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 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.
Paradise lost, a honeymoon-descended-into-hell, a radiant bride senselessly murdered on a palm-fringed island idyll. It’s the raw material of a dark Hollywood thriller that taps into our deepest, most irrational fears – or at least it was, until yesterday.
Michaela McAreavey is dead. She was murdered in what looks like a botched robbery. Avinash Treebhoowoon,Raj Theekoy and Sandip Moneea have been charged with her murder.
MADELEINE McCANN: WHEN Gerry and Kate McCann announced the release of their book on Our Maddie we told you the date clashed with the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, we asked who would blink.
It took a while, but the McCanns have now altered the release date. As Clarence Mitchell – and still the McCanns’ official spokesman – says:
“The publication date for ‘Madeleine’ has now been moved on to May 12 2011 in the light of the royal wedding and the subsequent media coverage that will generate.”
Missing People sounds important and worthwhile. But you would be hard pressed to find news of it in this story. This is a Christmas story about Our Maddie, the innocent child eaten alive by voracious press in a single thread tale that has no sign of closure.
In the piece we hear the name Madeleine mentioned 15 times. The charity gets five mentions. The child gets six more pension in a timeline of events. And then Gerry and Kate McCann are mentioned ten times by name; five more in the timeline.
“The Wikileaks ‘news’ this week has led to the repetition of many unfounded allegations and smears both in the UK and in Portugal in particular. This has been seized on as an opportunity by those who wish to compound our suffering and hamper our efforts, including the very person who was entrusted with finding our daughter. Those who could help Madeleine but choose to do nothing are also complicit in this injustice. Without the love and help from so many good people around the world we would not be able to find the strength to continue the fight to find our daughter.”
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.”