Sunday, 31 October 2010

A McCann Ditty...

There was a sleepy village
By the name of Praia de Luz
Which came alive one May 4th
With hoards of global news.

They came from all around the world
To hear the strangest case
A missing child called Madeleine
With a sweet, angelic face

Soon we’d be bombarded
With bizarre to just not right!
With many tales of happenings
That cold and fateful night

How could it be so difficult
To get their stories straight
The truth should just flow freely
No twists or turns of fate

It seemed they were all lying
Inconsistencies galore
From broken, jemmied shutters
Open windows, unlocked doors

Much secrecy abounded
Intrigue, donated pounds
Her parents were made suspects
After noses from the hounds
Found whiffs of a dead body
In the car and in their flat
On the mother’s clothing 
And on poor Cuddlecat

Now almost 4 years later
With many ups and downs
Pacts and lies and counterspin
The child is still not found

The truth is always easy
It flows straight from the heart
And whomsoever knows the truth
We implore you to impart

Despite our grave suspicions
We share one hope and thought
For little Maddie to be found
And justice to be brought.

The Potting Shedder
October 2010

Friday, 29 October 2010

An Ode to Autumn

Tis known you're here, as icy blasts
Cast golden leaves upon the grass
Those blades they twist, they turn and quiver
Your breath makes all abend and shiver

Bobbled hats, scarf, mitts - all woollen
Donned to start some Autumn fooling
Falling leaves of golds and reds
Flake and float above our heads

Now raked away and into piles
And in the shape of golden smiles
Leafless trees and plants await
To heed the mark of Winter's fate

Autumn, a short time you are here
You take from nature all that's dear
Yet lying dormant is what's best
As Spring awaits, we all must rest

The Potting Shedder 2010

Missing Maddie really is no joke...

Day 10 - 13th May 2007

Absolutely not.  I've got no time for the opportunistic jokes and comments that raise their ugly heads in the events of tragic news, appearing in everyday life, in papers, forums and Facebook groups.  Frankie Boyle's joke may have been aimed at the father of Madeleine, however in my opinion, still in bad taste.

What I do find rather amusing is the lack-luster counterspin that we've experienced from the Team over the last week in response to the overturning of Goncalo Amaral's banned book.  I expected the counterspin to go into full throttle, but it's been amazingly quiet from both the Team and the British media.  What about the sudden appearance of a new eyewitness who thought they'd spotted Madeleine 3 years ago, travelling in the direction of Madagascar?  Or grainy CCTV footage from Bondai Beach?  Instead frail, old Mr Healy has been wheeled out to complain about a joke made by Mr Boyle at one of his recent shows.  A show which Mr Healy didn't attend but bizarrely felt the need to speak out about instead of leaving the customary comments to hired spokesperson Clarence Mitchell.

More wilting spin in the news involved the Google-like translation of the Find Madeleine website into German, in the apparent hope of jogging the memories of those German tourists who holidayed in Praia de Luz over 3 years ago.  Three years too late I'm afraid, unless Mr Edgar has just advised his employers that Germany also has those lawless villages with people living on the edges of society - as per his description of Portugal.  Oh to live in 'civilised' Leicestershire.

So what about the usual sighting that so often appears when news is on a downer? Or is this, in typical McCann style, being saved for a rainy day.  Perhaps for the customary Latch onto Christmas Appeal?  The appeal to keep searching for Madeleine which involves the wooden parents reading yet again from a script?  An appeal where there is no heartfelt message for the little girl who may be watching, or the mention of the huge reward available for information leading to her safe return?

The Christmas Appeal... perhaps Christians of today should be thankful that Mary and Joseph knew exactly what bounds were within the realms of responsible parenting. Despite the need to quench their thirst and fill their bellies with friends at the local Inn, they didn't (even though the Innkeeper was a kind, hospitable person).  Had they left baby Jesus away in his manger, all alone to fend for himself in an unlocked stable who knows what would have happened.  Instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh perhaps the 3 Wise Men would be delivering a different kind of gift, one similar to the ruling of the 3 Wise Judges.  One thing's for sure, the bible certainly wouldn't be as it is known today.

