Tuesday

'Monsterman' - how Kate and Gerry McCann manufactured another suspect

By Tony Bennett, Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation

On Sunday 13 January 2008, Brian Kennedy visited Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation in Portugal.

On 16 January 2008, three days after Brian Kennedy’s interview with Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation, Dr Gerald McCann emailed Superintendent Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Police with a PowerPoint presentation (folio 3966), with the briefest of covering notes saying: ‘As discussed’.

Just one hour later Superintendent Prior forwarded the package to Ricardo Paiva of the Portuguese Police, asking for instructions and stating, among other things: “The PowerPoint attached (Folio 3968) was completed by the McCanns, but the statements were all taken by the U.K. police. Miss Tanner’s description was taken from the press and from the summary of her statement. There is some urgency around this as we need to decide prior to the Gail Cooper artist’s impression appearing in the U.K. press. How are you going to deal with the possible press issues? What are you planning around Mr Kennedy and the private investigation firm?”

He concludes: “I will need to get back to the McCanns as he has asked to be updated. How would Paulo [Mr Rebelo] want this conducted and what information I am to provide to them? They are very excited about this potential lead”.

By this time, there was an ultra-friendly relationship between Stuart Prior and Dr Gerald McCann. It was ‘Stu’ and ‘Gerry’. Despite being one of three ‘arguidos’ suspected of active involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Dr McCann is able to discuss his ‘Powerpoint’ presentation with Stuart Prior and get him to forward it on to the Portuguese police within minutes. Prior was clearly aware that the McCann Team wanted to do a major press blitz as soon as possible on this new sketch, and was anxious to help them. “I will need to get back to the McCanns”, wrote Prior, in much the same way as he might have written: “I will need to get back to my Chief Constable”.

The McCanns and their formidable team were directing the entire course of the investigation at this point, aided by Stuart Prior’s deferential relationship to the McCanns.

By this time, Leicestershire Police had already, months previously, made the unprecedented decision to link their website to the McCanns’ fund-raising website, which in turn directed any members of the public who might have information not to Leicestershire Police, nor to the Portuguese Police, but to the McCanns’ own very dubious private investigators, Metodo 3, whose controversial boss, Francisco Marco, had made the bold but false claim in December that he knew where Madeleine was, his men were closing in on her, and she would be home before Christmas.

Dr McCann’s ‘Powerpoint’ slides attempted to highlight the alleged similarity between Jane Tanner’s ‘bundleman’ and the ‘Monster Man/George Harrison man’ of Gail Cooper.

Dr Gerald McCann wrote:

Tanner spent a full day with Melissa Little, a qualified Police Sketch Artist since 1986, to compile this likeness of the suspect. Melissa met Gail Cooper in a separate session. After spending hours with both witnesses, Melissa Little states: “There are many similarities between Miss Tanner’s man and Gail’s. Tanner believes that there is an 80% likelihood that this is the same man she saw carrying away the child, believed to be Madeleine”.

Dr McCann was in effect telling the police: “Forget about Tanner saying it was Murat that she’d seen. It wasn’t. Tanner now says the man looks something like these three sketches”.

On 17 January 2008 (the very next day), Detective Constable 4168 of the Leicestershire Police interviewed Gail Cooper and e-mailed the Operational Task Force. He noted at the time that Mrs Cooper was trying to explain why theNews of the World had added to and embellished her police statements, by saying “It never crossed my mind” that they would do so. The Officer also reported that she “mentioned a man called Brian Kennedy who was working for the McCanns and...had sent an artist down to do a sketch of the man she saw at the villa” (Police files: Folio 4005).

On 18 January 2008, Superintendent Stuart Prior emailed Ricardo Paiva about the Gail Cooper statement:

“As discussed, I have given Gerry a brief update just saying that the other descriptions are different to the artist’s impressions completed by Gail and identified by Jane [Tanner].That the witnesses appeared genuine which indicates a number of charity collectors in the area prior to Madeleine being taken.

