Monday, 18 March 2019

HAS ANYONE CHANGED THEIR MIND? MADELEINE DOCUMENTARY

 
I have to admit that by the end of my 8 hour binge watching marathon my own beliefs and what I know about this case were shaken if not stirred.  The subtext unsettled me, the tirade of spokespeople on behalf of the parents got through, even that of the painfully na├»ve Hubbards.  And yes, I asked myself, what if I'm wrong?  If my former girl crush Sandra Felgueres can do an about turn, why can't I?
 
As my regular readers know, I have no problem with admitting  when I am wrong.  Being wrong is usually accompanied by better and further knowledge and I'm all about enlightenment.  In this case, am I wrong or are other people trying to seduce me into sharing the same beliefs as them? The devil works in mysterious ways. 
 
The beliefs of Summers, Swan and Jim Gamble have now gone mainstream, and by mainstream, I mean global.  The book of Summers and Swan was completely discredited on Amazon and failed to have any impact on public opinion.  That it's release coincided with a shameful publicity stunt by Team McCann and Sky News that resulted in the death of a so called internet troll, simply added to the belief that the book was part of an establishment cover up.

And for me this is where the chills began to run down the spine.  Was I wrong?  About the parents? nah, those points that took me beyond reasonable doubt are as glaring as they ever were.  About Operation Grange and the likelihood of a cover up, OMG, is it possible the 'establishment' have no intention whatsoever of letting the Great British public know what happened to Madeleine McCann?  That possibility now seems very real.  I will probably now be inundated with 'told you so' posts As the turmoil within my head continues. 

My faith in human nature was blown to smithereens by my realisation that Madeleine's parents may have been lying. Believe me, it does not feel good to have such heinous thoughts, ignorant bliss has a lot going for it, it tends to keep you step with your fellow human beings.  For me that feeling of dissonance is a way of life, but this time, I was actually on a hit list, as indeed were many others who did not buy the abduction story.  Why would an innocent family go to so much trouble to seek and destroy those online who do not believe them?  It's things like that that make them appear guilty.

Today my faith is once again shaken to the core.  Is it possible 30+ homicide officers have been working towards a diplomatic way out of this never ending conundrum?  Is it their failure to find a way to exonerate the McCanns that takes this investigation into it 's 7th and 8th year?  I'm having now to revisit all those 'wtf' moments that turned the McCanns from negligent parents into national treasures.  The circus is back. 
 
 

Friday, 15 March 2019

REVIEW - NETFLIX MADELEINE DOCUMENTARY

 
I couldn’t resist peeking this morning to see if the long awaited Madeleine documentary was going to appear on Netflix, and there it was all 8 episodes.  8 hours later, I feel I have run a marathan.
 
Firstly, I don’t think Gerry and Kate have anything to worry about at all, in many ways the documentary in it’s entirety does much to dispel many of the rumours that have surrounded them in recent years.  All those that matter do not believe they are guilty.  Alan Johnson, Jim Gamble and Justine McGuinness.  No Clarence though, have they fallen out?
 
The middle episodes they may not like so much, these episodes explore the alerts of the blood and cadaver dogs and features the classic moment that Gerry threw a wobbly when asked about the blood found in the apartment. The discussion about the dogs alerts and the forensics was led by Summers, Swan and Jim Gamble who went to great lengths to explain why the dogs findings were worthless. Even the clips of Martin Grime focus on the lack of corroborating evidence.  These episodes leave you wondering, well who do I believe, these crime experts who say the dogs are crap, the front line services who rely on them or my lying eyes?  I think Martin Grime should get a knighthood, firstly for his amazing contribution to crime detection and secondly for his patience and stoicism in the face of his dogs being dissed by twats.  
 
I was glad to see that Goncalo Amaral was given the opportunity to speak, though it would appear his words are heavily edited. The overall aim of the documentary, I can’t help feeling, was to blame him.  In focusing on the parents he let the real criminals slip away.  Sandra Felgueres, who I once had a girl crush on, did a complete about turn.  She was furious with Goncalo Amaral for misleading her on the results of the forensic tests and lost all trust in his team.  It now appears she deeply regrets her former stance and the tough questions she posed to the parents.  
 
Robert Murat I think came across well.  I don’t know where the idea that he seemed odd came from, an over enthusiastic Tarzan lookalike and busy body Lori Campbell, both of whom I found a bit odd.  Robert seems like a regular, likeable guy, nothing like Ian Huntley, and he had a genuine skill to offer as a translator.  It is horrible to see someone with genuinely good intentions being made a scapegoat.  There was a crime committed here, the framing of an innocent man.
 
The series ends by looking at the broader problem of child abductions and human trafficking.  This is where Jim Gamble gets back to his own quest of ridding the world of child abusers. They are attracted to holiday resorts by scantily clad children apparently. A very emotional Jim’s voice cracked as he explains his calling to child protection.  But centre stage was given to Ernie Allen, head of NCMEC, the US equivalent of CEOP, who’s calming, reassuring voice, I am sure was used to calm those with missing loved ones and leave them with hope. It was a bit of a Sermon on the Mount moment, as in ah bless, at least the genuinely missing are getting a mention.  
 
What was missing?  Whilst they showed the Court victories of Robert Murat, the McCanns and the Tapas group, they barely mentioned the long running claim against Goncalo Amaral that he eventually won in Portugal's highest court.   
 
The Fund.  It wasn't just the reaction of the world's media that made Madeleine's disappearance a phenomenon, it was the huge amount of cash donated to the parents from people all over the world.  It ran to millions and it wasn't used to pay private detectives apparently, Brian Kennedy states quite clearly that he paid for Motodo 3 and Oakley.
 
Smithman.  Yes he gets a couple of mentions, but more time is given to Jane Tanner's sighting and the bonkers artist who drew the photofit, the sighting that was dismissed by Operation Grange.  They also claim that Mr. Smith has since said it wasn't Gerry.  That I would take with a giant pinch of salt.
 
The ultimate effect the documentary will have I think, is to confuse the matter even more.  The final episodes leave the viewer sympathetic to the parents and hostile towards the original investigation and Goncalo Amaral.  Depending on whether the viewer retains all the negative McCann evidence in the middle, which is doubtful, because it ends with a Rothley village group hug and you would feel like a shit if you said anything unkind.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE - TRAILER

NETFLIX TRAILER
 
Herewith the trailer for the Netflix documentary.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBnarCTOiCY
 
It looks to me as though it is another exercise in knocking the Portuguese police and planting (yet again) the idea that the Algarve is a haven for paedophiles and human traffickers. I read part of a statement from one commentator on the documentary who said little white, blonde haired Madeleine had a higher value than the third world tots of colour that are apparently two a penny.  It was at that point my heart sank, if that is the kind of thinking behind this documentary, then we are back in the McCann circus pre intervention by Operation Grange.  
 
Anyway, I am pushed for time, but I am sure there will be lots to discuss later.  

Thursday, 7 March 2019

MADELEINE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

 
All we know about the Netflix production of Madeleine thus far, is that it will an 8 part documentary beginning in April 2019 presumably ending at the time of the anniversary.
 
Given all the gagging orders and litigation surrounding the Madeleine case, kudos to them if they can give us a new perspective. As I mentioned in a post in my previous blog, if the makers of the documentary aren’t British, they don’t have to fear being trashed on social media or  blacklisting by the British mainstream in the same way British journalists do for digging too deep.
 
The McCanns have now stated they are cynical about the documentary and have refused to take part as there is an ongoing police investigation.  Fair enough.  They are are least treating this investigation with respect.  But it suits them to stay silent, anything they say could contradict things they have said in past.  
 
But the big elephant in the room, that most of us are thinking about but shy to say out loud, is that innocent parents desperate to find their daughter would welcome the opportunity to speak to such a large audience.  It would also give them an opportunity to rebut the criticism they receive and sweep away whatever they perceive to be myths.  
 
Amanda Knox actually appeared in and narrated her Netflix documentary and she came across sympathetically, not particularly likeable, but not the ‘Foxy Knoxy’ of the tabloid headlines.  I didn’t have any firm opinions before, though I leaned towards her being involved based on the forensic evidence.  The Netflix documentary however explained the errors that were made with the forensics and there really wasn’t anything to put Amanda in the room. Perhaps Gerry and Kate could also have turned things around with the Netflix film?
 
But I digress.  What if Netflix shine a light on those ‘higher ups’ who pro McCanns on here claim are responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and the cover up? I think that is the best hope from the McCanns’ perspective.  If Netflix had been onto any new leads, lone predators, traffickers and the like, they would have passed it over to the police and arrests would have been made.  
 
Like the Amanda Knox documentary, I don’t think the Madeleine documentary will provide definitive answers, rather it will leave the viewer to decide by placing the facts before them. This is where Gerry and Kate may regret not fighting their corner because all the questions the makers had for the parents will go unanswered.  

