Review of the Netflix Madeleine McCann Documentary
It is not like I didn’t know the Netflix eight-part series about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann wasn’t likely to be highly slanted in favor of the McCanns and the abduction theory, I just didn’t think they would be quite so blatant about it.
One early clue that something was amiss was that I never got a ring from the producers of this program.
I am not trying to tout myself as the profiler no one can do without, but considering I have spent years analyzing this case and have been the only profiler to write a book on the case (and had it pulled off the market by the McCanns and Carter-Ruck), I found it a bit odd that the team would not even phone me to try to pull me in, even if to libel me and screw me over like the Australian documentary on Madeleine McCann.
I wondered...who were they going to bring on to analyze the evidence? As it turns out, only people who believe the dogs are wrong, the dna is meaningless, the parents’ behavior is perfectly normal, and inconsistencies are minor issues.
DescriptiGonçaloAmaral appeared to explain the evidence properly (but with not a lot of time for depth; possibly edited out), but the Amaral - his character and his explanation of the evidence against the McCanns - was savagely torn apart (not with great substance, but most viewers will not have a clue).
So, the reason I didn’t get a call was for the same reason no other expert questioning the McCanns’ innocence got a call; we weren’t needed. There was going to be no objectivity in the show, so our input would only have been problematic.
In other words, this was a propaganda piece that I find hard to believe the McCanns did not have a hand in.
They may have claimed they were not interested in participating but I think that was most likely to make viewers think that the documentary was going to be unbiased.
Their claim that they didn’t want to get involved while there was an ongoing police investigation as it might interfere somehow is laughable considering how many other shows they have done, how often they have gone against police advice, and the fact they hired private investigators to run around the continent in violation of a number of laws concerning interference with an ongoing investigation.
If you don’t want to poke your eyes out for more than six hours of sitting through this propaganda piece, here are some tidbits I pulled from it. I just sat through all of this so I am not going to work hard remembering names and writing in full sentences; I am just highlighting stuff I noted.
The Fund is not mentioned until the last episode and then only in passing. Wouldn’t you think this would be a big topic?
Neglect was totally downplayed and leaving the children alone not a thing to be concerned about.
Robert Hall says, “How is it possible for someone to know ...(insert: a long list of issues that make it unlikely Maddie could have been abducted)....I guess the only conclusion you can draw is that somebody was watching that apartment...somebody planned it.”
No, Mr. Hall, with all the reasons it seems impossible for someone to abduct Maddie, you could conclude there was no abduction and Netflix is manipulating you.
The first three episodes don’t discuss any evidence; it is just dramatic storytelling to get you to like the suspects; the McCanns, Murat, and Malinka. You hear a lot about mistreatment of all of them so you can get to really dislike and distrust the PJ (Portuguese Police).
Jim Gamble shows up and portrays himself as a saint. He talks about visiting Thailand and learning about the child s-e-x trade. This is the whole theory Netflix is pushing without a shred of evidence.
We get to meet Justine and she is just so in love with the McCanns and can explain every one of their odd behaviors away.
Each episode works hard to have an answer in favor of the McCanns for any concern a viewer might have. They are explaining away any dissent.
We learn about Wonderland, a big pedophile ring in Europe. Psst...they might have kidnapped Madeleine.
A very dramatic bit about a sad Spanish couple who thought they saw Maddie in Marrakesh but were ignored.
Justine raves about Jim Gamble and CEOP.
Gamble and Amaral both talk about how cold and controlling Gerry was but, no worries, Jim is only lettting the audience know he understands if they find him off-putting; later, he finds it is just Gerry’s way of handling such a serious situation and he is really a great guy!
The Pact of Silence article is discussed by Felicia Cabrera and what she wrote about the McCanns at the time, but, again, no worries, all of this will be explained away a later.
We hear more about pedophilia again through a group called Casa Pía. See? Pedophiles are everywhere and, of course, they would want to kidnap Maddie and not some easier blond girl like that lookalike in Morocco or that blonde gypsy girl they found wasn’t Maddie either.
Jim Campbell claims he helped Gerrrry draft the letter in which he reaches out to the kidnapper saying if you made a mistake...claims he thought Gerry might indeed be guilty and that line might help him confess. Really? This wasn’t actually Gerrry’s thinking? And, you thought he might be guilty? Oh, that’s right, only a temporary thought...turns out you think Gerry is a great guy, too!
Journalist Sandra Felgueiras speaks out that she found the McCann behavior strange. She later confesses to have believed the dog evidence. Then she states that she was lied to by police and she has changed her mind about the case and is embarrassed she ever questioned the McCanns’ innocence. This was the only surprise in the series for me. What happened to Sandra?
Now, we get to the Bollywood portion of the series. If you have never seen a Bollywood movie it goes like this. Happy beginning getting to know the protagonists (like a couple who falls in love). Then, something terrible happens and gets worse and worse and then....interval! Time to go out and get popcorn and a soda. Then you return to the theater and during the last half of the show all is resolved and happy ending (not all Bollywood follows this form but this is a traditional form). So Part Three and Four bring in the dog evidence, and the damning behavior of the McCanns and Felicia DOES point out how the McCanns left Maddie alone with her siblings when something happened. Cue tragic music.
No worries, again! Episode Five called “The Fightback” will begin the exonerating of the McCanns.
Lest’s make everyone feel guilty. “While you are looking at the parents, you’re not looking for the kid.” Yeah, our bad.
Brian Kennedy. “After 12 seconds I knew Gerry was a victim.” I am a profiler and after a decade I am still having trouble seeing Gerry as a victim.
Enter Clarence Mitchell to explain the McCann’s lack of emotions.
Now, they attack the disbelievers on the Internet and the crackpot conspiracy theories (they do this quickly as not to get anyone to interested in what those folks might say).
Trolls. Yes, one has to say the word trolls.
Defense attorney says the Tapas 7 keeping a big secret is preposterous.
Now, to the most important moment. They attack the dogs and say this was the only evidence the police claim to have. They say the final British DNA reports do not match anything to Madeline and that there was no blood evidence of all. There. Dog problem solved. The police have nothing.
Wait, a few more experts trash the dogs.
They mention the Smith sighting only to say it couldn’t have been Gerry because he was at the Tapas restaurant and the Smith now say it wasn’t Gerry. The Smith sighting is only mentioned in passing once more and never is it really discussed. Odd considering that should be the Number One sighting; heck even The Sun was willing to publish that an American criminal profiler said that the Smith sighting was the key to solving the case, that Smithman was the abductor and he snatched Maddie (if you don’t know, I was libeled:I never said Smithman was an abductor). But, I guess the McCanns don’t really want to focus on Smithman (not that they ever did). I guess Netflix is coincidentally following their lead.
Let’s see. Anthony Summers says Maddie and her brother and sisters might have been drugged by the abductor. Did I forget to tell you Summers and Swann are pretty much the main voices through the entire eight shows? What. A. Surprise.
Paul Rebelo says that Goncalo had zero support after he was taken off the case not even from his Facebook fans! What a liar!
Some more people say, though they were once concerned about the McCanns, they are now convinced they are wonderful people.
Episode Seven has Kennedy saying he went to Morocco to search for Maddie and then hired Método 3. Julian is made out to be the greatest PI ever and he totally believes the McCanns are innocent. Método 3 finds a forensic artist to draw Tannerman and the artist tells us how convinced Jane was she saw the abuctor.
Metodo admits they break the law and they are shady as hell. Then we get a bunch of stuff about how Amaral is beating up the mother in the Cipriano case and getting a false confession. The dude connects the two cases by saying when the police can’t find who did it, they blame the parents.
On to fake charity collectors who try to kidnap a 3-year-oiled girl right before Maddie vanished. You just know they are pedophiles.
Our Metodo PI says because there was such a small window of opportunity and they didn’t leave a trace, it means it was a well-organized group! Haven’t we already heard that argument? Oh, yeah, it must be so if two people say it.
Oh, yeah, now this guy gets his biggest moment in the case because he proves that a pedophile organization is at work in Portugal so these could be the abductors of Maddie.
Episode Seven goes for some more logic from the Metodo detective. Because pedophile gangs usually go for poor kids in third world countries, they must have taken Maddie because her value was really high. Umm...like a poor, blonde three-year-old from somewhere else would be cheaper than a British 3-year-old? How would the procurer even know where you stole the child from?
Oops! Metodo 3 starts acting in concerning ways and they are dumped.
The case is now shelved and it is claimed the McCanns are cleared. They attack Goncalo and his book.
And they learn the new team from Oakley is crooked, too. So, they are stuck without any investigators. We hear more about creepy people who could have abducted Maddie.
Thank god, it is Episode 8. “Someone knows.” Yawn. Scotland Yard steps in..yay...maybe they will find the pedophile ring. And, after all, Maddie may well be alive because, you know, teenage girls who are kidnapped are found alive (shhh...don’t talk about the statistics for toddlers abducted by pedophiles.
Final result: they trashed Goncalo Amaral. They trashed the evidence. They trashed people who question the McCanns’ innocence. Mission accomplished.
Okay, that is it. Now, you can skip watching it unless you are a masochist or just have to know what Netflix and McCanns have put together to snow the public.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
March 15, 2019