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Madeleine McCann | Anorak - Part 21

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 Used To Advertise Holidays In Praia Da Luz

5910966MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann:  Madeleine McCann is being used to advertise holidays in Praia da Luz, Portugal…

IN “The Algarve after Maddie” Laura Suter tells readers of Travel Bite, the site that “provides easy to find, useful information on destinations all over the world, so if you’re planning a holiday we can give you lots of ideas, tips, news and inspiration.”

Today you can be inspired about the Algarve, place of sun, sea, sardines and… Well, Laura has more:

In 2007 the newspapers were filled with the Madeleine McCann case and pictures of the four-year-old girl, now, two years on, press coverage has died down and the story is no longer front page news.

So why are you writing about the missing child, Laura? Why?

Laura Suter asks what happened to the town at the centre of it all when the disappearance happened?

In case you are thinking of booking a holiday in Praia da Luz, like Jasper Gerard or Donal McIntryre, TV detective?

Shortly after Madeleine’s abduction reports emerged that the former fishing village of Praia de Luz, which once thrived on tourism, was a ghost town, that cancellations had flooded in and the beach was empty.

Shortly after Madeleine McCann disappeared the town was heaving with people, mostly business travellers with expense accounts and deadlines. The place was booming.

Many families with children were dubious about going to the resort, while some felt that the police and media intrusion would taint their holiday. In the weeks following the incident the Mark Warner Club, which runs the Ocean Club where Madeleine disappeared, had a number of cancellations or families transferring to other resorts.

Anything to avoid the “gentlemen of the press”, grown men and women with cameras and recording equipment, looking iffy as they stand in the sun dressed in suit jackets and ties talking about paedos.

However, Cristina Teixeira, who runs Luz Holidays, which rents villas to many nationalities, said her firm did not see this effect. The company had two cancellations out of 300 in 2008 and even then “clients did not offer the Madeleine justification”.

So either Laura Suter’s story about a ghost town is plain wrong, people who rent with Luz are heartless bastards or ghouls, or Our Maddie is being used as an advertorial, a point of reference – a totem of local interest – for a holiday lettings company?

Chris Gladwin, 23, of Darlington, was one holidaymaker who braved the press reports and went to Praia de Luz just a few months after the disappearance, having pre-booked his holiday. However, he said that the break was not too different from a usual holiday – families flocked to the beach, the bars and restaurants were busy and toddlers played in the sand – albeit a little closer to their parents.

Anyone else feeling queasy?

Mr Gladwin added that going in 2007 was a little off-putting when the town was littered with posters of Madeleine and the hunt was still very much alive. “It was a bit hard to escape from the case and the media and it was talked about in many of the bars,” he explained, adding that the intrusion was not to the extent that it ruined the holiday.

Good-ho:

Ms Teixeira admits that the ‘Madeleine effect’ did concern some holidaymakers and that those with young children were perhaps put off in 2008 “and maybe some are a bit nervous but the effect has mostly disappeared now”.

Disappeared. Like Madeleine… And it’s about to get even better:

And, it seems it is hard not to be won over by Luz’s charm, with Richard Gaisford, a GMTV reporter who spent most of last year in the Algarve covering the McCann story, saying he liked the town so much he wanted to take his family back.

Oh, the cruel irony. But Laura has more. She has reached a conclusion:

So, it seems the recession may have had more of an impact than the McCann case and Ms Teixeira adds that if it is sea, sun and golf courses you are after: “Portugal generally, and the Algarve especially, has plenty to offer all holidaymakers.”

And – fingers crossed – you might even get on the telly, or in a glorified press release….

Spotter: Bat E Bird in the forums

Posted: 13th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (5)


Madeleine McCann: Missing Child Aisling Symes’ Body Found

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: Police find the body of what looks to be Aisling Symes, the New Zealand child prayed for by the McCanns and watched by the world’s media.

HORRIBLE news from New Zealand where police looking for Aisling Symes have found the body of a child in a storm water drain.

Aisling Symes was last seen near her grandparent’s home in Henderson, Auckland, a week ago.

“The immediate scene has been condoned off and treated as a crime scene,” says Insp Gary Davey.

Says Sky News: “There was speculation she had been abducted.”

