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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Analysis #1 Of Testimony Of Marco Chiacchiera, Director, Organized Crime Section, Flying Squad

Posted by Cardiol MD



Dr Chiacchiera with Dr Comodi explaining reason for charges in another case

Overview Of This Series

Yet another vital translation which will be posted in the trial testimony areaof McCall’s great Wiki. This again is translated by the ever-dedicated main posterr ZiaK.

Although I graduated as a medical doctor I also graduated as a lawyer, and was often in courtrooms. For this post and the rest of the Chiacchiera series I am wearing my lawyer’s hat to point out what strikes me in Prosecutor Comodi’s questions,  Marco Chiacchiera’s testimony, and the cross-examinations by defense lawyers.

Prior Preparations And Procedures

Under the Italian Code, before the beginning of the trial phase in Italy, the parties file a brief, detailing all evidence they want to present – the parties have to indicate by name every witness and precisely what these will be asked. The aims include creation of a Record of Admissible Facts.

Also under the Italian Code, both the defendant and the prosecutor can cross-examine each other’s witnesses. The Judge may choose not to admit any testimony that appears patently superfluous, reject irrelevant or improper or irregular questions – such as leading questions, and Inadmissible Hearsay – and also ask questions to the witnesses and experts.

Ground Covered In Dr Chiacchiera’s Testimony

    (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

    (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

    (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

    (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

    (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.


My Assessment Of This Court Exchange

It is immediately obvious to me that this witness is a skilled witness; as such, and given his deep hands-on involvement in the immediate investigation this witness’s testimony is credible.  My assessment therefore is that this was a very good and unflinching witness and that Dr Comodi shows no signs of leading the witness or seeking other than a truthful record.

I have seen prosecutors examine witnesses differently but dont believe the resultant record would have been superior. This would have stood up well in any American court.

Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC]

MC:  Dr Chiacchiera, you carried out your duties where, when, at what moment of the events?

MaCh:  I was and am the director of the Organized Crime Section of the Flying Squad and I am the vice-director of the Flying Squad. The Organized Crime Section is a branch of the Flying Squad that deals with … the term, I think that in this place [i.e. the court] it is enough to say that it deals with organized crime. However, I am also the vice-director of the Flying Squad, for which [reason] I deal with, in the case of need, everything that is necessary [for] the various aspects.

{Witness supplies 5 items of relevant information that Examiner should elicit at beginning of examination.}

MC:  Can you tell the Court how you became aware of events, who called you, when you became involved?

{Examiner asks another triple-question}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness simply answers question as worded by Examiner}

MC:  For now, start to tell us, then maybe I will intervene [NdT: i.e. interrupt with further questions] if necessary.

{Examiner, asking no Q, instructs witness, suggesting provisional forbearance if witness does not make interruptions necessary.}

MaCh:  On the fateful day, at around 12:33, I had gone to the cemetery with my mother. The operations room called me immediately after the discovery of the body.

{Witness begins appropriate narrative response, but Examiner interrupts}

MC:  So the 113? [NdT: 113 is the Italian State Police emergency number]

{Examiner interrupts witness with a Q, suggesting witness's receipt of call from an emergency number, but suggests wrong source-number}

MaCh:  110. The operations room of the Questura called me, and informed me of the happenings in an initially obviously very summarized manner. They said to me that there was a suspicious death, a young woman who lived in via della Pergola. I rushed to the place directly in my mother’s car. I didn’t stop by at the Questura, I didn’t go to get the service [i.e. police] car. I got myself taken to via della Pergola. We took about 15 minutes from the cemetery to there, ten fifteen minutes. In the meantime, I phoned the deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, in the temporary absence of the director, Dr Profazio, who arrived later, who was … he was enjoying a period of leave, and with deputy Commissioner Napoleoni we arrived almost at the same time. We arrived almost simultaneously at the premises. Forensics, too, arrived almost at the same time at the premises.

{Witness supplies correct source-number and resumes interrupted narrative response}

MC:  The Perugia Forensics?

{Examiner questions witness's correction, as if to verify and to ensure accuracy of court's record}

MaCh:  The Perugia Forensics, I highlight, yes.

{Witness emphatically agrees with Examiner's question}

MC:​[They were] alerted by you, or ...?

{Examiner pauses mid-Q, inviting witness to guess complete Q, or is interrupted}

MaCh:​Alerted by the operations room, and also alerted by me.
,
{Witness responds to invitation, or interrupts with A to assumed complete Q}

MC:​So you arrive, and who do you find?

{Examiner's 1st simple Q.}

MaCh: ​I found there ... there was already deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, there were also a few of Meredith’s co-tenants. There was Amanda Knox, there was Raffaele Sollecito. There were two young men who were, I believe, the friend of the boyfriend of one of the co-tenants. In short, there were a few people who had already been inside the house. There was the Postal Police.

{Witness answers Q in reasonable detail}

MC:​In the person of…?

{Examiner seeks more detail re specific Postal Police Personnel}

MaCh: ​Battistelli and another of Battistelli’s colleagues. Inspector Battistelli, with whom there was immediately a discussion in order to understand what were the reasons for his intervention there, because it is not normal to find the Postal [police] in a crime of this sort. And he explained to me immediately what was the reason for his intervention. The origin of the, shall we way of his intervention, was due to the discovery of a pair of cellphones in a period of time, I believe, of an hour, [or] two, I don’t recall clearly, that were one in the name of one of Meredith’s co-tenants and one in the name of, later it [sic] … I mean the SIM [card], obviously, the cellphones’ SIMs, the cards, they were in the name of a co-tenant and the other in Meredith’s [name]. The co-tenant, however, then told us, we then ascertained that both of the cellphones in fact were used by Meredith. And already that was, how shall we say, a first detail on which we began to reflect because, in fact, that was an element than in some way made us [become] immediately occupied/involved from an investigative point of view.

{Witness responds to Q and includes relevant amplifying narrative, anticipating probable future Qs re cellphones}

MC: ​So, excuse me, also if the Court already, shall we say, knows this, because others have reported it, on this point however, where were the cellphones found?

{Examiner seems to interrupt with simple Q to clarify specific relevant fact not yet reached}

MaCh:​Inside the garden of a villa that is in via Sperandio.

{Witness responds appropriately}

MC:​In via Sperandio.

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: ​A villa that ... I am Perugian, [and] honestly, I didn’t even know there was a villa there. I’m Perugian, and I swear that I would have sworn [sic] that behind there was a wood.

{Witness flounders, seems unable to be more specific}

MC:​A field

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: ​It [was] the first time that I went in behind there. Instead, I see a marvelous old mansion with an enormous garden that gives ... that is almost adjacent to the street – the street that leads towards Ponte Rio. Anyone from Perugia understands me maybe.

{Witness seems to be in informal conversational mode}

MC: ​From the structure of the fencing/enclosure, could you tell, shall we say, whether it was possible to throw these cellphones from the street, or whether it was necessary to enter the garden itself?

{Examiner engages witness, and asks Q to clarify how cellphones got into that garden}

MaCh: ​Yes, obviously, we checked that. In fact, immediately, in short, the detail that seemed, how shall we say, of great investigative interest was that [very point], besides other details that I will go [into] a bit [sic], so to speak, also to give the impression of what the immediate impact was that we saw in the moment when we found ourselves in a situation of this type. So, deputy Napoleoni immediately entered inside the house in order to check it for herself. I did it [entered] shortly afterwards, also because [as] you will imagine that in that moment whoever was there had to notify all those who [sic], amongst whom Dr Mignini who was the Public Prosecutor on duty, and immediately give orders so that the correct checks are carried out. Because it was not just a crime scene that had to be analysed immediately: there also had to be, how shall we say, correlated with the information that we had got from via Sperandio – because the entry of the Postal [police in the case] originated with via Sperandio. And so we immediately asked ourselves: “Ah, what are these cellphones belonging to poor Meredith doing inside the garden of a villa?” And then And then immediately after, we asked ourselves, obviously, what might be the profile of the possible, or probable, murderer, and we discussed/talked about the crime scene. The crime scene immediately seemed fairly strange to us, if you wish [NdT: literally “if we wish” in Italian, but meaning the same as “shall we say”, “if you wish”, “so to speak” etc.]

{Witness responds to Q with detailed narrative}

MC:​Why?

{Examiner asks ambiguous Q, probably wrt crime scene seeming "fairly strange "}

MaCh:​Because the door did not show… the entry door to the villa did not show signs of break-in. The we checked …

{Witness seems to decipher ambiguity correctly, begins narrative response, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​We are not talking about the villa on via Sperandio obviously?

{Examiner interrupts with Q, apparently not comprehending Witness's narratives}

MaCh: ​For the love of god! It was called a “villa” … (overlap of voices), let’s say the house, of the house on via della Pergola there was no forcing/break-in. We found a forcing on the window. The window is this one, on the side of the house. I don’t know if you’ve seen the house? Anyhow, it is this one on the side of the house that can be seen immediately when you come down the slope from the gate. Logically reconstructing the thing, a hypothetical prowler [NdT: literally “ill-intentioned person”] who entered the house, breaking the glass with a rock - because inside the room, which was Romanelli’s room, which was the, shall we say, hypothetical arena of the entry, was completely in utter chaos. For that reason, what should we have hypothesized? That the hypothetical prowler took a rock, managed to throw the rock; the shutters, the external ones, the external shutters were not …

{Witness is exasperated at Examiner's apparent incomprehension, is repeating his previous testimony, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​The dark-green wooden ones?

{Examiner interrupts with Leading Q re colour of external shutters. Now begins a confused and confusing colloquy. The arrangement of Filomena Romanelli’s window, with Outside, and Inside Shutters, the Broken-Glass-Frame in-between, and the glass-splinters on the window-sill is complicated and needs a picture-exhibit that the witness can refer-to; this is apparently not provided, leading to the confusions}

MaCh:​The dark-green wooden ones were half shut, for which reason [he] must have had an aim like “Pecos Bill” [NdT: a cartoon Wild West cowboy], takes aim and throws that rock, smashes the window. After, he climbs up and does a turn on the little slope, and has to clamber up towards the window on the smooth surface, it seems to me, that from the ground up to the window there are two and a half metres-three [metres]. And then would have said: “bah, in short” [sic]. Yeah, well, the thing seemed to us…. in short, the first hypothesis that the investigator normally does, finds a level of unlikelihood of this kind of happening. After which, we looked at the house and we saw that an entry of a potential prowler [ill-intentioned person], still reasoning on the hypothesis…

{Witness amplifies narrative response but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​Of theft.

{Examiner inappropriately interrupts, incorrectly guessing what witness was about to say}

MaCh: ​Of theft ending badly. Of theft that then degenerates because the burglar in some way thinks that he will find no-one in the house and instead finds a person, and then it degenerates … We saw that there were easier means of entry, without wishing to bore you, but behind the house there was the possibility of climbing in a much easier way, without being seen by people that might have passed in the road. Let’s remember that, in short, it was not very late; quite the contrary. Normally people passed there, for which reason, if [he] had done it, the thing would probably have been seen. That thing there, as an hypothesis, we didn’t immediately discount it, that’s clear, because it’s a good rule to never discount any hypothesis. But we immediately considered that it was not a priority.

{Witness corrects Examiner's wrong guess, amplifies and seems to end narrative response}

MC:​Dr Chiacchiera, I interrupt you. (The witness is shown an exhibit.)

{Examiner, seems to acknowledge her habit of interruptions without actually interrupting, while introducing an unspecified exhibit. This introduction seems very informal, because Exhibits are normally identified by an assigned title.}

MaCh:​Ah! I didn’t remember it as being so big.

{Witness recognizes unspecified exhibit}

MC:​Precisely! You saw it? This is the rock that ...

{Examiner engages witness, stating it is "the rock".}

MaCh:​Yes, but it has been some time I have not, how shall we say, yes, I saw it. Absolutely.
However, it’s big, it’s huge.

{Witness engages Examiner, commenting on how large the rock exhibit is}

MC:​Do you consider that it could be this?

{Examiner ambiguously (what are "it" & "this "?) asks witness's opinion}

MaCh:​I believe so.

{Witness seems to overlook ambiguity of Q with vague A)

MC:​I try …

{Examiner begins to speak but is interrupted}

Judge Massei [GCM]:​How?

{Court interrupts as if to ask Q how Examiner 'tries'}

MC:​It is this. Yes, it is this one that was collected, yes, that was found.

{Witness seems to confirm that exhibited rock is the rock found in Filomena’s room}

GCM:​So the rock is shown. [NdT: an “aside” for the court records?]

{Court formally announces admission of rock-exhibit, seemingly trying to reduce confusion caused by informal dialogue}

MaCh:​Inside the room where we then found the rock…
??:​But what was the question about the rock?

{Witness amplifies that rock had been found in a room, but enquires re rock Q, exposing confusion caused by informal dialogue}

GCM:​If this was the rock. And the witness said ...

{Court begins explanation to confused witness}

MaCh:​I said yes. Yes.

{Witness interrupts Court - confusion reigns}

GCM:​You saw it? You saw the rock?

{Court asks witness 2 Qs, trying to clarify that 'it' refers to 'the rock' that witness saw.}

MaCh:​Yes.

{Witness confirms that witness had previously seen the rock introduced into court as an unlisted exhibit.}

GCM:​When you saw it, where was it?

{Court proceeds to clarify confusion re where the rock was when witness originally saw the rock}

MaCh:​The rock [was] in the room of Romanelli.

{Witness specifically testifies, for witness's first time, that when witness originally saw the rock, the rock was in Filomena Romanelli’s room}

GCM:​How far from the window? Can you say?

{Court continues to seek clarification using double-Q.}

MaCh: ​A few centimetres [NdT: “un palmo” = “a hand’s width”] from the window sill, under the window, from the wall where the window is.

{Witness testifies clearly in answer to Court's 1st Q of above double-Q.}

GCM:​So from the internal perimeter wall, from where the window gives onto it, a “hand’s breadth”. So 20 centimetres…

{Court apparently begins to seek verification of witness's testimony, but is interrupted}

MaCh:​Mr President ....

{Witness begins to Interrupt Court}

GCM:​... away from it approximately.

{Court finishes his interrupted statement}

MaCh:​Yes.

{Witness agrees with Court's completed statement}

GCM:​And this is the rock. You remember it.

{Court states his understanding in form of Qs.}

MaCh:​Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is the rock.

{Witness impatiently agrees with Court's understanding}

MC:​At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it corresponds thus to the one that was collected [as evidence].

{Examiner makes statements in form of Q, seeking verification of resemblance of exhibit-rock to original rock}

MaCh:​At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it absolutely corresponds. If it was collected, I think that ...

{Witness begins narrative agreement with statements of Examiner, but is apparently interrupted by Examiner}

MC: ​Very well. WITNESS [sic? Should be MaCh?] and Romanelli’s room was a complete shambles. The clothes were on the floor, the glass was strangely on top of the clothes, the [glass] shards were strangely on top of the … on the windowsill, let’s put it that way.

{Apparent Transcriptional confusion attributing to interrupted witness narrative the interrupting .statement of Examiner}

MC:​The outside one.

