The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
Welcome to 'The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann' forum 🌹

Please log in, or register to view all the forums as some of them are 'members only', then settle in and help us get to the truth about what really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann.

When you register please do NOT use your email address for a username because everyone will be able to see it!


Page 25 of 25 Previous  1 ... 14 ... 23, 24, 25

View previous topic View next topic Go down


Post by Verdi on 05.02.19 0:17

Bizarre ploys of ‘detective’ Kevin Halligen who conned the McCanns REVEALED

THE extraordinary tactics of the bogus private investigator hired by the parents of Madeleine McCann to find their daughter can now be revealed. Kevin Halligen dreamt up bizarre undercover methods in his bid to catch the little girl’s kidnapper.

By James Murray - 21st January 2018

The Walter Mitty character, who was found dead earlier this month, was a heavy drinker, a liar and fantasist who persuaded Kate and Gerry McCann to part with £300,000 from the Madeleine Fund after visiting them at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Part of the reason the McCanns were persuaded by him was because he took along Henry Exton, who had run brilliant surveillance operations in the police and has an impeccable reputation.

But Mr Exton was also duped by Halligen.

Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, and Halligen offered the desperate couple the services of his firm, Oakley International, a year later.

The deal was for the so-called Operation Omega where Mr Exton ran an undercover team in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

It was where the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner had seen a man carrying a child from the couple’s apartment.

Halligen went on to recruit a couple with a young daughter to walk around Luz to try to flush out the kidnapper.

Richard Parton, a security expert in Washington, was appalled by the ploy.

Speaking in a documentary, The Conman And The McCanns, he said: “He got a couple to go on holiday with a child who looks a lot like Madeleine.

“Apparently, she was to have been used as bait.”

An appeal for witnesses produced a London City worker who confirmed a description from Jane Tanner.

He helped produce an image of the suspect.

But one man was trailed for weeks, despite the witness saying he didn’t look like the suspect.

Halligen was also supposed to be using top Washington security contacts to secure military satellite images showing who had entered the apartment.

No such images exist and Halligen produced Google Earth photographs.

An unimpressed Mr Exton was by now £100,000 out of pocket, with Halligen’s cheques bouncing.

In 2012 Halligen was extradited from Britain to America where he admitted conning millions of pounds from a company whose executives had been kidnapped in Africa and was jailed.

Mr Exton says he regrets working with Halligen but defends the work done in Portugal.

“The distraction of Halligen’s behaviour undermined the very good work that was done,” he said.

One key part of that work was getting e-fit images of a man seen carrying Madeleine towards the beach, pictures Scotland Yard later publicised.

Maker of the documentary, Adrian Gatton, said he saw Halligen in 2017, “somewhat the worse for wear”.

He wrote on Twitter: “He was recovering from a car crash, an accident he claimed was an attempted ‘hit’.

“In 2016 he told me he had been poisoned.”

Surrey Police are preparing a report for the coroner on Dublin-born Halligen’s death on January 8 at the home of his girlfriend near Guildford.

They say his death is “unexplained”.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down


Post by Verdi on 08.02.19 20:40

One for Paulo Reis - this really does take the biscuit..

Lies, beatings, secret trials: the dark side of police handling Madeleine case

Saturday 15 September 2007

Portuguese Policia Judiciaria, co-leader of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, is a dedicated and capable detective, determined to do whatever it takes to find her – or those responsible for murdering her.

As a foreign reporter in Portugal, it is difficult to form a view. Thanks to the country's stringent judicial secrecy laws, Amaral is officially forbidden from talking to the media.

I confronted the sweaty, corpulent figure in an ill-fitting jacket twice last Friday: the first time at 10am, as he sat slurping coffee and cakes at the Kalahary cafe in Portimao with his colleague, Chief Inspector Guillermino Encarnacao; the second just before 3pm, when the two men made their way from a restaurant to a waiting black Mercedes, in which they were driven 400 yards to meet officials at the courthouse.

The reaction was the same both times: "No speak! No speak!" was all Amaral would say, making a swatting motion as though batting away an insect.

But Amaral's official silence is not the only difference between him and his counterparts in Britain.

In the UK, it is unlikely he would be leading the McCann inquiry at all.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry may never be charged with anything, despite their present status as arguidos, or official suspects, and by the end of last week, apparently well-placed sources were admitting that any case against them is circumstantial and weak.

