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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: spotted in 90 countries; Netflix is ill; and the making of Our Maddie

kate mccann maddie

“How much worse can it get for the Portugal travel and tourism industry?” asks one website in response to the eight-part Netflix drama, a feast on the Madeleine McCann story. The question is left unanswered. But we can guess because when it comes to the media’s ‘Our Maddie’, aside from the single fact – child vanishes – guessing is all we have.

The Tab taps into the media narrative of a Maddie in every county, by telling us “These are all the Maddie McCann ‘sightings’ since she went missing in 2007”. Spoiler alert: she’s not been spotted anywhere since she vanished. Other children have. But not her. The last few years have thrown up very few ‘sighting’ but by 20011, the innocent child who vanished had been spotted in India, Canada, ItalySwedenPortugalSpain,  Morocco, Majorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItaly, Germany, Australia, France, DubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (by boat). The Tab has more but, unhelpfully, without links:

Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, The Gambia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ibiza, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The world is full of sleuths and suspects. And Maddies. And you can play along. Irish website Extra invites its readers to play armchair detective. The headline appears to be more suggestive than a puppy sat by a pile of poo: “HERE ARE THE 48 QUESTIONS KATE MCCANN DIDN’T ANSWER ABOUT MADDIE’S DISAPPEARANCE.” Stop Press: before you read on and start speculating, Kate McCann is not a suspect in her daughter’s vanishing. Gerry McCann is not a suspect. Both are innocent. In fact, there are no suspects. Everybody is innocent.

Not that this is all about an alleged crime. It isn’t even about the McCanns as real people – not since Madeleine McCann, the name her parents call her by, was reworked into ‘Maddie’ by a press pushed for headline space and concerned the story of the missing English blonde might sound a bit, you know, French. This is entertainment.

Get this in the Mail: “Madeleine McCann’s parents are ‘furious’ after retired detective repeats claim in new Netflix series that they put toddler’s life at risk by publicising her distinctive eye mark.” After the fury, the story:

Gerry and Kate McCann, both 51, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were said to be livid that Goncalo Amaral has again said the three-year-old’s life was endangered after the couple revealed the distinctive mark in her eye.

The abductor may have felt forced to kill the toddler after the mark was publicised, Mr Amaral, 59, suggested, due to her being easily identified.
Mr Amaral, who led the police investigation into the 2007 Praia de Luz disappearance, originally made the comments in a book he wrote in 2008.

He said it over ten years ago. An unnamed source tells the Sunday Mirror: “Mr Amaral doesn’t seem to have any compassion for Kate and Gerry and is only interested in publicising himself. To criticise them for doing ­everything they could to help find their daughter is insensitive in the extreme… If there is any defamatory content in there then, of course, they will consider what next steps need to be taken.”

A reported statement from the McCanns – via Digital Spy – reads:

“The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate.We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it. Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.”

And on and on it goes. Screw the lowered ambition of a trite documentary. Why not go for the theatre play? The Mousetrap could use a rival.

Posted: 17th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: TV at its most pathetic

mccann maddie podcast

Netflix’s Madeleine McCann documentary was full of shocks and theories from experts in ‘Our Maddie’ Studies (OMS). So dire was the that the missing child’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, refused to take part. How can you fill an eight-part TV show if the people who knew the subject best won’t say anything new? Will eight hours of grainy footage, newspaper cuttings and speculation be enough to keep subscribers tuned in to a show without end?

The director wants “to take the viewer on the journey that the public went on”. This is what happens when you watch the X Factor too often: you realise a journey can lead nowhere.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann opted for timeline over insight. So we get Madeleine McCann jetting off on her hols; Madeleine McCann playing on her hols; Madeleine McCann going missing on her hols; get the full glossary of OMS terms – Cuddle Cat, Tapas 7, Arguido, Amaral – and then lots of ‘Our Maddie’, and how the British child became public property and a docu-drama on pay-for-view US telly.

The single thread story spun by a voracious media was all Netflix had and it wasn’t going to bother finding anything more.

If you know what happened to her, call the police. If you want to see a crime show, watch an Agatha Christie.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Netflix show says actors kidnapped child

madeleine mccann netflix

There’s a  “Maddie shocker” on the Daily Star’s cover. The paper doesn’t tell you what it is until you reach page 13. That location’s a clue, isn’t it. It tells us that the story isn’t shocking and certainly doesn’t reveal what happened to Madeleine McCann back in May 2007.  But let’s take the bait and flick through…

The story is about that new Netflix drama into the child’s vanishing. It will, says the marketing and the tabloid, “contain explosive new claims”. They’d best be good. We’ve heard some pretty edgy stuff in the decade and more since a 4-year-old girl on holiday became ‘Our Maddie’.

The Mail also trails the show. It tells us: “Haunting last footage of Madeleine McCann boarding a plane to Portugal with her family days before her disappearance is unearthed in new Netflix documentary.” Haunting because..? No reasons are given. She didn’t go missing on the plane to The Algarve. She didn’t board the plan and then – poof!  – vanish. It’s not haunting to see the child on the plane’s steps. It’s ghoulish.  

On page 29, the Mail conducts an interactive study. “Is this Maddie playing in Portugal just days before she vanished.” Before. Not after. So let’s say ‘yes’, it is her. Because a four-years-old on holiday will do a lot of playing. The Mail says the image of a child seen from the back who might or might be Madeleine McCann is “haunting”. The Mail sees ghosts where the rest of us see a flesh and blood child, and a mystery most likely rooted in the criminal rather than the supernatural.

Indeed, as part of Netflix’s armchair detective show, we see a “dramatic reconstruction of Maddie’s abductors…running through the resort’s streets with a child in their arms.” These kidnappers are played by “actors”. This is no CCTV footage of this as an actual event. And for reasons uncertain, the “couple” seen carrying a child in plain view constitute one man (brown skinned; 30-ish; jeans and trainers) and one woman (white; 30-ish, headscarf). Why they’re portrayed like this is unsaid. But, you know, telly. And it’s hard to get Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to patch up their differences, even if it is to help with an open case. Also, very few actors resemble this early suspect:

One artist’s impression of the suspect

The “fleeing couple” also look not a lot like these “suspects”:

belgium-suspect1

Picture 1 of 6

If The Dandy comic did abductions

But there has been a breakthrough. Over in the Sun we get the answer to the Mail’s question. “Maddie,” says the paper, “New pic playing on hols.” Not now. Way back then.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Netflix and Maddie Podcast in ratings battle

mccann maddie podcast

Netflix and chill to the Maddie McCann documentary soon-to-be streamed to your living rooms. It’ll be a show that tugs hard on the single-thread story: child vanishes. What light it will shed on the vanishing is clear to anyone whose followed the story since May 2007, when the British child disappeared on a family holiday to Portugal. None. This is entertainment. Child vanishes, possibly abducted and, if the media narrative is right, maybe sold into slavery and sexually abused. Netflix and chill.

Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have taken no part in the show, say reports. But they’ll know about it, and if the McCanns take out a Netflix subscription they can watch it and thereby find out if Maddie is a hit.

