1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Why is Madeleine an Obsession? - Open Letter to a Reader

I do understand your feelings. For a long time I even dreamt with this little girl, that picture broadcasted so many times was recurrent in my thoughts - her big eyes, biting her lip, so sweet and innocent - the images bombarded in the media brought to each one of us Madeleine, Maddie, Maddy, to our house, to our family, she was present in all the opening news and she won a place in the globalized society's heart and mind. And so did all the "characters" of this sordid affair.

In the beginning I thought it was strange the way the media was portraying the group of parents that stayed in the Tapas bar that night. The parents who left 3 children younger than 4 years old were almost sanctified in the British media and instead of seeing the McCanns questioned by journalists, what I saw was a pressure in the British media editorial guidelines to maintain the defence of the McCanns at all cost even if they had to defame and vilify others like Murat, Amaral, the Judiciary Portuguese Police... Even the remaining friends, the Tapas 7 were never questioned regarding their own selfish attitudes and neglect towards their own children - and that is very unusual in the British Press.

A few days later the McCanns were jogging, playing tennis, creating a media circus, calling high profile politics, diplomats, public relations, creating a trademark for a non-charitable fund, accusing the police of framing them...

I have seen the Mothers of other missing children, like the mother of Rui Pedro, and her eyes tell me the deep sadness and anguish she has endured for the last 10 years. Rui was 11 years old when he went missing on 4th March 1998, apparently he was kidnapped in to a paedophile ring. The boy's mother, Filomena at every opportunity and without a fund travelled to various places, even to see photographs with terrible pictures of boys being sodomized which appear to be similar to Rui. Filomena doesn't cry in public but her twisted facial expression shows an empty soul, her lifeless eyes express a pain and a despair that I only see in mothers in Africa who can't feed and see their children die, in mothers where war prevails and see their sons and daughters killed by guns and bombs - it's an intense emotional suffering and that grief transpires in all this Mothers actions, body language, eyes...

Then I watched the McCanns reading from a script their first statement/appeal to the Media - Where was the affliction, the calamity, the despair that should be there? It didn't seem genuine; images of parents in grief were strikingly different from the McCanns. Kate left the twins alone on the same night the alleged kidnapper took Madeleine, they left the twins in the crèche while campaigning and giving press conferences, they jogged, went to the pool, posed for the media in the beach as a couple in love, they left the twins again alone when they did a Periplus in Europe and in the United States, recent images in video show they laughing in the month Madeleine disappeared...

Even stranger, every time there was a possible sighting of Madeleine, they travelled in to a different place. Unlike Mr. Cortés, the Father of poor Mari Luz, who travelled to Naples, Italy to see an unidentified child though he had an appointment in Portugal with authorities to help the search for his daughter.

I will never forget how the McCanns used Mari Luz pictures without the Cortés family's permission.

In the following months what I saw was a selfish couple more interested in hiring high profile extradition and defence lawyers, hiring spokespersons, defending their image in the media, all calculated, all premeditated. Why?

I saw a spokesman inciting man hunts and using methods like some said "more like the police than the police"- hunts of Moroccan, Gypsy or Mediterranean looking men all based in sketches of witness that gave us the Egg Man, the Bundleman and after 9 months a George Harrison look a like.

I saw a Spanish Agency of detectives coming to Portugal and questioning people though it's illegal, some of those witnesses stated they felt harassed and feared the Metodo3 agents, the same detective that went to Morocco was arrested afterwards connected to narco traffick. Malinka's car was set on fire.... Gordon and Socrates had a meeting where they talked about this process... The Home Office delay in accepting the Rogatory Letter. The huge delay from the FSS Lab results...There are just to many odd and strange connections in this case.

The Portuguese Police was damaged politically since the first night of 3rd May, the Portuguese and Portugal were portrayed as a third world country were cops were corrupted, democracy didn't exist and the system of justice was worst than in North Korea (almost). Racism and open xenophobia was acceptable and some like Parsons, Heffer, expressed it with pure hate in the press while others like MEP Knapman and his assessor Piers Merchant or Timothy Dutton QC attacked and switched the case of a missing child into a 'us versus them' tactic of war, diplomatically and politically.

Owner's of media corporations played the case of a missing girl like a soap opera, an entertainment to be sold as news. Backing the biggest and dirtiest propaganda campaign in support of two persons suspected by the police of involvement in the disappearance of their child. Why?

I thought that I had a role to play, not only for Madeleine, so justice can be done, independently who the guilty ones may be but as well to to uphold for what is right and fair regarding my own country - Portugal.

