Madeleine McCann mystery story changes and smears

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Kate and Gerry McCann seen leaving church on Madeleine’s 4th birthday. No balloons, no smiles in this picture.

 

Before being hospitalised last week, I made a promise to various people to look into what they say is false ‘evidence’ against Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Madeleine who disappeared nearly nine years ago from the family’s holiday apartment in Portugal.

Little did I realise at the time that I would be rushed to hospital and that my promise would be delayed until after Katie Hopkins column, in the UK’s Daily Mail, headed We’ll never know what really happened to Maddy

The promise I made followed my blog post on February 16 entitled Madeleine McCann mystery – we may never know truth (similar heading, huh?) For some reason that I still don’t fully understand, my independent and unbiased post was seen by some pro-McCann people as being ‘anti’ and one person even said I had my own agenda.

I was criticised for spreading misinformation – which I didn’t. But don’t take my word for it; read the original blog post by following this link https://50shadesofsun.com/?p=1601 and then, please, come back here.

Ok, points to clear up first: My working life has been as a journalist. I always make it clear when expressing my opinion as opposed to just reporting a story. In my original post I did not indicate support for or condemnation of Madeleine’s parents – except that they had to take part of the blame for leaving the three children unsupervised and unprotected while at dinner in a nearby tapas bar. On this point, which is my opinion, I don’t actually see much disagreement from even the most ‘pro’ of the pro-parent side of the McCann debate.

Another of my opinions concerns tampering with records of what happened to make something else appear true. This is about the same as giving different accounts of events when asked at different times; otherwise known as changing your story.

The two pictures I used in the last post, of the parents leaving church on Madeleine’s 4th birthday, showed them smiling but at that time I knew nothing of the video. Having now watched it, I can tell you that someone went to the trouble of isolating the smiles, caused by an incident with birthday balloons, to completely misrepresent the situation. The parents were not smiling the entire time, just briefly because of the balloons. Other pictures from the same video would tell a completely different story.

FAKE - Kate and Gerry's heads have been added to another picture.

FAKE – Kate and Gerry’s heads have been added to another picture.

REAL - The original picture used to produce the fake.

REAL – The original picture used to produce the fake.

Similarly, there is a picture purporting to show Kate and Gerry counting money. Apart from this being highly unlikely in the circumstances, to me it at first appeared unimportant. But then another picture appeared. In every detail the pictures are identical complete with the same bodies and hands but, this time, with different heads.

There can be no doubt that trickery has been used here to create an image that never took place.

Hmm, trickery by the anti-parents campaigners? Looks like the pro-parent ones may be right. Or does it?

This is where so many questions need to be asked.

Police asked how did they leave their apartment to go to dinner? Both said: Through the front, which they locked. Later, both changed to through the patio door, left unlocked as it did not lock from outside. The front door may not have been locked either, they admitted.

Initial reports of the ‘abduction’ were about the window’s shutters being ‘jemmied open’ but there was no evidence of that. Statements about the window being opened by the abductor for escape with the child were nonsense as two easier routes were available – ie both unlocked doors.

I am not attempting to reach a conclusion here, except to say that that there is far too much to uncover, so much to delve through that I doubt the true facts about that night will ever be known. After nearly nine years, I believe the trail has gone cold.

OPINION

On the one point on which I am positive, charges should be brought against both Kate and Gerry McCann for child neglect because even a half-hourly check-up does not mean that the kids were not left alone. Further, for leaving doors unlocked, I would add charges of placing children in danger.

They may not be complicit in crimes of abduction or murder but they are certainly guilty of being irresponsible parents.

And if it can be proved who faked the pictures, I’d charge them too.

 

Execution stayed: Beyond reasonable doubt? Really?

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Richard Glossip.  (pic: Sky News)

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin granted a 37 day stay of execution an hour after the US Supreme Court today (Wednesday) refused to consider new evidence.

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After a long legal fight ending in a 3-2 split decision of judges in the state criminal appeal court, a man convicted of murder in the US state of Oklahoma was due to be executed by lethal injection today, Wednesday.

He had lost his final legal bid to avoid being put to death. Only the Governor could order a stay.

Now, I am not going to enter or even start a debate about the rights and wrongs of any country or, as in the US, any state having capital punishment as an ultimate sanction. But I am going to question the competency of a judicial system that has convicted this man, Richard Glossip.

Let’s look at the undisputed facts of the case.

Barry Van Treese, who owned an Oklahoma City motel, was murdered in 1997. At that time, Glossip, now aged 52, worked there.

Justin Sneed, a handyman at the motel, admitted killing Van Treese with a baseball bat but said Glossip had paid him to do it.

He denies any involvement and says he has been ‘framed’.

Strangely, there was no physical evidence linking Glossip to the crime, just the testimony of the then teenager Sneed who escaped the death penalty in return for testifying against Glossip.

Sneed is serving a jail sentence, while Glossip still faces the death penalty.

What I find peculiar is that without any physical evidence, the prosecution’s case depended solely on the word of the person who admits carrying out the murder. And he became a prosecution witness as part of a deal with the District Attorney; a deal that meant he did not have to face the death penalty for his actions.

So, the court in Oklahoma had the word of one man against another – with no physical evidence.

Now, I may be missing something here but it seems to me to be impossible for anyone on a jury to say, after considering the testimonies of both men, that Glossip was guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Hell, I would surely have had reasonable doubt.

But two juries did decide just that. Yes, somehow, he was convicted twice.

And that is why Richard Glossip’s life was almost ended today. I don’t know if Glossip is innocent but to me he was not proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt and that means he should have been acquitted.

It is often said that if you are not guilty you have nothing to fear. It seems that may not be true in all parts of the US.

British justice with understanding and compassion

Meanwhile, in the UK, a woman who admitted stabbing a man to death has had her prison sentence reduced from 7 years to just 3½ years. She had been cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.sarah sands

Her victim, Michael Pleasted, was a convicted paedophile and was on bail awaiting trial on further charges of sexual assault on young boys.

The judge stated that he had reduced the sentence to such a level because Sarah Sands, 32, (pictured right) had lost control and afterwards had given herself up to police, admitted what she had done, had not attempted to conceal or dispose of any evidence and had shown remorse through the investigation and trial.

He described it as an extraordinary case and also said the he had taken into account that Sands is a single mother.

I can think of more than a few people who would have happily done the same thing as this woman.

(Sarah Sands’s pic: Metropolitan Police/PA)