Madeleine McCann | Anorak - Part 40

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 And Shannon Matthews: Pets And Parents, The Sun Raises And A Disco

shannon-dog.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

DAILY MIRROR: “McCanns diver fury”

Always “fury”.

Kate and Gerry McCann reacted with fury yesterday after divers began a second search of a reservoir for Madeleine’s body.

The couple told friends the search – funded by a Portuguese lawyer who they claim is a “fantasist” seeking publicity – is a distraction from the hunt.

Marcos Aragao Correia claims crime contacts told him she was killed and left in the lake two days after going missing.

Says a McCann “source”: “There’s no evidence Madeleine is in that reservoir. They believe she is alive and are concentrating on finding her.”

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “Divers search remote Algarve lake for Maddy.”

Says Mr Aragao: “If I was Madeleine’s parents, I’d want to be helped. It may not be the outcome they want if I find Madeleine, but it’s important for them that they find out what happened to her and recover her body if she is dead. There may be genetic evidence on the corpse that could help the police discover who killed her.”

Indeed. Any more clues? Can the paper help?

A Portuguese lorry driver told Metodo 3 he saw the German girlfriend of Madeleine suspect Robert Murat handing over a child in a blanket to a mystery man in Silves, a five-minute drive from the reservoir, on May 5 last year.

Michaela Walczuch has claimed she is being framed to protect the McCanns and denied any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance. She has never been made an official suspect and has only ever been quizzed as a witness.

So why mention it?

THE SUN: “Stepfather is innocent says Shannon’s dad”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 11th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (980)

Shannon Matthews: Craig Meehan Denies, Roy Greenslade Writes And Whispers

shannon-matthews-new.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews


The media carries much news of how missing Shannon Matthews is being ignored. A smaller reward. Just one celebrity friend. The picture of a missing child. A child not there.

She is not Madeleine McCann, say the papers. Her stepfather Craig Meehan is not erudite Gerry McCann. But he is “beleaguered”. Fingers are being pointed. Speculation. Whispers. If not Gerry McCann, is Craig Meehan the Mirror’s “creepyRobert Murat?

“I THINK HE’S A DECENT GUY..Missing Shannon’s real dad backs under-fire stepfather.”

Says Leon Rose: “I’ve always thought he was a decent guy. Whenever I went to pick up Shannon he’d be around. It was obvious she looked up to him. If she’s got time for him, then so have I.”

Whisper: “Shannon’s grandmother June Matthews claimed at the weekend that he was a sinister presence in the family home.”

Whisper: “Worried uncle Martin Matthews said Shannon told him that Craig hit her and begged to stay at his house the day before she disappeared.”

Says Craig Meehan, who has lived with “mum of seven Karen” for four years: “I’ve never laid a finger on Shannon. To tell the truth, these allegations say more about Karen’s mother than they do about me. She’s never liked any of Karen’s ex-partners and is always trying to make trouble for us. She wants to rule Karen’s life.”

Says Uncle Martin Matthews: “Shannon came here at teatime. She said to me ‘Please can I stay here tonight? I can’t go home as I’m in trouble’.

Says Uncle Martin: “Shannon has shown me bruises on her arms and told me Craig lashed out at her.”

Says “Grandmum” June: “Karen was a great mum before she took Craig in. Those kids were loved and cared for. Since he arrived, they’ve had a terrible time.”

Karen Matthews says “Rubbish”.

Fingers are pointed. Whispers. One fact: Shannon Matthews is missing. But no yellow ribbon in the Mirror’s masthead. No solidarity. Just introducing the family. One by one. No yellow ribbon. Not yet…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 10th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (1,161)

Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews: A British ‘Spanish Maddy’

shannon-vigil.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Maddie’s parents in cash offer


Are there shades of a melodrama in this story?

“The parents of Maddie McCann yesterday pledged cash to boost the hunt for Shannon. Gerry and Kate, whose daughter has been missing for 10 months, are “deeply concerned” at the plight of Shannon’s family. Kate, 39, said: “My heart goes out to them. We always hoped and prayed that no other family would have to suffer like we have.”

The McCanns are the media voice of missing children. Providers of the easy quote.

“Money from the Find Madeleine Fund could perhaps pay for a massive poster campaign.”


McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry have no control over the money. The board will want to know what it is needed for.” The fund now stands at £544,000.

Perhaps not.

GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Maddie Parents Pray For Tragic Mari’s Family.”

“THE parents of Madeleine McCann yesterday offered prayers for the family of tragic Mari Luz Cortes.”

No money. No more posters. Prayers.

Their McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “Gerry and Kate are extremely sad. They had developed a sense of unity with Mari Luz’s parents as both families were going through similar agonies.”

