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.

Not Another Madeleine McCann

madeleine-mccann-daily-express.jpg“MANY of us had begun to fear the worst, especially in the light of Madeleine McCann.”

The words of “butcher” Shaun who had been looking for his five-year-old son Alex.

The Express helps in the Hunt for Shaun and finds him hiding beneath his bed. Incredibly, the Express find time to take a picture of Shaun in hiding mode and delivers it to its readers by way of a guide: “If you child goes missing, look here.”

Readers learn that 11 people have searched Alex’s bedroom, making us wonder how large the room is. Teenagers were looking for him by the waterfront. Neighbours were frantic.

A police helicopter flew around Saltash for an hour. Twelve officers are on the look out for Alex.

And then, with the help of a police dog team, he is found.

Says Ms Olver: “I’m so grateful for everyone who helped us. Their support was overwhelming and we will never forget it.”

That’s one child saved. But the work is never done…

Posted: 27th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (16)

Madeleine McCann: Bushra Binhisa, Bouchra Benaissa And The Irishman

bouchra2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.


• Girls in Morocco is NOT Madeleine
• Police insists: We know she’s dead

It’s heartbreak, but for whom? The McCanns, who remain suspects, or Daily Express readers who want our Maddy found?

The Madeleine lookalike seen in Morocco – we’ll she’s blonde-ish – is Bushra Binhisa. She bears a “striking resemblance to Madeleine”. As we say, she’s sort of blonde.

Pages 8 and 9: “It’s terrible this is not Madeleine.”

“I saw that little face. It was her,” says Spanish tourist Isabel Gonzalez. She saw a blonde toddler in Morocco. “I screamed at my husband for him to stop the car…but by the time we had stopped and jumped out, the woman and the girl had disappeared…I was in tears, distraught, and I felt totally powerless. I am a mother so I can imagine what Madeleine’s parents must be going through.”

“Police take a swipe at parents” – a Police Judiceria source says the McCanns are trying to deflect attention away from themselves.

A senior police source says the McCanns are using “diversionary tactics”.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “I am Not Maddy.”

No, the little girl remains Bouchra Benaissa. Or she might be Bushra Binhisa (see Express).

Pages 4 and 5: the Benaissa family have six cows, several goats, a small olive grove and vegetable patch. Their home has three bedrooms and a wood-burning stove. Neither parent is a doctor.

THE SUN front page: “ANGUISH FOR KATE. Morocco photo was local girl Bouchra.” She is aged 3. In the Express she is aged 5.

Page 7: Ahmed poses with his wife and daughter Bouchra. Says he: “I am very sorry the little English girl is still missing and hope she is found safe and sound.”

Two more women say they have seen Madeleine in Morocco.

Fatima Marzouki, of Birmingham, says she saw Madeleine in Agadir. There are rumours she is being held in a caravan there by an Irish traveller called John. Her friend Helen McPherson thinks she saw Madeleine in Marrakech.

DAILY MAIL front page: “The truth about that Maddie photo.”

Pages 10 and 11: “No, she isn’t Madeleine.”

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE STILL IN HOLIDAY RESORT. Morocco pic NOT her..cops says she NEVER left Portugal.”

Pages 4 and 5: “LITTLE GIRL THE WORLD PRAYED WOULD BE MADELEINE.” It’s Bushra Binhisa again. Where’s Bouchra? What have they down with Bouchra?

Page 6: “Forget sightings…Maddie was killed in room say police.”

THE TIMES page 3: “Found – but it’s not Madeleine.”

Clarence Mitchell says: “This Spanish couple did the right thing and we urge others to do the same.” So if you see ‘Madeleine McCann’ you too should go to the papers and appear on the radio.

THE GUARDIAN page 15: “Spanish tourist’s claims of Madeline sighting in Morocco proves false.” Carla Torres, the Spanish tourist, says “It either is her, or she’s got a twin sister.” Do all blonde children look the same to Spaniards? The plot thickens.

THE INDEPENDENT page 6: “McCanns despair as picture of girl in Morocco is child of local farmer.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Child pictured in Morocco is not Madeleine.” It’s Bouchra Ben Aisa. She looks a lot like Bushra Binhisa and even more like Bouchra Benaissa.

But she is not Madeleine McCann.

Posted: 27th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (768)

Madeleine McCann: Blonde Child Seen In Morocco

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

DAILY MAIL front page: “Could this be Maddie?”

Readers see a picture of a child being carried on a woman’s back – “The intriguing picture being probed by Interpol.”

Pages 10 and 11: “Could this really be Maddie?”

This is the picture of a girl “in the clutches of a group of Moroccans”. The picture was taken four weeks ago near Tangiers by Spaniard Clara Torres.


Readers see the same picture. The Full “astonishing story” is on pages 4 and 5.

Pages 4 and 5: “COULD IT BE?” Less the full story than another question.

“GERRY: I KNOW WE WILL BE CLEARED” – Gerry McCann says he and his wife “wanted to be eliminated from the enquiry as quickly as possible”. Some news.


The picture is “sensational”. It has been described as “convincing”, but by whom is not said.


