Hot tips for any media taking a look. Where you could dig with sensational results is into how the 2011 Hellmann court was fixed so that Knox and RS could walk. Also check out the 12 great hoaxes via our right-column links. Especially check out the Spezi/Preston hoax which apparently has actor George Clooney taken in.

All our posts on Public evidence

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meredith’s House Sees Some Seasonal Snow

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Rather nice. You can see Meredith’s bedroom window with the amazing views at top-right above there.

Perugia is located in the Appenine mountains which see at least some light snow every winter. Some more images of the Appenines posted here.

Because of intended developments in this area the house may not remain standing forever. Kermit presented us with an intriguing analysis of why the house is the way it is.

It’s quite moving, that out-of-season red rose, down below in the last shot.




Posted on 12/27/09 at 07:15 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaPublic evidenceThe locations
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Friday, November 27, 2009

The Summations: Patrick Lumumba’s Lawyer Describes Defamation By Knox As Ruthless

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click here for Nick Pisa’s noon report from the courtroom. Some excerpts:

Today the lawyer acting for bar owner Patrick Lumumba, who Knox blamed for the murder, was harsh in his judgement of the American student.

Lawyer Carlo Pacelli described Knox as a ‘talented and calculated liar, who had deliberately gone out of her way to frame Patrick.’

Mr Pacelli recalled how Knox had told police she ‘covered her ears as Patrick murdered Meredith. This was all a lie, his destiny at that moment was marked.

‘It was a ruthless defamation that destroyed Patrick as a man, husband and father. By naming him she hoodwinked the officer in charge of the murder investigation.’

Mr Lumumba was held for two weeks in custody before being released without charge after witnesses came forward to say he was at his Le Chic bar the night Meredith was murdered.

Mr Pacelli added: ‘Who is the real Amanda Knox ? Is it the one we see before us her, simple water and soap, the angelic St Maria Goretti (a teenager made a saint by the Catholic Church after she was murdered by an attempted rapist)?

‘Or is she really a she devil, a diabolical person focused on sex, drugs and alcohol, living life to the extreme and borderline -is this the Amanda Knox of November 1st 2007 (night Meredith was murdered).’

As he spoke, Knox could be seen writing notes to herself on the pad before her.

‘Conclusions drawn before knowing anything,’ she wrote, before adding: ‘In prison you don’t become a better person you become worse unless you have a inner light that guides you.’

Posted on 11/27/09 at 08:30 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedAmanda KnoxPublic evidenceOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Diversion efforts byHoaxes about the caseOn psychology
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Italians Have For A Long Time Known How Depraved And Cruel The Final Struggle Was

Posted by Peter Quennell


As you can see in the prosecutors’ scenario posted below, we did not translate and post quite everything.

Meredith’s final 15-minute struggle is not there.

Back in January of this year the Micheli Report described in great detail Meredith’s autopsy, the wounds on her body, and the horrific state of her room.

There were literally DOZENS of evidence points. And it is crystal-clear that there is no way in the world that the attack was carried out by a single person.

Those descriptions had some of our Italian translators crying when they read the passages, and several said they slept badly for days.

We decided not to post those passages, because they put out in the open things that had been described only in closed session.

Our translators had trouble translating around those passages, and our poster Brian S worked for weeks to get the tone and coverage of his series of posts just right.

What we did post were the only long excerpts of the report in the English-speaking world.

The UK and US mainstream media pretty well ignored the Micheli Report. The UK media published only brief, mild excerpts, and the US media published NONE AT ALL.

Even today, few American journalists seem to realize that the report even exists.

In very sharp contrast, long excerpts were published in Italy.

And after a while as required by Italian law the Ministry of Justice in Rome posted the entire Micheli Report on their website. Many thousands of Italian speakers have been to that website and read the report in full. 

So there is not very much that Italian followers of the case dont know about Meredith’s final 15 minutes.

The timeline and the computer simulation that the prosecutors presented last Friday were put fully out in the open. The media were all there. And if there is a guilty verdict in this trial, the judges’ sentencing report must be out by early March.

This time around we will post the complete report.

If justice for Meredith is to be seen to be done, people need to read the entire thing.


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Summations: The Prosecutions’ Reconstruction Of The Events On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell


This time-line for the evening of 1 November 1 2007 was presented by the prosecutors in court on Friday afternoon.

It was accompanied by a very graphic computer simulation of all the events described except for the arrival of Rudy Guede, the timing of which is unknown but seems to have been late - maybe around 11:30 pm.

This account seems to be of a premeditated attack on Meredith, in which Knox and Sollecito may have watched Meredith’s house from this position above in the park for an hour and a half before they even entered the house.

Meredith was inside the whole time.

We have left out the depiction of the final struggle with Meredith, which is extremely sad and disturbing. In the evidence phase this was testified-to behind closed doors at her family’s request and we have never posted anything from those sessions.

However, it is made clear that Meredith put up a tremendous fight over a period of 15 minutes with three strong attackers, before she finally succumbed.

    15:48: Meredith texts to her English friends that she will be slightly late for her dinner meeting with them.

    16:00 - Meredith leaves the house in Via della Pergola to go to the home of her friends. A few minutes later Raffaele and Amanda leave the cottage in Via della Pergola to go Sollecito’s place.

    18:00 - Amanda Knox leaves Raffaele Sollecito’s house. This is indicated by cell phone records.

    18:27 - Raffaele Sollecito interacts with his laptop to watch the film “Amelie” alone at home.

    20:18 - Amanda Knox in Via Ulisse Rocchi receives a text message (sms) from Patrick Lumumba telling her not to come to work that night.

    20.30 - Amanda Knox goes back to Via Garibaldi to the apartment of Raffaele Sollecito.

    20:38 - Amanda sends a text message (sms) in reply to Patrick Lumumba.

    20:46 - Sollecito turns off his mobile phone. He is still at home in Via Garibaldi.

    20:45 – Meredith’s meal of pizza with her English friends ends. She starts off in the direction of Via della Pergola with a girlfriend who will leave her halfway to go to her own home.

