Undying hope for Madeleine McCann - Macleans.ca

Undying hope for Madeleine McCann

Scotland Yard has new leads, and 38 new ‘persons of interest’ in the case of the missing child

Undying hope

Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages

Since May 2007, when she vanished from her bed in a Portuguese holiday resort, Britons have been obsessed by the mystery of what actually happened to three-year-old Madeleine McCann.

Her wide-eyed face has haunted the front pages of British newspapers for so long, she is known by first name only—like a pop star or a princess. She is, of course, the antithesis of that: an innocent sucked into the vortex of uncertainty, a child-shaped hole in the life of her family and the nation. But now there is renewed hope that Maddie, as the tabloids call her, might be found.

Scotland Yard announced it has new leads in the case and that, as a result, the Metropolitan Police will be carrying out a formal inquiry. Thirty-eight new “persons of interest,” of both British and assorted European origin, have been identified and, last week, a team of officers flew to Portugal to carry out interviews as part of the case review, Operation Grange.

The investigation began at the behest of Prime Minister David Cameron after the McCanns appealed to him directly. Some have criticized the government for giving the case special attention because of the family’s fame and privileged status.

Kate and Gerry McCann certainly have advantages, but to consider them lucky after the ordeal they have been through would be profoundly missing the point. Two physicians from Leicestershire, they have devoted the past six years of their lives, as well as their life savings, to a relentless—and often unaided and lonely—search for their daughter. They have written a book, hired private investigators and appeared often to fundraise for their Find Madeleine Fund.

Some have fame thrust upon them, but with the McCanns, this is true only in the cruellest possible way. The disappearance of their daughter caused an enormous initial outpouring, but the media turned vicious when they became suspects in her apparent murder, due to DNA evidence misinterpreted by Portuguese authorities. The McCanns were officially cleared in 2008, the same year the Portuguese police closed the case. But for years, they have endured speculation over whether they were negligent. (Madeleine was abducted from their hotel while the couple was having dinner with friends in a restaurant 50 m away.)

The scale of Operation Grange is staggering. Investigators have collected tens of thousands of documents from private detectives and foreign agencies. The information was translated into English and cross-checked with special police software. Over the years, the McCanns have unearthed several unconfirmed sightings of Madeleine around the world, but all seemed to dissolve when pursued. This latest break, however, appears to be the best—and possibly the last—chance the McCanns have to find their daughter. They were reportedly given hope by the recent discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Ohio, a decade after they went missing in separate abductions.

“What the review has told me is that there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead,” Det. Chief Insp. Andy Redwood said in a press conference last week. “So on that basis, I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive.”

The McCanns, who can be credited with keeping the hunt for their daughter alive in the face of apathy and international red tape, did not appear at the news conference, but said through a spokesperson that they “warmly welcome” the shift in the police approach from review to investigation. “It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, toward bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine’s abduction to justice.”

Even if they manage to zero in on suspects, there are challenges. Foreign national residents abroad cannot be prosecuted in the U.K., even if they are linked to a crime. Despite this, the U.K. police say they told the press they are at “an advanced stage of dialogue” with the countries involved. And of the 38 persons of interest, 12 are British nationals, all of whom were in Portugal at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.

In what must be a great relief to the McCanns, police have also confirmed that none of the family’s friends present on the holiday was among the potential suspects. At various times during the investigation, their holiday companions (“the Tapas 7,” as they were dubbed, after the restaurant they were dining at during the abduction) have come under police and media scrutiny.

The McCanns provided key testimony at the Leveson inquiry into press standards. They recounted how the British tabloids declared “open season” on them, stalking their home for photos and disseminating myths about the case. One particularly egregious headline: “Maddie ‘sold’ by hard-up McCanns.” The McCanns sued for libel and won; the paper ran front-page apologies and paid $866,000 in damages—money the McCanns donated to the Find Madeleine Fund. Let’s hope it pays off.


Undying hope for Madeleine McCann

  1. How, exactly, did the Portuguese misinterpret the DNA evidence? And why no mention of the cadaver dog and blood sniffing dog who independently zeroed in on the same place in the McCanns’ apartment, and in their car and on their clothes?

    • Quite easy to explain that. The PJ very obviously misinterpreted the DNA evidence through ignorance of the scientific underpinning of the techniques and an inability to read the reports properly. In much the same way, they misinterpreted the dog alerts, believing them to be evidential in themselves, when in fact Martin Grime was quite specific that they were only evidential when directly connected to forensic corroboration. A combination of lack of understanding of the DNA results and lack of comprehension of the Grime report led to their errors in claiming that the death of Madeleine had been proven. It most certainly had not as DCI Redwood of Scotland Yard so clearly stated last week.

      • The Portuguese police are not stupid and do have an understanding of DNA. Furthermore,

        • Sorry, I didn’t finish my comment before posting it. One of the requirements to be in the Judiciary Police is to have a university degree, usually in law, so they aren’t exactly stupid. Furthermore, it is the judge who oversees the investigation, that is why they are called Polícia Judiciária. This is the same system in France, Italy and Spain, AFAIK. And any decision made in an investigation must be made by the judge. In the case of Maddie, the decision to make the parents arguidos was taken by a group made up of the judges, the investigators, the head of the PJ, and the British police who were in Portugal at the time. Are you going to say that they all lacked understanding? What do you have to say about the recent cases in the UK where murderers have been tried and convicted using cadaver dog findings as evidence when there is no body? The fact that a cadaver dog smelled and alerted to cadaver odour is relevant in a missing child case when it has been determined that no one else has ever died in that apartment. That is circumstancial evidence which is also valid. How do you think that crimes were resolved before the discovery of DNA?

          • But it wasn’t me who originally bemoaned the lack of skills on the part
            of the PJ. It was Amaral. Have you not read his book where he talks
            about how poor those skills are?

          • As regards those cases I make two points. Firstly, there are no cases that I can see where a person has been convicted only on the alerts of a dog. Especially where those alerts have on many occasions in the McCann case been related to finds of blood which this cadaver dog also reacts to. Nor have I seen any cases where a person has been convicted when there has been such a disgracefully shambolic attitude to preservation of evidence. The fact that all the clothing was simply stuffed into cardboard boxes (source not specified) rather than bagged separately means that no court worth the name could convict on such evidence when cross contamination was perfectly possible.

            Secondly, it was never determined that no contamination of the apartment by someone who had been in contact with a cadaver had occurred. The fact is that it is not necessary for a body to have been directly present for a cadaver dog to alert.

            And of course there is a rather important thing that you are neglecting. Were this dog evidence so conclusive as you and others suggest then why is it that the AG of Portugal did not consider it to be evidence against the McCanns and why is it that the PJ or Judges are not pushing for a case to be brought against them on this evidence?

          • What a misleading post IMO.

            Firstly, for some strange reason this case hasn’t even come close to a conviction so why talk about a conviction based only on the alerts of a dog? If this case were to come close to getting the McCanns into court it would not be based only on the alerts of the cadavre dog and the CSI (blood detection) dog N.B. two separate dogs trained to detect dead bodies and blood respectively, not as you wrongly state “… finds of blood which this cadaver dog also reacts to.” Naughty, naughty Paul Castello especially since you appear to have some inside information on this case or where else is your non specified source of information from?

            Secondly, what did Kate do to preserve evidence at the crime scene when she immediately suspected an abduction but allow their friends to trample all over the place allegedly. I believe that there was no evidence of an abduction as investigated by the Portuguese police supported I believe by a team of British officers who came to review the investigation.

            Thirdly in relation to your own second point did the cadavre dog alert to Kate McCann herself who claimed to have been in contact with several cadavres in the weeks prior to their holiday? Not that I have heard of which gives no credit to your claim that this is how the apartment may have been contaminated with the scent of a cadavre.

            Your final question is indeed pertinent and one that I and many others would like to know the answer to but I would also ask it of the British police and politicians who appear to support the McCanns despite their alleged lack of help in the investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance when they refused to answer was it 47 questions at the Portuguese police station? There were some very basic questions not answered like what happened to your hold-all pictured in their own holiday photos taken in the apartment. Also why dismiss the Smith’s alleged sighting of a man who looked like Gerry McCann carrying a child in his arms away from the resort towards the beach around the time Kate was discovering the abduction and bringing her friends in to the apartment allegedly?

            That’s the trouble with PR to divert attention away IMO from what could really have happened to Madeleine,Paul Castello – it’s not very thorough.

          • Kate McCann never said she’d been in contact with any bodies at all. That was a comment ‘invented’ by a Portuguese newspaper. You will not find any kind of quote from Kate McCann in relation to this anywhere.
            Once again, the ignorant voice that does not understand what real, empirical research involves. Your ignorance is dangerous. Don’t comment about things you don’t understand.
            Even the PJ have come out and unequivocally stated that the Smiths could NOT have seen Gerry McCann, as there were police, employees of the resort, and endless other independent witnesses who were with Gerry McCann at the Ocean Club at the precise time the Smiths ‘think’ they saw him on the other side of town.
            Tabloid press, nasty websites, and internet gossip, are not a reliable source of information, and it’s just plain nasty to be passing on ignorant, hateful comments about a grieving family.
            Don’t you realise the seriousness of your allegations? If you are going to make them, at least start to educate yourself on the meaning of empirical evidence and how it is gathered.

        • Sorry, but compared with Scotland Yard, the Portuguese Police are pretty ‘stupid’! They lied to Gerry McCann when they told him they had ‘conclusive’ DNA evidence, as the lab in the UK had told them that it was inconclusive. Now, “if” Gerry McCann had been guilty of anything, this lie would have been very clever. Because, ‘if Gerry had been guilty, he would have known that conclusive DNA does not lie, and that he had been ‘caught’. He probably would have confessed right there and then. That is what nearly all ‘guilty’ criminals do when they are told that DNA evidence has been found. But, as Gerry was not guilty, all he could do was to state the truth, which was that he could not explain how any conclusive DNA evidence could have been found.
          And, as it turns out- there was NEVER any remotely conclusive DNA evidence to suggest the McCanns were guilty of anything, “If” there had been, they would have gone to trial.
          You people just go on and on spinning about in a world of conspiracies that don’t exist, without any ability to simply accept that you are not the experts in this case.
          Neither am I the expert. But I do accept that there are very high up experts, such as Scotland Yard, who have looked at this case, and have determined that the McCanns have nothing to do with the disappearance of their daughter. Furthermore, they have determined that leads were not followed, and that the whole case was not handled thoroughly by the Portuguese Police.
          I accept that “I” know a lot less about these kinds of matters than detectives trained with Scotland Yard, and DNA experts who work at the top British forensic labs.
          Why do you people, who insist on persecuting an innocent couple, keep on ‘believing; that you know so much more than the experts in these areas?
          Scotland Yard would not be pursuing this matter at all if they had any reason to believe that Kate and Gerry had covered up the death of Madeleine. There is just NO evidence to support that ludicrous theory. If there was, then Scotland Yard would have found it.
          Many clever criminals know how to abduct a child without leaving any forensic evidence, and that is a simple fact. You can’t say that just because the abductor left no forensic evidence that he therefore did not commit this crime.
          Clearly someone did, and it was not the McCanns.
          Stop using the internet to vilify a grieving family with two other young children who could suffer terribly by reading these vile lies and innuendoes about their parents.
          They are real people; not put there for your entertainment or your pathetic need to have something to say online!

  2. There’s a lot more to this story than appears in the mainstream media. Please check out on the Internet “What really happened to Madeleine McCann?” by Michael McLean for a summary of the discrepancies in the case.

  3. Thanks, Leah McLaren and Maclean’s, for those efficient 750 words helping to keep the
    subject alive and its discussion intelligent.

  4. I have just begun to look into this and there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. Here are just a few things I have read: There are 48 police questions that Mrs McCann refused to answer; the continual avoidance of clearing their names, the Gaspar statements and the Smith’s statements, the many discrepancies in the friends statements, according to the apartment owners, nobody had died in the holiday apartment prior to May 2007, so it makes you wonder how the sniffer dogs kept finding evidence of blood under the living room floor tiles, cadaver scent in 11 places relating to the McCann’s (nobody else) and also in the boot of the car hired three weeks after Maddy disappeared. From what I understand, British journalists have apparently been gagged so you won’t find out about it in our sycophantic media. You can’t even comment on articles without it being removed or threatened. Maybe the author of this article could use their contacts to add some balance, even if it is only in Canada. If there is something untoward going on and it was exposed, the exposee would likely be able to retire. More people are doubting the parents’ claim of ‘abduction’ every day. More info is available online or on twitter and the Madeleine McCann Controversy group on facebook, as well as the original official files from the Portuguese police. Someone related to the couple stated the search fund was ‘mainly for legal fees’, of which there must have been millions, stated online is they’ve taken something like 24 organisations/people to court so far. While there may be “a wholly innocent explanation for everything” as their PR/spokesman pointed out, not much seems to add up. One tapas friend said something along the lines of it being nobody else’s business what happened and that the group made a ‘pact’. I don’t know what happened to Maddy, I hope all this is proven to be innocent and that she’s returned safely. I can’t get my head around the damning information though, and the fact that she’s been missing over six years now.

    • Your information is ‘old’. It’s all been proven to be entirely wrong and all you’ve done is regurgitate a pack of lies by the tabloid press. If you really want to understand ‘sniffer’ dogs and how they are used in science and law, you need to go to a paid university site and start educating yourself in the ways that empirical research works.

      Dog ‘alerts’ are not evidence. They sometimes lead to ‘evidence (ie: a body), but in this case they didn’t. They are an aid only, and clearly dogs are trained on simulated smells of bodies and not actual bodies. A series of circumstances must prevail, such as the dogs being brought in no later than a month after the event and a host of other pre-requisite conditions that did not apply in this case.

      Tabloid newspapers and nasty websites set up by irrational people who are obsessed with hatred, are not ways of gleaning evidence about any of this.
      The McCanns have suffered through the voices of an ignorant mob. Try not to become a part of it.

        • Do remember that is was Grime, the dog’s own handler, who stated over and over in his report that the dog alerts are not evidential unless backed up by forensic corroboration. And that the alerts were never backed up by any forensics which prove Madeleine is dead. That is why both the PJ in their final conclusions were unable to make any such claim and why DCI Redwood recently stated that the investigators are still considering that she may well be alive.

        • I’ve seen all these youtube videos before. But I have also watched the videos in their entirety and they show a very different story, These ‘ask the dogs’ youtubes only show very select moments of what went on. They don’t show the number of times that the dogs ignored the places, ran past the cars, and were called back, over and over again by the trainer. Dogs exist to please the leader of the pack. These youtube videos are extraordinarily biased. If these dog alerts had anything to do with ‘evidence’, the McCanns would have gone to trial. Why is that so hard to understand?

          • “They don’t show the number of times that the dogs ignored the places, ran past the cars, and were called back, over and over again by the trainer.”

            They do Sophie but what counts is their alert when they are satisfied that they smell what they have been specifically trained to detect. Until then they can be excited at a whiff in the air of what they are looking for but don’t yet know where it is coming from. It can be helpful to take them away from the area for a short while so that they can come back and hone in on exactly where it’s coming from. Just circumstantial evidence can be enough to convict but with witness identification, suspicious behaviour, changing stories and sniffer dogs indicating where to test for body fluids etc a powerful picture can be built up disproving an abduction theory IMO that the parents have never appeared to be willing to budge on despite claiming that they don’t know what happened.

      • and where is your evidence then?

        • I don’t have any evidence. That’s why I refuse to condemn a family where there is no evidence against them. I look at Kate and Gerry McCann and in my opinion, they are innocent. I believe that only paranoid, sick and suspicious people could possibly see anything other than very sincere, grieving parents.
          It’s not up to me, or anyone else to have ‘evidence’ to prove innocence. The onus in the law is that evidence has to be provided to prove guilt.
          And there is no evidence- none whatsoever- to prove that the McCanns have anything to do with the disappearance of their daughter.
          There are many clever criminals that know how to abduct children without leaving any forensic evidence. There is a case that is still open in Australia, where a man abducted and freed several children, and then shot his final victim in the head. She was only 13 years old.
          The police have stated that the criminal in question is most likely an ex- law enforcement officer, a scientist, or even an expert in forensics. He has not left one single trace of forensic evidence, but in this case, there is proof (in the girls who survived and in the body that was found) that the crime of abduction and murder took place.
          To state that there is no evidence that Madeleine was abducted is ridiculous. The abductor was clever enough to leave no forensic evidence. That’s all. The proof that she was abducted is in the fact that she is gone.
          It would have been technically and logically impossible for the McCanns to have enacted the crimes they’ve been accused of.

          • This is a very logical calculation from you: THAT NO EVIDCENCE IS EVIDENCEof abduction!!!!!!!!

          • You are so typical of the people who go on about this case in a negative fashion. You have completely misunderstood what I have written. I did not write that no evidence was evidence of an abduction. I said there was no evidence for anything ‘other’ than an abduction.
            It is also really inappropriate to use bold letters and bad spelling when trying to make a point on the internet. The bad spelling makes you comes across as ignorant, and the bold letters and over- use of exclamation marks give the appearance of someone who is shouting verbal abuse.
            You are clearly ill-educated, and extraordinarily angry, and your anger has nothing to do with the Madeleine McCann case. Go and get some therapy and deal with whatever it is that makes you so innately hostile, irrational and unable to follow logic.

          • I am so very sorry for my spelling. Sorry to tease you up on that. You draw all the wrong conclusions about my spelling. You need not be debilitating for English is not my native language but a different language. I wonder how you’d spell in my language.
            And besides that, I have a 5-year university degree 30 years ago and works with psychotherapy, then you are wrong again And I wonder who is the most angry, I think it’s you.

            Therefore you have the completely wrong conclusions, and I feeling fine and very happy.

          • So fine and happy that you have to convince me!
            Your education clearly didn’t do much for you, since you can’t accept that there are experts in this fiield, and you are not one of them.
            If you have five years of university study, then why don’t you understand that research can’t be achieved by relying on tabloid press and gossip?
            If you have a five year university degree, then why can’t you understand that this is the expertise area of organisations such as Scotland Yard, who would not be taking this matter seriously if they had any reason to suspect the McCanns were involved.?
            I don’t believe that you spent five years at university, because your observations and conclusions don’t indicate that level of education… Then again, it depends on what ‘kind’ of university, doesn’t it? There are world class levels of universities, and online universities, and everything in between. But you have clearly not studied at a world class university.
            Maybe it’s time to start refreshing your brain… If you studied 30 years ago, maybe your brain is in need of a new battery.
            You don’t understand research, and that is obvious.

          • It is sad that you are so suspicious. I would be happy to send you my CV. I have also studied at the University of Gothenburg. I completed a 2-year cognitive-behavioral therapist training two years ago.
            I’m not going to comment on anything about Mccann which I have not written, that you accuse me of having done.

          • Oh Sophie you say lisa is “ill-educated … innately hostile, irrational and unable to follow logic.”


            you don’t even understand logic yourself. This is your own quote below:-

            “The proof that she was abducted is in the fact that she is gone.”

            thereby committing the logical fallacy known as Petitio Principii or begging the question because you have used in the premise that which you seek to conclude. This is also known as a circular argument.


            It is YOU who has misunderstood lisa rather than the other way around. You seem to think that there is no evidence therefore this means there was an abduction hence lisa’s ‘toungue in cheek comment’ that this is a logical calculation from you. I suspect lisa understands logic much better than you and your own lack of rationality leads you to see lisa (and others) as hostile because their opinions differ from yours.

          • And you know so much more than Scotland Yard, do you? Don’t you realise that ‘if’ any of your theories were even remotely correct, the Yard would not be investigating this case. You are an ignorant, nasty, dangerous fool, who cannot accept nor understand that there are experts in this field who have a far greater than you or I could ever have, and greater access to the facts and fictions of this case. They would not be pursuing it if they thought the McCanns were lying about what happened to their daughter.
            The thing that makes me know that you people are the truly disturbed and paranoid narcissists of the world, is the mere fact that you can spout such serious allegations and accusations about people when you have no evidence whatsoever to support them.
            You don’t have a right to defame a couple who are grieving the loss of their little girl, because you cannot possibly KNOW what happened.
            You may argue that I don’t know what happened either- but I am not the person who is so lacking in empathy as to accuse a couple of a heinous crime for which I have no evidence.
            You weren’t there. You are not a part of it. I was not there either. I am not a part of it. But I accept that; whereas you have a narcissistic personality disorder that makes you believe you have ‘inside’ knowledge that even the experts don’t have— and that ‘you’ have a right to post exceptionally cruel accusations online, about a matter you have absolutely no expertise in– Your narcissism is what makes you think that you don’t ‘need’ any expertise to know about things.
            You are a dangerous creep who does not care about the two other McCann children, who may have to read the vitriolic garbage you write online- using their parents, and their sister and family tragedy for your own pathetic ego, because you can’t make a mark in a world whose rigours you simply don’ understand.

      • ” … clearly dogs are trained on simulated smells of bodies and not actual bodies.”

        This is as laughable as your post Sophie; haven’t you heard of the Body Farm in the US an FBI training ground where decomposing bodies are used for training cadavre dogs and other forms of crime scene detection. You don’t seem to have good sources of information yourself.

        • I am not interested in ‘point scoring’ with you. The dogs that were used by Martin Grimes were British and trained on the simulated smells of dead bodies. Your comments about the US and FBI training are irrelevant to this case, because I researched the training of the actual dogs used in the McCann case.
          You people don’t seem to understand that you are doing a profound amount of possible damage to the McCanns other two children, who might one day come across your vindictive, nasty use of their family tragedy for your own pathetic narcissism.
          If the alerts of dogs constituted ‘evidence’, the McCanns would have gone to trial. Clearly, the law does not use the alerts alone as evidence for a reason- If there was enough research to suggest that an alert constituted evidence of a crime, then the McCanns would have been arrested.
          It’s so obvious that you people don’t have any tertiary education, because you just don’t ‘get’ how real research works.

          What makes you think that you ‘know’ more about this case than Scotland Yard, for example? Do you really think that a police force of that high level of experience, training and operation (equivalent to the FBI in the USA) would be undertaking this operation if there was any evidence to suggest that the parents were involved?

          Or don’t you think that the detectives involved in Operation Grange are as ‘smart’ as you?
          Ignorance, combined with hatred is extremely dangerous, so go and seek some help for your disorder, and your narcissistic belief that you somehow have the secrets that the true experts and professionals have somehow ‘missed’.

    • I do find it quite striking that your entire comment appears to be based on “people have said”, “from what I understand” and that you rely on facebook groups and the like for information.

      Those who prefer to use the actual PJ files, read the full witness statements for themselves and refrain from the tabloid sensationalism come to very different questions than those you pose.

      As I said above, discrepancies occur in all cases. It is naivety in the extreme to think that such a case as this with hundreds of statements and pieces of information relating to it would not throw up tens/hundreds/thousands of inconsistencies.

      While the armchair detectives and online abuse merchants appear to make much of these inconsistencies and have no understanding of real police techniques in dealing with such, I find it most illuminating that Scotland Yard detectives are forming completely different conclusions about the McCanns and their friends to the amateurs whose online sites are full of nonsensical ravings and in many cases obscenities and libels about the couple and the Tapas group.

      I know who I prefer to believe and it is not the people who online glorify snippets of statements which agree with their theory and ignore entirely the aspects which destroy their theories. A perfect example of this was Tony Bennett who when being sentenced for his contempt of the court and online abuse of the McCanns was told by the Judge that his reliance on the outdated interim Almeida report and his wilful ignorance of the later Portuguese documents in the PJ files which stress the lack of evidence against the McCanns was a major factor which contributed to his conviction.

      Your reliance on the well-worn forum and facebook questions does you no credit. A clearer understanding would come from reading the full files themselves. For example you don’t seem to be aware that only one of the Gaspar statements claims there was any reference to Madeleine in the conversation reported. The other doctor denies this. Also you seem not to be aware that there is no need of a cadaver to have been physically present for an alert to take place (contamination of scene is perfectly possible). And your exaggeration of events (blood was only found under one tile) is another warning sign about the reliability of your facts.

      I suggest that more in-depth research is needed on your part and less reliance on the myths.

      • Perhaps you could reference the PJ files here so everyone can do as you would like and read the witness statements first hand. The ones I am particularly interested in are the statements from the Smith family after Mr Smith, back home in Ireland, realised that Gerry McCann allegedly was the person he saw on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance I believe heading towards the beach carrying a child in his arms.

        • The PJ themselves stated that it was impossible that the Smith family could have seen Gerry McCann walking towards the beach at that time. That whole idea has been thoroughly debunked as there were endless independent witnesses- including members of the PJ, employees from the resort, and people who had no reason to support the McCanns- who were with Gerry McCann at this time. It is a known fact that the Smiths were wrong about this being Gerry McCann, as he was at the Ocean Club, with endless witnesses there to state this.
          You are a dangerous, nasty individual, who clearly does not understand real research. Simply because a few sites state that the Smiths ‘saw Gerry McCann’ – does not make it so.
          If you are going to make comments that suggest very serious crimes have been committed by parents towards their own child, then don’t you think that you at least have some obligation to examine the ‘source’ of your nasty comments?
          You have a serious problem, that has nothing to do with the McCanns, because you don’t care one bit about hurting other people.

    • The McCann’s leave so many questions unanswered, speculation is bound to happen. The behaviour and actions of the McCann’s is suspicious and unusual, before and after Madeleine disappeared.

      Leaving the children alone in a foreign place. Leaving the door to the room unlocked and not securing the room for unattended children. Mrs McCann finds her daughter is missing and says she ‘knew’ the child had been abducted. Then she leaves her other children alone AGAIN to notify husband of the abducted child. I would think a mother would stay in the room with the two other children, considering she thinks a abduction has taken place. I would think she would phone 911, police and staff immediately. Mrs.McCann also laundered the clothing of her missing daughter after she disappeared. Strange to say the least, considering these are two well educated people who I would not think are as stupid as their actions make them appear.

    • When people resort to criminality as you did by breaking and entering, when they they go on to post utter nonsense and lies claiming to have solved a crime when they have done no such thing, they lose all respect.

      You broke into the Murat property to play with the expensive machine which you had only operated previously for brief sessions in a graveyard. You broke the Portuguese law about filming people and posting those images online. You fled from Portugal before making your bizarre claims.

      You found a tiny discrepancy in the soil beneath a driveway at a point where it is very likely there are pipeworks for the swimming pool just two or three metres away.

      You jumped to a naive and vindictive conclusion about that discrepancy even though your wholly amateur and unprofessional use of the machine in the dark of your early morning illegal “raids” on the Murat property were the precise opposite of the full professional investigation done by a university team within months of the disappearance and even though the sniffer dogs of PJ and Grime were both used to scan the same area without result.

      Since then, in order to underpin your amateur conclusion, you have had to build a scenario in which you now claim that the PJ deliberately unearthed the body or by some other method got hold of Madeleine McCann’s DNA and planted it in the car her parents drove.

      Frankly, there have been many people making claims about this case but few claims have been as lunatic as this from you.

