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.
The Sun (front page): “I SMASHED BED IN RAGE AT COPS”
Today we learn that after just one day working with the “shambolic” Portuguese police she “wrecked a bed as she kicked out in rage”.
The story of the Portuguese police’s investigation has been a spin-off thread in the story of the child’s disappearance. The tabloid media swiftly decided they were “bungling”.
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at–a-glance look at the missing child in the news: Introducing a new suspect to, coincidentally, coincide with the release of Kate McCann’s new book called Madeleine. Meet Martin N.
Daily Express front page: “MADDIE LINK TO GERMAN CHILD KILLER”
A news suspect is delivered to the masses:
THIS is the man who has confessed to one child murder and is now facing questioning over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The 40-year-old German youth worker, who we can name only as Martin N, is being questioned over at least three child murders and 40 suspected attacks on children across Europe.
MADELEINE McCann Book: Day 1 of the Sun’s serialisation of Kate McCann’s book Madeleine.
Front page: “WORLD EXCLUSIVE – KATE MCCANN’S BOOK WILL BREAK YOUR HEART”
You want to feel pain and heartbreak? You want to watch another woman’s suffering and feel it in your own heart? Here goes:
It was always Maddie, the media’s pet name for their lightning rod of emotion:
“I SEE HER ALONE…AND SCREAMING”
MADELEINE McCann The Book: Madeleine. Extract 1: the “Loving Mum”.
The Sun begins its serialisation of the official Our Maddie reader with the headline:
Madeleine: By Her Mum
The sub-editors have decided to restore the innocent child’s name to its full. Out goes the media’s Maddie. In comes Madeleine, in keeping with the book’s title.
MADELEINE McCann: The build up to the release of the official Madeleine book continues as Kate and Gerry are booked to appear on Irish TV’s Late Late Show.
The Irish Herald tells us that host Ryan Tubridy “will be talking to the McCanns on Friday week as they continue their efforts to locate their missing daughter”.
IT’S four years since Madeleine McCann disappeared. For those of you who have followed the story on Anorak, the story began here.
So. What news today of the single-thread story that was contained by libel laws?
LEICESTERSHIRE: Kate and Gerry McCann will today mark the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance privately with family and friends. The couple are keeping a low profile as Mrs McCann, 43, prepares to publish her account of how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007. – The Scotsman
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “The anniversary is normally a very low-key occasion at home for them.” – The Daily Record
“It will be a private day marked with family and friends” – Clarence Mitchell, AFP
DOES talking about Madeleine McCann and other popular crime stories matter? Josh Rothman takes a look at a new book by Bill James called Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence:
Popular Crime is full of stories like Mary Phagan’s — stories in which sensational crimes are the catalysts of historical change. Popular crime stories (think, in our modern era, of O.J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers, or JonBenet Ramsey) are often, James laments, beneath the notice of “the best people” (“if you go to a party populated by the NPR crowd and you start talking about JonBenet Ramsey, people will look at you as if you’ve forgotten your pants”). But in fact, James argues, popular crimes matter, even if discussing them seems “vulgar.” They crystallize national issues, reveal structural facts about society, and often lead, very directly, to changes in laws and institutions. America’s lawbooks are overflowing with laws passed in direct response to popular and sensational crimes, from Megan’s Law to the Lindbergh Laws; sensational crime stories have changed the ways in which police departments are organized and newspapers are run.
Jerry Sadowitz has been knocking them bandy with jokes about Madeleine McCann at St David’s Hall in Wales.
Anorak has been to see Jerry Sadowitz. His Our Maddie gag is an adaptation of his joke on the Queen Mother. A handkerchief is placed over his outstretched hand. The magician teases the hanky back to reveal a raised middle finger. The Queen Mother and Our Maddie have become two sides of the same coin: we waited years for the Queen’s mum to die; and we’ve waited years for the end of the McCann story. Both are presented by an emotive press as objects of national unity. Press f9 for empathy. But rather than being icons of orchestrated care, the missing child and the old woman are beige news, mere filler that appeals only to the die-hards, while makes everyone else hanker for an ending.
MADELEINE McCANN: Olga Craig visits Praia Da Luz four years after Our Maddie vanished: She kicks off the tour in the 17th-century church of Our Lady of Light, “overlooking the sea in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, where the couple feel closest to Madeleine”.
