11 May, 2017 @ 15:00
7 mins read

A paedophile took Madeleine McCann, not her parents

Madeleine McCann e
Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3, 2007

Madeleine McCannAs the case of missing Madeleine McCann reaches its tenth anniversary, Olive Press editor JON CLARKE – the first journalist on the scene – analyses why her parents were not involved… and recalls the shocking way he ended up accused of being involved.

I RECEIVED the call at 7.15am from the Daily Mail foreign desk. It was a Friday morning as we approached deadline for one of the first editions of the Olive Press, then in its early fledgling stage.

The daughter of a pair of British doctors had gone missing on the Algarve the night before. Could I get over and investigate?

I was on the road half an hour later from Ronda, where we had our office, based out of a cowshed next to my home.

As a stringer for Associated Newspapers in Spain, I was long used to these early morning calls that invariably led to wild goose chases around the Iberian countryside…but this journey would lead to one of the biggest news stories in history.

It was a tale as sad as it was intriguing, and it would keep me in Praia da Luz where four-year-old Maddie went missing for the best part of a month.

It would lead to over a dozen stories in the Olive Press linked to sightings and possible culprits around Spain, with a number making the front pages in the UK.

There were claims that she was put on a ferry in Tarifa, claims she had been sold in Barcelona and even claims that she was living in a small village in Malaga province.

There was even the deluded former deputy chief superintendent, who trolled long and hard from his villa in Andalucia, convinced that the parents were guilty.Madeleine McCann

Finally, I would even find myself accused, more of which later.

Of course, the best whodunnits are always complex and far-fetched. But for a couple of loving parents to murder their daughter, bury and cover all traces in an hour while on holiday is stretching it just a bit too far.

But this didn’t stop the Portuguese police from charging them… and to this day, one notorious ex-detective continues to publish books claiming they were involved.

No care that Kate and Gerry McCann were educated doctors with not a blemish on their names.

That they were on holiday with two other families.

And that they had invited the world’s press to help in the search.

These are just some of the reasons why I am convinced the McCanns did not kill their daughter.

It is perhaps too obvious to point the finger at the parents.

After all, they say that in cases of child molesting and abducting, more than half the time it is family members to blame.

But accusing them had more to do with the ineptitude of the Portuguese police investigation, which didn’t bring in specialists to pick up vital strands of DNA evidence strewn around the flat, until THREE months later.

Then they seized the hire car of the McCann’s, found so-called ‘key, crucial DNA evidence on the back seat,’ and finally allowed them to have it back to drive around.

And, of course, they allowed dozens of local people, including one of the main suspects, Robert Murat – and even me – to wander around the crime scene.

Nor did they shut the border with Spain until the next day.

From the word go, they did not take this crime seriously.

And, in a way, who can blame them?

Praia da Luz sits in the sleepy south west corner of Europe, just short of Sagres. There had been no kidnappings, murders, or any serious crime reported for three years, as it turned out.

The Mark Warner holiday club that charged thousands to parents like the McCanns, did not even have security cameras, or secure premises.

There was no suggestion of putting families on higher floors and anyone could walk into the complex through a small side gate.

Kate McCann
Kate McCann

All the more perfect for a predatory paedophile who lived in the area.

I was completely shocked by the laid back manner the local authorities were dealing with the case that Friday morning.

When I arrived at about 11.45am I was firstly able to walk into the apartment, where I introduced myself to the McCanns and told them I would do everything I could to help.

The only reporter on the scene till late that evening – apart from Sky News reporter Kay Burley, who happened to be on holiday there – I spent time grilling neighbours, before noticing that a road crew was still digging up the street to lay sewage pipes literally right outside the apartment. The trench was nearly two metres deep and three men continued to shuffle around inside it.

Nobody had stopped them.

Incredibly, we had to wait till late afternoon before a couple of sniffer dogs had arrived, which was amateur to say the least, given that Maddie had been reported missing a full 18 hours earlier.

I am not going to be able to solve the mystery, but I am convinced she was snatched by a local paedophile, who had been watching the family’s movements.

