Saturday, 16 August 2008

Mr Woofall “heard no suggestion in the early days that the girl had been snatched”

This not new, but also deserves a second reading...

From The Times
October 6, 2007
I saw Kate and Gerry McCanns’ despair and if they were acting they deserved an Oscar

The PR expert who advised Madeleine's parents in the first weeks of her disappearance offers a new insight into their state of mind

Alex Woofall, a public relations consultant for the holiday resort where the child disappeared, was with the McCanns regularly for that first fortnight and is convinced that they are innocent. 'That they could be involved and in any way be guilty - to me they would have to win every Golden Globe and every Oscar ever awarded,' he told The Times.”

One bone of contention has been whether Mrs McCann, when raising the alarm that Madeleine was missing, screamed: 'They’ve taken her.' Some have questioned why a mother would leap to the conclusion that a child had been abducted. Mr Woofall says that he heard no suggestion in the early days that the girl had been snatched. 'Certainly I did not hear any discussion that this could be a paedophile or an aggravated robbery. All the time I was around it was whether she could have wandered off and had an accident or somebody had actually taken her in, perhaps not with ill-intent.

'During the first 48 hours the word being used was ‘missing’ rather than ‘abducted’ or any link with a paedophile or any sort of crime. Towards the end of the second week I detected a shift towards there being a consciousness that she had probably been taken rather than wandered off, just on the assumption that anybody would have found her by now.”