Madeleine McCann | Anorak - Part 47

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: No Tears In The Faction So Far

sun-madeleine-mccann.jpgNOT easy to get a pun in on Madeleine McCann. The papers need to look sensitive and so stick with straight-talking speculation. No puns. No confusion. Just factual opinion.

What we at Anorak call Faction.

And today the Sun’s Oliver Harvey – chief feature writer – produces “I’m thinking the unthinkable”.

“My misgivings began with the lack of emotion shown by the McCanns in those first few days after Madeleine went missing.

“No streaming tears, no trembling lips, no sobs of despair.

“Now that unease has become an awful gnawing doubt.”

Wot No Tears?

Harvey wants tears. Lindy Chamberlain (see Guardian’s dingo headline here) never gave the press much emotion.

Neither did Joanne Lees, whose lover, Peter Falconio, was killed in Australia. Bradley Murdoch was convicted of murder. Lees was wholly innocent. But Lees never cried. She never gave the media what they wanted.

Of course, the Mirror sees tears. It sees all. It sees Kate McCann back home, crying in Madeleine’s room. And the Express saw Kate’s tears on the flight home.

But Harvey sees only dry eyes. And in a woman who has lost a child he finds that odd.

Says Harvey: “It hurts me to say this, but I now fear something is amiss with Kate and Gerry’s story.”

But he says it. Bravely. He may have tears in his eyes as he does so.

Just like the Mail’s Amanda Platell might have wept a little (we did) as she wrote of Mrs McCann: “I haven’t seen such creepy control in a woman since Lindy Chamberlain cried ‘My God, the dingo’s got my baby’.”

Ms Platell might note that Chamberlain had her conviction for the murder of her child, Azaria, quashed. The dingo did it. Anything’s possible.

The Possibilities

Says Harvey: “So is it possible the McCanns could bury their own daughter in secret and concoct a huge fiction to fool the world?”

Possible? Of course. Most things are. Remember the dingo?

Harvey goes on: “And for every theory there is a counter-theory. But I have other nagging doubts.”

And because Harvey is a feature writer at the Sun he gets to share his nagging doubts with the world.

He notes: “And what about the lack of tears from the couple?

“The couple had been told by experts not to show emotion in case the person believed to have abducted their daughter was watching and getting a thrill from their behaviour.”


And what about him? Harvey says: “Gerry’s matter-of-fact blog — sometimes describing the weather and runs on the beach — also seemed odd.”

Odd indeed. It may even be odder than the Sun’s anti-peado Find Maddie campaign which saw its sister paper the News of the World stick a giant inflatable wanted poster of the child on a Portugal beach. Odder than the Sun’s drive for yellow ribbon and stories talking of paedos and kidnap.

But what does it mean?

Harvey considers: “The McCanns may be blameless, heartbroken parents.

But my doubts — thinking the unthinkable — persist.

I really hope I’m wrong. For the sake of my faith in human nature, I really hope I’m wrong.”

Fingers crossed…

Posted: 15th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (648)

Madeleine McCann: The Lindy Chamberlain Connection, The Tapas 9 And Buried At Sea

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

DAILY MAIL front page:

• “Judge wants Kate to face new quiz
• Family hits back at ‘disgraceful lies’
• Police: We may never find the body”

The Mail looks at the ‘TAPAS 9’ – “The seven people dining with Gerry and Kate McCann at the Ocean Club tapas bar on the night of May 3 have all steadfastly defended their friends.”
THE TIMES front page: “Madeleine police travel to Britain.” A squad of Portuguese officers will travel to Leicester to work alongside British officers who are investigating the McCanns.

The McCanns are to travel to Portugal next Wednesday.


Stop digging up the church and the pavements of Praia da Luz. The Express has a new development.

“Not enough evidence to charge parents. We need a confession, say police.”

A confession? Back to the church! Put a wire tap on the priest!

A “senior” Portuguese police officer says: “There are a lot of clues, signs and indications, but without more elements it’s impossible for us to determine what happened in those vital hours. Even if the blood and traces gathered in the car or the apartment were confirmed to correspond 100 per cent to the little girl’s DNA, that wouldn’t prove anything.

“Those elements could only confirm – and at the moment we don’t even have that – that the little girl was in the apartment, which is plainly obvious, and in the car. In either of the cases, nothing would prove homicide, just that the body of the little girl had been transferred in the vehicle.”


The Mirror cares too much for the poor family McCann to speculate on this most sensitive matter. So it takes a look at what the papers are saying Portugal.
Notes Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias: “The police admit the body doesn’t now exist. Readers learn: “One of the most credible possibilities would involve the body having been thrown in a sack of stones at sea from a yacht.”

But the McCanns hired a car…

“Another paper, 24 Horas, reports that detectives may be relying on the McCanns making a confession,” notes the Mirror, with compassion.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE – DID MUM CONFESS?” And: “police to quiz priest.”

We knew it. The priest. And haul the Pope in. Do not forget the Pope.


Not the Holy See. The Mediterranean Sea.

The Sun notes: “A body weighed down with stones and dumped in deep water from a boat several miles out, however, would simply disappear.”

A friend of the McCanns says how the couple feel Portuguese cops are “playing a game with them”. She says: “They are very frustrated — they really do not know what is going on.”

The pal says: “Gerry and Kate feel police in Portugal have forgotten about their daughter. The investigation has become political and they feel the police are playing a game with them. They just want them to concentrate on finding Maddie.”


Dingo mother backs McCanns.” Possibly the best headline in the case thus far.

“Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, the Australian woman wrongly convicted of murdering her baby after telling police it had been snatched by a dingo, has spoken out in support of the parents of the missing Madeleine McCann, claiming they could suffer a similar miscarriage of justice to her own.”

Did a dingo take Madeleine McCann? Can the Sun get another bag of stones, a mid-range dog and investigate?

Chamberlain’s ordeal was, of course, turned into a film. Her role was given flesh and bone by Meryl Streep. Who will play Kate McCann in Luz Of My Life? The smart money must be on Jennifer Aniston or a blonder Michelle Pfeiffer.

Sam Neill played Lindy’s husband Michael. He could be Gerry, if you squint a bit.

Madeleine McCann: The Story So Far

Posted: 15th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (326)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann’s Holy Communion, Gerry’s Running And Sleeping Pills

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

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE DAD TELLS PALS OF TORMENT. We’re frightened and we have been backed into a corner, this is inhumane.”

Gerry McCann accuses the Portuguese police of subjecting them to “inhuman treatment”. There is no word of Robert Murat, the other named suspect.

Pages 4 and 5: “The Sun hears Gerry’s words. And just for the record features some of the awful “SMEARS”.

• “A mum struggling to cope?
• Traces of sedative in hair?
• A hyperactive daughter?
• Ordered back to Portugal?”

At least the Sun’s Fergus Shanahan is on Kate’s side. “Kate MaCann’s guilty of nothing more than sticking to her story,” says the headline above his column.

The case reminds him of a witch hunt. Kate McCann is on the ducking stool. Will she come up alive and guilty or dead and innocent?

And who is to blame for the McCanns’ suffering? Paedos? Tabloid sensation and speculation dressed up as news? No, it’s the foreigners. The Portuguese police who “change their tune every five minutes”. Some news to we who hardly hear a word from the meninos no azul.

This is the “sensational new claim”.

Only yesterday the Mirror was telling us that the McCanns don’t take sleeping pills.

Pages 4 and 5: “New evidence that Madeleine was ‘killed by pills overdose’” – the prosecutor’s report says fluids found in the back of the McCanns’ hire car “prove that the little girl had ingested medicines, without doubt sleeping pills, in large quantities.” The dossier says it as this that “caused an overdose” and so accidental death.


“This is not a theory but a fact contained in hard evidence,” says a “senior Portuguese police source”.

So that’s that, then…

Pages 5 and 7: “DNA expert will help McCanns” – Sir Alec Jeffries says samples of DNA cannot prove innocence or guilt. He says only a full match of Madeleine’s DNA would prove she was in the car. And the match, as the Express notes elsewhere, might be 88 per cent.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “KATE & GERRY..their story.” The front-page “EXCLUSIVE” shows Gerry in a rugby kit and Catholic Kate in her Holy Communion white.

The pictures appear above the headline: “MADDY ‘PILLS OVERDOSE’, shock claim that she died from sleeping tablets.”

Pages 4 and 5: “POLICE IN HUNT FOR BLOOD AT FLAT No 2” – Sniffer dogs have detected blood “close to the flat” from where Madeleine McCann went missing, it has been claimed.

