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Sunday, January 09, 2011
Scientific Statement Analysis: Amanda Knox’s Statement To The Appeal Court On 11 December
Posted by Peter Hyatt
Amanda Knox made this statement in Italian at the opening of the second appeal hearing on 11 December. TJMK reported on the statement but I read no reporting or other analyses before completing this exercise.
Statement Analysis, for which the proper term is “Scientific Content Analysis” (SCAN), is best conducted in the original language. The Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation (LSI) conducts instruction in various countries in the native language of the country.
The translation was kindly done by a PMF Forum poster with native Italian. In Knox’ case, her first language is English and not Italian. Should the original version in English be released by her team, we will do a more detailed analysis. To avoid error, we will employ only general principles.
Amanda’s speech in court:
...It would happen sometimes that someone would propose a subject to discuss among us, everyone giving their opinion. I liked to followed these discussions but I was uncomfortable about whether I should participate directly, because I’m not talented for discussions. Often I don’t succeed in expressing my convictions, at least verbally right at the moment.
In fact, of all my friends, I’m the weakest for this. That’s why, jokingly, my friend would usually jump on this, that my character was so peace-loving, and would challenge me with a little sentence: “Stand up for yourself Poindexter”, which means “Defend yourself, grind” [secchiona=someone who studies too hard, too serious]. It was a joke.
And inevitably, either I would answer, but the answer coming out of my mouth would get all twisted incomprehensible…incomprehensibly around itself, or, I just didn’t succeed in answering at all, because my mind would get blocked and my tongue would get all stuck.
I couldn’t do the thing that my friend often asked me to do, which was to defend myself. We have to imagine [Figuriamoci se io…not easy to render in English: maybe “You can imagine”] that I’m the weakest person in this room for expressing myself.
That’s why I ask for patience, because all this that I’ve prepared are the things that I didn’t succeed in saying to you yet. Or better, I find myself in front of you for the second time, but these are the things that I would like to have said already.
I ask you for patience because there have been opportunities to speak, but I was of few words. I believe that often words didn’t come to me, because I never expected to find myself here,
Note that in Amanda Knox’ address to the court, she spoke at length about how she feels she does not communicate well. Almost 25 per cent of her words are about her own speech.
Note that her initial accounts of what happened tested deceptive in statement analysis. (see prior analysis) The language she used suggested sexual activity and deception. She claimed to have been confused about details and here she dedicates a lengthy introduction to claim that although educated, she lacks skill in verbal communication and that she isn’t someone to defend herself. Note that when an innocent person is falsey accused, they find ways to communicate this plainly. In her magazine interview, as well as her descriptions of prison life, she does not show any handicap or disability in communication. Nor do we find any here, in her recent statement.
Next, we find her first denial:
“for I crime I didn’t do” (which may have been ‘commit’ lost in translation) Note that this denial has the first person singular, but is not as strong as identifying the action, rather than the classification of actions (crime). We look for a specific denial such as “I didn’t stab Meredith” or “I didn’t attack Meredith” as being stronger.
condemned for a crime I didn’t do. In these three years, I’ve learned your language, and I’ve seen how the procedure goes, but I’ve never gotten used to this broken life. I still don’t know how to face all this if not just by being myself, who I’ve always been, in spite of the suffocating awkwardness. I was wrong to think that there are right or wrong places and moments to say important things. Important things have to be said, and that’s all.
The only thing I am really sorry about now is that there are people to whom I should turn, who are not here, but I hope my words will reach them, because I am either locked in prison, or I’m here. And…I’m here.
Here she says that there is only one thing she is “really sorry” about: people she cannot see due to being in prison or court. “really” sorry would indicate other sorrows. Next, she then says she is sorry to the family of Meredith:
To the family and dear ones of Meredith, I want to say that I’m so sorry that Meredith is not here any more. I can’t know how you feel, but I too have little sisters, and the idea of their suffering and infinite loss terrifies me.
Note that “I’m so sorry” is found with the same sentence as “Meredith is not here any more”, which is minimizing. It is not just that Meredith isn’t present, she is murdered and will never be anywhere but dead. This minimization is noted among the deceptive and guilty; coupled with “I’m sorry” shows responsiblity.
It’s incomprehensible, it’s unacceptable, what you’re going through, and what Meredith underwent. [Long pause]
Note “what Meredith underwent” is to avoid much stronger language of being knifed, attacked, and brutally murdered. Minimization is noted.
I’m sorry all this happened to you and that you’ll never have her near you, where she should be. It’s not just and never will be. If you’re not alone when you’re thinking of her, because I’m thinking of you, I also remember Meredith, [5:00] and my heart bleeds for all of you.
It is likely that Meredith’s family did not wish to hear that Amanda Knox was thinking of them.
Meredith was kind, intelligent, nice and always available.
I hesitate to quote the word “available” as it sounds strange to the English language, and may not be what Knox said. “Available” in a sexual homicide, suggests willingness. It is noted here, but, again, with caution, as it may not have been the English word intended by Amanda.
She was the one who invited me to see Perugia, with her, as a friend. I’m grateful and honored to have been able to be in her company and to have been able to know her.
By stating that “she was the one who invited me” she may suggest that what happened was Meredith’s fault and is a subtle casting of blame. Again I caution the reader due to translation. Amanda Knox’ other statments, in English, should be considered more reliable. Yet, is there blame being cast here?
If Meredith was “available” when wanted, would she have been killed? Note the caution above of putting too much into this word, “available” since it may not have been the English word used. If it was, then under the circumstances, it is highly sensitive.
Patrick? I don’t see you. But, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, because I didn’t want to wrong you. I was very naïve and really not courageous, because I should have been able to endure the pressure that pushed me to hurt you. I didn’t want to contribute to all that you suffered. You know what it means to have unjust accusations imposed on your skin. You didn’t deserve what you went through. I hope you’ll succeed in finding your peace.
Amanda Knox implicated Patrick in the murder of Meredith, falsely, and here says that she is “sorry” but then blames others in the “pressure that pushed me to hurt you”; alleviating her of personal responsibility.
Note that although she claims to be unable to defend herself clearly due to language and communication limitations, she was clear when she implicated Patrick as Meredith’s killer.
Meredith’s death was a terrible shock for me. She was my new friend, a reference point for me here in Perugia. But she was killed. Because I felt an affinity towards her, suddenly, in her death, I recognized my own vulnerability. I clung above all to Raffaele, who was a source of reassurance, consolation, availability and love for me.
I also trusted the authorities carrying out the investigation, because I wanted to help render justice for Meredith.
She trusted the authorities carrying out justice but lied to them (see previous analysis) and blamed another.
It was another shock to find myself accused and arrested. I needed a lot of time to accept that reality, of being accused, and redefined unjustly. I was in prison, my photo was everywhere.
Note that she mentions her photo published. Journalists have written that she appeared, initially, to enjoy the attention. Her photo taken is important to her, which is why it entered her statement.
Insidious, unjust, nasty gossip about my private life circulated about me.
Note that this gossip was about her “private life” and note the order:
Living through this experience has been unacceptable for me. I have trusted above all to the hope that everything will be arranged as it should have been, and that this enormous error about me will be recognized, and that every day that I spend in a cell and in court is one day nearer to my liberty. This is my consolation, in the darkness, that lets me live without despairing, doing my best to continue my life as I always have, in contact with my dear friends and my family, dreaming about the future.
What allows her to be consoled is that she is closer to liberty with each passing day.