The local priest is Haynes Hubbard, her Portuguese “pastor and confidant”.
Craig is optimistic about the child still being alive:
Here that they still hope one day to return to give thanks and salvation for the safe return of their child, who will turn eight next month.
Yet today, as another agonising anniversary looms for the McCanns, there is, surely, something missing?
The Express says “CHAT show host Piers Morgan is favourite to clinch the first major TV interview with Kate McCann to kick start a new global campaign to find her daughter”.
“First major TV interview”? What of all the other major interviews? Are we now at Day Zero in the hunt for Our Maddy?
MADELEINE McCann: You know yesterday’s Daily Mirror front-page news of the “JK ROWLING MADDY BOOK“? Greig Box-Turnbull told Mirror readers:
JK Rowling helped Kate McCann to write her book on missing daughter Madeleine.
We were not told how the journalist came about this information. But having a top-selling author linked to your book can’t harm sales, can it?
MADELEINE McCann: “JK Rowling’s MADDY BOOK”, is big news in the Daily Mirror, where the Harry Potter’s writer’s new work makes the paper’s front page.
Instantly we cry foul. What chance has Kate McCann of achieving stellar sales for her own Madeleine reader if a top writer like Rowling is entering an already pretty crowded marketplace?
Already this month, Leo Robson told New Statesman readers about King of the Badgers, a work of fiction, by Philip Hensher. In the book, a child goes missing:
The catalytic kidnapping plot, with its echoes of the Madeleine McCann case, is introduced feverishly through the gossip of the salivating yet finger-wagging Hanmouthites, but then gently developed; it is through David, talking to Mauro, that we find out “they’ve arrested the girl’s mother”, and it is a walk-on character, a family man with a dogging habit, who finds a crucial corpse.
MADELEINE McCann: Kate McCann is on the cover of the Sunday Times, illustrating the paper’s coverage of the Miles for Missing People charity run in Regent’s Park, central London. Well, really the paper is illustrating Kate McCann, who remains newsworthy in light of, reportedly, moves by the Sunday Times’ sister organ the Sun to serialise her book Madeleine.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star thunders:
MCCANNS FACE QUIZ
Madeleine McCann’s parents are set to be quizzed in court later this year in connection with their daughter’s disappearance.
The headline thunders:
“MADELEINE – family warn kidnappers”
“Kate McCann’s new book will be key to finding her daughter”
The mother of Madeleine McCann is using the book she has written to send a plea to her daughter’s kidnappers: “Please, let her come home.”
As a reader writes:
Considering the millions of words posted on Anorak in the past it made me smile!
Something called the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) haas written a report about sniffer dogs, like the ones used in the search for Madeleine McCann.
The report states:
“There is no consistency in what the dogs can do and how it is done. Furthermore, there is no national standard for accrediting dogs and handlers or record keeping of the success rate they achieve.”
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Our Maddie in the news: The Sunday Express brings news of:
WAR OF WORDS LOOMS OVER MADELEINE MCCANN BOOKS
It’s Goncalo Amaral – Maddie: Truth Of The Lie – against
Kate And Gerry McCann – Madeleine.
And it is “WAR”!
FORMER Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral is set for a new legal battle with Kate and Gerry McCann after writing a second book about their missing daughter Madeleine.
MADELEINE McCann: Our Maddie is back on the cover of the Daily Express.
The front page declares:
Why the McCanns believe their daughter is still alive. To coincide with Madeleine’s 8th birthday and the 4th anniversary of her kidnap a new book by mum Kate will reveal all.
Kidnap? That is now a statement of fact, although no conclusive proof has been offered that the innocent child was kidnapped. Still, “mum Kate” will “reveal all”. But surely she has already told the police all she knows and anything more is mere padding.
KATE MCCANN: I WANT TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THE TRUTH ON MADELEINE
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news. News International, having secured the newspaper rights to the McCanns’ official book, publish a story in the News of The World that “suspect” Raymond Hewlett “said his wife would ‘go mental’ if she was asked about the missing girl in a dramatic video recorded before his death”.
This would be Mariana Schmuecker, who last week was telling the NoTW:
When the News of the World confronted her the callous German just snarled: “Clear off! I’m sick to death of hearing about Maddie McCann!”
