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: The McCanns’ fund to find their daughter has £450,000 in the kitty. John McCann, Gerry McCann’s brother, is no longer on the fund’s board. The Express has seen the latest company accounts and notes that John McCann’s fellow director Douglas Skehan is no longer on the board.
““There will be some changes and development in terms of strategy and ideas as we endeavour to leave no stone unturned in our search.
“This will include some changes to the board of Madeleine’s Fund, simply to try to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of what we are doing. It has now been three years and four months since Madeleine was taken from us. None of us ever thought we’d still be in the position we are today….”
The successful convictions, eight years after the paedophile scandal was exposed, is a major victory for Portuguese police, under intense criticism over their handling of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. One of the lead detectives in the Casa Pia case, Paulo Rebelo [picture], also investigated the Madeleine McCann disappearance after the original lead investigator was sacked. Rebelo and his team of forensic investigators – called “the cleaners” because they leave no stones unturned – are said to have played a pivotal role in securing the convictions.
No stones unturned is a phrase used by the McCanns in the hunt for their daughter.
As for the guilty:
THE SEVEN defendants in Portugal’s sex abuse trial, in which children at a home were routinely raped and abused, have been found guilty. The seven include TV presenter Carlos Cruz, a woman and Jorge Ritto, a retired ambassador.
In the 1990s, the gang taped 32 boys at Lisbon’s Casa Pia children’s home.
The scale of abuse is horrendous.
A former driver and gardener for the home, one Carlos Silvino, 54, confessed to 639 charges. Others involved are a doctor called Joao Ferreira Diniz and Manuel Abrantes, a former Casa Pia governor. And to go with those professionals, there was Hugo Marcal, a lawyer, and the woman called Gertrudes Nunes, who allowed her house in Elvas to be used by the child rapists.
“This is one of the most monstrous judicial mistakes in Portuguese history.”
Anorak first brought you news of this scandal in October 2007. There was talk of a link between the place and Madeleine McCann: This was the…:
…17th century Lisbon orphanage where more than 4,000 children are cared for each year behind “high stone walls” – “the doctor would summon selected boys and girls from their beds for examinations one night each week”
The Mail mused:
“It is crucial for two reasons; first because it proves what international crime agencies have long suspected: that Portugal has become a magnet for predatory paedophiles from around the world, using the country’s lax laws and preying on the high numbers of poor, abandoned children.
“And second, because Paulo Rebelo, an urbane, methodical detective who led the Casa Pia paedophile inquiry, was last night finishing his first week as the new chief of the investigation into the disappearance of the British child”
“Of course, the Casa Pia case may have no direct link to the disappearance of Madeleine, but the culture in which such a serious child abuse network was allowed to operate is the same culture that pervades the whole of Portugal. Was it this attitude that led to the bungled initial investigation in the McCann case?”
Back then a country was being demonised. Now the story will surely start again…
Hewlett died in April 2010. Antonella Lazzeri and Andy Crick have news:
In a letter to his estranged son Wayne, he denied having anything to do with Maddie’s disappearance.
Hewlett was not the Maddie paedo, as billed in the tabloids? He said he did not harm her nor ever meet her. There was no death bed confession to the contrary, then?
But he said he knew she had been stolen to order by a gipsy gang who kidnap children for wealthy couples unable to have kids or adopt.
But this is a confession, so good that the case has progressed. What other facts, then?
A source close to their ongoing investigation said: “What he says fits the No1 theory, which is that she was stolen to order.”
Isn’t the No.1 theory, as furthered by the tabloids, that paedophiles stole Madeleine McCann, it having taken the top spot from the libellous theory that the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann had a hand in their daughter’s disappearance? And what then of the Daily Mirror’s six theories, published in May 2007:
“PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.
And then there was the Madeira Liberation Army.
The Sun goes on:
Hewlett died of throat cancer in April, aged 62, after persistently refusing to meet the McCanns’ detectives.
