Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Trial Resumes: The Court Agenda For Friday And Saturday

Posted by Peter Quennell

Italian media have reported the following agenda for Friday and Saturday.

Probably all day Friday: Patrizia Stefanoni. leader of the forensic team, who will testify on the crime scene and what was found where and how it was collected.

Probably all day Saturday: Francesco Camana, who will testify on the bloody footprints revealed with luminol, and then Giuseppe Codisposti and Piero Sbardella, who will testify on the second collection of evidence and the prints found on the pillow.

We are anticipating (see our right column for dates) that there will be no court sessions next Friday and Saturday because a public holiday in Italy renders this traditionally a long weekend.

Meredith’s mother and perhaps other members of the Kercher family are expected to testify at the next session on 5 or 6 June.

And in a Seattle PI interview, Curt Knox has confirmed that Amanda Knox wants to testify at the session after that on 12 or 13 June.

Soon thereafter, all Italian courts will cease sessions for a period of some weeks during the vacation period.

The defense phase of the trial will resume in September and the trial may be over in October and the verdicts and sentences, if any, announced then.

If the verdicts are “guilty” appeals are automatic under the Italian system..


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Three More Scenarios For The Night That Accord With The Timeline

Posted by Fiori


[Above: the platform where we believe Meredith first set foot in Perugia]

I seem to be one of a growing number aching to see true justice for Meredith to be the final conclusion to all this. 

Like many others here I am struggling to make sense of a reported pattern of events that is confusing and incomplete, and in terms of a motive possibly senseless.

And like some of the others here I have been trying to fit the facts as they emerge into a sort of a chronological framework. I draw from Michael’s excellent Master Timeline for the known overall chronology.

These below are three possible scenarios. They presume for the sake of argument that the defendants were in fact involved, along with Rudy Guede. The scenarios all have one common front end through to just after 9 pm, but thereafter, they differ slightly. And at bottom (under the “click for more”) I have included some annotations on key elements.

These scenarios may stand or fall as the trial moves forward, but I hope they inspire other scenarios so we may all conclude that the crime really has been properly solved and true justice for Meredith is widely perceived as a reality.

Common front end to all three scenarios

I am presuming that although the exact timing may have been vague (nobody knew when Meredith would arrive home) something involving Meredith was intended. Events involving the alibis and other statements, cell phones and the knife, and assembly at the house, simply seem too hard to explain otherwise.

1 pm: Meredith and Amanda Knox each have lunch in the cottage. Perhaps some annoying subjects are discussed. Perhaps Meredith comments on Knox’s behavior around the house and her male visitors, as only a thin wall separates their two bedrooms.

5 to 6 pm: Knox and Sollecito stroll around in the center of town and, by chance perhaps, they meet with Rudy Guede. They perhaps believe that Guede has some desire for Meredith. They make an appointment to meet Guede at 8.30 pm at the cottage, perhaps intending to edge Meredith into an affair with Guede as a payback for Meredith’s problems with Knox. 

6 to 8 pm:Knox and Sollecito are at Sollecito’s apartment and consider what might lie ahead for them that evening. There are the interactions with Lumumba and the woman who had asked for a lift to the station.

8:30 pm Guede arrives and waits at the cottage for Knox to arrive.

8:40 pm Mobile phones of Knox and Sollecito are switched off, with the seeming intention of preventing Knox and Sollecito from being disturbed or traced.

8:45 pm: Knox walks home to her cottage and admits Guede, and Sollecito follows shortly after with some mushrooms

8:50 pm: Knox and Sollecito and Guede are in the kitchen of the cottage, perhaps cooking mushrooms, perhaps dealing or using drugs, and perhaps all three waiting for Meredith.

8:56 pm: After saying goodbye to Robyn on her way home from the English girls’ house, Meredith calls her mother while walking, but her call is interrupted for some unknown reason

9:10 pm: Meredith enters the cottage, and is so displeased about the party in the kitchen that she goes on to her room, being demonstrative about not joining the party.

