Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

Posted by James Raper



Several of the numerous scientific witnesses; some evidence was behind closed doors

Overview Of This Post

Remember that Amanda Knox, a felon for life, served three years for framing Patrick for murder.

In my previous post I dismissed the claim which the British barrister FG (Fred) Davies pervasively made in Parts 1 to 20 of his mammoth series in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly that it was actually Guede and his team who had somehow framed Knox and Sollecito for a crime he alone committed and left all of Italian law enforcement bamboozled.

I now have Parts 21 to 26 as well, all of the series, and I wish to examine one more large area of cherrypicked facts and misinterpretations, along with Davies’s final conclusion.

First, Fred Davies’s Final Scenario

As anticipated,  Davies concludes that Knox and Sollecito should only have been convicted of the charge of simulating a burglary. He presents his own synopsis of what happened on the night of the murder which has both Knox and Guede present at the cottage for the murder, but not Sollecito.

Davies says it is Guede who sexually assaults and stabs Meredith. Knox, unaware of what was going to happen is horrified and scared out of her wits, retreating to her bedroom and locking herself in.

Davies says Guede flees, ignoring or unable to do anything about the fact there is/was a witness to his horrific crime. When it’s safe to do so Knox emerges and meets up with Sollecito.

Davies says that Knox, fearing that if she went to the police she would only end up being accused of involvement in the murder, persuades Sollecito to be her alibi, and to stage the scene to point to a burglar, and Sollecito, being the Honour Bound sort of chap he is, agrees to go along with this. Once they both embark on this course of action there us no turning back.

I trust that you are all duly intrigued with Davies’s scenario and panting to learn how and why he arrives at it. Unfortunately this will have to wait until another day if it is to be from me.

He has, after all, taken 26 Chapters in half a year to get to this point and I am not yet ready to deal with them comprehensively. Others here may contribute posts and discuss implications with the Criminal Law editor.

Fred Davies On Knife Or Knives

Whilst I guess most comments are going to be about the above synopsis, I am going to deal with his thoughts regarding the knives, these being quite central to his synopsis.

My argument below is supported by numerous previous posters none of whom differed markedly from Massei or Nencini. 

Davies in contrast is sharply critical of Massei. He simply excludes the Double DNA knife (Exhibit 36) as the murder weapon.

He is also critical….nay, I would have to say that he is outraged…. at Massei holding that Sollecito was responsible for the lesser of the two wounds, that on the right side of Meredith’s neck. He is critical of Micheli for not finding, as a matter of fact, that Guede was the one responsible for the wounds, using his own knife which has yet to be recovered.

Without more ado I will proceed to Mr Davies’ evaluation:

“The finding against Sollecito that it was he who inflicted two of the three wounds to Meredith Kercher using a pocket knife which was in his possession at the material time is deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”

Well, I was unaware that Massei had found that Sollecito inflicted two of the three wounds. In fact I am not aware of three wounds (unless he includes what is effectively a nick) , but if there were then Massei only attempted to attribute two, the one to the right of the neck, 4 cms deep and with a width of 1.5 cms, being attributed to Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

It did not cause any significant structural damage, unlike the wound to the left, 8 cms deep and 8 cms wide which had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken the hyoid bone. 

Is the rest “deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”?

“It could not have been part of the prosecution case that Sollecito used a pocket knife to subdue and stab Meredith Kercher. If it had why was Sollecito and/or Knox not charged with carrying the said pocket knife without justified reason? To recapitulate,, the charge alleged that the killing was achieved by means of………….and deep lesions to the left anterior-lateral and right lateral regions of the neck, caused by a bladed weapon (Exhibit 36).

The Massei Court’s finding strikes against basic principles of fairness which applies to all criminal proceedings. Put another way, a criminal court is not generally entitled to bring in a verdict which differs markedly from the basis on which the prosecution puts it’s case. This is because the defence would not be able to adequately prepare and meet such an unexpected contingency. In plain English the defence would be ambushed or taken by surprise. In this case the defence was ambushed and the defendants’ rights (Knox and Sollecito) were fundamentally infringed.”

Oh come on! Ambushed? Really?

OK, so the charge did indeed indicate that that both the right and left sided wounds were caused by “a bladed weapon to which Chapter B applies” (Exhibit 36) but the reality is that the defence always knew that Exhibit 36 (because of it’s dimensions and in particular it’s width 4cms from the tip) could not have been the cause of the wound to the left anterior lateral. That’s a matter of simple logic and in any event every expert and all the lawyers in the case agreed on that.

So the way the charge was erroneously framed in fact misled no-one.

Indeed had the defence thought so then they could have raised the matter. Mr Davies does not claim that Massei did not have the power to amend the indictment. If the court was unable to, or the defence chose not to raise it, either way thinking it was a clever appeal point, then it did not become one.

