Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eleventh Appeal Session: Judge Overrules Defense Objections and Stefanoni Will Return to the Stand

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above Dr Stefanoni today with Ms Comodi and the Sollecito defense team minus Giulia Bongiorno]


The session has begun with prominent DNA expert Dr Luciano Garofano again in the audience.

Mentioned in previous posts is that he has spoken out nationally several times recently about his concern about the “CSI effect” where DNA evidence becomes in some trials a make-or-break issue even when other evidence is widespread.

Dr Stefanoni is of course also present with her team and other prosecution DNA witnesses are also prepared. TGCom have reported this as the first item to have been covered.

The President of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, in opening the hearing, read a letter from the Director of the Scientific Police, Piero Angeloni, to the Court iin which reference is made to the criticisms of certain experts of the laboratory’s work in the context of scientific investigations into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

In the letter Angeloni emphasized the powers of the science, pointing out that “every year 4,500 investigations” are handled. He described how the laboratories are equipped with quality certification. “The laboratory is equipped with a computerized system for tracking objects” Angeloni said in the letter..The technical equipment is modern and the staff have many years of experience.” 

Angeloni stressed that “never before has asurveys of this nature been advanced, as here, into the work of the national forensic laboratory.” The service had never been subject to criticism before and used state-of-the-art equipment, his letter said.

Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti were first questioned by the Knox defense team. The Sollecito defense team have said that they will have no questions. ADNKronos reports that Carla Vecchioti in response to a question said that there was no DNA of Meredith found remaining on the knife when reexamined. Some starch was found.

Prosecutor Comodi then pressed the two on what is the standard lower limit of DNA traces to be subjected to low-count DNA testing and on this there was apparently not a concrete answer.

The court next moved into closed session. The defenses have objected to the prosecution’s DNA experts being allowed to take the stand. We may not know the outcome until after the break for lunch.

Okay the defense objections are overruled. The lead judge decided that the court will reconvene on September 5 to give Dr Stefanoni plenty of time on the stand. No more witnesses for today. Mr Angeloni’s letter may have had some effect. His labs should only be criticized (for the first time) with proven great care and no bias.

Oddly, the independent review team largely ignored the European state-of-the-art on low count DNA testing which, at strong prosecution request, the judge had instructed them to get on top of. That is a very suspicious goof.

Judge Hellman may not much favor this review in light of that.





Comments

Amanda Knox appeal: Italian police defend handling of evidence in Meredith Kercher murder trial

Nick Squires for the Telegraph in Perugia

Posted by mojo on 07/30/11 at 01:36 PM | #

Nothing new but a Nick Pisa report here for Sky News with a video comment.

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16040314

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 02:21 PM | #

According to Manuela Comodi no laboratory tests about Meredith during the previous six days (ansa.it)

Posted by ncountryside on 07/30/11 at 02:51 PM | #

Hi ncountryside. May I ask what does that mean?

That in the six days prior to testing the knife no tests relating the murder of Meredith Kercher were performed? Could you please explain. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Nell on 07/30/11 at 03:08 PM | #

I think the story is that there were no lab tests in that part of the Rome lab, period. Ms Comodi was making the point that the risk of contamination would have been minimal.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 03:13 PM | #

Stefanoni re-called in Court the next hearing to explain her procedure (UmbriaLeft)

Posted by ncountryside on 07/30/11 at 03:13 PM | #

Sorry, Peter Quennel is correct.

Posted by ncountryside on 07/30/11 at 03:16 PM | #

Reference the starch on the tip of the knife (odd place for it to adhere if bread or potatoes were sliced) Catnip drew attention on PMF to this:

http://www.medicalexamglove.com/stop-using-powdered-gloves/

In the United States latex gloves were “lubricated” with starch until the FDA stopped the practice as the starch was causing medical problems.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 03:37 PM | #

So, The defense clearly peaked too soon. All that jubilation last Monday, and all downhill ever since.

We beleive Giulia Bongiorno did not show today and may be off her game with the hint of a bribe paid out there.

The greatly respected head of the Scientific Police and Luciano Garofano both weighed in with tart remarks obviously addressed to Judge Hellman.

The defenses did not ask for a review of the mixed blood evidence, presumably fearful of where that would lead.

They did not (at least not yet) ask for RS and AK to take the stand which really is their last best shot.

And the next 3-4-5 court sessions will all be dominated by the prosecution.

They may not especially want to see AK and Rs get life sentences, as the very biased CBS commentator Doug Longhini has just shrilly proclaimed.

But they sure do intend to make the case that no kindness after her very cruel death was ever shown to Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 05:03 PM | #

Manuela Comodi has given proof in Courtroom that there were no tests, related to this case, in the laboratory in Rome during six previous days. So no contamination. The indipendent experts, examinated by Comodi, admitted that the ”discussion is still open” about the minimum quantity of dna, so the prosecution was able to demonstrate that there isn’t a standard procedure. (15.51 Umbrialeft)

Posted by ncountryside on 07/30/11 at 05:09 PM | #

Striking photo of Dr. Stefanoni. Neither disconcerted nor aggressive, she makes an open-handed appeal to reason & her countenance, which is so full of intelligence, shows the least trace of disdain.

Overall your report of today’s trial is good news so far. Dr. Stefanoni had said initially that a retesting of the blade might be impossible. A minute trace of Meredith’s blood on the blade resulted in a low copy number (if I have that right) but a distinct identification.  And the recent experts have accepted that Amanda’s DNA is on the handle. Add Amanda’s own highly imaginative explanation, much earlier, of how her “fingerprints” may have got on the handle of the knife, also her anxiety about the knife as somehow dangerous expressed in conversation, & finally her pronounced distress at the opening of the cutlery drawer at her own place in presence of roommates & police—it adds up to a radioactive murder weapon which will not likely be put aside.

What the prosecution should ask the recent experts is how it came about that two professors in a Roman university refer to the state troopers’ manual of the state of Ohio & others like. Weren’t these manuals suggested to them?

Posted by Ernest Werner on 07/30/11 at 06:09 PM | #

7/30/11
Garafano’s in the courtroom, most encouraging! Garfano is incredibly intelligent. Oh, he came so close to being directly involved with this case. It’s marvelous he is attending these sessions. His eagle eyes and ears will be a help to the truth.

So now it’s wait till August 27 for Stefanoni, huh? That gives her time to present incontrovertible proof that no error was made in her lab. Angeloni’s letter seconds the motion, and Comodi’s emphasis that the lab was free of tests for six days before the knife was tested which made contamination less likely.
________
Some amateur psychology:
The recent freak show of Aviello reversing his testimony and fingerpointing at Vanessa Sollecito and Giulia Bongiorno among others who he says coaxed and bribed him, is beyond the pale Italian tragi-comedy drama, complete with his sobbing retraction and 80-page account of what Aviello now claims to be the truth. A proven liar, afraid he’s no good for anybody as proof of anything.

Can we believe that he did love Raffaele? Can we believe he was offered 30,000 Euros to lie and confuse the jury? Can we believe that Aviello did overhear Raf say that he was at the cottage but Amanda did the killing? Even if that conversation were true, could Raf’s avowal of innocence into Aviello’s ears have been mere clever pretending to gain his sympathy and help, or Raf pretending innocence because that’s what inmates do with each other.

They lie to each other as they do to the court until the case is closed. I’m sure the truth peeks out occasionally in unguarded prison conversations, but they’re all such hardened liars, who can dissect fact from fiction?

The one rule of thumb I’ve learned by following this case full of liars is: they hate to lie about their LIES.

I knew Aviello’s first story on the stand was one big lie about his brother. I’d prefer to believe Aviello’s retraction and that he was paid for false testimony, that Amanda wielded the knife while Raf was an addled bystander, but is the latter theory just Aviello’s wishful thinking because of his infatuation for Raf.

Perplexing, just as Aviello meant it to be.

It helps to get down to the nitty gritty of to whom or to what sex a person tends to direct his anger? Maybe Aviello despises women so he wants to hurt Biongiorno and Vanessa the most, vicariously striking out at resented mother or sister figures. He might feel special anger for Amanda who as a female he’s convinced is at the root of all dear Raffaele’s problems. Is a contempt for women compatible with his desire to become a woman himself through a sex-change operation? You tell me, it boggles my imagination.

Aviello seems to be a creature not of the double cross but of the triple cross and quadruple cross and on like that ad infinitum. In other words, whatever anybody wants out of him, he gives the opposite, acting on simple rebellion and hostility unlimited. So even when he wants to cooperate with anyone, he balks, driven by inner forces to assert his independence of everyone. Same dynamic as in passive-aggressive. They are their own worst enemy. He may have been hurt badly in his lifetime.

Thus ends the amateur psychology from armchair non-expert.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/30/11 at 06:26 PM | #

Amanda Knox Prosecutor Blasts New DNA Report

http://abcnews.go.com/International/amanda-knox-prosector-blasts-dna-report/story?id=141

Posted by Hungarian on 07/30/11 at 08:10 PM | #

Great link Hungarian. It looks like the ABC correspondent Phoebe Natanson might be a great replacement for the recently reassigned Ann Wise who we often quoted.

Just in case that link ever goes offline here is the key passage on Prosecutor Comodi v. the independent review team which reads like half of a demolition right here.

************

Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, who flanked Giuliano Mignini in the first trial, then began a protracted, systematic attempt to dismiss accusations of sloppy forensic work, and dismantle the experts’ conclusions.

First she asked each to list their qualifications and published works. They both reeled off a long list of titles and publications, while Comodi waved a lacy fan at her face and smiled. After they were done, she asked them to list their on-site forensic experience but the judge interjected, saying that even if they had lots of experience they could still make mistakes. “Exactly,” she said, smugly.

Comodi quizzed them on DNA methodology, how the experts could prove that contamination of evidence had occurred, and whether correct procedures had been followed. There was repeated verbal sparring between the two women – Comodi and Vecchiotti (who answered most of the questions) - with the judge having to intervene to ease the tension.

Under repeated and insistent questioning, court expert Carla Vecchiotti acknowledged that DNA belonging to Kercher could have been on the blade of the knife the prosecution claims is the murder weapon. “It is a complete DNA profile, but it is not reliable. Yes, it could be Meredith’s,” Vecchiotti told the court.

