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Deadwood: The police "are moving forward - and heading back to zero" - scepticism by Dan Hodges in the Daily Telegraph Mm11

Deadwood: The police "are moving forward - and heading back to zero" - scepticism by Dan Hodges in the Daily Telegraph Regist10

Deadwood: The police "are moving forward - and heading back to zero" - scepticism by Dan Hodges in the Daily Telegraph

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Deadwood: The police "are moving forward - and heading back to zero" - scepticism by Dan Hodges in the Daily Telegraph Empty Deadwood: The police "are moving forward - and heading back to zero" - scepticism by Dan Hodges in the Daily Telegraph

Post by sharonl on 15.10.13 14:25

Giving this its own thread - not quite as forthright as Wendy Murphy was, but a sceptical look at the 'circus'  - as he calls it:

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

by Dan Hodges
Society page - Last updated: October 14th, 2013

[PHOTO: 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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