There is no time to lose in the case of a missing child, so instead of waiting for Christmas, an appeal should be made today.  To that one person out there who has kept that piece of information from the police, and has kept it close to their chest since May 2007 - it must be eating away at your insides, it's time to release your conscience and get the police case back on track and investigating just what happened to Madeleine.  No matter what the consequences.  You know it, we all know it... so do the right thing.

Or the parents and their chums could just agree to attending the reconstruction and answer the questions they refused to answer in the first place.  Enough to reopen the case.

Either way, there is only one deserved person in all of this and that is Madeleine.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A New McCann Appeal

Today we have news of a shiny new McCann appeal which yet again, looks like another back to front initiative from the Team...
Kate and Gerry McCann are launching their website in German this week in a bid to reach German tourists who were staying at the Ocean Club when Madeleine vanished.
Apart from British and Dutch holidaymakers, who've long been canvassed directly, there were also German tourists who may have left the resort without talking to police about potential evidence that's not been considered.
The McCanns have also given an interview to Bunte magazine in which they make new appeals for help in the search for their daughter who disappeared from the family's holiday apartment in May 2007.
The couple's lawyers are studying the recent 30-page judgement from Portugal in which former cop Goncalo Amaral won an appeal to republish his book the 'The Truth of the Lie' which the McCanns had managed to get banned.
They may appeal his appeal ahead of a full defamation claim they are still pursuing against Mr Amaral who claims that Madeleine died accidently in the apartment and her parents hid the "truth" by concocting an abduction theory.
A defamation trial in Lisbon is unlikely to be heard until next year.
Good luck!  I hope it brings many leads, although it beggars belief that the McCanns should choose the pomp and ceremony of hosting their site in German, in an attempt to target the few German holidaymakers that may have been there almost 4 years ago and who bizarrely may need reminding about this infamous case.  Surprisingly, they would rather target Germany than take the advice of their crack investigation team and aim for the obvious... the Portuguese people themselves.

Madeleine vanished from Portugal and the Team's lead investigator Dave Edgar believes that the child is being held very close to Praia de Luz, within 10 miles infact.  Just to make it glaringly clear - the following is a snipped interview with Mr Edgar from the Belfast Telegraph, he didn't tell me this personally!!.
"The Ulster detective leading the search for Madeleine McCann today reveals his most chilling theories yet.  Dave Edgar told us he is convinced little Maddie is imprisoned in a hellish lair - just like kidnapped sex slave Jaycee Lee Dugard.  He insisted the "back from the dead" reappearance of Jaycee confirmed his suspicion.  And despite fresh leads taking his probe to Australia and Barcelona, the east Belfast man insists the golden-haired younster is being held just 10 miles from where she was snatched in Praia de Luz two years ago.
But he warned that the sprawling wilderness where he believes Maddie is languishing is almost impossible to search completely.  Dave said he was convinced Maddie was entombed by an abductor in a cellar or dungeon. "Maddie is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar, just like Natascha or Elizabeth, and could emerge at any time," he told us.
He feels this is the lone prowler who has Maddie stashed in a cellar or dungeon in the lawless villages around Praia de Luz.  But Dave warned: "This rural, sprawling terrain makes it extremely difficult to search. You could quite easily keep a child there for years and no-one else would know.  The person who has Maddie is most likely a paedophile or a person so desperate for a family they were willing to kidnap for it.  I wouldn't like to speculate on what is happening to her."
Dave says the region where he feels Maddie is being held has attracted any strange characters, including convicted sex offenders.  "I don't want to generalise or make gross exaggerations, but there are people there living on the edges of society," Dave said."
This makes me wonder why the McCanns are now targetting Germany, when their lead man believes the answer lies where the whole sad version of events began, in Praia de Luz.  Even though some of his outlandish comments appear xenophobic, extreme and wrong, Edgar is being paid to detect and advise, and being paid from the fund.  Yet his advice is whoosh clunked into oblivion by his employers.  I wonder why.  

Anyway, yet again we can end with the immortal words of Dave Edgar...

