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: Legal Action Fury

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

DAILY MIRROR: “Fury over McCanns’ poster girl”

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

Madeleine McCann: Scare Stories, Kate McCann’s Job And No Mari Luz

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


“Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are now investigating a spate of attempted child abductions across Portugal.

“At least five kidnap attempts have been reported in the past month, leading officers from the Madeleine team to examine the details for possible connections.”

What of the headline “link” to Madeleine McCann – well, the alleged attempted kidnappings all occurred in Portugal

But “Last week Justice Minister Alberto Costa revealed that the head detective, Paulo Rebelo, was coming to the end of his case”, says the WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER

Says Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman: “It’s alarming to hear that this sort of thing can happen, particularly in a country that is so aware of the potential for abduction”

: “Maddy: 5 scares in Portugal”

Police searching for Madeleine McCann are also investigating five attempted child abductions in northern Portugal. They began when a nine-year-old girl was bundled into a car as she got off her school bus. Two more children were attacked last month and last Thursday two men tried to lure a girl of nine into a car. Last Saturday, another child escaped abduction. One police source said: “It is causing a lot of alarm.”

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Posted: 18th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,122)

Madeleine McCann: Lying To Children, Ian McEwan And Questions

mccann_eye3.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR: “McCann pals face new quiz”

“It is understood Jane Tanner, Russell O’Brien and David Payne, three of the Tapas Seven, may be questioned over alleged inconsistencies in their statements”

“Understood” and “may.” Such are the facts. Such is the reporting

Say the McCanns’ family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “There is no suggestion Kate and Gerry will be re-interviewed”

And “suggestion”

DAILY RECORD: “One Last Try To Get Maddie Answers”

“Staff at the resort where Madeleine McCann vanished have again been quizzed by detectives. It comes as they prepare to re-interview pals of Kate and Gerry McCann in a last-ditch bid to crack the case”

Anyone we know questioned?

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Posted: 16th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,673)

Madeleine McCann: Mini Match, No Giving Up, No End In Sight

madeleinemccann2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY STAR: “Police to quiz Tapas Seven”

Tapas Nine, surely. Sangria 7…

The Home Office has received a list of questions the Portuguese police want to put to the Tapas 7/9. The questions would be uttered by British police, with the Portuguese sitting in and maybe even making notes

DAILY MIRROR: “McCanns refuse to lose hope”

“Madeleine McCann’s parents will never give up searching for her despite the police investigation coming to an end”

On it goes

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Posted: 15th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,364)

Madeline McCann: The Conclusion And St Valentine’s Day Posters

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

DAILY RECORD: “Maddie Poster Blitz”

“Nearly 18,000 are being sent out across Spain. They will show Madeleine with either Mari Luz Cortes, five, or Yeremi Vargas, seven. They carry the headline No Nos Olvideis, Spanish for ‘Don’t forget us’

“Mari went missing in Huelva, 120 miles from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, on January 13. Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz on last May 3 .Yeremi disappeared on Gran Canaria in March 2007”

None of the other missing children’s parents have been named as suspects in their disappearance

Says Clarence Mitchell: “”We know the Portuguese police looking for Madeleine have examined both cases and our investigators have also looked at them and continue to keep an open mind”

DAILY MIRROR: “McCann case ‘is near end’”

Madeleine McCann has been found?

Portugal’s justice minister Alberto Costa says: “We are at a stage now where we are approaching the conclusion of the process”

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Posted: 14th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,171)

Madeleine McCann: Alberto Costa ‘Grilled’ And Clarence Mitchell’s Words

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

THE SUN: “Minister grilled on Maddie”

Alberto Costa, is the Portuguese justice minister. And today he will “face a stormy parliamentary quiz on the handling of the Maddie McCann probe”

Says Mr Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman: “We are sitting tight to hear what Mr Costa says”

That is the full Madeleine McCann news in the papers.

Did Mr Mitchell’s words at a debate on The McCanns and the Media at the London School of Economics have an affect?

Since then, not one Daily Express front-page headline has appeared (although the Sunday Express continues to feature Madeleine on its cover), and a relative dearth of news…

Who sets the news agenda?

Posted: 13th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (737)

Madeleine McCann: Goncarlo Amaral, Leonor Cipriani And Torture

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


Chief Inspector Goncarlo Amaral is in a courthouse in Faro

The man removed from the Madeleine McCann investigation is accused of lying to protect his officers. Leonor Cirpriano says police beat her into a confession

Cipriano is convicted of murdering her nine-year-old daughter Joana

Says a friend of the McCanns: “They met him once and thought he was just another officer”. He is

THE SUN: “McCann slur cop in ‘torture cover up’”

Amaral is “tubby”. Amaral weighs “18 stone”

The Sun says Amaral is involved in what “many say is Portugal’s worst miscarriage of justice”

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Posted: 12th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (925)

Madeleine McCann: A Commemorative Stamp, Metodo 3 Expenses And Another Maddie

mccanns2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “McCann’s private detectives charging Find Madeleine fund £50,000 per month in EXPENSES. Kate and Gerry McCann’s private detectives are charging the Find Madeleine fund £50,000 a month in expenses, it was revealed yesterday”

So not £50,000 a month flat fee, as reported as fact earlier?

“The costs charged by Spanish agency Metodo 3, appointed in September to find the missing girl, are on top of its £8,000 monthly fee – which is paid by one of the couple’s wealthy supporters” – including double glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy

Says the couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell: ‘”The £50,000 is for legitimate operational costs, having people scattered around different countries. The fund contributes £50,000 a month of publicly donated money because it’s money to help find her. We feel that’s proper use of that money”


“These creepy pictures of a suspect sought over missing Madeleine McCann were released yesterday. Criminal psychologists believe previous images of a long-haired bearded man spotted on the night of the disappearance did not properly reflect descriptions given by witnesses”

A new image based on guessology?

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Posted: 11th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (989)

Online PR: Madeleine McCann Used To Sell Holiday Flats

mccann-algarve.jpgMADELEINE McCann. A marketing tool.

A press release: “Northern Portuguese Villas Make Algarve Properties Look Like a Houses of Cards”


Minho Villas offers an investment alternative in the north of Portugal to the possibly burnt out and overpriced Algarve. Various key and coincidental factors including the Maddie McCann episode and Portuguese property market as a whole potentially equate to negative balance sheet potential for new buyers on the south coast. While other areas of Portugal, especially the northern border with booming Galicia (Spain), could see a 360% return in just 10 years according to British Channel 4.

The clincher:

“Of course buying a property which does not appreciate much in value can still be a good investment if the holiday letting yields are good, but with an already noticeable backlash by the holidaying European public over what they see as the wholly unacceptable treatment of Madeleine McCann’s parents and the fact the Algarve is no longer consequentially considered a safe family destination, this is not such a bankable commodity as it once was on Portugal’s south coast. With vagrants targeting an area rich with high value homes, the Algarve seems to becoming a victim of it own success; try finding a vagrant targeting foreigners in other areas of Portugal though and you will be hard pushed”

Using fear and the case of a missing child to sell holiday flats…


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

Posted: 10th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Online-PR | Comments (16)

Madeleine McCann: ‘Screaming Contradictions’, Scotland Yard And Francisco Marco Interviewed

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

SUNDAY EXPRESS (front page): “MADELEINE – News call for Scotland Yard probe”
Are Scotland Yard for hire? Benazir Bhutto. And McCann? Have the discovered who killed Rhys Jones yet?

“Retired Chief Superintendent Dai Davies, former head of the Yard’s Royal Protection unit, says that if the Yard can send detectives to probe the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, then they should also fly to Portugal to try and solve the Madeleine mystery”

He says:

“The Portuguese investigation has quite simply not solved the crime and it is now looking increasingly likely that it will be shelved. I would suggest that this is the time to call on the Yard to take the lead and to get them to form a team of detectives to work on the case”

Retired copper suggests his old boys are the best – Read all about it!

GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Police Ready To Clear McCanns Over Maddie”

“Police in Portugal are set to clear Kate and Gerry McCann as suspects, it was claimed last night”

A fact claimed by “insiders” who say “officers did not have a shred of evidence against the 39-year-old couple”

The McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says: “This report is extremely encouraging”

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Kate and Gerry ‘in the clear’”

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Posted: 10th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (926)

Madeleine McCann With Britney Spears And David Beckham

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

THE SUN: “Maddie resort ‘perv’ snaps Brit”

“A suspected pervert who fled the resort where Maddie McCann vanished is taking photos of Britney Spears in LA, The Sun can reveal.

Christian Ridout, 32, is wanted for questioning in Praia da Luz, Portugal, for allegedly trying to groom a 12-year-old girl”

DJ Shifty..?

“But for several months Ridout has used the name Dexter Troy to work as a paparazzo in Hollywood, where he has trailed the likes of Britney, David Beckham and Kiefer Sutherland”

Says Ridout: “These allegations are ridiculous. At the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance I was in London. I have not been to Portugal for three years”

But Britney Spears. Madeleine McCann. Both in the same story. Remarkable stuff at the Sun. has Ridout every taken a picture of Princess Diana? We demand to be told…

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Posted: 9th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,164)

Madeleine McCann: Carlos Anjos Says, Clarence Mitchell Replies And The Daily Express Is Quiet

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

THE SUN: “Maddie cops snub”

Carlos Anjos, head of the Portuguese Police Federation, says: “There are bigger problems in the police”, than the case of Madeleine McCann

Says Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman: “Mr Anjos is entitled to his opinion but it is entirely unhelpful”

This the same Carlos Anjos who once noted:

“There is no criminal investigation which can feed a news frenzy for six months, so what we have seen are both English and Portuguese journalists behaving in a scandalous and unprofessional way. Writing terrible stories in the papers, some of which have clearly affected the McCanns… now we have to say that the McCanns are partly to blame for this. Because it was something they created”

And then one of the oddest lines yet seen in a newspaper:

“Meanwhile cops have ruled out a theory the four-year-old could have been snatched by Swiss pervert Urs Hans Von Aesch. He blew his chance in august after killing a girl of five”

Anyone care to explain that comment?

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Posted: 8th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (978)

Madeleine McCann: Case Closed, Reported Claims And Olegario Sousa Explains

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

DAILY MIRROR: “McCann case ‘to be axed’”

Not axed by the Mirror, which maintains a hack in Praia da Luz to read the local press, rather by the police

“The McCanns could be cleared over daughter Madeleine’s disappearance in months as police plan to shelve the case, it was claimed yesterday. Top detectives believe the case will never be solved and are thought to be preparing public opinion for the fact no one will be charged”

“Claimed.” “Believe.” “Thought.” Can the Mirror be any more certain?

The McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “Gerry and Kate want to be cleared but they will never give up the search. We still believe Madeleine could be alive”

DAILY STAR: “MADDIE CASE CLOSED – Police finally admit they will never find body”

“Police are to close their investigation into the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann.”

The Star is certain

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Posted: 7th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,026)

Madeleine McCann: Alipio Ribeiro’s Error, Another Madeleine And Days Of Anxiety

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

THE SUN: “Chief says sorry to Maddie cops”

“Police national director Alipio Ribeiro angered detectives probing the mystery and a judge even told him to shut up. Mr Ribeiro has now admitted he made an ‘error of expression’”

Mr Ribeiro’s opinion that the Portuguese police may have acted hastily in naming the McCanns as suspects was big news

“Cops in the Algarve are still trying to pin four-year-old Maddie’s disappearance last May on doctors Kate and Gerry, both 39, of Rothley, Leics”


“Lawyers for the pair want Portugal’s attorney general to clear them as official suspects, but that rarely happens before the end of an investigation”

DAILY MIRROR: “Top cop ‘sorry’ for McCann comment”

Alipio Riberio says it was a “slip of the tongue”. The Mirror says there are “calls for him to resign”, although from whom is not said

