Following the alleged disappearance of their three year old daughter Madeleine, Gerry and Kate McCann wasted no time launching a long term campaign to raise money and awareness for their missing child, even if their strategy ran counter to Portuguese law and policing policy which was essentially ignored in favour of their own self structured campaign.
It was reported as early as June 2007 that Gerry and Kate McCann along with their team, were anxious for a televised reconstruction to take place on the lines of Crimewatch UK - curious in itself considering their daughter disappeared whilst holidaying with her family at the Ocean Club Luz on the Portuguese Algarve. Kate McCann had this to say in her book titled 'madeleine' published in May 2011, four years after her daughter's disappearance....
'On Monday 4 June, we recorded an appeal to be screened the following evening on Crimewatch, the long-running BBC programme that has a good track record in helping the police to solve crimes using information supplied by the public. Our appeal was aimed in particular at any British holidaymakers who had been in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine’s abduction.
Frustratingly, Crimewatch was not allowed to film a reconstruction of the abduction. This was something we had wanted from the beginning, in the hope that it would encourage potential witnesses to come forward. In Britain the police often broadcast reconstructions through programmes like Crimewatch and news channels, but we were told that this was not possible in either Portugal or Britain because of the judicial secrecy law.'
As to be expected, this was widely reported by the UK media as a direct attack against the Portuguese police. However, unlucky for team McCann,the Portuguese are not the bungling sardine munching boozy yokels portrayed by the UK press - they are indeed a competent European police force with an exemplary record for integrity and crime solution, as can be clearly seen by the documented investigation released into the public domain in the summer of 2008. The case coordinator, Dr Gonçalo Amaral, was prematurely removed from the case - allegedly for committing a minor indiscretion but that's another matter.
As the Portuguese investigation progressed into the spring of 2008, it was decided that a reconstruction would be beneficial, bringing together the McCanns and their group of friends to iron-out the many discrepancies highlighted in their respective statements. Despite the importance of this initiative, it was after all solely relative to the disappearance of a three year old child, it was never to be. The McCanns willingly agreed, they didn't really have any option, however the reconstruction couldn't go ahead without the presence of their group of friends - there was the problem. After weeks of correspondence between the friends, their lawyers and the Leicestershire Constabulary, the friends concluded it wasn't in their best interest to attend a reconstruction in Portugal. They requested and were given, precise detail of why how when and where but still felt their position precarious, in addition they didn't see how a reconstruction could assist the investigation or the search for Madeleine.
Unbelievable train of thought some might say.
Still, nothing ventured nothing gained, team McCann thought it in their best interest to produce their very own reconstruction documentary in May 2009 broadcast in the UK on Channel4 - two years following Madeleine's alleged disappearance. A sort of Hitchcockian extravaganza, directed, cast and featuring Gerry McCann - presented by the McCanns very own assigned private detective, Dave Edgar. As they say, seeing is believing, this is how Channel4 showcased their scheduled show..
Madeleine Was Here Channel4.com
How do the McCanns deal with the pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughter? And how do they try to create a normal life for the sake of Madeleine's brother and sister, four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie?
With the search now shelved by the Portuguese police - and no officers in Portugal or the UK dedicated to the case - the investigators (former police officers from the UK) speak about their interest in a series of important sightings in and around the Ocean Club complex, Praia da Luz, in the days leading up to May 3rd 2007.
For the first time, Gerry McCann returns to Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club complex, where he last saw his daughter. Also returning to Portugal are Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, two friends from the group known as the 'Tapas 7', who were on holiday with the McCanns at the time.
The documentary reconstructs events surrounding Madeleine's disappearance using actors and based on testimony given to the Portuguese police as part of their investigations.
Leaving all the videoed unofficial documentaries to speak for themselves, time ticks on to May 2013, six years after Madeleine McCann's alleged disappearance.
Operation Grange, the Metropolitan Police team assigned to undertake a review of the Portuguese investigation in May 2011 under the wing of former DCI Andy Redwood and two years later in May 2013 upgrading to a fresh investigation by London's Metropolitan Police, DCI Andy Redwood used Crimewatch UK to full advantage as time progressed.
In October 2013 Crimewatch UK produced a Madeleine McCann Special, this opportunity was used by DCI Andy Redwood to showcase a new reconstruction choosing to ignore the true purpose of a police reconstruction in favour of a play acted re-enactment to showcase the McCann version of events.
The location was not the Ocean Club Luz, the cast were actors and above all else the show was only a reiteration of the McCanns and their friends controversial inconsistent witness statements. The very reason the Portuguese investigation wished to stage a reconstruction was to make some sense out of the group's contradictory account of events. The question is, what did Operation Grange think they were going to achieve by showing a fictitious scenario purported to be a reconstruction?
Now, another six years later, a commercial enterprise in the name of Netflix has produced a show categorized as a documentary on the Madeleine McCann mystery which opens up old wounds about what should and shouldn't be.
Team McCann repeatedly stated their commitment to assisting the investigation and cooperating with the police without reservation but where is the evidence, one major requirement and they failed. If the victim, in this case Madeleine McCann, is to be served fair justice surely the only way forward is to cooperative with the official police force rather than dismissing their proposal in favour of a non-productive self-styled promotional reconstruction? Isn't this a question that requires answers? In a space of nigh on twelve years the reconstruction cast have been ducking and diving in order the avoid a very simple routine police requirement - a reconstruction.
If you don't believe me - just watch!