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EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

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EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.09.14 10:43

First, today's Sunday Express article, which features the alleged conman trying to snatch the three-year-old child of a British woman. This alleged sighting of a conman is covered on pages 282-3 of Summers and Swan's book and has been hailed by many of Britain's mainstream media as 'a dramatic new revelation'. 

Then I wil follow that by republishing part of my lengthy article about Brian Kennedy , which deals specifically with the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon, who are both mentioned in today's Sunday Express article.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  

THE SUNDAY EXPRESS STORY TODAY

EXCLUSIVE: Mum in Portugal says conman tried to snatch child weeks before Maddie disappeared

SCOTLAND Yard detectives have interviewed a British woman whose three-year-old daughter narrowly escaped being taken by a paedophile suspect just weeks before Madeleine McCann disappeared.

by: James Murray  --  Published: Sunday, September 14, 2014

The waste ground being searched is close to the Ocean Club where the McCanns stayed pic: [STEVE REIGATE]

The woman got a good, close-up look at the man who she feared was planning to kidnap her young child and it is hoped she can produce a quality e fit of him.

Officers from Operation Grange, informally named the Maddie Squad, have spoken at length to the woman and urged her to remember as much about the man as she possibly can.

Today we can reveal that the worrying incident happened early in spring 2007 at a rented villa which overlooks a large expanse of wasteland in Praia da Luz on the Algarve which was searched this summer by Met search specialists and sniffer dogs.

The woman was surprised by a knock at the door from a lone conman who said he was collecting money for a nearby orphanage, which doesn’t exist.

As she chatted on the doorstep the woman noticed the man was paying close attention to her daughter who was standing by her side.

Later as she walked to a primary school to collect her other child she noticed the same man hanging around at the top of her road.

The school is just a stone’s throw from the Ocean Club, from where Madeleine was taken on May 3 seven years ago.

She thought little of the encounter until the following day when, as she walked down stairs in her villa, she saw that a man had entered her property and was with her daughter.

Because of the angle she was standing on the stairs she was on, she only got a look at the man’s legs, but felt certain that it was the same person who had come to her door previously.

Realising that he was about to be confronted, the intruder fled and the woman, although startled, chose not to go to the police.

The incident happened in the weeks before Madeleine was taken and has only just come to light in a book published last week, Looking For Madeleine, by investigative journalists Anthony Summers and his wife Robbyn Swan.

The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story.

The book states: “A British citizen long resident in the Algarve has described the chilling episode when a man claiming to represent an orphanage came to the door of her friend, also English.

“There was a knock at the door, “ she recalled, “and the man standing there said he was collecting for some orphanage.

“He looked rather unkempt, scruffy. But what made her very uncomfortable was that, all the time he stood there, he wasn’t looking at her but past her – at her three-year-old daughter.”

This is the single most important new piece of information' - Suumers and Swan 

Her sense of unease increased when she saw him waiting at the end of the road.

The friend told the authors: “And the following day, she left her three-year-old daughter downstairs for a minute or two while she went upstairs to fetch some laundry.

“Then, when she was coming back down the stairs, she caught a glimpse of the man, really only his legs, in the living room with her child.

"He left rapidly as she came down the stairs, obviously.

“She thought he had got in through the sliding patio doors and believed, even then, that he had meant to take her daughter.”

Mr Summers said: “This is a significant development in the search for Madeleine. What is not clear is how the man gained entry to the woman’s home.

“The worrying episode suggests that the man was targeting the child and looking for opportunities to get inside the home.”

Robbyn added: “This is the single most important new piece of information in our book.”

The week before Madeleine vanished a man had gone to apartment 5a, where she later stayed, and sought a donation for an orphanage.

Paul Gordon, a British man renting the property with his family, gave the man ten euros. He, too, has been interviewed by police.

On April 20, 2007, British tourist Gail Coooper [sic] answered the door to a caller at her rented villa who sought money for an orphanage.

Checks by the authors and this newspaper suggests the charity collectors, who showed leaflets and identity cards, were bogus as there are no nearby orphanages.

 

[ Related articles:  'Cruise passenger left outraged by ship's Maddie McCann mural',  'Madeleine McCann hunt slowed by Portuguese court chaos', 'Prowler seen stalking holiday apartments when MadeleineMcCann vanished' book claims ]



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NOW SOME EXTRACTS FROM MY PREVIOUS BRIAN KENNEDY ARTICLE (2010)


Brian Kennedy’s actions following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

PART 5:

We don’t know when Kennedy contacted Martin Smith, nor why. But we know that he did, and that he wanted Martin Smith to take part in a ‘photo-fit exercise’. This seems to have been part of Kennedy’s modus operandi, as it was around the same time that he got FBI-trained forensic artist Melissa Little, B.Sc. (Hons), PS, FBI Diploma, to work with Jane Tanner to produce her sketch of ‘bundleman’, and as we shall see in a moment, he also brought in Melissa Little as part of a carefully planned media operation to promote a new suspect, ‘Monster man’, or ‘Cooperman’ in January 2008. 

The release of Jane Tanner’s ‘bundleman’ sketch

PIC: Melissa Little’s sketch, based on Jane Tanner’s recollection, which became known as ‘bundleman’

It was on Friday 26 October that the British public were first made aware of the sketch that Melissa Little had made, based on Jane Tanner’s claimed sighting, said to show the man she had seen at around 9.15pm on 3 May 2007.

To sum up the press reports, they told us how the McCann Team had released a sketch of ‘the man that they believe abducted their daughter’. The image was held to shows ‘a man is of European or Mediterranean appearance’ walking away with a child in his arms. It was SKY News that reported that the sketch had been drawn ‘by an FBI-trained forensic artist’ - whom we now know to be Melissa Little. Either the Find Madeleine Fund or Brian Kennedy paid Melissa Little’s fees. Her fees for doing this, and for her ‘Monster man’ sketches, see below, have never been disclosed. Nor has the McCann Team told us who paid for them. But then that is par for the course from the secretive McCann Team, who have never been anywhere near transparent about their activities. We shall learn more below about the extent to which Kennedy used, directed and paid for the services of Melissa Little in his creation of helpful media stories.

On 13 May 2007, as detailed in Goncalo Amaral’s book A Verdade da Mentira, ‘The Truth About A Lie’, she had positively identified, from a police van, Robert Murat as the man she had seen. The ‘bundleman’ sketch of Melissa Little, released on 26 October, however, looked nothing like Robert Murat.

Moreover, the sketch was completely faceless - after all, Tanner claimed to have seen the man as it was nearly dark, for only about 3-4 seconds, and from the side, walking away from her.

Quite apart from all those considerations, it was now very nearly six months since the day Madeleine was reported missing, all but 8 days. We might well ask: what was the point of releasing a sketch of a faceless man to the British public 25 weeks and one day after Madeleine had disappeared?

Was the real purpose to find this man? Or was it to create a publicity storm to reinforce the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine had been abducted?  


The Paul Gordon ‘sighting’

Then, on 6 January 2008, the press gave prominence to the claims of another witness, who had also been interviewed by Brian Kennedy: Paul Gordon. According to a statement he made to the police, he and his family had stayed in apartment G5A - the Mccanns’ apartment - from 21 to 28 April.  

It was The People who broke the story on 6 January, tagging its report: ‘Exclusive’. It was headed: “New witness was worried by the creeps lurking near apartment.. just 5 days later Maddie had vanished”. The People report told us:

"A Brit who stayed in the same holiday flat as Madeleine McCann has told how he spotted creepy strangers lurking nearby before she vanished. Paul Gordon said he was worried the dodgy-looking people had no business to be at the Portuguese complex. His shock evidence could mean child-snatchers had been staking out the complex before four-year-old Maddie's family even arrived there. Brewery executive Paul, 34, and his family, rented the Ocean Club flat in Praia da Luz for a fortnight last April. The McCanns took it over from them…

“Dad-of-two Paul confided his kidnap fears to Scotland Yard after returning home to Fareham, Hampshire. The sales executive, whose kids are one and three, also revealed his concerns to pals. One said: ‘Paul is very safety-conscious when it comes to his children. He saw people loitering who he thought had no business to be in the complex. He's talked to the police but wants to keep the details confidential. He doesn't want to be seen to be pointing the finger at anyone. Being a father himself Paul just wants Madeleine found…He believes potential child-snatchers may have been watching for days…’

“[The McCanns’] spokesman Clarence Mitchell last night confirmed Paul had spoken to police. He added: ‘We have talked to him, but that's all we can say at the moment’.” Pausing there, we may observe that before The People could put this story together, they must have spoken to both Paul Gordon and his friend. How did The People contact him and his friend? It would appear to be via the McCann Team, because Mitchell admits: ‘We have talked to him’. In other words, it was yet another media story generated entirely by Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team. This will become still clearer later on.

The Daily Mail gave us more details the following day (7 January). It told us:

“A father confronted a man lurking outside the McCanns' holiday apartment just days before Madeleine vanished…British holiday-maker Paul Gordon told police he spotted the man outside the two-bedroom flat’s patio doors while his own two children were sleeping inside. Mr Gordon, 34, contacted British police about his suspicions in May, as soon as he heard that Madeleine had gone missing. He and his family stayed in the apartment immediately before the McCanns. He told how he confronted the man when he saw him outside the glass patio doors, which are at the back of the apartment, away from the front door…The man claimed to be collecting money for an orphanage in the mountains and Mr Gordon told detectives he left him alone near the doors while he went to find money to give him. In those few minutes the stranger could have studied the lay-out of the apartment and even checked on locks and security arrangements inside, police fear.

It went on: “The private detectives hired by the McCanns, Método 3, have investigated a series of sightings of people hanging around the apartment, including a report of two people claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses who tried to get inside, and now Mr Gordon's sighting of the suspicious charity collector. Método 3 believe some of the people could have been 'spotters' who identified Madeleine as a potential victim for a paedophile network, then monitored her family's movements and struck when the McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, left their three children alone to go and have dinner. Mr Gordon was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives and Metodo 3…Speaking outside his house in Fareham, Hampshire, he said: “I've given a statement and want it to remain private”.