Clara Torres is talking on Spanish radio. She looks at the photo. Says she: “It sent shivers down my spine.”


‘Photo’ is placed in quotes lest readers mistake the picture for a ‘SNAP’ or a ‘SHOT’.

Spanish Government official Jose Herrero Arcas says: “The National Police received a photograph by email taken by a young Spanish couple who believe it shows Madeleine McCann. The quality of the photograph is not very clear and it was taken from around 200 metres away. However, the National Police are taking the claim seriously enough to have sent it on to their colleagues at Interpol. I cannot give any more information than that.”


Pages 4 and 5: “MADDIE SEEN IN MOROCCO – Bombshell new photo is probed by Interpol.”

THE TIMES front page: “Police start investigation into ‘picture in Morocco of Madeleine McCann’.”

Page 5: “New photograph shows child like Madeleine on African woman’s back.”

A source close to the McCanns tells one and all: “The McCanns are not going to get their hopes up until the photograph has been sent for forensic examination.” And, dare it be said, a DNA test.

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Is this Madeleine in Morocco?” The search for the missing child has taken a “dramatic turn”.

Page 9: “Gerry McCann is “confident” he and his wife will be cleared. A source tells us: “It is very unlikely that British police would question the McCanns on behalf of the Portuguese now.”

Robert Murat responds to claims by nanny Charlotte Pennington that on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance he was by the McCann family apartment: “I certainly was not there that night. At no point was I there.”


In Mororcco?

The Sightings So Far

Posted: 26th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,153)

Madeleine McCann: A House Of Love, Find the Body & What Kate McCann Screamed

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

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. ‘FIND BODY OR McCANNS WILL ESCAPE’ – Prosecutors ultimatum to Portuguese police.”

The case against Kate and Gerry McCanns is “hanging by a thread”.

A police sources says: “There is a determination within the force to bring this investigation to a satisfactory conclusion but there is a growing fear that without a body, that goal will be impossible.”

Pages 4 and 5: “Our reputation is tarnished forever” – Each day the McCanns prepare themselves for the “worst case scenario”. No, not that they will be wrongly convicted, rather they will learn of Madeleine’s death.

Clarence Mitchell says: “In the middle of this people forget this is still a family who are potentially facing bereavement but are still in that awful limbo position of not knowing what has happened to their daughter.” Thankfully Mr Mitchell is on hand to remind people of this every day.

“Doubts on the McCanns by a lie detector expert” – THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER asks John Ryan, of International Truth Verification Technologies Institute, to listen to Kate McCann’s voice. Says she: “However I think there is some sort of deception when I hear the lady speaking, either over the event or in avoiding showing her true feelings”.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADELEINE – find a body or there is no case.”

Page 5: “Gerry and Kate have often talked about the possibility of Madeleine being found dead. That would be the worst news but it would at least give them some..CLOSURE”. So says a “source close to the legal team”.

Antonio Cluny, President of the Public Prosecution Service, says: “Without the little girl’s body, everything is complicated… In the Maddy case, there is no confession and, according to what has been made public, the evidence gathered up until now keeps all leads open – from abduction to homicide or at least to a simple accident”.

DAILY MAIL front page: “EXCLUSIVE: Eyewitness reveals Maddie’s mother DID shout: ‘They’ve taken her’ after four-year-old vanished. WHAT KATE DID SCREAM.”

Nanny Charlotte Pennington is in Praia da Luz. She hears Kate McCann scream: “They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her!” The McCanns say Kate screamed “Madeleine’s gone”.

Sensation. Front-page news.

Page 4: “Nanny Pennington, who worked at the Ocean Club, is pictured. She’s wearing a brown beret and a pink coat. Her tights are black. Her legs are crossed.

“I was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone. When we were coming out we saw Kate and she was screaming: ‘They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her’… It might not have been the first thing she said. But she definitely said it.”


“She also repeated Madeleine’s name and said: ‘She’s gone, she’s gone.’”

Anyone hear anything else?

THE SUN page 24: “MADDIE LAW CHIEF: NO BODY, NO CASE.” Antonio Clunes says: “There have been cases in which it was possible to obtain a conviction without a victim – but there were confessions.”

But the McCanns are innocent, says a source. And they are not confessing. They are talking through their spokesperson.

DAILY STAR front page: “COPS CLOSE IN ON MADDIE. Final pieces of tragic jigsaw falling into place.”

Pages 4 and 5: “FIND THE BODY OR THEY WALK. Law bosses tell Portuguese cops to step up hunt.”

“TWINS’ HOUSE OF LOVE” – Clarence Mitchell says the McCanns have built a “house of love” for their family. Mr Mitchell says the McCanns are living “every parent’s worst nightmare times ten”. Mr Mitchell used to work for the tabloid press.

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 13: “Case against McCanns ‘rests on finding body’.”

Clarence Mitchell says: “They did not harm, let alone kill her.”

THE TIMES page 11: “No body, no conviction says McCann police.”


The Sensation So Far 

Posted: 25th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,296)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Innocent, Private Detectives & Kate McCann’s Hot Lips

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “WE’LL FIND HER OURSELVES. Maddy parents bring in SAS private detectives”.

