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    Post  Sykes on Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:27 pm

    'Looking for Madeleine' by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan - My response to their enquiries
    Post Tony Bennett Today at 12:00 am

    I realise there is already a thread on the above book, however, I'm posting this here separately just to give further information about how Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan approached their research and first contacted me.

    This was the initial e-mail I received on 28 March this year, from Robbyn Swan:


    I am an journalist looking at the McCann case. I wonder if we could be in touch?

    I found these email addresses on The Madeleine Foundation website.

    I am also interested in reaching Anthony Bennett. Is it possible to contact him through you?

    Many thanks.

    Yours sincerely

    Robbyn Swan

    She made no mention at any time that she or her husband/partner was writing a book about the case, let alone what I now understand purports to be a 'definitive' version of the Madeleine McCann case (I thought we were going to get that from Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, actually).

    I endeavoured to answer Robbyn Swan's questions as fully as I was legally allowed to, not knowing of course that my answers might subsequently appear in a book.

    I can only hope that Summers and Swan (what a nice rustic picture those two words conjure up!) are true investigative journalists and writers who will leave no stone unturned and will turn their searchlights into the deepest and darkest recesses of this case to produce a truly definitive work on the case. If not, someone else will have to!

    Here for the written record are the 19 questions Robbyn Swan asked me, together with my responses in bold, sent to her on 4 April this year:


    From Robbyn Swan:

    Given the legal constraints you mention, it would be a great help if you could answer the following questions. If any of them fall within the bounds of legal constraints, simply indicate that is the case.

    1. When did you first get interested in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

    REPLY: Let me get the point about legal constraints out of the way first of all, as that severely limits the extent to which I can answer a number of your questions.

    On 27 August 2009, Carter-Ruck, Britain’s best-known libel lawyers, wrote to me claiming that certain written material of mine, including a book on the case, libelled Gerry and Kate McCann. Not having the financial means to defend myself, I agreed on 25 November that year to a total of 16 separate undertakings regarding my future conduct, in exchange for which the McCanns agreed to suspend a libel action they had initiated in the High Court. At the time, Carter-Ruck’s website described themselves, probably accurately, as ‘Britain’s most feared libel lawyers’.

    Just over two years later, the McCanns brought an action for contempt of court against me, alleging that I had broken one or more of those undertakings on numerous occasions in the past two years, mainly by articles and postings of mine about the case on the internet. On 21 February 2013, a High Court judge found 13 instances of breaches of those undertakings proved, and sentenced me to 3 months in jail, suspended for a year. Any further breach would have led to my immediate imprisonment. That year is now up, but I still face further proceedings should I be adjudged to have committed any further breaches of those undertakings – and there could be severe financial penalties as well. Therefore, as you can see, I am placed under very severe restrictions indeed about what I can tell you.

    In answer to your question, the story given out by the McCanns on the very first day after Madeleine was reported missing seemed strange in the extreme. The idea that a couple could leave three children all aged under four alone for any time at all seemed incomprehensible, given all the risks that could befall a child in such circumstances. Then when I heard, again on the very first day, three different accounts of their ‘checking’ regime - every 15 minutes, every half-hour or every hour – the whole story seemed even more improbable. I suppose I was a sceptic from Day One.

    2. What was it that initially drew your attention to the story?

    REPLY: In August, here was a steady flow of stories in the British press about cadaver and blood dogs alerting to the scent of a corpse and to blood in the McCanns’ apartment and in their hired car. The story had been on the TV bulletins and the front pages of the press for over three months. It was impossible not to be interested in what really happened to Madeleine.

    3. If different from the above, when was it that you first became sceptical of the abduction hypothesis?

    REPLY: It was my 60th birthday on 7 September 2007. That day, there was wall-to-wall coverage of both of the McCanns being taken in for questioning and made suspects. TV pictures showed Gerry McCann emerging ashen-faced from his police interview. That date marked the beginning of my resolve to find out much more about this case.

    4. When did you first become sceptical of the version of events described by Gerry and Kate McCann?

    REPLY: Soon after 7 September, I made a search of the internet and came across a website called ‘Anorak’, a satirical news website. To my surprise, I discovered dozens, maybe hundreds of people who shared my scepticism about the McCanns’ account of events. Later I discovered there were thousands of sceptics on numerous forums.

    5. What, initially, exactly aroused your scepticism?

    REPLY: I am sorry, apart from what I have stated above, for legal reasons I cannot answer that question.

    6. When did you first publicly express your doubts about the McCanns version of events or the course of the investigation?

    REPLY: On the Anorak discussion forum, in September 2007. My initial focus was on the children having been left alone. In November, when I realised that no-one in authority intended to prosecute the McCanns for leaving their children on their own, I tried to apply to Leicestershire and Rutland Magistrates Court for a summons under the 1933 Children Act, so that they would have to answer a charge of leaving the children home alone. But the court was not satisfied that they had jurisdiction, so that was the end of that.