{Examiner seems to amplify statement of Examiner wrt which window-shutter witness had been referring-to}

MaCh: ​The outside one, precisely. The one that is between the shutters and the shutters [sic. NdT: “imposte” in Italian, but this can also mean shutters, or flap, as in the inner “scuri” shutters, or he may mean the window-frame itself, with the window-panes, given his following description], the green shutters and the shutters, the broken ones in short, where the glass is. The shutters – the wooden ones. The rock was a bit too close with regard to the wall if I [were to] throw it from least two metres. Unless it was lobbed [i.e. thrown in a high arc]. But in that case it’s rather unlikely that it would smash the glass. For that reason, I repeat, in the context of immediate likelihood, this one …

{Witness agrees with Examiner that he was referring to "The outside one", continuing with narrative of reasoning, but is interrupted by Examiner…}

MC:​Yes, it’s true. These are considerations. However they are considerations, shall we say, that refer [sic], because they are reasoning/lines of thought that are formed in the “immediacy” of the events [NdT: i.e. “in the immediate aftermath”. NOTE: throughout the text, a number of speakers use “immediatezza” (lit. “immediacy”) to convey a number of meanings, from “in the immediate aftermath”, or “in the immediate surroundings”, or “very soon after”, etc. I will translate them appropriately according to the context, without further explanation of the use of “immediatezza”], in order to proceed in one direction rather than another.

{Examiner, interrupting witness, apparently agreeing with witness's reasoning. While Examiner is apparently stating his own argumentative reservations re the possible evolution-in-time of witness's changing lines of reasoning, he is interrupted by Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito defense lawyer:}

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]: ​I never like to interrupt an examination [of a witness], however if one wanted, between the Public Prosecutor’s hypotheses, to do that [sic] of demonstrating that from a ballistic point of view it is not possible, then the ballistic expert should be called.

{GB interrupts Examiner to comment that Witness and Examiner are expressing opinions on Ballistics that require the testimony of a Ballistic Expert.}

MC:​But in fact, his considerations are not the considerations of an expert: they are the considerations of an investigator who made certain deductions in the immediacy of the events.

{Examiner argues that witness's testimony is that of an investigator's temporal train of thought.}

MaCh:​It happens to us too, at times, to reason/think rationally …

{Witness joins colloquy, amplifying Examiner's argument.}

GCM:​These reasonings/deductions, then determined your investigative activity in one direction rather than in an …?

{Court seems to invite further amplification by witness}

MaCh: ​Yes, obviously, Mr President. I was trying to ... (overlap of voices) it is a premiss/basis to be able to then, how shall we say, reach – I won’t say conclusions – but in order to try to understand what our way of broaching the thing was, there and then. We had, I reassert, reasoned immediately also on via Sperandio. So the first thing, I may say, [was] the unlikelihood, or at any rate it was not the top priority hypothesis, the one of a prowler/ill-intentioned person entering. The open door without signs of break-in. But above all, a young woman who is [sic] probably killed in her own room, nude or almost nude, with a wound of that type, in a lake of blood, covered with a duvet. I repeat, the door was not smashed/wrecked, there’s a broken … a window broken with a thrown rock, how can I say, it’s obvious that we immediately found this situation as … (overlap of voices).

MaCh:​… particular.

{Witness further amplifies narrative}

GCM:​You formed these considerations, and what did they lead you to?

{Court asks simple Q.}

MaCh: ​That very probably the author or authors knew the person, or at any rate that the author or authors did not enter … did not enter from the window-pane of that window.

{Witness responds with his conclusion that the authors of the faked break-in did not enter from the window-pane of that window.}

GCM: ​Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, … there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

{Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}
_________________________________________________

This segment of Chiacchiera’s Testimony re the Crime Scene, which he believed had been remodeled by the criminals to dupe Investigators into believing that there had been a burglary, committed by a single criminal, is paused here because it is so prolonged.

Analysis of Chiacchiera’s Testimony will continue in a future post.

 

Posted on 09/14/14 at 09:18 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceThe timelinesThe locationsKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisOther physicalThe many hoaxesThe Guede hoax
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Monday, February 03, 2014

Guide For Smart Media: Note Extensive Hard Evidence In Exceptionally Fair, Careful Legal Process

Posted by Media Watcher



[Accurate Italian media recreation of attack based on masses of closed court evidence 2009]

Vital media history in 2009

In Italy and Europe generally the guilt of the two is almost universally perceived.

One reason is that although about 1/4 of the trial in 2009 was behind closed doors (quite the opposite of the “tabloid storm” and “show trial” Americans have been told about)  Italians in particular got to find out about the long (15 minutes), remorseless, highly sadistic attack on Meredith.

Late in the attack, she let out a huge scream. It may have been then that Knox forced in the final stab. At the end Meredith was left lying on her back on the floor, in immense pain, with her hands clutching her neck, trying to stop the life-blood running out.

Meredith had been undressed post-attack, her phones had been removed to stop her calling for help, and her bedroom door was locked. Cruel and barbaric in the extreme.

US reporting from trial in 2009 was actually for the most part good. Andrea Vogt and John Follain and Barbie Nadeau and Ann Wise all did exceptional jobs. Even one of Seattle’s own newspapers (Hearst’s Seattle PI) ran many unflinching reports.

Italy’s foreign media portrayed a sharp and incisive prosecution, a defendant (Knox) who was a disaster in her two days on the stand, and a floundering, half-hearted defense, which was really spinning its wheels. 

Vital media history in 2010

It was only in 2010, after trial, with an automatic appeal coming up, that the defense campaigns (acting largely illegally under Italian law) took advantage of a number of quirks in the situation to try to dupe Americans into believing the conviction was flawed.

The Italian system speaks mostly through its public documents, not police or prosecutors or judges, and the 2009 trial judge (Massei) issued a superb, very long explanation of why guilt was found, in Italian, in Spring 2010.

This compelling Italian document was posted online in Italy by the Justice Ministry in Rome, and widely read and summarised in the media in Italy itself. And so the logic and legitimacy sunk in.

In the United States, in sharp contrast, not one media outlet translated that report. Not one.

The only accurate translation into English was prepared by the Italian speakers and lawyers on our sister website, PerugiaMurderFile dot Org.

With US and UK media news cutbacks around the world, and especially in Italy, the media since has largely accepted the spin straight from the defense campaign, as exceptionally propagated by the Associated Press and a couple of “tame” networks in the US. 

As a consequence, the coverage has become overwhelmingly biased in favor of Amanda Knox.

Today’s US media state of play

Misleading and false information about the prosecution case and the evidence presented has been repeated so often that many people now accept as fact outright lies.

This includes the absurd claim by defense attorney Ted Simon that “there is no evidence.”  (Which ironically even Ted Simon himself disputed - see post below - in an NBC Dateline report that was taped before he signed on to represent Amanda Knox.)

It didn’t have to be this way.  Reporters from the NYTimes, Rolling Stone, ABC, CNN, and others have done their readers/viewers a huge disservice, by distorting the factual record, and by supporting a false narrative in which it’s simply unthinkable that an attractive young woman could ever be caught up in a crime so heinous.

Which ignores the fact that shocking crimes have often been committed by people who seem incapable of such violence, which in this case means “too white, too young, too female, and with the types of connections - including to a King County Superior Court judge - that most criminals simply don’t have.”

Fortunately, Harvard’s formidable law professor Alan Dershowitz is among the many prominent attorneys who have reviewed the facts of the case more dispassionately and has said more than enough evidence was presented to support a guilty verdict.

Now the defense, with the complicity of much of American media, seems intent on fueling anti-foreigner bias in order to circumvent an extradition request from Italian authorities, which would come after the Court of Cassation finally signs off. 

Pointers for smart media

As someone who has read through all of the available court documents and much of the media, and who has more than 25 years’ experience helping national media to understand complex, technical stories, here’s my take on the issues the media should consider as they continue to write about this case:

One - Formidable Legal Experts Say the Evidence is Strong

First off, before ever repeating or suggesting that there is a lack of evidence, remember that renowned civil rights attorney and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been on the winning side of 13 of 15 murder and attempted murder cases, has said that the evidence supports a guilty verdict and that none of this media frenzy would even be happening if Knox were not a young, attractive, white female.  (include link here to Dershowitz on CNN). 

Two - Italy’s Justice System Has Important Differences from the U.S.

As Dershowitz has explained, there is no “double jeopardy” because Italy has a three-stage process, and we are nearing the end of the second stage.

In this case, Knox was first found provisionally guilty by the trial court.  An appellate court decision to reverse that decision was set aside by the Supreme Court and a second appellate court has now weighed in.  Once this appellate court publishes its rationale, the decision is again subject to appeal.  If appealed, the appellate decision will not become final until the Supreme Court weighs in. 

Unlike in the U.S., at all levels of the three-stage judicial process (original trial, appeal, appeal to Supreme Court) in Italy, juries and judges are required to explain the rationale behind their decisions in legal documents.  These documents are important and anyone who reports on this case should read the underlying source documents.

It is an enormous benefit for defendants to understand how and why a jury convicted, because it makes the chances of filing a quality appeal much higher.  Italy does many things to protect the rights of defendants, and requiring juries to defend their decisions to convict are among them. 

Three - Amanda is a Convicted Felon for the False Accusation

Because the Supreme Court has already affirmed the calunnia verdict for her false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, Amanda is now a convicted felon.  Remember that Patrick Lumumba was a man she worked for and she stood by her accusation for several weeks, never formally withdrawing it.  Lumumba was only cleared when his alibi was independently verified. 

Four - The Questioning was Not Unusually Harsh

On the question of whether Amanda was treated unfairly and/or questioned harshly, in the aftermath of a murder, people are questioned fiercely here in the U.S. all the time.  Amanda was not considered a suspect until she put herself at the scene of the crime and until her alibi(s) clearly conflicted with those of Raffaele Sollecito.

She was not a reluctant witness.  In fact, she volunteered to answer questions on the night Sollecito was being questioned.  (The prosecution asked him to come in alone.)  Knox and Sollecito have each offered numerous, conflicting accounts of what they were doing on the night in question.

Five - Study the Cell Phone Evidence

The cell phone evidence is compelling.  Few American media have paid any attention to the cell phone evidence, but the original jury gave it significant weight and it was discussed at length in the original sentencing report.  You should read it.

Six - Look at the Photos of the Blood in the Bathroom

The DNA evidence is also compelling.  There is clear evidence of Amanda’s DNA mixed in with Meredith’s blood in multiple places in the bathroom.  The photos that show the amount of blood – all Meredith’s - in the bathroom Amanda and Meredith shared is compelling.  Amanda has said she assumed the large amounts of blood were from someone being messy after having a period.

Once you take a look at the blood on the faucets, you realize that given the sheer amount of blood, a woman having a period would have had to stand up over the sink and drip blood from the pelvis down onto the handles to make that scenario real. 

Instead, of course, given that Amanda herself said the bathroom did not have obvious blood earlier that evening, the blood had to have come from someone (and it couldn’t be Guede given that his footsteps led from the murder scene to outside) who was cleaning up after the murder and was covered in Meredith’s blood.

There is also mixed DNA of Meredith and Amanda in Filomena’s bedroom.  No one has offered a plausible “innocent” explanation for how a blood spot with mixed DNA from Meredith and Amanda could have ended up in Filomena’s bedroom.

Seven - What was the Lamp Doing in Meredith’s Locked Bedroom?

A lamp from Amanda’s room was found locked in the bedroom where the murder took place.  It’s difficult to imagine any scenario where a lamp would be taken from another room and locked into the scene of the crime other than that it was used to look for evidence during the cleanup and then inadvertently forgotten.

And again, keep in mind that Guede’s bloody footprints lead directly from the bedroom to the entrance of the flat.  He took off just after the murder happened and never returned.

Eight - Rudy Guede Did Not Act Alone

The break-in was clearly staged and there was no credible defense argument given to refute that.  Again, given that Guede’s footprints led directly from the scene of the murder to the front door, he clearly was not involved in any after-the-fact coverup/cleanup, which meant someone else was.

Nine - Consider Amanda’s Middle of the Night Call to Her Mom

Amanda called her mother in the middle of the night Seattle time before the murder was even discovered.  It was the first and only time she’d done this from Italy.  When asked about it, Amanda claims to not remember having made the call.

It defies credibility to suggest that it was mere happenstance that Amanda decided to call her mother after the murder, wake her up from a sound sleep, and then not remember she had done it.  Instead, the far, far more likely scenario is that she realized she was in serious trouble and reached out to her mother instinctively.

And this happened before a body was even discovered.

Ten - “Contamination” Resulting in Sollecito DNA - How Again?

The defense claimed that there was contamination of the bra clasp and that’s why the DNA from Sollecito was not reliable.  Contamination had to be the defense claim because there was no question that it was actually Sollecito’s DNA.  Keeping an open mind, how would Sollecito’s DNA get on the bra clasp even through contamination?

There was only one other spot of Sollecito’s DNA found in the apartment and that was a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt.  Sollecito’s DNA was never near the bra clasp or near the equipment that was used to do the testing on the bra clasp at the time the bra clasp was tested.

In fact, at the time the DNA on the bra clasp was tested, it had been more than seven days since any DNA testing from the crime had been done in that lab and everything had been thoroughly cleaned.  How did any DNA from Sollecito get transferred to the bra clasp?

And if you agree with the defense claim that “when it comes to contamination, anything is possible,” then you should consider whether that same standard should also be applied to the thousands of people in U.S. prisons who have been convicted of murder or rape in part on the basis of DNA evidence.

Eleven - DNA on Knife - Study the Analysis with an Open Mind

The DNA evidence from the knife was considered questionable because the method used was relatively new and frankly, some people didn’t seem to understand the underlying math/analysis that supported the conclusion that it was Meredith’s DNA.

Sollecito himself tried to create a plausible alternative scenario by claiming that Meredith’s DNA ended up on the knife when he accidentally pricked her on a night she had dinner at his flat.  Except that that dinner never happened.  He’d known Amanda only a week, and of course Meredith never went near Sollecito’s flat.

Twelve - Should the U.S. Abandon Its Treaty Obligations Because of Popular Opinion?

An Italian jury convicted Amanda Knox of murder in Italy, and that conviction has now been upheld by an Italian Appellate Court that reviewed all of the evidence.  The decision has now been supported by renowned legal experts here in the U.S. who have also closely examined the evidence presented.

If the U.S. is going to refuse to extradite Knox on the basis of popular opinion which has been inflamed by shoddy reporting, then we should acknowledge that the court of public opinion is the only one that matters and perhaps we should consider whether the U.S. or any country needs jury trials at all.

Perhaps we should just poll the public after highly publicized trials and let that verdict be the one that stands.

We are ready to help

There are multiple other pieces of evidence and issues linked to here to consider beyond my list above. They are all here on this site and the Wiki and the two PMFs (links in left column above).

Content on those 4 sites is for the most part presented by successful, highly qualified lawyers and experts i(including some who are Italian) in all of the relevant fields. 

If you are going to write on or report about this case, please consider starting by reading the actual court documents, beginning with the document that was written by the judge and jury involved in the original trial.

Relying on the defense PR team and on previously published media reports will not help you understand the case because so much of what has been reported is completely and wildly inaccurate.

Also you have a responsibility to get reporting on this case right because if and when Italy submits an extradition request for Amanda Knox, it’s important to not fan the flames of a potential international incident by blowing this case up into something it’s not.

It is is a murder trial where the weight of the of evidence is strong enough to convince a Harvard law professor who has worked on many murder cases that Knox’s guilt will likely be affirmed by Italy’s highest court.

Posted on 02/03/14 at 08:56 AM by Media Watcher. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedRudy GuedeAmanda KnoxPublic evidenceThe timelinesKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisAppeals 2009-2014Florence appealThe many hoaxesNo-evidence hoax
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Continuing Enormous Strength Of The Evidence Which Defenses Seem To Have Abysmally Failed To Shake

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above Judge Massei at Meredith’s house with panel-of-judges members early 2009]


What this Florence appeal is REALLY about

There is much confusion on this, sowed by various at-distance commentators who don’t read the Italian press or the excellent English-language reporters right there on the spot.

