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: Kate McCann’s Diary, The Maddy Catty And Portugal’s A Banana Republic

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

THE SUN: “Police want Kate’s diary

“COPS moved closer to charging the parents of Madeleine McCann last night after demanding mum Kate’s diary be seized as trial evidence”

The police want the original, having copied it once and handed it back to Kate McCann. The court only considers original documents

“Cardiologist Gerry, 39, is said to be portrayed as an absent dad happy to leave his wife to shoulder the burden while he relaxed on holiday”

A cardiologist. Kate is a “GP”. Such are the facts

A source close to the family says: “The McCanns fear the police want to show a judge they are in position to move the case forward”

DAILY MAIL: “Portuguese police want to seize Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat again”

“Police in Portugal have begun a fresh trawl for evidence which could incriminate Gerry and Kate McCann. Among the items they are said to want to seize is their missing daughter Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat toy, which was examined by forensic teams in the summer. They have also demanded Mrs McCann’s diary”

Why a diary?

“She was advised by a trauma counsellor to keep a journal and to include the days before Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3”
The police: “They have suggested the toy was cleaned to destroy any potential DNA evidence, such as blood. Mrs McCann said it had simply become too grubby”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Don’t go to Portugal for your holiday”

Writes Simon Heffer: “I think it is time that the British people showed yet more solidarity with Gerry and Kate McCann, who have been named by the Portuguese police as the main suspects in the presumed murder of their daughter. If the McCanns killed Madeleine, then I am Barack Obama”


“The utterly useless Portuguese police have nowhere else to go, because their initial bungling of the investigation has robbed them of vital clues. It is deeply unpleasant of them to try to scapegoat the child’s grieving parents to try to concoct for themselves an impression of competence

“Portugal has revealed itself to be little more than a banana republic through the handling of this case. Whether you have small children or not, you would be mad even to think of having a holiday there”

Portugal is Britain’s oldest ally – or was…

THE INDEPENDENT: “Deborah Orr: The dark deeds that fire the imagination”

“Likewise, the terrible fascination with the Madeleine McCann case can be viewed, with some validity, as collective wish-fulfilment. There is no substantive evidence of murder, but there is a strong undertow of longing all the same for the culprit to turn out to be someone of the professional class living a respectable life somewhere in the suburbs”

Orr quotes form George Orwell’s 1946 essay The Decline of the English Murder: The murderer should be a little man of the professional class – a dentist or a solicitor, say – living an intensely respectable life somewhere in the suburbs, and preferably in a semi-detached house, which will allow the neighbours to hear suspicious sounds through the wall … He should go astray through cherishing a guilty passion for his secretary or for the wife of a rival professional man, and should only bring himself to the point of murder after long and terrible wrestles with his conscience. Having decided on murder, he should plan it all with the utmost cunning, and only slip up over some tiny unforeseeable detail. The means chosen should, of course, be poison”

The story so far 

Posted: 5th, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,090)

Madeleine McCann: 20 Years Of Fury, Kate And Gerry McCann Prime Suspects, Robert Murat Says Nothing

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “YOU’RE STILL PRIME SUSPECTS – McCanns’ fury at police chief warning”

“Kate and Gerry McCann were furious last night after learning they are still prime suspects in daughter Madeleine’s disappearance”

It is now the 105th time Kate and Gerry have reacted with fury of been furious in a tabloid setting

“The couple’s hopes of being cleared today were crushed when police chief Paulo Rebelo asked a judge to extend their arguido status because detectives are sticking to their belief that they accidentally killed the four-year-old”

This was predictable. Robert Murat also remains a suspect

Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “They are frustrated and angry. Frustrated because, yet again, there appears to be no movement in the case when they know they are innocent. They will continue to push for their arguido status to be lifted”

The Correio da Manha newspaper “claimed Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, could be charged with perjury and wasting police time”
But don’t the police waste enough of that themselves?

“They have been warned by their legal team they may have to go to the European Court of Human Rights to get their arguido status lifted”

Human rights? What of Madeleine’s rights?


“Kate and Gerry McCann were dealt a crushing blow last night when a police report accused them of killing their daughter Madeleine”

Says a friend: “They are not the prime suspects. As we understand it, the report talks about the police’s continued belief that Madeleine died accidentally in the apartment and that is why Kate and Gerry remain arguidos. It also talks about Robert Murat remaining an arguido and it discusses the possibility of her being abducted. Well, they can’t have it both ways”


Says Clarence Mitchell: “Throughout 2007 we have declined to comment on speculation in the Portuguese press. We will follow the same policy in 2008. If this report is true, however, and this interim police report exists, then we believe it contains nothing new. It is simply a restatement of the current position of the police. And we note that it not only discusses Kate and Gerry as arguidos, but also continues to name Mr Murat as an arguido. Crucially it also accepts the possibility that abduction took place”

The green shoots of hope…

THE SUN front page: “McCANN AGONY GOES ON – 246 after Maddie vanished, cops name Kate and Gerry as…PRIME SUSPECTS”

“ANGUISHED Kate and Gerry McCann are facing up to living as suspects over their daughter’s disappearance for another TWENTY years, it emerged yesterday”


Kate and Gerry are “both 39-year-old doctors”


DAILY MAIL: “Police ‘still think McCanns killed Madeleine by accident’ – and they will be suspects for 20 years”

“A secret police dossier has accused Kate and Gerry McCann of accidentally killing their daughter and hiding her body, it was claimed yesterday. The couple faked four-year-old Madeleine’s abduction, according to a leaked report on the eight-month police investigation”

Lawyer Edward Smethurst, who is co-ordinating the McCanns’ defence, says: “Any report about the leaked document we believe is completely without substance. We think it arises out of pure speculation on the part of the Portuguese papers”

Kate and Gerry McCann are “doctors”

THE SCOTSMAN: “Madeleine’s parents could be under suspicion for 20 years, says judge”

“The prospect of the case dragging on for years was reinforced yesterday by the president of the National Union of Portuguese Judges, Antonio Martins, who said: ‘No-one knows what type of crime was committed. If it was homicide, the investigation can only be shelved after 20 years; if it was kidnap, 15 years’”

On we go…

THE OBSERVER: “After a year in which the torment of Madeleine McCann’s family has dominated the British media, the trials of the Lees – and the hope the new image has given them – seem particularly acute”

The story: “Katrice disappeared on her second birthday from a supermarket in Germany, where her father was serving as a soldier. Her mother turned away for a few moments to fetch a pack of crisps for the girl’s party and when she looked back Katrice was gone”

Twenty six years ago…

FOX NEWS: “Missing Madeleine McCann: Irish Witness ‘Clears’ Murat”

Says Martin Smith, who was on holiday in Praia da Luz: “I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn’t as big as Murat – I think I would have recognised him because I’d met him several times previously. He was wearing beige trousers and a darker top. We all put him in his early 40s and I didn’t think he was Portuguese”

The Speculation Commented Upon

Posted: 4th, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,150)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Tells All, Neil Hogan Investigates And The Irish Family

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

DAILY MAIL: “McCanns bring in cold-case detective”

“Kate and Gerry McCann have hired a former Met Police officer to carry out a ‘cold case’ review into Madeleine’s disappearance. Noel Hogan, a former CID detective, has spent hundreds of hours interviewing British witnesses in the case”

Why not just read the papers, or Anorak?

