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Friday, March 11, 2011

Fifth Appeal Hearing: What Will Be On The Agenda Tomorrow In Court

Posted by Peter Quennell


Scheduled for tomorrow are seven witnesses for Sollecito’s defense, which is trying to prove that the eyewitness in the park, Mr Curatolo, got his dates wrong.

One of the ways in which Mr Curatolo identified the night on which he says he watched Knox and Sollecito sitting and talking in the park and periodically peering in the direction of the gate of Meredith’s house was by the presence of some buses.

They may have been the buses which climb up the very narrow Via Ulise Rocchi from the square to some clubs further up. However many, many other buses also pass through that square.

The defense hopes to land its first blow on the prosecution’s case by showing that on the night those nightclub buses weren’t there - that the clubs were closed that night for the holiday, and so the nightclub buses were nowhere to be seen.

Is this crucial? We think not. Mr Curatolo is useful in establishing a possible timeline for the night, but not for much more than that. The prosecution have never given the slightest hint that they believe anything like their whole case hangs on him.

And in Rudy Guede’s brief trial in October 2008 Judge Micheli accepted Mr Curatolo’s testimony as valid because he said he saw Knox and Sollecito on the night before all the police descended on Meredith’s house and the square.

Judge Micheli examines the evidence of Antonio Curatolo. He says that although Curatolo mixes up his dates in his statement, he does have a fix on the night he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana sometime around 11:00 to 11:30pm. Curatolo is certain it was the night before the Piazza filled up with policemen asking if anyone had seen Meredith.

In his evidence, he says they came into the square from the direction of Via Pinturicchio and kept looking towards the cottage at Via della Pergola from a position in the square where they could see the entrance gate.

Judge Micheli reasons in his report that their arrival from Via Pinturicchio ties in with the evidence from Nara Capazzali that she heard someone run up the stairs in the direction of that street. He also reasons that they were likely watching the cottage to see if Meredith’s scream had resulted in the arrival of the police or other activity.

Acceptance of his testimony is already endorsed by two appeals courts, including the Supreme Court of Cassation, and all the decisions and all the evidence from all three courts now get ported into the Knox-Solleito appeal.

You can see photos of the square here and the view down to the gate of Meredith’s house here.

Posted on 03/11/11 at 08:42 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Andrea Vogt: Supreme Court Report Highlights Amanda Knox Mention To Mom She Was There

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Amanda Knox and her mother in courtroom when Edda Mellas testified 19 July 2009]

Andrea Vogt in the Seattle PI translates from the Cassation Report described in our two previous posts.

A sentencing report just released by the highest Italian appeals court sheds new light on why so many Italian judges have maintained Amanda Knox was involved in her roommate’s murder.

The document, among others, cites a conversation Knox had with her parents while under surveillance during a prison visit in which she said “I was there,” apparently referring to the night of the murder.

Amanda Kox’s remark was recorded at Capanne Prison and was long public knowledge, but that the Supreme Court listed it among other evidence of involvement in this report is significant.  The report summarises what is the evidence against all three, especially that against Rudy Guede.

The court…said that based on the 43 wounds to Kercher’s body (and the time it would take to inflict them) that it was… probable that Guede and two others forcibly held Kercher down, threatened, taunted and eventually fatally stabbed her.

The Court’s quoted language is extremely hard and gives a sense that the judges were appalled. The Court’s report has been out in Italy for over four days now - but the Seattle PI’s is the first extensive US or UK media summary.

The US and UK media have a pretty consistent habit of ignoring these inconvenient reports.

Posted on 03/01/11 at 01:07 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedVictims familyPublic evidenceCellphone activityAppeals 2009-2015Hellmann 2011+Amanda KnoxKnox-Mellas team
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Very Hard Language Of Supreme Court In Rejecting Guede Appeal, Confirming Three Did It

Posted by Peter Quennell


The report of the Supreme Court of Cassation released on Thursday was foreshadowed in content in our post of 17 December:

Rudy Guede’s appeal is rejected on all ten grounds. His appeal grounds were ugly and dishonest and he has no further appeal. He will serve his 16 years, with maybe some time off, for being a savage willing party to the cruel stupid murder of Meredith.