Mari Luz is dead. Her body has been found.

As the Sunday Mirror screamed: “Spanish ‘Maddy’ Mari Luz Cortes found dead in river.”

SUNDAY MIRROR: “’Two women broke into our home and tried to snatch our little girl. I had to fight them off.. I thought of Madeleine’.”


Another “Spanish Maddy”?

A British mum told yesterday how she fought off two intruders who tried to snatch her toddler daughter in Spain – in a chilling echo of the abduction of Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal. It has not been established what happened to her. Her parents have been named as suspects in her disappearance. So too has a Robert Murat.

To Moraira, Costa Blanca…

Brave Adele Spencer, 28, wrestled with the Moroccan-looking women when they broke into her home and tried to pluck 18-month old Annabelle from her high-chair.

A swarthy foreigner. A swarthy foreign child snatcher. In Morocco. Morocco. Like him in Malta. Malta. And him in Belgium. And them.

And last night aides to Kate and Gerry McCann said they are keen to find out more about both cases – to see if there are any links to four-year-old Madeleine’s abduction in Praia da Luz, Portugal, last May.

Yesterday tearful Adele cuddled her blonde daughter and admitted: “If I had been 10 seconds later she would have been gone. I’m just thankful I managed to get to Annabelle in time to save her. “I never thought we would come close to suffering the same fate as Madeleine’s parents. You read about horrific stories like theirs but you don’t expect it to happen to you.”

Adele’s fiancé is called Carl. Says he:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 9th, March 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (786)

Madeleine McCann And Shannon Matthews: Mari Luz Cortes And A Middle-Class Media

shannon-mccann.jpg MADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

DAILY RECORD: “Body In River Is Mari Luz”

Sad news. The picture of a girl. A girl not here.

THE body of a girl found in a river estuary in south-west Spain was identified last night as that of missing Mari Luz Cortes. Five-year-old Mari Luz vanished on January 13 after going to buy sweets from a stall only yards from her front door in Huelva.

The town is near the border with Portugal and less than two hours’ drive from where Madeleine McCann went missing.

Last night Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate sent a message of support to Mari Luz’s mother and father, Juan Jose Cortes, 34, a former professional footballer, and Irene Suarez.

Are the cases linked? Spain and Portugal. A body found. A child missing. Are the McCanns now nodding heads with whom the media consult and look to for an easy quote whenever a child goes missing; a child is killed; a child goes missing somewhere in the world?

THE SUN: “Mari Luz Cortes found in river”

The five-year-old’s parents feared she had been snatched like Madeleine McCann when she vanished on January 13. Last night Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry were “extremely saddened”.

Who cannot be made sad by such grim news? Who in their right mind?

Huelva is less than two hours’ drive from Praia da Luz where Maddie, four, disappeared on holiday in Portugal last May. The McCanns, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, said their “thoughts and prayers” were with parents Juan Jose, 34, and Irene, who had been sure Mari was being held alive.

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “They had developed a sense of unity with Mari Luz’s parents. Both families were going through similar agonies.”

Will the press now look for a new child to link Madeleine McCann to?

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Spanish police find body of missing girl”

Her disappearance less than two hours drive from Praia da Luz in the Algarve had prompted police to investigate whether there was any link to the apparent abduction of Madeleine McCann.

Shannon Matthews is missing. A picture of a girl not here.


Best friend Megan Aldridge, nine, yesterday told “GMTV that her pal, also nine, who disappeared on February 19, had a hideaway near her home in Dewsbury, West Yorks.”

Children on the telly. News or exploitation? Hearts or minds?

“She has pinpointed the location of the ‘foxhole’ to detectives during two interviews. Megan said: “A girl came up to her at school and started bullying her. “I told her to go away or I would tell, so she walked off.”

INDEPENDENT: Deborah Orr provides context.

Many commentators have remarked that the disappearance of Shannon Matthews has not made the same impact as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann because of “class”. There is truth in that, but not all of it is as uncomplicated as some observers suggest.

There was an undercurrent in the McCann case of antipathy towards the couple, who could dine out each evening in a nice resort but scrimped on babysitting, and a sinister hope that these seemingly upright citizens might have had a hand in their daughter’s fate, and that their “class” might be shielding them from exposure.

There is, at least, no such smear of Schadenfreude in the Matthews case. It is understood that nine-year-old girls going home from school in insalubrious areas are rarely, but plausibly, abducted.

There may have been no great rush to sanctify Karen Matthews, whose anguish over the loss of her daughter is not questioned. But there has been little attempt to accuse her either. People feel sorrow, but not as much surprise. The less comfortable an existence you have, the more likely it is that you will undergo awful life experiences. That isn’t class prejudice, but a sad fact of life in a remarkably unequal society.

