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 To Common Sense

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 At Truth

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.




Comments

Thanks for this post.  I was tracking with Twitter as people got their first glimpse of Amanda Knox responding to Diane Sawyer’s questions.

People found many ways to say they found Amanda Knox not likeable or credible, but I hope what people really pay attention to is the evidence, including the cell phone evidence, the DNA evidence, and the evidence of the cover up, all of which implicates Guede, Knox, and Sollecito.  The shifting alibis and false accusation of Patrick Lumumba are damaging, but it’s really the physical evidence that makes clear Knox and Sollecito were deeply involved.

This case isn’t about Satanic cults or anyone’s sex life or any of the side shows that the defense and PR team point to to distract journalists and viewers.  It’s about a trail of evidence that leads back to three people who for reasons we likely will never understand came together in a vicious assault that deprived Meredith Kercher of her life.

Posted by Media Watcher on 05/01/13 at 03:35 AM | #

Very powerful post - thanks SA.

For anyone conducting their own investigation following the current media blitz, welcome indeed. I came to this case during the lengthy Appeal as I simply couldn’t understand what had happened to this lovely, clearly innocent, young lady AK. Forgive me, I will only use her initials as I feel to do otherwise is to take something from Meredith.

I didn’t follow the original trial, other than reading press reports. The end of the Appeal, and the outcome, was an injustice that took my breath away. How the Kercher’s maintained their dignity, to this day, I will never know.

The first trial report, as referred to by SomeAlibi, is a must read. 15 minutes, there or thereabouts, and then you’ll comprehend why this board exists. You’ll comprehend why so many people across Europe and America believe that AK and RS were both present when poor Meredith prematurely met her maker, and you’ll see the commonly held belief that AK is an innocent “kid” (if she’s old enough to travel alone, then she’s no kid!) for what it truely is. A fabrication. A cruel “get out of jail free” tissue of lies.

This is exactly the thing that made me search on the internet for more information (quoted from above):
“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”

I knew that from the first trial and the media reporting of the time. Then sweet little AK, aka “the kid” - it just didn’t add up to me.

And who has the sort of funds to cleanse the internet rankings to remove traces of non-approved literature? I had a heck of a time, back then, to find anything that wasn’t the approved marketing version.

AK and RS need to come with a buyer-beware tag. Those gobbling up the profits right now will rue the day.

Welcome, read, understand what the hell we’re all talking about. Our comments aren’t part of a hate campaign, just a case of brutal assault and murder of a young woman who has yet to receive justice.

RIP Meredith.
To the Kerchers: you’re not alone.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 05/01/13 at 04:24 AM | #

Thank you for the excellent summary of evidence based points. I first read of this case in the book Darkness Descending.Luciano Garofano a leading forensics expert in Italy places Sollecito at the scene due to the DNA found on to the bra clasp alone.

Looking at the powerpoints on this site in particular relating to the staged break in, Sollecitos boody footprint are also convincing points.

There is clearly a lot of substantive evidence implicating Sollecito and Knox.

After reading John Kercher’s book on Meredith it is also clear how profound a loss he and his family have suffered. Not to forget everyone that Meredith knew.That they have dealt with this with such real dignity and fortitude in spite of all the media hype is incredible.

The media circus around Knox continues. The UK press seem to skate over the evidence in the case.
Sometimes it all seems too much even for anyone looking at this case from a distance.

Hopefully the Courts in Italy will publish their reasoning soon. And whenever the judicial process reaches a conclusion will we ever hear an honest
word from either Sollecito or Knox?Somehow I doubt it.

Which is why this website and its main contributors deserve thanks from us all.

Posted by Olliebear on 05/01/13 at 07:27 AM | #

To the new enquirer
“The search for truth takes you where the evidence leads you, even if, at first, you don’t want to go there.”
― Bart D. Ehrman, Forged: Writing in the Name of God

Follow the evidence!

