Madeleine McCann | Anorak - Part 43

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: The Age Of Jose Anes, Gerry McCann’s Fury And Murat’s Nannies Know Best

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

THE SUN: “No one will ever stand trial”

Because no one has been charged with any crime?
Or: “NOBODY will EVER stand trial over missing Madeleine McCann because cops made so many vital blunders,” says the Sun. And so too says Jose Anes, 62: “Mistakes in the early hours demolished the entire case”

The ex-director of Lisbon’s police lab is “Portugal’s top forensic expert”, a billing the lab’s current director may dispute

Mr Anes says: “If the scene is not preserved in the first hours, all the hours of effort that follow are useless. I am utterly convinced — unless some new, concrete evidence suddenly emerges — the case will never reach trial”
But what of the evidence gathered so far, like the DNA samples found in the McCanns’ hire car?

“Maddie sniffer dog ‘was rigged’” – Gerry McCann is “FURIOUS” – as often he is. He “believes sniffer dogs used to find Maddie clues in the family’s hire car were MANIPULATED by cops”

Says a “source close to the couple”: “Gerry says a dog went up to the Scenic, sniffed around and went to head off. He watched the dog being brought back to the vehicle. Finally, it reacts around the boot area. Gerry was open-mouthed at that, he feels the dog was manoeuvred into a position where it could react”

And smell

“Murat pals ‘saw him near flat’” – “SUSPECT Robert Murat was PALS with British holiday nannies who say they saw him the night Maddie vanished, it has emerged”
Good friends? “And at least two of the girls knew him well enough to be on first name terms”

That’s close, eh

“A source confirmed yesterday that he did befriend several girls, adding: ‘A lot are attractive and he made a beeline for them. When they were asked who was near the apartment that night, several mentioned Murat”

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine: Forensics expert says inquiry is ‘complete waste’ because of police blunders at apartment”
Says Jose Manuel Anes: “Huge amounts of money were spent but if, in the first hours, the due precautions for the preservation of the crime scene were not taken, all this hard work goes down the drain. We can spend rivers of money which will all go down the drain if the crime scene is not properly isolated”

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “It is alarming to hear that Mr Anes has this view. All we want, and have done throughout, is to ensure the operational police side of this has been done in an effective and efficient manner as possible”

And why is Mr Anes – “the 62-year-old” – speaking out now? Because he’s making his comments known in a book called The McCanns’ Guilt not that the case will ever, come to trial, you understand

“Madeleine: Gerry’s fury at ‘bungling’ dog handlers” – More Gerry McCann fury


Says the paper: “The key witness in the Madeleine McCann inquiry was in hiding last night after fleeing Portugal” – Jane Tanner? Kate McCann? Gerry McCann? No, the unnamed Portuguese tapas waiter

“Pals say he is terrified his identity is about to be revealed and claim he is also scared of British and Portuguese government influence in the probe…Friends add that he is worried about the private eyes hired by Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39, to help find their daughter”

One former work colleague of the waiter says: “He does not want to be involved in any of this. Through no fault of his own he finds himself at the heart of this worldwide mystery”


“THE key witness in the missing Madeleine McCann case was in hiding last night after fleeing Portugal”

“POLICE WERE ‘SIDETRACKED’ BY MCCANNS” – Former police crime scene chief Jose Manuel Anes is “ONE of Portugal’s top forensic experts”

The WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER investigates. Mr Anes is “71”

And “last night hinted that Kate and Gerry McCann were partly to blame for the flawed investigation into their daughter’s disappearance”. Although the Sun says it was those bungling Portuguese police (see above)?

“They should not have been thinking of the poor little parents but I understand the human dimension and the pressure which immediately involved the investigators. Sometimes the police are too human. The police must be absolutely objective. Somebody’s suggestions and complaints connected to a person’s disappearance should be set aside while the evidence is being gathered. In the moments immediately following the occurrence the goal is to gather everything and preserve everything”

Not bungling, rather too caring; too human

DAILY MIRROR: “McCann DNA clue ‘useless’”

Jose Manuel Anes is 62. He is the retired head of Portugal’s police science laboratory.
He tells the Mirror, and everyone else: “I fear the case will never reach trial” – and even if it did, no jury would be able to convict anyone.

BBC: Audience for BBC News 24 peaked in 2007 at 8.2 million in the week ending 1 July for the bomb attack on Glasgow Airport and at 7.9 million for the story of the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann in the week ending 13 May

Madeleine McCann: The ratings winner 

Posted: 18th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (911)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Investigates, Paedo Panic And A New Witness

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – POLICE QUIZ WAITER FOR THIRD TIME – Tapas bar worker holds the key”

The Tapas One! Is he Jose Baptista, the Tapas Waiter? The Express says it is another waiter. The Tapas Two?

The Portuguese man is “said to have been the first person to see Kate McCann as she raised the alarm after discovering her daughter had gone missing from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. He has allegedly given a dramatically different account of the events on May 3 from statements made by the McCanns and their friends”

Page 7: “Waiter’s evidence ‘will be trump card in police case against McCanns’” – Says the police? Says Metodo 3? No, says “a report”. One newspaper’s opinion is now another paper’s front-page news

Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias notes: “This waiter is a witness considered crucial to the investigation. The investigators want to find out about what happened during dinner – the conversations and the McCanns’ behaviour as well as their alleged trips to the apartment. The employee still insists it is not true that the child’s parents checked their children every half hour”

Kate McCann is a “39-year-old GP” – Such are the facts

Baptista told investigators that Kate screamed: “They’ve taken her. They’ve taken her” when she discovered Madeleine gone

Says McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Kate has consistently and categorically absolutely denied she said that on the verandah. She may have said it at some stage as a general remark, but she did not run out with this phrase. Whoever this guy is, and if he is saying this, he is either making it up or he is mistaken. Kate, Gerry and their friends told the truth. They will continue to maintain their stories, because it is the truth. Whatever this guy is saying we reject it – it is not true”

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE: WE FIND MISSING WITNESS – REAL breakthrough as first man at scene tells all”

There is “BOMBSHELL evidence from a tapas bar waiter. And the Star has found him. Only it can’t name him. It found him in the pages of the Portuguese newspaper. And as soon as they have named him you can rest assured the Star will reveal the results of its investigation to its readers

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – Murat sat in as police questioned Tapas Nine”

Page 7: “Murat, translator for the Tapas Nine – Friends of the McCanns reacted with disbelief and anger to the news. There were also fears that Mr Murat could have influenced the police’s understanding of the statements of the Tapas Nine”

But Murat didn’t meet all the Tapas Nine with the police, just Rachael Oldfield and Dianne Webster, the mother of Fiona Payne, who was at the Ocean Club’s tapas restaurant with the McCanns that night. A misleading headline?

Says Murat’s lawyer: “My client did not preside over police interviews of multiple witnesses. The only interview of which he translated was that of Dianne Webster”

Says one of the McCanns’ friends: “It beggars belief. It’s absolutely outrageous that someone who a few days later is declared an arguido was aware of much of what initial witnesses said” – Murat was later named a suspect. He was not a suspect at the time on his translating. Just as the McCanns would surely have been given some information on the case, and they were later named as suspects

“This disgusting soap opera, by suspect’s lover” – Michaela Walczuch says her “ordeal” is a “stupid, disgusting soap opera

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE SHAMBLES – Daft police let suspect translate during quiz of Tapas 7 – SHE DESERVES BETTER”

But Robert Murat was not a suspect when he sat in as a translator in an interview with one member of the Tapas Seven/Tapas Nine. But then, who’s counting? Not the Sun…

Pages 4 and 5: “MADDIE COPS’ SHOCKING MURAT BUNGLE” – In allowing a man with no previous form to sit in on interviews with his countrymen, the so-called Tapas Seven, the Tapas Nine, the Tapas Two? Such are the Sun’s facts

Murat the helpful translator? The Sun: Murat the “oddball Brit expat

A friend of the Tapas 7 says: “They are all furious – they thought Murat was a legitimate part of the investigation. He infiltrated himself and was privy to what was said by many of the key players. It’s just the sort of information a suspect would want. It beggars belief. Portuguese police have made mistake after mistake. This just adds to the list”

A source says: “It compromises an investigation when someone who turns out to be a suspect is given intimate details of what witnesses are saying. These are some of the people who have blown apart his alibi, yet police have allowed him to listen to them giving their evidence. He was not present when Rachael told police she had seen him on the night, but she gave plenty of details that would be handy for him”

Blown apart his alibi? Not according to his lawyer, or his mother…

“Family Xmas vigil at church” – “The McCanns plan to spend much of Christmas in church praying for Maddie. Kate and Gerry will be attending the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. They will also go to an earlier special children’s service with their twins Amelie and Sean, two”

How does the Sun know this? Say the McCanns: “We plan to have a very quiet, private Christmas with family in the UK.” But if the press know their movements in advance, surely they will be there to watch. What chance of quiet?


“EXCLUSIVE” news on the Tapas 7

Page 4: “’People just don’t feel like celebrating’s all about keeping our children close rather than razzle dazzle,” says Gwyneth Green who runs a flower shop in Rothley, where the McCanns live

Increase the fear. Spread the anxiety

But Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal, not in Leicestershire. But in Rothley “celebrations have been more subtle and sedate as people worry for the lost little girl”

Says the Mirror: “Around the trunks yellow ribbons, now faded and frayed, hand rigid in the frosty air”

The Mirror no longer equips its masthead with yellow ribbon.

Madeleine McCann – the news so far

Posted: 17th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (867)

Madeleine McCann: Quiet Metodo 3, Christmas With The McCanns And Michaela Walczuch Says

murat-walczuch.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

SUNDAY MIRROR: “McCanns tell of twins’ tearful plea – Exclusive: Day 227: Kate and Gerry tell of Xmas anguish”

Lori Campbell, the reporter who told the police of “creepy” Robert Murat and then told the world about it, writes: “The parents of Madeleine McCann told last night how her little brother and sister heartbreakingly asked them: Will Santa bring her home for Christmas?”

Says Kate and Gerry McCann: “Celebrating is the last thing we feel like doing, but we want Christmas to be as normal for Sean and Amelie as possible. They both seem to understand they will be getting presents from Santa, but have also asked if Santa will be bringing Madeleine home, which just about broke our hearts”

This is the news…

Say the McCanns: “Madeleine’s return would obviously be the ultimate present for all of us and would bring tremendous joy to people all over the world” – Their Madeleine is Our Maddy


“The girlfriend of Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat has sensationally attacked the youngster’s parents over her disappearance”

“A child should not suffer because of the actions of their parents. I don’t believe in leaving a child on their own.

Says Michaela Walczuch: “How dare people accuse me, a normal human being and a mother of a child, for the mistakes of others. As a parent I hope that the McCanns find their daughter. I’m very sorry that a child is missing and that they don’t know what happened to her but I don’t have anything to do with it”

Police are at her door: “They kept telling me Robert was a bad man, a dangerous man who had pictures of young children on his computers, that he may have put it on my computers. But I know he is not a monster. It was ridiculous. I never doubted Rob. I knew it was nonsense”

The People says Michaela escaped a “potential kidnapper when she was a nine-year-old in Germany”. She moved from Frankfurt to the Algarve to live with her grandmother when she was 12 after both parents died of cancer. “Her eight-year-old daughter is seeing a psychiatrist because of the trauma of the police raid”

“BOASTFUL TEC BOSS RAPPED” – “Furious” Gerry and Kate McCann have had a “bust-up” with their Spanish private detectives Metodo 3

Says a source: “It is fair to say that relations between the McCann camp and the private ‘tecs are at an all-time low. The McCanns are still confident Metodo 3 are doing a good job and have no plans to sack them before their contract runs out. But they are concerned about the publicity Mr Marco is generating and the effect it could have on chances of finding their daughter alive”

“QUEEN’S MADDIE ‘TRIBUTE” – The Queen is considering talking about Maddie in her Christmas speech. Parents Kate and Gerry are “deeply touched” by Her Majesty’s concern

Says a Palace spokesman: “We cannot comment on the contents of the speech”

Such are the facts

SO ‘DIFFICULT FOR PARENTS’ – Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “I’d ask that the media now respect their request for a private Christmas”


“The FBI has been asked to examine CCTV footage of three men acting suspiciously near the Algarve apartment that Madeleine McCann disappeared from”

The FBI…in America?

