any police investigation not funded by taxpayers, but the fact remains unchanged. The story continues on Page 9, where we are told “WE CANT GIVE UP NOW”. If not now, when? NEVER! Not until the mystery is solved. A spokesman for the police says “the investigation continues and we are in dialogue with the Home Office over more funding.”

Back on page 6, Miss McCann is the lead concern in the Star’s editorial column. Point one: does she still sell papers? Point 2: “Police must be given more funds in their search or Madeleine McCann.” Which brings us back to point one, which must be a big ‘YES’ or at least ‘Maddie outsells Brexit’. The paper reasons that the Met’s investigation has found “no definitive answers”. Isn’t an undefined answer just a guess? We are then invited to emphasise with Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The editorial ends: “Someone out there knows what happened to Madeleine and they must be tracked down.” Unless she wandered off and fell down a hole. Can anyone prove that she didn’t?

The only other national newspaper to deliver news on Madeleine McCann is the Express, which tells readers on page 7: “McCanns vow to keep hope alive as Madeleine hunt set to run out of cash.” The parents not the child are the story’s central thrust. They face the “daunting” prospect that the Met’s Operation Grange will end in three weeks – the last tranche of cash is said to run out on September 30. As readers try to work out why this is news – the Home Office tells the Star police have yet to appeal for any more cash – the Express quotes one Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman. He talks about the money, which is “entirely” a matter for the Met and the Home office. He then says “Kate and Gerry will not be making any comment”. But he might. As might an unnamed “source” who says the investigation running out of cash is a “daunting prospect”.

Madeleine McCann is missing – and there is no news. There are no suspects. If you think you know what happened to her, don’t guess here. Call the police.

 

 

Posted: 12th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann in hijab horror

Did you “remember Madeleine McCann” this summer, heeding the advice of Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips to not “let your holiday be the one we all read about”? You all must of because the papers did not make single mention of any new child getting kidnapped on holidays, let alone launch into a voracious feeding frenzy as the media did in 2007 when Madeleine McCann became ‘Our Maddie’. Eleven years on, Operation Phillips is a success. Cheers, Fi, we don’t know how many children your advice to “forgo all of the adult holiday pleasures all over again to make sure our kids were safe” saved. Maybe none. Maybe one. Phillips has a story:

I thought of this when I read about Janet Alexander who’s suing Thomas Cook after her daughter was “abducted” from a holiday kids’ club.

Was the child abducted or not? Pull up a sun lounger and play detective.

She left five-year-old Rose at a supervised play area at their hotel in Turkey while she took her other daughter scuba diving. When she returned an hour later there was no sign of Rose. Janet thought her daughter was dead or faced being abused.

Was she?

Thankfully, another guest spotted Rose near a main road with a strange woman wearing a hijab.

It seems a pretty safe bet to say that Janet doesn’t wear an hijab and this was not a case of mistaken identity. It might also be that women in hijabs arouse more suspicion among columnists than those who do not, or are very good at helping kids who have wandered off cross the road. Discuss.

And here’s some more, also via the Mirror:

A frantic search for the child was then launched and Janet has described seeing staff turn to a woman in a hijab and speak to her in Turkish…

In Turkey!?

It is believed the ordeal came to an end 40 minutes later when another hotel guest spotted the blonde youngster walking with a woman in a hijab near a main road within the hotel grounds.

If only we knew what colour hair the hijab woman has we could form a better opinion of her intentions. Blonde hair: likelihood of innocence high (see Myra Hindley); dark hair: likelihood of guilt high (see Mother Teresa).

As that legal matter grinds on, we rejoice in the news that the case of Madeleine McCann has been “SOLVED!” So goes the National Enquirer’s front-page headline, which heralds the the story of a convicted pedophile who allegedly stole Madeleine McCann. Who is this wine? Well, he’s dead. He died a year ago. His name? Dunno. But he is “This man kidnapped little girl & sold her into slavery!” Fact! And where’s Maddie? “She’s still alive,” declares the Enquirer. But where? Dunno. Maybe they’ll find out in time for next week’s deadline.

Meanwhile, the South West Londoner website has conducted a poll:

We went out into the streets of Wimbledon and asked: “Should the government stop spending money searching for Madeleine McCann?”

Yes: 72% No: 28%

How many women wearing the hijab were questioned is not stated. But you just know most of them who were said ‘NO!’

