Thursday, 4 May 2017
PANORAMA: MADELEINE MCCANN 10 Years On - DISSECTED
Well, what to to make of last night's BBC1 Panorama produced by Richard Bilton? Richard claims the Portuguese police and the British police reached different conclusions, and he presents the documentary in two parts. Part One, the evidence of the Portuguese Police that made Gerry and Kate arguidoes.
For the first time. the UK saw the evidence gathered by the original investigation, along with a number of finer details that the McCann propaganda machine had suppressed. There was no break in, the only fingerprints on the bedroom window were Kate's and Goncalo Amaral confirmed an abduction was impossible. And I am sure Team McCann could have done without the footage of the cadaver and blood dogs and the footage of the beautiful and charismatic Sandra Felgueres, who I am sure will send thousands rushing to YouTube.
Speaking (forcefully) on behalf of Gerry and Kate, we have McCann Family Spokesman Clarence Mitchell explaining the parents went against police advice regarding the media, because, well, err, Brits know better. Next we have the British investigator brought in to assist the Portuguese police, Jim Gamble. As a bit of stickler for semantics, I can see what they did there. Jim went in as an investigator, not as Head of CEOP then? No mention either of Clarence being a government spokesman. Jim went hmmmm at the beginning (his policeman's instinct), but as time went on he became convinced the parents were not involved - but no examples of what convinced him. Clarence of course stuck with the ludicrous trail and ffs, they are Doctors! He didn't use the 'F' bomb of course, but the beads of sweats on his brow, said it for him.
The case against the McCanns is tempered with the words of Clarence and Jim. Kate was quite right not to answer those 48 questions, Clarence reaffirms. Jim, though not quite willing to degrade the work of his former colleagues in the Canine Units, stresses that sniffer dogs can't talk and their evidence can provide an indication but it's not evidence. Richard implies the findings of the dogs are not valid, the forensic evidence didn't support the dogs, and then he shows pages of forensic results listing 'weak and inclusive'. He doesn't mention the samples lost by the British Forensic Team, nor the fact that 'weak and inconclusive' could well mean, scrubbed with bleach. So that's it. The dogs are out. The niceness of the couple, far outweighs the years of carefully selected breeding and training of the world's most incredible EVRD dogs. All those 'good boy/ girl' compliments have been withdrawn, and they have been sent to sit the corner.
Richard begins Part II, with the collapse of the Portuguese case. The evidence of the Smith family he casually dismisses with, too many witnesses saw Gerry at the Ocean Club for him to have been the man seen by the Family. Well that's news. Did the Crimewatch appeal bring forward new witnesses who saw Gerry at the Ocean Club? Because when the PJ shelved their file, the question was still wide open. That's why they wanted a reconstruction. But, moving on, he adds, the Smith Family, who have maintained a dignified silence for 10 years, have changed their position, they no longer think it was Gerry. Two pretty big developments in the McCann World, but heavily underplayed there by Richard.
He also includes a long section on how 'they couldn't have done it'. They were being watched by the eyes and ears of the world, it simply isn't plausible, claims Richard, who is clearly not a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Anything's possible. The idea of a burglar sticking his head in the window, calling Madeleine over and lifting her out (Heriberto) he accepts, but the parents who had full access to the window and the child and were the last to see her, he dismisses as implausible. No bias there.
Interviewing Jose Socrates may have been a major coup, but he gives one of those 'well he would say that, wouldn't he' answers. He is a high flying politician, and he is treating Goncalo Amaral and indeed, the interview, as inconsequential. There, there Richard, I understand your concerns, but leave it to the grown ups.
Unlike, those vulnerable men who have been hounded in the name of Madeleine McCann for over two years. Richard's interviewing of those Portuguese suspects made uncomfortable viewing, particularly Suspect 4, who has also been ruled out. It should be said here that those 4 men were never suspects in the eyes of the PJ. The seemingly British desire to blame the loss of Madeleine on someone foreign and of a lower social class is one of the more sickening (and evil) aspects of this case. Whilst you had no shame harassing that poor man on his boat Richard, I felt it for you and I'm pretty certain many others did too. He lost his job! He repeated it several times, but you switched off. 'Did you have anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance?', Richard persisted.
