Crime Rocket is in Portugal – follow #DeepIntoDarkness to find out why

True crime never rests, true crime research never sleeps. If it seems like CrimeRocket is on hiatus, well, I’m sharpening the saw elsewhere.

For ten days I’ve been on the ground in a tourist resort on the Algarve known as Praia da Luz. I’m following up a number of lines of inquiry I first wrote about in the DOUBT trilogy, in 2017.

This year I wanted to be in the area at the exact time, and on the same date as the abduction. Follow the hashtag #DeepIntoDarkness on Twitter and Instagram to get a sneak peek on where I’ve been and what’s coming soon.

“The McCanns insisted they had given their children nothing more potent than Calpol, which is a painkiller and has no sedative effect.” – Sunday Times, 9 September 2007, Victims of the rumour mill?

It’s a popular misconception that Calpol Night helps children to sleep.

Is it really?

On the same day the McCanns finally arrived home at the end of a disastrous summer in Portugal, the Sunday Times published an analysis of how the well-to-do British parents [both doctors] had been unfairly victimized by Portuguese cops and Portuguese tabloid media.

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One of the “most powerful rumours” quoted in the article was this one:Fullscreen capture 20190423 151722

The inference is that the gossip surrounding the use of a Calpol as a sedative cannot possibly be true simply because – medically speaking – Calpol isn’t a sedative.

Do a Google search of “Calpol sedative” and Google will inform you that:

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This must mean that the article in the Sunday Times, especially the bit about Calpol having “no sedative effect” was 100% accurate, right?

Well, it depends on “when”. If the question is: Does Calpol Night have a sedative effect today? the answer is no. The date of the article cited in the Google search [February 16, 2005] seems to predate the incident involving Madeleine McCann by over two years.

The problem with the assessment that the active ingredients have no sedative effect is that they don’t refer to the actual active ingredient that does: diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

There are three important points to raise in this respect:

1. While the original Calpol Night did contain Paracetamol, and while Paracetamol is a painkiller as opposed to a sedative [confirming the accuracy of the text above] the other active ingredient is used to treat coughs and runny noses.Fullscreen capture 20190423 155708

It dries nasal secretions and is, as such, an antihistamine. Antihistamines are famously sedating, and diphenhydramine hydrochloride is no exception. So the original Calpol Night does have a sedative effect, despite the claim in the Sunday Times that this was a rumour, and apparently the same claim by the doctors at the centre of the allegations that it had no sedative effect.

2. What is astonishing is that the Sunday Times either was ignorant of the well-known trend in British to sedate their children using cough-medicine in the decade following 2000, or was deliberately ignorant. In other words, they either misled their readers on a misconception that wasn’t, or they did so accidentally. A year and ten days after “setting the record straight on the safety of Calpol” the same newspaper referred to the “Calpol generation” in a headline, and the dangers of the medication leading to long term side-effects.

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3. By March 2009 the original formula of Calpol Night was discontinued, and the product packaging of the replacement product was altered to reflect this. After coming under review, it was no longer recommended to dose any children under six years of age with Calpol Night. [Madeleine McCann was three-years-old at the time of her disappearance]. Some of the side effects associated with the original formula now officially included drowsiness, hallucinations and potentially serious liver and kidney damage.

The Calpol product that replaced Calpol Night in 2009 doesn’t have a sedative effect. The Calpol product that existed at the time something happened to the doctors’ daughter during their holiday in Portugal in 2007, absolutely did.

More: Are we using too much Calpol? – The Telegraph [2005]

Doctors are now being told to prescribe Calpol instead of antibiotics to children – Daily Mail [2017]

Are we raising a generation of Calpol kids? Doctor warns in TV doc that our children are overdosing on drugs – The Mirror [2018]

Madeleine McCann cops thought Kate and Gerry had accidentally killed Maddie with Calpol overdose, Netflix documentary reveals – The Sun [2019]

 

Stephanie Harlowe Reviews Final Episodes of “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann”

I also found the last two and especially the final episode very difficult to get through.

Scams, Cons, Frauds and Liars Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 7 Review & Analysis

“Rebellions are Built on [False] Hope” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 1 of 3]

“Operation Johnny English” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 2 of 3]

“Lurkers, Lone Intruders, A Suspicious Blonde Fellow, Another Suspicious Blonde Fellow, A Smelly Man, A Man With Dark Skin, A Pock-Faced Man, A Man Wearing a Surgical Mask, A Man With a Foreign Accent, Vast Pedophile Populations, A Wobbly Fat Woman, A Couple Running With a Baby Near a Marina and ‘Keep The Faith Because There is Always Hope’” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 3 of 3]

“Lurkers, Lone Intruders, A Suspicious Blonde Fellow, Another Suspicious Blonde Fellow, A Smelly Man, A Man With Dark Skin, A Pock-Faced Man, A Man Wearing a Surgical Mask, A Man With a Foreign Accent, Vast Pedophile Populations, A Wobbly Fat Woman, A Couple Running With a Baby Near a Marina and ‘Keep The Faith Because There is Always Hope’” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 3 of 3]

The mindfuckery reaches a dizzying crescendo in the final episode in the Netflix documentary, especially in the last 30 minutes. One moment a brand new suspect is identified, then another, then another, THEN ANOTHER, THEN ANOTHER…

IN THEIR SIGHTS Madeleine McCann may have been snatched by two creepy blond men seen scouting Maddie’s apartment hours before she vanished, documentary claims – The Sun [2019]

Madeleine McCann: Did this man snatch Maddy? – The Mirror [2012]

Madeleine McCann ‘snatched by wobbly fat woman and is still alive’ – Daily Star

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It’s almost with gleeful celebration that these names and numbers are touted. Why all of this information is “saved” for last is odd. Why not have an episode that deals exclusively with the long list of suspects [all of whom turned into dead ends], rather than throwing darts at a board and going, could it be this guy, how about this one? Could Madeleine be in Morocco? How about Australia? What about this Marina here, at 06:00 on May 4th?

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There is a cultish triumphalism about “keeping the faith” in episode eight that reminds me of Apocalyptic Doctrine in the bible. The longer the Apocalypse doesn’t happen, the more certain it is to happen. If Armageddon hasn’t happened after 2000 years of prediction, oh boy, are we close to it happening now!

Also, the longer the Apocalypse doesn’t happen, the more evidence there is that it’s about to. It’s the End of Days. Something is about to happen.

It seems the same counter-intuitive gospel is being used here. The longer Madeleine remains missing the more certain she is to be found. The longer she remains missing, the more certain there is to be evidence that shes out there.

If we applied this gospel to our everyday lives, whether applying for a job, or asking someone out on a date, most would agree that the longer the period without confirmation, the more certain the reply is likely to be negative.

Of course it’s of no use to be broadly dismissive [of anything] in true crime. And, like we see in The Matrix, one can’t be told what something is, one must experience it in order to know it. Saying something is bullshit is one thing, smelling it is another.

The Matrix

With that in mind, let’s take three specific examples of mindfuckery in the final episode, to see what we’re dealing with.

1. It’s The Ocean Club’s Fault

Kate McCann found out that a booking they’d made at the Tapas Restaurant had been visible to others. In other words, it’s written explicitly in the registration/bookings book that the families would spend a week dining in the Tapas Bar at a particular time because their children were somewhere else. Now it’s the Ocean Club’s responsibility for allowing this sensitive information to fall into the hands of a shadowy, lurking pedophile abductor who happened to be floating around the Club there and then.

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One of the co-authors narrating the story provides reinforcement for this same mind-job. This time it’s the fault of the authorities for not informing tourists that Praia da Luz was swarming with pedophiles, and if they’d only known this, they would never have left their children alone.

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This is a wonderful jab firstly at the irresponsible Ocean Club staff, and secondly at the bungling Portuguese cops. Had they done their jobs, the parents could have dined in peace without their child being abducted while they were away.

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There seems to be absolutely no question that leaving young children alone for an extended time actually invited some sort of incident in the first place.

We did not get nanny service for Madeleine, says Kate McCann – Telegraph

One aspect of the McCann narrative that is also missed is that the McCanns didn’t just leave three-year-old Madeleine so that they could dine somewhere else, they left three children, including two one-and-a-half-year-olds. In addition to this, when the McCanns were dining out, Kate herself didn’t do her check when she was supposed to, but gave up her check to someone else. On the night of May 3rd, the night Madeleien disappeared, by the time Kate did her one check Madeleine was already gone.

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It’s also strange what Kate doesn’t seem to say – not in the documentary nor in so many of the interviews she’s given over the years. It would be the most natural [and understandable] thing in the world for her to say, and if she said it one would probably feel a lot more sympathy for her. “I feel guilty. I feel bad. It’s my fault…”

But you don’t hear those words. Instead it’s everyone else’s fault but the McCanns, and everyone else is a suspect, or made serious mistakes, or errors in judgement, but the McCanns.

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Instead when Kate has spoken about feeling guilty, as she did in April 2017, it’s about money.

Ten years after she vanished, Kate said: “You do feel guilty. Other families haven’t had the publicity and money.” Former GP Kate, 49, admits she used to feel “really embarrassed” about the £11 million spent on the investigation.

I wonder – do they feel guilty about £20 million spent on a documentary that’s really about implicating a host of obvious suspects, while clearly making an effort to exonerate them in the court of public opinion?

One should also note that after years of adverse publicity, the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine died or disappeared went bankrupt. A lot of people lost their jobs. All the money Kate felt embarrassed about could theoretically have gone to saving some of those jobs lost as a result of unrelenting bad press surrounding the luckless resort.

‘WIPING AWAY THE HORROR’ Infamous holiday villa where Maddie McCann went missing is closed to ‘spooked’ holidaymakers – The Sun

The property, which the new owner is partially shielding from public view, was axed from tour operators’ recommended accommodation after stunned holidaymakers learned it was “the Maddie flat.” A British expat living in the resort told The Sun Online said today: “The place is no longer being used as a holiday option. I’m surprised it lasted so long as a viable let with its grim history.”

What happened to Praia da Luz holiday apartment where Madeleine McCann went missing? – The Mirror [May 2017]

The McCann’s had rented the flat from Mark Warner Holidays for around £1,500 for a one-week holiday when three-year-old Maddie vanished from her bed on May 3, 2007.

The two-bedroom apartment lay empty for a month but was then used by two families for a one-week and fortnight-long holiday before it was finally sealed off as a permanent crime scene. Once the world’s media had departed the front of the Ocean Club complex and Portuguese police closed their investigation in 2008, the property was put up for sale for around £250,000. The price was repeatedly slashed until it was eventually sold earlier this year for around £113,000 by British widow Kathleen Macguire-Cotton.

Holiday firm leaves resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared – The Express

Madeleine McCann case: Resort firm Mark Warner sues insurers for losses – The Guardian

 Company blames adverse publicity for parents staying away 

 Claim centres on losses for ‘interrupted business’

‘We’ve just had enough of it’: Ten years on, Praia da Luz remembers the night Madeleine McCann disappeared – Telegraph [May 2017]

…for two years after her disappearance, the number of tourists “noticeably decreased”. “People lost their jobs because of this. A lot of shops and restaurants closed down. It had a huge influence on the real estate market.”

‘OUR FRESH HOPE’  Madeleine McCann parents’ delight as cops ask for more funding to keep search for missing child alive – The Sun [March, 2019]

If it was the Ocean’s Clubs fault, they and much of Praia da Luz have paid a price and done their penance many times over.

2. “New Technology will help us find Madeleine…”

This is a decent point raised in the final episode. Advances in technology are improving the forensic side of true crime investigations. The application of these technological breakthroughs in the McCann case could be applied in two areas above all, DNA testing and facial recognition software.

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The Netflix narrative doesn’t highlight either of these very practical areas in any detail, but instead goes to the fuzzier area of time-lapsing Madeleine’s appearance. What would she look like now?Fullscreen capture 20190328 190615Fullscreen capture 20190328 190617

Ernie Allen [pictured above] is the ex-President & CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in America. He narrates chunks of virtually every episode in the series [with apparent impartiality].

In the final minutes of episode eight we see Allen working side-by-side with the McCanns for the first time. Allen is touting cutting edge technology to the McCanns, and doing so on camera. It has nothing to do with DNA [and there is much in dispute and much uncertainty regarding the DNA evidence surrounding this case] or facial recognition software. It’s simply a kind of digital “aging”.

Fullscreen capture 20190328 190619

Although the value of “aging” Madeleine’s face has dubious application in my opinion [especially if Madeleine is no longer with us], the interaction between Allen and Kate is worth noting.

Observe how both Allen and Kate emphasise how Madeleine’s features resemble her mother’s. Gerry is not mentioned and remains uncharacteristically silent throughout this aspect of the discussion.

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Why would it be “upsetting” to see her three-year-old recast as a little girl, apparently alive and well? If Madeleine is dead, then clearly all of this is a reminder of what Madeleine herself has missed, isn’t it?

3. “There are many, many, many similar cases of abductions where years went by and the people were found, and they’re JUST LIKE Madeleine..”

The Intertextual aspect in the McCann case is very important, and provides potentially a lot of insight to understanding this case. Although the documentary does hint at the relative rarity of a child as young as Madeleine being abducted [as part of the official statistics], they gloss over the truly Intertextual aspect.

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In the final flourish of episode eight cases are noted where children are abducted only to return “safe and sound” years later, and in a solitary instance decades later.

The trouble is, all of these reference cases involve children around ten or eleven years old, or even older, and in two of the three instances cited, the children are abducted from public outdoor areas such as waiting for a bus or outside riding a bike.

In Elizabeth Smart’s case the fourteen-year-old was abducted from home. Yeah, she was fourteen, not three going on four.

In the single instance cited where a child was much younger, it was a baby snatched at a hospital, and in that case the baby [not identified by name in the series] grew up and self-identified herself to her parents. The baby wasn’t snatched or abused by pedophiles.

The unidentified woman highlighted by the series is Carlina White, the case with the longest-known gap in a non-parental abduction in history where the victim was reunited with her parents [23 years].

Clearly all of these cases are miles apart from from a three-year-old girl supposedly abducted, because if one thing is clear, a three-year-old child is way harder to look after or even engage sexually with for an extended period [as uncomfortable as that is to hear] than an older child.

When very young children are abducted for sexual purposes they are typically murdered very soon after. The idea that a survivor of a pedophile ring might be allowed to grow up and one day wander off, back into society and then blow the lid off this massive enterprise is idiotic in the extreme. It simply doesn’t happen.

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Now for a few final observations.

In the final episode we see Julian Peribañez, the detective hired by the McCanns finally appearing to deliver on his mandate. Some pedophiles are arrested.

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Fullscreen capture 20190328 191635-001Then we see Peribañez driving in what appears to be a Porche, performing the role in front of the cameras of a successful, stylish, smart detective.

Uhhhh…did I miss something? Where is Peribañez’s name even mentioned in the article about the arrest? Francisco Marco, the director general of the beleaguered Metodo 3 agency is mentioned.

On December 17, 2007, Marco claimed “Madeleine will be home for Christmas”. During this period Metodo 3 were receiving £50,000 a month to “find Madeleine”.

Metodo 3 under investigation in a case of Embezzlement and Money Laundering

Spain: four arrests in Catalonia spying case

MADRID, 19 FEB – Four people from the ‘Metodo 3’ agency, including the owner, Francisco Marco, the director and two employees were arrested Monday night as an investigation into the Catalonia bugging scandal picks up pace. Two of the arrested have admitted illegally taping conversations…

Of course we don’t see Amaral in the final episode, at all. During the entire series we never see Amaral driving around or looking cool. Instead whenever we see him he’s stuck in an undisclosed space between rooms. It’s oppressive and boring, and the lighting and divided space behind him is faintly distracting. The filmography is subtly trying to express the sentiment that Amaral is neither here nor there.

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Peribañez by contrast is represented as a young, powerful predator of criminals, driving effectively through the streets, a force for good.

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But hello…what sort of record did Goncalo Amaral have, in terms of arrests and achievements? It’s simply not mentioned anywhere in the series. Isn’t it important?

The suggestion they’re playing with through this glamorous and flattering depiction of Peribañez seems to be if you worked in law enforcement and managed to get someone arrested at some point, and you drive a Porche, it means you’re one of the good guys. Well done! Nice work for solving those cases… [It’s left to the audience to connect the dots between that and the Hope Narrative that’s been hammered into place over the final few minutes].

The final minutes of the series really does ratchet up the “Hope Narrative”. Fittingly, a priest is used to bolster this idea of “keeping the faith” as a moral imperative.

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I agree with Ernie Allen and the premise of the final episode: Somebody knows. Somebody does know exactly what happened to Madeleine. Is it more likely to be Madeleine’s parents or some faceless shadow?

This one?

How about that one?

Or maybe…that one over there?

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Indeed.

 

I’m confused: is the new £20 million Netflix Documentary on Madeleine McCann PRO-McCann or ANTI-McCann?

The McCanns swear they haven’t watched the 8-part series featuring 40 experts discussing the case of their daughter’s disappearance. And even though their arch-nemesis Goncalo Amaral appears in six of the eight episodes of the documentary, a man they have actively sued over the past eight years, and whom they currently owe  £750,000 in compensatory damages, the McCanns claim they haven’t watched it.

They wouldn’t want to hinder the investigation, see.

So despite a small stadium of experts, commentators, cops, detectives, reports – everyone really who was involved, they haven’t condescended to participate in the production, although the McCanns-over-the-years appear in every episode without exception, but the McCanns-as-they-are-now simply don’t appear in it. This is unlike senhor Amaral who does. We see Amaral as he was, and we seem him now, expressing his views in-the-now.

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But it seems senhor Amaral may be in some legal trouble. Because the documentary was made in the United Kingdom, it seems if Amaral has made more “false allegations” [in a similar vein to those that led to the £750,000 in compensatory damages claim mentioned above] then the McCanns lawyers will apparently have the road paved with gold to go after the former detective again.

On March 14th, 2019 the Express highlighted this possibility as well:

Madeleine McCann latest: Kate and Gerry ‘could sue policeman’ over TV documentary

A day earlier the Mirror was crowing about the same possibility.

Madeleine McCann Netflix documentary could trigger fresh legal action by parents

EXCLUSIVE Lawyers for Kate and Gerry McCann are said to be ‘closely watching’ what Goncalo Amaral will say on the upcoming show

On the same day the Guardian addressed speculation that the show had been “inexplicably” delayed because of “opposition from the missing child’s family”. I’m guessing what that means is the missing child in this semantic labyrinth in Madeleine McCann. Is that fair or is it excessively speculative? And then I’m guessing the missing child’s family [Madeleine’s family] are the McCanns, or is it other relatives who have been opposed?

I’m a true crime writer, full-time, and so it’s my job to figure out things like mindfuckery, word chess and smoke and mirrors. It’s my job to try to get a sense of clarity about what’s actually going on. I must admit to being a little muddled by this.

Is the Netflix documentary good for the McCanns or bad?

Is it good for Amaral, or not?

Since I’ve written a trilogy of books about this case, it’s probably worth making sure either way, isn’t it? So why don’t we? Let’s use something solid and tangible to address and try to answer this slippery question.

What we’ll do is look at the 40 experts interviewed by the makers of the documentary, and then try to get a sense if there is any bias, and where the bias falls.

We know that in a similar documentary series that has been associated with this one, that the Making A Murderer seasons while appearing investigative, neutral, factual and unbiased, actually deliberately seems to lead viewers to question the prosecution of Steven Avery [convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach].

So one can say with some confidence that the Making A Murderer seasons are somewhat sympathetic to Avery. Some may say obviously and some may say subtly.

So what is the case with this documentary? Is there explicit or tacit support for one particular camp? Yes or no?

Below is a list of cast members appearing in the documentary, taken from the authoritative Internet Movie Database [IMDb].

  1. Gonçalo Amaral…6 episodes, 2019 [ANTI]
  2. Sandra Felgueiras Sandra Felgueiras…6 episodes, 2019 [NEUTRAL, however implicates Portuguesepolice as “dishonest”]Fullscreen capture 20190320 202821
  3. Justine McGuinness…5 episodes, 2019 [PRO, EMPLOYED AS PART OF MCCANN PR TEAM]Fullscreen capture 20190318 155140
  4. Haynes Hubbard…4 episodes, 2019 [PRO] https://youtu.be/HWdV2pORaeA
  5. Susan Hubbard…4 episodes, 2019 [PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190322 130026
  6. Robert Murat Robert Murat…4 episodes, 2019 [Suspect, thus indirectly PRO McCanns as innocent]
  7. Sergey Malinka Sergey Malinka…3 episodes, 2019 [Suspect, thus indirectly PRO McCanns as innocent]Fullscreen capture 20190324 173027Fullscreen capture 20190324 173046
  8. Paulo Pereira Cristovao…2 episodes, 2019 [Neutral arguably. Cristovao is both supportive of the Polícia Judiciária, but also a proponent that Madeleine was “snatched”]
  9. Brian Kennedy…2 episodes, 2019 [TEAM MCCANN]
  10. Patrick Kennedy…2 episodes, 2019 [TEAM MCANN]Fullscreen capture 20190324 174445
  11. Anthony Summers…2 episodes, 2019 [PRO – Support the theory that the McCanns are innocent and that Madeleine was abducted. Book forms premise for the whole series]Fullscreen capture 20190317 094109-001
  12. Robbyn Swan…2 episodes, 2019 [PRO – Support the theory that the McCanns are innocent and that Madeleine was abducted. Book forms premise for the whole series]Fullscreen capture 20190319 175124Fullscreen capture 20190317 181832
  13. Ernie Allen, president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children,…1 episode, 2019 [PRO]
  14. Jorge Almeida…1 episode, 2019 [ANTI, testified against the McCanns in defamation trial in 2010]Fullscreen capture 20190327 235134Fullscreen capture 20190327 235139.jpgFullscreen capture 20190328 000241
  15. Rogério “there-is-no-evidence-that-she-is-dead” Alves…1 episode, 2019 [PRO, TEAM MCCANN, McCann’s lawyer]rogerioalves
  16. Nick Carter, editor of Leicester Mercury newspaper…1 episode, 2019 [PRO]
  17. Alexander David…1 episode, 2019 [Actor/Unknown]
  18. Jim Gamble…1 episode, 2019 [PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190325 235737
  19. Martin Grime…1 episode, 2019 [Neutral, but evidence allegedly indicated/implicated involvement of McCanns]Fullscreen capture 20190319 173713
  20. Phil Hall…1 episode, 2019 [PR Consultant employed by TEAM MCCANN, PRO]
  21. David Hughes…1 episode, 2019 [PR Consultant employed by TEAM MCCANN, PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190318 154924
  22. Melissa Little…1 episode, 2019[PRO. Forensic artist sympathetic to McCanns, sketched “Tannerman”]Fullscreen capture 20190326 000401
  23. Fernando Lupach….1 episode, 2019 [Actor/Unknown]]
  24. Kelvin Mackenzie….1 episode, 2019 [Former editor of The Sun. Indicated he did not believe McCanns were involved. PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190318 155721
  25. Lee Marlow…1 episode, 2019 [Employed at Leicester Mercury, PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190328 002251
  26. Marisa Matos….1 episode, 2019 [Actress, unknown]
  27. John McCann….1 episode, 2019 [PRO] Fullscreen capture 20190318 155655-001
  28. Philomena McCann…[PRO]
  29. Gerry McCann’s grandmother…[PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190317 021059
  30. Julian Peribañez….1 episode, 2019 [Detective employed by the McCanns, counterpart to Amaral, critical of Amatal, PRO]
  31. Pedro Saavedra…1 episode, 2019 [Actor, unknown]
  32. Jane Tanner…4 episodes, 2019 [PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190317 020701Fullscreen capture 20190320 233449
  33. Matthew Oldfield…2019 [PRO]
  34. Rachael  Oldfield…2019 [PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190325 232956
  35. David Payne…[PRO]
  36. Fiona Payne…[PRO]
  37. DCI  Phil Redwood…[PRO Abduction narrative]Fullscreen capture 20190326 000255
  38. Clarence Mitchell [PR representative for the McCanns, including currently, PRO]Fullscreen capture 20190323 074525
  39. Kate McCannMILES FOR MISSING PEOPLEFullscreen capture 20190317 181842
  40. Gerry McCann

Absent:

– US Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

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– Journalists/authors with an expressly contrary view such as Mark Saunokonoko

Of this list of 40 who all appear in the Netflix documentary, only two are explicitly anti-McCann – Amaral and Almeido. Both testified against the McCanns’ version of events in court. Grime, via the cadaver alerts, is implicitly a problem for the abduction narrative; and thus the documentary tries to debunk the efficacy of the blood evidence as insufficient/not evidence at all.

Three out of 40 represents 7.5% of the total cast making any kind of counter narrative to the PRO McCann narrative. This means more than 90% of those on this list, featured in the £20 million documentary, are PRO McCann including around 20 individuals employed directly by them as PR consultants, lawyers or investigators.

