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Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case Mm11

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Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case

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Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case Empty Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case

Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case Chris_11

Four years after a British girl disappeared, there are more questions than answers

Posted on 5/10/2011 at 9:21AM

April was a busy time for the Royal Couple.

Preparations had been underway for months to deal with all the publicity that was sure to come. Facebook pages were established, marketing pieces created, a book written and carefully scripted interviews arranged, as publicists and advisors worked round-the-clock for the famous British duo. No detail was too small when planning such a momentous event, as the global media once again turned its focus on two of Great Britain’s most…interesting people.

Most amazing, all of this was accomplished despite the distractions caused by the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

May 3rd marked the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of then-3-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a resort in southern Portugal because her parents chose to leave her — and her two younger twin siblings — alone in an unlocked room while they ate and drank the night away with friends.

But when you’re Gerry and Kate McCann, you take a backseat to no one, and certainly no wedding is going to upstage your “anniversary.” And so, in typical McCann fashion, they put on another strong display of offense in the ongoing “search” — not so much for their missing daughter, but for self-promoting headlines.

Who can blame them? Playing defense is no fun, doesn’t raise money nor generate publicity. And best of all, blaming everyone but themselves for an eminently preventable tragedy allows the McCanns to ignore reality about a poor little girl’s horrible fate.


For the folks needing a refresher, you read it right. The McCanns, both physicians from Rothley, Leicestershire, in England, left their three children — with a COMBINED age of seven — alone, night after night, in their ground-floor resort apartment. Despite ample financial resources, they chose not to bring a nanny and refused to utilize the resort’s babysitting services.

Instead, they deemed it safer for the children to go it on their own, entrusting Madeleine to get her siblings and herself to safety in the event of a fire — hence the alleged reason for the unlocked door. Hey, I’m all for self-reliance, but, she was 3!

The story perpetuated by the McCanns is that Madeleine was kidnapped, despite virtually no evidence to support that claim. But the tragic nature of a girl gone missing gained international attention, and the search was on. Well, at least by the people who were actually out there looking for Madeleine.

Gerry and Kate took a different approach. Rather than get bogged down in the grunt work of looking for their daughter in places she might actually be, the parents decided that becoming international globetrotting celebrities was a lot more fun. Putting blood, sweat and tears into finding a missing child is tough, but hanging out with celebs and dignitaries is, well, cool!

So they arranged a private audience with the Pope, traveled to the United States to meet with America’s top leaders, kept web diaries about Gerry’s daily jogs, and threw lavish affairs. Of course, if Madeleine really had been kidnapped, she wouldn’t be in America, at black-tie events or in the Vatican.

If only they had thought to turn the “Find Madeleine” campaign into a money-maker! Oh wait, they did. To the tune of millions. And the result? To this day, many more questions than answers.

Despite being named suspects by the Portuguese police based on evidence that raised eyebrows — inconsistencies in G and K’s stories; elite dogs, trained to identify death, providing positive responses in Madeleine’s room; reports of Madeleine’s blood found in the trunk of a car the McCanns’ rented 25 days AFTER she disappeared; more blood discovered behind a sofa in the apartment, to name just a few — the case was eventually suspended without any arrest. And for that, we can thank the British government that exerted enormous pressure on the Portuguese.

With the complicity of the British media, everyone but the parents was blamed for Madeleine’s disappearance. The Portuguese detectives bumbled the investigation, the resort’s security was too lax, leads weren’t followed up in a timely fashion. And as numerous publications discovered, anyone who dared question the McCanns’ role were slapped with libel lawsuits by England’s most powerful barristers. And don’t forget the lead Portuguese investigator who was legally banned from giving interviews and publishing his book courtesy of Team McCann (those rulings were subsequently overturned) and was sued for millions in “damages.”

Kate’s book on the affair, (in which rumors spread that she was assisted by world-famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling) will be released this week. In it, she blamed the resort restaurant for making a note in their reservation book that the McCanns wanted a table within sight of the room, since the children would be alone.

“[The reservation] book was by definition accessible to all staff and, albeit unintentionally, probably to guests and visitors, too…To my horror, I saw that, no doubt in all innocence, the receptionist had added that we wanted to eat close to our apartments as we were leaving our young children alone there and checking on them intermittently.”

Nice try, Kate. But somehow, you forgot to mention the “horror” your daughter must have felt after being abandoned by her parents night after night, left alone in an unfamiliar environment in a foreign nation. And you also conveniently left out the fact that you couldn’t see the apartment from your table anyway, due to the six-foot wall obstructing the view. Translation: the tapas were more important than your three children, two of whom, interestingly enough, weren’t “kidnapped.”

So we’re supposed to believe that a child kidnapper just happened to be dining at the resort’s restaurant that night, on the off-chance some British couple’s child-care arrangements (or lack thereof) would be recorded in the restaurant’s reservation book? Which, by the way, is usually kept behind a desk, not in public view.

Either that, or someone on the kitchen staff, waiting in the wings for one of the McCanns to return from allegedly “checking” on the children. Maybe that’s why the tapas were so late in being served!

Frankly, I’m surprised that Osama bin Laden snatching Madeleine wasn’t in the book as a potential theory. Or that evil Voldemort from Harry Potter wasn’t somehow responsible.

Which brings us back to Rowling.

After hundreds of articles stating that Rowling was helping Kate write the book, the family spokesman finally got around to stating that Rowling did not, in fact, have ANY role in the book.

As with most things McCann, the facts here are loose and the truth sketchy. But as they say, “Any publicity is good publicity!” And Team McCann rolls on, garnering headlines and raking in the dough.


Perhaps most ironic is Kate’s stated reason for the book:

“My reason…is simple, to give an account of the truth.”

Rowling’s help or not, discovering the real story behind the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann will take more than wizards and magic. Too bad we don’t have one of Harry Potter’s Remembralls, though, which fans will recall is the clear orb containing smoke that turns red when detecting that the user has forgotten something.

In Gerry and Kate McCann’s case, I’m betting the Remembrall would be glowing red-hot, since it seems they have forgotten the only thing that can help Maddie.

The real truth.’s-parents-the-real-royal-couple?

ETA The above link does not work now the article has been removed.

Last edited by Jill Havern on 30.05.19 6:52; edited 1 time in total

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Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case :: Comments

Jill Havern

Post on 30.05.19 6:24 by Jill Havern

Original Source: Delco Times: Tuesday 09 July 2013
Published: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 By CHRIS FREIND Times Columnist
Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In past columns, I have championed Don Imus keeping his job, defended Barry Bonds’ achievements and stood up for the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players long before it was “fashionable” for the media to do so. I even opined that Paris Hilton was wrongly jailed, receiving unfair treatment because she was a celebrity.
But no matter how much I try, I simply cannot find anything worth defending about British couple Gerry and Kate McCann.
The McCanns, for a reason that wholly escapes me, have been worldwide media darlings since their then-3-year-old daughter, Madeleine, disappeared from a Portuguese resort in 2007. A disappearance, mind you, that was 100 percent preventable had Maddy’s parents — both well-to-do physicians — not left her alone, along with her twin 2-year-old siblings, in a ground-floor unlocked apartment not once, but repeatedly, while they sampled the local paella far from their children.
Such gross negligence should have made them pariahs, but instead, their vaunted PR machine fashioned them into something akin to “heroic victims.”
Over the years, they have raised millions, engendered the support of (misguided) icons such David Beckham and J.K. Rowling, had a private audience with the Pope, met with high-ranking staff of then-First Lady Laura Bush, wrote a book, and otherwise lavished in the limelight as globetrotting celebrities.
Along the way, lawsuits have been threatened against anyone who dared question the McCanns’ complicity in their daughter’s fate, despite significant inconsistencies in their stories. Quite sickeningly, their actual search for Maddy all too often seemed like an afterthought, as it was much cooler to hang with stars and dignitaries than do the grunt work.
Yet for all the baggage that should accompany them, their star power still shines bright, as the Scotland Yard, upon the direction of Prime Minister David Cameron himself, just re-opened the investigation, citing new leads and “persons of interest.”
Really? After six years and millions of British taxpayers’ money later, they finally have persons of interest?
Aren’t there laws on the books in Britain against child endangerment? Reckless behavior? Negligence? And to those who say Britain can’t prosecute for a crime committed overseas, you can’t have it both ways, as British investigators are reaching out across Europe in a (likely ill-fated) attempt to interrogate and possibly have suspects arrested in other countries.
The headlines all read that Maddy was kidnapped, yet there is no evidence — none — of that.
It seems increasingly clear that McCann case is no longer about what happened to a little girl, but an attempt — some say cover-up — to absolve “upstanding Brits” of any responsibility, conveniently blaming Portugal, the poor man of Europe, for a botched investigation and overall ineptness.
Looking past the gushing pro-McCann headlines, many the world over believe the parents, accidentally or otherwise, were directly responsible for Maddy’s fate. I certainly cannot make that claim, though Gerry and Kate would seem to be guilty of child endangerment. That said, there remain inconsistencies which, to this day, remain unanswered.
Therefore, if Scotland Yard wishes to retain its legendary reputation, it needs to investigate the case from Square One, objectively, free from outside influence. No sacred cows, and no one off the table. And the only way to do that is to start with Gerry and Kate, (and their friends who accompanied them that fateful night), forcing the parents to answer tough questions. The taxpayers, and those who have so faithfully followed this saga for so long, deserve no less.
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to ask the following:
1.) Will the McCanns and their friends take lie-detectors tests? While not guaranteed, they’re a good barometer. If there is nothing to hide, releasing the results would be a public relations boon, and the investigation could center on Madeleine — for a change.
2.) What time was Madeleine discovered missing? Was it 9 o’clock, as Kate states, or 10 o’clock as others report, and why the discrepancy? How long did it take for anyone to initially call the police, as there are reports of a significant delay. Kate stated that the shutters were forced open, but the police and hotel staff said there was no evidence of tampering. And Kate, why, upon discovering that your daughter was missing, did you return to the restaurant, leaving the 2-year-old twins alone (again!), while a predator could still have been lurking nearby?
3.) Kate yelled, “They’ve taken her”, but how did she know Madeleine was abducted? After all, the doors were unlocked, and Madeleine was known to sleepwalk.
Or perhaps this little girl just happened to awaken, scared,in a dark, unfamiliar place, and looked for the comfort of her parents. Not seeing them, might she have walked out the unlocked door to find them? And when Kate initially yelled “they” took her, to whom was she referring?
4.) The resort was extremely child-friendly. Why not use its inexpensive baby-sitting services? Some reports state that the McCanns did not want the children to be around people with whom they were unfamiliar. Yet, the same people who ran the day camp the children attended were also the baby sitters. And how could “strangers” be any worse than leaving three young children (with a combined age of 7) alone in an unlocked apartment?
5.) How often did the parents check the children before Madeleine went missing? Every hour, half-hour, or not at all? (The statements of the resort staff differ markedly from the McCanns). Since the room was a considerable distance away from the restaurant, and its view blocked, how could the McCanns compare that “secure arrangement” to eating in their backyard garden?
6.) During a BBC interview, Kate was adamant that the children would not awaken while she and Gerry were dining. Yet, since Madeleine reportedly had a history of sleepwalking, how could Kate be so sure of this?
7.) How many nights did the McCanns dine out while leaving the children alone? What were the distances of those restaurants from their room? Were any away from the hotel?
8.) How much money raised has actually has been allocated to the physical search for Madeleine? A thorough and independent forensic audit should be conducted.
9.) In an earlier interview, the McCanns stated, “Looking at it from where we are now, I don’t feel we were irresponsible, I feel we are very responsible parents.” Do they still feel that way?
10.) Assume that the police dog was accurate in its detection of death in the room, and the death was that of Madeleine. Why then would the perpetrator take away a dead child?
At a minimum, these questions are a logical starting point to get to the bottom of Madeleine’s disappearance.
As a wise man once said, lies reveal more than they conceal. If Scotland Yard does its job, perhaps we shall put that saying to the test.
Chris Freind is an independent commentator who operates He can be reached at His column appears every Wednesday

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Jill Havern

Post on 30.05.19 6:26 by Jill Havern

Madeleine McCann: Forsaken By Gerry And Kate---Again!
by Joana Morais   9 years ago  

Chris Freind, US journalist writes about the Madeleine McCann case Os+meus+documentos4-1

Written by Christoper Freind

Being in the media is pretty cool, especially when you run your own news bureau, as I now do (

I recently flew in an F-16 fighter jet, accelerating vertically from zero to 12,000 feet in under ten seconds. Shortly after that, I also flew with the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters, flying directly into the eye of the beast for 12 hours.

I have interviewed world leaders, presidential candidates, and the owner of a World Series winning baseball team.

And I’ve had a ball exposing hypocrites and bad guys in politics, business, sports, and yes, the media.

Yet the more I think about it, I’m still in the wrong business.

I should have been a British cardiologist or general practitioner.
Either way, I’d be in a great position to become an international celebrity, one that could mingle with presidents, popes, paparazzi and the press. I could globetrot to my heart’s content, write sweet-nothings on my blog, threaten people’s right to free speech, and bully anyone into silence who dare oppose me.

Now THAT’S a really cool gig.