"I don't know. We could still be sitting here in 10 years."

Here's hoping these words are just as worthless as all of his other horrendous fantasies.

Monday, 25 October 2010

More McNiggles...

The missing Madeleine McCann case seems to be a web of intrigue which makes one question thoughts previously held and taken as 'gospel'.  Nearly 4 years on, there are many more questions than answers, otherwise knows as the McNiggles.  Little things that stick in the mind and no matter what, they just can't be explained.  From day one I've had these niggles, starting with the news that all these children were left to fend for themselves in empty apartments.  Were they really left alone?? That little niggle intensified as I waited for news of the missing child and watched her father read a plea to the waiting press, not appearing to speak from the heart but reading from a sheet of paper.

More recently I read an article from yesteryear in This is London, and discovered that the journalist shared my niggle about certain points raised on Portuguese TV. I'm certainly not naive and believe that there is nothing wrong with swinging amongst consenting adults, but is this what this holiday camp is all about, to those in the know?  Who knows what goes on behind closed doors?  Or closed, open or partially opened windows? Or even those damn shutters?  Anyway, I had hoped for some niggle relief, but me oh my, that little niggle just got bigger...

"Several Portuguese lawyers and journalists, along with a uniformed police officer from the National Republican Guard I spoke to outside the Ocean Club apartment, told me solemnly not only that the McCanns and their friends were "swingers" who had taken their holiday together to indulge in group sex (an assertion made repeatedly by the Portuguese Press), but that "everyone knows" that its tolerance of orgies is the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort's main selling point"
This is London 16.09.07

(I should like to make it clear to those guilty of skimming that the above quoted paragraph was taken directly from the aforementioned This is London article.  I have not had any private or personal conversations with the GNR, although I really would like to.)

Next is the well publicised flouting of apparent religious devoutness of the couple. This is a couple who have partaken in IVF with wonderful consequences - not one, but three successes. Nothing is more precious than the birth of a child, and what a reward that child is after carrying and nurturing for all those months. And especially after the worrying first few weeks of IVF. A joyous outcome, yet the Catholic church opposes all kinds of in vitro fertilisation.  We have also seen the religiously devout mother in the act of receiving holy communion from an Anglican priest (an act frowned upon by the Catholic Church, some would deem this as sinful!?) whilst a Catholic priest watched from the sidelines.  A devout Catholic knows this is forbidden and would never receive it.  This niggle grew into the even huger niggle of... have they been excommunicated?  I recall Mrs Healy's confusion in the early days as to why her daughter had even asked for a priest because they weren't really religious?

The niggle of the book.  Yes Goncalo Amaral's Maddie - The Truth of the Lie... currently available at all major bookshops in Europe as a result of the recent overturning of the ban.  I quote Kate McCann yet again from yesteryear...

"Our main worry was people believing that Madeleine was dead and then stopping looking for her."

Fair enough, I totally understand and agree with that comment.  Yet why no attempt to stop the book from being published in the first place?  Why no attempt to block the sale of the book once it had been released?  Why wait for months and months before taking any action, while in the meantime the book is selling out all over Europe, being translated online into English and being read by all and sundry. The Team weren't so concerned about the search being impeded or hampered during these months.  Were they waiting for the sales tally to mount or were they spurred into action because an English version to be sold in the UK was in the offing?

Another little niggle that has been awakened in the last few days has been the phone and text messages that the parents and their friends reportedly deleted from their mobile phones.  This irked me initially because surely on discovering their child missing they should have done the obvious - looked for her?  Instead, deleting their calls became a priority rather than searching alongside the population of Praia de Luz and the police  After reading the ruling of the three Portuguese judges who overturned the ban on Snr Amaral's book, my niggle surfaced and grew...

"What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs."

And finally, a real niggling niggle that just won't go away no matter how I try to explain it.  Eddie the Cadaver Dog who, according to the experts, is infallible.  Eddie marks what he's trained to mark, nothing else.  He does not lie.  This dog was taken to various locations in and around Praia de Luz, yet the only place places marked were in relation to the family of missing Madeleine.  In their apartment, clothes, car and sadly on Madeleine's favourite cuddly toy, Cuddlecat.  To me that is a momentous discovery, and I just can't explain that other than the obvious - the dog was simply doing what he was trained to do, so who was he signalling?

With the ease of online browsing and a wealth of information at our fingertips, we are so much more informed than we would have been 10 or more years ago.  A huge thanks should go to the many translators and foreign posters, without whom we would certainly be in the dark, following the inconsistent version of events of the parents and their friends.  Should we believe them, can we believe them? Surely they do not have the definitive right to insist that we believe their version of events and nothing else?  The police believe more questions need to be answered, indeed the mother refused to answer any questions... questions need to be answered but these answers just pose even more questions.

There are, of course many more niggles from Timbuktoo and beyond which could be collated and turned into one big niggle.  Fact is, it's already been done and sadly it is what it is - the Case of Missing Madeleine McCann.  Cobbled, nobbled and wobbled into one enormous McNiggle and I ask myself if this is just the simple case of a missing child, then why am I so irked?  Now more doubts have been cast after reading the latest ruling in this sticky web.  Perhaps the most important niggle of all... what really happened to Madeleine and where is she?  

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Great Hampering Debate... Who's Hampering Who??.

After the startling news (not for UK readers) regarding the overturning of the ban on Goncalo Amaral's book, Maddie - The Truth of the Lie, great claims have resurfaced here, there and everywhere that the said book could actually be hampering the search for a live child.  

To quote Kate McCann from yesteryear...
"Our main worry was people believing that Madeleine was dead and then stopping looking for her."

Rather worryingly, these claims prompted a terrible, annoying ringing in my ears.  I felt compelled to type three little words into my search engine - Dave Edgar McCann. Try it, you'll come across a myriad of reports, all indicating that the search is actually going rather well despite the book being in publication... despite the dvd being viewed, and despite Snr Amaral occasionally giving his personal opinion in public.  The search seems to be going well,  although the sad fact is that none of the many leads investigated have actually led anywhere remotely close to finding Madeleine.

Here are a few snippets, although there are many more reports.  Unfortunately I don't have my waders handy...

The family of missing youngster Madeleine McCann have been given new hope after more than 50 people have come forward with information about her disappearance.
"It gives the family hope that we have had more than 50 calls following Thursday night's programme.  "This is in addition to hundreds of calls we received following the McCanns' appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in the United States."

Renowned for leaving no stone unturned in his UK murder investigations, Dave now spends his days with a four-strong team probing every lead that comes in to his office.  His partner Arthur Cowley has more than 30 years' policing experience in north-west England and the pair are backed up by a translator and an ex-police administrator.  They have sifted through thousands of emails, answerphone messages and letters to get that one breakthrough lead.

"Our investigators received approximately 1,000 e-mails and phone calls following this appeal and have been busy working through this information. Thank you to everybody who passed information on."

"There has been a good response in the wake of the video. Kate and Gerry are very pleased."

So it appears that in one hand, the private eyes are being inundated with phone calls, emails and other titbits of information to keep them and the four-man team busy, busy, busy.  Yet on the other hand they're redundant, nothing to do... no phones ringing... no leads... yawn.  That damn book?  Hmm, maybe not or simply justification for the cost of employment and fruitless investigations?

I'll leave you with Mr Edgar for the final word...
"We could still be sitting here in 10 years."
The real truth of the lie?
For the sake of truth and justice for Madeleine McCann, I hope not.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Harbinger...

"Sooner or later you'll go up for it.
In this town you probably could have gotten away with it.
And you didn't even have the guts to do it alone.
You put your trust in guys like these... not the most dependable of God's creatures.
Sooner or later they'll get the idea you're playing them for saps.
What'll you do then? Peel them off, one by one?
And in the meantime if any one of them breaks, you'll go down hard. 
Because they got something on you. 
Something to use when things get tough."

A Very Bad Day at Rocha Negra

The above words were taken from the 1955 movie Bad Day at Black Rock and were spoken by the late, great Spencer Tracy.

Apply to whom and whatever you will...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Goncalo Amaral and the Silence of the British Media

The silence of the British media in the missing Madeleine McCann case has always been a bone of contention for many knowledgeable people.  They failed to report extensively on the important negative aspects of missing Madeleine's case.  Negative aspects affecting Madeleine's parents, that is.

Not reported in much detail was a witness sighting who identified Mr McCann as the possible 'abductor'.  Yet reported extensively was Ms Tanner's unreliable sighting of a person walking this way, that way and carrying a bundle, a child or maybe she was looking at her own reflection?

Not reported in any detail were either of the Gaspar statements or Leicestershire Police's failure to forward them to the Portuguese authorities until 6 months down the line.  Yet reported extensively were false sightings, balloon releases and urges for more, more, more money.

There is a myriad of press that the media have failed to report, instead they have chosen to paint the sunny side of the saintly parental 'victims'.

They failed to question why the Portuguese AND British police had suspicions of the parents.  And they failed to question just what that cadaver dog marked in Apartment 5a, on Mrs McCann's clothing and on Madeleine's favourite toy, Cuddlecat.

The British media failed.  They failed to remember that Madeleine McCann is the only victim in this case and should have reported accordingly.  The only victim in this case is still missing, the British media should be seeking the truth instead of simply reporting the parents' and their friends' differing and contradicting version of events.

We have been purged with inacurate articles about Keystone Cops, failures in investigations and corrupt policemen.  One in particular was lead investigator, Goncalo Amaral.  The British media encouraged their readership to believe that Senor Amaral was sacked, disgraced, took two hour lunchbreaks and drank more wine than a night out at the Tapas.  This was all untrue.  The man was truly smeared in the worst possible fashion.

It seems now that it's Goncalo Amaral's turn to silence the British media.  Almost 12 hours after the news surfaced about the overturning of his book being banned, only one British paper carries the news... The Guardian.  Even this report is misleading in relation to the Attorney General's statement... please point me to the part where he says the McCanns are 'entirely innocent'.   Several other media sources all over the world have been reporting for hours that the books are to be back on the shelves, dvds can be viewed and Senor Amaral can openly speak again about his views on the case.  Yet only a squeak from the great British media - has no-one called Sky?  They claim to be 'first for breaking news'... another massive fail.

What a travesty that in this case, 8 parents can go out to a restaurant for the night, leaving all their children alone in empty apartments to fend for themselves.  This results in one child going missing and cadaver odour being detected left, right and centre.  Yet the one person to appear in court is Goncalo Amaral.  For what?  Seeking the truth?

I sincerely hope that Senor Amaral sees this silence as a green light and takes a leaf from the Book of McCann... the British media certainly owe this man an apology at the very least.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Zahra Clare Baker

I've been following this case briefly on Twitter with the hope of news that the child was found.  Call me naive, but I was shocked to hear that the Amber Alert for Zahra had been cancelled and a homicide investigation had begun.  And also that Zahra's father and step-mother may be involved in her disappearance.

The latest news is that the police have no idea where to search, as they have no idea how long Zahra has been missing.  Outside her parents, no-one else has seen her for a month.

I'm normally a level-headed, caring person but this case has affected me surprisingly badly.

What a tragedy that this little girl, who not only survived bone cancer but also coped daily with her disabilities, has possibly had her life ended at the tender age of 10 years old.

Zahra has already escaped the clutches of death once - she deserves a medal and the right to a long life ahead of her, certainly not death at the hands of others.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


I came across an interesting word tonight and thought I'd share it with you... nobble, the inspiration for which I have to give a right royal thanks! 

At first glance, it appears to be a friendly little word... nicely rounded with an even amount of letters.  On closer view however, it actually has a nasty meaning which gets quite sinister if you investigate further...

nobble [ nóbb'l ] 
(3rd person present singular nobbles, present participle nobbling, past and past participle nobbled)
transitive verb 

Definition :

1. accost somebody: to make contact with somebody, especially in order to persuade that person to do something
2. influence somebody: to influence or persuade somebody using underhand or illegal means such as lies, threats, or bribes... an attempt to nobble the judges
3. disable racehorse: to prevent a racehorse from winning a race by drugging or disabling it
4. cheat somebody: to swindle or defraud somebody
5. steal something: to steal something from its owner
6. seize somebody: to seize hold of somebody

Now, I'm weighing up those definitions in one hand, and in the other hand I have everything that I've sucked in like a hungry sponge over the last three and a half years.   You could be forgiven for wondering if a nice bit of nobbling came into the equation somewhere along the line?

Schoolchildren eagerly setting up jumble sales.
Elderly people giving their last. 
Witnesses being visited by strangers. 
Glass-eyed men - this comes under multi-nobbling but by just how many?
Forums, blogs, threads, all gone.
Journalists and reporters writing half truths and inane dribble.

Just how many individuals and high rankers have been accosted by our sinister little word nobble?

The new Crack Team - have they been deployed to seek and find or seek and nobble?  Are they only semi-permanent because you just can't manage nobbling full time?

Wide awake nightmares of being nob nobbled, nib nabbed and being the big, bad nobbler.  Who was nobbled, who did the nobbling and did the nobbling actually work?  Are you paid to nobble or do you do it for free?  Does nobbling come with a guarantee or is it simply nobble and be gone? Do you become a nobblette once you've been nobbled?

Well... all this talk of mind-boggling nobbling is making my eyes water!  Looking at definition number 3, I always knew there was a reason Red Rum kept popping up in this case... or was that Mur Der?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Top 10 McCann Clangers

Or in other words, gobsmackers or things that made my jaw drop.  To be honest, there are far more than 10 things, but these are just off the top of my head...

Random Photographs
There are many to choose from, but those infamous 'happy' photos taken outside the church in Praia de Luz on the 12th May 2007, just 9 days after their daughter vanished without a trace are just too much.

Press Conferences
Most of these appear to be read from a script including their plea to the 'abductor' on the 4th May, and later only certain questions were privy for an answer.

Two press conferences have stuck in my mind - the first showed the waiting press pack during mid-May 2007.  All eagerly awaiting confirmation that the monies donated would be well spent on private investigators to aid the Portuguese police.  After all, everyone expected it, especially those who donated - instead we were informed about the crack team of lawyers hired and details of the position of Campaign Manager - no PIs.  If a pin had dropped, it most certainly would have been heard...

And secondly is perhaps one of the most well known... gutsy Sandra Felgeiras asks the question of the moment - did you know Robert Murat?
Did you know Robert Murat?

A Cowering Child
Kate McCann describing the moment she discovered Madeleine missing to Oprah Winfrey, she checked to see if she was cowering in the wardrobe... cowering?

Forward Thinking?
We've had a search fund created, future events planned and the delayed release of information and photographs.  All things long-term.  Yet short-term, not much - there is very little mention of the huge reward on offer and it appears that no-one has ever tried to claim it.  It really did appear that Madeleine's discovery would not happen any time soon.

The Good Parenting Guide
Mr McCann stating that everything they had done was within the realms of responsible parenting!  What idiot told him that, I wonder?  I can only guess on that one.

The McCanns Never Physically Searched
From the horse's mouth in an interview with Jane Hill from the BBC.
Search? We've been working really hard...

Intimidating Witnesses?
Brian Kennedy, backer and funder of the McCanns apparently making visits in person to witnesses and the other arguido in the case, Robert Murat.

The Gaspar Statements
These statements were given very early in the case to Leicestershire Police, and withheld for 6 months before being passed onto the Portuguese police.  These statements gave another view of the case which may or may not have steered the whole investigation into another grimmer direction.  Irrespective of what you think of these statements, they should have been passed on immediately.
Drs Katherina and Arul Gaspars' Statements with thanks to Pamalam.

The Dogs
The results of the dogs' presence in Praia de Luz really has me dumbfounded and perhaps the most compelling thing that makes me question what really happened to Madeleine.  Out of numerous locations, these dogs only marked the scent of a dead body in the McCanns apartment, car and clothing.  And on Madeleine's cuddlecat toy.
The Dogs in Action

And the McCanns' Response?
This imo was not normal... your daughter is missing, the scent of a dead body is found in the apartment she went missing from and in your hire car.  Wouldn't you demand that the police investigate the previous occupants and users of both the apartment and car thoroughly?  Wouldn't you show the slightest concern for your missing child?  Or would you try to excuse the 'smell' by blaming it on rotting food and dirty nappies?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Warped Minds of the McCanns??

I'm really intrigued by the latest statement from the Madeleine Fund, released in response to Jim Gamble's resignation from CEOP.  They say that they found the news 'saddening'...  Saddening?  Why on earth would they find it saddening?

It's been common knowledge for some time that Mr Gamble was eager to relieve his position at CEOP and be employed elsewhere, so devoted to the job and all the children, was he.  It seems that his resignation was just something waiting to happen.

But let's go back to basics - the McCanns have a missing child, Madeleine McCann whom they claim was abducted.  CEOP have been involved with the 'search' for over 3 years, even during the time that Mr McCann claims that 'no law enforcement agency were actively looking'.  Have they helped find Madeleine?  No, they haven't - she is still missing.  Not even the age enhanced image of a 7 year old Madeleine prompted any leads.

In the eyes of the parents of a missing child - massive fail.

Who would blame any parent for thinking this is absolutely, utterly desperate, our little girl is still missing?   What parent would be saddened by Jim Gamble's resignation - wouldn't you be glad to see the back of him and eagerly await 'new blood' there at the top to try a new approach with fresh ideas?  

Wouldn't you be over the moon that the government had set up a new initiative which would shake up the whole organisation and would involve specialists in fields such as kidnapping and child trafficking?  After all, if you think your daughter has been abducted, these are the people you want on the job.   

Think about the renewed hope it would give right-thinking parents.  Can Jim Gamble still offer this to the McCanns after all these years.

Saddened... and too busy latching onto other causes or championing crusades for all the other children to distract from the fact that where they are today is because of their own actions.

This is not about all the other children... this should be about their daughter and no-one else.

 "In this challenging economic climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children and the importance of the invaluable work which is necessary to protect children against the devastating crimes of child abduction and exploitation."

What callous audacity and cheek, never mind the fact that it is directed at a man who is grieving the loss of his young son.

They should attempt to get their own house in order before brazenly telling the world how our children should be valued and looked after.  It smacks of nothing but ignorance and hypocrisy, which is something I think we've all come to expect... 

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Value our Children... Hypocrisy from the Madeleine Fund

Are we all surprised at the speed of the latest statement from the Madeleine Fund referring to Jim Gamble's resignation from CEOP!  Is it really saddening?  Is it a disaster?

Here's what they have to say...

We were told last night of the resignation of Jim Gamble from the Child Exploitation and On Line Protection Unit (CEOP). We are certain that he will be a huge loss to the field of child protection. Knowing how committed Mr Gamble is to this cause, it is extremely saddening that he feels unable to continue to lead CEOP which appears to be as a consequence of the proposed Governmental changes.

The search for our daughter Madeleine has been greatly enhanced by the work carried out by the team at CEOP. We would like to thank Mr Gamble for all of his efforts, both for Madeleine and for all missing and exploited children.

In this challenging economic climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children and the importance of the invaluable work which is necessary to protect children against the devastating crimes of child abduction and exploitation.

Why the rush?  I wonder what panic prompted the necessity to get this statement out within 24 hours of Mr Gamble's resignation becoming public?

There was no rush to ring the police that fateful night in May.
There was no rush to search for their daughter.
There was no rush to leave Portugal, until they had to.
There was no rush to release Madeleine's age enhanced image to the public.

No haste or speed ever engaged when it involved their own child, yet here we have a carefully thought out statement drafted, released and online within hours for our perusal.  I wonder why neither John McCann or Doug Skehan warranted this action on their resignations from the Madeleine Fund?

The McCanns say... "In this challenging economic climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children..."

Is this referring to all our children, or just the McCann children?  Visions of Mr McCann's cryptic blogs come to mind...