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Former Merseyside detective Arthur Cowley and Dave Edgar who were also employed by them are not mentioned in the list, however they appear briefly at the end of episode 7 and were both PRO McCann. Jon Corner, who was also employed by the McCanns, is also not mentioned on the list and he was also PRO McCann. Lee Marlow, a PRO McCann reporter and one-time “Feature writer of the year” award winner, employed by the PRO McCann Leicester Mercury is also not included in the list. PRO McCann investigator Kevin Halligen, employed by the McCanns who featured in the documentary is also not included on the list above.

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Clearly not all 40 names here are experts of any kind, some are actors or mere players, others are writers, members of the clergy or onlookers of some sort, to the McCann narrative. A substantial number appearing in the series are unquestionably supportive family members and supportive friends of the McCanns.

Statistically it may be interesting to calculate which cast members got proportionately the most airtime and which received the least. By contextualising in which episode [themed a particular way] more insights into the motives of the documentary will likely be revealed.

One doesn’t see Amaral’s lawyer, friends or family interviewed, and virtually none of the staff employed at the Ocean Club were interviewed either. This seems a strange and slippery oversight for a £20 million documentary that seemingly spared no expense to pay for experts in order to produce a credible and honest investigative effort.

“The McCanns Didn’t Appear in and Don’t Approve of the Netflix Documentary” – Really? They didn’t? They don’t?

Although the McCanns have washed their hands in public of the Netflix documentary that’s all about them, their struggles, and the search for their daughter, they do feature prominently in every episode.

On March 15, 2019, People was one of many publications to claim that the McCanns “didn’t participate in or approve of” the Netflix documentary. Do the McCanns really not approve of the narrative that Madeleine may still be alive, as The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann documentary asserts?

That’s odd because the eight-part docuseries does the McCanns [and their version of events] many favours, not to mention the timing of it. The timing of the docuseries – from a PR perspective – is perfect.

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So maybe we should mention the timing and one other thing – the money and potential fortunes – that’s ebbing and potentially flowing around the McCanns and the McCann case as of right now.

In terms of timing, the European Court of Human rights is about to rule, about to pronounce a verdict now, at the end of an eight-year legal slugmatch between the McCanns and their arch nemsis. The Portuguese detective that initially led the investigation features prominently in the Netflix documentary, although much of what he says is juxtaposed with others casting doubt or disputing his version of events.

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Fullscreen capture 20190318 154557Fullscreen capture 20190318 155109Fullscreen capture 20190318 155140Fullscreen capture 20190318 155655Goncalo Amaral did the unthinkable in this story – he had the temerity to suspect both parents of complicity in covering up whatever happened to the doctors’ daughter.

A similar scenario played out in the Ramsey case when lead detective Steve Thomas suspected the Ramseys and then resigned in protest when Alex Hunter, the Boulder District Attorney failed to press any charges against them [or anyone]..

Amaral was fired in October 2007 just five months into the investigation, and only one month after the McCanns were named official suspects in a highly controversial shift. This also caused the media coverage  to change dramatically in tone from sympathetic to suspicious.

In any event, the timing of the Netflix docuseries coming out now is interesting, if nothing else.

Parents Of Madeleine McCann Owe Legal Fines Following Libel Court Battle [23rd March, 2019] – LadBible

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The docuseries does a brilliant job of besmirching Amaral’s reputation as a possibly corrupt cop and potentially compromised individual.

If the series was as unbiased as it purports to be, it would have also investigated Julian Peribanez, the former Metodo 3 investigator hired by the McCanns with the same meticulous thoroughness. It seems a little tricksy to have the McCanns’ detective narrate large fractions of the documentary where he openly criticises, accuses and undermines his opposition in the case.

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In many of the slick true crime documentaries, the devil is in the details, not in terms of factors or evidence, but how the audience is influenced. Amaral is invariably interviewed in the same dour, claustrophobic setting.

The McCann’s PR person who also does plenty of narrating here, is shown in a lofty office which conveys a sense of professionalism and authority. Peribanez, Amaral’s counterpart , also appears in a professional setting, and then occasionally he is depicted “on the job” as it were, the crack detective in a fancy car basically role-playing the Spanish version of Magnum P.I.

But Peribanez is not exactly a model citizen himself.

Along with his boss, Francisco Marco and other Metodo 3 staff, he got into  big trouble in early 2013He and a number of other Metodo 3 staff were revealed to have been behind the illegal recording of conversations between high-level Spanish politicians in a Barcelona restaurant. Peribanez was discovered to have been involved and arrested. However, unlike his boss Marco, Peribanez rapidly admitted his guilt, confessed all to the police, and may have ended up assisting the police with their enquiries.

In 2014, it was announced that he had become a ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ by publishing, jointly with the former head of Metodo 3 in Madrid, Antonia Tamarit, a book blowing the lid on corruption in Portugal but also, more specifically, the cess-pit of dark, nefarious and illegal activities carried out by Metodo 3. By this time, many of the top Metodo 3 staff had been arrested or imprisoned over the illegal recording of conversations at a Barcelona restaurant, and Metodo 3 had gone into liquidation.

So, in a classic case of ‘thieves falling out’, Peribanez and Tamarit decided to wrote a ‘tell-all’ book exposing the corrupt and criminal activities they had themselves been engaged in…

When the McCann’s Arch Apologist Tracey Kandohla weighs in on the couple’s behalf, then PR is to be expected. It’s from Kandohla that we’re informed of the cost of the docuseries: £20 fucking million or $26.43 million.

That’s more than the budget – almost twice the budget – of the entire search for Madeleine McCann by the authorities over the span of twelve years, the most expensive missing person’s search in history.

If we add the cost of the documentary to the cost of the search we’re in the region of £32 million spent on “the disappearance and search for Madeleine McCann.”

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That’s a shitload of money based on a rather glaring assumption, that Madeleine McCann is alive and went missing to begin with.

Kandohla notes in her puff piece that the Netflix series was “commissioned in 2017” and conflates the commissioning of the series with “the explosion of the true crime genre.” In other words she’s suggesting the Netflix documentary was commissioned to make a mint out of the true crime genre, but she neglects to provide specifics on who commissioned it.

By mentioning the two documentaries in the same sentence, she also effectively compares The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann to Making A Murderer – the latter not necessarily a paragon of true crime documentary investigation in terms of accuracy or neutrality either.

Dead Certainty – How “Making a Murderer” goes wrong. – New Yorker

Making a Murderer Part 2 is more entertainment than investigation. It feels a little gross. – Vox

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‘Making a Murderer’ Left Out Crucial Facts, Prosecutor Says – New York Times

5 key pieces of alleged evidence missed out of Making a Murderer – Digital Spy

Kratz: ‘Making a Murderer Part 2’ is biased and deceptive, new defense evidence is a ‘joke’ – Post Crescent

Steven Avery’s Defence Lawyer Responds To Claims Making A Murderer Is Biased – Unlilad

‘Making a Murderer’ Review: Part 2 Is a Long, Painful Look at Old Evidence with Little New to Say – IndieWire

Does anyone seriously think the filmmakers are going to make a profit on a budget of £20 fucking million for a documentary? The answer to that probably depends on who the filmmakers [and backers] are.

In Steven Avery’s case, all the Making A Murderer documentaries ultimately bore fruit, didn’t they? In February 2019 it was announced Avery had “won” the right to an appeal. You could say that, but you could also argue his PR had triumphed eventually. It’s not the first time that’s happened either. The Paradise Lost trilogy of documentaries also led to the release of the three men accused of murdering three boys in West Memphis [the West Memphis Three].

PR also played a huge role in the “acquittal” of Amanda Knox. Her father Curt once confided that his best move was to hire a PR guru within days of his daughter’s arrest. PR can and does influence legal narratives.

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Was catching the commercial true crime wave really the only objective in making the 8-part series? Because the timing is very interesting. On January 31st, 2017 the Guardian reported on the first major legal setback the McCanns suffered in ten years.

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So we see in 2017, the same year the legal tide turned against the McCanns, the 8-part documentary was commissioned. It was a major PR coup for them if the commissioning of the documentary with an enormous budget which just happened to support their own “pedophile abduction” theory to a “T”, happened coincidentally. But was it? Was this pure happenstance?

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While Amaral’s libel damages as they stand now [£29 000] are fiddlesticks, barely a tenth of what the McCanns sued him for, it’s possible if the McCanns lose their final appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, the floodgates will open, clearing the way not only for Amaral to launch countersuits but potentially also many new media that the McCanns have sued for the years for defamation. Even if this doesn’t happen, a verdict that goes against them at this stage could swim the pendulum of public and media sentiment against them.

Interestingly in the Guardian article cited above the McCann’s refer to how much “the landscape has changed” in the eight years since they lodged their lawsuit against Amaral. Well, no landscape has changed more fundamentally than the media landscape, particularly with the advent of social media and more recently, streaming services like Netflix.

It’s clear Netflix has made available a documentary that is likely to influence people’s opinions on the McCanns, one way or the other. Does Netflix hold any responsibility in this regard? Should they? Should they be held to account for the veracity of the investigative content they provide to their subscribers especially as regard high-profile true crime?

In the past, Netflix has been beholden to the consumers of its product.

Netflix nixes ‘Bird Box’ crash footage after backlash – CNN

It remains to be seen whether true crime audiences will be aggravated or impressed, or simply too entertained to care about veracity or bias of the £20 fucking million documentary that the McCanns didn’t participate in [well, they appear in every episode], haven’t seen [apparently] and don’t support [ahem…].

If the the European Court rules against the McCanns, despite the influence or lack of the costly docuseries, will Amaral institute a colossal damages claim against them for systematic character assassination?

Whether he does or doesn’t, and whether the ruling goes for or against them, the McCanns are in an unusual position for the first time in many years. Instead of hope they have something to fear, and perhaps this time there is real reason to fear.

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“Rebellions are Built on [False] Hope” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 1 of 3]

The final episode of the series kicks off by boomeranging back to Robert Murat, the first suspect the series itself fixed in its crosshairs. But in the final episode, Murat is no longer sketched as a prime candidate for the pedophile or trafficker moniker, now it’s poor Robert Murat.

The series seems to have covered a kind of full circle. Murat’s no longer portrayed as a suspect, but as a victim. it’s brilliant mindfuck for what’s to follow. Because this sympathetic twist is also an analogy for the McCanns themselves [nudge nudge, wink wink] as wholly innocent victims, isn’t it?

 

The docuseries strikes a much more sympathetic tone as it winds down now, basically taking the view that one of the major villains of the story – besides Amaral – is the media. See, the media have condemned and falsely judged Murat, and coincidentally the McCanns as well. See, the media have perpetrated a terrible injustice on an innocent man, just as they have on a wonderful, loving, innocent couple.

Really?

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When the opening credits roll, Jim Gamble [we really need to talk about him at some point too, because he’s another Arch Apologist for the McCanns] does a handy voice-over about hope.

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I want to address the aspect of hope that is such a crucial element of the McCann mythos, and the key dynamic driving their PR narrative. Essentially it is a narrative of hope.

In the past I’ve cited the idea that rebellions are built on hope, but I suspect it’s fallen on deaf ears. It sounds nice. It sounds catchy. But what does it mean? It really requires explication. I’ll do that at the end of this post, so put that thought in your back pocket for now [and give it a little tap]. We’ll attend to it later.

The main theme of episode eight is explicitly built around the notion of hope, and incidentally, it’s the subtext to the entire series as well, even though it pretends to be neutral, investigative, emergentivistic as opposed to reductionist.

But it is reductionist.

Whether Madeleine was abducted by pedophiles, an orphanage, a travelling salesman, a gypsy, a gang of thieves or Santa Claus [don’t laugh, this was seriously presented as one of infinite suspects in the Ramsey case] any and every abduction scenario is a scenario that Madeleine is still alive, and thus this is “just” a missing person case. In other words, “there is still hope”.

As soon as the other narrative is acknowledged, then it’s not merely that Madeleine is dead, but almost automatic that her parents, and perhaps others are involved in some more or less nefarious plot. Are they? Could they be? Or is there some other explanation?

Did Madeleine fall into a construction site? Curiously it’s the contention of detective Amaral that Madeleine may have accidentally fallen to her death [for example falling on the floor behind the blue sofa] inside apartment 5A, so the “fallen” notion isn’t absurd.

But consider how contrary the atavistic “fallen” notion is to the more progessive and thus sophisticated “hope” plot. And so, for as long as the abduction narrative is popular, and acceptable, and while the narrative that “there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead” continues to hold, the parents  – and others – will remain above suspicion and implicitly beyond reproach. That’s not rocket science. We know this.

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Episode eight is titled “Somebody knows”, which is to say a) somebody out there knows what happened to Madeleine [who is alive] and b) that somebody is not Kate or Gerry McCann or any of the Tapas 7. It’s not Goncalo Amaral either but some anonymous other person. And then there is c) if Madeleine herself is alive, apparently she doesn’t know who she is either and someone [the someone who knows] needs to tell her, or tell someone.

See, it’s a very hopeful episode. It’s positive. But is it realistic? It feels more than a tad reductionist, doesn’t it?If  there’s no evidence that Madeleine is dead, does that mean she’s alive? If no one has seen her for twelve years, does that mean she’s alive? What about twenty years?

At what point does the passage of time actually enter the equation [besides the other crime scene related data]? After fifty years? How about sixty? And how are these time scales related to other missing person cases? Do we normally consider someone alive when they disappear for thirty, fourty, fifty years? If the law decides on this aspect [and it does] what sort of legal narrative are we actually taking about then, if we say there is “no evidence” to say she’s dead? Is there any evidence to say she’s alive?

To the casual observer, and even the not-so-casual observer, the hope narrative is both compelling and convincing. There is even an official inquiry condemning adverse media coverage of the McCanns [notably the the British media] as unethical and poor journalism. Since the media have been accused of this before, it’s easy to imagine they crossed this line with the McCanns, and clearly they did. The question is, how egregious was the inaccuracy? Was it completely baseless or was it somewhat baseless? Or…something else?

 

What this comes down to, ultimately, is what is truth? And what is the truth in this case? In one sense there is the objective truth [which is in a sense unknowable], and then there is the legal truth [which is what society’s “official” position is on truth]. A useful way to illustrate how potentially irreconcilable objective and legal truth can be, take religious belief. Is it objectively true? Some science, if not most, will say no. Is it legally true? Well, it depends on which country you are. In Saudi Arabia some “beliefs” are legally enforceable but not necessarily legal, and certainly not elsewhere.

The fact is, the legal position of the McCann case is that Madeleine isn’t dead, or rather, there is no evidence to prove that she’s dead. We’ll leave the argument for the moment that there is no evidence proving she’s alive either. In this respect, any publication claiming as fact or as potentially factual that Madeline is dead runs foul of legal fact, but not necessarily of objective fact. Does that make sense? So from a legal perspective, certainly the media are constricted in making certain claims, even if certain circumstantial and other evidence supports their claims.

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And publishing Kate’s diary, apparently without her permission, does look bad in the context of this inquiry. On the other hand, Kate wrote a book in meticulous detail which was serialized in the papers, and her diary formed part of that narrative. So the notion that Kate’s interior world was violated feels a little less fraught than the way Kate frames. It may not be, but if we’re talking about the contents of a diary being published as a violation, and then one elects to do the same, well, isn’t one violating oneself?

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It should also be noted that the diary was confiscated as evidence, and in many instances, diaries are used cynically by murder suspects to present a false narrative. Jodi Arias famously lied to her diary, which was discussed and analysed at length during her criminal trial. Amanda Knox kept a diary too which she quoted at length in her own self-justifying book.

Now if News of the World committed despicable act by “stealing” Kate’s diary, one could also argue that the same newspaper handed the McCanns a princely sum [£125,000] which went into the Find Madeleine Fund, which is to say, went by hook or by crook to the McCanns and the directors of the fund. The Sun serialised Kate’s book which was a major PR boost for the book, and deal probably worth millions. Let’s not forget it was the newspapers who also raised massive public awareness for the McCanns, including publicising the fundraising on their behalf [with their own readers], and making it known to the “abductor” that massive rewards were in the offing.

It seems impossible to imagine that if Madeleine was abducted, her abductor was not aware of the enormous reward offered for her safe return. Well, apparently it wasn’t enormous enough.

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What you won’t find in the British press is what happened to the reward money [since no one came forward to claim it]. News of the World gave the McCanns £1.5 million reward money to the Find Madeleine Fund. Apparently when Gerry McCann was asked about whether he or the Fund had received the money, he referred to the questioner to ask the publisher, and suggested that the reward money wasn’t actual money but pledges.

Interestingly, in 2018 the McCanns tried to revive the Leveson inquiry, but this time the inquiry had other fish to fry. The Netflix documentary is silent on this recent failure, however.

Clearly the Leveson Inquiry needs to be seen in proper context given the myriad ways the McCanns benefited from British media coverage and publicity, and some may be so bold to say profited [or that their Fund made a colossal fortune out of it, at least for as long as the coverage was positive…which incidentally includes up to the present moment.] The point is, from a distance, a pair of well-to-do doctors appealing to the media for better treatment appears well-to-do in general, and to the casual observer, and the not-so-casual observer, this step appears to confirm their overall credibility in terms of this case.

But there’s more.

The McCanns took their cause even further and demanded British government intervention – to investigate the disappearance of their daughter. Now I know what you’re thinking. It stretches the credibility of a cover-up to breaking point – doesn’t it – to have the suspects demand an investigation into their case. It may seem that way, and clearly the folks in this particular true crime case are smarter than the average, but the Ramseys made similar appeals to powerful political figures. Ramsey himself ran for election twice. We must remember that these appeals for further investigation were conducted with the express proviso that the investigation be steered in a particular direction [away from the Ramseys as suspects].

It’s also vastly under-reported that Ramsey himself was affiliated with Lockheed Martin, in fact he was a vice president, and thus the death of a little girl actually presented a case for a potential risk or undermining of national security. I know that sounds outlandish, but only until one looks at the size of the MegaMachine that is Lockheed Martin, and its strategic importance to the security of the State it serves.

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With the McCanns we see similar state-level interventions. 2007 was the year Britain joined the European Union. Guess where the political meeting took place that year? Lisbon. Guess when? October 2007. When was Amaral fired as a result of political pressure from Britain? The same month.

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If one considers a criminal case which has the potential to affect diplomatic relations between two countries, then there are at least two possible scenarios. One scenario is that the suspects are guilty and because there is no prosecution or perception of justice, this can lead to enmity not only towards the suspects, but between the two nations.

In the McCanns case Portugal resented the way it was being depicted in the media, and referred to the British media and the British police treating it like it might a colonial power. This was clearly neither good PR nor politically expedient at a time when Britain wanted to – sort of – and Portugal wanted them – sort of – to belong to the European Union. The solution to problem – certainly one solution – was to make the case go away. By giving the public what they wanted [which was Madeleine to be alive, and the McCanns to be innocent] one could theoretically diffuse a political sensitive time-bomb. And the man the British government appointed to make sure the McCann case went where it needed to go was a man with the appropriately titled surname Gamble.

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Gamble happens to be one of the primary narrators of the Netflix docuseries. He’s the man tasked by the British government with “sorting out” the McCann case. And Gamble has elected to sort out the case by publicly putting his weight behind. And he’s very public. He’s very much in the media and in documentaries.

Why top Maddie cop is convinced McCanns in the clear – MSN

Who is Jim Gamble and what claims does he make in Netflix doc the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann? – Heart

Another prominent narrator is Kelvin MacKenzie, an editor of The Sun who – in episode eight – reveals that “not for a single second” did he believe the McCanns “have ever had anything to do with” Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. He has no doubt the McCanns are innocent. Well why not say so right in the beginning, sir? And why is an editor of The Sun between 1981 and 1994, thirteen years before the publicity of the case started, being asked to share his opinion on how the media treated them?

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Well, so much for political expedience, and politically inexpedient court cases. Ten years later Brexit is happening anyway.

The best way to make a criminal case go away is to make sure it never goes to trial. But they didn’t count on the lead detective writing a book, or being sued, or him countersueing and appealing. That has been a long process and hasn’t helped the cause of the McCanns, the Metropolitan police, the British media or the British government. Or even the Portuguese government.

There is another half-hour of analysis to get through in the final episode of the series, but this blog is getting book chapter length and I see it’s 01:37. So let’s wrap up.

I mentioned early on in this post about the idea that rebellions are built with hope, and I said to put that idea in the back pocket. Let’s look at it now.

The idea of a rebellion built on hope is perfectly appropriate to the McCann case, at least in my view. The rebellion is arguably a rebellion against fear [fear of death] which is in some ways admirable, positive and constructive. But one might also argue that this rebellion isn’t just a touchy feely belief, but that in spite of claims of “no evidence” that Madeleine is dead, actually it looks like there might be some evidence. If it’s stronger than that, than the rebellion isn’t just against fear, it’s potentially against common sense, against reality, even perhaps against a legal system. We know the case is being debated and evaluated at the European Court of Human Rights. That court will decide whether the notion that Madeleine McCann is dead or alive – either way – is frivolous. It’s interesting because now Britain as a member of the European Union has sort of fallen out of favour with the EU, and not due to any fault of the EU.

What we can also say is that plenty of pageantry surrounds the McCann case. It’s not simply a case where we see investigations and police searches. We also see the couple meeting the Pope and releasing balloons, and suing people. A lot of people.

 

 

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We see book deals, book launches, color coded wrist bands, hundreds of exclusive interviews [invariably written by the same journalists], dozens of documentaries, innumerable anniversaries and celebrations [Madeleine’s birthday, commemorating her disappearance], and of course, the revolving door of PR personnel who plead the McCann’s case to a salivating press – who in turn regurgitate these statements almost verbatim. That kind of pageantry.

The pageantry isn’t a foreign concept to Britain. The notion of Royalty in the modern era, and the royal family is fairly idiosyncratic to Britain, and arguably the most British aspect of the nation. One could also say that the pageantry of the British Royal family is more public and more publicised than royalty in any other country bar none. So let’s not kid ourselves when we say pageantry can be a very popular, powerful and profitable tactic.

But how much of this pageantry is really just a rebellion against a more pragmatic and realistic approach. Pageantry is bright, colourful but above all hopeful.

A final word on misleading media coverage – or at least what I thought was misleading – published in The Sun. This graphic. Notice anything wrong with it?

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The graphic shows where the “last photo” of Madeleine McCann was taken. This photo is almost certainly fake, and appears to be doctored, its metadata altered so that the photo is dated May 3rd.

What to make of the “Last Photo” of Madeleine McCann?

Proof! The ‘Last Photo’ is Fake

The indicator for where the Tapas Bar is on the graphic [right below the McCanns’ apartment] is misleading and incorrect. The Tapas Bar is way to the left, closer to the centre of the image.

In the next frame, the dogs didn’t alert to the sofa, they alerted to blood and cadaver evidence on the floor and walls behind the sofa.

Kate and Gerry’s beds were two single beds pushed together, but the graphic doesn’t indicate that both beds were pushed a long way away from the wardrobe, far enough to fit in the cots of the twins.

The same image makes no mention of cadaver traces found in the McCanns cupboard, nor of those found outside in the garden below the balcony.

The graphic suggests the door to the parking lot is the door to the patio. This is simply incorrect. The patio is on the other side, where the sliding doors are.

The way the door opens in the middle graphic and the bottom graphic is wrong. In fact it opened the other way, so that when one peered inside the first thing one would see would be Madeleine’s bed. An innocent mistake by the animator/illustrator, or deliberately misleading?

The graphic highlights the window and shutters as “the main source of the investigation” whatever that means. In fact Kate McCann’s fingerprint was found on the shutter, and Amaral didn’t believe an abductor would break in through an open, unlocked door, only to leave through an exposed window exit that would rattle loudly when opened. Why not simply leave the way he had entered?

In bold text The Sun emphasises:

KATE ENTERED THE BEDROOM TO DISCOVER THE WINDOW OPEN AND MADELEINE MISSING.

The perspective of both illustrations at the bottom emphasises the window.  The bottom-most graphic actually views the apartment from the perspective of the wide open window, not the perspective of the door.

It’s this sort of chronically misinformed coverage that is either spineless, pandering journalism or ignorant to the extreme. One thing it clearly is is the same thing that all tabloid newspapers are – pageantry.

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A final point to make is this photo that appears in the final episode. Why has it been artificially enhanced?

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Perhaps because the unedited photo is so grim and gloomy. The child looks completely isolated in the original photo.

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Which is why the photo is edited to make her seem less on her own, and her surroundings brighter, and sunnier.

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As with so many things in the McCanns case, this simple image – when one looks closer – appears to be fake. Is it pageantry or isn’t it, and if it is, what more than this?

Madeleine McCann Tennis Ball Photo, is it Fake?

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