As most of my readers know, retribution is the part where I wuss out. Punishment is something I just cannot get my head around. I find the word medieval and it's connotations barbaric. I was never able to smack my children, the idea of it was abhorrent to me. And before any smartass jumps in, they have grown up to be kind, decent, gentlemen with impeccable manners. No smacks were ever needed.
But back to punishment. This is where myself and other gentle folks back away. We are not emotionally involved, Madeleine wasn't ripped from our lives. I can only speak for myself here, but the face of Ian Huntley incensed me! And if I am honest, it incenses me still. If I were in his presence, I fear I would physically attack him. When I see shattered mothers speaking on behalf of their children, I feel their pain, and I feel their anger and I fully understand their need for retribution.
I don't feel any of that in the case of Gerry and Kate. They are the ones who had their beloved child ripped from them. I don't think there was any malice intended that night, in fact I feel much the same as Goncalo Amaral, that is, there was a tragic accident. On those grounds alone, we could all say, how about we just forget it, these people have suffered enough.
But it doesn't end there. Because if Madeleine died on 3rd May, everything that happened thereafter was a crime. Some might say there were multiple crimes carried out by multiple characters, some who were reporting directly back to the British Government! If the McCanns were to be prosecuted, they could and probably would, name names. Any trial of the McCanns and/or their friends, would reduce to farce if they claim they did not act alone. Who's idea was it to start a Fund? Hmm Who's idea was for the parents to take Amber Alert to the European Parliament? Again hmm. The police had the mobile phones and all the numbers the McCanns and their friends phoned that night. Perhaps even 'who arranged the burner phones?'.
When you start to look at the number of witnesses etc, you can begin to see the scale of potential crimes committed in this poor child's name. Gerry and Kate may indeed have been the unfortunate victims of fate on that night, but everything they did after that was premeditated. Now that's cold.
Along with an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, society also dictates that no-one should profit from crime. I don't know what the exact laws are, but some might say, the McCann family, all those lawyers, spin doctors , and psychologists who flew out to PDL. Maybe too all those police agencies despatched from the UK to assist the Portuguese police.
The biggest charge of course is perverting the course of justice. Is it possible the UK will despatch to Portugal all those lied to the PJ? How many would that be? You can see why the Tapas 6(?) requested a private plane. The number liable to those very serious charges could run to dozens. All those of watching the shenanigans going on in PDL, could see how disruptive the McCanns media campaign was to the Portuguese police.
It was a circus of Team McCann's making.
Should they get away with all that? And indeed, everything they have done since Madeleine disappeared? Starting with their very cruel campaign against Goncalo Amaral, the detective who searched for their daughter. It could be said that they have suffered karma in bucket loads, they still don't have that 'innocent' statement from anyone who matters. Simply by trying to keep up the pretence and the unrealistic image they created for themselves, they are already in purgatory.
I think the decision not to just let this case drop, was made a long time ago. Probably an agreement was made between David Cameron and his Portuguese counterpart and it would not have been to cover up for the two doctors. No former Prime Minister wants 'authorised a cover up' on their historic record. From a diplomatic perspective, the Portuguese were much maligned for their investigation into Madeleine's disappearance with Goncalo Amaral labelled as a 'disgraced detective' and the PJ labelled as incompetent and corrupt. The parents of Madeleine were successful beyond their wildest dreams, in getting the entire British establishment blaming the Portuguese police for Madeleine's loss. There was much for DC to put right.
They may not have been aware of the number of players when they first began, but their continual requests for more funding suggests they don't intend to leave anyone out. But again, back to that crazy scenario of the McCanns, their extended family and all those ambulance chasers who were on the first flight, being taken back to PDL to face charges and possible imprisonment. Like almost everything in this case, if you scratch the surface there is always another layer beneath. The reality of all those who should be charged flying out to face a Portuguese criminal court has to be miniscule. Will Portugal ask for their extradition?
For older members of the McCann and Healy clans it seems ridiculous, but how about the Tapas friends, their siblings and Clarence Mitchell? Will they all fly out to PDL willingly? What about those experts? Superintendent Hill, Jim Gamble, the psychologists, the family liaison officers? All are witnesses to the beginning of the Fund and the spectacular media campaign, not to mention the highly irregular separate [from the police] 'search' by the McCann family.
Quite a few people face quite a few charges I would say, which is why I'm not screaming at OG. On the other hand, all those who forcibly pushed the abduction story, will never be able to relax until OG is filed away stamped 'abduction'. For them, their weakness and greed, is always just a breath away from public exposure. Those crime experts who have staked their careers on the parents being found innocent.
Sadly, it is only strangers who fight for justice for Madeleine. Kate has forgiven her daughter's abductor. Again, not normal. I am sure that madness that possesses me when I see the face of Ian Huntley, possesses the mothers and fathers of murdered children every time they think of their loss. I can't help but be cynical about Kate's bizarre 'I forgive the abductor' press release. I don't see pious and self sacrificing, I see, 'I've got nothing to say about the abductor' (because there isn't one). It also carries the connotations, 'ffs don't ask me to speak directly to the camera'.
It's difficult however, not to compare this case to that of missing Shannon Matthews. Shannon was of course found alive, and her disappearance basically mimicked Madeleine's but the donations were much, much, lower. Shannon of course survived, but there would have been an outcry if the powers that be had said, how about we just forget it.
Karen Matthews faced justice in a criminal court, in front of a jury of her peers and she was sentenced to prison.
For Karen Matthews there was no stampede of lawyers, CEOP and government appointed press officers rushing to Karen's side. Karen was a graphic illustration of broken Britain and the broken benefits system. The family and friends of Karen were as proactive as Team McCann, but without the online shop and good quality wristbands. The friends of Karen however, believed her implicitly, until they didn't. When the truth dawned on them, they were genuinely shocked, none of them said, let's keep this going, it's a good earner, they went to the police.
What happened on the night of Madeleine's disappearance triggered a complex web of lies that spawned, who knows how many, crimes, who knows how many suspects? Which begs the question, how did OG and the PJ split the case up? I am guessing the PJ will cover Madeleine's disappearance and those directly involved. The original crime. OG I presume will handle the British end. Those crimes that might relate to fraud etc. Is it mere coincidence for example, that the McCanns hired not one, but two firms of private investigators who were criminally corrupt?
I actually feel so closely involved in this case now, that I am finding it quite frightening to think of the reality of a prosecution or several prosecutions taking place. I don't even like Kate, but can see that she is very fragile and emotionally over wrought. I don't think she could handle any form of questioning, especially not in the witness box as a defendant. As for being sent to a Portuguese prison? Kate's fragility, the real and the fake, has I am sure endeared her to many. It is hard, if not impossible, to see the cunning and the conniving underneath.
Gerry however, gets what he deserves. He has a real struggle to hide the 'smug'. He has Trump's 'still winning' air as he taunts the police with noooooo evidence. One image of Gerry that chills me to the core, is the press conference the parents gave with an aged progressed image of their daughter behind them. For some reason Gerry got the giggles, and was struggling to contain them. To see a picture of your child as she would look if she were alive can't be anything but traumatizing for a parent. I broke down whilst watching the same on an episode of Quincey! But to laugh, may God forgive him. On my last blog I received a post from some students who had spotted Gerry lying 37 times, just on the parts of the case they studied. He's a bad liar. He has no control over his micro expressions (duping delight) or his body language. On occasion he looks as though he is suffering a flea infestation.
My own personal favourite is the parents interview with Sandra Felgueiras, where Gerry shows all the finesse of a trembling adolescent in the presence of the attractive gym mistress. I'm not knocking him, I too became a blabbering heap when I met the Cadbury's Milk Tray man. He was even more handsome in the flesh than he was dressed in black and sneaking into ladies' bedrooms. I offered him tea, coffee, anything - quite literally anything. But back to Gerry's performance in that interview. In his defence he was equally smitten with Jeremy Paxman.
But this was confident Gerry, talking to a woman (easy peasy), he had the air of man that said, we just had a drink out back together, they were on first name terms. Gerry went straight into flirt mode, despite the fact that Kate's claws were digging into his thigh or the palm of his hand. I think he was sending her telepathic messages, 'don't worry, I've got this'. Kate is weirdly possessive of Gerry, but that's too big a subject for here and now.
Because this case has gone on so long, most people don't really care one way or another what happens to those who made the child disappear. Happily there are no angry mobs, or seekers of vengeance. Even Goncalo Amaral who has suffered more than most at the hands of Gerry and Kate, seems content to let fate run it's course. He has back, that which was taken from him, his freedom of speech.