Money. A missing child is a matter of money? A mising child is a matter of a white middle-class media entertaining its white middle-class readers? A mising child is a matter of empathy?

BRISBANE TIMES: “Two mothers, two lost girls, one class system”

Meet the two sides of the social class coin in Britain: Karen Matthews and Kate McCann. From parallel socioeconomic worlds, the two women are bound by perhaps the most traumatic experience a parent can have: the disappearance of a child… The unkind have depicted the two mothers as Waynetta Slob – Britain’s most famous underclass stereotype – versus Kate Moss – darling of the glamour set.

Anyone read of such a thing?

They have compared Ms Matthews’ seven children by five fathers and her 22-year-old boyfriend with Mrs McCann’s IVF-conceived twins and heart-surgeon husband. The high-minded say these things should not matter; it is the missing girls that are important. But it is clear that the perception of class does matter when trying to capture the public’s imagination…

The high-minded? Or just the police and those looking for the missing children. The children pictured. The children not here.

A former Daily Mirror editor and media commentator with The Guardian, Roy Greenslade, appraises public perception and media judgement. “The mother (Karen Matthews) is unsympathetic. This is a dysfunctional family, and people feel, ‘Does she not bring this upon herself? Is she not the author of her own misfortune?’ ” He says Ms Matthews represents an underclass that Daily Mail readers and their like cannot and do not want to relate to.
But the McCanns, he says, with their seemingly respectable lives, represent the aspirations of Middle England. “It shouldn’t matter. But it does. This is a really difficult thing for editors. They don’t like talking about this aspect because it really does betray the unspoken way they make their mind up.”

Media spin? If it bleeds it leads. Stories of girls not here.

Shannon Matthews is on the front pages of the Sun. Madeleine McCann is on the front page of the Daily Express.

The media on Madeleine McCann

Posted: 8th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (920)

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry McCann May Sue Express Newspapers Over Coverage

mmc.jpgAS Anorak readers told us days ago, the Daily Express may be preparing itself for legal hostilities with the McCanns.

READ: Is Madeleine McCann Disappearing From The UK Press?

For days on end the Daily Express led with news – and no news – of Madeleine McCann. And they stopped all mention of her. No longer story big enough for the nationals?

If the McCanns sue the Express, what could it mean for the paper that “strands for decency”, as the adverts say, and for the McCanns who maintain they are innocent in their daughter’s vanishing?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 7th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (272)

Madeleine McCann: Tapas Sums, Shannon Matthews And GMTV

shannon-mumtoy.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

THE SUN: “Cops plot McCann pals’ quiz.”

“It could involve British police putting questions to the ‘Tapas seven’.”

Gran’s plea over missing Shannon

A picture of Karen Matthews wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of her missing daughter. The mother is smiling. Why show this picture?

MISSING Shannon Matthews’ heartbroken gran fought tears yesterday as she pleaded: “I just want to see her little smiley face at my window again.”

June Matthews is a “pensioner”. She suffers from “ill health”. Is interviewing the grandmother now part of the protocol for reporting on missing children?

THE SCOTSMAN: “Madeleine: police may quiz ‘Tapas Nine’ again”

The Sun’s Tapas Seven becomes the Scotsman’s Tapas Nine. Such are the facts.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, of Leicestershire Police, returned from the Algarve yesterday after meeting counterparts in Portugal about how the fresh interviews would be conducted.

The Leicestershire Police spokeswoman says: “Since Madeleine’s disappearance, we, together with other law-enforcement agencies, have been working closely with the Portuguese authorities.

“Mr Prior has attended a series of meetings with his Portuguese counterparts,” she said yesterday. “He travelled to Portugal on Tuesday and returned this morning.

“He went to discuss how the request for mutual legal assistance is to be executed and to seek clarification over elements of the request.”

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine: British police meet Portuguese detectives to plan fresh interviews with Tapas Nine”

The “so-called Tapas Nine – the McCanns and their seven friends – could still hold the solution to the unsolved mystery that began in May last year”.

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “The sooner this re-interviewing takes place the better. The friends are very keen to help police understand their original statements. No one will be changing their story. We are not aware that Kate and Gerry are to be re-interviewed at this stage, but if so, that’s not an issue.”

Tapas Nine minus Tapas Two equals Tapas Seven.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 7th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (570)

Madeleine McCann: Shannon Matthews, Karen Matthews And Britain’s ‘Sickest’ Man

karen-matthews.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews


This “I” can reach the police on a special hotline, number 999. A team of trained operatives are there to take your call…

“Clairvoyant dramatic claim to missing schoolgirl’s mum”

Missing Shannon Matthews’ mum Karen has dramatically been told by a psychic: “I know who snatched your daughter.”