Posted by starsdad on 05/01/13 at 07:50 AM | #

Andrea, go!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22351375

Posted by Helder Licht on 05/01/13 at 09:13 AM | #

Andrea Vogt has written an excellent article for the BBC:

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22351375

Posted by The Machine on 05/01/13 at 09:14 AM | #

An excerpt from journalist Andrea Vogt’s May 1, 2013 BBC article, AMANDA KNOX AND PRISON LIFE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22351375


” If the diplomats knew of anything of the ’ harrowing prison hell’ Knox was going through ( as one paper put it ), they are keeping those reports under wraps. Neither Kerry nor any other US politician has made any public complaints. Even today, her Italian lawyers maintain she was not mistreated.”

Posted by True North on 05/01/13 at 09:17 AM | #

Thanks for an excellent summary.

This is a minor point, but in rereading the full Massei report, I noticed this below the names of the other lawyers that I know who represented the Kerchers and Patrick Lumumba.

Aldalia Tattanelli
represented and defended by Attorney Letizia Magnini of the Bar of Perugia

Who is this?

Posted by believing on 05/01/13 at 10:15 AM | #

Reactions to her media interview have been surprisingly negative on abc comments.  Most so far said they thought she was guilty.  I didn’t expect that.

Posted by believing on 05/01/13 at 12:05 PM | #

@believing. Plaintiff Aldalia Tattanelli Morrone is the retired woman, living in Rome, who is the owner of the cottage in Via della Pergola. Tattanelli has inherited the cottage, bought during ‘40s, from her father. And Letizia Magnini is her lawyer.

http://www.famigliaperugina.it/beta/?page_id=23

http://ultimora.umbriaonline.com/news/ultim-ora/consegna-del-grifone-d-onore-al-presidente-della-bcc-di-mantignana-antonio-marinelli.html

http://www.ilmessaggero.it/home_initalia/cronacanera/meredith_affittata_a_tre_studenti_stranieri_la_casa_del_delitto/notizie/77754.shtml

Posted by ncountryside on 05/01/13 at 12:24 PM | #

Kudos to Some Alibi for a quick tour of the evidence. Thanks for keeping the main thing the main thing. Your bullet points of proven facts should convince anyone that Knox and Raf were suspects for a reason. Such facts are what counts, not our negative emotional reactions to Miss Pretender. Only clear evidence counts.

Before Sawyer’s interview with Amanda, a poster named Bard said to look for these in the guilty: raised eyebrows and a wrinkled forehead. Knox showed both after the question, “Did you kill Meredith Kercher?” She had an unbearably tense or terrified look also with the follow-up question: do you know anything about Meredith’s murder you’re not telling us? She squirmed emotionally and tried to hold her face blank or innocent but you could tell she was in agony wanting to move on quickly or she would crack.

Her repressed anger was the most prominent part of the interview with Sawyer. Amanda is on a hair trigger with rage. Her biggest regret of all is not Meredith’s loss of life but Knox’s ego smashed anguish at feeling she was broken by police tricks into partly revealing her involvement in the murder. Cracking or looking weak is what she wants to defend against with the Florence hearing. She said something like “I can’t have fear now, I have to be strong to fight against this”, meaning no repeats of caving under pressure. It’s all an ego battle nor will she ever admit the truth. Her only real regret is she wasn’t smarter than the police.

The only honesty I could see in the interview is that Amanda still grieves that she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was to elude the truth hunters. Her unspoken message is that she won’t be fooled again. The police label of “a stupid liar” still rankles. Oh if only she had been an even slicker liar in 2007. She’s getting there. In fact she sounded extremely hardened and brusque, almost like her voice is rough, scratchy and hoarse from overuse or fatigue or antihistamines, not sure.

When Sawyer asked her if she didn’t now regret her Questura calisthenics and face making with Raffaele as seeming slightly cold, Knox pauses like she’s having to think about it and then says, “I could have been a little bit more sensitive”. She pretends to throw the audience a bone of humility with this carefully crafted statement pre-rehearsed no doubt, when it’s a pure evasion and refusal to apologize or recognize how horribly she acted at the police station to show so little respect for Meredith’s murder, or those investigating it. She lies again about the cartwheels. Deny deny deny, hardly a new strategy for her.