In addressing Sollecito’s DNA on the victim’s bra clasp, which the experts claimed could have gotten there through contamination by the police, Comodi asked the experts how they thought Sollecito’s DNA could have been transferred onto to the clasp if no other DNA of his was found in the house. They replied that “anything is possible,” and that the transfer of DNA has been the subject of much international debate.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 08:59 PM | #

Wow, it’s 4:14 pm here and that ABC link is no longer available. I wonder what that means?

Posted by bedelia on 07/30/11 at 11:15 PM | #

Hi Former Bad Girl. Well what a surprise. Witness the media networks not taking the heat., What a stroke of luck that the key passage is quoted just above.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 11:20 PM | #

You can find the story at this link:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/amanda-knox-prosector-blasts-dna-report/story?id=14195630

Unfortunately, they placed a slimey video of Elizabeth Vargas interviewing Knox’s parents with the usual “no evidence” statement and Rudy Guede’s evidence “all over” the place right above the article.

Posted by bedelia on 07/30/11 at 11:27 PM | #

Hi Wants Justice and welcome. On scenarios take a read through all the scenarios via the link below. There are several like that. Mignin’s and Micheli’s and Massei’s are of course not the same; but all thought Knox was an instigator and none took the line that she had just unaccountably cleaned up.

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C306/

The post directly below this one explores the scenario that Sollecito is the one that stands up and says he wasnt there. Knox is more tied to the crime scene at the precise time than he is and he could even argue he wasnt there until the following morn when his footprint appeared on the bathmat - it is pretty clearly his. .

On the lengths of sentences, crimes of this kind attract 30 years to life both in Italy and the US. RS and AK would have got 30 years as did Guede originally except for the mitigating circumstances which Massei allowed, but which the prosecution soon will dispute. Knox ended up with 26 years and RS with 25.

If RS takes the long-shot opportunity open to him, he just might end up with a sentence more like Guede’s of 16 years, and Knox could be the only one to serve all or most of her original (26 year) term.

Mario Alessi’s wife was not present when he killed the baby and she had no idea he would do that. She was originally sentenced to 30 years, but recently that was wound back to 25. Posts on Mario Alessi and his wife are all here.

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C465/

Generally we here favor the Italian system which is very hard on those who don’t seem to give a damn and easier on those who come to admit and repent and reform and show real regret to the family that will never see their loved one again. Meredith’s family have always wanted the answer to “why?”.as Meredith, a natural leader with a career path and intelligence far brighter than Knox’s, had not ever had one enemy in the world.

Our psychologists think that there have been times when Knox seemed to soften and although she may not be hard-wired for full regret it seemed possible that without her family breathing down her neck memories could awake and she could see an easing of her term.

Take a look at Carol Poole’s insightful post here.  http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/why_dont_perpetrators_say_theyre_sorry_a_psychoanalytic_perspective/

That shows how perps can evolve over time. She seems happy enough in prison except when required to turn on the tears. Letting her do her time and maybe come right and pay her debt may not be the worst thing.

She might even stay on in Italy as she has several times said would be her first choice. 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/30/11 at 11:35 PM | #

Does anyone know when are the next court dates for this appeal and when is the decision expected?  Thanks.

Posted by annc on 07/30/11 at 11:53 PM | #

Hi Wants Justice,

According to Italian law, all three are equally culpable. Even without the knife, the evidence against Amanda Knox is still overwhelming.

She is the only one who has admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder. She even asked for a pen and paper to write this confession. Rudy Guede recently corroborated Amanda Knox’s claim that she was involved in Meredith’s murder.

Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in several locations at the cottage. DNA expert and former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano suggests that Knox was injured in a fight with Meredith and that she had a bleeding nose.

According to a number of DNA experts - Professor Vinci, Dr. Stefanoni and Luciano Garfofano - Amanda Knox’s DNA was also on Meredith bra.

The Luminol footprint evidence indicates that Knox stepped in Meredith’s blood in Meredith’s room and tracked it around the house. It should also be noted that two imprint experts - Rinaldi and Boemia - testified at the first trial that there was a woman’s bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith’s body which matched Knox’s foot size, but was incompatible with Meredith’s foot size.

Amanda Knox gave at least three different alibis which all turned out to be false. She still doesn’t have a credible alibi for the night of the murder. At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment.

Knox accused an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, of murdering Meredith despite the fact she knew he was completely innocent. She didn’t recant her false and malicious allegation against Lumumba the whole time he was in prison. She acknowledged that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.

Posted by The Machine on 07/31/11 at 12:10 AM | #

According to the FOAK’er-in-chief, Bruce Fisher:  http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=7423205&postcount=647

“September 5 will be a wasted day of useless questions from Comodi that will do nothing more than attempt to muddy the water. The court appointed independent expert report will stand. We can all kid ourselves and think this is a jury trial but the truth is Hellmann controls the jury”.

“His actions clearly show that he is moving for acquittals”

—————————————————————————

We shall see 😉

Posted by Ergon on 07/31/11 at 01:41 AM | #

This above was from the FOAK’ers who confidently predicted she would be acquitted on Sept. 15.

