Madeleine McCann: Trolling the Victims

Tributes to Madeleine McCann in Rothley, photo by Quakerman, Wikimedia commons

A deep dive into a dark world

By Carrie Camel

A CONCERTED social media campaign has been launched by trolls to destroy a new book on the Madeleine McCann mystery. The aggressive trolling, spearheaded out of Spain by a retired British police detective, comes from a group that has long claimed that the McCanns killed their own daughter.

In an alarming online attack the group have even set up a specific Facebook page to target the author Jon Clarke and his book My Search for Madeleine.

A series of Tweets have also gone out describing the author as ‘a liar’, ‘disgraced’ and in the payment of the McCann family. But it is the deluge of one-star reviews on Amazon, where the book is being sold, that are the most pernicious.

So far, nearly a dozen so-called ‘reviewers’ have given the book just one star, while many have not even bought it, yet alone read it.

“It is so awful that most of these so-called ‘reviewers’ have not read the book, yet slam it merely because of their own agenda against the McCanns,” said Clarke, 52.

The British journalist, who has covered the case since 2007 for a series of national newspapers, including the Times and Sunday Mirror, added: “I just feel desperately sorry for the McCanns who have had so many years of this.”

The owner of the Olive Press (www.theolivepress.es), an English newspaper based in Malaga, dedicated a chapter of the 130,000 word book to the online attacks of the McCanns or anyone who supports them.

“I just feel desperately sorry for the McCanns who have had so many years of this.”

“But I didn’t feel it warranted any more as most of these people just like the limelight and to have their views aired,” he explained.

Most of the ‘reviewers’ simply refer to their beliefs about the McCanns’ whose daughter was snatched in May, 2007, while on holiday in Praia da Luz, on the Algarve. One, Colin Linskey, writes: “The McCanns didn’t do reconstruction, Kate didn’t answer questions and they fled home hours later.” 

Linskey regularly posts anti-McCann articles on the Facebook site ‘Abscam, Madeleine McCann abduction or scam?’ Yet, like many of the trolls on this site – and others who attack the McCanns or anyone who doesn’t agree with their narrative – he leaves no personal information at all. Some of them, such as Tony Bennett, a former lawyer and UKIP supporter, have already been prosecuted in the UK and frequently warned online. Others, such as Jill Havern, who reviews the book on Amazon under the initials ‘JH’, wrote there is ‘nothing of any value in the book’.

‘most of these people just like the limelight’

The former military policeman at RAF Alconbury, described as a ‘veteran campaigner’ by the Portugal Resident newspaper, has long supported chief inspector Goncalo Amaral, who was taken off the case, after a series of errors. She runs a foundation that is dedicated to proving that the McCanns killed their daughter and covered it up with the help of their friends, the so-called Tapas 7.

Meanwhile Peter MacLeod, a former deputy chief superintendent of Nottinghamshire police, has undertaken a long and bitter campaign against Clarke and the McCanns. He has even published a pamphlet from his home on the Costa del Sol on the many reasons Maddie wasn’t snatched and pointing the finger directly at Kate and Gerry.

His theories were described in a national newspaper last year as ’spurious’.

Using the initials ‘PM’ he describes My Search for Madeleine as ‘a very strange book’ and slams it for dedicating two thirds of it to the new German prime suspect Christian Brueckner.

“That is exactly what the book is about, as I spent the last 15 months trying to understand why German police think that he murdered Maddie,” he said.

“These trolls can slam it as long as they want, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I travelled over half a dozen times to Portugal and to Germany to meet up to a dozen friends and acquaintances of Brueckner during research for this book,” he added.

“I also talked to the prosecutor and police in three countries.”

The book has so far been making headlines in the British national newspapers and is described by Sky Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt as ‘tirelessly researched’ and by another national newspaper as a ‘deep dive’ into the dark world on the costas of southern Spain and Portugal.


This is an opinion and analysis article; the views expressed by the author or authors are not necessarily those of Ars Notoria