Wednesday

Madeleine McCann: Antonella Lazzeri of 'The Sun' makes a blunder about the shutters

By Tony Bennett


"We reproduce this exchange of correspondence by permission of the ex-police officer who wrote to Ms Lazzeri of 'The Sun', as it sheds light on the ignorance of some leading journalists in the McCann case, notably, in this instance, her obvious blunder about the shutters. The Madeleine Foundation does not accuse the McCanns of lying".

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From: [withheld]
Sent: 25 May 2010 17:37
To: Antonella Lazzeri
Subject: Article today, Tues 25 May

Dear Ms Lazzeri,

Do you get paid to write this sort of thing?

Quite apart from the overall nonsense value of it, you have included in it at least three pairs of contradictory statements.

And you are also clearly not familiar with the course of the investigation over the last few years.

It is very sad to see professional journalists trotting out this nonsense and making easier for the McCanns, who clearly DO know what happened to Madeleine that night, to get away with what they have done. You are diverting the attention of the public from the facts in the case.

Unless you are paid a lot of money, you should feel ashamed.

Yours sincerely

[withheld]

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Subject: RE: Article today, Tues 25 May
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 11:18:46 +0100
From: antonella.lazzeri@the-sun.co.uk
To: [withheld]

Considering your previous profession I find your comments very strange. The McCanns had NOTHING to do with their daughter's abduction. For God's sake leave them alone and no I don't get paid extra for writing about them.

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From: [withheld]
Sent: 15 June 2010 12:01
To: Lazzeri, Antonella
Subject: RE: Article today, Tues 25 May

Dear Antonella,

Thank you for your reply.

The issue is whether Madeleine was abducted at all.

There is simply NO evidence of abduction. Merely for Mrs McCann to say she "knew at once" is not sufficient.

They lied about the broken shutters and the open window.

They lied about cuddle-cat being on a high shelf, they lied about the half hourly checks, they have lied repeatedly and continuously, but no journalist has ever seen fit to tackle them or the rest of the Tapas7 about the obvious contradictions in their stories.

Obviously journalists now dare not seek the truth, for fear of a writ from Carter-Ruck. Which for the freedom of the British press is even more sad than the accidental death of a small girl in her parent's apartment in Portugal.

The GMC left Dr Harold Shipman alone for a long time.

The police left the Wests alone for many years.

The Catholic Church left paedophile priests alone for generations.

I am afraid I do not find that remark reassuring from someone in your profession.

Yours sincerely

[withheld]

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Subject: RE: Article today, Tues 25 May
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 12:09:35 +0100
From: antonella.lazzeri@the-sun.co.uk
To: [withheld]

They never said cuddle cat was on a high shelf, they always said it was on the bed where it had been when Madeleine was there, it is not said in any of their interviews that the cat had been moved. That was a mistake made by a journalist which was then picked up and copied - this is my point a lot of misinformation has been put around through mistakes.

I don't know what you mean about the shutters and lying - the shutter was broken, two men from the resort came and fixed them the day before Madeleine went, if you look at the police files you will see their names and a copy of the maintenance report. As for the open window, Kate said it was open I don't know why you think she was lying. As for the half hourly visits, they have been verified by the police through witnesses at the Tapas Bar. As for the Tapas 7 - there may be slight differences between them, that would be expected, I would find it more suspicious if they all tallied completely.

I don't know if you recently saw a TV series in which eye witness reports were tested, the differences between what people saw and then recalled was amazing.

There is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine came to any harm in the flat, Britain's foremost criminologist who I interviewed said it was completely impossible for so many people to have covered up Madeleine's death and lied about the abduction and to have kept it up for so long.

I feel very sorry for the McCanns to have lost a child is terrible, to then have such horrible, vile things put about them on the internet is just not human. As for myself, I am not paid by them, or Clarence Mitchell or anyone else apart from my newspaper.

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Dear Antonella,

Thank you for your reply. I do not wish to divert you from your next assignment, and you may wish to let this drop. However,

Even if the shutters were repaired the previous day, as you insist, it follows that they were clearly NOT ‘jemmied open’ on the night in question, as the McCanns originally reported.

Please remember that it was only when the falsehood of that claim was laid bare the following morning, by the police and the forensic scientists, that they came up with the story of having left the patio doors unlocked. A story which for most people is actually even less convincing.

Do you routinely, on holiday, leave your room or apartment unlocked with your passports, money, credit cards, mobile phone, jewellery, lap top computers, camera, video, plane tickets or check in details, sports equipment, and assorted extremely young children inside ?

I know the answer. You do not.

And nor did they. Even though they now have to insist that they did exactly that for six nights in a row.

And if the patio doors had been left unlocked, why do the McCanns and their Tapas friends also get confused as to whether they entered by the front door or the patio doors when they did the alleged 30 minute checks. It is not difficult to remember which door you went in. To get in by the front door they would have needed a key, which would have had to be have been handed over to the person making the next alleged check.

You say there is no evidence that Madeleine came to harm in the flat. The dogs marked for both blood and cadaverine, not only there, but in other places suggestive of concealment and subsequent disposal of a body. The McCann's, and Clarence Mitchell’s, excuses for the findings of the dogs are just risible.

Sorry, but speaking as an ex-cop it just doesn’t hang together. Which is why I retain an interest. The reports from the private detectives 'convinced ' that she is being held in a "hellish lair" within 10 miles, and / or that she was spirited away to Australia in a luxury yacht by a Victoria Beckham lookalike in Barcelona are sadly beyond comedy and only serve to emphasise how desperate they have become to prevent people asking the simple questions.

I have no idea what the truth is.

All I know is that it is evident that they have not told the whole truth about what happened.

I know you have other assignments, and will not be offended if you wish to bring this correspondence to an end.

Yours sincerely

[withheld]
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Posted on our forum and also on Missing Madeleine forum

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Related: Journalism in the Age of McCann

Lazzeri's McCann articles

Antonella Lazzeri Once a Journalist Always a Whore