Headsup: In “Talking To Strangers” Malcom Gladwell lied to his readers with an inaccurate and venomous attack on Italian justice that gives aid to the mafia. Below is the ninth of about a dozen posts providing the ACCURATE information Gladwell should have done. Series starts here.

Category: Raff Sollecito

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Summations: Sollecito’s Defense As His Home Town Media Outlet Described It

Posted by Tiziano


Giovinazzo Live is a media outlet in Raffael Sollecito’s home town just to the north of Bari in the south-east of Italy.

Below here is a translation of their report on Ms Bongiorno’s remarks yesterday. Ms Bongiorno, Raffael Sollecito, his father, and his sister are seen in the images above and below.

A Probing Address by Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer

By Gianluca Battista

There was a bit of everything in the defence address by Giulia Bongiorno, well-known criminologist, part of the defence team for Raffaele Sollecito, from Calmandrei to Socrates, and passing by Sergio Endrigo.

Yesterday before the court of the Assizes in Perugia, one of the most noted female lawyers in Italy took the stand in the first-stage trial which sees her client and Amanda Knox accused of the murder of the English student, Meredith Kercher.

“In this trial Raffaele Sollecito seems to be a silent “little attachment” of Amanda and one doesn’t really understand what use he is,” Bongiorno attacked. “In this trial nothing is made known about him.  His motive is not known.  Amanda is seen as the witch (sorceress), but Raffaele?”

“According to the lawyer for the information sciences engineer from Giovinazzo, who also quoted a song by Sergio Endrigo, the prosecution reconstruction is devoid of elements which are essential to support it.”

For the Sicilian lawyer, “(It is) a murder trial without a motive, a trial which leaves one stupefied.“The lawyer recalls that on the morning of November 2nd it was Rafaele Sollecito himself who alerted the Carabinieri.“It’s a surprising idea - Bongiorno said - that an assassin should call the Carabinieri and say: come and get me, I’m at the crime scene.  Raffaele called the Carabinieri and together with Amanda awaited their arrival sitting on the steps in front of the crime house.”

Then there were many references to the other co-accused of the crime, Amanda, depicted by many as a perverse spirit. But for Bongiorno “Amanda Knox is the “Amelie from Seattle, she looks at people with the eyes of a little girl, fizzing with energy and has a spontaneous and rash attitude to life.”

The defender of the young man from Giovinazzo thus recalled the protagonist of the film “The Fabulous World of Amelie” with whom her friends compared the American girl.  The same video which Knox and Sollecito claimed to have seen in the hours while Meredith Kercher was being killed.

Then an important reference to the statements made by Knox during the questioning at police headquarters, the same which led to the arrest of the innocent Patrick Lumumba.  “Amanda was denied the right of staying silent,” she stressed.

Bongiorno then recalled that Knox, at the time barely twenty, had just arrived in Italy, did not speak Italian and did not know the laws.“Does it seem so strange - she asked, referring to the police interrogations - that she fell into despair, put into statements things which were not true and then did not have the courage to change them?  You must decode Amanda.”

The lawyer then said that Knox has been described as a female “Jack the Ripper”.  “But to me - she commented - it is difficult to think of her in this way.  I see her in the way Amanda’s friends do, that is,  she looks at the world through Amelie’s eyes.”

As for the marking of Meredith’s bra with the prints of Raffaele, collected 46 days later by the investigators, Bongiorno has no doubts: “It should have been discarded from the outset,” she thundered.“Either the prosecution explains how it was moved - she added - or you must have the courage to consign it to the rubbish bin.  A just verdict could be contaminated by a fastener collected in this way.”





Monday, November 30, 2009

The Summations: Sollecito’s Lawyer Says Knox Was Not The Sort To Commit Murder

Posted by Peter Quennell


TGCom’s headline that Sollecitos lawyer claimed Knox was framing Sollecito is not born out by this longer report from Richard Own in The Times.

A lawyer for the defence today told the judge and jury Ms Knox was not “Amanda the Ripper” but more like Amelie, the wide-eyed innocent played by Audrey Tautou in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 hit film of the same name.

Giulia Bongiorno, defending Mr Sollecito, said “Throughout this trial I have heard Amanda described as someone who nursed a hatred, someone who was a maneater and someone who was a diabolical witch. But she is not Amanda the Ripper. She is a fragile and weak girl.”

She said Ms Knox, 22, was like “a little girl who looks at people and the world with child-like eyes, full of energy, spontaneous and imprudent ... If anything, she is similar to the character Amelie, the French girl in the film of the same name she was watching with Raffaele the night of the murder.”

Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito claim they spent the night of the murder at his flat, smoking cannabis. However Mr Sollecito has testified that he cannot remember if Ms Knox was with him all the time….

Ms Bongiorno, an incisive front-rank Italian lawyer, said that Mr Sollecito, 25, an information technology student, could not have taken part in the murder and sexual assault of Ms Kercher since it was he who had “raised the alarm and waited for the investigators on the doorstep of the house of the crime. Would a killer do that?’‘...

In an impassioned address Ms Bongiorno said that Mr Sollecito barely knew Ms Kercher, and did not know Guede at all. The prosecution had “failed to establish any link” between Mr Sollecito and Guede. “In this trial there are many doubts, but one certainty, that the two did not know each other at the time of the crime,’’ she said. “The only link between them is the charge sheet.’’ The prosecution reconstruction of the crime was “incomplete, with the essential part missing”.

Ms Bongiorno, who successfully defended Giulio Andreotti, the former Italian Prime Minister, against charges that he was linked to the Mafia, said a bloody footprint at the cottage was not Mr Sollecito’s, as the prosecution had claimed, but came from a shoe belonging to Guede.

She used quotations from Socrates to the late Italian singer-songwriter Sergio Endrigo to support her case that the prosecution had failed to prove Mr Sollecito’s guilt “beyond reasonable doubt”. She said that the prosecution had also failed to establish a motive for the crime….

On Saturday Mr Sollecito told the court that Ms Knox was “not manipulative or violent or diabolical, as she is made out to be. She does not have a dark side, she is a girl like many others”. Luca Maori, another lawyer defending Mr Sollecito, said that Guede’s DNA was “on Meredith’s sweatshirt, it’s on her handbag, it’s on her bra. Only one person carried out this crime and it was Guede.”

He said that the bespectacled Mr Sollecito, who comes from a well to do family at Bari in southern Italy, was “a calm, quiet and reserved young man” who when he met Ms Knox in Perugia as a 23-year-old student had had “little sexual experience”.



The Summations: Sollecito’s Lawyer Ms Bongiorno Makes It To Court To Sum Up

Posted by Tiziano


This report is translated from Corriere. It predates the report warned of just below on the claimed framing of Sollecito.

Back after an ailment linked to an inflamed appendix, Bongiorno has completely recovered….

Sollecito’s lawyer is claiming the possibility of the contamination of the DNA traces….  Also that the prosecutorial reconstruction “has the flavour of an unfinished opera with the essential part missing”. 

The lawyer also stressed that the proof of an acquaintance between the young man and Rudy Guede is lacking. Bongiorno said, “It is certain that the two did not know each other at the moment of the crime.  The only element linking them is the prosecutor’s charge.”

Referring to what she claims is the incompleteness of the prosecutor’s reconstruction, the lawyer quoted a verse from one of Sergio Endrico’s songs: “it was a such a pretty little house but it had no roof and no kitchen”. 

Bongiorno said, “Sollecito was close to graduating and was nurturing his own dreams when he stumbled over a footprint which tore them away from him.” Then she spoke about the bloody footprint from a shoe, found next to Kercher’s body and initially attributed to Sollecito, but then revealed as belonging to Guede.  “Raffaele - his defence lawyer underlined -  was fitted into the scene of the crime by that footprint and he went to prison because of that footprint.” 

Bongiorno then went on to speak of the morning when [Meredith’s] body was found, November 2nd, 2007.  “Sollecito gave the alarm and waited for the investigators on the step in front of the crime house.  Does it seem credible to you that a murderer would do this?” she said.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Summations: Lawyer Luca Maori Sums Up All Day Today In Sollecito’s Defense

Posted by Peter Quennell


This first report translated by Tiziano is from the news-service AGI.

The trial before the Court of the Assizes of Perugia of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, has resumed this morning at the Palazzo di Giustizia , with the address of one of the lawyers for Raffaele Sollecito, Luca Maori. The two accused are present in court.