Now for three different possibilities

The scenarios below are actually not mutually exclusive, but they inscribe a different ordering and weighting of the information. These are my factual baselines:

a) The car breakdown in front of the gate makes it seems unlikely that Meredith was murdered between 10.30 and 11.20. So either Knox and Sollecito are IN the cottage during the whole hour from 10.30 to 11.20, or they are OUTSIDE the cottage the whole time.

b) The testimony of Curatola in the park seems credible, but what did he precisely see? “He said also that, although he did not watch them all the time …. He originally said that they were there from 9:30 through midnight, but clarified that they were there at 9:30-10:00pm and may have left around 11-11:30 and then returned to be there just before midnight” (quote from Stewarthome2000 on TJMK on 3/29). See my annotation below on this.

c) Cell phone activity: “.. Meredith’s cell phone made a call (not a phone call but a GPS call attempt) at I believe around 10:15 pm, and that the call was made from the area where the phones were found the next day as it involved a different cell tower than those covering Via della Pergola” (quote from Stewarthome2000 on TJMK, 3/21)

In other places this information is confirmed and the time is given as 10.13. This is a crucial point, as it is then impossible that Meredith made the call while struggling. The scenario by Brian S on TJMK on 3/31 suggested ” The scenario suggests is that Meredith was struggling with her attackers from around the time of her aborted call at 10:13 pm until sometime just before 10:30 pm.”

I suggest that Knox and/or Sollecito were responsible for throwing Meredith’s two mobile phones away in the garden, as a) I feel it does not fit the psychology of Guede to think to take the cell phones, and b) the position of the call does not fit with Guede seen leaving the cottage at 10.30. If Guede had taken the phones, he would have had to leave the cottage around 10.05 pm, in order for the cell phones to be in the area of the other cell phone mast at 10.13,  See my annotation below on this.

The first scenario

9.15: Meredith goes to her bedroom, perhaps to try to go to sleep. She was known to be tired after a late night on Halloween.

9.20: Knox and Sollecito perhaps steal Meredith’s mobile phones now, to prevent her from calling the police during whatever the event was with Guede that they intended.

9.35: Guede hides in the toilet at a distance from Meredith’s room, to prevent Meredith from hearing that he remains in the house, while …

9.35: Knox and Sollecito perhaps now leave the house to create an alibi for themselves for the staged event between Meredith and Guede (presumably a rape) so they can afterwards claim that they did not know that Guede was still in the house after they left. Knox and Sollecito walk to Piazza Grimana (Curatolo as witness). They take with them Meredith’s cell phones.

9.40: Guede leaves the toilet and enters Meredith’s room, perhaps trying to lure/force Meredith into having relations with him.

10.00: Guede and Meredith are the ones heard arguing loud (Marlacchia as witness) and Meredith fights back as Guede tries to rape her. Guede tries to strangle Meredith to keep her quiet

10.00: Knox and Sollecito are up at Piazza Grimana, walking to and from the wall, discussing how things might be developing within the cottage. Then they split up.

10.10: Knox returns to the cottage, and finds Meredith wounded/struggling in the bedroom/kitchen; and a big fight, including the use of a knife, is still taking place.

10.13: Sollecito (leaving to pick up his car?) throws Meredith’s phones into the garden where the cell phones are found the next morning. As Meredith’s cell phone hits the ground and tumbles around, the call function is activated.

10.20: Sollecito arrives back at the cottage and more knives become involved

10.25: Meredith’s is stabbed fatally in the neck, screams out loud (Capezzali as witness, uncertain about the time)

10.30: Guede flees the cottages (Formica, witness)

10.30: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running)

10.35- 11.15: A car is parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.30: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola up at Piazza Grimana

The second scenario

9.15-9.35: The party develops out of hand, and Meredith is deadly wounded in the struggle with Knox, Sollecito, and Guede.