Saturday, 2 March 2019

ANOTHER YEAR FOR OPERATION GRANGE AND NETFLIX MADELEINE STORY

It seems Scotland Yard have requested further funding for Operation Grange for another year, rather than for the usual 6 months.
 
I don’t know what I make of that, I kind of had it in my head OG would wrap up soon, around the time Trump gets led away in handcuffs and we go to war with Ireland. To be honest I had forgotten the last increment was about to run out,which is a sign I suppose that I and I’m sure others, have grown indifferent.  It ends when it ends.
 
For those responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance, it must be the worst news possible.  They would much prefer to hear that Scotland Yard, despite much effort, could not reach a conclusion, and the file will archived. It will only be when the file is closed or someone (not them) is arrested that they will be relieved of the constant fear of that knock on the door.  Why twice as much this time they will ask themselves, ‘are they closing in?’.  For the guilty there will be no peace for the foreseeable future.
 
Gerry and Kate it would seem are extremely grateful, according to their spokesman Clarence.  I can only imagine that extremely grateful was through clenched teeth, as I can’t imagine it to be anything other than highly frustrating for the parents.  Unfortunately as the parents made such a big hullaballoo about the Brits stepping in to solve their problem, they daren’t criticise them now.  
 
The bigger problem, and the one that loyal lap dog Tracey Kandhola led with, was the upcoming Netflix production of Madeleine’s story (as yet untitled), which is due for release this month.  The parents are not happy. They haven’t participated in it, nor has Clarence, and their lawyers will be watching it carefully for any libel.  
 
Now I haven’t got a clue what is going to be in the Netflix production, but I suspect the McCanns and Clarence Mitchell have, hence their refusal to take part and their threat to have lawyers watching.  They claim they are not participating because there is an ongoing police investigation. OK, that’s fair enough, but it never stopped them in the past, even when they were arguidos.  At that time they made much use of Clarence’s services.
 
I happen to be a big fan of Netflix productions, I lost 3 days when I began watching House of Cards.  They are especially good with their docu-dramas, so it will be interesting to see their take on the Madeleine story.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

HOW HATE IS USED TO STOP DEBATE

It is only in the last decade or so that the word ‘Hater’ has appeared in our lexicon. I first encountered it in the crazy online world of missing Madeleine McCann.  It was applied to everyone who questioned the validity of the abduction story. It was the answer to every question.  Why didn’t Madeleine wake up? Why was there no sign of an intruder? Why wouldn’t the parents and their friends co-operate with the police? Answer to all three questions and hundreds more besides ‘it’s because you hate the parents’.  Err, why would we hate the parents we ask? ‘Because they are articulate, successful and slim, doubters are clearly insane with jealousy and probably fat’.
 
The case against Goncalo Amaral, he hates the parents. He built an entire case against them, purely because he didn’t like the cut of their jib. He blamed them for the disappearance of their daughter because he wanted to get back to his long lunches and getting his ears pierced.  
 
Now I have spent most of my life out of sorts with the rest of the world, but I very rarely, if ever, think it is because everyone hates me.  Actually that’s not entirely true, it was an intense feeling that overwhelmed me often, when I was 5.  As an adult however, I apply logic.  Ie. that probably was the last sausage roll and they have haven't got any hidden under the counter. 
 
The McCanns were very canny in their choice of inflammatory words to describe those ‘tiny few’ who did not believe them. Words like hater and pitchforker were applied day in and day out, used often enough to ‘become the truth’. How could anyone not sympathise with two parents who lost a child? They MUST be monsters. Kudos to the McCann publicity machine, they managed to isolate and ostracize a ‘minority’ - those members of the public who did not believe them. Criticising the McCanns was taboo, non supporters of them were the enemy. It divided friends, it divided families.
Even the rich and famous were not immune, Katie Price and Sharon Osborn have had to apologise and walk back their criticism of Gerry and Kate.
 
Most rational, reasonable, thinking adults interpret all of the above 'hate' arguments as the nonsense they are.  Though, the word 'pitchforker' is perhaps an insight into the thought process behind the hate shield.  It's medieval, it brings to mind an angry torch carrying mob storming a castle with, literally, pitchforks.  It may have been the McCanns' greatest fear, an angry mob.   A not unrealistic fear as who knows how a mob may have reacted if Gerry and Kate had been charged.  Nothing angers a mob more than crimes against children and having been lied to. 
 