Hogan has interviewed the so-called “Tapas seven”, also known as the Tapas Nine

Has Hogan enjoyed many success in his new private detective firm? Says the Mail: “Mr Hogan had been investigating one of the 7/7 suicide bombers before the terror attacks in 2005 after the man’s bank became suspicious of his spending patterns” – Would that be one of the men who then went on to play his part in the murder of 52 people? Did Mr Hogan find anything suspicious?

“The McCanns’ official spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, declined to comment”

“CHARGE MURAT OR CLEAR HIM, RELATIVES SAY” – Robert Murat’s aunt Sally Eveleigh, says: “Either charge him or let him go. The worst thing that could happen would be for this to be allowed to carry on as it is”


The film. The book. The TV show. The DVD. The computer game. The glass eye. The T-shirts


“Robert Murat hopes to make £1million if he is formally cleared over Madeleine McCann’s disappearance”

A source close to Murat says: “Maddie was the biggest story of 2007 and Robert Murat has been a massive part of that. He’s been living under a cloud since being named a suspect and feels he should at least have some compensation for the trauma”

Why not write his story, the Daily Express has already produced its book – “Madeleine: A Most Heartbreaking And Extraordinary Disappearance, by Robert Downing. It’s published by Northern & Shell, who own the Daily Express.

“Publicist Max Clifford speaks regularly with Murat and has pledged to represent him if he is ruled out of the investigation. Mr Clifford said: ‘He has been attacked from all sides and not been able to defend himself thanks to Portuguese secrecy laws’”

Look out for Murat in OK! magazine and his going on to appear on Strictly Come Dancing

Says Sally Eveleigh: “There is not a shred of evidence against him but we have had to live through eight months of whispering and suspicions. We’re all praying this nightmare will come to an end and he will no longer be a suspect, but if that’s not going to happen then charge him so he can defend himself in court”

Who needs court when you have daytime telly? Perhaps Jeremy Kyle can interview him?

HOLIDAY family may hold clue” – Martin Smith, his wife and children were on holiday in Praia da Luz. They saw a man carrying a child towards the beach. They told the police. Metodo 3 investigators are going to speak with them. The man they saw was “about 5ft 6in”


Hunters? Run, Maddie, run!

“PRIVATE detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann are to quiz an Irish family who may have been the last to see her alive”

Says Mr Smith: “I’d talk to anyone to move this investigation on. I think about Maddie every day.”

And what about the Portuguese police? Can you tell Sun readers about those bunglers: “I found the Portuguese cops not to be the most efficient bunch.” Job done.

Says Mrs Smith: “We saw a man carrying a blonde child. It was just such a normal thing to see in a holiday resort — we didn’t think anything of it at the time”


The Smith says the man they saw was between 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in

The speculation and sensation so far

Posted: 3rd, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,011)

Madeleine McCann: The Case Against Robert Murat And Kirsty Young Says

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

THE SUN front page: “Murat ‘in clear’ on Maddie”

Can it be that Robert Murat is no longer a suspect – and with “NINE” witnesses challenging the “oddball’s” alibi (see Sun yesterday)?

(This is “Murat” as the paper has him, rather than Robert. The McCanns remain Kate and Gerry)

As the Sun reminds readers: “The one-eyed oddball was the first suspect, or arguido, in the hunt for the missing four-year-old”

Tomorrow will be exactly eight months since Madeleine McCann disappeared, and Robert Murat is then legally entitled to ask the police what case they have against him”. The Sun says if there is insufficient evidence against him, then his official suspect status “could” be lifted”

Which means he might be in the clear, as the headline says. Or not


His lawyer Francisco Pagarete tells us: “After eight months that is the end of the inquiry. He must be either accused or advised of the suspicions against him. If they postpone the deadline they will have to tell us why. The public prosecutor either accuses him or doesn’t. And that is what I am hoping will happen. We have not had any communications from the police since August. Obviously they have already cleared Robert, it is just a question of the deadline”


More facts: “Gerry McCann, of Rothley Leics, will return full time to his £75,000-a-year job as a hospital consultant cardiologist from tomorrow”


“Robert Murat is about to learn if he will be charged or cleared over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann”

Or not – the police may ask for an extension

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE: Revealed, the police files on suspect Murat”

Or not. Robert Murat has yet to see the police files on him

“He has not had any contact with the Policia Judiciaria or the Portuguese Judiciary since August. In the meantime he has been unable to work or even see his five-year-old daughter, who lives with his ex-wife in Britain”

Why not? “Hospital consultant” Gerry is returning to work. He has seen his other children

“A total of eight people now claim to have seen him near the McCanns’ apartment on the night that Madeleine vanished”

Or nine, if you read the facts in the Sun

DAILY MIRROR: “Maddy’s dad back full time”

“Gerry McCann is going back to work. What does he do for a living? Why, he is a “consultant cardiologist”…

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 11: “Crimewatch is not dumbing down, says Young”

It’s Kirsty Young, the new presenter of BBC TV’s Crimewatch. She is in conversation with Good Housekeeping magazine

Says she: “A boy being shot riding his bicycle occupies the news for weeks because it’s so unusual. Madeleine McCann going missing preoccupies us all because it almost never happens that a girl is taken from her bed”

But you never know. Stay tuned…

DAILY MAIL: “’I’m not some leggy, pouty bird’ says Kirsty – as she flashes her legs”

More words on Madeleine McCann. A look at Young’s legs. Keep ‘em peeled…

THE INDEPENDENT: “BBC ageism a myth, says new face of ‘Crimewatch’”

Kirsty Young is 39. And blonde

THE TIMES and THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news

The files on Madeleine McCann…released

Posted: 2nd, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (914)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann Suspects Robert Murat, Morocco And A Prediction

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

THE MIRROR: “Kate McCann: Murat must tell us the truth”

“Kate McCann has told friends she is still suspicious of Robert Murat after another person claimed he saw him the night her daughter Madeleine vanished”

Robert Murat is the suspect. So too Kate McCann. Finger pointing…

Says a friend of the McCanns: “Kate has always felt there are questions concerning Murat that need to be answered. Gerry doesn’t know whether he is involved but Kate has always been suspicious”

Adds another friend: “The police have never said this is definitely the man. But they think he obviously has some questions to answer”

Like the McCanns

THE SUN: “Maddie search gets twin focus”

“The stepped-up search for Madeleine McCann had a twin focus last night – on Robert Murat and Morocco”

Always Morocco. Always Murat

A British barrister has “revealed he saw a man looking strikingly like suspect Murat lurking near Kate and Gerry McCann’s holiday flat on the night Maddie vanished”

Another witness? “He is the NINTH witness to challenge the ex-pat’s alibi that he was with his mum at their nearby home in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz”

Can they swear on it? Is it a fact that Murat was there, out that night?

One fact we do know, and the sun confirms: Kate and Gerry McCann are “doctors”

“Last night it was revealed Kate McCann has always been suspicious of Murat. A source close to her said: ‘She feels there are questions concerning him that need to be answered. There is a body of evidence contrary to what he is saying.” What evidence? What body?