Indeed, Mr Davies will know anyway that in English law, by virtue of The Indictments Act 1915, courts can (and frequently do) order an amendment to an indictment at any stage (which includes during a trial) provided the amendment does not result in an injustice to the accused.  This is a practical necessity as it would be an affront to the concept of justice if defendants were to be acquitted on the basis of a mere technicality.

One might consider what amendment might have been made.

A possibility is that reference to the right-sided wound might have been excluded. It was the left-sided wound that was fatal, after all, and caused, as the prosecution would endeavour to prove, by a weapon which, as it happened, belonged to Sollecito.

The prosecution did, of course, maintain that it was Knox who wielded the weapon, but might, as an alternative, have also asserted that it was Sollecito. Indeed the framing of the charge leaves it an open question as to which of them did. They were charged jointly with having caused Meredith’s death.

The evidence that it may have been either (AK or RS) is a common feature of cases to which the English legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise applies.

The doctrine applies particularly to a case such as this in that no matter who actually wields the weapon the other participant in the common enterprise is deemed to possess the same level of criminal liability even if he did not know that there was a knife or that it would be so used. Being reckless as to that possibility is sufficient.

It is surprising how often how little is required to establish joint enterprise. Frequently the mere fact that the participants know each other and were there, and that the situation was a combustible one of the group’s making, is enough. The doctrine has come in for a great deal of justified criticism but despite this remains firm law.

My preference would have been to amend the indictment to refer to the right sided wound being caused by a bladed weapon, the blade being of indeterminate length but with a width of approximately 1.5 cms. It is the width of the wound that is salient because it is indicative of the width of the blade on the knife being used which, whilst also being indicative of the likely length of the blade, but without being sure, could be either a pocket knife (4 cms or more) or a flick knife (which could also be a pocket knife). 1.5 cms is about the width of the tip of one’s index finger, by the way.

Massei, and others, always refer to this knife as a pocket knife. However henceforth I am going to write “pocket knife“ to refer to the options of a pocket knife with a blade of 4cms or more, or a flick knife.

As to Mr Davies other point as to why Sollecito was not specifically charged with carrying a “pocket knife” without justified reason, I do not know, but since the framing of charges is a matter for the prosecution, one might as well leave the matter there.

In any event the lack of a specific charge does not in any way preclude a court from inferring the nature of a weapon from the pathology of the wound nor from identifying the probable assailant (as distinct from having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the culpability of a single perpetrator named in a specific charge of “carrying“).

Guede did not ever face a specific charge of carrying a weapon but that does not prevent Mr Davis from concluding that Guede had a knife and had stabbed Meredith. It seems that Mr Davies would have been quite happy for Guede to have been so charged and convicted on Professor Vinci’s (see later) dubious testimony.

In this last respect, however, Mr Davies could have more telling argument. Lets see.

“To infer that Sollecito had a pocket knife at Via della Pergola 7 on the fateful evening of November 1-2, based on the character evidence of four witnesses called for the defence, was to say the least highly unusual..”

I think the operative words here are “witnesses called for the defence”, amongst whom was Sollecito’s own father. Yes, highly unusual but then that is what happens when you do not vet your own character witnesses before cross-examination.

Sollecito’s proclivity for carrying a knife (usually a pocket knife) at all times (and indeed he had one on him at the time of his arrest in the Police Station) is highly relevant. These witnesses referred to a knife with a blade of about 4 cms, or perhaps 6 cms.

In addition Sollecito was something of a knife aficionado. The police found two specialist knives, a Spiderco and a 2004 model Brian Tighe. Neither of these can be connected to Meredith’s wounds but they are indicative of his affinity to weapons specifically designed to be used in a fight to maim or kill. Clearly a flick knife falls into the same category.

As to proclivity evidence against Guede one can refer to his brief possession of a kitchen knife acquired at and belonging to the Milan nursery (which he did not break into, he had been given a key).

There is, of course, Tramontano’s dubious claim (angrily dismissed by Micheli even though Guede was never given the chance to challenge this in court) that a black man broke into his property and, confronted by Tramontano, had pulled out a flick knife as he exited. Tramontano tried to claim the burglar was probably Guede based on a photo of him he had seen in a newspaper. If it really was Guede he was not carrying that knife with him at the Milan nursery 8 weeks later.

“Even if Sollecito was present at the scene of the crime (as distinct from being complicit), the court could not have been sure that any “pocket knife” in his possession, which incidentally was never recovered, had inflicted all or some of the injuries, the most cogent rationale being:

1. The prosecution could not prove the dimensions and the character of the knife were consistent with the injuries inflicted upon Meredith Kercher.

2. The Court paid scant regard to the totality of expert opinion as to the type of bladed weapon (or weapons) which had been used to stab the victim

3. The Court paid scant regard to the dimensions of a bloody outline of a knife found on Meredith’s pillow

4. Consequently the Court could not have been sure that any pocket knife and, a fortiori, exhibit 36 had been used to stab Meredith that fateful night.”