Rudy Guede will go down in infamy for his sex crime against a defenseless victim, for being a party to a taunting torturing knife attack, for claiming Meredith invited him in for consensual sex, and for not calling for help for Meredith and maybe saving her life while it was still possible.

Cassation continues the fine Italian court tradition in this case of taking a firm and unblinking position, and for being utterly oblivious to the vile over-the-top campaign of Curt Knox, Edda Mellas and David Marriott which may now haunt Amanda Knox all of her life.

What really caught the Italian media’s attention and made this the second most widely reported development in the case after the Amanda Knox-Raffaele Sollecito verdict was the icy hard language, the pure contempt for the depraved pack attack, the total rejection of all Guede’s stories, including his oft-repeated and totally unbelievable claim that Meredith invited him in and wanted love-making, and the court’s conclusion once again that the evidence methodically described in the Micheli Report overwhelmingly proves that THREE perpetrators took part in the crime.

The Court of Cassation in this report made clear that Knox and Sollecito are not already formally nominated as the other two perpetrators and it does wait the referral of the outcome of the present appeal in Perugia. But unless the defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello can indeed convince Judge Hellman’s appeal court that Guede attacked Meredith with friends or that some other people entirely carried out the attack, there seems no way out for them. 

The court also indicated that it considered the motive of the attack on Meredith to be frivolous, which is precisely what the prosecution claims in the current Perugia appeal as grounds for rejecting Massei’s mitigating circumstances, and for increasing Knox’s and Sollecito’s prison sentences to life terms. 

This post of a month ago further explains Knox’s and Sollecito’s almost insurmountable problems.

The written report from Cassation on that December 2010 decision on Guede’s final appeal (due soon), plus Judge Micheli’s Sentencing Report for Rudy Guede of January 2009, plus all that associated evidence, now gets automatically ported by law straight into Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal.

Judge Micheli took a hard line toward Rudy Guede, and he sentenced him to 30 years. He also remanded Knox and Sollecito to trial, and his report explains the basis for that remand.

Judge Micheli’s remorseless and tightly argued report (see summaries below) very comprehensively backed up his decisions. (Later reductions in sentence were automatic and they flowed from the terms of Guede’s short-form trial, and some controversial mitigating circumstances advanced by Massei for Knox and Sollecito.)

The prosecution’s appeal against the Knox and Sollecito sentences argues that the acceptance of mitigating circumstances by the Massei court should be thrown out, and that Knox and Sollecito should be subjected to a longer sentence. Remember that even in the case of Alessi’s wife, who was not even present when he beat the kidnapped baby to death, she received a sentence of 30 years.

So here is how it is stacking up:.

For the prosecution, four courts including the Supreme Court of Cassation have ruled that three people participated in the crime against Meredith, plus all of the evidence from both the Guede and Knox Sollecito trials now comes in, plus the prosecution is appealing for tougher sentences, which seems well justified based on precedents.

And for the defenses? Will they now feel they have no choice but to put Knox or Sollecito or Alessi or Aviello or for that matter Rudy Guede on the stand as a last-ditch manoeuvre?

Hard to see what further they have to lose.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Explaining The Massei Report: A Visual Guide To The Staged Break-In Via Filomena’s Window

Posted by pat az


Cross-posted from my own website on Meredith’s case at the kind invitation of TJMK.

The Massei Report on the trial and sentencing of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (...1) looks into whether or not a break-in is supported by the evidence available in the room with the broken window.

It concludes that the broken window and room in disarray - Filomena’s bedroom - are an “artificial representation”, ie. that the break-in was staged. After seven pages of review of the evidence, the Massei Report states:

  …the situation of disorder in Romanelli’s room and the breaking of the window pane constitute an artificial representation created in order to orient the investigations towards a person who, not having the key to the front door, was supposed to have entered through the previously broken window and then effected the violent acts on Meredith which caused her death.

