Cool well-argued CNN IReport article by Selene Nelson on why angry bigots with personal issues refuse to address the real case, and why they are too cowardly and incompetent to tackle police and prosecutors closer to home on real injustices, preferring the defaming of foreign civil servants and a foreign victim's family who have no easy way to answer back.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Meredith’s Perugia #12: A Colorful Event Right Now That Meredith Might Have Loved
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
The flowering of the sunflowers. Il girasoli.
They are flowering right now all around Perugia, and especially to the west in Tuscany.
If you are not pre-warned and happen suddenly on one of these fields, you can drive right off the road, the visual impact is so great!
Meredith missed ever seeing this beautiful sight, sad to say. But many of the foreign students from the university towns do go out to see.
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Monday, July 15, 2013
Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
[Typical lecture room at the Perugia School for Foreigners, a language school - and only that]
In your thoroughly dishonest book, which contains easy-to-disprove lies on almost every page, you pretentiously claim this:
As always, I had gone to my mom first. She’s a free spirit who believes we should go where our passions lead us. When I told her mine were leading me 5,599 miles away from home, to Perugia, Italy, for my junior year of college, her unsurprising response was “Go for it!”....
Now I had to convince my dad. He’s a linear thinker who works in finance. He’s into numbers and planning. As practical and organized as he is, he’d have a lot of questions. So I approached him armed preemptively with the answers….
“Dad,” I said, trying to sound businesslike, “I’d like to spend next year learning Italian in a city called Perugia. It’s about halfway between Florence and Rome, but better than either because I won’t be part of a herd of American students. It’s a quiet town, and I’ll be with serious scholars. I’ll be submerged in the culture. And all my credits will transfer to UW.”
This mantra of earnest intentions appears again and again throughout the book. You would return from Europe academically far down the road, and only one more year at college away from a dazzling career of some kind.
What total nonsense. How absurd.
- First, to those fellow students who knew you in Seattle and Perugia, all of this comes as a very big surprise. See the image at bottom here. You were mainly known for voraciously chasing boys and drugs, and any academic ambitions and career ambitions came a distant third and fourth. Perugia at the time had the reputation of being one of Europe’s easiest drug cities; was that as some acquaintances think the real reason you made a beeline to it?
- Second, you were utterly underfunded for a full academic year in Europe which costs Americans on average maybe $20,000. Why did your accountant father and math teacher mother not do the sums, see the huge shortfall, and absolutely insist that you apply for the grants and scholarships that are readily available? How did you propose to work legally in Europe to make up the shortfall, as all Americans working in Europe require a work permit? (And what of your fingering Patrick for the murder, after he took a risk of losing his bar business in hiring you illegally?)
- Third, there is no way that your “study year” in Perugia (if it was to be a year, which is highly doubtful) could represent your junior year at university. There is no way “all” your credits could be transferred to the University of Washington, because the School for Foreigners (a non degree issuing arm of Perugia University) does not even issue credits that count for American universities; in fact it is essentially a glorified language school (a good one but only that) which allows in anyone who wants to study there.
Your status was in fact that of a loose canon for Americans studying abroad. You were really, while denying it, taking a year off from your studies and career in Europe, as this account by an academic counsellor makes quite clear.
The media have now repeated countless times that Amanda Knox was on a “study abroad program”.
In fact, as these things are defined, she was not. It is precisely that she was NOT on a study-abroad program that she was able to adopt a lifestyle that seems to have led her to where she is now.
To go on a study-abroad “program” means that you attend an organized and SUPERVISED curriculum and agenda, most often with peers, faculty and/or at the very least a local administrative staff person assigned to periodically look after the participants’ behavior and well-being.
In fact the University of Washington does not even have a study abroad “program” in Perugia. It merely suggests to UW students that the Universita per Stranieri is a possible destination and place for students to go on their own, and if asked helps out with some administration.
Knox took the “non-conformist” path to study abroad. I recall reading that she did not want to go on a program so as to not follow the group, so to speak. So she did study abroad, but cheaply, and outside an organized program by the University of Washington. She was basically in Perugia on her own.
This is characteristic of at least two type of people, those who are adventurous, exploratory and want a true full-immersion experience into the cultural side of the host country (usually Italian majors), and those who want to be untethered and to have total freedom and no one to answer to so they can do as they wish.
Her casual attitude to her studies and other strong hints in her behavior and writings suggests that she was the latter type.
And presumably her biological parents understood all of this and signed off on it, even before Amanda Knox ever left Seattle.
Parents especially should know that if Knox had attended a UW-operated or US-University run study abroad program with supervision, her attendance in class would have been monitored, and any behavior that would upset roommates may have been reported.
In these programs for the most part there are strict housing rules such as no overnight guests, let alone bringing guys home to sack up with. Most of the time roommates will complain on the spot or get back to the American administrators that they have an out-of-control roommate bringing guys home, drinking excessively, or doing drugs.
In addition, programs with the proper supervision have enough of a presence to let the participants know that someone is at least checking up now and again. And as a result they watch their behavior.
Furthermore, in well-run programs, students are given significant preparation about living in the specific host country and city with pre-departure materials and perhaps meetings, talking with ex-participants, and attending an extensive multi-day orientation where staff and even local police lecture them about the many pitfalls of living in a foreign and new environment away from home.
They are reminded that the laws are different in other countries, and more importantly that there are some bad people walking the streets. They are told to enjoy themselves and learn, but also to be careful, stay alert, stay out of trouble, and so on.
I myself work in study abroad and we know what unleashed unsupervised colleges students get themselves into. We are trained to look for potential problems and we visit all students accommodations at least once per month and speak with everyone there.
We have open-door counseling and professionals with years of experience on staff. We watch out for all our students regularly… we know what behavior to look for, and when to intervene, at least most of the time.
Yes, it costs more to attend the Universita per Stranieri or any overseas university through a US-college or US-university monitored program with local on-site staff and supervision.
But the situation Amanda has created, or at least found herself in, is much less likely to happen to students on a supervised and accredited study abroad program.
Let’s face it, at the age of 20, 21, or 22, many young adults are still really more or less kids. Naive and vulnerable, especially those who have yet to explore their “wild side”, they sometimes see this as an opportunity to make up for lost time.
This is exemplified in the fact that many pass out from drinking in the days after they arrive. Bottom line, they need guidance, and no more so than when they are 8000 miles from home and on their own.
Knox took the “I am too good to go on study abroad program with fellow students” route and the cheapest way overseas. And it is not proving so cheap anymore.
Her biological parents really should have known better. All parents should either make sure the students are mature enough, or make sure they have a structured environment that can assist them while abroad. It is well worth the extra cost and peace of mind.
So the media should please get this straight from now on.
* Amanda Knox was NOT on a study abroad “program” while in Perugia. She was at most “studying abroad” as that term is used very loosely.
* She took a leave from the University of Washington to study Italian at what is essentially a glorified language school which anyone can attend.
* She was totally unsupervised in a high-risk situation where it would have seemed obvious to any supervisor that she was looking to break away.
* And she most likely would have had a very difficult time getting any credit for her studies from the University of Washington at the conclusion.
So. The worst possible deal for any student abroad. The parents signed off in advance. It seems to have exploded on Knox. And poor Meredith died.
In fact so scary was your semi-connection to the University of Washington with its zero control and potential huge liabilities that SINGLE HANDED your irresponsible and dangerous arc in Perugia sparked reforms in universities throughout American
Mirroring a nationwide trend, the University of Washington is overhauling how its students and professors interface with foreign countries….
The UW study abroad experience today involves much more oversight than it did two years ago when Amanda Knox left on an unsupervised European adventure that quickly degenerated into a nightmare.
When Knox, who is on trial for murder in Italy, left her familiar U-district environs in late summer 2007, she embarked on her own independent study in Umbria with very few guidelines or institutional oversight.
She arrived in the tolerant student melange of Perugia, a vibrant college town with temptation at every turn and many paradoxes (drug deals and party plans are often made on the steps of the cathedral).
A month later, the honor student’s pub-crawling, pot-smoking college shenanigans had taken a very serious turn and she was being hauled off to the Capanne penitentiary, where she remains today, pleading her innocence as the trial and controversial accusations against her plod forward.
Once her troubles began, the university tried to offer support, but had very few official guidelines to follow for responding to the kind of complicated legal-judicial matter Knox faced.
It’s different now….
In the wake of several negative overseas episodes, officials are busy raising awareness about the positive impact the UW is having worldwide and taking steps to improve communications, regulation and emergency preparedness for its students abroad.
Compared with two years ago, international education officials are more closely tracking who, where and what study-abroad programs involve. The university has new rules:. The department chair has to sign off on the program. Insurance is required. So is a cell phone. No program money can be used to buy alcohol, just for starters.
“There’s a much more formal process now,” said Taso Lagos, a UW professor who teaches international communication and manages a study-abroad program in Greece. “With administrators that are very aware, with lines of communication open and policies in place if something happens.”...
The UW’s growing commitment to international education—- even in a budget crisis—is reflected in some developments. [UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs Stephen Hanson] was named a vice provost in January, and in the spring, the UW dedicated an entire wing of the Gerberding Hall administration building to growing an international mission and profile.
This year, a travel security and information officer is coming on board to oversee emergency response and preparedness, as is Peter Moran, a new director of international programs and exchanges who previously worked at the Fulbright Commission office in Katmandu, Nepal.
New guidelines are being put in place to streamline communications, ease financial transactions and institute mandatory training for faculty taking students abroad. The Global Support Project, a rapid-response team with one person from each branch of the central administration, takes on cross-disciplinary international challenges.
Such reforms aren’t unique to UW.
Universities across the country are examining how better to organize study abroad to meet blossoming demand from students (and prospective employers) for foreign experience. Many are turning to independent service providers whose business it is to contract housing, health care or niche risk management services dealing with legal, financial or public relations crises when things go haywire abroad…..
Though the university bore no responsibility for any of the events Knox became entangled in, media across the world continued to mention the University of Washington—whether it was because of character witnesses who were her college buddies, reports of wild off-campus parties Knox attended in Seattle or her studies while in prison.
Your notion of a diligent, serious, demanding year in Italy appears again and again throughout your book. It is the whole basis for why you were at least the equal of Meredith and her circle and the others who lived in your house.
For why you would have little time off for irresponsible partying. For why there was no way you could possibly feel jealous or over-competitive toward Meredith.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases
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Thursday, July 11, 2013
Fast Forwarding And Minimalizing Demanded By Cassation Could See Appeal Conclude This Year
Posted by Peter Quennell
We posted below on Florence’s probable new chief prosecutor, the formidable Dr Spataro.
The new attorney general for Tuscany, Dr Tindari Baglione, is also said to be formidably unbending. He will select the prosecutors for the appeal. The selection of judges is unlikely to follow the murky precedent of Perugia’s humiliated Chief Judge Di Nunzio in appointing what Cassation considered to be two incompetents.
One of the many dirty tricks involved Giulia Bongiorno’s new baby. She asked for plenty of time to attend to it, which humanized her, and the 2011 appeal court met on average only every 3-4 weeks. This allowed the PR to build to a crescendo over the better part of a year.
Also it placed the Kerchers at a huge disadvantage as they get no financial help to attend. The 2011 jury saw them just once face to face - after the verdict had been “decided”.
We wont see a replay of that farce in Florence. Weekly meetings of the court are expected, and with this fast-forwarding and the instructions of Cassation to minimize the scope, the verdict should be arrived at by the end of this year, or only very shortly thereafter.
Cassation could endorse the final outcome as soon as next spring or summer.
Well prior to this playing out, the investigations into the contempt of court by RS and AK in their ill-advised books will be completed, and new charges against both of them and their publishers and key capos in their entourages seem rather certain, as well as against Oggi.
If RS and AK fail to attend the opening session of the appeal court they would not neccessarily be charged additionally, but they could be ordered back to prison for the duration of the appeal and arrest warrants could be issued,
If there is a real case to be made for either of them not attending we have not seen it. But their books pretty well rule out any exposure to cross-examination on the stand.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Appeal Starts 30 Sept: Why This Man Could Stop Defense Dirty Tricks In Their Tracks
Posted by Peter Quennell
In September Florence’s current chief prosecutor Giuseppe Quattrocchi will retire - and Dr Spataro is considered to be the frontrunner to take his place.
The Florence prosecution team is being made even more formidably tough these days because it has some very high-profile cases involving national politicians and corruption on its hands.
Read Yummi’s detailed post of 21 January which explains much of this context - and why Florence will be very averse to the dirty tricks the Knox-Sollecito defenses and their allies were able to pull in Perugia.
Florence was the jurisdiction where a rogue prosecutor and a rogue judge sentenced Dr Mignini for what Cassation scathingly declared were fully legal actions, when it recently killed a trumped-up case against him and Dr Michele Giuttari stone dead - and opened the way to Dr Mignini being the next chief prosecutor in Perugia.
Dr Spataro will be especially formidable against Knox and Sollecito and their army of shoot-themselves-in-the-foot defamers because he has stood up to strong Italian government and American government pressures before. Our September 2009 post explained:
Italy’s a tough country with, albeit dwindling now, a legacy of violent crime, and many brave prosecutors over the years have been assassinated.
And the Italian legal system is not particularly weighted in their direction, with a large number of hurdles they have to climb over before a case ever gets to trial.
And the Italian prison system is relatively lenient, heavily pro-prisoner-remediation and early release, and proportionally only 1/10 the size of the US’s.
So the endemic attempts to undermine Prosecutor Mignini have invariably won only MORE popular support for him and his case in Perugia and Italy in general.
And the only “criminal charge” against him (it isn’t) seems to flow from his guessing right in the Monster of Florence case - and apparently no charge of this kind has ever won a “conviction”.
Above is Milan Deputy Chief Prosecutor Armando Spataro. He is in the news now because he has demanded prison sentences for TWENTY-SIX Americans.
Between them they seem to have colluded in grabbing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, an Egyptian in Italy, back in President Bush’s day, and taking him off to be tortured.
Not to the United States where torture is not legal, but to Egypt where it more-or-less is.
Human rights advocates charge that renditions were the CIA’s way to outsource the torture of prisoners to countries where it was practiced.
The CIA has declined to comment on the Italian case, and all the Americans are being tried in absentia and are considered fugitives.
As we remarked in [another] post it is pretty hard for a foreign government and especially now the American government to throw sand in the Italian wheels of justice.
The American government is really just sitting this one out. And it may be covertly delighted when Amanda Knox and her clan fade to silence.
Dr Spataro went on to win that case against the 26. Although their extradition is not yet being pushed,-for, the State Department sided with Italy and gave them no immunity.
State was even sued over that, but good Italy-America relations were deemed important enough to come first.
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Saturday, July 06, 2013
Crazed Rant Against Judge Massei Expected to Hurt Prospects For Both Sollecito And Knox
Posted by Peter Quennell
It is believed that neither RS’s father nor his lawyers nor the Knox people have any control now over him. He is right now quite a loose canon, and very close to finding himself entirely on his own.
There is widespread outrage at the attack on Judge Massei (image above) who is known as a kindly and courteous man, and a very good judge. Correctly understood, he gave the two quite a break in 2009 with the “mitigating factors” and placing of the main blame on Rudy Guede.
Judge Massei knows about this attack and it appears he will take action against it. It is expected to result in further consequences for Sollecito. The attack seems unprecedented in the US and UK as well as in Italy.
The attack seems more evidence of the contempt of the court for which Sollecito is already under investigation in Florence by the SAME chief prosecutor who will organize the prosecution team for the re-run of the appeal. It almost makes inevitable that Cassation’s hard line will be reflected in the outcome of that appeal.
As to what inspired it, Sollecito is universally regarded locally as a wimp, a weak character, who was under Knox’s control during the attack on Meredith she organized, and has been outshone by her since. (His book actually says this in places.) In the crisis that is the Cassation ruling, he wants to show her above all that he has a personality, and thinks that insulting the judiciary is the way to prove it.
Thumbing his nose at Knox? Macho strutting to win her back?
Knox is said to be under very tight control, so presumably we wont be getting her take on it any time soon.
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Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Questions For Sollecito: Did Your Father & Lawyers Pre-Approve This Rant?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
[Francesco Sollecito previously on Italian national TV trying to explain the weirdness of his son]
This is in response to your open letter to Italy’s TGCom website.
You are starting to sound eerily like the serial killer Ted Bundy in jubilant “catch me if you can” mode. Ted Bundy also thought he was the brightest guy on the block and the cops, prosecutors and judges were all a few bricks short of a wall.
Ted Bundy was of course caught, by smart cops, and put on trial, by smart prosecutors in front of a smart judge and jury. He made a terrible hash of his defence, he was unanimously found guilty, by a jury of smart peers, and he was made to pay his dues to society and the victims’ families - with his life.
You posted this to an audience in Italy which for the most part thoroughly dislikes you, when you are already in line for sentences that could cost you 30 years ranging up to life.
So. Did your father Francesco and your lawyers Bongiorno and Maori (and all of Knox’s people) give you the go-ahead for this seriously bizarre rant, or not?
Once upon a time, there was Amanda and Raffaele, she was an American student, studying languages and he studying Computer Science. They met at a classical concert and fell in love… no wait like that it is too boring….Lets make it more intriguing, lets see…..I know!
The prosecution found a crazy drunk, and cocaine dealer, Kokomani, after a year the story becomes: Amanda and Raffaele met in August, no one knows how or when, and one day at a bar, where Kokomani would get drunk, Amanda’s uncle came from America, no one knows why or when, and introduces the fiancees ( about to get married, I would say at this point) to the ignorant (unknown) Kokmani (who maybe thought he was going to be the best man) it’s clear. UNDERLINING that he is Amanda’s uncle and the two young people are Amanda and Raffaele (famous at the time, after all)
Mmmm…...come on it’s not the best, but at least it is more interesting, it doesn’t matter that there is no confirmation to none of this, anyway it’s a movie, OK. let’ s continue…..
Raffaele rents a house on Corso Garibaldi, a five minute walk from Via della Pergola, where Amanda lives with three roommates, Meredith, Filomena and Laura. The two pass many days together, they cuddle, have fun, they have outings to towns close to Perugia, and a couple of times they have lunch at Amanda’s house with the other flatmates. They live enthusiastic days, smiling every time they look in each others eyes….. Halloween Day, Oct. 31 2007, Amanda goes to work at Patrick Lumumba’s pub, so Raffaele works on his thesis and late that night they meet up….. to be together as always, taking care of each other.
Uff! What a pain in the ass! Give this movie a bit of adrenaline, what the hell! O.K. O.K…...one day along comes a heroin addicted serial super witness brought by the prosecution who says that he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana, by a small villa a few feet from via della Pergola, discussing vividly, no one knows what and no one knows what day, but it happened at 9:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. circa. It doesn’t matter that the night between the end of Oct. and beginning of Nov. was freezing cold, it doesn’t matter that Raffaele has a house where he can do what the hell he wants, but according to the heroin addicted serial super witness, the two were under the rain for three hours (if we are talking about Nov. 1, 2007) and the cold discussing who knows what, furthermore, the heroin addicted serial super witness of murders (who’s name is Curatolo) says that when he went back to Piazza Grimana the two contentious fiancees were no longer there and he saw the buses that go to the discos boarding the kids…..it doesn’t matter that the 1st of Nov. there is not a bus in this world because the night at the disco was on the night of Halloween, Oct.31, 2007…...for the Pubblico Ministero Giuliano Mignini, Curatolo was a credible witness. Even because heroin does not produce hallucinations while cannabis does.
