Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Amanda Knox Lies Again To Get Herself Into Another European Court “But Really, Judge, Its Only PR”

Posted by Kermit



[Amanda Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga (right): “Amanda wasn’t hit, we made no complaint”]

Introduction

This is the first of two posts on Knox’s claim to have sent an appeal to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Last Monday the main event that followers of the Meredith Kercher murder case were awaiting was the closing argument by Prosecutor Alessandro Crini in Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s appeal trial.

Dr Crini’s structuring of the prosecution’s case in 16 points demolished the defendants’ efforts to present the volume of evidence against them as an incredible, long series of mistakes, coincidences and misunderstandings.

It seems, however, that Amanda Knox and her people didn’t want the public to be too fascinated by Dr Crini’s devastating argument.  They really wanted them to be distracted by what can only be seen as an ill-judged public relations move, breaking yet more laws along the way.

Knox attempted to blow smoke over the prosecution’s arguments by grandly announcing “today, my lawyers filed an appeal of my slander[sic] conviction with the European Court of Human Rights.”  That explanation of her PR ploy calls for a close review of her eligibility (here) and her so-called proof (next post).

Knox’s eligibility or otherwise

The European Court of Human Rights, is a supranational European tribunal dedicated to – as its name suggests - human rights.

It is not dedicated to criminal or civil proceedings on murder, sexual assault, theft, simulation of a crime, or any of the other charges that Knox faces.

In fact, to avoid the many unnecessary or spurious applications which hamper real cases getting attended to, the ECHR provides a number of online resources on who may apply and how and why.

One of the first issues that its advice underlines is that it is not a glorified appeals court:





It is strange then, that Amanda Knox claims that her lawyers have “appealed” her case to the ECHR.

Either Knox’s legal advisors are just ignorant (which ones? The Italian professionals, or the American media hacks?) or this is simply a last-ditch Hail Mary action as an extradition request moves inexorably closer.

If the ECHR makes clear that it isn’t a court of appeal, there shouldn’t be any direct correlation between the Supreme Court confirming her as a convicted criminal and her application to the ECHR.

If that is in fact the basis of their application, it will not go far before rejection. In fact, the vast majority (more than 95%) of applications get rejected:

“For a number of years now, and owing to a variety of factors, the Court has been submerged by individual applications (over 130,000 were pending as at 31 August 2010). The overwhelming majority of these applications (more than 95%) are, however, rejected without being examined on the merits for failure to satisfy one of the admissibility criteria laid down by the Convention.

This situation is frustrating on two counts.

Firstly, as the Court is required to respond to each application, it is prevented from dealing within reasonable time-limits with those cases which warrant examination on the merits, without the public deriving any real benefit.

Secondly, tens of thousands of applicants inevitably have their claims rejected, often after years of waiting.” 

It would be a outrageous if other, real human rights cases were delayed due to a Public Relations ruse as part of an extra-judicial strategy to undermine a request for Knox’s extradition.

Other ECHR on-line resources help potential applicants decide if they be eligible to be heard at the Court.

Below, a work-flow chart presents the main steps, including various “Admissibility Criteria”:



[Click for larger version]

A first admissibility criterion

The first Admissibility criterion is that an applicant has exhausted “domestic remedies” in pursuing the recognition and correction of the human rights he or she feels have been abused.

Knox in her application to the ECHR directly relates the Italian Supreme Court final confirmation of her “calunnia” sentence (three years for obstruction of justice for framing her kindly boss Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher, thereby throwing off the course of the investigation) to her application to the ECHR.

But what were the supposed human rights abuses suffered? What did she do to remedy them?

The first requirement of exhausting “domestic remedies” means that the rights abuses that Knox alleges she has suffered have been pursued in Italy, and that all possible instances of reclamation in Italy have been visited.

However, as far as the public knows, Knox has not even placed a formal complaint concerning supposed civil rights abuse. Certainly her own Italian lawyers have said they havent.

The US and Italian publics would be interested in seeing her specific claims to the ECHR and whether there is any registration of such claims or complaints with the Italian police or other administrative or NGO offices.

Knox’s needling stepfather, Chris Mellas, stated in April 2008 on a precursor to the PMF discussion forum that a complaint had been filed concerning Amanda being hit during questioning.



[Click for larger version]


However, nothing more has ever been heard of this complaint, which definitely would have been a starting point for pursuing domestic Italian remedies to the claimed rights abuse.

Since it appears zero rights abuses have been pursued in Italy, and the date of Knox’s application to the ECHR is in effect unrelated to her “calunnia” sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court, the six month limit beyond national remedies related to the rights abuse for applying to the ECHR is irrelevant here.

It should be noted that when Prosecutor Crini asked this week for an addition to Knox’s confirmed sentence for “calunnia”, adding another year to the three years already served by the convicted criminal, this is not a reopening of the “calunnia” case or an example of “double jeopardy”, but rather the reassessment on appeal of a separate, pending issue related to the basic calunnia charge: whether it should include an additional year of sentence for being aggravated.

Since this aggravation addition to the charge is awaiting determination, and follows from instructions of the Italian Supreme Court (and could result in an additional year in prison), it is not part of the prior, confirmed sentence.

A second admissibility criterion

Now just in case Knox or her lawyers would like to allege any perceived human rights abuse whatsoever in their ECHR application, the Strasbourg court insists on the reclamation in question being directly related to one of the sections of the European Convention on Human Rights

I’ve gone through it and I see chapters related to illegal detention (detention permitted only following arrest) and torture, but nothing related to getting cuffed on the back of your head.

If such an event ever occurred, it shouldn’t have, but quite likely one of the other authorities or rights bodies listed by the ECHR may be better equipped to deal with it.

This is a second Admissibility Criterion that filters out many applications: one can’t simply run to the ECHR saying “my rights have been abused” – the issue at hand must be directly related to the European Convention on Human Rights.

