years after a British girl disappeared, there are more questions than
April was a busy time for the Royal Couple.
Preparations had been underway for months to deal with all the publicity
that was sure to come. Facebook pages were established, marketing pieces
created, a book written and carefully scripted interviews arranged, as
publicists and advisors worked round-the-clock for the famous British
duo. No detail was too small when planning such a momentous event, as
the global media once again turned its focus on two of Great Britain's
most' interesting people.
Most amazing, all of this was accomplished despite the distractions
caused by the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
May 3rd marked the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of
then-3-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a resort in
southern Portugal because her parents chose to leave her ' and her two
younger twin siblings ' alone in an unlocked room while they ate and
drank the night away with friends.
But when you're Gerry and Kate McCann, you take a backseat to no one,
and certainly no wedding is going to upstage your 'anniversary.' And so,
in typical McCann fashion, they put on another strong display of offense
in the ongoing 'search' ' not so much for their missing daughter, but
for self-promoting headlines.
Who can blame them' Playing defense is no fun, doesn't raise money nor
generate publicity. And best of all, blaming everyone but themselves for
an eminently preventable tragedy allows the McCanns to ignore reality
about a poor little girl's horrible fate.
For the folks needing a refresher, you read it right. The McCanns, both
physicians from Rothley, Leicestershire, in England, left their three
children ' with a COMBINED age of seven ' alone, night after night, in
their ground-floor resort apartment. Despite ample financial resources,
they chose not to bring a nanny and refused to utilize the resort's
Instead, they deemed it safer for the children to go it on their own,
entrusting Madeleine to get her siblings and herself to safety in the
event of a fire ' hence the alleged reason for the unlocked door. Hey,
I'm all for self-reliance, but, she was 3!
The story perpetuated by the McCanns is that Madeleine was kidnapped,
despite virtually no evidence to support that claim. But the tragic
nature of a girl gone missing gained international attention, and the
search was on. Well, at least by the people who were actually out there
looking for Madeleine.
Gerry and Kate took a different approach. Rather than get bogged down in
the grunt work of looking for their daughter in places she might
actually be, the parents decided that becoming international
globetrotting celebrities was a lot more fun. Putting blood, sweat and
tears into finding a missing child is tough, but hanging out with celebs
and dignitaries is, well, cool!
So they arranged a private audience with the Pope, traveled to the
United States to meet with America's top leaders, kept web diaries about
Gerry's daily jogs, and threw lavish affairs. Of course, if Madeleine
really had been kidnapped, she wouldn't be in America, at black-tie
events or in the Vatican.
If only they had thought to turn the 'Find Madeleine' campaign into a
money-maker! Oh wait, they did. To the tune of millions. And the result'
To this day, many more questions than answers.
Despite being named suspects by the Portuguese police based on evidence
that raised eyebrows ' inconsistencies in G and K's stories; elite dogs,
trained to identify death, providing positive responses in Madeleine's
room; reports of Madeleine's blood found in the trunk of a car the
McCanns' rented 25 days AFTER she disappeared; more blood discovered
behind a sofa in the apartment, to name just a few ' the case was
eventually suspended without any arrest. And for that, we can thank the
British government that exerted enormous pressure on the Portuguese.
With the complicity of the British media, everyone but the parents was
blamed for Madeleine's disappearance. The Portuguese detectives bumbled
the investigation, the resort's security was too lax, leads weren't
followed up in a timely fashion. And as numerous publications
discovered, anyone who dared question the McCanns' role were slapped
with libel lawsuits by England's most powerful barristers. And don't
forget the lead Portuguese investigator who was legally banned from
giving interviews and publishing his book courtesy of Team McCann (those
rulings were subsequently overturned) and was sued for millions in
Kate's book on the affair, (in which rumors spread that she was assisted
by world-famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling) will be released this
week. In it, she blamed the resort restaurant for making a note in their
reservation book that the McCanns wanted a table within sight of the
room, since the children would be alone.
'[The reservation] book was by definition accessible to all staff and,
albeit unintentionally, probably to guests and visitors, too'To my
horror, I saw that, no doubt in all innocence, the receptionist had
added that we wanted to eat close to our apartments as we were leaving
our young children alone there and checking on them intermittently.'
Nice try, Kate. But somehow, you forgot to mention the 'horror' your
daughter must have felt after being abandoned by her parents night after
night, left alone in an unfamiliar environment in a foreign nation. And
you also conveniently left out the fact that you couldn't see the
apartment from your table anyway, due to the six-foot wall obstructing
the view. Translation: the tapas were more important than your three
children, two of whom, interestingly enough, weren't 'kidnapped.'
So we're supposed to believe that a child kidnapper just happened to be
dining at the resort's restaurant that night, on the off-chance some
British couple's child-care arrangements (or lack thereof) would be
recorded in the restaurant's reservation book' Which, by the way, is
usually kept behind a desk, not in public view.
Either that, or someone on the kitchen staff, waiting in the wings for
one of the McCanns to return from allegedly 'checking' on the children.
Maybe that's why the tapas were so late in being served!
Frankly, I'm surprised that Osama bin Laden snatching Madeleine wasn't
in the book as a potential theory. Or that evil Voldemort from Harry
Potter wasn't somehow responsible.
Which brings us back to Rowling.
After hundreds of articles stating that Rowling was helping Kate write
the book, the family spokesman finally got around to stating that
Rowling did not, in fact, have ANY role in the book.
As with most things McCann, the facts here are loose and the truth
sketchy. But as they say, 'Any publicity is good publicity!' And Team
McCann rolls on, garnering headlines and raking in the dough.
Perhaps most ironic is Kate's stated reason for the book:
'My reason'is simple, to give an account of the truth.'
Rowling's help or not, discovering the real story behind the
disappearance of little Madeleine McCann will take more than wizards and
magic. Too bad we don't have one of Harry Potter's Remembralls, though,
which fans will recall is the clear orb containing smoke that turns red
when detecting that the user has forgotten something.
In Gerry and Kate McCann's case, I'm betting the Remembrall would be
glowing red-hot, since it seems they have forgotten the only thing that
can help Maddie.
The real truth.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and
investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,
www.FreindlyFireZone.com His extensive collection of columns hammering
the McCanns for their negligence can be found in his website's archives.
Readers of his column, 'Freindly Fire,' hail from six continents, thirty
countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous
publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online,
foreign newspapers, and in Dick
Morris' recent bestseller 'Catastrophe.' Freind, whose column
appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in
Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio
and state/national/international television. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.