Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: Saville Kent, Fictional Detectives And D-Day II

Madeleine McCann: Saville Kent, Fictional Detectives And D-Day II

by | 17th, July 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann returns to the nation’s front pages.

No mention is made of Robert Murat’s libel settlement with 11 British organs (more on that later), just the Mirror’s news: “MADDY – Law chief: It’s D-Day on Monday.”

D-Day – much like the Sun’s Maddy D-Day on 29th, November 2007, only more decisive.


THE GUARDIAN: “D-day close in McCann investigation”

Says Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann:

“We have not been told this and we will not prejudge what he has to say. If the case is to be shelved, as has been suggested, clearly Kate and Gerry’s arguido status must be lifted.”

THE SUN: “’Solution’ in Maddie case”

PORTUGAL’S Attorney-General said yesterday he will announce a “solution” to the Madeleine McCann investigation on Monday.

A solution?

Fernando Pinto Monteiro’s comments raised the prospect that Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry may discover if they will be formally cleared over her disappearance.


They also fuelled speculation the case could be drawing to a close.


DAILY MAIL: “The first whodunnit: How the murder of a three-year-old boy gave us the fictional detectives we know today.”

It’s 1860.

It wasn’t until just after 5am that Saturday that Elizabeth Gough – the family’s 22-year-old nursemaid, who looked after the three smallest children of factory inspector Samuel Kent – woke up, and noticed that one of her charges, three-year-old Saville Kent wasn’t in his cot on the other side of her room…


But the child had not found his way to his mother’s bed – far from it. He had disappeared. By 8am, a full scale search of the grounds had begun, with a reward of £10 (worth about £650 today) being offered by Samuel Kent to anyone who found his youngest son.

Less than an hour after the search had begun two local men, William Nutt, a shoemaker, and Thomas Benger, a farmer, opened the door of a servants’ privy set among dense shrubbery to the left of the house’s great gravel drive. The two men peered inside, and saw a pool of blood on the floor.


Lifting the lid of the privy, and peering into the darkness, Benger saw what looked like a blanket. When he reached down to pick it up, he found it was soaked in blood.

About two feet beneath the privy’s seat – on the wooden ‘splashboard’ that partly blocked the descent into the pit beneath – lay the body of Saville Kent.

As Benger lifted the boy’s body out of the privy, his head tipped back to expose the clean cut across his neck. ‘His little head fell off, almost,’ Nutt said later…


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 – not least because of intense public speculation and rumour about life behind the closed doors of that most respectable of houses in the gentle Wiltshire countryside.


So began one of the most dramatic murder cases in British history, a crime that inspired the murder mysteries of the Victorian authors Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle – and which has just been brought memorably back to life in the book, The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher, by Kate Summerscale – which was awarded the £30,000 BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize on Tuesday. It is also set to be turned into a major television drama for ITV.

How the British love a good child crime show…

Posted: 17th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (148) | TrackBack | Permalink