A message was sent to the CrimeRocket contact page today by someone identifying herself as an”Irish freelance journalist”. Listed below are the five questions sent by the journalist.
- How did you turn a book on this case around so quickly?
- Would this not leave you open to allegations of shoddy research or paraphrasing the work of journalists who covered this case.
- It seems incomprehensible that a book could be published so quickly on this very sensitive story especially since the young girl’s funeral (as far as we know) has still not taken place.
- Did you contact the family before you self published?
- Was this merely an attempt by yourself to cash in on the public interest in this mystery?
It’s clear that the journalist in question has a negative bias against the work done by CrimeRocket on this case, and that the attitude is, on the whole, undermining of the attempts made to research and investigate the Quoirin case.
While researching NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST it was clear the media narrative was being carefully and strategically controlled in a professional manner by professional players. This didn’t make sense in terms of the circumstances of the case. It also didn’t make sense that the parents were absolutely certain an abductor was involved, despite the police repeatedly saying it was more likely Nora had wandered off. In the end, is there more evidence of an abduction or a child wandering off and getting lost?
One thing that was clear, was that the media narrative was being fueled from abroad, rather than engaging where it mattered – in Malaysia. If Nora was abducted in Negeri Sembilan, then why not engage with the media in Negeri Sembilan? How could the British, Irish and French media serve any other purpose besides pressuring the police in an already difficult and fraught situation?
If it was clear that the media’s strings were being actively pulled, it was also clear that such a player would perhaps not appreciate a narrator who was not part of this media ecosystem, influencing the narrative. That possibility remains, and this “contact” may well be part of that.
In terms of the questions:
1. How did you turn a book on this case around so quickly?
For one thing, blogging on a daily basis on the case meant a lot of information was aggregated and analysed early. To date 38 blog posts have been published on CrimeRocket2, or roughly 1.65 posts on the Quoirin case per day. This post is the 39th, and the first in direct response to an inquiry from the media. CrimeRocket has also actively discussed this case on social media, including at the hashtag #NoraQuoirin.
The book on Nora Quoirin is the 93rd Rocket Science book, and the 8th book written in 2019. All 8 books were written within a similar turnaround cycle.
Just as the first Chris Watts book was published on September 10, 2018, three weeks after the Watts Family Murders, NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST was published on a similar turnaround time. The ambit of CrimeRocket is to deliver superlative analysis fast, as the Mission Statement below illustrates:
From CrimeRocket Toolbox:
Rocket Science Mission Statement:
- To conduct a thorough search of something
- A thorough test in order to make sure there are no problems or defects
There’s a reason why authentic true crime narratives need to exist. Counterfeit narratives exist in the public domain. The only way to answer counterfeit narratives is to counter them, which is what the authentic narratives seek to do.
TCRS Unique Selling Proposition:
To deliver accurate, accessible true crime narratives quicker, better and more effectively than anyone else.
2. Would [writing a book quickly] not leave you open to allegations of shoddy research or paraphrasing the work of journalists who covered this case. [No question mark to this question]
You don’t seem to have done your research into CrimeRocket. You seem to have absolutely no idea what it’s about.
One could apply the criticism of shoddy journalism equally to many of the reporters covering this case, where, for example, there has been little journalistic consistency on a range of issues, including:
- Whether Nora slept upstairs, downstairs or in her own room
- Whether it was Nora’s bedroom window that was open, and whether it was the upstairs window, downstairs window or in the window in the lounge/kitchen area
- Where precisely the trail of the sniffer dogs stopped? This would indicate for example where Nora was going when she wandered off [if she] or where she was abducted [if she was]. One would imagine this evidence would be vital and yet it wasn’t even addressed
- The exact area where Nora’s body was found has been identified as 600 metres from the resort, and at various other distances up to 2.5 kilometres
It beggars belief that on such fundamental questions, the media doesn’t seem to know or care about the answers.
Besides this, a battle has waged in the media over whether Nora was abducted or whether she wandered off on her own. It seems the British tabloids overwhelmingly repeated the Quoirin version of events [citing an abduction] while also opportunistically conflating the bogus McCann narrative with this one, and sticky taping that onto this case, arguably with disastrous and fatal results.
