Sunday, 28 October 2012

The McCann Fund Farce

I watched a video the other day - Gerry McCann justified the spending of fund money by claiming they employed a team of private investigators that was led by one man, Dave Edgar.  Turns out that the team consisted of just one man, one leader.  Crowley and Edgar.  And they've not been employed for months...

Yep, according to the Sunday Express...
Kate and Gerry McCann are no longer employing private detectives to search for their missing daughter Madeleine.
The Sunday Express understands the McCanns stopped using former police detectives Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley some months ago when their contract ran out.
So, how long is 'some months'?  How long is a piece of string?...  Did their employ end when the review started?  If so, that's a little more than 'some months'.

The 'source' felt the need to tell us “there was no fall-out.” and that they felt the search should be left to Scotland Yard.  They said there was no fall-out when Doug Skehan and brother, John McCann (directors of the fund) also departed.  Oh, how abandoning ship is done on such good terms these days.

If the McCanns are not funding a search for Madeleine, why then are they still asking for funding to search on their Official Facebook page?  In fact, they've specifically pointed out that they've made it easier for the gullible to donate when buying things from their online store.  How kind.

High time this 'fund' and private investigation was scrutinised once and for all.  The public should be made fully aware that this is the McCanns' own private company of which they sit as directors and decide how the money is spent.  If they want to boost their balance, they should do what every other owner of a small business does - damn well work for it. Their 'business plan' should be laughed into next week.  Unfortunately it isn't, and the naive and gullible really believe they are funding a search for their daughter.  A daughter they didn't even look for themselves.

Pointed out on Twitter this morning - how can the McCanns' search be hindered by the publications of Goncalo Amaral and Tony Bennett when there is no funded search or investigators?  True... their claims have no standing in court and it would appear that the McCanns themselves are hindering their own search by not renewing their own investigator's contract.

Are the McCanns searching themselves then?  Nope, everything is hunky dory as they holiday in Ireland.  Edgar's wages didn't stretch too far, did they? Apparently they're residing in a remote cottage somewhere.  It must be some distance to the nearest pub, let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Farewell Friend...

I lost my friend.

And although I know she's at peace and not in any more pain, my selfish heart is broken.

The day of the funeral suited our moods - grey and dank.  It was also very foggy.

Luggage dumped, we made our way to the prom.  That first sight and smell of the sea would bring me closer to her.

But despite being by the coast, the fog blotted everything in the distance - we could only hear the waves crashing.

As I stood by the railings, a robin appeared at my feet, its red breast illuminated in the cold air.  It hopped onto the sand and scurried off, stopping and looking back as I followed.  As I neared, it scurried off again.  I got my camera out of my bag and tried over and over to take a snap but each time I did, it turned its little head away.  This continued all the way up the prom with me in pursuit... scurry, turn, wait... scurry, turn, wait.  Right to the end of the prom, where it flew off.

I was heartened at such a bizarre sight... a robin on the beach?!

The following day, with heavy hearts, we made our way to church. Arriving early, we decided to have a look around and as I made my way through the eery mist surrounding the old headstones, what should land at my feet?  A robin.  It flew upwards, then from tree to tree.  As it did so, a shimmer of autum leaves fell to the floor.  A truly magical sight.

The fog lifted slightly as we laid my friend to rest and the sun tried to make its way through the cloud.  It was a sad occasion, as you would imagine.  We made our way to a little pub to celebrate her life and guess who came along with us... the robin.  It sang its heart out before flying off into the mist.

I won't even consider a skeptical point of view, I believe that little robin appeared to put a smile on my face.  Just like my friend always did.

Such heart warming coincidences dont happen very often.

As well as being a wonderful, kind hearted woman, my friend was a great advocate of justice for Madeleine.  She contributed long and hard over the years in the search for the truth.  Not only a sad loss for her family and friends, but also for Madeleine. I hope she now knows the truth.

So long my soul sister... you are at peace now.  An enigma to many, but not to me.

I won't say goodbye, just see you later...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

If only... a luxury that cannot be afforded.

An article popped up in the Daily Wail last week, entitled 'If only...' and compared the missing April Jones case to the McCann case.

I'm not sure what Kate's if onlys would be...

If only we'd stayed with the children...
If only we'd taken the children with us...
If only we'd not gone out on the piss.

If only we'd booked 4 individual tables to accomodate high chairs and prams, instead of booking a table solely for 9 adults.

There really is no comparison with the two cases.

A five year old playing out with her friends in a familiar place while her mother made her tea.

A four year old left alone with her younger siblings in an unlocked apartment, in a strange country while her parents drank and dined with friends.

A sad part of this case is that April was allowed an extra 10 minutes play as a reward for a glowing school report.  Are the Jones' if onlys expected to include...

If only we hadn't praised her?

