Sunday, 6 January 2008
Now, you may wonder why I am telling you about Smokey the rabbit. He was seven years old or thereabouts and that's apparently a good life for a rabbit. Smokey was a well-loved rabbit and he was looked after with great care. Smokey belonged to a teenager called Jack, but I am told that he received most attention from Jack's sister Sammie.
The passing of Smokey the rabbit marks another milestone for the parents of Jack and Sammie. Sammie is Sammie Osborn, who left her family home in April 2007, aged just 15 years and has not returned. She is now 16 and is living in Bristol with the man she met on the internet.
While you've been gone, Sammie, your brother has become a young man. He has probably grown a few more inches in height and a few more bits of fluff on his chin, but to look at him you'd still see that brother you knew and lived with for the whole of his life until April 2007. You would recognise Jack anywhere, I am sure, because he won't have changed outwardly beyond all recognition. Inwardly, though, Sammie, your brother has done years of maturing emotionally since that day you left the home he now shares on his own with your parents. Jack has faced the kind of challenges that most young men of his age don't experience and those challenges have produced a mature young man of your kid brother.
Now, I am not telling you this to make you feel guilty. I am telling you because people's lives don't stand still. Your image of your home and your family may be frozen at April 2007, but things change and people grow and move on, especially young people. Your friends have taken their mock GCSEs and I'm sure they're going to be very busy now getting their coursework out of the way and revising for the real exams. They will all leave school in June and move on, mostly I imagine into further education, studying for their A levels and hoping to go to university. I have read some of the letters your friends sent to you and I can tell you there is still a gap where you once were. But Sammie, that gap will gradually be filled as your friends' lives change, as they meet new people in Sixth Form College and move on to other things. The experiences you should be sharing with them, they will share without you. You will not be forgotten by your friends, but the Sammie they knew will have gone forever, changed by time and circumstance as they are changed.
And now to Smokey. Another change since you were last at home. Your frozen image of your home may include a snapshot of Smokey in his hutch. Alas, Smokey died last night and I am sorry to tell you that Silky has also gone. The hutches are as empty as your bedroom. Another gap and another little bit of grief for those who love you.
I hope you are well and happy, Sammie, because if you ever decide to return to your family, I hope that you go back as a happy and more mature person who has benefited from all the experiences you have been through and that the changes in you are positive changes that you are really happy with. Nine months is a long time in a young person's life and you must have changed a great deal in that time, emotionally and physically. Sammie, please don't let the gaps grow too wide between you and your family and your friends. We only have one family, one mother, one father and you have one brother. There isn't another, ever. Please don't let them go, Sammie. Hold onto them. Please don't be in the position where you look back in a few years time and wish that the changes in your life had been changes you shared in the heart of your family.
For now, Sammie, I wish you well. Take care and whatever you do, be safe.
Once again it's thanks to the brilliant posters on the Daily Mirror forum for bringing items and articles to our attention, particularly from those blogs with information which seems to escape the notice of the UK press.
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis, writing in Gazeta Digital 3.01.08
"Police has new evidence against Madeleine's parents
Investigation about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a quiet resort at Praia da Luz had “important developments” in the last weeks, after a Portuguese police team met with Leicestershire police and representatives from Forensic Science Service, the British laboratory where samples collected at the crime scene are being analysed.
It seems that a great deal of work was done and a great deal of information exchanged, which we did not get to read about in the UK press. If it was there, I missed it!
"On a preliminary report about the case, recently sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office, Polícia Judiciária (PJ) states that the parents remain the main suspects. Among other pieces of new evidence, there is a specific phone call and several messages, send from Ocean Resort, that are classified by investigators as “highly incriminating” Gerry and Kate McCann.
