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

Maddie: The Noisy Silence… or the Extinct Notoriety of a Brand?

by Paulo Sargento*

The “Maddie” case entered a sort of blackout for some time now. More precisely, Gerry McCann silenced his blog approximately 2 months ago (his last post dates the 14th of August), after stating his surprise by the fact that the media had had access to the process, as a consequence of the archiving which put an end to the secrecy of justice and also to his status of arguido, as well as to that of his wife and of Mr. Robert Murat.

Well, this demonstration of surprise is, in itself and in fact, surprising, in so far as, besides having been announced previously, it seemed obvious that this would happen, or was it not always the media exposure of the case one of the purposes pursued by the McCanns, on behalf of the non-oblivion of their daughter. It is a surprise that surprises, in so far as it was not expected that it constituted any surprise at all, even less for Gerry McCann.

And what to say of Mr.Clarence Mitchell? Yes, the one that, very often prolixly, used the easy verb to maintain the case under the media spotlight? Or, who simply, to threaten half the world with lawsuits for defamation, pre-demanded fat compensations? He has been very quiet, the spin doctor. But, it does not seem to me that this is on account of the fact that he has nothing to say. Could it be that, cleverly we recognize, he knows when to speak, as much as he knows when to shut up?

This limbo in which the case entered can have many readings. I’ve chosen two, among several possible.

The first one, as I stated in a previous post, could mean that the silence is due to the fact that at this moment, after the euphoria of the post-archival guerrilla war, the long process is being consulted and studied, finally, with the ponderation and rigour that such a task demands, with the intention of planning the actions that will follow. However, as far as we know, no diligence was done in the direction of the reopening of the process.

So, for what reason does it need to be studied? Will the threats be carried out? Is that the objective? Or is it simply that the promise made by the famous private detective agency (that according to the official site www.findmadeleine.com continues to be the principal source of investigation of the case and where the ridiculous sketches remain as the most efficient scientific productions, resulting from an authentic fortune spent by the fund to find Maddie) is going be fulfilled with a year of delay and they are going to find the girl until Christmas 2008?

The second one as I said before, fits in an attempt of extinction of the media interest. Technically, a phenomenon that starts to suffer a break in notoriety has a tendency to be extinguished. The great trademarks, as famous as they are, always do the possible and the impossible to increase or, at least, to maintain their notoriety. The investments in publicity done even at a time of economical crisis are seen as a priority for the big brands. When such does not happen the extinction is inevitable! All of us know of that!

But is Maddie a big Brand? Should we have believed in a phenomenon of relational Marketing?

I presume so. I already stated that on several opportunities, when I referred to the tabloids.

But, let's pay attention to the official site: www.findmadeleine.com

In a very discreet way, an online store appears, above the separator of the contacts (contact us) of the above-mentioned site, at the top right corner of the web page. If we click on this online store we come across three products: wallpapers for cell phones (free), 'look for Maddie' bracelets in a universal size (2 Pounds each) and T-Shirts for children and adults, of various sizes sizes already sold out (6,5 Pounds/10 each).

What does this mean? If we read the description of the products, we are left without doubts that this it is a terribly simple Marketing strategy, almost kitsch. Let's notice the following sentences: “Polyester/Cotton High Quality T Shirt”, “These shirts are made to a very high quality and have the text and picture printed directly onto the material” (the front has the text "Don't You Forget About Me" and the rear has the web site addresses. Madeleine's picture is shown on the front and on the back) or “Good quality wristbands to keep reminding you about Madeleine”.

Let's pay attention. It is not the issue of a fund, or of donations, because for these there are also connections and quite visible separators. This is a catalog of products for sale. Exactly! It is the issue of a catalog of products for sale.

Inasmuch as I try to understand the despair and the necessity for money to continue, presumably, the investigations carried out by agencies that still showed no results, I must qualify, at least, of bad taste what I have just described.

And I adjourn in this way, at least for today.

There are Deafening Silences when one attempts to extinguish the Notoriety of a Brand.

Source: Câmara de Comuns* Courtesy of Dr.Paulo Sargento

Note by JM: Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned” is a commercial brand, the registration at European Community Trademark Registration was requested on May 18, fifteen days after Madeleine McCann disappeared from her room, at the Ocean Club resort, in Praia da Luz, Algarve.

Related and Previous articles by and about Criminal Psychologist Paulo Sargento

Maddie: The Dogs and the (cuddle) Cat… Questions of Smell…
The figure of cuddle cat has always claimed my attention in the Maddie case. Right at the beginning, I remembered a famous British paediatrician, Donald Winnicott, who attributed particular importance to toys (or other objects) that gain a special value for children in very precocious phases of their lives...

The Lies, the Truth and the Flies - Paulo Sargento, Part 1
If the process contains tens of volumes, in an approximate total of 30 000 pages, how much time would be necessary to make this process an “object of careful appreciation and pondering” and to “analyze and globally evaluate the entire process”?

The Lies, the Truth and the Flies - Paulo Sargento, Part 2
To start, everything that moves money is always susceptible of generating controversy. This fund, which has moved a few million euros, due to the solidarity of many ordinary people and especially a multimillionaire named Brian Kennedy, has been the point of a latent controversy, because its management started to raise problems...

McCanns Suspect: Photofit under the magnifying glass
A new video by Paulo Sargento and Pedro Gamito shocked viewers in the Police Chronicles section of the SIC morning talk show Fátima. The photofit of the Maddie McCann kidnapper was transformed into the face of the child’s mother Kate...

Faces analysis techniques point to failures in the McCanns description
The work was made during a week by the forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento in partnership with the technological engineer Pedro Gamito.The team juxtaposed the three photo-fits that existed from the presumable kidnapper and work them in 20 programs of faces analysis.And dismounted the kidnapping thesis, "The kidnapping thesis is ludicrous" defends Paulo Sargento.

Like a Murder...
The criminal psychologist Paulo Sargento tried to recreate in a virtual setting what happened in the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared. He took as a starting point the chronology of the events made by the Newspaper Public, the Sol, the Times and the BBC...


  1. It is nice to see that Paulo Sargento manages to look at the Maddie case with a sense of humour. In fact the whole McCann affair would be hilarious,
    if it weren't for an innocent child's tragic destiny;
    if it weren't for the many individuals who have had a finger pointed at them by false witness statements;
    if it weren't for the ruthless but unfounded attacks directed at individuals and institutions in Portugal, through the British media.

    But, back to Paulo Sargento's words, they provide good food for thought. McCann silences and non-silences can have more than one interpretation. It could be that the McCanns are too frightened to take action. What if the case is reopened and they are proven guilty (and with them some other people). Perhaps the tactics at work will be to try to perpetuate the 'abduction' tale combined with xenophobic bashing of the PJ. Now and then more articles to that effect are appearing in the UK.

  2. Just incase you had forgotten, there is a missing child here. Perhaps you had missed that fact in your world of hate.

  3. to 'cowardly' anonymous,

    I believe who is missing the fact here is you. The fact that the parents neglected Madeleine and her twin siblings, the fact that the British Media was gagged, or simply decided to run lies & defamed all that were following other thesis besides the sold-by-the-McCanns kidnap theory, the fact that the PJ investigation was undermined by the British Home Office and some British shadow politicians with the complacency of some of the Portuguese ones, etc... Definitely you seem to forget all, maybe you have a selective memory problem?

    You state that I forgotten Madeleine and that is offensive, because at least here in this blog I try to give information, unbiased information relative to Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

    At least I, as a Portuguese Citizen concerned with the tragic faith of this child, who I no longer believe to be alive, do something everyday so that the Truth about this case comes to light.

    All the work taken into this blog has the ultimate objective of delivering Justice, legal justice for Madeleine McCann.

    In spite of people, that like you hide cowardly behind anonymity to make pathetic accusations I will keep fighting for Truth and Justice for Madeleine.

