Saturday, September 15, 2007
Watching the CSI Madeleine show
The sleepy and quaint Portuguese town of Praia da Luz has never witnessed such commotion and speculation.

From taxi drivers, churchgoers and waiters to the tourists -- everyone here has an opinion on what's behind the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

But with little or no official evidence being provided by authorities, many see the mysterious case as real life CSI playing before their eyes.

From the moment we landed in Portuguese soil, we witnessed the dramatization of this case first hand. Hundreds of journalists from around the world planted themselves outside the somewhat degraded and tiny police station in Portimao. Restrained by police barricades, we looked like stuffed Portuguese sardines. But we weren't the only ones that looked out of place here.

Tourists too in their flip-flops and summer hats, still smelling of perfumed sun tan lotion -- have anxiously awaited word on the fate of Kate and Gerry McCann.

After hours under the intense Portuguese sun, their spokespeople revealed that Kate and Gerry had been made suspects. As our reporter informed CNN viewers around the world of that surprise decision, those on the ground listened attentively to the report, gasping at the news.

Some 24 hours after being made "arguidos," I get a call telling me the McCann's are leaving the country. We pick up our gear, call a taxi and within 15 minutes we're outside the McCann's villa -- the first on the scene. As dawn breaks, the McCann's make a fast exit, quickly chased by TV crews and snappers. This sight was once again all too familiar.

Little has been officially said of what's happened to Madeleine. That day will soon come. In the meantime however, speculation, regardless of how ludicrous, is making every reader, listener and spectator, armchair forensic experts.

Let's just hope this narrative doesn't reach a new cruel reality.

-- From CNN International Producer Isa Soares in Praia da Luz, Portugal
Thanks, Isa! I have two questions for you, or for anyone who may be able to answer:

1. How many reporters have been covering the story at the most intense times, like the recent change to "arguidos" status?

2. How is the town people (the locals, not the tourists or media) reacting to the story - do they appreciate the effects of the media coverage or do they believe that it hurts their town?
We all think to have the answer for the unknowns in the case, basing our affirmations probably on Sunday afternoon crash courses in forensic investigation. We though seem to forget that CSI is a TV series but this "case" is not a chapter and the suffering of the McCann's won't end when the director says cut...
I don't want to sound like one of the "armchair forensic experts" but undoubtely there's something dark in this case.
I just hope that all the attention on the parent's implication in Madeleine's disappearance won't distract the public from the real issue of this investigation: Madelaine's thereabouts.
It's all going too far now. By their explosive headlines the Portuguese press seem to be fulling the other world press into a frenzie and speculation is rife.
This case is now getting way out of hand. The explosive comments made by the Portuguese press are fuling the fire of the world's media and making things worse.
No matter what the end result may bed, Kate and Gerry McCann will always be responsible. They left their children alone while wining and dining. Their negligence caused the whole thing. You just done leave three small children alone. abm in the usa
people can be so cruel, it is very easy to blame the parents and now accussations on them is deviating attention and resources from the real deal which is trying to find the little girl.
In the end, the parents are always responsible; a good parent never leaves their young kids by alone in the house much less 3 kids!!!!
I don’t understand why is it that if this happen to someone poor we would be looking in to irresponsibility of the parents but because in this case they both doctors we been looking to everything but the parents responsibility! Being a good parents is not only about playing with your kids and love them when one feels like it, is understanding that their well being comes before anything else. Madeline parents may not be direct involved with her disappearing but they are the cause why she is missing!
My heart and prays go to Madeline. I hope she is safe and well.
That's odd. I didn't realise that a child being kidnapped was a show and the world was the audience. I thought it was a kidnapping that was getting extensive media coverage.
Some one out there took Madeleine and that some one will continue to take other children. It is a number one priority that this person (s) will be found asap and be stop for the safety of Madeline and any other child around the world. Chil safety is first in any news.
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