Mon 10 Sep 2007
It’s been 4 months since little Madeleine McCann went missing while on holiday with her family in Portugal, and I can’t begin to imagine what her family have been through over the past few months, with being formally identified as suspects over the weekend making it even worse.
Since this step was taken, TV programmes, newspapers and radio have all been inundated by people offering support for the parents claiming that they definitely had no part to play in the disappearance of their little girl. This is annoying as these people don’t know the McCanns any more than I do, they simply think they know them as they have been on their TV screens and in their papers every day for the past 4 months.
Nobody really knows what someone is capable of given a certain set of circumstances - often not even the person themselves. When someone is revealed as a killer, the neighbours and family never say that they have thought them likely to be a murderer all along after all.
Which is not to say that I think Maddy’s parents killed her - certainly not deliberately. And that is the main point here - the police have apparently accused them of killing her by accident and then covering it up. Accidents can happen to anyone and everyone, so the protests that the McCanns wouldn’t do anything to harm their child might be true, but that doesn’t rule out that an accident may have happened and that they simply panicked into covering the fact up.
The police process in Portugal is adding to the confusion though, they are simply not allowed to reveal anything to the media which in an ideal world would mean that nothing was reported until it was all unveiled in court, but with the media the way it currently is they simply report allegations and speculation which doesn’t help anyone.
The McCanns can’t complain at the media coverage the case is getting now though as it was they who courted the media at the very outset in the hope that it would bring their daughter’s disappearance to the fore and increase the chance that she would be found.
Unfortunately this has not yet happened and as time ticks on, it seems to be less and less likely that this will have a happy outcome. I don’t know what happened to young Madeleine, or whether her parents played any part in her disappearance or death, but I really hope that they didn’t. After all, if they did then their guilt will cast a shadow over the parents of the next missing child as the public and media may assume the worst in future cases as well.