For all the 'Madeleines' and the future parents of missing children who will be received with a more cynical eye by the police, general public and media either this case is solved or not.

For me and for what values and ethics were instilled in me by my parents and as a Free Portuguese Citizen born in April 1974- the year of the Carnation Revolution. These are some of the reasons to write this blog.

For Justice.

Image credits by Icarus


  1. Super análise!Super resposta!Super!

    "For me and for what values and ethics were instilled in me by my parents and as a Free Portuguese Citizen born in April 1974- the year of the Carnation Revolution. These are some of the reasons to write this blog.

    For Justice."

    Parabéns!Por tudo!
    (vou "levar" o título desta carta aberta e a morada para a minha
    1ªpágina.Sei que entende.)

  2. You may be being a little tough as regards the behaviour of the McCanns.

    Here in Austrlai the Chamberlains were subjected to a trial by media who stated openly that they did not behave appropriately. (They were disliked anyway because they were Adventists.) (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azaria_Chamberlain_disappearance )

    It took a long time for justice to be done to that couple and their children.

    Still the McCann case is a puzzle.

  3. Well Chris thank you, for the information. I just Hope Madeleine doesn't end up like Azaria or Joana, a case here in Portugal.

  4. Bem,Chris fez-nos relembrar esse caso terrível.Um horror tremendo tudo o que provavelmente aconteceu com Azaria e o que a Família passou.

    Mas parece-me,pelo que estive a ler na Wikipedia,que o caso manteve-se indefinido,como indefinida a causa da morte desta criança.

    Estou com o que diz a Joana Morais:

    o que se passou com a "nossa pequenina Maddie" não tenha sido o da violência indescritível, quer da infeliz Azaria quer da " nossa infeliz Joana".

    Tremendamente horroroso.

    (não percebo 1 das teorias de um dos livros: Maddie,moeda de troca?A casa com uma pirâmide?O nome da dita casa?)

    Tantas peças para um enorme puzzle.

  5. I have lived through the Azaria case.
    To this day the disappearance of this infant is an unsolved case.
    Lindy Chamberlain was released from prison on compassionate grounds first. Eventually she was exonerated of all charges, as some piece of the child's clothing wsa found with dingo hair on it.
    The newspapers were really unbelievable with the pair.
    I remember one headline: "The dingo has been acquitted".
    For what its worth, Lindy and Michael were never arrogant and they did not go around smiling, shaking hands, and creating Ltd. companies and they never hired public relations experts.

  6. The reader thanks to You the open letter with the possibles explanations.

  7. Personally what irritates me the most is when someone is trying to pull the wool over my eyes and takes me for a fool. Being familiar with the Scot Peterson and Mark Hacking cases in the States I was aware that criminals would go to any length to deceive the public. In these cases these men killed their pregnant wives (coincidentally of Portuguese decent) and did full length interviews to deceive the public. Peterson’s wife was found at the bottom of a lake and Hacking’s wife was found in the city garbage dump. When I heard the McCann story for the first time, it never occurred to me that this could be another case of deception. I was not shocked when they were named suspects; I was shocked how people in the media peremptorily asserted that doctors were incapable of harming their children and how the media mocked and vilified the Portuguese police and Portugal. At that time only one person in the media, a former FBI profiler, kept an open mind. She said that in 75% of missing children cases the parents murdered the child usually by accident. In many of these cases the parents staged the crime scene and got rid of the body. She also stated that it appeared that the PJ were trying to get a confession out of Kate but judging from Kate’s demeanor she is not someone who will ever confess.

    Then came the xenophobic racists articles in the British Press. When I tried to post comments to these British Papers stating that the PJ were entitled to pursue all lines of investigation, I was unsuccessful. It is when I read the comments that were posted that I realized that the only thing that would make it would be comments mocking the PJ and supporting the couple. I then noticed that anything written in the Portuguese press was spun in the British press to put the PJ and Portugal in a bad light. What further piqued my interest in this case was the involvement of Politicians, high priced lawyers, PR firms and millionaires. I wondered what makes these people so important? I was also disgusted with the couple’s attempts to become ambassadors of child welfare and they’re moneymaking schemes. To make a long story short I just find it incredulous that there are still people who gloss over the contradictions and don’t ask serious questions.

    Why do I think there are still people that have no doubt in this couple’s innocence? Here are some theories:

    The McCanns went out of their way to create a saintly image. I would say that many people who believe in this couple are young and are not yet familiar with the deceptions in life.

