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    

The Interrupted Investigation*

Opinion articles that originally appeared at The Interrupted Investigation

An Inspector calls..., 15 July 2013
An Inspector calls... The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 15 July 2013, 14:10


JB writes:
Welcome to this new website. The Blacksmith Bureau had to go, both for the commitment we gave and because the time for attempting to convince people, which began with the Lisbon human rights hearings in early 2010, is past. People new to the case can read The Cracked Mirror to get a handle on the questions which arise from events in 2007/8; for others it is clear that minds can't be changed by internet words even when irrefutable evidence is posted.

The writer's gradual disenchantment with Web "debate" is a matter of record and was doubtless getting boring to read about and I intend to avoid it. My own combativeness to the usual suspects on the Web was nothing to be proud of either. So it's back to more measured tones with, I hope, a minimum of personalised criticism of the McCanns; whether I can extend the same attempted courtesy and moderation to Mr Clarence Mitchell is another matter but we'll see.

So, for those who are interested, I'll continue to comment on the case here as objectively as I can, helped I hope, by the other people who have contributed to the Blacksmith Bureau.

In this life looking back too much is a mistake but I have to do so at the beginning so that readers can know where I'm coming from, the logic of that position and the evidence which continues to drive it, which is essentially the logic and evidence of the Portuguese Archiving Summary. On top of that, and obviously connected with it, is my continued warm support for Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese people he served, our oldest allies, who have been subject to unfortunate and uncharacteristic comment in the UK.

I have worked with Portuguese people over decades, there is a strong Portuguese community in the part of London I live in and I still hope to own a painting by that peerless Portuguese artist Paula Rego one day. I have never had anything but kindness from them and I've come to admire particularly their tenacity, warmth and stoicism in adversity. And, on the whole, they play better football than we do. It has been an awful experience to read what has been written about them.

Lastly, to readers. I often feel I know whom I'm addressing and I have a certain idea of the minds I seek to reach and share with, which is frequently confirmed by correspondence. I think they, in turn, know that I'm aiming at them. Thank you for reading and for your own efforts to throw light onto the very real darkness surrounding this affair, some of you, like Nigel at McCann Files, at personal cost to yourselves. I can't open this to comments because you all know where that leads but people who wish to contact me usually find ways of doing so.

Each of us contribute what we can: all I do is write as well as possible for those who wish to read my stuff. Unfortunately it's a problem on the Web that some turn to writers and commentators for a lead rather than a view, for certainty rather than clarification. I'm afraid I don't do leaders and I don't do disciples and I have feet of clay. Sorry.


The Interrupted Investigation

As we said, the BB's primary objectives were the completion of "the interrupted investigation", as Goncalo Amaral named it, correction of the abusive and untrue treatment of that officer by the British press and a resounding victory for him in the libel case. Only the second of those aims has changed. Journalists don't change their approach unless forced to so we've given up on that one. The others remain: only the approach and treatment are different.

Completing the "interrupted investigation" meant re-opening the case to carry out the investigative measures described in the conclusion to the Portuguese Attorney-General's archiving summary, so that responses to the critical questions listed there, which remain unanswered to this day, could be obtained.

Those inquiries and questions which concerned the nine holiday makers were left unanswered, as we know, because six of the seven friends of the parents refused  to co-operate while the two arguidos made it clear that they would not return to Portugal voluntarily: the investigation came to an end because they were all beyond reach.

Our aim was identical with that of the Attorney-General's department. Attending a reconstruction and answering the questions arising from that exercise did not presume criminal conduct by any of the nine. The Attorney-General made it clear that there was no evidence of any crime by the parents and the Bureau always accepted that statement and agreed with it, as I do again now. But — the heart of the matter — there was no point in broadening the investigation until those questions were resolved in depth. That, it appears, remains the Portuguese authorities' view.

This summer we felt that those questions were finally going to be put, though perhaps not answered, as part of the review process and said so. According to Scotland Yard the nine will not be re-interviewed, there is no evidence that they have been re-interviewed already and so we were wrong according to the evidence. Since we'd always tried to comment and campaign on the case using known evidence as a basis, rather than subjective theories without evidence, we got egg on our face and apologised to the parents for making a specific unjustified assertion.

When the Yard review was announced the BB said that it would not accomplish its objectives until they did those interviews and resolved the "interruption"; no evidence has emerged to change that view. So, going on what the Yard have told us, it's my personal belief that the review will fail and the Madeleine McCann mystery will not be solved. That is not something to celebrate.

Next, a word on the libel case. Then a look at the Yard and its review.

The Attorney-General's Legacy, 17 July 2013
The Attorney-General's Legacy The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 17 July 2013, 19:58

Why the Yard review, on its own, will never remove the cloud of uncertainty over the heads of the Tapas Nine.


All Very Official

Whenever the decision to interrupt the investigation was taken it went into effect on July 21 2008 with the Archiving Summary.

As far as the three arguidos were concerned a decision on their status, one way or another, had to be taken. This was both for reasons of natural justice (you can't keep arguidos waiting for ever to be charged or released) and because of the nationality of the arguidos (the UK, like other states with a duty of care to overseas citizens, had the right to know what evidence existed to justify the continued restrictions on their liberty).

Once the forensic evidence, against expectations, was found to be negative then release became a formality. But did that mean that the investigation itself should end merely because there was no case against three individuals?

Oddly, it did: that is what the Portuguese constitution allows. In a somewhat tight-lipped final paragraph of the PJ report Inspector João Carlos, having admitted that they were frankly unable to determine just what had happened on May 3, wrote: "...we do not currently envisage any further investigative steps likely to produce useful results, I submit this report for your consideration and decision." Or in modified English practice and parlance "the police are not looking for anyone else in relation to..."

So with the PJ's official admission that they had no other leads and no plans to look any further for the child the investigation into her disappearance came to an end. Now, without stepping into the shadows of the Portuguese legal system, it is obvious that this self-consciously public dotting of "i"s and crossing of "t"s by police and prosecutors must have been the outcome of much unrecorded discussion at all levels - but nobody wants to talk about that. To Amaral it all stank of a behind-closed-doors stitch-up, a determination to end the inquiry for raisons d'etat, and from an English point of view one can see why he was outraged. That, however, is a matter for the Portuguese themselves.

The Blot

But that dammed re-enactment section in Carlos's police report, (the latter made up 98% of the Archiving Summary), clearly indicating that the inquiry was not just incomplete but actually thwarted by individuals beyond reach, was like a giant ink blot all over the Summary's pages. It couldn't be removed for many reasons but its retention was potentially prejudicial to the parents.

José Cunha de Magalhães e Meneses

Such are the limitations on secret decision-taking behind a constitutional screen. Menezes, whose portrait indicates malleability rather than decisiveness, seems to have been jelly-like in his approach. The re-enactment section was the conclusion (in both senses of the word) of the PJ report: Menezes took it out and dumped it in the decent obscurity of page 45 (of 57). Yet he chose to add to the PJ section the fatal words about "demonstrating innocence":

A Goodbye Present For You All...

"Temos para nos que os principais prejudicados foram arguidos McCann, que perderam a possibilidade de comprovarem aquilo que desde a sua constittuicao como arguidos tem protestado : a sua inocencia face ao fatidico acontecimento : tambem estorvada restou a investigacao, porque tais factos ficarem por esclarecer."

"We believe that the main losers were the McCanns, who lost the opportunity to prove the truth of their assertions – maintained ever since they were made arguidos – that they were innocent, and the investigation itself because of this failure to clarify the facts."

The words can never be unsaid and, despite the perfectly true if rather over-egged conclusion of Menezes about the absence of evidence against the couple, they have provided the solid foundation for unending doubts about the parents and their friends among researchers, even as the pair were being, in Carter-Ruck's famous words, "exonerated". Unless the Yard inquiry leads both to the conviction of a criminal and a re-opening of the Portuguese investigation for the purpose of formally stating the parent's demonstrable innocence, not mere absence of evidence against them in 2008, then the cloud over them will never be lifted: in 2050 there will still be books and documentaries besmirching their reputation and offering new theories.

Exactly how much Menezes and others intended this to happen, and why, may not be known until most of the protagonists are dead (the time when the real smears and book sales start), if ever. The one conclusion that seems untenable is that his words were accidental and unguarded. In a prosecuting summary? By a prosecutor? No, the words were pre-meditated. And the same applies to the words of the Attorney-General, who presented the summary and endorsed its conclusions.

The concept of the demonstration of innocence, or put another way ("tem protestado..."), proving that they had not been lying when claiming innocence, is not the impossibility that certain interested parties claim. It is a known legal concept which was not only repeated almost word for word in the English context by Leicester's chief constable but was clearly explained in the recent judgement regarding compensation for the unfortunate Barry George.

Our Coppers Are Wonderful

Barry George

Another triumph for Andy Redwood & English Policing
– Hitman Barry George

Then the judges clearly delineated different degrees of innocence, from demonstrable to likely, from probable to possible. Poor old Barry, who was convicted on forensic evidence provided by Whizzer Redwood that was about as convincing as Madeleine's DNA in the car, was down there with the possibles, which is why he couldn't get his money. Where do you think the Attorney-General and other's words place the McCanns on that scale? Perhaps a clue is provided by the wrongful arrest action against the PJ that Clarence Mitchell outlined but never delivered.

In view of the stakes involved it is simply astonishing that the 7 have not been queuing up to clarify their evidence to anyone with a blue lamp and a helmet, rather than making weasel-word excuses for their non-attendance followed by outright refusal to co-operate (look at the evidence – their correspondence is there in all its sordid evasiveness on sites like Maddie Case Files. Anyone interested in the case should have read it carefully).

Speaking personally I remain absolutely baffled that all seven did not swallow their feelings of anger at what they saw as persecution at the hands of the Portuguese, put aside any doubts and rush to re-enact and speak when requested, in their own and the McCanns' interests, if nobody else's.

But no. And now the Yard alone will never enable them to escape the Attorney-General's poisoned legacy.

Verdict so far? An embarrassing failure with nobody in charge, 21 July 2013
Verdict so far? An embarrassing failure with nobody in charge The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 21 July 2013, 15:52

The Scotland Yard Review/Investigation has already taken two and a half times as long as the entire original PJ inquiry – despite having the nine most significant witnesses within their jurisdiction and with all the initial legwork having been done for them. The result? As Gerry McCann so memorably put it – "They've got nothing!"


Andy Redwood and Richard Blton

Boy us some zider and oi'll tell you a story. And again. And again

JB writes solo again: I can't help thinking that there are, to put it mildly, just a few problems with the Scotland Yard review – quite apart, that is, from its effrontery in disagreeing with me. How dare they?

At the beginning they said they weren't going to provide a running commentary on the case and yet they're leaking like a Mitchell cruise ship and yapping to the public like a red-nosed West Country drunk with a tale to tell.

The Met Knows Best

Leicester police have been impeccable. Tight as a drum since 2007 they never allowed themselves to be drawn out, not even when the rogatory interviews surfaced; the Yard, in contrast, went back on their "no comment" policy as soon as UK reporters caught their officers visiting Spain back in 2011. What were they wearing – signs on their bloody backs?

When primary sources like Amaral and Kate McCann made it clear that Leicester knew more than they were saying they stayed tight-lipped; when Amaral's early 2012 comments revealed virtually everything that mattered about the review – read them carefully – the Yard was thrown into an idiotic panic and the farce of 2012 anniversary day.

Leicester police were wise and correct in saying nothing, good or bad, about the Portuguese. Nor have they ever criticised Amaral. What did the Yard do on anniversary day? Make execrable attempts at spin in the media including – this is Redwood – baffling, patronising and inconceivably ill-considered hints that the Portuguese were dragging their feet and might have to be pushed to co-operate more. What possessed him?

And these worthies – search the Yard public records and you will quickly discover that not one of the Met's cleverest analysts was put into the review team, nor one of their senior people with diplomatic savoir-fair like Yates before he left, nor one of their rising stars —made the childish error of attempting to use the BBC for their own purposes and make a Panorama programme about their work when it was only ten months old!

When are you going to get it with the Portuguese, you Chavs?

It is obvious that yet again UK police have under-estimated, publicly and privately, the Portuguese. We know that Amaral was not just in contact with the Panorama team but was willing to be interviewed and admit that mistakes had been made. Did Redwood's Deadwoods never wonder why he allowed himself to be involved? And that he might be finding out from the BBC as much about the Yard's input as the Yard knew about his? No. In the pathetic middle-ranking Chav's culture of the Met what the Portuguese think,  just like the blacks, doesn't really matter.

Amaral was not going to be shit upon from a great height by the BBC and the UK police a second time; nor was he going to let himself be written out of the script as a sort of comical nobody who could be dismissed as yesterday's failure.

As he reminded them and us he is very, very much still here. His 2012 demarche to the Portuguese media blowing the secrets of the review, including his comment on the way it was going for the McCanns, was his method of guaranteeing what he wanted: the programme was re-written and the Yard danced to his tune.

Leicester police never feel shy about defending their operational silence by whatever means are necessary, whoever's toes they tread on. When they were forced to speak, not by the tabloid simpletons of Redwood's choice but by a court hearing, they spoke clearly and blew away Kate & Gerry McCann's pretensions with a statement that hurts and annoys them to this day, one which has never been rescinded.

And what did Redwood do? Lay it on with a trowel that the McCanns were utterly in the clear. Fine. But did anyone in the Met's very extensive PR department, which is only now being thinned out, remind him that he'd have to re-iterate that at every new announcement until there were some public results or people would think that something new had turned up against the pair? Nope.

Yabber, Yabber, Yabber

And we have the further idiocy of senior officers breaching the "no commentary" policy by gratuitously yabbering about the review without even being prompted – except by in-fighting.

Anyone know why the head of the Met let it be known that Operation Grange didn't have his confidence and would start having to produce results (in 2013)? Or why the retiring Hamish McLavish (where did he appear from?) suddenly surfaced to claim that it was doing well – read "don't panic" – before legging it? Or why it leaked and leaked about the CPS and the expansion of the review? Or why they had to admit they're still only two thirds through the material of their original remit? If they have the "people of interest" then the other third doesn't need another year's study, does it? And if not why aren't they getting that third finished with their mouths shut?

Or why McLavish, Redwood and the rest have issued the sort of quantitative assessments of progress – "four hundred and forty suspects considered, twenty thousand files browsed, 36, no 37, no 38 persons of interest on our lists, seventeen thousand notebook pages filled, 986 memory sticks transcribed, 60 000 lunches eaten" – that always scream, yes scream, that something's wrong, that an insecure operation or institution is trying to justify lack of real, tangible, unspun accomplishments with transparent spin?*

Or why, once again, having been ruthlessly holed below the waterline by Amaral they are now being coolly rebutted by the Portuguese Attorney-General's department saying they've seen nothing new? Why haven't they? And doesn't the Attorney- General always tell the truth and make superb summaries and exonerations? I mean, you'd have thought that they might have sent a Prior, or a Yates (on recall) to Lisbon to eat some humble brandade and say, forget past insults and will you forgive us? Please?

No. By their public statements and their leaks and briefings Scotland Yard is making it clear that they are doing exactly what they accused the PJ of in 2007 and more. Remember the snooty garbage that coppers, ex-coppers and Kelvin McKenzie have been putting out for years – that UK police only give truthful "steers" to help journalists (for the public) understand what's going on, in contrast to those mouthy PJ people who exaggerated their progress.  Spot the difference.

"Imminent DNA evidence" versus "imminent arrests"; "dogs" versus "paedophile gangs"; arguidos versus doomed "persons of interest"; "rogatory letters" versus "rogatory letters". None of the stuff they've been putting out since May 2012 has helped steer anyone towards anything except PR.

Finally, it is unclear who is in charge of this farrago, if anyone really is. It is an investigation riddled with tensions, disagreements and bluff that has produced nothing except jam tomorrow, that the head of the Yard has no confidence, and very little interest, in and under an unremarkable detective who may yet go down as having produced one of the biggest fit-ups in even the Yard's dirty history with Barry George's "bullets".

As others distance themselves from his inquiry Redwood may one day discover the old truth that the Met head already knows: success has many parents but failure is an orphan.


* You will find exactly the same giveaway in almost the same words with a similar aim in the overview section of the PJ final report (look on McCannPJ files).

The difference is that the PJ had been told that their most significant witnesses were beyond reach and knew, therefore, that the investigation could go no further. They had to admit failure and the language demonstrates it. It hurt.

Scotland Yard, on the other hand, are getting their excuses in nice and early.

More on the Fuzz, 22 July 2013
More on the Fuzz The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 22 July 2013, 13:13

"A police force is a machine designed by geniuses to be run by idiots".

After Herman Wouk.


Criminal investigations do not succeed because they employ whizzo brains. Criminals are defeated because in every investigation there is a critical imbalance of force: the huge police machine, including support services, is turned on the criminal, who is essentially alone.

Where this imbalance of force does not apply, as for example in Sicily and Sardinia, then detection usually faces problems. Otherwise the machine is everything, individual detective skill almost nothing.

But police forces need a start, something they can get their teeth into, something to point the machine at. Where there is a body, a blood-ridden crime scene, or a named suspect on the run it cranks into action following well-practised SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures. The machine gradually isolates and crushes the villains.

It is those rare cases when obvious footholds into detection are missing that the police – all police – falter. Complex fraud cases, for example, are notoriously difficult to solve and rarely come to court: the critical resource imbalance is drastically reduced and, since the normal machine tools and SOPs are inappropriate or unusable, success is rare.

Pure Investigation

A crime without an obvious suspect, let alone a body, is the ultimate nightmare. That is why Alipio Ribeiro, the most intelligent, as well as the most cultured and sympathetic of the PJ chiefs, talked publicly in summer 2007 about the particular problems of the McCann case: the latter was, he said, one where extra financial resources counted for nothing because it had reached a stage of "pure investigation... like a Hercules Poirot story" – in other words one of intense intellectual analysis of the jigsaw pieces against the clock. And Ribeiro, who was always too straight for his own good, admitted that in such extreme cases as this one they might well need luck.