 

Posted: 28th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, National Enquirer, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: 600 wells of ‘could’ ‘may’ and ‘belief’

Madeleine McCann news on the Daily Star’s front page. The paper’s lead news story is – get this – “TOP BRIT COP: WE MAY NEVER FIND MADDIE.”

The “Top Brit cop” is “tough-talking detective Colin Sutton”? Who? And can a man who says something “may” not happen be accused of talking tough? The”we” part of the headline surely means all of us, the millions who have followed the story of the missing child ever since she vanished in My 2007.

Undaunted by the palpable lack of fact, the Star continues to tell readers on page 7 that Sutton “rejected the opportunity to head the Madeleine McCann inquiry” and “believes finding her her could be ‘almost impossible'”. Can you believe something that might not be possible; or can you disbelieve something that might be impossible?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, April 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


The Madeleine McCann Research Group has a theory

Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news. Journalist Paulo Reis send us a link to news in the Portugal Resident. We open the link with hope that this is news of what happened to the child who vanished in 2003 and became the media’s benchmark for all missing people, a innocent life reduced to hacks pressing ‘f9’ on the keyboard to generate new sensation where only one bald fact remains: child vanishes.

The most recent story on ‘Our Maddie’ in the British press went like this in the Mail: “Kate McCann’s 50th birthday is ‘tinged with sadness’ as she reaches another milestone without her Maddie… but the family hope the police will continue their search.” Who need fact when you can mine emotion and present it as news?

 

One artist’s impression of the suspect

 

The story begins with new of something called the “Madeleine McCann Research Group”:

A team of independent investigators working over the last decade has come up with what it believes may have happened to Madeleine McCann.

Believes. That it is. No fact. Just belief.

It is independent of the official story. It doesn’t work to the accepted timeline and it doesn’t involve gypsies, blundering burglars, or Eastern European child smugglers.

What it could be, we know not. Maybe she morphed into an ant and crawled away? Well, some people do believe stuff like that happens. And let’s not get started on alien abduction, portals and Lord Lucan.

Says a member of the investigating group, the theory has been run past professionals from all walks of life, time and again.

Nine out of ten plumbers agree with the theory – it could have happened; but only three out of ten architects.

They have communicated their findings to British prime minister Theresa May, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick… but the six-page letter laying out what they believe to be “credible evidence” appears to have changed nothing (although it was purportedly forwarded to the Grange ‘investigation team’).

What evidence – and evidence of what?

A new letter, translated into Portuguese – containing all the research, and the “detailed file of evidence” on which it has relied – has now been sent to the Portuguese Attorney General as well as newspaper and website journalists in this country.

We get a lot of stuff in the inbox here at Anorak. Some of it is, shall we say, a little odd. Anyhow, time to hear from an unnamed “source”, who opines: “It is a question of hoping one of them will have the courage to undertake what no-one seems willing to conduct in the UK: a serious investigation into what really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann.”

By “serious” they mean more serious that the highly expensive and involving Operation Grange investigation, which since its inception in 2011 has cost the British taxpayer £11m and come up with zilch? Someone at the aforesaid “Madeleine McCann Research Group” then assures us, “it is important that people follow this logically, and without preconceptions – however shocking the conclusion may seem.”

 

 

Madeleine McCann vanished in 2003. There are no suspects. No-one has been arrested in connection to any alleged crime linked to her vanishing. Innocence is presumed – we all agree on that, I hope. Any less position is detrimental to reason. And if you think you know what happened to the innocent child, don’t theorise on social media, call the police. They could do with a break. And you might even get s slice of that News of The World reward – anyone know what happen to the big pot of cash on offer?

PS: I’ve seen the document. It makes lots of claims based on supposition and what can be best described as educated guesswork. It throws more shade than light. It alleges claims Madeleine McCann was abducted are a “hoax”.

It begins:

From: The Madeleine McCann Research Group
28 February 2018
To: Exma Sra. Procuradora-Geral da República,
Drª Joana Marques Vidal
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 140
1269-269 LISBOA
PT P O R T U G A L

Dear Drª Joana Marques VidalTo:

re: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: New evidence of what happened to her

We are a group of mainly British researchers. Most of us have studied the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in depth for the past 10 years. Our members and researchers include many people with professional expertise, such as ex-police officers, lawyers, photographers, computer experts and statement analysts.

No named author appears on the text.

To recap: Child vanishes. Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, March 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: a sacked detective, a con and blood

madeleine mccann

 

Madeleine McCann returns in a story about a man’s death. The Star’s front-page headline bleeds: “MADDIE DETECTIVE DIES IN ‘BLOODBATH'”!

Yikes!

 

Maddie McCann private eye killed as blood-soaked body of ‘£300k conman’ found at mansion

A PRIVATE detective who allegedly conned the Maddie McCann fund out of £300k has been found brutally murdered.

Murder!? The body is that of  Kevin Halligen, found at a home in Guildford, Surrey. Hired to look into the disappearance of Maddie McCann in May 2008, he “was later accused of conning the fund out of £300,000”. Accused is not a judgement in a court of law. He allegedly conned the McCann family. But that lacks sensation. He denied misusing funds.

So what of the “murder”? Well, the police tell us:

“We were called to an address in Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Guildford, on Monday following a report of a man in his 50s having been taken unwell, who subsequently died.

“The death is being treated as unexplained and a file will be passed to the coroner’s office in due course.”

What about the blood, then?

The BBC hears from Adrian Gatton, a TV director and investigative journalist, who made a documentary with Halligen in 2014:

“There was blood around the house, probably caused by previous falls when he was either drunk or blacking out,” he said. “His house was full of empty drink bottles. A lot of people wished him ill but his death is almost certainly related to alcoholism.”

Not went blood, then. Dried, old blood.

What else do we know? The Mirror notes:

After being sacked from the McCann investigation, Halligen was arrested in the UK and extradited to America on fraud charges for an unrelated case.

He pleaded guilty to defrauding Trafigura, based in the Netherlands, who had hired him to help free two company executives arrested in Ivory Coast in 2006.

He received about $12 million to provide “security, intelligence and public relations”.

Trafigura gave Halligen an additional $2.1 million to “hire lobbyists and influence officials in the United States on Trafigura’s behalf”. The next day, Halligen used nearly $1.7 million of that money to buy a large home with a swimming pool.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Luisa Todorov gets scoured

Madeleine McCann was not kidnapped by Luisa Todorov.  “It wasn’t me,” says the woman. You will recall that criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez featured in the Daily Mirror beneath the words: “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”.

“Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment,” said the Mirror. And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

News was that 58-year-old Luisa and her husband, Stefan, 50, were working at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Both gave statement to the police at the time. “They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.” Why police would have spoken with either of them again is moot, as the Mirror gave readers the side-eye and stated: “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? The paper then noted: “Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.”

Gonzalez was quoted:

“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 to today’s Mirror news, we get an update. Get this:

A criminologist claimed to have identified Luisa Todorov as the mystery person police are said to be searching for. And we discovered she lives less than a mile from Praia da Luz in the Algarve, where Maddie disappeared.

She isn’t living in Bulgaria. No-one had to scour the globe to find her. And she isn’t the “woman in purple”. Indeed, who is? And why is she newsworthy? It was British expat Jenny Murat who 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.”

Murat is, of course, mother to the innocent Robert Murat, who was monstered and libelled. Odd that her words are now being used to zoom in on another foreigner living an working in Portugal. Indeed, it was Mirror journalist who introduced us to Robert Murat, telling readers that he found him “creepy”. Now Luisa is in the crosshairs.

These are some of the reactions to her name:

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

Today she tells the Mirror: “I’ve no idea about any woman in purple. It wasn’t me. I spoke to the police a long time ago about the Madeleine case. I don’t really want to talk about it, nobody around here does, it brings back lots of bad memories. Nobody knows what happened to her. If the British police want to speak to me that’s fine, but I don’t know anything.”

The restaurant worker, originally from Madeira, gave a statement to Portuguese police five days after Maddie’s disappearance, along with husband Stefan, 50.

He also worked at the Ocean Club resort, in the kitchens, and is believed to have returned to his native Bulgaria without being quizzed again.

He worked in the kitchens? But the Express told us:

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.

Over in the Sun, Luisa Todorov’s innocence is a “twist as waitress denies she is the mysterious ‘woman in purple’”. It’s not a twist, is it. It’s woman stating a fact.

Luisa Todorov was named as the woman that police wanted to speak to, after a shadowy figure was spotted by witnesses the night the three-year-old went missing.

Can you be “shadowy” dressed distinctively in purple and standing in full view?

