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The 'Daily Beast' article on Raymond Hewlett - is this the worst article so far, trying to link Hewlett with the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

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The 'Daily Beast' article on Raymond Hewlett - is this the worst article so far, trying to link Hewlett with the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:28 am

Analysis of an article in ‘The Daily Beast’

I came across a recent article in a publication on the internet called ‘The Daily Beast’ linking Raymond Hewlett to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Titled: “Did he steal Madeleine McCann?”, it seemed to me to be the worst, i.e. the most inaccurate, so far. Link:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/28/did-he-steal-madeleine-mccann.html

Here is my analysis of it, the contents of the original article in black, my comments in blue:


Did He [Raymond Hewlett] Steal Madeleine McCann?

Nov 28, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Scotland Yard has new leads on the missing child - and many point to a pedophile with alleged ties to a gypsy trafficking ring. Barbie Latza Nadeau on the case’s sordid new character.

New leads? New character? Many new leads point to Hewlett? How many? The McCann Team were promoting Hewlett as a suspect back in May 2009, 3½ years ago!

Did Portuguese police ignore countless tips

‘Countless’? On the contrary, these so-called ‘tips’ seem to have come just from a character called Peter Verran and a couple called the Thompsons. And did the Portuguese police ignore intelligence supplied to them by others? Certainly not. According to both official reports and contemporaneous media reports, Hewlett was investigated by the Portuguese police. For a start, they took a DNA swab from him with his co-operation. They also checked out an alibi that he gave them, claiming that he was in Lisbon on the evening of Madeleine’s disapeprance. The Portuguese police were satisfied with that alibi because he used his credit card in Lisbon that very day.

Moreover, Leicestershire Police investigated the claims of the Thompson couple by arranging for them to be interviewed by police officers in Limehouse Police Station, east London, during 2009. According to news reports at the time, this interview lasted ‘three hours’. The Thompsons would have told the police all that they knew about Hewlett at this time.

In additon, Hewlett agreed to be interviewed by West Yorkshire Police, who were investigating an historic crime committed in their area back in 1975 (see below).

that Madeleine McCann may have been nabbed by a registered child molester living in the Algarve region of Portugal in May 2007? Now the pedophile is dead, but the investigation is heating up.

Is it? Who says?

[ Picture: Madeleine McCann who is reported missing during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal. (Family Hanout / AP Photo) ]

More than half a dozen witnesses reported seeing a strange man prowling around the holiday estate in the Algarve the night four-year-old McCann disappeared from her family’s suite as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.

Half-a-dozen? More than half-a-dozen? Who were they?

But it appears that the Portuguese police were too focused on Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry as primary suspects

That’s because of the evidence supplied by Martin Grime’s two cadaver dogs Eddie & Keela, because of numerous contradictions and changes of story amongst the McCanns and their friends, and for many other reasons all set out in a comprehensive interim report by Portuguese Police Inspector Tavares de Almeida.

in their daughter’s disappearance to pay any attention to other potentially credible leads.

Were they credible?

It wasn’t police, but the McCann’s own private investigators Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley who were the first to make a connection between the man described by witnesses and Raymond Hewlett, a former British soldier and convicted child molester who lived about 30 miles from where young Madeleine disappeared. Hewlett died in 2010 at the age of 64 from throat cancer, but when McCann’s investigators approached him before his death, they saw [sic – T.B.] Hewlett told them he believed ‘gypsies’ had taken the young girl.

But according to the reports I’ve read, Hewlett steadfastly refused to be interviewed by the McCanns Team’s private detectives (see also below). I am happy to be corrected if anyone can show me otherwise.

Now, thanks to a comprehensive review of the Portuguese investigation by British detectives, Hewlett is finally being investigated - albeit posthumously

How do we know this? Has D.C.I. Redwood or one of his team deliberately leaked this? - despite their faithful promises that there would be no leaks?

And what about the claim that he is ‘finally’ being investigated? I’ve dealt with that above, showing that Hewlett was interviewed by Portuguese police, who took forensic evidence and checked out his alibi, and by Leicestershire Police who interviewed the Thompsons for three hours in 2009.

In 2007 Hewlett, who served three separate sentences in the U.K. for molesting young girls dating back to the 1970s, was living under the radar at a Portuguese campsite with his wife and six children he claimed were his own. He befriended Britons Alan and Cindy Thompson, who were on a brief vacation in the Algarve in the summer of 2007.

Well, according to most press reports at the time (2009), Hewlett met the Thompsons in Morocco, not on the Algarve, and the story of ‘a brief vacation’ is not correct either. Some press reports said the Thompsons were on their honeymoon. Other reports said they’d stayed in Morocco ‘for 3 months holiday’ (from June to August) while another report said they’s stayed in Morocco from June to November (6 months). If so, and they were on honeymoon, it must have been one of the longest honeymoons on record.

He told the Thompsons

According to the Thompsons, that is.

that wandering gypsies had offered him cash for one of his daughters, but that he had refused their offer. The Thompsons remained disturbed by the conversation after they returned to the U.K.- especially in light of Madeleine’s disappearance. They investigated Hewlett’s background and then contacted police in Portugal to relay what the strange man said.

We have not been given a date as to when they contacted the Portuguese police.

Their witness statement was recently discovered in Scotland Yard’s translation of the Portuguese criminal dossier.

So the Portuguese Police did interview the Thompsons. But this article now claims it was ‘recently discovered’ by Scotland Yard? That doesn’t seem possible. For Leicestershire Police to have interviewed the Thompsons in Limehouse Police Station, London, in 2009, it is surely extremely likely, almost certain, that they must have had before them the Thompsons’ witness statement that they had already given to the Portuguese Police?

Based on the lack of evidence to support the Thompsons’ claims, they were all but ignored by the Portuguese authorities.

See above. The Portuguese Police interviewed Hewlett, took a DNA swab from him, and checked out his alibi. No doubt the Portuguese were wise not to pursue the Thompsons’ claims, because – as the article says – ‘the lack of evidence to support them’. And since then we know that the Thompsons were the ones who claimed to have just happened upon Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan – another claim with no evidence to back it up.

In fact, the couple felt so much that the police were unhelpful and unwilling to listen to their story

They took a statement from them!

that they took matters into their own hands, trying on multiple occasions to reach out to Hewlett directly

‘reach out directly’? What exactly does that mean? Does it just mean: ‘tried to contact him’?

to clarify what he had told them. Now, five and a half years later,

5½ years later? That appears not to be correct. As I’ve said above, we simply don’t know when the Thompsons first contacted the Portuguese Police about Hewlett.

the Thompsons say they have finally been summoned by Scotland Yard to answer further questions about what the convicted criminal told them.

Ah! So the Thompsons have told the media that they have been ‘summoned by Scotland Yard’? I’ve not seen any press report so far that explicitly says that. If correct, did Scotland Yard authorise them to talk to the press?

There is also evidence in the Portuguese file that Hewlett told another man

Peter Verran.

a similar story,

according to Peter Verran, that is.

claiming that gypsies were in the Algarve buying children ‘to order’ for child traffickers in Morocco. Peter Verran told police that he met Hewlett on a Moroccan campsite during the summer of 2007, shortly after Madeleine disappeared, and the convicted pedophile told him that there was a booming business in blonde children. “He told me gypsies wanted to pay good money for his daughter,” Verran told The Mirror, a British newspaper. “And he’d met some who traded in children and sold them to pedophiles.”

All of this is on the assumption that we take Verran’s word for this.

At the time, Verran says, he did not know of Hewlett’s murky past. And his claims, like those of the Thompsons, were never followed up on by police in charge of the investigation.

See above for evidence that the police have investigated the claims made about Hewlett.

[ PICTURE: Madeleine McCann, Etan Patz & More Famous Cold Cases ]

At least a dozen people reported “Madeleine spottings” in Morocco in 2007 and 2008, either to the Portuguese police or Scotland Yard, which had been running their own shadow investigation of the case,


CONTINUED - SEE PART TWO

____________________

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


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Re: The 'Daily Beast' article on Raymond Hewlett - is this the worst article so far, trying to link Hewlett with the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:30 am

ANALYSIS CONTINUED, PART TWO

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


At least a dozen people reported “Madeleine spottings” in Morocco in 2007 and 2008, either to the Portuguese police or Scotland Yard, which had been running their own shadow investigation of the case,

Wait a minute. These various ‘sightings’ were certainly reported to both the Portuguese Police at the time, and to the Moroccan authorities, and some may have been reported to Leicestershire Police at the time as well, since they were running a parallel investigation alongside the Portuguese Police.

But here - have we ever heard before about Scotland Yard ‘running a shdow investigation of their own’? Either the Daily Beast is fantasising, embellishing this already inaccurate press report of theirs still further, or Scotland Yard were running a parallel, ‘shadow’ investigation about which we’ve never heard before. That would be a startling fact, if true.

but like so many tips at the time, none of the sightings were ever investigated.

Complete balderdash. All of the ‘sightings’ were investigated by the Moroccan authorities on behalf of the Portuguese police.

On his deathbed in 2010, Hewlett allegedly told his son in a ‘letter of confession’ that he had seen the young McCann at least twice after May 2007, but that he had nothing to do with her disappearance, implying that he had seen her on a child-trafficking circuit and got ‘so close’ he could see the now-famous birthmark on Madeleine’s right eye.

Where to begin in disentangling this sentence?

To start with, the claim that Hewlett made a ‘deathbed confession’ in a letter that he wrote to his estranged son Wayne depends on accepting the following: that a ‘mystery man’ (who has never been identified) brought this letter over from Germany, and that Wayne Hewlett read it, memorised most of its contents, then burnt it, before telling the Sun and the McCann Team about what he could remember about the letter. It also presupposes that Hewlett could write such a letter in his terminal condition, and that he would want to write this (alleged) letter to his son, from whom he had been estranged for 20 years or more. These details were given in a front-page story in the Sun dated 1 September 2011.