This speculation is what made the missing child a global story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 12th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (6)


Madeleine McCann: Spotted In Sweden And Aisling Syme

mccann18MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann : Aisling Syme is missing in New Zealand. The McCanns have issued a press release saying they are praying for her. And then one day on, Maddie is spotted in Sweden…

The Sun: “McCanns: Find girl in Swedish photo”

DETECTIVES were last night desperately hunting a girl who was photographed in Sweden – after computer-matching showed she could be missing Madeleine McCann.

The girl, who was pictured at a car show, bears a strong resemblance to Maddie, who would now be six. Her jawline is identical and her eyes are the same colour as Maddie’s.

Blonde child spotted in Sweden. Read all about it.

The girl was with a man and a woman at the car show, held in Sweden’s capital Stockholm in August. The man was Swedish but the girl spoke perfect English.

A seded woo can speak English? Hold the front page!

The woman remained silent, and the snapper said both adults refused to be photographed.

The man and woman with the child at a car show declined to be photographed by a stranger looking at the child they were with? Odd…

The couple’s official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry and their investigators are aware of the picture and are liaising with the relevant authorities. The investigation team are looking into it.”

Haven’t we been in Sweden before? And don’t we already know what Madeleine McCann looks like aged 6?

The Sun told in August how a Victoria Beckham lookalike asked a man at a marina in Barcelona, Spain: “Are you here to deliver my new daughter?” One of the yachts linked to the woman came from Sweden.

The luxury cruiser was one of six recorded as having left the Algarve port of Portimao the morning after Maddie vanished. All the other boats have been traced and eliminated from the investigation. But all efforts to find the Swedish yacht have failed.

As Anorak told you:

In Sweden all vessels measuring over 12 metres (40ft) long must be registered with the Swedish Maritime Administration. But inquires with their head office in Stockholm yesterday found no record of the yacht.

You don’t suppose… No, it’s too far-fetched. Well, you don’t suppose the mystery yacht was smaller than 12 metres long?

Now in the Sun:

An investigator revealed: “It has apparently vanished without trace. The captain told port authorities he was going to the Algarve port of Albufeira, but the boat never arrived and has not been found since.”

UK Parents Lounge: “Madeleine ‘lookalike’ sought by Swedish police”
The tagline for this website is – cruel irony of cruel ironies – “a place to get away from the kids”.

Daily Telegraph: “New Zealand child disappearance ‘similar’ to that of Madeleine McCann”

Meanwhile in New Zealand…

More than 60 officers are searching for Aisling Symes, who vanished from outside a house in Auckland five days ago.

Aukland NewsTalk counts 40 officers.

Her mother, who was with her at the time, claims she disappeared within just a few seconds while her back was turned… Child abduction is extremely rare in New Zealand and Aisling’s case has caused widespread shock, dominating newspaper and television headlines for five days. A picture of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler dressed in a knitted blue striped cardigan has stared hauntingly from front pages daily.

Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Relevant.

“I turned off the hot tap, looked behind me and there she was, watching what Caty and I were up to,” a tearful Mrs Symes said. I turned off the cold tap, looked behind me, and she was gone — that fast. I can’t believe that she moved so quickly. In the time it took just to turn off a tap, she was gone.”

Irish Herald: “Aisling’s kidnapping suddenly makes the world feel less safe”

We are continually protecting ourselves and our children against dangers, imaginary and real. This is why events such as the kidnapping of Aisling (2), the murder of James Bulger or the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann on a family holiday have such a strong effect on those who have never met them.

Madeleine McCann is missing – but not in the press which continues to sue her as its fallback story…

Images: taken from The Sun’s website and published here in the hope that it can help find Madeleine McCann. If it is in breach of copyright, we will take it down immediately.

Posted: 10th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (14)


Madeleine McCann: Patronising Aisling Symes

15402660MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – Aisling Symes is missing. Aisling Symes is aged 2. Aisling Symes has gone missing from an Aukland suburb on Monday.

And you know what this means?

Kate and Gerry McCann say their “thoughts and prayers” are with the family of Aisling Symes. We do our emoting in public. Private matters are public spectacles. And Our Maddie has been the biggest shared grief fest in years, a global campaign lapped up by a once objective media.

But it’s not about the McCanns is it? This is about Aisling Symes. Or is it useful for the McCanns to be involved, and thereby raise the child’s profile in the UK – the child that went missing in New Zealand? How can us knowing in the UK help find the child? It can”t. But the McCanns need to do something – doing anything is better than doing nothing.

