Kate McCann's lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu: ''If you were Portuguese this would be enough to put you in prison.''

23 Feb 2017

A review of prime suspect kate mccann's autobiography, Prosecution Exhibit 1: 'madeleine'

For those of you who can't bring yourselves to buy, or even read, Kate McCann's autobiography, Prosecution Exhibit 1: 'madeleine', a CMOMM member - an author herself - has written a review:

By 'euphrosene' "Posted on Amazon (as I bought Kate's book) but since this seems to be the 'go to' forum, I thought it might be of interest here too!":

An Amazon review has to be primarily about the book in question but, having finally finished Kate McCann’s book, it is simply not possible to step away without a view one way or the other about missing Madeleine or indeed Gerry and Kate McCann.

At the time in May 2007, my initial thoughts were that the parents were abysmally negligent. Actually, I remember being quite shocked at the distance between their apartment and the tapas restaurant where they dined each night. However, apart from praying that little Madeleine would be found, I didn’t read much if any detail. I do recall briefly reading some of Gerry McCann’s blogs and finding them embarrassingly trite, but that was about it.

Then, last year, my interest piqued reading that taxpayers have forked out close to £12,000,000 on this one child yet barely a word of reproach was made about parental negligence. Not only that, but they seem to be mixing with the powerful and influential at the top of the food chain to the manner born and appeared to blame others but not themselves for their small child going missing.

So I googled… and was overwhelmed at the endless volume of opinions – both pro and con – on this one case and this one couple. Not only that but there was a massive complexity in terms of their army of lawyers, the company they set up for funds, the family and friends involved, the PR machine, the subtle (or not?) move from finding Madeleine to being about all missing children, and much more.

The pro-McCanns didn’t really offer anything apart from unwavering loyalty to their cause, while most anti-McCanns spoiled their arguments with offensive remarks or conspiracy theories which turned me off. But a small handful did put together lucid and, for the most part, feasible arguments disputing the McCann’s claims.

Meanwhile, even an unobservant reader would have noticed the almost immediate and subsequently consistent involvement of the British Government. That still bothers me greatly, even now. Anyone would think this couple had done something heroic, not leave three very small children unattended, out of sight and out of hearing, for several nights on the trot!

Yet our Government - from Blair, Brown, Cameron and now May - has ignored the many inconsistencies as well as litigious nature of the McCanns, throwing yet more taxpayers’ money on this one case. Why?

So that in turn lead me to buying Kate’s book. A small attempt at trying to be fair to her and them.

I particularly wanted to read, in her own words, how Gerry and Kate had reacted when they found Madeleine missing though I realise the book was written a good few years after the disappearance when emotions are no longer raw.

And the book certainly reads well. I actually wanted to read more due its easy writing style. However, it is nothing like her more staccato diary kept at the time. I got the distinct impression it was written by at least two people, possibly more. Kate’s ‘voice’ based on her diary, jumped out and I could actually hear it – including the Scouse intonation. Other passages had a different ‘sound’ – to me, that is.

Almost immediately, despite still being onside, I noticed the marked lack about Madeleine while there was a lot about Kate and a little about Gerry. It read rather like a response to the multitude of conspiracy sites. But mostly it is about Kate. So why call it ‘Madeleine’?

Thirty-six pages in came the first jarring passage, with Kate centre-stage: an uncle has a heart attack. She worries about having to give him CPR as she is ‘the size of a small barn’. No mention that Gerry is there, and Gerry is actually the practising cardiologist.

Having been brought up a Roman Catholic, all references to that faith also jar as it’s clear it appears to mean very little to them. They do not appear to go to Sunday Mass until after Madeleine disappears. Praying does not appear to be part of the children's bedtime routine. And I have never known a Roman Catholic call Our Lady ‘Mary’.

Also, as Catholics, they’d know small children would go straight to Heaven on dying, but she prefers to think of Madeleine as being alive, regardless of how frightening that might be for the bright little girl.

She is ‘annoyed’ with God. I rage at my God when life’s challenges become too much to bear. To be ‘annoyed’ sounds like a missing child is a small blip in an otherwise perfect life that God has dared to dump on them. (Anger at God appears at the end of the book.)

By the end of 'Missing', it becomes more obvious that the tone is now one of counteracting the various negative theories found on the internet. This may, however, not be so evident to those who have never read alternative views or even those of the original policeman in charge. They will no doubt read everything at face value. Understandably so.

But I still believe her. And then I don’t. And then I do again. My mind is being played with but I don’t fully realise it till later on in the book. The reader is being given an economic version of the facts – which are available in mainstream media as well as the ‘conspiracy’ sites.

Kate blames almost everyone for Madeleine’s disappearance, but barely a word of self-reproach about their parental negligence. A good few chapters in there is mention of it but once again in answer to the rebukes rather than any guilt over their parenting skills.

The word ‘abduction’ constantly repeated is now also jarring. Keep repeating it, seems to be the legal or editorial or PR commandment - or so it sounds to this reader.

Until halfway through, I felt the McCanns were being falsely accused despite still believing them negligent. After all how could they have moved the body so quickly? Where did they put it and then move it? And with the world’s press watching their every move? How could they keep sticking their heads above the parapet if they really were involved even if it was clearing up an accident? Why not just keep quiet and let it fade from people’s minds?

Instead (to this day) they keep taking legal action against almost anyone who dares to disagree with their version of events even if their version – and that of their friends – is riddled with inconsistencies.

Yet, the tone did distinctly change and I realised I didn’t actually believe her any more. Not that I think murder was involved then or now. But desire to believe her seemed to evaporate.

Her child is missing and she comes across as arrogant, petulant and stroppy with the police when they try to do their job: how dare they question her and not take her at her word despite the many discrepancies in their testimonies (the couple and their friends). She gives the PJ orders and is affronted when they do not keep them updated on their findings.

This book only includes a few snippets from her diary. She writes as if she and Gerry should take no real responsibility for their various actions both before Madeleine was acknowledged as missing and prior to calling the PJ : “…Portuguese police had stated that the crime scene had been contaminated 'because of us' and that fundamental evidence had been lost. How dare they insinuate that our daughter's life could be put in danger because of us. Very angry. Very upset.”

Didn’t they call the media, the government, family and friends before calling the police? And wasn’t it someone at the Ocean Club who actually did call the police? And didn’t they allow streams of people into 5a prior to the police turning up, meaning the crime scene was already contaminated due to their actions and choices?

She doesn’t explain these choices and actions in this book but continues to blame the PJ for being, to her way of thinking, inept.She seems to have missed the point that she and Gerry left three small children alone, with an unlocked door, out of sight and out of hearing.

Her book constantly dismisses the PJ (who may indeed have been sloppy) while not mentioning how British Govt officials were constantly around in effect directing the flow of the investigation. (Why?)

Being told over and over again what to believe – an abduction – served only to reinforce suspicion in this reader. How would they know what had happened? The child could have wandered off. (Ten years on, this may now be the latest theory.)

No explanation is given why the Tapas group all seem to give conflicting evidence.

Shifting focus from being only about Madeleine to missing children in general showed a definite lack of self-awareness let alone putting the little child first. All very odd and not answered in her book.

Both McCanns displayed rather strange behaviour even if doctors are cooler customers than most normal human beings. An IVF baby should have been doubly precious, so why stick the children at the unseen front of the apartment? Why did they appear to dump off all three children for major parts of the day? And that didn’t change after the little one went missing, but Kate offers no explanation either.

Aside: she herself writes that after checking the apartment she was “hurtling out through the patio doors and down towards Gerry and our friends. As soon as our table was in sight I started screaming. ‘Madeleine’s gone! Someone’s taken her!’”

So, with a presumed ‘abductor’ around, she left the twins with a window open, and only screamed for help when ‘our table was in sight’. Her own words.

Their many political and celebrity benefactors and friends – including Clement Freud – get mentions, as if they conferred a seal of approval.
But still there is quite a lot that Kate McCann has left out or just mentions fleetingly, as if of little importance in their scheme of things or no business of the reader. Her aim is not to set our minds at rest about the many discrepancies related to the disappearance but to talk about Kate and the impact on Kate (so why call it ‘Madeleine’?).

Madeleine was, by all accounts, a noisy little thing with strong lungs. Yet if she was taken, how come she didn't create a ruckus? When would ‘abductors’ have had the time to drug all three children with the Tapas Crew regularly checking on them? And how could someone abduct a small girl and leave absolutely no trace? None whatsoever, it seems.

If you read this book and nothing else, Kate McCann (or her editors/PRs) will have mostly succeeded in getting the reader on side. Yet despite my earlier empathy towards them, I am now less convinced.

But then how could she/they lie quite so blatantly if involved? Perhaps Kate McCann does present a partial version which resonates with some truth? Why do I no longer believe her yet cannot fathom how the child was moved post-mortem/post-disappearance?

If they were indeed responsible for Madeleine's accidental death and subsequent cover-up, how did they manage to keep that from the hordes of family and friends who turned up in Portugal to support them? And over five months?

They are not actors so their anger and emotions, when dealing with the police and others to do something to find their little girl, seem very real. And yet there is still a feeling they know more than they are letting on and that some of that anger and high emotion is due to being questioned when the British Government is, and continues to be, so unquestioning of them.

Their litigious nature leaves a sour taste. Surely all publicity is good publicity if it brings their child back? And why deprive a Portuguese ex-copper of both his views and his livelihood? Her dislike of the PJ comes over loud and strong but mostly for questioning her view of things it seems.
Final thoughts on the book and the Kate presented in it: she barely mentions Madeleine despite the title; Kate is either innocent, lacking in self-awareness - and rather dim - or somehow involved in her daughter’s disappearance and very manipulative.

One thing leaps out, she definitely does not think they did anything wrong: “…considered by many to be guilty of something”. (Her italics.)

Yes, guilty of parental negligence.

She moans “what have we ever done to deserve all this?” as if leaving her children night after night wouldn’t have consequences; as if involving political contacts and media within hours of the child going missing would have no consequences. And bear in mind, this book was written a good few years after the sad incident.

She clearly leaves out a lot, being economic with what she has chosen to share - even small facts like Fr Pacheco giving her keys to the church. Why? It makes me distrust her account.

This is more than the sad disappearance (for whatever reason) of little Madeleine, and more like a conspiracy thriller.

There are so many questions left unanswered in this book, like the influence of Brian Kennedy, the multi-millionaire, appearing to suggest both the creation of the Madeleine Fund and using Metodo (still highly praised by KM in this book).

Questions remain about the links to Robert Murat who their friends fingered as the ‘abductor’ but who gets a slight thumbs up in this book when he won a huge payout for libel. Now they are “false claims” despite some of them originating from the McCann camp. But no explanation is given in the book.

This book is undoubtedly an intriguing read, but it remains to me principally a PR job created to influence minds along a particular track.

She refutes comments about using sedatives on the children as “outrageous fantasies”, despite her own father confirming it. There again, she does use the word ‘tranquilliser’ so could claim it as a fantasy if one must be picky about words.

Then it is back to believing her, so steadfast is her belief in this abduction. Till she spoils it by then again mentioning the Jane Tanner sighting – so comprehensively debunked by police and indeed by Tanner’s ever-changing evidence.

Her utter belief would be almost compelling if not for the many ambiguities and half-truths as well as cadaver dogs and DNA. Yet, based on this book, she is intransigent in her belief that Madeleine is alive and everyone is not doing enough to find her. (This may have changed at the current time – February 2017 - though.)

So did it sway me? Yes and no. As one of the PJ commented, she is either a great actress or innocent. Yet protesting too much also springs to mind.

There is though another angle if one wants to be kind to her. Maybe she really does believe unswervingly as a coping mechanism?

She, in her own words, doesn’t really discuss what happened with Gerry so it is always possible her mind has created a situation she could live with and it has become ever more real to her. This is her book, her version, not Gerry’s.

As part of this new mindset, it is other people who have let them down, “the very people who ought to be acting in Madeleine’ best interests”. Not a peep about their own negligent behaviour during their holiday which lead to this outcome.

To be honest, by the time I finished the book, I had an appalling headache from trying to get behind this massive wall she or they have created. For her future sanity, I pray the truth will out as clearly we all have been told half-truths, and Kate’s book has, for me at least, confirmed that.


kate and gerry at 'madeleine' book launch in Amsterdam

Prime Minister Theresa May introduces Prime Suspect Kate McCann to The Duchess of Gloucester

Prime Minister Theresa May introduces Prime Suspect Kate McCann to The Duchess of Gloucester

PeterMac's Free e-book: What really happened to Madeleine McCann?

Richard D. Hall: 'When Madeleine Died?'

Richard D. Hall: 'When Madeleine Died?'
Please click on image to view all three Madeleine films

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