In reality the two fiancees passed the evening and the night at Raffaeles’s house since it was free and they had an intensive week of commitments. The 1st of Nov. in particularly Amanda had to work at Patrick’s pub, but as the evening was not busy he did not need Amanda, and after a friend of Raffaele’s passed by to cancel an appointment to go to the bus station, suddenly the two fiancees had the night free and they passed the time watching the movie “il favoloso mondo di Ameliè”, then eating fish Amanda read Harry Potter in German to Raffaele and they made love all night…...
Il Giudice di Primo Grado, Giancarlo Massei took in full the version of the heroin addicted serial super witness tramp….. Come on Giancarlo we are still not satisfied! Come on! These two fiancees are cramming our balls!! You are all of us….
According to the reconstruction of Judge Giancarlo Massei, that sentenced Amanda and Raffaele to 25 and 26 years in prison, things went this way: Amanda and Raffaele after being 3 hours in the cold under the rain, the night of the 1st of November 2007, head toward Amanda’s house in Pergola street and go right away into Amanda’s room (a room that was smaller than Raffaele’s cell when he was in prison) and start making love to bother Meredith who was reading a book in the other room…doesn’t matter that more than 5 people had car trouble and were waiting for a tow-truck, in front of the house during that time, and they give testimony that nobody passed by
Sorry, but why didn’t Amanda and Raffaele go to Raffaele’s house that was free and nobody would have been bothered?.. . Come-on! Why do you have to take into consideration this useless details, show us some firecrackers! Go Giancarlo!
Judge Massei continues: sometime during the evening, while the two were having sex in Amanda’s room, suddenly somebody knocked at the door… Amanda and gets up and gets dressed goes to the door and who does she see? ...Rudy Guede, a colored guy that didn’t know anybody except the guys of the lower floor and had met Amanda and Meredith one time but never in his life had he met Raffaele,. that urgently needed to take a shit.
But what?! What kind of plot is this? Where in the hell do you see that people go around knocking on doors because they need to take a shit?... Come on Giancarlo do not disappoint us! But judge Massei does not disappoint us…. Meanwhile Amanda opens the door to the poor black, victim of bewitched charm for Amanda, and goes inside to go to take a shit…. and Amanda as if nothing happen, goes back in the room and gets undressed again…
But why couldn’t Meredith go open the door while she was reading a book?..Oh, right! Otherwise Amanda loose the part of the main actress, sorry, you are right!
Practically , according to Judge Giancarlo Massei’s reconstruction the story goes on like this : while Amanda and Raffaele went back to have sex, Rudy Guede comes out of the bathroom, after listening to some songs on his ipod, he is overwhelmed by the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS that Amanda and Raffaele were relishing in the house hallway and the house room….
WTF Giancarlo, this is tough shit! Not even Dario Argento could come up with something like that…. “SEXUAL VIBRATIONS”....WTF you are a genius!! Give me five!...but the good part has still to come: when Guedé smells the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS, all of a sudden he is possessed and decides by all means that he has to have sexual intercourse with Meredith.. and ventures in her room and, being rejected, because poor soul he is ugly, Raffaele and Amanda get into the action and at that point dont help Meredith who is their friend, but, to the contrary and unexpectedly, they help Rudy Guede to rape Meredith and than finish her up cutting her throat…
All three had knives: Rudy has a past as thief, he used to burglarize offices and apartments with the same “modus operandi” that he used to get in in via della Pergola, moreover he has been captured while sleeping in a kindergarten in Milano with a knife in his bag. Raffaele had always a little collector knife in his pocket: never mind that he never used it to hurt anybody in his life, there are no traces of anybody else on his little knife ….Amanda… and Amanda? Judge Massei says that she used an enormous kitchen knife got from the “looser” Raffaele’s house and put it in her purse…. why?? because…YOU NEVER KNOW (a 15 cm knife can be always useful …).. Massei says.
But the poor Meredith was a small build girl, her wounds are not that big and that knife would have gone through the neck because of how big it is… there isn’t blood on that knife nor Meredith’s DNA because the analysis of the scientific police are completely unreliable , not having being compelled to observe the international protocols. There are no bleach traces. What the police says are hypothesis never proved .
Come on, details! But there are no traces of Amanda and Raffaele on the crime scene, there are only Guede’s, everywhere. How it is possible that they were cleaned, were are the traces of the cleaning??! Come on do not break our nuts! This is just details, let me see this movie!
What about that little bra hook? There are 5 different profiles…all on the iron part of the hook, nothing on the tissue: it has been found 46 days after the “polizia scientifica” swept the crime scene, and meanwhile even the police swept the scene with no anti-contamination precautions and put upside down the all apartment. There isn’t Raffaele profile on that hook: if that mix of traces is properly read you can find anybody’s DNA
Do you want to stop with these bothersome things?!! Lets finish to see this movie!! Massei concludes: we don’t know why Amanda and Raffaele choose to kill Meredith, but we have to accept their choice. THE EVIL CHOICE. Probably under the influence, because they didn’t despise her, taking into account that they said that they smoked a joint… unfortunately nobody tested to check if Amanda and Raffaele used heavy drugs or were in the habit of binge drinking. WTF! Great job! You weld The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon!! Giancarlo you are my idol!!!!
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Sollecito's alibis, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos
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Friday, June 28, 2013
Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. Point of our series
TMJK’s core focus has long been upon “What happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia, on the night of November 1-2, 2007?”
Over the last 4+ years, more than 20 TJMK posts, with more than 400 comments, have addressed the subject of possible scenarios and timelines for those events. They represent a lot of thought and many are worth reading if you haven’t come across them before.
This post is the scond in a series that will reappraise the more probable speculations, using the current state of our information. The first post was four weeks ago.
Reader comments in response to Part 1 amply reflect readers’ interest in exploring the various ‘open Questions’ referred-to, and how efforts to make Knox and Sollecito confront the true answers are obfuscated by their falsehoods.
The Truth of the actions of Knox and Sollecito on November 1st & 2nd, 2007, is so precious to them that they attend that Truth with a ‘Bodyguard of Lies’, to borrow Winston Churchill’s famous WW11 dictum. They even further obfuscate the answers to our questions by selectively employing a Bodyguard of Actual Truths.
The aim of their broken drain-pipe under the sink story (see previous post) was to persuade investigators, and everyone else:
1. That there was a broken drain-pipe under the sink (Massei Translation p.67), and
2. That the alleged water-leak occurred BEFORE the murder.
Their obfuscations include:
1. The omission of references to incriminating truths, e.g. omission of references to the hammer-toe on RS’s right-foot, one of his most incriminating physical attributes (see representative image of a right-foot hammer-toe below), and
2. The inclusion of “Half” truths, and
3. The inclusion of references to non-incriminating truths.
2. Integrated timing of phone events
This post is an integrated comparison of the timing of the phone-events byy coordinated universal time, merging Massei’s sections on Amanda Knox [AKP], and Meredith Kercher [MKP], as well as that of Rafaelle Sollecito [RSP].
[For the day of 31.10.07 it was shown that Meredith’s mobile phone with service provider Vodafone 348-4673711 sent an SMS at 18:27:50 hours using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. (this signal is received in Via della Pergola 7.)
The same number received an SMS at 18:29:05 hours (this exchange of messages took place with the number 388-8921724) connecting to the same cell.
[RSP]: − on 31.10.07 Raffaele received *a call+ from the father’s fixed line (No. 080-3958602) at 22:14 for 44 seconds.
With respect to Sollecito’s mobile phone 340-3574303, attention was paid to the entire day of 1.11.07 with the following results]
Which help establish a less-suspicious baseline for comparison with later, more-suspicious results.
[RSP]− 00:00:39 an outgoing call, just after midnight
The phone traffic with regard to the day of 1.11.07 was reconstructed in the following terms (cfr. statement of Assistant Stefano Sisani at the hearing of 20.3.09).
AKP− 00:41:49 hours: outgoing phone call of 20 seconds, to a number whose holder was not identified
RSP− on 1.11.07 *he+ called the father’s house at 00:02:41 for 262 seconds
AKP− 00:57:20: Amanda’s mobile phone sent an SMS, using the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (which does not provide coverage to Sollecito’s house, since it pertains to Via Ulisse Rocchi, Piazza Cavallotti, etc. and therefore at the heart of Perugia’s historic center). This consisted of the SMS which the young woman exchanged with Raffaele at the end of the Halloween evening to arrange meeting up with her boyfriend and be accompanied home
RSP− 00:57 an incoming SMS 319
AKP− 1:04:58: Amanda’s mobile phone received *a call+ for 53 seconds from the number 075/9660789, located in Piazza Danti 26
RSP− 14:25 an incoming call which lasted 58 seconds
RSP− 16:50 an incoming call, coming from the mobile phone of the father, lasting 214 sec.
RSP− 16:56 another call from the father (64 sec.)
AKP− 20:18:12: Amanda receives the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic‛ pub on the evening of 1 November. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell. This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub
AKP− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7 − no other [use] was shown for the
day of 1.11.07, noting that Amanda declared during hearings that she had switched her mobile phone off once she had returned 323 to Raffaele’s house, since she was more than happy she did not have to go to work and could spend the evening with her boyfriend.]
Knox may also have been LESS than happy that Lumumba preferred Meredith instead of Knox as an employee. This was humiliating-enough to Knox for Knox to decide that the time to cut Meredith down-to-size was now.
[RSP− 20:42:56 call from the father (221 seconds: this is the conversation which Dr. F. Sollecito referred to, made at the end of the film he had just seen in the cinema, which the father recommended to the son, at which point [it is said that] Raffaele informed his father of a problem with a broken drain-pipe under the sink in the kitchen”. ]
Massei Translation page 25: On “the evening of November 1, 2007 at around 10:00 pm, someone called and warned Elisabetta Lana not to use the toilet of her dwelling because it contained a bomb which could explode. Mrs. Lana immediately notified the police of this phone call; and they came to the house but did not find anything. Mrs. Lana and her husband were nonetheless asked to go to the Postal Police the next day to report said telephone call.”
MKP – 20:56 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to Meredith’s mother’s home in England.
MKP – 21:58 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to mobile phone’s answering service, voicemail ‘901’.
MKP – 22:00 hours on 1 November 07, dial to Meredith’s London bank ‘ABBEY’.
MKP – 22:13:29 hours (9 seconds) on 1 November 07, attempted internet connection. Connection consistent with being attempted from cottage, but inconsistent with being attempted from Mrs.Lana’s.]
Massei Translation, page 331, attributes the above 4 dialings to Meredith absent-mindedly playing with the mobile phone in her hand, and her phone may well have still been in her hand when her attackers surprised her.
Question: Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 22:13:29 hours on 1 November 07? Yes.
At about 22:30 hours Car broken-down nearby. Tow-Truck called-for.
At about 23:00 hours Tow-Truck arrives to load car.
At about 23:13 hours Tow-Truck leaves with loaded car.
[RSP- 23:41:11 RS’s father attempts phone-call but makes no oral contact. Father leaves message which is not received until 06:02:59 on 2.11.07.]
This 23:41:11 call was attempted during the very time-frame of the attack on Meredith, her murder, and the flight of her killers with her mobile telephones. Meredith’s Phone[s] were removed from her cottage by about Midnight, less than 20 minutes after this attempted call.
With regard to the day of 2.11.07:
[for 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - 0:10: 31, “when it has been established as an incontrovertible fact that Meredith’s English mobile phone was no longer in Via della Pergola, the mobile phone having received the contact under the coverage from Wind signal [cell] ..25622, which is incompatible with the cottage.”]
Question: Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 00:10: 31, 2.11.07? No!
Therefore Meredith’s English mobile phone had been removed from her cottage between 10.13.39 p.m. on 1.11.07 (more likely 11.13 p.m. when tow-truck departed) and 0:10:31 on 2:11:07; about 10 ½ minutes after midnight – say Meredith’s Phone[s] Removed By About Midnight, allowing for the time-elapse before being dumped near Mrs. Lana’s place. (Hellmann obfuscated this time-span on page 14 of his report, implying it to be more than 10 hours after midnight rather than about 10 ½ minutes after midnight.)
At some time before Meredith’s attackers fled, they had seized her mobile telephones, probably near the beginning of the attack, having started their attack with a pre-emptive strike to intimidate Meredith, remove all hope, surround her, display knives, seal all possible escape-routes, and remove any possibility of phone-calling for help.
Immediately after Meredith’s scream her attackers had silenced her with the fatal stabbing, and then fled immediately.
They fled with her already-seized but still switched-on mobile telephones, probably without locking anything, including Meredith’s door.
Their over-riding and 1st imperative was not-to-be-caught-at-the-crime-scene.
Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).
In “Darkness Descending” page 13, it states:
Mrs. Lana’s backyard overlooks a steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below. It is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes, an ideal place to dispose of evidence. If the phones had fallen just a few yards further, they would certainly have gone over the edge of the cliff, down into a 50m gully, straight into a thick scrub of nettles, and probably been lost forever….
In “Death in Perugia” Follain states (Book page 62; Kindle Locations 343-6), apparently as his opinion re Lana’s daughter finding Meredith’s English phone: “It was hidden in some bushes, and she would never have found it if it hadn’t started ringing.”,
Having accomplished this 2nd imperative, Meredith’s killers paused to attend to their 3rd imperative: re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was ‘an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was ‘an outside job’.
One should bear in mind that these killers should have still been overwhelmed by their having actually committed a crime beyond their wildest imaginings.
Their panic impaired their thinking, and their ignorance, immaturity, inexperience, lack of technical resources and their arrogance precluded their selecting deceptions more effective against knowledgeable, experienced professional crime-investigators with a large fund of resources. They probably think that throwing the stone from inside Filomena’s room was a brilliant deception.
They wish it had never happened.
They wish they could make it unhappen (Hellmann/Zanetti got close to fulfilling this wish, but got themselves unhappened by Cassation)
They wish they could prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.
They cannot prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.
They may be able to postpone its discovery, but not longer than the inevitable return of the cottage-mates, later that day.
They believe that the person who ‘discovers’ a murder may become 1st-suspect.
They may be able to manouevre others-than-themselves into being the ones that make the discovery – quite a wily aim.
It is beyond reasonable doubt that
1. Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that
2. Her killers did not switch-off these mobile telephones, and that.
3. Her killers threw the telephones into an apparent ravine, landing in Mrs.Lana’s garden, and that
4. This phone-dump was accomplished before 00:10: 31, 2.11.07, and that
5. Amanda Knox caused:
- i. the English phone to ring at 12:07:12 (16 seconds) and be discovered by Mrs.Lana’s daughter only because it rang , and
ii. the other phone, registered to Filomena Romanelli, to ring, very briefly, at 12:11:02 (3 seconds) and,
iii. the English phone to ring again, also very briefly, at 12:11:54 (4 seconds), after being brought into Mrs.Lana’s house.
6. Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.
In the opinion of the Court of Assizes (Massei Translation p.325), Amanda Knox’s call to Meredith’s phone was
...the first indispensible step before putting the  planned staging into action. The lack of a reply, since the poor girl was obviously already dead, gave a reason for reassurance about the fact that the young woman’s phone had not somehow been retrieved, [and] was therefore safe in the spot where it had been thrown, which, according to the expectations [in the minds] of the murderers was a precipice or some other inaccessible spot, rather than in the garden of a villa located barely outside the city, where the vegetation concealed it from view.
A plausible alternative opinion is that Knox’s calls to the obviously already dead Meredith were an obfuscatory stab to simulate what Knox imagined an innocent person would do.
Knox may well have expected that she was safe from phone-discovery, but these calls turned out to be the very instrument of a phone-discovery.
Had Knox not made these obfuscatory stabs, in the time-frame she made them Meredith’s phone would not have rung when it did ring and would therefore not have been discovered by Mrs, Lana’s daughter when she did discover it.
For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:
[MKS – 00:10:31; duration and caller unspecified, but Wind signal [cell] incompatible with cottage, but compatible with Mrs. Lana’s place.
Therefore, Meredith’s mobile cell-phone had already been taken away from the cottage by her killers. It is not possible to determine from this phone-record whether the phone was switched on or off, but this phone was discovered at Mrs. Lana’s place because it was ringing, and therefore was “on”.
MKS− 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.
AKP− 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)
RSP− 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father wishing
Raffaelle a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr. Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07]
3+ Hours after receiving his father’s message from 23:41:11 of 1.11.07:
[RSP− 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds]
At this time RS’s consiousness would be dominated by his guilty knowledge, and probably far-advanced in the accomplishment of the 3rd imperative.
Did RS and father spend 4+ minutes discussing the weather?
This is the first father/son opportunity to formulate the two-pronged water-leak story.
Although AK had already been to the hardware store 2 hours before, they may well not have known the potential DNA problems with the knife, the need to scrub it vigorously, to clean-out, and repair the drain-pipes under the sink, and the need to return the knife to RS’s kitchen drawer.
As it turned-out, Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.
They probably did not know that incriminating stains could be invisible, but can be revealed byLuminol.
RSP− 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds
RSP− 09:30 (duration unspecified?) the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell.(the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30).]
These two calls were probably spent dotting ‘i’s, crossing ‘t’s, and exchanging options, such as enlisting sister Vanessa’s skills and contacts.
Another 2+ Hours later:
[AKP− 12:07:12 (duration of 16 seconds) Amanda calls the English phone number 00447841131571 belonging to Meredith Kercher. The mobile phone connects to the cell at  Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (the signal from this cell is picked up at Sollecito’s house)
AKP− 12.08.44 (lasted 68 seconds) Amanda calls Romanelli Filomena on number 347-1073006; the mobile phone connects to the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell (which covers Sollecito’s house)
Discovery will be inevitable when Filomena eventuallyarrives-back at the cottage.
AK/RS have accepted that they have to ‘stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish their 3rd imperative.
Amanda did not say a word in this phone-call to Filomena about Amanda’s phone call to Meredith, thereby withholding information that should have led Amanda to initiate discovery of Meredith’s body, and help Amanda to manouevre someone other than Amanda into being the one who ‘discovers’ Meredith’s body.
AKP− 12:11:02 (3 seconds) the Vodafone number 348-4673711 belonging to Meredith (this is the one [i.e. SIM card] registered to Romanelli Filomena) is called and its answering service is activated (cell used: Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector3)
MKS: For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:
− 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.
