Monday, 29 November 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann: action replay of some of their best moments!

I wonder if Kate and Gerry McCann have ever wished they lived before the internet age, immediate world-wide communication, and videoed interviews, rather than paraphrased quotes reaching the newspapers from Europe a day or so after the event.

Well, here are a few of their best moments, some of them from the friends and relations.

Mother's Day in Portugal, three days after Madeleine disappeared into thin air. In similar situations where a child has gone missing, I usually really feel the emotion coming from the parents, and I feel choked up. However, when I saw this video, I was amazed that I felt no empathetic response. For me, Kate McCann made a letter box of her mouth, and just seemed to be trying out the expressions she thought that a mother in that situation would be feeling.

Dear Auntie Phil, telling us about Gerry and Kate not wanting to leave the children with the strangers who looked after them in the creche all day, every day, and about that 'clear line of sight to their kids.' May 5th 2007. Did she ever bother to find out the truth? Hard to miss it really, unless she has spent the last three years like those German people Kate and Gerry appealed to, who might have information - somewhere in La-La Land, where there is no telly, newspapers, radio, internet, or other human beings with eyes and ears and a way of communicating with the rest of the world, or even just their neighbour!

Brian Kennedy, Madeleine's great uncle, with his wife, Janet, talking about children going missing and the shock of it, 'especially in what you think is a safe complex.' Obviously, no one had told them, at that point, on May 5th 2007, that the McCanns' apartment was not within a 'safe complex,' but outside the Ocean Club, overlooking a car park and a public road.

John McCann, Gerry's brother, May 9th 2007. Just a load of twaddle!

Eileen McCann, Gerry's mother, describing how much brighter Gerry sounds on the phone, because of all the support. Brian Kennedy, talking about the fund and its intended purpose.

Presenter: Tell me, Brian, about all the people that have been coming up to you today, literally stuffing money in your hand.

Brian Kennedy: ....touching. Very touching.......
the money can be used for all sorts of reasons, but probably mainly for legal expenditure

Legal expenditure? On May 17th 2007 Brian Kennedy stated that the money being donated would be 'probably mainly for legal expenditure.' What legal expenditure was being foreseen at that time?

Jane Tanner: listen carefully to her description of the way the child was being carried. She says, 'I was carrying....'

Kate McCann: that 'whoosh cluck,' moment, when she looks like she's having trouble getting her mouth under control.

And finally, a brilliant video from Claudia7929, The McCanns - Their Best Moments
. (20/09/08)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Philomena McCann: " greedy, unscrupulous character.."


"It needs only one greedy, unscrupulous character to come forward," said Philomena McCann.(Daily Mail 28/07/07)

The above was in relation to the reward on offer at the time: £3.2 million, according to the 28th July 2007 article featured in the Daily Mail. After more than three years, I am still utterly gobsmacked by Phil McCann's choice of words to describe someone who might come forward to help find her niece.

'Greedy': did she think this was someone who had already received payment of some kind? Greedy for more? Someone who is greedy is a person who takes more than their fair share. So, she thought that someone who could help find Madeleine would be getting more than they deserved? So, what would such a person deserve?

'Unscrupulous': having no scruples, ethics or principles. What? This makes even less sense than 'greedy'. For someone to have no scruples, ethics or principles in claiming a reward for helping to find a missing child, they would, by definition, be behaving in an underhand and devious manner. Towards whom and about what? Towards the McCanns, who only wanted to find their daughter? Wouldn't the parents of a missing child be delighted for the information, wherever it came from if they could get their daughter back unharmed? And 'one greedy, unscrupulous character'. Does that mean that Auntie Phil thought there was more than one person who could possibly have come forward? Someone who would unscrupulously grass up the abductor? Wouldn't any close relative of a missing child be eternally grateful to such a person? But, no, Phil McCann would view that person as being a 'greedy, unscrupulous character.'

The Daily Mail article was written just after Gerry McCann's trip to the US, where he got licked by Laura Bush's dog at the Whitehouse, he met up with some folks from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and met the US Attorney General:

He lobbied senior statesmen on Capitol Hill, including U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who pledged to do all he could. He even met close aides to First Lady Laura Bush.