    And you? What will you do?

  4. Well said Joana.

    These people who crawl out of the woodwork to take a potshot are to be pitied if they cannot see that everything we do is to get to the truth of what happened to Maddie.

    I think Team McCann must be a little freaked by people like Professor Sargento, Mr Anes, and Goncalo Amaral.

    Rightly so.

  5. Joana, in answer to your question as to what I will do; I will update the profile of missing children around the world including Madeleine McCann and the children of Portugal. I will seek out new information I feel is relevent to their disappearance based on facts, not speculation. What I will not do is skulk about from forum to forum under different names abusing people who don't agree with me and send them rude gestures etc.

    "I try to give information, unbiased information relative to Madeleine McCann's disappearance."

    Are you kidding me? More biased, articles and postings I have never seen in my life, including your loyal commentators.

    Oh and my name is Maria but I can't remember my google login. Trust that is ok Xclamation.

  6. Maria (allegedly)I suppose you're talking about my post regarding the Cipriano Case in 3A's. I also suppose you're candid camera, if you're not I really do not give a toss.

    I am sure that if you do care about missing children, as you state, than you must also agree that the memory of Joana Isabel Cipriano Guerreiro, who was killed by child killer Leonor Cipriano and child abuser/killer João Cipriano [who by the way were convicted in a court of law for murdering Joana], should not be used as it has been(the outrage factor) by the ProMcCanners & Team McCann.

    To use Joana's tragic death as an attempt to defame the PJ is just despicable and ignoble.

    About the rest Maria, at least here you can have your saying which is more that you can do in some forums and commenting systems in the formerly 'free British press'. That at least shows how unbiased I am.

    A small suggestion,if you want to help the Portuguese Missing Children why don't you join the (APCD)- Portuguese Association for Missing Children? In that way maybe you could become aware of some real hard facts and perhaps really help these children and their families.
    If you just want to bring forum discussions to this blog please move along and stop being so execrable.

    Wish you good luck on your updates and rants, thanks for commenting.

  7. Maria, do us all a favour and just bugger off.

  8. Joana you're right, I was talking about your post about Joana but I am not candid camera. As you know yourself and have stated here, there is a lot of controversy over the disappearance of Joana and once again she has never been found, with a fridge one of the main items under discussion with regard to the case. I am beginning to see a pattern here. Fortunately the fridge in this case was located I understand and didn't do a diappearing act of it's own. The case that is coming up soon should hopefully reveal a few more details about Joana's disappearance.

    As regards joining the APCD well I'l give that a miss at the moment as the director I believe, is one of the main characters in the case coming up with Joana. Not very inspiring I must say and along with his collegue Mr Amaral has been one of the main reasons lots of people have lost faith in the PJ. Those 2 gentlemen, in my opinion, have done more damage to the image of the PJ than The McCanns ever did. I am aware of the childrem missing in Portugal and will continue to follow developments in their cases.

    Anonymous 13/10/08 08:01- Thank you for your kind comments as usual.


  9. To Maria-just-in-case-you-had- forgotten-there-is-a-missing-child-here:

    I, and all of us who are, sadly apparently, truth-biased, cannot forget what doesn't exist. There is no missing child here. Just a dead one.


  10. Oh,geraldinho gosta de ler o que escreve Paulo Sargento.
    G. love to read all that Paulo Sargento write about.

    So,imediatly,someone,probably not g.,write?no! had paste and copy the text from another day.

  11. Todos os testos de Textusa são bem directos,não há qualquer floreado,e isso,na minha opinião, é excelente.Directo e cru não é crueldade.É dar o nome às coisas ,aos factos,aos crimes impunes,aos seres que nem se conseguem atribuir 1 classificação.

    Precisamos mesmo da existência de pessoas como Textusa(que tenha e muita.Força!)

  12. Britain's dire financial crisis took precedence over the manipulative media campaign protecting the McCanns.


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