    7. What form did that take - press interview, blog, website, public appearance?

    REPLY: See above.

    8. When did you found the Madeleine Foundation?

    REPLY: An initial meeting of interested people was held on 26 January 2008, when a committee was elected.

    9. What was the highest membership the Madeleine Foundation attained?

    REPLY: About 45 - during 2010.

    10. Does the Madeleine Foundation still exist, and if so how many members do you estimate it now has? Do you currently have any involvement with the Foundation? Who heads its activities now?

    REPLY: Yes, the Madeleine Foundation still exists, but I resigned from it in February 2012 as a result of the court case against me and also pressure from my family, who were justifiably concerned on the impact my continuing interest in the case was having on them and me. You would need to contact the Foundation direct via their website to find out about their current activities.

    11. When did the McCanns first take any form of action against you?

    REPLY: Answered above (Qu. 1)

    12. Do the McCanns have any legal actions currently pending against you? Do you have any pending against them?

    REPLY: The undertakings I gave in 2009 and was adjudged in 2013 to have broken are now the subject of a permanent court order, by which I am bound. Only in very exceptional circumstances can that order be overturned.

    After the outcome of the contempt case in 2013, I had the legal right to apply to the court to vary or discharge the undertakings I had given - indeed I had already made such an application a year before. In addition, I appealed to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s decision. However, in order to achieve a financial resolution which would not bankrupt me, I was required to give up both of those legal actions. Otherwise, I would have been required to pay around £350,000 in court costs - because I had lost the contempt case.

    13. When was the McCanns' case against you resolved and what was the outcome?

    REPLY: Already answered above.

    14. How does that outcome effect your ability to carry on research about Madeleine McCann's disappearance?

    REPLY: Of course, having become deeply interested in the case and made many good friends along the way, I still talk about the case with a few people. I still do research a number of aspects, there is no restriction about my doing that. But I have to be very careful about whatever I say about the case in public.

    15. Are you currently doing research on the McCann case? If so, what aspect of the case?

    REPLY: I can’t comment further for legal reasons.

    16. Are you currently associated with any websites, forums, blogs, etc. devoted to investigation of the McCann case? If so, in what capacity?

    REPLY: I am an ordinary member of just one forum that discusses the Madeleine McCann case.

    17. In your view, which of the existing McCann case-related websites is the most useful? Has the largest following?

    REPLY: There are of course websites, forums and blogs that are sceptical about the McCanns’ claims, and there are also those which support the McCanns. The former are far more numerous than the latter. Different websites and forums serve different interests. I am not sure, but I suspect that the most-visited McCann-related website is the ‘mccannfiles’ site, which has a breathtakingly encyclopaedic, factual coverage of the case. I could mention dozens of other McCann-sceptic websites, but in terms of sheer information, the site run by a blogger known as ‘pamalam’ probably comes second to ‘mccannfiles’.

    These are the links to the two above-mentioned sites:

    mccannfiles: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    pamalam: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    18. Of those independently studying the McCann case, who in your view has contributed most to an understanding of the case? Why do you think this?

    REPLY: Again, for legal reasons, I do not wish to mention specific names or websites, apart from the two information sites I’ve mentioned above. What I will say is that this case has fired literally thousands of people to delve into the depths of this case, and many of those who have done most of the delving either do not wish to be named and take credit or are, indeed, fearful of being named publicly because of the potential severe adverse consequences of voicing one’s opinions publicly.

    19. If you could turn back the clock to the day you first became involved in the McCann case, would you still choose to become involved? Would you change anything about the nature of your involvement in research on the McCann case?

    REPLY: Clearly, in pursuing this case in the ‘campaigning’ style that I did, I took risks. In the High Court last year, I apologised to the McCanns for any distress that I had caused them. I also regret that in pursing my interest and suspicions as far as I did, my family suffered.

    Many thanks for taking the time to address these queries. I hope that they are not too onerous. If they are, I'll appreciate receiving what answers you can muster.

    Yours sincerely,

    Robbyn Swan

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    Post  Broho on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:53 pm

    Can't wait to read that chapter.  lol! lol! 

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    Post  Sykes on Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:22 am

    From another forum with thanks.
    Concerning the social part, it seems obvious to me, if we pay attention to the countless social events that the plaintiffs have participated in, including speeches at the British Parliament, interviews on television shows like Oprah Winfrey’s, gala dinners with illustrious personalities, namely British, among others, that said social isolation is totally false
    This is Bennettesque misunderstanding of the term 'social isolation' in this context.

    When you have the people of a nation where your child was abducted believing that you somehow harmed your child and more (as hinted at in one of Mrs Amoral's published comments), because of that book; that's social isolation.