    21:00 - Meredith is at home, she eats a mushroom, she lies down on her bed, and she reads some university lecture notes.

    21:10 - From this point on there is no more human interaction with Raffaele Sollecito’s computer.

    21:45 - Amanda and Raffaele leave his apartment and go to the Piazza Grimana. Less than 100 meters away from the house in Via della Pergola, the two talk and watch the house and decide what to do. They show a suspicious attitude which is reported in court by the witness Curatolo

    23:20 - Amanda opens the door of Via della Pergola.

    23.20 - Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy enter the house in Via della Pergola, where Meredith is already present in her room [On the court video there is no simulation of the meeting between Amanda and Rudy, because the reconstruction is based on testimony, the autopsy evidence and medical findings.]

    23:21 - Amanda and Raffaele go into Meredith’s bedroom, while Rudy goes into the bathroom.

    23:25 - A scuffle begins between Amanda, helped by Raffaele, and Meredith. The English girl is taken by the neck, then banged against a cupboard. Rudy Guede enters and joins in.

    23:30 - 23:45 Depiction in the timeline and computer simulation of a horrific struggle with Meredith

    23:50 - Amanda and Raffaele take Meredith’s mobile phones and they leave the apartment. Guede goes into the bathroom to get several towels to staunch the blood, then puts a cushion under Meredith’s head.

    00.10 - Meredith’s mobile phones are thrown into a garden in Via Sperandio.

    00.15 - From this moment, there are no certainties on the times for the rearrangement of the crime scene carried out by Amanda and Raffaele Sollecito.



However according to the prosecution in the wee hours of the night Knox and Sollecito returned to the scene of their crime to try and clean up some footprints and to break the window glass of Filomena’s room. The aim was to simulate a robbery that ended in murder and they are charged with this too.

The translation here, by Tiziano and our other Italian-speakers, is from Il Messagero and other Italian newspapers.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trial: Further Expert Examinations Denied: The Report From Andrea Vogt

Posted by Peter Quennell


Excerpts from the report of Andrea Vogt (above) in the Seattle P-I.

An Italian jury rejected Amanda Knox’s multiple requests for an independent review of contested evidence Friday, bringing the end in sight to the Seattle student’s contentious murder trial….

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito, asked the court to approve an independent review of several contested pieces of forensic evidence, most notably the kitchen knife with Knox’s DNA on the handle and what prosecutor’s argue is the Kercher’s on the blade, and a bra clasp with Sollecito’s DNA.

Knox’s lawyers also asked for a review of the luminol-enhanced footprints, the mark on the pillowcase that the prosecution argued was a woman’s shoeprint, but which the defense argues is simply a bloody crease, and several other traces of DNA found in the flat Knox and Kercher shared….

The Kercher family’s attorney, Francesco Maresca of Florence, argued, however, that the court already had plenty of material to review. “We all know that in all trials of this nature there are different analyses of forensic evidence made by the various expert witnesses,” he said. “The court must now consider the seriousness and integrity of the experts’ testimony.”

Prosecutor Manuela Comodi went a step farther, saying while she did not believe a review was necessary, she would she would “almost be pleased” to see the results with regard to the prosecution’s footprint expert analysis.

The eight-member jury, which includes two professional judges, flatly rejected all defense requests at 9:30 p.m. after deliberating just under two hours.

Immediately after the judge’s announcement, Sollecito bowed his head and briefly wept, as lawyers began haggling over court dates for closing arguments.

Knox glanced worriedly at her lawyers, who patted her on the back and insisted confidently after the hearing that the outcome was not unexpected, nor necessarily negative for their client…

“This doesn’t change anything,” said Knox’s Perugian attorney, Luciano Ghirga. “We wanted to clarify the evidence, but obviously the judge doesn’t feel he needs additional information. We are ready to argue.”

The judge was careful to note that the jury’s decision did not indicate a presumption of guilt and left open the possibility that the court could call for additional review of evidence after closing arguments and before a verdict.

Nonetheless many court observers expressed surprise at the fact that the jury chose to not review even a single element of the controversial forensic evidence. For Knox, however, the complete rejection of a third-party review could have a silver lining—effectively positioning her better for an eventual appeal.

Our legal watchers doubt the validity of that last remark - that somehow the judges and the jury have messed up here, and that this is a get-out-of-jail-free card for Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeals.

They note that Italy has a “smart jury” system which is encouraged to take a very broad birds-eye view of the case. The multi-alibis testimony and the mobile-phone testimony and the eye-witness testimony and the various mixed-blood traces and the various bloody footprints are considered almost impossible to account for if the defendants are in fact not guilty. The DNA on the knife and the bra-clasp are not make-or-break issues in this case and never were.

The sleeper in this trial of course as in the Rudy Guede trial is the huge and very detailed report that the judges must prepare and release within three months of their verdict. The astounding level of profesionalism of those reports - unique in the law world - leaves American lawyers in real awe.  In the case of Guede, the report by Judge Micheli was absolutely damning.

If the verdict here also is guilty, those unconvinced by that report will probably all fit neatly into one Volkswagen.

Posted on 10/10/09 at 11:52 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: Further Expert Examinations Denied - The Report From Nick Pisa

Posted by Peter Quennell


Excerpts from Nick Pisa’s report in the UK’s Daily Mail.

A judge last night rejected defence requests for an independent review of evidence in the Meredith Kercher murder case.

The decision means that a verdict in the trial will come by early December as an independent review could have taken up to a month delaying the decision….

Yesterday lawyers for Knox and Sollecito argued that the review should be held because of errors in the police investigation and the way evidence was collected.

Key to the case is a 30cm black handled kitchen knife on which DNA from Knox was found on the handle and that of Meredith on the blade.

Prosecutors say the knife, which was found in the kitchen of Sollecito’s flat, is compatible with the murder weapon - which has never been found.

Knox’s lawyer Carlo Della Vedova said that too many discrepancies had emerged in the examination of the knife by forensic scientists….

Sollecito’s lawyers had also asked for a review of a bloodied bra clasp found at the scene which had his DNA on it.

They pointed out that the clasp had been found during an initial police search in one point and then ‘lost’ for six weeks before being found else where in the room….

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini had argued that: ‘There is no need for a review as the evidence was gathered in a very professional way by qualified persons.’

In his ruling judge Massei said: ‘The court has heard from several consultants who have brought several elements and which rule out the need for any further proof.’...

As the judge read out his decision Knox, who earlier had been laughing and joking with guards, closed her eyes and looked upwards.

Sollecito rubbed his eyes and was in tears as the decision would seem to indicate the court has already made up its mind over their guilt.

Posted on 10/10/09 at 11:44 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Friday, October 02, 2009

Apartment Below Meredith’s Is Re-Tenanted And Hers Will Be Too Soon

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click above for larger image]

The Italian news service AGI has a report on the re-renting of the house that includes this:

Apparently annoyed but amused. one new tenant [of the basement apartment] did not want to talk to reporters. A few days ago, he rented the apartment with two other students…

‘‘No money, no declaration. I want three thousand euros” said the boy in imperfect English when jokingly speaking to reporters who were waiting outside the house on Via della Pergola…

He knows of the attention that will be paid to him by journalists because he has chosen not to live inside the Perugia old sity in an ordinary house, but instead in one that became the scene of a heinous crime for which a trial still proceeds.

The boy, about twenty years old, perhaps Spanish, went out in the afternoon and returned home at around 4:00 pm bringing a small bag, a trolley with two bags, a bag for PC and a backpack.

After closing the green gate behind him which gives access to the house, he stayed home for about ten minutes and then went out again.

Dressed in jeans and a red and blue shirt with a “9” printed on the back and the word ‘‘Espana’’ on the front, he seemed more amused than intimidated by the presence of the journalists. The young man reiterated his unwillingness to speak…

Then, along with three friends, probably all Spanish, he headed out again for a nearby bar to get some coffee takeaways to bring back to the new apartment.

On entering the house the four young men dragged the kitchen table and some chairs outside and they then set to talking quietly, with some amused glances reporters in the garden opposite the front door.

And the Italian news agency APCOM has a report that a Perugia estate agency is in several ongoing negotiations to rent out Meredith’s apartment, now extensively refurbished.

The house is owned by a retired woman who lives in Rome and who seems to be dependant on income from it to pay her way. We believe the Italian government made a payment to her for the period the house was sequestered - for most of the time it was sequestered at the request of the defenses. 

That one of the apartments is again tenanted by students suggests there was no hike in the rent. But the value of the property seems certain to zoom soon in light of this proposal and might one day come down to make way for more parking in the area.

Our poster Kermit created a great Powerpoint show on the house’s rather strange history.

Posted on 10/02/09 at 09:36 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedAmanda KnoxPublic evidenceThe locationsThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trial: Defense Returns To Weapon While Most Of Prosecution Case Still Not Contended

Posted by Peter Quennell


Journalists were asked to leave the courtroom today during a rather weak repeat of the contention that the large knife was not involved.

Click above for Nick Squires on one report from the press room.

The black-handled knife, with a 6.5 inch long stainless steel blade, was shown for the first time to the court in Perugia where the 22-year-old American student and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 26, are accused of sexual assault and murder.

A court official brought out the knife in a shallow white cardboard box marked “Evidence – handle with care” and showed it to the judge and eight jurors.

Miss Knox, of Seattle, who was wearing blue jeans and a red sweatshirt with a Beatles design, appeared impassive as the purported murder weapon was shown during the testimony of a forensic expert, Prof Giancarlo Umani-Ronchi.

She looked away when police photographs of Miss Kercher’s bloodied body were projected onto a giant screen in the courtroom.

Mr Sollecito, in a white jacket and rimless glasses, bit his fingernails as the alleged use of the knife in the killing was discussed by experts and lawyers.

A forensic consultant, Mariano Cingolani, said that of the three wounds on Miss Kercher’s neck, at least one was not compatible with the size and dimensions of the knife.

“Many other knives in general are more compatible with that kind of wound,” said Prof Cingolani. The wound was too narrow to match the knife, he said.

He added, however, that no firm conclusion could be drawn without knowing the exact angle of Miss Kercher’s neck, or the elasticity of her muscle tissue…

The former lovers, who could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty, looked tired and nervous.

So there is a question mark over the role of the large knife but again, nothing definitive. The prosecution had already indicated months ago that they believed at least one other knife was involved.

Meanwhile, whole other universes of very damning prosecution evidence against Sollecito and Knox remain uncontested like a herd of elephants in the room.

The very damning mobile calls and the highly confused alibis for example.

Posted on 09/19/09 at 12:56 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceOther physicalTrials 2008 & 2009
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Friday, September 18, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 09/18/09 at 11:06 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedRaff SollecitoPublic evidenceDNA and luminolOther witnessesDiversion efforts byThe Sollecitos
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Trial: Judge Massei Rejects Feeble Defense Bid To Throw Out DNA Evidence

Posted by Peter Quennell


So the trial has resumed, amid conjecture that it might last for additional months if the DNA evidence is to be independently assessed.

That possibility seems to have disappeared in a hurry. Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Buongiorno (above) made a request that some of the DNA evidence be thrown out.

Judge Massei speedily and very firmly ruled against. He clearly appears to consider the evidence and the procedures that were followed to be sound.

First, the DNA analyses in question were performed in the presence of defense experts, who did not make any comment at the time. And second, no substantive DNA information was wrongly withheld from the defenses and so the defendants’ rights were not violated.

[Judge Massei] added that relevant documents had been made available a month-and-a-half ago, suggesting that defence teams had enough time to review the DNA findings.

Our takes on the DNA component of the case (which our legal watchers say is far from being make-or-break evidence in this case) can all be found here.

Posted on 09/14/09 at 11:02 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Maybe Why Meredith’s House Was So Tough For Some Of The Police-Cars To Find?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Most of the police team seem to have made it with alacrity to 7 via della Pergola on the day after.

They have very fast cars and pretty good navigation. But one or two had to call in for directions.