Pages 6 and 7: “Kate and Gerry were talking about a new baby but now they just want Madeleine back. They are very close..children are the most important things in their lives,” says Kate’s father Brian.

Gerry was once the captain of Napir City Rovers in New Zealand. Teammate David Anstis says: “He was a really nice bloke.”

Reader may recalls how Robert Murat, who has no PR, was a loon who liked to jump on bouncy castles. And he had a dodgy eye.

The paper says that Gerry was Scotland’s under-19 1500 metres champion and Scottish Universities’ 800 metres champion.

He must be innocent.

Kate was top of her class at school. She keeps fit with trips to the gym and taking the children swimming. Gerry would play golf.

Case closed.

Says Valeria Armstrong, landlady of the Royal Oak in Rothley: “They are gentle caring people.”

DAILY MAIL front page: “As social workers are called to McCann home, an extraordinary new claim… “MADDIE KILLED BY SLEEPING TABLETS’”

Kate’s diary reveals “struggle with Madeleine”. There are “four pages of “reports and analysis”.

Pages 6 and 7: The Cuddly Cat, the Maddy Catty, is to be seized.

Portugal’s ambassador to the UK hopes relations between the two countries have not been damaged. Says Antonio Carlos: “We are doing out utmost to solve the problem together with the support of the British police.”

No Portuguese suspect has been named.

Page 8: “THE NEW QUESTIONS FOR KATE.” The Mail has 14 questions it would like Kate McCann to answer. Is she would just jot her responses down and send them to the Mail’s office, it would be appreciated.

The Mail does not ask if she killed her daughter. Instead she is invited to respond to:

• “Do you ever lose your temper with your children?
• Did Madeleine cut herself in the apartment?
• Could Madeleine have bled on something which was later put in the car?
• Could medications have been placed in Madeleine’s reach?
• Did you feel your husband was not pulling his weight with the child care?”

Anorak empathises with the case and has taken the liberty of answering the questions on Kate McCann’s behalf. Say we: Yes, Who doesn’t; Maybe; Possibly; Perhaps; Tell me about it.

Page 9: “Our first thought was that she’d been taken by a paedophile,” says Kate McCann Paris Match magazine. Her words could have been spoken by any number of tabloid editors.

“Of course we feel guilty at being at the restaurant when she disappeared,” say Kate McCann. “That will always be so, but the person who broke in and took Madeleine is the most guilty.”

INDEPENDENT page 8: The Indy hears the words of Sir Alec Jeffries, the words he delivered to BBC’s Newsnight two days ago. The Indy is on the case.

THE TIMES front page: “McCann twins ‘safety talks’.”

Pages 6: “Social workers visit McCanns to see if the twins are at risk.” Is Kate McCann overfeeding them? We hope not.

Page 7: “Get the cat to forensics, armchair sleuths demand.” The web is alive with theories. And the cat must be interrogated. Get the Maddy Catty!

Page 21: Ben Mcintryre says “There is a Miss Marple inside all of us”. The McCanns “bring out our sleuthing instinct.”

And we though it was just idle gossip and speculation.

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 13: As reported on Anorak, the McCanns are looking for a “media handler”. Brand McCann needs a steady hand.

THE GUARDIAN: “McCanns in talks with leading PR adviser” – Look out for Kate McCann in Hello!, Hell’s Kitchen and l’m A Celebrity..Get Me Out Of Here!

The story so far…

Posted: 14th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,158)

Madeleine McCann: Situations Vacant

beckham-mccann.jpgSITUATIONS vacant: PR for Gerry and Kate McCann. Must own passport, be versed in Brand McCann and be waiting for the opportunity to make your mark on a small, but thriving Portuguese resort.

As the Guardian reports, the McCanns’ current PR, Justine McGuinness, decided to step down.

However, as reported, she is believed to have assured the McCanns that she will stay in place if a replacement cannot be found.

McGuinness says her departure, as reported, is because the McCanns “have been ordered to remain silent because of the changing nature of the investigation and she feels she cannot help them further”.

And she’s busy, “working 18 hours days for a number of weeks now”, according to a source.

The paper says the McCanns are looking for “big hitter”, an unfortunate turn of phrase, given some of the more salacious speculation surrounding the case. And evidence that the PR cannot arrive soon enough.

A Big Hello! 

Now the coverage has become more negative, the McCanns need new a broom.
And, as the Guardian notes, the leading candidate thought to be former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall.

He tells the Guardian: “I have spoken to them a number of times and offered advice and [help] assessing the situation and what they are doing going forward and whether they need someone full time or part time.”

He goes on: “We are discussing the way forward. I have not been hired … and I gather they are talking to other people.”

If Hall of Hello! gets the job we can surely look forward to reading about how Mrs McCann looks radiant in her organza silk gown as her husband, the handsome Gerry, walks among the petunias at Florence’s exclusive Villa Borgia, every inch the statesman and leading operatic tenor.

Of course, all things have a price. So how much will the PR get? “What, when they call up, do I ask them, ‘how much?’ Of course not. They are very nice people,” says Hall, already, it seems, on message.

So he doesn’t know. Less than a million? And does the contract include of forbid the rights to any book deal?

As the Guardian says, Mr Hall’s scoops include securing for Hello! the rights to Victoria Beckham’s official autobiography, Learning to Fly.

Indeed. It is beyond parody. As that book goes:

“’Daddy! I’m going to be killed.’

‘No, you’re not, Victoria. I’m right behind you. I’ll look after you.’
I can’t see him. We’re too close together, jammed in by the crowd. But I can feel his hand on my shoulder, and his hand and his voice are just enough to keep me from screaming. Calm, in control, like he always is. Not like my mum who lives off her nerves. When people say, who do you take after, I say, my dad. But when I panic like this I know I’m like my mum.”

Whoever gets the job will have to earn their money…

Madeleine McCann: a tale of speculation

Posted: 13th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (331)

Madeleine McCann: The Maddy Catty Plot, Waking Up With Gerry And Kate And Party Politics

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


Portuguese police want Kate McCann’s diary. And “detectives believe her desperate entries…will help unlock the secret”.

Pages 4: “Find the body and prove we killed her – The McCanns’ challenge to police yesterday.”

This is the “startling ultimatum”. This is the McCanns being portrayed in villain mode, the desperados coolly confronting Poirot with the retort that his case is built on nothing but speculation.

“They could stand trial in Britain,” says the Express.

Page 5: THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER sees the McCanns “Facing up to the world”. The paper watches the family seize “60 precious minutes of normality” as they head to a playground. Kate McCann sits between her twins in the backseat of the family car [a VW], “her arms protectively around their child seats”. The Express notes that the couple go out around 10pm, retuning at about 15 minutes to midnight. What can it mean?

Page 6 and 7: Portuguese Daily 24 Hours says investigators are “probing the connection” between Robert Murat, suspect No. 1, and Gerry McCann, suspect No. 3. A police sources says “Gerry [first name] met Murat [surname]” when “Gerry was campaigning for the Labour Party.”

Says Murat: “I’ve never met the man before and the idea that I’d met him when he was campaigning for the Labour Party is laughable. I’ve been a Conservative all my life.”

And so the mystery divides along party lines. Will the right-wing Express now stick up for Murat and the left-wing Mirror puts the boot in and champions Gerry?

DAILY MIRROR front page: “EXCLUSIVE OURAGE OF KATE – A glimpse inside her world of pain.”

Kate McCann is on her way to the playground.

Page 4: “Each morning they wake and think ‘this could be the day we find her’’s the hope that drives them on.” So says a “friend of the McCanns”.

The Mirror sees all. It sees Kate and Gerry wake up- and “momentarily struggle to focus”. Then: “a second passes as they lie side by side.” Then the “crushing familiarity, the horror of their living nightmare comes flooding back”.

Kate McCann prays each morning.

They are under “inhuman strain”. They don’t take sleeping tablets.

The live in a “quiet cul-de-sac”, the peace interrupted only by the sound of a hundred snappers screaming “This way Kate!” and hacks shouting “Did you do it?”.

They drive a people carrier, a VW, as the Express has reported. They are at the playground. They push the children on swings “and laughed as they played on the children’s slide”.

Page 5: Party politics is back as Mirror readers learn that John ‘Vulcan’ Redwood has removed his comment on the case (see here).

