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  1. #1
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    Advocating for the falsely accused victim

    Ok, I can see that this forum has changed a lot since I last posted here. So, I will try to just start a thread, rather than go through each of the existing ones trying to do this little bit.

    Most of you don't know me & probably weren't around when I posted last. I can see I have stepped on some toes since coming back, but I hope you will allow me to let you see where I am coming from, and why I am so adamant that the FACTS be used, sparse as they are, rather than just bad feelings and vague ideas of how a mother *should* act in the public eye after an abduction.

    My interest in crime came early and unfortunately. My mother was raped by a nineteen year old who came to our door, asking to borrow the phone. He was young & looked harmless, it was early in the morning, when most people were leaving for work. In fact, we would find out later he had helped build out house, and had been watching our family from the roof of another house on which he was working construction. That's how he knew when my father left for work, that my father never came home before six and that's how he knew my mother had a small - four year old daughter, me - and that she was therefore going to be easier to manipulate. He was right about that

    I won't go into the details, but it was as gruesome as you'd expect, and both our lives were threatened throughout the ordeal.

    When the police finally showed up, hours later, that's when the rumors started. No one believed my mother's version of events, because "things like that don't happen in broad daylight in nice neighborhoods." So, the rumor started that my mother had been having an affair and had been caught with her young lover, so she'd made up the rape story. We endured that rumor for months before the guy was caught after having raped four more women with small children, same MO, only he'd moved from using a knife to a gun to the child's head.

    The facts the rapist knew about our family from watching us for weeks were used against my mother as evidence that she knew the guy. For example, it was said that she had obviously been the one to tell him what time her husband left for work every morning, since he showed up only five minutes after my father had left.

    Even people who allowed that, ok, maybe my mom had been raped still said it was ALL her fault for having opened her door to the guy in the first place. Just because he was small & looked innocent, she should have somehow known it was carrying a concealed weapon. She was just as much as fault as the rapist for her own stupidity. My mom put on a brave front, but what these lovely people didn't realize was my mom DID spend hours crying, sobbing, over & over, saying "Why did I open the door, why did I open the door?"

    Anyway Mr Innocent Looking Rapist's defense was that he had a girlfriend, so he didn't need to rape. That almost got him freed, since that nonsense excuse actually held water back in 1969. In fact, one of the cops at the trial told my mother the only way to convict a rapist was if he'd raped, bruised, and impregnated a nun. Even then, he said they needed a witness.

    So, really long story kind of shortened, he was finally convicted because one of the other children was old enough and graphic enough in his descriptions that the jury decided maybe this guy was a rapist. But it took four women AND their children to convince a jury that all these women weren't lying and/or weren't somehow at fault for their own rapes.

    I am sorry, but so much of what I read on the internet about the McCanns right now seems similar, based on almost no evidence. Until there is more evidence, so much of this looks like more blame-the-victim because she's did something stupid.

    Yes - she DID do something horribly stupid, just as my mother did by letting a strange man put his foot in her doorway long enough to push it open. But this still doesn't mean they weren't also victims and it still doesn't mean they don't deserve empathy. I'm shocked that this even has to be said so many years later.

    And no, this also doesn't mean that maybe the McCanns didn't kill their child. But until there's some real evidence, please ask yourselves why so much hatred is REALLY being directed at these people.

    Shrinky

    P.S. Please don't write to me saying that my personal experiences have determined my stance as if that is reason to discount tham. Of course they have affected me. All people's experiences do. Living through something like that is not something I would wish on my worst enemy, so yes, it made a lasting impression.

  2. #2
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    Shrinky, I'm sorry for what happened to you and your mother. What a terrible thing for a family to go through.

  3. #3
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    Sorry your family had to go through what you did, and I mean that sincerely.

    I do not hate the McCanns, I hate that they left their childen alone, I hate the fact that Madelaine is missing. We have not at this stage true facts as to what has happened, it is in the hands of the P LE, we have to wait and see if there is enough evidence for this to go to trial, until then all we have to go on is what the media put out there, and yes a lot of it is false or made up or embellished to sell more papers etc. This forum however is to discuss whatever information we have whether it be true or false, everyone does not think the same way and have different opinions which they post here, I agree with some posters and disagree with others.
    I think we all agree we want to find out what happened to Madelaine, and imo I think the parents know. It is not them that I hate it is the situation.