No. He declined to meet the McCanns’ private detectives. He was spoken to by the police.
He became a suspect because of his appalling record of rape and abduction of children.
He was never a suspect. He was a tabloid “person of interest“. Says Hewlett’s son Wayne, 40, of the letter:
“It was a bolt from the blue and I shook when I read it. He stated he didn’t want to go to his grave with us thinking he had done such a horrible thing. He said he had had nothing to do with taking Maddie but did know who had.”
MADELEINE McCann is being used to market The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, a new ITV series based on the book of the same name.
Kate Summerscale’s tome has been adapted for ITV by Hat Trick Productions. The story goes that in 1860, three-year-old Saville Kent is murdered. His body is hidden in the servants’ toilet.
An Inspector Jonathan “Jack” Whicher investigates.
Behind the seemingly respectable middle-class façade of the Kent family, he discovers adultery, insanity and jealousy in a world populated by gossiping servants, a wicked stepmother and rebellious children.
So. What’s it got to do with Our Maddie, the four-year-old child who went missing on the Algarve? Producer Mark Redhead knows how Madeleine McCann, that benchmark for missing children over the past three centuries, relates to his show:
“This a very modern story. It gripped the country in the way that the case of Madeleine McCann has done in our day. It became an obsession for the press and was even debated in the House of Commons. Perhaps for the first time, the Rode Hill House murder exposed the darkness that lay behind the solid front door of the respectable English home. As a story it is riveting but also deeply touching.”
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news because a 48-year-old grandfather called Rhys Jones has been taking pictures of boys in their swimwear as he holidays on the Algarve. He is having beach holiday in Vilamoura. The boys are, reportedly, aged 8 to 15.
Parents approach him. They don’t like it. He is “arrested”. He is an arguido.
Mr Jones works for Peacocks, the high-street clothing chain based in Cardiff.
IT’S the Fourth Summer Of Madeleine McCann, albeit a belatedly. We had thought this summer would be Our Maddie free unless she was joyously found or there was a clue to what occurred that fateful night.
But she has been in the news for other reasons. Gerry and Kate McCann have speaking with another Home Secretary – this time it’s Theresa May being inducted into her job with a chance to appear caring but do nothing; and we met Kiesha Abrahams, Australia’s Madeleine McCann.
She has still not been found:
The air and ground search for missing six-year-old Sydney girl Kiesha Abrahams has been called off but anyone and everyone remains a suspect. Police announced on Sunday that the massive search in areas around the family’s home at Mt Druitt, in Sydney’s west, has been suspended unless they receive new information.
Mr and Mrs McCann are asking for a full independent review of the police investigation into the disappearance of their daughter.
Says Mr McCann:
“I think people are reluctant to undertake a review because there’s been difficult, sensitive issues. But Madeleine’s rights should be put first. She’s missing, she’s innocent and whoever’s taken her is still out there, and that has to be of paramount importance.”
We still have no proof a crime occurred and befell the media’s Our Maddie.
KIESHA Abrahams is missing. Can she be Australia’s Madeleine McCann?
The last person known to have seen the six-year-old is her mother Kirsti, who out her to bed at the family home in Hebersham, western Sydney last Saturday night.
Next day, Kiesha was gone. The front door was ajar. The was no sign of a forced entry.
Mum and the child’s step-father, one Robert Smith, are part of big hunt.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, revealed that the last time anyone had seen the little girl outside her immediate family was on July 7, when her half-brother Levi Smith was born.
KYRON Horman is missing. You can read the news so far on Anorak. Reader Karen spots shades in this story of when Madeleine McCann, Robert Murat and Kate and Gerry McCann, and more, were eaten alive by a voracious media.
Terri Moulton Horman, Kyron’s step-mother – the last person known to have seen the seven-year-old boy alive – is the target of whispering campaign amplified by a desperate media and not exactly discouraged by a yet-more-desperate police force eager to look as though it is making progress.