As to 1 above, we know that no suitable weapon was ever recovered but if the indictment had been amended in accordance with my preference then the prosecution would easily have proved that part of the indictment, relating as it does to the wound on the right side of the neck.

It is a reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities that the wound was caused by a “pocket knife” and if one accepts the presence of multiple attackers (which I understand is a judicial truth in the case even following the latest acquittal of Knox and Sollecito) then, again on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account all the other circumstantial evidence in the case, I submit that it is a reasonable inference that it was Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

The bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to culpability re the specified charge and is not to be confused with the elements.

As to 2, this simply is not true. I shall look at the totality of the expert opinion in a moment but suffice it to say that Massei spent a considerable amount of time in his Motivation detailing with and discussing the defence experts’ opinions.

As to 3, (and it was not on the pillow but the bedsheet) it was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outline (there was a dual outline, he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3). Davies does not mention a blade width but in fact Professor Vinci actually says 1.3 to 1.4 cms wide.

Taking these measurements as read, Davies points out that they are incompatible with either a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and Exhibit 36. I have no argument with that observation. It follows, he then argues, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Indeed (Davies does not say this, but I will) Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

This is worth looking at seriously as so far it is the only worthwhile point Davies has made.

First of all I have to say that I have searched for but have not found any rebuttal evidence or comment from the prosecution amongst the documents on the Wiki.  I do not even see a question on the matter in the cross-examination of Professor Vinci.

Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outline on the bed sheet.  He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements. But is Massei right? One does not have to be an expert to consider this.

First of all, here are images of the blood stains.






In the picture below the stained section of sheet is cut out for analysis the day after the discovery of the murder.

Did the prosecution overlook their own analysis of the stains? Did they deliberately do so after Exhibit 36 was found, 9 days later on the 12th November, to have Meredith’s DNA on it? Or did they always know that the stains established nothing?






The next question to be asked is whether we can see the outline of a knife, or rather a blade. I think the honest answer to that is, on balance, yes. We think we see the tip of a blade, do we not? Maybe two, maybe even three.

It is fairly clear that Professor Vinci takes the largest of the stains to be the hilt of the handle to the knife. Lining that up with what is perhaps the likely clearest possible perceived blade tip (being the middle out of a possible three I believe I see) then the distance to the perceived hilt is indeed something like the 9.6 cms which Professor Vinci has measured.

But there are problems. Here are two of Ergon’s photos from his posts here and here with Exhibit 36 superimposed on the stains in two different positions to reflect the supposed dual outlines.










The blob of blood in the bottom left of the pictures and it’s lesser moon at 1, or 2, o’clock are regarded as having come from the same position on the blade and so with that reference point the blade is positioned accordingly in each photo.

We can surely take it that Professor Vinci also sees the same duality. But if the bloody hilt is aligned to fit with “the moon” stain in order to get the 9.6 cms measurement, then what has happened to that large hilt stain when the knife is moved further to the left, and then dropped a bit, to align to the moon’s planet (the blob)?

It has either disappeared or become an edge. That doesn’t make sense if “the moon” is the lesser version of the blob. The blob has to come from the first positioning of the knife. Despite this, in the knife’s later position the volume of blood at the hilt has actually increased comparative to the knife’s first position. That doesn’t make sense either.

So maybe the largest stain pre-exists, even for perhaps a moment, the stains suggesting the blade outlines, but in that case we can throw Professor Vinci’s measurements out of the window.

Can we do without the blob and it’s moon? It’s all a lot less convincing without them. But in truth we cannot even be sure that they are related. Nor that the largest stain has anything to do with the hilt of a knife.

A further connected observation concerns Professor Vinci’s claim that the blade of the knife is 1.3/1.4 cms wide. Like the rest of his evidence I do not find this very convincing. I suspect that he has deduced this from the largest stain which has a length, he says, of 1.7 cms. It’s width could then be something like 1.3/1.4 cms.

If the width of the knife is represented by approximately 1.4 cms then, given the position of the bloody hilt relative to the tip of it’s blade, what are we to make of the two spots of blood in a horizontal line above? They look like the upper (or lower) edge of a knife but they can’t be without making the blade wider.

Why does it have to be the same knife anyway? The stains could be the result of two different knives collected and laid to rest in the same spot.

The blood stains are certainly bewitching - rather like seeing patterns in tea leaves at the bottom of one’s cup - but on the balance of probabilities I would not totally rely on anyone’s perception of them even, with all due respect, Ergon’s but his analysis is as good as anyone’s, and that for me is the point of it.

In short I think that Massei was probably right. These stains are suggestive but basically useless and the police/prosecution ignored them for that reason.

