WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012
Press Release: Cease-and-Desist Letter issued to Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Missing Madeleine McCann
Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of the missing Madeleine McCann, find themselves for the first time at the other end of a potential legal action.
Top defense attorney, Anne Bremner, counsel to the Friends of Amanda Knox and the families of Rebecca Zahau and Susan Cox Powell, has issued a cease-and-desist letter (content posted below) on behalf of American criminal profiler Pat Brown whose book, Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann was removed from sale by Amazon following a claim by the McCanns that the book was defamatory. In recent years, the McCanns have instructed their solicitors, Carter-Ruck, to send numerous cease-and-desist letters to people who have publicly questioned their possible involvement in their daughter’s disappearance nearly five years ago while on family holiday in Portugal.
Next week …………………
Anne M. Bremner Stafford Frey Cooper, PC 3100 Two Union Square 601 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101-1374
February 1, 2012
6 St Andrew Street
London EC4A 3AE
Dear Ms. Duarte,
In July 2011, American criminal profiler, author, and television commentator, Pat Brown, released on June 15, 2011 a self-published book of thirty-pages on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de, for the price of US2.99. It was titled Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, sold 850 copies over the next five weeks and garnered 49 nearly all five star reviews on Amazon.uk alone. Then, the book vanished from sale on all three sites. Upon questioning, Pat Brown was informed by Amazon that they had received a communications from Carter-Ruck on behalf of their clients Gerald and Kate McCann that the book was defamatory.
Mon 7/25/2011 7:27 PM
We have received a notice of defamation from Carter-Ruck Solicitors that says the content of Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (UPDATED) B0055WYVCQ, contains defamatory statements regarding their clients, Gerry and Kat (sic) McCann.
Because we have no method of determining whether the content supplied to us is defamatory, we have removed the title from sale and will not reinstate it unless we receive confirmation from both parties that this matter has been resolved.
Carter-Ruck can be reached at:
6 St Andrew Street
London EC4A 3AE
T 020 7353 5005
This was quite a surprise to Pat Brown as she had never received any communications from the McCanns nor their solicitors concerning any defamatory material in this book nor had she ever received any communication concerning any defamatory material in her blogs on the case she has posted online at The Daily Profiler over the last four years.
As Ms. Brown is an analyst of evidence, she is careful to not state anything as a fact that is not a fact and to clearly state what is a hypothesis or a theory as opposed to proof. She has publicly and repeated explained to anyone reading her analyses of crime that criminal profiling is a methodology which explores the possible and theoretical scenarios that might be considered as logical based on evidence connected with the crime - forensic, linguistic, or behavioral.
Any findings resulting from investigative tools which are not acceptable in certain courts of law (such as cadaver dogs or polygraphs) are noted as suitable for speculation, but not as solid proof of anyone’s guilt or involvement in criminal activities. Criminal profiling itself is an investigative tool and not a finding of guilt as Pat Brown clearly notes in her book.
Due to the speculative, if analytical, nature of Deductive Criminal Profiling, the methodology used by Pat Brown, she was careful to repeat numerous times throughout her publication that she was not accusing the McCanns of being involved in any crime or in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine.
She was clearly only “purporting a theory” and exercising “free speech,” both manners of communication Gerry McCann stated he strongly supported under oath at the Leveson Inquiry on November 23, 2011 in London:
I would like to emphasise that I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but where you have people who are repeatedly carrying out inaccuracies and have been shown to do so, then they should be held to account. That is the issue. I don't have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, suggestions, but clearly we've got to a stage where substandard reporting and sources, unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable, are a daily occurrence.” Gerry McCann
As Pat Brown also believes in free speech and the right to purport a theory, it would seem she and Gerry McCann are in agreement that any work that purports a theory as opposed to false statements of fact is acceptable under freedom of speech. Pat Brown’s Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann opens up discussion of what happened to the McCann’s daughter, further stimulating interest in the case, and keeping Madeleine in the minds of the public.
As the McCanns claim this is what they want, Pat Brown’s book is in accordance with this desire.
In fact, it is the McCanns themselves who have clearly encouraged massive interest and speculation on this case. Pat Brown is in no way, therefore, infringing on any wish to keep talk about the case to a minimum.
By speaking and writing out quite often and in such a high profile manner, the McCanns have succeeded in making Madeleine McCann the most well-known missing child in modern history (since the Lindbergh baby in 1932).
They have stimulated debate worldwide as to what happened to Madeleine. They have publicly purported their own theories; that someone took Madeleine because they wanted to raise a child, that she is being held captive in a sex ring, and that a pedophile had taken her.
They have publicly disclosed many details of the case and repeatedly told their version of what occurred before, during, and after the disappearance of the daughter.
They have discussed their emotions, behaviors, and opinions.
Pat Brown is carrying on that discussion.
Utmost of importance in the entire matter, is the handling and funding of child abduction cases, the prevailing attitudes toward these crimes, and the future of catching child predators.
Because the victims are so young and innocent, missing children are among the most publicized cases in the world. In the last three decades with the increase of the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, awareness of child sex predators and stranger child abduction has radically increased fears of parents that their child will be taken and murdered. In reality, stranger abduction continues to be exceedingly rare for children of Madeleine’s age. Regardless, the paranoia that is engendered when a small child goes missing is a great stress to the community, the police, and resources.
Therefore, it is extremely important that each and every case be properly analyzed and understood so that wrong ideas aren’t promulgated and funding and efforts are wasted investigating such crimes improperly.
Each child that goes missing is a terrible tragedy for the parents, siblings, relative, friends, and community. Pat has great empathy for any family of a missing child and, most of all, compassion for the innocent young person who has suffered abuse, terror, sexual assault, and, possibly, an early death at the hands of others.
We are requesting that you respect Pat Brown’s right to free speech and to purport a theory as Gerry McCann has stated is not a problem for him. We request that the claim of libel be retracted for the Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the book permitted to be returned for sale at Amazon.
Anne M. Bremner