Pages 6 and 7: “If they are innocent and think that their daughter is still alive then they should be in Portugal trying to look for her.” The Mirror publishes some choice comments from its readers.

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – McCanns tells police: Produce the body.”

Page 10 and 11: “Show us your diaries” – Portuguese police want to seize Kate’s diary and Gerry’s laptop.

Police might also confiscate Madeleine’s toys, including the Cuddle Cat (aka the ‘Maddy Catty’). Philomena McCann, Gerry’s sister, says this would be a “disgrace”.

Says Philomena: “That wee girl will be thinking ‘they’re not looking for me. My mummy and daddy and my aunties – they don’t love me because they can’t find me.”


Detectives are “plotting” to take hold of the toy. This is “MADDIE: PARENTS’ NEW ORDEAL”.

Pages 6 and 7: Readers lean of “TWO THEORIES”. They are: “GUILITY OR INNOCENT?”

The Sun sums up the justice system neatly. It has got to the bones of the thing. At last the case is getting somewhere.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE’S TOY WILL NAIL KILLERS – Cops say Cuddle Cat holds vital clues.”

In an “EXCLUSIVE” (see Sun), the Star says police have launched an “international operation to seize Madeline’s McCann’s favourite soft toy, Cuddle Cat.”

Cuddle Cat is not a suspect. Yet.

Page 6: “Maddie’s hair tufts hold key to killing” – forensics can tell if the hairs reportedly found in the McCanns’ car boot are from a live or dead Madeleine.

Page 7: “PALS ‘COVER-UP’ PROBED BY POLICE”- Detectives want to re-interview the McCanns’ dinner companions.

THE TIMES front page: “McCanns diaries and laptop to be seized by Portuguese police.”

Pages 6 and 7: “Parent will have to pay defence cost without Madeleine Fund.”

The six directors of Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd, say: “The fund directors realise that there is not only a legal answer and recognise the spirit which underlies the generous donations to Madeleine’s Fund…any search fund to pay legal defence costs would have to be separately set up and administered.”

They fail to add that this is what Princess Diana would have wanted.

A family source tells the paper: “PR and law firm are not cheap.” Nor private detectives, say others.

THE GUARDIAN page 7: “McCanns may order own DNA tests on car.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 11: “DNA expert urges caution over forensic evidence.” Sir Alec Jeffries is billed as “the world’s leading expert on DNA”. He tells BBC’s Newsnight show: “DNA does not have the words innocence or guilty on it – that is a legal concept. What it seeks to establish is connections and identifications.”

THE INDEPENDENT page 9: “Questions at the heart of perplexing investigation.”

The paper wonders what we know about forensic evidence reportedly found in the McCanns’ car. It answers: “The picture remains far from clear.”

Is there a 99 per cent match or an 80 per cent match? What about a 62.2 recurring match. Higher or lower?

We could go on…

Posted: 13th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,057)

Madeleine McCann: Maddie’s Daddy, Masses Of Hair, Paedos And Kate’s Tears

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

DAILY MAIL front page: “As ten files of evidence are handed to judges, a new claim: MADDIE’S HAIR IN CAR BOOT.”

And not just some hair, but the claim is for “substantial” quantities of the blonde stuff. And “sources insisted” bodily fluids also found in the boot of the hire car belonged to the missing child.

Pages 4: Senior non-singing Tory John Redwood says on his blog that the McCann’s have fallen victim to the “modern disease of fighting battles through the media instead of people getting on and doing their jobs diligently.” Redwood is an MP, not a journalist.

Page 5: “SINISTER OR INNOCENT? THE GREAT DNA DILEMMA” – Sam Greenhill tells us from Paria da Luz that “nobody knows exactly what samples have been found or, crucially, how important they might be.” Greenhill’s report may come as a shock to the Mail’s lead headline writer.


Page 4: “COPS: CHARGE PARENTS NOW” – Readers see a man tending to the Candle of Hope at Rothley war memorial.

Page 5: “Gerry ‘is not Maddie dad’”

Page 6: “GERRY HORROR AT ‘YOU’RE NOT HER DAD’ CLAIM” – DNA results have left medics “puzzled”, writes the paper. A source within Portugal’s National Institute of Legal Medicine says, “In normal circumstances Madeleine would have half the DNA of each parent…But we have to take into account that Madeleine was created by artificial insemination. Was it with Gerry’s sperm or that of another man?”

And so the net widens. Who is the father? Gerry McCann? Robert Murat? A swarthy man from Malta sat at a Belgian cafe?

The Star sees other “bizarre” claims in the Portuguese press, including the one that the McCanns are “swingers”.


Readers learn that police “may not” have enough evidence to charge Kate and Gerry McCann with killing their daughter. This may explain why the McCanns have not been arrested. Although lack of evidence does not always prevent British police securing a conviction.

Pages 4 and 5: “The anguish is unbearable but Kate and I are totally 100 per cent confident in each other’s innocence,” says Gerry McCann.

The picture is of Gerry McCann with his arm around his wife’s shoulder. He is defiant. Her eyes are half closed. Is she on the verge of tears or just tired? The Mirror has chosen this picture to publish. It wants her to cry. In crying Kate McCann will give the readers what they want.

Page 6: The Labour–supporting Mirror senses “Fury” as “Vulcan” John Redwood attacks. Redwood writes on his blog: “Maybe they should employ a private detective rather than a spin doctor.” The Mirror is appalled. It takes the quote from Redwood’s unread blog and puts it in a national newspaper. It shows it to Gerry’s sister Trish who says, “I wouldn’t be dignified if I made a response.” Redwood’s blog gets some much-needed exposure.

Page 7: “88%: Portuguese police chief admits car sample is not complete match with Madeleine’s DNA.” Clearly Alipio Ribeiro has not read today’s Daily Star.

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE: JUDGE GIVEN EVIDENCE. HER HAIR HOLDS THE KEY. Crucial test on samples from car.”

Pages 4 and 5: The Sun looks at the world’s press. Germany’s Bild Zeitung asks: “Was Madeleine taken by paedophiles? Murdered by her own parents? Must one feel sorrow for the parents? Should one despise them?”

Bild might like to asks the Mirror about paedos – it featured a yellow ribbon on its masthead and the order “PRAY FOR MADDY”.

Pages 6 and 7: “COPS TO DIG AT CHURCH.” The Sun says Madeleine’s body may have been hidden in roadworks and then exhumed. The paper produces a map and show the areas recently cobbled.

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. MASS OF HAIR IN CAR BOOT. Parents could be charged in days, says prosecutor.”

Pages 2 and 3: “New roads to be dug up in hunt.” The paper sees the search for Madeline move underground.

A police source looks into the boot of the McCanns’ hire car and offers: “There was so much hair it could not be from DNA transference but from the body being in the boot.”


Pages 4 and 5: “Gerry McCann is in an “unending nightmare”. The “heart specialist” speaks of the “pain and turmoil” he and his family are going through. He and his wife are innocent.

“Could there be a fair trail?” asks the WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER. There may be no trail. Although the paper says that “silencing the whispering against them may prove difficult.” And the boos and the jeers, as reported by the Express.

Page 5: “Madeleine and an amazing triple coincidence” – Gone Baby Gone, a film about a missing child, directed by non-missing Ben Affleck, stars Madeleine O’Brien who – shock of shocks – is blonde like our Madeleine.

THE TIMES front page: “Madeleine’s hair. 10 boxes of evidence sent to judges.” No, not 10 boxes of hair. Ten boxes of assorted hair and other evidence.

Pages 6 and 7: The Times produces a picture of a strand of healthy hair and places it alongside a shot of a strand of hair taken from a dead body. Note the differences.

Readers can expect more insight, including how a severed head looks less healthy than one that sits atop a still live body.

“What can scientific evidence prove?” asks the Times. That the world is round, that greenhouses gases are warming the planet, that Elton John is 23% less productive than he was in 1976…


Pages 10 and 11: “McCanns may use £1m fund to pay for lawyers.” The six directors controlling Madeleine’s fund will decide if the parent can use the money to save themselves.

THE GUARDIAN page 3: “McCann papers go to judge amid claims and confusion over DNA.”

THE INDEPENDENT page 3: “Judge given evidence in McCann case as prosecutor raises stakes.”

Director of Portugal’s Judicial Police, Alipio Ribrio, denies “that a 99 per cent accurate DNA march for Madeleine has been found in a hire car used by her parents”. He fails to shed light on claims of a 99.9% match…

Madeleine McCann In The News

Posted: 12th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,411)

Madeleine McCann: Parents Tapped Up And A Phone Vote

madeline_parents_140.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE SUN front page: “BRIT LAB BOMBSHELL – CAR DNA IS 100% MADDIE’S. Cops also tapped McCann phones and email.”