One less witness than in the Sun. So not all bad news for Murat

“The latest person to cast doubt on Murat’s alibi is an unnamed British barrister who claims he saw the expat hanging around near the Ocean Club half an hour after Madeleine was reported missing”

Kate McCann wonders. A friend of hers says: “They read everything, like everybody else, and think ‘that’s a bit odd’.But because Kate is naturally more wary than Gerry she has occasionally said ‘Perhaps he has some questions to answer.’ But Murat is not a subject of discussion all the time. They do not sit there at home fretting about him”

Not like Sun readers

“PORTUGAL TRIP ‘TO BOOST MADELEINE HUNT’ – KATE and Gerry McCann want to return to Portugal in the New Year in a desperate bid to keep their daughter’s memory alive”

BELFAST TELEGRPAH: “McCanns not planning to visit Portugal”


“Gerry and Kate McCann, both formal suspects in their daughter’s disappearance, will only do so if Portuguese police want to question them there again, said Clarence Mitchell”

DAILY MAIL: “Kate McCann: My suspicions over Murat’s alibi on the night Madeleine vanished”

“Kate McCann is suspicious about Robert Murat’s alibi for the night her daughter Madeleine vanished, it was revealed yesterday. The mother of three has confided to friends she believes there are questions about the British expat that need to be answered”

Any evidence? Or just a feeling?

“Mrs McCann’s doubts emerged after the Daily Mail reported that seven witnesses claim to have seen Mr Murat near the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night of May 3”
Seven. It’s going down. Mr Murat may be buoyed…

Gerry McCann is a “consultant cardiologist”

DAILY RECORD: “Maddie Parents Have Hogmanay In Scotland”

McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “They are just spending the evening quietly with relatives”. Fact!

THE INDEPENDENT: “Dominic Lawson: If you want to know what’s going to happen in 2008, there are lots of experts who can’t tell you – Perhaps the best commentary on the futility of forecasting is provided by the film ‘Being There’”

“I predict that Madeleine McCann will not be discovered (thus preserving an entire industry in speculation). I predict that no Western political leader will mention the plight of Tibet in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. I predict that Sarah Brown will not invite Cherie Blair round for tea at No. 10. And I predict that Martin Amis will not convert to Islam”

Madeleine McCann last year’s news

Posted: 1st, January 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (539)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Denies, No Trial And Back To Portugal

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “McCANNS: WE’LL GO BACK. They fear Portugal has forgotten Madeleine”

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “We’ve said they would go back if it would help the investigation”

Could their return hinder the investigation?

Page 5: “WE CAN’T LET THEM FORGET MADELEINE – McCanns want case back in news”

Kate and Gerry McCann were “devastated” to learn posters featuring their daughter had been removed from walls and shops in Praia da Luz

To keep her in the news over there they will return to the country. Says Clarence Mitchell: “At the moment we just want to concentrate on getting the arguido status lifted. If it was lifted we would review everything”

So why the front-page headline? What has changed? What is news?

Says Clarence Mitchell: “They’ve friends there, there are religious sites they’d like to visit and of course there is the link with Madeleine and the need to keep her disappearance in people’s minds” – They need to go site seeing?

THE SUN page 29: “McCANNS’ LAST-DITCH RETURN TO PORTUGAL – Kate and Gerry will go back for Maddie hunt”

If they are cleared

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – Are parents going back to Portugal?”

Well, they will if …

Page 9: “McCanns’ Portugal trip ‘too boost Madeleine hunt’” – Gerry and Kate McCann are “desperate”, “terrified” and “convinced” Madeleine’s kidnapper may try to move her with the “focus died down”

But has it died down? Over 11,000 posters appealing for help have been sent to Morocco. Can’t more posters be sent to Portugal?

“SISTERS’ CLAIM ALL LIES, INSISTS MURAT MOTHER” – Annie Wiltshire and Jayne Jensen say they saw Murat out on the night Madeleine vanished. Not so, says Jennifer Murat


Annie Wiltshire and Jayne Jensen say they saw Murat out on the night Madeleine vanished. Not so, says he

Says his lawyer Francisco Pagarette: “Robert will never have to prove he is innocent…If they cannot find evidence there will be no trial”

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – Sisters saw mystery men on balcony the day she vanished”

Pages 8 and 9: “Madeleine, Murat and mystery of two blond men on a balcony”

Jayne Jensen (blonde) and Annie Wiltshire (red head) are pictured. Both are “divorcees”. Both are posing for the cameras. They are talking not to the police or Metodo 3 but to the Mail, in an exclusive

This is their “dramatic account of a pair of strangers watching the Ocean Club pool and tapas bar hours before Madeleine McCann vanished”

Well: “They saw two blond men in their 30s, standing on the balcony of an empty apartment only a couple of doors away from the McCanns’ flat in Praia da Luz”

And: “The pair, tanned and in Bermuda shorts, were standing outside the patio doors of a groundfloor apartment, which had been unoccupied all week, and were looking out over the resort’s family swimming pool and restaurant area”

Bermuda shorts, eh

Says Annie wTilshire (gypsy skirt, cardigan and blouse): “They had a view of the whole Ocean Club and the McCanns’ apartment. It just showed how easy it would be for anyone to use those balconies to watch the area. It has haunted me ever since”

“We never met Kate,” Mrs Jensen says. “And we never socialised with Gerry. We just played tennis”

More facts

They looked for Madeleine. They claim to have seen Murat smoking a cigarette in the area

“WHY KATE WANTS TO GO BACK TO PORTUGAL” – A friend says: “If they were to go to Portugal now it would seem like they were trying to put pressure on the police, and they don’t want that”

The McCanns have hired private detectives…


Madeleine McCann is missing 

Posted: 31st, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (502)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann Wants, Archie-Lee Hirst Dies And Robert Murat Denies

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


“Kate and Gerry McCann want to return to Portugal to re-ignite interest in the case of their missing daughter Madeleine. They will meet with advisers early in the New Year to work out “the best way forward”

They have vowed to let nothing stand in their way, to do whatever it takes to find Madeleine

“But first they want their status as official suspects lifted”

But that could take months…

Says a source: “They can’t let things drift. Although a lot of what has been written and said about them in Portugal has been rubbish, it is important the case is still news. Kate and Gerry’s view is that they can’t allow people to forget about Madeleine”

They will return to set the record straight, to show they are fearless. Leaving no stone unturned is their motto

Says their spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry’s lawyers are working very hard on that and will continue to do so. There has been some hostility towards them in Portugal and all the time there is this cloud hanging over them. With the arguido status, a return could start up another media frenzy”

But isn’t that what they want?


Archie-Lee Hirst, 13-months-old, is killed by the gamily pet. A letter writer notes: “SO THE POLICE OFFER THEIR CONDOLENCES … WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, IS THAT ALL? ‘Clearly …’ as the Det. Super says, nothing else? No warnings? When are the officials in these child tragedies – Madeleine McCann, the 7-year-old on the quad bike, and this baby, going to show some b—ls and speak LOUDLY and CLEARLY on why these tragedies are occurring”

Why are they occuring? And how are they linked, other than in the mind of a Daily Express readers?

NEWS OF THE WORLD: “Murat’s mum in sis pleae”

Jennifer Murat says of the sister who claim to have seen her son: “I challenge them to tell Portuguese police what they told  the McCanns’ private investigators”

But they have already…

DAILY HERALD: 2007 Year In Review

“It was a year dominated by just one name – Madeleine McCann. Across acres of newsprint, through hours of television airtime and on photocopied posters at all the United Kingdom’s exit and entry points, the picture of the missing three-year-old was everywhere, and no-one was untouched by her disappearance.

“Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, were sanctified and demonised in turn as the media spun a story across eight months based on virtually no solid information at all. Every angle, from paedophilia and infanticide through to slavery, were rehearsed in this horror version of Little Red Riding Hood. Yet we were gripped, because every parent could empathise with the McCanns and we clung onto every scrap of gossip and rumour in the hope that there would be a resolution”

“KATE AND GERRY McCANN” – “Of all the questions asked of Kate and Gerry McCann, official and unofficial, wise or wantonly cruel, since the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter, one is never likely to be answered”

Did you do it? No…

“It is not one of the obvious questions. It features in none of the many inquiries, spurious or otherwise, made by journalism and the law. It has nothing to do with the how, what, when or why. It is more baffling even than these mysteries. Better for an atheist to ask, perhaps, than anyone: how have this plainly devout couple managed to retain their faith?”

It’s Sunday. Question asked. An ecumenical matter. And the answer is: Because what else is there?

SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY: “Madeleine suspect denies claims by sisters”

Yesterday Annie Wiltshire and Jayne Jensen told us they had seen Robert Murat on the night of Madeleine’s vanishing

Yesterday, speaking through a family friend, Tuck Price, Murat made it known: “He says there is a possibility he could have done the translation for those people because he was working for the Policia Judiciaria on that day. “But eight months down the line, he has no idea who they are. He welcomes them going to the police”

THE OBSERVER: “Murat denies sighting”

“Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat denied further claims that he was seen near the young girl’s apartment on the night she vanished, a friend said. Two British sisters have told police they saw him outside the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz shortly after the alarm was raised, according to reports”

Robert Murat, Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann – Madldine McCann Is Missing

Posted: 30th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (508)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Seen, The News As A Novel And Indecision

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

DAILY MIRROR: “Sisters saw Murat at McCann flat”

“Sisters Jayne Jensen and Annie Wiltshire say they are 100 per cent sure they saw Robert Murat nearby minutes after Madeleine McCann vanished”

After… They were in Praia da Luz on holiday. Was Murat alone?

Says a source: “Jayne remembers seeing him outside the entrance, smoking cigarettes, between 10.30pm and 11pm. So every time they see him claiming he was not there on the night, they find it ridiculous”

And a first: “The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell also refused to comment”. Can a spokesman make no comment?

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine: Now two British sisters question Robert Murat’s alibi for the night she disappeared”
“Annie Wiltshire and Jayne Jensen told police they saw Mr Murat near the Ocean Club apartment complex at about 10.30pm on May 3, about 30 minutes after Mrs McCann, 39, raised the alarm that her daughter was missing.

“Mrs Jensen, 54, recognised him when they saw him again the next day, when he was working as a translator for police investigating the disappearance. The sisters said his behaviour was ‘strange’ and described how he changed his clothes at least once during the day of May 4, but then insisted to them that he had been wearing the same outfit all day”
Eight people claim to have seen Murat on the night Madeleine disappeared – “The two British sisters, Mark Warner nanny Charlotte Pennington, two tourists who contacted Metodo 3 independently and three of the McCanns’ friends, Fiona Payne, Rachael Oldfield and Russell O’Brien”


A source close to Metodo 3, the private detective firm hired by the McCanns and contacted by the sisters says: “On May 3 in the afternoon they saw two men on a ground floor balcony. It was the first time they had ever seen anyone there. They thought it was strange because they had always thought the apartment was empty

“The next day they went and told a policeman about these men they had seen. An officer walked back with them to the apartment to check it. As they did so, Murat appeared and acted as an interpreter for them. He was dressed in a navy blue T-shirt and jeans, he was very sweaty, and his comment was, ‘I must go and shower and change, I’ve been in these clothes all day.’

“They felt that was strange as he had been in a striped shirt and trousers earlier”

Sweaty. In Portugal. In the summer…

“TWO British sisters have revealed they saw oddball Robert Murat lurking by the Portuguese holiday apartment from which Madeleine McCann vanished”

Oddball… Lurking…

Jayne Jensen’s son Joe says: “They feel their evidence is very circumstantial but realise it could be crucial when taken into the wider picture. They saw Robert Murat on the night Madeleine disappeared and they want to help. They decided to report what they saw. It’s not a question of having a go at Murat”
Circumstantial. Not to the Sun…

DAILY TELEGRPAH: “Robert Murat ‘seen near Madeleine McCann’s flat’”

“They also claimed they saw two blond, tanned men acting suspiciously near the McCanns’ holiday home on the afternoon before Madeleine went missing”

Robert Murat has dark hair

“The women, both thought to be in their 40s from Aylesford in Kent, were on a two-week holiday in the Algarve at the same time as the McCanns and became friends through tennis”

The Express, Mirror and Mail report on “Annie Wiltshire, 58, and Jayne Jensen, 54”

Says Clarence Mitchell, now willing to talk: “These women have given a statement and we are very grateful to them for the information. We continue to appeal for any witnesses who have not yet come forward to do so”

THE GUARDIAN: “Bad Science”

“The papers went even wilder over the South African ex-cop with his magic quantum box: it could locate anyone – including Madeleine McCann – anywhere in the world using its secret “matter-orientation system

The year of indecision – It was a year dominated by a toddler. Opinions on her disappearance swung back and forth. And that was the theme of 2007, as politicians and military leaders, royals and voters – and lastly Canoe Man – all had a change of heart”
We cried for the McCanns. We booed the McCanns. “Outside the Portuguese police station, crowds booed and jeered as the McCanns emerged, their blank faces bleached with disbelief. And suddenly everything – even Maddy’s Cuddle Cat, bathetic emblem of their grief – was recast in suspicion.” We were unsure about the McCanns

“In this one respect, the story of the McCanns was perfectly emblematic of this year, so precisely did its narrative mirror the shape of the many other events it overshadowed. It was a story about people changing their minds. And in 2007, people changed their minds about an awful lot of things”

A NEW BOOK: “In what looks set to be one of spring’s most interesting novels, Gordon Burn is rushing the very recent past into print. From his award-winning debut novel Alma Cogan to his Fred West biography Happy Like Murderers, Burn has long blended fact and fiction, and in Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel (Faber, April) he finds his natural subject: the news as entertainment. Twenty-four-hour rolling news, the blogosphere and digital interactivity feed our culture of speculation and spin. Burn takes a few highly charged weeks in 2007 – the summer of floods, terror attacks, the Blair/Brown changeover and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – to investigate media manipulation and the boundaries between fact and fiction

Months Of Indecision – Madeleine McCann Day By Day

Posted: 29th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (598)

Madeleine McCann: No More Paedophiles, Six More Months And Clarence Mitchell Says

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

DAILY MAIL: “McCanns in six-month wait to find out why they are suspects”
Six more months of the McCanns

“Portuguese police files setting out the alleged evidence against them were due to be made public on January 3, but are now expected to be kept secret until as late as July, sources revealed yesterday”

Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry feel it is a huge distraction and while police are looking at them they are not searching for Madeleine. The suggestion they were involved remains very upsetting to them”

So are the police doing anything, other than watching the parents?

Say the paper: “Meanwhile, the police investigation hit another dead end yesterday when it emerged detectives had traced and eliminated all British paedophiles known to have links to the Algarve”

Says Clarence Mitchell said: “If reports are correct, then we are pleased that police are doing their jobs properly. But there are also people who aren’t on any lists who need to be traced”

Such as?

