Just five hours in May

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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Involvement of Media

Extract Wikipedia: →Media and the McCanns

“There were strained relations between the McCanns and the Policia Judiciaria from early on in the search. Criminal investigations in Portugal are governed by a secrecy clause in the country's penal code, which means there are no official press conferences with updates, and no release of suspects' or witnesses' names. One journalist wrote that this leads to a culture of “leak, not speak,” and an inevitable profileration of theories that are hard for others to counter without breaking the law.

A senior officer in the Policia Judiciaria acknowledged in 2010 that the local police had been suspicious of the McCanns from the start, because the couple ignored a request not to talk about the disappearance and turned the inquiry into what the officer called a “media circus.” The McCanns' decision to interact with the media resulted in something approaching mass hysteria, according to Owen Jones. Media analyst Nicola Rehling wrote that the “Maddification” of Britain was complete within weeks of the disappearance, similar to its “Dianafication” in 1997.

The PR firm Bell Pottinger, representing Mark Warner Ltd, sent Alex Woolfall to deal with the media for the first ten days, then the British government, under Tony Blair, sent in government press officers. The first was Sheree Dodd, a former Daily Mirror journalist, then Clarence Mitchell, who left the BBC in 2005 to become director of media monitoring for the government's Central Office of Information. When the government withdrew Mitchell, a non-government PR representative, Justine McGuinness, took over until September 2007, then another PR company, Hanover, was briefly involved. Mitchell resigned his government position that month and returned to Portugal, when a benefactor, Brian Kennedy of Everest Windows, stepped in to cover his salary; this was later paid by Madeleine's Fund. As of 2014 Mitchell was still the McCanns' part-time spokesperson.

Photographs of Madeleine quickly became some of the most reproduced images of the decade. She appeared on the cover of People magazine on 28 May 2007, and on 30 May the McCanns' PR team arranged for the couple and a group of journalists to fly to Rome, in a Learjet belonging to British businessman Sir Philip Green, to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Placing Madeleine on the front page of a newspaper in the UK would sell up to 30,000 extra copies; she was on the front page of several British tabloids every day for almost six months, and became one of Sky News's three main menu options at UK news, world news, Madeleine. The Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manha published 384 articles about her between May 2007 and July 2008. By June 2008 over seven million posts and 3,700 videos were returned in a search for her name on YouTube.

The PR approach set the tone for poor relations between the McCanns and the Policia Judiciaria, who were deeply suspicious of the way their investigation was being dominated, as they saw it, by British media handlers. One officer said: “The British press … treats Portugal as a place full of incapable, careless incompetents.” The bad feeling reached such a height that the Policia Judiciaria officer who coordinated the investigation from May to October 2007, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, resigned in June 2008 to write a book alleging that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and that the McCanns had faked the abduction.”


Disturbing fact is: Astounishingly already two hours after the disappearence, and thus just 45 minutes after GNR Police arrived in Apartment 5a, the British →Telegraph titelt “Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal” online (12:01AM BST 04 May 2007, which is one minute after midnight 3rd/4th). See also Blog truthformadeleine for some additional information.

The earliest story by The Telegraph reads in full: “A three-year-old British girl has gone missing while on a family holiday in Portugal, the Foreign Office said today. Portuguese police are investigating the disappearance from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve. A Foreign Office spokesman said that he understood the girl's parents had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep last night, but returned to check on them only to find the girl had gone missing. “They reported it straight away,” he said, adding that consular assistance was being offered.”

Additional disturbing is: “A Foreign Office spokesman said…” just some minutes after the arrival of the first police forces at the crime scene in Portugal.

See also at →http://onlyinamericablogging.blogspot.de/2015/07/metaphoric-comprehension-by-dr-martin.htmlOnlyInAmerica a nice analysis on the issue.

I can’t ever remember where the Government has acted as a PR adviser/stroke minder for a family in a situation like this. This is just one of the factors that make this story so extraordinary. (Roy Greenslade - former tabloid editor, speaking of the McCann case).”


https://twitter.com/TeddyShepherd/status/541933214151892992/photo/1 See also Rupert Murdoch (→ The Sun; →The Times; →The Sunday Times; →News of the World; →Sky Television; →BSkyB)

See Times-Journalist Tony Parsons

See former BBC-Journalist Clarence Mitchell, See also Youtube (video published 10. Aug. 2009) →A professional liar where he states expressis verbis “I believe that Kate and Gerry are not responsible for Madeleine's Death.

See critics on BBC/Crimewatch/Sky/ITV circle on →An Inspector calls you, 11 Oct. 2013

See also The →Leveson Inquiry; also here at →BBC: “Police are investigating a “network of corrupt officials” as part of their inquiries into phone hacking and police corruption, a media inquiry has heard.”

See also News of the World →Phone hacking scandal "Murdochgate"

See The Guardian →Phone-hacking trial was officially about crime; but in reality, it was about power

See Joana Morais →On Brooks, Murdoch and Cameron's politically motivated review of the Maddie case


Latest: The Hunt on Brenda Leyland

  1. DailyMail:Well-spoken middle-class woman is unmasked as online troll who now faces arrest after sending hate messages to parents of Madeleine McCann (01 Oct. 2014)
  2. The Independent: Brenda Leyland dead: →Martin Brunt and Sky News faces online backlash following death of Madeleine McCann parents' 'troll' (06 Oct. 2014)

See SkyNews Journalist →Martin Brunt on Wikipedia: “Martin Edward Brunt (born 5 Feb. 1955) is crime correspondent for Sky News …he moved to the Sunday Mirror and became chief reporter before being asked to join Sky News. Early exclusive coverage included the Iraqis' retreat from Kuwait in the first Gulf War. Later, Brunt was first to break news of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002 and the murder of television presenter Jill Dando in 1999. …Brunt has a reputation for gaining insider information: Hugo Rifkind reported in The Times diary of 22 December 2006: “High praise for the Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt. When a hack from (another) newspaper phoned Suffolk Police press office with a query on the serial killer case, he was told: 'Call Martin Brunt. He knows everything before we do.' A little concerning.” Brunt was first to report the arrest of Amy Winehouse, the resignation of Sir Ian Blair as Metropolitan Police commissioner, and was the first to interview Robert Murat, then suspected of involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. His contacts also led to Sky News being first to report that the 7 July events in London were the work of terrorists and allowed Sky News to break the news of the death of the Queen Mother. In 2010, Brunt reported live from Rothbury during the police hunt for gunman Raoul Moat. In October 2014, Brunt was the journalist involved in the unmasking of an individual who had posted abusive comments concerning the McCann investigation on social media. Following the unmasking of the troll and a report to Leicestershire Police, Brunt and a camera crew confronted the individual at their home. Following the confrontation the individual was later found dead in a hotel, leading to calls on social media for Mr Brunt to be sacked.”