What follows is a look at the comments in the Massei report compared with crime scene and other photos. All quotes are from the english translation prepared by unpaid volunteers at PerugiaMurderFile.org. The section on the scenes in the bedroom begins on page 47 and continues to page 55. Some sentences in the paragraphs below have been omitted for brevity, and can be read in full in the original.

Amanda finds the scene:Then (Amanda) went into another room and noticed that the window had been broken and that there was glass inside. She told these things to her and the other girls present. Then she related that she had gone back to Raffaele’s house and had rung Filomena.(p38)(I)n one of the telephone calls to Romanelli,

Amanda spoke of that smashed window and of the possibility that someone could have entered the house through the broken place; she said this also in the telephone call to 112 and in the first declarations to the Postal Police. Also in the e-mail of November 4, 2007, sent by Amanda to 25 people in the US (…), she hypothesises that a burglar could have entered the house and says she looked around to see if anything was missing. (p45)


Filomena Romanelli, disturbed by this phone call, had rung Amanda back without receiving a reply and when, a little later, she had succeeded in speaking to Amanda, Amanda had told her that in her room (i.e., in Ms. Romanelli’s room) the windowpane was broken, everything was in a mess, and that she should come back home. (P30)

Filomena Romanelli had ascertained from a quick check of her room, even though (it was) in a complete mess with the windowpane broken, that nothing was missing. (p31)

It must be held that when Filomena Romanelli left the house in via della Pergola, she had pulled the shutters towards the interior of her room, although she did not think that she had actually closed them; furthermore, because they were old and the wood had swelled a bit, they rubbed on the windowsill; to pull them towards the room it was necessary to use some force (“they rubbed on the windowsill”); but in this way, once they had been pulled in, as Romanelli remembered doing, they remained well closed by the pressure of the swelled wood against the windowsill. (p48)

It cannot be assumed – as the Defence Consultant did – that the shutters were left completely open, since this contradicts the declarations of Romanelli, which appear to be detailed and entirely likely, considering that she was actually leaving for the holiday and had some things of value in her room; already she did not feel quite safe because window-frames were in wood (…) without any grille.

Also, the circumstance of the shutters being wide open does not correspond to their position when they were found and described by witnesses on November 2, and photographed (cf. photo 11 already mentioned).( p50)


Now, for a rock to have been able to break the glass of the window without shattering the outside shutters, it would have been necessary to remove the obstacle of the shutters by opening them up. (…2)

Consequently, since the shutters had been pulled together and their rubbing put pressure on the windowsill on which they rested, it would have first been necessary to effect an operation with the specific goal of completely opening these shutters.

The failure to find any instrument suitable for making such an opening (one cannot even see what type of instrument could be used to this end) leads one to assume that the wall would have to have been scaled a first time in order to effect the complete opening of the shutters,(…3) in order to enable the burglar to aim at the window and smash it by throwing a large stone – the one found in Romanelli’s room. (p48-49)

He would then have to have returned underneath Romanelli’s window for the second climb, and through the broken glass, open the window (balanced on his knees or feet on the outside part of the windowsill) otherwise he would not have been able to pass his arm through the hole in the glass made by the stone) and reach up to the latch that fastened the window casements, necessarily latched since otherwise, if the casements had not been latched, it would not have been necessary to throw a rock at all, but just to open the shutters and climb inside. (p49)


The “climber” (…4) would also need to rely on the fact that the shutters were not actually latched, and also that the “scuri”(..5) had not been fastened to the window-frame to which the broken pane was attached; otherwise it would not have been possible to open them from the outside; nor would it have been possible, even breaking the glass, to make a hole giving access to the house, (…) since if these inner panels had been closed, they would have continued to provide an adequate obstacle to the possibility of opening the window, in spite of the broken pane. (p49)


This scenario appears totally unlikely, given the effort involved (going twice underneath the window, going up to throw the stone, scaling the wall twice) and taking into account the uncertainty of success (having to count on the two favourable circumstances indicated above), with a repetition of movements and behaviours, all of which could easily be seen by anyone who happened to be passing by on the street or actually coming into the house.