It was coming to the end of their holiday. The fifth night they had put their children to bed and gone down to have dinner with their friends, all doctors bar one.

The apartment door was shut, but within easy reach and in full view of the road and the small village had apparently very little crime . . . until you scratched the surface.

While there had only been one murder of any substance for nearly three years in the area, there was, it turned out, a seedy underworld inhabited by numerous expatriates.

One woman told me how she had been the victim of an attempted snatch at midnight in nearby Lagos a month earlier. A long term English couple, who lived in a nearby hamlet, told me there were ‘half a dozen’ paedophiles living there alone.mccann2

One of these is still being sought.

It was sketchy and unsubstantiated, but there was no doubt – as in any place where northern European expatriates drift in their hundreds – there were a number of bad eggs among them.

Then, there was the Russian connection. Murat’s friend Sergei, a handsome young man, who masqueraded as an estate agent and had a number of connections to boats.

I discovered he worked out of a small office in Lagos, where the police had been the day before to find he had suspiciously just wiped his computer clean.

He refused to comment, but I discovered that he and Murat, who lived in direct sight of the Maddie apartment, allegedly talked a number of times within half an hour of the girl going missing.

While he was never charged, and Murat was later exonerated, it summed up the sense of paranoia that everyone felt in the resort that month.

Whatever happened I am sure the McCanns could not have done it.

Much has been made of the missing hour-and-a-half window between 7pm and 8.30pm on May 3, between Madeleine being put to bed and the parents coming down to dinner.

While Gerry was seen playing tennis, Kate was apparently in the flat . . . she must be guilty then? Not really. She was probably relaxing, having a bath, putting on her make up for the evening.

One Portuguese tabloid claimed Kate had killed Maddie and then hid the body in the fridge of their apartment before ‘passing it through various locations’ and finally moving it in a hire car, perhaps on a ‘suspicious’ trip to Huelva three weeks later.

But given that the apartment fridges are tiny, they would have had to chop her up first. Would they have then calmly sat at dinner with their friends at 8.30pm, showing no sign of a struggle or the anguish of murdering their daughter to their pals?

If they had killed Madeleine and then somehow driven her body away in the tiny time scale, they would have needed to have gone more than 25 miles – the distance from the resort sniffer dogs and police searched.

That would mean driving for at least half an hour on the windy backroads inland from the Algarve. They did not know the back roads, nor a good spot to hide the body. How would they have hidden the body? Using a shovel? Hold on, would not there then be a shop somewhere that sold them a shovel? Is anyone still missing a shovel? If so, please call the Olive Press newsdesk.

It is all so far fetched it is quite ridiculous. And then I got accused of being involved!!!

It came after I inadvertently found myself interviewing a former nightclub bouncer in Huelva, who claimed he know who snatched Maddie.

A huge Angolan chap, he told me she had been taken on order and was now, most likely, in America.

We double checked his credentials, ran it past Maddie’s family and published a carefully worded and, I believe, sensitive piece, which then of course got picked up by the Sun to be splashed on its front page. Not so sensitively.

And all hell broke loose.

Within a week there was a 5,000-word essay from an anti-McCann ‘troll’ named Tony Bennett, a solicitor, who was later found guilty of contempt of court over his repeated claims that the parents were guilty.

In his article, still online, ‘Jon Clarke’s role in Maddie in US claim’, he made numerous wild accusations about me and my integrity, named my wife and children and even where I lived.

He accused me of lying about the case, and crucially claimed I could not have got to Praia da Luz so quickly on the day after her disappearance.

He suggested I was actually staying there.

More alarmingly, it emerged, he had close connections to the aforementioned former UK police chief, who is still based in Andalucia.

When I went to confront this ex-copper, who I vaguely knew, he refused to back down and thrust me a pamphlet entitled ‘What Really Happened to Madeleine?’, which gave 60 reasons insisting she was not abducted.

It’s fair to say we do not see eye to eye, but he is sadly one of millions of people around the world who still think the McCanns are guilty.

One thing for sure, it made me think long and hard about doing my job and how evil and pernicious the internet and its many trolls can be.

