I am Admin of a very small forum (Find Madeleine: http://find-madeleine.forumotion.net/forum.htm) which was set up to find the truth about Madeleine’s disappearance, and vowed to ‘go where the evidence takes us’. It has been a hard and rocky road and the members have built step-ladders to climb up and down the fence, made cushions to help prevent splinters whilst sitting there, and they hold candle-light meetings to discuss the latest developments. Personally, I have looked at many different theories and read many pages from the PJ files but I still keep arriving on different sides of the fence.
Do we really have to have to know or understand what happened at this stage? Isn’t wanting justice for Madeleine enough? Finding this little girl is a main priority for me, and that means either dead or alive! She is out there somewhere!
What I do know without a shadow of a doubt is that without the free access we have had to various blog and forums, the members of our small forum would not be so well-informed. Our small forum and meeting space has given many people from around the world the opportunity to read information that they cannot find themselves. We have depended on Portuguese posters in particular to provide us with more accurate information. If we had been left to depend on the biased and blanched UK press, we would not understand as much as we do now.
I and others still have questions that haven’t been answered. I will never understand why the archiving of the case was not challenged by Madeleine’s parents. Surely, to have an on-going official investigation (UK and Portuguese) should have been their priority. However, I must take into account that Kate and Gerry were acting on the advice of their legal team at the time of the shelving; they were under suspicion of a very serious crime (that of neglect and the concealment of a corpse). In addition to the harrowing experience of having their daughter missing, they were being accused of being involved in her disappearance. Also remember that the only way that they were ever going to see what was in those files was by having the case archived. Their relationship with the PJ had seriously gone downhill and at least now, although their daughter is still missing, they have had the weight of being arguidos lifted. Perhaps Robert Murat’s lawyer was also pressing for a similar outcome – archive the case – so that he too could get on with his life.
But what if the McCanns are culpable of more than neglect? I shudder when I even try to comprehend how a parent could act in this way. As a parent myself I have no empathy or understanding. My child is my life!
Whilst the members of our small forum remain on either side of the fence or on it, they all appear to agree that the re-opening an official investigation is the most positive way forward. A two-man team of ex-detectives cannot achieve what an experienced, multi-faceted, joint UK/Portuguese police team can achieve in the same time. This is a very complex case and should not have been archived until Madeleine is found – one way or another. I do hope that one day soon the case will be re-opened officially with the focus on finding out what happened to Madeleine.
There are so many doubts and question marks surrounding this case. I hope that I and others will continue to be able to access the information from our Portuguese and French translators. I also hope that we will have continued access to the debates and discussions on varoius forums to enhance our thinking and understanding.
We are all searching for the truth, so let me say “Thank you”, “Obrigada”, and “Merci” to the translators. I also thank my friend Paulo Reis who saw fit to join our forum in the early days and exchange ideas about his on-going investigation. Duarte Levy also published the now famous article about ‘Playground Man’ based on the photographs and information we forwarded from our small forum. None of us has the answers, but without the magnanimous spirit and generosity of fellow posters on blogs and in forums, we could have been left in the dark. I look forward to continued cooperation, sharing of information and respect for each other's opinions.
So what is Madeleine’s legacy?
I and the members of our small forum were originally drawn together by the case of Madeleine McCann – a nearly 4 year old who disappeared under unexplained circumstances. In our forum (and many others) we were awakened to the plight of all missing and exploited children around the world.
Our small forum developed into a Madeleine/Missing Children forum. Feelings run deep and emotions are high. I have assisted in running several non-Madeleine related forums over the past years but, I have to say that running a Madeleine forum has been the most challenging to date. Our members are like-minded people who came together through the internet and over the years, the exposure we have had to world-wide cases has changed our thinking and enhanced our understanding. Members gained a heightened awareness and developed a greater willingness to become involved. Madeleine’s forum allows us to share our concerns and celebrate successes. I believe now that governments can do much more to highlight the issues surrounding the exploitation of children and should do more to raise public awareness.
I know that Madeleine Beth McCann has provided us with a life-changing experience. She has touched our hearts, our minds and changed our way of thinking. For me, Madeleine has left an eternal legacy. A legacy that has opened my eyes to the plight of missing and exploited children wordwide. For that I thank you Madeleine Beth McCann.
May you be safe wherever you are.
And trust us Madeleine - by working together, we CAN make a difference!
Written by Tezza with support from merlynsam of the Find Madeleine forum.