9.35: Knox and Sollecito leave the house and walk to Piazza Grimana (Curatolo as witness). They take Meredith’s cell phones with them. They discuss what to do. Problem here: where is Guede?

10.00: Knox and Sollecito split up, and Knox returns to the house.

10.00: Knox and Guede argue loudly in the house (Marlacchia as witness).

10.00: Sollecito picks up his car at home, and while driving…

10.13: … Sollecito throws Merediths phones into the garden where the cell phones later are found.

10.15: Sollecito park his car in front of the cottage (to use the car for….?)

10.30: Guede flees (but why wait until now?)

10.30-11.20: Sollecito is with Knox in the cottage. (doing what for one hour?)

10.35- 11.15: Car parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.20: Knox now screams? (Capezzali as witness)

11.23: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running on the stairs)

11.45: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola at Piazza Grimana

The third scenario

Note: this one does not fit the forensics timeframe for Meredith’s death which was put at between 9.00 and 11.00 pm

10.30: Guede departs from the cottages (Formica as witness) leaving Meredith behind, perhaps strangled into unconsciousness.

10.35- 11.15: Car parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.15: Knox and Sollecito enter the house …. 

11.20: Knox and Sollecito perhaps now kill Meredith (scream with Capazzali as witness)

11.13: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running)

11.45: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola at Piazza Grimana

Four annotations on the evidence

 

Click here for more

Posted on 05/20/09 at 02:03 PM by FioriClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesVarious scenariosEvidence & witnessesThe timelinesCellphone activityHoaxes against Italy6 No staging hoax8 No motive hoax
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Website-Only Seattle PI May Be Going To Make It

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for media commentator Peter Kafka’s analysis.

The Seattle PI website still carries some of the best US reporting from Perugia on the case, by Rome-based Andrea Vogt. 

The home-based reporting, blogging and editorials have been rather more of a mixed bag.

Kafka thinks that the Seattle PI’s owner Hearst’s figures dont quite add up yet, but he would like to see things work out.

If the Seattle PI pulls it off, other US papers may follow this route.

Posted on 05/19/09 at 11:13 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesMedia newsThe wider contextsSeattle context
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #9: Some Pretty Water-Related Scenes Nearby

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Would Meredith ever have set eyes on these lakes?

Perhaps most likely is Lake Trasimeno, the first lake here, which by car on the autostrada west (and then to Florence or Rome) is less than 15 minutes from her house.

Posted on 05/16/09 at 07:28 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Italy’s FIAT Saves US’s Chrysler: Italians Enjoying The Moment

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report. Our previous post on this here.

FIAT also owns Ferrari. Seems those pesky Italians really know how to make cars - and those pesky Americans really don’t.

Posted on 05/15/09 at 02:40 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The wider contexts
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Fast Implosion Of Frank’s Perugia-Shock Blog On The Case

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

According to the webtracker Alexa, readers have been departing Perugia-Shock in droves.

Just a couple of months ago, Perugia-Shock was about the 4 millionth site in readership in the world, out of a world total of just over 6 million.

It has since dropped an astounding 1.5 million places, and its three month average is now 5,492,938 in the world. (For comparison, TJMK’s three-month average is 1,953,715 place - and TJMK is less than half as old.)

Many vanity websites run by school-kids in the evenings see bigger numbers than Perugia-Shock. Many bloggers simply give up and go quiet when their numbers tank so abysmally.

Through early last summer, we had tremendous respect for Perugia-Shock, but three main things seem to have gone wrong.

  • It abandoned its high-ground not-for-profit status (TJMK is not-for-profit) and it started featuring money-making advertising on the site; also in other ways it seemed to be becoming a vehicle for the blogger to advance his future, and to make money out of Meredith’s sad death.
  • It moved away from its trademark cool, compassionate and often ironic consideration of the circumstances of the Perugia case; instead it seemed to reflect a growing fascination with one of the defendants, although with the evidence now mounting, that seems to be cooling.
  • It has recently allowed the repeated hijacking of its discussion threads by an off-putting group of slashers and burners, who seem to have little interest in the facts of the case, and much interest in attacks on neutral commentators who believe that Meredith, too, deserves a fair trial.