All the power of media and police seem to be focused solely on Terri Horman. But she is not a suspect. Hell,, she’s not even an arguido. The media is going to town.
The case in Portugal and the UK has been shelved. The police are, of course, willing and ready to take any call should evidence emerge. But the only people really looking for Madeleine McCann are the family’s private detectives.
Sky News reports:
Mrs May’s interest in the case follows an internal review of evidence ordered by former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson last year. Mr Johnson wanted an outline of how a new investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance might work.
He wanted to outline for an investigation into a child who went missing three years ago, and on whom there is a welter of speculative pros, libel litigation but so evidence – might work?
The report is understood to be almost complete and there is speculation that a fresh probe into the case could be ordered. However, the Metropolitan Police have said there are no plans to reopen the investigation.
So. What will Theresa May do with the case of a missing child who has become the benchmark for all missing children?
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: CAN Madeleine McCann somehow be linked to the World Cup and, specifically, England’s failure to win it?
Tom de Castella tells BBC online readers that she can. Roy Greenslade provides the answer:
“Make no mistake the papers set the agenda. And today we have feeding frenzies. Savage as it sounds the Madeleine McCann story sold papers and previously there was Princess Diana. The World Cup is another first class example of a feeding frenzy that electrifies the newspapers.”
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: MICHAEL Nolan has been jailed for possessing 17 photographs of naked children at a printing shop in Grafton Street, Dublin.
Images were found on a memory stick Nolan was using to print images from. He said he had “found it in a library“.
But what has this to do with the media’s Our Maddie?
The headline screams:
30 Scots sex beasts on the run abroad
At the end of the article we hear a spokesman for Scotland’s police chiefs say:
“Offenders who have left the country continue to be monitored.”
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: RAYMOND Hewlett is dead. The “Maddie paedo” – as the tabloids called him – is dead. None of these men have been found. Introducing Charles O’Neill.
A SERIAL paedophile linked to the Madeleine McCann case was yesterday jailed for life for murder.
Charles O’Neill has repeatedly refused to be quizzed by detectives working for Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry.
Is he a suspect because he does not want to meet with private detectives? And if he is, have the Portuguese police spoken with him? Is he now media “Maddie paedo”?
O’Neill, 47, is believed to have been in Portugal when Maddie, then three, vanished…
Kate McCann, mom of Maddy McCann, original art for PACT
PACT: Not Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television. Our Maddie is not a form of entertainment. No, really.
ELIZABETH Renzetti is the Globe & Mail’s woman in London. She’s talking about childhood freedoms with hard drinking mums and dads. Thoughts turn to Our Maddie:
Reader, I gave up. There was an unbridgeable chasm between the nostalgia we all felt for our helmet-free childhoods, with their parent-shaped holes and wonderful freedoms, and the chances we are willing to take with our own children. No one wanted to admit that childhood is safer now, by every empirical measure, than it was when we were young. Instead, they have the ubiquitous picture of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in 2007 from the hotel in Portugal where she was staying with her parents, stamped on their brains.
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: The Sun brings news that Our Maddie has been spotted, and a new child alert scheme is launched, and Coronation Street is on hold…
A DRAMATIC sighting of missing Madeleine McCann the day after she vanished is being urgently followed up by private investigators.
…spotted three years ago. We are not told whan the sighting was reported to police.
A man has reported seeing a girl he is now sure was Maddie lying in the back of a van. She was wearing pyjamas identical to the pair Maddie had on when she was abducted.
And there is a question:
“Did this man take Maddie?”
The image is like something you get looking through frosted glass.
The man has dark hair and is not black.
Other than that, it’s hard to see any more.
So. Now you have the evidence. Did he take Our Maddie?
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: Jimmy Mizen was killed. He was 16.
Jimmy Mizen was at the Three Cook’s Bakery in Lee, London, with his older brother Harry. Jake Fahri entered. There was a scuffle. Fahri tossed a glass dish at Jimmy Mirzen. It hit his neck. The glass severed his jugular vein. Jimmy Mizen died.
