Category: The pack attack

Friday, May 11, 2018

Overview Of All Our Powerpoints For Those Many On Media Threads Praising Them

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Perugia from the Rome direction; railway station at center-left

1. Post Overview

These brilliant Powerpoints have been getting effusive praise online and in emails by many who began with them.

Others have posted asking how to find them.  We are very grateful for their interest. Here they all are, the complete set. One is by James Raper, one by Fly By Night, two by Nikki, and the others by that indefatigable frog Kermit.

They are often very funny, mostly bothersome to the humorless Knox attack-sheep, and always technically excellent. But their main draw appears to be that they are so explanatory, so highly compelling.

Watch a few and the sense that the Italians got things right can get to be unshakable.  While videos can be telling, Powerpoints look to be even more telling. Other victim sites might well benefit from this model.

2. All Our Powerpoints

1. Click for Post:  A Witness Trashed By Paul Ciolino For CBS In Fact Looks Very Credible (Kermit)

2. Click for Post:  A Comprehensive Guide To The Relevant Locations (Kermit)

3. Click for Post:  A Minute By Minute Visual Guide To The Events On The Night (Kermit)

4. Click for Post:  A Very Odd House, In A Very Odd Location (Kermit)

5. Click for Post:  A Graphical Tour Of The Crime Scene Itself (Kermit)

6. Click for Post:  Trace Evidence Seems To Confirm More Than One Perpetrator At Scene (Kermit)

7. Click for Post:  DNA Evidence - A Very Clear Intro To A Vital Subject Here (Nikki)

8. Click for Post:  Forced Entry Via Filomena’s Window Fails The Giggle Test (Kermit)

9. Click for Post:  Defense Claim AK & RS Couldn’t Have Disposed Of Meredith’s Phones Is Wrong (Kermit)

10. Click for Post:  The DNA Evidence May Be A Tough Mole To Whack (Nikki)

11. Click for Post:  Countering The Spin By The Defenses On The Recent Cottage Break-in (Kermit)

12. Click for Post:  Telling Evidence Against Sollecito The Experts Seem To Have Got Absolutely Right (Kermit)

13. Click for Post:  150 Questions For The Defendants They Have Incessantly Avoided (Kermit)

14. Click for Post:  The Telling Case Of The Doctored Footprint (Kermit)

15. Click for Post:  Justice For Meredith - The Thoughts Inspired By Two Mountains (Fly By Night)

16. Click for Post:  We Now Examine The Compelling Evidence For The REAL Railroading From Hell (Kermit)

17. Click for Post:  Total Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Guilty As Charged (James Raper with Kermit)

18. Click for Post:  Katie Couric Interviews Raffaele Sollecito! We Already Have A Sneak Preview!! (Kermit)

19. Click for Post:  Placing The Noisy Claimant Doug Preston In The Hot Seat (Kermit)

20. Click for Post:  On Contradictions, Here Preston Contradicts Preston (Kermit)

21. Click for Post:  Diane Sawyer’s Very Tough Interview With Amanda Knox: ABC’s Sneak Preview! (Kermit)


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #4

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



One of two Sollecito footprints matching in EXACT dimensions

1. What Hampikian Omits In Misleading The American Audience (2)

Hampikian’s illegal nonsense on the DNA in the case is quite obviously worse than useless.

It actually came to HURT the defenses rather than helped them, and drew the mafias in (see Part 2 below). Do please feel free to purge your mind of it, and take in our forensic Powerpoints.

Click each image below, and keep clicking.

1. DNA: A Very Clear Intro To A Vital Subject By Nicki


2. DNA Evidence May Be A Tough Mole To Whack By Nicki


3 Telling Forensic Evidence Against Sollecito By Kermit


4. How Pro-Knox Mafia Tools Doctored A Sollecito Footprint By Kermit


5. Total Evidence Suggests AK & RS Guilty By James Raper w/Kermit




2. Tip For IP Contributors

On Amanda Knox. Innocence Project Idaho rep Hampikian’s ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.


Monday, April 02, 2018

Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #3

Posted by Peter Quennell



Knox enablers Jason Flom, Barry Scheck, Greg Hampikian

(Click here to go straight to Comments. Long post.)

1. What Hampikian Omits In Misleading The American Audience (1)

Think of the evidence in the case as a giant jigsaw puzzle. Say it consists of 1000 pieces.

We at TJMK and PMF and the Wiki are finally on top of nearly all of them. Thanks especially to Italy’s amazing habit of documenting and its open-process juries and our fine translators.

In the US and UK there would be few such documents. And no reasoning at all from any black-box jury. No surprise really that the Innocence Project has many cases here - and none in Italy.

Hampikian in his frenetic marketing of Knox, in sharp contrast to our full picture, leaves out pretty well everything. The previous post by KrissyG showed this for us first.

Amazingly, Hampikian revealed he is not even clued up on the full extent of the DNA.

Now in the prosecution phases of the trial back in 2009 the judges and lay-judges were presented with all 1000 pieces of the puzzle, in 20 day-long sessions (a quarter in closed court and not reported by media in detail). Also they did voluminous side-reading of the case files.

Plus of course staring at the telling Knox and Sollecito reactions for hours and hours.

Knox obviously preferred to be daffy and her version of likable, and to try to warm up a hostile Sollecito. He was obviously sulky and angry at Knox, refusing to look at her or to speak in favor of any of her alibis. Both grimly sat through the hard-to-take closed sessions.

For us and many in Italy, the case came to be a convincingly strong one about midpoint in the trial.

That was when a defiant Knox was on the stand for two days, doing herself no good, incessantly contradicting herself and causing this typical reaction and this one.

Knocked back by this, the defenses used up only a very few court days to attempt rebuttals and attempt to squeeze nice opinions out of character witnesses. Pretty well all Italy could see the defenses were outgunned, listless, and demoralized.

Back in 2008 there had been talk of RS and AK admitting to heavy drug use or psychological issues but the parents would have none of it.

So other than incessantly beating up on Guede (an easy “out” as he was not present to defend himself) it was hard for them to find things to talk about. Some court days were cancelled because of this and Sollecito lawyer Bongiorno skipped several sessions.

This all matters. It explains things. But Hampikian omits all of it in his simplistic and ridiculous bid for glory.

He misrepresents a small fraction of the DNA evidence, reveals himself ignorant of a much bigger and equally damning fraction, and ignores all other evidence as if everything other than DNA is of lower importance.

So here below from the Wiki Evidence Masterlist is all of the forensic evidence made public by the end of 2009. (Although very extensive, this is still only about 50% of all the evidence items on the Masterlist. Hampikian hid that half also.)

Again, this was all known to the jury as of the end of trial - which like any jury anywhere can convict on ONE item if it speaks guilt to them. This was the only jury to hear the whole case. The one that voted for guilt unanimously.  As any American or British jury would have done.

Part 3 at bottom summarizes the damning court take and the Knox shills’ spin.

2. Forensic Evidence In The Public Realm By Late 2009

Area 1: The Wounds

11-01   Meredith Kercher sustained 43 wounds during the assault that killed her. (Perna closing arguments 2009)

1-02   She had 10 knife wounds and 33 other wounds. (Lalli 2009)

1-03   She had at least 15 bruises: on her mouth, nose, cheeks, jaw, neck, elbows, right forearm, small of her back, left thigh, and right lower leg. The bruises indicate she was not only restrained, but also kept from screaming for help. (Lalli 2009)

1-04   Some of the bruising on Ms. Kercher was in the shape of fingertips, with some fingertips being smaller, of a woman’s size. There were no ligature marks. (Lalli, Marchionni, Codispoti 2009)

1-05   Some of the neck bruises indicate Ms. Kercher was being choked at some point during the assault. (Liviero 2009)

1-06   The internal vaginal bruising suffered by Ms. Kercher happened before her death and was violent. (Lalli, Marchionni 2009)

1-07   She had only 2 major knife wounds, one on each side of her neck. The remaining knife wounds were minor. (Lalli 2009)

1-08   The wound on the right side of her neck was narrow and deep. The wound on the left side of her neck was wide, large, gaping and fatal. These two wounds were likely made with two different knives. (Bacci, Politi, Codispoti, Mignini 2009)

1-09   She had another knife cut just below the gaping wound on the left side of her neck. (Lalli 2009)

1-10   She had 3 other glancing knife wounds on her neck and cheeks. (Lalli 2009)

1-11   She had 3 small cuts on her right hand and one small cut on her left hand. (Lalli 2009)

1-12   Her defensive wounds were virtually non-existent, especially when compared with other single-attacker knife attacks, where knife wounds on the hands and arms are prevalent. (Cingolani, Codispoti 2009)

1-13   The wounds were compatible with an assault by multiple persons (Cingolani, Codispoti, Lalli, Liviero 2009).

1-14   Bacci, Lalli and Liviero testified that the wounds could not be ascribed with 100% certainty to a single person or multiple person assault. However Lalli and Liviero preferred the multiple person assault scenario, given the quantity and different types of wounds. (Bacci, Lalli, Liviero 2009)

1-15   Lalli confirmed under questioning by Judge Massei that if the rape happened during the assault, then the assault had to be carried out by more than one person. (Lalli 2009)

Area 2: The Blood traces

2-01   Blood traces were found all around Ms. Kercher’s bedroom, not in one specific area. (crime scene photos)

2-02   In Ms. Kercher’s bedroom, blood was found by the far wall, on and inside the closet, under the desk, by and under the bed, on the walls above the bed, on the mattress cover, on the floor in large quantities and on the door into the bedroom. (crime scene photos)

2-03   Blood was also found on the floor in the form of partial shoeprints leading out of the cottage. Blood traces were also found on the small bathroom door, in the small bathroom (on the light switch, sink, bidet, bathroom floor mat, etc.), possibly on a few items in Knox’s bedroom, and also in Luminol-revealed traces found on the floor in the corridor, in Knox’s bedroom and in Romanelli’s bedroom. (crime scene photos, Codispoti 2009)

2-04   No blood traces were found near, leading to or in the large bathroom where Guede defecated. (crime scene photos, Dr. Stefanoni Genetic Test report)

2-05   Blood pattern analysis indicates Ms. Kercher was fatally stabbed around 40 cm above the ground, near to the closet door. (Camana 2009)

2-06   Blood traces on the floor indicate objects were shifted or removed after Ms. Kercher had started bleeding from the fatal wound. (crime scene photos)

2-07   Ms. Kercher’s body was moved after she was stabbed, as can be seen from the blood smears on the floor. (crime scene photos)

2-08   Blood traces on the mattress cover indicate that one or more knives used in the assault were placed on the mattress cover. (Politi 2009)

2-09   Blood traces under the bed indicate someone was likely searching under the bed for something after the assault. (Codispoti 2009)

Area 3. Clothing traces

3-01   Blood was found on her sweat jacket, bra, jeans and socks. (crime scene photos)

3-02   Ms. Kercher’s bra and sweat jacket indicate she bled on the right side, likely from the knife wound on the right side of her neck, for some time before these were removed. (evidence item photos in Dr. Stefanoni’s slide presentation)

3-03   The sleeves on her sweat jacket were pulled inside-out. (Stefanoni 2009)

3-04   Blood stains on her sweat jacket and shirt indicate these were pulled up around her neck after she had been wounded. (Codispoti 2009)

3-05   Her jeans were also inside out, with blood spots inside her jeans. (Stefanoni 2009)

3-06   Her panties were found near her body, and had no blood stains. (Stefanoni 2009)

3-07   Ms. Kercher’s bra was removed after she was dead, as can be seen from blood speckles on the bra that were not found on her chest. (Micheli Motivation report, Codispoti 2009

3-08   Her body was covered with a duvet, and she only had an undershirt on. (Micheli Motivation report)

3-09   Police found a pillow, a bed sheet, a sock and two towels under her body. (Nencini Motivation Report- citing Lalli’s site report)

3-10   Guede’s bloody handprint was found on the pillow. (Sbardella 2009)

3-11   Guede’s bloody shoeprint was found on the pillow right under Ms. Kercher’s leg. (Sbardella 2009)

3-12   Police found Ms Kercher’s bra clasp under the pillow, and then later found it again under a carpet in the bedroom, 46 days after initial discovery. (Cantagalli, Codispoti, Stefanoni 2009, crime scene photos)

3-13   A sock was found around one of Ms. Kercher’s purse handles on the bed. (crime scene photos)

3-14   Ms. Kercher’s purse was found on the mattress cover, indicating it had been placed there after the duvet had been used to cover her body. (crime scene photos)

Area 4. Ms. Kercher’s room

4-01   Only the mattress cover remained on the bed. After the assault, someone removed the duvet, pillow and bed sheet from the bed, and placed Ms. Kercher on the bed sheet, two towels and pillow on the floor, then covered her body with the duvet. (Codispoti 2009, crime scene photos)

4-02   Someone took Ms. Kercher’s wallet and credit cards from her purse and placed the purse on the mattress cover on the bed. (Profazio 2009, Nencini Motivations report, crime scene photos)

4-03   Someone left receipts on the duvet covering Ms. Kercher’s body. (Codispoti 2009, crime scene photos)

4-04   Someone took Ms. Kercher’s cell phones and tossed them over a roadside wall, inadvertently into the garden of another villa, some 950 meters from the cottage. (Nencini Motivations report)

4-05   Someone took Ms. Kercher’s room and house keys. (Napoleoni 2009)

4-06   An empty jar of Vaseline was found on her desk. (crime scene photos, Napoleoni 2009)

4-07   The wall shelf by her closet had been knocked around, and objects on the shelf were tipped over. (crime scene photos, Codispoti 2009)

4-08   Ms. Kercher’s nightstand lamp and Knox’s nightstand lamp were both on the floor next to the bed. (crime scene photos)

4-09   Knox’s lamp was partially under Ms. Kercher’s bed, and it was the only functioning light Knox had in her room. (crime scene photos, Nencini Motivations report)

4-10   Someone closed and locked Ms. Kercher’s bedroom door, and took her bedroom door key. (Battistelli, Romanelli, Altieri, Zaroli, Napoleoni 2009)

4-11   Romanelli testified Ms. Kercher rarely closed and locked her own bedroom door, while Knox claimed Ms. Kercher normally locked her door. (Battistelli, Zaroli, Altieri, Romanelli 2009)

4-12   Ms. Kercher’s bedroom door had a small crack in it before it was broken down. (Altieri 2009).

Area 5: Shoeprints

5-01   Guede’s bloody left shoeprints were found in Ms. Kercher’s room.

5-02   Guede’s bloody left shoeprints were also found leading down the corridor, into the kitchen/dining room and out the front door, without any trace of prints indicating he turned to close and lock Ms. Kercher’s bedroom door.

5-03   Five different papers and cards, most smudged with blood, were found on the floor in Ms. Kercher’s room. These papers and cards had at least two different types of shoeprints which did not match any of Ms. Kercher’s shoes.

5-04   A similar card was found in Romanelli’s room, with a shoeprint not matching those on the cards and papers in Ms. Kercher’s room.

5-05   A smaller shoeprint similar to Guede’s shoe type was found on the pillow found under Ms. Kercher. Police consultants estimate this was a female sized shoe.

Area 6: Footprints

6-01   Half of a bloody footprint was found on the bathmat. The heel of this footprint, which should have been on the floor, was missing, suggesting it was cleaned away. (crime scene photos, report)

6-02   The bloody footprint matches Sollecito’s right foot size and characteristics.

6-03   Five Luminol-revealed footprints were found on the floor in the corridor and in Knox’s bedroom.

6-04   One of these Luminol-revealed footprints was compatible with Sollecito’s right foot.

6-05   Two others were compatible with Knox’s right foot.

6-06   None of the Luminol-revealed footprints were compatible with Guede’s feet.

Area 7: Fingerprints

7-01   Ms. Kercher’s fingerprints were found on Knox’s closet door.

7-02   Knox’s fingerprints were only found on a glass in the kitchen. None of her fingerprints were found in her own bedroom, or elsewhere in the cottage.

7-03   Sollecito’s fingerprints were on Ms. Kercher’s bedroom door and on the inside face of Laura Mezzetti’s door.

7-04   Guede’s fingerprint was found in Ms. Kercher’s bedroom.

Area 8: DNA testing general

8-01   227 evidence items were sampled or bagged. 30 of these were not analyzed.

8-02   From the remaining 197 evidence items, over 480 DNA and Y haplotype tests were prepared from liquids, solids or hairs. Many objects were sampled in multiple places.

8-03   Out of the over 480 DNA and Y haplotype tests, only 193 of these tests actually yielded DNA useful for comparison. (40%)

8-04   24 tests were from samples taken from Ms. Kercher’s body. Of these, 1 test yielded DNA compatible with Guede’s Y haplotype, 17 tests yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s, and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-05   11 tests were from samples taken from the exterior of the cottage. Of these, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible with an unknown female, 2 tests yielded cat DNA and the remainder did not yield useful DNA.

8-06   21 tests were from samples taken from the basement apartment at the cottage. Of these, 16 tests yielded cat blood, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible with an unknown male and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-07   221 tests were from samples or items taken from the upper apartment at the cottage. Of these, 6 tests yielded DNA compatible with Guede’s DNA or Y haplotype, 82 tests yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Ms. Kercher’s and Guede’s DNA or Y haplotype (both tests from the same sample), 5 tests from 5 different samples yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Ms. Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Ms. Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA or Y haplotype (both tests from the same sample), 4 tests yielded DNA compatible with Knox’s DNA, 1 test yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible with an unknown female, 3 tests yielded DNA compatible with an unknown male and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-08   4 tests were from samples taken (from bloodied tissue papers) found in the vicinity of the cottage, yielding DNA compatible with an unknown male or an unknown female.

8-09   16 tests were from samples taken from Sollecito’s car and no DNA useful for comparison was found.

8-10   102 tests were from samples taken from Sollecito’s apartment. Of these, 1 test yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA, 6 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Knox’s DNA, 7 tests yielded DNA compatible with a combination of Knox and Sollecito’s DNA, 7 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Sollecito’s DNA, 3 tests yielded DNA of 3 unknown males and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-11   29 tests were from samples taken from Guede’s apartment. Of these, 14 tests yielded DNA compatible with Guede’s DNA and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-12   6 tests were from samples taken from the pub Le Chic and no DNA useful for comparison was found.

8-13   50 tests were from samples taken from the defendants or defendant’s items during arrests or likely at the police station. Of these, 6 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Guede’s DNA, 8 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Knox’s DNA, 1 test yielded DNA compatible with a combination of Knox and Sollecito’s DNA, 2 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Lumumba’s DNA, 4 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Sollecito’s DNA, 1 test yielded DNA of an unknown male and the remaining did not yield DNA useful for comparison.

8-14   Of the 82 tests yielding DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA at the cottage, 4 samples were taken from the corridor floor, 5 were taken from the kitchen/dining floor, 66 were taken from Ms. Kercher’s room and clothing, 1 was taken from the floor in Romanelli’s room and 6 were taken from the small bathroom.

8-15   17 tests yielded unmatchable DNA, with 6 tests yielding DNA compatible with 3 different females and 11 tests yielded DNA compatible with 7 different males. 13 of these samples were found in tissue paper outside the cottage and on cigarette butts in the ashtray in the cottage kitchen.

Area 9: DNA testing- specific

9-01   Ms. Kercher’s DNA was found on the kitchen knife at Sollecito’s apartment. Her DNA was found in a groove towards the cutting edge of the blade. The grove is part of a series of noticeable scratches running parallel along the blade.

9-02   Knox’s DNA was found on the top of the handle of the same knife.

9-03   A second sample of Knox’s DNA was also found on the same knife, where the blade goes into the handle. This second sample was an LCN sample of mixed DNA, and was statistically determined to be Knox’s DNA. (RIS Berti & Barni 2013 report)

9-04   DNA mixture compatible with Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA was found on another stained pocket knife that Sollecito had.

9-05   DNA mixture compatible with Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA was found on a cigarette butt in the cottage kitchen. Except for the bra clasp, no other samples at the cottage yielded Sollecito’s DNA.

9-06   7 samples yielded DNA mixtures compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA mixed with either Knox’s DNA, Sollecito’s DNA or Guede’s DNA.

9-07   DNA mixture compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA and Sollecito’s DNA was found on the metal bra clasp. Sollecito’s Y haplotype was also on the metal bra clasp.

9-08   DNA mixture compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA and Guede’s DNA was found on Ms. Kercher’s purse near the zipper.

9-09   DNA mixture compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA and Knox’s DNA was found in three blood traces in the bathroom- on the bidet drain plate, in the sink and on a plastic container containing cotton swabs.

9-10   DNA mixture compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA and Knox’s DNA was also found in a Luminol-revealed blood stain on the floor of Romanelli’s room, and in a Luminol-revealed bloody footprint in the corridor.

9-11   A second Luminol-revealed blood stain in Romanelli’s room yielded Ms. Kercher’s DNA.

9-12   A sample of blood from the small bathroom faucet yielded ONLY Knox’s DNA.

9-13   Guede’s DNA was found on Ms. Kercher’s purse, the left sleeve of her sweat jacket, her bra strap, in Ms. Kercher and on the toilet paper in the large bathroom.

Area 10. Other biological traces

10-01   3 samples of presumed blood traces were found in Knox’s bedroom, on a pillow, on the night stand and on the wall by the head of the bed.

10-02   No semen was found in Ms. Kercher.

10-03   Guede left his feces in the toilet in the large bathroom.

10-04   3 fragments of toilet paper were found on Ms. Kercher’s desk; all three yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA.

10-05   2 tissue papers were found in Sollecito’s bedroom; both had blood that yielded DNA compatible with Sollecito’s DNA.

10-06   A glass on Ms. Kercher’s night stand yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA.

10-07   A strand of hair and a trace of blood were found on Romanelli’s window frame. The blood trace did not yield human DNA; the hair color was dark chestnut.

10-08   5 samples of blood traces on a towel and faucet in Guede’s bathroom all yielded Guede’s DNA.

10-09   4 samples of blood stains on Guede’s jeans and a museum ticket in his jeans also yielded Guede’s DNA.

10-10   The range of digestive timing is, under normal circumstances, 3-5 hours. This range could easily be expanded depending on any number of factors, including stress and alcohol, both of which slow digestion. (Ronchi 2009)

10-11   Based on body temperatures and the digestive process, the time of death range was estimated between 20:00 of November 1st and 04:00 of November 2nd, with the probability that the time of death occurred around 23:00 of November 1st. (Lalli 2009)

Area 11. Luminol traces

11-01   1 sample of a Luminol-revealed blood trace was taken from Guede’s apartment.

11-02   9 samples of Luminol-revealed blood traces were taken from the cottage, including Knox’s room, the corridor and Romanelli’s room.

11-03   Knox’s and Ms. Kercher’s DNA was found on the Luminol-revealed blood stain in Romanelli’s room.

11-04   Knox’s and Ms. Kercher’s DNA was found mixed in a Luminol-revealed bloody right footprint in the corridor.

11-05   14 samples of Luminol-revealed blood traces were taken from Sollecito’s apartment.

11-06   6 samples were taken from Sollecito’s bathroom, including the door, floor and shower basin.

11-07   3 samples were taken from Sollecito’s bedroom, including the door and floor.

11-08   5 samples were taken from the floor of Sollecito’s kitchen.

11-09   2 of the Luminol-revealed samples taken from Sollecito’s apartment yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Sollecito’s and Knox’s DNA. 1 sample yielded DNA compatible with Knox’s DNA.

11-10   1 sample yielded an unknown male’s DNA (unmatchable).

Area 12: Hairs

12-01   Of the over 480 tests prepared on samples, 93 of these constituted hairs or fibers. 86 were human hairs of varying length, in varying colors. The most significant colors noted were black, blonde, chestnut, light chestnut and red chestnut.

12-02   Only 3 hairs yielded DNA; all 3 hairs yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA. All 3 hairs were chestnut colored and over 15 cm long.

12-03   35 hairs were chestnut in color; the vast majority of these were found in Ms. Kercher’s room. 2 were also found on a kitchen sponge at Sollecito’s apartment.

12-04   7 hairs were black in color. 6 of these were 4 cm long or less, and so likely Guede’s hair. 4 of these were on the duvet and 1 was on the mattress cover, both in Ms. Kercher’s room. 1 was also on a sponge at Sollecito’s apartment.

12-05   21 blonde hairs were analyzed, and were likely Knox’s hairs. Most were found at Sollecito’s apartment, 10 on a sponge in the kitchen and 5 on a sweater.

12-06   Of the 6 blonde hairs found at the cottage, 2 were on the duvet, 1 was inside the small bathroom sink, 1 was on Ms. Kercher’s purse and 1 was on her mattress cover.

12-07   4 light chestnut hairs were found. 3 of these were 9 cm long or less. 1 was found on the kitchen sponge; 1 was found on the bra and one was found on Ms. Kercher’s sweat jacket. Sollecito had light chestnut colored hair.

3. Court Assessment & Knox Spin

Judge Micheli was the first judge to make something of all this evidence, late in 2008. Unsurprisingly, if one has actually studied it, one of his major findings was this.

The pack attack, and the crime-scene rearrangement. Led by Knox. She could have escaped trial right there by rebutting it. But she and her team had pretty well zero comeback.

Oh, Hampikian, you didn’t know that?!

The “counter-case” of Hampikian, and other such shills of the PR campaign as Heavey, Fischer, Douglas, and Moore, is like a three-legged stool, with all the rest of the case simply ignored.

  • One leg is the Interrogation Hoax and we have shown in 20 posts that Knox always lied about that.

  • One leg is the supposedly “flawed” DNA analysis that actually wasn’t, which KrissyG took first new whack at last week.

  • The third leg is that there was no pack attack and that Guede somehow did all of the above on his own.

Including taking off a shoe to make ONE imprint in blood on the bathmat in a footprint several sizes smaller than his own…

On Planet Earth, nobody has ever come close to making all of the above fit a Lone Wolf. The defenses only listlessly went through the motions when they tried. Then they seized on Alessi and Aviello when they came along.

That was the defenses proving a pack attack!!

4. Tip for IP contributors

On Amanda Knox. Innocence Project Idaho rep Hampikian’s ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #2

Posted by KrissyG



Long post. Click here to go straight to Comments

1. Post Overview

Previously main poster Hopeful showed up the intensely superficial grasp of the case by an Innocence Project founder who is a lusty huge booster of Knox.

We see no sign that anyone in the Innocence Project (IP) has ever done due diligence, or has any better grasp of the case than Jason Flom. We certainly don’t see any on video or in print. We see only appallingly misleading and illegal work…. and nothing else. As Hopeful said in that post:

Anyone who thinks Idaho IP representative Greg Hampikian’s seemingly illegal involvement in the court-ordered DNA re-testing was somehow competent and truth-based should read KrissyG and James Raper for two blasts of reality.

This may come as a surprise. In ten years nobody whatsoever has ever landed the slightest blow on the huge (though not pivotal) DNA component of the case.

The defenses and many others have seriously misrepresented it, yes, but that is something else.

2. Chief IP Misleader Hampikian

Nearly a year before Knox ever turned up at her first Innocence Project meeting in Oregon, we had highlighted IP Idaho rep Greg Hampikian’s very misleading work here.

Our main poster the Machine had acidly remarked about Greg Hampikian in that post:

    1. He is ignorant of most of the basic facts of the case.

    2. He hasn’t read the official court documents in their entirety, but has instead relied on Amanda Knox’s family and supporters for his information without bothering to do any fact-checking.

    3. He incessantly downplays or misrepresents the hard evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and overstates that against Rudy Guede.

    4. He doesn’t limit himself to his own narrow area of expertise, but speaks about other aspect of the case and gets basic facts wrong.

    5. Like so many in the seedy defense operation he ridicules his counterparts in Italy, most of whom are much better qualified in criminal-case DNA than he is.

Do please read all of the Machine’s very damning post. Note that Hampikian has never ever tried to answer back, though he is still as much of a self-infatuated rooster as before. I would add to the Machine’s profile of Hampikian these further revealing points:

    1. In an aura of personality cult he incessantly proclaims that he is the founder and director of the Idaho Innocence Project.

    2. He took quite a shine to Amanda Knox and went white-water rafting with her.  He broke with his wife, shortly after.

    3. This absurd claim appears on his Wikipedia page - those are often written by the “celebrities” themselves:

    During the high-profile case of Amanda Knox, on May 23, 2011, Greg Hampikian announced that, based on its independent investigation and review, DNA samples taken at the crime scene all pointed to African drifter Rudy Guede and excluded Knox and Sollecito. Upon reexamination of the DNA, he concluded that the evidence is unreliable and contaminated. Hampikian’s findings are one of the main reasons that Knox and Sollecito were set free.

    Really?! The mafias had no role? Hard to believe from this that Hampikian was never an official witness put under cross-examination at the trial or appeals. He had zero official role, and the very extensive DNA evidence really proved nothing of the sort. More DNA samples of Knox than of Guede were at the scene. No contamination was ever proven.  In fact, it was categorically ruled out by the courts.

    4. He has appeared in numerous Youtube clips in especially prepared tv shows, in which he presents himself as “the objective scientist” not letting on that he is essentially only a PR shill.

    5. Hampikian was claiming a government grant for his department at Boise State University.  Journalist Andrea Vogt suspected he was using the funds to promote Amanda Knox’s marketing.  Vogt applied for information under the Freedom of Information Act.  Hampikian evaded the demand by claiming his work was a top trade secret. Academic scientists are supposed to be transparent and make their work replicable and peer-reviewed by other scientists.  So Vogt’s instincts seem correct, given the unlikely reason.

    6. He praises himself on his wiki page as “Prof. Hampikian is also an accomplished amateur folk singer and songwriter.” Indeed, he appears on a Youtube video, sounding like a hundred cats in pain singing about his d-i-v-o-r-c-e., after his rafting expedition with Knox.  She appears grinning by his side in pictures.

    7. He has given evidence under oath in court several times (though never in Italy) claiming he was THE expert who got Amanda Knox “exonerated”.  Knox has never been exonerated, certainly not on the DNA evidence, and the mafias clearly had a role in springing the pair. So, Hampikian is not someone who takes solemn oaths seriously, although his illegal interference was real. 

    8. The defence lawyers for Paul Jenkins and Fred Lawrence are currently in court to try to pin the DNA evidence on another convict, David Wayne Nelson, with Hampikian as the “˜expert DNA witness’ claiming,

“˜“I do a lot of cases,” said Hampikian. “This is the second time I can remember one of my cases where it cleared two men and someone else is a hit to the database.”

He doesn’t say to whom he is referring in this absurd claim, but no doubt it is Knox and Sollecito with Guede as the “˜hit’.  Hampikian, thus, is a stranger to the truth, as Knox and Sollecito’s DNA at the crime scene is legally sound.

Comment by Ergon

Examples of typical dishonesty from Greg Hampikian in this article

1. “We asked the Italian lab to supply validation of such a sensitive measurement, but they never complied”.

Yes they did, though maybe not to the professor from Idaho.

2. “a new study on the knife was then ordered in Italy. This failed to repeat the DNA finding”.

They didn’t retest the “˜DNA finding’.

3. “This finding was never repeated, despite many attempts”.

There was only one attempt, which the defense accepted as all that could be done.

4. “As DNA consultant for the defence in the Amanda Knox case”.

You weren’t hired “˜by the defense’ but inserted yourself in your personal capacity using public funds.

5. “but when fingerprints and DNA from the scene were analysed, only two profiles were identified: those of the victim and Rudy Guede”

Also Raffaele Sollecito’s, and Amanda Knox’s blood DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s.

6. “Calls followed for global standards on use of low copy number DNA”.

Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA profile on the bra clasp wasn’t LCN DNA, nor was contamination proven against any of Stefanoni’s findings.

7. “a kitchen knife at Sollecito’s house. It didn’t match many wounds on the body and tested negative for blood.”

Because there were two knives, and it tested negative for blood because it was rigorously washed in bleach.


3. Who Manages Or Crosschecks Hampikian?

Hampikian seems to have a pass to claim whatever he wants in the name of the Innocence Project. No quality control, no peer review, no reporting, no accountability at all. Just a near-endless stream of lies.

If Hampikian was to be checked out and made to stop lying and acting as a PR shill, and to stick only to the truth, whose job in the IP would be that? Presumably the man at the top. Barry Scheck.

Has Barry Scheck been asleep at the switch? If so, not for the first time. .



4. Ten Quick Facts About Barry Scheck

1. Born 1949, at Yale Scheck was a “˜fervent anti-war demonstrator’.  In Los Angeles he was a key member of OJ Simpson’s “˜dream team’, which got OJ off a murder rap in 1995.

2. Barry Scheck, as a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, is a forensic and DNA evidence expert. He joined the “Dream Team” to help them “˜harness the power of forensic and DNA evidence’ to assist in Simpson’s defence.

3. Scheck is also known for his work as co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that uses DNA evidence to “˜clear the names of wrongfully convicted inmates’.

4. Scheck co-founded the Innocence Project in 1992 with Peter Neufeld, also his co-counsel on the O.J. Simpson defence team.

5. The Project claims it is “˜dedicated to the utilization of DNA evidence as a means to exculpate individuals of crimes for which they were wrongfully convicted’.

6. To date, it claims 343 wrongful convictions have been overturned by DNA testing “˜thanks to the Project and other legal organizations’.

7. The Innocence Project claims “˜it does not use legal technicalities to challenge convictions; the Project accepts only cases in which newly discovered scientific evidence can potentially prove that a convicted person is factually innocent’.

8. Scheck unsuccessfully defended British baby sitter Louise Woodward against a charge of killing a baby in her care, shortly after the OJ acquittal, leading some to perceive a “˜backlash’ against his defence methods.

9. Scheck and Neufield were heavily criticised in 1999 in a case where eight cops were charged with abusing Abner Louima or shooting dead Amadou Diallo-to benefit their own civil cases on behalf of those victims, putting the police at risk of an unfair trial.

10. Scheck and Neufield called a press conference before the criminal trial, revealing potentially incriminating evidence against the four policemen from an autopsy report, which revealed Diallo was shot in his foot and legs whilst already down. Their ethics were questioned.  Outside the press conference, 1,000 Scheck supporters chanted, “˜“No justice, no peace, no more racist police.”

5. So The Bottom Line On Scheck Is?

Thus, we have a picture of someone who sees himself as a warrior for social justice, and anti-establishment.  Scheck uses his privileged position as a lawyer and DNA expert to help the disadvantaged and oppressed.

However, after the OJ Simpson trial, which saw Scheck shoot to fame, and not necessarily in a good way, but as a silver-tongued crafty defence lawyer who could persuade a jury that night is day by any means at his disposal, regardless of ethics, there emerges a hint of a ruthless man driven by an urge to get the better of his perceived opponents.

So far so good, this is 100% of what we the public have cynically come to expect of a winning-at-all-costs lawyer.  We want them to write our “˜strong letters’ for us, or to win our compensation; perhaps get us off a rap.

We want them to “˜be on our side’, and when you are poor, dispossessed and otherwise “˜invisible’ to the establishment, finding such a high-profile lawyer to champion your case, then fawning gratitude transforms into hero-worship and cult following.

Such is the effect of Scheck’s Innocence Project, thousands of prisoners in the USA claiming to be “˜wrongfully convicted’, whether they are or not, flock to sample the “˜exoneration’ he holds out as the prize for joining up.

Add to the pot US attorneys who as part of their standards are expected to devote a substantial part of their time towards “˜pro bono’ work (free representation), then the ready pool of the poor and deprived that make up the Innocence Projects are ready made clients for them.

6. IP Does Indeed Do Some Good Work

We have shown again and again that American law enforcement, justice and incarceration systems, not their Italian equivalents, are the systems where injustices are off the charts.

Read for example the series of three posts starting here.  An estimated 200,000-plus sitting in prison because prosecutors scared them into a plea-bargain.

Barry Scheck’s target group and release rate is absolutely miniscule compared to this 200,000, but it is not a net negative on the whole. Every little bit of pushback can help. Scheck’s interviews and speeches are often good.


 

7. But Things Do Go Badly Wrong.

The Medill Innocence Project Case

There seems plenty of evidence that the Innocence Project is only loosely managed from the top. Other grandstanders and corner cutters and law-breakers like Hampikian are far from unknown.

And to IP host institutions like lawschools “mistakes” like this one below can bring major harm.

In the Medill Innocence project, a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, David Protess, was picked to head this.

His work had overturned convictions in a number of high-profile cases that won freedom for the “˜wrongfully imprisoned’ and earned him fame and prestige that included a TV-movie deal and a new post. From the start, Protess got his law students to were acting as amateur gumshoes, Protess dispatched them to interview witnesses and dig up new evidence.

Protess was looking for wrongful convictions.  He thought he had found one in Anthony Porter, who had narrowly escaped execution for a 1982 murder and had since served fifteen years, after winning a last minute reprieve.

Protess was keen to highlight that the State had been prepared to execute an innocent man, and he and his private eye students pinpointed an “˜alternative perpetrator’ in Alstory Simon.

“This investigation by David Protess and his team involved a series of alarming tactics,” the Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, said in her statement after Simon’s eventual release.  The Medill Innocence Project’s tactics, “were not only coercive and absolutely unacceptable by law-enforcement standards, “they were potentially in violation of Mr. Simon’s constitutionally protected rights.”

From the Daily Beast in 2014:

Perhaps the worst of those alarming tactics were used by Paul Ciolino, a private investigator working with Protess who got Simon to confess to the murder. According to Alvarez’s findings, Ciolino threatened Simon, promised him a short sentence and financial rewards for cooperating, and used an actor to play a witness who accused Simon of the shooting.

Finally, Ciolino volunteered a lawyer, Jack Rimland, to represent Simon in court. Rimland, a personal acquaintance of Ciolino, may have had a conflict of interest defending a man that his associate was trying to prove guilty, but that didn’t stop him from taking the case.

At the time, it did the trick. Alstory Simon confessed to the murder on video and within days, after more than a decade on death row, Porter walked free.

The State prosecutors then had to spend time and money retrying Porter and reaffirming the seemingly overwhelming evidence of his guilt (six eye witnesses named him).  However, the case against Porter was dropped a month later.  Following on from this case, Illinois banned the death penalty, in 2011.

More from the report in the Daily Beast.

After initially defending the program, Medill launched an investigation of its own. In the end, it was found that students working under Protess had used false pretenses in trying to elicit witness statements.

More damningly, the professor’s claim that the records from his class’s work were protected by journalistic privilege was undermined by the discovery that he’d altered an email instructing that the project’s findings should be turned over directly to defense counsels without any copies retained.

When it was all over, Protess had negotiated his retirement and left the school. His reputation bruised but with legacy of his central victory””winning Anthony Porter’s freedom””still intact.

After Simon’s release last month and the accusation that Protess helped put an innocent man in prison for 15 years, possibly freeing a killer in the bargain, his legacy may be the least of his concerns.


The IP Role

This is a perfect illustration of what can happen when badly supervised lawyers try to solve a case outside of a courtroom.  Delusion, fanaticism and a disregard for due process can blind an Innocence Project lawyer or law student to the truth of culpability.  In other words, they find themselves fighting the establishment, whatever that is, rather than true injustice.

The State prosecutor, Alvarez, said at the time:

“The bottom line is, the investigation conducted by Protess and private investigator Ciolino as well as the subsequent legal representation of Mr. Simon were so flawed that it’s clear the constitutional rights of Mr. Simon were not scrupulously protected as our law requires.”

In 2016, Alstory Simon filed a $40m lawsuit From the Chicago Tribune.

A federal judge on Tuesday gave the green light to a $40 million lawsuit alleging Northwestern University and former star professor David Protess conspired to frame a man for an infamous double murder that became one of the most significant wrongful conviction cases in Illinois history.

The lawsuit brought by Alstory Simon alleges Protess and private investigator Paul Ciolino manufactured bogus evidence, coaxed false statements from witnesses, intimidated Simon into confessing and set him up with a lawyer, Jack Rimland, who coached him to plead guilty.

In denying a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said that it was plausible the money and publicity Protess had brought to Northwestern had allowed a culture of lawlessness and unethical conduct at the university.

The Bombshell Twist

In June 2017 Chicago Tribune reported a “˜bombshell’ twist.  It was revealed that in 2014 at the time of Simon’s release a 28-page internal report wherein the deputies of the then State Attorney Alvarez had concluded, “˜there is not sufficient evidence to seek to vacate Simon’s convictions’. 

Many High-profile Innocence “˜Exonerees’ Earn $‘000’s

Simon is like so many prisoners released early, whether or not there is an “˜Alford’ deal ““ where release is on condition the prisoner accepts the State does not accept liability that the conviction was wrongful and no “˜certificate of innocence’ is provided.

This type of deal is true, for example, for “˜Sunny’ Jacobs, released from death row and finally prison for her role in the murder of two policemen in Florida, and the notorious WM3 which includes Damien Echols, who has since made millions from books and tours on the back of “˜innocence’.

Amanda Knox, Damien Echols and the other two WM3 are listed by All American Entertainment as exonerated “˜speakers’ charging up to $10,000 a time.  Yet none have had a “˜certificate of innocence’.  Thus, by Ciolino’s own words, they cannot be classed as ‘exonerated’.

Cook County “˜Wanted to Prosecute David Protess and Paul Ciolino’

The reason Cook County gives for refusing to vacate Simon’s conviction is because he failed to come clean on the deception a taking a rap for another man’s crimes in exchange for a shorter sentence.  The reports states:

Simon was not a child or inexperienced at any relevant time. As of 1982 he had accumulated an extensive criminal history. He had been arrested for robberies or armed robberies five times between 1966 and 1977. He had three felony or armed robbery convictions. ... He was 47 when he (pleaded) guilty. This certainly complicates his claims regarding coercion and being misled.

The report criticises the “˜less than ideal circumstances’ in which Ciolino tricked Simon into confessing the first time, after which Simon continued the masquarade by spontaneously admitting to firing the fatal shots for some time after his conviction.  For example, in a letter to his lawyers.

However, in spite of these reservations, Alvarez had called a news conference and announced there was “˜no other conclusion’ than that Simon should be freed.  Pointedly, she indicated that if it were not for the statute of limitations (time limit for bringing a charge) she would have prosecuted Protess and Ciolino.

Subsequently she declined to send representatives to contest Simon’s effort to win a “certificate of innocence,” a document that allows wrongfully incarcerated, factually innocent persons to collect cash damages from the state.  It was because whilst Simon probably did not commit the murders, he was part of the innocence fraud which put him in prison and which freed Porter.

Paul Ciolino Hits Back

The latest news, as of January 2018, leading on from the supposed “˜leaked’ document of 2014 which showed Simon’s convictions were merely “˜vacated’ is that Paul Cionlino is suing Simon, Alavarez, and a couple of the “˜Park’ filmmakers, a Chicago Tribune journalist and policemen for damages for “˜defamation’.

The 66-page petition mirrors the counterclaim Ciolino filed before and which was dismissed last year.  He claims his reputation and career were destroyed by the allegations in the Simon case.  Ciolino claims Simon was “˜paid thousands of dollars’ and witnesses interfered with by these anti-Innocent Project forces. 

The Murder in the Park documentary, asserts there are many other cases where “˜the wrong man is imprisoned and the right one was freed, which Ciolino claims is defamatory.  He highlights the letter to Simon’s lawyers in which he states he killed Hillard in self-defence and Green by accident.  Ciolino’s new lawsuit is described as “˜frivolous and without merit’ (Prieb) and “˜so false as to be sanctionable’ (Ekl)

Simon had alleged Ciolino impersonated a police officer and used actors as fake eye witnesses.  He claims Ciolino said if he confessed, he’d get a shortened sentence by claiming “˜self defence’ and avoid the death penalty.  He was also “˜promised large sums of money from book and movie deals’ if he played along, the suit alleges.

Paul Ciolino Acknowledges a Vacated Conviction Does Not Mean “˜Exoneration’

If this illustrates anything, it’s that Innocence Projects running parallel to the US legal system can cause all sorts of chaos and confusion.  In effect, Alvarez the State Prosecutor having freed Simon, is now refusing to vacate his conviction.  The Innocence Project does not see a vacated conviction as an “˜exoneration’ as evidenced by Ciolino suing for defamation on the grounds that “˜Simon is guilty after all’.

If a vacated conviction does not mean exoneration to people like Ciolino, then people like Ryan Ferguson, the West Memphis Three and Amanda Knox, whom the Innocence Projects spearhead as their “˜Star Exonerees’ are gods with clay feet standing on a false pedestal.

It calls into question the integrity of Innocence Project lawyers, such as Kathleen Zellner, who is said to earn more than $12m per annum as a conservative figure.  The last published Annual Report of the Innocence Project shows a turnover of $26m, with a surplus gain of >$3m in the “˜not-for-profit’ org in 2016.  Zellner is famous for obtaining “˜death bed’ confessions from prisoners on Death Row taking the rap for the alleged crimes of her clients, thus securing their release.

8. My Conclusion About This Above

Given these pressures and these possibilities for mismanagement, what of the IP’s illegal intervention into the case in Italy? What of the false touting of an “innocent” Knox? What of the trashing of Italian justice, in witting or unwitting harmony with the mafias?

Another IP trainwreck waiting to happen. And happen it did.

9. Tip For IP Contributors

On Amanda Knox. Innocence Project Idaho rep Hampikian’s ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #1

Posted by Hopeful



Jason Flom, Amanda Knox

1. Series Overview

Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project quite openly admits to bending the 2011 appeal via collaboration with the “independent” DNA consultants.

Anyone who thinks Idaho IP representative Greg Hampikian’s seemingly illegal involvement in the court-ordered DNA re-testing was somehow competent and truth-based should read KrissyG and James Raper for two blasts of reality.

Beginning early in 2014 (soon after the Florence Appeal Court reaffirmed Knox’s guilty verdict and a whole year prior to the Supreme Court outcome) the Innocence Project clutched Knox firmly and propelled her onto the elite speakers’ circuit. It has repeatedly used her since as a keynoter and potent draw for attendees and presumably for funding too. 

Knox’s speaking career would have gone absolutely nowhere if Barry Scheck & Co had not promoted her with such manic enthusiasm. They still remain unencumbered by comprehensive due diligence or a fact-based narrative. Much simply seems unknown. Trashing Italy is apparently just fine.

Late next month at an Innocence Project “gala” in Kansas City Knox will yet again be an IP keynote speaker.

2. The Jason Flom Podcast

Jason Flom is a founding board member of the Innocence Project. As the sharp eyes of our main poster Guermantes picked up, Flom interviewed Knox in January 2017 for a podcast: The Wrongful Conviction of Amanda Knox.

Flom seems to have done little or no homework. Most of these posts predate this interview. So an open-minded interviewer not toeing the self-serving IP party line could have avoided the naivety and manipulation we can see here.

Knox tells Flom the Perugian investigators (actually the highly respected national elite) were like children pretending to process a crime scene but making major mistakes. Her tone of voice suggested mockery and ridicule of them playing at being forensic scientists.

Flom laps up this nonsense unquestioningly. However Knox’s lies to Flom were mainly of omission, so much that she didn’t want to speak of and that Flom could not even comprehend.

When he asked her why she was targeted when several other people were at the cottage the morning the police arrived (Filomena, her boyfriend, Raffaele) Knox explained that her behavior didn’t impress police as that of an innocent person because she was kissing Raffaele and being comforted in the yard of the cottage.

There is no special sign that she was targeted. And she omits a mountain of other behavior. She refuses to tell Mr. Flom of her highjinks in the Questura, her tongue sticking out, her cartwheels, or her thong-buying visit to Bubbles, nor of her skipping the memorial service for Meredith in the days after the death. None of that escapes her lips.

She does pretend some indignation about Rudy Guede the “real killer”. Mostly she talks of every single sad emotion she endured in the 8 months of incarceration before she was charged with murder.

She mentions Meredith throughout the interview very little. She seems to be mostly swept up in memories of how she was robbed of hope behind bars, and she revels (this was 2017) in how a few persons who first thought her guilty have been convinced by more recent media that she is innocent and have apologized to her. She ascends skyward on such thoughts.

