A Tale of Two Bookies.
When Kate and Gerry publicly announced their intention to publish a book about Madeleine’s abduction I have to admit my first reaction was to softly groan inside. Yes, I understood their motives; to put their side of the story, and to replenish the then dwindling search funds. But I knew also they were handing over a stick with which to beat themselves to their critics, known in our part of cyber-space as the anti-Madeleines. I could clearly envisage all the cries of ‘Exploitation!’ ‘They’re only interested in money!’ ‘They’re just using her to pay off the mortgage!’ ‘Publicity seekers!’ And of course, ‘What a scam!’ It pained me greatly just to imagine it, and sure enough I was right. On the blogs and forums dedicated to persecuting and vilifying the parents of an abducted child, the hatred and denigration soon reached the expected crescendo.
Buy why was this? After all, they are not the only people to write a book about Madeleine. Indeed, as we know, the first PJ senior officer in charge of the investigation, goncalo amaral, the man these critics of the McCanns hail as the ‘Brilliant detective’ also wrote a book, and somewhat ironically called it ‘The truth of the lie.’ Has he received the same condemnation for cashing in on Madeleine’s disappearance?
No! Far from it, in fact. Instead he has been lauded and praised, for daring to speak out, to bring us the ‘Truth’ as he sees it. All I see is sheer, naked hypocrisy.
Let me explain.
Whenever a book is published, the author receives payments from the profits made from the sales, called Royalties. All authors receive these payments, it is how many writers make a living, and there is nothing wrong with that. But let us compare what the two books authors state were their intentions for their profits, and how they subsequently used them. We have reason to believe that Amaral stated that a portion, (I think I remember reading the figure of 10%) of his profits will go to children’s charities. A noble gesture, if true. The McCanns, on the other hand, make it very clear that all the profits from their book will go to the fund that is financing the search for their missing daughter, something that is continually labelled a ‘Scam’ by the anti-Madeleines.
‘The truth of the Lie’ by amaral, sold several million copies before legal proceedings by the McCanns put the brakes on things, netting him somewhere in the region of 1.2 million euros in royalties. The McCann’s search fund, at one point, topped over two million pounds. Since then the McCanns have been completely open and transparent with the funds, publishing a full annual account in the press for the scrutiny of the public. amaral, on the other hand, has not only failed to do the same, he dramatically refused to hand over any form of proof of his book earnings at the recent libel trial. If he did promise to make a payment to children’s charities it has, so far, yet to be seen.
So what has amaral done with all his profits? At this point I think it time to point out that one of the more common accusations levelled at the McCanns is that they are publicity seekers. Please bear that in mind for the moment, as we return to amaral. I wish to show you two pictures of this individual, one from before he wrote his book, and one after. Let us look at the first.
Note the jeans, the bulging shirt opened to reveal a gold chain, the ill-fitting jacket, rather unkempt hair and untrimmed moustache. To be fair he may not have realised he was being photographed at that particular time, but let’s face it, he is exuding a slovenly, scruffy and unkempt look. Still on a standard PJ wage, he is yet to cash in on his experience with Madeleine and her parents. Now lets look at another, more recent picture, post-authoring of his version of the events of 3rd May, 2007.
An altogether different appearance, don’t you think? A very smart, expensive and tailored suit, with matching hat. Gone is the shabby shirt, to be replaced with collar and tie. Clean shaven, and the moustache removed. Every inch the suave, sophisticated man about town. In short, the appearance of a wealthy man. And where did this new found wealth amaral is so clearly and deliberately flaunting come from? The profits from his book, that’s where. In addition, we know he spent money on a brand new car, a top of the line Jaguar. For his birthday he held a large and elaborate birthday party, with many guests, lavishing them with what some called a spectacular fireworks display. Oh yes, and he had his ear pierced with a diamond stud! All paid for by Madeleine.
And the McCanns? Have they sought to change their social status, or make good from Madeleine’s abduction? Well, if they have bought a new car I am not aware of it. If they have, it is likely to be nothing more than an ordinary family saloon, paid out of their own wages, not a flash sporty job like amaral splashed out on. They are not seen in expensive designer cloths, or dripping with tacky jewellery. No elaborate, firework illuminated birthday bashes for them. No round the world cruises, nor buying second homes on the continent. And yet it is they, according to some, who are only interested in cold hard cash, only interested in getting their faces in the press, only wanting to capitalise on their daughters disappearance. I say look again at the second picture. Who is it who is really seeking the fame, adoring the limelight? Who is it who is really exploiting Madeleine for their own interest?
Whenever the McCanns appeared in public it was solely for one purpose, to beg the public for information. The truth is plain to see for those with eyes not blinkered with hate. For Kate and Gerry it was never about the cash, never about the fame. It has always been about Madeleine. If there is still any doubt about the differences between the two authors, please look one last time at the expensive, tailored suit in the second photograph above.