Back in the summer of 2007, a media conveyor belt churned out a succession of former Scotland Yard detectives offering their expertise on the Madeleine disappearance.
A few days after the media juggernaut started rolling, former Flying Squad commander, John O’Connor appeared—initially it would seem as a supporter of the Portuguese Police—on Sky TV. His words offered some great encouragement to the police in Portugal when we saw him on May 12, 2007. O’Connor began…
“First of all I would like to pay tribute to the Portuguese police. I think they’re doing a good job…”
Five days later, he was interviewed by the Algarve’s expat newspaper the Portuguese Resident on May 17.
… O’Connor spoke of the high quality detective work in Portugal and believes that they will solve this case. He spoke of the competency and professionalism of the Portuguese police, dismissing any accusations they have faced. He outlined that they were initially responding to a missing child and not a crime and, therefore, did not think that their initial response should be criticized.
However, months later when the McCanns became suspects, John O’Connor changed his tune when giving an interview to the CBS Early Show in Los Angeles in mid-September 2007.
“You don’t have a body, you don’t have a cause of death, you don’t have any witnesses, you don’t have a confession, you don’t have a murder weapon and you don’t have a motive…
“I think all they’ve got is some arguable forensic evidence…
“If anybody thinks they can bring a murder charge with all those ingredients missing…
“The first crime scenes were not properly sealed…
“Lack of professional activity by the Portuguese investigators…
“What they have is this arguable evidence which in itself does not mean a thing…”
Considering that Mr. O’Connor did not know any more about the case than the public, he suddenly seemed to be able to deduce many facts from nothing more than rumour. Why then did O’Connor do a complete u-turn with his attitude towards the Portuguese Police? He did not say that the crime scene was not sealed off properly on May 12 or May 17 when he was so supportive of the Portuguese police. O’Connor had actually visited Praia da Luz in those early days to pound the beat so who or what influenced this man to join in the attacks on the investigators?
Next up we saw former Scotland Yard commander Mike Hames and former police dog handler John Barrett. Regarding Barrett, he appeared purely to discredit the results of Martin Grime’s dogs when they discovered the scent of death and traces of Madeleine’s blood in apartment 5A at the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz. Barrett’s disinformation was amateurish and a blatant piece of spin. Hames described the investigation as a “bit of a shambles“.
In late September 2007, Dai Seaborn Davies—a former Chief Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police—chimed in with his own brand of attacks:
“They remain convinced of her parents’ guilt, apparently unwilling to consider another scenario, even as their “house of cards” case collapses around them. Another fresh revelation that undermines the Portuguese effort is that police also failed to take DNA samples from Madeleine’s little brother Sean, two, and his twin sister, Amelie, until their parents were made “arguidos”, or suspects, just over two weeks ago. This failure has seriously undermined the whole forensic case against the McCanns. It means early forensic work is flawed and needs to be re-examined. A process that could take months.
“Evidence gathered by the Portuguese police against the McCanns which we have learned about in the past couple of weeks depends entirely on forensic tests, including DNA evidence, so-called bodily fluids and hair. Yet I have found that evidence has been fatally flawed through their own incompetence. The apartment was also not sealed off properly, meaning any evidence was contaminated from the outset.
Dai Davies’ comments were not short, off the cuff comments. These were carefully crafted segments on TV that were designed to bolster Team McCann’s cause while, at the same time, ridiculing the “blundering” Portuguese Police. Always relying on the public’s lack of diligence in checking whether what they said was true or not, Dai Davis was proven wrong when the police file was released in August 2008. The Portuguese Police did take DNA samples from Sean and Amelie months before the date alleged by Davis.
As we have seen, four clowns—Hames, O’Connor, Barrett, Davies—had already made their minds up that the Portuguese Police were inept before they knew the details of the investigation. All were ex-Metropolitan Police.
But the clowns weren’t all from 10 Broadway. Some were from the most famous part of Westminster: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Miliband and others.
Now we have the incumbent Prime Minister—David Cameron—making a personal request to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, to investigate the Madeleine McCann disappearance at a cost of millions to the British tax payer. The Home Office are describing this move as “ludicrous” in the next stage of the “keep-the-McCanns-out-of-a-trial-at-all-costs” charade.
It is well past the time that this charade must stop.
These games are purposely engineered by the government, MI5/6, and the police, and a new investigation will achieve nothing. The column inches devoted to alleged infighting between these groups is nothing more than a smokescreen. The prospect of a new investigation makes for a great sound-bite in 2011, but Until Kate and Gerry McCann and the rest of the Tapas Seven are forced to answer important questions in front of a jury, we may never find out what happened to poor Madeleine.
We may have a new set of clowns but it’s the same old circus.