Professionals in the blog field in New York checked Perugia-Shock out at our request, and they suspect that with the core audience departing so fast, it is already beyond saving. Better to simply fold up the tent, they say, and try to start over based on lessons learned.

The one alternative that might work?  The solution Miss Represented is adopting right now. A closed membership for commenting, and some rules for respectful interaction. Otherwise, Perugia-Shock may soon be down around 6 million.

Right behind two million teeny-boppers.

Posted on 05/14/09 at 12:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Francesco Sforza
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Il Messaggero Gets A German Case-Watcher’s Point Of View

Posted by Peter Quennell


We have a number of readers in Germany, and of course Rudy Guede was arrested there.

So a German perspective is of some interest. Click above for Il Messagero’s interview with journalist Anke Helle in Italian. See Catnip’s translation of it below.

Saturday, 09 May 2009

by LUIGI FOGLIETTI

Many are the journalists, both from within Italy and also belonging to the foreign press, who have been accredited to the Court of Assize to follow the case where Amanda and Sollecito are standing in the dock.

Each journalist has their own opinion, very different to that of their colleagues’, and depending, in some part, on nationalities. The innocentisti form the greater part of the US contingent, leaning in favour of Amanda, while the colpevolisti are the majority party amongst the British, perhaps in part to uphold and dignify the memory of the young victim.

Practically divided right down the middle are the Italians who see Raffaele as either incapable of doing bad, or as an accomplice of, and hag-ridden by, Amanda, his then girlfriend.

So now a calmer and more objective opinion could come from Anke Helle, 27 years old, a journalist from Focus TV (a German TV show based in Munich in Bavaria) and sociology graduate of Trento University, who comes from a country that is neutral in this case.

What are they saying in Germany about this murder?

“The case is well enough known in my country, and I am convinced that their interest is above all in Amanda because the case is being followed above all by the scandal mags, and that genre requires a beautiful woman who is intriguing and a touch diabolical.

Naturally, in following the case attentively and with curiosity, they haven’t yet settled on the identify of the guilty party. We are still at the interrogative stage, in fact – my colleagues who are following up the case, are directing the attention of their readers to the question whether Amanda, so beautiful and intriguing, could really be the authoress of such a horrendous crime”.

And what do they say about Raffaele?

“They are more detached about him, and play up the doubt that the ‘boyfriend’, so sweet, affectionate and thoughtful, could really be complicit in such a murder”.

And Rudy?

“As for him, unfortunately being already assured of a sentence, they are not that interested in him except to say and write that ‘a person’ is already in prison, without even quoting his name”.

And what do they think about the investigations and the case?

“As far as regarding the unfolding of the investigations and of the case in general, in Germany it is being seen in the usual light that reinforces the perception that, in Italy, things are done “the Italian way (all’italiana)”.

And what do you think?

“Having come to know your country well, I love it and appreciate everything about Italian life, so I don’t agree with these criticisms, which, in any case, don’t come from any hostile preconceptions, but only from a very lightly held attitude.

As for the facts, initially I was thinking that Amanda could be innocent, now I’m not so sure”.

Posted on 05/12/09 at 02:24 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Trial: The Beast On The Footprints -  And Meredith’s House

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Barbie Nadeau’s report on last Friday and Saturday at court.

Amanda Knox’s father is interviewed. And we are quoted on Meredith’s house as follows.

The Daily Beast also discovered that administrators of one of the blogs that follows the Kercher trial, True Justice for Meredith Kercher, is considering buying the House of Horrors to make sure it isn’t forgotten. “Increasingly, Meredith’s followers seem to hope that the groundswell for Meredith evolves into something tangible.

Making an offer for the Via della Pergola house, perhaps establishing a memorial garden there, is one possible objective,” Peter Quennell, who runs the True Justice site, tells me. “Meredith is clearly coming to stand for something transcendent. She already seems an iconic presence for many followers of the case.”