    Many people probably do believe they accidentally killed their daughter and they feel they have suffered enough and therefore the PJ should just let them be. This is the feeling I get when Mr. Mitchell says, “Removing their arguido status is the decent thing to do.” Of course these people don’t take into account how many people’s reputations have been dragged through the mud on their account.

    Of course racism unfortunately is never out of the equation and it causes people to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

    There are the uninformed and misinformed and yes there are those who cannot conceive of such a massive deception and thus honestly believe in their innocence.

  8. mariana faithful said...

    "... (The Chamberlains) never hired public relations experts."

    Yes but on the other hand they did fairly quickly gather around a hard core of supporters who worked day and night on the case and lobbied like mad for years. This was in addition to the resources of the wealthy Adventist church in Aust. which supported them throughout and since.

    Finally there was the huge effort put in by individual Adventists who voluntarily investigated and documented every single possibility and angle - again for years. This effort was largely co-ordinated by one of the unsung heroes of justice in Australia, the Chamberlains' solicitor who worked himself to a standstill.

    The main thing about this case is that the society had people in it who were prepared despite all the hype to say "There is something not right about this verdict. It is unsafe."

  9. Chris

    I might as well add that unlike the McCann's, who smile every chance they get, although believing that their daughter is with a paedophile, I had never seen Lindy smiling. Not once.

    I had never thought that Lindy had killed Azaria. My own personal impression was that Lindy, was protecting someone, other than Michael.

    The fact that she was released from prison by a politician (NT Chief Minister) on humanitarian grounds, did not sit well with me.

    The Adventists got involved because of the silly notion that Azaria was sacrificed. This was the most ridiculous thing said about this case.

    Dear Chris, it is best though not to confuse the two cases.

  10. mariana

    I do not confuse the two cases. The Chamberlain conviction was unsafe from the get go. A properly instructed jury at the trial would not have convicted.

    You make it sound as though the NT Government acted on some sort of generous whim to release Chamberlain. This was not the case. Ian Tuxford as Chief Minister took a politically dangerous decision (as evidenced a few months later) on advisement that the NT wallopers had stuffed up again.

    The point I was trying to make is that it is dangerous for anyone to conclude guilt or innocence on the demeanour of the personalities involved.

  11. Chris

    It is not the demeanour of the people that I judge.
    I couldn't care less if they cried on TV or not.

    Lindy did not cry either, but she never smiled, like Kate has done all along.

    Lindy looked as though she could comprehend she is in trouble.

    Kate behaves like she is running on a celebrity contest.

    I have tried and looked at all the aspects of the McCann case.
    I have tried very hard to see their point of view.

    I cannot find excuses for them, regarding the fact that they do not return to Portugal to assist the police with the reconstruction.

    If they believe their child is at the hands of a paedophile shouldn't they want to end her torment?

    This remark "she is alive and well" from Gerry is stupid to say the least.
    If she is with the paedophile, as they insist, the child cannot be well.

    Paedophiles do not take children for walks in the playground.

    "Kate is fragile" and they went off to the EU.
    Excuse me, but what is more important?
    The EU or to get their daughter back from the damn paedophile?

    This ridiculous trademark, what the hell was that for?
    Your child is missing for a few days and you make her an Ltd. company?

    As far as the Australian NT Chief Minister is concerned, I do not like politicians interfering, in criminal matters.
    They ought to shut up and let the relevant authorities do their job.

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  13. mariana said "As far as the NT Chief Minister is concerned, I do not like politicians interfering, in criminal matters. They ought to shut up and let the relevant authorities do their job."

    You should understand that Tuxworth was at the time acting on the advice of his attorney general who although an elected politician was a pretty adept lawyer and was acting at the time in his capacity as chief non-judicial law officer of the Territory. You should understand that in Australia an Attorney General wears two hats and provides independent legal advice (with the help of his department) to the other ministers. You should also understand that the NT is not a sovereign state of the Commonwealth of Australia and as such any decision made by its government can be (and are) amended or reversed by the Federal government. In practice the NT government operates very carefully being fully cognisant of the Federal fiat.

  14. Thank you for the info Chris, but I do know all that.

    However I still believe it is inappropriate for politicians (any politician anywhere in the world) to interfere with court decisions and veto them.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. (I had to explicate the position since this blog is obviously read by people outside Australia.)