Kate and Gerry McCann have hired Control Risk Group, billed as a “crack security firm”, to find their daughter.

Page 5: “THE PROFESSIONALS” – There’s TV show in this. The Portuguese police could be the Keystone Cops, at least that’s what the tabloid press portrays them as.

“Millionaire ex-double glazing boss” is the mystery benefactor paying McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell’s wages. The former window cleaner owns Sale Sharks ruby union club. Look out for their new sponsor.

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. ‘McCanns ARE LYING’ – Portuguese police says friends are in cover-up.”

Robert Murat is to be told he will not face charges. Kate and Gerry McCann will be the only named suspects.

“SMILING” – The WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPERS leads with a picture of Kate McCann grinning.

Pages 4 and 5: “Kidnap? We just don’t; believe it.” It is reported in Portugal that an unnamed Irishman has come forward to say he was in the same place as the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner. She told police she had seen a man carrying child dashing from the Ocean Club resort in the direction of Robert Murat’s home. The new witness says he saw no-one.

“’GUILT’ OF PARENTS – More than 60 per cent think the couple know what has happened to Madeleine.”

“WHEN KATE WAS HOT LIPS HEALEY” – 15 YEARS AGO Kate was nicknamed hot lips for her resemblance to Loretta Swit in TV comedy M*A*S*H. The Express has seen her Dundee University year book and the comments – “Kate was great fun”; “renowned for alcoholic binges and some ‘dance till you drop’ nocturnal activities”; “she was certainly more interested in going to the pub than she was in her studies” etc.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE: PARENTS ARE LYING. Cops say McCanns & friends tried to frame suspect Murat.”

Pages 4 and 5: “McCANNS ‘ARE LYING’.”

A phone poll: “DO YOU BELIEVE THE McCANNS ARE LYING?” Let’s see if we can top that 60 per cent in the Star’s sister paper the Daily Express. Vote now and vote often.

THE SUN pages 12 and 13: “TWIN’S LIFT FOR MUM AND DAD.”

Kate and Gerry McCann are with son Sean. They have been to Mass. Kate sobs when Ave Maria is sung. Daughter Amelie is in nursery school. She is plying with the Cuddle Cat. She bursts into laughter, “her giggles rang around the building”.

DAILY MAIL front page: “Madeleine:

• Ex-SAS team joins hunt
• New sighting in Morocco
• Kate breaks down in church
• Police accused over forensics”

Page 8: “McCanns hire an ex-SAS team to hunt for Maddie.”

“Second witness supports sighting in Morocco” – Remember when Marl Pollard said she saw Madeleine in Morocco? Now we lean that a man also saw Madeleine in Morocco.

THE INDEPENDENT PAGE 17: “Murat no longer suspect.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 10: “McCanns hired detective firm with ex-SAS men”. Under Portuguese law, the McCanns are not permitted to carry out their own investigation in Portugal. But they can investigate in other countries.

THE TIMES front page: “McCann investigators” – McCanns hire private security firm.

Pages 12 and 13: “How they managed to turn campaign around.” The McCanns are “winning the propaganda war”. They have gone on the “offensive”.

A family source says: “It is for the police to prove they are guilty.”

GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news today.

The Speculation So Far…

Posted: 24th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,048)

Madeleine McCann: Missing Hours, Found Again And A PR Disaster

mccannsdm2109_468×312.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE DAD AGONY. Fiend hid from Gerry. He was already in room he tells cops.”

A source close to the family says: “When Gerry went to check on Madeleine at 9.05pm he realised the bedroom door was open. Gerry is firmly of the view the abductor was already in the apartment.”

It’s another theory.

“When he went in he saw Madeleine was asleep but the bedroom door was slightly open. He thought, ‘That’s odd’ because he had left it firmly closed. But all the children were asleep. So he just went in and closed the door again and came out about 9.10pm.”

Good to hear Gerry McCann joining in the mood of speculation?

“Gerry is convinced the man must have been hiding, and once Gerry went through the patio doors the only way out was through the window. The front door was locked so the kidnapper took Madeleine and climbed out the window.”

DAILY MIRROR front page: “HOW SHE WAS TAKEN. The McCanns’ story.”

“Stolen to order after being spied on for days
Abductor hid in flat as Gerry looked in on kids
He got in through patio doors and out by window”

Gerry is a “heart specialist”.

Says a source: “When Gerry leaves, the man realises he has only a few minutes. He thinks the only way to get out without being seen is through the window.”

And: “Initially he thought Madeleine might have got up and gone to the toilet, or to get a drink or something.”

So what has changed? Why a new theory now, with a new spokesman on hand and the McCanns named as suspects?

DAILY STAR front page: “SEVEN HOURS TO KLILL MADDIE. Police probe her ‘lost’ final afternoon”


Police sources reveal that “despite exhaustive inquiries they cannot confirm the whereabouts of part-time GP Kate, 39, and her daughter after 1.29pm on May 3”. A source said Kate’s movements were “unaccounted for until she sat down to have dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant within their holiday complex at around 8.40pm”.