How wonderful! The US Attorney General? Well, there's a thing! Not much of a promise though, because really there wasn't much he could do about an investigation led by the Portuguese police. Maybe he looked out for Madeleine, searched the halls of the courts and peered through the tinted windows of his limo, looking for little blonde girls. If he had claimed the reward, would he have been greedy and unscrupulous?

And what about all those people, like Gail Cooper, who spotted suspicious-looking characters hanging about in Praia da Luz? Were they being greedy and unscrupulous when they sold their stories to the tabloids?

I guess since no one has come forward to claim that reward, that all those people out there who know where Madeleine is and who have that last piece of the puzzle, must be people of ethics and principles. Just like a couple of upstanding doctors, maybe, who, through no fault of their own, managed to mislay one of their children and got through nearly 3 million quid of other people's money not finding their daughter.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Missing Madeleine book is 'truthful and scathing.' (Who let this woman out?)


Image source:

The book written by Kate and Gerry McCann about the search for their missing daughter, Madeleine, is 'truthful and scathing,' according to Gerry's sister Philomena McCann.

“Kate is mainly doing it and I know she has written some very truthful and scathing things relating to the Portuguese police."

Oh dear! That may not be very helpful, Phil. The Portuguese police may not be very happy about that, and, well, your contributions to the case have not been very helpful in the past.

May 5th 2007, 2 days after Madeleine disappeared.

"The childcare facilities: you're leaving people with other folk that you don't know."

Not a good start there Phil, since the people who were running the childcare services in the evening were the same folk who worked in the creches in the day, where Kate and your dear brother were more than happy to leave their 3 children all day, every day.

"Gerry and Kate are in a clear line of sight of their kids."

Now, who told you that little porky, then, Phil? They weren't even in a clear line of sight of the apartment and their kids were allegedly sleeping in a bedroom on the far side of the building.

"Someone with malicious intent went through that window and took Madeleine.."

Ah yes! This was when you (and the rest of the friends and relations) had been told that the window was open, the shutters had been jemmied and the door was locked, but that was before the revelation from the police that there was no sign of tampering in which case, Gerry and Kate disclosed that the patio door had been unlocked in case of fire! Will the 'truthful,' part of the book tell us, at last, why all the friends and relies reported being informed about those (un)jemmied shutters?

" suggest in any way that Kate and Gerry are negligible parents...(woops)....negligent parents"

Perhaps you were actually thinking of their parenting skills there, Phil. Negligible might be a good adjective to describe the parenting skills of people who left three children, all under the age of 4, alone in an unlocked apartment in a foreign country, night after night.

Interviewer: there a temptation for them to get out and try and search themselves?"

Philomena: Yea, well, I mean, Gerry and Kate want to get out there. They want to search everything. They want to leave nothing unturned, but that's for everyone we've spoken to. This crisis has hit so many people..

Phil, so why didn't they get out there? Will the book tell us that?

Gerry and Kate have not told them (the twins) where she is.....Ooooops!

I'm not surprised, Phil, that you had disappeared rather from the media, especially not after that comment of yours about the highly trained sniffer dogs on BBC Five Live Breakfast.

PM: Yes, I do think she's still alive. We have had no evidence contrary to that and as for cadaver dogs sniffing death on Kate; I mean, what is she? Lassie? Is she gonna speak to them and ask what they're smelling? Kate's a doctor - what does this mean? You know, they've been given a team that send her to go and sniff Kate's clothes and the dogs are told what to do. If they start barking, how are we supposed to interpret that? Except, perhaps, they're 'barking'.

There's another good adjective, Phil, 'barking.' Some might say that you were slightly 'barking.'!!

But, anyway, Phil, they've let you out again, but once again, you're not being very helpful, I'd say.

“Kate and Gerry feel a real responsibility that they don’t want to continue asking the public to support them, and that support has allowed them to go on."(Press and Journal 25/11/10)

But hey! Wasn't there a Paypal button on that petition web site? (No link provided. I just can't bear to revisit all those Phil MacCanns and Ben Dovers) So, they didn't get much then? That petition was launched on Wednesday November 3rd, according to the Daily Mail where it was reported that:

The couple have written an open letter begging for political and financial help and launched an online petition to lobby the British and Portuguese governments for a formal review of the case.

But, less than two weeks later in a blog entry, Kate McCann informs that they have decided to 'publish a book.' Not write a book, but publish a book. So, at this point the book already existed, the one that Kate and Gerry have decided to publish '
with a very heavy heart.' So, what were they going to do with the book if not publish it? Two weeks after writing an open letter asking for financial help, Kate and Gerry now do not wish to ask the public for support and they just happen to have a book handy to publish to raise money for the dwindling fund. Yeh right!

Mr McCann’s older sister Philomena McCann, 46, who lives at Ullapool in Wester Ross and is head of social subjects at the local high school, said Kate had finished writing and the book was being edited.(Press and Journal)

So, Kate and Gerry decided, with a 'heavy heart,' to publish this book, rather than ask the public for more donations, but it's already finished and being edited? Was it finished and handed over for editing before or after that open letter asking for donations?

Ms McCann said: “Kate is mainly doing it and I know she has written some very truthful and scathing things relating to the Portuguese police. (Press and Journal - link above)

Well, I hope Kate and Gerry know you've said that Phil. I'm guessing they either asked you to say that as some kind of notice to the Portuguese police or they will now be rushing to make sure their lawyers put a red line through anything in that 'truthful and scathing,' book that could be seen as being libelous.

Oh dear! You may be relegated again to that closet away from the media!

And finally! I'm intrigued by this quote from Kate McCann on the
Find Madeleine web site:

“We are hopeful that this book may help the investigation to find Madeleine in other ways too. Our hope is that it may prompt those who have relevant information, knowingly or not, to come forward and share it with our team.”

How will I know if I unknowingly have relevant information? How will anyone know? Will the McCanns' team help people to know that they don't know and/or help those who unknowingly have information to remember that they know it? How will people self-select to contact the team? Should I, because I don't think I know anything, but I may not know whether I know or not? I may unknowingly be sitting here not knowing that I know something...or not! I think I'll lie down for a while!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Father Jose Pacheco gave the McCanns keys to his church and later removed all traces of Maddie. Why?


The following was posted as a 'twitpic,' on Twitter by @santi_girl.

This is one of the articles which were deleted from the Daily Express.
A friend of Father Pacheco said, "He's hiding secrets that are destroying him." What secrets of the confessional might this priest be obliged to take with him to the grave?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Where was Maddie when the lights went out? Updated with an interesting puzzle!


Image from PJ files vol 1a page 15

The above is an image from the official police files, taken by Assistant Specialist Joao Barreiras on May 4th, 2007, the day after Madeleine disappeared into thin air from Apartment 5A. Apart from some ruffling near the pillow, the covers are perfectly smooth and flat, almost as though the bed had not been slept in. This is what Kate McCann supposedly had a view of in the darkened bedroom when she did her check at 10pm. Notice any bulge that could possibly be mistaken for a child? Notice any bulge that would give rise to doubts, even in semi-darkness as to whether it was the bedclothes or a child? Only FlatStanley could have slept in that bed and left if perfectly flat!

Flat Stanley

Right enough, though, a Maddie that shape would have been much easier to have got through the very narrow opening of her bedroom window. Hang about, though, the abductor would have to have been subject to flatiosis too! Mmmm! Did Jane Tanner fail to mention something? She didn't see very much of him because in profile he was half an inch thick?

But Kate McCann was obviously expecting a Flat Stanley type child in that bed.

00.13 - 01.31

Kate McCann starts by telling us that the first thing she noticed was:

"..the door was open much further than we'd left it."
But Matthew Oldfield apparently looked into the room at 9.30pm. Had he been given instructions to return the door to the exact degree he was told it had been left at by the McCanns? Maybe he didn't, the wee scunner!