    When you have the walls and traffic signs of the town where she went missing covered in graffiti stating you murdered her and that your missing child is a 'circus, because of that book'; that's social isolation.

    When you have mad old women ranting and shouting at you like Harpies outside court, because of that book; that's social isolation.

    When you have death threats towards you, your children, extended family and anyone who dares to support you on an almost hourly basis, across social media, because of that book; that's social isolation.

    When you have stalkers following your children to athletic meets, and following you to the gym so that they can intimidate you with 'looks' and then report back to FB groups set up with the specific purpose of harassing and stalking you, because of that book; that's social isolation.

    When you have people trying to track down the driver of your children's school bus, so that they can interrogate him, because of that book; that's social isolation.

    Having leaflets, accusing you of harming your child, based on that book, delivered to your neighbours and the people of Leicester; that's social isolation.

    Having every newspaper comment page that mentions you or your missing child bombarded and spammed by vile Amoral supporters; that's social isolation

    And on and on and on.

    It's social isolation because you can't trust that the nutters that are obsessed with the McCanns, ( based on the belief that Amoral is right) are not going to harm your children, yourself or your extended family.

    And worst of all it's knowing that nobody will look for your child or come forward with information in the country she went missing, because of that bloody book convincing the nation that she's not to be looked for. THAT is the worst form of social isolation.

    Excellent summation of the subject.  Sykes    

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    Post  Sykes on Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:49 am

    From another forum with thanks also for the comments.
    As we know, a new book is due out shortly about the McCann case, and the haters have decided they, well, hate it, before they see a word of it.

    The authors, Summers and Swan, have previously written a book about 9/11, which the conspiraloons hate because it doesn't claim the planes were holograms. Bennett has now made an enormous, tedious post, the opening of which concerns that, and which I have NO intention of copying.

    For anyone suffering from insomnia, it's at:

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]   (Remove xxxxxx to access link.)

    Now we finally get to the relevant part:

    Now here's the publisher's blurb about 'Looking for Madeleine':

    The 2007 disappearance of a three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her bed in Portugal proved an instant, worldwide sensation. There's been nothing like it since America's Lindbergh kidnapping eighty years ago.

    Award-winning authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan have produced the first independent, objective account of the case. They have examined the released Portuguese files, conducted in-depth interviews and original research to answer the questions: What can we really know about this most emotive of cases? What can we learn from it?

    The Portuguese police probe ran into a dead end. Parents Gerry and Kate McCann, however, have never given up the search for Madeleine. They blitzed the media, hired private detectives, kept the case in the public eye. Speculation that the McCanns played a role in their daughter's fate, the authors demonstrate, is unfounded.

    Scotland Yard's 'investigative review', ordered by the Prime Minister and begun in 2011, identified some 200 potential leads. The Yard's suspects have included a mystery paedophile who preyed on other British children. The Detective Chief Inspector heading the probe has said the little girl may still be alive.

    The McCann family's private tragedy has touched millions around the world and aroused sometimes dark controversy. Looking for Madeleine is the most definitive account possible.  

    Bennett' analysis:   And finally my notes about what we have a right to expect from 'Looking for Madeleine':

    Looking at the publisher’s description of the book, these SIX claims for it stand out:

    · 1. it’s the first independent, objective account of the case

    · 2. they have examined the released Portuguese files,

    · 3. they have conducted in-depth interviews

    · 4. they have conducted original research

    · 5. they demonstrate that speculation that the McCanns played a role in their daughter's fate is unfounded, and

    · 6. their book is ‘the most definitive account possible’.

    If numbers (1) and (6) are to be proved true, it follows that they must have considered, and decisively rejected, the basis on which there has indeed been speculation that the McCanns played a role in Madeleine’s disappearance. That means, I suggest, that to live up to its billing and the authors’ reputation, Summers & Swan will have to answer:

    a) the alleged changes of story by the McCanns and their friends

    b) the obvious contradictions - I refer to just one set of them: the 20 or so contradictions in the alleged visit of Dr David Payne to Apartment G5A

    c) the report of Martin Grime

    d) the contents of Dr Amaral’s book ‘The Truth About A Lie’

    e) the report of Inspector Tavares de Almeida, and

    f) much else.

    Looking at number (3) above, what ‘in-depth’ interviews must they have conducted?

    I would suggest that, as a minimum, they would have had to conduct challenging interviews with all of the following:

    · The McCanns
    · The Tapas 7
    · Key Portuguese witnesses: nannies, Ocean club staff etc.
    · Cheshire businessman Brian Kennedy and all those staff he employed on the search for Madeleine:
    (i) Gary Hagland, money-laundering expert
    (ii) Francisco Marco
    (iii) Antonio Gimenez Raso
    (iv) Julian Peribanez
    (v) Marcos Aragao Correia (Arade Dam and prosecution of Goncalo Amaral)
    (vi) Kevin Halligen
    (vii) Henri Exton
    (viii) Tim Craig-Harvey
    (ix) Dave Edgar
    (x) Arthur Cowley.

    It will be interesting to see how many of these names feature in the book.

    Also, if number (6) is to be fulfilled, the authors will presumably have had a briefing from Scotland Yard – unless they tell their readers: “This is a highly confidential enquiry, so we are unable to tell you anything about what they have and have not established.

    A much more detailed breakdown of the accounts of 'Madeleine's Fund' would not come amiss, either.

    As set out above, I concede that by their previous published works, Summers & Swan have an established reputation to live up to.

    But unless they cover all angles to justify their conclusion that the McCanns played no role in Madeleine’s disappearance, their hubristic claim to have written ‘the most definitive account possible’ stands in grave danger of being trumped by someone else who may well pen a more definitive account than theirs.

    And if that should happen - or, still worse, if their strong conviction that 'the McCanns played no role in Madeleine’s disappearance' was ever proved to be unjustified - people might well start to query the conclusions of some of their other books.

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    Post  Broho on Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:53 pm

    What makes him an expert on the literary works of others?

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    Post  Sykes on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:39 pm

    Re: The difficult task facing ANTHONY SUMMERS & ROBBYN SWAN as they publish 'Looking for Madeleine', billed as 'the most definitive .....

    He arranges the cast, along with his Murdoch friends like Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson & Matthew Freud.

    'madeleine' by Dr Kate McCann was aimed at the GBP.

    So were the serialisations of it.

    And all the newspaper headlines.

    Plus the photos of the McCanns side-by-side with the parents of Millie Dowler and Christopher Jenkins (Joanne Yeates case - Bristol).

    Then David Cameron capitulating to Rebekah Brooks in setting up Grange.

    After that DCI Redwood with his age-progressed sketch of Madeleine aged 10.

    Next, the hype about a joint investigation with the Portuguese Police.

    A big one: The CrimeWatch McCann Show with its 6.7 million viewres, deceived into thinking that two e-fits - clearly of different men - were in fact one bloke seen in the murky darkness of Praia da Luz by the Smiths.

    With a tremendous fanfare - the Alouette Mark III Portuguese helicopters.

    More recently, the digs on waste ground, the tents, the police officers, the shovels, the picks, the augurs, the bones, the cameras - and more cameras.

    And now - with just 11 days to go now - the most brilliant investigative journalists in the world will write 'the most definitive account possible' and prove that the McCanns had nothing whatsoever to do with Madeleine's disppearance.

    All IMO an expensive show for the target audience - the GBP...

    ...which will place any continuing dissent into the realms of heresy

    Looks like some kind of Bennett shorthand to me. I think he's well and truly rattled

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    Post  Sykes on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:42 pm

    Bennett, of the new book:

    A kind colleague has ordered the book from Amazon for me and I hope to get it on publication day and review it for the forum.

    Unless PeterMac gets there ahead of me, that is..

    What's stopping him putting his hand in his pocket and buying his own copy? He needn't bother pleading poverty, he was full of talk about his summer hols not long ago.

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    Post  Sykes on Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:02 am

    Guess who this is, his jealously is absolutely rampant.  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
    Even without considering Summers and Swan's previous track record, it's already clear that murky figures like Clarence Mitchell and Jim Gamble have basically written this book, with Summers and Swan's names on it - a sort of 'ghost-written' book.

    The publication of the book on 11 September (9/11) will no doubt give the likes of Lorraine Kelly the opportunity to make a nice 'link' by introducing these authors on their sofas next week by highlighting how Summers and Swan wrote 'the most definitive accounht possible' of 9/11.

    Post Tony Bennett Today at 8:45 pm
    I have now learnt that at the end of the Rupert Murdoch-SKYNews report were these two sentences:

    Author Anthony Summers, whose book Looking For Madeleine is out next week and contains further revelations about the case, said: "It was a case of too many cooks… spoiling the broth of the initial investigation."

    Co-author Robbyn Swan added: "The problems that grew out of the race to help …those things have not been fundamentally addressed."


    Thus we now have another indication that this book is to be heavily promoted.

    The fact that Summes & Swan promise 'further revelations' suggest to me two things:

    1. That insiders in the British police, government and security services may have deliberately leaked material to them, whether information or disinformation, and

    2. That there is now likely to be a further spate of sensational news headlines in the next few days, as there was before the NNC CrimeWatch McCann Special last October, fed as usual to the media by Clarence Mitchell and his network, probably culminating in a serialisation in one of Murdoch's newspapers.

    No doubt the TV networks have also booked prime time slots with Summers or Swan for them to titillate the great British public with the prospect of dramatic new revelations in their book.
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    Post  Broho on Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:56 pm

    He's going to inflate like a huge airship if he keeps on exposing his jealousy like this with all that hot air.

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