The last photograph of Madeleine was said to have been taken by Kate at 2.29pm on May 3.

DAILY MAIL: “McCanns: What we really did in the missing six hours.”

“Madeleine had high tea at 5.30pm with staff at the Kids Club. She was picked up shortly before 6pm by Kate and Gerry.”

The friend insisted: “Kate was never alone with Madeleine that afternoon. There were always other witnesses present. These details were all given to detectives during police interviews, so they know what Kate and Gerry said happened that day.”

So no missing hours, then?

THE TIMES front page: “MADELEINE McCANN: Matthew Parris laments a PR disaster.

“The fatal flaw of David Cameron and Kate and Gerry McCann” – Our correspondent looks at the baleful influence of the marketing men.

“Look what they’ve done to Kate and Gerry McCann. Here were two people deserving of the most intense public sympathy. On a superficial level they got it – by the media bucketload. Yet did you not sense from an early stage an undertone of irritation at the couple? I’ve sensed it everywhere I go: not a sign of doubt about their innocence, which most of us take for granted, but a feeling, nevertheless, that they in some way invited trouble – though we banish the thought as brutal and wrong.

“Which it is. So why the ungenerosity? I believe it is because Kate and Gerry McCann have allowed an impression to arise that they and their advisers are marketing their own tragedy. Where we would have expected to see parents distracted and disorganised by grief, we have seen a professionally run campaign to find out what the media want, and give it to them.

“This has been done for a most defensible reason: to enlist the entire European public as amateur detectives in the search for Madeleine. But now her parents have ended up looking like film stars in a Hollywood weepy.”

“Put up or shut up, Madeleine McCann police told” – Friend of McCanns counters claims of ‘lost’ six hours before girl vanished

DAILY TELEGRPAH: “Madeleine McCann: Gerry certain he was in bedroom with kidnapper”

THE GUARDIAN: “From prime suspects to hounded victims – how parents turned the media tide”

The Story So Far

Posted: 22nd, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,536)

Madeleine McCann: Lie Test, The Final Word And A Pet Crematorium

kate-and-gerry-mccann-2.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.


A source tells the paper: “They’re happy to do anything that will clear them. If they were asked to take a lie detector test by police, they’d agree.”

To borrow the brand slogan, look into their eyes.

Given the McCanns media savvy, why not take one on Trisha, the daytime TV show. Those results after the break…

Pages 4 and 5: “MADELEINE’S GONE..MADELEINE’S GONE..What mum REALLY sobbed night she vanished.”

A witness tells all. The paper says Kate McCann did not discover Madeleine vanished and say “They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her”.

“’BODY WAS BURIED IN DAD DOG’” – The Mirror sees the latest “crackpot theory” explored by Portuguese police, who questions the owner of a “pet incinerator”.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE BODY BURNED. Cops search remains at pet crematorium”


Ready? Here goes. And feel free to join in and add your own ideas:

“An intruder climbed through the window after forcing open the shutters…
“The culprit would have sneaked past the sleeping twins…
“The McCanns could not see the patio doors from their restaurant…”

Page 8: “Father Jose Pacheco is alive and in good health. He went missing, as you recall. And whatever Kate and Gerry McCann told him, if anything, he will not say. As the headline thunders: “I’LL TAKE SECRETS TO THE GRAVE.”

DAILY MAIL pages 12 and 13: “She’s gone, she’s gone: what Kate really cried.”

“THE KEY SIGHTING” – Friends of the McCanns claim the stranger seen walking away from the holiday complex “apparently with a child in his arms, was heading towards former chief suspect Robert Murat’s home”.

THE SUN front page: “Maddie parents: We’ll do lie test.”

Pages 14 and 15: “NEW WITNESS BLOWS HOLE IN COPS’ CASE. Madeleine has gone.”

Mark Warner holidays are treating 30 travel agents to an all-expenses paid trip to their compound from where Madeleine went missing.


JOHN ‘GAUNTY’ GAUNT says: “McCanns left 3 children alone…they’re bad parents, Get them in court.”

LORRAINE ‘KELZA’ KELLY says: “They made a mistake, lost a daughter..and have nothing to do with it.”

THE TIMES page 5: “Bomb man questioned in Madeleine hunt.”

Eef Hoos, who owns the pet incinerator, is a convicted terrorist. He was jailed for seven years for a “series of bomb attacks” in the Netherlands.


“Was she burnt at pet crematorium?” That question to you, Lorraine Kelly.

Pages 4 and 5: “The Express has a picture of “convicted bomber” Eef Hoos. The furnaces are in two converted freight containers. He says he has never spoken with the McCanns.

The Express see seals on the doors of the incinerators and deduces that that they have not been used since March when condemned by police.

THE INDEPENDENT page 31: “McCanns shock at finding daughter missing was genuine, says witness.”

THE GUARDIAN: No Madeleine news.

The Story So Far

Posted: 21st, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (883)

Madeleine McCann: Team McCann The Armada, Bugging Calls And ‘Inhuman’ Kate

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

THE SUN front page: “Cops to Maddie parents: We have nothing.”