He said the schoolgirl, nine, was abducted by a man both she and Karen knew vaguely – but was alive. A relative of distraught Karen, 32, revealed last night: “What he said got to her as he knew a lot of personal information.”

Three clairvoyants looked for Madeleine. And a psychic barber

MY GIRL IS ALIVE: “THE HUNT FOR SHANNON Father clings to belief she will be found”

Hunt. Like the “Hunt for Madeleine”.

“The distraught dad of missing Shannon Matthews yesterday spoke about his “beautiful angel” – and said he is convinced she is still alive.

Says Leon Rose: “I’m living a nightmare and keep pinching myself to try and wake up. I still keep hoping she’ll come walking through the door.

“I have never felt such pain before but I’m determined to find her. I need to stay strong for her sake and to keep my head straight.”

We are watching the parents. It is as if the grim case of Madeleine McCann has set new standards in tabloid reporting.

In “DADDY’S SNAPS”, readers see pictures of Shannon Matthews. In one she is holding her hands over her face. Do you recognise her? The pictures reflect normality but there is nothing normal about a missing child.

Last pictures are not always the full picture

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 6th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (979)

Madeleine McCann And Missing Shannon Matthews In The Media

shadow-mccann.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

DAILY MAIL: “The shocking truth behind daycare at nurseries and crèches”

“Britain’s childcare industry is booming,” says Imogen Willcox, who has no children. But she knows. And she’s blonde.

“Every working day, more than a million parents drop off their precious little cargos at childminders and private nurseries. All of them do it firm in the belief that those they trust with their babies are highly-qualified, strictly regulated and genuine, caring people. Terrifyingly, they are wrong.”

Spread the fear:

“During an eight-month investigation for the BBC1 investigative programme Whistleblower, I uncovered a childcare culture where a new career’s criminal records and references are never checked, yet they will immediately be left alone with young, vulnerable children.”

You mean someone with a conviction for criminal damage, non-payment of their TV licence or being banned from driving can be in charge of a child!?

And – worst of all – they may be left in the care of a childless TV reporter and Daily Mail writer posing as a caring nursery school helper as she snoops on her fellow staff members – those sad sacks circling life’s plughole without a media career!?

Imogen Willcox carries secret filming equipment into nurseries. Sick? Certainly. Perverted? You decide.

“The builders left their power tools inches away from where the children were playing and no one seemed to notice. I spent that particular session on tenterhooks,” says she.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 5th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (726)

Madeleine McCann: Our Survey Says

madeleine-mcann1.gifMADELEINE McCann is missing. Are Kate and Gerry McCann innocent. They say they are. Or are they guilty. Nothing proven, but people will talk.

Press your keypads now…

PRESS Association: Madeleine McCann’s parents were said to be “encouraged” after a survey suggested public opinion in Portugal was shifting in their favour.

The Correio da Manha poll found that 38.6% of those questioned still believe Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in their daughter’s disappearance in the Algarve.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (182)

Madeleine McCann: A Jetski, A Bag And Terrorist Attacks On Israel

sea.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

DAILY MAIL: “Couple saw bundle taken out to sea near where Madeleine disappeared but police ignored them”

A bundle?

A British couple saw a package being bundled onto a jetski on a beach just six miles from where Madeleine McCann went missing. The tourists had been for a morning swim just nine hours after the little girl disappeared when they spotted the jetski.

A man in a dark wetsuit was riding it, with a 2ft- to 3ft-long black package on the front. He took it to a small “official-looking” grey boat moored just off the coast at Salema.

Man with bag spotted… Read all about it!

The McCanns’s spokesman said they were concerned the Portuguese police had not followed up such a “potentially significant lead”. Really.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (382)

Elizabeth Smart, Chandra Levy, JonBenet Ramsey, Madeleine McCann And Vicky Iseman

IN “McCain Sex Scandal Blonde Missing – Day 12”, the Huffington Post’s Chris Kelly wonders what happened to the “missing blonde woman in John McCain’s lobbying scandal”, Vicky Iseman?

Iseman is not dead. She is not presumed to be dead. There is no police case. Says the trite Kelly: “Until we hear her speak, or hear she’s been identified from dental records, how can we ever have closure?”

(Iseman was the subject of a New York Times story that suggested she and Sen. John McCain had a close relationship that “may have been romantic”.)

