Man questioned over Madeleine McCann lookalike step-daughter, 04 September 2009
Man questioned over Madeleine McCann lookalike step-daughter Telegraph
A fire protection officer was questionned over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann after being spotted in a petrol station with his step-daughter, who looks like the missing girl.
Published: 10:38AM BST 04 Sep 2009
Jon Hazelhurst with Lauren after she was mistaken for Madeleine McCann
Jon Hazlehurst and eight-year-old Lauren were at home when officers arrived at their doorstep and asked them to go to a police station.
A member of the public had seen the pair at a petrol station the day before and thought blonde Lauren was missing Maddie.
The concerned witness had noted down Mr Hazelhurst’s car registration plate and immediately notified police.
Officers then visited the family home and Jon and Lauren were taken to a police station for an identification process.
Mr Hazelhurst, of Kingsbridge, Devon, said he thought it was a “prank”.
He said: “I was surprised more than anything. My first thought was that it was someone pulling a prank on me before I realised that they were quite serious.
“I’ve never been called into a police station as a possible kidnapper. The police were very polite and I understood that they had to follow up the lead, even if it didn’t come to anything.
“There’s always a chance a tip-off like that might lead them to Madeleine.”
Mr Hazelhurst and Lauren pulled in for petrol on their way back from walking their dog at nearby Slapton beach on Sunday.
The following morning officers knocked on Mr Hazlehurst’s door asking him and his step-daughter to come to Kingsbridge police station.
The pair went with the officers but were later released after they were identified and it was proved that she was not Maddie.
Sgt Paul O’Neill, of Kingsbridge Police, said Lauren did bear a resemblance to Madeleine McCann – except for a different eye colour.
He added: “I thank the lady for bringing it to our attention. She did well to spot the little girl and inform us. Fortunately, the parent was more than willing to help.”
Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 while on holiday with her parents and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal.
She went missing a few days before her fourth birthday and would be six years old now.
Maddie lookalike quizzed by cops The SunBy JOHN COLES Published: Today (04 September 2009)
STUNNED Jon Hazlehurst and his eight-year-old stepdaughter were quizzed by cops after she was mistaken for Madeleine McCann.
A member of the public raised the alarm when she spotted them at a petrol station and thought blonde Lauren was missing Maddie.
She jotted down Jon’s car details and dialled 999 and officers went straight to his home nearby in Kingsbridge, Devon.
There they found his stepson Jack, 15, who gave them Jon’s mobile number and police told him to immediately report to the local nick.
Jon, a fire protection officer, said: “They said someone had seen me with a girl who looked like Madeleine McCann.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – I thought it was a prank before I realised that they were quite serious.
“But they told me to come to the police station with Lauren, so I went and picked her up from her friend’s house and we drove there straight away.”
Jon, who is married to Lauren’s mum Claire, 40, showed officers his business card and driving licence and Lauren’s birth certificate and the pair were then allowed home.
He admitted that Lauren does look like Maddie, who disappeared on holiday in the Algarve in May 2007.
He said: “A lot of people have said she does look like her, I can see it, she does have a similar frame and hair, but her eyes are different.
“But I was just really surprised throughout the whole thing – I felt a bit uncomfortable because I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
He added: “The police were very polite and I understood that they had to follow up the lead, even if it didn’t come to anything.
“There’s always a chance a tip-off like that might lead them to Madeleine.”
Jon suspects the “sighting” could have been triggered by the story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, the American girl found last week after vanishing 18 years ago.
He said: “In a way it proves people are still vigilant about Maddie – people should still be on the lookout for her.
“People do turn up years later. It happened last week when Jaycee Lee Dugard turned-up in the States. It can happen.
“As a parent it doesn’t bear thinking about one of your children going missing, I just can’t imagine how awful that out of control, powerless feeling must be.
“This is reassuring in a way that people are still looking for Madeleine.”
Sgt Paul O’Neill, of Kingsbridge Police, said Lauren did bear a resemblance to Madeleine McCann — except for a different eye colour.
He added: “I thank the lady for bringing it to our attention. She did well to spot the little girl and inform us. Fortunately, the parent was more than willing to help.”
Maddie went missing a few days before her fourth birthday and would be six-years-old now.
Jaycee Lee Dugard has endured a fate worse than death, 05 September 2009
Jaycee Lee Dugard has endured a fate worse than death Daily Mirror
By Tony Parsons 5/09/2009
I feel like I’m from another planet when I hear people saying that the discovery of kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard is good news for the parents of Madeleine McCann.
Really? Because as the parent of a daughter exactly the same age as Madeleine, to me the discovery of Jaycee (below) feels like the blackest news imaginable.
To me, the thought of a snatched child being turned into a sex slave is the stuff of nightmares. The idea of your child growing up as the sexual toy of the cruel bastard who stole her is a life transformed into a living hell.
Jaycee’s real dad says of the man who locked up his daughter for 18 years: “I would like to kill the sick animal.” I’d happily hold his coat while he did it.