Her main concern seems to be with her public image and her power to con the world.  It becomes evident when she narrates to Flom her morning at the cottage in the hours before Meredith’s body was discovered, when she first entered the cottage saying the door was wide open and she was there alone to take a shower before proceeding to go to Gubbio for the weekend with loverboy, that she was in a deep mental quandary as to the meaning of the open door, the small bits of blood in the sink (she emphasized to Flom how small the specks were) and the dirty toilet in a nearby bathroom that she was so greatly alarmed enough to want to slow down her trip out of town and instead bring Raf back over to see about things at the cottage and give his opinion.

She was so worried, she pretends. So terribly worried, but not worried enough to walk a few feet down the hall and open a bedroom door to see if a roommate were present and hadn’t heard her “hello, is anybody there?” Ridiculous. She also mentions that her computer was safe in her own bedroom and hadn’t been stolen but not one word that her lamp was missing”¦ as if she wouldn’t have noticed that.

She talks much of her own humanity, that people who meet her will not judge her but will find her innocent, but if they haven’t met her in person they will assume guilt. She seems to feel that they need to be blinded by her “humanity” and give her a pass on having destroyed Meredith’s life. She says very little to Jason Flom about Raffaele, depicting him as a non-threatening puppy and their relationship before the murder as one of sweetness and a juvenile thing.

Mr. Flom suggests it was like a high school relationship between two college students, she half-way assents to his description. She said that the language barrier circumvented them from discussing deep issues, that it was mostly hand-holding and him wanting to give her perfume like Italian women wore and to show her some new store or market he had discovered.

Knox seems to hold her greatest anger and disdain (well-hidden of course unless you know this case backwards and forwards and have seen Knox’s wiles) toward Philomena. It was Philomena’s hysterics and shouts of “a foot, a foot” and the general screaming and shouting of spontaneous anguish and grief over knowing it was Meredith’s body in the bedroom, that seems to antagonize Knox the most. Imagine that, some people actually GRIEVED for Meredith and thought her worthy of a display of emotion and concern.

Knox tells Jason Flom that it was Philomena’s SIM card inside the cell phone that Meredith was using, that tied the phone to the cottage. It was Filomena’s SIM card that enabled the first police to rush to the cottage so fast, and who interrupted Knox in her little last minute cleaning scheme and that threw her out of her rhythm and almost tripped her up by arriving so quickly, perhaps that was why Knox despised Filomena so much. Also it was Filomena’s boyfriend who kicked open the door and thus sent Knox out of the cottage quickly and permanently. She seemed to show irritation with Flom when she spoke of being rousted from her house in Perugia.

She tells Flom that she believed the police when they said she was being sent to prison for her own protection, thinking she was a witness (untrue: grounds for arrest were fully explained by Dr Mignini). She said she should have realized when they put her in handcuffs that this was ludicrous, but she was naïve and idealistic.

She said she went to Japan and to Germany when she was 14 years old, and that her beloved Oma, her German grandmother, had wanted her to be an exchange student to Germany. She was taking German and Italian language classes before she went to Perugia, she said.

She seems to imply slightly that it was her father’s fault that she took the language courses rather her first love of creative writing. She said she felt she couldn’t have sold Dadddy on the usefulness of a creative writing degree, so she detoured and took the languages degree hoping to become a translator. She said that the University for Foreigners in Perugia was not demanding or rigorous at all and she was disappointed at that. (Hint hint, is she suggesting she had too much free time from studies and thus went wild due to “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? She could easily have enrolled at the main university and gained course credits for her degree back in Seattle - as her parents believed she was doing.)

She bristles with rage at the thought of friends who suggested she change her name to deflect publicity. Never. Her ego is limitless and she wants to be herself, that is paramount.  She said her biggest fear was that she would forever have to cower in a corner. She speaks of her determination to do the opposite now that she has her freedom back and is safe to speak.

She seems sincerely grateful to people who spent their energy and time in trying to get her free from prison, and feared she might have been forgotten and left to languish behind bars. She seems sincerely moved that people who didn’t have to care about her, did so. No doubt this is the natural reaction of anyone sprung from prison cells, whether guilty or innocent.

Her main beef behind bars was that she could not sway the entire world with her words alone.  She talks a smooth line and certainly had Mr. Jason Flom in her sway. She also claimed that Meredith’s DNA had been thought to have been on the knife but that it was not (Carabinieri labs confirmed it was, so there’s another lie from Knox).

It irks me that people who question Knox won’t take time to read up on the case.

Why can’t they ask Knox about the 5 spots of her DNA mixed in Meredith’s blood throughout the cottage? Knox also laughs with Jason Flom about the impossibility of her cleaning up the crime scene, when it’s proven without question that a bloody footprint was erased that led to the footprint on the blue bathmat. Knox is lying about the cleanup.

And when Knox explained to Flom her discomfort at discovering the unflushed toilet, she tells him that Laura and Filomena were neat freaks (liked to keep a very clean house). She did not say the same for Meredith, but only mentioned Laura and Filomena being clean freaks. She did not tell Mr. Flom of her normal unflushed toilets that the long-suffering Meredith Kercher had to face daily.

Knox omits much of the truth, and twists the rest of the truth. Her best truth is whatever she can think up for the occasion. And the daffy Mr Flom swallows it.

3. Tip For IP Contributors

On Amanda Knox. Innocence Project Idaho rep Hampikian’s ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Netflixhoax 28 Omitted - The Case Against RS & AK Is Actually Getting Stronger Still

Posted by Peter Quennell




Pro-Guilt Trends

See the pointilist painting above? It consists entirely of dots. The more dots, the more it makes sense.

Justice can take its sweet time. But the global trend is for it to win out in the end. There is actually a huge industry that does what we do. Continue to harden cases dot by dot.

Primarily for that reason, opinion polls and surveys taken of the attitudes to specific crimes show that over time most of those attitudes trend toward guilt. Even Netflix can’t buck that.

Smoking Guns

This case is like that. Take a look at our new page. Created at popular request. The stark facts in any one of those posts is pretty well impossible to innocently explain away.

Eight of those 12 posts appeared - could only appear - in the past three years. New documents and new translation continue to arrive. The enormous Case Wiki and PMF and TJMK add more depth all the time. 

Media Shortfalls

This goes on despite almost no help from US and UK media, who between them barely ever translated a single word. There was some fine reporting (see next posts). But major happenings in the case often got no reporting at all.

The blatant corruption of the Hellman appeal? No report. Sollecito’s telling second trip to the Dominican Republic? No report. Guede pointing more and more strongly at the pair? No report. Knox inevitably facing charges for the defamations in her book? No report. Her 400 lies there plus many more? No report.

The final vexatious outcome from the Supreme Court, which put Knox with blood on her hands right at the scene of the crime (the whole house)? No report. Sollecito’s two losses in court this year over his damages-award claim and his book? No report.

Bad books (think of PR shills Dempsey, Burleigh, Fischer, Heavey, Preston, Douglas, and Moore - as well as Sollecito and Knox) don’t stand the test of time. They are now really easy to shoot down. In contrast strong well-documented legal takes like James Raper’s book quietly move in. The BBC airs the best report done so far.

Inflection Point

Italians are strongly pro-guilt. Especially toward Knox, widely seen as the enraged and jealous prime mover and the killer of Meredith who wielded the final stab in the attack.

So we are pretty confident that the US and UK will see an inflection point in 2018. Just sayin’ Netflix.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Netflixhoax 21: Longer, Better Interviews With Dr Mignini Show Clearly How Netflix Cherrypicked Him

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1 How Netflix Cherrypicked

First please check our previous post Dr Mignini Responds To A Reporter Misrepresenting Him About The Report.

Other British and American reporters have also tried to play “gotcha” with Dr Mignini by cherrypicking his replies when the English version comes out. The exact same trick the Netflix team played on Dr Mignini was played by KOMO TV in Seattle, CNN, CBS, and the Guardian. To all of those he later replied.

Dr Mignini was led to understand that the Netflix production team was a respected Danish group. He was not told that it consisted of several American crackpots notorious over the years for harassing reporters and justice officials around Perugia and online.

Dr Mignini was seated in front of a camera by interviewers who knew no Italian and seemingly knew very little about the case or about the version of Knox Italy saw in 2007 and 2008 before the play-acting cut in. They appeared to want only light simple titillating stuff, aimed at about 12-year-olds.

The team didn’t happen to mention that half his interview would end up on the cutting room floor - or that Amanda Knox would be given more than twice the time, to spin unchallenged a number of long-rebutted lies.

2. Netflix’s Dishonest Takeaway

The takeway of well over 100 reviewers (we will soon be posting quotes from all of them) was that (1) Dr Mignini invented a sex crime and (2) next thing Knox was convicted, based pretty well solely on that.

In the interview below, mirrored by others, Dr Mignini explains how very much more complicated than that it was to narrow down to Knox’s definite involvement. His team took into account dozens of factors and put them all in evidence.

And our interrogation hoax series shows how he handed over control of the investigation almost instantly after Knox’s arrest to Judge Matteini (never mentioned by Netflix) and numerous other judges (never mentioned by Netflix) including Supreme Court judges in 2008 who in fact took a harder line rather than releasing Knox as they could have done.

3. The Long-Form Mignini Interview

This interview came to us almost by accident. It is the full transcript of Drew Griffin of CNN and Dr Mignini. Griffin, who speaks no Italian, later tried to hide almost all of what was on the recording, and instead cherrypicked and disparaged Dr Mignini despite his courtesy in doing the interview.

Skeptical Bystander of Perugia Murder File obtained the recording. Translation was by Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

4’09’’ CNN: There have been many stories about this crime, about what people think happened. What do you think really happened?

4’20’’ Mignini: Well, I am a magistrate for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who found himself ... I was on duty at the time and thus I happened to be dealing with this matter randomly. For me it is a criminal proceeding that I dealt with, and I am currently working on it today at the appeal level.

4’49’’ What happened was that a crime was committed for which we conducted an investigation in the best way considering the situation. And there was a trial which, in the first instance, resulted in conviction with full acknowledgement of the theory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. I know there have been books, there were also films on the subject, but this is something for which I have limited interest. My job is to be a prosecutor for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who dealt with this case. I am interested in it from this point of view, nothing else.

6’30’’ CNN: But exactly how was the crime like, what you and your assistants, I do not say [missing words: *what happened?] ... but [what] you understood, who are the murderers, and the reason for this murder?

6’46’’ Mignini: I can tell you our impression when I arrived on the scene. I arrived basically, I believe, I think around 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, and I found myself facing a crime that obviously looked like - this is the impression I got in the first place and it was subsequently confirmed by the investigations and the proceeding - a murder of a sexual nature, in which there was this girl who was undressed or nearly so, a young woman who was covered with this, with this quilt. And the other thing which struck us, which was of immediate interest, I said this on other occasions and I repeat it because I’ve said it also at the first trial, was the break-in. And it appeared immediately ““ the climbing, the simulation of climbing, with a stone thrown through the window, through two shutters that were there, that left open quite a narrow space, rather limited room between them ““ immediately that appeared to us to be a simulation.

8’38’’ So there was this crime of a sexual nature and a simulated burglary. That is, the perpetrators or perpetrator, at that moment we were making a preliminary assessment, was someone who attempted, that appeared to be the situation to us, he had attempted [missing words] So that appeared to be the situation, an investigation of unknown persons; whereas instead the house, the house door was completely intact, there had not been a been a breaking open, and this made us think, then, as the investigations progressed, because as investigations go, by approximation you slowly get closer to it, to the ascertaining of the facts, it was, we thought it was someone who knew the victim and had an interest in orienting the investigation toward strangers.

09’44’’ Then the investigation went on. There were other important issues ... [missing word: *facts?] that have occurred [missing words]; they remained as key aspects of ... of what is called the basis of the charge. Which, by the way, for us is not the side of the accusation; we are an office that also has the task of ascertaining facts in favor of the suspect during the investigation.

10’19’’ What struck us besides the issue of the simulation was a series of endless contradictions, of inconsistencies, in the story of the two young people, the two young people who later became suspects and then defendants. And then, in particular, the calunnia [false accusation], then, what turned out to be such, a false accusation, made by the accused against her employer, a black man, Lumumba, Patrick D. Lumumba.

10’53” Here it is, this is it. Then, the elements of which there is much talk today, the elements which consist of forensic evidence, there was also evidence. There are the fingerprints, the [foot] prints, the phone cell records. These elements are ..., especially the forensics, they arose at a later time. This means, from the beginning what oriented the investigations toward these people, and later toward the black subject, Rudy, Rudy Herman Guede, who ... [missing word?] they were, that of Herman Guede was identified through the forensic material that was found.

The two youths were, let’s say they became objects of”¦[missing words?] the perpetrators of the murder, based on the findings that emerged at the beginning of the investigation, namely the simulation, the contradictions found especially in Amanda’s story, especially when she tells of having spent some time in the house, having taken a shower, in spite of everything. And then the call, the behavior that they maintained, especially the girl, upon the arrival of the postal police. And then the accusation, which was obviously a false accusation against Lumumba. So all these factors then they have, they led to the formulation of these accusations against them, which were later substantiated by the results of forensic tests, scientific evidence, were made by the scientific police, that is, the scientific police, which is that at the top of the national scientific police, which operates directly under the department of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior. We also had the local scientific police, but the one which operated was the scientific police placed under the command of Public Safety, thus at the central level.

16’34’’ CNN: Before there was the evidence from the forensic police, did you arrive at your conclusions with respect to Amanda Knox by instinct?

17’00’’ Mignini: The scientific elements were coming in, as I recall, they were coming in gradually. Now, I would not be able to tell you [missing words] ... I think, for example, that the issue of the knife, and then the sample, the genetic profile of the victim on the blade and the genetic profile of the defendant on a spot where the handle of the knife is close to the insertion of the blade, I think that was entered quite later compared to the initial investigation. But in fact the order of detention, ... which I ... which is the act by which, under which the two young people and, at the time, also Lumumba who was later released, were taken to the house of preventive detention, that is in prison. In this detention order, there was no mention of any DNA analysis [indagini genetiche], obviously.

18’08’’ There is, in the detention order and in the hearing before the Judge of the Preliminary Investigation [GIP] on the validity of the detention and then in the first months, the first weeks of investigation, that is our belief, mine and the flying squad, that the behavior of two young people and in particular, this actually is [missing words]... it was a detail that was even more obvious regarding Amanda, [we thought] was such that the two were considered involved in the crime. Thus before that, it was an initial assessment of those elements that we had at the beginning to orient the investigation toward them. Then confirmations came. And there were many elements of corroboration at the end; they were very significant, very numerous. But at the beginning we had these elements, again, in particular the issue of simulation.

20’13’’ CNN: And what was the proof, because from what we understand the scientific evidence does not point to them ... the two of them?

20’25’’ Mignini: Well, then: so now I,  to list all the evidence [elementi] that was found, it would be [missing words] on the other hand they have been mentioned in the First Instance sentence report by the Court of Assize. Mmm, then ...

20’50’’ The issue of the simulation ... The issue of the simulation, in that house just in those days, i.e. 1, 2 November, the second was a Friday, the third was a Saturday, the fourth was a Sunday, on that weekend in 2007 there was only Meredith and Amanda in the house in Via della Pergola. Since the two Italian girls were away from home: Filomena Romanelli was with her boyfriend in another part of town, she was staying there overnight, while Laura Mezzetti was in the province of Viterbo.

21’36’’ So in the house that night there was only Amanda and the victim. Amanda said she was in Sollecito’s house, which is actually a five-minute walk from the house of Meredith. Because of the distance, we must take into account the distance, you shall go to see these places, you see that the distances are very short, very limited. So who might have an interest in simulating intrusion by a stranger? Only a person who might be worried about being implicated in the crime.

There was no sign of forced entry through the front door, so this is an extremely significant element. Then we have again the inconsistencies that can be detected in the statements. There is the fact, then during the investigation the homeless man, the homeless man came in, who very precisely identified the two young people, he said he saw the two basically the night between the 1st and 2nd, a few meters from the house where the crime happened, in which it was committed, presumably at a time compatible with the crime. While instead the two young people stated they had remained all the time at Raffaele’s home. There is another detail which at the beginning of the investigation [was] something that has, let’s say, intensified the elements for us; it was the fact that Raffaele at the beginning had attempted, let’s say he attempted to state that he stayed at home while Amanda had been out and she returned to Raffaele’s house I think at about two a.m.

Then this approach has been kept by Raffaele during the hearing for validation of arrest, and afterwards was abandoned as Sollecito’s defense line became more, let’s say, supportive of Amanda. But at an earlier stage Raffaele stated this position of separation between the two.

Then other elements are given by the fact, were given by the fact that the homeless man saw them on the night of the crime in a location a few steps, a few meters away from the crime and at a time shortly before the murder occurred.

There is a statement of the neighbor lady who lived nearby, who heard a scream at a time compatible with that specified, with what we thought could be the time of death of Meredith, that is between 23.30 and midnight. And this, this lady, heard footsteps, there is a whole description that now I will not repeat because it has been explained ... rather, it was described at length in the first trial, she heard the footsteps of some people who are moving, running, along the clear ground facing the house of the crime, others were running up the stairs, almost simultaneously, running on the metal stairs which are above the garage and basically end up in via Pinturicchio. I do not know if you are familiar with the city of Perugia, but I guess not. So this scream the lady heard, a terrible scream and also another neighbor heard it, at a consistent time, I repeat, and this simultaneous running of subjects on opposite sides, from different, distant areas, basically corroborated the fact that there were multiple murderers.

26’09’’ Rudy himself, in his questioning has, while remaining vague, more or less vague with respect to Sollecito, however later during the various interviews he more or less indicated quite clearly that Amanda was present.
Then [we had] the questioning, then there were questionings that were done. I remember one of them, that of Amanda in prison which was an interrogation that has made me”¦ you asked what elements did I use to let’s say support the charge, saying in quotes the prosecution, there was also an interrogation in prison, Amanda, in inverted commas let’s say the accusation in the presence of the defense attorneys of course, and which confirmed the profound shock in which she always fell every time she had to tell what happened that night.

And then there were the results”¦ well, fingerprints ... footprints, the footprints on the rug of the bare foot stained with blood, an especially important detail which I see many have not talked about but which is extremely important, is the mixed stains of blood in the small bathroom close the scene of crime, those of the defendant and the victim.

31’00’’ CNN: In the room [missing words]

31’05’’ Mignini: But let’s say I may reverse the issue: how do you explain the DNA, the genetic profile of the victim on the knife found in Sollecito’s house, together with the genetic profile of the defendant located at the area of the blade [possibly meaning: handle] where force is applied, not where you cut”¦

31’40’’ CNN: Are you sure that one was the knife?

31’44’’ Mignini: That it was for us, I can say this: first you have to start from a premise: Amanda and Sollecito knew each other only since October 25. That is, we think, because this detail is very significant with respect to the relevance of this finding, since we [may just] think it was a relationship, usually we don’t think of the fact that actually they had known each other for a week. And thus this knife was never touched in conditions ... I tell you what we found in the investigation, I am talking about what we ascertained during the investigation - this knife was never touched by Meredith under normal circumstances. It was never brought to Meredith’s home, this is what the two Italian housemates say, and so why, [since] Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s house, why was Meredith’s genetic material found on the blade by the forensic police, and the genetic profile of the defendant on the spot of the handle that is where the hand would press not as you apply pressure from top down, but from back to the front, that is in a condition similar to that when you strike a blow, like this. So this”¦

And I have”¦ during the first trial I tried to show very clearly that this knife, the witness, the inspector I think whose name was Armando Finzi, he’s the one who conducted the search at Sollecito’s and found this knife. And I asked: did you put on your gloves at the time, was it the first pair of gloves you were using, in that search that was the first pair of gloves, he went [there], he started the inspection, he had not touched anything else, he opened the”¦ the cupboard where this knife was. I do not remember if he took away several, but he picked up this knife that was immediately - and thus with the gloves that he was wearing in that moment ““ it was immediately closed and sealed, was brought to the flying squad, where another police officer, the superintendent, I think, Gubbiotti, using the same technique, put it into a sealed container which was then carried to”¦ was then analyzed. So this was, let’s say because I wanted this to be highlighted and I think the Assize Court says so, I wanted to show that there was no possibility of contamination by the police, by the flying squad, with regard to this item.

35’04’’ Also because, I would like this to be noted, from the perspective of Italian law, evidence of contamination must be given by the person who invokes it. This means: I found the genetic profile, you as defense attorney say “˜there could be contamination’, you must prove it. That is, the burden of proof is reversed: it is you, the one who invokes the contamination, the one who has to give evidence of it. And this evidence was never given and cannot, I think, it cannot be given. That is, the one who claims a fact must prove it, onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat. [Translator’s note: This sentence was spoken in Latin and translates as “the burden of proof is on those who assert something, not on those who deny it”.]

36’50’’ CNN: Was it certain the genetic material was that of Meredith, and not genetic material that might be consistent with that of Meredith?

37’01’’ Mignini: No, no, it was like that. It was ascertained as such by the scientific police.

37 “˜20’’ CNN: So your detectives went into the apartment ...

37’28’’ Mignini: No, the knife was collected, then it was brought to the scientific police, it was sent to the scientific police in Rome.

37’ 40’’ CNN: Yes but your detectives entered the apartment and they selected right this very knife”¦

37’49’’ Mignini: I believe samples were taken from several, that is, not only that particular knife. I think, if I’m not mistaken. I think more knives were tested; however, one of those was definitely exhibit 36, the famous exhibit 36. And on this exhibit is where [a sample] was recovered from, and here it’s the scientific police that did the evaluation of that evidence and I retain, I digress. About [case] aspects, at the end of the investigation phase I asked, given the complexity of the case, the resonance of the case, I felt it was appropriate to have a colleague join me, a deputy [public prosecutor] like myself. Let me clarify, I’m not the chief prosecutor; I am a deputy prosecutor, since I’ve been presented as the chief prosecutor, but I am not the chief prosecutor. Then I requested the assistance of a colleague, Manuela Comodi, and we divided up the tasks. She has remarkable aptitude for these aspects of a genetic nature.

And so in this regard, I don’t know if you notice it in the first instance trial, my colleague did the questioning regarding the genetic aspects. I instead handled the more generic aspects of the case and aspects of a more investigative nature. This is why I remember all the details of the investigation, because I carried out the investigations of people. But for these aspects of genetics and scientific nature, we rely on the scientific police and we retain that the scientific police acted with utmost professionalism. I can recall, for example, going to the crime scene, I was at the place, and I also had to wear overalls, shoe-covers and a kind of cap, not just once but several times, at the same time when we did the inspections, ... I remember having worn many times, for example, the shoe-covers. And I had to”¦ also because, those who worked on the scene did have their DNA samples taken as well, so there is also my DNA [sample]. Dr. Stefanoni took DNA samples of everyone to rule out in case, there could be DNA discovered belonging to some operator who had nothing to do with this matter.

40’38’’ Therefore, I have the utmost confidence in the scientific police because the top of the scientific police in Italy, especially Dr. Stefanoni who acted with great professionalism and these findings on the biological material were carried out in cross-examination with consultants for the defense team, always. The defense consultants, as I recall, and I was present, as far as I can remember, they had no objections if not in later analysis; they had no objection to anything at all at the time. For example, when the famous bra clasp was discovered, the defense consultants were there, for Sollecito there was a consultant who afterwards was replaced, I don’t remember his name, he was quite good, and I remember that he did not make any objections. Therefore, all these findings were carried out in cross-examination and the other parties had the opportunity to challenge what the scientific police biologist was doing, the scientific police expert in forensic genetics.

42’06’’ So I think. I distinctly remember that, in the first trial, I tried to prove that the knife had been collected with the utmost correctness. And I believe that afterwards the same thing happened in the scientific police laboratory when it was analyzed.

44’16’’ CNN: I still have trouble understanding how you can have a crime so horrendous and so bloody without two of the suspects leaving any trace.

44’30’’ Mignini: Look I should then add, it must be also said, at the time. In the bathroom of the two foreign girls, that is Meredith and Amanda, which is attached, next to the room of the murder, blood material was discovered of Amanda and Meredith, mixed. Why is this material important? It is important because in her own account told, in her own deposition Amanda makes in, I think, in early June of 2009, during the first instance trial, she says that when she left the house on the afternoon of November 1st, those spots were not there. She says so herself. So she returns in the morning, says she went back in the morning and sees those spots of blood. Those spots of blood are mixed Amanda and victim.

Also, in the small bathroom, there is a blood stained footprint, which the scientific police attributed to Raffaele, on the bath mat next to the murder room. On the corridor leading to the murder room, [and] leading to Amanda’s room, there are footprints, I’m not sure now, there are even in Amanda’s room, I think, there are footprints that were attributed to the two youngsters by the scientific police, of feet stained in blood. And, by elements, there is also a print of shoe and that one, was inside the murder room. Elements there are, that is, how to explain the presence of these elements if the two youngsters were not involved in the murder, [and] stayed at home? And another detail: it is a crime, this was established at the time by the Supreme Court, then we can no longer put into question at this point, it is a crime committed by several persons. I have, during the first instance trial, I heard this line of approach, and I also opposed this approach, which extended to holding that Rudy was the only one responsible.

The “only one responsible” is not one person, but [transcription error] they are several persons and Rudy is among them. This is now procedurally beyond dispute.

48’48’’ CNN: He also wants to know if you also found [missing words], that is, Sollecito perhaps, had a few cuts, did you check to see if he had any cuts?

48’56’’ Mignini: The”¦yes. Well, now: Laura Mazzetti, that is the Italian girl from Viterbo, [said] that it was a scratch, however, she remembers having seen on Amanda’s neck, she told this account and afterwards was also heard [as a person informed], it’s sort of a scratch just few days later, I think it was three or four days, she remembers seeing this scratch on Amanda’s neck that had been also seen, I think, by one of the boys from the Marches region. And in one of the photos taken during the house search by police, I think it shows something. Nevertheless, Laura Mazzetti indicates the presence of a scratch or something like a scratch. That is, she remembers seeing that Amanda had this little injury to the neck.

50’20’’ CNN: None of your investigators noticed it?

50’25’’ Mignini: The investigators did not notice it, because at the time, Amanda kept herself covered, she was, as described by the shopkeeper Quintavalle, covered up. However, Laura Mazzetti saw it and it was also seen, I think if I’m not mistaken or was said, by the young guy from the Marches who was living downstairs.

This girl saw it [the scratch/mark] and she stated this later in the courtroom. Moreover there is even a photo.

51’44’’ CNN: Knox was in contact with the police for several days after the murder. She was interrogated. Was she always wearing something that covered her neck?

52’00’’ Mignini: I think so, to be fair, this was a mark that it was not very visible. Laura Mazzetti said she saw it well. Keep in mind also that we did not focus on it automatically, because it was not like a visually striking mark. She was questioned like Raffaele Sollecito and like all the people who were more or less, that had to be questioned in those days, after the murder, a long series of people were questioned, among which the [girl] friends of Meredith, the English girls she was with the evening of Nov 1 and the night before Oct 31. And, among these people who had been questioned, also several times, Amanda and Sollecito were questioned, Amanda in particular was questioned several times: the evening of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and then on the evening of 5th and the morning, or early hours of the 6th. But look, what I wanted that [??], just for the purposes of explanation, that under Italian law, we must take into account the totality of the findings.

Therefore there is the scientific evidence, there are statements made by people, examination of witnesses, there is the formal interrogation, there’s the conduct of the accused. All of these elements, it is not only the genetic aspect that comes into consideration. The genetic aspect [is], together with many others, must be altogether; it is a whole spectrum of various findings, which should converge towards an affirmation of a reality that is undisputable. This is how it should be, this is important from a judicial point of view. So it is not that the proof consists of the genetic evidence; it is not like that. There are items of proof from witnesses, there is the fact that there couldn’t be only one perpetrator, and this is now indisputable, and one of the positions of the defense of the two suspects always tended to say there was only one murderer who committed the deed, who climbed through in that totally absurd way, [that’s] not credible.

56’10’’ CNN: About Amanda’s interrogation, on the fifth day, what was it is that triggered you, made you begin to feel suspicious, and led you to conduct a more aggressive interrogation?

56’26’’ Mignini: I see you don’t”¦ so, I’ll repeat to you what happened. On the evening of November 5th, the police were going to question Sollecito, and on the evening of the 5th, as I was saying before, the attitude of Sollecito at the beginning was an attitude of, let’s say, different than the one he would assume later, meaning a defense line supportive with Amanda’s; at that moment, he had a different position. That is, on the evening of Nov 5th. Sollecito made a statement saying “I was at home, Amanda wasn’t”. Amanda at that time had followed; she had accompanied Sollecito to the police station and she waited outside [of the room]. As the police heard this version of Sollecito’s, who basically, Sollecito ... with that statement, also this approach by him in practice more or less had become part of the process too, as Sollecito made this statement, the police became suspicious.

That is: why did Sollecito tell us this, and why is he now telling us that Amanda was not home with him? So then they called Amanda, and Amanda was heard by the police as a person not under investigation, thus with no defense attorney, because the person”¦ the witness, the person informed of the facts during the investigation ““ is not called a witness, he is called a person informed of the facts - she was heard by the police who pointed out to her, they confronted her with this question: why is Raffaele saying something else? Now you say you were with him and Raffaele says you were not there, that he was at home and you were not there? This is the point.

58’44’’ So she did, she was heard in a way, let’s say for long enough, I cannot remember for how long, in the earliest morning hours of November 6, 2007. I was not there when Amanda was interviewed by the police. I was, perhaps I was coming, because I had been called by the director of the flying squad that night. I do not remember what time I arrived at the flying squad, but I think that”¦ I think I got there, maybe I arrived when Amanda’s questioning had already started. But the flying squad is pretty big; I was not in the room where Amanda was being questioned, but rather in the office of the director of the flying squad. We were talking about the investigation and were trying to plan the investigation for the coming days. So now, at some point, they call me, if I remember correctly, they inform me that Amanda had given the name of Lumumba, she had basically confessed that she was at the crime scene in the company of, with Lumumba, whom she had let into the house, that is it. Now I go on, I wanted to explain how I operate. So it’s not me, I did not do the questioning.

Further posts of the CNN interview which then moved on to later events can be read here and here. There is another significant interview here.

As Netflix “forgot” to tell you what actually happened at Knox’s session ending at 1:45 am which Knox lied about see here.

And as Netflix “forgot” to tell you what actually happened at Knox’s session ending at 5:45 am which Knox lied about see here.

Put this long-form interview about the first few days up against what you may have seen on Netflix, and tell us if the impression gained is the same, or like night and day?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Multiple Attackers and the Compatibility of the Double DNA Knife (Exhibit 36)

Posted by James Raper

Our YouTube whiz DelPergola’s video of November 2010

Ed note: This evidence area is enormously compelling - but also emotionally difficult. It is why initially we did not publish our translation of the Micheli Report. And why a quarter of the trial was behind closed doors with the media excluded. That well-meaning decision has bedeviled the case ever since, because only the jury and others in court then - including the white-faced and tongue-tied accused pair - were exposed to the full power of the prosecution testimony.

Material from some of my previous posts on TJMK (link at bottom here) was incorporated into my Justice on Trial book. From Chapter 15, this is the second of several posts setting out further material.

Before looking at the forensic evidence, which is the final theme I identified earlier, it will be helpful to take into account the wounds suffered by Meredith, and whether these suggest anything as to the dynamics of the murder, and whether any of them were compatible with the knife recovered from Sollecito’s kitchen, Exhibit 36, called the Double DNA knife because the DNA of Meredith was found on the blade and the DNA of Knox on the handle.

As mentioned earlier the autopsy was carried out by Dr Lalli.

It was observed that there were no significant injuries to the chest, abdomen or lower limbs.

The significant elements in the examination were described as follows :

A fine pattern of petechiae on the internal eyelid conjunctive.

The presence of tiny areas of contusion at the level of the nose, localised around the nostrils and at the limen nasi [threshold of the nose].

Inside the mucous membranes of the lips, there were injuries compatible with a traumatic action localised in the inner surface of the lower lip and the inner surface of the upper lip, reaching up to the gum ridge.

Also found on the lower side of the jaw were some bruising injuries, and in the posterior region of the cheek as well, in proximity to the ear.

Three bruising injuries were present on the level of the lower edge of the right jaw with a roughly round shape. In the region under the jaw an area with a deep abrasion was observed, localised in the lower region of the middle part at the left of the jaw.

Once the neck had been cleaned it was possible to observe wounds that Dr Lalli attributed to the action of the point of a cutting instrument.

The main wound was located in the left lateral region of the neck. A knife would be compatible provided it had one cutting edge only which was not serrated. The wound was 8 cms in length and 8 cms deep. The width could not be measured because the edges had separated due to the elasticity of the tissues both in relation to the region and to the position of the head, which could have modified the width. The wound had a small “tail” at the posterior end. The wound penetrated into the interior structure of the neck in a slightly oblique direction, upwards and also to the right.

Underneath this large wound, another wound was visible, rather small and superficial, with not particularly clear edges, “becoming increasingly superficial until they disappeared”, in a reddish area of abrasions. The knife had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken her hyoid bone. A consequence of that damage is that Meredith would be unable to vocalise, let alone scream.

There was also a wound in the right lateral region of the neck, also attributed to a pointed cutting instrument. This was 4 cms deep and 1.5 cms wide (or long). It had not caused significant structural damage.

The presence of two relatively slight areas of bruising, with scarce colouring and barely noticeable, were detected in the region of the elbows.

On Meredith’s hands were small wounds showing a very slight defensive response. A small, very slight patch of colour was noticed on the “anterior inner surface of the left thigh”. Another bruise was noticed on the anterior surface, in the middle third of the right leg.

The results of the toxicological analyses revealed the absence of psychotropic drugs and a blood alcohol level of 0.43 grams per litre.

Tests of histological preparations of fragments of the organs taken during the autopsy were also performed. They revealed the presence of “pools of blood” in the lungs.

The cause of death was attributed to asphixiation and loss of blood, the former being caused by the latter.

There was nothing in the pathology which confirmed that Meredith had been raped, though we should recall that Guede’s DNA was found on the vaginal swab, though not of a spermatic nature. For Massei this was confirmation that she had been subjected to a sexual assault.


—————————————


There was argument in court as to whether Exhibit 36 was compatible with the main wound. There was no dispute amongst the experts that it could not have been responsible for the wound on the right. The knife had an overall length of 31 cms and the length of the blade from the point to the handle was 17.5 cms. The width of the blade, 4cms from the point, exceeded the width of the right hand wound. The wound on the right was more akin to a pocket knife, or perhaps a flick-knife.

I shall look at the arguments advanced by the defence as to why the knife would not be compatible in a moment, but before that there is a simple logical point as to incompatibility based on measurements.

A knife would only be incompatible if the length of the wound was greater than the length of the blade of the knife, or if the width of the wound was less than the width of the blade. Exhibit 36 was therefore a priori compatible.

On this basis I would also have to concede that a pocket or flick-knife is not a priori incompatible with the main wound, unless (though we would not know) the length of it”˜s blade did not exceed 8 cms.

It should however be recalled that the width of the left side wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the wound on the other side of the neck. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36, 8 cms from it’s tip - and being approximately 3.5 cms wide- was over twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”. This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the left-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife”, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

We can also enter into a numbers game as regards the experts (8 of them) who opined on compatibility. Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility”, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

As far as I am concerned “non-incompatability” is not hard to understand. It simply means compatible.

Professors Introna, Torre, and Dr Patumi, for the defence, opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out. Their argument was twofold. First, the length of the blade was incompatible with the depth of the wound had the knife truly been used with homicidal intent. Indeed, if it had been thrust in up to the hilt then the point would have exited on the other side of the neck. Secondly, they said that the smaller wound or the abrasions beneath the main wound, mentioned earlier, were in fact caused by the hilt of a knife striking the surface of the neck. Obviously if that were so then the main wound was not caused by Exhibit 36.

Their argument does not consider, because we do not know, what may have been the actual dynamics of the knife strike. We cannot know what was the cause of the underlying wound or the reddish area of abrasions. As to that wound it may have been the result of the knife edge being run across the surface of the skin and the abrasions may have had a different cause in the prior struggle for which there is ample evidence. Hence their argument seems very weak. 

We cannot leave the topic without considering that there may have been more than two knives involved. This possibility arises from the evidence of Professor Vinci, for the defence. He considered blood stains that were on the bed sheet in Meredith’s room. These stains very much resembled the outline of a knife, or knives, laid to rest on the bed sheet.

It was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outlines (a dual outline from the same knife he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long, or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent blooded section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3), and having a blade width of 1.3 to 1.4 cms.

Taking these measurements as read they may seem incompatible with a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and they certainly are as regards Exhibit 36. It follows, he argued, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

The problem, and without going into detail on the matter, is that Professor Vinci’s contention and measurements are somewhat speculative depending on what one thinks one sees in the stains. It is rather like reading tea leaves. One could just as well superimpose Exhibit 36 over the stains and conclude that it was responsible for them.

Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outlines on the bed sheet. He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements.


—————————————————-


We can now turn to the issue of whether Meredith’s injuries tell us anything about whether her attacker was a “lone wolf” or not.

Massei believed that Meredith’s injuries lay at the heart of the matter. It seemed inconceivable to him that she would first be stabbed twice and that she would then be strangled. The amount of blood, being very slippery, would make maintaining pressure on her throat difficult. So Meredith was forcibly restrained and throttled first. The hypothesis of a single attacker requires that he continually modify his actions, first by exercising a strong restraining pressure on her, producing significant bruising, and then for some reason switching to life threatening actions with a knife, thereby changing the very nature of the attack from that of subjugation to that of intimidation with a deadly weapon, and finally to extreme violence, striking with the knife to one side of the neck and then to the other side of the neck.

Massei described the first knife blow, landing on the right side of her neck, as being halted by the jawbone, preventing it from going any deeper than the 4 cms penetration. The court considered that this was an action to force Meredith to submit to actions against her will. The same hypothesis could also, of course, in view of the injuries to the jaw, apply as to the lack of penetration with Exhibit 36 on the other side

What surprised Massei about Meredith’s wounds was that in spite of all the changes in approach during the attack she somehow remained in the same vulnerable position, leaving her neck exposed to attack.

Massei paid particular attention to the paucity and lack of what can be regarded as defensive wounds on her hands by comparison with the number, distribution and diversity of the impressive wounds to her face and neck. He found this disproportion to be significant, particularly with regard to what was known about Meredith’s physicality and personality.

Meredith was slim and strong, possessing a physicality that would have allowed her to move around with agility. She liked sports, and practiced boxing and karate. In fact she had a medium belt in karate. She would, had she been able to, have fought with all her strength. How then would a single attacker have been able to change hands with a knife to strike to both sides of her neck, let alone switch from one knife to another? He would have had to release his grip on the victim to do that, unless she had wriggled free and changed position, in which case he would have to subdue her all over again, but this time, if not before, she would be ready.

Since the attack was also sexual in nature, at least initially, how could a single attacker have removed the clothes she was wearing (a sweater, jeans, knickers and shoes) and inflicted the sexual violence revealed by the vaginal swab, without, again releasing his grip? It might be suggested, as the defence did, that Meredith was already undressed when the attack began, but for this to be the case one of three possible alternative hypotheses has to be accepted.

The first is that Guede was already in the flat, uninvited, and un-noticed by Meredith, which can only mean that the break -in was genuine but un-noticed by her. The second is that Guede was there by invitation and that their relationship had proceeded by agreement to the contemplation of sexual intercourse when Meredith suddenly changed her mind, unleashing a violent reaction from Guede. The third is that, having been invited in Meredith then thought that he had left, although he had not.

Having looked at the staging we can surely rule out the first hypothesis. As to the second, it does not fit with what is known about Meredith’s personality and the relationship she had been developing with Giacomo. As to the third it is difficult to imagine that in a small flat Meredith would not have checked before securing the front door and preparing for bed.

Massei found it was highly unlikely that one person could have caused all the resulting bruises and wounds by doing the above, including cutting off and bending the hooks on the bra clasp. The actions on the bra clasp alone would necessitate someone standing behind her and using a knife to cut the straps, requiring the attention of both hands from her attacker, during which time Meredith would have had the opportunity to apply some self-defence. It has to be conceded though that this could have happened when she was concussed, though there is no persuasive physical evidence of a concussive blow, or during or after she had been mortally wounded.

Massei concluded that there was little evidence of defensive manoeuvers on Meredith’s part, which to him meant that several attackers were present, each with a distribution of tasks and roles: either holding her and preventing her from making any significant defensive reaction, or actually performing the violent actions. He concluded that the rest of the body of evidence, both circumstantial and forensic, came in full support of such a scenario. He concluded that two separate knives had been used and that one was from Sollecito”˜s bedsit.

Although, at the trial, the defence had attempted to explain a scenario whereby a single attacker might have been responsible for the injuries, that there had been multiple attackers was not a scenario with which any court, other than the first appeal court presided over by Hellmann, demurred.

 


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Netflixhoax 17: Omitted - Too Many Pesky Truths, To Inflame False Notion Italian Justice Failed Here

Posted by Corpusvile



Inside Netflix’s Silicon Valley headquarters


Amanda Knox the Netflix documentary was directed and exec produced by two ardent Knox supporters, Rod Blackhurst and Stephen Robert Morse

They have been campaigning for Knox since 2011, which has included harassing real journalists who actually covered the case far more thoroughly than they did.

The movie opens with lingering almost gleeful close ups of the bloody crime scene and goes downhill from there. It begins by trying to shape a false narrative of handy villains who all seemingly came together like the stars aligning to make innocent Amanda look so screamingly, beyond a reasonable doubtingly guilty.

In the beginning, there were the cops. It was them who railroaded and coerced poor Amanda.

Then it was the nasty prosecutor, who the documentary falsely intimates took part in Knox’s trial and appeal, whereas he only took part in her trial and was one of several prosecutors. The documentary attempts to make out he’s some Sherlock Holmes fanboy nut job.

They also mistranslate him, by having him proclaim that only a female killer would cover a female victim, when he actually said that an “unknown” male killer - within the context of a supposed burglary gone wrong - would be unlikely to cover up a victim.

Then it was the ENFSI certified forensic specialist who Knox’s fan club labeled a “lab technician”. (Oddly, though, the same forensic specialist and prosecutor seemed to do a great job testifying against and prosecuting the black guy, and sogood work guys).

Then it was Meredith Kercher’s friends who conspired against The Railroaded One, then it was the innocent victim’s innocent family themselves who were “persecuting” sweet Amanda.

Now, courtesy of Netflix, the REAL villains were the tabloid media, specifically one tabloid hack, Cockney wideboy Nick Pisa, who comes across like I’d imagine Danny Dyer’s dad would come across as and is quite hilarious, albeit totally devoid of any scruples as any tabloid hack worth his/her salt would.

The media, the prosecutor, the witnesses, THEY were the ones who were responsible for poor Amanda’s woes (and not the 10,000 pages of behavioral, circumstantial and hard physical evidence against her which the documentary brushes over in a cursory manner.)

It makes out that Knox and Sollecito were in love after an alleged five day romance. I say “alleged” as Sollecito is rather inconsistent in this regard, variously claiming a fortnight, 10 days, to a week to now apparently five days. This is hammered home by shots of what I presume to be lovebirds, complete with feel-good treacle music.

Sollecito comes across as a smirking stoned weirdo, and Knox comes across as her usual creepy quasi psychopathic self, complete with crocodile tears and loud theatrical sighs.

Knox is also her usual inconsistent self and can’t seem to stop changing her story, whether it’s droning on that she and Meredith weren’t the best of friends (after droning on in other interviews that they were “dear friends”).

Or claiming that she only knew Guede to look at and had only seen him two or three times. This despite claiming that she only saw Guede for the first time ever in court (Dianne Sawyer interview) and claiming she never had contact with Guede, in her rambling eight page email to the Nencini appellate court before claiming - in a consecutive sentence no less - that she actually did have contact with him.

She proclaims it’s “impossible” for her DNA to be on the murder weapon, disregarding that it was a matter of established fact that her DNA is on the murder weapon with Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

The film makes out that Rudy Guede, the sole person convicted for Meredith Kercher’s murder, left his DNA all over the crime scene, with funky arrows pointing here, there, and everywhere. The problem is this simply isn’t true. Rudy Guede was convicted on less DNA evidence (five samples) than Amanda Knox (six samples).

The documentary also displays quasi racism, where trial and appellate courts can be rejected for innocent Amanda, but innuendo is sufficient for black guys, as Knox lies in the documentary that Guede is a known burglar.

The documentary happily facilitate this lie by obligingly showing a mugshot of Guede with the intimation that it’s a mugshot for burglary. The problem again is, this is simply untrue. Guede has no burglary convictions, and indeed was the only one out of the trio with no prior criminal record before Ms Kercher’s murder.

Knox and Sollecito both had minor run-ins with the law resulting in fines. Guede was never even charged with the burglary, and even the acquitting court decreed that the burglary was staged, as in staged in another flatmate’s room where Amanda Knox left her presumed blood DNA mixed with the murder victim’s and where no trace of Rudy Guede exists.

Knox also claims that no biological traces of her exist in one localized area of the crime scene, specifically Meredith’s bedroom, yet ignores that by such a rationale Guede couldn’t have committed the burglary.

Knox also claims that Guede acted alone, but no court decreed this, and she claims that he broke into her home when Meredith was present, neglecting to explain how Meredith never heard the 4 kilo rock hurling through Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom and why she obligingly did nothing while Guede shimmied 13 feet up a sheer wall TWICE.

The documentary, apparently not content with trying to match the record of most lies ever told in a single documentary before, then breezily attempts to surpass such a record, by introducing the film’s saviors, Stefano Conti and Carla Vechiotti, as “independent forensic DNA experts”.

Conti hypothesizes, like he did in court, that anything is possible. It’s like totally possible that contamination could have occurred, therefore it…  DID occur. Basically a hypothesis on the basis that “anything’s possible” supersedes actual submitted evidence.

Vechiotti not to be outdone promptly contradicts Conti by attacking Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA as a science. Basically he claims Meredith Kercher’s DNA profile on the murder weapon (found in Sollecito’s flat, causing him to lie in his diary as to how the DNA got there by claiming that Meredith had cut herself cooking while at his apartment; but Meredith had never visited Sollecito’s apartment) is so tiny that it should be discarded and ignored.

LCN DNA is however now accepted by courts of law worldwide, including in the State of New York USA. Vechiotti also admitted in court that it was Meredith’s profile, and that contamination couldn’t have occurred due to the six day delay between testing.

She does a u-turn on the documentary though, claiming that contamination was likely due to Meredith’s profile being LCN and so small, despite testifying the exact opposite where it mattered the most, in court.

Problem is, Conti makes the contamination hypothesis for the bra clasp, only Sollecito’s DNA found there isn’t LCN, it’s a 17 loci match, with a US court considering between 10-15 loci sufficient enough to be used as evidence.

The doc also fails to explain how his DNA ended up only on the tiny bra clasp in such abundance and nowhere else apart from a cigarette, but mixed with Knox’s. So, too small for the knife, and hey, anything’s possible for the bra clasp.

They also make a big thing about the bra clasp lying in a sealed crime scene for 46 days, yet don’t mention that two samples of DNA evidence used to convict Guede (Meredith’s sweatshirt and purse) also lay there for 46 days. I guess there’s different burdens of proof bars for black guys.

However again the problem is that all of this (yep, again) is simply untrue. Conti and Vechiotti are not experts in forensic DNA or ENFSI certified.

Carla Vechiotti is a pathologist. Her lab at Sapienza University was shut down due to atrocious hygiene practices including honest to God corpses being strewn about the halls, I kid you not.

Conti’s expertise is “computer medical science”...whatever that’s supposed to be. Nor are they independent. Conti and Vechiotti were found “Objectively biased” and “Objectively deceptive” in court by the Nencini appellate. Specifically because Vechiotti falsely claimed that the technology did not exist to re-test the murder weapon. It did indeed exist in 2011.

Vechiotti was also filmed by the BBC shaking hands with Sollecito’s father in court, no less, hardly appropriate behavior for so-called independents. Vechiotti has also been found guilty of criminal misconduct in a separate case, and was fined €150,000 for screwing up in yet another separate case, known as the Olgiatta murder.

You’ll notice in this review how I’ve rarely mentioned the victim Meredith Kercher. That’s because she barely gets a mention in this sad excuse for a documentary. Not even an RIP.