Amaral, however, is in a similar position. He, too, is an arguido, facing possible trial on a serious criminal charge arising from a murder case brought to court in 2004, the last occasion a little girl vanished in the Algarve.

The Mail on Sunday can today reveal new details of this case, the subject of a draconian judicial order that has stopped most sources who know about the case from talking to the Portuguese Press.

According to the order, documents about the case have been restricted to a handful of officials, while the next stage of the process – a hearing at which Amaral and four fellow officers may be asked formal questions – will be conducted in secret.

It is believed that this is set for next month.

Three of Amaral's senior PJ colleagues have been made suspects for the torture of the missing girl's mother, Leonor Cipriano, who has been convicted of killing her daughter Joana, aged eight, and jailed for 16 years.

As for Amaral, the claim against him is "omisado de denuncia" – that he tried to hide the evidence of the alleged torture or, in other words, attempted a cover-up. He is said to deny it strenuously.

In internet blogs and newspaper columns, Amaral's supporters have claimed that the Cipriano case is built on lies – a vicious smear against a decent detective trying to do his job.

It has, they say, "no connection" to the Madeleine McCann inquiry.

Experienced lawyers in Portimao, the town 12 miles from Praia da Luz where Amaral is PJ chief, disagree.

The case against the detectives began as a complaint lodged by Cipriano's lawyer, they pointed out, but has now been adopted by the public prosecutor.

"In order to bring formal charges, the public prosecutor has to believe there is a strong case," said Oliveira Trindad, who has practised law in the area for more than ten years.

"That means that after assessing all the evidence, he thinks that if the case goes to trial, a conviction is more likely than not."

That decision is likely to be made well before the McCann case is closed.

There are, to be sure, many differences between Leonor Cipriano and Kate McCann.

But there are also similarities, starting with the fact that although the bodies of their daughters have not been found, Amaral and his PJ colleagues have long been convinced that both girls are dead.

No one would suggest that in the course of the marathon interrogations that preceded their departure from Portugal last weekend, Kate or Gerry McCann were the victims of physical violence.

But at times it seemed they were also being subjected to torment, albeit of a different, psychological kind.

It, too, say Portimao's criminal defence lawyers, may have been inspired by PJ officers desperate to achieve the end they sought with Cipriano – a confession.

It isn't hard to locate the source of some of the McCanns' current difficulties: Hugo Beaty's bar.

There, amid the burnt orange concrete of the Estrela apartment complex, a five-minute walk from the Ocean Club, most of the seats along the shady terrace and more inside will be taken all day by reporters with laptops, authors of a daily verbal torrent that has come to seem unstoppable.

After Kate and Gerry's abrupt return to Leicestershire last Sunday, almost nothing happened in the McCann case last week.

The only verified fact is that after considering a ten-volume PJ dossier about Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, a junior judge in Portimao, decided to grant certain requests made by the prosecutor, Joao Cunha de Magalhaes.

Every news outlet covering the story – a waterfront that now extends across the whole of Europe to the major American TV networks and even, unbelievably, a paper in war-torn Somalia – has stated that these requests were for warrants to seize items including Kate McCann's private diary, Gerry's computer and (though this seems slightly less certain) Madeleine's beloved cuddle cat.

There is, however, nothing approaching official confirmation of these claims.

Like everything else about the case, the details of the prosecutor's approach to the judge are covered, supposedly, by the judicial secrecy laws, under which the penalty – in theory – for making unauthorised disclosures is two years in prison.

Thus it is that like almost everything else being broadcast and published beyond Portugal's borders about the hunt for Madeleine, the claim that the police want to read Kate's diary has reached its audience via Hugo Beaty's bar.

Every day there starts the same way shortly after it opens at 9am, with an informal briefing to the foreign Press by a locally resident British woman who normally makes a meagre living acting as an occasional interpreter – for the Policia Judiciaria.

Every morning, the woman – who asked me not to publish her name – goes through the Portuguese tabloids and translates their ever-more febrile articles.

Every afternoon, the foreigners – almost none of whom can speak more than the most basic Portuguese, nor claim a single, genuine source inside the police investigation – recycle the tales for consumers abroad.

Portuguese police reportedly fear that they will never find Madeleine McCann's body

By the end of last week, some of the assertions made by the Portuguese had become part of a settled consensus.

For example, it was reported from Berlin to Baltimore that the police had already made a photocopy of Kate's diary – which, if true, would mean they had broken the law – and merely wanted to obtain the judge's approval to use it as evidence.