I seriously doubt the “hitting” event ever occurred because Knox’s own Italian lawyer Luciano Ghirga denied it, stating to the Press on 21 October 2008:

Amanda wasn’t hit. There were pressures fom the police, sure, but we never said she was hit.

As our next post here on this same subject will show, even Knox herself admitted she was treated well. 



[Above: Amanda Knox’s Italian courtroom lawyer stating to the Press in 2008 that she had not been hit.]


If Knox hasn’t even tried to remedy being allegedly hit in Italy by suing or making formal complaints, nevertheless the Italian police certainly have acted upon such suggestions.

A number of legal processes are under way against Knox and her family members for slander and calunnia. Knox might face two more charges of aggravated calunnia. Why do I doubt that Knox has even mentioned those other legal processes in her application to the ECHR?

Those charges would of course have to be taken care of (as part of “exhausting domestic remedies”) before the ECHR would be able to consider her application, assuming it surmounted all of its other shortcomings to get to the ECHR judges’ hands.

A third admissibility criterion

Another Admissibility Criteria is the “Significant Disadvantage” filter. If an alleged rights abuse is minimal – compared to the very serious issues that the ECHR was created to consider – the application will go no further.

The only violent description of Knox’s alleged beating was given by her stepfather, Chris Mellas: “She was interrogated, and hit, and threatened,” he typed. “Tortured.  Physically and mentally”.

However, there was never any medical or forensic notification of such “torture” before or after her incarceration in Capanne Prison.

Rather, Knox spent her time in prison receiving regular visits from a lovelorn Italian politician who befriended her, and participating in prison musical and theatrical activities.



[Click for larger version]


In underlying the “significant disadvantage” requirement, the ECHR states in its examples of rejected claims, that it can’t be distracted by the French driver who lost a point on his driver’s licence, or the Romanian who claims 90 euros from the State, when the Court has real and serious Human Rights cases to deal with such as:

  • El-Masri v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Article 3 of European Convention on Human Rights:  Torture and inhuman and degrading treatment during and following applicant’s extraordinary rendition to CIA)

  • Hirsii Jamaa and others v. Italy (Article 4 of Protocol No. 4: Return of migrants intercepted on the high seas to country of departure)

It’s almost certain that Knox has not pursued on an Italian level any remedies to her alleged human rights abuse (whatever it was), nor is there any evidence that the investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder and the subsequent trials of Knox, Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito were affected in their outcome by the rights abuse.

This is especially the case if the limit of Knox’s human rights suffering is that described by a talky ex-FBI helicopter pilot turned ex-college security guy turned Amanda Knox groupie, Steve Moore.

Moore describes the “frightful” circumstances of Knox’s witness questioning on the night of 5 November 2007 for the couple of hours (perhaps even somewhat less) that it lasted:

No food, no coffee, no bathroom breaks – nothing.





Above is ex-college security man Steve Moore, right, together with PR flunkie Bruce Fischer, left, both flanking “Frank Sfarzo”, a Knox-Mellas family friend.

Francesco Sforza is currently a fugitive from the Seattle courts on two counts of Assault-Domestic Violence, who continues to support Amanda in ongoing Internet blog posts, from wherever he may be.

See below. Click for larger. In purple, my corrections to Knox’s “what-I-want-the-World-to-believe” post about applying to the ECHR.



[Click for larger version]

In conclusion

Between the manifest doubtfulness of the acceptability of Knox’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, on one hand, and the falsehoods and half-truths in her announcement, on the other, why do I get the feeling that the only reason and hope she and her team have in announcing the application (whether really filed or not) is to distract the attention of the followers of her appeal trial from the prosecution’s weighty arguments?

This will have little if any effect on the wheels of Italian Justice, and probably even less on a State Department more concerned with maintaining good relations with European allies while diplomatic challenges occur in the Middle East and Asia, than with a lobby plan to prevent Knox’s extradition.


[Below: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg France]


Meredith’s Perugia #35: A Main Draw For Her, The Exuberant Baroque And Renaissance

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Posted on 11/27/13 at 02:10 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Appeal Session #5: Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Proposes 30 Years For Knox And 26 For Sollecito

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Overview

This is the report on the second day of Prosecutor Crnini summarizing the entire case.

This was not attempted at such length at the 2011 Hellman appeal and that panel of judges was perhaps not ever fully in the picture. The first day of the presentation is reported on here. 

Real-Time Report

Assessment by main poster SeekingUnderstanding

The case put forward by the prosecution and reported to us by Yummi is almost startling in its lucid and concise approach.

It couldn’t be more in contrast to the equivocations and disingenuousness, as well as irrelevant sentimentality that we have unfortunately become used to witnessing. The cutting use of logic was therefore refreshing, and gives grounds for optimism, albeit it tempered by unknowns.

All the issues seemed to be addressed from the base line, as if from primary considerations. And many points were simply politely dismissed as being unimportant to the true case in hand -which is the establishment of the guilt (or not) of the accused. For example, it was great to hear that the reason why the knife had been brought to the cottage need not be examined - it was enough that it was there.

It seemed that where the defence had challenged the evidence, for example suggesting contamination of DNA, it was here that Crini spared no detail, and took time in bottoming out the logic, and dispensing with their points. His arguments certainly carried conviction to me.

I was glad to see motive and behavioural dynamics looked at, as indeed Cassation had requested. It seemed good too that Crini ruled out premeditation, and reduced the dynamics to something highly plausible and believable as well as simple. There are just two points I might observe :

First, it would seem within character for Meredith to have been both open and direct in confronting issues of hygiene, drug use, infringement of privacy and noise etc., (or even theft of rent money, another possibility). I am not convinced that she would necessarily have been aggressively confrontational. Someone who is relaxed within themselves, accepting of their self, is well able to be assertive in a non-provocative manner. That is quite British too - especially old-fashioned English.