But the media has become the whole message. Kate and Gerry McCann are now the media’s familiar voice for all missing children and the face of the bereft parents, speaking about other missing children whether the parents want them to or not.

A cynic might believe the disappearance of Aisling Symes is both a tragedy and an opportunity? The McCanns are Ailsing Syme’s media celebrities, joining the singers and footballers on the side of the good, a familiar and reassuring face.

When Mari Luz Cortes went missing in Spain, links were made to Our Maddie. She became Maddy 2. Posters went up. And:

Mari Luz’s father, Juan José Cortés, said after a meeting with Manuel Chaves, President of the Junta de Andalucía, this weekend, that, while he is not against collaborating in the search for Madeleine and ‘even helping to draw up a poster of all the missing youngsters,’ the lines of investigation into the disappearance of the two young girls are distinct, and are being carried out in two separate countries. EFE [Spanish news agency] said he is considering taking legal action for using his daughter’s image for the campaign.

Said the Sun: “Both girls were pictured on posters put up by four-year-old Maddie’s parents because the cases were so chillingly similar.”

But does a missing child story need a point of reference? Are we so cynical and cold that we cannot feel unless the face of Our Maddie is placed before us? And what does it say about us that we need the innocent and abused McCanns’ authentic victimhood to shape the story of a missing child, that media obsession?

The McCanns’ kind words tell us nothing about Ailsing Syme – they just say something about them. The footballer in the Our Maddie T-shirt, the mawkish politician in the yellow ribbon and the woman with the balloon say nothing about the missing – they speak only about themselves. They have a need to advertise their caring.

No-one sane cannot but sympathise with the McCanns, working to keep their daughter in the news in the belief that in doing so there is a better chance of her being found. And Madeleine McCann, as we’ve noted, is no longer the benchmark for missing children.

But do the McCanns’ comment make us care about them or their daughter more, or less? Does it make anyone look for Our Maddie with a keener eye? Or is their appearance at the media spectacle when a child goes missing now just part of the show? We look. It’s on the telly. We look. But it’s not real. It’s just another show on the magic box. We look.

Mr and Mrs McCann, say in a statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Aisling and her family. We wish Aisling’s parents the strength and support they will be needing at this most painful time, and we join them in hoping for Aisling’s safe and speedy return.

“We urge anyone who has any information about Aisling to come forward to the local police as soon as possible and end this family’s suffering.”

Says Sky News: “McCanns Pray For Parents Of Missing Girl.”

Even a person’s prayers are now part of the public spectacle to be featured in the media.

And instead of looking for a missing child the media is still watching the parents…

Posted: 9th, October 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (20)


Madeleine McCann: How Jaycee Dugard Became The Benchmark For Missing Children

7902994Jaycee Dugard Watch – Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Jaycee Dugard in the news: Nancy Garrido not happy in jail, Melanie Hall is found and Madeleine McCann is no longer the benchmark for missing children.

In Melanie Hall and the missing, Cassandra Jardine asks:

Why are we so bad at keeping tabs on missing people, asks Cassandra Jardine.

Depends who’s missing? Anorak has been keeping you updated with every mention of missing Madeleine McCann in the news for over two years. Other missing people are not so well covered, like Melanie Hall:

The young hospital clerk, last seen in a Bath nightclub on June 9 1996, was in a rubbish bag under a bush by the slip road to exit 14 of the M5.

Melanie Hall was missing for thirteen years:

Thousands of people have driven past her while having map-reading debates or answering “How much longer?” queries from the back seat. The very banality of the scene is shaking. Even more troubling is the question that inevitably follows: how many more bodies of missing people have we glided past without knowing?

Jardine soon does as all journalists must and speculates:

It could be hundreds, even thousands, for every year at least 200,000 people go missing. The vast majority – 99 per cent – are found within a year, most of them within 48 hours. That leaves 2,000 people each year who never reappear. Sixty per cent of them are thought to be dead. But where are they?

Newspaper reporters might well investigate, or feature the missing in their pages. Or just get on with writing their copy for a deadline:

They could be victims of crime, like Melanie. They might be living it up in Panama, in the style of John Darwin, who notoriously faked his own death in a canoeing accident. Or, like Jaycee Dugard, the 11-year-old American girl who was found in August, they may have spent 18 years as the prisoner of a stranger.