Says the Mail: “One man who may not be on any list as he has never been convicted of an offence in Britain is part-time barman and disc jockey Christian Ridout. The Daily Mail told yesterday how the 32-year-old fled Praia da Luz after being accused of grooming a 12-yearold girl for sex. When he vanished two years ago he was working at an expats’ pub 200 yards from where Madeleine disappeared” – Two years ago…

THE SUN: “MADDIE BRIT IN THE CLEAR – Quizzed paedo has firm alibi”

It’s Christian Ridout, also known as DJ Shifty. He was accused of grooming a 12-year-old for sex. Nothing proven in any court of law. Paedo! He’s been questioned. And he is in the clear. Scratch his name off the list.

Any others?

DAILY EXPRESS: “Madeleine: new blow for the parents as suspect is cleared”
The “last of 52 British sex offenders who have links with the Algarve” has been tracked down and cleared of any involvement with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance
His name is not supplied.


“Madeleine McCann was not snatched by a paedophile, police said last night”

Did they? The cops have checked the whereabouts of 52 “British child sex fiends known to have links with the Algarve”. They have also looked through pictures seized in a purge on paedos. But no sign of Madeleine. Which means she was not taken by a paedophile?
A police source says there is “no evidence” Madeleine was taken by a paedophile

DAILY MIRROR: “McCanns battle for secret file”

The Portugal police file on Kate and Gerry McCann will remain secret for longer

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann parents ‘left in the dark’”

“The parents of missing Madeleine McCann may have to wait a further six months before they discover why they were made suspects in their daughter’s disappearance, it was claimed last night. Kate and Gerry McCann were made arguidos or formal suspects on Sept 7, more than four months after their daughter vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal”

The McCanns are “39-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics” – Such are the facts

Madeleine McCann: The speculation and the sensation

Posted: 28th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (708)

Madeleine McCann: 4650 Articles, Christian Ridout Was Here And Lawless Morocco

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: Poster blitz in Morocco”

“More than 11,000 letters and posters have been distributed in remote parts of the North African country to jog the memory of someone who may have seen the little girl”

A spokesman says: “E-mail is great within larger towns and cities, but there are still a lot of people who do not have Madeleine’s picture or the phone contact details to report sightings or information”

Do you have Madeleine’s picture? Do you know the phone number?

DAILY MAIL: “Letter blitz on remote Moroccan mountain villages that Madeleine McCann campaign cannot reach”

“Agents [of Metodo 3] have distributed photographs of the little girl with an appeal in French and Arabic to call with information about her whereabouts. But it has proved difficult to reach all of the isolated communities where a child could have been taken, many of which are in lawless, mountainous regions”

Those lawless Moroccans…

“Madeleine: Private detectives hunt for British barman known as DJ Shifty, accused of grooming an under-age girl for sex”

“Part-time barman and disc jockey Christian Ridout, 32, allegedly sent the British girl obscene text messages when he worked in an expats’ pub 200 yards from where Madeleine disappeared. When the 12-year-old’s mother discovered the explicit messages, Ridout – also known as DJ Shifty – left Portugal in a hurry”

A suspect?

Says the paper: “By coincidence, the Ridout family were next-door neighbours of the family of Robert Murat, the chief suspect in the Madeleine hunt, when the Murats lived in the nearby village of Almadena. The night after Madeleine went missing, a British expat walked into the Plough and Harrow pub in Praia da Luz, still owned by his parents Tony, 57, and Jill, 58, and asked: ‘Where’s Christian then?’ Locals have disparagingly nicknamed the pub ‘The Plough and Paedophile‘ and the missing man is widely disliked in the tight-knit community”

So where is Christian? Well, he left Praia da Luz a few years ago. His mother says she has not seen him for two years. Says the girl’s mother: “I went in to see them just before Madeleine disappeared and they confirmed they’re still looking for him. ‘No one knows where he is, but he could have been back to this area”

Or not…

THE SUN front page: “Publicity blitz for Maddie in Africa”

“Many still don’t recognise her”

Help make Madeleine McCann the world’s most recognisable face

“Despite a massive campaign highlighting the seven-month search for their daughter, experts believe many in the north African country still lack the crucial information they need to help trace her”


“Now a silent army of volunteers from the Helping To Find Madeleine campaign have given their time over the festive period to flood businesses across the nation with 11,500 letters and posters”

Not so silent

“The initiative comes after the McCanns’ Spanish detective agency pin-pointed Morocco as the most likely place little Maddie may have been taken”

Can you pinpoint a “likely place” to an entire nation? Is this detective work or guesswork?

Kate and Gerry McCann are “doctors”. Fact

Kate pins on badge of hope: “ANGUISHED Kate McCann returned to church yesterday – with a badge of hope bearing a picture of missing Madeleine pinned close to her heart”

A new merchandise push?

One “worshipper” at Kate’s church says: “Every mother wants to cuddle her children at Christmas – it’s heartbreaking that Kate has been denied that. The badge is a symbol of hope that could help focus new eyes on the hunt for Madeleine”

“347 new Maddie calls combed” – The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “We are pleased with the calls and they are continuing to come in. Every single call is much appreciated and we are going through them with a fine-tooth comb. Any that need to be acted upon swiftly are being acted upon swiftly. We don’t go into detail because if there is any significant information”


“More than 11,500 posters appealing for information about the youngster have been sent out to the furthest reaches of the north African country”

Francisco Marco, the PI hired by the McCanns, says: “Morocco is the perfect place to hide a kidnapped girl”. He has said this before. Is Morocco the perfect place? Why not Algeria? Or Malta?

DAILY RECORD: “Maddie Poster Blitz In Morocco”

“Schools, supermarkets and medical centres are being blitzed with thousands of photos of the missing four-year-old. And letters written in French and Arabic are being sent to towns and villages in the most remote parts of the country”

Madeleine in Morocco. Or not. Again… Isabel Gonzalez saw her.  Mari Pollard saw her

Clarence Mitchell says: “Anyone who puts effort into assisting us in any way, we are incredibly grateful for, and it sounds like they have done a fantastic job. I have no doubt that it is this kind of effort and initiatives that will lead us to finding Madeleine”
Gerry and Kate McCann are “doctors”

THE GUARDIAN: “From Mr Bean to Shambo the bull, the media obsessions of 2007”
A review: “Almost nine months after she vanished, we know a lot about Madeleine McCann and her family. We know the legal implications of being named an official suspect in a Portuguese criminal investigation. What we do not know is who took her, if she is alive and whether any trace of her will ever be found again. A total of 4,650 articles have appeared in British newspapers since she disappeared on May 3”

THE SCOTSMAN: “Madness, badness, hate and heroism – Robert McNeil continues his unique take on the events of 2007 with a look back at the second three months of the year…”

“Hell also visited the parents of three-year-old Madeleine McCann on 3 May when the toddler disappeared from their holiday apartment in the Algarve. In the ensuing months, Kate and Gerry McCann used the media to keep the case in the public eye. The Portuguese police did the same, but their efforts were directed more at casting doubts on the McCanns and their friends. Supposed sightings of Madeleine were reported periodically, but each time hopes were dashed”

THE TIMES: “Hundreds ring hotline after Madeleine plea”

Yesterday in the latest entry on his internet diary, Mr McCann wrote: “Madeleine should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family. The person who took her has it in their power to end our suffering and will be able to appease their conscience that they have done the right thing – especially at this time of year. Kate and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to write to us and let us know Madeleine and our family are still in their thoughts and prayers. We still have at least one hundred cards to open! As always, every single one will be read and the support expressed helps renew our determination to find Madeleine”

The story, speculation and sensation… 

Posted: 27th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,081)

Madeleine McCann: Grief, Hundreds Of Witnesses And Hope

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE – Saddest day ever as grief experts help her desperate parents”


DAILY MIRROR front page: “347 NEW MADDY CLUES – Hundreds call hotline after McCanns’ TV appeal”

The paper says each caller is a potential new witness. Each witness waiting to tell their story to the papers

“Private detectives who are hunting the missing four-year-old say the calls have thrown up a number of ‘significant’ new leads” – The same private detectives who said they would find Madeline by Christmas in Morocco, by a road in Portugal…

A friend of the McCanns says: “There has been a flood of calls which may contain crucial clues. Kate and Gerry are very encouraged”

Or may not

THE SUN: “Xmas prayers for Maddie”

“ANGUISHED Kate and Gerry McCann hid their torment yesterday as they took their twins to Christmas Mass”

We are invited to watch. Gerry McCann has dolls in his pockets. He swings his children along

An onlooker says: “They were doing their best to put on a united display, but not having Madeleine by their side must have been tearing them apart. The look in Kate’s eyes said it all – she was a mother who just wanted to be reunited with her daughter for Christmas. The twins must so miss their big sister. It was such an ordinary scene, but behind the smiles there was so much pain. They put such a brave face on for their twins. Everyone’s heart goes out to them”

So say the onlooker. Such are the facts

Says Gerry McCann: “Madeleine should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family. The person who took her has it in their power to end our suffering and will be able to appease their conscience – especially at this time of year. Christmas will be a very quiet affair for our family without Madeleine present.”

“Maddie TV plea: 347 calls taken”. The McCanns are “anguished”. They are “doctors”. Facts.

DAILY MAIL: “Parents’ outrage as son walks half a mile home from nursery alone”

“Finley Cracknell pushed open a fire exit, clambered over a 2ft fence, walked through the front gate of the nursery and then toddled on to the pavement.” He walked homw.

Says his mum Sarah: “I went through half an hour of what Madeleine McCann’s parents must be going through 24 hours a day”

Sarah has not been named as a suspect in her child’s disappearance

“’We’ll NEVER give up looking for Maddie,’ say McCanns after saying Christmas Day prayers for her” – Gerry and Kate McCann are on their way to church

Robert Murat “spent Christmas in Praia da Luz with his elderly mother Jennifer”. No church. No cameras. No blog…

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCanns ‘will never give up on Madeleine’”

Janet Kennedy, Mrs McCann’s aunt, says: “The [family] motto has changed. Rather than not leaving any stone unturned, it is that we never, never give up hope”
She adds: “People have been so supportive and that support has not waned. People still come up to us, particularly at this time of year, and say their thoughts are with us. It’s quite amazing. Eight months is a long time and it has been constant”

THE TIMES: “We still have hope, say the McCanns”

Madeleine McCann – a year of specualtion

Posted: 26th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (608)

Madeleine McCann: Blessed Are The Self-Righteous

madeleine.jpgMADELEINE McCann Watch: Says Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu:

“In the killing, raping and looting fields of Darfur; in the broken nation and a broken people of Zimbabwe who have been force-fed with injustice and can swallow no more; for the unreconciled children of Abraham in the Middle East – the Palestinians without a viable state they can call home and Israelis hungry for peace and security; for the refugees, the homeless and people caught up in human trafficking; in the walls of silence about the abduction of Madeleine McCann, the murder of Rhys Jones and the failure for any to take responsibility for the Omagh bombing – God is being violated and blasphemed.”

Dr Sentamu likes a slf-righteous gesture. Earlier in the month he cut up his dog collar on television to demonstrate his solidarity with people suffering in Zimbabwe. Indeed…

Posted: 25th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (115)

Madeleine McCann: A Paedo, A Blue Bag And The Orphans

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

DAILY MIRROR: “We want Madeleine’s toys to go to the little boys and girls who need them most – EXCLUSIVE: McCANNS HELP ORPHANS”

Kate and Gerry McCann have sent cuddly toys left for Madeleine at the now removed shrine in Leicestershire to orphans so they “give a little festive cheer to children who have nothing”

A friend says: “They were so touched with all the gifts they received for Madeleine and wanted to pass them on to other little boys and girls who need them more. Christmas will be heartbreaking for them this year. But at least they know the gifts have gone to a good home”

Happy days. And the toys “all have a label with Madeleine’s picture”. Which should give the little uns happy dreams. “Tell us about the little girl, Miss…”

TONY Parsons: “There is somthing in the story of Madeleine McCann that has touched the heart of the world, and yet the world has let the little girl down”. Shame on you. The Parsons Knows

“Depsite all the gluttony and materialism, the story of Christmas remains the story of a child and innocence somehow surviving  in a wicked world. Jesus will survive the murderous wrath of Herod, Scrooge will find pity in his heart for Tiny Tim and the boy will live. And Madeleine will go home to her family”

Religion, fiction and an apparent crime, in which the parents of the Little Baby Madeleine are named suspects. How Parsons linked them is a miracle. A child is missing – such is the raw reality.

Here endeth the Parsons Lesson…


“The case against Kate and Gerry McCann has been dealt a severe blow by doubts over controversial DNA techniques… But DNA was gathered and analysed using the techniques that led to the collapse of the Omagh bomb trial last week”

Low Copy Number DNA analysis – was developed by the UK’s Forensic Science Service. “It allows investigators to analyse tiny samples of evidence, sometimes many times smaller than a grain of sand. Scientists are able to produce the all-important genetic fingerprint from tiny samples by growing the DNA until it is large enough to test fully”


Gerry McCann was “reportedly seen with the holdall as he took up to three tennis lessons a day on the ill-fated holiday…But the blue sports bag has been lost, according to a shock new TV special on the mystery that is gripping the world”

A new TV investigation and a new piece of crucial evidence. Curious…

“According to The Madeleine McCann Mystery – a Sky News special on tonight at 7.30 – the bag is vital to the investigation”

According to Clarence Mitchell, Gerry McCann’s spokesman: “Gerry’s baffled. He’s never owned such a bag. There simply is no missing bag. They are entirely innocent”

Look out for Anorak TV’s Madeleine And The Dragon soon…

THE SUN: “Maddie: Mystery of ‘lost’ bag”

So says the Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Sky

“A missing blue tennis bag could hold the key to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, a TV documentary will claim tonight. The bag — big enough to carry a small child — belonged to Maddie’s dad Gerry, the programme says. It is claimed Portuguese cops have been hunting for the holdall, which disappeared at the same time as the four-year-old girl. The bag emerges as a potentially vital new clue in a Sky News investigation entitled The Madeleine McCann Mystery”

It’s better than Only Fools And Horses. And Cleudo. Play along at home…

“Yet, bizarrely, the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell yesterday denied it existed — saying Gerry did not own such a bag and never had done”

And former detective Tony Rogers, “one of Britain’s most experienced police officers, will be seen saying: ‘If it’s a bag of a size that could be taking away from the flat a child, that would be of great interest to the investigating officer’”

So long as Gerry McCann removes the balls- tennis balls – from it first. But if Gerry did it…?

