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As we wait to see another CrimeWatch McCann Special, a look back at whether the CrimeWatch McCann Special on 14 October 2013 was 'fair' and 'accurate'

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The BBC CrimeWatch McCann Special on 14 October 2013 was...

1. A fair and balanced programme which, as Matthew Amroliwala said, informed us about the main facts around Madeleine's abduction
2. A cynical and sinister, unfair and inaccurate programme which omitted many relevant facts about the case, and which OFCOM should now investigate
3. Neither of the above
4. Don't know
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As we wait to see another CrimeWatch McCann Special, a look back at whether the CrimeWatch McCann Special on 14 October 2013 was 'fair' and 'accurate'

Post by Tony Bennett on 16.09.14 13:12

BBC Crimewatch 14 October 2013: Neither fair nor accurate?

An exercise in in omission, obfuscation and fabrication?

Both OFCOM, the regulatory body for the broadcast media, and the BBC, require programmes to meet two key criteria. They need to be both ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’. If threy are not, OFCOM can make a ruling against the programme.
This short article lays the charge that the BBC CrimeWatch McCann Special on 14 October 2013 was neither fair nor accurate.

First, a brief look at what the programme said on the key facts.  

1. CrimeWatch presenter Matthew Amroliwala began the show by saying: ‘Madeleine was abducted from her apartment…what are the facts?’

A reconstruction is then shown

2. Madeleine was eager to swim in the pool; Kate says she was ‘desperate to get in there’ – shots of a child (Madeleine) splashing about, quotes by Dr Kate McCann

3. Madeleine is shown on a tennis court picking up tennis balls – then the controversial ‘tennis balls photo’ is shown on screen

4. At 6.30pm every evening, the McCanns and their group of friends go back to their ‘respective’ apartments and put their infants to bed

5. The McCanns’ apartment is just 50 metres [55 yards] away from the Tapas restaurant

6. The McCann family woke up at about 7.30am on 3 May

7. Later they had breakfast

8. At breakfast, Madeleine says ‘Where were you when Sean and I cried last night? (a child actress actually speaks these words on the film)  

9. Dr Gerald McCann (the real one, not the actor) is quoted on film; his voice is rushed and rather indistinct, but he can be heard to say: “We just made a mental note, you know, we said, we’re going out tonight, we just need to make sure we were really checking…they might wake up, crying and looking for us” 

10. The reconstruction now shows footage of the actors playing the parts of the McCanns and Madeleine, at the swimming pool, in the same clothes as on ‘The Last Photo’. The controversial ‘Last Photo’ is shown on screen, with the real Kate McCann heard to say: It was sunny…we’ve got the, um, photograph, the last photograph…”

11. The McCanns had a tennis lesson in the afternoon

12. After that Kate ‘went for a run’ while Gerry ‘stayed on’ [meaning at the tennis courts]

13. At 5.00pm Gerry ‘went over to meet the kids’ and Kate ‘came back from running’

14. The real Kate McCann says that Madeleine ‘was ready… Madeleine looked really tired…she looked really pale and was quite washed out…’

15. They went back to the apartment

16. ‘Before 6.00pm’ Gerry ‘headed off back to play tennis’, ‘leaving Kate to get them ready’ [for bed]

17. Kate read them a story…Madeleine played with her engagement ring…Kate: ‘it was a really nice, er, moment really.’

18. Gerry got back ‘pretty prompt at 7.00pm’

19. They all sat on Madeleine’s in bed and they read a story

20. The twins were put in their travel cots

21. The shutters and window were already closed. They closed the curtains. They left the door to the children’s room open a little ‘to let the light in’

22. At 8.30pm they left for the Tapas restaurant

23. Four of the group then joined them

24. At 9.00pm Matthew Oldfield went off to do a check on the children

25. Then 3 others arrived at the table [David & Fiona Payne and Dianne Webster]

26. Then ‘a few minutes after nine’, Gerry went to check on the children. He noted that he thought that the door to the children’s room was ‘slightly wider than how I left it’