The other claims, though (allegedly seeing Madeleine twice in Praia da Luz and once getting close enough to see her coloboma right eye) do not come from the letter said to have ben received by Wayne Hewlett and said to have been burnt. These details come from a press report in the Sun on 12 January 2011 about what Hewlett is claimed to have told West Yorkshire Police when they interviewed Hewlett about an historic crime committed in their area in 1975.

These hugely unlikely claims, then, were made to the Sun by ‘a source close to the investigation’. It is reasonably clear from the article in question that the reference to ‘the investigation’ is intended to be a reference to the Madeleine McCann investigation, not to the West Yorkshire investigation. It is safe to assume that this source was the McCanns’ chief public relations officer, Clarence Mitchell. However, the claims made by this ‘source close to the investigation’ were flatly denied at the time by the official spokesman for West Yorkshire Police.

There is scant information on Hewlett in the actual criminal file, but he had made similar claims to friends

i.e. to the Thompsons and to Peter Verran, no-one else that we know about.

before his death, according to several accounts from British newspapers.

Once again, these ‘several accounts’ all seem to refer just to statements made by the Thompsons and by Peter Verran.

Hewlett also reportedly told McCann’s investigators in the days before he died that he would only share the circumstances surrounding the sightings for a sizable cash payout.

No, that’s not correct. The McCann Team investigators did not talk to Hewlett. The claim that Hewlett was demanding cash came in an article by Antonella Lazzeri in the Sun on 12 January 2011. This article relied heavily on information from ‘a source close to the investigation’, almost certainly the McCanns’ chief public relations officer, Clarence Mitchell. This was the same article where the ‘source close to the investigation’ made the false claim that Hewlett was said to have admitted (in an interview with West Yorkshire police) seeing Madeleine twice, once allegedly close enough to see the coloboma in her eye.

In this same Lazzeri article, she wrote:

QUOTE

Hewlett, originally from Todmorden, West Yorks, refused to see the McCanns’ investigators when they flew to Germany two weeks ago. He now says he will talk to them - if he is paid. But Mr Mitchell said: “No payment will be made for any such interview.”

Hewlett has also employed a lawyer to try to sell his story to newspapers for thousands of pounds.

The source said: “There are fears he’s trying to cash in on Maddie, and it may be that he has made these claims to get more money. Whatever his motives, he needs to be seen by the investigators because he may have vital information”.

UNQUOTE

The McCanns refused to bow to the demands

There is simply no evidence that he ever made such demands.

and Hewlett succumbed to his cancer before they could learn more about what he may or may not have known.

Hewlett allegedly implied that he had seen young Madeleine on a child-trafficking circuit.

Once again, there is absolutely no evidence for that claim.

The Portuguese police officially closed their case in July 2008.

It was archived, not ‘closed’.

But last year, Scotland Yard detectives suggested that McCann might still be alive and living with her abductor. They even produced a time-lapse photo of what she would look like now, at the age of 9.

Scotland Yard then opened its own investigation into the case in 2012,

No, they opened it in 2011, on the very same day (12 May 2011) that Dr Kate McCann’s book ‘madeleine’ was published, and on the same day the Sun claimed it had pushed David Cameron into ordering this review and was running a serialisation of Dr Kate McCann’s book.

translating more than 100,000 pages of police records on the case and pinpointing nearly 200 leads

So they say.

the Portuguese cops missed

Allegedly.

that they plan to follow up on.

There is no evidence among the documents that Portuguese police ever questioned Hewlett about the young child’s disappearance,

We have covered this above. We know that the Portuguese Police not only interviewed Hewlett, but took a DNA swab from him and checked out his alibi. It is possible, I suppose, that the McCanns have not been given access to the document in the police files which records their interview with Hewlett, since they have not made all their files available for the public to read.

even though he was a known pedophile living near the scene

‘Near the scene’? It was on camp sites about 30 miles away, as the article acknowledges (above).

of the young girl’s disappearance, and that he matched the description given by witnesses the night of the disappearance.

This is a patently absurd claim for the ‘Daily Beast’ to make. Jane Tanner referred to a man of around 35 with long, thick, black hair, pointy black shoes and wearing mustard chinos. The man seen by the Smith family carrying a child was of similar age but had short brown hair. How can the ‘Daily Beast’ say that Hewlett ‘matched’ these descriptions?

Now it’s up to British detectives to find out what, if anything, he knew about what really happened to Madeleine McCann, or if the dead pedophile took those secrets to his grave.

The Portuguese Police talked to Hewlett, took his DNA, and checked out his alibi, finding that it stood up. The Leicestershire Police interviewed the Thompsons for three hours at Limehouse Police Station in London in 2009. Whether or not they had anything useful to say is not known, but it’s highly unlikley. There does not appear to be any realistic ground for supposing that the expensive Scotland Yard Review Team could get any closer to knowing whether Hewlett knew anything at all about what really happened to Madeleine.

____________________

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


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