I doubt the case will ever be solved, but I am certain the parents were not involved.

And nor, should I add, was I.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


      • Nope. Not joking Pam. According to my sitemeter, Peter’s free e-book has now been read 27,992,357 times all around the world, including the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, the MET Commissioner and the past and present detectives at Operation Grange, and since Jon kindly allowed me to mention it here it’s been read many more thousands of times, yesterday and today, especially in Spain and Portugal. Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann, aged three.



    1. Bogus charity collectors

    2. Stolen to order for childless couple

    3. Abducted by a paedophile gang

    4. Wandered off

    5. Taken to North Africa by people traffickers

    6. Burglary gone wrong

    7. An accident





    • And Gerry’s missing Tennis bad that simply vanished without a trace??? Portuguese police had arrived 30 mins after the supposed abduction took place – police said no evidence of a break in or an abduction so explain that?

        • And Maddie’s pink blanket…where did that go?

          Both the bag and the pink blanket had been photographed by the Police.

          In his second book, The English Gag, Amaral suggests there is something significant about a pink blanket which he claims disappeared on the night Maddie vanished from the resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.

    • Does it ever Chas! Irrational minds throwing out their own wild theories, totally ignoring what Pedro do Carmo stated only a few days ago and Redwood some years ago and OG since. They are not suspects Pedro said and added PERIOD.

      • Rubbish!! the only conspiracy i see is the McCann’s changing their original story – there is absolutely no evidence of an abduction so ”Pam where is your evidence of this?

  2. So full of contradictions it’s laughable. No serious crimes for 3 years, yet attempted snatch and paedophiles lurking everywhere? And you’re saying Late was relaxing in the bath when Madeleine was taken? According to her she had a shower as David Payne paid her a visit. Read the files before making such ludicrous claims.

    • They felt the shutters had been lifted deliberately…obviously they were as the McCanns had left them down and the windows closed.

      Someone on these comments mentioned that there was a fingerprint of Kate on the shutter…not so. there was a fingerprint of hers on one of the glass panes…and why wouldn’t there be?

      The McCann couple had no idea there might be predatory people in Luz…how would they? It serves to teach us all a lesson that danger lurks around any corner and not to take such risks but my heart still goes out to Madeleine and her parents.

      This awful harassment online and abuse by the likes of Tony Bennett and his sidekick Jill Havern and idiots like Peter Mac, it really does need to stop now as it gets them nowhere but does get them the label of conspiracy theorists extraordinaire. Bennett has long been known in UK for his idiotic pranks and ludicrous theories. He does need to be analysed medically. A £250,000 court costs awarded against him and threat of a prison sentence didn’t quell his insatiable appetite for being a disgusting man when it comes to harassment. I have had the experience of his stalking ways just because I support the McCanns and Madeleine being found. This is how wicked they are Jon.

      They go on about the evil of Kate & Gerry…bless their hearts their suffering has been great and God knows what Madeleine has been put through over the 10 years. I think I know where the evil lies and I believe many are of the same opinion.

      Please let this abuse/harassment stop. Enough is enough!

      • “The McCann couple had no idea there might be predatory people in Luz…how would they? It serves to teach us all a lesson that danger lurks around any corner and not to take such risks but my heart still goes out to Madeleine and her parents.”

        and yet they chose to go on holiday with no listening service, they chose to leave their children unattended with no adult supervision while they went out at night drinking with their friends, they chose not to use a babysitting service, and they chose to place their daughter in creche all day every day, it begs the question what kind of person does all these things and then is critical of the people who question their motives. your comment speaks enough, in todays day and age noone leaves their kids unattended, no matter how far the distance is, and their prior knowledge of no listening service shows a premeditated intention to leave the children alone. they chose to do all this, on what was supposed to be a family holiday not a piss up with friends. anyone who makes such choices deserves to be questioned and analysed in detail. as for the guy who wrote this article, id politely and respectfully state that he is listening to the same people netflix listened to when they wrote the documentary that was recently aired. it was so pro mcann and so obviously influenced by the mccanns to generate interest for netflix, i wouldnt be surprised if netflix paid money to the mccann fund. ill state also that anyone who chooses to make money from their daughters disappearence/abduction and use it for their own personal use deserves everything that is being thrown at them, there is no smoke without fire.
        I have no sympathy for them aside from the fact they have lost their daughter, i wouldnt wish that upon any parent, i do however have a multitude of anger for supposed responsible parents deciding its in their childs best interests to leave them unattended while they drink alcohol with their friends. noone ever asks the question either, if the other kids were left alone why was it only maddie who was targeted?? all living in apartments next to each other, and yet maddie was targeted out of all the kids, keep believing in your fantasies, and blindly avoiding the key questions about the dogs and what kind of parents leaves their kids alone,