  4. #4
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    april4sky is offline It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrinkydink View Post
    Ok, I can see that this forum has changed a lot since I last posted here. So, I will try to just start a thread, rather than go through each of the existing ones trying to do this little bit.

    Most of you don't know me & probably weren't around when I posted last. I can see I have stepped on some toes since coming back, but I hope you will allow me to let you see where I am coming from, and why I am so adamant that the FACTS be used, sparse as they are, rather than just bad feelings and vague ideas of how a mother *should* act in the public eye after an abduction.

    My interest in crime came early and unfortunately. My mother was raped by a nineteen year old who came to our door, asking to borrow the phone. He was young & looked harmless, it was early in the morning, when most people were leaving for work. In fact, we would find out later he had helped build out house, and had been watching our family from the roof of another house on which he was working construction. That's how he knew when my father left for work, that my father never came home before six and that's how he knew my mother had a small - four year old daughter, me - and that she was therefore going to be easier to manipulate. He was right about that

    I won't go into the details, but it was as gruesome as you'd expect, and both our lives were threatened throughout the ordeal.

    When the police finally showed up, hours later, that's when the rumors started. No one believed my mother's version of events, because "things like that don't happen in broad daylight in nice neighborhoods." So, the rumor started that my mother had been having an affair and had been caught with her young lover, so she'd made up the rape story. We endured that rumor for months before the guy was caught after having raped four more women with small children, same MO, only he'd moved from using a knife to a gun to the child's head.

    The facts the rapist knew about our family from watching us for weeks were used against my mother as evidence that she knew the guy. For example, it was said that she had obviously been the one to tell him what time her husband left for work every morning, since he showed up only five minutes after my father had left.

    Even people who allowed that, ok, maybe my mom had been raped still said it was ALL her fault for having opened her door to the guy in the first place. Just because he was small & looked innocent, she should have somehow known it was carrying a concealed weapon. She was just as much as fault as the rapist for her own stupidity. My mom put on a brave front, but what these lovely people didn't realize was my mom DID spend hours crying, sobbing, over & over, saying "Why did I open the door, why did I open the door?"

    Anyway Mr Innocent Looking Rapist's defense was that he had a girlfriend, so he didn't need to rape. That almost got him freed, since that nonsense excuse actually held water back in 1969. In fact, one of the cops at the trial told my mother the only way to convict a rapist was if he'd raped, bruised, and impregnated a nun. Even then, he said they needed a witness.

    So, really long story kind of shortened, he was finally convicted because one of the other children was old enough and graphic enough in his descriptions that the jury decided maybe this guy was a rapist. But it took four women AND their children to convince a jury that all these women weren't lying and/or weren't somehow at fault for their own rapes.

    I am sorry, but so much of what I read on the internet about the McCanns right now seems similar, based on almost no evidence. Until there is more evidence, so much of this looks like more blame-the-victim because she's did something stupid.

    Yes - she DID do something horribly stupid, just as my mother did by letting a strange man put his foot in her doorway long enough to push it open. But this still doesn't mean they weren't also victims and it still doesn't mean they don't deserve empathy. I'm shocked that this even has to be said so many years later.

    And no, this also doesn't mean that maybe the McCanns didn't kill their child. But until there's some real evidence, please ask yourselves why so much hatred is REALLY being directed at these people.

    Shrinky

    P.S. Please don't write to me saying that my personal experiences have determined my stance as if that is reason to discount tham. Of course they have affected me. All people's experiences do. Living through something like that is not something I would wish on my worst enemy, so yes, it made a lasting impression.
    Shrinky, I'm so sorry your mom was raped and you were both put through what must have been a terrifying ordeal.

    I don't believe either that your experience is the only reason you feel as you do because I feel exactly the same, and thankfully I haven't suffered anything nearly so traumatic.

    Yes, the McCanns are guilty of leaving their children.
    But beyond that none of us know what happened to Madeleine.
    I don't know if the McCanns hurt/killed her but I have not seen or heard any "evidence" confirmed that makes me believe they did.

    I find it quite scary that people will believe rumors and inuendo that is IMO purposely being put out there just to smear the McCanns.

    I thought innocent until proven guilty was important to all of us.

    Until there is evidence that they were involved, to me they are victims whose child has been kidnapped and must be suffering dreadfully.
    And for them to have to deal with all these wild accusations...it's just sad. I really don't understand the lack of empathy.

    shrinky, I do hope you and your mom were ok and able to move on in time.

  5. #5
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    Differences of opion aren't the question

    Absolutely, I am a big fan of differing opinions, and I readily admit I don't know whether the McCanns hurt their daughter or not. I'm not saying my take is right and everyone else's is wrong or that there should be a lack of debate. But couldn't it be more informed debate, rather than based on rumor and "hinky" feelings alone?

    It's not the differing opinions that I don't understand, it's the seeming need to convict on almost no evidence at all. It's like conviction by-lack-of- popularity more than anything. And most of this discussion seems to also be about how awful Kate is, not the actual crime. Yes, the parents' bad choices helped make this happen, maybe even made it happen, if the accidentally killed her by their own actions. I get that. I really do. I just don't get why the anger is so one-sided and focused only on her. What about the police who have made such a mockery of this case? The same police who beat a confession out of the mother of the last child who disappeared in the same area - 7 kilometers away - four years ago? Does no one else find this bizarre?

    It seems there is a real lack of awareness that this is even happening. I mean, most of the high-profile abductions I've seen involved some parental lack - either they didn't lock a door or window, or left a child alone. In one case, the mother even unwittingly led her child's killer to her daughter (the van Damme case). In the Adam Walsh case, his mom left him alone in a store, totally on purpose, even though he was only six at the time. They tried to sue Sears for his disappearance, which is hardly taking responsibility the way people seem to think a parent should. Yet, there's his father, famous all over the US for being the America's Most Wanted creator. Why is no one demanding his wife be put in jail for child endangerment? That child is dead, so we know her leaving him alone like that ended in his death, but I haven't seen anyone asking that she be put in prison.

    It seemed there was more sympathy for those people, maybe because no one suspected they were actively involved, OR because those people weren't good-looking doctors who inspired jealousy? I mean, could there just maybe be a dark side to all this self-satisfied anger being aimed at the McCanns? Are we really so sure Kate's not being made a scapegoat, now that it feels safe to unleash on her?

    Last time I looked, there's nothing but truly awful police work that MIGHT, maybe show the McCanns did something to their daughter. The strength of the evidence compared to the strength of anger towards Kate McCann seems very off to me. All I'm saying is it would be nice if people asked themselves *why* they're so ready to string her up when the police have pretty close to nothing to show she did anything but what we have known all along she did, which was to leave her children alone.

    Shrinky

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by april4sky View Post
    Shrinky, I'm so sorry your mom was raped and you were both put through what must have been a terrifying ordeal.

    I don't believe either that your experience is the only reason you feel as you do because I feel exactly the same, and thankfully I haven't suffered anything nearly so traumatic.

    Yes, the McCanns are guilty of leaving their children.
    But beyond that none of us know what happened to Madeleine.
    I don't know if the McCanns hurt/killed her but I have not seen or heard any "evidence" confirmed that makes me believe they did.

    I find it quite scary that people will believe rumors and inuendo that is IMO purposely being put out there just to smear the McCanns.

    I thought innocent until proven guilty was important to all of us.

    Until there is evidence that they were involved, to me they are victims whose child has been kidnapped and must be suffering dreadfully.
    And for them to have to deal with all these wild accusations...it's just sad. I really don't understand the lack of empathy.

    shrinky, I do hope you and your mom were ok and able to move on in time.
    Thanks, April. That's my point, exactly. I don't think most people realize the harm their basing their opinions on rumor and innuendo can do to others, and really to the legal process, too, especially in the days of 24 hour international news. Opinions matter more than they probably should, so it would be nice if people would try to make sure they're really paying attention to the facts before they start the war drums.

    One thing I have found, the people who scream "Yes, but where there's smoke, there's fire!" are very often the same people standing there lighing match after match!

    Thanks for your kind wishes. My mother and I have gone through many phases of denial, blame, therapy, grieving, PTSD, the works All the things they say you have to do. We're fine, but we'll never really be the same. There are some things you can never get back, and a feeling the world is a safe place is one thing I have never had again. My mother is actually better than I am, because she was older and had a more stable world view when that happened. I was only four, so the world as I knew it was pretty much over then.

    Shrinky

  7. #7
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    This forum would die a slow death if we only talked about facts.

    We put our theories on here and our thoughts and opinions to keep this thread going so noone forgets why we are here, this is about Madelaine but in saying that it is also about the people in her life.

    Those people being her parents, sister and brother, the friends they went away with, the public in portugal who may have been witnesses/suspects, the police, employees at the resort and so on and so on, the list goes on.

    What do you think we should talk about ShrinkyDink beside the facts which we all know are not many.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    This forum would die a slow death if we only talked about facts.

    We put our theories on here and our thoughts and opinions to keep this thread going so noone forgets why we are here, this is about Madelaine but in saying that it is also about the people in her life.

    Those people being her parents, sister and brother, the friends they went away with, the public in portugal who may have been witnesses/suspects, the police, employees at the resort and so on and so on, the list goes on.

    What do you think we should talk about ShrinkyDink beside the facts which we all know are not many.
    I'm not saying that people shouldn't give opinions, but if they aren't based on anything other than what is starting to sound at times like a little group hysteria, I just think it might be good to take a step back and look at how this case relates to others, for example. Or the laws, or how it might be someone other than the mother. I already said I don't think it has to be only facts, but if opinions are mainly based on rumor, it's kind of meaningless and the lack of empathy in light of the absence of facts is what is still pretty shocking. There's a big difference between playing a sleuthing game, "what if" and simply sitting around looking to prove a vague hypotheis of "she's a bad mom who gives me hinky feelings, so she is probably guilty of murder", so I'll use all the rumors the internet can cook up to prove my point.

    The first, to me is people trying to solve a case because they find it interesting (for whatever reason) and the second is people just engaging in modern day witch hunting, while pretending that's not what they're doing.

    See the difference?

    But you know, I just realized something else - if there really aren't enough facts for any of us to make a reasonably informed guess, maybe the forum regarding this case should die. I mean, if we're only talking about mainly made up things, the validity of which no one can possible know, is the death of a forum really worse than a forum based on only rumor & suspicions?

    Shrinky

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrinkydink View Post
    I'm not saying that people shouldn't give opinions, but if they aren't based on anything other than what is starting to sound at times like a little group hysteria, I just think it might be good to take a step back and look at how this case relates to others, for example. Or the laws, or how it might be someone other than the mother. I already said I don't think it has to be only facts, but if opinions are mainly based on rumor, it's kind of meaningless and the lack of empathy in light of the absence of facts is what is still pretty shocking. There's a big difference between playing a sleuthing game, "what if" and simply sitting around looking to prove a vague hypotheis of "she's a bad mom who gives me hinky feelings, so she is probably guilty of murder", so I'll use all the rumors the internet can cook up to prove my point.

    The first, to me is people trying to solve a case because they find it interesting (for whatever reason) and the second is people just engaging in modern day witch hunting, while pretending that's not what they're doing.

    See the difference?

    But you know, I just realized something else - if there really aren't enough facts for any of us to make a reasonably informed guess, maybe the forum regarding this case should die. I mean, if we're only talking about mainly made up things, the validity of which no one can possible know, is the death of a forum really worse than a forum based on only rumor & suspicions?

    Shrinky
    I do see your point of view, truly.
    I am passionate about children, not just mine but all children because when they are young, the parents are their lifeline, Madelaines lifeline snapped when her parents went out for dinner and left her and the twins alone, if they can make that mistake
    knowingly, then you may as well call me a McCann slammer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    I do see your point of view, truly.
    I am passionate about children, not just mine but all children because when they are young, the parents are their lifeline, Madelaines lifeline snapped when her parents went out for dinner and left her and the twins alone, if they can make that mistake
    knowingly, then you may as well call me a McCann slammer.
    Well, you're right. Madeleine's life as she knew it, not matter what has happened to her is over already. That's true, and her parents *are* at fault for having put her in harm's way the way they did. I just don't believe that their fault extends past that point, based on current evidence.

    I guess I am also trying to say that I think it's easier to blame a victim for their mistakes than it is to admit the fear it brings out in us. We all do things that aren't always the smartest, and there's nothing to say that the next kid taken isn't going to be one of ours, even though what we are doing seems perfectly reasonable to us at the time. It used to be considered perfectly reasonable to leave windows and doors unlocked at night, but people don't do that anymore. No one wants to be the one on TV crying, saying, "it seemed safe at the time, " but we all know or fear, deep down, it could be us someday.

    That's why I gave the hideous example of my mom at the door. As soon as that guy moved a step closer and flashed that knife, she KNEW what a bad idea it had been to answer that door, nice neighborhood or not, daylight or not. She was counting on safety nets that weren't there when she needed them. The guy was still on the porch when he pulled the knife and lunged at her, but the neighbors didn't see. What are the odds on a sunny morning, with people in their yards and driveways, that something like that would happen? She would have bet the odds were pretty slim, but that really didn't help one bit in the event.

    You know, I don't let my daughter near an elevator door, either, because I read about a small child being decapitated by a malfunctioning door. Until I read that, I certainly hadn't put her intentionally in front of elevator doors, but I can tell you that that story made me make sure she was never alone near an elevator door. (I am so non-McCann-like in the rules I have with my own child, it's kind of funny to me that I am the one begging people to show sympathy).

    No matter how easy it is to see NOW, I truly believe the McCanns thought their choice was "safe enough". It obviously wasn't ok, but now they and their daughter (and other children too) will be paying the price forever.

    This last part is why they have sympathy - it's not that I condone child endangerment or stupidity. They were demonstrably stupid, as was Adam Walsh's mom and Jessica Lunsford's grandfather. It's that I see the price they paid, and that their daughter has paid and I just don't see what is to be gained by throwing more ridicule their way for petty things like the looks on their faces or their current desperate actions. I'd be desperate, too, if I were them, and probably doing all kinds of things wrong, PR-wise.

    Obviously, if they killed their child, my feelings would change. But so far, I just don't believe they did.

    I'd like to say, I have really enjoyed our exchanges today. I appreciate very much that you have allowed me to bounce my ideas off you and that you have bounced some right back. Thank you.

    Shrinky


  11. #11
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    I've followed this sad case mostly through the Irish & UK papers & tv where it has to be said that most of the coverage is sensationalized.

    Personally I take anything that a journalist purports to have obtained from an unnamed and unconfirmed source with a very large pinch of salt. I'm also extremely wary of a judicial system that keeps an evidence dossier secret but allows these convenient leaks.

    I don't know if the McCann's were involved or if there was an intruder but at this stage I won't condemn anyone without knowing what factual evidence, forensic or otherwise, is against them.

    Some sleuther's have stated a connection in their theorizing about this case & the Laci Peterson murder case but the huge difference is that in the Peterson case there were publicly verifiable facts from early on & that the press had access to LE so sleuther's were able to speculate on & sometimes extrapolate correctly from available facts. Unfortunately this isn't the case with Madeleine's disappearance so theories that are based on unsubstantiated newspaper reports are jumping the gun.

    The McCann's may be poor excuses for parents but that doesn't necessarily make them murderers.

    Edited to add: Hopefully now that the secrecy laws are being challenged we can find some real facts about this sad case.

    <Source>
    (From the Telegraph 16th September 2007)
    The Portuguese law was officially changed yesterday but will not come into force until tomorrow, the first working day after the weekend.

    It could allow the McCanns access to investigators' files, running to 4,000 pages, within days.

    The new law means that all suspects and third parties, including the media, will have access to police documents in any investigation - unless the public prosecutor decides that secrecy will benefit the inquiry or protect the rights of the accused. The prosecutor's decision has to be ratified by a judge within 72 hours.

    The Sunday Telegraph understands, however, that the police have already anticipated the rule change and have prepared an appeal to the public prosecutor to keep the Madeleine file secret.
    Last edited by blaize; 09-16-2007 at 09:58 AM. Reason: Edited to add some pertinent information about the secrecy law.

  12. #12
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    april4sky is offline It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    I've followed this sad case mostly through the Irish & UK papers & tv where it has to be said that most of the coverage is sensationalized.

    Personally I take anything that a journalist purports to have obtained from an unnamed and unconfirmed source with a very large pinch of salt. I'm also extremely wary of a judicial system that keeps an evidence dossier secret but allows these convenient leaks.

    I don't know if the McCann's were involved or if there was an intruder but at this stage I won't condemn anyone without knowing what factual evidence, forensic or otherwise, is against them.

    Some sleuther's have stated a connection in their theorizing about this case & the Laci Peterson murder case but the huge difference is that in the Peterson case there were publicly verifiable facts from early on & that the press had access to LE so sleuther's were able to speculate on & sometimes extrapolate correctly from available facts. Unfortunately this isn't the case with Madeleine's disappearance so theories that are based on unsubstantiated newspaper reports are jumping the gun.

    The McCann's may be poor excuses for parents but that doesn't necessarily make them murderers.

    Edited to add: Hopefully now that the secrecy laws are being challenged we can find some real facts about this sad case.

    <Source>
    (From the Telegraph 16th September 2007)
    The Portuguese law was officially changed yesterday but will not come into force until tomorrow, the first working day after the weekend.

    It could allow the McCanns access to investigators' files, running to 4,000 pages, within days.

    The new law means that all suspects and third parties, including the media, will have access to police documents in any investigation - unless the public prosecutor decides that secrecy will benefit the inquiry or protect the rights of the accused. The prosecutor's decision has to be ratified by a judge within 72 hours.

    The Sunday Telegraph understands, however, that the police have already anticipated the rule change and have prepared an appeal to the public prosecutor to keep the Madeleine file secret.
    Great post blaize.

    I suspect though that the police appeal will be succesful in keeping the Madeleine file secret. I hope i'm wrong!!!
    But it's been a debacle from the get go and they won't want the scrutiny.
    Time will tell.

  13. #13
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    'Dingo baby' mother recognises police hostility, 'forensic' discoveries and hysterica

    Another interesting (and frightening) article:

    Madeleine: 'Dingo baby' mother recognises police hostility, 'forensic' discoveries and hysterical public

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1811

  14. #14
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    The sad thing is that the more misinformation or disinformation, depending on your point of view that's purposely released is a) not helping to find Madeleine & b) not actually contributing to finding her abductor/s or killer/s.

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    Shrinky, I am sorry for what your mother and family suffered.

    However, there are critical points/differences about the McCanns.

    They are not the victims of a crime. Madeleine McCann is/was. They have been officially named as suspects by the police authorities in the country where she went missing, so just as Robert Murat's actions and comments were and probably will continue to be scrutinized, examined, and weighed, so will the McCanns.

    They have a network of influential and wealthy associates and friends put in motion immediately when Madeleine first was publicly discovered missing--a network that reaches all the way to the Prime Minister. You or I would be lucky to have a third-level consulate employee show up. The McCanns immediately, with the aid of a professional PR firm, set in motion a massive media campaign, thus setting themselves firmly in the public eye.

    The argument seems to be that the McCanns, having made one terrible/dumb/ignorant decision, are now immune from any other other criticisms of their behavior, actions, or comments. They have somehow earned a Universal Pass on everything they do, simply because of their dumb/horrible/inexcusable decision.

    The McCanns have not been falsely accused, because there has been no trial yet. No one can say whether or not they are "falsely" accused, we can only debate the evidence against them.

    If you don't like what other people consider evidence, don't hang out on this forum. There are literally thousands of forums out there that I don't agree with, don't like, don't understand why are in existence, but I'm not going to show up and suggest that everyone who posts there should just go away.

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