Pages 4 and 5: Portuguese police are “understood” to have bugged the McCanns’ mobile phones, placed a tracking device on their car and checked their emails.

Con by lawyer: “Master swindler” Paul Bint, dubbed “King Con”, pretended to be a lawyer representing the McCanns to cheat money from a businesswoman. To date, Bint has posed as a ballet dancer, a policeman and a duke.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “WE ARE BEING BUGGED – Phone eavesdrop fear of Madeleine parents.”

A friend of the McCanns says that Gerry McCann will “often refuse” to talk on mobiles because he considers Landlines “safer”.

Kate and Gerry feel they are “being watched all the time”. (See Mirror’s front-page and BBC news.)

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. NOW THE MYSTERY DEEPENS. Case is wide open again as judge say parents will NOT face more questions.”

Page 2: “It’s back to nursery for the twins as life goes on.” Madeleine’s twin siblings Sean and Amelie are back in class. “They enjoyed it,” says Clarence Mitchell, giving up-to-the-minute briefings from the sandpit.

Page 3: “New slur: ‘Kate is inhuman, even animals will look after their young’.”

The WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER is shocked and deeply saddened by goings on in the Portuguese press. A Filomena Teixeira, whose son was abducted nine years ago, tells magazine TV 7 Dais the McCanns are “human beings at their worst”. The magazine notes: “Instead of calling Sky News she contacted the boy’s friends, the fireman and the police. At the same time she never dreamed of contacting the press or a PR.”

A newspaper labels the McCanns and their PR team the “British Armada”.

Pages 4 and 5: “Now police bug parents and track every move they make.”

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADDIE CASE IN MELTDOWN. Police told: There’s not enough evidence to quiz McCanns again.”

Pages 6 and 7: “British police bugging calls.”

THE TIMES front page: “Police ‘have found no new evidence against the McCanns’.”

Pages 10 and 11: “Who is who in Team McCann.”

Clarence Mitchell: Kate and Gerry’s official spokesman
Michael Caplan, QC: Lawyer who prevented extradition to Spain of former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet
Angus McBride: Criminal solicitor
Carolos Pinto de Abreu: Portuguese lawyer
Esther McVey: Former GMTV presenter and Tory parliamentary candidate. Spokeswoman for Madeleine Fund. Has known Kate McCann since A-levels
Father Haynes Hubbard: Anglican priest at church of Nossa Senhora da Luz.
Calum MacRae:2 18-year-old producer of Find Madeleine website
Philomena McCann: Gerry McCann’s sister. A head teacher.
Trish and Sandy Cameron: Gerry McCann’s sister and brother-in-law

No mention of Robert Murat, the other named suspect.

DAILY STAR front page: “POLICE SET TO DIG FOR MADDIE.” Police have tracked the phone records of Kate and Gerry McCann. They have studied their movements. And now they are ready to send in infra-red equipments and sniffer dogs.

Pages 4 and 5: “DIG FOR MADDIE BEGINS.”

THE GUARDIAN front page: “McCanns: further questions ruled out.”

The Portuguese attorney general says there is not enough evidence to justify questioning Kate and Kerry McCann.

Luis Bilro Verao tells one and all: “No new evidence justifying further questioning has emerged since September 7.” So that’s it? Er, no. The McCanns will remain suspects until “not line of investigation” has been excluded.

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “McCanns will not be re-interrogated.”

Page 9: “Madeleine’s last dance with father.” Restaurant owner Miguel Matias says he saw Madeleine eating ice-cream and fruit juice before dancing with Gerry. It was May 3, the day she vanished. Says he:” We didn’t see anyone suspicious looking at the girl.”

THE INDEPENDENT page 19: “Pressure on McCanns eases as police back off.” Clarence Mitchell says: “On the face of it, it does appear to be encouraging.”

The Story So Far

Posted: 20th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,295)

Madeleine McCann: Justine McGuinness Speaks

2baby0001.jpgWHAT happens to an ex McCann family spokesperson?

If she’s Justine McGuinness she doesn’t write a book, rather she launches a political campaign.

Now billed in the Mirror as a “family friend” of the McCanns, McGuinness uses her knowledge to call for stricter controls on Europe’s borders.

McGuinness is a member of the Liberal Democrats, currently in conference in Brighton.

She tells the Mirror: “If we want to protect our youngsters we have to make sure that children cannot be moved out of Europe, as well as in.”

This will strike a chord with parents who are forced by law to equip under16s – including babies – with a passport. It cost £45. The baby must not be smiling.

But – get his – a picture of a baby might not be enough.

Says McGuinness: “I think you need border controls when people come into Europe and when people go out. We have to know when people leave our boundaries and we’ve got to know whether they are leaving with children.”

She says this “would have helped” in the case of Madeleine McCann. Only how it would have helped has yet to be established…

Posted: 19th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann, Politicians | Comments (18)

Madeleine McCann: Entertaining The Viewers At Home

claire-peacock.jpgSEPARATING fact from fiction in the Madeleine McCann case is hard for some. It is what Anorak calls Faction.