Says Carolos Pinto de Abreu, the McCanns’ lawyer: “The status of arguido runs until the end of the inquiry. However, during the inquiry there may be a change”


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Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (898)

Madeleine McCann: A Pundit Says, Judge Eurico Reis Orders And The Sun Omits

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

THE SUN: “Shut up: Maddie cop by judge”

Police national director Alipio Ribeiro “stunned his men” by “admitting” the decision to make “doctors” Kate and Gerry McCann suspects was “hasty”

Judge Eurico Reis said it is “not the cop’s role to publicly comment on cases under investigation. The judge raged: ‘It is his duty to SHUT UP.’”

And: “Portugal’s top prosecutor Antonio Cluny branded Ribeiro’s comment ‘extremely worrying’” – Why worrying? Because of what he said? Or because a policeman has given his personal views about an ongoing case? The Sun fails to make this clear

The McCanns spokesman tells us: “You cannot have the head of the police force openly questioning the validity of the way in which they were made suspects and then not have a review”

Can’t you? Can someone expert in Portuguese law tells us if you can or cannot…


Alipis Ribero is on the radiop. Says Shanahan: “In effect, Mr Ribeiro is saying: ‘We never had any evidence agsint Kate and Gerry. We didn’t take Madeleine’s disappearance seriously… Some of our detectives thought Kate and Gerry looked dodgy. So we made them suspects and hoped something might turn up.”

The tabloids, meanwhile, look at “creepy” Robert Murat, also a suspect – you know, the one the Sun calls an “oddball” 


“TORMENTED Kate and Gerry McCann are to remain official suspects over their daughter’s disappearance. They hoped to have their ‘arguido’ status lifted after Portugal’s top cop Alipio Ribeiro admitted it may have been a mistake to put them in the frame. But government legal advisers yesterday denied they were planning to clear their names”

So the personal views of a policeman are not a deciding factor in an ongoing investigation?

“The 39-year-olds may be considered suspects for as long as the investigation continues – possibly years”

Read all about it!

DAILY MIRROR: “STILL SUSPECTS – Maddy probe team in row over letting McCanns off hook”

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Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (958)

Martin Bell On Necro News And Madeleine McCann

MARIN Bell is a former television war correspondent and politician. He has this to say about the current state of TV news reporting:

Foreign news is expensive and dangerous. So in many cases newspapers and TV networks have abandoned it, retreating into a comfort zone of celebrity stories, consumer news, sport, health-scares and crime. Especially crime. In the last 10 years or so, a particular category has been climbing up the news agenda to a dominant position. I call these stories “necro-news”.

They are about the victimisation of girls and young women. The death or disappearance of anyone from a toddler to a princess is the signal for a media obsession with these stories to the virtual exclusion of all others. The coverage is mawkish, exploitative and highly speculative.

We saw this with the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, with the Ipswich murders in December 2006 and most conspicuously with the abduction of Madeleine McCann in Portugal in May last year.

The BBC now accepts, I believe, that it was wrong to give the story the wall-to-wall prominence that it did, or to send its leading anchors to Portugal to front the coverage. But it still found space for a Madeleine story in its first 10 O’Clock News, going head-to-head with ITN’s revamped News At Ten. Both programmes were awash with necro-news.

This “murder porn” news is cheap. It competes for an audience among those who watch TV news. Not everyone does. Many get their news via the internet, or have no interest in it…


Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (28)

Madeleine McCann: Marcos Correia Knows, A Find And Jeremy Vargas

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “DIVERS HUNT FOR MADDY IN LAKE – Underworld tip-off leads to fresh search”

“The hunt, near the Algarve resort where she went missing in May, followed an underworld tip-off to lawyer Marcos Correia

Says Marcos: “They told me she was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters. I’m convinced this is the place”

Pages 4 and 5: “I believe this is where Madeleine’s body lies”

Mr Correaia is a “Good Samaritan”. He is paying for a team to search the lake. And the name of this lake? It’s the Barragem do Arade reservoir. The police have been here before

Marcos says: “I was able to identify the site on December 10 and immediately informed police. Who did nothing”

The Mirror says he was “ignored”

Says Marcos: “I got tried of waiting for them to act on my information, so I decided to act”
The police went to the reservoir in October, and here

“MY BOYS LOST TOO” – Jeremy Vargas is missing. He went missing form Gran Canaria eight weeks before Madeleine McCann vanished

Says Jeremy’s mum Ithaisa Suarez: “Police from Madrid told me that they have been in contact with Portuguese police investigating Madeleine”

DAILY STAR front page: “Maddie: Divers’ shock find at bottom of lake”
They’ve found here?

Page 12: “’Maddie’s body is in this lake’,” says Marcos Correia. Divers have made a “significant” find

It’s a…length of knotted cord “which could have been used to truss up a body”

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Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (931)

Madeleine McCann: Alipio Ribeiro’s Thinks, Clarence Mitchell Knows And A Birthday

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

DAILY STAR ON SUNDAY: “MADDIE COPS SAYS SORRY – Police ‘too quick’ “to blame parents”

“A top policeman has sensationally admitted that making Gerry and Kate McCann suspects over their daughter Maddie’s disappearance was too ‘hasty’. Alipio Ribeiro, boss of the Portuguese department in charge of the investigation, dropped his bombshell in a radio interview”

Says Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns spokesman: “Now that the national director of the Policia Judiciaria apparently acknowledges that they should never have been made arguidos, it follows there is no case for them to answer.”


“As the couple bravely celebrated the third birthday of their twins, Sean and Amelie, one of Portugal’s most senior detectives admitted that making them suspects had been a “hasty” mistake”

Did Mr Alipio Ribeiro say “mistake” in his radio interview?

Says the paper: “The couple, both 39, said the official’s comments were tantamount to an admission that Portuguese detectives had bungled by centring their investigation on them.”

Says Mr Ribeiro to Portugal’s Radio Renascenca, owned by the Catholic Church:

“At this moment in time and speaking with the experience I have of Portugal’s Public Prosecution Service and the constitution of arguidos, I think there perhaps should have been another assessment before the McCanns were made official suspects.

“I don’t have any doubt about that. The national director of the Policia Judiciaria doesn’t give out orders on the constitution of arguidos but there was a certain hastiness”

Says the paper: “Last night Ribeiro was under growing pressure to stand down as national director of their country’s Policia Judiciaria”. Pressure from, whom?

MAIL ON SUNDAY: “”Police chief: We were too quick to make Gerry and Kate ‘arguidos’”

Says the Mail: “Kate and Gerry McCann’s bid to clear their names over the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine has been given a massive boost after the head of Portugal’s police admitted it had been a mistake to rush into making them official suspects”
Mr McCann says: “We need a breakthrough and this looks like it could be one. It is fantastic news. We still have a long way to go but people in Portugal need to understand what has been happening and what we have been going through. We know it will take the police a long time to accept what has been happening is wrong but it is an important step towards that”

Says the McCanns’ lawyer in Portugal, Carlos Pinto de Abreu: “Many people who may have vital information have possibly not come forward as they wrongly suspected the McCanns”

What about that huge reward, and doing the right thing? People may be deterred from coming forward for fear of being named in the media and questioned by Metodo 3, the McCann’s private investigators. But let us not speculate

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “MADDIE U-TURN – EXCLUSIVE Cops admit mistake on twins’ birthday”

“Kate and Gerry McCann threw a birthday bash for their twins yesterday – as a top cop admitted it was WRONG to name them as suspects over missing Maddie”

Well, Policia Judiciaria “boss” Alipio Ribeiro, said the police acted too hasilty. “Ribeiro last night faced calls to resign over the astonishing U-turn” – although from whom, the paper does not bother to say

Say the McCanns: “The support we have had from around the world has been amazing. It’s helped maintain our strength and hope and this has helped the search for our precious Madeleine. We believe there is a very good chance she is still alive. She deserves the love and security of her family. She needs to be back home with her mummy and daddy, brother and sister”

