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 vanished six years ago. Another summer of sighting looms, all eagerly reported by newspapers looking for easy news in the shark-spotting season. The Evening Standard reports:
British police identify new leads in hunt for Madeleine McCann and urge Portuguese to act
Scotland Yard has identified a number of potential suspects who may have abducted Madeleine McCann, the force’s top detective revealed today.
Madeleine McCann gets dragged into the Amanda Berry story – Charlene Downs and Ben Needham are ignored
THE story of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus’s escape from a suburban prison is made made relevant to a British audience by the mention of missing child Madeleine McCann, the benchmark of not only missing children but now of all missing teenagers and women, too.
Alison Philips writes in the Mirror:
Inspiring mothers who fought for missing daughters keep hope of Madeleine McCann miracle alive
A miracle is a happening so incredible is must be the work of God.
The discovery of three women held captive in a house for 10 years can only have reignited hope Madeleine may one day be found.
Indeed, Gina DeJesus’s aunt Sandra Ruiz said: “If you don’t believe in miracles, I suggest you think again.”
From the perspective of the missing women’s loved one their reappearance after ten years of nothing must seem like a miracle. But from the victims’ viewpoint, it must be anything but. They endured captivity at the hands of three men.
What happened to Madeleine McCann remains a mystery. When she vanished, the Mirror conjured six theories, none of which involved the supernatural or God. The Mirror’s six theories of what happened to the innocent child were: “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE” and the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.
Alison Philips then watches the parents:
Last weekend Kate McCann boarded a flight alone to return to Portugal where her daughter Madeleine was abducted almost exactly six years ago. She was going back to the spot where she lost her three-year-old daughter and to the moment she last saw her, tucked up in bed with Cuddle Cat.
Kate was also going back to where she lost her own life, the life she had before it became defined by loss forever. The pain of returning to that whitewashed town on the Algarve must be horrific.
And yet friends say Kate does it to feel close to Madeleine.
This is news, how?
Presumably immersing herself in the pain of her loss is preferable to that awful alternative – forgetting about her little girl. And Kate can’t do that. She more than anyone knows that she wasn’t there when her daughter needed her most.
So now she must fight for the rest of her life to ensure that if Madeleine is still alive, she knows her mother is there for her now.
That’s pretty brutal by Philips. isn’t it. She says Kate McCann’s search for her daughter is in part inspired by notions that she let her daughter down. How does that make Kate McCann an “inspiring mother” as the title to Philip’s piece states?
We don’t yet know Amanda Berry, 16, Gina DeJesus, then 14, and Michelle Knight, then 22, were kidnapped. But we do know they were out in public at the time.
Philips then speculates:
Even if she is dead, Kate’s job remains to keep her daughter’s memory alive because while memory remains, so does life.
In appearing to salute Kate McCann, Philips now says the tabloids’ Our Maddie might be dead. Theta’s the very thing the McCanns’ campaign to find her doesn’t want us to think.
Indeed Kate and Gerry said:
“The discovery of these young women reaffirms our hope of finding Madeleine, which has never diminished. Their recovery is also further evidence that children are sometimes abducted and kept for long periods. So we ask the public to remain vigilant in the ongoing search for Madeleine. Our thoughts are with the women in America and their families.”
But this is an opportunistic and wholly shallow article the intent of which is to fill space by linking events on Cleveland to British readers. Philips then writes:
And this week Kate’s pain must be even more acute as the discovery of three women held captive in an American house for 10 years can only have reignited hope that Madeleine may too one day be found.
The tabloids never say how such events give hope to Andrew Gosden’s parents, Charlene Downes’s loved ones or Ben Needham’s mother. The points of reference have been set. Madeleine McCann is the benchmark for all missing children.
Philips ploughs on:
Like Kate McCann, the mothers of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, had fought tirelessly to keep the stories of their missing daughters in the public eye in the hope that one day it might help bring them home.
Amanda Berry’s mother was led up the garden path by psychics. Gina DeJesus’s father campaigned tirelessly, marking the anniversary of her disappearance with a rally. We know next to nothing of Michelle Knight. Philips makes an assumption.
Gina DeJesus’ mother Nancy Ruiz had plastered posters of her missing daughter all around the neighbourhood after she went missing aged 14 as she walked home one day from school. One of the posters somehow made it into the home where she was chained up.
However bad her life must have been in that suburban dungeon – and it must have been horrific – there must have been some crumb of comfort for Gina knowing her mum was still looking for her, waiting for her to return.
Oh, please. The kidnapped teen got a crumb of comfort from a poster that points to what she didn’t have, what was ripped from her? That’s comforting? It sounds more like torture.