Happily for everyone there have never been any angry mobs in this case, though it has had more than it's fair share of rabble rousers.  I personally think the first reaction to any breaking news from Scotland Yard will be stunned silence.  For many, it will take a while to sink in.  Those involved will be declared cunning geniuses for duping not only the Authorities, but the MSM and several British police agencies. 
 
Accusing your opponent, enemy or whatever, of personal hatred is the defence of those scraping the barrel.  It actually demeans the one using it - it screams 'look how hateful I am'.  Not a good bluff if you haven't got hundreds rushing to your defence.  The public have no reason to hate Kate and Gerry - or do they?  The hate defence suggests they might have?  No-one else was looking at them, that way. 
 
Did Goncalo Amaral hate them so much that he framed them for their daughter's disappearance?  Is that how detectives and investigations work?  Let's leave a child predator on the loose and frame these two because they are smug b'stards?  The hate arguments barely hold up in a playground, they didn't hold up in the Portuguese civil courts and they are not working on  here despite their constant repetition. 
 
Gerry and Kate presented the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance to the world, and have done their utmost to keep it in the headlines ever since.  The audience they hate, is the audience they created, it is their reality show, they pull the strings, they keep their names in the news.  They don't need to keep their fight with Goncalo Amaral going, they choose to.  They want to abuse the European Court of Human Rights, with demands that GA's human rights be taken away. His right to freedom of speech and his right to publish a book.  They also want all the money he earned from that book and the proceeds of his family home.  Financial compensation of £1.25m - quarter of a million for each of them, and as Isabelle Duarte said, they are Five.  Compensation for Madeleine was included in the claim.  The rather spoilt Kate and Gerry just can't take no for answer. 
 
That the McCanns are still able to hate Goncalo Amaral with the same intensity after all these years is bizarre.  Why waste time chasing the former detective through the European Courts when their daughter is still missing?  Why not hate the monster who stole their daughter? 


 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

GONCALO AMARAL WINS, AGAIN

With over 230 posts on the last blog, I think the case for Goncalo Amaral has been made.  No matter how much mud is thrown at him it is all canceled out by his own words and actions. He published his side of the story and has defended his right to tell his story for over a decade.  He was David .v. Goliath, he was up against, not only the British establishment but also the British media.  Against all odds and with very limited resources he won.
 
And he won again on here, albeit vicariously, via those of us not prepared to believe all the vicious rumours put out about him by those who claim to support the parents.  You have lost the battle if you have to belittle your opponent in order to make yourself look good.  Every onlooker can see that. The more GA has been demonised, the more he has been elevated in the public’s opinion. The GoFundMe for his legal expenses was proof of that.  It even included a large donation from ‘the Met’.  
 
Realistically, the enemy of the McCanns should be the monster who stole their daughter, not the detective who searched for her. How can they not hate that monster with every breath in their bodies, he is the one hurt their child and wrecked their lives.  Where is their rage against him, where is their determination to track him down?  Where is the support for Operation Grange, their best hope of getting closure on their nightmare.  
 
The ‘pros’ have as little faith in Operation Grange as the more anarchic section of the ‘antis’ (including Pat Brown?), once again their erm, aims coincide. I’m not suggesting Pat Brown is an undercover agent btw, just a little single minded in some areas. I think John Blacksmith and I are the only ones keeping the faith and quietly cheering OG on from the sidelines. We are probably both wizened enough to know that corruption on the scale suggested by the anti OG’s (a new sub-division) simply isn’t possible in a democratic society.  Our laws are chocka block full of checks and balances.  And the media (the Fifth Estate?) fill in the gaps. Mostly.  When they fall down, writers like myself and JB step up.  
 
I don’t believe the McCanns are protected by anyone other than their own, very small, barmy army.  Now, probably less than a handful, who gamely plough on, on Twitter and on here. All they have proved is how thorough unpleasant they are.  Ultimately, they have lost the social media battle. People are no longer flocking to their website or facebook page.  They have no presence on twitter other than a few deranged odd bods who think they are ‘hard’ cases. They are not winning friends and influencing people.
 
Their war against online trolls was less successful than their war against Goncalo Amaral.  It resulted in tragedy and another tidal wave of bad publicity for Gerry and Kate.  It didn't stop the online discussion, it increased it. 
 
Who knows if those who post here are the last remaining hardcore McCann supporters or the McCanns themselves.  It is hard to imagine anyone other than Gerry and Kate hating Goncalo Amaral as much as these posters do. There needs to be some personal affiliation to feel that passionate.  Blood ties perhaps.   Whatever the driving force may be, it is not healthy, it's not logical, it's not sane and it's not nice.