The £20 million 2019 Netflix documentary reveals further bias in episode four, specifically the way the interrogations of the McCanns are depicted. They’re cruel, unfair and unsubstantive. The McCanns are victims. The media and the police are caricious, shallow and stupid.
Trust the PR consultant of the McCanns to recognise a media “sting” when she steps out into the throng ahead of the interrogation of her employer. The cops have set the media up ahead of the interrogations. How dishonest!
And the PR continued during the interrogations.
But inside, Kate wasn’t quite as happy as the PR suggested.
Although the documentary tries to contradict Amaral’s version of the timeline of the interrogations [see screengrabs below], in Kate’s own account of the interrogation*, she was clearly angry, dismissive and even disrespectful of some of the questions asked of her, especially those related to the cadaver dog alerts.
While the interrogations were happening, Kate’s PR spokesman was on point saying how ridiculous and stupid they were.
There was one PR person for Kate on the first day, and another on the second. It appears the PR people had carefully color co-ordinated their outfits to reinforce whatever Kate or Gerry were wearing on the day – to show their support.
In fact she came in on the one day with her sister in law [wearing a matching yellow blouse to go with the yellow Find Madeleine bracelet on her wrist], and Justine McGuiness in tow.
The next day with her sister in law [dressed in a blue shirt, matching her brother’s] and David Hughes, a different PR spokesman wearing a matching pink shirt [to go with Kate’s jersey, for the second interview.
Episode four has Amaral claim the interrogation lasted only two hours, when other witnesses say it lasted much longer.
On September 6th, Kate arrived at the police station at around 14:30. The first interview started at 14:55, and ended at 00:40. The first first interview took around 9-10 hours.
So did Amaral lie about the interview only lasting two hours?
On September 7th Kate attended a second, much shorter interview. It started close to 12:00 and ended at 15:15. Much of that interview involved watching video footage [as described above] and then asking Kate to respond to parts of it. An argument could be made that while the footage was playing [about an hour’s worth], the interrogation itself was on pause.
During her second interview, Kate entered the interrogation room at 11:50 and the interview was done by 15:15.
This suggests the second interview on the second day was reasonably close to two hours, or five hours long if one adds the time Kate arrived [10:00] to the time she left. But Amaral’s suggestion that the interview was only two hours when in fact it was 11 hours is clearly selective and perhaps mischievous storytelling.
In the documentary, instead of directing any of the attention to the specifics of what was actually asked during these many hours, the focus instead is on the sentiment and physical condition of the poor parents. If anything the entire interrogation is ridiculed as ridiculous and ludicrous.
[Above]: The male voice doing the voiceover narration for the “distressing and ridiculous allegations” Kate faced that day is author Anthony Summers.
For a true crime documentary spanning eight episodes, one would think the substance of the actual interrogations when they finally happened [four months after the incident] would be worth looking into. Instead, it’s all about how tiring, ludicrous and tiresome the police were, and how vindictive, nasty and opportunistic the media were. The refrain from the McCanns was the same default setting: what everyone should be doing is looking for Madeleine.
But if the police were asking questions about cadavers, blood, hiding evidence and concealing bodies, then their argument was about the opposite – why looking for Madeleine was pointless if she was dead. Instead of scoffing at the cops, the McCanns had an opportunity to convince them she was still alive.
Shortly or immediately after Kate’s interrogation, she phoned Jon Corner, whom the documentary identifies as a “friend” of the McCanns. He wasn’t just a friend, he’s an independent film producer and an expert with digital video and imaging. Corner had been actively involved in the McCanns PR, even travelling to Praia da Luz to get the McCanns’ version of events in their own words.
Corner appears in the documentary saying that Kate discussed a plea deal the cops offered her.
Since the interrogation itself and being made arguidos in the media spotlight presented a PR catastrophe for the McCanns [right then], did she really just call her film producer friend to talk about the merits of the interrogation? Or was there some urgent discussion about putting some face-saving PR footage into the media ASAP to put some positive spin on the optics? If so, we don’t know.
We do know the McCanns decamped out of Portugal a few hours after being interrogated, and held a massive press conference in front of their home a couple of days later, with their official PR man [Clarence Mitchell] freshly knighted, at their side, ready to take questions.
*Madeleine: Our daughter’s disappearance and the continuing search for by
More: Kate McCann September 6 Police Statement – PJ Files
Kate McCann September 7 Police Statement – PJ Files
Gerry McCann September 7 Police Statement – PJ Files