Apologies, I have started a new blog for this. If anyone has facilities to c/p their comments re 'swinging theory' that appear here, please re-send. Ta.
THE SWINGING THEORY
The discussion seems to have veered off in the direction of the 'swinging theory' and in response to Nuala, you are right, we may not agree but the matter is open to debate.
It may be that I have led a particularly sheltered life, but I have never in all my years, known any swingers or attended any swinging parties. I have attended many parties where people have got drunk, taken drugs and ended up under the host, but they don't generally start out with those intentions. Well not if the fights, rows and divorces that follow are anything to go by.
My knowledge of swinging parties comes mainly from the old News of the World, and from sneeky peeps at my friend's Dad's collection of Forum magazines. Fantasy stuff that didn't go on in the 'real' world. Similarly, I have never known anyone who has had an intimate relationship with their twin tub or who regularly attends fetish parties. I'm not saying these murky worlds do not exist, the NOTW regularly featured stories of politicians caught with their trousers down, and Madams Whiplash spilling the beans. I don't however, ever remember entire holiday resorts devoted to middle class swingers. And what a story it would have been?
Whilst I hate to put it too strongly, the swinging theory is insane. Have these theorists even had a cursory glance at the main characters? Do they honestly believe that the clingy Kate, who nearly went into meltdown when Gerry flirted with the quiz mistress, would say 'your turn with my husband Fiona'?
You say that it was extraordinary for there to be 300 tourists in PDL?, do you have stats for the previous years or for similar resorts for the same week? You say that it was well known that Warners held swinging events. 'Well known' where? Do they advertise? The Lancet perhaps?
I don't know if Textusa or other believers in the swinging theory are parents themselves. I tend to think not, because if they are, they will remember the baby and toddler years as the most stressful and argument filled years of their relationship. Those who believe babies mend marriages are completely deluded. Babies and toddlers bring chaos, they take over everything, they never give you a minute's peace and they win every argument. Most couples return from family vacations swearing never to do it again, and talking divorce. Until the following year. Time is kind like that, it keeps smoothing the rough edges off so eventually all you can see is the laughter.
You also that Nuala, that PDL was filled with VIPs, high fliers and professionals. Where is the evidence for this? In the summer of 2007, it was also filled with every enthusiastic crime journalist in the world, how come none of them picked up on that? I don't find anything particularly strange about 300 tourists being in PDL. It is a pleasant resort, family friendly, and the weather conditions were perfect for young children and sports enthusiasts. It may be that this resort had a good reputation via a grapevine, and of course, most of the tapas group had enjoyed Warners' resorts before.
I fear Textusa and the swinging theorists have tied themselves up in a similar knotted yarn ball as Tony Bennett. That is, they came to one definitive conclusion several years ago, and have no way in which to wriggle out of it without admitting they were/are wrong.
I am intrigued by your final sentence Nuala. You say if the swinging theory is wrong, there must be something else 'that fits the bill'. Why? As I often say, I am a follower of the school of thought that is KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), the first and most simple explanation is usually the right one. Even Team McCann knew that, 'It was an abduction. End of'.
Whilst the idea of a family resort for swingers is novel, even the NOTW would never have run with that one. Whilst some might say swinging is not seedy, taking your kids along, is. Accusing 300 people of abandoning their kids to go have sex with strangers should keep the libel courts tied up for years.
I tend to think that those who come up with these fantastic sex stories, have read way too much fire, brimstone and Black Lace. They come from the imaginations of those a little bit detached from the 'normal' world. I am guessing they have very little sexual experience and any information they do have, comes from bible based resources that entice them to seek out demons wherever they may be. In this instance, Mark Warners resorts.
Those of us who were glued to the McCann rolling news in the early days of May 2007, will recall all too vividly the moment Robert Murat was pounced on by the police and by the press. He was a criminal profiler's dream, single, that is estranged from his wife and daughter and living with his mother. His singledom set him apart from the rest of the male population and made him an obvious target. I often whine about the stigma attached to single women, but for single men it can often be far worse. Their failure to have one careful owner is often seen as hiding something unnatural and bestial in the closet.
If this were a plotline for a fictional story however, Mr. Murat would have been far too obvious and discarded in the first draft. But hey, they were having a good run with tall stories, and the public were demanding a villain. I think the ways in which they tried to implicate him were particularly crass. If he had been outside Apartment 5A after the alarm had been raised, how could he have been running off across the lawless plains of the Algarve with a child in his arms? Or worse, disposing of a body? He couldn't be in two places at once. Deh! The tapas members who suddenly remembered seeing him, were actually providing him with an alibi. I know that will send you know who off into a 'told you so' frenzy, but the tapas gang didn't realise it, and neither did he.
The involvement of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) agency at the outset of this case has always been a mystery. Madeleine wasn't even 4 years old, she had no online activity, and the perpetrator who stole Maddie wasn't sitting at home watching porn, he was out stealing kids!
For CEOP the discovery of pornography on Robert Murat's computer justified their presence. Gerry McCann was already talking about paedophile rings and the loins of the world's vigilantes were stirring. If the public believed that the internet was being used by predators to steal their children from their beds, they would welcome laws that would give CEOP wider powers.
Robert Murat became a suspect, an arguido, after anonymous tip offs from childhood 'friends' who accused him of playing with frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails. And of course, that lightbulb moment when the excitable tabloid journalist Lori Campbell suddenly remembered Ian Huntley offered his assistance to the police too! Case proven. Rally a mob. The most scary part of all this being of course, how easy it is to build a case against an innocent person.
I don't for one moment believe Robert Murat had anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance. I think he is probably just a nice, friendly guy, who, with his mother, were trying to help a very distressed family. Whilst Ian Huntley had sinister motives for hanging around the police investigation in Soham, Robert Murat's reasons were valid and altruistic. The McCanns and their friends were in the middle of a crisis, and Robert had the skills to help them with the language barrier at the very least.
Unfortunately for the 'profilers' there was a major flaw in their composite suspect. Robert was/is, an outgoing, friendly chap, well liked within his community with no anti social problems to be speak of. That is, he was the opposite of a paranoid, isolated, sexually frustrated predator who hides behind bushes in the park and steals children in the middle of the night.
Much is made of Gerry's 'I'm not going to comment on that' response to 'do you know Robert Murat'. At the time Gerry and Kate were holding Court, all the eyes of the media and the world were upon them, and Gerry was loving it! He was Caesar addressing the Senate, important enough to answer or dismiss questions as he saw fit.
As much as those trying desperately hard to involve Robert Murat, there is absolutely nothing other than fabricated accusations to back their theories up. It is their need to implicate Robert Murat that perplexes me the most.