The Daily Mail report, then, gives us a greater insight into how this story reached the British press in the first week of the New Year. The Mail article clearly tells us that it was Método 3 detectives who contacted and then spoke to Paul Gordon in Fareham. Our main question would be: how did Metodo 3 and the McCann Team get hold of Oaul Gordon’s address, so they could interview him? One line of thought is that the information as to his private address could have been leaked to Método 3 via a ‘rogue’ Police Officer within the Portuguese Police investighation, who was feeding information, possibly for money, to the Método 3 team.

We might also ask if this press story in any way helped to find the person who may have abducted Madeleine McCann? No description was given. No artist’s sketch was issued. Yet without a doubt, it advanced the McCann Team’s narrative that sinister people had been watching their apartment for some time beforehand, waiting for an opportunity to snatch a child.  

The Mail also quoted Clarence Mitchell, who this time said: “Mr Gordon has spoken to the police about his time in the apartment and our investigative team has also spoken with him”.

The Mail also summarised other ‘sighting’s of suspicious men that the McCann Team had put in the British media in recent weeks:

(a)   the baby-sitter who told how she saw a man hiding in bushes outside the flat in late 2006

(b)   a British nanny who said she saw a man 'identical' to suspect Robert Murat trying to lift the shutters on the ground floor window of the apartment in December, while she was looking after a six-year-old boy inside

(c)    Karen Sixsmith, a British mother from Bowden, Cheshire, who six weeks before Madeleine was reported missing said a woman who looked like Mr Murat's girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, 34, came to the door with a man, saying they were Jehovah's Witnesses; she said that the man seemed anxious to get inside the flat, where she was staying with her husband and young daughter, who is blonde with blue eyes, like Madeleine, and was so concerned she called police immediately

(d) the Ocean Club worker who said he saw a British tourist ‘hiding’ in a stairwell outside the apartment at 6pm on the night Madeleine vanished,  just 12 yards from the flat.

These stories helped to generate in the minds of the British public that Madeleine really had been abducted by a wicked stranger.

A report in the Daily Mirror on 7 January suggested that Paul Gordon had seen a ‘non-British man’, while claiming: “The new information renews fears that paedophiles may have stalked the McCanns for days at the Ocean Club complex, in Praia da Luz on the Portuguese Algarve”.

There was a most curious addition to the Daily Mirror story, though. They told us: “Yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time, brewery executive Paul, 34…arrived at his home in Fareham, Hampshire, concealing his face with a hoodie and walked with his back facing the street at all times”.

The Mirror report went on to tell us:

“Paul said the man did not look British and was outside the apartment long enough to work out its layout…he was interviewed several times and has given a sworn statement. He has also volunteered to give DNA and fingerprint samples”. The report didn’t actually tell us by whom Mr Gordon had been interviewed ‘several times’.

But later, Paul Gordon made this statement about his evidence:

“To the best of my knowledge I never met the McCann family and never delivered the key to anyone other than the staff of Mark Warner…I want to add that since January this year I have received numerous phone calls, messages and visits from the press regarding the collector of donations, which in turn put me in contact with other people such as Brian Kennedy, Kate and Gerry McCann. I feel that this is a constraint that makes it difficult to take the more correct decision…I tried always to co-operate with the police in every way possible…There are certain times when I feel like a pawn in chess”.

Here Paul Gordon gives us details about his contact with ‘other people’ including Brian Kennedy. He does not explain to us, however, when and how he was contacted by Método 3, nor when and where he met them, nor what he told them.  These are a few more missing pieces of the great Madeleine McCann jigsaw puzzle that Paul Gordon or the McCann Team could easily give us. If they wished to. 


Brian Kennedy’s part in creating the ‘Monster man’ story in the News of the World, 20 January 2008

We come now to investigate the background to the ‘Monster man’, or ‘Cooperman’ story reaching the British public in a News of the World exclusive on 20 January 2008.

Strangely enough, the first indication of the approach of ‘Monsterman’ (who was also called ‘George Harrison man’ by some because of his resemblance to the former Beatles star) was given in a Daily Mirror ‘Exclusive’ just one day after the report above dated 7 January which featured the claims of the hooded, ‘back-to-the-street’ Paul Gordon. Clearly Brian Kennedy and Clarence Mitchell were hawking their Madeleine stories around the British tabloids, feeding them with enough juicy titbits to allow them to claim their stories were true ‘exclusives’, which are much prized by newspaper editors. At that time it was estimated that a Madeleine McCann story with a photo of Madeleine on the front page could easily add another 30,000 copies to a paper’s daily sales.     