Now, I am unjustly condemned, and more aware than ever of this hard and undeserved reality. I still hope for justice, and dream about a future. Even if this experience of three years weighs me down with anguish and fear, here I am, in front of you, more intimidated than ever, not because I’m afraid or could ever be afraid of the truth,
Note that the subject tells us what she is not afraid of
...but because I have already seen justice go wrong. The truth about me and Raffaele is not yet recognized, and we are paying with our lives for a crime that we did not commit.
Note the order: “me and Raffaele” with regards to the truth
He and I deserve freedom, like everyone in this courtroom today.
Note the order: “He and I” with regards to freedom.
We don’t deserve the three years that we already paid, and we certainly don’t deserve more.
Note here that she uses “we” in regards to time served
I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. We did not kill Meredith.
This is a weak denial.
“I am innocent” is not “I didn’t do it” but then is weakened further by the use of “we”. She has the need to speak for him as well. This, along with “we” indicates that the two are tied together; whereas one cannot be guilty without the other being guilty; one cannot be innocent without the other being innocent.
I beg you to truly consider that an enormous mistake has been made in regard to us.
Note “mistake” regarding a conviction of murder. And note “us” continuing to tie herself to Raffaele
No justice is rendered to Meredith or her dear ones by taking our lives away and making us pay for something we didn’t do.
Note that here we have the denial of “didn’t do” but it is weakened by the pronoun “we”. “I didn’t do it”; first person singular, past tense, is strongest.
Of course, there is nothing to stop a lawyer from writing out a statement for her to read as we know in Statement Analysis, the “I didn’t do it” must be in the freely edited process of the subject, such as Richard Jewell, while the subject is speaking for himself, unrehearsed. When this is done, an innocent person will say that they didn’t do it, and accept nothing else.
The innocent person has no “we”, and has no need to minimize what happened because they do not have an emotional attachment (hate, rage, anger, etc) to the crime; therefore, the innocent person will often use harsh terminology, whereas we see, particularly in brutal murders, softer language, such as “I would never harm him” or “I wouldn’t hurt her” when talking about murder but ONLY while the person’s mind is choosing the words to speak.
This is the editing process that we all exercise. It must be free (this is why we note reflected language in interviews and why we are careful to ask open ended questions whenever possible).
I am not the person that the prosecution says I am, not at all.
Note that in an answer with the word “no” that each word that follows “no” weakens, even if slightly, the statement.
According to them, I’m a dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring and violent girl.
This is something we find in guilty statements where the subject frames truthful words together, such as “you think I did it”. (See the example in Scripture regarding the trial of Christ as “king” of the Jews). It is Amanda Knox who frames these words:
“I’m a dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring, and violent girl” comes within her statement. This is not something that innocent people do because they do not have the connection (emotionally or intellectually) with the description.
If someone says to you “you think I cheated on you!”, the wording shows an increased in the percentages that the subject cheated on you. It is not to be taken by itself; but upon the whole. If something is 70% likely, it still is 30% unlikely.
But when taken with other indicators, it can reveal if the person cheated. Note the innocents generally cannot connect themselves with guilty words in this manner.
Given the many indicators of deception in her early statements, it would appear that Amanda Knox is recognizing things about herself. It would be interesting to learn the Italian word for “girl” rather than “woman”.
Again, Statement Analysis is best conducted in the language of the statement.
Their hypotheses depend on this. But I’ve never been that girl. Never.
Note two things: previously, she stated that she has always been herself. Note also that she repeats the word “never” which increases the sensitivity of the statment.
The people who know me are witnesses of my personality. My past, I mean my real past, not the one talked about in the tabloids, proves that I’ve always been like this, like I really am,
Something may be lost in translation here, especially in the words ““that I’ve always been like this…” following the tabloids. It does not flow, which may suggest translation difficulty.
and if all this is not enough, I ask you, I invite you, I ask you to ask the people who have been guarding me for three years. Ask them if I have ever been violent, aggressive or uncaring in front of the suffering that is part of the broken lives in prison.
Knox offers her behavior in prison as proof that she is not violent. I do not think “in front” is meant as deceptive (as if she has been violent, just not in front of others) but is convoluted in translation.
The way to verify the meaning is to either ask her to explain it in English, or check not only her prison record, but interview other prisoners.
Because I assure you that I’m not like that. I assure you that I have never resembled the images painted by the prosecution.
How could it be possible that I could be capable of achieving the kind of violence that Meredith suffered? How could it be possible that I could throw myself like that at the opportunity to hurt one of my friends?
Note again the wording that is phrased. On general terms, the innocent do not frame guilty language within their sentences, even when posed as a question or an exclamatory statement.
...such a violence, as though it were more important and more natural than all my teaching, all my values, all my dreams and my whole life? All this is not possible.
That girl is not me. I am the girl that I have always shown myself to be and have always been. I repeat that I also am asking for justice. Raffaele and I are innocent, and we want to live our lives in freedom. We are not responsible for Meredith’s death, and, I repeat, no justice is accomplished by taking our lives away. [Whispers: “okay”] Um, thank you
We still not have have a strong denial from Amanda Knox.
Note that many words in her statement have been skipped here due to possible translation issues. She does frame words in a manner of guilt, but more reliable are her statements made early on, and to the press when she spoke in English. Italian Statement analysis would be better, though the analysts there must use caution as Italian is her second language.
What is best for our understanding is when she speaks English and the analysis is done in English.
Archived in Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Crime hypotheses, Statement analysis
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Friday, January 07, 2011
Scenario Explaining Meredith’s Cell-Phones Dumped At The Same Address As The Toilet-Bomb Hoax
Posted by Cardiol MD
The choice of 5A Via Sperandio for disposing of the cell-phones creates a puzzle for which the Massei Jury, apparently, “cannot see any reason”: From page 385 of the Report:
[We] cannot see any reason why the author of the crime would have been in Via Sperandio…and [we] cannot see what destination a person advancing along that street could have had with any objective other than that held by this Court: to throw the telephones in a place where they would be very difficult to find.
There may be a scenario that resolves this puzzle:
Late in October, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito may have already discussed, and formulated the outline of a plan to teach-Meredith-a-lesson.
An opportunity to play-out such a plan presented itself on the evening of November 1st, 2007:
At 20:18:12 Amanda, receives an SMS text from Patrick Lumumba asking her not to come in to work that evening (page 345).
This unexpected free time, Rudy Guede’s availability, and their knowledge that the house would be empty, fitted-into “doing it” that night.
Here is the scenario. Somewhere about 2200 - 2300, Thursday, Nov 1st, 2007 the-teaching-of the-lesson began…
The next 12 hours, ending with the Police discovery of Meredith’s dead body, is a litany of the trio’s miscalculation and failure to foresee the foreseeable:
The first miscalculation was their failure to foresee that Meredith could, and would resist so effectively that even all three of them combined could hardly restrain her.
The second miscalculation was their failure to foresee Meredith’s scream, loud enough to be heard all round their little world.
The third miscalculation was their failure to foresee that their crescendo of neck-airway-stabbing, intended to shut-her-up - which it did - could, and did, also cut an artery, the Right Superior Thyroid Artery.
Cutting that artery resulted in a bright red jet of arterial-blood, which would have sprayed Meredith, Meredith’s clothes, them, their clothes, the wall, and the floor.
Meredith then died an awful death from inhaling her own blood.
The-teaching-of-the-lesson may well have occupied no more than 15 minutes from beginning to end - maybe even less.
The remainder of the 12 hours was occupied, first by verifying the absence of a hue-and-cry, especially any police-alert; then returning to their crime-scene, finding that Meredith was dead, cleaning-up, rearranging the scene, faking a break-in, and at some point disposing of Meredith’s cell-phones “in a place where they would be very difficult to find.”