This is NOT a re-trial. This is a FIRST appeal by Sollecito and Knox against the guilty verdicts and sentences Judge Massei awarded them late in 2009. It is being repeated since their defense teams helped to bend the first (Hellmann court) iteration of the first appeal two years ago.

Since the end of 2009 they have been provisionally guilty of murder and other crimes, subject to final ratification by the Supreme Court, which has not yet occurred. Judge Hellmann decided to let them out and travel worldwide. Many think his decision on this was legally weak.

Was there prime-face justification for this appeal?

Under US and UK law many lawyers and judges think the judicial process could have stopped right there in the US and UK, because the grounds for appeal the defenses came up with in 2010 were essentially innuendo about DNA and little else.

But the pro-defendant Italian system unlike almost any other in the world allows appeals if any are filed to automatically go forward. So the bent, stretched-out and illegally wide-scope Hellmann appeal of 2011 was the first result.

Appointed apparently in illegal circumstances to replace the highly-qualified Judge Chiari (the lead-judge for criminal appeals, who then resigned) Judge Hellmann was ill-qualified at best - he was not a criminal judge and had handled only one other murder trial before, which he got wrong.

The annulment of the first first-appeal

The Supreme Court very rarely completely annuls any trial or appeal. But in this case in March 2013 it did just that, on a large number of grounds.

The 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court in Florence starts with the early-2010 Massei report plus new guidelines from the Supreme Court. Nothing else floated since early 2010 counts.

This case seems to break all records ever for (1) defamatory and dishonest PR; (2) dirty tricks, many illegal, by the defense; (3) dishonesty by those accused in two defamatory books and multiple statements to the press; and (4) greed and blood money while the process still goes on.

Contempt of court trials and investigations have commenced to push back, Amanda Knox is particularly at risk because her book contains false accusations of crimes (again) and she defies the Supreme Court in not paying Mr Lumumba his damages though she destroyed his business. 

Suggested Reading: Part One

Sooner or later (no necessarily now) read all the must-read posts in this group here, all the open questions for Sollecito in this group here, and all the open questions for Amanda Knox in this group here.

1. Getting up to speed on the 2008 RS and AK charges

Our four-part summary of Judge Micheli’s report is the best thing to read (scroll down) especially Micheli’s argument that ONLY Knox had any reason to re-arrange the crime scene - she lived there and needed to point evidence away from herself.

Also read Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s many mutually contradictory attempts to provide one alibi for both.

2. Getting up to speed on the 2009 RS and AK trial

The prosecution performed brilliantly and left the defenses despondent and out-classed (paving the way for more dirty tricks in 2010-13) and we were told that two defense lawyers nearly walked off.

To get a flavor of how badly the defenses did, read this post and this post on Knox’s absolutely disastrous stint on the stand. From there the defense portion of the trial really went downhill.

To get a flavor of how well the prosecution did read about the damning reconstruction (known about in all of Italy but not widely elsewhere) described here and here.

3. Getting up to speed on the Massei 2010 Report

The most vital read of all is the short-form version of the Massei Report by Skeptical Bystander and a team on PMF dot Org. If you have no time to read any posts, make sure to read that.

The other vital reads, not here but on the new “The Murder Of Meredith Kercher Wiki”, are the overview of the evidence and the chart of evidence synopsis.

We had a large number of posts starting in 2010 checking out whether in all details the Massei Report got it right. Read this first take.

4. Getting up to speed on the crime-scene scenario

Vital to understanding the Massei court’s crime-scene scenario which Prosecutor Crini espouses, wade through this excellent reconstruction of the crime in a long Powerpoint by our lawyer James Raper with the Powerpoint whizz Kermit.

About Part Two

The next part of our most-recommended reading from 2010 to 2014 will follow after the verdict to help correct the ill-informed debate over whether Knox goes back to jail.

It hardens the case and in our view leaves no holes for RS and AK to wiggle through. We will point the post to those arguments that anyone tries to raise.

Posted on 01/29/14 at 11:00 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceThe timelinesKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisThe computersDNA and luminolThe two knivesAppeals 2009-2014Florence appeal
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Crime-Scene Clean-Up: How Rudy Guede’s Diary Provides Even More Proof That It Happened

Posted by pat az





This post is crossposted from my own place. Here is one of my previous crime scene analyses on TJMK.

Rudy Guede was ultimately declared convicted by the Supreme Court in 2010 of participating in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

The prosecution claims the two other participants are Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito are currently appealing their conviction of the same crime.

The case against the three of them involves a suspected clean up of the hallway in the apartment after the crime. Meredith’s blood was found in the bathroom, and half a footprint in her blood was found on the bathroom mat. However, there was no visible blood between Meredith’s bedroom and the bathroom.

The only visible blood in the hallway were faint partial shoe prints that led directly out the front door of the apartment.

After the murder was discovered, the media reported almost daily on developments in the case. The day of the murder, the press reported on the blood found in the bathroom and the bedroom.

But until police used luminol at the apartment on December 18th, the media didn’t report on any significant blood found in the hallway.  Between November 2nd and December 18th, only one person stated that significant amounts of blood had been in the hallway.

Rudy Guede.

Rudy Guede actually wrote about it in his diary between Nov 20th and Dec 6th, after being captured in Germany.






The police arrived at the apartment on November 2nd. According to media reports, the blood they spotted immediately was only in the bathroom and Meredith’s bedroom.  When the scene was more closely examined, after the discovery of the body, police found visible blood patterns on the floor left by Guede’s left shoe as he left the apartment.

None of the people who arrived in the apartment on the afternoon of November 2nd reported seeing them; these footprints are not in any of the stories of the events of Nov 2nd told by Amanda Knox nor Raffaele Sollecito. So, while these prints were visible, they were not substantially obvious.

On December 18th 2007 investigators applied Luminol in the hallway and other bedrooms. This forensic chemical is used to detect blood which has been cleaned away. The Luminol revealed several footprints in the hallway between the bedrooms of Knox and Meredith. Example below. Some of these footprints were leading towards Meredith’s door.



They also discovered prints in Filomena’s room which contained Meredith’s DNA and Amanda Knox’s DNA. They also revealed a footprint in Amanda Knox’s bedroom. (The defense unsuccessfully contested the investigator’s conclusions that these prints were made with blood).

On November 19 2007, an international arrest warrant was issued for Rudy Guede. He was arrested in Germany on November 20th. Guede remained in Germany until his extradition on December 3rd.

During his stay in jail in Germany, Guede wrote a long statement that was published and translated. Guede’s writings are similar to to Knox’s jail writings in many ways - they both try to write out their own detailed version of events, while pointing blame elsewhere. 

But Guede’s comments may in fact be confirmation of a clean-up after the murder of Meredith Kercher (emphasis added):

I am asking myself how is it possible that Amanda could have slept in all that mess, and took a shower with all that blood in the bathroom and corridor? (Guede, Germany Diary, P21)

The police did not find evidence of any other blood until December 18th, AFTER Guede returned from Germany. As indicated above, the luminol revealed multiple footprints in the hallway, in Knox’s bedroom, and in Filomena’s bedroom. The image below shows these results in blue. Guede’s partial footprints are shown in red.






The conclusion is inescapable: Guede knew there would be significant evidence of blood in the hallway, before the police themselves found that evidence.

How did Guede know there would be more blood found in the hallway, before the police found that evidence on December 18th? And why wasn’t that blood there on the morning of November 2nd?

The courts believe the blood in the hallway was cleaned after the murder of Meredith Kercher. And the Micheli and Massei courts believed only one person had the motivation to hide this evidence: Amanda Knox.

Here is a summary of Judge Micheli’s October 2008 indictment finding.

In Judge Massei’s December 2009 trial finding for the original conviction of Knox and Sollecito, he also writes about the clean-up that the judges believed to have happened:

Further confirmation is constituted by the fact that, after Meredith’s murder, it is clear that some traces were definitely eliminated, a cleaning activity was certainly carried out. In fact, the bare foot which, stained with blood, left its footprint on the sky-blue mat in the bathroom, could only have reached that mat by taking steps which should have left other footprints on the floor, also marked out in blood just like (in fact, most likely, with even more [blood], since they were created before the footprint printed on the mat) the one found on the mat itself. Of such other very visible footprints of a bloody bare foot, on the contrary, there is no trace. (Massei, Dec 09; PMF translation)

In defense of Guede, Knox, and Sollecito, some might try to claim that Guede heard about blood in the hallway in the news. Rudy Guede was arrested 18 days following the murder of Meredith Kercher. During that time he had access to read the news and watch reports.

I have searched for articles in the period between November 2nd and December 18 which mention blood. All of the articles I have found so far discuss blood in the bedroom or the bathroom. One or two discuss footprints leading to the front door.

None of them discuss blood in the hallway that would justify a statement from Guede of “tutto quel sangue nel bagno e sul corridoghe” (all that blood in the bathroom and in the corridor)

Guede himself said he went between the bedroom and the bathroom, so may have tracked blood into the bathroom and therefore known blood would be found in the hallway.

Even that knowledge however confirms a clean-up, as there was not a trail of blood between the bathroom and Meredith’s room that justifies the footprint on the bathmat and blood found in the bathroom.

I have my own questions as a result of Guede’s knowledge of blood in the hallway:

Could the attack have started in the hallway? Could the first blood shed have been on the hallway tiles?

The prosecution and courts argue that Amanda Knox had a role in the attack and murder. Knox and her supporters are very adamant that there is no trace of Knox in Meredith’s bedroom. While the courts argue otherwise, could Knox’s role have been limited to the hallway?

Sadly, we may never know the full truth of what happened on the evening of November 1st, 2007.

My timeline of media reports on blood

  • Nov 2nd: Meredith Kercher found. Blood found in bathroom.
  • Nov 5th: Police analyzing traces of blood from apartment below.
  • Nov 5th:  A “trail of blood” is on the inside handle of the door to the apartment.
  • Nov 7th: reports of Amanda Knox’s statements, includes finding blood in the bathroom.
  • Nov 14th: Police use of Luminol at Sollectio’s house. First reports on the knife seized by police from Sollecito’s house.
  • Nov 19th: Analysis of blood in bedroom (pillow, bra, etc).
  • Nov 22nd: Guede’s prints in blood.
  • Nov 27th: Amanda Knox’s blood on bathroom tap.
  • Nov 28th: Blood in bathroom.
  • Dec 5th: Reports of Guede’s letter to father: “there was so much blood”.

My timeline of main events involving Guede

  • Nov 2nd, 2am – 4:30 am: Guede seen by witnesses at Domus nightclub.
  • Nov 3: Guede leaves Perugia for Germany
  • Nov 11: Guede’s cell phone tracked in Milan (Corriere)
  • Nov 12: Newspaper reports a 4th suspect.
  • Nov 19: Guede identified as suspect in newspapers
  • Nov 19: Guede skype conversation with friend.
  • Nov 20: Patrick released from prison.
  • Nov 20: Guede arrested while trying to return to italy on train in Germany.
  • Nov 21: Guede interrogated by German police; Guede admits to being at apartment, blames an italian man for murder.
  • Nov 20-Dec 5: Guede writes diary in German prison.
  • Dec 3:  Germany grants Guede’s extradition back to Italy.
  • Dec 6: Guede returns to Perugia.
  • Dec 7: Guede interrogated by Magistrate.
  • Dec 14: Guede ordered to remain in prison.
  • Dec 17: Knox is questioned by Mignini.
  • Dec 18: Police use luminol in apartment and find footprints in hallway and in Filomena’s bedroom.
Posted on 11/10/13 at 11:57 AM by pat az. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe timelinesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009Appeals 2009-2014Guede appealsCrime hypothesesRudy GuedeAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThe Guede hoax
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #1: The Timing Of RS Phone Events By Coordinated Universal Time

Posted by Cardiol MD





Updating our scenarios

TMJK’s core focus has long been upon “What happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia, on the night of November 1-2, 2007?”

Over the last 4+ years, more than 20 TJMK posts, with more than 400 comments, have addressed the subject of possible scenarios and timelines for those events. They represent a lot of thought and many are worth reading if you haven’t come across them before.

This post is the first in a series that will reappraise the more probable speculations, using the current state of our information.


Coordinated Universal Time

Because our objective knowledge of the actual events is inherently limited, but the cumulative evidence is overwhelmingly large, each post will focus on a different aspect of that evidence, starting with the most reliable, accurate, and precise facts – the UTC Telephone Traffic Records created by the telephone systems of Italy, the USA, and the UK.

UTC [Coordinated Universal Time], “…is used for civil timekeeping all over the Earth’s surface…”

Therefore, for example, the timings of the mobile-phone, and landline-phone calls between Sollecito, in Perugia, Sollecito’s father Francesco, in Bari, and Sollecito’s sister, in Puglia, are precisely recorded – their Start, End, and Duration timings – but not their content. The Locations of the phones at those times are also detectable.

It’s almost as if the phone-users are wearing criminal-offender ankle-monitors.

The same goes for all the other civil-calls relevant here, including those between Knox, in Perugia, and her mother in Seattle.

As will be demonstrated, Knox & Sollecito falsehoods are decisively exposed as such by UTC and there are many open questions which they havent yet been made to confront.

Coordinated timekeeping is crucial. Uncoordinated timekeeping can result in the reporting of events before they have even occurred.

For example there were extensive extrajudicial arguments about the time-of-arrival of the Postal Police. I counted over 100 refs to this in the various books about the murder.


The water-leak and RS phone records for the night

Here is the UTC-recorded Telephone Traffic of Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone beginning with the entire day of 1.11.07 [from Massei Translation beginning p. 318]:

− 00:00:39 an outgoing call, just after midnight

− 00:57 an incoming SMS 319

− 14:25 an incoming call which lasted 58 seconds

− 16:50 an incoming call, coming from the mobile phone of the father, lasting 214 sec.

− 16:56 another call from the father (64 sec.)

− 20:42:56 call from the father (221 seconds):

This last is the conversation which Dr. Francesco Sollecito referred to, made at the end of the film he had just seen in the cinema, which the father recommended to the son, at which point Raffaele informed his father of the problem with the water leak in the kitchen.

The whole water-leak story is based on statements from the Defendants and their familial relatives. There is no separate proof.

Open questions:  Is this story an elaborate, and so-far successful, obfuscation?  What leaked? What stopped the leak?  Is thewater-leak story linked to the knife? Is it linked to the time-of-death.

More open questions:  The incriminating kitchen-knife was scrubbed-clean? Well, almost.  Where was it scrubbed? When was it scrubbed? It was assumed the knife was scrubbed in Sollecito’s sink.

Suppose (as TJMK reader Domingo recently conjectured): “they deliberately disconnected the u-bend tube to make sure that it was cleaned out and that there was no DNA residue trapped there…” and that they did have difficulty reconnecting it properly, hence the leak.”

That would be AFTER the murder.  While trying to eliminate DNA-residue, that residue would now be all over the floor of a place Meredith had never been.  Hence the elaborate obfuscation?

Would Father Sollecito agree to indicate that the water-leak had occurred BEFORE the murder? Of course he would. From the Massei Report with regard to the day of 2.11.07

− 06:02:59 Sollecito Raffaele received the SMS from his father wishing him a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07 [page 342]

Here is Amanda Knox, in the e-mail dated November 4, 2007: “We did not go out.”

Soon thereafter, she and Raffaele also left and went to Raffaele’s house‚ to watch a movie, have dinner and spend the evening and the night at home)wrote re night of Nov. 1-2, 2007 [Massei p.63] “

Here, spontaneously, not under any alleged police pressure, Knox publicises her alibi.

− 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds.

