I VIVIDLY remember talking to Madeleine McCann’s parents shortly after she disappeared and being struck by their dignity and resolve amid unimaginable grief.
I said back then I desperately hoped there would be some sort of resolution and we wouldn’t be interviewing Kate and Gerry ten years down the line, still searching, still hoping, still not knowing.
PA:Press Association Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007, but a new Netflix documentary could shed some light on her dissapearance
Haunting rare footage of Maddie McCann boarding a plane to Portugal with her family revealed in new Netflix documentary
Well, we are way past that point now and in May it will be 12 years since Madeleine was either taken from her bed or wandered out of that holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
We don’t seem any closer to finding out what happened to her, even after millions of pounds has been spent on investigations.
All that seems to have been achieved are countless false leads and her parents’ hopes being cruelly dashed again and again.
Yesterday Netflix released a documentary into the mystery surrounding Madeleine, and came up with some startling claims.
It suggests child traffickers abducted the three-year-old and sold her “to order”.
Such a tiny and innocent little blonde girl would have made these utter scumbags a considerable amount of money.
I know this was one of the theories put forward at the time, which caused horrific pain to Madeleine’s mum and dad.
I really don’t know how they managed to function in those early years.
Their two other children — twins Sean and Amelie, who were toddlers at the time — had to be cared for, and that must have given Kate and Gerry a function and a reason to get up in the morning. It probably saved them both.
It’s worth remembering that not only had their beloved daughter disappeared, but they had to live with the guilt that they had left their three young children alone in the holiday flat while they went out for a meal with friends.
‘KATE WAS VILIFIED’
This caused a massive backlash, both at home and in Portugal.
Let’s be straight.
No matter how vile the insults hurled at them became, it would not have come close to how much they beat themselves up for their decision not to have taken the kids along with them or hired a babysitter.
Also, don’t forget that Kate was vilified for not looking “heartbroken” enough.
It still baffles me that some people actually seemed to want her to break down and sob uncontrollably and were disappointed when she didn’t.
Anyone looking at her gaunt, chalk-white face and dead eyes should have realised the poor woman was in deep shock.
Gerry was trying his best to support his wife and to keep a lid on his own feelings, but you could tell they were completely bewildered and grief-stricken.
It only got worse.
The botched Portuguese police investigation named Kate and Gerry as suspects, and that mud has stuck to them ever since, with a small but vocal band of conspiracy theorists convinced that they killed their child.
‘GLIMMER OF HOPE’
It is beyond ludicrous, but that is the sort of utter crap the McCanns have had to put up with since Madeleine disappeared.
The documentary goes over a lot of old ground but it does offer a glimmer of hope.
One senior child protection cop, Jim Gamble, sincerely believes Madeleine is alive and will be found one day.
He cites cases such as that of Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted in the US aged 11 and found 18 years later.
Then there is Carlina White, kidnapped from hospital as a baby and only reunited with her family when she turned 23.These and other similar stories prove miracles can happen.
Kate and Gerry haven’t co-operated with the Netflix docu and are said to have reservations about the content, but they must know that if it shines the spotlight once again on their daughter, there might be a chance that one day they will find her alive.
Or, if she is dead, they will at least be able to mourn her properly.
They must want to stop this living nightmare of uncertainty.
They deserve some peace of mind.
PA:Press Association Madeleine would now be 14 years old and her parents have never given up the search for their daughter
Madeleine McCann – Heartbreaking first statement to press by Gerry and Kate McCann after Maddie had been missing for 24 hours
PA:Press Association The police investigation named parents Kate and Gerry as suspects, which meant that an abduction line of enquiry wasn’t prioritised
Bribe is no help to the kids
I’M flummoxed by the extraordinary FBI investigation into actress Felicity Huffman, star of Desperate Housewives and Transamerica.
She’s on a quarter of a million dollars’ bail, facing charges of bribery and fraud, accused of bribing college admission officials to ensure her daughter got into a top university.
The Mega Agency Felicity Huffman was charged for her involvement in a college admissions cheating scheme
According to court records, she handed over $15,000 (£11,300) to “grease palms” and disguised the money as a charity donation.
Felicity may be the tip of a very big iceberg, as 50 suspects allegedly paid more than $25million (£19million) to guarantee their kids were fast-tracked to elite colleges.
If all this is true, it once again shows how everything in the so-called Land Of The Free boils down to who has the most cash, and is an appalling indictment of their education system.
If the charges against Felicity are true, it was a dreadful way for her to treat her daughter Sofia.
If proven, not only will this scandal be wrapped round the kid’s neck for the rest of her life, but Felicity was also effectively telling her child she didn’t think she was talented or clever enough to make it on her own merits.
If Felicity is found guilty, what a terrible thing this was for a mother to believe and what an appalling example she has set her daughter.
Ralph Fiennes’ Ballet Triumph
BALLET dancer Rudolf Nureyev was a global superstar and as famous and adored as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the Sixties and Seventies.
He was extraordinarily beautiful, outrageously talented and made the likes of Mariah Carey look like a vapid wallflower with his notorious diva demands.
Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev was a global superstar and as famous and adored as The Beatles
The story of his defection from what was then the Soviet Union to France in 1961 has been turned into a movie.
Ralph Fiennes has produced, directed and stars in The White Crow.
I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a sneak preview and loved every minute, from the opening scene of Nureyev being born on the Trans-Siberian express train right up to the tense scenes in a Paris airport as he seeks asylum in the West.
Fiennes, who excelled in The English Patient and Schindler’s List and is currently spymaster M in the James Bond movies, has played an absolute blinder.
He portrays gentle ballet teacher Pushkin, with Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev, and does the entire role speaking nothing but perfect Russian.
It’s beautifully shot, the dancing is sublime and hopefully it will bring the genius of Nureyev to a whole new generation.
New Zealand shootings feed a viscous cycle of hate
SO this is the world we live in, where sick terrorists massacre innocents in their places of worship while live-streaming it all on social media.
The vile racists who murdered 49 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, also planted bombs on cars outside the mosques.
AP:Associated Press Police officers are seen here searching the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, site of one of the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
Their aim was to kill and maim as many as possible.
It was described as New Zealand’s darkest day, but that shock, disbelief and grief is being felt all over the world.
As well as committing mass murder, these monsters have also played into the hands of extremist Islamist groups, giving them a powerful recruitment tool and the opportunity to use “revenge” as an excuse for their own despicable acts.
So the cycle of killing and hate continues and it’s innocent men, women and children who pay.
Eleanor ‘reddy’ for the States
I WAS not in any way surprised to learn that actress Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays feisty Demelza in Poldark, has permanently ditched her dull blonde hair in favour of the rich red tones of the character she has played so well.
Now filming for the final series of Poldark has been completed, Eleanor is off to La La Land hoping to secure a role in a Hollywood blockbuster or US TV series.
PA Redhead Eleanor Tomlinson as she attends the 2019 BAFTA Film Gala
CommentTHE SUN SAYS Shameless Speaker wrecks Brexit hopes with most destructive abuse of power yet CommentROBERT COLVILE Commons Speaker John Bercow is trying to bully Britain out of Brexit CommentALLY ROSS Alan lays it on with a trowel & Amy’s Fanny clears the room on All Star Musicals CommentTREVOR KAVANAGH Voters will turn on Tories if Brexit fails… the party needs a new leader OWEN PATERSON If May delivers Brexit in full and on time she’ll win back Tory MPs’ loyalty
And she knows being a redhead will make her stand out from the crowd.
Obviously, if she ends up in a show like Game Of Thrones or any film apart from a cartoon, she will have to make sure her collar and cuffs match, as full-frontal nudity seems to be the norm these days.
I wish her well with the henna hair dye. Meanwhile, we look forward to the bittersweet return of Ross and Demelza in the summer for the very last time.
E-fits released by Met Police team investigating disappearance of Madeline McCann