The reason they are so keen on it, it was alleged, is that it suggests she found her children "hyperactive" and difficult to handle, while railing at her husband's allegedly dilatory, hands-off approach.

The claims about the diary's contents were first published on Thursday by Jose Manuel Ribeiro, crime correspondent for the Lisbon daily Diario de Noticias.

By chance I ran into him that same afternoon, outside the apartment where Madeleine disappeared.

I congratulated him on his scoop, but he shook his head, disconsolate. Already, he complained, it was turning to dust.

Ribeiro said he had been given the story by an impeccable inside source, but already officials in Lisbon were denying it, and the source himself could no longer assure him it was true.

"Why is bad information getting out to the public?" he asked. "Because we're being given it."

Somehow, however, the denials that had made Ribeiro so angry did not get through to the foreigners.

If the questionable leak had been planted for a purpose – to increase the pressure on the hapless McCanns – it may well have succeeded.

And, in the foreign public's mind, the germinating notion that Kate might have killed her daughter because she could not handle her had been nurtured by a further dollop of manure.

A similar, apparently sanctioned but inaccurate leak had already gone around the world to still more devastating effect.

Early on Monday evening, TV channels began to report that British forensic scientists had made a "100 per cent" DNA match to Madeleine from "biological material" – said to be hair and "bodily fluids" – recovered from the Renault Scenic that the McCanns did not hire until 25 days after she vanished, suggesting that they had hidden her body on May 3 and moved it weeks after her death.

With no time for reporters to make checks before their deadlines, the story spread like foot and mouth to almost every British front page the next morning.

It was only in the ensuing days that it began, spectacularly, to unravel.

The match was not 100 per cent after all, it transpired, but 80 per cent or less – a level that, according to Professor Alec Jeffries, DNA matching's inventor, might mean that the material had not come from Madeleine at all, but another member of her family.

Even if it had, other experts said, it would prove very little.

Among readers who followed the forensic details, the case against the McCanns had been seen to suffer damage.

But others were left with a clear impression – that the PJ now believed they had real evidence that the McCanns must have been responsible for Madeleine's (still unconfirmed) death.

As for those who still harboured doubts, more rococo "revelations" were being published widely by the end of the week, such as the claim that having bundled Madeleine's body into the car, the McCanns drove it to the marina in nearby Lagos.

There they are said to have hired a boat, swore its owner into their conspiracy, then sailed into the Atlantic, into which they tipped their child, weighted down with rocks.

Could such stories really be part of a conscious PJ strategy? Some lawyers around the Portimao courthouse believe that they could.

"Portuguese journalists aren't just making this stuff up," said Oliveira Trindad.

"They are getting it from the police, of course, and the justice officers, the people working for the prosecutors. It's obvious that some information is coming from the PJ."

Some of it, he added, appears to be accurate – so making it that much easier for the same sources to seed disinformation.

Another Portimao lawyer, who asked not to be named, claimed the PJ was fighting a "propaganda war" with the McCanns.

"It is the fault of the British Press," he said.

"They were the ones who started saying, 'You're no good, you're no good.'

"If you say a lie like that many times, so many people believe it. You cannot blame the PJ for wanting to hit back."

But there might be another reason.

"Some people think journalists pay their PJ sources," the second lawyer said, citing a case where an officer from Lisbon is facing criminal charges after being caught red-handed copying secret documents about a fraud case, allegedly for private profit.

"But they also have an interest in the case and its coverage."

With the forensic evidence apparently confused and contradictory, "it seems the main goal of the PJ now is to get a confession. It's like in the films, 'Aha, we have a confession, let's take them to court.'

"It's normal to want a confession when they don't have much else."

Intense interrogation of the McCanns has so far failed. But perhaps, the lawyer implied, using the media might be another way of applying the third degree.

"I want to believe that the Portuguese police do everything the right way," said Joao Grade, the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano.

"But sometimes, if they really think someone is guilty, as they did with Leonor, they may find other ways to get what they want. It's only human.

"When they believe someone has killed a child, it's normal that they will apply pressure.

"In the McCann case, it seems that the police have what they consider half-proofs.

"But it's not airtight, it doesn't interlock, so maybe they need more."

As he spoke, I found myself recalling British miscarriages of justice: cases such as the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted of IRA pub bombings that killed 21, where the police, under tremendous pressure to "get a result", built dishonest but convincing prosecutions based around confessions.

Could the same thing be happening to the McCanns? The pressure on the police is certainly intense.