“Tonight’s documentary also claims Portuguese detectives have failed to find and quiz a British paedophile with links to the Algarve. He was among 52 British sex offenders with similar connections whose details were given to police by UK cops”

Not Gerry McCann, then, but a PAEDO! Two pieces of sensation in the Sky TV show. Stay tuned

THE TIMES: “Paedophile Briton linked to Madeleine”

The Times has seen the Sky TV show. The Times is owned by, Rupert Murdoch. The competition for viewing figures at Christmas is intense

The paedo. And the blue bag…

DAILY MAIL: “Hunt for Gerry’s missing tennis bag which ‘could have been used to carry Madeleine away’”

Tony Rogers, “who reviews unsolved cases for British police and worked on the Soham investigation”, uses his experience and media contacts to say that the bag might be important

Says Clarence Mitchell: “As far as Kate and Gerry are concerned, there is no missing tennis bag. They came back from holiday with everything except of course, tragically, Madeleine.”

“British paedophile ‘with links to Portugal’ suspected of abducting Madeleine” – A source tells Sky: “They (Portuguese police) were given the names of 52 sex offenders and they’ve worked very hard to find them and rule them out as suspects. There is still one man they are concerned about”

So important is he that we do not know his name nor what he looks like. Unless he is the man Jane Tanner saw. And this from the Sun’s stable, the paper that which criticised the Portuguese police for their efit and not telling the media every detail of their investigation…

DORSET ECHO: “Toddler, 3, walked home from nursery”

Sarah Cracknell, from Somerford dropped little Finley off at the Explorers Children’s Centre in Draper Road at noon while she attended a PTA lunch next door at Somerford Primary School. Says mum: “I went through half an hour of what Madeleine McCann’s parents must be going through 24 hours a day”

Sarah was not accused of killing her child. Neither was Beverly Fleetham

Madeleine McCann – the news so far

Posted: 24th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (757)

Madeleine McCann: Picture Perfect, The Last Million And Cancel Christmas

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

THE INDEPENDENT: “Madeleine McCann: The face that’s haunted us all for eight months”

How she stares…

David Randall explains why the photographs of a missing child, her parents and a suspect have retained the power to mesmerise and horrify us”

“And then there is Madeleine. No other word or detail is needed. Before even the third syllable is spoken, there she is in your mind: the blonde hair, almost unbearably cute face, and impish grin; a haunting, indelible part of that arcade of awfulness which includes the faces of Sarah Payne, Holly and Jessica, and so on right back to the gaunt and startled faces of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s victims buried on Saddleworth Moor more than 40 years ago”

Looks matter. Madeleine McCann is blonde…

And there are Gerry and Kate McCann: “These were successful thirtysomethings from Central Casting. Whether it was walking down a street or going in and out of church, they were memorably – even, to some people, enviably – attractive: she clutching Cuddle Cat, both never in a mess, and never red-eyed or blotchy faced. But, as the year and the media-savvy ‘Find Madeleine’ campaign went on, there was something about this pair of health-conscious, neatly coiffed, always composed young professionals that aroused resentment in some quarters”

The middle-class doctors…


MAIL ON SUNDAY: “Kate and Gerry McCann: We can’t face giving each other Christmas presents”

Media savvy

“Kate and Gerry McCann will not be giving each other presents on Christmas Day.
They have agreed it would be inappropriate to celebrate between themselves when they spend the day at Kate’s parents in Liverpool.
“They have told friends they cannot face Christmas at home in Rothley, Leicestershire, although they have bought their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie gifts and have decorated a tree in yellow tinsel, the colour of a safe homecoming”


Their renewed campaign was revealed yesterday after the couple broadcast an anguished appeal for the return of their missing daughter Madeleine”

SUNDAY EXPRESS: “The £1million raised to trace Madeleine McCann will run out early next year as her parents launch a last-ditched attempt to find the missing four-year-old”

And then..?

The Madeleine McCann story so far

Posted: 23rd, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (556)

Madeleine McCann: An Alternative Christmas Message From Kate and Gerry McCann

mccanns_xmas.jpgKATE and Gerry McCanns, parents to Madeleine McCann, have issued a new appeal for information and sent a video message to their daughter. It’s their Christmas message.

Channel 4 has been broadcasting an alternative to the The Queen’s Christmas Day Speech for some years. Have the McCanns missed the chance to follow in the footsteps of previous speakers Quentin Crisp, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, Ali G, Sharon Osbourne, The Simpsons and Zimbabwe-born Khadija, a Muslim freelance teacher wearing the niqab.

Kate McCann says in the McCanns’ Christmas message: “Madeleine, it’s mummy and daddy here.

“Just know how much we love you, Madeleine. We all miss you so much…Be brave sweetheart.

“Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again and we’re hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you Madeleine.”

Says Gerry McCann: “This special time of year is all about families coming together with love and peace.

“Clearly for us and the rest of our family it’s going to be the hardest Christmas imaginable without Madeleine here.”

He adds: “Since Madeleine was taken from us on May 3, someone knows what happened to her and may well know where she is now. That person has it within their power to show us the compassion to end this terrible ordeal for us.”

Notes the Telegraph: “The McCanns, who remain official suspects in Madeleine’s disappearance, have not spoken publicly about what they have bought for Madeleine for Christmas this year.”

Not yet…

Her image features on the front pages of the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail

The McCanns’ Year in Review

Video coming…

Posted: 22nd, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (740)

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry Linked To Omagh Bomb, Metodo 3 Out To Lunch And Gifts

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

DAILY MAIL: “McCanns inundated with Christmas presents for missing Madeleine”

Spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “Kate and Gerry are immensely touched by the continued support and sympathy they have been shown by people all over the world.
“Particularly at this time of year as they face their hardest Christmas imaginable, the messages of support have been of immense comfort to them”

Nothing like a house full of gifts for your missing child to cheer you up…

Says the Mail: “More than 2,000 toys were left at the war memorial in the McCanns’ home village of Rothley, Leicestershire…They were washed, wrapped and shipped to orphanages in the former Soviet Bloc country of Belarus by the charity to be given to children who had no toys of their own. Each toy was individually tied with green and yellow ribbons – a symbol of hope – and carried a tag with a small picture of Madeleine as a reminder of her plight”

And now to cheer up the orphans…

THE SUN: “We hope Maddie sees prezzies”

A “torrent of Christmas presents for Sean and Amelie AND Maddie”

A friend says: “They know public opinion has been divided since they have been made suspects. Yet out of every 100 letters or cards they get, 97 will support them. It means a lot to them”

Who would bother to send the McCanns a letter that was not supportive?


Says Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry are strengthened by the sympathy and support that has been shown for them at this time of year. They are extremely grateful to everyone who is supporting them and remembering Madeleine at Christmas time”


Gerry McCann is back a work. He ahs been allowed to treat patients again, “even though he is still a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance”

“Heart surgeon Gerry will resume his full-time job next month, but will soon have to ask for time off so police can question him again”

Gerry McCann’s job has always been a central plank in the tabloid reports. Would he have returned to work had he been a builder, baker or soldier? Or maybe he would have retuned to work sooner?

THE GUARDIAN: “The flawed case against Hoey”

Sean Hoey has had his convection for the Omagh bombing quashed – 29 were murdered by the Real IRA in August 1998. But what has this to do with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Notes the Guardian: “In the absence of eyewitness accounts or intelligence-based evidence, the prosecution relied on a new forensic technique known as low copy number DNA (LCN DNA), which involves using just a few samples with a only a few cells to obtain a DNA profile of a suspect…”

“The court heard that the molecules used in LCN DNA were the size of a millionth of a grain of salt”

OK. Interesting. And Madeleine: “The defence’s successful and skilful assault on the forensic method may be of some assistance to the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann. Their legal team will be watching closely to see if LCN DNA as an evidential process is seriously undermined by the Omagh case. The couple became labelled as suspects because of minute traces of their daughter’s DNA were allegedly found in a car they had rented after her disappearance”

The McCanns have yet to be blamed for the Omagh massacre

THE SCOTSMAN: “The guardian of Scotland’s next generation

“Scotland’s youngsters have had their own champion to do just that in the shape of KATHLEEN MARSHALL – Scotland’s first commissioner for children and young people”

The Scotsman: “Do you think children are suffering from over-protective parenting in the wake of events such as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?”