Open questions:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing for over 4 minutes? Didn’t Raffaele know they had killed Meredith? Weren’t the phones already dumped? Wasn’t the break-in already faked? Hadn’t the clean-up been in-progress?

In Honor Bound (Kindle Locations 400-403). Sollecito acknowledges this call, writing: 

“My father called my landline a little before nine thirty the next morning to make sure we would be ready for our day trip to Gubbio. I was too groggy to talk. I’d been up several times in the night— listening to music, answering e-mail, making love— and wanted only to go back to sleep. Amanda got out of bed and said she was going home to shower and crawled back under the covers.”

− 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds.

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?

− 09:30 the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell (the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30)

No apparent response – and probably not a private-signal.

- 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)

− 12:38: Vodafone sent a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)

− 12:40: incoming call from the father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?

− 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320

Open question:  What were Raffaele and Vanessa discussing ?

− 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called ‚112‛ to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)

− 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112‛ (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

− 13:40:12: incoming call from the father (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)

− 13:50: the father called for 178 seconds (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell) [343]

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing for 3 minutes now?

− 14:33: the father called for 21 seconds (as above)

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?

− 17:01: the father called for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station .

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?

− 17:42: the father called for 97 seconds (as above).

Open question:  What were Raffaele and his father discussing now?

With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)

− on 31.10.07 Raffaele received *a call+ from the father’s fixed line (No. 080-3958602) at 22:14 for 44 seconds

− on 1.11.07 *he+ called the father’s house at 00:02:41 for 262 seconds

− on 3.11.07 at 14:16 note was made of two attempted incoming calls from the father’s fixed line.

For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing. ”

(To be continued.)

Posted on 06/01/13 at 03:26 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe timelinesKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisOther witnessesThe many hoaxesKnox's bookSollecito's book
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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Welcome To New Arrivals #1: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

Posted by Some Alibi



[Merediths window is seen on the top floor of the house in the lower foreground]

Welcome

This briefing was first posted with slightly different opening paras at the start of the annulled Hellmann appeal. New arrivals often tell us this helped them the most.

If you’ve come to this website because of the Amanda Knox book and interview, then welcome.  Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The Knox book and interview seriously cherrypick the case, and perhaps haven’t helped you at all.

On the Internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito; and you will find people who are passionate in their support of an exceptionally talented girl who died, of a fine justice system previously untainted by PR, and of the prosecution’s very strong case. 

My own arrival

Placing my own cards on the table here: as a twenty-plus year practising trial lawyer, I am firmly a part of that latter camp.  But it wasn’t always that way.

It was information – evidence – that changed my views. What became very clear to me, early on, was that very few people in the English-speaking world are aware of anywhere near all of the evidence in this case.

I had thought I had grasped the core of the case, but I had not.  The case is deep and complex, and like many criminal cases, the complete facts behind it have been only sketchily reported in the media. Even less-so in the US and UK.

Huge swathes of recent developments have not been reported in English at all except here on TJMK. This post and this post for example are extremely key but all those facts can still only be read in English here.

The unanimous jury

I am sure that we all agree that no trial jury, in any murder case, given the awesome responsibility of adjudicating on (young) people’s lives for a multi-decade period of imprisonment, condemns people lightly.

It should be a matter of logic that the evidence presented against the accused must have been deep and satisfied the 6 lay jurors and 2 judges on the case in 2009 for them to pronounce that huge judgement. That doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be the possibility of a mistrial, but clearly the evidence presented must have been substantial.

In this, we’ve already hit the first problem.  Some supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will tell you there’s no evidence against them. 

This is patently silly.  No jury ever convicts people and sends them to prison for 24 plus years without being quite convinced of the case against them.  Miscarriages of justice do happen, but the idea that there is “no evidence” can be summarily dismissed. 

The only question is whether the evidence is sufficient, true and accurate.

The voluminous evidence

So is the evidence enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?  The six lay jurors and two professional judges thought so, clearly.  What you realise, when you come to the facts of the case, is that the evidence is based not around a single key event but on multiple points. 

It can be astonishing to realise that the case is based not only on DNA evidence but also on cellphone evidence and computer records and further yet on multiple conflicting and contradicting versions of what happened that night from the mouths of the accused, not to mention falsely accusing an innocent man of responsibility for murder causing his incarceration. 

The wealth of evidence is actually extremely unusual for a murder case. It goes way beyond the volume of evidence resulting in a death sentence in the quite similar Scott Peterson case.

The Massei Sentencing Report

What is absolutely new to the English speaking legal world is that the reasoning for the trial conviction can be read in an extremely detailed 440+ page trial report online. 

This trial report is back front-and-center now in light of the Supreme Court’s March decision to anull the first appeal. You can read an effective executive summary by the PMF translation team here.:

It was my privilege to play an extremely small part in that translation and summary work.  People from four different continents with backgrounds in forensic science, law, academia and a host of other disciplines participated in the work. 


The Knox PR campaign

If you are new to this case, you will likely be shocked how much evidence there is against the convicted parties.  Amanda Knox’s family have spent over $1m and involved a professional PR agency called Gogerty Marriot to suggest otherwise in the English-speaking media. 

You might wonder why an innocent person needs a million dollar PR campaign on their part.  Make yourself a coffee and read the conclusions at the end of Judge Massei’s report. It will take you about 15 minutes.  Up until you read this report, almost everything you watch, hear and read is PR spin and is quite deliberately positioned to make you believe there is no case.

When you complete it,  I believe you will have a very different take. That 15 minutes could change your ideas about everything you thought you knew about the Meredith Kercher case.

A quick tour of the evidence

Consider as you read this what is your own possible explanation for each of the following:

  • the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on Meredith’s bra-clasp in her locked bedroom;

  • the almost-entire naked footprint of Raffaele on a bathmat that in *no way* fits that of the other male in this case – Rudy Guede;

  • the fact that Raffaele’s own father blew their alibi that they were together in Raffaele’s flat at the time of the killing with indisputable telephone records;

  • the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the knife in Raffaele’s flat which Raffaele himself sought to explain as having been from accidentally “pricking” Meredith’s hand in his written diary despite the fact Meredith had never been to his flat (confirmed by Amanda Knox);

  • the correlation of where Meredith’s phones were found to the location of Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guedes’s flats;

  • the computer records which show that no-one was at Raffaele’s computer during the time of the murder despite him claiming he was using that computer;

  • Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s in five different places just feet from Meredith’s body;

  • the utterly inexplicable computer records the morning after the murder starting at 5.32 am and including multiple file creations and interactions thereafter all during a time that Raffaele and Amanda insist they were asleep until 10.30am;

  • the separate witnesses who testified on oath that Amanda and Raffaele were at the square 40 metres from the girls’ cottage on the evening of the murder and the fact that Amanda was seen at a convenience store at 7.45am the next morning, again while she said she was in bed;

  • the accusation of a completely innocent man by Amanda Knox;

  • the fact that when Amanda Knox rang Meredith’s mobile telephones, ostensibly to check on the “missing” Meredith, she did so for just three seconds - registering the call but making no effort to allow the phone to be answered in the real world

  • the knife-fetish of Raffaele Sollecito and his formal disciplinary punishment for watching animal porn at his university – so far from the wholesome image portrayed;

  • the fact that claimed multi-year kick-boxer Raffaele apparently couldn’t break down a flimsy door to Meredith’s room when he and Amanda were at the flat the morning after the murder but the first people in the flat with the police who weren’t martial artists could;

  • the extensive hard drug use of Sollecito as told on by Amanda Knox;

  • the fact that Amanda knew details of the body and the wounds despite not being in line of sight of the body when it was discovered;

  • the lies of Knox on the witness stand in July 2009 about how their drug intake that night (“one joint”) is totally contradicted by Sollecito’s own contemporaneous diary;

  • the fact that after a late evening’s questioning, Knox wrote a 2,900 word email home which painstakingly details what she said happened that evening and the morning after that looks *highly* like someone committing to memory, at 3.30 in the morning, an extensive alibi;

  • the fact that both Amanda and Raffaele both said they would give up smoking dope for life in their prison diaries despite having apparently nothing to regret;

  • the fact that when Rudy Guede was arrested, Raffaele Sollecito didn’t celebrate the “true” perpetrator being arrested (which surely would have seen him released) but worried in his diary that a man whom he said he didn’t know would “make up strange things” about him despite him just being one person in a city of over 160,000 people;

  • the fact that both an occupant of the cottage and the police instantly recognised the cottage had not been burgled but had been the subject of a staged break-in where glass was *on top* of apparently disturbed clothes;

  • that Knox and Sollecito both suggested each other might have committed the crime and Sollecito TO THIS DATE does not agree Knox stayed in his flat all the night in question;

  • the bizarre behaviour of both of them for days after the crime;

  • the fact that cellphone records show Knox did not stay in Sollecito’s flat but had left the flat at a time which is completely coincidental with Guede’s corroborated presence near the girl’s flat earlier in the evening;

  • the fact that Amanda Knox’s table lamp was found in the locked room of Meredith Kercher in a position that suggested it had been used to examine for fine details of the murder scene in a clean up;

  • the unbelievable series of changing stories made up by the defendants after their versions became challenged; Knox’s inexplicable reaction to being shown the knife drawer at the girl’s cottage where she ended up physically shaking and hitting her head.

In conclusion

This list is not exhaustive. It goes… on… and on… and on… And yet, those supporting Knox, many of them intent on making blood money, will tell you that’s all made up, all coincidental. 

Really?  Does the weight of all that evidence sound made up to you?

If so, it must be the most over-rigged criminal case in the history of crime.  Unlikely beyond all and any reasonable doubt.

Judge Massei’s report explains why the jury found the defendants guilty. I truly expect you will be astonished at the amount of evidence if all you’ve done is watched a film or read a few press reports. 

For any questions thereafter, please join us and post them on truejustice.org or perugiamuderfile.org .  You’ll find here a host of good people who are all working on a totally volunteer basis, in memory of the only victim of this crime.

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher. RIP.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Tips for The Media #4: In Fact Guede Absolutely Couldnt Have Attacked Meredith Alone

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Bongiorno in 2011 trying to rattle an unshakable Guede claiming Knox and Sollecito did the crime]


The convicted murderer Rudy Guede to this day claims that Meredith let him into the house, so we cut him no slack for that.

But at the same time he was no drifter or serial knife carrier, he had no police record in 2007 (unlike Knox and Sollecito), and no drug dealing or breaking-and-entering has ever been either charged or proved.

In October 2008 Judge Micheli mistrusted and sharply rebuked a witness who claimed it just might have been Guede who broke into his house.

Guede seriously discounted his role on the night of Meredith’s death, but some physical evidence (not a lot) proved he had played a part in the attack. Thereafter his shoeprints lead straight to the front door.

Neither Judge Micheli nor Judge Massei nor the Supreme Court believed he acted alone or had any part in the very obvious cleanup that had been carried out.

The Knox and Sollecito defenses failed miserably to prove he climbed in Filomena’s window, and they never even TRIED to paint him as the lone attacker. That is why in 2011 we saw two of the most bizarre defence witnesses in recent Italian legal history, the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello, take the stand

Alessi got so nervous in claiming Guede told him Guede did it with two others that he was physically sick and had to take time off from the stand.

Aviello claimed his brother and another did it (not Guede) but then claimed the Sollecito family via Giulia Bongiorno floated bribes in his prison for false testimony.

Tellingly, although Bongiorno threatened to sue Aviello, she never has. Even more tellingly, Judge Hellmann himself initiated no investigation and simply let this serious felony claim drop dead.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of 20 reasons why Rudy Guede did not act alone, and why not one scrap of evidence has ever been found for any other two other than Knox and Sollecito themselves. 


1.    Included in Guede’s Supreme Court’s Sentencing Report was the fact that Meredith sustained 43 wounds

This fact was omitted from the Hellmann & Zanetti [H/Z] Report, for reasons that readers can only guess. This fact was also omitted from the Massei Report, probably out of humane respect for the feelings of Meredith’s family.

Its inclusion in the Supreme Court’s Report reflects the report’s factual completeness.  The PMF translation reads, in relevant part:

c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone….

Including the number of minutes occupied by an initial verbal confrontation, the escalation of that confrontation into taunting and then the physical attack, leading to the infliction of 43 wounds, and to the fatal stabbing, how many minutes would all of this occupied?

The prosecution estimated it took fifteen.


2.    Meredith had taken classes in dance and played sports (football, karate)

See the Massei Translation, p23


3.    Meredith was a strong girl, both physically and in terms of temperament

See the statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie (hearing of June 6, 2009). and description of her karate “sustained by her strong character” (Massei Translation, pp23, 164, 366, and 369).


4.    Meredith must have been ‘strongly restrained’

See the Massei Translation, p371; p399, in the original


5.    Meredith she remained virtually motionless throughout the attack

That was in spite of Meredith’s physical and personality characteristics [Massei Translation p369]  [Massei Translation p370-371].


6.    The defensive wounds were almost non-existent

See the report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos. Massei Translation p370.


7.  One killer alone could not have inflicted the 43 wounds with so few defensive wounds.


8.    There must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime

See the Massei Translation p377.


9.    A lone killer would have to use at least one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to hold one knife.

To use 2 knives a lone killer would have to place 1 knife down, leaving blood-stain[s] wherever it was placed, and then reach for the other knife. Even wiping the blades on the killer’s clothes, using the one hand, and later scrubbing of the knives would not erase all the blood, as has already been demonstrated.


10.    Two killers could divide their attacks by one killer using both hands/arms to restrain Meredith

Meanwhile the other killer used one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to use the various knives. Could a lone killer accomplish all that?


11.    The clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear) had been removed.

See the Massei Translation p.370

“It is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.” [Massei Translation p.370]



12.    Meredith’s sweatshirt had been pulled up and removed.

See the [Massei Translation p.370


13.    Meredith’s bra had been forcibly unhooked

See the Massei Translation p.370


14.    Meredith’s bra had been torn

See the Massei Translation p.370


15.    Meredith’s bra had been cut

See the Massei Translation p.370


16.    Violence to Meredith was revealed by the genital swab.

See the Massei Translation p.370

.
17.    In the H/Z Appellate Proceedings, not only did Sollecito’s Lawyers not allege a lone killer

They themselves brazenly introduced false testimony to the effect that there were two other killers.


18.    Even H/Z did not deny the complicity of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Even H/Z seemed to conclude they are probably guilty, but not beyond a reasonable doubt:

… in order to return a guilty verdict, it is not sufficient that the probability of the prosecution hypothesis to be greater than that of the defence hypothesis, not even when it is considerably greater, but [rather] it is necessary that every explanation other than the prosecution hypothesis not be plausible at all, according to a criterion of reasonability. In all other cases, the acquittal of the defendant is required.” [H/Z p.92]



19.    Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial, found that Guede did not act alone

And that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.


20.    Judge Massei’s court found that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

He concluded they were joint perpetrators with Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher


Overwhelming, right? Is it really reasonable to claim as Sollecito did in his book that Guede was a lone-killer?  Doesn’t all this contradict the lone-killer theory beyond a reasonable doubt?


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Dissecting The Hellmann Report #5: Their Obfuscation of Time of Death and Of Legal Blameworthiness

Posted by Cardiol MD



[View down on Meredith’s very well-lit house from the apartment above witness Madame Nara Capezzali’s]


Surreal Documentary Context

We have a very surreal situation on our hands. One perhaps without legal precedent. As previously in this series the legal document being analysed here is the Hellmann-Zanetti appeal report. 

1) No main media in the US or UK have put that appeal report into English or done any serious legal analysis.

2) Nor have they translated the original trial report by Judge Massei or done any serious analysis of that.