Just as Amanda Berry’s mother Louwana Miller scoured the streets for her daughter until she made herself sick and finally died, broken-hearted, seven years ago.
And that is why Kate McCann cannot give up her search, however painful it might be.
Even if it is the remotest chance, she has to ensure if Madeleine is alive she knows her mother is waiting for her.
How does she ensure what Madeleine knows that, then?
These mothers were all extraordinary in their own way in refusing to stop fighting for their missing daughters.
No. They were not ALL extraordinary. They did exactly what any rational, loving mother would be expected to if their child vanished. They are ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances.
But in another way they were totally ordinary – isn’t it what any mother would hope to do in this situation? And that’s what is extraordinary about motherhood – the superhuman strength it gives to women.
Philips has thus managed to make the extraordinary story ordinary. Who dare say tabloids only deal in sensationalism?
“The nightmare is over,” Cleveland FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony said during a press conference yesterday in Ohio. For Kate McCann the nightmare goes on until she either dies herself or Madeleine is found.
Every day she must relive the nightmare for Madeleine, just as the mothers of Amanda, Gina and Michelle did for 10 years. In doing so, these dedicated women are an inspiration to mothers everywhere.
They inspire mothers to be, erm, ordinary?
MADELEINE MCCANN: the sixth anniversary of her vanishing looms. The Express and Star lead with the McCanns, ‘Our Maddie’s parents. Kate and Gerry McCann.
The Star leads with the news that April Jones is in their prayers.
Tracey Kandohla reports on the “low-key” church service to remember Madeleine McCann.
Tearful Kate and Gerry spared a thought for the tragic youngster and her family despite their own heartache.
AS summer looms, so the tabloids press f9 on the keyboard and turn to the unresolved story of Madeleine McCann. On page 35, the Sun reports on the missing child’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann’s visit to the ITV’s Daybreak sofa.
In “McCANNS BAN KIDS’ SLEEPOVER – Maddie parents’ fears”, the Sun reports:
MADELEINE McCann’s parents have revealed how they haven’t changed their missing girl’s bedroom – nearly six years after she was abducted. Her mother Kate said she seeks comfort at her village church in Rothley, Leicestershire – and in their daughter’s room.
And so the story stagnates.
Says Kate McCann:
“Sometimes people ask me if there will ever come a time when I change that room and it’s difficult because in your head that indicates moving on and I’m not there.”
Neither are the tabloids.
And now mum Kate, speaking ahead of the sixth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance on Friday, has admitted she hardly lets twins Sean and Amelie out of sight. Kate said: “They haven’t had any sleepovers with friends and I know that goes on a lot.
And so to Friday.
Sky News: “Madeleine McCann’s Parents ‘Closer’ To Truth”
Madeleine McCann’s parents say a police review into their daughter’s disappearance is making “excellent progress” as they mark the sixth anniversary since she went missing.
In an interview with Sky News, Kate and Gerry McCann asked the public to remain vigilant about possible sightings and talked about adapting to life without Madeleine…
“With the review the Met have been doing over the last two years I think we are closer to finding out what happened,” Gerry McCann said.
“But for Kate and I until we find Madeleine or the person responsible then we’re still miles away.”
The couple thanked the public for their “tremendous support”, and urged people travelling abroad to keep vigilant about possible sightings of Madeleine.
“Someone knows – not just the people involved in the crime. Other people will know as well, or will be strongly suspicious,” said Kate.
Her husband added: “The key message is – if someone thinks they’ve seen Madeleine, contact police straight away.”
Daily Record: “McCann family to mark six year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance with low-key ceremony”
THE couple will read prayers and poems while remembering Madeleine at a service in the centre of Rothley. Earlier this week Kate and Gerry vowed to continue their search for her.
Can you be low-key and trail the service in the tabloids?
Today marks the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann… The little girl was snatched from her holiday apartment as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.
Madeleine’s parents have refused to give up hope that they might find their daughter as they prepare to mark the sixth anniversary of her disappearance…
“Probably the last couple of years it’s been a new normality,” said Mr McCann. “We have adapted to our situation. There isn’t so much intrusion and we’re not in the public eye very much so those pressures have disappeared. The thing for Kate and I was always about having a proper search and turning over every stone and we feel like that is being done.”
And on it goes…
THE 62-year-old arrested as part of an investigation into the alleged abduction of a three-year-old girl at Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, has been released on bail. The Press Association has sent that news to all publishers.
The man has been bailed to return to Milton Keynes police station in early May. He’s not been charged with any offence. He is simply helping police with their enquiries.