AKP− 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)
AKP− 12:12:35 (lasting 36 seconds) Romanelli Filomena calls Amanda Knox (No. 348-4673590); Amanda receives the call connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (still at Raffaele’s house)
AKP− 12:20:44 (lasting 65 seconds) Romanelli F. calls Amanda, who receives the call connecting to the cell in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (good for Corso Garibaldi 30)
AKP− 12:34:56 (48 seconds): Filomena calls Amanda who receives it from the cottage on Via della Pergola 7 (the cell used is that on Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. As mentioned, Raffaele also used the same cell when he called the service centre at 12:35 hours to recharge [the credit of] his mobile phone)
RSP− 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)
RSP− 12:38: Vodafone sent a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)
RSP− 12:40: incoming call from the father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)]
Do RS and father exchange caveats?
[AKP− 12:47:23 (duration of 88 seconds): Amanda calls the American (USA) number 00120069326457, using the cell on Piazza Lupatetlli sector 7; the phone call takes place prior to the one which, at 12.51.40, Raffaele Sollecito will make to ‚112‛, connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1, which gives coverage to Via della Pergola 7]
In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 1st call, acknowledges making the call, and purports, now, to recall its substance, providing the reader with her version of what was said.
[AKP− 13:24:18 (duration of 162 seconds): Amanda calls the same American number which corresponds to the home of her mother, Mrs Edda Mellas, using the same cell. It is obvious that the young woman is inside the cottage, where by this point, several minutes earlier, the Postal Police had shown up,  represented by Inspector Battistelli and Assistant Marzi, who were engaged in the task of tracking down Filomena Romanelli, who was the owner of the Vodafone phonecard contained in the mobile phone found earlier in the garden of the villa on Via Sperandio]
In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 2nd call either, she acknowledges making the call, and provides the reader with her current version of what was said.
[RSP− 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320
RSP− 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called ‚112‛ to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)
RSP− 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112‛ (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)
MKS− 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second): the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7
AKP− 13:27:32 (duration of 26 seconds): Amanda calls the American number 0012069319350, still using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7.
AKP− 13:29:00 (duration of 296 seconds) Amanda receives [a call] from No. 075/54247561 (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)
RSP− 13:40:12: incoming call from the father (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)]
AKP− ?13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number
– see below at 13:58:33
AKP− 13:58:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number
The above item is a faithful translation from the Massei Motivazione section on Amanda Knox’s mobile phone traffic, but is listed out-of-time-sequence; the assigned-time is probably a ‘typo’ – “13:48:33” is much more likely correct.
[RSP− 14:33: the father called for 21 seconds (as above)]
Do RS and father exchange more caveats?
[AKP− 14:46:14 (102 seconds) Amanda receives a call from the German number 494154794034, most likely belonging to her aunt Doroty Craft
MKS− 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.
AKP− 15:31:51 (1 second): Amanda receives an SMS sent from the number 389/1531078; at this point the cell being used is the one on Via Cappuccinelli 5/A sector 2, where the Questura [police headquarters] is located
In the hours that followed the [mobile phone record] printouts show that the answering service of Amanda’s number 348-4673590 was activated due to a lack of signal coverage.]
Massei Translation p.324:
Finally, the analyses of the [phone record] printouts highlight that the first phone call made by Amanda on the day of 2 November was to Meredith Kercher’s English number.
The American student called her English flatmate even before contacting Romanelli Filomena to whom she intended to express, as she testified in court, her fears about the strange things she had seen in the cottage, which she had returned to at about 11 o’clock in order to shower in preparation for the excursion to Gubbio which she and Raffaele had planned.
It is strange that Amanda did not say a word to Filomena about the phone call to their flatmate, when the call, not having been answered, would normally have caused anxiety and posed some questions as to why Meredith did not answer the phone at such an advanced hour of the day.
[RSP− 17:01: the father called for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station
RSP− 17:42: the father called for 97 seconds (as above).
With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)
The above 2 calls presumably covered final agreements on the Father/son stories.
For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing.]
This finishes the merged listings of the Massei sections on AKP, MKP, and RSP, using the UPC telephone traffic, reappraising the more probable scenarios surrounding what happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia on the night of November 1-2, 2007.
Readers are invited to make their own suggestions on probable scenarios, here below or in email.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013
A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)
On June 18. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassazione issued the official rationale for the sentence of annulment of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict.
That verdict acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of murder and sexual violence, while finding Knox guilty of the crime of calunnia (obstruction of justice by maliciously placing false accusation against a person you know is innocent).
Previously I posted here a summary of the recourse to the Cassazione by the Umbria Prosecutor-General Dr. Galati and Prosecutor Dr. Costagliola which demanded an annulment of the appeal verdict. I also posted here a first summary report, from the March 25-26 Supreme Court hearing, when the Hellmann verdict was annulled and thus prosecution recourse was won.
The 74-page motivation report states clearly that Cassazione ‘accept the points of the recourse’ from both the Prosecution and the Kercher parties, while they reject the Knox defense recourse.
While you will realize it yourself in reading it, I can say in advance that what the Supreme Court points out in the appeal verdict is a pattern of manifest violation of an unprecedented gravity. All those I know in the law professions have never seen, throughout their professional lives, a Cassazione bashing portraying such a concentration of flaws in one verdict.
Mostly written by Judge M. S Caprioglio (possibly including parts by Judge Severo Chieffi) the document features a sophisticated Italian language and a formal style.
The first half of the report is a summary of judicial events and arguments made by the parties through the previous instances. The second part basically dismantles all the points of reasoning of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict, without spending too many words for each one of them.
2. A premise about the concept of legitimacy judgment
The second part is introduced by an explanation about what a ‘legitimacy judgment’ is, about its scope and boundaries. The Court is called to assess 1) whether the judges of merit indicated reasons for their decisions, and 2) if reasons are logically argued and legally founded.
The meaning of “logically argued” is that the Court shall verify that the lower judge actually did take into consideration the evidence included in the trial file (“principle of completeness”), and if reasoning is consistent with them, and with the law. The Court – being a ‘court of legitimacy’ [decides on legitimacy of the process that lead to conclusions, not on the merit] – does not assess directly the existence or the quality of the pieces of evidence, but may well assess the quality of reasoning about it and its actual consistence with the evidence in the file.
So the legitimacy judges within their boundaries are not prevented from assessing whether the lower court followed logical criteria, meaning assessing if arguments used by the lower courts are plausible, as well as if their reasoning is ‘complete’ and truthful with respect to the evidence file. The Supreme Court is also allowed to access the evidence trial documents for the parts that may conflict with the verdict conclusions.
The Court states that the present case is obviously based on circumstantial evidence, but points out how circumstantial evidence is not less powerful or logically less valuable than direct evidence.
While remaining within the boundaries of the legitimacy judgment, the Court notes anyway that at first sight in the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict there is an obvious “parceling out” of the pieces of circumstantial evidence. This means a lack of assessment also of each piece of circumstantial evidence, since the judge failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be filled by crossing them and taking in account the whole set of them.
The Court also notes however that the judges’ conclusions also openly contradicted some of the pieces of evidence: they neglected or ‘overlooked’ them in some cases, or dismissed some pieces on which the previous reasoning was based without offering adequate reasons. Moreover the pieces of evidence were also not “adequately elaborated”, and the pieces of reasoning about them were “not coordinated”.
3. The Amanda Knox calunnia
Reversing the order of topics from the Galati-Costagliola recourse, the Court deals first with the charge of calunnia for which Knox was convicted twice [obstructing justice by accusing a person who you know is innocent] (p. 41-44), since on this topic there is a converging of all recourses and unanimity by all judges. The appeal court had dismissed a possible link between the calunnia and the murder charges, but the explanation provided for that appears obviously illogical.
The Hellmann-Zanetti scenario - by which, they say, Knox may have voluntarily accused an innocent man just because she was pressed by investigators, thus for a purpose totally independent from the intent of obstructing the investigation on the charge of murder – is argued in a way that conflicts with and neglects the actual evidence documents.
While Hellmann-Zanetti argue solely based on a police interrogation scenario as if the false accusation was an event confined within it, the Cassazione does not see Knox’s calunnia as a single event nor as a behavior limited to the situation of the interrogation, but rather as a prolonged behavior extending over a time of many hours and days (perduranza in atteggiamento delittuoso). Basically Knox goes on implicating Lumumba repeatedly, and she repeatedly provides false evidence, such as through her hand-written note – where she stands by what she declared – and by her subsequent behavior.
The Court also observes the evidence file contains evidence that was overlooked by Hellmann-Zanetti indicating Knox was aware that Lumumba was innocent, such as the recording of prison dialogues with her mother, where she says she feels guilty for having accused Patrick – a feeling of guilt implies an assumption that he was innocent.
So the appeal court made mistakes because they lacked inference from pieces of evidence, mainly neglecting to argue elements like the discussion with her mother, her written memoir including the repetition of pieces of false testimony and her court admissions that she wrote her memoir voluntarily.
It points out (p.42) that Knox albeit young was a “mature” person – meaning she had an adequate cultural level and education and would be able to regain control of herself afterward even if she had suffered a coercion or a moment of emotional breakdown. Knox would be basically able to understand the gravity of her declaration over a period of time.
If only one single event, such a false accusation caused by pressure, breakdown and stress could have been argued – in the abstract – in the way Hellmann-Zanetti did, considering the calunnia as a choice resulting from an episode of emotional breakdown, but the Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning neglects the actual documents and is not fit to explain the persisting and repeated false testimony.
The Supreme Court reminds that ‘information about commission of a crime’ can be derived also from the interrogation of a police suspect, even from information released by a suspect who had not be read their rights under Art. 64, even from statements that are not usable for lack of defensive rights, and even that in the event the interrogation is to be nullified.
In all these cases the suspect commits a calunnia whenever he/she voluntarily and falsely accuses someone to defend himself/herself (so there can’t be any consequential link between the legal status of the interrogation, and the charge of calunnia or the collecting of information about a crime).
The Cassazione also points out that the Hellmann Zanetti rationale is illogical when it states that “the easiest way out” for one guilty “would have been to accuse the real author of the crime”. The inference obviously does not consider that she may be herself among the real authors of the crime (especially since she lived there and had access to the scene of crime).
The Court also points out the failure to properly address the importance of the details contained in the Knox false testimony (the detailing of this is in subsequent chapter).
4. The crime scene staging
The Cassazione accepts the Prosecution General point of recourse complaining about the failure to consider the evidence of staging a burglary, and says the recourse is “founded”. The pieces of physical evidence suggesting a staging are not satisfactorily argued or refuted by Hellmann-Zanetti.
The Hellmann-Zanetti appeal court also argued in favor of the “lone perpetrator scenario” by introducing some assertions which are unacceptable since they openly “collide” with the trial documents or are unfounded. Basically their reasoning was hinging on elements such as speculations about Guede’s personality, they introduced allegations like a purported habitual burglar profile, not backed by any evidence.
On the other hand they bring in arguments – like that about a glass shard in Meredith’s room – which have zero implications in their scenario (because they are equally good to argue in favor of a staging).
They should have argued – in favor or against – about evidence of burglary/staging based on the assessment of the pieces of physical evidence found on the scene, like argue against Massei’s reasoning about the ones mentioned in the first trial, say why it was not good. On the other hand the break-in scenario, as described by Hellmann-Zanetti, is affected by “multiple logical ruptures”, details are not explained consistently.
Moreover – the Court says – a scenario involving the issue of burglary/staging should be argued based on the overall evidence about Rudy Guede, meaning a scenario involving the whole of what he had done, like explain all the traces that show his movements, for example the trail of bloody shoe prints showing that he left the murder room straight away.
There are aspects of the reasoning that are ‘tautological’ (circular and begging the question).
The Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning on the same point is also neglectful of part of the file sources (is based on a ‘partial access to information’), for example it overlook testimonies concerning wounds on Guede’s hands, dismissal of glass on top of items. To sum up, the rationale employs inadequate inferential principles and incorrect information.
5. Man in the park Curatolo’s testimony
Hellmann-Zanetti had dismissed the testimony of Antonio Curatolo.
Their statement about the reliability of Curatolo is totally ‘censurable’, since it is ‘apodictic’ [assumed as a premise ‘true in advance’ without explanation], and not based on thorough analysis of the data. In particular when they state that he tends to confuse days dates: such assertions are both unfounded and illogical since conflicting with the testimonies of himself and of others witnesses. The Court does not assess the reliability of Curatolo as a witness, but notes that the reasons brought by Hellmann-Zanetti are unacceptable.
The possibility to explain elements of the testimony by mistake of date by the witness, so placing his testimony possibly on Oct 31. is conflicting with the other evidence, namely the testimonies showing the defendants were elsewhere on the 31st. Moreover the elements used for the argument are logically weak compared to the strength of the elements showing Curatolo correctly “anchoring” his testimony to real events.
Then the lower court introduced – as further basis of reasoning – assertions in order to ‘jump’ across the whole of Curatolo’s testimony: they based their conclusion on the asserted “decaying intellectual faculties”, on his use of heroin, and on his modus vivendi.
However they do not offer any element of evidence about the alleged mental decay, they fail to show this through analysis of his testimony, and in fact they completely fail to analyze the actual content and consistence of his testimony (lack of “completeness”). The use of heroin and his modus vivendi (as a “bum”) is also not acceptable as a reason for dismissing reliability of a witness, this would be an arbitrary judgment that violates the principles of witness assessment.
Since the witness was very assertive, consistent and felt certain about his testimony, the court would need a logically strong argument – based on some other finding or certainty – in order to dismiss his reliability (dislikes about his lifestyle or disproven speculations about date mistakes are not).
6. Shopkeeper Quintavalle’s testimony
The Court pretty quickly dismisses the Hellmann-Zanetti conclusions about Quintavalle, on grounds that they are based on a ‘cherry picking’ and twisting of information from the documents, basically they misinterpret and neglect to consider the actual content of the Quintavalle’s testimony.
In fact the summary description of Quintavalle’s testimony that was offered by Hellmann-Zanetti is basically a misrepresentation based on incomplete parts of the testimony and overlooking of others, and flatly contradicts the content of actual testimony (it is not what Quintavalle and witnesses actually said).
It is not true that Quintavalle remembered about recognizing Knox one year later, documents show that he was sure about her identity from the early investigation – the Cassazione quotes some of Quintavalle’s statements where he remarks her circumstances and features.
Hellmann-Zanetti reported some bits of information in a fragmentary fashion without taking into account the explanations of Quintavalle and the answers he actually had given through the investigation.
The appeal court should have analyzed the whole of what the witness actually said, and crossed the statements with the existing information, instead of selecting cherry- picked bits and pinned on them a meaning out of context.
The Cassazione is not interested in assessing the reliability of the witness Quintavalle, but they find “intolerable” that Hellmann-Zanetti give a false picture of the testimony, in a way disjointed from the true content of the trial documentation.
7. The failure to consider implications of Knox’s memoir
The Prosecutor General was right in blaming the Hellmann-Zanetti court for neglecting to evaluate the hand written note written by Amanda Knox as a piece of circumstantial evidence. The appeal court dismissed the memoir as useless on the sole basis that it does not have a substantial meaning (actually: that it did not represent the truth).
But this argument is insufficient (and circular); it is also ‘structurally’ inconsistent because the same Hellmann-Zanetti court used the very same note as a piece of evidence in the calunnia charge, and cannot be logically linked to pressure because she wrote it alone on her own initiative and not during an interrogation.
The Court details the content of the note pointing out that in the hand written memoir there is a repetition of some of the details from her previous ‘spontaneous statements’, which are now only set in an oneiric [dream-like, surreal] frame (they ‘seem unreal’) but yet they are the same peculiar details from the false accusation.
The Court also highlights the new ‘sibylline’ [ambiguous and threatening] accusation by Knox against Sollecito (remembering blood on his hands, but probably from fish).
The next appeal court will need to build some actual arguments to explain these features, taking in account that – as for Hellmann-Zanetti – she wrote that while she was fully capable to understand and without any pressure from authorities.
The contradictory nature of the appeal court reasons on this point is ‘obvious’.
8. Failure to consider judicial files from Guede’s definitive sentencing
The Court spends a bit more than one page to explain why the prosecution recourse is correct in their complaint on this point as well. In fact Hellmann-Zanetti did accept the Guede verdict as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but argued that that piece was ‘particularly weak’.
However, the problem is that in reality they did not assess it at all in order to come to that conclusion, but they rather just completely ignored the whole content of the Guede verdict reports.
The court is not authorized to dismiss a piece of evidence which they formally entered without assessing it, just on ‘in limine’ reasons. Therefore the decision openly ‘violates the law’ (p. 55).
The Rudi Guede verdict motivations theoretically might be found ‘particularly weak’ as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but it can’t be ruled ‘particularly weak’ on the reasons declared by Hellmann-Zanetti.
The appeal court did not try to argue the logical passages of the Guede verdict in order to assess it and explain why conclusions were weak, instead they decided to ignore it, not based on the analysis of its content but instead based on the legal nature of the document. This is a patent violation of the law, and a conflict with the trial documents.
Thereafter the Hellmann-Zanetti court steered the discourse onto the alleged ‘habitual criminal’ profile of Guede (an interpretation based on speculation) without explaining the reasons for building a scenario about Guede so far-fetched compared to the findings in the trial’s files about Guede.
Moreover the appeal court adds a further, false and illogical argument when they state that, even if Guede was proven to be guilty of concurring with others, this does not have implications for Knox and Sollecito at all because those accomplices could have been other people. The alleged lack of implication is false under logic, because determining that Guede acted together with others would additional information on the crime, which could be crossed with other information (such as about who had access to the apartment etc.).
The Court also remarks that the trials had found and explicitly declared Guede innocent of the crime of burglary, and the appeal court also fails to deal with this in their alternative scenario.
The appeal court also failed to consider other information from the findings of the Guede trial, and explicitly contradicted it without justification, for example they neglected to consider how the courts had determined through multiple witnesses that Guede actually did not have any injury on his hands on the night after the murder [Guede had cuts on his hand, but many days later, not the night after the murder].
9. Declarations of Rudy Guede at the Knox-Sollecito appeal
There is an open violation of the law in the Hellmann-Zanetti motivations, in the particular statement where they assert that Guede’s declarations in the courtroom were unreliable for the reason that he refused to undergo a questioning.
The reason brought by Hellmann-Zanetti to rule unreliability is illegitimate when referring to the specific declarations of Rudy Guede in the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and legally not true.
First, the Cassazione notes that the decision to refuse a questioning pertaining to a crime is within the rights of a witness who is implicated in the same crime. If the witness decided to invoke this right, the courts and the parties are bond to enforce it and limit their questions within topics unrelated to the crime, and under the law, no conclusion about reliability/unreliability can be drawn solely from the witness’s decision to refuse to answer about a topic in which he was implicated as a defendant.
No court could conclude that a witness is unreliable on the sole ground that he enforces his rights.
Moreover, preventing an interrogation of the witness on such topics is just a duty of the Prosecution and the Court, not a ruling ‘in favor’ of the witness (and co-defendant).
The Prosecutor General had summoned Guede to testify only about the topic of things he said during conversation with inmates and letters he wrote from prison, and since the witness invoked his right as an ex co-defendant the Prosecutor General had the duty to enforce the limitations on his questioning.