And there is it. No Madeleine McCann. The only other high(ish)-profile missing person features is Andrew Godsen, who has been featured by Anorak before. But Andrew Godsen is of less interest to the mainstream media than his parents are:

Three months after his 13-year-old son Andrew left home with a one-way ticket from Doncaster to London King’s Cross, Kevin Gosden found the tension so unbearable that he attempted to hang himself from a balustrade. He would be dead now if the vicar, who had a key, hadn’t picked that exact moment to pay a visit. Nearly two years on, he still suffers suicidal urges: only the thought of his daughter stops him carrying out his plans.

When people go missing we get to watch the ones they leave behind. And what of Jaycee Dugard, the new benchmark for missing children?

Ski Channel: “Other suspect in Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping case having a tough time in prison”

Nancy Garrido: She is currently in prison, and according to sources, she has had to be put in isolation for her own protection. Other inmates have been threatening to rape and kill her, so Garrido was moved to isolation and has been described as “very lonely.”

Lonely. Like the ones the missing leave behind…

All the pictures so far

Posted: 9th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


Selling Jaycee Lee Dugard As Entertainment, In Pictures

jaycee-dugardJAYCEE Lee Dugard: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Jaycee Dugard in the news, with Madeleine McCann, Leonard Padilla and Elizabeth Smart…

News Review: “The Leonard show – Sacramento’s infamous bounty hunter stars in a reality TV show in his own mind”

He doesn’t seem to notice the sun beating down, instead more concerned with the constant bleating of his cell phone, which rings no fewer than four times in the span of an hour as Padilla monitors the Jaycee Dugard case.

Back in September, Anorak joked in “Jaycee Dugard: Media Funds Phillip Garrido’s Bail”:

If the mainstream media can get $30million together – a big if – would it pay the bail and then be best able to pepple dash the world with Phillip Garrido exclusives? Because Jaycee Duagard is there for our entertainment:

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Posted: 8th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


Madeleine McCann’s Parents To Make Private Trip To Praia Da Luz

7677054MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann The Spanish news agency reports that Kate McCann and Gerry McCann could return to Praia da Luz before the end of the year.

The parents of the girl Madeleine McCann, Gerry and Kate, could return on a private visit to the Portuguese town of Praia da Luz, where their daughter disappeared before the end of the year.

Says Gerry McCann:

“Kate was like to return to Praia da Luz when things are less intense, but we would like it to be a private visit, probably before year-end.”

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Posted: 6th, October 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (12)


David Letterman, Lame Jokes And Madeleine McCann

joe_halderman_622584aMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCannthe one about the disabled prostitute, David Letterman and Robert Halderman

The Times: “Letterman extortion suspect is ‘true crime’ news producer”

David Letterman has been the alleged victim of an alleged extortion plot.

The man accused of trying to blackmail the talk show host David Letterman was named today as an Emmy award-winning TV news producer who specialises in investigating “true crime” mysteries.

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Posted: 3rd, October 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Correcting A Correction

express-apologyMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCanna few words on apologies:

A WORD on newspaper apologies in the University of Virginia’s Cavalier Daily – oh, the irony – featuring Our Maddie as the ultimate newspaper apology.

Christopher Hitchens has said that the purpose of putting corrections in a newspaper is not really to correct what the paper got wrong. It’s to point out that everything else in the paper was right.

Tim Thornton goes on to talk of corrections and clarifications. And then introduces Craig Silverman, who writes the excellent book Regret the Error.

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Posted: 30th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (4)


Madeleine McCann: Mrs Amaral, Kate McCann And Baby Jesus

goncolo-amaralMADDIE WATCH: Special Fury Edition. – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann – Today the Sunday Express has chatting thigns over with Goncalo Amaral’s wife, Sophia.

Daily Express: “WE FEEL THE MCCANN’S PAIN AS WELL.”

James Murray speaks not for a nation but for a woman:

THE wife of Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral has denied they are locked in a personal battle with Kate and Gerry McCann and has spoken of their pity for the distraught couple.

Pity? But surely the McCanns want only their daughter. And for Mrs Amaral’s husband not to write any more books that speculate on what could have happened to their daughter..?

“Everyone thinks we are fighting the McCanns but this is not true. I tell people all the time that they are having to endure the hardest pain in the world, which is losing a child.”

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Posted: 27th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (14)


Madeleine McCann: Fury Watch With The Media

maddie-furiesMADDIE WATCH: Special Fury Edition. – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann.

