WE HELPED THE MCCANNS!
[ Note: These purported messages, from 50 people who helped the McCanns in one way or another are interpretations, based on information in the public domain. Some of them include an element of irony and satire. Where quotations are in inverted commas, these are actual quotes from the people concerned. Otherwise, their statements are not meant to be taken literally, though we believe they reflect realities – MMRG, December 2017 ]
Part 3 of 10
11 DETECTIVE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT BOB SMALL, formerly with Leicestershire Police
’Evening All I am DCS Bob Small, I am a little camera shy, that’s why there is not one single photograph of me on the internet.
As Jane Tanner says, I spoke to her on the afternoon of Sunday 13 May, just before she identified Robert Murat as the man she said she’d seen 10 days earlier carrying a child near the McCanns’ apartment. With me were two gentlemen from government-backed private security firm, Control Risks Group, Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan.
We were just three people out of a vast number of people who rushed out to Praia da Luz, ostensibly to help find a missing girl. Here’s list of them:
THE PEOPLE WHO RUSHED OUT TO PRAIA DA LUZ AFTER 3 MAY 2007 AND BY FRIDAY 11 MAY 2007, with dates of arrival (or, in the cases of Resonate and Robert Murat, before then).
Government and Embassy Officials
Robert Henderson – British Consul for the Algarve – immediate (persuaded Portuguese Police to allow the McCanns to wash clothes before seizing them)
John Buck – British Ambassador to Portugal (Lisbon), arrived immediately
Angela Morado – British Proconsul, arrived immediately
Liz Dow, British Consul from the Embassy in Lisbon, arrived immediately
Andy Bowes, British Embassy Press Officer, arrived immediately
Sheree Dodd, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Other staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Police Officers
Glen Power, British Police Liaison Officer for Portugal, arrived 5 May
An ‘Analyst’ (unnamed) from the National Policing Improvements Agency, arrived 4 May
Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Small, Leicestershire Police (4 May)
Two other police ‘family liaison’ officers from Leicestershire Police (4 May)
Government security and secret service personnel
Staff from MI5 (unnamed)
Staff from Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service (unnamed – Kate McCann in her book describes them As ‘Forensic Psychologists’), arrived 4 May
More staff from CEOP, the ‘Director of the Forensic Psychology Unit’ AND a CEOP ‘social worker’ (arrived 6 May)
Staff from Special Branch (unnamed)
‘Criminal profilers’ (unnamed - attached to unnamed government security departments)
Government-funded private security firms
Kenneth Farrow from Control Risks Group
Michael Keenan from Control Risks Group
Staff from government-supported private crisis psychology group
Alan Pike, Head of Yorkshire-based Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) (arrived 4 May)
Martin Alderton, Colleague of Alan Pike from CCP (arrived 5 May)
Public Relations Consultants
Michael Frolich, Head of Resonate, subsidiary of international PR company Bell Pottinger (already there by Monday 30 April)
Tricia Moon, Deputy Director of Resonate, (already there by Monday 30 April)
Alex Woolfall, Head of Risk for international PR company Bell Pottinger, arrived 4 May (helped to edit Gerry McCann’s photos before putting them on a disc for the PJ)
Staff from the recently-formed International Family Law Group (IFLG):
Michael Nicholls, barrister, arrived 11 May
Accompanied by a ‘paralegal’ from Leicestershire, arrived 11 May
There are references to other government lawyers having arrived
Top staff from Mark Warner (company that organised the holiday)
David Hopkins, Managing Director of Mark Warner
One of his senior colleagues
Robert Murat became the initial main interpreter for the Portuguese Police on 4 May. He had already flown out from England on 1 May. He was recommended by British Consul Robert Henderson
Rev. Haynes and Susan Hubbard mysteriously arrived in Praia da Luz from Canada on Sunday 6 May, to take up an appointment as the Anglican Minister in Praia da Luz. The Hubbards rapidly became very close friends of the McCanns
‘Hugh’ – Kate in her book says he would only identify himself as ‘Hugh’, he was brought in by Control Risks Group and said he was ‘a former intelligence officer, now a kidnap negotiator and counsellor’. He attended meeting with the lawyers from IFLG
Clarence Mitchell, Head of the government’s Media Monitoring Unit: According to the reply to a Freedom of Information request, he was appointed on Sunday 6 May to head up the government’s PR support for the McCanns, but he did not travel to Portugal until 22 May 2007
The government set up a very high-powered liaison committee on Tuesday 8 May under the Chairmanship of Matt Baggott, Leicestershire Police Chief Constable. It consisted of representatives from a wide variety of government departments and agencies. The government has refused to answer FOI Act questions about who those agencies were.
Government Ministers Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary) spoke to Gerry McCann in the first week. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, did so later.
Literally hundreds of international journalists were also there in that first week.
Impressive, eh? So, you see, I was just part of a big team trying to help the McCanns. My part included influencing Jane Tanner to identify Robert Murat as a suspect, thus taking the heat off the McCanns. Played me cards well, eh? They didn’t promote me to the rank of DCS for nothing, y’know.
12 ANTONIO JIMINEZ RASO, Metodo 3 detective
Hola! I’m a Spaniard, or should I say a Catalan, from Barcelona. I once had a high position in the Drugs and Trafficking Division of the Regional Catalan Police. But I fell from grace when I got involved (along with my twin brother) in a 27-strong drugs gang. The extra money was too tempting. I got involved in helping the gang who stole 25 kilos of cocaine from a boat in Barcelona harbour, as a result of which I had to leave my job in the police.
In 2007 I was approached by the disreputable police agency, Metodo 3, to do certain jobs of work for the McCanns. By now, I needed the extra money, so I agreed to do whatever they wanted. They sent me off to Morocco, where my Spanish would be very helpful in trying to persuade people to say they had seen Madeleine, in exchange for a few pounds - or I should say ‘dirhams’ - which is the Moroccan currency these days.
In fact my main role with the McCann Team was to create plausible sightings of her. No way were we actually looking for Madeleine. I even attended a meeting in Portugal with Brian Kennedy and Metodo 3 boss Francisco Marco, when we met the Portuguese police. That was on 13 November 2007. We gave them three bogus sightings, which served to waste more police time following them up.
It was a bit of a problem when I was arrested on 18 February 2008 and remanded in custody for my alleged involvement in the drugs theft from the Barcelona-based ship. The media reported that I was one of the Madeleine McCann investigators employed by Metodo 3. Clarence Mitchell threw the police off the scent straightaway, however, by the simple expedient of denying it! As usual, he got away with his lie.
I was very relieved that the judge in the Martorell Court, Barcelona, did not convict me of assisting the 27-strong gang nor find that I’d been corrupt. The judge said that this gang was ‘exceptionally violent’. I was very relieved that he let me off, though he did say that I had ‘got far too close’ to these violent career criminals. Phew!
13 JULIAN PERIBANEZ, another Metodo 3 detective
Hola! I was another Spaniard employed by Metodo 3 boss Francisco Marco. I helped him and Antonia Giminez Raso to put false sightings of Madeleine into the media. But eventually I fell out with Marco and wrote a book about my time with Metodo 3. It was called ‘The Smokescreen’ - La Cortina da Huma. I explained how the whole outfit was ridden with corruption and criminality. I wrote one whole chapter about what Metodo 3 did for the McCanns, and you can read a translation of it on Jill Havern’s excellent forum, ‘The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’, here:
In my book, I exposed how Metodo 3 produced fake invoices to claim money from the McCanns’ ‘Find Madeleine Fund’. I also exposed how Marco lied about how many people were working for him on the Madeleine McCann case. I wrote: “Francisco Marco’s agency [said it] turned over about a thousand cases each year…yet during the six years I spent with the company I only dealt with two such cases. Where Madeleine’s case was concerned, Francisco Marco brazenly lied to journalists, claiming he had about 40 people working on the Madeleine McCann case in Barcelona and Morocco”.
Marco was once asked how the Madeleine McCann case would end. He replied: “I would give Madeleine her dolls, calm her down, remove her from the place where she was, ring her parents and put her on the phone”.
I did my bit for the McCanns. I interviewed witnesses, even attended a meeting in Brian Kennedy’s ‘Maddie office’ in Knutsford, where I met Freemason Edward Smethurst, and travelled to Portugal with Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick, where, by the way, I was filmed walking with Kennedy. I held up some maps in front of my face so that I couldn’t be recognised. I did my bit for the McCanns and they paid me for my trouble.
14 DAVE EDGAR, retired Detective Inspector
Hi. I live in Cheshire, close to Brian Kennedy. I used to work in the police service in Northern Ireland, but left and started again as a Detective Constable in Cheshire. In late 2008, Brian Kennedy asked me to work for him. He gave me offices to work in, in a house he had bought in Knutsford, Cheshire, also near where he lives. Brian told me that I would be portrayed in the media as the successful boss of a well-established private detective agency, Alpha Investigations Group. This was a complete lie, but I wanted the money so I agreed to go along with it.
My first job was to get ready for a documentary being made by Mentorn Media and Channel 4 on the Madeleine McCann case, which was shown in May 2009, two years after Madeleine’s reported disappearance. I was filmed in Brian Kennedy’s office. It looked good on camera. There I was, surrounded by white boards with lots of writing and diagrams on them, bulky-looking files, ’phones and laptops. It really did look like a genuine investigation. I was quite a good actor, you see. In the documentary, I appeared briefly to try and explain away all the massive contradictions between the various different accounts of events given by the McCanns, their friends and others. I waved all this away in a short interview where I said, pretending to be an expert on these things: “Oh well, you always get a few inconsistencies when witnesses try to describe a certain event from memory”.
Later that year, I had to ‘front’ another bogus story about what happened to Madeleine. This was a story which suggested that a woman (who we said ‘looked like Victoria Beckham) was waiting on the Barcelona dockside for Madeleine to arrive by yacht from Portugal. She supposedly went up to men on the docks asking them: ‘Have you got my new daughter?’ This ‘information’ was given to us by a British businessman who had waited two years to come up with this story. Oh, well, that’s what we said, anyway. About a month later, an article in the Mail on Sunday strongly criticised me and my team for not having done ‘basic detective work’ in Barcelona before going public with our story. But that didn’t matter. We had fooled both the media and the public with yet one more bogus ‘sighting’ of a suspect. During the press conference on this mystery woman, I said that Jane Tanner might have seen a woman carrying Madeleine away, not a man. This made both me and Jane Tanner look like idiots, or worse. But, no matter, I got well paid for my work.
I did one more favour for the McCanns. Just after the ‘Victoria Beckham-lookalike’ story, sensational details emerged in the U.S. of an 11-year-old girl, Jaycee Lee Dugard, who had been abducted in 1991. A full eighteen years later, she was discovered to have been living with a Mr and Mrs Garrido, aged 29 and with two children by Mr Garrido. This was great news for the McCanns. Garrido had kept Jaycee Lee in an underground complex at his home for 18 years. The McCanns said that this case gave them ‘renewed hope’ that Madeleine might one day be found alive. I was set to work on developing a new ‘theory’ that Madeleine was being ‘held in a hellish prison lair’ in the ‘lawless hills’ just a few miles from Praia da Luz. Of course, it was utter nonsense, but the press recycled our new theory without critical comment. We didn’t actually believe our nonsense, so we never sent anyone out there to investigate our claim, and the Portuguese police didn’t buy it, either. But the story kept ‘missing Madeleine McCann’ in the headlines, and encouraged the general public to think there was still a realistic chance that madeleine could be alive. And that was all that mattered.
15 ARTHUR COWLEY, retired Detective Sergeant
Hi, I was employed by Brian Kennedy soon after Dave Edgar was appointed. And I appeared with him in the Channel 4 documentary in May 2009. After 30 years in the police force, I had only been promoted once: from Detective Constable (the lowest rank) to Detective Sergeant. Brian Kennedy wanted the media and the public to think that I was the owner of a business called ‘Alpha Investigations Group’. So he got one of his business friends to set up a domain name: ‘ALPHAIG’ and also helped me create a company with the same name. But it was all a hoax. The business address was my cottage house high up on Halkyn Mountain, over 1,000 feet up in the Welsh hills, where I keep a horse and a few pigeons. There was no office for clients up there. ALPHAIG never traded. It never advertised its services. It never did any business. It produced just one year of accounts which also showed no activity. It was a completely bogus company, but I went along with it as Mr Brian Kennedy paid me quite well for my services. After I finished working for the McCanns, I told the papers: “I will take my secrets about the McCanns to the grave”. So I’ve nothing more to say. Sorry.