I can’t begin to imagine what the McCanns have been through in the years since their little girl was snatched. I can’t imagine what they feel about the discovery of Jaycee. But good news? Hardly that.
Kept in filth and squalor, and forced to bear two children to the man who violated your childhood. Forced to play a leading role in the twisted fantasies of someone who should still be in jail for the sex crimes of his past.
Good news? To me, what Jaycee has endured is a fate far worse than death.
PRIVATE detectives looking for Madeleine McCann have returned to Portugal to pursue new leads which could provide a breakthrough in the case,.
Ex-policemen Arthur Cowley and Dave Edgar spent several days speaking to “persons of interest” to the inquiry.
“The investigation has real momentum with definite goals. A vast amount of work has already been done and every new lead is being checked,” a source said.
Meanwhile Kate and Gerry McCann’s twins, Sean and Amelie, have started school near their home in Thurmaston, Leics.
The four-year-olds have been sent to Bishop Ellis RC School – where Madeleine was enrolled before she went missing while on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
A message on the school’s website says: “We are sorry we are not yet able to welcome Madeleine to our school as we had hoped to.”
Marina, aged 8, found dead after false abduction alert, 11 September 2009
Marina, aged 8, found dead after false abduction alert 24heures/AFP
AFP — 11.09.2009 | 15:12 Thanks to ACG for translation
The body of a 8-year-old girl, who died a month ago but whose parents had invented a scenario of abduction, was found on Friday by the French gendarmerie at Le Mans after 24 hours of research, according to a judicial source.
The father confessed in police custody having invented the story of abduction, said the prosecutor Joelle Rieutort.
“He confessed after the police pointed out contradictions” and “fairly quickly said the abduction was a fake” she said to reporters.
Both parents were placed in custody.
The body of the little girl was found, after her father’s confession, in a container in a warehouse belonging to the company where he works.
In custody, he assured that the little girl had died in the first days of August of “natural death”, he said her body had been kept in a freezer at the couple’s previous home, says Ms. Rieutort.
“The autopsy will be conducted as soon as possible. There are no apparent signs of violence,” she said.
The father alerted police Wednesday on the alleged disappearance of the girl. He claimed that he briefly left the child alone, asleep in his car on a fast food restaurant parking, just the time to pick up food with his 10-year-old son.
Nearly 150 policemen were mobilized on Thursday and have been looking for the little girl.
Madeleine search ‘wrecked our life’, 13 September 2009
THE WIFE of a disgraced Portuguese police chief wrote a “poisonous” letter to Kate McCann in an attempt to defend his handling of the botched Madeleine investigation, the Sunday Express can reveal today.
Sarcastically addressing the heartbroken mother as “Madam Kate”, Sofia Amaral amazingly sought sympathy from her because of the amount of time her husband had spent away from his family searching for the missing girl.
Goncalo Amaral was head of the regional police at the time Madeleine was snatched from the McCann’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007.
He was sacked over his poor handling of the case. Mrs Amaral hit out in response to Kate McCann’s remark that the way her husband had run the inquiry was a “disgrace”.
When Madeleine, aged three, vanished the Amarals were in the process of moving to Portimao, 15 miles from Praia da Luz, and Mrs Amaral wrote: “My husband’s holiday was supposed to start the day after your daughter disappeared. For obvious reasons that did not happen.
“I looked at houses, I made the move and I tried to settle our daughters into new schools – all without any support from my husband, who was looking for your daughter, Madam Kate. In October, on the day of his birthday, Goncalo Amaral was dismissed.
“It was supposed to be a time of the family getting together, but in fact it was even more of a separation. Isn’t that a disgrace?”
The letter goes on: “My husband has always refused to sit comfortably behind his desk from nine to five, which is usual for his rank.
“Instead, he spent the day – and sometimes the night – coordinating on-the-spot searches, surveillance, seizures and other duties.
“As you must know, my husband’s salary was barely 1.5 times the minimum wage of your country.”
A friend of the McCanns described Mrs Amaral’s letter as “poisonous”. She added: “It had a very sarcastic tone and implied that Madeleine’s disappearance has wrecked their lives. It showed no sympathy to Kate and Gerry for their loss.
“She had the gall to ask Kate what she had to complain about when the little girl’s disappearance had put intolerable pressure on her and her husband’s lives.”
Amaral and his wife face financial ruin as the McCanns step up their claim for more than £1million damages over claims he made in his book, The Truth of the Lie.
The fortune Amaral amassed from its sales looks likely to be seized and put into the McCanns’ fund that pays private detectives to search for Madeleine.
The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell explained: “Kate is aware of the letter and its contents. It was complete nonsense.”
Madeleine’s father, heart consultant Gerry McCann, 41, said one of his private investigators believed Amaral’s book had hampered the 28-month hunt.
He added: “If people continue to believe she is dead, they will not come forward with information.”