Secondly, bearing in mind the possible or probable profiles of the defendants, it would not have taken more than one small trigger of reasonable confrontation to release the consequent temper-tantrum or drug fuelled rage. I do not think we are dealing with something proportionate - and this is also why it escalated in the terrifying way it did. I don’t think it is essential to hypothesize as to what in particular Meredith raised an objection to (e.g. Rudy’s bathroom event). It is probable that Meredith’s concerns were reasonable, and then the overly defensive and angry reaction to any criticism whatsoever was unreasonable. I personally think this is enough.

I liked the way Crini said that even though a source is unreliable or not credible in some ways, that does not mean they do not (inadvertently as it were) give out information that is also true and useful. Possibly other statements from Guede might be taken into account in this way?

As a psychologist, it would seem dialogue with Rudy might yet be fruitful, but, with things the way they remain with the other two, it does not seem the time now for further words. Something else needs to happen.

Assessment by main poster James Raper

Crini spent about 10 hours in total addressing the court and was certainly very thorough. Maresca was so impressed that there was no need for him to add anything further.

Crini came to the prosecution case without the baggage of having presented any previous scenario or of having had his reputation sullied and slandered by the Knox PR machine. He reviewed the evidence dispassionately and found it compelling.

Clearly he also found the previous machinations of C&V and the Hellmann court objectionable and went in hard here, even discussing previous cases where Vecchiotti and Conti had goofed up. Hellmann had tried so hard to avoid that coming out during his appeal.

He was not, however, averse to taking a different tack where he thought this was appropriate. A sign of his intellectual honesty which may have impressed the court.

For instance, he thought that there was no need to nail TOD down to 11.30pm as Mignini had sought to do. He allowed for an earlier TOD.

He was of the opinion that coming up with an exact time line for a period in which there is no alibi, and when there is already evidence of involvement in murder, is of only marginal interest.

He spent well over an hour discussing the knife. He did not think it necessary to mull over how it came to be at the cottage. That is speculation that need not detain anyone if the knife is accepted as the murder weapon, and he thinks that on all the evidence it is.

He ruled out premeditation, even as to a hazing, and presented a very simple scenario as to motive and the dynamics behind and during the attack on poor Meredith. Keeping it simple makes it understandable to everyone. Elaborate further and you risk alienating someone who disagrees with the elaboration and thinks they have a better theory.

My only objection is that it is a tad ridiculous to believe that Meredith objected to poop being left in the toilet, the toilet she didn’t use. But yes, the objectionable behaviour of a trio of drunken/drugged up louts invading her space would most likely have triggered argument, unpleasantness and then a fight.

There is plenty of character evidence to support that scenario and with a little imagination, and some recollection of one’s student days, one can easily see how this might have gone. In a way, and Crini admitted to this possibility, Meredith’s own behaviour, or misreading of the situation, may also have been a trigger. Whether one agrees with this or not, it is at least a believable and honest suggestion.

So he set out base camp for the court (bearing in mind that Cassation had suggested that behavioural dynamics be given serious consideration by the appeals court) and whether the judges elaborate further (perhaps by conjecturing a possible range of equally valid motives and dynamics) is up to them.

Assessment by main poster Hopeful

Crini is magnificent! He’s absolutely crushing the defense. He nails Knox as having left her bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith.

He accepts Novelli who found Meredith’s trace on the knife. He believes Knox left DNA on the knife. He quotes from differing experts Gill and Balding and says Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp stands.

He describes a small, very sharp knife that he believes was used to cut off the bra in several places. He says the knifeprint on the sheet was from the big kitchen knife.

Crini contends that the strong bruise marks around Meredith’s mouth were from restraining her and blocking the scream.

He believes this fight was caused by Meredith angrily reacting to Knox’s constant dirty ways in the cottage and Guede’s nasty toilet habit along with his and Sollecito’s unwanted presence in the cottage that night.

Crini argues a crime of rage when Knox was confronted by Meredith, citing Laura Mezetti’s remarks about the cleaning conflicts. Crini says that Meredith’s scream is what caused the fatal knife blow to silence her.

Not premeditated, the murder was the final result of the perps’ terror that they had gone too far during the raging fight. He’s asking for 30 years for Knox and asks to increase sentence for calunnia to 4 years, inclusive in the 30.

He almost laughs at Knox’s weak excuse over the drops of her blood found in the bathroom, saying she would surely have known if she bled.

He confirms the storekeeper did see Knox early in the morning after the crime. He finds no proof of Sollecito being firmly at his computer sending emails during the crime. He blasts the Knox and Sollecito alibis as being a tissue of lies.

Crini has another ex-Supreme Court justice standing with him in the Florence courtroom! (Baglione).  Crini has worked extremely hard. He has conquered this convoluted pack of lies and distortions and his diligence shows. He upturned the applecart of Conti-Vecchioti nonsense and thoroughly redeemed Stefanoni’s findings.

He has completely severed the heads of this Medusa Gorgon mess, Crini is the bomb!

Tweets from main poster Yummi

114. This means a total request of 30 years for Knox and 26 years for Sollecito

113. [Propose] 26 years for both for the murder

112. The murder is contextual, their was no premeditation, and no futile motive

111. Because of their staging and denials, they should not be given generic mitigation for murder.

110. Requests to increase the penalty for [Knox] calunnia to 4 years

109. But experience tells statements of unreliable perps do contain revelations about the truth. The ‘argument’ between girls, why such context?

108. Rudy Guede has no credibility, even if the Supreme Court is right that this cannot depend on his refusal to answer.

107. Crini cites Laura Mezzetti about the ‘annoyance’ caused by Knox on house cleaning issues.

106. Meredith was the one triggering an argument because of the ‘impolite’ invasion and behavior. She accused Knox .

105. Rudy was not sober, quite high, a bit annoying, and was acting the same disgusting way he behaved downstairs days before.

104. Meredith Kercher was sober, fully awake. The others were at least ‘smoked’, a bit high, Rudy was there in the house.