It was the Sollecito-Knox defence attorneys who attempted to place questions directly on the topic of the events of Nov. 2, 2007, and they asked Guede to confirm the content of his letter directly pertaining the Kercher murder. The defence asked him to confirm if one particular statement of the letter he wrote was true, and the statement of Rudy Guede confirming his Knox and Sollecito implication and accusing them of murder was only in response to this, stemming from the defence question.
The declaration of Rudy Guede might be considered irrelevant as a piece of circumstantial evidence; and the witness might be assessed as unreliable by a court, but this cannot be done based on the illegitimate grounds brought by Hellmann-Zanetti. You cannot have, as an argument for unreliability, the fact that Rudy Guede chose the legal option of not undergoing a questioning about the murder.
The Cassazione also notes how the Hellmann-Zanetti report details some of Guede’s declarations in order to argue for his unreliability. However the cited statements from the Skype conversation with Giacomo Benedetti are used by Hellmann-Zanetti just to build an illogical argument: they say Rudy should have logically indicated the true culprits in that call, the fact that he does not accuse them is an indication that they were not there.
This argument is flawed (besides contradicting the very same claim about Guede’s unreliability). The Cassazione sees the weakness of reasoning about the Skype call as ‘symptomatic’ of the lack of logical consistence of the appeal court on the topic of Rudy reliability, and it also reveals that the criteria they are following are not compatible with logic.
The appeal reasoning is also contradictory on further points, as Hellmann-Zanetti consider some declarations of Guede ‘reliable’ without logical reason - like about the timing of death, where the appeal court considers Rudy’s statement reliable without considering that he had an obvious logical interest and an attitude of misleading the accusations by providing details that were conflicting with evidence.
Paradoxically, had the Hellmann-Zanetti court followed the same criteria on other declarations, they should have considered Guede’s declarations ‘reliable’ when he says “Amanda is not implicated”, as well as when he says - talking about Sollecito - “I don’t know, I think it’s him” . The appeal court did not follow the principle of completeness and they did not consider these.
The Hellmann-Zanetti report also fails to consider that Guede was assessed as ‘totally unreliable’ by his trial judges (they could have used such finding in documents to argue unreliability of his statements instead; if they had only read the Guede verdict). In other words they worked inconsistent arguments out of on an incomplete set of data.
10. The refusal to listen to the whole testimony of witness Luciano Aviello
The appeal trial was procedurally flawed also by the refused to call Luciano Aviello before the court again, as he was supposed to complete what was left out of his testimony.
Luciano Aviello was called as a witness by the court in accepting a defence request; after his hearing, during the course of the trial, new elements emerged – new witness declarations – that created a necessity to put some further questions to the witness.
The Hellmann-Zanetti court refuse to call back the witness to complete the questioning, despite that he had already been accepted as a witness by the same court. So the witness was basically prevented from completing his testimony.
The Cassazione does not argue about the reliability of Aviello as a witness (nor about the relevance of his testimony) but points the finger against the inconsistency of Hellmann-Zanetti’s ruling, which causes their decision to be illegitimate.
The refusal to call back the witness to complete his testimony at a second hearing was manifestly inconsistent, since that violates the principle of completeness (once you call a witness, you need to be ready to listen to all that he has to say).
The court’s decision was “unacceptable” (p. 58) also because it was based on arbitrary criteria – as Hellmann-Zanetti said “another hearing of the witness is not indispensable” on the ground that minutes of his interrogation were entered in the file: the decision violates the principles of usability of documents and the rules of witness hearing.
The appeal court completely ignored the reasons for and the new content of the topics Aviello was to be questioned about, and did not assess them. Instead, they violated articles 511, 511bis and 512 of the procedure code by ‘replacing’ it with non-usable minutes of his interrogation.
The judgement of ‘non-indispensable’ was also unfounded, manifestly so compared to the importance of the topic which referred to the explanation and completeness of Aviello’s testimony. A plot concerning a secret agreement in order to offer false declarations in court is obviously a topic with some relevance.
There is also a violation of the principle of confrontation, because Aviello was a defence witness and the Prosecutor General had the duty of carrying on an assessment of the witness within the appeal trial by cross examination (Hellmann-Zanetti’s decision allowed only the piece of testimony that could be favorable to the defence, and they cut off the part that could be unfavorable).
The motivation is also incomplete as Aviello is ruled ‘unreliable’ a priori because of his retraction (which Hellmann-Zanetti apparently considered reliable) and irrelevant as a piece of evidence without actually listening to the content of his testimony, to what he had to say.
The testimony of Aviello could not be ‘cut off’ that way and could not be considered unreliable a priori without listening to it.
11. The re-framing of the time of death
The Court devotes four pages to explaining how Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about re-location of the time of death is illogical.
The appeal court refused to anchor the timing (and further features, noises etc.) of the screaming, to the time frame offered by two witnesses, Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. They also dismissed the testimony of Mrs. Dramis. Instead they accepted the defence idea of determining the time of death based on the statements by the ‘unreliable’ Rudy Guede. They put the time of death in relation to the phone calls, around 9pm.
As for the Cassazione, such an argumentation path is woven through with ‘conjecture and illusions’ (p. 61). The bases chosen for inference are devoid of any factual validity, as opposed to the elements of evidence which were discharged, which are instead extremely relevant.
The Hellmann-Zanetti report refutes the elements (testimonies of Capezzali, Damis, Monacchia) with arguments which are riddled with obvious, multiple inconsistencies [like the claim that a half-an-hour error would make the testimony unreliable, or that Nara’s looking unsure between the dates of Nov. 1. or 2. makes the scream attributable to something else, as if she was used to hearing blood-curdling screams every other day and as if the Monacchia confirmation testimony didn’t exist].
So the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale dismisses as ‘unreliable’ or ‘useless’ some very relevant and consistent testimonies (from witnesses they declare ‘credible’), while on the other hand, it accepts as ‘reliable’ a dictum by Rudi Guede and builds a theory of the time of death on it - despite the defence itself having pointed out how Guede was totally unreliable and was also very able at changing and twisting every detail of his story, all the time and on any occasion, from the earliest stages of the investigation.
The Cassazione states - without any possibility of question – that it is manifestly obvious that things Guede consciously stated on the Skype conversation could never be used as the main credible source to build an inference about the time of death.
Moreover the Court points out that in fact the appeal court cherry picked just one statement by Guede, regarding the time of death, and considered it ‘credible’, while neglecting to note how within the same Skype conversation Guede also made a number of assertions about Knox
These included statements that place evidence against Knox and Sollecito. While in the same conversation Guede says “Amanda was not implicated”, he also states that Amanda was in the house; he states remembering that in Romanelli’s room the window appeared intact, and denied having broken it, he inferred that Knox and Sollecito must have done it; he also assumed that they must have altered the scene of the crime and the victim’s body; he also said he thought the man he saw was probably Sollecito.
The Hellmann-Zanetti court simply neglects to consider and deal with the whole information from the Skype call, which they instead elect to reliably source solely regarding Guede’s declaration about the time; so – besides illogicality in the unfounded dismissal of other testimonies – their method of processing information violates completeness and consistency.
The appeal court is also extremely weak where they try to fill the logical gap by drawing further inference from Meredith’s phone records. The attempt to link a mistaken phone call with the time of death is simply inherently implausible, a wrong call is a trivial event and there is no reason to make such link; also the delay by Meredith who did not call her mother again within the next half an hour is a trivial element which doesn’t have a specific implication upon the time of death.
The worst Hellmann-Zanetti did on this topic is the downplaying and underestimation of the testimonies of the three witnesses – Capezzali, Monacchia and Dramis.
In fact Capezzali described the scream in detail, picturing it with a number of features - “harrowing“, “unusual”, “long”, “isolated” – and stressed its uniqueness and added additional information about noises (gravel path etc.) unequivocally linked to the cottage, she made clear that she never heard something similar before.
Monacchia was even more precise about the timing, since she went to sleep at 10.00 pm and slept for a while; Dramis came home back from the cinema at 10:30 pm. Their timings converge in placing the timing of an isolated scream later than 10:30 pm.
On the basis of Nara Capezzali’s testimony, it is absolutely unreasonable for the appeal court to assume that Nara could confuse the scream with the usual other “noises” of “junkies”.
Dramis as well referred to having been awaken by some noise of a kind she never heard before. Hellmann-Zanetti ruled out the time frame offered by the testimonies of Monacchia and Dramis for no reason except that they gave their testimony one year later; this is a totally insufficient and illogical reason.
As for considering Rudy as a reliable source, instead it is acknowledged that Guede was obviously lying and following a pattern of behavior/strategy of providing a flow of false details to muddle investigation.
The Court adds that neglecting the importance of information about the scream seems even more stunning when you consider the fact that the scream coincides with a detail that was mentioned in an early testimony of Knox [and even in declarations of Guede].
12. The court appointing of new experts and their management
This point may be the most interesting because it is the only topic on which the Supreme Court doesn’t agree entirely with the Prosecution General.
The Prosecution’s complaint was ‘partly’ correct about objecting to the legitimacy of the appeal court appointing new experts.
The point of recourse is founded insofar as the appointing was insufficiently motivated in the rationale: the reason expressed – basically addressing just the judge’s lack of scientific knowledge – is inconsistent, and also inadmissible because it violates the principle of non-delegation of judgment.
However, the judge’s decision of appointing experts itself should supposedly always be based on assessments of the merits of the evidence. The Cassazione cannot decide on the merits, so the decision about whether more expertise is necessary or not, which was supposedly taken based on the evidence available, is an exclusive competence of the judge of merit and the High Court can’t discuss it.
The absence of consistent motivations for the appointing reveals an insecurity of the appeal court about the evidence, which they (rightly or wrongly) attributed to incomplete information. However, the peculiar way the appeal court subsequently managed the experts is censurable.
The experts decided to not test the new DNA sample, despite the fact that the amount was 120 picograms [so much more than ‘5 picograms’ as declared by Vecchiotti in court, ed.], on an arbitrary decision by only one of the experts, on the ground that it was a ‘Low Copy Number’. Such a decision – itself unlawful – was subsequently subscribed to by the appeal court.
When the Prosecution General and consultant Prof. Novelli requested to go on testing the sample, since it was perfectly possible to do so, the court denied, arguing on the false assumption obtained by misquoting Novelli as saying the required techniques were “in the experimental phase”.
This was a misquote, a misinterpretation of a statement by Novelli, and the Court finds it to be false in the documentation: Hellmann-Zanetti incurred a gross misrepresentation of reality as they called the new technology “experimental” and “unreliable”.
Beside this false claim, it was on principle unacceptable that the expert Carla Vecchiotti refused to carry out a test, and that the judge accepted such a decision.
The expert’s decision violated the judge’s previous ordnance, because the written order said that they must require the court’s opinion before taking any decision, not after; the judge’s change also violated their own ordnance, because it withdrew from the previous tasking.
The modus operandi of the court therefore was to let an expert make decisions about their own mandate, based on their own judgment about the subsequent value of their finding in court.
But the experts had no authority to reduce or re-frame their own mandate, it is not up to them to preemptively decide whether their finding is reliable or not and anyway they cannot refuse to accomplish an order or to bring a finding into court; no matter if their finding is unreliable as a piece of evidence, they have to bring it anyway to court discussion, and its value will be determined through court discussion.
Hellmann-Zanetti were incomplete on documenting Novelli’s positions which were expressed during the experts’ testing and are in conflict with the Vecchioti-Conti decisions. They could have chosen Vecchiotti’s positions, but only after having dealt with the arguments expressed by the other side too.
The decisions by which Hellmann-Zanetti managed the experts’ work is also in violation of the principle of equality and the right of all parties to bring evidence, since they ordered a perizia [experts investigation] but then they prevented it from being fully accomplished: they only allowed the research activity by which the defence was seeking evidence, while they prohibited those activities requested by the accusation parties.
Once they ordered new scientific tests, the order should have been completed without any a priori unjustified preclusion. Their unbalanced modus operandi was an alteration of the evidence information set, and a violation of the law (p.66), and cause their motivations to be manifestly illogical.
13. The DNA evidence
The appeal court passively accepted the new experts’ conclusions, while ignoring the opinions of the witnesses Novelli and Torricelli. Their arguments had a comparable degree of importance, and the witnesses had at least the same degree of expertise and authority than the judge appointed experts.
As the judges chose to believe the conclusions of some experts in disagreement with others, they are not obligated to demonstrate themselves that such conclusions are true, but nonetheless they are required to report the arguments made by the other side and they need to deal with them in a reasoning.
This is especially necessary if the expert witnesses have a great expertise and credibility, at least comparable to that of the judge-appointed experts.
Hellmann-Zanetti accepted the C&V report entirely and passively, without confronting it with the opposite arguments and objections. Such procedure is illegitimate, since objections and arguments were not even mentioned.
The Casssazione recalls, among the not-mentioned and not-dealt-with arguments, that Prof. Novelli had calculated a probability of misinterpretation of the alleles on the bra-clasp; and Dr. Torricelli analyzed the Y-haplotype on 17 loci and found no match except Sollecito.
Novelli also testified that recommendations and protocols do exist, but the operator’s competence and common sense in scientific assessment is more important. He also said that the researcher should be always allowed to depart from standard procedures when single situations suggest so.
The judge-appointed experts themselves ruled out laboratory contamination. Novelli analyzed the series of samples from all 255 items processed and found not a single instance of contamination, and ruled out as implausible that a contaminating agent could have been present just on one single result.
Also Dr. Stefanoni testified that the knife was tested 6 days after an alleged contaminating and Vecchiotti confirmed that the time interval would lead to rule out laboratory contamination.
Hellmann-Zanetti also ignored or twisted information regarding the crime; it ignored the finding that no instance of Sollecito’s DNA was found on the scene as a possible contamination source despite may environmental samples; the High Court labels as false – going by the evidence file - Hellmann Zanetti’s statement saying that “everybody had walked around into the house”.
Also Cassazione notes that deterioration of an evidence scene due to time would normally cause a loss of DNA information, not an appearing of new information not found elsewhere.
So Hellmann-Zanetti did not take in account nor cite a huge part of the credited opinions and information; the total failure to mention such a major chunk of information by Hellmann-Zanetti makes their judgment about the topic illegitimate, and shows their ‘unacceptable’ modus operandi.
However the most surprising point of Hellmann-Zanetti – in the Cassazione’s view – is their uncritical accepting of the theory that contamination is “possible”, without linking the scenario of likeliness of contamination to any factual finding or datum. They actually built an axiom on a straining, a cherry picking and a falsifying of information.
The Court also reminds how Novelli testified that, in order to have a plausible scenario of contamination, you need to prove the existence of a source, of a vehicle of it.
They note from the documentation that negative control did exist, and that Vecchiotti & Conti were ‘superficial’ in assuming they did not exist just because they were not included in the technical report.
The Supreme Court then points out that:
(1) the collection of items was performed correctly contrarily to Hellmann’s suggestions, all activities of collection and laboratory tests were done before the eyes of defence experts, the environments were not contaminated, and the defence experts that were assisting did not raise any objection, they complained about things only much later;
(2) the arguments and explanations dr. Stefanoni subsequently gave were not adequately refuted;
(3) the picture of correctness in procedure causes the burden of proof in order to claim likeliness of contamination to rest squarely on the shoulders of those who claim it.
The law does not admit to set out the reasoning from a sheer “falsification” paradigm (meaning: it is wrong to assume that the prosecution has any burden to demonstrate the absence of contamination). Such an assumption would make it impossible to collect any piece of circumstantial evidence or do any scientific test at all.
The argument that the evidence should be dismissed as unreliable because contamination is ‘possible’ is totally illogical. You can’t dismiss pieces of evidence on the ground of a mere ‘possibility’ (or we should dismiss all pieces of evidence collected on all cases).
An alleged contamination event needs not to be only ‘possible’ (everything is possible), it needs to be ‘credible’. In order to consider if contamination was likely on a specific instance, some factual evidence of the specific causal circumstance is needed.
To bring a claim about ‘contamination’, while you don’t need to actually prove that the event of contamination occurred, you do need to prove a factual and scientific datum that would cause that specific contamination event to be ‘credible’ (probable).
In order to claim a contamination likely occurred, pointing at issues about professionalism of forensics is not enough. The factual existence of a specific ‘vehicle’ of contamination needs to be proven [like presence of a source, evidence of contamination in other results, explanation of the dynamic etc.].
To refute the scientific finding you need something much logically stronger than a complaint referring to ideal practice and protocols and the absolute generic concept of ‘possible’. The claim about a fact such as a specific instance of contamination requires ‘factual’ circumstances and data, ‘specific’ and ‘real’.
14. Analysis of prints and other traces
The objections by the Prosecution General on this topic are correct. The appeal court motivations manifestly lacks logical rigor in multiple instances.
The Court cannot object about the attribution of the bathmat print since the topic is strictly in the merit. But the implied scenario where Guede’s left shoe comes off after he walked on the pillow is implausible: it doesn’t explain why an Adidas shoe would come off, and it doesn’t reconcile with the evidence documentation.
Guede using the small bathroom to wash himself, and then locking Meredith’s door, is in conflict with the trail of shoeprints only showing him walking straight out. It makes no sense to assume that he lost a shoe just because there are blood prints of the right shoe alone.
About the luminol foot prints, it is implausible to assume that those prints were left on some other occasion, since – in the Court’s view - luminol basically indicates blood (and in no other circumstance could someone produce such a set of prints in blood). The Cassazione notes that the Massei scenario to explain the footprints was far more plausible, and Hellmann-Zanetti bring no reason to refute it.
The scenario described by the first instance trial court was also more complete, since it was able to connect the dots on several other details, including the ‘mixed traces’ of blood in the small bathroom, on the light switch, etc.
The only argument brought by Hellmann-Zanetti was the absence of Sollecito’s DNA from the blood/luminol stains. For the rest it was an “apodictic” assumption, so that they did not deal with the logical points that were made on the first instance.
15. The declarations of Ms. Knox
The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was ‘critically’ flawed, as claimed by the Prosecution General, also on this point. This topic area falls into the big picture of parceling out of the pieces of evidence which was done by the appeal court.
The Supreme Court notes that Hellmann-Zanetti just assumed that there was no circumstantial evidence in Knox’s declarations, but they falsely implied that it was about behavioral and emotional evidence. Instead it was about Knox’s revealing a knowledge of details from the crime scene.
The Court mentions some of Knox’s statements conflicting with evidence and testimonies: she told Meredith’s friend of having found the body, she said it was before ‘a closet’, that it was covered, that Meredith had her throat cut and that she suffered a great blood loss. The first degree court reports Knox saying she didn’t see into the room, that she was far away in the corridor when it was opened.
Hellmann-Zanetti fail to mention this set of elements or clues, and they also neglect to consider the issue of Amanda’s phone call to her mother in the middle of the night and subsequent calls.