Meredith, the victim is relegated to a mere footnote and indeed a foot under a duvet.

The doc does use archive footage of her mother, Arline, and intimates that she herself is having doubts, whereas the Kerchers have made very clear on several occasions that they know who murdered their daughter.

Reprehensibly, the doc also displays close up autopsy photos of Meredith, yet the autopsy photos were never made public.

Considering only the Kerchers (who didn’t take part in Netflix’s PR makeover) and the defence - and by extension the two former defendants - had access to such material, this begs the very pertinent question: who provided two ardent Knox supporters with autopsy photos of the murder victim?

The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves for this alone, utterly contemptible behavior which comes across as needlessly and despicably taunting the victim’s family, and at the very least exploiting their daughter and sister purely for lurid effect to make their documentary more “gritty”.

So what’s the verdict on Amanda Knox the documentary?

Well, it’s a terrible, false and ultimately immoral exercise in innocence fraud, and here are some more of the facts that Knox’s PR infomercial left out:

1 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Amanda Knox was present during Meredith’s murder and may even have possibly washed the victim’s blood from her hands afterwards but it STILL can’t be proved that she did it, which begs more questions, namely why didn’t innocent Amanda call the cops for her friend and why wasn’t she charged as an accessory at least? (The same Supreme Court did not make the same allowance for the black guy though, had he washed the victim’s blood from his shoes for example.) The court also states that there’s “strong suspicion” that Sollecito was there.

2 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that the burglary was staged.

3 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith was murdered by three attackers and that Guede had two accomplices. (And you really don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to figure out who these two accomplices were, when you view the evidence in its totality)

4 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith’s murder was NOT due to a burglary gone wrong.

5 The Supreme Court’s acquitting nonetheless finalizes Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, which she was handed for falsely accusing her innocent employer of rape and murder, leaving him in prison for two weeks, and never retracting her statement, despite false reports that she did, meaning that Knox’s status is still that of a convicted criminal felon.

6 In finalizing Amanda Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, the Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Knox blamed her boss to protect Rudy Guede as she was afraid that Guede could “retaliate by incriminating” her, which of course begs some more very interesting and pertinent questions, such as how could Guede incriminate innocent Amanda to begin with?

7 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report does NOT exonerate Knox, it acquits her due to “insufficient evidence”,like Casey Anthony, OJ Simpson and that nice man Robert Durst now back on trial.

The Truth is Out There, as a fictional 90s FBI agent who investigated strange stuff once mused. The truth in Meredith Kercher’s case is out there too, specifically in the Massei and Nencini court reports.

Never have I seen a case where such overwhelming evidence existed and where all the primary sources and court reports are fully available, only for such false reporting and fawning (and equally false accounts abound). It’s like the mainstream media have collectively turned into the robotic town of Stepford.

Yet the truth often has the strangest habit of coming to light, often when we least expect it to shine. I have hopes it’ll shine in Meredith’s case, in time. The supporter fanboy filmmakers are fooling nobody who is familiar with Meredith’s case, and neither are Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito.

RIP Meredith Kercher, who along with her stoic dignified family (who have been subjected to absolutely abhorrent abuse and attacks by Knox’s supporters online) and Knox’s employer Patrick Lumumba are the only victims here.

May the truth shine in your case one day and the facts and truth come to light.


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Netflixhoax 8: Omitted - Honest Picture Of Sleazy Production Team, Hard Facts That Challenge Them

Posted by Ergon


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. As a passionate lover of movies and documentaries, I respect the right of ANYONE to create a documentary or film through the prism of their own POV.

On the other hand, they owe us, the audience, a modicum of honesty in their reporting. Otherwise, as some one once complained about deceptive editing and reporting in one of Katie Couric’s documentaries, it prevents “democratic discourse” and this is what we ask.

By all means, engage with us, but do so honestly.

Having followed the case for many years as well as attending the earlier Supreme Court hearing in 2013 I can add the following:

  • Rudy Guede’s lawyer Valter Biscotti had a lot more to say about his client being convicted ‘in conjunction with others’. This was edited out, as well as the caption Knox put alongside her blog when she posed with a machine gun, “The Nazi Within”.  Something the media reported correctly at the time, McGinn and Blackhurst not.

  • The Producer Stephen Robert Morse hid his involvement in the project with Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst since 2011. They had ALL made inflammatory comments in favour of Amanda Knox over the years, with Morse hastily deleting some (but not all) as the Netflix sale came up.

  • He even called Nick Pisa “a piece of shit” in Perugia in 2011. It was the reputable Danish production company head Mette Heide that approached Mignini and Pisa, who didn’t know of Morse’s involvement, but that gives the background to this biased ‘documentary’ and why some may feel it is less than fair or balanced in its portrayal of the protagonists.

  • Mignini was referring to the Monster of Florence case when he talked of people coming up to shake his hand, the film makes it look like they were congratulating him for putting away Amanda Knox.

  • He was referring to it being an inside job when he said an “unknown” man (edited out to make him seem misogynistic) would not have covered Meredith with a blanket.

  • The film emphasized his Catholic beliefs to make it seem he was making a moralistic judgement about her. As he pointed out, the evidence was somewhat overwhelming. It also made it seem like his love of Sherlock Holmes was proof of him following a hunch. Um, that’s what investigators sometimes do, especially when faced with the numerous prevarications and failed alibis of Amanda Knox. Obscuring the evidence to match your narrative is dishonest to the extreme.

  • The ‘independent’ DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti were given lots of room to claim contamination though that was never proved in court, only inferred. Also left out: Vecchiotti’s sentence for not maintaining sterile conditions in HER laboratory. Her switching a suspect’s DNA with another in one of Italy’s worst murder cases in order to falsely exonerate someone with ‘connections’. The tests had to be redone to obtain a conviction. As they make fun of Nick Pisa for ‘not fact-checking’, should they not have fact-checked before they placed her on camera?

  • The biggest laugh the Toronto audience gave was WITH Nick Pisa when he said “I mean, she’s (Knox) a complete and utter loon”.

  • This follows the Netflix template of creating reasonable doubt as it did with “The Making Of A Murder”. By over emphasizing the defense case, and ignoring the prosecution’s, it reads like propaganda.

  • This is neither fair nor balanced, nor is it original. It adds nothing to our knowledge, being a rehash of her book and numerous TV interviews, and already covered in Michael Winterbottom’s “The Face Of An Angel” in his fictionalized ‘the making of a movie within a movie’ adaptation of reporter Barbie Nadeau’s book. Oh, and producer Morse insulted HER too.

  • There were several prosecutors and numerous judges helped convict her, not just prosecutor Mignini. Nor was it an exercise in misogyny, the case was largely driven by five women: Judge Claudia Matteini, co-prosecutor Manuela Comodi, Scientific Police DNA lab technician Patrizia Stefanoni, homicide Inspector Monica Napoleoni, and Inspector Rita Ficarra.

  • This exercise in PR looks like an Amanda Knox Production, with her playing the lead role, director, producer and writer. Yet she fails to see how she comes across with her melodramatic styling and emotive pauses and outbursts. She is neither believable nor sympathetic, no matter how hard they all try.

  • Two stars out of ten for production values and slick cinematography, none for the film itself.

In the end, the picture belongs to Meredith Kercher, remembered by her family with a grieving Arline Kercher, her mother saying how she just could not understand how there could be two convictions and two acquittals; justice denied.

And a haunting video of Meredith, taken in the full bloom of her youthful promise by Amanda Knox. She didn’t want to be filmed, but as Knox admits in her book, she took the video anyway. (And included in her film).

Meredith Kercher, RIP.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Florence Courts Resent Mangling Of RS/AK Appeal By Cassation Now Have Ominous Ways To Re-Visit

Posted by Peter Quennell



Highrise Florence courts are just visible at left background


The Marasca/Bruno verdict setting RS and AK free has taken some hard knocks within the Italian legal community.

It is not lost on anyone that Sollecito defense lawyer Bongiorno was given special favors, including being allowed to argue unchallenged before the Fifth Chambers for some hours beyond the legal limit.

Or that the Fifth Chambers should never ever have received the appeal.

Or that the drafter, Bruno, was suffering seriously ill health at the time, and delivered a report which is largely legal nonsense.

Here Machiavelli and Catnip and most exhaustively James Raper explained many of Marasca’s and Bruno’s absurdities.

But the Florence courts are not done yet. They are still processing cases involving Knox, Sollecito, Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza) and Aviello. They still sit on this potential bombshell of a case against Sollecito lawyer Maori, which explains how the Fifth Chambers acted illegally.

Other cases are also possible, and two involving Knox are still continuing in Bergamo.

Now Rudy Guede’s team of lawyers in Rome and Viterbo prison have filed an appeal against his own conviction. It is filed with the courts in Florence.

The team notes that judgments against Guede up to and including the Supreme Court’s First Chambers concluded that he had acted against Meredith only in collusion with others and not in isolation.

This could reopen the Marasca/Bruno outcome which argued that he DID act alone or at least not with RS and AK though there is massive evidence to the contrary. That judgment while final in the normal course of things cannot stand under Italian law if illegalities were entered into.

With more and more documentation being read widely, the case against Knox and Sollecito acting in collusion with Guede is coming to look as strong as it did throughout their trial in 2009.

That is the quite possible Florence outcome.

It is one that Guede might accept fairly calmly, as his fury at Sollecito is quite palpable, and he wants nothing more than to nail his fellow attacker.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression He Didnt Want & Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sollecito Lawyers Threaten To Sue If Guede Tells Any Lies; Dont Hold Your Breath…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Bongiorno goes overboard at end of Nencini appeal; Italy laughs


Way to ensure high ratings? Now Bongiorno threatens to sue RAI if the interview propagates any “lies”.

Sources here and here. Good luck! If she DOES sue (dont put any money on that regardless of what Guede says) the Fifth Chambers report will not be her friend and she surely knows.

She hasnt commented publicly on that report though Sollecito has been very sulky of late. She still talks as if the March verdict is the only one that stands.

At other times there have been such threats to sue. None ever happened there. Examples:

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Aviello for saying she had been offering bribes to his cellmates in exchange for their testimony to help RS despite a threat.

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Lifetime TV as threatened for the movie about Knox - the RS character barely appears, maybe that was her beef - despite a threat.

    And Mignini’s case against Maori will really put Bongiorno and Maori in a bind, if Guede doesnt do damage enough.


    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Traitor? How Sollecito Extensively Smeared Italy In English But Of Course Not Italian

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Overview Of “Sollecito As Traitor” Series

    By way for example of his new Italian book, Sollecito is trying hard to make himself liked in Italy.

    An uphill task at best. Most Italians, who could follow the case a lot closer than most people outside Italy, know about all of this.

      (1) At his central-police-station interview 5-6 November 2007 and his first Matteini hearing two days later he dumped very heavily on Knox.

      (2) Throughout trial he gave Knox no help with her current alibi (that she was at his place all night) and again and again pulled out the rug from under her.

      (3) After the Hellmann outcome late 2011 Sollecito took off like a rabbit for the US (with his family soon in hot pursuit) and after Knox stiffed him tried very hard to get someone - anyone - to marry him so he could stay.

      (4) Before the Nencini verdict came out in early 2014, a panicked Sollecito took off to the north in a car and got cold feet (or was warned to stop) at the Austrian border and ignominiously came back.

      (5) Before the Fifth Chambers verdict came out in early 2015 a panicked Sollecito took off for Bari rather than remaining at the Supreme Court to find out what the verdict would be.

      What Italians mostly dont know is this. In late 2013 Sollecito’s first book - only in English - came out, and he was soon all over American TV once again sticking it to Knox.

      In the book his self-serving strategy was threefold: (1) Despite the title, point hard to Knox; (2) Point harder to Dr Mignini and the supposedly bungling, mean police; and (3) Point hardest to the official mechanisms, by lying on a grand scale, to make them out to be brutal and highly archaic at best.

      This series will lay out how Sollecito, lying and lying from what he thought would be a safe distance across the Atlantic, tried hard to make Italy look bad in the eyes of the world.

      A lot of posters contributed to the analysis of Sollecito’s 2012 English-language book on which much of the series will be based. Thanks especially to Sara, Kermit, Cardiol MD, and James Raper, who did the most work. 

      1. Sollecito’s First 20 False Claims

      We first posted a version of this analysis in May 2014. These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages.

      Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate and they will be examined in future posts. 

      1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

      This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

      No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

      They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

      A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

      2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

      On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

      Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

      All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

      Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

      3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

      In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

      In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

      The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

      4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

      By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

      “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

      On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

      5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

      Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

      An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

      Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

      6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

      We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

      Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

      Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her drugs and one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

      Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

      Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

      7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

      Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

      There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

      And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

      And how many burglars break into an occupied home between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at night? Approximately none. So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

      8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

      But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

      There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

      How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

      9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

      This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

      This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

      Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

      There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

      The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

      10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

      Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

      Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

      The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

      Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

      Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

      Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

      11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

      Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

      Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

      Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

      But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

      12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

      It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

      Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

      Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

      13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

      It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

      This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

      Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

      14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

      The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

      WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

      15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

      The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

      Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

      The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

      And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

      The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

      This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

      16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

      For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

      So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

      There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

      Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

      What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

      Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

      17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

      Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

      Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

      The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

      All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

      18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

      Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


      As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

      And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

      Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

      For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

      In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

      Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

      However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

      The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

      Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

      19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

      Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

      Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

      There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

      Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

      And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

      Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

      Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

      There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

      And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

      Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

      20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

      Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

      Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

      Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

      You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

      Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

      Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

       


      Wednesday, September 23, 2015

      Supreme Court Confirms All Three Were There And Lied, RS & AK Apologists Desperate To Downplay That

      Posted by Machiavelli




      1. Shocking Sentencing Report

      Despite the public relations campaign this was by any standards a very strong case.

      In contrast the language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as weak as Rome lawyers have seen. The Fifth Chambers normally handles only appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other mundane non-violent personal and family injuries and they are forbidden from judging evidence. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

      No finding by any experienced murder judge ever stretches logic and law and evidence as much as this. This grim situation for RS and AK still remains. 

        (1) The report very firmly places all three at the scene of the crime with extensive language on a long list of proofs; but though bizarrely it separates two from the crime itself.

        (2) The final verdict is not “assoluzione” meaning acquittal or innocence but simply “proscioglimento” meaning the dropping of charges (not usually used in a court context, see the note in the final paragraphs of translation) which can be subject to appeal.

        (3) The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials. It makes a win against either or both Knox and Sollecito in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing. And it pre-emptively dismisses the frivolous appeal by Amanda Knox to ECHR Strasbourg.

      If the appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal. Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal, and sent Knox and Sollecito right back to jail.

      The report makes lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories to murder after the fact. Even the defense teams seem to have realised the risks in the shaky judgement

      2. Passages Finding Knox And Sollecito Were There

      In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the Marasca/Bruno report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were both at the house on the night. They find that the proof of that stands up. Highlighted in the translation below are passages amount to the firm conclusion that Knox definitely was there, with blood on her hands, and Sollecito logically also.

      From Chapter 4

      4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

      Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

      Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

      Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

      And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which ““ the one inflicted on the left side of her neck ““ caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone ““ this also linkable to the blade action ““ with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

      Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

      [Ed note: Firm settling on motive is not required in Italian law.] On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen ““ because of its abnormal disproportion ““ not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

      Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

      From Chapter 9

      9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

      About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.

      We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time ““ except obviously the other people present inside the house ““ could have known (quote p. 96).

      According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

      Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

      (Ed: This next passages on hypotheticals shows how ignorant of murder jurisprudence Marasca & Bruno were, they had never handled a murder case before.]  The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

      Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance ““ this is decisive indeed ““ that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows ““ if we concede everything ““ that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

      Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

      It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

      However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

      And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards ““ apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside ““ on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who ““ as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling ““ had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible.

      But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived ““ they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio ““ the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

      Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents.

      Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead.

      The latter point apparently balances ““ still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness ““ the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

      Mr. Quintavalle ““ apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic ““ did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

      Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and ““ as for what was said ““ the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

      On that point, it must be pointed out that ““ again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts ““ it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime.

      The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

      What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

      It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using ““ it is said ““ the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

      Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

      9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions. His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is ““ as we said ““ an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

      There remains anyway the strong suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine. On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

      And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

      The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

      An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

      An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

      Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

      9.4.3. It is simply the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

      From Chapter 10

      10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

      And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather ““ as we observed above ““ they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

      At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula ““ that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

      The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

      The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. [Ed: unproven how damage occurred, all records were recovered.]

      The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

      Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

      The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

      Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] of dropping of charges which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

      [Translator’s note:  Under the Italian Procedure Code, the Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during the investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. When applied to the investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

      The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

      It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.



      3. Wrong Translation Circulated By Amanda Knox

      This version was garbled apparently to try to show innocence.  (It is a crime to deliberately garble Italian legal documents.)


      Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

      4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.


      Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

      9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

      About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.


      Tuesday, August 11, 2015

      Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

      Posted by James Raper



      Several of the numerous scientific witnesses; some evidence was behind closed doors

      Overview Of This Post

      Remember that Amanda Knox, a felon for life, served three years for framing Patrick for murder.

      In my previous post I dismissed the claim which the British barrister FG (Fred) Davies pervasively made in Parts 1 to 20 of his mammoth series in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly that it was actually Guede and his team who had somehow framed Knox and Sollecito for a crime he alone committed and left all of Italian law enforcement bamboozled.

      I now have Parts 21 to 26 as well, all of the series, and I wish to examine one more large area of cherrypicked facts and misinterpretations, along with Davies’s final conclusion.

      First, Fred Davies’s Final Scenario

      As anticipated,  Davies concludes that Knox and Sollecito should only have been convicted of the charge of simulating a burglary. He presents his own synopsis of what happened on the night of the murder which has both Knox and Guede present at the cottage for the murder, but not Sollecito.

      Davies says it is Guede who sexually assaults and stabs Meredith. Knox, unaware of what was going to happen is horrified and scared out of her wits, retreating to her bedroom and locking herself in.

      Davies says Guede flees, ignoring or unable to do anything about the fact there is/was a witness to his horrific crime. When it’s safe to do so Knox emerges and meets up with Sollecito.

      Davies says that Knox, fearing that if she went to the police she would only end up being accused of involvement in the murder, persuades Sollecito to be her alibi, and to stage the scene to point to a burglar, and Sollecito, being the Honour Bound sort of chap he is, agrees to go along with this. Once they both embark on this course of action there us no turning back.

      I trust that you are all duly intrigued with Davies’s scenario and panting to learn how and why he arrives at it. Unfortunately this will have to wait until another day if it is to be from me.

      He has, after all, taken 26 Chapters in half a year to get to this point and I am not yet ready to deal with them comprehensively. Others here may contribute posts and discuss implications with the Criminal Law editor.

      Fred Davies On Knife Or Knives

      Whilst I guess most comments are going to be about the above synopsis, I am going to deal with his thoughts regarding the knives, these being quite central to his synopsis.

      My argument below is supported by numerous previous posters none of whom differed markedly from Massei or Nencini. 

      Davies in contrast is sharply critical of Massei. He simply excludes the Double DNA knife (Exhibit 36) as the murder weapon.

      He is also critical”¦.nay, I would have to say that he is outraged”¦. at Massei holding that Sollecito was responsible for the lesser of the two wounds, that on the right side of Meredith’s neck. He is critical of Micheli for not finding, as a matter of fact, that Guede was the one responsible for the wounds, using his own knife which has yet to be recovered.

      Without more ado I will proceed to Mr Davies’ evaluation:

      “The finding against Sollecito that it was he who inflicted two of the three wounds to Meredith Kercher using a pocket knife which was in his possession at the material time is deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”

      Well, I was unaware that Massei had found that Sollecito inflicted two of the three wounds. In fact I am not aware of three wounds (unless he includes what is effectively a nick) , but if there were then Massei only attempted to attribute two, the one to the right of the neck, 4 cms deep and with a width of 1.5 cms, being attributed to Sollecito’s “pocket knife”.

      It did not cause any significant structural damage, unlike the wound to the left, 8 cms deep and 8 cms wide which had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken the hyoid bone. 

      Is the rest “deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”?

      “It could not have been part of the prosecution case that Sollecito used a pocket knife to subdue and stab Meredith Kercher. If it had why was Sollecito and/or Knox not charged with carrying the said pocket knife without justified reason? To recapitulate,, the charge alleged that the killing was achieved by means of”¦”¦”¦”¦.and deep lesions to the left anterior-lateral and right lateral regions of the neck, caused by a bladed weapon (Exhibit 36).

      The Massei Court’s finding strikes against basic principles of fairness which applies to all criminal proceedings. Put another way, a criminal court is not generally entitled to bring in a verdict which differs markedly from the basis on which the prosecution puts it’s case. This is because the defence would not be able to adequately prepare and meet such an unexpected contingency. In plain English the defence would be ambushed or taken by surprise. In this case the defence was ambushed and the defendants’ rights (Knox and Sollecito) were fundamentally infringed.”

      Oh come on! Ambushed? Really?

      OK, so the charge did indeed indicate that that both the right and left sided wounds were caused by “a bladed weapon to which Chapter B applies” (Exhibit 36) but the reality is that the defence always knew that Exhibit 36 (because of it’s dimensions and in particular it’s width 4cms from the tip) could not have been the cause of the wound to the left anterior lateral. That’s a matter of simple logic and in any event every expert and all the lawyers in the case agreed on that.

      So the way the charge was erroneously framed in fact misled no-one.

      Indeed had the defence thought so then they could have raised the matter. Mr Davies does not claim that Massei did not have the power to amend the indictment. If the court was unable to, or the defence chose not to raise it, either way thinking it was a clever appeal point, then it did not become one.

      Indeed, Mr Davies will know anyway that in English law, by virtue of The Indictments Act 1915, courts can (and frequently do) order an amendment to an indictment at any stage (which includes during a trial) provided the amendment does not result in an injustice to the accused.  This is a practical necessity as it would be an affront to the concept of justice if defendants were to be acquitted on the basis of a mere technicality.

      One might consider what amendment might have been made.

      A possibility is that reference to the right-sided wound might have been excluded. It was the left-sided wound that was fatal, after all, and caused, as the prosecution would endeavour to prove, by a weapon which, as it happened, belonged to Sollecito.

      The prosecution did, of course, maintain that it was Knox who wielded the weapon, but might, as an alternative, have also asserted that it was Sollecito. Indeed the framing of the charge leaves it an open question as to which of them did. They were charged jointly with having caused Meredith’s death.

      The evidence that it may have been either (AK or RS) is a common feature of cases to which the English legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise applies.

      The doctrine applies particularly to a case such as this in that no matter who actually wields the weapon the other participant in the common enterprise is deemed to possess the same level of criminal liability even if he did not know that there was a knife or that it would be so used. Being reckless as to that possibility is sufficient.

      It is surprising how often how little is required to establish joint enterprise. Frequently the mere fact that the participants know each other and were there, and that the situation was a combustible one of the group’s making, is enough. The doctrine has come in for a great deal of justified criticism but despite this remains firm law.

      My preference would have been to amend the indictment to refer to the right sided wound being caused by a bladed weapon, the blade being of indeterminate length but with a width of approximately 1.5 cms. It is the width of the wound that is salient because it is indicative of the width of the blade on the knife being used which, whilst also being indicative of the likely length of the blade, but without being sure, could be either a pocket knife (4 cms or more) or a flick knife (which could also be a pocket knife). 1.5 cms is about the width of the tip of one’s index finger, by the way.

      Massei, and others, always refer to this knife as a pocket knife. However henceforth I am going to write “pocket knife” to refer to the options of a pocket knife with a blade of 4cms or more, or a flick knife.

      As to Mr Davies other point as to why Sollecito was not specifically charged with carrying a “pocket knife” without justified reason, I do not know, but since the framing of charges is a matter for the prosecution, one might as well leave the matter there.

      In any event the lack of a specific charge does not in any way preclude a court from inferring the nature of a weapon from the pathology of the wound nor from identifying the probable assailant (as distinct from having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the culpability of a single perpetrator named in a specific charge of “carrying”).

      Guede did not ever face a specific charge of carrying a weapon but that does not prevent Mr Davis from concluding that Guede had a knife and had stabbed Meredith. It seems that Mr Davies would have been quite happy for Guede to have been so charged and convicted on Professor Vinci’s (see later) dubious testimony.

      In this last respect, however, Mr Davies could have more telling argument. Lets see.

      “To infer that Sollecito had a pocket knife at Via della Pergola 7 on the fateful evening of November 1-2, based on the character evidence of four witnesses called for the defence, was to say the least highly unusual..”

      I think the operative words here are “witnesses called for the defence”, amongst whom was Sollecito’s own father. Yes, highly unusual but then that is what happens when you do not vet your own character witnesses before cross-examination.

      Sollecito’s proclivity for carrying a knife (usually a pocket knife) at all times (and indeed he had one on him at the time of his arrest in the Police Station) is highly relevant. These witnesses referred to a knife with a blade of about 4 cms, or perhaps 6 cms.

      In addition Sollecito was something of a knife aficionado. The police found two specialist knives, a Spiderco and a 2004 model Brian Tighe. Neither of these can be connected to Meredith’s wounds but they are indicative of his affinity to weapons specifically designed to be used in a fight to maim or kill. Clearly a flick knife falls into the same category.

      As to proclivity evidence against Guede one can refer to his brief possession of a kitchen knife acquired at and belonging to the Milan nursery (which he did not break into, he had been given a key).

      There is, of course, Tramontano’s dubious claim (angrily dismissed by Micheli even though Guede was never given the chance to challenge this in court) that a black man broke into his property and, confronted by Tramontano, had pulled out a flick knife as he exited. Tramontano tried to claim the burglar was probably Guede based on a photo of him he had seen in a newspaper. If it really was Guede he was not carrying that knife with him at the Milan nursery 8 weeks later.

      “Even if Sollecito was present at the scene of the crime (as distinct from being complicit), the court could not have been sure that any “pocket knife” in his possession, which incidentally was never recovered, had inflicted all or some of the injuries, the most cogent rationale being:

      1. The prosecution could not prove the dimensions and the character of the knife were consistent with the injuries inflicted upon Meredith Kercher.

      2. The Court paid scant regard to the totality of expert opinion as to the type of bladed weapon (or weapons) which had been used to stab the victim

      3. The Court paid scant regard to the dimensions of a bloody outline of a knife found on Meredith’s pillow

      4. Consequently the Court could not have been sure that any pocket knife and, a fortiori, exhibit 36 had been used to stab Meredith that fateful night.”

      As to 1 above, we know that no suitable weapon was ever recovered but if the indictment had been amended in accordance with my preference then the prosecution would easily have proved that part of the indictment, relating as it does to the wound on the right side of the neck.

      It is a reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities that the wound was caused by a “pocket knife” and if one accepts the presence of multiple attackers (which I understand is a judicial truth in the case even following the latest acquittal of Knox and Sollecito) then, again on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account all the other circumstantial evidence in the case, I submit that it is a reasonable inference that it was Sollecito’s “pocket knife”.

      The bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to culpability re the specified charge and is not to be confused with the elements.

      As to 2, this simply is not true. I shall look at the totality of the expert opinion in a moment but suffice it to say that Massei spent a considerable amount of time in his Motivation detailing with and discussing the defence experts’ opinions.

      As to 3, (and it was not on the pillow but the bedsheet) it was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outline (there was a dual outline, he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3). Davies does not mention a blade width but in fact Professor Vinci actually says 1.3 to 1.4 cms wide.

      Taking these measurements as read, Davies points out that they are incompatible with either a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and Exhibit 36. I have no argument with that observation. It follows, he then argues, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Indeed (Davies does not say this, but I will) Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

      This is worth looking at seriously as so far it is the only worthwhile point Davies has made.

      First of all I have to say that I have searched for but have not found any rebuttal evidence or comment from the prosecution amongst the documents on the Wiki.  I do not even see a question on the matter in the cross-examination of Professor Vinci.

      Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outline on the bed sheet.  He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements. But is Massei right? One does not have to be an expert to consider this.

      First of all, here are images of the blood stains.






      In the picture below the stained section of sheet is cut out for analysis the day after the discovery of the murder.

      Did the prosecution overlook their own analysis of the stains? Did they deliberately do so after Exhibit 36 was found, 9 days later on the 12th November, to have Meredith’s DNA on it? Or did they always know that the stains established nothing?






      The next question to be asked is whether we can see the outline of a knife, or rather a blade. I think the honest answer to that is, on balance, yes. We think we see the tip of a blade, do we not? Maybe two, maybe even three.

      It is fairly clear that Professor Vinci takes the largest of the stains to be the hilt of the handle to the knife. Lining that up with what is perhaps the likely clearest possible perceived blade tip (being the middle out of a possible three I believe I see) then the distance to the perceived hilt is indeed something like the 9.6 cms which Professor Vinci has measured.

      But there are problems. Here are two of Ergon’s photos from his posts here and here with Exhibit 36 superimposed on the stains in two different positions to reflect the supposed dual outlines.










      The blob of blood in the bottom left of the pictures and it’s lesser moon at 1, or 2, o’clock are regarded as having come from the same position on the blade and so with that reference point the blade is positioned accordingly in each photo.

      We can surely take it that Professor Vinci also sees the same duality. But if the bloody hilt is aligned to fit with “the moon” stain in order to get the 9.6 cms measurement, then what has happened to that large hilt stain when the knife is moved further to the left, and then dropped a bit, to align to the moon’s planet (the blob)?

      It has either disappeared or become an edge. That doesn’t make sense if “the moon” is the lesser version of the blob. The blob has to come from the first positioning of the knife. Despite this, in the knife’s later position the volume of blood at the hilt has actually increased comparative to the knife’s first position. That doesn’t make sense either.

      So maybe the largest stain pre-exists, even for perhaps a moment, the stains suggesting the blade outlines, but in that case we can throw Professor Vinci’s measurements out of the window.

      Can we do without the blob and it’s moon? It’s all a lot less convincing without them. But in truth we cannot even be sure that they are related. Nor that the largest stain has anything to do with the hilt of a knife.

      A further connected observation concerns Professor Vinci’s claim that the blade of the knife is 1.3/1.4 cms wide. Like the rest of his evidence I do not find this very convincing. I suspect that he has deduced this from the largest stain which has a length, he says, of 1.7 cms. It’s width could then be something like 1.3/1.4 cms.

      If the width of the knife is represented by approximately 1.4 cms then, given the position of the bloody hilt relative to the tip of it’s blade, what are we to make of the two spots of blood in a horizontal line above? They look like the upper (or lower) edge of a knife but they can’t be without making the blade wider.

      Why does it have to be the same knife anyway? The stains could be the result of two different knives collected and laid to rest in the same spot.

      The blood stains are certainly bewitching - rather like seeing patterns in tea leaves at the bottom of one’s cup - but on the balance of probabilities I would not totally rely on anyone’s perception of them even, with all due respect, Ergon’s but his analysis is as good as anyone’s, and that for me is the point of it.

      In short I think that Massei was probably right. These stains are suggestive but basically useless and the police/prosecution ignored them for that reason.

      “Consistent with English law the Massei Court’s findings should be struck down as Wednesbury unreasonable. Where there is no evidence to support a finding of a court or the court has reached a conclusion which is irrational or perverse, in the light of the evidence adduced at trial, a conviction based on that part of the evidence cannot be sustained”¦”¦”¦.The Massei Court also appears to have violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial),”

      Yeah, right.  The case to which he refers, Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1KB 223, is an odd and unnecessary one to pray in aid.  It was a civil case where the appellant sought judicial review in respect of a licencing decision. As a formulation of a first principle of natural justice it is, of course, unquestionable. However the claim that Massei reached a conclusion that was irrational or perverse is laughable.

      It is at this point that one does begin to wonder whether Davies is indeed connected in some way with the daffy Nigel Scott (Sollecito”˜s ex Lib Dem Haringey Councillor groupie) who similarly emerges with bizarre arguments.

      Next, in his evaluation, we come to a numbers game as to who was for and against the incompatibility of Exhibit 36 with the fatal wound on the left side, but before I enter into that game I want to make a point about incompatibility.

      A knife blade is only incompatible with a wound if the depth of the wound is longer than the length of the blade or if the width of the wound is shorter than the width of the blade at the relevant depth.

      We can therefore establish that Exhibit 36 was not incompatible, a priori, with the depth of the wound.  The blade on Exhibit 36 was 17. 5 cms long and the depth of the wound was 8 cms.

      Yes, I know that other arguments as to incompatibility were advanced based, in the main, on these measurements. These Massei logically deconstructed. In fairness to Mr Davies he did not advance them in his evaluation and so neither shall I.

      I would also have to concede that Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is not incompatible a priori with the wound on the left side nor, even if it”˜s length of blade was over 4 cms, with the wound on the right. Nor Professor Vinci’s knife either.

      The same is true of the width of these knives.

      It should however be recalled that the width of the right-sided wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the “pocket knife”. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36 - 8 cms from it’s tip - was twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”.

      This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the right-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife”, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

      Returning to our numbers game, Mr Davies puts it slightly differently from Massei. He says -

      “And if that were not enough, of the 8 experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side. Professor Norelli could not rule out Exhibit 36. Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility)  - it will be assumed that he supported the prosecution contention, but in any event al the remaining four experts, Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out.”

      In other words a draw but one of the prosecution experts is a bit “iffy”.

      Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility”, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

      “Non-incompatibility” is not hard to understand. It simply means not incompatible or rather, compatible.

      Note that Mr Davies has Professor Cingolani lining up to exclude Exhibit 36. Massei disagrees and I agree with Massei. So, for what it is worth (and this is a bit childish I know) Mr Davies loses the game 7 - 3.

      “And one final thought. If the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) were sufficiently compos mentis to dispose of the pocket knife “¦. Why did they not dispose of Exhibit 36?  By a process of deduction and logical synthesis the answer is plain for all to see: Exhibit 36 never left Corso Garibaldi and was not the murder weapon “

      Because it was on his landlord’s inventory of kitchen items? Indeed we don’t know for sure that the “pocket knife “was actually disposed of. All we know is that it was not identified and recovered by the police.

      And In Conclusion

      This is the second of my posts involving Mr Davies. I may not be disposed to do any more. I have to say that although he certainly provided some food for thought on this one, I have not been impressed with his analysis in the topics I have covered so far.

      Others here have been tabulating other factual errors and forced arguments and as I mentioned at the start we may see them carry this a bit further.


      Thursday, July 30, 2015

      Problems With Fred Davies #1: Did Guede’s Separate Trial REALLY Impact Negatively On RS And AK?

      Posted by James Raper




      1. Summary Of The Complaints

      I want to write about the separate trials of Guede on the one hand and Knox and Sollecito on the other.

      This feature has often been criticized by the apologists for Knox and Sollecito, and I was surprised to learn just recently that their gripe seems to have some support in learned establishments in the UK! Ahem.

      The gripe concerns the Fast Track trial of Rudy Guede, and the consequent Supreme Court confirmation of his conviction, with the apologists arguing that these had an adverse and unfair effect upon the proceedings in which Knox and Sollecito were involved. It is based on the simple fact that Guede chose to be tried separately, this being seen as an unfair complication for the administration of justice in the Italian justice system.

      There are a number of complaints that the usual apologists have regarding the separate trial of Guede. Most of these are in fact fantasies as I will address.

      These complaints, or constant refrains, which some apologists fondly thought could form the basis of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in due course, can be summarised as follows -

        1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

        2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

        3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

        4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

        5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

        6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.


      2. How Overall The Complaints Are Wrong

      I think that we know what fast-track is by now, so I will not dwell on that. Guede’s trial was over relatively quickly. It lasted a month and likely consisted of about 3-4 hearings. There were just a few witnesses called.

      The judge, Micheli, in addition, dwelt on all the evidence in the investigative file including witness statements and forensics. This was because Guede was charged with murder “in complicity with others” and because Micheli also had to make the decision whether or not to commit Knox and Sollecito to stand trial as the other accomplices.

      Before I address whether or not there could be any justification at all for the apologists’ above complaints I would like to mention that learned quarter to which I referred at the outset.

      I recently stumbled (with the help of the apologists’ website) across the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly website.

      I was surprised to learn that various articles had been appearing on it under the heading of “The Brutal Killing of Meredith Kercher - A critical examination of the trials and subsequent appeal hearings of Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”

      Lexis Nexis ( publishers and distributors of legal material to the legal profession in the UK)  describe Criminal Law and Justice as”¦.”the leading weekly resource for criminal law practitioners and all those working within the courts and criminal justice areas.”

      The articles are by an F. G Davies, described as a Barrister and listed in Anthony and Berryman’s Magistrates Court Guide as a Deputy Justices Clerk, North Cambridgeshire, in England. He is also a contributor and specialist editor to Justices of the Peace Law Reports.




      Online image associated with an annual legal-fees guide which FG Davies edits


      Here are two quotes I picked out relevant to this post about separate trials.

      “This supports the writer’s contention made earlier that the holding of separate trials for co-accused was wrong in principle and law because the prosecution were alleging that at all three defendants committed the crime acting in concert”

      And:

      “It provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito who, by this time were suspected to be chief architects of the attack.”

      It is of course perfectly true that in the anglo-saxon world Guede would not have had the choice to elect for trial separately from his co-accused. It might have made for a very interesting trial for everyone concerned if he had stood trial together with Knox and Sollecito, but for reasons I will explain later I doubt it, or that Knox and Sollecito would have gained any advantage from it.

      Indeed separate trials had rendered a very specific advantage to the Knox and Sollecito camps in that Guede had already been convicted when Knox and Sollecito stood trial, a fact that their PR campaign and followers have drilled home at every conceivable opportunity.

      But what on earth does it mean to say that “the holding of a separate trial [for Guede] was wrong in principle and law”?  .

      Whose law? Whose principles? Just how deeply does the Deputy Justices Clerk delve into the respective systems of justice (and particularly the Italian one) for a comparative evaluation?

      Certainly on the basis of a quick read of his articles I would say that he hasn’t delved very far at all. In fact I will go further and say that despite that he is capable of a detailed review of various aspects of the case he pretty much shares the same hostility and concerns based upon parochialism and ignorance to be found on the usual apologists’ websites.

      So I will try to put him and the apologists right on how the Italians cope, as a matter of law, with any evidential difficulties that separate trials can throw up.

      However, let’s start first with the assertion that the fast-track trial “provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito”? Is that true?

      Guede admitted that he was present at the scene of the murder and he has always minimized his part in the attack, in fact denying that he had any part. This is all to be found in his statements pre trial. He would have minimized his part even if he had been tried with his co-accused and had given evidence. Given that he was not believed anyway, it is difficult to detect wherein lies the golden opportunity of a fast track trial.

      It is also difficult to envisage what cross examination formula (and the point of it) would have been available to the Knox and Sollecito defence teams as to Guede’s minimal role or otherwise given that Knox and Sollecito maintain that they were not there and thus are hardly in a position to dispute Guede”˜s version.

      Did Guede load the blame onto Knox and Sollecito?  The answer to that is that he did directly implicate Knox but not Sollecito. Again this is all to be found in his pre-trial statements and interviews with the police and investigating magistrates. Whilst on the toilet he had heard the doorbell ring, Meredith call out “Who is it?” and later say “We need to talk” followed by another woman’s voice, which he thought was Amanda, replying “What’s happening?”  He had also claimed to have seen, through Filomena’s bedroom window, a female figure with flowing hair and had recognised the shape as being that of Amanda Knox.

      It might be useful at this point just to pause and remember when Guede could have been cross-examined on this by the Knox and Sollecito defence teams.

      Guede was called to give evidence during the Massei trial but declined to give evidence. Not surprising given that he was appealing his own conviction at the time. This was heard two weeks after the conclusion of the Massei trial.

      He then appeared at the Hellmann trial by which time he already had a definitive conviction. On this occasion he did respond to questioning and I shall look at this a little later.

      3. The Specific Mistakes In Each Complaint

      Let us return now to the apologists standard refrains as I listed them at the beginning.

      1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

      One might also add the staged break in and some others as well which were all considered by Micheli and endorsed by Massei.

      However as at the conclusion of the Massei trial Guede’s first appeal was still extant and the Supreme Court’s definitive reflections on the multiple attacker scenario were still a year off. Nothing had been written in stone at that point. If the multiple attacker scenario became a tenet of the case then it would be more accurate to say that it became so because of Massei joining up with Micheli.

      But let’s also take in the second refrain to consider alongside the first at this point.

      2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

      This really is pretty rich. So what? Knox and Sollecito were not on trial there. And what to make of the Massei trial which of course is when Knox and Sollecito then wheeled out their big guns; the expensive lawyers and experts in telecommunications, forensic pathology, forensic DNA, ballistics and footprint analysis?

      The Massei trial may have taken its time but it was nevertheless (unlike Guede’s trial) a full blooded adversarial trial of first instance, lasting a year, with the prosecution producing each and every one of it’s witnesses for rigorous cross-examination by the defence.

      It was Massei that confirmed the multiple attacker scenario on the basis solely of that evidence and with scarce a mention of Guede’s sentencing report. It is lame to argue that Massei was in any way constrained by Micheli’s reasoning on the matter though his judgement was indeed available.

      However Massei did make the following observation -

      “”¦”¦the reconstruction of the facts leads to the unavoidable conclusion that he (Guede) was one of the main protagonists (writer’s note: no concession to Guede’s chances on appeal, then?); thus it is not possible to avoid speaking of Guede in relation to the hypothesised criminal facts. The defence of the accused in particular have requested the examination of texts concerning only Rudy, and have demanded the results, specifically concerning Guede of the investigative activities carried out by the police in particular. In fact they have expressly indicated Guede as being the author, and the sole author, of the criminal acts perpetrated on the person of Meredith Kercher.”

      So here we see the defence making the running on Guede (without Guede being present as a co-accused to dispute anything) to include any and all evidence as to his alleged criminal background with the precise purpose of bolstering the Lone Wolf scenario, all of which was duly evaluated by Massei.

      [One might think, in addition to the above, that Guede would have had cause to complain about the indictments for Knox and Sollecito, in that both were indicted, and subsequently convicted, with the crime of murder “in complicity with Rudy Hermann Guede”, although he still had two appeals left and theoretically (though not realistically) it was still possible for him to be acquitted of the crime. However the drawing up of indictments in separate trials, and how the judiciary would deal with an outcome such as above (which I don’t think would be difficult) would be a topic for another discussion.]

      3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

      This is so lame by any objective standard, but it is amazing just how often this particular drum is beaten. However our Deputy Justices Clerk would probably subscribe to this. He develops an argument akin to this which he terms the Forbidden Reasoning (echoes of Preston’s “The Forbidden Killer”?) which is basically that Micheli made a number of errors which were then compounded in subsequent hearings.

      4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

      The evidence that implicated Knox I have already mentioned. It is not entirely decisive in that it is not a solid ID of Knox at the crime scene. At the Hellmann appeal Guede added this in an exchange with Knox”˜s lawyer -

      DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA””And therefore, Mr. Guede, when you wrote verbatim that it was a “horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox” what do you mean exactly? Have you ever said this?
      WITNESS””Well, I”¦ this, I’ve never said it explicitly, in this way, but I’ve always thought it.
      DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA””And so, it’s not true.
      WITNESS””No, it’s very true”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦..............  So if I wrote those words it’s because I’ve always had them inside of me. It’s not up to me to decide who it was who killed Meredith, in the statement that I made in my trial, I always said who was there in that home that damned night, so, I think I’m not saying anything new”¦”¦

      In another exchange, this time with Bongiorno, Guede makes it clear that he is not planning to answer any further questions about what happened that night but this is because he has already stated (statements and recorded interviews etc), and stands by, all that he has to say about it.  Thus all that is taken into evidence perfectly properly. The matter is then left to rest by the defence.

      Indeed it is difficult to conceive what further effective cross-examination could have occurred in this situation because clearly Guede would have responded with exactly the same answer each time.

      The above exchanges also show just why it is unlikely that there would have been any fireworks had Guede been tried with his co-accused.

      Guede would not have been obliged to give oral testimony any more than were Knox and Sollecito and in the event that he had done so (and I think it would have been in his interests to do so) his evidence would not only have been the same but it would have been subject to the same limitations, which would have been zealously protected by his lawyers, that had protected Knox when she gave oral evidence.

      On due consideration it might have been a somewhat tetchy affair for the lawyers but it would not have been in the interests of any of the respective teams of lawyers for there to have been any surprises such as Guede moving from beyond what he had already said in pre-trial statements to a solid ID of Knox from the witness box. That wouldn’t have particularly helped Guede as it would have affected his credibility even further. They all had prepared positions to protect and Guede’s presence would be neither that much of an added threat nor an advantage for Knox and Sollecito.

      5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

      Now we are into the law, Italian law that is, and how it coped with separate trials of co-accused.

      By this time Guede’s conviction, remember, had been ruled as definitive by the Supreme Court.

      This is what Hellmann said about that -

      “”¦”¦. in truth, this judgement, acquired pursuant to article 238 and so utilisable under the probative framework only as one of it’s evaluative elements pursuant to article 192.”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.. already appears in itself a particularly weak element, from the moment that this judgement related to Rudy Guede had been carried out under the fast track procedure.”

      It will be useful to consider some of Prosecutor-General Galati’s observations in the prosecution’s appeal submission and we can do this because the Supreme Court agreed with him.

      This is what the Supreme Court said -

      “The submission on the violation of article 238 “¦”¦.is correct. Even though (Hellmann) obtained the final judgement pronounced by this court against Rudy Guede, after properly considering that the judgement was not binding, it has completely “snubbed” the content of the same, also neutralizing it’s undeniable value as circumstantial evidence on the presupposition that it’s profile was particularly weak, since the judgement was based at the state of proceedings without the enrichment acquired as a result of the renewal of the investigations hearing arranged on appeal, In reality, the court was not authorised at all, for this reason alone, to ignore the content of the definitive judgement.”

      The enrichment referred to would of course have been the Independent Expert’s evidence (subsequently debunked by Nencini) and the Supreme Court also added that in any event article 238 was not impaired at all by the fact that the first instance trial was fast track.

      At the end of the day this was just poor argument by Hellmann but it was symptomatic of the many flaws that underlay much if not all of his reasoning for acquittal.

      More importantly for me and in addition to the foregoing the Supreme Court delivered a withering criticism of Hellmann’s understanding of circumstantial evidence and how to evaluate and treat it in its broad spectrum.

      However, how can and what elements contained in the separate trial of one co-accused have any probative weight in the trial of the others?

      Prosecutor-General Galati puts it like this. The Supreme Court’s rulings -

      “have now settled definitively regarding the interpretation according to which finalised judgements can be acquired by the proceedings, as provided for by the indicated law, but they do not constitute full proof of the facts ascertained by them, but necessitate corroborations not differing from the declarations of the co-accused in the same proceedings or in a connected proceeding”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦......
      Naturally this confirmation is not directly used for the purpose of proof but as corroboration of other circumstantial pieces of evidence or of evidence already acquired, not very different from what happens when declarations of collaborators with justice corroborate each other.”

      In the event the only material from Guede that really seems to me to have hitherto been extraneous to the first instance trial of Knox and Sollecito was the inclusion at the Nencini appeal of Guede’s partial ID of Knox at the scene and his evidence as to Meredith’s missing money, which were corroborative of elements of evidence that had appeared at the Massei trial; in the case of the missing money for instance, the missing credit cards and Filomena’s testimony that at a meeting shortly before both the murder and the day the rent was due Meredith had told her that she had the cash to hand and was prepared to hand it over there and then.

      No such money was found at the crime scene. One suspects that these two elements would have been more prominent at the Massei trial, and have been motivated more attentively, had the three been tried together. In the event Guede’s partial ID of Knox was not even mentioned by Massei and Knox and Sollecito, in the absence of any evaluation of Guede’s evidence, were acquitted (not even motivated at all in fact) of the charge of theft in relation to the money and the credit cards.

      Given the foregoing I would argue that Knox and Sollecito derived an advantage rather than a disadvantage from the separate trials.

      Furthermore I would argue that the material from Guede’s separate proceedings was not particularly damaging given the overall context of the evidence already directly available from the trial of Knox and Sollecito (which received some but in truth did not require much corroborative confirmation from Guede’s separate trial) and which in itself was sufficient to found a verdict of “beyond reasonable doubt”, but it did supply some useful insight into a motive when of course Hellmann had found none and Massei had supplied a rather improbable one.