“Consistent with English law the Massei Court’s findings should be struck down as Wednesbury unreasonable. Where there is no evidence to support a finding of a court or the court has reached a conclusion which is irrational or perverse, in the light of the evidence adduced at trial, a conviction based on that part of the evidence cannot be sustained……….The Massei Court also appears to have violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial),”

Yeah, right.  The case to which he refers, Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1KB 223, is an odd and unnecessary one to pray in aid.  It was a civil case where the appellant sought judicial review in respect of a licencing decision. As a formulation of a first principle of natural justice it is, of course, unquestionable. However the claim that Massei reached a conclusion that was irrational or perverse is laughable.

It is at this point that one does begin to wonder whether Davies is indeed connected in some way with the daffy Nigel Scott (Sollecito‘s ex Lib Dem Haringey Councillor groupie) who similarly emerges with bizarre arguments.

Next, in his evaluation, we come to a numbers game as to who was for and against the incompatibility of Exhibit 36 with the fatal wound on the left side, but before I enter into that game I want to make a point about incompatibility.

A knife blade is only incompatible with a wound if the depth of the wound is longer than the length of the blade or if the width of the wound is shorter than the width of the blade at the relevant depth.

We can therefore establish that Exhibit 36 was not incompatible, a priori, with the depth of the wound.  The blade on Exhibit 36 was 17. 5 cms long and the depth of the wound was 8 cms.

Yes, I know that other arguments as to incompatibility were advanced based, in the main, on these measurements. These Massei logically deconstructed. In fairness to Mr Davies he did not advance them in his evaluation and so neither shall I.

I would also have to concede that Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is not incompatible a priori with the wound on the left side nor, even if it‘s length of blade was over 4 cms, with the wound on the right. Nor Professor Vinci’s knife either.

The same is true of the width of these knives.

It should however be recalled that the width of the right-sided wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the “pocket knife”. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36 - 8 cms from it’s tip - was twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”.

This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the right-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife“, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

Returning to our numbers game, Mr Davies puts it slightly differently from Massei. He says -

“And if that were not enough, of the 8 experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side. Professor Norelli could not rule out Exhibit 36. Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility)  - it will be assumed that he supported the prosecution contention, but in any event al the remaining four experts, Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out.”

In other words a draw but one of the prosecution experts is a bit “iffy”.

Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility“, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

“Non-incompatibility” is not hard to understand. It simply means not incompatible or rather, compatible.

Note that Mr Davies has Professor Cingolani lining up to exclude Exhibit 36. Massei disagrees and I agree with Massei. So, for what it is worth (and this is a bit childish I know) Mr Davies loses the game 7 - 3.

“And one final thought. If the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) were sufficiently compos mentis to dispose of the pocket knife …. Why did they not dispose of Exhibit 36?  By a process of deduction and logical synthesis the answer is plain for all to see: Exhibit 36 never left Corso Garibaldi and was not the murder weapon ”

Because it was on his landlord’s inventory of kitchen items? Indeed we don’t know for sure that the “pocket knife “was actually disposed of. All we know is that it was not identified and recovered by the police.

And In Conclusion

This is the second of my posts involving Mr Davies. I may not be disposed to do any more. I have to say that although he certainly provided some food for thought on this one, I have not been impressed with his analysis in the topics I have covered so far.

Others here have been tabulating other factual errors and forced arguments and as I mentioned at the start we may see them carry this a bit further.




Comments

Great work. Davies never mentions most of them but Knox and Sollecito were granted nearly a dozen pre-trial hearings including six that could have sprung them. Several were only on the forensic evidence. And defense lawyers or their experts were present at all testings and almost all evidence collections.

And this evidence was gone over at each hearing, see the lists that emerged. Most is also right there in the court transcripts and reports had Davies not chosen to ignore all of them, and some (Davies never mentions this) was behind closed doors.

Davies seems to think Massei included absolutely everything in his report (the equivalent of which murder juries in the UK and US never have to prepare) but there is no way Massei could have, and Davies was irresponsible to misrepresent him by suggesting what he wrote was all.

In fact what Davies left out would fill a book. Only by doing that is Davies able to write mumbo-jumbo like this.

It is submitted that the combined circumstances, including the illicit interviews [oh? which?] of Knox and Sollecito by the State Police had already contributed to a conscious or unconscious bias against Knox and Sollecito, which blinded the public, press and organs of the State to potential shortcomings in the motivations for the crime and/or the prosecution evidence which for convenience has been dubbed “the forbidden reasoning”.

And for Davies to not channel even ONE question to Italy? Is that how he approaches UK cases, strenuously one-sided, reading like a killer-groupie? Why did the editor allow this all through to mislead hundreds of lawyers in the UK?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/11/15 at 12:32 AM | #

Davies’s writing-style is confused and confusing.

It is difficult to understand what he IS saying and what he is NOT saying, what “Court” he is referring to, whether he is stating his own opinion/conclusion, or quoting someone else’s opinion/conclusion.

Davies seems to have a problem with the words “right” and “left”, in their topographical sense. In order to decipher his text, I a did textual-analysis:

In his whole 96 page, 47,406-word series, Davies used the word"right” 26 times, and the word “left” 8 times, in their topographical sense.