In our incoming emails, compassion for Meredith is mounting higher and higher, and this flows in part from an obvious sadness that the house might revert to a student rental or grim tourist attraction.

The Kercher family have not testified about Meredith at the trial yet - that might happen in three weeks. We feel it appropriate to simply float this possibility and no more for now.

Posted on 05/11/09 at 02:47 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trial: Andrea Vogt Provides More Detail On The Bloody Footprints

Posted by Peter Quennell



Click above for the report on the Seattle PI website.

1) From the prosecution testimony

Over the opposition of both defense teams, Lorenzo Rinaldi demonstrated to jurors using a precise Power Point presentation why the visible bloody footprint left on the cotton bath mat in the bathroom is attributable to Sollecito, who is on trial along with Knox for murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in November 2007….

“All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s…

The next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

Two luminol-enhanced bare footprints were also found compatible with Knox’s right foot, Rinaldi said, one exiting her own room and another in the corridor outside Kercher’s door, facing toward the room.

All the bloody shoeprints in the room where Kercher was found were compatible with the size 11 Nike Outbreak 2 shoes believed to be Guede’s, Rinaldi said, except for one smaller, unattributed shoeprint found on the pillow that was under Kercher’s body.

Presiding Judge Giancarlo Massei asked Rinaldi what size that shoe print was, he responded “37 or 38.” He then asked what size Knox wears, and Rinaldi said according to other shoes sequestered from the crime scene, she wears a 37.

A second print expert later testified that he believed the shoeprint to be that of a woman’s size 37.5 Asics tennis shoe. No Asics tennis shoes were among the 22 pairs sequestered by police from the three’s apartments.

Rinaldi’s detailed PPT described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints, shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.


2) And from the cross-examination

On cross examination, one of Knox’s defense team, Rome lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova, questioned the certainty with which the prints could be considered compatible with Knox’s foot. He noted that a match with Sollecito and Guede’s footprints was excluded, but asked why the luminol print was not compared with the other two female roommates in the house.

Under cross, Rinaldi also confirmed that luminol, a substance used by forensic police to reveal non-visible traces of blood, also could react to other substances that contain iron, such as fruit juices, chlorophyll or rust, as well as bleach.

When asked what substance the print was made in, Rinaldi said he does only image analysis and such a determination would have to be made by a forensic biologist. That witness is scheduled to testify at the next hearing. Defense teams have all hired their own forensic experts to testify during their presentations.

Posted on 05/10/09 at 01:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Trial: Italian-Language Video Report On Today’s Session

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the video. It starts immediately.

Much of the focus is on Sollecito and his lawyer discussing the luminol-enhanced footprints - we hope not for the first time.

The lawyer in shirt-sleeves who stands up near the end is Mr Maresca, the Kercher family’s representative at the trial.

We are presuming that he will have a role in presenting the family’s testimonies, which may happen in three or four weeks.

Posted on 05/09/09 at 01:21 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: At The Most Dramatic Day So Far, Bloody Footprints Seem Strong Matches To Defendants

Posted by Peter Quennell





This was a very dramatic day in court.

The footprint expert Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi [above], unit head from the Scientific Police in Rome, and Pietro Boemia were like pitbulls. The defenses were in shrill disarray,

Sollecito intervened very nervously and incredibly lamely (which did him real harm). And the judges’ eyes were glued to the presentation screen.

Click above for Nick Pisa’s lunchtime report.

Bloodstained footprints found at the house where British student Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death fit her alleged killers, a court has heard.

Forensic scientists found one imprint on a bath mat and three more in the corridor leading from Meredith’s bedroom to that of suspect Amanda Knox.

The court heard how imprints were taken of Knox, 21, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25….

Police scientist Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi told the Italian court his forensic evidence was discovered by using Luminol - a substance that turns blue in the presence of blood.