As the Telegraph reports, ITV has sought to distance itself from allegations that it is cashing in on the Madeleine McCann story by broadcasting Torn, a drama about a missing girl.

A spokesman says the show was written two years ago. Readers learn that ITV offered the McCanns a chance to preview the show. Such is their celebrity.

And the show will go on.

And Anorak readers will realise that this is not the first time fiction has impacted upon fact.

Back in May, EastEnders shelved one of it plots. In the show, Dawn Swann was to have had her newborn baby taken by the wife of the baby’s father. Wife had paid mother to have the child and than found to her great horror that surrogate and husband had been having an illicit affair in hotel rooms after mother had been hired to pretend to be another man’s wife.

The BBC decided this fictional story was too close to the very real drama of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. It would be too painful for viewers to watch.

As developments have shown, the similarities between the EastEnders plot and the McCanns ordeal cannot be overstated. Well done the BBC.

In the same month, Coronation Street cancelled a plot which saw a child taken.

Coronation Street’s producers had filmed “identical scenes” to those being played out in Portugal.

Claire and husband Ashley Peacock were appealing for help. Just like Madeleine’s parents. Claire was holding her child’s security blanket. Just like Madeleine’s mother holds the Maddy Catty. Claire was handing out pictures of her child. Just like Madeleine’s mum.

The story was cancelled. And those unable to split fact from fiction won the day. And the broadcasters got to show how much they cared and were in tune with the public’s mood.

(In Corrie, Claire was seen pushing her baby into traffic. Given the allegations now levelled against Kate McCann, would ITV now broadcast that scene?)

But now the show will go on. And will go on because we have no idea what happened to Madeleine McCann. All the hype, the marketing and the paedo-panic have failed in their stated objective: to find Madeleine.

The show goes on. So too the case…

Posted: 19th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (23)

Madeleine McCann: A Wild Theory, Clarence Mitchell Says And Father Pacheco Vanishes

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

DAILY MIRROR front page: “First she loses a child. Then she is suspected of killing her. Now she fights back. WHY I AM INNOCENT. BY KATE McCANN.”

Pages 4 and 5: Kate says her Portuguese lawyer believes in her and Gerry McCann’s innocence: “She’s also of the view that everyone she has spoken to in Praia da Luz also believe we didn’t do it.”

The Mirror says Portuguese police are working on the “wild theory”, Kate accidentally killed her daughter.

The Mirror has in the past voiced the theory that Madeleine McCann was abducted by an international gang of paedophiles and has been spotted in Morocco, Malta and Belgium. The Mirror produced six theories after Madeleine vanished. Read them here. And, no, Kate and Gerry were not mentioned as suspects.

The paper’s Brian Reade says: “I can’t see how any sane person could have convinced themselves the McCanns were capable of doing this and covering it up.”

Pages 6 and 7: The Mirror says the McCanns’ new media operator, Clarence Mitchell, cut his teeth at the BBC where the Soham murders.

THE TIMES front page: “Portuguese officers fly in to question McCanns.”

Page 3: “We can explain Madeleine’s DNA in our car, say parents.”
A family “source” looks at the McCanns’ hired people mover and says: “Who is to say what happened when they moved to the new villa? The seats were ripped out and everything including Madeleine’s sandals and the twins’ nappies were dumped in the car – which would have included traces of skin, sweat and bodily fluids.”

THE SUN front page: “MADDIE SENSATION. CAR DNA WAS TWINS’. Nappies in boot cold clear parents.”

Pages 4 and 5: “We talk about Maddie to the kids every day.” Given how children talks and how prevalent Madeleine’s face is on the newspapers, in the bank and how she talked about by mums on the school run, the McCanns twins might hear of little else.

Page 6: “We must have faith Maddie will be found,” says the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu. Says he: “Speculation will not help. Evidence and witnesses will.” As God is my witness.

THE INDEPENDENT page 6: “McCanns launch fightback over ‘nonsensical’ murder claims.”

Clarence Mitchell says the claim the McCanns harmed their child are “as ludicrous as it is nonsensical”.

DAILY STAR front page: “McCANNS: WE’LL FACE TRIAL. Parents admit there is enough evidence to charge them.”


Katie Andre, aka Jordan says: “Whether they are guilty or not, I think they are in some way to blame for whatever happened to that poor girl by leaving her alone in a room with two babies…you just don’t do it.”

Page 6: “MADDIE PRIEST HAS VANISHED.” The “tormented priest who detectives think Kate McCann may have confessed to” is missing. Father Jose Pacheco has “disappeared”. Is he a suspect?

DAILY MAIL front page: “MADELEINE: DNA evidence branded ‘pathetic’ as fightback begins. “McCANNS: DOSSIER FOR THE DEFENCE.”

Pages 4 and 5: “The smears that started on Day 1.” The Mail says the McCanns’ lawyers are “going back through the newspapers to look for evidence of black propaganda planted by police.”

The McCanns have a new spokesman. Clarence Mitchell is a married father of two.

“While the police were secretly spinning their doubts about the McCanns to the media, the couple were faithfully obeying Portugal’s strict laws preventing them from speaking about the investigations.”

