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Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 Mm11

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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

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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

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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..

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 C_71_article_1008068_image_list_image_list_item_0_image

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

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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.

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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

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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..

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 2284c131-a3f9-4bf7-9be1-f2be4c245110

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Post by Verdi on 23.02.19 14:39

Madeleine is 'spotted' in new Spain sighting

Last updated August 2007

Police are investigating a possible sighting of Madeleine McCann being bundled into a car in Spain.

Two witnesses told detectives they are "certain" they saw the missing four-year-old with a man acting strangely at a petrol station on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this week Kate and Gerry McCann said they believe their daughter could be alive and being held in Spain.

The two women witnesses told police they saw a well-built man shoving a little girl into a dark green Citroen ZX hatchback by the car wash at a service station near Cartagena, on the south east coast.

The man pushed her down onto the car seat when he realised he was being watched, they said.

One of the witnesses told officers: "The man was holding the girl by the hand, but when he saw us watching him, he picked her up by her head, pushed her into the seat to hide her, and sped off as fast as he could in the car."

The man was described as 5ft 9in tall man with chestnut coloured hair and dark brown eyes, wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and "pirate-style" trousers.

The two Spanish women reported the incident at the Civil Guard headquarters in Cartagena at 7.45pm on Tuesday.

And detectives have twice visited the Shell gas station on the N332.

All officers in the area have been given a description of the possible abductor and the car and have stepped up their patrols, local media reported.

A spokesman for the Spanish government's office in the province of Murcia said today/yesterday(THURS): "Two Spanish women presented themselves at the Civil Guard office in Cartagena to say they were certain they had seen Madeleine in a car at a service station.

"They said she was forced into the car by a man.

"The Civil Guard, National Police and local police are all investigating the incident which we are taking seriously.

"Of course we are still all hoping Madeleine is found alive and safe."

After receiving the call police interviewed staff at the service station.

Petrol-pump attendant Francisco Cervantes told police he had also seen the green Citroen ZX at the car wash.

He told a local newspaper: "I was waiting on the forecourt by the petrol pumps and I saw a green Citroen ZX which was very dirty and which headed straight for the car wash.

"I remember perfectly that the car was being driven by a person with curly hair.

"The police asked me if the driver was a man or a woman, but I couldn't see well enough to be able to tell.

"They also asked me if I had served them at the petrol pump, but I hadn't, and neither did my colleagues.

"I can't say if they drove off at speed, as you can't see the exit to the highway from the petrol pumps."

Staff at the service station today said they have no idea who the two witnesses are.

A woman cashier, who asked not to be named, said: "The police have been around twice, once on Tuesday afternoon and once on Wednesday afternoon.

"We have no idea who the witnesses are. Certainly nobody came to us and told us they had seen Madeleine."

Spanish police refused to comment on the potential sighting.

Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, this week said they believe the four-year-old may have been smuggled out of Portugal into Spain.

Gerry McCann, 39, said: "We have always been interested in Spain because of its proximity to Portugal.

"If someone had a car, it's clear they could have crossed into Spain.

There is no border control and the frontier was not closed off on the night Madeleine disappeared.

"The possibility that Madeleine is alive and in Spain is very real.

"The border between the two countries is very big." Portuguese border police were not informed that Madeleine had gone missing until the morning of May 4 - the day after she vanished from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

And members of the country's Borders and Aliens Service were only given a photograph of the toddler 12 hours after she disappeared.

The lapse would have given an abductor time to get across the border to Spain unchecked long before a lock-down was ordered by police.

Motorists routinely cross the border between Spain and Portugal without being stopped.

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Post by Verdi on 23.02.19 15:15

Original Source: EXPRESS: - 01 - 02 - 03 -SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2007
Sunday October 28 2007 By John Stalker

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 28-10-2007-ExpressSecrety


Sunday October 28 2007

By John Stalker

I have watched the investigation into the Madeleine McCann case drag on for six months.

One thing above all worries me: Why have the McCanns and the seven other members of their group - the Tapas Nine - remained so silent? My gut instinct is that some big secret is probably being covered up.

Unlike other high-profile cases I have worked on, not one of them has been prepared to break ranks or really come out and support each other. After all this time and pressure, I cannot believe that nobody wants to speak.

Their answer has always been no comment but there is surely some division between them. So what are they hiding? I have a real suspicion that we are not being told the whole truth.

There is something else there, some issue that members of the party are embarrassed about.

While they continue to refuse to talk it is unlikely that we will find out what it is for a very long time but one thing is certain - it will eventually come out.

The sad fact is that we still have a missing girl and I believe the investigation will be focusing on the theory that she is dead.

The likeliest scenario is that her abductor panicked when he realised the attention the case was creating and killed her days after snatching her.

My fear now is that unless we find her body or her killer strikes again we will never know what really happened to that tiny child.

My instinct, based on years of policing similar cases, is that we are looking at an abduction where the child was targeted in the days before her disappearance.

On the night she vanished it is likely that her abductor simply spotted his opportunity and struck while he could.

I have been horrified by the abject failure of the Portuguese detectives to adhere to basic principles of policing.

The investigation does not seem to have taken a step forward from where it was in the first week after she went missing. I cannot believe that the Portuguese only sent selected DNA samples to the forensic science lab in Birmingham.

There is absolutely no sense in that whatsoever. To fully evaluate poor-quality DNA traces, as we believe these were, forensic experts need to see the whole picture.

In the past, when I have dealt with traces of bodily fluids, it is very difficult to establish how they got to be where they were.

All DNA is highly transferable and that is the most likely explanation for the alleged traces found in the McCanns' hire car and on her mother's clothing. Robert Murat, the other suspect, was seen close to the apartment the day after Madeleine disappeared and freely admits having helped police as a translator.

If he was in that apartment, or anywhere near it, ther is no doubt he would have transferred some of Madeleine's or the twins' DNA on to his clothing.

I don't believe for one minute that Kate and Gerry McCann or their friends are capable or guilty of having murdered the four-year-old.

All the criticism of Kate and Gerry and their friends has been completely out of order. They are extremely intelligent and articulate people and, just because they have never visibly cracked in public to the extent that they are beaten, does not mean that they are guilty of anything sinister.

Yes, they have had more doors opened for them than other people would have in similar circumstances, but their main aim is to discover what happened to Madeleine. That should be the aim of all concerned.

But my gut instinct still forces me to wonder: What is the secret that the Tapas Nine are so carefully hiding?