The Daily Mirror screams: “Fury at new Madeleine McCann book ‘slur’”

And an Anorak reader spots the frty. It is always the “fury”.

Kate and Gerry McCann were furious yesterday as it emerged the ex cop they are suing for £1.2million over claims that Madeleine is dead has written a SECOND book.

Fury. Fury. Fury. Fury.

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Posted: 25th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Watching Kate McCann And Looking For Damages

mcann-portugalMADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: Three summers on from when Madeleine McCann vanished, the media is still watching the parents, zooming in on Kate McCann. The McCanns are in Portugal in search of Madeleine…and damages.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE: OUT NEW HOPE”

The harrowing trip was “extremely emotional” for Kate McGann and her first visit to Portugal since Maddie disappeared in May 2007…

The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell added: “It has been a difficult and daunting ordeal for both of them, but particularly Kate. It’s her first trip back and it’s been very traumatic for her. In the end she just decided: ‘I’ll do it for Madeleine.’

“It’s an extremely emotional time but she feels it was necessary to help find her daughter.”

Daily Mirror (front page): “Every day I cry for Maddy”

At an emotional press conference in Lisbon she admitted: “I cry for her every day.”

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Posted: 24th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (10)


Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann Returns To Portugal, In Pictures

MADELEINE McCann Watch: Kate McCann is in Portugal. This is the first time Kate McCann has bene in the country since being questioned by police over her daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.

Gerry McCann, her husband, is there with her.

Also there is Clarence Mitchell, PR for hire. Says he:

“It is Kate’s first visit back to Portugal since 2007 and it is difficult. It’s something that has always been daunting for her, but she knew she would go back at some stage – and she’s always said she’ll do anything necessary to keep the search for Madeleine alive.

“If it means a trip to speak to the Portuguese media, then so be it. But she’s always said she’ll do anything to keep the inquiry alive.”

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Posted: 23rd, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (20)


Madeleine McCann: 1,000 New Leads To The Australian Beckham

homwMADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: The Third Summer of Maddie, waylaid by Michael Jackson death and Katie Price and Peter Andre’s Tit ‘n’ Tat divorce, has moved into Maddie’s Autumn, as the media brings us threads of news.

Madeleine McCann remains in the news. The parents remain innocent. There are no suspects. There is no evidence of a crime. Now read on:

Daily Express: POSH SPICE’ APPEAL RAISES 1,000 LEADS IN MADDIE HUNT

THE parents of Madeleine McCann have launched a fresh bid to trace a Victoria Beckham lookalike after an appeal sparked 1,000 new leads.

This is the Vicky Beckham lookalike – the witness also described her as “a bit of a Victoria Beckham lookalike” seen pacing about Barcelona looking for a child, or not. And we know Madeleine was in Barcelona because the McCann’s private detective Dave Edgar put down the picture of fat Victoria Beckham to tell us:

“All we can do is try and keep public awareness high – and try and reach as much of that mountainous region outside the resort as we can.”

But Barcelona it is. As Edgar had told us earlier:

Mr Edgar added: “It’s a strong lead. Madeleine could have been in Barcelona by this point. The fact that the conversation took place near the marina could be significant. It is something we are looking at.”

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Posted: 22nd, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (16)


Madeleine McCann: New Prime Suspect As Child Snatched On Beach

benneedham1MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: A child is stolen on a Cyrus beach, Ben Needham is missing. Madeleine McCann is a keyword and Donal MacIntyre identifies the prime suspect…

The Sun: “Stranger snatched Brit tot, 2, off holiday isle beach”

A MUM told yesterday how a stranger snatched her two-year-old son off a beach on a sunshine island – as she watched in horror. The man grabbed little Presley Cassell and fled.

Horror:

The toddler’s dad Nicholas gave chase and grabbed Presley back 30 yards down the beach in Cyprus before the kidnapper could reach a car. Presley’s mum Keeley, 33, said: “He just picked up Presley and ran off down the beach. It happened right in front of our eyes. It was every parent’s nightmare.”

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Posted: 21st, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (8)


Madeleine McCann Case Solved: What Happened To Her

MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: Donal MacIntyre knows what happened to Our Maddie. It’s front-page news in the Sunday Express:

MADELEINE: WORLD EXCLUSIVE – I KNOW HOW SHE WAS TAKEN. By… Donal MacIntyre.