This is where the choice of 5A Via Sperandio for disposing of the cell-phones creates a puzzle for which the Massei Jury, apparently, “cannot see any reason,” but to which there may be a solution:
First, there was probably a division of labor for this cell-phone disposal; Raffaele Sollecito was more than likely presumed best to do it. He had been a student in Perugia since 2002 more than 5 years, and knew local Perugia far better than the others.
Secondly, a most efficient way to detect any police-alert is a police-scanner or police-wavelength radio.
Police scanners are hand-held instruments, fitting into a coat pocket, or on a waist-belt. They can automatically scan thousands of police-frequencies, detecting police radio traffic, alerting the user.
Police scanners are sold all over the world; almost anywhere in the world you can buy one that could be attuned to Italian police-radio traffic frequencies.
If Sollecito had a police scanner he could have picked-up, and because he was native Italian, understood any Perugia police radio traffic relating to the Via Sperandio hoax call, which was reported to the Police at around 10:00 pm on November 1st.
7 Via della Pergola is not far from 5 Via Sperandio - variously estimated to be 5-7 minutes from 7 Via della Pergola by car, or 15-30 minutes on foot.
Sollecito would have known that.
Given the multiple mis-calculations already made, Sollecito might well have outsmarted himself and, expecting the Police not to go again to 5 Via Sperandio, disposed of the cell-phones right there.
At least one was left on though, unwittingly defeating the object of the exercise, and starting the police trail that remorselessly led to him and Knox..
Archived in Public evidence, The timelines, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Cellphone activity
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Friday, December 31, 2010
Report #5 On Perugia: A Walk Along The South (Street) Side Of Meredith’s House
Posted by SomeAlibi
Archived in Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, The wider contexts, Perugia context
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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Report #4 On Perugia: The Walk From The Basketball Court Through The Intersection To The House
Posted by SomeAlibi
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Rudy Guede
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Scientific Statement Analysis: Knox’s Handwritten Note To Police On The Day She Was Arrested
Posted by Peter Hyatt
Above: Amanda Knox telling one of her three previous stories to the police outside the house several days earlier.
These posts analyzing key statements are adapted from posts on Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK. They are examples of the application of statement analysis, a powerful investigative technique with a very long history of success.
In Meredith’s case such analysis surfaces very telling patterns in the statements of those convicted and undergoing appeal, and also in the statements of those seeking to gain for themselves from the death of Meredith Kercher.
This is an analysis of the transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.
This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.
The opening line appears deceptive.
Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.
note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.
I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.
Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”. This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words. Someone NOT at the crime scene would not frame these words.
Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming.
She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible. Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”). She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.
Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event.
I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:
“in my mind” is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.
When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.
On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.
It may be that she and Patrick argued.
Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.
Weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.
I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.
Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.
However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.
We can only commit to what the subject commits; here, she took a shower, but wants everything else to be vague; indicating deception.
In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.
“in truth” is used because she now wants to be believed as is the inclusion of minute detail after reporting memory failure. Sometimes liars add extra, minor detail, in the hope of persuading (see Casey Anthony description of “Zanny the Nanny”).
The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind WHILE giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went.
One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.
Lack of commitment to the events noted
After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).
Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.
“noticed” is passive. Passive languge indicates a desire to conceal and she is withholding information here.
Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.
A statement has 3 general portions:
- an introduction
- the event
- post event action
It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.
Note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)
The next thing I remember
Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here
was waking up
Note verb tense
the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.
Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.
note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.
Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.
Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”
I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.
However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming.
But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.
Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.
We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.
But the truth is,
This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed
I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:
1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.
2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.
Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.
I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.
Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.
Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed
I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:
Note “can’t explain”
1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.
This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)
The truth is,
I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.
Someone; gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.
I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.
Lack of commitment noted; lots of qualifiers leaving room for a variety of explanations in order to “confuse”. Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.
First, she lists posible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.
2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating. And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.
3. I’m very confused at this time. My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.
I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:
1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?
2. Why did I think of Patrik?
3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?
4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?
3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.
I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.
If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.
Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.
The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations.
She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.
Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph test. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Crime hypotheses, Statement analysis, Amanda Knox
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Sunday, December 26, 2010
Report #4 On Perugia: Why Amanda Knox Might Have Encountered Guede 20 Or More Times Near Her Home
Posted by SomeAlibi
The road up from the cottage and the intersection to the language school and university is a real deathtrap. It has no sidewalk, the traffic roars along, and at night the street is very dark.
So typically those coming from the area of the cottage head up the stone steps for s few steps and then they walk across the basketball court and the piazza. Reverse that (as in this video) for people going the other way.
As Rudy Guede was a habitual user of the basketball court, Amanda Knox might have seen him there as many as two dozen or three dozen times.
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, The timelines, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Rudy Guede
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Report #3 On Perugia: This Is The Walk From Raffaele’s House To The Basketball Court
Posted by SomeAlibi
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, The timelines, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Rudy Guede
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The El Bizarro Defense: “It’s Unfair To Use The DNA They Didn’t Manage To Scrub Away Against Them”
Posted by Cardiol MD
Remember the twins who appealed for mercy at their trial for murdering their parents? On the grounds that they are now orphans?
There is something of that reminiscent here. The defenses of Knox and Sollecito seem to be trying to exclude evidence that they themselves tried to destroy, essentially on the grounds that their destructive attempts failed to destroy all of it, and left behind only some of it.
Their argument boils down to whether the disputed DNA evidence is more unfairly prejudicial than probative. The faux forensic experts who are arguing in the media that this disputed DNA evidence would not ever be admitted in US or UK courts are in fact totally mistaken.
It is my opinion that because it was the defendants’ deliberate conduct that nearly succeeded in extinguishing all their DNA, any US and UK courts would insist to admit this highly relevant evidence, and let the participants duke out its fairness, in open court, in front of a jury.
That is what the only relevant court in Meredith’s case, the Perugia appeals court, is now doing.
DNA evidence may be “only circumstantial” but that is as with most of the evidence in this case. Meredith was murdered - that’s a fact - but no one saw who did it except the killers.
Judge Hellman designated his selected Expert Reviewers with such alacrity that I think he had already thought it all out. Judge Hellman is being prudently responsive to the legal and political pressures bearing down on him, and knows the ruling also calls the defendants’ bluff.
As Tom in the post below and others are pointing out, the review is limited to a very partial review of the DNA evidence, and what is not to be reviewed is by far the most significant.
The possibility of more residual blood at the blade/handle junction is thought-provoking. Sollecito’s obsession with knife-ownership suggests that his knife, the murder-weapon, would be top quality, probably with a handle/blade junction, pretty, but vulnerable to seepage into it.
Also, the knife-wielders significantly, even deliberately, stayed away from the well-known neck-blood-vessels, the Jugular Veins, and the Carotid Arteries, on both sides, focusing their neck-stabs on the area of the Larynx, as if they had some medical knowledge of what they were doing - but not enough.
The blood-vessel they did cut - the right superior thyroid artery - is a branch-of-a-branch of the better known blood vessels, but very close to the larynx. They didn’t know, or care, enough to anticipate the lethal consequences of cutting so small an artery in that particular location, so near to the airways.
I agree with others that Judge Hellman may also be innoculating himself by heading off a possible adverse ruling of the Supreme Court in Rome, which must be restricted to Procedural/Legal issues.
The defence lawyers sem to be submitting, probably against their own better judgement and advice, to the FOA camp’s insistence for additional review. I also believe the defendants will bitterly regret this insistence.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Public evidence, DNA and luminol, Trials 2008 & 2009, Hellmann appeal
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The Limited DNA Reviews - What We Believe Are The Hard Facts On The Double DNA Knife
Posted by ViaDellaPergola
A pre-Massei version of this video was posted on TJMK in March 2010. Essentially nothing has changed in its fact base with Massei. The Machine in his meticulous post below explains what further independent tests were also done.