But who needs to wait for Netflix’s hot take when the ‘Our Maddie’ show has barely paused for breath since it first aired on May 3 2007. On today’s 9News (Australia) you can read: “Top Maddie cop: ‘I’ve seen nothing to make me think Gerry and Kate McCann had something to do with daughter’s disappearance’.” Well, d’uh. If you had done, Mr Top Cop, you’d have surely questioned them about it. But the bigger question remains: can you build a media career on knowing nothing?

Before we hear from Jim Gamble, the former head of Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP), know this: “Maddie is currently the number one podcast on Australia’s iTunes chart, reaching that spot inside of 24 hours of launch.” We’re Number 1!

In episode two of Maddie, Nine.com.au’s new podcast investigating Madeleine’s disappearance, Gamble outlined the profilers’ mission, and potential crime scene scenarios his team explored.

“When the case first began to unravel … I began to simply watch the news feed and then get direct feedback from our team on the ground,” Gamble said. “Being a police officer, I am a cynic… I believe that any good investigator clears the ground beneath their feet. So of course the first people you suspect are the parents, because they are there, they are in proximity, it is their child. Did I believe at the beginning that the parents could possibly have done it? Yes. As time went on, did I see evidence that supported that hypothesis? No, I did not.”

Adding apropos of ‘ME!’:

“Now that’s not to say that something couldn’t turn up in the future where I think: ‘Oh flip, you know I was right in the beginning and I’m wrong now’. But I’ve seen nothing, been briefed on nothing and heard nothing that would make me think that Gerry and Kate McCann [had] something to do with their daughter’s disappearance.”

What utter balls. Speculation is not news. But enough of that old copper because here comes another one. The Mail hears the plod of shiny boots on media studio carpet: “Friend of Kate McCann slams retired police chief who said their claims Maddie was abducted through their apartment window raised a ‘red flag’.”

A family friend to Kate McCann has slammed claims made by a top superintendent that the story around her disappearance raises ‘red flags’.
In a podcast by 9 News, retired superintendent Peter MacLeod cast doubt on the logistics of an abductor theory and said it would have been ‘difficult’ for a kidnapper to have entered the Praia da Luz apartment as three-year-old Madeleine slept. However a friend of the family refuted the ‘spurious allegations’ and the suggestion that Madeleine’s parents, from Rothley, Leicestershire, had anything to do with her kidnapping.

The family “friend” remains nameless, as ever it was. The Mail quotes McLeod:

During the podcast, titled Maddie, the retired police chief said: ‘The window is only an absolutely maximum 50cm wide, in reality 46 wide, and it’s already a metre off the ground. I had a look at that and my shoulders are wider than that little window. So although you could climb in sideways you certainly can’t jump in if you are a normal sized person.’

[Size of his shoulders unstated but available on request.]

‘I frankly do not think it’s possible. It would be difficult enough to get yourself in. You’d have to grab hold of windows, grab hold of things. Then you’ve got to pick up a child without waking it up without waking the other two children. I do not think it can be done, or let me put it another way, I do not see how anyone could do it.’

Insight be damned!

A “friend to the McCann family” tells the Sun: “Spurious allegations discussing what might have and might not have happened that night have been made umpteen times. Anybody can do a podcast, it doesn’t mean it’s right, and one spouting off about what they did and subsequently said is something quite frankly they will ignore. What would he know?”

Well ignored. And now for the main event… which will be right after over a decade of prequels…

Posted: 6th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: three cops; one source; and freedom of no information request

maddie mccann reward

There’s been very little news of Madeleine McCann. The story has lost its push. But the Star and other tabloids plough gamely on, waiting for an new fact to add to the only one we know: child vanishes.

The Star, Sun and Mail all bring news that police were “secretly investigated for misconduct”. To the Star and Sun they are “Madeleine McCann cops”, part of the missing child’s private and personalised police force. The Mail and Star’s stories are based entirely on the Sun’s.

The Sun’s scoop tells readers that the police officers who worked on the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance were accused of “neglect or failure in their duty”. The Sun sums up:

Each officer was accused of “neglect or failure in their duty” while working on the Met Police’s £12million investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. But two allegations were not upheld and one was later withdrawn after Scotland Yard found there was no case to answer.

It is not clear if the complaints were made by members of the public or Madeleine’s family.

Sources even hinted that internet trolls could be responsible.

We know that no officers did anything wrong thanks to a freedom of information request. And after the facts, we get the theorising in the Star:

Madeleine’s parents Kate, 50, and Gerry, 49, of Rothley, Leics, believe their girl, who would now be 16, could still be alive.

Believe. Could. Guexses and hunches in place of news and facts.

And in the Sun we get an unnamed “source “to tell us:

One said: “Because the precise details of the allegations aren’t made public, it’s entirely possible good officers have been subjected to a complaints process even though there may be little merit in the allegations against them.”

There may be little merit in the story; there may be some merit in the story. The source is available for comment either way…

Posted: 14th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Rangers fans, David Baddiel and ‘active leads’ keep the story moving

That the story of Madeleine McCann has taken on a life of its own is not news. The single thread story – child vanishes – has been spun. But the tabloids love to find a new angle. And they do it in the shape of David Baddiel, the comedian, who “lashes out at McCann trolls”. What he actually did was to see ‘Our Maddie’ trending on Twitter and tweet: “Most people don’t know what it’s like to lose a child and should shut the fuck up.” That’s considered polite discourse on Twitter. But a BBC comic exchanging barbs with fellow twitter users passes for news. And it allows the Star to fill half a page with no news of the missing child.

The Sun also has no news. “‘MADDIE ‘COULD BE ALIVE’,” says the headline. “Madeleine McCann investigator claims missing child could still be ALIVE and hidden in a lair.” Could. Claims. More facts? Can we handle more facts? “David Edgar is convinced Maddie was abducted by a child sex gang and could still be being held in Portugal, where she vanished 11 years ago.” Edgar pulls on his media suit and tell us: “She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time.” 

Is that the “new hope” another Sun story hints to? “NEW MADDIE HOPE,” says the paper. “Madeleine McCann parents meeting with Scotland Yard detectives to discuss TWO ‘specific and active’ new leads.”.The Mirror echoes the news: “Fresh hope in Madeleine McCann search as police pursue two vital new leads.” Both scoops stem from a “Whitehall source” telling the Daily Mail: “Metropolitan Police officers had a sit-down meeting with Madeleine’s parents to tell them exactly where they were with their inquiries. They informed them they had two specific and active leads that still needed to be chased and that although the investigation was taking longer than they initially thought officers said they were confident and hopeful they could get a result.”

Why the source is unnamed is moot. Is it a secret? What are the leads? We’re not told.

But let’s end this round-up with where we began: trolls. “‘MADDIE 0 RANGERS 21’ Madeleine McCann troll slammed after comparing £11.75m search fund to Rangers footballer’s price tag,” says the Sun. It’s a tweet the Sun is happy to reproduce:

“Cost Of Madeline McCann Search: £12,000,000
“Cost Of Alfredo Morelos: £1,000,000
“Goals For Rangers: Madeline: 0 Morelos: 21”

The Sun senses a story. “But a number of people were furious at the comparisons, replying to the post with fury,” says the paper, possibly contains its furious fury. “One person commented: ‘Not a good tweet!!!'” No. A better tweet would be from someone famous or in a position of authority. Then it could be front-page news, and they could be publicly shamed and hounded from their job. Try harder, twitter. 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Police get 6 more months to find Madeleine McCann

“YOU’VE 6 More Months to find Maddie.” You. (Me?!) Yes, you. You might qualify for the huge reward the News of The World posted for information leading to the return of the papers’ ‘Our Maddie’. But that money most likely vanished when the paper was spiked. Of course, its not really about you. The Star’s headline, which you’ve just read, refers to the police working on Operation Grange, the investigation into the child’s disappearance in May 2007.  The front-page news is that coppers have been given a further £150,000 to “chase a final line of enquiry’.

 

maddie McCann reward

No-one claimed the huge reward

 

Wondering what this final line might be, we race to page 7. We hear from the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell. He says Kate and Gerry McCann, the girl’s parents, are “very encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done in there each for the daughter.” Ergo: the police have yet to find her or what happened to her. We’re told Operation Grange has “cost taxpayers £11.75m”.  And a Home Office spokesman says money will fund the investigation until March 31 2019. Things are “ongoing”. But there not word on what the “final line of enquiry” is.

 

daily star madeleine mccann

 

As for the other tabloids which once featured Madeleine McCann on their front pages, the Sun shows her only on page 8. In a slim, short column punctuated by an advert for an M&S meal deal and news that Goldie Hawn, the actress, is still blonde at 72, we get the figures and news of that “final line of enquiry”. The Express (Page 10) adds news that police have been “secretly visiting Portugal in the past year”. But it’s not a secret is it. Its entirely expected. And in the Mail, nothing.

Madeleine McCann is missing. And that is the only thing we know.

 

Posted: 14th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The European Court of Human Rights has the final say on Amaral’s pay

McCann amaral

 

Madeleine McCann returns to the fore with news that Gonçalo Amaral, the “poisonous, grazing, shambles” ex-copper, has made money from her story. How much the Sun has made from ‘Our Maddie’ stories is not calculated, but the missing child is on the paper’s front-page once more so her face must shift copies. Amaral has apparently made £350,000 from his book, the Truth of the Lie, and a DVD. This, says the paper, is a “fortune” – the kind of money that buys a studio flat in a decent bit of London.

On page 7, we spot the McCanns, Kate and Gerry. The Sun says they’re challenging the Amaral decision at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are taking on the Portuguese State not Amaral, as the Portuguese Resident website notes. The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral’s book but saw the decision reversed on appeal – a move supported by Portugal’s Supreme Court. Contesting that ruling at the ECHR is, says the Sun, the McCann’s “final effort to avoid paying £750,000 compensation to the man who cruelly claimed Maddie’s parents covered up her death” in May 2007. The McCanns deny any part in their daughter’s disappearance.

Can the ECHR come good for the Brits? Let’s see what the Sun has had to say about the court in the past:

A third of those who have won against Britain at the European Court of Human Rights are terrorists, prisoners or criminals, figures show.Among claimants the court found in favour of since 1975 are murderers, terrorists in Iraq and IRA gunmen. It [the figures] is a response to criticisms of the Strasbourg court by Tory ministers and The Sun… Commons Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill MP said: “This is well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights. It’s mission creep, law made by judges who are not judges and many from countries with questionable human rights and very little judicial experience.” – “European Court of Killers’ Rights”, the Sun 2016.

 

 

Via ‘The Sun gets regulator reprimand and publishes correction for misleading on European human rights’ – read more about the story and the apology from Adam Wagner

 

Jon Henley wrote in 2013: “Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?”:

Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”.

An unnamed source tells the Sun: “Kate and Gerry have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour. It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter.” Best of luck. The Sun seems to doubt the court’s trustworthiness. The paper says it could be an 8-year wait for the case to be heard. The Express says the cost could be “astronomical”.

An ECHR spokesperson is quoted in the Sun: “The case McCann and Healy v Portugal is still under consideration and there is no fixed time for examining it. There is no date fixed date for any judgement or decision to be delivered.” And so it goes…

  • If you have evidence about the search for the missing child contact the police. Or you could call Amaral – the Sun says he might be planning a sequel. Meanwhile… a child is missing.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Fugitive Daley Smith lets Madeleine McCann do his PR

Daley Smith is getting to be quite famous. On the run from police, Daley Smith has now upped his game by comparing his escape to the police search for Madeleine McCann. On Facebook, Smith says he’s going to throw a party when he reaches the milestone of 100 days at large. It’s been 88 and counting. But this is about the media’s favourite missing child, and the Sun says, “Smith has sparked fury with his sick posts about Madeleine McCann”. Do we need to hear the man’s sickness?  Apparently, yes. He is “claiming: ‘It’s my personal opinion that her mum and dad covered the whole thing up’.” If the police don’t get him, doorstepping journalists, internet trolls or the McCanns’ lawyers might. (Just to state: the McCanns are not suspects.)

And now he’s added to the sickness with a poem:

“Cheshire police have got more chance of finding Madeleine Mcann [sic], I may as well be in Japan, they’ve even been harassing my nan, but everything hasn’t gone to plan. They’ve fucked with the wrong man, I feel like Peter Pan. So far I don’t know how far I’ve ran, but it’s been mad since this Journey began.”

Daley, who has been charged with possession with intent to supply class B cannabis and concerned with the supply of cocaine, according to police, seems fully aware of how using Madeleine McCann can further his own career, such as it is. Last night his account featured this ‘sick joke’:

 

daley smith mccann

Speech bubble ours

 

That message was posted after Smith found a message from someone claiming to represent ‘Kennedy News’. All the photos in the Sun’s story carry the ‘Kennedy News and Media’ watermark, which seems odd given that you can see the same images for free on Facebook.

 

daley james sun maddie mccann

 

Madeleine McCann is missing. Daley James Smith is in the papers, on tour and on Facebook.

Posted: 18th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann stars in a sick Facebook quiz and audience growth campaign

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. The Daily Record directs our gaze towards a Facebook Post we’re pretty sure nearly everyone missed. Lots of children whose names you will be more familiar with are mentioned in a post on a page run by the “Savage Banter Casuals”. Says the Mirror:

Paige Doherty and Milly Dowler among child murder victims mocked by ‘banter’ Facebook post.

And then more savage banter:

Madeline McCann, Kriss Donald, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman and Keith Bennett are included in the so called ‘humorous’ social media quizz.

 

madeleine mccann quiz

Best to stick with the tabloidese ‘Maddie’

 

That, of course, is Madeleine McCann and a ‘quiz’. It’s always bet to spell a missing child’s name correctly. But when you’re incandescent with rage, mistakes are easy to make. Thanks to the Record reading an obscure Facebook post, we get to know of a “sick and vile” Facebook quiz “making fun of child murder victims” that “has been revealed”. That’s “revealed” as in ‘read’. And also seen: “The face of each child was photoshopped on top of the English football team, with the caption: ‘Sunday night quiz, name the full 11’.”

The Record reproduces the photo:

 

madeleine mccann quiz

The sick quiz

 

And then the paper helps quizzers with the correct answers. Spoiler alert!

Clockwise, starting from the top left, the tragic kids being mocked in the post are: Madeleine McCann , Tia Sharp, Paige Doherty (pictured twice), Steven Lawrence, Milly Dowler, Kriss Donald, Sarah Payne, Jessica Chapman, Keith Bennett and Holly Wells.

 

maddie mccann

If you don’t want to know the answers, look away now.

 

We then get a small story of each horrific case, and hear from Disgusted of Facebook telling us it’s “disgusting using murdered children’s faces as a joke”. Adding:

The post has now been removed and page administrators have apologised for causing offence.

So the Facebook page is not all that “savage” then. It’s actually just adolescent, sad and apologetic.

In other news, the Daily Mirror’sAudience Growth Editor” hits the web with a story: “The Cry author says Madeleine McCann case DID inspire BBC drama.” 

The scene where they react to Noah no longer being in the car prompted many viewers to compare the the show to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Madeleine McCann went missing from her bed in a real-life horror show. Noah was made up.

In 2007, four-year-old Maddie disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal sparking a huge media campaign to find her, that’s still ongoing to this day.

Not so much. It’s more of a police investigation than a media campaign. But, sure, the media did turn the single-thread story of an innocent missing child into ‘Our Maddie’, “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

 

the cry mccann

 

The Cry author told The Herald about the inspiration for her work in a story headlined “The Cry author Helen FitzGerald on how real-life heartache inspired BBC drama”:

THERE is a moment in the first episode of new Sunday night drama The Cry when Jenna Coleman’s character, a washed-out new mother weighed down with baby, buggy and bags, struggles up the steps of her tenement flat.

“I watched it thinking – my God, that was my life,” marvels Glasgow author Helen FitzGerald, upon whose novel the new series is based.

Yes, indeed – author bases work of fiction on own life’s experiences, ideas and thoughts. Who knew? But will that help “audience growth” as much as zooming in on the Maddie McCanna angle? As the Mirror works out which missing child gets the most clicks (who needs Facebook for “sick” stuff?), we learn that like The Cry, FitzGerald’s life was set in Australia, what with her having been born there.

Australian-born FitzGerald, author of a string of successful thrillers, is certain the roots of her novel – which has been adapted by screenwriter Jacqueline Perske – lie [sic] in her experience of new motherhood.

And Madeleine McCann, right? After 15 paragraphs of how her own life shaped her work, we finally reach the Mirror’s headline news:

FitzGerald, now 52, was a teenager in Australia in 1980 when Lindy Chamberlain was wrongfully convicted of murdering her nine-week-old daughter. She claimed she saw a dingo leave the tent where Azaria was sleeping, during a family camping holiday…

In 2007, four-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz, sparking another high profile media campaign in which accusations were levelled at Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.

Adding:

“I saw Lindy speaking on television to the McCanns, giving them support and I thought – what a terrible community this is, what an awful thing by which to be bound together.”

She adds: “I have always believed both of them. But thinking about their cases made me wonder – what kind of couple would get away with something like this? What would have to be going on behind the scenes in that relationship?”

And on motherhood:

“Does anyone remember Mr Chamberlain’s name?” she says, wryly. “Lindy was incredibly naïve and open and just had no clue, and she got slaughtered by the media. Her case was really the first example of trial by television.

“Women are always the target, especially when babies are involved. No matter how much we talk about parental or gender equality, that’s what happens.”

Actually, no. We can’t recall his name. Maybe that can be a quiz question? But he’s called Gerry McCann. But, then, he’s not the inspiration for the book and the TV drama as such as Lindy Chamberlain’s story was.

Spoiler: Lindy Chamberlain’s husband was Michael Chamberlain.

Fact: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. If you know what happened to her, call the police. Please don’t speculate here.

Posted: 15th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Scotland Yard’s ‘unofficial’ investigation

Madeleine McCann – a look at reporting on the missing child. Today the Star brings ‘Our Maddie’ news on page 19. The paper says “official cash” to fund the search for the missing child has “dried up” – so “Scotland Yard  is “footing the bill”. Is Scotland Yard an unofficial outfit, a private company or some kind of rogue agency?

Reading on we get a fuller picture: the Metropolitan Police is continuing its investigation – Operation Grange – without knowing if it will get more government funds. So all that’s happening is the Met is investigating the vanishing as it would investigate any other alleged crime. An unnamed Home Office wonk is quoted as saying requests for more funds are “being considered”.

In other news: there is no news.

 

 

Posted: 4th, October 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Gerry’s tears, Pope is religious and Maddie is missing

Did you tune in to BBC Radio 4 show on fathers and daughters to hear Madeleine McCann’s father, Gerry McCann, as he “weeps uncontrollably”, as the Daily Star says he did? TV loves tears, from cake baking shows to pro-celebrity dance contests, no broadcast is complete without a close up of someone crying. But does it work for radio? In “MADDIE DAD BREAKDOWN” the Star leads with Gerry McCann saying how he “believed in heaven”. The man who along with his wife, Kate McCann, met the Pope when the hunt for his daughter was in full cry, is religious. Want more news?

 

maddie mccann

 

The front-page story continues on Page 5. The Star’s editorial says “Gerry McCann’s heartbreak over missing Madeleine must touch every parent’s heart… Listeners will have sobbed along with Gerry as his tears flowed.” All of them? Having spent 11 years watching the parents and now listening to them, many people will be interested in the actual investigation and what happened to an innocent child? Well, the Star says the Metropolitan Police should get more cash because “we may be looking for a serial offender” and “it could be money well spent”. May. Could. Reporting on the disappearance of a missing child  continues to be sensationalist and speculative.

 

maddie mccann

 

The Mirror also leads with Madeleine McCann, and news that Gerry “dreams of hugging” her again. Over pages 4 and 5, we’re told Gerry McCann wholeheartedly believes his daughter is alive – “a view backed up up by Scotland Yard’s plea for more funds to probe the mystery.” What plea? There has been some newspaper talk of funds running low and police considering applying for more. Indeed, the Star says there is a “debate” over whether police will request more funds or not. If there is a plea for money – and does Scotland Yard plea or merely ‘apply’? – the Mirror has no details about it. It would be useful to know what progress police think will be made with more fund.

 

maddie mccann

Daily Star

 

The Sun picks up the radio broadcast, and pretty much transcribes the whole thing:

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her. I remember just being in the bedroom – the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone.”

And amid the pain and the emotion, the Sun surmises the story so far:

“A number of potential leads have emerged since the little girl vanished, but none amounted to anything and no arrests have ever been made.”

Can you arrest anyone when all you know is that a child vanished?

This is the BBC’s story, and it’s useful to see their take on it:

Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, sparking a worldwide search for her whereabouts.

A search stoked by a media feeding frenzy.

Mr McCann was speaking to BBC Radio 4 for a programme about the relationship between fathers and daughters. He said that he was sure immediately that his daughter had been abducted.

After being told by his wife Kate that their daughter was missing, Mr McCann said “automation kicked in” and he began searching the apartment.

“We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm,” he said.

“You’re in this quiet little holiday resort – that seemed idyllic – out of season and I certainly didn’t speak Portuguese so I asked [our friend] Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police.”

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her,” he continued.

“I felt that every moment that we couldn’t find her was worse.

“I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying: ‘Pray for her.'”