The loss of a child evokes horror everywhere. On the Algarve, however, the need to solve the case – and, perhaps, not to leave the fear that Madeleine was killed or abducted by an unknown paedophile – has other roots as well.

"The Algarve is a family destination, and situations like this are not agreeable to anyone," said Elderico Viegas, the regional tourism authority president.

"Our reputation for safety is one of our most important values – especially with the British, who make up our biggest market."

And Algarve tourism, worth about £2.8billion a year and growing rapidly, is, Viegas said, the single biggest component of the entire Portuguese economy.

The police had, he added, mishandled the media, giving rise to damaging speculation.

"But for me, the details are not important. What's important is the economy. I was born and brought up here and I can't remember the last time a tourist was murdered." So far, he added, visitor numbers this year are up.

Central to many British miscarriages of justice was a shared, deeply ingrained belief among police and prosecutors that their suspects "had" to be guilty.

With the Birmingham Six, it was founded on botched forensic tests that "told" investigators that the men had been handling the explosive nitroglycerine – false positives that arose because they had been playing with cards coated in the harmless chemical nitrocellulose.

In Praia da Luz, there are signs of a similar mindset at work, derived from equally tendentious "evidence".

For example, said a local source who knows several of the PJ inquiry team, from an early stage detectives laid great weight on Kate McCann's apparent composure when she appeared in public.

One of the strangest aspects of Portuguese coverage of the case has been frequent recourse to media psychologists, who have made all manner of deductions about her personality and state of mind by "analysing" her TV image, claiming that the absence of tears and presence of carefully applied make-up indicates a "cold", "manipulative" or even "psychopathic" personality.

In other words, someone capable of reacting instantly to the death of her daughter, whether deliberate or accidental, by deciding that she had to hide the body and conceal what had happened, and able to persuade her husband and perhaps other "accomplices" to go along with her plot.

Disturbingly, said the local source, such analysis has not been confined to the media.

"Pretty early on, they had forensic psychologists in, studying hours of video footage, drawing extremely unfavourable conclusions about Kate's personality," she said.

"You could say she's been damned by her stiff upper lip."

There have been reported claims that Kate McCann had "confessed" to killing Madeleine to a local Catholic priest.

But the Rev Hubbard Haynes, the Anglican vicar who lives in Praia da Luz and got closer to the McCanns than anyone during their months in Portugal, refuted them with controlled fury.

A young, passionate Canadian, who took up his post a week after Madeleine's disappearance, he said: "When I mention Maddie, Gerry and Kate in my own prayers, I find myself weeping.

"I have gone out into the fields and looked in the hedgerows, begging God for some sign that will help us find her, and I have wept because He has not given it to us yet.

"All I can say is that my tears are as nothing to the tears I have seen shed by Kate and Gerry.

"They may not have cried for the cameras, but to say they do not weep in private is facile and offensive.

"The man and woman I have known for the past four months are a couple whose lives have become unbearably empty because their little girl was missing.

"I do not recognise those people in recent media reports, and I find the idea that they had anything to do with her disappearance just inconceivable.

"There is great evil in this world, and someone has taken this child."

Other aspects of the emerging mindset against the McCanns seemed equally questionable.

Several Portuguese lawyers and journalists, along with a uniformed police officer from the National Republican Guard I spoke to outside the Ocean Club apartment, told me solemnly not only that the McCanns and their friends were "swingers" who had taken their holiday together to indulge in group sex (an assertion made repeatedly by the Portuguese Press), but that "everyone knows" that its tolerance of orgies is the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort's main selling point.

One afternoon I decided to test this proposition, approaching two holiday reps there, dressed in their red Mark Warner sweatshirts. "Er, is this a good place for swingers, then?" I asked.

They looked at me in total bafflement. "Swingers?" one replied.

"Look around you, sir. Most of our guests are retired, or families with children."

Another assertion published several times last week is that, on the night that Madeleine disappeared, the McCanns phoned Sky TV before contacting the police – another claim echoed by the uniformed cop.

Outside the Portimao courthouse, I asked Sky's reporter Ashish Joshi if he thought this might be true.

He rolled his eyes wearily. "It's just nonsense," he said.

"The first anyone at Sky knew about Maddy was when the story appeared on the Press Association wire.

"I was asked about this just yesterday by a Portuguese reporter. I told him it was crap. And this morning, his paper printed it."

I passed this on to the Republican Guard officer, but he was unmoved.

His unit, he said, had handled the case in its early stages, and from the start he and his colleagues had been convinced there was something fishy about the McCanns.