“One of the men captured on camera on both nights bears a strong resemblance to a man with long, dark hair seen carrying a child, as reported by the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner,” says the paper

“Today we can also reveal that sniffer dogs taken to a disused barn 30 miles from Praia da Luz have shown strong interest in two sites. One is what appears to be a 14ft mineshaft opening to an underground cavity, and the other is where earth has been disturbed, possibly covering a shallow grave”

Or not…

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCanns: it will be a tough Christmas”

“The couple, who are Roman Catholics, will attend a midnight mass on Christmas Eve at which prayers will be said for their missing daughter” – So too will TV crews and newspaper reporters

“A homecoming too far for the McCanns” – “Of all the cruel and unusual headlines generated by the McCann case, it is simply the cruellest; Madeleine, we learned on Friday, could be ‘home for Christmas’”

There have been crueller – the swingers, the parentage, the sightings and more in Morocco

“Journalistic hyperbole was not to blame for the happy-ever-after headline. The words accurately reflected claims made by the private investigator hired by the McCanns”

Metodo 3 in the dock


“Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are trying to trace 24 British holidaymakers who may hold vital clues. They were staying at the same Portuguese holiday complex as Madeleine when she vanished on May 3. Despite several high-profile appeals in the seven-and-a-half months since her disappearance, they have yet to come forward”

How the Star must hope for 24 more new witness sensations

MAIL ON SUNDAY: “Madeleine: McCanns tell private detectives to put an end to ‘wild’ claims”

Furious Kate and Gerry McCann have told their private detectives to stop making wild claims about the recovery of their daughter”

Fury. Furious. Always the fury…

A “close friend of the family” says: “It’s not helpful and we have told them that. They have been told not to do any more interviews”

But wasn’t publicity the point of the Find Madeleine campaign, which pays the bills for Metodo 3? Surely, the more interviews the better…

“Madeleine: Murat’s girlfriend says she’s being ‘maliciously accused to protect the McCanns’” – An exclusive Michaela Walczuch interview with The Mail on Sunday (see Sunday People)

Says she: “On May 5 [when she was allegedly ‘spotted’ with a child in a blanket] I spent the morning cleaning my house, then I went to the hairdressers and in the evening I had a meal with two friends and Rob [Murat].

“On June 15, when I was supposed to be in Morocco, I went to see my lawyer and then had lunch with Rob and his lawyer. After that I went to the bank”

NEWS OF THE WORLD: “Twins ask Santa to bring Maddie back”

Is that all Sean and Amelie McCanns asked Santa for? “Missing Madeleine McCann’s baby brother and sister want to know just one thing this Christmas: ‘Will Santa bring Madeleine home?’”

Kate and Gerry, “both 39-year-old doctors”, say: “We have had many enquiries as to our plans for the festive period. Christmas 2007 will be an incredibly difficult time for us if Madeleine is not found before then”

Yes, both doctors. Such are the facts…

Say the McCanns: “As the end of the year approaches we would like to thank News of the World readers who have offered support over the last seven months—and we ask you to stay with us as the search for our daughter continues”

Keep reading. Keep buying the paper for all your Madeleine McCann news and McCann interviews. Oh, and keep giving to the Find Madeleine Fund, which pays for Metodo 3

“And the chances of his lucrative contract being renewed in March when it runs out are understood to be ‘virtually nil’”…

THE SUNDAY TIMES: “Kate and Gerry McCann: Beyond the smears”

“For six months David James Smith has examined the evidence surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for The Sunday Times Magazine. In this, the most comprehensive — and authoritative — investigation yet, he addresses the key issues facing Gerry and Kate as they prepare for Christmas without their daughter”

A whodunnit? We turn to the end of the piece – look away now if you don’t want to know what happened…

“If you have any information that may help the search for Madeleine, please call the confidential phone line 0034 902 300213 or visit”

“The perfect picture of Britain: a chav Christmas” – Writes Ron Liddle: “A Portuguese journalist has suggested that Kate McCann was only “one step away from prison” at one point during the police investigation into the whereabouts of her missing daughter, Madeleine…

“It’s a shame that this ‘preferential treatment’ didn’t extend to an even barely competent investigation of the case, you might think. Six months after Madeleine went missing, the Portuguese old bill at last got around to sending in sniffer dogs to the McCanns’ apartment where they think they found some specks of blood, but aren’t entirely sure. Meanwhile, the boss of the investigation, Goncalo ‘Sherlock’ Amaral, was sacked. The Portuguese public – out of straightforward xenophobia – have always assumed the McCanns to be guilty, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Thinking of the Algarve next year? Think again”

Stay indoors. Grab your children. Because it could be you…

The Shock And The Horror 

Posted: 16th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (565)

Madeleine McCann: Manuel Catarino Writes, The Guilt Of The McCanns And International Crimewatch

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE: Parents would be in jail if they were locals”

But, then, they would not have been on holiday up the road. But if…

Hernani Carvalho, author of Maddie 129 (a book), hosts Portugal’s “version of Crimewatch”. Says he: “If they were Portuguese they would be in jail by now. There are lots of people up in arms with the scandalously privileged treatment that was given to the McCanns. Any Portuguese couple in these circumstances would have been jailed a long time ago”

The McCann’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “That’s his point of view – we disagree. Kate and Gerry have not been given any special treatment”

MADELEINE: “PLAN TO KEEP KATE IN CUSTODY” – Manuel Catarino has written a book. In The Guilt of the McCanns, he writes: “Kate, exhausted, keeps repeating the same. She played with the children in the living room, she put them to bed – and by 7.30pm they were already asleep. The police don’t believe her. They think Madeleine died accidentally in the living room and the parents, in a panic, fearful of the consequences, interested only in defending their reputation, hid her body and staged her abduction”

Says Clarence Mitchell, It’s “another shameful attempt to make money out of the situation”. Clarence Mitchell is paid to represent he McCanns, how much is not said. The Daily Express has produced its own book

THE SUN front page: “CLUELESS – New Maddie witness blows lid on inept cops”

The Sun has read Bridgette O’Donnell’s story in the Guardian. You can read ‘Vanished’ here

“Maddie suspect Robert Murat looked sweaty, excited and breathless when he was drafted in as a translator by bungling cops the day after her disappearance, it emerged yesterday”

So says Bridgette, who works in the meedja…

The Portuguese police failed “to recognise a picture of Madeleine McCann”

Writes Bridgette: “Then he pointed to the photocopied picture of Madeleine on the table. ‘Is this your daughter?’ he asked. ‘Er no,’ we said. ‘That’s the girl you are meant to be searching for.’ My heart sank for the McCanns”

Do you recognise Madeleine McCann? Does the Moroccan woman who saw her in Morocco, the Irishman who saw her in Bosnia, the woman who saw her in Belgium?

And would you have recognised her picture hours after she had gone missing, being abel to spot the difference between it and a picture of another similarly aged British girl??


“Crimewatch producer Bridget O’Donnell said Kate and Gerry had simply made a ‘disastrous decision’ to leave their daughter unattended”

She added the tragedy could have happened to “any of us”

Could it have? Child theft is a rare crime. It could be you – Increasing The Fear…
“Throughout all this I have believed that Gerry and Kate are innocent,” says Bridgette. “None of us imagined we were being watched. One group made a disastrous decision – Madeleine was vulnerable and was chosen. But in the face of such desperate audacity, it could have been any of us”

DAILY MAIL: “Maddie: Portuguese police ‘came within an inch of jailing Kate McCann’”

The paper has learnt of A Culpa dos McCann – the Guilt of the McCanns. Manuel Catarino is editorial chief of Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha. He says Kate McCanns was “one step away from prison” on the eve of her interrogation on September 7 when she was officially named as an arguido.

He writes: “The coordinator of the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, and the prosecutor Magalhães e Meneses, discussed the possibility of serving Kate up to the criminal instruction judge for him to apply for her to be remanded in custody. But both men were consumed by doubts on the telephone: they did not know whether it was a case of ‘negligent homicide’ which did not allow remanding in custody, or whether to accuse her of ‘homicide with eventual intent’, a more serious crime, enough to remand the suspect in custody while they await trial”

And in the end they decided upon letting her go…

Says Clarence Mitchell: “I would refer any fair-minded person to the fact that neither Kate or Gerry have been charged with any offence and there is one good reason for that – there is no evidence because they are not involved in any shape or form in their daughter’s abduction”

Madeleine McCann: The speculation, accusation and sensation

Posted: 15th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (562)

Bridget O’Donnell On Madeleine McCann: Lights, Camera, Action

bridget-oconnell.gifTHE GUARDIAN does not always cover the story of Madeleine McCann on its pages. But today it does. Bridget O’Donnell was on holiday in Praia da Luz at the same time as the McCanns. Mrs O’Donnell works in the media and is allowed to tell her own story.

No interview. No questions. Just her words delivered over six pages .

The picture on the cover of the paper’s G2 supplement is of Madeleine holding tennis balls. It is not the portrait produced by Senor Marty.

Says Bridget O’Donnell: “We lay by the members-only pool staring at the sky. Round and round, the helicopters clacked and roared. Their cameras pointed down at us, mocking the walled and gated enclave. Circles rippled out across the pool. It was the morning after Madeleine went.”

It was a dark and stormy night… 

And: “They booked a large table every night in the Tapas. We called them ‘the Doctors’. Sometimes we would sit out on our balcony and their laughter would float up around us. One man was the joker. He had a loud Glaswegian accent. He was Gerry McCann”

“Gerry was outgoing, a wisecracker, but considerate and kind”…

“Then Gerry stood up and began showing Kate his new tennis stroke. She looked at him and smiled. ‘You wouldn’t be interested if I talked about my tennis like that,” Jes said to me. We watched them some more. Kate was calm, still, quietly beautiful; Gerry was confident, proud, silly, strong.

Danielle Steele Vanished – so too has Madeleine McCann 

We know him. But: “Privately I was glad we didn’t get their apartment. It was on a corner by the road and people could see in. They were exposed”
A sense of forboding. Dum, dum durdle-durdle, durdle… 

“I once worked as a producer in the BBC crime unit. I directed many reconstructions and spent my second pregnancy producing new investigations for Crimewatch”. Her husband is Jeremy Wilkins, the TV producer, spotted by the tabloid press in “MADDIE: THE SECRET WITNESS

Fact and fiction: “Detectives would call me daily, detailing their cases, and some stories stay with me still, such as the ones about a girl being snatched from her bath, or her bike, or her garden and then held in the passenger seat, or stuffed in the boot. There was always a vehicle, and the first few hours were crucial to the outcome. Afterwards, they would be dumped naked in an alley, or at a petrol station with a £10 note to ‘get a cab back to Mummy’. They would be found within an hour or two. Sometimes”

Knock knock: “The translator had a squint and sweated slightly. He was breathless, perhaps a little excited. We later found out he was Robert Murat. He reminded me of a boy in my class at school who was bullied”

The boy who never had a go on the bouncy castle… 

Gerry and Kate are spotted two day after Madeleine has gone missing: “Kate’s back and shoulders, her hands, her mouth had reshaped themselves in to the angular manifestation of a silent scream. I thought I might cry and turned so that she wouldn’t see. Gerry was upright, his lips now drawn into a thin, impenetrable line”

Back home: “’Did you have a good trip?’ asked the cabbie at Gatwick, instantly underlining the conversational dilemma that would occupy the first few weeks: Do we say ‘Yes, thanks’ and move swiftly on? Or divulge the ‘yes-but-no-but’ truth of our ‘Maddy’ experience?”

Or do you tell the Guardian all about it?

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann | Comments (105)

Madeleine McCann: Francsico Marco Hopes, God Wills And Bridget O’Donnell Tells

madeleine-portrait.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR front page: “I’LL GET MADDY BACK BY CHRISTMAS – McCanns extraordinary claim by detective”

Using your skill and judgement, can you work out if the detective making that vow works for the Portuguese police or Metodo 3, the private detective company hired by the McCanns?

Of course, it’s Francisco Marco head of the Spanish Metodo 3 telling us: “I have always said publicly Madeleine is alive. God willing, I hope she’ll be back with her parents before Christmas. We know who kidnapped her and we have a fairly certain idea who she is with”

“Hope”. And if God lends a hand. But if Madeleine is not found by December 25, he will continue to search, and bill

Page 7: “When I get home at night, my children ask me: Have you found Madeleine yet, daddy?” So says Marco. Sure the McCanns are paying his company £50,000 a month to look for Madeleine, but it is his children Marco does not want to fail

Says he: “It’s the highest pressure case I’ve ever had to deal with because of the press and because of my own family,” says Marco

THE SUN page 17: “Maddie ‘home by Christmas – DOUBT OVER TEC’S NEW BOAST”
Last month Marco told the BBC’s Panorama show he was “very close” To finding Madeleine. He was to have found her by Guy Fawke’s Night

Now he says: “We know who kidnapped her”. And a source within the Find Madeleine Fund offers: “The agency seem too vocal. If they’re genuinely close to finding Maddie, surely they wouldn’t announce it to the world first”

“Anger at sick artist” – “Cruel artist” Enrique Marty has “five twisted paintings” on show in Barcelona. They could be yours for £4,300 each. (See picture)

Says he: “This is a conceptual project, not an economic one. I don’t understand why people would find it offensive.”

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “This appears to be another disgusting attempt to make money out of their plight.”