“From our investigations we were able to conclude that the footprint found on the bath mat was compatible with that of Sollecito as was one found in the corridor using Luminol,” Dr Rinaldi said.

“We also found that a naked footprint found in Knox’s bedroom and in the corridor outside, again using Luminol, was compatible with the one taken from her in prison.”

Dr Rinaldi explained to the court how microscopic point to point measurements such as ‘‘heel to toe’’ or ‘‘toe and arch width’’ were used to identify the imprints.

Subsequently Andrea Vogt of the Seattle PI reported at more length:

Bloody and luminol-enhanced footprints left in the villa where Meredith Kercher was murdered are those of Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede, the director of print identity in the Rome forensic police division testified Saturday.

Over the opposition of both defense teams, Lorenzo Rinaldi demonstrated to jurors using a precise Power Point presentation why the visible bloody footprint left on the cotton bath mat in the bathroom is attributable to Sollecito, who is on trial along with Knox for murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in November 2007. Guede was convicted and sentenced to 30 years prison for his role in the crime in a separate fast-track trial last October.

“All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s.

“Those bare footprints cannot be mine,” said Sollecito in a spontaneous statement after the lunch break. He and Knox maintain they were at his apartment the night Kercher was killed. “They are not mine.”

But the next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

Two luminol-enhanced bare footprints were also found compatible with Knox’s right foot, Rinaldi said, one exiting her own room and another in the corridor outside Kercher’s door, facing toward the room.

All the bloody shoeprints in the room where Kercher was found were compatible with the size 11 Nike Outbreak 2 shoes believed to be Guede’s, Rinaldi said, except for one smaller, unattributed shoeprint found on the pillow that was under Kercher’s body.

Presiding Judge Giancarlo Massei asked Rinaldi what size that shoe print was, he responded “37 or 38.” He then asked what size Knox wears, and Rinaldi said according to other shoes sequestered from the crime scene, she wears a 37. A second print expert later testified that he believed the shoeprint to be that of a woman’s size 37.5 Asics tennis shoe. No Asics tennis shoes were among the 22 pairs sequestered by police from the three’s apartments.

Rinaldi’s detailed PPT described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints, shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.

On cross examination, one of Knox’s defense team, Rome lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova, questioned the certainty with which the prints could be considered compatible with Knox’s foot. He noted that a match with Sollecito and Guede’s footprints was excluded, but asked why the luminol print was not compared with the other two female roommates in the house.

Under cross, Rinaldi also confirmed that luminol, a substance used by forensic police to reveal non-visible traces of blood, also could react to other substances that contain iron, such as fruit juices, chlorophyll or rust, as well as bleach.

When asked what substance the print was made in, Rinaldi said he does only image analysis and such a determination would have to be made by a forensic biologist. That witness is scheduled to testify at the next hearing. Defense teams have all hired their own forensic experts to testify during their presentations.

Posted on 05/09/09 at 11:05 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, May 08, 2009

Trial: Defendant Amanda Knox Arrives In Court Today

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Posted on 05/08/09 at 09:49 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: The Trial Agenda For Today And Tomorrow Is Physical And Forensic Evidence

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for NIck Pisa’s report.

This is some of the more telling and contentious evidence. The same evidence was not successfully rebutted Last October at the trial of Rudy Guede.

1) The items in evidence

The court is now set to hear details of how DNA was found on a knife and bloodied bra strap.

Key to the proceedings will be evidence relating to a 30cm kitchen knife found at Sollecito’s flat days after the murder in November 2007. Forensic experts say DNA from Meredith was discovered on the blade.

They claim Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the knife, which they say is compatible with the murder weapon that has never been found.

The experts will also detail how DNA from computer studies graduate Sollecito was found on a piece of bloodied bra. The material is believed to have been ripped from Meredith’s body.,,

Besides the knife, the prosecution also claims Knox’s DNA was found mixed in blood spots from Meredith found at the scene in the shower and sink.