Barbie Natzeau says otherwise: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/30/amanda-knox-appeal-prosecution-pokes-holes-in-forensic-testimony.html

“The presiding judge then showed that he is not taking the independent review at face value. Against the defense teams’ protests, he granted a prosecution request to hear more witnesses, including those who collected the evidence…Cross-examination of the independent experts will continue September 5. With new witnesses now on the docket, the final outcome of this trial may be pushed back from late September to October”

—————————————————————————

I could have told them that 😊

Posted by Ergon on 07/31/11 at 02:05 AM | #

This piece by NBC’s Keith Miller has got to go in the worst reporting file:

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/29/7195714-amanda-knox-victim-of-a-crazy-court-system

Miller couldn’t find the quotes he wanted so he just quoted himself saying things like, “I would rather be on trial in Cuba.”

He quotes Mignini as saying there was “a satanic ritualistic sex orgy that led to murder.” Of course Mignini never said that—it’s a word-for-word quote from Bruce Fisher.

This unscrupulous work would get you an “F” at any reputable university. I’m appalled that NBC tolerates it.

Posted by bmull on 07/31/11 at 02:38 AM | #

That report from NBCis shockingly misleading. It doesn’t mention that the Supreme Court has accepted the evidence that there were three people who killed Meredith. It doesn’t mention the other DNA evidence at all. I think the most powerful DNA evidence is the blood droplets of mixed DNA from Kercher and Knox.

These blood droplets have been dated by Knox, the accused, herself. She has stated that she discovered them the morning after the murder and they weren’t there the day before. Hence, they were left the night of the murder. Rather than the mixed blood of roommates sharing a bathroom, she was alarmed enough by them to point them out to the police.

I’ve thought about this and the odds of this being a coincidence based on roommates living together is just not possible. Will this evidence hold up in court and is it as powerful as I think?

Posted by Dora Maar on 07/31/11 at 03:09 AM | #

Your website is amazing Peter - I stop by at least once a day. Thank you for making it such an objective, researched and referenced place. Also thanks to everyone else who contributes - I recommend the site all the time to people who want more information. Information being the operative word.

Once question OT; Does anyone have a link to Knox’s email she sent to friends and family days after the murder? I have someone who would like to read it - I used to have a link, but it doesnt work anymore… This would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
G

Posted by Giselle on 07/31/11 at 10:07 AM | #

Posted by Giselle on 07/31/11 at 03:07 AM:

“Does anyone have a link to Knox’s email she sent to friends and family days after the murder? I have someone who would like to read it - I used to have a link, but it doesnt work anymore… This would be much appreciated.”

This works:
http://perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?p=9173#p9173

Posted by Cardiol on 07/31/11 at 04:21 AM | #

Posted by Cardiol MD on 07/31/11 at 11:25 AM | #

Hi Dora Marra. Good point on Knox’s “reaction” to the mixed blood. Barbie Nadeau said a juror at first trial put the mixed blood among items top of the list in finding for guilt. The defenses keep well away. This is the Machine’s recent post.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/beyond_massei_on_the_seemingly_insuperable_mixed_blood_evidence/

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/31/11 at 01:45 PM | #

Hi James,

Dr. Stefanoni testified that the gloves used for the collection of the bra clasp were new and were put on just before it was collected. It seems that the gloves picked some dust with the clasp.

Dr. Novelli, who is regarded as the “father of police forensics” in Italy, made the following comments about the possible contamination of the bra clasp:

“The contaminant must be demonstrated, where it originated from and where it is. The hook contaminated by dust? It’s more likely for a meteorite to fall and bring this court down to the ground.”

Posted by The Machine on 07/31/11 at 03:07 PM | #

Cordiol, thank you very much for the link. I have sent it through and introduced PMF and TJMK to this friend. Hopefully one more person is introduced to the truth - the evidence.

G

Posted by Giselle on 07/31/11 at 06:41 PM | #

7/31/11

OT but current:
Peter Hyatt says Knox would not be able to pass a polygraph. Hyatt’s blistering assessment of her handwritten statement to police is online at:

Statement Analysis, Peter Hyatt

Thur. July 28, 2011: “Amanda Knox: Language of Sexual Homicide” by Peter Hyatt

He points out proof of deception in the statement Knox made. He concludes she was present at the murder and is a habitual liar. He thinks she may not have dealt the fatal knife wound, or that she herself may be unsure whether she did as they all participated.

He says she did look at the clock, time was sensitive element, because she said she didn’t look at the clock. She mentions 11:00 as time she and Raf ate supper, which may be veiled reference to the time of death.

Water imagery indicates a sexual assault. She talks about washing up a long time.

Attempts to confuse police and deceive are woven throughout her statement.

Some commenters discuss Raf doing Amanda’s earwashing in the shower.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/31/11 at 08:57 PM | #

I’m confused about whether Bongiorno was at the hearing or not? Does anyone know?

If she wasn’t there…is this unprecedented? (I know she had pregnancy issues, but other than that). Does she have a publicly valid reason - or could this be connected to the Aviello confession?

Posted by Giselle on 08/01/11 at 06:53 AM | #

Bongiorno was not at the hearing. I’m guessing it was because she knew she was going to lose the argument re Stefanoni returning to the stand, and she wanted to downplay it in the media.

Posted by bmull on 08/01/11 at 08:05 AM | #

Thanks for clarification Bmull - interesting indeed…

On the topic of the defense having a low day, did anyone else notice that AK was not looking her usual smug way of the past two or three sessions?