27. On his way back, Gerry stopped to talk to a fellow guest [Jez Wilkins] and chatted to him

28. Jane Tanner went to do a check – ‘her route took her past he McCanns’ apartment’ – [the next bit is shown only on film with no accompanying commentary] she passed both Gerry McCann and Jez Wilkins and saw a man carrying a child away from near the McCanns’ apartment 

29. ‘By the time the ‘starters’ had arrived, ‘everyone appeared settled for dinner’

30.  At 9.30pm Kate and Matthew Oldfield both rose simultaneously from the table. Kate said she was going to check on the children, but Matt overruled and said he would do the check for her. He said: ‘No, no, no – you stay. I’ll pop in’. Kate said: ‘OK, I’ll go next time’. Russell O’Brien also left the table at the same time to check on the children

31. Matthew came back and said that ‘it was all quiet’

32. Russell O’Brien reported that one of their children was unwell – so Jane went to relieve him at about 9.40pm, when she had ‘finished her meal’

33. At 10.00pm, Kate did her check, and said:

(a) I was in the living room, all seemed quiet

(b) I noticed that the children’s door was quite far open

(c) She thought this could have been when Matthew checked

(d) The door [to the children’s room] a caught by a draught and ‘sort of slammed shut’

(e) At this point I decided to open the door and looked inside. ‘I guess I was looking at Madeleine’s bed, and I couldn’t, couldn’t make her out…’

(f) Madeleine was not in her bed

(g) I thought she might have gone to our bed

(h) She was not there either… ‘That was, that was the first time that I guess, you know, that panic kicked in’

(i) ‘And it was literally at that point that the curtains that I said were closed just kind of ‘pfwhoosh’ [arms parted wide to illustrate]

(j) ‘And then I could see that the windows had been pushed right open and that the shutters were up’

(k) ‘So, I’m sorry, uh [becomes tearful] so, so I kinda knew straightaway, then, that Madeleine had been taken

Dramatic music, then Matthew Amroliwala breaks in with: “Within hours of Madeleine going missing, the world’s media had descended on the resort…”.

‘Tannerman’, 'Crecheman' and ‘Smithman’

We also know that as the result of what DCI Andy Redwood referred to as his ‘revelation moment’, we were told:

  1. ‘Tannerman’ had been found

  2. ‘Tannerman’ was ‘Crecheman’

  3. The No. 1 suspect was now ‘a man seen by an Irish family’

  4. Two e-fits of this man were shown – which most people accept look like two quite different people

  5. The programme strongly hinted that these e-fist were drawn up by the Smith family, BUT the actual words used by Matthew Amroliwala was that these e-fits had been drawn up ‘by two of the witnesses’ – an ambiguous turn of phrase which did not actually say explicitly that members of the Smith family drew up these e-fits.

The problems with this CrimeWatch Show

Dealing first with points 2 to 34 - the filmed reconstruction of events that night – can the film be said to be ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’?

I suggest that it clearly cannot be, because of a large number of relevant facts which have been omitted.

To list all the relevant facts which have been omitted would take some time, but here are just a few that spring easily to mind. I refer to the numbered paragraphs above:

3. The contradictions about who actually took the ‘tennis balls’ photo has been suppressed by the BBC

5. The BBC have suppressed the fact that 55 yards is only the distance as the crow flies, they have suppressed the fact that the children’s room was on the other side of the building, and they have suppressed the fact that to walk from the table in the Tapas restaurant to Apartment G5A is a distance of about 120 yards and would take well over a minute 
10. There is no explanation as to why it took three weeks to produce ‘The Last Photo’. There is no examination by CrimeWatch of whether the weather data for Thursday 3 May (‘cloudy’) is consistent with a photo taken in bright sunshine (as occurred on Sunday and Monday that week). There is no query raised by the CrimeWatch Team as to why there were so few photos taken that week.

