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Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

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Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 29.04.10 9:22

Dear Kate,
Can it really be only three years since your little daughter Madeleine disappeared? It feels like a century ago when her three-year-old face first began to haunt us.
Her angelic expression and solemn eyes engraved themselves on to our hearts; they reached out to us from posters that went up everywhere, from airports to village shops.
Even now, the questions remain. Could she still be alive? Worst of all, is she the prisoner of some twisted individual? I know that must be your deepest fear - indeed it doesn't bear thinking about - although of course it must always be at the back of your mind.

Torment: Kate McCann has made a fresh appeal for help finding her missing daughter Madeleine

Over the years we have shared your nightmares. In those early months, as news story followed news story, we pored over the events of that fatal evening she went missing. You must have relived those hours a million times, and so have we.
So I hope it doesn't sound too harsh to suggest that three years later, the world has moved on. Not because we have forgotten Maddie, nor because we have lost sympathy with you and your family, but because the pain we felt at the time has begun to numb and heal with time.

No doubt that's what motivated you to appear on GMTV yesterday. To remind us. To shake us into caring again. Clearly you are still in agony - perhaps, for you, time has even intensified it. As you and Gerry publicly accuse the police of 'giving up', it is obvious that your agony is caused not just by loss, but by not knowing if your darling girl is dead or alive, safe or suffering.

You are still tormented by the fact that nobody can answer your questions, because Maddie has not been found, and may never be found.
Let us for a moment face the tragic truth. Maddie may not be alive. How will you feel if one day her body is found? My guess - and it can only be a guess because no one can truly know how you feel - is that after the first terrible impact of shock and grief, you may even feel a small glimmer of relief that at least she is at peace.

Advice: Esther Rantzen believes the McCanns need a positive memorial to celebrate Maddie's life

That is not in any way to diminish your terrible loss. It is simply a human response to your current purgatory. No more guessing; no more false hopes cruelly disappointed. Perhaps the fact of knowing might bring with it the understanding that, at last, you might be able to move on with your lives.
For at the moment you are still stuck exactly where you have been for the past three years. As you say yourself: 'As a parent of an abducted child, I can tell you that it is the most painful and agonising experience you could ever imagine. My thoughts of the fear, confusion and loss of love and security that my precious daughter has had to endure are unbearable.'
So maybe if you knew the truth, no matter how tragic that truth is, you might find it easier to bear.
You are not alone. Parents who lose children have told me how important it is to have something, even a body, to centre their grief on. I remember interviewing Winnie Johnson, mother of Keith Bennett. Keith was one of Ian Brady's child victims, murdered and buried somewhere on the Lancashire moors, the only child victim whose body was never found.
Unlike you, Kate, Winnie has known for years that her child is dead. But like you, she is still tormented by not knowing where he is.
Keith's murder took place 46 years ago. Yet only a couple of months ago Winnie took a helicopter flight over Saddleworth Moor to search for her boy's body yet again. And to pray for him.
She said: 'I know these moors go on for ever, but I know one day we will find my Keith. I will never give up hope. I want him back. I will fight for ever more until I find him and I hope I will find him before I'm dead.'
Although Manchester police have called off their search for Keith's body, Winnie is appealing for £20,000 to pay for a special scanner powerful enough to find buried remains. After nearly half a century of uncertainty, she still yearns to find him, to be released from rage and pain, and be enabled to grieve.
Make no mistake, that need to mourn a lost child is one of the most powerful emotions a mother can feel.
I once made a television programme about still-born babies. At the time, it was the practice to try to pretend the babies had never existed. Fathers were told to go home and redecorate the nursery and give away the baby clothes. Hospitals buried the tiny bodies in unmarked graves.

Agony: For Gerry and Kate McCann, pictured during their interview on GMTV, the torture continues

There were no photographs taken, nothing to remind the parents of their loss. Annihilating every trace of the child was considered the kindest way to help a grieving mother cope. But it was terribly wrong. Bereaved parents told me that years later their grief was as fresh as ever; that they had constant dreams and flashbacks of the baby they had lost.
So now the practice has changed completely. Doctors and midwives encourage parents to create memorials, books and gardens for still-born babies.
Grief, mourning and a carefully created memorial can bring healing. Which brings me to another family in despair.
Seventeen years ago, when he was a toddler, James Bulger was brutally murdered by two children, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. That murder is engraved on our national memory and broke his mother Denise's heart.
For 15 of those years she has been unable to leave her home alone. I have visited her there, in the house that had become a shrine to James. All she had were constant reminders of his terrible death, not of his life. 'He was such a positive little boy,' she told me, 'I'd love him to have something positive to celebrate him with.'

So I suggested to her that we could create a special memorial to James, a project on Merseyside, her home town, to help children who have been badly bullied. Run by the Red Balloon charity, it could be called James Bulger House.
When Denise visited a Red Balloon project with me and saw their fantastic work in giving traumatised children their lives back, she leapt at the idea of a similar project in her son's name. 'I would love my children to have a positive memory of James,' she told me.
'Be assured, we have not forgotten Madeleine, or you'

James Bulger House is about to open now; there are already children on its waiting list. And on what would have been James's 18th birthday, Denise took 18 red balloons to his graveside.
Why is this relevant to your own terrible heartache, Kate? Well, what I am suggesting is that you and Gerry need a similarly positive memorial to celebrate Maddie's life, too. Not because I am assuming she is dead, but because when we last met I saw how frail you are, and how unhappy. And no wonder.
I know that you and Gerry are constantly with parents of missing children who, like yourselves, are lost in the no man's land between grief and hope.
The work has inevitably immersed you in the hideous world of child pornography and sexual exploitation, because that is often the motive of those who abduct children. You say that now you know about 'the unbelievable existence of such a horrifying activity and its vastness in our socalled civilised and "child-loving" society', your eyes have been opened to a terrifying new world.
With that nightmare constantly before your eyes, no wonder you accuse the police of 'giving up' on Maddie. Let no one judge you harshly for keeping the flicker of hope alive in your hearts.
But alongside your campaign to tighten laws against child pornography, why not also create a Madeleine McCann charity - one that would not simply fund the search for your lost daughter, and others like her, but which would also help children in other distressing situations?
It could be medically based - perhaps as Gerry is a consultant cardiologist, it might work for children with heart disease. Or perhaps it could provide respite for families battling with disability - for example, the thousands of children who spend their exhausted lives helping to care for a disabled parent, day in day out.
These are only suggestions. You as a GP and Gerry as a consultant must already know many other ways in which you could give practical support to other children, in Maddie's name. And the happiness you create would surely give you both the strength to heal the past, and optimism to face the future.
In the meantime, be assured, we have not forgotten Maddie, or you. But we recognise, in your anger, that time has stood still for you.
And although we would not wish you to lose your commitment, we would also like to feel that you find comfort in the knowledge that Maddie's name will live on, and will contribute happiness to many other children's lives - wherever she is.

Wishing you happiness as ever,


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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Ruby on 29.04.10 11:01

Thanks Jill; that moved me to tears, particularly the part about the still born babies and Denise Bulger. Very tactful piece from Esther there. Wonder if she knows the truth? She could well do, and just be choosing to present her advice this way IMO. Remember recommending Tony sent her a 60 reasons book way back but don't remember if he did...

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Kololi on 29.04.10 12:50

Wow, that is a very moving and honest letter. She makes some very strong suggestions but does so with great kindness.

Would Kate McCann have received this letter before it was put in the paper?

I think that Ester Rantzen is saying aloud what a good few people privately think but wouldn't dare say aloud.

Take care

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by kary on 29.04.10 13:21

Sorry, has Esther taken leave of her senses, here??

You as a GP and Gerry as a consultant must already know many other ways in which you could give practical support to other children, in Maddie's name.

They proved themselves incapable of looking after the child whose name is being suggested. They abandoned i.e. totally failed to support, their own 3 children, all under 4 years, on a nightly basis. Being a consultant cardiologist and a GP proved to be of no benefit whatsoever to their first-born, Madeleine.


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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by justagrannynow 1 on 29.04.10 15:14

I think Esther is trying to suggest, in the kindest and most sincere manner, that it is time for Kate and Gerry McCann to move on. Whatever mistakes have been made cannot be changed now, and continuing to look for some person or group to blame for the fact that Madeleine is still missing is not the way to go IMO. Far better to step out of the limelight and try to do some good for others in the world as a testament to their daughter.
justagrannynow 1

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Pascal on 29.04.10 16:01

If it were me who had a child go missing, the last thing I would want to read is a hearts and flowers monologue by that silly bat.

I don't think it was in anyway tactful.

Even now, the questions remain. Could she still be alive? Worst of all, is she the prisoner of some twisted individual? I know that must be your deepest fear - indeed it doesn't bear thinking about - although of course it must always be at the back of your mind.

What a stupid thing to say. Imagine your child being taken and having to read crap like that? Perhaps she is prodding them and maybe believes they know more than they are letting on.

She even managed to bring Keith Bennett and James Bulger into her monotonous twaddle.

Sorry, just sayin'. I can't stand the woman.

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by kangdang on 29.04.10 16:23

Pascal, i totally agree. I find her letter offensive and insensitive on many counts.

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by yadda_yadda on 29.10.11 15:42

Considering Esther Rantzen is founder of a child abuse charity you'd think she'd have given the McC's a rollicking for their abuse of three children. Leaving three young kids unattended until one went missing is abuse I believe.

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Shibboleth on 29.10.11 17:46

Miss Rantzen has gone to great troubles to emphasize the quiet dignity, and endurance, of Winnie Bennett. Something that Kate McCann will never, ever aspire to, no matter how many novels she writes or how many gala dinners she organizes.

I think, Miss Rantzen is secretly saying that Winnie Bennett has class and Kate has none.

“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” ~ Joseph Stalin, 1897-1953
"If Adolph Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway." ~ Joe Strummer, 1952-2002

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Marian on 29.10.11 18:31

My thoughts here are that, if I believed that Madeleine was taken by a stranger and that her parents were in no way involved, I would agree with Esther. I think that it's a polite way of saying "we do grieve with you but it's time that you moved on for the sake of your other children and bow out of the limelight gracefully; we're sick of the sight of you!"

I am disappointed with Esther if, as it seems, she has fallen for the story hook, line and sinker.

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by pauline on 29.10.11 18:37

Like others I'm in two minds over this long epistle from Esther Rantzen.

I was amused when she suggested that they set up a charity and use funds for other than searching for Maddie, to do something to commemorate Madeleine's memory ,that will help children generally. We know that for the Mccanns 'charity' begins at home, and charity status has some annoying restrictions.

Just maybe, Esther's suggestion is her way of saying she has doubts about the Mccanns story. Then again maybe not.

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Hicks on 20.07.14 18:09

Hope it's ok to put this link here.

It is getting a bit tedious now hearing Esther Rantzen repeating the same mantra.... that being,' another 'friend' of hers has duped her--YET AGAIN-.....really?

Yep, where there's children in trouble......there's Esther!

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln.

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Esther, Esther, lover of child molester...?

Post by missbeetle on 20.07.14 22:42

(clipped from Daily Mail article linked above - apparently this tartan suit was self-designed)

Thank you, Hicks, for reviving this thread and piquing my interest in caviar-and-champagne Esther.

She's a one, isn't she?

Apparently she was once arrested for handing out bat stew...!

Esther confessed last year to 'a terrible secret' -  she is a wig-wearer, thirty years of hair fakery...

(clipped from Daily Mail 31st May 2013)

Not quite the mistress of the cover-up...

She's tried hard, though.

'Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange...
(from Lord Byron's 'Don Juan', 1823)

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Re: Open letter to Kate McCann from Esther Rantzen

Post by Guest on 20.07.14 23:08

I remember the bat stew incident. It was on the That's Life programme and she was asking passers-by to sample it. A rather over-zealous policeman carted her away for obstructing the pavement!

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