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Ah, that mystery

Original Source: BLACKSMITH: 18 JULY 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011

The eyes have it

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 Sudoku.


And now?


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 

Abreu  - 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 postscript.


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