[pamalam at gerrymccannsblog]

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

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Post by Verdi on 25.02.19 0:20

UK police guilty of flawed tunnel vision in hunt for Maddie McCann answers, former top cop says
By Mark Saunokonoko

2:05pm May 15, 2017


Scotland Yard's six-year investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance was a poisoned chalice laced with critical errors because of a high level agenda to not interrogate the child's parents, according to a former UK detective.

The explosive revelations were made by retired Metropolitan Police homicide cop Colin Sutton, who at one time was touted as a possible candidate to lead Operation Grange and the search for Maddie, now missing for 10 years.

Operation Grange's narrow remit to focus only on the theory that the four-year-old was abducted from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal was unusual and a "missed opportunity", Sutton told

In 2010, with planning underway to launch Operation Grange, Sutton received a phone tip off from "a very senior Metropolitan police officer", warning him about the looming investigation and how it would be handled.

The insider told Sutton, who served 30 years with London's Met before retiring in 2011, that the dozens of murder detectives assigned to Operation Grange

would be instructed where they could and couldn't look.

"I immediately assumed that what was meant was that the [McCann] family and Tapas 7 [the group of seven friends on holiday with the McCanns] were a no-go area," Sutton said.


In May 2011, when Operation Grange was launched, the detective's instincts were proven correct.

The "crucial phrase", as Sutton calls it, in the Operation Grange remit was a line stating the review would be carried out "as if the abduction occurred in the UK".

That meant Kate and Gerry McCann, despite several concerning inconsistencies in their witness statements, were not to be looked at, Sutton said.

"It was almost this unspoken elephant in the room," he told

"The rest of [the remit] is really of little consequence after that because that's sort of saying … we are only treating this as an abduction and we are not looking at any other scenario."

Sutton also hit out at Scotland Yard claims that the McCanns, who have always denied any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine, had been cleared by Portugal's police force, the Policia Judiciaria (PJ).

Portuguese authorities shelved the investigation in 2008, 14 months after Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, and in doing so lifted arguidos (formal suspect) status from the McCanns.

"The PJ have never cleared anyone," Sutton said.

Ceasing the investigation "just meant they couldn't find enough evidence to proceed against them. Their view is that the parents are certainly not eliminated".

Sutton, who led more than 30 successful murder investigations, said it was well-rehearsed, best police practice in cases such as Madeleine McCann to eliminate those closest to the child first.

"Also any kind of investigation of murder or akin to murder the other place you need to eliminate early on is those that last saw the victim alive.

"In this case you've got essentially the same group of people who are both close to the victim and the last to see her alive. I'd always want to start with that.

"I don't understand why that hasn't been done [by Operation Grange], because it would appear to be in everyone's interest."

Earlier this month, Assistant Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Mark Rowley denied Scotland Yard had a closed mind to the possibility of Kate and Gerry McCann’s involvement.

"The involvement of the parents, that was dealt with at the time by the original investigation by the Portuguese," Asst Com Rowley said during a media briefing.

"We had a look at all the material and we are happy that was all dealt with and there is no reason whatsoever to reopen that or start rumours that was a line of investigation."

When asked if Kate and Gerry McCann had ever been questioned as potential suspects by Scotland Yard detectives, Asst Com Rowley replied: "No."

Sutton said he disagreed with Asst Com Rowley's assessment. He said inconsistencies in some of Kate and Gerry's statements, Kate's 2011 book madeleine and also some of the witness accounts of the Tapas 7 disturbed him.

The Portugal detective who oversaw the original investigation, Goncalo Amaral, wrote a book theorising Maddie had died in apartment 5A, that Kate and Gerry had disposed of the body and the parents had faked their daughter's abduction.

After police found no forensic evidence in the apartment to back up claims of a break in, Gerry's statements to police detailing what doors he and Kate had used while checking on their three sleeping children changed.

Portugal's police also had some doubts over the accuracy of timelines provided by Kate and Gerry, and the Tapas 7, in the critical hours either side of Maddie being reported missing at 10pm.

Specialist cadaver and blood dogs were brought to Praia da Luz from the UK, and signalled hits inside apartment 5A and a hire car rented by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine disappeared. DNA swabs were taken but ruled inconclusive.

"There was a part of me that always had this hope in the back of my mind that actually there was lots of busy and important covert work going on in the background of Operation Grange, that there was going to be some kind of bombshell announcement," Sutton said.

"I fear that is not going to be the case now. I fear it will just peter out and probably this thing will never get resolved."

It was "entirely possible" that some of Operation Grange's remit was forced upon Scotland Yard by government officials who rubber stamped the multi-million-dollar funding of the investigation, Sutton said.

In March Operation Grange was injected with an additional $150,000 to cover the investigation through to September, 2017.

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Post by Verdi on 25.02.19 1:07

Madeleine McCann: Key witness statement about blood in rental car should be explored
By Mark Saunokonoko
1:05am Apr 25, 2017

A law enforcement expert who specialises in detecting lies and deception has pinpointed an "area of concern" in a key witness statement in the Madeleine McCann case.

Mark McClish, a former US Marshall and Secret Service agent, has analysed a statement given to police in 2008 by Gerry McCann's brother-in-law, almost one year after Maddie vanished.

Parts of that statement which relate to blood and a strange odour in the back of a rental car should be explored further, McClish said.

In the aftermath of Maddie's disappearance Alexander 'Sandy' Cameron flew into Portugal from England with his wife Trish, and spent nearly three months with Kate and Gerry.

During that time Sandy was listed as a registered driver for a silver Renault Scenic that had been rented by the McCanns.

In late July of 2007, that vehicle became a lightning rod of interest to both Portugal's detectives and the huge media pack that had descended on the small town of Praia da Luz.

As the hunt for the missing four-year-old intensified, a pair of British police dogs, one a specialist in sniffing out human cadaverine, the other a human blood canine, were brought to Portugal.

The dogs were filmed alerting inside the McCann holiday apartment, next to a shelved wardrobe in Kate and Gerry's bedroom and behind a couch in the living room.

Later, both dogs again registered hits on the Renault Scenic which had been hired by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine disappeared.

Swabs were taken from the boot of the car and sent for forensics, revealing 15 of the 19 markers matched Madeleine's DNA.

The report from British forensic scientist John Lowe stated the results were "too complex for meaningful inclusion and interpretation".

In an attempt to try and make sense of the forensic results, Portuguese investigators requested Sandy Cameron make a written statement, which included answers to several questions about the Renault car.