THE GUARDIAN: “Police chief says ‘we were too hasty’ in naming McCanns as suspects”

“In an interview to be aired on Portuguese radio today, Alípio Ribeiro, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, will concede that police may have acted too soon in making Kate and Gerry McCann formal suspects, known in Portugal as arguidos. His comments were interpreted last night by the McCanns as a tacit admission that the police were wrong to name them as being involved in the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter”

Madeleine McCann: speculation, suspicion and sensation 

Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (890)

Madeleine McCann: Alipio Ribeiro’s Police Acted In Haste

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

Alipio Ribeiro, head of the Policia Judiciaria, is in interview with Portugal’s Radio Renascenca.

He says said there was a “certain hastiness” in making the McCanns suspects.

Says the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell: “Now the national director of the Policia Judiciaria apparently accepts they should not have been made arguido, it follows that there is no case for Kate and Gerry to answer”

Is that what he said? Or did Mr Ribeiro say they police might have acted with a “certain hastiness”? Is something being lost in translation?

Says Mr Mitchell: “”As I have consistently said, Kate and Gerry are entirely innocent of any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.”

He goes on:

“If the Portuguese police, under Mr Ribeiro, now do the only proper thing by eliminating Kate and Gerry from their inquiry, they and our own investigators can work together rapidly and effectively to find Madeleine and to bring those responsible for her abduction to justice.”

And the arguido status is intended as a kind of protection, giving those involved in investigations more rights than witnesses.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Police ‘haste’ in making McCanns suspects”

Says Alipio Ribeiro, “perhaps should have been another assessment” before Kate and Gerry McCann were declared “arguidos”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “What has been lacking so far is formal liaison with the police. If Kate and Gerry are no longer arguidos perhaps there will be better co-ordination, and the police and our investigators can act rapidly to find Madeleine”

But they are arguidos

HELIUM: “Thinking The Unthinkable: Did Madeleine McCann’s parents kill her?”

YES – a writer specualtes

NO – a writer speculates

Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (113)

Madeleine McCann: Family Holiday Survey

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

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann disappearance putting parents off hotel childcare”

“Parents are less likely to use hotel baby childcare services following the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann while on holiday in Portugal last year”

Mum and dad are spending more time with the nippers, as a family…

“A survey by family travel website showed that 62 per cent of parents were now less likely to leave their children alone in their room using baby listening, or in the care of hotel or resort staff”

So no hard facts, just a survey. Are people using baby listening services less?

“The tragic disappearance of Madeleine McCann has obviously had a dramatic effect on parents’ attitudes,” says Lucy Ace, managing director of

“Such incidents are extremely rare but it has definitely made parents re-evaluate their holiday childcare – whether it’s baby listening or even qualified babysitting.”

Says the paper: “However, a quarter of those polled said recent news stories had had no effect on their attitudes”

Did you get the name of her company? It’s called Take the family – a holiday firm that wants mum and dad to spend more time with the children, as a family. Now look at the facts…

UPDATES to follow

Madeleine McCann: Spreading the fear

Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (425)

Madeleine McCann: Britney Spears, Lolita And Birthday Cards

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

DAILY MAIL: “Woolworths forced to withdraw LOLITA bedroom furniture range for girls”

The Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard designed for girls aged around six, retails on the Woolworths website for £349.99

The name has “sexual connotations”. A “mother” sees it and writes: “Am I being particularly sensitive, or does anyone else out there think it’s bad taste for Woolies to have a kiddy bed range named ‘Lolita’?”

