The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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How it all began Mm11

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

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How it all began Mm11

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How it all began

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How it all began Empty How it all began

Post by Jill Havern 02.04.19 18:12

How it all began

How did we get where we are today, and how did it all start?

It all began, so to speak, on the very day after Madeleine McCann was reported missing. That day, Friday 4 May, many people watching the breaking news story of Madeleine’s ‘abduction’, immediately recognised that something was wrong with the story. Later that day and in the days that followed, many more looked at the body language and facial expressions of the McCanns as they were interviewed in the holiday village of Praia da Luz. This confirmed the impressions of many - namely that Madeleine hadn’t been abducted, and that something else had happened to her. Many people - a majority of them women, who are usually better than men in decoding body language and facial expressions - concluded that, at the very least, the McCanns had guilty knowledge of what had happened to Madeleine.

Within weeks, thousands began to discuss the case in internet forums, which in 2007 were still in their infancy. Even some newspapers, including the Daily Express and the Mirror, ran their own forums. The Anorak forum attracted hundreds, while a lady from Kent set up a popular forum known as The 3 Arguidos.

There was plenty to discuss. Robert Murat - a Portuguese resident who had mysteriously flown back to Portugal early on Tuesday 1 May, then became a translator for the Portuguese Police, but within a week was removed as a translator for unprofessional conduct - was made an official suspect in the case on 15 May 2007, just 12 days after Madeleine’s reported disappearance.

At a press conference in June, a German journalist first suggested publicly that the McCanns may have had something to do with Madeleine’s disappearance. A look of hatred and anger flashed over Kate McCann's face, a moment captured on video and which one of CMOMM’s members has preserved for us in an internet video.

In August, lurid stories emerged in the Portuguese and British press of British police dogs having scented the ‘smell of death’ in 17 different locations in Praia da Luz associated with the McCanns - but nowhere else in the village. Then there were reports that blood and body fluids belonging to Madeleine had been found in the McCanns’ holiday apartment, and in a car they had hired three weeks later.  Finally on 7 September 2007, both Gerry and Kate McCann were made official suspects.    

More forums sprung up. Then, in November 2007, came news that Tony Bennett, a former solicitor and social worker, had applied to Leicestershire and Rutland Magistrates Court for a summons against the McCanns, alleging neglect. He based his application on the McCanns’ own admission that they had been leaving their three children, all aged under four, unattended while they wined and dined at a restaurant over 100 yards away by foot. The Attorney General swiftly advised the Court that they should refuse to issue a summons because the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear it. Tony received hundreds of messages of support and on 26 January convened a meeting to form The Madeleine Foundation to campaign on various issues related to Madeleine McCann and on related issues such as the vague UK laws regarding leaving young children on their own.      

By August 2008, The Madeleine Foundation had set up a website to explain to the public why there were many reasons for believing that Madeleine was not abducted.

Meanwhile, in July the Portuguese Police archived their investigation, having found insufficient evidence to accuse any one person of a particular crime. They left two options on the table, so to speak: either Madeleine had been abducted by a stranger, or she had died in her parents' apartment, the McCanns having hidden her body and faked an abduction.  Robert Murat and the McCanns were therefore freed from their status as formal suspects.

In a highly unusual move, the Portuguese Police then released nearly all the witness statements and other evidence that they had gathered during their year-long investigation. It later became clear that the British government, from Gordon Brown downwards, had interfered with the Portuguese investigation in numerous ways, which involved using MI5, Special Branch and other arms of the state security services. Furthermore, the McCanns employed a series of disreputable private investigators whose task seemed to be to lay false trails everywhere. Today both the Portuguese Police and the Portuguese Supreme Court do not regard the McCanns as 'cleared', and have said that they will reopen the case if there is 'new and credible' evidence of their guilt.

After these events, thousands more joined Madeleine McCann discussion forums on the internet.

On 7 December, The Madeleine Foundation published a booklet, “What really happened to Madeleine McCann: 60 Reasons which suggest that Madeleine McCann was not abducted”. The booklet, priced at just £3 including postage, sold well. Public donations paid for the booklet to be sent to all 630 MPs, and to influencers such as prominent members of the House of Lords, newspaper editors and well-known journalists and commentators.

During the first part of 2009, The Madeleine Foundation published a leaflet: “10 Reasons which suggest that Madeleine McCann was not abducted”, tens of thousands of which were distributed in various parts of the country. The Madeleine Foundation held a one-day conference in Essex on 1 August that year.

But on 29 August 2009, the McCanns sought to bring a halt to The Madeleine Foundation’s activity, threatening ruinous libel actions against its Chairman and Secretary. The McCanns demanded that all further distribution of the booklet and the leaflet must cease. In addition, they imposed draconian conditions on them, requiring undertakings to be signed agreeing not to accuse the McCanns of being responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and covering up her alleged death. In the wake of these events, the most popular Madeleine McCann forum then on the net, The 3 Arguidos, suddenly closed, petrified of similar libel action being taken against the owners.

On 25 November 2009, Tony Bennett signed an undertaking in the High Court agreeing to the McCanns’ terms. I had followed the activities of The Madeleine Foundation and supported them. I was aware that after the demise of the popular The 3 Arguidos forum, we had lost a valuable place to discuss all the information about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It was on that very day that I uploaded the new CMOMM forum to the internet, opening with eight members. Today it is far and away the most popular Madeleine McCann discussion forum on the internet, with nearly 10,000 registered members.

If you’d like to know more about the history of the forum since its foundation, its campaigns and its researchers, and about the formation and work of the Madeleine McCann Research Group (MMRG)  please visit this section: 'Our researchers, campaigners, authors’, LINK: https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/f79-about-our-researchers-campaigners-authors-etc

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