I Can’t Help Find Madeleine, So Stop Asking

Several weeks ago, a couple went on holiday and left their three small children in their apartment while they went out for a meal. While they were out, one of their children — called Madeleine — was abducted.

I’m not going to beat up the parents for leaving their children alone in the apartment: I’m sure they’re quite capable of doing that for themselves and frankly I think they’re suffering more than enough anyway.

I am a little surprised however that no-one in the media have made more of this. I can’t help but wonder whether if the parents had been from a different social or educational background whether the response would have been the same, or whether, as someone suggested to me in a pub conversation:

the papers would have gone to town on a couple of unemployed people from a council estate

Possibly true. I can’t help but feel that the McCann’s background has led to more sympathy than would possibly have happened in other circumstances.

I do understand, and sympathise with, the desire of Madeleine’s parents to leave no stone unturned in finding their missing daughters: I too have seen the photos with the slightly odd eye thing so I’m confident I’d have a chance of recognising her if I bumped into her.

I’ve seen the story reported on virtually every news bulletin for the past four weeks. I’ve seen posters exhorting me to help find Madeleine. I’ve received spam emails exhorting me to help find Madeleine. None of them have actually said how I’m expected to help however, as I believe the chances of me just bumping into her as fairly slim.

Don’t get me wrong: I have children of my own, I sympathise with the McCanns, I understand that they are going through a terrible ordeal and hope that their daughter is returned to them safe and well. I just think it’s unlikely.

My perceptions are that she will have been abducted for one of three reasons:

  • Abducted by a paedophile
  • Abducted by a child-kidnapping group for sale
  • Abducted by someone who intends to raise her themselves

If it’s the first, she’d probably have been killed quite quickly after being snatched. If it’s the second, she’ll probably have been killed when the publicity surrounding the case made her too ‘hot’ to handle (the other option being that they’d dump her somewhere, but as that didn’t happen…). Only if it’s the third option would I think that she would likely still be alive.

The media circus surrounding the story reminds me very much of the death of Princess Diana, where the so-called “public outpouring of grief” orchestrated by the continual media circus very much left me and my friends cold. I was sorry she’d died, but I didn’t know her, and personally I felt a greater sense of loss when the sci-fi master Isaac Asimov died.

But of course with Madeleine’s story, as with Diana’s, the media aren’t interested in people who’ve had enough of the story, or didn’t buy into the media event in the first place — they’ve whipped up the frenzy and are determined to milk it for all it is worth despite the fact that there isn’t actually any news.

I’m not uncaring, unfeeling or callous: like I said, I hope Madeleine is returned safe and well. I just think it’s time that the media moved on from an event where nothing is changing and maybe report some actual news for a change…

More than 2,000 Iraqis were killed last month. Compare the media coverage that received to the media coverage about one missing girl. Are we so desensitized to the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians that we just take them for granted now? Sadly, I think we are.

Important Note

Please note that if you’re responding to raise a legitimate comment, including criticising my arguments, you’re more than welcome. If however you’re just responding to insult me — particularly for simply stating what is likely to be an unpleasant truth — I will take whatever action I deem appropriate. Which may include contacting your internet provider, and may also include the possibility of legal action if you commit libel.

I would advise you to read my post on abusive messages and commenting policy before posting.

50 Responses to “I Can’t Help Find Madeleine, So Stop Asking”

  1. Mike Pepper responds:

    Also, according to this BBC news article, since Madeleine’s abduction on 3 May there had been 1,200 reports of missing young people in the UK (as of 25th May), do none of these deserve the same amount of attention?

    Like you said, unfortunately it’s entirely possible, even likely, that all this media attention has reduced the chances of her being found alive. I can’t see how offering millions of pounds in reward money is going to help much either. Call me cynical, but I can’t help but feel a lot of it has be offered purely for the publicity.

  2. Rob Mason responds:

    With a media obsessed country what sort of reaction do you expect?

  3. paul canning responds:

    I’d avoided blogging about this as it really gets me going.

    The reason we’re reading about it is because her parents are connected and organised (you’re right, middle-class) and the girl is blonde and young. What else would it be?

    I looked at the missing child website and one of the first I saw was a baby thought to be abducted to Malaga, very close to where the media circus was. Oh, and she had a ‘funny name’.

    I don’t think all this stuff has raised the profile of other abducted children at all and I’m thinking of those parents.

    Shame on the BBC, most of all, for going with the red-tops.

    There. Said it.