British police don't do talk like that, partly because so many of them qualify for Herman Wouk's description, partly because they like to keep their problems to themselves, partly because of the UK tradition in everything from warfare to football* of downgrading intellectual power (which is always in limited supply) in favour of disciplined teamwork and genius-designed SOPs.

Wheel Out the Dolts

Alipio Ribeiro


Obviously thick Portuguese copper: Alipio Ribeiro

So it was open season on the Portuguese police, much to the glee of the tabloid press. Yet anyone with a gram of independent thought and nous must have been shocked by the woeful contributions of the retired coppers who wheeled themselves out to pronounce on the case and the PJ shortcomings in the media.

Alipio Ribeiro

Obviously clever Scotland Yard officer: Horrocks

You've seen what they look like – think Edgar, think Horrocks, that supremely bovine white-haired dolt photographed outside apartment 5A who told us all what actually happened here: Childless couple took Maddie says top cop And you've read the barely believable ordinariness of their reasoning. The ineffable Horrocks was a Yard squad chief! Having left the machine and the SOPs they are revealed for what they are without its protection: cunning but thick.**

Now We'll See

Now the UK police have had their own chance to show how elementary it all is, how buffoonish the PJ, Amaral, Ribeiro and the rest are and how childish were the errors made in the Interrupted Investigation. A piece of cake.

Two and a half years!
Not a single result. Nothing. Only fine words, excuses and jam tomorrow. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in Prizzi's Honour "if they're so ******* clever how come they're so ******* stuck?"

Still, going on the promises the Yard have made, we'll soon be able to compare the two forces in terms of results, won't we?


The exception being the security services.

Readers new to the subject may ask "aren't you just doing what the tabloids did – say that one force is clueless and the other not – but the other way round?"

The answer is no. For very important historical reasons European police forces, ever since the days of Fouché, have always been more closely integrated with security services, as evidenced by the distinction in most of those countries between gendamerie like the GNR, with a broadly public order control function, and seriously specialist forces, like the Italian Guardia di Finanza, for example, which is a powerful police force but  actually part of the armed services.

This integration provides a strong career ladder for ambitious and highly educated recruits, since the protection of the state takes primacy over the pure law enforcement role. Readers are referred to Wikipedia or similar.

In (peninsular) Scandinavia and most of all in (island) Britain policing is treated in a completely different manner: police and security forces are kept rigidly separate and limited in the UK and only the police have powers of arrest. Recruits for the security service come from the cream of the population; police recruits, brutal as it may sound, do not. Frankly, although the subject is never publicly discussed, it's so they can't plot together – and neither, on their own, can produce a "whitewash".

None of this, of course, means that talented and brilliant individuals do not exist in the UK police. It is averages we are talking about.

So the answer is: for historical reasons the average intelligence and educational attainment of criminal investigation forces in mainland Europe is indeed higher than in the UK police.

Reality breaks through, 23 July 2013
Reality breaks through The Interrupted Investigation

Tuesday, 23 July 2013, 13:56

Andy Redwood


April 25 2012

After the first year of the review which had triumphantly produced a long list of suspects and the ambition, nay the intention, of solving the case

Large print – Top cop: I'll solve Madeleine McCann mystery

Small print – "We are here in terms of seeking to bring closure to the case. That would be our ultimate objective," Mr Redwood said. "Closure means establishing what has happened to Madeleine McCann."

"Solving it?"

"Yes, solving it, of course."


4 July 2013

After the second year of the review which had triumphantly produced a warning from the Yard head that its future couldn't be guaranteed and after Redwood's boss took early retirement without a word of well wishes from anyone. Another list of suspects but a somewhat modified ambition, don't you think?

Large print – "Arrests in the Madeleine McCann case could be made within weeks by Scotland Yard detectives investigating 38 suspects."

Small print – "Whether we will be able to solve it is a different issue but I hope we will be able to have the ability to move the investigation on," Mr Redwood said.

Notebook, 28 July 2013
Notebook The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 28 July 2013, 11:50

Deja Vu

It's a slightly surreal period, isn't it? When you read of a police force that leaks like a sieve, spins to selected journalists on a regular basis, is led by an officer previously involved in a notorious miscarriage of justice episode with a great belief in dodgy forensic evidence, you'd think it was the Mirror slagging off GA again. But no. Much closer to home.

And what can anyone say about a head of a homicide squad who maintains there hasn't been a homicide?

Shipped off to the Gulag

Applause for Hamish McCouldn't, though. After two years of boring preparation it's time to move in for the kill – but Hamish, ultimately in command of the case, is far too unselfish to claim the credit and doesn't want to be on the front pages as the first arrests are made. No, his slippers and back garden call and he relinquishes the most famous case in modern history for retirement at the advanced age of 56 just as glory and a knighthood are in sight. Such modesty!


And then there are the dogs. No, not those dogs but the other ones so often mentioned in the case who fail to bark in the night.

No statement from very undodgy Dr David Payne on behalf of his six friends – "now that Scotland Yard have exonerated all of us we hope we'll be allowed to get on with our lives at last. We hold no grudges but my lawyers, who helped me so much in 2008, are watching Twitter carefully."

Nope. Not a word from any of them.

Philly McCann? "At last the bobbies are helping ma poor brother instead of framing him. Kate? Ah don't know anything about Kate, haven't seen her for years."


Goncalo Amaral, steam pouring from his ears on Portuguese TV, "…the British police are wrong,a disgrace, this is another miscarriage of justice..." Not at all: if he's freaked out by the wreckage of everything he's worked for he's disguising it very well. A grinning Isabel Duarte via Link PR in Portugal – "Our judges will take note of the Scotland Yard comments on our clients. Their victory in our courts is now a formality." Not yet, apparently.

A couple of little woofs, granted. Kate and Gerry McCann, after a long period of relative silence – what on earth can have been on their mind? – seem not just pleased but relieved as they resume broadcasting. And the Portuguese Attorney-General, that champion of the innocent, has said a few words on the case, hasn't he? Unfortunately these don't seem to support Woody at all.

SNARL please

But there are the supporters, that 50 or so strong British group who know so much more about the case than several million Portuguese, their appeal court judges and their police force – well, they're just dagoes aren't they? – and pronounce accordingly. From what I've seen they're not just speaking but shouting, posting in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. Why on earth are they all so furious? What's getting at them?

New Yard Squad Announced

Digging a hole

Finally, there are signs that a small group of Yardies has been appointed, given brooms and shovels and asked to follow Woody's rear around. After getting him to withdraw the "we will solve it claim" their latest clean-up job has involved contacting the Guardian to tell them that no, no, no, Redwood didn't mean they had suspects in their sights: if he used the word to the hacks it was just a slip of the tongue and is now "inoperative". The correct term is "persons of interest" and could the Guardian print a correction and retraction, please? Which the Guardian has done.

Something might turn up, 31 July 2013
Something might turn up The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 31 July 2013, 16:43

No, I don't want the Yard investigation to fail. And no, I don't want it to run into the sands because I disagree with its apparent direction.

That's why my friends and I on the Bureau rarely commented on it, merely repeating at intervals our initial prediction that a solution wouldn't be found while the Attorney-General's Archiving Summary questions remained unanswered.

But things have changed. The Yard has gone public in an increasingly loud and questionable manner – loud because it has moved from occasional brief and factual public statements to a full-scale entry into the spin game, questionable because of the giant disconnect between the spin and actual results to date.

When in trouble – spin

It is a matter of fact that demonstrable results after over two years work are zero: all they can produce are areas for investigation, just as the PJ had in June 2007. Tellingly the Yard have not provided a single detail showing that they are any nearer an arrest and conviction than the PJ was then. Are there crucial new facts that they haven't told us? Not according to the Portuguese authorities.

Yet the Yard is embarked on a deliberate campaign to spin up the the jam tomorrow angle while deliberately seeking to conceal or muffle – to spin down – the significance of the absence of results. It is briefing and leaking selectively which normally indicates a threat of some kind. Take this latest example, one of many:


THERESA May has sent Portugal an official request asking if Scotland Yard can begin a new investigation over there into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.The Home Secretary also asked the authorities in Lisbon whether cops can be stationed in the country during their inquiries.

A two-year Met review costing £5million has identified 38 potential suspects — including 12 Britons — who are "of interest".

Hopes were raised the Yard will take control of the investigation which stalled in 2008.

They have no prime suspect and believe Madeleine could still be alive.

If Portuguese approval is given, the Met is expected to seek new forensic evidence and pursue hundreds of possible leads.

A spokesman for Ms May said: "The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann."



Look at the extract to see how far the Met's boots have wandered into the media mud and how M/S May's department is being drawn into tippy-toeing behind. It is a pure Clarence Mitchell spin template. First paragraph a message; next a summary ("guided" by the briefers) which fleshes out the statement into a story. Finally, and farcically, the adoption of Schizo Mitchell's two hats method: Mrs May, (via her PR officials) has told us what she wants us to know in paragraph one. Now Mrs May (via her PR officials) puts on her second hat and pretends that it was nothing to do with her – while confirming its truth!

Faced with this sort of junk it's futile for people to claim that the Yard should be left to get on with its job until results are achieved.

As everybody, surely, must know by now, PR initiatives are not information providers: they are an attempt to alter public perception, not the reality, in favour of those behind the campaign. We're being addressed for a purpose that, in the short term at least, is not our own, and we either accept the spin dumbly or we come back with a response and try and work out why we are being so addressed.

Theresa May

Some you win, some you lose

What's Going On?

So what's the threat they face? What has occurred to make the Yard, backed increasingly by the home office, feel it has to spin so much about Grange, rather than letting results speak for themselves, now or in the future? The possible answers  to that question, far from being useless speculation, may be the best guide to the ultimate fate of the review.

Deliberate misinformation to deceive the real potential suspects? That would certainly be the best news, indicating that the Yard are on top of things and that action might be imminent, but is it likely? Readers will have their own views but surely there were simpler, risk-free, ways of deceiving the baddies without actively deceiving us. And the fact that the need arises only because of the Yard's original thoughtless blunder in talking too much argues against clearly thought out Cunning Plans.

Sorry but...

No. To me at least the tone of the spin combined with the absence of results all argue, unfortunately, the other way: that the Yard and its masters are struggling with the looming reality of the failure of its mission.

Doubling up their table stakes with a Portugal-based inquiry seems to be the only course that everyone can agree on. It can't do any harm, the arguments must run, and something may turn up out there. This is reminiscent of Alipio Ribeiro's hopes in July 2007, as his options began to run out, that somehow a key would be found by continued analysis of known facts and "everything would then fall into place". Still, it would be a brave home secretary and Yard head who destroyed hope by ordering the winding-up of the review when, as Goncalo Amaral said before them, in Portugal they might be on the brink of success.

Admission of failure takes reputations and careers down with it, starting at the top: Mrs May's clumsy attempts to establish herself as a future prime minister, sick or otherwise, would end overnight. Hamish and Hogan-Howe have distanced themselves, each in their own way, but the others would be writing up their CVs.

A pleasant winter in the Algarve will provide rest from such gloomy thoughts for everyone involved. It might, just might, discover something important. And it will provide plenty of time for ministers to work out an exit strategy that won't cost them votes or excessive international embarrassment.

From the point of view of mere nobodies like me it could also provide useful space, cover and exposure to Portuguese influence for detectives to "re-focus" their inquiry. Unlikely as that is we all know where they would have to re-focus, don't we?

Still, Kate and Gerry McCann seem to be happy with the investigation.

Changeable winds, 08 August 2013
Changeable winds The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 8 August 2013, 14:16

Weird, unstable, phoney-war atmosphere, starting with the libel settlement stories in the winter and steadily deepening. "Rumours", said Kate McCann then: yes, but true rumours or false rumours? So simple to answer but she still won't say.

She and her husband seem to have given up attempting to communicate their own messages to the public. Only slogans remain and they're perfunctory, empty.

Why does the Yard exclusion of the McCanns from the list seem so emphatic yet smell so strongly of response to McCann lawyers' input? Not the libel lawyers either.

What exactly is fuelling the ever-increasing hysteria of the parents' supporters since January – on Twitter you can now almost feel the spittle accompanying the words – despite the transparent high-ground posing? What sort of colossal emotional stake do they have and why do they seem suffused with uncertainty?

Amaral's continued refusal to add a word to his fifteen month silence since he blew the gaff on the review and tweaked the Redwood ventriloquist's dummy into speech. We know what the hysterics will say it implies but what's its significance in the real world?

And what does the new and perceptible sense of ambivalence in the press indicate? Their tone towards the McCanns is somehow different, isn't it? As though they're trying to put themselves into position for something.

The parents, the Yard, the supporters, Amaral and his lawyers, the press: all apparently changing footholds behind a screen of silence or bluster. Fascinating.

Spot the Difference, 11 August 2013
Spot the Difference The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 11 August 2013, 12:30

Sascha Schornstein apparently died on July 21 when the light aircraft he was flying crashed into the English Channel. Fragments of the wreckage have been found, although most of the plane is still missing.

His widow has sacrificed all possibility of privacy and restraint by involving the public in a fund-raising and awareness exercise over the disappearance, just as a certain Kate & Gerry McCann chose to do. Otherwise I wouldn't dream of mentioning the misfortune, any more than I would discuss Robert Murat or other victims who have not actively drawn us into their affairs.

I'll leave it to the usual suspects to slaver over the details. All that interests me is the contrast it demonstrates between Scotland's Yard's unusual approach to certain missing persons' cases and that of provincial forces such as Leicester and, in this case, Hampshire police.

Sergeant Andy Thomas of the latter force, who is leading the investigation, said: "Although we are unable to confirm at this time that Mr Schornstein is dead, there is absolutely nothing to suggest, from what we have seen, that there is anything suspicious..."

More importantly: "In the absence of a body, however, we will continue to keep an open mind into the circumstances surrounding his disappearance."

Scotland Yard could try doing the same, don't you think?

Yea, vengeance is mine saith the lord, 15 August 2013
Yea, vengeance is mine saith the lord The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 15 August 2013, 22:46

"Not sure how I feel about seeing Mr Amaral – for the first time ever, I hasten to add! I know I'm not scared but that man has caused us so much upset and anger because of how he has treated my beautiful Madeleine and the search to find her. He deserves to be miserable and feel fear."


Kate McCann

It has been rather surprising since Scotland Yard's publicity drive to read people claiming that the abduction theory is not just a fact but the only truly viable theory, the most likely explanation of events. Really?

That was certainly not the view of the interrupted investigation and the hypothesis that was gradually developed at its heart: that a mentally disturbed woman had killed Madeleine McCann, accidentally or otherwise, and one or more people had covered up the event.

The difficulty of explaining the removal of the child from the apartment and her subsequent disappearance from the face of the earth is the identical problem for both theories, whether that of the removal and disappearance of a dead child by persons known to her or the removal and disappearance of a live child at the hands of a stranger.

But whereas there were suggestive, though later unconfirmed, indications of a death in the apartment consistent with the PJ theory there were none at all, disconfirmed or otherwise, of an intruder.

Without the bolting on of additional ad hoc theories such as fear of neglect charges by some of the group, the abduction hypothesis can make no sense of the inconsistencies highlighted in the Archiving Summary, the very odd evidence of Matthew Oldfield or the prosecutor's public statement that the group had lied about the checking routines. The PJ theory as expressed by Goncalo Amaral certainly could since it postulated the mother as a victim in need of help, not a malefactor. Without necessarily knowing details of what had occurred in the apartment the T7 were likely to see her in the same way, with one or more of them opting for "hear no evil, see no evil" passive support for a sufferer whose arrest in a foreign land would help nobody.

The abduction theory cannot explain the documented obstruction of the investigation by the couple nor their documented discussion of secret flight preceding their eventual authorised return to the UK, nor the documented refusal of the T7 to return and assist which put the investigation into suspension. These events, however, were satisfactorily explained by the PJ theory without any ad hoc additions, as was the "normal" demeanour of Kate McCann on the evening of May 3, known in psychiatric terms as "lack of affect" or complete emotional disassociation.

A botch?

Finally there is the clear evidence that the McCann lawyers took the developed nub of the theory – that the child was not safe alone with her mother on May 3 – very seriously indeed, particularly in the period September/ October when recall to Portugal was considered a real possibility.

A "botch", a "failure" or a "mess" are words that are thrown around with abandon about the original inquiry these days but they didn't feature in the expensive McCann legal team's desperate attempts to counter (and therefore implicitly accept the possible reality of) the PJ's claims pin-pointing death at her mother's hands between afternoon and evening of May 3.

The team, the family and the spokesman broke cover and used the media in a sustained attempt to show not that Kate McCann in her then mental state was safe to be with (they couldn't do that and gave up trying) but that she had not been unchaperoned long enough for an assault, accidental or otherwise, to take place and be covered up within the time frame.

That was why the supposed visit of David Payne to apartment 5A was so crucial and why the family, the spokesman, the lawyers and Gerry McCann publicly attempted to push the time of the visit from 6.30 to 7PM, minutes prior to Gerry's return. Payne responded by reiterating that the visit was at the earlier time, thus drawing a line in the sand which resulted in the group dropping the claim, as the evidence demonstrates.

The visit remains a serious point of issue to this day and, again, the well-known conflicts of evidence between Gerry McCann, his wife and Payne about it are perfectly explained by the PJ theory.

Of course the Attorney-General showed us that there was no evidence of any criminal act by the parents – though he did so, oddly, without addressing this central PJ theory – so we all now know that the child was indeed safe with her mother.


All that remains to be said is that the publication of Madeleine in 2011 confirmed in detail that the child, that summit, as Kate McCann wrote, of her life's ambition had indeed reduced the mother to an emotional, crying wreck in the early months of her life before being consigned to a nursery at the age of just six months, a rather different picture from the gooey "couple who had everything" sentimentality of 2007 media reports. That was what the PJ, as we know, suspected and they were right.

About the demonstrable aggression and explosive violence of Kate McCann, as well as a disturbing taste for vengeance and troubling symptoms of psychological distress and disassociation, revealed in that book, the less said in this context the better, since it could be construed as further factual confirmation of the PJ's tentative profile, something I have no wish to maintain.

Vengeance is mine

In the quite separate context of McCanns versus Amaral, however, and my known belief that the couple attacked a public servant with astonishing cunning, lies and violence the personality traits revealed by Kate McCann are very relevant indeed.

