The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
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In 2008, Karen Matthews made tearful TV appeals for the return of her missing daughter Shannon, all the
while knowing where she was. Similarly, Gordon Wardell and Tracie Andrews attended press conferences after having killed their
partners. Psychologist David Canter and Paul Ekman examine footage of these and others who made appeals on crimes to the media
but who later were found guilty themselves, including Ian Huntley and Fadi Nasri, to explore their behaviour and look for
telltale signs of their dishonesty.
The Tears, Lies and Videotape documentary, above, has
since been removed by Blip but here is a similar video:
Real Crime: Crocodile Tears (Full Episode)
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Parts 1-4
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 1, 29 May 2009
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 1
29 May 2009
Transcript by 'constant_dieter'
Begins with footage of Karen Matthews standing outside her home, tearful, puffy-eyed:
anybody’s got my daughter, my beautiful princess daughter, please bring her home safe.”
general scenes of police activity: “High-profile crimes – played out on the TV. A person goes missing. A body
is found. The cameras arrive and the police make full use of the publicity.”
Clip of Gordon Wardell in front
of the camera, sunglasses on, shaky voice: “I would urge anybody who knows anything about the death of my wife to come
Voiceover showing clips of people later featured in the programme: “Desperate relatives appear
to make appeals for information. It’s emotional. It’s raw. But sometimes it’s fake.”
Michael Gifford-Hull at a press conference: “If anyone has seen her, please let us know where she is.”
showing pictures of Professor David Canter and Professor Paul Ekman: “Tonight, the UK’s leading forensic psychologist
and the foremost criminal body language expert in the world examine the tears, the lies and the videotape.”
David Canter: “The big challenge when lying is to keep the whole fiction unfolding and developing.”
Paul Ekman: “The best way to mask a lie is with a strong emotional display.”
Voiceover showing Karen Matthews
crying: “Could we have known they were lying?”
Journalist who covered the Shannon Matthews case: “I
was absolutely taken in by her.”
Neighbour of Karen Matthews, Petra Jamieson: “I felt like I’d been
punched in the stomach by someone I trusted.”
Voiceover showing footage of Karen Matthews smirking: “Were
the signs there all along?”
999 call made by Karen Matthews is played.
Operator: “Police emergency?”
“Hiya. I want to report my daughter is missing please.”
Operator: “Right. How old is she?”
Voiceover: “February 19th, 2008. A distraught mother
calls 999 to report her daughter missing. It’s 6.48 in the evening and the temperature is near freezing.”
“What do you call her?”
KM: “Shannon Matthews.”
Picture of Shannon Matthews.
showing footage of police activity: “With that phone call, Karen Matthews triggers the biggest police action in West
Yorkshire for 27 years. But is it a smokescreen for the real story? Local reporter, Richard Edwards, is one of the first to
cover the story.
Richard Edwards: “You think, a nine-year-old girl, that is instantly of interest. But never
in a million years did I think the story would unfold the way it did.”
TV news clip on Shannon showing the CCTV
footage of her leaving school the day she disappeared: “CCTV photos shown across the world. The last sighting of missing
schoolgirl Shannon Matthews.”
Voiceover showing scenes of Dewsbury Moor, people in Shannon t-shirts, putting
up posters, etc: “Karen Matthews and her extended family live in Dewsbury Moor, an estate on the outskirts of Leeds.
The strong sense of community here meant that word soon spreads that Shannon Matthews is missing. Neighbours are quick to
start helping the police search.”
Julie Bushby, Community Organiser: “Everybody turned up. People that
you don’t normally see. You know that they live on the estate but you’ve never spoken to them. But everybody was
there, just trying to do their bit.”
Voiceover showing Karen Matthews in slow motion: “24 hours after she
made the 999 call, the distraught mother, Karen Matthews, comes out of the house to make an appeal before the TV cameras.”
“Shannon, if you’re out there, please darling, come home. We love you so much. Me and your Dad. Your brothers.
Your sisters. Everybody loves you. Your Dad’s missing you so much, Shannon. He’s even out looking for you. Please
come home, Shannon. If you’re out there, come home. If anybody’s got my daughter, my beautiful princess daughter,
please bring her home safe. I need her home.”
RE showing footage of Karen Matthews in slow motion again: “Not
only were, erm, were the words that she was using all absolutely spot on, as though she had scripted those, full of emotion,
it was her physical appearance as well that was absolutely striking. She was every inch the mother who didn’t know what
to do, didn’t know where to turn. I mean, you look at her eyes. They are the eyes of a woman in utter despair.”
showing expert at a computer: “But to a body language expert, like Professor Paul Ekman, there’s more to Karen’s
behaviour than is immediately obvious.”
Prof. PE: “It’s very small. That shoulder (points to an image
of KM on the screen in front of him) goes up a little bit. Twice in a row (he demonstrates with his own shoulder). Behaviour
doesn’t occur randomly. It’s like a slip of the tongue. This is a gestural slip. She doesn’t know she’s
doing it. Every time we have seen it – and we have seen it in many situations – the person has always been lying.”
of news reports of the Shannon case: “Once again the police helicopter hovered over Dewsbury Moor… determined
to leave no patch of ground within sight of Shannon’s front door unchecked.”
Voiceover showing Karen and
Craig outside the house at night in ‘Find Shannon’ t-shirts, looking concerned: “For the media, now encamped
in Dewsbury Moor, Karen Matthews and her partner, Craig Meehan, sound and look like anxious parents.”
a news interview with them outside one night.
Reporter: “Are you hoping that this time next week you haven’t
got to have something like this (meaning a big search event)?”
KM (nodding): “Yes. I’m hoping she’s
home by then.”
Voiceover: “But away from the camera lens, people are beginning to notice a different Karen.”
voiceover showing footage of a news reporter and camera in the street: “Now a live broadcast came on that was actually
taking place in the street outside the house. So one of the people in the house decided to test just how live it was by waving
to the camera outside and rustling the curtains around. Then when this appears on screen about a second later, there was a
big cheer in the room and Karen was one of those cheering. Now that seemed… That jarred.”
Footage of KM
inside the house putting clothes into cupboards.
Voice of Petra Jamieson: “Well, looking back now, yes, she was
shy and tearful in front of the cameras and really outgoing, laughed a lot and joked when there were no cameras around.”
“She saw the cameras walking down the street and she was jumping up and down and laughing in the community house. But
I just put that down to nerves.”
Footage of KM walking around the neighbourhood, child gives her a card for Shannon.
“Karen just didn’t quite seem concerned enough. When she saw Shannon’s face on the screen she said ‘Here’s
Shannon. She’s famous’. And I remember thinking: She’s not famous. She’s missing.”
clip from Shannon case showing police divers dredging an icy river: “Police have left no stone unturned in their search
for the nine-year-old. Every possible hiding place is being examined.”
Voiceover: “Shannon Matthews has
been missing for seven days. Still the search produces no clues. The police are under pressure. The Madeleine McCann case
is in the forefront of people’s minds and police in West Yorkshire want to avoid the criticisms of the Portuguese investigation.”
“This is the biggest operation in my 28 years of service that I’ve been involved in. But it is important that
we do this work in order to find Shannon.”
Voiceover: “Thirteen days after Shannon is first reported missing,
the police set up a press conference to appeal for help. But it’s a changed Karen Matthews who appears on stage.”
of KM taking her seat at the press conference.
RE: “Now at this one, Karen’s face is enormously different.
The red rings from her eyes have eased a lot. She still looks pale but she looks almost serene. She’s so calm.”
at press conference: “Well, it’s hard to sleep really. It’s just… House doesn’t feel the same
without… with her not being there, really. It just…feels empty.”
Professor David Canter: “There’s
a certain distance in what she’s saying. She’s not really expressing how she feels. She’s actually saying
what she wants people to know.”
KM at press conference: “Whoever’s got Shannon, just please let her
go. Her family’s missing her. All her friends are missing her at school.”
Prof PE: “We see very little
signs of anguish, of anxiety, of fear. That was rather flat, emotionally. But why should it be there? She knows her daughter
is just fine.”
KM at press conference: “Well I think that somebody out there who knows Shannon…they
probably know me as well…and it’s…I just want her home safe, really.”
Prof DC: “Pretty
well everything she says is actually the truth. She says that Shannon is probably with someone who knows her.”
at press conference: “It makes me think now that I can’t trust people who are really close to me anymore. I just
can’t trust them.”
Prof DC: “She actually draws on what she knows to be the truth in order to keep
the whole fiction alive.”