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. HER MOTHER IS INNOCENT. We can prove it says family as Portuguese police fly to Britain.”

Pages 2 and 3: “Mother in jail over secret.” Kate McCanns could be jailed for telling journalists that police had seized her Bible. (See Mail story above.)

Page 4: “Madeleine: Police will question two priests on Algarve.” Jose Manuel Pacheco will be questioned. If police can find him. As will his Anglican colleague Haynes Hubbard.

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “McCanns challenge police evidence.”

Page 6: “’An innocent explanation for everything’.”

“Celebrities anger police.” A senior Portuguese police officer says: “It is amazing to me that people in high positions are getting involved…doesn’t Gordon Brown have a job to do?”

THE GUARDIAN: “McCANNS ‘innocent victims of heinous crime’.” Clarence Mitchell is with the McCanns.

Posted: 19th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,073)

Madeleine McCann: Call Off The Dogs, Kate McCann’s Tears And Fatima

mccanns1.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

THE TIMES page 9: “McCanns send to US for help against evidence of sniffer dogs.”

Gerry and Kate McCann have consulted lawyers working on behalf of Eugene Zapata in Madison, Wisconsin.

In October 1976, Zapata’s wife, Jeanette, went missing. Her body has never been found. Last year sniffer dogs were brought in and Zapata was charged with her murder. The case went before Judge Patrick Fielder who said the evidence – dogs had picked up the scent of a corpse in Zapata’s basement – was inadmissible. He said the dogs were unreliable.

The dogs have yet to make a comment.


Pedro Daniel dos Anjos Frias wants to “speak freely” about the case.

Pages 6 and 7: “Mum’s tears at 11am Mass.” Once again the Mirror is all eyes for Kate McCann’s eyes. She is crying.

In church, Father Keith Tomlinson narrates the parable of the Prodigal Son. An eight-year-old child called Molly Earp reads “Jesus please continue to love and protect us, until she is found.”

And then Jesus can have a rest and the police can resume normal duties…

Pages 8 and 9: “On the beach Gerry gave Maddy loads of hugs and kisses, he was a perfect dad..The next time I saw him was about midnight..I saw a man alone, desperate. He was crying and screaming her name over and over and over again.” Words from a “WAITER AT MADDIE’S LAST MEAL” before she vanished.

THE SUN front page: “Maddie ‘gag’ lift.” Friends of Kate and Gerry McCann are hopeful of being allowed to speak out and defend themselves. A judge has asked for a lifting of Portugal’s secrecy laws.

Pages 6 and 7: “AGONY TO COME.” The Sun produces a picture of Kate and Gerry McCann’s wedding day. They are holding Kate’s goddaughter Ellie. There is also a new picture of Madeleine McCann “looking angelic”. Have you seen her? Or are you watching the parents?

THE EXPRESS front page: “MADELEINE. POLICE TO SEARCH SHRINE FOR BODY.” The McCanns went to Fatima. The McCanns car clocked up 1,709 miles in the fives weeks after their daughter went missing.

THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER Pages 2 and 3: “Hand in hand, McCanns go to family church.” The “devoutly Catholic couple” are leaving for church from their “£600,000 home”. Kate McCann is carrying Cuddle Cat.

Pages 4 and 5: “1,000 letters each day in support of the McCanns. Between 500 and 1,000 letters a day arrive at the McCanns’ home. “There are some crank letters,” says a spokesman for the family, “but that’s inevitable.”

None of these letters are believed to point to the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann.

Alex Cayles, a former neighbour of the McCanns, says “I never heard Kate or Gerry raise their voices to their children or anyone else.” Can the same be said of any parents of three very young children?

DAILY MAIL front page: a picture of Kate McCann smiling.

• Doubt cast on sniffer dogs
• Police frontman quits investigation
• Branson funds the McCanns’ defence
• Witness’s vital new evidence”

Pages 10 and 11:2 “Maddie: Is the case crumbling?”

Chief inspector Olegario Sousa has resigned “in disgust” at the way in which fellow Portuguese officers have been briefing the media behind his back.

DAILY STAR front page: “MADDIE MUM ON MURDER RAP. Now cops claim to have found ‘a motive’.”

The Star says police have read Kate McCann’s diary and “claim it reveals she had a motive to kill”.

Pages 4 and 5: “DID KATE HAVE A MOTIVE?”

Well, we haven’t read the diary, but…

“The idea that Portuguese detectives are looking at my daughter’s most personal thoughts and taking them out of context is terrible,” says Kate McCann’s father Brian Healy.

Pages 6 and 7: “HUNT AT HOLY SHRINE.” Is Madeleine McCann’s body buried at Fatima, one of the Catholic Church’s holiest sites? The Star says the couple went there three weeks after their daughter went missing.

We wonder. Is she? Or is she buried in Germany, America, London or Morocco, places also visited by the McCanns?

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “New allegations against McCanns – As the McCanns begin a new campaign to clear their names, further allegations emerged over the weekend.”