“Defending an innocent person is always more difficult than defending a guilty one” lawyer Maori said “Raffaele has been described as the worst of young men, he has been insulted and wounded in his dearest affections.” Maori continued,

“Raffaele is the second victim in this event. He is twenty-three years old and he has spent two of these years in prison. They have wanted to tailor him “a suit of clothes” which does not belong to him, he has been described as a fellow addicted to drugs, porno films and the search for strong emotions. His past has been morbidly delved into and that of his family, as has the premature death of his mother.”

The lawyer continued, “There is one fact that must not be forgotten in this trial, and that is that there is already a guilty person: Rudy Hermann Guede, condemned to thirty years for the crime.” Lawyer Maori played in the court room the audio recording of a conversation via Skype between Rudy Hermann Guede, who was at that moment in Germany, and the friend of the Ivorian, who was speaking from an office in Perugia police headquarters.

Mr Maori included the hope that Sollecito’s other lawyer, Ms Giulia Bongiorno, who apparently has an appendix problem,  would be well enough on Monday to argue her part of the summing-up.

And this is from Ann Wise’s report for the ABC website.

Maori placed the responsibility for the crime squarely on Rudy Guede, and then spent six hours rebutting the evidence presented against Sollecito by the prosecution.

“We already have the guilty person,” Maori told the court, “and that is Rudy Guede. The DNA is his, as are the fingerprints, and the footprints,” Maori said.

Maori defended Sollecito’s character, saying he is a person friends describe as a “quiet, shy and romantic” young man. Sollecito “is the second victim in this affair,” Maori told the court.

Sollecito’s lawyer meticulously reviewed the evidence and witness testimony presented by the prosecution, including the two main pieces of evidence investigators say put him on the scene of the crime: his DNA on the victim’s bra hook and a bloody footprint police say is compatible with his foot.

He reiterated what was said repeatedly in the course of the trial: that the DNA on the bra is probably due to contaminated evidence, and the footprint, according to Maori, belongs to Guede.

Maori also introduced a new bit of evidence he says defense experts discovered: a biological substance visible on the pillow found in the victim’s room, which Maori’s experts believe to be semen. He said the substance was never tested by the forensic police.

“Why were the two spots visible on the pillow found under the victim not tested?” Maori asked when speaking to journalists outside the courtroom. “The crime against Kercher was sexual,” Maori added, “but no one tested those stains.”

In the course of the trial, investigators said no semen was found on the scene of the crime, though injuries to the victim, and the fact that she was found naked from the waist up, indicated she had been sexually assaulted.

Rudy Guede’s DNA was found on Kercher’s body.

And this is from Nick Pisa’s report on the Daily Telegraph website.

“Despite what has been claimed Sollecito is a calm, quiet and reserve young man. He was just 23 when arrested and he is now approaching his 26th birthday.

“He is the second victim in all this - someone has wanted to sew him a suit which just does not fit him. He is not as the prosecution say a man looking for a strong experience.

“He is a young man of little sexual experience and who had just met a young lady and was in the first week of their relationship.”


The Summations: Saturday Is Confirmed For The Start Of The Defence On Sollecito

Posted by Tiziano


Giiven the sorry state of his alibis we do look forward to this one. This below is translated from Perugia News.

Mauro Sedda “¢ 25th November, 2009 16:33

Saturday has been confirmed for the beginning of the Defence addresses for Raffaele Solleecito, accused together with Amanda Knox and Rudy Hermann Guede (condemned to thirty years in a fast-track trial) for the murder of the English student Meredith Kercher. The first lawyer to speak will be Luca Maori.

The lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, affected by symptoms of appendicitis with fever, has requested on the other hand that the President of the Court of the Assizes of Perugia list her appearance at a time later than Saturday. In fact, only on that day will Bongiorno know whether she will be in a condition to deliver her address on next Monday, as arranged, or whether it will be necessary to postpone it for a few days.

The verdict in the trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox is expected on December 4th and 5th

Posted by Tiziano on 11/28 at 08:59 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Massei defenseRaff SollecitoComments here (0)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Summations: The Defendants And Their Families In The Courtroom Today

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]




Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/27 at 04:30 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (6)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yet More Collateral Damage? Sollecito’s Sister Seems To Have Lost Her Police Job

Posted by Jools



[Above left: Vanessa Sollecito attends her brother’s trial on November 20]

This thing seems to roar on like a tsunami. The Sollecito family were already getting hit by the wave.

This below is a translation of an interview which Vanessa Sollecito and her father gave to Il Messagero during a break in the court proceedings last Friday.

Ex-Carabinieri-Lieutenant Vanessa seems to have been bugged while seeking a political favor for brother Raff.

*Raffaele’s sister discloses: “I have lost my job as carabiniere because of my surname.”

“I do not make statements about the characters in the sequence of the process, and also as an ex-officer of the Carabinieri, I remain in my heart a policewoman, and I stick to the facts,” says Vanessa Sollecito, Raffaele Sollecito’s sister, during a pause in the long and detailed indictment of Giuliano Mignini, to our questions on her reaction to the words of the magistrate.

Messagero: Why EX carabinieri, Lieutenant Vanessa Sollecito?

“The surname was inconvenient, I was told by the Force, and I was forcibly discharged.” She says bitterly.

Messagero: Only for having the same name as in one person on trial accused? Was it not enough to have a suspension pending developments or eventually a conviction as happened in cases apparently more severe with direct involvement by members of the Force?

“One of the complexities against me came from an intercepted wiretap in which I was talking to a politician who according to my superiors I was trying to entrust the fate of my brother Raffaele with in the proceedings. But it will be enough to listen carefully to the recordings, I only spoke about a member of his family that I had as a student, never, never about Raffaele.”

“We do not speak of interceptions,” said Dr. Francesco Sollecito inserting himself (during daughters questions by the journalist) and sitting next to his wife Mara who took notes on a little notepad during Mignini’s indictment.

Messagero: Uncomfortable topic, the interceptions, Dr. Sollecito?

“Four months of interceptions have been made public making of us a family from the underworld ready to do anything to save Raphael.”

Messagero: What you say of Mignini’s (indictment) intervention?

“The prosecutor has impressed and amazed me that artfully from everything that came out in the debating stage they take only and exclusively what suits them and revise some positions such as that of Kokomani considered unreliable by Judge Micheli’s preliminary hearing and today is the object of some revaluation.”

Messagero: Any other observations

“About the window of opportunity, what is there to say? Entire tirade of simulation were done by the “˜friendly lawyer from Maori’s office’ as defined by Mignini, I just wish the mister pm would listen to Rudy’s (computer) chat.

Messagero: How you think Raffaele is during the hearing?

“I have had no opportunity to speak to him then I don’t know if he calm, I guess he is anxious like all of us.”


Seems Sollecito Is Feeling Really Sorry - For Himself (So What’s New?)

Posted by Peter Quennell


Seems his main problem is the framing of Rudy Guede as lone-wolf perpetrator went south. Just at the very worst time, the pesky fellow had to get caught.

And Raffaele doesn’t like prison. Just a lower class of persons in there. And as for those nasty media - well, for their coverage of this case, they just never seem to catch a break.

A hint here, to Raffaele: try telling one single story that actually explains all. Dozens of things now catch you out. And if you did commit Meredith’s murder, please look Meredith’s family in the eyes and show how desperately sad and sorry you are.

Our poster Tiziano remarked when sending along this translation from Umbria Journal: “He’s talking… wait for it… what a little wimp”.

SOLLECITO TO MAGAZINE GENTE: WITHOUT MY FAMILY I WOULD BE BENEATH THE EARTH

“If it had not been for my family, I would have ended up buried.” This is what Raffaele Sollecito said to Gente, on the newsstands on November 23rd.

“The meaning of this story” the young man said to the weekly, which has provided a preview of the article “is in the fact that the investigators have formed a mistaken idea right from the start. If Rudy Guede had been arrested before I was, before Amanda and before Patrick Lumumba, they would never have known either me or Amanda or Patrick Lumumba.”

From prison, Sollecito says: “I am psychologically destroyed, demoralised, tired. If I did not have my family behind me you would have found me under the ground at this time.”

He added: “The media have described Amanda as a Venus, a woman capable of immediate, perverted conquests. It’s nothing like this. It’s a matter of naivety. She is a simple girl, attractive but absolutely normal. At times she is guilty of ingenuousness. But the thing which has upset me most is when they attacked my family. It’s not fair, they are doing nothing wrong or incorrect if they defend me.”

Gente then reveals that Sollecito goes into specifics about the trial. “I never met Guede” he adds “I saw him once at the court. And nothing of the footprints or shoe prints found, imprints of alleged genetic material, belongs to me; simply because on the morning of November 2nd I had shoes which are not Nike brand and I don’t walk around the house barefoot.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/23 at 04:39 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedRaff SollecitoSollecito teamComments here (6)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Summations: The Italian Press Is Now Reporting Life Sentences Are Requested

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Romana Oggi’s report in Italian. A translation:

Prosecutors Manuela Comodi and Giuliano Mignini at the end of their indictment before the Court of Assizes of Perugia requested a life sentence for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the two former lovers accused of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

The prosecution also asked for a period in isolation for Amanda Knox during the day for 9 months, and a period in isolation for Raffaele Sollecito during the day for 2 months.

The two defendants remained impassive to the request.

“This was a murder accompanied by sexual violence which was done for petty reasons against a girl 22 years old who was soon due to return to London for the birthday of her mother’’ Prosecutor Mignini said at the end of the indictment.

After he concluded, Amanda Knox stood up to make a brief statement spontaneously. “Meredith was my friend, and I did not hate her. The idea that I wanted revenge on a person who was always kind to me is absurd.”

“I never had any acquaintance or relationship with Rudy Guede. The things that were said in the past two days are pure fantasy. It is not the truth and not the reality of the situation.”

Meredith’s mother was far from well at the time, which was why Meredith was carrying two mobile phones (the two removed while she lay dying, presumably so she could not call for help) to be quite sure they could reach one another.

Meredith had been planning the trip home to London for weeks and was excited about it. It would have been her first trip home to see her family since she arrived in Perugia.

In June Meredith’s father John Kercher described how he found out Meredith would never come home. 

 


The Summations: AP’s Marta Falconi Is Reporting Life-In-Prison Request Is Expected

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Marta’s report as carried in today’s Guardian. Some excerpts:

Prosecutors on Saturday were expected to request life in prison for an American student and her former boyfriend accused of killing a young British woman in Italy….

In her closing remarks Saturday, prosecutor Manuela Comodi said evidence presented during the trial had shown that the defendants’ cell phones were switched off the night of the crime, making their whereabouts impossible to trace.

Comodi also recalled testimony by expert witnesses who said Sollecito’s computer had not been used during the hours Kercher was stabbed to death.

Prosecutors were expected to make the sentencing requests later Saturday. A verdict is expected in early December.

 


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Libero Is Reporting, If Guilty Verdict, Life-In-Prison Sentences A Possibility

Posted by Tiziano


Please click above for Libero’s analysis posted tonight on their website. A translation:

MEREDITH, A DECISIVE WEEK, FINAL VERDICTS EXPECTED.

It is a decisive week for the final verdicts for the murder of Meredith.

Indeed the appeal trial of Rudy Guede is listed for Wednesday, while on Friday the summing up by the prosecutors in the first stage trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, for whom the verdict is expected in the first days of December, will take place. 

The final judgment is very much anticipated, because it will decide whether the three accused are in fact responsible for Meredith’s murder. Their position is very grave no matter what, as the charges underline. 

In the meantime the lawyers for Guede, Biscotti and Gentile, have explained that their client will make a voluntary statement and that they will ask for the reopening of the investigative debate to allow for the carrying out of an expert investigation on the blood-stained towels with which Guede said he padded the fatal wound to the neck suffered by Meredith Kercher.

The two criminal lawyers thus intend to demonstrate that the Ivorian did indeed attempt to help the young woman who was knifed by someone else, while he - according to the accused’s own version - was in the bathroom.

Thus, while the Ivorian claims he is innocent, the GUP condemns him: “He actively participated in the aggression in the context of an extended sexual game, which was furthermore carried out resorting to strong-arm tactics, ending up in sexual violence and murder in the face of the persistent resistance of the victim”. 

This homicide, according to the judges, also saw the involvement of Rafffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

On Friday PM Manuela Comodi and PM Giuliano Mignini will delineate further the prosecution’s position, and it is not to be discounted that the decision will be life in prison.  About the beginning of December the court will resume for final sittings.

Posted by Tiziano on 11/18 at 06:03 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (5)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #5 Defendants’ Claims Shown To Be A Mass Of Contradictions

Posted by The Machine



[Above: Perugia’s central police station]

Preamble

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten 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, some transcripts made of the testimony and the mobile phone records of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

The first four posts were on the DNA evidence, the luminol-enhanced footprint evidence, and Raffaele Sollecito’s and Amanda Knox’s various conflicting alibis.

Now we look at the many contradictory statements of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito brought out by the prosecution.

The prosecution showed that not only are they contradicted by one another. They are contradicted by telephone and computer records, by closed-circuit TV footage, and by the corroborated testimony of several witnesses.

One question that Judge Massei and Judge Cristiana and the six members of the jury will now be asking themselves is: if Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent and had nothing to hide, why did they lie so repeatedly?

Knox’s and Sollecito’s lawyers have had the unenviable task of trying to explain all their contradictions away.

Sollecito’s lawyers have argued that he lied out of confusion and fear. Knox’s lawyers have argued that she dramatically changed her version of events because she was hit and mistreated by the police on 5 November 2007.  Neither of these claims stood up to close scrutiny.

And the prosecution made it overwhelmingly apparent to the judges and the jury that Knox and Sollecito each lied deliberately and repeatedly to various people even before they were suspects and even before Knox was questioned on 5 November.

It was made intensely obvious that Knox and Sollecito’s versions of what they did on 1 November had very little in common with each other, especially in that part of the evening when they both claim they couldn’t remember very much because they were suffering from cannabis-induced amnesia.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that shows that cannabis can cause such dramatic amnesia. Skunk cannabis can cause extreme psychotic episodes and murders have occurred as a result. Long term use of cannabis can affect short-term memory and users might have difficulty recalling a telephone number. But wipe out whole chunks of an evening from anyone’s memory banks? The proof simply isn’t there.

1-A) The afternoon of 1 November 2007 according to Raffaele Sollecito

Sollecito told investigators that Knox and he had left the cottage on Via della Pergola at 6.00pm and that they went for a walk downtown. They passed through Piazza Grimana, Piazza Morlacchi and the main fountain in Corso Vannucci.

1-B) The afternoon of 1 November 2007 according to Amanda Knox

Knox told investigators it was an hour earlier at 5.00pm and that they went straight to Sollecito’s apartment.

2-A) The evening of 1 November 2007 according to Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito first 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.

Sollecito said that he downloaded and watched the film Amelie during the night. However, computer expert Mr Trotta said that the film had actually been watched at around 6.30 pm.

On 5 November Sollecito told police that Knox went to meet friends at Le Chic at around 9pm and that she didn’t return until about 1am:

“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.”

Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11pm. Phone records show that there was no telephone conversation at this time. Sollecito’s father had called him a couple of hours earlier at 8.40pm.

Sollecito claimed that he was alone and surfing the Internet from 11pm to 1am. No technical evidence of this was introduced. computer specialists have testified that his computer was not used for an eight-hour period on the night of Meredith’s murder

The Kercher’s lawyer, Franco Maresca, pointed out that credible witnesses had really shattered all of Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder.

2-B) The evening of 1 November according to Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox told the police that she hadn’t replied to Diya Lumumba’s text message. The police knew full well that this wasn’t true because they already had her mobile phone records that proved that she had texted him.

“After that [finding out she wasn’t required at Le Chic] I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email.” But no internet activity at all was proven at Sollecito’s apartment beyond the early evening.

“One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time. In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.”

But Sollecito made no mention of taking a shower with Amanda Knox on the night of the murder.

In Amanda Knox’s handwritten note to the police she claimed that she and Sollecito ate around 11.00pm:

“One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening”

But Knox testified at the trial that she and Sollecito ate around 9.30pm.  “After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor.”

3) The early hours of 2 November

Both Knox and Sollecito claim that they woke up late on 2 November. However, their mobile phone records show the mobiles were turned on at approximately 6.02am. Sollecito also used his computer at 5.32am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night must have been “sleepless” to say the least.

4) The afternoon of 2 November

At 1208pm, Amanda Knox called Filomena and said she was worried about the front door being open and blood stains in the small bathroom. Knox claims that she made this call from Sollecito’s apartment.

However, in his prison diary, Raffaele describes the same conversation as taking place at the cottage.

Knox claimed that when she called Meredith’s Italian phone it “just kept ringing, no answer”.

Her mobile phone records show this call lasted just three seconds, and the call to the UK phone lasted just four seconds. (Meredith’s WeAnswer Call service, which prides itself on how quickly it answers its customers’ calls, boasts that their average speed-of-answer is 5.5 seconds. There were no messages left.)

At 12.34pm Amanda and Filomena again spoke on their phones. Filomena said, “We spoke to each other for the third time and she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

The prosecution introduced records to show that Knox and Sollecito didn’t actually call the police until 12.51pm.

In her email to friends in Seattle on 4 November, Amanda Knox says she called Meredith’s phones after speaking to Filomena. Knox’s mobile phone records prove that this was untrue.

In the email, Amanda also claims that she called Filomena back three quarters of an hour later ““ after Raffaele finished calling the police at 12:55pm. But cellphone records show that Knox never ever called Filomena back at all.

Sollecito and Knox both claimed they had called the police before the postal police had turned up at the cottage and were waiting for them. Sollecito later admitted that this was not true, and that he had lied because he had believed Amanda Knox’s version of what had happened.

He said he went outside “to see if I could climb up to Meredith’s window” but could not. “I tried to force the door but couldn’t, and at that point I decided to call my sister for advice because she is a Carabinieri officer. She told me to dial 112 (the Italian emergency number) but at that moment the postal police arrived.

He added: “In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” (The Times, 7 November, 2007).

The CCTV cameras in the car park record the arrival of the postal police at 12.25pm which corroborates Sollecito’s admission that he had spoken rubbish.

Knox’s email to friends in Seattle describes the decision to call the police as something implemented by herself and Sollecito, after she had tried to see through Meredith’s window, and after Raffaele had tried to break down Meredith’s door.

Knox’s mobile phone records show that she called her mother at 12:47pm, but she makes no mention of this call in her email. (This call was very extensively analysed by fellow poster Finn MacCool and he showed a fascinating progression in both Amanda’s and her mother’s recollection of that call.) 

Edda Mellas claims that she told Amanda to hang up and call the police ““ but Amanda made no mention of this advice from her mother in describing their decision to call the police.

Amanda Knox testified that she couldn’t even remember phoning her mother, which will be very difficult for the court to believe. Phoning her mother when it is well after midnight in Seattle to tell her mother that she thought somebody had broken into her home and that her housemate was missing seems an unlikely thing to forget.

Amanda Knox told the postal police that Meredith always kept her door locked. Filomena strongly disagreed with her, and told the postal police the opposite was true.

The prosecution also made it obvious to the court that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, like Rudy Guede, changed their stories to fit new facts as they became known:

When Sollecito was confronted with the mobile phone records on 5 November, he immediately admitted that they hadn’t called 112 before the postal police arrived.

After initially denying it, Knox readily admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed when she found out that Sollecito had stopped providing her with an alibi.

Despite this changing of their stories to take into account the latest known facts, Knox’s and Sollecito’s versions still contained numerous contradictions. Sollecito’s final alibi contains several apparent lies, and Amanda Knox accused Diya Lumumba of killing Meredith while making no mention of Rudy Guede. 

In Conclusion

The reasons Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers have given for them lying - namely false memories, confusion and fear ““ seem very unlikely to fly with the court.

Repeated evidence was introduced to show that Meredith’s other flatmates and friends all behaved radically differently, and told what were obvious truths that matched up repeatedly and resulted in not a single major contradiction. All were checked out in this careful fashion and then allowed to go on their way.

Only the defendants’ claims failed to coincide or match with everything else.

Again, and again, and again.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Trial: Defense Expert Tries To Claim Sollecito-Sized Footprint Is Guede’s

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the Daily Express’s full report. The relevant section:

A bloody footprint found at the house where a British student was killed in Italy was wrongly attributed to one of the defendants in the case, a forensic expert has testified at the murder trial.

The footprint was found on a bathroom rug in the house in Perugia where Meredith Kercher was killed in November 2007.

Prosecutors have attributed it to Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian who is on trial on murder charges with Amanda Knox, his girlfriend at the time. Both defendants deny wrongdoing.

In his testimony, expert Francesco Vinci compared detailed pictures of the footprint on the rug with images of Sollecito’s feet, arguing that the sizes and shapes “absolutely don’t match”.

“Differences, one by one, can be seen,” said Vinci, who is a witness for Sollecito’s defence.

According to Vinci, the footprint is “compatible” with the foot of a third man, Rudy Hermann Guede, who was convicted in a separate trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In effect then, the claim is that Guede was participating with bare feet in the cleanup of the crime scene some time after the death of Meredith - although precisely what he cleaned up is unclear, as strong evidence of his presence remains.

Like many of the defense’s attempts at rebuttals, this sounds to us like a tragedy that is now playing out as farce.

In one of his clinically precise powerpoints Kermit already refuted this claim

 


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


Friday, August 07, 2009

Where Sollecito, Knox And Guede Are Now, Sitting Out The Heatwave

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Knox is still at Capanne, Sollecito is back at Terni, and we believe Guede is still at Viterbo.

Knox is probably having the toughest time of it right now. Since it was opened several years ago, Capanne had never seen much more than half of the prisoner population it was built for.

Now it is suddenly full to capacity, as a large number of prisoners has just been moved in from over-crowded facilities elsewhere. In fact, it is possible that the women’s wing is full beyond its rated capacity. 

Sollecito was in the very modern solar-heated Terni for most of last year.  He was moved back to Capanne this year just before the trial, amidst his loud complaints that Capanne lacks the internet connections for his computer-science homework.

Sollecito has just received word that he failed the virtual-reality entrance exam that he took at Verona University last March. When he was being transported there in a police van for the exam, he was yelled at by an angry crowd when the van stopped at an autostrada rest-stop for what Americans call a bathroom break.

He was bundled back in, and the police van took off in a hurry. No bathroom break? That must have rattled his exam-taking composure, that is for sure. 

Guede is in the sex-offenders wing of Viterbo - all three were charged with a sex crime, and Guede was convicted of one. Sex-offenders’ wings have a heavy stigma over them for obvious reasons, but they can be quieter and less prone to violence than the main wings of prisons.

Being taught a trade seems a given in all Italian prisons so that when the perps re-enter society they can be employed fast and become useful.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/07 at 06:10 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (1)

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.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trial: ASCA Wraps Up For Final Day Before The Trial Breaks To 14 September

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for ASCA’s report in Italian. A quick translation of the main points:

Adriano Tagliabracci, a DNA consultant for the defense of Raffaele Sollecito, testified to the contamination and therefore the unreliability of one of the DNA finds that the prosecution considered particularly important.

According to the expert, the handling of the hook of Meredith’s bra where Sollecito’s DNA was claimed by prosecution experts to have been identified followed incorrect procedures, both in the collection and in the final analysis and interpretation. For this reason, the finding is not reliable.

The work of the forensic experts, moreover, in Tagliabracci’s opinion, was not in line with what is recommended by international bodies, starting with the long interval of time, 47 days, between the discovery of the bra hook on November 2, under the pillow which had supported the victim, and its collection for evidence on December 18 from under a mat.

In this period, three visits to the house were made by an unknown number of crime-scene processors who used many unspecified procedures which might have created a situation where the possibility of contamination was increased..

Given that the DNA of Sollecito was derived from epithelial cells, there is a firm possibility that, contrary to the claims by the police and Patrizia Stefanoni, the chief scientific expert for the prosecution, the DNA could have been placed on the bra hook during those visits.

The bra hook in question was made available in the courtroom today in a plastic evidence envelope.

An excellent prior analysis of this piece of evidence was posted by our DNA poster Nicki on 29 May here. Nicki, an expert in the field, was totally disbelieving that the DNA got on that hook by accident.

She concluded that Sollecito must have handled Meredith’s bra hook - and moreover, with a very firm grip.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Trial: Testimony Of Sollecito’s Childhod Friends From Giovinazzo

Posted by Peter Quennell


The defense DNA experts Carlo Torre and Gino Sara have been postponed into next week.

Testifying today instead were five friends of Sollecito’s. He was born in Giovinazzo on the flat and underpopulated south-eastern coast. Giovinazzo (images) is just north of Bari, where his father practices medicine.

Four childhood friends from there testified along with one who knew him in Perugia. Some translated excerpts:

Raffaele is a romantic, shy, kind, and always available, and honest with everyone…. The television described him as a womanizer, in fact he was shy and introverted. 

He typically carries a knife in his pocket. For him it was a decorative object to be matched to his clothes. He was once wrapped in toilet paper with a meat cleaver and photographed for a joke.

He occasionally smoked a joint, but was not a habitual consumer of hashish, and would not use other drugs. The joints had a sedative effect and made him want to sleep,

Concerning his first sexual intercourse, he had told one of his friends he had been with a girl from Brindisi who lived in Perugia in 2004 or 2005.

Sollecito then issued a correction. “It was actually in 2007” he said through his lawyer.

The civil lawyer for the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca, made it clear that he was skeptical of much of the testimony.

Perhaps with good reason. Sollecito wrote in his occasional newspaper column in Bari that he was a virgin when he met Amanda Knox.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Trial: The Defenses Continue To Pursue The “Rudy Did It Alone” Angle

Posted by Peter Quennell


Only the Italian media are reporting today’s happenings so far.

Click above for the first AGI report in Italian. Here is a quick translation.

The proceedings in the court began today with the testimony of two lawyers from Perugia, who stood firm in their claim that Rudy Guede stole a laptop and a mobile phone from their offices which were later seized by the police.

The two professionals explained that the theft happened overnight between 13 and 14 October 2007 when an unknown person entered the law firm premises after having broken a glass window with a rock.

The lawyer Paul Brocchi described the entrance window, located about three to four meters above the ground, as ‘‘not easy to enter’’ and he said that the alarm usually switched on in the evenings was not activated.

On that occasion, among other things stolen were a laptop computer and a mobile phone seized by police on October 27 when Rudy Guede was caught sleeping in a nursery school in Milan.

Mr Brocchi also testified that on 29 October 2007, hew saw a “boy of color” later recognized as Guede from the newspapers presenting himself on the news as being a stranger to these facts, and stating that he had purchased the computer on a regular basis at the train station in Milan.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/26 at 06:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (9)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Powerpoints #14: The Telling Case Of The Doctored Footprint

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

At a guess maybe half of the defense-campaign resources have gone into public relations. Money well spent? We rather doubt it. P-R and legal watchers of the case we consider impartial have noted three problems with the campaign:

  • It seems to be addressed to the wrong country, and the only one, Italy, that really matters, now seems totally lost.
  • It seems to have started with a very raw-knuckle message which was bound to polarize, and only got harder ever since.
  • It doesn’t seem to be particularly competent with the evidence, taking potshots, but never really shaking the whole.

And this unprecedented campaign may have buoyed Amanda Knox herself into taking the stand, where neither her demeanor nor her claims seem to have done her any good (see here and here).

This Powerpoint analyzes a new claim on the FOA campaign website about a key piece of evidence (footprint evidence against Sollecito, not against Knox) which seems straight out of cloud-cuckoo land.

The size of the footprint had been doctored to make a footprint that is clearly the same size and shape as Sollecito’s NOT into Guede’s as intended - but into Knox’s!

Hmmm. An unusual way to help Knox, that is for sure!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Trial: Dr Sollecito Testifies About The Human Qualities Of His Son

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click image above for the first brief report from the Associated Press.

The father of an Italian man accused of killing a British student in Italy says his son was never violent and would not “hurt a fly”...

Francesco Sollecito told the court Friday that his son is not violent. He said his son liked to carry “small knives” in his pockets, a habit he picked up when he was younger.

This testimony is of less interest, perhaps, in the UK and the US than the Knox-Mellas testimony coming up. But Italy is following this with some fascination.

Why the interest?

Well, in part because Dr Sollecito and several of his family might come under indictment for interfering with the case.

Added: A quick translation of the testimony from TGCOM

He spoke of “gross errors that are causing his son to be in prison… [He] referred in particular to a shoe imprint attributed initially to his son but then found to be a Rudy Guede print.

“We were always convinced as to the absolute innocence and total strangeness of the allegations against Raffaele. We have been in compliance with the law, to find any way to help him.”

[he] referred to a dossier prepared to show that the scene of the crime was amended by the forensic teams between the first and second visit.

Some images, such as those of the victim’s body were then distributed by Telenorba and that possible illegal action is being investigated by the prosecutor of Perugia for breach of privacy and abetting.

Raffaele pampered Amanda Knox like a baby…. According to the Pugliese doctor “there was a nice story” between the two ex-lovers. “Raffaele talked with Amanda as he had never done with other girls.”

And Nick Pisa reports further in the Evening Standard:

Mr Sollecito, from Giovinazzo near Bari, told the court: “Raffaele told me he had just started a beautiful love story with Amanda. He loved her and he adored her.

“He spoke to me about her in a way that he had never done about other girls. Raffaele had a certain affection towards Amanda.”

Mr Sollecito also told the court that his son had a habit of carrying knives. When he was arrested in connection with the murder a flick-knife was found in his pocket.

He said: “It’s a habit he has had since childhood. He grew up in the country and he always carried a knife. He is not violent, he would not hurt a fly. I had told him not carry a knife around.”

The knife found on Sollecito is not the murder weapon.

Instead, a 30cm kitchen knife found at his house with DNA from Meredith on the blade and DNA from Knox on the handle is said to be compatible with the wounds to her neck.

Mr Sollecito is himself under investigation for leaking material relevant to the investigation to journalists in Bari and defended his actions in court.

He said: “To me and my family it is obvious that some very big mistakes have been made and my son is innocent. He has spent nearly two years in jail for something he did not do.

“Everything I did was in complete respect of the law. Once I saw the film of the scene from the first search after the murder and the subsequent one in December it was clear that mistakes had been made.”

Mr Sollecito also said he knew his son had taken drugs in the past, adding that he had received a letter from police in Giovinazzo advising him about his son’s drug habit.

 


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Letters Between The Women’s And Men’s Wings In Capanne

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Nick Pisa’s report on Knox’s letters to RS on Sky News.

Still, there is conjecture now that Sollecito may (again) just have to cut loose and go his own way on a defense.

It is hard to see how Friday and Saturday really helped him. His people read the same media we do.

Amanda Knox has opened her heart in a series of letters to her co-accused and former boyfriend about prison life and their ongoing murder trial.

The American student, 21, is accused of the brutal sex murder of her British housemate Meredith Kercher, also 21.

In one of the letters to Raffaele Sollecito, 25, she writes a poem in Italian to him called Ho Una Sola Vita (I Have Only One Life).

On February 13, 2009, Knox wrote: “It was good to see you again today.

“We got to exchange a few more glances than usual, though I have to admit, I’m not good at reading the subtle messages that one passes through the features of the face, nor can I read lips.

“I know what kind of girl am I?!? Those things are supposed to be my first (underlined) language.

“So, long story short, I must admit that I didn’t pick up exactly word for word what you may have wanted to transmit my way.”

In another letter to Sollecito, a day later on February 14, Knox also writes about life in her cell at Perugia’s Capanne jail:

She asked him: “Are you alone in your cell?

“The thing about women’s prison is there about 70 of us altogether at the maximum and we all live on the same floor, so all of us are mixed together regardless of the length or type of conviction.

“For instance in my very own cell I’m living with a drug addict, a thief and an accomplice to murder… if I have to get down to their crimes they are here for.”

In another letter to Sollecito on February 18 she writes of their relationship and says: “I try not to think about “what ifs” at all but these aren’t sad at all for me to think about.

“We could have really had something special, it’s true.

“Although we still had (and still have) much to learn about each other, we clicked, we made each other happy, we were open to each other.

“We still have an opportunity to click. I’m still here for you.

“I know it doesn’t seem like enough because you want where we were headed before the whole world suddenly threw us into an experience we don’t deserve and we were cut off from each other.”

She added: “This whole experience is frustrating and I understand how you feel like I know you understand me.”

Knox closed the letter by writing: “You know what would be wonderful?

“Do you think they would let us hug each other when the judge absolves us? I’m tired of not being allowed to look at you.

“I hope this letter doesn’t hurt you because all of your letters give me a sense of peace. Thank you, I’m here to hold your hand.

“Your friend Amanda. Let it Be! Here Comes the Sun.”


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Newsweek’s Reporter Cam: Knox And Sollecito Arrive And Depart In The Same Van

Posted by Peter Quennell

The two defendants gere depart from the court in the van to Capanne Prison together last Friday.

No report on whether they are allowed to talk. The start button of this interesting video is on the left, and the sound button is on the right

There appears to be no way to full-screen it. Sky News has Newsweek trumped on that feature.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/09 at 04:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (0)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Powerpoints #12: Telling Evidence Against Sollecito The Experts Seem To Have Got Absolutely Right

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

Previously in the Powerpoint series we presented visually some of the evidence that helped Judge Micheli to conclude that there was more than one perpetrator.

During most of the court sessions in May 2009, Lorenzo Rinaldi and Patrizia Stefanoni and their formidable evidence-processing teams from Rome added a lot to what we know about the forensic evidence found in the house.

Many of the images and diagrams they used appeared in the media, particularly the Italian media. It is now possible to examine even more closely what the evidence suggests about the perpetrators.

Sollecito has tough evidence against him in a number of dimensions. Added now to the woes of his defense team is the analysis of a bloody footprint that was found on a bathmat in the bathroom of Meredith and Amanda Knox.

The Powerpoint title refers to a barren tree. This reference is explained in the conclusion of the presentation. In essence, it refers to a marked tendency of perpetrators to NOT add enough incidental detail to their stories to be really convincing.

Sollecito has so far come up with many barren trees - minimalist stories in which none of them have enough incidental detail to convincingly explain evidence like this.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Trial: Sky News Reports On The Tense Arrivals At The Courtroom

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the story by an unnamed reporter.

The headline is slightly misleading - the Kerchers have not yet testified - but Sky News’s take on the moods is a good one.

With Italian sympathies for Meredith and her family now so strong, Sollecito in particular seems to be feeling the pressure.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/05 at 04:52 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (0)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Damage That Is Now Flowing From A Needlessly Hard-Line PR Campaign

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Andrea Vogt’s extraordinary report in today’s online Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Added: Also, in case it scrolls away, this valuable take is copied here.

Police are investigating complaints from a Seattle woman who says she was intimidated and threatened online because of comments she made about the Amanda Knox case.

The unredacted Seattle Police Department report, obtained by seattlepi.com, names a primary suspect and quotes the woman as saying that that the suspect “is engaging in tactics meant to intimidate,” along with “the tacit consent” of Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas. The report names Mellas, but he is not a suspect.

According to the report, the tactics include “veiled threats” and attempts to disable a Web site dedicated to the criminal case in Perugia, Italy.

The development marks an escalation in a ferocious “blog war” that has been brewing for more than a year as Knox faced a murder charge, then went on trial. The blog war has recently become particularly vicious and personal in Knox’s hometown of Seattle.

The battle in the blogosphere has divided the online community into two factions: those who question Knox’s innocence, and those who do not. In Italy, the media have dubbed them “innocentisti and colpevolisti,” or “the innocents and the guilties.”

Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are currently standing trial in Perugia for the slaying of Meredith Kercher. Kercher, a college student from England, was studying in Italy, as was Knox, a University of Washington student. The two shared an apartment.

Seattle police Sgt. Mark Worstman has confirmed that an investigation into cyber-harassment is still open and cautioned those who are concerned for their security to consider avoiding online debates and community forums where aggressive behavior is being allowed.

When seattlepi.com interviewed him, Mellas denied any involvement and said he is not connected to and does not know the person named in the complaint. In fact, he said he and his family also have been harassed online.

“I have not approved or disapproved because I don’t have any part to play in it,” said Mellas, who is a computer-network manager at Bellevue-based real estate development company.

“There’s a bunch of idiots on both sides of this whole silly blogworld. It has degenerated beyond belief, and frankly an article that is going to highlight this is only going to make it worse. But I don’t really care, because I don’t pay attention to it,” Mellas said.

Seattlepi.com is not naming the suspect because he has not been charged with any crime. He did not respond to seattlepi.com efforts to reach him by phone or by the e-mail addresses listed in the police report.

West Seattle resident and professional translator Peggy Ganong, who moderates the discussion site Perugia Murder File under the online name “Skeptical Bystander,” complained to police two months ago, saying she was being harassed for her involvement and for comments she has posted on sites that question Knox’s innocence.

“I am supposed to somehow get behind the home team. It is as simple as that,” said Ganong, who lives just a few blocks from the Mellas and Knox families. “But I had ongoing doubts, I continued to express that opinion, and that’s when I became a target. But the fact that it has spilled over into real life, well there’s something scary and terribly wrong about it.” The sites that question Knox’s innocence and defend court proceedings in Perugia are Perugia Murder File, a discussion board co-moderated by Ganong, and True Justice for Meredith Kercher, founded last September by New Jersey financier Peter Quennell.

“The True Justice site was created because Kercher had become so intensely forgotten, as the huge and well-funded effort gathered speed to paint Knox as the ‘real’ victim,” Quennell said. Quennell said more than 20,000 people have visited his site.

A number of individual bloggers also write about the case. There are two main blogs in defense of Knox. One is Italian Woman at the Table, a seattlepi.com reader blog by Seattle freelance writer Candace Dempsey. Dempsey’s blog was initially about cooking but added true crime to its menu as the debate picked up steam.

Dempsey was one of the first U.S. bloggers to post key court documents. She is now writing a book on the case. The other defense site is Perugia Shock, the first blog about the case, which started Nov. 2, 2007. Perugia Shock’s comment threads are home to some of the most heated Knox-related exchanges online.

Perugia Shock is hosted on a California server and financed by an American firm, according to the Perugia-based blogger who covers the case and operates the site under the alias “Frank Sfarzo” (a stage name, real name Sforza).

While fans say his blog poses alternative theories rarely discussed in the mainstream media, critics say his minimalist moderation results in an out-of-control comment section where posters “out” those who wish to remain anonymous, track their ISP addresses to reveal their physical locations, pose as people they are not—someone posted as Kercher, the victim, once—and make threatening posts about each other, as well as about the major players in the case, including Knox, her family, journalists, lawyers and prosecutors.

“Sometimes I briefly let my guard down, but I try to cancel when the comments are offensive or if people request it,” he told seattlepi.com.

While Italian Woman at the Table and Perugia Murder File require registration to post, Perugia Shock allows anonymous postings. There, people who leave anonymous comments have launched threats and accusations that cut both ways. A number of women associated with this case have been attacked online, not only for their opinions, but also for real or imagined physical traits.

Ganong and Seattle trial lawyer Anne Bremner have been targeted with a particular zeal, although Bremner said the positive feedback she has received has far outweighed the catty remarks. Ganong chalks it up to the fact that they are both outspoken, albeit on different levels. Bremner has appeared regularly on national television as a legal analyst for high-profile cases such as Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson and Mary Letourneau. On this case, she has been a vocal supporter of Knox, posted a letter on Perugia Shock and often represents the ad hoc Friends of Amanda group in media appearances.

“I am not a public personality,” Ganong said, “but I do somehow represent the other side—this whole other class of people in Seattle who are not on the bandwagon and are not buying the ‘railroad job from hell”’ argument that Knox is being wrongly prosecuted. Ganong told seattlepi.com that it wasn’t just months of targeted, rude remarks that pushed her to file the report. She finally went to police after posters published her husband’s first and last name, the approximate location of their home, information about their family life, as well as shopping and personal habits, much of which had been gleaned from public-records searches, Facebook and other online portals.

Before filing the report, she repeatedly requested that the profane comments and posting of personal information stop. Her exasperated husband, a Seattle accountant, even met Mellas for a beer in a Seattle tavern to talk face-to-face about various messages that had been posted.

But Mellas said he had no control over the blogosphere and actually had much bigger things to worry about.

“I told him I have nothing to do with it. I said proceed with whatever it is you are doing, find out who it is and at that point you’ll know I am not doing anything, and it is not coming from my network either, as far as I know,” said Mellas, who helps manage a network with more than 400 computer users. “Granted, I don’t sit around all day and audit all the network traffic.”

“Those people are not going to get the answer until they get the authorities involved and get some logged ISPs and find out where it is really coming from. I hope that when they do that they make that known.”

It is not the first time Mellas’ name has surfaced in a blogging controversy, however.

Before Perugia Murder File existed in its current form, it was moderated as a message board called The True Crime Weblog Message Board by one of the nation’s foremost true crime bloggers, Steve Huff. Huff now blogs professionally for the Village Voice Media’s True Crime Report. At one point the posts became so aggressive that Huff decided to do something he rarely does—post the IP address of the person commenting. The IP traced to a block of IP addresses managed by Mellas, and Huff took him to task publicly, claiming he had written or authorized the comments himself. Mellas, however, says that his work as a network manager overseeing an IP gateway means several hundred people are using computers (and IP addresses) that are linked to his name. He said someone could easily be impersonating him, pretending he or she is associated with him or writing messages without his knowledge, since several hundred people could access the Internet using the block of IP addresses he manages. An Internet Protocol address is an identifying number assigned to computers participating in an internet network.

Huff said one of the intimidating private messages accusing him of slander was sent to him via the contact form by “Mr. Anonymous,” who claimed to own the e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The contact form captured the IP address of the sender and was traced to a block of Internet Protocol addresses managed by Mellas, Huff said. While the message could have from anyone within his large network, Huff said he believes it was sent or approved by Mellas.

A similar address, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), which is cited in the police report, was also used to send two vulgar messages to a Newsweek reporter covering the case in Perugia. The message, sent from a Blackberry device, ended with the postscript, “You sound like you were abused as a child.”

According to Ganong, the threats online and to her own personal inbox are originating from the same Hotmail and Gmail addresses.

Another Seattle area couple, Kathleen and Randy Jackson, are also considering filing police reports. Both post under aliases on the Perugia Murder File site and have been criticized for attending a recent fund-raiser for Knox. Jackson, who said she is a former victim of sexual assault, said she went to the event because she felt Kercher’s memory was being overlooked in the effort to raise money for Knox.

“It had been announced everywhere as this high-profile fund-raiser, so I wanted to go where this big news was happening and show a different side of Seattle, because I grew up there, and I was embarrassed,” Kathleen Jackson said.

But after the couple did an interview on a local Seattle television station covering the event, the negative attention grew fiercer, but oddly, just toward Kathleen, who posts on Perugia Murder File as “Professor Snape.” Randy, an educational technology professional at the University of Washington who posts as “Fly By Night,” is just as active on the forum. “Both Kathleen and I talked to the reporter, but only she’s been called out,” Randy Jackson said. “These individuals seem to more frequently target women.”

Kathleen Jackson said using an anonymous online identity allowed her to express her strong views on the case. But when other anonymous posters began speculating about where she lived and worked, she began having second thoughts.

“Now that they want to find out who we are and tell the whole world, well, why do they want to do that?” she said. “I think they are trying to intimidate us to stop posting.” Supporters of Knox also have been targeted. Participants at Italian Woman at the Table spar, but controversial comments are often resolved briskly with Dempsey’s delete key. Until she began requiring commenters to register, she says, she received chilling death threats from anonymous posters certain of Knox’s guilt. Posters have inaccurately described her credentials, said Dempsey, and “outed” personal information about her family.

After seeking advice from local police, she implemented behind-the-scenes safety measures, but has not filed a formal report. Dempsey warned that those who blog using their real name should expect to have their privacy violated on the “no-rules Internet.” “Anybody who writes about a murder case will attract angry posters who are sure they know who did it,” she said.

That is exactly what happened to Huff, who decided it wasn’t an online community he wanted to court. “I’ve been a little shocked—but not that shocked—all along at the way the Knox/Kercher case has broken down to something more akin to a pitched political argument than a debate about a terrible, violent crime and the possible guilt of one of the accused,” Huff told seattlepi.com in an e-mail. He’s been particularly surprised by the network newsmagazines’ “pro-active efforts” to smear the prosecutor while painting Knox as “some innocent pixie college girl.” “There’s some larger statement afoot in that about American views and our culture of looks over authenticity, in my opinion,” Huff said. Huff said his opinion about guilt or innocence in the case is still flexible—he can see both sides and thinks the case could go either way, but the vicious online harassment—present from the onset but particularly intense just prior to the start of the trial—prompted him to dial back his participation.

“It was so pervasive and distasteful to me that as a blogger and now as a journalist I’ve all but washed my hands of covering the case,” Huff said.

A number of individual bloggers also write about the case. There are two main blogs in defense of Knox. One is Italian Woman at the Table, a seattlepi.com reader blog by Seattle freelance writer Candace Dempsey. Dempsey’s blog was initially about cooking but added true crime to its menu as the debate picked up steam.

Dempsey was one of the first U.S. bloggers to post key court documents. She is now writing a book on the case. The other defense site is Perugia Shock, the first blog about the case, which started Nov. 2, 2007. Perugia Shock’s comment threads are home to some of the most heated Knox-related exchanges online.

Perugia Shock is hosted on a California server and financed by an American firm, according to the Perugia-based blogger who covers the case and operates the site under the alias “Frank Sfarzo.”

While fans say his blog poses alternative theories rarely discussed in the mainstream media, critics say his minimalist moderation results in an out-of-control comment section where posters “out” those who wish to remain anonymous, track their ISP addresses to reveal their physical locations, pose as people they are not—someone posted as Kercher, the victim, once—and make threatening posts about each other, as well as about the major players in the case, including Knox, her family, journalists, lawyers and prosecutors.

“Sometimes I briefly let my guard down, but I try to cancel when the comments are offensive or if people request it,” he told seattlepi.com.

While Italian Woman at the Table and Perugia Murder File require registration to post, Perugia Shock allows anonymous postings. There, people who leave anonymous comments have launched threats and accusations that cut both ways. A number of women associated with this case have been attacked online, not only for their opinions, but also for real or imagined physical traits.

Ganong and Seattle trial lawyer Anne Bremner have been targeted with a particular zeal, although Bremner said the positive feedback she has received has far outweighed the catty remarks. Ganong chalks it up to the fact that they are both outspoken, albeit on different levels. Bremner has appeared regularly on national television as a legal analyst for high-profile cases such as Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson and Mary Letourneau. On this case, she has been a vocal supporter of Knox, posted a letter on Perugia Shock and often represents the ad hoc Friends of Amanda group in media appearances.

“I am not a public personality,” Ganong said, “but I do somehow represent the other side—this whole other class of people in Seattle who are not on the bandwagon and are not buying the ‘railroad job from hell”’ argument that Knox is being wrongly prosecuted. Ganong told seattlepi.com that it wasn’t just months of targeted, rude remarks that pushed her to file the report. She finally went to police after posters published her husband’s first and last name, the approximate location of their home, information about their family life, as well as shopping and personal habits, much of which had been gleaned from public-records searches, Facebook and other online portals.

Before filing the report, she repeatedly requested that the profane comments and posting of personal information stop. Her exasperated husband, a Seattle accountant, even met Mellas for a beer in a Seattle tavern to talk face-to-face about various messages that had been posted.

But Mellas said he had no control over the blogosphere and actually had much bigger things to worry about.

“I told him I have nothing to do with it. I said proceed with whatever it is you are doing, find out who it is and at that point you’ll know I am not doing anything, and it is not coming from my network either, as far as I know,” said Mellas, who helps manage a network with more than 400 computer users. “Granted, I don’t sit around all day and audit all the network traffic.”

“Those people are not going to get the answer until they get the authorities involved and get some logged ISPs and find out where it is really coming from. I hope that when they do that they make that known.”

It is not the first time Mellas’ name has surfaced in a blogging controversy, however.

Before Perugia Murder File existed in its current form, it was moderated as a message board called The True Crime Weblog Message Board by one of the nation’s foremost true crime bloggers, Steve Huff. Huff now blogs professionally for the Village Voice Media’s True Crime Report. At one point the posts became so aggressive that Huff decided to do something he rarely does—post the IP address of the person commenting. The IP traced to a block of IP addresses managed by Mellas, and Huff took him to task publicly, claiming he had written or authorized the comments himself. Mellas, however, says that his work as a network manager overseeing an IP gateway means several hundred people are using computers (and IP addresses) that are linked to his name. He said someone could easily be impersonating him, pretending he or she is associated with him or writing messages without his knowledge, since several hundred people could access the Internet using the block of IP addresses he manages. An Internet Protocol address is an identifying number assigned to computers participating in an internet network.

Huff said one of the intimidating private messages accusing him of slander was sent to him via the contact form by “Mr. Anonymous,” who claimed to own the e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The contact form captured the IP address of the sender and was traced to a block of Internet Protocol addresses managed by Mellas, Huff said. While the message could have from anyone within his large network, Huff said he believes it was sent or approved by Mellas.

A similar address, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), which is cited in the police report, was also used to send two vulgar messages to a Newsweek reporter covering the case in Perugia. The message, sent from a Blackberry device, ended with the postscript, “You sound like you were abused as a child.”

According to Ganong, the threats online and to her own personal inbox are originating from the same Hotmail and Gmail addresses.

Another Seattle area couple, Kathleen and Randy Jackson, are also considering filing police reports. Both post under aliases on the Perugia Murder File site and have been criticized for attending a recent fund-raiser for Knox. Jackson, who said she is a former victim of sexual assault, said she went to the event because she felt Kercher’s memory was being overlooked in the effort to raise money for Knox.

“It had been announced everywhere as this high-profile fund-raiser, so I wanted to go where this big news was happening and show a different side of Seattle, because I grew up there, and I was embarrassed,” Kathleen Jackson said.

But after the couple did an interview on a local Seattle television station covering the event, the negative attention grew fiercer, but oddly, just toward Kathleen, who posts on Perugia Murder File as “Professor Snape.” Randy, an educational technology professional at the University of Washington who posts as “Fly By Night,” is just as active on the forum. “Both Kathleen and I talked to the reporter, but only she’s been called out,” Randy Jackson said. “These individuals seem to more frequently target women.”

Kathleen Jackson said using an anonymous online identity allowed her to express her strong views on the case. But when other anonymous posters began speculating about where she lived and worked, she began having second thoughts.

“Now that they want to find out who we are and tell the whole world, well, why do they want to do that?” she said. “I think they are trying to intimidate us to stop posting.” Supporters of Knox also have been targeted. Participants at Italian Woman at the Table spar, but controversial comments are often resolved briskly with Dempsey’s delete key. Until she began requiring commenters to register, she says, she received chilling death threats from anonymous posters certain of Knox’s guilt. Posters have inaccurately described her credentials, said Dempsey, and “outed” personal information about her family.

After seeking advice from local police, she implemented behind-the-scenes safety measures, but has not filed a formal report. Dempsey warned that those who blog using their real name should expect to have their privacy violated on the “no-rules Internet.” “Anybody who writes about a murder case will attract angry posters who are sure they know who did it,” she said.

That is exactly what happened to Huff, who decided it wasn’t an online community he wanted to court. “I’ve been a little shocked—but not that shocked—all along at the way the Knox/Kercher case has broken down to something more akin to a pitched political argument than a debate about a terrible, violent crime and the possible guilt of one of the accused,” Huff told seattlepi.com in an e-mail. He’s been particularly surprised by the network newsmagazines’ “pro-active efforts” to smear the prosecutor while painting Knox as “some innocent pixie college girl.” “There’s some larger statement afoot in that about American views and our culture of looks over authenticity, in my opinion,” Huff said. Huff said his opinion about guilt or innocence in the case is still flexible—he can see both sides and thinks the case could go either way, but the vicious online harassment—present from the onset but particularly intense just prior to the start of the trial—prompted him to dial back his participation.

“It was so pervasive and distasteful to me that as a blogger and now as a journalist I’ve all but washed my hands of covering the case,” Huff said.


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Two Defendants Arrive In Court This Morning

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]


Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/22 at 03:29 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff SollecitoComments here (0)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Puzzle Of The Cell Phones: Was Rudy Doomed From The Start?

Posted by Arnold_Layne


Current thinking is that about a year after the three were arrested, Rudy Guede’s team decided to request a fast-track trial because his team thought Knox and Sollecito might craft a defense that made Guede appear more guilty. 

After he was convicted, defense supporters of course seized upon his conviction as the basis for the “lone wolf theory”.  It is possible, however, that Guede’s defense team was more correct all along than they might have realized - that he really was being set up.

What did Knox and Sollecito actually have planned?  Admittedly Sollecito had his knife fetish, and Knox’s sexuality was, well, you know.  But since none had committed any violent crimes in the past, it is unlikely that they planned to commit one quite so significant as a murder at this point. 

Contrary to what I had previously thought, Mignini may also be correct in his game theory.  Their plan might have been to coerce Meredith into having sex with someone.  If they couldn’t “talk her into it” they planned on intimidating her with the very large knife they brought along.

There is an inconsistency in the various scenarios that have been put forth.  In one scenario, all three came to the cottage intending to physically harm Meredith, and that is why they brought the knife and turned their cell phones off.  This doesn’t really make much sense because, for a murder, or even an assault with a knife, it was incredibly poorly planned. 

Additionally, and more importantly, none of these people had a criminal past and so it is unlikely they would plan on committing quite such a horrible crime.

Another scenario, which is along Mignini’s lines, is that the three planned to use the knife only to intimidate Meredith into doing what they wanted ““ which was to get involved in a sex act with Guede by coercing and threatening her.  This activity could be considered a sex game. 

If the terrifying trio had planned on going to see Meredith merely to play a game, then why did Sollecito and Knox turn their cell phones off?

They must have realized that there was a possibility that what they were setting out to do could end poorly.  If Meredith went along with what they planned, all would be okay.  Hopefully, she’d be a good sport when it was over.  If this is how it played out, there would have been no need to turn their cell phones off. 

But on the other hand, if she wasn’t a good sport, and called the police, they would be able to move to Plan B: blame Rudy, and deny that they were even there.  Turning their cell phones off fits with this outcome.

What this all suggests is that Rudy Guede really might have been set up. 

He clearly would have left evidence of a sexual attack; but the two others, not so much.  In fact, they may have planned to set Rudy up before they even asked him to participate.  Their plan right from the start might have been to bring in a third person to take the fall if things didn’t go well.

So Sollecito and Knox might have planned a plausible sequence of events as an alibi in which Guede would be the only perp and they could be at Sollecito’s smoking hash and watching Internet movies. 

So they needed someone who the police could easily accuse of the crime, and Rudy Guede filled the bill.

Why did they turn their cell phones off if they were only going to play a game?  I think they had already planned to get a bit more serious, and to implicate Guede as the perp.


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?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words

Posted by The Machine

[click for larger image]

When the prosecutors present the forensic evidence, the defence lawyers will do their level best to try and muddy the waters, by claiming that much of the damning forensic evidence is due to contamination.

Well, good luck with that one. There is a FAR greater danger for them lurking…

We have already described in among other places here and here how Amanda Knox has boxed herself in with her own words.

Raffaele Sollecito has done precisely the same. Sollecito has also said things that are demonstrably untrue, and they now seriously haunt him and his team.

There is no question that Raffaele Sollecito has deliberately and repeatedly lied. He even himself admitted that he told the police “un sacco di cazzate” (a load of rubbish), and the judges at the Italian Supreme Court noted that he had lied and was reluctant to cooperate.

False claim one. Raffaele Sollecito first 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 would have been obviously a tad difficult for Sollecito to find any witnesses who had attended an imaginary party to provide him and Knox with an alibi. This alibi was predictably abandoned very quickly.

False claim two. Sollecito then claimed that he was his apartment with Amanda Knox.

This alibi is flatly contradicted by a silent witness: forensic evidence. According to the scientific police, there are six separate pieces of forensic evidence, including an abundant amount of his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, that place him in the cottage on Via della Pergola on the night of the murder.

False claim three. Sollecito then came up with a third alibi. He claimed that he was alone at his apartment and that Knox had gone out from 9pm to 1am.

Phone records and computer records dont support him being at home at that time. Nor does the eye-witness who claims to have seen him in the park. Nor do the forensics in the house.

Both Sollecito and Knox gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they doing on the night of the murder. These weren’t small inconsistencies but huge whopping lies.

False claims four and five. Sollecito and Knox told the postal police that he had called the police before the postal police had turned up at the cottage and were waiting for them.

Sollecito himself later admitted that this was not true and that he had lied because he had believed Amanda Knox’s version of what had happened.  He said he went outside

... “to see if I could climb up to Meredith’s window” but could not. “I tried to force the door but couldn’t, and at that point I decided to call my sister for advice because she is a Carabinieri officer. She told me to dial 112 (the Italian emergency number) but at that moment the postal police arrived”.

He added: “In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” (The Times, 7 November, 2007).

False claim six. Knox and Sollecito said they couldn’t remember most of what happened on the night of the murder, because they had smoked cannabis.

It is medically impossible for cannabis to cause such dramatic amnesia and there are no studies that have ever demonstrated that this is possible.

Long term use of cannabis may affect short-term memory, which means that users might have difficulty recalling a telephone number. But it won’t wipe out whole chunks of an evening from their memory banks.

False claim seven. Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11pm.

Phone records show that there was no telephone conversation at this time. Sollecito’s father had called him a couple of hours earlier at 8.40pm.

False claim eight. Sollecito claimed that he was surfing the Internet from 11pm to 1am.

The Kercher’s lawyer, Franco Maresca, pointed out that credible witnesses had shattered Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder. Sollecito still maintained he was home that night, working on his computer.

But computer specialists have testified that his computer was not used for an eight-hour period on the night of Meredith’s murder

False claim nine. Sollecito claimed that he had slept until 10pm the next day.

However, he used his computer at 5.32am and turned on his mobile phone at 6.02am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night was “sleepless” to say the least.

False claim ten. When Sollecito heard that the scientific police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment, he told a cock and bull story 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.’‘

But Meredith had never ever been to Sollecito’s apartment. Sollecito could not have accidentally pricked her hand whilst cooking.

It’s highly telling that Sollecito wasn’t surprised that the forensic police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment. He obviously knew Meredith’s DNA was on the blade, which is why he made up the cock and bull story.

He was attempting to explain the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, but in doing so, he further incriminated himself and Amanda Knox.

Manuela Comodi, the deputy prosecutor, explained during the hearings that the prosecution had not called either Knox or Sollecito as witnesses “because there is no point. Every time they were questioned during the pre-trial investigation they lied or tried to derail the inquiry.”

Judge Paolo Micheli, who presided over Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial and sent Knox and Sollecito to trial, didn’t believe many of their claims. He noted that they had given multiple alibis and had lied in attempt to cover for each other.

Sollecito’s lawyers claim that he lied out of confusion and fear. However, Sollecito lied from the very first time he spoke to the police long before he and Knox were suspects. His lies cannot be attributed to confusion and fear.

Like Amanda, he has boxed himself in.


Page 6 of 7 pages ‹ First  < 4 5 6 7 >