      6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.

      Needless to say this is what you get from desperate and deluded minds. Guede’s lawyer has explained why his client took his advice and the decision was perfectly rational and in Guede’s interests. Guede was entitled to a third off his sentence from choosing fast track though I am no fan of that. Furthermore I have explained why no particular advantage accrued to the prosecution from this choice other than that it probably foreshortened the time that a full trial of the three would have taken.


      Sunday, February 15, 2015

      Sollecito v Italy & Guede: My Subtitled YouTubes Of Rudy Guede’s Interview with Leosini

      Posted by Eric Paroissien













      Thursday, January 22, 2015

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5: Gumbel Simply A Cowardly Defamatory Shill?

      Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



      Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

      1, Today In The Florence Court

      Lately many of the chest-thumping PR shills have whined a lot more about themselves as victims than done anything to boost Sollecito and Knox.

      Think of Preston, Burleigh, Dempsey, Sforza, Fisher, Moore, and a whole lot of other serial complainers. Now chest-thumper Andrew Gumbel seems to want to join their ranks. That is if the claim that he was ONLY a ghostwriter was made by his lawyer with his consent to the Florence judge.

      2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

      Note that Sollecito gave many signs during his US book promotion tour late in 2012 that he really didn’t know much about what was in his own book.

      So did Gumbel really only hang on Sollecito’s every word? Or did he talk to a lot more people than that, and get very invested in nasty, dishonest propaganda to deny justice for Meredith via the courts?

      Here’s Andrew Gumbel on 1 May 2014, providing the first media opinion in the UK on Judge Nencini’s appeal report. The nasty false claims highlighted suggest Gumbel has a very strong investment in Sollecito and Knox and not a little contempt for the Italian courts.

      One truth in Gumbel’s article which he must really regret? That sentence in the thitrd paragraph: “Disclosure: I am the co-author with Sollecito on his memoir about the case.”

      The longer the Italian courts consider the Meredith Kercher case ““ and we have now had three trials, six presiding judges, two hearings before the Italian high court and a third on the way ““ the more the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.

      Judge after judge has twisted the available evidence into extraordinary contortions of logic to assert, at different times, that Kercher ““ a British exchange student stabbed to death in her room in Perugia in 2007 ““ was the victim of a premeditated attack; that her murder happened spontaneously; that the motive was sexual; that the motive was a dispute over housework with Amanda Knox, the star defendant; that the trigger for the murder was the unseemly appetite Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had for sex and drugs; that the trigger for the murder was Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter everyone agrees was involved, knocking on the door to use the toilet.

      By now, Knox and Sollecito have been convicted, acquitted and convicted again, and the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated. (Disclosure: I am the co-author, with Sollecito, on his memoir about the case.)

      Still, the latest judicial document in the ongoing battle, a 337-page justification of the most recent convictions made public on Tuesday, marks a new low. Not only has Alessandro Nencini, the presiding judge of the Florence appeals court, apparently resorted to the same tortured logic as his predecessors; he has also stated things as fact that are manifestly and provably wrong.

      That may be more than even the Italian justice system can stomach; judges, after all, aren’t supposed to do things like that. And it may provide Knox and Sollecito with unexpected ““ if still slim ““ grounds for hope at the very moment when Kercher’s death had seemed settled, at last, according to the law.

      To read the new conviction report in detail is to enter a kind of alternate reality, where concrete facts appear ignored and alternate facts are seemingly plucked from the air. Kercher’s murder is reduced to a parlor game and all roads lead to the inevitable, if not also foregone, conclusion that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. For instance:

      • On page 63, Judge Nencini claims that a partial shoeprint found at the murder scene comes from a size 37 women’s shoe and must therefore belong to Amanda Knox. But this is not based on the available evidence. In the early days of the case, the prosecution sought to show that the shoeprint was from Sollecito’s Nikes; the pattern of concentric circles on the sole was later proven to come from a different pair of Nikes belonging to Guede.

      • On page 81, Nencini grapples with the question of how Knox and Sollecito could have participated in the murder but left no more than a single, hotly disputed trace of themselves at the scene. Extraordinarily, Nencini argues that Knox and Sollecito must have wiped the place clean of their DNA (but left an abundance of Guede’s) because no traces of Knox’s DNA were found anywhere in the apartment that she shared with the victim. But multiple samples of Knox’s DNA were found and presented at trial; they just weren’t found in the room where the murder took place.

      • Then, on page 321, Nencini writes that the blade of the purported murder weapon ““ a large kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment ““ bore traces of both Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA. Again, this is at variance with the evidence. The most the prosecution ever asserted was that Kercher’s DNA was on the tip of the blade. Sollecito’s DNA has never been found.

      The defense teams have reacted with consternation: Knox issued a formal statement decrying the lack of “credible evidence or logic” in this latest document, which arrived just ahead of the three-month deadline following her latest conviction; Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, denounced what she said were “at least ten clamorous mistakes per page”. (A Kercher family lawyer called the document “a version that we have always in some ways sustained”.)

      This being Italy, however, the judicial errors are not necessarily a bad thing for Knox and Sollecito, because they give the Italian high court an opening ““ should the justices choose to take it ““ to overturn the latest conviction, and either dismiss the case, send it back to get the mistakes fixed, or order yet another trial in another court.

      The high court justices will be aware, of course, that the longer the case drags on, the more suspect the process will look in the eyes of world opinion. Another trial would test the patience of even the most ardent believers in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and certainly of the Kercher family. But the process is starting to curdle ““ even without the spectacle of lawyers arguing, yet again, over the same controversies before a barrage of international TV cameras. That leaves the high court, which always has one eye on the integrity of the system, with a genuine dilemma.

      Much has been written about Italian justice’s desire to save face in this much written-about case. To admit a miscarriage of justice, the argument runs, has become too difficult, because it would expose the mistakes of too many people, from the primary investigators to the Rome forensic lab to the prosecutors and judges.

      However, as the case trudges toward the seven-year mark, one has to wonder how much appetite the institutions of justice still have to stand by what they have done. Will the high court really want to endorse Nencini’s report with all these evident flaws? Or will this finally be the moment when the justice system calls a halt to a travesty committed in its name and exonerates Knox and Sollecito, as it should have done years ago?


      3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

      We responded by rebutting 20 of Gumbel’s malicious claims in just the first 7 pages of Honor Bound. And Pataz1, a TJMK main poster who also runs his own blog posted this rebuttal of Gumbel below

      This letter was sent to the Guardian’s Reader Editor on 4 May 2014, and again on 3 June, 2014. The Reader’s Editor did not respond to either of the email submissions.

      Gumbel’s May 1st, 2014 article in the Guardian is a thinly veiled advocacy piece for Sollecito and Knox. He left out a significant phrase from a Nencini passage he cites; this phrase he omitted undermines one of his main claims.

      To the Guardian:

      I’m writing to you about Andrew Gumbel’s “comment” on developments in the murder of Meredith Kercher case. Gumbel writes about the recently released Nencini court motivations document, which outlines the court’s reasoning for affirming Knox and Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

      Gumbel waits until the end of the third paragraph in his article to provide his disclaimer: that he is a co-author of the book by one of the defendants. Its hard to understand why Gumbel waited so long to disclose his vested financial interest in the innocence of one of the defendants on trial. By this time, Gumbel has already levied allegations of impropriety upon the Italian courts and judges. For example, he alleges “the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.” He continues specific allegations that “judge after judge has twisted the available evidence [”¦]”.  If Gumbel had provided his disclaimer appropriately at the beginning of his letter, readers would have had a more appropriate understanding of Gumbel’s perspective and motivations for writing his letter.

      Despite being a co-author of a book by one of the two still on trial for Meredith’s murder, Gumbel’s statements on the court process are wrong. Gumbel pushes the perspective that Knox’s reps have pushed in the US; that Knox and Sollecito have been “convicted again” after an acquittal. Gumbel leaves out any mention of the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and sent the case back to the appellate level. After the acquittal was annulled, the original 2009 conviction remained in place. Gumbel is no doubt aware that the Florence court is an appellate court.  (Curiously, Sollecito’s co-defendant Knox also wrongly claims on her website that the Italian Supreme Court “annulled all previous verdicts”; ref: http://www.amandaknox.com/about-contact/?).

      Gumbel’s omission of the Italian Supreme Court ruling is odd, because the entire point of his article is the integrity of the judicial decisions. Gumbel left out that the Italian Supreme Court has already made one ruling regarding the integrity of a judicial decision in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t in favor of Gumbel’s co-author and defendant Raffaele Sollecito;  perhaps this is the reason that Gumbel failed to mention the actual outcome of the acquittal.

      Or perhaps Gumbel left out this information so he could present the evidence the way it is framed by supporters of Knox and Sollecito. Later in the the same paragraph, Gumbel expresses confusion about why evidence remains in the case. He states “the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated.” As the co-author of the book with Sollecito, Gumbel is again no doubt aware that after the appellate-level acquittal was thrown out, the original conviction (with all of the evidence) remained as a part of the case. Any decision made by Hellmann on the evidence was also thrown out of the case, including Hellmann’s conclusions on the knife DNA evidence and the Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp. Further, if Gumbel had indeed read the Nencini decision, he would have read the passage where Nencini takes to task the “independent experts” in the Hellmann trial (detailed here:http://thefreelancedesk.com/amanda-knox-trials-meredith-kercher-case/). Gumbel should be well aware after his reading of Nencini why the evidence still contributed to the Florence court upholding his co-author’s conviction.

      In his second point on the Nencini decision, Gumbel leaves out a key phrase that completely undermines his claim. By this time in his article, one is forced to wonder if this omission is deliberate. Gumbel’s claim is that Nencini contradicted himself by writing that Knox and Sollecito only left a “single, hotly disputed trace of themselves” despite the other evidence that Nencini also talks about. But the start of the passage Gumbel cites is:

      “Una peculiarità  è, ad esempio, il rilievo che all’interno della villetta di via della Pergola quasi non sono state rinvenute tracce di Amanda Marie Knox ““ se non quelle di cui si dirà  e riferibili all’omicidio ““ né di Raffaele Sollecito.”

      The phrase Gumbel deliberately left out is this: “se non quelle di cui si dirà  e riferibili all’omicidio”, which, roughly translated, is “except those which will be discussed and related to the murder.”  The Nencini Motivations document explicitly contains a clause that accommodates the other traces related to the murder. Gumbel’s point is provably false. As someone who arguably puts himself forth as an expert on the case, this omission is highly concerning.

      In Gumbel’s third point he highlights what is a minor error in the Nencini report. Calling out one word in a longer passage, Gumbel points out the report states that Sollecito’s DNA was found on the knife that is alleged as a murder weapon. If Gumbel truly read the report, as he claimed in a twitter exchange with me, he would be aware that the rest of the section that is contained in makes it clear that the finding is Knox’s DNA on the knife, not Sollecito’s. This minor error is hardly cause to overturn the full conviction.

      I could continue, but the rest of Gumbel’s article is largely a diatribe against the length of the trial and the Italian justice system. Gumbel cites an article written by Douglas Preston, another author who has financially benefited by being openly critical of the prosecutor in Knox’s case. Knox and Sollecito’s case has gone through three levels of the Italian court system, and back to appeals. Cases in the US that follow a similar path have not happened any faster than the one in Italy. For example, in the Scott Peterson case in the US his defense still filed appeals eight years after his first-level conviction.

      That the Guardian has allowed itself to be used as a platform to push the defense’s perspective is not only a disservice to the family of the murder victim who lives in the UK, but is also a disservice to the victim of a violent, brutal murder.


      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: Chimera Examines The Most Inflammatory Angles

      Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



      [A far from joyful dad once again tries to knock sense into his loose-cannon offspring]

      1. Overview Of This Series And Post

      Tomorrow is the day when the wraps come off the prosecutions’ targets in the book.

      This is also when Sollecito & Gumbel might try to justify themselves though they have a tough task ahead of them. For Sollecito and Gumbel (and also Knox and Kulman) their books actually constitute four kinds of problems;

      (1) their defamations of the Italian courts and justice system;
      (2) their defamations of many police, investigators and prosecutors who work within it,
      (3) their numerous lies by omission, the pesky facts they never mention; and
      (4) the unwitting truths and half-truths pointing to guilt, which the court may especially zero in on.

      As mentioned in the previous post, a separate new TJMK pasge will soon take the book apart definitively. To this many posters have contributed.

      Also we will have a new TJMK page on all of the lies of omission and who tends to avoid what area of evidence. .

      2. Examination By Chimera Of Sollecito Book

      In Part 1 Chimera addrresses problem (4) the truths and half-truths.

      In Part 2 Chimera comes up with an alternative synopsis of the book.

      In Part 3 Chimera Suggests why there could have been pre-meditation.

      1. Examination Of RS’s Truthfulness

      [page xv] ‘’....Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting….’‘

      A main criticism by the Supreme Court of Judge Hellmann was that he looked at the evidence piece by piece, rather than trying to make a story of all the evidence as a whole.

      [page xvi] ‘’....She was Amanda the heartless when she didn’t cry over Meredith’s death and Amanda the hysterical manipulator when she did. Whatever she did””practice yoga, play Beatles songs, buy underwear””it was held against her.

      Well, when someone does not seem upset that their ‘friend’ is murdered, and then behaves in this fashion, would police not at least have their curiosity piqued?

      [page 20] ‘’... First, Guede could reasonably assume that the occupants of the house were either out for the night or away for the long weekend. Second, he had previously stayed over in the boys’ apartment downstairs””he fell asleep on the toilet one night in early October and ended up sprawled on the couch””so he knew the lay of the land. He had even met Meredith and Amanda briefly. And, third, since it was the first of the month, chances were good that the accumulated rent money for November was sitting in a pile somewhere in the house.

      In the upstairs apartment, Filomena took responsibility for gathering everyone’s cash and handing it over to the landlady. And it was Filomena’s bedroom window that would soon be smashed with a large rock…’‘

      This only makes sense if and only if:

      (a) Rudy knew the schedules of all 8 people in the house
      (b) Rudy may have slept downstairs, but implies he must have been upstairs at some point
      (c) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
      (d) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl. Which suggests…

      A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.

      [page 22] ‘’... My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.

      It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line””which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way””I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.’‘

      First, it is an admission that the cell phone was turned off

      Second, it is an admission that had Francesco called him, he would have an alibi, suggesting he did not…

      [page 24] ‘’ ... Many Italians, including most of my family, could not fathom how she could go ahead with her shower after finding blood on the tap, much less put her wet feet on the bath mat, which was also stained, and drag it across the floor.’‘

      So, Amanda showered, even with blood on the tap and on the bathmat, and no one, not even Raffaele, can make sense of it. Perhaps it is just an odd way of being quirky.

      [page 26] ‘’... Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar, and saw that the place was trashed. Clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere. The window had a large, roundish hole, and broken glass was spread all over the floor.

      Okay, we thought, so there’s been a break-in. What we couldn’t understand was why Filomena’s laptop was still propped upright in its case on the floor, or why her digital camera was still sitting out in the kitchen. As far as we could tell, nothing of value was missing anywhere….’‘

      And this would be found to be suspicious by the police. An apparent break in, but nothing seems to be missing. And we haven’t even gotten to the spiderman climb yet.

      [page 27] ‘’... Amanda went into the Italian women’s bathroom alone, only to run back out and grab on to me as though she had seen a ghost. “The shit’s not in the toilet anymore!” she said. “What if the intruder’s still here and he’s locked himself in Meredith’s room?”

      Interesting. Perhaps Raffaele instinctively leaves poop in the toilet as well. Why would he not flush to make sure?

      [page 27 contains the following lines:]

      ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘
      ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘
      ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

      These were supposedly in reference to the frantic attempts to see in Meredith’s room. Does anyone think there is some innuendo/hidden meaning?

      [page 29] ‘’... “No, nothing’s been taken.” I didn’t know that for sure, of course, and I should have been more careful about my choice of words. At the time, though, I thought I was just performing my civic duty by passing the information along. The only reason I was on the line was because Amanda’s Italian was not good enough for her to make the call herself.’‘

      This sounds innocuous enough, with the qualifiers, but without them:  ‘‘No, nothing’s been taken… I should have been more careful about my choice of words.”

      [page 33] ‘’.... As things spiraled out of control over the next several days, a senior investigator with the carabinieri in Perugia took it upon himself to call my sister and apologize, colleague to colleague. “If we had arrived ten minutes earlier,” he told Vanessa, “the case would have been ours. And things would have gone very differently.”

      This sounds eerily like an admission that things could have been tampered with, or ‘saved’, if only the ‘right’ people had been there in time.

      [page 35] ‘’... Amanda didn’t understand the question, so I answered for her, explaining that she’d taken a shower and then come back to my house. “Really, you took a shower?” Paola said. She was incredulous…’‘

      However, the book does not clarify why Paola was incredulous. Take your pick.

      (a) Amanda didn’t look or smell like she had a shower
      (b) Amanda showered in a blood soaked bathroom
      (c) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’

      [page 39] ‘’... In the moment, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make Amanda feel worse. The whole purpose of my being there was to comfort her. So I defended her, even beyond the point where I felt comfortable or could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’‘

      This is arguably the most true part of the book. He does have to comfort her, so she doesn’t talk. And it probably was uncomfortable.

      And ‘‘beyond the point where ... I could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’’ Notice that Raffaele does not say ‘‘beyond that point where I WAS looking out for my own interests. It only ‘looks’ like it, because it is very much in his interest - at that time - to pacify Amanda.

      [page 40] ‘’.... Italian newspapers reporting ‘Amanda could kill for a pizza’.’‘

      To most people, Raffaele could mean this signifies that killing and death did not affect her greatly, or that she is simply immature.

      It could also be an admission: Meredith’s death was over something extremely trivial, and Raffaele knew it.

      [page 40] ‘’...Why focus on her, and not on Meredith’s other friends? I wondered. She and Amanda were new acquaintances…’‘

      Exactly. Compared to what has been portrayed, they were not close friends, or even friends

      [page 41] ‘’... Amanda noticed the police’s sex obsession right away; they couldn’t stop asking her about the Vaseline pot and a vibrator they had found in the bathroom. The vibrator was a joke item, a little rubber bunny rabbit shaped to look like a vibrator and fashioned into a pendant, but the police seemed to find this difficult to accept. What about Meredith’s sex life? Amanda knew only that Meredith had left a boyfriend in England and was now involved with one of the men who lived downstairs, a twenty-two-year-old telecommunications student with a carefully sculpted beard and outsize earrings named Giacomo Silenzi. Amanda had helped Meredith out a couple times by giving her a condom from her supply. But Amanda had no idea how, or how often, Meredith had sex and didn’t feel comfortable fielding questions about it.’‘

      This is creepily ‘Knoxian’ in that Raffaele is deliberately leaking extremely personal details about Meredith. Is this a desire they share: to humiliate her deeper, in the public domain, far beyond what they already have done.

      [page 42] ‘’... A few days later, this episode would be distorted in the newspapers to make it seem as if the first thing we did after the murder was to buy sexy lingerie””specifically, a G-string””and tell each other how we couldn’t wait to try it out. The store owner, who did not speak English, corroborated the story in pursuit of his own brief moment in the spotlight. True, the surveillance video in the store showed us touching and kissing, but that was hardly a crime. I wasn’t making out with her in some vulgar or inappropriate way, just comforting her and letting her know I was there for her. Besides, there was nothing remotely sexy about Bubble. A much sexier underwear store was next door, and we didn’t set foot in…’‘

      Interesting. Raffaele says that this was blown out of proportion, yet his defense is that we didn’t do anything sexual, but if we did, it is not a crime, and besides, there was a better place next door.

      [page 43] ‘’... I realized I had not properly acknowledged my own discomfort with Amanda. I was not scandalized by her, in the way that so many others later said they were, but I shouldn’t have allowed her to climb all over me in the Questura, and I should have counseled her quietly not to complain so much. I understood the gallant side of being her boyfriend, but I could have given her better advice and protected myself in the process.’‘

      Translation: Amanda, quit whining so much. And while boning you in the police station may be fun, it is seriously jeopardizing my interests.

      [page 44] ‘’... She told them, quite openly, about a guy from Rome she went to bed with a few days before meeting me. She had no problem being open about her sex life, and that made her interrogators suspicious. How many men, they wondered, did she plan on getting through during her year in Perugia?

      Probably true, except for the conclusion. More likely they wondered: Why does she have to bring this up now?

      [page 46]’‘... My sister, Vanessa, made her own separate inquiries and felt much less reassured. The first time she called the Questura, they left her waiting on the line, even though she announced herself as a lieutenant in the carabinieri, and never took her call.
      The second time, she had herself put through from the carabinieri’s regional switchboard, to make it more official. This time she got through, but only to a junior policeman clearly her inferior. (In Italian law enforcement, protocol on such matters is followed scrupulously.) “Listen,” the man told her impatiently, “everything is fine.”

      “Is there someone I can talk to who is in charge of this case?” Vanessa insisted.

      This sounds like a very detailed (if true) attempt at subverting justice. Way to drop Vanessa in it, Raffy.

      [page 47] ‘’... The truth, though, was that the authorities were still clueless.’‘

      Don’t worry, they will get a clue soon enough.

      [page 48] ‘’... What did they have on us? Nothing of substance. But they did find our behavior odd, and we had no real alibi for the night of November 1 except each other, and we did not have lawyers to protect us, and we seemed to have a propensity for saying things without thinking them through. In other words, we were the lowest-hanging fruit, and the police simply reached out and grabbed us.’‘

      So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?

      (a) Odd behaviour
      (b) No real alibi except each other
      (c) Saying things without thinking them through

      Can’t see why this would attract police attention…

      [page 49] ‘’... Not only did they have no physical evidence, they saw no need for any.’‘

      Well, odd behaviour, no real alibi,conflicting stories, and saying things through without thinking them through… oh, right, and that very detailed account of Patrik murdering Meredith, Sollecito ‘might’ be there, and Raffaele telling a pack of lies.

      I guess physical evidence would be overkill (pardon the pun). Sounds very Knoxian in the ‘there is no evidence’ denials.

      [page 50] ‘’... Carrying a small knife had been a habit of mine since I was a teenager””not for self-defense, mind you, just as an ornamental thing. I’d use one occasionally to peel apples or carve my name on tree trunks, but mostly I carried them around for the sake of it. Having a knife on me had become automatic, like carrying my wallet or my keys.’‘

      So the rumours of having a knife fetish are true? Thanks for confirming it.

      [page 50] ‘’... Besides, what kind of idiot killer would bring the murder weapon to the police station?’‘

      Wow - how to begin with this one…  Although, on a more manipulative level, was it not the other knife that actually delivered the fatal blow?

      [page 51] ‘’... My words in Italian””stai tranquillo””were the last my father would hear from me as a free man.’‘

      It could mean physically free. Could also mean not free as in forced to confront his actions.

      [page 51]  “You need to tell us what happened that night,” they began.

      “Which night?” I asked wearily. I was getting tired of the endless questioning. I don’t think they appreciated my attitude.

      “The night of November first.”

      I don’t think this is a drug haze. More just being arrogant and callous.

      [page 56] ‘’... I had been brought up to think the police were honest defenders of public safety. My sister was a member of the carabinieri, no less! Now it seemed to me they were behaving more like gangsters.’‘

      Another sign of entitlement showing. Surely, the little brother of a carabinieri officer should not have to be subjected to this nonsense.

      [page 56] ‘’... Something was exciting the police more than my pocketknife, and that was the pattern they had detected on the bottom of my shoes. By sheer bad luck, I was wearing Nikes that night, and the pattern of concentric circles on the soles instantly reminded my interrogators of the bloody shoe prints at the scene of the crime, which were made by Nikes too.

      I had no idea of any of this. All I knew was, the rest of the interrogation team piled back into the room and told me to take off my shoes.’‘

      Shoeprints placing a person at a crime scene? Why would that possibly be considered evidence?

      [page 59] ‘’... Then, at some point after midnight, an interpreter arrived. Amanda’s mood only worsened. She hadn’t remembered texting Patrick at all, so she was in no position to parse over the contents of her message. When it was suggested to her she had not only written to him but arranged a meeting, her composure crumbled; she burst into uncontrollable tears, and held her hands up to her ears as if to say, I don’t want to hear any more of this.’‘

      Depending on whether or not you believe Amanda’s ‘version’ of events, this could either be corroboration of her events, or corroboration she faked her fit.

      Minor detail: Sollecito was in a totally different part of the Questera, but hey, it’s just semantics.

      [page 61] ‘’...When I first found out what Amanda had signed her name to, I was furious. Okay, she was under a lot of pressure, as I had been, but how could she just invent stuff out of nowhere? Why would she drag me into something I had no part of? It soon transpired, of course, that she felt similarly about me. “What I don’t understand,” she wrote, as soon as she began to retract her statements, “is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie. . . . What does he have to hide?”

      It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn’t blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense…’‘

      -If Amanda got me locked up, I would be mad too
      -Yes, she did make stuff (about Patrik) out of nowhere
      -I was angry when Amanda asked ‘what I have to hide’
      -Yes, police tend to play suspects off each other
      -Yes, suspects try to avoid implicating each other
      -Yes, Amanda only spouted dangerous nonsense after you took her alibi

      This section is almost 100% true

      [page 62] ‘’... Even before dawn broke on November 6, the authorities had us where they wanted us. True, neither of us had confessed to murder. But what they had””a web of contradictions, witnesses pitted against each other, and a third suspect on whom to pin the crime””was an acceptable second best.’‘

      Also true, and great police work.

      [page 63] ‘’... I asked to talk to my family again. I said I needed at least to inform my thesis director where I was. “Where you’re going, a degree’s not going to do you any good,” came the answer.’‘

      Curious, he has just been arrested for murder and sexual assault, and among his first thoughts is his thesis. And didn’t he end up doing his Master’s thesis ... on himself?

      [page 64] ‘’... As soon as we walked into my apartment, a policeman named Armando Finzi said loudly that the place stank of bleach. That wasn’t correct. My cleaning lady had been through the day before and cleaned the tile floor with Lysoform, not bleach. Still, he insisted on mentioning the bleach a couple more times””the clear implication being that I’d needed something powerful to clean up a compromising mess.’‘

      Perhaps overanalysing this, but could Raffaele be flippantly thinking to himself: Nope, the cleaning lady used lysoform to clean up the mess. Wasn’t bleach, dudes.

      [page 77] ‘’... Even before Judge Matteini had finished reading the complaint against me, I blurted out that I didn’t know Patrick Lumumba and that any prints from my shoes found at Via della Pergola could only have been made before November 1. Immediately I ran into trouble because I had in fact met Patrick at his bar, on the night Amanda and I first got together. And I had no idea that the shoe prints in question were made in blood. In no time, I was flailing and suggesting, in response to the judge’s pointed questions, that maybe I picked up some of the blood on the floor when I walked around the house on November 2, the day the body was discovered. Even more unwisely, I speculated that someone might have stolen my shoes and committed the murder in them. It just did not occur to me that the shoe print evidence was wrong.

      At Raffaele’s first hearing:

      -He claims not to have met Patrick, (his co-accused), but admits later, that he has
      -He suggests that he may have picked up blood on the floor
      -He claims the shoes were stolen

      Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?

      [page 78] ‘’... I felt like a fool describing my extensive knife collection and even described myself as a testa di cazzo, a dickhead, for having so many. My judgment and my self-confidence were sinking fast.

      “Perhaps the worst moment came when I was asked, for the umpteenth time, if Amanda had gone out on the night of the murder. I still had no clarity on this and could not answer the judge’s repeated questions without sounding evasive.”

      [page 80] ‘’... Matteini swallowed the prosecution’s story whole. The break-in was staged after the fact, she asserted””just as Mignini had. The murderer or murderers must therefore have got into the house with a set of keys, and Amanda was the only keyholder without a solid alibi for the night in question. Patrick Lumumba had the hots for.

      Meredith, Matteini theorized, and Amanda and I tagged along to experience something new and different. From my testimony at the hearing, Matteini concluded I was “bored by the same old evenings” and wanted to experience some “strong emotions.” (She moved my blog entry from October 2006, the date marked on the document, to October 2007, just weeks before the murder, which bolstered the argument.) She didn’t ascribe a specific motive to Amanda, assuming only that she must have felt the same way I did. The bloody footprints “proved” I was present at the scene of the murder, and my three-inch flick knife was “compatible with the possible murder weapon.” The house, she wrote, was “smeared with blood everywhere.”

      Substitute in Rudy Guede for Patrick, and this sounds somewhat plausible.

      [page 83] ‘’... Amanda recovered her lucidity faster than I did. The day we were arrested, she wrote a statement in English that all but retracted what she had signed the night before. “In regards to this “˜confession,’ “ she wrote, “I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.” She was still conjuring up images of Patrick as the murderer, but she added, “These things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or just dreams in my head.”

      The next day, she wrote a second, more confident statement: “I DID NOT KILL MY FRIEND . . . But I’m very confused, because the police tell me that they know I was at my house when she was murdered, which I don’t remember. They tell me a lot of things I don’t remember.” Then she gave a substantially more accurate account of the night of November 1 than I was coming up with at the time.’‘

      All this does is confirm that much of the confusing, manipulative statements from Amanda exist. Gee thanks Raffaele.

      [page 86] ‘’... short story about date rape that Amanda had submitted to a University of Washington creative-writing class was held up as evidence of her warped criminal mind. A Myspace video of her boasting about the number of shots she had downed at a party became an excuse to depict her as an alcohol-fueled harpy. I was described as “crazy,” based on a line I’d written in a blog entry, and held up to ridicule for a photograph, taken during a high-spirited moment of fun in my first year in Perugia, in which I was wrapped from head to foot in toilet paper, brandishing a machete in one hand and a bottle of pink alcohol in the other.’‘

      “Amanda does lots of alcohol, write rape stories, and I dress in toilet paper, wielding a machete. Nothing to see here, people.”

      [page 87] ‘’... I knew a lot of the coverage of the case itself was flawed. It was reported, for example, that the police had found bleach receipts at my house, strongly suggesting I had purchased materials to clean up the crime scene. But my cleaning lady didn’t use bleach, and the only receipts the police found from November 1 onward were for pizza. I wouldn’t have needed to buy bleach, anyway, because I had some left over from my previous cleaning lady. It had sat untouched for months.’‘

      “Nope, I didn’t need to buy bleach for the cleanup, I already had it.”

      [page 88] ‘’... Then came Maori. He told me that he too carried pocketknives from time to time. But he didn’t seem too interested in connecting with me beyond such superficial niceties. I felt he didn’t entirely trust me. His game plan, which became clear over a series of meetings, was to dissociate me as much as possible from Amanda. And that was it. He did not have a clear strategy to undermine the prosecution’s evidence on the knife and the shoe print, because””as he indicated to me””he believed there might be something to it. ‘’

      Which means: “I don’t really believe you are innocent, the evidence seems too strong. But for your sake, separate yourself from this mentally unstable woman.”

      Sounds very likely.

      [page 90] ‘’... I even allowed myself a little optimism: my computer, I decided, would show if I was connected to the Internet that night and, if so, when, and how often. Unless Amanda and I had somehow made love all night long, pausing only to make ourselves dinner and nod off to sleep, the full proof of our innocence would soon be out in the open.

      According to the police, it showed no activity from the time we finished watching Amélie at 9:10 p.m. until 5:30 the next morning.

      That sounded all wrong to me, and my defense team’s technical experts would later find reasons to doubt the reliability of this finding. But there would be no easy way out of the mess Amanda and I were now in.’‘

      Wishful thinking to form a coherent alibi or defense. Indeed, if only it was that simple.

      [page 91] ‘’...Still, there was something I could not fathom. How did Meredith’s DNA end up on my knife when she’d never visited my house? I was feeling so panicky I imagined for a moment that I had used the knife to cook lunch at Via della Pergola and accidentally jabbed Meredith in the hand. Something like that had in fact happened in the week before the murder. My hand slipped and the knife I was using made contact with her skin for the briefest of moments. Meredith was not hurt, I apologized, and that was that. But of course I wasn’t using my own knife at the time. There was no possible connection.’

      I imagined this happened? Is amnesia or hallucinating contagious? I’m surprised he did not have a vision that he saw Patrik attacking Meredith.

      On another note: giving a blatantly false account of how a victim’s DNA ended up on your knife seems a bit suspicious.

      [page 93] ‘’... The nuts and bolts of the investigation, the hard evidence, kept yielding good things for us. We were told that my Nikes had tested negative for blood and for Meredith’s DNA. So had my car, and everything else I had touched around the time of the murder. Even the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth on the morning of November 2, an object of particular suspicion, was reported to be clean.

      Well, I have no doubt that the AMERICAN media reported this to be the case….

      And ‘the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth…?’

      [page 94] ‘’... During a conversation with her mother in prison, they reported, Amanda had blurted out, “I was there, I cannot lie about that.” She seemed not to realize the conversation was being recorded, and the police picked up on it right away.’‘

      Amanda again places herself at the scene, but again, there is a simple explanation. Amanda being Amanda?

      [page 94] ‘’... his time the papers quoted what they said was an extract fromher diary. “I don’t remember anything,” the passage read, “but maybe Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped and killed her, and then put my fingerprints on the knife back at his house while I was asleep.”

      Of course, Amanda writes that someone planted her fingerprints. Odd, as I think that no one ever claimed her prints were on the knife. Why would she think they were?

      This needs to be said: What the hell is U of W teaching in their ‘creative writing’ program?

      [page 97] ‘’... I remember watching the news of Guede’s arrest on the small-screen TV in my cell and seeing the Perugia police all puffed up with pride about catching him. If anything, I felt happier than they did, because Guede was a complete stranger to me. The relief was palpable. All along I had worried the murderer would turn out to be someone I knew and that I’d be dragged into the plot by association. Now I had one less thing to worry about. Not that I wasn’t still wary: so much invented nonsense had been laid at my door I was still half-expecting the authorities to produce more.’

      The ‘real’ killer is caught, and you are worried more things may be invented? Interesting.

      [page 98] ‘’...Lumumba had every right to be angry; he had spent two weeks in lockup for no reason. He had been able to prove that Le Chic stayed open throughout the evening of November 1, producing an eyewitness, a Swiss university professor, who vouched for his presence that night. One would expect his anger to be directed as much toward Mignini, who threw him in prison without checking the facts, as it was toward Amanda. But Lumumba and his strikingly aggressive lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, could find only vicious things to say about Amanda from the moment he got out of jail””even though he had not, in fact, fired her and remained friendly with her for several days after the murder.’‘

      True, except why be mad at Mignini? It is Amanda who falsely accused him, not Mignini. But again, minor details.

      [page 107] ‘’... Papà  was spinning like a dervish to clear my name, but not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped. One consultant whom he asked to monitor the Polizia Scientifica demanded eight thousand euros up front, only to prove reluctant to make overt criticisms of the police’s work, the very thing for which he’d been hired. A forensic expert who also seemed a little too close to the police charged four thousand euros for his retainer with the boast, “I’m expensive, but I’m good.” He wasn’t. A computer expert recommended by Luca Maori didn’t know anything about Macs, only PC’s.’‘

      That first line is a bit disturbing. ‘Not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped.’ This can be easily interpretted as shopping around for an expert of ‘hired gun’.

      [page 110] ‘’... Amanda and I came in for what was by now a familiar drubbing. The judges said my account of events was “unpardonably implausible.” Indeed, I had a “rather complex and worrying personality” prone to all sorts of impulses. Amanda, for her part, was not shy about having “multiple sex partners” and had a “multifaceted personality, detached from reality.” Over and above the flight risk if we were released from prison, the judges foresaw a significant danger that we would make up new fantastical scenarios to throw off the investigation. In Amanda’s case, they said she might take advantage of her liberty to kill again.’‘

      Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.

      [page 112] ‘’... Since I had no such testimony to offer, I did the Italian equivalent of taking the Fifth: I availed myself, as we say, of the right not to respond.

      I found some satisfaction in that, but also frustration, because I had at last worked out why Amanda did not leave””could not have left””my house on the night of the murder. She didn’t have her own key, so if she’d gone out alone, she would have had to ring the doorbell and ask me to buzz her back in. Even if I’d been stoned or asleep when she rang, I would have remembered that. And it didn’t happen.’‘

      Hmm… I swear I am innocent, but plead the fifth ammendment. And I am not positive Amanda did not leave, but ad hoc have worked out that she must not have.

      [page 112] ‘’...Obviously, I wanted to shout the news to the world. But I also understood that telling Mignini now would have been a gift to him; it would only have bought him time to figure out a way around it.’‘

      “I could tell a certain version of events to the prosecutor, but if I did that now, he would only have time to discover the holes in that story.”

      [page 113] ‘’... I knew the Kerchers had hired an Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, whom they picked off a short list provided by the British embassy. I addressed my letter to him, saying how sorry I was for everything that had happened and expressing a wish that the full truth would soon come out.

      I was naive enough to believe that Maresca would be sympathetic.’‘

      Knox was criticised for fake attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, and had been told to act more like a defendant. Interesting that it started so much earlier.

      [page 115] ‘’... Regrettably, Guede’s shoes were not available, presumably because he ditched them; they were not at his apartment and they were not among his possessions when he was arrested in Germany.’‘

      Very interesting. Raffaele believes that the ‘murderer’s shoes’ were not available, and may have been ditched. This seems to be more than just speculation on his part.

      [page 117] ‘’... Mignini questioned Amanda again on December 17, and she, unlike me, agreed to answer his questions in the presence of her lawyers. She was more composed now and gave him nothing new to work with. She couldn’t have been present at the murder, she insisted, because she’d spent all night with me.’‘

      How does this not sound incredibly incriminating? I refused to talk, though Amanda agreed to, but only with lawyers. And does this not sound like Amanda was better able to stonewall the investigation?

      [page 121] ‘’... Instead, he tried to control the damage and talked to every reporter who called him. “The most plausible explanation,” he said to most of them, “is that the bra had been worn by Amanda as well, and Raffaele touched it when she was wearing it.”

      There were two problems with this statement. First, it was so speculative and far-fetched it did nothing to diminish the perception that I was guilty. And, second, it showed that my father””my dear, straight-arrow, ever-optimistic, overtrusting father””still couldn’t stop assuming that if the police or the prosecutor’s office was saying something, it must be so.

      There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.

      (a) This entire scenario was made up, and like the ‘my shoes were stolen’, only leaves everyone shaking their heads in disbelief.

      (b) Amanda actually had worn the bra BEFORE and returned it without washing it. Remember what this woman tends to think when she sees blood. Ew.

      (c) Amanda wore the bra AFTER Meredith was murdered, and that she and Raffaele fooled around after. Not too farfetched when you remember that Raffaele kept the murder weapon as a souvenir.

      [page 122] ‘’... Along with the Albanian, we had to contend with a seventy-six-year-old woman by the name of Nara Capezzali, who claimed she had heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from Meredith’s house at about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the murder, followed by sounds of people running through the streets.’‘

      Yes, this confirms at least part of Amanda’s account that night. Yes, she seemed to vaguely remember Patrik killing Meredith, and wasn’t sure if Raffaele was there, but the scream detail is corroborated.

      [page 125] ‘’... As my time alone stretched out into weeks and then months, I had to let go of everything that was happening and hold on to other, more permanent, more consoling thoughts: my family and friends, the memory of my mother, the simple pleasures I’d enjoyed with Amanda, the peace that came from knowing that neither of us had done anything wrong.

      If they want to kill me this way, I remember thinking, let them go ahead. I’m happy to have lived life as I did, and to have made the choices I made.’‘

      Hmm… so he finds peace being locked away for things he did not do?

      More likely, Raffaele is coming to terms with the inevitable consequences of life in prison.

      [page 129] ‘’... The one victory we eked out was a finding that we should have been told we were under criminal investigation before our long night of interrogations in the Questura. The statements we produced would not be admissible at trial.’‘

      Do I really need to explain this one?

      [page 150] ‘’... I talked about Amanda with Filippo, my cellmate, and he listened, just as I had listened to his problems. One day, though, he told me he was bisexual, and his eyes started to brighten visibly when he looked at me. Then he burst into tears and tried to caress my face.’‘

      Given the overlap between Waiting to be Heard and Honor Bound, did the ‘authors’ collaborate?

      [page 151] ‘’... My father hired a telecommunications expert to help resolve a few other mysteries from the night of the murder. The prosecution had given no adequate explanation for a series of calls registered on Meredith’s English cell phone after she’d returned from her friends’ house around 9:00 p.m., and many of them seemed baffling, assuming they were made””as the prosecution argued””by Meredith herself. We believed Meredith was dead by the time of the last two calls, and our expert Bruno Pellero intended to help us prove that.’‘

      This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.

      [page 154] ‘’... She also acknowledged that a contaminated or improperly analyzed DNA sample could, in theory, lead to an incorrect identification.’‘

      Wait, weren’t those same people involved in the finding the evidence against Guede? Right, that evidence is clean.

      [page 156] ‘’... Judge Micheli issued his ruling at the end of October. On the plus side, he found Guede guilty of murder and sentenced him to thirty years behind bars in an accelerated trial requested by Guede himself. Judge Micheli also accepted our evidence that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to throw a rock through Filomena’s window and climb the wall.

      But, Spider-Man or no Spider-Man, he still didn’t believe Guede got into the house that way. He argued that Filomena’s window was too exposed and that any intruder would have run too great a risk of discovery by climbing through it. Therefore, he concluded, Amanda and I must have let him in. There seemed to be no shaking the authorities out of their conviction that the break-in was staged.’‘

      So, Judge Micheli is a fine judge who saw Rudy Guede for who he is and convicted him, yet he is so poor a judge he ruled that Amanda and I had to be involved?

      Didn’t Knox say very similar things in her December 2013 email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini?

      [page 160] ‘’... Still, the prosecution jumped all over [Quintavalle] and later put him on the stand to bolster the argument that Amanda and I had spent that morning wiping the murder scene clean of our traces””but not, curiously, Guede’s. It was one of their more dishonest, not to mention absurd, arguments, because any forensics expert could have told them such a thing was physically impossible. Still, it was all they had, and they single-mindedly stuck to it.’‘

      Depending on how you view this, it could be an ad hoc admission that yes, selectively cleaning up wasn’t really possible, as the evidence was all intermingled.

      [page 167] ‘’... I was pushing for another sort of change, a single trial team to defend Amanda and me together. I was told right away that this was out of the question, but I don’t think my logic was wrong. The only way either of us would get out of this situation, I reasoned, was if we stuck together. If the prosecution drove a wedge between us, we would more than likely both be doomed.’‘

      This seems to justify Guede’s suspicions that his co-defendants would team up on him.

      [page 169] ‘’... Stefanoni and Mignini were holding out on that information, and we needed to pry it from them quickly before more damage was done. The shots would ultimately be called by the judge, and we hadn’t had a lot of luck with judges so far.’‘

      Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?

      [page 173] ‘’... No matter how much we demanded to be heard, no matter how much we sought to refute the grotesque cartoon images of ourselves and give calm, reasoned presentations of the truth, we never escaped the feeling that our words were tolerated rather than listened to; that the court was fundamentally uninterested in what we had to say.’‘

      That is probably true. No one cares why Amanda’s vibrator is on full display.

      And yes, you did demand to be heard. Perhaps, if you had agreed to full cross examination, you would know what the judges and prosecutors would be interested in hearing.

      [page 173] ‘’... A week later, Meredith’s English friends took the stand and testified with such uniform consistency it was hard to think of them as distinct individuals. Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, and Sophie Purton all said that Meredith had been unhappy with Amanda’s standards of hygiene, particularly her forgetfulness about flushing the toilet. It sounded almost as if they were reading from a prepared script. Meredith, they agreed, had found Amanda a little too forward for keeping her condoms and what looked like a vibrator in their shared bathroom. And, they said, Amanda had acted weirdly in the Questura.

      That was it. They mentioned nothing positive about the relationship. No word on Meredith and Amanda’s socializing together, or attending Perugia’s annual chocolate festival, or going to the concert on the night Amanda and I met.’‘

      Yes, the prosecution case does seem stronger when their witnesses are consistent. Absolutely right.

      Strangely, Meredith’s English friends also did not talk about how compassionate Amanda was at the memorial. Wait a minute….

      [page 174] ‘’... Amanda arrived in court wearing a T-shirt with the words ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE emblazoned in huge pink letters, to mark Valentine’s Day. It seemed she wanted to find a way to defuse the English girls’ ill will toward her, but it didn’t work.’‘

      No kidding.

      [page 186] ‘’... Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.’‘

      Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.

      “The truth we agreed on”?? Come on, you actually put this in the book?

      [page 193] ‘’... My father was all over the place. He knew exactly how bad the news was, but he wanted to shield me as best he could. “Whatever happens, don’t worry,” he told me. “There’s always the appeal. The work we’ve done won’t go to waste.”

      And indeed, the first (now annulled) appeal did ‘save’ them.

      [page 195] ‘’... Mignini had to scrabble around to explain how Amanda, Guede, and I could have formulated a murder plan together without any obvious indication that we knew each other. Guede, he postulated, could have offered himself as our drug pusher.’‘

      “I can explain that. Amanda and I are admitted drug users. We smeared Guede as a drug dealer. Reasonable people might believe that there is some connection to drugs.”

      [page 204] ‘’... The next piece of bad news came down within three weeks of our being found guilty. Rudy Guede’s sentence, we learned, had been cut down on appeal from thirty years to sixteen. The thinking of the appeals court was that if Amanda and I were guilty, then Guede couldn’t serve a sentence greater than ours. If I had supplied the knife and Amanda had wielded it, as Mignini and Comodi postulated and Judge Massei and his colleagues apparently accepted, we needed to receive the stiffer punishment.’‘

      Yes, the thinking of the courts, and those pesky short-form trial sentence deductions that are mandatory.

      ‘’[page 204] ...I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but this was an extra slap in the face and it knocked me flat. Not only were Amanda and I the victims of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, but Meredith’s real killer, the person everybody should have been afraid of, was inching closer to freedom. It wasn’t just outrageous; it was a menace to public safety.’‘

      Yes, it was a miscarriage in that Amanda and I didn’t get the life sentences Mignini called for, and that Meredith’s real killer, Amanda, would soon get her freedom via Hellmann.

      [page 219] ‘’... My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous:’‘

      Although the deal itself is illegal, I have no doubt that the Sollecito family at least explored the option.

      [page 258] ‘’... Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue.’‘

      That is true, with one huge omission: the defense only cherry picked a few small pieces of evidence. Yes, it ‘knocked down every piece of evidence we chose to contest.’

      2. Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”

      (20) The robbery that night was perfect, assuming the perp had the inside info.

      (22) My cellphone was turned off.

      (22) If my father called the land line I would have an alibi.

      (24) I cannot make sense of showering in a bloody bathroom.

      (26) Despite the break in, nothing had been taken.

      (27) Someone did not flush the toilet, and I won’t either.

      (27) The following dialogue:

      ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘

      ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘

      ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

      (29) I should have been more careful about my choice of words when I said

      ‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘

      (35) The police were shocked/disbelieving Amanda just took a shower.

      (39) Things would be okay if my Carabinieri sister had helped.

      (40) I defended Amanda, beyond the point of looking after my own interests.

      (40) Amanda could kill for something minimal, even a pizza.

      (40) Amanda and Meredith were not friends, despite living together.

      (41) Amanda and I share embarrassing sexual information about the victim.

      (42) We weren’t misbehaving in the lingerie shop, but if we were, it was taken out of context.

      (43) Amanda whined, and we fooled around in the police station. Maybe not a good idea.

      (44) Amanda does not shut up about her sex life.

      (46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.

      (47) Prior to our arrest, the authorities were clueless.

      (48) We behaved oddly, had no real alibi, and said things without thinking.

      (49) We are not guilty only because there is no physical evidence.

      (50) I like to carry knives.

      (51) I had trouble remembering the date Meredith was killed.

      (56) My sister works for the carabinieri. Why am I even here?

      (56) My shoes are similar to ones found at the crime scene

      (59/60) Amanda gave the false statement regarding Patrik.

      (61) The police got Amanda and I to say things against each other.