But beyond these considerations, there are other elements which tend to exclude the possibility that a burglar could have entered the house through the window of Romanelli’s room.The double climb necessary to attain the height of three and a half metres would have left some kind of trace or imprint on the wall, especially on the points on the wall that the “climber” would have used to support his feet, all the more as both the witnesses Romanelli and Marco Zaroli gave statements indicating that the earth, on that early November evening, must have been very wet (..6) (p50)


In fact, there are no visible signs on the wall, and furthermore, it can be observed that the nail – this was noted by this Court of Assizes during the inspection – remained where it was: it seems very unlikely that the climber, given the position of that nail and its characteristics, visible in the photo 11, did not somehow “encounter” that nail and force it, inadvertently or by using it as a foothold, causing it to fall or at least bend it. (p50)


The next fact to consider is that the pieces of glass from the broken pane were distributed in a homogeneous manner on the inside and outside parts of the windowsill, without any displacement being noted or any piece of glass being found on the ground underneath the window.

This circumstance, as confirmed also by the consultant Pasquali, tends to exclude the possibility that the rock was thrown from outside the house to create access to the house through the window after the breaking of the pane. The climber, in leaning his hands and then his feet or knees on the windowsill, would have caused at least some piece of glass to fall, or at least would have been obliged to shift some pieces of glass in order to avoid being wounded by them.

Instead, no piece of glass was found under the window, and no sign of any wound was seen on the pieces of glass found in Romanelli’s room. It can moreover be observed that the presence of many pieces of glass on the outside part of the windowsill increases the probability of finding some small pieces of glass on the ground underneath, since there seems to be no reason that so many pieces of glass would all stop just at the edge of the windowsill without any of them flying beyond the edge and falling down to the garden below. (p51 & 52)


On this subject it is also useful to recall that at the hearing of April 23, 2009, the witness Gioia Brocci mentioned above declared that she had observed the exterior of the house, paying particular attention to the wall underneath the window with the broken pane, the window of the room then occupied by Filomena Romanelli.


She said: “We observed both the wall…underneath the window and all of the vegetation underneath the window, and we noted that there were no traces on the wall, no traces of earth, of grass, nothing, no streaks, nothing at all, and none [39] of the vegetation underneath the window appeared to have been trampled; nothing” (p. 142 declarations of Gioia Brocci). (51)

This situation, like all the other glaring inconsistencies, is adequately and satisfactorily explained if one supposes that the rock was thrown from the inside of the room, with the two shutters pulled inwards so that they blocked the pieces of glass from falling to the ground below. Once the glass had been broken from inside, the rock was set down at some place in the room, and the shutters were pushed towards the outside, being thus opened from within the room. (p51)


But the fact that all this was in fact just a simulation, a staging, can be deduced from further circumstances. From the photos taken by the personnel of the Questura (photos 47 to 54 and 65 to 66) one can perceive an activity which appears to have been performed with the goal of creating a situation of obvious disorder in Romanelli’s room, but does not appear to be the result of actual ransacking, true searching for the kind of valuable objects that might tempt a burglar.


The drawers of the little dresser next to the bed were not even opened (photo 51 and declarations of Battistelli who noted that Romanelli was the one who opened the drawers, having found them closed and with no sign of having been rifled: see p. 66 of Battistelli’s declarations, hearing of Feb. 6, 2009).


The objects on the shelves in photo 52 appear not to have been touched at all; piles of clothes seem to have been thrown down from the closet (photo 54) but it does not seem that there was any serious search in the closet, in which some clothes and some boxes remained in place without showing any signs of an actual search for valuable items that might have been there (photo 54).


It does not appear that the boxes on the table were opened (photo 65) in a search for valuable items. And indeed, no valuable item (cf. declarations of Romanelli) was taken, or even set aside to be taken, by the – at this point we can say phantom – burglar.

What has been explained up to now thus leads to the assertion that the situation of disorder in Romanelli’s room and the breaking of the window pane constitute an artificial representation created in order to orient the investigations towards a person who, not having the key to the front door, was supposed to have entered through the previously broken window and then effected the violent acts on Meredith which caused her death.

Footnotes

(...1) The Massei Report in English is readable and downloadable via the link at the top of this page. 