RE: “She doesn’t cry at all until towards the end when she is asked by
the reporter if she could remember the last words that she and Shannon exchanged.”
KM at press conference, nodding
and starting to cry: “I’ll see you at tea time, Mum. Love you.” Wipes tears from her eyes.
the tears come. So was that Karen again the actress turning the tears on or were those words genuinely said and they did pluck
at Karen’s heartstrings?”
Prof PE: “So now we see some genuine emotion. Why it occurs at this point,
I have no idea. But the fact that she is capable of it tells us that its absence right from the start in the earliest points
when you really expect to see it most severely is suspicious.”
Footage of KM at the press conference with a little
RE: “Then Karen picks up Shannon’s favourite teddy bear and holds it very close to her face
and poses for pictures that way. And it’s a scene that is heavily defined – as was much of the Shannon case –
by the McCanns’ trauma.”
KM holding the teddy bear up.
Prof DC: “She doesn’t quite
know what to do with it. It’s totally different from the way Kate McCann carried the teddy everywhere with her as some
sort of reassurance of her daughter.”
RE: “I think that is one of the most striking images of the whole
Footage of KM in her house with piles of posters on a table.
conference over and Karen Matthews’ behaviour away from the cameras is getting harder to ignore.”
can remember going into the chip shop and Karen ordered fish and chips and some other stuff and I ordered my dinner and the
guy in the fish shop said ‘That’s all right, Karen. These are on us.’ And she turned round, started giggling,
bold as brass and said ‘Oh I should get rid of one of my kids more often.’”
arranged to go and see them to discuss the story I did for the following day. So I turned up, knocked on the door and walked
in. And the house was empty. And then the next thing I heard was someone shouting ‘Boo!’ And then it was Karen,
she’d been hiding behind the living room door, leaped out and tickled me on my sides. And I was absolutely flabbergasted
by that. I mean, what do you make of that?”
Footage of KM, Craig and an obscured child in the front room being
interviewed for GMTV.
Voiceover: “On the 6th of March, Karen gives an interview to GMTV.”
she is, she’s going to be frightened. And it’s just breaking everybody’s heart on the street.”
“And what would you say to anyone holding Shannon?”
KM (shaking head): “Just let her go.”
PE: “Just let her go?” (shakes his head) “This is a NO” (nods) “This is a YES”
of KM on GMTV saying “Just let her go” while shaking her head.
Prof PE: “So she’s caught in
a conflict between ‘Please let her go’ and ‘Don’t let her go – you’ve got to keep her.’
So I get something from this. It’s another gestural slip.”
Voiceover: “The more Karen Matthews appears
on camera, the more her behaviour is starting to raise eyebrows.”
Footage of KM and Craig in their house looking
at cards and letters received from the public.
Voiceover: “Even to the untrained eye.”
almost at times gives a strange half-smile.”
Footage shows KM turning away and half-smiling at the camera.
PE: “If you’re an anguished mother, we wouldn’t expect that you would be smiling.”
shows KM on the sofa at home, smirking.
Prof PE: “She’s getting a kick out of being able to pull the wool
over the eyes of the community and the police. She thinks this whole plot is going to succeed. And so far it is succeeding.
She’s on television. The community’s supporting her. Everyone believes her.
Footage of KM, Craig and some
other adults outside the front door with a poster. Singing hymns with a vicar.
Prof DC: “On a number of occasions,
she seems to have a slight sort of, some people might call it a smirk, a slight upturn of the lips. And I think that’s
actually an indication of embarrassment of what’s going on...”
Footage shows KM looking embarrassed, smirking.
DC: “which a person emotionally engaged with the whole process of telling the truth wouldn’t express. For a few
occasions where she looks to Craig and you wonder ‘Is she thinking to herself, I wonder if he knows the truth?’
It sort of implies she’s checking him out.”
Footage of KM turning to Craig and studying his face.
DC: “But then she will turn her head into his shoulder, which is a way of getting her face away from the crowd and just
hiding any sort of emotional expression.”
Footage of KM burying her head in his shoulder so her face cannot be
Voiceover: “And there’s a new tactic.”
Footage of KM with Megan Aldridge, Shannon’s
Voiceover: “Deflecting attention from herself by shifting the focus to Shannon’s best friend,
8-year-old Megan Aldridge.”
Mr Aldridge, Megan’s father: “She definitely used Megan. ‘Let Megan
stand here with me and Craig. Let Megan do this. Let Megan do that.”
KM at press conference: “Her bestest
friend, Megan Aldridge, is missing her, because she’s the only friend she’s got is Shannon.”
of Megan holding some balloons.
Mr A: “One time, when they were releasing balloons, Megan didn’t want to
write a message for Shannon. And Karen said to Megan ‘You write this message and Shannon’ll get it and come home.’
I thought Karen was taking comfort in Megan but looking at it now it was just another piece of her plan. That’s all
it was. It was a bit of extra leverage. Definitely.”
Aerial footage of flat where Shannon was found.
“After 24 days of searching, there is astounding news.”
News reporter: “The long search for Shannon
Matthews ended just over a mile from her home. The police’s trail of enquiries led them to the upstairs flat of a man
who lived alone. The back door kicked in by police who went inside to find nine-year-old Shannon hidden in the base of a divan
RE: “I was at home on my day off. The phone rang. And it was my boss. So she said ‘Yep, Shannon’s been
found in a flat in Batley Carr.’ We know very little at that point about it other than that she was safe. So I rang
Julie. And the first thing Julie was shouting down the phone to me was ‘Is it true?’”
Julie Bushby, holding a mobile phone in her hand, shouting to a group of gathered people ‘It’s true! And nodding
her head. People start to hug one another.
News reporter: “Yesterday ITV news filmed as family and friends realised
Shannon was alive.”
Voiceover: “But Shannon’s reappearance is not the end of the story.”
of KM and Craig outside the house after they were told she had been found. Cameras flashing.
Voiceover: “As we’ll
see, the biggest drama was yet to come.”
Zooms in on KM’s face.
End of part one.
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 2, 29 May 2009
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 2
29 May 2009
Transcript by 'constant_dieter'
Footage of police activity at a roadside.
News reporter: “It was
just before 9 o’clock this morning that a man, on his way to work, discovered Carol Wardell’s body beside bushes
in a lay-by.”
Voiceover: “Fourteen years before the Karen Matthews case, the TV cameras recorded another
sensational appeal for help. There’d been a murder in Warwickshire.”
News reporter: “Detectives went
to her home and found her husband bound and gagged and in a severely distressed state.”
Footage shows Tony Bayliss
walking along the road where the body was found.
Voiceover: “Detective Superintendent Tony Bayliss was in charge
of the investigation.”
Tony B: “I drove here and arrived at the scene and found Carol Wardell’s body
lying here” (points)
News footage: “Then staff at the Woolwich building society in Nuneaton called police
to say they couldn’t get in because their assistant manageress, Mrs Wardell, hadn’t turned up for work.”
of building society, police tape across the front, zooms in on a bunch of flowers left by the door.
Tony B: “Our
theory was that it was a professional robbery in which Mr Wardell had been held captive at his home. Mrs Wardell had been
forcibly taken to the building society and forced to open the safe and that for some reason after that she’d been killed.”
Reporter Rod Chayter: “This was a huge story. A story like one I hadn’t covered before.”
from press conference. Mr Wardell brought in sitting in a wheelchair. Sunglasses on.
Voiceover: “The police
held a press conference featuring their star witness, the victim’s husband, Gordon Wardell.”
Tony B: “I
thought it was very important for Gordon Wardell to take part in this press conference because I knew that it would keep the
media interest alive and thereby give us more chance of getting information in from members of the public.”
Wardell at press conference, shaky voice: “I would urge anybody that knows anything about the death of my wife to come
RC: “His account was that he had been out to post a letter for Carol, gone for a pint in The
Brooklands, driven back to Merridon, walked into his home, smelt cigarette smoke in the home of two non-smokers, walked into
the lounge and there was Carol, trussed up at knife point.”
GW at the press conference: “As I walked into
the lounge, I was grabbed. That was the first time I saw my wife.”
Voiceover: “But the assembled press
corps smelt a rat.
RC: “There was no medical need for him to be in a wheelchair whatsoever. There was some token
hoarseness of the voice, soft speaking…”
GW at press conference: “The man had got hold of my wife
and was threatening her with a knife. I was grabbed from both sides from the back and forced down. He was wearing a clown’s
mask, a dark blue boiler-type suit…”
RC: “Almost from the word go, the story didn’t seem right.