Will Payne and Ryan Parry in Praia da Luz gave the Mirror this headline on 8 January: “New lead on Madeleine – Exclusive: Witness reveals chilling clues about Maddie”. We were told:

“A second British tourist has reported seeing a mystery man hanging around Madeleine McCann's holiday flat just days before she vanished. Gail Cooper, 50, said she was confronted by the ‘creepy’ stranger at her holiday villa in Portugal. He claimed he was collecting for an orphanage in the next village of Espiche. She spotted him again two days later on Praia Da Luz beach. Gail, from Newark, Notts, said yesterday: ‘He was a horrible-looking man, really creepy, unkempt and dirty. He definitely wasn't Portuguese. He scared me’. Gail's sighting came after the Mirror revealed yesterday that tourist Paul Gordon also spotted a mystery stalker skulking around the holiday complex…

“Gail reported the man to police after she arrived home and read about Madeleine's disappearance. They took a statement from her but Gail added: ‘I didn't hear anything back, but I'm so sure this man had something to do with Madeleine's disappearance’. Last night, the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said both reports were being investigated.

As we shall see this was another story that emanated solely from the McCann Team.

On Saturday 19 January, the News of the World released this picture on its website: [unable for technical reasons to show this, sorry - TB]

It was on 20 January 2008 that Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday newspaper, the now-defunct News of the World, with a claimed readership of 7½ million, astounded its readership with the front page below: 


News of the World headline, 20 January 2008 [Sorry again, unable to show this - TB]


The News of the World had no doubt. This artist’s sketch was Madeleine’s kidnapper. The News of the World left its readers with little doubt: Madeleine had been abducted and this was the man who did it. Yet soon afterwards, Dr Kate McCann was to say in a TV interview that the man above was ‘someone we wish to eliminate from our enquiries’, whereas, according to her, ‘bundleman’ was still the real suspect.

In case there was any doubt in the minds of the News of the World, they gave us the picture below, which neatly showed us, on the left: Jane Tanner’s ‘bundleman’, and on the right: Gail Cooper’s ‘Monsterman’. Both of course had been sketched by Melissa Little. Despite some doubts by Jane Tanner and Melissa Little (see below) as to whether these were one and the same person, the News of the World was emphatic, combining both sketches with the accompanying text: ‘He made my blood run cold’. 

[Again unable to show this - TB]   A News of the World montage, 20 January 2008, showing two sketches by Melisssa Little. On the left, Melissa Little’s sketch of ‘bundleman’, based on Jane Tanner’s claims of having seen a man carrying a child near the McCanns’ apartment on 3 May 2007. On the right, Melissa Little’s sketch based on Gail Copper’s description of a man she claimed to have seen a few days before Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

At some point, Brian Kennedy had arranged for a witness, Gail Cooper, to meet Melissa Little, whom he had already engaged to sit with Jane Tanner to produce her sketch of ‘bundleman’.

The News of the World now gave us this new sketch of a person who soon became known on the internet as ‘monster man’, with a long pointy face, moustache, long hair at the back of his head, but no glasses. His sketch appears in Folio 3979 of the Portuguese Police files. He was said by Gail Cooper to have been seen ‘acting suspiciously’ in Praia da Luz days before Madeleine disappeared.


The inconsistent evidence of Gail Cooper


TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POSTING...

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.09.14 10:51

BRIAN KENNEDY ARTICLE, PART 5, CONTINUED...

The inconsistent evidence of Gail Cooper

A while later, however, Gail Cooper discussed her sighting with the British media but added further details to her story, describing seeing ‘monster man’ acting suspiciously on a three separate occasions: firstly when he was walking in heavy rain on the beach at Luz, later that day when he called at her apartment claiming to be a charity collector, and two days later when she says she saw him hanging around a children’s outing arranged by Mark Warner. She told the reporters she had found the man ‘disturbing’.

In none of her alleged sightings did Ms Cooper see this man ‘walking purposefully’, yet Miss Little prepared a second sketch showing Mrs Cooper’s ‘monster man’ striding out (see above) and in a very similar pose to that based on Miss Tanner’s most recent recollection. It seems clear that Miss Little exercised a high degree of artistic licence.

The final report of the Policia Judiciara submitted to the Portuguese Attorney-General in June 2008 was dismissive of Gail Cooper’s evidence, however. Here is an extract from that report:

“In a later phase of the investigation, detailed at pages 3965 to 4113, we deal with a claim emanating from the private investigation instigated by the McCann couple, and publicly announced by their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, of a suspect who was supposedly was undertaking a collection in Praia da Luz at the time of the disappearance. A photo-fit picture of this suspect was created of this individual by a witness - Gail Cooper - who saw him, see page 3979.

“This was immediately compared with the photo-fit from Jane Tanner, despite her description not having a face (see page 3977). But Jane Tanner alleged that they were one and the same person, with an 80% degree of certainty. In order to assess the credibility of the description and of the drawing, it is important to highlight the fact that the witness (Gail Cooper) was first of all interviewed by the British authorities and in a very detailed fashion (see page 3982). She said she saw this person only one time, collecting at the door of the residence she was occupying during her holidays.

“However, a few months later, in a new witness statement, the same witness stated that she saw this individual three times, during one of which he was said to be watching, in a strange way, the children at the Paraíso Restaurant. She did not supply this information at the time of her first witness statement to the police in the U.K. After the publication of the photo-fit, we were notified of a myriad of claimed sightings of this individual, most of them from the U.K., but some also from Portugal (see page 4130).

“All of this information was duly evaluated as to its credibility. Nothing has come of this photo-fit until now, despite innumerable persons contacting us to see they had seen persons supposedly of similar appearance”.

As the Portuguese police put it, the alleged Gail Cooper ‘sighting’ of ‘monster man’ had ‘emanated from the private investigation instigated by the McCann couple’. Brian Kennedy himself arranged for Gail Cooper to meet the ‘forensic artist’, Melissa Little.

As the Portuguese Police carefully and rightly explained, Gail Cooper’s story had little or no credibility. But that didn’t stop the News of the World telling its claimed 7½ million readers that this was the man who had abducted Madeleine.

How did Kennedy and his Método 3 investigators find Gail Cooper in the first place? Could this have been another leak by an insider from the Portuguese Police investigation who was leaking confidential information to Método 3?

Background to the appearance of Gail Cooper’s ‘Monsterman’

The generation of the McCann Team’s ‘Monster man’ campaign is probed in depth in a Madeleine Foundation article by John Whitehouse, titled: “The creation of another McCann media event: The appearance of ‘Monster Man’ in January 2008”. Readers are referred to that article for more detail, and I’ll give just a summary here.


There is no doubt that the creation of the ‘Monsterman’ story for News of the World readers was weeks in the planning. Despite the falling circulation of nearly all newspapers in the U.K., the News of the World still had millions of Sunday readers - and a front-page story such as this one would have huge impact on public perception about the disappearance of Madeleine, as this one certainly did.

The lead-up to the publication of this story seems to have included the following elements:

  • The McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner said that on 3 May 2007 at around 9.15pm she saw a swarthy, olive-skinned man, dressed in a dark jacket and mustard chinos, about 5' 7" to 5' 9", carrying away a child. She admitted on the record that she did not see his face.

  • Ten days later, on 13 May 2007, she saw Robert Murat pass by a police van she was secreted in. She adamantly told the police: ‘That's the man I saw 10 days ago, I can tell by the way he is walking’.

  • In October 2007, nearly six months after Madeleine had been reported missing (and therefore of minimal practical value), the McCann Team released to the public an artist’s sketch, drawn by ‘FBI-trained’ artist Melissa Little, based on Jane Tanner’s claimed recollections. The sketch became known as ‘bundleman’

  • A lady called Gail Cooper claimed to have seen a ‘suspicious man’ lurking around Praia da Luz on up to three occasions (her accounts of the number of times she had seen this man varied, however)

  • October - Brian Kennedy, double glazing magnate, contacts Gail Cooper, who claims to have seen a strange man in Praia da Luz just before the time Madeleine was reported missing. He then arranges for Melissa Little, supposedly an F.B.I.-trained ’forensic artist’, to prepare a sketch of him. The sketch is dubbed ‘monster man’ or ‘George Harrison man’. The PJ later totally dismiss Gail Cooper’s evidence as it is inconsistent; her second statement contradicted her first.

  • Brian Kennedy arranged and paid for the same artist, Melissa Little, to draw a sketch of this ‘suspicious man’. As we’ve just seen, Melissa Little had already been used by Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team to create an artist’s sketch of the man Jane Tanner claimed to have seen on 3 May 2007, first published nearly 6 months after Madeleine McCann was reported missing

  • Dr Gerald McCann described the session with Melissa Little as follows: “Tanner spent a full day with Melissa Little, a qualified Police Sketch Artist since 1986, to compile this likeness of the suspect. Melissa met Gail Cooper in a separate session. After spending hours with both witnesses, Melissa Little states: “There are many similarities between Miss Tanner’s man and Gail’s. Tanner believes that there is an 80% likelihood that this is the same man she saw carrying away the child, believed to be Madeleine”. Gail Cooper confirmed (see below) that Brian Kennedy had ‘sent Melissa Little down’ to her for the day and she also criticised a draft article in the News of the World for falsely embellishing her account of events (again, see below)

  • On Sunday 13 January 2008, Brian Kennedy visited Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation in Portugal in connection with the story that he and the McCann Team wished to promote

  • On Wednesday 16 January 2008, three days after Brian Kennedy’s interview with Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation in Portugal, Dr Gerald McCann emailed Superintendent Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Police with a PowerPoint presentation about ‘Monster man’ (the e-mail is Folio 3966 in the Portuguese Police files), with the briefest of covering notes saying: ‘As discussed’.

  • Just one hour later Superintendent Prior forwarded the package to Ricardo Paiva of the Portuguese Police, asking for instructions and stating, among other things: “The PowerPoint attached (Folio 3968) was completed by the McCanns, but the statements were all taken by the U.K. police. Miss Tanner’s description was taken from the press and from the summary of her statement. There is some urgency around this as we need to decide prior to the Gail Cooper artist’s impression appearing in the U.K. press. How are you going to deal with the possible press issues? What are you planning around Mr Kennedy and the private investigation firm?…I will need to get back to the McCanns as he [Dr Gerald McCann] has asked to be updated. How would Paulo [Mr Rebelo] want this conducted and what information I am to provide to them? They [the McCann Team] are very excited about this potential lead”.