"My partner was there on the night of May 3," he said, "and I can tell you, that apartment was full of people, Kate was screaming – and yet her twins didn't wake up.

"How do you explain that? They must have been drugged. Nobody on the force believed their story about a kidnap for a moment.

"That little girl is dead, for sure. Soon you will see the truth."

Why the need for such bizarre allegations? The answer, I believe, is that there is a massive hole at the heart of the emerging PJ theory.

When Madeleine disappeared the McCanns did not have a car.

The Ocean Club is in the middle of a busy resort, and the notion that somehow the McCanns found a way to conceal her without transport, and then went to dinner with their friends as if nothing were amiss is beyond credibility.

One Portuguese journalist suggested to me that they might have hidden her on a scrubby headland a few minutes' walk away.

But as I found when I attempted to go for a run there, at night it is inhabited by feral dogs, whose barking would have made the digging of some putative shallow grave impossible.

The PJ enjoys a high reputation in Portugal.

"They are ranked among the top five police forces in the world," attorney Trindad said, albeit admitting he did not know the source of this curious international ranking.

Most PJ officers are graduates, and would-be entrants face severe competition, with a battery of psychometric, physical and academic tests before they can even be considered for the PJ training school.

The force's Press office likes to compare the PJ to the American FBI: "We are an elite," spokeswoman Ana Mouro said.

But beneath the veneer, as the case of Leonor Cipriano suggests, the reality can look less impressive.

"She is nothing like Kate McCann," her lawyer Joao Grade said.

"She is very poor, with maybe only three years of schooling, and her children have several fathers.

"She did not get to meet the Pope and she did not have the support of Sky and the BBC.

"But I tell you this: if Kate had been treated like Leonor, she would have done what Leonor did – ended by saying, 'OK, OK, I'm guilty, and this is how I did it.'"

The special judicial order – imposed on top of the usual Portuguese secrecy – means not only that Grade is prevented from disclosing virtually anything about the Cipriano case, but that pre-trial hearings of the charges against the detectives, due as soon as next month, will be held in camera.

The Mail on Sunday has established crucial alleged details from other legal sources in Portimao.

After Joana disappeared in September 2004, Leonor was arrested by the PJ in Portimao on October 14 at 8am.

Held there and in the city of Faro without access to a lawyer, she was interrogated without sleep for 22 hours.

Then, after a two-hour respite, she was interrogated again until 7am on October 16.

By this time, as photos published by the Portuguese media make clear, her face was a mass of bruises.

According to Grade: "Not just her face but her whole body was black and blue."

The police said she "tried to commit suicide" by throwing herself down stairs.

If the alleged torture was to force a confession, it succeeded – only for Leonor to withdraw it when she finally saw her lawyer the next day.

The supporters of the accused police have claimed that the officers must be innocent because Cipriano could not pick out her alleged attackers in an identity parade.

However, according to the sources in Portimao, this is because they are not alleged to have beaten her themselves, but to have brought in paid thugs.

In any event, she was convicted and sentenced to 21 years.

Last June, this was reduced on appeal to 16 – though one of the five appeal court judges issued a dissenting opinion, stating that he was convinced she had been assaulted in custody and was innocent.

If the criminal case against the PJ officers does lead to convictions, Grade said, she will appeal again. He has also lodged a case in the European Court of Human Rights.

Strangely enough, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral is not the only link between the Cipriano and McCann cases. Another of the senior officers who is now an arguido is the recently retired Chief Inspector Paulo Pereira Cristovao.

He is one of the McCanns' principal scourges – not as a detective, but in his new capacity as a columnist for Diario de Noticias, among the most active of Portuguese newspapers in its pursuit of stories about Madeleine derived from leaks.

"There is another link between the Cipriano and McCann cases," a Portimao lawyer claimed.

"You know, it's like if Manchester United lose a big game: next week the pressure they have to win is very big.

"The PJ are beginning to worry that now they might lose the Cipriano case.

"If that happens, they have to win with the McCanns."

Of course, there is yet another connection.

If Leonor Cipriano did not kill Joana, the chances of discovering the truth – or indeed her body – are now remote.

And as the McCanns have stated repeatedly, if they are innocent, the enormous effort being poured into trying to blame them is effort diverted from the search for a missing four-year-old girl, and the person or persons who abducted her.

That is a thought so grim that it almost makes one wish that the mindset so evident around Praia da Luz had a real foundation.