 

But the hung continues. after all, the Indy reported:

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

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.

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

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Money | Comment


Woman self-indentifies as Madeleine McCann

madeleine harriet

 

Madeleine McCann has been found. Or, rather, someone has self-identified as the missing child.

Harriet Brookes noticed a mark in her eye an another on her leg similar to the missing child. “Right guys,” said Harriet. “I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann…I’m Madeleine McCann and I don’t know what to do with myself.” Harriet published photos of her face and leg next to images of Madeleine McCann’s face and leg.

 

harriet books maddie mccann

 

 

 

What looks to anyone sane like a joke becomes The Tab’s “We spoke to the Leeds student who thinks she’s Madeleine McCann… What started as a bit of group-chat banter has now become a fully-fledged internet conspiracy theory.”

No. It hasn’t. What started out as joke is till a joke, albeit one in the news. And what says the woman who “thinks” she the missing child? Says Harriet: “Well I wasn’t really convinced, I just thought it was funny we looked similar… I just sent it for a joke hahaha.”

News that Harriet’s parents have ben arrested are wide of the mark.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


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

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


Madeleine McCann: police get more cash for another 6 months of looking

Madeleine McCann news watch – a look at reporting on the missing child. There is “new hope” in the “Maddie hunt” says the Daily Express. Is hope born of new clues? (Any clues?) New evidence? (Any evidence?) No. It’s just that police have been given an extra £154,000 to keep investigating what happened to the child who vanished on a family holiday in May 2007. This, says the paper, is a “massive boost”.

But is it, really? It keeps the investigation going, yes, but unless we know on what it will be spent and if any investment will answer to the question ‘What happened?’ it’s pretty meaningless. What value £154,000 when the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange has cost over £11million? It’s less a massive boost than a top-up deal.

The story continues on page 9. We see a the familiar photo of Madeleine McCann in her Everton kit. And we see a picture of her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann. We hear Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, say his clients are “extremely thankful to the Home Office and Scotland Yard for continued funding”. The McCanns are “encouraged that there remains work to be done that requires the extra budget,” he says. What work that is, we’re not told. Perhaps wrapping up a large police operation caries its own costs?

The story is all about the money because the changing number is the only new fact. The single thread story remains just that: child vanishes.

The Star carries the same story on its page 4, sticking to that bald fact and summing up the entire case in a caption that says “Missing: Madeleine”.

But the Mirror thinks the news of “MADDIE COPS” being “GIVEN ONE LAST CHANCE” worthy of its front page. The paper reasons that if police “fail” to find “fresh leads” the probe “could be axed”. On page 5, readers learn that £154,000 is enough for fur police to work full time on the case for 6 months.

Unless they find out what happened sooner, of course…

 

 

Posted: 29th, September 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: police seek more money

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

Daily Express (Page 11): “Madeleine police seek funds”

To which the reply must be: don’t they always?

The story goes that Operation Grange, the Met Police’s investigation into the child’s vanishing, is running low on funds. The Express says Madeline McCann’ parents, Kate and Gerry, “are said to be encouraged” – by whom is not said – “that “there remains work to be done that requires extra funding”. Surley there always be will extra work needed until we know for certain what happened to her?

Daily Mirror (Page 4): “Madeleine hunt police ask to ‘pursue final line of inquiry'”

The McCanns have “fresh hope” their daughter will be found. Clarence Mitchell, the parents’ spokesman, says “Kate and Gerry are  extremely thankful to the Met Police for requesting extra funds”. The Mirror says that without more cash, Operation Grange could be “shelved” in three weeks.

The Sun (Page 4): “MADDIE POLICE PLEAE FOR CASH”

The sum police are seeking from the Home Office has not been disclosed. The Sun speculates that this “could mean they are closing in on the kidnapper”. It could. Or it could not. The Sun reminds readers that the hunt has “cost taxpayers £11.2m”.

 

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the GCSEs, the Catholic academy and a vicar

The summer’s been light on Madeleine McCann news. What with there being no news to report (there’s not been any every since she vanished – Ed) and August being renamed ‘Diana’, the media’s largely ignored ‘Our Maddie’. But now the news arrives that the school Madeleine McCann would have attended to study for her GCSEs has kept her place open.