    • There was no evidence of an abduction – the forensics team have already said that – so the parents are lying and covering up their tracks, they should never of left the three young kids in a unlock apartment in the first place i must say terrible parenting.

  3. I will use Gerry McCann’s favourite word John when describing your claims as “ludicrous”. How much are you being paid to write such a biased piece? Only the perpetrator can be sure as to Madeleine whereabouts but you are convinced the McCanns are not involved in her disappearance despite there being far more evidence to suggest they are. What piece of cridible evidence of an abduction having taken place do you or Scotland Yard have? Answer: Nothing! You have deliberately and maliciously undermined the Portuguese police’s investigation and the findings of two Portuguese courts (they found that the McCanns hadn’t been ruled out of being involved in Maddie’s disappearance).
    Also, you conveniently brush over the findings of the police dog cadaver dog despite her having a 100% record in the detection of cadavers over many years. You have obviously read very little about the case as you mention blood on the back seat of the hire car – there was no blood detected there. You also assume Maddie disappeared during the evening of 3rd May when it is quite possible she’d been missing before then. I do not know exactly what happened to Maddie but I do know for certain that the McCanns and their friends are unreliable witnesses, willing to change their version of events to fit a certain scenario – please read the police statements given and Peter Mac’s e book before posting such drivel.

  4. No one has accused the McCanns of murder, especially Dr Amaral – he has only ever said Madeleine died in the apartment from an accident.
    No evidence of a paedophile taking Madeleine.
    No evidence of an abductor taking Madeleine.
    No evidence of entry or exit by an abductor.
    No evidence of the shutter being jemmied by a non-existent abductor.
    Only Kate McCanns fingerprints on the shutter.
    The McCanns were on holiday with three couples, not two couples.
    There was no ‘crucial DNA on the back seat’ – the alerts by the two British sniffer dogs were in the boot of the car and on the key fob.
    There were more alerts by the same dogs behind the sofa, in the wardrobe, on Kate McCanns clothes, on a child’s red tshirt, and on cuddlecat, and in the flowerbed outside the apartment.
    Jon Clarke couldn’t have met the McCanns when he arrived at their apartment at 11.45am because both of the McCanns were in Portimao being questioned by the Police at that time.
    Sky News reporter Kate Burley was not there, it was Jo Wheeler.
    No evidence whatsoever of Police Superintendent doing any ‘trolling’ – indeed, he wrote a free e-book: ‘What really happened to Madeleine McCann’ which has been submitted to Operation Grange, that can easily be found on Google.
    No evidence whatsoever of Tony Bennett doing any ‘trolling’ – he has produced many research articles on the Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann forum, which has also been submitted to Operation Grange.
    Tony Bennett managed to get the McCanns Carter-Ruck lawyer, Mrs Martorell, to admit under oath that there was no evidence of abduction – only what the McCanns told her.
    The ‘huge Angolan nightclub bouncer chap’ story has been debunked by Tony Bennett, in the article you refer to, on the CMOMM forum.
    Just because the McCanns are doctors, it doesn’t make them immune from any crime – Dr Harold Shipman as also a doctor. Plus there is an article in the Daily Mail, dated 21.7.17, which states that 1,000 registered and licensed doctors in the UK have criminal convictions… including possession of indecent images of children, sexual assault and threats to kill.
    The McCanns DO now have a blemish to their names, until they are formally cleared.
    They have lied and changed their statements and stories.
    The McCanns refused to answer questions or take part in a reconstruction, so the likelihood of them ever having that blemish removed is remote.
    The McCanns were never arrested or charged – they were questioned and made arguidos (Prime Suspects).
    The recent Portuguese Supreme Court ruling states they have never been cleared of the involvement in the disappearance of their daughter, concealing her corpse and staging an abduction and, so, remain Prime Suspects.

