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Friday, March 15, 2019
Review of the Netflix Madeleine McCann Documentary
One early clue that something was amiss was that I never got a ring from the producers of this program. I am not trying to tout myself as the profiler no one can do without, but considering I have spent years analyzing this case and have been the only profiler to write a book on the case (and had it pulled off the market by the McCanns and Carter-Ruck), I found it a bit odd that the team would not even phone me to try to pull me in, even if to libel me and screw me over like the Australian documentary on Madeleine McCann. I wondered...who were they going to bring on to analyze the evidence? As it turns out, only people who believe the dogs are wrong, the dna is meaningless, the parents’ behavior is perfectly normal, and inconsistencies are minor issues.
If you don’t want to poke your eyes out for more than six hours of sitting through this propaganda piece, here are some tidbits I pulled from it. I just sat through all of this so I am not going to work hard remembering names and writing in full sentences; I am just highlighting stuff I noted.
The Fund is not mentioned until the last episode and then only in passing. Wouldn’t you think this would be a big topic?
Neglect was totally downplayed and leaving the children alone not a thing to be concerned about.
Robert Hall says, “How is it possible for someone to know ...(insert: a long list of issues that make it unlikely Maddie could have been abducted)....I guess the only conclusion you can draw is that somebody was watching that apartment...somebody planned it.”
No, Mr. Hall, with all the reasons it seems impossible for someone to abduct Maddie, you could conclude there was no abduction and Netflix is manipulating you.
The first three episodes don’t discuss any evidence; it is just dramatic storytelling to get you to like the suspects; the McCanns, Murat, and Malinka. You hear a lot about mistreatment of all of them so you can get to really dislike and distrust the PJ (Portuguese Police).
Jim Gamble shows up and portrays himself as a saint. He talks about visiting Thailand and learning about the child sex trade. This is the whole theory Netflix is pushing without a shred of evidence.
We get to meet Justine and she is just so in love with the McCanns and can explain every one of their odd behaviors away.
The Pact of Silence article is discussed by Felicia Cabrera and what she wrote about the McCanns at the time, but, again, no worries, all of this will be explained away a later.
We hear more about pedophilia again through a group called Casa Pía. See? Pedophiles are everywhere and, of course, they would want to kidnap Maddie and not some easier blond girl like that lookalike in Morocco or that blonde gypsy girl they found wasn’t Maddie either.
Jim Campbell claims he helped Gerry draft the letter in which he reaches out to the kidnapper saying if you made a mistake...claims he thought Gerry might indeed be guilty and that line might help him confess. Really? This wasn’t actually Gerry’s thinking? And, you thought he might be guilty? Oh, that’s right, only a temporary thought...turns out you think Gerry is a great guy, too!
Journalist Sandra Felgueiras speaks out that she found the McCann behavior strange. She later confesses to have believed the dog evidence. Then she states that she was lied to by police and she has changed her mind about the case and is embarrassed she ever questioned the McCanns’ innocence. This was the only surprise in the series for me. What happened to Sandra?
Now, we get to the Bollywood portion of the series. If you have never seen a Bollywood movie it goes like this. Happy beginning getting to know the protagonists (like a couple who falls in love). Then, something terrible happens and gets worse and worse and then....interval! Time to go out and get popcorn and a soda. Then you return to the theater and during the last half of the show all is resolved and happy ending (not all Bollywood follows this form but this is a traditional form). So Part Three and Four bring in the dog evidence, and the damning behavior of the McCanns and Felicia DOES point out how the McCanns left Maddie alone with her siblings when something happened. Cue tragic music.
No worries, again! Episode Five called “The Fightback” will begin the exoneration of the McCanns. Let’s make everyone feel guilty. “While you are looking at the parents, you’re not looking for the kid.” Yeah, our bad.
Defense attorney says the Tapas 7 keeping a big secret is preposterous.
They mention the Smith sighting only to say it couldn’t have been Gerry because he was at the Tapas restaurant and the Smiths now say it wasn’t Gerry. The Smith sighting is only mentioned in passing once more and never is it really discussed. Odd considering that should be the Number One sighting; heck even The Sun was willing to publish that an American criminal profiler said that the Smith sighting was the key to solving the case, that Smithman was the abductor and he snatched Maddie (if you don’t know, I was libeled: I never said Smithman was an abductor). But, I guess the McCanns don’t really want to focus on Smithman (not that they ever did). I guess Netflix is coincidentally following their lead.
Let’s see. Anthony Summers says Maddie and her brother and sister might have been drugged by the abductor. Did I forget to tell you Summers and Swann are pretty much the main voices through the entire eight shows? What. A. Surprise.
Paul Rebelo says that Goncalo had zero support after he was taken off the case, not even from his Facebook fans! What a liar!
Some more people say, though they were once concerned about the McCanns, they are now convinced they are wonderful people.
Episode Seven has Kennedy saying he went to Morocco to search for Maddie and then hired Método 3. Julian is made out to be the greatest PI ever and he totally believes the McCanns are innocent. Método 3 finds a forensic artist to draw Tannerman and the artist tells us how convinced Jane was she saw the abductor.
Metodo admits they break the law and they are shady as hell. Then we get a bunch of stuff about how Amaral is beating up the mother in the Cipriano case and getting a false confession. The dude connects the two cases by saying when the police can’t find who did it, they blame the parents.
On to fake charity collectors who try to kidnap a 3-year-old girl right before Maddie vanished. You just know they are pedophiles.
Episode Seven goes for some more logic from the Metodo detective. Because pedophile gangs usually go for poor kids in third world countries, they must have taken Maddie because her value was really high. Umm...like a poor, blonde three-year-old from somewhere else would be cheaper than a British 3-year-old? How would the procurer even know where you stole the child from?
Oops! Metodo 3 starts acting in concerning ways and they are dumped.
The case is now shelved and it is claimed the McCanns are cleared. They attack Gonçalo and his book.
Thank god, it is Episode 8. “Someone knows.” Yawn. Scotland Yard steps in..yay...maybe they will find the pedophile ring. And, after all, Maddie may well be alive because, you know, teenage girls who are kidnapped are found alive (shhh...don’t talk about the statistics for toddlers abducted by pedophiles).
Final result: they trashed Goncalo Amaral. They trashed the evidence. They trashed people who question the McCanns’ innocence. Mission accomplished.
Okay, that is it. Now, you can skip watching it unless you are a masochist or just have to know what Netflix and the McCanns have put together to snow the public.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
The new Discovery documentary may be a whole lot better than that complete propaganda piece put out by Netflix recently, but it is still meant to sway the viewers in favour of the McCann’s innocence and it is very manipulative in doing so.
Here is how this works:
During the first half they present Gonçalo Amaral’s case. They have him speak. They actually admit there is no evidence of abduction. They even show the dogs doing their great work. They quite effectively help the audience to see that it is possible to suspect the parents for good reasons.
I admit, it is quite shocking and amazing as we, who believe this evidence does indeed support the parents’ involvement in Maddie going missing, have not seen this level of what appears to be honesty; this appears to be a program willing to present the facts. We see it as a Great Leap Forward with the media. I am not complaining about this aspect because, hey, it IS something that is quite satisfying.
But, I knew there had to be a second half of the show that would effectively trash this evidence, Amaral’s theory, and the Portuguese police. And, I was not wrong. The second half did just that. It pretty much stated that Amaral’s theory was debunked by the DNA evidence, the physical evidence he was so hoping would prove him right. And, then, in comes Scotland Yard to do the case properly, find long ignored witnesses and suspects and, now, we start seeing that the parents, in spite of certain anomalies, could not possibly have hurt their daughter and covered up the crime. Why, it’s nonsense! Even Smithman couldn’t possibly be Gerry because, we all know “for a fact” that he was in the Tapas with everyone at the time the Smiths saw the man with the child. And the carefully selected host of the show, the journalists, the always pro-McCann Summers and Swan are used like product placement... right time, right part of the documentary... in order to promote the agenda which is still “the McCanns are innocent.”
Notice what the documentary did NOT do.
They present the facts that there was no evidence of abduction, but later claimed she was abducted yet ignored the earlier demonstration that there was no such proof. Oddly, when they did the burglar bit, they had the fellows in the re-enactment running around in the flat which is hard to buy as they would have left evidence of breaking in and mucking about.
They claimed the DNA proved Madeleine did not die in the flat nor was her corpse carried in the vehicle but they did not explain why the dogs went nuts both in the flat and at the car.
They didn’t explain that Scotland Yard’s claim of Tannerman being a guest carrying his child made little sense. Why they didn’t even show Jane on the street with Gerry and Jez! They showed a completely inaccurate depiction of Jane walking right by Tannerman where there were some stairs. What?
The documentary never allowed Gonçalo to rebut any of their claims.
They had me on for a news clip but they made sure I also wasn’t on the show to likewise rebut the nonsensical claims they made.
In other words, they controlled the narrative. Essentially, the prosecution presented their case and then the defense. But, they never gave the prosecution a chance to respond to the defense which means the defense is the last bit the audience gets.
One might think there was still enough in the documentary to sway people who have never seen the evidence before and now might think the McCanns are less than innocent. Surely, some will be won over. But, media goes with numbers and the numbers are in their corner if they keep controlling the agenda and presenting a very biased show.
I will say the most surprising thing on the show for me was, at the end of the show, Colin Sutton saying that the Scotland Yard investigation lacked legitimacy because they didn’t start at the table and abduction was ruled out lapsus : proclaimed before they even analyzed all the evidence. I would like to believe there was someone at Discovery who did that on purpose to throw a wrench in the McCanns-must-be-innocent theory and while it is possible, I tend to think it may have been an oversight in the editing process.
So, I am glad some of you see progress in this documentary and are happy that some of the truth came out even if most of the audience won’t go away realizing that this really was the truth. But, while I am happier with this show than many, I am still not surprised and still very frustrated that the media is not interested in truly being objective. If Discovery ID really wanted to examine the case, they would have let Gonçalo, Colin, me and any other experts discuss all the issues of the case and leave it for the viewers to truly decide what theory the evidence really supports.
But then, they would probably be Carter-Rucked.