With Madeleine’s height, the position is much clearer. Or is it?
Gerry McCann´s first witness statement makes Madeleine 90cm tall. In Kate McCann’s witness statement, she makes Madeleine 90cm tall. Gonçalo Amaral says in his book the description of Madeleine McCann that was circulated described her as having blonde hair, blue-green eyes, approximately 90cm tall, nearly 4 years old, dressed in white and pink pyjamas. Thus everyone was looking for a girl 90cm tall.
However, the initial description of the pyjamas was circulated incorrectly, so Portuguese police bought an identical outfit from M&S, for a girl aged 2 to 3 (rather than 3 to 4 or 4 to 5). Madeleine should have been outgrowing her pyjamas. After being photographed for public consumption, the pyjamas were sent to a forensic lab so the lab would have a matching sample should the need arise. The letter accompanying the pyjamas notes the size of girl these pyjamas are intended for – 97cm.
So it’s back to the RCPCH charts to find out how tall a UK girl should be on her 4th birthday.
If Madeleine was tiny enough to be at the height doctor’s would have been concerned about her medical condition, she would have been about 91.5cm, and that is close enough to 90 to not split hairs, except that is so small that medical alarm bells start ringing.
If she was smaller than 98 comparable girls out of 100, she should have been 94cm, and the pyjamas would have been a decent fit.
If she was smaller than 3 out of 4 girls her age, she should should have been a metre.
If she was average height, she should have been around 1m 02cm to 1m 03cm. The pyjamas would be getting a little bit too small for her.
Making Madeleine around 10 to 12 cm taller may not seem like much, and it probably wasn’t critical to the initial search, but it does after other factors quite significantly.
Instead of being shorter than the window sill in her bedroom, Madeleine is taller by a fair bit.
By being bigger, she is harder to carry through the window and also harder to pass through the window.
Leicestershire police asked the Tapas group whether Gerry had taken his own tennis equipment. I’d suggest they were more interested in whether he had a bag large enough to carry Madeleine. Now any carrying bag would need to be 10% to 15% bigger.
When Scotland Yard conducted their operation in Luz in June 2014, they quickly found out that digging a small hole, even with pick-axes and spades, is not really a viable option for a startled burglar, an abductor, or anyone from the Tapas group. 90cm is not do-able. A metre plus is even worse.
At over a metre, a concealment site gets tougher to achieve, no matter by whom.
Simple disposal of a body also gets a lot tougher.
Visitors to Luz have been known to look around and then state to their friends how easy it would be to hide a body in the surrounds. In truth, the opposite applies. As Madeleine’s size increases, it becomes a much, much harder challenge for those not wholly familiar with Luz.
Gonçalo Amaral, a person who was not familiar with Luz, made a lot of mistakes about the character and layout of Luz. In order to support his theory that the McCanns disposed of Madeleine’s body, or even further, concealed the body, retrieved the body, and then disposed of it, he came up with methods that don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny.
There is a method whereby the McCanns could have hidden Madeleine’s body, retrieved it once they had a hire car, and then disposed of it. However, the detective in charge of the investigation, with his long experience of Portugal, could not think of it, so how could the McCanns?
Equally, why run the risky operation of retrieving the body when it had already been hidden so well that extensive searches had not found it?
If you can answer how you dispose of a human body, 12kg to 16 kg in weight, somewhat over a metre tall, then you have made progress in the Madeleine McCann case. Equally, if you understand how difficult it is to dispose of the same human body, you narrow the potential answers.
Human, 12kg to 16kg, around 1.02m. That is the problem.