      (62) Amanda and I spun a web of contradictions.

      (63) This is going to mess up my graduation.

      (64) The smell wasn’t bleach, it was lysoform

      (77) I never met Patrik, my co-accused (or did I)? 

      The shoes might have dragged blood, or might have been stolen.

      (78) I collect a lot of knives, and don’t remember if Amanda left.

      (83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.

      (86) Amanda and I engage in alarming behaviour, such as writing rape stories, and taking photos with weapons

      (87) I had access to bleach, receipts or not.

      (88) My lawyer thinks the evidence is strong, and wants me away from Amanda.

      (90) I hope there is evidence on my computer that clears me.

      (91) I imagined that the DNA on the knife came from a cooking accident.

      (93) Amanda and I carried a mop back and forth for some reason.

      (94) Amanda, in a jail recorded call, places herself at the scene.

      (94) Amanda writes that I may have planted her fingerprints on the knife.

      (97) Rudy Guede is caught, but I fear I may get named in other things.

      (98) Lumumba is released, angry at Amanda for false accusation.

      (107) Dad tried to cherrypick experts who would get me out.

      (110) The courts saw us as unstable and potential flight risks.

      (112) I decline to answer.

      (112) I don’t want the prosecutor checking my story

      (113) I creepily tried to reach out to the Kerchers, despite being accused, just like Amanda.

      (115) Rudy should have kept his shoes in order to exonerate Amanda and I.

      (117) I still refused to talk.  Amanda did, with lawyers.

      (121) Amanda has been wearing Meredith’s underwear and without washing it.

      (122) A witness heard Meredith scream, just as Amanda described.

      (125) I am at peace with everything.

      (129) The courts threw out our statements at the police station.

      (150) I had a memorable encounter with a bisexual inmate (same as Amanda)

      (151) My dad tried to find an alternate explanation for the phone evidence.

      (154) The evidence against Rudy Guede is rock solid. The evidence against me is contaminated.

      (156) Micheli is a great judge. He convicted Guede.

      (156) Micheli is an idiot judge.  He believes Amanda and I were involved.

      (160) It was foolish to think we could selectively clean the crime scene.

      (167) In order to save ourselves, Amanda and I teamed up against Rudy.

      (169) We weren’t getting the judges we wanted.

      (173) We did not shut up, but had nothing helpful to say.

      (173) Meredith’s English friends gave consistent testimony that did not help us.

      (174) the ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE t-shirt was a bad idea.

      (186) I worried about Amanda testifying, saying dumb things, and deviating from our ‘version’

      (193) We knew the trial was doomed, but there was the appeal. (Hellmann)?

      (195) For all the ‘drug dealer’ and ‘drug user’ name calling, prosecutors seemed to think this might be about drugs.

      (204) Guede’s sentence was cut from 30 years to 16.  What an injustice for us… I mean Meredith.

      (219) Legally speaking, it would be better to split from Amanda.

      (258) Hellmann’s report knocked down the evidence we chose to present.

      3. Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further

      The real reason Sollecito goes no further could be in as in the title ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.  Many altruistic people may interpret this as behaving, or conducting themselves honourably. 

      But take a more shallow and selfish view.  It could just refer to being SEEN as honourable.  I think everyone here would agree that RS and AK are quite narcissistic and arrogrant.  And how manly to be protecting the women in your life.

      The truth does set you free - except only when the truth is much worse than what the assumptions are. I repeat, the truth sets you free, except when it is actually worse.

      What could be worse? Premeditation. Far beyond what has been suggested.

      1) Raffaele himself suggests that doing a robbery at the house at that time would be ideal.

      This makes sense if:

      (a) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
      (b) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl.

      So, by this reasoning, there would be over 1000 Euros in cash at that time. Of course, the average household does not carry that much, and normally, there would be no reason to think so. The date had to be planned. It also lends credence to the theory that this really was about money, and he had help.

      2) The fact that Laura and Filomena were gone, as were the men downstairs. Really, how often does it happen, and how would an outsider know?

      3) The trip to Gubbio. Does anyone know if either AK or RS were heavily into travel, or was this a one time thing? My point being that it could have been to establish an alibi, they just didn’t expect to still be there when the police showed up.

      4) The fact that Rudy Guede was brought in, when he had no legitimate reason to be upstairs. RS could explain away DNA or prints, but not RG. Even if it really was just about stealing money, would there not be some trace of him left when the theft was reported.

      And if murder was the plan all along, there would still be some trace of him.

      5) Purchasing bleach. Everyone had assumed that it was done after the fact to clean up, but there is another thought. What if there already was bleach available in the home, and this purchase was merely a replacement as an afterthought?

      6) The knife in Raffaele’s home. What if Amanda chose to bring a knife that Raffaele would not be able to ditch, simply so that should suspicion fall on them, there would be a knife to implicate Raffy? Remember, Amanda already made statements that point to him. Maybe those weren’t her first attempts.

      Of course, I did make the suggestion that they were keeping the knives for trophies.

      7) The ‘alibi’ email home. Sure, it could have been written on the spot. However, it seems too long and detailed for that. Yes, some details would need to be added (like the poop), but who is to say she didn’t start working on it BEFORE the murder?

      8) Keeping the text to Patrik to say ‘see you later’. Amanda says she doesn’t keep messages on her phone, but she had this one, and several days after the murder. Could this have been saved as a ‘backup plan’ in case naming Rudy does not work for some reason. Besides, don’t all black guys look the same? (sarcasm).

      9) Yes, there was a bloody shoeprint (believed to be AK), but I don’t recall anyone saying her shoes were missing, or any other clothes she had. And she supposedly did not have many clothes. So, did she have ‘extras’ for that night?

      10) Wiping down the home (even if it was botched), would take time, and ‘supplies’. A chronic slob just happens to have all these cleaning supplies on hand, or were they acquired before?

      So, I suspect the real refusal to talk is that the full truth is a lot worse than any game or drugged up prank. The time and location is chosen, no clothes are ‘noticed’ missing, and Amanda has at least 3 potential patzies: Rudy, Raffaele, and Patrik. Remember, Guede and Lumumba are on ‘the list’ Knox ended up writing for Rita Ficarra. And AK and RS are scheduled to go on a trip that would take them away with a plausible alibi. Cleaning supplies may already be there.

      Call me cynical: but I see all the signs of staging, and premeditation. Yes, the act itself was messy, but there are very obvious marks of forethought.

      So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?


      Sunday, January 18, 2015

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3: Targeted Claims On Which Sollecito & Gumbel May Fold

      Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



      Dr Giuliano Bartolomei of the chief prosecutor’s office of the Florence court brings the case

      1. The Court Contenders

      Judge Dolores Limongi will preside over Sollecito’s new trial in Florence this thursday and Dr Giuliano Bartolomei will prosecute.

      No word about whether the hapless bungler Andrew Gumbel will attend, but Sollecito has said he will be there.  Sollecito’s defense team seems rather weak. After Sollecito’s own lawyers for his murder trial publicly renounced the most damaging claims in his book (see below) his family turned to Alfredo Brizioli for help.

      Brizioli is a Perugia lawyer who was accused of being one of those trying to disguise the murdered Narducci’s involvement in the Monster of Florence killings. That shadowy group has just taken another hit in Italian eyes - a Milan court has ruled that Narducci, the probable murderer in the Monster of Florence crimes, was indeed himself murdered and there exists powerful evidence for this.

      2. The Specific Charges

      Charges against Sollecito are of two kinds: criminal defamation of both the justice system itself and of some of those who work within it. In US and UK terms criminal contempt of court comes close.

      Criminal contempt charges become separate charges from the underlying case. Unlike civil contempt sanctions, criminal contempt charges may live on after resolution of the underlying case.

      One charged with criminal contempt generally gets the constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel, right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial in certain cases. Charges of criminal contempt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      However, incarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided. Depending on the jurisdiction and the case, the same judge who decided to charge a person with contempt may end up presiding over the contempt proceedings.

      Criminal contempt can bring punishment including jail time and/or a fine.

       

      In this case a guilty verdict can open the tidal gates to criminal prosecutions and civil suits against Sharlene Martin and the Simon & Schuster team and all those many who repeated ANY of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims as gospel in their own books and online in the US and UK.

      3. Nature Of The Claims

      Typically the modus operandi of Knox and Sollecito and their factions in their US campaign (this falls flat in Italy) is to make some very damaging core claims, while leaving hundreds of pesky truths ignored.

      Pesky truths helpfully ignored by most of the US and UK media too who apart from freelance Andrea Vogt have still done almost zero translation of their own. The previous post below shows a good example of this. Sollecito makes 20 false claims in a few pages. Dozens of facts that would belie those claims are simply left out.

      The false claims continue (with considerable duplication for emphasis) throughout the 250-plus pages of the book.

      Sollecito’s claims were published only in English. That was in the apparent hope that things would be reversed by political pressure from the US. Perhaps the US would let Sollecito come and live and stiff the Italian courts.

      The Italian flagship crime show Porta a Porta wrecked that unusual and in-itself damaging strategy only 10 days out - with Francesco Sollecito’s and Luca Maori’s help.

      The three worst-case examples quoted here and some others became public when Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters pointed to them after an October hearing. Page numbers are for the hard-cover book. 



      Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book

      4. Example Claim One

      Our brief response to this for now is that this felony attempt to frame the prosecutor for a serious crime was entirely made up. His own father and both his trial lawyers publicly said so. There was never a police or prosecution bias against Knox or toward Sollecito. As was very obvious at trial in 2009 the case against both was equally strong (an example of a key fact left out). Knox herself would seem to have a reason to get mad with Sollecito for this shafting - and in fact she did.

      [ Page 219-222] My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous: the more I distanced myself from Amanda, the better. The legal community in Perugia was full of holes and leaks, and my family learned all sorts of things about the opinions being bandied about behind the scenes, including discussions within the prosecutor’s office. The bottom line: Mignini, they were told, was not all that interested in me except as a gateway to Amanda. He might indeed be willing to acknowledge I was innocent, but only if I gave him something in exchange, either by incriminating Amanda directly or by no longer vouching for her.

      I’m glad my family did not include me in these discussions because I would have lost it completely. First, my uncle Giuseppe approached a lawyer in private practice in Perugia - with half an idea in his head that this new attorney could replace Maori - and asked what I could do to mitigate my dauntingly long sentence. The lawyer said I should accept a plea deal and confess to some of the lesser charges. I could, for instance, agree that I had helped clean up the murder scene but otherwise played no part in it. “He’d get a sentence of six to twelve years,”Â the lawyer said, “but because he has no priors the sentence would be suspended and he’d serve no more jail time.”Â

      To their credit, my family knew I would never go for this. It made even them uncomfortable to contemplate me pleading guilty to something I had not done. It was, as my sister, Vanessa, put it, “not morally possible.”

      The next line of inquiry was through a different lawyer, who was on close terms with Mignini and was even invited to the baptism of Mignini’s youngest child that summer. (Among the other guests at the baptism was Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, who had long since aligned himself with Mignini in court.) This lawyer said he believed I was innocent, but he was also convinced that Amanda was guilty. He gave my family the strong impression that Mignini felt the same way. If true - and there was no way to confirm that - it was a clamorous revelation. How could a prosecutor believe in the innocence of a defendant and at the same time ask the courts to sentence him to life imprisonment? The lawyer offered to intercede with Mignini, but made no firm promises. He wasn’t willing to plead my cause, he said, but he would listen to anything the prosecutor had to offer.

      Over the late spring and summer of 2010, my father used this lawyer as a back channel and maneuvered negotiations to a point where they believed Mignini and Comodi would be willing to meet with Giulia Bongiorno and hear what she had to say. When Papà   presented this to Bongiorno, however, she was horrified and said she might have to drop the case altogether because the back channel was a serious violation of the rules of procedure. A private lawyer has no business talking to a prosecutor about a case, she explained, unless he is acting with the express permission of the defendant. It would be bad enough if the lawyer doing this was on my defense team; for an outside party to undertake such discussions not only risked landing me in deeper legal trouble, it also warranted disciplinary action from the Ordine degli Avvocati, the Italian equivalent of the Bar Association.

      My father was mortified. He had no idea how dangerous a game he had been playing and wrote a letter to Bongiorno begging her to forgive him and stay on the case. He was at fault, he said, and it would be wrong to punish her client by withdrawing her services when I didn’t even know about the back channel, much less approve it. To his relief, Bongiorno relented.

      My family, though, did not. Whenever they came to visit they would suggest some form of compromise with the truth. Mostly they asked why I couldn’t say I was asleep on the night of the murder and had no idea what Amanda got up to.


      5. Example Claim 2

      Our brief response to this for now is that the case against Sollecito was being driven by Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli and Judge Micheli, not Dr Mignini (an example of a key fact left out) and they got their information directly from the police. More than a year prior to Sollecito’s book coming out, a Florence appeal court had totally annulled a vengeance conviction against Dr Mignini [“there is no evidence”] and the Supreme Court had endorsed the result (an example of a key fact left out).

      [2. Page 176-177] One of the reasons our hearings were so spread out was that Mignini was fighting his own, separate legal battle to fend off criminal charges of prosecutorial misconduct. He and a police inspector working on the Monster of Florence case stood accused of intimidating public officials and journalists by opening legal proceedings against them and tapping their phones without proper justification.

      To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks.

      Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings. In response, Mignini accused Spezi himself of involvement in Narducci’s murder - even though the death had been ruled a suicide. It was a staggering power play, and the international Committee to Protect Journalists was soon on the case. Spezi was not initially told why he was being arrested and, like me, was denied access to a lawyer for days. Even Mignini, though, could not press murder charges without proving first that a murder had taken place, and Spezi was eventually let out.

      I firmly believe that our trial was, among other things, a grand diversion intended to keep media attention away from Mignini’s legal battle in Florence and to provide him with the high-profile court victory he desperately needed to restore his reputation. Already in the pretrial hearing, Mignini had shown signs of hypersensitivity about his critics, in particular the handful of English-speaking investigators and reporters who had questioned his case against us early on. He issued an explicit warning that anyone hoping he would back off the Meredith Kercher case or resign should think again. “Nobody has left their post, and nobody will,”Â he said. “Let that be clear, in Perugia and beyond.”Â

      Just as he had in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every tool at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. He spied on my family and tapped their phones. He went after Amanda not just for murder, but also for defaming Patrick Lumumba - whom she had implicated under duress and at the police’s suggestion. He opened or threatened about a dozen other legal cases against his critics in Italy and beyond. He charged Amanda’s parents with criminal defamation for repeating the accusation that she had been hit in the head while in custody. And he sued or threatened to sue an assortment of reporters, writers, and newspapers, either because they said negative things about him or the police directly or because they quoted others saying such things.

      Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.


      6. Example Claim 3

      Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).

      [Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.

      She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”Â

      For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive

      To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.

      To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.


      7. Looking Forward

      More posts to come.  We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.

      Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.

      In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book.


      Friday, January 02, 2015

      The Serial-Burglar Arm Of The Rudy Guede Hoax: Testimony 2009 In Court Provided ZERO Proof

      Posted by Peter Quennell



      Maria Del Prato in the inner courtyard in Milan from which her pre-school opens off

      1. Summary Of The Hoax

      To the present day no UK or US media have ever reported properly this key segment of the 2009 trial.

      Had they ever done so the now-pervasive notion of Guede as sole perp - lone wolf - would never have gained the ground that it has. UK and US followers would understand why ALL courts said three were at the scene and the breakin was faked. 

      2. 2009 Trial Attempts To Incriminate Guede

      All the testimony about supposed break-ins by Guede was presented by the defense on 26 July and 27 July 2009.  These were two lackluster half-days for the defense. 

      3. Summary Of What It Amounted To

      That trial testimony fell far short of providing the numerous Rudy Guede demonizers with all they now claim. Here are the witnesses the defenses called. 

      1. Pre-school principal Maria Del Prato

      She came across as understanding and fair. Maria Del Prato conceded that Guede probably had a key loaned to him by one of her staff which explained why no break-in charges were lodged.  Milan police did not just let him go, they checked his record with Perugia police (he had none and police knew little or nothing of him) and knew where he was for a possible later charge.

      2. Christian Tramontano

      Tramontano was a security guard and bouncer. There is a noted tendencies in those occupations to claim acts of bravery which in many cases never happened. This looked to cops like one such instance. His one-page police report filed late said he called the cops; there is no record.

      He had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who he much later said looked like a shot of Guede in the papers.He was never called to court. At a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli sharply denounced him in his absence as having made things up and wasted police and court time.

      3. Lawyers Matteo Palazzoli and Brocchi

      Matteo Palazzoli had first encountered the break-in scene during a Sunday night visit to his office and found his computer gone. He did not elaborate very much, and seemed glad to be gone.

      His colleague Lawyer Brocchi who had the least involvement talked the most - but he could be read as pointing a finger away from what he believed really happened for brownie points with the court.

      Here courtesy of Miriam’s translations is the key 2009 trial testimony

      Click for Post:  Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #1 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

      Click for Post:  Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #2 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

      4. A Major Unfairness To Guede

      We have knocked chips off Guede in the past, but how this testimony (albeit mild) opened the gates to a wave of innuendo was simply unfair. HE WAS NOT EVEN IN COURT.

      Neither he nor his lawyers were there to cross-examine the witnesses or call more witnesses of their own and the prosecution did not ask even one question. Nobody asked what legal documents may have been involved.

      This has allowed supposition to grow unchallenged, though it looked like a red-herring by the defenses at the time.

      5. What Guede’s Team Could Have Brought Out

      Note what Guede if his team had been present could have brought out:

      1. Nobody in Italy is given precautionary custody simply for possessing several items none of which were reported as stolen which conceivably could have been passed to him by another perp. When those were later proven stolen Guede was charged and he was recently sentenced in Milan to another 16 months.

      2. The French window one floor above the ground in the dark around the back would have been easy to break into on a Saturday night according to Matteo Palazzoli by simply climbing up the grill over the French window below and then using the balcony to break through.

      This is very far from the supposed scenario for Guede breaking into Filomena’s window

        (1) during Perugia’s late rush-hour on a weekday evening with a lot of cars and people still around,

        (2) under a great deal of light both from the street lights and the carpark lights above,

        (3) bypassing several other much easier entrances all of them in deep dark,

        (4) while leaving no prints and no DNA anywhere outside the window or in the room,

        (5) on a day when as far as he knew all four girls were in town (in fact three of them still were).

      3. Zero fingerprints were found in the lawyers’ offices though a great many items had been touched.

      4. What appear to be the tools of a habitual burglar were left at the scene.

      5. The burglar alarm dial-out had been disabled by someone who knew the special trick to doing that.

      6. The copier was switched on and some quantity of copy paper and several USB drives with legal data were gone.

      7. A front window had been opened and then not fully closed, seemingly to pass things through to someone waiting with a car.

      Payback or warning by a legal opponent? Such things are not unknown. Neither lawyer ever systematically reported a theft to the police. No comprehensive investigation was ever begun.

      Paolo Brocchi claimed he didnt even know that one of his cellphones was gone. Matteo Palazzoli never gave the serial number of his computer to the police. Palazzoli could only weakly testify that Guede came by - to say he was not the real thief.

      Each seemed embarrassed to be put on the stand by a flailing defense and simply anxious to move on.


      Friday, December 12, 2014

      Why All The Desperate Attempts To Prove Rudy Guede Was A Burglar Have Fallen Flat

      Posted by Peter Quennell




      1. The Knox-Sollecito State Of Play

      On average we get an email or two from readers in Italy every day.

      Maybe half are from Italians and half are from foreigners who are resident there. This is from an appreciative American who is married to an Italian and now lives in Milan.

      I go back to Perugia and my friends there as often as I can - everything there is very special to me. Perhaps this sounds a little strange but, to me, the city seems to have lost it’s innocence with Meredith’s murder. I still haven’t met anybody in Italy - from North to South (or from Switzerland either) who believes that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent.

      No-one in Italy any longer seems to believe that AK and RS or of course Guede were not involved. The courts have made their case.

      There has simply been too much documentation, too much commentary broadcast on TV, too many disturbing facts coming to light like Knox having sex for drugs with a drug kingpin right up to the night of her arrest.

      The incessant bickering of the two has become a bore. Trials against Sforza, Aviello, and Sollecito proceed and more charges against Amanda Knox and Curt and Edda Mellas remain.  Since this time last year neither of the two has won even one point.

      2. More Proof Undermines The Guede Hoax

      Can you figure out what the image at the top depicts?

      This is the north end of the massif from the east. Right at the center is the law office of Dr Paolo Brocchi, whose office was burgled and whose laptop turned up in the possession of Rudy Guede in Milan. Meredith’s house is visible at top-right and Patrick’s bar, the English girl’s house and the courts are all off to the left.

      At the bottom of the image below in the center is a narrow dark ally. Whoever broke in seems to have done so via that ally and a narrow balcony on the second floor of the law offices. 






      The killer-groupies refer to Rudy Guede as the FORGOTTEN killer though there is no logical reason why. He doesnt hog the limelight but he is convicted and he is doing his time.

      The killer-groupies claim Guede was a drug dealer (untrue), a petty thief (unproven), a knife wielder (untrue), who threatened a man (untrue), a police snitch (untrue) who killed Meredith alone during a burglary which went wrong (untrue). Quite a list of false claims. 

      There is in fact zero evidence proving Guede acted alone. Meredith’s missing money was equivalent to money Knox could not explain.  Read the 45 posts here for all the proof the killer-groupies ignore.

      Absolutely key to the verdict of the trial court were the TWO recreations of the attack on Meredith. Each pointed to three attackers. Both were presented in closed court. 

      Please follow the images below to see how a burglar broke into Dr Brocchi’s office two and a half weeks before Meredith was killed.

      The front door of the law office is at street level. Because the ground slopes down at the rear, the law office is one level above ground level. That is where the glass in the French doors was broken and the break-in may have occurred. 




      Above and below: images of law office at the street level from the front,






      Whether it was Guede or not (there are good reasons for thinking it was not) he or she broke in around the back, up that alley, in the dark, where there is a quite easy reach up to the floor of a narrow balcony outside the French doors.



      Above and below, law office from back, balcony is at hard left not visible here





      Above and below, law office from back, balcony is visible one floor up from ground level





      Above law office from back, balcony is visible one floor up from ground level



      What does that climb resemble? See the final image below. It fairly precisely resembles the climb in the dark onto Meredith’s balcony, also at the back, a route which two separate sets of burglars used in 2009.

      It does NOT resemble at all the climb into Filomena’s room, much higher, in bright light, which to this day not one person has been able to emulate, and which would actually resemble a climb to the office windows at the front in bright streetlight . 

      Those who claim that climbing into Filomena’s window was anyone’s known “modus operandi” are not telling the truth.




      Above, Meredith’s house from the east with balcony used by burglars at the back


      There were no fingerprints in the office and to this day nobody can say for certain what the burglary was really about.

      Only that certain legal papers had been accessed and it is held probable in Perugia that someone was trying to interfere with a legal case. Two other offices at the back were bypassed. 

      Neither Dr Brocchi nor Ms Maria Del Prato who encountered Guede in her nursery school in Milan pressed charges against him for assault or theft. Their testimonies at trial were low-key and puzzling but certainly did not leave Guede in a worse light. Neither had an axe to grind with him.

      So the Milan police and courts finally acted against Guede merely for being in possession of a couple of items of stolen property. Nothing more.

      If Guede had no already been convicted he would have served no prison time.

      But as we recently reported he gets an additional 16 months in prison and his work-release is denied.  Guede’s final appeal to Cassation has just been turned down.

      The killer-groupies should move along. Demonizing Guede with false claims and lying to justice departments (their new angle) will never ensure Knox remains free.


      Wednesday, October 29, 2014

      Analysis #3 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Contradictions Between RS & AK

      Posted by Cardiol MD




      1. Overview Of This Series

      In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

      He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial. His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

      (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

      (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

      (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

      (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

      (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

      Dr Chiacchiera was submitted to cross-examination on the above 5 items by 4 Attorneys for the Defence of Knox and Sollecito, by 2 Civil Party Attorneys, and to Re-examination by the Prosecution. He had a gruelling time as a witness.

      All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

      (GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

      Continuation of Dr Chiacchiera’s Evidence-in-Chief:

      MaCh: It emerged that normally Sollecito kept his cellphones, and also Amanda Knox, they kept their cellphones on until a late hour, evening, [sic] there is no telephone traffic from 20:40 hours. A thing of this “¦

      {Witness begins Testimony re cellphones and is interrupted}

      MC: But did this emerge from the declarations or did it emerge from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days?

      {Examiner interrupts witness with good Q re source of telephone-usage information}

      MaCh: It emerged from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days.

      {Witness answers clearly}

      GCM: Excuse me. Let me understand. In other words you say: the cellphone was switched off and there was no telephone traffic, these are two different things.

      {Court asks good clarifying Q}

      MaCh: I’m saying, Mr President. Two things. The first, normally Sollecito’s telephone and the telephone of Amanda, were switched on until the late hours. The fatal evening, they were switched off from 20:42 hours until “¦ one [of the phones] from 20:42 onwards and the other from about 20:50 onwards. One. Two, the traffic “¦

      {Witness is Answering Court's Q in 2 parts. When he gets to his part #2, Court interrupts}

      GCM: Before going on to “Two”, excuse me: “normally” ““ what does that mean? You had “¦

      {Court is asking good Q re witness's Part #1, but is interrupted}

      MaCh: We had done a comparative analysis of the telephone traffic of that evening with the telephone traffic of the preceding evenings. Shall we say the habits ...

      {Witness interrupts Court with narrative response, and is also interrupted}

      GCM: And so the “normally” emerges from this?

      {Court interrupts witness's response with good Q}

      MC: How many evenings? If you recall, or not?

      {Examiner asks witness relevant Q, adding redundant Q}

      MaCh: Months, no “¦ honestly, I don’t remember how many [evenings], but months.

      {Witness stumbles, seeming uncertain re 'evenings' vs 'months'}

      MC: I mean to say, not “¦

      {Examiner preambles re her redundant Q but is interrupted}

      MaCh: Not three days, no. The telephone traffic habits were evaluated. [This is point] one. [Point] Two, the element that emerged, that contradicted the declarations, I can’t report on the declarations but I can report on the element that contradicted [sic. i.e. provided the contradiction], that in effect no telephone call had arrived at 23:00 hours, as had been declared: on the phone line that was declared to have received that “¦ the recipient of that very phone-call. Another element: no interaction with the computer emerged, unlike what was declared. So there were a few objective elements of comparison from the analysis and from the technical checks that contradicted what had previously been revealed.

      {Witness interrupts Examiner with narrative response to Examiner's Q, witness indicating contradiction between suspects' declarations and objective records of telephone and computer activity}

      MC: For Amanda Knox, were there incongruities of this type?

      {Examiner asks if incongruities/contradictions existed for Amanda Knox}

      MaCh: Yes, there were incongruities because Amanda Knox was, how to say, contradicted by Sollectio, and then she contradicted herself, if I may “¦

      {Witness answers affirmatively, amplifying applicability both to Sollecito & Knox, but is interrupted}

      GB: President, if we continue in this way, then we might as well do the old [trial] procedure.

      {Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito's lawyer interjects, objecting-subjectively to Court, but submitting no legal basis for her objection}

      GCM: Excuse me, please.

      {Court seems to politely rule GB out-of-order}

      MaCh: The elements, these are [sic], Mr President, I don’t know how to do.

      {Witness communicates uncertainty to Court}

      MC: But it is so difficult, however.

      {Examiner chimes-in apparently commiserating with her witness's uncertainty}

      MaCh: Mr President, I really don’t know what to do.

      {Witness seems to repeat statement addressed to Court, who possibly interrupts}}

      GCM: Excuse me”¦

      {Court seems to begin response to Witness, but is possibly interrupted}

      MaCh: If I have to describe the investigation activity “¦

      {Witness may be interrupting Court or is continuing Witness's unfinished statement to Court}

      MC: He’s not referring to declarations.

      {Examiner chimes-in with his opinion re Witness's reference to Defendants' contradictions/incongruities - GB's interjection seems to have side-tracked court procedure}

      GCM: Regarding these declarations, you can report on this [sic. i.e. in this instance?], and with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, you reported ““ citing the telephone traffic and citing the use of the computer. There now, and this is one point. With regard to Amanda Knox, you cannot report the declarations. But you may, however, say ““ following these declarations ““ what type of investigations you carried out, and the outcome of these. So, following the declarations given by Amanda Knox, did you do similar investigations, as [those you did] for Sollecito Raffaele on the [phone] records? Or was there nothing to do, except to “¦?

      {Court rules on subject of testimony re Defendants' declarations, seeming to rule admissibility of Sollecito's declarations re telephone traffic and computer usage, but inadmissibility of Knox's declarations. Court does seem to permit description of investigations that followed Knox's declarations, without describing Knox's actual declarations, and Court asks whether phone-record investigations similar to those done for Sollecito were done for Knox.}

      MaCh: Mr President, all the necessary checks were made, but in that immediate moment the most important element “¦ that is to say, in [this] place [NdT: i.e. “in this Court”], in this moment, in this place, that is to say, when they were “¦ I said [that] when the arrests were made, I don’t, I don’t know how to do, however, the incongruity of the declarations with the facts that we had found, and with the declarations that Sollecito had previously given us, [this] was the most important element. I don’t know if I have managed to “¦

      {Witness seemingly responding to Court that he doesn't know how to deal with the declarations, is interrupted.}

      GCM: No, excuse me (overlapping voices). So, with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, we have
      understood these checking activities were carried out on the declarations made, the verification activities carried out, and [that’s all] very well. With regard to Amanda Knox, if you also carried out “¦ maybe there were no objective elements for possible checking, there were no “¦ or else, there were activities carried out of “¦

      {Court, interrupting over witness's testimony, seems to be explaining his Q to witness, but is interrupted by witness}

      MaCh: Later, there emerged a series of further elements.

      {Witness interrupts with statement re unspecified further elements}

      GCM: Not evaluations on the congruity, incongruity, likelihood, these are evaluations and will be done, there you go, comparably. I’m thinking of the [phone] records, of the use, if she had given indications on the basis of which [you] could carry out investigative activity “¦

      {Court seems to want evidence in Knox's phone records justifying further investigation.}

      Here ends the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera covering the relevant Phone Records, elicited by the Prosecution.

      Next comes the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera elicited by the Prosecution, covering Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house, Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife


      Thursday, September 25, 2014

      Analysis #2 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Discounting Any Lone Wolf

      Posted by Cardiol MD



      Dr Chiacchiera (talking) with his team explaining reason for charges in another case

      Overview Of This Series

      In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

      He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial.  His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

        (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

        (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

        (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

        (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

        (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

      All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

      This post continues analysis of the evidence that the lone burglar/lone wolf theory was not credible to those that were first on the crime scene and that the “break-In” to Filomena Romanelli’s room was to them obviously faked.

      (GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

      Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC] Leads Testimony

      Judge Massei [GCM}:  Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, “¦ there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

      {Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}

      Manuela Comodi [MC}:  Well, in short, they were called “¦ they are the only ones who can describe the whole progression of the investigations - Dr Profazio and Dr Chiacciera ““ because they are directors, they are the only ones who will come to describe for me, thus, what was the progression of the investigations. Clearly, in order to pass from one investigative act to another rather than “¦ and the choice of the subsequent investigative acts. It’s clear that they have to describe, in order to make a complete reasoning, even the lines of thought that, as Dr Chiacchiera said, it sometimes happens that they make. However, one point: apart from the break-in, apart from the broken window, there are “¦ did you acquire further elements that corroborated the idea that there had been a burglary? Nothing from Romanelli’s room had been carried off? Valuable things had been taken?

      {Examiner acknowledges Court's admonition, argues importance of her witness's testimony, and segués into triple-Q addressed to witness re elements corroborating idea of burglary.}

      Dr Chiacchiera [MaCh]:  This ... in fact, in the progress ...

      {Witness begins to answer, but is interrupted by Examiner}

      MC:  Was a declaration/complaint of theft made then, with a list of the things taken?

      {Examiner interrupts witness with new double-Q}

      MaCh:  In the logical progression, if I may in some way still, in summary, say what “¦.

      {Witness begins narrative response but is interrupted by Court}

      GCM:  Say the objective facts, if you have “¦.

      {Court interrupts witness, beginning to admonish him to respond by testifying to objective facts, but is itself interrupted by witness}

      MaCh:  Nothing disappeared, so a burglar would have had difficulty “¦

      {Witness answers 3rd Q of Examiner's above triple Q, but then launches into a narrative beginning: "so…", but Court interrupts}

      GCM:  Excuse me, nothing had disappeared? Before all else, what thing .... you knew what things were in that room that did not disappear?

      {Court interrupts, questioning basis for witness's statement that "Nothing disappeared"}

      MaCh:  Yes, because, shall we say, the investigation elements that then subsequently emerged, allowed us to deduce that from Romanelli’s room absolutely nothing disappeared. There was a complete mess/chaos, but nothing disappeared from Romanelli’s room. And this is another element to [lead us] to obviously deduce that the desired hypothesis of a burglar and of a theft was objectively “¦ But then the burglar does not [sic] close the door and throw away the key. The burglar does not cover the victim. The burglar “¦

      {Witness answers Court's Q, with narrative explanation including reference to "the key", and Court interrupts}

      GCM:  Excuse me. They key. What is this detail about the key? What is it?

      {Court asks Q simple Q re "the key" - with apparent transcriptional error: "They key"}

      MaCh:  There was no key.

      {Witness answers Court's Q}

      GCM:  There was no key where?

      {Court asks simple Q}

      MaCh:  Those who entered into the inside of the house first found the door closed. A closed door that then aroused the suspicions and that then gave concern and then it was decided to “¦ to break [it] down.

      {Witness responds to Court's Q with narrative explanation}

      GCM:  Excuse me, on [sic] Romanelli’s room there was no key?

      {Court asks another simple Q}

      MaCh:  No, I’m talking of Meredith’s room, Mr President; Meredith’s room was locked by key.
      This is another “¦ how to say, the investigative deductions that we drew from these details that emerged, also from the declarations that we gathered.

      {Witness responds to Court's Q, and informatively amplifies A}

      MC:  Was it normal that Meredith closed herself [sic. i.e. her room] by key?

      {Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

      MaCh:  No.

      {Witness gives simple A}

      MC:  And did you find the key of Meredith’s room?

      {Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

      MaCh:  No.

      {Witness gives simple A}

      MC:  So it was closed by key, but there was no key inside?

      {Examiner summarises witness's testimony re key and poses a simple Q}

      MaCh:  But there was no key inside, so that it was necessary to break down the door in order to enter. Also the almost inexplicable detail of the presence of two cellphones in a garden of a house, doesn’t tend to favour the thesis of someone who enters and who accidentally, so to speak, finds a person and then kills them, because [he] is forced to kill them because they have seen [his] face.

      {Witness responds to Q in form of confirming-repetition and amplifies A in expanded narrative-form}

      MC:  But is via Sperandio far from via della Pergola?

      {Examiner poses vague Q re proximity of 2 streets}

      MaCh:  No. And there we tried to deduce. And via Sperandio, as I said earlier, Doctoressa, is not far from the house. We discussed [this] to understand why these telephones went and ended up there “¦

      {Witness answers simply, and respectfully, introducing " the house" on one of the streets, seguéing into subject of the mobile telephones and is interrupted by the Court}

      GCM:  Excuse me. When you say it is not far from the house, can you specify at what distance? How one reaches it?

      {The Court's interruption is also vague, with double-Q, referring to an unspecified "it"}

      MaCh:  Not far from the house means that, by following a route that any Perugian knows, Mr President, one passes through a park and one arrives, let’s say, near the gateway of Porta Sant’Angelo. So for this reason, as the crow flies, how much would it be, but less [sic] “¦ three hundred, four hundred metres. But to reach it by foot from via della Pergola to via Sperandio I think that it doesn’t take more than 5, [or] 7 minutes.

      {Witness responds to Court in explanatory narrative form

      MC: But do you have to pass by via Garibaldi?

      {Examiner asks simple Q}

      MaCh:  Yes. But you can also pass through the park ““ there’s a park that then comes out right in front.

      {Witness answers Q, and amplifies his response}

      MC:  Of the villa?

      {Examiner seeks clarification of witness's response}

      MaCh:  In front of the villa, at the entry to the villa. Looking from the street that crosses with the provincial [road], the one that, shall we say, borders the villa, whoever is looking at it, I repeat, I ““ who am 44 years old, am Perugian ““ I did not know that there was a garden behind there.

      {Witness clarifies his response, amplifying further}

      MC:  And how far away is via Sperandio from via Garibaldi, corso Garibaldi?

      {Examiner asks apparently simple Q}

      MaCh:  it’s parallel. It’s very close, very very close. It’s 200 metres away, as the crow flies. I think even much less, because they are almost parallel, let’s say. Even that is something that in some way made us understand that there was an interest in getting rid of those cellphones, clearly, by whoever did that thing there.

      {Witness gives detailed response;
      See: "Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana's place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana's place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off)." In TJMK: "Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events." 6/28/2013}

      MC:  When you arrived for the first time in via della Pergola, did you enter the room of the crime?

      {Examiner asks simple Q}

      MaCh:  Immediately, no. I went in afterwards, when Dr Mignini also arrived; and later with Dr Lalli. Then I had, how to say, occasionally entered when the crime-scene inspection of the Forensic Police, of the colleagues arrived from Rome, was already begun, so late. I didn’t stop long inside the house, I say the truth, also because the measures/orders that I issued immediately were those, yes, of deducing, [of] drawing out all the investigative elements that might emerge in the immediate surroundings [and/or immediately after the facts] to seek to immediately direct the investigation activity, but also to “freeze” [sic. i.e. to solidify, or to make concrete] another aspect, which was that of hearing/questioning all the people who might tell us details on Meredith’s stay in Perugia, in general, but above all on her final hours, on her visits/visitors, everything about those who Meredith had known in some way and “¦ This was the thing that we considered logical to do precisely in relation to this, to these first investigative deductions that we drew from the [above]-described crime-scene.

      {Witness gives detailed narrative reply}

      MC:  And so that same day you were present when they began to hear/question…

      {Examiner begins preamble to presumed Q, but is interrupted}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness interrupts Examiner with witness's answer to assumed Q}

      MC:  “¦ the people [who were] acquainted with the facts.

      {Examiner completes interrupted Q-in-the-form-of-a-statement, which omits Q-mark}

      MaCh:  I was present. I did not participate personally in the examination [of witnesses], but I was present, in the sense that both with [my] colleague Profazio and with [my] other colleague from the central operative service”¦

      {Witness responds with narrative description of circumstances, but is interrupted}

      MC:  from Rome.

      {Examiner interrupts with her assumed next part of witness's response}

      MaCh:  from Rome. We began to put the pieces together, excuse my [use of] the expression; that is to say all the “¦ all the elements that emerged from the examination of witnesses, were checked, were gradually verified/cross-checked.  Both with cross-checks that enlarged the group of witnesses, of the people to be heard/questioned, and with the checking of the alibis of many people, [as well as] with a technical activity that was carried out.

      {Witness confirms Examiner's assumption, and completes his narrative description of circumstances}

      MC:  That is to say?

      {Examiner enquires as to witness's reference to indefinite "technical activity"}

      MaCh:  A technical activity. A bugging activity was carried out. There was also an activity carried out also for the cross-checking of the phone [activity] printouts. There was an activity to understand also the cross-checking of the [phone] cells. There was a very wide-range activity carried out. Without excluding, I repeat, all also [sic] ... shall we say, the minor hypotheses. For example, the news arrived of a Maghrebi who had been in a rush to wash his own clothes in a launderette, not too far from the scene of the crime. This piece of information was excluded for a very simple reason, because from the first results of the investigative inquiries, he had arrived there in the early afternoon, but instead, in the early afternoon of the day before her death, Meredith was still alive [sic]. Because from the witness examinations we had determined that the last person who had seen her alive, saw her in the late afternoon. After which, we also did another series of checks relative to the one [sic] that there was a strange telephone call that the people who found the cellphones in the famous villa, the beautiful one on via Sperandio, had received in the evening. However, we had, how to say, understood that it was a case of a boy who had made a call from Terni and of a strange coincidence, but absolutely irrelevant for the investigation activity. Indeed, we made checks on all the hospitals in order to evaluate, to check, whether maybe there were [patients] who had presented blade/cutting wounds that in some way might have been compatible with a wound, let’s say, or at any rate with a reaction by the victim. Only one had presented, it was a [person] from Foligno who, [while] cutting salami, had cut their hand during the trip back from an away-game with Foligno ““ he was a football fan. Nothing else. So no investigative hypothesis was rejected. It was, obviously, because this is how it is done, and thus I believe that it is logic, we began to discuss/think in a certain way, because we had deduced from all this scen, another series of further elements, that is to say that the person “¦.

      {Witness responds with prolonged narrative re "technical activity" and seems to pause}

      MC:  Speak. Don’t be afraid to say it.

      {Examiner urges witness to continue}

      MaCh:  No, no. I’m not afraid.

      {Witness argues with Examiner}

      MC:  That is, let’s say, when was it that the investigations turned to, [started] to focus on today’s defendants?

      {Examiner asks simple Q}

      MaCh:  When on the evening of “¦ they did not focus on today’s defendants, that is to say, progressively the analysis of the investigative elements made us “¦ made us start, even us, to suspect. Because going into a house, finding a [sic] door of Meredith’s room closed, a [sic] door of the apartment opened, faeces in the toilet [bowl], while I take a shower, a series of bloody prints”¦

      {Witness responds in narrative form and is interrupted}

      MC:  However the faeces were in which of the two bathrooms?

      {Examiner interrupts witness with clarifying Q}

      MaCh:  Of the bathrooms. Me, if I take a shower in a bathroom where there are faeces, instinctively I flush the toilet, in short.

      {Witness makes non-responsive subjective statement and is interrupted}

      MC:  Yes, but the faeces were in the other bathroom.

      {Examiner engages witness in argument}

      MaCh:  Yes, yes, I understood. However, in short, in some way it comes instinctively, no?, to flush the toilet? The fact is that “¦.

      {Witness joins argument and is interrupted}

      GCM:  Excuse me, do you know how many bathrooms there were in the house?

      {Court interrupts argument with simple Q}

      MaCh:  Two.

      {Witness ignores actual Q and responds with answer to assumed follow-up Q}

      GCM:  Two bathrooms. Excuse me, please. Do you know that a shower was taken?

      {Court asks another simple Q, using vernacular ref. to whether a person used the shower, rather than that the the shower device was taken away.}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness answers Court's actual Q}

      GCM:  How do you know?

      {Court asks simple follow-on Q}

      MaCh:  I know because it is a thing that I cannot, I believe, report because it was “¦.

      {Witness seems to answer in non-responsive, subjective narrative form, and is interrupted}

      GCM:  But you checked”¦?

      {Court seeks objective answer to his simple Q}

      MaCh:  I am trying to be very very careful.

      {Witness hints that he has reasons for apparent evasion}

      Giulia Bongiorno [GB]:  Mr President, we are talking of nothing.

      {Sollecito's lawyer chimes in with distracting comment}

      GCM:  Excuse me, Attorney.

      {Court appears to admonish GCM not to chime-in without specified legal-objection}

      MaCh:  Well, the main point [is] that very slowly we began to understand that there were strong inconsistencies in the revelations that were made. And there were behaviours that on the part of above all, indeed exclusively, of Sollecito and Knox, appeared to us as [being], at the very least, particular. Behaviours both immediately after the event ““ a sort of impatience/irritability shown [with regard to] the investigation activity that we were carrying out, and obviously we could not but ask [NdT: i.e. “we had to ask”] those who were close to Meredith [about] elements that we considered useful, even necessary, in order to continue the investigation activity.

      {Witness launches into apparent justification for his evasiveness}

      MC:  Excuse me if I interrupt you. I’ll just make a few precise questions, thus: you checked, let’s say, let’s call them alibis, even if it’s a term that’s very so [sic] from American TV films, but in any case [it’s] understandable”¦ Did you check the alibis of the people closest, let’s say, to Meredith?

      {Examiner, after preamble, asks relatively simple Q}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness answers Q as phrased}

      MC:  In particular, did you check the alibis of the young men from the [apartment on] the floor below?

      {Examiner asks simple Q}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness answers Q as phrased}

      MC:  Results?

      {Examiner poses Q in casual form}

      MaCh:  Positive for them, in the sense that they were at home, in their own home, that is to say their respective houses, because they were here for reasons of study, so they were not present in Perugia during the days when “¦

      {Witness responds with allusive casual A, begins to amplify, but is interrupted}

      MC:  Because they had left for “¦

      {Examiner interrupts with suggestion for next part of witness's response}

      MaCh:  Yes, for the All Souls’ Day long-weekend, let’s call it that.

      {Withess reacts to Examiner's suggestion by stating reason for upcoming week-end absence, but not stating week-end destination}

      MC:  Did you check the alibi of Mezzetti and of Romanelli?

      {Examiner asks double Q}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness answers for both Qs}

      MC:  Results?

      {Examiner poses Q in casual form}

      MaCh:  The result in this case also [is that] Mezzetti and Romanelli were not there, so “¦

      {Witness gives clear Answer, apparently begins explanation, but is interrupted}

      GCM:  Excuse me, can you say what checks you did?

      {Court interrupts witness's testimony to ask Q re witness's method}

      MaCh:  We carried out a whole series of checks that brought us to evaluate, establish, that these persons were not present in the premises that evening.

      {Witness ignores Court's Q as phrased and answers anticipated next Q}

      MC:  Let’s say, I imagine that you heard/questioned them.

      {Examiner makes statement-in-form-of-Q with ?-mark omitted}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness answers presumed Q}

      MC:  Did they tell you where they were that evening, what they did that evening”¦?

      {Examiner seems to interrupt and asks double-Q}

      MaCh:  And in effect, we assessed/considered that “¦

      {Witness ignores Q-as-phrased and is apparently interrupted}

      MC:  And you ascertained that in effect “¦

      {Examiner apparently interrupts A and continues his interrupted multiple Q}

      MaCh:  That it was true what they had told us. I can report on the circumstance.

      {Witness seems to continue his interrupted answer and offers to expand his narrative.
      Q &A cycle is confused and confusing because of repeated multiple Qs, instead of orderly single Q & A}

      MC:  Did you check the alibi of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito? Was there a comparison between the declarations of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito with regard to the night of the murder, and what you were able to compare, shall we say, objectively, through the other declarations, through the phone records?

      {Examiner asks multiple Qs}

      MaCh:  Through the phone records and through the checks [that were], shall we say, objective, it was found that what Sollecito had declared was not truthful because there was a phone call that was never received [i.e. answered] by Sollecito at 23:00 hours. Because it turned out that there was no interaction with the computer, but I believe that this “¦ as declared [sic]. But above all there was an absolute incongruity of the “¦.

      {Witness summarizing findings wrt phone records, is interrupted}

      GCM:  There now. Excuse me. Maybe we will not ask the question in these terms: following the declarations, on which you cannot report, that you got from and that were given by Amanda Knox and Sollecito Raffaele, what type of investigations you carried out”¦

      {Court interrupts to restrict Qs but is interrupted}

      MaCh:  We carried out ...

      {Witness interrupts Court's interruption and is interrupted}

      GCM:  ... and the outcome of these investigations. There now. This is where we’re at.

      {Court completes it's interruption, seeming to believe he has made himself clear, but confusion still reigns}

      MaCh:  Well, in summary ...

      {Witness begins a summary, but is interrupted}

      GCM:  Following the declarations given by them, you had “¦ With regard to Sollecito Raffaele, what did you do and what [information] emerged?

      {Court interrupts witness with double-Q}

      MaCh:  It emerged that, unlike “¦

      {Witness begins to answer Court's 2nd Q, but Court interrupts}

      GCM:  What did you do, first?

      {Court repeats1st Q}

      MaCh:  We did an analysis of the telephone traffic, and from the analysis of the telephone traffic it emerged that Sollecito had absolutely not received/answered the 23:00 hours phone call as he had declared. From the analysis of the telephone traffic, there then emerged a very strange detail, in the sense that the cellphones “¦

      {Witness answers 1st Q, begins answering 2nd Q, and is interrupted by Sollecito's lawyer}

      GB:  (overlapping voices) “¦ continue with the opinions/judgements, with all the opinions/judgements.