  4. mark fairlamb responds:

    if i was in portugal and someone told me there had been possible reported sightings of my duaghter in morocco i wouldn’t be going to see the pope in rome

  5. Anonymous responds:

    Don’t we live in a strange, inequitable world? There are thousands of mssing children but no-one except their immediate family & friends knows about them - no reqwrds, no Pope visits etc. I hope she is found alive and well but I wonder what mental state she would be in after a month of captivity.

  6. kas responds:

    If you looked at the missing children site missingkids.co.uk you will see that there are resaosn wht every child does not have the same exposure. Very few children are abducted by strangers. babies and young children are very often atken by an estranged parent. S o although they are ‘missing’ they are ususaly alive and well and living with that parent somewhere

  7. Anonymous responds:

    Yes, a lot of children are missing and in the care of an estranged parent but a lot of children worldwide are abducted and their parents are left to wonder. Not many of those children are given the exposure that these parents have been able to achieve. All the right ingredients are there to attract media attention - articulate, professional parents, a pretty blonde little girl, a support network able to enlist support from well known individuals and achieve a substantial monetary fund. Would the media promote the cause so well if the parents had been poor, the child black - I don’t think so. And that’s sad. I hope they do find her alive and that everything is OK but I hope all missing children could be equally publicised to increase their chances.

  8. Elaine Corcoran responds:

    I cannot believe your insensitive comments.I also don,t believe you have children of your own.I have shed buckets of tears every day since Madeleine dissapeared.Every day I read the newspapers just to find out if there is anything new about Madeleine,just seeing an article about her or her parents keeps me inspired that there may come a day when she will be safe in their arms.And as for the fact that they went to Rome to meet the Pope when their was supposedly a sighting of her in Morroco only signifies how strong their faith is.If I was you I would climb down off your very high horse and get a life.

  9. JackP responds:

    I don’t wish to be rude - although it is going to come out that way, but is it that you don’t care about the other missing children? You know, all those other thousands of missing children that aren’t on the telly. Are they less important than Madeleine?

    As for not believing I have family of my own: you obviously don’t visit here often. There’s um… my family tree, there’s the photos of my children, there’s the stories about the things I do with my children and so on.

    It’s just that I don’t need the media to tell me what to feel. I’m quite capable of emotions, empathy and so on all by myself.

    As I said, I hope she’s found safely and returned to her parents. I just think it’s increasingly less likely- and I think the media agree with me, judging from the significant reduction in Madeleine-related coverage.

  10. ben legge responds:

    the trouble with western culture these days is that we’re genuinely not interested to the blood and guts and sick mindedness of reality, unless its delivered to us in a pre-packed Americanised movie format allowing us to dismiss the reality of it as hollywood fiction! What a bunch of hypocrites!!

  11. Simon responds:

    Elaine, your response is exactly what the media want - us to buy papers, watch the news and quite frankly your reaction to it all indicates you need to get a life. Thats not to say we don’t want her found and safe - WE ALL DO but crying each day isn’t going to achieve that. Do you cry about the children starving elsewhere in the world not able to generate media attention - they need your tears too. What about the many other children who have been killed or missing in this world. Stop crying and do something.

  12. barbara edge responds:

    You disgust me, using this launch yourself on your soap box. Just for your info i can think of a number of cases of children going missing and the children were from working class familys and left alone for a long period of time. This was not made a big deal of in the media because most people have decency and realise this is not the issue, finding the child is. I wonder why your attidue is what it is!!!!!! Dont bother replying I wont give people like you !! anymore of my time.
    Last comment you say you cant help to find her well why are you using her to get people to look at your pathetic self loving site. I cant help think alot of people laugh about your self-importance behind your back.

  13. JackP responds:

    Just for your info i can think of a number of cases of children going missing and the children were from working class familys and left alone for a long period of time…this is not the issue, finding the child is.Barbara Edge

    No, I believe that is the issue. The police, the media and everyone else should indeed try and help to find the child. However - and this was my point - why should effort be focussed on finding Madeleine as oppposed to any other child? Surely all missing children are of equal importance? Is it because she’s more photogenic, or her parents are not whatever the UK equivalent of trailer park trash is, or is it just that once the media have worked themselves up into a frenzy, they don’t know how to stop?