Yeah, the guy from the telly who investigated football hooligans and ended up being beaten up by friends of the acting hooligan his work helped send down. He knows. Want to know what he knows? The Sunday Express has front-page news:

MADELEINE McCann was abducted by at least two kidnappers who must have carried out several dry runs in the days leading up to her disappearance.

Facts.

After spending a week on the ground investigating the case and the methods used by the kidnappers, I can only conclude that they must have entered the apartment to carry out a rehearsal, because they were working to an incredibly tight schedule.

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Posted: 20th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (40)


Madeleine McCann Is Playing In London’s Negative Space

maddie-playMADELEINE McCann has been entertaining media ghouls for three summers. But she’s not been a play. Until now.

As the poster shows, the play should be best watched through a piece of smoked glass and with a Simon Says machine pumping out the notes to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Hey, any reaction to the play is better than none, right?

And after the films and the telly shows and the omnibus and the books and the jokes and the PR and the armchair detection you can watch the play.

It’s called Negative Space, and it’s playing at London’s New End theatre. Writing in The Stage, Jonathan Lovett has more:

A missing child is one of the most devastating events in the history of a family. Not knowing if they’re dead or alive induces a form of paralysis that corrodes its sanity as they wait forever for some kind of closure.

As do we all. Grab an ice-cream and bag of Revels – save the orange ones for good causes. Are missing kids your bag? Go on:

Set in the same year as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Sternberg and Wayne’s bold attempt to portray the grief of another distraught family is thoughtful and provocative, even if it ultimately fails to mine too deeply the pits of emotion such a tragedy provokes.

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Posted: 18th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (3)


Journalist Names Child After Madeleine McCann

mccann17MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: Colin Brazier brings Sky News readers news of his children, in “Choosing A Name Which Holds Its Value”.

Old Mr Anorak’s nephews and nieces Holly, Jessica and little Baby Peter, are visiting Anorak Towers with their mum Myra. Kids, listen up:

“Katharine, Constance, Gwendolyn, Edith and Agnes. Other than Katharine, what horrid names were chosen for the girls.” So wrote a reader in response to a recent story I wrote on having a boy after five girls. I am frequently rendered speechless with mirth or dumbstruck with despair at how utterly vicious my fellow human beings have been made by faceless electronic communication. Some of the emails sent to the Sky News inbox while I, and other presenters, are on-air – for instance – can only be described as actionable.

This news brings us neatly to Madeleine McCann, pet subject for web trolls.

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Posted: 18th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment


Amaral Speaks At Madeleine McCann Conference

torchesMADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: NEWS reaches us that faction author, husband and former policeman Goncalo Amaral is to speak at a Madeleine McCann conference.

Madeleine McCann is no longer a child who went missing. Madeleine McCann is a topic of study and heated debate.

As reported in the Sunday Mercury:

Despite the actions taken against him, Amaral is speaking out at a conference organized by the Madeleine McCann Foundation for those who believe the little girl was not actually abducted, but was killed and a cover up ensued.

To the horses! With leaflets!!

The conference is expected to draw about 150 people in Castle Donington, only 16 miles from the McCann family home. The exact location is not being given out until three days prior to the event because “We dare not give out the venue publicly because of threats of disruption we have had from supporters of the McCann family,” said Anthony Bennett, secretary of the Madeleine McCann Foundation.

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Posted: 16th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment


A Day In the Life Of Madeleine McCann’s Private Detectives

ANORAK reader Bat E. Bird spots this news of Madeleine McCann in the Belfast Telegraph, as we spend a day with the private detectives:

Madeleine McCann ‘is in a secret lair’

Leading to…

Ulster detective leading the hunt on why he thinks she’s being held captive just like Jaycee Dugard

Jaycee Dugard and Madeleine McCann. Compare and contrast. With free Google keywords points for linking either girl to Victoria Beckham:

The Ulster detective leading the search for Madeleine McCann today reveals his most chilling theories yet, exclusively to Sunday Life. Hardened ex-RUC cop Dave Edgar told us he is convinced that little Maddie is imprisoned in a hellish lair – just like kidnapped sex slave Jaycee Lee Dugard.

This is Dave Edgar who wanted to talks with Raymond Hewlett and of whom the Mail said in light of the Victoria Beckham look-alike:

Private detectives leading the hunt for Madeleine McCann faced questions last night after a Mail on Sunday investigation revealed apparent shortcomings in chasing a ‘strong lead’. The detectives failed to make even rudimentary inquiries before announcing a ‘significant’ development in the worldwide search for the six-year-old.