I sense that things are not looking so good behind the scenes, no matter how much the Melloxes want us to believe otherwise. Hell they had ticketed for AK back to the States in the last trial, that went down well!

I’m waiting for the day that Rudy is out (while AK and RS and still rotting) and Rudy betters himself as a human being, studying and all, remorseful of what he did. Maybe I am optimistic, but I sense more humanity from him.

Posted by Giselle on 08/01/11 at 08:47 AM | #

An observation
I have just read Knox’s email and two things stand out. The first one, rather obviously, is the total lack of empathy for anybody but herself. It’s all me me me and how she, from the food at the police station to her clothes, she is imposed upon all the time. The second one though is far more interesting. It is at the bottom of the email and reads as follows.

“Stefano’s room was odd because his bed was stripped and the comforter he used was shoved up at the top of the bed with blood on it. I obviously told them that the blood was definitely
out of normal also that he usually had his bed made.”

I find this interesting because earlier she mentioned, just in passing, that Dia Lamumba was at the police station with everyone who know Meredith and at that time did not mention at all anything about covering her ears when she heard Meredith scream etc. There was not the slightest indication of anything out of the ordinary which in view of later events is impossible.

In view of her later accusation of Dia Lamumba it is obvious to me that her backhanded accusation of Stefano was a trial balloon which when, it became obvious that it would not fly, she accused Lamumba.

I am still of the opinion that race had something to do with this because it’s the small details through which the full truth will eventually be made clear

Sincerely Grahame Rhodes

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/01/11 at 05:10 PM | #

This statement has always struck me as odd, right from day one:
How did Knox know he “usually” had his bed made?

I am sure Peter Hyatt (kudos to you Peter if you are reading) would have something interesting to say regarding how Knox “obviously” told them the blood was “definitely” out of normal.

Knox lived on the upper floor with the rest of the girls, was she ‘usually’ downstairs peering into Stefanos room?

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 08/01/11 at 08:56 PM | #

Grahame, it’s the sheer quantity of Amanda Knox’s lies and misdirection that actually convinces most people of her guilt, and something that investigating officers always zero in on.

A pity that her supporters also tend towards lies and misdirection, indeed.

But what bothers me the most is how transparent the media manipulation is, and the hot buttons they use: clean cut American 😊 as victim of “corrupt” foreign legal system; the guilty are let off easy and the innocent are wrongly convicted; there is no evidence…

Standard denialist tactic, and I can just observe and comment on the psychology involved.

But what bothers me is the attacks on the Kerchers. That is slimy, and beyond the pale.

Posted by Ergon on 08/01/11 at 09:34 PM | #

Hi Grahame,

S&^&(*) I have to log in again to reply to your question on the previous post and get redirected here instead, grr.

I looked at Edda Mellas’s picture from February 28. Photos are snapshots in time, so who knows what she was thinking? I wouldn’t even guess if she KNOWS her daughter is guilty. I’m interested in her ACTIONS.

When you look at Casey Anthony’s mother and how she helped get her daughter off, what was she thinking then? She may have believed her daughter’s lies. She may have been mad at ol’ George for allegedly having an affair so she kept silent when Casey accused her father of molesting her.

I can only speculate about the relationship between Amanda Knox and her mother. I do know people can convince themselves of ANYTHING. If your child says they’re innocent, I suppose most parents would do their best to get good lawyers and hope for justice.

But what strikes me is the sheer desperation of Edda Mellas’s speech and demeanor in the TV interviews. I think she knows the conviction will stand, hence the desperation.

Another observation: Look at the TV interviews of Patsy Ramsey, or Kate McCann, and match them with Edda Mellas’s. They were all hiding SOMETHING.

Posted by Ergon on 08/01/11 at 10:08 PM | #

Ergon, you are right again. What most parents would do in a similar situation? Find the best international lawyers. What did the Knoxes do? Instead hired a PR firm.

Posted by Hungarian on 08/02/11 at 01:47 AM | #

Let me echo that Ergon you are right of course. However in my experience, no matter how in a ‘state of denial’ a mother may be, somewhere at the back of each of their heads they simply know the truth. How many children have tried to fool their mothers
only to be shot down sometime in the future?
Thanks again for this;
Cheers G

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/02/11 at 01:57 AM | #

Grahame,

I think you are right about Stefano and Lumumba. It’s a little hard for me to believe Knox didn’t know Stefano at least would have an alibi, but maybe she guessed it was worth a try.

What I notice most about Knox’s email is this: {fact A}—big song and dance—> {fact B}—big song and dance—> {fact C}—etc.—> Guede’s Skype chat has the same quality, i.e. how can I explain what the police already know?

In the case of Knox’s email there is almost no detail about how she and Raffaelle spent the night, which after all was more than 14 hours. By contrast there is a lot of explanation about why she needed to go back to the house at 1030, why the open front door didn’t concern her, why Meredith not answering didn’t concern her, why the blood in the bathroom didn’t concern her, and explanations of things the police undoubtedly asked such as how she knew nothing was missing, why she didn’t flush the faeces, etc.

As many others have said, Knox was probably trying to put her tale in writing so she wouldn’t forget what she already said, as she needed to embellish the story with more lies.