The Cassazione observes that Knox was unable to ‘remember’ the 12:47 phone call and did not explain its content; but Hellmann-Zanetti mistakenly considered such a phone call as occurring ‘at the same time’ of Sollecito’s calls to her sister and to the Carabinieri. In fact – the Court notes – Knox called her mother three minutes before Sollecito called his sister, she was first person to make any phone calls.
So Knox’s ‘downplaying’ of her phone call – her suggesting a total vague content, a sense of confusion and nothing important – and the early time of it, are not considered details worth of mention by the Hellmann-Zanetti court, and they are not put in relation to Knox’s inside knowledge about details of the crime (if she didn’t know anything at all, why does she call her mother to express vague confusion, worried about something she doesn’t know?).
What the Court finds objectionable is that Hellmann-Zanetti simply made assertions and steered on, talking about the subjective emotional reactions, without confronting any logical argumentation made by the lower court, and they failed to do anything to demolish the first instance reasoning.
16. Final indications
The Hellmann-Zanetti verdicts are annulled. The new appeal court will have to fix all the critical legitimacy flaws pointed out following the Cassazione indications.
The new appeal Judges will have to assess the pieces of circumstantial evidence in a global an unitary way, to assess whether the relative ambiguity of each piece of evidence can be overcome by the overall system between them.
The result of such an assessment will have to lead to a decision not only about the presence of Knox and Sollecito on the murder scene, but also about their possible roles in the crime, and to decide among an array of possible scenarios: from a premeditated intent to kill to possible scenarios that may involve a non-premeditated decision to murder as a departure from an original plan to have a non-consensual sex game, or involve a forced sex game that run out of control, or a similar situation.
The recourse submitted by Knox on the point of her conviction for calunnia is rejected. All points of recourse 1-10 by the Prosecution General are accepted, the appeal trial is annulled on grounds of manifest illogicality, inconsistence and violation of law for all conclusions of acquittal; instead, the conviction for the charge of calunnia stands, but the denial of aggravation in finding it not-linked to the murder is annulled.
Knox is condemned to pay the legal expenses sustained by the State and by Lumumba. If found guilty, Knox and Sollecito will have to pay also the expenses sustained by the Kerchers.
17. Considerations arising from the report
My final thoughts. Since the appeal verdicts were annulled, the legal situation is that Knox and Sollecito stand currently convicted in first degree and awaiting the appeal, which they had launched against their convictions.
They had already got a fair trial, before a court presided over by Massei; now they are appealing the verdict in a Florentine court. An appeal – under the Italian criminal procedure – can take the shape of a new trial – usually, partly – and so open again sessions where witnesses are heard and evidence are entered.
However, in many cases this doesn’t happen, and the appeal doesn’t look like a full trial. Anyway, even if the trial phase is re-opened, what may look like a trial de novo is in fact only an extension of the previous one; meaning: the trial de novo in fact doesn’t start from scratch, but starts from the documentation already existing and incorporates the previous proceedings.
The main piece of documentation now incorporated is the 2013 Supreme Court verdict.
Whatever appeal court deals with the Knox-Sollecito proceedings, they will have to set it within the guidelines, limitations and indications established by the Cassazione.
The Cassazione has dismantled and declared illegitimate all the procedural points by which Hellmann-Zanetti had come to verdicts of acquittals on the charge of murder. This shows how the appeal judgment was obtained only thanks to a dreadful series of procedure errors.
Unfortunately, actually not all errors in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale could fall under the radar of the supreme court. The appeal court didn’t make only legitimacy errors, they also committed obvious mistakes in the merit of evidence assessment (and, not even all legitimacy issues were actually brought to the attention of the Supreme Court of Cassazione).
Examples of mistakes in the merits by Hellmann-Zanetti: they attributed the bathmat footprint on two unproven assumptions:
(1) The first was that the person who left it must have got his foot wet with blood by walking on a hard, flat surface smeared with blood; an obviously unfounded assumption, actually proven false since there was no hard flat surface covered in blood where anyone had walked (blood got on the murderers feet from soaked towels).
(2) The second – idiotic – ‘reason’ was the observation that Sollecito’s toe in the sample print looked more triangular (!) than the bathmat print’s (it is actually obvious that any object would leave a print with slightly more rounded shape on the bathmat compared to the sample paper, since the bathmat is a soft surface).
Another one was the claim that the pattern of footprints in luminol could be found in any apartment and be produced in any innocent situation (in a non-blood substance) but somehow they ‘forgot’ to mention what kind of likely substance that could be, and what plausible dynamic - except shuffling on rags or mat – could have produced them.
Flaws in the rationale and procedure are surreal, like maintaining that Knox’s written memoir is not evidence that she lied because its content is false. Or appointing experts to test DNA samples, then refusing to test the sample despite it’s being more than 120 picograms.
Even kids could spot the obvious logical errors on evidence assessment in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale.
The refrain of factual errors and legitimacy/procedure violations is so serious that I can hardly believe any Magistrate of the Republic can make such errors in good faith.
Despite the sophisticated and formal language, as you may have understood from this summary, the Cassazione arguments are actually very simple. In fact the errors were very clear and obvious from the beginning - to quote PMF poster Popper “even a child would notice them immediately” - that in fact the Supreme Court looks like pointing the finger at a naked emperor.
The present Cassazione ruling does not leave any realistic hope for Knox and Sollecito to be acquitted on appeal. They have a right to appeal under Italian law. Though their appeal, when carried on within the rules and principles of law, looks – like most appeals – basically desperate.
Their actual chances of being acquitted by a Florentine court look essentially zero, because the court won’t be allowed to employ the key arguments and the path of reasoning followed by Hellmann-Zanetti to come to an acquittal verdict; all these logical tools are illegitimate, and hardly any judge could fix them, nor come to a ‘not guilty’ verdict by following other logical ways.
The only positive legal outcome in realistic terms for Knox and Sollecito now consists in seeking leniency or lesser charges based on claiming minor roles, maybe even by attempting to accuse each other.
Either that or testifying to the truth, seeking mitigating factors like psychological state and age, or showing remorse.
Archived in Vital Must-Read Posts, Officially involved, Supreme Court, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal, Florence appeal
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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Have The Legal Fees Of “Shameless Sollecito” Just Undergone An Astronomic Jump?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Strong prosecution case hard to dent, over-talkative client on the stand, weak defense rebuttals, and in the summations they were severely outclassed. And then of course they lost. They seemed sometimes bored, sometimes skeptical of their clients, and on several occasions one or two didnt even show up in court.
At the annulled appeal, things went a little better, after they got the judge they really wanted.
But there were embarrassing episodes in 2011, like the witness Aviello claiming that Giulia Bongiorno offered him and others some nice perks if they talked.
The Sollecito and Knox books dont paint the defense teams in an especially ethical light, though they are stated to have helped write the texts. They really should have scrutinised every word, but the mistakes in the book are so “barking mad” that we wonder if Ted Simon or Robert Barnett ever gave them the opportunity.
All four main lawyers have been named as “persons with significant information” in the contempt-of-court allegations being investigated. They will all be interrogated, may have to testify, and could find their law licenses on the line.
Those books will make their tasks at the Florence appeal way harder. There is much new ‘splaining to do.
Now the KnoxMellases say there will be a huge new financial burden on them, despite rumors of a huge blood-money book advance. Today Sollecito has his paw out for money online (see image below) though he was said to have received a big blood-money book advance as well. (Both books have sold miserably.)
It looks like the lawyers might have put in for a really big raise to stay on the case. The UK Mirror reports..
Shameless Raffaele Sollecito, the man accused of Meredith Kercher’s murder, has sparked fury after asking the public for a staggering $500,000 despite already cashing in on the British student’s death.
Just hours after the Mirror pictured the Italian student back in the arms of his former lover Amanda Knox, the 29-year-old set up an appeal to help cover his legal fees for the pair’s retrial.
Under the heading “Raffaele Sollecito ReTrial in Florence” he listed his page under the topic of “accidents & emergencies”.
His appeal comes just months after Sollecito is understood to have been paid a six-figure sum for his book “Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox” about Meredith’s murder….
Sollecito’s countrymen were outraged after discovering his plea with many taking to his gofundme.com website page to express their disgust.
One Italian using the name Francesco said: “If there was a collection for you to end up in jail I would definitely be happy to participate.”
They added: “But today we see murderers sell their stories and make a pile of money. I’m sure Amanda has done.”
Another called Andrea Giani wrote: “I think you are guilty . . . are you not ashamed to ask for money from lawyers. I despise you very much,” while Marco Bolognesi added: “I’d really pay to see you in jail”....
Click on the image below for a larger version of Sollecito’s new (possibly illegal) blood-money attempt. The court or the taxman could remove much or all of what he gets.
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Knox & Sollecito Meet - To Attempt To Bury The Hatchet Other Than In Each Other?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Below are excerpts from the report by Christopher Bucktin of the Daily Mirror. It is not tilted toward Knox and Sollecito, but it does get some of the law wrong in their favor.
What Cassation had just done was to toss out the corrupted 2011 Hellmann appeal, which was essentially THEIR first (automatic) appeal. Cassation was in effect saying they could run their own first appeal again in the appeal courts in Florence.
They can still choose not to. There was no retrial, and in fact one of Cassation’s major complaints about Hellmann was that he illegally tried to run a retrial rather than address the narrow grounds for appeal as the law requires.
Our exclusive pictures show how they secretly reunited just hours after judges ordered them to return to court [for their own appeal in Florence].
They didn’t seem to have a care in the world as they hugged and kissed during a secret meeting in New York.
But the passionate embrace between Amanda Knox and former lover Raffaele Sollecito raised some serious questions last night.
Their tryst came just hours after they were ordered to return to Italy to face a retrial over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
Italy’s top judges ruled the possibility that the 21-year-old died during a sex game that went wrong needed to be re-examined.
And the move immediately cast doubt on whether the couple should be allowed to be in contact now they have been formally recalled.
The pair, along with Knox’s mother, spent Tuesday visiting New York together – sparking rumours they have rekindled their romance.
There was no sign of James Terrano, the loyal boyfriend Knox is reportedly living with in Seattle, Washington.
An onlooker said: “They just looked like a normal couple who had been with each other a long time. Together with her mum they explored Manhattan and took the subway to get around.
“You only have to look at him to see he still holds a huge torch for Amanda. He clearly finds her captivating. When they hugged she closed her eyes as he gave her a tender kiss on her cheek.
“At one point he put his arm around her to help warm her up. They never once stopped chatting.
“It’s astonishing they are allowed to even talk to each other, let alone see one another, considering they are both suspects in a murder trial.”
The pair spoke to each other in Italian and were chaperoned during the afternoon excursion by Knox’s mother Edda Mellas, who walked several yards behind everywhere they went.
When confronted by the Mirror, Knox and Sollecito were cagey about their reunion.
Knox refused to comment about the Italian court’s ruling.
She also declined to confirm or deny reports that she planned to stay in the US and would not be returning to Italy to face justice.
Sollecito, who also says he has no wish to go back, said: “We have everything to do now. We have a lot of planning.”
Knox’s mother, Edda, added: “We need to speak to our lawyers.”
The couple were reunited as Italy’s Supreme Court “faulted” the 2011 acquittal of Knox and Sollecito by the appeals court for the murder and sexual assault of room-mate Meredith….
In a recent interview, in which she boasted about being proud of one-night stands and drug use, Knox defended her actions saying: “I think that everyone’s reaction to something horrible is different.”
The interview was given as Knox cashed in on the trial by promoting her book, Waiting To Be Heard.
The deal is reported to have earned her £2.6million. Sources close to 29-year-old Sollecito claim he still loves Knox and hopes they may get back together one day.
When in November 2011 he announced they had split he said tearfully: “Our love was like a seed that was not allowed to grow because it was brutally stamped on.
“We were both victims of a cruel injustice and our relationship was overcome.”
During the trial Sollecito, from Bari in southern Italy, claimed he was offered a secret deal by prosecutors to implicate the American undergraduate but said he never considered betraying her.
He added: “She told me that she thinks that I’m a kind of hero, but I don’t think so.
“I did it because I know it’s the truth. It’s the good thing to do. It’s the only way for me.”
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The Florence Palace Of Justice Where Sollecito And Knox Are Expected To Be Seen In Court Soon
Posted by Peter Quennell
This is a video of a recent light show. The soundtrack leaves something to be desired, but the huge new courthouse looks amazing at night.
We posted previously here on the new Palazzio di Giustizia, which is one of Europe’s largest and most modern. It only came into full operation this year.
It is reported today in UK newspapers that Knox and Sollecito have just been having a meeting in the vicinity of New York, maybe to sort out a common narrative once and for all. Our betting is that each will appear in the Florence court, not least to keep a close eye on the other and to attempt to warm the judges to themselves.
However, their nasty and dishonest books have not made things any easier for them, and have led to a lot of negative reaction in Italy where they have been discussed on TV. It is easy to spot where in many places the two texts conflict, and also where (as demonstrated in the two post below) they also contradict many accepted well-documented facts of the case.
Both books are being considered as substantial new evidence, and the prosecution will ask the appeal court if they can be included in.
Both books are also being investigated, by the chief prosecutors in Florence and Bergamo for separate new felony charges, as they appear to constitute substantial lllegal attempts along with the internet vilification posted by the likes of Preston, Fischer and the Moores, to inflame and mislead public opinion during an ongoing legal process.
The writers have also sought to undermine the officers of the court, by accusing them of serious crimes, again as illustrated in the two posts directly below. Many Italians and Americans with “relevant information” could be called to testify for the prosecution or the defenses. They will probably be asked to explain their own inflammatory campaigns and may face charges of their own. Again, Preston, Fischer and the Moores seem to have painted targets on their backs.
Results of both investigations, together with any new charges against Sollecito, Knox, and their entourages, should be made public well before the new appeal of Meredith’s case gets under way.
If the two are indicted on new charges for the books, as expected, that will mean more to explain, more to try to harmonize upon, more goodwill lost, and more legal bills.
If their Italian lawyers recklessly promoted these daft projects, as texts in the books themselves suggest, the lawyers could all face both contempt of court charges and malpractice suits from their clients.
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Sunday, June 16, 2013
Questions For Knox: Do You Think “False Memories Kassin” Framing Italians Yet Again Will Help?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Your Real Persona Which Has Been Very Widely Observed
That is why maybe 95% of all Italians long ago concluded for your guilt. At times you can come across as winning but, as there on the stand, too often as brash, sneering, sharp-elbowed, humorless, uncaring, and self-absorbed.
That is the Knox that put off many who encountered you in Seattle, it is why you had Halloween largely alone, and why you put off almost everyone you encountered in Perugia. Including everyone in your house in Perugia, and most in Patrick’s bar - and this literally in less than a month.
The “lost little girl” persona, the “chaste girl who never did sex and drugs” persona, the “diligent girl who studied so hard” persona, and the “they all want to get me because I am so fantastically cute” persona you or your agenda-driven shadow-writer put in the book have many people who have seen a lot of you in strong disbelief.
Can you name even one good friend who still stands by you in Perugia, given that even Raffaele Sollecito has placed you at the brink of a cliff?
By the way, this is not an unkind group, mostly comprised as it is of professionals, and some surprising things you yourself said in your book confirmed a suspicion about untreated root causes that we mentioned here.
2. Pages 270 to 272 Of Your Book With Your False Claims Highlighted
Let us first quote what you claim about your interrogation as “explained” by Saul Kassin who had at this point diagnosed you only long-distance and talked with not even one person who was there. False claims are shown in bold.
Thankfully Madison had researched the science on false confessions. She found Saul Kassin, a psychologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. A specialist in wrongful convictions, he took the mystery out of what had happened to me.
Before my interrogation, I believed, like many people, that if someone were falsely accused, they wouldn’t, couldn’t, be swayed from the truth while under interrogation. I never would have believed that I could be pressured into confessing to something I hadn’t done. For three years I berated myself for not having been stronger. I’m an honest person. During that interrogation, I had nothing to hide, and a stake in the truth — I desperately wanted the police to solve Meredith’s murder. But now I know that innocent people often confess. The records kept of people convicted of a crime and later exonerated by DNA evidence show that the DNA of 25 percent of them didn’t match the DNA left at the scene. The DNA testing showed that one in four innocent people ended up confessing as I did. And experts believe that even more innocent people confess, both in cases with and without DNA evidence.
According to Kassin, there are different types of false confessions. The most common is “compliant,” which usually happens when the suspect is threatened with punishment or isolation. The encounter becomes so stressful, so unbearable, that suspects who know they’re innocent eventually give in just to make the uncomfortably harsh questioning stop. “You’ll get thirty years in prison if you don’t tell us,” says one interrogator. “I want to help you, but I can’t unless you help us,” says another.
This was exactly the good cop/bad cop routine the police had used on me.
Besides being compliant, I also showed signs of having made an “internalized” false confession. Sitting in that airless interrogation room in the questura, surrounded by people shouting at me during forty-three hours of questioning over five days, I got to the point, in the middle of the night, where I was no longer sure what the truth was. I started believing the story the police were telling me. They took me into a state where I was so fatigued and stressed that I started to wonder if I had witnessed Meredith’s murder and just didn’t remember it. I began questioning my own memory.
Kassin says that once suspects begin to distrust their own memory, they have almost no cognitive choice but to consider, possibly accept, and even mentally elaborate upon the interrogator’s narrative of what happened. That’s how beliefs are changed and false memories are formed.
That’s what had happened to me.
I was so confused that my mind made up images to correspond with the scenario the police had concocted and thrust on me. For a brief time, I was brainwashed.
Three years after my “confession,” I’d blocked out some of my interrogation. But the brain has ways of bringing up suppressed memories. My brain chooses flashbacks—sharp, painful flashes of memory that flicker, interrupting my conscious thoughts. My adrenaline responds as if it’s happening in that moment. I remember the shouting, the figures of looming police officers, their hands touching me, the feeling of panic and of being surrounded, the incoherent images my mind made up to try to explain what could have happened to Meredith and to legitimize why the police were pressuring me.
This new knowledge didn’t stop my nightmares or flashbacks, but I was so relieved to learn that what I’d been through wasn’t unique to me. It had been catalogued! It had a name! As soon as I understood that what happened during my interrogation wasn’t my fault, I started forgiving myself.
Kassin and others show that interrogations are intentionally designed to bewilder and deceive a suspect. Originally created to get highly trained, patriotic U.S. fighter pilots to sell out their country during the Korean War, one technique uses a tag team of investigators and tactics meant to induce exhaustion, agitation, and fear. It’s especially potent on young, vulnerable witnesses like me. The method was designed not to elicit information but to plant it — specifically tailored to destroy an orderly thought process. After some hours, the subject gives the interrogators what they want — whether it’s the truth or not.
In my case they’d put several interrogators in a room with me. For hours they yelled, screamed, kept me on edge. When they exhausted themselves, a fresh team replaced them. But I wasn’t even allowed to leave to use the bathroom.
These were strategic measures, many of which are described in Kassin’s report on police interrogation, “On the Psychology of Confessions: Does Innocence Put Innocents at Risk?” Reading it, I was flabbergasted to learn how by the book the police had been in their manipulation of me.