My fear is that it has as much solidity as the sandcastles on the beach.

• David Rose has been investigating miscarriages of justice for 25 years and has written several books on the subject.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down


Post by Verdi on 12.02.19 15:16

Madeleine's parents invited to Vatican for private meeting with Pope

Thair Shaikh - 29th May 2007

The parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann have been invited to the Vatican to meet the Pope tomorrow, a spokesman for the family said.

Kate and Gerry McCann will have a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI tomorrow morning at the end of a general audience meeting in the Vatican.

The couple will fly to Rome this afternoon from Faro on a 12-seater Gulfstream jet owned by the businessman Sir Philip Green. The meeting will be particularly significant for the couple because they have drawn strength from their Catholic faith since their daughter disappeared on May 3 and have attended church regularly. Last week they visited the Fatima shrine, one of the holiest in the Catholic world.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the McCann family, said both parents were delighted that "this important spiritual support had been afforded to them", and that Mrs McCann would give the Pope a photograph of Madeleine.

He added that although they were grateful of Sir Philip's offer to let them use his private jet, they would only use it on this one occasion.

Yesterday the McCann family visited a 75 sq metre (800 sq ft) inflatable poster of Madeleine that will be taken around the Algarve in an attempt to publicise her plight further. The poster, which highlights a £1.5m reward being offered through the News of the World, was paid for by Chris Lennox and Les Harley, two advertising professionals from Glasgow, who drove it 2,200 miles from Scotland to Praia da Luz.In a statement read out near the poster, the McCanns said they were amazed by the support they has received. "We have thanked everyone on several occasions but, you know, some people are just going to absolutely extraordinary lengths to help us," the statement said.

"We'd like to again thank the thousands, if not millions, of people who are doing little things in their own way - either making donations to the fund, distributing posters, taking posters on holiday - anything that people are doing to raise the awareness of Madeleine's disappearance."

The couple also released two short film clips of their daughter yesterday, taken by a family friend on their mobile phone on April 28. They show Madeleine clambering up the steps to the aircraft at East Midlands airport and later sitting on a shuttle bus at Faro airport. Mr McCann said his daughter had been so excited about the holiday that she had barely complained when she tripped and grazed her shin.

"She was dead excited about going away with the rest of the kids, it was her first time to Portugal," he said.

Meanwhile, Portuguese police said they have received hundreds of calls after they released a description of a man seen near the McCanns's holiday flat at about the time Madeleine is thought to have gone missing. He is described as white, 5ft 10in, medium build with short hair.

Totally and utterly false! The McCanns were not, I repeat not, invited to the Vatican for a private meeting with the Pope.

The arrangement for the Vatican visit was made by Clarence Mitchell, with the help of the disgraced Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. They were 2 + 1 insignificant people queueing alongside hundreds of others. See for yourself..

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down


Post by Verdi on 13.02.19 1:14

How Rebekah Brooks understood you all the way to the front page

Janine Gibson - 11th May [that month again] 2012

Brooks's Leveson inquiry appearance was a display of the empathetic arts she used to win round politicians and celebrities

Anyone who ever fantasised about being famous got a salutary look at what for the last 20 years has been the quid pro quo of British public life: what it's like to be turned over by a tabloid.

Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the Sun and the News of the World, then chief executive of News International before resigning over phone hacking last year, spoke for several hours at the Leveson inquiry.

Alternately empathetic and steely, she revealed the qualities – described by those who knew and worked for her as charm and warmth – that made her the darling of the political and showbiz worlds.

At one point, describing Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of the missing child Madeleine, she seemed so moved when articulating their terrible ordeal, she had to look away. More cynical observers, dazzled by her demure Peter Pan collar and modest expression, might have assumed this was for effect. But remember Sara Payne and Sarah's Law, the campaign for a paedophile register Brooks ran when she edited the News of the World and publicly "named and shamed" convicted offenders? That campaign was dismissed, derided and condemned as a dangerous witch-hunt, particularly when the residents of an estate went on the rampage, and a paediatrician had her job title misunderstood and graffiti painted on her front door. Brooks could never understand the reception. It was always obvious that she felt passionately about Payne's plight. Her empathy led. The later revelation that the mobile phone Payne was given by News International was one of those hacked, was one of the most extraordinary of this entire shebang.