This led to some ridicule among those who actually think that ridicule helps Amanda Knox.

Their fast route to the house is to head east up the hill from the Questura (if that is where they all came from). Then through Piazza Grimana by the School for Foreigners. And then down to via della Pergola, by way of the famous tee junction.

Click above for the route from Piazza Grimana down to the tee junction (the last several shots there are of the stone steps that Rudy ran up) and then click below for the street sign they would have encountered. 

Via della Pergola heads down to the LEFT here. The street sign says that via San Antonio begins to the RIGHT here.

And Meredith’s house is clearly off to the RIGHT.


Posted on 08/28/09 at 01:01 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceThe timelinesThe locationsOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #4 Amanda Knox’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis

Posted by The Machine


Preamble

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten parts, with a commentary on matters of key significance.

The material has been reordered so that evidence presented at several points in the trial can be described in one post here. Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony.

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

Now we look at the various conflicting alibis that Amanda Knox has given for the night in question.

A summary overview

In the case of Sollecito, when confronted with evidence that conflicted with his second alibi, he seems to have done a real u-turn and settled on the one that has him alone at his apartment for a long period on the night in question.

But his final alibi continues to give his defense problems up to this day, and they have essentially been unable to shore it up firmly.

Knox seems to be in the same boat. She also seems to have done an extreme u-turn, and the results of that u-turn have left her defense with an untidy situation that is still not noticeably shored up.

Her first alibi was to the effect that she was with Sollecito all night at his place, through to around mid-morning on 2 November. That alibi was the one she gave the police on the morning after Meredith was fatally attacked.

When Sollecito himself and the phone-record and computer-record evidence undermined that alibi, Knox gave several versions of a second alibi (not all of them heard by the court) in which she was claiming to have been present at the house while the murder of Meredith took place.

Finally, in her own testimony on the witness stand at trial, she once again settled on an alibi that has her back at Sollecito’s place all night.

This third alibi is undermined by accurate details no-one not present could have known in the several versions of her own second alibi (see below), by Sollecito’s denial that this is what happened (never amended or revoked), and by mobile-phone records, by eyewitnesses, and by the forensic evidence at Meredith’s house.

Now for more detail

Police witnesses indicated that they became suspicious of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito almost from the moment when Chief Inspector Michele Battistelli and Assistant Inspector Fabio Marzi of the national communication police arrived at the cottage on Friday 2 November to explore why Meredith’s two mobile phones had been discarded the previous night in a garden a kilometer away.

  • First, Inspector Battistelli testified that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito looked “embarrassed and surprised” when the officers found them standing outside the cottage. (Knox and Sollecito told them there had been a break-in, and that they were waiting out for the police to arrive. No prior phone call to the police has been proven.)
  • Second, Inspector Battistelli testified that when he inspected Filomena’s room, he immediately thought that this was a staging of a break-in and not a genuine one. There were obvious shards of glass on top of Filomena’s disarrayed clothes on the floor, and nothing appeared to have been stolen - some valuables were there in plain sight.

From the very first few minutes, the police on the scene were alert and watchful of Sollecito and Knox. And when Meredith’s body was discovered very shortly afterwards, they first began considering whether one of her housemates had been involved in Meredith’s murder.

When they soon after questioned Knox and Sollecito, they were presented with confusing statements, which did not seem to credibly account for their movements the previous night or earlier the day after. Also, Knox and Sollecito disappeared into Knox’s bedroom and shut the door for a while - the period during which later evidence suggested they made a flurry of phone-calls to relatives while not actually mentioning that the police were already there in the house.

Rather than immediately arresting Knox and Sollecito, the police officers on the scene testified that they decided to tap Knox’s and Sollecito’s telephone calls, to record their conversations at the police station, and also to have them followed. This surveillance continued for a three-day period, up to Monday night. where they were invited in for further questioning.

In this same period the police examined the phone records of the two. The records of Knox and Sollecito for 2 November provided some definitive proof that Knox and Sollecito had lied to them twice on 2 November.

  • First, they had claimed they had slept in at Sollecito’s until after 10am on 2 November, but their phones were proven to be operational prior to that time.
  • Second,  they had claimed they had called the police emergency 112 number before the national communication police arrived, but there was no evidence of such calls then.

The only evidence of any calls to the police was for the period right after, when the national communication police were already there in the house.

Late on Monday 5 November, the police requested Sollecito to come down to the police station, to be confronted with all this, and to be given an opportunity to explain it away.

Knox came with him. When Knox and Sollecito arrived at the police station, Sollecito was led away to be questioned in another room, and Knox was initially left to her own devices.

The police showed Sollecito the telephone records that proved that he and Amanda Knox had lied to them on Friday 2 November.

As described in the earlier post on his own alibis in this series, this forced a clear about-turn for him

In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.

Sollecito now admitted to the interrogators that he had lied to them earlier. He now put the blame on Knox, saying that she had asked him to lie. He now claimed that she had gone out from his place on the night in question at around 9.00 pm and she had not returned before 1.00 am.

In effect, Sollecito had stopped supporting Knox’s alibi that she had been at his place all night.

Interrogators testified that Amanda Knox was now interrogated in parallel in another room.

In a third room with one-way glass in between the two was Edgardo Giobbi, the head of the national Violent Crimes Unit in Rome, who had come to Perugia for the investigation. Perugia’s chief prosecutor, Mr Mignini, was not present at the first round of interrogations - he was only called in after Sollecito and Knox had each extensively changed their stories for the night in question.

At the start of her interrogation, Knox was informed by the interrogators that Sollecito had just stopped providing her with an alibi, and that he had also just claimed that she had asked him to lie for her.

The interrogators asked her to examine her mobile phone. They asked her if she had responded to the text message from her employer, Diya Lumumba, that she would not be required to work at his bar that night. She claimed that she hadn’t replied, seemingly unaware that the police had her telephone records and already knew that she had replied.

The police now showed her the telephone records that confirmed she had replied, and according to their testimonies on the stand, from this point on Knox largely seems to have lost it.

Officer Rita Ficarra stated on the stand that “she started crying and wrapping her hands around her head, she started shaking it” and then “she said: it was him… Patrick killed her”.

Police interpreter Anna Donnino stated that Knox showed extreme emotional involvement – she was crying and visibly shocked, saying at one point “It was him, it was him. He’s bad’”

Mr Giobbi said that he could hear Amanda Knox shouting when Diya Lumumba’s name was brought up.

All the police witnesses testified under oath that Amanda Knox had voluntarily accused Diya Lumumba of murdering Meredith, and that during the interrogation she had been treated well.

It might appear significant to the court that Knox made no attempt to refute Sollecito’s claim that she wasn’t at his apartment on the night, but instead readily admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed.

At the same time it might also appear significant that she was prepared to thrown him under the bus in her turn, claiming in one version that Sollecito was also at Meredith’s house on the night.

In fact, Amanda Knox stated on at least three occasions that she was present at the cottage when Meredith was murdered.

Two of the statements were ruled inadmissible by the Italian Supreme Court because Knox was not represented by a lawyer when she made those statements. But Judge Massei in the hearings ruled that another statement, a handwritten note to the police on 6 November which repeats the claim of having been present, could indeed be admitted as evidence at the trial, because she made it voluntarily. 

Here for the sake of clarity is a summary of each of the statements. The first and fourth were elaborated on by witnesses at the trial and subjected to cross-examination. The fifth was made on the stand. The other two - widely reported in the media records - were not presented at trial, and so not subject to cross-examination. 

Version 1 Witness statement given on 2 November.

Amanda Knox told the police that she spent the whole night with Raffaele Sollecito at his apartment, and she repeated this narrative in an email to family and friends on 4 November:

From the email: “…after a little while of playing guitar me and raffael went to his house to watch movies and after to eat dinner and generally spend the evening and night indoors. we didn’t go out. the next morning i woke up around 1030”

Knox indicated that she couldn’t remember much about what happened at Sollecito’s apartment that night because she was suffering from cannabis-induced amnesia. In her handwritten note to the police, she acknowledged that her inability to fully recall the events on the night of the murder did look incriminating.

“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”.

Version 2 Witness statement given on 6 November and ruled inadmissible

This is how the Daily Mail reported it on 13 November:

“I can’t remember if my friend Meredith was there or if she came later. We were all separate,” she said.

“He (Lumumba) wanted her (Meredith).

“Yes we were in the house.  We were drunk. We asked her to join us.

“Diya wanted her. Raffaele and I went into another room and then I heard screams.

“Patrick and Meredith were in Meredith’s bedroom while I think I stayed in the kitchen.

“I can’t remember how long they were together in the bedroom but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I remember hearing Meredith’s screams and I covered my ears.

“Then I don’t remember anything else. There is such a lot going on in my head.“

“I can’t remember if Meredith was screaming and if I heard thuds but I could imagine what was going on.’

....Later, she contradicts herself, saying: “I can’t remember if Raffaele was there that night.

“I remember waking up in his bed at his house and that I went back to my house where I found the door open.”

This inadmissible version of events is already markedly different to her first one. She seems to have admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed, but claimed that Sollecito was also there.

Version 3 Witness statement given on 6 November and also ruled inadmissible

This is the version The London Times reported on 7 November 2007.  In this version Amanda Knox is not sure whether Raffaele Sollecito was with her at the house or not.

She seems to have said that she met Mr Lumumba on the evening of November 1 after sending a text message in reply to his with the words “Let’s meet up” (“Ci vediamo”).

“We met around nine o’clock at the basketball court at Piazza Grimana and we went back to my house. I don’t remember if my friend Meredith was already there or whether she came later. What I can say is that the two of them (Meredith and Patrick) went off together.”

She seems to have said she and Mr Lumumba had told Ms Kercher they wanted to “have some fun”. “Patrick wanted her (Ms Kercher),” she said.

“Patrick and Meredith went off together into Meredith’s room while I think I stayed in the kitchen. I can’t remember how long they were in the bedroom together, I can only say that at a certain point I heard Meredith screaming and I was so frightened I put my fingers in my ears. I don’t remember anything after that, my head is really confused.”

“I don’t remember if Meredith called out or if I heard thuds because I was upset, but I can imagine what was happening.” She claimed she had had a lot to drink and had fallen asleep.

She added: “I’m not sure whether Raffaele was there too that evening but I do remember waking up at his house in his bed and that in the morning I went back to where I lived, where I found the door open.”

Version 4 Voluntary handwritten note to police 6 November ruled acceptable by Judge Massei

In this version, which was presented in evidence, Knox claimed that she was both at Sollecito’s apartment and at Meredith’s house on the night in question.

Also for the first time Knox raises the possibility that she might have seen and heard the events at the cottage in a vision.

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…

And she concluded the note as follows:

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.

Preliminary judge Claudia Matteini observed in a statement that the court has received that Knox’s note to the police contained significant elements of truth - in other words, verifiable details:

Finally, looking at the content of the memoir itself, we must admit that its content is very careful. It is certainly not a fantastic and imaginary delirium.”

The note seems to suggest that Knox knew Meredith had been sexually assaulted:  “Patrick wanted her… I don’t remember if Meredith called out or if I heard thuds because I was upset, but I can imagine what was happening”.

This seems to have been the first mention ever by anyone of a sexual assault on Meredith, and it was made before the results of Dr. Lalli’s autopsy report were presented to the court on 8 November.

It was testified that Knox also revealed other accurate details about Meredith’s murder before the results of the autopsy were made public. She told witnesses on 2 November that Meredith had died “in slow agony”.

Mr Mignini asked Knox on 17 December 2007 how she could possibly have known this if she was not actually there. Knox began to cry, and refused to answer the question.

Knox also claimed that she heard Meredith screaming, and screaming was reported by two of the witnesses, Nara Capezalli and Antonella Monacchia. Each testified that they heard a loud scream on the night Meredith was murdered.

Knox also claimed that she was in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder. This claim is supported by Antonio Curatolo, who testified that he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Piazza Grimana on several occasions that night.

It seems that Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, really had no choice but to acknowledge the fact that Knox had made conflicting statements. In remarks to the press:

“All of the lawyers have imposed on Amanda the gravity of her situation, and the gravity of accusing other people. They have all told her that she needs to tell the truth because there have been differences in the statements.”

“We have asked her family to persuade her in the hope that her parents will ask her to tell the truth. There have been differing statements.”

Version 5 Amanda Knox’s own testimony on the stand on June 12 and 13

In her testimony on the stand, Knox simply reverted to the original claim, still not supported by Sollecito, that she had been with Sollecito at his apartment all night and a part of the following morning.

This alibi is undermined by the accurate details she provided in the second alibi that no-one not present could have known (see above), by Sollecito’s own denial that this is what happened, and by mobile-phone records, by eyewitness accounts, and by the forensic evidence at Meredith’s house.

In Conclusion

It now seems, from the testimony on the various alibis presented at trial, that Knox like Sollecito has no credible alibi, and no convincing scenario at all for the night of Meredith’s murder.

And it would appear likely that she has damaged her overall credibility with the court by giving three alibis, including one on the stand, that differed so very markedly.

Posted on 08/18/09 at 10:15 PM by The Machine. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Vital Must-Read PostsPublic evidenceKnox's alibisDiversion efforts byThe Knox-MellasesAmanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #3 Raffele Sollecito’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis

Posted by The Machine



[above: Sollecito with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno; click for a larger image]

Preamble

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten parts, with a commentary on matters of key significances.

The material has been reordered so that evidence presented at several points in the trial can be described in one post here. Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony. The first two posts below were on the formidable DNA and luminol footprint evidence.

In this and the next post we elaborate the testimony relevant to the multiple alibis given by Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and the circumstances in which they were given.

Following the discovery of Meredith’s body in her house, more than a dozen possible witnesses were quite expeditiously questioned: Meredith’s various English friends, her two Italian housemates, the four boys who lived downstairs, and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Meredith’s English friends, her two Italian housemates, and the boys downstairs fully cooperated with the police, seemed to be telling the truth, and had alibis that could readily be verified. As a direct result they were all quickly eliminated from the investigation.

In stark contrast, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito seemed to be obfuscating and appeared reluctant to cooperate with the police, attitudes that were first publicly noted as incriminating by the judges at the Italian Supreme Court.

Knox and Sollecito each made three separate attempts to come up with credible alibis, none of which made total sense or managed to get them off the hook. 

Today, we address Sollecito’s. The prosecution undermined them in various ways. Sollecito did not take the stand to repeat any of them, and his occasional interventions in the courtroom did not strengthen any of them.

Raffaele Sollecito’s first alibi

For his first alibi Raffaele Sollecito claimed, in an interview with Kate Mansey from the Sunday Mirror, that he and Amanda Knox were at a friend’s party on the night of the murder. It appears that this is the alibi that Sollecito also first told the police.

As there seems to have been no party, or in any case no party they attended, it would have been difficult for Sollecito to find any witnesses, and so this alibi was quickly superceded.

Raffaele Sollecito’s second alibi

For his second alibi Sollecito now claimed that he was at his apartment throughout the night with Amanda Knox.

This alibi was contradicted by the forensic evidence presented by the prosecution. According to the testimony of the scientific police from Rome, there were six separate pieces of forensic evidence that placed him in the cottage on Via Della Pergola on the night of the murder.

These included an abundant amount of his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, and a bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s bathroom which appears to match the precise characteristics of his foot.

Sollecito’s claim that he was at his apartment the whole evening on 1 November was also undermined by Amanda Knox, who claimed in one of her own witness statements that he was also at the cottage when Meredith was killed:

Yes we were in the house. That evening we wanted to have a bit of fun. We were drunk. We asked her to join us. Diya wanted her. Raffaele and I went into another room and then I heard screams.

This alibi was also undermined by an eyewitness, Antonio Curatolo, the watcher in the park above the house, who testified that he saw Sollecito there. And it was undermined by Sollecito himself when he moved to the third alibi below.

In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.

Although Rudy Guede exercised his right to silence when he was called as a witness in the present trial, it should be noted that at his own trial last October and in the stated grounds for his appeal, he has claimed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were both at the cottage on the night in question, and that they were responsible for Meredith’s murder.

Raffaele Sollecito’s third alibi

Sollecito was asked to return to the police station on 5 November to answer some more questions. He was at that time confronted with telephone records that proved that he and Amanda Knox had lied previously.

So for his third alibi, which now cut Amanda Knox loose and implicated her, Sollecito claimed that he was at his apartment all evening, and that for part of the evening Knox was out, from 9 pm to 1 am.

In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies….

Amanda and I went into town at around 6pm, but I don’t remember what we did. We stayed there until around 8.30 or 9pm.

At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner.”

He goes on to say that Amanda returned to his house at around 1am and the couple went to bed, although he couldn’t remember if they had sex.

This third alibi was undercut by Amanda Knox when she took the stand and testified. She stated that she was with Sollecito at his place all night.

It was also contradicted by the forensic evidence presented by the prosecution: the six separate pieces of forensic evidence that placed him in the cottage on Via Della Pergola on the night of the murder.

This third alibi was also undermined by the telephone records and by the data taken from his computer.

Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11 pm. The phone records showed that to the contrary, there was no telephone conversation at this time, though Sollecito’s father had called him a couple of hours earlier, at 8.40 pm.

Sollecito claimed that he was surfing the internet from 11 pm to 1 am. Marco Trotta, a police computer expert, testified that the last human interaction on Sollecito’s computer that evening was at 9.10 pm and the next human activity on Sollecito’s computer was at 5.32 am.

Sollecito said that he downloaded and watched the film Amelie during the night. However, Mr Trotta said that the film had been watched at around 6.30 pm, and it was earlier testified that Meredith returned to the cottage she shared with Amanda Knox at about 9 pm.

Sollecito claimed that he had slept in until 10 am the next day. There was expert prosecution testimony that his mobile phone was actually turned on at 6.02 am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night must have been “sleepless” to say the least.

This alibi was undermined by the eyewitness Antonio Curatolo, the watcher in the park above the house, who testified that he saw Sollecito there.

Sollecito’s difficult situation resulting

Sollecito does not seem to have done himself any favours by exercising his right to remain silent and not to testify at the trial.

As things now stand, he does not have any credible alibi or scenario for the night of the murder. Also it would appear that he has damaged his overall credibility irreparably, by giving three alibis that differed so considerably.

Judge Paolo Micheli had in front of him much of the same evidence. He wrote, in committing Raffaele Sollecito to trial last October, that he considered the triple alibis to be a clear indication of guilt.

There seems to be no obvious reason right now why the present judges and jury would conclude differently.

Posted on 07/29/09 at 10:06 PM by The Machine. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #2 The Footprint Evidence

Posted by The Machine


Preamble

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten parts, with a commentary on matters of key significances.

The material has been reordered so that evidence presented at several points in the trial can be described in one post here. Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony. The first post, below, was on the formidable DNA evidence.

In this post we now elaborate the footprint evidence, some of which is easily visible and some of which is only apparent with the use of luminol. We reported what happened in the court here and here.

Kermit in his Powerpoint series provided us with accurate prior analysis and post analysis of these flootprints and shoeprints, and Kermit also presented a Powerpoint map of the cottage.

1. About luminol

Luminol is a chemical that reacts with the microscopic particles of iron in the blood if a partial but incomplete attempt has been made to clean a bloodstain away.

The blood traces glow a bright blue quite fleetingly in the dark under luminol, just long enough to allow forensic investigators to measure and photograph it.

Luminol evidence can be among the most compelling. If bloodstains show up under luminol, but not to the naked eye, then it is almost a complete certainty that a crime-scene clean-up has been attempted.

Lorenzo Rinaldi is the director of the print-identity division of Italy’s scientific police, the Italian equivalent of Scotland Yard or the FBI. He testified that one visible and three luminol-revealed footprints and a visible shoeprint belonged to the present two defendants, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. (Another shoeprint belonged to Guede, convicted last October.)

2. Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of Meredith’s house. . One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

The fact that there was an absence of any visible bloody footprints from Meredith’s room where Meredith’s blood was to the visible bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom that Meredith and Knox shared strongly indicates that some prints were successfully cleaned away altogether.

A woman’s bloody shoeprint which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body. Barbie Nadeau noted the significance of this evidence on The Daily Beast website:

“When the judge asked Rinaldi the size of an unidentified bloody shoeprint found on the pillow below Kercher’s body, he responded, “Between 36 and 38.” The judge then asked Rinaldi what size shoe Knox wears. “The Skecher shoe we sequestered belonging to Amanda Knox corresponds with size 37.”

The significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint in Meredith’s room is considerable. By itself it debunks the myth that some had propagated for a while, that Rudy Guede acted alone. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

3. Raffaele Sollecito

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 PPT 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.

The next post in this series will be on Friday… Correction! Postponed to Monday. Just too much material.

Posted on 07/22/09 at 09:45 PM by The Machine. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #1 The DNA Evidence

Posted by The Machine



[Above: Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, click for larger image]

Preamble

Nearly 200 hours over 23 days.

That is how long the prosecution took to present its voluminous case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, including time taken by the defense teams to conduct cross-examinations.

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten parts, with a commentary on matters of key significances. The material has been reordered so that for example the DNA evidence presented at several points in the trial can all be described in one post here.

Sources used are the many published reports and some transcripts made of the testimony. All the main witnesses will be named in this series with a brief mention of who they are and their qualifications.

Two past posts that may aid in understanding the DNA testimony are Nicki’s post here and Fiori’s post here. All past DNA posts can be found in this area. 

1. The Large Double DNA Kitchen Knife

The double DNA knife is the knife that was sequestered from Sollecito’s apartment. Although there was an imprint of another knife at the scene, and one defense expert argued that there may have been yet another, it remains plausible that this is the weapon that was used to murder Meredith.

Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni was the leader of the forensic team from Rome that carried out all the forensic collections at Meredith’s house.  She testified unequivocally about the knife. A small sample of Meredith’s DNA was found to be in a groove on the blade, and Amanda Knox’s DNA was found to be on the handle.

Dr. Stefanoni noted that there were peculiar diagonal scrapes on the knife blade, which suggested that the knife had been vigorously cleaned.

Both Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the scientific police, and the Kerchers’ own DNA expert, Professor Francesca Torricelli, provided independent confirmation that this forensic finding is accurate and reliable.

The defence teams’ forensic experts are not disputing that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife. Instead they are arguing that the knife was somehow contaminated for the DNA to actually be there.

Dr Stefanoni has firmly excluded this possibility of contamination in transit or in the laboratory. She testified that there hasn’t been a single instance of contamination in her laboratory for at least the last seven years, and every precaution was taken here to ensure that different traces were not mixed.

A police officer who led a search of Sollecito’s apartment added weight to the prosecution’s assertion that the double DNA knife had been cleaned with bleach. He testified that he had been struck by “the powerful smell of bleach”. 

When Raffaele Sollecito heard that the scientific police had found Meredith’s DNA on the double DNA knife in his apartment, he did not deny the possibility of the DNA being there.

Instead he made a claim about accidentally pricking Meredith’s hand whilst cooking at his apartment. “The fact that Meredith’s DNA is on my kitchen knife is because once, when we were all cooking together, I accidentally pricked her hand.’’

However Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment and so it seems Sollecito could not have accidentally pricked her hand there whilst he was cooking. In attempting to explain the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, he did so in a way easily disproved and seemed to further implicate Amanda Knox and himself.

2. Sollecito’s DNA On Meredith’s Bra Clasp

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, and Dr. Stefanoni has excluded the possibility of any contamination.

This is the bra clasp that was collected some weeks after the first forensic collection and it was conceded that it should have been collected earlier. It was also argued that valid DNA evidence in other cases is often collected weeks or months or even years after the crime when a suspect object is unearthed.

Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno is perhaps not surprisingly claiming that this bra clasp was also contaminated in the laboratory. The problem for them is to explain precisely where such an abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA could have come from, and how it was so firmly imprinted. The only other instance of Sollecito’s DNA at the cottage was found on a cigarette butt in the kitchen, seemingly an unlikely source at best.

It would seem unlikely that the judges and jury will conclude that the bra clasp was contaminated in a strictly controlled laboratory where Dr. Stefanoni follows rigorous laboratory procedures.  She is an internationally renowned and very experienced forensic expert and was part of a Disaster Investigations Team which identified disaster victims via their DNA.

Alberto Intini is the head of the Italian police forensic science unit. Andrea Vogt reported as follows in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Mr Intini’s testimony about the possibility or otherwise of contamination:

“Alberto Intini maintained that the crime scene had not been contaminated and pointed out that laboratory testing revealed none of the investigators’ prints or biological traces. Mr Intini said “In fact, it is the results that tell you if it was done correctly, and I can tell you that in this investigation there was not even one trace of any of our operators.”

He also pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it does not exist. “It is possible in the abstract that there could have been contamination, but until this is proved, it does not exist.”

The prosecution demonstrated on the final full day of testimony that Meredith’s bra was actually removed with a knife some time after she had been killed.

Judge Paolo Micheli presided over the fast-track trial of Rudy Guede and committed Sollecito and Knox to trial. In looking at the identical evidence he asked “Who had a reason to come back, cut off Meredith’s bra, and move her body some time later?”

The present judges and jury might conclude differently, but Judge Micheli concluded that it would only have been done by someone who knew about Meredith’s death and had an interest in arranging the scene in Meredith’s room to point away from themselves. He discounted Rudy Guede, who apparently went home, cleaned himself up, and then was seen out on the town.

3. Mixed Samples Of Blood

There were five instances of Amanda Knox’s blood or DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage in Via della Pergola: the bathroom, the hallway, and Filomena’s bedroom.

Amanda Knox’s blood was found mingled with Meredith’s blood in three places in the bathroom: on the ledge of the basin, on the bidet, and on a box of Q Tips cotton swabs.

Dr. Stefanoni testified that it would have been “strange” that three traces of blood with both Meredith’s and Amanda Knox’s DNA would have been left at different times.

Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek pointed out a reason why the blood stains must have been left on the night of the murder:

“Legal experts who follow this case have suggested that blood evidence cannot be dated and therefore could have been left weeks before the murder. But when Knox testified in her own defense in June, she conceded that there was no blood in the bathroom the day before the murder, effectively dating those blood stains to that night.”

Perhaps Knox had a bloody earring piercing, and maybe a drop landed on a drop of Meredith’s blood. But in three different places? Perhaps it is not surprising that the defence lawyers have not brought up the subject of the mixed DNA in the bathroom in their part of the trial.

Meredith’s blood was found on the top part of the light switch in the bathroom she shared with Amanda Knox. This suggests that it was deposited there when the light was switched on. Meredith’s blood was also found on the toilet lid. There were no DNA or other physical traces of Rudy Guede in that bathroom.

Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA was also found mixed together in a bloody footprint in the hallway of the new wing of the house.

A mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood was also found in Filomena’s room. This seems to be compelling evidence because Knox had never claimed she entered Filomena’s room when she checked the cottage. This room was the scene of the alleged break-in, and there were glass fragments on the floor.

Meredith’s blood had been cleaned up in this room, but it was nevertheless revealed by luminol.

Barbie Nadeau concludes in a Daily Beast report that the mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room seems more incriminating than the double DNA knife: “But perhaps more damning even than the knife was Stefanoni’s testimony that a mix of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the floor in the bedroom of a third roommate, Filomena Romanelli.”

The next post in this series will be on Wednesday.

Posted on 07/20/09 at 08:31 PM by The Machine. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Vital Must-Read PostsOfficially involvedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoPublic evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009AK/RS prosecution
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

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

Posted by Peter Quennell


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 07/18/09 at 12:17 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009Raff Sollecito
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Trial: Defense Witnesses Testify On Cannabis Effects And Meredith’s Mobile Phone

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Nick Pisa’s Sky News report.

1) On the efrfects the claimed smoking of a joint would have had

A toxicologist called by lawyers defending Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the Meredith Kercher murder trial has told the court that smoking cannabis does not make you aggressive.

Dr Maurizio Taglialatela was asked to describe the effects of the drug after the jury heard how both Knox, 22, and Sollecito, 25, had ‘‘smoked a joint’’ the night Meredith was murdered…

Dr Taglialatela said: ‘‘Marijuana can have psychotropic effects for up to six hours from the initial consumption and it can affect the memory in particular, especially short term memory.

‘‘The user will remember clearly what happened before they took the drug and after but the period they were under the influence of it will be very vague.

‘‘Marijuana affects your reaction time and it can make you dream more, it leaves you relaxed but unlike other drugs, such as cocaine, it does not make you aggressive.”

Under cross examination, Dr Taglialatela did say that a violent reaction from the use of marijuana was possible if mixed with alcohol.

2) On a transmission to Meredith’s phone a long way away from the house

The court also heard from mobile telephone expert Bruno Pellero, who was called by Sollecito’s lawyers.

He described how records showed that Meredith’s mobile phone had received a picture message at 22.13 on November 1.

He said: ‘‘This message was received on Meredith’s mobile phone via a cell which does not cover her house and is nearer to the garden where the mobile was found.’‘

The trial has already heard how Meredith returned home at around 9pm and pathologist Luca Lalli told the court he estimates time of death at around 11pm but Mr Pellero’s evidence would suggest she was killed earlier.

Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said: ‘‘This is clearly in line with Raffaele’s alibi as he was at home the whole time.

‘‘It’s clear that if Meredith’s phone had a message at 22.13 via a cell no where near her house then the accusation against Raffaele is crumbling.’‘

Posted on 07/18/09 at 08:05 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceCellphone activityOther physicalTrials 2008 & 2009
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