It had been the middle of the night. I’d already been questioned for hours at a time, days in a row. They tried to get me to contradict myself by homing in on what I’d done hour by hour, to confuse me, to cause me to lose track and get something wrong. They said I had no alibi. They lied, saying that Raffaele had told them I’d asked him to lie to the police. They wouldn’t let me call my mom. They wouldn’t let me leave the interrogation room. They were yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand. They hit me and suggested that I had trauma-induced amnesia. They encouraged me to imagine what could have happened, encouraged me to “remember” the truth because they said I had to know the truth. They threatened to imprison me for thirty years and restrict me from seeing my family. At the time, I couldn’t think of it as anything but terrifying and overwhelming.
That was exactly their point.
Highlighted in bold is another large body of your many easy-to-disprove lies as in the previous post.
Your bizarre analysis leads to many many questions.
- What honest person? You served three years for felony lying. Exactly how did you ever help the police? What good cop/bad cop routine? There were only ever 2 or 3 interviewers there. What airless room? You were in a very modern building with air conditioning. What shouting? What 43 hours of interrogation? You had at most been questioned for one or two hours - and only for a few minutes on this night when you “broke”. What story were police forcing on you? Why were you so confused and stressed - other than that Sollecito had just left you with no alibi? What did the police concoct and thrust on you, and why? Why didnt they do that to anyone else? So many others were interviewed too.
You are not even in Kassin’s “vulnerable” target group. How could you possibly be brainwashed in such a short time? What do you mean “after some hours”? What hours? Who exactly yelled and screamed and kept you on edge? What fresh tag team? Who stopped you leaving the interrogation room for a bathroom break? Why did you testify that you were given refreshments and treated well? Why did your own lawyers say you were treated well? Why did they never lodge a complaint? Why when you had an excellent interpreter did you say you couldn’t understand? Why would police threaten to imprison you for 30 years when their whole interest moved quickly to Patrick as you engineered? And why after the interview when you were left sitting in a corridor, babbling and being calmed down, did you not simply walk right out?
In fact, nobody ever accused you of anything at all in your voluntary witness interview.
You were put under no pressure to confess. Not so long after Sollecito fingered you, you spontaneously blamed Patrick for Meredith’s death. For the next several hours, you babbled on, again and again blaming Patrick. Dr Mignini then witnessed you being warned, and barely said a word.
And of course you never ever did confess that you participated in the attack on Meredith yourself. You are really claiming a false confession - when you didnt even confess?
Sollecito similarly cracked spontaneously in an adjacent room, and he pointed the blame at you. Its very noticeable in all of the above that you essentially dont even mention his name. Nor does Kassin.
So what made Sollecito crack? You don’t explain that.
3. Saul Kassin’s Version with His False Claims Highlighted
It seems that Kassin was subjected to the toxic Misinformation Cloud conjured up by the Rank Amateurs for Knox, and Kassin very foolishly failed to check with anyone at all who had been on the spot.
Here are the relevant passages from Saul Kassin’s paper in American Psychologist with his false claims highlighted in bold.
As illustrated by the story of Amanda Knox and many others wrongfully convicted, false confessions often trump factual innocence. Focusing on consequences, recent research suggests that confessions are powerfully persuasive as a matter of logic and common sense; that many false confessions contain richly detailed narratives and accurate crime facts that appear to betray guilty knowledge; and that confessions in general can corrupt other evidence from lay witnesses and forensic experts—producing an illusion of false support. This latter phenomenon, termed “corroboration inflation,” suggests that pretrial corroboration requirements as well as the concept of “harmless error” on appeal are based on an erroneous presumption of independence among items of evidence. In addition to previously suggested reforms to police practices that are designed to curb the risk of false confessions, measures should be taken as well to minimize the rippling consequences of those confessions….
Meredith Kercher was found raped and murdered in Perugia, Italy. Almost immediately, police suspected 20-year-old Amanda Knox, an American student and one of Kercher’s roommates—the only one who stayed in Perugia after the murder. Knox had no history of crime or violence and no motive. But something about her demeanor—such as an apparent lack of affect, an outburst of sobbing, or her girlish and immature behavior— led police to believe she was involved and lying when she claimed she was with Raffaele Sollecito, her new Italian boyfriend, that night.
Armed with a prejudgment of Knox’s guilt, several police officials interrogated the girl on and off for four days. Her final interrogation started on November 5 at 10 p.m. and lasted until November 6 at 6 a.m., during which time she was alone, without an attorney, tag-teamed by a dozen police, and did not break for food or sleep. In many ways, Knox was a vulnerable suspect—young, far from home, without family, and forced to speak in a language in which she was not fluent. Knox says she was repeatedly threatened and called a liar. She was told, falsely, that Sollecito, her boyfriend, disavowed her alibi and that physical evidence placed her at the scene. She was encouraged to shut her eyes and imagine how the gruesome crime had occurred, a trauma, she was told, that she had obviously repressed. Eventually she broke down crying, screaming, and hitting herself in the head. Despite a law that mandates the recording of interrogations, police and prosecutors maintain that these sessions were not recorded.
Two “confessions” were produced in this last session, detailing what Knox called a dreamlike “vision.” Both were typed by police—one at 1:45 a.m., the second at 5:45 a.m. She retracted the statements in a handwritten letter as soon as she was left alone (“In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make it clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion.”). Notably, nothing in the confessions indicated that she had guilty knowledge. In fact, the statements attributed to Knox were factually incorrect on significant core details (e.g., she named as an accomplice a man whom police had suspected but who later proved to have an ironclad alibi; she failed to name another man, unknown to police at the time, whose DNA was later identified on the victim). Nevertheless, Knox, Sollecito, and the innocent man she implicated were all immediately arrested. In a media-filled room, the chief of police announced: Caso chiuso (case closed).
Police had failed to provide Knox with an attorney or record the interrogations, so the confessions attributed to her were ruled inadmissible in court. Still, the damage was done. The confession set into motion a hypothesis-confirming investigation, prosecution, and conviction. The man whose DNA was found on the victim, after specifically stating that Knox was not present, changed his story and implicated her while being prosecuted. Police forensic experts concluded that Knox’s DNA on the handle of a knife found in her boyfriend’s apartment also contained Kercher’s blood on the blade and that the boyfriend’s DNA was on the victim’s bra clasp. Several eyewitnesses came forward. An elderly woman said she was awakened by a scream followed by the sound of two people running; a homeless drug addict said he saw Knox and Sollecito in the vicinity that night; a convicted drug dealer said he saw all three suspects together; a grocery store owner said he saw Knox the next morning looking for cleaning products; one witness said he saw Knox wielding a knife.
On December 5, 2009, an eight-person jury convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of murder. The two were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively. Finally, on October 3, 2011, after having been granted a new trial, they were acquitted. [Actually they still stand accused - and facing a tough fact-based prosecution appeal] Ten weeks later, the Italian appeals court released a strongly worded 143-page opinion in which it criticized the prosecution and concluded that there was no credible evidence, motive, or plausible theory of guilt. For the four years of their imprisonment, this story drew international attention (for comprehensive overviews of the case, see Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011).1
It is now clear that the proverbial mountain of discredited evidence used to convict Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito was nothing but a house of cards built upon a false confession. The question posed by this case, and so many others like it, is this: Why do confessions so often trump innocence? ...
Third, it is important to realize that not all evidence is equally malleable or subject to corroboration inflation. Paralleling classic research indicating that expectations can color judgments of people, objects, and other stimuli that are ambiguous as opposed to those that compel a particular perception, forensic research indicates that ambiguity is a moderating condition. Asked to report on an event or make an identification decision on the basis of a memory trace that cannot be recovered, eyewitnesses are particularly malleable when confronted with evidence of a confession (Hasel & Kassin, 2009). This phenomenon was illustrated in the case against Amanda Knox. When police first interviewed Knox’s British roommates, not one reported that there was bad blood between Knox and the victim. After Knox’s highly publicized confession, however, the girls brought forth new “memories,” telling police that Kercher was uncomfortable with Knox and the boys she would bring home (Burleigh, 2011). ...
In recent years, psychologists have been critical of the problems with accuracy, error, subjectivity, and bias in various types of criminal evidence—prominently including eyewitness identification procedures, police interrogation practices, and the so-called forensic identification sciences, all leading Saks and Koehler (2005) to predict a “coming paradigm shift.” With regard to confessions, it now appears that this shift should encompass not only reforms that serve to minimize the risk of false confessions but measures designed to minimize the rippling consequences of those confessions—as in the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted.
4. An Exposure Of Ten Of Saul Kassins’s False Claims
Our main poster the Machine exposes further how Kassin’s key claims are wrong.
False Claim 1: They brought her in for that final interrogation late at night.
No they didn’t.
Neither the police nor the prosecutors brought Amanda in for questioning on 5 November 2007. Amanda Knox herself testified in court that she wasn’t called to come to the police station on 5 November 2007.
Carlo Pacelli: “For what reason did you go to the Questura on November 5? Were you called?”
Amanda Knox: “No, I wasn’t called. I went with Raffaele because I didn’t want to be alone.”
Amanda Knox went with Raffaele Sollecito because she didn’t want to be alone. Kassin’s false claim is the first red flag that Saul Kassin is very confused or has been seriously misled when it comes to this well-documented and well-handled case.
False Claim 2: The so-called confession wasn’t until 6:00am.
No it wasn’t.
If Saul Kassin had actually read Amanda Knox’s first witness statement, he would have known that it was made at 1:45am. Knox had admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed some time before this.
False Claim 3: She was interrogated from 10:00pm to 6.00am.
No she wasn’t.
According to the Daily Beast Amanda Knox’s questioning began at about 11:00pm.
Since Knox was already at the police station [in the company of Raffaele Sollecito] the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m.
After Amanda Knox had made her witness statement at 1:45am, she wasn’t questioned again that evening. That was it.
However, Amanda Knox herself then wanted to make further declarations and Mr Mignini who was on duty on the night sat and watched while Knox wrote out her declarations.
Mr Mignini explained what happened in his email letter to Linda Byron, another who was factually challenged.
All I did was to apply the Italian law to the proceedings. I really cannot understand any problem.
In the usual way, Knox was first heard by the police as a witness, but when some essential elements of her involvement with the murder surfaced, the police suspended the interview, according to Article 63 of the penal proceedings code.
But Knox then decided to render spontaneous declarations, that I took up without any further questioning, which is entirely lawful.
According to Article 374 of the penal proceedings code, suspects must be assisted by a lawyer only during a formal interrogation, and when being notified of alleged crimes and questioned by a prosecutor or judge, not when they intend to render unsolicited declarations.
Since I didn’t do anything other than to apply the Italian law applicable to both matters, I am unable to understand the objections and reservations which you are talking about.
In Amanda Knox’s written witness statement, she explicitly states that she’s making a spontaneous declaration:
Amanda Knox: “I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick, the African boy who owns the pub called “Le Chic” located in Via Alessi where I work periodically.
False Claim 4: They banged her on the back of the head.
No they didn’t.
All the numerous witnesses who were actually present when Amanda Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, testified under oath at trial in 2009 that she wasn’t hit. She has never identified anyone who hit her and on several occasions confirmed that she was treated well.
Even one of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, confirmed that Amanda Knox had not been hit: “There were pressures from the police but we never said she was hit.” He never ever lodged a complaint.
False Claim 5: All the other British roommates left town.
No they didn’t.
The police also told Sophie Purton that they needed her to stay on in Perugia on precisely the same basis as Amanda Knox. In chapter 19 of Death in Perugia, John Follain states that Sophie Purton was questioned by Mignini and Napoleoni in the prosecutor’s office on 5 November 2007.
Sophie had been counting on leaving Perugia to fly back home as soon as her parents arrived, but the police called to tell her they needed her to stay on; they would let her know when she could leave.
False Claim 6 : Amanda Knox stayed back to help the police.
No she didn’t.
This claim is flatly contradicted by Amanda Knox herself. In the e-mail she wrote to her friends in Seattle on 4 November 2007 she categorically stated she was not allowed to leave Italy.
i then bought some underwear because as it turns out i wont be able to leave italy for a while as well as enter my house
Knox actually knew on 2 November 2007 that she couldn’t leave Italy. Amy Frost reported the following conversation (The Massei report, page 37),
I remember having heard Amanda speaking on the phone, I think that she was talking to a member of her family, and I heard her say, No, they won’t let me go home, I can’t catch that flight.
It’s not the first time that the myth that Knox chose to stay behind rather than leave Italy has been claimed in the media. And incidentally, lying repeatedly to the police isn’t normally considered to be helping them.
False Claim 7: Amanda Knox had gone 8 hours without any food or drink.
No she hadn’t.
Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 1 March 2009
Ms Napoleoni told the court that while she was at the police station Ms Knox had been ‘treated very well. She was given water, camomile tea and breakfast. She was given cakes from a vending machine and then taken to the canteen at the police station for something to eat.’
Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 15 March 2009.
Ms Donnino said that Ms Knox had been “comforted” by police, given food and drink, and had at no stage been hit or threatened.
John Follain in his meticulous book Death in Perugia, page 134, also reports that Knox was given food and drink during her questioning:
During the questioning, detectives repeatedly went to fetch her a snack, water, and hot drinks including camomile tea.
False Claim 8: The translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox.
No she wasn’t.
Saul Kassin offers no evidence that the translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox and there is no evidence that this was the case. Nobody at the questura has claimed this. Amanda Knox’s own lawyers have not claimed this.
Even Amanda Knox herself has never ever claimed that Anna Donnino was hostile towards her although she had every opportunity to do so when being questioned on the stand.
False Claim 9: The translator was acting as an agent for the police.
No she wasn’t.
Saul Kassin offers no evidence to support this claim, which by the way in Italy is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits. Do ask Curt Knox.
False Claim 10: The police lied to Amanda Knox.
No they didn’t.
The police didn’t mislead Amanda Knox. They told her quite truthfully that Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, and that he had just claimed in the next interrogation room that she wasn’t at his apartment from around 9:00pm to about 1:00am. This also is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits
Other claims by Kassin are also inaccurate. He claims that not one of your acquaintances had reported there was bad blood. That also is untrue. Even prior to the witness interrogation, law enforcement knew from multiple sources that you had been feuding with just about everyone. Acquaintances created no “new memory”. The bad blood you created was quite real.
5. How Kassin Bends His Own Science To Make Results Come Out “Right”
Our main poster Fuji dug deeper into the science and turns up what is an obvious scientific fraud by Kassin to insert himself into the case.
Meredith’s case is absolutely riddled with fabricated false myths.
They are now found by the hundreds on some misleading websites, and they simply make experienced law enforcement and criminal lawyers laugh.
For example “Police had no good reason to be immediately suspicious of Knox simply because the murder occurred at her residence”. And “The double-DNA knife is a priori to be disregarded as evidence, because no murderer would retain possession of such a murder weapon.”
One of the most strident and widespread myths is that Amanda Knox’s statements to the Perugian investigators on 5 and 6 November 2007, placing her at the scene of Meredith’s murder, are to be viewed as the products of a genuinely confused mind imbued with a naïve trust of authority figures.
The apparent certainty with which many of Amanda Knox’s most vocal supporters proclaim that Knox’s statements are actual “false confessions” as opposed to deliberate lies is not supported by even a cursory reading of the pertinent academic literature regarding false confessions.
What actually are “false confessions”?
Richard N. Kocsis in his book “Applied Criminal Psychology: A Guide to Forensic Behavioral Sciences” (2009), on pages 193-4 delineates three different kinds of false confessions:
First, a voluntary false confession is one in which a person falsely confesses to a crime absent any pressure or coercion from police investigators….
Coerced-compliant false confessions occur when a person falsely confesses to a crime for some immediate gain and in spite of the conscious knowledge that he or she is actually innocent of the crime….
The final type, identified by Kassin and Wrightsman (1985), is referred to as a coerced-internalized false confession. This occurs when a person falsely confesses to a crime and truly begins to believe that he or she is responsible for the criminal act.
The first problem facing Knox supporters wishing to pursue the false confession angle as a point speaking to her purported innocence is epistemological.
Although much research has been done on this phenomenon in recent years, academics are still struggling to come to terms with a methodology to determine their incidence rate.
The current state of knowledge does not support those making sweeping claims about the likelihood of Knox’s statements being representative of a genuine internalized false confession.
As noted by Richard A. Leo in “False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Implications” (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009):
Although other researchers have also documented and analyzed numerous false confessions in recent years, we do not know how frequently they occur. A scientifically meaningful incidence rate cannot be determined for several reasons.
First, researchers cannot identify (and thus cannot randomly sample) the universe of false confessions, because no governmental or private organization keeps track of this information.
Second, even if one could identify a set of possibly false confessions, it is not usually possible as a practical matter to obtain the primary case materials (e.g., police reports, pretrial and trial transcripts, and electronic recordings of the interrogations) necessary to evaluate the unreliability of these confessions.
Finally, even in disputed confession cases in which researchers are able to obtain primary case materials, it may still be difficult to determine unequivocally the ground truth (i.e., what really happened) with sufficient certainty to prove the confession false.
In most alleged false-confession cases, it is therefore impossible to remove completely any possible doubts about the confessor’s innocence.
The next problem Knox supporters face is that, even allowing for an inability to establish a priori any likelihood of a given statement being a false confession, the kind of false confession which is usually attributed to Knox is in fact one of the LEAST likely of the three types (Voluntary, Compliant, and Persuaded, as Leo terms the three different categories) to be observed:
Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions.
Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, Knox and her statements do not in fact satisfy many of the criteria researchers tend to observe in false confessions, particularly of the Persuaded variety:
“All other things being equal, those who are highly suggestible or compliant are more likely to confess falsely. Individuals who are highly suggestible tend to have poor memories, high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, and low assertiveness, personality factors that also make them more vulnerable to the pressures of interrogation and thus more likely to confess falsely…
Highly suggestible or compliant individuals are not the only ones who are unusually vulnerable to the pressures of police interrogation. So are the developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired, juveniles, and the mentally ill….
They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations… ordinary police interrogation is not strong enough to produce a permanent change in the suspect’s beliefs.
Most significantly, there is one essential element of a true Persuaded False Confession which in Knox’s case is highly distinctive:
To convince the suspect that it is plausible, and likely, that he committed the crime, the interrogators must supply him with a reason that satisfactorily explains how he could have done it without remembering it.
This is the second step in the psychological process that leads to a persuaded false confession.
Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory.
He or she may suggest, for example, that the suspect experienced an alcohol- or drug-induced blackout, a “dry” blackout, a multiple personality disorder, a momentary lapse in consciousness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, or, perhaps most commonly, that the suspect simply repressed his memory of committing the crime because it was a traumatic experience for him.
The suspect can only be persuaded to accept responsibility for the crime if he regards one of the interrogators’ explanations for his alleged amnesia as plausible.