      {Sollecito's lawyer seems to demand comprehensive testimony}

      GCM:  That which emerged.

      {Court makes seemingly cryptic statement which is probably a Q relating to witness's interrupted A to Court's 2nd Q above: "It emerged that, unlike "¦" }

      MaCh:  A detail/particular emerged ... unlike what “¦. (overlapped voices).

      {Witness resumes testimony but is interrupted, multiple voices are heard}

      GCM:  Excuse me. What emerged?

      {Court asks witness to clarify what witness was saying}
      _____________________________________________

      Here ends the Analysis of the Evidence #2, discussing that the lone burglar theory is not credible, and that “Break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

      The next Post:  Analysis of the Evidence #3, will Analyse the Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

       


      Monday, September 15, 2014

      Analysis #1 Of Testimony Of Marco Chiacchiera, Director, Organized Crime Section, Flying Squad

      Posted by Cardiol MD



      Dr Chiacchiera with Dr Comodi explaining reason for charges in another case

      Overview Of This Series

      Yet another vital translation which will be posted in the trial testimony areaof McCall’s great Wiki. This again is translated by the ever-dedicated main posterr ZiaK.

      Although I graduated as a medical doctor I also graduated as a lawyer, and was often in courtrooms. For this post and the rest of the Chiacchiera series I am wearing my lawyer’s hat to point out what strikes me in Prosecutor Comodi’s questions,  Marco Chiacchiera’s testimony, and the cross-examinations by defense lawyers.

      Prior Preparations And Procedures

      Under the Italian Code, before the beginning of the trial phase in Italy, the parties file a brief, detailing all evidence they want to present ““ the parties have to indicate by name every witness and precisely what these will be asked. The aims include creation of a Record of Admissible Facts.

      Also under the Italian Code, both the defendant and the prosecutor can cross-examine each other’s witnesses. The Judge may choose not to admit any testimony that appears patently superfluous, reject irrelevant or improper or irregular questions ““ such as leading questions, and Inadmissible Hearsay ““ and also ask questions to the witnesses and experts.

      Ground Covered In Dr Chiacchiera’s Testimony

        (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

        (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

        (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

        (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

        (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.


      My Assessment Of This Court Exchange

      It is immediately obvious to me that this witness is a skilled witness; as such, and given his deep hands-on involvement in the immediate investigation this witness’s testimony is credible.  My assessment therefore is that this was a very good and unflinching witness and that Dr Comodi shows no signs of leading the witness or seeking other than a truthful record.

      I have seen prosecutors examine witnesses differently but dont believe the resultant record would have been superior. This would have stood up well in any American court.

      (GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

      Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC]

      MC:  Dr Chiacchiera, you carried out your duties where, when, at what moment of the events?

      MaCh:  I was and am the director of the Organized Crime Section of the Flying Squad and I am the vice-director of the Flying Squad. The Organized Crime Section is a branch of the Flying Squad that deals with “¦ the term, I think that in this place [i.e. the court] it is enough to say that it deals with organized crime. However, I am also the vice-director of the Flying Squad, for which [reason] I deal with, in the case of need, everything that is necessary [for] the various aspects.

      {Witness supplies 5 items of relevant information that Examiner should elicit at beginning of examination.}

      MC:  Can you tell the Court how you became aware of events, who called you, when you became involved?

      {Examiner asks another triple-question}

      MaCh:  Yes.

      {Witness simply answers question as worded by Examiner}

      MC:  For now, start to tell us, then maybe I will intervene [NdT: i.e. interrupt with further questions] if necessary.

      {Examiner, asking no Q, instructs witness, suggesting provisional forbearance if witness does not make interruptions necessary.}

      MaCh:  On the fateful day, at around 12:33, I had gone to the cemetery with my mother. The operations room called me immediately after the discovery of the body.

      {Witness begins appropriate narrative response, but Examiner interrupts}

      MC:  So the 113? [NdT: 113 is the Italian State Police emergency number]

      {Examiner interrupts witness with a Q, suggesting witness's receipt of call from an emergency number, but suggests wrong source-number}

      MaCh:  110. The operations room of the Questura called me, and informed me of the happenings in an initially obviously very summarized manner. They said to me that there was a suspicious death, a young woman who lived in via della Pergola. I rushed to the place directly in my mother’s car. I didn’t stop by at the Questura, I didn’t go to get the service [i.e. police] car. I got myself taken to via della Pergola. We took about 15 minutes from the cemetery to there, ten fifteen minutes. In the meantime, I phoned the deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, in the temporary absence of the director, Dr Profazio, who arrived later, who was “¦ he was enjoying a period of leave, and with deputy Commissioner Napoleoni we arrived almost at the same time. We arrived almost simultaneously at the premises. Forensics, too, arrived almost at the same time at the premises.

      {Witness supplies correct source-number and resumes interrupted narrative response}

      MC:  The Perugia Forensics?

      {Examiner questions witness's correction, as if to verify and to ensure accuracy of court's record}

      MaCh:  The Perugia Forensics, I highlight, yes.

      {Witness emphatically agrees with Examiner's question}

      MC:”‹[They were] alerted by you, or ...?

      {Examiner pauses mid-Q, inviting witness to guess complete Q, or is interrupted}

      MaCh:”‹Alerted by the operations room, and also alerted by me.
      ,
      {Witness responds to invitation, or interrupts with A to assumed complete Q}

      MC:”‹So you arrive, and who do you find?

      {Examiner's 1st simple Q.}

      MaCh: “‹I found there ... there was already deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, there were also a few of Meredith’s co-tenants. There was Amanda Knox, there was Raffaele Sollecito. There were two young men who were, I believe, the friend of the boyfriend of one of the co-tenants. In short, there were a few people who had already been inside the house. There was the Postal Police.

      {Witness answers Q in reasonable detail}

      MC:”‹In the person of”¦?

      {Examiner seeks more detail re specific Postal Police Personnel}

      MaCh: “‹Battistelli and another of Battistelli’s colleagues. Inspector Battistelli, with whom there was immediately a discussion in order to understand what were the reasons for his intervention there, because it is not normal to find the Postal [police] in a crime of this sort. And he explained to me immediately what was the reason for his intervention. The origin of the, shall we way of his intervention, was due to the discovery of a pair of cellphones in a period of time, I believe, of an hour, [or] two, I don’t recall clearly, that were one in the name of one of Meredith’s co-tenants and one in the name of, later it [sic] “¦ I mean the SIM [card], obviously, the cellphones’ SIMs, the cards, they were in the name of a co-tenant and the other in Meredith’s [name]. The co-tenant, however, then told us, we then ascertained that both of the cellphones in fact were used by Meredith. And already that was, how shall we say, a first detail on which we began to reflect because, in fact, that was an element than in some way made us [become] immediately occupied/involved from an investigative point of view.

      {Witness responds to Q and includes relevant amplifying narrative, anticipating probable future Qs re cellphones}

      MC: “‹So, excuse me, also if the Court already, shall we say, knows this, because others have reported it, on this point however, where were the cellphones found?

      {Examiner seems to interrupt with simple Q to clarify specific relevant fact not yet reached}

      MaCh:”‹Inside the garden of a villa that is in via Sperandio.

      {Witness responds appropriately}

      MC:”‹In via Sperandio.

      {Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

      MaCh: “‹A villa that ... I am Perugian, [and] honestly, I didn’t even know there was a villa there. I’m Perugian, and I swear that I would have sworn [sic] that behind there was a wood.

      {Witness flounders, seems unable to be more specific}

      MC:”‹A field

      {Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

      MaCh: “‹It [was] the first time that I went in behind there. Instead, I see a marvelous old mansion with an enormous garden that gives ... that is almost adjacent to the street ““ the street that leads towards Ponte Rio. Anyone from Perugia understands me maybe.

      {Witness seems to be in informal conversational mode}

      MC: “‹From the structure of the fencing/enclosure, could you tell, shall we say, whether it was possible to throw these cellphones from the street, or whether it was necessary to enter the garden itself?

      {Examiner engages witness, and asks Q to clarify how cellphones got into that garden}

      MaCh: “‹Yes, obviously, we checked that. In fact, immediately, in short, the detail that seemed, how shall we say, of great investigative interest was that [very point], besides other details that I will go [into] a bit [sic], so to speak, also to give the impression of what the immediate impact was that we saw in the moment when we found ourselves in a situation of this type. So, deputy Napoleoni immediately entered inside the house in order to check it for herself. I did it [entered] shortly afterwards, also because [as] you will imagine that in that moment whoever was there had to notify all those who [sic], amongst whom Dr Mignini who was the Public Prosecutor on duty, and immediately give orders so that the correct checks are carried out. Because it was not just a crime scene that had to be analysed immediately: there also had to be, how shall we say, correlated with the information that we had got from via Sperandio ““ because the entry of the Postal [police in the case] originated with via Sperandio. And so we immediately asked ourselves: “Ah, what are these cellphones belonging to poor Meredith doing inside the garden of a villa?” And then And then immediately after, we asked ourselves, obviously, what might be the profile of the possible, or probable, murderer, and we discussed/talked about the crime scene. The crime scene immediately seemed fairly strange to us, if you wish [NdT: literally “if we wish” in Italian, but meaning the same as “shall we say”, “if you wish”, “so to speak” etc.]

      {Witness responds to Q with detailed narrative}

      MC:”‹Why?

      {Examiner asks ambiguous Q, probably wrt crime scene seeming "fairly strange "}

      MaCh:”‹Because the door did not show”¦ the entry door to the villa did not show signs of break-in. The we checked “¦

      {Witness seems to decipher ambiguity correctly, begins narrative response, but is interrupted by Examiner}

      MC:”‹We are not talking about the villa on via Sperandio obviously?

      {Examiner interrupts with Q, apparently not comprehending Witness's narratives}

      MaCh: “‹For the love of god! It was called a “villa” “¦ (overlap of voices), let’s say the house, of the house on via della Pergola there was no forcing/break-in. We found a forcing on the window. The window is this one, on the side of the house. I don’t know if you’ve seen the house? Anyhow, it is this one on the side of the house that can be seen immediately when you come down the slope from the gate. Logically reconstructing the thing, a hypothetical prowler [NdT: literally “ill-intentioned person”] who entered the house, breaking the glass with a rock - because inside the room, which was Romanelli’s room, which was the, shall we say, hypothetical arena of the entry, was completely in utter chaos. For that reason, what should we have hypothesized? That the hypothetical prowler took a rock, managed to throw the rock; the shutters, the external ones, the external shutters were not “¦

      {Witness is exasperated at Examiner's apparent incomprehension, is repeating his previous testimony, but is interrupted by Examiner}

      MC:”‹The dark-green wooden ones?

      {Examiner interrupts with Leading Q re colour of external shutters. Now begins a confused and confusing colloquy. The arrangement of Filomena Romanelli's window, with Outside, and Inside Shutters, the Broken-Glass-Frame in-between, and the glass-splinters on the window-sill is complicated and needs a picture-exhibit that the witness can refer-to; this is apparently not provided, leading to the confusions}

      MaCh:”‹The dark-green wooden ones were half shut, for which reason [he] must have had an aim like “Pecos Bill” [NdT: a cartoon Wild West cowboy], takes aim and throws that rock, smashes the window. After, he climbs up and does a turn on the little slope, and has to clamber up towards the window on the smooth surface, it seems to me, that from the ground up to the window there are two and a half metres-three [metres]. And then would have said: “bah, in short” [sic]. Yeah, well, the thing seemed to us…. in short, the first hypothesis that the investigator normally does, finds a level of unlikelihood of this kind of happening. After which, we looked at the house and we saw that an entry of a potential prowler [ill-intentioned person], still reasoning on the hypothesis”¦

      {Witness amplifies narrative response but is interrupted by Examiner}

      MC:”‹Of theft.

      {Examiner inappropriately interrupts, incorrectly guessing what witness was about to say}

      MaCh: “‹Of theft ending badly. Of theft that then degenerates because the burglar in some way thinks that he will find no-one in the house and instead finds a person, and then it degenerates “¦ We saw that there were easier means of entry, without wishing to bore you, but behind the house there was the possibility of climbing in a much easier way, without being seen by people that might have passed in the road. Let’s remember that, in short, it was not very late; quite the contrary. Normally people passed there, for which reason, if [he] had done it, the thing would probably have been seen. That thing there, as an hypothesis, we didn’t immediately discount it, that’s clear, because it’s a good rule to never discount any hypothesis. But we immediately considered that it was not a priority.

      {Witness corrects Examiner's wrong guess, amplifies and seems to end narrative response}

      MC:”‹Dr Chiacchiera, I interrupt you. (The witness is shown an exhibit.)

      {Examiner, seems to acknowledge her habit of interruptions without actually interrupting, while introducing an unspecified exhibit. This introduction seems very informal, because Exhibits are normally identified by an assigned title.}

      MaCh:”‹Ah! I didn’t remember it as being so big.

      {Witness recognizes unspecified exhibit}

      MC:”‹Precisely! You saw it? This is the rock that ...

      {Examiner engages witness, stating it is "the rock".}

      MaCh:”‹Yes, but it has been some time I have not, how shall we say, yes, I saw it. Absolutely.
      However, it’s big, it’s huge.

      {Witness engages Examiner, commenting on how large the rock exhibit is}

      MC:”‹Do you consider that it could be this?

      {Examiner ambiguously (what are "it" & "this "?) asks witness's opinion}

      MaCh:”‹I believe so.

      {Witness seems to overlook ambiguity of Q with vague A)

      MC:"‹I try "¦

      {Examiner begins to speak but is interrupted}

      Judge Massei [GCM]:”‹How?

      {Court interrupts as if to ask Q how Examiner 'tries'}

      MC:”‹It is this. Yes, it is this one that was collected, yes, that was found.

      {Witness seems to confirm that exhibited rock is the rock found in Filomena's room}

      GCM:”‹So the rock is shown. [NdT: an “aside” for the court records?]

      {Court formally announces admission of rock-exhibit, seemingly trying to reduce confusion caused by informal dialogue}

      MaCh:”‹Inside the room where we then found the rock…
      ??:”‹But what was the question about the rock?

      {Witness amplifies that rock had been found in a room, but enquires re rock Q, exposing confusion caused by informal dialogue}

      GCM:”‹If this was the rock. And the witness said ...

      {Court begins explanation to confused witness}

      MaCh:”‹I said yes. Yes.

      {Witness interrupts Court - confusion reigns}

      GCM:”‹You saw it? You saw the rock?

      {Court asks witness 2 Qs, trying to clarify that 'it' refers to 'the rock' that witness saw.}

      MaCh:”‹Yes.

      {Witness confirms that witness had previously seen the rock introduced into court as an unlisted exhibit.}

      GCM:”‹When you saw it, where was it?

      {Court proceeds to clarify confusion re where the rock was when witness originally saw the rock}

      MaCh:”‹The rock [was] in the room of Romanelli.

      {Witness specifically testifies, for witness's first time, that when witness originally saw the rock, the rock was in Filomena Romanelli's room}

      GCM:”‹How far from the window? Can you say?

      {Court continues to seek clarification using double-Q.}

      MaCh: “‹A few centimetres [NdT: “un palmo” = “a hand’s width”] from the window sill, under the window, from the wall where the window is.

      {Witness testifies clearly in answer to Court's 1st Q of above double-Q.}

      GCM:”‹So from the internal perimeter wall, from where the window gives onto it, a “hand’s breadth”. So 20 centimetres…

      {Court apparently begins to seek verification of witness's testimony, but is interrupted}

      MaCh:”‹Mr President ....

      {Witness begins to Interrupt Court}

      GCM:”‹... away from it approximately.

      {Court finishes his interrupted statement}

      MaCh:”‹Yes.

      {Witness agrees with Court's completed statement}

      GCM:”‹And this is the rock. You remember it.

      {Court states his understanding in form of Qs.}

      MaCh:”‹Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is the rock.

      {Witness impatiently agrees with Court's understanding}

      MC:”‹At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it corresponds thus to the one that was collected [as evidence].

      {Examiner makes statements in form of Q, seeking verification of resemblance of exhibit-rock to original rock}

      MaCh:”‹At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it absolutely corresponds. If it was collected, I think that ...

      {Witness begins narrative agreement with statements of Examiner, but is apparently interrupted by Examiner}

      MC: “‹Very well. WITNESS [sic? Should be MaCh?] and Romanelli’s room was a complete shambles. The clothes were on the floor, the glass was strangely on top of the clothes, the [glass] shards were strangely on top of the “¦ on the windowsill, let’s put it that way.

      {Apparent Transcriptional confusion attributing to interrupted witness narrative the interrupting .statement of Examiner}

      MC:”‹The outside one.

      {Examiner seems to amplify statement of Examiner wrt which window-shutter witness had been referring-to}

      MaCh: “‹The outside one, precisely. The one that is between the shutters and the shutters [sic. NdT: “imposte” in Italian, but this can also mean shutters, or flap, as in the inner “scuri” shutters, or he may mean the window-frame itself, with the window-panes, given his following description], the green shutters and the shutters, the broken ones in short, where the glass is. The shutters ““ the wooden ones. The rock was a bit too close with regard to the wall if I [were to] throw it from least two metres. Unless it was lobbed [i.e. thrown in a high arc]. But in that case it’s rather unlikely that it would smash the glass. For that reason, I repeat, in the context of immediate likelihood, this one “¦

      {Witness agrees with Examiner that he was referring to "The outside one", continuing with narrative of reasoning, but is interrupted by Examiner…}

      MC:”‹Yes, it’s true. These are considerations. However they are considerations, shall we say, that refer [sic], because they are reasoning/lines of thought that are formed in the “immediacy” of the events [NdT: i.e. “in the immediate aftermath”. NOTE: throughout the text, a number of speakers use “immediatezza” (lit. “immediacy”) to convey a number of meanings, from “in the immediate aftermath”, or “in the immediate surroundings”, or “very soon after”, etc. I will translate them appropriately according to the context, without further explanation of the use of “immediatezza”], in order to proceed in one direction rather than another.

      {Examiner, interrupting witness, apparently agreeing with witness's reasoning. While Examiner is apparently stating his own argumentative reservations re the possible evolution-in-time of witness's changing lines of reasoning, he is interrupted by Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito defense lawyer:}

      Giulia Bongiorno [GB]: “‹I never like to interrupt an examination [of a witness], however if one wanted, between the Public Prosecutor’s hypotheses, to do that [sic] of demonstrating that from a ballistic point of view it is not possible, then the ballistic expert should be called.

      {GB interrupts Examiner to comment that Witness and Examiner are expressing opinions on Ballistics that require the testimony of a Ballistic Expert.}

      MC:”‹But in fact, his considerations are not the considerations of an expert: they are the considerations of an investigator who made certain deductions in the immediacy of the events.

      {Examiner argues that witness's testimony is that of an investigator's temporal train of thought.}

      MaCh:”‹It happens to us too, at times, to reason/think rationally “¦

      {Witness joins colloquy, amplifying Examiner's argument.}

      GCM:”‹These reasonings/deductions, then determined your investigative activity in one direction rather than in an “¦?

      {Court seems to invite further amplification by witness}

      MaCh: “‹Yes, obviously, Mr President. I was trying to ... (overlap of voices) it is a premiss/basis to be able to then, how shall we say, reach ““ I won’t say conclusions ““ but in order to try to understand what our way of broaching the thing was, there and then. We had, I reassert, reasoned immediately also on via Sperandio. So the first thing, I may say, [was] the unlikelihood, or at any rate it was not the top priority hypothesis, the one of a prowler/ill-intentioned person entering. The open door without signs of break-in. But above all, a young woman who is [sic] probably killed in her own room, nude or almost nude, with a wound of that type, in a lake of blood, covered with a duvet. I repeat, the door was not smashed/wrecked, there’s a broken “¦ a window broken with a thrown rock, how can I say, it’s obvious that we immediately found this situation as “¦ (overlap of voices).

      MaCh:”‹”¦ particular.

      {Witness further amplifies narrative}

      GCM:”‹You formed these considerations, and what did they lead you to?

      {Court asks simple Q.}

      MaCh: “‹That very probably the author or authors knew the person, or at any rate that the author or authors did not enter “¦ did not enter from the window-pane of that window.

      {Witness responds with his conclusion that the authors of the faked break-in did not enter from the window-pane of that window.}

      GCM: “‹Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, “¦ there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

      {Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}
      _________________________________________________

      This segment of Chiacchiera’s Testimony re the Crime Scene, which he believed had been remodeled by the criminals to dupe Investigators into believing that there had been a burglary, committed by a single criminal, is paused here because it is so prolonged.

      Analysis of Chiacchiera’s Testimony will continue in a future post.

       


      Thursday, May 29, 2014

      Ted “There Is No Evidence” Simon’s Tired Mantra Misinforms Americans And Provokes Italian Hard Line

      Posted by Peter Quennell


      Above: Ted Simon’s objective and accurate statements on the case against Amanda Knox (Dec 2008)

      Is Ted Simon already gone?

      Has Ted Simon been kicked off the Knox-Mellas team?

      Ted Simon gets no mention on Knox’s website among the credits to her Italian legal and Seattle PR teams. He seems to serve zero useful purpose to anyone that we can see. One could train a parrot to repeat “there is no evidence” for a smaller fee.

      Ted Simon is certainly not helping Knox to get back to Planet Earth - in January Judge Nencini awarded her another year inside, and for continuing legal incautions Knox could certainly face more time.

      As he seems utterly ineffective on all fronts, maybe it was high time that Ted Simon was gone.

      If so five good reasons why

      A year ago, he seemingly allowed this false felony charge to be included in Knox’s book. That malicious claim could result in more prison time for Knox, and possibly open Ted Simon to a malpractice suit for zero due diligence done on her book - or at least this.

      Since then, Amanda Knox has shot herself in the foot at least four more times, with no obvious legal restraint.

      Knox charged ahead with the insulting and inaccurate email to Judge Nencini, the insulting and inaccurate appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, the insulting and inaccurate first response to the Nencini Report, and the insulting and inaccurate website which Knox foolishly runs.

      And seven more reasons why

      Our interest is for justice for Meredith and her family, for Italian justice to be seen in a fair light, and for an end to this protracted PR-driven dead-end fight, in which Ted Simon has had some hand.
       
      So let us look at some other ways in which Ted Simon’s lazy mantra, a substitute for a convincing alternative scenario of the crime, gives, or at least gave, Amanda Knox false hopes and will ultimately let her down.

      1. Take a look at this absurd claim by Ted Simon which millions of Americans now, large numbers of lawyers, and many TV hosts can laugh off as simply untrue.

      “There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the room where Meredith Kercher was killed,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that she is innocent.” (CNN)

      What exactly does that mean? Does Ted Simon even understand the scenario of the attack? This was a KNIFE attack, which does not usually see the exchange of a lot of DNA. There was the indisputable use of two knives in the attack - and Knox’s DNA is absolutely incontrovertibly on one.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      2. Meredith’s room was not fully swabbed for DNA because fingerprint dusting was the investigators’ (right) first choice. There were no fingerprints there - but there were none in Knox’s room either. Was she never there too?  Knox’s lamp was found in Meredith room, with no prints. It would not have got there without help from her. There was a Knox-size shoeprint in the room. It would not have got there without help from her.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      3. Throughout the rest of the real crime-scene, which Ted Simon would really, really like Americans to forget includes a corridor, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms as well as Meredith’s room, there is stacks of unshaken forensic evidence against Knox. Indisputably a partial cleanup occurred because some footprints in several chains had been disappeared.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      4. There is, if anything, a surfeit of possible motives (not that there is a requirement for certainty there), and certainly there is a surfeit of alibis. Knox clearly framed Patrick. She was totally unprovoked by police, and yet even after three years actually served for felony framing, she continues to perpetrate the great hoax that she was.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      5. Amanda Knox is ever more frantically claiming that Rudy Guede carried out the crime against Meredith alone, and yet there is zero question of that. Many myths spread about Guede are untrue.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      6. Raffaele Sollecito was absolutely incontrovertibly in the apartment during the attack - his own lawyers have failed to prove the print on the mat was not his. Absent Knox, it is inconceivable that Sollecito was there.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      7. Finally dozens of lawyers are saying that the extradition treaty with Italy is crystal clear. If due process to a conviction was followed - and the American Embassy in Rome monitored it and saw nothing wrong - Knox could be on a plane within weeks to pay for what was a very cruel crime.

      Why does Ted Simon make no mention of that?

      New mantras in light of above

      Due to sudden problems with Ted Simon’s gibberish machine, we are happy to step up and provide these for free.

      There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in the bathroom where there was a bloody footprint of RS and DNA of Knox,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Guede did not do the crime alone.”

      There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Rudy Guede in Filomena’s room where the breakin was staged, though there was Knox’s DNA” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Amanda Knox is framing him.”

      There was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoe print, handprint, palm print, fingerprint, sweat, saliva, DNA of Amanda Knox in the bedroom where she slept,” attorney Theodore Simon told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “That in and of itself tells you unassailably that Knox did not even live in the flat.”

      Amanda Knox is thrilled. Thrilled!! Look for them soon on your local TV.


      Below: Ted Simon’s shrill and misleading statements on the strength of the case against Amanda Knox (Feb 2010).


      Tuesday, April 29, 2014

      Why Final RS & AK Appeal Against Guilty Verdict May Fail: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

      Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




      Reports From Italy On Why AK & RS Appeal Failed

      The Nencini Report has been released and we are seeing to its translation right now.

      Meanwhile journalists in Italy have these reports which convey the very implacable, damning tone. There was nothing accidental about Meredith’s death; Knox premeditated it all along.

      First report

      From Il Messagero kindly translated by Miriam:.

      FLORENCE -  The knife that was seized at Raffaele Sollecito house is the knife that killed Meredith Kercher, and the blow was delivered by Amanda Knox.  So writes the President of the Court of Appeal of Florence, Alessandro Nencini, in the motivation report of the sentence that was passed on Jan. 30th that saw Amanda Knox sentenced to 28 and a half years and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years.

      Over 330 pages in which the court covers the appeal and explains the conviction. Starting with the knife considered “not incompatible with the wound that was carried out on Meredith Kercher. “In the present case, writes Nencini what counts is the accessibility of the weapon by the accused, it’s concrete portability from house to house, it’s compatibility with the wound, and the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade. All of these elements ascertained by the court lead to the conclusion that the knifed evidenced as no. 36 was one of the knifes used in the attack, and was the knife that Knox used to strike the fatal blow to Meredith’s throat.”

      The court retains to have sufficient evidence of “certain reliability” of Rudy Guede (convicted to 16 years) Amanda and Raffaele in the house where Mez was killed, on the night between the 1st and November 2, 2007 in 7 Via della Pergola “in the immediate phases following the murder.” The Court then tells how she was immobilized and Mez “was not able to put up some valid resistance because she was dominated by multiple assailants and cut at the same time with the blades of several knives.”

      Rejected therefore is the defense’s strategy of both of the convicted, that have always maintained that the killer was only one.: the Ivorian Rudy Guede.

      Second report

      Bullet points from various Italian media.

      • The big knife from Sollecito’s house held by Amanda Knox caused the fatal wound to Meredith while the other was held by Raffaele Sollecito.

      • There is strong “multiple and consistent” evidence of all three in the house immediately following the murder.  All three worked to suppress Meredith.

      • There was an escalating quarrel between Knox and Meredith leading to a progressive aggression and murder with sexual components.

      • Between Amanda and Meredith there was no mutual sympathy and Meredith harbored serious reservations about the behavior of AK.

      • The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing the night she was murdered was left by Raffaele Sollecito
      Third report

      No especially accurate reports in English have appeared yet and the erroneous “new trial” is still surfacing. Andrea Vogt tweets that she will be posting an analysis soon.

      The mischievous defense-inspired “sex game gone wrong” and “satanic theory” mantras are still widely showing up in the duped media, but are nailed hopefully finally in this new report.

      Judge Nencini has closely followed and endorsed the “from all angles” Massei trial analysis, but with the inclusion of some more credible explanations from Prosecutor Crini which Judge Micheli had also espoused back in 2008.

      In particular, Rudy Guede is not now highly improbably seen as the one initiating the attack on Meredith, and sex was not at all the primary driving force for the attack (the prosecution never ever said it was). Knox carried the big knife from Sollecito’s for a purpose.

      The bad blood between the girls resulting from Knox’s crude, brash, very lazy, drug-oriented behavior was well known in Meredith’s circle. All of them had backed away from her, as also had her employer and the patrons in his bar.

      There was a probable theft of money by Knox who was unable to account for a sum similar to what Meredith would have stashed away for the rent and that is seen as the probable spark for the explosive argument and attack.

      Fourth report

      Barbie Nadeau in The Daily Beast

      Amanda Knox apparently did not kill Meredith Kercher in a “sex game gone wrong,” as had been previously decided by a lower court in Perugia, according to a Florentine appellate judge who released today a 337-page document explaining his decision to convict Knox and her erstwhile Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for Kercher’s murder. Rather, the judge claims, Knox allegedly killed Kercher, her 21-year-old British roommate, because she didn’t like her.

      All Italian courts require judges to explain the reasoning behind their rulings, and it likely represents the penultimate step in a seven-year case that has seen Knox and Sollecito first convicted in 2009 then acquitted in 2011 then convicted again in January 2014. Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native who was also convicted for his role in the murder back in 2008, is serving a 16-year jail sentence. He is currently eligible to apply for work furloughs from prison.

      Judge Alessandro Nencini, along with a second judge and six lay jurors, were tasked with hearing a second appeal that began in September 2013 after Italy’s high court threw out the acquittal that set Knox and Sollecito free in 2011. Italy’s high court cited “inconsistencies” and “legal mistakes” and tasked Nencini’s court with hearing the appeal again. It was not a retrial per se, but rather a fresh look at the appeal process that freed Knox.

      Nencini decided that the appellate court that set Knox free erred in evidentiary and legal matters. That court will now have to rule definitively on the case, using Nencini’s reasoning and whatever appeal Knox and Sollecito file for their final judgment. If the high court accepts Nencini’s verdicts, the two will be required to serve their prison sentences in Italy. Knox has vowed she will not return to Europe, but Sollecito, unless he escapes, won’t be as lucky.

      The court’s explanation of its decision comes down hard on the first appellate court that overturned Knox’s guilty verdict, at times seemingly scolding them for misapplication of penal codes and for throwing out witness testimony without explanation. “It was an operation of evaluating evidence with using logic,” Nencini wrote, accusing the first appellate court of essentially throwing out testimony that allegedly proved Knox’s involvement, but keeping testimony that supposedly supported her innocence.

      He used Knox’s prison diary as a prime example. “Look at the contradictions in the evaluation of the diary written in English by Amanda Knox,” he wrote, referring to a handwritten prison diary taken fromKnox’s cell as part of the investigation to determine why she accused her pub boss Patrick Lumumba of Kercher’s murder during early interrogations. “On one hand, the appellate court of Perugia completely devalued the writings when she admitted wrongdoing by accusing Patrick Lumumba. On the other side, they valued it when she defended herself.”

      Nencini also ruled that there was plenty of forensic evidence tying Knox and Sollecito to the crime scene, writing “they left their tracks in the victim’s blood” more than once in the document. He accepted testimony that supported the theory that a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment was one of the primary murder weapons, and he reasoned that a second knife was also used that matched a blood stain left on Kercher’s mattress.

      The first knife in question was the only hard evidence reexamined in the second appeal, and forensic experts ruled that a previously untested spot on the knife’s handle consisted of 100 percent Knox’s DNA. An earlier court heard testimony that a tiny smidgeon of DNA on the groove of the blade was Kercher’s, but the first appellate court agreed with witnesses who testified that the sample was too small to be considered a perfect match. The second appellate court not only considered the knife to be the murder weapon, it also ruled that Knox “plunged the knife into the left side of Kercher’s neck, causing the fatal wound.”

      The second appellate court also reasoned that Kercher’s bra clasp, which had been cut from her body after she was killed, had Sollecito’s DNA on the tiny metal clasp. “The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing when she was assassinated belonged to RaffaeleSollecito,” Nencini wrote, agreeing with the judge in the original murder conviction. “The clasp was manipulated by the accused on the night of the murder.”

      The court also scoffed at certain rulings laid out by the first appellate court, saying that the court’s reasoning that it would have been easy for “a young athlete” like Rudy Guede to scale the wall and enter the apartment, was borderline racist.

      Nencini also ruled that with regard to motive in the murder, it was subjective and personal. “It is not necessary for all the assailants to share the same motive.”

      The court picked out small details of Knox’s presumably errant testimony, including how she told police the morning Kercher’s body was found that Kercher always locked her door “even when she takes a shower,” which was later contested by the girls’ other roommates.

      Nencini also clearly believed ample forensic testimony, presented by experts examining the original autopsy, that Kercher was killed by more than one person. “”She was completely immobilized when she was murdered,” he said, reasoning that Guede could not have acted alone, and instead likely held her back as Sollecito and Knox knifed her.

      The judge also pointed out incongruences in Knox’s testimony about the night of the murder, but noted problems with the other witnesses, which included a homeless man, an elderly woman who said she heard screams. Still, he ruled that Knox’s accusation of Lumumba is vital evidence against her. “It is impossible to separate the two acts,” he wrote.

      Using Nencini’s reasoning, Knox’s lawyers now have the roadmap for planning their final appeal to Italy’s high court, likely later this year or in early 2015. However, this same high court threw out the acquittal in the first place, so Knox may need more than luck to walk free. If she is definitively convicted, she will likely face an extradition order to come back to Italy to serve out her sentence. There are very few legal loopholes that would allow an American citizen to escape a court decision by a country, like Italy, that shares extradition treaties with the U.S.



      [Judge Massei at crime scene; report says why Knox & Sollecito appeal against his 2009 verdict has failed]




      [The Supreme Court in Rome is expected later this year to confirm this outcome]


      Wednesday, April 16, 2014

      The Incriminating Bathroom Evidence: Visual Analysis shows the Footprint IS Sollecito’s

      Posted by Machiavelli



      [Please click on each image for a larger and more high-resolution version]

      The sheer depth and width of the hard evidence

      The defenses really don’t want you to know this: in both width and depth, the full panoply of the evidence against Knox and Sollecito is absolutely overwhelming.

      As we remarked in our post below there are far more and far stronger evidence points than UK and US courts normally require for conviction. But only the trial panel of judges observed anything like their full array.

      The 2010 Massei Trial Report (which the Nencini Appeal court validated this past January) is a SUMMARY of what was presented to the judges in the courtroom.  Those presentations in court were in turn something of a SUMMARY of the hard evidence buried in all the evidence files and the minds of witnesses.

      Italian media SUMMARISED for Italians what was to be seen in the courtroom and to be read in the Massei Report. They were barely able to do even summaries for the 1/4 of all the trial hearings that were not open to the media or the public. 

      UK and US media for the most part didn’t even bother to provide comprehensive summaries (the very fine on-the-spot reportings of Andrea Vogt, Barbie Nadeau and Ann Wise were the main exceptions).

      So in effect people in the UK and US attempting to follow the story didnt for the most part receive even a summary of a summary of a summary!

      Not one US or UK newspaper or TV network translated the Micheli Report, or the vital Massei Report, or the Supreme Court appeal, or the Supreme Court outcome - only the (mostly professional) translators on PMF dot Org did all that translation.

      This post is another example of how far down - beyond even Massei - it’s possible to drill into the evidence, and see it still hold up.

      Some past posts on TJMK drilled down to similar depths, on the knives, on the DNA, on the mixed-blood traces, on the phone-events, on the motives and psychologies, and so on. All that evidence too all held up.




      Visual analysis of the bathroom-mat footprint

      This post mainly consists of high-resolution pictures and measurements. Presented like this, the pictures and measurements largely speak for themselves, and show the real strength of the bathroom-mat footprint evidence.

      You will see that as SomeAlibi previously concluded using other methods, this footprint was quite undeniably Sollecito’s.  It bears no similarity at all to Rudy Guede’s.

      Please click on all images for larger versions in scalable PDF format


      1 .  [Below] the bathmat and the print, with measurement reference




      2 . The bathmat print and the surrounding area




      3 . The bathmat print (photo from Polizia Scientifica).




      4 . The bathmat print, with vertical and horizontal sizes, from Rinaldi’s report





      5. The bathmat print, photo with enhanced contrast.





      The photo above was modified by highly enhancing contrast.



      6 . Enhanced contrast helps to spot some features





      Contrast may help to highlight especially some parts of the print outline.

      For example the area on the left labeled as “important area” in the picture (which was “forgotten” in the notorious photo elaborations disseminated by the ‘Friends of Amanda’ group), shows the actual left outline of the “˜big toe’ of the bathmat print.

      The toe includes the area indicated in this picture (here the picture is shown again in its original colours).

      7. The bathmat, with enhanced contrast





      The contrasted image is showing the presence of other stains

      There are other stains on the carpet (about another 10, factually situated in one half of the mat area), and also there shows a second diluted footprint (apparently from a foot of smaller size).


      8. The selection of a set of red colour shades, outlined by an automatic outline generator





      Shows the shape and the possible “˜outline’ of the stain

      Reference measurements indicate the width of the “˜big toe’ in millimetres.

       

      9 . A hand drawing of the outline (detail).





      The photography above was modified

      The modifications are: +28% contrast, -8% luminosity, + 20% colour saturation, from the original.

      An outline has been drawn manually on the photoshop image, trying to be as faithful as possible to the actual stain.

      You can notice that, apart from some minor “˜disputable’ very faint areas (such as the area between the toe and the metatarsus) there are only minimal differences between an automatically generated outline and a manually drawn one.

      The shapes of the “˜big toe’ are extremely similar in both contours (images 8 and 9), in fact all meaningful features are basically identical.

      We consider this manually drawn outline as good for comparison.     


      10 . The complete hand-drawn outline





      11 . Minor detail: small dots separated from the main stain





      Observe the small red ‘dots’ in the picture above

      Although we can’t draw any conclusion about their possible significance, we note the existence of these very small “˜spots’ of a faint red colour shade, separated from the big stain.

      They are detected by the computer generated outline above, and that we also see as distinguishable with the naked eye thus we considered them in drawing manually the outline.

      We don’t draw any conclusion about them; but because of their sensitive position (they may suggest a “˜small toe’ mark) we take note of them.

      The green arrows in the picture point out their position (green circles).

      12 . An image in electronically modified colours





      Distribution and intensity of the colouration

      As a part of the preliminary study of the stain, we also produced this image above where the computer assigned an artificial colour to an array of shades of ‘red’, thus allowing to further isolate the stain from the background for further assessments about its shape.

      This picture shows the distribution and intensity of the colouration. (note: the existence of some above mentioned tiny marks is recorded by this technique too)



      13 . The bathmat has a spiral-shaped relief decoration





      The footprint’s toe obviously balancing on top of the relief decoration. 

      We think the outline of the “˜toe’ mark of the bloody footprint is affected by the shape of the decoration, in particular the missing part of the toe on the right side, which is remarkably coincident with the margin of the decoration. 

      So that on that side there is a striking correspondence between the outline of the “˜negative area’ ““ the fabric surface around the spiral, which is lower ““ and the big toe’s outline

      This indicates that the outline of that mark on that side was affected by the decoration margin, thus the print there has a “˜missing part’. So the “˜crooked’ bloody area in fact follows the margin of a larger toe.

      Because of such coincidence, we can logically assume that the actual shape of the big toe mark appears to be part of a big toe, with larger surface which left its print only partly because part of its surface did not have contact with the fabric, in correspondence of the “˜negative area’. 

      14. The “negative area”





      15. Mat decoration in relief and the toe mark







      Observe above one single, unitary stain

      The remarkable coincidence between the outlines of the decoration in relief and of the toe mark is shown in the picture above.

      The rough contour of the print obtained through a smooth curve highlights the shape of the big toe.

      Part of the relief decoration outline coincides with the toe mark outline, which shows, highlights and explains how all parts of the red toe mark, that you can see left of the relief decoration, they all belong to one single, unitary stain. 

      Thus we can deduce that the “missing” area on the right of the toe is determined by the decoration, and coincides with the negative area.

      16. Picture (by Kermit) showing a rough shape of the stain





      Observe shape, curvature and size

      This drawing by Kermit above highlights the rough shape, curvature of left margin and overall size of the big toe.


      17. Rudy Guede’s sample print





      Take note of this image

      A copy of this picture together with one of Sollecito’s print at the same scale will be used for comparisons. 

      18 . Raffaele Sollecito’s sample print





      Take note of this image

      A copy of this picture together with one of Guede’s print at the same scale will be used for comparisons.

      19. Part of Rudy Guede’s sample print with Rinaldi’s reference measurements








      20. Part of Sollecito’s sample print, with Rinaldi’s reference measurements:






      21. Bringing all photographs down to the same scale





      An accurate exercise of scaling was done

      This was based on Rinaldi’s referenced pictures. Each one of the Rinaldi’s sample pictures has multiple measurements on several points of reference which allow a high precision determination of their scale and sizes, and thus comparison at the same scale.

      In order to further increase scaling precision, the scale was calculated previously and separately for each comparative measurement in the three photos; this was done multiple times for each measurement and the average was picked in order to reduce error as for statistical measurement method.

      The resulting final error in the scale is extremely small, far below a threshold of significance that could affect comparison (which was set arbitrarily at 1%, but it’s probably significantly higher, while the actual error is much lower).

      In other words, the scale error that may affect your screen pictures will be definitely smaller than any possible perceivable (either significant or tolerated) difference that would be noticed or that may affect the attribution of the stain, when this is compared to the sample.     

      22. The hand drawn outline is shown again here





      23 . The outline (matched scale) overlapped on Sollecito’s sample footprint





      The array of compatibilities with Sollecito

      The bathmat stain does not seem to have major incompatibilities with Sollecito’s print; it shows rather an array of compatibilities that can be perceived visually.

      One interesting feature is the shape, size and position of a ‘big toe’, that appears as a remarkable coincidence; the toe also has a kind of cleft (see 28 below) on the curvature of its left margin. Another outstanding coincidence is the curvature of the plantar arch on the left.   

      24 . The same outline overlapped on Guede’s footprint





      Compare with Guede’s - matched scale.

      If you look at the overlapping of the stain outline (see pic 22.) with the sample of Guede’s print (see pics 17. 19.), you may notice 7 major differences, showing a failure of compatibility. Those differences are indicated by numbers (1-7) in the picture .

      Each one indicates an area of major difference between the outline of the bathmat stain and the outline of Guede’s sample print. Those measurement differences are remarkably larger than those that can be detected on the overlapping with Sollecito’s sample print.

      On the other hand, the compatibility between Sollecito’s print and some very peculiar aspects of the bathmat print (such as a 30mm wide and short toe) were absolutely remarkable.   

      The differences between the bathmat stain and Guede’s print are :

      1) Toe mark of stain is significantly SHORTER than the big toe in Guede’s sample print (a difference of about 7 millimetres). Some people may want to attempt an objection, by suggesting that such a difference may be just a consequence of the position chosen for the overlapping, that maybe the bathmat print was just positioned too low in the picture, the problem may be solved by shifting it up about 7 millimeters so as to make the tip of the bathmat toe ‘coincide’ with the tip of Guede’s print toe.

      However, such objection wouldn’t work; it’s a wrong argument. In fact the only possibly correct position for overlapping the bathmat stain outline is determined by the left curvature of the ball of feet and plantar arch (the area of the picture near number 6), which is by the way the most clearly outlined part of the bathmat stain. If you shift the bathmat stain upwards, the outline will miss the match with the curvature of the left margin of the ball of the feet. You will notice that the plantar arch in this area is already very incompatible with Guede’s plantar arch. It tends to become even more incompatible the more you shift the bathmat stain outline towards the toe.

      The problem has no solution, since the more you shift the stain outline upwards (in the direction of the toe) in an attempt to make it look more ‘compatible’ with the length of Guede’s toe (or with an upper margin) the more it will become incompatible with the plantar arch. In order to limit the incompatibility of the plantar arch, and in order to keep an overlapping of at least the left margin of the ball of the feet, you need to place it as shown in the picture, this is the position of ‘maximum’ compatibility between the bathmat stain and Guede’s print. Conclusion: the bathmat toe is too short.     

      2) Toe mark of stain is TOO WIDE (30 mm). It is much wider (30 mm) than Guede’s toe.  The number 2. indicates the protruding mark at the upper right, the mark which Giulia Bongiorno desperately insisted on calling a “second toe” mark. In fact, not only would the mark miss completely any hypothetical Guede’s ‘second toe’ in any possible position of the print; also you may notice (highlighted by pics 8. and 9.) how it is not a “mark” itself, but actually it just part of the same area which is entirely continuous in shape and coloration with the rest of the toe mark, and - the most remarkable feature - its right outline is coincident with the outline of the spiral-shaped relief decoration, so that you can reasonably conclude that it is determined by that (the missing area at the lower right of the ‘big toe’ is determined by the existence of the “negative area” of the bathmat decoration).

      Conclusion: the bathmat stain has a wider toe mark, however one likes to call it (“big toe”, or “big toe + second toe”) that fails to match any possible part of Guede’s print. The bathmat print is clearly different and incompatible with Guede’s print. It simply cannot be overlapped to any part of Guede’s sample print. Such area is a very significant difference that points outright to incompatibility between the stain and Guede’s print.

      3) The toe mark is larger also in the area located at the lower portion of the toe. The toe of the bathmat print in fact has a ‘right margin’ which actually has some additional small marks, small drops protruding towards the right, like droplets maybe produced by the wet cotton fibres of the part in relief which protrude towards the right. This tends to suggest the toe area of the stain may in fact be considered wider: the object that produced it was definitely wider than 22mm, in this area of the toe as well. So also a look at this area confirms that the bathmat stain is wider than 22-23 mm (more towards 30 mm) not just when measured at the upper corner (number 2.) but also at its “lower” parts; here, the small marks caused by the liquid suggest that a larger surface has squeezed liquid from some fabric threads leaving some trace also on the lower area.

      4) Bigger incompatibility of Guede on the metatarsus front outline. This area is the front outline of metatarsus: the stain is almost 1cm shorter than Guede’s metatarsus. This happens when you chose the overlapping so as to make the left outline and plantar arch (6.) of metatarsus coincide, as in the picture. Sollecito’s sample print also shows some difference from the stain in this area (pic. 23.) but the difference between the stain and Sollecito’s print is significantly smaller than what you can see in Guede’s print.   

      5) There are NO SMALL TOES in the bathmat stain. Small toes are completely absent from the bathmat stain (while the tiny blood marks around the stain don’t coincide with their expected position if it was Guede’s print). Such lack of small toes is a peculiarity of the bathmat print. This is a remarkable difference from Guede’s print, and at the same time, a considerable analogy with Sollecito’s print. In fact one outstanding feature of Guede’s print is the evidence that Guede places a big load of weight on his small toes while instead Sollecito has a posture with a weight distribution with the contrary tendency, and obviously he almost does not touch the ground with his small toes.

      Thus, Guede’s small toes are all very well pressed on the ground and thus, we can reasonably infer they are somehow naturally likely to get wet if he steps on any wet surface, and anyway they should get wet for sure if the foot is immersed in water or washed (the foot that left the bathmat print must have been immersed in bloody water). The murderer supposedly washed his foot then stepped on the bathmat. In order to attribute the print to Guede we should assume that Guede “forgot” to touch the carpet with his small toes (while instead he puts a lot of weight on them) or that he managed to not rinse them.

      6) The outline of the stain has a PLANTAR ARCH that COINCIDES, by curvature and angle, with the plantar arch in Sollecito’s print, while instead it is very different from the plantar arch of Guede’s print. 

      7) The stain is larger than Guede’s print metatarsus as visible in the right area of the stain. The difference is rather significant, almost half a centimetre, that is bigger than the difference with Sollecito’s print which instead coincides for a trait. This difference cannot be “solved” in any way since, even if one wanted to claim that the scale is wrong and that the stain should be sized down, this would make the toe, already too short (as in 1.) become even shorter.

      If instead the toe length is adjusted the metatarsus becomes even less compatible with Guede. We recall that Massei found that Guede’s feet had a print overall more slender than Sollecito’s. 

