Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: A Long Story

Madeleine McCann: A Long Story

by | 16th, May 2007

MADELEINE McCann: a tale of urban myth, xenophobia, and baseless accusations. Carol Sarler in the Times:

Down there in the aching panic of Portugal, there are many things they do not need. Investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is not helped by psychics, prurience, false sightings or – at least as distracting from useful effort – by the intrusion of urban myth. And yet, over the past ten days, we have watched it flourish with unedifying ease.

The first mention I heard was on the Today programme, when Kerry Grist was invited to resurrect memories of the disappearance of her 21-month-old son, Ben Needham, 16 years ago on Kos. Still her main suspect, she said, is the huge, organised trade – involving everyone from social workers to (of course) gypsies – wherein children are stolen then sold to the childless. Astonishingly, Today offered no challenge whatsoever to this assertion; not so much as a gentle question.

Within days, this “organised trade” took its place in the wild line-up of theories relevant to Madeleine. Phone-in hosts let it into discourse, again unchallenged, as did tabloid speculation; by the weekend, even The Sunday Times, also revisiting the Needham case, bought it. It stated as fact, that, with special preference for blue-eyed blondes, “Racketeers are known to have abducted toddlers in Greece to sell to wealthy childless couples”. Really? So show me the case studies. OK, just a couple, then. Even just the one . . . anybody?

Posted: 16th, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (7) | TrackBack | Permalink