True Crime Analysis, Breakthroughs, Insights & Discussions Hosted by Bestselling Author Nick van der Leek

Tag: Calpol

“The McCanns insisted they had given their children nothing more potent than Calpol, which is a painkiller and has no sedative effect.” – Sunday Times, 9 September 2007, Victims of the rumour mill?

It’s a popular misconception that Calpol Night helps children to sleep.

Is it really?

On the same day the McCanns finally arrived home at the end of a disastrous summer in Portugal, the Sunday Times published an analysis of how the well-to-do British parents [both doctors] had been unfairly victimized by Portuguese cops and Portuguese tabloid media.

Fullscreen capture 20190423 150830

One of the “most powerful rumours” quoted in the article was this one:Fullscreen capture 20190423 151722

The inference is that the gossip surrounding the use of a Calpol as a sedative cannot possibly be true simply because – medically speaking – Calpol isn’t a sedative.

Do a Google search of “Calpol sedative” and Google will inform you that:

Fullscreen capture 20190423 151317

This must mean that the article in the Sunday Times, especially the bit about Calpol having “no sedative effect” was 100% accurate, right?

Well, it depends on “when”. If the question is: Does Calpol Night have a sedative effect today? the answer is no. The date of the article cited in the Google search [February 16, 2005] seems to predate the incident involving Madeleine McCann by over two years.

The problem with the assessment that the active ingredients have no sedative effect is that they don’t refer to the actual active ingredient that does: diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

There are three important points to raise in this respect:

1. While the original Calpol Night did contain Paracetamol, and while Paracetamol is a painkiller as opposed to a sedative [confirming the accuracy of the text above] the other active ingredient is used to treat coughs and runny noses.Fullscreen capture 20190423 155708

It dries nasal secretions and is, as such, an antihistamine. Antihistamines are famously sedating, and diphenhydramine hydrochloride is no exception. So the original Calpol Night does have a sedative effect, despite the claim in the Sunday Times that this was a rumour, and apparently the same claim by the doctors at the centre of the allegations that it had no sedative effect.

2. What is astonishing is that the Sunday Times either was ignorant of the well-known trend in British to sedate their children using cough-medicine in the decade following 2000, or was deliberately ignorant. In other words, they either misled their readers on a misconception that wasn’t, or they did so accidentally. A year and ten days after “setting the record straight on the safety of Calpol” the same newspaper referred to the “Calpol generation” in a headline, and the dangers of the medication leading to long term side-effects.

Fullscreen capture 20190423 154008

3. By March 2009 the original formula of Calpol Night was discontinued, and the product packaging of the replacement product was altered to reflect this. After coming under review, it was no longer recommended to dose any children under six years of age with Calpol Night. [Madeleine McCann was three-years-old at the time of her disappearance]. Some of the side effects associated with the original formula now officially included drowsiness, hallucinations and potentially serious liver and kidney damage.

The Calpol product that replaced Calpol Night in 2009 doesn’t have a sedative effect. The Calpol product that existed at the time something happened to the doctors’ daughter during their holiday in Portugal in 2007, absolutely did.

More: Are we using too much Calpol? – The Telegraph [2005]

Doctors are now being told to prescribe Calpol instead of antibiotics to children – Daily Mail [2017]

Are we raising a generation of Calpol kids? Doctor warns in TV doc that our children are overdosing on drugs – The Mirror [2018]

Madeleine McCann cops thought Kate and Gerry had accidentally killed Maddie with Calpol overdose, Netflix documentary reveals – The Sun [2019]

 

Have the McCanns been playing us for fools for the past 12 Years?

Playing us for fools? For twelve years? I know, I know, it’s a ridiculous [say that with a Scottish accent, it sounds stronger] and ludicrous thing to say.

So how about putting the question otherwise.

Have the McCanns been laughing at us for twelve years?

Have they laughed, smiled, chuckled or sneered during interviews over the past many years?

Below is another edit from the same interview, a follow-up answer to the “did you kill your daughter?” question.

Notice how the media have tried to cut this clip below [viewed almost 900 000 times to date] right where both Kate and Gerry are smiling, and Gerry reaches up to scratch his nose. Instead the edit flips back to the interviewer, who is herself beaming after asking whether the parents killed their own child.

Fullscreen capture 20190318 195419

Sometimes it’s easier to appreciate and catch the micro-expressions where the interview is frozen into separate screengrabs. Take note of the deadly series import of the question that’s being asked, and the serious potential implications of the question, versus the lighthearted, dismissive expressions and arguably an almost sneering contempt in the response.

Fullscreen capture 20190318 153405Fullscreen capture 20190318 153410Fullscreen capture 20190318 153412Fullscreen capture 20190318 153414Fullscreen capture 20190318 153416Fullscreen capture 20190318 153418

Notice how, at about 3:30 in the video below, Gerry compares losing Madeleine and getting over her to “getting over student debt” and “getting back into the black.”

Fullscreen capture 20190318 155718Fullscreen capture 20190318 155721Fullscreen capture 20190318 155730Fullscreen capture 20190318 155726Fullscreen capture 20190318 155732

McCanns defend using public fund to pay mortgage – Reuters

Madeleine fund paid for mortgage – CNN

McCanns used fund to pay mortgage – BBC

McCanns used £1m fund to pay mortgage – Telegraph

McCanns used Madeleine fund to pay mortgage – The Guardian

£100,000 donated to Madeleine McCann campaign ‘stolen to fund lavish lifestyle’, whisteblowers claim – Metro

Madeleine McCann donations dramatically fell in just one year – The Mirror

Donations to the Find Madeleine McCann fund fell from almost £2 million to £650,000 in just one year, it was revealed yesterday. Only cash received in libel payouts to friends of Gerry and Kate McCann – dubbed the Tapas Seven – enabled the search for their daughter to go on, latest accounts show.

Around £260 an hour flooded into the Fund as a wave of public sympathy swept the UK after Maddie’s abduction in Praia da Luz in the Algarve in May, 2007. It had £1.4million in bank donations alone in the first ten months of the search.

But contributions fell away after the McCanns became one-time suspects. And the Fund’s income dropped to £629,181 in the year up to 31 March 2009 – while spending rose from £815,113 to more than £1 million. Outgoings covered investigators, publicity and the pair’s legal fight against Portuguese policeman Goncalo Amaral.

Below is a brief summary of how much the Find Madeleine Fund made in less than the first year [ending March 2008]. Just 13% of the total raised was spent on doing what the fund claimed to be raising money for – search and detective fees. By contrast, PR and legal expenses [bear in mind the McCanns were never tried in a criminal court] more than eclipsed the money spent on search and investigation, and after that over a million pounds in “profit” [income] remained.

Fullscreen capture 20190318 202400

Almost ten years later the McCanns almost depleted the fund completely as they used it to pay for their legal battle against their main accuser, Goncalo Amaral, a battle they’ve ultimately lost [to date].

Fullscreen capture 20190318 201427

Fullscreen capture 20190318 203311Fullscreen capture 20190318 203518Fullscreen capture 20190318 203221

Madeleine McCann’s parents make final appeal to European court in battle to silence Portuguese ex-police chief’s ‘lies’ – Daily Mail

Mixed messages as McCanns bid to take three-time court defeat to new appeal – Portugal Resident

McCanns could pay out $1m if they lose case against detective who said they were responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance [September 2018] – meaww

The fund currently has £728,508 in it which was largely contributed by the public. If the McCanns lose the case, they’ll be forced to use money out of it to pay compensation…Furthermore, the Kate and Gerry have reportedly used money from the fund to cover the costs of hearings on past occasions as well. Retired Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who investigated the case last year, called the most recent developments “tragic”. “It is tragic that funds to try to find her could be lost because of this legal action,” he said. “There is every reason to believe she may be alive.”