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Rebuttal of "Fact" 42

Page history last edited by Chinagirl 12 years, 10 months ago

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42. Unlike most couples who lose a dear child, they did not cling to their other two children. Others cared for them while they flew round the world to meet the Pope, visit the U.S. and do TV interviews.


Verdict -  Misleading

 Source - Media articles, TV coverage and Gerry McCann's blogs.



Summary of Verifiable Facts

  1. Madeleine McCann's case is almost unique in the sense that it is rare for a child to be abducted whilst abroad.
  2. It was suspected from an early stage in the investigation that she might have been taken out of Portugal.
  3. International awareness was therefore crucial.
  4. The McCann twins were twenty seven months old at the time of their sister's abduction.
  5. The McCanns made brief trips to minimise their time away from their young children.
  6. During these trips, the twins were cared for by very close family.
  7. The trip to the Vatican to see the Pope was to obtain his blessing for Madeleine's safe return.
  8. As devout Catholics, this was meaningful to the McCanns.




Of all of the Madeleine McCann Research Group's "facts", this is arguably the cruelest.  The response is best given in Gerry McCann's own words.


Madeleine's Case was Unusual.

Gerry McCann TV Interview in 2007


Gerry McCann:  Well, in terms of the abduction of a foreign child in another country, it's really very rare.  The only case is like this, certainly in British children, the only one we know of is Ben Needham which was in 1991. So that's sixteen years ago.  So that aspect is incredibly rare and certainly when we've been speaking to people in Portugal and Spain, they're not aware of any other EU nationals having children abducted on the Iberian Peninsula and you think about the tens of millions of tourists that come to Spain and Portugal every year so this really was a bolt out of the blue in terms of what's happened to us.  I think also the circumstances of a child being abducted from a bedroom is pretty rare as well.


I think what we definitely want to do is to continue to have awareness in Europe.  You know, Southern Europe, Iberian Peninsula. 



How fair is it to judge the parents of a missing child?

Primary source - The following are extracts from Gerry McCann's Blog - 28th-30th May, 2007


Raising Awareness about Madeleine's Disappearance through a series of short trips.


Day 25 - 28th May 2007

Confirmation arrived this evening that we are to attend the Vatican and a service with The Pope. It is likely we will be seated in the front row and may have an opportunity to speak with the Holy Father and ask for prayers for Madeleine. This is a hugely important visit both personally, for Kate and I, but also for the wider campaign to publicise Madeleine’s disappearance...


...This will NOT be a Tour- it is a series of very brief visits with the specific aim of raising awareness and we aim to get back here as quickly as possible.... 



Whilst doing what was best for the Twins.


Day 25 - 28th May 2007 

...We have decided that for the majority of trips it will not be practicable, or fair, to take S*** and A***** with us. They have an established routine which we do not want to disrupt and will be looked after by very close family.



The McCanns found it difficult to leave the Twins - even for one night.


Day 26 - 29th May 2007

It has been very difficult to leave S*** and A***** but it is only for one nght and we will be back to see them before bedtime tomorrow.



Spiritual comfort and Hope.


Day 27 - 30th May 2007

It felt as if time stood still for a moment when the Pope looked into our faces and there was almost instant recognition and a change in his expression. He said he would pray for us, our family and Madeleine. Kate passed him a photograph of Madeleine and he blessed this and would pray for her safe returning. The meeting was more personal than we could have imagined given the number of people there and will help us sustain our hope and determination to find Madeleine.





Given the international scope of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance and the early sightings which were were reported around Europe and North Africa, the McCanns were desperate to do whatever they could to raise public awareness about their missing daughter whilst trying to maintain a degree of normalcy for their twins.  It is unspeakably cruel to use this as a stick with which to beat them.


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