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The rapidly revolving door

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The rapidly revolving door

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 08.02.10 10:28

Posted on Blacksmith Bureau:

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.com/2010/02/rapidly-revolving-door.html

Gerry McCann went back to the third version of his checking visit, the dodgy printed timeline which matched what he had told the police in his first witness statement, where he also mentioned the lavatory visit, timing his trip at 9.05. That document was never going to be accepted by either a judge or jury, not just because of these very changes but because the group had effectively colluding in preparing it after their first witness statements, so it was both worthless and suspicious, as the McCanns’ lawyers knew.

Never mind. Something had to be done, and so Gerry became the first ever victim of MMR syndrome – McCann Memory Recovery - when, four and a half months after the event, he suddenly recalled “sensing” an intruder’s presence in the apartment. To strengthen the story there was that wide-open bedroom door that Mathew Oldfield had seen. Gerry and Kate only ever left it ajar, never wide open or closed. That, surely, was clear evidence that someone was already there, in hiding, ready to leap into action as soon as the patio doors clicked shut. Now, with the actual approach and entry all having taken place before his arrival, the only time required as he walked down the back staircase to encounter Jeremy Wilkins, was fugitive exit time.

But this was like playing with a Rubik Cube because of what the Tapas 7 had already put in their witness statements: move one, you may have to move them all. If he’d done his check at 9.05 what had he been doing between 9.07, say, and when Jane Tanner saw him by the back gate about 9.20 at the earliest? A trip to the loo, a gaze down at his daughter – and then what? He must have been talking to Jeremy Wilkins, that’s where the unaccounted 10 -15 minutes had gone. But argh! Jane Tanner had said in her statement that, whatever time they had both gone, she had followed him only five minutes afterwards.

Shrug. That was another bridge that would have to be crossed if they ever went back to Portugal. For now it would be good enough: out went Clarence with the story that so enraged the Portuguese cop.

We can see all this modification and creation when we come to the BBC Panorama programme made during this period and shown in late November 2007. This, remember, was no ordinary documentary. It formed a highly important, perhaps the most important, part of the “twin tracks”, with modified, and previously unknown, material, including the bolting together of the Tapas 7 statements, being deliberately offered to the producers by the defence team.


Ed Smethurst himself, the strategist, participated in the programme and the script was vetted and approved by the McCanns. Even the elusive Jane Tanner, the vital witness, was roped in to make her first public appearance discussing her sighting. It was the real deal, the proper Authorized Version, laid out to influence the minds of the public, as Smethurst admitted on the programme, and through them the mind of the Home Secretary, about which Ed was silent.

It was a smooth piece of work, using the gravitas and reputation of the BBC to give a stamp of authority to the piece. Watching it afterwards the defence team and the McCanns must surely have been pretty pleased.

Narrator: “Gerry McCann says he went at just after 9 to check on his children. He says that their bedroom door was more open than usual so he goes in. Gerry McCann has told Panorama he remembers looking down at Madeleine. He spent a moment thinking how beautiful she looked and how lucky he was. He says this was the last time he saw his daughter. He closes the bedroom door and leaves through these unlocked patio doors. A stair gate since removed is shut, this gate is on the latch not locked. Returning to the tapas bar he meets Jeremy Wilkins who he'd played tennis with that afternoon. He crosses the road to talk to him.”

Perfect. Even Jeremy Wilkins was now being met while Gerry was “returning to the Tapas bar”, rather than at the bottom of the stairs.

And there was no doubt that the abductor must have been in the apartment because when Mathew Oldfield did his check the door was very much not in the position that Gerry had left it. Good old Panorama gave it the required emphasis.

Narrator: According to the McCann timeline, at about 9.30 Matt Oldfield is the next to check on the children. Remember Gerry McCann says he had closed the bedroom door, but Matt Oldfield says he finds it open." Perfect again.

Can you imagine the conversation between Gerry and the significant members of the Team after the programme went out that night?

Voice: Gerry, we watched the programme.
Gerry: Yes. Great, wasn’t it?
Voice: Gerry. You left the door closed. You said you left that fucking bedroom door closed.
Gerry: Sure, I know.
Voice: You can’t do it. You can’t say that.
Gerry: I’ve said it! And Mathew saw it open – that’s the whole point!
Voice: Gerry, you and your wife said you never, ever, shut the door. You always left it ajar.
Gerry: So –
Voice: That’s how Kate knew there’d been an intrusion, Gerry. Remember?
[silence]
Gerry: [chewing] It’s done now.
Voice: It has to be undone, Gerry. You cannot leave it like that.

Clever Eddie, Media McBride and “Catch Me” Caplan hadn’t been so terribly clever after all.

Still, the public’s memory is short and perhaps the police might not have been watching Panorama. Gerry could hardly unremember the closed door too quickly so there was silence on the matter until a month had elapsed – and until the Rothley meeting, the final opportunity to discuss these matters, had been and gone. On December 16 the Times published a long and authoritative article by one of the McCanns' favourite journalists, produced with their active assistance. It was another chapter, naturally, in the twin-track strategy. Beyond the Smears it was called and it gave the latest, and expanded, Authorized Version. It was much the same as the Panorama programme, with just one major change.

“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. 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.”

Good, eh? Or, at least, good enough for the British public, if not for the police.

Meanwhile another timescale problem had to be dealt with, using Coffin Clarence and the media. It concerned Kate McCann and David Payne and, if the parents wanted to avoid being put on the plane to police headquarters, there was a lot of work to be done.

Get'emGonçalo


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