She said about incarceration that the tomb was her life, not the prison. Does anyone know what that’s supposed to mean? the tomb was her life…

The green dress reminded me of the green coat she wore in court when found guilty. Her hair for Sawyer’s interview looked neatly brushed but thin and wispy, as if her health is impaired.

Completely irrelevant personal reaction: I think she should have worn a tailored jacket and not shown so much skin, although by modern standards for American women she was not too immodest. Again, why not some jewelry, why not try to polish up a little and show more self-respect, I just don’t understand this determination to make nothing of her otherwise rather pretty appearance. She should have cut her hair a few inches, put some layers in it and gotten a body wave. Doesn’t she have access to a hair salon before these national tv appearances? I’m not talking about faking it with hair extensions, but a special conditioner could bulk up her locks. I did like her mascara and makeup. She should consider getting some highlights.

Edda looks nice but the fake quick waterworks and her tendency to pre-empt every conversation to play Queen Interrupt the Interview are disturbing. She seems to need to grandstand verbally over Amanda and Curt, no wonder she’s divorced and Knox is still waiting to be heard.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/01/13 at 01:35 PM | #

Excellent post!

Did anyone notice Knox’s strange body language during the Diane Sawyer interview? When Sawyer asks her if she murdered Meredith Kercher she said “no” but nodded her head (“yes”).

Also, “I could have been more sensitive”???? In response to being asked why she told Meredith’s friends “of course she suffered, her f*cking throat was slit.”

You just can’t make this stuff up!!!

Posted by devorah on 05/01/13 at 02:16 PM | #

Some Alibi! - Most Professional.

Diane Sawyer’s choice of words in last night’s Interview of Knox, evaded, mainly, successful allegations that she enabled Amanda Knox’s obfuscatory-performance; only in her disinformation that the Supreme Court of Italy (SCC) had ordered a re-trial of Knox did Sawyer constructively enable Knox.[As those sincerely interested know, SCC did not order a re-trial, it annulled the Hellmann- Zanetti decision and ordered the all-party Appeals of the Massei decision to be conducted in Florence, under strict conditions, yet to be specified.]

This SCC decision is analogous, but not identical, to a SCOTUS decision reversing a lower Appellate Court decision, accompanied by a remand to the lower Appellate court for further Appellate proceedings.

Sociopathic behavior exploits the fact that you can fool Some of the People All the Time.

The Gogarty Marriots of this world exploit that fact as a paid Profession.

Their tools are Obfuscation [“Obfuscation (or beclouding) is the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, wilfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret.”], and floods of imagined, and real, Reasons-To-Doubt.

Hellmann & Zanetti used Obfuscation to arrive at their SCC-annulled decision.

Knox still uses Obfuscation.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 05/01/13 at 03:31 PM | #

Another excellent article by journalist Andrea Vogt in today’s The Week, ’ OMISSIONS AND DISCREPANCIES’ IN AMANDA KNOX’S MEMOIR

http://www.theweek.co.uk/crime/amanda-knox/52801/amanda-knox-memoir-omissions-and-discrepancies

Posted by True North on 05/01/13 at 05:34 PM | #

I also thought her body language and tone were strange and evasive when Diane Sawyer quizzed her about whether she killed Meredith, and especially whether she knew anything she hadn’t told so far.  Then she really hesitated.  I didn’t buy that answer at all.  She may not have killed Meredith but she knows something.

Posted by believing on 05/01/13 at 06:58 PM | #

PR company to AK “I said, ‘no nodding head’ not ‘no’ nodding head!”

Posted by starsdad on 05/02/13 at 01:55 AM | #

Elizabeth Vargas is asking people on Twitter what they want her to ask Amanda Knox:

@EVargasABC: Am prepping for @gma 2moro morning. Intving amanda knox and her family live. What do u want me to ask?

Posted by The Machine on 05/02/13 at 03:37 AM | #


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