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How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

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How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.10.16 1:03

I raise this issue again because of these paragraphs which appear in Kerry Needham's book 'Ben'. They were written about what happened to her (i.e. Kerry Needham) at about 6am on Friday 4 May:

QUOTE
   
There was nothing. No police updates of note, no help from officialdom and no in-coming phone calls from the media whatsoever. Until, that is, Friday 4 May 2007.

It was six o’clock in the morning and whoever had rung the house phone that early was about to get a piece of my mind. Or so I thought. I didn’t actually have a chance to say anything because as soon as I picked up the phone, I heard the voice of a friendly journalist.

‘Kerry, have you got a comment about the little girl who was snatched in Portugal last night?’

Now they wanted to listen. I looked down from my bedroom window at the mass of men and women filling my lawn and pathway and those of the two houses on either side. After year of shouting into thin air, it seemed like every journalist with a car had found their way to my front door. And all they wanted to talk about the same thing. Madeleine McCann.

That reminds us of the extraordinary telephone call that a certain British ex-pat now living in Spain, Jon Clarke, received in the very early hours of Friday 4 May. He was the Editor of the Olive Press, a newspaper for British ex-pat in southern Spain. He was required to travel IMMEDIATELY to Praia da Luz in south-west Portugal, a distance of 250 miles and a 5-hour journey by car. He later boasted of getting there 'in the morning' and being 'the first journalist on the scene'. He had been ordered to file stories for the Sun and the Daily Mail.

Putting these two stories together, WHO, we might well ask, was so cocksure that this would become an instant, major international, so early in the night that Kerry Needham was knocked up at 6.00am, around dawn, and Jon Clarke probably before dawn. 

WHO convinced these media that they HAD to go and cover this story - EVEN BEFORE THE STORY ACTUALLY BROKE on the 8.00am news in the UK?

Here are Jon Clarke's two major Olive Press articles, by the way - full of errors!

 
A local paedophile, not the McCanns killed Maddie

The Olive Press

October 25, 2007  

 Loading ...
As the parents of Missing Madeleine claim their innocence on Spanish TV, the Olive Press’ Jon Clarke – the first British newspaper journalist on the scene – analyses why the McCanns did not do it

OF course, the best whodunnits are complex and far-fetched. But for a couple of loving parents to murder their daughter, bury and cover all traces in the space of an hour while on holiday is stretching it a bit far.
 
The fact that they are educated doctors with not a blemish on their names.
 
The fact that they were on holiday with two other families.
 
The fact that they invited the world’s press to help with not one speck of real dirt sticking to them.
 
These are just some of the reasons why I am convinced the McCanns did not kill their daughter Madeleine, 4.
 
Increasingly, a whispering campaign has become a titillating news item that has become a deluge of news reports about why and how they murdered their daughter.
 
Not just in the United Kingdom. Even more so in Spain, Portugal, even France and the United States are throwing in their top reporters and crime analysts to try and solve the mystery that is Missing Maddie.
 

But, as a journalist who has four times been to Praia de Luz to cover the story and as the first British newspaper reporter on the scene on that fated morning in May this year, I am certain, Kate and Gerry McCann did not kill their daughter.

It is perhaps all too obvious that eventually the finger would point at the parents. After all, they say that in cases of child molesting and abduction half the time it is the nearest and dearest who is to blame.
This however, is perhaps more to do with the ineptitude of the Portuguese police investigation that has been ragged, eccentric at best.
 
That it took them three months to invite in specialists to pick up the vital strands of DNA evidence strewn around the flat.
 
That they seized the hire car of the McCann’s, found so-called “key, crucial DNA evidence on the back seat,” then allowed them to have it back to drive around.
 
That they allowed dozens of local people, including one of the main suspects to wander around the crime scene.
 
That they did not shut the border with Spain till practically the next day.
 

From the word go, they did not take this crime seriously.

And, in a way, who can blame them?

Praia de Luz sits in the sleepy south west corner of Europe, just short of Sagres. There had been no kidnappings, murders, or any serious crime reported for three years, as it turned out.
 
The Mark Warner holiday club that charged thousands to parents like the McCanns, did not even have security cameras, or secure premises.
 
There was no suggestion of putting families on higher floors. Like numerous housing developments up and down the Costa del Sol and the Algarve, you could walk straight in through a small gate.
 

All the more perfect for a predatory paedophile who lived in the area.

I am not going to claim to be able to solve the mystery, but I am convinced that Maddie was snatched by a local paedophile, who had been watching the family’s movements.
 
It was coming to the end of their holiday. The fifth night they had put their children to bed and wondered down to have dinner with their friends, all doctors bar one.
 

The apartment door was shut, but within easy reach of the road. In any case it is almost certain that the plastic shutters on the apartment were used to get out, perhaps in too.

The small village had apparently very little crime . . . until you scratched the surface. While there had only been one murder of any substance for nearly three years in the area, there was, it turned out, a seedy underworld inhabited by numerous expatriates. One woman told me how she had been the victim of an attempted snatch at midnight in nearby Lagos a month or two earlier. A long term English couple, who lived in the small nearby village where suspect Robert Murat grew up, told me there were “half a dozen” paedophiles living in their village alone.
 
It was sketchy and unsubstantiated, but there was no doubt, as in any place where northern European expatriates drift in their hundreds, there were quite a number of bad eggs amongst them.
 

Then, there was the Russian connection. Robert Murat’s friend Sergei, a handsome young man.

Either way, I do not see how the McCanns could have done it. That is if the police and press had been doing only half the job they should have been doing.
 
Much has been made of the missing hour-and-a-half window between 7pm and 8.30pm between Madeleine being put to bed and the parents coming down to dinner.
 

While Gerry was seen playing tennis, Kate was apparently in the flat . . . she must be guilty then? Not really. She was probably relaxing, having a bath, putting on her make up for the evening.

The latest report in one of the salacious Portuguese tabloids, Kate apparently killed Maddie and then hid the body in the fridge of their apartment before “passing it through various locations” and finally moving it in a hire car, perhaps on a “suspicious” trip to Huelva three weeks later.

But given that the apartment fridges are tiny, they would have had to chop her up first. Would they have then calmly sat at dinner with their friends at 8.30pm, showing no sign of a struggle or the anguish of murdering their daughter?
 
Surely one of the so-called Tapas Nine would have spotted something?
 
On top of this, Portuguese police had their finest detectives flown in from Lisbon the following day.
 

Is not likely they would have checked the fridge, and more crucially monitored their movements three weeks later on their publicity tour around Europe?

One other thing, if they had killed Madeleine and then somehow driven her body away in the tiny time scale that evening, they would have needed to have gone more than 25 miles – the distance from the resort sniffer dogs and police searched. That would mean driving for at least half an hour on the poor windy backroads inland from the Algarve. They did not know the back roads, nor a good spot to hide the body. How would they have hidden the body? Using a shovel? Hold on, would not there then be a shop somewhere that sold them a shovel? Is anyone missing a shovel? If so, please call the Olive Press newsdesk.

It is all so far fetched it is quite ridiculous. There is only one slight niggle. That of Harold Shipman. Britain’s most prolific serial killer to date. He was a GP near Manchester who got away with the murder of dozens of vulnerable elderly people in a sick craving for power. Could Kate and Gerry be in the same league?

Now you are really talking fantasy football.



---------

Maddie taken to Morocco by paedophiles

The Olive Press, October 30, 2007  

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Majority of Spaniards believe McCanns are lying after TV appeal

A TOP Spanish detective agency believes Maddie McCann was kidnapped to order by a gang of paedophiles and smuggled to Morocco.

The company Metodo 3 reportedly thinks Madeleine was snatched after a tip-off by an insider at their Portuguese holiday complex.

The private eye team based in Barcelona has reportedly never failed to find a missing person, giving hope to distraught parents Kate and Gerry.

The group is said to be creating a ‘hitlist’ of Portuguese paedophiles known to prey on girls of Madeleine’s age.

Meanwhile over 70 per cent of viewers of a Spanish TV interview with Kate and Gerry McCann believe they were lying.

In a viewers’ poll, over two thirds believed they were covering up something in relation to the disappearance of their daughter Maddie in May.

The late night programme 360 Grados, in which Kate McCann broke down in tears, was chosen because the McCann’s believe that the Portuguese media have been relentlessly hostile.

They hoped that the Spanish programme might persuade viewers to be more sympathetic to them.

But in the discussion section following the 14-minute interview callers voiced their doubts about the couple.

The family have also issued an artist’s impression of the man believed to have snatched their daughter.

With no impression forthcoming from the Portuguese police, the family commissioned one of the UK’s top crime artists to make the sketch.

It is based on the recollection of one of the so-called Tapas Nine – the McCanns’ friends – who were also staying in Praia da Luz in May.

Jane Tanner, 36, told police how she saw a man carrying a bundle away from the apartment and down towards the church at around 9.15pm that night.

The man was around 5ft 9ins, about 35 years in age, with dark hair parted at the side and slightly longer at the back. He wore a dark jacked, beige trousers and dark shoes.

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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by skyrocket on 26.10.16 8:40

From what I understand:

Carlos Anjos (x-PJ Inspector/x-Head of the PJ Union) stated on the Portuguese news debate programme 'Pros e Contras' (For and Against) in Nov 2007 that SKY news arrived on the scene 1 1/2 hours after the PJ (courtesy of Joana Morais). Inspector Vitor Martins of the PJ tells us that he arrived 30/40 minutes after the PJ had been contacted by the GNR, at 1am on 4 May, making his arrival time between 1.30am and 1.40am. He was accompanied by PJ forensics specialist Joao Barreiras.

According to Anjos therefore, SKY arrived on the scene around 3am - 3.10am on 4 May.