103. The motive is not futile, the motive is terror, it is the consequence of the prior aggressive action in which they were involved.

102. Nothing points to an agreed plan among the three that run out of control; the first cause was an aggression, a clash, impetus of rage

101. Crini: there is a prosecution duty to conjecture a motive.

100. The blood drop on the tap: a point is Knox does not explain, guesses, while she must be aware that she bled in the bathroom.

99. Crini believes the shoe prints on the pillowcase are from a female’s shoe as suggested by police

98. Knox’s DNA between the blade and the handle (36-i)is very significant. It’s not from sweat or contact.

97. The print on the bed sheet is compatible with the kitchen knife.

96. Crini: we don’t need to figure a reason for a kitchen knife to be carried from one apartment to the other..

95. The bra straps are cut in multiple points, not with a kitchen knife.

94. Sollecito cut her bra with a knife in multiple parts. hold bra to cut it - no Guede’s DNA in that point - used a small very sharp-edge knife

93. Rudy did not stab her, because he wad used both his hands, which were unarmed

92. Wounds indicate she was immobilized by multiple people, they killed her because failing to do so completely, were terrified by her scream.

91. Criticizes Torre’s theory that the large wound could be caused by a small knife: improbable, the wound has clear margins.

90. There were two knifes, one was small, not much fit to kill.

89. Ridiculous to think that Rudy Guede - which she knew - could intimidate Meredith totally to that point. She would react.

88. Specific indicator: no defence wounds; means bruises are not from fight but restraint.

87. Description of bruises and lesions around her mouth, indicates extreme force to prevent from screaming. Rest of body was also immobilized.

86. She was still wearing a blue sweater which was removed subsequently.

85. Analysis of blood drop pattern and position of victim when stabbed; body moved in a different position.

84. Location of crime - space between the bed and the wardrobe - is peculiar, analysed by UACV

83. Crini says will sketch a dynamic of events of the crime.

82. Crini says - implying Vecchiotti, Pascali - some experts should be “hold where they belong”

81. Crini recall Pascali working on the Olgiata and the Claps case (2008, 2010);

80. There is no instance of transfer of Sollecito’s DNA anywhere on the scene

79. Crini cites the Olgiata case.

78. Contamination must be deduced from context of finding and collection. You must think a practical way for Sollecito’s DNA to be transferred

77. Tagliabracci defends Vecchiotti saying the RIS statistical techniques were not used at the time; Crini cites Gill and Balding

76. Guede’s Y haplotype in victim’s vagina alone was used to identify him.

75. Sollecito’s DNA is certainly on the clasp for the police; Vecchiotti doubts but considers X separately from Y haplotype

74. The bra clasp: the first objection was the interpretation of the mixed/complex trace

73. Crini says he learned a bit of genetics working on cold cases

72. Vecchiotti and Tagliabracci have a reliability problem in relation to the case, for different reasons

71. Vecchiotti said she obtained all cooperation she required. Raw data could be accessed by accessing the machine itself as Stefanoni offered.

70. Crini says he found out the negative controls were deposited, the court will find the document of deposit etc.

69. Vecchiotti omitted to note the censures/observations written by the other consultants, this procedure is incorrect

68. Vecchiotti’s approach to the I-trace (refusal to test it ) was ‘ideological’, ‘weak’, ‘insufficient’

67. Interpretation of profile is for complex result. For non-complex profiles there is actually no ‘interpretation’.

66. Crini recalls answers by the RIS, defence tried to elicit approval of CV, but RIS said multiple test only if possible, compromise for result

65. Novelli cited saying the profile of Meredith is certain.

64. Meredith’s profile came out clean on a single amplification, means the trace is clear.

63. The meaning of test repetition is its necessity when you have a ‘dirty’, uncertain sequence like Knox’s profile on the knife

62. Novelli knows very well about double and triple amplification protocols, and Stefanoni knows well too

61. Guidelines are an indication that guide your driver, but then you have to drive

60. Someone who keeps a refrigerator like the one Vecchiotti has, should be less critical about laboratory practice

59. Crini: should we toss any result in the garbage, no matter how important and clear, whenever the test is not repeated?

58. Speaks about the single amplification by Stefanoni versus guidelines.

57. The presence of human DNA in a scratch on the blade of a knife itself is not usual

56. Crini: another introduction specific on DNA; notes btw that the new RIS finding is ‘important’ because adds information

55. Crini makes an introduction about circumstantial evidence

54. Discussion on DNA and remaining evidence will start in 1h.

53. Francesco Sollecito [in interview] was shocked, said he never expected so aggressive arguments from PG [the Tuscany Prosecutor General]

52. Yesterday, Crini spent the first hour to argue about logical ‘method’: how assess evidence altogether, examples, quotes of SC sentences


Monday, November 25, 2013

Appeal Session #4: Today Lead Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Summarises The Prosecution’s Case

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Overview

This is the report on the first day of Prosecutor Crnini summarizing the entire case.

This was not attempted at such length at the 2011 Hellman appeal and that panel of judges was perhaps not ever fully in the picture. The second day of the presentation is reported on here. 

Real-Time Report

Good reporting on the court today

Andrea Vogt has posted an objective report here and Barbie Nadeau an objective report here.  We will post excerpts from both and other sources after the appeal session on Tuesday is done.

Warning about AP’s Colleen Barry

The Associated Press’s Colleen Barry is once again filing highly biased reports from the court. This is an appeal by Knox and Sollecito AGAINST a guilty verdict (by Judge Massei) and not an appeal by the prosecution to “reinstate” a guilty verdict. Get a grip.

Final post from the court today

It is 5:30 pm in Italy. Judge Nencini has declared today’s session at an end and he has allowed the prosecution to resume its presentation tomorrow. Prosecutor Crini has about 1/3 of his presentation on the evidence still to come.