And the “plea” for money:

The Home Office said last week it is currently considering a police request for an extra six months’ funding for Operation Grange.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Amaral maybes plus Grange possibles equal a fresh appal

More on what the Sun calls the “MADDIE FUND CRISIS” as missing Madeleine McCann’s mum, Kate McCann, calls time on a store set up to raise money to fund the search for her disappeared daughter. Says Kate McCann:

“Unfortunately due to many commitments and pressures, I am unable at this time to attend to website orders. We greatly appreciate your support. Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated to Madeleine’s Fund through our Online Store (donations can still be made via one of the methods below). Your support means a lot to us. Your kindness and generosity is no less appreciated however and continues to buoy us up. Thank you again.”

This is seen a “fresh blow” because someone has claimed that public donations to the Maddie Fund have fallen to “virtually zero”. Why are they telling us this? Why is it news? And it is news on pretty much every mainstream newspaper’s website:

An unnamed “source” tells the Sun: ‘The idea that money is still flooding in is just wrong. Donations dried up a long time ago. At times the story comes into the news a few kind people send in a quid or two but their is nothing of any real value.” Who thought money was flooding in to the McCanns’ fund?

Are we hearing this because, reportedly, the police investigation, Operation Grange, is running low on money? The other part of the recent Maddie news is that if the Met shelves the investigation, the McCanns will use money in the fund to continue the search. The third part of the recent news blast is that Goncalo Amaral, the former Portuguese police detective, could sue the McCanns and take what money there is for himself. Maybe.

So is that about raising awareness for the missing child, assuring readers that the McCanns are not minted and that the innocent child needs the help of a well-funded police force if she is to be found?

Meanwhile, the facts are unchanged: child vanished. No suspects. No arrests. No concrete proof that a crime occurred. But lots of ‘news’…

Posted: 24th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Amaral wants his money and a final appeal

In “MADDIE HUNT CRISIS” Sun readers get the latest instalment in the tabloid saga that is the search for Madeleine McCann. After months of nothing, recent days have brought news that Operation Grange, the Metropolitan Police investigation into the disappearance of the three-year-old child in 2007, might need more funds, speculation about those funds and what it could all mean, and a chance to gawp at the child’s father, Gerry McCann, who features on a BBC Radio 4 show about mental health, loss and poetry.

Now readers are invited to wonder what it’d mean if the McCanns were to lose a “€850k case against [the] cop who claimed they were responsible for daughter’s death.” The copper is  Goncalo Amaral, 58, of course, who led the search for Madeleine McCann. He later claimed in a book, The Truth of the Lie, that “Madeleine McCann died in Portugal and her parents Kate and Gerry McCann covered it up”. Amaral is the “disgraced cop” who “ludicrously claimed” and “shamefully claimed they were responsible for her death”. It’s hideous stuff. The single fact remains: child vanishes. There are no suspects. Everything is speculation. Innocence of any alleged crime must be presumed. The McCanns are innocent.

The Sun notes:

Kate and Gerry [McCann], both 50, won a 2015 libel case against him but it was later overturned and Amaral was awarded compo. The McCanns’ lawyers have now lodged final paperwork at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, with a hearing expected this year…

Amaral shamelessly repeated his allegations last week in a glossy magazine interview — and even claimed: “My family has suffered a lot.”

The issue is not about what he said, but his right to say it in Portugal. It was always a big risk to sue Amaral in a foreign country. Whoever took the risk assessment for the McCanns got it wrong. Amaral’s book might well be nasty and opportunistic, but he went in with his eyes open. He must have some nous to rise high in the ranks of the Portuguese police. And his publishers should know their field. The libel case against him was a costly misstep. An unnamed “source close to the McCanns” is quoted: “It seems you can say anything you like about someone in Portugal, no matter how awful, and get away with it.” Well, quite. They value free speech. “If the European Court rules against them the trustees will decide on how best to make any payments. It would be a blow but Kate and Gerry would keep their heads up and carry on searching.”

And the money?

The latest figures show £728,508, or around €819,400, is in Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned — mostly from public donations. That could all go if the decision to award Amaral €483,000 is upheld — with the McCanns paying costs on top.

Two more people are quoted:

Retired Det Chief Insp Mick Neville, who last year investigated the case, said: “It is tragic that funds to try to find her could be lost because of this legal action. There is every reason to believe she may be alive.”

The McCanns’ Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte said: “This will be our final appeal. The basis is the violation of my clients’ fundamental rights.”

Meanwhile, an innocent child is missing.

Posted: 18th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: a bride of Christ, an old story and grief recast as a mental health issue

No word on Madeleine McCann in any of today’s printed tabloids. But there is is news on the web. Following the non-news that the Met might or might not seek money to continue Operation Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, the Express online delivers: “Madeleine McCann’s father reveals mental health battle in HEARTBREAKING interview.” As ever it was, the Press are watching the parents.

Madeleine McCann’s father will speak about the grief and depression he faced over losing his daughter in a heartbreaking interview on Radio 4, in a bid to remove the prejudice men face when talking about their feelings.

What prejudice? No TV or radio show is complete without a man crying, whether it be over a DNA test on mid-morning telly or a well-baked cake on prime time. “I decided it was a good opportunity to say something about the special bond between fathers and daughters,” says Gerry McCann, “thinking that speaking openly might help other men in similar positions. It feels like the right time.” Fir enough. But isn’t there is a special bond between men and their children, regardless of gender. The sane can surely sympathise with parent whose lost a child, but why is this news? Someone from the BBC explains:

“We look at Gerry’s experiences, his thoughts and feelings, and the wider context in society of mental health issues surrounding a loss. Susan Roberts, our producer, has already interviewed Gerry over the past few weeks, it has been recorded and we are now doing the final edit. It’s very emotional and helps get across the point of view of mental illness associated with a loss or bereavement of a family member or friend, that there is no stigma in men opening up and discussing emotions with someone is important. In our show there is a parallel between the poem of a father’s loss and the real life experience, reflecting the two.”

Eh? Grief and loss is now a form of mental illness? It’s not a human reaction to loss. It’s a treatable condition. As for the tosh about men not emoting and expressing themselves, how may poems has the producer ever read? What about books, films, music and art? Did women write them all? As for facts about the missing child, we’re told: “There have been 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine in 101 countries, but all of them have been ruled out.”

 

 

Pearl poem

 

Over in the Mail, where the BBC press release is an “exclusive”, we learn:

He will be interviewed by poet Simon Armitage on a special Radio 4 show: Pearl: Two Fathers Two Daughters. The show will weave together two voices of grief: Mr McCann’s and that of an anonymous poet from 600 years ago who laments the loss of his daughter in a poem entitled Pearl.

Mr Armitage, who wrote a poem to mark the 1,000 days of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, has written a new translation of Pearl. We don’t know who wrote the original version about the loss of a child and her father’s pain. The New Yorker reviewed the poem steeped in New Testament imagery and numerology in 2016. In one scene her father sees his lost daughter as the bride of Christ:

In the poem, the narrator visits the spot where a pearl once slipped from his grasp and got lost among “Gilofre, gyngure, & gromylyoune, / & pyonys powdered ay bytwene” (“ginger, gromwell, and gillyflower / with peonies scattered in between”). Swooning into unconsciousness, he comes to in a dream, in a place he has never been before, where cliffs split the sky (“ther klyfez cleven”). Across a river, he sees his pearl again, but now the “perle” is no mere thing—she is a young girl, richly arrayed in an elaborate outfit covered in pearls. Pearl also seems to be her name, or at least it is how the man addresses her: “ ‘O perle,’ quod I . . . ‘Art thou my perle?’ ” In reply, she calls him a jeweller, and he refers to her as a gem (“ ‘Jueler,’ sayde that gemme clene”).