I believe the messages being referred to may be fourteen text messages which Gerry was reported to have sent on the evening of May 3rd, in the time between leaving the apartment for the tapas bar and Madeleine's being reported missing by Kate at 10pm. The phone call may be a mobile phone call, made some time later (June 12th?) between Gerry McCann and Russell O'Brien, when Gerry reported that the two were only 4km apart and triangulation placed then at 25km apart. The fairly accurate positioning of where this call was made from may have been what led the PJ to a disused barn and a towel which had traces of blood along the hem, which showed a, "moderate comparison," to Madeleine's DNA.
"The same evidence also gave indications about how the body of Madeleine McCann could have been taken from the apartment and disposed of. Today, it was confirmed by a source from the Public Prosecutor's Office that a request to extend the time limit for the case will be filed, with the Criminal Court, before January 14, eight months after the first formal suspect was named."
"The Tapas Group, the friends who had dinner with the McCann on May 3rd, will be questioned again soon, as a formal request to the British Home Office is ready. Police wants to clarify, first, contradictory statements about the night of May 3rd, and PJ detectives would like to interrogate Gerry and Kate before the end of January – something that will depend from the time Home Office and British police will take to proceed with the questionings.
"Among many details that are confuse or contradictory, Police sources refer the fact that witnesses confirm they saw Gerry McCann and Russell O'Brien going inside apartment 5A to check the three children sleeping there. The McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, is already preparing public opinion for a new interrogation of Madeleine's parents and yesterday told British Media that Kate and Gerry would be pleased to clarify “misunderstandings” related with their previous statements."
So, according to this report there are witnesses who say they saw Gerry and Russell going into the apartment to check on the children. This is a significant departure from earlier reports which stated that Russell O'Brien was absent from the dinner table because he was with his child who was vomiting. There is no mention in official timelines reported to have been given by the Tapas 9 that O'Brien entered the apartment, with or without Gerry. And Kate and Gerry will now be pleased to, "clarify misunderstandings."? Misunderstandings? Euphemism for outright porkie pies?
"New detectives hired
Hogan International, a company specialized in asset investigations, is reviewing Madeleine's case, working in coordination with Metodo 3, the Spanish detectives company that announced recently they knew who kidnapped Madeleine and promised to find her before Christmas. Sources close to the McCann supporters say that the six-month contract with Metodo 3, which ends around March, will not be renewed and Hogan International will replace them, in the private investigation set up by the McCann, following advise from Control Risk Group.
The McCann legal team has asked private investigators to concentrate in specific details of the investigation related with Police evidence of Madeleine's death and his body disposal, instead of following leads about sightings or other information related with a possible abductor.
Giving up on the story about an abductor to concentrate on building a defence based on what the police might have as evidence? Well, we know some of that already. The scent the cadaver dog Eddie alerted to in the rented Renault Scenic? Well, they carried soiled nappies and mouldy meat to the dump and Amelie had been wearing Madeleine's sandals, which must have had traces of Madeleine's sweat on. Doctors carrying leaky soiled nappies and mouldy meat which wasn't properly wrapped in the boot of a hired car? They've got very strange ideas of hygiene or they're lying! Ummmm! Wonder which it is!
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis"
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis"
So, is the party over for the McScams and the Tapas Crew? Today's Mail On Sunday is reporting that the PJ has enough evidence to prosecute the McCanns and just need to re-interview the McCanns and their holiday mates, to clear up inconsistencies.
All British paedophiles associated with the Algarve have been eliminated, hundreds of holiday-makers have been interviewed, the witnesses who apparently saw Robert Murat near the apartment, are not being taken as credible and what does that leave? No evidence of an abduction. Windows and shutters not tampered with. Incredibly small window of opportunity for an abductor and no trace of an abductor in the apartment. So, as in most cases of children going missing, possibly killed, it comes back to the parents. Looks like theirs is the only trail not eliminated. Maybe the party is, then, well and truly over. If so, and the PJ has enough incriminating evidence to charge the McCanns with Madeleine's disappearance, I hope that we will find out what happened to that small child and that her body may be found and laid to rest.
Rest in peace little Madeleine. We will not rest until justice is done for you and those responsible are brought to answer for their crimes.