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 Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

McCanns' Appeal For Donations & Case Review (Media Reports) *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 

Kate McCann, 02 November 2010

McCanns' Appeal For Donations & Case Review (Media Reports)

McCanns' press release, 03 November 2010

McCanns' press release, 03 November 2010


McCanns' press release, 03 November 2010

Updates, 03 November 2010

 
findmadeleine.com update, 03 November 2010

Wednesday, 3rd November, 2010

It is exactly three and a half years since our daughter Madeleine was so cruelly taken from us. Three and a half years without her seeing her brother, her sister, her Mummy, her Daddy or her best friends.

We are still searching for her. Our small team continues to review all available information, even though we STILL don't have access to ALL of the information that the UK and Portuguese authorities have. Our team has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, received over 1000 calls, dealt with over 15,000 emails and maintained a computerised database of all information they have received. Despite the difficulties resulting from lack of official assistance, they 'follow up' all new leads to try and get fresh information into the investigation.

It is incredible to think that for the last two years and three months NO police force has proactively been doing anything to help us find Madeleine. Crucially, there has been NO formal review of the material held by the police authorities - which is routine practice in most countries, and especially when a key piece of the 'jigsaw' may have been overlooked.

We have tried in vain to get the authorities to play their part but our requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. It is simply not acceptable that they have, to all intents and purposes, given up on Madeleine. We need the authorities to do more.

However we know we are not alone. We have the tremendous support of family, friends and of course you the public. A lot of this support comes in the form of people saying to us 'if there's anything we can do, just let us know or 'I'd like to help but I don't know how'. To these people, and indeed yourself, my plea is simple:

We need your support to continue to lobby the British and Portuguese Governments to undertake a joint or independent review of Madeleine's case.

How can you do this? Simply visit: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/madeleinemccann_case_review/ today and sign the petition to call on the UK and Portuguese authorities to conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine. And in turn, please spread the word and encourage as many others to do the same. Together we can, and will pull all of the loose ends of Madeleine's case together and find her. Thank you.

Looking for our daughter is not without significant cost.

Another way you can show your support is by continuing to help us fund the search for Madeleine.

To carry on searching for Madeleine and to ensure that the process has continued in a meaningful and proactive way, we have been able to utilise the generous donations paid in to Madeleine's Fund by the general public, libel damages paid to ourselves and our friends and money raised through a variety of fund-raising efforts. The fund has allowed;
  • Our investigation team of ex-police officers to operate and conduct enquiries in the UK, Portugal and further afield.
  • A Portuguese assistant/translator.
  • A 24 hour telephone line with translators to receive information from the public
  • Media liaison in Portugal and the UK to ensure that we convey the simple factual messages: there is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine has been physically harmed; we must keep looking for her and those who took her.
  • Awareness campaigns in Portugal, Spain and further afield.
  • Website hosting and development and social network site campaigns to raise awareness through the internet
  • A part-time campaign coordinator
If Madeleine's Fund remains as it is, with the current rate of expenditure, it will run out in Spring 2011. This would essentially mean that any kind of proactive search for Madeleine would cease. So again we need your help. If you can, please consider donating to Madeleine's fund.
  • £1 pays for the multi-lingual call centre availability for 1 hour
  • £2 per month pays for 12 travel packs that are distributed to holidaymakers going all over the world
  • £10 pays for 1000 posters that are translated and distributed across the world.
  • £25 pays for the access to a 24 hour multi-lingual telephone service for 1 day
  • £50 pays for the running costs of investigation office (and staff) for 2 hours
  • £420 pays for 10,000 multi-lingual prayer cards for Madeleine, with photograph and contact details
Someone knows what has happened to Madeleine. We simply need to reach that person. We need to obtain that key piece of information, that 'missing piece of the jigsaw'. One call may be all we need to find Madeleine and who took her.

Our little girl is now seven years old; innocent, vulnerable and waiting to be found. Please, please sign the petition and help us to find her.

On behalf of my family, thank you.

Gerry

McCanns' petition, 03 November 2010

McCanns' petition, 03 November 2010

McCanns: We fear the hunt for Maddie is over, 03 November 2010
McCanns: We fear the hunt for Maddie is over The Sun

Agony ... Kate and Gerry McCann

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
Published: Today (Wednesday 03 November 2010)


KATE and Gerry McCann fear the three-year hunt for missing daughter Maddie is about to end.


They revealed the Find Madeleine Fund has dwindled from £2million at its peak to £300,000.

Search goes on ... but fund to help find Maddie is dwindling

Their worldwide search for Maddie - aged three when she disappeared on holiday in Portugal in May 2007 - will be wound up because they will no longer be able to pay specialist investigators when the money runs out.

Kate, 42, said: "It will be just me and Gerry left looking for her."

Living in torment ... mum Kate McCann

For three and a half years Kate and Gerry have searched tirelessly for Maddie.

Every spare moment has been devoted to the hunt.

But Kate yesterday admitted that for the first time she fears they may never find her.

Hol flat ... where Maddie vanished

Within weeks of Maddie being snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, money from the public poured in to boost the Find Madeleine Fund.

At its height it stood at £2million. But now there is just £300,000 left.

Desperate for help, the couple are launching an online petition asking the public to back them and demand the British and Portuguese governments do more to find Madeleine.

And they have sent out "begging letters" to sponsors, including author JK Rowling, tycoon Richard Branson, comic Jack Dee and other high-profile celebrities asking them to contribute to the fund.

They hope the public will be touched by their plight and give too.

Clutching her husband's hand tightly, an emotional Kate admitted: "There is only enough money in the Find Madeleine Fund to keep the hunt going until spring 2011.

Change ... how Maddie might look now

"When the money runs out we will not be able to pay the investigators helping us to find Madeleine. It will be just me and Gerry left looking for her.

Search

"I just can't contemplate that. We've had many scares along the way. But this is the first time we are really faced with that happening."

The Portuguese police search for Maddie, aged three when she vanished, was effectively called off after a few weeks.

Since September 2007 Kate and Gerry, both 42 from Rothley, Leics, have been organising the hunt for her themselves. Kate gave up work as a doctor to concentrate on the task.

Gerry, a heart surgeon, admits that at the current rate of expenditure the Find Madeleine Fund has just months before it is broke.

Explaining how much the search for their daughter costs Gerry said £1 pays for a multi-lingual call centre for an hour, £10 pays for 1,000 posters that are distributed across the world and £50 pays for the running costs of a Portuguese investigation team for two hours.

He said: "Without our investigation team it would be almost impossible.

Anguish ... McCanns after plea for funds

"If the money does run out there would still be a helpline manned by volunteers, email. But it would be very, very difficult. It would essentially mean that any kind of pro-active search for Madeleine would cease."

Contemplating the situation they face, Gerry begged: "Our little girl is now seven years old, innocent, vulnerable and waiting to be found.

"Please, please help us."

But even if the funds go, and there is no further help from the Portuguese and British governments, the McCanns will carry on their hunt forever.

A strained looking Gerry, shaking his head, said: "No parent would ever give up on their child. And we won't. As a parent you can't. Children who were abducted have been found years later. We believe she is out there, we just have to find her."

Twisting her Find Madeleine wristband Kate agreed, saying: "No parent could stop.

Feared

"If no one apart from us is looking then so be it."

But Kate also quietly admits that there have been times recently when she has feared Maddie might never be found.

Kate bit her lip, and said: "There are more days now of thinking, 'Are we going to find her? How long is this going to go on for. Is this our life now? Forever?' I have to face the fact that we may never find her."

Kate says she also struggles to imagine what Maddie would look like. She said: "I do try and picture her. I still see her best friends. I look at them and think, 'Would she be that tall, that slim. Would she be able to read? To write?'"

Kate also revealed how she still talks to her darling daughter. She said: "I speak to her every day. I always have."

But the agony and anguish remain - as does the hope.

Gerry said: "It's been an incredibly painful experience, it could tear families apart, but we are very much together - focused on finding Madeleine."



Twins are giving us the will to battle on

THE McCanns say their five-year-old twins Sean and Amelie give them the strength to face life without Maddie

Comfort ... the McCanns with their twins

Gerry said: "You can have a bad day and think, 'I can't go on' and then they will say, 'Maddie is missing, we have to find her'.

"They still talk about her constantly. They chat about her coming home, how they are going to share a bedroom, open the big pile of Christmas and birthday presents we've kept for her."

He went on: "The other day we were in the car and there was condensation on the windows and they were writing their names in it.

"Sean said, 'I've written Madeleine's because she's part of our family'.

Best

"We went to their school the other day and Sean was asked how many sisters he had. I thought, 'Oh no'. But he proudly answered 'I've got two'.

"The twins give us the strength and energy to carry on."

But Kate says the pain remains. She explained: "Sean and Amelie are great, they are doing really well. We make the best of it. Life is not normal.

"A friend of mine said she heard a radio interview with a man who had been through a tragedy. He described the pain like a boulder, he said it's not like the boulder gets any lighter, you get stronger.

"I think that's true. It doesn't mean the pain is any less, it doesn't mean that the whole issue is any less important.

"We haven't got our daughter - our family isn't complete."



Sign search petition

By CAROLINE GRANT

GERRY McCann yesterday called on Sun readers to sign an online petition calling on the Government to do more in the search for Maddie.

The McCanns want a joint review of her case by British and Portuguese authorities.

Despite three different Home Secretaries promising a review, the couple say no pressure has been put on Portugal's government.

Child protection experts are believed to have recommended a review into the case as fundamental to finding Maddie.

But angry Gerry said yesterday: "The public think our government and the Portuguese are still searching for her.

"But the truth is that only our private investigators are. We feel badly let down.

Madeleine is still missing, there is still an abductor out there." Kate added: "I am fed up with fluffy, worthless words.

"The evidence is spread all over the place.

"We have certain pieces, the Portuguese police have certain pieces. But without putting them together we can't do anything."

The petition can be signed at ipetitions.com/petition/madeleinemccann_c

Madeleine McCann inquiry 'running out of funds', 03 November 2010
Madeleine McCann inquiry 'running out of funds' BBC News

The McCanns discussed the case with the home secretary in August

3 November 2010 Last updated at 02:17

The privately-funded investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is at risk of running out of money, her parents have said.


Speaking three-and-a-half years after his daughter went missing on holiday in the Algarve, Gerry McCann said the cash "won't last anything like a year".

It comes as the McCanns launch a petition calling for a full review of the case by the UK and Portugal.

The Home Office said it would ensure "everything feasible" was being done.

Madeleine was three when she went missing from a resort in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007. The Portuguese police investigation was supported by British officers but the inquiry was formally closed in July 2008.

Gerry and Kate McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, set up the Find Madeleine campaign. The millions of pounds raised have been spent on private investigators who have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and logged more than 16,000 calls and e-mails.

Mr McCann told the BBC: "We always have to keep an eye on the funds to make sure we are capable of supporting the investigation and it's so important that there's someone there at the end of a phone line, checking e-mails and speaking to people who come forward.

"We're the only people who pay for that right now and it's through donations that we've a managed to do that."

He said: "At the current rate it won't last anything like a year but we have to look at other fundraising aspects and it is very important to us that we are able to maintain a search".

The Sun reports that the fund, which once peaked at £2m, is now down to £300,000, and the Daily Mirror estimates that it will run out by spring 2011.

Co-operation needed

Even so, Mr McCann added that fundraising was a "secondary objective" and urged members of the public to sign the online petition to encourage the UK government to take action to identify areas for further investigation.