Watching her describe the circumstances of the Sun's story revealing Fraser Brown's cystic fibrosis and furiously denying Gordon Brown's allegation that the paper hacked into his child's medical records, was a similar story. "If the Browns had asked me not to run it, I wouldn't have done," declared a wide-eyed Rebekah, who had earlier described Sarah Brown as "my friend". You sensed she absolutely believes that, even as she fails to understand how terrified the Browns were of her power; even as she denies having any such influence; even as she denies the Sun ran a revenge attack on Brown for suggesting that the Sun might have acted without proper morals. Throughout this complex dance, the Sun reader – earlier described by Brooks as being the only real source of authority at News International, is cast aside.

Countless celebrities and politicians experienced the Brooks velvet glove; the holding of your hand as the bad news is delivered. We have the tape, the ex-lover, the drugs, the cash. We know you're gay, having an affair, an addict or being blackmailed. It's going to come out and it'll be so much better for you if we're on your side.

Then comes the tell-all interview. My shame, my hell, my secret life. And the redemption. Recovery. All documented of course. We're on your side, you're on our team. Until you're not.

Many of them ended up thanking her. Being grateful. Sending warm text messages, perhaps. Piers Morgan would josh, dare and goad you into it, but Rebekah Wade, as she was, was the Princess Diana of tabloid take-downs, who understood you all the way to the front page.

She was not the only editor who practised this art. But she was hats off the best at it and today we got to see how.

• For legal reasons, this article will not be open to comments

Comment is free but for legal reasons this article will not be open to comments confused

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down


Post by Verdi on 18.02.19 12:19

McCanns recall horror of Madeleine disappearance

Kate and Gerry McCann tell US talkshow host Oprah Winfrey of 'very real likelihood' that daughter Madeleine is still alive

5th May 2009

Kate and Gerry McCann have recalled the "terror" and "absolute helplessness" when they discovered their daughter was missing. In their first American TV interview - to be screened in the UK today - the couple tell chatshow host Oprah Winfrey of their hopes that Madeleine might still be found. Madeleine disappeared two years ago from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

The US screening of the hour-long programme last nightcame just one day after the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, 2007.

The McCanns and their three children - Madeleine and twins Sean and Amelie - were on holiday with three other families when three-year-old Madeleine vanished.

Since the apparent abduction of their daughter the McCanns have worked hard to keep the case in the public eye, in the hope she might still be found.

The couple, who believe there is a "very real likelihood" Madeleine is still alive, hope the Winfrey interview might lead someone with information to come forward.

Holding hands throughout the studio interview, both wore the yellow and green wristbands that have become a symbol of their campaign.

Kate McCann choked back tears as the pair watched footage of Madeleine prior to the abduction. Her husband put a reassuring arm around her shoulder as it cut back to the studio interview.

During a section of the programme filmed at the family home in the village of Rothley, Leicestershire, Mrs McCann broke into tears as she showed the camera pictures drawn by Madeleine that she could not bring herself to remove from a refrigerator.

"She was like my little friend all the time," she said.

Madeleine disappeared from her bed as her parents dined with friends in a nearby tapas restaurant on the fifth night of the family holiday.

Addressing their much-criticised decision to leave their children unsupervised in the apartment as they ate, Mrs McCann told Winfrey: "I could persecute myself every day about that, and I feel awful that we weren't there at that minute."

The couple told the host how they took turns with friends to check on the children every 30 minutes and Mr McCann said he saw Madeleine in her bed at 9pm on the night of her disappearance.

Shortly after that time, a friend from the group saw a man carrying a child who the couple now believe to be their missing daughter.

Mr McCann, who was chatting to a hotel guest near to the apartment at the time said: "During that time, [a friend from dinner] went to check on her children, and it was at that point - she was just past us - she saw a man carrying a young girl.

"She saw me there - she'd seen that I'd just been in the apartment - so at the time she thought it was something off, but it didn't raise enough alarm bells to challenge the person with anything.

"[Our friend] described independently the pyjamas that Madeleine had on, [but] she didn't see the child's face," he said.

Mrs McCann recalled how she went to check on the children at 10pm and found the door ajar and Madeleine's bed empty. "Then I thought, 'Maybe she's wandered to our bed and that's why the door is open'," she said.

"So I went through to our bedroom, and she wasn't there, and then I'm kind of starting to panic."

She said she noticed that the apartment shutters were open, adding: "That was when I knew that someone had taken her. It was obvious, because a child could not open those shutters."

Mr McCann added: "I think almost everyone knows that feeling of terror if you're a parent and you've got a child in the supermarket and you momentarily lose them.