3) Nor have they translated the tough and detailed appeal to the Supreme Court by the Chief Prosecutor of Umbria, Dr Galat, which was summarised and analysed by Yummi here. The meticulous PMF translation team should complete its translation soon.

4) None of the books on the case at present bring the legal developments up to the present or get into the details of the very tough Galati appeal.

Meanwhile the Knox and Sollecito teams are racing to get out their books in the US, with media interviews being scheduled, presumably in the hope that this vacuum of hard facts described above continues and they can fill it with their own kind of PR spin.

Of course none of this impinges on pending legal events in Italy where interested Italians have a radically different and more informed view. Except only to make sure everything is done correctly and firmly to the letter. 

As usual, Knox and Sollecito are coming across as if they are on a different planet. Not one good lawyer seems to be explaining things to them, or even be of top of things for that matter.


On Hellmann-Zanetti on Time of Death

In this series, my previous posts explained the distortions and illogicalities in the Hellmann-Zanetti appeal report in the passages on the calunnia (false blaming of Patrick), witness Curatolo, and witness Quintavalle, and also the seeming prejudicial language used throughout. 

Vital reading in advance of this post is Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death by my fellow lawyer James Raper.

He explained the difficulties of being precise about Meredith’s time of death, and he commented on Hellman-Zanetti as follows.

The first point to note here is that Hellmann misinterprets the first Court’s findings. He ignores the fact that the first Court did determine a TOD between 11pm and 11.30 pm as probable based on the pathology alone, and gave reasons for this.

None of the expert testimony is rehearsed, let alone re-evaluated by Hellmann.  He proceeds merely to discredit the reliability of the witnesses as to the other elements such as the scream etc.

One recalls that Nara Capezzali says that she heard a scream sometime between 11 and 11.30 pm. That there was a broken down car and the breakdown driver came and went between perhaps 11 and 11.15 pm.

As mentioned earlier his hypothesizing about the other elements leads him to a TOD of not later than 10.13 pm although this time seems a very random one based on what he presents. He talks in this section about Guede’s statement that he arrived at the cottage at 9 pm.

One suspects that if Hellmann could have fixed the time of death at 9.15 pm or 9.30 pm then he would have done so as either time would be a get out of jail free card for Knox and Sollecito.  He did not, but he got them out of jail nevertheless with his hypothesizing - here and elsewhere in his report.

So perhaps not surprisingly Dr Galati in his appeal to Cassation devotes nearly 3000 words to taking apart Hellmann-Zanetti’s arguments on Time of Death, under these 4 headings:

  • Defect or manifest lack of logic in the sentencing report
  • The intercepted chat [Guede on Skype]
  • Meredith’s mobile phones
  • The testimony of the three women [Capezzali, Monacchia, and Dramis]

Hellmann-Zanetti is politely but explicitly excoriated. In Dr Galati’s summarising of his own arguments he states this:

The claimed timing of the death of Meredith Kercher demonstrates a manifest illogicality in the reasoning, contains an unfounded assessment, and is manifestly in contrast with other court documentation of the case.

The internal and external inconsistencies of Hellmann’s statements on the topic constitute [yet another] violation of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Here are some examples of H/Z’s flood of reasons-to-doubt AK/RS’s guilt listed under Time of Death and not specifically mentioned in previous Dissections [my emphases]:

  • Capezzalli “…was not able to pinpoint an exact time…”
  • “…the source of those [the scream and other] noises is not certain at all….”
  • “…Monacchia’s testimony does not allow the time of the scream to be pinpointed at 11:30 PM, rather than at 11 PM or even before.”
  • “…she heard a loud scream of a woman, of which she could not however locate the source with certainty.”
  • “The witness was not more accurate about the time, she could not connect it to objective data, but in her first testimony [verbale], when she presented herself to the investigators (the transcript of November 8, 2008 used for the indictment) she mentioned [aveva indicato] ʺ… at about 11 PMʺ. Monacchia’s statements therefore increase the ambiguity, as circumstantial evidence, of Capezzali’s statements instead of resolving it.”
  • “Dramis, in fact, said that she went to sleep at around 11‐11:30 PM, and that she woke up later (without being able, however, to specify how much later, while not excluding that it could have been 11:30 PM) due to the noise of quick footsteps, but she could not specify their direction, nor if they were produced by one or more persons, and she also noted that such events are not at all uncommon in this place….. We find ourselves, therefore, confronting a piece of circumstantial evidence (scream and footsteps) [which is] extremely weak for its ambiguity, since it cannot even be placed with certainty in time.”



On Hellmann-Zanetti on Blameworthiness of Defendants.

As an example of a possible tendency under any legal system, Canadian law has already strayed-away on this subject, over a period of about nine years, and was only recently brought-back only by an Appellate ruling. So attempts to derail Italian law on this issue may be inevitable:

Canadian criminal law aims to maintain proportionality between the stigma and punishment attached to a conviction and the moral blameworthiness of an offender, in R v. Martineau (1990) the Supreme Court of Canada held that it is a principle of fundamental justice under sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that a conviction for murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a subjective foresight of death. In so doing, the court effectively declared sections 213 and 229(a)(i) and (ii) of the Criminal Code of Canada lacking in constitutional muster.[7]

Section 213(a) provided that a conviction for murder would lie for any killing that was “objectively foreseeable as a result of the abominable nature of the predicate crimes…inter alia…coupled with intentional infliction of bodily harm”.[7] . This largely equated with a Canadian form of felony murder, though it is technically closer to constructive murder in other jurisdictions.[8] .

Nevertheless s. 229(c), which provides for a form of constructive felony murder in situations where “an accused for an unlawful object did anything knowing that it was likely [on an objective standard] to cause someone’s death” is still operative, as confirmed in a 1999 appellate court decision”

Common-Law ‘Malice’ has historically required that an accused “knew, or ought to have known that the relevant act was wrong.”

In that “ought” lies an escape hatch.

What we believe as to the blameworthiness of these three offenders is obvious - they were committing a premeditated felony-sexual-assault using means which were foreseeably lethal, and actually were lethal.

Hellmann-Zanetti have already made clear what their blameworthiness opinion would be, although they have evaded reaching the issue by arguing reasonable doubt that two of the offenders were involved in Meredith’s murder, and deserve no blame for it whatsoever.

A legal issue which may eventually need to be addressed is whether a conviction for murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt using a subjective foreseeability of death standard or using an objective foreseeability of death standard.

If a subjective foresight of death were ever applied to a found-guilty AK & RS, they could plead that they just didn’t foresee that pricking Meredith’s neck with those knives could kill her; it was just a prank. For example “we were only hazing her; anyway, we were either mentally-ill or drugged or just plain dumb.”

If an objective foresight of death finding were ever applied to a found-guilty AK & RS, who were obviously committing a felonious assault using foreseeably lethal means, Meredith would get True Justice.

Posted on 09/06/12 at 02:33 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dissecting The Hellmann Report #4: The Contortions To Dismiss Witness Quintavalle

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Above: Images of Mr Quintavalle’s Conad store; he serves at far left, his cashier serves at far right]


Scroll down here for previous posts in this series.

Mr Quintavalle owns the Conad franchise at the lower end of Via Garibaldli, about halfway between Meredith’s place and Sollecito’s. Judge Massei in his trial sentencing report had stated this about Mr Quintavalle on page 83:

This Court deems that the testimony of Quintavalle is reliable. It was discovered that Inspector Volturno did not ask Quintavalle if, on the morning of November 2, he saw Amanda Knox in his shop.

He was asked – so Quintavalle recalled - about purchases made by Raffaele Sollecito. Mr. Quintavalle did not say anything about having seen Amanda Knox on the morning of November 2, 2007 in his shop because he was not questioned about this and because, as indicated by Quintavalle himself, he considered this fact to be insignificant.

This post exemplifies how the Hellmann-Zanetti web of deception uses a flood of reasons-to-doubt in its attempt to discredit Massei’s conclusion that Quintavalle was a reliable witness. Remarkably, the judges did not even recall Mr Mr Quintavalle, and mostly they work from the brief summary of his testimony in Massei’s report and little else.

Quintavalle’s testimony is key to the guilty verdicts against Knox and Sollecito, and contrary to Hellmann-Zanetti’s improper purpose; therefore they proceeded to systematically “disprove” Massei’s conclusion, stating this on page 39:

Indeed, Quintavalle asserts that she left without having purchased anything.

Verbatim from the hearing of March 21, 2009:

The Hellmann report here proceeds to selectively quote the hearing-transcript in a manner contrary to the usual and customary English-language meaning of “verbatim”. It may be that Hellmann-Zanetti meant to indicate that only the words they did quote were verbatim, and that their ellipses indicated innocent omissions. However the effect of their omissions is not innocent.

…If they had asked me…also because, I repeat, I, when the young lady came into my store, I did not see her leave with anything, because when she passed by and passed by again, when she left and I saw her, out of the corner of my eye I saw her leaving, I did not see that she had a shopping bag or anything in her hands.

PRESIDING JUDGE [PRESIDENTE]: You are speaking of the morning of November 2?

ANSWER: The morning of November 2. I don’t know if she bought anything, I don’t know. My cashier doesn’t remember if she bought anything, I am not able to say whether she bought something or not…”

If one wanted to maintain that perhaps Quintavalle is wrong, because she actually did purchase something, it would be correct to observe that if he could be wrong on this point, and also about the clothing she was wearing, then he could also be wrong about the identification of the young woman [giovane] as Amanda Knox.

Finally, the testimony of the witness Quintavalle does not seem reliable, and, in any case, represents an extremely weak piece of circumstantial evidence.”



Examples of Hellmann-/Zanetti’s flood of Reasons-to-Doubt [That AK/RS are Guilty] :

From Hellmann-Zanetti pages 39-43:

Quintavalle

Another piece of evidence [uno degli elementi] on which the Court of first instance based its conviction of guilt is represented by the testimony of the witness Quintavalle, owner of a grocery store in Corso Garibaldi, not far from Sollecito’s house but also just a few minutes from via della Pergola: he in fact asserted that he saw, early in the morning of November 2, a young woman enter[sic] his store after having waited for it to open, whom he later recognized as Amanda Knox.

According to the prosecution (and to the Court of first instance), this circumstance proves that, contrary to the alibi she gave, she did not sleep at Sollecito’s house until late in the morning, but went very early to Quintavalle’s store, as she urgently needed to acquire a cleaning product suitable to clean the house in via della Pergola of her own traces and those of Raffaele Sollecito, before the police could intervene and take samples, since it was inevitable that sooner or later the alarm would be given because of what had happened.

In reality, even under the assumption that the circumstance is true, this would be a weak piece of circumstantial evidence, incapable in itself of proving guilt even presumptively; but in any case this Court holds that the testimony of the witness is not very reliable, in particular in what concerns the identification of the early‐morning client with Amanda Knox.”



(1) Reason-to-Doubt #1:  “…INCAPABLE IN ITSELF of PROVING guilt even presumptively….”

The reader is being steered away from a level of doubt that is beyond-reasonable, and towards the territory of reasonable-doubt-that -AK/RS-are-Guilty. 

“INCAPABLE IN ITSELF” improperly isolates the issue from all the other considerations which should simultaneously-be-taken-into-account.

“PROVING” improperly implies an inappropriate standard of ‘certainty’.

….this Court holds that the testimony of the witness is NOT VERY RELIABLE, in particular in what concerns the identification of the early‐morning client with Amanda Knox.

Logically “not very reliable” does not exclude “reliable” but Hellmann-Zanetti presumably don’t intend to concede that Quintavalle is reliable; this betrays Hellmann-Zanetti’s extreme bias and determination to exclude Quintavalle’s damning identification of [their client?] Knox.

Later on page 38:

In fact, he presented himself to the police only a year later, following intense urging by a young apprentice journalist…..”

This is a misleading reference to Antioca Fois; see Massei page 84:

He later spoke about having seen Amanda Knox because a young man who used to live above his shop, who he knew, Antioco Fois, had just graduated and had become a freelance reporter for the newspaper Giornale dell’Umbria. When he passed him, he would sometimes ask: “But do you know anything? Did you see something? Did you hear something?”

So one day Quintavalle told Fois that he had seen Amanda Knox on the morning of November 2; later he decided to go to the Public Prosecutor’s Office because Antioco Fois convinced him that this fact might be important.

So the “intense urging” was more like friendly exchanges with Quintavalle’s neighbour, a former lodger.


(2) Reason-to-Doubt #2:  “In fact, he presented himself to the police only a year later….”

Readers are invited to mistrust Quintavalle because he belatedly told this to the police for an untrustworthy reason, steering them further away from a level of doubt [with regard to Knox/Sollecito guilt] that is beyond-reasonable, and further into territory that is reasonable-doubt of their guilt.

Later still on page 38:

Now, what actually happened more than a year before Quintavalle presented himself to the police is absolutely not irrelevant, for the purpose of evaluating the reliability of the witness, especially from the point of view of the genuineness of his memories and the exactness of the identification.



(3) Reason-to-Doubt #3:  “absolutely not irrelevant, for the purpose of evaluating the reliability of the witness”

This double-negative statement further invites Readers to regard Quintavalle as unreliable because his memories are false, and his identification of Knox is too inexact. Steering Readers yet further into a level of doubt of Knox’s guilt that is reasonable-doubt.

Yet further down on page 38:

…..this was a witness who – taking into account what he himself explained – took a year to convince himself of the precision of his perception, and the exactness of the identification of Amanda Knox with the girl that he saw, although he was able to appreciate the relevance of his testimony already in the days immediately following the murder.



(4) Reason-to-Doubt #4: “..took a year to convince himself…”

From Hellmann-Zanetti page 36:

…..took a year to convince himself of the precision of his perception, and the exactness of the identification of Amanda Knox with the girl that he saw, although he was able to appreciate the relevance of his testimony already in the days immediately following the murder.

Repetition of reader-invitation to regard Quintavalle as unreliable, because his perceptions are not precise enough for Hellmann-Zanetti, and his identification of Knox was too inexact even though he knew at that time that his testimony was crucially relevant.

The reader is being steered even further away from belief that Knox and Sollecito are guilty towards the territory of reasonable-doubt-that -AK/RS-are-Guilty. 

Are we there yet? Is there reasonable-doubt-that-AK/RS-are-guilty NOW?!


(5) Reason-to-Doubt #5: “Quintavalle cannot maintain that…”

Near the bottom of Hellmann-Zanetti page 38:

...from the testimony of Inspector Volturno at the hearing of March 13, 2009, it turned out that Quintavalle and his employees and other shopkeepers in the area were shown photographs of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, and were asked in particular to mention any possible purchases of cleaning products on the part of the couple, as this was a precise focal point of the investigation. Thus, Quintavalle cannot maintain that he did not mention what he saw on the morning of November 2 to Inspector [53] Volturno because he did not think it was a relevant circumstance.

Readers are yet further invited to mistrust Quintavalle, because his failure to “mention” everything he had seen, and his idea of “a relevant circumstance” were unacceptable to Hellmann-Zanetti. 

That’s already five reasons to doubt on the first Quintavalle page alone.

See also Hellmann-Zanetti page 42:

....according to Quintavalle’s own statements – he only caught a glimpse of the girl, first out of the “corner of his eye” and then from a bit nearer for a few moments, but never from the front (verbatim from the hearing of March 21, 2009: “Yes, then she entered, I saw her let’s say like this, three quarters left, three quarters of the left side. I didn’t see her from the front…”

And Hellmann-Zanetti page 43:

“....when she left and I saw her, out of the corner of my eye I saw her leaving,”

Hellmann-Zanetti are now reduced to semantic quibbles about Quintavalle’s use of words to describe his visual-angle-of-view when he looked at Amanda Knox’s face.

But see Massei page 83:

This young woman remained impressed in his memory because of her very light coloured eyes, azzurri [light blue]. …. she could have been 1.65 to 1.67metres tall. Her face was bianchissimo [very light skin colour] and she apparently was about 20-21 years old.

And see Massei page 84:

...it is worth observing that the witness gave a precise description of what he saw on the morning of November 2 and also provided a description of certain physical features of the woman he saw (light blue eyes and pale face) which, together with the unusual time, may well have fixed in his memory what Quintavalle said he saw.

So by selective omissions of the contents of the Massei Report, based on the 4-dimensional observations of the Massei trial hearings, Hellmann-Zanetti use a 2-dimensional record of the Massei Proceedings, and semantic quibbles about Quintavalle’s angles of visual observation, to discredit Quintavalle’s testimony.

Even though Quintavalle - who the Hellmann-Zanetti jury never even saw - had testified convincingly at trial that it was Amanda whom he saw in his shop at opening-time on November 2, 2007, and he had held up well under cross-examination.

Enough already? Isn’t this a contorted flood of Reasons-to-Doubt-That-AK/RS-are-Guilty?  Do you now believe that Quintaville is an unreliable witness?

If you now believe that Quintaville is unreliable, then Hellmann-Zanetti will have accomplished their mission.


[Below: Conad is at right and School for Foreigners at back. RS’s place maybe 500 meters behind, up the hill]


Posted on 08/19/12 at 09:07 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedAmanda KnoxPublic evidenceThe timelinesOther witnessesAppeals 2009-2014Hellmann outcome
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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death

Posted by James Raper





The following is a discourse on the time of death (TOD) arguments in the case.

These have been summarised but not analysed in depth yet on TJMK. A discussion on the pathology is not really everyone’s cup of tea, but the issue was examined in some detail by Massei and to some extent by Hellmann with somewhat differing conclusions reached.

The topic is relevant because Judge Massei used (inter alia) the expert’s findings to corroborate a TOD being after 11pm, more toward 11.30pm, whereas Judge Hellmann argued an earlier TOD as follows: “it is more consistent….to hypothesize that in fact the attack, and hence the death shortly thereafter, occurred much earlier than the time held by the Court of first instance, certainly not later than 10.13 pm”.

In addition to what is covered by the contents of these two Motivation Reports, there is an argument which is presented by the Friends of Amanda, and in particular Chris Halkides who I understand is, or was,  an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina. In fact he presents an argument put forward by Professor Introna (Sollecito’s expert) during the trial.

This argument is to do with the standard time for the stomach to empty from the start of a meal, and relating this to the autopsy findings and in particular that of the pathologist Dr Lalli who found that Meredith’s stomach was 500cc full but that there was no material to be found in the duodenum.  Halkides’ argument is that this demonstrates conclusively that Meredith was attacked shortly after her return to the cottage at 9pm and would have died shortly thereafter. The significance of this, if correct, is apparent in that it opens up, or at least it raises a doubt as to whether there is or not a verifiable alibi for Knox and Sollecito. 

Although Knox does not have an alibi from the time of Meredith’s return home at 9pm, there was human interaction, the last, on Raffaele’s computer at 9.15pm, and one might assume that they were together at that time.  But no verifiable alibi until one takes into account that Curatolo says that he first saw the two on Grimana Square around 9.30pm.

My area is the law, and I have no medical or scientific expertise, so I hesitate to go up against anyone who has, but nevertheless I will endeavour to summarise and rationalise the evidence, arguments and conclusions as presented by Massei, Hellmann and Halkides.

First a word about the digestive system.

Food, already masticated, passes through the esophagus to the stomach, where it is broken down by acids, from where it then passes to the small intestine from whence the body extracts the nutrients it needs.  The duodenum is that part of the small intestine right next to the stomach and it’s function is to dissolve the food “juice” further with enzymes before passing it on to the rest of the small intestine.

Judge Massei

Judge Massei considers the experts’ findings in the following areas to determine a likely time of death.

The first is temperature decrease, “taking the Henssge nomogram into account: rigor mortis; hypostatic marks” etc.

One can note that in fact rigor mortis and the hypostatic marks were not in the least bit helpful due to the 12 hour delay in the pathologist getting to examine the body.

That apart, nevertheless ……“These led Dr Lalli to conclude that death may have occurred between 21 hours 30 minutes, and 30 hours and 30 minutes, before the first measurement, and thus between approximately 8 pm on November 1st 2007, and 4am on November 2nd….The intermediate value also indicated by the mathematical reconstruction (26 hours prior to the first measurement) puts the time of death at approximately 11 pm.”

Just how one works out TOD on temperature decrease indicators, especially in the absence of a pathological examination earlier than that which took place here, is pretty technical.  I will not attempt to present the data (some of which is missing i.e Meredith’s actual body weight) or explain the mathematical models (so as to calculate body weight and the rate of cooling) (the Henssge nonogram appears to be one such mathematical model in graph form) that the experts used. 

Nearly all the experts, other than Professor Introna, whilst having marginal disagreements about data and formulae, were not in fundamental disagreement about the wide parameters of or even Dr Lalli’s conclusion of a TOD of approximately 11pm.

Professor Introna departed from the other experts to use an “ideal weight” and a specific formula to calculate the ideal weight, to produce a TOD of 8.20pm when of course we know that Meredith was still very much alive. Thus Massei ruled out ideal weight calculations as unreliable and used a median weight based on Dr Lalli’s guesstimates of Meredith’s weight (as used by the other experts) on first examination and at autopsy, though she was not actually weighed at all.

The second area is gastric emptying of the stomach.

It was acknowledged by all the experts that there is something like a standard period between the time that food enters the stomach and it then being processed through into the small intestine.  There was, however, some disagreement as to the parameters, ranging between 2-3 hours and 3-4 hours. One could therefore say 2-4 hours. Remember this.

Most of the experts agreed though that individuals are different, and there are variables leading to wide discrepancies including the type of meal eaten. A number of the experts heard said that the state of digestion was probably the most unreliable indicator as to the TOD.

All agreed that acute stress, psychological as well as physical such as an attack, would inhibit the digestive process.

I will not rehearse Professor Introna’s argument here as this, essentially, is the argument which Chris Halkides deploys, to which I will come in a moment.

It is fairly clear that Massei found the information as to body cooling time more convincing than information as to the state of digestion. However, as I understood it, the Appeal Court was going to be asked to re-evaluate precisely that. Did it?

Judge Hellmann

The Court of Assizes of first instance has acknowledged the difficulty in precisely fixing the time of death based merely on autopsy criteria. Since not all the accurate data is available, the time span within which the death of Meredith Kercher can be placed based on such criteria remains very widely outlined: between 9pm and 9.30pm of November 1st 2007, and the early hours of November 2nd.However, in reconstructing the sequence of events the Court of first instance assessed it was able to fix the time of death based on other elements, in particular the harrowing scream….

The first point to note here is that Hellmann misinterprets the first Court’s findings. He ignores the fact that the first Court did determine a TOD between 11pm and 11.30 pm as probable based on the pathology alone, and gave reasons for this.

None of the expert testimony is rehearsed, let alone re-evaluated by Hellmann.  He proceeds merely to discredit the reliability of the witnesses as to the other elements such as the scream etc.

One recalls that Nara Capezzali says that she heard a scream sometime between 11 and 11.30 pm. That there was a broken down car and the breakdown driver came and went between perhaps 11 and 11.15 pm.

As mentioned earlier his hypothesizing about the other elements leads him to a TOD of not later than 10.13 pm although this time seems a very random one based on what he presents. He talks in this section about Guede’s statement that he arrived at the cottage at 9 pm.

One suspects that if Hellmann could have fixed the time of death at 9.15 pm or 9.30 pm then he would have done so as either time would be a get out of jail free card for Knox and Sollecito.  He did not, but he got them out of jail nevertheless with his hypothesizing - here and elsewhere in his report.

I could just stop here because further discussion on the pathology itself would seem irrelevant as regards the appeal to Cassation, though it could really matter at a second appeal trial.

But here is a comment about Chris Halkides because some do say they find his conclusion convincing.

Chris Halkides

My summary of his argument.

The stomach was full (or at least had 500 cc of contents) and the duodenum had no material in it.  As the duodenum had no material in it then, Halkides deduces, the stomach had not started to release any part of the meal Meredith had consumed at Robyn Butterworths’ into the small intestine at TOD. Death stops the digestive process.

The contents of the stomach observed by Dr Lalli included some of the apple crumble eaten by Meredith and what appeared to be items, in a very advanced state of acidification, thought to be pizza toppings. Meredith and Sophie had eaten pizza at Robyn Butterworths’ home, followed by the apple crumble. In addition there was a small measure of alcohol in the stomach equivalent to a glass of beer.

They had started eating at about 6pm (some accounts e.g John Follain’s have it earlier at 5.30 pm) or maybe 6.30 pm, putting on a DVD to watch a film and finishing at 8 pm or perhaps 8.30 pm. The times here are an indication if anything and are not to be treated as completely accurate.

If it was 6.30 pm that Meredith began to eat then using the standard parameters discussed by Massei we have latest TODs of 9.30 or 10.30 pm for when material from the stomach should have started to enter the duodenum. Not later and certainly not as late as 11 or 11.30 pm.

That is Halkides’ argument in a nutshell. He argues that TOD is actually about 9.30 pm. If so it would have been impossible for Knox and Sollecito who were still at the flat at 9.15 pm and who were seen in the square at 9.30 pm to have committed the murder.

He has referred me to an article in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology about an experiment conducted on volunteers where the mean time (for 95 individuals) for gastric emptying of solids is 127 minutes, give or take, I think, twenty minutes either side.

Using the mean, to be pedantic, this would mean that Meredith died before she got home or at the latest immediately on arrival (6.30 + 2 hours 27 minutes = 8.57 pm.)

That article, incidentally, was published in 2006. It doesn’t seem to date that the results have been peer reviewed and verified and I would have thought that the experts who testified at the trial in 2009 would have been aware of it. So the data set out here may be suspect for a given individual and does not take into account variables excluding age, sex and body mass index which the research found to have no significant correlation.

In any event Halkides is quite happy to have a latest parameter of 3 hours, but no longer. Indeed that would be what brings us to 9.30 pm.

The problem I detect with his argument is twofold.

Firstly there is the uncertainty as to when Meredith began to eat at Robyn’s home (and since it was a two course meal, when she began to eat the apple crumble) and secondly Halkides’ argument is predicated on that two course meal being her last.

If the apple crumble was eaten at 8 or 8.30 pm then (adding on the 2 hours 27 minutes from the above research) it may still have been in her stomach at 10.27 or 10,57 pm, or later indeed (which Halkides has to concede) since the digestive time from the research is only an average.

So with a parameter of 3 hours we might just as well say 11 pm or 11.30 pm.

In addition to variables we could take into account inhibitors such as Meredith suffering acute psychological stress commencing…well…we cannot be certain when, can we?.

One can play Hellmann’s game and hypothesize to our advantage a number of stress situations on that fateful evening, starting quite early. No one has to accept Massei’s hypothesis of a Meredith on her own and in relaxed mode until about 11pm. Massei’s hypothesis here is in no way crucial.

Furthermore the hypothesis that Meredith actually ate a further snack on her return to the cottage does seem to have some basis in fact in that at the autopsy the pathologist found a mushroom in her esophagus. Mushrooms specifically had not been a topping on the pizzas baked at Robyn’s home. As to the alcohol in her stomach no alcohol had been consumed at Robyn’s home, only water.

It might sound a bit flippant for me to suggest it but it might be the case that Meredith, who was passionate about pizzas, had a beer and grilled a quick meal of pizza toppings from the fridge for herself which Halkides mistakes for evidence of the pizza still in the stomach.

That Meredith might still have been hungry might be because she had not, until eating at Robyn’s, eaten for a considerable time beforehand.

She had been partying all night Halloween and had gone to bed at about 4 am, rising at about midday, and then leaving not so long afterwards to be with her friends. Whether she had anything to eat at the cottage before leaving on the afternoon of the 1st, we simply don’t know.

Knox tells us in her e-mail to Seattle that she and Raffaele cooked and ate there, but she does not mention Meredith having anything to eat, and Meredith left before they did.

For some reason John Follain thinks Meredith did eat then, Paul Russell that she did not. I do not see how either could be sure. If it had been me I might have felt up to a nibble but not much more knowing that in a few hours I would be eating a meal with my friends.

It seems to me that it is quite possible that Robyn’s pizza had passed through the stomach, duodenum, and indeed perhaps most of if not the rest of the small intestine by 11.30 pm and that the apple crumble had not even begun to enter the duodenum.

Let us assume that Meredith actually started her pizza at 5.30 pm (according to Follain) finishing at 5.40 pm. As she was already hungry the stomach acids go to work straight away and the pizza passes at the earliest to the duodenum after two hours, spending a further three and half hours (as per literature) in the small intestine before passing to the rectum . A total of five and a half hours.

Thus the small intestine had disposed of it by 11.10 pm. There would however be an unlikely gap to the consumption of the apple crumble. Yet if the apple crumble was consumed after the DVD (watching the film The Notebook circa 123 minutes) then that would be around 8 pm, entering the duodenum three and a half hours later (possible) at 11.30 pm or at least it would be doing this but for the fact that Meredith was already the subject of a vicious attack inhibiting the digestive process.

I accept that I am not using uniform digestion times in this speculation (indeed I have deployed earliest and latest parameters at will) but nevertheless they are within the parameters accepted by the experts, and even, at a push, by Halkides as well.

The point is that this is a complicated topic and there are many imprecise details that do not allow for certainty but only probablilities, or in some instances, possibilities. This Massei, and to a certain extent Hellmann recognized.

Nobody can be precisely sure and so any other timeline or alibi must stand or fall on their own.

Posted on 05/09/12 at 12:11 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceThe timelinesTrials 2008 & 2009Massei prosecution
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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Powerpoints #14: Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

Posted by James Raper With Kermit





Please load Powerpoint Viewer if not on your system, and click here for the slides. The Powerpoints consist of 150 slides, the outcome of many hours of work, and should open in 30 to 60 seconds. 

Impartial lawyers like myself tend to look at a tough case like this and think, “Now what would I have done differently?” The problem for the defences here is that there are literally hundreds of evidence points, many created by the appellants themselves as they behaved erratically both on the night Meredith died and subsequently.

The Knox family legal advisor Ted Simon (who in our view was brought in far too late to be of real help after all the bull-in-a-china-shop damage of the PR) himself recognized this, on Dateline NBC late in 2008, when he said that a whack-a-mole approach to creating reasonable doubt would fall short in this case. (Whack-a-mole is a popular fairground game where “moles” keep popping up out of various holes, and you win if you can whack them all.)

Judge Micheli set out a big picture for the conviction of Rudy Guede in October 2008 and the remitting of Knox and Sollecito to stand trial. Judge Massei clearly created a big picture in all of the fine detail he neatly tied together in his 425-page report. The Supreme Court of Cassation understood the big picture in declining Guede’s final appeal.

The defences have never really managed to respond with their own big-picture approach. Nitpicking of a few evidence points, which is really all the defence and the campaign have done, will only very rarely destroy such an edifice. At the end of the DNA rebuttal this September, the DNA collection and analysis is unlikely to be fully discounted, and already it seems that more ethical and competence question marks hang over the independent consultants than over Dr Stefanoni and her team.

This for your consideration is an overview of all of the main evidence. Check it out as you go through and you will see that after the nine long months of the appeal process it is all almost entirely left standing. If they really want to see Knox and Sollecito released, the defence lawyers now need to bite the bullet and prepare their clients properly and let them try to explain from the stand.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Repeat Of The Powerpoint Guides To The Relevant Locations And Events On Meredith’s Fatal Night

Posted by Kermit

Click on the two images below for the two Powerpoints which will take a few seconds to load.

First posted late in 2008. We re-post them now in response to questions we’ve received from the many new arrivals to Meredith’s cause.






Posted on 07/17/11 at 08:33 AM by Kermit. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe timelinesThe locations
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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 10:05 AM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Public evidenceThe timelinesThe locationsCellphone activity
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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 12:29 AM by Storm Roberts. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Smoking-gun postsPublic evidenceThe timelinesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei Report
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report: The Timeline For Events Before, During, And After The Night #2

Posted by catnip




Continuation from Post #1

These two posts list all of the events precisely timed in the Massei Report. Page numbers shown in brackets are those in the original Italian version.

There are plenty of mentions of imprecise occasions and general time periods, such as when Rudy told Giorgio Cocciaretto about liking Amanda (p26) or when lawyer Palazzoli found out their stolen computer had been recovered in Milan (p33), but they are not listed here.

02 November 2007

00:10:31 Meredith’s English phone has a call, via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio but not Via della Pergola (p337, p350).

00:58 A 4-second Web connection occurs on Raffaele’s laptop, with QuickTime contacting the Apple server home page from 00:58:50 to 00:58:53: possibly an ad window listing multimedia files available from Apple opens and closes (p331, p332).

05:32–06:00 Activity on Raffaele’s MacBookPro laptop begins for the day: the VLC application attempts to open an MP3 file and crashes three times: at 05:32:09, 05:32:12, 05:32:13. iTunes successfully plays the MP3 files for the next half hour (p327).

06:02:59 Raffaele’s phone, located in Corso Garibaldi, receives an SMS from his father (p339). The SMS was sent at 23:14 the previous night (p340).

07:45 Quintavalle sees Amanda at his store (p383).

Around 9:00 As Mrs Lana and her husband are readying to leave to go to the police station to report the previous night’s menacing phone call, their son Allessandro finds a mobile phone, a Motorola, in the yard in front of the house, about 15-20 metres distant from the road above their house; thinking that one of the police officers had dropped it the night before, Mrs Lana phones the police station, and is asked to bring the mobile phone in (pp12-13).

09:24 Raffaele receives a call from his father, 248 seconds long, to see if they have left for their Gubbio excursion (p342, p383).

09:29 Raffaele receives a call, 38 seconds long (p342).

09:30 Raffaele, in Corso Garibaldi, receives a call from his father (p342).

10:00 Meredith and Robyn were intending to meet at a lecture at the University, not realizing that it was a public holiday; around this time Robyn tries calling Meredith several times without getting a response; Robyn finds out about Meredith’s murder later that afternoon at Police Headquarters, where she meets Amanda and Raffaele for the first time (p21).

Around 10:15 Mrs Lana and her husband, bringing the mobile phone their son found in their yard, arrive at the police station; the postal police officer on duty, Director Bartolozzi, takes custody of it and later in the morning will identify it as belonging to Filomena Romanelli (p13).

Around 11am Amanda, per her testimony, returns to Via della Pergola to have a shower in preparation for a planned excursion to Gubbio with Rafffaele (p347).

11:38 Director Bartolozzi establishes that the Motorola phone handed in by Mrs Lana belongs to Filomena Romanelli (p14).

Around about 11:45-12:00 A little after Mrs Lana and her husband have left the police station, their daughter Fiammetta tells them about finding a second mobile phone in the yard not far from where the first one was found; she heard it ringing; when the phone is brought inside and placed on the table, it rings, and the name “Amanda” appears on the display; Director Bartolozzi of the Postal Police is immediately informed about this and requests that the second phone also be brought in (p13).

Around 12:00 Bartolozzi at the Postal Police sends Inspector Michele Battistelli and Assistant Fabio Marzi to No 7 Via della Pergola to make enquiries; they will have some difficulty in finding the house (p14).

Around 12:00-12:10 Filomena, having borrowed her boyfriend Marco’s car, picks up her friend Paola Grande from Luca Altieri’s house, intending to visit the All Saints Fair in the Massian Fields, but before arriving there, Amanda rings saying there is something strange: she found the door open; had a shower; thought it strange that there was some blood; and that she was going to go to Raffaele’s; in response to Filomena’s question of where Meredith was, Amanda replies that she doesn’t know (pp16-17).

12:07:02 Meredith’s English phone receives a call via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio, where the phone was thrown away during the night (p337). The 16-second call is from Amanda, located at Raffaele’s house (p346).

12:08:44 Amanda, located at Raffaele’s, calls Filomena for 68 seconds, telling her about the disturbing things she has seen at the cottage, but, surprisingly, does not tell her that she has already tried contacting Meredith and was unsuccessful (p346, p347).

12:11:02 Meredith’s Italian phone, in cell SVSMdCs1, receives a 3-second call from Amanda Knox’s phone at Raffaele’s house; the call goes to Voicemail (p338, p346, p348).

12:12:35 Amanda, still at Raffaele’s house, receives a call from Filomena, 36 seconds (p346).

Around 12:15-12:20 Mrs Lana is at the Postal Police offices again, and hands the second mobile phone, an Ericcson, over to Inspector Bartolozzi, who is unsuccessful in identifying its owner; this makes him think that the phone’s SIM card belongs to a foreign service provider (pp13-14).

12:20:44 Amanda, still at Raffaele’s house, receives another call from Filomena, 65 seconds (p346).

Meanwhile Filomena, worried by Amanda’s phone call, tries calling her, unsuccessfully; then, on getting through, Amanda tells her about the broken window in her (Filomena’s room) and everything being turned over; Filomena, extremely worried now, calls her boyfriend to ask him to go to the cottage to find out what happened; her boyfriend Marco, because Filomena has his car, calls Luca Altieri, and together they go to the cottage, where they arrive, “almost simultaneously” with Filomena and Paola, around 13:00 (p17).

Around 12:30 Battistelli and Marzi from the Postal Police, after having driven up and down Viale Sant’Antonio twice, and Battistelli having to get out on foot, finally find the house “a little after 12:30, as it seemed to the two police officers”; there they find Amanda and Raffaele outside the cottage, seated near the end of the gated lane, just outside the wall underneath Filomena’s window, whose two Persian blinds were closed to, with the one on the right (as seen by an onlooker) being “slightly more open”; Amanda and Raffaele tell the Postal Police they are waiting for the carabinieri, who they had just called (p14).

A little after the Postal Police’s arrival at the cottage (time indeterminant)  Director Bartolozzi calls Inspector Battistelli, informing him of the second phone found by Mrs Lana; it is considered that, since both phones were found near each other in terms of time and space, and one of the phones belongs to Filomena Romanelli, perhaps she will be able to shed light on the second phone as well (p15).

12:34:56 Amanda, now at Via della Pergola, receives another call from Filomena, 48 seconds (p346).

12:35 Raffaele’s phone, located at Via della Pergola, contacts his service provider for a credit topup (p342).

12:38 Vodafone sends Raffaele an SMS regarding the credit topup; he is at Via della Pergola (p342).

12:40   Raffaele, at Via della Pergola, receives a call from his father, 67 seconds (p342).

12:43 Meredith’s English phone receives a call via cell 25622, which covers Via Sperandio (p337). Subsequent calls are routed via cell 25603, which covers the Postal Police offices (p338).

12:47:43 Amanda calls the US for 88 seconds from Via della Pergola (p346).

12:50:34 Raffaele calls his sister, 39 seconds, from Via della Pergola (p342).

12:51:40 Raffaele calls the emergency number from Via della Pergola, 169 seconds, to advise the Carabinieri of an apparant burglary (p342).

12:54 Raffaele calls the emergency number from Via della Pergola for a second time, 57 seconds (p342).

Around 13:00 Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti, and separatel;y, their respective boyfriends, Marco Zaroli and Luca Altieri, arrive at the cottage (p15).

Filomena assumes the Postal Police are there because of the open front door, the broken window and the room that has been turned over; she is surprised when they show her two phone numbers, written on a piece of paper, an Italian number and an English number; Filomena explains that both numbers are in use by Meredith, the English phone for her family, and the Italian one she (Fiolmena) loaned to Meredith for use in Italy; the news about where the phones were found begins to make everyone fearful as to what might have happened, especially as Meredith would never abandon the English Erisccson phone because she was in continuous contact with her family on account of her mother’s poor health (p17)

Filomena quickly checks her room and finds nothing is missing (p18); she even tells Marzi that nothing is missing, “it’s all here” (p43); concern for Meredith increases, especially as Meredith’s door is locked; when Amanda explains that Meredith always locks her door, even when having a shower, Filomena is alarmed, because the one and only time Meredith locked her door was when she went back to England for a couple of days; the decision is made to break open Meredith’s door (p18).

A little after 13:00, around 13:15 Meredith Kercher’s body is found on the floor of her room in the upper floor apartment of a cottage at No 7, Via della Pergola, Perugia (p1, p10).

Around 13:15 Battistelli ushers everyone out of the cottage and declares a crime scene; Marco Zaroli sees the inspector enter the room, the inspector denies this (p20).

13:17:10 Meredith’s Italian phone, off or unreachable, is called by the service centre through cell SVSMdCs7 for 1 second (p338, p348).

13:24:18 Amanda, from Via della Pergola, calls the same US number as she did at 12:47, which is her mother’s, this time for 162 seconds (p346).

13:27:32 Amanda calls another US number, for 26 seconds (p347).

13:29:00 Amanda, in Via della Pergola, receives a 296 second call from a Perugia landline (p347).

Around 13:30 The murder investigation opens (p20). Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini is summoned and a criminal investigation into Meredith’s murder officially begins.

13:40:12 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 94 seconds (p342).

13:50 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 178 seconds (p342).

13:50:06 Amanda calls US xxx350 for 350 seconds from Via della Pergola (p347).

13:58:33 Amanda attempts to call her mother, 1 second (p347).

14:33 Raffaele receives an incoming call from his father, 21 seconds (p343).

14:46:14 Amanda receives a call from Germany for 102 seconds, probably her aunt Dorothy Craft (p347).

15:13:43 Meredith’s Italian phone, off or unreachable, is called by the service centre, cell not reported on the printouts (p338, p348).

15:31:50 Amanda receives an SMS from xxx078, 1 second; at this point she is at Police Headquarters; later calls go to Voicemail because the phone is unreachable (p347)

17:01 Raffaele, located at Police Headquarters, receives an incoming call from his father, 164 seconds (p343).

17:42 Raffaele, located at Police Headquarters, receives an incoming call from his father, 97 seconds (p343).

Sometime in the afternoon/evening Giacomo Silenzi, on his way back to Perugia and on the train at Porto San Giorgio with Stefano Bonassi, receives news of Meredith’s death (p25).

03 November 2007

14:16 Raffaele’s landline receives two unanswered calls from his father’s landline (p343).

06 November 2007

02:47 The “Last Modified” date is set on the multimedia file Stardust on Raffaele’s laptop (?was a password needed?), overwriting the previous last modified date. At this time, both Raffaele and Amanda were at Police Headquarters (p332).

13 November 2007

Raffaele’s portable Apple MacBookPro and 300D ASUS, Amanda’s Toshiba laptop serial number 7541811OK, Meredith’s G4 iBook, and Patrick Lumumba’s HP computer serial number 375052-001 become available (in a big box) for examination by the Postal Police (p321, p322).

Posted on 11/30/10 at 07:36 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Smoking-gun postsPublic evidenceThe timelinesTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportCrime hypothesesVarious scenariosThe many hoaxesThe Guede hoax
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report: The Timeline For Events Before, During, And After The Night #1

Posted by catnip




#1 The Masssei Timeline up to midnight of 1 November.

These two posts list all of the events precisely timed in the Massei Report. Page numbers shown in brackets are those in the original Italian version.

This timeline will be reposted over on the TJMK Massei Report summaries and highlights page as we populate that page further starting this week.

There are plenty of mentions of imprecise occasions and general time periods, such as when Rudy told Giorgio Cocciaretto about liking Amanda (p26) or when lawyer Palazzoli found out their stolen computer had been recovered in Milan (p33), but they are not listed here.

2002

Raffaele Sollecito tranfers from his home town Giovinazzo to Perugia to study Computer Science; he takes up lodgings at the ONAOSI halls until 2005; he is a taciturn and introverted student; the college masters are surprised by a bestiality porn video he has; they place him under monitor watch; his father will testify that he is in the habit of carrying a small knife around in his pocket, for carving bark and scuplting small objects (p50).

2006

Giacomo Silenzi arrives in Perugia; takes up residence in the downstairs flat at No 7, Via della Pergola (p25).

2007

August

Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti move into the cottage at Via della Pergola, occupying two rooms on the upper storey; because there is a second bathroom, and another two rooms, they start searching for flatmates to share the 1200 euro per month rent (p15).

Amanda Knox has saved up enough and departs the United States; she goes to Germany (p50).

A few months before October

Raffaele Sollecito has a brief fling, a couple of days, with a girl from Brindisi (p50).

End of August to beginning of September

Amanda arrives in Perugia with her sister; finds the cottage; after going back to Germany and returning to Perugia, she will begin studying: “a good and diligent student” says her teacher Antonella Negri (p50).

1 September

Meredith departs for Perugia to start her ERASMUS courses; she chose Perugia because it is small and easily reachable from the airport; at first she stays in a hotel (p10).

2 September 2007

Sophie Purton meets Meredith; they hit it off immediately and are soon visiting each other daily; Sophie later testifies that Meredith’s relationship with Amanda is amicable even though some of Amanda’s habits are annoying (p23).

Early September 2007

Amanda arrives and says she is interested in the cottage; she takes the room between Filomena and what will become Meredith’s room, then departs for a bit to visit an aunt in Germany (p15).

Mid September 2007

Meredith arrives at the cottage, and takes the room furthest from the front door, the one facing the countryside and next to the second bathroom (p15).

28 September 2007

Meredith returns home to get warmer clothes; she returns to Perugia on 1 October (p10).

End September – Beginning October 2007

Robyn Butterworth arrives in Perugia; takes up residence in Via Bontempi; immediately gets to know Meredith (p20).

October? 2007

Patrick Lumumba hires Amanda Knox to work in his bar, Le Chic; at first it is every day, starting at around 21:30-220:00, then it becomes twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday (p50).

Mid-October 2007

Giacomo Silenzi from the flat downstairs begins a romantic relationship with Meredith after a night out at the Red Zone club; Rudy expresses an interest in Amanda to Giacomo, Marco, and Stefano when visiting in the downstairs flat; Amanda is also there; on another occasion, Giacomo remembers Rudy, who had been drinking, asking, when they were all at a pub before going home, whether Amanda was already engaged – this was before Amanda had met Raffaele (pp25-26).

13 October 2007

Overnight, someone breaks into the law offices of Paolo Brocchi and Matteo Palazzoli by smashing a window with a big enough rock; there are pieces of glass everywhere on the floor, and their clothing has been tossed on top of the glass; initial inspection reveals a computer, a mobile phone, some USB memory keys, and a portable printer have been taken (p33).

Third Weekend of October 2007

Amy Frost goes to the Red Zone disco with Amanda (p22).

25 October 2007

Amanda and Raffaele meet for the first time. The relationship is intense; Raffaele treats and cuddles Amanda “as if she were a little girl” says his father; every day when his father called, and often multiple times during the same day, Raffaele talked about Amanda (pp50-51).

26 October 2007

Filomena meets Amanda’s boyfriend Raffaele for the first time; it is the day after Amanda and Raffaele first met (p15); it is Laura who tells her that he is a friend of Amanda’s; Filomena sees him another two or three times at the cottage; Laura remembers seeing Raffaele at the cottage around four times, and that in the coming days Amanda will often sleep at Raffaele’s: “they were continuosly hugging each other”, Laura remembers, “Raffaele was especially tender and sometimes, to me, seemed almost a bit possessive” (p51).

End October 2007

The Sunday after the Red Zone night where Giacomo and Meredith begin their relationship, Rudy drops around for a visit to the boys’ flat downstairs, univited; it is the day of the Grand Prix; that night, Giacomo and Meredith spend the night in his room; Amanda spends the night with Daniele in the upstairs flat, in Amanda’s room, according to what Daniele tells Giacomo (p26).

Stefano Bonassi, one of the four boys in the downstairs flat, who has been in Perugia for four years studying, first meets Raffaele Sollecito (p26).

27 October 2007, Saturday

Morning: Maria Antonietta Salvadori Del Prato Titone, kindergarten manager in Milan, finds Rudy at the Via Plinio kindergarten coming out of her office; there were no signs of a break-in; in Rudy’s backpack there is computer; the police, when called, ask him to empty his backpack: there is a 40cm-long kitchen knife, a set of keys, a woman’s gold watch; a little hammer like those emergency ones for breaking glass that are on the buses; the police tell her the computer was stolen from lawyers in Perugia; Rudy says he was told the kindergarten was a doss-house and paid a 50 euro fee to his informant; the kitchen knife was in the kitchen, the door to which was unlocked (pp32-33).

28 October 2007, a Sunday

22:36 The Amelie.avi media file finishes downloading via P2P onto Raffaele’s MacBookPro laptop (p326).

29 October 2007

The last day Giacomo Silenzi sees Meredith alive: before departing for the holidays, he asks Meredith to water his marijuana plants; only he and Stefano Bonassi remain in the downstairs flat because of the holidays; the other two boys in the downstairs flat have already departed (p25).

A co-worker at the Brocchi and Palazzoli law offices calls Paolo Brocchi to say that in the corridor there’s a person who says he was found with the goods in Milan, but says he purchased them legitimately; Brocchi later recognises the person as Rudy (p33).

30 October 2007

Returning home in the late afternoon after work, Filomena has a long gossip with Meredith (p15).

31 October 2007

Morning: Jovana Popovic’s mother tells her that the next day she will send a suitcase by bus so that it will arrive by midnight (p52).

Afternoon Sophie says Meredith sent her an SMS saying that she (Meredith) was on her way downstairs to the boys’ apartment to water the marijuana plants (p23).

18:27:50 Meredith’s Italian phone (the Motorola Vodaphone loaned to her by Filomena) sends an SMS to phone xx1724 through the Piazza Luppatelli sector 7 cell covering Via della Pergola and receives a reply two minutes later through the same cell at 18:29:05 (p338, p347).

22:14 Raffaele’s landline receives a call from his father, 44 seconds (p343).

Around 22:30 Marta Nieto and Carolina Martin, who live in the flat above Rudy in Via del Canerino, meet Rudy at their friend Adriana Molina’s place in Via Campo di Battaglia; there are about 30 people there; they party until around midnight, then go to another Spanish friend’s place, and then on to the Domus club; Rudy is with them all the time; the only one they see him dancing with is a girl with long blonde hair (p29).

At night:  For Halloween, Meredith, Robyn, Amy, Rachel, Sophie, Nathalie, Lina and Monic dine together; then go to the Merlin and, later, the Domus, finally returning home about 4-5am; Amy remembers she and Robyn accompanied Meredith to the basktball courts in Piazza Grimana; Robyn remembers Amanda having asked Meredith to go out together (pp21-22).

01 November 2007

00:00:39 Raffaele’s phone makes an outgoing call (p341).

00:02:41 Raffaele uses his landline and calls his father for 262 seconds (p343).

00:41:49 Amanda makes an outgoing call to an unidentified person, 20 seconds (p345).

00:57 Raffaele’s phone receives an incoming SMS (p341).

00:57:20 Amanda, located somewhere in the city centre, sends an SMS to Raffaele to meet up with him at his house (p345).

01:04:48 Amanda’s phone receives an incoming call, 53 seconds, from landline xxx789.

During the day Before leaving the cottage to go to her boyfriend’s, and needing to change her clothes, Filomena asks Amanda’s help in wrapping a birthday present; Filomena is going with her boyfriend Marco to Luca Altieri’s house for his birthday party; Amanda is having breakfast and says Meredith is asleep in her room; for the rest of the day and the following night, Filomena is at her boyfriend’s (pp15-16).

Filomena remembers pulling the shutters closed on her window, as much as possible due to the swollen wood (p36).

Afternoon The film Stardust is downloaded via P2P onto Raffaele’s laptop (p331). Six files were requested; the first three downloaded were played, and the other requests were cancelled (p332).

Meredith and her mother talk on the phone for the last time; Meredith says she is planning to return home on 9 November for her mother’s birthday on the 11th (p10).

Meredith has a suitcase ready full of Perugian chocolate, intended as a gift to her sister Stephanie (pp10-11).

14:25 Raffaele’s phone has an incoming call, 58 seconds long (p341).

14:31:33 Meredith’s English phone, a Sony Ericsson, has a call via cell 25620 covering Via della Pergola; this call and the calls up until 15:55:57 also have their details recorded in the phone’s memory (p336, p349)

15:01:58 Meredith’s English phone has a call via cell 25621 covering Via della Pergola (p337)

15:48:56 Meredith’s English phone has a call via cell 25621 covering Via della Pergola (p337)

15:55:03 Meredith’s English phone has a call via cell 25621 covering Via della Pergola (p337)

15:55:57 Meredith’s English phone has a call via cell 25621 covering Via della Pergola (p337)

Around 16:00 Meredith arrives at Robyn’s place; with Amy and Sophie, they have a pizza dinner, maybe around 18:00, then look at the Halloween photos on the computer, then watch a film, halfway through the film they have an apple crumble with ice cream, and call it a night before 21:00 (p21).

16:50 Raffaele’s phone has an incoming call, from his father, 214 seconds long (p341).

16:56 Raffaele’s phone has an another incoming call from his father, 64 seconds long (p341).

Around 17:45 Jovana Popovic passes by Raffaele’s house to ask him for a lift to the bus station; Amanda opens the door and Raffaele is there (p52).

Around 18:00 The pizza dinner at Robyn’s place begins (p21).

18:27:15 The film file Amelie.avi begins playing via the VLC application on Raffaele’s MacBookPro laptop (p327).

20:18:12 Amanda, via a cell that does not cover Raffaele’s home, receives an SMS from Patrick Lumumba asking her not to come in to work that evening (p345). Amanda is located inside a phone cell which covers her route to Lumumba’s pub (p345).

20:20 Jovana Popovic’s lecture at the Three Arches ends; her mother had called to say that she was unable to send the suitcases because the driver refused to take them; Jovana starts walking to Raffaele’s to tell him she no longer needs a lift to the station (p53).

20:35:48 Amanda, located in Corso Garibaldi or environs, sends an SMS in response to Patrick’s (p345). No further activity occurs on Amanda’s phone for the rest of the day; Amanda declared during the hearings that she switched her phone off when she got back to Raffaele’s house because she was happy not to go into work and be able to spend the night with her boyfriend (p345).

Around 20:40 Jovana Popovic arrives at Raffaele’s to tell him about the lift; Amanda opens the door and tells her that Raffaele is in the bathroom (p53).

20:42:56 Raffaele’s phone has a call, and is located in Corso Garibaldi (p339). The call is from his father, who has just come out of the movie theatre and recommends the film; Raffaele mentions the leaking pipe in the kitchen to him; Amanda and Raffaele must therefore have finished dinner around this time (p341, p384). Raffaele tells his father that he is with Amanda, and will be with her the following day as well, having in fact organised a trip to Gubbio; he mentions noticing the water leak while he was washing the dishes (p52).

20:56 Meredith’s English phone recorded details of an attempt for an outgoing call “home”, to her mother (p350).

Around 21:00 Meredith returns home to the cottage (p388), leaving Robyn and Amy’s place with Sophie (p21); Sophie remembers waving goodbye to Meredith at 20:55 because at 21:00 there was a program on that she had to watch (p24).

Around 21:30 – 22:00 Antonio Curatolo, a reliable witness, while reading the Espresso newspaper, notices Amanda and Raffaele in the little square in front of the University for Foreigners; he knows each of them from before, by sight; he notices them again around 23:00 (p383).

21:10:32 The film file Amelie.avi closes on Raffaele’s MacBookPro laptop, from either being stopped, or reaching the end of the file (p327). Raffaele’s computer remains connected to the Net throughout the night and only 11 files are created, at regular intervals, by either the operating system (Mac OS X) or within the Mozilla Firefox browser cache; the P2P service also remains active (p328). The logs from Raffaele’s service provider, FastWeb, show no web page retrieval requests during this time period (p330).

21:58 Meredith’s English phone recorded details of an attempt to call Voicemail; no phone traffic was generated according to the phone provider’s records, as would be expected if the caller disconnected before the welcome message finished, consistent with a parsimonious student (p350, p352, p353).

Around 22:00 Mrs Lana recieves a threatening phone call advising her not to use the toilet because there’s a bomb. She immediately notifies the police, who arrive and find nothing; the call is a hoax; Mrs Lana and her husband are asked to come to the police station the following morning to report the phone call (p12).

22:00 Meredith’s English phone composed the number for “Abbey” (an English bank), the first entry in the contacts list, but since the international prefix was left off, the call did not connect; the roaming profile provider Wind captured the details, the phone’s memory did not (p350, p353).

22:13:19 In her last call for the day, Meredith’s English phone does a 9-second GPRS connection to IP address 10.205.46.41, via cell 30064, covering Via della Pergola and which does not cover Via Sperandio (p337, p350). This might have been an MMS message from its size, 4708 bytes received, 2721 bytes sent; alternatively, it may have been a brief WAP Internet connection, but, based on the byte traffic, with no fruitful interaction occuring; alternative three, it was an unintended WAP connection with a delayed disconnection. Since the MMS was not stored in the phone’s memory, the Court inferred that Meredith simply deleted it without opening it (p351, p352, p353)

Around 23:00 Antonio Curatolo, on his park bench, again notices Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana; he sees Raffaele going to the railing and looking through it, to where the Via della Pergola driveway gate is located (p384).

Around 23:00 The circumstances point towards Amanda, with Raffaele in tow, letting inside Rudy the cottage at Via della Pergola at this time (p384, p389). It would have been immediately obvious that Meredith was home: her door unlocked as usual, probably reading or studying, and, because of the blood and traces on her clothes, and her top being rolled up, she was still dressed, and therefore awake; plus also the wounds show she wasn’t in bed when the attack occurred (p389).

23:14 Raffaele’s father sends him an SMS, which is received on Raffaele’s phone the following morning at 06:02 (p340).

To be continued in Post #2

Posted on 11/29/10 at 12:12 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Smoking-gun postsPublic evidenceThe timelinesTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportCrime hypothesesVarious scenariosThe many hoaxesThe Guede hoax
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Monday, May 03, 2010

From The Book Darkness Descending: The Insights On Knox And Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell


This is Hamburg above. And that is Berlin and its parliament (the Bundestag) below. 

Amanda Knox speaks German and she spent several months in these two cities, staying for some weeks in in Hamburg with her relatives, and several days in Berlin, before moving to Perugia to start her study period there.

Darkness Descending is the book on Meredith’s case by two British writers from which we excerpted on Meredith a few days ago.

As far as we know the writers did not visit Seattle, and their focus is more generally on Italy and to some extent the UK. But they did offer this brief take on Amanda Knox, and also one on Raffaele Sollecito.


**********

From Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson (Pocket Books) pages 291 and 292

Meredith had enjoyed making the pop video with her University of Leeds friends, but Amanda’s summer job, before travelling around Europe and going to Perugia, had not been so successful.

A politically well-connected uncle in Hamburg had got her an internship to die for - a job working for a German MP at the Bundestag. Kindly Uncle Uwe also set Amanda up with a flat on the .outskirts of Berlin.

Astonishingly, two days later, his seemingly ungrateful niece walked out on the job without telling anyone, moaning that she had nothing to do and she wasn’t sure if she was getting paid. Again, money was a big feature in her thoughts.

She’d spent most of the time reading Harry Potter and showed no curiosity about how the parliament or the high-powered people in there worked. She ignored conversations about its history and architecture.

After walking out, she spent her time drinking wine in the local bars and reading more Harry Potter.

Two days later she left Berlin for Hamburg, where her uncle was waiting for her. He was furious - she had let him down.

It seems Amanda craved excitement on her terms, usually based on getting drunk and goofing around.

Her friends said she simply feared boredom like any young girl. She showed a healthy streak of youthful carelessness, they said, no worse or better than anyone else. A video posted on YouTube showed her drunkenly giggling in a friend’s kitchen after downing shots.

On campus, back in the US, Amanda had been fined for being drunk and disorderly at a party held in a fellow student’s house. During the incident she had also insulted the police.

However, her defenders gave another version, portraying a magnanimous Amanda. They said that in fact she was courageously fronting up for her underage friends, who were in no state to talk to the police; she was the only one sober enough to handle the situation.

A big plus in her character assessment, they said, possibly displaying a sense of chivalry that would later get her into deeper trouble in Perugia.

Despite her college party lifestyle, there was no denying that Amanda was clever and that she could compartmentalize her life.

She made the Dean’s List, an elite commendation of the University of Washington reserved for the institution’s brightest students, and an honour that would ultimately qualify her for a prestigious and sought-after place on the study-abroad exchange programme.

If Amanda wanted something, she would go all out to get it, no messing around.

Raffaele Sollecito’s later years were quite different: he seemed to laze around and evade responsibility.

He posted pictures of himself on the internet wrapped in blood-covered bandages, brandishing a meat cleaver, and wrote a weird story to go with the images. In a blog he expressed satisfaction at once being lodged in the same hostel as the infamous ‘Monster of Foligno’, a murderer who slaughtered two youths in the 1990s.

And yet his new-found fascination with gory horror and violent comics would have surprised the friends he left behind at Licea Scientifico Einstein secondary school at Molfetta.

They said Raffaele suffered from excessive softness - his kickboxing instructor recalled that he even hesitated when kicking out, for fear of hurting the hardened expert.


***********

A few interesting insights there, though we could use more on Sollecito.  For most of it, this is a pretty good book, the weak part being the closing analysis of the evidence. Two small corrections.

  • The house where the notorious rock-throwing party took place was where Knox herself was living at the time. See here.

  • Knox was not on an official University of Washington study-abroad program, as the university has rather anxiously tried to make plain. See here.

If Knox had indeed been on a proper study-abroad program - something many caring parents actually insist upon - her behavior might have been more restrained. She may not have moved in with Sollecito for one thing.

She may not have hit the drugs so hard. And she would not have run so desperately short of money, just when Patrick was apparently about to hire Meredith to replace her. No monthly checks were arriving from Seattle. 

Maybe the second correction is not such a small one.

In fact, it is a pity that no writers have really explored all of this - there is, if anything, a surfeit of motives in this case, and the writers might be able to narrow them down.

Although he went to highschool in Molfetta (bottom shot here) and the book is correct on that, Raffaele Sollecito actually comes from Giovinazzo which is ten minutes drive south along the coast.

Both are north of Bari, where his father practices medicine.   




Posted on 05/03/10 at 04:02 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoPublic evidenceThe timelinesCrime hypothesesOn psychologyReporting on the caseFine reporting
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