The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Misc. Media Comments (01 Sep 2008 - Date) *

A collection of interesting, and sometimes controversial, press articles and general comments about various aspects of the case, covering 01 September 2008 to date.

Georges Moreas - Maddie: Postscript, 03 September 2008
Georges Moreas - Maddie: Postscript POLICEtcetera
By Georges Moreas
03 September 2008
Thanks to 'AnnaEsse' for translation
Young Maddie's disappearance fascinates the blogosphere. Thousands of surfers have visited this blog, sometimes leaving comments or sending me an email. Many are very hard on the McCanns. It is true that their awful attitude reflects a poor image of them. They are nasty. But while looking nasty, maybe they are miserable!
But that's not the question!
A four year-old child has disappeared. She has been taken from her family and no one knows what has become of her.
And whether they accept it or not, the McCann couple are responsible, as we all are for our children.
And instead of accepting it, they prevaricate, they lie to the investigators, they look for protection. In a word, they behave like guilty people.
And then, they are astonished at having been suspected. And then, they are astonished at having been questioned. And they are indignant that their honour should be attacked. But I don't give a damn about their honour!
A four year-old child has disappeared. And we are all concerned because that child is now ours, as within an instant becomes the toddler we are helping to cross the road, or as we comfort a child for a bump.
The investigation must not stop. On the contrary, Interpol, Europol, and all European police should mobilise themselves to find Maddie. We have not built Europe solely for big money stories.
And if, unfortunately, it is too late! If she is dead. We want to know how. We want to know who killed her. And we want them to be punished.

Revisiting the "Maddie case", 01 October 2008
Revisiting the "Maddie case" Diario Economico
Was it the Portuguese and English governments that decided to sabotage the investigation and to get the parents "off the hook"?
Domingos Amaral, Portuguese journalist and author
01 October 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
Now that the Maddie case has been archived by the Public Ministry due to a lack of evidence; now that the process has been opened for public consultation; and now that the PJ inspector who coordinated the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, has already published a book about the issue, it has become possible to list my conclusions about the case. Here they are:
1 - Contrary to what was suggested by the British press, which presented him as a negligent policeman who spent his life in long lunches, washed down with plenty of wine, and with little investigative capacity, the impression that I got from Gonçalo Amaral, both from the tv interviews and from reading the book, is that he coordinated a competent investigation, that followed the rules, that was neither biased nor tendentious, and that he did everything to crack the case.

2 - All the evidence that was collected by the PJ pointed, right from the first days onward, to the little girl's death inside the apartment and the subsequent concealment of the cadaver, probably by her parents.

3 - The indicia that was collected, both from witnesses, and later from the DNA tests, pointed into that same direction.

4 - The behaviour of the little girl's parents' friends is very strange. There are contradictory depositions that seem to have been "built" to lead the PJ into the direction of the abduction theory. On the other hand, the fact that all of the friends abandoned Portugal in a hurry is extremely disturbing.

5 - The manner in which the little girl's parents behave, speaking to Sky News on the same day and transforming the case into a media event, obviously forcing the abduction theory, is extremely surprising. It does not seem normal to me that a father and a mother, when confronted with the disappearance of a daughter, establish as their first and only priority to transform the case into a worldwide media event.

6 - Since the first hour, the English press accepted the abduction theory, which was communicated to them by the parents, without judgment. Like a brainless flock, they fell on Praia da Luz exercising enormous pressure on the PJ, suggesting that Portugal is a third world country, and complicating the investigation. We remember that it was an English journalist that "invented" the suspicions about Robert Murat, thus forcing the PJ to investigate him and to waste time with a situation that was lateral, but which suited the parents' purpose.

7 - The fact that the little girl's father is a personal friend to Prime Minister Gordon Brown led to the English government making available to the parents, media specialists who built and forced the abduction theory. It was a highly professional operation that used sophisticated marketing techniques, in the press and on the internet, with meetings with international personalities, which culminated with the visit to the Pope in the Vatican.

8 - This remarkable public campaign was accompanied by a political pressure behind the scenes, with the English government exerting pressure on the Portuguese government, in the direction of the abduction theory.

9 - For many months, it was evident that the PJ had lost the public opinion battle and that it was not prepared to handle a media and political pressure of such proportion. In terms of public communication, the case was very badly managed by the PJ and by the Public Ministry.

10 - Despite these tremendous political and media pressures, the investigation proceeded on the terrain and was approaching important conclusions, which clearly pointed to the parents' guilt, at least of the crime of cadaver concealment.

All of these conclusions lead me to formulate two questions: Why were the directory of the PJ and the Public Ministry incapable of having the courage to accuse the parents, like the investigation suggested? Was it the Portuguese and the English governments that decided to sabotage the investigation and to let the parents "off the hook"?

Some day the truth will emerge, but for me, and even without bulletproof evidence, a case like this should never have been archived and those parents should be tried in court.

Goldilocks: Which bed did 'Maddie' really sleep in last?, 22 December 2008
Goldilocks Ripperana: The True Crime Mystery Magazine (see below for details)


Which bed did 'Maddie' really sleep in last?


By Dr. Martin Roberts

October-December edition No. 66, 2008


A statement made public earlier this year by Kate McCann suggests that Madeleine was not taken from her own bed in Praia da Luz, but from her mother's.


Answering the by-now-familiar question of her responsibility for leaving the children unattended, she concludes by asking, "Is it right for somebody to go into your apartment and take your child out (of) your bed?"


This astonishing slip of the tongue casts immediate doubt on the scenario of the abduction through the window of the child's bedroom on the night of May 3 last year. The parents' bedroom was adjacent to the patio doors (through which an abductor was eventually held to have entered) and Kate is reported to have explained to police the circumstances in which one or other child had already slept with them on the two previous nights; a practice that continued afterwards with the twins, 'for comfort'.


Although the possibility of abduction seems still to exist, Kate's unguarded remark leads to a question of considerable significance; Why should anyone choose to fabricate a crime somewhere if a genuine instance of the same thing has actually occurred nearby? Such misdirection would only make sense if conducted by someone involved in both activities and the true misdemeanour were of a different nature.


A false abduction on the one hand and a non-abduction on the other would together amount to no abduction at all.


Can this extraordinary perspective be corroborated in any way, and what might that mean for the long-held sequestration theory in the case of missing Madeleine McCann?


Proving a negative postulate can be difficult. Faced with the McCann's claim of abduction, the onus was upon Portuguese investigators, either to furnish a lead to Madeleine's whereabouts or prove she had not been snatched. In the event they could do neither. But 'difficult' does not equal impossible. As the saying has it, 'The difficult we do on demand. The impossible takes a little longer.' Proving the nul-hypothesis in this instance may turn out to have been merely difficult after all.