Posted by bmull on 08/02/11 at 02:17 AM | #

Thank you bmull good observation.

Here is something else that has bothered me. Knox said Sollecito spilled some water on the floor while washing up. Later this became a leak under the sink. In the first place would not a simple towel have sufficed. There is no need to go home to get a mop when a spill, either from being clumsy or a small leak whatever, occurred later on.

This is an excuse pure and simple. It is another excuse to go back to where she lived and not only pick up the mop but have another shower as well. Sorry but this is just stupid ad unbelievable.

As I have said before it’s the little details which trip you up.

I was SAS trained way back when before the Vietnam war. We had it drummed into us that if captured we were to keep it as simple as possible. ie   “We were United Nations Doctors helping the children who were too young to help themselves.”

End of explanation.

People who are not trained, or are too young to know the variations of avoiding detection, will provide too much information. This is fatal of course because the more information provided the more availability there is for interpretation of the obvious lies.

Such is Knox who to the aggravation/consternation of the defense can’t keep her mouth shut. This is because, like all true sociopaths, she really believes she can outsmart the prosecution. This is bolstered by her ridiculous family P/R effort. She believes in it and why not, P/R is the grand American ideal after all.

Thanks for this bmull

Glad to talk to you and best wishes to everyone.

Sincerely Grahame Rhodes

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/02/11 at 04:40 AM | #

@Grahame

Truer words were never spoken.

“Such is Knox who to the aggravation/consternation of the defense can’t keep her mouth shut. This is because, like all true sociopaths, she really believes she can outsmart the prosecution. This is bolstered by her ridiculous family P/R effort.”

Posted by Nell on 08/02/11 at 07:20 AM | #

As a newbie to the site I would first like to thank the moderators for the excellent work in debunking all the halftruths and even outright lies that have been uttered by certain individuals. Ive been following the case now for about 2 years and it has been a sobering experience.

As a human being your wired to believe what people say and therefore trust information that is given you via tv, newspapers and the internet. For me this case is a textbook example of the modern use of misinformation and spinning.

After reading part of the comments I reread the email Knox send to her friends. As a Psychologist I find this email to be one of the most interesting pieces of evidence in this case. Apart from the obvious lack of emotional depth the email riddled with contradictions. There are so many that every time I read about the email there is always some new discrepancy. For instance Knox tells about her blowdrying her hair and then noticting the faeces of Guede. If you look at the crimescene photos the toilet is placed very close to the washbasin.

So you start blowdrying your hair within 3 feet of an open toilet with faeces and you only notice faeces when youve finished drying your hair.

Its all these little things that make Amanda´s story so unbelievable. Its these little things in the email that make you instinctively distrust her. Its also the reason the defense tries to focus the case on a couple of major pieces of evidence. It is impossible for them to tackle all the evidence since most of the evidence is very detailed.

Posted by carl on 08/02/11 at 11:52 AM | #

Hi Carl. Welcome. Yes sobering for sure. It has implications for society and the economy.

If we all split off into warring atoms nuking each other in the murk with no truths held dear, very little can get done on a wide scale. Society has to act together and the web is putting narcissim and paranoia into overdrive.

In the 80’s and especially 90s conspiracy theories were on the wain with the end of the cold war, but the internet has now brought them back in spades. Various opinion surveys are showing how they are roaring back.

I am comfortable with the bureaucratic parts of governments because I have worked a lot on the inside and know it is impossible to keep “conspiracy” secrets for long, and for civil servants (like the investigators and police in Perugia) there just wouldnt be anything in it for them.

I trust less now the political level as I know from experience their competence is not very high and they dont see things long term and too much they are swayed by lobbyists money. And a non-growing economy and hig debts has then warring.

To “control” them we need to come together and insist on long-term thinking. East Asian countries grow so well because they use a very inclusive model - even China, oddly enough.

And yes on the psychology it was Filomena’s blowdrier AK claimed to have used though there were no fingerprints at all found on it. James Raper and Kermit have a huge new Powerpoint presentation going up today with a birds-eye view of all the physical evidence.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/02/11 at 01:51 PM | #

From Peter’s comment: “Under repeated and insistent questioning, court expert Carla Vecchiotti acknowledged that DNA belonging to Kercher could have been on the blade of the knife the prosecution claims is the murder weapon.

“It is a complete DNA profile, but it is not reliable. Yes, it could be Meredith’s,” Vecchiotti told the court.”

“Could be”? This sparring over Meredith’s DNA on the tip of the knife sounds so thoretical unless you’ve reviewed ViaDellaPergola’s Dec. 21, 2010 powerpoint which shows Meredith’s DNA superimposed over the DNA found on the knife. It’s a total match. 

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_limited_dna_reviews_-_what_we_believe_are_the_hard_facts_on_the_do1/

This relates so well to the discussion of whether Edda knows Amanda is guilty.  If Edda has seen the DNA match on the blade, she knows Amanda is guilty.  When seen in this light, the fight over the “reliability” of the low copy number DNA on the knife is not a fight over guilt or innocence, it’s a fight over getting Amanda off on a technicality. The PR campaign continues to frame this as a “contamination” or “reliability” issue while in their hearts they know it’s an attempt to get the evidence thrown out on a technicality.