Tweets from main poster Yummi

Yummi has warned us that the wireless internet bandwidth inside and just outside the courtroom gets overloaded late in the day as the reporters get busy on their reports.  Yummi does have a way around this but it involves leaving the courtroom when key arguments might be made and walking some distance away. So there might be some slight delays.

[More pending; Dr Crini has alerted that his presentation will be in 16 chapters]

51. [Judge] Nencini suggests to interrupt and go on tomorrow with following prosecution’s points. New schedule.

50. Chapter 11. is DNA. Crini says we may have evidence enough by now anyway

49. Crini censures Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about calunnia (why not indicate the real culprit?). Says H-Z committed ‘physical violence’ on trial file

48. Knox’s calunnia is a strategy protracted over time says Crini

47. Dreamlike component in Knox’s statement, fish blood, are devices needed to surround a calunnia strategy

46. Knox needed to put some additional content into the ‘calunnia’, says Crini, or wouldn’t be believed, so she puts in pieces of truth

45. Knox spoke about a scream an a sexual violence before anyone knew. Sollecito said nothing was stolen before they knew.

44. Points out Sollecito says Romanelli’s door was wide open; Knox doesn’t notice theft. Crini highlights the ‘combination’ of inconsistencies

43. Knox thinks locked door is normal; does not flush toilet when finds feces; does not notice blood before having a shower; thinks blood is ok

42. Notes Knox’s statements are inconsistent and ommisive before her interrogation.

41. Crini speaks about Knox’s declarations. Interested in the timings. Says too much was repeated to be coerced.

40. Crini speaks about chapter 9, the statements of Sollecito. His call to her sister. His alert was late but even so preceded the postals arrive

39. Bathmat print and luminol prints were chapter 7. of Crini’s argument; 8. is the staging of theft.

38. The most significant stain may be the one in Romanelli’s room, says Crini.

37. Speaking of a female’s print left in luminol, Crini sounds outraged, saying other substances is vague unsubstantiated conjecture [eg it was blood not bleach]

36. Guede’s sentencing was not well calibrated says Crini. But a Guede alone scenario is not tenable

35. Does it make sense for Guede to leave there the evidence of (putative) theft, and clean footprints?

34. The unitary sense made by elements like the bloody print, is a cleanup. Considers the lone-perp scenario: inconsistent

33. Crini: starts talking about the isolated bloody print; calls it a ‘talking element’. Why is that print alone?

32. Suspects are only ones with a ‘logistic’ capability and an interest to ‘clean’ the murder scene. They aimed at ‘diminishing’ the evidence mass

31. Knox’s lamp was the only light in her room.

30. Crini: the perp(s) organized a rather complex plan to clean up and ‘sidetrack’ at the murder scene.

29. Still to be determined if calunnia was “occasional” due to pressure, or “aggravated” [sidetracking]; Crini saya a ‘depistaggio reale’ (sidetracking) occurred

28. Crini: suspects’ statements are extremely interesting: RS’s statements; AK’s e-mail, internet statements, [Knox’s] memoriale

27. Crini: a most fertile chapter of analysis is the ‘post-factum’ actions and behaviors of defendants

26. Crini has unfolded five chapters. Says he has a total of sixteen

25. Quintavalle, details of his testimony and woman’s description are exceptional indicators of accuracy.

34. Crini: it is unlikely that Quintavalle got it wrong. Because of contextual elements.

23. It is incorrect to dismiss a witness a priori because late. But for reasons totally different. Sometimes late is symptom of reliability.

22. Wants to deal with the issue of the fact that he came forward late, urged by an acquaintance

21. Crini: fifth argument is Quintavalle. He says he is sure about his testimony. Is a different kind of witness

20. Crini accepts both alternatives on time of death, after 23.15 or before 22.30 (but seems to prefer the earlier one)

19. Crini: Do not overestimate importance of timings that are not anchored accurately or cannot be proven

18. Crini: timeline is marginal to the case. All unproven timings to be taken cautiously.

17. Crini starts fourth theme: timings. Says they are very vague, except the tow truck

16. Crini: Curatolo is no ‘super-witness’, but can contribute to helping the court to draw their scenario

15. Curatolo saw a couple discussing and this memory is very specific, peculiar

14. Curatolo did not confuse night with Halloween, because it was big party in piazza the previous night, and because it did not rain

13. Crini: the court saw Aviello, shows what top [level] of unreliability is; the SC suspected so unreliable that calunnia elements had to be assessed

12. Crini: many trials could not exist if drug addicted testimonies were dismissed

11. Crini: the H-Z court assessed Curatolo a priori based on him as a person, stemming from questions of the court itself

10. Crini about Curatolo, describes Piazza Grimana; he was an habitual presence of the piazza, proven reliable in other cases

9. Crini: computer records and alibi point to Sollecito being not at home but on murder scene

8. Crini cites the log files of Fastweb: no internet activity, only automatic connections.

7. Crini: failure of computer alibi is evidence against, not just lack of confirmation.

6. Nencini notes prosecution did not ask to interrogate Sollecito. Crini cites D’Ambrosio’s computer expert report. No interaction before 5am

5. Sollecito gave computer alibi days later, and words his statement in the singular form.

4. Crini: first theme he deals with is presence of crime scene; alibi, if it’s false it is evidence no matter why false (cite from Guede trial)

3. Crini attacks the method of logic reasoning of annulled appeal: parceling out evidence, parrots aspects of civil procedure

2. Crini: Supreme Court censure was against the foundations of appeal , all parts not just some errors; appeal was ‘razed to ground’.

1. Crini: this appeal is unusual, not because of the case but for the course followed. Usually appeals are narrow, this SC annulment is not.

Tweets by Andrea Vogt

3. At Crini’s side in amandaknox appeal today is veteran Florentine prosecutor Tindari Baglione. Before this, he was in Cassazione.