Madeleine McCann went missing from her family holiday flat. We do not know what happened to her.
So, then, to a service held in memory of young victims of knife and gun crime. And there is Kate McCann sharing a “sympathetic hug with Barry and Margaret Mizen on the steps of Westminster Cathedral”.
It’s all heart-breaking stuff. The Mail says Kate McCann was there having been personally invited by Mrs Mizen because “they were both mothers who had lost their children”.
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – the ‘suspect’ photo, the new Our Maddie and Scotland Yard investigates…
Daily Express: “MADELEINE SUSPECT ‘ON BEACH SNAP’”
Gail Cooper is in Praia da Luz, at the Express’s expense. She says she saw the man who might have kidnapped Madeleine McCann. He’s the suspect who looks like the late George Harrison (see images below).
There is news of a man in a photo:
DETECTIVES have been handed a photograph showing a man behaving oddly in the days before Madeleine McCann was kidnapped.
Today we reveal that one of Mrs Cooper’s friends, Leanda Hodson-Mackey, took a snap of her husband Stephen, 34, and son, then aged two, and the man appeared in the background, walking along the beach during a downpour.
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – Can Madeleine McCann feature in the election and advertise the Emirates?
Matthew Flinders: Yorkshire Evening Post:
Can Madeleine McCann be part of the election?
Let us not pretend that the Telegraph’s coverage of the MPs’ expenses scandal was concerned with public propriety, just as the tabloids’ focus on Madeleine McCann is not driven by concern for the child. The word “Madeleine” sells: the word “sleaze” sells. My message to politicians is simple: “Stand up, dust yourself down and begin to fight back”
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – THE third anniversary of Our Maddie approaches. The PR offensive is in full swing. The McCanns are doing what they hope will keep their child in the public eye and bring her back alive and well to them. And the media is lapping it up:
The Independent: “Terence Blacker: Depressing clichés sadly perpetuated”
The decision to release images of Madeleine McCann wearing make-up seems misguided.
Can the McCanns be thinking straight?
We are invited to wonder about the McCanns’ mental state? We have been watching the McCanns – and now we are analysing them. Blacker see the altered image of Our Maddie, the one in which she is wearing blue eye-shadow.
It seems a bizarre and unsettling development. Clearly, Kate and Gerry McCann have been living through a nightmare of unimaginable horror and perhaps, even after three years, they are not thinking straight.
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – Madeleine McCann’s latest video has been released. The innocent child who became the media’s “Maddie” approaches the third anniversary of her disappearance.
Our Maddie is seen playing dress ups. She is wearing pink hair ribbon and a gold necklace. She wears blue eye-shadow. A round-up o the news can be read here – please do so.
A child is missing. Can she be found alive and well? Anyone sane would hope so. But in the meanwhile, let’s just stare at the parents.
MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – The Daily Express leads with news of a new suspect. And they have been caught on “film”.
As we approach the third anniversary of Our Maddie, a new suspect is introduced. Before that a prayer:
Daily Mirror: “HOPE FOR A MIRACLE”
Parents Kate and Gerry have worked tirelessly to find out what happened to her. So it’s poignant when their five-year-old son Sean tells them not to give up hope – as they never will. Neither should we.
Mawlish. Exploitative nonsense. These are easy, lazy words trotted out by a paper keen to foment emotion in its readers. Do all Mirror readers pray for Our Maddy? No. The child has become an emotional totem. We do not care all that much for the parents. We just stare at them. They entertain the masses. The McCanns distract us from our own problems. And the ‘what ifs’ entertain the ghouls. Amazing if the child were found alive and well – a happy ending to the story. But it would not be a mircale. It would not be a sign of God’s love.
It’s front-page news:
NO1 SUSPECT IS ON VIDEO
“Key witness reveals existence of important new evidence”