Then Kate describes what she saw:

"..I could see Sean and Amelie in their cot." Singular cot?

And Madeleine?

"...and I was looking at Madeleine's bed, which is here and it was dark (but she saw the twins?) and I was looking and I was thinking, 'is that Madeleine or is that the bedding? I couldn't make her out."

Well, you wouldn't 'make her out,' if the bed was as flat as that, would you? Something wrong with your depth vision, Kate McCann? Should've gone to specsavers!

With the above statements, Kate McCann establishes that the twins and Madeleine had, at one time, all been in the bedroom and in her Woman's Hour Interview Kate tells us how she had left Madeleine:

Jenny: 'Was she sleeping when you left her?'

Kate: (Long pause) 'Errm, yes, she was, yeah'.

Why should Kate need a significant pause to be able to answer that question?

The immediate impression from both the pause, her answer and the way she says it, is that she momentarily didn't know what to say. But how could that be? Comment by Nigel Moore.

OK, so Kate McCann tells us that all three children were in that bedroom when she left for the Tapas restaurant, that Madeleine was asleep, and that when she checked at 10pm, she saw the twins.

Who else can verify that all three children were in that bedroom and were asleep when they were left?

Gerry McCann's statement May 4th 2007

Yesterday, after the daily routines, MADELEINE and the twins were put to bed in their respective beds at 7.30pm. The parents remained in the apartment to relax and drink a glass of wine until 8.30pm. After checking that the children were asleep, the parents, accompanied by other adults, went to the, "Tapas," restaurant



Thus, at 9.05pm, the interviewee entered the apartment using his key, the door being locked, and went to the children's room and noted that the twins and Madeleine were OK. He then took several minutes going to the toilet. He left the apartment and bumped into someone with whom he had played tennis and had a brief conversation. He then returned to the Tapas.

Gerry doesn't actually say where the children's 'respective beds,' were, but it is to be assumed that he meant in the apartment somewhere.

This is all repeated almost word for word in Kate McCann's statement May 4th 2007

Yesterday, after the daily routine, Madeleine and the twins went to bed at around 7.30. They were in their respective beds. The interviewee and her husband stayed in their apartment to relax until 8.30pm.

Anyone else? On May 4th Matthew Oldfield stated that he visited the apartment at 9.25pm. He saw the twins in their cots, but didn't see Madeleine.

At around 9.25pm, the interviewee went into his apartment and Madeleine's apartment to check on the children. He states that the door of the fourth room, that was occupied by Madeleine and the twins, was half-open and that there was enough light in the bedroom for him to see the twins in their cots. That he couldn't see the bed occupied by Madeleine, but as it was all quiet, he deduced that she was sleeping.

Matthew insists that he had looked into the children's bedroom, as detailed above. However, he also describes the children's bedroom like this:

He states that the bedroom has two windows. The twins occupy two cots placed in the middle of the room and Madeleine occupies a bed pushed against the wall, facing the wall which has the two windows that look out onto the outside of the complex.

Two windows? What room was he looking into?


Kate McCann saw something that could have been Madeleine or bedding on a perfectly flat bed and Matthew Oldfield saw two windows where, as you can see, there was one! Too much vino? Matthew also states that he listened at the window at 9.05pm: I'll return to that later.

According to the Times Online December 16th 2007:

When he entered the apartment, Gerry immediately saw that the children’s bedroom door, which they always left just ajar, was now open to 45 degrees. He thought that was odd, and glanced in his own bedroom to see if Madeleine had gone into her parents’ bed. But no, she and the twins were all still fast asleep.

But he obviously didn't tell Kate about the door being open more widely than they had left it. The door was a bit more open, but Madeleine and the twins were asleep. He confirms having seen Madeleine and that he left the door just ajar at five degrees.

Gerry paused over Madeleine, who – a typical doctor’s observation, this – was lying almost in “the recovery position” with Cuddle Cat, the toy her godfather, John Corner, had bought her, and her comfort blanket up near her head, and Gerry thought how gorgeous, how lovely-looking she was and how lucky he was. Putting the door back to five degrees, he went to the loo and left to return to the restaurant. That, of course, was the last time he would see his daughter.

Right! So, the children were all asleep in their 'respective beds,' Gerry McCann saw all three at around 9.05pm and Matthew Oldfield saw the twins at around 9.30pm, in their cots, in a room that, strangely, had two windows. Right!
So, where is all this leading? I'll tell you! I don't think the twins were in cots in that room and I don't think Madeleine slept in that bed behind the door. If Madeleine had been in that room at all, I think the twins had been elsewhere and Madeleine's bed was the one by the window. The bed behind the door was perfectly tidy, but the one by the window looks slept in. (See photo above.) OK, that proves nothing, and this, of course, is just my speculative opinion, but I think a good case can be made for that opinion.

In Chapter 11 , "Analysis of a crime scene: apartment 5A," of Gonçalo Amaral's book "The Truth of the Lie," Dr Amaral joins the teams of investigators for a meeting at which photos of the crime scene, taken on May 4th, are discussed.

We carry on looking at the photos of the bedroom: the two cots are in the middle of the room and are in the way of an adult moving around.

- Why is there nothing more than mattresses? All the bed linen has been removed. I really wonder why...

- Perhaps a child vomited or soiled the sheets, and they didn't want to leave them in that state...

The cots were in the middle of the room, which, as seen from the photos, makes the room very cluttered and very difficult for someone to move through to the window, carrying a child. Leaving that aside, the cots had no sheets on and the police wonder why. They hadn't been slept in?

From the police files, the statement given by Maria Serafim da Silva on May 7th 2007, concerning the last time she had cleaned the McCanns' apartment: the morning of Wednesday May 2nd.

She remembers that when she entered Apartment A on the Wednesday, the parents were inside. After being duly authorized, she entered and carried out her work, because they were already on their way out. While she was in the apartment, there were no children there, and she supposed that they were in the creche. While performing her work, she remembers having noticed that the couple was sleeping in the room located opposite the entrance, where she confirmed the presence of a child's bed (crib). The room gives onto an outdoor garden by means of a terrace, as it is on the ground floor,. In the room next to the entrance to the apartment there was a bed placed next to the wall (where she supposed the missing child slept), and also the second child's bed (crib). All these beds were untidy at the time, meaning that they had been used. She also declares that in the room next to the entrance was another bed that had not been used.

In the parents' room there was a cot and in the other room, the room that Madeleine was said to have disappeared from, there was one cot and two beds, one of which had not been slept in.

In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, published on January 10th 2008, this is how Gerry McCann describes the scene in the children's bedroom when it was discovered that Madeleine was missing.

It wasn’t until Kate walked into the villa at 10 and felt a sickening breeze—the front window had been jimmied open—that she realized something terrible had happened. “The scene was stark,” Gerry tells me. On one bed the twins lay sleeping. In the next lay only the plush cat toy Madeleine was never without.
On one bed the twins lay sleeping? Together and on one bed? And in the next...? That sounds like there were two beds very close together. Otherwise, with one bed by the door and one by the window, wouldn't it have been more logical to have said, "In the other."?

For both Gerry McCann's and Matthew Oldfield's statements to be true, and for them, therefore, to have seen Madeleine's bed, she had to have been sleeping in the bed behind the door. (If she had been sleeping in that room.) With two cots in the way, they would not have seen her if she had been sleeping in the bed by the window. So, she had to be behind the door for their observations and their statements.

The messy bed by the window could be explained by Kate McCann's statement, reported in the Daily Mail on August 7th 2008.

Kate and Gerry McCann slept in separate beds after an argument during their family holiday, the police files revealed.
Mrs McCann stayed in her children's room the night before Madeleine's disappearance because she was upset that her husband had 'ignored' her at dinner.
We can see from looking at the photos of Madeleine's bedroom, taken on May 4th, the day after she disappeared, that the bed Kate supposedly slept in on the Wednesday night was unmade, but the bed that Madeleine supposedly was put to sleep in on the night of Thursday May 3rd, was so tidy it looked like it had not been slept in. If she had been in that bed on Wednesday night, someone must have tidied that bed on Thursday morning, but not the one that Kate McCann had slept in. Why not?
Summing up: there were said to be two cots in the room with the twins very sound asleep when the apartment was entered by the friends of the McCanns soon after Madeleine disappeared.

