Posts Tagged ‘Kate and Gerry McCann’

McCanns and the death of investigative journalism

July 17, 2008

You would be forgiven for thinking investigative journalism in Britain is dead after reading Kate and Gerry McCann: Beyond the smears by David James Smith in the Sunday Times Magazine. Especially following reading, the sub-heading, in effect, like the blurb on the dust jacket of a book:

For six months David James Smith has examined the evidence surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for The Sunday Times Magazine. In this, the most comprehensive — and authoritative — investigation yet, he addresses the key issues facing Gerry and Kate as they prepare for Christmas without their daughter“.

The article begins:

“That week in Praia da Luz, the week the McCanns were made suspects in their own daughter’s “death”, I was out there talking to them and to family and friends”. That was a fatal mistake, because it becomes clear,  that the more one reads the article, that David James Smith came under the spell of the McCann spin machine and allowed himself to become hypnotised. So deeply into a trance David James Smith goes that he comes out with the following nonsense statement.

“It seems important to make it clear right away that I do not suspect the McCanns harmed Madeleine, nor do I think they disposed of their daughter’s body if, as the PJ believe, she died in an accident that night in their apartment”.

“It was the sixth day of their week’s holiday in the Algarve and they [the McCanns] were reflecting on the enjoyable time they’d had, how surprisingly easy it had been with the children”. Personally, I am not surprised given how little holiday time they actually spent with the children. All day the kids were dumped in the creche, and then left all night Home Alone whilst the McCanns indulged in binge drinking sessions with their friends!

Gerry McCann is a typical tightfisted Scots bastard who managed to get a reduction on the price of the holiday when the McCanns discovered that the Ocean Club did not provide a baby listening service. So, why did they not use this extra money to pay for a babysitter to be on the safe side? Or, there was the free dining out service, a child minding service which allows parents to enjoy a meal while their children are being looked after by qualified personnel.

“As Jane Tanner walked up the hill, she saw Gerry talking to Jes and, as she passed them, she saw ahead of her a man walking quickly across the top of the road in front of her, going away from the apartment block, heading to the outer road of the resort complex. The man was carrying a little girl who was hanging limply from his open arms. The sighting was odd, but hardly exceptional in a holiday resort”.

One of the things odd about Jane Tanner’s version of events, upon seeing Gerry McCann in the street at such close distance is why didn’t she call out “Hello!”? David James Smith fails to point out that neither Gerry McCann nor Jeremy Wilkins notices Jane Tanner. This has to call into question Jane Tanner’s credibility as a witness.

“It perhaps needs to be stated openly that all these timings and details, the way in which they weave and dovetail together, are based on witness accounts – corroborated not just by the McCann group but by others, such as Jes Wilkins – and that, despite suggestions to the contrary, there are no obvious contradictions or differences between them”. One thing about this case is the obvious contradictions. In no way can it be claimed that the accounts dovetail together. The journalist is clearly mistaking a flat pack of misfitting furniture from Ikea for a genuine Thomas Chippindale chest of drawers!

“In the McCanns’ minds now, there is no doubt Jane Tanner saw their daughter being taken, but there was so little time to talk in the first few days that it was not until Jane saw the description of Madeleine’s pyjamas in the media, around Monday or Tuesday of the following week, that she told them the little girl she had seen was wearing the same design: pink top and white bottoms with a floral design”. Wrapped up in a blanket, it was dark and there was distance, but still she saw the white and pink combination pyjamas? Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing especially when the report in the media jogs her memory!

I must say I was rather tickled by the thought that the sniffer dogs only picked out the McCanns Renault Scenic from a line-up of cars because it had ‘Find Madeleine’ stickers plastered over its windows!

It would be Black Monday for sure if we were to learn that no criminal proceedings are to be brought against the McCanns.


Clarence Mitchell is looking for another job

July 14, 2008

Following on from this post where I suggested Clarence Mitchell was looking for another job, the Daily Telegraph has since published this little snippet.

McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell ponders PR move

As Kate and Gerry McCann return from their first family holiday since their daughter Madeleine disappeared 14 months ago, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell is in talks to join a PR agency where he plans to help other parents who have lost children to deal with the media.

The former BBC reporter, has already advised the parents of Jimmy Mizen, the 16-year-old schoolboy murdered in London in May, and Fiona MacKeown, the mother of 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling, who was murdered in Goa in February.

Thus far Mitchell has assisted on a pro bono basis, but, as the requests for his expertise mount up, he is mulling his options.

“I’m happy to help anyone in the eye of a media storm, but I need to put myself on a firm financial footing,” he says.

“I should stress, however, that there’s absolutely no question of me abandoning Kate and Gerry McCann”.

UPDATE: I was just checking Google to see if they had picked up this story on my blog. For once I was not disappointed because the top slot was taken up by this little gem

UPDTED UPDATE: The link no longer shows this is just as well I captured it on another open window

Clarence Mitchell Executive Search & Selection company. Based in Leeds, LS1

Copyright Clarence Mitchell Recruitment 2008
Background to the story here.
UPDATE: Whilst it remains the case that Clarence  Mitchell is jobseeking, I have asked and received confirmation that our Clarence Mitchell and the one associated with the recruitment company are not one and the same.

Hi John,

I can categorically state that there is no connection whatsoever.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.

Kind Regards


From: J Hirst []
Sent: 15 July 2008 11:55
To: Sarah Roddy
Subject: Is this Clarence Mitchell one and the same?


I am attempting to establish if there is any connection between the Clarence Mitchell who is the media spokesman for the McCanns and your agency.

Could you please enlighten me?


John Hirst

Sarah Roddy
PA to Directors
3rd Floor, Aquis House, 12 Greek Street, Leeds, LS1 5RU – Get Directions
E-mail: | 0113 331 4111
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