I have led an extremely rackety life and mixed with some very dangerous people. Yet I was genuinely disturbed by the 2011 (not 2007) mind-set of Kate McCann as revealed in her book. Leaving aside the fact that she clutched a cross when she first met Amaral in 2009, an act which she appears to consider, like so many of her actions, normal and unremarkable, it was the lines quoted above that struck me most.

I have been known as pretty vengeful myself under appropriate circumstances but had I ever felt that someone deserved to be miserable and feel fear rather than acting against them? No, I couldn't recall ever thinking that in my life. Readers might ask themselves the same question. To me these words, written by a catholic years after the trauma of 2007, are those of a manifestly unbalanced and disturbed human being.

Sophist's Choice, 19 August 2013
Sophist's Choice The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 19 August 2013, 15:22

"A sophist is someone who is willing to turn their mind to answer any question for the sake of it, aiming to win an argument irrespective of the question of truth."


Polemo of Laodicea. Bust from the Temple of Zeus in Athens.


Old words, new uses. It was the Greeks who first made the distinction between debate as a way of learning through the integration of different points of view (which directly motivated the first Internet forum creators) and sophistry, the technique of winning arguments. And winning arguments in the ancient world, political, legal or social, could be a death sentence for the loser.

Sophistry was oral and lost its intellectual power in the face of print since the tricks and evasions of the method are easily identified once a text is analysed at leisure, permanently discrediting the author. Elements of it are still taught and exercised in courtrooms but, since judgements are written down and subject to textual analysis in the appeal courts, its use is fraught with dangers to its exponent.

In politics, of course, sophistry thrives like a weed but with few believing that politicians are concerned with the truth anyway, and with television's cold eye exposing the expression and body language of the speaker, its power is drastically limited.

What's new?

But now a body of expertise so dead and useless that its name has almost been forgotten has been electronically resuscitated, like a two thousand year old mummy, to stalk the pages of the Internet. It rules almost unchallenged there because, just as in ancient times, the majority of the audience is inexpert and because there is no discipline such as legal review, editorial scrutiny or academic analysis to separate truth from falsehood. And since the Internet, not the legally muzzled press, is the arena where the McCann arguments are fought out, sophistry runs amok.

Oddly enough…

Almost exclusively from one side of the argument, the parents' side.

To suggest that one side is guilty of sophistry is not partisanship on my part, a plea that the other side is innocent. On the contrary, as I've written before in the cesspit context, the anti-side very often stinks to high heaven: the difference is that the less scrupulous or more vulnerable antis don't utilise the techniques of sophistry very much, using instead outright fiction, lazily unchecked forum/newspaper nonsense (fridges, tenth Tapas, the list is a very long one), or the words of absurd guru figures to back up their suspicions – suspicions aroused in the first place by what the parents were saying, not by what they had done.

This suspicion, much of it very bitter, is due to a feeling, I think, that both the parents and their supporters are somehow tricky with their arguments, not quite playing the game, able to provide answers that without being obvious lies lack honesty of approach. Sophist, in short, even if that word has not sprung from many lips.

We've all done it

Take, for example, the very beginning of the affair when the children were left unguarded. Instead of accepting this irrefutable fact – which doesn't make the parents legally guilty of anything – they and their supporters have sought to use every trick in the book to somehow minimise it.

The "just like your back garden" stuff, the "within sight of the tapas restaurant" claims were made from day one, a clear attempt to somehow evade the stark reality that infants were so alone and unprotected that one of them disappeared off the face of the earth. The "garden" claim is a pure sophist argument, even if the couple don't know sophistry from a hole in the ground. Why? Because it's slippery and uttered for a purpose, not as a contribution to the truth.

Of course you can't refute it because some people somewhere will have 70 yard long gardens and ground-floor bedrooms with beds visible through open French windows, or concrete paved Liverpool back-to-backs where nine people can consume six bottles of wine in an hour and a half only eight feet away from the kids' cots. And variants of this argument are still being pushed forward six years later. It's irrefutable but it isn't intended to add to our knowledge, is it?

We won't do it

More startling are the gymnastics around the reconstruction question. First there is the silly, but constantly repeated, claim that the group "wanted" a reconstruction in the early days but Devil Amaral turned it down. Now come on! Of course you can point to words in Amaral's book that can be mangled to justify it but it's obvious that this is a wriggle. The analysis of the statements made by the nine and the research into the actual sequence of events was only just starting when the majority of the Seven flew home so there were no inconsistencies yet to reveal!

Then there is the claim that the parents never refused to take part in the reconstruction because they "couldn't", being arguidos subject to recall. But again, come on FFS! If they'd wanted a reconstruction, if they'd wanted the truth to be pursued, we all know they simply had to ask their friends to assist, not run to their lawyers to find ways of thwarting the inquiry. The sophistry again has the clear aim of muddying a simple reality – the nine didn't help the police by returning when requested, end of story.

What's the difference?

We see the process in action throughout and the best illustration of it involves two examples of suggestive but unsupported evidence: Kate McCann's testimony of what she found in apartment 5A at 10PM on May 3 and what the dogs found in the same apartment many weeks later. But look at the difference in the way the parents' allies handle the two examples!

Sniffer dogs


Safely behind bars, the bastards

Kate McCann's window and shutter evidence is accepted as gospel without question, even though she is a self-admitted liar. Forensic confirmation of her print on a window showing no signs of others' having been wiped is ignored or evaded.

The fact that her husband then both raised the shutters and handled them from outside, thus destroying any chance of forensic confirmation, is ignored or excused; the fact that there was no reason for a window to have been opened in an unlocked apartment is challenged by inventing hypotheses not derived from the evidence, such as an "escape route" or, even more absurdly, as a means for multiple abductors to pass the child to each other; the fact that witnesses passing the window a few metres away never saw the backlit shutters up is ignored; the fact that Mathew Oldfield, crazily, was "unable to say" whether the shutters were open or shut from six feet away inside the apartment is elided. Not only is there no confirmation of her claim but all the known evidence casts severe doubt on it.

Kate McCann

Pure as the whited snow, the angel

The situation is rather different with the dogs, isn't it? Having stretched every possible muscle to give Kate McCann's story a semblance of confirmation (and failing) the parents and their club now do the precise opposite: forensics are good, everything, everyone, else, is bad.

The dogs are belittled, their handler traduced for the last six years, the examinations picked over for possible loopholes. A curious sense of glee at the over-optimistic inferences of many antis, a sense of piling in to make the most of an opportunity, is tangible. The contrast between the two examples, the outright dishonesty of the approach, couldn't be clearer. Of half a dozen or so similar examples of sophistry in action – all of them, it should be noted, dealing with critical aspects of the case, the question of the twins and drugs is perhaps the most enlightening, as readers can discover for themselves.

Mr Pooter solves the case

The one overt and admitted sophist in the pure Greek sense in the case is a defender of the parents who glories in, and is obsessed by, winning arguments about it.

A second-rate retired sociologist (what else?) who calls himself debunker – the name, and the pretension, say it all – and whom the Bureau described as the Sage of the Suburbs, loves to win arguments by adopting different identities by the dozen, by the hundred, on the Internet and by carefully choosing vulnerable targets to out-argue. But every victory is in fact a defeat: away from the febrile, naive arena of Internet debate cold consideration of the words ruthlessly exposes the intellectual poverty behind them, as it always does. The only truth that his words carry is that the disappearance and death of a child was a good career opportunity for the poor sod. No, the antis can't compete with the opposition in the revival of sophistry – thank God.

The Exclusion Zone, 22 August 2013
The Exclusion Zone The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 22 August 2013, 14:57

Six of the Tapas 7

Portrait of six of the seven cowardly liars. Note the eyes.

Just look at them

Let's go back to the Archiving Summary. As I've repeated many times the summary of the suspension of the case made two main points: that there was no evidence of the commission of any crime by the parents and that there were serious issues remaining unresolved, not merely of the "we don't know who did it" kind but specific lines of inquiry not yet completed. These were discussed in the Reconstruction section.

Those are facts. Whatever excuses people wish to make, or invent, for the failure of the seven "friends" to assist in their own, and the McCanns', exoneration by enlarging on their original brief statements, they wouldn't and didn't do it. They hid beyond reach.

That's a pretty high price the parents have to pay because the seven decided that they "didn't think it would help", or they were sulky about Portuguese coppers, or they wouldn't be able to find baby-sitters to look after their kids while they returned to Portugal or whatever excuses they eventually gave, straight-faced it seems, to Rebelo's call for help.

Forget the McCanns as potential suspects and concentrate on this collection of craven, immature cowards. Would you have acted in the way they did knowing that you would be condemning two friends to suspicion, as in suspects, for the rest of their lives? If you would you shouldn't be reading here.

"Pact"? No, just collusion

It was David Payne, not the McCanns, who began the scramble to save their own arses at the expense of a couple and a three year old infant by co-ordinating and printing out a self-serving "timeline" of fibs and guesses, designed specifically to provide answers to questions the police were expected to ask. The others colluded and tried to take the print-out with them into the second set of police interviews.

From that first attempt to pervert the course of justice, through their dishonest avowals that they would happily return to Portugal "if asked", to their final wrigglings and evasions when they actually were asked, this creepy, shifty-eyed gang have done nothing, literally nothing, to help establish what happened to a missing child.

Secrets and lies

Now for those of us who, confronted with this record of evasion, have been very surprised indeed at the Scotland Yard exclusion of the seven, the question arises, how have they been excluded?

According to the Yard it is only now moving on from the the review stage defined here: Met Police disclosure (pdf), with its specific remit to "collate, record and analyse what has gone before".

There is no remit to interview witnesses; only collation, recording and analysing is included until a new investigative phase is begun. The beginning of that new phase and its move from review to interview and investigation was announced at virtually the same time as the group of seven were publicly excluded from interview.

So, unless the Yard have both breached their remit and are publicly lying,  none of the seven has been questioned by UK police. It has to mean that, doesn't it, even to Sophist Choicists?  "Review of the evidence" prior to moving to an investigative role cannot mean "questioning of selected witnesses".

Furthermore, if Scotland Yard have lied and did secretly question the seven without authorization, thus gaining new facts that remove the Attorney-General's "inconsistencies", why has the same Attorney-General put it on record that no new facts have been provided?

So just what has put the cowards who ran away from the investigation safely into the Exclusion Zone? Subjective police opinion? Guesswork? Simple-mindedness? An assumption that the Attorney-General is a moron who invented inconsistencies and exonerations? It's worth thinking about, isn't it?

Meanwhile we await the Attorney-General's official statement that the McCanns have at last had their innocence demonstrated by the seven. Leicester police will no doubt follow up with their own revision.

Libel Diary, 04 September 2013
Libel Diary The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 04 September 2013, 15:08



Auto-da-fé in Lisbon

In late 2009 the Blacksmith Bureau bombarded Sky with requests to cover the forthcoming Lisbon trial, for fear that only the McCanns' version of court proceedings would reach the UK public, that public whose knowledge of events in Portugal since 2007 was minuscule due to guilt-and-libel-inspired silence from the mainstream press. Even today I cannot recall ever reading a single report of the eventual conclusion of that case – which took place in  the Portuguese appeal courts – in the UK MSP. What a surprise!

Roll up, roll up!

Four years on it's a different picture though, isn't it? There's no likelihood of silence now. Readers will note that Mr Desmond's two papers have public-spiritedly led the way in making sure UK citizens are aware of forthcoming events overseas, thanks very much, with genial Jerry Lawton, author of the most disgusting and libellous 2007 McCann-monster stories, unsacked, unashamed and perkily ready to return to the fray on behalf of his I'll-get-my-f*****g-money-back-one-day boss.

And who could possibly object to some courtroom reporting? Why, even Clarence Mitchell, pricked into action by a Desmond-wielded poker inserted into the sweeter and more truthful of his two major orifices, has speculated in the Express on what GA might have to say on the steps outside court, speculations which for some mysterious reason contained none of the epithets which Team McCann bullied a compliant press into attaching to GA's name whenever it appeared in the past. Has Mr Mitchell discovered Christian forbearance and charity as the waves slowly close over his badly tinted head? Or have the newspapers' lawyers all realized that the game is finally up and the days of libelling Amaral in the same way they libelled Kate 'n' Gel in 2007 are over? For good.

Speak, Mirror, please

I think we all know the answer to that one: even the poor old Mirror, always the last ship in the convoy, has apparently deleted all those abusive Amaral adjectives from its McCann style book and fallen into uncharacteristic silence about the libel trial recently. Come on Mirror! Remember the great days when you fed us the libel writ and finish the dodgy, lunching, wicked, money-making, fat detective off! All you risk is a year's wait to see if you're sued, isn't it? Let's hear from you!

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Most pleased, of course, at the widespread publicity the trial will attract will be the parents' loyal supporters who have stuck by them for so many years waiting for this moment. The final defeat and exposure of the vampire who made Kate clutch her cross so tightly will be  much more satisfying for being public.

McCann supporters preparing to be satisfied

McCann supporters preparing to be satisfied

Satisfaction is the word. While we allies of Goncalo Amaral hide away, baffled at our own past failure to see the obvious yet lacking any sort of escape route, or fret in ignorance of the outcome, the supporting legions, elderly yet wise, are, rightly, in something of a frenzy at the prospect of being satisfied after so many dry years. As they've told us so often the outcome is a foregone conclusion and nemesis awaits. One only wonders what they will be clutching in the ecstasy of Amaral's auto-da-fé.

Can't wait.

Libel Diary – truth trials and other science, 05 September 2013
Libel Diary – truth trials and other science The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 5 September 2013, 16:56

Stop this myth filth!

Earlier this year that unpleasant haters' journal the Blacksmith Bureau announced that the McCanns had asked Goncalo Amaral for an out of court settlement of their libel action, a fact that was well known in all the London media newsrooms but never made the pages or the screens because Amaral, to the MSM's intense irritation, refused to confirm the story. And the McCanns refused to deny it!

Readers here will be very unsurprised to know that Mr Desmond's Express came closest to publication – now why might that be? – with a story lined up giving the official reasons for the surrender as well (Clarence was leaking badly as he swam ashore), viz. that Kate and Gerry were worried that continuing the action was going to clean them out financially and that they needed to keep funds available for unspecified "possible future needs".

Down at Nick's Diner

I suspect that Goncalo's subsequent silence may have been partly because he had begun laying out the dishes for that historic Italian culinary delight The Dish Best Eaten Cold, and the frenzied UK hacks who, having insulted him for six years, petitioned him for further information to protect them from a McCann libel writ, were a delicately tempting first course.

That the story was true, of course, needs no repetition, as the circus-acrobat attempts of Kate McCann to kill it without actually denying something that was bound to come out anyway, amply demonstrate. But there was a rather stronger reason, one which prevented even Desmond's Mr James Murray – who was the first UK journalist to forswear the Amaral insult book and so got closer than the rest to the great man – from gaining the assenting GA nod.

The reason was the use which Duarte and her clients might have made of any comments by Mr Amaral to poison his chances if the negotiations failed and the case came to court. Now it would be wrong to suggest that honest people like the McCanns might have been intending to leak spun versions of anything said by GA in confidence about the affair to most of the journalists in the Western world, totally wrong, but GA's lawyer didn't know that, did he? Why, the poor chap – apparently a second-rater, so the McCann supporters are always telling us – couldn't even be sure that the surrender wasn't a deliberate trap with the aim of prompting indiscretions that would find their way, suitably spun and polished, up towards the judge's bench, unlikely though that might be given the unimpeachable character of those involved.

Prima: Langoustini giornalese Brittanico

Prima: Langoustini giornalese Brittanico

So GA, under instruction from his lawyer as well as a certain survival instinct which people underestimate at their peril, said nothing, put on a little bit of needed weight with The Dish Best Eaten Cold starter, garnished it by refusing to deny that he had treated the Duarte/McCann offers like a £2.50 bid for Gareth Bale and sat back with his napkin in his hand and a contented smile on his face. Or so it would appear.

In the interests of science

All of this drove the covens absolutely f******g nuts. They responded in the way they have done since 2008 – deceiving themselves into believing what they want to hear and then repeating those self-deceptions VERY LOUDLY INDEED as facts.

Which, readers may or may not remember, was exactly what the Bureau intended, since the hating swine who ran it had decided to provoke and egg them all on – covens, debunkers, tweeters, the lot – to shout EVEN LOUDER about Amaral's NON-EXISTENT chances and DOOMED FUTURE as a little experiment. An experiment, for those who have forgotten, to see how the judgements of the "activist supporters" would look in the light of the evidence that was bound to emerge, directly and indirectly, from the libel trial. People would then be able to compare the merits of the pro and anti approaches to truth without difficulty. Scientific and in the public interest, eh?

All this was laid out quite openly in the Bureau but the denizens of the covens and bunkers still fell for it not just hook and line but like aged, heavily fatted but quite inedible, trout. We shall now sit back and watch the experimental outcome, encouraging others, in the interests of science of course, to do the same.

Apart from the GA stuff above, which is pretty certain to get broad evidentiary confirmation, I know nothing more than anyone else and have never had the faintest idea who will win the libel case, although I've pointed out where my firm sympathies lie and the obvious difficulties the crucifix clutchers face in Portuguese libel law. That the McCanns tried unsuccessfully to extricate themselves means nothing for a verdict, given the well-known vagaries of the law. And, as my incorrect belief that the pair were on the Yard suspects list demonstrates, I make mistakes and cannot foresee the future of the case. So we all start equal, if not in good manners or savoir-faire or withered  troutness, at least in our chances of  being right or wrong.

Libel diary September 10, 10 September 2013
Libel diary September 10 The Interrupted Investigation

Tuesday, 10 September 2013, 12:48

Kate and Gerry McCann urging on the democratic legal process


Kate and Gerry McCann urging on the democratic legal process

"The investigation process was made available in electronic format to the national and international media, who then circulated it, thereby enabling knowledge, comments and public and universal discussion of the case...Anyone can access these facts and the documents of the investigation in which they were verified with a click on the internet."

Lisbon Appeal Court Judgement 2010.