2) The forensics team

The forensics specialists include chief of the Italian Scientific Police Unit in Rome, Patrizia Stefanoni. She was part of the Disaster Investigations Team sent to the scene of the 2004 tsunami to identify victims…

Ms Stefanoni has given evidence that her team used gloves and tweezers at all times. She insisted that, despite claims from the defence, there was “no possibility” of contamination.

Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers insist the DNA evidence is tainted as it was poorly handled. They have also pointed out how the bra fragment was only picked up six weeks after the killing during a second search of the scene.

Posted on 05/08/09 at 07:57 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedPolice and CSIEvidence & witnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009
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Thursday, May 07, 2009

“An American Student Kills 62 Years Old Retired Bankteller”

Posted by Nicki

[click for larger image]

Corriere reports that this crime took place yesterday.

The American student was under the effect of psychotic drugs. He was wandering through the streets of Florence. He tried to force entry through a garage door while the victim was in the process of locking it.

The student attacked the retired bankteller and cut his throat with a mirror sliver. He covered the body with a piece of cloth and then left.

Police found him sitting on a bench nearby, a few hours after the murder was discovered. He has already confessed the murder.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Puzzle Of The Cell Phones: Was Rudy Doomed From The Start?

Posted by Arnold_Layne


Current thinking is that about a year after the three were arrested, Rudy Guede’s team decided to request a fast-track trial because his team thought Knox and Sollecito might craft a defense that made Guede appear more guilty. 

After he was convicted, defense supporters of course seized upon his conviction as the basis for the “lone wolf theory”.  It is possible, however, that Guede’s defense team was more correct all along than they might have realized - that he really was being set up.

What did Knox and Sollecito actually have planned?  Admittedly Sollecito had his knife fetish, and Knox’s sexuality was, well, you know.  But since none had committed any violent crimes in the past, it is unlikely that they planned to commit one quite so significant as a murder at this point. 

Contrary to what I had previously thought, Mignini may also be correct in his game theory.  Their plan might have been to coerce Meredith into having sex with someone.  If they couldn’t “talk her into it” they planned on intimidating her with the very large knife they brought along.

There is an inconsistency in the various scenarios that have been put forth.  In one scenario, all three came to the cottage intending to physically harm Meredith, and that is why they brought the knife and turned their cell phones off.  This doesn’t really make much sense because, for a murder, or even an assault with a knife, it was incredibly poorly planned. 

Additionally, and more importantly, none of these people had a criminal past and so it is unlikely they would plan on committing quite such a horrible crime.

Another scenario, which is along Mignini’s lines, is that the three planned to use the knife only to intimidate Meredith into doing what they wanted – which was to get involved in a sex act with Guede by coercing and threatening her.  This activity could be considered a sex game. 

If the terrifying trio had planned on going to see Meredith merely to play a game, then why did Sollecito and Knox turn their cell phones off?

They must have realized that there was a possibility that what they were setting out to do could end poorly.  If Meredith went along with what they planned, all would be okay.  Hopefully, she’d be a good sport when it was over.  If this is how it played out, there would have been no need to turn their cell phones off. 

But on the other hand, if she wasn’t a good sport, and called the police, they would be able to move to Plan B: blame Rudy, and deny that they were even there.  Turning their cell phones off fits with this outcome.

What this all suggests is that Rudy Guede really might have been set up. 

He clearly would have left evidence of a sexual attack; but the two others, not so much.  In fact, they may have planned to set Rudy up before they even asked him to participate.  Their plan right from the start might have been to bring in a third person to take the fall if things didn’t go well.

So Sollecito and Knox might have planned a plausible sequence of events as an alibi in which Guede would be the only perp and they could be at Sollecito’s smoking hash and watching Internet movies. 

So they needed someone who the police could easily accuse of the crime, and Rudy Guede filled the bill.

Why did they turn their cell phones off if they were only going to play a game?  I think they had already planned to get a bit more serious, and to implicate Guede as the perp.


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