(..2) The consultant for the defence actually assumed that this had been done; in his exhibit, he assumed that the shutters were not present in front of the window

(..3): “if the shutters were closed, he could not have passed through, that is obvious”, cf. declarations of the consultant for the defence, Sergeant Francesco Pasquali, p. 22 hearing July 3, 2009.

(..4): (the window in Romanelli’s room is located at a height of more than three and a half metres from the ground underneath, cf. photo 11 from the relevant dossier)

(..5):,which are the wooden panels [scuri=non-louvered shutters in interior of room] that usually constitute the outer side (or the inner, depending on the point of view) of the window [attached to the outer edge of the inner side of the window-frame]


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Limited DNA Reviews - What We Believe Are The Hard Facts On The Double DNA Knife

Posted by ViaDellaPergola


Repeat of my December post as the knife is again back in sharp focus.

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 he was cooking a fish 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, and had certainly not eaten his fish.

But Sollecito STILL lets that highly incriminating statement stand - one that is enough to secure a conviction in an American court all by itself. Sollecito never retracted or explained it. Why not? Why not?

The truth, obviously, is worse. Very, very much worse.

Posted on 01/24/11 at 08:37 PM by ViaDellaPergola. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceDNA and luminolSmoking-gun posts
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fourth Appeal Hearing: Updates On Today’s Court Hearing Which Is Mainly Procedural

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Sapienza University is the largest European university and the oldest of Rome’s three state-funded universities.

  • At noon Italian time ANSA reported that the two DNA experts from Sapienza University have been given 90 days to do their retesting. They will begin their review on Feb. 9, conclude by May 9 and report their findings to the court on May 21.
  • The witness in the square on the night who said he saw Sollecito and Knox, Antonio Curatolo, will be re-examined. This is at the prosecution’s request, not at the defenses’.
  • The DNA experts have asked to break open the handle of the knife they are asked to retest. If Meredith’s blood is found to have seeped into the handle, by itself that will be case closed and verdict confirmed. Decision on hold.
  • The examinations will be carried out in the presence of representatives of all parties. Among them will be Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, the technical director of the forensic laboratory that conducted the original DNA investigations.
  • The prosecution requested Rudy Guede as a witness and that too was put on hold. Yet another shot across the bows of the defense. If Alessi or Aviello are put on the stand then Guede will also be there to heatedly rebut them.
  • The next appeal hearings scheduled by the court of appeal have been set for 12 and 26 March, and April 16 and May 21. May 21 is when the DNA experts will report back so just three days for examination of witnesses.

Judge Hellman is allowing no defense fishing expeditions, and he is giving the prosecution full latitude. Good reason for Giulia Boingiorno not to be in court: her baby was delivered today in Rome. We like her and wish her and the baby well.

Below, images of the two court-appointed DNA experts and of Amanda Knox. The Reuters caption says her lawyers are consoling her. Chris Mellas’s remarks later made it sound like the family is already trying to let her down gently.
.


Posted on 01/22/11 at 03:32 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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The Fourth Appeal Hearing Today Saturday: The Main Items On The Court’s Agenda

Posted by Peter Quennell

Not very much drama is expected. This hearing is mainly organizational.

The mood of the defense lawyers will be interesting to watch. Also whether Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno is a show or a no-show. And we may find out if the possible defense witnesses Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello will actually testify. 

Two DNA experts nominated by Judge Hellman at the last appeal hearing on 11 December for the genetics testing of the bra clasp and the knife will appear and be sworn in and charged with their assignment.

Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti of La Sapienza University in Rome will be asked how long they believe they will need and it is expected that they will ask for two to three months. 

And the court will establish a timetable for the testimony of several new defense witnesses who may challenge one or two components of Antonio Curatolo’s statement. Nick Pisa bizarrely mis-reports on this in the Daily Telegraph:

He had told the court he remembered the night “clearly” as he saw student revellers queuing up to catch buses to nightclubs on the outskirts of the city.

However defence lawyers have established that he could not have seen the students, as the night Meredith was murdered was a bank holiday with venues being shut and no buses running.

Have established that he could not have seen the students? Really? There were other buses than the disco buses running that night. Students were definitely around.