Cameron wrote how he would sometimes use the car to take black garbage bags from the villa where he and the McCanns were staying to the local dump.

He also explained how blood from meat, fish and shrimps had leaked from shopping bags into the boot of the car, which was where human blood dog Keela alerted.
The paragraph that is an "area of concern". Mark McClish believed Sandy Cameron's statement "appears to be truthful with one area of concern". Source: PJ Files
The paragraph that is an "area of concern". Mark McClish believed Sandy Cameron's statement "appears to be truthful with one area of concern". Source: PJ Files ()

McClish, who now trains police and military interrogators in the art of statement analysis, said Cameron's overall statement appeared truthful but that the part about leaked blood warranted further investigation.

It was an "area of concern", according to McClish.

Like cadaver dogs, statement analysis is not evidence admissible in court. Law enforcement agencies use these tools to assist investigations and zero in on potential line of inquiry.

McClish told that careful examination of words, phrases and language could help ascertain deception or truth.

"A truthful person's language will usually remain consistent.

"Deceptive people will sometimes use synonyms because they are making up a portion of their story they cannot relate to and consequently do not always follow their personal dictionary."

Throughout his statement, Cameron used the word "vehicle" to describe the Renault until he reaches the point where he talks about the odour. Then the Renault becomes a "car".

While recounting the blood and odour, Cameron also made a change in language between past and present tense.

"The use of present tense is an indication this part of the story may not be coming from memory," McClish told

The former cop said every small word in a statement has a meaning and justification.

He added that, if he were an investigator, he would be inclined to ask Cameron more about the odour and the trips to the supermarket.

McClish noted how Cameron, despite have a much closer personal relationship to Gerry, ordered the pair as "Kate and Gerry" significantly more often throughout the statement.

"It may be that he feels that Kate needs more support than Gerry, which caused him to mention her name first," McClish theorised.

The McCanns have resolutely denied any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter.

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

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Post by Verdi on 25.02.19 11:56

Jerry' with a J' Lawton of the Daily Star is almost as convincing as Olive Oyl of the Daily Tablet..

Shannon Matthews cops drafted in to search for Maddie Daily Star

Daily Star, 18 March 2010
By Jerry Lawton
18th March 2010

THE police team who found hoax kidnap victim Shannon Matthews are to probe Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) will study Portuguese police files.

Madeleine's doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both 41, are said to be "delighted" at the move. It follows a meeting with Home Secretary Alan Johnson at which they begged him to relaunch the official search for their daughter.

He asked the Child Exploitation Centre And Online Protection Centre to appoint a new investigating force.

They have called in HMET, whose officers found Shannon, then aged nine, alive 24 days after she vanished in Dewsbury, West Yorks, in February 2008.

Detectives worked out her disappearance was a plot to claim reward money dreamed up by her mum Karen, 34, and stepdad's uncle Michael Donovan, 40, who were jailed for eight years Portuguese and British police forces have been at odds since Madeleine vanished from her family's Algarve holiday apartment in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

A source told the Daily Star: "It's hoped we can clear the decks and start over again."

The case was archived as unsolved in July 2008, and the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, have had to hire private detectives to search for her.

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 DailyStar18March2010

Another few thousand £ expended on the case but hidden from view.

These tabloids have such an endearing way with words. Tantalizing sensationalism (oooh - an 'ism) at it's finest.

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Post by Liz Eagles on 25.02.19 13:06

Today there is an article in the Daily Mail concerning a young woman raped in Portugal, details of the outcome of the trial and revealing she has waived the right to her anonymity to speak to UK Press.

I didn't read all of the article.

I went straight to the comments section in anticipation of predicted links and diatribe of Portugal being a third world country and linking this woman's ordeal to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

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Post by Verdi on 03.03.19 16:26

Home Office agrees to give police extra £150,000 to extend hunt for missing Madeleine McCann

   The funding is expected to keep Operation Grange going until March 2019
   Taxpayers demanded justification for pouring more money into the probe
   Operation Grange has already cost £11.6million

By Tracey Kandohla and Charlie Moore For Mailonline

Published: 17:21 GMT, 13 November 2018 | Updated: 02:00 GMT, 14 November 2018

Police will get a further £150,000 to investigate the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, it was reported today.

The funding will keep Operation Grange going until March 2019.

The news was met with anger on social media as taxpayers demanded justification for pouring more money into the probe which has already cost £11.6million.  

Kate and Gerry McCann are 'incredibly grateful' to the Home Office for approving Scotland Yard's latest request for more money amid stringent government cutbacks, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said.

He said: 'They are very encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done in the search for their daughter and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.

'Beyond this they cannot comment on the ongoing operation.'

The Yard had applied for renewed funding in September but the Home Office has declined to say until today if it had been approved - leaving Maddie's desperate parents on tenterhooks for weeks.

A spokesperson said: 'We have confirmed that Special Grant funding of £150,000 will be provided to the Metropolitan Police Service for the six-month period to 31 March 2019. This is an ongoing police investigation.'

Three-year-old Maddie vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz in May 2007.

She had been left alone sleeping with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining with pals in a nearby tapas restaurant.

Former GP turned medical worker Kate and heart doctor Gerry, both 50, of Rothley, Leicestershire, cling onto a glimmer of hope that Maddie could still be alive after more than 11 years.

She would be aged 15. Detectives have refused to discuss details of the 'important final line of inquiry' they are pursuing.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'We cannot give a running commentary on the investigation while it is ongoing.'

The inquiry, launched in May 2011 and now headed by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, still has 'important work to do and focused lines of investigation to be pursued, a force spokesman said:.

'The inquiry has not reached a conclusion and we're continuing with focus and determination. There are no immediate plans to reduce officer numbers further at this time.'

Mr Mitchell said: 'Kate and Gerry appreciate everything the authorities have done and are doing to get a resolution after all this time. It gives them hope that one day they may finally find out what happened to their daughter.'

Ex police chiefs and some members of public have slammed the Maddie inquiry as a waste of public money and officers' time despite it being drastically scaled down over the past few years.

The McCanns have around £4million saved in a public fund to help find their daughter. But they fear this could be swallowed up in legal fees and a potential libel payout to former Portuguese officer Gonçalo Amaral in their ongoing and bitter court battle.

There is a healthy balance of nearly £750,000 sitting in the Find Maddie Fund. The stash of cash - made up mainly of public donations and profits from Kate's bestseller book - has grown over the past financial year, according to the latest accounts.              