13. The CrimeWatch Team do not examine the contradictory accounts of the claimed ‘high tea’ where Madeleine was said to have had this meal with her parents
16. How could Gerry McCann go off to play tennis when, in what was billed as ‘the most comprehensive account yet’ of events by David James Smith in The Times (16 December 2007), he tells us that Gerry McCann’s Achilles tendon was so bad at 4.30pm that he couldn’t carry on playing tennis.

18. The visit that is said to have taken place by Dr David Payne to Apartment 5A at 6.30pm that evening is totally omitted. It is clearly part of the story, after all, if true, it is the last time when (apart from Matthew Oldfield’s supposed ‘check’ at 9.30pm) anyone apart from the McCanns saw Madeleine alive. The significance of this is that there are some 20 significant contradictions between their two accounts, see here:

It certainly could be argued that there are so many contradictions about this alleged event to suggest that it never took place. Any responsible CrimeWatch or other investigative programme would be duty bound to highlight such major contradictions about the last time when a third party is supposed to have seen a missing child

28. The conflicts of evidence about which side of the lane the two were on, and the query about how neither man saw Jane Tanner, are omitted from the reconstruction

33. The account given by Kate McCann about how she found Madeleine missing is not queried, despite these features which, again, any fair and accurate programme would be bound to examine, e.g.

* change of story about the door used by the McCanns to enter the apartment that night
* the McCanns’ repeated claims to relatives, friends and the media that the abductor had broken in to the apartment, when the forensic evidence showed otherwise

* the lack of a coherent explanation for why the windows and shutters were found open…
* …coupled with the fact that only Kate McCann’s fingerprints were found on the window

* queries about how the curtains could have ‘whooshed’ and how they could have been found in the position they were when photographed by the PJ…
…and so on.

I guess members here could mention many other things, especially about the events of 3 May, that the BBC CrimeWatch team either omitted or failed to deal with in a ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’ way.

That being so, they broke their own Charter by what they showed on 14 October 2013, and broke OFCOM’s rules. Let us hope that tonight’s programme, insofar as it may deal with the factual issues in the case, is both ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’.

Finally, what about ‘Crecheman’ and ‘Smithman’?

The way the BBC and CrimeWatch highlighted the two e-fits, suggesting (but not actually saying explicitly) that these were drawn up by the Irish family, leaves these major questions:

  1. Does ‘Crecheman’ (the man said to have been carrying a child in pyjamas near the McCanns’ apartment at 9.15pm) really exist?

  2. If ‘Yes’, why did it take six years for him to come forward?

  3. If no, why did DCI Andy Redwood invent him?

  4. Did the Smiths draw up those two e-fits?

  5. If they did, why are they of two very different looking men?

  6. Why did CrimeWatch and DCI Redwood show us images of two very different looking men but pretend they were the same man?

  7. If the Smiths didn’t draw up those e-fits, who did?

  8. If the Smiths didn’t draw up those e-fits, why did CrimeWatch and the BBC lie about them?

These are very serious issues indeed.

If Britain’s top TV media station, the BBC, and Britain’s top police force, the Metropolitan Police, have both misled us, in great detail and with much planning, about the facts of this case…

…what can be done about it?


The amazing symbiosis between bees and flowers:  

Tony Bennett

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Re: As we wait to see another CrimeWatch McCann Special, a look back at whether the CrimeWatch McCann Special on 14 October 2013 was 'fair' and 'accurate'

Post by jeanmonroe on 16.09.14 16:01

WHAT would DCI Mahogany 'do' IF 2 (TWO) different 'men' walked into Belgravia Police station and one said 'i'm the one on the RIGHT', and the other 'man' said 'i'm the one on the LEFT' on that e-fit poster of 'smithman' and we've never been to Portugal in our lives?
"but we look like the two geezers on the e-fit poster, don't we?"
"check our passports, if you wan't"

Mahogany: "well, i can only arrest one of you today, so,........ which one of you shot Jill Dando?"
"2 police forces are pursuing a THEORY of an 'abduction'"...........Summers&Dumbers, from their POSSIBLE, DEFINITIVE 'account' of what HAPPENED to Madeleine McCann.


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