Haters' Charter

So much for the full-time supporters' argument that members of the public who follow and debate the case are "hating" intruders persecuting one family instead of "waiting for the investigation to be completed". They've been saying that for six years, except for one curious interval after the Archiving Summary was released, when they, including Messrs Carter Ruck, decided that the investigation, at least as it concerned the McCanns, was already "completed".

The Portuguese state deliberately made the majority of the case information about an extraordinary crime committed there available to the ordinary citizen anywhere in the world, not merely to creepy private investigators, ex-arguidos or the increasingly baffling Redwood squad which, despite dodgy leaking and briefing on a scale which rivals the McCanns' own efforts, has produced nothing in over two years. So how much longer are we expected to wait in silence for the completion of this "investigation"? Another two years? Five? Until the Portuguese state indicates that Redwood's singing lumberjacks have produced " information"? You'll wait a long time for that, chum.

But of course there is a privacy argument for the McCanns that was ignored by the third-world Portuguese when they exposed some of the McCanns' dirty knickers to the world.

Is there? Not according to the Portuguese judiciary:
"As far as the [McCanns'] right to image and a good name is concerned, by placing the case firmly in the public realm and giving it worldwide notoriety, they opened all doors to all opinions, even those that are adversarial to them."

Lisbon Appeal Court Judgement

Tears, Lies and Videotape

The parents, their lawyers and their more-or-less full-time supporters don't like this legally enforced, democratic openness at all – except when it comes to a couple of paragraphs cherry-picked from the bizarre and non-judicial Archiving Summary.

Dreadful and brutal cross examination of parents in progress at Leveson.

Dreadful and brutal cross examination of parents in progress at Leveson. The lady on the left appears to be thinking of Mr David Sherborne QC

No, no, we groundlings should make do with the information licensed to us by the family and their oh so clever lawyers: the provably lying blogs, the provably lying "Madeleine", the provably lying leaks ("Kate offered a deal!!!") from the parents and their provably lying tinty-headed spokesman. Oh, and "official" platforms provided by Liverpool Leveson and House of Commons committees in which their carefully prepared evidence is accepted with the now-routine little murmurs of concern and total absence of critical assessment, let alone real examination. Merely writing about it the stink of their behaviour rises from the page and makes the nose twitch.

The Courts versus the Liars

It was those same judges who in a definitive judgement established the status of the Archiving Summary as a non-judicial "interpretation" of the case evidence provided in raw form by the PJ. Messrs Carter Ruck and the rather more significant Mr Justice Tugendhat may not be aware of the judgement but their ignorance doesn't alter its status as a judicial finding of fact.

Interpretations are multiple, not singular, by definition. Amaral's "interpretation" of the case evidence was found to be at least as valid as that of the non-judicial Attorney-General's department, partly because he was closer to the details of the case than the prosecutors.

The judgement established the validity of the ex-inspector's interpretation; not, however, its correctness or otherwise. That further step, by implication, would be for other courts, civil or criminal,to consider in the future, including the full libel trial itself.

One more step forward

Well the future is now. For the first time since 2010* (second if you include the ill-informed and Alice in Wonderland nonsense of the Tugendhat "trial") legal processes will provide our information, not leaks, lies and agendas, some of them emanating from the hapless Scotland Yard. The hearings may be closed, so they say, (but that was said up until the day before the 2009/2010 trial and the Sky triumph) but one way or another the truth will out and eventually we'll all have access to it.

That, not the unpredictable result, is why Thursday is so important for those concerned with the democratic access to the truth bequeathed by the Portuguese state.


* I'm aware of the later Supreme Court denial of further appeals. The hearing provided no information except the verdict.

Libel Diary – early results from the truth machine, 11 September 2013
Libel Diary – early results from the truth machine The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 14:02

Slot machine

The Machine is paying out already

Computer Says No

Another day passes without Goncalo Amaral running away from the full libel trial as most of our full-time McCann supporter friends have repeatedly forecast – not just hoped or guessed but forecast – that he would. Am I wrong to suggest that their forecasts are just outright lies? But why would they be lying? That's the big one, isn't it?

Just as the same people asserted that Goncalo Amaral had dropped his lawyer in a panic many months ago. Just as the same people have gaily asserted for years that his lawyer had a "diplomatic illness" in December 2009 because Goncalo was getting cold feet before the Lisbon trial.

One of the many reasons I abandoned forum posting was that when the evidence is spelled out on the Net to people in error, McCann full-timers for example, in terms that a schoolboy can understand, it makes no difference whatever and is wasted effort: they just go on lying.

It was particularly unsavoury that the lawyer involved suffered from a serious and incurable immune deficiency disease, one that gradually and rather tragically destroyed his ability to practise his profession, resulting in the sort of enforced withdrawals typified by the December 2009 event and, eventually, made him unable to carry on. While others without ties of loyalty to him, including the writer, felt his health had declined to the point where it was affecting his performance and it might be wise to call time, Goncalo Amaral loyally stuck by him as long as he could.

He is a popular and respected man in Portugal and the idea that he would have pulled such a stroke was stupid as well as gloatingly malicious, for, as anyone with any knowledge of the case knows, delay suited the McCanns much more than Goncalo.They were absolutely reeling when they saw his witness list and even weeks later, in January 2010, were still utterly unprepared for the defence case, as we know from Gerry McCann's mental collapse on the court steps.

That is why I so despise the creatures who cloak their support for the McCanns in a completely fictitious human "concern" and "sympathy" for poor Gerry and Kate, dripping with greased sentimentality: genuinely sympathetic and concerned people simply don't act the way they do – they don't know how to.

They don't, for example, invent malicious lies about sick people and repeat them over and over even though they’ve been publicly corrected. Emotionally dishonest people highly skilled at concealing their true feelings under a sentimentality blanket, the poor sods – just like the McCanns, of course, and that's no coincidence – are drawn to the parents like wasps to rotten and dying fruit, in the same way that truly naïve and innocent people are drawn to the opposing view. I know the ones whom I more willing to forgive.

It has to be added, of course, that both the Sage of Brondesbury, Mr Pooter- Debunker and the loudest of the "sympathizers", the unfortunate Hibernian lady, have very serious medical issues of their own which perhaps explain, without justifying, their pathological behaviour. But that's another matter.

Who'll get the jackpots over the coming days? More results as they arrive.

Libel diary – and another winner!, 11 September 2013
Libel diary – and another winner! The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 18:33

Slot machine

Tinty-head payout

Roll up, roll up!

This time instead of feeding the Full-Time Supporters into the machine we grabbed Tinty-Head instead and thrust him, little tinty-head first, into the processor and then pulled the lever.

Oh dear, the porkiemetre went off the scale before settling on 21.

Seems he was telling porkies again about what the police had told the McCanns to do regarding the trial. He never is very reliable, glug-glug, at these high pressure points, is he?

Gerry, understandably after the exhibition he made of himself on the court steps after the Bureau had tweaked his tail, is keeping his presence and whereabouts, like his forehead, very low indeed. But members of the Bureau have already spotted Kate "it's just a rumour" McCann in Lisbon tonight.

Her mum's with her too, either to clutch her crucifix for her and make sure she's in bed before dark or to volunteer for the witness box to confess all about the "deal" GA's boys offered Kate. That's what I like about Scousers – their Christian consciences.

Libel Diary Day One, 12 September 2013
Libel Diary Day One The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 12 September 2013, 18:24

Kate McCann in Lisbon, 12 September 2013

Battle is Joined

No surprises so far. As the Bureau said a while ago [Not like the Good Old Days, February 2012, McCann files] the list of witnesses for the McCanns indicates that Duarte is concentrating on putting forward an emotion-based, rather than fact-based, case. And proceedings today followed that forecast as if we'd written the script for them eighteen months ago.

Whether it will be successful I have no idea: waves of emotion, rather than truth, have carried the couple along so far, just like that other well-capitalised and successful manufactured product of Messrs Kennedy, Smethurst and others, double-glazing. Both products have been subject to similar reservations over the years – that they are plastic, see-through, heavily oversold to the proletariat and won't last long but they also share the valuable quality that dirt, and particularly Grime, don't stick to them at all.

Given that record an onion-based approach might well work, as it has done for numerous other celebrity clients of Carter-Ruck such as Robert Maxwell, the greatest thief in English history, who turned on the waterworks in the witness box with a facility that mere Liverpool families can never attain. And, of course, the judge in the Jeffrey Archer libel case, sexually enthralled by the presence of Archer's wife, used the right hand of masturb justice to great effect, with the result that the guilty Archer, and, we hope, the missus, left court without a stain on them.

While Lord Justice Leveson made no reference to Kate McCann's smell, thank God, he seemed almost equally smitten, as far as one could tell from his little coos and grunts of appreciation at her presence a few feet away. Who can be sure that a Portuguese judge won't feel the same way?


The risk, of course, is that the defence won't waste time trying to convince the court that the photos and endless celebrity interviews of the couple show a severe shortage of the dreadful suffering that the writ alleges Amaral caused them, but will concentrate on the evidence that other police officer accumulated and the reasonable inferences that could, and should, have been drawn by Amaral or any other co-ordinator. I doubt if people like Mother Hubbard will be much use in refuting such points.

So where do they go if that happens?

Obviously the best route would be for the McCanns and their friends to speak frankly and openly about their own innocence and the nightmare of being falsely suspected. But that is the one thing that they will have nothing whatever to do with, behaviour which is exactly in line with their performance since 2007 – they won't go near a witness box under any circumstances.

That baffling refusal to be sincere under oath means Duarte has to go for the next-best (but clearly inferior and chancy) tactic of calling various. If Rebelo and others tell the court that GA's inferences were decisively refuted before summer 2008 and that he was confronted with the refutation then things will look up for the couple – until the defence team asks what evidence, as against lack of evidence, they presented to Amaral in refutation. Nevertheless their contributions could be critical.

Still, these are early days and we won't gain knowledge of the balance of forces until the defence opens and, for the first time, see what Goncalo's strategy is.

All to play for.


Bosch & Breughel Corner

I was asked late today what I thought of the quality of the "assessments" from the FTSs (Full-Time-Supporters) on Twitter and elsewhere today, as well as the significance of that senior officer and brilliant sleuth Dave Edgar's presence in Lisbon. Apart from the fact that Edgar, in his coarse, ill-fitting clothes looked like he was searching for a broom to continue sweeping the pavements of that fine city, my reaction to both was identical - here:

Libel Diary Day Two, 13 September 2013
Libel Diary Day Two The Interrupted Investigation

Friday, 13 September 2013, 23:18

These poor witnesses will have to return another day after tribunal in Lisbon ended abruptly.


Well there isn't really one, I'm afraid because the MSM and we Net people between us couldn't provide a coherent narrative of the day, despite the fact that a Net commentator was supposed to be present in court.

The result, to my cold amusement, was that M/S Duarte gave the nearest to a sensible description of what happened today and as a result was widely quoted – precisely the situation we'd avoided in 2010 and I thought we were going to avoid this time too. What a piss-poor performance we've made of it so far.

Duarte's version was easy enough to decode but that's not why we're watching, is it? The idea was to have a break from having to unspin the spin of compromised commentators and listen to the raw words themselves spoken, for once, without lying intermediaries.

It doesn't matter at root: we'll get the information in the end and it can't be assimilated in haste anyway; and people in Portugal have assured me that the need for a reliable record is being dealt with now but still, it wasn't a good day for the Net, giving us yet another mad day of insult, rumour and hopeful guesswork in the usual places, this one, I suppose, included.

Duarte's silences spoke louder than her words, her somewhat downbeat tone reflecting the reality of an extremely difficult struggle for both sides – in contrast to the asinine "Kate & Gerry expect to win etc." from tinty-head, that archetypal behind-the-lines-in-the-latrines soldier. I don't think that he, poor creature, has the basic understanding of reality you need to act as a foundation for your spin anymore, so long has he been living among the shadows of Gerry McCann's warped imagination: he’s tired.

I repeat again I have not the slightest idea who will win and I don't expect to even when, God and human effort permitting, we have heard the main burden of the evidence for both sides. So when I say I have a definite sense coming across already, just as it did in 2010, readers should take it with the normal Net salt cellar.

In 2010 the overwhelming impression was of panic and disorganization in the Team together with a feeling that one knew what they would try next, partly because I had more useful specific information about what was going on than they, with all their "news management expertise" did.

This time it's quite different and I'm by no means as sure as I was then that I'm reading it correctly. But, I have to say it, the whole gang just  seem forlorn, as though whatever efforts they make, whatever motions they go through, their fate is already determined. Don't ask me what that fate is.

Looking at those photographs of the gang in Lisbon taken by Net people – ageing, provincial, vulnerable figures dwarfed by the overwhelming weight of the Piranesi-like court corridors and ante-rooms around and above them – I felt sympathy, not of the MSM greased sentimentality kind, more a feeling of natural sympathy for people who are beginning to succumb, to go under.

Isabel Duarte and Dave Edgar

There was squat little Duarte, so much less aggressive and perky than she was three years ago but, with nothing to lose personally, much the least troubled of the group; in contrast the shambling figure of Edgar was like some coarse but loyal family servant accompanying doomed refugees; the friends/relatives insignificant; Kate a flimsy figure as so often now, her face the usual mask. Look at them – can you see how they look as if they're talking in numb monotones?

I really wouldn't like to be in their shoes.

Libel Diary–Weekend note, 15 September 2013
Libel Diary–Weekend note The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 15 September 2013, 12:59

So straightaway to an apology to Anne Guedes for having said "we" were making a poor job of bringing the news from the Lisbon court. In fact M/S Guedes was writing up her multi-lingual notes and has now produced Part One of her report. Can I add my own thanks to those of others and also credit the sad refugee photos we carried on Friday.

Her contribution, coming on top of Martin Brunt's woeful attempted tweets and even more woeful desertion, marks the day when the voluntarism of the last six years completed its victory over the compromised mainstream media. We are free of them in the McCann case: the Kiersymmons MSM role is to make a good living filling the gaps between the adverts with packaged product for the ignorant. Let them get on with it.

M/S Guedes's first report in PDF form is here:

Tomorrow – the world!

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)

Alternatively you can go to the Justice Forum and download it there. Careful though: that route means descending through the dark and insanitary levels of defuhrerbunker. There ancient white haired "scientists" toil away until final victory analysing the hairs and excreta of die Teufelhunde Edda und Kiel under deBunkermeister's stern gaze. Do not pause but pass by quickly.

Amaral is Savaged in Court

As for the content of the first day's proceedings readers can judge for themselves. I'll confine myself to noting that the confident forecasts of the Full-Time McCann Supporters over the last year that Goncalo would be half-carried, half-dragged into the witness box and confronted with his lies, inventions, perjury [fill in the boxes] until he collapsed into a soiled heap and confessed, have not quite been borne out.

Still, we have, as everyone now knows, the beginnings of Plan B: the detailed proof from a host of witnesses that Goncalo "damaged", [giggles unfairly], or "hampered" [sniggers loudly] "the SEARCH" [collapses into helpless laughter].

Goncalo must have gone white when this exchange with a key witness comprehensively destroyed his chances:

Defence Lawyer
: Do you know if the book hampered the investigation?

Mother Theresa Hubbard:
I can't answer that.

Perhaps the trial should have taken place in private: watching this balloon collapsing into rubber and spittle after six years of threat and bluff almost makes one feel guilty. Almost.

On a lower note..., 15 September 2013
On a lower note... The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 15 September 2013, 15:23

I don't want to lower the tone but while I was writing the previous post the Truth Machine on my desk spat out an entry on a Mr "Pedro Silva". I need to reprogram the machine since "Pedro" doesn't exist and is therefore not eligible for fib-processing, having been invented by the Full Time McCann Supporter "BB" on her personal forum-fiefdom, to fill the long-standing vacancy for a single Portuguese who believed a word the McCanns said.

BB is no Shakespeare. To say that "Pedro"'s character is not fully developed would be an understatement: BB gave Pedro what she fondly thought was broken English to speak (which never improves, despite his long contact with the British) on her fiefdom and rounded out his personality by making him utter belches of scatological hostility to Amaral, calling everyone except GA "my friend" and then, having posted various inconsequential links to the case, disappearing before having to answer questions. Occasionally, though, he and his creator have had conversations, taking surrealism to new and giddy heights.

The one thing that in several years existence the Portuguese Mr Silva has never done is to write a single word in his native language. Anyway, he's a good comic turn and everyone knew he was an invention, as various comments on the Net about his non-existence demonstrated. But something strange, and for BB disturbing, occurred. A nonentity, apparently intent on entrapment, popped up on a little "pro" forum and posted a message asking, straight faced, "Pedro" to translate a news article for him! Urgently.

There was a deep, deep silence and no doubt, up in the Scottish mists, a sharp intake of breath.

Was this someone attempting to humiliate her? Was it a trap? In the strange half-world of the FTMS where a bewildering array of entities is created every day nobody can be trusted. Perhaps BB scratched her chin and consulted her memory... who knows... Honestbroker, that was the nonentity's name... Had she created him? She couldn't remember. Had she created him and he'd been taken over and was being used against her?

With this background it is no surprise that BB stalled, despite the urgency of the request. A whole day elapsed before the reply finally came: an extremely non-committal reply consisting of a risible Google Translate cut and paste piece of junk without, shall we say, learned commentary.

Honestbroker, how could you? How could you lay such a vicious trap for poor old BB by pretending you believed in "Pedro"?

The Gift Relationship, 16 September 2013
The Gift Relationship The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 16 September 2013, 14:01

The Gift Relationship

I wrote of the triumph of "voluntarism" the other day, referring to the fact that "we" – we know who we are – are now largely independent of the MSM and its ill-educated, greedy whims regarding the McCann/Amaral affair.

I know how strongly many people feel about "the breaking of the spell" in the UK media so that the disappearance of the child is treated more critically and I respect their views. I know also how people feel that MSM publication somehow validates a story, although that, perhaps, is a hangover from the days when "journals of record" actually existed.

But those contentious issues are quite separate from the value the MSM has for us in McCann/ Amaral affair information terms: our dependence there was 90% once and now it’s pretty much zero. Instead the information that matters is reaching us from court reports, personal information and our own researches in the case files and other primary sources.