Does the paper wish for an innocent woman to be driven “mental”? Last week, the paper delivered this line:
But Mariana, who suddenly shipped off to Morocco with Hewlett just three weeks after Maddie’s disappearance, has stayed tight- lipped – even about her partner’s flawed alibi.
Is this not as suggestion of guilt by association with a convicted sex criminal who was also not guilty of kidnapping the child and who despite being called the “Maddie paedo” and “Maddie Pervert” in the tabloids claims he never met the girl?
SUN: Why don’t you eliminate yourself from the inquiry for the sake of the McCanns?
HEWLETT: I don’t have to speak to you. F*** off.
MADELEINE McCann: With just a few weeks to go until the Sun serialises the McCanns’ official Our Maddie book, the NoTW brings news of Kate McCann’s “plea” to the widow of Raymond Hewlett. He was the convicted sex criminal labelled “Maddie paedo” and “Maddie Pervert” in the tabloids. He made no death bed confession.
Matthew Drake tells readers:
HEARTBROKEN Kate McCann is pleading with the widow of a dead paedophile to break her silence in the hunt for snatched daughter Madeleine.
But Mariana Schmuecker – herself a mother of six -has snubbed FOUR requests to reveal secrets about her husband, convicted child rapist Raymond Hewlett.
She has snubbed requests to reveal secrets? This woman has done nothing wrong, yet she is said to be the keeper of secrets that can help Kate McCann discover what happened to her daughter.
Detectives believe what she knows could hold the vital key to their investigation.
MADELEINE McCann: She’s back on the front pages. The Daily Star yells:
“MADDIE: Cops bust 12 child smugglers”
Jonathan Corke is on the Maddie beat:
MADELEINE McCann’s parents hope a major police breakthrough against human trafficking in Portugal’s Algarve might lead them to their missing daughter.
MADELEINE McCann: PETER Hill has left his job as editor of the Daily Express. Roy Greenslade speaks to him about the paper’s libeling of Kate and Gerry McCann (no mention in the piece of Robert Murat):
Asked whether he regretted libelling the McCanns, he replies: “Of course I do. And I insisted on apologising on the front of the newspaper when it became clear that it was a complete fabrication. We gave them £500,000. It doesn’t redound to my credit but it did help them to continue the search.”
MADELEINE McCann: Marcelino Italiano says he knows what happened to Our Maddie. He’s told the Spanish police. But he’s not named names. Why not?
The Sun: “Maddie cops to question sleuth”
The Maddie cops are not actual Maddie Cops, rather they are private detectives who have yet to find her or what happened to her.
Private investigators hired by her parents Kate, 42, and Gerry, 41, are preparing to fly to Spain to talk to Marcelino Italiano “within a week”, a source said last night.
Within a week the Maddie cops will check the story of a man who says he know what happened to their missing girl? It’s that urgent.
The Scotsman: “’Madeleine may be in US’: amateur detective”
Amateur sleuth Marcelino Italiano reportedly said Madeleine, now aged 7, had been snatched by an Algarve-based paedophile ring in 2007 which had taken a dozen other children.
MADELEINE McCann: She’s back on the front pages.
The Sun leads with:
“Maddie is in US – I know who took her.”
We meet Marcelino Italiano. He’s 36. He says Our Maddie was kidnapped by an “Algarve-based paedophile ring”.
How does he know? Well, the Sun says he’s an “amateur sleuth”. And he says:
“They can get away with anything.”
Who are they? If they are so dangerous, now is the time to name them. Tell us:
“I know these people were involved and I have been told that Madeleine may now be in America.”
“I can’t say how, but I have known these people and believe they can get away with anything.”
KATE and Gerry McCann will have their official Madeleine McCann book serialised in the Sun. Over in the Express, there is the talk of Team McCann having their calls hacked. It’s nothing to do with the News of the World and Andy Colson. But news is that McCanns might have had their calls hacked. Possibly. Maybe.
Writes James Murray:
The parents of the missing child are “furious after discovering attempts have been made to find out about phone calls they made to their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell”.
Fury. Always the fury.
But this is not a phone hack but a story about someone who, allegedly, wanted to know what calls the McCanns’ PR might have made or received? This story is not new but based on a BBC story one week earlier.
MADELEINE McCann has been spotted in Dubai.
A girl looking like Maddie was spotted with a man “identical” to an artist’s impression of a suspect seen close to where she vanished in Portugal in May 2007.