Another damning piece of evidence the PR campaign never mentions is Sollecito’s preposterous claim that he pricked Meredith’s hand while preparing a meal. His claim accepts the fact that Meredith’s DNA was on the knife blade.

Posted by Sailor on 08/02/11 at 03:39 PM | #

I now count Wikipedia as one of the losers of this case; their heavily slanted MK page calls into question their whole operating model if a cult-like group of denialists can gain control over the editorial process. The Wiki collective process might work well for purely objective subjects but once personal biases (of nationalism, family, sex etc) enter the picture “objectivity” becomes subjective and misleading. It would be better for them to have a “innocent” AND a “guilty” page just as in the courtroom itself. At least then you’d know where you were.

Posted by sbman on 08/02/11 at 05:20 PM | #

Hello Sailor
There may be a misperception here regarding ‘Getting off on a Technicality’

I’m not sure but does the term translate from American jurisprudence to it’s Italian counterpart?

It would seem that the Knox PR debacle would have bought into this seeing that in their arrogance they would have assumed this to be so when in fact the Italian system is quite different. The American version is confrontational between lawyers while the Italian is in fact different because the judge (As I understand it) is the chief investigator/inquisitor who delves into each case to find the truth. Therefore the term ‘Getting Off On A technicality’ might be a misnomer.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/02/11 at 06:56 PM | #

I think Sailor’s post makes sense because it asks to be taken psychologically.

And bmull’s noticing how in Amanda’s e-mail “there is almost no detail about how she and Raffaelle spent the night” might also include a paucity of detail about the entire fatal day, November 1.

What does she tell us of herself & Raffaele in that e-mail?  After showering & chatting with Meredith, who goes off to shower, Raffaele arrives as she’s eating & makes himself some pasta. (Really? pasta?) Meredith is in & out & says goodbye & “after lunch i began to play guitar with raffael” (copied quote).
Wait now: What happened to breakfast?

Okay, she plays guitar & “after a little while… me and raffael went to his house to watch movies…” 
Didn’t play very long & “after a little while of playing guitar me and raffael went to his house to watch movies and after to eat dinner and generally spend the evening and night indoors.”

Curiously bad English in this e-mail, by the way: “watch movies & after to eat dinner…”  Afterwards, she must mean here.

So what in fact do we know here of that fatal prior day?  Strip it down to bare bones:
(a) As Amanda eats (breakfast? lunch?) Raffaele arrives to cook pasta & eat with her.
(b) She plays guitar before
(c) they go to his place to watch movies
(d) & eat dinner.

breakfast & pasta (lunch)
guitar
movies at Raffaele’s
dinner
home alone: together.

And she emphasizes this: “we didnt go out.” Before waking up at 10:30 next morning.

Not a word about spilled water till later. She wants everybody to forget that entire prior day.

Breakfast,
lunch,
guitar,
movies,
dinner &
a quiet evening at home with water on the floor.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 08/02/11 at 11:53 PM | #

sbman,

I feel terrible for the Kercher family that they’ve got to look at Wikipedia and see lies. You can do anything on Wikipedia if you’ve got numbers, and a pack of pro-Knox editors watch the article like wolves. It doesn’t help that the U.S. media is biased because it’s a lot easier to find wrong sources than to find accurate ones. And because Wikipedia gives less weight to primary sources, a tabloid can literally overrule the Massei report, for example. I hope that the article gets better after the final appeals are exhausted, but I’m fearful that it will turn into a shrine for conspiracy theorists. Very sad.

Posted by bmull on 08/03/11 at 12:49 AM | #

After re reading the email I still don’t understand why they left the blood in the smaller bathroom, considering how much effort they went to cleaning it up elsewhere. I know they were sprung mop-in-hand by the postal police earlier than planned, but Knox had already informed Filomena before that there was blood in the bathroom. Why didn’t they just clean it ALL up, head back to RS’s and deny they were ever there?

Posted by Spencer on 08/03/11 at 01:32 AM | #

Hi Wants Justice,

I don’t think for a minute they are innocent, I just can’t understand why they left the blood when they knew it wasn’t Guede’s. I mean I don’t understand why they left the blood as it didn’t POINT to Guede.

Posted by Spencer on 08/03/11 at 03:11 AM | #

Wants Justice,

I think you are correct about leaving some blood evidence in the bathroom. Whenever I am puzzled by something about this case I ask myself, “Is this a question the killers wanted you to ask?”

The killers wanted investigators to note that someone had washed off the victim’s blood in the bathroom. But they couldn’t leave so much blood that Knox’s lack of concern would seem absurd. So they cleaned some of it. They didn’t realize that Knox’s DNA was mixed with the blood.

Why would the killers want investigators to note the signs of washing up? For one thing, there was no way they could clean the bathroom entirely so they wanted to make it obvious so investigators wouldn’t go snooping around any more than necessary. For another, they had to explain why there wasn’t more blood around the house; they didn’t want investigators looking for signs of a general clean-up. And possibly, they didn’t want it to be suspicious that Guede didn’t have more blood on him in the event he got caught.

And that brings up Spencer’s question as to why the killers returned to the cottage. One is simply that Amanda may have thought she was seen leaving. Another is that they wanted to control when and how the crime scene was discovered. And third they didn’t want to be double-crossed by Guede before the police became involved.

