Metodo 3 and Clarence Mitchell who worked together to sell fabricated Maddie sightings to the media
Following their elevation to arguido status in early September the McCanns decided to engage the services of Metodo 3, a Barcelonabased agency run by one Fransisco Marco to carry out their own investigation. Naturally it costs money to hire private detectives, but fortunately the McCann family have a benefactor in the form of the double-glazing multi-millionaire Brian K ennedy who is reportedly footing the bill for the six-month contract which might turn out to be as much as £750,000. It was however certainly the case that Kennedy's money was paying for the services of Clarence Mitchell, ex-BBC News reporter and former Downing Street spin doctor, who left his government job on the 18th September to take up the role of chief spokesman for the McCanns.
According to the News of the World, Metodo 3 were a "CRACK new team of private eyes" who "have NEVER FAILED to find a missing person they've hunted", who would be "using all their significant resources across several countries" whilst they had "dozens of agents worldwide" who would be "working on the mystery for the McCanns, with more on standby". Clarence Mitchell also expressed "every confidence in Metodo 3", explaining that "they can get to places faster and work quicker than anyone else and have the capacity to work worldwide."
However as the Daily Telegraph noted, Metodo was in fact "a small family-run agency" which had been established some twenty-three years previously by Marco's mother, Marita Fernandez. The Evening Standard even checked their accounts for 2005 and found that, apart from having made a loss, at that time the agency employed only twelve people, although apparently this had since risen to a complement of twenty-seven.
(There was the little matter of the 1995 police raid on their offices and charges of illegal phone tapping and industrial espionage, but these do not of course matter as the charges were later dismissed, being judged to be nothing more than a case of police entrapment.) As to the agency's claim that they had a "100 per cent" success rate in abduction cases and had reunited twenty-three missing children and teenagers with their families, when the Sunday Telegraph tried to obtain some more detail on these cases from Francisco Marco, he was apparently to busy to respond to their questions.
One must presume that Francisco Marco was simply reluctant to admit that his agency actually hadn't done that much in the personal investigation line.
As Marco himself claimed during an interview in 2003, as far as his agency was concerned "Our focus is companies", or as Manuel Marlaska, a journalist from the Spanish magazine Interviu put it, "Most of their work is to do with investigating company fraud", which would explain why their senior employees are all lawyers.
With their wealth of experience in investigating company fraud Metodo 3 were soon convinced that Madeleine had been abducted to order by an organised gang of Moroccan paedophiles, and so spent their time running arround Morocco tracking down various sightings of blonde haired girls.
Of course this did not prevent them from rushing off to Bosnia to chase up another sighting of another blonde haired girl having a tantrum outside a local supermarket. None of which proved anything other than the fact that all blonde toddlers look like Madeleine McCann from a distance. Soon however, all these red herrings were to become a thing of the past
NEWS OF THE WORLD EXCLUSIVE IMAGES OF AP 5A.