      25 . Other features:





      Curvatures of plantar arch are very different

      The plantar arch curvature, highlighted in two different drawings (the second highlights also the upper outline “hunches”);  the plantar arches in the two sample prints of Sollecito and Guede are shown below. The curvatures of plantar arch are very different.

      26. The outline curvature generates different angles





      Sollecito’s and Guede’s plantar arch curvatures have very different angles. Also the left outline of metatarsus maintains a different curvature. Sollecito’s outline has an angle (see outline tangent) intersecting the toe (the metatarsus has a “bunion”); in Guede’s print there is basically no intersection, the outline and the toe form almost a straight line.

      27 . Plantar arch curvature angle differs between Sollecito and Guede




      If you consider the vertical axis of the sample footprint, and its orthogonal line, you may notice how the plantar arch curvatures of the two prints accomplish different angles: the two angles are VERY different, not just three or four degrees.

      The (too) narrow angle of Sollecito’s plantar arch probably has a relation with the protruding outline and angle seen in pic 26., and seems related to a hallux valgus (which Guede does not have). 

      28 . The “cleft” on the left side of the stain





      The “cleft” on the left side

      This has a correspondence with one sample print, not so with the other.

      29 . Table of metric comparison (by SomeAlibi)





      SomeAlibi’s post of a year ago

      Comparison of measurements and analysis of correspondence degree of bathmat print, with both Guede’s and Sollecito’s sample prints.


      Monday, January 27, 2014

      An Investigation Into The Large Knife Provides Further Proof That This Was THE Knife

      Posted by Ergon


      Overview

      This is the first report of an investigation (the second part follows soon) of the kitchen knife used in the murder of Meredith Kercher, RIP.

      Specifically its compatibility with the imprint of a bloody knife found by police investigators on her bed under-sheet which as you will see here seems possible to prove.

      Two other recent posts also concentrated on aspects of the knife as strong proof: (1) proof of both Knox and Kercher DNA and (2) proof from the throat wounds.

      • Reference files are from very high definition crime scene photos not in general circulation.

      • Grateful thanks to the volunteers of the Meredith Kercher community who assisted in this production


      Florence Court of Appeals

      This is our poster Machiavelli, tweeting from the Florence courtroom on November 26, 2013:

      “(Prosecutor Alessandro) Crini stated that this kitchen knife was compatible with the knife print on Meredith’s bed sheet”.

      And this is from the defense summing up on January 09, 2014:

      Bongiorno: “It’s too big, not the murder weapon.”

      “Bongiorno shows a picture with an envisioned “knife” (pocket knife belonging to Guede?) together with the print on the bed sheet.”

      “Nobody brings a “small blow with a big knife” “You don’t use half of a big knife” (she says)


      Genesis of an investigation:

      To recap: evidence was been presented at the Massei court of the first instance, which accepted that the kitchen knife, containing both Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade (trace B) and Amanda Knox’s DNA on the handle (trace A) was the weapon that struck the fatal blow to Meredith Kercher’s throat.

      At some point after the attack, the perpetrator, Amanda Knox, puts it down on the bed, leaving “hematic stains” (bloody imprints) on the mattress.

      The court concludes the shape of the imprints are compatible with the kitchen knife. It also concludes, based on the size of a lesser wound that a second, smaller knife caused the wound on the other side of the neck, and, the impossibility of accepting that a single weapon inflicted both wounds.

      This is what it boils down to now, as we come to the final arguments of this case on January 30, with a decision to be handed down by the court later in the day:

      • Was the kitchen knife found in Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen the murder weapon that killed Meredith Kercher on November 01, 2007?

      • Did the killer leave behind proof in the form of bloody imprints on the under sheet covering Meredith’s bed?

      • And is the defense trying to divert attention away from it, even though the image on the bed fits the dimensions of the kitchen knife?

      • And pointing to a second knife, not ever found?

      This article (to be followed by part II) was prepared to offer answers to these questions.

      Methods used

      As someone with a keen interest in photography, I know we see things in photographs that are not always apparent to the naked eye.

      Where before we had all been misled by low definition photographs released by the defense to obscure incriminating details, I was able to obtain and view the high definition photographs shown here that proved that indeed, the bed imprints matched the seized kitchen knife, exhibit 36.

      These photographs, first posted at Perugia Murder File Evidence Files have been circulating for some time, with members trying to match the knife to the bed imprints, but not, in my opinion, being able to match it exactly.

      First, note that the killer placed a knife on two separate locations on the bed, marked by reference cards “J”, and “O”. (Reference photos below.)

      I discarded “J”, because there was too much blood there to form an accurate measurement.  The killer lifted the knife and then placed it at “O”, which gave a better image, but even then, did not match exactly. Still, it was clear the images looked like a kitchen, and not, a pocket knife as alleged by the defense.

      Looking at the reference photo, I saw a double image of a knife blade at “O”. (see where there’s a curved edge of the blade? That’s what convinced me there might be a double image there)

      Conclusion reached

      My opinion is the knife shifted slightly when it was placed there, hence the double image, which now made a perfect match with the kitchen knife, in both instances (see reference photos).

      So I got a professional illustrator and other skilled people people to do the scale drawings and produce the video you see above which seems to provide conclusive proof the murder knife was placed on the bed.

      Reference photos:




      Image 1 above (click for larger image): Bed II (Image J and O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)




      Image 2 above (click for larger image): Knife II (Image O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)




      Image 3 above (click for larger image): FOTO5BIS (Conti-Vecchiotti lab, Mar. 22, 2011)




      Image 4 above (click for larger image): Knife-Bed-Vector-AllScales (To prove the scales used to match the images)




      Image 5 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-lower-hi (The knife’s first resting position at “O”)




      Image 6 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-upper-hi (The knife’s final resting position at “O”)


      Next steps

      There are only four more days left till the Florence Appeals Court under Judge Nencini issues its verdict.  It must of course consider ALL the evidence, of which there is a preponderance that indeed suggests the verdict will, as would be proper, be guilty as charged.

      Part II will be ready ASAP. It will be a recap of Massei on the knife, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound. Also will have Frank Sfarzo’s misdirection and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds.

      Happy as always to do my share for justice for Meredith Kercher.


      Wednesday, July 24, 2013

      How The Clean-Up And The Locked Door Contribute To The Very Strong Case For Guilt

      Posted by James Raper





      On the 30th September the appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffele Sollecito against the convictions they received at the first instance trial will resume, this time in Florence.

      This follows the annulment by the Supreme Court of the acquittal verdicts rendered by the Appeal Court presided over by Judge Pratillo Hellmann. There is one conviction not under appeal. This is Knox’s conviction for calunnia, which is now definite.

      They are therefore both currently convicted of murder and sexual assault, and a number of lesser charges, amongst which there is the simulation of a burglary “to ensure impunity for themselves from the felonies of murder and sexual assault, attempting to attribute the responsibility for them to persons unknown who penetrated the apartment to this end”.

      There is one activity, for which there is evidence, with which they were not charged (perhaps either because it was redundant or not a criminal offence) though this was likewise to ensure impunity for themselves.

      This is the partial clean up at the cottage and it is this with which I intend to deal. I want to highlight salient observations which have been under discussion here and elsewhere and some of which may be well known to readers, but perhaps some not, or have been forgotten about. Once again, in many cases, I am merely a conduit for the observations of others, not least the first instance trial judge Giancarlo Massei.

      So let”˜s consider the observations and in doing so we can also throw some more light on the lone wolf theory.

      1. Take a look at the bloody footprint

      This is, of course, the bloody footprint on the bathmat in the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s room. 





      The heel of the right foot, if it had blood on it, is missing from where it should be on the tiled floor. It is difficult to imagine, given that the imprint of the foot on the mat is contiguous with the edge of the mat, that there was not at least some blood on the remainder of the foot such that there must have been at least some blood deposited on the floor.

      Just as difficult to imagine that casual shuffling about on the bathmat would have removed the blood so as to render it “invisible” to the use of luminol.

      Of equal relevance is that there were no connecting bloody footprints.  Why not?

      The defences have an improbable theory -  that Guede, despite his homicidal rage, was smart enough to hop about on his left foot with a clean shoe on, and the other bare but covered in blood, and that having by this means entered the bathroom and washed his bloody right foot, disastrously leaving his (supposed) imprint there in the process, he then returned to Meredith’s bedroom inadvertently standing in blood with his left shoe and leaving with a trail of bloody left shoe prints -  in which case the exercise of washing his foot was entirely in vain, on two counts, after all that careful hopping around.

      Neither is it entirely clear why his right shoe came off in the first place.

      It is far more probable that the inevitable bloody prints were deliberately and carefully removed. The reason for doing this was not just to conceal who would have made them (the print on the bathmat was, after all, left in situ) but, from a visual perspective, to conceal any blood that might be noticeable and alarming to anyone approaching Meredith’s room. Guede’s bloody shoeprints in the corridor were visible but only on close inspection.

      2. Take a look at the bathroom door

      Specifically the internal (hinge) side of the bathroom door. Take a look at this photograph.





      We see a long streak of dried blood.  Clearly the blood has flowed some distance under the influence of gravity and we can see that it looks slightly diluted, with red corpuscles gathering towards the tip of the streak. A drip of that size does not appear from nowhere.

      Indeed it is difficult to imagine how the blood got there unless it was part of a larger area of blood which most likely was on the face of the door and which was swiped to the right and over the edge of the face of the door. The cloth or towel used to do this was wet accounting for the slight dilution and length of the streak.

      3. Take a look at Meredith’s door

      It is interesting, is it not, that there is blood on the inside but not on the outside? The outside:





      And the inside:





      It is difficult to see how and why Guede touched the inside handle with a bloody hand (was it shut and if so, why?) and then closed the door to lock it without leaving a trace on the outside face of the door. Possibly he might have changed hands. The answer might also be that he visited the bathroom to wash his hand as well as his foot, save that none of his DNA was recovered from the spots and streaks of diluted blood in the washbasin, whereas Knox’s DNA was. All the more surprising given that Guede shed his DNA in Meredith’s room.

      We see some blood on the edge of the door which again might be the remnant of a trace on the outside face.

      4.  Take a look at Amanda Knox’s lamp.

      This was found inside Meredith’s room behind the door. Meredith also had a similar lamp which was resting on it’s base on the floor by her bedside table.

      The presence and location of Knox’s lamp is obviously suspicious. Had Meredith borrowed Amanda’s lamp because her own was not working, then it would not have been in the position it was found but on or more likely knocked over and lying beside the bedside table since the violence appears to have been concentrated in that area of the room. 

      Had Meredith’s lamp been on the bedside table then likewise it too would most likely have been knocked over in her life and death struggle with her sole assailant (there are blood streaks on the wall just above) and it would not have ended up sitting upright on it’s base.

      Both lamps were probably used to check the floor of Meredith’s room after the event and Knox’s lamp was probably sitting upright until it was knocked over by the door being forced open.

      This is Meredith’s lamp by the bedside table.





      And this is Knox’s lamp by the foot of the bed.




      5. Take a look at what luminol revealed

      We can state with confidence that luminol (extremely sensitive to and typically used to identify blood that has been wiped or washed away) discovered :-

      (a) three bare footprint attributable to Knox, one in her bedroom and two in the corridor, and

      (b) two instances of the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox, one in Filomena’s bedroom and one in the corridor.

      (c) a footprint attributed to Sollecito in the corridor.

      I have covered a number of elements strongly suggesting that there was at least a partial clean up, not of “invisible DNA” as the Groupies like to mock, but of what would have probably in some cases have been noticeable deposits of blood that would have attracted the eye of anyone entering the cottage and which would certainly have alarmed the observer as being difficult to explain.

      Spots of and footprints in blood, not just in the bathroom but outside it, a locked bedroom door with blood on it, and a bathroom door with blood on it’s face.

      We can include Knox as one such observer given her e-mail account of having allegedly stopped by the cottage to have a shower and collect some clothing before the discovery of the body. Such physical evidence - had it not been removed - would not have sat easy with that account, however dizzy and naïve Knox presents herself. One can envisage Knox thinking “sorted” - that her story would now work perfectly.

      Even so, there were elements that were overlooked, such as Knox’s blood on the washbasin faucet and blood generally in the small bathroom, but a door can be closed and at least these were elements amenable to some form of explanation from her perspective, whether or not convincing, as occurred in the e-mail.

      Incidentally in addition to the mixed traces in the small bathroom, Meredith’s blood was found on the light switch and a cotton bud box.  I have a hard time imagining what Guede would have wanted with the cotton bud box, less so Amanda given her blood on the faucet, ear piercings and a scratch on her throat. Knox, when asked during her trial, could not recall having switched on the light during her alleged visit to the cottage.




      6. Take a look at the items on Knox’s bed

      Massei concluded that it was likely that it was Knox who carried out the clean up, which if correct might explain why it was not central to her thinking to dispose of the bathmat with Sollecito’s bloody footprint on it!

      Knox was seen by Quintavalle at his store at 7.45 am on the 2nd November, thereby destroying her alibi. He described her as pale faced, exhausted looking, with pale blue eyes. He also added, and he would not have known this from photographs in the newspapers, that she was wearing blue jeans, a grey coat and a scarf, with a hat or cap of some sort.

      We can see from the crime scene picture of Knox’s bedroom below, that such items (minus hat or cap) appear to be lying on her bed.





      Sollecito did not accompany Knox to the store but this would be because he was known to Quintavalle whereas he was unfamiliar with her. He may however have accompanied Knox to the cottage and/or have acted as look out for her when she was there.

      7. Some conclusions

      I have included “The locked room” in the title because of a poster’s observation regarding Guede’s bloody left shoeprints exiting Meredith’s room. There is the simple observation that these footprints are going one way only and not towards the small bathroom.  But they do not even turn to face Meredith’s door, and again hard to imagine that this could be so if it was Guede who locked her door!

      We can rule out Guede as having been involved in any aspect of the clean up precisely because of that trail of footprints and other evidence of his presence left behind.

      Now that the travesty of the Hellmann acquittals has been truly exposed Knox and Sollecito face an impossible uphill task.

      The clean up and the locked door are just two of many elements in this case which combine together and corroborate each other in a manner that enables us to see the truth beyond a reasonable doubt.


      Friday, April 19, 2013

      Tip for The Media: In Fact Guede Absolutely Couldnt Have Attacked Meredith Alone

      Posted by Cardiol MD



      [Bongiorno in 2011 trying to rattle an unshakable Guede claiming Knox and Sollecito did the crime]


      The convicted murderer Rudy Guede to this day claims that Meredith let him into the house, so we cut him no slack for that.

      But at the same time he was no drifter or serial knife carrier, he had no police record in 2007 (unlike Knox and Sollecito), and no drug dealing or breaking-and-entering has ever been either charged or proved.

      In October 2008 Judge Micheli mistrusted and sharply rebuked a witness who claimed it just might have been Guede who broke into his house.

      Guede seriously discounted his role on the night of Meredith’s death, but some physical evidence (not a lot) proved he had played a part in the attack. Thereafter his shoeprints lead straight to the front door.

      Neither Judge Micheli nor Judge Massei nor the Supreme Court believed he acted alone or had any part in the very obvious cleanup that had been carried out.

      The Knox and Sollecito defenses failed miserably to prove he climbed in Filomena’s window, and they never even TRIED to paint him as the lone attacker. That is why in 2011 we saw two of the most bizarre defence witnesses in recent Italian legal history, the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello, take the stand

      Alessi got so nervous in claiming Guede told him Guede did it with two others that he was physically sick and had to take time off from the stand.

      Aviello claimed his brother and another did it (not Guede) but then claimed the Sollecito family via Giulia Bongiorno floated bribes in his prison for false testimony.

      Tellingly, although Bongiorno threatened to sue Aviello, she never has. Even more tellingly, Judge Hellmann himself initiated no investigation and simply let this serious felony claim drop dead.

      Here is a non-exhaustive list of 20 reasons why Rudy Guede did not act alone, and why not one scrap of evidence has ever been found for any other two other than Knox and Sollecito themselves. 


      1.    Included in Guede’s Supreme Court’s Sentencing Report was the fact that Meredith sustained 43 wounds

      This fact was omitted from the Hellmann & Zanetti [H/Z] Report, for reasons that readers can only guess. This fact was also omitted from the Massei Report, probably out of humane respect for the feelings of Meredith’s family.

      Its inclusion in the Supreme Court’s Report reflects the report’s factual completeness.  The PMF translation reads, in relevant part:

      c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds ““ around 43 counting those caused by her falling ““ some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone”¦.

      Including the number of minutes occupied by an initial verbal confrontation, the escalation of that confrontation into taunting and then the physical attack, leading to the infliction of 43 wounds, and to the fatal stabbing, how many minutes would all of this occupied?

      The prosecution estimated it took fifteen.


      2.    Meredith had taken classes in dance and played sports (football, karate)

      See the Massei Translation, p23


      3.    Meredith was a strong girl, both physically and in terms of temperament

      See the statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie (hearing of June 6, 2009). and description of her karate “sustained by her strong character” (Massei Translation, pp23, 164, 366, and 369).


      4.    Meredith must have been “˜strongly restrained’

      See the Massei Translation, p371; p399, in the original


      5.    Meredith she remained virtually motionless throughout the attack

      That was in spite of Meredith’s physical and personality characteristics [Massei Translation p369]  [Massei Translation p370-371].


      6.    The defensive wounds were almost non-existent

      See the report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos. Massei Translation p370.


      7.  One killer alone could not have inflicted the 43 wounds with so few defensive wounds.


      8.    There must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime

      See the Massei Translation p377.


      9.    A lone killer would have to use at least one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to hold one knife.

      To use 2 knives a lone killer would have to place 1 knife down, leaving blood-stain[s] wherever it was placed, and then reach for the other knife. Even wiping the blades on the killer’s clothes, using the one hand, and later scrubbing of the knives would not erase all the blood, as has already been demonstrated.


      10.    Two killers could divide their attacks by one killer using both hands/arms to restrain Meredith

      Meanwhile the other killer used one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to use the various knives. Could a lone killer accomplish all that?


      11.    The clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear) had been removed.

      See the Massei Translation p.370

      “It is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.” [Massei Translation p.370]



      12.    Meredith’s sweatshirt had been pulled up and removed.

      See the [Massei Translation p.370


      13.    Meredith’s bra had been forcibly unhooked

      See the Massei Translation p.370


      14.    Meredith’s bra had been torn

      See the Massei Translation p.370


      15.    Meredith’s bra had been cut

      See the Massei Translation p.370


      16.    Violence to Meredith was revealed by the genital swab.

      See the Massei Translation p.370

      .
      17.    In the H/Z Appellate Proceedings, not only did Sollecito’s Lawyers not allege a lone killer

      They themselves brazenly introduced false testimony to the effect that there were two other killers.


      18.    Even H/Z did not deny the complicity of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

      Even H/Z seemed to conclude they are probably guilty, but not beyond a reasonable doubt:

      “¦ in order to return a guilty verdict, it is not sufficient that the probability of the prosecution hypothesis to be greater than that of the defence hypothesis, not even when it is considerably greater, but [rather] it is necessary that every explanation other than the prosecution hypothesis not be plausible at all, according to a criterion of reasonability. In all other cases, the acquittal of the defendant is required.” [H/Z p.92]



      19.    Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial, found that Guede did not act alone

      And that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.


      20.    Judge Massei’s court found that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

      He concluded they were joint perpetrators with Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher


      Overwhelming, right? Is it really reasonable to claim as Sollecito did in his book that Guede was a lone-killer?  Doesn’t all this contradict the lone-killer theory beyond a reasonable doubt?


      Tuesday, February 22, 2011

      Open Questions: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

      Posted by SomeAlibi


      Welcome

      If you’ve come to this website because of the Lifetime movie of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, then welcome. 

      Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The movie you’ve just watched is equivocal on that matter and perhaps didn’t help you at all.

      On the internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and you will find people who are passionate in their support of the prosecution. 

      My own arrival

      Placing my own cards on the table here: as a twenty-plus year practising trial lawyer, I am firmly a part of that latter camp.  But it wasn’t always that way.

      It was information ““ evidence ““ that changed my views. What became very clear to me, early on, was that very few people in the English-speaking world are aware of anywhere near all of the evidence in this case.

      I had thought I had grasped the core of the case, but I did not.  The case is deep and complex and like many criminal cases, the complete facts behind it have been only sketchily reported in the media.  The movie you may have just watched only skirts the real reasons the jury convicted.

      The unanimous jury

      I am sure that we all agree that no jury, in any murder case, given the awesome responsibility of adjudicating on (young) people’s lives for a multi-decade period of imprisonment, condemns people lightly.

      It should be a matter of logic that the evidence presented against the accused must have been deep and satisfied the 6 lay jurors and 2 judges on the case for them to pronounce that huge judgement. That doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be the possibility of a mistrial, but clearly the evidence presented must have been substantial.

      In this, we’ve already hit the first problem.  Some supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will tell you there’s no evidence against them. 

      This is patently silly.  No jury ever convicts people and sends them to prison for 24 plus years without being quite convinced of the case against them.  Miscarriages of justice do happen, but the idea that there is “no evidence” can be summarily dismissed. 

      The only question is whether the evidence is sufficient, true and accurate.

      The voluminous evidence

      So is the evidence enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?  The six lay jurors and two professional judges thought so, clearly.  What you realise, when you come to the facts of the case, is that the evidence is based not around a single key event but on multiple points. 

      It can be astonishing to realise that the case is based not only on DNA evidence but also on cellphone evidence and computer records and further yet on multiple conflicting and contradicting versions of what happened that night from the mouths of the accused, not to mention falsely accusing an innocent man of responsibility for murder causing his incarceration. 

      The wealth of evidence is actually extremely unusual. It goes way beyond the quite similar Scott Peterson case.

      The Massei Sentencing Report

      What is absolutely new to the English speaking legal world is that the reasoning for the conviction can be read in an extremely detailed 440+ page report online.  Bilingual posters at the Perugia Murder File Forum many of whom who are also key posters at TJMK translated the entire document into English over several months last year. 

      It was my privilege to play an extremely small part in that work.  People from four different continents with backgrounds in forensic science, law, academia and a host of other disciplines participated. 

      You can read an effective executive summary by clicking on the Massei Report link at top here and reading the conclusions from page 388 onwards:

      The Knox PR campaign

      If you are new to this case, you will likely be shocked how much evidence there is against the convicted parties.  Amanda Knox’s family have spent over $1m and involved a professional PR agency called Gogerty Marriot to suggest otherwise in the English-speaking media. 

      You might wonder why an innocent person needs a million dollar PR campaign on their part.  Make yourself a coffee and read the conclusions of the judge’s report. It will take you about 15 minutes.  Up until you read this report, almost everything you watch, hear and read is PR spin and is quite deliberately positioned to make you believe there is no case.

      When you complete it,  I believe you will have a very different take. That 15 minutes could change your ideas about everything you thought you knew about the murder of Meredith Kercher.

      Now for a quick tour of the evidence.


      Some of the points of evidence

      Consider as you read it what is your own possible explanation for each of the following:

      • the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on Meredith’s bra-clasp in her locked bedroom;

      • the almost-entire naked footprint of Raffaele on a bathmat that in *no way* fits that of the other male in this case ““ Rudy Guede;

      • the fact that Raffaele’s own father blew their alibi that they were together in Raffaele’s flat at the time of the killing with indisputable telephone records;

      • the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the knife in Raffaele’s flat which Raffaele himself sought to explain as having been from accidentally “pricking” Meredith’s hand in his written diary despite the fact Meredith had never been to his flat (confirmed by Amanda Knox);

      • the correlation of where Meredith’s phones were found to the location of Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guedes’s flats;

      • the computer records which show that no-one was at Raffaele’s computer during the time of the murder despite him claiming he was using that computer;

      • Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s in five different places just feet from Meredith’s body;

      • the utterly inexplicable computer records the morning after the murder starting at 5.32 am and including multiple file creations and interactions thereafter all during a time that Raffaele and Amanda insist they were asleep until 10.30am;

      • the separate witnesses who testified on oath that Amanda and Raffaele were at the square 40 metres from the girls’ cottage on the evening of the murder and the fact that Amanda was seen at a convenience store at 7.45am the next morning, again while she said she was in bed;

      • the accusation of a completely innocent man by Amanda Knox;

      • the fact that when Amanda Knox rang Meredith’s mobile telephones, ostensibly to check on the “missing” Meredith, she did so for just three seconds - registering the call but making no effort to allow the phone to be answered in the real world

      • the knife-fetish of Raffaele Sollecito and his formal disciplinary punishment for watching animal porn at his university ““ so far from the wholesome image portrayed;

      • the fact that claimed multi-year kick-boxer Raffaele apparently couldn’t break down a flimsy door to Meredith’s room when he and Amanda were at the flat the morning after the murder but the first people in the flat with the police who weren’t martial artists could;

      • the extensive hard drug use of Sollecito as told on by Amanda Knox;

      • the fact that Amanda knew details of the body and the wounds despite not being in line of sight of the body when it was discovered;

      • the lies of Knox on the witness stand in July 2009 about how their drug intake that night (“one joint”) is totally contradicted by Sollecito’s own contemporaneous diary;

      • the fact that after a late evening’s questioning, Knox wrote a 2,900 word email home which painstakingly details what she said happened that evening and the morning after that looks *highly* like someone committing to memory, at 3.30 in the morning, an extensive alibi;

      • the fact that both Amanda and Raffaele both said they would give up smoking dope for life in their prison diaries despite having apparently nothing to regret;

      • the fact that when Rudy Guede was arrested, Raffaele Sollecito didn’t celebrate the “true” perpetrator being arrested (which surely would have seen him released) but worried in his diary that a man whom he said he didn’t know would “make up strange things” about him despite him just being one person in a city of over 160,000 people;

      • the fact that both an occupant of the cottage and the police instantly recognised the cottage had not been burgled but had been the subject of a staged break-in where glass was *on top* of apparently disturbed clothes;

      • that Knox and Sollecito both suggested each other might have committed the crime and Sollecito TO THIS DATE does not agree Knox stayed in his flat all the night in question;

      • the bizarre behaviour of both of them for days after the crime;

      • the fact that cellphone records show Knox did not stay in Sollecito’s flat but had left the flat at a time which is completely coincidental with Guede’s corroborated presence near the girl’s flat earlier in the evening;

      • the fact that Amanda Knox’s table lamp was found in the locked room of Meredith Kercher in a position that suggested it had been used to examine for fine details of the murder scene in a clean up;

      • the unbelievable series of changing stories made up by the defendants after their versions became challenged; Knox’s inexplicable reaction to being shown the knife drawer at the girl’s cottage where she ended up physically shaking and hitting her head.


      In conclusion

      This list is not exhaustive. It goes”¦ on”¦ and on”¦ and on”¦ And yet, those supporting Knox will tell you that’s all made up, all coincidental. 

      Really?  Does the weight of all that evidence sound made up to you?

      If so, it must be the most over-rigged criminal case in the history of crime.  Unlikely beyond all and any reasonable doubt.

      The judge’s report explains why the jury found the defendants guilty. I truly expect you will be astonished at the amount of evidence if all you’ve done is watched a film or read a few press reports. 

      For any questions thereafter, please join us and post them on truejustice.org or perugiamuderfile.org .  You’ll find here a host of good people who are all working on a totally volunteer basis in memory of the only victim of this crime.

      Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher. RIP.


      Wednesday, March 17, 2010

      Tomorrow In Rome: Italian American Foundation Panel - May Be Tilted Anti Truth

      Posted by Cesare Beccaria



      The venue Palazzo Marini above and at bottom

      1. Notice Of The Panel

      [See at bottom for a report]  Strange panel. Perhaps we are wrong, but none of these names seem to have surfaced before in connection with Meredith’s case.

      Nobody seriously acquainted with the facts to be there? The introducer and organizer Rocco Girlanda blatantly pro-Knon?

      This is the notice of the panel posted on the Italian American Foundation website. And these are the experts who will speak.

      • Anthony Sistilli, lawyer, Novastudia Law Firm

      • Catherine Arcabascio, Dean of Nova Southeastern University Law Center of Fort Lauderdale FL, and a co-founder of the American organization The Innocence Project

      • Rebecca Spitzmiller, Faculty of Law University Roma Tre

      • Patricia Thomas, Associated Press

      The chairman will be Moreno Marinozzi, Sky Tg24 journalist. And the meeting will be introduced by the President of Italy-USA Foundation Hon. Rocco Girlanda.

      2. Andrea Vogt Reports

      Excerpts from the Seattle PI 18 March

      In Rome, a discussion of Amanda Knox tries to improve U.S.-Italian relations

      Amanda Knox sits in a prison in Italy, convicted of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

      But in Rome on Thursday, lawyers and professors gathered to consider what would have happened if Knox, a Seattle native and University of Washington student, had been tried in the U.S.

      The gathering was not so much an exercise in legal theorizing as one to smooth the hard feelings between Italy and the United States over the trial of one American college student. It’s a case that has spawned books, Websites and congressional involvement.

      In fact, experts decided they couldn’t say what would have happened in an American trial.
      globe

      “The only answer is, it is impossible to answer this question,” lawyer Anthony Sistilli told the audience, according to ANSA Italian wire services that covered the forum. “We do not want to retry the case. We want to help bridge the gap of understanding, which is our mission for this meeting.”

      The debate, held at a parliamentary annex in Rome, was sponsored by the Italy-USA Foundation. The panelists included Sistilli and two American law professors, Catherine Arcabascio, dean of the Nova Southeastern University Law Center in Fort Lauderdale and Rebecca Spitzmiller, who teaches at the Roma Tre University, as well as the American University in Rome.

      “Trial outcomes are unpredictable. You really can’t guess what the outcome would be,” Arcabascio, who is co-director of the Florida Innocence Project, told the crowd.

      “But reasonable doubt is a standard of proof we use in both countries.”

      Arcabascio also noted that sequestered juries are still used in the United States, but less and less common due to the high cost.

      The forum’s aim, organizers said, was to bridge the widening gap between observers of the case in Italy and in the United States, where Washington state politicians in particular have made their voices heard on the case.

      “No-one had any intention of bringing up criticisms,” said Rocco Girlanda, president of the U.S.-Italy Foundation told seattlepi.com. “Our scope was simply to compare the judicial systems and trial processes of Italy and the U.S.”

      Girlanda ended the evening on a light note, saying that perhaps after the case’s expected appeal, the association would even have the chance to have a “special honored guest,” meaning Knox.

      He also mentioned that the association is continuing to meet regularly with Knox in prison. Italy-USA Association officials said that prison authorities have called Knox’s behavior in Capanne “exemplary.”

      Though she had requested work in the prison laundry, she has been given a less menial task with the prison commissary. Her job, according to foundation officials who meet with her, is to take orders from the various cellmates about what they want from the prison store. Inmates are able to buy items such as candy, cheese, soda or other small shopping items….

      The Italy-USA Association, which works closely with the U.S. Embassy in Rome, has waded into the Knox debate before.

      When angry reactions criticizing the Italian justice system flared after Knox’s guilty verdict, Girlanda, the association’s current president, used his position in the Italian parliament to arrange for a visit to Knox in the Capanne prison.

      Parliamentarians are able to request access to the prisons at any time to review prison conditions. Girlanda, is from a small Umbrian town of Gubbio, near Perugia.

      Girlanda has spoken with Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini about concerns raised over the case. He works in public relations.

      Behind the scenes, a few observers speculated that Girlanda might become the Italian version of David Marriott., the Seattle public relations expert who represents the interests of Amanda Knox and her family and who has coordinated media appearances of Knox’s family and friends in the U.S.

      Marriott is also the gatekeeper for Italian journalists who have wanted to interview friends and family of Knox’s in Seattle.


       


      Thursday, October 08, 2009

      Newsweek’s Barbie Nadeau Has A Really Vital Piece On How The Evidence Stacks Up

      Posted by Peter Quennell


      And,  in short, it is ominous.

      Click above for the full report. This really IS vital reading. A few key excerpts as follows.

      Evidence: Rudy Guede

      Who it hurts: Knox and Sollecito

      Rudy Guede is the 24-year-old Ivory Coast native convicted in a fast-track trial last October for his role in Kercher’s murder. He is serving a 30-year sentence (his appeal begins on Nov. 19). Guede, who refused to testify in the Knox trial, has admitted that he was in the house when Kercher was killed. He says Kercher invited him there and that the two were making out when a stomach cramp from a bad kebab sent him to the bathroom. He was on the toilet with his iPod headphones on through four songs and, when he came out, Kercher was dying. He says he tried to save Kercher by using a towel to sop up the blood on her neck wounds, but he was scared after a man he says looked like Sollecito told him that “they’ll pin this on the black guy.” Guede fled to Germany, where he was later arrested for skipping a train fare. His feces (found in a toilet), along with his DNA and fingerprints from Kercher’s bedroom, link him to the crime scene. The sentencing judge who convicted him, though, did not see him as a lone assailant. Instead, the judge wrote in his sentencing report that he believed Guede acted with Knox and Sollecito.

      Evidence: Murder dynamic

      Who it hurts: Knox and Sollecito

      One of the most complicated aspects of Kercher’s tragic death is how the murder itself played out. The prosecution believes that Knox, Sollecito, and Guede taunted Kercher in a sex game that quickly escalated to violence and ended in murder. Countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, have testified that more than one person killed her based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back””no hair or skin was found under her fingernails. The defense has confused matters more: Knox’s forensic specialist testified that Kercher had been killed by only one person from the front, but Sollecito’s expert testified that Kercher had been killed by one person from behind.

      Evidence: Knox’s confession

      Who it hurts: Knox

      On Nov. 5, 2007, Sollecito was called to the Perugia police station for questioning about Kercher’s murder. Knox testified last June that she did not want to be alone, so she accompanied him. During his interrogation, Sollecito admitted to police that he did not know for sure if Knox actually spent the night of the murder at his house, as she had told police earlier. Since Knox was at the police station, the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m., and, by 5:45 a.m., Knox had told police that she was in the house when Kercher died””and that Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the nightclub where she worked, was the assailant. She even described Kercher’s screams. She, Sollecito, and Lumumba were arrested. The next day, Knox wrote a five-page memorandum reiterating everything she said the night before. But since there was no lawyer present during her interrogation””and so far no one has produced an audiotape of the interrogation””Knox’s attorneys were able to have her verbal confession thrown out of evidence. The five-page memorandum still holds….

      Evidence: Conflicting alibis

      Who it hurts: Unknown

      Knox maintains that she spent the night of Nov. 1, 2007, at Sollecito’s house. Sollecito did not take the stand during this trial, and his lawyer told NEWSWEEK that it was, at least in part, because he could not corroborate Knox’s alibi….

      So Sollecito did not take the stand in part because he could not corroborate Knox’s alibi. Wow. That has to hurt.

      Very much more in Barbie Nadeau’s original piece.  We recommend that you read it all.


      Saturday, September 19, 2009

      Trial: Defense Returns To Weapon While Most Of Prosecution Case Still Not Contended

      Posted by Peter Quennell





      Journalists were asked to leave the courtroom today during a weak repeat of the contention that the large knife was not THE weapon.

      But the prosecution had already indicated months ago that they believed at least one other knife was involved.

      Click above for Nick Squires on one report from the press room outside the court.

      The black-handled knife, with a 6.5 inch long stainless steel blade, was shown for the first time to the court in Perugia where the 22-year-old American student and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 26, are accused of sexual assault and murder.

      A court official brought out the knife in a shallow white cardboard box marked “Evidence ““ handle with care” and showed it to the judge and eight jurors.

      Miss Knox, of Seattle, who was wearing blue jeans and a red sweatshirt with a Beatles design, appeared impassive as the purported murder weapon was shown during the testimony of a forensic expert, Prof Giancarlo Umani-Ronchi.

      She looked away when police photographs of Miss Kercher’s bloodied body were projected onto a giant screen in the courtroom.

      Mr Sollecito, in a white jacket and rimless glasses, bit his fingernails as the alleged use of the knife in the killing was discussed by experts and lawyers.

      A forensic consultant, Mariano Cingolani, said that of the three wounds on Miss Kercher’s neck, at least one was not compatible with the size and dimensions of the knife.

      “Many other knives in general are more compatible with that kind of wound,” said Prof Cingolani. The wound was too narrow to match the knife, he said.

      He added, however, that no firm conclusion could be drawn without knowing the exact angle of Miss Kercher’s neck, or the elasticity of her muscle tissue…

      The former lovers, who could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty, looked tired and nervous.

      So there is a question mark over the role of the large knife but again, nothing definitive. No defense attempt to prove that no other knife was used.

      Meanwhile, whole other universes of very damning prosecution evidence against Sollecito and Knox remain uncontested, like a herd of elephants in the room.

      For example the very damning mobile calls.  And also the highly confused alibis.


      Wednesday, August 19, 2009

      Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution #4: Amanda Knox’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis

      Posted by The Machine




      The Knox Alibis: How They Conflict

      The first three posts on the power of the case were on the DNA evidence, the luminol-enhanced footprint evidence, and Raffaele Sollecito’s various conflicting alibis.

      Now we look at the various conflicting alibis that Amanda Knox has given for the night in question. We dont yet have full transcripts and have to rely on what was reported in the UK press.

      Click here for the rest


      Thursday, July 30, 2009

      Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #3 Raffele Sollecito’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis

      Posted by The Machine



      [above: Sollecito with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno; click for a larger image]

      The Sollecito Alibis: How They Conflict

      The first two posts on the power of the case were on the DNA evidence, and the luminol-enhanced footprint evidence.

      In this and the next post we will elaborate upon the testimony relevant to the multiple alibis given by Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and the evolving circumstances in which they were given.

      Following the discovery of Meredith’s body in her house, more than a dozen possible witnesses were quite expeditiously questioned: Meredith’s various English friends, her two Italian housemates, the four boys who lived downstairs, and Knox and Sollecito.

      Meredith’s English friends, her two Italian housemates, and the boys downstairs fully cooperated with the police. They seemed to be telling the truth. They had one alibi each that could readily be verified. Those alibis never changed.

      As a direct result they were all quickly eliminated from the investigation.

      In stark contrast, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito appeared to be obfuscating. They appeared callous, impatient, arrogant, and reluctant to cooperate with the police.

      These were attitudes first publicly noted as incriminating in mid 2008 by the judges at the Italian Supreme Court. Police and prosecution did not leak.

      Knox and Sollecito each made three separate attempts to come up with credible alibis. All appeared desperate and semi-rehearsed. None of them made total sense or managed to get them off the hook. Neither helped the other at all. 

      Today, we address Sollecito’s alibis.

      The prosecution undermined them in various ways. Sollecito did not take the stand at trial to repeat any of them. His occasional interventions in the courtroom did not strengthen any of them. He made no attempt to corroborate the third alibi of Knox (that she was at his place all night) and immediately prior to arrest he said she had made him lie.

      Everyone at and around trial knew of the wariness and extreme anger of the two (and their families) and how they knocked chips off one another whenever they could.

      Innocent behavior? You decide. If each was not blaming the other for their plight this behavior would be unique in the history of crime.

       


      Raffaele Sollecito’s first alibi

      For his first alibi Raffaele Sollecito claimed, in an interview with Kate Mansey from the Sunday Mirror, that he and Amanda Knox were at a friend’s party on the night of the murder. It appears that this is the alibi that Sollecito also first told the police.

      As there seems to have been no party, or in any case no party they attended, it would have been difficult for Sollecito to find any witnesses, and so this alibi was quickly superceded.

      Raffaele Sollecito’s second alibi

      For his second alibi Sollecito now claimed that he was at his apartment throughout the night with Amanda Knox.

      This alibi was contradicted by the forensic evidence presented by the prosecution. According to the testimony of the scientific police from Rome, there were six separate pieces of forensic evidence that placed him in the cottage on Via Della Pergola on the night of the murder.

      These included an abundant amount of his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, and a bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s bathroom which appears to match the precise characteristics of his foot.

      Sollecito’s claim that he was at his apartment the whole evening on 1 November was also undermined by Amanda Knox, who claimed in one of her own witness statements that he was also at the cottage when Meredith was killed:

      Yes we were in the house. That evening we wanted to have a bit of fun. We were drunk. We asked her to join us. Diya wanted her. Raffaele and I went into another room and then I heard screams.

      This alibi was also undermined by an eyewitness, Antonio Curatolo, the watcher in the park above the house, who testified that he saw Sollecito there. And it was undermined by Sollecito himself when he moved to the third alibi below.

      In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.

      Although Rudy Guede exercised his right to silence when he was called as a witness in the present trial, it should be noted that at his own trial last October and in the stated grounds for his appeal, he has claimed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were both at the cottage on the night in question, and that they were responsible for Meredith’s murder.

      Raffaele Sollecito’s third alibi

      Sollecito was asked to return to the police station on 5 November to answer some more questions. He was at that time confronted with telephone records that proved that he and Amanda Knox had lied previously.

      So for his third alibi, which now cut Amanda Knox loose and implicated her, Sollecito claimed that he was at his apartment all evening, and that for part of the evening Knox was out, from 9 pm to 1 am.

      In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies….

      Amanda and I went into town at around 6pm, but I don’t remember what we did. We stayed there until around 8.30 or 9pm.

      At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner.”

      He goes on to say that Amanda returned to his house at around 1am and the couple went to bed, although he couldn’t remember if they had sex.

      This third alibi was undercut by Amanda Knox when she took the stand and testified. She stated that she was with Sollecito at his place all night.

      It was also contradicted by the forensic evidence presented by the prosecution: the six separate pieces of forensic evidence that placed him in the cottage on Via Della Pergola on the night of the murder.

      This third alibi was also undermined by the telephone records and by the data taken from his computer.

      Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11 pm. The phone records showed that to the contrary, there was no telephone conversation at this time, though Sollecito’s father had called him a couple of hours earlier, at 8.40 pm.

      Sollecito claimed that he was surfing the internet from 11 pm to 1 am. Marco Trotta, a police computer expert, testified that the last human interaction on Sollecito’s computer that evening was at 9.10 pm and the next human activity on Sollecito’s computer was at 5.32 am.

      Sollecito said that he downloaded and watched the film Amelie during the night. However, Mr Trotta said that the film had been watched at around 6.30 pm, and it was earlier testified that Meredith returned to the cottage she shared with Amanda Knox at about 9 pm.

      Sollecito claimed that he had slept in until 10 am the next day. There was expert prosecution testimony that his mobile phone was actually turned on at 6.02 am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night must have been “sleepless” to say the least.

      This alibi was undermined by the eyewitness Antonio Curatolo, the watcher in the park above the house, who testified that he saw Sollecito there.

      Sollecito’s difficult situation resulting

      Sollecito does not seem to have done himself any favours by exercising his right to remain silent and not to testify at the trial.

      As things now stand, he does not have any credible alibi or scenario for the night of the murder. Also it would appear that he has damaged his overall credibility irreparably, by giving three alibis that differed so considerably.

      Judge Paolo Micheli had in front of him much of the same evidence. He wrote, in committing Raffaele Sollecito to trial last October, that he considered the triple alibis to be a clear indication of guilt.

      There seems to be no obvious reason right now why the present judges and jury would conclude differently.


      Thursday, July 23, 2009

      Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #2 The Footprint Evidence

      Posted by The Machine




      1. Preamble

      This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in five parts, with a commentary on matters of key significance.

      The material has been reordered so that evidence presented at several points in the trial can be described in one post here. Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony. The first post, below, was on the formidable DNA evidence.

      In this post we now elaborate the footprint evidence, some of which is easily visible and some of which is only apparent with the use of luminol.

      We reported what happened in the court here and here.

      Kermit in his Powerpoint series provided us with accurate prior analysis and post analysis of these flootprints and shoeprints, and Kermit also presented a Powerpoint map of the cottage.

      2. About luminol

      Luminol is a chemical that reacts with the microscopic particles of iron in the blood if a partial but incomplete attempt has been made to clean a bloodstain away.

      The blood traces glow a bright blue quite fleetingly in the dark under luminol, just long enough to allow forensic investigators to measure and photograph it.

      Luminol evidence can be among the most compelling. If bloodstains show up under luminol, but not to the naked eye, then it is almost a complete certainty that a crime-scene clean-up has been attempted.

      Lorenzo Rinaldi is the director of the print-identity division of Italy’s scientific police, the Italian equivalent of Scotland Yard or the FBI. He testified that one visible and three luminol-revealed footprints and a visible shoeprint belonged to the present two defendants, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. (Another shoeprint belonged to Guede, convicted last October.)

      3. Evidence Against Amanda Knox

      Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of Meredith’s house. . One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

      The fact that there was an absence of any visible bloody footprints from Meredith’s room where Meredith’s blood was to the visible bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom that Meredith and Knox shared strongly indicates that some prints were successfully cleaned away altogether.

      A woman’s bloody shoeprint which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body. Barbie Nadeau noted the significance of this evidence on The Daily Beast website:

      “When the judge asked Rinaldi the size of an unidentified bloody shoeprint found on the pillow below Kercher’s body, he responded, “Between 36 and 38.” The judge then asked Rinaldi what size shoe Knox wears. “The Skecher shoe we sequestered belonging to Amanda Knox corresponds with size 37.”

      The significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint in Meredith’s room is considerable. By itself it debunks the myth that some had propagated for a while, that Rudy Guede acted alone. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

      4. Raffaele Sollecito

      Two bloody footprints were attributed to Raffaele Sollecito. One of them was revealed by luminol in the hallway, and the other one was easily visible to the naked eye on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s and Knox’s shared bathroom.

      Lorenzo Rinaldi excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat was the right size or shape to belong to Knox or Guede instead of Sollecito: “You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”

      Andrea Vogt’s report for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shows just how meticulous and painstakingly detailed the analysis of the bloody footprints was:

      “All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s.

      “Those bare footprints cannot be mine,” said Sollecito in a spontaneous statement…. But the next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot….

      Rinaldi’s detailed PPT described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints and shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.”

      Another print expert also testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

      Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, asked Dr. Stefanoni to confirm that other substances like bleach or fruit juice can also react to luminol.

      Dr. Stefanoni acknowledged that they do, but pointed out that biologists who work regularly on crime scenes distinguish easily between the bright blue glow of a blood trace and the much fainter glow from other reactive substances


      Tuesday, July 21, 2009

      Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #1 The DNA Evidence

      Posted by The Machine



      [Above: Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, click for larger image]

      1. Preamble

      Nearly 200 hours over 23 days.

      That is how long the prosecution took to present its voluminous case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, including time taken by the defense teams to conduct cross-examinations.

      This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in five parts, with a commentary on matters of key significance. The material has been reordered so that for example the DNA evidence presented at several points in the trial can all be described in one post here.

      Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony. All the main witnesses will be named in this series with a brief mention of who they are and their qualifications.

      Two past posts that may aid in understanding the DNA testimony are Nicki’s post here and Fiori’s post here. All past DNA posts can be found in this area. 

      2. The Large Double DNA Kitchen Knife

      The double DNA knife is the knife that was sequestered from Sollecito’s apartment. Although there was an imprint of another knife at the scene, and one defense expert argued that there may have been yet another, it remains plausible that this is the weapon that was used to murder Meredith.

      Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni was the leader of the forensic team from Rome that carried out all the forensic collections at Meredith’s house.  She testified unequivocally about the knife. A small sample of Meredith’s DNA was found to be in a groove on the blade, and Amanda Knox’s DNA was found to be on the handle.

      Dr. Stefanoni noted that there were peculiar diagonal scrapes on the knife blade, which suggested that the knife had been vigorously cleaned.

      Both Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the scientific police, and the Kerchers’ own DNA expert, Professor Francesca Torricelli, provided independent confirmation that this forensic finding is accurate and reliable.

      The defence teams’ forensic experts are not disputing that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife. Instead they are arguing that the knife was somehow contaminated for the DNA to actually be there.

      Dr Stefanoni has firmly excluded this possibility of contamination in transit or in the laboratory. She testified that there hasn’t been a single instance of contamination in her laboratory for at least the last seven years, and every precaution was taken here to ensure that different traces were not mixed.

      A police officer who led a search of Sollecito’s apartment added weight to the prosecution’s assertion that the double DNA knife had been cleaned with bleach. He testified that he had been struck by “the powerful smell of bleach”. 