THE Daily Star’s alleged “NEW MADDIE CHILD SNATCHER” is said by the Sun to be one James Lawlor, a 62-year-old father of two. He was arrested at his London home after a British man claimed he had stopped a man taking his three-year-old daughter from a shopping mall in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote.
The Sun has more:
Landscape gardener Lawlor lives in Harrow with cleaner wife Ann, 56, and has two daughters — solicitor Rowena, 27, and council worker Denise, 22.
Madeleine McCann: appeal leads to arrest of man suspected of attempting kidnap in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
“HUNT FOR NEW MADDIE FIEND,” declares the Daily Star’s front-page headline.
Keyan Milanian reports:
A BRIT has spoken of the “shocking” moment his daughter was caught up in a suspected kidnap bid that mirrored the Madeleine McCann case.
A child was asleep in her rented apartment? Her parents were out? Then she vanished? And what of Ben Needham?
The dad of three, from Milton Keynes, Bucks, had been shopping on holiday in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, when his girl vanished.
He spotted her flashing trainers disappearing round a corner.
She was wearing them:
He told the Daily Star: “There was a man leading her off by the wrist. I shouted, ‘Oi! What the f*** are you doing?’ I grabbed her but he wouldn’t make eye contact and walked off. I think she was in shock and knew something was very wrong.”
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the missing child in the news. As another anniversary of her vanishing approaches, the mainstream media one again picks up the story:
The Sun: “Marathon gun nut’s threat to kill Kate”
Cops probe vile web death threat to mum of missing Madeleine
Who has threatened to murder Kate McCann? And why?
A SICK internet troll has threatened to gun down Kate McCann as she runs the London Marathon, it emerged yesterday.
MADELEINE McCCAN: Police are ‘hunting’ for 6 British cleaners. The Sun leads with :
“Maddie: hunt for 6 Brit cleaners”
These cleaners were working in Portugal around the time the child vanished. And, erm, that’s pretty much it.
Although, these six cleaners could be as many as eight.
DO you know Russell Hobbs? What about Morphy Richards? Following news of a family of kettle thieve in Cyprus, who was accompanied by a child the victim claims looked like Madeleine McCann, the Express announces:
Calls to DNA test ‘Madeleine McCann’ in Cyprus
A BRITISH girl who sparked an inquiry in Cyprus because she looks like Madeleine McCann should be DNA tested, police say.
Only, she “fled” with the alleged crooks.
Cypriot police chief Paris Paraskeva said it is unlikely the girl is Madeleine but the simple check should be done just in case.
What is this simple check?
Today the Sunday Express can disclose the mysterious circumstances which triggered the inquiry, now involving Scotland Yard detectives reviewing the Maddie files.
Just as we disclosed them last week:
In October last year a British couple and three children, the Madeleine lookalike and two boys aged two and seven, rented an apartment in Ayia Napa, a place popular with British tourists on the south-eastern tip of Cyprus.
Then they left.
After they left the supervisor of the property noticed some items were missing, including a kettle, and told the owner, who made a complaint to local police.
The police didn’t take it all that seriously. Then the alleged victim recalled that the child in this runners looked like
Lord Lucan, Shergar Madeleine McCann. So:
They issued an arrest warrant for the couple and alerted airports and ports. The day before the arrest warrant was issued, February 7, it appears the family flew to Britain.
Got that? The family with the most wanted child on the planet “fled” to…Britain.
Then another man claimed he spotted Our Maddie with the kettle bandits:
The Greek Cypriot man thought a picture with the article showing how Madeleine would look now looked remarkably like the girl who had been his neighbour. He begged police to investigate, telling officers: “I think the girl living next door to me was Madeleine McCann.”
So. The man who owns the house who allegedly got ripped off by the rent-dodgers says the child was Madeleine McCann. And the next-door neighbour – who might know that hard-done-by owner – says he knew it was her, too.
Call the cops!
Inspector Paraskeva told the Sunday Express: “We took the report very seriously and then realised the address was the same as for the couple we were looking for. It was quite a coincidence.”
No ****, Sherlock.
“I asked my officers to do checks with schools to see if the girl was registered anywhere and we were lucky because she had been at a school in Ayia Napa. We got a photograph of the girl and her birth certificate which showed she was 12, several years older than Madeleine would be now.”
“We knew the family had left the island, so we informed Interpol and I sent them the picture of the girl and her birth certificate.”
You called Interpol about a family that hadn’t paid a bill? A family who nicked a kettle?
