The McCann documentary, analysed by forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento

Channel Four Cutting Edge: Madeleine was here

Of the pretence reconstitution of the facts of the 3rd of May 2007, when Maddie disappeared, there's no more than a few minutes. Then, one can see a happy family

by Hernâni Carvalho

Kate McCann saw the open window. Thus starts the McCanns’ documentary. To tell you the truth, the window was opened by Kate herself, as proved by the lophoscopic (fingerprints) analyses that were made by the PJ on the windows of apartment 5A, at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz. Thus starts the documentary that SIC broadcast lat Tuesday.

From the pretence reconstitution, we saw, all in all, less than five minutes. But we saw a happy family. A perfect one. Kate paints with the twins, she takes them to watch the chicken, the ducks and the horses. She peels potatoes and greets Gerry when he arrives after a day of medical consults. To be certain, we even saw Maddie’s father’s patients. Kate was also a doctor, part time, but now all she does is to care for the children. Life as it is for perfect, complying parents.

Now, the McCanns protect the twins. When half of the world was searching for Maddie, the twins’ faces could be seen. Even on the day that they landed in England, after leaving Faro with State honours, without having been subject to any inspection at the airport, like it happens to everyone else. The McCann documentary is a television making work of art. Concerning the coherence of the facts that were broadcast, that’s another issue.

'Tvmais' saw the McCann documentary in the company of forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento. And we registered his comments.

Paulo Sargento: As was expected, the announced reconstitution by the McCanns resulted in an image laundering attempt, that in my opinion is disastrous.

In truth, they didn’t dare to call this production a “reconstitution”…
P.S.: Yes, but they suggested that this was a documentary that would provide new clues.

And did they do that?
P.S.: No. Right away because neither the actors served the purpose nor the reconstitution of the night when Maddie disappeared is even complete. They only used one actress to play the inconsistent role of Jane Tanner.

Maybe there’s another documentary in waiting…
P.S.: That’s could be it… Notice that Matthew Oldfield played himself, very briefly, and Gerry McCann was counselling and little more. It’s bizarre that the documentary occupies itself with the reconstitution for less than one tenth of its total length (50 minutes).

What do you say about Jane Tanner’s testimony?
P.S.: Hardly credible. The alleged abductor walks slowly, in an excessively lit area (under the street lamp), for Jane not to be able to remember any trace of his face. And yet, she remembers difficult details like the colour of the trousers, the jacket and the type of shoes.

And the statements from five persons who saw the “ugly” man?
P.S.: It’s interesting that the man was only seen by English people, and almost exclusively during the day.

The Smiths saw him at 9.50 p.m.
P.S.: Yes. But on a location and walking into a direction that were opposed to those that were mentioned by Jane Tanner. What’s even more curious is the fact that the witness mentions that “he doesn’t look like a tourist”, carrying “a little girl with long blonde hair”. This is impressive. A little English-looking girl, being carried away by a person who didn’t look like a tourist. The so-called ugly man. Adding to the fact that he was only seen by English people, during the day, wearing a black jacket (not a brown one, like Jane mentions), he appears too early in the story. The first testimony dates from the 29th of April and one of the detectives speaks a lapidary sentence: “Someone watched the apartment for a week or more”. Well, if Maddie disappeared on the 3rd of May and the McCanns arrived on the 28th of April…, this is called a FRAUD!

In the documentary, there is a new piece of data. Gerry, Kate and Matthew admit that they didn’t even enter the children’s bedroom and they say it was too dark to be see clearly whether Maddie was there or not.
P.S.: That’s where Gerry betrays himself. He states that when he looked into the room, he remembers thinking how beautiful Madeleine was and how much he loved her and how proud he was to be the father of three beautiful children. Gerry says that he felt that when he “looked into the bedroom”. Just watch the documentary again.

Nevertheless, the detectives say that they are hopeful…
P.S.: Detectives don’t operate on hope. Detectives work with hypothetical-deductive methods, based on evidence and indications.

At least, we now know the McCanns’ everyday life?
P.S.: Not even that. It’s daily life that is TOO NORMAL for someone who has suffered one of the most devastating blows that a human being can suffer: the loss of a daughter. Everything smells artificial and plastic. The relationship with the twins, the phone call with Jane Tanner, Gerry’s professional routines, Kate waiting for him… All in all, an old, well-known strategy of promoting the image of a happy family, which in this case, becomes grotesque. Just notice Gerry McCann’s sentence: “We’re a family, a happy family, but incomplete…” As much as we want to, not everything is what it seems to be!

source: Tvmais, 13.05.2009, paper edition

Translated by astro on Joana Morais

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