  • The main burden of Dr Gerald McCann’s ‘Powerpoint’ slides was to try to highlight the alleged similarity between Jane Tanner’s ‘bundleman’ and the ‘Monster Man/George Harrison man’ of Gail Cooper.

  • On 17 January 2008 (the very next day), Detective Constable 4168 of the Leicestershire Police interviewed Gail Cooper and e-mailed the Operational Task Force. He noted at the time that Mrs Cooper was trying to explain why the News of the World had added to and embellished her police statements, by saying: “It never crossed my mind” that they would do so”. The Officer also reported that she “mentioned a man called Brian Kennedy who was working for the McCanns and...had sent an artist down to do a sketch of the man she saw at the villa [my italics] (Police files: Folio 4005).

  • On 18 January 2008, Superintendent Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Police emailed Ricardo Paiva about the Gail Cooper statement, writing: “As discussed, I have given Gerry a brief update just saying that the other descriptions are different to the artist’s impressions completed by Gail and identified by Jane [Tanner]. That the witnesses appeared genuine which indicates a number of charity collectors in the area prior to Madeleine being taken. We have not spoken to Jane at all and will not share our files with anybody, except yourselves, unless you request this from us. It appears there were at least three charity collectors if not more in the area in the weeks before Madeleine being taken. I am told that the artist’s impression by Gail Cooper is likely to hit the press over the weekend and I will update you on the effects of this next week, although we are not involved in this in any way at all”.

  • 20 January: News of the World front page story re Madeleine appears. The News of the World concluded: “The sketch by qualified police artist Melissa Little bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier picture, based on Miss Tanner's story”.

  • 21 January: Clarence Mitchell holds a ‘Crimewatch’-style press conference at which he holds up Melissa Little’s artist’s sketch of ‘Monsterman’.

Clarence Mitchell holds up sketch of ‘Monsterman’ [unavailable - TB]

Later on 21 January the BBC published Melissa Little’s two sketches of ‘Monsterman’: [unavailable - TB]

The BBC claimed that ‘Monsterman’ was a ‘suspect’, and its report told us:

"The family of Madeleine McCann has released sketches of a man they believe may have abducted the four-year-old. An artist drew two likenesses of the man from a witness statement made by a holidaymaker who stayed in the same Portuguese resort as the McCanns. One picture shows a man with long hair, bushy eyebrows and a moustache. Another image shows him walking in a light jacket and blue trousers. Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the description came from…Gail Cooper, who was staying with her family 600 yards from the McCanns' apartment at the same time. He said she rang Portuguese police when she saw Madeleine was missing and gave a statement reporting a ‘creepy man’ she had seen in the area.

“Mr Mitchell said: ‘We want to know who he is and we want to know where he is. We want to know that as soon as we can. We are asking for peoples help today. If he isn’t connected with Madeleine's abduction, at the very least he now needs to come forward himself so that he can be eliminated from both the police and the private investigations that are under way into Madeleine's disappearance’.

“Mr Mitchell said the sketches made by an FBI-accredited police artist had only recently been commissioned from the McCanns’ private investigation into the disappearance of their daughter. He said Mrs Cooper, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, ‘of course gave this information about the man and his activities to the police back in May. That information has been with the police since then, however, no sketch of the man has actually been commissioned or done until now’.

The BBC report then tells us how Ms Cooper said she saw the man walking by himself in heavy rain on the beach and later that afternoon claimed the same man visited her while her eight-year-old granddaughter was playing near the pool. She described the man as ‘agitated and nervous’ and said that he may have been of North African descent. The man claimed he was collecting for an orphanage at a nearby village and ‘flashed some sort of ID which she believed was fake’.

Then, significantly, the BBC tells us: “Mr Mitchell said there were ‘similarities’ between the images released on Sunday and other artist's sketches released last year. These showed a man with dark, greasy collar-length hair and wearing a purple or maroon top with beige trousers, carrying a child, which were made after a testimony from Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns”.

Thus we see that the McCann Team’s spokesman, Mitchell, is clearly trying to link the Jane tanner and Gail Cooper ‘sightings’. He also successfully took a swipe at both Leicestershire Police and the Portuguese Police by saying that: “Information has been with the police since [May], however, no sketch of the man has actually been commissioned or done until now”. This statement, at one and the same time, made it look as though the British and Portuguese police were bungling, or at least ineffective, in contrast, we are meant to believe, to the McCann Team, which is portrayed as diligently and at some expense and trouble, compiling anm artist’s sketch which will help to identify the man/

‘Monsterman’: A summary

From the above accounts of events, let us try to make sense of the key points. These are:

1. Brian Kennedy was personally driving the progress towards the great ‘announcement’ of ‘Monsterman’ in the News of the World, even to the extent of flying to Portugal to speak to Alfred Schuurmans

2. Brian Kennedy arranged and paid for Melissa Little to visit Gail Cooper and compile an artist’s sketch

3. The News of the World claimed that Melissa Little’s ‘Monster man’ sketch [image produced January 2008] ‘bore an uncanny resemblance’ looked ‘remarkably similar’ to her sketch of Jane Tanner’s ‘bundleman’ [image produced November 2007]