He never indicates that the fatal wound severed the Right Superior Artery, never using even the word “right” in referring to that blood vessel. Davies never even uses the word “artery”, or one of its derivatives, nor the word"vessel”.

Davies confuses the entry-side of the lethal stab-wound (left side) with its lethal-injury-side (right side). As a result he mistakenly asserts that Exhibit 36 could not have created its 8 cm entry-wound, which it obviously could - and did

Davies is quite out of his depth.

It’s that simple!

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/11/15 at 08:05 AM | #

Personally I think Davies is suffering from Delusions of Grandeur. Observe him strut like Sherlock Holmes, and note the pompous and pathetic statements lifted from Conan Doyle such as “the plain ridiculous or improbable has been eliminated. What remains, however improbable, must represent the truth.” Fetch the chlorpromazine Nurse.

We are supposed to believe that Knox and Sollecito orchestrated the cover up to frame a lone-killer Guede because (a) Knox, though wholly innocent,  was afraid she would become a suspect, (b) she would be identified as responsible for stealing Meredith’s rent money and (c) she would be seen as a coward (for not intervening). This is surely the real “piffle”, to use Davies’ choice word.

Occam’s Razor is the way to go here for Davies. The cover-up, the staged break-in, the obfuscations, the litany of lies, the mind-boggling nonchalance at the death of a “friend” and housemate, the non-appearance at the candle-lit vigil, etc., have to be simply seen for what they are - the actions of desperate and culpable killers. Then factor in the, ahem, incidentals - like DNA and mixed blood.

Elementary my dear Watson.

Posted by Odysseus on 08/11/15 at 08:36 AM | #

OT.  Heartbreaking story from Ireland.  Extraordinary the lengths this Knoxic killer took to create his own paper trail.  Obviously this evil idiot could have learned more about how to get away with it if he paid more attention to the queen of deception.

“The officers noticed a strong smell of bleach in the flat…”

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/he-is-truly-evil-karen-buckleys-family-give-emotional-statement-after-alexander-pacteau-admits-her-murder-31442434.html

Posted by whatswisdom on 08/11/15 at 10:43 AM | #

If this case were a jigsaw, those of us who have examined both the pieces and the whole know without question that Knox and Sollecito are guilty.  To have done the same and then conclude innocence reeks of extraordinary bias, no common sense, no inbuilt natural instinct towards the truth or body language and certainly no intelligence.  Davies should feel ashamed of himself.

I agree with James that Davies could well be associated with Nigel Scott, they both give off a the same kind of stench.

Posted by MHILL4 on 08/11/15 at 10:51 AM | #

@ Odysseus

“Elementary my dear Watson.”

LOL!

I would add to your list: the framing of an innocent man, the fake rental note bragging to all of Perugia, and the footprints, especially Sollecito’s footprint on the bathmat (or as Amanda Knox described it: a stain resembling an “orange.”  You can’t make this stuff up!

Wow, I’m not sure any of us has, I certainly haven’t seen this many people go to these lengths to bend over backward lying and making rationalizations for two killers, who were caught practically red handed (what a terrible unintended pun) at the scene of the crime, after a faked burglary that even the postal police figured out was faked with one look at the room (and why would a burglar climb in a two story window, ransack that room and only that room, while stealing nothing).

Elementary indeed.

@ James

Thank you.

Posted by JohnQ on 08/11/15 at 10:32 PM | #

We would really value postings here of any false claims and lies of ommission you spot in reading Fred Davies’s series.

James already said this is a mammoth task and he’s reluctant to tackle it on his own. We need this for a master version of corrections we want to confront Davies and the editor with.

At minimum, all those numerous UK lawyers who have been misled by Davies need to be advised that the series is extremely faulty.

And ideally Davies apologises to Meredith’s family and to the numerous Italians he impugns - about 60 million of them - as delusional.

Ideally he should also leave his record straight on Guede, which at present is riddled with false claims intended to frame him as a Lone Wolf.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/12/15 at 09:54 AM | #

Ow. Conspiracy theorist Fred Davies aint getting any respect even from his own kind, it seems.

This exchange ridiculing him appeared the other day on a conspiracy theorists’ forum.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10736073 From Post #2563

MichaelB: That FG Davies barrister guy who has been writing the “Brutal Killing of Meredith Kercher” essays has turned out to be a real idiot. He started off great rubbishing Massei and then went downhill around Part 13.

He’s written quite a few times the break-in was staged but given no reason why he thinks that. He also seems hooked on the “strange behavior” and Amanda’s 12.47pm call to her mum. What’s strange about a 20 year old girl in a foreign country calling her mum and saying there’s been a break-in and she’ll call back? He said in Part 24 their behavior was so strange they both should have been given a psychological evaluation after they were arrested.

The thing I’ve noticed about this guy is while he’s done extensive research, he’s only based his opinions on the motivation reports and Galati-Costagliola appeal translated by the guilters, and NOT ALSO the trial transcripts and appeal documents. So I think he’s been duped a little.

*******

[carbonjam72] Thanks MichaelB, this was an interesting read. Are the other sections available to see, or lurking behind a pay-wall?

It would also be interesting to see if the lawyer-author is open to feedback on his analysis, and might even consider stopping by here to have his ideas road tested.

Concerning the errors I see, the first seems to be that he doesn’t have an accurate grasp of the DNA evidence, and its probative value. He repeatedly overestimates the probative value of DNA, which he erroneously uses to try to date Amanda and Raf’s presence at the time and scene of the crime.

He also fails to recognize the presence of multiple male (2-4) contributors to the bra clasp, yet recklessly speculates that Raf picked it up “out of morbid curiosity” after the crime. So that should be a tip off that the author isn’t playing with a full deck of cards.

He makes the same error with respect to trying to use DNA found in a shared bathroom, to date Amanda’s presence in the house at the time of the crime. He also doesn’t seem to be aware of the crime scene collection where police reused cotton swabs to test multiple locations for DNA in the bathroom, so there’s no way to tell if the DNA traces found were mixed before or after collection.

One wonders if he has seen Dr Peter Gill’s new book, it might have helped him.

The last and probably most galling aspect, is his willingness to attribute the confused statements of both Amanda and Raf as “lies”, without considering the circumstances under which these statements were extracted, and indeed coerced.

Similarly, his obsession with what he views as insufficiently serious behavior from Amanda and Raf, seems to be the emotional basis for justifying imprisonment of 4 years each. For him that seems to be justice. For this reason, I have to say I think he’s a complete jackass. It shows a degree of bias in his analysis that cannot be overcome with reason.

The possibility that Amanda and Raf never left their apartment that night, and the only time they said anything different is when the police coerced false statements from them, appears to be beyond his ken.

********

[Kauffer] Interesting. I think it’s a question of voices. Sometimes he is positing the counter view and discussing its merits; on other occasions he is in his own voice and it’s his own conclusion. But he has clearly come to a conclusion of his own about the notion of lying and appears to believe that the hypothesis of a staged burglary can be based upon such a notion, which is erroneous.

I suspect he may have been lobbied and as a result has diverged from rigorous analysis. Now, I want to read his final part to see how all the elements come together in his mind, when he attempts to speculate what actually happened.

The case for the prosecution is wholly bunk, but it’s cleverly deceptive. The greatest difficulty for those people, even fair minded ones, who have not worked all the evidence in detail and joined each piece to the others, is Amanda’s first two statements and sometimes her third. Additionally, I wonder how many people know that in Romanelli’s room there were only five disclosed samples tested - that the burglary or, to take an investigator’s position, the alleged burglary, was never investigated on the merits by the police.

********
[carbonjam72] I would also take issue with his contention that Amanda and Raf were not demonstrated to have the scientific knowledge to clean up their own biological traces while leaving behind only Rudy’s. While he counts this statement as merely ‘not proven’ he should be counting it as flat out crazy. He doesn’t seem to understand the hypothesized clean-up is literally magical thinking, and a scientific impossibility.

He doesn’t understand the science, he doesn’t understand the issue of coerced statements and just assumes they are “lies, and he’s offended that two young people showed immaturity in the face of a tragic crime.

But he does seem smart enough to put many ideas together in a logical way. He’s half-a-guilter.

So where did a literate person like this pick up so much blinding bias? Why does this guy lack the objectivity to see the holes in his analysis?

*******

[lonepinealex] Bit worrying that this guy is a barrister. Lawyers can usually spot police misconduct a mile off.

*******

[Bill Williams] I doubt he’s been lobbied. Yet his theory is, they are guilty, but yet given that they probably didn’t do the murder, they are probably guilty anyway.

**********

[Kauffer] Why do you doubt he’s been lobbied? I’ve lobbied people about this case. I am aware of other pro innocent lobbying. Haven’t you lobbied? We know the dark side has lobbied - Harry Rag with the press is a big example. Why wouldn’t they lobby this guy and ask him to be “balanced”. Or point out some “facts” that he’s “missed”?

*********
[Bill Williams] Well…. I’ve posted lots to ISF/JREF, and if you call that “lobbying”, well…... maybe specifics would be helpful, because I’ve never called an Italian prosecutor or judge, for instance; that’s what I’d define as lobbying.

I have never called someone or sent them a communication imploring them (privately) to change their point of view. I have, however, had private PMs with just under a dozen guilters - in essence to get them to lobby me - or at least explain to me (outside the public glare of these forums) why they say what they do.

I’ve been accused of being lobbied, in the sense that the views I express are somehow not my own, but the result of some outside influence - absent that influence I’d be saying something else.

*****
[DougM] It looks to me like this guy started out with the intent of solving the following “mystery”, at least in his head:

If Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are not guilty of the murder, why did they act so guilty after the murder?

It makes me wonder if this is part of the rationalization that many who assumed they must be guilty of the murder are now going through, since they have been found innocent. It is a way of avoiding the shock and ugliness of admitting to themselves that they got it wrong, and have been accepting the idea that two people were guilty of a heinous crime based on very shaky evidence.

So what it seems he wants to do is make them guilty of something. The problem is, he has concluded that there is proof that AK and RS were present at the time of the murder, but I don’t see where that is true.

I think that, unfortunately, the one thing he wants to accept as true is that AK and RS are bad people, and must have done something, so he is jumping through hoops to avoid thinking that two totally innocent people were railroaded on bizarre theories and trumped up BS.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/12/15 at 10:41 AM | #

Pete, you wrote “We would really value postings here of any false claims and lies of ommission you spot in reading Fred Davies”.

Here are a few:

Further to my recent Comment on Davies’s confusion on Left and Right in their topographic sense, leading him to grossly misrepresent the facts of Meredith’s murder, and the guilt of Knox and Sollecito, here are some of Davies’s more egregious errors:


1. Davies refers to SMSs on pages 6 & 25, but he either fails to understand their significance or he selectively omits them.

2. Davies refers to the Hyoid Bone on pages 72, 79, 80, 82, & 84.
Davies either fails to understand the cause of the the Hyoid Bone injuries, their nature, or their consequences, or he selectively omits them.

Davies does seem to acknowledge that stab damage to the hyoid bone caused Meredith’s death - even though he calls the damage “fracture”.

3. Davies Page 185 of 196 :
“...if Knox had struck the fatal blow to Meredith’s left side of her neck, Knox’s DNA would assuredly have been found inside the bedroom, especially on Meredith’s clothing.  It would have been impossible for Knox and Sollecito to have disguised or excluded their presence by some form of clean-up and, without interfering with Guede’s traces.  They did not possess the expertise to achieve this objective; and, if they did, this does not explain the traces found in the small bathroom.  Thus, the only reasonable conclusion one can derive from the forensic traces detected, is that there is a reasonable doubt Knox participated in the digital rape and murder of Meredith Kercher.”

But Davies not only expresses no Doubt that there was a clean-up, intended to mask the crime, but he describes in detail how Knox and Sollecito engaged in said clean-up.
See Davies page xxx of 196:

This makes Knox & Sollecito participants in the criminal enterprise of masking the evidence of Meredith’s murder and could entail joint criminal liability for Knox & Sollecitof

4. On page 188, Davies describes his version of the events of the evening of November 1st, 2007 but ignores the telephone-location evidence phone-calls (Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations), that prove that Knox’s phone was not at Sollecito’s flat when the phone received Lumumba’s message.

5. Davies does not mention the word “tower” anywhere in his 196 page serial document suggesting either that he does not comprehend the Certainties that Universal Time Records provide, or that he wishes to deceive his Readers.

6. On page 192, Davies describes his version of the events of the early hours of November 2nd, 2007.
Appearing to be factually objective he begins:
“Knox and Sollecito returned to the cottage.  Their purpose was to disguise their presence at the cottage.”
This should not be construed as admitting their participation in the attack and murder of Meredith. It admits only to having stumbled into the crime-scene.

7. Davies goes-on:
“Both were careful to wipe away some of their footprints in the hallway and Meredith’s bedroom.  The cleaning was by no means as systematic as Massei and Nencini would have one believe.  The condition of the small bathroom is testament to this assertion.  Both were slipshod and as we know, Sollecito probably left his traces on the bra clasp; it is still a matter of conjecture whether he stood in some of Meredith’s blood barefoot and, in his attempts to remove the stains, went into the small bathroom to wash them off; this would account for an imprint of a right foot being found on the sky blue bathmat. At least one or other had the decency to cover Meredith’s battered body with her quilt.  As for Knox her presence could be detected by the footprints revealed by Luminol. The new footprint found in Romanelli’s bedroom confirmed the police’s suspicions that the break-in had been staged and that Knox and Sollecito were responsible.  And as for the Double DNA Knife, it has clearly been demonstrated that this was not the murder weapon.  Any traces of Meredith that were found on Exhibit 36 could only have gotten there by way of contamination.  Finally, the defendants took the precaution of locking Meredith’s door with her keys and it can only do be assumed, that one or other defendant disposed of the keys sometime later.”

8. For Davies to write:
“And as for the Double DNA Knife, it has clearly been demonstrated that this was not the murder weapon.  Any traces of Meredith that were found on Exhibit 36 could only have gotten there by way of contamination.”
Is for Davies to engage in sheer-fantasy denial.

It is clearly demonstrated that Exhibit 36, the Double DNA Knife was the murder weapon.

Another Left/Right confusion:

Davies page 85 of 196:
“Turning to the “Double DNA Knife”, eight of the experts agreed that the wounds caused to the right side of Meredith’s neck could not have been caused by the sequestered knife [Ed: Exhibit 36] for a multitude of reasons.”