      When Raffaele Sollecito heard that the scientific police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment, he did not deny the possibility of the DNA being there.

      Instead he made a claim about accidentally pricking Meredith’s hand whilst cooking at his apartment. “The fact that Meredith’s DNA is on my kitchen knife is because once, when we were all cooking together, I accidentally pricked her hand.’‘

      However Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment and so it seems Sollecito could not have accidentally pricked her hand there whilst he was cooking. In attempting to explain the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, he did so in a way easily disproved and seemed to further implicate Amanda Knox and himself.

      3. Sollecito’s DNA On Meredith’s Bra Clasp

      An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, and Dr. Stefanoni has excluded the possibility of any contamination.

      This is the bra clasp that was collected some weeks after the first forensic collection and it was conceded that it should have been collected earlier. It was also argued that valid DNA evidence in other cases is often collected weeks or months or even years after the crime when a suspect object is unearthed.

      Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno is perhaps not surprisingly claiming that this bra clasp was also contaminated in the laboratory. The problem for them is to explain precisely where such an abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA could have come from, and how it was so firmly imprinted.

      The only other instance of Sollecito’s DNA at the cottage was found on a cigarette butt in the kitchen, seemingly an unlikely source at best.

      It would seem unlikely that the judges and jury will conclude that the bra clasp was contaminated in a strictly controlled laboratory where Dr. Stefanoni follows rigorous laboratory procedures.  She is an internationally renowned and very experienced forensic expert and was part of a Disaster Investigations Team which identified disaster victims via their DNA.

      Alberto Intini is the head of the Italian police forensic science unit. Andrea Vogt reported as follows in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Mr Intini’s testimony about the possibility or otherwise of contamination:

      “Alberto Intini maintained that the crime scene had not been contaminated and pointed out that laboratory testing revealed none of the investigators’ prints or biological traces. Mr Intini said “In fact, it is the results that tell you if it was done correctly, and I can tell you that in this investigation there was not even one trace of any of our operators.”

      He also pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it does not exist. “It is possible in the abstract that there could have been contamination, but until this is proved, it does not exist.”

      The prosecution demonstrated on the final full day of testimony that Meredith’s bra was actually removed with a knife some time after she had been killed.

      Judge Paolo Micheli presided over the fast-track trial of Rudy Guede and committed Sollecito and Knox to trial. In looking at the identical evidence he asked “Who had a reason to come back, cut off Meredith’s bra, and move her body some time later?”

      The present judges and jury might conclude differently, but Judge Micheli concluded that it would only have been done by someone who knew about Meredith’s death and had an interest in arranging the scene in Meredith’s room to point away from themselves. He discounted Rudy Guede, who apparently went home, cleaned himself up, and then was seen out on the town.

      4. Knox Blood With Meredith’s

      There were five instances of Amanda Knox’s blood or DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage in Via della Pergola: the bathroom, the hallway, and Filomena’s bedroom.

      Amanda Knox’s blood was found mingled with Meredith’s blood in three places in the bathroom: on the ledge of the basin, on the bidet, and on a box of Q Tips cotton swabs.

      Dr. Stefanoni testified that it would have been “strange” that three traces of blood with both Meredith’s and Amanda Knox’s DNA would have been left at different times.

      Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek pointed out a reason why the blood stains must have been left on the night of the murder:

      “Legal experts who follow this case have suggested that blood evidence cannot be dated and therefore could have been left weeks before the murder. But when Knox testified in her own defense in June, she conceded that there was no blood in the bathroom the day before the murder, effectively dating those blood stains to that night.”

      Perhaps Knox had a bloody earring piercing, and maybe a drop landed on a drop of Meredith’s blood. But in three different places? Perhaps it is not surprising that the defence lawyers have not brought up the subject of the mixed DNA in the bathroom in their part of the trial.

      Meredith’s blood was found on the top part of the light switch in the bathroom she shared with Amanda Knox. This suggests that it was deposited there when the light was switched on. Meredith’s blood was also found on the toilet lid. There were no DNA or other physical traces of Rudy Guede in that bathroom.

      Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA was also found mixed together in a bloody footprint in the hallway of the new wing of the house.

      A mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood was also found in Filomena’s room. This seems to be compelling evidence because Knox had never claimed she entered Filomena’s room when she checked the cottage. This room was the scene of the alleged break-in, and there were glass fragments on the floor.

      Meredith’s blood had been cleaned up in this room, but it was nevertheless revealed by luminol.

      Barbie Nadeau concludes in a Daily Beast report that the mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room seems more incriminating than the double DNA knife:

      “But perhaps more damning even than the knife was Stefanoni’s testimony that a mix of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the floor in the bedroom of a third roommate, Filomena Romanelli.”


      Saturday, July 04, 2009

      Trial: ABC News Reports On The Trial Happenings On Friday

      Posted by Peter Quennell




      1. Overview

      Click above for Rome-based Ann Wise’s report on what happened in court today.

      2. Defense Witness Demonstrates Breaking Windows

      Prosecutors say Knox and Sollecito staged a break-in to make the murder appear to be the result of a botched theft. A window in the bedroom of Filomena Romanelli, Knox and Kercher’s housemate, was broken, and glass shards and a 9-pound rock were found in the room.

      The prosecution presented witnesses and evidence that suggest the window was broken from the inside.

      Francesco Pasquali, a retired forensic police officer hired as a consultant by Sollecito’s defense, presented a video in court that included three different scenarios showing how the rock could have been thrown from the outside to break the window, located 13 feet off the ground.

      According to Pasquali, the rock was thrown from a terrace across from the window, making the glass “explode” on the inside and spreading glass fragments everywhere on the inside and the outside of the windowsill.

      Pasquali said that he had re-created the same conditions that were found in Romanelli’s room at the time of the break-in. Pasquali said he constructed a window of the same size, with the same paint and the same type of glass, and threw the rock through it into a room with the same characteristics as Romanelli’s room. Two video cameras—one inside and one outside—filmed the rock being thrown through the glass.

      By analyzing the trajectory of the rock and the projection of the glass shards, Pasquali said he could “exclude that the glass could have been broken from the inside.”


      3. But Pasquali Has To Back Down

      Prosecutors, however, contend that shutters outside the window could have prevented a rock from breaking it….

      The two prosecutors in the case, Giuliano Mignini and Manuela Comodi, made a number of objections when they cross-questioned Pasquali, who admitted that he had not taken into account the fact that there were shutters on the outside of the original window.

      Prosecution witnesses have testified that the shutters were partially closed on the morning after the murder, and Pasquali conceded that the closed shutters would have prevented a rock from the breaking the window from the outside.

      “It does not take a technician,” Pasquali said. “If the shutters were ajar then the rock couldn’t fit through.”

      As we mentioned earlier, the prosecutors also got Pasquali to admit that, besides omitting those shutters, he had also omitted the mostly-drawn curtains in his simulation.

      They could have radically altered the broken-glass pattern.

      4. ATM withdrawal from Meredith’s bank account

      The director of a local bank, Paolo Fazi, testified that 20 euros ($28) had been withdrawn from Meredith Kercher’s account Nov. 2—the day her body was found.

      But he also said that the bank accounting date does not necessarily reflect the actual date of the ATM withdrawal, and that only Kercher’s British bank would have that date.

      Someone from the British bank is expected to testify in upcoming hearings. Knox and Sollecito are… accused of stealing Kercher’s credit cards, her cell phones and 300 euros ($420) in cash…


      5. Guede at disco early AM

      A University of Perugia student told the Perugia court that he had seen Guede at a local disco in the early morning hours of Nov. 3, after Kercher’s murder.

      Pietro Camplongo said Guede was dancing alone, and that people were keeping their distance from him, because he smelled “as if he hadn’t washed.”


      6. Amanda Knox family in court

      [Knox during a break] graciously accepted a chocolate from Sollecito, thanking him out loud. It is reportedly the second time he has given her a chocolate.

      Knox’s younger sister, Deanna, 20, appeared in court for the first time on Friday, along with Knox’s mother, Edda Mellas… Deanna Knox had been to Perugia and visited Knox in jail, but she had not returned since the trial started in January.

      Knox’s half-sister Ashley, 13, also came to court Friday morning but was asked to leave by the judge, because she is a minor.


      Sunday, June 21, 2009

      How The Media Should Approach The Case If Justice Is To Be Done And SEEN To Be Done

      Posted by Hellodalai


      The American media are really playing with fire here.

      This is one of the most seriously misreported cases in recent history, and a line really needs to be drawn.

      Much of the media are doing no digging, consulting no Italians, repeatedly recycling discredited sources and those with a vested interest in the outcome, stating facts that are not facts, ignoring other facts that really are facts, revealing no understanding of how the Italian judicial process works, and often depicting the Italian professionals with contempt.

      And so far no-one is really calling them on it.

      From this perspective, I have been reading all the articles and information on this case for the past few days. I too was very disappointed in the NY Time pieces by Egan.  Rather than attempt to discuss the facts and evidence that are known so far, he painted “broad brush” strokes to argue that this trial is unfair.

      The TIME magazine report just below - where the reporter basically allowed a Knox advocate to state her position unchallenged - is equally mediocre in terms of investigative and reporting quality. It was one of dozens that have done that.

      Here is my own analysis of the case which I advance as the appropriate depth that EVERY reporter and print and TV analyst should aim to achieve before they start telling the rest of us what to think.

      Motive

      Egan points out that Amanda Knox had no motive to kill or participate in killing Meredith Kercher.

      I agree that there seems to be little evidence on this issue.  One roommate testified as to tensions between Amanda and Meredith.  Roommate tensions are common, though, and rarely lead to murder.

      Neither Rudy Guede, who has been convicted already, nor Raffaele Sollecito, who was Amanda’s boyfriend of less than two weeks, seemingly had motives, either.

      All three were young adults who liked alcohol, music, marijuana, and sex (although Rudy has been described as a petty thief and small time drug dealer; other reports state he had no criminal convictions). None seemed likely to erupt into a murderous rage.

      One of the downstairs male students testified that Guede expressed some interest in Amanda and said that Meredith was beautiful.  Sollecito wrote in a newspaper column that he was a 23 year old virgin when he met Amanda.

      So Sollecito was vulnerable to Amanda’s influence.  Guede may have wanted to gain Amanda’s favor.  Add alcohol and drugs and group dynamics and - the threesome may have spun out of control.

      Since the murder, Amanda’s behavior could certainly be questioned.  Who does cartwheels at a police station during an investigation of their murdered roommate?  What defendant wears a shirt to their murder trial that says “All you need is love” when the prosecution is trying to portray them as someone with out-of-control sexual behavior?

      If this case rested solely on whether Amanda had a motive to kill Meredith, I would agree with Egan’s stance that the trial is unfair.  Egan seems to stop at that issue, however, and seems unwilling to examine all the evidence objectively.

      DNA Evidence

      One of the better reports on the case included this statement:

      “But perhaps more damning even than the knife was Stefanoni’s testimony that a mix of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the floor in the bedroom of a third roommate, Filomena Romanelli. While it might not be noteworthy to find mixed genetic traces of residents of the same house, Romanelli’s room is critical in this crime.

      Her window was broken with a large rock that prosecutors believe was used to stage a break-in. The mixed Knox-Kercher trace was found after investigators used luminol, a substance used in forensic science to bring out blood that had been cleaned up.

      In addition, Stefanoni testified that a mixture of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the drain of the bidet, on the bathroom sink, and on a Q-Tip box in the girls’ bathroom.”

      That is FOUR different blood samples with mixed Knox-Kercher DNA.  Yes, it does seem that the investigative methods were sloppy and not all samples may be reliable (I acknowledge that there are some problems with the prosecution’s case).

      But I have yet to read even one article where a reputable DNA expert can explain why sloppy police procedures would result in four separate mixed blood samples.  I did read one explanation that Amanda bled from a pierced ear—thus providing some explanation, although weak, for why her blood may have been in the bathroom.  That doesn’t explain why her blood was in the bedroom of Filomena Romanelli (another of her roommates) or why her blood was found mixed with Meredith’s - or why her blood would be recoverable from an area that had been cleaned after the murder to eliminate evidence.

      Similarly, the DNA evidence from Sollecito, found on Meredith’s bra clasp is not explained away by scientific reasoning.  True, the police left the clasp in Meredith’s room (which was sealed) for weeks and did not retrieve it, but DNA is not transferred by “flying DNA”; there is no “innocent” scientific explanation why Sollecito’s DNA (not sloughed dead cells, which do not contain DNA) would affix itself to a bra clasp worn by the murder victim after the clasp had been torn from her body.

      As to the DNA evidence found on the knife located in Sollecito’s apartment,  the DNA sample from Meredith was very tiny, according to reports, and the DNA from Amanda could be explained by her using the knife at Sollecito’s apartment. (Sollecito explained Meredith’s DNA by stating she had come to his apartment for dinner with Amanda and that he had accidentally pricked her. But no witnesses have been found who remember Meredith ever talking about going to Sollecito’s apartment)

      True, the knife is not the same size as most wounds on Meredith, but it is the same size as one wound. The knife showed evidence of bleach cleaning and some scratches (Sollecito’s apartment showed a lot of evidence of bleach cleaning, even though his maid did not use bleach to clean).

      Clean up motives and evidence

      I have yet to see a careful review of the testimony and possible conclusions that may be drawn from the known facts and circumstantial evidence, including the clean up after the murder—which, to me, are very compelling.

      The neighbor has testified that she heard a very loud, long scream that night (presumably Meredith’s last), followed not long thereafter by the sounds of two to three different people running from the area (it was unusual to hear people running at that time of night).  The neighbor was 69 and could not remember exactly the date she heard the screaming, but she was firm that it was the night before Meredith’s murder was discovered.

      It is not a stretch to link the screaming to Meredith, given that loud, long piercing screams are uncommon.  Also, a murderer or murderers would realize that Meredith’s scream may bring the police at any moment—so running from the crime would be expected. 

      The uncontradicted testimony is that there was a fair amount of effort to “clean up” the crime scene (the defense merely claims that Knox and Sollecito were not involved). It also appears that whoever came back for the “clean up” also broke a window in Filomena’s bedroom (as mentioned, one of the two other roommates living upstairs; there were also four male students living downstairs in a separate unit), in an attempt to throw the investigating police off the scent. 

      Filomena testifed that she found clothes strewn around her room the next day and that she had left the room tidy.  She testified that glass from the window broken in her bedroom was on top of those strewn clothes.  If the window was broken by someone entering the home who was intent on rape and/or robbery, then the glass would not be on top of the clothes as those clothes would not have been under the window then (Filomena also testified that she had valuables in plain view in her bedroom and that none were taken).

      The evidence suggests that someone placed these clothes around the room and THEN broke the window to “stage a scene” (as there is no explanation for why anyone would have any motive to randomly take clothes and throw them around a room).

      Let’s start with Guede first and the assumption that he came back to the home that night - either by himself - or with someone other than Amanda and Sollecito.

      Guede’s motivation to come back to the crime scene would be to clean up the most incriminating evidence against him and to stage this crime scene to lead the police in a direction away from him.

      Guede left DNA inside Meredith, bled on Meredith’s body, and left a bloody hand print on the pillow underneath Meredith’s head.  He also left feces in the bathroom toilet (the bathroom near Filomena’s bedroom - -not the “bloody” bathroom between Meredith and Amanda’s bedrooms).  He would know that if he came back to clean.  He would know that that evidence would be the strongest against him.

      During this “clean up phase,” the DNA inside Meredith, Guede’s blood on Meredith’s body, the bloody hand print, and Guede’s feces in the bathroom toilet were all left untouched. 

      The “clean up phase” spent a lot of time in the bathroom next to Meredith’s bedroom (it was also next to Amanda’s bedroom), the hallway, and Filomena’s bedroom, where the “break-in” was staged (it is possible at least part of this crime occurred in the bathroom, as Meredith’s blood was found on the bathroom light switch when it was in an up position - meaning it was touched when the light was on.  The bathroom had numerous droplets of her blood, some of which were commingled with Amanda’s blood.)

      Despite the cleanup in Filomena’s bedroom, the police were still able to obtain DNA samples.  Guede’s DNA was not found in either the bathroom or Filomena’s bedroom.

      Six bloody footprints from bare feet were identified.  One was visible to the naked eye in the bathroom and five were visible only after the police used luminol, which allows blood evidence cleaned by bleach to become visible under a special light.  The luminol did reveal five bloody footprints that had been cleaned up (one shoe print was also found under Meredith’s pillow - the print is consistent with the size of Amanda’s shoe).

      None of the six bloody footprints are consistent with the size of Guede’s feet.  All six of these footprints are consistent with the size of Amanda and/or Sollecito’s feet.

      Why would Guede concentrate his clean-up efforts on areas where there is little to no evidence from him and ignore the areas where there is substantial evidence of his involvement?  Wouldn’t he at least flush the toilet?

      As to the staged “break-in,” would Guede be motivated to set this up?  If the police believed a “break-in” had occurred, would they then be led away from investigating Guede as a suspect?

      If the police believed that a break-in had occurred, then they would focus on looking for someone who was either a complete stranger to Meredith or someone she would not readily admit to her home late in the evening if they knocked on her door unanounced.  Guede was not a complete stranger.  One of the four male students who lived in the separate unit downstairs testified that Guede sometimes came to the apartment of the four male students and met and talked to Amanda and Meredith there (the testimony is that Meredith dated one of those four male students).

      The evidence suggests that Guede only slightly knew Meredith. So, Guede was not someone who could knock unannounced on Meredith’s door late at night (at least 9:30—after Meredith talked to her mother) and be readily admitted. 

      Guede had no motivation to stage a “break-in” because a break-in would in no way lead the police away from his scent.  Plus, there is no evidence that Guede was ever in Filomena’s bedroom where the “break-in” was staged.  If he had participated in this staging, a footprint consistent with the size of his feet should have been illuminated by the police’s luminol.

      It wasn’t.

      Conclusions that jurors would normally draw from facts and the circumstantial evidence relating to the “clean up” and “break-in” point to someone OTHER than Guede participating in the “clean-up” and “staged break-in.”

      Let’s now look at the assumption that Amanda and her boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, were the ones who came back for the “clean up” and “staged break-in.”

      If Amanda and Sollecito were with Guede when the murder occurred (accounting for the extra footsteps running away shortly after the last scream of Meredith) and then came back to get rid of evidence of their guilt, their motivation would be to clean up their blood and DNA evidence and lead police away from their scent.

      As for whether Amanda bled that night, another roommate of Amanda’s and Meredith’s, Laura, testified that she saw a a mark under Amanda’s chin the day after the murder that was not there the day before the murder; Laura testified the mark was not a hickey as a hickey would have been purple and more round. 

      I have read two different comments on this issue from Amanda’s father.  One stated that the mark was merely a hickey and is evidence she spent the night with her boyfriend.  Another was that a physician examining Amanda on Nov. 6th - -the murder occurred the evening of Nov. 1st - did not note a mark under the chin.  (Interestingly, the police interrogating Amanda the next day did not report such a mark, either).

      I then found a photo that was posted online taken of Amanda the day after the murder.  It clearly shows a mark under her chin—and would account for her blood being found at the apartment.



      [click for larger image]

      If Amanda and Sollecito did the “clean up,” they would be motivated to leave evidence of Guede’s guilt and point the police in his direction.

      Forensics don’t show either way whether bleach was used to clean up Meredith and Amanda’s apartment, though it was used in Sollecito’s apartment AND on the knife found in his apartment containing the DNA of Meredith and Amanda. 

      The Conad store owner reported the presence of Amanda in the household cleaners part of his store early on the morning after the murder (when Amanda and Sollecito contend they were asleep) although rumored receipts for bleach were not presented at trial.

      Meredith’s body, which contained Guede’s DNA and his blood (mixed with hers) was not cleaned and Guede’s feces was not flushed from the toilet.

      The bathroom, which even after the cleaning, contained Amanda’s blood mixed with Meredith’s and a bloody footprint which is consistent with the size of Sollecito’s foot (trial testimony was that it was “likely” Sollecito’s footprint), had a lot of cleaning activity.

      The hallway and Filomena’s bedroom, which even after the bleaching contained Amanda’s blood mixed with Meredith’s and bloody footprints, was the site of a lot of cleaning activity (these footprints were all consistent with the size of the feet of Amanda and Sollecito, but not consistent with the size of Guede’s feet) .

      The “cleaning” evidence, and conclusions which may be drawn from it, point to Amanda and Sollecito as participants.

      Would Amanda and Sollecito have a motive to stage a break-in?  Amanda obviously had a key to the unit and did not have to break into her own apartment.  If there was no sign of a break-in, police would probably focus on people who had a key to the apartment or friends of Meredith she would readily admit to her apartment at 9:30 at night.  If there was no sign of a break-in, police would question Amanda and Sollecito at length - and they would obviously know that.

      Amanda and Sollecito had a strong motive to stage a break-in to focus police on looking for a stranger, or someone like Guede who only knew Meredith very casually.

      What about the next morning?  Let’s first assume Amanda was innocent and she is being truthful when she testified that she did not come home until around 11:30 the next morning.

      Amanda testified that when she came home around 11:30 a.m. that the apartment door was open, that there was visible blood in the bathroom (which would have been numerous scattered blood drops, a ten inch smear on the bathroom door, and a bloody footprint on the floor) and that there was feces in a toilet.  Amanda says that she called out for Meredith and no one answered.

      She then took a shower and went to Filomena’s bathroom and used her dryer to dry her hair (this is the bathroom with Guede’s feces;  this toilet is different than American toilets in that it had a large flat area so that the standing water in the toilet did not submerge the feces) and returned to her boyfriend’s apartment.

      If Amanda were truly innocent when she arrived that morning, wouldn’t she also try to open the door to Meredith’s bedroom after Meredith did not answer, even when she banged on her door more than once?  Amanda’s fingerprints were not found on the door knob and she has never testified that she tried to open the door.  Sollecito testified that when he arrived later with Amanda that he tried to open the door - and his fingerprints are on the door knob.

      If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she text Meredith, as she did several times two days before?  Wouldn’t she call both of Meredith’s cell phones and let them ring to see if they were in her bedroom? (Phone records show she called each phone one time; one for three seconds and the other for four seconds, despite Amanda telling Filomena that day that she had called Meredith’s cell phones and that the phones just kept ringing) 

      If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she also call out for Filomena and Laura - because she would not know for sure if they might have returned that morning (she knew Filomena had spent the night in town and that Laura was in a nearby town)?  Wouldn’t she look into their bedrooms (Filomena’s door was closed that morning, according to Amanda; Sollecito says it was open) and have noticed that Filomena’s bedroom window was broken and her clothes were strewn about? (When Amanda first called Filomena she did not mention that Filomena’s bedroom had been broken into).

      If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she have just flushed the exposed feces down the toilet?

      If Amanda were innocent and truthful, wouldn’t her hair three hours later look like it had been washed and blow dried that day?  Look again at the photo posted above.  It was taken about three hours after the alleged washing and blow drying.  Is that the hair of a woman who washed and blow dried her hair three hours earlier?

      Wouldn’t Amanda have noticed that the lamp in her bedroom, which was the only source of light for that room, was missing? (Police later found it in Meredith’s room).  Wouldn’t she have immediately noticed the missing lamp when she first entered her bedroom that morning so that she would have immediately either left the apartment without taking a shower or called the police to come over? (Police and phone records show that Sollecito didnt call them until 12:54, even though the Postal and Communications Police had been at the apartment with Sollecito and Amanda since 12:26 - the Postal Police unexpectedly showed up at the apartment because Meredith’s cell phones had been found.)

      People react differently to unexpected happenings and Amanda may not have done all of those things, but surely she would have done at least one of them.

      If Amanda were truthful about showering and drying her hair, wouldn’t her fingerprints be in both bathrooms? (Since these activities would have occurred AFTER the clean up).  The police only found one of her fingerprints in her residence - on a glass in her kitchen.

      As to this time frame, what about the recent trial testimony of Amanda’s mother that Amanda told her in their first phone call that day that she thought someone was in her apartment?  Cell phone records place that call at 12:47, some 21 minutes after the Postal Police arrived. (A nearby video camera documents that time, as does Postal Police log records;  the defense has tried to argue that the Postal Police did not arrive until after 1:00 p.m., but do not have evidence for that position.  In fact, Filomena testified that she arrived back at her apartment before 1:00 and that the Postal Police were already there.)

      Postal Police testified that both Amanda and Sollecito were in Amanda’s bedroom with the door closed at 12:47 - the bedroom with no lamp or overhead light (neither Amanda nor Sollecito mentioned to the Postal Police or Filomena when they emerged from that bedroom after many minutes that the only lamp in the room was missing).

      Let’s keep assuming Amanda was innocent.  Would she have come back to her apartment with Sollecito, still not having called police, and then start a load of washing of Meredith’s clothes? (The Postal Police said the washing machine was running when they entered;  Filomena, who arrived a little later, said that the washing machine was still warm and contained Meredith’s clothes.)

      Amanda has testified that she got out a mop and bucket the first time she went to her apartment that day and took it back to Sollecito’s because there was water on his apartment floor from water used in cooking pasta the night before (Sollecito said, however, that the water was from a broken pipe;  Sollecito’s diary written in prison talks of a dinner of stir fry mushrooms and vegetables).

      Who has water spills from cooking pasta so large that the next day it is still puddled to the degree it needs to be mopped?  Who voluntarily carries a mop and bucket several blocks to clean up water from cooking pasta the night before? (Especially a person who has been labeled in trial testimony as messy and unkempt in their cleaning habits).

      If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she and Sollecito have called the police after Sollecito tried to open Meredith’s locked bedroom door and couldn’t open it?

      Instead of calling the police, Amanda and Raffaele went outside and stood next to the mop and bucket.  Why didn’t they just put the mop and bucket back up in the apartment when they first arrived?  Why leave it outside the apartment?  Why then go back out and stand next to the mop?

      If Amanda and Sollecito were innocent, that means that Guede (and perhaps one or two accomplices) murdered Meredith, then ran away, and then came back at some point and cleaned up the crime scene PARTIALLY (but ignoring and leaving the most damning evidence against him) and THEN GUEDE CAME BACK that morning after Amanda had showered and left - so that GUEDE could do a LOAD OF WASHING of Meredith’s clothes - presumably blood stained, all the while ignoring his feces in the toilet and his bloody hand print on the pillow under Meredith’s body - only for GUEDE to then leave again right before Amanda and Sollecito arrived (so the washing machine would still be running when the Postal Police arrived a short while later).

      What type of person or persons would come back to a crime scene to clean it up?

      The most likely person to return to a crime scene for a clean up is someone who knows that they can do a clean up with little chance of being caught. 

      Guede might have known that the four male students downstairs were all away due to his occasional appearances there.  But how would Guede know that Filomena and Laura, the other two upstairs roommates, would not come back either that night or in the morning?

      Amanda and Sollecito, on the other hand, would know that everyone who lived in the house would be gone and that they could do a clean up that would take some time and have a good chance of not being caught in the act.  Only the unexpected appearance of the Postal and Communications Police interrupted the mopping and cleaning (as there was still a ten inch blood smear on the bathroom door near Meredith’s bedroom and numerous visible blood droplets).

      No one else other than Amanda and Sollecito, and who may have been involved, had such knowledge.   

      Conclusion

           

      The facts, testimony, and conclusions that may reasonably be drawn from the evidence, including circumstantial evidence (that is what juries do all the time), lead me to believe that Amanda will be found guilty.

      Let any reporter or analyst run the case through their minds at this depth and then make sure that at a minimum, they keep their cool and don’t misrepresent.

      When I read an article or blog in the New York Times or Time magazine, I expect thorough, well-reasoned, well-researched, investigative journalism. Judicial cases DEMAND it.

      Instead, here I have found articles that IGNORED the evidence and some very mediocre journalism. What happened to journalistic standards?  Where is the public outcry against the U.S. media’s handling of this case? 

      For the sake of true justice, a line now needs to be drawn.


      Trial: Defense Witness Makes A Claim About The Second Knife

      Posted by Peter Quennell





      Click above for the report from an unnamed BBC correspondent. The key parts are quoted below.

      The issues today were the role of the second smaller knife which the prosecution had already proven part of the crime; and the size of Meredith’s room.

      The stab wound in the neck of a British student killed in Italy was from a shorter knife than the one thought to be the murder weapon, a court was told.

      A coroner said that Meredith Kercher was killed with a 3ins to 3.5ins knife, a lawyer for the Kercher family said. But prosecutors say a 6.5ins knife found at the home of one of the accused matched Ms Kercher’s wounds…

      Coroner Francesco Introna was called to give evidence for the defence, according to a lawyer representing the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca.

      Prosecutors say a 6.5ins knife found at Mr Sollecito’s house matched the wounds and could be the murder weapon. They also say the knife had Ms Kercher’s DNA on the blade and that of Ms Knox’s on the handle.

      As well as questioning the length of the knife, Mr Introna also said that no more than a single attacker could have assaulted Ms Kercher, according to Mr Maresca.

      However, when cross-examined by prosecutors, Mr Introna conceded he had never been to the house where Ms Kercher was killed and used forensic data to work out the size of the bedroom.

      Mr Maresca said that when the court went to inspect the scene of the crime in April, six or seven people could fit into the room.

      The reporting today as the defense launches into its portion of the trial to attempt to rebut the evidence seemed thinner than earlier in the trial.


      Friday, June 12, 2009

      Powerpoints #13: 150 Questions For The Defendants They Have Incessantly Avoided

      Posted by Kermit





      Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

      We who offer this site in memory of Meredith want above all for the truth and the whole truth to come out.  The full story behind this horrific crime of great violence in Italy, and why such a wonderful girl had to die.

      Meredith’s terribly suffering family in London have repeatedly said, to them it’s the truth that matters most. They want to know why their daughter and sister was deprived of a lifetime of promise, and why the violence to her had to be so great.

      Meredith’s many sad friends in London and Leeds, and in other places in England and around the world - many of whom may now have a life-time of loss and adjustment - also absolutely deserve to get to know.

      And millions of decent people in Italy and in England and throughout Europe and increasingly the US are now also seriously asking: why? Exactly what happened that night in Perugia, and need it ever happen again?

      These 150 questions, truthfully answered, should bring out all there is to know about this case. They may or may not mirror what the prosecutor has in mind, but we think they would provide all of the picture.

      Please go for it, Amanda? For Meredith’s sake. And for her ever-deprived family. And for all those others sadly affected. Whether or not you were actually involved, truthfully tell us now all that you know.


      Friday, May 29, 2009

      Trial: More On The Violent Crimes Unit’s Reconstruction Of The Violent, Prolonged Attack

      Posted by Peter Quennell



      Grim-faced expert witnesses from the Violent Crimes Unit in Rome enter court

      1. Reconstruction Of The Attack On Meredith

      Judge Massei closed the court for much of the time. No English-language reporters were there.

      Nevertheless, reports in La Nazione and other Italian media described the reconstruction of the final attack on Meredith in the court with the aid of many photographs and graphics.

      Giuseppe Codispoti, Director of the Analysis of Violent Crime Unit, said in his deposition that the evidence pointed to three subjects in addition to the victim being present in the room at the time.

      The evidence included the many wounds on Meredith, the state of her clothing, and the locations and shapes of the bloodstains on the walls, the wardrobe, and the floor.

      Wounds to Meredith’s right hand pointed to a desperate attempt to ward off one or several attackers with knives while she was being held by her other arm.

      The director of the Violent Crime department, Edgardo Giobbi, told the court that when, on the day after the murder, he handed Knox (not yet a suspect) a pair of shoe covers before entering the apartment below hers, she swiveled her hips and said “oopla.” This attitude made him turn his “investigative attention” on her, he said.

      This was dramatic and telling testimony, and for some in the courtroom apparently quite hard to take.

      Below: One of the images used in their detailed reconstruction of the final frenzied act in Meredith’s bedroom that suggested three people had to be involved.




      2. Prior Testimony That Relates

      Judge Micheli summarized the same forensic evidence and concluded for purposes of convicting Rudy Guede and of sending Knox and Sollecito to trial that it did point to three people being involved.

      Judge Micheli also concluded that, as part of a cover-up, Meredith was later moved from the location below (by the wardrobe and the window) to where she was found, several feet to the left (by the bed).

      3. Defensive PR Reaction To This Tough Talk

      In their attempt to ridicule and undermine this compelling evidence, CBS News (48 Hours) in their recent very slanted report repeatedly showed bizarre caricatures of this scene by an Italian cartoonist.

      None were remotely correct. That was not, we think, CBS News’s finest hour. They have been very silent on it since.

      The paid Candace Dempsey defense blog on the Seattle PI website took a shot at ridiculing the reconstruction image above.

      Something rather incoherent to do with not being specific enough about the figures. But the image above was one of a number that the witnesses used.

      As real crime experts in the field would all know, it was deliberately not more specific because it incorporated only the known hard evidence.

      Contacts of ours in NYC associated with law enforcement are giving the reconstruction an A. It was a careful and clever bit of work.


      Trial: La Nazione On Testimony About The Attack And What The Blood Traces Suggest

      Posted by Peter Quennell


      La Nazione is one of Perugia’s newspapers. Click above for their early report, in Italian.

      1) On today’s testimony.on what the blood traces suggest

      Before Meredith died, she struggled to free herself from the constraint of one of the attackers, and she brought her left hand up to her devastated neck after the fatal knife attack. This is the evidence proven by the bloodstains found on the hand of the English student and, in particular, her index finger.

      This is one of the elements that helps to reconstruct the dynamics of the crime conducted by the forensics experts of the Violent Crime Unit to be presented in today’s depositions in their case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito accused of the murder and rape of their friend..

      2) On the testimony scheduled to come next

      The tight schedule of hearings ordered by the President of the Court, Giancarlo Massei, includes 5 and June 6 to hear the witnesses for the civil parties (lawyers Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna) who assist the victim’s family.

      Testifying on the 5th should be the advisers (legal and medical forensic geneticist) while on the 6th it will be the turn of Meredith’s mother, Arline, and then her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle. They will talk about why she had chosen to study in Perugia, and the last telephone contacts before her murder.

      On June 12th Amanda Knox is expected to be examined by her lawyers, Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova. The enigmatic Seattle student might still decide to escape the barrage of questions at the last minute.

      On the 13th the first witness will be Patrick Lumumba, the civil party up against the American for libelous slander. And then the witnesses for the defenses will commence testifying.


      DNA Evidence: The Myths Start To Come Crashing Down

      Posted by Nicki

      [click for larger image; rule and annotations by Kermit]


      The DNA evidence is proving to be as well-handled and as incriminating as DNA evidence ever is at such trials.

      The last two hearings have very publicly exposed several of the key myths which have been aggressively propagated over the Internet and through other media for many months.

      Let’s first speak about the double knife DNA. It has now become pretty obvious that:

      • It doesn’t match half of Italy as falsely claimed
      • It doesn’t have a 20% chance of being Meredith’s as falsely claimed
      • Stefanoni never declared herself that the DNA “was unreliable” as falsely claimed
      • The DNA has not been amplified “500 times” as falsely claimed

      Patrizia Stefanoni has not stated that Meredith’s DNA was extracted 500 times from the knife sample, as some people with what seemed a google-level knowledge of molecular biology were claiming to muddy the waters.

      The DNA was actually extracted 50 times from Meredith’s specimens and was used to compare it to other biological traces, including the one found on the knife. And it provided the forensic team with good samples to be compared to the traces found on the knife.

      Two genetic profiles are identical and therefore belong to the same individual if a) they are in the same position, and b) they have identical shape and dimension. In this case, each peak produced in the original samples exactly corresponds to the peaks yielded by the knife sample, position, shape and dimension”¦ Say so long to the “matching half of Italy” myth!

      Furthermore, Stefanoni excluded any possibility of contamination in the lab, stating that it had never once occurred in her lab for at least the last seven years, and every precaution was taken in order to exclude possibility of contamination so that different traces are not mixed. 

      Contamination during the collection phase was also excluded: the forensic team that found the knife was a different one from those who searched the cottage, so how could Meredith’s DNA possibly have been “transferred to the knife”? 

      Furthermore, the knife was put in a shoe box after it was bagged, and it stayed there until it reached the lab. And once again… DNA doesn’t fly, it doesn’t creep, and it sure doesnt penetrate a plastic bag!

      Now let’s speak about the bra clasp.

      The DNA found on the clasp has been defined as abundant and identified as belonging to Sollecito without any doubt. It should have been collected earlier in the process, but DNA evidence is often collected weeks or months after the crime when an object involved is unearthed.

      The chances that it has been contaminated are at zero: the sample was found under the pillow on November 2, during the first search, and collected on December 18th when the second search took place by a different team.

      During this entire time, the clasp was laying on the floor of what has been testified to have been a completely sealed crime scene. So when and how could any contamination occur?

      Excluding a spontaneous migration of Sollecito “˜s DNA on the clasp from some unidentified location in the murder room or in the cottage, it could have only taken place during either the first or the second handling of the sample, so the fact that the clasp was recovered weeks later really bears no relevance.

      And additionally, where could any abundant amount of Sollecito “˜s biological matter come from, if besides that on the bra clasp, the DNA corresponding to his genetic profile was only found on a cigarette butt? 

      Perhaps this is why Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno is now claiming that the bra clasp was contaminated in the laboratory. She is reduced to having to claim that in effect Dr Stefanoni applies strict laboratory procedures when testing Guede”˜s or other peoples’ specimens, but somehow miserably fails when the samples belong to Sollecito and Knox.

      Finally, let’s not forget that Rudy Guede’s DNA was not found “all over” the victim, but only on the right side of her bra, on the left cuff of her jumper, and inside her body. If passive transfer of DNA is so easy to happen, and if Guede is the only one who physically attacked Meredith, how comes his DNA was found only in these three places on the victim’s body?

      DNA is NOT easy to transfer. Dr Stefanoni is absolutely correct when she says that “transfer of DNA must not be taken for granted nor it is easy to happen, and more likely to take place if the original trace is aqueous, not if it is dry”.

      About the possibility of contamination having taken place in the lab, this is a risk that everyone working with PCR is well aware of. It is certainly not probable that it could occur every time a biological sample is tested. In fact, it is very unlikely to happen when the routine strict precautions are taken.

      And there is no doubt that Dr Stefanoni was extremely cautious when handling any of these samples. 

      I can see the reason for the improbable reach of the defense teams: since their clients deny any involvement, the positive DNA results “must” be contaminated - what else could they possibly say? Regarding this evidence, it is the only argument that they have available.

      Finally, Dr Stefanoni has an international reputation and is considered one of the best in the field today. Questioning her credentials really makes no sense at all. But those too have come under attack.

      Edited to add: On the issue of DNA transfer, from today’s hearing (La Nazione)

      “The contamination theory has been discussed again today: Ms Bongiorno repeatedly asked the forensic witnesses information regarding the techniques used to collect the samples found in Meredith’s house, but PM Manuela Comodi showed the Court that contamination did not occurr by asking the forensic witnesses: “Using the same gloves, you have touched the victim’s socks after working on other samples. Could you tell me what the result of the sock analyses was?”

      The witness answered:  “No foreign DNA nor genetic traces have been found”. Another demonstration that DNA passive transfer just doesn’t occur so easily.  Differently, the probabilities of obtaining a contaminated sample would be so high that DNA testing would hardly be of any use in crime investigations.


      Saturday, April 25, 2009

      Explaining The Italian Theory Of The Attack That Is Being Lost In Translation

      Posted by Arnold_Layne





      At the trial, Gioia Brocci from the forensic department in Rome just told the court that Knox had reacted visibly when taken into the house’s kitchen after the murder.

      She said: “˜‘A drawer with cutlery in it was opened, and I remember that Knox started to tremble, she closed her eyes and put her hands over her ears…. She reacted in such a way that she had to be escorted out of the room and taken into the corridor by the officers from the Perugia Flying Squad who were with her.’‘

      Here is one explanation that extends from that testimony. It is in sharp contrast to “A Drug-Fuelled Extreme-Sex Game Gone Awry” which definitely is not what Italians are hearing. 

      This scenario leads to the inference that it starts as something of a pre-intended taunting and hazing led by an angry Knox intent on payback. It does not start as a preconceived murder because there seems no preparation for a premeditated murder.

      When Knox and Sollecito arrive at the cottage, they bring a jackknife and a kitchen knife.  The kitchen knife may be wrapped in paper and carried in Knox’s handbag.  When they arrive, Sollecito perhaps puts the large knife someplace inconspicuous but handy. 

      That place could of course be the knife drawer in the kitchen that Knox later reacted to.

      They have collected Guede in the park, Knox lets him in, and the Treacherous Trio is complete. They gather with Meredith in the place where most people welcoming their guests congregate, the kitchen.  They may even munch on some mushrooms.

      At some point, whatever has been worked out with Guede ahead of time is initiated.  What some might regard as BDSM, others, like me, consider more along the lines of aggregated sexual assault and battery with a deadly weapon. 

      Knox retrieves the kitchen knife from the drawer.  She uses it as an extremely threatening weapon, to intimidate Meredith.  Sollecito and Guede physically restrain her while Guede sexually assaults her.  Possibly Knox directs Sollecito to physically assault her with the small knife to make her be more compliant.

      Meredith is anything but compliant, fights back, and pleads with them. 

      This leads to the jackknife wounds to her neck and eventually to her being strangled.  Meredith Kercher does not go gently into that good night.  She fights her way back up to her feet, and she screams. 

      This perhaps is when Knox delivers the fatal blow to her neck with the kitchen knife, to stop her screaming and getting away to seek help.

      They then drag her to her room and lock the door.  At this point, Guede grabs some toilet paper to clean the blood off himself, and they flee.  Rudy goes dancing, and the Deadly Duo go to the park till the way is clear for a clean-up.

      Knox and Sollecito return after the broken-down car is removed, arrange the bedroom leaving the bra clasp, stage the break-in, and clean the rooms where they had been.  They have not been in the bedroom very much so this is left pretty much alone. 

      They cleanse the kitchen of all DNA and fingerprints and perhaps bring more bleach when the Conad store opens in the morning.

      Until Amanda Knox pulls the kitchen knife from the drawer, each of them, Guede, Sollecito, and Knox are acting as individuals with their consciences and moral upbringing intact.

      When the knife comes out, they become something else, and the group becomes responsible for what happens, not each themselves.

      Is it possible that the reason they are being so tight-lipped is that if any one of them identifies the other’s actions, then that person would have to accept responsibility for what he or she also actually did do? 

      Does it stay a group action only if the group remains intact?


      Wednesday, April 22, 2009

      Understanding Why The DNA Is On The Knife

      Posted by Peter Quennell

      [click for larger image]




      Our DNA poster Nicki has been careful not to exaggerate the impact as evidence of the DNA on the knife found in Sollecito’s apartment.

      She accepts that in the eyes of the court there could be question marks over the size of the sample and the fact that the tests could not be repeated.

      However, as the knife appeared to have been thoroughly cleaned with bleach, some remain intrigued that any DNA at all was found.

      Here is a short piece explaining why. This article by Juliet Lapidos was posted on the Slate site in November 2007. But we haven’t seen better, and it is still often referred to.

      Slate 20 Nov 2007
      How To Clean a Bloody Knife: Does DNA come off with soap and water?
      By Juliet Lapidos NYTimes Staff Writer

      Investigators in Perugia, Italy, have found new evidence linking a 20-year-old American exchange student, Amanda Knox, to the brutal stabbing death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher. According to the latest reports, Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raphael Sollecito, cleaned the alleged murder weapon””an 8-inch black-handled kitchen knife””with bleach. Nevertheless, police discovered Kercher’s DNA on the tip and Knox’s DNA by the handle. Is it possible to clean DNA off a knife?

      Yes, if you know what you’re doing. Knox and Sollecito were on the right track: Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, an extremely corrosive chemical that can break the hydrogen bonds between DNA base pairs and thus degrade or “denature” a DNA sample. In fact, bleach is so effective that crime labs use a 10 percent solution (one part commercial bleach to nine parts water) to clean workspaces (PDF) so that old samples don’t contaminate fresh evidence. Likewise, when examining ancient skeletal remains (PDF), researchers first douse the remains in diluted bleach to eliminate modern DNA from the surface of bones or teeth.
      Advertisement

      So, why did Knox and Sollecito’s bleaching gambit fail? It’s difficult to swab a knife thoroughly. Dried blood can stick to the nooks and crannies in a wood handle, to the serrated edge of a blade, or become lodged in the slit between the blade and the hilt. With help from a Q-tip, it’s possible to eliminate most stains, but what’s not visible to the naked eye might still be visible to a microscope, and sophisticated crime labs need only about 10 cells to build a DNA profile.

      Bleach is perhaps the most effective DNA-remover (though evidently no methodology is failsafe), but it’s not the only option. Deoxyribonuclease enzymes, available at biological supply houses, and certain harsh chemicals, like hydrochloric acid, also degrade DNA strands. It’s even possible to wipe a knife clean of DNA-laden hair follicles, saliva, and white blood cells with generic soap and warm water. The drawback to this last method is that the tell-tale cells don’t just disappear once off the knife. They linger on sponges, in drains, and even in sink traps, where wily investigators search for trace evidence.

      There appears to be a great deal more DNA evidence than merely what is on the knife, of course, and early in the trial the known luminol-evidence universe also expanded.

      The court was told that AK-sized and RS-sized footprints appeared under luminol on the floor of Filomena’s room.

      Nicki’s two Powerpoints on the DNA can be seen here and here and Kermit’s Powerpoint (pre the new evidence) on the luminol can be seen here.


      Wednesday, March 04, 2009

      Powerpoints #11: Countering The Spin By The Defenses On The Recent Cottage Break-in

      Posted by Kermit





      Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

      TJMK is getting a reputation for cool, precise, painstaking, and illuminating examination of the evidence made available.  We have frequently wanned others not to jump the gun or to mischaracterize known evidence when so very much of it is not yet in the open.

      Just over two weeks ago, on 18 February, the Italian police discovered that in recent days intruders had broken their way into the girls’ apartment in the house on Via della Pergola.  The intruders had entered through the kitchen window to the north, opening onto the balcony.

      This strange happening sparked many concerned questions, especially in Italy. For example, was the break-in perhaps related to the crime of 1 November 2007 and the trial now underway?

      Nobody knows as yet. Police investigations continue. But it is just possible that it WAS related to the case. And if it was, there seem to be several possibilities as to why:

      1) Proof of easy access for burglars?

      The break-in could have been a demonstration of how a thief could very easily make his way into the cottage, similar to the notional “lone wolf” attacker that Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Bongiorno has been promoting as the real perpetrator of the crime.

      2) Proof of contamination of DNA evidence?

      If an undetected thief could have entered the cottage between 2 November 2007 and the date when the bra clasp with Raffaele’s DNA was collected in mid-December, that could be an explanation for the unlikely DNA contamination which the defence teams claim might have occurred.

      3) Modification or removal of remaining evidence?

      The break-in could have taken place with the object of modifying or removing some remaining evidence which the police have not yet collected, evidence which may soon become significant for example in the course of a confession by one of the defendants or Rudy Guede..

      4) A threat or message to the police?

      The fact that during the break-in some knives in the cottage were arranged in a suggestive manner, and one was placed on a police envelope (apparently brought in by the intruders and unrelated to the previous evidence gathering) might point towards the intruders making some threat to the police, or trying to send some message to them.  This possibility becomes a bit more significant when one considers that the break-in occurred just before the resumption of the trial, when the 12 police investigators who were involved in the crime-scene investigation were all just about to give their testimonies before the court.

      5) Unrelated possibilities to explain the break-in?

      Perhaps it really was some sort of satanic rite. Or a prank or a hoax. Or it might simply have been some itinerants getting in to spend a night out of the extreme cold.

      Defense spin has been attempted along most of these lines, to suggest that the prosecutors and crime scene investigators really did botch the investigation.

      The most outlandish of all claims was in the blog section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. That, because the perpetrators of this break-in quite easily got in through the KITCHEN window it proves they easily could have got in through a BEDROOM window. And this despite the facts that:

      These Powerpoints here set out to demonstrate that there is no possible parallel between this THEORETICAL break-in through Filomena’s bedroom and the ACTUAL break-in through the kitchen window.


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