However, in 2007, news was no longer restricted by borders. And as a human interest story, it reached a much bigger demographic, even Sun readers began to see that their daily newspaper was lying to them. Those of us hooked by the drama straight away, were witness to the huge difference in the way the Madeleine case was reported in the UK and the way it was reported in Portugal. We ‘english’ were being stirred up to believe this was a case of National pride, two British citizens were being victimized. And alarmingly, our government and the MSM were in on it! They chose to believe the two British suspects over the Portuguese police.
I very much doubt the group have grown closer over the years, the secret they share must be like having a heavy chain around your neck, a chain that gets heavier and tighter with each passing year. As a commitment phobe, I can't imagine anything worse than being bound to other people against my will. The tapas group were not lifelong friends, they did know each other as well as they said, which makes it all the more strange that the parents had 100% faith that their friends weren't involved.
We all meet hundreds of friends along life's journey, but very few last long enough to become part of our intimate circle. For me it is usually 3, 4 at a push, that's all I have time for, I like Jerry Seinfeld's practical approach on the issue of friends, each has a place and there are rarely vacancies! For each of my close friends, I could give a zillion reasons why they could not and would not steal a child. For friends on the periphery that I hardly know, I couldn't say the same. Kate was witness to her friends leaving the table during the course of the dinner, how could she not suspect them?
The foundations for this group's relationship were built on very rocky ground, each is dependent on the other not to expose them as liars. Each has to stick to the group statement compiled on the back of Maddie's colouring book. They cannot deviate from the script in any way, and every time they talk about it, the chances are they will. Gerry and Kate, Kate especially, become very agitated when asked to go over the details of that night. They recite the well practised and rehearsed set script. There is no embellishment and nothing else has come to mind in 11 years, no detail as to how they reached that collective decision to leave the kids alone, no detail as to their own behaviour that night and the days that followed. The nearest to a human reaction, was bizarrely, Gerry's calling from God as he prayed in the local church. Go forth and find Maddie, and all missing children, the good Lord told him, not in those exact words, I believe it was a tunnel of light.
I'm not sure Stockholm Syndrome applies to the tapas friends, admittedly it could be because I have little sympathy for them. Their cavalier attitude towards the duty of care they owed their children, appals me, so too their arrogance. In fact I think I will wind myself up by having a re-read of their rogatory interviews.
I also think there are several alpha males within that group, who are vying to be top dog, they are all competitive but perhaps none so much as Gerry, whose tennis tournaments continued while others searched for his daughter. Gerry takes the crown, but I doubt the others are submissive, they each hold Ace cards they can play at any time. Gerry is as enslaved as any hostages he has taken, they all are.