What Mr Mitchell earns is not revealed

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE – She’ll be home by Christmas”

Page 4: “MADDIE WILL BE HOME BY XMAS” – Mr Marco says: “We believe she is in an area not very far from the Iberian peninsula and north Africa… I cannot say who she is with because we are putting together conclusive proof that we can present to the authorities”. Madeleine the blonde

And: “We have proof of her movements after her kidnap and we know she was alive the day after her disappearance. We are not certain when she left Portugal. I talk of certainties because we know which group may have her or could have kidnapped her to then sell her on”

A source “close to the Find Madeleine Fund” says: “It also is fair to say they don’t appear to be the most private of private eyes”

DAILY MAIL page 5: “She will be home by Christmas, claims the private eye searching for Maddie”

Says Marco: “One of the things that makes us believe Madeleine is alive is that every day she’s worth more to them. In principle we’re talking about paedophiles. I don’t think they’re Spanish. It’s obviously not a kidnap carried out by professionals for economic reasons. The McCanns are a middle-class family, two doctors, without vast financial resources”

The McCanns are doctors. This much we know

Says Marco: “A professional kidnapper would have done something with Madeleine by now. He would have given her back or left her”

DAILY EXPRESS page 9: “’Madeleine will be back home with parents by Christmas – Amazing claim of the detectives paid £50,000 a month to find her”

Does Metodo 3 get the full value of it contract paid up and the reward should it find Madeleine before that contract expires?

Robert Murat and his “German girlfriend” Michaela Walczuch are “threatening to sue the agency for suggesting they were involved in the abduction”

THE TIMES page 37: “Investigator ‘knows who took Madeleine McCann’”

Metodo 3: “The Barcelona-based agency, which specialises in corporate investigations, has no expertise in looking for missing people”

So why were they hired and not another firm?

THE TELEGRAPH page 7: “Madeleine ‘cold be home for Christmas’”
Last month Metodo 3 said they were “100 per cent” certain Madeleine was alive

THE GUARDIAN front page: “At 1am there was a frantic banging on the door…I knew it was bad” – Bridget O’Donnell on her holiday with the McCanns
The picture on the cover of the paper’s G2 supplement is of Madeleine holding tennis balls. It is not the portrait produced by Senor Marty

G2: “My months with Madeleine – It was a welcome spring break, a chance to relax at a child-friendly resort in Portugal. Soon Bridget O’Donnell and her partner were making friends with another holidaying family while their three-year-old daughters played together. But then Madeleine McCann went missing and everyone was sucked into a nightmare”

More on this can be read here…

And much more on the story of Madeleine McCann can be read here

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (750)

Madeleine McCann: Manuel Domingues Borba Accuses, Jenny Murat Accuses And Clarence Mitchell Defends

madeleine-mccann-church.jpg MADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – McCANNS ‘GUILTY OF EXTREME NEGLIGENCE” – Mayor’s astonishing attack”

The mayor of Paria da Luz is called Manuel Domingues Borba. We had not heard his name mentioned in the British press, until now. Can he inject some newsworthiness into the story?

Says Senor Borba: “I would never leave my children sleeping alone and go to dinner in a foreign country – especially as there are babysitters for that very purpose…I consider the parents guilty of negligence at the very least. There was a total abuse of trust and extreme negligence”

Mr Borba is 71. The ages of his children are not given.

Says he: “I think the majority of locals, Portuguese and British too, all believe that the parents created this situation”

Pages 4 and 5: “How could they leave a child?”

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ media voice, says: “We’re not going to dignify this sort of nonsense with much comment”. But he will comment. “This man is not a police officer and has no access to any details of the case”

Indeed. The media have no access either to the police files, nor the people who listen to Clarence Mitchell’s daily comments. But you can still form an impression

And we hear from Jenny Murat, Robert Murat’s mother. “We did nothing wrong and we have been penalised for their mistake. It is really upsetting. I cannot tell you what has been going on here. It has just been horrendous,” says she.

She goes on: “Metodo [the McCanns private detectives] were getting people to change their statements, following everybody everywhere. They were certainly following me. If they [Metodo 3] have anybody who saw Robert, they are paying them to lie. They were following me everywhere. Why? I don’t know. It’s pretty scary, I can tell you.”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “It is a ridiculous suggestion to claim M3 are paying witnesses to change their story. That is entirely untrue and M3 are acting completely within the law in what they are doing… We are not going to get into a row and she is entitled to her own opinion, but Kate and Gerry felt they had done everything possible for their children on May 3 and that they were perfectly safe”

We listen to opinions. And Madeleine McCann is missing…


Says Senor Borba: “This tragedy occurred because of the parents”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “We feel these comments are unrepresentative of the majority of the Portuguese people”


Manuel Domingues Borba “has been president of Luz for 14 years”. Fact!

Mr Borba says “GP mum Kate and heart consultant dad Gerry, both 39” should have been forced to remain in Portugal after being named suspects

More facts

Says he: “As soon as they were made ‘arguidos’ they did what they had said they would never do – leave. They did so in a great hurry. They never even passed through security. They went through the VIP gate”

Does Mr Borba think they should have been searched and asked if they packed their bags themselves?

DAILY MAIL page 13: “’A total abuse of trust’ – Portuguese mayor condemns Maddie’s parents for leaving her as the backlash against the couple grows”

The picture of Kate McCann shows her smiling as she goes to church

“The backlash against Madeleine McCann’s parents gathered pace as the mayor of the town from which she disappeared described the unresolved case as ‘a stain’ on his community”

Says Clarence Mitchell said: “We are disappointed that this sort of comment is still being made, particularly when it is based on no truth whatsoever”


It is now the 105th time the word “FURY” has appeared in a story about the McCanns’ reaction to news

Page 7: “I BLAME THE McCANNS FOR MADDY’S FATE” – more from Mr Borba

Says Clarence Mitchell on the McCanns: “No one regrets it more then them”

THE TIMES page 18: “A job offer for speakers of fluent gibberish”

Matthew Parris has been to the Algarve. He was filming “an authored commentary for BBC2’s What The Papers Say review of the year on the way the British press have handled the Madeleine McCann story”

Says he: “It is awful to recognise, with a sense of nameless heaviness, a place you do not know: like déjà vu from some disturbed nightmare. As I paced too and fro reciting the script I had written, the melancholy thought struck me that commentary truly finds its second wind when secondary commentary — commentary about the commentary — is launched”

“Diplomats abandoned me, says Madeleine McCann case suspect”

According to Robert Murat’s lawyer, the Foreign Office told diplomats to avoid offering Mr Murat consular assistance due to “the specific nature of the case” and because they “were already helping Madeleine McCann’s parents”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 7: “Murat’s mother criticises McCanns for leaving girl”

Jenny Murat says…

THE SCOTSMAN: “Madeleine suspect’s mother says parents ‘did wrong’


Lots of Medeleine news 

Posted: 13th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,091)

Madeleine McCann: Posters Taken Down And Father Pacheco’s Shell

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

Resort stripped of posters as locals turn their back”

In Praia da Luz the posters have been removed. “It is as if locals are desperate to wipe out all trace of the four-year-old who disappeared from their midst”

Is it? Eight months of featuring posters of the missing child there is still no sign of her. Do people still notice the posters?


“Yet surely it is too early for Praia da Luz to turn its back on Madeleine, four. Posters appealing for information could still spark the vital phone call that will break the case wide open”

How long to police maintain a poster of missing person on their own sings that sit outside British stations? Witness appeal posters are often removed within a few days

“They used to be on display in every shop, garage and restaurant – with Madeleine’s photo staring straight out” – Staring, always staring

Says McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “The people of Praia da Luz were incredibly supportive when Kate and Gerry were there and we believe that affection and support is still there. They have nothing but fond memories and remain very grateful to the people for their help”


And: “He takes down posters as Praia da Luz ‘wipes her from its memory”

Out of sight, out of mind? But Madeleine is missing and she remains on the front pages…

Father Jose Manuel Pacheco ordered the removal of scores of green and yellow ribbons which were put up as a symbol of hope in the days after Madeleine vanished”

Father Pacheco was the priest who gave the McCanns the key to his church. Says the Express: “Friends fear for the priest’s health and tell how his life has been ruined after he offered the couple solace”

Says one friend: “Father Jose can’t even hear the Madeleine case mentioned without becoming irate…

“He says that it is an extremely unpleasant situation and that the McCann family only ever brought him problems. He told one friend they ruined his life…He no longer goes to the coffee shops that were part of his daily routine. He just wants to get on with his peaceful life before the McCann whirlwind raped his world. He just wants it all to go away. This has all been a very bad experience for him”

Says a another: “He’s a nervous wreck. He’s hiding secrets that are destroying him”

Page 5: “Madeleine poster ripped off the walls”


THE SUN front page: “Maddie WHO?”

Why, Madeleine McCann, that’s who…


Tear down? Nor rip down, rub off or wash away?

Locals are “Fed-up”

“Hundreds of posters, shrines, and photos of Maddie have been ripped down from shop windows, restaurants and even the church in Praia da Luz”


One woman says: “It makes no sense to display symbols of a child’s disappearance when the parents are suspects”

DAILY MAIL page 4: “Maddie posters disappeared from town overnight”

A cashier at the Alisuper minimarket, opposite Father Pacheco’s church, says: “It was my idea to take down the posters with Madeleine’s photos and I no longer wear the bracelet that the child’s father gave me

“It no longer makes sense to display symbols of a child’s disappearance when the parents are suspects”

DAILY STAR page 15: “PRIEST GETS RID OF MADDIE – He tears down posters at ‘shrine’”

Father Jose Pacheco is “tormented”. He is a “shell of a man”

Garry McCann is a “heart consultant”. Kate McCann is a “GP”. Such are the facts

Madeleine McCann posts and posters

Posted: 12th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (807)

Madeleine McCann: Tapas Nine Meet In Secret And Paulo Pereira Cristovao Accuses

mccanns-pic.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “Madeleine parents in secret summit with the Tapas 9 friends”

Doesn’t the McCanns plus the Tapas Nine makes the Tapas 11, or the Elevenses 11?

Page 5: “’Suspicions’ over the Tapas Nine summit’” – The meeting is called “cloak and dagger”, says the Express. Friends of the McCanns call the reunion “highly emotional” and “deeply sad”

A sources says: “They wanted to talk about possibly being interviewed by the police again and what that may entail”

And they can. It is not breaking any law for the group to meet

“McCanns ‘guilty of neglect’” – Paulo Pereira Cristovao, who used to work for the Policia Judiciaria and now heads the organisation to find missing children in Portugal, says: “When [the McCanns] told the police that they went to dinner and left the children at home they confessed to the crime of abandonment. They should have been charged for that crime on the first day”

But they were not. And others who have tried to pursue them have failed


This is the fist time the diners have met since the night Madeleine disappeared, although they have spoken to each other via phone and email

Kate and Gerry McCann are “doctors”

Says a source: “They and their friends should not be meeting to discuss the case”. A friend of the couple called the meting as an “expression of support”

DAILY MAIL page 30: “Tapas Nine ‘talks tactics’ – Portuguese police are furious over friends’ summit”

A source close to the Portuguese investigation says: “The McCanns left Portugal the moment they were made suspects and refused to answer many key questions. Now they and their friends are about to be re-interviewed and it is revealed they have met up in secret in a hotel”

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “It was the first time the group had sat down together since Madeleine’s disappearance but they have been in constant email and phone contact”


Watched by police and paparazzi, how did this secret meeting come to be arranged, and how did it pass unnoticed?

The McCanns, Dr David Payne (“heart specialist”), Fiona (his “doctor wife”), Dr Russell O’Brien (”hospital consultant”), Jane Tanner, Dr Matthew Oldfield (“endocrinologist”), Rachel (doctor’s wife) and Dr Payne’s mother Dianne Webster all met in one Leicestershire hotel and no-one saw?

“CHIEF SLAM McCANNS” – Paul Pereira Cristovao says…


And then there were 7…

“Under English law such a meeting between the McCanns, who are both suspects, and their key witness pals would be banned during a criminal investigation”

THE TIMES page 9: “Kate and Gerry McCann deny the Tapas Nine met ‘to get story straight’”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “This was in no way to get their stories straight. This is the age of e-mail and phone. They could have done that a long time ago”

Although emails and phone calls can be monitored

Tapas 9 member Rachael Oldfield is “36” and a “recruitment consultant”

Such are the facts

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann: Tapas 9’s secret meeting”

Says a source: “It was a show of solidarity under police claims that one or two had wanted to change their stories. That is just not the case and the meeting showed that. It was a meeting to express support by the friends and just to see each other again. They hadn’t seen each other properly”

Pereira Cristovao heads the Portuguese Association for Missing Children (APCD), which leads the hunt for missing children in Portugal.