The Forensic Science Service in Birmingham matched 20 out of 20 genetic markers to a samples of blood found in the boot of the McCanns’ car.

“Police listen to McCanns’ every word” – and we watch their every movement on the TV.

Page 6: “NEW AGONY FOR McCANNS – COUPLE FACE TWINS BEING TAKEN AWAY. Social workers may put them in care.”

This may well be the same new agony as the one yesterday when Sun readers learned: “YOU’LL LOSE THE TWINS.”

DAILY MIRROR front page: “She lost a police dossier asks prosecutors to charge her with ACCIDENTAL HOMICIDE.”

Pages 4 and 5 for the “FULL STORY”. Readers see “THE MADDY FILE”.

A DCI Kirkham considers the evidence:

  • DCI Kirkham says Madeleine could have “grazed herself” and so left blood marks on the wall of the family apartment.
  • DCI Kirkham says “children can fall over and bump themselves”.
  • DCI Kirkham says “To find a body in any murder is absolutely crucial” – because without it there is no conclusive proof that murder has taken place, n’est pas?

Pages 6 and 7: “ARE YOUR TWINS AT RISK? ..IS YOUR SAFETY AT RISK?” Police warn of “hate reprisals” against the McCanns.


Pages 2 and 3 – The “WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER has opened the phone lines to the question “Were Madeleine’s parents involved in her death?” Portuguese police and anti-paedo protestors await the result with a keen interest.

Pages 4 and 5: “Pressure mounts on social workers to remove twins.”

“McCanns’ happy family image comes under fire” – The Express looks at the Portuguese press and hears Madeleine “screaming for her daddy”. Correio da Manha says Kate McCann had “moments of aggressiveness” towards Madeleine. It says that Gerry McCann was “often absent” from the family group.

Significant? Pick up your phones and vote!

The Express says the couple have refused to comment on these “lurid claims”.


Pages 6,7 and 8: “Devout Cathloics Gerry and Kate McCann often attended the Our Lady of Light church.

DAILY MAIL: “McCanns face new claim by Portuguese MADDIE: ‘DNA IN HIRE CAR IS HERS.’”

Pages 6 and 7: “Pressure piled on the McCanns.”

Gerry McCann’s sister Philomena McCann praises the UK press for – get this – “their restraint”. The Mail says over in Portugal an “astonishing smear campaign” is underway in the local papers. This is “Portuguese picture of ‘hysterical’ wife”.

THE TELEGRAPH: “Hire car DNA ‘is complete match’ to Madeleine.”

Page 10: “Confusion that surrounds the fateful hours”. The paper goes over the events of May 3. And concludes: this is a tricky one.

THE GUARDIAN page 19: “UK police may question parents as Portuguese deal with fallout from Madeleine disappearance.”

If the McCanns have more questions to face and decline to return to Portugal, UK police would be invited to speak with them.

THE INDEPENDENT front page: “Dominic Lawson – Kate McCann, a victim of our emotional tyranny”. On Page 31, Lawson looks at the “tsunami of prejudice masquerading as detection”.

THE TIMES front page: “New DNA twist in MCcann case.”

Page 6 : “Fund could be blocked from paying legal costs”. The McCanns may be barred from using the £1million Find Madeleine fund to defend themselves.

More to follow…

The story so far

Posted: 11th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,327)

Madeleine McCann On Sky News: Olegário de Sousa Says ‘Story Was Completely False’

Paulo Reis in Portugal on Madedleine McCann:


In the last few hours, Sky News has been broadcasting a story, by Martin Brunt, saying Portuguese Police believes that Gerry and Kate McCann are somehow related with Madeleine McCan disappearance because analysis of samples collected at the van that McCann family rented, several weeks after the child disappeared, showed a 100% match with Madeleine McCann DNA. This was the strongest evidence Portuguese Police had to incriminate Madeleine’s parents, according to Mr. Martin Brunt. Portuguese Police was the source of this information, Mr. Martin Brunt told Sky News viewers.

Around 9.00 pm, today, the Portuguese CID spokesman, Chief Inspector Olegário de Sousa, denied that story, said that Martin Brunt talked with him today, September 10, around 7.00 pm, but never asked any question about Madeleine’s DNA found at the van, and the subject wasn’t even referred, during the talk. Mr Olegário de Sousa, in the formal statement that Portuguese CID issued, said that “Sky News story was completely false, the facts referred in that story were also false”. At 10.30, there was no Martin Brunt reporting from Praia da Luz, just a reference to read his blog, with latests news about Madeleine McCann disappearance. (to be continued)

Posted: 11th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (64)

Madeleine McCann: Suspects Kate And Gerry And The Flight Of Fancy

mccann-madeleine-1.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE SUN front page: “EXCLUSIVE – ‘We’re being set up. I’ve had enough. Let’s go home.’” This is the “ANGER OF MADDIE DAD.”

Gerry and Kate McCann, “the doctors”, are back in their home town of Rothley, Leicestershire.

Pages 4, 5, 6 & 7: A statement from Gerry McCann in which he thanks one and all for the support and adds: “But we would like to ask for our privacy to be respected now that we have returned home.”

But their private grief is public spectacle. Can they be left alone with their daughter still missing and their campaign to find her in progress?

“YOU’LL LOSE THE TWINS.” Portuguese police are said to have told Kate McCann she should confess or face losing her two children.

“FACT OR FIT-UP?” The Sun considers the claims and gives each an “EXPLANATION.”

THE SUN SAYS: “McCanns’ hell”. The McCann’s “torment gets more horrendous by the day.” Where is the “kidnapper who might still have the four-year-old child in his clutches?”

THE TIMES front page: “McCanns fly home to fights their case.”

Mr McCann says the police’s focus on them is “deeply disturbing”.

Portuguese newspapers claim the McCanns failed to answer 40 questions put to them during interviews last week. “They apparently feared that they could wrongly implicate themselves if he [sic] did so.”

Pages 6 & 7: “Puzzles and mysteries at the very heart of the investigation.”
The paper tries to answer some of these questions. It tells us: “Although a small child could be killed quickly it would take time to hide the body so that it was not discovered in the biggest search in Portuguese history.”

The paper’s David Brown does not reveal how he researched this. He just knows.

The window to the McCanns apartment might have been opened from the inside. Brown of the Wapping Yard concludes: “Or was the window opened to make it appear as if an intruder had used it to enter the bedroom?”
Hmmm. What say you Mr Brown?

DAILY MAIL front page: “Police are determined to charge McCanns with killing Madeleine. HOME…FOR HOW LONG?”

Mr McCann is said to have told a friends: “We are being completely stitched up by the Portuguese police. We are completely f*****. We should have seen this coming weeks ago and gone back to Britain.”

Pages 2 and 3: “Madeleine’s parents consult Pinochet’s lawyer.” The McCanns have consulted with Michael Caplan QC, the British lawyer who represented Chilean dictator General Pinochet, who stood accused to torture and human rights abuses. Interesting?

Pages 4 & 5: “Questions the police must answer.”

The paper wonders if Robert Murat was named as a suspect in the hope his presence might “lead the couple into committing an incriminating indiscretion?” Or not.
In attempting to answer the key questions, the Mail produces more questions.

And the evidence..? The paper’s Michael Hanson wonders just how “foolproof” forensic tests are. You can’t argue with the science. Or can you?
DAILY MIRROR front page: “Kate weeps in Maddy’s room.”

The paper’s “EXCLUSIVE” is that Kate McCann sat alone in Madeleine’s “pink-painted room” and “sobbed in despair”.

How does it know this?

A friend says: “They are not running and will clear their names.”

Pages 4 & 5: Four pictures of the McCanns: arriving at Faro airport; boarding a flight,;on the plane getting ready for take off; and walking to their family home in Rothley.

Pages 6 & 7: “40 questions they both ‘refused’ to answer’.” And: “Officers say her replies left a lot to be desired, ‘it was claimed.’”



Page 9: Brian Reade has a daughter the same age as Madeleine McCann. Brian, who writes for the Mirror, has found it “impossible to imagine the depth of pain and guilt”. Without a body, says Brian, “They may never be able to prove their total and complete innocence.”
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE ‘WE CAN PROVE PARENTS DID IT.’ Portuguese police make dramatic new claim over evidence.”

