Sunday, November 14, 2010

2008: McCanns to write 'Year of hell book'

Daily Mail Sun 27th April 2008

Kate and Gerry McCann are to write a book about their 'year of hell'
without missing daughter Madeleine, it was revealed yesterday.

The couple could make up to £1million in a deal for a tell-all memoir
about Madeleine's disappearance and their eight months as police

Several publishers have approached them amid intense interest in the
year-long case, sparking the possibility of a bidding frenzy for the

The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they wanted to raise
money for the dwindling Find Madeleine appeal fund, and to counter a
campaign of smears from inside the police investigation.

Last week it emerged that the former head of the Madeleine
investigation, Goncalo Amaral, has written a book about the case, with
the working title 'The Truth of the Lie'.

Insiders said it would contain explosive details about the police
inquiry and the decision to name the McCanns as suspects, or

Mr Mitchell confirmed that Mr McCann, 39, had met with one publishing
house and had been approached by several others.

He insisted any money raised by a book would go to the Find Madeleine
fund, and not to the McCanns themselves.

Mr Mitchell said: 'A number of publishers have approached us, as have
some authors, but no deal has been done.

'The idea of writing an official book at some point is appealing. It's
a legitimate way of raising money for the fund but would also give
them a chance to put across their side of the story, and to talk about
some of the wider issues.'

The McCanns have considered a series of lucrative deals to fund their
continuing search for their missing daughter, who disappeared from
their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, almost a year ago.

Madeleine, then three, was left alone with her two-year-old twin
brother and sister while their parents went out for dinner nearby with

They suffered a public backlash after it emerged that their
representatives had begun negotiations with the world's largest
entertainment agency, IMG, over selling the film rights to their
story, and discussed bids from Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters in
the U.S. for their first major chatshow appearance.

Mr and Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, remain desperate to
raise money for the Find Madeleine fund amid fears that the
£1.2million raised from public donations will run out within months.

The independent television production company Mentorn Media made a
£10,000 donation to the fund in return for the couple's cooperation
with a two-hour documentary, due to be shown on ITV1 on Wednesday

In the film Mrs McCann, 40, spoke of her renewed hope that her oldest
daughter was still alive but admitted that on some days she was
'desperate' and considered giving up.

She said: 'You have days when you're so down and desperate and tired,
you think you've got to switch off and I think, okay, we've tried
really hard and we've come up with nothing and now we need to make the
best of what we've got.

'(But) we're never going to hit that day. It doesn't matter how small
the possibility is (of Madeleine being found alive), the possibility
is still there.'

She added: 'There were many moments where we hit rock bottom and
sobbed, wondering how we could survive without knowing where our
little girl was.

'It is pure torture to deal with and it has been a long year of hell.
But what keeps us going is our overwhelming faith that Madeleine is
alive and will come home.'

Mrs McCann, a former GP, told how her twins Sean and Amelie, now
three, used their toy phones to try to 'call' Madeleine and play games
where they try to find her.

Mr Mitchell said the couple were 'daunted' by the approaching
anniversary on Saturday and the publicity surrounding it, but wanted
to use it as a chance to 're-energise' the search for their missing

He said their detective agency Metodo 3 continued to receive leads
from all over the world and the McCanns were still inundated with
letters of support.

Mr Mitchell refused to comment on reports they had received death
threats to their home but said they had contacted police over two

He said: 'The vast majority is supportive, or at least polite, but
very occasionally there is something nasty. On two occasions we have
had to refer it to the police, but I don't want to go into any detail
about that.'

A book about the couple's ordeal could raise £1million for the Find
Madeleine fund, according to the former head of buying for
Waterstone's, Scott Pack.

He said: 'It could go for a million. There is a feeling that we know
everything there is to know about this story but the public are still

'It has the potential to be of enormous interest with buyers across
the market, from the literary middle class audience who think "This
could have been us" to the mass market who buy books in supermarkets
and have been devouring this story for a year.'

But publisher Patrick Jenson-Smith said it could be difficult to sell
'a story without a conclusion'.

Books by Sara Payne, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne,
and Kevin Wells, the father of Soham murder victim Holly Wells, both
dominated the bestsellers lists in Britain for months.

A series of books about the year-long hunt for Madeleine, written by
journalists, criminologist and policemen, have already proved popular
in Portugal.