Says he: “I was asked what I thought about inviting the McCanns to the APCD. I said no, because they’re suspects. She is (the ninth child on the PJ’s missing people page) but the case involves a criminal investigation which is still on the boil, with the parents as suspects. We have eight children whose disappearances are unexplained”

It’s a “snub”, says the Telegraph

Says Clarence Mitchell: “Madeleine is still a missing child and she went missing in Portugal so we would hope that she would be treated as such by this organisation but ultimately that is a matter for them”

THE GUARDIAN and THE INDEPENDENT: No Madeleine news today

The Madeleine McCann Story

Posted: 11th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (504)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann’s Bags, Soft British Police And Torture

mccanns-wave.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


“Police in Portugal fear British cops will go easy on Kate and Gerry McCann if they quiz them about Maddie’s disappearance”

British police could interview the McCanns after Christmas

A Portuguese source says: “British police will ask the questions. It would be different if those involved were directly interrogated by our investigators and were targets of pressure”

Maybe a softer approach would help?

DAILY EXPRESS page 7: “Madeleine: British police should turn screws on parents say the Portuguese”

Is this what the Express wants, to torture the McCanns?

The Portuguese are said to “fear” that during “make-or-break” interviews, British police will “go easy” on the McCanns and the Tapas 7/ Tapas 9/ Sangria 7

Says the Express: “Portuguese law allows suspects and witnesses to be quizzed more confrontationally”

Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “This is a matter for Leicestershire police but we have seen nothing that has ever given us any cause for concern. There is nothing to suggest that they will not approach this with anything other than utter professionalism and competency”

Have Leicestershire police ever bungled, bodged or fudged a case? Would the tabloid press care to investigate, as they have the Portuguese police?

“Kate’s face shows terrible strain” – There are “heavy bags” under the Kate McCann eyes. She is “tired”. She is “pale”. Says a “member of the congregation” at the church Kate McCann is attending: “Kate looks as if she is having a really hard time. She looks so desperately sad”

Such are the facts

DAILY STAR page 10: “CRACK MADDIE’S PARENTS – Cops ordered to get tough”

“British detectives ordered to quiz Madeleine McCann’s parents will be told to ‘get tough’ with them”

Can Portuguese police tell Britain’s coppers what to do?

A letter from the Portuguese prosecutor to the Home Office contains over 100 questions and “tells UK officers precisely when and how to ask them”

Notes beside each question instruct “with feeling”, “smile (not with eyes)” and “exit stage right wearing a green felt hat and slapping thigh”

A source in Portugal said: “They will not be holding back. The police and prosecutor believe these interviews are vital in the search for the truth about Madeleine’s disappearance. If they don’t get these interviews right we may never know what happened. It is as simple as that”

If you don’t ask, you don’t get results

Continues the source: “There are certain suspicions among officers that the British police have some sympathy with the McCanns and may be too gentle. It has taken weeks preparing the questions and interview structure, then translating it all into English”
Anyone checked the translations?

“At a certain point we understand the officers will be told to get tough”
Because it’s easy to answer 100 questions while sat in police cell before a bevy of British and Portuguese police…

DAILY MAIL page 12: “Will police be ‘tough enough’ on McCanns?

The Portuguese “letters of appeal” – which detail questions detectives want put to the couple – had been due to be sent this week, but have been held up by red tape. The questions must go before a judge in Portugal before being translated and sent to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and then on to the police

Says a Policia Judiciaria: “The Portuguese investigators may only sit in on the questioning and make suggestions”

And Kate McCann? “Heavy bags under her eyes suggested the 39-year-old doctor is struggling to settle back into life in Britain”

Such are the facts…

DAILY TELEGRAPH (WEB ONLY): “Madeleine McCann: British police doubted”

“Portuguese police have ‘little faith’ that their British counterparts will be able to solve the mystery of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in new interviews with her parents and their friends”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “As we head towards Christmas, we do not believe that these interviews will take place before then, but if they do that’s fine”


Madeleine McCann faction, speculation and sensation

Posted: 10th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (973)

Madeleine McCann: And Another Thing Gordon Brown, Stephen Winyard Says And Christmas

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

THE PEOPLE: “Madeleine probe hit by delays”

Eight months of looking and now this headline..?

“Police plans to quiz Maddie McCann’s parents again look set to be delayed until after Christmas” – who works over Christmas?


“Kate and Gerry McCann fear Portuguese police could turn up on their doorstep on Christmas Day” – They should read The People and stop worrying about “dithering Algarve detectives”; the tabloid press’s not-so-wise men

Says a source close to the couple: “They’re desperate for their first Christmas without Madeleine to be an intimate, private affair. But they’re on tenterhooks because the occasion could be gatecrashed”

Maybe their private detectives can save the day? Metodo 3 director Francisco Marco tells us: “I think it’s going very well. I am unable to say too much except that everything is very positive.” At a rate of £2,000-a-day, hard to see how things could be negative…

“MCCANNS ‘WILL BE CLEARED BY XMAS’” – so reported the Star one week ago

DAILY MAIL: “Red tape could delay questioning of McCanns until after Christmas”
“Police questioning of Gerry and Kate McCann over the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine could be delayed until after Christmas. Portuguese detectives are ready to fly to the UK and have prepared letters with questions the couple and their seven holiday friends must answer. But they are being held up by a mass of red tape”

Gerry and Kate McCann are “doctors”. Such are the facts

THE TIMES: “Brown ‘ignores’ plea by McCanns”

McCann backer Stephen Winyard, who owns a Scottish health spa, says the “shutters had gone up” after Portuguese police named Gerry and Kate McCann as suspects: “Our request to meet with ministers – the prime minister, the home secretary and the foreign secretary – has still not been met”

It was one so different with Gordon ‘Columbo’ Brown

SUNDAY HERALD: “Tycoon blasts Brown over missing Madeleine”

Stephen Winyard has also offered a £1m reward for Madeleine’s return

Says he: “”This government was elected to look after its citizens. And it’s fair to say it’s a fundamental principle of our legal system that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. With that in mind, I would really strongly urge that Gordon Brown, who has previously been really supportive, accede to our request for a meeting at ministerial level”

Will Gordon Brown meet the McCann party then look at every missing person and apparent crime?

Says Winyard: “Both Gerry and Kate have been through an absolute nightmare and they’re facing some very difficult weeks with Christmas coming up”

Gordon Brown is a politician. Such are the facts

The sensation and speculation

Posted: 9th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (888)

Madeleine McCann: Gerry McCann Against John Smeaton, Madeleine Alive And A U-Turn

madeleine_mccann-mum.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


Madeleine McCann appears on only one of the newspapers’ front pages. And she is alive! Maybe…

“Madeleine McCann may still be alive and living with her captors, Portuguese police admitted last night”

In time they might admit that she could be hiding, playing gin rummy with Lord Lucan or learning the bagpipes

For now a police source says: “We do not have proof the girl is dead. If we had that kind of evidence we would not be considering the theory she was abducted. We are no longer sure that she is dead”

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Madeleine did not die in the apartment. The police should be focusing on who took her – and finding her. They must also accept Kate and Gerry should be eliminated from the inquiry”

THE SUN: “There’s no proof Maddie is dead”

“Portuguese police made an astonishing U-turn yesterday — admitting they have NO evidence that Maddie McCann is dead”

And didn’t British police believe she was dead, too? One in the eye for Anne Enright. And hasn’t Paul Rebelo, leading the investigation, said all lines of enquiry remain open? But, still, the Sun sees a U-turn…

Do you remember Robert Murat? His lawyer Francisco Pagarete says that under Portuguese law, evidence-gathering against suspects could only last eight months. Mr Pagarete says: “At that time we will see all the decisions for all the defendants”

January 3 is eight months after Maddie vanished
January 14 is eight months after Murat was named a suspect

THE TIMES: “Decision due on Gerry and Kate McCann”

January is approaching

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCanns in plea to potential witnesses”

Not all the holidaymakers staying at the Ocean Club at the time of Madeleine’s vanishing have been located
Says Clarence Mitchell: “We would appeal to any UK residents who have still not been spoken to by British police and who were in Praia da Luz on May 3 to please come forward and to contact their local police or the confidential phone line based in Spain”
Call Metodo 3. But aren’t they focusing on Morocco?


Yesterday Gerry wrote on his blog: “We would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information. The smallest detail may provide a clue that leads us to find Madeleine. Someone, somewhere knows something and Madeleine needs their help”

GREAT SCOT! – “Gerry McCann has been nominated for a special award as Scot of the Year. The Glasgow-born cardiologist is one of 12 candidates for the honour put forward by a Scottish newspaper”

Can he see off Gordon Brown, John Smeaton and Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist who was held? The full Scotland on Sunday list is here

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “The girl Italians are calling ‘Luciferina — with the face of an angel’ – The investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder took a twist this week with the extradition of a suspect from Germany. But the focus is on a beautiful middle-class American girl, says Mary Minihan in Perugia”

What has the murder of Meredith Kercher got to do with Madeleine Mccann’s disappearance?

Says the paper: ““Meanwhile, Meredith Kercher’s name is now as tragically well-known as that of Madeleine McCann” – Is it?

THE SCOTSMAN: “Scots tycoon attacks ‘scurrilous allegations’ as he comes out as McCanns’ secret funder”

The McCanns backer is: “Stephen Winyard, who owns the luxury Stobo Castle spa in Peebleshire, has spoken publicly for the first time since pledging £100,000 to help meet the escalating legal costs of Gerry and Kate McCann”

Says he: “Some of the reporting in the British press has been less than fair. The blanket coverage of every aspect of their lives, the littlest things that they do, creates, I think, the impression in people’s minds that they are somehow responsible for what happened to Madeleine”

THE GUARDIAN book review: “A Kind of Vanishing, by Lesley Thomson (Myriad, £6.99)”

“The disappearance of Madeleine McCann may have muted the reception of A Kind of Vanishing. If an actual crime is vividly appalling, the prospect of reading a fictional representation of a similar case will make one feel queasy. It would be a shame if this unfortunate coincidence were to obscure the merits of Lesley Thomson’s thriller”

Fiction and reality… Do you get confused?

Madeleine McCann:All the faction

Posted: 8th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (943)

Madeleine McCann: Jonathan Ross, A Chorus Of Disapproval And Gerry McCann’s Phone Calls

madeleine_mccann-sign.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN page 21: “COPS HAD DEADLINE TO PUT McCANNS IN FRAME – Bid to beat new laws”

“Portuguese police rushed to name the McCanns as suspects to avoid new laws on evidence, it was claimed yesterday. Cops had to put Kate and Gerry in the frame over the disappearance of daughter Maddie, four, before a stricter penal code was bought in, their lawyer suggested. Had they waited just EIGHT days longer they would have had to produce strong evidence against the 39-year-olds”

Had Madeleine disappeared eight days later… What does everyone in the chorus think of that?

The Sun: “It is possible the McCanns would have avoided months of vicious slurs against them”

McCanns’ lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu: “If this inquiry was launched now, maybe they would not have been made arguidos”

A source “close to the McCanns”: “This was a deliberate smear campaign”

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Being made arguidos caused them immense anguish. To think they may have been saved by a law introduced days later makes a mockery of the case”

Chorus: Such are the facts…

DAILY MIRROR page 9: “McCann cops in suspect ‘smear’”

The McCanns were named official suspects on September 7. The new laws, calling for “firm evidence” before someone is named an arguido, came into force on September 15. A McCanns’ “source” calls it a “deliberate smear campaign”


Police are looking at Gerry McCann’s phone calls and those of the Sangria 7, Tapas 9, Tapas Nine etc.

“They are said to be investigating a conversation between heart consultant Gerry, 39, and his friend Doctor Russell O’Brien, 36, one of the so-called Tapas Nine. It is claimed Gerry insisted he was within four kilometres of Praia da Luz when the pair had the conversation which took place on June 10, 38 days after Madeleine disappeared. But technicians claim to have discovered data which revealed Gerry made the call at a location 28 kilometres from the resort”

“McCann fury are conspiracy book” – Anorak calculates there have been 100 headlines talking of the McCanns’ “fury” since their daughter went missing

Today there is fury that Portuguese journalist Manuel Catriano has written The Guilt Of The McCanns, a book. It begins: “This story did not begin in the Ocean Club, but in London where the official truth was conspired and established: an English girl was kidnapped in the Algarve”

The McCanns live in Leicestershire – not London. Senor Catriano should go back and check his research

THE STAR front page: “MADDIE: SHOCK NEW MOBILE CLUE – Phone trace leads to bloodied barn”

“A breakthrough” and “shocking mobile phone evidence”

“Detectives have been studying records of conversations between parents Kate and Gerry, both 39, and their holiday dinner pals – the so-called Tapas Seven” – Or Tapas Nine…

“And forensic experts are now said to be examining a blood-stained towel found close to a disused barn at a remote location some distance from Praia da Luz. Last night sources close to the investigation said the analysis had led to a ‘big development’”

The towel police found a few days ago..?