Pages 2, 3 4, 5: The paper’s Martin Evans is on flight EZY 6552. He sees the McCanns travel home. He experiences “first hand…Kate’s pain and anguish on that most difficult of journeys”.

The seatbelts sign goes off. A note is passed to Kate. It is from another passenger. Kate reads the “simple message” of support. “A female passenger kneels by Kate and gives her a “tight hug.”

Kate sobs, “tears dripping slowly down her cheeks”.

Page 6: “Questions for the McCanns.” The Express has a go at solving the mystery. It says “Case could hang over us for ever say parents”.
DAILY STAR front page: “Maddie’s parents surprise flight.” Flight?

Pages 6 & 7: “We’re not running away.”

Page 7: More from Martin Evans, who sees the McCanns’ “pained expressions”.

Pages 8 & 9: “Furious donors want cash back as pressure mounts on friends to reveal all. DAD: I’LL USE £1M MADDIE FUND TO CLEAR OUR NAMES.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Year-long wait for McCanns to clear name.”

Says Kate McCann: “Portuguese law prohibits us from commenting on the police investigation. Despite their being so much we wish to say we are unable to do so except to say this: we have played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter Madeleine.”

Page 4: “Couple facing a ‘life sentence of grief’.”

THE GUARDIAN front page: “Exhausted and under suspicion, Madeleine’s family come home.”

Pages 2, 4 & 5: “Rothley villagers relieved to see family return.”

“Thank goodness. They’re back where they belong and it’s the best place they could possibly be,” says one young mother.

The Rev Mark Chandler adds: “My every sense tells me that Rothley is just pleased and relieved to have them back.”

THE INDEPENDENT front page: “130 days since they left for a family holiday, the McCanns return to Britain without Madeleine. This is “THE HOMECOMING”.

Pages 2 & 3: “A shattered family returns to Britain without Madeleine”. “Portugal’s media clamour for conviction”.

Says one mother holidaying in Praia da Luz: “You don’t want to believe the worst but when you read headlines like these [in Portuguese media], obviously one conclusion seems more likely than another.”

Says the Diario de Noticia: “PJ wait for final examinations to arrest Madeleine’s parents.”

Madeleine McCann: private grief as public spectacle

Posted: 10th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,280)

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry’s Blood, Threat And Tears

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


“Deal of blood, threat and tears.” Kate McCann is being interviewed by police. This is a “highly-charged confrontation, Portuguese officers citing forensic evidence told the GP she would receive a jail sentence of between two and three years if she signed a confession.”

Kate McCann is “horrified”. Says she: “How dare you?”

A source tells the paper: “The police were trying to get Kate to say she had amnesia or was in shock or had a breakdown. They said if she signed the confession she’d serve a year and that her husband would not be charged and could go home. It was effectively emotional blackmail.”

“SHOCKED” Gerry McCann has been named as a formal suspect.

THE SUN SAYS: “But the allegations made yesterday against Madeleine’s distraught mother Kate are astonishing and, in places, farcical. A suspicious page of the Bible left open? A call to a priest on the day of Maddie’s disappearance? Not exactly a smoking gun.”

Do all crimes involve a smoking gun?

The Sun concludes: “The Sun desperately wants justice for Maddie. But the greatest pity is that she is the one person who seems to have been forgotten in this mess of incompetence.”

And the Press continue to watch the parents.



“Just two days ago Kate McCann, 39, was regarded almost universally as a victim who had suffered unimaginable agony. Families everywhere shared her heartbreak at losing her beautiful daughter. But it was clear yesterday, as the GP arrived to be formally named as a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance, that much of that sympathy has now gone.”

The crowd outside the police station – 400-strong – goes into a “frenzy” when Kate McCann arrives. “There were whistles, then jeers and boos before some in the crowd began to shout insults. ‘Whore… daughter of a whore,’ some yelled in Portuguese.”

The Express translates.

A local man says: “They will find this more and more because in Portugal harming a child is the worst thing…The Portuguese people took them to their hearts and now we feel cheated. It will not be nice in Portugal for them now.”

Kate is “cool and collected”.

DAILY MAIL front page: “THE ACCUSED. Portuguese police’s staggering grilling of Madeleine mother.

• Why was her blood in your car?
• Did you drug her that night?
• Confess and get just two years.”


DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADELEINE SENSATION. We have found her blood in the boot of your hire car.. DID YOU KILL HER BY ACCIDENT?” This is “what police asked Kate McCann during 16-hour grilling”.

THE GUARDIAN front page: “Mother, victim…suspect: police target Kate McCann.”

THE TELEGRAPH: “Kate and Gerry McCann named as suspects,” says the headline.

“Mr McCann stared straight ahead as his suspect status was announced and refused to answer questions from awaiting journalists. A crowd which had been attending a concert in the town square earlier listened to the announcement and several people gasped audibly.”

In “Villagers back Madeleine McCann’s parents”, the paper journeys to Rothey, Leicestershire, the McCanns’ home town. Michelle Canilleri, who lives in Rothley, shares with the world: “I can’t believe it. This is such a shock. They have got the wrong people. No way in the world would either Kate or Gerry harm any of their children.”


“Shortly before 11am, Mrs McCann’s spokeswoman, Justine McGuinness, revealed that the 39-year-old GP was being made an arguida – official suspect – in the case. And then she uttered the six short words which will be inconceivable to some who have followed this case and a confirmation of long-held suspicions to others. ‘Kate fears she will be charged,’ Ms McGuinness said.”

THE TIMES front page: A picture of the McCanns meeting the Pope.

Madeleine McCann The Public Spectacle

Posted: 8th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,454)

Madeleine McCann: Kate Is Drawn And The Scent Of Death

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

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE – Mother’s sensational claim as police quiz her for hours. THEY’RE TRYING TO FRAME ME.”

Kate McCann is “terrified” Portuguese police are trying to fit her up. She has been formally interviewed for the first time since the day after her daughter went missing.

Page 6: “Kate has absolutely nothing to hide, say her friends.”

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. MUM: NOW WE FEAR WE ARE SUSPECTS. Police question her for hours.”

Kate McCann is “terrified” of being framed. “Part-time GP” Kate looks “strained and nervous” as she is driven to the Policia Judicara headquarters in Portimao. Kate takes fresh fruit and bottled water in a rucksack “to sustain her through the interview with two detectives”.
THE WORLD’S GRATES NEWSPAPER sees Kate kiss her husband Gerry on the lips (see photo) and clutching her daughter’s toy cat enter the police station.

Pages 4 and 5: “McCanns put return home on hold. They need to stay in Portugal for several weeks “to ensure any new leads are thoroughly investigated” by the local police.

The Express looks at the “astonishing smears” levelled against the McCanns, including the one that sniffer dogs used by British police found the scent of a corpse on jeans worn by Kate. The Express is appalled that such things should make it into print in Portuguese daily Correio da Manha.
THE SUN front page: “DID YOU SEDATE MADDIE?” In the Sun’s “EXCLUSIVE” readers learn “Cops name Kate as suspect and grill her”.

Pages 4 and 5: Kate and Gerry McCann have been told they are suspects. Kate is to be formally registered as an “arguido”, at least during the interviews. It will be the same for husband Gerry.

Page 8: “The Sun’s editorial tells of “Kate’s agony”. The “plodding” Portuguese police “should be ashamed of themselves”. Asks the Sun: “Hasn’t she suffered enough?” Kate is “pale”.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “Portuguese police called Kate and Gerry McCann back in but refused point-blank to tell them why. Both now fear that today they will be named as SUSPECTS”.

A source claimed British tests on “forensic samples had highlighted a discrepancy in the McCanns’ account in the night Madeleine disappeared.”

Pages 4 and 5: “They are going though a terrible ordeal..Kate is terrified that she will be..FRAMED.”

The Mirror says the McCanns’ summer break has been “A HOLIDAY FROM HELL”. It sees Kate “confidently” stroll into the police station.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE – ‘We are being framed’.”

Page 11: “We’re being stitched up.”

“TOY HOLDS CLUE. British sniffer dogs found the scent of death on Madeleine’s favourite soft toy Cuddlecat, it was revealed.”

THE TIMES front page: “McCann interviews.”

Page 5: Says Kate McCann: “We came to Portugal an ordinary family of five. We just want to know what happened on May 3 and want to be able to go home one family, reunited.”

THE TELEGRAPH: “I fear I am a suspect, says Kate McCann.”

