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 is back on the front pages. The missing child is on the front page of the Guardian. Having encouraged readers to suggest which search terms would be useful to browse the Wiikleaks cables for, the Guardian settled on Our Maddie keywords.
Can it create a story from the cables? Well, it tries to. The paper duly leads with:
“UK police ‘developed’ case against McCanns”
The cables are those of Britain’s ambassador to Portugal, Alexander Wykeham Ellis. On September 21, 2007 – two weeks after Portuguese police named Gerry and Kate McCann as arguidos – he commented on the happening in a memo to Washington, US Ambassador Al Hoffman. He wrote:
“Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in the south of Portugal in May 2007 has generated international media attention with controversy surrounding the Portuguese-led police investigation and the actions of Madeleine’s parents.”
This is a man with an agenda, as you might expect of man of Christ. But he name checks his pet causes in the manner of an OK! magazine reviewing a celebrity wedding. Sentamu opens his advent calendar:
Nowadays, you may even get a nice Fairtrade chocolate to go with it.
MADELEINE McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann’s book about their daughter has yet to be written but already the reviews are coming in. Philomena McCann, Gerry McCann’s sister, says the work is “truthful and scathing”.
The McCann’s fund is not as full as it once was. The book will raise monies. But does it need to be sensationalised? Isn’t that what the press did what the child went missing, cranking up the single-thread story into a feeding frenzy of libel and accusation?
Here’s Philomena McCann:
“Kate is mainly doing it and I know she has written some very truthful and scathing things relating to the Portuguese police.”
HATS off to Kate And Gerry McCann who will publish their Madeleine McCann book JK Rowling helped them get into print on April 28, 2101 – the same day Kate Middleton and Prince William are due to tie the knot.
Who gets to reschedule?
MADELEINE MCCANN: Kate and Gerry McCann are to turn their daughter into a book. Well, it’s time for another book. We’ve already had:
November 2007: Madeleine: A Most Heartbreaking And Extraordinary Disappearance, by Robert Downing. It’s published by Northern & Shell, who own the Daily Express.
July 2008: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: Or The Murder at Road Hill House, by Kate Summerscale, wins a literary award.
It’s 1860 all over again, in the Mail:
Just as the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann today produced a massive reaction among the public, so the gruesome murder of Saville Kent provoked national hysteria in Victorian England…
October 2008: Kate McCanns Diary
MADELEINE McCann: The Sunday Express leads with news that the Portuguese judiciary will reopen the search for Our Maddie.
But it tursn out to be a bit of tablod bilge. The actual story goes:
A senior police source in Portugal said: “Detectives are committed to resolving this case and would work on any review and pursue any line of inquiry suggested.”
So. The case has not been reopened. But the Express hopes it will sell papers…
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s look at the missing child in the news: Our Maddie’s parents are launching an online petition. The idea is to create a movement that will lead to a UK and Portuguese joint review of all evidence in the case of their missing daughter.
Says Gerry McCann:
“Essentially for the last three-and-a-half years the authorities have not been doing anything proactive to help Madeleine.”
Really? They didn’t look for her at all? They never tried to find out what happened that night she went missing?
Do online petitions work? The call to arms goes:
We call on the UK and Portuguese authorities to conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Will you sign it? It’s easy to. One imagines all journalists will sign it – the McCanns have reliable news for over three years. But will you give money? Or does your sympathy only go so far? Will the NoTW had over some of the reward money it put up as an advance – a reward to the McCanns?
KERRY Grist is the mother of Ben Needham. He is the child who went missing on the Greek island of Kos in 1991. He was 21 months old. He was born on October 29, 1989. He would be 21 now. But he does not age. His photos remains the same at his family’s home. He, like all the families of missing, are trapped. For them life does not go on. It stops.
But someone knows what happened. Someone always knows.
Kerry Grist wants the Prime Minister to start a new investigation. Says she:
“It seems more painful. It seems to be dragging me down really. I can feel a depression setting in. It’s getting harder to find the strength to keep going.”
At the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Jerry Sadowitz lite Frankie Boyle took to the stage to unleash an “offensive tirade”.
Boyle hits the soft targets with a paddle. If he were offensive people would be offended. It’d be entertaining. But the punters don’t leave. They are not offended. Boyle is a simply a performer who has worked out how middle-of-the-road humour chooses it’s edge:
Referencing Madeleine McCann, the room turned icy cold, but Boyle was sharp enough to move swiftly on.
MADELEINE McCann: Lisbon’s Court of Appeal has overturned the ban on Goncalo Amaral’s book The Truth Of The Lie.
The law now says the ban breached “a constitutional and universal right: that of opinion and freedom of expression. The contents of the book do not breach the basic rights of the plaintiffs.”
Earlier this year, the McCanns won an injunction banning the book from sale in Portugal. (Read their statement here.) It was always a massive risk going to a foreign country and taking on an ex-copper.
As Anorak’s AGW wrote 8 MONTHS AGO:
You know when an accident is going to happen. They even have corporate speak phrases for it these days: “Risk Assessment” is one.
You know when a playing kitten is going to fall from the arm of the chair, you know when the child is going trip and fall, no matter how quick you are to try and get there.
Sometimes you see disasters being created and thundering, in silent-movie slowed down train-wreck style, toward you or others and there’s little you can do other than stand and watch horror-struck by the enormity of it all.
You know the accident’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do but perhaps wonder why you knew?
It has nothing to do with sixth senses, it is because the most powerful computer known to man, your brain, has gathered in all the previous experiences you have weighed in the balance and made a predictive analysis.
That is what is so strange about the current and past behaviour of the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann.