"It's something that no parent should have to go through. It's just the most devastating, horrible sensation. Fear for your child and your whole existence. Your family existence."

When asked if they ever think the worst, Mrs McCann replied: "I think it's natural. I know people mean well when they say don't let yourself go there, but as a mom, inevitably there are times when I do. And they're the times that I kind of dip down."

But she said she still feels a "connection" with her missing daughter, adding: "Now whether that's just because I'm her mother and there will always be that bond, I don't know. But I don't feel that she's that far away."

Four months after Madeleine vanished, Portuguese detectives formally named the McCanns suspects.

Mrs McCann said: "It was incredibly upsetting because, just when you think things can't get any worse. It made me very angry. It suddenly dawned on me that they weren't looking for Madeleine and they weren't looking for the abductor.

"When that happened and I got angry, I just felt stronger. I just thought, 'I'm going to fight to the death for Madeleine'."

They were officially cleared as suspects in July 2008.

Today, their determination to find their daughter is as fierce as ever, the couple said.

Mrs McCann told Winfrey: "We're still going, and we're working really hard. We have our better days and our not-so-good days, but we're persevering and we're pressing on."

The couple said they draw strength from Sean and Amelie, who are now older than Madeleine was when she disappeared.

Mrs McCann told the show she is convinced somebody has information about Madeleine's whereabouts or her abductor and urged them to come forward.

She said: "At the end of the day, this man is known to somebody, you know? He's someone's son, someone's brother, someone's cousin, someone's neighbour, someone's colleague.

"Even if these people don't know that he definitely did it, they might have a suspicion.

"And if you know somebody really well, you don't want to think that he could be linked to something like this. It's just reaching out to them and saying 'Please come forward'.

"She's got a little brother and sister who want her back in their life. If you don't want to think about Gerry and I, think about Sean and Amelie. Bring their sister back."

The interview forms part of a media campaign by the couple to capitalise on the media spotlight on the second anniversary.

They have released a photographic impression of how Madeleine may look now, if still alive, produced by a forensic imaging artist.

Madeleine would now be five, nearly six, years old.

The image, which illustrates how Madeleine might have aged since her apparent abduction, will be used on posters to be distributed globally.

The McCanns said the picture, produced by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, could be a "crucial" tool in the hunt for Madeleine.

Private detectives working for the family and a hotline are ready to deal with responses generated by the publicity drive.

On Thursday, a Channel 4 documentary will feature a reconstruction of what the couple describe as "potentially significant and suspicious events" from around the time Madeleine was taken.

The documentary, Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, follows detectives Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley as they try to piece together what eyewitnesses say happened.

The detectives have looked through 30,000 files of information released by Portuguese police about their investigation when the case was shelved last summer.

The Oprah Winfrey Show will be aired in the UK tonight . Sky and Virgin TV viewers can see the programme on Diva TV at 8pm.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down


Post by Verdi on 21.02.19 11:48

The Latest Sad Update In The Madeleine McCann Disappearance

Donations and financial support have dwindled to almost zero - by Milly Haddrick - 25th September 2018

The parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann have been forced to shut down website ‘The Madeleine Fund’ as a loss of interest has meant financial support for the search has stopped.

Kate McCann, Maddie’s mother, has shut down the online store that was set up to help raise funds for the search of her missing daughter Maddie McCann.

Maddie McCann went missing 11 years ago from her hotel room while the family were on holiday in Portugal. The mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance attracted international attention and meant Maddie McCann’s case quickly became one of the most infamous missing persons cases worldwide.

The website sold a series of T-shirts, posters and car stickers with the aim to raise funds for the search of the missing girl, who disappeared when she was just three years old.

Although initial financial support flooded in following Maddie’s disappearance in 2007, donations needed to aid the search for the missing British girl (who would now be a teenager) have largely dwindled, with the fund seeing little to no financial support from the public in recent years.

A source claiming to be close to the McCann family told the Daily Mail.

“Donations dried up a long time ago. At times the story comes into the news a few kind people send in a quid or two but there is nothing of any real value".

To make matters worse, the funding from the London Metropolitan Police is expected to run out entirely by the end of the month.

It’s a devastating blow to the family who haven’t yet given up hope in their search for Madeleine.

RELATED: Netflix To Make Madeleine McCann True Crime Documentary


The official find madeleine website as we speak..

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Posts : 11782
Reputation : 4284
Join date : 2015-02-02

Back to top Go down

Page 25 of 25 Previous  1 ... 14 ... 23, 24, 25

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum