By Tony Bennett
On Wednesday 12 August, our Chairman Debbie Butler and two supporters of the Madeleine Foundation distributed copies of our ’10 Reasons’ leaflet in Leicester and the Leicestershire towns of Mountsorrel and Rothley. This leafleting included posting the leaflet through the letter-boxes of the McCanns’ neighbours, but not the McCanns’ house itself. This action has been publicly criticised by a handful of Rothley villages and some tabloid newspapers have described it as ‘stalking the McCanns’. Contrary to press reports, the whole town of Rothley was not leafleted - only 150 homes received the leaflet - and the leaflets were distributed in Rothley between 3pm and 6pm, not ‘late at night’ as some papers reported. No leaflets were flyposted in any shape or form. If leaflets were pinned up on trees and notice boards, as reported, local residents must have done this.
This leaflet drop was part of a nationwide distribution of our ‘10 Reasons’ leaflet which has been going on since early May this year. The leaflet is titled: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 10 key reasons which suggest she was not abducted”. It is a synopsis of our booklet, titled: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 reasons which suggest she was not abducted”
Both the booklet and the leaflet are factual leaflets. The McCanns and their lawyers were shown a draft of our ‘60 Reasons’ booklet in October 2008, before publication. We offered to amend or withdraw any statement in our booklet which they could demonstrate to be false. To date, we have not received any objection. Moreover, no-one has demonstrated any one of the 60 reasons to be incorrect.
To date, nearly 20,000 copies of ‘10 Reasons’ have been distributed around the country and in some places overseas. The leaflet is nearly always well received and some small shopkeepers are stocking supplies of it on their counters. It may be recalled that an opinion poll conducted in 2007 by a respected national polling agency found 80% of Britons did not accept that the McCanns had been straight about what really happened to Madeleine. We have every reason to think that figure remains about the same or even higher. When a long and sympathetic interview with the McCanns was transmitted on Spanish TV, viewers were asked if they thought the McCanns were telling the truth or lying; 70% said they were lying. All this suggests that the majority of the population are deeply sceptical of the McCanns’ abduction claim and are hungry for real information about the case.
We have consistently found that the people who attack those of us who expose the complete lack of evidence that Madeleine was abducted are generally ignorant of the facts of the case.
Many people who originally believed the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine was abducted have changed their minds, simply because they have troubled to check the facts of the case.
Our booklet has already influenced hundreds of people who have sent us unsolicited testimonials, thanking us for revealing facts about the case which have they have not previously been able to discover by reading the British mainstream media.
Other prime sources of information about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann include a 50-minute documentary made by the original senior detective in the case, Gonçalo Amaral. You can see this film, with English subtitles, on YouTube, here:
Gonçalo Amaral has already written a book on the case, titled A Verdada da Mentira - in English, ‘The Truth About A Lie’. The book, which documents the evidence he and his team of detectives uncovered (including the crucial evidence of the top police sniffer dogs of the scent of a corpse found at four places in the McCanns’ apartment, two places in the McCanns’ hired Renault Scenic, two of Dr Kate McCann’s clothes, one of the children’s T-shirts and on the pink soft toy, Cuddle Cat) has been translated into several different languages and has sold over ½ million copies. It has yet to be published in England. A good English translation can be viewed here:
It has been suggested that under the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, there should be no further discussion about the facts of the case. Others claim that the Portuguese judicial authorities have ‘cleared’ the McCanns and that therefore there should be no further questioning of the McCanns’ alleged involvement in the ‘disappearance’ of their daughter.
What these suggestions fail to take on board is that in a 58-page report by the Portuguese police and judicial authorities released in July 2008, they concluded that there was evidence that Madeleine McCann died in her parents’ apartment in Praia da Luz and that her body was subsequently hidden. The report simply said they did not at present have sufficient evidence to be able to charge any one individual with those crimes.
Britain is a country noted around the world for its tradition of free speech. The Madeleine Foundation will continue to discuss the facts of this case, and if we think the evidence points in certain directions, we will not hesitate to say so.
One of the reasons, in the opinion of many - including the original senior investigating detective - that the investigation into Madeleine’s ‘disappearance’ failed to bring charges was because of active government interference in the Portuguese investigation. This is a strong area of interest for The Madeleine Foundation and we shall continue to delve into this.
Before finishing, we wish to deal with allegations that either of us, or anyone in The Madeleine Foundation, is ‘making money’. In fact, the reverse is true, it has cost us money to ensure that the British public are informed about the facts relating to Madeleine’s disappearance. Our booklet is priced at £3.00, and that includes postage of 76p. The original print run, and any further print runs, are priced at cost, simply to cover printing and postage costs etc.
Neither Tony Bennett as the author nor anyone else associated with the Foundation has been paid for their time and work. Donations from members of the public have mostly covered the costs of distributing our ’10 Reasons’ leaflet widely.
This contrasts sharply with those who have made a lot of money from Madeleine’s disappearance:
a series of dodgy firms of private investigation agencies who have charged a fortune for their services and got precisely nowhere,
Clarence Mitchell and Justine McGuiness who between them have netted over £200,000 for public relations services - not for helping to find Madeleine,
lawyers like top libel lawyers Carter Ruck, top extradition lawyer Michael Caplan Q.C. and Bates Wells and Braithwaite who have raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds,
the tabloid and ‘red top’ newspapers who have made literally millions of pounds by the simple device of putting Madeleine’s face on their front pages, and
not to mention the McCanns themselves who took money from a generous British public to pay two large monthly mortgage payments - before an outraged British public forced them to call a halt to that misuse of those funds.
We regret that the presentation and discussion of the facts of this case offend some. We must all remember that at the heart of this story is Madeleine, then a three-year-old British girl, who - if the McCanns’ version of events is to be believed - must have suffered terribly as a result of the act of being abducted.
But overwhelming circumstantial evidence suggests that Madeleine died in her parents’ apartment - and we shall continue to inform the British public about that evidence.
Debbie Butler, Chairman
Tony Bennett, Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation
19 August 2009