If prisoners Mario Alessi or Luciano Aviello are indeed put on the firm list to testify that’ll be a pretty sure sign that the defenses are really clutching at straws, as in each case their known claims are contradicted by dozens of evidence points .

The prosecution has interviewed both of them and those interviews have not been made public.  Here are more wrong and seemingly irrelevant claims bizarrely reported by Nick Pisa.

Retired British university professor David Anderson, who lives near Perugia and who has taken an interest in the case, said: “The conviction of Amanda and Raffaele is scandalous as neither has the psychological profile of a killer.

“The investigation was flawed from the beginning with many mistakes being made and there is no DNA, no real motive, no weapon and no credible witnesses at all.”

Posted on 01/22/11 at 09:00 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Inaccurate Report By The Associated Press Carried By Over 2,000 Media Sites Is Now Corrected

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above is one inaccurate headline. The witness Curatolo has NOT been convicted of drug dealing. No reason to be feeling encouraged. .

1) From the original A&P release last Saturday

That Antonio Curatolo, the eye-witness in the park, had already been convicted was maybe mischievously planted by Luciano Ghirga (image below) the hands-on lawyer for Amanda Knox.

Or maybe he just made a mistake. This wrong fact was then widely quoted in commentary and blog posts. Total search hits are over 2,000.

A defense lawyer for Amanda Knox, the U.S. college student serving a 26-year prison sentence for the murder of her British roommate, expressed optimism Saturday that a drug charge conviction of a prosecution witness might help the American in her appeal in Italy.

The defense always maintained that Antonio Curatolo, a homeless man in the university town of Perugia, wasn’t a credible witness, Luciano Ghirga told The Associated Press in Rome.

Perugia court offices were closed Saturday, and officials could not be reached to confirm Italian news reports that Curatolo had been convicted earlier in the week for dealing drugs. It wasn’t immediately known what his sentence was or if he had been jailed….

“We have always said that he was not a credible witness,” Ghirga said, referring to Curatolo. “It was the court that held he was credible.” The drug charge conviction “will be an additional thing to help prove the witness is not credible,” Ghirga said in a phone interview.

2) From the A&P correction issued today.

This release states that Curatolo has NOT been convicted. As of noon New York time on Tuesday the number of sites carrying this correction is less than 1,000.

ROME — In a Jan. 15 story about a prosecution witness in the Perugia murder trial of U.S. college student Amanda Knox, The Associated Press, relying on information from a lawyer, erroneously reported that the witness, Antonio Curatolo, had been convicted on a drug charge. Curatolo has been ordered to stand trial on a drug charge, but has not been convicted.

The defenses are seeming pretty desperate. Understandably so. Luckily for justice for Meredith, in Italy as in the US and UK the defenses cannot use a mere charge against a witness to discredit them on the stand.


Posted on 01/18/11 at 10:58 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Claims Amanda Knox’s Confessions Resemble “False Confessions” Not Backed Up By Any Criminal Research

Posted by Fuji



[Above: Perugia’s central police station where Knox, Sollecito and Guede were all interviewed]

Meredith’s case is absolutely riddled with fabricated false myths. 

They are now found by the hundreds on some misleading websites, and they simply make experienced law enforcement and criminal lawyers laugh. 

For example “Police had no good reason to be immediately suspicious of Knox simply because the murder occurred at her residence”.  And “The double-DNA knife is a priori to be disregarded as evidence, because no murderer would retain possession of such a murder weapon.”

One of the most strident and widespread myths is that Amanda Knox’s statements to the Perugian investigators on 5 and 6 November 2007, placing her at the scene of Meredith’s murder, are to be viewed as the products of a genuinely confused mind imbued with a naïve trust of authority figures.

The apparent certainty with which many of Amanda Knox’s most vocal supporters proclaim that Knox’s statements are actual “false confessions” as opposed to deliberate lies is not supported by even a cursory reading of the pertinent academic literature regarding false confessions.

What actually are “false confessions”?

Richard N. Kocsis in his book “Applied Criminal Psychology: A Guide to Forensic Behavioral Sciences” (2009), on pages 193-4 delineates three different kinds of false confessions:

First, a voluntary false confession is one in which a person falsely confesses to a crime absent any pressure or coercion from police investigators….

Coerced-compliant false confessions occur when a person falsely confesses to a crime for some immediate gain and in spite of the conscious knowledge that he or she is actually innocent of the crime….

The final type, identified by Kassin and Wrightsman (1985), is referred to as a coerced-internalized false confession. This occurs when a person falsely confesses to a crime and truly begins to believe that he or she is responsible for the criminal act.

The first problem facing Knox supporters wishing to pursue the false confession angle as a point speaking to her purported innocence is epistemological.

Although much research has been done on this phenomenon in recent years, academics are still struggling to come to terms with a methodology to determine their incidence rate.

The current state of knowledge does not support those making sweeping claims about the likelihood of Knox’s statements being representative of a genuine internalized false confession.

As noted by Richard A. Leo in “False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Implications” (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009):

Although other researchers have also documented and analyzed numerous false confessions in recent years, we do not know how frequently they occur. A scientifically meaningful incidence rate cannot be determined for several reasons.

First, researchers cannot identify (and thus cannot randomly sample) the universe of false confessions, because no governmental or private organization keeps track of this information.

Second, even if one could identify a set of possibly false confessions, it is not usually possible as a practical matter to obtain the primary case materials (e.g., police reports, pretrial and trial transcripts, and electronic recordings of the interrogations) necessary to evaluate the unreliability of these confessions.

Finally, even in disputed confession cases in which researchers are able to obtain primary case materials, it may still be difficult to determine unequivocally the ground truth (i.e., what really happened) with sufficient certainty to prove the confession false.

In most alleged false-confession cases, it is therefore impossible to remove completely any possible doubts about the confessor’s innocence.

The next problem Knox supporters face is that, even allowing for an inability to establish a priori any likelihood of a given statement being a false confession, the kind of false confession which is usually attributed to Knox is in fact one of the LEAST likely of the three types (Voluntary, Compliant, and Persuaded, as Leo terms the three different categories) to be observed:

Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions.

Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, Knox and her statements do not in fact satisfy many of the criteria researchers tend to observe in false confessions, particularly of the Persuaded variety:

“All other things being equal, those who are highly suggestible or compliant are more likely to confess falsely. Individuals who are highly suggestible tend to have poor memories, high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, and low assertiveness, personality factors that also make them more vulnerable to the pressures of interrogation and thus more likely to confess falsely…

Highly suggestible or compliant individuals are not the only ones who are unusually vulnerable to the pressures of police interrogation. So are the developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired, juveniles, and the mentally ill….

They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations… ordinary police interrogation is not strong enough to produce a permanent change in the suspect’s beliefs.

Most significantly, there is one essential element of a true Persuaded False Confession which in Knox’s case is highly distinctive:

To convince the suspect that it is plausible, and likely, that he committed the crime, the interrogators must supply him with a reason that satisfactorily explains how he could have done it without remembering it.

This is the second step in the psychological process that leads to a persuaded false confession.

Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory.

He or she may suggest, for example, that the suspect experienced an alcohol- or drug-induced blackout, a “dry” blackout, a multiple personality disorder, a momentary lapse in consciousness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, or, perhaps most commonly, that the suspect simply repressed his memory of committing the crime because it was a traumatic experience for him.

The suspect can only be persuaded to accept responsibility for the crime if he regards one of the interrogators’ explanations for his alleged amnesia as plausible.

Knox did not in fact claim drug or alcohol use as the source of her amnesia - rather, she claimed to have accepted the interrogators’ attribution that this was due to being traumatized by the crime itself, and she offers no other explanation for her selective amnesia:

This is from Knox’s statement to the court in pretrial on 18 October 2008 with Judge Micheli presiding.

Then they started pushing on me the idea that I must have seen something, and forgotten about it. They said that I was traumatized.

Of course, Knox’s initial statement went far beyond being that of being merely a witness to some aspect of Ms. Kercher’s murder, as the interrogators at first seemed to believe was the case.

Rather, her statement placed her at scene of the murder during its actual commission while she did nothing to avert it, which naturally made her a suspect.

In other words, in the absence of any of her other testimony which indicated that she was only a witness to the murder, her own self-admitted rationale for providing a false confession was that she was traumatized by the commission of the murder itself.

Perugia judges will be familiar with all of the above and we can be sure that they brief the lay judges on the remote circumstances and incidences of false confessions.

If I were a Knox defense attorney, I would find it to be a far more fruitful line of argumentation to argue that she was simply lying, rather than claiming the supremely unlikely provision of an actual internalized false confession.

Posted on 01/13/11 at 05:16 AM by Fuji. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesSmoking-gun postsThe psychologyThose who were chargedAmanda KnoxPublic evidenceOther legal processesThose elsewhereKnox alibis hoaxKnox confession hoax
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Scientific Statement Analysis: Amanda Knox’s Statement To The Appeal Court On 11 December

Posted by Peter Hyatt


As with the previous examples this analysis is cross-posted from Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK.

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:

  • “insidious”
  • “unjust”
  • “nasty”

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.

Note “resembled”

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.

Posted on 01/10/11 at 05:15 AM by Peter Hyatt. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesStatement analysisPublic evidenceKnox alibis hoax
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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 cellphones were tossed down the slope into a garden from this road alongside the city wall.]

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.

They fled.

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..

Posted on 01/07/11 at 06:05 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Report #5 On Perugia: A Walk Along The South (Street) Side Of Meredith’s House

Posted by SomeAlibi

Posted on 01/01/11 at 02:08 AM by SomeAlibi. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Report #4 On Perugia: The Walk From The Basketball Court Through The Intersection To The House

Posted by SomeAlibi

Posted on 12/31/10 at 02:05 AM by SomeAlibi. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceRudy GuedeKnox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibis
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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.

Honestly,

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,

Noted

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.

[illegible section]

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.

Posted on 12/29/10 at 05:08 PM by Peter Hyatt. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesStatement analysisThose officially involvedPublic evidenceAmanda KnoxKnox alibis hoax
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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. 

Posted on 12/26/10 at 10:44 PM by SomeAlibi. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceThe timelinesRudy GuedeKnox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibis
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Report #3 On Perugia: This Is The Walk From Raffaele’s House To The Basketball Court

Posted by SomeAlibi

Posted on 12/23/10 at 06:12 AM by SomeAlibi. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceThe timelinesRudy GuedeKnox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibis
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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.

Posted on 12/22/10 at 11:31 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+
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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.

Posted on 12/21/10 at 05:27 PM by ViaDellaPergola. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceDNA 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



[Above: Dr Stefanoni at trial respoding to a question from Sollecito’s defense team]

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.

[Below: DNA on the blade of the knife(top chart), Meredith’s DNA(second chart), and the two superimposed]



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 [317] 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.

Mr Mignini

:

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.

Ms Comodi

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.

Posted on 12/20/10 at 05:48 PM by The Machine. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceDNA and luminolAppeals 2009-2015Hellmann 2011+
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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.


Posted on 12/18/10 at 08:49 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+
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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





She sure has created an interesting cliffhanger.

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.

Posted on 12/16/10 at 06:36 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+Amanda KnoxKnox alibis hoax
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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. 

Posted on 12/12/10 at 06:09 PM by SomeAlibi. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryPublic evidenceThe timelines
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Proposed Defense Witness Aviello Cell Searched: Could Be Setback For Defenses

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: So-called supersnitch Luciano Aviello as he looked maybe 20 years ago]

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?

Posted on 12/11/10 at 05:06 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe witnessesThe 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.

Posted on 12/06/10 at 06:36 PM by Kermit. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceTrials 2008 & 2009Appeals 2009-2015Hellmann 2011+Knox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibis
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Friday, December 03, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report: Establishing The Time When Meredith Passed On

Posted by Storm Roberts




Introduction

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

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. 

Body Temperature

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.

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].

Conclusion.

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].

Posted on 12/03/10 at 08:29 AM by Storm Roberts. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe timelinesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportSmoking-gun posts
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