Posted here because it has subsequently been removed from the cesspit.FACT TRACK: My Search for Madeleine' by Jon Clarke of the Olive Press Empty Re: FACT TRACK: My Search for Madeleine' by Jon Clarke of the Olive Press
Post by PeterMac Today at 14:13
OPEN LETTER TO JON CLARKE
Firstly I congratulate you on consulting a lawyer before publishing this book. Adam Oliver has clearly been worth his weight in gold, and the ad hominem attacks on me are slightly more muted and vague than before.
I wonder now if you would seek his advice on the libels about me you published some years ago in the Olive Press, still on-line, which you have never retracted and for which you have still not apologised.
You have previously sought to give the impression that we barely knew each other in Ronda, indeed using that form of words on one occasion.
I note then that here you now grudgingly admit that we did, and that I knew you and your growing family, that we skied together celebrating a mutual friend’s son’s birthday, having driven the 200km, 2 hrs each way in my BMW Z1, during which we talked at length about things of mutual interest.
Perhaps people should also know that I was a perhaps infrequent but welcomed visitor to your house, as you were to mine, and took an interest in your reconstruction and renovation project, sharing with you my experiences in doing the same to my own -
And that I ‘lent’ you my itinerant odd-job man Terry Williams for some months during which he cleared the brush in your small river -
And that we discussed the pros and cons of the placing of your pool, again drawing on my experiences -
And that I was social friends with at least two of your staff operating from the “cow shed” offices opposite the house -
And that from time to time I gave you the “heads up” on stories which you were then able to cover as exclusive, the most memorable being the elaborate wedding of Desirée, the daughter of the Principe Alfonso Maximiliano Victorio Eugenio Alejandro María Pablo de la Santísima Trinidad y Todos los Santos zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, . . to Count Thibault D’Ursel in 2012 - the morning coat and top hat do with many of the nobility of Europe in attendance, followed by the reception at the Bodega in your village –
And that we met socially on several occasions, including another wedding, as we shared the same circle of ex-pat friends -
And perhaps that during what you call an angry exchange only one of us was angry but that as you report you calmed down with a couple of cans of beer on the terrace overlooking my pool and conceded during that civilised and cordial but frank exchange that “You know more about that case than I do…” or words to that effect.
I am reassured that you now have my name and service details more or less correct. Less so that you say that the retirement of an officer of full pensionable age when no further promotion was possible given the reduction in Senior ranks caused by the re-organisation of the Force is in some way “open to conjecture”.
In what way, pray ? And perhaps you should speak to your lawyer before answering.
You talk about the Olive Press having exposed so many crooks around Andalucia, but appear to use that as an argument that you must not be criticised in this particular case.
As you know, and as I have frequently said and published, I am second to none in my contention that good and investigative journalism is at the heart of our democratic freedoms.
What is deadly is when the press and media are manipulated, whether by politics, money, greed, other pressures or simply ignorance of what is going on.
You quote the Rules of Journalism, the five Ws. When, Where, Why, hoW, and Who.
But you omit the most important one Police officers always start with – WHAT ?
“Stick to those and you can’t go wrong”. Your words.
The difference between us is that I am still looking for evidence of What, and of When, of Where, and of Why, before I even consider HoW or Who.
You appear to have swallowed what you were initially told, without considering the almost total lack of evidence for what has become the ‘official story’, and apparently dismissing out of hand the wealth of evidence against that story, and for a very different one.
You were there. The world knows that. There is film of you with the gaggle of journalists, shaking hands with a police officer, watching the many police dogs in operation, watching the scenes of crime girl trying to take fingerprints from shutters which were NOT broken, forced, smashed or jemmied, watching the McCanns leaving from Apartment 4G – not 5A – heavily protected against questions from roving reporters by some of the Tapas group and two minders, and there is film of you not speaking to them as they left.
So the question remains, Jon, why did you not put on your investigative hat and ask the sixth W ?
What happened to Madeleine McCann ?
Why did you, and do you, uncritically accept what you have been told, even when the ‘Official story’ – the What, makes little sense and cannot even be reconciled with the ‘Official evidence’ – the How and When ?
To change the subject slightly, you now seek to extricate yourself from the trench story, by saying on p.11
“I am baffled to know why it matters . .”
I am baffled to know why an investigative journalist is baffled that an important detail such as the exact location of a deep trench into which a child might have fallen and been deliberately or inadvertently buried is not of crucial importance in an investigation into a missing or abducted child.
From our first day at Police Training College the words “attention to detail” were drummed in. It starts with neat hair cuts, sharply pressed uniforms and bulled boots, and extends to the exact words used by an accused on arrest and every detail in a prosecution file.
I am still baffled why, when you have clearly read the Chapter of the e-book, and have had 12 years of access to the PJ files, you still pretend not to know where the trench actually was. If you genuinely do not even now, that surely indicates some professional blindness.
And just so that you, and everyone else is in no doubt at all, the statement that “I am pretty certain that he [MacLeod] … made a fair bit of money from it and any related pursuits” on p.68. is potentially libellous.
I have never made a single ha’penny or centimo from this case, nor from any other. My e-book has had over 1.6 million hits. Charging 10cts, one hundredth the price of your book would have made me very rich. But I did not.
I am not paid in the way you are, selling a photo of two people in an intensely private situation to the Sun and then to Hello, and using the proceeds to buy your farmhouse. p.16
There are those of us who find that utterly disgusting, and it inevitably clouds the way many view your profession.
Let me try to clear the air on the specific allegation about my visiting your house.
I agreed the sale of the Finca, and in the months that followed before the new owner took possession on completion spent time visiting my support network to thank them for their help over the previous decade and a half. The laundry, the supermarket, both olive mills, the bank, all with introductions to the new owner to ensure a seamless handover of the business. I then dropped in on friends and acquaintances to impart my news.
You were on that list, and since it was during the run-up to Christmas I did the traditional thing and took two small bags of gold wrapped chocolate coins as gifts for the children to place under the tree.
I had of course no idea that you had abandoned your wife and children – ‘separated’ is the word you use.
Your wife was not there, and so I left my card with the friend who was minding the children and the house to show who had called as common decency and traditional etiquette would demand.
There was no reason for her to contact me. The message will have been passed by the friend. If that was unnerving then I can only say it was not intended to be, but if your abandoned wife was emotionally fragile then I can quite understand and I am sorry.
So to sum up. A comprehensive and detailed account of your peregrinations across Europe and collecting evidence of Christian Brückner’s undoubted murky and criminal past.
But as to taking us any further towards finding what happened to Madeleine, I am not so sure.
Notice that attention to detail does not include getting the year correct!