SHORTLY after Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2007, the late broadcaster/MP Sir Clement Freud, recently unmasked as a paedophile, befriended her parents at his nearby villa in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
With the focus on the referendum and its aftermath (PM Theresa May possibly favouring a Brexit-lite fudge?), you’d be forgiven for missing some recent news. Namely, that police from Operation Grange, the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, are reportedly assessing whether this new information is relevant to their five-year, £12 million inquiry.
Freud, who was “great friends” with Rolf Harris and worked with Cyril Smith, was accused of child sex abuse after victims contacted ITV’s Exposure documentary team, who also broke the story of Jimmy Savile’s paedophilia four years ago. Freud allegedly spent years abusing one girl he raised as a daughter, and violently raped another who, now 64, said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if he was linked to the case.
So, another probe launched by the police just in time for another trip to sunny Portugal at taxpayers’ expense maybe? The Met really needs to stop wasting valuable manpower and scarce resources. Freud was apparently in the UK the night Madeleine disappeared and never questioned by police.
As for Kate McCann – a “Marmite-figure” like Cliff Richard – hasn’t she suffered enough? Nobody accuses Mrs Bulger of not looking after James when he was abducted or any other parent whose child has been kidnapped: Ben Needham, April Jones, etc.
No Way Back, the latest in my psychological crime thriller series featuring journalist Alice Myers (as you know, all profits to Cudeca cancer charity), has a character based on a Kate McCann-like figure. A woman who can’t rest until she discovers the fate of her own daughter who went missing 26 years earlier. A woman so obsessed with closure and peace of mind in her unending search for the truth she’d maybe contemplate blackmail, even murder.
Whatever the outcome, Kate McCann surely needs closure, peace of mind, too, just like the character in my thriller. Whether she finds it only time will tell.
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) from Amazon. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.