Page 5: Kate McCann is kept waiting for an hour and 15 minutes before her police interview.

The lease on the McCanns rented villa expires on Tuesday and the couple will make a decision about leaving once the interviews are complete.

THE GUARDIAN: “Madeleine mother questioned for 11 hours.”

THE INDEPENDENT: “Madeleine’s mother ‘still just a witness’ after 11-hour interview.” Kate McCann looks “tired and drawn”.

Posted: 7th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,237)

Madeleine McCann: An Arrest, Robert Murat’s Knife And Fury

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADELEINE: DNA is found. Arrest expected ‘in 48 hours’.”

No yellow ribbon on the Mirror’s front page. But news of that blood found on the McCann’s apartment walls. We learn: “The DNA of a potential suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has been found by British scientists.”

“The DNA is said to have been found in an area of the Praia da Luz flat where the individual should not have been.”

But the flat wasn’t sealed off after Madeleine went missing. Robert Murat, suspect No. 1, was operating as a volunteer translator.

Pages 4 and 5: “McCANNS IN DNA TORMENT.” Kate and Gerry McCann are “angry”. The Portuguese police are reported not to have called the McCanns nor informed them of the test results.

THE STAR front page: “MADDIE – Police set to make arrests.”

Page 9: And “sources say officers are about to swoop”. A picture of Robert Murat with the caption “SUSPECT” illustrates the “full story”.

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE: Police ‘near to an arrest’.”

Page 5: The prospect of an arrest “within days” has been “raised”. Police are looking at the results of blood, hair and saliva samples found in the McCanns’ apartment. The McCanns are said to be “frustrated and upset” at not being told this by police.

Arrests could be made. Or not. The Mail says the findings could just help explain what happened to Madeleine, and the results have not arrived in full to Portugal.

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE ARREST IS NOW ‘CLOSE’. DNA tests produce vital result.”

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER says police are “expected” to make an arrest within days. Why not immediately is unsaid.

Portuguese police have the results which “are understood to confirm police suspicions that Madeleine died in her parents’ holiday apartment”.

They also point to a new suspect the police have been monitoring.

Robert Murat is pictured working on the roof of his home. He has a knife in one hand.

THE SUN page 8: “COPS KEEP MADDIE DNA RESULTS SECRET. Parent’s fury at villa blood probe detectives.”

A villa not a flat? Maddie and not Madeleine? Is this the same case?

Readers are told that “relations between the McCanns and the Portuguese police hit a new low when detectives failed to tell them the DNA test results were back”.

Gerry, a “cardiologist” is said to be “upset and frustrated”.

THE TIMES page 21: “Madeleine police gain new information from science test in Britain”.

The results cold lead to “a series of arrests”.

THE TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine police handed forensic evidence.” And: “Mr and Mrs McCann only found out through the media when they were interrupted during a jog by their campaign manager Justine McGuinness.”

Mr Murat’s spokesman Tuck Price says the only named suspect had not been told about any developments in the case.


Posted: 6th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (632)

Maddywatch: Gazing At Madeleine McCann

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “Madeleine. We blundered says her mum.”

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER says Gerry and Kate McCann erred. It looks at their interview in the Times yesterday and learns that losing their daughter “shattered everything”.

“THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE” has reached day 125. Madeleine is still missing. And the couple “both doctors” are still searching.

THE SUN page 13: “Maddie parents united.” Gerry and Kate “put on a touching show of love and unity as pals insisted their marriage is as strong as ever.” They held hands, walked, sat and “gazed out to sea”.

THE MAIL: “McCanns show their unity as they plan to come home.”

The parents of Madeleine McCann are strolling hand in hand along the beach. They are “sat gazing out to sea”. (See photograph.) Mrs McCann wears “checked trousers, a black vest top and sunglasses”. Gerry’s clothes are not detailed.

TIMES page 11: Stuart Paul Sparks allegedly stole cash donated to help in the hunt for Madeleine from a charity box in a store in Belgrave Gate, Leicester, in May. Mr Sparks, 37, from Ickworth Close, Leicester, was granted unconditional bail at the city’s magistrates’ court and told to reappear there September 18.

GUARDIAN: Online site features an advert: “Madeleine Mccann Kidnapper Found? Find Out with the Free News…”

MIRROR, INDEPENDENT, TELEGRAPH: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 5th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (328)

Truth, Lies, Madeleine McCann & Wathing The Parents

madeleine-mccann.jpg“TRUTH, lies, Madeleine and us.”

This is the front-page trail for the Times’ “exclusive” interview with Kate and Gerry McCann.

The cover of the paper’s Times2 supplement is given over to pictures of Madeleine McCann and her parents.

“Madeleine: one fact, many lies, endless grief,” comes the headline.

“It is now 124 days since Madeleine McCann disappeared. PENNY WARK charts a story that became global, lurid and often invented – and hears how the McCanns learnt to think positively after imagining the darkest scenarios and suffering uncontrollable grief,” says the Times.

And we are watching the parents. The paper’s one fact is that Madeleine McCann is missing. The other fact is that all the coverage in the media, the voyeurism as the McCanns toured the world, met the Pope and children in cinemas got scared has failed to find the missing child. All we have is public spectacle and the invitation to share the parents’ grief.

The Times’ writer says the reason we know so little about Madeleine’s disappearance is that she was abducted in Portugal, “where the segredo de justica law prevents the police from putting information about a criminal investigation in the public domain.”

A Neil Thompson, a former top copper who now runs a private security firm tells us: “A no-information rule means that you’re working in the dark.”

But the police have information, or are at least trying to get it. The media does not. It is they who are working in the dark, although there is nothing to stop them mounting a private investigation.

Thompson goes on: “Most child abductions are planned; it’s not a burglar who finds a child and takes it. Paedophiles go to places like Disney World.”

Good to see that among all the speculation and sensation, the Times’ reporter, who has been in Praia da Luz three weeks, is getting somewhere. Has Gerry McCann been to Euro Disney? Should he now go?

That question is not put to Mr McCann. He prefers to tell us that the flat in Praia da Luz where Madeleine was last seen is 50 yards from the restaurant where he and his wife were dining.

“It’s difficult because if you are [at home] cutting grass in the back with the mower, and that takes about half an hour, and the children are upstairs in a bedroom, you’d never bat an eyelid,” says Garry McCann. “That’s similar to how we felt.”

Kate McCann says: “If I put the children in the car the chances of having an accident would be greater than somebody coming in, braking into your apartment and lifting a child out of her bed.”

These are more facts. So too are the facts that Gerry and Kate and from “working-class backgrounds”. Kate is the only child of a Liverpool joiner and a civil servant.

A sightseer tells the Times: “I feel the same way that I felt when Princess Diana was killed.” The Times says the story has filled more front pages that any other event since the death of the Princess of Hearts.

That might well be the case. Readers learn that there is “increasing evidence that Madeleine sells newspaper”.

The Express has taken to featuring both the Princess and Madeleine on its front page, a bid to treble circulation.

And Madeleine McCann is on the Times’ front page. And we area watching her parents…

Posted: 4th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (205)

Madeleine McCann: It Could Be Today

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: MADELEINE: Mum’s secret prayer: ‘Today could be the day she comes home’ (Plus pages 6 and 7, with logo: THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE: Day 123).

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER brings the news that the McCanns’ “struggle to keep their spirits up by constantly reassuring each other: ‘Today could be the day Madeleine comes home.’”

The so-called “secret prayer” was revealed in the course of a long statement by Kate McCann, presumably in the course of a not-very-secret press conference.

The paper reports that the McCanns have been “persuaded to move back to their £600,000 home”.

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 6: McCanns call for Euro register of offenders.

The Telegraph reports that the McCanns were shocked to find that parts of Europe were safe havens for sex offenders.

DAILY MAIL page 25: Maddie mother’s 4 months of agony

The paper says Kate McCann has told how her world ‘fell apart’ and could scarcely believe so long had passed since she last heard her daughter’s giggle.

DAILY MIRROR page 27: KATE TELLS OF AGONY: ‘It’s four months since we’ve heard her laugh, seen her smile, cuddled her.. Each day we say, today could be the day Madeleine comes home.. we have to keep hoping’

The paper says that in Rothley, Leicestershire, “locals re-created a chain of hope using yellow and green ribbons”. This was first done by church-goers in Praia da Luz.


The paper brings us the story of Gerry “storming” out of a TV interview last week.