The wild claims of the conspiracy theorists have morphed back and forth. But the facts remain that Italy has a fine DNA lab system and Dr Stefanoni is internationally respected - and she had no vested interest in a particular outcome.
Sollecito coolly explained that Meredith’s DNA SHOULD be on the blade of the knife because he pricked her while cooking at his place. She had never ever been to his place - in fact, she had only set eyes on him once or twice, very briefly.
But Sollecito still lets that incriminating statement stand. The truth, obviously, is worse. Very much worse.
Archived in Public evidence, DNA and luminol
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Monday, December 20, 2010
The Limited DNA Reviews - Why They Probably Won’t Help Defense And May At A Stroke Be Game Over
Posted by The Machine
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and their families were jubilant at Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman’s decision to allow an independent review of some key forensic evidence.
Two experts from Rome’s Sapienza University - Professor Stefano Conti and Professor Carla Vecchiotti - have already been nominated by the appeal court (they will be confirmed in January) to do an independent review of the forensic evidence.
Late saturday and sunday many of the journalists covering Meredith’s case saw Judge Hellmann’s decision as a major victory for the defence teams. Several giddy journalists even reported that somehow Amanda Knox had won her appeal.
However, two very important facts were lost in all the hullaballoo surrounding Judge Hellmann’s decision about this independent review..
First, the original forensic investigation and tests already were carried out by independent experts. Dr. Stefanoni and her team were from Rome, and they worked for another arm of the government. They weren’t hired by the prosecution to blindly confirm their suspicions that Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba were involved in Meredith’s murder.
And many people seem to be unaware of the fact that it was not Amanda Knox recanting her false accusation, but the DNA testing work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team that led to the release of Diya Lumumba. In this case Dr Stefanoni has high credibility.
Second, a number of experts have ALREADY carried out independent reviews of the DNA and forensic evidence and some of them have testified at court hearings in the course of 2008 and 2009.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the experts involved in the original DNA tests and the subsequent reviews and consider the implications of the new review, including some possible unexpected stings in the tail.
1) The Original Tests
Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni is one of the leading forensic experts in Italy and she was part of the the Disaster Investigations Teams sent to identify victims of the south Asian tsumani in 2004. She had to pass a series of stringent state tests to join the scientific police in Rome. She led the forensic investigation into Meredith’s murder and was responsible for carrying out the DNA tests and interpreting the results.
The Double DNA Knife
Dr. Stefanoni found seven traces of human flesh (human tissue cells) on the large kitchen knife sequestered from Sollecito’s kitchen. There was only enough DNA for one test. However, the results of non-repetitive tests are allowed to be entered as evidence in Italy.
The defence teams are notified of the date and time of all non-repetitive tests to make sure that they can be present to observe that correct procedures are adhered to. If they miss the tests or don’t stay for the full (often long) duration they have not carried out their full mandate to their client (they might even be liable for malpractice) and the defense has no right to claim wrong procedures or lab contamination.
Dr. Stefanoni testified at the trial that the one test she did “reliably” identified the DNA as Meredith’s.
Italian TJMK poster and DNA specialist Nicki explained in May 2009 why the DNA on the blade of the knife was a definite match to Meredith’s DNA:
Two genetic profiles are identical and therefore belong to the same individual if a) they are in the same position, and b) they have identical shape and dimension. In this case, each peak produced in the original samples exactly corresponds to the peaks yielded by the knife sample, position, shape and dimension.
The Bra Clasp
Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp was identified by two separate DNA tests. Judge Massei rejected defence claims that Sollecito’s DNA was LCN DNA and noted that there was no reason to doubt the reliability of the result:
It has already been said that Dr. Stefanoni had reported that on the [bra] hook (Exhibit 165B) the mixed genetic profile attributable to the victim and to Raffaele Sollecito was found; looking at the electropherogram, the ratio had been estimated in the proportion of 1 to 6 (the victim’s DNA being six times that of Sollecito); the quantity of DNA found could not be considered terribly small because there were several peaks that easily exceeded 1000 RFU, and no  repetition of the analysis had been carried out because the peak height of the smaller fraction of DNA was good, such that there was no reason to doubt the reliability of the result.
2) Independent Reviews
Dr. Renato Biondo
There was an independent review of the forensic evidence in 2008.
Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA unit of the scientific police, reviewed Dr. Stefanoni’s investigation and the forensic findings. He testified at Rudy Guede’s fast track trial in October 2008 and confirmed that all the forensic findings were accurate and reliable.
He also praised the work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team. “We are confirming the reliability of the information collected from the scene of the crime and at the same time, the professionalism and excellence of our work.”
Professor Francesca Torricelli
The Kercher family hired their own DNA expert, Professor Francesca Torricelli, and asked her to examine the DNA evidence.
Professor Torricelli is the Director of a genetic facility at Careggi University Hospital and has been working in genetics since 1976. She testified at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial last and she also confirmed Dr. Stefanoni’s findings.
She told the court that the significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp meant that it was unlikely that it was left by contamination. She also agreed with Dr. Stefanoni that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the double DNA knife.
General Luciano Garofano (image above)
Distinguished DNA expert and former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano analysed the DNA and forensic evidence for the early 2010 book “Darkness Descending”.
He has more than 32 years of forensics experience and is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. In his section of the book he explains at length why he too thinks that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of Meredith’s murder.
In an interview with The Sun’s Nick Francis, he said that the right people had been convicted: “I believe the police have prosecuted and convicted the right people, even if they got some of the details wrong.”
He told reporter Andrea Vogt that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn Knox’s and Sollecito’s convictions: “I do not believe that there is enough evidence to convince an Italian magistrate and jury to overturn this conviction”.
Dr. Anna Barbaro
Rudy Guede’s defense lawyers hired their own forensic expert, Dr. Anna Barbaro, and asked her to examine the DNA evidence.
She didn’t dispute the DNA evidence against Guede, Knox or Sollecito. Guede’s lawyers claim that there was an innocent explanation for his DNA being at the crime scene and that Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA implicated them.
Guede lawyer Walter Biscotti noted that the evidence against Knox was particularly strong.
3) The original prosecution team
Both Prosecutor Mignini and Prosecutor Comodi said after the appeal session on saturday that they are are confident that the independent review of the DNA and forensic evidence will confirm the sentences and verdict.
I don’t agree with the request and I see it as a waste of time. The judge did not criticise the methods that were used to collect and test the DNA….. The review was granted because the jury needed help to interpret the findings as they are difficult to understand. I don’t see how it is a victory for the defence, as the methods were not criticised in the ruling. The review will confirm the sentence and the verdict will stand.
As far as I am concerned this independent review will just confirm the excellent work carried out by the police scientific unit. The judge did not actually explain why he was allowing this review and although I do not agree with it I am sure it will underline the job originally done.
4) Two possible game-overs
Re-examination of the knife
In “Darkness Descending” the former Carabinieri General Garofano wrote that the police should have separated the plastic handle from the knife and checked for blood there.
The defence teams will regret having asked for the independent review if the new experts do this and they find there a testable quantity of Meredith’s blood.
Re-examination of the bra clasp
According to the authors of “Darkness Descending” Dr. Stefanoni found highly suggestive evidence of Amanda Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra. Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Torre, also claimed that he had found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra strap.
