Shortly before the launch of Kate's book, members of the McCann camp used an extraordinary description of the purpose of the book.
Kate intended to use the book, they said, to ''settle scores'', particularly against the Portuguese police. As we have already discussed, the police were not the only people with whom she had scores to settle and her reasons for writing about those people as she did are unclear. I can actually understand her taking her temper out on the PJ - for the sake of her furniture, if nothing else - but the other people she was snotty about? No, there really was no excuse.
So who came in for the sharp edge of her tongue?
Well, the police obviously did, at all levels, with Amaral picked out for special abuse. From the arrival of the first officers who she charmingly referred to as Tweedledee and Tweedledum to the PJ officers who she described as 'morose' while slagging them off with a vengeance:
Mr Amaral, of course, was one of the major scoreesI know as well as anybody that one shouldn’t judge people – or perhaps places, either – on appearances, but it all made me immensely nervous. I was appalled by the treatment we received at the police station that day. Officers walked past us as if we weren’t there. Nobody asked how we were doing, whether we were OK or needed anything to eat or drink or to use the bathroom. Our child had been stolen and I felt as if I didn’t exist. I’ve tried to rationalize it since: maybe they just couldn’t imagine how it felt to be a parent in such circumstances, or maybe they couldn’t speak English and it seemed better or easier simply to avoid us. Whatever the case, it was a horribly isolating experience.
Maybe it's just me, but isn't that an appalling thing to say? To actually want another human being to be miserable and frightened for basically doing their job?Not sure how I feel about seeing Mr Amaral – for the first time ever, I hasten to add! I know I’m not scared but that man has caused us so much upset and anger because of how he has treated my beautiful Madeleine and the search to find her. He deserves to be miserable and feel fear.
The irony is that the book and the court action was all aimed at punishing Mr Amaral, at making him suffer. In the end, they lost and most of the pain they inflicted upon themselves.
Mrs Fenn and Yvonne Martin were clearly other people Kate felt she had a score to settle with. This is particularly difficult to understand as all either woman did was try to offer help. In the book, Kate doesn't even bother to name them, which seems even more discourteous
Then a lady appeared on a balcony – I’m fairly certain this was about 11pm, before the police arrived – and, in a plummy voice, inquired, ‘Can someone tell me what all the noise is about?’ I explained as clearly as I was able, given the state I was in, that my little girl had been stolen from her bed, to which she casually responded, ‘Oh, I see,’ almost as if she’d just been told that a can of beans had fallen off a kitchen shelf. I remember feeling both shocked and angry at this woefully inadequate and apparently unconcerned reaction. I recollect that in our outrage, Fiona and I shouted back something rather short and to the point.
I think you know very well who she was and what she was trying to achieve, Kate. She was a senior Child Protection manager and she was trying to help find out what happened to your daughter. You would not have had the right to walk away and refuse to speak to her in the UK, but for someone who would frequently complain about the way the investigation was conducted, one would have thought the arrival of possibly one of the most experienced people in the field would have been welcome, not a source of distress.Not having slept for some twenty-six hours I was starting to feel quite jaded but my mind was teeming with horrific images. A middle-aged British lady suddenly materialized beside me and introduced herself. She announced that she was, or had been, a social worker or child protection officer and insisted on showing me her professional papers, including, I think, her Criminal Records Bureau certificate. She asked me to sit down on a low wall, plonked herself next to me and told me she wanted me to go through everything that had happened the previous night. She was quite pushy and her manner, her very presence, were making me feel uncomfortable and adding to my distress.David was standing nearby. Concerned, he took me aside and pointed out that we didn’t know who this woman was or what she was doing there. He reassured me that I wasn’t obliged to speak to her if I didn’t want to. And I didn’t want to. Whoever she was, and whatever her credentials were, it was an inappropriate intrusion. And something about it, something about her, just didn’t feel right. I was glad I extricated myself. This woman would pop up several times in the days and months to come and I still don’t really know who she is or what she was trying to achieve.
Robert Murat presents Kate with something of a challenge, given that he was also an arguido, but again she never loses an opportunity to stick the knife in
When one of the GNR officers came over to request more details about Madeleine and any distinguishing features she had, this man stepped in to translate.
I was holding a photograph of Madeleine, which he asked to see. As he studied it, he told me about his daughter back in England who was the same age, and who, he said, looked just like Madeleine. I was a little irked by this. In the circumstances, it seemed rather tactless, even if he was simply trying to empathize. I didn’t think his daughter could possibly be as beautiful as Madeleine – though of course, as her mum, I didn’t think any other little girl could be as beautiful as Madeleine
Then of course there was the contingent of UK officers sent over to act as police liaison. She didn't think much of them, either
That Monday evening, completely exasperated, we lost it with the liaison officers. Within a few seconds of arriving they were telling us, ‘We’ve had a very frustrating day today.’ It transpired that they’d had to spend the whole day without an interpreter. In other words, it had been a complete waste of time. We were raging. ‘Why did you have to spend the whole day without an interpreter? If you haven’t got one, then get one! This is our daughter’s life, for Christ’s sake. We don’t have days to waste and she certainly doesn’t. And if you can’t get one, then let us know and we will.’ I couldn’t believe it.
Interestingly, I was also asked about the people Kate actually thanked in the book
They all have one thing in common. Their belief in the abduction story
She thanked the locals who attended church and soothed them with platitudes
She thanked the Leicestershire police and other UK forces
She thanked people for buying the book and the various people who helped them put the book deal together
But the people who received the biggest thanks of all were the rich and famous who gave or pledged money or served a mean strawberry vodka.
. I resisted the urge to run around the table and throw my arms around him. Instead I stammered out my gratitude. ‘Thank you, Brian, thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.’ My heart was doing mini leaps for the first time in months.
This grass-roots support firmly underpins the higher-profile help we have been so fortunate to receive from those in a position to bring funds and influence to our search for Madeleine. We cannot begin to express our thanks to the wealthy and successful people who have come to our aid and showed the courage to stand by us when many others ran a mile.
There was no specific thank you for the Portuguese police or the people of the area who gave up their time to search for Madeleine. Nor was there a specific thank you to Mark Warner.
The biggest thanks of all she reserved for one person. Gerry.
Next time, we're going to be looking at this passage from the book, so get your questions in now
It has been far more upsetting and damaging, frankly, to find ourselves let down by people in positions of trust, the very people who ought to be acting in Madeleine’s best interests. Unfortunately, there have been a few of them. Another revelation that appalled us was the existence of individuals whose lives seem to be governed by how they can turn any situation to their own advantage. If their personal agenda is not their prime focus, it is never far behind. They might even be helping, or at least seeming to help, but all the time they are calculating what’s in it for them. There are journalists and ‘criminologists’ I could name whose interest in Madeleine has far less to do with recovering an abducted child than with profiting from her misfortune. They continue to offer their services and ‘expertise’ to promote themselves and make money, often muddying the waters in the process.You wonder what drives some of these people. Avarice? The need to feel important? Or perhaps something lacking in their lives? Perhaps they are just consumed by a sense of worthlessness and hatred. Maybe some human beings are just born that way.
To be continued......