The clown’s mask seemed to be an unlikely extra detail…”
GW at press conference: “I lost consciousness
and didn’t… The next thing I know I’m on the floor, bound and gagged.”
RC: “No sense
of grief. No sense of loss. No sense of outrage. No real anguish at all. Just cold fish.”
Tony B: “Well,
obviously following the press conference we were hoping that would stimulate a lot of public interest. Unfortunately it had
the effect that a lot of people came to the view that it was Mr Wardell who was responsible for the offence. And I even received
a phone call from my mother, who said, more or less ‘What are you messing about at? It’s obviously that husband
who did it.’”
Prof DC: “If you’re listening to him, you don’t feel upset for him. The
natural human process of empathy somehow isn’t triggered.”
Tony B: “I’ve learnt after many
years of police experience not to make snap judgements about people just on the way they happen to behave in a particular
set of circumstances. It’s far more complex than that. And when you’re dealing with a serious like this, a murder
investigation, you have to keep an open mind and only go where the evidence takes you.”
Footage showing GW taking
part in a police reconstruction.
Voiceover: “The police stage a reconstruction of Wardell’s movements on
the night his wife died.”
News reporter: “Mr Wardell had re-traced every step he said he made on the night
before the building society robbery. Mr Wardell said he hoped the police would make a breakthrough soon.”
of GW in the pub where he said he was.
GW: “Hopefully, yes. That’s why I’m trying to do anything
that I can to help.”
RC: “The reconstruction was just more of the same, really. Cold. Emotionless. Calculating.
Unblinking. Just as he’d been at the press conference.
Voiceover: “Wardell’s story starts to unravel.”
“He claimed to have been bantering with one of the bar staff.”
Bar man at the pub: “No, I didn’t
serve the man and all the staff have signed police statements to say they didn’t…they don’t recall seeing
RC: “His story was falling apart in front of his eyes and he would have been blind and stupid not
to see that.”
Footage of the outside of the Wardell home, police tape surrounding it.
the fine detail of his lies that lead to Gordon Wardell’s undoing.”
Tony B: “He had said that a cloth
was placed over his mouth and he smelt chemicals and the next thing was he came round 8 or 9 hours after he said he was attacked.
And an eminent member of the Royal College of Anaesthetists contacted our incident room and said that he knew of no anaesthetic
that would have this particular effect.”
Footage of the pub.
RC: “I asked the question later, had
he wet himself? Two pints. Tied up all night.”
Tony B: “There was no evidence that he had urinated. This
was nigh-on impossible. A forensic examination of the house didn’t show any third parties had been in that house on
the evening concerned and it was a combination of things and a very complex circumstantial case against Mr Wardell.”
of GW during the reconstruction.
Prof DC: “Gordon Wardell is very interesting in contrast to Karen Matthews because
he takes a totally different approach. If you watch what he’s doing, he is giving an account that he has carefully thought
out, carefully rehearsed, developed and then put this all together.”
Footage of GW in handcuffs.
“The jury unanimously declared Wardell guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.”
Picture of his wife’s
Prof PE: “The elaborate story that he tells the police suggests this was pre-meditated. Because that would
take preparation to think through. So it’s likely that this wasn’t momentary loss of impulse, control or an argument
that turned violent. It’s likely that he knew what he was going to do, prepared an elaborate story, memorised it so
he could give it again and again consistently.”
RC: “The whole thing was utterly unconvincing. From the
word go, really. I mean, it was fairly dreadful acting. I mean, it is very difficult to act. He was determined. But in terms
of being convincing, not very good at all.”
Footage of other killers featured in this programme.
“Most killers try in vain to cover their tracks. But only a few are brazen enough to stand in front of TV cameras and
lie to the world. In May 2006 in north-west London, Fardi Nasri paid another man to murder his wife, Nisha.”
of Fardi Nasri and a photo of his wife in her police uniform.
News reporter: “She came out of her house in her
night clothes to investigate a disturbance. Her husband had gone out to play snooker. He was called back by the neighbours
to find her lying in a pool of blood.”
FN: “She had a good heart. Always very, very bubbly. Always willing
to help everyone. Everyone’s grieving and missing her very much. Still in shock.”
Prof DC: “One of
the challenges of lying is to continue to invent and to give information that you are developing so one of the ways in which
people cope with lying is actually by avoiding saying anything that’s not true.”
Footage of police activity.
“The fact that Nasri didn’t commit the actual murder himself may have made that easier.”
someone’s got a guilty conscience. They’ll be worrying about what they’ve done or shocked or maybe it was
an accident or a mistake or…or…whatever. You know, er… But someone’s got to know something.”
Voiceover: “Soham, Cambridgeshire. 2002. One of the most infamous killers in recent times, Ian Huntley.
Interviewed 11 days after murdering schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, his portrays no hint of emotion.”
Huntley on news report: “It doesn’t help the fact that I was one of the last people to speak to them, if not the
last person to speak to them. I keep reliving that conversation, thinking perhaps something different could have been said.
Perhaps kept them here a little bit longer. Maybe changed events.”
Reporter: “Of course at the time it
was just a normal chat with two girls that you knew.”
IH: “Well that’s just
it. I didn’t even know them.”
Prof DC: “If you listen to what he says, he actually says ‘I
was the last person to see them’
Repeated footage of IH claiming to be the last person to speak to them.
DC: “How does he know he is the last person? If they were abducted by somebody else, somebody else would have seen them.”
of other press conferences featured in the programme.
Voiceover: “Other killers don’t appear so composed
under the spotlight. The ones that look for public sympathy by shedding tears.”
Footage of Paul Dyson, crying.
“I love her to bits. I just want her back.”
Voiceover: “But what lies behind the tears? Are they
for real or just for show?
End of part two.
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 3, 29 May 2009
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 3
29 May 2009
Transcript by 'constant_dieter'
Footage of press conferences
Voiceover: “It’s rare for there
to be a high-profile criminal case in Britain without a major TV and media press conference or personal appeal, often transmitted
live into the nation’s living rooms. The bereaved relative is put before the cameras to help the police gather vital
evidence and to elicit sympathy from the public. The emotion appears raw but sometimes it’s fake.”
footage. Men in white forensic suits in a woodland.
Reporter: “It’s now more than three weeks since mother-of-two
Kirsi Gifford-Hull was reported missing from her home in Winchester. And 5 days ago her husband, Michael, made an emotional
appeal for information.”
Footage of Michael Gifford-Hull at press conference.
MG-H: “Please come
back. I want you back. The kids want you back. The kids need you back. I need you back. Please get in touch. Please come back.”
“Less than three weeks before this press conference, this same man, Gifford-Hull, had murdered his wife and buried her
in nearby woods.”
RC: “You just know that at the back of their eyes they’re thinking ‘How did
I ever get here? How did I get into this? Why did I ever think that killing this person or committing this terrible act was
going to be a good idea, that would solve my problems?”
G-H at press conference: “If anyone has seen her,
please let us know where she is.”
Prof PE: “Normally in a blink it opens and closes in an instant.”
of G-H at press conference blinking slowly
Prof PE: “But a longer eyelid closure, which we have found in the
past is a sign that the person is thinking a lot about what to say.”
Footage of G-H at press conference
“There’s two small children who are going frantic…who are desperate for their mother. Thank you.”
“Eventually they probably manage to squeeze out a few crocodile tears, thinking of something sad but they’re not
crying for their lost loved one or whatever they’ve done. They’re crying for themselves.”
“People are impressed by the tears that are generated by a lot of these people who fake grief. But talk to any actor
about how they generate tears. They do it by drawing upon their actual emotional experiences and in these cases the individuals
are going through certain emotional traumas in relation to what they’ve been involved in.”
Picture of Paul
Voiceover: “Like Paul Dyson who strangled his fiancée, Joanne Nelson, in Hull in 2005.”
of Joanne Nelson.
News footage of Paul Dyson at home with a photo of Joanne.
Reporter: “Yesterday it was
the turn of her boyfriend to appeal for the woman he said was one in a million to get in touch.”
“She’s absolutely beautiful. Real bubbly. Real outgoing. Real forward. Really friendly. I love her.”
PE: “The best way to mask a lie is with a strong emotional display that could be appropriate to the situation.”
of the Valentine cards in PD’s front room.
Voiceover: “He’d murdered Joanne on a Sunday morning,
the day before Valentine’s Day. He spent Sunday afternoon clearing the evidence and disposing of her body.”
of CCTV showing PD in a shop
Voiceover: “CCTV footage from a local shop shows Dyson buying cleaning products
and bin bags, which he then uses to wrap Joanne’s body.”
CCTV footage of PD at a petrol station
“And at this petrol station Dyson casually buys petrol while his girlfriend’s body lies in the boot of the car.
But to a TV crew he’d given a detailed account of a loving Monday morning kiss and cuddle. The reality was, he’d
already buried her body,”
Footage of PD crying in living room
PD: “We’d…Monday morning,
because I couldn’t get Valentine’s Day off, erm, we swapped cards upstairs. Sniffs. Erm, I gave her a kiss and
a cuddle, got ready for work. She was going to get her head down for another hour or so. Got back in bed. Cuddled her. Kissed
her goodbye. Went to work.”
Prof DC: “He is crying about what he has done.”
PD crying in living
PD: “I love her to bits. I just want her back”.
Holding a photo of Joanne.
“He says of his victim she’s the only person I ever loved. I would like her back. Clearly he is deeply upset about
what he has done. But we interpret it as if he’s really asking for somebody to come forward.”
want to know where she is.” More crying.
Prof DC: “You can see that he has an enormous amount of remorse
about what he did and that’s what he’s expressing. And that’s why it’s not surprising that he did
actually eventually confess.”
Footage of a car driving fast down a country lane.
1996. Alvechurch, just south of Birmingham. The case that almost defines the term ‘crocodile tears’. This time,
thought, the murderer does not confess their guilt. Former glamour model, Tracey Andrews, is a passenger in a car driven by
her fiancé, Lee Harvey. They’re on their way home from a night at the pub. They get into a road rage wrangle with another
car. It escalates out of control and Lee is murdered. At least, that’s what Tracey Andrews tells the police.”
“It was a huge story. Road rage was the flavour of the month, in terms of news. There had been various incidents. It
was a new concept and nobody could quite believe at that time that people would get out of their cars to start fighting each
other over some imagined sleight which had happened on the road. And now here we had the road rage murder. And not only was
it a road rage murder, it involved a pretty blonde and additionally her boyfriend, a good-looking young man.”
report from the time.
Reporter: “Here Lee Harvey lost his life because of road rage. His Escort Turbo was chased
from Bromsgrove to Alvechurch at 60 miles an hour down narrow country lanes.”
Ian Johnston, West Mercia Police:
“There was no evidence to contradict what Tracey was saying at that stage. Hers was the only evidence that the inquiry
had at that particular moment. It was feasible. We had to go forward on what she was saying.”
Footage of press conference
Voiceover: “Immediately, the police call a press conference. Tracey Andrews
takes centre stage.”
News report of the press conference.
Reporter: “At Redditch police station
Lee Harvey’s girlfriend, accompanied by his parents, bravely came forward to appeal for information.”
“I was astonished that this young lady was being put up to the media so quickly.”
IJ: “The police
are well aware that the media is a very effective tool, and particularly in these sorts of cases where you haven’t got
a lot of evidence to start off with.”
Footage of Tracey Andrews walking into the press conference in slow motion
“When she walked through the door the atmosphere was electric. All the photographers’ motor drives started going
off immediately like a choir. That always adds to the tension, the expectation, the electricity and there was a tremendous
sense of anticipation as she was shown to her chair.”
Footage of the press conference. Tracey Andrews is crying.
“Both Lee and the other person were playing cat and mouse with each other for a while.”
was clearly upset. She was shivering. She was pale. She had all the hallmarks of a woman who had been through this sort of
Pictures of TA in her modelling days (to show the difference in her appearance)
we had seen pictures by that time of… She had posed for some modelling shots with her face fully made up. The person
who presented herself was in totally marked contrast to that. No make up, obviously. Black eyes. Black and bruised face. Red-eyed.
She looked every inch the victim that she was portraying herself to be.”
Footage of press conference
“And then I got out the car because I’m not the sort of person to sit there. I got out the car and then I went
over to the man. We had a confrontation. He hit me. I can’t remember. I fell to the floor. I can’t remember if
I was… knocked out for a bit or what. I don’t know, but…”
DC: “The interesting thing
about Tracey Andrews is she was a model so she’s actually quite used to being in front of cameras and photographed and
I think her confidence in giving an account of what happened to her and her willingness to portray it is drawing on her being
used to being in front of cameras and she has her hair down in front of her face so that she doesn’t actually need to
show too much of her… of her face in this process.”
RC: “But there was a moment about half-way through
where she started to mention the ‘starey eyes’ of one of the men who had apparently been involved in the attack
TA: “It was just the way he looked. His eyes. He had starey eyes.”
“And her eyes flashed. And what you saw in that moment was that the woman is capable of rage.”
TA looking very angry
RC: “And again all the motor drives hit instantly on that moment. Even if you just sort
of missed it or she’d been looking the other way or whatever… The fact that all the photographers reacted meant
that everybody’s eyes were focused on this brief flash of anger which was instantly controlled and contained.”
PE: “She gives an account without being asked questions, without being prompted. That suggests that she prepared what
she would say. She did her homework.”
Press conference – TA sitting holding hands with Lee’s mother
who is holding hands with Lee’s father
Voiceover: “Tracey grows in confidence as she tells her story. And
she takes one step further than the police expect.”
off. It was nothing to do with the driver. And all I want to say is please will the driver of the car just come forward because
you are not blame for this. And I know that.”
RC: “So often when you see someone involved in these situations
in these press conferences, they…they…kind of over-egg the pudding. They over-do the story. They get the details
TA: “Please, just tell us who he is because you won’t get in any
trouble at all. It was not your fault.”
RC: “Now, you just have to think about this. This guy, the driver,
had been involved in, according to Tracey, a cat and mouse game in which he pursued them up country lanes. He was absolutely
complicit in what happened. He may not have dealt the actual blows, according to her story, but he’s the one who overtook
their car. He’s the one that forced their car to a halt. He is utterly complicit. How can he be forgiven 48 hours later?”
“If she was lying, then I didn’t want to stop her lying. I wanted her to lie even more.”
of press conference – Tracey is leaving.
RC: “We all gathered outside…er…as we tend to do and
just sort of said ‘What do you think?’ and we all kind of looked at each other and I thought ‘I think she
Footage of Ian Johnston driving down a country lane
IJ: “After the press conference
we were going to move on into things like timelines and fine detail and all that sort of thing, making sure that we got the
exact story and then we found that she’d taken this overdose. Now I have no doubt about it that this was a serious attempt
by her to commit suicide.”
Footage of police forensic activity at the scene
Voiceover: “While Tracey
Andrews recovers from her attempted suicide in the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, the evidence against her begins to mount
RC: “We now knew that the timings didn’t add up. However you stacked it. However you tried to
do it, we drove the route ourselves and did all that kind of stuff. You just could not make what was alleged to have happened
fit in that timescale.”
Maureen Harvery (Lee’s mother): “This murder had actually happened outside
Cooper’s Cottage and obviously the little girl that lived there had given her statement to the police. And she thought
there was a man and a woman arguing. That was her description of what went on.”
RC: “And we had heard about
a man and a woman who had been driving on a route that coincided with Lee Harvey’s and Tracey Andrews’ that night.
Their paths had crossed. And they saw no sign whatsoever of a pursuing car.”
Footage of Tracey Andrews’
IJ: “On the Saturday she was released from the Alexandra and she was arrested.”
News reporter: “The police said it was a knife like this one with which Lee Harvey was stabbed. Blood
stains on Andrews’ sweater also showed she was very close to Harvey when he was attacked.”
must have struck her the face. She’s got out of the car. He’s got out of the car. The forensic evidence indicated
that they’d met at the back of the car and she’s turned round and she’s stabbed him straight in the neck.
She must have totally lost all control and I envisage that at this stage she was sat over him repeatedly stabbing him at his
neck. Lee had been stabbed 42 times in total.”
Court sketches of the trial
IJ: “At the trial I didn’t
feel anymore confident than 50:50 that we would obtain a conviction in this case.”
RC: “Juries give the
benefit of the doubt. And I was no means convinced that a jury would convict on the evidence. By no means convinced.”
“She sat there with crocodile tears and she sat there and she lied to the world and to me.”
convinced herself that there was feasibility in this and all she had to do was stick to script and keep going.”
“And the prosecution QC just took her story apart over 3 days. When you thought there was nothing more he could ask
her, he just kept on remorselessly going over her story with her, checking the details. There were some parts of her story
which she apparently remembered in great detail perfectly and other parts of it that all she could say was constantly ‘I
don’t know’, ‘I can’t remember’, ‘I don’t know’. And in the end, the cumulative
effect of all that ‘I don’t know I can’t remember’ was just it’s an invented story.”
of TA entering court for the verdict
Reporter: “She was branded a killer by the police, a woman of profound deceit
by the prosecution and the jury agreed. In through the front door, 90 minutes later she was in a cell waiting to go out the
back door in a prison van.”