    Dont bother replying I wont give people like you !! anymore of my time.Barbara Edge

    Not to worry, I don’t mind replying. For what it’s worth however, you most probably wouldn’t have found this site unless you’d been searching for news on Madeleine and had already exhausted most of the possible search areas.

    why are you using her to get people to look at your pathetic self loving site. I cant help think alot of people laugh about your self-importance behind your back.Barbara Edge

    I’m not using her, but equally - as you’d notice if you read other parts of the site - I’m not afraid to give me opinion on controversial topics. It’s called having an opinion rather than following the media like sheep. As for laughing at my self-importance, I think you’ll find I don’t really have much, and that I’d be laughing at it too.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by to insult me. Drop back any time…

  14. lisa responds:

    I must admit, i am someone who has shed tears over the abduction of maddy, only because she reminds me so much of my own daughter.. i do however agree with some (not all) of your comments, maybe the media has used this beautiful little girl to sell papers, but i also think alot of the publicity has come from the hard work of the parents themselves, they are well educated which gives them an advantage, but you cannot blame them for focusing on there own child and not others.
    it doesnt mean i care any less for other missing children, i just think it takes alot of hard work to keep something like this in the pulic eye, and many parents would not know where to start!

  15. JackP responds:

    Lisa: it’s lovely to get someone who at least partly disagrees with me - but doesn’t assume I’m some sort of callous hard-hearted monster.

    I think you’re right - the parents have done a lot to keep it in the media, and no, I don’t blame them for that either. If one of my two boys was to go missing, I’d do absolutely everything in my power to try and get them back.

    So I don’t blame them for trying to manipulate the media at all, I think their reaction is natural given the circumstances. For me there’s two things I particularly objected to: one is the seemingly morbid fascination with it that some people seem to have (although this may be partly explained by people thinking they’re helping, even if they aren’t actually doing anything of practical benefit; and the second is the fact that it seems to me as though I’m being told what I should think. And I really object to that.

    I’ll reiterate: I would be delighted to see her safely returned to her parents. Next best thing would be for her to be being brought up by some other people who will look after her properly, even if it means her parents go through hell wondering about her.

    Unfortunately, I think it’s most likely that she died frightened and in pain shortly after being abducted. That’s a horrible thought (to be honest, it’s the idea of the frightened and in pain bit that upsets me most; I don’t understand how anyone could do that sort of thing to any other human being let alone a child); but just because it’s a horrible thought doesn’t mean that I can’t rationally say that that is what I think has probably happened.

  16. Simon responds:

    I agree totally with the sentiments of Jack P - people seem to think that crying, buying newspapers is one how “helping” and to the self-important, very rude Barbara Edge - why don’t you widen your horizons and stop thinking only your very narrow viewpoint is correct. And don’t both replying - I don’t think you have any credibility left. And don’t tell me either what I should think and say - that is not your role in life.
    And lastly, your statement about working-class parents comes across a bit snobbish - every single child, no matter their background, family, colour or creed is important and should be loved and looked after. And not only the media-appealing ones should be actively sought if they go missing.
    PS the pleural of family is families - just being helpful

  17. Josie responds:

    I understand your point. It is sad that any child is snatched from their parents arms rich or poor. This one is really lucky she has articulate, literate parents that are trying to do anything they can to get her back. But I think you are wrong in pointing the finger to the media. As you said this things happen really often and there is no much reporting in the press. The work this parents are doing are helping millions of families of rich and poor children to rise their level of awareness to understand there are bad things that happen to our children if we are not vigilant enough. I think this will help those poor as well as rich parents to pay more attention to their kids. I know you can’t help to find her but at least now more people are aware of the danger to live a child alone.

  18. Camilla P. responds:

    I hope that every person never leaves a child alone - it just isn’t worth the risk. Its so easy to be wise in hindsight. No matter the outcome, I suspect that Madeleine’s parents involved will never forgive themselves. Like Jack P., I feel that it is unlikely that she is still alive and that upsets me to think that ANY child suffers pain, terror and there is no-one there for them. I hope the ordeal is soon over for the parents’ sake because even the worst outcome has to be better than 81+ days of hoping and wondering. Imagine waking each day hoping that this will be THE day and again no news. My sympathy also extends to the numerous anonymous parents similarly suffering. May God bless you all and help you all through your ordeals.

  19. Mel D responds:

    I don’t know where she is either *shrugs*

  20. pam responds:

    who ever enters this arena to make unbelieveable comments about the mccanns are either sick or bored out of their heads what ever happened to humanity wheather rightly or wrongly they know what they did and they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives dont all you people have a heart so what if they are doctors they are trying to find their daughter they have used their professions to help them find madeliene what is it the under dog crying again iam a hard working mother of four and i would walk to the end of the earth for my kids just like the mccanns so come on give them your support for gods sake

  21. pam responds:

    [Edit by JackP - removed duplicate posting caused seemingly by wordpress not printing the first one straight away]

    already have

  22. j jay responds:


  23. Matt responds:

    J Jay it is remarkable you have never even met the guy and yet you know him so well; alternatively you could just be a clockwork person devoid of the ability to formulate ideas of your own and thus swallow excatly what the media feeds you.