In an open letter launching the petition, the couple ask why they still do not have access to all the information gathered by Portuguese police, and say it was "incredible" there has been no formal review of the inquiry.

"We are certainly frustrated," Mr McCann said.

"It's been such a long time and we have been asking over and over again for the authorities to do more. And they are not practically doing anything and haven't been for well over two years, and I don't think its right for us to be responsible for the continued investigation into our own daughter's disappearance."

Mrs McCann said: "It's been over two years now since anybody other than ourselves have looked for Madeleine and obviously our own team has limitations because they can't go knocking on people's doors. They can't make people speak to them.

"We also know there is information in several regions, lying on different desks, different databases that hasn't been put together. So two pieces might slot together and give you a result. We could be that much closer to finding Madeleine, but we need co-operation."

The McCanns stressed they had not given up on Madeleine being found alive and cited the case of Jaycee Dugard being found in California, 18 years after she was kidnapped.

"When a young child has been taken, there's more chance they have been taken to be kept and there's absolutely no evidence Madeleine has been seriously harmed and without that we've got to believe we can still find her," Mr McCann said.

The couple's meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May in August came after earlier discussions with former home secretaries Alan Johnson and Jacqui Smith.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary has met Kate and Gerry McCann and is deeply sympathetic to their situation.

"The government wants to ensure that everything feasible is being done to progress the search for Madeleine. The British authorities will maintain a dialogue with the Portuguese and continue to liaise with Madeleine's family on any developments."



McCanns: Twins talk about Madeleine every day BBC News Video

McCanns speak to the BBC

3 November 2010 Last updated at 08:17

The parents of Madeleine McCann, who went missing on holiday in the Algarve three-and-a-half years ago, have said they do not know how they would cope without their other children.

Gerry and Kate McCann also revealed that the five-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, talk about Madeleine every day and even include her in their role-play games.

The couple spoke to the BBC to launch a petition calling for a full review of the investigation carried out by the UK and Portugal authorities.

Madeleine Petition As Parents Rap Home Sec, 03 November 2010
Madeleine Petition As Parents Rap Home Sec Sky News

Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent
7:38am UK, Wednesday November 03, 2010

Madeleine McCann's parents are launching an online petition to help force a UK and Portuguese joint review of all evidence in the case of their missing daughter.

They hope it can lead to a new police investigation into the girl's disappearance from the family's rented holiday apartment in Portugal three-and-a-half years ago today.

Kate and Gerry McCann also accused Home Secretary Theresa May of offering "words, but no action" to help the search for their daughter.

Mrs McCann said: "Reviews are done in all major investigations, at least in this country.

"The benefits of pulling together different bits of evidence can be enormous but, until that is done, we can't be sure what has been missed.

"You have to ask why it isn't being done in Madeleine's case. What is the block?"

An independent report by Jim Gamble, of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, is thought to back the couple's demand for a review of all the evidence gathered by British and Portuguese police.

The report was commissioned by Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson but not completed until the summer, when Mrs May took office under the coalition Government.

Yet the Home Office refuses to disclose its recommendations to the McCanns.

"There is no reason why the contents of the report can't be made available to us. They say some of it is sensitive, but we are Madeleine's parents for goodness sake," said Mr McCann.

"We've made it clear we will not divulge any of it except to help our own investigators."

The couple met Mrs May in August, but say they were left with little optimism of government help.

Mrs McCann said: "We didn't get answers. We got a lot of words but no action, nothing concrete. I can't get my head around the fact that the Government has given up on Madeleine."

The couple are also writing to their regular supporters asking for more money because funds are in danger of running out by the Spring, as their own private investigators continue to explore potential evidence in Portugal and elsewhere.

The Home Office said in a statement: "The Home Secretary has met Kate and Gerry McCann and is deeply sympathetic to their situation.

"The Government wants to ensure that everything feasible is being done to progress the search for Madeleine."

The McCanns' petition can be found at here.

Thousands sign Madeleine McCann petition to force joint review by British and Portuguese, 04 November 2010
Thousands sign Madeleine McCann petition to force joint review by British and Portuguese Daily Mail

By SOPHIE FREEMAN
Last updated at 7:11 AM on 4th November 2010


The parents of Madeleine McCann spoke of their joy yesterday after more than 9,000 people signed a new search petition.

The online petition calls for the British and Portuguese authorities to hold a joint review of Madeleine's case, which the McCanns feel is vital to finding their daughter.

It comes just a day after Kate and Gerry McCann revealed the fund to help find their missing daughter is about to run out of money.

Mrs McCann also spoke out against ministers who had shrugged off her pleas for help, adding that she needed 'action not fluffy, worthless words'.

Madeleine disappeared on holiday in Portugal in 2007 and would now be seven.

Many of those who signed the petition expressed their sympathy with the McCann's plight.

One woman wrote: 'Please help Kate and Gerry, they shouldn't have to do this on their own. There is a little girl out there.'

Another wrote: 'I support this campaign 100 per cent. Madeleine is a British citizen and she deserves more form our Government.'

The McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said they were 'pleased and delighted' with the response to the petition but stressed they needed 'lots, lots more signatures'.

Positive: Kate and Gerry McCann said they were 'delighted' with the response but needed 'lots, lots more signatures'

Susan Lee: we should all feel sympathy for Kate McCann, 05 November 2010
Susan Lee: we should all feel sympathy for Kate McCann Liverpool Echo

By Susan Lee
Nov 5 2010

THERE was a time when I believed the worst thing that could happen to any parent was the death of a child.

Now I think there is a worse fate and it is one Kate McCann is living every day; it's living with the unknown.

Her daughter Madeleine has been gone for three-and-a-half years but where is she? Is she alive or dead? Is she ill-treated and unhappy or with a new life somewhere with people who love her?

There is no grave but there is grieving. There is no child but her presence is everywhere.

And always the constant waiting to hear of a lead, some fresh news which will bring the day of her little girl's return – a day you have to believe, as her mum, will come.

After all, without hope there is nothing.

Now it seems that after three years that hope is slowly fading.

Kate and Gerry are back in the news this week revealing the appeal to fund the search for Maddie and which raised £2m worldwide is dwindling.

"When the money runs out we will not be able to pay the investigators. It will be just me and Gerry left looking for her," says Kate.

"I have to face the fact that we may never find her."

The McCanns excite a lot of different emotions in people.

There are those who hold them responsible for the fate of their daughter. They did, after all, leave her and her siblings alone in that Portuguese apartment to go out for the night.

There are others who resent the vast publicity machine they have employed and, indeed, the vast amounts of cash they have attracted to their appeal.

Britain has other missing children. Why should they not enjoy the same level of exposure? And why should we, the public, continue to fund the search?

Yet every missing child and the story of their disappearance is unique. It's not Madeleine's fault that she's fortunate enough to have parents who are articulate and media savvy.

And yes, they made a mistake when they failed to book a babysitter that night but by God it's a mistake for which they are paying a weighty price.

The fact is the McCanns have lost a child in terrible circumstances and it takes a very cold heart indeed not to feel sympathy for them.

Now more than ever, as Kate admits that she may never see her little daughter again, we should offer our support.

Because here's the test: if it were your daughter what would you do?

Brave McCanns need your help to find Maddie, 06 November 2010
Brave McCanns need your help to find Maddie The Sun (paper edition)

Lorraine Kelly
Saturday 06 November 2010

WHILE we've all been getting on with our lives, taking the kids to school, watching Corrie and buying the weekly shop, Kate and Gerry McCann remain in a frozen limbo of despair.

Every minute of every day they have to deal with the fact their daughter Madeleine is still missing and that, as more and more time passes, hopes of a happy ending are fading fast.

This week the couple, frustrated and saddened by the lack of any real effort by the British and Portuguese governments to find their little girl, made a direct plea to you and me to help them kickstart the hunt for Madeleine.

They want the botched investigation into their daughter's disappearance to be reopened and re-examined. It is a race against time as in a couple of months the Find Madeleine Fund will run out of cash.

Both Kate and Gerry are convinced that a complete review will unearth crucial leads that were never followed up - and reveal vital clues that were missed at the time.

Who could possibly deny them this glimmer of hope?

Shadow

They do their very best to remain positive and Madeleine's name is mentioned constantly in their family home, especially now twins Sean and Amelie are old enough to know what happened to their big sister.

Kate still talks "directly" to Madeleine every day and wonders what she looks like now.

Of course, this latest appeal leaves them wide open to criticism about leaving Madeleine alone in the holiday apartment in the first place, and gives the conspiracy theorists another chance to scandalously insist this broken couple had something to do with their child's disappearance.

If it was your precious son or daughter, you would move heaven and earth to find them, no matter how much it cost and how much time had passed.

Look at the heartbreaking case of Ben Needham, who disappeared on the Greek island of Kos back in 1991. If Ben is still alive, he would have just celebrated his 21st birthday.

His brave but careworn mother Kerry has never stopped trying to find her boy. She has campaigned tirelessly and says she will go on looking while she still has breath in her body.

Any mother would do the same.

Kerry still hopes that one day she will be reunited with her son but it's clear that she and her family live in the shadow of Ben's disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann must look at poor Kerry and shudder to think that, in decades to come, they will still be making appeals and showing computerised images of their daughter at 16, at 18 and at 21.

This week Kate sadly admitted that she is afraid that one day it will be just her and Gerry who will be looking for Madeleine.

They have battled for so long and so bravely but now they need our help. So far almost 10,000 of you have given your support, also giving real hope and comfort to Kate and Gerry.

Please sign the online petition calling on the Government to review Madeleine's case.

  • Go to ipetitions.com/madeleinemaccann_case_review.
  • I'm disappointed in you Home Secretary, says Kate McCann, 06 November 2010
    I'm disappointed in you Home Secretary, says Kate McCann Daily Mail

    Vanished: Madeleine McCann was three when she vanished from a holiday flat in the Algarve in May 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby

    By TRACEY KANDOHLA
    Last updated at 11:06 PM on 6th November 2010

    The mother of missing Madeleine McCann fears Home Secretary Theresa May is failing to act in the search for her.

    Dr Kate McCann said she was 'disappointed' by Mrs May when they met three months ago.

    She said: 'There is an abductor out there who is free to take another child. Other children are at risk and nothing is being done.'

    Mrs McCann, 42, was speaking after she and surgeon husband Gerry launched an online petition to lobby the British and Portuguese governments for a review of the case.

    Yesterday, three days after the launch, the petition had been signed by more than 24,000 people.

    The McCanns met Mrs May in the hope she would contact the Portuguese authorities over Madeleine, who was three when she vanished from a holiday flat in the Algarve in May 2007 while her parents dined with friends at a tapas bar nearby.

    Mrs McCann said: 'Theresa May said she didn't want to make any commitment. It was disappointing.

    'I can't get my head round the Government giving up on Madeleine. Why are missing children not important? They look for terrorists, why can't they look for child abductors?

    'Door-to-door enquiries need to be done and lots of people still need talking to. Portuguese police say the case will reopen if there is evidence but we have to generate the new evidence.'

    Just before the Election in May, the McCanns met David Cameron who said that if he became Prime Minister, he would do what he could to help.

    A report by Jim Gamble, of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, is thought to back the McCanns' demand for a review of all the evidence.

    Demanding a review of evidence: Kate and Gerry McCann spoke about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine at a news conference on November 2

    The report was commissioned by the then Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson but not completed until the summer, when Mrs May became Home Secretary.

    So far, the Home Office has refused to disclose the report's recommendations. Mrs McCann, who has five-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, said: 'There is no reason why the contents can't be made available to us.

    'They say some of it is sensitive but we are Madeleine's parents, for goodness sake. We've said we will not divulge any of it except to help our investigators.'

    Those investigators are paid for by the Find Maddie Fund, which has now dwindled to £300,000 and it is set to dry up within five months.

    Portuguese police shelved an 18-month investigation into Madeleine's disappearance after clearing her parents as formal suspects.

    The Home Office said: 'The Home Secretary has met Kate and Gerry and is deeply sympathetic to their situation. We will maintain a dialogue with the Portuguese and will continue to liaise with Madeleine's family.'

    Madeleine McCann parents: David Cameron's a let-down, 07 November 2010
    Madeleine McCann parents: David Cameron's a let-down Daily Star Sunday

    Maddie vanished in May 2007 during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal

    By Jonathan Corke
    7th November 2010

    KATE and Gerry McCann claim the Government's lack of action in the hunt for missing Madeleine has left other children at risk.

    The couple are furious that David Cameron's coalition appear to have given up on finding her.

    Kate, 43, blasted: "There's an abductor out there, a criminal out there who is free to do this over and over again if we let him.

    "Other children are at risk and nothing is being done."

    And Gerry, 42, said: "Politicians are there to represent us, we elect them and we feel something should be done. Madeleine is a British citizen, she is innocent, she is vulnerable. They say, 'It's a real shame, we hope Madeleine's found'. But their thoughts and words are not good enough."

    Maddie vanished in May 2007 during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

    The McCanns of Rothley, Leics, have now launched an online petition to lobby the British and ­Portuguese governments for a formal review of the case.

    By last night almost 25,000 people had backed their appeal and Kate said: "I can't get my head around the authorities giving up on her. The authorities look for terrorists, why can't they look for a child abductor?"

    She also revealed how a meeting earlier this year with Home Secretary Theresa May had been disappointing, with the politician saying she could not make promises.

    But she added: "We must keep going. I see Madeleine's friends and it reminds me of how she would be now, what she would look like, how tall she would be…it is painful."

    Meanwhile the couple face new heartache after Goncalo Amaral, the ex-detective who led the probe into Madeleine's disappearance, revealed plans to sell his book about the investigation in the UK.

    He said: "The British people have the right to read an objective and well reasoned literary work."

    McCanns 'delighted' over support, 07 November 2010
    McCanns 'delighted' over support The Press Association

    Kate and Gerry McCann are 'delighted' at huge support for a petition launched earlier this week

    (UKPA) – Approx 00:15 AM
    07 November 2010

    Kate and Gerry McCann are "delighted" at huge support for a petition launched earlier this week, their spokesman has said.

    The couple launched the petition to lobby the UK and Portuguese governments for a joint or independent review of the case on Wednesday - exactly three-and-a-half years since their daughter Madeleine disappeared.

    On Sunday more than 24,000 people had already signed the petition, with the number rising by the minute.

    And the couple said the support showed finding Madeleine was still a cause close to British people's hearts.

    Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It's fair to say they are delighted, it shows the public support that they know is out there but this is tangible evidence that the support is there.

    "Once it gets to an even greater number they will be in a position to think about presenting it. Hopefully both the Portuguese and British governments will take notice and there will be a review."

    Madeleine was three when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends nearby.

    Portuguese police launched a huge investigation with the support of British officers, but the inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 with no firm conclusions.

    Private detectives employed by the McCanns are still investigating the case.

    And on Wednesday the couple appealed for more donations to the official Find Madeleine fund, which is danger of running out in spring 2011 if they do not get more financial backing.

    The readers of i asked. The parents of Maddie responded, 08 November 2010
    The readers of i asked. The parents of Maddie responded i online

    8th November 2010

    i challenged readers to pose questions to the McCanns. We chose the 10 best questions and the parents of Maddie responded.

    Do not miss the answers here.

    1. Do you regret being caught in the Portuguese judicial system? - Ricardo Cabrita

    The legal actions are a last resort, because we keep ourselves completely focused on finding Madeleine. We would rather not go down these avenues, but we feel we must do so to defend our children, Madeleine and the twins.

    2. How do you explain the video of the Portuguese authorities that shows a dog detecting the smell of a corpse in your apartment? The point is that this dog has never been wrong ... and the dog detected the scent of corpse in your car and on your clothes! - Ana Gomes

    We do not believe it is true that the dogs do not fail. An example: immediately after being used in Portugal, the dogs were taken to Jersey for another case which received media attention - Haut de la Garenne - where they indicated multiple 'alerts', but nothing was found or identified following signals of blood or human remains.

    These dogs should only be considered as an intelligence element, but need to be supported by forensic science. This is most evident in the report of the trainer of the dogs (Martin Grimes) appearing in the process itself. But in the case of Madeleine, there was no forensic evidence to corroborate the alert of the dogs. Anyone can confirm this conclusion if they read the process. Other experts have shown that dogs that smell "death" are unreliable, as you can see in this report [also reproduced below].

    And there is a set of best practices that must be met for the signals of the dogs to be in fact trustworthy. Those who have seen the video of the dogs used in the case of Madeleine have noticed the absence of these practices, which eventually led to false alerts.

    3. Can you explain to the Portuguese what was the idea of leaving your children to sleep while you were out there having fun? - David Silva

    It never crossed our mind for a second that our children ran the risk of being kidnapped. We were having dinner with friends less than 100 metres away and we were checking our children regularly. Looking back we realise it was a mistake that we wish we had never committed.

    4. How do you define the McCanns? - Nuno Santos

    We are a united family, desperate to find our beautiful and beloved daughter.

    5. I believe that you have said the answer to where Madeleine could be is in the Portuguese process. But you have hired a private investigator to handle the case. Is not this a contradiction? - Antonio Vidal

    It is important to draw attention to our private investigators who are the only people who are actively looking for Madeleine and those responsible who took her. If we hadn't this team, we would not have anyone to investigate. However, our investigators do not have the same capabilities as the authorities have as they do not have all the information related to the case. When a serious crime remains unsolved it is good practice to review it, re-examining all the evidence collected and related to the case. This review must be made by experts who were not involved in the case in order to look at and examine the case with a fresh eye.

    6. There are plenty of missing children in Portugal who do not receive the same kind of attention that yours has had? What do you feel about this? - Elizabeth France.

    We know that Madeleine has had more attention (from the media) than any other case involving the disappearance of a child. But it has not so far allowed us to find our daughter and/or who took her. We believe and advocate that any missing child and their family deserves an intensive and thorough investigation to enable the child to be found. The authorities should not therefore give up on a child who is missing even though the initial investigation does not resolve the case. We hope that Madeleine's case has at least helped to highlight the inefficiencies of follow-up to families of missing children, but also to introduce some improvements in the future.

    Eventually the case of Madeleine, for the attention it still generates, can "help" in other cases and especially to create, develop or enhance all possible instruments to deter criminals and protect victims. Children must be protected.

    7. Where do you sincerely believe that your daughter might be? -Bruno Freitas

    We do not know where Madeleine is, and it may be somewhere anywhere in the world. What we know is that the last time we saw her was in Praia da Luz and we believe that someone took her from us.

    8. Do you find it rational to continue to look for your daughter after all this time? - Katherine Alegre

    Absolutely. The search for Madeleine is continuing. Many children have been found who have been missing for a much longer time than Madeleine has been missing: Jaycee Dugard, Shawn Hornbeck or Natasha Kampusch are three recent examples. Through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S. we know of many more. As parents we could not live rationally without Madeleine: our daughter was taken from us. We will only be well when she has returned.

    9. How are the twins are coping with the situation now? - Marta Silva

    The children are joyful and happy and that gives us immense love and joy. Madeleine is part of their life and they give us the strength we need to continue to look for her.

    10. Is there is some sort of conspiracy theory as some allege? Why do you think this happened? - Rui Carlos

    There is certainly not a conspiracy theory involving us in any way. We were a perfectly normal family from which Madeleine has been taken. We had until then a normal life, like so many others, who are divided between family and work. We chose the Algarve for a holiday with family and friends.

    We don't understand why conspiracy theories are developed in cases of extreme exposure. Before our case, who would believe that a British girl was abducted during a family holiday in the Algarve?



    Cadaver-sniffing dog testimony tossed out of Zapata trial 4GWE

    September 01, 2007

    (Wisconsin State Journal, The (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sep. 1--The jury hearing the 1976 murder trial of Eugene Zapata next week won't hear anything about cadaver-sniffing dogs, a Dane County judge ruled Friday.

    The specially trained dogs, which were said to have caught whiffs of human remains in several places linked to Eugene Zapata, are no more reliable than "the flip of a coin," Circuit Judge Patrick Fiedler said in excluding testimony about the dogs during Zapata's month-long trial, which is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

    The dogs were used to search the former Zapata home on Indian Trace on Madison's East Side, storage lockers once rented by Zapata, a rental car he used during a 2005 visit to Wisconsin, the Juneau County Landfill and other homes and properties that Zapata occupied after his wife, Jeanette, vanished on Oct. 11, 1976. They were to be a key element to the state's case in prosecuting Zapata for first-degree murder.

    Testimony that the dogs indicated they smelled human remains at several of the sites, without evidence that any remains were actually found, would be too prejudicial to be heard by the jury, Fiedler said.

    Assistant District Attorney Robert Kaiser said the state will not immediately appeal the decision.

    Fiedler agreed with an analysis of the dogs' records by defense attorney Stephen Hurley that concluded that the dogs were incorrect 78 percent of the time for one dog, 71 percent for another and 62 percent for a third. He said they had to be right just over half of the time in order for him to consider allowing the testimony.

    "The state has failed to convince me that it's any more reliable than the flip of a coin," Fiedler said.

    Fiedler held a hearing a week ago on the issue, and at its close sounded skeptical about the prospect of admitting testimony about the dog searches. He asked that prosecutors put together data to show him how reliable the dogs -- Sammy, handled by Illinois dog handler Theresa Christ, and Norse and Cleo, handled by Madison Police Officer Carren Corcoran -- have been in past searches.

    The handlers also testified on Friday in support of the dogs' effectiveness in a variety of situations.

    Independent corroboration of the dogs' findings was a key requirement, Fiedler said, based on his reading of search dog-related court cases from other states. None of those cases involved cadaver-sniffing dogs, he said, but in each of them police found evidence that corroborated the dogs' performance. There have been no cases that directly involve the admissibility of evidence about cadaver-sniffing dogs where no remains were found, he said.

    The report put together by prosecutors asserted that the three cadaver dogs were correct between 60 and 69 percent of the time.

    Kaiser argued that in the Zapata case, the dogs' findings are corroborated by other circumstantial evidence that will be part of the state's case, such as the fact that Jeanette Zapata left all of her belongings behind and was never seen again; that when police tried to search the home after her disappearance they were turned away at the door by Eugene Zapata; and the fact that Zapata bought cleaning chemicals and a filter mask in 2005 before cleaning out storage lockers he had rented.

    Kaiser also argued that the dogs' findings amounted to "trace evidence" and that he never contended that they were "anything other than a tool to locate, in our case, the body of Jeanette Zapata."

    But Hurley responded that the dogs "are being used to prove that a crime was committed here."



    And 6 months later...

    Zapata Enters Guilty Plea In Connection With Missing Wife's Death wisn.com

    Former Madison Resident Plead To Reduced Charge of Homicide By Reckless Conduct

    UPDATED: 7:18 am CST February 19, 2008

    MADISON, Wis. -- Eugene Zapata entered a guilty plea on Monday to a reduced charge of homicide by reckless conduct in connection to his wife's disappearance 30 years ago and was sentenced to time behind bars.

    Appearing in Dane County Circuit Court on Monday, Zapata was sentenced to five years in prison after entering the guilty plea. Zapata, 69, pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors. The sentence was the maximum sentence for the charge, WISC-TV reported

    Old sentencing rules likely mean that Zapata will spend just more than three years in prison, but the judge and prosecutors supported the deal, saying that it would give family and friends closure and let them heal, WISC-TV reported.

    Dane County Judge Patrick Fiedler, who sentenced Zapata, said that the important thing is everyone now knows what happened to Zapata's wife, Jeanette. Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard said that the plea deal gives closure to Jeanette Zapata's loved ones.

    "Part of what happened after Madison police took over a cold case from nowhere to today is the ability now to have the family and friends of Jeanette Zapata know exactly what happened to her."

    Eugene Zapata was to have faced a second trial late next month. A former Madison resident, he was tried last year for the disappearance and presumed death of his wife in 1976. Her body was never found.

    He had faced first-degree murder charges. A jury deadlocked on a verdict, and a second trial was scheduled. If convicted on that charge, Zapata would have faced life in prison.

    A second trial seemed less likely after reports surfaced earlier this month that a plea deal had been struck.

    As part of the agreement with prosecutors, Zapata had to tell authorities how he killed his wife and where her body was hidden, WISC-TV reported.

    During Monday's proceedings, Dane County chief prosecutor Bob Kaiser asked the court to accept an amended charge of homicide by reckless conduct. Kaiser earlier told the court that the deal with Zapata includes a statement to police about why Zapata went to her house, how and why he killed her and what he did with her.

    Kaiser said that Zapata confessed to police and that he believes Zapata's statement will be truthful and complete.

    Prosecutors said that Zapata told police that he went to his wife's house in 1976, had an argument and "snapped." He told them that he grabbed a metal draftman's tool and hit her in the head multiple times. He said that she then dropped to ground and he strangled her. He apparently told investigators that he "strangled Jeanette Zapata manually until his hands hurt." He also wrapped a cord around her neck.

    Zapata said that he wrapped her body in a tent and drove it to an area near Highway 151 and Reiner Road, where he hid it in some underbrush. He transferred her remains a short time later to some Juneau County land that he owed. There, he buried her body -- which remained there for 24 years -- before moving her remains to a Sun Prairie storage locker, where it was eventually cut into pieces and later disposed of at a Mauston landfill. He moved the body from the Juneau County because he planned to sell the land.

    Linda Zapata, the youngest of Eugene and Jeanette Zapata's three children, gave a statement in court. She said that she was torn over testifying against her father earlier, but she's glad that he agreed to the plea deal. She said his confession is "a gift."

    "By confessing to Mom's murder, you have given me and others a precious gift, a chance to grieve, mourn and heal," she said. "Mom deserved no less than that Mom deserved the truth about what really happened that morning, and I thank you for finally giving her that."

    She added that she still loves her father and forgives him, although she doesn't condone what he did.

    Blanchard said because Jeanette Zapata's body was dumped in numerous Dumpsters at the landfill, there is no way to recover her remains.

    Eugene Zapata declined comment in the court. He was later taken away in handcuffs after his sentence was imposed.

    Kaiser said that he thinks the agreement is the best possible option for "truth and justice." Likewise, Blanchard called the resolution to this case a huge achievement for justice.

    Kate McCann criticises Theresa May, 10 November 2010
    Kate McCann criticises Theresa May Daily Express

    DISTRESSED: Kate McCann has criticised the Home Secretary

    Ann Widdecombe
    Wednesday November 10,2010

    KATE McCann accuses Theresa May of doing too little to find her missing daughter.

    Her emotion is understandable but her attack on the Home Secretary is misplaced.

    The ball is firmly in the court of the Portuguese authorities, not the British ones.

    Our politicians can comment and make representations but they cannot overrule the decisions of the Portuguese, who in turn have said they will act if new evidence is produced.

    The Government is not, as Kate McCann puts it, giving up on Madeleine but rather is accepting its limitations over a crime that happened in another country and which is subject to another jurisdiction. Mrs May deserves credit for meeting these distressed parents, not criticism for making her own judgments about what she should then do.



    Not giving up on Madeleine Daily Express (paper edition)

    (Text same as online)

    Not giving up on Madeleine

    Paddy Shennan: High time for review of the Madeleine McCann case, 10 November 2010
    Paddy Shennan: High time for review of the Madeleine McCann case Liverpool Echo

    By Paddy Shennan
    Nov 10 2010

    IT'S not much to ask – either of the authorities or, initially, of us as individuals.

    The family of Madeleine McCann, who has now been missing for three and a half years and who has been badly let down by a shocking excuse for a police investigation, is making a very straightforward request.

    A request it really shouldn't have to be making.

    If you go to www.findmadeleine.com you will find a link to another website (www.ipetitions.com/petition/madeleinemccann_case_review/) which carries the following words . . .

    "We call on the UK and Portuguese authorities to conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann."

    The reader is asked to back this statement by signing the online petition, which was launched last Wednesday and, by yesterday, had received around 30,000 signatures.

    That Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, even had to contemplate taking such action is a sad indictment of what has – and, more importantly, hasn't – happened, both here and in Portgual.

    They have spoken often of leaving no stone unturned in their own attempts to find their daughter – it's just a terrible pity that the powers-that-be have not had the same attitude, nor displayed the same determination.

    The family's own investigation team is continuing to review all the available information, but it still doesn't have access to all of the information that the UK and Portuguese authorities have.

    There is a simple remedy to this – either present ALL the information to the McCanns or, better still, the authorities should do the jobs they have been trained to do and should be expected to do.

    Shockingly, says Gerry McCann, "for the last two years and three months, no police force has proactively been doing anything to help us find Madeleine."

    And, he adds: "Crucially, there has been no formal review of the material held by the police authorities."

    We can only hope that common sense and common decency now prevail and the family gets the review that it deserves – having so quickly garnered the support from the public it deserves.

    The message to the authorities couldn't be clearer – don't allow any more time to pass.

    To sign the online petition go to http://bit.ly/Maddiepetition

    The pain of the McCanns, 18 November 2010
    The pain of the McCanns Correio da Manhã

    Manuel Catarino

    The 'Maddie Case' provokes passionate discussions amongst experienced PJ investigators

    By: Manuel Catarino, Journalist
    18 November 2010
    With thanks to Ines for translation


    They have all spent their lives sniffing out death: they have worked for 30 years in the Homicide Section, dealing with hundreds of murders, they have heard those who have repented and killers without a drop of repentance, they have interrogated those who were thought to have reasons to kill and those who killed for nothing at all.

    They even knew those who robbed a life by ill fortune, due to lack of care. They know much about homicide – but they are divided about what happened in apartment 5 A of the Ocean Club. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation when he suspected that Maddie died in the apartment. The process was shelved and the McCann couple fights for a truth: the girl was abducted.

    The couple try to find the trace of the girl with private detectives and millions of donated pounds. They have now begun an online petition to oblige the Public Ministry to reopen the case. Serious subjects should be treated with seriousness.

    This crusade of the McCanns to collect 100 thousand signatures is a lamentable folklore. If they have new information about the crime, give the information – now! – to the Public Ministry. Otherwise, they are being accomplices in something.

    Thousands sign online petition backing calls for review into Madeleine search, 07 December 2010
    Thousands sign online petition backing calls for review into Madeleine search Leicester Mercury

    By Laura Elvin
    Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 09:30

    More than 36,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a review into the search for missing Madeline McCann.

    The petition, supported by her parents Kate and Gerry McCann aims to persuade UK and Portuguese authorities to take a fresh look at the investigation into the disappearance of the girl, who vanished during a family holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007.

    Mr and Mrs McCann believe authorities at home and abroad have given up on the investigation and may have overlooked some clues.

    Family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry are very pleased with the way that it has taken off and are grateful to everyone who has signed it.

    "The figures on the petition speak for themselves. The rise has been very satisfying and it really does show the level of public support out there.

    "All you hear about is all the critics so its very satisfying to see all the people out there showing support."

    In the first 24 hours of the online petition being launched, more than 22,000 people had signed.

    Mr Mitchell said the petition would continue to run until signatures stop coming in.

    He said: "It's very much an on-going thing and will remain until people stop signing it, when it will be presented as a petition to the UK and Portuguese governments.

    "Kate and Gerry want the government and in turn the police to look at all the evidence collected because they feel important aspects and clues could be being missed.

    "I'm not sure of the figure that Kate and Gerry have in mind, but when it reaches that level is when we will make a formal representation.

    "The amount of signatures is still rising and that's the main thing."

    The case into Madeleine's disappearance was closed in July 2008, and since then private investigators, hired by Kate and Gerry, have continued the hunt.

    The fund to pay for this, made up of mainly of libel payments and public donations, is set to run out early next year.

    A book telling Kate and Gerry's story, due to be released in the first half of next year, is set to raise money to continue the search.

    Mr Mitchell said the new book was mainly being written by Kate.

    Mr Mitchell said: "Money is still being spent on the investigation and without any more money coming it may run out by spring.

    "The book will be coming out around the fourth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance – God forbid we get that far."

    To sign the petition, go to:

    www.ipetitions.com/ petition/madeleinemccann _case_review/signatures

    Bishop Eton Parish Newsletter, 16 January 2011
    Bishop Eton Parish Newsletter BishopEton.org

    16 January 2011

    - Extract -

    Wednesday Exposition.
    We continue to pray for Madeleine McCann and for all missing children throughout the world. There are details of a petition for a case review in the porch.

    Madeleine McCann petition nears 50,000-signature milestone, 28 April 2011
    Madeleine McCann petition nears 50,000-signature milestone Leicester Mercury

    By Dan Martin
    Thursday, April 28, 2011, 09:30

    An online petition calling for a full review of the evidence surrounding Madeleine McCann's disappearance is nearing the 50,000-signature milestone.

    Kate and Gerry McCann launched the petition in November because they felt the authorities had given up searching for their daughter, who went missing in Portugal four years ago.

    The McCanns, from Rothley, had intended to present the petition to the Portuguese and British governments when 50,000 people had backed them.

    Now, however, with the figure standing at nearly 48,800 names and the anniversary of her disappearance approaching, they have decided to let it run.

    Their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "It was always loosely the intention to present it at 50,000 and, although it will be done soon, it will continue for the time being.

    "There are also tens of thousands of signatures, many from Rothley, on paper copies that have yet to be collated and when they are factored in the figure will be well over 50,000.

    "When it is handed in, they hope it will inject some more urgency into the search for Madeleine.

    "Kate and Gerry are delighted and grateful for the support they continue to receive."

    Madeleine was three when she disappeared from her family's holiday flat in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined nearby.

    A massive search was launched but the McCanns said only their team of private investigators was now searching for their daughter.

    Mr Mitchell said the family was preparing for the launch of a book about the disappearance, written largely by Kate.

    It is to be released on May 12 – Madeleine's eighth birthday.

    He said: "There is a hope the book itself will help give another push in the search for Madeleine."

    Publisher Transworld paid the McCanns a substantial but undisclosed sum as an advance on the book, entitled Madeleine. It is also likely to result in a lucrative newspaper serialisation deal.

    Mr Mitchell said: "The money from the book is being entirely used to fund the search for her.

    "The pot had dropped to between £100,000 and £200,000 last year and would have run out in the autumn.

    "It means there should be enough to keep the search going for at least another year."

    With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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