    • Ans the great tragedy for Jill is that her entire life is nothing other than an obsession about this case. I dread to think about how her own children feel. There’s obviously no time for a real life for Jill; not when you observe the disturbing level of obsession she relishes on this case. Whatever happened to Madeleine (and none of the statements you make are proof that her parents are guilty, whatever you think, Jill) – the real tragedy for you is the extent to which this case consumes you; not to mention the length of time you’ve been consumed by this case. There are actually other things in the world, and you’re missing out on most of them. Save your own children from a hellish feeling of neglect, as their mother obsessed over a child she’d never met, and people she never knew.

  5. I’m pretty sure Kate Burley was also there on holiday, whether jo wheeler was reporting or not, and as for meeting the mccanns if it was an hour or so later so what?!! I was there earlier and longer than most online trolls and armchair detectives who spend their whole time picking apart anything or anyone who thinks the parents are innocent… As Kate Burley later wrote she was stunned at the amount of ‘haters’ and conspiracy theorists out there, which was the point of my last few paragraphs – did I deserve to have my family and where I lived dragged into a post by ex detective Peter macloud just because I might have got to praia da luz one hour quicker than him from Ronda and because he disagrees with my findings? Take a deep breath…

  6. Thank you for your reply Jon. If your three year old daughter was missing and the evidence pointed to an abductor who had cadaver scent on his clothes and in his car and lied to the Police and refused to answer questions or attend a reconstruction, would you think that man was innocent of any wrongdoing?

    • Sorry Jill but you have talked nonsense for far too many years now. What abductor are you now talking about who had cadaver odour on his clothes and in his car? I’m certain OG would like to know.

      • I said “If”, which means a hypothetical question. I was merely asking Jon if he thought someone who stank of cadavar odour would be innocent of any wrongdoing IF it were his child that disappeared.

        If my child had disappeared and cadaver odour was alerted to in the apartment and hire car, I’d want to know whose it was. The McCanns acknowledged the presence of the cadaver odour because they made excuses for it – rotting meat, dirty nappies etc. They also dismissed the dogs as “unreliable”.

        What the McCanns didn’t do was to ask who the cadaver scent (and blood) belonged to, especially as no one else had died in the apartment and hire car.

        Maybe because they already knew.

  7. The Portuguese Police did not do a terrible job. They just didn’t see any evidence of a break in/abduction. So they didn’t focus their investigation that way. You sound paternalistic. What results has operation Grange come up with, 10m pounds later?