DAILY MAIL page 49: “Police ‘made’ the McCanns suspects to beat law changes”

Says Senor de Abreu: “After September 15, a new procedural penal code was introduced making it necessary for there to be evidence against the citizen to make him an arguido”

Clarence Williams says: “If it is true that changes to the law would have meant that they would not have been made arguidos that’s all the reason for their status to be dropped now”

THE GUARDIAN comments pages: “Front-page thrillers – The hyper-reality of fiction techniques has transformed the way we consume the news”

Writes Mark Lawson:

“The news has become a kind of super-fiction, in which one unlikely and inexplicable yarn after another – The Portugal Child, The Perugia Murder, The Deadly Teddy Bear, The Secret Donor, The Panamanian Canoeist – play out across newspaper pages.

“The suggestion that journalism has become more like fiction is a pretty ancient insult but, in the past, was used to accuse reporters of fabrication. Now, though, something deeper and weirder frequently occurs in which, even when facts are accurately reported, they seem, in the proper sense of the word, fabulous. Whereas most news stories follow a grimly recognisable narrative – the sex murder, the drive-by shooting, the inflated expenses claim – recent real-life plots are dense, messy and seemingly insoluble in a way that usually requires the manipulations of a novelist”

Page 7: “Teddy jokes to the fore at comedy awards”

To the back-slapping British comedy awards. Whooo! Yeah!

Jonathan Ross “also made references to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, saying the awards this year had been vetted with the same forensic attention as a ‘Portuguese police investigation’, and actor Chris Langham’s conviction for downloading child porn”
And the award for more laboured joke goes to…

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 17: Have you heard the one about Jonathan Ross, the joke writers and Madeleine McCann?

THE SCOTSMAN: Vicky Hamilton has been buried. She was allegedly murdered by Pete Tobin.

Kate and Gerry McCann wrote to Vicky Brown’s father, saying: ‘We have great empathy with your family and our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. We obviously understand the torment of having a child go missing, like Vicky did all those years ago, and our deepest sympathy goes out to you”

Says Mrs Brown said: “I am just so touched by this message from Mr and Mrs McCann.

To take the time to support my family when their own daughter is still missing says a lot about how caring they obviously are”

THE TIMES and THE INDEPENDENT: No Madeleine news today

All the sensation

Posted: 7th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,120)

Madeleine McCann: DNA Row, Blood And The Locator Fails To Locate

mccanns-arrive.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


So it won’t be over by Christmas, as the Express pointed to yesterday?

Portuguese police wants more DNA tests. They take three weeks to conclude. It’s December 6. A source says: “They hope new tests will clarify what happened around the time she went missing”

Will they?

DAILY EXPRESS page 23: “Madeleine: now ministers may block new police quiz”

Within the next 48, the McCanns will “know if the Government will let them face a new grilling”. The Portuguese prosecutor was “last night set to request permission from the Home Office to reinterview Kate and Gerry and their holiday dinner friends – known as the Tapas Nine”

Or the Sangria 7 – send in your suggestions to the usual address

The Express says the Portuguese are “wary” of British Government involvement”. Why? Because Gerry McCann sits on a Government medical advisory panel. He’s a “heart surgeon”. There is a “political shadow”. Gordon Brown called Gerry McCann. And there were yellow ribbons in the House of Commons

Says a source: “He has gone on to become Prime Minister and they are now suspects. That is an uncomfortable scenario for detectives involved in the case”

“Lab hits at detectives over DNA” – “A STORM has erupted”.

Portuguese police are said to be frustrated at the lack of progress by British DNA experts. UK experts says “unprofessional evidence gathering led to inconclusive tests”

THE SUN page 9: “MADDIE COPS ROW OVER RUINED DNA – Brit experts dismiss ‘blood’ evidence”

A row between British and Portuguese experts. In the Soaraway Sun, you feel there can be only one winner

Portuguese police “believed they found tiny specks of blood on an armchair and wall. They became convinced the specks were from four-year-old Madeleine”. So did the Mail, which at the time produced: “BLOOD ON THE WALL IN MADDY BEDROOM

But now it emerges the specs “were so contaminated they could not even be identified as blood”. And this led to a row. A heated debate

Says a source: “The Portuguese arrived demanding ‘Where are our results?’” – So rude. Not at all British

“BODYFINDER DRAWS BLANK” – Disappointing news for those pinning your hopes on Danie Krugel – aka The Locator – finding Madeleine McCann. His Matter Orientation System uses GPS technology and DNA samples. The McCanns gave him a hair from their daughter’s head. He went to work. But – shock of shocks -nothing. “I have done my best,” says Krugel

British police may care to reconsider their orders


Page 17: “Madeleine police ‘angry at DNA blunder claim” – Portuguese police are “furious” at being called “amateurish” by officials at the UK’s Forensic Science Service

There are “angry scenes”. A source says the Portuguese were “unhappy”

The tests feature microscopic spots of blood found at the Ocean Club apartment where Madeleine had been staying, bodily fluids and hair from the Renault Scenic hire car

DAILY MAIL page 41: “Maddie forensic experts clash with ‘unprofessional’ Portuguese”

“Portuguese police investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance are said to be furious after British scientists criticised the ‘unprofessional’ way in which they had collected forensic evidence. The Portuguese arrived with the attitude of, ‘OK, where are the findings we need?’

“The Forensic Science Service basically said there weren’t any and made it clear things could have been collected more professionally. That doesn’t mean there was a lot of evidence they failed to collect but what evidence there is was collected in a very amateurish way. The Portuguese took this badly. They were unhappy because there was implicit criticism of how they collected the evidence. There was a heated exchange of views”

DAILY STAR page 20: “Maddie parent’s in D-Day”

But November 29 was D-Day

Can this be E-Day, or in keeping with the Star’s central news plank, DD-Day

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will read the letters sent by the Portuguese prosecutor requesting interviews with the McCanns and reply. She should not reply by post for obvious reasons


Madeleine McCann in the news

Posted: 6th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,397)

Madeleine McCann: Sangria Seven, Carolina Santos And Back To Portugal

mccann-scenic-boot.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – POLICE TO CALL McCANNS BACK – They want parents and Tapas 9 friends for new quiz in Portugal”

“Police want Kate and Gerry McCann to return to Portugal before Christmas for fresh interrogations over the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine” – Might it be all over by Christmas?

“The couple could be forced into a confrontation with witnesses or be made to appear in an identity parade” – An ID parade… To what ends? To see if they truly are Kate and Gerry McCann, the country’s most photographed couple?

First Portuguese police are heading to the UK to sit in on interviews between British police and the “Tapas 9”

Says a “source close to the case” in Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha: “When the operations begin on British soil we will be in a position to determine if it is necessary to bring people to Portugal. It may be necessary to do some identifications or to organise confrontations with witnesses”

Or may not be: “POLICE MAY OR MAY NOT CALL McCanns back” – read all about it…
Says Portuguese newspaper, 24 Horas: “The McCanns are not going to escape a new police interrogation”


carolina-santos.jpg Blue-eyed Carolina Santos is a “Madeleine McCann lookalike”. She is a young girl with brown hair, a broad nose, olive complexion and blue eyes. Her parents, Able and Lina, say a Moroccan-looking man tried to snatch her at their café in Portugal four months before Madeleine vanished.

Says Abel: “We want to see Maddie found as much as anyone. She and Carolina were doubles”

Says a voice at Metodo 3, the private detectives: “This could be relevant”

“TAPAS 7 SHOWDOWN” – Seven? But what of the Tapas 9? What about the Tapas 9 and the Sangria 7, to avoid confusion?

Says Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman: “If they or their friends are required to go to Portugal they’ll be happy to comply”


There is to be a “face-to-face showdown” between Kate and Gerry McCann and their “holiday pals”

The aim – for what sounds not enough unlike an episode of Trisha – is for the police to expose “inconsistencies” in their statements

DAILY MIRROR page 7: “WE’LL GO BACK – McCanns’ vow as Portuguese cops may want them to return for quiz”
Says Clarence Mitchell: “They will do anything necessary if it helps them move on and be eliminated as suspects”

Says a “close friend” of the McCanns: “Their friends aren’t going to say anything which will give them need to call Kate and Gerry back. Nothing substantial will come of this”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 13: “Madeleine parents ‘may be ordered return to Portugal’”
“We’re doing everything we can to get the letters requesting fresh interviews authorised this week,” a source tells Portuguese daily 24 Horas. “They are ready and simply depend on bureaucratic procedures now”

“It has also emerged that the ‘letters of appeal’, which contain a list of 100 questions that detectives want to put to the group, were ‘fast-tracked’ after a meeting with the British Ambassador to Portugal”
Says a “senior police source”: “It was a private meeting between the Ambassador, the director of the Policia Judiciaria in Faro and the team that was sent to England to analyse the results from the FSS (Forensic Science Service). In that meeting it was decided that because of a lack of conclusive evidence they should go ahead as quickly as possible with new interrogations of the nine people who dined in the Tapas restaurant on May 3,” the source said

PRESS GAZETTE: “Heat settles sticker controversy with charity donation”

“Katie Price [surely Katie Andre] has halted her complaint against Heat magazine for making fun of her disabled son after it apologised and paid a donation to a children’s charity…The Press Complaints Commission received over 100 complaints about the sticker, second only to a Tony Parsons column in the Mirror which criticised the role of the Portugese [sic] in the Madeleine McCann investigation in October this year”

It was Parsons who invited the Portuguese ambassador to “”shut your stupid sardine-munching mouth”


All the speculation 

Posted: 5th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,308)

Madeleine McCann: Charlotte Pennington Poses, Metodo 3 Says And Blood

metodo-3.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – British diplomat in Portugal has doubts about McCanns”

Page 9: “Madeleine: Diplomat’s secret file that rises fears about her parents” – The unnamed British wonk is in the Algarve days after Madeleine’s disappearance. He sends back a missive. He mentions the McCanns “lack of co-operation” with the Portuguese police

Belgian newspaper Derniere Heure sees the note. It runs: “With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvements of the couple”

But wouldn’t a diplomat – a cautious, servile breed in grey suits, sandals and white socks – always highlight the risk? Is this news, even in Belgium?

“Blood-stained towel clue?” – A towel with blood on it has been found in a barn near Praia da Luz. “Fibres discovered on the towel matched samples from the Renault Scenic hire car which Madeleine’s parents rented 25 days after Madeleine went missing”


Page 9: “A nanny at the holiday complex where Madeleine McCann vanished claims she saw suspect Robert Murat there on the fateful night… Charlotte Pennington, 20, is one of three witnesses who could blow apart the oddball’s alibi that he was home with his mum”

Oddball? Oh, creepy Murat, the bouncy castle fetishist

And this is Charlotte Pennington, who appeared in the Mail on September 25. She has now told her story to Metodo 3, the private detective agency. She is youthful and smiles for the camera

“Days later she and five fellow nannies saw Murat again in a supermarket. He was talking to a mystery man who bore an uncanny likeness to a sketch of a suspect cops were seeking” – Would that be the efit of the man with no face?

What of the “blood-stained towel” or, as the Sun says, the “blood-specked towel”?

“The samples have proved too tiny to match to Maddie’s DNA. But fibres on the towel allegedly strongly match samples from the boot of a car rented by Kate and Gerry after Maddie vanished”

“BORDER FURY OF PARENTS”- “Bungling” Portuguese police, who failed to close the border between Portugal and Spain when Madeleine went missing, did shut it when a car was stolen

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – Is Murat’s alibi falling apart”

Pages 12-13: “Six cracks in Murat’s alibi – Witnesses line up to cast doubt on original Madeleine suspect”

“Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann raised ‘serious questions’ about suspect Robert Murat’s alibi yesterday after two new witnesses came forward. Six people now claim to have seen the British expat outside Kate and Gerry McCann’s holiday apartment on the night the girl vanished”

Detectives… Oh, private detectives…

Says a Metodo 3 source: “There are serious questions around Murat’s alibi. He says he was at his mum’s house and did not learn of Madeleine’s disappearance until the following morning. But his claims have now been challenged by eyewitnesses. Three of the McCanns’ friends have always insisted they saw him that night. They say they are sure it was him. Now two new people have contacted us saying they are certain they also saw him. They do not know each other and called our hotline independently” – Three, plus two plus Nanny Pennington…is six. Any more?

The chatter from Metodo 3 is front-page news. They can be trusted..?

“£50,000 a month in fees. A sleepy office 700 miles from the crime, outrageous claims of progress, have the McCanns really chosen the best private eyes to find Maddie”

DAILY MIRROR page 5: “I SAW MURAT AT THE RESORT THAT NIGHT – but he denied it was him, says nanny”

Nanny Pennington wears a woollen jacket, dark-coloured beret and an alluring smile

She says she saw Robert Murat on the night Madeleine went missing. She asks him if he was there. “No, I wasn’t there,” he replies. She tells Metodo 3: “When I went in, he was in the kitchen with several detectives. He didn’t want to talk any more”

Charlotte Pennington is 20 and the most photogenic witness to date. Fact!

