Before I get round to telling you why I despair, Mr Simmons, I'd just like to set your most recent opinion pieces about Kate and Gerry McCann within the context of what has been in the news recently about the case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. You may just write me off at this point as one of those nasty bloggers attacking poor, suffering Kate and Gerry McCann, but I'm going to pretend that you'll read this and carry on.
Kate McCann returns to Praia da Luz beginning of October 2010
On Sunday October 3rd, the News of the World reported that Kate McCann had 'made a solitary pilgrimage this weekend to the Portuguese resort where her daughter went missing, "for emotional reasons and to pray for Madeleine." There appears to be some kind of separation there between Kate McCann's 'emotional reasons,' and praying for Madeleine. If praying for Madeleine was not an 'emotional,' reason, what was it?
Amaral book ban overturned Tuesday 19th October 2010
On that day, the news spread very quickly across the 'blogosphere,' that the Appeals Court in Lisbon had overturned the ban on Gonçalo Amaral's book, "A Verdade da Mentira," which had been imposed as a temporary injunction in September 2009 and upheld in January 2010. (Decision reported February 2010) I'm sure you remember that day in January because most of the major news channels were giving regular updates from the court in Portugal and Twitter was going so wild with it that it was persistently overloaded. When the decision came in February, most of the major daily newspapers covered it, like the report in The Sun I'm sure that ITV covered it too. It's still there on Google when you type in, "Amaral book ban upheld."
What about the overturning of the ban? Google again and type in 'Amaral book ban overturned,' will bring up very few articles from major UK news media. If it weren't for the internet and bloggers finding out by reading about it on European news web sites, such as Euro Weekly the news might very well just have passed us by. No great fanfare in the UK media. Why do you think that was, then, Mr Simmons, after all that hoo-ha in January and February? There was very little response from Kate and Gerry McCann to this news: no press conference; no video; no significant press release. The Guardian reported that:
A spokesman for the McCann family said the decision did not stop the defamation case. "The defamation action against Mr Amaral is very much continuing," he said. "Kate and Gerry's lawyers are now examining the detail of this latest ruling and are considering an appeal."
Then came the petition in which the McCanns called for a review of all the evidence held by Portuguese and English police. That petition is well dodgy, Mr Simmons. Any negative comments
were deleted and there were quite a few signatures that seemed to be appearing on every page. There was also the strange case of the moving signature: someone I know who signed found that her signature kept moving through the numbers. Now, you'd expect that if signatures were being deleted, that the number of this person's signature would go down, but amazingly it was going up. So, entries were being made in the middle of the list. Very odd! There is a Paypal button on the petition site so that people can donate to the ongoing search, which we are told has been very costly. I'm not going to go into dodgy detectives like Metodo 3 with no experience of missing person cases, or that Kavin Halligen character: life is too short!
So, anyway! Last weekend, there was a right flurry of articles in the news. The Sunday Express reported that:
DETECTIVES working on the Madeleine McCann case say they are ready to reopen the investigation into her disappearance.
Portuguese police have indicated they would be happy to work with the missing girl’s parents and their friends.
Well, that's good news, innit? No need for that petition or that Paypal button for money to pay the PIs, the Portuguese police are willing to reopen the case. Just waiting for your call Kate and Gerry!
Also in the same edition of the Sunday Express is the question about a CCTV camera outside a hotel in Praia da Luz. The camera may have picked up an image of a man carrying a child, but unfortunately, the film was wiped.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mail reported that Kate McCann was not very happy with the Home Secretary, the Sunday Mirror related news of Kate and Gerry's 'joy,' created by the support they had received with their petition, (Had they seen all those duplicate signatures and messages and noticed some of those names? Far be it for me to point out that the real people would not have signed their petition!) and the Star on Sunday had the McCanns talking about David Cameron being 'a let-down.'
So, bit of a mixed bag, if you like, over the weekend. Not much to say about all that from me, because I didn't know where to start: the Portuguese police will reopen the case; Kate McCann feels let down by the Home Secretary; they're joyful about the petition; David Cameron is 'a let-down.'; the camera may have held the key to resolving the case.
Then I watched that video of your interview on NBC(More later), in which you mentioned how awful it was (words to that effect) that the McCanns had been suspected of involvement in their daughter's disappearance. Bed time I thought!
Today, well today I despair Mr Simmons. Today on your ITV News page, you ask the question."How long must Kate and Gerry McCann suffer?" Well, as an immediate response I would refer you to the experience of other parents who have lost a child: Kerry Needham for instance, whose son Ben disappeared on a Greek Island in 1991 and who would this month have celebrated his 21st birthday.