Monday, 8 November 2010

Keir Simmons I despair, I really do.


Before I get round to telling you why I despair, Mr Simmons, I'd just like to set your most recent opinion pieces about Kate and Gerry McCann within the context of what has been in the news recently about the case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. You may just write me off at this point as one of those nasty bloggers attacking poor, suffering Kate and Gerry McCann, but I'm going to pretend that you'll read this and carry on.

Kate McCann returns to Praia da Luz beginning of October 2010

On Sunday October 3rd, the News of the World reported that Kate McCann had '
made a solitary pilgrimage this weekend to the Portuguese resort where her daughter went missing, "for emotional reasons and to pray for Madeleine." There appears to be some kind of separation there between Kate McCann's 'emotional reasons,' and praying for Madeleine. If praying for Madeleine was not an 'emotional,' reason, what was it?

Amaral book ban overturned Tuesday 19th October 2010

On that day, the news spread very quickly across the '
blogosphere,' that the Appeals Court in Lisbon had overturned the ban on Gonçalo Amaral's book, "A Verdade da Mentira," which had been imposed as a temporary injunction in September 2009 and upheld in January 2010. (Decision reported February 2010) I'm sure you remember that day in January because most of the major news channels were giving regular updates from the court in Portugal and Twitter was going so wild with it that it was persistently overloaded. When the decision came in February, most of the major daily newspapers covered it, like the report in The Sun I'm sure that ITV covered it too. It's still there on Google when you type in, "Amaral book ban upheld."

What about the overturning of the ban? Google again and type in '
Amaral book ban overturned,' will bring up very few articles from major UK news media. If it weren't for the internet and bloggers finding out by reading about it on European news web sites, such as Euro Weekly the news might very well just have passed us by. No great fanfare in the UK media. Why do you think that was, then, Mr Simmons, after all that hoo-ha in January and February? There was very little response from Kate and Gerry McCann to this news: no press conference; no video; no significant press release. The Guardian reported that:

A spokesman for the McCann family said the decision did not stop the defamation case. "The defamation action against Mr Amaral is very much continuing," he said. "Kate and Gerry's lawyers are now examining the detail of this latest ruling and are considering an appeal."

Then came the petition in which the McCanns called for a review of all the evidence held by Portuguese and English police. That petition is well dodgy, Mr Simmons. Any negative comments
were deleted and there were quite a few signatures that seemed to be appearing on every page. There was also the strange case of the moving signature: someone I know who signed found that her signature kept moving through the numbers. Now, you'd expect that if signatures were being deleted, that the number of this person's signature would go down, but amazingly it was going up. So, entries were being made in the middle of the list. Very odd! There is a Paypal button on the petition site so that people can donate to the ongoing search, which we are told has been very costly. I'm not going to go into dodgy detectives like Metodo 3 with no experience of missing person cases, or that Kavin Halligen character: life is too short!

So, anyway! Last weekend, there was a right flurry of articles in the news. The Sunday Express reported that:

DETECTIVES working on the Madeleine McCann case say they are ready to reopen the investigation into her disappearance.

Portuguese police have indicated they would be happy to work with the missing girl’s parents and their friends.

Well, that's good news, innit? No need for that petition or that Paypal button for money to pay the PIs, the Portuguese police are willing to reopen the case. Just waiting for your call Kate and Gerry!

Also in the same edition of the Sunday Express is the question about a CCTV camera outside a hotel in Praia da Luz. The camera may have picked up an image of a man carrying a child, but unfortunately, the film was wiped.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mail reported that Kate McCann was not very happy with the Home Secretary, the Sunday Mirror related news of Kate and Gerry's 'joy,' created by the support they had received with their petition, (Had they seen all those duplicate signatures and messages and noticed some of those names? Far be it for me to point out that the real people would not have signed their petition!) and the Star on Sunday had the McCanns talking about David Cameron being 'a let-down.'

So, bit of a mixed bag, if you like, over the weekend. Not much to say about all that from me, because I didn't know where to start: the Portuguese police will reopen the case; Kate McCann feels let down by the Home Secretary; they're joyful about the petition; David Cameron is 'a let-down.'; the camera may have held the key to resolving the case.

Then I watched that video of your interview on NBC(More later), in which you mentioned how awful it was (words to that effect) that the McCanns had been suspected of involvement in their daughter's disappearance. Bed time I thought!

Today, well today I despair Mr Simmons. Today on your ITV News page, you ask the question."How long must Kate and Gerry McCann suffer?" Well, as an immediate response I would refer you to the experience of other parents who have lost a child: Kerry Needham for instance, whose son Ben disappeared on a Greek Island in 1991 and who would this month have celebrated his 21st birthday.