DAILY STAR page 17: “’TEN FACTS POINT TO THE McCANNS – Maddie’s parents face new grilling”

“Kate and Gerry McCann will be quizzed over 120 crucial pieces of evidence that police believe put them under suspicion”

Including: “Kate’s instant conviction Maddie…had been abducted”; “Kate’s pleas to her mum for the number of her priest in Liverpool”; “the high mileage they ran up in the Renault Scenic they hired 24 days after Maddie disappeared” (Or 25 if you read the Express); and more…

THE TIMES page 5: “Police to carry out new DNA tests on Madeleine McCann evidence”

Says Guilhermino Encarnação, director of the Portuguese police team searching for Madeleine: “The Judicial Police have asked the laboratory to carry out more tests and exhaust every possibility of obtaining conclusive results”

Charlotte Pennington, 20, says she saw Murat on the night Madeleine went missing

GLASGOW DAILY RECORD: “Murat ‘At Scene Night Maddie Vanished’”

“British nanny Charlotte Pennington claims she saw him at the Ocean Club resort on the evening of May 3…The 20-year-old, from Leatherhead in Surrey, told agency Metodo 3 she saw Murat standing at the Praia da Luz resort’s reception around midnight, as the search began”

Ms Pennington crosses her legs and looks into the camera

THE GUARDIAN media section: “The point of the McCanns’ exercise…”

Says Roy Greenslade: “What strikes me about this saga is that journalists, like so many members of the public, have lost their heads over the McCanns”

DAILY TELEGRAPH and THE INDEPENDENT: No Madeleine news today

Posted: 3rd, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,408)

Madeleine McCann: DNA, Over By Christmas, Police To Question Kate and Gerry McCann

mccanns-telly.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

SUNDAY EXPRESS front page: “Madeleine: DNA clue to deserted farmhouse”

SUNDAY MIRROR: “New Maddy witnesses come forward”

“By Lori Campbell” – the hack you told the police and then all of us about “creepy” Robert Murat

“Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat is back in the frame after two new witnesses say they saw him the night the four-year-old disappeared,” says Campbell of the Mirror

And: “The private detectives from Metodo 3 are also investigating a tip-off that Murat had connections to the criminal underworld and was working as a police informant”

Another lead for the private detectives. Keep those invoices coming…

Says a source inside Metodo 3: “There are serious questions around Murat’s alibi. He says he was at his mum’s house and did not learn of Madeleine’s disappearance until the following morning. But his claims have now been challenged by five eyewitnesses. Three of the McCanns’ friends have always insisted they saw him that night. They say they are sure it was him because of his distinctive right eye. Now two new people have contacted us saying they are certain they also saw him. They do not know each other and called our hotline independently”

“Case ‘will close in 4 weeks’” – “Top cop” Paulo Rebelo “plans to close the case in one month”

SUNDAY MAIL: “Madeleine: British police to question the McCanns ‘in days’”

“A close friend of the McCanns said they believed that only the seven friends would face questioning” – so nothing arranged yet..?

He adds: “We believe that we are getting close to the couple being cleared.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office says: “If the Portuguese police were to require to travel to the UK then they would need to apply for mutual legal assistance from the Home Office”

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “McCanns to face fresh police quiz”

Says a judicial source: “Without forensic proof the investigators have to go for the contradictions in the stories of the McCanns and the other witnesses. The investigation has not changed direction. Authorities believe the McCanns and the other official suspect Robert Murat are implicated”

No news is news


“Kate and Gerry McCann are set to be cleared as prime suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine in time for Christmas,” says the paper

Cleared! Big news. What evidence of their innocence – if any is needed? Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Police chief Paulo Rebelo will have to decide soon whether he has enough evidence to charge them and take the case to the prosecutor. We are relaxed about this. Hopefully Kate and Gerry will be cleared by Christmas”

And: “In another development, it has been revealed that the McCanns – both 39 – are considering offers to publicise the search for Maddie on American TV. It is hoped that highlighting the hunt on major networks in the US – together with Arabic-language adverts due to be broadcast on Moroccan TV – could hold the key to solving the case”

In America… Why?

THE GUARDIAN: “Another flaw in the McCanns’ coverage”

Says Roy Greenslade: “According to the Daily Mirror on its front page, The Sun in a page lead, and the Daily Express also in page a lead, police will speak to the ‘Tapas Seven’. But, according to the Daily Telegraph here, and the Daily Mail here, police plan to question the ‘Tapas Nine’.

“Anyone for eight? I know. A small point. Small, but in the context of the way this story has been covered, significant because it indicates, yet again, that – whatever your opinions might be – reporters cannot agree on a single, simple fact”

FOR all the speculation, sensation and news

Posted: 2nd, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,126)

Madeleine McCann: Tapas 7 Questions, Robert Murat And Jane Tanner In Exeter, And Gerry McCann Says

gerry_mccann180.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN front page: “Maddie: Tapas 7 Cops Quiz”

“Tapas 7 face new Murat quiz” – COPS probing the Madeleine McCann mystery will quiz pals of her parents over alleged links to suspect Robert Murat”

Links..? Madeleine McCann: The Exeter Connection

“Portuguese detectives now point to coincidences connecting odd-ball expat Murat with Exeter, Devon – where two of the so-called Tapas Seven live”. Odd-ball? How so?

Says a police source said: “There are many pieces to this jigsaw but they all seem to add up to Exeter – we want to know why. It needs to be established if Murat knew families with children would be staying 100 metres from where he lived. We want to be certain if there was any previous contact between him and any unsuspecting friends of the McCanns”

Robert Murat spent ten days at his sister Samantha’s home in Exeter – “Samantha lives near Dr Russell O’Brien and his partner Jane Tanner, both holiday pals of the McCanns”

And: “They are neighbours of lawyer James Gorrod, 34, and wife Charlotte, 32, who were also in Praia da Luz when Maddie vanished. None of them are suspects”

“McCann’s have ‘nothing to hide’” – Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “The friends – like Kate and Gerry – have nothing to hide”

DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADDIE: NEW TAPAS 7 QUIZ – Blow for McCanns as police claim stories do not add up”

It is an “EXCLUSIVE”

maddie_h.jpg“Kate and Gerry McCann’s hopes of being cleared over daughter Madeleine’s disappearance were rocked last night by the news that police are set to question the Tapas Seven again”

But yesterday the DNA evidence was not enough. Is DNA evidence never enough on its own?

Says spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry’s friends have consistently said they are happy to be re-interviewed. They’re keen to help. Like Gerry and Kate, they have nothing to hide”

But they might not be; the focus is on their dining companions…

Says vice president of the Portuguese national pathology lab, Francisco Corte Real: “There’s nothing to say for now”. The Mail listens to that and concludes that “he could not hide his disappointment”

And what about Michaela Walczuch? “Police yesterday returned a diary and computers seized from Murat’s girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, 34, admitting they found nothing linking her to the tot’s disappearance”


Still doctors. Still 39. Still parents of missing girl…

“Leaks in Portugal claim tests on DNA samples support Portuguese detectives’ theory that the couple were involved in Madeleine’s disappearance”


Says Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: “The existing evidence up until now is far from clearing the McCann couple in the case. There are more and more indicators that they were involved in the disappearance of the child, but it has been difficult to prove this fact. We will continue to follow all hypotheses”

“MURAT’S LOVER IS GIVEN HER COMPUTERS BACK” – “German-born Michaela” is “32”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCann police to question ‘Tapas Nine’”

Not the Tapas 7…

Writing on his internet blog, Gerry McCann says: “We have been told that all the forensic test results are now available. As we have stated all along, we are confident that the results will no way incriminate us and hopefully everyone can concentrate on finding Madeleine and her abductor”

THE GUARDIAN: “ Police ‘want to quiz Tapas 7’”

“Sources told the SIC Portuguese news channel that a team of detectives and the prosecutor would fly to Britain next week for interviews. According to reports, they will deliver letters of appeal to British police, asking them to interrogate the friends, known as the Tapas Seven, again with Portuguese officers present”

THE SCOTSMAN: “McCanns ‘face further grilling’”

“Portuguese police are to make a formal request to reinterview the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann, it was claimed last night”

All the news and speculation here

Posted: 1st, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,153)

Madeleine McCann: Case ‘Collapses’ Against Kate And Gerry McCann, Maybe

mccanns-car.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE: Cops ignored key witness – Kate and Gerry ‘clear in week”

Page 13: “KATE AND GERRY’S DNA HOPE” – “DNA ‘evidence against Kate and Gerry collapsed yesterday”

Not the McCanns. It’s Kate and Gerry. Rather, “Doctors Kate and Gerry”

“It is understood British forensic experts told Portuguese cops that tests show NOTHING conclusive” – So nothing to prove things one way or another…

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Police should now get on with looking for Maddie”

“MADDIE PROWLER IGNORED – Tourist told cops of weirdo” – Amanda Mills “spotted a skulking figure” near the apartment where Madeleine was last seen. It was a week before her disappearance.

“Essex mum-of-three Amanda” says: “It was late at night. This guy came along, put his hands on a pushchair outside an apartment and tried to walk off with it. He ran off when I made a loud noise to let him know he was being watched. He seemed interested in the windows. He was looking at and through them. He set warning bells off in my mind. He was very weird, very dodgy.”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “Amanda is at the top of Metodo 3’s list. This could be crucial”

DAILY MAIL page 11: “McCanns ‘in the clear’ after DNA tests”

The Forensic Science Service says tests remain “ongoing”, but the McCanns’ legal team have called on the Portuguese police to lift the couple’s status as official suspects.
Says Clarence Mitchell:

“Enough is enough. There can be nothing that incriminates Kate and Gerry, because they are innocent. We are hopeful this meeting will help speed up the process eliminating Kate and Gerry from the inquiry…We are hopeful common sense will prevail and that Portuguese police will see Kate and Gerry have no case to answer. Forensic evidence – if there is any – is inconclusive or explicable, so they should be eliminated from the inquiry”

DAILY EXPRESS page 15: “MADELEINE: Calls to clear McCanns as Portuguese police fly home after DNA talks”

But the police in Portugal “are increasingly accepting that without damning evidence, they may have to clear the couple”

DAILY MIRROR page 6: “ENOUGH’S ENOUGH – McCanns demand to be cleared as cops’ summit ends in failure”

The four-strong Portuguese team are “no closer to solving the mystery”, says the paper.

And the facts? Well, both Gerry and Kate are “doctors”. Both are “39”. And Madeleine McCann is missing…

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE – New DNA shock for parents”

Page 13: “MADDIE MUM AND DAD STILL IN THE FRAME – Portuguese cops call for more tests”

If tests are inconclusive, then why not have more?

“Scientists have told police their findings put Madeleine McCann’s parents in the frame for her disappearance”

mccanns-wedding.jpgA spokesman for the FSS says: “It is common for scientists to meet with detectives in the course of criminal investigations to explain our methods. Our inquiries are continuing. Tests are on-going’’

Says the Star: “Detectives accused ex-anaesthetist Kate of accidentally killing Madeleine after giving her sedatives to help her sleep”

Doctor Kate is a suspect, but no charges have been made against her…

THE GUARDIAN: “Bid to clear McCanns after DNA trip”

Those DNA tests “on blood samples, bodily fluids and hair found in the McCanns’ holiday apartment and the vehicle they hired 25 days after the four-year-old disappeared are “routine”

THE INDEPENDENT page 51: “The Big Question: Are we any closer to finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann?”

After days of ignoring the biggest human interest story in years, the Indy wakes up. And it has questions that any tabloid reader can help it answer:

Why are we asking this now?
What will they discuss?
Are they meeting the McCanns?
Are the McCanns still formal suspects?
Are there any other suspects?
Any other evidence?
Has Madeleine been seen since May?
Who is looking for Madeleine?
Could someone be charged soon?

And: Is the investigation any nearer to reaching a conclusion?

* Yesterday’s ‘DNA Summit’ was a significant event that should push the case on
* There have been many sightings of Madeleine and the case remains high profile, despite being more than six months old
* The Portuguese police know more than they are letting on, but are bound by secrecy laws


* No trace of Madeleine has been found, despite a huge police investigation and the efforts of private investigators
* The investigation was handled badly from the start, meaning that all leads have gone cold
* An army of scientists, abduction experts and sniffer-dog teams have failed to come up with any answers

Yes and no. Maybe…

DAILY TELEGRAPH and THE TIMES; No Madeleine news today

If comments are not working please join the debate in the Anorak Forums… 

Posted: 30th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (939)

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese Police Arrive, British Forensics And D Is For…

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

THE SUN front page: “Crunch day on Maddie”

It’s “D-Day today” as forensic experts meet with Portuguese police. Portugal’s “top forensics expert” Francisco Corte-Real and Inspector Ricardo Paiva, “one of the cops in charge of the case”, will hold talks with UK police and scientists from Britain’s Forensic Science Services

What’s the D in D-Day for?

A “legal source” says: “This is D-day for the McCanns…Whatever is in that report is crucial to whether Kate and Gerry are charged, or cleared”

D is for Dunnit?

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – POLICE IN MAKE OR BREAK SUMMIT. Portuguese detectives fly to Britain”

The visit has been “dubbed a DNA summit”.

D for DNA?