Interpol! Under ‘Crime Areas” in the Interpol website, we could find no section for Kettle Bandits. We did find a spot about “FUGITIVES“:
One of our most powerful tools in tracking international fugitives is the Red Notice. This seeks the provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition and is circulated to police in all our member countries. Red notices contain identification details and judicial information about the wanted person.
What about “TRAFFICKING IN ILLICIT goods”?
Trafficking in illicit goods, is a generic term used by INTERPOL to describe all types of illicit trade. It includes such practices as counterfeiting (trademark infringements), piracy (copyright infringements), smuggling of legitimate products and tax evasion. Selling fake or counterfeit products as the real thing is one aspect of this crime; so is selling genuine goods on the black market to avoid paying taxes.
No kettles mentioned. Indeed, a Red Notice was not issued for the Kettle Bandits.
Inspector Paraskeva adds:
“I had the name of the girl and an address where the family were staying in England and that has all been given to Interpol, so I assume that the police in England will have checked it out. They have not contacted me back, so I do not know what is happening.”
Chances are it’s gone to the very top.
“We also showed the picture of the girl to the Greek Cypriot man and he confirmed it was the child who had been living next door. When he compared the picture with the one in the magazine he was not so sure it was definitely Madeleine but we all felt it was still worth investigating.”
Good for him.
“If the couple had been on the island and we had arrested them and then received this report, we would have asked the girl to provide a DNA sample for testing. We have the DNA profile of Madeleine so we could have done it quite quickly. I would think that Interpol or British police would do this when they speak to the family just to rule it out.”
Hold on a moment. The adults are accused of doing a runner and nicking kettle who you will swab an innocent child? Run! And God Speed…
TO Cyprus, where Madeleine McCann has been spotted. Maybe. The Financial Mirror reports:
Cyprus police have confirmed local media reports of a sighting of a child that looked like missing girl Madeleine McCann, informing Interpol that the child may have been part of a British family that has already fled the island.
ON Thursday last, Tony Bennett, 65, was given a three months prison sentence suspended for one year for publishing claims that Kate and Gerry McCann caused their daughter Madeleine’s death. There is, of course, no proof that the child has died. There is no evidence whatsoever that the McCanns had any part in any death. All we know is that the innocent child is missing.
Mr Justice Tugendhat found Bennett guilty of contempt of court.
“I am sure that he intended to allege that the claimants are to be suspected of causing the death of their daughter, and did in fact dispose of her body, lie about what happened and covered up what they had done. It is essential for the rule of law that injunctions and court orders be obeyed. It can’t be an answer that the person who is giving an undertaking or subject to an injunction can ignore it with impunity while it is in force.”
Madeleine McCann: Gerry McCann says ‘Madeleine and her safety is often treated with complete contempt’
MADELEINE McCANN: Kate and Gerry McCann want Lord Leveson proposals on media regulation be implemented in full.
They should not get their way. Press Freedom means what it says. No buts. Why should journalists be held to ethical and moral standards imposed by others? You only need a access to the internet and an opinion to be a journalist. You might not be a good one, but the public will be the judges.
Why should a human being not need a license to express a view? True, writers must be held to account for what they /we say. But freedom of expression cannot be ring-fenced. You cannot cause offence to no-one.
MADELEINE McCann was not in New Zealand. The DNA taken from an innocent child in New Zealand proved that she was not stolen by her parents. Kiwi police then told media:
“Given that there is conclusive evidence that their daughter is not Madeleine McCann and has no connection to Madeleine McCann, it is only right that she and her family are entitled to a level of privacy that most of us enjoy.”
Blimey! They needed to prove their child was theirs. Nice.
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news. Why? Well, the Daily Star has news:
MADELEINE MCCANN PARENTS WANT JAIL FOR EX-SOLICITOR’S ‘SLUR’
It’s Tony Bennettt. Regular Anorak readers will know why comments on this story are not enabled.
Doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, both 44, claim Tony Bennett, 65, is in contempt of court for breaching promises that he would not repeat the allegations.
Bennett has accused Gerry and Kate McCann of covering up their daughter’s death.
Can it be true? Is it possible that missing Madeleine McCann still sells newspapers? (Surely, ‘been found alive and well’ – ed.) The sub-headline is no less informative:
“Scotland Yard has new pictures that seem to show Madeleine in Brazil.”
IS Madeleine McCann in New Zealand? The New Zealand Herald reports:
Senior Sergeant John Fookes told local media police were informed of the sighting on New Year’s Eve and about 70 police officers were instructed to look out for the girl.