It is now widely known that two British sniffer dogs were taken to Portugal to assist the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and while some might consider evidence from sniffer dogs to be unreliable, denying the superior olfactory capabilities of dogs per se would be akin to dismissing a bat's feats of echo location. Man has successfully exploited the gifts of other animal species since the dawn of civilisation: Bees provide honey, geese once successfully served ancient Rome as lookouts, sacrificial songbirds have saved the lives of miners and early submariners alike. Nowadays sniffer dogs are routinely used to detect drugs, plastic explosives, fire accelerants and, of course, missing people. Hence, if a dog signals the presence of a specific scent in an unusual context, then it is entirely reasonable to consider the scent present. Dogs, unlike people, do not know how to lie. The cadaver dog employed in Portugal was no different in these important respects.


It is not however necessary to postulate a death, or levy accusations of culpable homicide, in order to progress toward an alternative explanation of Madeleine McCann's disappearance from apartment 5a. Nor is it necessary to couch discussion of the cadaver dog's behaviour in terms of corpses, despite the specificity of the odour he was trained to detect. In deference to the sensibilities of others, and for the purpose of this discussion, we may suppose, to perfectly good effect, that the dog indicated an odour with a neutral connotation; essence of lavender, for instance. Surprisingly perhaps, one need not establish, or even assume, that the scent either originated with the missing child or was somehow shared by her.


Whereabouts at the apartment was the identifiable scent detected? Predominantly on floor surfaces in and around the parents' bedroom, also on Madeleine's favourite soft toy, the last recorded position of which was adjacent to the pillow at the head of the child's bed. Hence 'lavender' was present on several immovable surfaces and one very portable one. Now, imagine you are on the point of concluding a 100 piece jig-saw puzzle, of which you had only 99 pieces at the outset. Two gaps remain to be filled, one within a white cloud, the other within an area of blue sky. The only piece you have left is blue. Where do you place it? In the space identified by the most appropriate context, obviously.


Madeleine is reported by her parents to have slept with her soft toy. But the only dormitory in which the 'essence of lavender' features as fixed is theirs, not hers. Furthermore, according to an August 2007 report in the Sunday Mirror, Kate McCann knew instantly that Madeleine had been abducted when she saw that the toy had been moved from her sleeping daughter's arms and placed on a ledge way beyond the four-year-old's reach. Judging from police photographs, there is no such ledge in the children's bedroom, but there appears to be something of the kind in the parents' room, pictured with an article of clothing laying on it.


Taken together, these observations should be sufficient to locate the soft toy in the parents' bedroom initially, not the one in which it was later photographed.


But what of Madeleine?


The same Sunday Mirror article quotes a police source as saying: "When Kate tucked Madeleine up in bed earlier in the evening she had the toy tightly in her arms as she did every night." If Madeleine held the toy in her arms every night, then wherever the toy went to bed so did the child. If the toy can be placed in the parents' bedroom, metaphorically speaking, so too can Madeleine McCann, and the situational 'double negative' alluded to previously becomes altogether more robust.


Kate McCann's all important remark is therefore substantiated. Madeleine, it seems, was not abducted from her own bed, in which case she was not abducted at all and the McCanns have been declared innocent of involvement in a crime that did not take place.




'Ripperana: The True Crime Mystery Magazine' is a Quarterly magazine/journal available by subscription only. Subscription enquiries should be addressed to:


This is the interview with Kate McCann referenced in the above article - the quote comes at 02:30.

Doctor! Doctor!, 13 January 2009
Doctor! Doctor!
"I cannot think about anything else at the moment other than finding Madeleine. I do not know if I would be safe to go back and practise as a doctor at the moment." Gerry McCann, 11 June 2007
By 'TTW4'
13 January 2009
We all trust our doctors (well most of us) to tell us the truth.
'Do no harm' this is one on the tenets of the medical profession.
Someone is ill, the doctor establishes the cause of the illness, tells the patient, and then uses his or her best skill and judgement to diagnose a remedy for the condition.
Doctors are trained to do this and we inherently rely upon their judgement.
They spend 7 long years honning their skills for just such an event. The GPs surgery is a daily battleground against disease and illness of one sort or another. When in hospital we again rely on yet more skilled and trained physicans to carry out even more tests and further diagnosis.
We are entirely reliant for our wellbeing upon the ability of such highly trained and professional staff. The decisions they make in the course of their daily lives can concern real life or death situations. One wrong move, one careless prognosis and it's all over. The doctors decision making process has to be of the highest calibre - that is why we as patients in the NHS naturally demand such high standards. Our taxes have paid for their training and we have endowed our doctors with our trust. That trust demands they employ all of their talents both, learnt and acquired to fulfil their professional obligations under licence within society.
Should things go awry then there is a structure in place to question the competance of the professional involved. I make no case either for or against such arbitration and or it's effectiveness, I only propose that society acknowledges that administering lethal medication or process demands some sort of regulation. Someone could get hurt.
The Doctors McCann and Healy are both registered with the neccessary authorities to practice in accordance with the current guidelines, therefore it can be said they have accepted society's bargain and seek in their professional lives to make the very best of decisions concerning their patients care.

Kate McCann

30 April 2008 Kate Healy says she sees Madeleine in 'visions', which, according to her mother Susan Healy, keep her awake at night
For the time being Dr. Kate Healy is not practicing as a GP. This is a well thought out and carefully considered strategy on the part of her and her family. The trauma she has suffered during the course of the last 2 years, with the loss of her daughter - and under such tragic circumstances - demands nothing less. Healy's decision making process must be impaired, and it is a well known fact, and understood amongst professionals and those in the social services community, that psychiatric scarring can become apparent in subjects, if not immediately then sometimes years after such an horrific event.
The consequence of this is, and Kate Healy knows I am sure, that it is extremely unlikely that she will ever sit inside a GP's surgery again as a practicing doctor. In making this decision she has no doubt consulted with professional counsellors and psychologists who will have offered the very best and most considered of opinions as to whether or not Kate Healy's state of mind is truely fit to practice medicine again. On balance Kate Healy is to be applauded for her consideration of her patients well being.
On the other hand Dr. Gerald Mccann sees his decision making process as unimpaired. I say this because despite having suffered the exact same trauma and psychological upset as his wife he retuned to work some 6 months after the loss of his daughter, apparently suffering no ill after effects.
Having been made a suspect in the disappearence of his daughter did not appear to present any kind of psychological upset to him in the slightest. A remarkable feat by anyones reckoning, if you can really call that sort of mental remoteness and isolation remarkable at all for a normal human being.
As a consultant in his field (Cardiovascular Medicine) I understand his patient contact is limited, and that surely comes as some relief, but he is still making decisions concerning patients who are referred to him. He still has to determine and interperate data, scans and propose a course or assess a course of treatment. This requires an unimpaired decision making process, something Dr. Gerald Mccann claims to have, and has seemingly demonstrated in spades.