“We have not spoken to Jane at all and will not share our files with anybody, except yourselves, unless you request this from us. It appears there were at least three charity collectors if not more in the area in the weeks before Madeleine being taken. I am told that the artist’s impression by Gail Cooper is likely to hit the press over the weekend and I will update you on the effects of this next week, although we are not involved in this in any way at all”.

Prior notes that the artist’s impression ‘is likely to hit the press over the weekend’. He knew, we can be sure, exactly when Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ public relations chief, would be calling the press for his now-famous presentation, ‘Crimewatch’-style, of ‘Monster Man’ to the British press. This was a planned media event by the McCann Team to highlight Melissa Little’s sketches. Leicestershire Police were acting like pawns on a chess board.

Later, Prior referred to an email from Michael Graham of the Leicestershire Police who reported: “I [Mick Graham] have spoken to Charlotte Pennington this morning and she has no additional information to give…She has been spoken to by a Private Investigator (Noel Hogan) working on behalf of Metodo 3. Charlotte assures me that she has only relayed to him the same information that she has already given to the Portuguese Police and to me (as per email dated 7 August 2007)”.

On Sunday 20 January 2008, the News of the World published a long article on Mrs Cooper’s alleged sighting and printed the full facial and 'striding'out' sketches of ‘Monster Man’. On 21 January 2008, Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman, held a press conference releasing details of ‘Monster Man’.

The News of the World concluded: “The sketch by qualified police artist Melissa Little bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier picture, based on Miss Tanner's story”. This is unsurprising given that both sketches had been made - using considerable artistic licence - by the same artist, Melissa Little, who was paid for by Brian Kennedy to assist the McCanns.

Given the obvious differences between Murat and either ‘Monster Man’ or ‘bundleman’, why, we must ask, did Tanner not at this stage immediately correct what, by now, must have been quite obvious to her - namely that she had misidentified Murat from the police van, back on 14 May the previous year?

Tanner said that on 3 May she saw a swarthy, olive-skinned bloke in mustard chinos, about 5' 7" to 5' 9", carrying away Madeleine. She said on the record that she did not see his face.

Just 10 days alter she saw Robert Murat pass by a police van she was secreted in. She adamantly told the police: 'That's the man I saw 10 days ago, I can tell by the way he is walking'.

Yet by January 2008 she is again chatting all day long to Melissa Little, presumably being paid by Brian Kennedy and the McCann Fund, and claiming that 'Monster Man' looked like the bloke she'd seen on 3 May. How could she possibly tell if she never saw his face on 3 May.

Jane Tanner may have seen a bloke on 3 May. She may really have thought 10 days later that the man she saw was Robert Murat. She may have genuinely thought that when Melissa Little drew her artist's sketch of 'Monster Man', based on Gail Cooper's description, that this really did look like the bloke she'd seen on 3 May (well, '80% similarity', says Tanner.

Alternatively, she could be lying throughout.

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Friday

Kate McCann's new book 'Madeleine' and The 'Complete Mystery' of Madeleine McCann


Missing Madeleine McCann's mother, Kate, is to publish a book about her daughter's disappearance titled 'Madeleine'. Dr Kate McCann assures us this book will be "an account of the truth". From this statement we can assume, then, that there is more than one account of the truth - one of which she obviously didn't tell the Portuguese Police when she (and Madeleine's father) were made arguido's following an official police interview during which Kate refused to answer the police's 48 questions...otherwise why the need to write a "fundraising book" to be published four years after the event?

Whilst we are all waiting to, finally, read the truth in Kate McCann's new book we are informed that the former Portuguese police investigator, Gonçalo Amaral (who was removed from the investigation by Prime Minister Gordon Brown), will also publish a new book as a sequel to his first book - 'Maddie: The truth about a lie' - that was banned by the McCanns (then recently unbanned and is back on sale).

Enlightening times ahead.


Again, whilst we are waiting for the publication of these two books to enlighten us as to what may have happened to Madeleine McCann, I have listed some articles here written by former lawyer, Tony Bennett, Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation, who has been analysing this mystery for the past four years:

50 facts about the Maddie case that the British media are not telling you


Much more information can be found on the research and analysis forum, such as:










If you are interested in Maddie's plight, then please register with the forum and help search for the real account of the truth about what happened to this little girl.

Thursday

Martin Grime's sniffer dog, Eddie, was wrong


Tony Bennett, Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation

Eddie caused 'complications' by his 10 alerts in Praia da Luz, says report:

Eddie alerted to the scent of a human corpse at the following 10 locations in Praia da Luz - and nowhere else:

1. McCanns' living room, Flat G5A
2. McCanns' master bedroom, Flat G5A
3. McCanns' veranda, Flat G5A
4. McCanns' garden, Flat G5A
5. One of Dr Kate McCann's clothes
6. Another of Dr Kate McCann's clothes
7. A red T-shirt belonging to one of the children
8. The pink soft toy, 'Cuddle Cat'
9. The floor of the the McCanns' hired Renault Scenic
10. The car key of the McCanns' hired Renault Scenic.

Full article on Sky News

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8:57am UK, Thursday March 24, 2011

Gerard Tubb, Sky News correspondent

Police sniffer dogs used to find missing people and dead bodies "urgently" need better training and monitoring, according to an official report.

A South Yorkshire Police spaniel called Eddie was said to have sniffed out the "scent of death" at the Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey and the apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal.

But in both cases nothing more was found and South Yorkshire Police say Eddie is no longer working with them.

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Wednesday

Is Clarence Mitchell edging away from Kate and Gerry McCann?


An analysis by Tony Bennett, Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation

From days after Madeleine McCann was reported missing on 3 May 2007, the McCanns and their chief public relations officer, Clarence Mitchell, appear to have been joined at the hip.

Are there however signs that there is a process of separation going on?

Back on 6 January this year, Mitchell told listeners to BBC Radio Humberside that the claim that Madeleine had been abducted was 'only' an assumption, or 'working hypothesis'. He didn't use these words once, he used them on three separate occasions. That is proof that his choice of words was no accident. And it ran wholly counter to the McCanns' claim that they 'knew instantly' that Madeleine had been abducted - and that the public must accept it as a fact, a point that their lawyers Carter-Ruck rammed down the throats of anyone who would disagree with them.

Then, on 18 February, following one of the most absurd Madeleine 'sighting' story ever - "Maddie may be in U.S. says Angolan-born bouncer-cum-basketball player-cum-'amateur sleuth'" - Clarence Mitchell appeared on SKY NEWS to tell SKY's viewers - quote:

"I am sceptical of the claims...We should stress a note of caution here. These are claims that have been made to Spanish police, we understand...this information has to be investigated to establish if there is any truth or not”.

The fact that Mitchell can seemingly move effortlessly between top jobs in both the Labour government and then in the Conservatives' election campaign, and in between getting a job with Rupert Murdoch's son-in-law, has reinforced suggestions by some that he is paid by or close to the top of MI5, and in that capacity knows all there is to know about anybody who is anybody, which would indeed make him one of the most powerful people in the U.K.

If he is indeed close to the top of MI5, is it possible that the establishment right at the top has realised that one day, sooner or later, those involved in backing the McCanns will be come tainted by association? Are they 'reading the runes' - seeing perhaps that there is plenty of evidence that doubts over the McCanns' abduction claims are not going to go away? Do these people now see an upbeat Goncalo Amaral who is going to press ahead with his book sales, has a new book out, is not going to go away and realise that his book 'The Truth About A Lie' is one day going to go on sale in the U.K.?

The recent Sunday Express story also hints at a falling away of the hitherto 'closed ranks' of the British media regarding Madeleine McCann.

Analysing the Express story, it draws public attention to Goncalo Amaral's new book and even mentions his successful overturning of the ban on his first book. It goes on to say that Kate 'has been warned' to be careful about what she says about Goncalo Amaral.

It states that he 'resigned' from the PJ (not the usual 'sacked'), and that he's a successful author and appears on TV in Portugal. It politely mentions his wife by name, and her regard for his dedicated work.

This is a remarkable change of tone for the Express, painting Goncalo Amaral as someone who is successful, someone who is listened to, respected - whereas, by contrast, Dr Kate is merely someone who has been 'warned to watch her step', as it were.

This seems to mark a sea change, a reversal of projected status.

Did Clarence Mitchell have any say in approving this article? The change of emphasis in the air seems palpable.

If the McCanns' book bombs, as is now widely forecast, that could lead to more and more doubts being expressed about whether Madeleine's abduction might, after all, turn out to have been one gigantic hoax.

More about this is posted on our Madeleine McCann Research and Analysis forum
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Comment from our resident former police superintendent:

"I wonder about Mitchell's legal position if the McCanns were ever to be shown to have made up the whole story. He has never, or rarely, used the usual solicitors' get out by prefacing what he said with "The MCCanns want me to say X Y Z" or "have authorised me to say" or "My clients position is such and such", or "On my instructions ..."
He has stated things as fact. As if he knew the full story, and was merely letting the world know those bits which he chose.
Indeed it is also clear that on some occasions he may have commented without having had time to speak in detail to the McCanns, simply acting on their presumed behalf.
It would be salutory to see him brought low, and I don't think backtracking at this stage is going to help him, any more than resigning as a Trustee of the 'Fund' is going to help those who so negligently handed out millions of publicly donated money to dodgy detectives and overt fraudsters all those years ago.
Perhaps a full and frank admission might mitigate."

Sunday

Gonçalo Amaral to publish second 'Madeleine McCann' book ahead of Kate's fundraising book


WAR OF WORDS LOOMS OVER MADELEINE MCCANN BOOKS

Sunday March 20,2011

By James Murray

FORMER Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral is set for a new legal battle with Kate and Gerry McCann after writing a second book about their missing daughter Madeleine.

Mr Amaral’s book will be published in Portugal next month shortly before Kate McCann publishes her fundraising book called Madeleine.


It could not come at a worse time for Kate, 42. She is hoping someone who reads her book will come forward with information about the person who took her daughter on May 3, 2007.

The McCanns’ private investigator David Edgar is also preparing to beef up his team in Portugal to react swiftly to any new leads produced by Kate’s book. It goes on sale in Britain on May 12 and a week later in Portugal.

The McCanns have already fought a costly legal battle over Mr Amaral’s first book on the case. Called Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, it was taken off the shelves for several months before being allowed back on sale.

On Friday the McCanns lost an appeal in Portugal’s Supreme Court to stop his first book from going back on the shelves there.

In the book Mr Amaral put forward the theory that Madeleine had died in apartment 5a of the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz on the Algarve. His conclusion angered the McCanns, who insist there is no evidence to suggest Madeleine died there and they still hope she is alive.


Now the stage is set for a fresh legal battle. Mr Amaral’s wife Sofia said: “Goncalo has been working on his book for about six months, spending days and nights assessing all the evidence.

He has put in an enormous amount of work. The title has not been decided and a publication date will be sorted out this week.

“At this stage he doesn’t want to say too much, but he will say his investigation was cut short and he will explain what he would have done if he had been allowed to continue. The book is not just about Madeleine. He gives the background to other big cases he was involved with.

“The timing of this new book is just coincidental, nothing was planned. We are not trying to cash in on the fourth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance and we do not want a fight over Kate’s book.”

Mr Amaral was a senior investigation officer in the case but was taken off it after criticising British police for an alleged lack of co-operation.

After resigning from the Policia Judiciaria, he has become a successful author in Portugal and regularly appears on television news. He has tried to publish The Truth Of The Lie in Britain but no publisher has accepted it for fear of being sued for libel.

Kate McCann is said to have been warned by her publisher to be careful of what she says about Mr Amaral. However, she does chronicle her frustration with him and her anger over the way he looked at the case.

The Sunday Express can also reveal that Mr Edgar has been making regular trips to Portugal to check out leads in recent months.

A source said: “The investigation is very active.

There is a hope that Kate’s book will lead to someone coming forward with the key piece of the jigsaw.”


Read more: Sunday Express


Madeleine McCann Research and Analysis forum