Footage of press conference again, showing Maureen Harvey holding TA’s hand
“For Lee Harvey’s mother, who had even held hands with Tracey at the press conference, it was the story she didn’t
want to hear.”
MH: “I wanted it to be the story that she’d told. And I preferred that story. I wanted
Lee to die in the arms of his lover. Not at the hands of his lover. And this is what had happened. She’s stabbed him
and he’d died at the hands of his fiancée, the girl he was going to marry.”
Footage of Lee Harvey and TA
followed by Craig Meehan and KM
Voiceover: “It was the betrayal of a lover. After the break, how the world discovered
the betrayal of a mother.”
End of Part Three.
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 4, 29 May 2009
Tears, Lies and Videotape - The Transcript: Part 4
29 May 2009
Transcript by 'constant_dieter'
Aerial footage of housing estate where Shannon Matthews was found
“The long search for Shannon Matthews ended just over a mile from her home.”
Second reporter: “Their
hunt leads to a house in Dewsbury. Shannon Matthews is found alive.”
Reporter: “The back door kicked in
by police who went inside to find nine-year-old Shannon hidden in the base of a divan bed.”
Picture of Shannon
“When Shannon Matthews was found alive after being missing for 24 days, there was nationwide relief.”
of neighbours hugging each other and the party in the street
Voiceover: “In Dewsbury Moor, where people had put
so much effort into finding her, it’s a time for celebration.”
Children shouting “Shannon! Shannon!”
Fireworks going off
Voiceover: “But one person didn’t seem to be sharing the celebratory mood.”
of KM and Craig Meehan outside the house with a policewoman
Voiceover: “Shannon’s mother, Karen.”
DC: “When Shannon was found and they got filmed, she seems a bit shocked and surprised by the whole situation. She would
have been thinking to herself ‘I wonder how she’s been found, I wonder what’s going on’ and that’s
clearly expressed on her face.”
Voiceover: “She even needs to be told to look happy.”
“We were watching it on the telly and we’re giving it ‘She ain’t smiling, she ain’t smiling’.
So we just opened the front door slightly and shouted ‘For God’s sake, Karen, smile!”
Karen turning around to look at the front door and then turning back round, smiling. Crowd outside the house cheers
“My suspicions really started to prickle that something wasn’t right within 24 hours of Shannon being found.”
of Shannon with a dog
Voiceover: “Shannon had been found in the house of Michael Donovan, who – it turns
out – is the uncle of Karen’s partner, Craig.”
Footage of KM and Craig leaving the house
“Once it was released who she was found with, then people’s minds started thinking ‘Well, hang on, with
family?’ It just didn’t make sense.
Pictures of KM being taken to court
days later, Donovan is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. But the spotlight was turning onto Karen herself. Had
Karen known where her daughter was all along?
Footage of press conference
KM at press conference: “Well
I think there’s somebody out there who knows Shannon…they probably know me as well…”
of police activity
Voiceover: “Had Karen allowed Shannon to be abducted? If so, why had she done it?”
“The rumours, and I’m not sure where they were coming from but the community were fantastically well informed,
really started to crank up that Karen had had some sort of involvement.”
Voiceover: “Local women, Natalie
Brown and Julie Bushby decide to confront Karen with their theory of what she had done.”
JB: “Well basically
me and Natalie were sat talking on the Saturday night and Natalie went ‘Do you know I’d love to be able to speak
to Karen.’ So I went ‘Well, I’ll see if I can arrange it, if you want.’ So we met her at 6 o’clock
down in Batley.”
Footage of the local area
Voiceover: “Karen is driven to the rendez-vous by a police
liaison officer, Christine Freeman.”
RE: “Then the two women got into the back of Christine and Karen’s
car and Natalie said that the rumours had been going round the estate and asked her quite bluntly ‘Were you involved?’
saying to her that she believed that Karen had known where Shannon was all along and Karen replied ‘Yes, it’s
JB: “She was sobbing and they weren’t crocodile tears. They were proper tears. They
were proper tears. It was the first time I had actually heard her cry that way.”
Footage of police cars
“Karen was immediately arrested.”
JB: “We weren’t looking for all the signs then. We have now,
obviously. We’ve sat down and thought about it and there is a lot of tell-tale signs there. But at that moment in time
it wasn’t about Karen. It was about a nine-year-old child.”
PJ: “She told that many lies to me and
everybody else. She just made a fool of everyone.”
Footage of KM and Craig during the search
performances were Oscar-winning and I don’t hesitate to hold my hands up and say that I, like everyone else, was absolutely
taken in by her.”
JB: “People felt anger, frustration. Yeah, I suppose they felt a lot like me. Used. Used
Footage of neighbours carrying a banner during the search
MA: “Everyone just got taken
for idiots. I think everyone just pulled back after that. Just being used made us look stupid.”
felt like I’d been punched in the stomach by someone I trusted.”
MA: “She’ll get out. Sell
her story, no doubt. Then she’ll be off. No problems. It’s Shannon now. And Shannon’s brothers and sisters.
She’s hurt all them people and she’s not bothered. So long as she’s alright herself.”
of boarded-up house, former home of KM
Voiceover: “Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan were both sentenced to
8 years for kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Shannon. Even after the trial, it was still no clearer as to why Karen had
allowed her own daughter to be abducted.”
MA: “To be honest, I just told Megan straight away it was Shannon’s
mum that had something to do with it. ‘Why? Why would her mum do that to her?’ ‘I can’t tell you that.
I’ve no idea’ and then it’s just ‘Why? Why? Why?’”
Picture of KM in handcuffs
DC: “I think the claim that Karen and Donovan were somehow or other setting things up to get some reward money for finding
Shannon doesn’t really hold a lot of water. It’s very difficult to work out how they thought that could happen.”
“I personally don’t think it was for the reward. I don’t know what it was for. I don’t know…
It could have been attention.”
Footage of a taxi driving along a street
Voiceover: “It’s now
a year since Karen was arrested. Is she ready to give us anymore answers?”
Julie is in the back of the taxi
“Julie Bushby visits Karen in prison to see if she’s ready to talk.”
Taxi turns down a road sign
posted ‘HM Prison’
JB: “I just said ‘Why did you do it?’ and she just glared at me actually
and then says ‘I didn’t do it’ She’s adamant she’s totally innocent. Absolutely adamant. I mean,
a year on and she’s still coming out with the same story. Well, she’s still claiming that she’s innocent
and she’s being used as the scapegoat but I think she’s lying to herself that much that she’s convinced
herself. But…it was worth a try.”
Footage of press conferences
Voiceover: “Have Karen and
others like her made it impossible now for anyone else in that situation to be believed?”
MA: “If someone
goes missing and you come on TV and appeal for them, straight away people are going to think you’ve got something to
do with it. This is what’s annoying. There are genuine people out there who do want their loved one back and they are
innocent but it’s people like Karen and others that make you question them.”
JB: “You’ll always
be there looking now. Looking for a tell-tale sign in their eyes, their mouth, the words. Looking for that little grin.”
DC: “People will always be curious about whether they’re telling the truth or not and I think now with all these
cases of crocodile tears, the public will be even more sceptical.”
IJ: “As a result of the Tracey Andrews
case I am more sceptical about victims. You know, you start to look to see if you can spot the flaws. You start to think about
whether they’ve set themselves on this sort of story or not.”
JB: “I’d do it again. If a child
went missing again I’d do it again.”
RC: “I don’t think my attitude has changed. I think that
genuine people making public appeals touch my heart now just as much as they ever did. And I can give you an example. The
McCanns. Clearly innocent. Absolutely clearly innocent. And they have my greatest sympathy. Nothing’s changed.”
“What I’ve been concentrating on, as hopefully have a lot of people, is that there is actually a happy ending
to this, in that Shannon was found. She was found safe and she’s now going to go on to a better life.”
with a picture of Shannon Matthews
Television villains: crocodile tears, lies and videotape, 18 May 2009
Television villains: crocodile tears, lies and videotape Timesonline
A generation of criminals brought up on reality TV shows us how easily the camera – or those in front of it –
May 18, 2009
We live in a media-savvy
age. The game shows and endless coverage of the lives of ordinary people that is called "reality television" educate all who
watch how to act in front of the cameras. They also provide a way of shaping the meaning of what people do. Children no longer
aspire to be train drivers or astronauts, as they did in the past, but to be "famous". This means appearing on television.
People used to be shy of cameras but now many feel their identity is only given form when it is broadcast on television.
Yet there is a price to pay for this growing sophistication and desire to engage with public broadcasts. It can easily be
hijacked. A new generation of criminals seems to be emerging who use their time in front of the cameras, shedding tears in
public, as a way of maintaining their fictional stories.
In contributing to the documentary Tears, Lies and Videotape, I had the opportunity to study the television appearances
of a number of people who claimed to be searching for a missing partner or child whom it later turned out they had killed
or helped to abduct. Their understanding of how the media works and their ability to pluck the public heartstrings was masterly.
Yet none of these people were particularly intelligent or sophisticated. Nonetheless they showed that you do not need any
training as an actor, or a part in a Mike Leigh film, to be able to improvise a fictitious role in front of the television
We have no obvious label for these cases where the culprit appeals for help, other than them exhibiting crocodile tears,
so let us call them "crocodiles". These crocodiles teach us the mechanisms by which big lies are perpetrated. They hook into
a plausible story of the moment.
Tracie Andrews claimed that her partner Lee Harvey had been attacked in an incident that was quickly labelled "road rage".
As a former model she was comfortable in front of the cameras and so confidently invented a story of being attacked by a driver
who had played "cat and mouse" and had "staring eyes". She took advantage of the headline clichés created by current "rages",
from "air rage" to "shop rage". These imply a sudden, unthinking outburst of violence, so that by making reference to them
no further elaboration seems necessary. The lie is supported by the implicit story in which it is embedded.
The most telling example of how our susceptibility to an apparently plausible sob story can be manipulated was when Karen
Matthews declared that her daughter Shannon had gone missing. As often happens when such cases hit the headlines I was approached
by journalists and asked to provide a "profile" of the sort of person who would have abducted Shannon. The assumption was
that there were close parallels to Madeleine McCann's case. When I pointed out the differences in the age of the victim, the
locality, how the child had vanished and the family circumstances, my response was treated with some surprise. When she was
found to be involved in her daughter's abduction, the news was then about what a clever actress she had been. But watching
the recordings of her during the period her daughter was missing shows that she never really had to lie directly at all. She
did what many people do when they want to be deceptive. She played to the expectations of those around her.
On a number of occasions Matthews actually told the truth, but it was interpreted to fit in with an abduction scenario.
She said she was sure that Shannon was alive and being held by someone nearby who knew Shannon and her as well. She even hinted
that she felt she could no longer trust those close to her. In her television appeals Matthews emphasised how Shannon's father
and her family was missing her. The hole that might have been expected in Matthews's own life was never expressed. With hindsight
even her initial 999 call was a rather formal "I want to report my daughter is missing".
In earlier studies I have done it emerged that false calls to 999 are often distinct from genuine ones by the false caller's
determination to get the message across, as opposed to expressing the anxiety and emotion of a real situation.
Perhaps we should not be so surprised at Matthews's ability to deceive so many people for so long. Studies have shown
that police officers are no better at telling whether someone is lying or not than anyone else. Most of us find it far more
difficult to spot deception than we realise. If you wanted to reach for a Darwinian interpretation of this weakness we all
have, then it may be argued that the hominids who could dissimulate most effectively were most likely to mate, so effective
deception has become hard-wired into our very beings.
Detectives identify liars because they tend to assume that most people talking to them are being economical with the
truth, especially if their interviewees are known to have committed crimes in the past. But when their interlocutors are apparently
the victims of a crime, there is a tendency to respond with sympathy rather than suspicion. This concern is especially likely
when the account given by the victim fits well with a storyline that we have all come to accept from earlier headlines and
saturation television coverage.
We interpret how these apparent victims act in the frame of the many factual and fictional accounts of crime that fill
the media. When Paul Dyson appealed for help to find his missing partner Joanne Nelson he said she meant the world to him
and he missed her terribly. He shed real tears. Given the outpourings of genuine grief that are broadcast, it does not occur
to most of us that someone who kills in the anger and frustration of trying to prevent his loved one from leaving him will
quite honestly say he misses the victim and they were the most important person in his life. He will even be telling the truth
when he says, as Dyson did, that he wants her back.
As in other forms of economy the ready currency of grief undermines its value. For a while false sorrow is squandered.
The problem this causes is that it can then become valueless. Other stories take the place of the distraught parent or partner
and narratives of devious "crocodiles" replace them. As long as exciting stories float free of the facts then the media and
the police may be convinced by them. We have to distinguish between reality and the images that appear on our screens. It
is only when we dig behind the headlines that the truth will emerge.
David Canter is Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Tears, Lies and Videotape
is on ITV1 tonight at 9pm
Shannon's Mother 'Believes Her Own Lies', 18 May 2009
MEET the two sides of the social class coin in Britain: Karen Matthews and Kate McCann. From parallel socioeconomic worlds,
the two women are bound by perhaps the most traumatic experience a parent can have: the disappearance of a child.
Ms Matthews' nine-year-old daughter Shannon, from West Yorkshire, has been missing since February 19. Madeleine McCann,
4, vanished from her bed in Portugal in May last year. It is suspected that both were abducted.
The unkind have depicted the two mothers as Waynetta Slob — Britain's most famous underclass stereotype —
versus Kate Moss — darling of the glamour set. They have compared Ms Matthews' seven children by five fathers and her
22-year-old boyfriend with Mrs McCann's IVF-conceived twins and heart-surgeon husband. The high-minded say these things should
not matter; it is the missing girls that are important. But it is clear that the perception of class does matter when trying
to capture the public's imagination.
You may not have heard of Shannon Matthews. The little girl, from an impoverished council estate in Dewsbury in Britain's
north, disappeared as she walked home after a swimming class. The police have deployed 350 officers and 60 detectives to the
search, joined by innumerable local volunteers. A reward of £25,000 ($A55,000) has been raised, with The Sun contributing
You will have heard of Madeleine McCann, who vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal last May. Her comfortable
home in Leicestershire, in the East Midlands, became the site of a media stakeout after her parents, Gerry, a cardiologist,
and Kate, a GP, returned to Britain.
At this point in Madeleine's disappearance last year, £2.5 million had been raised, with contributions from Sir Richard
Branson and J. K. Rowling. Celebrities including David Beckham publicly appealed and the McCanns had begun their sophisticated
media strategy: daily briefings, a website, experienced representatives and eventually, a meeting with the Pope and the appointment
of a private detective agency.
A distressed Kate McCann: lean, blonde and articulate, clutching her daughter's soft toy and wearing a yellow ribbon
of hope, was the figurehead from the outset. Amid accusations of police incompetence, the McCanns were declared suspects but
have never been charged. A commentator in the Daily Mail wailed: "This kind of thing doesn't usually happen to people
It was two weeks after Shannon's disappearance before her mother, 32, was put before the television cameras. With no
make-up, hair askew, wearing a T-shirt saying "Help find Shannon", Ms Matthews looked the essence of working-class Britain.
She, too, clutched her daughter's teddy bear and tearfully appealed for information. But Shannon did not make the front pages.
In the first 16 days of Madeleine's disappearance, 519 articles were written about her in Britain. By Wednesday, 16 days after
Shannon went missing, she had received 111 mentions.
A former Daily Mirror editor and media commentator with The Guardian, Roy Greenslade, appraises public
perception and media judgement. "The mother (Karen Matthews) is unsympathetic. This is a dysfunctional family, and people
feel, 'Does she not bring this upon herself? Is she not the author of her own misfortune?' " He says Ms Matthews represents
an underclass that Daily Mail readers and their like cannot and do not want to relate to.
But the McCanns, he says, with their seemingly respectable lives, represent the aspirations of Middle England. "It shouldn't
matter. But it does. This is a really difficult thing for editors. They don't like talking about this aspect because it really
does betray the unspoken way they make their mind up."
This is not what Gordon Brown had hoped for Britain under his reign. In his first Labour Party conference address as
Prime Minister in September, he said: "A class-free society is not a slogan but in Britain can become a reality … I
stand for a Britain that supports as first-class citizens not just some children and some families, but (that) supports all
children and all families."
He may have a long way to go. In a Guardian/ICM poll in October, nearly 90% of respondents said people were still
judged by their class. The poorest were most aware of its influence, with 55% saying that class, not ability, affected the
way they were judged.
But there has been a backlash. In radio talkback and online forums, people are criticising the perceived media prejudice.
In a forum on the Government's family support website, one parent said that the McCanns were neglectful by leaving their children
alone in the apartment when Madeleine disappeared: "If they were from a sink council housing estate, and looked like (the
boorish Little Britain character) Vicky Pollard, the press would have been screaming for their blood."
Julie Bushby, who chairs the tenants association on the estate where Shannon lives, said: "Listen, we're not pissed out
of our trees or high as a kite all the time, like they associate with council estates. Ninety per cent of people here work."
A major difficulty has been a lack of funding to put into a PR campaign for Shannon. Greenslade points out that the coverage
of Madeleine has been disproportionate; that she disappeared in a foreign country during the northern summer "silly season"
when news dries up. But, he concedes, appearances do count: where there is a multitude of images and video footage of Madeleine
to run on TV and websites, there is one stark school photo of Shannon, and grainy CCTV footage of her leaving the swimming
pool. "One doesn't want to be rude about the Matthews family," he says. "But cuteness, prettiness, beauty does play a part.
The most important thing there (for media attention) is the image."
But pretty or not, underclass or Middle England, even the greatest level of public awareness and sympathy may not win
either of these little girls back to their desperate families.
Shannon Matthews kidnap 'inspired by donations to Madeleine McCann fund', 04
Shannon Matthews kidnap 'inspired by donations to Madeleine
McCann fund' Telegraph
Karen Mathews with Shannon's cuddly toy
Karen Matthews arranged her own daughter Shannon's kidnap after being inspired by the huge public
donations to the Madeleine McCann fund, police believe.
By Paul Stokes Last
Updated: 8:07PM GMT 04 Dec 2008
Matthews hoped her wicked scheme would generate an outpouring of generosity
and reward money which she and her accomplice Michael Donovan could pocket for themselves.
People claiming to be
members of Shannon's family approached representatives of the McCann fund asking for a share of the £1 million which
had at that time been raised to help in the search for Madeleine.
And as Matthews and Donovan were convicted of
kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice, the man who led the 24-day search for Shannon said he was
in no doubt about the link to the Madeleine case.
Det Supt Andy Brennan, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Madeleine
McCann gave them the idea - the fund money. Clearly the McCann case was still in everybody's mind. Karen Matthews is pure
evil. It's difficult to understand what type of mother would subject her own daughter to such a wicked and evil crime."
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, said: "It's beyond belief
anyone could have sought to exploit poor Madeleine's plight in this way."
Neither Matthews, 33, nor Donovan,
40, showed any emotion as a jury at Leeds Crown Court returned unanimous guilty verdicts after six hours' deliberation.
The judge warned them that they both face lengthy prison terms when they are sentenced at a later date.
impassive reaction was in stark contrast to the tearful public appeals she made for the return of her nine-year-old daughter
after she went missing on her way home from school in Dewbury in February this year.
Her television appearances
were a sham, designed to maximise the reward money on offer, while Shannon was kept drugged and tethered at Donovan's
home a mile away.
Donovan, an uncle of Matthews's then boyfriend Craig Meehan, had his own two daughters taken
away from him after he allegedly made them watch him having sex with prostitutes, and detectives believe that if they had
not caught him on the day they did, Shannon would not have survived.
Donovan had started packing bags ready to
leave his first-floor flat in Batley Carr, fearing he was about to be discovered, and Det Supt Brennan said: "It's
my belief that had Donovan taken the opportunity and escaped from Batley Carr on the day Shannon was rescued, I don't
believe that we would have recovered her alive."
The search for Shannon cost £3.2million and involved
300 police officers, many of whom had to set aside rape and murder investigations to help with the manhunt.
was eventually found alongside Donovan in a space under a divan bed in his flat after neighbours told police they had heard
a child moving around inside the flat.
As he was driven away Donovan told officers: "Get Karen down here,
we'd got a plan, we're sharing the money - £50,000."
Donovan told police the idea had been for
him to release Shannon at Dewsbury market before "finding" her in the view of CCTV cameras and handing her in to
police before claiming the reward.
Petra Jamieson, 38, who supported Matthews and took part in the searches, said:
"I, like all the neighbours, had stood by her. I just can't believe it. We will have to do police checks on our friends
in the future."
An investigation is now underway into whether social services could have done more to protect
Matthews's children. Matthews had seven children by five fathers. Four of the children lived with her.
She came from the wrong sort of family for many to care, 05
She came from the wrong sort of family for many to care Timesonline
Andrew Norfolk: Commentary
December 5, 2008 (first appeared online December 4, 2008)
The empty family home of Shannon Matthews
We all cared a lot in the days after she was found, when the blame for
the disappearance of Shannon Matthews moved ever closer to her own family's front door.
It was a rather different story during most of the 24 days when she was
In February, when Shannon was snatched on her way home from school, the
search for Madeleine McCann had been under way for more than nine months.
If a butterfly fluttered its wings in the Portuguese holiday complex from
which Madeleine was taken, the incident was still being reported with breathless urgency.
She was a photogenic little girl,
approaching her fourth birthday, who vanished on holiday with her articulate, middle-class parents.
Shannon, also quite cute on camera,
was from a sink estate in a troubled northern mill town that had seen far happier days. There was no eloquent spokesman to
appear on her behalf.
West Yorkshire Police threw unprecedented
resources into finding the missing child. The residents of Dewsbury Moor did their best to assist the search.
Yet the nation's concern appeared
short-lived. The story ran for a couple of days, then interest dwindled. With the exception of the regional media and a few
tabloids, attention moved elsewhere.
We wanted a Miss Marple mystery.
We got Shameless without the humour. After a fortnight, the hunt for Shannon was already deemed less newsworthy than
the most tenuous development in Praia da Luz.
Madeleine joined a list of missing
girls whose fate gripped the country and whose names resound sadly to this day. It includes Sarah Payne, Holly Wells and Jessica
Not so Shannon. It was not her
fault, but the nine-year-old came from the wrong sort of family. She also broke the rules of such narratives by being found
And here the tale did become interesting.
If what was lacking before then was the sympathy born of a sense of identification with the main characters, now came a gleeful
injection of condemnation.
Those same players who proved incapable
of tugging sufficient heartstrings turned out to be the very ones responsible for Shannon's disappearance.
As grief-stricken parents, they
had been a letdown. Recast as Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews monstrous villains, they fitted the bill perfectly.
There is no small irony in the
police's belief that it was probably saturation coverage of the McCann story that first inspired Karen Matthews to plan her
own daughter's abduction.
The Find Madeleine Fund raised
more than £1 million in public donations. Reward money offered for her safe return totalled £2.5 million.
If Shannon's mother thought her
daughter might be worth a similar amount, she was mistaken.
But a newspaper did eventually
offer a £50,000 reward. For someone who placed such a small price on her daughter's welfare and security, that must have seemed
like a prince's ransom.
Shannon's family pestered McCanns for money but couple were warned off
by police, 05 December 2008
Shannon's family pestered McCanns for money but couple were warned off by police Daily Mail
By NICOLA BODEN
Last updated at 12:36 PM on 05th December 2008
Relatives of Shannon
Matthews pestered the parents of Madeleine McCann for money during the police hunt to find the missing schoolgirl, it emerged
Kate and Gerry McCann received phone calls and e-mails from the schoolgirl's
family demanding they donate some of the money donated to them by well-wishers.
One man even hammered on the door of their home just as the couple - who have
now been searching for Madeleine for 20 months - were leaving for Church.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'They were quite blunt - saying things
like "Madeleine's family has got loads of money and we want some for Shannon".'
The McCanns set up the Find Madeleine Fund after their daughter, then three,
vanished from their holiday in Portugal's Algarve region in May 2007.
By the time Shannon was kidnapped this February, more than £1million had been
donated but Madeleine was still missing.
Detectives believe Karen Matthews was inspired to stage her own daughter's abduction
by the McCanns' plight and how it had captured public feeling.
Her trial was told she hatched an 'evil' plot with Shannon's uncle Michael Donovan
to pretend her daughter had been kidnapped and then claim the reward money.
Amazingly, even during the hunt for the nine-year-old, relatives - allegedly
acting on Matthews' behalf - made several approaches to the McCanns.
Unaware the whole abduction was a scam by Shannon's own mother, Mrs McCann was
said to have been particularly affected by the girl's disappearance.
She and her husband were on the verge of giving £25,000 from the money raised
to find their own daughter when they were warned off by police.
Mr Mitchell told the Sun: 'Before anything was done, we had advice from the police
that no money should be handed over.
'We were told about certain things that had come to light during investigations.
It is beyond belief that anyone could have sought to exploit poor Madeleine's plight in this way.'
It was revealed after Matthews' arrest that there had been a 'number of approaches'
made to the McCanns by Shannon's relatives, either directly or indirectly.
At the time, the official reason for not donation was that 'the fund had decided
against getting involved' and no reasons were given.
The couple are now said to be horrified that their daughter's disappearance and
the £1million they raised to help find her might have inspired Shannon's abduction.
They are also reportedly shocked that anyone could treat a child so callously,
especially her own mother.
Detective Supt Andy Brennan said: 'Clearly the McCann case was still fresh in
everybody's minds. A pretty young girl that people were looking for in Portugal - then suddenly there was Shannon missing
It has emerged that detectives suspected the family almost from the start and
placed two family liaison officers with Matthews to keep an eye on her.
She eventually cracked and admitted to friends - in front of one of the officers
- that she had known Shannon was safe all along.
Matthews and Shannon's uncle, Michael Donovan, were yesterday found guilty of
kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
Shannon, now 10, refused to go back and live with her mother after she was rescued
and before Matthews' admitted she had known her daughter was alive all along.
The 33-year-old has had seven children in total from at least five different
* Madeleine, then three, vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the
Algarve in May 2007 and is still missing.
Hackwatch, 14 December 2008
Hackwatch Private Eye(these articles appear in paper edition only)
(Coverage of the Shannon Matthews/Madeleine McCann cases)
Editon No. 1225, 12 December - 25 Dec. 2008
1. Spot the difference
was brought up in an area just like the one where Shannon lives. I've never been to the Dewsbury Moor estate but I know about
the people who live there... Our reaction to her disappearance has been tepid. It's as if we're saying that disadvantaged
Brits don't feel, don't hurt, don't 'do' emotion in the same way the middle classes do. Which is tosh... Karen Matthews
just isn't capable of mounting sophisticated media campaigns. She doesn't have the wherewithal or the connections of the McCanns.
But she IS doing her damnedest to save her little girl - and we have to help her. Because she's hurting every bit as much
as the McCanns are. Her agony, her angst, her guilt, eat into her soul just like they eat into Kate and Gerry's."
- Carole Malone, News of the World, 9 March
"Karen Matthews, Craig Meehan and his uncle Michael Donovan belonged to that
sub-human class that now exists in the murkiest, darkest corners of this country. A whole legion of people who contribute
nothing to society yet believe it owes them a living - good-for-nothing scroungers who have no morals, no compassion, no sense
of responsibility and who are incapable of feeling love or guilt. That is Karen Matthews's scummy world."
- Carole Malone, News of the World, 7 December
2. How Journalism Works
Describing the paper's coverage of the story, an unapologetic Sun managing director Graham Dudman last week
boasted "We were all over it... We took the story on its face value." Hopefully, however, Sun readers won't have
taken the paper's other revelations at face value. As the rag also reported: "Madeleine McCann's heart-broken parents
pledged £25,000 to help find missing Shannon after being pestered to on behalf of Shannon's grasping mum Karen... One man
even hammered on their front door demanding they chip in."
A police investigation earlier this year, following complaints by McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell, revealed that the
only man to visit the McCanns' home inquiring about their intentions towards the Matthews family was one Barry Keevins, a
freelance hack who had been told to do so by... the Sun. His thoughtful mission resulted in the paper's exclusive
of 25 February: "Kate and Gerry: 'We Pray for Shannon'."
How do killers fake tears?, 04 July 1998
How do killers fake tears? Daily
Mirror (paper edition)
By Don Mackay, Adrian
Shaw 04 July 1998
THEY are the killers who weep for their victims to save their own skins.
Sobbing fathers, husbands, mothers, wives and lovers beg before the cameras for help in tracking down the murderers of their
But theirs are the crocodile tears of those with blood on their hands.
Sion Jenkins - jailed
for life on Thursday for bludgeoning to death 13- year-old foster daughter Billie-Jo - is the latest brute who tried, and
failed, to con the world.
But, like others before him, was he trying to throw detectives off the scent? Or was
the knowledge that he had killed a young girl so appalling he could not admit to himself that he was guilty?
crimes are so awful those who do them blank out any responsibility. Paedophiles are notorious for transferring the blame to
Psychologist Ray Wyre said: "To them, there is no crime. It is all the child's fault for
being in a certain place at a certain time, or for smiling at them in a certain way."
Others fake their grief
and concern before news conferences in the cocky belief that by being brazen they will escape justice.
forensic psychologist Ian Stephen said: "It's similar to someone who joins the search for a missing person they have
killed. You are 'invisible' by being there and believe it will throw people off the scent."
ruse rarely works. Those pictured below thought they'd get away with murder. Now they are behind bars.
TEACHER Sion Jenkins appeared with wife Lois before the cameras just hours after he battered
to death his foster daughter Billie-Jo, left, in a frenzy of rage.
Apparently struggling to hold back tears, he
said: "As parents our sadness drives us to work closely with police to find her killer. We are totally devastated."
It was a cruel charade and once police began investigating, Jenkins' claims of innocence were exposed as a sham.
But to this day no one knows if the 40-year-old deputy head from Hastings, East Sussex, was putting on an act or denying
the truth to himself.
Police said: "He needed to control events and when they didn't go his way he'd
resort to violence. He has never accepted this."
BRUISED and weeping,
Tracie Andrews had all Britain fooled as she publicly pleaded for help in catching the road rage killer of her boyfriend Lee
Holding the hand of Lee's mother Maureen, 28-year-old Andrews told a news conference: "I
saw the man hit Lee. I went over to him and we had a confrontation. I told him to leave us alone and he called me a slut.
He had starey eyes. I can't say he seemed drunk but he seemed like he wasn't normal."
said her graphic description was the product of a tortured and guilt-racked imagination. Andrews, of Alvechurch, Hereford
and Worcester, stabbed 25-year-old Lee to death in a vicious row. She was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court in July
TECHNICIAN David Howells appealed for help in "nailing
the animal who has destroyed our lives" after wife Eve, left, was battered to death.
Unable to live with Eve's
bullying Howells, 46, of Huddersfield, had organised the killing with sons Glenn, 17, and John, 15. He was jailed for life
at Leeds Crown Court last year.
STUDENT John Tanner was so confident after
he strangled girlfriend Rachel McLean, right, he took part in a televised reconstruction of her last movements.
Tanner, 22, later confessed he had murdered 19-year-old Rachel, an Oxford University student, hiding her body under the floorboards
of her home. He was jailed for life in 1992.
GORDON Wardell tearfully
pleaded for the capture of a gang he said had killed his building society manger wife Carol, left, in a robbery. He said:
"I saw a man threatening her with a knife."
But Wardell, 42, of Meriden, Warwicks, carried out the killing
himself even tying himself up in a bid to fool police. He was jailed for life at Oxford in 1995.
BLACK widow Jean Daddow, who paid a hitman pounds 9,000 to kill financier Terry, wept as she declared on TV: "I
thought the world of my husband."
Daddow, 53, of Northiam, East Sussex, despised Terry, right, but realised
if she divorced him she would lose out on his £300,000 fortune. She was jailed for 18 years for plotting murder.
TWO days after his nine-year-old stepdaughter Zoe vanished, Miles Evans and
wife Paula made an emotional public plea for her return.
Sobbing with "distress", army driver Evans said:
"Zoe, we really want you home. We love you. You're going to get loads of hugs and kisses and there's a puppy
waiting just for you."
Detectives looked on as he spoke, having already marked the burly 24-year-old as a
prime suspect. Soon afterwards the body of Zoe, left, was found near her home in Warminster, Wilts. Evans had beaten and suffocated
The reason Zoe died remains a secret. Evans, a sullen loner, has always denied involvement and only once faltered
under intensive questioning before recovering his extraordinary self control. An officer said: "Only he knows why he
MASS killer Jeremy Bamber put on the greatest acting performance
of his life at the funeral of five members of his family who he massacred. Supported by girlfriend Julie Mugford, he wept
hysterically with his face contorted in a mask of grief.
Months earlier in August, 1985, the 23-year-old monster
had shot dead his adoptive father Nevill Bamber, 61, and, pictured right, his mother June Bamber, 61, half-sister Sheila "Bambi"
Caffell, 27, and her six-year twins Nicholas and Daniel.
Bamber, who wanted a £436,000 inheritance all for
himself, tried to make police believe it was Sheila who carried out the murders at the family home in Tolleshunt D'Arcy,
Essex, before killing herself. He was jailed for life in 1986.