Davies in cherry-picking mode. Do these 8 “experts” refer to the skin “wounds” on the right side of Meredith’s neck? Were these “experts” excluding the fact that the lethal wounds on the right side of Meredith’s neck were caused by Exhibit 36 having entered on the Left side of Meredith’s neck?

“This conclusion left only one of two hypotheses: Either there was only one knife or there were at least two different knives used to subdue and kill Meredith. The other expert, Professor Vinci focused his attention on the bloody outline left on Meredith’s bedsheet. What we know is that the bloody outline was left by a knife with a blade 11.3cm long or a knife with a blade 9.6cm long and a handle 1.7cm long. These measurements were incompatible therefore with either Exhibit 36 or the pocket knife length which supposedly inflicted the wounds as the Massei Report maintained. Contrary to the Massei Court hypothesis therefore we are left with three knives! The latent contradiction here is that if all three accused were present (as alleged) Guede must have been armed as well, but that is not what the Micheli Court found. One can deduce that the totality of the expert evidence is more consistent with one knife being used to subdue and stab the victim (see Professor Vinci’s hypothesis supra).”

Davies meanders into territory that should Really be forbidden because such territory is reached only because of his own manifestly false assumptions, and confused writing.

“And if that were not enough, of the eight experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side; Professor Norelli could not rule out caused the fatal wound; Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility) – it will be assumed he supported the prosecution contention; but in any event all the remaining four experts (Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that could be ruled out as the weapon that caused the fatal wound to the left side of Meredith’s neck.”

Cherry-picking, plus confused and confusing writing causes no end of false hypotheses.

“Bearing in mind the burden and standard of proof one is left wondering how the Massei Court reached the conclusion that it did? The problem was, aside from the unconscious bias syndrome (the forbidden reasoning), Massei was looking at the case through rose-tinted glasses. By a flawed process of deduction it had erroneously found that the case against Knox and Sollecito was cogent. The reality was that nothing could be further from the truth. On this aspect of the case one can speculate as to whether the prosecution had actually been able to satisfy the civil standard (proof on a balance of probabilities) never mind the criminal standard (proof beyond a reasonable doubt). As the writer has already demonstrated, therefore, Exhibit 36 was not the weapon or one of the weapons used to subdue and murder Meredith Kercher.”

Davies is wandering, lost in his self-created maze.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/12/15 at 11:40 AM | #

Excuse above typo. Should read:

“But Davies not only expresses no Doubt that there was a clean-up, intended to mask the crime, but he describes in detail how Knox and Sollecito engaged in said clean-up.
See Davies page 192 of 196 below:

This makes Knox & Sollecito participants in the criminal enterprise of masking the evidence of Meredith’s murder and could entail joint criminal liability for Knox & Sollecito.”

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/12/15 at 11:56 AM | #

@Peter

I started to write out anything that leapt out of the pages as being false claims or lies of omission, in my limited knowledge,and I’m not sure I’ll have the time to go through the whole document (I’ll try but it’s lengthy. I’m working backwards from part 26). Cardiol’s point 8 was already first on my list and it’s important - Davies is clearly one of those bores who thinks that if they say untrue things stridently enough and use portentous statements like “it is clearly demonstrated” we will all surrender and say “ain’t it true boss”. Is this irritating gift of the gab a part of barrister training I wonder?

Otherwise I have so far:

“Knox’s appearance evoked a response from Guede and the combination of the wielding of the knife and a movement towards Knox caused her to flee for safety, either to her own bedroom or to
the small bathroom which were adjacent to Meredith’s bedroom, remembering to lock the door behind her.” [Part 26 (b)].


In her memoriale Knox refers to being in the kitchen with her hands over her ears (though she thinks this could be a dream of course…). It’s bad enough Knox making things up, we don’t need Davies to talk about imaginary flights to bedrooms or bathrooms, locked or otherwise.


—————-

“Meredith’s efforts to defend herself would have proved futile since she was faced with a relatively large young male armed with a knife - which accounts for the limited resistance offered.This bears out the residual marks found on   Meredith’s hands which is suggestive:  she could only have offered limited or   token resistance to Guede’s machinations.” [Part 26(b)].

Limited or token resistance is more easily explained by the presence of three attackers, two restraining and one or more violating, as the courts maintained. Why does he have a problem with that?

—————-

More to follow if I can.

Posted by Odysseus on 08/12/15 at 01:40 PM | #

Davies falls nearly at the first hurdle. If Knox was innocent, why on Earth would Knox be afraid that police would think she was involved? That theory is implausible.

To go further, and suggest that an innocent Knox and Sollecito would actively participate in a complex scheme to clean up and fake a burglary, in order to misdirect police, instead of merely agreeing an alibi at Sollecito’s apartment, moves into the absurd.

With this level of critical thinking, I’d be surprised if Davies is actually a lawyer.

Posted by bobc on 08/20/15 at 03:13 PM | #


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