Overcome with joy at finding his lost pearl, and unable fully to understand the complicated things she says to him, the dreamer plunges into the river to swim toward her. He is desperate to “swymme the remnaunt, thagh I ther swalte”—to swim across, or die trying. This angers the ruler of the celestial land, called the Prince: the dreamer does not belong there. He is flung out of his dream as punishment. He wakes up, and the poem ends with a short meditation on the glory of God, and then the words “Amen. Amen.”

The child in Pearl is dead. We do not know what happened to Madeleine McCann, save for her vanishing.

On a final note the Mail tells us:

The doctor’s new-found openness to help others cope with loss comes after Prince Harry, now Duke of Sussex, spoke about his struggles with mental health in a groundbreaking podcast interview on May 2017 with the Daily Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for her revered ‘Mad World’ series. The young royal spoke openly about bottling up his emotions and being unable to grieve for years after the loss of his mother Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.

From Princess Diana to Madeleine McCann. When private grief became celebrity mourning.

 

Posted: 17th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Could, May and Perhaps rejoin the hunt

Madeleine McCann is back in the news. And it’s all abut the money.

The Metro tells us that the “hunt for Maddie McCann has cost £11600000 so far”.  Not quite. That’s what Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange has cost. The Met’s investigation into the vanishing of Madeleine McCann began in 2011. Before that Portuguese police were investigating the case of the British child who went missing on the Algarve in 2007.  That wasn’t without cost. And there was the private investigation funded by well-wishers and run by Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The headline figure is wrong. But, then, the story isn’t about the missing child; it’s about us and if British readers can turn her into a talking point. Is she worth it?

The Metro oozes: “Speculation is growing into whether UK police will stop the hunt when the funding ends as no request for more cash has yet been made.” Who is speculating? Hopefully you are. And hopefully tomorrow you’ll tune in for an update on the single thread story spun out of control by a voracious media.

No news on the money means the story has been kickstarted as far afield as New Zealand, where the Herald announces: “Hunt for Madeleine McCann may end within three weeks.” When the word “may” appears in a headline you know your story is in trouble. But she was spotted “in a New Zealand supermarket”, so maybe the story is local to New Zealand after all?

She’s also been spotted in:

Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustralia, France, IndiaDubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (by boat).

In the Daily Record, readers are told: ‘Kate and Gerry McCann have vowed “the search will go on” for their missing girl amid reports police could shelve their hunt.’ Could. Or could not. An unnamed source tells us:

“They will never stop looking for Madeleine or hoping that one day she will be found. More than 11 years on there is still no evidence to suggest that she is dead or has been harmed. If the police search comes to an end, there are other avenues to explore. They have carefully managed the money in Madeleine’s Fund for that eventuality. Whether they choose to employ private investigators or go down another route is something for them to decide.”

To recap: There is no news.

Posted: 13th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: more police, more PR and more money or else

maddie mccann madeleine mccann

 

Stories on Madeleine McCann stories can be divided into two files. There’a huge fat as a skyscraper file marked “Speculation”. And there’s another very slim file marked “Facts”. In this second file are two sections: a) ‘All We Know’ – which can be distilled into the single thread ‘child vanishes; and b) ‘Fees’. Today’s Star leads with news that “MADDIE COPS” are ‘demanding’ more cash in their hunt for the missing child. That police want money is less surprising than a puppy sat beside a pile of poo, but to the Star news that the police would like more cash (not less -shocker!)  is a “reveal” – one right up with the reveal that Sooty did not grow Harry Corbett out of his arse.

We read the usual facts: the Met Police’s investigation into Madeleine McCann has cost “the taxpayer” £11m. We’re hard-pressed to think of any police investigation not funded by taxpayers, but the fact remains unchanged. The story continues on Page 9, where we are told “WE CANT GIVE UP NOW”. If not now, when? NEVER! Not until the mystery is solved. A spokesman for the police says “the investigation continues and we are in dialogue with the Home Office over more funding.”

Back on page 6, Miss McCann is the lead concern in the Star’s editorial column. Point one: does she still sell papers? Point 2: “Police must be given more funds in their search or Madeleine McCann.” Which brings us back to point one, which must be a big ‘YES’ or at least ‘Maddie outsells Brexit’. The paper reasons that the Met’s investigation has found “no definitive answers”. Isn’t an undefined answer just a guess? We are then invited to emphasise with Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The editorial ends: “Someone out there knows what happened to Madeleine and they must be tracked down.” Unless she wandered off and fell down a hole. Can anyone prove that she didn’t?

The only other national newspaper to deliver news on Madeleine McCann is the Express, which tells readers on page 7: “McCanns vow to keep hope alive as Madeleine hunt set to run out of cash.” The parents not the child are the story’s central thrust. They face the “daunting” prospect that the Met’s Operation Grange will end in three weeks – the last tranche of cash is said to run out on September 30. As readers try to work out why this is news – the Home Office tells the Star police have yet to appeal for any more cash – the Express quotes one Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman. He talks about the money, which is “entirely” a matter for the Met and the Home office. He then says “Kate and Gerry will not be making any comment”. But he might. As might an unnamed “source” who says the investigation running out of cash is a “daunting prospect”.

Madeleine McCann is missing – and there is no news. There are no suspects. If you think you know what happened to her, don’t guess here. Call the police.

 

 

Posted: 12th, September 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann in hijab horror

Did you “remember Madeleine McCann” this summer, heeding the advice of Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips to not “let your holiday be the one we all read about”? You all must of because the papers did not make single mention of any new child getting kidnapped on holidays, let alone launch into a voracious feeding frenzy as the media did in 2007 when Madeleine McCann became ‘Our Maddie’. Eleven years on, Operation Phillips is a success. Cheers, Fi, we don’t know how many children your advice to “forgo all of the adult holiday pleasures all over again to make sure our kids were safe” saved. Maybe none. Maybe one. Phillips has a story:

I thought of this when I read about Janet Alexander who’s suing Thomas Cook after her daughter was “abducted” from a holiday kids’ club.

Was the child abducted or not? Pull up a sun lounger and play detective.

She left five-year-old Rose at a supervised play area at their hotel in Turkey while she took her other daughter scuba diving. When she returned an hour later there was no sign of Rose. Janet thought her daughter was dead or faced being abused.

Was she?

Thankfully, another guest spotted Rose near a main road with a strange woman wearing a hijab.

It seems a pretty safe bet to say that Janet doesn’t wear an hijab and this was not a case of mistaken identity. It might also be that women in hijabs arouse more suspicion among columnists than those who do not, or are very good at helping kids who have wandered off cross the road. Discuss.

And here’s some more, also via the Mirror:

A frantic search for the child was then launched and Janet has described seeing staff turn to a woman in a hijab and speak to her in Turkish…

In Turkey!?

It is believed the ordeal came to an end 40 minutes later when another hotel guest spotted the blonde youngster walking with a woman in a hijab near a main road within the hotel grounds.

If only we knew what colour hair the hijab woman has we could form a better opinion of her intentions. Blonde hair: likelihood of innocence high (see Myra Hindley); dark hair: likelihood of guilt high (see Mother Teresa).

