Thursday, October 08, 2009

Newsweek’s Barbie Nadeau Has A Really Vital Piece On How The Evidence Stacks Up

Posted by Peter Quennell


And,  in short, it is ominous.

Click above for the full report. This really IS vital reading. A few key excerpts as follows.

Evidence: Rudy Guede

Who it hurts: Knox and Sollecito

Rudy Guede is the 24-year-old Ivory Coast native convicted in a fast-track trial last October for his role in Kercher’s murder. He is serving a 30-year sentence (his appeal begins on Nov. 19). Guede, who refused to testify in the Knox trial, has admitted that he was in the house when Kercher was killed. He says Kercher invited him there and that the two were making out when a stomach cramp from a bad kebab sent him to the bathroom. He was on the toilet with his iPod headphones on through four songs and, when he came out, Kercher was dying. He says he tried to save Kercher by using a towel to sop up the blood on her neck wounds, but he was scared after a man he says looked like Sollecito told him that “they’ll pin this on the black guy.” Guede fled to Germany, where he was later arrested for skipping a train fare. His feces (found in a toilet), along with his DNA and fingerprints from Kercher’s bedroom, link him to the crime scene. The sentencing judge who convicted him, though, did not see him as a lone assailant. Instead, the judge wrote in his sentencing report that he believed Guede acted with Knox and Sollecito.

Evidence: Murder dynamic

Who it hurts: Knox and Sollecito

One of the most complicated aspects of Kercher’s tragic death is how the murder itself played out. The prosecution believes that Knox, Sollecito, and Guede taunted Kercher in a sex game that quickly escalated to violence and ended in murder. Countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, have testified that more than one person killed her based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back—no hair or skin was found under her fingernails. The defense has confused matters more: Knox’s forensic specialist testified that Kercher had been killed by only one person from the front, but Sollecito’s expert testified that Kercher had been killed by one person from behind.

Evidence: Knox’s confession

Who it hurts: Knox

On Nov. 5, 2007, Sollecito was called to the Perugia police station for questioning about Kercher’s murder. Knox testified last June that she did not want to be alone, so she accompanied him. During his interrogation, Sollecito admitted to police that he did not know for sure if Knox actually spent the night of the murder at his house, as she had told police earlier. Since Knox was at the police station, the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m., and, by 5:45 a.m., Knox had told police that she was in the house when Kercher died—and that Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the nightclub where she worked, was the assailant. She even described Kercher’s screams. She, Sollecito, and Lumumba were arrested. The next day, Knox wrote a five-page memorandum reiterating everything she said the night before. But since there was no lawyer present during her interrogation—and so far no one has produced an audiotape of the interrogation—Knox’s attorneys were able to have her verbal confession thrown out of evidence. The five-page memorandum still holds….

Evidence: Conflicting alibis

Who it hurts: Unknown

Knox maintains that she spent the night of Nov. 1, 2007, at Sollecito’s house. Sollecito did not take the stand during this trial, and his lawyer told NEWSWEEK that it was, at least in part, because he could not corroborate Knox’s alibi….

So Sollecito did not take the stand in part because he could not corroborate Knox’s alibi. Wow. That has to hurt.

Very much more in Barbie Nadeau’s original piece.  We recommend that you read it all.




Comments

This is not really touched on in this piece. But we have heard from several courtroom watchers that they and others there made up their minds (against) on the 2nd day Amanda Knox testified on the stand.

Knox’s apparent flippant callousness and condescending arrogance on that ill-judged watershed day for her were commented upon by our poster Nicki here.

Even Knox’s first day on the stand was pretty much a disaster. She forgot to make out like a delicate flower who had been banged around in the police station.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/08/09 at 10:36 AM | #

10/8/09

Peter,

Thank you for moving my reply to Mimi to a better place!

UW reforms rock! “Meredith Kercher reform”, great name.

String theory and the wisdom of Solomon are needed to sort out this case. Italian justice system is a fair one, as good as any.

Sollecito’s the puzzle (I agree with Terence, and Peter’s thoughts on Sollecito in general.) A guy doesn’t collect knives unless he wants to use them. He’s well-bred, gentle, sensitive, highly intelligent, yet frightened, emotionally immature, stymied. Something may have happened at boarding school.

Amanda’s crude and aggressive, yet intelligent.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/08/09 at 01:22 PM | #

10/8/09

Barbie Nadeau sews it up! Careful and conservative, she simplifies the facts. A pleasure to read.

Sollecito’s reason for not testifying, because he can’t confirm Amanda’s alibi, yikes!? Is he sacrificing himself out of loyalty to her, or keeping quiet to keep her quiet? Roll the dice.

Dr. Sollecito said money makes water run uphill. How? In pipes, broken pipes, or to Rome in old aqueducts. Maybe the truth will come out of Rome, the forensics lab. He tried to buy justice. What did he think would be the outcome of TV broadcast of Meredith’s crime scene photos? Bad move.

I don’t begrudge the Knox or Sollecito families defending their children. It’s only natural. Yet the truth may be that Raffaele hoped to topple his sister from her pedestal as a policewoman, and to rip his father’s attention and money away from the stepmother who displaced him. He may have killed Meredith due to buried resentments against his own mother, and through passive-aggressive need to defy authority.

He was locked into a psychosexual dynamic with Amanda, the first love of his life. Suddenly, freedom, hope, not being invisible. Heady role reversal. He felt superior to both Amanda and Guede. In the fight, 3 to 1 against Meredith, bully tactics. Raf thinks obstacles can be overcome at last. He, Guede, Amanda are all in accord. Power intensifies vengeance. Things go to extremes.

To protect Amanda (perhaps), he explodes with anger. A lifelong fantasy of knives and Manga comics, not to mention hard pornography, derail his judgment. After his first physical assault on Meredith, seeing how far Rudy went with sexual action, he’s energized by fear of discovery. All or nothing he thinks, so he goes further, makes a fatal blow with his knife, afterwards a coverup. Or covers up Amanda’s and Rudy’s disaster. Who knows?

As Raf’s behavior has him behind bars and his family’s attention lasered on him, so does Knox’s. Her family faces huge expense and stress trying to defend her. In this way she prevents them from going on their merry way with their own lives. Perhaps the stress will destroy her mother’s 2nd marriage, her father’s, too, and prevent more children being born to rival her. Could be her psychic endgame.

Provocation. I doubt Meredith pulled a knife. She was brave. Did she strike or slap Amanda? Threaten? Reach for the phone to dial 112? Was she held down by 2 or by 3 people? They could have thrown a bag over her head. Did Amanda stir up the men, then leave the deathblow to Sollecito while she trembled and covered her ears in the kitchen?

Forensics evidence is not overwhelmingly clear, but character traits and by them Amanda’s and Raffaele’s potential for violence may be startlingly clear to the Italians. 

I’d hate to be a juror.

Tigger’s right, Amanda’s prestigious prep school is no guarantee of a student’s refinement or innate delicate sensibility. She aspires to these, but Meredith had them. Old Palace School, top notch. The Kerchers’ verbal restraint and quiet behavior showed good manners. Amanda’s middle-class manners would have served her better than the lowbrow behaviors she adopted for Perugia police, and her brass mule actions in court. She chose not to attend her murdered roommate’s memorial service in Perugia, instead ate pizza with Raffaele. Who would be at the funeral she might want to avoid?

For court, Edda should have worn a jacket, jewelry, and had her hair coiffed. Amanda should have wiped that silly grin off her face and assumed an air of dignity and comportment. If serious effort could pay off at the 11th hour, it was during a murder trial! She could have asked cellmates to style her hair. With a minimum of effort, she could have shown herself in a better light. Nothing in her manner would astound me, even backflips into court. Clowns get laughed at. 

At Rudy’s appeal, expect lies and more lies. Past behavior is the greatest indicator of future behavior.

“CSI Miami” opening music: “Don’t get fooled again, NO NO!”

Posted by Hopeful on 10/08/09 at 07:17 PM | #

Nadeau says, under the sub-title “Evidence: Conflicting Alibis” that:

  “But an expert witness for Sollecito offered evidence that someone was on his computer the night he was at the police station, implying that his alibi had been tampered with.”

From reports I’ve read elsewhere, it was resported that the computer expert for Sollecito’s defense testified someone was watching a DVD on “the night of the murder” - not “the night he was at the police station”!

Have I missed anything? Has anyone else read that the expert ALSO testified that someone was on Sollecito’s computer the night he was being questioned at the police station? Or did Nadeau get this wrong?

Thanks.

Posted by Scooby on 10/10/09 at 09:24 AM | #

Hi Scooby. Both uses of the computer were testified to. The defense claim was not subject to any real technical scrutiny by the prosecution though. The defense notion that someone from law enforcement who knew Sollecito was being interrogated ducked down to his place and illegally broke in to download and watch a movie didnt seem to fly well. It is possible - possible - that someone later hooked up the computer in the police station. Perhaps most likely though is that this might have been a prior action by Sollecito and the timing is off. It simply wasnt technically examined in the way it could have been - the prosecution called no expert on this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/10/09 at 09:57 AM | #

Thanks for the clarification Peter.

The defense’s theory sounds very far-fetched - like their spiderman break-in theory. If anything, it shows that it could not have possibly been someone from law enforcement tampering with evidence - why would someone go to tamper with evience, and then watch a movie, knowing that this leaves traces back to him/herself? I’m glad the court noticed the ridiculousness of the defense theory. The more desperate the defense gets at providing Sollecito with an alibi, the more feeble their attempts become, and the more ridicule they attract. Excellent - let them dig their own hole further!

Posted by Scooby on 10/11/09 at 09:00 AM | #


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