It would be a lot easier to decipher the missing Madeleine saga if we understood the sources behind the stories that regularly appear in our newspapers. Anything by Tracey Kandhola we can assume comes directly from Kate and Gerry, they have been close for many years and it’s unlikely Tracey is still meeting a hooded stranger in an underground car park. Tracey broke the news of the parents meeting with officers from Scotland Yard and floated the idea of two new leads. Leads SY are keeping to themselves for fear of sending the suspects underground, but helpfully publicized by Tracey in several downmarket tabloids. This story was confirmed by a ‘source’ from Whitehall, which is as vague you can get, but it implies someone political.
Then we have a ‘source’ from Portugal who says the Portuguese police are going back to the theory that Madeleine woke and wandered off. Source from Portugal is even more vague than the source from Whitehall. Given their very strict Judicial Secrecy laws and the media fiascoes of the early years, how likely is it that the PJ are leaking? Could it come from the PR agency in Lisbon, hired by the McCanns to protect their reputations? What does a PR agency do, other than manufacture stories for the press? Just asking.
Finally, we have Gerry and Kate blasting the press (via a source) for insulting them with this latest theory (woke and wandered) and Clarence stepping in to state how ludicrous the idea is. Hmm. Simply looking at the sequence of events and taking them at face value, it would appear that the McCanns somehow managed to manufacture a very public argument with, err, themselves.
Now it may well be that I am confused, I often am, and reading the tabloids online is near impossible with all the ads and pop ups, but having waded (quite literally) through them, I'm pretty sure I have the gist. Actually, sitting back and looking at the overall picture, the entire narrative for this ongoing saga, at least the MSM version, seems to derive from 'sources'. Even Clarence, their professional spokesman, is often described as a 'source close to the family'.
It was actually sources close to the family who planted all the initial abduction stories in the media. So successful were they, that on the 4th May 2007, we all awoke to the news that the McCanns' apartment had been broken into and their 3 year old daughter abducted. So successful were they that night, they immediately set up a media monitoring team, not only to create a narrative, but also to seek and destroy their critics.
That's the thing with success. Once you achieve it, you spend the rest of your life trying to recreate it. Team McCann learned very early on how easy it is to manipulate the masses. It must have been very vexing for them that Goncalo Amaral and hordes online stood in the way of their grandiose plans for the future. The mainstream media they could gag, but social media has always been beyond their reach. When they brought out 'the big guns' to silence those they call trolls, it resulted in tragedy. There was no public outrage on their behalf, no call to target and imprison online trolls, in fact the public were repulsed. They had overstepped the line.
Despite their decade long battle against Freedom of Speech, they have failed. They may have gone some way in stopping the MSM from going after individuals and corporations, thus contributing to the rapid decline in newspaper sales, but they cannot stop the rise of bloggers and commentators on social media who tell them the truth. Controlling the masses is not as easy as it was in 2007.
But lets get back to 'sources'. In the aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance, the sources had names and faces. Family and friends of Madeleine's parents, who were obviously way too distraught to speak to the media themselves. It was these sources who claimed there was a break in, there wasn't, and who claimed that the police 'were doing nothing'. Some might say they were setting the police up for all that was to follow.
Some might also say the McCanns played fast and loose with Portugal's Judicial Secrecy laws. They certainly used them in their many interviews to avoid answering awkward questions. Who can forget Gerry's famous tantrum when asked about blood found in the apartment? 'He's a bit hot' Kate said, cool as a cucumber. They tried the old 'judicial secrecy' again, when Sandra Felgueres asked about the dogs, 'yes I know about Judicial Secrecy, but we don't have it now', she told the flustered Gerry. Gerry and Kate seem to have their own judicial secrecy, shared by two.
Gerry and Kate are very aware that anything they say on camera could be used against them. Aware, but their love of the limelight helps them to overcome that, they feel the more the public sees them, the more they will like them. It's kind of addictive. Now it seems, it has finally sunk in, and any interview they do give, seems forced and uncomfortable. Crimewatch saw a distinctive turn in public perception of this case. Sceptics rushed to social media and with minimum effort could see the huge flaws in the parents' abduction claim.
Over the past 11+ years there have hundreds of sightings, and hundreds of stories suggesting Madeleine is alive, especially in the early years when the Search for Madeleine crusade was it's height. Most if not all, stopped when Scotland Yard got involved. The idea of England's finest trekking off to Morocco or the Amazon, was always ludicrous, and I'm sure any that came in were filed under 'W' for wild goose chases.
So who has in interest in planting 'McCann' stories in the press? Clarence Mitchell, obviously, in fact all the PR people the McCanns employ, both here and in Portugal. On the opposite side. The PJ - highly unlikely see above. Goncalo Amaral, also highly unlikely, he seems to have moved on and has never played silly media games, so why would he now? Woke and wandered would also make him look grossly incompetent, he was in charge of the original investigation. Maybe it was someone well intentioned (towards the McCanns) who wanted to throw the baying press hounds a morsel of prime rib to see how it goes down. An explanation for why the police are not looking for an abductor or a live child and reinforcing that they [the police] are not looking at the parents.
At the moment I am pondering the enormity of running what must by now be a library of 'sources' and, since the Team McCann use the word frequently, trolls , who patrol social media looking for punch ups. How do they ensure they all stick to the script? How many are there? I imagine there were hundreds in the early days, now, no more than handful, but even that kind of filing system would turn my head into spaghetti. And what if there are opposing forces within those sources and trolls? What if they don't agree among themselves?
Wherever it came from, woke and wandered is not an end of investigation theory. It is something that is ruled out at the beginning, and it was. Someone I think, is still trying to control the narrative, for what end, who knows.