'It can be heartbreaking at times, but it’s great to know that so many ordinary, decent people are out there trying to find Ben .(Read more)
When a child disappears without trace, you'd expect the parents to be suffering, wouldn't you? But what is making the McCanns suffer, according to your most recent opinion piece? Three and a half years is not a long time when a child has gone and there has been no news of her, but that's not what you're talking about, is it?

And yet, there continues to be a group of individuals who use the internet to attack these two poor parents. I hear from them all the time via Twitter.

Is this why the McCanns are suffering? It's all those nasty people on the internet? How long must Kate and Gerry McCann suffer? I don't expect Kerry Needham to have an answer to that other than perhaps until she finds out what has happened to her son, but Mr Simmons you seem to be asking that question about Kate and Gerry McCann in the context of what is being said on the internet. So, am I to understand, since your question hints at finite or measurable suffering, that the McCanns' suffering would end if only those bloggers would shut up?

The police hunt for Madeleine was inadequate?

So much is easy with hindsight. I can say today with confidence that the police hunt for Madeleine was utterly inadequate. One of the detectives admitted as much in a newspaper article this weekend.* I didn’t once see officers searching apartments in the area.#

*Would that have been the report in the Sunday Express where the Portuguese police regret that the film from a CCTV camera was wiped?

You tell us that you arrived in Praia da Luz the day after Madeleine disappeared and (noted above #) you tell us that you "
didn’t once see officers searching apartments in the area." Have you actually read the police files about the case? Have you read the full report of the three judges who sat in the Lisbon Appeals Court and ruled on the book banning this month? (English Translation here, courtesy of Joana Morais)

In the book that is at stake here – “Maddie – the Truth of the Lie” – the author presents a vast multiplicity of facts and then offers his interpretation of said facts.

Those facts are all part of the investigation and are exhaustively considered and weighed in the archiving dispatch of the process that is on the DVD which has been appended to this court case (page 441).

The report goes on to state that where Gonçalo Amaral's book differs from the facts, as set out in the police files, is in his interpretation of those facts, and I am sure you are well aware that the judges decided that, as a long-serving police officer, Dr Amaral was qualified to arrive at his interpretation.

Now, back to that searching of apartments, which you didn't see. Would you say that the searching of apartments was a matter of interpretation or would you say that it was a physical activity and it either happened or didn't happen? I would plump for the latter: it either did happen or it didn't happen. Let's return to what those judges said: the book sets out facts that are 'all part of the investigation,' so at this point, I refer you to Chapter 3, referring to investigative work carried out on Saturday May 5th 2007, under the sub-heading, 'MORE LEADS, STILL NO RESULTS,' we read:

Throughout the day, numerous apartments are visited in the resort and neighbouring areas: the investigators search more than 400, without result.

But you didn't see any of that? You didn't see officers search apartments in the area? So, have you in fact found lies in the book? They didn't search more than 400 apartments because you didn't see them do it? Or perhaps you've forgotten what actually took place when you were there and just recall the latest on the subject from Mrs McCann:

Door-to-door enquiries need to be done and lots of people still need talking to. Portuguese police say the case will reopen if there is evidence but we have to generate the new evidence.’ (Sunday Mail)

Did this suddenly remind you that the police didn't search any apartments? I refer you, once again, to Chapter 3 (Link above)

But why should two parents who have suffered so much continue to have this groundless campaign against them? Those involved claim they believe in ‘truth’ yet ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit their conspiracy theory. They claim to love children, yet ignore the effect their ‘campaign’ might have on Kate and Gerry McCann’s twins as they grow up and begin to comprehend such things.

Groundless campaign? So, there was evidence of an abductor breaking the shutters and opening the windows? There were fingerprints other than Kate McCann's on Maddie's bedroom window? Someone other than Jane Tanner saw the 'abductor,' although Gerry McCann did not see her? There have been credible sightings? If you can say 'yes,' to any of the above, I'd love to hear it.

And yes, the twins will grow up and begin to comprehend things. They will learn that their parents left them alone with their older sister and that they were dining with friends 120 metres away, from where they couldn't see if anyone was entering or leaving the unlocked apartment.

From the transcript of the above, courtesy of jjp on Headlines Today

Keir Simmons Well you know, Lester, I’ve covered the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann from the beginning. I arrived in Portugal the day after she went missing and to me her parents now seem as shell-shocked and devastated as they did in those early days.
As shell-shocked and devastated as they did in those early days? You didn't see those apartments being searched and you may have missed a few other pertinent details too! Is this the McCanns looking, "devastated and shell-shocked."?


Or this maybe?