THE SUN page 19: Maddie words of comfort

The paper says that the couple repeat a mantra in Portuguese, that was given them by the priest who spoke at the first Sunday Mass after Madeleine’s disappearance. Translated, it means “hope, strength, courage”.


Posted: 3rd, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (260)

Madeleine McCann On Your Doormat And In The Loire Valley

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: MADELEINE: Parents are to sue over claims they gave her fatal overdose. (Plus page 7, with logo: THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE: Day 120).

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER brings the news that the McCanns’ legal action is against the Portuguese publication Tal & Qual. (The Express, of course, has dutifully repeated all the allegations and smears that have emanated from the Portuguese press, for the delectation and disgust of Maddywatchers back home.) Spokeswoman Justine McGuinness says the McCanns “are not going to be a doormat any more”.

Meanwhile, the paper says the hunt has switched to a campsite in the Loire valley after sightings by holidaymakers.

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 2: Madeleine parents to sue newspaper

The Telegraph reports that the McCanns say they are suing to clear their name, not for the money.

THE TIMES page 5: Candle of hope for Madeleine

The paper says that Madeleine’s classmates “said a poignant prayer” yesterday, on what should have been her first day at school.

DAILY MAIL page 6: McCanns to sue over ‘killers’ slur

The paper says the McCanns believe it is time to stand firm against the allegations.

DAILY MIRROR page 11: Maddy school’s prayers

The paper says the McCanns spent a quiet day with their twins in Praia da Luz.

THE STAR page 22: SCHOOL’S SAD WAIT FOR MISSING MADDIES: Chair and locker are saved for her

The empty chair, locker and coat peg are once again invoked. Bishop Ellis headteacher Gail Neill says: “We are deeply saddened that we cannot yet welcome Madeleine McCann.”


The paper also reports on the candle that is being kept burning at the school.

THE INDEPENDENT and THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 31st, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (459)

Madeleine McCann: Shooting A Plea

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

DAILY EXPRESS, front page: ‘SYRINGE FOUND IN MADELEINE’S APARTMENT’: Parents’ anger at new claims they drugged her. (Plus pages 4 and 5, with logo: THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE: Day 119”).

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER brings new Maddy gossip – the “dramatic” claim in the Portuguese press that the McCanns might have been sedating their children to help them sleep, and accidentally given Madeleine an overdose.

DAILY TELEGRAPH, page 14: School peg waiting but Maddy misses her very first day

The paper publishes its version of a story run in other papers yesterday, when the headteacher said that a place had been kept for Madeleine.

THE TIMES, page 23: Father’s plea to Madeleine abductor

The paper records that Gerry McCann issued an appeal to Madeleine’s abductor, saying: “It is not too late to do the right thing.”

DAILY MAIL, page 41: Save your soul and give us back our Madeleine, pleads father

The paper says the appeal “was being seen as a last-ditch attempt by Mr McCann and his wife Kate to get their daughter back before making the painful decision to return home to Rothley, Leicestershire, after almost four months in the Algarve.”


“Sometimes people do things for reasons even they cannot understand, “ says Mr McCann “An act of madness, an accident or sudden impulse can lead to consequences that people may never have imagined or intended. Faced with such a situation we believe any human soul will ultimately suffer torment and feelings of guilt and fear. If you have done something you regret, if you are in a situation you never intended, it is not too late to do the right thing.”

THE STAR, page 17: SYRINGE THAT ‘KNOCKED OUT MADDIE’ FOUND: Family fury at new claims

The paper quotes McCann spokeswoman Justine McGuinness saying that the parents hae already denied using sedatives on their children.

THE SUN, page 33: IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO DO THE RIGHT THING: Gerry’s plea to Maddy kidnapperThe paper reports Mr McCann’s “heart-rending plea”. And provides a lin to the Sun’s Maddie poster (“in five languages”).

THE INDEPENDENT, page 8: McCann’s plea to abductor

The paper reports briefly on Mr McCann’s “extraordinary plea”.

THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 30th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (411)

Madeleine McCann: Cracking Stuff And Empty Desks

mccann1.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS, front page: “MADELEINE: FATHER STORMS OUT OF TV INTERVIEW: He erupts in fury at ‘blood on the wall’ question”. Plus pages 8 and 9, with logo (“THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE: Day 118”).

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER tells how Gerry McCann “finally buckled under pressure” and left his “shaken” wife to face a Spanish TV interviewer. The paper thinks the incident is “certain to heighten speculation that the enormous pressure of the hunt for Madeleine is beginning to take its toll” – not that the Express is contributing to any speculation, of course.

DAILY TELEGRAPH, page 9: “Madeleine’s father storms out of interview”

The paper says that after a few minutes, Gerry return to the Spanish prime-time programme. Mrs McCann held Madeleine’s toy Cuddle Cat. She told the presenter that he “had not stepped out of line”. (The Express version claims that Kate “Blamed the outburst on the line of questioning”.

THE TIMES, page 23: “Madeleine’s father walks out of TV interview”

The paper says that tension started to build after the interviewer asked: “You were the last people to see Madeleine alive, is that correct?” Mr McCann replied that they would not divulge anything about the investigation that might help the perpretrator cover his tracks.

DAILY MAIL, page 11: “McCann storms off”

The paper claims that Mr McCann “finally cracked”. Then he “ranted and waved his arms around before marching off”.


“Madeleine McCann’s dad rips off his mic and storms out of a TV broadcast after an interviewer quizzes him over details about his daughter’s disappearance.” Wife Kate “looked on in disbelief at the fiery outburst”. The McCann’s spokeswoman Justine McGuinness “rubbished” reports that their marriage was on the rocks, saying: “They are very happy.”


Gerry “stormed out” according to the Star’s version of events.

THE SUN, page 22: “WE’LL KEEP A DESK EMPTY FOR MADDIE: School pledge on her first day”

The paper also informs us that a coat peg and locker have been set aside at the Bishop Ellis Catholic primary school in Thurmaston. Headteacher Gail Neill said that a candle burns for Madeleine too.

THE INDEPENDENT and THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 29th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (349)

MADDYWATCH: Madeleine McCann’s Family House

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


It reports that a “devastating blow” has been struck – which turns out to be the news that the DNA tests will not be ready for weeks. The tests are being carried out at the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham, so there is no opportunity to blame the Portuguese authorities on this occasion. The paper has to content itself with the comment that the tests are being delayed by “the nature of the evidence”.

The paper notes that as the McCanns try to come to terms with losing Madeleine “they continually face new accusations”.

It then lists these “vicious smears” and describes each one in detail: “Kate’s guilt”, “Drugging their children”, “Wife-swapping holidays”, “Excessive drinking”, “Children left to cry”, “Killed in the apartment”, “A body in the hire car”, “Emergency call delay”, “Intercepted phone calls and emails”, “Friends under suspicion”, “Forged birth certificate”.

For reasons best known to itself, the paper prints a picture of the McCanns’ home, with a caption noting that it is worth £600,000.

THE STAR: Most of page 9. “DIVIDED IN GRIEF: Pals fear Maddie parents’ rift. “Friends” are apparently “concerned about GP Kate’s crestfallen body language”.

Portuguese newspapers are accusing the police of driving a wedge between the couple to test their individual accounts of what happened on the fateful night. They also claim that a rift has developed over the media campaign.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Small box, page 2. “Expert warns McCanns of long wait for DNA results” The paper reports on the delays, and says that the McCanns have been advised not to return to Britain until the results are known.

OTHER PAPERS: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 28th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (386)

MADDYWATCH: A Day Of Madeleine McCann


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

DAILY EXPRESS: Front page, plus pages 4 and 5, with logo (“THE HUNT FOR MADELEINE: Day 116”).

The paper reports that “the campaign of slurs against Kate and Gerry McCann continued last night after it was claimed the scent of a corpse had been detected on their car keys.”

The allegations, from a Portuguese paper were “the latest in a long line of lurid and hurtful stories hinting that the couple were somehow to blame for their daughter’s disappearance”.

The Express also announces (in a prominent headline): “Madeleine’s father loses faith in police”. Close reading of the article reveals this to be the paper’s own interpretation of Gerry McCann’s comments to the press that “obviously there is no sign of a breakthrough” and that “the only way I’ll be happy is when Madeleine is found”.

THE SUN: Small column on page 9 (“Maddie father in cop rap”). The paper infers that Mr McCann “hinted that he had lost faith in the police investigation”.