4. Jane Tanner in describing ‘bundleman’ admitted she did not see the man’s face

5. Jane Tanner originally [13 May 2007] identified Robert Murat, from a police van, as the man she said she’d seen carrying a child on 3 May; the artists’ sketch of ‘bundleman’ she approved in November 2007 looked nothing like ‘bundleman’, and now – even though she admitted that she had never seen ‘bundleman’s face, she felt able to declare that ‘Monsterman’ resembled the man (‘with 80% similarity’) she claimed to have seen originally

6. Gail Cooper suggested that the News of the World had embellished her account.

The final report of the Portuguese Police on the Madeleine McCann investigation, issued in July 2008, dealt in some detail with the Gail Cooper ‘sighting’ of ‘Monster man’. The Madeleine Foundation included this report in its recent publication: ‘The Madeleine McCann Case Files: Volume 1”, page 28. here is the relevant extract:

The inconsistent evidence of Gail Cooper

QUOTE from the final PJ investigation

“In a later phase of the investigation, detailed at pages 3965 to 4113, we deal with a claim emanating from the private investigation instigated by the McCann couple, and publicly announced by their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell [my italics], of a suspect who was supposedly undertaking a collection in Praia da Luz at the time of the disappearance. A photo-fit picture of this suspect was created by a witness - Gail Cooper - who saw him, see page 3979.

This was immediately compared with the photo-fit from Jane Tanner, despite her description not having a face (see page 3977). But Jane Tanner alleged that they were one and the same person, with an 80% degree of certainty. In order to assess the credibility of the description and of the drawing, it is important to highlight the fact that the witness (Gail Cooper), was first of all interviewed by the British authorities and in a very detailed fashion (see page 3982). She said she saw this person only once, collecting at the door of the residence she was occupying during her holidays.

However, a few months later, in a new witness statement, the same witness stated that she saw this individual three times, during one of which he was said to be watching, in a strange way, the children at the Paraíso Restaurant. She did not supply this information at the time of her first witness statement to the police in the U.K.

After the publication of the photo-fit, we were notified of a myriad of claimed sightings of this individual, most of them from the U.K., but some also from Portugal (see page 4130).

All of this information was duly evaluated as to its credibility. Nothing has yet come of this photo-fit until now, despite innumerable persons contacting us to say they had seen persons supposedly of similar appearance.

UNQUOTE

We have an insight here into how a Team McCann media story was generated. Behind the whole story is the impetus given to it by Brian Kennedy, who…

· paid for Melissa Little

· induced Gail Cooper to spend a day with Melissa Little, and

· flew to Portugal to talk to Albert Schuurmans.

We can also see that when Gail Cooper was giving evidence in detail to the British police, she made reference to only one sighting. Yet after Método 3 and Brian Kennedy had talked to her, she came up with three claimed sightings, a fact which led the Portuguese Policy, rightly in my opinion, to doubt her credibility.

Was this a genuine attempt, over eight months since Madeleine disappeared, to find a genuine suspect who might be connected with Madeleine’s disappearance? Once again, I will leave the question unanswered.


++++++++++++++++++++

Funny how none of this stuff about the total lack of credibility of Gail Cooper's evidence and the pressure obviously applied to Paul Gordon found its way into Summers and Swan's 'most definitive account possible'

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by palm tree on 14.09.14 11:20

Something's not right with this, purely because if true, PG would've contacted the PJ on the 4th may just to let them know, if he did, would it not have been all over the papers? Is this the same father who had cut himself shaving?
IMO

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Doug D on 14.09.14 11:26

New previously withheld e-fits to be revealed by Redwood on Crimewatch next week?


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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Okeydokey on 14.09.14 11:32

@palm tree wrote:Something's not right with this, purely because if true, PG would've contacted the PJ on the 4th may just to let them know, if he did, would it not have been all over the papers? Is this the same father who had cut himself shaving?
IMO

Cut himself shaving...behind the sofa, under the window sill? :)

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by plebgate on 14.09.14 11:40

@Okeydokey wrote:
@palm tree wrote:Something's not right with this, purely because if true, PG would've contacted the PJ on the 4th may just to let them know, if he did, would it not have been all over the papers? Is this the same father who had cut himself shaving?
IMO

Cut himself shaving...behind the sofa, under the window sill? :)
I thought along those lines last week when a poster asked whether the grandma of the teenage witness might have died in apartment 5a.

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Abductor found - at last!

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.09.14 11:44

Summers and Swan, 'Looking for Madeleine', p. 283:

"The man who made this woman fear for her child had come to her door very shortly before Madeleine disappeared. The family's rented villa was, moreover, in Praia da Luz, where all six other 'orphanage' incidents had been reported - one of them, the week before Madeleine went missing ,at the Ocean Club's Apartment G5A, where the McCanns were to stay".


What further proof is now neded that this is indeed 'the man who snatched Maddie McCann'?

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by sallypelt on 14.09.14 11:57

@Tony Bennett wrote:Summers and Swan, 'Looking for Madeleine', p. 283:

"The man who made this woman fear for her child had come to her door very shortly before Madeleine disappeared. The family's rented villa was, moreover, in Praia da Luz, where all six other 'orphanage' incidents had been reported - one of them, the week before Madeleine went missing ,at the Ocean Club's Apartment G5A, where the McCanns were to stay".


What further proof is now neded that this is indeed 'the man who snatched Maddie McCann'?

Did they call in the cadaver dogs? If it's the same "man who made this woman fear for her child" maybe he left this woman's apartment reeking of the smell of death.

I haven't read Summers and Swan's book, but from the reviews it's utter junk. In the words of John Stalker "the McCann's are hiding a big secret".
And the world knows about it.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Doug D on 14.09.14 12:04



It's being ranked under 'Novelrank'

Pretty apt.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by plebgate on 14.09.14 12:16

The Express can reveal today that a man tried to snatch a little girl in 2007, weeks before little maddie was taken by an abductor.

I could well have dreamed it, but how is this a revelation?   Wasn't this discussed on this forum fairly recently, it having appeared in one of the UK newspapers?

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Woofer on 14.09.14 12:18

One of the reviews on amazon has now gone. It was the long one by V10.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by davro on 14.09.14 14:12

"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Okeydokey on 14.09.14 15:10

@davro wrote:"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.

Yep, that can stand for the quality of the whole book really.

It's a concoction of assertion, special pleading, PR image making, tittle tattle, hearsay, assumption, speculation, selective quotation, misinterpretation and misdirection.

It appears to avoid any "difficult" evidence (e.g. the Gaspar letter) wherever possible and where not possible (the cadaver dogs), it uses the Team McCann techniques to exclude the evidence.

It's not analysis, it's apologetics. It's not examination, it's exoneration.

Their reputations will be in shreds once people have absorbed just how shamelessly pro-McCann it is.



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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by jeanmonroe on 14.09.14 17:30

So 'Smithman' was a 'Conman' too!

eta: "Checks by the authors and this newspaper suggests the charity collectors, who showed leaflets and identity cards, were bogus as there are no nearby orphanages."

How does that 'work'???????

I sent dosh to that Manchester Dogs place, that burnt down, and that's 400 MILES away, from me!

So i must be 'BOGUS' because there's NO dogs 'place' nearby me!

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by j.rob on 14.09.14 18:19

@davro wrote:"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.

Why not speak to the woman? Why didn't she report this to police when she heard about Madeleine's disappearance? Surely it would have been relevant?

Sound like a load of old tosh. They must be so desperate to keep this silly 'abduction' story going that they really are clutching at straws.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by MRNOODLES on 14.09.14 18:32

@Okeydokey wrote:
@davro wrote:"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.

Yep, that can stand for the quality of the whole book really.

It's a concoction of assertion, special pleading, PR image making, tittle tattle, hearsay, assumption, speculation, selective quotation, misinterpretation and misdirection.  

It appears to avoid any "difficult" evidence (e.g. the Gaspar letter) wherever possible and where not possible (the cadaver dogs), it uses the Team McCann techniques to exclude the evidence.

It's not analysis, it's apologetics. It's not examination, it's exoneration.  

Their reputations will be in shreds once people have absorbed just how shamelessly pro-McCann it is.



But heck, when you're the wrong side of 70 and on your 4th wife.... sod it jump on the gravy train eyebrows

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by BlueBag on 14.09.14 21:32

@davro wrote:"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.


Exactly!

A message for S&S... as "investigative journalists".... you suck!

I know you and your friends are reading all this.

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by jozi on 15.09.14 7:54

@BlueBag wrote:
@davro wrote:"The authors did not speak directly to the British woman, who has since returned to live in the UK.

However, they spoke to a friend of hers who told them the story."








Is that really the standard of what passes for investigative journalism these  days?
Basically the Authors are  repeating a story told to them by "someone who was told it by someone else",someone else who was so bothered that she didn't report it to Police and still hasn't despite the furore over Maddie's disappearance worldwide.
Basically it's gossip with no checks done on the veracity of either woman,how can there have been,they haven't even spoken to one of them.......and why not? Hearsay in a book the Authors presumably want us to take seriously.Sadly not untypical.


Exactly!

A message for S&S... as "investigative journalists".... you suck!

I know you and your friends are reading all thive is.
Have to agree what a pair of crooks "investigative journalists " .....my arse !!!

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by plebgate on 15.09.14 23:52

Thought this deserved a bump because of the last two posts, just is case they are reading this and if they aren't it's a shame for the comments to fall off front page so quickly.   thumbup

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Naz_Nomad on 17.09.14 20:17

Post deleted

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by Naz_Nomad on 18.09.14 0:14

Post deleted

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Re: EXPRESS 14 Sep 2014 'Conman tried to snatch 3-year-old child' - PLUS extracts from an article about the evidence of Gail Cooper and Paul Gordon

Post by plebgate on 18.09.14 6:57

IMO this site has a very good reputation for research and serious posters who do not have to resort to bad language to get their points across.   If we go down the road of accepting the "half naughty" words then we are in danger of losing the hard earned reputation.    I have noticed it creeping in in several posts and I for one would like to see it stopped.

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