And that’s it. Only:

Elizabeth Smart and Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson and JonBenet Ramsey, Madeline McCann and Jessica Lynch, the Runaway Bride and the remains of Anna Nicole Smith. Those stories were made for cable. Sure, it’s fun to watch a casino implode, the first hundred times, but it doesn’t have the same urgent familiarity; the same prurient arc of tension and relief, like a cross between a nipple slip and a mining disaster. There’s something about missing white women that just works for 24-hour news. Like shipwrecks in Shakespeare, or the way you can’t write a truly awful folk song without mentioning smoking.

Says Kelly: “Here at Huffington, the two headlines are OBAMA and SOMEONE’S NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO OBAMA.”

And Ms Iseman. The organ likes Ms Iseman, too. Barack Obama is a black man. You can read about him and listen to him on 24 hour news.  Ms Iseman is a white woman. Madeleine McCann is a missing child whose name Kelly misspells.

In the prurient language of the tabloid, amid a vociferous media feeding frenzy, all are made equal. Just forms of entertainment…

Posted: 3rd, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (151)

Madeleine McCann And Shannon Matthews: Watching The Parents

maddie-robbie-williams.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

BELFAST TELEGRAPH: “Missing: The contrasting searches for Shannon and Madeleine

Has class influenced the rewards offered and publicity given to two campaigns to find missing children? Cole Moreton goes to Dewsbury to investigate…

Two girls are missing:

Back in Britain, within those first 12 days, the McCanns got Premier League footballers to wear Madeleine T-shirts and athletes to run in yellow ribbons. They asked for advice from the likes of Phil Hall, former editor of the News of the World. And there was another factor: Madeleine was cute, and Kate McCann good-looking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (661)

Madeleine McCann And Shannon Matthews: And Jamie Bulger

madeleine-mcann.gifMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

THE INDEPENDENT: “Missing: The contrasting searches for Shannon and Madeleine. Has class influenced the rewards offered and publicity given to two campaigns to find missing children? Cole Moreton goes to Dewsbury to investigate”

Shannon’s parents are not doctors. The child is not blonde, neither is the mother.

Shannon’s uncle, Neil Hyett, lives next door to her, and has had his house and garden searched. The media frenzy of last week bewildered him, but like many others in Dewsbury Moor he says he now wishes he could find a way to make it continue. “It’s all gone quiet, hasn’t it?” he said at the sparse community centre from which the leaflet and poster campaign continues to be run. “Last week, you couldn’t park for television vans. Now they’ve all been sent away on other stories.” Even The Sun’s support yesterday caused disappointment. “I’m devastated, to be honest,” said a coach driver, as others around him agreed. “That poster should have been on the front page.” It was on page 17.

Madeleine McCann

Age: Four. Parents: Kate, 40, a GP. Gerry, 39, a cardiologist. Siblings: Twins, now aged two.
Home: Detached house, Leicestershire.
UK press stories after nine days: 465.
Rewards offered: £2.6m: the ‘News of the World’, Stephen Winyard, Philip Green, Simon Cowell, Coleen McLoughlin, ‘The Sun’, Sir Richard Branson, J K Rowling.
Public donations: £1.1m:
J K Rowling, Bryan Adams, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, Phil Neville, David Moyes, the England cricket team.
Wikipedia profile: 2,182 words after nine days.

Shannon Matthews

Age: Nine. Parents: Karen, 32, and Leon Rose, 29. Stepfather, Craig, 22. Siblings: Six boys and girls, from her mother’s partnerships with five different men.
Home: Three-bed council house, Dewsbury Moor.
UK press stories after nine days: 242.
Rewards offered: £25,500. Made up of £20,000 by ‘The Sun’, £5,000 from Huddersfield firm Joseph International, £500 from Wakefield pensioner Winston Bedford.
Public donations: Thousands at most, including Leona Lewis.
Wikipedia profile: 151 words after nine days.

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Lost little Shannon ‘snatched’”

Devastated friends and family of missing schoolgirl Shannon Matthews last night insisted the nine-year-old was snatched.

Says cousin Vicky Saunders: “Shannon’s quite a timid girl and wouldn’t like to go off on her own.

Family friend Petra Jamieson adds: “She’s the ideal daughter who behaves well. We want everyone to remember Shannon, like they do Madeleine McCann.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 2nd, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (443)

Madeleine McCann: What Shannon Matthews Is Worth, Asda And PR

shannon-matthews-1.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

THE SUN: “£20k reward in Shannon hunt”

THE Sun yesterday offered a £20,000 reward to find missing “little princess” Shannon Matthews.

Good on the paper. But does a reward help? Has it helped Madeleine Mccann? And why £20,000 when Madeleine McCann garnered so much more? Is a reward index linked to the missing child’s age? Or is it because Shannon’s parents are not middle-class – not doctors – and smaller amounts mean more to them?

We also printed posters urging our vast army of readers to help in the hunt for the nine-year-old schoolgirl. And last night her anguished mum Karen, 32, said: “I’m so grateful for all you are doing. It’s a fantastic gesture and means so much to us. We just hope it brings her back.”

Then, hugging Shannon’s stepdad Craig Meehan, 22, she added: “Our message to people is never give up . . . because we won’t until we find her.”

THE TIMES: “Poor little Shannon Matthews. Too poor for us to care that she is lost?”

“Her family may seem feckless. Neighbours can’t afford to run a PR campaign. How the public spotlight faded on missing girl.”


Sarah Payne, smiling in her school uniform; Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, in their Manchester United shirts; Madeleine McCann, staring inquisitively with her distinctive bleeding iris . . .The names and faces of these girls who have disappeared are etched into the public’s collective memory.

Camera crews camped out in their home towns for weeks or months. Donations totalled thousands — even millions — of pounds. Members of the public, many of them strangers, came in their hundreds to offer help and prayers for their safe return.

Yet the trauma and mystery surrounding the disappearance of one nine-year-old girl almost two weeks ago appeared to drift from public consciousness within days…

She’s not Madeleine McCann. No doctors. No logo. No Maddy Catty. No watching the parents. The media treatment is no fault of the McCanns. But are we bored of missing children stories. Have the press caught Maddy fatigue?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 1st, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (798)

Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews, Sniffer Dogs And Leona Lewis

sniffer-dog.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE SUN: “McCann pals to face cop quiz”

Portuguese “cops are to jet to Britain to interview Kate and Gerry McCann and their pals in a last-ditch bid to solve Maddie’s disappearance. They want to quiz David Payne, Jane Tanner and partner Russell O’Brien, it was claimed.”

The Sun’s source is newspaper 24 horas. It reports: “We are finalising the last few details. Within ten days’ a team of investigators will travel to the UK.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Last night on television: The Girls Who Were Found Alive (C4) – Empty (BBC2)”

It was impossible not to think of other “disappearance” cases while watching The Girls Who Were Found Alive (C4). This fine Cutting Edge documentary told the story of two youngsters whose abduction, a decade ago, by a predatory paedophile ended against the odds in rescue. It could serve as a beacon of hope for any parent facing their worst nightmare. But in the context of the search for nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, who went missing last week in Dewsbury, and the ongoing tragedy of Madeleine McCann, it had extra poignancy.


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 29th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (1,054)

Madeleine McCann In A Taxi ‘With Murat’, Denied And Shannon Matthews

madeleine-mccann-beach.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE SUN: “Maddie & Murat ‘in a cab’”

Portuguese taxi driver claims Madeleine McCann was in his cab the night she vanished — with Robert Murat. “Antonio Cardoso, 67, insisted he took the little girl and four adults on a short journey to a hotel where they all switched to a Jeep with foreign plates.”

Says he:

“I later recognised him on television. I am sure it was him…She was awake but silent. She was just staring ahead with big owlish eyes. I noticed her eye because my son was born with a defect much the same. I saw her kind of twist her chin a few times in my rear-view mirror. I remember she was in pink pyjamas and wondered why they hadn’t dressed her.”

Says McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “We are dismissing this primarily because the timings are entirely wrong.”

IRISH EXAMINER: “Taxi driver claims he picked up Madeleine”

Antonio Castela, 67, said he dropped off the missing girl and her English-speaking mystery companions at an Algarve hotel and watched them drive off in a blue jeep. He insisted he was “100% sure” his passengers included Madeleine.

The McCanns and Robert Murat — the third official suspect in the Madeleine McCann case — all deny wrongdoing”

Kate Mccann is a “GP” Kate and husband Gerry a “heart specialist”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 28th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,311)

Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews And Missing Child Protocol

matthews-shannon.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

Shannon Matthews is missing. Is the media treating her case the same way as it views Madeleine McCann? And, in light of missing Madeleine,  is there now a protocol for what occurs when a child goes missing?


Sue Carroll: Most of us won’t have an instant recollection who Shannon Matthews is. After thinking twice, of course we all know she is the nine-year-old missing from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire.

But what a terrible indictment of the media that, when a child has disappeared in Britain for over a week, her name doesn’t spring to our lips, we don’t know her school, favourite toy or what she was wearing when last seen.

Shannon is as precious to her family as Madeleine McCann, missing for 300 days, is to hers. But where are the front-page pictures, campaigns, the furore? Would this be different if she was the daughter of two middle-class, mediasavvy parents? Not a working-class child from up North.

THE SUN: “Marchers wants Shannon home”

THE family of Shannon Matthews led a poignant candlelit vigil for the missing nine-year-old last night – as police admitted hopes of finding her alive looked “bleak”.