That he never went into the said bedroom occupied by the children but he could see that there were two beds and two cots. The cots were placed in the middle of the bedroom. One of the beds was placed against the window and the other, the one occupied by Madeleine, was against the wall facing the one which has a window. (David Payne May 4th)
Not the arrangement the cleaner saw on Wednesday May 2nd, and not how Gerry McCann described the scene in the Vanity Fair interview.
So, what do I think was the arrangement? I think it's most likely that if Madeleine had been occupying that room, she was probably sleeping in the bed by the window and that the two cots were not in the room. I think Madeleine would have been in that bed so that she was next to the window and anyone checking could just listen at the window, rather than enter the apartment. Matthew Oldfield stated that he had listened at the window at around 9.05pm on May 3rd and I think that was probably the usual method of checking. My opinion, of course. If she had been sleeping in that room at all. And where were the twins? If Madeleine had been in that room, and there had been one cot, or two cots, then where were they on the night of May 3rd, if not there?
As you would expect (well I certainly would!) with all the inconsistencies and contradictions, there might be a totally different scenario, or scenarios!
The cleaner stated that the couple had been sleeping in the room opposite the entrance.
PhotobucketKate and Gerry's room 2
Plan of apartment 5A and the room described as being that of Kate and Gerry
Let's consider an alternative scenario. Whose bed was not slept in on the Wednesday night? We are told it was Kate McCann's. Which room has a bed that does not appear to have been slept in? That described as being the children's. Now, was the cleaner told that the bedroom pictured above was Kate and Gerry's or did she see their things or the clothes/items belonging to one parent in that room? Did Kate join the children in that bedroom on the Tuesday night as well as the Wednesday, and the cleaner saw her things there? Tuesday, I believe, was the quiz night, when Gerry may have been paying rather too much attention to the quiz mistress.
The room pictured above has two beds that appear to have been slept in and Kate and Gerry did not sleep in apartment 5A on Thursday night. So, can we conclude that both beds had been slept in on Wednesday night? And had both had occupants on Thursday night?
What I'm suggesting is Gerry's statement to the Vanity Fair journalist makes more sense if the children had actually been sleeping in the other bedroom, that pictured above. “The scene was stark,” Gerry tells me. On one bed the twins lay sleeping. In the next lay only the plush cat toy Madeleine was never without."
I am quite sure that the scene in 5A was staged in some way and why not switch the bedrooms around to make it appear that all three children had slept in the other room? Why the switch-round? Something to hide, perhaps, in the room the children had been sleeping in? And not enough time to sort it out?
The above is a reconstruction from the documentary based on Gonçalo Amaral's book, although it has been said that Kate and Gerry were actually on the floor, leaning over the bed. It has also been suggested on various fora that this bizarre behaviour was designed to keep the police out of the bedroom. And why? What was in the room that the McCanns may not have wanted the police to see? Something in the wardrobe perhaps? We know that on one occasion during that week, Madeleine was said to have hidden at bedtime. Did she hide in the wardrobe and was found there by an angry parent, who wanted to get ready to go out for dinner?
Eddie definitely showed a keen interest in the wardrobe.
And the two cots? Perhaps there had been one in each room, as the cleaner said, but not being used, hence no sheets. The twins may have been in one bed. Gerry told us that the twins had been due to go into proper beds when they went home, but suppose they had already gone into proper beds and they were definitely not going to go back into cots, especially not those travel cots, which are really too small for two-year-olds. Gerry does tend to come up with explanations for everything, where it's not always necessary and maybe he slipped up in the Vanity Fair interview. Perhaps in explaining that the two-year-olds, who were really too big for those cots, would be going into proper beds at home, he was giving a little too much information? Reinforcing the idea that they had been sleeping in the travel cots when this hadn't been the case? Also responding to the question of the twins being too big for cots, any kind of cot.
So, where was Maddie when the lights went out? In the bed behind the door? Not in any bed, because she had already met with an accident? In a bed in the room described as being the one the parents slept in? That might explain why none of Maddie's DNA was found in the room she was said to have been sleeping in.
If we really knew the answer to that question, we might be closer to knowing what happened to Maddie on the night of May 3rd 2007. Where was she when the lights went out?
Two views of the bedroom that Madeleine McCann was said to have slept in. Number 1 is from the police files and number 2, I would imagine is from publicity photos about the apartment for tourists. The puzzle is: in photo number 1, why is the headboard of the bed Madeleine was said to have slept in behind the chest of drawers?
Photo 1