Last month a former detective has revealed he remains 'hopeful' that Madeleine McCann will be found alive in Portugal, where she went missing in 2007.

Former Detective Inspector Dave Edgar was hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to look into their daughter's disappearance and worked on the case for three years before it was taken over by the Met Police in 2011.

Mr Edgar believes the case is 'solvable' and maintains there are 'people out there who know what happened'.

Last year Mr Edgar claimed the kidnapper was being protected and said the disappearance was 'intricately planned by a gang of paedophiles'.

He once said he believed Madeleine was being held in an underground cell or dungeon, like the victims of Josef Fritzl.

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 1a9cbd01-1e3a-41db-90be-e97e2dd2c2c3

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Post by Verdi on 05.03.19 14:54

How Madeleine McCann's parents refused to share information from their own private investigators after falling out with Portuguese and British police

Kate and Gerry McCann still hope to find her ten years after her disappearance
Leaked report reveals how McCanns' relationship with police hit rock bottom
Document said: The McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. There is a lack of trust between all parties.'
Goncalo Amaral claims she was hidden in British woman's coffin and cremated

By Martin Robinson, Uk Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 15:47 GMT, 2 May 2017 | Updated: 04:57 GMT, 17 May 2017

Madeleine McCann's parents fell out with both the Portuguese and British police investigating her disappearance, a leaked report revealed today.

Gerry and Kate McCann's relationship with detectives became so poor that they refused to share information dug up by their own private investigators.

A Home Office report ordered by then Labour minister Alan Johnson before the 2010 election shows that the couple's 'turbulent relationship' with police led to a breakdown in trust.

It says that the McCann's felt badly treated by the Portuguese authorities who closed the investigation into Madeleine's 2007 disappearance.

But when the Met Police came in they then fell out with police in Praia de Luz - and later the McCanns too, the report says.

Mr Johnson wanted to find out if the Met should intervene further in the case so the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre investigated.

It was commissioned in late 2009, completed by March 2010 and published in May 2010, MailOnline understands. In May 2011 the Home Office launched the Scotland Yard review of the case. The Met's investigation has cost £11million so far.

The report, seen by Sky News' Martin Brunt, said: 'It is clear that from the beginning the McCanns felt there was a lack of clarity and communication on the part of the Portuguese police.

'Despite the involvement of British consular staff, they were, by their own accounts, left for long periods without any updates or communication with the investigators.

'They state they were taken to the police station on more than one occasion and then left for hours waiting to speak to someone who never materialised.

'They describe this situation as inhumane, with no real consideration for their emotional and physical wellbeing.'

The report also reveals tensions between the Portuguese and British police, with the Met accused of acting 'like a colonial power'.

The report says: 'Clearly, the McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. They now openly acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust between all parties.'

The police in Britain and Portugal say they are working together to find Madeleine, who vanished on May 3 2007.

Yesterday it emerged the former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral has claimed Madeleine's body was cremated in a TV interview that will add to her parents' anguish.

The detective, one of the leading investigators early in the case, made the wild statement hours after her parents vowed to take him back to court over other claims.

Amaral made his latest statement on a TV documentary to be aired on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance from the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal.

It comes just hours after a moving interview with her parents, in which they revealed they have still not given up hope on seeing Madeleine again.

Amaral said she may have been hidden in another British woman's coffin as she was cremated, and said the church where Madeleine's parents prayed was key.

He said: 'We had information three figures went into the church via a side door at night. They had a box and there was to be a cremation of a British woman.

'It is possible the child's remains were in this box and cremated as well. The parents had the key to the church,' reports The Sun.

The claim is the latest spark in a long dispute between Amaral, who was booted off the Madeleine case, and Kate and Gerry McCann.

Amaral, 57, claimed in The Truth Of The Lie that Madeleine died at the McCann's holiday house and Kate and Gerry covered it up.

The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral in 2015, and he was ordered to pay them 250,000 euros (£209,000) each in damages.

But this was overturned on appeal and that decision upheld in another court this April, meaning Amaral is now able to sue the McCanns for damages potentially totalling tens of thousands of pounds.

During the interview, BBC presenter Fiona Bruce asked the McCanns: 'One of the police officers in Portugal has been a thorn in your side for many years, he was thrown off the investigation but then he wrote a book ... and you fought it through the courts.

'At the moment you've lost and he's won. Is this the end for you now, are you going to continue to fight him?'

Mr McCann replied: 'I think the short answer is we have to because the last judgment I think is terrible.

Today a flower garden in tribute to the 140,000 children who go missing annually in Britain has been opened on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

The floral memorial, nestled deep in the lush green lawns of Chiswick House in west London, was opened with a performance by the Missing People Choir.

The group, which recently melted hearts on Britain's Got Talent, is made up of families with loved ones who have vanished.

Sarah Godwin, whose 18-year-old son Quentin went missing in 1992, said: 'It's absolutely beautiful, I'm stunned.

'It's going to be lovely to come back here, see the plants growing ... and just be able to sit here and think about my son and other missing children.

'My son was a very passionate gardener and kept bees ... so the nature aspect means quite a lot to me.

'Spring has that lovely feeling of warmth and renewal after winter, and May is when my son went missing, so it's pretty powerful.'

The garden was created by designer Esra Parr, and features many species of forget-me-nots.

It is part of the charity Missing People's countdown to International Missing Children's Day on May 25.

Peter Boxell, whose son Lee disappeared in 1988, said standing and singing in the garden 'filled me with so much emotion'.

Mr Boxell, who wrote the lyrics to the song I Miss You, added singing was 'really healing for us to get our emotions out'.

Missing People chief executive Jo Youle said the permanent floral feature would be a place for families to 'reflect and remember and be reassured that there are others who are thinking of their missing loved one too'.

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Post by Jill Havern on 17.03.19 21:25

Oct 19, 2009 #1
Times Online

From Times Online October 9, 2007
David Brown

McCann children 'were not alone in apartment'

Kate and Gerry McCann say there are innocent explanations for all the evidence

3D model 'casts doubt on Madeleine abduction'

Significant new evidence about the night Madeleine McCann disappeared has been uncovered, it was claimed, as one of Portugal’s most senior detectives took charge of the investigation.

Paulo Rebelo, an assistant national director of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), took over responsibility for the case last night. He made his name in the investigation into Portugal’s most notorious paedophile ring.

His appointment was made amid reports in Portugal that detectives have evidence contradicting Kate and Gerry McCann's version of the events of the night that they reported their daughter missing.

