Tuesday, May 21, 2024

PeterMac's review of The Foreign Detective Bernt Stellander's book: The Sudden Impulse


Review of Bernt Stellander's book: The Sudden Impulse


It is a BIG BOOK.   24 x 16 x 4.5.  [Clarke’s is a conventional B format paper back 20 x 13 x 2]
It has 850 pages [Clarke’s - 273]
It is heavy, at 1.55 kg.   [Clarke's - 300g]
The cover and the paper are of a higher specification than normal
The glue for the binding is very thick.

It is so heavy and so thick and so stiff I confess I chopped my copy into three volumes.
The second part of the book is conveniently the final 250 pages, and the first two thirds divide neatly at page 274
It takes some doing.   Sharp Swiss army knife and several passes through the thick glue and the glossy card cover, but it is worth the effort and the sacrifice for you then have a THREE volume Dissertation, [each one longer than Clarke’s] that you can open, hold in comfort and read.

The contents pages lay out his approach.

He adopts the method of ‘argumentum ad absurdum’ a form of questioning so beloved of Socrates and other philosophers since.
Start by accepting unquestioningly what the ‘witnesses’ say and see where the logic takes you.

I used it in my chapter 5 for example
GM said he was in the apartment, saw M and left at 2113
JT said she saw the “abductor’ carrying M at 2115
THEREFORE everything necessary had to happen between those two times.
And since there very clearly is not enough time, the argumentum is absurdum

The response can be two fold.   The protagonist may realise the absurdity and admit error, 
OR, as in this case, may seek to change, or add details, to include for example the even more absurd suggestion of the abductor’s already being in the apartment hiding behind a door.  The fact that the door in question opens flush against the wall being conveniently not mentioned.

Socrates might have asked a supplementary question but here there is no need. The whole thing has been exposed as untrue.

Berndt Stellander relentlessly pursues and dissects each important part in the McCanns’ and Tapas’ statements in the first half kilo of the book (274 pages) exposing the absurdities and contradictions between and among them.

Of course much of this has been done before, but piecemeal. This is a whole ‘volume’ – longer than Clarke’s entire book – dedicated to this one issue.  It is comprehensive and compelling, however familiar many of us are with the examples he chooses.

In the second half kilo (328 pages) Stellander addresses the issue of when the death occurred. 
Most people by now realise that “during the evening of Thursday 3rd” is not possible for the reasons we all know which he sets out again.

Many researchers have come to their own more or less tentative conclusions about the order of events during the week.    Stellander builds on them and weaves in various of the more coherent statements to arrive at Tuesday 2nd May.   Some may not agree, but his logic seems good. 

He then commits to paper his theory of what the sequence was from that point, the sequestration of the body, and the subsequent burial in its final resting place, giving dates.

He goes into details about why he believes the grave is where it is, using for the most part Kate’s statements, diary, and interviews.      He interprets them as ‘leakage’ in line with ‘statement analysis’ and then shows where the widely reported, publicised and photographed runs up the hill in the matching outfits, complete with carefully timings fit into the deception.

Then the final half kilo. Worth its weight in gold, if only for the account of his nocturnal activities, his searches, his lying in wait under bushes and in a small cave for nights on end.

He starts by predicting their return around the anniversary, publicised by Kate in her book and many women’s magazines and the gutter press.  And he was correct.

He sets up “Trail cams”, and tells the story of his struggles to make them work and not ‘alert’ to blades of grass moving with the breeze.
He then details a series of anonymous emails he sends to the McCanns, alerting them to the possibility that the ‘site’ had been discovered.
On cue they walk into the frame and are caught on camera.  NOT in running kit.  

And so on

I shall stop here, so as not to ruin the surprises to come.
The photos are not included in the book, but are promised on two websites, which are under construction.

The chosen locations however, are included.

Throughout the book he expresses sympathy for the parents,  not only for the accidental death of their first born child, but for the impossible and grave situation they all, including the Tapas 7, and many others are trapped due to what he calls ‘a Sudden Impulse’.
Gerry.  “Sometimes people do things for reasons that even they cannot understand”
“An act of madness and accident or a sudden impulse could lead to consequences that people may never have imagined or intended”
“faced with such a situation we believe any human soul ultimately suffer torment and feelings of guilt and fear”

He has great sympathy towards Kate, who he believes, as many of us do, has been torn apart and racked by guilt, having lost her child and her profession.  Almost everything she has said after 3/5/7 reveals a desire to tell the truth, to speak out, “to shout it from the roof tops”. 
As Stellander points out, even in the forward of her own book she tells us she cannot tell the whole truth,  Just a “version of it”.

Kate; Book p.2 “On the whole Jerry and I have managed to dig deep and remain focused although the temptation to shout the truth from the rooftops has always been there. There have been many times when I have struggled to keep myself together and to understand how such injustices of been allowed to go unchallenged over and over again. I have had to keep saying to myself: I know the truth, we know the truth, and God knows the truth.  And one day the truth will out [but not today nor in this book! PM. ] Publishing the truth is fraught with risks for our family. It leaves us open to more criticism for a start.”

His wish is that the revelations in this book allow them - all - to confess, and to atone for what they have done.

It is of course purely coincidental that Stellander’s announcement that the Book launch was to be on 2/5/24, his anniversary date, and that the McCanns for the first time in 17 years decided not to attend the Service in Rothley to mark their anniversary date, but instead went on ‘holiday’ to a “secret resort"
Tracy Kandohla :  “Mr Brian Kennedy - Maddie’s great uncle, [“Fund mostly for Legal expenses,”]  -said … “Kate and Gerry have gone away, they didn't tell me where and I didn’t ask, and it is a bit of a clash. But they work very hard and they needed a break very much.”

Pure coincidence, Obviously.