Well, you don’t have to buy it…

A spokesman for the company says: “What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now”

Trusting Wikipedia for information has its own dangers. (And look out for an article on the state of British education.) But no danger is bigger than a bed named, perhaps, in honour of a charcter in a novel by Vladimir Nabokov

Or Lolita the killer whale

Or Lolita Fatjo, pre-production coordinator for Star Trek

Or many other women called Lolita

“On-line parent power has been growing in recent years. In 2006 Tesco stopped selling a pole-dancing kit on its website over accusations it was destroying children’s innocence. And last summer an on-line campaign by Mumsnet resulted in a cinema advert about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann stopped from being screened before the children’s film Shrek the Third

THE TIMES: “Staff at Woolworths baffled by fuss over the little girl’s bed called Lolita”

“Woolworths has withdrawn bedroom furniture for young girls bearing the sexually charged name Lolita after a campaign waged by a mothers’ online chat room”

An internal company e-mail seen by The Times goes: “As discussed, we’ve got the product below on our website. Can it be hidden as soon as is possible? Then I really need to find out how it came about being on our site and who bought it. Lolita is a word that means sexually active young teenagers, so a young girls’ range of bedroom products is in very poor taste. We’ve had an approach from a website who are clearly a little disturbed by this”

THE SUN: “Gift from Maddie for twins”

No, not furniture

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Posted: 1st, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,022)

Is It Too Soon For A Madeleine McCann Movie?

IN today’s Madeldeine McCann Watch, Peter Bradshaw asks: “How soon is too soon for a movie based on a news story?”

Anorak takes a look: 

Raid On Entebbe (1976) – Victory at Entebbe, Raid On Entebbe & Entebbe: Operation Thunderbolt (all 1978)

Gianni Versace killed (1997) – The Versace Murder (1998)

9/11 (2001) – United 93 & World Trade Center (both 2006)

Charge Of The Light Brigade (1854) – The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Mass suicide by Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple cult (1978) – Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1980)

Bloody Sunday (1972) – Bloody Sunday (2002)

Deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls (1997) – Biggie and Tupac (2002)

Veronica Guerin murdered in Dublin (1996) – Veronica Guerin (2006)

Azaria Chamberlain is killed at Ayures Rock (1980) – A Cry in the Dark (1988)

John Reginald Christie, mass murderer (1940 to 1953) – 10 Rillington Palce (1971)

Great Train Robbery (1963) – The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery (1966)

Madeleine McCann…

Posted: 31st, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (66)

Madeleine McCann: The McCanns, The Media, Bile And The Enigmatic Deadpan Film

madeleine_mccann2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


A letter of appeal from the Portuguese police requesting Kate McCann’s diary, Gerry McCann’s laptop, Madeleine McCann’s Cudle Cat and featuring a list of 100 questions for the “Tapas Seven” has not been sent. The paper says the police forgot to

The official are “bungling”. A “friend” says: “It’s a fiasco”

In Madrid “hundreds” of balloons were released “in honour of Madeleine”. And: “Children also held up pictures of the four-year-old”

Parents look on. Hands are held tighter. It could have been you. What is the purpose of this event? Is this spreading the fear and the anxiety?

THE GUARDIAN: “Before the dust settles – Movie-makers used to wait until news stories were over before moving in. Not any more, writes Peter Bradshaw

The Madeleine McCann Movie

“Gerry McCann has confirmed that he took a preliminary meeting with a representative from IMG, an entertainment agency associated with the company who made Touching the Void – although these particular film-makers have themselves denied any interest”

Will the film be made?

Asks Bradshaw: “How soon is too soon for a movie based on a news story? Two real events are threatening to transform themselves into celluloid with dizzying speed: the 2006 Securitas robbery in Tonbridge, over which a five-man gang was recently convicted of stealing £53m, and the kidnap of Madeleine McCann in 2007 – for which, of course, no one has been convicted at all”

What kind of film with the McCann movie be?