Anguished mum Karen and stepdad Craig joined 300 neighbours on a march through streets near their home.

Children carried a banner showing the youngster’s face and a hotline to ring with information.

A hotline. Like Madeleine. A vigil. There is picture of Shannon on her birthday.

Balloons bearing pleas for Shannon’s safe return were released during last night’s vigil.

THIS IS LONDON: “Police search house of missing Shannon’s uncle as detectives treat case ‘as seriously as a murder'”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 27th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (1,154)

Shannon Matthews, Madeleine McCann And Haut De La Garenne

madeleine-mccann.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


A man helping in the search for missing schoolgirl Shannon Matthews is believed to have been crucified outside his house just yards from the nine-year-old’s family home.

Police are investigating the alleged assault of a 43-year-old man who neighbours claim was nailed to a wooden cross through his hands on Sunday night, and some locals claim the attack is related to the hunt for the missing girl.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 26th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,253)

Shannon Matthews, Haut De La Garenne Paedophiles And Madeleine McCann

shannon-matthews.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY RECORD: “Six New Sites To Be Probed In Jersey Children’s Home Body Hunt”

“A sniffer dog that discovered a child’s remains at a former children’s home has found six other areas at the site to investigate. Police continued to search Haut de la Garenne, in St Martin, Jersey, where the body was found on Saturday.

“They were investigating child abuse allegations at the home on the east coast of the island. The bones of the unidentified child – believed to date from the 1980s – were found using ground penetrating radar and Eddie, a springer spaniel sniffer dog previously used in the hunt for Madeleine McCann”

DAILY MIRROR: “Police search 200 homes in a bid to find missing schoolgirl Shannon Matthews”

Shannon Matthews is aged 9

Worried neighbours and family members, some wearing T-shirts showing pictures of the schoolgirl, yesterday filled the residents’ association hall near her home. Leaflets and posters appealing for information have been distributed. Day and night searches by friends and relatives are still going on. Gerry McCann, father of missing Madeleine, said Shannon’s disappearance was “deeply concerning”.

Hunt for more kid remains – A “sniffer dog has pinpointed SIX more places where bodies may be buried at the ex-children’s home where a youngster’s bones were unearthed. The child’s remains were found by a spaniel, used in the hunt for Madeleine McCann, under inches of concrete on Saturday”

THE SUN:” “McCanns: We pray for Shan”

But this is about Shannon Matthews. What has it to do with the McCanns?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 25th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (1,144)

Madeleine McCann: Dorset, Antonia Jiminez And Cocaine

madeleinemccann3.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


A man claims he saw her with a Portuguese couple in Dorset

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Cocaine rap for ‘tec with Maddie firm”

“A private detective linked to the agency hunting Maddie McCann was last night behind bars accused of helping steal £25million worth of cocaine. Antonia Jimenez, 53, is a business partner of the founder of Metodo 3 which is charging £50,000-a-month to search for the missing British toddler”

Gerry and Kate McCann’s spokesman said: “Jimenez has worked with Metodo 3 but has not been involved in the Madeleine investigation”

The paper reminds readers how Metodo 3 were going to find Madeleine by Christmas – last Christmas. Not a white Christmas

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine: Detective linked to McCanns’ private investigators in £25m cocaine probe”

“Retired police officer Antonio Jimenez, 53, was remanded in custody on Thursday by a judge investigating the loss of half a ton of cocaine from a container docked in Barcelona in 2005. Jimenez was a business partner of Maria Fernandez Lado, 57, founder of Metodo 3, the agency charging £50,000 a month to search for Madeleine”

The caper: “The cocaine was smuggled into Spain in 974 packets on the ship Hispanota, which was transporting frozen prawns from Venezuela. It docked in Barcelona in November 2004 and the drugs were taken on January 24, 2005”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann: detective agency link held”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (645)

Madaleine McCann: Amaral Accused

cipriano-amaral.pngMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN: “McCanns slur cop to face trial”

Goncalo Amaral is to go in the dock.

No, not because he “smeared” Kate and Gerry McCann. Not for “claiming British cops were trying to shield the McCanns, both 39, of Rothley, Leics.”

Mr Amaral “faces six years for allegedly concealing that four colleagues beat Leonor Cipriano, 36, until she confessed to killing her daughter Joana, nine”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (463)

Is Madeleine McCann Disappearing From The UK Press?

daily-express-mccann.jpgTHE Anorak has been watching the media’s treatment of the Madeleine McCann story for some months.

The tragedy of a missing child was turned into a media feeding frenzy, a grim story with any gaps in the narrative plugged with speculation and voyeurism.