Police believe that Madeleine and her twin brother and sister may not have been alone in the McCann holiday apartment, but that the children of seven British friends who were on holiday with the McCanns were also present when Madeleine disappeared on May 3, the 24 Horas newspaper claimed.

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have insisted that Madeleine was with only her two-year-old twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, while they dined with their friends at a tapas restaurant at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz. The group has claimed that their children were in their own apartments and that they made checks on their own children and those of their friends during the evening.

However, a source within the investigation was quoted by 24 Horas as saying: “It’s not only the collected evidence that points to the fact that there were more children inside that [the McCanns'] apartment.

“Evidence also exists, following the interrogations to the other people who that were at the Ocean Club, that only the McCanns’ apartment was visited by the people who attended the dinner.”

The children had visited each other’s apartments regularly in the six days that they had been at the Ocean Club. The newspaper does not explain how any forensic evidence could be pinpointed to the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The newspaper also casts doubt on claims by one of the McCanns’ friends that he was looking after his unwell daughter when he was away from the restaurant on the evening Madeleine disappeared.

It says that Russell O’Brien, a hospital consultant from Exeter, left the restaurant at 9.35pm and returned at 10pm, just minutes before Mrs McCann discovered that Madeleine was missing. Mr O’Brien has strenuously denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance and has never been a formal suspect in the investigation.

24 Horas reported: “The British man guaranteed he took that long because he visited his sick daughter, and she vomited. He says he asked for the sheets to be changed, but the staff at the Ocean Club assured the investigators that nobody asked for any bedsheets to be changed that evening.”

Mr O’Brien’s partner, Jane Tanner, told police that she had seen a man carrying a girl away from the McCanns’ apartment at 9.15pm. However, another witness has insisted that she was not in the area at that time.

A source within the PJ is quoted by 24 Horas as saying: “In face of so many contradictions and in face of the forensics results that we already hold, we have very few doubts that the girl died inside that apartment, and we only have doubts about who concealed the corpse.”

The report follows claims in the British media that although tests on samples discovered in the McCanns’ apartment and hire car do not prove that Madeleine is dead, they have strengthened the theory that her parents were involved in her disappearance.

A source at the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham, which carried out the tests on behalf of the Portuguese authorities, is reported to have said that the results showed police were right to make the couple arguidos, or official suspects.

However, the McCanns’ British law firm, Kingsley Napley, has brought in its own forensic team to explain why the samples may be totally unconnected to Madeleine’s disappearance.

The couple insist that any DNA found in the Renault Scenic hired 25 days after Madeleine’s disappearance could have been transferred innocently from their daughter’s clothing when they moved to a new apartment.

Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, said today: “Kate and Gerry have nothing to hide at all. They are perfectly happy to answer any of this, if it comes to it. There are wholly innocent explanations for anything the police may or may not have found."

Mr Mitchell said the couple were unable to grieve for Madeleine because they did not know yet what had happened to their daughter. “They need that knowledge whether Madeleine is alive or dead - let’s face it, she might be,” he said. “They need to know, before they can move on, before they can deal with that.

“In the absence of that hard information, they are doing what they can to, one, clear their names of these dreadful smears and, two, to actually get on with the job of finding her. That is the message we want to go to police in Portugal - ‘find Madeleine’.”

The couple hope that the appointment of a new head of the investigation will refocus the inquiry on finding their daughter. Mr Rebelo was appointed last night after the demotion of the previous lead investigator, Gonçalo Amaral, who had claimed that British police were being manipulated by Madeleine’s parents.

Mr Rebelo made his career at the Central Directory for the Investigation of Drug Trafficking before being appointed one of four associate directors of the PJ. He was head of the Criminal Investigation department in Lisbon when it uncovered a notorious paedophile ring. The “Casa Pia” ring had been abusing boys at state-run children’s homes for decades before being uncovered in 2002. Those alleged to have been involved included senior politicians, a former ambassador, celebrities and wealthy businessmen.

Mr Rebelo was described by colleagues as “highly regarded internally, he has done some excellent work for the PJ, he is nice and a good communicator”. He is close to the PJ’s national director, Alípio Ribeiro.

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Post by Verdi on 18.03.19 11:21

How to justify the extension of Operation Grange for another year, in one easy lesson..

MISSING MADDIE Is Madeleine McCann still alive, what would she look like now and how old would she be?

The young girl disappeared on May 3, 2007, while on holiday with her family in Portugal

By Brittany Vonow, Lauren Fruen and Dan Hall
17th March 2019, 6:45 pm
Updated: 18th March 2019, 9:04 am

MADELEINE McCann went missing over a decade ago while on a family holiday in Portugal.

As a new docu-series reexamines the details of her disappearance, here is what's known about the case — and what Madeleine could look like now.

Is Madeleine McCann still alive?

Since disappearing on the evening of May 3 2007, no one has been able to find her or conclusively prove she is either dead or alive.

As of 2016, over 8,000 potential sightings have been recorded in 101 different countries and territories, but nearly all of them have been dropped as leads.

But now a new docu-series about her disappearance claims Madeleine is still alive and her case will be solved.

Jim Gamble, the top child protection cop in the UK’s first Maddie investigation, says: “I absolutely believe that in my lifetime we will find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann.

“There’s huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better. Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better.

“And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there’s every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position.”

The documentary also claims Madeleine is likely to have been kept alive by child traffickers because, as a middle-class British girl, she be more financially valuable.

How old would Madeleine McCann be now?

Madeleine McCann was born May 12, 2003, and went missing a little more than a week before her fourth birthday.

Since her disappearance from the Ocean Club apartment, a former top cop has warned that security at the resort where the little girl went missing is still an issue.

Authorities are also hopeful that social media could help find Maddie, using her distinctive eyes to examine photographs on Facebook.

Madeleine would now be 16 years old.

Kate, 50, previously said: “I do all the present buying. I think about what age she is and buy something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate so there’s a lot of thought goes into it.”

What age was Madeleine McCann when she disappeared?

Madeleine was three, nearly four, when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Portugal on May 3, 2007.

Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, had left her sleeping with her siblings while they had dinner at the hotel's restaurant - only realising about 10pm that she was gone.

The couple have since devoted their lives to finding the little girl - now left with the little girl's "Cuddle Cat" as one of the last reminders of Maddie.

More than £12million has been poured into the search for her since.

Searches have taken place in a few different countries as cops hope to find new evidence - most recently the search was taken to Bulgaria.