It seems that another forensic expert Vincenzo Pascali ALSO found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra. The reporter Barbie Nadeau wrote the following:
Vincenzo Pascali, the chief forensic consultant who was set to give expert testimony about the possible contamination of the bra clasp, walked off the case last month, reportedly leaving a €50,000 bill. Back in September, Pascali, who declined to comment for this story, hinted that the clasp also contained Knox’s DNA.
And so in conclusion
One to two years later DNA testing techniques have improved, and also there is the sleeper of what is under the handle of the knife.
The defence teams’ insistence on an independent review could really explode in their faces if the new experts confirm more of Meredith’s DNA on the knife (Knox’s DNA is there very strongly) and that Knox’s DNA is on Meredith’s bra.
Archived in Public evidence, DNA and luminol, Appeals 2009-2015, Hellmann appeal
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Saturday, December 18, 2010
First Reports On Scope Of Appeal Sounds Like Maybe A Setback For The Defenses
Posted by Peter Quennell
The first full reports are not out yet. This is a first quick take on the Italian reporting and may be subject to correction.
Some of the Cassation’s hard-line decision for rejecting Rudy Guede ‘s 10 appeal grounds in Rome on thursday will indeed be accepted into this appeal for the judges’ consideration.
The judges are agreeing to the defense request for a review of the testing of the DNA on the bra clasp and the large knife, though of course nobody - nobody - so far has ever proved contamination as the prosecutors today pointed out.
Two Rome experts in DNA have already been nominated.
Apparently none of the other very extensive forensic evidence at the scene of the crime - which is the entire apartment, not merely Meredith’s bedroom - is to be retested. That has always been very tough to explain away.
Apparently only one or two of the previous witnesses whose testimony is described in the Massei report will be heard from again. Possible Guede confidant Alessi will be allowed and maybe Aviello who claimed his missing brother really did it.
And apparently ninety days is added to the allowed duration of this appeal, because the Massei Report took 90 days to produce. The deadline now is next September, although if it lasts through to the spring we will be surprised.
The defense doesn’t seem to have many strong hopes going forward. No more Spiderman attempts on Filomena’s window. They found no room for appeal with regard to the various contradictory alibis, the various peculiar phone calls, and assorted bizarre behaviors.
Remember that even Knox and Sollecito themselves have claimed they were zonked out of their skulls on the night - though magically they seem to have managed a major cleanup and rearrangement of the entire crime scene, minus evidence pointing to Guede.
The astute commenter Piktor posted this on PMF
The expert review would be needed if the scientific results were the only evidence that convicts.
What if the DNA evidence was thrown out. Could you convict without it?
You have the staging, the lies, the false accusation, the police testimony, the defendant’s multiple alibis that don’t mesh, Mrs. Mellas testimony in court exposing Knox’s willful “confusion”, the email and diaries.
You add it up and it all points in one direction. No doubt about the result.
The prosecution narrative makes sense. The defence has no narrative.
Archived in Public evidence, DNA and luminol, Trials 2008 & 2009, Hellmann appeal
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Thursday, December 16, 2010
As Amanda Knox Via Her Statement Has Now Placed “Will She Testify?” Front And Center…
Posted by Cardiol MD
Last Saturday Amanda Knox spoke from her seat beside her defense team and she was not subjected to cross-examination.
If she does choose to mount the stand to back up her claims with some testimony, she will be subject to cross examination, as will Raffaele Sollecito.
What may the judges and lay judges be allowed to deduce if neither of them mount the stand, or alternatively refuse to answer?
This involves the legal concepts of the Privilege against Self-Incrimination, the Right to Silence, and the Right to Lie.
In the US prosecutors are prohibited from commenting adversely on a defendant’s Exercise of the Right to Silence at trial, on the argument that doing so would violate the privilege against self-incrimination.
But this may be circumvented as demonstrated in the Duke lacrosse-team rape frame-up by the prosecutor.
The DukeLax prosecutor (echoed by many others in Durham and elsewhere) falsely alleged, publicly, a lacrosse-player “wall-of-silence” as persuasive evidence in favor of guilt, even when he knew full-well that the Laxers had transparently cooperated with prosecutorial investigators.
So much for “enshrinement” of the right to silence in the US.
There is no argument that in all three countries, Italy and the US and the UK, criminal defendants have the right to remain silent. This means that they do not have to speak in their own defence, if they choose not to do so.
However, Italy takes the privilege against self-incrimination such a giant step further that a guilty defendant, if given the choice, might be wise to choose trial in Italy, in preference to trial in either the US. or the UK.:
First, there is a significant difference between the use of the word “testify” in Anglo-American common law and its use in Italian law. Iin the former a testifying-defendant is sworn to tell the truth under oath and pain of perjury. Iin the latter, a defendant, when called to the stand, is not even “a witness”, and is not under oath:
According to the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure a defendant can be called to speak, but may refuse to “bear testimony”
Technically, a defendant does not “bear testimony”, or testify; a defendant is not even “a witness” ; in Italian, a witness is interrogato, whereas a defendant is esaminato and may refuse to answer many questions.
A defendant, in Italy, can also lie without fear of legal sanction.
Since a defendant does not take an oath and since a defendant is not technically a witness, if a defendant tells a lie, the defendant is not committing perjury.
A defendant can choose to make spontaneous statements to the Judge; and can tell whatever she/he wishes to tell and can choose not to answer any questions. In the Perugia case too, a defendant can lie without legal sanction.
So, if Amanda Knox speaks at her trial, neither the Judges, the Prosecutors, nor Defendant’s Counsel neccessarily expect her to speak the truth - they may expect her to lie her head off.
Prosecutors will not try to directly expose her lies so much as they will try to expose the contradictions in her various statements.
Amanda Knox’s prepared statement-to-the-court at her trial [as opposed to her testimony] restricted itself to the subject of the false accusations she made against Patrick Lumumba. This unsworn statement could not be submitted to cross-examination. Such unsworn statements are also possible in the other jurisdictions.
In the case of the Meredith;s murder there seems to be an ample supply of evidence showing their guilt, such as the multiple contradictions both between and within their statements.
Furthermore, even if no one, ever, comments adversely on these defendant’s exercise of the right to silence, think of Simon and Garfunkel’s famous “Sounds of Silence”
That song reminds us that finders-of-fact, at least subliminally, can hardly avoid being influenced by accused defendants’ silence.
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Trials 2008 & 2009, Hellmann appeal, Amanda Knox
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Sunday, December 12, 2010
Video Of The Last Scenes Poor Meredith Saw In Her Life Before She Arrived Home Fatefully
Posted by SomeAlibi
Also posted on our new Case Videos page. Meredith of course made this walk at night and the video gives an example of that after first showing the route. Essentially it is a z-shaped route.
North and then west, and then north again down the stairs and across the parking building, to the presumed safety of her home.
Archived in Concerning Meredith, Her memory, Public evidence, The timelines
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Saturday, December 11, 2010
Proposed Defense Witness Aviello Cell Searched: Could Be Setback For Defenses
Posted by Peter Quennell
The defenses could be about to find that neither of their requested key witnesses will be willing to mount the stand.
The Italian media are reporting that the prison cell of Luciano Aviello has just been searched. Aviello is the supersnitch from Naples who has a history of falsely accusing others to try to give himself a break.
We have been remarking for a while that both Aviello and the baby killer Mario Alessi could face perjury charges and another few years on their sentences if the police can uncover evidence that if either testify, they committed perjury on the stand.
Both prospective witnesses were interrogated in prison by both the defense teams and the prosecution. The defense claims after their interrogations always sounded pretty desperate. The prosecution have never ever revealed what they heard.