      • I have encountered Mr Birch on various forums and I agree that the way he behaves makes it impossible for him to be believed.

      • Is it speculations again? What do you get all this from unless you are Kate?

        • Do you honestly think that Kate McCann would go online and pretend to be someone else? The information that Paul has given can be figured out by using one’s logic. Honestly and truly, you people who go on vilifying a grieving family, all seem to share a very warped view of the world. I think that if Kate McCann had something to say, she’d say it as herself. She certainly hasn’t shied away from doing so in the past, and there is nothing about her personality that would lead one to think that she would bother trolling around on the internet with a fake ID.

          • You accuse me of something I have not said: You people … I have not said anything, How can you be so clear about her personality and what she should do or not do? Speculations?

    • I’m not with facebook and I resent being coerced into joining it by newspapers, other organizations and simply ordinary people just so that I may gain access to information or privileges that should be available to everyone, not just those who belong to “the social club.”

      We all want to know the truth, but when it’s not made available to everyone, how can that happen?

    • Ah yes, that is the facebook group which was rightly investigated by the police and castigated for gun threats to Kate McCann during the London Marathon build up.

      That is the facebook page where the “leader”, one Lizzy Taylor of Toronto, constantly has to beg “members” not to post sick libel about the McCanns. She is the person who on that page looks forward to the funeral of Madeleine even before there is the slightest proof that she is dead. She claims to be the voice of Madeleine but denies the child any hope of being alive. A very sad and rather oddly fixated individual who has been obsessed with the case for six years and spends hundreds of hours of her time doing her amateur research in the very one-sided attempt to prove Madeleine’s parents guilty of a crime both Portuguese and British professionals claim they were not involved in as there is no evidence of their involvement.

      That is the facebook page where the serial liar and admin Blondie (aka Frances Gallagher) of Dublin posts her idiotic claims about being in PDL within hours of the abduction and fantasises about her kissing people involved in the case.

  5. Further to Sophie’s comments, tabloid newspapers in Britain aren’t printing anything detrimental to the McCanns and, by far the nastiest websites, filled with hate-filled head-cases, are those which support them.

    Has there ever been another case of a supposed missing child where the parents set up a commercial enterprise to sell old tat, with the aim of raising money to “look for Madeleine” when the police search had stopped. How could the McCanns have possibly known that she would not have been found almost immediately, when by far the most likely explanation was that she had simply wandered off to look for her feckless parents who had left her and two babies alone while they went out drinking?

    I recommend a site called the “mccannfiles” which is very informative and, in respect of the McCanns’ limited company, has two reports from an independent chartered accountant which confirm that it is not being run with the openness and transparency which Kate McCann promised it would be.

    • Do please post details of these nasty sites which support the McCanns. I bet you can’t do that can you.

      Whereas anyone reading the facebook page listed above can see constant cries from admin there for the nastiness, libel and abuse against the McCanns to be toned down.

      And anyone reading the #McCann thread on Twitter can see the pornographically obscene and sick abuse posted by those who claim the McCanns were the guilty party in this case.

      The lunacy of people claiming that there is a conspiracy ranging from newspapers, to police to politicians and beyond to cover up something when in fact the only thing that is really denied to them is the “freedom” to post abuse, obscenity and libel at will is both crass and ignorant.

      The fact that (as Scotland Yard detective DCI Redwood stated last week) there is nothing detrimental to print in the news media about the McCanns because they were not the culprits but the victims of a crime is the reason that the news media don’t print detrimental facts.

      Only the amateur abusers online like Tony Bennett choose to print detrimental “facts” which are nothing more than libel, inferred libel or abuse because they don’t care who they abuse and attack. To the anti McCann brigade this is now a sick pursuit which they cannot back down from for fear of seeming to have wasted such a large part of their lives.

      An excellent series of comments on the nature of the McCann abusers can be found here. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rl9kvc

    • The mccannfiles is not informative. The translator has no academic qualifications in translating documents. She speaks English and Portuguese, but that does not, in any way, ‘qualify’ her to translate such specialised documents.
      The McCanns spent around one hundred thousand pounds in proper, academic translations from all of the files in Portuguese into English. They are the only kind of translations that can be relied upon as they are unbiased.
      The translator of the mccanfiles is Joana Morais- she is heavily biased against the McCanns, and lives her entire life through their tragedy, She is another example of someone suffering a severe narcissistic personality disorder, who doesn’t understand that simply speaking two languages, does NOT make one a ‘translator’.
      Furthermore, her narcissism has led her to tout herself as some kind of ‘expert’ in this case, simply because she is bi-lingual in an every day sense.
      The people behind the mccannfiles (not just the so called ‘translator’) are not experts in anything- other than being nasty, fame hungry narcissists who are willing to get attention at the expense of a grieving family.
      Once again, research involves checking one’ sources and the mccannfiles are not reliable sources of anything.
      Even the documents that have always been in English, are presented in a biased and completely non-objective sequence and order, with all sorts of insinuations and innuendo suggested.

  6. Very sad to see such an old and respected magazine not printing the true facts of this sad case.

  7. Mr. Castello.

    For an extremely unpleasant site supporting the Mccanns try reading jatyk2.

    • Mr. Archer, I have read there as I have read many, many forums and blogs. I would ask you to point out what precisely you believe is so unpleasant about that site. Please show us a few quotes.

      I can provide thousands and thousands of obscene, filthy, libellous and abusive posts from anti McCann supporters and will do so if you so desire but as it was claimed first that the pro McCanns are unpleasant and abusive I would be most grateful if you could furnish a few examples from that site. Then I will match your examples up with some from #McCann on Twitter or from that contra FB page which I contend readers here will see as far more abusive than anything on that JATYK site.

      Over to you.

  8. Mr. Costello, this is the tip of the ice-berg.


    Jay Elles ‏@Jayelles1
    Haters will often puff themselves up to assume higher “status” than victim #mccann example – “I never left my kids alone”

    Yes. How often have we seen that from people with clear mental health issues? Or who are so obviously drunk/stoned they couldn’t be trusted to look after a pet rock?

    • Jay Elles is anything but nasty. She offers extremely well balanced, educated, informed views on this entire matter. The comments you’ve alluded to here can’t be viewed as ‘nasty’ as they don’t point to any particular individual. No one gets hurt by generalised comments such as those you’ve quoted.
      But when people make targeted comments- such as those that are levelled at the McCanns directly, accusing them of having something to do with their daughter’s disappearance- then that is very nasty indeed.

  9. I suggest Mr .Costello , you look at both sides on all the various ‘sites’.

    If you are selective in your criticism, it would tend to suggest you are operating on behalf of the Mccanns.

    Personally, the line from Kate |Mccann in the book speaks volumes of her.

    ‘….Fu##### To####…’

  10. It is entirely unclear why the Pro-Abandoning-Children lobby always refuse to research the cases of Jeanette Zapata, Bianca Jones, Kate Prout, Susan Pilley, Cori Baker, Etan Patz, Lauryn Dickens, Caylee Anthony, Kirsi Gifford-Hull – to name just a few. For those who do not know, in each of those cases people were convicted without a body having been found – the evidence given by the Cadaver Dog being sufficient proof that the person was dead. Just google them ! Do the research. The two dogs alerted in 11 places which were specific to the McCanns – and to no other places ! That is the important detail which the apologists do not want to discuss.

    • Of the cases you mention, I have heard about Caylee Anthony, not the others. There was not a conviction in the Caylee Anthony case, her mother was charged and found not guilty.

    • So if you are right, why didn’t the McCanns go to trial, and why is Scotland Yard investigating this case?
      If you were ‘right’ the Yard would be relying on the cadaver dogs, but clearly they are not relying on them for a reason. Also, your research is wrong. The dogs own trainer, in this particular case, stated that the dog alerts should not be viewed as evidence.
      So, why do YOU know so much more than he knows about his own dogs?

    • Gerry McCann has never been convicted of offenses against children. “If” he had been, he would not be practising medicine. There is a very strict body in Britain that oversees the licensing of doctors; and any doctor with a criminal conviction, immediately loses his license. In the case of crimes against children, that doctor would NEVER have his license re-instated. As usual, this a comment based on profound and dangerous ignorance.

  11. There was a “psychic” who said MM was at a university in minnesota and stolen by americans. OK makes no sense because of her age but what if he is seeing her there at summer school? So I found this picture of this blonde girl http://cse.umn.edu/k12/CSE_CONTENT_257385.php I don’t know I’m sure I am wrong but just maybe he is right.

  12. I hope she is found alive and can go home, soon. so many missing children in the world, its really quite a horrible place for kids. I watch mine well, I think, but then I wonder, when I send my 10 y.o. to the next isle to get a grocery or when I send the 12 y.o to get the mail…scary.

    • Thankfully there are always comments like yours, that remind me that there are still people out there with big hearts… Yes indeed. We all fear that something could happen to any of our children, no matter how careful we are. The focus in the Madeleine McCann case needs to be on the abductor, and not the parents. That abductor will strike again, if he hasn’t done so already. Whatever we think of the MCanns child-care arrangements, nothing justifies someone taking another family’s child.
      We should be uniting to find the real criminal in this case- the abductor- so that another child does not have to suffer. xx