29 APRIL 2012
NEW CLUE MADNESS
by CAROLE MALONE
I HOPE, with all my heart, that Madeleine McCann is alive
And I can see that last weeks claims that she might be by officers
reviewing the evidence must be a huge comfort to Kate and Gerry McCann
who have never give uo hope of finding her.
However, despite being told there really IS fresh hope I’m still at a
loss to understand why the cops heading up review body, Operation Grange
believe that to be the case.
I don’t expect them to give us specific details of what they’ve found.
But every time he’s asked why he thinks Madeleine might still be alive,
the man in charge, DCI Andy Redwood, dodges the question and comes out
with stuff like: “We are currently developing material we believe
represents genuinely new information.”
That isn’t just vague, it means absolutely nothing. As does his
revelation that cops are looking at 195 new “investigative
If police do have 195 leads that surely means they’re a million miles
away from knowing where Maddie is or even if she’s alive. In fact, that
number of leads suggests there’s as much muddle and confusion around
this case as there ever was and it could take years and many more
millions of pounds to work through them.
And still, the result might be that Madeleine is never found.
There are 25 coppers working on Operation Grange, as many as there are
chasing paedophiles in London and they’ve been reviewing evidence for 12
months and have travelled to Portugal seven times. But still, there’s
nothing concrete. All we have is a photo-fit of how Madeleine might look
now and quotes like: “The timeline of events suggests she was snatched
by a criminal gang or a stranger.”
As opposed to what? Aliens?
I’m sorry but after 12 months, £2million and 28 officers working flat
out we surely should know more than that?
We’re told there is “significant information” Madeleine is still alive
and if that really is true the police must at least THINK they have
Because you can’t say you believe someone is alive without good reason
or evidence to back it up. And if you have neither - you’re just
I just hope the officers on Operation Grange haven’t sanctioned this
latest raft of “Madeleine” stories in order to justify their existence
and the vast amount of taxpayers’ money that’s been spent. Or because,
not having come up with any answers, they know questions will inevitably
Not least by Portugal’s Attorney General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro
who last week refused to re open the case: “unless there are credible
new facts and not just hypotheses or speculation”. Yes five years ago
Portuguese police spectacularly cocked up the hunt for Madeleine in the
vital hours after her disappearance.
But even DCI Redwood admits there is now a “committed and dedicated”
review team in Portugal working with them.
Yes I can see this review offers great solace to Kate and Gerry McCann,
but I’m wondering how all the other parents of abducted children must
feel knowing that their missing children aren’t important enough to
warrant intervention from the PM or a 28-strong team of crack detectives
working around the clock five years after their child’s disappearance.
How devastated, how disappointed must they feel.
And just how long will this review go on? Of course Kate and Gerry want
it to be indefinitely. But that’s not realistic nor is it fair to all
those other parents of abducted children whose lives are every bit as
tortured as the McCanns, yet who have no one looking for their lost
There’s not a living soul who wouldn’t want to see Madeleine brought
home safely but surely, there must come a time when we have to be
realistic about the chances of finding her