Madeleine would /could have been a pupil at Catholic academy De Lisle College in Loughborough, Leicestershire. And if she wasn’t missing she’d be with other 14-year-old girls getting ready to begin her GCSEs.

This we know because the Rev. Rob Gladstone, the family’s “local vicar” (not a Catholic), has told the Sun: “She would be going into Year 10 and they welcome her return. There is no evidence Madeleine has died. We encourage Kate and Gerry in faith, hope, strength, perseverance and courage.”

Lest we find this story less than illuminating, a “friend of the McCann family” adds: “It is both touching and fitting that the ‘big’ school where she would have gone holds a desk for her.”

In other news: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects.

Posted: 26th, August 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann found in a listicle, the child as big as the pyramids and free holiday posters

Madeleine McCann: very few words on the missing child haver featured in the national press of late. Big stories – murderous terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, and the horror that engulfed lives at London’s Grenfell Tower – have kept journalists and editors busy. No need to press f9 on the keyboard and fill the pages with no news of Madeleine McCann.

But let’s see what has featured in the past few weeks.

The Sun: “‘KEEP THE SEARCH ALIVE’ – Holidaymakers urged to print off and pack Maddie McCann posters when they go abroad in new bid to track down missing youngster”

Passports. Money. Tickets. Poster of missing child…The Sun tells us:

The posters have been printed in 17 different languages including Romanian, Filipino and Arabic

And English, right? Not just foreigners being reminded about the missing child. But anyone holidaying in Bucharest, St John’s Wood or Iraq can tell the locals to watch out.

None of the posters contain information on any reward.

 

posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine

 

Posters have featured a reward:

 

 

Of course, maybe the posters will help. You never know.

The Sun then hears from people it calls “website fans”, people who read the Find Maddie Campaign website. Fans is an odd word. Can you be a fan of finding missing child?

Sharon Wood vows: “Every trip I make posters go up in Lanzarote and I keep my Find Madeleine tag on my case.” Sarah Green adds: “I’m in Crete and my eyes are peeled all the time for her.”

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal ten years ago.

The Star wonders if she left Portugal. “Is THIS where Maddie was hidden? Hundreds of wells were NEVER searched,” says the paper. “A WELL just 15 minutes from the apartment where Maddie disappeared is one of hundreds in the area reportedly never checked by investigators,” the paper reports.

The report runs the full gamut of Madeleine McCann reporting. We begin with the former detective’s opinion:

Ex-detective Roy Ramm said the well, which it’s claimed was used to hide swag by local crooks, was an obvious place to look for clues

Then we get the anonymous source:

The Brit, who asked not to be named, said: “This was brought up by an ex-cop who said that local criminals used it all the time. I don’t know whether that well has been investigated or not but if you pick wells on disused farms in the area of Luz there are lots of them.”

They don’t know about one well, and they don’t know about the other wells, either.

“It could be that one, it could be another one, it could be none of them. For it to matter, somebody needs to have information that Madeleine was in that well.”

And after speculation about place we get speculation about people:

Our source also said that – if a well was used to hide Maddie – her tormentor must have been someone with local knowledge who knew where to go.

 

Madeleine Mccann daily mirror

 

After the “ifs”, “coulds” and “maybes”, the Mirror shoves Madeleine McCann into a listicle . “Agony of 7 most famous unsolved cases in the UK – including Madeleine McCann, Jill Dando and Suzy Lamplugh,” comes the headline. Yeah, “famous”.

“The shooting of TV presenter Jill Dando alongside the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh and Maddie McCann are among the infamous unsolved cases that may remain a mystery forever,” the paper continues.

Readers can play along. The “seven” cases to solve are: Jill Dando (shot dead); Jack the Ripper (presumed dead); a dead child’s torso in the River Thames; Ben Needham;  Madeleine McCann; and Suzi Lamplugh. Yes, that’s six. The seventh famous mystery will have to wait.

If you want more lazy journalism, South Africa’s East Coast Radio has a question: “What would you ask the universe to explain? If you could have one answer to any mystery of the universe, what would it be?”

“We live in a mysterious world and in mysterious times,” we’re told. “Do you ever stop to think about world events that just don’t have answers and wish you knew what had happened?”

The writer has a few wonders to get you started:

Things like the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that just literally disappeared off the face of the earth?

Bits of the plane were found on earth.

Princess Diana’s death, maybe? There’s been speculation and controversy around that story for two decades.