Knox did not in fact claim drug or alcohol use as the source of her amnesia - rather, she claimed to have accepted the interrogators’ attribution that this was due to being traumatized by the crime itself, and she offers no other explanation for her selective amnesia:
This is from Knox’s statement to the court in pretrial on 18 October 2008 with Judge Micheli presiding.
Then they started pushing on me the idea that I must have seen something, and forgotten about it. They said that I was traumatized.
Of course, Knox’s initial statement went far beyond being that of being merely a witness to some aspect of Ms. Kercher’s murder, as the interrogators at first seemed to believe was the case.
Rather, her statement placed her at scene of the murder during its actual commission while she did nothing to avert it, which naturally made her a suspect.
In other words, in the absence of any of her other testimony which indicated that she was only a witness to the murder, her own self-admitted rationale for providing a false confession was that she was traumatized by the commission of the murder itself.
Perugia judges will be familiar with all of the above and we can be sure that they brief the lay judges on the remote circumstances and incidences of false confessions.
If I were a Knox defense attorney, I would find it to be a far more fruitful line of argumentation to argue that she was simply lying, rather than claiming the supremely unlikely provision of an actual internalized false confession.
6. Kassin’s Paper with Correct Facts and Context Now Included
Here is our main poster BR Mull describing what actually took place.
On November 2, 2007, British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found sexually attacked and murdered in Perugia, Italy. The next day, 20-year-old Amanda Knox, an American student and one of Kercher’s roommates, became a person of interest, along with Meredith’s downstairs neighbors and several of her other acquaintances. Interviewing close contacts is a cornerstone of police work. Two of Meredith’s close English friends, who were so scared they couldn’t sleep alone, left Perugia in the immediate aftermath of the murder. Everyone else stayed on.
Months before arriving in Perugia, Knox received a citation for a noise violation when a going-away party she’d thrown for herself in Seattle got out of hand. One of the officers described it as a “scene from Baghdad.” Within about three weeks of moving into the cottage in Perugia, Knox was ejected from a nightclub for pouring her glass on the head of a disc jockey.
It’s often said that Knox had no motive to kill Meredith, but it was Knox’s claim of drug use which indicated a possible motive: a drug-fuelled assault. There are various others, though a motive is not actually required for conviction. In crime scene videos from the day Meredith’s body was discovered, Knox can be seen outside the cottage glancing furtively around. Still, it was not this and other odd behavior, but rather the many conflicting witness statements by Knox and her new Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, that led police to believe Knox was involved and lying when she claimed she was with Sollecito at his home continuously on the night of November 1.
Police interviewed dozens of witnesses in the days after the murder, some more than once. All witness statements were written down and signed for, not recorded. The police interviewed Sollecito for the third time beginning at 10:40pm on November 5. Knox later testified that she voluntarily accompanied her boyfriend to the station, because she didn’t want to be alone. The police did not summon her. To the interviewers’ surprise, Sollecito repudiated his earlier alibi when shown phone records, and now said Knox had left his apartment for much of the evening. Some time after 11:00pm the police asked if they might interview Knox. An interpreter was called and by 1:45am Knox had given a signed statement that she had witnessed the sounds of her employer, bar owner Patrick Lumumba, murdering Meredith at the cottage.
In that statement she acknowledged that she had been given an interpreter, and that she herself was now officially a suspect. Knox later testified that she was treated well. She was offered snacks and drinks during the interview and afterward. Made aware that she could not be interrogated without a lawyer, but still anxious to put out as much information as possible, she then requested a chance to make a spontaneous statement without any questioning. The prosecutor on duty agreed, and she gave a statement in front of him very similar to her witness statement from hours earlier.
Knox and the police gave different accounts of how the 11:00 to 1:45 am interview was conducted. Police said Knox was told Sollecito now no longer confirmed her alibi and he had called her a liar. She now had no alibi. Sympathetic to her because Knox now had no alibi, the interpreter urged her to try to remember at least something. Shown a text she had sent to Lumumba at 8:35pm saying “See you later. Have a good evening!” she was asked to explain this. The police say Knox started to cry and burst out, “It’s him! It’s him!”
Both Knox’s witness statement at 1:45 a.m and her voluntary suspect statement at 5:45am were written out in Italian and translated back to her before she signed. After Knox was formally taken into custody at midday on November 6, she asked for paper and wrote a slight modification of her earlier statements, adding: “In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make it clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion.”
Lumumba was arrested along with Knox and Sollecito. Knox and her mother held out on his non-involvement, but he was eventually determined to have a solid alibi. Another man, Rudy Guede, was identified through a hand print in Meredith’s bedroom. Knox appeared to have substituted Lumumba for Guede in her statements, and several details of the crime in her so-called confession were later corroborated by witnesses.
Because police had not needed to provide Knox with an attorney at the impromptu witness interview after 11:00, the Supreme Court ruled that statement inadmissible in the murder case against her. However both statements were ruled admissible in court for the purpose of establishing the crime of defamation against Patrick Lumumba. Knox’s November 6 letter was also ruled admissible.
Guede, the man whose DNA was found on the victim, told a friend while he was still on the run that he had found Meredith stabbed and that Knox had nothing to do with the murder. However, in the same conversation, which was recorded by police, he speculated that Knox and Sollecito might have been at the cottage. In a letter dated March 7, 2010, while his sentence was awaiting final confirmation by the Supreme Court, Guede wrote that Knox and Sollecito murdered Meredith. He reiterated this claim as a witness during Knox and Sollecito’s appeal.
Forensic police from Rome concluded that a kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment had Knox’s DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade. Sollecito’s DNA was on the victim’s bra clasp in Meredith’s locked bedroom.
Several eyewitnesses came forward. Three neighbors testified that they heard a disturbance around 11:30pm in the vicinity of the cottage. A homeless man who at appeal admitted heroin use was reading a newsmagazine at the basketball court near the cottage. He testified that he saw Knox and Sollecito four or five times that night. An Albanian, a possible drug dealer. who the Massei court deemed unreliable after the Micheli court accepted him, said he had seen all three suspects together, and that Knox had accosted him with a knife. A grocery store owner testified he saw Knox at his shop early on the morning after the murder.
The conflicting alibis of the two were never resolved during trial. On December 4, 2009, an eight-person panel consisting of two professional judges and six lay judges found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of murder aggravated by sexual assault, simulation of a burglary, unlawful carrying of a knife and, in Knox’s case, criminal defamation of Patrick Lumumba. The two were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively….
Knox’s mother later described her daughter as “oblivious to the dark side of the world.” Knox herself wrote that, on the night of the murder, she and Sollecito were talking about his mother’s suicide. She told him her philosophy was “life is full of choices and that these choices are not necessarily between good and evil, but between what’s better and what’s worse.”...
7. Our Concluding Advice
You simply didnt remotely fit Kassin’s own profile of those who break easily under interrogation and make things up. Your suspect interrogation was gentle, brief and considerate, as you have said, and didnt remotely fit Kassin’s claims. And of course, you never made a false confession on that night or any other.
Do you really want this guy or yourself cross-examined on the stand? Again, it may be the last good time to try to walk all of your malicious invention back.
[Saul Kassin with President Travis of John Jay College who lets the false anti-Italy allegations stand]
Archived in Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Saul Kassin, Hoaxes about the case, The Dr Mignini hoax, Amanda Knox
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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Questions For Knox: Did You Undergo An Illegal Interrogation By Mignini Or Did You Try To Frame Him?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Even the hapless Judge Hellmann, who seemed to try so hard at his own cost (he is now forcibly retired) to have things break your way, didn’t believe anyone ever forced or tricked you into framing Patrick for the crime.
Accordingly you served three years in Capanne Prison, and in March the Supreme Court threw out your final appeal over that. You now have a felony record for life, as well as a proven tendency to lie which every Italian knows about.
And yet you head off down the same slippery slope again in so many places in your book. This is the direct cause of its being placed under the microscope to see if new felony charges should apply.
Here is how you describe a supposed interrogation by Prosecutor Mignini at your first (witness) interview, and below, we describe what everyone else present says actually took place. This is from pages 90 to 92.
[This is the voluntary witness interview.] Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.
I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.
I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.
They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”
I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”
The pubblico ministero came in.
Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”
One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”
Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.
He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”
It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”
I said, “I didn’t see anything.”
“What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Where did you meet him?”
“I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.
“I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”
“What was he wearing?”
“I don’t know.”
“Was he wearing a jacket?”
“I think so.”
“What color was it?”
“I think it was brown.”
“What did he do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Are you scared of him?”
I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.
“This is what happened, right? You met him?”
“I guess so.”
“Where did you meet?”
“I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”
“You went to the house?”
“I guess so.”
“Was Meredith in the house?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did Patrick go in there?”
“I don’t know, I guess so.”
“Where were you?”
“I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”
“Did you hear Meredith screaming?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”
He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”
“I don’t know.”
At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.
He said, “Did you hear her scream?”
I said, “I think so.”
My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”
So you choose to portray yourself as reluctant to talk at all? While Dr Mignini relentlessly edges you more and more into saddling Patrick with the blame? While you have no lawyer there?
In fact, as you well know, every word of that dialogue is made up. You invented it. Dr Mignini was not even there. Right then, he was home in bed.
Now we contrast this malicious figment of your imagination with the account of that night by many others who were present at various times. Even you yourself essentially agreed to this narrative at trial, with the one exception of an invented clip on the head.
Feel free to tell us where we have got this wrong:
1. You insist on being around in the central police station despite being grumpy and tired while Sollecito helps investigators to check a few claims.
2. After a while an investigator, Rita Ficarra, politely invites you to help build a list of names of men who might have known Meredith or the house. She is somewhat reluctantly as it was late and no interpreter was on hand. You quite eagerly begin. An interpreter is called from home. You calmly produce seven names and draw maps.
3. Sollecito breaks sudenly and unexpectedly early in his own recap/summary session when confronted with phone records which showed he had lied. He quickly points the finger at you as the one having made him lie. You are briefly told he is saying you went out.
4. You break explosively soon after when an outgoing text shows up on your phone after you had claimed you sent none. You yell words to the effect that Patrick is the one, he killed Meredith. Police did not even know of the existence of Patrick before you identified the text as to him.
5. Thereafter you talk your head off, explaining how you had overheard Patrick attack Meredith at your house. The three ladies present and one man do what they can to calm you down. But you insist on a written statement, implicating him, and stating you went out from Sollecito’s alone.
6. This from about 2:00 am is the state of play. You are taken to the bar for refreshments and helped to sleep. You testify at trial that you were given refreshments, and everybody treated you well.
7. As you had admitted being at the scene of a crime you had not reported, you had in effect admitted to a crime, so a legal Miranda-type caution is required. Dr Mignini, the on-call duty judge for that night, is by multiple account, including your own at trial, not present at that list-building session. He comes from home.
8. At the reading-you-your-rights session with Dr Mignini, he asks you no questions, and is anxious to get the session over so he can get on to the task of pulling Patrick in. You yourself insist on a new written statement though you are again warned that in your own interests a lawyer should be present. You push on.
Really a very simple chain of events, which was attested to at trial by all of those who had been present on the night, even including yourself.
There are no signs at all in anyone else’s description that you were leaned on by anybody, and nobody at the central police station had the slightest vested interest in making you into a target that night.
And you risk more years in prison for every single false claim (and there are many) against officers of the court. Sollecito is in the same boat. You might even incur a life sentence.
So where precisely does this new claim in your book of an illegal interrogation by Dr Mignini fit in? Now would seem a very good time to admit you made it all up.
Archived in Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Hoaxes about the case, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog. hoax, Amanda Knox
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Saturday, June 08, 2013
Questions For Sollecito: Can You Realistically Account For The Hard Evidence On The Bathroom Mat?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Your legal future and the book
In the next few months you are expected to face two different courts in Florence.
One will be a new appeal in Meredith’s case in place of the illegal appeal annulled in March by the Supreme Court, and one will decide if you attempted serious obstruction of justice in ascribing many crimes to the officers of the Perugia court. One claim your own father Francesco on Italian national TV has already said was false.
The last thing you need is two prosecutions demonstrating that you invented unrealistic straw man after straw man to throw off the legal process by illegal means, by encouraging pressure on the court from an inflamed and ill-informed public.
And yet your book appears to us to contain at least a hundred straw men. Less-so but similarly in the book by Knox. This definition of a straw man is from the Wikipedia website.
A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues.
The straw man of the bloody footprint on the mat
Let us start this series of questions to you with the bloody bathmat footprint, and how you characterized it at different points in your book as part of your attempted proof that Guede acting alone did the crime.
Here is the full extent of your straw-man attempt to prove that that print was actually from Rudy Guede’s foot.
(a) [Page X11] The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here
(b) [page 23] Amanda went ahead with her shower, only to notice a small bloodstain on one of the washbasin taps. It looked like menstrual blood. Was Meredith, who shared the bathroom with her, having some sort of problem? It was unlike her to leave things less than immaculate. Maybe she’d run out to a pharmacy. Then again, it was just one small stain; perhaps she missed it.
(c) [Page 79] When my defense team examined the official paperwork, they noticed that the analysis of the footprints—including extensive inquiry into the length and shape of the foot likely to have produced them—had been conducted by two members of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome, working not in their official capacity but as private consultants charging thousands of euros to Mignini’s office. One of the analysts, Lorenzo Rinaldi, was a physicist, not a specialist in anatomy, and the other, Pietro Boemia, was a fingerprint technician with no further scientific credentials. That begged the question: if Mignini’s office felt it needed to contract the job out to private consultants, why wouldn’t it go to people with more pertinent qualifications? The whole thing stank.
(d) [page 192] We didn’t bother to ask for a review of the footprint analysis by Rinaldi and Boemia because we had demonstrated some elementary measuring errors and felt confident that would suffice.
And how this collapses when compared with hard facts
(1) Our main poster the Machine described at the time how the prosecution and their witnesses did a terrific job on this evidence at trial in May 2009, and how your defense had virtually no comeback at all.
Two bloody footprints were attributed to Raffaele Sollecito. One of them was revealed by luminol in the hallway, and the other one was easily visible to the naked eye on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s and Knox’s shared bathroom.
Lorenzo Rinaldi excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat was the right size or shape to belong to Knox or Guede instead of Sollecito: “You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”
Andrea Vogt’s report for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shows just how meticulous and painstakingly detailed the analysis of the bloody footprints was:
“All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s.
“Those bare footprints cannot be mine,” said Sollecito in a spontaneous statement…. But the next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot….
Rinaldi’s detailed Powerpoint described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints and shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.”
Another print expert also testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.
Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, asked Dr. Stefanoni to confirm that other substances like bleach or fruit juice can also react to luminol.
Dr. Stefanoni acknowledged that they do, but pointed out that biologists who work regularly on crime scenes distinguish easily between the bright blue glow of a blood trace and the much fainter glow from other reactive substances.
(2) Our main poster Kermit in effect recreated a version of the Powerpoints which Dr Rinaldi walked the court through, in these Powerpoints here.
You will see they are detailed and very precise, and it is your footprint and not Guede’s footprint which remorselessly emerges on the bathroom mat.
After viewing the damning nature of those slides, read at the end what Kermit concludes: You WERE present at the scene of the crime. You might not have had murderous intent, or wielded the fatal blow, but you and your bare foot were there.
(3) Our main poster SomeAlibi, a trial lawyer, recently warned here that even ONE piece of evidence if firm and inexplicable enough could be enough for a jury to decide to put you away.
There are at least four pieces of evidence that tie you to the scene of the crime: those two footprints, your still-unexplained DNA on Meredith’s bra, and sworn eye-witness testimony of Rudy Guede that he saw you there.
That is in addition to dozens of other evidence points which include cellphone evidence, computer evidence, myriad alibis, an admission that you lied, and another eyewitness account.
SomeAlibi then goes even beyond Kermit in his analysis to show how definitive the identification of YOUR footprint was. See his chart here which leaves zero room for any doubt. He comments on it as follows:
I present here a summarized view of critical evidence which suggests with devastating clarity that Raffaele Sollecito was present the night of the murder of Meredith Kercher. No lengthy text, no alternate versions, just measurements.
This FIRMLY places Sollecito in the very room where Meredith was attacked and killed.
In the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s bedroom was a bathmat. On it was found a bloody naked right footprint of someone walking straight towards the shower in the bathroom. The blood is that of Meredith.
The footprint is not Amanda Knox’s - it is too big - but we can compare it to the prints taken of Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito.
In Judge Massei’s report the multiple measurements were detailed in the narrative over many sentences and, in that form, their immediate cumulative impact is less obvious. It is only by tabulating them, that we are forcefully hit by not one but two clear impressions:
The measurements are extremely highly correlated to the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito in twelve separate individual measurements. In themselves they would be enough for a verdict of guilt in all but a few court cases.
But they also show a manifest LACK of correlation to the right foot of Rudy Guede, the only other male in that cottage on the night. Have a look for yourself.
(4) That Rudy Guede had attacked Meredith alone needs proof your own defense lawyers miserably failed to provide at trial, and did the opposite of at the annulled appeal.
At the annulled appeal they put the erratic jailbirds Alessi and Aviello on the stand, in a desperate attempt to explain who were the THREE perps that the crime scene recreation and autopsy had decisively demonstrated attacked Meredith.
(5) Accordingly your point (a) above is false in every respect. Guede was NOT quickly identified, precisely because Knox fingered Patrick only. Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her.
Guede had zero proven history of break-ins and petty crimes, and Judge Micheli became angry at such unfounded claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks after an extended stay up north.
His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise in fact was how few traces of him were found. The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.
From Meredith’s wounds, it was evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?
Guede’s shoeprints in blood exit Meredith’s room and lead straight to the front door. There is no evidence at all that he removed his shoe, for whatever reason, and somehow left only ONE footprint several yards from Meredith’s room. .
And all this together with the footprints in blood outside the door matching the feet of both yourself and Knox is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).
(6) Our main poster Sara posted on our Sollecito Book page that you made a false claim in your point (b) above about the obviousness of the bathroom blood stains.
Raffaele tries to underplay the presence of blood in the bathroom by claiming that the print on the bathmat was hardly visible or distinguishable as blood. Even in his interview with Katie Couric he claimed that it was not obvious that the stain on the bathmat was blood.
The problem? Amanda in her email during the initial days of the investigation says “it was after i stepped out of the shower and onto the mat that i noticed the blood in the bathroom.it was on the mat i was using to dry my feet”
When Knox herself admits that she knew it was blood on the bathmat, why is Sollecito claiming otherwise?
(7) Our main poster Vivianna posted this correction on our Sollecito Book page in response to your claim (c) that the government experts were hired guns - and the wrong ones.
The reality, according to Judge Massei, is quite different. [the experts were:]
1. Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi (Engineer, Principal Technical Director of the State Police, director of the three sections which compose the Identity Division of the ERT - Esperti Ricerca Tracce)
2. Chief Inspector Pietro Boemia of the ERT in Rome
And their tasks involved analyzing both shoeprints and footprints
Sollecito forgets to mention that their first consultancy report, with regard to a footprint left by a Nike shoe, was actually favorable to him. Unlike a previous analysis which had attributed the shoeprint to him, this team of experts correctly attributed it to Guede.