Posted by bmull on 08/03/11 at 04:42 AM | #

PS to mine above:

As Spencer says here:
“I know they were sprung mop-in-hand by the postal police earlier than planned.”
And after going through the Raper/Kermit Powerpoint (an illustrated tour through the whole event as attested by themselves or reconstituted by the evidence) I still do wonder about mop & water:

So then, mop-in-hand they are found incongruously by police.  Why this mop? For needed clean-up. An excuse hastily conceived but they don’t work out details. Amanda blames spill on Raffaele whereas when Dad calls, Raffaele invents a leaking pipe (then fixed? or leaks all night?)
Surely never any spilt water in the first place.

Psychologically, then, water for blood. Spilled at his place, not hers. Spilled by Raffaele rather than Amanda.

Blood spilt like Meredith’s, although sacred as the Savior’s wounds, is foul. Water cleanses & is pure. Holy water, baptism… The imagination of Amanda Knox which is so wonderfully fertile finds an answer for everything.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 08/03/11 at 07:54 AM | #

Knox couldn’t admit to having mopped the floors (as she was known specifically for NOT doing her share of the cleaning). But who needs a mop when you’ve got a soggy tubmat to shimmy down the corridor upon, like a magic evidence-smearing -carpet ride! So the second shower in less than a day’s time was an excuse to ride the mat, and to need Filomena’s blowdrier, so she could mention the faeces. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop was there without a purpose. Then get as many people to tromp all over the flat unassumingly, further tracking and smudging the evidence before the police realise the need to seal the crime scene.

Posted by mimi on 08/03/11 at 08:34 AM | #

No mop in hand outside the house when the communication police arrived and we have been careful never to repeat that in a post. It’s worth searching the Micheli posts here and the full Massei report to see what they do say about mops.

Incongruously, for months later a mop and pail were in fact left parked outside the front door. This is my own shot taken in July 2008. (There seem to be three mops.) This might explain why the rumor has such legs. 

_

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/03/11 at 01:42 PM | #

Bmull,
While I agree with your last paragraph, I’m reluctant to agree with your suggestion that that “The killers wanted investigators to note that someone had washed off the victim’s blood in the bathroom”.

Afterall, they left Guede’s bloody shoeprints heading straight out the front door, and isn’t one incompatable with the other?

Posted by Spencer on 08/03/11 at 01:55 PM | #

Arn’t we a little guilty of giving Knox the benefit of too much intelligence here because I can see perhaps a misinterpretation concerning the blood droplets in the bathroom, the bathmat the mop etc;.
Could it be possible that some of this is just happenstance. or to quote an old saying. “Never rule out Stupidity.”
My point is that in some instances Knox seems to have been incredibly lucky. It’s easy to consider intelligence where there isn’t any, just luck. She was pretty sure of herself afterwards though, turning cartwheels and joking with your murder accomplice is just plain stupid so she must have been pretty smug about the coverup.
cheers G

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/03/11 at 04:11 PM | #

Good to have your corrective, Peter—no mop in hand when police arrived.
Although I quoted Spencer on that (above) in fact I had “remembered” it from elsewhere—somewhere I too had picked that up.

It is nevertheless still a puzzle (with just a touch of urgency about it) why, then, Amanda (or less likely, I think, Sollecito) invented a tale about spilled water?  Surely it was because at some point, somewhere, Amanda felt that she might have been seen—maybe only carting a used clean-up mop away from her place to dispose of it in the trash: she would then have felt the need of a prepared story to explain it.

That Sollecito gives a different reason for the spill to his father (leaky plumbing) means that in any case he too uses or accepts the idea of the spill.

Amanda MAY have invented that idea (for whatever reason) &, if so, it shows a curious reversal of values—& blames.  Water for blood, but in each case a massive spill.  There (at his house) not here (at mine.)  He spilled it, I did not.
And there might be an ambivalence here also: Raffaele pouring out the purifying water may help to cleanse her, deliver her (he’s well-connected in Italy, as she is not.)  I don’t see only blame in this reversal: merely substitution.
Valid or not, that possibility rather haunts me.

But again, thanks for pointing out the error because in a case so momentous (as the Meredith case) every accuracy & every veracity counts.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 08/03/11 at 08:19 PM | #

@bmull, I take it that was you who tried to keep the Wikipedia page on Meredith Kercher honest. Kudos for your efforts, but I agree it’s been hijacked by a cabal of pro-Amanda Knox editors.
I’m sorry but it appears that even alternative sources of information come with their own built in biases and agendas.

One difficulty that I perceive in trying to educate people though. Most people are NICE, and want to believe that others are decent too.

So when they see the sheer volume of lying and sophistry of the FOAK’ers, they get taken aback.

Posted by Ergon on 08/04/11 at 02:06 AM | #

Ernest,
I have a theory that might explain your spilled water, and my bloody bathroom, but it’s late here so I’ll pass it by you another day. Stupidity and bad luck feature in it highly. Though it probably doesn’t rank as high as “Oops, I forgot the lamp”, or “I never made that call Mom”

Thanks for the correction Peter, I too read it somewhere that I thought was reliable.

Posted by Spencer on 08/04/11 at 02:12 AM | #


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