Had she worn a seatbelt, would she have survived a car crash whilst on holiday in Paris? Discuss.

Madeleine McCann – the young girl who disappeared while on holiday with her parents Gerry and Kate in Portugal?

Unlike the plane and Diana, no sign of the missing child has been found. And lest you think one missing child is a personal horror for her and her loved ones and not one of life’s great mysteries, the radio station tells just how big the story is.

What about the Bermuda Triangle, the pyramids, Stonehenge in England?

And above all else – and let’s toss in the meaning of life, God and why EastEnders is till on the telly – the writer has one burning question:

Mine would be: Where is Madelaine McCann [sic] and what really happened?

Maybe technology can help?

The Telegraph and Argus reports: “University of Bradford team develops digital face-ageing that could help in search for missing children like Madeleine McCann.”

As a test case, the researchers chose to work on the case of Ben Needham, who disappeared on the Greek island of Kos on July 24, 1991, when he was only 21 months old. Since then, several images have been produced by investigators showing how Ben might look at ages 11-14 years, 17-20 years, and 20-22 years. The team used its method to progress the image of Ben to the ages of 6, 14 and 22 years. The resulting images show very different results, which the researchers believe more closely resemble what Ben might look like today.

 

Ben Needham

The images of Ben Needham provided by police above, and those generated by the new algorithm below

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Mallorca mum has nasty experience with would-be child snatcher

Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news. With the media full of huge and often terrible stories, Madeleine McCann has been largely absent from the tabloids’ pages. But she pops up in the Daily Star. 

 

Maddie Mallorca

 

On page 11, readers are told: “BRIT MUM: I STOPPED ‘MADDIE’ KIDNAPPER.” To Mallorca, where mum Blaise Deacon says a “mystery blonde” woman “put her arms around” 23-month-old daughter Darcie and “said he was taking her”.  Blaise “grabbed her child” and “refused to let go”.

At which point you wonder where Madeleine McCann comes into this? She went missing in Portugal. Are we to think that anyone who took her in what some theorise to have been been a well-executed crime, is now simply grabbing kids in broad daylight on a Spanish island?

The paper says this “Madeleine McCann-style kidnapper ran to a waiting car and fled”. Only, this person was not a Madeleine McCann-style anything.  Moreover, Spanish police have CCTV footage of the incident, which cops investigating what happened to Madeleine McCann do not.

Blaise says the police were “excellent “. She says: “From what we understand they have a match of the suspect and are now looking for her.”

Meanwhile, Madeleine McCann is missing. The police have nothing. But the tabloids have another sensation.

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Yorkshire Ripper IS a bastard and ‘Maddie’ not found in Africa

Today in Tautological Tabloid news we read that Peter Sutcliffe has engaged in a “SICK RIPPER RANT”. Sutcliffe is perhaps better known as the Yorkshire Ripper, a man who in 1981 was convicted of murdering thirteen women and attempting to murder seven others. But what’s “sick” about the mass murderer is what he said about Madeleine McCann.

 

Yorkshire Ripper Madeleine Mcann

 

The story begins:

The Yorkshire Ripper sparked outrage with a sickening slur claiming Madeleine McCann’s parents were involved in her disappearance.

Hanging’s too good for him!

For any reader who gives a shit what the murdering bastard thinks about EastEnders, the price of fossil fuels, Theresa May’s haircut or the disappearance of an innocent child ten years ago, the Sun relays Sutcliffe’s opinions, as shared with a “source” at Frankland Prison:

Sutcliffe – serving life for murdering 13 women – said: “It makes you sick really, keeping it in the limelight. They’ve got a cheek anyway because they made it all up. They were involved. There’s no other explanation. They’ll do anything to try and make money out of a situation.”

What Sutcliffe thinks abut the Sun keeping him in the limelight will doubtless form the substance of another scoop. As for what happened to Madeleine McCann, Sutcliffe’s reported opinions appear based on prejudices, hunches, a murderous hated of women and very possibly psychotic delusions rather than any evidence-based appraisal. The parents are innocent.

To recap: Everyone is innocent. There are no suspects. Indeed, the police have yet to prove what crime if any befell the child. All we know is that a child vanished.

The Sun then adds:

A source said: “He was spouting off to anyone who would listen after Gerry and Kate did the television interview to mark the 10 year anniversary. It was callous and heartless to hear him go on about how the parents were to blame.”