We were invited to become sleuths, armchair detectives working out who had done what and how. Nothing meaningful has been achieved by this. Madeleine McCann is missing.

Who cannot feel for those involved? Who would want to be them?  

Now Anorak learns from a reader that the Madeleine McCann story may be disappearing from the British press, and newspapers’ websites.

Anorak’s team of moderators seeks to weed out libellous comments and anyone making accusations against individuals they cannot back up. We seek not to mirror the press but show you how the story is presented by media outlets to their audiences. Now read this:

. xklamation |

Madeleine McCann is vanishing from the British Press

Every single story in the Daily Express and in the Daily Star regarding Madeleine McCann has disappeared.

This was the answer given by the Daily Express’ online editor, Geoff Marsh:

“Hi xxx, Many thanks for your email. For operational reasons, some articles previously available on have been temporarily removed. I’m afraid I can’t go into any more detail. Best wishes, Geoff”

And from the web team of Daily Express:

“Hi xxx

Many thanks for your email – and indeed your continued support as a regular reader.

I assure you, we do value you – and your input.

Daily Express
Due to operational reasons, a number of stories which previously appeared on have been made temporarily unavailable.

Apologies if this causes any inconvenience or disrupts your use of our website.

I’m afraid I can’t go into any more detail.

However I would like to emphasise once again that we value your readership – and are grateful for your ongoing support of

Best wishes

The Web Team”

Why is thia happening?  

Posted: 22nd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (410)

Madeleine McCann: Melissa Fiering Knows, CCTV And The ‘Mark Of Madeleine’

mccann_eye31.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY STAR: “French child was not Maddie”

Melissa Fiering was mistaken

DAILY MIRROR: “This is the first image of the man a student claims she saw with Madeleine McCann in a cafe.”

An image. a drawing of a man who looks like a cross between Johnny Depp and KD Lang.

Melissa Fiering, 18, described the dark-skinned male to sketch artist Emre Altin, 28, exclusively for the Mirror.

Speaking at her home in Nijmegen, Holland, yesterday, the travel and tourism student said of the police-style e-fit: “This is definitely an accurate likeness of the man I saw. I’d recognise him straight away if the police found him”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 22nd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (171)

Madeleine McCann: Melissa Fiering Sees, An Algerian And Waldo

madeleine-mccann.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


“Eye-defect girl in cafe” – Why do they stare, daddy?


A picture of Melissa.

“’This is so significant because the girl noticed the blemish in the eye and it’s on CCTV for first time’ – McCANN FAMILY SPOKESMAN CLARENCE MITCHELL LAST NIGHT”


To France:

“The little girl was spotted in a motorway service station cafe by student Melissa Fiering, 18, who insists she clearly saw the distinctive flaw in her right iris”

Says Melissa: “My friend and I had music playing loudly out of our mobile phones and this little girl was dancing to it. It was only when I looked closely at her I realised it was Madeleine. She had a very thin face and her blonde hair had been cut much shorter, down to her jaw. But it was her”

Why so certain?

“I looked in her eye because I’d seen on TV that Madeleine’s got a defect in her right iris and I saw this girl had it. I could hardly believe my eyes but I knew for sure it was Madeleine. I called out her name and she looked up at me – she obviously recognised it”

Obviously. Dancing with a small child and then you shout out a name and she looks at you…

“But when I called out ‘Madeleine’ the man she was with got worried and started dragging her away from the queue”

The man with Madeleine is described as a “dark-skinned man, who was possibly Algerian”. Blonde girl with dark-skinned man. Like her?

What did Melissa do when he was spotted, this swarthy man?

“As he dragged the girl away he threw a white coat over her and pulled a woollen hat from his pocket and jammed it on her head. Melissa adds: ‘He didn’t say a word but as they got to the door he prodded the girl in the back. I tried to take pictures on my phone but I only got one and it was all blurred. I ran outside after them but they’d vanished”



Rhys Jones was killed in Liverpool, shot by a youth on a bike

“Rhys’s mum Melanie, 42, and dad Stephen, 45, who have received a message of sympathy from Madeleine McCann’s family, issued a statement for tomorrow’s six-month anniversary of the shooting”

Why do we know this?

The message says: “We are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of our beautiful son Rhys. The pain we have had to face every day has been magnified by the poignancy of occasions like Christmas and Rhys’s 12th birthday. The last six months have been a living nightmare. All we want is justice for our son”

Rhys Jones is murdered in Liverpool. Rhys Jones was 11 years old. His parents are not suspects


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,234)

Madeleine McCann: Legal Action Fury

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

DAILY MIRROR: “Fury over McCanns’ poster girl”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (2,071)