Somebody who was criticising me years ago, a BBC man who went very
silent when he realised his bosses might find out he was posting on the
net, said that I regarded the McCann affair as a giant crossword puzzle
– in contrast to his own rather BBC view that there were hidden hands
and forces at work. Conspiracies, he lectured me, really do happen. Tell
me about it. Anyway, I plead guilty as charged, except I would think
Killer Sudoku is a better comparison.
The intermittent but obsessive wrestling with a problem which can make
a two hour air flight pass in a matter of moments or can clean out the
brain in intervals between real work or real-life challenges, was
provided just as well by the McCann affair as a level-one-mind-bending
Where’s the challenge? Ok, ok, we don’t know how the body was got out of
the apartment. Anything else? Not much, not since the latest candidate
for the longest suicide note in history, Kate McCann’s Madeleine,
confirmed just about everything we had deduced and more.
Sure, the pair’s fairy story has been unravelling steadily, starting
with the deadly Lisbon hearings in January 2010, continuing with the
appeal court judges’ demolition of the absurd “exoneration” claim – via
their endorsement of Amaral’s theory as an interpretation of equal
validity to that of the unfortunate prosecutor Menezes – and untangling
further with the Wikileaks stuff. But the speed has now become dizzying.
Cops have feelings too
come, on, he knows, she knows, Amaral knows, we know
It is some six months since, in response to questions I had asked
Goncalo Amaral, I was told that the parents’ lawyer Abreu, had initiated
the attempt to find the most favourable charges possible against his
clients’ at the McCanns’ direct request.
This, by the way, was not based on panicky misunderstandings on
September 6 but had been under exploration since the crucial August 8
police interview, the details of which have only been made partially
public now, by Kate McCann.
There was no plea bargaining. Instead the police were willing to accept
that Kate McCann was a sick woman, as Kate’s description of their
comments on August 8 illustrates. Incidentally their diagnosis of her as
revealed in that interview stands up very well, and fairly, when
compared with her revelation that for months in 2007 she suffered from
feelings of disassociation and demonic possession that can only be
described as psychotic. Where she and the PJ differ is that she suggests
that the psychosis developed after 10 PM on May 3 while they believe it
had begun before that. We’ve had four years to watch the woman while the
PJ had three months: they did well.
Given what they believed to be her state of mind it was obvious that a
punitive sentence was never going to be demanded by coppers with any
insight and human decency – which these officers, despite the filth that
the parents, their employees and their supporters have thrown at them –
possess in plenty; the woman needed help, for Christ’s sake, as she
still does, not imprisonment.
It was the unanimous view of the three officers and Amaral that the
parents and their lawyer left on the night of September 6 anxious to
make a clean breast of the matter.
And months after the Portuguese messages along comes this desperately
disturbed woman to confirm the broad picture. In the wild and emotional
discussions with Abreu which accompanied their change of mind that night
there were few claims that they might do so because of their innocence.
Gerry McCann’s collapse onto his knees, tearfully shouting that they
were finished, that their lives were over, was not followed by any
ringing peroration as he eventually rose to his feet that they were
innocent or being framed. No, he spat out words more fitted to a Glasgow
crook than to an innocent doctor -
“they’ve got nothing”.
Somebody help her
Lawyers Caplan & McBride. Did they really
help Kate McCann? Really?
I can’t even be bothered any more to list the number of problems that we
have the answers to now. What about that famous, if ignominious,
argument in their favour, for instance, that no couple could have gone
on behaving “normally” at the tapas table that night, knowing their
child was dead. Really? Now read the August 8 stuff in Madeleine to see
the state they were in and the incredible accusations that the police
had put to them. Then check Gerry McCann’s blogs and their interviews
for any hint of what must have been churning away in their minds. That
pair would act naturally if they’d been turned into pillars of salt.
Nah, there are details to wrap up but the challenge is gone. We know
what happened. From now on it’s just a question of whether they’ll face
criminal justice – can anyone really be bothered? – before Amaral
eventually cleans them out in the libel courts. But that’s just