  8. Peter Macleod rose to the giddy heights of his profession managing football crowds, yet in retirement he likes to posture as some great former detective. His ‘book’ is nonsense. Just a load of speculation dressed up as fact.
    I’m glad to see an article that addresses these pest. Online they can be whomever they like, but there is a reason why these people operate anonymously from their sofas. From time to time they tell us how their friends and family ‘refuse to listen’ or ‘think they are obsessed’. Some tell us how they have to keep their hobby a secret because those people who actually do come in contact with them just don’t get it or are brainwashed by the McCanns! More likely, the people who actually come face-to-face with them can more accurately gauge the fact that they aren’t dealing with the full deck!
    As for them being trolls, well you’ll see strong objections to that from the very people you are addressing in this article. They will argue that they aren’t trolling at all and in most cases, they really aren’t. What they do does not match the definition of an internet troll. What they do is much, MUCH worse than internet trolling. Calling them trolls is an insult to trolls. Trolls are harmless pests in comparison to these people. These people are malignant conspiracy nuts. You will find their type all over the internet. They latch on to major tragedies and target the victims of them with their stalking, abusive behaviour. They feel entitled to do it and call it ‘freedom of speech’. Unfortunately, their behaviour has become a fact of modern life and police seem powerless to deal with them.
    If you go and look at online discussion about other major tragedies, I guarantee you will see conspiracy bods who are the precise equivalent of Tony Bennett, Jill havern and Peter Mac.
    Psychologists are starting to study them and they are coming up with some very similar conclusions, i.e. that the people who behave like this towards victims of terrible tragedies have a lot in common with each other. They tend to be anti-authority, anti-government, anti everything really. They are people who feel that life hasn’t been kind to them whether it be through broken relationships or failed careers and businesses. They call themselves ‘justice seekers’, or ‘truthseekers’. They think they have special knowledge and understanding about people and events they have nothing whatsoever to do with. They even believe in theories that contradict each other! The scary thing is that in a recent study by Huddersfield University, experts concluded that these people cannot be cured. If this is true, then we are doomed and those caught up in terrible tragedies are simply going to have to suck it up and accept that any devastating life event that gets reported in the media will make them fair game for conspiracy nuts to feast upon for ever more.
    The biggest tragedy is also touched upon by the Huddersfield study and that is that these people are very organised and operate very much as a team in spreading their hallucinatory propaganda. These are people with a lot of time to spare and their sick hobby takes up most of it. One of them will report a new article on the conspiracy of their choice and the call goes out to flood the comments section of the article with the propaganda (I can see that this article has been a target already.) They rely on the fact that casual observers won’t know what is truth and what is lies and that even if they don’t convince the casual reader that their propaganda is ‘the real truth’, at best, they might persuade them to reserve judgement on the article itself. Their combined and very determined efforts have an insidious effect on the public consciousness. A one-day news story where the chief of police firmly states that Kate and Gerry McCann are not suspects in their daughter’s disappearance will soon be forgotten by a public who are quickly and repeatedly reminded by a gang of malignant conspiracy theorists that a trio of appellate court judges from Portugal said the couple hadn’t ‘proved their innocence’. It was a statement the judges felt duty bound to clarify, not least of all because it was quite ludicrous. No-one in a civilized country has to ‘prove their innocence’. It is up to the courts to prove they are guilty! Despite a published clarification by the appellate court and their reiteration of the fact that they were neither involved in the McCann case not judging upon it (only upon Goncalo Amaral’s right to publish his own personal opinion of it), you will still see desperate conspiracy nuts using this unfortunate piece of reporting to bolster their cause. It is truly dishonest.
    I have read Peter Mac’s book and can say that it is an appalling mashup of disinformation and speculation dressed as fact. I know that many have given up the fight against this disinformation and malignant fantasy because they have real and fulfilling lives which are too short to argue with crazy obsessives. The downside of this is that it means the internet just fills up with the fake stuff and unsuspecting people can and will be taken in by it.
    I fear for the victims. I doubt the conspiracy nuts give them much thought.
    Your article struck a chord though Jon, and I think it struck a nerve elsewhere!

      • Thank you. I’d like to add that the one thing these conspiracy groups never offer is evidence of any of their claims and they never attempt to explain ‘why’ the governments of two countries, police of two countries and media of two countries would form any kind of high level cover-up to protect two ordinary people. There is nothing special about the McCanns other than the fact that they qualified as doctors. It’s a great achievement, yes, especially as they both came from working class backgrounds with no other doctors in their families (an apparent advantage in getting into medicine). But apart from that, they are ordinary people with no criminal backgrounds or history of wrongdoing. There is zero reason for anyone to cover up anything they did what was criminal.
        But that wouldn’t be such an exciting story for those with overactive imaginations.

    • “These people are malignant conspiracy nuts” yes they are and it’s a much more suitable label for them than trolls. They are locked in to what they do and can’t seem to see sense. Poor saps.

  9. Fortunately the British public can see through the recent publicity blitz which as been going on for a few weeks because of the 10 year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance. It is the paid reporters who resort to calling people trolls and libelling the Portuguese and Dr Amaral that are making people wake up to this farcical cover up. For that truth seekers should be grateful. Anyone that thinks that it is a straightforward case of abduction please read the official PJ files available online.

  10. Indeed, the Portuguese police – local, regional and national – did do a terrible job according to very senior Portuguese attorneys with decades of experience with police investigations. At that level the whole botched investigation was viewed as an embarrassment.
    Local and provincial police, especially, do not have training, experience nor equipment to do competent crime scene investigation. In Portugal – as in Spain, local police have minimum qualifications and often owe their jobs to local political party networks. I have had personal experience with police investigations in Lisbon where they have the best facilities: they do too little, too late and then only when coerced or embarrassed politically from either a retired military official or senior politician. By the time the police organize themselves competently, it is usually way too late.
    The source of backlash against the McCanns was due to several related problems all along the Iberian Southern Coast: 1) many Portuguese rightfully resent the destruction of their historical villages and landscapes by vulgar foreigners who have no respect for local Portuguese culture, wanting only cheap holidays infused with wine, sex and night clubs, and fought back by assuming he “English are cold, bad parents, not doting parents like the traditional Portuguese”;
    2) most recent English tourists and immigrants appear to many as even less respectful to local culture than previous decades of ‘colonial minded’ immigrants who, despite their class pretensions, at lest displayed good public manners;
    3) the ‘haters’ and conspiracy theories surrounding this tragedy reveals the on-going ideological battle between UK social classes, e.g., well-educated, socio-economically privileged people like the Drs McCann somehow deserve a come-uppance from the point of view of resenters;
    4) the collapse of civil social order when entire towns and regions are geared towards businesses interested only in seasonal profit from cheap wine, tawdry entertainment and sexual convenience.
    The coastal towns have become petrie dishes for grifters, paedophiles, scammers, international crime syndicates and those who like to take holidays in such places because they like cheap wine, cheap food and lots of sun.

  11. On the tenth anniversary of this tragedy, it is understandable that an article covering it should appear. However Jon, notwithstanding your balanced, sensible account, it has only served to turn over the stone where these monstrous conspiracy theorists scuttle into the light, spreading their accusatory poison against the unfortunate parents.
    The excellent piece by CG covers all the bases and makes an even better fist of it than your good self Jon. I recommend a careful perusal of both by anyone about to reach for their keyboard in order to pour yet more bile onto this subject.

  12. How strange that apologists blame the Portuguese, especially the police. Let’s assume the parents have told the truth in amongst the lies and changes of stories. By their own admission they went on the booze and left the apartment unlocked. In that case you don’t need to be a genius to see that they are
    to blame.

    • The Portuguese police are blamedfor crime scene incompetence. The McCanns perhaps were naively trusting not to understand that tourist towns catering to the British are rife with perverts, pedophiles and grifters. No evidence of going ‘on the booze.’ Your reaching to support an unsupportable conspiracy theory. Tragedy resulting from lax judgement is a human tragedy, not a crime.

  13. Don’t just blame the trolls, you the media have all played your part in sensationalising this whole case. Only thing that is certain, we don’t know what happened and we all hope the child is safe. There are so many theories and the way in which the McCann’s have come across to the public has done them no favours at all. They actually come across as been guilty and lying which if they are educated and professional people they wouldn’t.
    A simple example is the answer to the question did you kill her, its not proof of guilt or anything but does him no favours at all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8bbohg5IGk

    • Sounds as if you are a Donald Trump – Stephen Bannon, Lenin and Alexander Dugin fan. The basis of all propaganda/misinformation efforts has always been to spin a web of lies so broad and complicated, and non-rational that one cannot see the edge where truth is certain. That is, the lie must be greater than the capacity of people to discern the truth. Please remeber that there is a profound difference between ‘in my opinion’ and an argument that seeks the truth.

  14. Thank you Jon Clarke for writing this drivel about Kate and Gerry McCann being innocent. Your childish name calling of us truth seekers makes you look very foolish indeed in my opinion. Still, at least you have given us a platform for us to have our say and to point people in the direction of the PJ Files which the tabloids will not dare to print. Thanks again mate! Now go and bury your head in the sand like the rest of the Mac’s supporters. Hopefully the truth will come out about what happened to poor little Maddie and her parents will pay for what they have done, along with the rest of the T& who have perverted the course of justice, imo. Thanks again mate!

  15. Still waiting for an explanation of why the McCanns lied, and xenophobia will never prove abduction unfortunately. Don’t forget the original British police thought death was worth investigating, hence a BRITISH dog team were brought in. As for obsession there have been over 300 articles in the press recently, most of these speculative like this one, some have been laughable and libellous. Speaking of libel the McCanns will need to pay their court costs by September after their defeat in the Supreme Court who adjudged that they have not been declared as innocent.


      • Yep Karma is certainly something the McCann’s didn’t expect? I feel sorry for both the children having parents like them, they will obviously read the PJ files when they’re older and make their own minds up!!

  16. Seems to me Joe Clark, sorry Jon Clarke, you haven’t got a clue what your are talking about, so many factual errors in this so called report it’s laughable.Having never heard of you I looked you up (sad I know, but I was interested to see who could write such drivel) no wonder you have not done much work of late, the lack of research and knowledge of this is overwhelming, stick to what you know, whatever that may be.

  17. “These people are malignant conspiracy nuts” a much more suitable term for them than mere trolls.
    They obviously have too much time on their hands and just will not see sense. Poor saps.

  18. “I RECEIVED the call at 7.15am from the Daily Mail foreign desk.
    I was on the road half an hour later from Ronda”

    So it is now 7:45am Spanish time (CET) – 6.45 am Portugal time

    Ronda to Pdl is 408 km, and Google gives it 4 hrs 21 min.

    7.45 am start from Ronda puts you on the Sevilla ring road around 1:30 later, around 9:15am, which slows things down

    and into PdL around 12:00 md – Spanish time, 11;00am Portugal time.

    The McCanns had been taken away shortly after 10:00am Portugal time, and did not return until 8:30 pm Portugal time, 9:30pm Spanish time.

    Gerry’s statement is timed at 11.15 am – In Portimao.

    I think there is sufficient ‘lack of clarity’ here to pass the burden of proof back to you, Jon.

    It may be that the Police records of the interviews and the McCanns and Tapas 7’s recollection of events is at fault, and that you are correct.

    You are after all a journalist, who we must assume keeps a Journal, which may be compared with other Police and recollections.

  19. A tragic case that certainly brought out the worst in a lot of people. I don’t think the McCanns had anything to do with their daughter’s disappearance and I think your theory could be right Jon.

    I watched the documentary last week and it does point towards someone lurking in the background waiting for an opportunity to pounce. I wonder, was that fateful night the first time this person or persons had attempted to abduct Madelaine?

    Sadly, there are some cases that are never solved and some missing persons who are never found.

  20. Good Heavens. I am stunned, as ever, at the hysterical bile directed at what is a very good article.

    Thanks to CG for a well written description of what is going on here.

  21. Isn’t claiming an abduction rather speculative? I can only see bile from the McCann apologists who seem to have a lot of time on their hands yet accuse others of the same lol.

  22. Yes Jill. That’s what we all want want in a democratic justice system – mob justice based on internet sales of pseudo research melded with impulses from an over-active limbic system. Democracy isn’t based on ‘popularity’ – its based on informed deliberation.

    • im sure thats the same drivel they sold to the brexit crowd, democracy is based on informed deliberation. democracy is based upon what an elite group called government chooses for us, and then gets the media to inform us, sorry brainwash us with their biased speech.

  23. Can someone then please explain to me how an abductor could get in to 5a, physically pick up a 3 year old and rearrange her bed, manoeuvre his way out past the cots, get out the window and close it again (according to the crime scene pics) all without leaving any trace whatsoever? No trace on the window cill, windows or shutters. If he went through the door he had the presence of mind to close it after himself. Also, as Kate has told us herself – how could the curtains have ‘wooshed’ while being tucked behind furniture? I would also like to know why the McCanns found it nessessary to wash the apartment curtains right by where blood traces were found? I am not for or against them – just genuinely puzzled.

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