British groups challenge Oprah Winfrey’s decision to interview parents of missing Madeleine McCann
A media release, 20 April 2009, to the U.S. media from The Madeleine Foundation - an organisation founded to campaign for truth and justice for missing Madeleine McCann
British groups and individuals concerned about what really happened to missing Madeleine McCann have been challenging Oprah Winfrey to ask tough questions to Madeleine’s parents when they appear on her show on 4th May - two years after their daughter Madeleine was reported missing.
Their concern is based on the belief that Madeleine McCann died in the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Portugal. That view was reinforced when the original senior detective in the case, Goncalo Amaral, published a book on the case last year, titled: ‘The Truth About A Lie’, in which he explained how the evidence pointed to Madeleine having died as a result of an accident in her parents’ apartment. He was removed from the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance amid strong suggestions of British government interference in the enquiry. He then resigned from the police force in order, he said, to bring the world the truth about the ‘disappearance’ of Madeleine. Last week (14 April) a documentary based on his book was shown on Portuguese T.V. and will shortly be seen on many other European T.V. stations - but not in Britain. Mr Amaral’s book has been translated and published in many European countries - but again, not in Britain.
In December last year, The Madeleine Foundation published a 64-page booklet: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 Reasons which suggest she was not abducted”. This booklet has been translated into Spanish, German and Dutch, has received extensive publicity in Portugal (but once again not in Britain) and was recently sent to every Member of the British Parliament. The Madeleine Foundation sent a copy to Oprah Winfrey several weeks ago when the McCanns’ appearance on her show was first rumoured.
A crucial piece of evidence in the case came in August 2007 when two highly trained British sniffer dogs came to Praia da Luz. One, Eddie, had a 100% success rate in detecting the scent of a human corpse, and found the smell of death at four places in the McCanns' holiday apartment, on two of Dr Kate McCann's clothes, on one of the children's clothes, on Madeleine's pink soft toy, Cuddle Cat, and in two locations in a car later hired by the McCanns. The other dog, Keela, found blood in some of the same locations. The only corpse that could have lain next to all of those items would have been that of Madeleine McCann. A neighbour made a formal deposition to the Portuguese police saying that in the weeks before the dogs arrived, she saw the boot of the McCanns’ hired car open all night long, every night.
The investigation was suspended by the Portuguese judicial authorities in July 2008, there being insufficient evidence to charge anyone with a criminal offence. However, in a 58-page report, the Attorney-General said that there was evidence that Madeleine had died in her parents’ apartment, but that it could not be proved how she died. Unlike in Britain and the U.S., the Portuguese police have now released for public viewing on DVDs thousands of documents in the case, including dozens of witness statements, videos of the cadaver dogs in action etc. These are being analysed by hundreds of volunteers on the internet - see list of sources below.
The British groups campaigning for the truth about Madeleine McCann have been writing to Oprah Winfrey suggesting she ask key questions of the McCanns, fearing that, as with other recent Oprah interviews, there will be no challenge to the parents’ claim that Madeleine was abducted. A list of some of these questions can be viewed at this thread:
Among the questions The Madeleine Foundation suggests Oprah Winfrey asks the McCanns are the following:
Why did you originally claim that the abductor had forced his way into the flat by jemmying open the shutters to the apartment?
Why, after the police and the owners of the complex you were staying at found no evidence that the shutters had been forced, did you then change your story to saying that you had left the patio door open and the abductor must have entered that way?
Why would the abductor - as you now claim and have done for two years - exit with Madeleine through a small window in the children’s room, when the patio door was already open?
Why did you delete messages from your mobile ’phone before the police arrived on the night Madeleine was reported ‘missing’?
Why have neither of you ever physically searched for Madeleine?
Why did Dr Kate McCann refuse to answer 48 questions put to her by the Portuguese police on 8 September 2007?
How do you explain the findings of the cadaver dogs?
Why did you and your friends who were out in Portugal with you all refuse last year to attend a police reconstruction of the events of 3rd May?
The British groups’ concern about the Oprah Winfrey show was heightened when they learnt that Ms Winfrey was also planning to interview George and Cindy Anthony, the grandparents of murdered 2-year-old Caylee Anthony. Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, is currently in prison awaiting trial for Caylee’s mother.
Deborah Butler, Madeleine Foundation Chairman, said: “In nearly all cases where parents claim that a child of theirs has been abducted from their own home, it later turns out that the child is dead - and that a family member is in some way responsible, whether by accident, negligence, neglect or deliberate act. One such case was that of the death of 8-year-old Joana Cipriano in Portugal, where the girl’s mother, Leonor Cipriano, also claimed she had been abducted. It was Goncalo Amaral, the same detective who investigated the ‘disappearance’ of Madeleine McCann but was removed from the enquiry when he was getting too close to the truth, who successfully proved that Leonor Cipriano and her brother killed little Joana. The pair are now serving lengthy jail terms. We think it would be much better for Oprah Winfrey to interview Mr Amaral, the man who has, as in Joana’s case, brought us the truth about why Madeleine McCann is no longer with us”.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND CONTACTS
The Madeleine Foundation website: www.
Chairman: Deborah Butler 07867 887066
Secretary: Tony Bennett 00 44 1279 635789 or 07835 716537
Madeleine Foundation contact in the U.S.
Mrs. Heather McKinnon 303-410-9508 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For over a year she moderated a popular U.S.-based internet forum on Madeleine McCann.
Interviews: Heather McKinnon (U.S.) is available for interview. Tony Bennett (U.K.) is also available. He has appeared in several TV and radio programmes about Madeleine McCann, including on Portuguese TV and Al Jazeera, and on radio shows in Britain and Spain. He is willing to assist with pre-recorded or live interviews at any reasonable time (between 7am and 12midnight U.K. time). An excerpt from one of his interviews (in Spain) may be found on this YouTube link:
A more hostile interview of him by a British radio presenter can be found on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/
Further Information about the case:
1) Our book: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 Reasons
which suggest she was not abducted” will be sent free on request to any U.S. journalist - and can be e-mailed instantly to you by e-mail Word attachment.
2) Goncalo Amaral’s book: A Verdade da Mentira - ‘The Truth About A Lie’ (English language summaries of this are available on the internet)
3) Portuguese Tvi24’s documentary transmitted on 14 April 2009 - see English translation at www. joana-morais.blogspot.com
4) www.mccannfiles.com - a wealth of original source material about the McCann case compiled by U.K. resident Nigel Moore
5)www.truthformadeleine.com - more source material and analysis by a British expat living in eastern U.S.A.
6) a video of the cadaver dogs finding the smell of a corpse in the McCanns’ apartment and in their hired car is available at:http://www.youtube.com/
7) www.the3arguidos.net - U.K. based internet forum with useful research material on this link:http://the3arguidos.net/
8) an informative 10-minute video on Madeleine McCann is at: