Monday, September 12, 2011

As We Long Predicted Knox Will Not Face Cross Examination When It Really Matters

Posted by Peter Quennell


Majority opinion in Perugia has long inclined to the view that the right perps were convicted back in December 2009.

It is very hard to see the six jury members (the lay judges) bucking that trend without being given a great deal more red meat for them to convince their friends and neighbors (and for that matter most of Italy) than they have now.

And Judge Hellman has a reputation similar to Judge Massei’s for making sure all the bases are covered and for not arriving at trial or appeal outcomes based on a few outlying contradictory “facts” or a mere whim. He too has been given very little that is new.

Putting Knox and Sollecito on the stand now would seem the last best shot at taking care of that.

But there is no sign that either defense team has been eager to see their clients speak out at any time, and Knox was even publicly warned early on not to do so.

The teams quite possibly winced now and then (along with many others) at Knox’s performances in past spontaneous declarations and in her stint on the stand in July 2009 which did not really go over at all well.

See here and here and here.

Kermit in this December 2010 post explained the risks Knox would face on the stand. Kermit helpfully included 150 cross-examination questions to drive home the stark point.

So. Knox and Sollecito. Trapped by poor legal and PR strategy between the devil and the deep blue sea.




Comments

Her spontaneous declaration smacks of desperation, to be honest. What can she possibly say or do that can make a difference now?

Aside from throwing Raffaele under the bus of course.

Posted by Ergon on 09/12/11 at 05:12 PM | #

Hi Ergon
      Given Julia Bongioro’s desire for public office I predict that if anynoe is thrown under the bus it will be Knox herself.

Ever optimistic I feel sure the jury will get it right, then expect the Seattle Dogs of War will be released and the nastiness we have come to expect will get far worse.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/12/11 at 06:17 PM | #

A “spontaneous declaration” announced two weeks or so in advance is hardly spontaneous, needless to say. (Don’t worry, I understand the legal meaning of the term.) Somehow I think whatever she says will be more carefully crafted and better performed than previous statements by her. (What else PR firms for?) That said, short of confessing or throwing Sollecito to the wolves, what can she say to sway the court?

Posted by P. Mela on 09/12/11 at 07:25 PM | #

Ergon, it’s her finalee - she has to heighten the drama, a few tears, some apologies and of course I’ll bet there will be a big thank you to the judges for listening to her! A deceptive thanks to the prosecution will no doubt be in there somewhere and probably she will say she hopes they see the - in other words “her” truth now 😉

Posted by Giselle on 09/12/11 at 08:55 PM | #

I wonder if we can do a guessing game and see who comes up with the closest to knox’s next ‘spontaneous statement’....

Posted by Giselle on 09/12/11 at 08:59 PM | #

Now I’m confused because an Italian article referred to by Peter does have Amanda’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, promising a spontaneous (or perhaps better voluntary) statement by Amanda before the judges in closed session.

But okay then: no cross-examination.  Yet as Giselle has posted earlier, one of Italy’s top forensic biologists, “retired Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano, has already said, “The knife is a weak element . . . they could argue it should be thrown out because the amount of DNA does not meet international forensic standards.”

That would certainly give Amanda a footing for her attempt to dismiss the murder weapon. Not to suggest misleadingly that Garofano thinks there isn’t enough other evidence to convict because he certainly does. So if Amanda refuses to be cross-examined & settles for a closed-door statement to the judge & jury, well… it would imply that the Knox people perfectly well understand how incriminating the other evidence might prove under serious examination.
(Quotes above from Giselle’s post of 12/07/10.)

I join others here in seeing Amanda’s public statements as performances. She has believed seriously in the value of her own performance, so to say, in creating the truth she affirms.

Could be that even Curt Knox’s recent statements expressing such confidence of acquittal are privately aiming only for a reduction in Amanda’s sentence.  Which perhaps we might expect.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/13/11 at 12:56 AM | #

If Amanda’s sentence is reduced to say - 16 years, does that mean with good behaviour she could serve only 8 or 9, and as she’s already done almost 4 then be out in 4 to 5 years?  Please tell me this won’t happen.

Posted by Spencer on 09/13/11 at 01:30 AM | #

In all of the uproar about the double-DNA knife, Sollecito’s statement about his supposedly pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking for her rarely gets mentioned.  Was his statement to the police, the media or his family?  Is his statement part of the official record?  If so, I find it particularly damning because it shows that he knows full well that Meredith’s DNA is on the knife because he participated in her brutal murder.  Low copy number or not, Sollecito’s acknowledgement that Meredith’s DNA is on the knife is worth more than the defense and/or “expert” testimony to the contrary. This is just one of hundreds of pieces of evidence that helped convict Sollecito and Knox. (Out of respect for Meredith, I never write the two murderers’ first names as it sounds too familiar.) If the jury carefully looks at all of the evidence, they will uphold the convictions.

Posted by Sailor on 09/13/11 at 07:37 AM | #

Does no one here think they might be freed? Isn’t it about time you put some balance on the site and actually reported what has been happening?
All the evidence and all the information that has come to light in the appeal has weighed HEAVILY in favour of the defence. It doesnt matter if you ignore it but thats how its panned out. The independent experts are exactly that, independent.  Its no use saying they are on the PR payroll just because you dont like what they have done. There is no evidence for that. If you have some please post it. The experts have DESTROYED the 2 main pieces of forensic evidence.  The knife (that does not match imprint on bed, is too big to have caused all of the wounds to Meredith, and was in the wrong house with no explanation) was not “cleaned with bleach” it contained starch.  There is no trace of DNA on it, none in the handle and none in the present starch which would have absorbed any blood.  Not even mentioning Amandas DNA on the handle (or was it?) which in any case is only evidence that she touched a knife in a drawer in a house she was staying in and preparing food in.

The Brap clasp was shown to not only not have RS profile (incorrectly attributed alleles), but that there were numerous recovered allelles providing multiple profiles. The experts said RS’s DNA is not there but many others peoples are.  This is after the Scientific Police scoured the house for evidence but missed the single piece they later claimed was key (not the untested semen stain which of course, why would that need to be tested?), rather THE ONLY LINK OF RS TO THE SCENE which was missed out of hundreds of exhibits but refound months later after there was no evidence of RS at the scene.
This is not to mention the rubbishing of Stefanonis methods.  You can criticise the experts report all you like but its hard to overlook storing evidence from a high profile murder in the victims own freezer as an example!  Storage methods hopefully are not covered by her labs accreditation given the state of the bra clasp now.  Missing data, withheld data, imagined data, “trust me I tell you I did it so I did it” aside, Stefanoni came across as an A* student.  Or maybe just an A to be fair to her testimony.

I am sorry I have written all this and not made any mention of your favourite demoness Amanda.  The same Amanda that said to Raffaele in the middle of a frantic clean-up…

AK: “no leave that footprint on the mat… just clean all of those other bloody ones”
RS: “but Amanda my darling my love my eternal angel eyes I think this one is mine not Rudy’s”
AK: “dont worry I’ll tell them its Rudys and they will believe me as everyone does what I tell them, now leave it be boy”
AK: “ok now we have to make it look like Rudy did it remember… we’ve cleaned the blood and DNA that is ours using the INDIVIDUALS’ FORENSIC REMOVAL KIT from Ebay we luckily bought in advance, and left his.  Now how can we make it look even more like him other than his DNA inside Meredith, his prints in her blood inside her room, his DNA on her purse and his footprint (RS: but amanda its my..) SHUT UP his footprint on the mat.  OK lets stage a break-in.  I dont really know Rudy other than in a rape and murder capacity but hes got the look of a burglar if ever i saw one.  I think from his personality he must use a rock to break in to places so lets use that method as I’m sure it will turn up hes done that sort of thing before. Remember to make it look authentic, throw it hard so the rock and glass bounce back a far enough distance so it doesnt look like we did it from here where i’m dripping mixed blood.  Of course we could have just left the door open or the window open, but I’m sure this is a low risk and good idea. CRASH.  Good boy”

All this talk of other evidence, but evidence of what?  Murder?  Please anyone provide a walkthrough of exactly what happened that night!  Why did he run.  Was there no discussion about what to do.  Its not like they left in a hurry despite what the ear witnesses say.  Rudys own testimony is that he was washing off blood for some time and using towels to hold her neck together.  What was the discussion between the three at this time?  “We’ll take care of this Rudy… you go party… you can trust us”… now lets frame the fool for no apparent reason, no point trying to hide or dump the body, he obviously wont tell police what really happened he’ll just accept it and let us off the hook.  Now lets frame the black guy… DOH wrong one!

Speaking of the wrong black guy, Patrik got rather lucky not to be sued like Amanda when he said quote “They hit me over the head and yelled ‘dirty black’... “I was questioned by five men and women, some of whom punched and kicked me,” he claims. “They forced me on my knees against the wall and said I should be in America where I would be given the electric chair for my crime. All they kept saying was, ‘You did it, you did it.’

This is nearly as far fetched as Luceferinas “I was slapped on the back of the head when i made a mitake”.  As if Police would treat her in such a way. Clearly she is lying like the innocent man is.  Police Hit Me quickly became “i fired amanda” although that little game never got off the ground.  I dont think anyone noticed that this was one of many suggested motivations/evidences planted by police into the media… the text amanda received was her getting fired so she murdered Meredith who was going to take her job?

Anyway back to the appeal.  Does anyone honestly think the chances of success are 1-2%?  Never mind my crazy ramblings what about the appeal hearings?  Is it really going to be that easy to dismiss the FIRST & ONLY INDEPENDENT SCIENTISTS to make comment on the case?  I for one do not think so but I guess we will find out soon enough.

Posted by niktendo on 09/13/11 at 07:53 AM | #

@ niktendo
Other more-experienced posters will probably rebut your statement tomorrow, but I can tell you why I still believe Knox and Sollecito will lose their appeal:  They have no alibi. Sollecito says Knox told him to lie and say she was with him all night. Sollecito’s bare footprint was found in the apartment.  Knox’s blood was found mixed with Meredith’s blood in several places, including Filomena’s room. The original jury found the break in to be staged because of the height of the window, the position of the shutters, the position of the glass, etc.  If the break in was staged, Knox is the only person to benefit from it. Knox wrote a statement saying she was at the apartment, in the kitchen when she heard Patrik attacking Meredith.  This statement was written after the initial interrogation, away from the intensity of a room full of police.  This statement was allowed to stand by the Supreme Court.  Knox also made statements about the position of the body and Meredith’s screams that only someone who was at the crime scene during the murder would have known. As has been stated many times before, Knox chose to let Patrik remain in jail even though she knew he had nothing to do with the murder.  Would an innocent person do this? Niktendo: the reason you feel the appeal has gone in Knox’s favor is that the hearings have dwelt only on two pieces of evidence and the independent report.  All of the other damning evidence against Knox and Sollecito has not been argued by either side.  Even though some people said the appeal would be like a whole new trial, the appeal has actually had a very narrow focus.  The defense has done nothing to counter the weight of the other evidence in the case.  The jury can consider all of the evidence from the first trial and Guede’s trials.  The defense will have a chance to make a closing argument, but how can a closing argument wipe out the evidence presented and argued at a trial that lasted many months?

Posted by Sailor on 09/13/11 at 09:09 AM | #

One has to stick with basics.  What is Amanda Knox’s present status?  She is a convicted murderer now seeking to overturn her verdict.

As to the question whether she can win her appeal, it remains in question. Myself, I believe that the knife is the murder weapon as shown by tests which were done with scrupulous care, but even so, as a basis for conviction the knife is not crucial.

What’s crucial is the totality of the evidence, including Amanda’s own behaviors & many contradictions. Not the least piece of evidence against her came out of her own mouth when she accused an innocent black man of the murder while fully aware that she was lying.

Among the Ten Commandments, one of them states:
Thou shalt not kill.
And another:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/13/11 at 09:35 AM | #

@niktendo
      I’m sorry, but reading your post it appears as though you have bought into (at least in part) some of the hysteria eminating from Seattle. It’s all very well to zero in on some elements of the evidence, which by the way I agree with you on, that there is a tenuous link (some DNA questions concerning the knife etc:)

In every case there is an element of mistake or misinterpretation of the evidence, but zeroing in on a small portion of it does not negate the rest of the evidence. Let me be clear. When you say “What Evidence?” this sounds very like some posters on Ground Report. The simple truth is that the Italian Court of Appeal will decide this case upon the totality of the evidence not just a small part, (which of course the DFO has been pushing for from day one.) In spite of the seriousness of this case I have to admit that some of the arguments for outright dismissal or innocence are laughable.

There is no way on ‘Gods Green Earth’ that all of the evidence implicating Knox and Sollecito is wrong. If you really want to figure this out then get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. At the top on one side write innocent and the other write guilty then write down everything that has been presented to the court from day one and it still comes out as guilty no matter what you do.

You suggest the “Ear Witness” OK but combine all the other witnesses together and they alone make a damning declaration in this case. You can’t deny that the break-in was staged, even the defense has failed to do so, as they have failed with much more as well. In fact you will find if you get into this case in any detail that they have not even questioned much of the evidence at all but excepted it on face value. They have not challenged this because they know they can’t.

Point is all Knox and Sollecito can hope for is a reduced sentance and I personaly would not hold my breath concerning that that is going to happen.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/13/11 at 01:44 PM | #

Niktendo,

Thank you for summarising the FAO case for us and posting it here.  I will attempt a response though I will have neither the time or space to deal with everything. In fact I am unlikely to get beyond your first two paragraphs.

“Does no one here think they might be freed?”  I think we all grasp the concept that anything might be possible. That said, although I cannot speak for everybody, I am sure the likelihood is that most people here think it is very unlikely that they will be acquitted.

“Isn’t it about time you put some balance on the site..?”  Well, we are not the BBC. This sort of thing is not written into our charter. I do recall however, on joining this forum, that I was required to commit myself to an objective in depth examination of the evidence which, as a standard, I have endeavoured to uphold since. To turn the tables, isn’t it about time that FAO , JREF and Injustice in Perugia and the media generally had some balance? But I get the point. What I can say is that you will find more balance here and on PMF than anywhere else, but I guess that is just my point of view.

Your post is, of course, just your point of view and one can see straight away that it reflects your bias in your selection of topic, lack of attention to detail, and your avoidance of common sense and logic.

How can you say that “all the evidence and information that has come to light in the appeal has weighed HEAVILY in favour of the defence”? Is this comment to be applied to the evidence of Alessi and Aviello, and to the evidence of Rudy Guede? Was Curatolo’s evidence seriously undermined by his re-examination?  I think you choose to be selective and apply your bias as you wish.

As to the Independent Experts I am not suggesting that they are on the PR payroll. No one has any evidence for that. But if you have been following the well -researched posts here and on PMF (and in particular by Fly by Night) you will have noted that there is considerable scepticism as to the balance which they have brought to their report. I think justifiably. The fact that they are the appointed independent experts does not mean that their opinions and conclusions are untouchable. They are not the final arbiters. That is the business of the court which listened to the cross-examination of the independent experts, and the rebuttal evidence of Stefanoni and professor Novelli (little of which was effectively reported, though what was reported certainly impressed me).

So I don’t see how you can say that the IEs have destroyed the two main pieces of forensic evidence. For a start –

1. You are again by choice selective. A main piece of evidence (which of course you ignore) are the mixed blood traces in the corridor and Filomena’s bedroom, AK’s footprints in Meredith’s blood in the corridor,  the mixed DNA/blood in the small bathroom, and AK’s spilt blood on the sink faucet. I can give you a very detailed narrative for that evidence if you want.

2. You are merely re-iterating the talking points of the FOA and paying little attention to the detail of the verbal testimony as reported. Even the IEs accept that the sample from the blade of the knife produced a match with Meredith’s DNA profile. Their objection to this fact is that, in their opinion, the match is unreliable because a) the sample could not, in their opinion, be retested b) the cell count was too low for it to be held to be reliable, and c) it could be due to contamination.

Their opinions ignore two fundamental developments. First DNA reading machines have moved on from 2007 (they are now capable of reading lower cell counts than were the case here) but nevertheless they chose, contrary to their instructions, not to even attempt a retest with these newer machines . Secondly, non-retestable LCN DNA evidence is acceptable in many countries, and in particular in Europe, particularly in the UK (just in case this be an “anglo saxons versus the rest” debate), and yet the IEs did not, as they were specifically asked to do, take that into account. What does this do for their credibility in the eyes of the court? Finally on the contamination point the IEs have accepted that if, as the forensic police records show, the DNA testing did not take place until six weeks after any previous testing of a Meredith sample, then it is highly unlikely to impossible that contamination took place in the lab.

3. As to the bra clasp, there were indeed mixed profiles and it seems that it does become a matter of interpretation taking into account allelles, stutters and the like. I am no expert on this and would willingly accede to the opinion of the IEs were it not for the fact that they appear to be in a minority on the question of interpretation. Furthermore I understand that whilst that they, like Tagliabracci, have raised doubts they have not been able to rule out Sollecito’s DNA profile being there.

On the question of contamination the IEs appear to be rather dogmatic about standard international protocols when in fact there appear to be none. Furthermore some of their examples of possible breaches of, shall I say common sense protocols, look a bit silly on their part. The torn and/or dirty glove, for instance. Neither does it appear that they have advanced anything but theoretical possibilities for contamination, and the fact that of the several hundred samples from the cottage that were analysed, there was only one, a mixed sample from a cigarette butt containing AK’s and Sollecito’s DNA, does not immediately suggest a likely source of contamination.

We will just have to wait and see. In any event the DNA evidence, all of it, is circumstantial evidence, which on a sliding scale can range from feeble to robust. The question for me is whether the prosecution’s DNA evidence for the knife and the bra clasp can be excluded as circumstantial evidence, and if not (and I don’t think it can be) where this evidence comes to lie on the sliding scale.

There is also all the other circumstantial evidence to weigh into the same sliding scale when determining whether (overall) the evidence matches the standard to determine guilt or innocence.

Much of this, as always, is a matter of common sense. Logic and common sense do not feature much in FAO deliberations, witness your remarks that “the knife does not match the imprint on the bed” (and what if it does not?), “is too big to have caused all the wounds to Meredith” (OK, so what do you deduce from that?)“and was in the wrong house with no explanation”. WTF. And of course you avoid altogether the unavoidable fact of the staged break in, the clean up, the lies, deceptions, the implauibilities, the false accusation by AK, the changing of alibis,, etc etc and the logical conclusion to be derived from this. You can be sure that the court will not be doing that.

Posted by James Raper on 09/13/11 at 04:09 PM | #

Hi Niktendo,

Diya Lumumba has repeatedly denied making the comments you have attributed to him in the Italian media. In other words, he has never claimed that he was hit by the police.

Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti are not the first independent experts to comment on the case. Luciano Garofano has analysed the DNA evidence and commented on it in Darkness Descending.

It should also be pointed out that the DNA experts who testified on behalf of the prosecution at the trial did not blindly confirm the prosecution’s suspicions. Diya Lumumba was released from prison thanks to the work of Dr. Stefanoni’s and her team.

Posted by The Machine on 09/13/11 at 06:01 PM | #

One of the FOA sites http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=215085&page=130 that makes a big thing about sending commenters over to TJMK and PMF is talking about “niktendo”, so welcome to him.

I do wonder why he’s here though. Is there some sort of a “debate” that he’s hoping to “win”?

Posted by Ergon on 09/13/11 at 06:14 PM | #

@niktendo

I see that you have been sucked into the media spin. I myself fell for the shallow reports when I stopped following the case closely. If you are genuinely interested dig a liitle deeper and forget your FOA scenario.

As Graham pointed out and James touched on, there was a staged break in. surely you do not believe there was a genuine intruder and lone wolf (guede)?
Even if this is your belief I am sorry to break the news but the supreme court has accepted there was a ‘staged’ break in and there was more than one attacker. No matter what your personal opinion when you are thinking about the likely outcome of this case, you must base your decision on these two facts and move from there. This is of course if you are making an educated guess on the outcome of this appeal.

Posted by Giselle on 09/13/11 at 06:52 PM | #

Hi Giselle,

The panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court also specifically named Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as the other murderers.

Posted by The Machine on 09/13/11 at 07:06 PM | #

Hi Machine,

Thanks for that addition. I was in two minds about posting this, since the naming of AK and RS was - would I be right to say - tentative?

Posted by Giselle on 09/13/11 at 07:42 PM | #

It is indicative of the hysteria eminating from such ill advised blogs as ‘Ground Report’ that obviously the inmates have taken over the asylum.
I just read the latest attempt from someone called Denver which claims that Knox is a prisoner of war and quite frankly I’m speechless. I often wonder what they could possibly hope to achieve.

Also there is a piece by Steve Moore who, in his second paragraph, lists his resume. Strange that someone with so many qualifications is currently unemployed. It also begs the question given his age, as to why is he no longer in the employ of the FBI never mind his job as security guard at Pepperdine University. It really is a mystery Also it indicates just how shrill and desperate these people have become. Ah well time goes forward.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/13/11 at 08:06 PM | #

Hi Giselle,

There is nothing tentative about a panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court stating they believe Knox, Sollecito and Guede killed Meredith. Andrea Vogt described it as a serious legal setback:

“The family and supporters of the jailed Seattle student Amanda Knox suffered a serious legal setback yesterday when the murder conviction of the third suspect in the killing of Knox’s flatmate Meredith Kercher was upheld by a high court in Rome.”

“Under Italian law, all documentation from Guede’s various hearings can now be introduced into the appeal trial of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, which reconvenes in Perugia tomorrow. The problem for Knox and Sollecito is that Guede’s trial documents will include the judges’ reasons for convicting Guede and denying his appeals: namely, that they believe all three – Guede, Knox and Sollecito - killed Meredith together.”

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/72922,people,news,setback-for-amanda-knox-as-guede-loses-final-appeal

Incidentally, it’s the second time that a panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court has agreed that Knox and Sollecito were involved in Meredith’s muder.

Posted by The Machine on 09/13/11 at 08:43 PM | #

last point from me.
I think that Knox being exempt from cross examination will not go unnoticed by the jury. It would seem that the defense has to make the best of a difficult situation. Given her rambling conversation which, if you read the last time, makes little sense then putting Knox on the stand and opening her up to cross would be a disaster so letting her ramble on with what will obviously be a well rehearsed speech is the lesser of two evils. Best of luck with that one since it will not sway the jury even with any emotion that is exhibited, or as my lawyer used to say. “The jury
is against you. try to cry out of one eye if you can.”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/14/11 at 01:17 AM | #

Sailor,
Going back to your point about the knife, I agree, the knife not only shows us the forensics, but with the whole ‘prick on Meredith’s finger’ scenario RS shows us he knows it was used in the murder - ergo he must have participated in it. I don’t know why more wasn’t made of it at the time, or if anything can be made of it still, but I’d like to add one more to your list of items (concerning the knife) that perhaps ‘more could have been made of’. 

And that’s the simple fact that the knife belonged to RS, and came from his flat, so shows clear evidence of premeditation. They brought the knife from his flat to use on Meredith. So it was planned, at least to that extent.  If they hadn’t planned it they would have used ones to hand at the cottage at the time. As they had knives already on them for this purpose then to my mind this proves premeditation.

Posted by Spencer on 09/14/11 at 01:50 AM | #

I agree Spencer, which is why Judge’s conclusion that events occured without planning or premediation always puzzled me.

Posted by Lola on 09/14/11 at 02:00 AM | #

@niktendo:

It’s said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, so I too will accomodate you.

This is what really happened that night.

Meredith came home that ill-fated night alone and naturally was hungry. So she commended to prepare dinner. She slipped and on landing landed on the knive slitting her throat. She then went to Amanda’s room and got her table lamp to get a closer look at her cuts. She went into her room and placed the lamp in the corner of her room.

Rudy knocked at the door. M opened the door with blood freely flowing from her neck. Rudy asked ‘what happened to you babe? Do you want some sex?”

M replied ‘Yes, actually I do. But let me first get undressed, ok? Oh, rudy, will you please cut my bra clasp off and do you happen to have a tiny bit of Raffaele’s DNA?”

‘Off course I do, but only a sminchin’ Rudy relied. ‘Oh, i also have his shoe print too and that of Amanda’s’.

‘Great! This is going to be some night.’ replied M.

By this time the scene was very messy so M decided that this would be a good time as any to do some washing. So she got her bloodied clothes and put them in the washing machine for a number 5 wash and rinse.

Understandably, M was getting light headed and went into her room. She feared the worst. So she went into the bathroom looking for headache tablets managing to spill only 3 samples of blood.

Rudy said that it would be fun to now introduce some of Amanda’s blood and DNA. M could only agree.

At this point R said that he needed a good crap, so he availed himself to the toilet. R was now really feeling good and had only one thing on his mind. So much so, that he completely forgot to clean himsel and flush the toilet: fully understandable under the circumstances.

M was in the bedroom and was getting a little concerned about her bleeding. By now, Rudy had returned and pointed out to M that Filomena’s room had been ransacked.

‘Rudy, don’t worry about that, it always happens here’ retorted M.

‘Actually, rudy do you mind if we do this another time? I have a micrane that you wouldn’t believe” said M.

‘Ok” said Rudy and gently placed M’s head on a pillow. ‘You sure you don’t want to get you an ambulance?”

‘No, sweetie, I’ll be ok? But, can you do me a favour Rudy? asked M.

‘Will you please get both my mobile phones and throw them away, please? And, can you lock me in from the outside as you go? and oh ... please leave the forn door ajar” pleaded M.

‘Of course I will’ replied Rudy.

Next morning at about [9.00, 10.00, 10.30,10.45, 11.00, 11.30, 11.45, 12.00 - the reader is free to choose] Amanda and Raffaele arrive. They see the door open. They cautiously go inside and see blood in the the bathroom, the toilet hasn’t been flused, Filomena’s room has been ransacked and M’s room is locked.

‘Hmmmmm’ says A. This is unusual mio amore. Should we call the police?

‘Si, bella. It is a good idea.’ replied R.

So R rang the police telling them that there appeared to be a ‘break-in’ but that nothing had been stolen.

‘Where is Meredith?’ asked R.

‘Dunno’ replied A ‘let’s call her’.

A proceed to call M on her mobile phones. Unfortunately, M could not hear the phone ringing as R had disposed of the phones.

‘Non capisco’ said A ’ i’m calling M on her mobile and after 3 seconds it rings out. Very strange’

‘Amore mio, I’m going to have a shower now.’ said A.

‘in the blood and stench?’ retorted R.

‘So what?’ replied A.

A few moments later the Postal Communication police arrive at the door. They have retrieved M’s mobiles and want to question M.

‘We don’t know where she is’ stated A ‘I got here with my amore and we found the door ajar, blood in the bathroom, Filomena’s room ransacked and someone’s poo-poo in the toliet. Apart from that everything is normal. Oh, M’s room is locked.’

to be continued .....

Posted by Zoff on 09/14/11 at 03:30 AM | #

Zoff, that piece of writing actually reminds me of AK’s style of writing her short stories :-! It makes me think whether AK thought police would come up with a certain story line and to help them she tweaked the evidence slightly to guide her story along….naturally when they didn’t follow her plot she was flustered - specially since RS made a few last minute changes which really looked bad on her!

Machine, I was under the impression that the supreme court had agreed there was more than one attacker and only named AK and RS tentatively - for the court to have confirmed their guilt would be out of it’s jurisdiction since the appeal is not yet over….am I misunderstanding?

Posted by Giselle on 09/14/11 at 04:03 AM | #

******** ANOTHER SCENARIO********
Hello!

I am from Puerto Rico (Caribbean), we are a US territory, so we have a similar system here. As US, we have a lot of criminals that are free because their lawyers were effective creating enough doubt in the jurors mind. Most of the times jurors are ordinary people which barely knows about law. I am amazed with Italia System as you stated before: a semi professional one. (Sorry for my wording, my first language is Spanish).

Which is the opinion of a Hispanic person as me? I can be more objective that many people, because I am not an American neither European. I have read forums of defenders as well as opponents.

My points:

- I do not think Amanda is a psycho; she is not like Casey Anthony. If she was a psycho she won’t have all support she has from school friends. For the other hand, immaturity mixed with DRUGS can transform anyone to the ugliest monster. So if she is guilty, we do not need a motive to understand, people under drugs are capable of many things, so they have to suffer the consequences.

-  I do not blame Knox parents at all; after all, they are her parents. I honestly think they believe her, they need to. They are victims too, not like the Kerchers of course, but come on, they are suffering. Especially her mother, I see her and I feel very sorry for her not matter the guilt or innocence of her daughter.  I have read some comments here regarding Knox parents, and I think have been too strong. If Amanda is guilty, perhaps she doesn’t feel remorse for Meredith, but I guess she is beating her head for the terrible damage she has done to her family. 

- Ok, SO WHAT IS MY OPINION? …. A few months ago Casey Anthony former judge said: “Circumstantial evidence is still evidence. Seldom are cameras running when someone kills a child or a child is abused,”

Based on all FACTS I have read, I think she is guilty. They by their own are not evidence but it’s like a puzzle you complete piece by piece. For me the most damming circumstance are:

* Someone moved the body hours after the murder, someone cleaned and the robbery scene was staged; those actions can be done only from a resident or person with keys that know nobody will return in a while. Rudy ran as crazy, he did not return unless he is stupid.
* AK knows Meredith death details before having investigation details / final results.
* Two witnesses saw them in hours they said were sleeping (ok one is a “drug addict”, but the other is a store owner/manager.  Again one is not that good, but TWO…)
* They said they woke up at 10:00am, which contradicts telephone records.
* A police said there was a heavy Clorox (or other detergent) odor at RS apartment.
* RS went to the laundry with a lot of clothes; I understand the clerk said many clothes are already cleaned.
* Both of them change their version several times drastically. It’s natural change some details (well I guess was a blue car, and tomorrow: you know I believe it was red), but the place you were in the night your friend was murdered…. NO WAY! I can be beaten until death but if I am innocent I don’t change my version. As Patrick did, he maintained his version to the end not matter of the insults. I do believe her about the misunderstanding of Patrick test message, in PR we also said see you later as a way of say goodbye.
* Sollecito has not confirmed AK’s alibi yet, we are still waiting.
* Her conduct those days speaks volume!! If her conduct was the only red flag, well it is nothing, but maybe we still say: Hummm weird!
* She accused an innocent man, WHY? Imagination? The investigators has denied that they push her to imagine something. Word against word. 
* RS had violent sex comics, jummmm interesting. 
* I saw the video of her cross examination, WOW… the way she answered, I confess that after heard her deposition I began to think she is guilty. She couldn’t answer who beat her in her head, she did circles and circles until the prosecutor got upset.
* She began hyperventilate when asked about the knife. That could be consciousness of guilty.
* Their conduct in the moment the body was discovered, and RS made the call after the first police (to investigate phone robbery) arrived the cottage.
* Somebody testified that saw a scratch in AK neck (a hickey? Maybe, but again is another detail joining the whole puzzle).
* She woke up her mother at 2 or 3am, why? Definitely she needed to speak to somebody; something happened to her that she felt the need of talking with mon. She tried to avoid the call, but even the mother testimonial contradicts her.

There are other details that compliment the whole picture.

But, the only thing bothers me is the BIG difference between forensic evidence between AK/RS compared to Rudy G.

Maybe there are other possible scenarios. I could think that at the beginning they helped Rudy, and there was a struggle in and out of the bedroom between all of them, but then they closed the door and wait he raped her. Maybe he said to them, help me with Meredith and I bring you free drugs. We can’t dismiss the fact that Rudy left more forensic evidence than the other two; there must be an explanation for that, period. Something is missing in the scenario prosecution proved on trial. Thoughts?

Posted by lulupr on 09/14/11 at 05:35 AM | #

@Sailor - that bit about pricking Meredith’s hand came from RS’ prison diaries and I think it’s extremely relevant.  If he knew, for a fact, that he’d never brought that knife to the cottage, or that Amanda and he did not kill Meredith, or that they’d used a different knife, he would have had absolutely no reason to invent stupid, outlandish explanations.  He would have strongly fought and denied the evidence.  So, clearly, he knows that this particular knife was used in the murder, and that it’s perfectly plausible for Meredith’s DNA to be on it.

Then, of course, there is Amanda’s fit when shown knives, and her confession to her parents that she was worried about a knife collected as evidence.  Why would she be worried if she had nothing to do with it? She’s worried because she knows it’s Raffaele’s knife and that it was indeed used in the murder.  Also, because it’s a lot harder to explain away a knife which didn’t belong in your house (and which the killer could have simply picked up), but which was brought to your house for an unknown purpose. 

It wasn’t a “specialized” knife either, which could have been borrowed for a special event, like a homemade sushi dinner.  If everyone in the house said you all made sushi/sashimi and Raffy brought his special sushi knife to help you out, I could believe it.  That would give a plausible justification and would show that the knife had been brought over to the cottage prior to the murder.  Then you could say the killer simply picked up the sushi knife because it looked extra-sharp or because it was simply lying there drying.  But it’s just a plain knife and there is no reason why Raffaele would have brought it over - I’m sure the cottage came with one of those generic sets.

So no matter how hard they fight that piece of evidence, they’ve already let the cat out of the bag. Raffaele can’t back out of it now, unless he says he was intentionally lying to make himself look bad, which no sane (or half insane) person would do.  And Amanda can’t throw Raffaele under the bus because her own blood and prints have been collected.  She can’t say that Raffaele went over to the cottage and killed Meredith without her knowledge, because she can’t explain her own traces.  She’d have to admit that she was there as well.  And she can’t say that she was an innocent, horrified witness, too afraid to call the police immediately, because she had plenty of chances to tell the truth and ask for protection.  While Raffaele’s family has some influence in Italy, I somehow doubt it that they could have hunted her in the US, especially if the American authorities put her in the special witness protection program (she could have probably proved that she had serious grounds to fear retaliation). She knows very well that all three of them were involved and that neither man had any reason to assault or kill Meredith if we take her out of the equation. She was the glue, and likely the agent provocateur.

================================================

As far as Niktendo’s rant goes, however riddled with misinformation, I at least respect the fact that he came here as an open FOA supporter (if not member per se).  At least that’s more honest than people who sneak in, under the pretense of wanting to know more about the case, and then ask very suspicious questions about very nitpicky things.

In response to your question, Niktendo, I have no doubt that this appeal, and the one to come, will fail. I’m not quite as sure that the sentence will be upheld, though, and it’s possible they might have a few years shaved off. But I do not see Amanda walk out in her late 20s and auditioning to be the next Bachelorette.  She should thank her lucky stars that she’ll walk out any time between her late 30s - early 40s and still have a chance to have a life.  Elsewhere, she might have been locked away for life or executed.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/14/11 at 05:47 AM | #

@Lulu - You seem to have a firm understanding of the case.  Although most of us here are either American or European, I don’t think we hold an ethnocentric bias.  A lot of the Americans either lived in Europe or visited frequently (and therefore feel no disgust or superiority towards us); likewise with the Europeans here. I think that for anyone who is genuinely interested in this case, the nationality of anyone involved is irrelevant. None of us would have defended Amanda if everything was exactly the same, but her passport said “EU” or “Venezuela” or anything else.

We think like you do, and it’s nice to see someone new coming in and knowing a lot of details already.  Regarding your bit of speculation at the end, I’m really not convinced that Rudy had such an important part.  He could have promised them free drugs, but Raffaele had a lot of money already and could have easily pressed his father for a bigger allowance if he managed to graduate (we know Dr. Sollecito was on Raffaele’s case about his undergrad thesis, so he would been proud and happy his son did something right).  As long as she was with him, Amanda didn’t really need to splurge on drugs.

Rudy left so many traces because he’s the one who conducted the sexual assault and also because he’s the one who bolted out of the door before the clean-up.  He wasn’t there to ask that his own traces be cleaned. I’m not defending him, but I think the mastermind was Amanda and the two men helped her humiliate and kill Meredith.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/14/11 at 06:03 AM | #

Hello Vivianna,

I did not mean that you have ethnocentric bias, but the true is you are exposed to heavy media propaganda. In PR, no news station has mentioned AK case, so is easier for us see different perspectives. Also, althought we try to be unbiased, there’s always room to be a little biased; it’s my opinion. 

I am not new here, I have followed the case since 2009 when Nancy Grace mentioned it briefly. Then I researched and found several websites including TJMK. So I have read almost every article, but became a registered member a couple of months ago.

Regarding your explanation of forensics, it is logical to me. But still think there could be more details we will never know, as other cases. I also think if there was pre meditation it was for the sexual assault but unlikely for murder.

The mistery here is how they planned the meeting; I do not think AK told RG: “hey come with us to harm my roomate” it’s too risky. I think I read once (not as a fact, as a possible scenario) that Rudy told Amanda that he wants to be with MK, and then AK saw the chance to take revenge. That’s possible too.

Posted by lulupr on 09/14/11 at 06:56 AM | #

Hi Lulu.  In the parts of Europe where I’ve lived since 2007, there has been very little published on this case.  I can only speak for myself, but it’s not something I stumble upon casually, while reading newspapers, but something I have to look for.  I think most coverage in Europe has been in Italy and the UK.  I can only speak for myself, but I would say that for those of us not living in Italy/UK, coverage is minimal.

I’ve asked the same questions about the Rudy/Amanda meeting a while ago.  My suspicion is that she might have told him there would be a party. Rudy was not actually interested in Meredith; it’s Amanda he had a crush on.  What I don’t know is whether Amanda ever told him, prior to the crime, that she had a boyfriend now.  Maybe he thought he was going to a party and hoped he’d hook up with Amanda?  He couldn’t have been happy when Raffaelle showed up. I can’t even venture a guess as to what started the events at the cottage, but I suspect he was telling the truth about Meredith discovering her money was gone and being upset about it.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/14/11 at 07:14 AM | #

On the issue of cross examination, most fair-minded people believe that an accused person has the right to refuse to testify and that such a refusal doesn’t prove that the person is guilty.  However, this issue does show a weakness in the defense’s case.  If there really is “no evidence” against Knox and Sollecito as the FOA say, why should Knox and Sollecito fear taking the stand to defend themselves.  With a clear conscience and a clear recollection of what they did the night of the murder, they could talk their way to freedom.  In reality, the “no evidence” claim is a pitiful joke and Knox and Sollecito have changed their stories numerous times making them ripe for tough cross examination.

Posted by Sailor on 09/14/11 at 09:12 AM | #

@ lulupr

While it is common for lay persons to use the phrase ‘circumstantial evidence’ to mean ‘weak evidence,’ but circumstantial evidence is often the only available evidence.  Standing alone, each piece seems week.  But taken together, the various pieces of evidence form a pattern.  We (I’m a lawyer) sometimes compare each piece of evidence to an arrow, like that on a compass.  When all the arrows are pointing in the same direction, it is reasonable to infer that they are pointing to the truth.  This is especially so when the arrows are not pointing to anyone else, known or unknown.

In this case, all the arrows point to Sollecito and Knox.  To the extent that there are gaps or missing pieces, those are in the control of the defendants.  We know that some one, almost certainly more than one person, worked to obscure and destroy evidence.  The arrows also point to Sollecito and Knox as the ones who did that.

This case is nothing like the Casey Anthony case.  There we had no evidence of the cause of death or time of death.  Further, there was no evidence that the defendant was with the victim at the time and place of death.  That was a much tougher case to prove than the TV audience and Nancy Grace were willing to face.

In this case, we know the time, place, and cause of death.  There is evidence to show that the defendants were present.  The only evidence offered to rebut that is their alibis, which do not match, and do not match with other evidence. 

This is not a slam-dunk case, but it would be very shocking if the appeal reversed the verdict of the first trial.  Other than throwing mud at the DNA evidence, most of which did nothing material, the defense offered nothing new.  All those arrows are still pointing at the defendants.

Posted by jamesepowell on 09/14/11 at 10:04 AM | #

I thought it was Mignini, first, who dismissed the idea of premeditation. And I would regard this as a valid stratagem.

Premeditation would be much harder to prove. Failure to demonstrate might lose the case. And in the result, it was unnecessary.

Within the framework of the event (rape at knifepoint followed necessarily by murder) Knox & Sollecito are functioning psychopaths (an instance of folie a deux, as someone has already said here.) No doubt the latent psychopathy is elicited mutually. For hypothesis: they baited one another after Amanda, the instigator, broached the thought.

The extreme recklessness, carelessness shown in the deed & the mess they made of things is evidence of psychopathic thinking (or non-thinking.) As is the strange heedlessness of necessary consequence in an otherwise intelligent pair—intelligent outside the framework. All of this is fairly impromptu, makeshift, impulsive, but nonetheless foreseen: premeditated.

Add to their recklessness the astonishing cruelty in a brutal rape uncalled for & unprovoked.  Add also the circumstance that Knox could live with Meredith for two months without achieving within herself the least quantum of fellow-feeling, sympathy, rapport for another young woman in a situation much like her own &, like herself, coping while living abroad.

Even within her apparent normality (otherwise—outside the frame of the deed) Amanda bears the evil seed within herself: a young woman in the atmosphere of Halloween conceives of the violent rape of another woman—God in Heaven!

It is Amanda who initiates: Sollecito may encourage & come along. Guede is dragged along, not because he is fond of Amanda but by the promised rape & sadistic excitements of getting at an attractive young woman.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/14/11 at 10:16 AM | #

Some Small points to remember

The FOA has always screamed about there being no evidence in the room itself. But what they fail to say is not only the the time limit, but the evidence that the body was moved.

To begin with Knox and Sollecito had eight hours to clean one small room (Don’t forget the lamp) It has never been established with any certainty just where the actual fatal blow was struck. This could have been in the doorway for example. A person wounded in such a way will always try to remove themselves from attack by crawling into as small a space as possible thereby defending themselves. The point is that wherever the blow was struck, the space itself was very small, certainly small enough to clean in eight hours.

It is telling also that (as far as the information I have is concerned) there were no fingerprints of anybodies in the room at all thereby proving that the room had been wiped down. Getting rid of prints is very easy since a simple wipe will remove them.

The posts here are really thought provoking with deep insight, but let us never ever forget just how savage and cowardly the attack and murder by Rudy Guede, Raphael Sollecito and Amanda Knox, who set this crime in motion through simple jealousy, actually was.

Meredith Kercher, an innocent woman was tortured and raped in the most vile way, had her throat cut open and died by drowning in her own blood alone helpless and in agony.

Knox and Sollecito even stole her phones so she could not call for help and If ever there was a need for retribution (may I say revenge) then for me, this is it.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/14/11 at 01:37 PM | #

@ jamesepowell , enjoyed your take.

We [I’m a lawyer too, among other things] know that circumstantial evidence is often the strongest evidence – often stronger than eye-witness evidence, although together they can sometimes be overwhelming

You probably know a favorite anecdote to make the point, attributed [apocryphally?] to Abe Lincoln?

It goes:

Q: So you admit that you never saw my client bite-off the plaintiff’s ear?

A: Yes. I do admit that.

Q. So how do you have the gall to come into this court and accuse my client?

A: I saw your client spit the ear out.

Some circumstantial consequence of eye-witness testimony!

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/14/11 at 07:24 PM | #

Peter reports that Amanda won’t be cross-examined when she makes her spontaneous statement.
But I would like to cross-examine a story that Amanda wrote while a student in Seattle just to find out what it said.

It’s called Baby Brother but never mind the baby metaphor which works in other connections. Central to the story is an older brother’s confrontation with his younger brother in which he says:
“A girl named Victoria found me today. She went out asking especially for me.” His voice grew quiet. “She said you drugged and raped her.”
The younger brother laughs him off with the much-quoted words about chicks not knowing what they want—they have to be shown.

That’s from the story now as posted on the web. And that’s all it says about the rape.

Yet Dr. Coline Covington, a psychoanalyst, says of Amanda’s story (quote):
In the story [Baby Brother] Knox writes about a young woman, drugged and raped by another young woman, and describes the victim’s pain in lurid detail.
[As published in The First Post in December 2009.]

An enormous discrepancy is here. The story as posted now has not a word to say about a woman “drugged & raped by another young woman.”  As for the victim’s pain “in lurid detail,” nothing said of that.

It’s not impossible that Dr. Covington was misinformed about the story & without responsibly checking, repeated the misinformation.  When younger brother punches the older brother in the face, almost breaking his jaw while inflicting a razor-sharp pain, we have that “lurid” description of the older brother.

If Dr. Covington was so incautious as to repeat as fact a piece of malicious gossip in characterizing Knox’s story, it is a very grave fault, professionally, inasmuch as her newspaper article describes aspects of Amanda that are psychopathic.

The other possibility (for which we have no evidence other than this discrepancy) is that the Knox people withdrew Amanda’s story because in that case it would have anticipated with a stunning exactness (as fantasy) the very crime of which she is convicted: rape of a woman by a woman.

I think the matter important enough to ask. Someone who has a talent for researching data on the internet needs to speak to this. Can the Machine help us out here?

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/15/11 at 02:23 AM | #


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