And to think, all I’d have to do is abandon my three children, with a combined age of seven, night after night in a Portuguese resort while I went carousing on the town with friends. And if my three-year old daughter --- who, for sake of this story, we’ll just call….Madeleine --- happens to disappear (with, or without my knowledge and complicity), then so be it.

While it wouldn’t be easy, it’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make. Come on--- it’s a private audience with the Pope we’re talking about here!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not referring to anyone in particular.
Ok, ok. You got me. That one was a lie. I am.
But in good faith, while I won’t mention these people’s names, their initials are Gerry and Kate McCann.

Life is still rockin’ for the killers….of the spirit of goodwill.

Despite millions around the world who’ve come to realize the awful truth that the McCann’s gross negligence destroyed an innocent little girl’s life, both figuratively and, in all likelihood, literally, the McCanns continue their quest to stay in the headlines, soak in the limelight, and impugn the integrity of good people courageous enough to ask the tough questions.

Quite simply, the McCann’s are desperately trying to stay…relevant.

The latest chapter in this nearly three-year saga is their championing of a woefully bad ruling by a Portuguese court upholding a ban on the book written by former lead police investigator in Maddie’s disappearance, Goncalo Amaral. Mr. Amaral is also prohibited from discussing his theories in the book, and cannot give interviews about the same.

Additionally, Gerry and Kate are suing Amaral for defamation, seeking 1.2 million Euros in compensation. And who can blame them? The millions they have raked in as globetrotting celebrities just doesn’t go as far as it once did.

Why the ban on Amaral? Because he makes the extremely small leap of suggesting that Maddie might be dead. And, according to Team McCann, the book defames them.

Three points:

1) The McCanns don’t need a book to defame them. They have done that perfectly themselves.

2) I know it’s the European Union, where personal rights and national sovereignty go out the window, but a book ban? I thought we emerged from the Dark Ages.

3) While by no means should hope be abandoned, the overwhelming odds are that Maddie is dead. With the incredible worldwide attention given to the case, the fact that no substantial leads have emerged since Maddie disappeared from the Algarve resort in May, 2007 speaks volumes.

3A) A point of clarification: Actually, there were substantial leads, all leading to Gerry and Kate.

Cadaver dogs, trained to detect the scent of death, reacted positively to many items, from Kate’s clothes to Maddie’s favorite stuffed animal. Blood was detected in their rental car. And there were many conflicts in Gerry and Kate’s stories. Quite simply, the McCanns have done more to cast doubt on themselves than anyone else.

And by the way, you will NEVER see Maddie’s disappearance referred to as a “kidnapping” here, since there is absolutely NO evidence to that theory.

But the best part of all is the statement of Gerry and Kate, who said, "The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.”

Wrong again.

By definition, when a three-year old is deliberately left alone by her parents in a foreign land with the door unlocked --- in effect, charged to care for her two-year old twin siblings--- THAT is bringing harm to a child.

And yes, when that child disappears (at whose hand we don’t “officially” know yet) because of that abandonment, that is “harmful.”

Always making it about them, the McCanns continued, "It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even, shockingly, when they are presented with new information and leads.”

Yes, the entire world of law enforcement should drop everything every time a “lead” arises. Too bad the leads making the McCanns “arguidos”--- official suspects--- were never followed through.

Lastly, the McCanns forcefully criticized those who dare ask the logical questions.
"The motives of those who have tried to convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who've disgracefully and falsely tried to implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously questioned."

A) Bad use of the King’s English. The evil-doers either implicated you, or they didn’t. But by definition, they couldn’t, “falsely implicate” you. It’s kind of like being a parent. Either you are…or you aren’t.

B) The only serious questioning that needs to occur is that of Gerry and Kate. The Portuguese police tried, but were pressured to stand down. The Brits fell way short of their due diligence, and at the least, should have charged the McCanns with negligence.

C) The McCanns ARE guilty, and they always will be. Of murder or accidental death as so many think, I cannot say. That may, or may not, ever be proven.

But one thing is certain. Gerry and Kate McCann are unequivocally guilty of destroying three lives--- Madeleine’s, of course, but also that of her siblings, who will carry severe scars for the rest of their lives. The McCann’s actions of child endangerment and gross negligence, so easily avoidable if they just acted like….parents, could have spared a little girl the pain and anguish which she surely experienced --- a girl who would still be with us today, living out a life she richly deserved.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but NOT to their own set of facts.

Just remember, Gerry and Kate. The authorities may be looking the other way, but some of us are not. Sunshine is the best antiseptic, and you need some more light in your lives.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter whose news site, The Artorius News Bureau, is slated to launch in this month. Readers of “Freindly Fire” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on a Philadelphia-area talk radio show, WCHE, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances. He can be reached at

in Freindly Fire Zone
[leave your comments at Mr. Chris Freind site]

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Jill Havern

Post on 30.05.19 6:50 by Jill Havern

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Chris Freind - Gerry and Kate McCann have become the Ramseys of Europe

McCann Case Closed Despite Parents' Guilt

Well, it's official. Gerry and Kate McCann have become the Ramseys of Europe. Just as the Christmastime murder of six year old JonBenet Ramsey went officially unsolved, it appears that resolving the disappearance and probable death of five year old Madeleine McCann will suffer the same fate.

That is a terrible shame for three reasons.

First and foremost, a little girl is, in all likelihood, dead, and justice will not be served. The daughter of two British doctors, Madeleine disappeared from a Portuguese beachside resort in May 2007 while she slept. While statements have been made, ad nauseum, by Gerry, Kate and their vaunted PR machine that Maddy was kidnapped, there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate this claim. Of course, there wouldn't be any debate whether Maddy was in fact kidnapped if Gerry and Kate had exercised even a fraction of something called parenting. Which leads us to point # 2.

As "Freindly Fire" has stated emphatically in numerous columns, the McCanns are guilty, period. Of this, there is no doubt. They are possibly guilty of harming Madeleine, accidentally or otherwise, as many Portuguese investigators believe. But, at the least, they are definitely guilty of negligence and, the case can be made, of child abandonment.

You see, what the bought-and-paid-for British media simply glosses over is the fact that the McCanns left their three children, with a combined age of seven, alone in their resort room, at night, on numerous occasions that week. Call me crazy, but that's not just selfish, it's unconscionably irresponsible. They chose paella over the kids. Now I've been to the Algarve, and the paella there is even better than that in Spain, but it's not quite good enough that I would abandon my kids. If the McCanns had taken their children with them, brought a nanny from home, or used the resort's babysitting service, one thing is sure: Madeleine would not have disappeared that night.

But taking personal responsibility is not something the McCanns feel they have to do. It's hard to look in the mirror, so Gerry and Kate figured out that it's much easier to just blame everyone and everything else. Just listen to their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell: "If it's true the police are about to shelve this case, on the one hand that will be welcome because it means that Kate and Gerry will be seen to be the innocent couple that they are - they are innocent of any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance and have been since Day One - and this wrongly-imposed arguido (suspect) status must be lifted..."

Innocent of any involvement? Clarence, how do you sleep at night?

They are guilty and should be held accountable. Showing Gerry and Kate's "remorse" on television (and that remorse is debatable), still doesn't absolve them from their crimes. Why aren't they being charged, either in Portugal and/or Britain?

Probably because we don't like to punish celebrities. And the McCanns have created a huge cause celebre. Remember, these globe-trotting celebrities had an audience with the Pope, met with America's First Lady, and are seen as "ambassadors" for kidnapped children everywhere. If that's what it takes to become an international star, I'll be more than happy to remain obscure.

The royal treatment of the McCanns sends the horrendous message that it's OK to be negligent and greedy, even if it means exposing children to harm, as long as you have good barristers, lots of money, and the best marketing firms money can buy---especially if that money comes from well-wishers not familiar with the true facts of the case.

But worst of all, when leaders in our society welcome people like the McCanns with open arms instead of shedding light on their abhorrent behavior, it condones a mentality that breaking laws---whether laws of the state or laws of morality and common sense--- is acceptable, as long as you look good in front of a camera.

And who can forget the British media and its journalistic "integrity"? Not only did it blindly defend the McCanns and blame the Portuguese for everything, but it failed to conduct even a modicum of investigation to ascertain what really happened to Madeleine. Inconsistencies abound, both in media reports and in statements given by the McCanns and the friends they dined with that night. But hard-hitting questions and thorough research were, and still are, in short supply. To top it off, once the McCanns were named as suspects last September, the British media turned on them and all but pronounced their guilt. Now that charges will not be forthcoming, the tune has changed yet again. The McCanns were innocent all along!

Sticking a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing is something that should be left to the politicians, but it has no place in the media.

As stated in the past, Freindly Fire has never accused the McCanns of killing their daughter, and they are entitled to the presumption of innocence in that regard until a court of law can prove differently. But not so with the negligence they have shown. For the sake of Maddy and all the other children potentially at risk because of such criminal behavior, the McCanns should be charged.

Anything less would be a disservice to Madeleine McCann.

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