In January 2018 the body of Kevin Halligen was found at his Surrey home - he had taken on the high-profile case in March 2008, before his contract was terminated.

In November 2018, it emerged that police in Portugal were re-examining a theory that Madeleine left the apartment to find her parents.

It came as Scotland Yard told Kate and Jerry [i][sic][i] they are pursuing two vital new leads.

What would she look like now?

Police released an image of what Madeleine McCann would look like at the age of nine.

With her distinctive right eye, the image shows the young girl's face aged about six years from previous photographs.

Kate still spends precious moments each day in Madeleine’s bedroom, where her dolls and teddies are on display, along with a growing number of presents.

The mum said she could never ignore Madeleine’s birthday and the family “still celebrates her being part of our lives”.

She also told how she jumps from seeing her eldest child as she was when she was kidnapped to envisaging her as she would be now.

Maddie had been due to attend De Lisle College in neighbouring Loughborough and the school is still holding a place for her.

What have Maddie's parents said about trolls?

Maddie's family have begged people not to feed trolls online, instead urging people to let the vile commenters “starve for attention”.

Supporters of the McCann family slammed trolls who “feed on havoc and causing chaos” – saying anyone involved would be banned from the official Find Madeleine Campaign page.

In a note, the page stated: “Please don’t post your opinion on leaving children alone.

“Doing so will result in you being banned. No questions asked.”

The page clarified that banning was not done “on a whim”, but that the page was designed to support the family, and nothing else.

The post, written by the unnamed webmaster, added: “This is not a place for you to post your negative opinions about the McCann family.

“We are not a debate page nor a place to analyse the investigation.

“This is a support and information page for Madeleine’s family and the Official Find Madeleine Campaign (”

The official page is not run by the McCanns, but has received their support.


Enough of this tomfoolery - now where did I put the bilge pump....

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Post by Doug D on 18.03.19 15:09

How completely random!

In January 2018 the body of Kevin Halligen was found at his Surrey home - he had taken on the high-profile case in March 2008, before his contract was terminated.

No comment before or after, so what on earth has that got to do with the price of eggs?
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Post by Jill Havern on 20.03.19 6:38

Madeleine McCann: the police are hunting for a needle in a haystack. Should we really be drawn into this circus?

By Dan Hodges Telegrah Last updated: October 14th, 2013

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 Dm141013a

Images of the "man" police want to question (Photo: PA)

The circus continues. This morning the police have issued a new e-fit of a man they say they want to interview in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It is on the front of every newspaper, website and television bulletin in the country.

We are being asked to examine it. To rack our brains and scour our memories. Is there anything about this man we find familiar? Is there anything we can do to help the investigation?

Our natural instincts kick in. We stare at it. Then we stare deep into ourselves. What if it was our own child, we say. So we stare once more. At the lifeless, digitally produced eyes of the monster. The man who may have snatched that little girl.

And at that point we are no longer observers of the circus, but part of it. And because we have become part of it, the harder we stare, the less we see.

Two e-fits have been produced this morning. According to police they are of the same man. But in fact, they are of two men. Their hair is different. Their eyebrows are different. Their noses are different. Their ears are different. Their lips are different. Their cheekbones are different.

But we’re all part of the circus now. So we say nothing.

The images of the “man” are being broadcast because, according to police, he represents a crucial lead. But if you listen harder you realise that’s not what the police are saying at all. Yes, a spokesman claimed, it was of “vital importance” the man in the images is identified and interviewed. But he then conceded that he “may or may not be key”. According to Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood “Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.”

He may be the key. He may not be the key. In the same way you or I may be the key, or may not be the key. But we are definitely part of the circus. So we say nothing.

And why is it “vital” this man be traced? Because he was seen with a child. Has anyone said it was Madeleine? No. Was he seen hanging around other children? Has he any record of child abduction, or demonstrating any inappropriate interest in children?

Apparently not. According to the police they need to interview him because “We have witnesses placing him in the resort area around the time of Madeleine's disappearance”. Praia da Luz has a resident population of over 3,000 people. That excludes the additional thousands who visit on holiday. And yet being “in the resort area” is now enough to warrant police investigation. But we are part of the circus. And fortunately, we weren’t in the area at the time. So we say nothing.

Is there anything else that makes this particular individual so important to the investigation? Apparently not. Here’s Det Ch Insp Redwood again: "This is far from our only line of inquiry and there will be e-fits released of other sightings as well, who we are equally keen to trace. These people were seen on the day of Madeleine's disappearance and the days leading up to it."

So it seems there is nothing special about this “suspect”. There will be other e-fits. Other appeals. Other questions asked about people who “were in the area”. But we are part of the circus now. So we wait for them. And say nothing.

We certainly don’t question whether the police investigation is indeed making any headway. And why should we? The police spokesman assures us they are making “massive steps forward". Though they have also sought to “try and draw everything back to zero… take everything back to the beginning and then reanalyse and reassess everything, accepting nothing”. The police are moving forward, but they are also heading back to zero.

The investigating team also appear to be spreading their net wide. “Our requests for help need to be repeated in many different countries,” says Redwood. You may not have been in Praia da Luz. You may never have been to Portugal. You may not live in the UK. You may, in fact, live anywhere on the planet. But the police need your help. Even though they are making great progress. "We still have a lot of material to investigate and much work to do," Redwood admits.

And so before our very eyes we see the police engaged in this game of hunting a needle in the haystack. And yet we say nothing. We have our ringside seats to the circus. And we will not be vacating them.

But there are some who don’t have seats to the show. They are the faces that stare out from the website Missing Kids. It currently features 123 children who are currently missing from home. The youngest is three years old. The most recent date of disappearance was Michelle Brewer, reported missing six days ago. The oldest, Mary Flanagan, reported missing on December 31st, 1959.

They will have no television appeals. No e-fits. No special police units established after direct intervention from the Prime Minister.

Madeleine McCann is gone. But the circus rolls on.

Tags: madeleine mccann

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Post by Phoebe on 20.03.19 11:04

Dan Hodges doesn't even attempt to disguise the message he wants to drum home - these e-fits and this sighting are unimportant Don't give them another thought the whole thing is irrelevant nonsense or - in his own words snipped from the piece above-

The images of the “man” are being broadcast because, according to police, he represents a crucial lead. But if you listen harder you realise that’s not what the police are saying at all. Yes, a spokesman claimed, it was of “vital importance” the man in the images is identified and interviewed. But he then conceded that he “may or may not be key”. According to Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood “Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.”

He may be the key. He may not be the key. In the same way you or I may be the key, or may not be the key. But we are definitely part of the circus. So we say nothing."

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Post by Verdi on 20.03.19 11:29

Buried By Mainstream Media !

Over and over again I hear complaints about the media being stifled by the McCanns and their lawyers - why can't some brave journalist speak out I hear you cry.

So, here we have a journalist writing for The Telegraph, presenting an accurate account of the farcical Crimewatch 2013 Madeleine McCann Special, speaking out against the obvious nonsense the public are fed about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

What do you do when presented with a negative report that for once tells the truth? Moan - that's what you do.

Give it a rest - it's tedious and appearing to be obsessive. Folk don't flock to CMoMM to read page upon page of futile bickering or fantastical theorizing, they come - at least genuine members and guests, to benefit from the wealth of information and research that can be found here.

NB: I see again a need to remind you that Gemma O'Doherty is a journalist.

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Post by Verdi on 22.03.19 0:29

Madeleine appeal fund set up by Irish friend

May 20 2007 12:00 AM


AS the search for abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann enters its third week, a dedicated bank account has finally been set up here in Ireland to allow people to assist through donations.

Funds raised through the Madeleine McCann Appeal account at the AIB bank are to be used to help fund the ongoing search for Madeline, and to help defray the costs of legal representation for her distraught parents.

The establishment of the account has been undertaken by Donegal-based Katerina Fernandez, a close friend of the missing girl's family.

Madeleine and her parents stayed with Ms Fernandez on a recent holiday in Donegal. Ms Fernandez fondly recalled the Easter visit.

"It's very hard to take it all in. It's bad enough when it's a child you don't know. But she was here with her family. It was only a weekend, but I can still see everybody down at the beach playing rounders. I can still picture Madeleine there. It's devastating," she said.

Ms Fernandez set up the fundraising account at the AIB to maintain awareness of Madeleine's case in Ireland.

Madeline McCann Fund

AIB Account No: 07511020

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Post by Verdi on 22.03.19 11:53

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 Sun-7511

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Post by Verdi on 24.03.19 13:09

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detectives lied to Gerry McCann about DNA evidence

Portuguese police tried to force a confession from Gerry McCann by lying to him about crucial DNA evidence in the investigation, a friend of the couple has said.

By Caroline Gammell in Portimao

8:52PM BST 04 Aug 2008

Portuguese detectives knew there was no conclusive evidence against the McCanns three days before they interviewed them and made them suspects, official files have disclosed.

Police also released the first pictures of the bedroom where Madeleine had been staying when she disappeared.

Officers had been told in an email from the Forensic Science Service laboratory in Birmingham that no conclusive traces of Madeleine's DNA had been found in the family's hire car.

But detectives went on to tell Mr McCann, during an eight hour interrogation, that his daughter's DNA had been found in the boot of the vehicle, which was rented more than three weeks after she vanished.

A friend of the couple said: "It was pretty clear they were seeking a confession and were prepared to do this (put forward false information) to achieve that.

"Serious questions need to be asked about why this was put to Gerry as fact. It was sloppy at best and deliberately manipulative at worst.

"A number of senior officers went down the route of making assumptions and suppositions and trying to force a confession to something that didn't happen."

This was one of the main areas of suspicion and Mr McCann was made a suspect or "arguido" into Madeleine's disappearance, along with his wife, immediately after being questioned at Portimao police station on September 7.

The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "There was never any 100 per cent match with Madeleine's DNA. Caution was expressed from the very start.

"Police were wrong to pursue this line so vigorously, and the Portuguese legal system has now accepted that there was no evidence to support it.

"I can confirm that the Portuguese police put it to Gerry as a fact that Madeleine's DNA had been found in both the apartment and the vehicle when it is now clear that the initial FSS report had made no such claim.

"You have to ask yourself what the police were trying to achieve by overstating evidence that they didn't have, nor could claim to have.

"One wonders, under those circumstances, what the motivation was."

The release of the police files came 15 months after Madeleine vanished from her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 last year.

The police investigation had been shrouded in rumour and speculation because of Portugal's strict secrecy laws, but once the case was formally closed the restrictions were lifted.

Mr and Mrs McCann, both 40, and their lawyers were given access to the information last week and their private investigators are poring over the information for any new clues.

The files, thought to stretch to more than 30,000 pages, detail the enormous manhunt carried out by the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) – as well as witness accounts, possible sightings and false leads.

Certain information – such as the details of suspected and known paedophiles in the area – has been removed, while video tapes of the reaction of the sniffer dogs to the McCann's hire car will be released in due course.

The transcripts of interviews with Kate and Gerry McCann came from notes made by a police officer because the sessions were not recorded.

According to the files, Mr McCann was told on September 7 that Madeleine's DNA was discovered in the boot of the rented Renault Scenic, and behind a sofa in the family's holiday apartment.

"Confronted with the fact that Madeleine's DNA was gathered from behind the sofa and from the boot of the vehicle, and analysed by a British laboratory, he said he could not explain why this would be," the officer wrote.

But an email written by John Lowe of the FSS four days earlier on September 3 said the analysis of the samples in the car had proved nothing.

The message - written to Superintendent Stuart Prior, head of the British part of the investigation and forwarded to the PJ - concluded that there were some elements which matched the little girl's profile.

But the email, which was translated into Portuguese on September 4, warned that the samples could match huge sections of the population, including himself.

He said the result was "too complex for meaningful interpretation or inclusion".

The files also included details of the 48 questions Mrs McCann was asked during her time at Portimao police station as well as information about Robert Murat, the only other formal suspect in the case.

The British expat, along with the McCanns, was cleared by the Attorney General last month.

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the files showed the police were making the wrong assumptions.

"The Portuguese Attorney General made it very clear indeed that there's absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing by Kate and Gerry in any way, shape or form," he said.

"A lot of this is historical detail drafted by officers who failed to find Madeleine and who quite wrongfully were going down inaccurate lines of supposition and assumption.

"Kate and Gerry are no longer arguidos. All that matters is the search for Madeleine. Kate and Gerry's lawyers are continuing to examine all of the information in minute detail and where anything that is relevant to finding Madeleine needs to be done it will be."

There is an estimated £500,000 left in the Find Madeleine fund which was set up after the three-year-old vanished to help pay for the private detective work.

Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were dining with friends at a tapas bar 40 yards away when Madeleine's empty bed was discovered last May.

Despite Portugal's biggest missing person's inquiry, no trace of the little girl has ever been found.

