Anorak News | Madeleine McCann, Malta Fever And Seeing Is Believing

Madeleine McCann, Malta Fever And Seeing Is Believing

by | 22nd, June 2007

madeleine-mccann-11.jpgMADELEINE McCann has been seen.

“MADELEINE IS SPOTTED 5 TIMES IN MALTA,” says the Express’s front-page headline.

It’s a sighting confirmed by the Star (“MADDIE’S SPOTTED 5 TIMES IN MALTA”), and heralded by the front pages of the Sun (“5 ‘MADDIE’ SIGHTINGS IN MALTA”) and the Mirror (“MADELEINE ‘SPOTTED 5 TIMES’ IN MALTA”).

Look And See

The only differences between the papers are grammatical. While the Express reports the sightings as a statement of fact and the Sun continues to use its pet name for the missing girl, the Mirror is more circumspect.

It knows that any news of Madeleine is of interest to its readers but recognises that it is all far from being established truth. The Mirror also knows that it was one its journalists who told the Portuguese police that she found Robert Murat, suspect number one, creepy.

Said Lori Campbell of the Sunday Mirror: “When he was talking to me he was vague about his background.”

Campbell did the right thing in going to the police. But in telling the world she put herself in the story and exposed Murat. He and not the search for Madeleine became news.

The Night Jar

Over in Malta, a series of witnesses claim to have seen Madeleine in the company of two adults. A police source on the island tells us of a “full-scale inquiry us taking place”. The Sun calls it a “HUGE SEARCH”.

All the island’s policeman have been equipped with posters of Madeleine. Posters have been stuck to buildings. Questions are being asked of locals and tourists.

The Sun hears from Ray Roberts, a British tourist. It is late at night. He sees a girl with an Arabic-looking man in his 40s and a younger women. The child appears to be wearing a black wig. She trips. “Get up, little girl,” says the man in broken English. “They were strange,” says Roberts, “it just jarred.”

This was not the first sighting. That was back last weekend, when another British couple were certain they had seen the blonde child in the island’s capital Valletta. They agreed to make a sworn statement to a magistrate, thus allowing an official investigation.

The Mail says the story made it to front page of a Maltese newspaper, triggering another four people to call the police and say they had seen Madeleine.

Seeing Things

So was it her? As the Mail notes, sighting of the girl have been made in Spain, Morocco and even Wales. The Star talks of “hundreds of reports of sightings”.

But are any of them her? All of them? Only last week, we were reading that Madeleine’s body was located a few miles from Praia da Luz, the resort from where she had gone missing. A Spanish journalist was telling us how he knew who had taken her. Robert Murat was talking on the phone late at night. He was using a rented car and bouncing on bouncy castles. Sergey Malinka was a Russian geek.

But for all the talk and the sightings and the finger pointing, there has been no confirmed report of Madeleine. There remains only one suspect.

Everyone wants Madeleine found. Some will want to find her themselves, to claim the reward and achieve no little fame. Some may even fabricate sightings to keep Madeleine’s name in the news. They are on the parents’ side, doing their bit.

But knowing all this serves no purpose. It will not help to solve the crime. In reading of such things, any criminal able to smuggle a child from Portugal to Malta would have moved the girl or worse.

In the mystery of Madeleine McCann, the story has become the news…

Posted: 22nd, June 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (108) | TrackBack | Permalink