Gerry McCann returns to work

01.11.07 The ability to walk through the door to your place of work and receive a pat on the back from a colleague, does not of it's own accord, I am sorry to say, automatically mean that you are a fit and proper person to practice medicine.
Was Gerald Mccann totally unaffected? Psychologically Dr.Gerald Mccann was affected and he admitted some of his darkest thoughts here, when talking of being made suspects:
"You're in the middle of a horror movie really, a nightmare. Pressure such as I've never felt before. You're under attack in one way or another. The speculation takes you to the worst places and the worst place would have been being charged, potentially being put in jail, certainly being detained to face charges that could have taken years to materialise, being separated from Sean and Amelie."
It seems he was affected and in much the same way as his wife.
It should also be remembered that those charges, which he so feared, could have come at any time up to being relieved of his arguido status.

Gerry McCann

Leaving Portugal Dr. Gerald McCann considers his future in the UK, and how his actions so shortly before, on the 30 of July 2007 belied his confused and irrational thinking.
Amongst other things it was noted that:
'Gerald McCann insisted on constantly delivering to Ricardo Paiva (a PJ inspector), letters and e-mails that he received and selected. Most of them from psychics and mediums, and that in general held no credible information about the whereabouts of Madeleine and of her alleged abductor'.
To put selected communications from psychics and internet mediums in front of the Portuguese investigating authorities is plainly neither empirical, deductive, or rational thinking. Just 90 days later and Dr. Gerald McCann would start employing his 'logic' with real people in real situations.

Mail boxes at the McCanns' home in Rothley

30.04.08 Seen in the McCann house at Rothley.This is the mail sorting box system the doctors Kate and Gerald have instituted to cope with their incoming mail.
The doctors, for the best part of a year, have been on the receving end of numerous death threats, poison pen letters and bile of the most unimaginable kind. The sorting boxes mean they can at least try to compartmentalise these 'mental' assaults into some sort of manageable psychological onslaught.
The hope is, no doubt, they will, by these actions, then be able to mentally deal with the outpouring of hate they have stirred up in the hearts and minds of the British public. To be on the receiving end of such vitriole and abuse must pay a heavy price, and none more so than on the minds of the Doctors Kate and Gerald McCann.
Perhaps because Kate McCann is a woman she more readily and easily seems to demonstrate a more complete understanding of her abilities and state of mind. Gerald McCann, as a man, seems more ready to suffer denial and exclusion as his mental remedy, for his discomfort. The fact that a doctor is walking through the doors of a hospital in this country to adminster advice and opinion, of the most sensitive kind, to patients under his care, when he himself is the subject of so much trauma, uncertantity and abuse must surely call into question that doctors ability to perform.
UHL, as Dr. Gerald McCanns employer, will have to look long and hard to see whether or not Dr. Gerald McCanns' true state of mind is an enhancement to cardiovascular patient care in Glenfield Hospital, or as some might think a hinderance.

It's time to change our libel laws, 30 January 2009
It's time to change our libel laws Guardian
Did you know... that the UK's unfair libel laws are damaging investigative journalism and human rights activism?
Nick Cohen
Friday 30 January 2009 12.40 GMT
Did you know...
• Regional newspapers will not undertake any investigation they fear may attract a libel writ and will not fight a libel case even if what they printed was true?
• As the money drains out of the national media, they may soon follow suit.
• The libel law is meant to protect men and women of good reputation but in recent times the judiciary has opened its doors to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, who paid $225m to settle charges brought by the US authorities for his part in the collapse of the corrupt Bank of Commerce and Credit International, and to Roman Polanski, who is living in exile in France to escape attempts by the US authorities to extradite him for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old.
• Uniquely in the law of the Anglo-Saxon democracies, the burden of proof in the libel court lies on the defendant.
• Almost uniquely in the law of the Anglo-Saxon democracies, damages in the English libel courts need have no relation to actual damages suffered.
• Simple libel cases can cost millions of pounds to fight and lawyers have every incentive to drag them out as they can claim 100% success fees.
• The United Nations Human Rights Committee says that English libel law was so biased it discouraged writers discussing matters of public interest.
• British solicitors encourage oligarchs and plutocrats from all over the world to sue foreign publications in London, and the judiciary does nothing to stop them.
• Obozrevatel (Observer), a Ukraine-based internet news site, was sued by the richest Ukrainian oligarch even though its number of English readers must be negligible as Obozrevatel only publishes in Ukrainian.
• The human rights group Global Witness was threatened with libel for exposing corrupt central African dictators, as were London solicitors who publicised the plight of west African victims of a chemical spill.
• One of the first acts of President Obama will be sign into law the libel tourism bill, which will declare the decisions of English libel judges unenforceable in the United States.
• Isn't it about time that they were unenforceable in England too?
The Convention on Modern Liberty will begin in London on Saturday 28 February at 9.45am at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way London WC1. Other sessions, with live screenings from London, will take place at Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, Bristol; Student Council Chamber, Oxford Road, Manchester University; Cambridge Union, Bridge Street, Cambridge; Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Strathclyde, Montrose Street, Glasgow; Peter Froggatt Centre, Queen's University, Belfast. The venue in Cardiff is yet to be confirmed.
For information and to buy tickets at £35 (concession £20), please visit:
A previous report from Nick Cohen:
The celluloid cult of Madeleine; A plotless movie: Madeleine McCann's disappearance is to be made into a film Evening Standard (PDF)
Nick Cohen
09 January 2008
ANY decent parent whose daughter went missing would do what the McCanns did and keep the publicity going by playing along with the media. If there was a chance it could help find her, how could they do otherwise? But the McCanns' decision to sell the movie rights to their daughter's disappearance confirms that they have put the poor girl at the centre of a cult as ghoulish and cloying as that of the sainted Diana.

At least in Princess Di's case, we know what happened to her (well, everyone except Mohamed Fayed and Michael Mansfield knows what happened to her). In the case of Madeleine McCann, we don't know who killed her, how they killed her, why they killed her and, indeed, whether she is actually dead.
The film will have no plot or point. It will prolong an exhibitionist display on which the curtain should have fallen months ago.