In sum, this question of shoddy research and paraphrasing the work of others ought to be directed equally to media commentators associated with this case, such as Jim Gamble, Clarence Mitchell and the McCanns themselves.
3. It seems incomprehensible that a book could be published so quickly on this very sensitive story especially since the young girl’s funeral (as far as we know) has still not taken place. [No question mark to this statement]
This is a repeat of the first question.
In terms of sensitivity, it’s true, this is a very sensitive story and given Nora’s unique vulnerabilities, a very tragic story too. It would seem the length of her disappearance was a) unnecessarily long, b) the failure of hundreds searching for her but not finding her is inexplicable and c) the nature of her death – essentially of starvation – doesn’t reflect well on anyone.
But while there is so little transparency in terms of the investigation, or the results, and since the family have elected not to engage with the media except to appeal for fundraising, it falls to someone else to find out what happened to the poor teenager.
The family have been quite adamant that they don’t wish to speak to the media, something that remains the case at the present time, but it was something that was also very clear in Malaysia, and even clearer once Nora was found deceased in the jungle.
Nora Quoirin to be buried in Belfast on September 10th – L’yonne Republicaine
In terms of the cynical remark that a book was brought out prior to the funeral, news only emerged at midday today that the funeral is to be held early next week in Ireland. The book was published two days ago, on September 3rd, although listed on Amazon as September 2nd. At that time the nature of funeral arrangements were being withheld from the public, but it’s reasonable to assume 2-3 weeks after her death that it had taken place already.
In terms of sensitivity, the editor of the book assured the research was “well-balanced”.
4. Did you contact the family before you self published?
No. The family made it clear repeatedly that they didn’t wish to be asked and wouldn’t respond to any questions from the media. Even when police wished to interview Nora’s siblings, their lawyer [hired on day two] prevented this.
It appears the family have retained a second lawyer in France as well, who occasionally makes statements on their behalf, such as most recently regarding the date and location of the funeral. Furthermore, all questions and answers throughout this incident were being funneled through a media spokesman.
It should be noted, as soon as the family and extended family addressed the media, and involved the media, they made themselves public figures.
5. Was this merely an attempt by yourself to cash in on the public interest in this mystery?
The ambit of True Crime Rocket Science is to interrogate high-profile cases, especially those that are not dealt with appropriately in the international media. This case is a classic example of how the media narrative can contaminate an investigation.
It’s also the ambit of TCRS to analyse these cases as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that often information that comes to light in the beginning is later redacted, or removed. In this case Nora’s mother made her Facebook page private. It was nevertheless possible to see Nora’s mother had trouble sleeping in the days prior to the disappearance. This fact isn’t raised as a judgement, but in an effort to try to understand which dynamics played a role in this incident.
In terms of cashing in, the media exposure surrounding this case allowed the Quoirin family to raise over £100 000, including fundraising that continued for weeks after Nora was found. It would be good if we can see how these publicly raised moneys were spent. The reward money intended to pay for anyone who came forward with information that would lead to the family finding Nora was also never paid.
In terms of writing books = “cashing in”, it’s strange that journalists like yourself, photographers, and the media involved in covering this case aren’t asked the same question. When a crime is committed, should journalists maintain a respectful distance, or turn away out of deference to the victim? Should we maintain our silence for a prescribed period before reporting on a case so that families can grieve? What about social media? Should social media be placed on lock-down too, according to you? And yet in this instance, the media were actively invited to participate by the family of the missing girl.
True crime is all about focus, and paying attention to detail. It’s by paying attention, especially in a case where foul play is suspected all along, that we stand a chance of preventing the same thing happening again. That is justice of a sort.
I notice in your questions, you don’t ask a single question about insights that have come about as a result of the research, or how some of the unknown aspects of this case were addressed. All of it is preconceived bias and contempt.
Is the media trying to cash in on public interest? If so, at least do the victims the honor of finding out the truth in these cases, and then reporting accurately. Or is the truth and truth-telling too much to ask?