They have started a court action defending their reputations in Lisbon because the former chief investigating officer Goncalo Amaral, above, is accusing them of being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They have also started an action seeking a money settlement for the Portuguese equivalent of libel and in addition are taking on a Lisbon-based documentary production unit for reporting on the detective’s objected to book and the case.
Lisbon was never going to be a perfect spot for the McCann’s to start legal sparring and this week they were dealt what can only be termed a body-blow when the detective’s lawyers produced evidence the UK’s top criminal profiler has said there were “contradictions” in their statements and both should be treated as possible “homicide” suspects.
No arguments, no amount of reshuffling or clarifications can change that and the facts can not be forced back into the can of worms which the McCann parents themselves have allowed to be opened.
The background PR work after the Lisbon shocker has been impressive. The McCann lawyers strode from the courtroom and counter-claimed there were tens, hundreds or more sightings of the missing girl. The UK’s Red Tops dutifully followed the thread and reported the lawyer’s statement. My experience and training gave the brain the predictive text that this looked like a smoke screen, a damage limitation. The missing fact was all these sightings came after the McCann’s themselves had been released from Arguido, suspect, status. The case was archived. It was a cold, leading nowhere, case in the eyes of the top legal and police professionals in Portugal…the responsible authorities have no clues and have suspended work on the case.
It has already been said in these columns, taking on the Portuguese legal system was going to be a minefield but there is one question:
Who is taking the responsibility for the Risk Assessment for this McCann course of action?
Whoever it was needs to be replaced or kept out of the limelight.
Mass public opinion is turning. The McCanns are slipping lower and lower down the celebs’ to be seen with list, certainly no-longer A list and slightly embarrassing to be around according to some whispers.
The McCanns are innocent. No charges have been brought against anyone…except the Chief Investigating Police Officer, Goncalo Amaral.
A second question would have to be: Who on earth took the Risk Assessment decision Amaral was a buffoon an incompetent, bungling, Jacques Clouseau Pink Panther type of police officer?
Come on, wake up! Police officers do not rise through the ranks to positions of authority without being good thief-takers and being very good at spotting the wrongness of something.
Amaral is tougher than the baying section of Britain’s media has portrayed.
The McCanns are becoming battered and worn by this. Just look at their recent photographs. The child is still missing, lost, gone. Arguments still rage over the rightness or wrongness of it all.
Something is judgementally wrong in the Risk Assessments taken here. This week has been hugely damaging to the McCann’s and their cause. The information given this week in the Lisbon court can no longer be ignored or forgotten. It will have a high cost and one of the costs are potential new helpers and donations to the campaign of finding the child. The parents WERE involved in Madeleine’s disappearance because they left her alone to her fate and that is a tragic inescapable fact. No legal action, nor anything else, can change it.
The truly awful fact is this piece been written and illustrated without one mention of the first names, professions or use of photographs of the McCann parents but everyone of you knows the name, the job and carries the image for further risk assessment.
That is a risk position NOT to be in.
You can now buy the book in Portugal, and read Amaral’s opinion that Our Maddie died in an accident at the McCanns’ holiday home in Praia da Luz in 2007. Amaral, who worked on the investigation, also alleges Gerry and Kate faked her abduction.
MADELEINE McCann is slowly making her way back into the news agenda. Three stories this month so far. The latest is that Kate and Gerry McCann are “saddened” that policeman Jim Gamble has resigned as chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre.
Mr Gamble quit his post in light of moves to assimilate Ceop into a new National Crime Agency. He says such a move is not in the “best interest” of vulnerable children.
And her come the McCanns and Our Maddie, that benchmark of all missing children. The parents issue a statement:
“We are certain that he will be a huge loss to the field of child protection. Knowing how committed Mr Gamble is to this cause, it is extremely saddening that he feels unable to continue to lead Ceop, apparently as a consequence of the proposed Governmental changes.”
Yes. But is it sad for all missing children or just for Mr Gamble? But that comments is overshadowed by this:
“In this challenging economic climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children and the importance of the invaluable work which is necessary to protect them against the devastating crimes of child abduction and exploitation.”
MADELEINE McCann: The McCanns have a new team of detectives working in Portugal, and that news coincides with the fact that Kate McCann has returned to Portugal “to pray”.
Dominic Herbert writes:
KATE McCann made a solitary pilgrimage this weekend to the Portuguese resort where her daughter went missing “for emotional reasons and to pray for Madeleine”.
As ever, private grief becomes public spectacle. The story is no longer about a missing child and hard facts but a sign of God’s testing love for one woman.
Yesterday morning the anguished mum went to the Nossa Senhora da Luz church, five minutes walk from the flat where the McCanns holidayed in May 2007. Kate is staying with Praia da Luz’s Anglican priest Father Haynes Hubbard and his wife.
You can excuse the NoTW is breathless style and focus on Kate McCann. After three years of being invited to watch the orchestrated mourn porn, we feel that we’ve invested a lot of time in story that has had no pay off. Kate McCann continues to look “anguished” and Our Maddie continues to be missing.
And it is always the anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish; anguish and anguish.
Nothing has changed. The story of a missing child packaged for out entertainment by a voracious media is stuck…
The Story in Pictures:
Only, it can’t be. For starters there is no body. And, well, there is no body. And Jasper Gerard hasn’t paid homage.
The Mail says that the two-bed flat with all mod cons remains unsold despite being on the market for two years.
But that is only the ruse for his non-story. The real nuts is found in a “neighbour” opines:
“The flat has never been used again since the little girl went missing. The shutters have stayed down and it is more like a mausoleum than the happy holiday letting it once was.”
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.”