As that legal matter grinds on, we rejoice in the news that the case of Madeleine McCann has been “SOLVED!” So goes the National Enquirer’s front-page headline, which heralds the the story of a convicted pedophile who allegedly stole Madeleine McCann. Who is this wine? Well, he’s dead. He died a year ago. His name? Dunno. But he is “This man kidnapped little girl & sold her into slavery!” Fact! And where’s Maddie? “She’s still alive,” declares the Enquirer. But where? Dunno. Maybe they’ll find out in time for next week’s deadline.

Meanwhile, the South West Londoner website has conducted a poll:

We went out into the streets of Wimbledon and asked: “Should the government stop spending money searching for Madeleine McCann?”

Yes: 72% No: 28%

How many women wearing the hijab were questioned is not stated. But you just know most of them who were said ‘NO!’

 

Posted: 28th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, National Enquirer, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: 600 wells of ‘could’ ‘may’ and ‘belief’

Madeleine McCann news on the Daily Star’s front page. The paper’s lead news story is – get this – “TOP BRIT COP: WE MAY NEVER FIND MADDIE.”

The “Top Brit cop” is “tough-talking detective Colin Sutton”? Who? And can a man who says something “may” not happen be accused of talking tough? The”we” part of the headline surely means all of us, the millions who have followed the story of the missing child ever since she vanished in My 2007.

Undaunted by the palpable lack of fact, the Star continues to tell readers on page 7 that Sutton “rejected the opportunity to head the Madeleine McCann inquiry” and “believes finding her her could be ‘almost impossible'”. Can you believe something that might not be possible; or can you disbelieve something that might be impossible?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, April 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


The Madeleine McCann Research Group has a theory

Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news. Journalist Paulo Reis send us a link to news in the Portugal Resident. We open the link with hope that this is news of what happened to the child who vanished in 2003 and became the media’s benchmark for all missing people, a innocent life reduced to hacks pressing ‘f9’ on the keyboard to generate new sensation where only one bald fact remains: child vanishes.

The most recent story on ‘Our Maddie’ in the British press went like this in the Mail: “Kate McCann’s 50th birthday is ‘tinged with sadness’ as she reaches another milestone without her Maddie… but the family hope the police will continue their search.” Who need fact when you can mine emotion and present it as news?

 

One artist’s impression of the suspect

 

The story begins with new of something called the “Madeleine McCann Research Group”:

A team of independent investigators working over the last decade has come up with what it believes may have happened to Madeleine McCann.

Believes. That it is. No fact. Just belief.

It is independent of the official story. It doesn’t work to the accepted timeline and it doesn’t involve gypsies, blundering burglars, or Eastern European child smugglers.

What it could be, we know not. Maybe she morphed into an ant and crawled away? Well, some people do believe stuff like that happens. And let’s not get started on alien abduction, portals and Lord Lucan.

Says a member of the investigating group, the theory has been run past professionals from all walks of life, time and again.

Nine out of ten plumbers agree with the theory – it could have happened; but only three out of ten architects.

They have communicated their findings to British prime minister Theresa May, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick… but the six-page letter laying out what they believe to be “credible evidence” appears to have changed nothing (although it was purportedly forwarded to the Grange ‘investigation team’).

What evidence – and evidence of what?

A new letter, translated into Portuguese – containing all the research, and the “detailed file of evidence” on which it has relied – has now been sent to the Portuguese Attorney General as well as newspaper and website journalists in this country.

We get a lot of stuff in the inbox here at Anorak. Some of it is, shall we say, a little odd. Anyhow, time to hear from an unnamed “source”, who opines: “It is a question of hoping one of them will have the courage to undertake what no-one seems willing to conduct in the UK: a serious investigation into what really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann.”

By “serious” they mean more serious that the highly expensive and involving Operation Grange investigation, which since its inception in 2011 has cost the British taxpayer £11m and come up with zilch? Someone at the aforesaid “Madeleine McCann Research Group” then assures us, “it is important that people follow this logically, and without preconceptions – however shocking the conclusion may seem.”

 

 

Madeleine McCann vanished in 2003. There are no suspects. No-one has been arrested in connection to any alleged crime linked to her vanishing. Innocence is presumed – we all agree on that, I hope. Any less position is detrimental to reason. And if you think you know what happened to the innocent child, don’t theorise on social media, call the police. They could do with a break. And you might even get s slice of that News of The World reward – anyone know what happen to the big pot of cash on offer?

PS: I’ve seen the document. It makes lots of claims based on supposition and what can be best described as educated guesswork. It throws more shade than light. It alleges claims Madeleine McCann was abducted are a “hoax”.

It begins:

From: The Madeleine McCann Research Group
28 February 2018
To: Exma Sra. Procuradora-Geral da República,
Drª Joana Marques Vidal
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 140
1269-269 LISBOA
PT P O R T U G A L

Dear Drª Joana Marques VidalTo:

re: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: New evidence of what happened to her

We are a group of mainly British researchers. Most of us have studied the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in depth for the past 10 years. Our members and researchers include many people with professional expertise, such as ex-police officers, lawyers, photographers, computer experts and statement analysts.

No named author appears on the text.

To recap: Child vanishes. Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, March 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: a sacked detective, a con and blood

madeleine mccann

 

Madeleine McCann returns in a story about a man’s death. The Star’s front-page headline bleeds: “MADDIE DETECTIVE DIES IN ‘BLOODBATH'”!

Yikes!

 

Maddie McCann private eye killed as blood-soaked body of ‘£300k conman’ found at mansion

A PRIVATE detective who allegedly conned the Maddie McCann fund out of £300k has been found brutally murdered.

Murder!? The body is that of  Kevin Halligen, found at a home in Guildford, Surrey. Hired to look into the disappearance of Maddie McCann in May 2008, he “was later accused of conning the fund out of £300,000”. Accused is not a judgement in a court of law. He allegedly conned the McCann family. But that lacks sensation. He denied misusing funds.

So what of the “murder”? Well, the police tell us:

“We were called to an address in Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Guildford, on Monday following a report of a man in his 50s having been taken unwell, who subsequently died.

“The death is being treated as unexplained and a file will be passed to the coroner’s office in due course.”

What about the blood, then?

The BBC hears from Adrian Gatton, a TV director and investigative journalist, who made a documentary with Halligen in 2014:

“There was blood around the house, probably caused by previous falls when he was either drunk or blacking out,” he said. “His house was full of empty drink bottles. A lot of people wished him ill but his death is almost certainly related to alcoholism.”

Not went blood, then. Dried, old blood.

What else do we know? The Mirror notes:

After being sacked from the McCann investigation, Halligen was arrested in the UK and extradited to America on fraud charges for an unrelated case.

He pleaded guilty to defrauding Trafigura, based in the Netherlands, who had hired him to help free two company executives arrested in Ivory Coast in 2006.

He received about $12 million to provide “security, intelligence and public relations”.

Trafigura gave Halligen an additional $2.1 million to “hire lobbyists and influence officials in the United States on Trafigura’s behalf”. The next day, Halligen used nearly $1.7 million of that money to buy a large home with a swimming pool.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Luisa Todorov gets scoured

Madeleine McCann was not kidnapped by Luisa Todorov.  “It wasn’t me,” says the woman. You will recall that criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez featured in the Daily Mirror beneath the words: “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”.

“Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment,” said the Mirror. And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

News was that 58-year-old Luisa and her husband, Stefan, 50, were working at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Both gave statement to the police at the time. “They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.” Why police would have spoken with either of them again is moot, as the Mirror gave readers the side-eye and stated: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”

Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people? The paper then noted: “Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.”

Gonzalez was quoted:

“Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”

And to today’s Mirror news, we get an update. Get this:

A criminologist claimed to have identified Luisa Todorov as the mystery person police are said to be searching for. And we discovered she lives less than a mile from Praia da Luz in the Algarve, where Maddie disappeared.

She isn’t living in Bulgaria. No-one had to scour the globe to find her. And she isn’t the “woman in purple”. Indeed, who is? And why is she newsworthy? It was British expat Jenny Murat who introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”

Murat is, of course, mother to the innocent Robert Murat, who was monstered and libelled. Odd that her words are now being used to zoom in on another foreigner living an working in Portugal. Indeed, it was Mirror journalist who introduced us to Robert Murat, telling readers that he found him “creepy”. Now Luisa is in the crosshairs.

These are some of the reactions to her name:

Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy

‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times

Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury

MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun

Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express

Today she tells the Mirror: “I’ve no idea about any woman in purple. It wasn’t me. I spoke to the police a long time ago about the Madeleine case. I don’t really want to talk about it, nobody around here does, it brings back lots of bad memories. Nobody knows what happened to her. If the British police want to speak to me that’s fine, but I don’t know anything.”

The restaurant worker, originally from Madeira, gave a statement to Portuguese police five days after Maddie’s disappearance, along with husband Stefan, 50.

He also worked at the Ocean Club resort, in the kitchens, and is believed to have returned to his native Bulgaria without being quizzed again.

He worked in the kitchens? But the Express told us:

Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.

Over in the Sun, Luisa Todorov’s innocence is a “twist as waitress denies she is the mysterious ‘woman in purple’”. It’s not a twist, is it. It’s woman stating a fact.

Luisa Todorov was named as the woman that police wanted to speak to, after a shadowy figure was spotted by witnesses the night the three-year-old went missing.

Can you be “shadowy” dressed distinctively in purple and standing in full view?

 

But the hung continues. after all, the Indy reported:

Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”…

On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.

The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Money | Comment


Woman self-indentifies as Madeleine McCann

madeleine harriet

 

Madeleine McCann has been found. Or, rather, someone has self-identified as the missing child.

Harriet Brookes noticed a mark in her eye an another on her leg similar to the missing child. “Right guys,” said Harriet. “I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann…I’m Madeleine McCann and I don’t know what to do with myself.” Harriet published photos of her face and leg next to images of Madeleine McCann’s face and leg.

 

harriet books maddie mccann

 

 

 

What looks to anyone sane like a joke becomes The Tab’s “We spoke to the Leeds student who thinks she’s Madeleine McCann… What started as a bit of group-chat banter has now become a fully-fledged internet conspiracy theory.”

No. It hasn’t. What started out as joke is till a joke, albeit one in the news. And what says the woman who “thinks” she the missing child? Says Harriet: “Well I wasn’t really convinced, I just thought it was funny we looked similar… I just sent it for a joke hahaha.”

News that Harriet’s parents have ben arrested are wide of the mark.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The Todorovs, a dead Bulgarian and a purple haze

Madeleine McCann returned to the newspapers yesterday with news that the “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”. The Mirror saved this news for page 4, and reading on you wonder how it made it into the paper at all.

The story begins in typical ‘Our Maddie’ reporting style, using a shortened version of the child’s name in a report based on opinion. We read: “A criminologist claims to have identified a mystery woman being sought by British police in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.” Is a claim newsworthy?

We read that “Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment.”

And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

Grab your torch. Let’s go!

The 58-year-old was working with her husband at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Luisa and her husband Stefan, 50, gave statements to police five days after the three-year-old’s disappearance. They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.

Seems fair. But then this: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”

Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people?

Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.

Claims. Believed. Any facts?

Gonzalez is quoted:

“I have been combing through all the police files trying to identify who the woman in purple could be. It has been widely reported that Yard officers are in Bulgaria. Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”

And after that speculation presented as news, we get the unchanging fact of this long-running story:

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, were dining in a tapas restaurant when she vanished.

Child vanishes. And that’s the story’s single thread. But the reporting remains frenzied. The Mirror’s story, which supports a Daily Express ‘exclusive’, is repackaged to read:

Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy

‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times

Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury

MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun

Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express

The Express’s story is pretty incredible:

Waitress Luisa Todorov, 58, is believed to be the mystery woman seen by two witnesses standing outside apartment 5a of the Ocean Club from where Madeleine was taken 10 years ago.

She has become the focus of Yard inquiries for months as officers want to know if she saw anything suspicious on the night of Madeleine’s abduction from Praia da Luz when she was aged just three.

But she spoke to police already, right? We were told that. And given that she worked in manual labour, might that huge reward have tempted her to talk more?

 

 

And:

One witness saw her standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007 and another saw her about half an hour later nearby.

They saw her, or they saw a woman dressed in purple who we are told might have been her?

Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.

Unless she wondered off, of course.

The Express adds:

In August 2007 a British woman reported seeing a child who looked mile Madeleine at Varna airport in Bulgaria, but the information was very sketchy and did not check out.

And hold on a moment. The Indy had other news, reporting on November 6:

 

 

The story began:

Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”.

Oh?

On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.

Intently?

The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.

The name of this convicted, dead paedophile? It’s not given. But two “believed” in one sentence is peak reporting.

And what about the woman in purple? British expat, Jenny Murat, introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 21st, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: police get more cash for another 6 months of looking

Madeleine McCann news watch – a look at reporting on the missing child. There is “new hope” in the “Maddie hunt” says the Daily Express. Is hope born of new clues? (Any clues?) New evidence? (Any evidence?) No. It’s just that police have been given an extra £154,000 to keep investigating what happened to the child who vanished on a family holiday in May 2007. This, says the paper, is a “massive boost”.

But is it, really? It keeps the investigation going, yes, but unless we know on what it will be spent and if any investment will answer to the question ‘What happened?’ it’s pretty meaningless. What value £154,000 when the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange has cost over £11million? It’s less a massive boost than a top-up deal.

The story continues on page 9. We see a the familiar photo of Madeleine McCann in her Everton kit. And we see a picture of her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann. We hear Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, say his clients are “extremely thankful to the Home Office and Scotland Yard for continued funding”. The McCanns are “encouraged that there remains work to be done that requires the extra budget,” he says. What work that is, we’re not told. Perhaps wrapping up a large police operation caries its own costs?

The story is all about the money because the changing number is the only new fact. The single thread story remains just that: child vanishes.

The Star carries the same story on its page 4, sticking to that bald fact and summing up the entire case in a caption that says “Missing: Madeleine”.

But the Mirror thinks the news of “MADDIE COPS” being “GIVEN ONE LAST CHANCE” worthy of its front page. The paper reasons that if police “fail” to find “fresh leads” the probe “could be axed”. On page 5, readers learn that £154,000 is enough for fur police to work full time on the case for 6 months.

Unless they find out what happened sooner, of course…

 

 

Posted: 29th, September 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment