It has been 200 days since Madeleine McCann vanished without trace from ‘The Beach of Light’ in Portugal and although it has dominated the headlines, Madeleine is unmentionable, except in terms of abduction. One day the child is alive, the next she is dead, but then she is ‘sighted’ with a scruffy Arab woman in Morocco, she is a victim of the Russian Mafia, she is in the care of a kindly couple or she is a rich Arab woman’s maid, but the suggestion that Madeleine may have died at the hands of the official suspects, is met with outrage. In media circles it is sacrilege to criticise or satirise the arguidos, Kate and Gerry McCann. Journalists are queuing up to sing their praises. Allison Pearson believes “the allegation is not just revolting. It is surreal.” Bel Mooney says it due to cultural differences and ‘emotional Mediterranean types’ misunderstand the British “stiff upper lip.” Mooney and Paul Routledge both ask, “How many of us have - but for the grace of God - been there?” Very few, most responsible parents take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of vulnerable children. Tony Parsons scraped the bottom of the barrel with a xenophobic slur on the Portuguese “sardine-munching” Ambassador and the whole police investigation is considered ‘a smear.’ Any facts surrounding the case are reported as “vile attacks” such as the fact that they left their children alone for three hours every night. Something the McCann’s don’t deny; but it’s not just the press who fete them, eight former top cops have come forward to demolish the circumstantial evidence and declare the parents innocent. Not least, Lord John Stevens. Retired Police Commissioner Stevens instinctively agreed with his friend Professor David Canter about Madeleine's disappearance, when he concluded: “I feel abduction is the most likely possibility.” Stevens added, “In other words, the McCann’s were not involved.” Also going by instinct, John Stalker doesn’t believe for one minute they are guilty and says, “All the criticism of Kate and Gerry and their friends has been completely out of order.” The McCann’s legal team are now advising the prosecutor, “not to go any further” with the case. Possible forensic evidence has been dismissed out of hand by these high ranking officers and progress by the Polícia Judiciária is being hampered by bureaucracy. The McCann’s enlisted the Control Risk Group including ex-SAS to discover Madeleine’s whereabouts and involved a Spanish detective agency, but they throw up false leads and the featureless kidnapper still evades detection. Meanwhile, Kate looks for Madeleine while jogging and Gerry searches on the golf course, while her fund pays their mortgage.