2. Prosecutor Crini in Florence: don’t repeat error of Perugia appeal. Consider evidence wholly, including Curatolo.

1. Will prosecutors ask life sentences in amandaknox appeal today? Will Sollecito’s presence in court benefit him? Verdict January 10.

First post

This is the prosecution’s day. Sollecito is reported as being in court but low-key.

Various reporting notes the significant presence of Dr Tindari Baglione, formerly with the Supreme Court, about whom we posted on in September as follows:

The new Prosecutor General of Tuscany (Florence’s region) Dr Tindari Baglione, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany’s appeal court, is selecting the prosecutors for the appeal. He arrived in Florence in May of this year. He is said to be formidably unbending. He recently imposed tough sentences on 27 people for the environmental damage caused by illegal work in Mugello on the high speed rail link between Florence and Bologna.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

John Kercher’s Excellent Book “Meredith” On Meredith’s Friends Lloyd, Natalie, And Helen

Posted by Hopeful





Mr. Kercher’s biography of his daughter continues to charm and amaze.

It seems Meredith almost got married before she went to Italy. Her suitor was a dance teacher, named Lloyd Thomas. He was nineteen years old and they met at Leeds University on the dance floor. Mr. Thomas was teaching break-dance to the crowd and Meredith and her friends went out on the dance floor and began to dance. (p. 66)

Lloyd said, “I…thought that she looked like a movie star.” They had never spoken, but he had seen her once before, a month previously. Obviously the lovely lady had stayed in his mind. In the winter of 2006, at dance class, he struck up a conversation with her and called her later.

They decided to meet on the steps of Leeds University and began one of their many rich long talks, which later blossomed into going steady. “I was so taken with her amusing conversation,” he said. (p. 66) “After our third date, we saw each other about four evenings every week and we were always together, although she had a lot of university work to do.”

Mr. Kercher relates how Meredith was able to go with Lloyd and his parents to a hotel called Ponden House, “set in Charlotte Bronte country in West Yorkshire, for a weekend…She really loved it.” She rang Mr. Kercher to tell him how beautiful the scenery was.

Lloyd said (p. 67) that Meredith “never really spoke much about what she wanted to do when she graduated, but she had her heart set on going to Italy as part of her studies…”

About seven months into their relationship, Lloyd realized he wanted to marry Meredith. He booked a table at a Japanese restaurant in Leeds and proposed to her “with a ring that I had bought. I think that she was somewhat surprised and didn’t say yes or no. She kept the ring for a couple of days, but didn’t wear it, and then she politely returned it to me.”

(p. 67) Mr. Kercher explains that naturally things changed between Lloyd and Meredith after that decision, but that Meredith was just being practical. “Despite her obvious affection for Lloyd….She still had her current year at university to complete, a year in Italy studying, and then a further year of her degree, before she graduated. She was simply being sensible.

Yet the two of them remained friends and a couple of weeks later in January 2007, Lloyd joined our family and Meredith in an Italian restaurant in Croydon to celebrate her 21st birthday. Stephanie had arranged a special cake with a photograph of Meredith as a one-year-old superimposed on it…”.

“Who would have dared to think that this would be Meredith’s last birthday?” writes Mr. Kercher (p.67).  In retrospect, it seems appropriate that the young man who admired Meredith so much at Leeds University and wanted to marry her, should be at her final life celebration.

***

We know that Meredith a few months later in August flew to Rome, on wings of hope and dreams. She went from there to the University for Foreigners in Perugia. She settled in to her first home in Italy, the Via della Pergola cottage. Even before that while still at a Perugian hotel she was calling Mr. Kercher “enthusing to us how beautiful the city was.” As was her habit, Meredith called Mr. Kercher every evening and talked about how she was getting on. She also called her mom and sister with frequency.

(P. 69) In one call she elaborated to Mr. Kercher about the Eurochocolate Festival that stretched “from Rocca Paolina to the Carducci Gardens, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza IV Novembre.” Meredith was fascinated by the chocolate statues and sculptures and all the candies sold at the stalls.

At the end of the festival the chocolate statues were happily broken up into pieces and given to the public. Meredith had bought some of Mr. Kercher’s favorite chocolates to give to him when she returned to England a few weeks later for Arline’s November birthday. That trip never happened, as tragedy intervened.

***

Meredith met Natalie Hayward while in Perugia. Natalie had gone to study in Perugia “because I had heard that it was beautiful and romantically old, in addition to being quite international.” (p. 70) Natalie had been studying history and Italian at the University of Sussex. She had found an apartment in Perugia with a couple of Italian girls, and began studying at the University for Foreigners where she met Meredith and Amy Frost.

Natalie said, “Because the three of us were the only English students in the class, we became known as ‘Little Britain’.”

Natalie said, “I was so encouraged by the fact that Meredith accepted me, because I wasn’t a particularly confident person. But she was always texting me to come out with her and other people and trying to include me in things, which I appreciated.”

Despite a known tendency to be late for lectures, Natalie says that Meredith “was exceptionally good at taking lecture notes. You might not have thought it, but she worked so hard. I was jokingly jealous of her note-taking. The Italian lecturers would speak so quickly and be quite complicated, but Meredith could keep up with them.”

More accolades from Natalie, (p. 71): ‘Socially, Meredith was wonderful to be with. She was always smiling and making us laugh. She was never judgemental. And she and Amy would walk miles for a low-price meal!” Mr. Kercher earlier says that Meredith asked him to check on rental rates to make sure the deposits for the Pergola cottage were a normal rate. Meredith seems to have been quite thrifty and not one to squander her resources.

After Meredith’s murder, Natalie went back to England to finish her studies there. No doubt she was desolate at the loss of this kind and tender friend who had sincerely reached out to her.

***

Helen Power was another British student who met Meredith September 1, 2007 in Perugia. Helen had finished a language course and had one day to relax in Perugia before flying back to England for a couple of weeks. Amy Frost had invited Helen Power out to dinner and Meredith met them by the fountain in the center of town.