Peter Sutcliffe Sensation! Yorkshire Ripper is ‘callous and heartless’. Says one mum in tonight’s special edition: “He seemed so nice.” Read all about it!

The unnamed source continues:

“It’s awful to hear criticism of them given what they have been through, especially from someone like him.”

Of course, had the killers’ views not been aired in the national Press, the McCanns might well not have heard them.

In other news…

Daily Mail: “Tycoon who flew by £1.5million private jet to Africa to find Madeleine McCann was left ‘shattered’ when tip-off about a lookalike blonde girl proved wrong”

It’s a great shame he didn’t find her. (Is £1.5m expensive for a jet?)

It was revealed last month by the missing youngster’s family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, that a plane was put on standby after the English-speaking blonde girl was located in Morocco.  But, millionaire Brian Kennedy 50, and his son, Patrick, 32, went one step further by actually taking off and flying across the Mediterranean in a bid to identify her.

Patrick tells the Sun: “They were shattered. You can’t even imagine how they must have felt… We realised very quickly it was not Madeleine.”

Clarence Mitchell adds in the Telegraph:

“All the information coming back to us suggested heavily that it could be Madeleine, so much so that an aircraft was put on stand-by, with its engines running, waiting to fly to pick her up.  Kate and Gerry sat tight. They had learned by that stage to be sceptical, not to give in to natural hope only for it to be dashed. They preferred to wait until the Moroccan authorities had checked it out. And when they did, it became clear she was not Madeleine.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 11th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


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

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

 

madeleine mccann newspapers

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They never did get to the burglar theory.

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

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

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

The story begins:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

madeleine mccann theories

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the woman in purple and plum

Only one front page features Madeleine McCann today: the Daily Star leads with “Hunt for woman in purple”.

News is that a”mystery woman in purple was spotted where she vanished 10 years ago”. On Page 6, there’s more. Indeed, Police are “SET TO ‘SWOOP'” on the “prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance”.

What do we know of this mysterious woman? Only that she was seen “lurking outside” the McCanns’ holiday apartment 90 minutes before we know the child vanished. Two “witnesses saw her staring at the holiday flat”. Scotland year “believe” they know the woman’s identity. She “could have been involved in the youngster’s disappearance”.

Daily Mirror (Page 5: “A ‘woman in purple’ now Maddie cops’ No1 suspect.”

Big news, then. But the paper says the woman is someone British police are “thought to be searching for”. We hear from Jenni Murat, “whose son Robert Murat was the first arguido… but was formerly cleared  of suspicion in 2008”. She’s quoted: “I saw the woman standing on the corner of the street… She caught my eye as she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so unusual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building.”

You can read more about how innocent Mr Murat was brought to the police’s attention here. Indeed, the Express mentions it online:

At the time he was living with his elderly mother, Jenny, at their villa, Casa Liliana, only a couple of hundred yards from apartment 5a. In one of the greatest blunders of the case, police arrested him after hearing vague suspicions from a British journalist who was nowhere near Luz at the time Madeleine vanished.

That British journalist worked for the Daily Mirror.

The Mirror quotes a “police insider” who says the woman is not currently resident in Portugal. Police are “ready to move in and arrest the mystery woman”.  It is a “hugely significant line of inquiry”.

No other newspaper features the news in it print editions.

Is that because it’s not new news?

In 2015, the Daily Express reported:

Jenny Murat, 78, the mother of wrongly accused Robert Murat, has potentially breakthrough evidence but no one has spoken to her. At 8pm on May 3, 2007, she went to a supermarket and then drove past Apartment 5a and saw a woman hanging around. Her notes from the time say: “There was a woman standing on the corner under a lamp post.

“I don’t remember much of her other than she was of slight build and was wearing a plum coloured jacket. She moved around the lamp post as if trying not to be noticed.”

As she turned into the driveway of her home, Casa Liliana, she was nearly hit by a car going the wrong way. “When I stopped to open the gates I could not see the car but the woman was in the road looking in my direction.”

And in 2009, the Express reported the words of a woman who wished to remain anonymous:

The slim, Portuguese-looking woman in a plum-coloured top and white skirt with long, dark, swept-back hair acted furtively when she was spotted at 8pm on May 3 in 2007 near the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex.

She was standing under a streetlight at a crossroads only 40 feet from where Madeleine was sleeping with her brother Sean and his twin sister Amelie.