But how does it reach us? Through unpaid and voluntary collective effort involving years of work, all without charities, dodgy funds, leaders, managers.

Long before the Internet an idealistic British economics professor wrote a book comparing voluntary blood donation with the then paid American-type model: he called it The Gift Relationship and demonstrated how superior the results of the former were to the latter. People who have only come to this case recently may not be aware of the scale of the Gift Relationship in our field – all of it, of course, free to use.
Database/ cuttings library,The McCann Files. Daddy of them all.
Database, the GM blogs & much associated material - Pamalam
Database, the McCann PJ files translations – Pamalam
Database, legal document collection, interviews and opinion pieces, rogatory interviews, broadcast material with Portuguese emphasis – Joana Morais & friends.
Translations, case files, other documents, used by the database sites above, an enormous voluntary translation effort over a number of years, collated and posted on the Maddie Case Files site.
Translations, news items, – since summer 2007, court judgements, critical documents, nearly all available before the paid translations in the MSM, The heroic Astro.
A public fund, – to assist Goncalo Amaral, payments structure, appeals, publicity - Joana Morais and colleagues.
Individual information initiatives, – reports, photos & videos of PDL and other critical areas, individuals at  their own expense.
I have only named those that spring to mind at once and, perhaps controversially, excluded debate forums and personal investigation initiatives from the list. Nor have I even touched on the personal sacrifices made by the givers.

Yes, in my usual  combative way I'll look at what the MSM and supporters of the parents, in contrast, have offered, if anything – but not now, not here: this, in keeping with its status as a gift, deserves to be celebrated on its own.

Libel trial – the claims, 17 September 2013
Libel trial – the claims The Interrupted Investigation

Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 17:22

The old Bureau's legal advisor who also made the coffee and had many other duties poor sod has written a personal view. Since he was never paid it may be all rubbish but who knows?

At first he was concerned about commenting on a case still being heard. I pointed out to him, however, that in summer 2007 a certain Kate & Gerry McCann had established the principle of ignoring legal system requirements in other countries by refusing to observe them and systematically leaking to the UK media. Faced with precedent he said yes. What goes round comes round.

I have amended, in places, his rather dry writing style.

The Writ

The libel writ was issued in 2009 and given to the Mirror only by the parents as an exclusive, an unusual way of commencing legal action. The article, or propaganda, outlined the claims and it can be found on McCann Files. No other précis of the document was ever provided for the UK public by the couple.

The Central Claims

The writ outlined two factual claims of great importance:
1) The book, is made up of "lies" and is "manipulative, perverse, false, destructive, defamatory, deeply damaging and therefore illegal."

2) Significant damage caused directly by this illegal action to Kate and Gerry McCann caused them "permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability and an indefinable fear". Kate McCann is "steeped in a deep and serious depression...totally destroyed from a moral, social, ethical, emotional and family point of view, beyond the pain that the absence of their eldest daughter causes them".

Establishing the libel and gaining the 1.2 million clearly involves evidence demonstrating that the book is "lies" and "illegal" and secondly producing evidence to prove the medical and psychiatric claims.
Enter The Nonsense

In addition the writ added to these central claims two opinions, which, unlikely as it sounds, they were possibly intending to argue. If it ever came to court.
1a) "Madeleine has been deprived of the possibility of a fair and adequate investigation into her disappearance, putting her moral and physical integrity at serious risk."

2a) "The lawsuit also highlights their fears for four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie when they start school later this year and begin to hear rumours that Madeleine is dead."
Note that neither of these two involves what UK law calls a "tort", a clearly definable civil wrong, such as, say, "making illegal and untrue claims in a book" or "destroying another and causing them anxiety & depression".

1a) and 2a) are not breaches of anything. A "deprivation of ...investigation" could only be legally proved if a tort had been committed, that is if a legal entity, for example, refused to investigate a crime.

To claim that expressing a view has caused a state action or inaction (re the search) when the view was expressed by someone not in a position to order or refuse such an investigation is to claim that anything can eventually follow from anything, innocent or otherwise, and as such has no place in a European court of law.

The second concerns "fears" about the future which again are no part of a legal process: there is no chain of evidence than can possibly decide the reality of such a fear factually in advance.

Therefore both claims are in my opinion forensically indeterminate, that is, there is no basis for deciding them with evidence.

Determination of the truth

We shall see in the coming days whether witnesses or evidence will be produced to demonstrate the lies that Amaral is alleged to have told, although under Portuguese law, truth alone would not be enough to prove the defamation.

As for the second, consequential, claim, a very serious one involving harm – where's it gone? Where are the doctors who diagnosed these specific medical conditions, the medication and so forth, and will defend their diagnoses under defence questioning? I've seen no sign of them yet, only subjective comments by friends etc. that the McCanns haven't been happy. That may well be true but it has nothing whatever to do with the specific claims in 2).

That leaves the two junk claims. Only the claimants and their lawyer know why these have been given greater and greater prominence in the case at the expense of the determinate claims 1) and 2). What changed their minds since 2009?

In my view the witnesses questioned about these two have not been inadequate or "badly briefed" (you cannot "brief" witnesses) but have simply told the truth, which is that the claims are neither true nor false but indeterminate opinion (like my feeling that it may rain tomorrow), which is why all of them, including the exceptionally clever Mr McBride, could not give useful answers – there are no accurate answers to an indeterminate claim, otherwise known as a nonsense.

Libel Diary – Gerry McCann as a witness of the truth, 18 September 2013
Libel Diary – Gerry McCann as a witness of the truth The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 18 September 2013, 13:11

This is primarily for those new to the case who are unaware of the horrendous record of Gerry McCann's lying.

Gerry McCann giving the exact reasons for his January 13 visit on Portuguese television


Gerry McCann giving the exact reasons for his January 13 visit
on Portuguese television

The Libel Case

On the 28 November 2008 the McCanns spoke to Isabel Duarte by phone about suing Amaral for the first time. Six weeks later, on January 13 2009, Gerry McCann went to Portugal to meet her and discuss the legal strategy against Amaral, returning the next day. In July the Mirror published the writ details that the McCanns had given them. Those are the facts. (Source: Madeleine by Kate McCann plus Mirror McCann exclusive).

Media Conferences Called by Gerry McCann

On his arrival in Portugal, Gerry McCann called media conferences to explain why he had returned.

Gerry McCann:
"Ahhh, well... I came back today really to meet with our adviser's, err... including Rogério, errr... Alves to really discuss what can still be done in the ongoing search for Madeleine."

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Gerry McCann:
"The purpose of this visit is to, errr... really look at what can still be done in the search, we want to be, you know, looking positively, not backwards - looking forwards. 'Cause, you know, we want to find our daughter. It's pretty simple really."

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Gerry McCann:
"I think, you know, we want to make it absolutely clear what's gone on in the past is, by and large, done and we very, very much want to focus on what can still be done for the search and that's... that's what our priority is and... and it always has been really so any of these things are just, you know, they're not really relevant at the minute."

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Press report
: 'He assured journalists that this was the first of, "many visits," to set up new operations in the search for his daughter, although he refused to explain what operations he meant and why he had not considered it appropriate to cooperate with the PJ in the past.'

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Press report:
'In an interview, Gerry McCann stated that, for the moment at least, he had no intention of taking legal action against the Portuguese State or any other body, including the media, stressing he wanted to "move forward and not back."'

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Press conference report:
'Without explaining why the couple did not request the reopening of the investigation while there was time, Gerry McCann wanted to stress his, "willingness to work with the authorities, as much as possible."

"Are you going to going to meet with the Portuguese authorities?"

Gerry McCann: "
We haven't got anything specific planned at this point. This is very much my, err... you know, the first visit over here and just to look and... and to try and get a scoping, errr... of what we can still do... really."

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Mr Mitchell:
"I can confirm that Gerry McCann returned to Portugal for a brief visit to meet his lawyers to see what more can be done to help find his daughter."

Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA

Press report:
'According to a Home Office source in London, Madeleine McCann's father, before undertaking his journey to Portugal, obtained every guarantee that he would not be bothered by the Portuguese authorities.'

The Dom Pedro Palace hotel welcomes many hundred euros from the Find Madeleine Fund January 13 2009


The Dom Pedro Palace hotel welcomes many hundred euros from the
Find Madeleine Fund January 13 2009

Press Report: 'Madeleine's father and the English lawyer who accompanied him on the visit to Portugal, on Tuesday, were lodged at the D. Pedro Palace, a five-star hotel and one of the most luxurious in Lisbon. Everything, of course, financed by the 'Find Madeleine' Fund.'

Mr Mitchell was questioned about using the Find Madeleine Fund to stay at the several hundred euros a night D. Pedro Palace.

The Dom Pedro Palace Hotel

The Dom Pedro Palace Hotel

Clarence Mitchell: "This type of travel obviously fits into the search for Madeleine which is the Fund's purpose. [Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA] That was what it was created for and Madeleine's parents will never use it for anything else apart from that."


Gerry McCann went to Portugal January 13 to meet Isabel Duarte about suing GA


Libel Diary – Blank Page?, 21 September 2013
Libel Diary – Blank Page? The Interrupted Investigation

Saturday, 21 September 2013, 13:33

Sound and Fury

I haven't seen an unofficial court report for days three and four, only fragments so I've little to add yet. To reiterate what we have already heard during the first week:


Kate McCann

Stripped of the rhetoric about search damage, the version of the libel writ given by the UK Mirror on behalf of the parents claims that what Amaral wrote was:

1. "False, manipulative, perverse, destructive, defamatory, deeply damaging and therefore illegal".

2. And caused the parents "permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability and an indefinable fear." Kate McCann is, in addition, "steeped in a deep and serious depression." And "totally destroyed from a moral, social, ethical, emotional and family point of view, beyond the pain that the absence of their eldest daughter causes them".

So: untrue and causing gross damage to their health.
These are factual claims and since they are in the writ the interest of the case for students, researchers and those involved in the case, peripherally or otherwise, is to see if they are proved in a court of law or not.

The Curse of Humpty Dumpty

Now, every time I look at Portuguese law in action I understand a little less than I did before. Some of our Portuguese friends are telling us that Amaral could still be guilty of what is described in the writ as defamation or libel even if evidence were produced to establish the truth of his claims.

If claim 1 does not have to be justified then the proceedings are irrelevant to the establishment of truth about the case and some of us must be wasting our time here. We’ll have to leave this open until we see what the judgement says.

In the light of this same apparently Humpty-Dumpty ("the law means what I say it means") aspect  of Portuguese law which I'm not qualified to question, I wouldn't be surprised if 2 doesn't have to be proved either, in which case we might as well all go home.

Still, whatever the legal intricacies that may be revealed in the judgement it is quite irrefutable that, after the majority of the claimant case has been heard, no attempt has been made to justify Claim 1 by evidence. And no evidence has been submitted to the court of the truth of the specific medical and psychiatric allegations in Claim 2. Only anecdote.


After the judgement students of the case will no doubt be considering the significance and implications of this void. I'll be assessing it in the context of my own undramatic and boring area of study, the persistent and obsessive lying of Kate & Gerry McCann that has so weakened their credibility about anything, including the state of the apartment on May 3, but for the time being we are still dependent on the primary documents.

As far as claim 1 is concerned readers can choose between Gerry McCann's blogs and Kate McCann's Madeleine. Neither of them are very enlightening on the truth or otherwise of Amaral's central claim, that the child died in Apartment 5A. In the blogs GM insists that Amaral and his team didn't suspect him of anything, even on the day that the PJ turned his temporary home over and left him carless and with only the clothes on his back.

As for Madeleine there are sixty entries for "Amaral"  but for some reason she is as silent about the truth or falsity of Amaral's central claim as M/S Duarte has been all this week. Not one entry states that the claim is untrue.

As for claim 2 we do have a suggestive entry, perhaps the last word on the validly of the medical and psychiatric claims of "total destruction." It runs:

"I've always been considered quite a gentle person but these attacks stirred up terrible emotions in me. It was as if my whole body was trying to scream but a tightly screwed-on lid was preventing the scream from escaping. Instead I was just howling internally. My punch bag certainly came in handy at times. Amaral's documentary was the last straw. On 20 April we took the decision with Isabel Duarte to sue him.

While she did the preparatory work, we were off to the States again – to appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show."

Enough said.

Gerry and Kate McCann, The Oprah Show

Kate McCann waiting for the ambulance after being destroyed

Shock, Horror, Yawn

That leaves the fragments and comments from days three and four. I must say I've felt uncomfortable with some of the forum stuff I've seen. Many supporters and critics seem more concerned with what the media, particularly the UK media, are saying about the case than with the evidence itself.


As far as critics are concerned, of what possible value are the views of the press who lethally contaminated the legal process in May 2007 and manufactured the Kate & Gerry McCann package? They're the same people.

For supporters, what possible value are the views of a press that, led by Mr Jerry Lawton, contaminated the legal process in September 2007 by claiming that the McCanns were murderers? They're the same people.

The media don't ultimately decide anything: the facts do. The Lisbon process is just another stage in adding to the limited number of facts in the case – whichever way they point – and another opportunity for people to assess whether their views are  in accordance with those facts as they emerge. So I don't really get it when many people seem to be appraising what they've read of witness evidence by whether it agrees with their view of the case and how it will play in the papers. Isn't that what juries are always warned against?

Oh, well.

Libel Diary – Day Four, 23 September 2013
Libel Diary – Day Four The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 23 September 2013, 16:37

I've now read the Internet report from day 4 of the trial. I'm only going to give a few subjective comments here because there is a mass of critical material to analyse.


I urge people to read the Michael Wright and Cláudia Nogueira testimony for themselves, even if they never read anything else from the trial. It is a genuine breakthrough and for that alone we owe Goncalo Amaral not just support but our profound gratitude: the proceedings are, for the first time, giving us evidence under oath to compare with the sanitised and dishonest versions of their activities and attitudes that the lying couple have provided in Madeleine, Facebook and their rehearsed interviews. They are laid bare.

Speaking personally I almost lost my belief in the Portuguese justice system when the ambiguities of the archiving summary were followed by the cowardly but almost lethal ambush on a public servant plotted by the couple and Duarte for their own gain and protection.

The evidence at the 2010 Lisbon hearings, the first breach in the screen of lies, (Archive Summary author Menezes: they did not tell the truth) was not reflected in the judgement. The young and inexperienced judge failed Amaral, failed the legal system and damaged Portugal's reputation.

Only when, after three years of lies and misinformation, the Portuguese appeal court judges gave a calm and common-sense appraisal of the case and threw out the judge's findings, did I begin to regain some hope that justice would be done. And now, reading the proceedings, we are back in the real world of fact and the attempted establishment of truth instead of the fantasy web that the parents began to spin and which eventually enmeshed almost everyone who came into contact with it, from governments down. Whatever the verdict the evidence, not the newspaper trash, not the lies of little Tinty-Head, whose aspirations to a political career will eventually be sunk by his own blatant dishonesty, is now on record.

Another moment of doubt

I won't labour the narrow question of the truth of the libel again here, having been corrected by my Portuguese friends; I don't even need to, since the court showed by its systematic intellectual demolition of the trash and hearsay offered by Wright that concern for the truth is everywhere dominant in these proceedings. But I'll add this.

When I first saw the witness list for the claimants which the Bureau published a couple of years ago I was taken aback. Not by the preponderance of "soft" non-expert witnesses such as Alan "Don't Tell Them" Pike and the rest (see how the judge dealt with the flannelers' qualifications as "expert witnesses" on day four*); nor by the deadly exclusion of the Tapas 7, who having fled the Portuguese justice system in 2007, the cowards, were leaving the McCanns to their fate yet again. No, I'll be honest: I was most struck, and concerned, by the legal names.

Skull-Face Macbride; ex-PJ head Alipio Ribeirra; the president of the Portuguese bar association! João Melchior Gomes, deputy Attorney-General!

I thought, they really are all against him, they really are going to say that Goncalo's theories were invalidated by the later stages of the investigation, as the loonies claim. Even Ribeirra, who I thought was straight as a die and loyal with it.

Now Goncalo Amaral is made of much tougher stuff than me but I wouldn't hold it against his legal team if they'd been intimidated by this list. I most certainly was.

Because that's what it was intended to do, as so many of the lying pair's actions have been intended to do – intimidate. And scare GA into settling.

As we know he didn't. Skull-Face turned up and offered nothing whatever; Alipio turned up and offered nothing whatever; the deputy AG turned up and offered nothing whatever. Even the president of the bar association, who is a known enemy of GA, has had second, third and fourth thoughts and so far hasn't turned up.

It was all a bluff. It's only when bluffs are called by the brave that the cowardly start to see things in a different light – ping!


* The Judge: overrules, saying this is a question for a doctor.

My italics: no doctors have been called.

Libel Diary – A note on troll corner, 23 September 2013
Libel Diary – A note on troll corner The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 23 September 2013, 20:14

God knows one can excuse the hysteria of the Full Time Supporters and Internet trolls like Michael Wright (Internet monitor indeed!) since they're watching not just their heroes but their own belief systems trickling down the drain. Perhaps I can help them.

Speaking personally again I found the 3 Arguidos great fun (oooh!!), stimulating (how could he?!) and rather like being inside – you meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. It only fell apart when the owner Brenda Ryan's "friends" decided to hurt and humiliate her (as they do) by attacking her site. Anyway let me help you, friends, on the legal position of proving anyone posted anything.

An internet screengrab is not evidence of anything but the creation of an image on a computer, or several computers if the SG is passed around. It can never be authenticated because the SG comes from the individual computer cache, with or without additions or changes, not from the source Internet file which contains the actual posting: that remains on its own site. Clear yet?

No? Well, let me add bit more: due to the pranksters, petty crooks and debunkermeister, self-admitted thief (whom I then christened the knicker-sniffer due to his propensity for getting excited by other people's intimate details) hacking into and stealing what they call the database in order to harvest and contaminate it, even the source database files can never be authenticated. Why? Because one of the announced motives of the pranksters was to corrupt the files to enable rogue posting under someone else's ID using harvested passwords.

Get it now?