The purpose of the Aviello search was stated to be related to a possible charge of calunnia which in effect is criminal defamation of others. Possibly Aviello’s cellmate snitched. That sure would be ironic.
Let us take a leap in the dark here. Do Italian authorities REALLY not like people who lie in the course of criminal proceedings? Whether on the stand or in the mass media?
Archived in Public evidence, The witnesses, The many hoaxes, The Aviello hoax
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Monday, December 06, 2010
Will Sollecito And Knox Finally Want To Take The Stand? Why Our Betting Is Against
Posted by Kermit
The Massei Report makes nothing of the fact that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito did not rise under oath in their defense.
But if that made zero impact on the perceptions of the judges and lay judges, we would be very surprised. There are VERY few cases in the US or Europe where an INNOCENT defendant (1) rose to testify, (2) was then found guilty and sentenced, and (3) and was later found to be innocent after all.
Raffaele Sollecito never ever took the stand. He confined himself to some spontaneous remarks not under oath which is permitted in Italian courtrooms. They seemed not at all effective and they sure didn’t eliminate at all the 80,000 pound gorilla of evidence that the prosecution had let loose in the room.
Amanda Knox made similar spontaneous remarks, none of which seemed very helpful - the first was to jokingly explain why her bunny vibrator was always on view in the bathroom that she and Meredith shared.
The Knox testimony seen here was not a part of the main trial - it was offered ONLY to explain why Knox implicated Patrick Lumumba, and under the agreed rules for that testimony, the prosecution’s questioning was very circumscribed and curtailed.
Despite that, Amanda Knox seemed to do herself little real good on the stand, and in her second day there she sounded amused and very callous about the death of Meredith.
Please click here for 150 questions for Amanda Knox which should open in Powerpoint in half a minute. They show how blistering a full-blown prosecution cross-examination really could be.
Actually it could be even tougher. Those questions were assembled 18 months ago - and in the months after, we had the hesitant and nervous defense phase, the very strong prosecution summation, and the implacable Massei Report.
We could probable triple the questions for Knox now, and create a similar list for Sollecito. If he is given the chance to cross-examine the two, Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola very well may triple them.
The defenses have very few rounds of ammunition going into this appeal - the anti-Guede witness Alessi is a joke, and the DNA and forensic tests were all done fine the first time and have never been proved - despite all the smoke being blown - to be false or falsified.
So will they or wont they take the stand?
They seem cooked if they do - and cooked if they don’t. Tough call.
Archived in Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Trials 2008 & 2009, Appeals 2009-2015, Hellmann appeal
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Friday, December 03, 2010
Explaining The Massei Report: Establishing The Time When Meredith Passed On
Posted by Storm Roberts
Perhaps the hardest parts of the Massei Report for compassionate readers to take are those concerning Meredith’s wounds and time of death.
Those passages commence early in the report and, as with our translation of much of the Micheli report, left our translators and many readers disturbed and a few of them at least in tears.
This is an abbreviated overview of how forensic medicine helped the court to establish the time of Meredith’s death.
Medical science is often called upon to help to identify a precise time of death. However, this is not possible. The only way of knowing a precise time is if the death is witnessed and a time noted - medical science can only give a “time window” during which it is likely that death occurred.
There are several ways of establishing time of death and I shall look at four, briefly: the extent of rigor mortis; the temperature of the body; hypostasis; and, the state of digestion.
Rigor Mortis is the stiffening of muscles after death. As oxygen is no longer being provided to the tissues of the body certain chemical reactions can no longer happen and changes occur. In the muscles this leads to a state of contraction which remains until the muscle tissues start to decompose.
Rigor Mortis begins to establish approximately three hours after death and is fully established at twelve hours and remains so until 48 hours. Rigor then begins to dissipate and 80 - 90 hours after death rigor mortis will have fully dissipated.
Thus rigor mortis can be used to establish an approximate time of death based on the degree of stiffness and whether the body is going into or going out of rigor. External factors can have an impact on rigor mortis, but as the cause of rigor is a lack of oxygen preventing a chemical reaction taking place external factors have less effect than they do when considering other methods of establishing time of death.
The accepted temperature of a healthy human is 37 Celcius. Upon death the body starts to cool. The body temperature, normally taken rectally, drops 1-2 Celcius in the first hour and 1 Celcius every hour for the following 8 hours, thereafter the temperature drops gradually until the body reaches ambient temperature.
Factors that can affect this process, thus complicating it’s application to the establishment of the time of death include:
- the covering of the body as this insulates and changes the rate at which the body loses heat;
- injuries sustained and blood loss; and,
- any change in the environmental temperature (if the temperature surrounding the body changes - such as a night time temperature drop or if the body is moved).
Hypostasis is the settling of red blood cells under the force of gravity - the red blood cells fill capillaries (our smallest blood vessels) giving a red coloration to the skin. Initially the red blood cells are still mobile however eventually they coagulate and the coloration becomes fixed. It is generally accepted that the coloration (stain) appears one to two hours after death and begins to fix, from the central area of the stain outwards, from around the sixth to eighth hour. Fixation is complete from 24 to 36 hours after death.
Stage of digestion.
From the time we start to eat a meal, and thus initiate the digestion process in the stomach, there is a set pattern of events within the digestive process that can allow us to determine approximately how long after the start of the last meal digestion was interrupted by death.
When we eat a meal our food is initially broken down my two main means: firstly - chemical, namely enzymes and the acid in our stomach; and, secondly - mechanical, namely chewing and the action of the stomach muscles. Once our food has achieved a liquid consistency it is able to leave the stomach and enter the first part of our intestines - the duodenum.
This emptying of the stomach normally occurs from around 3 hours after eating. However, how fast we digest a meal and the stomach empties depends on a multitude of factors, just a few of which are:
- what we have eaten;
- how the food was prepared;
- how our body reacts to the food;
- our state of mind (for example: ever had “butterflies” or an upset stomach when you were worried or excited? );
- our state of health; and,
- what we drank with our meal.
In reality the speed of digestion varies not only person to person but meal to meal - You could eat the same meal twice and have significant differences in the speed of digestion each time.
If our “fight or flight” mechanism - the release of adrenaline - is bought into play it is possible for the digestive process to temporarily halt as our body diverts it’s resources to deal with more pressing matters of survival. This however is not certain, everyone is different and how such things affect us is unique.
What is explained in the report
Above I said that the stomach can empty after 3 hours, all of the above factors and many more can more than double that time to 6 hours or possibly more. Professor Cingolani testified that the stomach can empty after as little as one hour or take as long as 12 or more hours. Thus as stated above, the state of digestion, whether the stomach has emptied or not, is only able to provide a “time window” during which death could have occurred.
N.B. The following references to page numbers relate to the translation of the Massei Report (see link in the menu to the left of your screen) - specifically the first published version - v1.0 - dated 8th August 2010.
The Massei Report [Page 109 (full medical forensic considerations) and Page 173(specific report on the time of death.)]
The first thing the Massei Report notes on the subject of determining the time of death is that all the expert witnesses emphasised how difficult it is to determine, in part because there are “variables which are not always determinable and measurable with the necessary precision.”
The experts heard by the court on this matter were:
- The Coroner, Dr. Lalli (whose evidence with regards to his observations and calculations regarding time of death are on Pages 113 to 116 of the Massei Report);
- Consultant appointed by the Public Ministers (prosecution), namely Professor Mauro Bacci;
- Consultants appointed by the court (the GIP - judge at a previous hearing), namely Professor Giancarlo Umani Ronchi and Professor Mario Cingolani;
- Consultant for the civil party, namely Professor Gianaristide Norelli;
- Consultant for the defence of Amanda Knox, namely Professor Carlo Torre; and,
- Consultants for the defence of Raffaele Sollecito, namely Professor Francesco Introna and Professor Vinci.
Evidence such as the time of Meredith’s last meal (approximately 18.30 hrs) and when she was last seen by her friends (a few minutes before 21.00 hrs) was used by the court to ascertain the earliest possible time of death, i.e. 21.00 hrs was the last time Meredith was seen alive and the “time window” calculated with reference to forensic medical evidence could not start earlier than that [Page 131].
Arguments were heard with regards to how various factors would have affected calculation of time of death, these are all detailed in the Massei Report as are the different views and opinions of the various consultants noted above. The main points of contention were the effect the covering of the body had and the timing of the emptying of the stomach.
Details from the report
Dr. Lalli saw the body at around 14.40 to 15.00 hrs on 2nd November and noted that there was “cadaveric rigidity… of the ankle and toes” [Page 110]. He did not examine the body fully at that time as the scientific police were conducting their investigation and it was important to preserve the crime scene so they could do their job. He first examined the body at 00.50hrs on 3rd November 2007 - it was subject to rigor mortis. Rigor was still established at 12.00 hrs on 3rd November and was resolved by 10.00 hrs on 4th November - and thus he considered that the stages of rigor supported the time window established by the temperature of the body.
Dr. Lalli used both his experience of various factors which affect the rate of loss of heat energy from the body and also mathematical methods - namely the application of the Henssge nomogram - to establish a time window by considering the body temperature.
His calculations led to him reporting a window of between 21 and a half hours and 30 and a half hours prior to his first examination of the body (00.50 hrs 3rd November). He noted that the intermediate point of this window was 23.00 hrs on 1st November [Page 173]. Discussions centred on the weight of the body and also the effect of the cover placed over the body specifically how these would effect the application of the Henssge nomogram.
Looking at the hypostatic staining in this case did not help to narrow the time window [Page 114]. During his first examination of the body at 00.50 hrs on 3rd November Dr. Lalli noted that the stains were not fully fixed - digital pressure caused the stain to fade but not to disappear. In the following examination at 12.00 hrs on 3rd November the hypostasis was “fixed to finger pressure”.
This indicated that death occurred 24 to 36 hours earlier - however it is not known at what precise point in time between the first and second examination of the body that fixation occurred - therefore the court considered that the time of 12.00 hrs on 3rd of November was the latest possible time to count back the 24 to 36 hours.
Iin other words based on the observations and the times they were made the time window suggests death was between 24.00 hrs on 1st November and 12.00 hrs on 2nd November however full fixation of the stains occurred at a point between 00.50 hrs and 12.00 hrs on 3rd November if that point in time were known it would allow the time window to be pushed back and be more accurate. As this was not possible the court concluded that hypostasis was unable to provide information more accurate than that provided by the temperature of the body.
With regards to the state of digestion discussions covered areas included the time of the meal Meredith had shared with her friends (around 18.30 hrs), the point from which calculations should be taken, what had been eaten and the degree of digestion and how long it would take for the stomach to empty.
Also discussed was the possibility that Meredith might have had a snack when she returned to her home, a snack which might have included mushroom and a small quantity of alcohol (no more than a small glass of beer or wine) - it is not certain that she partook of such a snack but it was considered by the court [Page 179].
Dr. Lalli concluded that the time of death suggested by the state of digestion would have been between 21.00 hrs and 24.00 hrs on 1st November [Page 174] which is consistent with the time of death suggested by the temperature of the body and rigor. However other consultants, particularly those appointed by the GIP emphasised that this method has many variables and thus cannot provide an accurate time window [Page 179].
The time of death can be said to be within a ten hour time window of between 18.50 hrs on 1st November and 04.50 hrs on 2nd November. The court and all the consultants and experts agreed on this time window [Page 179]. The mid point of this window is 23.50 hrs on 1st November. Meredith was last seen alive by her friends at 21.00 hrs on 1st November 2007.
However, forensic medical evidence is only one aspect of this case. Evidence with regards to biological trace evidence, telephones, computers and witness statements, for example were also introduced to the court and are detailed in the Massei Report. After careful consideration and weighing of all the facts the court concluded that Rudy Guede, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito entered the house at 7 Via della Pergola at around 23.00 hrs [Page 361] and Meredith was murdered shortly after 23.30 on 1st November 2007 [Page 382].
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Explaining The Massei Report: The Timeline For Events Before, During, And After The Night #2
Posted by catnip
Continuation from Post #1
These two posts list all of the events precisely timed in the Massei Report. Page numbers shown in brackets are those in the original Italian version.
There are plenty of mentions of imprecise occasions and general time periods, such as when Rudy told Giorgio Cocciaretto about liking Amanda (p26) or when lawyer Palazzoli found out their stolen computer had been recovered in Milan (p33), but they are not listed here.
02 November 2007
00:10:31 Meredith’s English phone has a call, via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio but not Via della Pergola (p337, p350).
00:58 A 4-second Web connection occurs on Raffaele’s laptop, with QuickTime contacting the Apple server home page from 00:58:50 to 00:58:53: possibly an ad window listing multimedia files available from Apple opens and closes (p331, p332).
05:32–06:00 Activity on Raffaele’s MacBookPro laptop begins for the day: the VLC application attempts to open an MP3 file and crashes three times: at 05:32:09, 05:32:12, 05:32:13. iTunes successfully plays the MP3 files for the next half hour (p327).
06:02:59 Raffaele’s phone, located in Corso Garibaldi, receives an SMS from his father (p339). The SMS was sent at 23:14 the previous night (p340).
07:45 Quintavalle sees Amanda at his store (p383).
Around 9:00 As Mrs Lana and her husband are readying to leave to go to the police station to report the previous night’s menacing phone call, their son Allessandro finds a mobile phone, a Motorola, in the yard in front of the house, about 15-20 metres distant from the road above their house; thinking that one of the police officers had dropped it the night before, Mrs Lana phones the police station, and is asked to bring the mobile phone in (pp12-13).
09:24 Raffaele receives a call from his father, 248 seconds long, to see if they have left for their Gubbio excursion (p342, p383).
09:29 Raffaele receives a call, 38 seconds long (p342).
09:30 Raffaele, in Corso Garibaldi, receives a call from his father (p342).
10:00 Meredith and Robyn were intending to meet at a lecture at the University, not realizing that it was a public holiday; around this time Robyn tries calling Meredith several times without getting a response; Robyn finds out about Meredith’s murder later that afternoon at Police Headquarters, where she meets Amanda and Raffaele for the first time (p21).
Around 10:15 Mrs Lana and her husband, bringing the mobile phone their son found in their yard, arrive at the police station; the postal police officer on duty, Director Bartolozzi, takes custody of it and later in the morning will identify it as belonging to Filomena Romanelli (p13).
Around 11am Amanda, per her testimony, returns to Via della Pergola to have a shower in preparation for a planned excursion to Gubbio with Rafffaele (p347).
11:38 Director Bartolozzi establishes that the Motorola phone handed in by Mrs Lana belongs to Filomena Romanelli (p14).
Around about 11:45-12:00 A little after Mrs Lana and her husband have left the police station, their daughter Fiammetta tells them about finding a second mobile phone in the yard not far from where the first one was found; she heard it ringing; when the phone is brought inside and placed on the table, it rings, and the name “Amanda” appears on the display; Director Bartolozzi of the Postal Police is immediately informed about this and requests that the second phone also be brought in (p13).
Around 12:00 Bartolozzi at the Postal Police sends Inspector Michele Battistelli and Assistant Fabio Marzi to No 7 Via della Pergola to make enquiries; they will have some difficulty in finding the house (p14).
