A War of Information
“Neither her parents or any of the members of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects” ~DCI Andy Redwood, Operation Grange
Since the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann during a family holiday in Portugal in May 2007, the three-year-old from Leicester in England has become the most famous missing child on earth.
Her parents, Doctors Kate and Gerry McCann - and their seven holidaying companions, the tabloid-named 'Tapas 7' – told the world’s media that Madeleine had been abducted after she, and the other young children in the party, had been left unattended in their apartments as the adults dined elsewhere at their Algarve holiday complex.
Despite unprecedented global support to find her, Madeleine has not been found since. No one has been charged with her disappearance.
Journalist and broadcaster Sonia Poulton, fascinated by the case from the beginning, has repeatedly questioned the ‘official version of events’. As indeed had many of her media colleagues - although none of them publicly.
To do so, she had been told on several occasions, was ‘career suicide’.
So it was that Poulton, and a small trusted team, independently-financed and have spent the last year filming 'The Untold Story of Madeleine McCann - A War of Information'.
An evidence-based documentary prompted by the death of Brenda Leyland in October 2014.
Leyland, a 63-year-old divorcee who lived just 15 minutes drive from the McCann’s Leicester home but was not known to have met the family, was an avid Internet commentator on the subject of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Brenda Leyland was door-stepped in a special ‘McCann’ report by Sky News and this event was beamed nationally and internationally on the morning of October 2nd, 2014 where she was dubbed a ‘McCann Troll’ and her life, and that of her family, changed forever.
But what was her crime? And why had this intelligent, passionate woman apparently felt driven to suicide in a Leicester hotel two days later?
Poulton, having studied Brenda Leyland’s tweets, realised that far from being a ‘troll’ Leyland was someone who asked many of the same questions that she had already asked regarding Madeleine McCann.
Brenda’s death was a turning point for Poulton and she decided it was time to speak out. She recorded a short message to YouTube expressing her sympathy with Brenda Leyland and supporting her right to free speech.
The response to this impromptu YouTube made it clear that she was far from alone in this stance.
She discovered tens of thousands of people, from all over the world, congregating on the Internet and questioning the story of Madeleine McCann and whether it was an extraordinary cover up involving the British Government and legal, judicial, medical and media establishments.
The film includes expert testimony from those who have studied the case as well as encounters with the people at the very heart of the story.
No exceptions, no exclusions. In the famed words of Kate and Gerry McCann ‘Leaving no stone unturned’.
This documentary explores the disappearance and subsequent events of the case.
It is a story, as Poulton discovered, that is about more than the disappearance of a child, as tragically sad as that event is.
It is a tale of media censorship, numerous lawsuits and widespread gagging and it draws together friends in high places, social inequality, celebrity endorsement and saving reputations.
Sensitive to Operation Grange, the ongoing police investigation, Poulton is careful only to address the known anomalies that have arisen since Madeleine’s reported disappearance - and have been in the public domain for a number of years.
Some of these questions arising from the Portuguese Police files which were made public in 2008. Others, still, as a consequence of the actions of Kate and Gerry McCann and the people involved in the Find Madeleine campaign.
Numerous inconsistencies that have remained unreported and unaddressed in the many media interviews that Kate and Gerry McCann grant as they increasingly make their mark in public life.
Kate as an Ambassador for the charity Missing People and Gerry as an outspoken critic of the media and spokesman for the high profile pressure group into press freedom, Hacked Off.
Poulton set out to separate fact from fiction and gain clarity from the tsunami of information about the most famous missing child on earth.
‘The Untold Story of Madeleine McCann – A War of Information’ is the result of that journey.
- Rothley Cross, Leicester Madeleine's candle.
- Author Rosalinda Hutton
- Lord Peter Mandleson Why did the British Government take such an interest in the case?
- Dr. David Payne Was David Payne the last independent witness to see Madeleine?
- Apartment 5A, The Ocean Club, Praia da Luz Was Madeleine abducted from apartment 5A?
- Title image
- The Ocean Club Where Madeleine was reported missing.
- Commentator @Fiorifan At Brenda Leyland's inquest.
- Praia da Luz Who was the mysterious 'Smithman'?
- 'Stop McCann Circus' A street sign in Praia da Luz.
- Clarence Mitchell McCann media spokesman.
- The Marriott Hotel, Leicester Did Brenda Leyland escape to The Marriott - or was she invited here?
© Copyright Sonia Poulton 2015