MADELEINE McCann: Gerry McCann has called for all the recommendations raised in Lord Leveson’s Report on media standards to be made State sanctioned. He and his wife Kate McCann undoubtedly suffered at the hands of a voracious media. Others also suffered.
Daily Express: “JENNY MURAT: KATE MCCANN PRINTED SUCH AWFUL THINGS ABOUT MY ROBERT IN HER MADELEINE BOOK”
THE Daily Mirror asks on its front page: “DID He Take Maddy?” It’s Raymond Hewlett, the convicted and dead paedophile. The Mirror says “Cold case cops to quiz Bris about child rapist.”
Hewlett is the man who died. He’s the man who never did make a death bed confession (the Sun said he did – he didn’t) but maintained he’d never met the missing child. Despite no evidence linking the child rapist to Madeleine McCann’s vanishing, Hewlett was labelled the “Maddie paedo”, a “person of interest“, the “Maddie paedophile” and “Maddie Pervert”.
MADDIE MCCANN PRIVATE EYES CALLED OF (sic)
James Murray and Tracey Kandohia have no news:
KATE and Gerry McCann are no longer employing private detectives to search for their missing daughter Madeleine
Daily Mail (front page): “April’s family release poignant new photos as hope for her fades”
Daily Mirror (front page): I saw April driven off”
“Witness says he was the last to see her alive”
Armchair detectives know that the last person to see anyone live is a suspect in that person’s unexplained demise. But April Jones might be alive. We don’t know.
AN OAP saw a car speed away from the spot where April Jones vanished. The distraught 70-year-old said moments earlier he had seen her playing with pals but she suddenly disappeared. As the hunt for April, five, became a murder inquiry yesterday, he added: “I’m kicking myself that I did not raise the alarm.”
YOU never saw Kate Middleton’s breasts on the news. You never saw the Innocence of Muslims film on the news. And on This is Leicester, you can’t see the tweet that triggered the headline:
Outrage at Frankie Boyle’s offensive Madeleine McCann comment on Twitter
Comedian Frankie Boyle has been under attack for making a “deeply offensive” comment about Madeleine McCann on Twitter
MADDIE MCCANN MAY HAVE BEEN WATCHED FROM BALCONY, WITNESS TELLS YARD
James Murray has more:
A KEY witness with potentially vital evidence about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has just been interviewed by a Scotland Yard detective on the cold case review team.
TOM Rawstorne has a question for Daily Mail readers – and it involves Madeleine McCcann:
Is Maddie the reason this girl was taken into care? Portuguese police say her British parents were too drunk to look after her… but the explanation could be more sinister
We meet Stephen Street, 42, and Colette McPartland, 37. They live in Portugal. They used to live with their daughter Scarlett, 2. She’s been taken into care. Rawstorne sums up the story:
…local police claim, the two English teachers — who have lived in Portugal for the past five years — had been drinking so heavily that Ms McPartland could not stand. Their child, meanwhile, had been left to run wild. At one stage, it is alleged, it was only the intervention of a passer-by that prevented Scarlett from running on to a busy road nearby. As a result, Scarlett was taken from the couple, bundled into a police car and driven to the local police station, where she was found to be wet, hungry and thirsty.
Bundled. The language has shifted. When the Mail first reported the story, it said:
Police claim the British couple were drinking white wine at a bar in Portugal while their daughter Scarlett played 100 yards away. Eyewitnesses claim they were staggering around.
We were told:
But there was no sign of them yesterday at their cramped ground-floor flat near to the square where they went drinking.
THE ANNECY Lake murders: the murders of four people in the French Alps have been knocked off the front pages by the London 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony. Feel good beats a murder mystery. But there are reports:
The Telegraph tweets: “Alps shootings: police widen cordon around al-Hilli family home in Claygate, ask neighbours to leave houses.”
The Times has a Q&A, which is more Q than A:
Q. “Were the Hillis victims of a carjacking that went wrong?”
A: “…Investigators say it is possible…”
Q. “Was Saad al-Hilli a target for professional hitmen?”
A. “…investigators say it is also possible.”
Q. “Could a family feud have led to the massacre?”
A. the murders have “left investigators questioning whether it could really have been carried out by, or on the instructions of, a relative”
Q. “Are there other theories?”
See this straw plucking from the Guardian:
The theory of a lone killer driven by psychopathic, religious or racial hatred is, perhaps, one of France’s worst fears in the aftermath of the Annecy shootings. It would take the country back to the dark days earlier this year when Mohamed Merah, who claimed links to Islamic extremism, went on three separate killing sprees in and around the south-western city of Toulouse.
Q. “What evidence points to a professional hitman?”