Why are people who otherwise blame or question the media so eager to believe each thing that is written in sensationalistic cases about children who disappear? Trial by media. It’s interesting and we are all fascinated – some from a distance but others seem to really take themselves a bit too seriously. Take the case of the unfortunate child Madeleine McCann, or Maddie (sometimes Maddy) as she is called by media.
Now we hear ‘hang them hang them’! in screams from various blogs such as one written by that ridiculous Barbie girl blogger Steph, as soon as the McMann’s were named suspects by the Portuguese police – convicting them in her blog (like many others I am certain) without trial, guilty until proven innocent in their eyes all based on stories in the same press she criticizes for being wrong about various other news stories – but in this case she decides to believe all that the media say as it fits into her odd ‘agenda’ of hating women as far as I can tell, and blaming victims.
Incredible, as the same bloggeuse will rail against in supposed ‘feminist nazis’ wanting more protection for rape victims claiming they want men treated as ‘guilty until proven innocent’ and she claims that most rapes that are reported are false reports (she really does not like women)– yet now her own blog is fine with calling for the deaths of these parents even though she knows nothing more about the case than anyone else reading or viewing these same news stories. Now she is tempering that ‘hang them’ cry with ‘they may be innocent’. Sounds like she is eating some crow but she would never admit her earlier cries for them to be put to death were a tad let’s say – overzealous. Hers are much like the views of the Muslim extremists she coddles on her blog, I suppose. She also seems to rail on the mother – and so do many here – but most ignore the father in their calls for blood. I find that quite interesting.
1. Blood in hotel was not from the missing girl but many wanted to convict them based on that.
2. The car supposedly held ‘DNA evidence’ linked to Maddie however, it is not yet stated what the evidence is (today I hear suggestions it was a hair). As the method used to retrieve it was the newest and most sensitive method possible (according to a BBC report I watched) it can detect tiny amounts of DNA to the level that for example if the family had carried something of Maddie’s in the car that contained a bit of her DNA from say rubbing her face on a stuffed toy and they put it in the trunk, that could show up on the test too – so it does not prove any ‘body’ was in the car in an unequivocal way. It is not like finding an outline of a handprint in blood – therefore the parents would rightfully and easily be able to fight that if it is the sole evidence.
Also are we sure the Portuguese police did not ‘exaggerate’ the meaning of what they’d found, hoping to ‘crack’ the McMann’s on a ‘hunch’ and under public light – that seems a reasonable police tactic to me, especially if they are running up on a dead end and under pressure to ‘do something’.
3. Thousands of children do disappear every year in mysterious circumstances – most of them you never hear about on the news. The fact that it is rarer than a child being abducted by say an estranged husband or by someone known to the family does not make it impossible to occur in this case. In a holiday resort where people are relaxed and let their guard down, it seems to me this would be a ripe ground for a paedophile or kiddie pornographer to look for an opportunity such as the open door left by the McCanns. And clearly some people who wonder how the other children could have not noticed someone taking Maddie have never seen a child in deep sleep – some children can sleep through being picked up and carried to another location without even waking up – her siblings not waking up or being disturbed if an intruder entered is not outside the realms of normal possibility. And the younger siblings were of the wrong age to be sold into a kiddie porn ring. Maddie was the perfect age and looks.
4. Some have asked or said it is ‘clearly showing guilt’ or some type of responsibilty that the McCann’s chose not to use a baby sitter from the hotel. This ‘evidence’ can be interpreted in any number of ways from ‘evil’ to completely naive. Perhaps they (wrongly) felt safer not using the services of a stranger and preferred to check on the children themselves or did not want to deal with a Portuguese speaking person watching their kids if they did not speak the language. This does not ‘prove’ criminal intent.
In a holiday resort while on a package Thompson tour such as they were on where in some ways you are made to feel you are in a ‘protected bubble of Englishness’ when you travel to other countries. I see this attitude constantly here in France and I see foreign children wandering around the public square of Chamonix with their parents paying little to no attention to them on a normal basis. Someone could be snatched rather easily.
Last week we found the daughter of our friend walking down the street in front of our house (she is 4) unattended. We live near the local grade school. She had simply walked out of school during a break because, as she told us, “it was time to go home”. So she decided to walk home. No one at the school had noticed. Many say about the McCann case, ‘how could no one notice someone leaving the flat with a child!?’ and claim this ‘proves’ they must have done something. Well, I think you can leave someplace with a child (or even alone as a child) pretty easily actually – most people mind their own business and unless the child was screaming, it would be very easy for this to go unnoticed. Now if it had not been by chance we were going down that street and had seen our friend’s child and stopped to ask her where her mommy was, and instead someone with paedophile tendencies had seen her first – the whole outcome would have been completely different. And her mother was horrified and frightened – you trust the school will ‘look after’ your children. So, don’t think it’s ‘impossible’ for a child to go missing even when people have the best of intentions. The school’s response was they never locked the gate as they’d ‘never had problems in the past’ … and had a bad outcome happened instead of a happy one, they could have been crucified by the press for this and everyone could have second guessed the teacher’s and wondered if they were ‘in on it’ and assisted in some kiddie porn ring and the like – but since nothing bad happened, it’s just another day in Chamonix.
5. It is hardly unusual for a family of a child who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances to cling to even remote hopes for the best and believe the child is still alive. Some accuse the McCann’s of being ‘stupid’ to not believe the Portuguese police that their child is dead. Well – if you were the parent, you’d want to do everything you could to find your child in the most remote chance she was alive because if you did not – and later she was found to have been alive for some time after – the guilt would be impossible to live with. This is seen over and over and over again in cases of missing children and the McCanns are not the first to publicize their child’s case, they are just the most successful at it in recent memory.
The McMann’s could have still done something wrong (deadly accident to murder) certainly despite these points – that also has happened in past cases – but I think it is less likely and less plausible, though certainly should be investigated to rule it out. Stranger things have happened.
Now the Australian press at least is saying the police in the past have tried to pin things like this on parents in the past – securing ‘confessions’ via torture: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22430541-5005961,00.html
I don’t think that any of us blogging on this can know anything for certain on this one – it is not clear cut like the Vick dog torture case – going by what the police release or what the press says is simply parrotting hearsay. It is ignorant to call for the deaths of these people when the case is so complex and impossible to ‘judge’ without a science degree.
Another interesting theory about Maddie’s disappearance is related to the sad kindapping and murder of a little blonde girl Ylenia Lenhard in Switzerland. She was snatched from the swimming pool and was missing for weeks but unfortunately was just recently found dead. The same man who did this in this case is now dead (unclear if murder or suicide and if there is potentially another person involved) and police have reopened a number of older child rape-murder cases to see if he is connected. This same man was earlier living in Spain and travelling in a white van in the same area of Portugal at the same time that Maddie McCann disappeared.