    Anyway how come people come by this post - do people think we can help find her on the internet, that said it is only slightly less likely than finding her in Gateshead Indoor Market, or any of the other places we are emplored to help find her.

  24. JackP responds:

    @J Jay: piss off. What really makes you think I give a shit about you or your poisonous opinions?

    You’re just a third-rate spammer and you know it.

    You’ve read one post on my site; you don’t know me, you don’t know what I stand for, and you can’t even be bothered to read the comments, you’d know that I’ve already answered the ‘cold-hearted callous bastard’ charge, which I’d known was going to come — precisely because you’re too busy jumping on the latest bandwagon to find out anything about the people you’re shouting about.

    You can’t be bothered to take block capitals off, so everyone visiting the site has to watch your demonstration that you don’t even grasp the basics of netiquette; I would ignore the spelling mistakes but in this case I think they are more likely to be a demonstration of your ignorance than something like dyslexia. After all, how difficult is it to spell the word “off”?

    The sort of opinions you pretend to espouse are precisely those associated with the sort of people who confuse ‘paediatrician’ with ‘paedophile’.

    But of course you’ve only created the post in an attempt to stir up controversy, and get me to reply to you. Why else would you be supplying an email and malformed URL (I’m particularly impressed that you botched that too) with ‘pussyheaven’ in the string?

    And it nearly worked. I had been going to reply personally too — and possibly more politely, but I checked the full details of your post first. Nice try.

    As the debate appears to be going nowhere (someone criticises me, someone defends me, I offer my two penn’orth, and repeat), I’ll just re-iterate my main points.

    • I hope she’s safe and well and is returned to her parents unharmed
    • I think it’s unlikely
    • I don’t understand why she warrants more media attention/frenzy than any other missing child

    And I now hereby declare comments on this post to be closed.

  25. Lindsey responds:

    I agree totally, thats all I can say.

  26. Jackie responds:


  27. Vicky responds:

    Wow. I find it astonishing for people to enter here, read the above article, and somehow think Jack is uncaring or cold (!?) 0_o

    Where do they even get that from?… How can you possibly… Ugh, it frazzles my brain, it really does.

    Even before reading the comments, it’s so obvious the points he was making, and they are completely valid and not the slightest bit cold towards Madeleine or her parents. So where the heck are they getting that from?

    Of course he cares about her, you fools - he shares the same empathy any parent would have. You naysayers should be complimenting him, not condemning him, for heaven’s sake! He states time and time again that he wishes nothing bad upon Madeleine OR her parents. What, do your eyes just… skip those parts, or something? Do you see only what you want to see? Do you even realise you’re doing it…?

    He’s trying to make the point of all the other little lost children in the world who are shadowed and forgotten in the wake of the Madeleine media frenzy, and I for one wholeheartedly agree with that view. And anyone with a non-obsessed, healthy mind would share that opinion, too.

    Yes, it raises awareness for parents to more closely watch their children in case they get snatched. But at the same time, it’s drowning the cries of those already missing.

    You’re not all running around worried to death about them like you are Madeleine, are you? No, just her. And why just her? Answer: All the media attention focused on her- just her.

    Where’s your compassion for all the other innocent kids missing in the world, Barbara? J Jay? What do you have to say for yourselves? Are you not, infact, the cold and uncaring ones here? Or are you just little fishies clinging to the underbelly of the media whale, with such a narrow perception of life that you can’t even see your own hypocrisy?

    Here’s my advice to you. If you care so much about Maddy, go out and look for her already. Don’t come back here to waste your time arguing on the Internet when you could be doing something useful (because that’s what you seem so indignant about, so by all means, go away already!) Because here, on Jack’s personal website, where you are a guest, spending your free time to visit his space, Jack can talk about whatever he bloody well wants. And his opinion is a lot more rational and stable than either of yours seems to be.

    And just for your information, I’ve also shed a tear or two when I saw the first few reports about Madeleine. But I shed them while thinking of all the other children who are, right this very second, in the same situation as her, whose names I shall never know, whose faces I’ll never see, because no media attention *at all* is given to those poor, lonely kids. What sickens me even more is that Madeleine is the only face I’ll see in my head when I think of those terrible things.

  28. Jugalug responds:

    So true. What about all the other missing children from this country? Where’s there 1 hour special on ITV1?

  29. sylvia r responds:

    good for you vicky giving your comments!!! As for you paul, well done for raising the true issue here regarding other missing children!!! Who cares about them, who has cried over them??? One child stands out amongst all them!!!! The one fron a working class family!!!!We need to concentrate on the other missing children, madeleine is having more than enough coverage!!!! Are we really a nation that just cares about one missing child????

  30. D Henry responds:

    After reading the postings above its clear that there is some sort of jealousy of the media. This website is part of the media and is therefore part of the problem. While it maybe true that down market newspapers mainly owned by the Murdock empire have used this story for commercial gain just like they did with Diana for many years.

    The readers become part of these world events especially when it is a subject like this one. Most people can remember a holiday in a sunny country and how relaxing it can be so it is obviously something that most people can relate to.

    Yes I agree that the media would not have offered as much space or time if the child had not been from such a good family. I am less convinced its about their class but more about the fact that the McCann’s are an upstanding family and have a large support group of family and friends around them.

    Not the sort of parents that fit the discription of abusing parents don’t you think? Unlike the grandmother that after smoking a number of joints having a load to drinks lets a dog in that then attacks and kills a little girl. People like that should not be aloud to be near children let alone give birth to them.

    Your postings and the comments have missed one very important question. That is by the McCann’s using the media to help raise the profile of their missing daughter the are now owned by the media. The downmarket press likes nothing more than to build someone/story up only to take great delight in bringing them down. Diana was a perfect example. The same press then printed black front pages as a sign of respect on the day of her funeral after it was them that been offering large sums of money for pictures of Diana. The same will be happening right now for pictures of the McCann family.

    I don’t think you are correct to claim that the media is trying to tell you what to think. It is simply that the media has become part of the fabric of daily life and as such people find themselves becoming part of the events that are reoprted.

    The media didn’t make the McCann’s story up just to sell more copies. The story happened and was reported. The editors saw a story that was attractive so reported it. People read or watched the story. Then the story took on a life of its own. Your blogg has in a small way added to that development.

    So I think you are completely wrong to make claims about the media when by publishing this blogg you have become part of the media and the on going story.

    And just to bring this up to date. The McCann’s are now back in the UK while the Portugese Police continue to screw up any chance of ever finding out what has really happened to Madeleine. The Keystone cops would have been able to do a better job than they have. Probably the biggest mistake that has been made was thinking that the Portugese Police would be able to act in a professional way. The lesson for all families is not to go to Portugal as you are on your own if something like this happens or if you do and this happens to you bring in your own Police force and carryout your own investigation.

  31. c wood responds:

    Would all those who are critical of the McCanns ask themselves this:

    If they did any less to find their child, does that mean there is more probability of finding other missing children?
    If they had failed to mobilise the media, would editors have automatically given more coverage to other missing children, as if they needed to fill a quota of pages on missing people?
    If they are able and well-connected people, should they use less of their ability and fewer of their contacts, just to make the less able feel better about themselves? Would that help bring back other missing children?

    They are not using up a finite resource. There is no rationing, no shortage of web space, newsprint, or public awareness. Only of humanity and common sense.

    Anyone in this awful situation would do anything, everything, within their ability to find their child. They cannot be blamed for having more ability. Those who are jealous need to find another outlet for their feelings of inadequacy. I hardly think that is at the top of the McCann’s list of priorities right now.

    And if you are sick of reading about it, you are free to stop, by the way.

  32. D Henry responds:

    I do not think the McCann’s have done anything wrong and completely agree that they have done everything they can to help find their daughter.

    All decent parents would do the same. I also think every member of the public has the right to their opinion. If this publicity helps raise awareness of child safty then some good wil come out of it.

  33. JackP responds:

    @D Henry:
    maybe you’re right. I didn’t intend, when I originally posted this article, to be publishing it to “the world”: yes, I know that’s what the internet is about, but I had expected it would only be read by my regular readers. The fact that the post has provoked over 30 comments and an ongoing discussion suggests that it is now in itself becoming part of the media frenzy.

    Does anyone know, has this been linked to anywhere, because I wouldn’t have expected my site would have been found by anywhere near the number of people who seem to have found it for such a news “hot topic”; I’m not and I don’t pretend to be a big-time blogger… and it does genuinely surprise me the number of people who seem to have found their way here for this story.