(P.72) Helen said,  “As it was too early for us to eat, we sat outside and enjoyed some aperitivi from the cake shop on the main street. I remember that Meredith said she had forgotten to pack socks and that she hoped her dad would bring some out when he came to visit. Despite being tired from travelling, she was chatty, friendly, always smiling and making witty jokes. You only had to meet Meredith once to be struck by her beauty, quick wit, and infectious smile.”

The three girls ate a huge dinner at Il Bacio restaurant. Later in September, Helen’s mother visited Perugia and was introduced to Meredith at Piazza Italia as they waited for a minibus. She said, “Meredith made a lasting impression on me as we chatted. Not only did she show a genuine interest talking to us but she was so bubbly and full of life…I was so pleased to think that Helen had met such a delightful girl to be friends with during her Erasmus year.” (p. 73)

Meredith even noticed that Helen had gotten her hair cut and mentioned it at the Erasmus welcome meeting. Helen said, “I was surprised that Meredith had noticed. I thought that it was extremely observant of her, as she had only met me once, three weeks earlier. But that was the kind of girl she was; always making time for other people and taking note of even the smallest things.” Later they went out to dinner and dancing. Helen says, “...no one could out-dance Meredith.”  (p. 74)

Halloween night immersed in parties and excitement was the last time Helen saw her. She said (p. 75), “At the age of twenty, it never crossed my mind that it might have been the last chance to see a friend again. Those first two months were such a wonderful and happy time and, although I didn’t know Meredith for very long, I shall never forget her, and I have learnt so much from {her being} such a strong woman…I make certain that I enjoy and appreciate life and those around me and, most importantly, smile.”

Posted on 11/23/13 at 07:50 PM by HopefulClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyNews media & moviesGreat reporting
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Friday, November 22, 2013

US Judge Startles Legal Watchers By Overturning A Unanimous Verdict: Is This Hellmann Part Deux?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Martha Moxley’s murder 1975

Martha Moxley’s is a case with quite a few similarities to Meredith’s case - and after 38 years it has once again flashed back into the US news.

Greenwich, where 15-year-old Martha lived, is a few minutes drive up the Long Island Sound shoreline from New York City. Great wealth resides there. It is the US zip code with the highest family income and net wealth, and there are many mansions set in large estates.

The brutal murder of Martha happened on Halloween Night of 1975. She was beaten to death with a golf club by someone around 10:00 pm soon after leaving a Halloween party at the Skakel house across the street. No physical evidence ever tied anyone to the crime.

The main suspects in the case

Michael Skakel was a close neighbor (with his large family, he lived in a mansion diagonally across Walsh Lane from Martha’s smaller one-storey house) and a school classmate of the same age as Martha. He had a troubled record of misbehavior and substance abuse (he was later sent to a special school) who Martha’s diary later revealed had a history of pestering her. The golf-club came from the Skakel house.

He was not the only suspect. A new tutor at the house was long considered. And Greenwich police first interviewed and polygraphed his brother Tommy, who was very friendly with Martha, and with whom she was seen flirting at the party at the Skakel’s house the same night. Between the two brothers, there was bad blood.

Read here the final entries in Martha’s diary which seem to show her attraction to Tommy but none at all to a jealous Michael.

Michael Skakel’s conviction in 2002

Michael Skakel over the years (seemingly proud of himself, and sounding quite like Sollecito) came to hint and even openly claim more and more that he was the one that killed Martha. Skakel also claimed to have been up in a tree or a treehouse peeping through windows on the same night. An alibi that he was across town during the party at his house fell through.

In 2002, after these pointers to himself reached critical mass in police investigations and various books and reports, he was put on trial and unanimously found guilty by a jury, and then (controversially) sentenced as an adult to 20 years to life. As with Sollecito and Knox in Italy, the vast majority of the population thought it was a fair cop.

There are of course some differences between the two cases.

In Perugia the police and prosecutors really did do a good job and didnt blink under the considerable pressure of TWO families and TWO defense teams playing all manner of dirty tricks. They never backed off, whereas the Greenwich police (who never called for outside help) seem to have become timid and indecisive and simply wanting the case to go away. And in Martha’s case DNA has not yet reared its intrusive head.

But the two cases also have a lot in common.

Commonalities of Martha and Meredith cases

1) Martha was younger than Meredith but given time would have emerged to be a very similar girl. She also was ambitious, talented, hard-working, eye-catching, witty, and the apple of their eye of various boys which might have sparked jealousies in some.

2) The attack involved a number of ferocious blows over several or some minutes with a golf-club, suggesting not a burglar or prowler who did not know Martha but someone who did know her who was in a considerable rage. The golf-club broke, and the shaft was thrust through her neck. She was then dragged alternatively face up and face down quite a few feet to a place under a tree. There was a lot of blood, and as some of her clothes were down there may have been a simulation of a sex crime.

3) The rich and connected Skakel family (among which Michael did not stand out as the major achiever) was not especially helpful in the investigation, and they blocked certain important moves by the Greenwich police. They have spent huge sums of money (possibly up in the millions) on lawyers and detectives and still do. Theirs was a fairly sharp-elbowed media campaign and it looks as if it was driven more by family reputation (the Skakels are related to the Robert Kennedys by marriage) than by deep conviction that Michael was a good boy.

4) The evidence presented was a mosaic that had been accumulated over time. Alibi and behavior mattered a lot. It required very close attention to absorb it all and to assemble it into an incriminating pattern. At trial prosecutors did a good job. In this case no incriminating DNA was found at all, although it is possible that for the new trial new tests will be done on Martha’s clothes.  The conviction by 12 jurors was unanimous. They did a very careful job, and their deliberations lasted four days. Those who seek to argue that they have it wrong usually pick on isolated points. 

5) Various books have been published to explain the case. The most-read book is by ex-police-detective Mark Fuhrman titled Murder in Greenwich published by HarperCollins (Amanda Knox’s publisher) in 1999. He claimed he broke the case though police said they needed no help.