Nobody believes that Maddie is alive, 29 April 2009
Nobody believes that Maddie is alive TVMais (appears in paper edition only)
by Hernâni Carvalho
29 April 2009
Thanks to Astro for translation
We asked some Portuguese journalists if they believe that Maddie could be alive. None of them does. Former inspector Gonçalo Amaral and psychologist Paulo Sargento don't believe it either.
Júlia Pinheiro, TVI talk show host "A domestic tragedy"

Julia Pinheiro

"Hardly. Looking at the facts that are known and what has been revealed, through the various reconstruction, namely the documentary that was broadcast by TVI, the little girl can hardly be alive. I don't know what happened, but I don't believe that Maddie is alive. I don't read anything into the parents' behaviour, but I'd love to interview them. To have the opportunity to talk with them like Oprah did. The McCanns have never given an in-depth interview to Portuguese television. If they would give me an interview, maybe I could understand and decode what lies in their soul. I think that there is a domestic tragedy that we're not able to discern yet. I believe that there is a secret with them that we may find out about, some day. It's surely a heavy secret."

Pedro Mourinho, SIC journalist "A big fat lie"

Pedro Mourinho

"I don't believe it. I can't imagine someone fetching a child from a room where two others are, taking one and leaving the others behind. I think that Maddie's parents' behaviour over the past two years has the purpose of maintaining and feeding a big fat lie. I believe that they will do it until the end. Until the truth is known or until the story dies on its own. And I'm not accusing anyone. I recognise that the McCanns have been trying to prevent the story from dying. But I don't know why the heck they do it."

Fatima Campos Ferreira, RTP journalist "I believe that she has passed away by now"

Fatima C Ferreira

"I don't believe it. No matter how the disappearance happened, I don't believe that Maddie is alive. Whether it was an accident and she died in the apartment or she was taken that night, I believe that she has passed away by now. Unfortunately, I don't believe that she is alive. Concerning her parents and their behaviour, I'm not sure about anything."

Paulo Sargento, forensic psychologist "I don't believe the abduction theory"

Paulo Sargento

"I don't believe in that possibility, because I simply don't believe the abduction theory! All the forensic evidence, according to the majority of experts in the field, point towards the little girl's death. In fact, I believe that if the little girl was alive, we would have received a sign about it. The only sign that we have about that is a belief or a lie from the parents. Nothing else. First they put up a show to conceal what actually happened, then, in the various attempts that they made to extinguish the phenomenon, there were so many differing actions and reactions that they prevented the phenomenon itself from extinguishing. And since then, we have been watching some breaths that result from the parents' pressure, the last of which is their appearance on Oprah's show and a so-called reconstruction that was made to measure by the McCanns."

Gonçalo Amaral, former PJ coordinator "The little girl died on location"

Gonçalo Amaral

"I didn't believe it from the outset. The little girl died on the location where she disappeared from. All the investigative evidence indicate that. The programme that was broadcast by TVI shows it to evidence. The lies that were told by the group that dined with the McCanns that night, as well. The parents themselves gave a sign, on the 21st of June 2007. They summoned a South African expert in finding corpses. Everything else are issues with the FindMadeleine fund. It can only exist as long as a living child is searched for…"

Alexandra Borges, TVI journalist "She died, murdered or not"

Alexandra Borges

"I would like to believe that she is still alive. But I find that very difficult. Concerning the McCanns, I have only one explanation. It's the fact that they are parents and refuse to believe that their daughter may be dead. Murdered or not. Believing in the abduction theory allows them to keep her alive until the contrary is proved. It sounds illogical, but feelings have no logic."

Lindy McDowell: What really happened to Maddie?, 06 May 2009
Lindy McDowell: What really happened to Maddie? Belfast Telegraph
By Lindy McDowell
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
On the one hand we're told that Madeleine McCann was snatched, probably by a team of devious and experienced child-traffickers. On the other we're presented with a picture of how she may look now — a bit older but still with the same fair hairstyle.
I am no criminal mastermind myself, but if I had snatched a child and was trying to disguise her, the first thing I'd do is completely change her hair?
Is this little girl still alive? That's the haunting question. The investigation still seems to be focussed entirely on the possibility of abduction.
Is it not also possible that on the night she disappeared, Maddie woke up, discovered her parents gone and set out (as four-year-olds are wont to) to find them?
Has this eventuality been properly investigated? Isn't it possible the little girl could have come to some tragic, but entirely accidental harm?

Maddie, 01 June 2009
Maddie Private Eye (appears in paper edition only)
01 June 2009
After a long gap there have been further sightings of Maddie stories in the British tabloids.
These are believed to have been the work of a notorious paedophile hunter.
We can now reveal her as Rebekah Wade, who has been taking an unhealthy interest in the story all along.
Note: Rebekah Wade is the editor of Rupert Murdoch's The Sun newspaper.

McCann internet attacks are so sick, 06 June 2009
McCann internet attacks are so sick News of the World (Scottish version)
By Anna Smith
I HAD the misfortune to encounter some of the lowest forms of human life last week.
Thankfully it was only on the internet. My comments about the bungling, thicko Portuguese cops who mishandled the Madeline McCann case upset a bunch of lowlifes who are so sick and twisted that they have set up a website forum dedicated to attacking the McCanns.
It's appallingly cruel and filled with horrendous attacks on a tragic couple, who for the rest of their lives, will count the cost of their mistake.
What kind of people would devote so much of their energy to that level of vitriol?
What kind of morons would be on web forums in the middle of the night spitting hatred to total strangers, when the only real issue here is that a little girl is still missing?
I hope to God the McCanns don't read it. The internet has a lot to answer for. It has given spineless cowards a place to hide while they drip poison, masquerading as people who want to get to the truth.
There has to be some way we can legislate to shut these people down.
Note: Anna Smith, is almost certainly talking about the3arguidos forum, members of which emailed her last week in response to her opinion piece 'Paedo Shame' (reproduced below).
It is a great shame that, in her fevered desire to dispense her own brand of 'poison', she couldn't take the time to spell Madeleine's name correctly.
Paedo Shame News of the World (appears in the Scottish paper edition only)
Anna Smith
The more I hear about the Algarve, the sicker I feel. Investigators hunting for Madeleine McCann say the area is awash with paedophiles, with seven sex attacks on kids in the last 4 years.
Perhaps that's why those thicko cops pointed the finger at the McCanns - by blaming them and moving on, nobody would dig up their dirt. They continue to ignore new evidence and hope what they always hoped - that this case would just go away.
Their priority from day one was the effect this awful tragedy was having on tourism.
I will never set foot in Portugal again for the shameful way they have treated the McCanns, and the sheer ineptitude of the investigation.