THE DAILY MIRROR: A third of page 11. “MADDY: IT’S OVER” – headline confusingly placed above a picture of Kylie “showing off her new look”. The paper confidently states that Mr McCann has lost faith in the police and “plans to wind down the media campaign”

DAILY STAR: Two-thirds of page 19. “We just can’t take much more of this” reads the headline, referring to the smear stories about the car keys. The story also refers to Mr McCann’s appearance at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, at which he said of the media coverage: “I don’t think it’s necessary in terms of bombarding people on a daily basis with Madeleine’s image.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: One twentieth of page 6: “Father’s frustration over Maddy inquiry”. Notable only for the use of the tabloid-style “Maddy” in the headline – a name the McCanns have never used. Quotes Mr McCann as wanting to “get to the bottom of things”.

THE INDEPENDENT: One third of page 12 (media section): “Madeleine’s father in attack on media pack”. The paper says that Mr McCann told the Edinburgh audience that the levels of sensationalism in some of the news reporting had been unbelievable. He also TV for “saturation coverage with nothing to report.” The paper says that “some of TV’s news executives shifted uncomfortably in their seats”. Whether through embarrassment or physical discomfort after a long lunch is not explained.

THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news today.

Posted: 27th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (131)

Recycling Madeleine McCann In The Express

david-beckham.jpgTHE Express stands for recycling. And thanks to limited writing and Madeleine McCann’s continuing disappearance, the paper’s readers have felt no interruption to their routine.

This is journalism with a conscience.

This is the Express’s front-page “MADELEINE”. And today that word tops the news: “MUM’S FURY AT ‘YOU KILLED HER’ SLUR.”

Mum is Kate McCann, known to thousands of Express readers as “anguished” Kate McCann. And she is furious that a TV reporter has had the temerity to suggest that she might have had a hand in her daughter’s disappearance.

She is “horrified and deeply upset” that Sandra Felgueiras, “one of Portugal’s top presenters, a kind of swarthier and blonder Anthea Turner, “intimated” that Kate and her husband Gerry could have killed their child.

The Express says the McCanns are seeking a tape of Felguerias’s broadcast. Given that you can get most things on YouTube, this search should be simple.

Although the McCanns may be disappointed with what they find, or pleased. “As Felgueiras says: “I never said that and I never insinuated anything like that.”

She interviewed the McCanns two weeks back and asked them if those blood samples found in their holiday apartment could have come from Madeleine. Had she had an accident that made her bleed? She says the McCanns did not answer the question.

“If anything, I was far more moderate than other broadcasters and reminded viewers that’s this was just speculation.”

So much for Portuguese TV news. We’ll stick with the Express…

More here

Posted: 24th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (95)

Reliving Madeleine McCann’s Missing Moments

madeleine-mccann-missing-poster.jpg“’WE’VE LET MADELEINE DOWN.’”

The Express is watching the McCanns. And it transcribes the “agonising moment” when Kate McCann realised her daughter had gone. “We’ve let her down, we’ve let her down,” she sobs. “

What light this sheds on the case is unclear. But the Express realises that no detail, however trivial, invasive and voyeuristic should be overlooked.

And it duly delivers the “extraordinary details” as told by a neighbour of the McCanns in Praia da Luz. This is “mum’s amazing outburst”.

Pamela Fenn, 81, lives in the flat above where the McCanns were staying. She says two night before Madeleine went missing she heard a toddler crying “Daddy, daddy” constantly between 10:30 and 11:45pm.

The crying is said to have stopped when the parents retuned to the apartment.

And on the night Madeleine went missing, Mrs Fenn also says she heard crying from below.

The sound of children crying… What can it mean?

Does the Mirror know? While the Express watches the parents, the Mirror is watching the detectives.

And it senses news. A development. The Mirror’s front page goes: “MADELEINE COPS: ‘She died by accident in the flat.’”

A source says the Portuguese police think Madeleine is dead and that it happened in the flat.

“COPS: WE HAVE THE EVIDENCE,” says another headline. And readers learn that the three detectives leading the search for Madeleine “insist they have evidence to show she died in her parents’ flat”.

Given Portugal’s secrecy laws, it seems odd that a meeting between the top three detectives should be accidentally leaked to the press.

It was only yesterday we heard the police spokesman say that all lines of enquiry remain open. We were told that the police have no firm evidence and if they did they would make an arrest.

Ad now they have “evidence”, although of what, remains to be deduced…

Posted: 23rd, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (473)

Brian Reade Sees Madeleine McCann In Cornwall

A LITTLE Madeleine McCann opportunism in the Mirror. Brain Reade uses the missing child to illustrate the impoverished state of Cornwall’s fire service.

Says he: “In bars across the land, the police involved in the Madeleine McCann case have been kicked senseless over their delayed reaction to her disappearance and the lack of manpower thrown at the case in the crucial initial stages. Which is fair enough.”

Yes, let’s give the foreign police a good kicking. Not that we need telling.
Reade goes on: “But what is our outrage over the disappearance (presumed dead) of two British citizens, along with the corpse of another, in an English holiday resort on Saturday night?

Reade speaks of the fire at Cornwall’s Penhallow Hotel, which has left three people missing and “dozens, of others, including children, mentally scarred”.

Says he: “Due to enforced changes, fire cover in Newquay is provided by ‘retrained’ part-timers.”

None of the fire personnel are believed to be Portuguese, although some may have been to the Algarve…

Posted: 23rd, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (10)

What’s Your Line On Madeleine McCann?


Or, as the Mirror’s front-page headline puts it: “DON’T GO HOME.”

Both papers feature the familiar picture of Madeleine McCann’s face. The Mirror talks of “hopes” of a “swift breakthrough in the case”.

The Express is, as ever, less circumspect, and says “a major breakthrough was imminent”. And, as yesterday, the investigation is at “crucial stage”.

So the McCanns won’t go home?

Here’s a “police source” to tell Express readers: “There is nothing to stop the McCanns going home. They are not suspects but we have told them it is not good timing because the investigation has changed. It is active now to assume that Madeleine is dead.”

So they can go home. The police have not told the McCanns to remain in Portugal. The Mirror’s source says “there could be developments”.

For starters, we now know “There is more than one person involved’.” Says police spokesman Olegario Sousa: “It’s natural than in a crime of this nature more than one person is involved.” But he can’t be certain. He adds: “If it was committed by one person, it would be difficult to resolve the case because only he or she knows what they did.”

Good to know that this case, now in its fourth month, is not as hard to crack as it could be. Says Sousa: “We don’t have a final view of what happened.”

So it could be one person. Or two. Or none. But there is a breakthrough imminent. “Do you think if we had the name we’d be waiting to arrest them?” asks Sousa.

The Express listens to this and manages to deduce from it, “police gave a rare official assurance that the investigation was nearing completion”.

Says Sousa: “The things that could happen depend on the decision of the group investigating the case.”

And: “We have already said that all lines are still open.”

And Madeleine McCann is missing…

Posted: 22nd, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (367)

Madeleine McCann’s Decisive Moments

madeleine-mccann-poster.jpg“MADELEINE: ALL POLICE LEAVE IS CANCELLED.”

Last week the Express told us that the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann had reached a “critical” stage. Today the paper enters the “decisive phase”.

We now know a critical stage lasts for one month. How long the decisive phase endures depends on how soon Portuguese police receive the forensic report on a “critical clue”.

This could also take a month. But the Express says this tiny scrap of evidence “has allowed detectives to build up a remarkably clear picture of what happened to Madeleine in the hours after she was taken”.

The paper does not say what this evidence is, only that police have refused to discuss it.

So the Express mentions the specks of blood found on the wall of the McCanns’ apartment, the ones identified as not being from Madeleine.

The Express says police have refused to say where this vital clue was discovered, but the Express narrows it down to either the apartment at the Ocean Club resort or one of 10 vehicles rigorously examined earlier this month.

Or it might be from one of the coastal areas around Praia da Luz searched by police. The Express hears that Madeleine might have been killed and thrown into the sea, or as the “credible” evidence once told us, her body “BURIED UNDER ROCKS” (the Mirror).

But whodunnit? The Express says “a possible suspect” is under surveillance in Britain. Is this person more possible or less possible than the last possible ‘suspect’ James Gorrod? And isn’t Robert Murat in Portugal?

We are not told. All we know is that after 110 days, the net is closing. This is, says the Express, the “final phase”.

And it might go on for months…

Posted: 21st, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (363)