Hypocrytical, considering they completely forgot the value of their own children in the first place and the reason we're all here over three years later.

Monday, 4 October 2010

McCann Case - Those Irritating Niggles!

Do you have them?  I sure do... and they keep irritating me!

From day one, the public were bombarded with claims of abduction, jemmied shutters and swarthy intruders.  Visions of a beautiful, big eyed child were emblazoned on our television screens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   British toddler, Madeleine McCann, aged just 3 had been 'taken'.

Bring Madeleine home, she's not yours!  

Then came the not-so-televised news from John Hill, Manager of the Ocean Club that the shutters were perfect, there was no sign of a break in to the apartment.  Brief photos of the 'jemmied' shutters were shown on the news to be undamaged.

But hold that result... forget about the shutters, they're not newsworthy!  Rewind back to the sweet little three year old with the big eyes.  Forget about the fact that Madeleine, her 2 year old twin siblings and all of her younger friends were apparently left alone, night after night in empty apartments.  Forget about the fact that this group of 9 adults all dined, drank and had their jollies in a restaurant down the road while all of their children were left alone to care for themselves.  All of these children were 3 years and under!!  That's not so much an irritating niggle, but a gobsmacking one.  And one that bemuses me to this day, because it's only ever referenced to the McCanns.  Nine adult individuals behaved in the same manner, apparently...

Anyway, back to those niggles... thanks to our great British press and media, I would be well on the way to actually believing the theory of abduction if it weren't for certain photo opportunities that Mr and Mrs McCann seemed to grasp with open arms...

Now forgive me, but the photos pictured above were all taken in the weeks following Madeleine's disappearance.  The first photo (unbelievably) was taken on the 12th May 2007,  just 9 days after Madeleine McCann's disappearance was announced to the world.  Nine days without your child, without knowing where she is or who she's with?  Nine days of not seeing your child with your own eyes and nine days of worry.  Could you bring yourself to function properly within 9 days, let alone smile, laugh, prance around holding balloons and flowers?... In public.  

It's in the utmost bad taste, even more so when you consider that (as her parents maintain) Madeleine McCann could be sitting with her 'abductor' in front of the television screen, recognising her parents' obvious smiles emanating from those photos.  Well, let's give Mr and Mrs McCann the benefit of the doubt - maybe they have no control over their emotions and simply smile, laugh and be jolly at the most inappropriate moments.   I'm sure Madeleine would understand.

Anyway, let's talk about another niggle... that of the Hell Hounds from South Yorkshire.

Eddie and Keela were actually the brainchild and suggestion of the British police.  They are both spaniels (not collies) with incredible noses, and when working Eddie detects cadaver odour, Keela detects blood.  These dogs have travelled the world, are in great demand and Eddie actually earns more money than McDonalds on a good day!

The dogs arrived in August 2007 with their owner Martin Grimes, and if this had been a run of the mill abduction case, you would expect them not to mark at all, pat on the head, dog biscuit and go home?  These are the places that the Portuguese police requested that the dogs put their snouts...

Five apartments at the complex in Praia de Luz.
Mr Murat's property at Praia de Luz.
Mr and Mrs McCanns' villa at Praia de Luz 

Articles of clothing from the McCanns' residence.
Western beach Praia de Luz.
Eastern Beach Praia de Luz.
10 Vehicles screened at Portimao

The dogs alerted in the McCanns' apartment, in their car and on various items of clothing belonging to Mrs McCann and a child's t-shirt.  We are talking about a cadaver dog, alerting to the scent of a cadaver.  Which in layman's terms is alerting to the scent of a dead body and I'm sorry to say that dogs don't lie.  The cadaver dog also alerted to Madeleine's iconic soft toy, known as Cuddlecat.

They alerted nowhere else.  Not in any other apartment or car or clothes.  Only places and items belonging to the McCanns.  Talk of false positives and false markings are rubbish because the dogs would have marked here, there and everywhere.

This is the biggest niggle of all... unfortunately I can't ask the dogs, so if you could explain that one for me I would be most grateful.

Eddie and Keela in action.