Says a source: “They are going to England to decode the results of the tests so we are not caught by surprise…The team that is going to the UK is going to examine everything microscopically to make sure the tests have not been manipulated by someone linked to the suspects. We want to be sure all the information that reaches us has not previously been interfered with”

Why would it have been? All forensic materials are in police custody…

Page 5: “Madeleine: “’Someone’s holding back the truth’”

And: “Kate and Gerry McCann are behind a deliberate campaign of misinformation about the disappearance of their daughter it was claimed yesterday”

Says who? Says a “high-ranking police source in Portugal”. Has he any proof?

He tells Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: “We have analysed all the information reaching the public. None of the reports indicating sightings of the McCanns’ daughter have been confirmed. And there’s also someone who wants to bring down an investigation that has been carried out honestly and rigorously”

So no mistakes were made? And if they were made, there were just honest ones..?

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ official spokesman, says: “We understand there is no intention for the McCanns to be interviewed or indeed anybody else. That such a meeting is taking place is not particularly surprising and we do not see this as a significant development”

Pages 28-29: “More extracts from the Daily Express’ book Madeleine: A Most Heartbreaking And Extraordinary Disappearance. Can you the difference between the paper’s reporting and its book?


Says a source: “There are no witnesses – no smoking gun. The whole care rest on these tests”

What about Jane Tanner? And Mirror hack Lori Campbell and her outing of “creepy” Robert Murat? And other witnesses?

DAILY MAIL page 13: “D-day for the McCann as DNA team fly in for summit”

D-Day and a summit. The Mail has both.

D is for Double

And it has facts: Both Gerry and Kate McCann are “doctors”

“Irrelevant’ private eyes are costing the Madeleine fund £2,000 a day” – Spanish private detective agency Metodo 3 is charging the McCanns’ £50,000 a month. The Mail does some maths and works it out at “around” £2,000 a day. There are 31 days in October

Portuguese police say the private detectives are “irrelevant”. How much a Portuguese police detective earns is not reported


Kate McCann is a “GP”. Gerry McCann is a “heart consultant”. Facts!

D is for Doctors

“In the dark: Gerry and Kate McCann were unaware of the meeting,” says the paper.

Says Clarence Mitchell in the Star’s sister paper, the Express: “We have been informed by Leicestershire police that a meeting between forensic scientists from Portugal and the Forensic Science Service laboratory will be taking place”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police fly to UK

A spokeswoman from Leicestershire Constabulary says: “There is a meeting taking place but it is not due to any specific development. There has been excellent dialogue between the British and the Portuguese authorities but they found it was time to have a face-to-face meeting. They are not going to be speaking to anyone else while they are in the UK, they are just here for the meeting”

An “insider” tells Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: “The team going to the UK is going to examine everything microscopically. Portuguese police have already indicated they expect the DNA tests to be ‘indicative’ rather than ‘conclusive’ but are said to be frustrated at the delay”

So not quite D-day, then. More C(ould Be) Day

Says a source: “We cannot understand how the tests which could have been carried out in Portugal in six or seven days have taken almost four months to be concluded”

THE TIMES page 27: “Madeleine police meet to discuss evidence”

And: The Find Madeleine Fund today launches a poster campaign across Southern Spain, part of a new £80,000 publicity drive

D is for Disappeared

THE GUARDIAN and THE INDEPENDENT: No Madeleine news today

The speculation so far

Posted: 29th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (97)

Madeleine McCann: Francisco Pagarete Says, Metodo 3 ‘Mercenaries’ And The Vicious Man

mccanns-renault-scenic.jpg MADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE:
• None of her DNA in hire care
• Murat’s lawyer vile slur”

“Forensic experts found NO blood, NO hair and NO body fluids from Madeleine McCann in her parents’ hire car, it emerged last night”

Forensic scientists used by the police?

“Home Office-approved scientists hired by Kate and Gerry McCann say there is no evidence Maddie was ever in the Renault Scenic, rented 25 days after she disappeared”

But the police kept a bit of boot lining. Have the McCanns team checked it…

Says McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Clarence Mitchell said: “We feel it is impossible there can be anything found on the piece. From our understanding, it is part of the tailgate fitting and is supposed to have tiny droplets of a substance on it…If her body had been in there, there would have been traces all over it. And there aren’t any. Because she was never in there”

Robert Murat’s lawyers Francisco Paragete [not to be confused with Sen Pagarete elsewhere] says: “They deserve to be cursed for leaving three children unprotected.” The McCanns’ private detectives are “dodgy mercenaries”

How do the McCanns pay for the detectives?

“The fund stands at almost £1.1million but £700,000 has been earmarked to pay the private eyes. At its height the fund was receiving £450,000 a month. But that is now down to £30,000”

Would you donate money?


Francisco Pagarete says: “I’m just sorry that there are people out there ready to feed a couple who abandoned their three children and strutted round the streets daily. On top of that, with bulging bank accounts. In the meantime my client, his mum and his girlfriend, who have nothing to do with this case, are seeing their names dragged through the mud on a daily basis. Before they were made official suspects, the Policia Judiciaria were the best in the world and after they became the worst”

Says the Express: “His words have struck a cord with many in Portugal”

“Countryside search for body” – Detectives are looking around Apria da Luz


Ex-pat George Burke is by Lagos marina. He sees a small girl, “who bore a remarkable resemblance to Madeleine”. She is being hauled along by a “vicious-looking” man and a woman.

He says: “It was dark and they were hurrying towards the marina. There was no-one else around at the time and they looked very suspicious”

Page 9: “TAKEN BY SEA?” – George Burke is a “businessman”. Says a source: “The private investigation is now concentrating on Lagos and the marina”

But what about Morocco?

“I THINK I SAW MADDY’” – Madeleine at a petrol station in Lagos; Madeleine on a gypsy cart on Portimao; Marie Ollie sees Madeleine in Marrakech; Isabel Gonzalez sees Madeleine in Zaio; two women see Madeleine in Cartagena, Spain. Madeleine in Belgium. Madeleine in Malta. Madeleine in Bosnia

And X marks the spot…

DAILY STAR front page:2 “’Parents frame Murat’”

Page 11: “’I’M BEING FRAMED BY THE MCCANNS’” – Says Pagarete: “The people from Metodo 3 have spoken to everyone, including witnesses in this case. They are constantly pursuing my client and his girlfriend and they no longer have a private life. This is simply unacceptable in a democratic country. The Metodo 3 investigators are mercenaries. They’re pressurising witnesses and no-one does anything. It’s a disgrace”

DAILY MAIL page 5: “Curse on the McCanns”

Francisco Pagarete says…

The Mail notes: “The McCanns own a £500,000 home. Mr McCann, 39, earns a reported £75,000 as a heart specialist”

And: “The Find Madeleine fund has raised almost £1.1million, which the couple, who also have twins, have used to fund their campaign and to pay their living costs since May, including two instalments of their mortgage. Their legal costs and spokesman are paid for by benefactors”

THE GUARDIAN: “Murat lawyer attacks McCanns”

And: “Sky News said they [Portuguese police] would travel to the UK on Wednesday to speak to police in Leicestershire – the couple live in Rothley, in the county”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 15: “McCanns ‘should be cursed or leaving Madeleine’”

Says Francisco Pagarete: “This is simply unacceptable in a democratic state…Leave my client alone”

THE INDEPENDENT and THE TIMES: No Madeleine news today

The story so far

Posted: 28th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,585)

Madeleine McCann: Her Last Words, A Play For Today And The Killer Intruder

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


“A piece of lining from the couple’s hire car is being held in high-security storage at a laboratory in Birmingham”

Page 7: But just last week “sources close to the McCanns” said the couple’s tests on their Renault Scenic hire car – in which Madeleine’s body is alleged to have been carried – found “no DNA evidence linked to Madeleine”

But the “McCanns’ scientists” haven’t been able to check all the car – not the boot lining

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “We do not believe that this affects the results of our tests at all…The piece retained by the Forensic Science Service is extremely small. If anything has been found on it there is a wholly innocent explanation for it”

Says Madeleine McCann: “As she was being tucked up in bed, she said: ‘Mummy, I’ve had the best day ever. I’m having lots and lots of fun’”

“Intruder ‘had to silence her’” – A “chilling” account in Portuguese paper Publico says the intruder “probably suffocated her in an act of panic”

“’My girl was taken as well’” – Agents of Metodo 3 are investigating a link between Madeleine and Joana Cipriano – more on her here

Pages 30-31: “More extracts from the Daily Express’ book Madeleine: A Most Heartbreaking And Extraordinary Disappearance, aka Madeleine: The New Diana

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – Was she killed by intruder INSIDE the apartment?”


Page 5: “Madeleine ‘killed as she screamed at pervert prowler’”

The intruder is in the McCanns’ apartment… “Fearing that her cries would raise the alarm, he violently silenced her – accidentally killing her – and then grabbed her body and escaped, according to the new theory”

What evidence?

“Respected” Portuguese newspaper Publico has carried out a “chilling recreation of the supposed chain of events”. In Theory No. 432b the man seen by Jane Tanner is carrying a dead child. This theory is “gaining increasing strength at the centre of the police investigation”. More theories

Publico notes: “An unexpected event thwarted the prospect of desire. A shout from the British child awakened from her sleep. The fear that she would be heard, the urgency to silence her, the violence, probably the suffocation and the unexpected death. All this is in minutes. Now one would have to take her out of there, close the door, escape quickly”

Intermission – ices, popcorn and a vital break for the toilet…

Says Clarence Mitchell: “We do not believe that this is what happened to Madeleine. There has been no evidence to suggest this happened in the apartment at all”

“CAR MAT MYSTERY” – Not only the boot lining but also “several other secret samples” are hidden away at the Forensic Science Service laboratory

“A LINK TO JOANA?” – Metodo 3 are looking over old cases, hunting for a clue, a new press release, a new lead…

DAILY MIRROR page 11: “’Perv killer of Maddy’”

More from Public’s play for today



Pages 4 and 5: A pervert sneaked into Madeleine McCann’s holiday apartment – and killed the terrified tot to shut her up when she screamed, police now believe”


Back to Publico’s Maddy Play – Act 2:

Publico: “It would be easy for an intruder to get into the apartment to touch and smell the fragile little blonde girl with big eyes. It took an instant, but his warped sexual desire was thwarted when she shouted out

“So he had to shut her up. He turned on her and probably suffocated her in an act of panic”

Gerry McCann is a “heart surgeon” and Kate a “GP”. The McCanns live in a £500,000 house in Rothley, Leicestershire”

Such are the facts

DAILY STAR page 9: “MADDIE: VITAL DNA IS LOCKED AWAY IN SAFE – McCanns team has not seen car clues”

Why should the suspects get access to all evidence being compiled, possibly against them? Is it now standard practice for the defendant to read the police notes as the case is developing?

“Quiz for tapas friends”- Police to question the McCann’ co-diners

DAILY TELEGRPAH page 17: “Police ‘U-turn over Madeleine theory’”

“Madeleine McCann was killed by a paedophile in a moment of ‘thwarted desire’ before being taken from her Algarve holiday apartment, police investigating her disappearance believe, it has been claimed”

Publico: “All over in minutes. Now he had to get her out of there. Close the door. Flee as fast as he could”

And links to another case: Joana Cipriano, 8, disappeared from her home in the Algarve village of Figueria, 10 miles from Praia da Luz in September 2004. She has never been found. Her mother Leonor, 36, and uncle, Joao, 35, were convicted of murder after Ms Cipriano confessed to the crime during police questioning. She later retracted her confession, claiming it was forced during a beating by detectives, but was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in jail. Her lawyers claim she is innocent and are appealing”

THE SCOTSMAN: “Just how much vilification do they have to suffer?”

“You have to hope that Kate and Gerry McCann stopped reading the papers a long time ago, that they have their news filtered though the calm compassion of Clarence Mitchell, the former BBC journalist turned family spokesman”


All the stories here…

Posted: 27th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,265)

Madeleine McCann: Metodo 3 Think, Daily Express Write The Book And Robert Murat Smears

madeleine1.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR page 5: “The private detectives have a theory: Madeleine was “snatched” to order and is alive in the “perfect” hideout. She’s in Morocco

Says Metodo 3 spokesman Francisco Marco PI: “We’re following the trail. Morocco is the perfect place to hide a kidnapped girl. There are a number of networks there dedicated to trafficking children”

What clues? What evidence?

Marita Fernandez, founder of the agency, says: “We think Murat knows more than he said, Madeleine could be living in Morocco”

Could be? Truth or Phooey?

She goes on: “I played the devil’s advocate and asked them [McCanns] terrible things to see their reactions.” Kate cried. “As a mother and grandmother it strikes me as impossible that a woman who has had artificial insemination to have children and who loves her youngsters in this way could have done anything bad to Madeleine”

A woman’s intuition, eh? Good to hear the PIs are making progress…


* The NEW BOOK That everyone’s been waiting for
* Just what DID happen the night she disappeared?
* What’s the truth about the mysterious sightings of her
* And who do the police really think is responsible


Fact 1: Madeleine McCann in missing
Fact 2. Madeleine McCann is still missing
Fact 3: Etc.

