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Madeleine McCann

November 16th, 2014

Seven new suspects in Madeleine McCann disappearance @ 02:31 pm

A British man and woman are among seven people to be questioned as suspects in the Madeleine McCann investigation.

The seven will be spoken to by officers between November 24 and November 28 in Faro.

Two women will be questioned - the British one and another of Eastern or Central European origin.

Five men, two British and three Portuguese will also be asked for their whereabouts on the night Madeleine vanished. A further four people will be spoken to as witnesses.

It’s thought three of those being questioned will be declared “arguidos” - or given formal suspect status under Portuguese law.

Some of those being questioned have been spoken to by police before - none were known to the McCanns.

It’s thought some amongst the group may have worked at the Ocean Club around the time the three year old disappeared.

This is the latest stage of the British investigation into what may have happened and follows extensive reviews of mobile phone footage.

October 16th, 2014

McCann troll Brenda ­Leyland driven to suicide by Twitter death threats @ 09:34 am

In tragic irony, the hate messages directed at lonely divorcee Brenda ­Leyland were tweeted by someone who aggressively defended the McCanns on the internet.

The Sunday Express has passed on the five disgraceful messages to Leicestershire Police who are preparing a report for the coroner over the unexplained death of mother-of-two Ms Leyland, 63.

They were sent on Friday, October 3, from someone calling themselves Rainne and addressed directly to Ms Leyland’s Twitter account, @sweepyface.

The following day her body was found at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester where she had fled to after being identified as the sender of tweets expressing her views on the Madeleine mystery.

Today we can disclose some of the appalling comments sent to her. The first states: “Hoping you get beaten so bad you beg for mercy, only to have gasoline thrown on you and set ablaze.”

The next adds: “You have reached the end of your torturing campaign against the McCann family, understand.”

The third message is a direct threat against her life with the sadistic author stating: “Death is waiting and watching for u @sweepyface..Do you feel it????”

The next attack was so disgusting it is unsuitable for publication.

The last message states: “Sweepyface, we’re coming for you. Do you feel us?? The decent kind folk who pray for this family and their sad loss.You go to hell *****.”

Police are trying to establish the details of the sick pro-McCann troll, who may face prosecution, and discover whether Ms Leyland read the messages and if she discussed them with any family or friends prior to her death. A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “We are investigating the circumstances around the death. If any offences are disclosed, we will investigate appropriately.”

There is no suggestion that Kate and Gerry McCann or any members of their wider family know Ms Leyland’s troll.

Ms Leyland was confronted about her Twitter comments about the McCanns by Sky News, which revealed that Scotland Yard detectives on the Operation Grange squad were examining a so-called dossier of anti-McCann trolls.

She was not named in the report and crime reporter Martin Brunt did not say she lived at Burton Overy, a village just 15 miles from the McCanns’ home in Rothley, Leicestershire. However, her identity quickly became known.

After the report Gerry McCann told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Clearly something needs to be done about the abuse on the internet. I think we probably need more people to be charged. We do not have any significant presence on social media or online and I’ve got grave concerns about our children as they grow up and start to access the internet.

“I’m glad to see the law around this area has been reviewed. We need to make examples of people who are causing damage.”

A friend of Ms Leyland said she “couldn’t live with herself” after being outed and feared going to jail.

The neighbour, who had been due to accompany university-educated churchgoer Ms Leyland to a harvest festival the day after her death, said: “We never dreamed she was trolling the McCanns. That was very wrong.

“Brenda was a proud, very bright, articulate and upstanding lady and the thought of a prosecution and a prison sentence hanging over her would have devastated her. Sadly she couldn’t live with herself.

“I’ll really miss her, yes she was eccentric and opinionated but she was flamboyant and fun too.”

Today we can reveal fresh momentum in the investigation to find out what ­happened to Madeleine, who vanished from a holiday home in Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007.

Scotland Yard detectives are due to fly to Portugal tomorrow for a meeting with Portuguese officers and possibly Ines Sequiera, the new prosecutor for the case, who is reported to be “utterly determined” to crack it.

They want their Portuguese counterparts to interview three of seven suspects for a second time and search their homes.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell, responding to alleged online death threats against Brenda Leyland, said yesterday: “We will not be commenting. It is a matter for the coroner.”

A source close to Kate and Gerry said: “Abuse online seems to go in either direction but it has nothing to do with Kate and Gerry. They do not encourage or condone anything online. People seem to say anything they want.”

September 23rd, 2014

Sunday Times sued by McCanns over story @ 10:39 am

The parents of missing child Madeleine McCann have sued The Sunday Times for libel over a story which they said gave the impression they had hindered the investigation into her disappearance.

According to publisher News UK the claim has been settled.

Kate and Gerry McCann took issue with a front-page story from last year, which the couple said suggested they had kept "secret from investigating authorities a crucial piece of evidence concerning the disappearance of their daughter".

In addition to the article, which was published on 27 October and remained online until 8 November, the McCanns also made reference to readers' comments left on the article - in High Court papers seen by Press Gazette.

The story, for which the paper apologised on 28 December, said: “The critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.”

The title reported that an intelligence report produced for the McCanns contained “crucial E-Fits” of a man who was identified as the prime suspect last year. The paper said that the “McCanns and their advisers sidelined the report and threatened to sue its authors if they divulged its contents”.

The Insight story also quoted a source close to the McCanns as saying that the report was “hyper-critical of the people involved”.

In their claim form, in which they were claiming unspecified damages, the McCanns said that the story was understood to mean that they had hindered "the search for [Madeleine] and the investigation into her disappearance by allowing the trail to go cold".

They said that the story led to them having “suffered serious damage to their reputations and severe embarrassment and distress”.

They also claimed that the paper's Insight team, which wrote the story, had not told their spokesman the full extent of the allegations which were to be made against them.

The McCanns also said that the story did not include several points made to Insight by their spokesman. They said this denied them "a proper opportunity to inform the readers of The Sunday Times of the falsity of the allegations against them".

On 1 November, the couple sent editor Martin Ivens an email headed: “Complaint letter – urgent”.

They said that the email, outlining what was wrong with the story with a “detailed rebuttal”, was responded to by executive editor Bob Tyrer six days later.

The McCanns said in their claim form that he told them “we could have made some facts clearer in the story” and that “we could have published more of your pre-publication statement” but largely rejected their complaint.

They said Tyrer offered them “three limited revisions” to the online article, publication of the statement from their spokesman and “an extremely limited” clarification in the corrections and clarifications column.

On 8 November Gerry McCann wrote back noting his disappointment that the article remained online and he pointed to the readers’ comments below.

The McCanns then consulted lawyers Carter Ruck, who wrote to The Sunday Times on 15 November “with proposed wording for an apology”.

The Sunday Times published the following apology on 28 December:

In articles dated October 27 ("Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years" and "Investigators had E-Fits five years ago", News) we referred to efits which were included in a report prepared by private investigators for the McCanns and the Fund in 2008. We accept that the articles may have been understood to suggest that the McCanns had withheld information from the authorities. This was not the case. We now understand and accept that the efits had been provided to the Portuguese and Leicestershire police by October 2009. We also understand that a copy of the final report including the efits was passed to the Metropolitan police in August 2011, shortly after it commenced its review. We apologise for the distress caused."

September 6th, 2014

Madeleine McCann: are we any closer to knowing the truth? @ 03:10 pm

In the seven years since Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal, myriad theories about what happened to her have taken root, but only one fact remains uncontested: that she was reported missing at 10.14pm on the evening of Thursday, May 3, 2007.

It was at that point, when police were called, that the clock started ticking on the biggest missing persons investigation for decades, a search which remains very much active to this day.

Facts, the hard currency of any police investigation, have proved almost uniquely elusive; every sighting, every timing and every witness statement has been disputed in the years that have elapsed since.

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann quickly came under suspicion by Portuguese police, a development that the couple are certain meant vital clues were missed in the first hours and days after Madeleine’s disappearance.

Every possible theory has been explored since then: that Madeleine was abducted by a paedophile; that she was killed during a bungled burglary and her body dumped; that she was abducted by traffickers and sold to a childless couple; that she wandered out of the apartment and died in a tragic accident, and many more besides.

To date, however, not one shred of proof of what happened to Madeleine has been unearthed. The question of what happened to Madeleine would become not only a personal tragedy for the McCann family, but a national obsession in the UK and in Portugal.

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, was on the penultimate day of her family holiday on the day she vanished. She had spent part of the day playing by the swimming pool in the Ocean Club resort, where the last known picture of her was taken at 2.29pm.

Reports of when she was last seen alive by independent witnesses vary, but she was still alive at around 6pm, when she and her parents went into their apartment at 5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, where Madeleine and her two-year-old twin brother and sister were readied for bed.

The McCanns told police they put the children to bed at around 7pm, and that all three were asleep by 8.30pm, when they went for dinner at a tapas bar 50 yards across the pool from their apartment. There they met seven friends with whom they were on holiday.

The McCanns say checks were made on their children every half-hour, sometimes by other members of the party, comprising Dr Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner, from Exeter, Dr Matthew and Rachael Oldfield, from London, and David and Fiona Payne, from Leicester, together with Mrs Payne's mother Dianne Webster. Mrs Webster, however, reportedly told police that each couple was responsible for checking their own children.

Gerry McCann went to the apartment at 9.05pm, when all the children were sleeping soundly and Madeleine was still in her bed, he says.

The police in Portugal, however, have never accepted the McCanns’ evidence as undisputed. They initially regarded the McCanns as suspects, and believed the McCanns could have killed Madeleine any time after the last independent sighting of her at 6pm.

Dr Matthew Oldfield went into apartment 5A at 9.30pm, and noticed that Madeleine’s room seemed lighter than the others, as if the shutters had been partially opened. He could not be certain whether Madeleine was there.

Kate McCann was next to check on the children, at 10pm. She ran back to the restaurant moments later, saying Madeleine was missing. The McCanns and their friends made a quick search of the resort, but after finding no sign of Madeleine the police were called at 10.14pm.

The McCanns told police they had put Madeleine to bed with her pink comfort blanket and favourite soft toy, Cuddle Cat, and was wearing short-sleeved Marks & Spencer Eeyore pyjamas.

Crucially, however, the apartment was not initially treated as a crime scene, meaning around 20 people went in and out before it was sealed off, contaminating potential evidence. Roadblocks were not put in place until 10am the next day, border guards were not informed for hours and Interpol did not put out a global missing persons alert for five days.

It meant that the most crucial time of any missing persons investigation – the first 24 hours – were largely squandered, and police have been trying to catch up ever since. Yet potentially key sightings and artists’ impressions of suspects were kept from the public for years.

Mary and Martin Smith, from Ireland, told police they saw a man carrying a child matching Madeleine’s description at around 10pm on Rua da Escola Primaria, 500 yards from the McCanns’ apartment. He was heading towards the beach, did not look like a tourist and did not seem comfortable carrying the child, they said.

Their evidence was compelling, but it was only in October 2013 that two e-fit images of the man, compiled by police from descriptions given by Mr and Mrs Smith, were released by Scotland Yard to coincide with a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of Madeleine’s disappearance. He remains a suspect.

There were also blind alleys. Jane Tanner, one of the tapas diners, told police that when she left the restaurant at 9.15pm to check on her own daughter, she saw a man carrying a small child, wearing pink pyjamas, in his arms.

For years afterwards, the mystery man would be a key suspect, if not the prime suspect, but in October 2013 the Metropolitan Police announced that a British holidaymaker who had been taking his daughter back to his apartment after picking her up from an evening crèche, had been identified as the man Miss Tanner had seen and ruled out of the inquiry.

The first person to become an “arguido”, or official suspect, was Robert Murat, a local property consultant, whose home was searched 12 days after the disappearance. He was formally cleared of suspicion in 2008 and won £600,000 in libel damages from 11 British newspapers.

The Portuguese Police, however, were suspicious of the McCanns from the beginning, partly due to a clash of cultures. They could not believe that parents would leave their children unattended, and did not approve of the McCanns’ use of the media to raise the profile of the case, in a country where secrecy is the hallmark of all police investigations.

The arrival of two British sniffer dogs in Portugal in July 2007 only hardened that belief. One dog was trained to sniff out traces of human blood, the other was trained to sniff out the scent of dead bodies. Both dogs were taken to several locations connected to the investigation, and gave alerts only in apartment 5A. Later, the cadaver dog gave an alert inside a Renault car, hired by the McCanns 24 days after Madeleine went missing.

DNA tests on samples taken from the car proved inconclusive, but the Portuguese police wrongly told journalists they were a “100 per cent match” for Madeleine.

The Portuguese police came up with the theory that Madeleine had been killed by her parents by accident, possibly by being given an overdose of a sedative to make her sleep, that they had hidden the body, faked her abduction and then used the hire car weeks later to move her body to a burial location.

In early September 2007, according to Kate McCann, she was told by the Portuguese police that if she admitted that Madeleine had died in the apartment and she had hidden her body she might only serve a two-year sentence and Gerry McCann would not be charged at all. On September 7 the couple were both made arguidos.

Goncalo Amaral, the chief inspector who had been in charge of the case, resigned in 2008 to write a book alleging that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment and the McCanns had faked the abduction. The McCanns sued him for libel, with the court expected to make its decision late in 2014.

In July 2008 the Portuguese attorney general announced that the McCanns were no longer suspects and the investigation was closed. The McCanns hired private investigators to carry on the search, but it was not until May 2011 that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced that Scotland Yard would review the evidence in the case, which had until then been the responsibility of Leicestershire Police, working with the Portuguese authorities.

In July 2013 Operation Grange, the review of the available evidence, became a full-blown criminal inquiry, and Scotland Yard said it was concentrating on a “criminal act by a stranger”.

The Yard announced it was looking into possible links between Madeleine’s disappearance and bogus charity collectors who were knocking on doors in Praia da Luz at the time. Between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on the day in question there were four separate sightings of men who said they were collecting money for an orphanage. British detectives believe men whose photofits they released in 2013 may have been engaged in reconnaissance for a pre-planned abduction or for burglaries, in keeping with the theory that Madeleine may have been killed by a burglar she disturbed.

Scotland Yard also said in 2013 it was eager to trace a blond-haired man who had been seen loitering in the area on April 30 and May 2, looking at apartment 1A. He was described as “ugly” with a spotty complexion and a large nose. Two blond-haired men were seen on the balcony of the empty apartment 5C, two doors from 5A, at 2.30pm on the day of the disappearance. Blond men were seen again near 5A at 4pm and 6pm that day, and at 11pm that night. Following the appeal on Crimewatch, the Portuguese police re-opened their own investigation.

Scotland Yard officers travelled to Portugal in 2014 to interview four suspects and carried out searches of the area around the apartment using ground-penetrating radar. One of the men who was interview has since been eliminated from the inquiry, but the other three men remain arguidos.

The British officers questioned them on suspicion of being part of a burglary gang that panicked after killing Madeleine during a bungled break-in. They all protested their innocence and were released without charge.

Another suspect was Euclides Monteiro, a convicted burglar with a drug habit, who had been sacked from the Ocean Club in 2006. Mobile phone tracking showed he had been in the area on the night of the disappearance, and police believe he may have been burgling apartments there to fund his drug addiction. He died in a tractor accident in 2009.

In March 2014 Scotland Yard announced that a lone intruder sexually assaulted five girls aged between seven and 10 in the Algarve between 2004 and 2006. The man, who has never been caught, was said to have a “very, very unhealthy interest” in young white girls.

The four incidents, one of which involved two girls, were among 12 in which men had entered holiday accommodation in the area, including two incidents in Praia da Luz. The force also said it was looking at 38 “people of interest” and were researching the backgrounds of 530 known sex offenders, including 59 regarded as high interest.

Kate and Gerry McCann remain convinced their daughter is alive and that they will one day be reunited. The hunt to find her continues: http://peaceandjustice.freeforums.net/thread/137/years-madeleine-mccann-disappeared?page=4&scrollTo=3582

August 26th, 2014

Scotland Yard detectives head to Portugal for 'make or break' investigation @ 04:41 pm

The team will meet with Portuguese investigators next month in Praia da Luz, where the little girl was last seen in May 2007. The move has been described as a "make-or-break moment" in the search. Officers have reportedly been given permission to speak to seven suspects, three of whom who have already been questioned. None of them has been arrested or charged. Detectives believe they could provide the information needed to help finally crack the case. Mobile phone records suggest at least three of them were near the seaside resort at the time of Maddie's disappearance and that they communicated in the hours that followed.

The Met police interviewed four suspects in Portugal in May. One of the four, Russian-born Sergey Malinka, has since been dismissed as a suspect. "Thousands of pieces of evidence have been re-examined by the Scotland Yard team to get to this stage," said a source. "This is far from a scatter-gun approach. "The detectives are acutely aware there is a finite amount of money for the investigation and that they need results. It is hoped they are on the right track to achieving those objectives."

Read More: http://peaceandjustice.freeforums.net/thread/202/madeleine-mccann-operation-grange

August 8th, 2014

Daniel Morcombe's parents met the McCanns @ 03:02 pm

The parents of Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe, who was abducted and killed in 2003, have told how a meeting with the parents of Madeleine McCann gave them strength during their toughest times. In an interview with Today on Wednesday morning Denise and Bruce Morcombe spoke of a dinner they shared with Kate and Gerry McCann during a holiday to England in July 2011. The McCanns' daughter Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007. She has never been found.
'You know it was really just like looking in the mirror', Mr Morcombe revealed.

'[They were] truly ordinary people and it was amazing how quickly we communicated even though that was the first time we'd ever met,' he told host Karl Stefanovic. Mr Morcombe also revealed that during the meal the two families compared their experiences with media, police, 'the frustrations of no news' and how they dealt with everyday life and commitments.

'In the back of everybody's minds is where is Daniel? But it's Brad and Anna's day': Twin brother of murdered Daniel Morcombe set to marry schoolgirl sweetheart. 'We sat down and had dinner and about three or four hours later it felt like five minutes had passed and they were really lovely people,' Mrs Morcombe said.

He is survived by two brothers, Bradley and Dean, and Bruce Morcombe said they are incredibly proud of their boys. 'I think we've done a pretty good job - They've both got nice girls and both got their own homes and good job and they've turned out pretty well,' he said. Daniel's remains were discovered in 2011 around the time his killer was charged. The whereabouts of Madeleine still remain a mystery.

Read more:

July 24th, 2014

May 17th, 2014

Have tweeting footie fans found Madeleine McCann? @ 11:17 am

The youngster was filmed during ITV4’s live coverage of Seville’s 4-2 penalties defeat of Portuguese giants Benfica on Wednesday night.

Fans claimed the girl in a red top shown clapping looked just like age-adjusted images of Madeleine, who vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

A picture of the girl in the crowd in Turin, Italy, went viral as hundreds became convinced it was Madeleine, who would now be 11.

Some claimed she even shared the missing girl’s distinctive flawed eye. The photo was retweeted to the Met Police which is conducting a £6million hunt for Madeleine.

Read more: http://peaceandjustice.freeforums.net/thread/6/madeleine-mccann-alive?page=6#ixzz31w3A6Edm

May 2nd, 2014

Gerry and Kate McCann speak to Lorraine @ 10:00 am

Gerry and Kate McCann speak to Lorraine

Gerry and Kate McCann speak to Lorraine ahead of the seven year anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance and on progress made by the Met investigation.

- "For us for life is defined by pre and post the abduction…”

- This time seven years ago everything was as great as it could be.

- On wanting more progress on the investigation - “time rolling on for us is still painful and living in limbo of not knowing is horrible”.

- Couple call for a joint investigation between the Met and Portuguese police

April 29th, 2014

THIS is how missing Madeleine McCann may look now @ 07:43 am

An age progression expert has produced an image of how a ten-year-old Madeleine may look:

Madeleine McCann