Mother's Little Helper, 24 September 2013
Mother's Little Helper The Interrupted Investigation

Tuesday, 24 September 2013, 14:12

Michael Wright

Mr Helpful

A First for Mr Wright

The Internet monitor Mr Wright is, of course, the same Michael Wright who has featured so helpfully before in the Madeleine McCann affair – helpful, that is, and I regret having to say it, to the parents, rather than the child.

Mr Wright has the doubtful honour of being the very first person to start putting in place alibis for the parents' behaviour – on May 4.

It was he who, after conferring with Gerry McCann, contacted the Evening Standard to get the clan's version of events out having been persuaded to say that he was defending them against unfair criticism.

He did this early in the day so that it would make the London Evening Standard before the evening of May 4. Alert readers will note that this is well ahead of the "surprise" that Gerry McCann told parliament and Leveson he got when he returned from Portimao police headquarters to find a media mob waiting for them.

Some surprise! As I wrote in the Cracked Mirror in 2009 Gerry McCann had been on his mobile all morning providing feeds for that media – from within the very police headquarters where he was supposedly present to help the police search for the child. You'd think he'd have been so busy racking his brains for any detail that he could pass on to the police to assist the search or help his child that he'd have no interest in what the media thought.

Mr Wright told the Standard that there had been "spin" against the McCanns that had given  a misleading impression of what had happened the previous evening. If I may be permitted to quote the whole relevant passage from the Cracked Mirror regarding Gerry McCann's organization of friends and family to brief the media from Portimao police HQ:
"Perhaps M/S Renwick's next comment was her own - or perhaps not. "She said," The Standard continues, "the McCanns had chosen the resort because it was family friendly. [Untrue; the resort was not, as we have seen, chosen by the McCanns but by David Payne] This is the first time they have done this,” she added [untrue; it was not the first time they had done this] They are very, very anxious parents and very careful," she said. [As we have seen earlier, in Praia de Luz the parents had in practice been neither very anxious nor very careful].

And then The Standard had this: "Michael Healy[this was Michael Wright], the missing girl's uncle, added: "There has been some negative spin put on this, with people criticising them for leaving the kids and going on the tear.” Mr Healy added, "But it's nonsense, they were close by and were eating within sight of where the children were and checking on them. Other members of the group were checking on her as well. No one was rip-roaring drunk."

How have news reports about a disappearance, or "desperate efforts to get publicity for Madeleine" led to this? How have Kate's dying-fall mutterings to Oprah Winfrey about involving the media because of "...absolute helplessness, absolutely desperate. I mean, this is our daughter who we love beyond words, and every second is like hours..." led to this mutation to a pre-emptive defence of themselves? How has "the natural appeal for information" that Gerry McCann described to members of Parliament morphed into denying that they were drunk?

"Negative spin" and "criticism." How could there be any spin or criticism of the parents by Friday afternoon when these were the very people telling the world what had happened the previous night for the first time and when the pair hadn't even given their statements to the police?"
The usual prizes are offered for anyone who can provide a link, or any evidence at all of this "negative spin and criticism" that helpful Mr Wright referred to. Where had he seen it? What had he been told by Gerry McCann?

And Again

In April 2008, when the pair were, of course, still arguidos Mr Wright was once again helpful beyond the call of duty. He gave his rogatory statement, requested by the Portuguese PJ, to Leicester police describing his connections to the McCanns, his very frequent trips to Portugal and his observations about the effect the disappearance had had on the McCanns.

The statement covers a period of nearly a year and runs to 1497 words. Of those nearly 20% deal with his use of the McCanns' vehicle for rubbish disposal. Twenty per cent! You could read it and think, what is this guy, a nutter? Why is he going on and on about garbage? And the stench the garbage left in the car. And the bodily and waste fluids that were carried in the vehicle. All without ever attempting to clean it out. You might think What the f*** is the guy, a f****** coprophiliac? Where's his head at?

But as we all know, given the dog alerts that Gerry McCann was so dismissive of, he was just being helpful again, wasn't he?

Used and Exploited

It was a bit different when he was helpful last week, wasn't it? Instead of an ignorant and complaisant Evening Standard or a guardedly neutral Leicester police interviewer he had a court to deal with and the truth to confront. There he wriggled. And squirmed. And fell silent. And contradicted himself. And had his little prompt list taken away and exposed, just as Gerry McCann's timeline prompt lists were taken away and exposed. It was a terrible humiliation.

But who had put Mr Wright in this position in the first place? Who was it who'd so ruthlessly used the bonds of kith and kin to allay suspicion and get the world on their side without once considering the dreadful harm this would eventually cause their families ? Mr Wright's efforts on behalf of the people who briefed him strike me as those of a sincere man, a believer.

Nobody with any sanity is accusing the parents of doing away with the child or attempting to harm her. The police have never suggested that this whole nightmare was caused by anything more than an accident followed by wrong and fateful decisions. Has he really, alone with his thoughts at night, never asked himself the questions that matter? The nightmare is now deepening with frightening speed. It's never too late Mr Wright.

A pause, 29 September 2013
A pause The Interrupted Investigation

Sunday, 29 September 2013, 19:25

This is the first occasion since May 3 2007 when people on both sides of the argument must answer for their words and actions at a hearing designed to get at the truth.

There will be plenty of time for analysis after the hearings are complete but for the present I believe the words of the witnesses should speak for themselves, in their full dramatic significance, without any comment.

Back soon.

Crimewatchery, 05 October 2013
Crimewatchery The Interrupted Investigation

Saturday, 5 October 2013, 18:53

No more commenting on the libel trial.

Appearance & Reality

OK, the Crimewatch programme will give people knowledgeable about the case the first opportunity to assess the calibre of the Scotland Yard squad's work and approach. The reconstruction they offer can be compared with the Portuguese investigation's establishment of events and any differences noted. And, more important, where the justification for any changes lies.

My second favourite Portuguese policeman, Alipio Ribeirra, described one significant phase of the original inquiry (before the forensic results were known) as "pure investigation", by which he appeared to mean an intellectual analysis of the so-far established facts rather than a physical pursuit.

You're nicked, my beauty

It's probably fair to say that the very real strengths of  the British police, compared with their European counterparts, are not seen at their best when it comes to "pure investigation", except in certain critical specialist areas such as anti-terrorism. In the latter, of course, the police are actively assisted by the exceptionally highly trained and educated intelligence services.

If we look at the contributions to the McCann case debate from retired Scotland Yard officers, many of them senior, to get an idea of their calibre, the impression they give is quite shockingly bad. Many of them have difficulty in putting their views forward coherently on paper and, like football players, have to be interviewed sympathetically to get their views out at all to the reader. Their analytical abilities, as revealed in their newspaper contributions, are, to put it mildly, deficient and there is a notable gap between their conclusions - such as, for example, that favourite the paedophile ring - and the logical or evidentiary steps leading to them.

Perhaps only the dolts among them are willing to write for the tabloid press. That's a real possibility, of course, but fails to answer the question of how dolts manage to reach senior positions in Scotland Yard.

One shouldn't overemphasize the importance of intellect in policing: the skills typical of a British detective - cunning, physical fitness, determination, a suspicious mind, powerful and first hand knowledge of the criminal milieu, leadership and the ability to co-operate with experts – suffice in 90% of cases. But "pure investigation"? It is noteworthy that John Stalker, the only Scotland Yard head of recent times with a reputation for intellectual and analytical rigour, at least by police standards, took a rather different view of the McCann case when he commented in the papers.

The foot-in-mouth performances of Mr Redwood at press conferences, the calamitous and amateurish recent spinning (despite an enormous PR force at the Yard), the blitz of justificatory statistics (38 "persons of interest", 38,000 "documents processed", 38 million "mugs of tea consumed") in their press releases - horribly suggestive of the hapless Roy Hodges listing his latest losing midfield's pass-completion rate - may conceal high-powered work behind the scenes.

Perhaps. We'll get a slightly better idea on October 14 or whenever we finally steel ourselves to watch that voice of the nation BBC TV.

Beyond the Sneers, 09 October 2013
Beyond the Sneers The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 13:26

Dr McCann fighting his way through photographers in Lisbon


Dr McCann fighting his way through photographers in Lisbon


David Smith has been granted exclusive access to the facts here and in Portugal. He reveals what is really going on in the "case of the century" and how even now Kate has hope.


Beyond the Sneers

António de Oliveira Salazar


Portugal's ruling party listening to the trial on videolink

For weeks Kate & Gerry McCann have had to suffer ridicule and humiliation in their on-going attempts to achieve justice for their daughter. Heartless Portuguese "journalists" have mocked the sad little clutch of family members and hangers-on as they waited uneasily in the vast corridors of the Lisbon courts, corridors which once echoed to the sound of Salazar's victims pleading for their lives. They have looked shocked, bewildered, at the onslaught of ridicule and disbelief that has greeted their evidence, uttered in good faith and with touching loyalty in those merciless blood-stained chambers. The garrottes, which once stood by the prosecutors' bench as a reminder of what awaited the victims, even for parking offences, have now been – temporarily? – stored away in the grim cellars or sold on EBay to clear Portugal's vast debt, but nobody is fooled. Here the couple's long Calvary continues.

Nor is it just the families who suffer. Ken Roach, hair-shirted conscience of a generation and socialist icon has had to watch his well-educated and quite well-off, actually, daughter biting back the tears as the court burst into loud and prolonged laughter at her attempts to tell the truth as she saw it. Film-makers, even unsuccessful ones, are, along with journalists, the index of a country's civilization. Who will be persecuted next – nurses? This is a society in denial.

The Fight Back Begins

But now, at last, change is coming. In the Spartan but comfortable hotel floor which the family witnesses have taken over for the trial I was able to learn of how, to use Kate McCann's immortal words in Madeleine, "the fight back begins".

Kate & Gerry are anxious to stress that nobody forced them to go along with Duarte's defence strategy. They shrug their shoulders when asked if she could have done better and insist that she retains their full confidence: that's how the McCanns are – blame Liverpool if you like but Macloyalty remains their middle name. "It's just the way things are," sighs Kate, "you know it starts with the shoplifting at school. Of course it's wrong but everybody there does it so we all pull together. You know what I mean? Loyalty."

But one of the family, speaking without the permission of the parents, told me afterwards, "Izzie's got no idea and she destroyed us. Her and that f****** umbrella. And she overcharges like a good 'un."

Another family pal, though, said "M/S Duarte is doing her best under very difficult circumstances. Kate and Gerry respect her contribution and are working well with her."

But, quietly, diplomatically, the McCanns have taken over the defence burden. I can now reveal that Kate McCann’s appearance in court is just the start: SIX new witnesses have been accepted by the judge and will testify in the last week of November. A source close to the family said "the gloves are now off."

Amaral, who refused to discuss the case with me in 2007 and 2009 despite the usual incentives offered will be shocked at the firepower he now faces.

The Fateful Six

I have now seen the six names, although I must stress that the family had no part in giving them to me. This is the list:
David Payne

Paolo Rebelo

The Leicester chief constable

A member of the British Establishment

Mr Bernado O'Higgins

Mr Peregrine Scrope-Dewurmer
They are NOT alone

Dr Payne represents the group of close friends who accompanied the McCanns on their ill-fated trip in 2007. Much nonsense has been written about their unwillingness to stand up for the tragic couple and their supposed fear of returning to Portugal. The truth is that, desperate though they have been to stand shoulder to shoulder with the pair, they were assured that staying away from Portugal was "well within the bounds of good friendship". Despite this, and at great personal cost to themselves – it is understood that the fund will not pay Dr Payne's air fares – they have agreed that Dr Payne should stand for them all.

In hitherto unknown testimony Dr Payne will confirm that Maddie was indeed alive and well at 8.30 PM on May 3 when the parents left her and walked the few yards to the famous tapas bar. In order to help out with the parents' evening routine he bathed the child. "She was a bit dusty," he remembers, "so she was in the bath for over an hour." In all that time he saw that Kate, who was wearing white, remained calm and untroubled.

Mr Paolo Rebelo will state that after Mr Amaral was sacked for misrepresenting his lunch expenses his office was fumigated and a new era began. By April 2008, he will say, "we had new evidence suggesting abduction and all of us had now changed our minds. That was why I wrote to the friends telling them there was no need any longer for their reconstruction. I wish to apologize to Kate and Gerry on behalf of the PJ."

More Apologies

Next will be the chief constable of Leicester who will confirm that the McCanns have "handsomely demonstrated their innocence" and should be freed from the burden of constant suspicion. He will also apologize for not having made this clear sooner.

Mr Bernado O'Higgins is president of Dom Pedro hotels worldwide. He will testify to the dire consequences for Portugal, and indeed other countries in the sunnier parts of Europe, if costs are awarded against the family and their fund.

Mr O'Higgins, one of Portugal's most influential businessmen, will say, "Gerry and Kate and their family have virtually carried our hotel chain through this very difficult recession as they have travelled the world in search of justice. Should the fund be exhausted redundancies will have to follow, particularly in the beauty salons which are highly labour intensive."

A reminder

Next to testify will be a member of the British Establishment. He has not been named but is expected to wear a brown tweed suit, Lobb shoes, carry ancient binoculars with Ascot Royal Enclosure tickets dangling from them and walk with the aid of a nineteenth century Wilkinson swordstick. He will state in a loud, braying SAS officer's voice that "anyone who thinks we and our support are all inventions of Dr Gerald McCann's diseased imagination had better think again" and will discharge meaningful glances at all corners of the court. He will conclude, "We believe in them and their innocence and our reach is long."

The most feared couple in Britain

The most feared couple in Britain

The final witness will be Mr Peregrine Scrope-Dewurmer, president emeritus of the Kennel Club of Great Britain and, be it noted, a friend of her majesty the queen. Mr Scrope-Dewurmer, despite his well-known gambling problems and three bankruptcies, is the world's leading authority on dog communication and Canine Whispering. In devastating new testimony he will confirm that he was present when Glorious Twelfth of Axminster Farm West, otherwise known as "Eddie" was terminated on grounds of ill-health in 2011. Before his injection took effect Eddie's demeanour and doleful barking clearly indicated, Mr Scrope-Dewurmer will say, that he was apologising for his "lapse of judgement" in Portugal 2007.

McCanns, united, will never be defeated

It is a tremendous legal achievement. But why have they had to do all this themselves and so late in the day? Why didn't more people contact the discredited Duarte and tell her to change course? Her disastrous strategy gave an impression that hardly anyone outside their close-knit families cares a fig whether they live or die. Why were they left looking like outcasts, pariahs, when we know how strong their support is? These people rang Gordon Brown! They contacted David Cameron! They sue! They matter!!!

And then, lastly, there is the question of Madeleine. Soon the sneers are going to turn to tears.

The writer, an expert on baby monitors, would like to thank friends of the family for their help in writing this article.

Boring legal note, 10 October 2013
Boring legal note The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 10 October 2013, 14:40

Sorry about the mystery

There was a possibility that the writer might be giving evidence in the Portuguese libel proceedings later in the month. That being the case it would have been grossly unfair to comment on or criticise witnesses for the claimants who testified before me and as a result I stopped writing about the case, without giving the reasons. I will not be giving evidence so refraining from comment is no longer necessary.

End of an Era

But there was a further reason for reconsidering the way in which we post about the case. It was obvious back in February, when the parents' attempt to settle the case failed, that a twin phase of the case was, at last, coming to an end: the phase of strangled MSM coverage in which the latter only published material favourable to Kate & Gerry McCann and that in which responsible Internet analysis of the case was continually at risk should lawyers for the McCanns choose to follow the Lord McAlpine route.

The foundation of those threats was current UK libel law and the way in which lawyers for the parents used the Archiving Summary as a formal legal summation of the case. As is well known Carter Ruck threatened commentators on the case using precisely this tactic.

Even after the Portuguese appeal court ruling, which was not reported in the UK MSM, it could still be argued in overseas jurisdictions that the Archiving Summary was a fair and above all neutral assessment of the evidence, or absence of it, against Kate & Gerry McCann. Even as late as the Bennett case the judge appears to have taken that view, at least provisionally. But then he didn't have a lawyer to correct him.

All this is now in the past.
The notes to the 2013 libel act, brought in by our MPs after a long struggle by campaigners to whom we a debt of gratitude, under the heading "Reports etc. protected by privilege"* states:
50.Subsection (1) replaces subsection (3) of section 14 of the 1996 Act, which concerns the absolute privilege applying to fair and accurate contemporaneous reports of court proceedings. Subsection (3) of section 14 currently provides for absolute privilege to apply to fair and accurate reports of proceedings in public before any court in the UK; the European Court of Justice or any court attached to that court; the European Court of Human Rights; and any international criminal tribunal established by the Security Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement to which the UK is a party. Subsection (1) replaces this with a new subsection, which extends the scope of the defence so that it also covers proceedings in any court established under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, and any international court or tribunal established by the Security Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement. [my italics].
The current hysteria in the MSM is a reflection of this change, which also means that the official transcript and judgement of the libel case when it is available will have absolute privilege, including those comments, already made by the judge, judicially limiting the validity of the Archive Summary.

This won't help people on forums who wish to propose (not purport, Gerry, please, not purport) theories of McCann guilt of their own invention: it may even make it more dangerous for them. But it does mean that the stranglehold over public interest debate and comment, including via printed books, is finished and that responsible public examination of the investigation of the case and the parents' role in it, as long as it uses truthful evidence, will be protected, whatever the result of the Scotland Yard inquiry.

Much to think about for the way we go about things in future but the main thing is – hooray!


"Absolute privilege" means that accurately quoted material from an absolutely privileged source cannot be defamatory.

From those wonderful people who gave you Jimmy Savile, 11 October 2013
From those wonderful people who gave you Jimmy Savile The Interrupted Investigation

Friday, 11 October 2013, 13:37

Kevin Bakhurst

Kevin Bakhurst – we kill "rumours"

A Corrupt and Debased Organization

So who were the biggest players to help Kate & Gerry McCann subvert the Portuguese investigation by deliberate misreporting and censorship of material that they didn't agree with? Using feeds provided by the two main suspects (as we now know), their family and their professional media advisors.