However, since the second consultancy task resulted in an identification of a footprint with Sollecito’s, the experts are clearly “out to get him” like everyone else involved in the investigation. It doesn’t seem to occur to Sollecito that if that had been the case, they wouldn’t have bothered to correct the previous consultant’s work on the shoeprints.
Your fate going forward from the above
You have as Americans say opened a real can of worms here. A prosecutor’s delight. At both the trials you will face in Florence, the prosecutions will surely raise all of these questions and more, and then ask:
WHY did you need to create a straw man? You were clearly there; why, and what did you do?
Archived in Public evidence, Sollecito's alibis, The two knives, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Raff Sollecito
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013
The City Of Perugia And Perugia University Award The First-Ever Meredith Kercher Scholarship
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Image above: Stephanie Kercher and Olivia Taylor with, center, the interpreter]
This post carried the announcement of the fellowship kindly created to honor the memory of Meredith.
Now the award today of the fellowship is widely reported in Italy where Meredith is still widely regarded as one of their onw with her fluent Italian, caring persona, and Mediterranean good looks.
This report is from the Gazzetta del Sud.
Perugia, June 4 - A British student on Tuesday received the first scholarship honouring Meredith Kercher from a fund set up in her name by the Umbrian city of Perugia and the university she was studying at when she was murdered in 2007.
“Meredith’s murder is a wound that will never be healed in the hearts of Perugians where Mez will always be, along with a sense of impotence at not having been able to defend her,” Mayor Wladimiro Boccali said.
Meredith’s elder sister Stephanie was on hand to see the honour go to London student Olivia Taylor at a ceremony with the mayor and the head of Perugia’s famous University for Foreigners.
“It’s the first time I’ve been here for a happy event,” Stephanie Kercher said [she speaks good Italian.] “Now I want to study to remember Meredith,” said Taylor, whose grant will help her learn Italian at the university attended by thousands of foreign students.
This, one of the many reports in Italian, is from Umbria 24.
“Without truth there can be no forgiveness, it is difficult to even talk about forgiveness when there is no truth” an excited Stephanie Kercher said, in Perugia this morning in the City during the delivery of the scholarship in honor of her sister Meredith, who was killed in Perugia in 2007.
She was speaking of the legal proceedings of Amanda and Raffaele. “It’s the first time I have come to Perugia for a happy event” said Stephanie, accompanied by the lawyers Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna. “I’m happy for Olivia, who will be here in Perugia, and I’m glad for a moment of happy memories of Meredith. “
The scholarship in memory of Meredith Kercher went to a London girl named Olivia Taylor, who had already arrived in Perugia to follow a two-month course of Italian at the University for Foreigners of Perugia at which Meredith Kercher studied. At the ceremony for the delivery of the award was the mayor of Perugia, Wladimiro Boccali, the rector of the University for Foreigners, Giovanni Paciullo, and the university president, Maurizio Oliviero. The award is for a two-month course in Italian contributed by the University for Foreigners, plus the outward journey and return to London which are paid for by the town, and accommodation in a university residence.
“Mez is forever in our hearts” the mayor said during the ceremony. “The murder of Meredith has left a wound that will never heal. Meredith will always be in the hearts of Perugians who have a sense of her powerlessness against her attackers and of her not being able to defend herself. I also want to thank the Kercher family for the dignity shown during all this tragedy and the kind words they have for our city”...
“I do not know exactly what to expect from the new legal process” said Stephanie. “We are still waiting for answers to questions that have not had any.” As for the book of Amanda Knox, when asked if she had read it, Stephanie Kercher said: “No, I have not read the book of Amanda Knox, and I do not read these books.”
The young Olivia Taylor hopes that this scholarship in honor of Meredith is “a matter of comfort for her family”.
Thank you, Olivia Taylor, for competing for and accepting the scholarship. If yoiu follow in the footsteps of Meredith you will go far, and the world will see a real difference.
There’s a note below the video on the context.
The images below are from the court sessions in October 2008 when Guede was sentenced and AK and RS sent to trial. This was the first time since Meredith’s funeral in Croydon that the family appeared in public, and the second time in Perugia.
Harrassment of the family by the Knox-Mellas PR shills and demonization of the prosecution and police were heading for a crescendo, putting great pressure on Meredith’s family. You can see some tension in their faces although as usual their stoicism was pretty amazing.
Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were in Perugia for those hearings, but they lurked uphill of the courthouse during the court sessions so that, as they admitted, they did not have to look Meredith’s family in the eyes.
TJMK came online a month or two before those hearings, essentially to help represent Meredith and her family in face of the horrific PR effort to disappear them and to bend by illegal means the trial or first appeal outcome.
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Saturday, June 01, 2013
Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #1: The Timing Of RS Phone Events By Coordinated Universal Time
Posted by Cardiol MD
TMJK’s core focus has long been upon “What happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia, on the night of November 1-2, 2007?”
Over the last 4+ years, more than 20 TJMK posts, with more than 400 comments, have addressed the subject of possible scenarios and timelines for those events. They represent a lot of thought and many are worth reading if you haven’t come across them before.
This post is the first in a series that will reappraise the more probable speculations, using the current state of our information.
Coordinated Universal Time
Because our objective knowledge of the actual events is inherently limited, but the cumulative evidence is overwhelmingly large, each post will focus on a different aspect of that evidence, starting with the most reliable, accurate, and precise facts – the UTC Telephone Traffic Records created by the telephone systems of Italy, the USA, and the UK.
UTC [Coordinated Universal Time], “…is used for civil timekeeping all over the Earth’s surface…”
Therefore, for example, the timings of the mobile-phone, and landline-phone calls between Sollecito, in Perugia, Sollecito’s father Francesco, in Bari, and Sollecito’s sister, in Puglia, are precisely recorded – their Start, End, and Duration timings – but not their content. The Locations of the phones at those times are also detectable.
It’s almost as if the phone-users are wearing criminal-offender ankle-monitors.
The same goes for all the other civil-calls relevant here, including those between Knox, in Perugia, and her mother in Seattle.
As will be demonstrated, Knox & Sollecito falsehoods are decisively exposed as such by UTC and there are many open questions which they havent yet been made to confront.
Coordinated timekeeping is crucial. Uncoordinated timekeeping can result in the reporting of events before they have even occurred.
For example there were extensive extrajudicial arguments about the time-of-arrival of the Postal Police. I counted over 100 refs to this in the various books about the murder.
The water-leak and RS phone records for the night
Here is the UTC-recorded Telephone Traffic of Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone beginning with the entire day of 1.11.07 [from Massei Translation beginning p. 318]:
− 00:00:39 an outgoing call, just after midnight
− 00:57 an incoming SMS 319
− 14:25 an incoming call which lasted 58 seconds
− 16:50 an incoming call, coming from the mobile phone of the father, lasting 214 sec.
− 16:56 another call from the father (64 sec.)
− 20:42:56 call from the father (221 seconds):
This last is the conversation which Dr. Francesco Sollecito referred to, made at the end of the film he had just seen in the cinema, which the father recommended to the son, at which point Raffaele informed his father of the problem with the water leak in the kitchen.
The whole water-leak story is based on statements from the Defendants and their familial relatives. There is no separate proof.
Open questions: Is this story an elaborate, and so-far successful, obfuscation? What leaked? What stopped the leak? Is thewater-leak story linked to the knife? Is it linked to the time-of-death.
More open questions: The incriminating kitchen-knife was scrubbed-clean? Well, almost. Where was it scrubbed? When was it scrubbed? It was assumed the knife was scrubbed in Sollecito’s sink.
Suppose (as TJMK reader Domingo recently conjectured): “they deliberately disconnected the u-bend tube to make sure that it was cleaned out and that there was no DNA residue trapped there…” and that they did have difficulty reconnecting it properly, hence the leak.”
That would be AFTER the murder. While trying to eliminate DNA-residue, that residue would now be all over the floor of a place Meredith had never been. Hence the elaborate obfuscation?
Would Father Sollecito agree to indicate that the water-leak had occurred BEFORE the murder? Of course he would. From the Massei Report with regard to the day of 2.11.07
− 06:02:59 Sollecito Raffaele received the SMS from his father wishing him a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07 [page 342]
Here is Amanda Knox, in the e-mail dated November 4, 2007: “We did not go out.”
Soon thereafter, she and Raffaele also left and went to Raffaele’s house‚ to watch a movie, have dinner and spend the evening and the night at home)wrote re night of Nov. 1-2, 2007 [Massei p.63] “
Here, spontaneously, not under any alleged police pressure, Knox publicises her alibi.
− 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds.
Open questions: What were Raffaele and his father discussing for over 4 minutes? Didn’t Raffaele know they had killed Meredith? Weren’t the phones already dumped? Wasn’t the break-in already faked? Hadn’t the clean-up been in-progress?
In Honor Bound (Kindle Locations 400-403). Sollecito acknowledges this call, writing:
“My father called my landline a little before nine thirty the next morning to make sure we would be ready for our day trip to Gubbio. I was too groggy to talk. I’d been up several times in the night— listening to music, answering e-mail, making love— and wanted only to go back to sleep. Amanda got out of bed and said she was going home to shower and crawled back under the covers.”
− 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds.
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?
− 09:30 the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell (the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30)
No apparent response – and probably not a private-signal.
- 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)
− 12:38: Vodafone sent a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)
− 12:40: incoming call from the father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?
− 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320
Open question: What were Raffaele and Vanessa discussing ?
− 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called ‚112‛ to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)
− 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112‛ (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)
− 13:40:12: incoming call from the father (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)
− 13:50: the father called for 178 seconds (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell) 
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing for 3 minutes now?
− 14:33: the father called for 21 seconds (as above)
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?
− 17:01: the father called for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station .
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?
− 17:42: the father called for 97 seconds (as above).
Open question: What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?
With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)
− on 31.10.07 Raffaele received *a call+ from the father’s fixed line (No. 080-3958602) at 22:14 for 44 seconds
− on 1.11.07 *he+ called the father’s house at 00:02:41 for 262 seconds
− on 3.11.07 at 14:16 note was made of two attempted incoming calls from the father’s fixed line.
For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing. ”
(To be continued.)
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Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: What The Newly Published Knox Writings Reveal To Professional Eyes
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
The New Writings
It is good to have an opportunity to see the letters from Amanda to her social worker, Maurizio. The writing style is very different from her book which seems more abrasive, more ‘jazzed up’, pointed, in comparison - presumably the influence of the ghost writer.
What is immediately and conspicuously obvious is that the letters make no mention of ill-treatment - a contrario in many ways. The recipient of the letters is someone whose support she needs, as is Don Saulo.
She goes out of her way to speak to them with endearment, even flirtation, to show gratitude, to build trust, or to appear to build trust. This is a person whose need to be liked and supported is paramount. One has the feeling, therefore, that she is presenting herself in the best possible light.
This includes being ‘good’ and saying things as they are. And they are: ‘OK’, ‘fine’, ‘bene’, ‘well enough’, ‘happy to remain’ (in Perugia) etc.
There has been much speculation about the psychology of Amanda Knox. I am glad to say that this site has deferred, by and large, from assigning labels to her. It is not for nothing that the official court psychological profiles of 2008 have not been disclosed. To begin with, a full analysis is not possible without personal encounter. And then there is the question about the value of such labels at all, especially with new research advancing all the time.
However, one can talk about observable patterns of behaviour, for example narcissistic behaviour. There are a number of established, well-researched traits in narcissistic behaviour which are worth discussing here.
I believe the following characteristics have been observable and continue to manifest in the letters just published. These are :
- 1) Immaturity, of a degree which indicates some arrested emotional development. And connected to this, an emotional neediness and dependence. This usually manifests as insecurity where it becomes important that everyone has to like, admire, and feel affection for them - most especially those who they need to ‘look out for them’, be their support system etc. A secure personality has a healthy ego which can quietly use reasonable judgement, and only needs to be assertive where occasion demands. An insecure person has a weak and fragile ego, contrary to the appearance they try and give, which can be loud, over-confident and assertive, or proud etc.
2) An inability to deal with shame, or admit guilt. This also connects with (in Jungian terminology) an inability to ‘own the shadow’, and admit one can and does sometimes make mistakes. The cultivation of a false sense of self or identity follows; an image projected of the ‘angelic’,‘innocent’ - always sunny and light, and, ‘special’ (cf : ‘here comes the sun’ as a mantra). Of course, a PR campaign can proliferate this advertising of the false image, and this is precisely how ‘celebrities’ make use of this process.
3) Self-esteem which in reality is rather low - together with compensatory behaviour which includes constantly needing attention, praise and to be recognised as perhaps clever, cultured, athletic, attractive…in short, ‘superior.’
4) Manipulation. This is connected to the lack of true empowerment, and therefore the attempt (which can seem desperate) to ‘get’ power through having power and control over others. Flirtation, seduction (and obsession with erotica) can show this manipulative tendency. Control, in this case self-control, is a prerequisite for manipulating a situation. A person’s unnatural focusing around staying in control will often belie an agenda of manipulation. A secure mind and ego can afford to allow spontaneity - an insecure one cannot.
5) Anger management can be an issue; also a ‘show of rage’ - melodramatic - can be used as a manipulative tool. (Tantrum…as in two year old). One could write a paper just on this anger aspect alone.
6) Feeling too different, and needing badly to be accepted by others. Rejection is unbearable. And, of course, people do reject them, even if it is just in the sense of being put off by their loudness etc, as above. Thus the problems escalate inside.
7) Lying. In severe narcissism lying is pathological. If a child is not taught why telling the truth matters - if their childish lies are humoured and not challenged by the parent, this sets up enormous trouble in the adaptation to the adult world. Again, one could write a great deal about pathological lying, - it is a topic in itself…suffice to say, here, that AK stands as a convicted felon for lying.
There is some interesting new research (Professor Raine) that has established a 22% difference in a specific brain layer, in people who are able to glibly lie. These people also have enhanced verbal faculties. Some people lie just because that’s what they do, (when they don’t actually ‘need’ to). It’s a modus operandi, - usually used as a tool to get what they want.
All of these characteristics above, added together, will give a person who is first, foremost and last, concerned with their own image, their persona - how the world sees them. Hence ‘Narcissus’, gazing at his own reflection, and mistaking it for reality. So much mental energy is orientated towards weaving together their ideal image of themselves in everything they do: ‘What people think of me’.
Then, too, the illusion of this constructed image has to be maintained. Therefore anything that contradicts it has to be denied. *Amanda the Innocent* - this is the image that, in this case, has been projected and maintained.
Notice that it is the perpetuating of the Image that matters - the actual point of whether she is - in fact and evidence,- innocent or guilty takes low precedence compared to the task of getting people to believe in the image of her being innocent. AK actually says so herself (in the way she often reveals herself) : “people thought I was.. ( a murderer) whether I am or not.” She couldn’t bear people to believe such an image of herself - whether she was or not, she didn’t want people to think it
It is what people think or believe about them that matters most to the image-creating narcissist. They cannot bear to be found faulty - they must be admired.
The Six Published Letters
Here are some points of interest that stood out in the published letters in the post below. (I expect others can be observed, and found also in the recent interviews, etc.) :
Letter dated April 3rd 2008.
This is the only letter of this group that contains a grumbling complaint. Firstly, she mentions the police thinking badly about her. It is striking yet again that what bothers her is how people think of her. She also repeats, as often, ‘I do understand that I have to be in control’. See point 4) above.
Then a passage that contains a couple of enigmatic statements :
“...Above all when they don’t know the truth?
It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation. I understand the motivation, but I do not agree. “Sweet” or not it is a “TORTURE”. I am being tortured and it is not right…...
Sorry. As I said I do suffer a lot in prison. Generally I am scared, alone, with no hope, sad, and tired, even if I am innocent.”
This rewards some analysis. ..“Above all when they don’t know the truth?”
No one can know the full truth, precisely because AK herself (and Sollecito) have declined, from the start, to give a full and comprehensive - let alone consistent - account of the tragic evening. So it is very illogical to then complain that the authorities are acting thus because they don’t know the truth…
“It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation”. These two clauses seem to be non sequiturs to me. I do not see what they mean. It is dark innuendo that she ‘doesn’t agree with.’ That is all we are told. Then :
If I was being gravely mistreated, with due cause for complaint, I would detail the wrong-doing as simply and clearly as possible, so it could be addressed. This does not. How is one to know whether the ‘torture’ (her inverted commas) is really frustration and annoyance at the way things have turned out? It also is expressed in a self-dramatising way.
...“even if I am innocent”. I really did read this as an ‘add-on’ - for safe measure, in case anyone significant were to read it. The word ‘even’ is out of context. It is another example of ‘distancing’, too.
Letter dated April 28th 2008 :
Don Saulo is ‘a true friend and a very good man’. At this point in time AK needs Don Saulo very much. He also, probably, offers her a role model of a positive animus (Jung again), in contrast to the other menfolk in her life, he is a man with forgiveness and without anger. Obviously, later on, she no longer needs him.
In a rare moment of veracity, AK says, “I am ignorant, unfortunately”. She also wants someone to give her explanations (for the meaning of the literature) - this indicates a passive intellect, possibly without the desire to grasp an understanding for oneself. She would rather be given the meaning, as a soundbite, almost. Then one can impress, with the knowing. Somewhat as tourists ‘get the knowledge’. I suggest, having lived in Rome, that some Americans are perhaps prone to this.
Letter November 26 2009 :
This is notable as, first, a copious expression of gratitude for being liked, and given support, and in continuation, as a definite plea for this support (and, she hopes, affection) to be ongoing.
Letter dated August 10th 2010 :
AK is first flirtatious over Maurizio’s marriage. Is she being risqué ? It seems typical of her to introduce a sexual nuance where in reality it is not appropriate.
Next, we have one of her cultural detours. She gives a (for her) fairly detailed reaction to a book by Umberto Eco, a writer of some standing. She mentions not just once, but twice that the writing is ‘meticulously built’. This obviously is something that makes the most impression upon her. Of all the stylistic and imaginative innovation, and colour, that there is in Umberto Eco’s writing, I find it most curious that this is what impresses her.
Letter April 20th 2010 :
AK is very happy to be credited as a translator : this will help her be seen in a favourable light, something high on her agenda. To be fair, credit where credit is due, (although one knows nothing of the details of the translation).
Next we have another passage of gratitude.
Then a description of how she is happy ‘playing…out in the sun’. This is immediately followed with ‘I have made a new friend’ - all important to her, and makes all the difference, - if she is liked, accepted, and preferably admired too.
Letter undated :
Here, AK says ‘I feel fine’, followed again, immediately, by a description of her new cell mate who likes her, helps her, and shares as a friend, both manicure and music. This being liked and accepted obviously gives her security, and she doesn’t want to move : ’ I am happy to remain in Perugia…’
These Knox letters describe a real prison situation that is at odds with the seemingly fictional Knox book. She may have been at some inner peace there. Outside, it is hard work.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, On psychology, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Hoaxes about the case, Nasty-prison hoax, Amanda Knox
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