Page 5: “I SAW MAN LIKE MURAT TRY TO KIDNAP A CHILD” – British nanny at the Ocean Club resort has told police that she caught an intruder, who looked like Robert Murat, trying to climb through the ground floor window while a baby slept inside

“MADELEINE: MCCANNS ‘SPOILED CRUCIAL EVIDENCE’”- Says a Portuguese policeman: “When we arrived at the scene, it was as if there had been an earthquake in the apartment. Everything had been turned over and there were more than 10 people there touching everything. How could the evidence not be contaminated? Of course, we isolated the scene, but a great deal had already been touched”

Pages 30-32: “Madeleine: A Most Heartbreaking And Extraordinary Disappearance, by Robert Downing. It’s published by Northern & Shell, who own the Daily Express. Buy now for Christmas

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADDIE: Police believed McCanns sold her”

Page 5: “Police ‘asked is parents sold Maddie top perverts’” – So says a Portuguese policeman

madeleine-mccann-photo.jpg“THERE’LL BE PRESENTS FOR HER THIS CHRISTMAS” – Says Kate McCann’s father Brian Healy: “We will all buy her a present and they will be under the tree waiting for he when she comes home”

“Team McCann smearing Murat, say friends” – A friend of Michaela Walczuch and Robert Murat calls for an end to the “continuous unfounded attacks”. The woman has been pushed “to the brink of despair”

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE MUM ‘SOLD HER’ – McCann outrage at cops’ claim”

It is an EXCLUSIVE (see Daily Mail)

Page 10: “Says Clarence Mitchell: “The suggestion that Kate and Gerry somehow have sold off their beloved daughter takes the ludicrous allegations circulating around this case to a new level of lunacy. It is laughable to even suggest it. Kate and Gerry understand the police must consider all possibilities – no matter how apparently implausible – in order to eliminate them. But if they have considered this for more than a nano-second then they have wasted their time. It is, of course, entirely untrue. Madeleine was abducted”

THE SUN page 15: “MURAT’S FURY – Maddie suspect pleads: Stop smear campaign”

Says a “pal” of Murat: “These continuous unfounded attacks are taking the focus away from the areas that should be investigated. I would think someone from the McCann camp would want to put a stop to it”

Indeed. We should stick to the facts…

“Yesterday it was claimed six months before Maddie vanished a man matching Murat’s description tried to get into the same apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal”


“Meanwhile Brit Murat’s German-born girlfriend Michaela Walczuch was said to have had her alibi shattered by revelations she was NOT at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting in Lagos”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 15: “Murat urges Madeleine McCann’s family to stop smears”

Robert Murat and what the nanny saw… What of that? Says a source: “Robert went to the UK at the end of October and remained there until January of this year”

Says Brian Healy: “It really would be a miracle and we would appeal to parents to think about Maddie at this time of the year and help us to bring her home in time for Christmas”

The speculation so far

Posted: 26th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,223)

Madeleine McCann: Michaela Walczuch At The Door, JonBenet Ramsey And Metodo 3 ‘A Pup’

madeleine-mccann-round-up.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

SUNDAY MIRROR: “Did they want my girl?”

Karen Sixsmith is in conversation with the Mirror. It is an “EXCLUSIVE”. She is in an apartment at the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz. It is a month before Madeleine McCann went missing

A woman knocks at her door. She claims to be a Jehovah’s Witness. “German-born” Michaela Walczuch is a Jehovah’s Witness, or has been. The “mysterious woman” at the door is with a man.

Says Sixsmith: “It was a blonde woman, 35 to 40 years old, English-speaking. She had a pamphlet and I knew straight away that she was a Jehovah’s Witness. She asked if she could come into the apartment to talk about her faith. I took the pamphlet from her and closed the door. I now think it may have been Murat and his girlfriend”

Michaela Walczuch is 34

Karen has a daughter called Kate – “Kate is strikingly similar to Madeleine…Kate would have stood out a mile with her blonde hair and blue eyes – just like Madeleine”

Says the Mirror: “Her testimony – given to the Sunday Mirror so we could pass it on to the McCanns’ private investigators Metodo 3 in Barcelona”

NEWS OF THE WORLD: “Snatch bid last year at Maddie flat”

“A man tried to kidnap a child at the same apartment Madeleine McCann vanished from SIX MONTHS before she went missing,” says a British nanny who “caught the pervert trying to climb in through the ground floor window while a baby slept inside”


A source says “A babysitter has given detectives a statement in which she claims she caught a man trying to climb in through a window of apartment 5A – the apartment later occupied by the McCanns”


“Cops spent days investigating a theory the couple did it because they were desperate for cash”

It is a “sickening smear” making headlines in Portuguese paper 24 Horas

“NO QUIZ FOR MURAT LOVE” – Tuck Price, “a pal of German born Walczuch”, reveala: “I know for sure she’s been going to her Jehovah’s meetings and I know for sure the police haven’t contacted her. If this was true I’m sure the police would have been on to her”

“Find Maddie and give us a miracle for Christmas..” – “Maddie’s grandfather Brian Healy revealed how the family are convinced that she is alive and how they are now hoping for the ultimate Christmas miracle.” Says he: “We will all buy her a Christmas present and they will be under the tree waiting for her when she comes home”

GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Fury Over ‘Maddie Sold’ Slur”

An “outrageous slur”

A source says: “For several days the judicial police team investigated the possibility that the child had been sold by her own parents because of financial difficulties”


“Spanish investigators hunting for Madeleine McCann have narrowed their search to a hit list of ten paedophiles, we can reveal. Detectives working for the Metodo 3 agency are blitzing locations in Europe and Africa to find the known sex offenders”

Why this ten? Why ten?

Says Clarence Mitchell: “We have every confidence in Metodo 3. They can get to places faster and work quicker than anyone else and have the capacity to work worldwide”

BURNLEY EXPRESS: “Girls’ symbolic silence for Madeleine McCann”

Chelsea Gallagher and Gemma Lee, both 13, raised £450 for the Madeleine McCann Fund with a sponsored cuff-and-silence.

“For an entire school day, Chelsea and Gemma, 13, were handcuffed together and remained silent.” Says Chelsea: “The handcuffs symbolised the people who will be caught, and the silence because we haven’t heard anything about Madeleine”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann: is there no hope left?”

“Bristling with bravado before the television cameras last week, Francisco Marco, the portly boss of the Spanish-based detective agency Metodo 3, sneeringly dismissed the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of the couple’s daughter, Madeleine, as ”bumbling”, and boasted: ‘’We know who the kidnappers are and we are very, very close to catching them.’ Off camera, he admitted: ‘No, I can’t disclose any more yet. But I will be proved right.’”

Marco will get his man. A PI always does. Sign the contract. Pay the fee…

A source “close to” the McCanns says: ”The harsh fact is that they were pinning their remaining hopes on Marco’s outfit when they hired them on a six-month contract in September. But, in the past few weeks, they have conceded that they might have been sold a pup. There’s no doubt they’ve worked round the clock, but they don’t have a lot of experience with this type of investigation”

But there are for months left on the contract…

THE GUARDIAN: “Panorama walk-out over McCann film”

“Why did TV journalist David Mills, the producer of a Panorama film on the McCann affair, quit the project before it was transmitted last week? The Observer’s David Rose reveals the inside story of the latest row to hit the BBC’s flagship show”

Sensationalism? Tabloid journalism? Crime as entertainment?

Mills wrote a script. It was not used. “His original film would have compared Madeleine to the JonBenet Ramsey case in Colorado, about which Mills has made three previous documentaries. After the body of JonBenet, a child beauty pageant winner aged six, was found in her parents’ Boulder home, they were vilified by the police and media, despite their continued insistence that they had nothing to do with her death. They claimed she had been killed by an intruder…Years later DNA evidence proved beyond doubt that JonBenet had been killed by an intruder. John Ramsey told Panorama: ‘It’s a life-time damage. No question about it.’”

The speculation so far

Posted: 25th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (680)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann Jail And Drugs, Michaela Walczuch Accused And The Others

michaela-walczuch.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – MUM FACES TEN YEARS IN JAIL. Now parents could be charged with abandoning their children”

Abandoning – to go for some tapas down the road?

Says lawyer Jose Olimpio: “The fact the McCanns were made arguidos means that there are justified suspicions against them of committing a crime.” But there is no proof they have…

And: “Mr Olimpio claimed the Portuguese penal code states that placing a person’s life in danger by abandoning them is punishable with a jail sentence of between one and five years. But the sentence rises to between three and 10 years if the victim is a child and the crime is committed by a parent or guardian”

Says Clarence Mitchell (not a lawyer): “They have committed no offence under Portuguese, British or any country’s laws”

DAILY MIRROR front page: “NO ALIBI – EXCLUSIVE Murat lover ‘was not at church as she claimed’”

“An alibi by Robert Murat’s lover for the night Madeleine McCann vanished is a LIE, it was claimed yesterday”

It’s “German born” Michaela Walczuch, who “claims” she was at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting four miles away when the four-year-old was snatched.

But church elder Brother Teofilo Castela says: “She was thrown out of the church more than a year ago and doesn’t attend. There was some problem with the rules and she was cast aside. It was before this year. I haven’t been interviewed by police and the police haven’t been here”

Murat’s lawyer Francisco Pagarate says: “Michaela says she was at the Jehovah Witnesses in Lagos on May 3. She remembers being there”

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE: THE FALSE ALIBI – Suspect’s girl accused over Jehovah claim”

A member of the religious organisation says Michaela Walczuch, was thrown out for “breaking the laws of the Bible” months before Madeleine McCann went missing

Oh? The laws of the bible – there are many. But the Sun boils things down:

“It is not clear which rules Michaela has broken. But the religion’s strict moral code considers adultery and premarital sex to be sins. Michaela started dating Murat almost two years ago, while she was still married to Luis Antonio, 37”


“GP” Kate McCann took a drugs test after she was named a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance

She did it to “fight police claims that she was ‘mentally unstable’’ and could have been on anti-depressants”. Her two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie were also tested. All the tests proved negative. So say the lawyers working for the McCanns

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine: Now Murat’s girlfriend’s alibi falls apart”

Michael Walczuch is a “German-born mother-of-one”

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses follow what they believe is a ‘purer’ form of Christianity, based on the First Century Church. The ultimate sanction on those who break the rules is excommunication, known as disfellowship”

Such are the facts of the case…

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “No peace for McCanns”

“A senior policeman says they created ‘a monster of information they lost control of’. Meanwhile, the plods who failed to take control of the crime scene on the night Madeleine disappeared and who bungled every step of the investigation that followed, are blameless, obviously”

The Telegraph Liz Hunt fails to spot that Goncarlo Amaral was demoted and any number of tabloid stories on “bungling” Portuguese cops

“Without a trace” – The paper looks at other British children who have one missing abroad “not the story of Madeleine McCann”

“When Katrice Lee vanished in Germany in 1981 there was no blanket media coverage, no poster campaign, hardly even a mention on the national news. And today, 26 years later, her family still have no idea what happened to her”

Christmas Book: Crime fiction” – However fascinated we are by the real-life mysteries of Diana, Princess of Wales or Madeleine McCann, and even as we devour the newspapers with what Margery Allingham saw as “the bright ghoul’s eyes of the calamity fancier”, we return to crime novels because they provide us with the satisfaction of a solution”

Expect lots of books on Madeleine McCann; and Diana 

THE TIMES: “Casey Affleck, the brother in arms – Not just Ben’s kid brother – Casey Affleck shows he’s a serious contender in a fine new western”

“His roots seem important to Affleck, and he’ll next be seen playing the lead in the older Affleck’s directing debut Gone Baby Gone, a dark child-abduction drama set in Boston, where the pair grew up. However, in the wake of the Madeleine McCann case, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel was withdrawn from this year’s Times/bfi London Film Festival because of its sensitive subject matter, and may never be released in the UK”

Because viewers might confuse a work of Hollywood fiction with real life…

THE GUARDIAN: “Kate McCann ‘agreed to drug tests’”

Says Edward Smethurst: “There were various stories circulating that Kate might somehow be unstable and might be depressed and whatever, but the tests demonstrated that the kind of drugs she might be on did not show up”

CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL: “Author says Freud slipped up in Oedipus ‘obsession’”

“One of Britain’s most popular authors, Salley Vickers, will speak…about her influences, including the hysteria surrounding the Madeleine McCann case, and the work of Clement Freud”

An author making headline on the McCann case… The Oedipus complex and Madeleine McCann… Booker prize winner Anne Enright… Look at me!

Says Ms Vickers: “There’s quite a strong body of opinion in Britain that would have really liked the McCanns to have murdered their own child. They would have been quite excited by it”

The news and speculation so far

Posted: 24th, November 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (735)