Yes, Mr Simmons, I despair. After all the information that's available in the police files and all that was written by the judges of the Lisbon Appeal Court, you can still hold to the opinions you spout on your blog today. What can I say? I just despair, Mr Simmons, that for someone with your experience of reporting on criminal investigations, you appear not to have done your homework.

I despair, I really do.


Anonymous said...

I think everyone in blogger\forum will support every word you have written.
It is so surprising that the journalists in the UK who have covered this sage, do so with such narrow minds.
If they really support the McCanns and they really want to find out what happened to Madeleine, they ought to take their blinkers off and see, what is before their own eyes.
Will he read this blog ? It's a pity if he doesn't.
Since he will also be aware, that no one who cares is anti this or pro that, merely pro the truth, and pro finding out what happened to Madeleine.

Anonymous said...

well said ,just hope mr simmons reads this,what mr simmons cant seem to grasp is the FACT the mccanns have lied but according to him thats ok and we shouldnt be asking questions about the lie,s they have told, but i say to him what about MADELEINE or has he fogotton about her which seems to me he has,and as for him being a crime reporter you would think he would do his home work first before he spouts rubbish like he has.

Anonymous said...

Oh well said Anna .... I must applaud you!

It is indeed incredible that, with the police investigation files available for anyone to read, British "journalists" consistently fail to report about the case in a responsible manner.

Oh where are the Woodwards and the Bernsteins when you need them?

Anonymous said...

An excellent article. It is too much to expect Mr Simmons to respond point by point but given the media attention to this story over the years it would be interesting to hear from someone "at the heart of British news reporting" why the overturned book ban wasn't deemed newsworthy after the blanket coverage given to the injunction being granted.

Anonymous said...

It is too bizarre for words that any journalist would not have mis-givings about the McCann's.

They certainly never helped search for their daughter (as they said when being interviewed by Jane Hill) they did not co-operate with the Portuguese police (refused to answer questions/refused to return for a reconstruction), strange stories about "jemmied shutters", the twins not waking up on the 3rd, the neighbour hearing crying for well over an hour on the 1st coming from the McCann's flat.
And the cadaver dogs alerts.

These are just a few anomalies which make me think something strange happened on the 3rd May & subsequently. Wouldn't, therefore, a journalist equally be slightly sceptical?

Not if he's a UK journalist apparently.

Anonymous said...

It would appear Keir Simmons is the McCanns new whipping boy, well Mitchell was getting a bit long in the tooth and Simmonds will come at half the price. Jon Clements, another who claimed to want to get to the bottom of this case and find out the truth. Who bothers reading anything Clements has to say now.Simmons seems to be lost in his own self importance and really believes he makes a difference. Crying 'victim' and saying he has been abused by those 'nasty bloggers' who won't believe the fairy tale. David Jones did not believe the fairy tale either and if Simmons and Jones were both in PDL May 2007 as they claim to have been, David would have told Keir of his suspicions over a long cool beer.

I hope the price was high enough for Keir to still sleep at night. For it is not the 'nasty bloggers ' he has betrayed today but Madeleine. I could give a rats ass what Simmons thinks but we must all remember there are two small children still in the care of the very unstable minds of the McCanns.

Himself said...

Firmly said Anna, firmly said. I'm glad you mentioned the "I didn't see" ergo it didn't take place, I intended to include it in my own small piece, but somehow or other it escaped.

Not to worry, as long as somebody picked it up. Perhaps someone should point out to our hack, that signing off the SS McCann might be a far wiser decision than signing on, given that there may be a small possibility that this case might finally begin to move in the right direction.

There again, perhaps not, he'll hang by his own petard one day, as surely they all will.

And then wait for all the "well I nevers" and the "whodathunkits" flying around the place, to say nothing of the accompanying red faces.

Tiocfaidh ar la

Anonymous said...

From 0:55'on:

"Kate McCann: Thoughts and words are not good enough, particularly when they are in a position that they can actually do something about it."

EXACTLY, Kate! Now go and put your money where your mouth is!
Your words are not good enough, go and request the reopening of the case to the portuguese authorities!
You and your husband are number one on the list of those who "are in a position to do something about it"


Anonymous said...

There was a lot of money in the Fund, and most of it is unaccounted for. Presumably Keir Simmons' little journalistic efforts account for some of it. What a shameful thing these UK journos have done. What are they going to say when all is revealed, which it will be? "Oh, we never suspected for a moment, Kate and Gerry had us all fooled?" Well, not all of us, they didn't, and no-one needed an IQ much above average to see there was more to this story than we were being told. Does none of them have any self-respect at all, that they would sell their souls for 30 pieces of silver? We have all been telling them for long enough, they must have some contemptible reason not to want justice and truth for poor little Maddie.