UK faces backlash over 'libel tourists', 07 June 2009
UK faces backlash over 'libel tourists' Timesonline
US politicians try to protect citizens from British court, claiming foreigners use law to bring expensive defamation cases
By Robert Watts
June 7, 2009
American politicians are pushing through free speech laws to protect US citizens from libel rulings in British courts that have been accused of stifling criticism of oligarchs and dictators.
The development follows claims that foreigners flock to the UK to begin hugely expensive defamation cases even though they have little to do with this country.
Claimants who have indulged in so-called "libel tourism" include a Ukrainian businessman who sued a Ukrainian language website based in his homeland for £50,000, simply because its contents could be viewed in Britain.
An Icelandic bank successfully sued a Danish newspaper in the British courts for publishing unflattering stories about the advice it gave to clients, despite collapsing six months later.
Now lawmakers in several American states, including New York and Illinois, have moved to block the enforcement of British libel judgments in the United States.
Congress is also considering a bill that will allow defendants of foreign libel suits to counter-sue for up to three times the damages sought by a claimant if their right to free speech, enshrined in the First Amendment, has been violated.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Greenpeace, Global Witness, Index on Censorship and representatives of Oxfam and Christian Aid are all known to be alarmed by the way UK courts are being used to challenge their reports.
"Our libel laws have made Britain a place where any of the world's bullies and wealthy celebrities can wander into court 13 \ and launder their reputations," said Mark Stephens, a partner at the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent, which advises many non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
"In the US you can still be sued but claimants pay for their own lawyers, fewer spurious claims go to court and freedom of speech is enshrined in law by the First Amendment. Some NGOs are seriously considering moving their publication people out to the States to protect themselves."
London has long been regarded as a claimant-friendly place for libel actions because defendants are deemed "guilty" until they have proved their innocence, the opposite of the usual burden of proof in criminal cases. Damages are also typically higher in the UK and the costs so expensive that defendants often feel compelled to settle out of court, even though they may be in the right.
Because there is no legal aid for such cases, the government has allowed libel and privacy claimants to sue under "no win, no fee" arrangements. This enables lawyers to claim a 100% "uplift" on their normal rates. One of London's leading libel lawyers charges up to a total of £1,200 an hour.
"The reports NGOs (write) take many months, even years, to put together and rely on anonymous sources who fear for their lives," said Jo Glanville, of Index on Censorship. "These are not people you can just pull into a courtroom.
"By contrast, many of these libel tourism claims are not about disputing factual errors, they are really about shutting up critics who have exposed serious abuses."
Global Witness, an environmental and human rights pressure group, faced legal action in London from Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, son of the president of Congo-Brazzaville. The NGO published a report, based on Hong Kong court papers, which suggested Sassou Nguesso had bought more than $100,000 of designer clothes and other luxury goods using a credit card paid for by public funds.
Sassou Nguesso hired Schillings, a London law firm, in an attempt to suppress the report. His application for an injunction did not succeed, but Global Witness has been left with legal costs of £50,000.
The Commons culture, media and sport select committee is conducting an inquiry into libel, privacy and press standards. "I have been left in no doubt that the high cost of libel claims is having a damaging effect on the good work of some NGOs," said John Whittingdale, its chairman.
Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has also admitted that no-win no-fee agreements for claimant lawyers are having a serious effect on free speech.
Mr Justice Eady, a High Court judge, has delivered a series of rulings that have bolstered privacy laws and encouraged libel tourism. He awarded Max Mosley, the Formula One president, privacy damages of £60,000 over the News of the World's expose of his sex life.
Most recently, Eady has been accused of "stifling" scientific debate after he ruled in favour of a trade body for chiropractors against a science writer who had accused the body of promoting "bogus treatments". Eady said that Simon Singh, the writer, had effectively accused the body of dishonesty.
In a landmark decision five years ago Eady gave judgment for Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi banker, who had sued Rachel Ehrenfeld, an American academic. She suggested in a book that the banker had links to the financing of terrorist groups. Ehrenfeld had not published or promoted the book in this country but 23 copies sold over the internet were shipped to Britain. She decided not to defend the case, but Eady ordered her to pay £130,000 in costs and damages.
He also ruled that any copies of her book must be pulped. This judgment almost single-handedly launched the American freedom of speech backlash against UK libel laws.

Maddie McCann: She Won't Want To Be Found, 08 July 2009
Maddie McCann: She Won’t Want To Be Found Greene's Insite

Greene's Insite

July 8, 2009
Good to see that the Find Maddie Campaign is ticking over nicely. New suspects pop up with some regularity - most recently a British paedophile being treated for cancer in Germany, a Portuguese market trader of "gipsy appearance" and another British man in jail in the UK -, adverts calling on the public to keep looking ("she might be next to you") continue to appear regularly in the British tabloid press and presumably financial contributions to the campaign fund keep flowing in. I say this (about the money) because little has recently been heard of the McCanns' plan - first mooted in april 2008 - to write a book about their ordeal. At the time, a deal possibly worth two million pounds was mentioned, at a time when the existing Find Maddie campaign coffers were running disturbingly low.
Still, with their unerring talent for raising doubts in the minds of even the most sympathetic members of the public, Gerry and Kate McCann have decided to embellish the newspaper advertisement not just with the familiar picture of Maddie aged 3 but also with a computer generated image of what she might look like at the age of six. And what a lovely girl it is! Beautiful eyes, with the tell-tale mark of course, shiny hair combed back behind her ears: a picture of health and happiness. A girl that is obviously being well looked after. Every bit the Maddie we might have known today….if she hadn't disappeared over two years ago and suffered an as yet unknown fate.
I remain unwavering in my personal conviction that little Maddie is no longer alive. How she died and at whose hands I cannot say; no theory, however outlandish, can be entirely discounted. Identifying a guilty party is well-nigh impossible in the absence of a body or a shred of forensic evidence. Any remains found could always be identified via DNA, but evidence pointing at a killer (or killers) will inevitably degenerate with the passing of time. How much time I don't know, you'd need a trained medic to tell you that. But let's not dwell on this, the McCanns believe Maddie is alive and that's all we have to go on. If she is, though, then what? If indeed she was abducted by some hideous paedophile and subjected to unspeakable horror and abuse she'd be a hollow-eyed waif by now, possibly on drugs, underfed and in ill health. A far cry from the girl with the cheeky grin that the McCanns would have us believe could be Maddie as a six-year old.
So, assuming that Gerry and Kate aren't stupid, what's the point of the photographic update? I see two possibilities. Either the McCanns have an inkling that Maddie is indeed dead but, for their own reasons, want to keep the campaign going (you can get used to receiving big cheques in the post) or they believe that she may have been stolen to order, possibly for resale to a well-to-do childless couple. Only in a case like that is there any likelihood that she would look as hale and hearty as she obviously does in the newly concocted picture. It's a long shot, admittedly, but stranger things have happened.
But finding Maddie alive and well, happily living with a new family is probably the worst case scenario for the McCanns. A girl of six, who has just spent two happy years with a new identity, new family, new friends will be entirely different from the toddler left on her own in a holiday apartment in the Algarve in May 2007. At such an early age, the process of learning new things, adapting to new situations and forgetting what was takes place at breakneck speed. By now she may have no recollection of ever being called Maddie. I know what I'm talking about: when I was nine I went into hospital, I came out again nearly two years later. Older than Maddie is now, with the contact with my family intact, I still had enormous problems readjusting to life at home, fitting in and getting on with my next of kin. Not to put too fine a point on it: for a long time I felt closer to the man who, for the past eight months, had been lying in the bed next to mine than I did to my own mother. Imagine a young, impressionable child, entirely at ease in her new life, reacting to a family she hasn't seen for over two years! Or much longer, depending on when she would be found. Gerry and Kate would be strangers to her; and disruptive, unwanted strangers at that. Claiming Maddie back in such circumstances would be a recipe for disaster.
But as I said, this is probably a fantasy scenario. Maddie McCann is dead. But until her remains are found and identified, the circus will continue. Not with my money, though.

Madeleine McCann: Forsaken By Gerry And Kate---Again!, 24 February 2010
Madeleine McCann: Forsaken By Gerry And Kate---Again! Freindly Fire Zone!

Written by Christopher Freind
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 12:17

Madeleine McCann

Being in the media is pretty cool, especially when you run your own news bureau, as I now do (

I recently flew in an F-16 fighter jet, accelerating vertically from zero to 12,000 feet in under ten seconds. Shortly after that, I also flew with the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters, flying directly into the eye of the beast for 12 hours.

I have interviewed world leaders, presidential candidates, and the owner of a World Series winning baseball team.

And I've had a ball exposing hypocrites and bad guys in politics, business, sports, and yes, the media.

Yet the more I think about it, I'm still in the wrong business.

I should have been a British cardiologist or general practitioner.

Either way, I'd be in a great position to become an international celebrity, one that could mingle with presidents, popes, paparazzi and the press. I could globetrot to my heart’s content, write sweet-nothings on my blog, threaten people's right to free speech, and bully anyone into silence who dare oppose me.

Now THAT'S a really cool gig.

And to think, all I'd have to do is abandon my three children, with a combined age of seven, night after night in a Portuguese resort while I went carousing on the town with friends.  And if my three-year old daughter --- who, for sake of this story, we'll just call....Madeleine --- happens to disappear (with, or without my knowledge and complicity), then so be it.

While it wouldn't be easy, it's a sacrifice I'd be willing to make.  Come on --- it's a private audience with the Pope we're talking about here!


Now don't get me wrong. I'm not referring to anyone in particular.

Ok, ok.  You got me. That one was a lie. I am.

But in good faith, while I won't mention these people's names, their initials are Gerry and Kate McCann.


Life is still rockin' for the killers....of the spirit of goodwill.

Despite millions around the world who've come to realize the awful truth that the McCann's gross negligence destroyed an innocent little girl's life, both figuratively and, in all likelihood, literally, the McCanns continue their quest to stay in the headlines, soak in the limelight, and impugn the integrity of good people courageous enough to ask the tough questions.

Quite simply, the McCann's are desperately trying to stay...relevant.

The latest chapter in this nearly three-year saga is their championing of a woefully bad ruling by a Portuguese court upholding a ban on the book written by former lead police investigator in Maddie’s disappearance, Goncalo Amaral. Mr. Amaral is also prohibited from discussing his theories in the book, and cannot give interviews about the same.

Additionally, Gerry and Kate are suing Amaral for defamation, seeking 1.2 million Euros in compensation. And who can blame them? The millions they have raked in as globetrotting celebrities just doesn't go as far as it once did.

Why the ban on Amaral? Because he makes the extremely small leap of suggesting that Maddie might be dead. And, according to Team McCann, the book defames them.

Three points:

1) The McCanns don't need a book to defame them.  They have done that perfectly themselves.

2) I know it's the European Union, where personal rights and national sovereignty go out the window, but a book ban? I thought we emerged from the Dark Ages.

3) While by no means should hope be abandoned, the overwhelming odds are that Maddie is dead. With the incredible worldwide attention given to the case, the fact that no substantial leads have emerged since Maddie disappeared from the Algarve resort in May, 2007 speaks volumes.

3A) A point of clarification: Actually, there were substantial leads, all leading to Gerry and Kate.

Cadaver dogs, trained to detect the scent of death, reacted positively to many items, from Kate's clothes to Maddie's favorite stuffed animal. Blood was detected in their rental car. And there were many conflicts in Gerry and Kate's  stories. Quite simply, the McCanns have done more to cast doubt on themselves than anyone else.

And by the way, you will NEVER see Maddie's disappearance referred to as a "kidnapping" here, since there is absolutely NO evidence to that theory.

But the best part of all is the statement of Gerry and Kate, who said, "The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm."

Wrong again.

By definition, when a three-year old is deliberately left alone by her parents in a foreign land with the door unlocked --- in effect, charged to care for her two-year old twin siblings --- THAT is bringing harm to a child.

And yes, when that child disappears (at whose hand we don't "officially" know yet) because of that abandonment, that is "harmful."

Always making it about them, the McCanns continued, "It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even, shockingly, when they are presented with new information and leads."

Yes, the entire world of law enforcement should drop everything every time a "lead" arises. Too bad the leads making the McCanns "arguidos" --- official suspects --- were never followed through.

Lastly, the McCanns forcefully criticized those who dare ask the logical questions.

"The motives of those who have tried to convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who've disgracefully and falsely tried to implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously questioned."

A) Bad use of the King's English. The evil-doers either implicated you, or they didn't.  But by definition, they couldn't, "falsely implicate" you. It's kind of like being a parent.  Either you are...or you aren't.

B) The only serious questioning that needs to occur is that of Gerry and Kate.  The Portuguese police tried, but were pressured to stand down. The Brits fell way short of their due diligence, and at the least, should have charged the McCanns with negligence.