The case was closed on July 21 after Portuguese prosecutors announced there was insufficient evidence, but said the case could be reopened if credible new evidence comes to light.

Last month, ex-police officer Gonçalo Amaral published his own version of events in a book which maintained that Mr and Mrs McCann were involved in their daughter's disappearance.

Dear Ms Gammell and Ms McCann Friend,

It's called policing.

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

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Post by Verdi on 24.03.19 13:15

DNA expert in McCann case offer

The inventor of DNA fingerprinting has offered to act as an expert witness in the Madeleine McCann case.

Sir Alec Jeffreys said DNA matches alone did not establish guilt and all Madeleine's genetic characters would be found in at least one family member.

Gerry and Kate McCann, suspects in their daughter's disappearance, are considering commissioning independent tests on a Portuguese hire car.

But the Madeleine's Fund board will not allow money to go on legal expenses.

It has been reported that DNA evidence with a 100% match to Madeleine was found in the car, but this has been played down by Portuguese police.

DNA doesn't have the words innocence or guilt in it.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme, Sir Alec said there could be a potential problem in assigning a profile to Madeleine given that all other members of her family would have been in the car.

"DNA testing seeks to establish whether DNA sample A from a crime scene, came or did not come from individual B," he said.

"So if you get a match there's very strong evidence that it did come from B.

"It is then up to investigators, the courts and all the rest of it to work out whether that connection is relevant or not.

"DNA doesn't have the words innocence or guilt in it - that is a legal concept. What it seeks to establish is connections and identifications."

'No doubts'

Earlier John McCann said his brother Gerry thought the Portuguese police had "gone up a cul-de-sac".

He told BBC's The One Show that Gerry had said they had "lost track" of what they were doing and urged the police to be straight with them.

"If they have got something that suggests Madeleine really is dead then for goodness sake tell the family who have the strongest feeling for this."

He added that had the police done a better job early on in the investigation then Gerry and Kate would not be suspects now.

Asked if he doubted their innocence at all, he said: "If you know the people, and you look at the whole situation, you look at it and think this is ridiculous."

Both parents deny vehemently any involvement in their four-year-old daughter's disappearance.

The McCann family were on holiday at a resort in Praia da Luz in the Algarve when they reported Madeleine missing from their apartment on 3 May.

They returned to their home in Rothley in Leicestershire at the weekend and are currently waiting for a judge to decide if they face charges.

It is understood the couple are planning their own forensic tests amid suspicion about claims made by detectives in interviews with Kate McCann.

The McCanns appointed lawyers in Portugal and Britain after being named as formal suspects - but they will not be paid out of money donated by well-wishers.

A statement made by Esther McVey from the board of Madeleine's Fund said payment of legal defence costs would be legally permissible so long as they were repaid in the event of a guilty conviction.

However, she said the fund's directors recognised the spirit in which the generous donations were given and decided not to pay for the McCanns' legal costs.

"We stress that Gerry and Kate have not asked for these costs to be paid," she said.

So far donations totalling £1,036,104.17 have been received for Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned, according to the official campaign website.

NOTE:  Sir Alec Jeffreys is based at Leicester University - the same place that houses Professor Gerald McCann.

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

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Post by Verdi on 25.03.19 11:45

The last picture of Madeleine: Just eight hours later she was gone


Last updated at 16:40 25 May 2007

She must have been having so much fun.

Chuckling with delight, Madeleine McCann dangles her feet in a pool and poses for a holiday snapshot.

Less than eight hours after it was taken, Madeleine disappeared. So yesterday this became the last, poignant picture of the missing four-year-old - released by her grief-stricken parents in their desperate campaign to bring her home.

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 Madeleine1PA2405_468x550

It shows Madeleine with her father Gerry and two-year-old sister Amelie, sitting beside the pool in their Algarve holiday apartment complex. Her mother Kate is behind the camera with Amelie's twin brother Sean.

It could hardly have captured her character more perfectly - a cheeky little Miss in a pink summer dress and floppy hat, stealing the limelight as usual with that trademark smile.

That was at 2.29pm on May 3, a few days after the family checked in to an apartment in Praia da Luz and just nine days before her fourth birthday.

Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY - Page 25 MccannDM2505_228x529

And last night, another picture of Madeleine was projected onto London's iconic Marble Arch to bring her plight to the attention of the city.

During the day of her disappearance they had all gone for a walk, played tennis, and taken some more snapshots for the family album before relaxing by the pool.

Some time between 9.10pm and 10pm, an abductor is assumed to have snatched her from her bed while her parents dined nearby.

Three weeks on, there has been not a single trace of her whereabouts, no breakthrough in the investigation, and no clear indication that she is even still alive.

In the evening her parents gave her a bath, took out her trendy hair bead and washed her hair. Then they tucked her up alongside Sean and Amelie before kissing them all goodnight.

Mr and Dr McCann - he is a consultant cardiologist, she a GP - remain convinced she is alive, and have vowed that they cannot even consider going home to Leicestershire until they find her.

But yesterday, for the first time during the remarkable campaign they are running in parallel with the police operation, they made known their frustration at the investigation's lack of progress.

The 38-year-old couple met Portuguese police chiefs to express their concern at the "apparent slowness" of the hunt.

A source close to the family said: "At every stage throughout this they have been feeding their own questions and concerns back to the investigating authorities through British police and in turn the Portuguese authorities.

"While they remain content with the overall thrust of the investigation they do at times hope that their questions and concerns are addressed more quickly."

Yesterday the latest Portuguese initiative - a plea to the kidnapper from the Bishop of the Algarve - stalled almost immediately.

Bishop D. Manuel Neto Quintas appealed to Madeleine's abductor to phone him to arrange Madeleine's return - but he failed to supply a phone number.

In other developments, new leads have emerged from more than 300 holidaymakers' photographs that have been sent in to an appeal for pictures that might reveal the abductor.

Officers from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre had appealed to tourists who visited Praia da Luz in the two weeks prior to the kidnap to send in their holiday pictures.

Strangers in the background of pictures are being cross-referenced with an image of known paedophiles using facial recognition software.

A spokesman for CEOP would not comment on the detail of the new leads.

It also emerged that the McCanns have been offered the use of private jets to make trips around Europe in their continued campaign to find Madeleine.

Early discussions are under way with Warner Brothers cinemas to put posters in every cinema and to play an appeal video of Madeleine before every movie.

The bare-face audacity of this McCann campaign, the wider agenda, beggars belief.

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

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