Right at the top stands BBC television. Anyone considering complaining to the BBC in coming weeks may like to remind them of their flagship "blog" The Editors posted on May 10 2007, you know the day that Gerry McCann "re-remembered" his first police statement, Mathew Oldfield struggled to give a coherent account to police officers of his "hear no evil, see no evil" visit to 5A and Kate McCann rehearsed her September 7 refusal to answer questions by making herself unavailable to help the police. The "fairy story", as it was described in court, had already broken down.

While these dramatic events were taking place what was the BBC up to? Let Mr Kevin Bakhurst, controller of BBC News 24, tell you in his inimitable  own words, in his post entitled, don’t laugh, Avoiding Intrusion. Got your vomit bowl to hand? Good, here we go:

Always believe in the fairies, children
News 24's Jane Hill has been in the Algarve since Saturday morning as part of a sizeable BBC team and we have strived to try to get the tone right as well as the amount of coverage. Both in the Algarve and here in the UK, we have liaised closely with Madeleine's family and the British authorities on the wishes of the family and the facts and tone of the reporting. [As I said these two were already the prime suspects]

Early on, both ITV and Sky joined an informal pool operation in the Algarve around the family [as is now well known the suspects' family had been actively briefing against the police for the previous six days] where we only showed Madeleine's parents and family by consent so as to try to avoid intrusion. The BBC helped to organise the televised statement by Mrs McCann which was pooled to British and Portuguese TV stations. Even in these difficult circumstances, the McCann's [BBC grammar] know that publicity for Madeleine is important as the search goes on.

We have called Madeleine by her full name (not Maddy), at the request of the family because it is what they call her. We passed on the accurate details of Madeleine's pyjamas, at the family's request, correcting the police's initial description. [The BBC is correcting the PJ's inaccuracies. Will they do the same with  Scotland Yard in Crimewatch? Any bets?]

For several days there were many developments that we reported as they unfolded and large audiences watched News 24 over the Bank Holiday weekend, concerned for Madeleine. For the last couple of days, there have been fewer concrete developments (at time of writing) and the temptation for some seems to have been to report unsubstantiated rumours of which there are many to try to keep the story going - particularly when there is self-evidently high audience interest in the story itself. We have looked into many of these rumours on the ground and that is all they have so far turned out to be. [Well, well. So the BBC suppressed reporting of certain "unsubstantiated rumours" – as they call them— seven days after the disappearance. Who tried to substantiate them? Where did they come from?]

We all sincerely hope that there is a positive outcome for Madeleine and the McCanns and we will continue to try to provide the high volume of coverage and updates that the audience obviously wants, whilst respecting the family's privacy and needs and whilst striving to separate real developments from rumours. [Ah. More "rumours" to be killed off.]
What a disgusting exhibition!

Read it again after you've washed out the vomit bowl. They can't even plead ignorance of what was going on: "rumours"! They knew there was already another narrative in opposition to Woolfall and the family's inventions  and they chose to cheat and fool the public because of their own lamentable failure to investigate the story objectively. Exactly the same as their behaviour with Jimmy Savile – but in many ways even more serious.

Mr Bakhurst featured in the Pollard report into the Savile affair before "moving on". 

Six days that fooled the world, 12 October 2013
Six days that fooled the world The Interrupted Investigation

Saturday, 12 October 2013, 16:06


Shill, [noun, verb]. One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.

To act as a shill for (a deceitful enterprise).

To lure (a person) into a swindle.


The McCanns release their second media statement on 05 May 2007


Would you admit you bought London Bridge from this pair? Would you?

The six year con

Six years now and not one single fact to back up the hysterical media claims that began on May 4 2007 when Kate McCann, Gerry McCann, Michael Wright, Philomena McCann and Trish Cameron started lying systematically to the media. Not one.

The chief shills

Michael Wright lied on May 4 when he told the public that the parents had been "spun against" and he was defending them. They had not been "spun against" by anybody, as the public record proves. Gerry McCann, during the night of May 3/4 encouraged him to contact the media with the lies.

Michael Wright in Lisbon


Michael Wright, the "they're diamond geezers" shill

Trish Cameron lied on May 4 when she said that the parents had been stalked by an abductor during the week and that apartment 5A had been broken into by an abductor. She had been contacted by Gerry McCann on the night of May 3/4 and given the fairy story to publicise.

Eileen McCann and Trish Cameron (with script)


Trish Cameron on the right, the "why it's for sale" shill

On May 6 Philomena McCann began deliberately lying about the police investigation to the media, claiming lack of response, inadequate searching, neglect and inefficiency. Not one word of these claims was true: they were lying inventions of Kate & Gerry McCann, passed on to Philomena specifically for outside broadcasting, despite the police pleas for silence.

Philomena McCann, Sky News, 09 September 2007


Philomena McCann, the "don't believe the cops" shill

These actions of the five people are not claims or my opinion: they are established, on the record, proven facts.

The media fell for every one of the lies. The conspiracy to cover up and lie about the events of May 3 onwards was completely successful and the family shills, aided by the two principals feeding them what they wanted publicised, went onto radio and television further embroidering their baseless claims.

The end of the affair

The Madeleine McCann Affair was essentially over by May 10
. The actual course of events and of the investigation had been completely drowned out by the lies which the media simply multiplied and amplified for the next twelve weeks until, in early August, some of the facts could no longer be denied. Until then the McCann family's stranglehold on UK media reporting, and hence knowledge of the truth of the investigation, had been maintained 100% with all of them insisting, day after day, that the police had no suspicions about the couple.

May 10. The day that Mr Bakhurst, head of BBC news 24, wrote his revolting paean to the lying family, having been completely taken in. He and his staff knew of the early and complete refutation of  the lies about "the poor search effort" and the invented "intrusion evidence" by Mr Hill, eyewitness and Mark Warner manager, who quoted the refutation evidence publicly.

They chose to ignore or muffle it, as did the other media organizations.The BBC knew on May 10 of  other versions of what was actually going on. We don't know where they came from or how truthful they were because the BBC deliberately chose to suppress them.

Why? Conspiracy? Corruption? Political pressure? Believe that if you like and go on feeding little lying Glasgow Gel's self-image as a power behind the scenes.

Psst! I've got this bridge on my lorry

All of them suppressed, and still suppress, any inner doubts because of just about the oldest human weakness, after sex and apples, of all: the weakness that makes people go on trying harder and harder to buy London Bridge once someone has completely convinced them that it really is for sale. Given that initial conviction, as every conman knows, the punter is forever in too deep to get out. Shame, sheer embarrassment, unwillingness to believe in your own stupidity, pride. They were all comprehensively conned and they can never admit it, as Crimewatch will demonstrate yet again.

To complete the con Gerry and Kate McCann have time after time disguised the truth of what happened on the night of May 3/4, claiming repeatedly that media interest came as a "surprise" to them after they had returned from Portimao police HQ on the afternoon of May 4. The truth, again a matter of record, is that they initiated the media interest by the use of the "green light" later described by Kate McCann: the method of using third parties and co-conspirators to circulate lies to the public. Even giving evidence to the House of Commons Gerry McCann  misled the committee under oath with exactly the same part of the "fairy tale".

Clarence Mitchell with the McCanns on their return to the UK

And of course the other shill "I bought one and it works"

By the afternoon of May 10 Gerry McCann knew that the police had made him, his wife who was "unavailable" for interview and the seven friends the prime suspects in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – he heard Oldfield crying hysterically in the police interview room as he was accused of being part of a faked abduction. Yet – read the blogs for August for an insight into a disgusting liar's methods—he went on hiding the truth from the British public.

And even now the BBC go on suppressing the information that they were given – you know, those "rumours".


Legal note.
I do not throw accusations around carelessly, Evidence exists for all the factual claims made above.

It could be argued for three of those named above that the evidence does not justify the claim that they "lied", i.e. that they passed on information that they knew to be untrue.

Yes, it could be so argued. In which case the following questions arise:

  1. On such a serious matter did they make any attempt to satisfy themselves as to the truth of their accusations – a number of which were defamatory of the Portuguese police – before initiating media contact?

  2. Did Gerry McCann or Kate McCann state that the information given over the phone was true?

  3. Did any third parties confirm the truth of these claims before they were made public?

  4. In the light of these claims being exposed as untrue, particularly in the light of the harm done to reputations by them, have any of the three ever repudiated their original claims?

  5. Does the evidence given under oath by two of the three in McCanns v Amaral 2013 include any retractions or give any pointers as to their record, motives and intentions as truthful witnesses of fact?
If no retraction has been given then their failure to retract known untruths is tantamount to continuing the intention to deceive.By this footnote I am bringing the refutations to their attention.

Then let's see where it goes from there.

The way the con continued, 12 October 2013
The way the con continued The Interrupted Investigation

Saturday, 12 October 2013, 19:53

McCanns at Leveson Inquiry

The pair being questioned on oath about the London Bridge sale

The attempt to deceive the UK public, the original con that they hoped would save them, continued even though that public was beginning to find out, unofficially, what was going on. It was therefore vital that the information remained "only rumour", to use a favourite phrase of Kate McCann.

So they denied everything as long as they possibly could and made sure they never gave any hint of confirmation themselves that the police were hot on their trail, however bizarre their attempts became in the light of reality. With nothing officially confirmed they still had prospects for the future – once they'd got out of Portugal.

I'll leave aside completely the simultaneous work the pair were doing with their spin machine and lying to journalists using their various agents and shills – a huge subject in itself. No, this is just their spare time stuff.

Below is a well-known selection of events in August 2007. Each event is followed by extracts from Gerry McCann's blog entries to demonstrate how accurately he conveys the truth for the UK public.

August 2 2007
Gerry & Kate McCann had their place turned over by the police and were left with only the clothes they were wearing. The game was up.
August 2 Gerry McCann's blog Today was a bit of a write off for me as I was laid low with a probable viral illness which meant I could not stray too far from the house! I did manage to get through some e-mails, telephone calls and some paperwork. Feeling a bit better tonight so hopefully be back to normal tomorrow.

August 3
It is exactly 3 months since Madeleine was abducted. Kate and I had an early start as we drove to Huelva, 50Km over the border from Portugal in Southern Spain. We were meant to go yesterday but had to cancel because I was ill.
August 6 Police asked Gerry McCann to meet them and then seized his car and took it for forensic testing.
August 6 Today was again very busy. Lots of e-mails and telephone calls to family and friends who have been involved in the campaign to find Madeleine.

August 7
Of course all possibilities are being considered and the police have to be certain before eliminating any of the scenarios. It is absolutely right that we are subject to the same high standards of investigation as anyone else. Kate and I have, and will continue to assist the police in every possible way.
August 8 Kate & Gerry McCann interrogated, accused by police of lying and covering up their actions with regard to the child. Suggestions they could face a murder charge. Both of them in hysterics.
August 8 Kate's parents left early this morning...At our meeting with the Portuguese police today we reaffirmed that we have to believe Madeleine is alive until there is concrete evidence to the contrary. It is this belief that has driven everything we have done in relation to publicising Madeleine's disappearance over the last 3 months.
August 11 PJ officer arrives to tell them that dog searches suggest death in apartment 5A. Tears, breakdown, hysterics.
August 11 Just another day but a significant milestone that we prayed we would never have to face without Madeleine...In the afternoon we went to a local swimming pool and play area with the kids and their cousins. They had a great time swimming, playing with tennis balls and generally messing around...There was a statement from the Portuguese police today regarding the recent activity in the investigation and media speculation. They confirmed that there are new leads and that we are not suspects in Madeleine's disappearance.
August 20 The McCanns go and see criminal lawyers to defend themselves against the charges which are obviously coming,
August 20 I had a predominately quiet but productive day. I spent most of it at the computer or on the phone. We keep in regular touch with both the Portuguese and British police but there has been no major news in the last couple of days.
September 2 The police tell them they will be formally interrogated in the coming days and to bring a lawyer. Shouts, tears, hysterics.
September 2 Another relatively quiet family day. My mum and sister arrived this morning after we had been to church. This afternoon we took the kids to a friend’s house with a pool. Kate and I went for a short run and then we all had a swim and a couple of treats brought all the way from Glasgow!

September 5 We were surprised to find increased media presence in Praia da Luz again today. We were followed down to church, then to the shops and back to our accommodation which is very unusual, apart from the build up to the 100 days. All the excitement seems to be over the results of the recent forensic tests that again have created a huge amount of speculation.
The rest of the story is all too well known. I will leave readers with just one more paired entry.

September 7
Unable to face the prospects of jail Kate & Gerry McCann discussed fleeing across the border but decided against.
September 10 On Saturday we asked the Portuguese police if they had any objection to us coming back to the UK. We had assured them that we will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and of course will return as requested and for our own emotional reasons.
An entry that provides a satisfactory conclusion to a remarkable performance that continues – just – to this day.

Acts of faith, 12 October 2013
Acts of faith The Interrupted Investigation

Saturday, 12 October 2013, 21:47

The Blacksmith Bureau had a single, polemical, purpose – to help Goncalo Amaral in every honest way it could against the activities of two ruthless con-artists too deep into their scam ever to get out: using the funds they'd conned from the public with their false claims they ambushed and tried to destroy him because they knew silence was tantamount to accepting the truth of what he wrote.

Now it's different. The Interrupted Investigation is about faith, not certainty, that if the truth is laid out for anyone to read it can help the cause of justice.

There are no conspiracy theories here, no belief in political interference, no assertions, no claims of inside knowledge. When I make interpretations they are solidly grounded on those facts. Since 2010 neither supporters of the McCanns nor Kate McCann herself ("it's just a rumour") have been able to rebut, let alone refute, any of the examples I give of the McCanns' constant lying and plotting in their own, very mysterious, interests.

They all avoid the actual accusations I make, from the fact that the co-author of the Archiving Summary swore on oath that they had lied about events on May 3 2007, to the fact that Kate McCann did not turn down her lawyer's suggestion of a possible plea bargain with the police in September 2007 (read Madeleine, page 243, paragraph 2 very carefully); that, for exactly the same reason (neutral witnesses present to correct the record on oath if necessary) Jane Tanner neither confirmed nor denied identifying Robert Murat as the abductor to Leicester police, through to the fact that they are lying now, after Kate McCann attempted too late to save herself by settling with Amaral before he could set in train the mechanisms that may expose her. Soon, God willing, one at least of them will have to answer for some of those lies in the witness box in Lisbon.

I've made it clear that any time one of the Team McCann or the Tapas 7 members, or lawyers acting on their behalf, point out, with evidence, errors in my claims I will immediately withdraw them. They never ring.

So one goes on laying out the facts in the possibly vain hope that not just critics or enemies of the couple but ordinary people, including journalists who were conned, will do what the supporters and shills can't bring themselves to do: accept the truth.

Light and dark, 15 October 2013
Light and dark The Interrupted Investigation

Tuesday, 15 October 2013, 19:15

Kate and Gerry McCann

The truth decides the face, not the make-up

Anyone who thinks that the excision of Jane Tanner's sighting – the most significant development in the case since 2007 – leaves the rest of the group unscathed is living in dreamland.

The evidence demonstrates a collective effort to build a narrative of events based on an innocent passer-by being an "abductor" on May 3 – 10, by omission, invention and distortion. It isn't a bolt-on that can be safely removed from the group's evidence: without it the whole rotten structure starts to crumble.

Too soon

The failed narrative can be seen to start with Madeleine McCann's pathetic but dangerous legacy - the sticker books.

In neither book, written as the police were approaching, is there any mention of Gerry McCann seeing his children on the "9.04" visit. In sticker book one Oldfield's visit is described as having "seen twins" at 9.30ish. In the second his entire visit to the apartment is deleted. Not because a version of it didn't happen but because they can't yet find a place to put it. Only the JT vision and, significantly, the "10PM alarm" are constants. The juggling with the truth to make it fit neatly around an abductor who would never be found is transparent.

Then the collusion among the critical members of the group goes on hold for troubled sleep and afterwards for their appointments at Portimao police HQ.

Too little

The police reports of May 4 are laughably devoid of most of the information that was afterwards fleshed out around the sighting. GM states that he checked and found the kids OK but thought the bedroom door was not in quite the same position it had been left in. Tanner's sighting is there in only skeletal form but everyone points the police at it.

Over the weekend the timeline is written and printed and accounts hugely expanded to welcome and accommodate the stranger. GM now remembers significant details about his first visit, tying it in with what Oldfield saw, all leading to only one conclusion: that the abduction took place between 9.15 and 9.30. The description of the sighting is filled out in absurd and fictional detail. Mathew Oldfield, the most malleable of the group ("get down to reception and see what's happening with the police!") and Jane Tanner, the most vulnerable, become the foundations of the fairy story. As always Kate & Gerry McCann work from behind the scenes.

Oldfield's embroidered version is given to the police on May 10; Gerry McCann adds more colour to his own visit. Most of the others are "unable to help" with critical details. The police treat it all with the derision it deserves.

Too late

A year later at the Leicester interviews the compromised ones try to extricate themselves from the lifetime danger of their position. They can't. Their stories, from the open door to the ambiguous shutters, cannot accommodate a disappearance after 9.30. Payne, more helpful than he realises, says:

"...but you know and then you're looking for information to, to try and fit in with what you thinks happened and then you know when, when we knew that we just thought, you know, that is it, that is who’s taken her."

O'Brien, sensing danger if the brittle Tanner's vision is ever discredited, tries to rewrite his statement to make the Oldfield visit less critical, less dependent on his partner's veracity.

"So you would like to remove this then?"

"Well I don't..."

"If we remove".

"Yeah, from".

"'This is the final check before Madeleine was noticed missing' if we remove that?"

"Yeah, yeah, actually, yeah, it's mainly me just commenting on what Matt said".

Oldfield himself now tries to back off, aware of the horribly risky position he's in. In place of the original story – GM left the bedroom "very dark" at 9.05, Oldfield found it backlit somehow from the window – he now thinks it might have been moonlight through the patio doors that was brightening the room!

All futile, all too late. The door which opens and closes in Madeleine McCanns' bedroom is like a mocking symbol of the lethality of their collective position.Gerry McCann digs himself deeper and deeper into the mire every time he opens his mouth about that door: its final position now condemns the couple to an abductor before 9.30. He can never close it.