Madeleine McCann ‘is in a secret lair’, 13 September 2009
Dave Edgar, hired to lead the investigation into the hunt for Madeleine McCann.
Ulster detective leading the hunt on why he thinks she’s being held captive just like Jaycee Dugard
By Aaron Tinney Sunday, 13 September 2009
The Ulster detective leading the search for Madeleine McCann today reveals his most chilling theories yet, exclusively to Sunday Life. Hardened ex-RUC cop Dave Edgar told us he is convinced that little Maddie is imprisoned in a hellish lair – just like kidnapped sex slave Jaycee Lee Dugard.
He insisted the “back from the dead” reappearance of Jaycee – and the cases of Austrian cellar girls Elisabeth Fritzl and Natascha Kampusch – confirmed his suspicion.
And despite fresh leads taking his probe to Australia and Barcelona, the east Belfast man insists the golden-haired youngster is being held just 10 miles from where she was snatched in Praia da Luz two years ago.
But he warned that the sprawling wilderness where he believes Maddie is languishing is almost impossible to search completely.
Belfast-born Dave revealed the grim theories when he opened his case files to us.
We spent the day at the Cheshire office he uses to conduct the world’s biggest missing person case.
Sunday Life can now lift the lid on how his Alpha Investigations Group private eye agency really operates and what it is like to search for the world’s most famous missing youngster, who disappeared two years, four months and 10 days ago.
When we visited Dave’s headquarters, US kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard had still not been rescued and the world had long forgotten her name.
But even then Dave said he was convinced Maddie was entombed by an abductor in a cellar or dungeon, like Austrian cellar victims Natascha Kampusch and Elisabeth Fritzl.
“Maddie is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar, just like Natascha or Elisabeth, and could emerge at any time,” he told us.
Days later, news broke that tormented Jaycee had been freed from the foul compound where she was abused for 18 years by monster Phillip Garrido. Dave simply said: “This just supports my theory that Maddie is alive and imprisoned.”
There was further backing for his theory when American boy Ricky Chekevdia was found hiding with his mother in a tiny “secret room” two years after he was kidnapped while caught in a custody battle.
Former detective inspector Dave, who grew up on Belfast’s Woodstock Road, was drafted in by Kate and Gerry McCann last November after Spanish investigators failed to find new leads.
Renowned for leaving no stone unturned in his UK murder investigations, Dave now spends his days with a four-strong team probing every lead that comes in to his office.
His partner Arthur Cowley has more than 30 years’ policing experience in north-west England – and the pair are backed up by a translator and an ex-police administrator.
They have sifted through thousands of emails, answerphone messages and letters to get that one breakthrough lead.
Last month, the information took Dave’s probe to Australia and Barcelona to track a ‘Victoria Beckham lookalike’ suspect, who spoke with an Australian or New Zealand accent.
She was seen asking two British tourists at a marina in Barcelona if they were there to deliver her “new daughter” – three days after Maddie disappeared.
But he told us he is now back to focusing on his original theory.
He still feels Maddie was snatched by a man spotted by the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner, one of the so-called ‘Tapas Seven’ who dined with them the night Maddie went missing.
Dave said: “Jane is a very reliable witness and there were other sightings of this man, who Jane saw carrying a little girl in a blanket, in the days leading up to the disappearance.”
He feels this is the lone prowler who has Maddie stashed in a cellar or dungeon in the lawless villages around Praia da Luz.
But Dave warned: “This rural, sprawling terrain makes it extremely difficult to search. You could quite easily keep a child there for years and no-one else would know.
“The person who has Maddie is most likely a paedophile or a person so desperate for a family they were willing to kidnap for it.
“I wouldn’t like to speculate on what is happening to her.”
Dave says the region where he feels Maddie is being held has attracted many strange characters, including convicted sex offenders.
“I don’t want to generalise or make gross exaggerations, but there are people there living on the edges of society,” Dave said.
He added there were as many as nine child sex attacks in the area round Praia da Luz from 2005 to 2007 and the victims included British kids.
Some happened as close as 20 miles from Praia da Luz, and six of them were on girls between the ages of three and 10.
He is now investigating leads on six child sex offenders, 78 other rapists and sex attackers and 22 vagrants.
In a glimmer of hope, Dave said: “The key thing is no body has been found.
“When paedophiles kill, they often dump the body nearby, and this isn’t the case here.
“Even if Maddie had been dumped in the sea nearby the resort, the ocean often gives up his victims.
“Until I find evidence that she is dead, I will keep going.”
And his plans for the future?
“I don’t know. We could still be sitting here in 10 years.
“If Maddie is being held, she may be being brought up to speak a different language and not even remember her own name or where she was from.
“All we can do is try and keep public awareness high – and try and reach as much of that mountainous region outside the resort as we can.”
Madeleine: World Exclusive – I Know How She Was Taken, 20 September 2009
MADELEINE McCann was abducted by at least two kidnappers who must have carried out several dry runs in the days leading up to her disappearance.