    I don’t however think that “abusing parents” can so easily be pigeonholed by social class as you seem to infer (whether that be physical, sexual or emotional). Although I’ve got to agree with you about the dangerous dog thing.

    I’m not however saying the McCanns are responsible — indeed I’m apalled by what appears to be a backlash against them — so far as I can see they have had their daughter stolen from them, and they are now traumatised by being accused of this.

    It is a legitimate question to ask — most murders are by family members — but equally the presumption of innocence until proven guilty needs to be remembered. At the moment, the McCanns are innocent victims of this whole thing, none more so than Madeleine herself.

    @C Wood: well said. It may surprise you to learn I agree with pretty much all you have to say there; my main gripe was the continual reporting of “news” when nothing new had actually happened.

  34. D Henry responds:

    While I work in the media I don’t work in the area of News. The problem these days is that we now have the technology to communicate over great distances immediately. This brings with it a problem that when a small story unfolds in a tiny holiday town the whole world can be viewing, listening or reading about it within minutes.

    All this has happend in the last couple of decades but the human race hasn’t changed or developed much in that time. With the instant News we expect instant answers but that isn’t possible. Programmes like 24 offer a unreal view of instant CCTV footage, satellite spying etc. None of which can be done instantly.

    If it could then a spy satellite would be able to zoom in on Portugal and see the obduction happening as they ket away.

    The media has in it both good and bad traits just like the real world. 50 years ago news was quite slow and most people would have been unaware of missing girl on holiday. They would have been more likely to have been hearing from friend about some local scandal. The media has in someways replaced the standing at the end of your garden gossiping with a friend. The viewers and readers after hearing about a story take this into their lives and it becomes part of them. Thats why the McCann’s story has taken on a life of its own.

    The story has now reached a turning point and the press in particular will be looking for a answer. I hope common sence will prevail and the truth will shine through. Behind the story in a simple fact that a good caring family have lost a child while on holiday at a time that is ment to be relaxing and happy. This is the worst possible event that can happen. Its not just the fact that the girl has gone missing its the fact that someone out there knows what happened.

    I would like to point out that I think good caring families can come from all backgrounds. However I am feedup of a Britain that helps single mothers when not helping families that stay together. I still think single mothers or fathers should get support and help I just don’t think that families that struggle to stay togther and bring up a family should get less support that others who don’t try to stay together.

    I also think in your inital posting you were trying to claim that somehow the McCann’s child shouldn’t be given all this exposure. I think a reason for the exposure is the large family and friends that clearly support the McCann’s.

    I also think that this issue has helped other families who have been through the same thing. It might also be a warning to others that if they thought that they were going to try snatching a little girl they too might find themselves exposed to this level of publicity. It could prevent another family going through the same thing.

    We live in a big world but the problems are the same as when we lived in a small neighbourhood.

  35. WOMBLE responds:

    I think you are completely right when you draw parallels with the death of Diana. How people can possibly claim to ‘cry every day’ for a child they didn’t know I have no idea. Call me heartless (I’m not) but surely there is some form of mental imbalance in a persons life when they are doing this?
    I also am confused out the outpouring of sympathy directed towards the K and G McCann - these people have done something that I, and i had hoped most humans would find abhorent. They abandoned their children to go out drinking. They left them in an unsafe environemnt. Yes unsafe because of the age of the children. I have three children, the two youngest one’s frequently try poking each others eyes out or bashing each other over the head with lego and transformers because that is what small children do, therefore to leave three small children in a room together with no ability to hear them, not necessarily see them, but hear them is NOT okay. It is NOT safe and it certainly is NOT something ‘we all do’. Any sympathies people have with this case should be directed towards a small neglected child. If this had happened in the middle of any country in Britain these parents would be splashed across the headlines as the irresponsible buggers they are and not the Boden wearing tragic figures the newspapers have turned them in to. A child is missing presumed dead because she was neglected and left alone. I resent people telling me that they’re nice people and wouldnt do anythign to harm their kids. And i resent having to listen to a replay of K McCann claiming to be an extremely protective parent. I truly feel that even if they had the McCann’s on video abducting their own child there would be needy people out there who would still promote them and their parenting skills from the rooftops.

  36. Vicky responds:

    c wood: Very sensible post, and for the most part I agree with you.

    I still find it difficult to believe that this story isn’t dominating the media and possibly being preferred by reporters and newspapers, over reporting news of other missing children. The fact is, I don’t know for sure, so I can’t really argue the point beyond just stating my opinion of it. :)

    Perhaps in the long run, more “air-time” will be given to other missing kids as a result of this story. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

    Just to clarify the post I made above, I was mostly ranting at the rudeness of some of the commenters who were acting like rabid ferrets. In general, I don’t know what to make of the whole situation. I think anything is possible. And it’s stupid to have people bite your head off for even suggesting the perfectly reasonable assumption that maybe the parents had something to do with it. After all, nobody knows for sure. They’re foolish for stubbornly refusing to accept all possibilities are equally valid without further concrete evidence.

  37. Rik responds:

    I came across this site completly by accident and have read the various comments, what comes across is both positive and negative. Thank goodness we all care enough to actually make some kind of comment - passion can be very positive if directed well. Negatively - isnt it a shame that human nature seems to dictate that to put a contrary point of view across we have to put the opposing view down - quite often involving insults and aggression - which immediately makes the positive views less easy to be open to comprehension by others!!!
    I hope for reprieve for any child who is suffering and in any kind of pain and for parents who have lost a child but I have to live with the fact that a certain selfishness means I direct most of that care towards my own children while only giving a few minutes a day to the thoughts of others!

  38. Kate responds:


  39. Paulo Ribeiro responds:

    One thing I dont get it is, first they wanna the media to be with them everywhere, now them be guilt ( which i think from the very first day) they ask for privacy??? The media give them all, all the money in donation all the publicity. took them to meet the pope for god’s sake !!!
    I just dont get it!!!

  40. tasha responds:

    Why the assumption that because the McCanns are professional people, they must also be responsible ones? My parents, a doctor and a pharmacist, regularly sedated us (with Phenergan) so they would have peace.
    One night, my brother drank the contents of the bottle (it actually tasted nice!) and couldn’t be woken up. Fortunately, it was only half full, otherwise he wouldn’t be around today (he woke eventually after being dumped in a cold bath).
    That was just one of their attempts (accidental I think) to kill us.
    I do hope that they are innocent, but just want to make the point that parents can make mistakes, whatever their ‘class’ or profession.

  41. Lesley_jc responds:

    I do feel sorry for the parents to a certain extent but at the end of the day we are in Britain what are we supposed to do???
    It doesnt mean we don’t care etc but life goes on and like many other people have stated that there are millions of missing people around the world and there not getting any amount of attention this is recieving!!!
    At the end of the day she shouldn’t of been left on her own I wouldn’t dream of going for a meal and leaving my son on his own!!!
    I do hope she is fount safely but I don’t think that is going to happen and I don’t think many other people do either!
    Maybe its time the media etc left them alone and let them and the police try and find her or put closer to all of it and let them grieve for there daughter on there own!!!!

  42. Katiewoo responds:

    I agree wholeheartedly with WOMBLE.

    The bottom line is that 3 young children should not have been left on their own whatever the circumstances. For the McCann parents to say that it wasn’t that far from where they were eating/we were checking on them was a risk. So risky that they no longer have their daughter with them. I just can’t understand why they didn’t take them with them to the restaurant?!?!?!

    I do not even leave my 10 month old daughter alone with our 2 year old labrador, the most gentle dog in the world because children are inquisitive - they pick things up and put them in their mouths and explore without knowing the consequences in advance. He is a good dog but what if she pulls his ear and hurts him and he retaliates?

    I know we are only human and we can only do our best and we have our own lives to live but we need to try to eliminate all risks when it comes to our children. My mother is the only person I trust to look after my daughter and the only reason why I can’t leave her with my Mother-in-law is because she has dreadful arthritis and can’t bend down to chang my daughter’s nappy and she lives 4 hours away in Newcastle.

    Parents are solely responsible for their children. You have to weigh up the risks, but surely leaving your child with someone is better than leaving them with no one in the case of the McCanns?

    Whatever has happened from the moment they left her is their fault and nobody elses. And it doesn’t matter how much they say they are protective etc - if they HAD been this would not have happened.

    All the media hype surrounding this case seems to have turned the McCanns into heroic figures, the words you constantly see is ‘battling on’. In this new world we seem to have celebrities of a different kind. Whether it’s Jade Goody being famous for being on Big Brother and being thick (although I actually quite like her) or someone being famous because they had sex with a politician we live in a foreign world now where bored people feed on the misery of others (including me I’m ashamed to say).

    Whatever their intention when they involved the media in their daughter’s disappearance, they are probably the most notorious couple in the press at this time so this only adds the story. And yes I suppose Madeleine is a pretty little girl and Kate McCann is attractive.

    As a lot of people on here have posted , the whole saga has become very much like that of Princess Diana but with more effect in that it doesn’t end because they haven’t found her. Lies and hearsay (not the band) continue to fuel the voracious media attention and reports containing spurious vague facts.

    I don’t know what to believe, but I believe that the truth will come out, even if it takes years. But I don’t think that we ‘the baying public’ can’t wait years can we?

  43. Katiewoo responds:

    sorry CHANGE not chang and in the last sentence CAN not can’t.


  44. Maria responds:

    God bless Madeleine wherever she might be (dead or alive) and God Bless all those children who are missing (faceless), and all those children who have become orphans due to famine, war or violence who have like the Mccans lost someone they love and with no one to guide them through their struggles in life.
    They also deserve our prayers as much as Madeleine, and they also deserve news coverage to hightlight the kind of world we live in. Can the society we live in get any worse?
    Whatever the outcome for the Mccans they will have to live with their guilt for the rest of their lives because they left their children HOME ALONE!!!!!

  45. vicki bosher responds:


    I think you comment about the back ground o9f the family is right, but and its a big but, I think the reason why people like me, (who happens to live on a council esatate and have a very working class back ground and a simple job) are supporting the McCann’s has nothing to do with what they do for a living. Its because the family have made sure no one can get away from that childs face, she is everywhere. Maddie’s face and the search has been on the TV and in the papers every day. I don’t think there will be a person in the world who has access to TV and papers would not know who she was. Not everyone’s family would pull out all the stops andf get her face out there. This child is loved very much, Its crazy to think they had anything to do with her going missing. Why would they draw so much atteention to them? how did they get rid of her body? All these people are fguilty of is, as you say leaving them alone, and my got what a price they are paying, but worse, so much worse for that little girl, what ever has happened to her. I pray every day that today is the day she comes home.

  46. vicki responds:

    Sorry for the spelling errors, but thats me, can’t help it,
    I also wanted to add to my comments above, that if you know anything about this child and know who took her or were she is, please call the police, please help bring this little girl home. Its not to late to come forward.

  47. Helena responds:

    I still can’t believe that the parents did it but then I can’t believe they chose a legal representative that represented that murderous traitor Pinochet. I also find it unbelievable that they left the children at home whilst they sought an entertaining evening with friends. It wasn’t a quick 50m dash to a place in eyesight from where they were enjoying themselves but a rather circuitous route to a place out of direct sight from the restaurant.

    Somebody or somebodies out there know what really happened and I hope that the people responsible feel the full weight of the law. If the parents are innocent, I hope it soon becomes apparent what happened so at least they know. And I hope if she is still alive, that she is being looked after well. If anyone knows anything, please tell now even if it is anonymously.

  48. Herbert responds:

    I don’t know if the Mccans have something to do with the disappearance or not and this is not what matters either. Maybe we never will know - but I think that all the circus about the girl made things worse.
    If Madeleine was or is alive no one would go outside with her but kill her to destroy all possible trace. But other boys and girls are out there and they are alive. Everybody talks now about ONE girl and the others don’t exist any longer. That’s a pity!
    I don’t understand either how the Mccans could give tranquillizers to their children. No feeling mother or father could do this and they pretend to be Catholics. This is quite incredible to me.
    I really hope that Madeleine is alive but I can’t believe it any longer and I really hope someone would start a campaign not for ONE girl but for all the missing children in this world. And all those who gave money for finding Madeleine should give the same that other children could be found and this IS possible.

  49. Anonymous responds:

    Sorry - why is it I can’t read the later replies??? There seems to be a loss at start and end of comments.

    I agree with many of the different opinions and the original viewpoint. Personally I can’t see how these parents could leave three children unattended and then state ‘…we had absolutely nothing to do with our daughter’s disappearance.’

    For all those with children - would you/have you done the same??

    When the media circus grinds to a halt they will always have to live with what they didn’t do… It is simply a tragedy that has got way out of control and all parties to me appear to have forgotten Madeleine!

  50. JackP responds:

    I’m guessing you’re using Internet Explorer 6 (or possibly a modified version of it used as a base for a company-branded internet browser)?Internet Explorer 6 has a rendering bug that results in the visible part of the column seemingly getting narrower - is that the problem you’re experiencing?

    It’s not a problem with Internet Explorer 7, Firefox or Opera, so to be honest I’ve not worried about it too much.

    If you want any help/advice on upgrading to a different browser, use the contact form and I’ll be happy to offer you advice.

    I’m again going to disable comments on this because there’s no actual news at the moment, and it appears that this is becoming the very talking shop I was criticising the media for…

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