“If the Securitas film becomes a mockney geezer film, then the McCann film would almost certainly play in another mode entirely: the Enigmatic Deadpan genre. Family dysfunction documentaries such as Capturing the Friedmans and My Kid Could Do That are all the rage, and I wonder if the McCanns quite realise the manner of mysterious neutrality in which they would inevitably be represented? If the film is made now, the McCanns cannot expect any film-maker simply to state that they are innocent. The film would show their day-to-day campaign, and there would be plenty of interviews with them looking uncomfortable, lots of odd silences. There would, I suspect, be no voiceover, just plenty of unanswered questions hanging in the air. And this would not necessarily be in bad faith: without the case being cleared up, no other approach is possible”

ROY GREENSLADE: “The McCanns’ debate: from banality to an outpouring of bile”

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Posted: 31st, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (729)

Clarence Mitchell And A Debate On The McCanns And The Media

clarence-mitchell-mccann.jpgOVER the news wires: “Madeleine’s parents ‘not suspects'”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “I have never once seen or heard anything from either of them to give me any cause for suspicion in any shape or form.

“I have also had briefings privately from the police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre that also gave me complete reassurance that the authorities, in this country certainly, are treating this as a case of rare stranger abduction, as they call it.”

Mr Mitchell says he feels “shamed” as a former reporter by the “sloppiness” and “laziness” of certain journalists in covering the story of the missing child.

Anorak has been commenting on just this for months…

Mr Mitchell was speaking at a debate on The McCanns and the Media at the London School of Economics.

He adds: “What we have taken issue with, and our lawyers continue to review, is the aspect of coverage that is not only distorted but wilfully misrepresentative at times of the facts as we know them or the lack of facts. In that vacuum I’m afraid some very sloppy standards have crept in.”

He singled out “the sloppiness and laziness of some of the journalists, and the lack of independence of thought and checking of facts”.

Mr Mitchell said he understood putting a story about Madeleine’s disappearance on the front page could add 70,000 sales to some newspapers, meaning there was “definitely a commercial imperative” to reporting on the case. He assured the audience they could be certain that “every single one” of the negative stories they read or heard about the McCanns was untrue.

But wasn’t it the Independent on Sunday that reported: “Maddy’s off the front page”:

“Followers of the Madeleine McCann story have been able to depend on the ‘Evening Standard’ to clear the front page for any development. So how come a potential breakthrough, with police looking into the disappearance of another little girl near Praia da Luz, was buried on page 17? The answer is: sales fell by 10,000 the last two times Maddy made the cover, so the news desk have been told to curb their Maddy enthusiasm. If only they’d tell the ‘Express’ to do likewise.”

As for the McCanns being innocent, all we know is that they deny harming their daughter but remain on the Portuguese police’s list of suspects, along with Robert Murat….

Posted: 30th, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (168)

Madeleine McCann: Jacqui Smith, Global Warming And Legal Action

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


“The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is being stalled by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, it was claimed last night. Police chiefs in Portugal are said to be frustrated at Home Office delays over a formal request to question Kate and Gerry McCann”

Now the Portuguese police are ganging up on The Home Secretary

A Portuguese police source tells us: “It is very strange that we have heard nothing. There seems to be no sense of urgency. We cannot proceed until these interrogations have been carried out”

Says a Home Office spokesman: “We have not received a formal request concerning the investigation. It is not appropriate to comment further”

DAILY MIRROR: “Madeleine McCann: Police quiz delay”

“Portuguese police have still not asked permission to quiz Gerry and Kate McCann about Maddy again – four months after saying they would.
Bungling detectives claim a request was sent to Britain more than three weeks ago but last night the Home Office confirmed nothing had arrived”

So it’s not Jacqui Smith’s fault? You can come out now, Jacqui…

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Any inconsistencies the police believe exist in their evidence can be cleared up very quickly and then we hope Kate and Gerry’s names will be cleared. This cannot happen soon enough”

MAKING CRIME PAY, by Sue Carroll

“Metodo 3 (which last year claimed it knew where Madeleine was and said she would be home by Christmas) has 40 investigators working on the case. It’s been reported that each has a replica of Cuddle Cat, Madeleine’s favourite toy, which they are encouraged to squeeze when they feel ‘demotivated’ by the size of their task. If that doesn’t work, perhaps a glance at their weekly pay cheques might help”

THE TIMES: “Green issues matter for holidaymakers – Before booking breaks, Britons are demanding that holiday companies take a responsible approach to the environment”

Madeleine McCann and global warming?

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Posted: 30th, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (755)