And what of that ghostly presence lurking in the room while Gerry McCann was there at 9.05, the one that comes and goes according to mood or need, so beautifully described by Dr McCann and so helpfully enlarged upon by that freak Mitchell. It won't come and go anymore: you can't pick the hunchbacked paedophile monster out of the garbage bucket where he was hiding and say, come on chum, we've got to move you to 9.55.

The whole black comedy nightmare process can be seen in the files. It is impossible for them to rewrite their parts. Gerry and Kate McCann, known and notorious liars, now don't even have the fig-leaf of the Tanner story to give them at least the possibility of veracity and are left horribly exposed, as their faces demonstrate. Payne will find a way to save himself: people like Payne always will. The most vulnerable domino of the 7 is now out of the game, exactly how we don't know. Will the other "useful idiot", the most malleable one, be the next to fall?

So the fiction they created, which combined self-protection with the hallmark McCann soap-opera material so easily accepted by the credulous, (because it's fiction! silly) – a swarthy villain heading for escape but a possible happy ending for the child somewhere, somehow, Send for the helicopters! Close the borders! One day she'll be released from her Algarve log cabin if we hope and pray! – gives way to another, rather more real narrative, the only one around and one that they are all powerless to counter: that of a sinister figure carrying an inert child through the darkness down towards the deep sea, from which there is no return.

Tumbling, 16 October 2013
Tumbling The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 16 October 2013, 14:57



Let's try and  make it clear why the dominoes must fall. For those who are not familiar with the case let’s stick to the fatal bedroom door.

We described in the previous article how the group "evolved" their evidence, so that by May 6 it rested solidly on one foundation: the abductor and intruder seen by Jane Tanner.

The dominoes must fall

The problem for all the dominoes is this: if the foundation that they built on is suddenly removed then their evidence no longer makes any sense. It cannot be true. And once domino Mathew Oldfield decided to back their story, and once domino David Payne organized nearly all the group to collude in writing a document containing a hugely elaborated version of these lies and presenting it to the British ambassador and the Portuguese police, the story was set in stone and set in time.

But the abductor, ultimately, was not sustainable and is now gone; the situation is now not "no evidence of abduction" but self-evident and unarguable "false evidence of abduction", not, funnily enough, by Jane Tanner but by most of the others in the group.

With the "timeline" printed and fixed there was no going back. According to that fairy tale the bedroom door was left partially open when the pair went to the restaurant that night, disturbed between 8.30 and 9.05, returned to its original position by Gerry McCann at 9.10 and found disturbed again by Oldfield at 9.30.

They'd lied too much – instead of the intrusion evidence they invented to fit in with a shadowy figure on the street who'd never be found they'd created two intrusions! Someone must have moved the door between 8.30 and 9.05, without disturbing the shutters, which Oldfield and McCann confirmed were down. After McCann left at 9.10 another intrusion must have occurred, this time, as Oldfield confirmed, involving the shutters as well as the door being open.

The hopeless squirming

Since May 10 the McCanns have attempted, with and without lawyers, to talk themselves out of this self-created trap. They were, naturally, driven to claim that an intruder might have been hiding in the apartment to bring the two intrusions back to a single one, even though the children remained undisturbed and the PJ said there was nowhere in the small apartment for anyone to hide.

To cope with the shutters being closed when the first abductor was in the apartment but open when Oldfield was there they then had to invent a reason why the shutters would be opened from within. Which led to the next lie: it must have been to pass the child out.

To whom? Why there must have been another abductor outside!

The attempts can be followed on Panorama, the Oprah Winfrey show and elsewhere, including the enthusiastic words of that conservative party candidate Clarence "Freak" Mitchell. On Panorama they actually made it worse, despite the careful "expunge it!" script, with Gerry McCann forgetting his lines and saying he'd "closed" the door, instead of "leaving it ajar". Whoops!

It's over

Oldfield, for his part, had to face some proper questioning instead of the celebrity loving BBC and its presenters. His limp attempts to talk himself out of trouble by directly contradicting his PJ evidence to Leicester police in 2008 are also a matter of record.

With the acceptance that an "abductor" never existed at this time and that the bedroom door, therefore, had never been moved the McCanns and their helpers are left nakedly exposed. Let the ever-helpful journalist David James Smith elaborate in one of his 2007 articles:

"It perhaps needs to be stated openly that all these timings and details, the way in which they weave and dovetail together, are based on witness accounts – corroborated not just by the McCann group but by others, such as Jes Wilkins – and that, despite suggestions to the contrary, there are no obvious contradictions or differences between them."

We’ll forget that last bit, shall we? Stick to the beginning: ever tried unweaving a garment and putting it back together in a different shape? Ever tried undoing dovetail joints and making them lock together a different way round? It can't be done.


Kate McCann conjuring the Algarve wind

In her last words about the bedroom door Kate McCann has given up on the task of locating its position on her 10PM apartment entry. Too dangerous. Instead, and quite in keeping with the whole "fairy story", she has conjured up a squall like some crazed female Prospero, leaving the door to swing wildly in the wind, forever undecided.

Alas Poor Jane – or lucky JT?

Finally, Jane Tanner

If Jane Tanner was sure of what she'd seen then the Yard's claim that the original of the abductor has been located would be irrelevant and the threadbare remains of the group lie still in place: all she has to do is stand by her story, tell them they've found yet another walker and child and suggest the Yard get back to work.

But whoever she's been talking to she clearly hasn't said that, has she? And, as I said, she's the only one in the group not involved in David Payne's story creation. So what do you think she has been saying? And to whom? Something else for the group to fret about as the dominoes start to fall.

The man who never was, 17 October 2013
The man who never was The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 17 October 2013, 13:37

The "abductor"


All invented

The Inner Circle

We now know that the "abductor" seen near apartment 5A around 9.15PM never existed. We know that the McCanns provided evidence of the abductor's activities within the apartment. It was invented: there never was any intruder at that time – official.

False evidence.

Over the weekend of May 5/6 members of the group wrote it down as fact and added much more untruthful information. They signed it, printed it off in multiple copies and gave it to the British ambassador and the Portuguese police as the truth.

And we also know that the "family shills" simultaneously gave equally false information to the media about how that non-existent abductor forced his way into the apartment, leaving more "physical evidence".

False evidence.

We know the broad outlines of how and when this "fairy story" was developed into the detailed printed version by this inner circle of helpers. Of course the subsequent police statements by the group did not contain these details. Why? Because the truth comes naturally but lies have to be remembered: when the police wouldn't let them take their copy of the lies into the interviews with them – a bit like Michael Wright in the Lisbon libel trial the other day – they were lost.

False evidence.

The Middle Circle

Over the years, though, the lie about the abductor has been elaborated away from the police interview rooms, chiefly by friendly journalists abusing their positions and by "spokesman" Clarence Mitchell at his increasingly bizarre press conferences where he "filled in the details" – of someone who'd never existed!

That, of course, was false evidence too.

What we don't know is why the parents initiated it all. I, personally, have never gone down that road. It's a matter for the police.

The Outer Circle – Us

The false evidence, on the other hand, is not a matter for the police alone. It concerns us all because, in a widening circle of pure deceit, the parents first provided members of their family with the lies, then members of the Tapas group, then the Foreign Office via the embassy and then members of the UK media en masse in Praia da Luz – who then sold it on to us, the end-users.

We were the most powerful enlisted accessories, much more important than the media itself, or the failures like forgotten Gordon Brown. Unlike them we, rich and poor, had the power to shower the pair with money, real money, buying them the freedom to force people into silence. The freedom to fly to 5 star hotels by private jet building up their image. And the freedom to hire the most expensive lawyers in the world. It was us, the public who believed them, who had the power to prevent extradition by the force of our opinion.

Until recently, as the story began to crumble and the public started to ask the right questions, even though they dread the answers. That's why the prime database for the case, the McCann Files, is now getting over 100,000, yes, 100,000, official hits per day.

Wait for the police?

That's why it would have been wrong for us to "wait for the police" to unravel the mystery. We waited and they didn't do it! Neither in Portugal nor in the UK. There never was a "search" after July 2008. There never were any "private investigators" investigating anything. On the contrary the crooks and has-beens whom the McCanns recruited did just what they were paid to do for the £400 000 of our money they received.

We had to find out for ourselves how we were conned, helped only by a single ex-policeman with a sense of honour, who for his efforts on behalf of their missing child, the parents tried to destroy. And on whom the UK media, and a small group of internet fanatics – "useful idiots" used by the parents – poured insult after scarcely believable insult for six years.

The public, both on juries and off, just might have a few accounts to settle with that media, a large number of whom will be traipsing into the dock during the coming year. There’s a lot to come out, isn't there Keir?

Clarence Mitchell

One of these is doomed. Which one?

Of course most of the MSM journalists – those who don't go to prison – will cover their tracks. Some of them, believe it or not, will try and write books about the affair. But not the worst, most cynical, liar of them all, the one who sold his soul, and sold out a child, for his own fame. The one who, unlike the Tapas 9, didn't even have the defence of necessity and self-preservation.

Your political career is dead before it starts, chum.



No, nobody's been on the phone.

I'll reserve judgement on officer Redwood until we discover how many of his public pronouncements are true, rather than useful.

One thing I seem to have been wrong about, as a number or people have pointed out, is the connection of Redwood to the Barry George squad. Checking Mr Redwood's surprisingly sparse and uninformative Scotland Yard CV I can't find any evidence of this. So I was careless as well as wrong. Apologies.

Meanwhile..., 21 October 2013
Meanwhile... The Interrupted Investigation

Monday, 21 October 2013, 14:33

Fairy story giant


Meanwhile a libel trial rolls on in Lisbon. BBC/Scotland Yard's Crimewatch and the official statement  by Mr Redwood that the "abductor" seen by Jane Tanner is no longer a person of interest, by virtue of being non-existent, haven't protected the parents or harmfully overshadowed the trial at all. On the contrary they have helped enormously to bolster Mr Amaral's case.

First, the evidence of Mr Flores in court (it'll be in the transcript) that the McCann version was perceived by the police as a childish "fairy tale" has been given further, and probably decisive, strength now that its key character, the Fairy Tale Abductor Giant, has been slain.

Secondly, the "search". In the literal sense of a physical search for Madeleine – prodding the ground, searching deserted buildings, looking for CCTV evidence, searching, it was, of course, all over within days, or at most weeks, of the disappearance and has never been resumed.

Insofar as the word is being used to describe something quite different and non-literal, an attempt, for instance, to track down, or find traces of, an abductor, complete with more and more detailed descriptions of him, the entire effort is now revealed as a complete black-comedy nonsense, a gaffe on such a scale that the world has still not taken it in.

Quite simply, the pictures which Mr Mitchell and his collaborators have been showing at media conferences for several years either have no known connection with the child or, more importantly, are purely imaginary, elaborations of a person we know never existed, the Fairy Giant.

The 'abductor'

Friendly? Who knows? Big? Very

Some Evidence

Now, the importance of the non-existent abductor to the entire McCann and friends' story, or fairy story. How great is it? At the risk of boring the internet skimmer let's be serious for a moment and attempt to put it in measurable terms.

The 2007 BBC Panorama programme remains the most complete exposition of the McCann's version of events, with contributions from the parents and Jane Tanner among others. While the programme quoted some doubts about the pair, chiefly Portuguese, we know from the co-ordinating lawyer Smethurst's comments that it was made expressly to convince the public of the parents' innocence. As he said, that was why he and his clients co-operated with the BBC. Good old slutty Beeb again, always ready to lie on his/her back for a good butch guy with a tale to tell, but never mind.

The transcript of the programme runs to some 9,000 words. The events between 6.30 and 10 PM on May 3, described by the McCanns and Jane Tanner speaking directly, or having their versions expressed indirectly by narrator Bilton, take up just 1450 words, that is about 3/4 pages of a paperback book. The remainder of the programme concerns the investigation and other extraneous matters, not May 3 itself.

What is simply astonishing is that of these 1450 definitive words from the McCanns on what happened on the most crucial evening of their lives 1000 of them, almost three of the four pages, are not about the McCann's experiences at all but Jane Tanner's abductor! This imaginary figure, swollen now to a rampant giant, has completely taken over the disappearance. Without the Fairy-Tale Giant the story shrinks to virtual nothingness, about one padded-out paperback page. The whole McCann tale of May 3 is of a meal, an open window and some raised shutters – plus a Big Giant.

Kate McCann's "Madeleine" shows the same pattern, although four years later she is much more careful and this time she initially separates McCann experiences from the Tanner episode. Perhaps that is why her description of everything that happened to her and her husband between 8.30 and 10PM runs to only 750 words, two and a half pages or so out of a 360 page, 275,000 word book. And that is with a great deal of "colour" and padding. Why such a critical night in their lives should be padded out at all is an open question: without it, there is less than two thirds of a page of history, about as much as they devoted to a meal with Clement Freud.

But that, of course, is without the big, unfriendly Giant. In her over-heated description of the next few days Kate McCann makes up for his initial absence by carefully incorporating the Jane Tanner sighting in chunks, thus adding it back into the history of May 3 in the same way as Panorama did. It adds one and a half pages to the "narrative" – the Giant, the purely imaginary contribution is making up over half the entire story of 8.30 to 10PM on May 3!

So much for boring statistics. Anyone with a serious interest in the case can't ignore them but will they bore the casual reader? Terrify the Tweeter?

Who cares? They're ready for a judge. That's what matters.

The Man Who Sold His Soul - Preface, 23 October 2013
The Man Who Sold His Soul - Preface The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 13:20

Some things are now settled

The case is now moving, in jerky steps, towards its climax and it's time to start looking beyond the next couple of months.

When it emerged in February that the McCanns wanted out of the libel case it was clear that something crucial had occurred and things would never be the same again. Amaral's book was a lethal challenge: either you fight and refute me or you are tacitly accepting what I claim and the public will slowly but surely accept it.

They had to sue. And to try and settle four years later, whatever the reasons, was tantamount to surrender, to accepting the irrefutability of Amaral's case. The astonishingly weak Lisbon evidence so far, together with the appeal court judgement, has confirmed that irrefutability. Scotland Yard's official statements indicate that the central claim – that "the search" was damaged by the actions of others including Mr Amaral – now appears in a very different light: the private "search", it transpires, was based almost completely on erroneous eye-witness evidence and killing it off earlier would have been a public service. The likelihood is that Amaral will now win, either soon or at appeal.

In June we discovered just how far the quite separate track of the Yard investigation had progressed when it emerged that the UK Crown Prosecution Service had been in discussions about the case in Portugal. As the Bureau then wrote, you don't send senior CPS people to discuss "persons of interest" or possible "suspects": those are matters for the investigators. UK prosecutors deal with prosecutions. Clearly there was a prosecutable case against someone that was being appraised.

The Bureau said the evidence suggested who those subjects must be. The Yard denied it. We withdrew the claim and closed the Bureau in the light of the denial.

Times change

The days of "keeping the case in the public eye" or "campaigning for the conclusion of the interrupted investigation" are, as far as I'm concerned, over, both because of those 100,000 hits a day on Nigel Moore's database and because of the progress of the investigation.

There is no need to try and convince the public about the McCann case anymore since, after six years, they are now finding out for themselves. And there is no need to keep pointing out the significant evidence since the police themselves are now starting to do so. It is a matter of unimportance whether people agree with this blog and the writer's views or not: debate has been overtaken by facts.

Looking back, perhaps I and others should have seen the longer-term implications of pointing the finger at the only known subjects of investigation and the CPS so quickly: it did the investigation no good. On reflection it is clear that had the Yard not explicitly denied the Bureau claims then a mad witch-hunt like that of September 2007 might have followed, helping nobody and raising the question of whether a fair trial could ever take place. That's why we’re happy to accept the statements of Scotland Yard, defer to their expertise and say a little less about certain things than we used to. My apologies to Mr Redwood and his team for the more colourful criticisms.

In the light of events the Bureau is expected to re-open in the relatively near future.


The Man Who Sold His Soul The Interrupted Investigation

Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 16:01

Whatever happens in the end Kate & Gerry McCann have unarguably been at the centre of something truly dreadful, perhaps, for we don't yet know, worse than dreadful.

The face of Kate McCann, either without make-up, as she chose to appear before Leveson, or slathered with it, as on Crimewatch, speaks eloquently of that truth. Their suffering, which has a lot further to go, was not something they consciously chose. They are like a couple struggling in a grey, turbulent sea.

And the same goes for the families of the pair for whom there has been no relief or resolution after six years: their clan loyalty and instinctive distrust of the police which the Bureau has highlighted at times has, given the context, a certain admirable, if troubling, quality about it.

The word evil is used cautiously these days. But I remember watching the dogs' video for the first time. The almost deserted and brutally lit concrete car park and the line of empty vehicles, at once suggestive of a dozen post-mortem gangland news photos, was lowering enough. But then the strange and almost wordless ritual of a forensically-overalled handler, his two dogs and their echoing barks as they worked their way through the cars suddenly brought home the reality in a way that the hysterical media stories never had. I was watching a search for the concealed traces of a child's corpse. A sense of evil is the only way I can describe what I fleetingly experienced, not with regard to the McCanns, but to the transport by somebody of a near-infant out of a night-time apartment and her almost certain death. There were no winners, no happy endings, no soap opera plots here. Just evil.

That anyone not already trapped in this nightmare by blood and kinship would actually choose to invite themselves into it seems hard to conceive. Even those whose work forces them into proximity with violent death – emergency service people and hardened police investigators – find themselves shaken and troubled when the victim is a young child and are not ashamed to admit it.

But among all the various parties who have been drawn into the case one figure stands out clear of all others, clear even of opportunistic criminals like Halligen who was only too happy to get away from the case once he'd made his money. One who has not just involved himself but for six years has actually thrived mightily on it like a repulsive fattened bluebottle supping on dead and rotten meat. That person is Clarence Mitchell.

About whom I'll have more to say.

Well..., 24 October 2013
Well... The Interrupted Investigation

Thursday, 24 October 2013, 01:39

We posted "some things are now settled".

Gosh, they don't keep Kate & Gerry in the loop anymore, do they? If I knew it why didn't they and their little helpers? The Interrupted Investigation isn't interrupted anymore, folks. Job done.

See you on the Bureau.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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