C) The McCanns ARE guilty, and they always will be. Of murder or accidental death as so many think, I cannot say. That may, or may not, ever be proven.

But one thing is certain. Gerry and Kate McCann are unequivocally guilty of destroying three lives --- Madeleine's, of course, but also that of her siblings, who will carry severe scars for the rest of their lives. The McCann's actions of child endangerment and gross negligence, so easily avoidable if they just acted like....parents, could have spared a little girl the pain and anguish which she surely experienced --- a girl who would still be with us today, living out a life she richly deserved.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but NOT to their own set of facts.

Just remember, Gerry and Kate. The authorities may be looking the other way, but some of us are not. Sunshine is the best antiseptic, and you need some more light in your lives.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter whose news site, The Artorius News Bureau, is slated to launch in this month.  Readers of “Freindly Fire” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on a Philadelphia-area talk radio show, WCHE, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances.  He can be reached at

The plodding police work that has let Claudia down, 10 May 2010
The plodding police work that has let Claudia down Daily Mail

By Janet Street Porter
Last updated at 1:33 AM on 10th May 2010

- Extract from article related to the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence -

You couldn't help thinking that the images published in the media of her pretty smiling face had worked against her, and that the police kept harping on about her social life to divert attention from the fact they were getting nowhere.

There are similarities with the McCann case, where Kate McCann - another attractive female - was the victim of endless innuendo, largely on account of her cool dignity in the face of immense personal grief.

After years of tireless campaigning, the McCanns have just been told that top policeman Detective Chief inspector Colin Sutton is to lead a review into the case.

Mr Lawrence must be wondering what on earth he can do to galvanise the uninspired plods investigating his daughter's disappearance. Like the McCanns, he's set up a website,, regularly appeals to the media and tries his best to keep the case alive and in our minds.

- continues -

Previous articles from Janet Street Porter:

Editor-At-Large: The shameful trial of Kate McCann The Independent

The mother of missing Madeleine, unable to speak up for herself, is guilty of no crime other than being fit and attractive

By Janet Street-Porter
Sunday, 21 October 2007

Kate McCann believes she is a misunderstood media martyr – at least that's what her mother tells us. On the very day newspapers are full of the results of a survey showing that motherhood leaves many women feeling isolated and lonely, there are more pictures of the world's most famous grieving mum looking completely alone and at her wits' end. We cannot imagine what it must be like to be Kate, endlessly photographed, every move analysed, and every remark picked over.

Everyone's got an opinion about her, haven't they? Even that charmless female Anne Enright couldn't just accept a fat cheque and the Man Booker Prize for her miserable novel about a large family without telling the world, totally gratuitously, that she hated Kate McCann. Her publishers should have put a large brown bag over her head immediately – because to put down someone who is guilty of no crime, except being fit and attractive, is thoroughly repellent. I urge you not to buy Enright's book until she apologises for this slur on another member of the sisterhood.

In the past week the McCanns have seen a panel of experts on Channel 4's Dispatches programme analyse whether they could have killed their daughter. They have let it be known to the press that they have had their twins tested for sedatives and the result was negative to dispel the myth that they regularly drugged their children. We are told that Gerry McCann has had tests to confirm he is the biological father of Madeleine, to nail another rumour. We have been told that, belatedly, the hapless Portuguese police are thinking of planning a reconstruction of the night Madeleine went missing, something the smallest rural police force in this country would have done months ago. Gordon Brown even discussed the case with the Portuguese Prime Minister during last week's EU summit in Lisbon.

In this frenzy of rumour and speculation, small wonder that the McCanns feel the search for their daughter is being sidelined as a hungry media focuses on every aspect of their lives. Now Kate McCann (prohibited from discussing the case since being declared an official suspect) is using her mother as her mouthpiece. Mum tells us Kate feels that if she were not slim, blonde and self-contained, she would not have received such a hostile reception from some quarters. True enough – once we enjoyed gladiatorial sports and watched slaves club each other to death in Roman arenas. Now we surround an attractive woman with cameras and microphones – modern artillery in the war for saturation media coverage – and seem intent on hounding this person until she does us the favour of breaking down and sobbing in front of our eyes, live on worldwide television.

Would any woman (other than a weird novelist) really wish that on another? Kate McCann can't stop being famous overnight – she can't stop the photos and persuade the reporters to go away. She consistently appears composed – unlike reality television stars – and now Mum tells us that in private she breaks down in hysterics every single day. Does that humanise her, make us sympathise more? Why should this dignified woman be reduced to dripping out these gobbets of information about her private turmoil?

Further tests on the evidence taken from a car that the McCanns hired 25 days after Madeleine vanished are being carried out in Birmingham and the results will be sent to Portugal any day. This could mean the couple will either be excluded from the investigation or charged. The sad fact is that Kate McCann has already been found guilty by many members of the public, no matter what the outcome. Her problem is that she doesn't conduct herself as we would like. In short, she exhibits a dignity and composure that seem out of place in a world where celebrities and ordinary people behave incredibly badly in front of the camera.

Britney Spears, for example, has gone so far down the route of excess that she's lost her children and her mother and sister have turned up and started screaming at bystanders. Amy Winehouse wanders around the streets of Soho with bleeding feet, devoid of any shame. Kate McCann, on the other hand, attends church, takes strength from her religious beliefs, goes running alone and always dresses neatly. That's just too sickening for some people – she can't be normal, can she?

Janet Street-Porter: No film will reveal the truth about Maddy The Independent

Thursday, 10 January 2008

The idea that the McCanns are considering the possibility of making a film about the disappearance of their daughter bothers me for a number of reasons. The couple's spokesman has confirmed that talks were held with IMG, the company behind the highly successful dramatised documentary about two British climbers in the Andes, Touching the Void. Although Gerry McCann has tried to distance himself from the speculation on his blog, he did not deny that a meeting had taken place.

You can see why he might be circumspect – any suggestion that the Find Madeleine fund might profit from a piece of factual entertainment would result in an enormous backlash from members of the public, who broadly remain very sympathetic to the plight of the grieving parents. The McCanns will have spent more than half of the £1.2m raised by the appeal, with no real end in sight. In spite of £300,000 being spent on a team of detectives, and £80,000 on billboards and posters, no clue has emerged that brings finding their daughter a bit closer to reality.

But drama-docs, as they are known in the business, are a grey area when it comes to revealing the truth. There's a world of difference between a police-approved reconstruction on Crimewatch, and the dramatised chats between (for example) two mountaineers in dire trouble. Who knows what was really said when you only have one version of events upon which a reconstruction is based? Also, whether Gerry McCann wants to admit it or not, the whole point of drama-docs is that they are documentary-lite: emotive music, sophisticated editing techniques, and dramatic re-enactment can add to or detract from the pace of storytelling.

Drama-docs have the dramatic criteria of the single play, not the first-person diary told in real time. Their primary aim is to engage an audience who wouldn't sit through unadorned facts and a voiceover. You only have to take a look at Panorama to see how dramatic reconstruction is used to "sell" tough subjects. I get thoroughly irritated with fast cutting and the constant use of music behind footage on the series. How we enjoyed Stephen Frears's award-winning film about the Queen, with Helen Mirren mouthing bons mots in a head scarf and Barbour, whereas in the recent BBC documentary series HRH revealed little and refused to be part of some concept of "entertainment". Documentaries have to contend with unembellished facts, which is why Panorama's look at Madeleine's disappearance did not really work as a piece of investigative journalism. It was impossible to name a suspect without libelling someone, and the end result, while trying to be even-handed, didn't really tell the viewer anything substantial at all, apart from talking about the height of balconies and various sight lines. It could never say the unsayable – the possibility that the McCanns themselves might know something that they are not telling anyone.

Kate McCann has been vilified by some sections of the media, because she is attractive and strong of character. Somehow we want a babbling incoherent wreck, not a determined young woman who seeks solace in her faith. No matter how much she yearns for her daughter, though, to collaborate in making a drama-documentary about her will not bring her back. In fact, if Madeleine is still alive, it will make her captors even more determined not to give her up.

In An Instant, 20 May 2010
'And I felt real anger at the parents of young Madeleine McCann, the British three-year-old who disappeared from a ground floor cottage in 2007 while she was sleeping.  In the McCann case, her parents left the little girl and her twin baby siblings unsupervised while they ate dinner at a restaurant 130 yards away.

I am wracked with guilt for losing track of my child because I was distracted for an instant at the zoo.  I truly cannot fathom making such an irresponsible, careless decision as to purposely leave my babies unsupervised while I went out to dinner.  The parents of Madeleine McCann are to blame for the loss of that child.  They betrayed their duty to protect her.'

In An Instant Chicago Now

Carrie Goldman

Carrie Goldman
05:19:10 at 8:46 PM

One minute she was there.  We had pulled the kids out of their strollers so we could take some pictures of my two girls with my sister's two girls.  After the photo session, the four little girls milled around, three of them sharing a single ice cream cone, while I spent a moment packing up my camera and rearranging my bag.  

I glanced up and asked, "Where is Annie Rose?"

My sister, Jenny, and my cousins, Beth and Janie, turned their heads to scan the area surrounding us.  

I didn't feel scared for the first twenty seconds.  I assumed she was poking around in the stroller basket or looking at an exhibit a few feet away.

When none of us called out, "there she is!" I suddenly felt sick.  The crossover from not feeling worried to feeling panicked happened within seconds.  My legs grew shaky, I couldn't breathe, my eyes spilled over with tears.

"Annie Rose!" I screamed, running frantically in circles, moving faster than I've moved in 35 weeks of pregnancy.  "Annie Rose!"

She was gone.  We were at the zoo, and there were crowds everywhere.  Usually I dress my kids in bright colors when we go on outings to busy public places.  For some reason, today I had pulled out jeans and navy blue T-shirts for both Katie and Annie Rose.  

It occurred to me that anyone could snatch her up, and I would barely be able to distinguish her from an adult clad in jeans and a sweatshirt.  Someone could actually disappear with her.  I wanted to throw up.  

We split up, and I ran blindly.

My cousin Janie was smart, and she headed toward the exit.  She found Annie Rose, who had covered a lot of ground in a short time.  Annie Rose was crying and frightened; I was crying and frightened.  I grabbed that baby and held onto her and thanked God that it ended this way.

For the next hour or so, my autonomic nervous system remained on high alert.  We left the zoo, and during the whole ride home, my breathing was shallow.  My eyes kept watering, and I felt like I was going to break into sobs.  

I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that I had not kept a close enough eye on her.  She didn't get lost.  I lost her.  Three-year-olds wander, and it is my job as her mother to never look away.  In almost seven years of parenting, this has never happened to me.  Why now?

Is it because Katie was my only child for so long, and I could devote my complete attention to her whereabouts every second when she was three years old?  Is it because Katie was adopted, and I am subconsciously aware that someone gave her to me to watch over and I dare not ever glance away?  Was I complacent about Annie Rose?  Or is it simply because I have two kids now and it is impossible to keep my eyes on both of them every minute?

I thought about how many parents must go through this horrible experience every day, and how very lucky we are that nearly all of the kids are found.  

I tortured myself with thoughts of the few moms and dads whose children are not found, and I almost couldn't bear to even imagine such a scenario.  I know that if Annie Rose were still missing, there would be no joy ever again.

And I felt real anger at the parents of young Madeleine McCann, the British three-year-old who disappeared from a ground floor cottage in 2007 while she was sleeping.  In the McCann case, her parents left the little girl and her twin baby siblings unsupervised while they ate dinner at a restaurant 130 yards away.

I am wracked with guilt for losing track of my child because I was distracted for an instant at the zoo.  I truly cannot fathom making such an irresponsible, careless decision as to purposely leave my babies unsupervised while I went out to dinner.  The parents of Madeleine McCann are to blame for the loss of that child.  They betrayed their duty to protect her.

The experience at the zoo reminded me of how awesome the responsibility of parenting is.  Whether we adopt our children or give birth to them, we have entered into a sacred covenant to protect them.  It was unintentional; it was innocent, but the truth is that I glanced away from Annie Rose for an instant too long.  

Grateful does not even touch on how I feel about the way it turned out.  As soon as I saw Annie Rose again, everything was okay.  I glimpsed into the hell that could have been, and I was blessed to return to the heaven that is my life.

Lorraine Kelly column, 03 July 2010
Lorraine Kelly column The Sun (paper edition)

Lorraine Kelly
Saturday, July 03, 2010

FAMILIES will soon be going on holiday. Could I urge all of you to remember Madeleine McCann who went missing three years ago.

Her mum and dad have put together a special pack with posters, luggage labels and cards that show Madeleine's photo when she disappeared and how she might look today. I have the label on my case and it has attracted a lot of attention.

It's important her disappearance is kept in the public eye and it is the only way Kate and Gerry will ever find their beloved daughter. See or call 0845 8384699.

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Online Shop holiday packs, 03 July 2010

Holiday Packs

Holiday Pack 1


10 English posters, 2 luggage tags, 2 wallet cards, 1 car sticker

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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