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The Mindfuckery in the Netflix Documentary on Madeleine McCann Kicks Off in the Very First Frame

When last did we see a documentary on Madeleine McCann that a) genuinely presented new, game changing evidence or b) was an authentic investigation with no “hidden” agenda? When last did we see a Madeleine McCann documentary that was unbiased, one way or the other?


Typically when the suspects in a case are “exonerated”, or cleared, or no longer part of an official investigation, any aspersions implying their guilt mean the producers can be sued for defamation. If it can’t be proven or tested in court, and if it hasn’t been, then the odds favor the accused/former suspects. And so does the money.

A documentary sympathetic to those at its center is also easier to make if those at its center are friendly in some way to the producers. Friendly meaning family, friends or witnesses participate in a particular narrative which in turn makes those in the narrative appear better than perhaps they otherwise would. A good example is Steven Avery in Making A Murderer Seasons 1 & 2. And let’s face it, sympathy tends to come before facts in True Crime Apologia.

In the opening to episode one of the documentary, an anonymous reporter refers to shutters broken virtually in the first minute…

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On May 5th 2007, just two days after the incident, the Telegraph reported:

Jon Corner, a close friend of Mrs McCann and godparent of the twins, said she telephoned him in the middle of the night distraught. He said: “She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. She told me, ‘They have broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl.’

“They had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal, but when they went back the last time they saw the damage. First they saw one of the window shutters had been forced, and then they saw the door was open and the bed was empty – and Madeleine was gone.

Ten years later that story changed.


‘MADDIE WAS NOT SNATCHED IN ROOM’  Shocking new abduction theory claims Madeleine McCann left Portuguese apartment looking for her parents before being taken – The Sun

His theory is backed up by evidence that discounts claims someone broke into apartment 5A via the ­bedroom window shutters — because they could ONLY be opened from the inside. Collins says: “I came across no clear indication that a planned abduction took place that night. Madeleine awoke and took the opportunity offered by the open patio doors to leave the apartment.”

In the initial panic…Gerry and Kate reportedly believed someone had “jemmied open” the shutters to get into her bedroom.

In fact the shutters were not damaged in any way.

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This is why it’s laughable how the Apologia dresses itself under the guise of being a genuine investigation with no bias. OBVIOUSLY it is biased, and obviously those it supports provide some form of resources, whether archival footage, or access, or reinforcement or otherwise.

The new Netflix documentary kicks off its first frame by implying that there is still a case to solve, and information out there, because Madeleine is still out there.

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Of course this is PRECISELY the same narrative the McCanns have maintained since day one. It was only three months after the incident that the cops began to consider that Madeleine was dead, and cadaver dog searches strongly confirmed these suspicions.

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The law – including British law – holds that any person who disappears with no trace for a period of seven years is to be considered deceased. So to allege that Madeleine is alive is unreasonable at best, and technically unlawful at worst.

The call by the Netflix film for “any information” on Madeleine McCann is also misleading. In 2016, nine years after her “disappearace” over 8000 “sightings” had been recorded, which suggests that the number is closer to 12 000 currently. Whether there are 20 sightings or 200 000 sightings, the result is the same. The only difference is the reality becomes more and more muddled behind a curtain of false information and fake leads. Of course if you can claim that MAYBE the missing person is still alive because you’re still investigation, and 199 999 have still to be checked, then a technical legal argument could be made – in theory – that evidence COULD exist somewhere out there proving she may be alive.

Of course the parents can claim that any lead, whether it’s a “sighting” in Antarctica or Vladivostok, that’s not followed up shows police incompetence and evidence of an “incomplete” or “unprofessional” or simply an “insincere” investigation. But the converse is that the investigation into the McCanns wasn’t unfettered or without interference. An obvious example of interference is kicking off the lead detective in the case, attacking him and undermining him in the media, suing him and silencing him. Much of this assault was directly by the McCanns.

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This should come as no surprise. Exactly the same process played out in the Ramsey case against Detective Steve Thomas.

Maddie ‘died’ in apartment, court hears – The Express

Of course the title of the 8-part documentary communicates the message even more clearly. It’s not called THE DEATH OF MADELEINE MCCAN, or even THE ABDUCTION, just the “disappearance”.

For as long as Madeleine is “disappeared” and not dead, it remains officially a missing person’s case [the most expensive wild goose chase in true crime history], rather than a murder investigation. If Madeleine is dead, and someone is responsible for her death, it must suit them just fine that a narrative is still being circulated exorting the public to “never give up hope”.

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  1. Sideaffected

    I have to admit I lol’d when watching that YouTube video and there is frantic angry (well-made) points scribbled across the screen juxtaposed with MoTown lamenting sexily that “she’s gone.” I don’t know if whoever made that video gets her own joke or would find it darkly humorous as I do.

    Yes I can’t watch that. There are a lot of people who will be screaming at their TVs because you can verify that the shutters weren’t broken quite quickly and easily and if you know more than a sliver about this case. Apparently no one in the UK actually thinks they’re innocent. I’d assume if anyone does it’s Americans that don’t know more than the basic, original storyline (someone saw her being carried). That was all I knew until a couple years ago actually and within a couple hours it’s like “ohhh ok they killed their kid…but why”? That’s the only thing I’m unsure of.

    • Glen

      Did anyone interview Gerry’s doctor friend who made a sexual gesture to Gerry about Madeleine?

      • nickvdl


      • Ralph Oscar

        “Gerry’s doctor friend who made a sexual gesture to Gerry about Madeleine?”


  2. Jenn H.

    I watched most of the first episode last night. The timeline of checking on the children is way off. I’ve read and researched more information on this case,
    also Nick’ s points, I do think it’s one or both of the parents… motive is unclear. Also, in the interview where the Mcanns are asked about reconstruction of the scene, they dismiss it immediately. I found that
    the parents either are in denial or have a part in this somehow.

    • nickvdl

      I don’t think the motive for covering up the child’s death is a mystery by any means.

  3. KGS

    I feel sorry for the poor McCann family. If there is any lesson in any of this: it is this: Travel and vacation in your own country. When people travel, they are often blissfully unaware of the highly irregular and emotional nature of authorities in foreign countries (especially places like Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal). Say the wrong thing or look the wrong way and one could lose one’s freedom in these places! Just ask Amanda Knox! I remember the first time I traveled to Italy to the World Cup in 1990. The first thing that shocked me was the 18-year-old Polizia with automatic machine guns facing the crowd in the stands. Next the Greek ferry captain who tried to break into our stateroom while my friend was taking a shower! Who could we report this to? We ended up flying back because we were afraid to take the ferry from Greece back to Italy. The flight was frightening (especially the take-off and landing.). They don’t have the same FAA standards in these countries! Traveling sounds so fun and romantic when you’re young until of course something like this happens and you thank your lucky stars for something called the US Constitution,

    • Diogo

      that is so not true. you should be prepared and read about the place you’re visiting. being uninformed in a foreign country is not a good idea.

      regarding the mccans , a lot of things are off. I’m portuguese…I thought their behaviour throughout this was not normal , cant say its condemn-able, but “normal” people don’t leave 8 children sleeping in their beds while going for piñatas

    • PP

      The worst thing about the Mccanns is the constant attempt to profit from the crime, the ever sustained presence in the media reminding us that “they are still looking for their daughter”. The Mccanns are aware that Maddie is dead.

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