Photo 2

Maddie's room 202
Image number 2 is from an article which appeared in the News of the World in May 2008, in which the newspaper claimed to have been given exclusive access to the apartment.
It seems unlikely to me that the McCanns would have been allocated an apartment where a headboard was propped behind a chest of drawers. Surely if it had been damaged, it would have been repaired or replaced before the apartment was rented out? Why prop it behind the chest of drawers rather than just remove it, if it had been damaged before the McCanns moved in?
Why did the headboard have to be propped there? Why not in what appears to be its original place? The bed appears to be in the same place in both photos, so why has the headboard been moved?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Inside Out, Back to Front and Upside Down!

I have not come across the BBC East Midlands Programme, "Inside Out," before, which is not surprising since the only time my telly is on these days is when my grandson is here and we watch a little bit of CBeebies, when he has run me ragged.

On Monday 22nd, part of the programme, which airs at 7.30pm, will be concerned with, "Who are the Madeleine Foundation."? Well, who are they?

The Madeleine Foundation was set up in January 2008 with the following aims:

a) to change the law in whatever way is needed in order to send out a clear message to all parents that leaving young children on their own is never acceptable, and to strive for the adoption of a new law with its key provisions ensuring that parents “Never leave young children on their own”

b) to pursue - in conjunction with others - the truth about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance on 3 May 2007

c) to investigate the facts behind the extent of British government involvement in this case and the reasons for it

d) to ensure that the media, in particular the British media, report this case accurately and give due weight to all viewpoints on Madeleine’s disappearance

e) to generally promote the welfare of children, in particular by ensuring that parents are aware of the psychological needs of their children and ensuring that the relevant authorities take appropriate action to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The Foundation has produced several publications, including, "What really happened to Madeleine McCann? 60 reasons which suggest she was not abducted." (Pictured below)

The members of the Madeleine Foundation have worked tirelessly over these nearly three years, sometimes attracting controversy - for example when they did a leaflet drop in the McCanns' home town of Rothley in Leicestershire - sometimes dealing with threats of legal action by the McCanns' legal team at Carter-Ruck (Yes, the company that represented General Pinochet and Trafigura, the oil company alleged to be responsible for wide-spread pollution in Africa) - but always managing to keep going with their main aim in mind: finding the truth about what happened to Madeleine McCann.

I support the Madeleine Foundation in its efforts to change the laws concerning the minimum age at which children should be left alone, and in its seeking to find the truth about what happened to Madeleine. So, I was initially quite pleased to see that the BBC was giving time to the Madeleine Foundation. However, call me cynical, but having read the synopsis on the Inside Out web page, I seriously doubt that the good people of the East Midlands are going to be presented with a very balanced view of the Madeleine Foundation and its work.

What happened to Madeleine McCann remains a mystery. Her parents were cleared of playing any role in her disappearance, but controversial group continues to campaign in support of a discredited detective who claims Kate and Gerry McCann covered up the truth. Inside Out investigates the members and motives of the Madeleine Foundation.

Yes, it remains a mystery. I have to say, though, that the Madeleine Foundation received a letter from Carter-Ruck (letters can be read on the MF web site) stating that the case must not be referred to as a 'mystery,' so, look out BBC!

Her parents were cleared? Well, no they weren't. The case was archived and the McCanns' arguido status lifted, but no one was 'cleared.' There was simply insufficient evidence to charge anyone, which is rather different.

And why describe Gonçalo Amaral, the senior police officer who coordinated the investigation, as 'discredited.'? That's hardly an unbiased description and not one held by the three judges who sat on the bench of the Appeal Court in Lisbon and overturned the ban on Amaral's book, "The Truth of the Lie." The judges decided that the book did not infringe any of the McCanns' rights, that it represented the facts as contained in the police files, and that Amaral with 26 years as a police officer, was qualified to give an interpretation of those facts (Read the full decision in English here)

Well, this group that 'continues to support,' the discredited detective - what kind of impression does that statement give? Does that make the Madeleine Foundation sound like a group of professional people, seeking justice for a small child? Or does it make them sound like they might be rather misguided? The latter, I would suggest. And we're probably getting a flavour of the slant of this programme before it's aired.

"Inside Out investigates the members and motives of the Madeleine Foundation." Now, if they said they were giving the members the opportunity to talk about their work, that would be quite positive. Viewers could make up their own minds as to whether the Foundation and its members were to be taken seriously or not. However, the programme investigates the members? That makes the object of the exercise sound more like "Watchdog." - we investigate crooked car dealers!

I hope I'm wrong, but reading the synopsis, I see - who are this bunch of people who support a discredited detective? What are their motives for pursuing this crazy objective? Well, I guess no publicity is bad publicity and at least more people will find out that the Foundation exists and some may be motivated to visit the web site and find out for themselves what the Madeleine Foundation is all about. I do hope so.

The following is a video, which was removed from YouTube for breaching terms and conditions, although it is simply a reading of the 48 questions which Kate McCann refused to answer in September 2007. These questions are in the public domain as part of the official police files and can be read on literally thousands of web sites.

The 48 questions Kate McCann refused to answer, by Tony Bennett. The questions can also be read on the video.

If you watch this programme, I would ask you to keep an open mind, if it's as biased as I think it may be. Kate and Gerry McCann were invited to take part, but I believe they turned down the opportunity.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Madeleine McCann: why do her parents say they are delighted?


By Duarte Levy

November 7th 2010

Fewer than 0.1% have shown their support for Madeleine McCann's parents, but Kate and Gerry say they are "
delighted".....In spite of this, Maddie's body is yet to be found and the investigation is still waiting for "better evidence."

According to the latest known figures, the United Kingdom has 61,534, 872 inhabitants and Portugal 10, 644,987, making a total of potentially 72,169,859 people to respond to the request for a review of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance. Up to today, assuming that all the signatories to this petition actually exist, 27,426* people support the McCann family's request.

The request, however is born out of fantasy: with regard to Portuguese law, an independent review of an official police investigation does not exist.

To sum up, 0.038% of the two countries concerned support Kate and Gerry McCann.

Having read several articles published recently by my colleagues, one question gnaws at me: where are they finding reasons to say they are happy with this support?

The question becomes even more important when you consider that, according to the investigators who searched for the little girl, Maddie's parents - as well as certain of their British friends - did not collaborate with the investigation that they are now requesting to be reviewed.

That said, how do you carry out a review of an investigation which, from the start, was subject to pressure and manipulation by British diplomats? Even more important, who would be independent enough nowadays to review anything at all about this case?

So, there remains only one solution, and that is in the hands of Madeleine's parents: submit to questions and requests from the magistrates and investigators, after asking them to reopen the investigation. What's left in the fund is surely enough to cover the likely legal fees to get this action going. And I am ready to put my signature to that request.

* By way of comparison, in 2007, under the government of Tony Blair - not a stranger to the Maddie case - 590,682 British people put their names to another petition against a tax on motoring.

To also give you an idea of the usefulness of these petitions, in 2009, 72,222 English people demanded the resignation of the other Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. The McCanns' friend did not resign, but later on the electors got him out of number 10.

Duarte Levy

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.