Marshall: I think there’s a number of influences just now that are making for a very sterile environment for lots of children – environments that don’t have the level of stimulation children need to develop and to learn how to cope with risk and danger… You talk specifically of Madeleine McCann, but over the years there have been so many high-profile tragedies. What it is difficult to take on board is that these are very rare events and there is a danger of people generalising them…But the agenda there is not truly child protection, but about protecting adults from getting the blame if things go wrong”

SKY NEWS: “Plush New HQ For McCann Private Eyes”

To the Barcelona offices of Metodo 3. And Francisco Marco is getting similar treatment to that served upon the Portuguese police: “At a supposedly crucial stage in the inquiry, his luxurious new office – perched above a gay sauna in a grand, pillar-filled building – was in a make-shift state”

What happened to those “plush new” offices?

“There was just one staff member in sight, and when asked if Sky News Online could see Mr Marco, she replied: ‘He’s not here, he’s out of the country on business. Not with the Madeleine case, on another case’”

Sky is invited to return in two hours “when the office would reopen”. D’oh! Sky has turned up a lunchtime. The broadcaster’s hack with a watch returns at 4pm. It finds three people and a “small” dog” in reception, more people unpacking boxes and a smartly dressed detective

Says the PI: “I can’t say anything. Only Clarence Mitchell can talk about the case. I’m sorry”

And? And nothing. Such is the breaking news

NEW STATESMAN: “Was 2007 A Good Thing? Your answer should take account of all of the following: Iraq, Afghanistan, the Taliban, North Korea, the England Football Team, Floods, Sub-Prime Mortgages, Sub-Prime Ministers, Russian Democracy, Anglo-Russian Relations, the Housing Market, Madeleine McCann, the Dafur Region, Chlorine Bombs, Global Warming and Paul Potts”

Madeleine McCann: The case so far

Posted: 21st, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (743)

Madeleine McCann: Praia da Luz Calls, Maddy Shunned And Portugal On The Edge

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

DAILY MAIL page 36: “Madeleine: Portuguese detectives trawl thousands of phone records”

Police are looking through phone records of Praia da Luz’a 27,000 residents at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance. They are looking for unusual call patterns. Bugging calls

A local resident of Praia da Luz says the police questioned her, saying: “We are investigating all calls made within Praia da Luz from 9.30pm onwards on May 3”
Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “Any information could prove vital”

THE SUN page 15: “Maddie cops seize local phone bills”

“They are using a method of triangulation which pinpoints a person’s location via their mobile and are also checking land-line calls”

Can it work? Says the Sun: “Mobile phone evidence exposed holes in the alibi of Soham murderer Ian Huntley”. And that is similar to this case because..?

DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADDY – Blitz to fined phone clues”


Well, not every call. Just calls made in the area of Praia da Luz by those 1,000 persons on a police list

DAILY EXPRESS page 19: “Now Madeleine police seize all phone records”

The papers says the search is in light of talk of a “massive conspiracy”. The Express is belived to be fond of a conspiracy

Says Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry are encouraged by this police work because it shows the investigation is now active and thorough…Crucially they also hope it may lead to them being reunited with Madeleine”


Or Madeleine, for that is her name

The name Madeleine is “now lower than at any time in the past five years”. It is now the 80th most popular name. Says a child psychologist called Ruth: “The majority of people who hear the name Madeleine automatically associate it with her”

What the top girl’s name is readers are not told, nor where Kate features. The Telegraph says it is “Grace”, as in Baby Grace

NEW YORK TIMES: “Portugal Polishes Its Image as the ‘West Coast of Europe’”
Portugal wants to reposition itself. Portugal is exciting, shiny, new and historical.

But: “The unsolved case remains a big story for the British tabloids, and there have been reports of declines in tourism from Britain, an important market for Portugal.

“Over all, though, tourism remains strong, Manuel Pinho, Portugal’s minister for the economy and innovation said. ‘This is a tragic case, of course, but it has not affected the numbers,’ he said. ‘It’s a very peaceful country, a very safe country’”

The demonising of Portugal and the case of Madeleine McCann

Posted: 20th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (547)

Madeleine McCann: More DNA, The Maddy Teddy And The Family McCann

mccann-clan1.pngMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “Madeleine: Police send new evidence for forensic tests”


DNA “thought to have come from the holiday apartment where Madeleine was last seen” is on its way to the Forensic Science Service laboratory in Birmingham

More pressure on “GP Kate and heart consultant Gerry” – Such are the facts

“TEDDY TRIBUTE” – Eileen McCann, Madeleine’s grandmother, is to place a “large pink teddy with a white heart on it” in Madeleine McCann’s bedroom as a Christmas gift. How do we know this?

“QUIZ DELAYED” – The McCanns will not face Portuguese police before Christmas. Says McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “It is true we are pleased that the Christmas period won’t be interrupted for Kate and Gerry”

But won’t the investigation then be delayed?

DAILY MAIL: “Kate and Gerry McCann are spared police questioning ‘until after Christmas’”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “However, we are keen for the process to be completed as soon as possible. No one has anything to hide”

Eileen McCann is talking to Hello! magazine, rival showbiz magazine to OK!, the organ from the Daily Express table. There is no mention of Hello! in the Express.

Gerry McCann’s sister Philomena McCann adds: “Nobody’s been talking about Christmas, we just want it to pass. Even mentioning the word feels terrible. There was always loads of food, laughter and games. She’d love to play with her cousins Paul, Fiona and Gregor”
Readers are shown a picture of Madeleine with her cousins

“We’d organise horse-races – with Gerry and me as the horses. The younger children would climb on our backs and we’d race around the living room”

Such are the facts

THE SUN page 19: “GRAN’S TOY HEARTBREAK – Xmas gift on Maddie’s bed..huge pink teddy bear with white heart”

The Maddy Teddy

“DISTRAUGHT Eileen McCann has told of the special gift she has waiting for missing grand-daughter Maddie — a big pink teddy bear. Eileen, 67, will place the toy on Maddie’s bed — while praying the youngster WILL return home”

And: “Kate’s mum Susan Healy, 61, and husband Brian, 67, from Liverpool, are also dreading Christmas”

Madeleine McCann is missing. The parents are suspects. But the Sun wants to keep its readers thinking of paedophiles. As it reports: “POLICE in Portugal are hunting a man who tried to grab a girl of nine in Charneca, 300 miles from Praia da Luz”


Page 11: “OUR LAST CHRISTMAS” – Madeleine McCann is in Hello! magazine, that bastion of excellence in investigative journalism. Readers learn that last Christmas Madeleine wore a pink party dress

DAILY STAR page 27: “COPS FIND NW DNA CLUE IN MADDIE FLAT – Crack British team to do forensic tests”

Specks of this and that are on their way to Birmingham. But no mention of the McCanns appearing in Hello!. The Daily Star is published by the same stable that brings us the Daily Express and OK!. Can business rivalries be impacting upon the news of the missing girl?


The story so far

Posted: 19th, December 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (789)

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)