    So what you are saying is that when a politician discovers that a miscarriage of justice has occurred they should ignore it, even going to the extent, perhaps, of concealing the fact, that Chamberlain should have stayed in prison until the enquiries of the Royal Commission uncovered the police's incompetence and the forensic scientists' deceit and overturned the conviction as they did some years later?

    Fortunately that is not the Australia I live in. Perhaps you are in a parallel one?

    I remind you that even hardened journalists and legal observers could not believe that the jury at the trial accepted the very poor prosecution case and said so to their faces at the time.

    At the best the only reasonable conclusion they could have produced was the Scottish verdict of "not proven" if it had been available. But by the time they were empanelled they had already made up their minds anyway.

    The pool of jurors in the NT at the time was tiny and by the standards of the rest of Australia poorly educated.

    Reposted with corrections

  17. Please Chris, don't take it the wrong way.
    First thing, they should have moved the trial to another place.
    It was obvious that Lindy wasn't going to get a fair trial in the NT, precisely because it was a close knit community and the authorities knew that the standard of jurors there was the lowest in the country.
    And another thing, it was the UK's Dr. Cameron who created the atmosphere of certain guilt.
    At the time I could not understand why they had to bring an expert from overseas.
    When a politician finds out there is a wrongful conviction, he ought to order the Supreme Court to act immediately and also to hold accountable the prosecutor for his cavalier attitude.
    I thought the prosecution was way over his head.

  18. mariana

    The prosecutor in the case was no overweight, sweating night school tyro. Ian Barker QC later became president of the NSW Bar and they are quite careful of who they choose to lead them.

    Barker did what he had to.

    As to the foreign expert witness - well the NT had no forensic scientists at all at the time.

    CHAMBERLAIN v. THE QUEEN (No.2) [1984] at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1984/7.html is worth a reread perhaps

  19. Much obliged Chris.
    Nice talking with you mate.

  20. Here are some relevant paragraphs from the Coroner’s Inquest, 1995.

    Given that I am unable to be reasonably satisfied on the evidence that Azaria died at the hands of Alice Lynne Chamberlain or alternatively that Azaria died accidentally as a result of being taken by a dingo, the only finding that can be recorded is an open finding. (See Jervis 11th ed at 253 in relation to an open finding).
    An open finding is unavoidable as I am unable, after applying the requisite standard of proof and its inherent degrees of reasonable satisfaction, to choose between the two main competing hypotheses concerning the death of Azaria Chamberlain (the choice between the two being a mere matter of conjecture), and to prefer one hypothesis over the other (See Holloway v McFeeters 1956 94CLR 470). An open finding is tantamount to a statement that on all of the evidence the cause and manner of Azaria's death cannot be determined, and must remain unknown.

    The quashing of the Chamberlain convictions by the Court of Criminal Appeal of the Northern Territory entitled Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain to the presumption of innocence "with which the law clothes all persons unless and until their guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt" (See the judgment of Asche CJ at 241). At the trial the presumption of innocence had been destroyed by reason of the prosecution having adduced evidence and proved the Chamberlain's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. However, the existence of a grave doubt as to the guilt of the Chamberlains in light of fresh evidence demanded. the quashing of the convictions. The quashing' of the convictions signified the continuation (or if you like the prevailing) of the presumption of innocence; because as Nader J rightly observed (at 254): "in the absence of a conviction, innocence is presumed." After the quashing of the convictions the Chamberlains were exactly in the same position as an accused found not guilty, in which case the presumption of innocence continues. As it is not the function of a criminal trial to establish the innocence of an accused person, but to ask and answer the question whether the accused is guilty of the crime charged beyond all reasonable doubt, the continuing presumption of innocence in favor of the Chamberlains means that in the eyes of the criminal law Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain are innocent.

    It's all here if you're interested, with a lot more on the home page:

    Also Lindy Chamberlain_Creighton's own website:

  21. K& Gerry played Russian Roulette with their kid's lives! They got away with it five times but on the sixth night the Fates took over and smacked K& G right between the eyes. Well I'm afraid that THAT'S LIFE! You take a crazy risk and you pay a crazy price. It's just a matter of time before the accident happens. No amount of pretending that the Bogey Man got their daughter is going to alter that.

    Anyone who thinks this is an exaggeration should take a look at the items that went missing in the days following the supposed abduction.

    One small three years old child - rapidly followed by:
    One fridge - from flat used by K& G
    One pair of window blinds - from K& G's flat
    One to three Baby Buggys - Kate's
    One blue sports bag - Gerry's
    One wallet - Gerry's
    One computer - Fr Hubbard's
    One shower curtain.


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