We are told on her Wiki page that Jo Wheeler, the then SKY News weather woman, was sent to give live coverage in Luz until the SKY reporters arrived on scene. Jo Wheeler had been living in Luz since 2002 and apparently commuted 'on a weekly basis' to the Isleworth SKY News centre to present the weather forecasts. Just why then she was conveniently in Luz on a Thursday night is not made clear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Wheeler
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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Verdi on 26.10.16 12:55

@Tony Bennett wrote:
That reminds us of the extraordinary telephone call that a certain British ex-pat now living in Spain, Jon Clarke, received in the very early hours of Friday 4 May. He was the Editor of the Olive Press, a newspaper for British ex-pat in southern Spain. He was required to travel IMMEDIATELY to Praia da Luz in south-west Portugal, a distance of 250 miles and a 5-hour journey by car. He later boasted of getting there 'in the morning' and being 'the first journalist on the scene'. He had been ordered to file stories for the Sun and the Daily Mail.

Yet another example of disgraceful bias reporting on a par with 'My Months with Madeleine' by Bridget McDonnell, written for the Guardian back in December 2007 -  journalists should at east give the impression they are unbiased.

I am however interested to learn why this expatriate, Jon Clarke, was specifically asked to travel from Southern Spain to Praia da Luz to cover the story of Madeleine McCann's disappearance for the UK tabloids.  A journalist from the UK could have been flown over just as swiftly.

I haven't time to search now but I wonder if there were reports in the Sun and/or Mail from May 2007 onward, published under the name Jon Clarke..

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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.10.16 21:07

@Verdi wrote:
I am however interested to learn why this expatriate, Jon Clarke, was specifically asked to travel from Southern Spain to Praia da Luz to cover the story of Madeleine McCann's disappearance for the UK tabloids.  A journalist from the UK could have been flown over just as swiftly. I haven't time to search now but I wonder if there were reports in the Sun and/or Mail from May 2007 onward, published under the name Jon Clarke..
I was once told that Jon Clarke could be relied on to cravenly send in reports exactly in line with the angle the editor wanted and was paid handsomely as a result.

As an Eastender might put it: 'The man for the job'

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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.10.16 22:03

Thank you @ dottyaussie

One of the article listed by Jon Clarke is this one:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/379292/madeleine-mccann-is-in-america-and-i-know-who-took-her/

The Sun headline was 'Madeleine McCann is in America and I know who took her'.

It would comfortably make the 'Top 5' of the most ridiculous stories ever printed about Madeleine McCann.

Moreover, Jon Clarke played a direct role in the genesis of this story. I wrote an article on his involvement in the story which I think is on the forum, or it might be on the Madeleine Foundation site.   

A black Angolan-born Portuguese citizen with the improbable name of Marcelinho Italiano came up with the following tall story. He was an amateur sleuth. He had been following the story of Madeleine and had met up with a vicious gang of paedophiles. He had learnt from them that Madeleine had been taken to the U.S. by members of the gang and raped. He was on their trail, but had twice had some teeth knocked out in confrontations with this gang and had been forced to flee to Spain. After the story emerged, researchers went to the internet to find out more about him and discovered that for years he had been playing for a minor team in a basketball league in southern Spain.

Everyone who was involved in that story must have known that it was an utter pack of lies from start to finish, and IIRC Jon Clarke was the go-between, a source for the entire story. If so, he has a lot to answer for.

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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Verdi on 27.10.16 12:40

I was about to check out mccannfiles.com for the first press reports published after Madeleine McCann's disappearance but it's not to be - only temporary I hope  sad .  Can't find any report to confirm Jon Clarke's early involvement but I did come across this little gem, complete with anonymous sources [snipped]..

The Olive Press was the first newspaper on the scene following her disappearance.

Editor Jon Clarke was asked to cover the story by The Daily Mail, Sun and Mirror, while they scrambled to send their own reporters out.

Some of the paper’s key findings was the level of slackness surrounding the initial search.

Read on..

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2014/05/11/revelations-in-search-for-maddie-mccann/

'Revelations' - now there's a word to conjure with.   Spain?  Barcelona sighting/child trafficking?  Yacht anchored off Luz harbour?  Metodo3?  Anonymous ex-detectives?  The Olive Press?


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Re: How early on Friday 4 May were the TV and Print Media preparing for a major story on the abduction of Madeleine McCann

Post by Verdi on 27.10.16 12:47

@Tony Bennett wrote:

Everyone who was involved in that story must have known that it was an utter pack of lies from start to finish, and IIRC Jon Clarke was the go-between, a source for the entire story. If so, he has a lot to answer for.
What a load of absolute twaddle.  Good 'ol Tracey Kandohla pales into oblivion compared to Jon Clarke of the Olive Press - Enid Blyton v. Stephen King.

If, big if, he's working for the greater good, I sincerely hope his paymaster is satisfied with his efforts.  I do however note from the link posted up by dottyaussie, that 'Jon Clarke has not been recommended [by] any journalists.'
dance

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