The disappearance of Madeleine McCann nine years ago is a case like no other. The role played by the media has kept her face on the front pages of the tabloid press .
Police files on the case are available on the internet. The Scotland Yard investigation is ongoing.
This blog is a collection of facts - sourced from witness statements, Portuguese police files, Leveson inquiry papers, interviews, videos, transcripts, newspaper articles and other material in the public domain.
Thursday, 24 September 2015
GERRY IN AMERICA
GERRY IN THE USA
22nd July 2007:
Spent the whole day travelling from the Algarve to Washington where I will be visiting the National and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and meeting politicians involved in recent legislation on missing children.
The flights for our campaign manager and myself were kindly donated by an airline.
23rd July 2007:
Gerry and Justine McGuinness spend most of the day at the NCMEC. After meeting US Attorney General Gonzales at the Justice Department he finishes the day off with an interview for America’s Most Wanted programme which has 12 million viewers.
The Attorney General realises he had overdressed for the occasion but is forgiven for his gaffe?
24th July 2007:
Gerry is back at the NCMEC with interviews being conducted from 6.15 onwards for the five major US TV networks morning news shows.
From the transcript of the interview by‘On the Record’ interviewer Greta Van Susteren. (1)
VS: Police say the four year old British toddler was kidnapped in Portugal on May 3rd. Her parents are waging an international campaign to find Madeleine and to stop child trafficking. [..]
McCann: I’m very pleased to say that the Attorney General took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to meet with us today. And we had a 40 minute meeting, and we talked about these very issues, about how we can advance legislation. And, I think importantly, Madeleine’s disappearance has already created some discussion at the G-8 summit recently. So it’s becoming more topical. [..] There’s a window of opportunity here to affect change for the better.
VS: Meeting with the Pope, did that help bring some sort of comfort to you?
McCann: Yes, that meeting was incredibly important[..] it did generate a huge amount of awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance [..] and I hope that we can use the goodwill that has come from thousands, and, probably hundreds of thousands of people in response to one very bad act, and use that in a positive way to help other missing children and make the world a little bit safer for all kids if possible.
That’s not a bad result so far: Gerry McCann has just got quite a few points across, most of them political. Even the G8 get a pat on the back from Gerry.
Gerry and Kate intend to stop child trafficking.
Gerry had a 40 minute meeting (not like that 60 seconds Pope ‘meeting’) with the Attorney General and discussed a way to advance legislation.
The Pope ‘meeting’ will indirectly help to make the world safer for all kids.
Right, we got that. Onwards to:
The White House:
Late morning we had a visit to the White House to meet with the First Lady’s deputy Chief of Staff Sarah Armstrong. This visit was facilitated by Lady Catherine Meyer, founder of the British charity PACT which is an affiliate of ICMEC. [..]
I took the opportunity to fill them in on my visit to Washington, particularly the work we are doing with ICMEC and the meeting we had with the attorney general. We finished with a very quick tour of the public areas in the White House [..] and also met one of the Presidents’ Scottish terriers. Immediately following the visit I did a few interviews for the British Media in front of the White House. unquote
[..] Mr McCann had encountered some unexpectedly hostile questions, notably from Chris Cuomo, the Good Morning America breakfast show anchor.
"Your story is pretty puzzling - it's tough to understand why you and your wife came to leave your children to go to dinner," Cuomo asserted, remarking that no American parent would "leave their kids in that way"
[..]besides highlighting Madeleine's abduction on all four networked TV channels (ABC prefaced its coverage with clips of Brits-of-the-moment J. K. Rowling and David Beckham making appeals for information, there were many other pluses.
Mr McCann visited a world-renowned centre for missing children, where he received advice and consoled himself with uplifting stories about abductions which ended fortuitously.
He lobbied senior statesmen on Capitol Hill, including U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who pledged to do all he could. He even met close aides to First Lady Laura Bush. [..]
Later, he told relatives how he received a sloppy, wet "kiss" from Mrs Bush's Scottish terrier, Miss Beazley.
That said, however, watching him assume his unwanted ambassadorial role with such purpose and vigour, it was impossible to avoid contrasting his demeanour with that of his wife, Kate, who waited - forlorn as ever - in the blisteringly hot Algarve.
After the globally important issues addressed on the first day, the White House visit isn’t quite so good. Gerry ‘filled them in’ on various important legal matters he’d discussed with the Attorney General the previous day. Something not doubt which Mrs. Bush would have loved to hear, but unfortunately she wasn’t there, neither was her Chief of Staff. Luckily the Deputy Chief of Staff was there to take it all in and pass it on to the First Lady who - although there is no evidence of her ever having shown a personal interest in the McCanns - is mentioned in all the press articles, often in such a way that it seems Gerry came over on her personal invitation. The visit was in fact arranged by the wife of the ex-ambassador to the U.S.
The quick tour of the public areas doesn’t sound too special, but getting a kiss from President Bush must have been wonderful! The closest he got to the President was his dog. But at least Miss Beazley appears to have been enthusiastic about Gerry’s visit.
Later David Jones from the Daily Mail used the words ‘ambassadorial role’. It still looked very promising for a future role of - say European Ambassador Amber Alert.
He also puts Gerry on the same level of fame with Beckham and J.K. Rowling and skips one link in the First Lady connection by making the deputy a ‘close aide’ to Mrs. Bush. It’s all there, political, global, G8, senior statesmen....
Gerry’s blog 25th July 2007:
I had another meeting with another congressman Mike Rogers who is an ex-FBI agent and we distributed wristbands to Nick Lampson and some of his colleagues and well as members of NCMEC.
This afternoon we had a meeting with the British Ambassador at his residence to update him on our meetings. unquote
The tone here again intimates that Gerry, after he ‘filled in’ the White House staff is updating the Ambassador so that he will more or less know what is going on and what has been arranged between Gerry and these senior statesmen.
The same evening he flies home - from the Daily Mail, 28th July: ‘On Wednesday evening, Gerry McCann flew back to Portugal after a hectic three day trip to Washington DC - the latest and farthest-flung staging post on his mission to champion the cause of abducted children [..]
Settling into his sleeper bed in Virgin Upper Class (mindful of the sniping about the £946,000 fund for Madeleine, of which £67,000 has been spent, he bought an economy ticket, but was given a complimentary upgrade) the 39-year old heart consultant was exhausted. unquote
So, interesting information some days later from the Daily Mail. Gerry is as good as upgraded to ambassador for all children in the world by the popular press.
His language as always gives the impression he is on equal footing or higher than those he informs - ‘filling in’ and ‘updating’ leaves no space for discussion or advice to be given.
Interesting to read such a specific number for the expenses so far: £67,000. Despite all those free flights. Gerry must have forgotten his blog post from the 22nd when he spoke to David Jones on that Virgin Upper Class flight on the 25th: see above:
'22/7 The flights for our campaign manager and myself were kindly donated by an airline.'