After spending a week on the ground investigating the case and the methods used by the kidnappers, I can only conclude that they must have entered the apartment to carry out a rehearsal, because they were working to an incredibly tight schedule.
The three-minute time frame they allowed themselves left no margin for error.
But even though they did their homework with meticulous care, they still came within seconds of capture.
I believe the focus of the investigation for the private investigators hired by Madeleine’s parents should be on a breakdown of who was in and around the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz throughout their holiday.
It is more than probable key witnesses would have seen the kidnappers in the days and nights leading up to the abduction on May 3, 2007.
Such was the narrow window of opportunity, only agile, sharp-witted people well-practised in breaking and entering properties could have pulled this off.
SOFT TARGET: MacIntyre believes Madeleiene was passed through this apartment window
Over the past week I have conducted a cold case review of most of the available evidence relating to the abduction and had lengthy discussions with numerous Portuguese sources who cannot be identified.
Crucial to unravelling the whole case is establishing what precisely took place from 8pm to 10.15pm on the night Madeleine vanished.
In my view too little attention has been paid to what I believe was a key sighting.
A dark-haired woman was observed standing near a street light at a road junction that overlooks apartment 5A. What was she doing in the eerily quiet area, which is not near a bus stop, taxi rank, cafes or shops?
She was seen looking at the apartment as the late evening gloom descended.
Was she also watching to see the movements of Kate and Gerry McCann and their holiday friends, the so-called Tapas Seven? I think so.
The same witness who saw the mystery woman also saw a gold or brown Nissan car driving erratically past the woman.
Despite appeals neither the woman nor the driver of the car has come forward.
Was this Nissan the getaway car and was its driver conducting a dry run at this very time? Again, I think so.
Although we do not, sadly, have a minute-by-minute breakdown of the events that took place, this is the scenario that I believe unfolded.
Having settled Madeleine, then three, and their two-year- old twins, Sean and Amelie, Gerry and Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have a glass of wine before heading off to the tapas bar, a minute’s walk away, to join their friends Jane Tanner and her partner Russell O’Brien, Rachel and Mathew Oldfield, David and Fiona Payne and Diane Webster.
At about 9pm Gerry leaves the table and walks over to the apartment to check on the twins and Madeleine.
He enters the apartment and then goes to the toilet. He checks on his children and savours a proud father’s moment as he stands by the doorway looking into the back bedroom where they are all soundly asleep.
MACABRE ATTRACTION: The Praia da Luz resort
The twins are in cots and Madeleine in bed, holding her favourite toy, Cuddle Cat. Gerry spends up to 10 minutes in the five-room apartment and will only later reflect that he felt there was someone else there at the same time.
For the kidnap to have taken place I believe Gerry’s gut instinct was sound.
So we must assume that a few minutes before Gerry arrived, the abductor walked along the public road beside the apartment, opened the gate, walked up 10 steps to the patio and entered through the open patio doors.
At this stage he or she is a heartbeat away from being caught. But where could the abductor have hidden? Gerry walked through the front room, used the bathroom and looked in on the children – but did he check anywhere else?
GRIEF: Kate and Gerry at the time of kidnap
My view is that the abductor was probably in the children’s bedroom, possibly behind the door or crouching behind furniture.
As Gerry strolls out of the patio doors, closing but not locking them, he leaves through the same small gate facing the road where the abductor has entered minutes before.
Just outside, he meets television producer Jes Wilkins on the way back to the tapas bar. There is not another soul on the street.
Back inside the apartment the abductor must be breathing a sigh of relief as Gerry leaves, then realises his exit route is blocked and plan B has to be put into operation.
For this, help is essential. The abductor inside the apartment passes Madeleine – probably put to sleep with chloroform – through the open window into the accomplice’s arms.
In the distance, the voices of Gerry McCann and Jes Wilkins waft through the air.
What trauma would Madeleine suffer if, terrified and forcibly kept silent, she hears Dad’s voice as she is being bundled into the hands of dangerous strangers? At the same time – about 9.10pm – and unnoticed by Wilkins and Gerry, Jane Tanner observes them chatting.
The kidnapper holding Madeleine retreats to the adjacent car park before heading on to the same footpath where, a short distance downhill, Gerry and Wilkins are talking.
The accomplice makes his way out of the window and into the darkness.
The kidnappers think they have got away with it, but they are on the brink of being caught.
Despite hearing the voices of Madeleine’s father a short distance away, the kidnapper holding the girl plans to cross the road junction just above them.
As he hits the footpath, he sees both men chatting and Jane Tanner heading his way – three potential witnesses to the abduction, including the father of the child.
Why choose such a potentially disastrous course? My belief is that he had to make a rendezvous with the getaway driver.
The seven seconds he took to cross the road were either well-planned, foolhardy or a sign of breathtaking confidence. In any case, the kidnapper never faltered and was never seen again.
Jane Tanner says he was carrying a child. She believes it was Madeleine and her theory is supported by the McCann investigators.
The timing of the statements from the key witnesses suggests that there was a maximum of three to five minutes for the abduction to be executed.
In such circumstances only good planning and co-ordination could make this possible. It would be an extraordinary effort, needing an astonishing degree of luck, if this had been done on an opportunistic basis.
The clean execution of the kidnap, without a hint of a DNA trace or any useable evidence, means it was highly professional and planned with precision.
Such precision is the hallmark of fixated, obsessive sexual predators. There were 20 known paedophiles living on the Algarve at the time including one with a flat near the McCanns’ apartment but all have been eliminated as possible perpetrators.
However, the area must be a magnet for sex offenders. It has a creche, school and nursery. Add a transient population of young holidaymakers and you have a lot of attractions for sexual predators.
With its road access the McCann apartment was the most vulnerable in the complex and it is easy to see why a paedophile would make it a target.
The McCanns’ decision, formed by the semi-secure nature of the holiday complex, to use a check-in system for their children rather than have babysitters allowed the abductors to strike. In hindsight, that unfortunate decision left their children vulnerable to an abductor.
Last week I walked unchallenged on to the property in the company of another journalist. We were both unsuitably dressed and surrounded by children and parents. We had a drink and left. Two hours later I returned and again was not challenged.
Today there is more lighting around the complex but little else has changed. Until the kidnappers are caught, the unspoken fear will remain that Praia da Luz is a sunny place for shady people.
All that remains visible of the Madeleine McCann campaign there is a touching shrine in the beautiful church on the sea front.
Pray For Me, the heart-shaped poster pleads. Below it, 10 electric candles flicker in her memory. Many more will be lit before this mystery is solved.
* Lawyers representing Kate and Gerry McCann have demanded that a website claiming their daughter was not abducted should be taken down.
The Madeleine Foundation claims Madeleine is dead and her parents bear some responsibility for her death.
The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry have made it clear they will not dignify the actions of the so-called Madeleine Foundation with any comment.”
CRIME SCENE: MacIntyre stands outside the holiday apartments where Madeleine was kidnapped
By Donal MacIntyre Sunday September 20, 2009
THIS PART of the Algarve must have seemed like paradise to visitors and residents before the dark events of May 3, 2007.
Now it has a sombre feel and the history of the Ocean Club’s Apartment 5A has turned it into a macabre tourist attraction.
I watched as visitors walked around the crime scene, British and Irish tourists swapping their theories.
This bit of paradise has changed. Children are never out of sight of cautious parents. Hands are held tighter and suspicions are acted upon.
But the locals have had enough. They have taken down posters and will not talk. They voiced their irritation when I asked them about the case.
As I walked around the resort I could only feel heartbreak for Gerry and Kate and what they are going through. As a Dad, it is beyond comprehension that I could lose one of my girls in such a way and I am certain that I would not have been able to endure the pressures the couple have undergone.
Where I have dreams for my daughters, they have memories. Where I have a future for my girls, Madeleine only has a past.
I pray that Madeleine is living out a present somewhere, waiting to rediscover a future with her grieving parents. As a father, I would never deny Gerry and Kate that hope.
WHAT type of person could coolly and precisely plan and rehearse the abduction of a stranger? I gained an insight into such a mind when I interviewed Jon Simonis, who is serving 2,527 years in Louisiana State Penetentiary for more than 100 rapes and abductions.
The man known as the Ski Mask Rapist told me how he would coldly and calmly stalk his victims, sometimes for weeks, before executing his depraved rape and sadistic torture techniques.
“I stalked my victims like a hunter stalks deer. It sometimes took weeks to hone my target,” he said. For him it was easy to separate the sex crimes from the planning. The rape was a pay-off for the organisation and the precision of the preparation.
“It was just me in another life,” he told me, in his prison cell, shackled by the feet, with a company of armed prison officers standing by.
Sexual predators have patterns of behaviour that can help build profiles of crimes and perpetrators. Like us all, sex offenders are creatures of habit. Asked what drove him to commit these crimes, he said: “Some people are into sports. I was into excitement and adrenalin. Crime was my drug of choice. I could have done the same thing if I was into racing cars or climbing mountains.
“Crime had so much more to offer in terms of the different excitement.
“I have remorse for my victims but at the time you don’t care too much about the consequences or the victims.”
Simonis 59, was jailed in 1981 for crimes committed over a three-year period. He will die in prison.
FEARLESS: Donal MacIntyre has a reputation for taking on dangerous stories
Sunday September 20, 2009
DONAL MACINTYRE is an Irish investigative journalist who has a reputation for being fearless and courageous. Starting out in newspapers, he earned his reputation in Britain with a year-long undercover drug-dealing expose for World In Action in 1996, which won him a Royal Television Society Award.
Moving to the BBC in 1998, he went undercover with Chelsea football hooligans and campaigned against abuse in care homes.
As a result, MacIntyre, 43, has received death threats and has had to move house more than 50 times. In 2003, he joined Five TV to expose the trade in rare animals, body parts and weapons in MacIntyre’s Millions. He has reported across the globe on international drug traffickers and war crimes and his documentaries have been broadcast in more than 75 countries.
In 2006 he married Ameera Ahmed at Slane Castle in Ireland. They have two daughters, Allegra, five, and tiger Willow, two.
Donal MacIntyre is on BBC Radio Five Live tonight at 7.30pm.
Mark Williams-Thomas’ verdict on Donal MacIntyre’s article Twitter
Dave Edgar, hired to lead the investigation into the hunt for Madeleine McCann
Method used in Omagh case is crucial to solving Maddie mystery says ex-Ulster cop
By Aaron Tinney Sunday, 20 September 2009
A controversial DNA test used in the failed Omagh bomb case is the key to finding Madeleine McCann’s kidnapper, Ulster investigator Dave Edgar has claimed.
But the former RUC detective sergeant’s team will never be able to use it as Portuguese authorities will not give him access to forensic information.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Life at the HQ of his Alpha Investigations Group in Cheshire, the ex-cop leading the search for Maddie believes that DNA tests, which can establish a profile from just a few cells, could help solve the mystery.
Edgar said he tries to maintain “a decent relationship” with Algarve cops but has blasted them for contaminating the scene of her disappearance.
He claimed if Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA testing had been carried out at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, where Maddie vanished from two years and four months ago, it is “highly likely” her abductor would have been nailed.
LCN DNA is a highly sensitive forensic procedure which magnifies potential evidence that is unidentifiable by traditional DNA testing.
It can obtain a perpetrator’s profile from only a few cells as small as a millionth the size of a grain of salt. Some argue its magnification method leaves evidence open to distortion.
Doubts were raised when south Armagh electrician Sean Hoey was cleared of charges connected to the Omagh bombing in a case which focused on LCN DNA.
But Dave has seen it work before. His team used it in 2007 to snare killer Stephen Mottram, who stabbed love-rival Andrew Batterton to death in a jealous rage.
Dave said: “It’s an amazingly powerful tool, so it’s a real shame we will never get to use it with Maddie.”
Prosecutors in the Omagh case claimed that LCN analysis had shown links between the bomb timers used in the attack and Hoey.
But the judge rejected the use of the technique because it was not yet seen to be at a sufficiently scientific level to be considered evidence and Hoey was cleared of a total of 58 charges, including 29 murders.
A UK-wide suspension of the technique after the Omagh case collapsed was lifted in January of last year and detectives are now free to use it again.
The PSNI has championed Low Copy Number DNA analysis, pointing out that it helped catch Trevor Hamilton, the serial offender who brutally murdered Strabane pensioner Attracta Harron in December 2003.
LCN DNA was also crucial to the conviction fireman Gordon Graham for the 2000 murder of Lisburn man Paul Gault, husband of Graham’s Fire Service lover Lesley, a mum of triplets.
Graham battered his love rival to death with a hockey stick and tried to the make the killing look like work of a burglar.
But Graham’s attempt to commit the ‘perfect crime’ was undone by traces of his sweat found on the handle of sports bag at the Gault’s Audley Park home.
Graham, who has always denied the murder, was ordered to serve a minimum 18 years behind bars by the judge who branded him “brutal and merciless” killer.
By Jerry Lawton 21st September 2009 MADELEINE McCann was snatched by a team of “obsessive sexual predators” led by a woman, claims TV’s Donal MacIntyre.
The investigator spent a week in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz – where Madeleine was snatched in May 2007.
And he identified a dark-haired woman spotted near the McCanns’ holiday apartment as a prime suspect.
The woman was seen near a road junction overlooking the apartment from which Madeleine vanished while her parents Gerry and Kate, both 41, dined nearby.
The same witness also saw a gold or brown Nissan being driven erratically past the woman.
Despite a 52-month global search neither the woman nor car driver have been traced.
MacIntyre, 43, said: “In my view too little attention has been paid to what I believe was a key sighting.
“Was she also watching to see the movements of Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends? I think so.
“Was this Nissan the getaway car and was its driver conducting a dry run?
“Again, I think so.”
MacIntyre, who has exposed drug dealers and soccer hooligans, believes the abductors were in the apartment when Gerry went to check on Madeleine and her two siblings.
The McCanns’ investigators say they are already probing MacIntyre’s findings and agree with most of his theories.
McCanns want to “sweep” their critics off the Internet, 24 September 2009
McCanns want to “sweep” their critics off the Internet O Crime (paper edition only)
Maddie’s parents are getting ready to act judicially against internet sites that question their behaviour through comments and texts that they consider to be defaming
by André Carapeto 24 September 2009 Thanks to Astro for translation
After the injunction that hit former Polícia Judiciária coordinator Gonçalo Amaral, preventing the book from being sold in Portugal and in England, Gerry and Kate McCann are now committed to making all the uncomfortable internet pages that concern the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine McCann, disappear.
Through their lawyers, Adam Tudor and Stephen Loughrey, from the offices of Carter Ruck, one of the most influential (and expensive) in England, Maddie’s parents want to discipline those who doubt their behaviour or suggest that they were somehow involved in their daughter’s destiny.
The famous law office that some months ago obtained hundreds of thousands of euro in compensation payments from some British media, for the McCanns and their friends who dined at the ‘Tapas Bar’ on the night that Maddie disappeared, has already taken a few measures in order to attack with the couple’s new legal offensive.
As far as everything indicates, those responsible for internet pages and blogs that are openly unfavourable towards the McCanns have already received intimations from Carter Ruck, ordering them to cease their activity, under threat of lawsuits for defamation and calumny. Test card…
One of the main (if not even “the” main) targets for Maddie’s parents is the website that is owned by the Madeleine Foundation, headed by Anthony Bennett and Debbie Butler, who received, early this month, the letters from Tudor and Loughney, where they were asked to stop the foundation’s online page’s activity, as well as other demands made by Gerry and Kate.
But there is more: the heads of the foundation that was created with the purpose of combating child neglect, were demanded to hand over all existing copies of the book “What really happened to Madeleine McCann – 60 reasons that show that she was not abducted”, which was published in late 2008.
Apart from this ‘order’, the former English member of parliament who leads the foundation also received notices to shut down the activity of the website that was created in November last year, as well as the order to deliver to Justice the remaining leaflets that contain a summary of the book, which volunteers at Bennett’s service delivered into various English locations, including Rothley, the neighbourhood where the McCanns reside.
The former English member of parliament who heads the foundation also received intimations to delete all computer records, both of the book and of said leaflets, and to delete all allegedly offensive comments that exist on the webpage, and on interconnected forums or blogs, many of which are signed by Bennett himself. But there is more…
Nevertheless, it is not only the Madeleine Foundation that is targeted by the McCanns’ offensive. The crosshairs also focus on blogs, including the “Three arguidos”, which is a forum that has been used for strong criticism of the behaviour of the English couple of doctors, since the night of the 3rd of May 2007.
Since they decided to stop giving interviews to the media, and discredited the action of the Portuguese police forces, the McCanns seem to have turned the search for their daughter into a struggle of their own, threatening to confront anyone who tries to contradict their position.
Over the last two years, since their daughter disappeared from apartment 5A at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Gerry and Kate have received unconditional support of some and severe criticism from others. After last year they secured a compensation payment of 700 thousand euro, which was obtained after they accused several newspapers in their country of defamation, and after six of the seven friends that accompanied them on their Portuguese holidays, under representation of the same law firm, also received compensation payments that neared 450 thousand euro, Gerry and Kate now threaten to go down the same route, with the internet as their target.
Maddie: Kate keeps hopes running high, 28 September 2009
Kate McCann with husband Gerry and Tapas Seven runner Fiona Payne yesterday
By Amy Fallon Monday September 28, 2009
KATE MCCANN ran into action yesterday to keep the search for her missing daughter Madeleine in the spotlight.
The 41-year-old wore a white vest with a picture of Madeleine on the front and the words “Don’t give up on me” as she participated in the Great Kibworth run near her home in Leicestershire.
Mrs McCann, a keen runner, finished a third of a marathon, in support of one of her favoured charities Macmillan Cancer Support.
She was joined by friends including Fiona Payne – a member of the Tapas Seven group of key witnesses in the disappearance of the toddler. Husband Gerry McCann cheered his wife on. Mrs McCann, who returned to Portugal last week for the first time since Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz in 2007, said detectives were still working hard on the case. She said: “We’ve had a lot of information come in even this far down the line. There are various reasons why they don’t come forward in the early days.
“We just need to keep going, just need to get more information and hope we get the bit we need really.”
Mrs McCann has said that she cries daily for her missing daughter. “Each day we get through, each week that we get through, I’m thinking, how is Madeleine?” she added.
Kate McCann completes fun-run to help raise profile of search for daughter Telegraph
Kate McCann completed a fun run on Sunday to help raise awareness of the continued search for her missing daughter, Madeleine.
By Ben Leach Published: 7:00AM BST 28 Sep 2009
Kate McCann completed a fun run on Sunday to help raise awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance
The 41-year-old mother of three returned to Portugal last week for the first time since her daughter Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007.
Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry flew to Lisbon on Wednesday to meet with their Portuguese lawyers and advisers as they take legal action against a former police detective who claimed Madeleine is dead.
The couple are suing Goncalo Amaral after winning a gagging order against the publication of his book. But Mrs McCann was back in Leicestershire on Sunday to join 800 competitors for the Great Kibworth charity run.
She ran in a vest emblazoned with a picture of Madeleine, who would now be six, and the words “Don’t give up on me”.
Mrs McCann, a keen runner, finished a third of a marathon, in support of one of her favoured charities Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mr McCann, also a keen runner, was on hand to support his wife who chose the shorter distance rather than compete in the half marathon event.
They were joined by friends including Fiona Payne – a member of the Tapas Seven group of key witnesses in the disappearance of the toddler.
During her Portugal visit Mrs McCann told reporters she cried every day for her daughter and remains determined to “find her and bring her home”.
Later, speaking about the visit, she said: “I think it was a positive move and it actually felt good to be there. I actually felt there was a bit of support for us there now so that helps. Fingers crossed this is the turning point.
“We’ve had a lot of information come in even this far down the line, there are various reasons why they don’t come forward in the early days.
“We just need to keep going, just need to get more information and hope we get the bit we need really. Each day we get through, each week that we get through, I’m thinking, how is Madeleine?”
A team of private investigators, funded by friends, family and donations, is continuing to hunt for Madeleine and is going through “hundreds of thousands” of pieces of information.
Kate McCann, the mother who’ll never give up the search for her missing daughter Madeleine Daily Mail
By CHRIS BROOKE Last updated at 11:15 AM on 28th September 2009
It has been a long hard road for Kate McCann over the last two years.
But the 41-year-old mother of three showed a different kind of endurance yesterday to complete a two-mile fun run.
Last week she returned to Portugal for the first time since her daughter Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007.
After a visit in which she and husband Gerry met with lawyers and the local media, she was back in Leicestershire to join 800 competitors for the Great Kibworth charity run.
She ran in a vest emblazoned with a picture of Madeleine, who would now be six.
During her Portugal visit Mrs McCann told reporters she cried every day for her daughter and remains determined to ‘find her and bring her home’.
Later, speaking about the visit, she said: ‘I think it was a positive move and it actually felt good to be there.
‘I actually felt there was a bit of support for us there now so that helps. Fingers crossed this is the turning point.
‘We’ve had a lot of information come in even this far down the line, there are various reasons why they don’t come forward in the early days.
‘We just need to keep going, just need to get more information and hope we get the bit we need really.’
Mrs McCann has continued her passion for jogging despite the strain of coping with the Madeleine investigation and she was one of around 800 competitors in the Great Kibworth run.
Welcome back: Gerry McCann welcomes his wife Kate McCann at the finish line
Mr McCann, who is also a keen runner, was on hand to support his wife who chose the shorter distance rather than compete in the half marathon event.
A team of private investigators, funded by friends, family and donations, is continuing to hunt for Madeleine and is going through ‘hundreds of thousands’ of pieces of information.
The mother of missing youngster Madeleine McCann joined hundreds of runners for the Great Kibworth Run.
More than 700 people took part in the event yesterday, including Kate McCann.
She joined a team of runners who showed support for the campaign to find her missing daughter by wearing T-shirts with the message: “Don’t Give Up On Me”.
The team’s involvement was aimed at increasing awareness of the McCanns’ appeal.
Kate, from Rothley, has just returned from a trip to Portugal last Wednesday, the first since her daughter’s disappearance from Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Talking to local radio station HFM after the race, she said: “I think it (the Portugal trip) was a positive move and it actually felt good to be there and there is a bit of support for us there now, so that helps.
“Fingers crossed this is the turning point and we’ll be able to harness a bit of support and hopefully get that bit of information we need.
“We’ve had a lot of information come in even this far down the line; there are various reasons why they don’t come forward in the early days. We just need to keep going, just need to get more information and hope we get the bit we need really.”
Husband Gerry watched as Kate completed the eight-mile course. Race organiser Neil Kilpatrick said: “It was a big shock when they turned up. We had no idea Kate and Gerry were coming down until the morning of the event. I spoke with Gerry; he’s a really personable guy and I really feel for him.”
The ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ fun run team
By Nigel Moore 01 October 2009
This is the original of the black and white image published in the Daily Express, on Monday 28 September 2009.
Peter Neal Patterson is the preacher who flew to Portugal to offer spiritual support to the McCanns. It was he who gave Kate the Bible that caused so much interest.
Andy Jackson, just behind Kate, also ran for the Find Madeleine team in the Rothley 10k in June this year.
Fiona Payne needs no introduction but Simon Green might. It is likely that this is David Payne’s sister’s husband, who lives locally. He made an appearance in David Payne’s rogatory statement, when Payne was questioned about calling him from his mobile.
There seems some confusion over the distance completed by Kate McCann – running under her maiden name of Healy – on her recent ‘fun run’.
The results posted on the official ‘Great Kibworth Run’ website show that the ‘2 miles’ quoted by the Daily Mail is incorrect and that Kate actually completed the 1/3 marathon, a distance of 8 miles, finishing in 14th place with a time of 1:05:56.
The 2 mile run, indicated by the Daily Mail, relates to the ‘Family Fun Run’, which appears to be primarily for children.
For the record, Fiona Payne finished the race in 40th place with a time of 1:12:36.