Now here’s Dave Edgar to tell us:

He insisted the “back from the dead” reappearance of Jaycee – and the cases of Austrian cellar girls Elisabeth Fritzl and Natascha Kampusch – confirmed his suspicion.

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Posted: 13th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment


Madeleine McCann Ruined My Life

maddie7MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: THE Sunday Express brings news that “MADELEINE SEARCH ‘WRECKED OUR LIFE’.”

Let’s not forget who the real victim is. No, not innocent Madeleine McCann. Well, not only her.  It’s Goncalo Amaral and his wife Sofia:

THE WIFE of a disgraced Portuguese police chief wrote a “poisonous” letter to Kate McCann in an attempt to defend his handling of the botched Madeleine investigation, the Sunday Express can reveal today.

Wife sticks up for beleaguered husband. Read all about it. And how do we learn of this letter? And what point is there in us knowing?

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Posted: 13th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment


Madeleine McCann Linked To Claudia Lawrence Case

7104001MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: Because all missing persons must be put in the context of Madeleine McCann, that benchmark for the vanished, the mother of missing Malton chef Claudia Lawrence is ready to talk to the McCanns.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in the police investigation, Joan Lawrence said she was thinking of going on the speaking circuit to spread the word about Claudia’s mysterious disappearance.

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Posted: 11th, September 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (85)


Madeleine McCann: Amaral’s Book Banned

amaral-book4GONCALO Amaral’s book on the Madeleine McCann case, The Truth Of The Lie, has been banned.

The McCanns’ Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the couple were “absolutely delighted“.

A judge at Lisbon’s main civil court outlawed any further sales or publications of the book.

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Posted: 9th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (90)


Seeking Madeleine McCann In Jaycee Dugard’s Horror Story

4774481MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news: With Jaycee Dugard, Phillip Garrido and the detectives in Portugal…

THE Daily Express tells us that the McCanns’ detectives are in Portugal. With facts:

Detectives looking for have returned to Portugal to pursue new leads which could provide a breakthrough in the case.

They could. But what of these new leads?

Ex-policemen Arthur Cowley and Dave Edgar spent several days speaking to “persons of interest” to the inquiry.

Like who? Raymond Hewlett? Victoria Beckham? Or someone new?

“The investigation has real momentum with definite goals. A vast amount of work has already been done and every new lead is being checked,” a source said.

“Definite goals?” Surely there is only one goal – to find Madeleine McCann.

Maybe the detectives should be in California, speaking to Phillip Garrido? Once again, the Jaycee Dugard case is being linked to Our Maddie:

Irish Times: What do they need to know?

PARENTING: RECENT MEDIA coverage of abducted children has prompted debate among both children’s groups and parents about the most appropriate ways to speak to children on the dangers of abduction and inappropriate contact from adults, writes BRIAN O’CONNELL.

Is talking about kidnapping and paedos a form of child abuse? Hey, kids, still got those balloons?

Both the Madeleine McCann case and, in recent weeks, that of Jaycee Dugard, who was found alive 18 years after being abducted from her home, have raised parents’ sensitivities in this area.

It’s every parents’ worst nightmare – and every media’s fallback story.

Now for the experts’ advice:

* Never leave children unsupervised. If you have to pop out to the shop even for five minutes, ask a neighbour to keep a watchful eye…

• Be mindful that the majority of abduction cases involve someone familiar to the person abducted.

Now, read on….

Posted: 8th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (7)


Madeleine McCann Spotted In Devon, Man Questioned By Police

mccann14MADELEINE McCann Watch: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Madeleine McCann in the news – THE Media’s third summer of Madeleine McCann was stymied by Michael Jackson’s death, bad weather and Katie Price. Even Victoria Beckham could not reignite the craze. But then Jaycee Lee Dugard was found and, well, the papers made the link and this happened…

STUNNED Jon Hazlehurst and his eight-year-old stepdaughter were quizzed by cops after she was mistaken for Madeleine McCann. A member of the public raised the alarm when she spotted them at a petrol station and thought blonde Lauren was missing Maddie.

And… Is it here? The Sun says…

She jotted down Jon’s car details and dialled 999 and officers went straight to his home nearby in Kingsbridge, Devon. There they found his stepson Jack, 15, who gave them Jon’s mobile number and police told him to immediately report to the local nick.

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Posted: 4th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (6)