Not quite the “New Clue” the Star presents it as, then.

 

Posted: 2nd, May 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the 10th anniversary brings a routine ‘revelation’

So many words have been written on Madeleine McCann in the 10 years since she vanished from a holiday flat in Portugal – and not one word of it has led to readers knowing what happened to her. All we have is a reporting milestone. And the tabloids are going big on the child who became ‘Our Maddie’.

The Sun gives readers the “definitive case files”. They turn out to be just four pages long, half as long as the preview to Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight boxing match. And they could have been written months ago because in reading them we learn nothing new.

 

madeleine mccann

 

The Express, which has featured the blonde child on its front page many times in a a slot once reserved for blonde Princess Diana, says there is a ‘Prime Suspect’. And the big news is that this person of interest is a woman. Not a man. A woman. It’s an “exclusive” because this might be the first time the paper has couched the story in binary terms.

 

 

madeleine mccann

 

The Mail opts to play safe and look at the parents. Kate McCann is “brave”. She wears a “brave smile”. She and her husband have been talking to the TV media. Readers gawp. And readers learn nothing new.

 

madeleine mccann

madeleine mccann

 

The Mirror says Kate McCann “reveals” that she still buys birthday gifts for her missing daughter. It’s sad stuff. But even this fact is not much of a revelation.

The Sun, April 26: “DECADE OF HEARTACHE Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry have a pile of unopened presents for their missing daughter in the hope she will return.”

Daily Mail, December 2016: “Kate McCann lays presents in Madeleine’s bedroom as she faces her 10th Christmas without her daughter.”

Daily Express, May 2014: “Kate and Gerry will remember their missing daughter with gifts and a cake as ­British police press on with plans to dig around the holiday resort where she vanished seven years ago.”

Daily Star, May 2013: “Kate and husband Gerry, 46, yesterday laid presents in their abducted daughter’s bedroom to mark her birthday at their home in Rothley, Leics. ”

 

madeleine mccann

 

The news has become routine. The story remains unfinished.

Posted: 30th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Ex-copper Number 3429 shares this thought on Madeleine McCann and Facebook’s chances of finding her

The Sun has some Madeleine McCann tenth anniversary news. Across two pages, the paper asks “Could Facebook find Madeleine?” It hasn’t found her so far, and the site’s been up and running for a few years now. But it could. Could is the new buzzword in media and police reporting on the investigation. Based on the premise that anything could happen, we’d say ‘yes’, Facebook could find Madeleine McCann. We hope it does.

 

Maddie Mccann facebook

 

And while we’re on it, you can get odds on all sort of things that could happen. You could win the lottery  – the odds are around 1 in 13,983,816. You just need to buy a ticket and take the plunge. So “retired detective” Mick Neville is the latest to buy his ticket for the ‘Our Maddie’ charabanc for retired coppers – destination: media – and delved into Facebook. He now “believes the site’s cutting edge face recognition software could be the key to finding here”. The detective reckons that if Madeleine McCann is using Facebook to chat to mates and spread fake news about Hillary Clinton, she stands a better chance to being found than if she not on the web. Moreover, if her kidnappers or new parents are posting photos of her.

“If she is still alive – and there is no proof she is not,” says Neville, “then by using a combined tactic of technology and people with advanced facial recognition skills you could potentially find where Madeleine is today.” Yeah. Ten years of thinking went into that. And you can’t knock it for insight, precision and usefulness.

 

Maddie Mccann facebook

As the Met Police read the Sun and utter a collective ‘DANG!’ – and the press all race to copy the Sun’s story (see above) – we read if a DNA test that “could offer hope to investigators”. Called DNA17, the test “can produce a profile of a suspect from samples once deemed too small to analyse properly”. A “source close to” Kate McCann says the technology “seems to offer them real hope… If the test could be used to help solve the case it seems only sensible that UK and Portuguese police consider having he crime scene samples retested.”

Sounds right. But how new is the test? It’s new – but not breaking-news new. The CPS tells us:

DNA-17 is the term that has been adopted to describe the next generation of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) profiling methodologies to be utilised by the National DNA Database (NDNAD).

Currently, samples are profiled using the SGMPlus methodology, but from 24 July 2014, samples will be profiled using a DNA-17 profiling methodology.

News from July 2014 is news in April 2017.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment