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.