Around 12:00-12:10 Filomena, having borrowed her boyfriend Marco’s car, picks up her friend Paola Grande from Luca Altieri’s house, intending to visit the All Saints Fair in the Massian Fields, but before arriving there, Amanda rings saying there is something strange: she found the door open; had a shower; thought it strange that there was some blood; and that she was going to go to Raffaele’s; in response to Filomena’s question of where Meredith was, Amanda replies that she doesn’t know (pp16-17).
12:07:02 Meredith’s English phone receives a call via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio, where the phone was thrown away during the night (p337). The 16-second call is from Amanda, located at Raffaele’s house (p346).
12:08:44 Amanda, located at Raffaele’s, calls Filomena for 68 seconds, telling her about the disturbing things she has seen at the cottage, but, surprisingly, does not tell her that she has already tried contacting Meredith and was unsuccessful (p346, p347).
12:11:02 Meredith’s Italian phone, in cell SVSMdCs1, receives a 3-second call from Amanda Knox’s phone at Raffaele’s house; the call goes to Voicemail (p338, p346, p348).
12:12:35 Amanda, still at Raffaele’s house, receives a call from Filomena, 36 seconds (p346).
Around 12:15-12:20 Mrs Lana is at the Postal Police offices again, and hands the second mobile phone, an Ericcson, over to Inspector Bartolozzi, who is unsuccessful in identifying its owner; this makes him think that the phone’s SIM card belongs to a foreign service provider (pp13-14).
12:20:44 Amanda, still at Raffaele’s house, receives another call from Filomena, 65 seconds (p346).
Meanwhile Filomena, worried by Amanda’s phone call, tries calling her, unsuccessfully; then, on getting through, Amanda tells her about the broken window in her (Filomena’s room) and everything being turned over; Filomena, extremely worried now, calls her boyfriend to ask him to go to the cottage to find out what happened; her boyfriend Marco, because Filomena has his car, calls Luca Altieri, and together they go to the cottage, where they arrive, “almost simultaneously” with Filomena and Paola, around 13:00 (p17).
Around 12:30 Battistelli and Marzi from the Postal Police, after having driven up and down Viale Sant’Antonio twice, and Battistelli having to get out on foot, finally find the house “a little after 12:30, as it seemed to the two police officers”; there they find Amanda and Raffaele outside the cottage, seated near the end of the gated lane, just outside the wall underneath Filomena’s window, whose two Persian blinds were closed to, with the one on the right (as seen by an onlooker) being “slightly more open”; Amanda and Raffaele tell the Postal Police they are waiting for the carabinieri, who they had just called (p14).
A little after the Postal Police’s arrival at the cottage (time indeterminant) Director Bartolozzi calls Inspector Battistelli, informing him of the second phone found by Mrs Lana; it is considered that, since both phones were found near each other in terms of time and space, and one of the phones belongs to Filomena Romanelli, perhaps she will be able to shed light on the second phone as well (p15).
12:34:56 Amanda, now at Via della Pergola, receives another call from Filomena, 48 seconds (p346).
12:35 Raffaele’s phone, located at Via della Pergola, contacts his service provider for a credit topup (p342).
12:38 Vodafone sends Raffaele an SMS regarding the credit topup; he is at Via della Pergola (p342).
12:40 Raffaele, at Via della Pergola, receives a call from his father, 67 seconds (p342).
12:43 Meredith’s English phone receives a call via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio (p337). Subsequent calls are routed via cell 25603, which covers the Postal Police offices (p338).
12:47:43 Amanda calls the US for 88 seconds from Via della Pergola (p346).
12:50:34 Raffaele calls his sister, 39 seconds, from Via della Pergola (p342).
12:51:40 Raffaele calls the emergency number from Via della Pergola, 169 seconds, to advise the Carabinieri of an apparant burglary (p342).
12:54 Raffaele calls the emergency number from Via della Pergola for a second time, 57 seconds (p342).
Around 13:00 Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti, and separatel;y, their respective boyfriends, Marco Zaroli and Luca Altieri, arrive at the cottage (p15).
Filomena assumes the Postal Police are there because of the open front door, the broken window and the room that has been turned over; she is surprised when they show her two phone numbers, written on a piece of paper, an Italian number and an English number; Filomena explains that both numbers are in use by Meredith, the English phone for her family, and the Italian one she (Fiolmena) loaned to Meredith for use in Italy; the news about where the phones were found begins to make everyone fearful as to what might have happened, especially as Meredith would never abandon the English Erisccson phone because she was in continuous contact with her family on account of her mother’s poor health (p17)
Filomena quickly checks her room and finds nothing is missing (p18); she even tells Marzi that nothing is missing, “it’s all here” (p43); concern for Meredith increases, especially as Meredith’s door is locked; when Amanda explains that Meredith always locks her door, even when having a shower, Filomena is alarmed, because the one and only time Meredith locked her door was when she went back to England for a couple of days; the decision is made to break open Meredith’s door (p18).
A little after 13:00, around 13:15 Meredith Kercher’s body is found on the floor of her room in the upper floor apartment of a cottage at No 7, Via della Pergola, Perugia (p1, p10).
Around 13:15 Battistelli ushers everyone out of the cottage and declares a crime scene; Marco Zaroli sees the inspector enter the room, the inspector denies this (p20).
13:17:10 Meredith’s Italian phone, off or unreachable, is called by the service centre through cell SVSMdCs7 for 1 second (p338, p348).
13:24:18 Amanda, from Via della Pergola, calls the same US number as she did at 12:47, which is her mother’s, this time for 162 seconds (p346).
13:27:32 Amanda calls another US number, for 26 seconds (p347).
13:29:00 Amanda, in Via della Pergola, receives a 296 second call from a Perugia landline (p347).
Around 13:30 The murder investigation opens (p20). Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini is summoned and a criminal investigation into Meredith’s murder officially begins.
13:40:12 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 94 seconds (p342).
13:50 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 178 seconds (p342).
13:50:06 Amanda calls US xxx350 for 350 seconds from Via della Pergola (p347).
13:58:33 Amanda attempts to call her mother, 1 second (p347).
14:33 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 21 seconds (p343).
14:46:14 Amanda receives a call from Germany for 102 seconds, probably her aunt Dorothy Craft (p347).
15:13:43 Meredith’s Italian phone, off or unreachable, is called by the service centre, cell not reported on the printouts (p338, p348).
15:31:50 Amanda receives an SMS from xxx078, 1 second; at this point she is at Police Headquarters; later calls go to Voicemail because the phone is unreachable (p347)
17:01 Raffaele, located at Police Headquarters, receives an incoming call from his father, 164 seconds (p343).
17:42 Raffaele, located at Police Headquarters, receives an incoming call from his father, 97 seconds (p343).
Sometime in the afternoon/evening Giacomo Silenzi, on his way back to Perugia and on the train at Porto San Giorgio with Stefano Bonassi, receives news of Meredith’s death (p25).
03 November 2007
14:16 Raffaele’s landline receives two unanswered calls from his father’s landline (p343).
06 November 2007
02:47 The “Last Modified” date is set on the multimedia file Stardust on Raffaele’s laptop (?was a password needed?), overwriting the previous last modified date. At this time, both Raffaele and Amanda were at Police Headquarters (p332).
13 November 2007
Raffaele’s portable Apple MacBookPro and 300D ASUS, Amanda’s Toshiba laptop serial number 7541811OK, Meredith’s G4 iBook, and Patrick Lumumba’s HP computer serial number 375052-001 become available (in a big box) for examination by the Postal Police (p321, p322).
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