“The hire car: The Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine went missing. New claims centre on its high mileage. Between May 27 and July 3, it was driven 1,700 miles, with police looking into the possibility that it may have been used to dispose of a body…There were also reports that detectives were waiting for permission from a judge to seize and dismantle the car to search for ‘traces of skin’.”

THE GUARDIAN: No Maddy news today.

Madeleine McCann The Public Spectacle

Posted: 17th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,074)

Madeleine McCann: Torture, A Witness, Robert Murat’s Innocence And Richard Branson Investigates

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


As reported by Anorak on June 11 (see Madeleine McCann And Amaral Policing): “Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral has been accused of concealing evidence that the mother of eight-year-old Joana Cipriano, who disappeared in the Algarve three years ago, was tortured by police into confessing she had killed her daughter, whose body was never found.”

Is this the British Press discrediting the Portuguese police? Should they leave our Kate and Gerry alone? (Do the Portuguese police have a PR?)

“Lies, beatings, secret trials: the dark side of police handling Madeleine case” – If the Portuguese police do have a PR, they should get a new one.

“Madeleine: Hair in McCann Renault: ‘It could be anyone’s’” – British forensic experts have concluded the fragments said to be Madeleine’s could belong to any number of people who had come into contact with the silver Renault Scenic.

THE OBSERVER: “Maddy police: we blundered.” Remember Robert Murat?

Says a source said to be from within the Portuguese police force: “British police and crime experts also suggested that Murat fitted the profile to have been behind a kidnapping. But the Lisbon investigators were from the start unsettled about the lack of any motive. Months later, there is nothing to suggest he was involved.”

But, er, Robert Murat remains a suspect.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: “Hope for McCanns as law on secrecy is eased.”

Plans are afoot to change the rules in Portugal. The “new law means that all suspects and third parties, including the media, will have access to police documents in any investigation – unless the public prosecutor decides that secrecy will benefit the inquiry or protect the rights of the accused.”

And the police can make their views known to the public, too.

And: the McCanns have announced an £80,000 advertising campaign to help find Madeleine.


No longer a criminal case. It is now a tragedy. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says a tragedy is a “branch of drama that treats in a serious and dignified style the sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by a heroic individual.”

Yes, dignified. Who knew?

DAILY STAR ON SUNDAY front page: “MADDIE. The missing journey.”
Where did she go?

SUNDAY TIMES front page: “Branson gives cash to defend McCanns.”
Sir Richard Branson is giving £100,000 to create a “fighting fund” to help the parents of Madeleine McCann to clear their names.

A source close to Branson says: “Sir Richard wants to ensure the McCanns get access to the best legal advice. He has a good instinct on these things.”

The Virgin Sniffer will crack the case. Or will his PR and marketing departments get there first.

But is Branson right? Let’s take a look at the survey…

“According to a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times, only 20% of respondents believe that the McCanns are completely innocent. Nearly half (48%) believe that they could have been responsible for their daughter’s death, even if it was an accident; 32% were unsure. A total of 40% said that the McCanns’ high-profile campaign had made them suspicious, but 50% said that it had not.”

Tasteful stuff. But we need another poll to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann.

Times Columnist India Knight is a McCann junkie. “I want to stop reading, listening, watching, Googling, amateur sleuthing; I nauseate myself with my own prurience. My appetite for commentary – which is all that’s left, in the absence of hard facts – has been sated many times over. But I can’t stop.”

She craves information. But there isn’t any. Unless you listen to sources”…

“Police leaks, gossip and a clash of cultures close in on McCanns” – Yesterday the police spokesman Olegario de Sousa quit “in dismay” at the daily leaks to the press.

Those Portuguese police leaks only add to the speculation and the pain. Thanks goodness for the clarity and sensitivity provided by the Times.

As the Times notes: “Maria do Sameiro Oliveira, a psychologist who does criminal profiling for the police, said she found it strange ‘how they function so much as a unit, always holding hands rigidly’ and pointed out that normally in cases of child disappearances, ‘the mother and father start to diverge, one wants to continue the search, the other not’. She added: “They show little evidence of suffering. They are very formal.”

You should not be influence by Ms Oliveria’s words. When responding to the Times’ survey, make your judgement. Make up your own survey.

THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY: “The McCanns: Unbelievable truth or unimaginable nightmare?”

The human interest angle and a time to look back over week of speculation.

NEWS OF THE WORLD: “MADDIE: THE SECRET WITNESS – TV boss holds vital clue to mystery.”

Jeremy Wilkins is the man whose “bombshell testimony could clear the McCanns”.
And: “Jeremy Wilkins’ evidence blows holes in the police theory that Gerry and Kate killed four-year-old Madeleine.”

Wilkins is said to be the man who spoke to Gerry McCann for up to 15 minutes outside the holiday apartments — “moments after checking on his children for the last time.”
A pal says: “He is entirely convinced of Kate and Gerry’s innocence. He believes they are a decent family caught up in an unimaginable nightmare.”

With Wilkin’s certainly and Richard Branson’s sense of smell, the McCanns may be placed once more above suspicion.

All the Madeleine McCann Faction Here…

Posted: 16th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (655)

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)