There's no doubt that both these children would still be here if they'd been under adult supervision, however in April's case it appears a malevolant threat was there all along - not a 'high risk strategy' or 'window of opportunity'.

The only parallels in the two cases seem to be the Portuguese and British police investigations -

Both children believed to be dead.
Both children hidden by someone very close.
Both children are still missing.

Yet the difference is monumentous - after 5 days April is dead... after 5 years Madeleine is missing?

We don't know what leads Dyfed Powys police have to believe that little April is not with us any more but I will have a tiny glimmer of hope until she's found.  Something I've never had for Madeleline.  Sadly.

My thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Savile - Treasure or Trash?

I can't say I'm surprised that the Savile shit has finally hit the fan.

I'm sorry that his victims have had to wait for this moment in time to finally be taken seriously and believed.  Women, whos lives have been likely destroyed by the perverted ways of a so called 'television icon'.

What makes it more apaulling are the number of apparent media dahlings jumping on today's bandwagon, who apparently knew for years that there was 'something sordid' going on.

In today's news, Esther Rantzen refers to there always being 'rumours' and 'gossip in the office'.

Paul Gambaccini says he's 'waited 30 years for the allegations to come out'.  He also claimed that all the tabloids had pages set up, ready to reveal the sordid truth and that Saville used his charity work to prevent the abuse being exposed.

I'm sure the victim list will grow and I hope the upcoming expose encourages his victims to come forward and receive help.

I dread to think of the number of people who had an inkling of what was going on and turned a blind eye to it, despite children being involved. Public figures, celebrities and every editor/journalist of those tabloids who put newspaper sales above the safety of innocent children.  These are the people who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, and should hang their heads in shame.  I don't know how they sleep at night.  Their silence allowed this abuse to continue unchallenged.

A national treasure, more tainted by the day.

Savile pictured on the lawns of Haute de la Garenne,
the Jersey childrens home,
where he denied ever setting foot...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

McCann v Amaral

Just think...

You're taking legal action against a man you deem as "poisonous".  Your opinion of this man is that he's a "self obsessed, manipulative money grabber with no morals" and you blame him solely for your "lack of appetite, deep depression, sleepless nights and anxiety".

You feel so aggrieved and furious that you want to right all the wrongs. You want to see him squirm and make him pay for the upset and anger he has caused.  You can almost taste the victory.

You want your day in court.

Well not the McCanns.

According to their lawyer, Isobel Duarte they will not be attending.

"Kate and Gerry are not needed in Portugal for the trial."

Bizarre or what?  But expected by many.  Who gives a damn if you're needed or not?...  Aren't you doing it for your children, for your missing child?  Or is there another reason they don't want to set foot on Portuguese soil?... o-o

Another quote from Mrs Duarte...

"We reasonably expect compensation for the dreadful damages the book has brought the family."

And therein lies the rub.  The book has already been subject to a high court appeal, three judges deemed it as being an acurate representation of the case files and ordered that it go back on sale.

It's not about righting the wrongs at all... it's all about that expectation of compensation.

Lack of appetite, deep depression, sleepless nights and anxiety.

All of the above emotions and upset are attributed solely to Goncalo Amaral, hasn't Madeleine's disappearance caused the McCanns to feel that way?  If not, why not?

I would already be feeling all of the above (and more) through the loss of my darling daughter.  Most of all I would be wracked with guilt.  I would blame myself, not anyone else - I would feel embarrassed to say someone else was the cause.

And I really wouldnt have the brass neck to blame it all on a book, especially one that I claimed never to have read.

Deeply depressed, tired and anxious...
Gerry McCann takes time off work to join Kate
 in Amsterdam to plug their own b$$k

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Madeleine McCann and Bianca Jones

Circuit Judge Wanda R Evans has ruled that canine expert, Martin Grimes can testify at the murder trial of missing todder Bianca Jones.  Her father D'Andre Lane stands accused.

Lane claimed Bianca was in the back seat of his 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis on the morning of 2nd December when he was approached by armed carjackers near Brush Street and Grand River.  The vehicle was found shortly after, but the child was not inside. Her body has not been found.

Forensic canine expert Martin Grime testified Friday and at Lane's prior preliminary examination that he brought in his victim recovery dog, Morse, two days after the girl went missing. He said the dog detected a cadaver scent inside Lane's car, on the child's blanket and car seat, and in the girl's bedroom and Lane's home.

You may remember Mr Grime and his involvement with the Madeleine McCann case. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry claim that Madeleine was abducted from their holiday apartment while they apparently dined and drank with friends in a local restaurant.

Mr Grime brought in his victim recovery dog, Eddie, two months after Madeleine went missing.  The dog detected a cadaver scent in the McCanns car, on the child's cuddly toy, on Mrs McCann's clothes and in the McCanns bedroom and living area.

Two todders, missing without a trace.
Disappearances under murky circumstances.
Parents implicated.
Multiple alerts to the scent of death.

I've no doubt this case and it's similarities to the McCann case will again be briskly swept under the carpet by the British media.  However the fact that this particular canine expert is giving evidence in a first degree murder and child abuse case, where the child is still missing, has dire undertones for the McCanns and their supporters.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Double Standards?...

Brecon mother, 20, jailed for leaving baby home alone
A mother has been jailed for 15 months for leaving her baby daughter at home alone every day for a week while she went out drinking.
The woman, 20, of Brecon, Powys, admitted neglect of the 15-month old while she went out at Christmas.
Neighbours raised the alarm when they heard cries, Merthyr Crown Court heard.
Judge John Curran said: "You may have gone back to the house on occasions but the fact is you neglected her for a very long time."
The court heard how the woman left the girl in the cot and would go home every day to give the baby breakfast cereal and a microwave meal before going back to a friend's flat to continue partying.
Prosecutor Michael Hammett said that police officers alerted by neighbours found the house to be cold and dark, and with all its rooms in a mess.

Well, well, well...

This little girl is now safe.  I wonder what the sentence would have been had the child vanished without a trace, or if she'd been left alone and neglected along with her brother and sister?

This similar case smacks to the very heart of the McCann case (until the scent of death is remembered).  The same charge in Portugal carries a hefty loss of liberty, no wonder the McCanns fled with their tails between their legs.

You cannot change the past, Madeleine is still missing yet the McCanns are enjoying the the life of Riley?

The scum of this country do not just appear on the Jeremy Kyle show - they hide under the cloak of middle class society with their upper class friends.  Time this whole charade came to an end and all involved held accountable.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

RIP Winnie Johnson

The notorious letter (if there is one...) has opened up the old death penalty debate again. 

Hang 'em or throw away the key?

I've always been of the opinion that if found guilty, they should live long lives and be left to rot, regardless of the cost.  Especially in this horrific case where they not only committed the most barbaric crimes but then went on to torment the families involved.

The death penalty was abolished shortly before the trial.  I cant help wondering what kind of life Winnie Johnson would have lived, had Brady found the noose around his neck way back in 1966.

The invisible cord that he has tugged over the years would never have existed and despite living with the horror of losing a child in the darkest of circumstances, Winnie's life would have most certainly been different. Perhaps the fact that the murderous, evil scum was still alive and witholding whatever knowledge was what really kept her going?

I do hope that Brady carries on rotting with the realisation that he has lost his last hold and when his day eventually comes, may he continue to rot in hell.

Sincere condolences to all the family.  I also hope that the police continue to investigate and search for Keith.  It's not just the family who want to see him given a decent burial, we all do.

The dignity, courage and hope of Winnie Johnson cannot be surpassed.  This woman should be commended for her dedicated, lifelong search for Keith.

May you be at peace now, dear lady and finally be safely reunited with your darling child.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Ambassadeurs... a brief analysis

The Ambassadeurs (1002) is a painting by Hans Upguv the Elder which hangs in the Regional Gallery, Dewsbury. As well as being a double portrait, the painting contains a still life of several meticulously rendered objects, the meaning of which is the cause of much debate. 

Among the clues to the figures' explorative associations are a selection of scientific instruments including two globes (one terrestrial and one of the wider agenda), a baby monitor, a watch and a fridge, as well as various textiles including the floor mosaic, based on a design from Aldi (Leicester) and the carpet on the upper shelf, which is most notably Carpet Kingdom. The inclusion of the two figures can furthermore be seen as symbolic - the figure on the left is in secular attire while the figure on the right is dressed in clerical clothes (both outfits available from Next 2012 Winter Collection).  Their flanking of the table, which displays open diaries, symbols of religious knowledge and even a symbolic link to the Virgin, is therefore believed by some critics to be a blatant front to show association to the Church.

The Skull

The most notable and famous of Hans Upguv's symbols in the work is the distorted skull which is placed in the bottom centre of the composition. The skull, rendered in anamorphic perspective is meant to be a visual puzzle as from a blinkered view, the skull has come to no harm and therefore cannot be seen. 


Before the publication of Marjorie F.S. Hensch's 'Upguv's Ambassadeurs', the identity of the two figures in the picture had long been a subject of intense debate. Petula Gurney was the first to propose the figure on the left as the Marquis of Rothley. Shortly afterwards, the cleaning of the picture revealed that his seat of Stig is one of only four places marked on the globe.  Hensch identified the figure on the right as Healy Hottlipple, Bishop of Soar. 

According to art historian Peter Wolfe, it is still difficult to accurately pinpoint the dates and people in this painting.  A deliberate act by the artist, he supposes.  Scholars have argued that this earlier identification was incorrect. Wolfe, for example, remarks that "This was a natural enough supposition to be made by a person with limited local knowledge, since the two lived on the family estate together, but with numerous lies told over time, it is almost certainly mistaken".  He points to a letter written by the Marquis on 28 March 1030, in which he talks of an imminent meeting with the pope and makes no mention of visiting home. Wolfe's book analyzes the painting and shows it to be representing an earlier time frame through various clues on the instruments.

The Role of a Brand Ambassador

Brand ambassadors market a brand, product or service on behalf of a business organisation. They promote the brand name, products and services by interacting with customers, business partners and the media. Brand ambassadors are basically company marketing representatives and customer relationship managers. The objective of the brand ambassador position is to provide information about a brand, product or service, generate income and build preference of a brand name.

The charity Missing People have (in my opinion) made the wrong decision in appointing Kate McCann as ambassador - wrong because although Mrs McCann has publicly associated herself with the charity in the past, she has never volunteered her services.  She was also one of the prime suspects in her missing daughter's case and to this day has never been cleared.

In the case of a donation based charity, public opinion is tantamount and I've already read of many horrified fundraisers refusing to donate any further monies to Missing People.  Which is a shame.

There are many comparisons popping up online, such as Karen Matthews as Mrs McCann's assistant and right hand umm man, and...

Harold Shipman as ambassador for Help the Aged.
Peter Sutcliffe as ambassador for Battered Women.
Hitler as ambassador for Dove soap.

Sick comparisons, but just as sick as the Queen of Neglect championing missing children?

With the help from friends in high places, the McCanns seem to be on a roll with their 'wider agenda' so hey ho, here are some familiar and easy suggestions for Mrs McCann to further her non-diplomatic ambassadorship career...

Institute of Babysitters

Legal and Fighting Funds

Ministry of Sad Faces

Tapas Drinks and Nibbles Chamber of Commerce

Whether she likes it or not, being directly implicated in her own daughter's disappearance means that Kate McCann will always be the best ambassadorial reminder that you should never, ever leave your children alone.  For the good of all the children that are still here and not already missing...

However, the 'snooty, cadaver scent under the nose' look is NOT a good marketing ploy - she really should go au naturelle (and I definitely don't mean commando).

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hot Lips Healy Hails Hotline...

Sometimes I think I'm living on another planet.

Some things are just wrong.  Wrong.

Kate McCann hails new hotline

Kate McCann is among guests at a Downing Street reception to celebrate the introduction of a new Europe-wide hotline to help find missing children.

This comment completely sums it up for me...

"It's unbelievable that a woman can be invited to number 10 for leaving her kids alone while she went on the piss, oh yes and losing one into the bargain.  It's unreal!!"

Is Mrs McCann simply being used for her repute and tabloid pulling power?  Or like the 'review' was Dave's arm twisted by Rebekah? LOL. To be honest I'd rather look and listen to anyone else and find it appalling that the likes of this woman should have the honour of being at Downing Street when there really are more deserving envoys.

The McCanns are representatives of the charity, Missing Persons, a charity which they use when it suits them.  Being a representative does tend to make one sound important and involved... yet they are so embroiled in other things, they don't care to ensure that their own missing child's poster is updated.  It hasn't been for 5 years.  Missing Madeleine is still four...

This new hotline is a great idea - what a pity it wasn't available to Madeleine McCann she needed it.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Madeleine McCann Company...

In light of a vast £2m being spent (so far) on the Scotland Yard review and goodness knows how much in Portugal, don't you find it absolutely appalling and in very bad taste that the McCanns are once again publicly attempting to boost the balance of the Madeleine Fund?

Now why do they need more money?  Gerry McCann still consults both for the NHS and in private healthcare.  A hefty sum was apparently made from Kate McCann's book 'Madeleine' which will no doubt be boosted by the recently released paperback version.  It has also been reported that Edgar has whoosh clunked and no longer works for the McCanns.  With ongoing reviews in both the UK and Portugal, it surely must be a relief for the McCanns to no longer have to claim that 'no law enforcement agency is looking for Madeleine'?

So why do they need more money?  It's a smack in the face to every taxpayer and every officer working on the review teams.

In order to make money, companies normally offer a service or sell items to keep that company running.  For many it's their liveliehood, they work hard to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads.  The McCanns business offers nothing.  This pair are content to simply sit on their backsides, and reap in the cash by offering nothing but a Paypal button or bank account number to the unsuspecting public.  To run their company, they expect money to simply be given to them as if it's their right.

Now that they intend to slink back into the limelight with the proverbial begging bowl, it really is time for it to be publicly made clear that this 'fund' is not a charity or a search fund for a missing child - it is the McCanns own company, their own business!  Like any other business, it needs to make money.  However, it is a business that is being used for other means including costs in their many legal battles.  Thanks to the McCanns, legal eagles such as Carter Ruck, Isabel Duarte, Rogerio Alves and many more have become a household name.  All these lawyers employed in the UK and Portugal, yet the McCanns only employ one private investigator, Dave Edgar.

Their pathetic priorities are very clear, as is the real need to 'fundraise'.

When visiting Praia de Luz, they lurk in the shadows.  They don't appeal or speak to the Portuguese public - people who helped them so much in the early days and who lost time and money out of the goodness of their own hearts.  In the last five years, I've seen the McCanns show more passion for litigation than appeals to their missing daughter or her so called 'abductor'

It's about time this loathesome charade came to an end.  Five years on... how many more?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Maddie Sightings - Nuggets and Dust or Fools Gold?

New File On Missing Madeleine Is 'Gold Dust' Sky News
Roddy Mansfield, Sky News Online

12:58pm UK, Wednesday March 03, 2010
A newly released file on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is "gold dust" and could lead to a breakthrough, her parents' spokesman has said.
Clarence Mitchell told Sky News it was disgraceful that information about possible sightings of Madeleine has only emerged now after sitting in a box since 2008, when the case was closed by Portuguese police.
"The McCanns have been tearing their hair out for a long time, they're very frustrated this information has been sitting in a file since July 2008," he said.
"This information is gold dust to them. Kate and Gerry need all of it and they want a full review of all the information it contains.

"Our investigators are working at times with one hand tied behind their back.
"Our investigators will now work very hard and three years on it will hopefully lead to the breakthrough Kate and Gerry have been waiting for."

Some snipped examples of what is construed as 'gold dust'...

"She looked so sad and so alone."

"...described her as "very agitated and sobbing".

"...were stunned when she cried out as a "tubby" man hurried her away."

"The girl just stood staring at me. The look in her eyes conveyed a feeling of 'Help me'."

"The girl just stood staring at me, I would say for about 10 seconds."

"She was just very shy and afraid."

“She hardly spent any time with the family and didn’t sit with the people she was with at all.”

"She was about eight and seemed really airy-fairy, and in a world of her own."

"She did not seem to fit with the German couple or their two curly-haired toddlers."

Clarence Mitchell said these chicken nuggets would be passed to their crack private investigators.  As we've heard nothing more of this dust over the last two years, can we assume that nothing further has advanced and that they've been fully investigated and ruled out by Edgar and co?  Or is Redwood working on Edgar's cast offs?

As for all these scared, agitated, sobbing tadpoles... Those with children will have knowledge that the 'terrible twos' are an absolute fallacy.  The terrible twos appear before the second birthday and can continue indefinitely.  Children change like the weather and can go from a loving, bundle of fun to a wild, frenzied banshee in the blink of an eye.  

"I hate you"
"Help me"
"Leave me alone"

...are common phrases heard in the banshee state.  The banshee state can be caused by a number of things including tiredness, irritability. Simply not getting their own way is enough trigger an episode.  In addition to a lot of noise, it also propels the child to offer blocked resistance to the parent, sitting squarely on the ground or simply running away in the opposite direction.  As they age, children become wiser and know exactly how to play the weaker parent.  Common and normal.

It's also not out of the ordinary to see a child who looks different from her parents or siblings.  It's called the 'gene pool'.

No wonder these children hold the gaze of their intrepid 'spotters' and look frightened and shy.  YOU'RE A STRANGER - in the eyes of that child, the spotter is a complete and utter weirdo of the scariest realm and will freak the child out completely.  These children might not be the jolliest of children, but at least they were in the presence of their (different looking) parents and family.  Not something that happened very often in Praia de Luz.

I think that many of the above quotes could actually apply to Madeleine on that holiday in Praia de Luz.  Left in the creche all day, where the carers said she was a quiet, shy little soul.  And left night after night, alone in the apartment with her younger twin siblings.  On one reported occasion, crying for well over an hour.

And I wonder what a spotter's view of Madeleline would be in the presence of her parents on that holiday.  If they were lucky enough to be spotted together, that is.  Shy or lonely?  Agitated and sobbing?  Or just a normal airy fairy little girl, in a world of her own?  

New Maddie Leads - Bizarre, sick and twisted?

Police blitzed by odd Maddie claims Daily Star

By Daily Star Reporter

5th March 2010

THE case files reveal how police have been blitzed with bizarre, sick, and twisted information about Madeleine's fate from across the globe.
The wacky reports include:
An email from the Madeira Liberation Army who claimed to be holding Madeleine and had a video showing her in good health, but couldn't vouch for her safety unless the city of Funchal was granted independence.
A report she'd been snatched by secret service agents and was being held by "Mr Temple" in a safehouse in Dachau, Germany.
Claims by a Portuguese woman who had a "sixth sense" she had been taken by a dangerous man living nearby – really an ex-boyfriend she was trying to frame.
A Dutch voodoo priest's claim he had a psychic vision of where Madeleine was buried. He confessed it had happened after he'd drunk two bottles of white rum.
A Romanian woman insisted her beauty queen daughter Madalina was Madeleine's real mum who'd handed her to a Leicestershire doctor for adoption just before she died.
Police discovered Madalina died before Madeleine was born but the woman claimed her death certificate was forged.
AN Australian tipster claimed Madeleine was kidnapped into slavery and held in a cellar.
An Italian psychic said Maddie had been taken to England by a woman dominated by her tattooed husband.
A Spanish psychic claimed she had a vision the missing girl had been killed by a gardener and buried in a flowerbed with three other children.
None were true.

Old article... all apparently investigated and ruled out.  Surprise, surprise. If these are the cream of the crop, I wonder what bizarre, sick and twisted leads are left on DCI Redwood's desk... and why the McCanns' private investigators haven't already investigated them.

Thanks to McCann Files for article.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Spinning Memory of Clarence Mitchell...

A taxi-driver from Vila Real de Santo Antonio, in the Algarve, believes he transported Maddie, Kate McCann and three men on the night of the disappearance of the English girl, in the 3rd of May of last year. António Castela Cardoso, 67 years, does not forget the hour or the details of the passengers.
Having been a taxi-driver for 17 years, António Castela has the habit of memorizing the face of his clients. That one particularly, “She was a girl with very pretty eyes and she called my attention because of the mark that she had in one eye and the twitch that she was doing with the chin”, he remembered. 
The clients approached and asked him to transport them to the Hotel Apolo, in Vila Real de Santo Antonio. On his side a man seated who was wearing “fine glasses”. “He was similar with the one that appears on television, like the third suspect”, says António, concerning Robert Murat – who is arguido in the case. In the seat behind, a woman “like Kate” sat down, between two men. The girl that the taxi-driver says was Maddie sat on the lap of one of them.
“She was wearing pink pyjamas. The mother had the hair tied and a yellow coat”, he remembers, with exactness. It was a silent journey. The passengers did not exchange one word; they did not show any emotions. On the arrival to the journey destiny, António pulled out the baby's chair (pram) of the luggage car. “It was the same as what the couple usually uses”, he affirms. The customers asked him, in English, how much the cab journey was. “I said that there were 3, 25 euros and they gave me five and then I thanked them”, he says.
The taxi-driver saw three men, the woman and the child move towards a metallic-blue, top-of-the-line Jeep “ I do not know if it would be a BMW, but I remember that the license plate was yellow and therefore was not a Portuguese one ”, he affirms. The vehicle was parked in the Hotel Apolo parking.

Four years later, the sighting is again making current headline news in the British media.  The McCanns lawyer in Portugal, Isabel Duarte, said Mr Castela's account is one of several important leads that the Portuguese police have failed to follow up.

However, way back in 2008, a source connected with the investigation guaranteed to Correio de Manha that the information given by António Castela were "investigated" and the “lead was proven false”. 

At that time, Clarence Mitchell responded publicly on behalf of the McCanns to this particular sighting...
Clarence Mitchell, reacted yesterday with amazement at the declarations of the taxi-driver. “The declarations of Mr. Castela are false. They are a perfect nonsense. He can only be mistaken when he says that at that time he transported Kate and Madeleine with three men”, he said.  Clarence doubts of the intentions of the taxi-driver. “It astonishes me that only now, ten months later, he talks about this. These are declarations that only cause pain to Kate and Gerry", he said, advancing that that the McCann's daughter has no facial twitches.  “The only sign to report is the one she has in the eye.”

Today, Clarence Mitchell seems to have wholly changed his mind about the doubtful intentions of Mr Castela, saying it was "deeply shocking" that detectives never interviewed Antonio Castela about his possible sighting of the missing child.
"Mr Castela did absolutely the right thing at the time by reporting his sighting to the PJ.  It is clearly deeply shocking that he now tells us he has not been interviewed once by a detective in five years.  This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be looked at in the investigative review now being carried out by the Metropolitan Police."

Spot the difference?  I reckon there's about two million quids worth there... and a lorra lorra spin.

NB : All initial media accounts of this story in 2008 gave Mr Castela's account of 3rd May 2007 before Madeleine went missing.  However, current articles in the British media now inaccurately refer to the incident happening on the 4th May.  Something stinks and it's not just cadaver.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Madeleine McCann - Still Watching and Waiting...

"Sometimes people do things for reasons that even they cannot understand. An act of madness, an accident or sudden impulse can lead to consequences that people may never have imagined or intended. Faced with such a situation we believe any human soul will ultimately suffer torment and feelings of guilt and fear. 

If you have done something you regret, if you find yourself in a situation you never intended, it is not too late to do the right thing."

Watching and waiting
For a friend to play with
Why have I been alone for so long
Mole he is burrowing his way to the sunlight
He knows there's someone there so strong
Cos here there's lots of room for doing
The things you've always been denied
Look and gather all you want to
There's no one here to stop you trying
Soon you will see me
Cos I'll be all around you
But where I come from I can't tell
But don't be alarmed by my fields and my forests
They're here for only you to share
Cos here there's lots of room for doing
The things you've always been denied
So look and gather all you want to
There's no one here to stop you trying

Watching and waiting
For someone to understand me
I hope it won't be very long...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dr O - conspicuous by his absence...

 Madeleine suspect accused of lying in confrontation with family friends
Earlier this month doctors Russell O'Brien and Fiona Payne, along with another friend, Rachael Oldfield, flew to Portugal to be questioned.  The meeting was arranged after members of Kate and Gerry McCanns' holiday party expressed doubts over the ex-pat's alibi.
As part of the process in Portugal, witnesses can challenge a suspect when there is doubt in the statements.
The friends claim they saw Murat, 33, on the night of 3 May when the four-year-old was snatched from her bed in the family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal.  The three key witnesses in the case are certain they recognise the suspect because of his distinctive lazy right eye caused by a detached retina.  One claims to have spotted Murat peeking into the McCann's apartment that night - which could destroy his alibi for the 3 May.  Murat insists he was dining with his mother before going to bed early.
Mr Murat's spokeperson, Tuck Price, says: "Robert found it traumatic. He could not understand how these people could sit there and accuse him of lying.  "It all seemed to revolve around them recognising his dodgy eye. "It was dark. How could they have seen?  Besides that, he was not there anyway."
In a leaked police report, Dr Payne and Mrs Oldfield claim they saw Murat at the Ocean Club resort at around 11.45pm.  Murat was spotted again - this time at 1am by Dr O'Brien.

Daily Mail, July 2007

Robert Murat sues McCann Friends 
Robert Murat is going to prosecute two friends of the McCann couple for perjury in a confrontation ordered by the judge.
Francisco Pagarete, Murat's Lawyer, does not know the evidence that the English gave during the investigation. However, he was present at the confrontation that - months after Murat had been constituted as arguido - was done between his client, Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne. The lawyer guarantees to SOL: "They lied in front of us, with the clear intention of incriminating my client".
Pagarete explains that, as soon as the case ends being under the secrecy of justice, he is going to consult 12 thousand pages of the process to find other evidences: "According to what I read in SOL, it was a British journalist who did the first accusation to the English Police. I will check if that is in the process".
Sol, 26 July 2008

I wonder what was said during that confrontation and why did Robert Murat make the decision to sue only two of the McCanns' friends (Payne and Oldfield) instead of the three that were present?  Did Dr O'Brien recant his accusations and indeed, could he be one of the friends who reportedly changed their statement?  Is the case still going ahead? Questions, questions.  Dr O'Brien has kept a low profile since - he was the only member of the group of friends not present on the High Court steps when the group accepted the out of court settlement from a number of newspaper groups.  His partner, Jane Tanner appeared in the McCann documentary alone.

In an interview Flash magazine conducted with Susan Healy, a source claimed...
At most the house in Rothley is visited by close family and three others of the group of seven friends who were with them in the Algarve when Maddie disappeared, that is David and Fiona Payne and Jane Tanner, as they are connected with them.
Conspicuous by his absence... just where is the good doctor?

Schrödinger's Cat

You may call me naive... when it was revealed that Kate McCann would release a paperback version of her book 'Madeleine' with an added chapter about the Scotland Yard review,  I really did wonder just how she would manage it.  Especially when it was said that the British review would be conducted in utmost secrecy with no final report even being made public.

Lead investigator DCI Andy Redwood originally stated that the open minded investigation followed two leads - one that Madeleine was alive and secondly that she was sadly dead.  This week however, we appear get a good idea of how things are panning out, ready for the 5 year anniversary and paperback book launch.

Several sources, including Robert Murat, Alan Johnson and Isabel Duarte, enabled Panorama to come across as an all out denigration of the Portuguese people and its police force.  Extremely degrading towards Portugal, the show pointed the finger of guilt at everyone except the main players... Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends.

Despite the Portuguese having primacy in the case and Scotland Yard only being one quarter of the way through their file, we now have claims that Madeleine is alive, having been subjected to a criminal act by a stranger.  And even more bizarrely, this respected Detective Chief Inspector is making these claims whilst doing the sofa run on morning television.  There's something just not right about that... We have also been proffered an image of what Madeleine may look like at the age of nine and a possible 195 historical investigative teasers.

The Scotland Yard review is made up of 3 elements... information from the Portuguese and British police in addition to the array of private investigators hired by the McCanns. Authorities in Portugal have publicly rejected the media led request to reopen the case, saying it would only be reopened on the basis of new evidence from a "serious, pertinent and authoritative" source.  Authoritative source... can we assume that these 195 old leads have come from the unauthoritative files of the private investigators?  What a strange place for a police force to start a review. Despite the AG stating that these historical 'leads' are quite obviously not new, the alive drive continues.

As the Portuguese are not willing to reopen the case using old evidence, I would appeal to DCI Redwood to reveal every one of these 195 leads and identify which part of the investigation they have arisen, in the same way that he has unveiled the image of a 9 year old Madeleine.  The public are a great help in many investigations, why not this one?  It would also quash the wave of accusations and rumours that a whitewash is in full flow.

Amongst many questions still being asked, the review has declared a live child yet failed to explain the scent of death found in many related places by a British cadaver dog.  And because of these very serious indications, the review should explain just how they have reached the conclusion of a live child being taken from the apartment.  The analysis of a sporadic, jotted down timeline really doesn't wash.

There is persistent chatter that the McCanns have the right to request the reopening of the case in Portugal themselves at no cost, but no-one in the British media has ever questioned this.  This current review has so far cost the taxpayer £2m, and is only one quarter along - are we foreseeing a final bill of £8m three years on with diplomatic relations with Portugal on a downward spiral?

These questions (or answers) will obviously not make it into the additional chapter of the paperback but fortunately for the McCanns, Scotland Yard have astonishingly given them plenty of perfectly timed material to use when they "speak publicly next week".  Not to mention the money and headline grabbing media.  The begging bowl may be left in the pantry this time around, but plenty can be made from the book.

**With thanks to SteelMagnolia for the links and Hideho for the videos.  Please view Hideho's video channel on Youtube by clicking here.

Friday, 27 April 2012

A McCann of Worms...

We all knew it was a huge can of worms.  But the news over the last few days is showing what a mixed up state of affairs the missing Madeleine McCann case is proving to be.  At the start of the week, I was really hopeful that the case would be reopened in Portugal, now I find myself disheartened and fearful that the real truth may never be known.

It all started with BBC Panorama and its claim that the News International, The Sun newspaper and the McCanns pressured the Prime Minister to instigate the review...

Downing Street sources have revealed to the programme that influence was being exerted on Number 10 by News International and by The Sun newspaper, as well as by the McCanns.  Within 24 hours of the front page appeal Mr Cameron announced a review could be paid for out of a contingency fund run by the Home Office, reserved for special cases.


Also from BBC's Panorama, we have DCI Andy Redwood claiming that...

We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.  Our drive on both scenarios is of equal measure.

The British media sensationally interpretted this as...

Police reveal Madeleine may still be alive
The Mirror

Madeleine McCann : She is alive

195 Leads and she is still alive

In a complete turnaround, the Portuguese authorities denied all knowledge of new leads and quickly rebutted Scotland Yard's claims with...

There are no new elements at the moment that would allow for the reopening of the inquiry.  We have received no formal request for the reopening of the inquiry.

On the day that the McCanns and Isabel Duarte finally returned 7500 copies of Goncalo Amaral's book 'Truth of the Lie' to their rightful owner, publisher Guerra & Pas as ordered...

Goncalo Amaral appeared on Portuguese television and claimed that...

The British police wanted to impose the theory of abduction and the innocence of the parents.

Even more bizarre is DCI Redwood's apparent sole reason for the belief of abduction hinges on the parents and friends timeline...

Evidence that she is alive stems from the forensic view of the timeline, that there was the opportunity for her to be taken. Investigations show there do appear to be gaps. 

Forensic view of the timeline?  This timeline?...

I'm all for a chink of hope, but it beggars belief that Scotland Yard and the media have appeared to dismiss the findings of the British cadaver dog brought onto the case at the recommendation of our very own British police.  A skilled dog who marked the scent of death in apartment 5a and the McCanns' hire car.  And on Mrs McCann's clothing, a child's t-shirt and Madeleine's favourite toy, Cuddlecat.  How can the scent of death simply be glossed over  and ignored when it was found on McCann related items only and nowhere else in Praia de Luz?  So what if the forensics were degraded and contaminated, it's the scent of death for goodness sake.

A battle of words, court cases and desire for power and money seems to have dominated this case.  Most importantly, at the core of all of this is Madeleine, who seems almost forgotten in the crossfire.  She doesn't deserve the fate she has been dealt or all this PR crap being bandied in the media.  The truth has to be know.