May your Gods forgive you Richard. You are willing to entertain all sorts of malicious accusations against a hard working Portuguese man who was just happened to be on reception duty on the night. He loved his job, he was proud of it. What made him a suspect? Like millions of hotel receptionists the world over, he had keys to the apartments. Sufficient evidence for Richard to track him down and torment him. The message here is, it's OK to accuse people in lowly jobs of heinous crimes on the flimsiest of evidence, but not professionals, ie. doctors who have crate loads of circumstantial evidence stacked up against them. In those circumstances, such accusations become heinous crimes in themselves and sees accusers in the dock (they wish). The idea that the two doctors were involved is implausible according to Richard. The idea that this man, simply because he had access to keys, could have done it, presumably, is plausible. And thus, the bottom of the barrel has been scraped.
I was going to leave it there, but it should be pointed out that the 4 men tracked down by Richard Bilton and the Panorama Team quite clearly do not have the means or resources to defend themselves or launch multimillion pound libel claims against the BBC. Just thought I'd mention that. And here's a wild card. Watching that interview Richard had with one of the witnesses, brought sorrowful memories of The Hunchback of Notre Damn to mind. No disrespect to the poor guy, but that gut wrenching realisation that the public can so quickly be turned against society's most vulnerable breaks my heart. Suspect 4 has also been ruled out by Operation Grange. And he was ruled out in time for Panorama to change the ending of the documentary. That is, their cliff hanger was no longer valid, but they went with it anyway.
But let's return to the defence of the McCanns. Bizarrely, Heriberto Janosch turned up as an expert witness. Unfortunately, his comic voice reflects his comic scribblings. I'd give Panorama a D and wtf were you thinking for that one. I would imagine experts with credible abduction theories are thin on the ground. But seriously Richard, HJ kind of damages your credibility here as too does the woman in purple - particularly by all those who have read the PJ files, and we are legion.
But let's move from the comic moment to the chilling one. 'Even at first glance' Commander Simon Foy says, with deep breaths and much exaggeration, 'the McCanns themselves had nothing at all to do with the disappearance', 'they were where they said they were when the child went missing', he concludes.
Deputy Director of the Policia Judiciaria, Pedro du Cormo I liked. Unlike his British counterparts, he is not persecuting innocent men. 'I cannot tell you what I think', he tells Richard with the kind of charm that is lacking in British Chiefs. But like them, he confirms the parents aren't suspects. I doubt though, that that has left Gerry and Kate reassured. The Portuguese investigation has no deadline and Pedro's clearly holding lots back.
'You know more about this case than almost anyone else', Richard opines, 'Do you think in your heart it will be solved?', 'if it depended on my heart, the case would already have been solved' Pedro replies. Oodles of charm of course, but an overload of duping delight nevertheless. 'It depends on our minds' he concludes with a wry grin.
If there is a hint from the documentary as to how this case will conclude, then it probably lies in all those police chiefs stating categorically that the McCanns' weren't involved. It is with a huge gulp that I type, I was wrong, it is possible to keep a big fat lie going, naivety on my part, the Vatican have been doing it for centuries. There is a lot more colluding going on in this world that I ever dreamed of.
It is honestly beginning to look as though the entire purpose of Operation Grange was to find the ways and means in which to blame a foreigner. They have discarded the evidence collected by the Portuguese, actually, they probably haven't even looked at it. 'Even at first glance' it was obvious the McCanns weren't involved, according to Commander Foy - I can't help wondering if he would have felt the same if the mugshots had been of a couple of rejects from Jeremy Kyle.
I hope that I am wrong (again). My faith in human nature took an almighty knock as I realised there was no abductor. The idea that so many police officers could be involved in the cover up of child's death, would just about finish it off.