6) There are several websites like PMF and TJMK with no vested interest at all which seek to keep the victim’s presence alive, and to seek justice for her in face of many attacks and dirty tricks.  See the forum Campy Skakel here and the website MarthaMoxley dot com which is or was being run by Tom Alessi who was a classmate of Martha at school.

And the sudden new situation

Now Connecticut’s Judge Bishop has decided that Skakel didnt get the best of defenses by the high-profile legal talking head Mickey Sherman (who back then seemed to be hired for his high public profile) and noted several things Sherman could have done. Also the evidence seemed to Judge Bishop to be slim (what, no DNA?!). So he has ordered that Skakel can face a new trial.

A second judge has just released Michael Skakel on $1.2 million bail and he must wear an electronic bracelet in case he decides to skip. He will apparently head for a secret location to wait for the new trial to begin.

Although Judge Bishop is well qualified (unlike Hellmann) and seems impartial and detached, he has startled the legal community and crime followers by going against both a well-informed trial jury which really saw a lot of evidence and against a whole row of previous judges who had considered and declined Skakel’s requests for appeal.

Judge-shopping till the “right one” appears is often how big money wins out, and the general US reaction to the annulled verdict seems to be “What?! Not again?!”

Michael Skakel may perhaps win at a new trial with new lawyers and a new strategy - there is still a theory that his brother Tommy really did the crime, though the Skakel lawyers may not be allowed to play that card.

However, as in Meredith’s case, legal and public opinion is against him, and Martha’s mother and the victim websites still fight on bravely. 


[Below: Michael Skakel(right) with defense lawyer Mickey Sherman in 2002 who he now says let him down]




[Below: Directly ahead is where the crime took place; a new mansion has replaced the Moxley home ]




[Below: The Skakel mansion, which is diagonally across Walsh Lane from the old Moxley home]




[Below: Mark Furman’s diagram of his scenario of the murder in “Murder in Greenwich”]




[Below: Judge Bishop of the Connecticut courts who has ordered a new trial for Skakel]

Posted on 11/22/13 at 10:50 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Appeals 2009-2015Hellmann 2011+Other legal processesThose elsewhere
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Considerable Number Of Suspected Perps That Countries Extradite Daily To Other Countries #2

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Interpol HQ is now in Central France, a new HQ is planned for outside Paris soon.

Extradition: a hardball game.

This is the latest of many posts which include this legal take explaining the gloomy prospects for Sollecito and Knox if their final conviction comes down. 

Complete refusals of extradition by any countries other than Russia and China seem increasingly rare, as that can cause a rebound effect and economic retaliation in response. The United States very rarely refuses to extradite.

If anything, the US is stepping up the pace of its extradition cases - both ways. The US at federal and state level is at any one time processing hundreds of requests, and transporting suspected perps back and forth.

These are some of the high-profile extradition cases in today’s news:

The US/Italy Robert Lady case

The twists and turns in the story of the fugitive from Italian justice and former CIA chief in Milan Robert Lady were last posted on here. He scampered out of Central America back to the United States mid-2013.

But now official Washington seems to be giving Mr Lady a very hard time which may have him voluntarily headed to Italy to seek a break.

When the anniversary of 9/11 came around this year, Robert Seldon Lady was moving between low-end hotels around Miami. An international arrest warrant keeps him from returning to his home in Panama. He says he’s flirting with personal bankruptcy, fears for his life, and is “getting pretty desperate.” His marriage is broken. He blames this hard luck on his former employer, the Central Intelligence Agency

Mr. Lady helped CIA contractors and agents snatch an Egyptian Islamist off the streets of Milan and deliver him to an interrogation cell in Cairo. This so-called extraordinary rendition—one of 130 or so carried out by the Bush administration—set in train events that soured America’s relations with Italy and upended the life and career of Mr. Lady and other CIA agents.

Saying “I’m fed up with all this,” Mr. Lady has some extraordinary steps in mind to change his fate. His actions and outspokenness are going to add to the discomfiture of his former bosses at Langley over this messy episode from the early days after 9/11.

If the muddle-headed Knox and Sollecito enablers can find any solace in that, good luck. Mr Lady was a top government employee, who claims he was doing only what he was told. 

The Brazil/Italy Henrique Pizzolato case

Believe it or not the former director of the Bank of Brazil has fled to Italy to ensure a fair trial.

Sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison for bribery, embezzlement and money laundering, Pizzolato announced in a letter that he fled to have, according to him, a new trial in Italy “removed from politics and electoral motives” and in “a court not subject to the impositions of the media”.

Brazil might ask Interpol for a “red notice” which is the highest form of international arrest warrant and often has the same wanted result as formal extradition.

A red notice chills renegades’ possibilities worldwide.

In fact so tough is life on the lam under a red notice that perps often simply cave before too long, and head back to defend themselves or pay their dues without any court moves or official transport required.

The US/Italy Raoul Weil case

Finfacts reported on this case last month.

Raoul Weil, a former UBS wealth management chief, was arrested last weekend in Italy and faces extradition to the United States to answer charges of aiding and abetting tax evaders.

Weil left Switzerland’s biggest bank in 2009 after he was declared a fugitive from US justice by ignoring a criminal indictment issued in 2008. UBS was forced to pay a $780m fine in 2009 after admitting to actively assisting US tax evaders to break US law.

Several Swiss bankers and lawyers have since been indicted in the US for their alleged role in helping wealthy US citizens hide their assets from the tax authorities.

Weil is one of the most high-profile of the accused as a then head of UBS’s wealth management and he is now a temporary resident of an Italian prison, likely fearing a longer spell in a US one.

A Florida court indictment charged Weil with having a prominent role in aiding UBS’s US clients to hide around $20bn in undeclared assets between 2002 and 2007.

He however has strongly denied the allegation but would not risk defending himself in a US court.

Italy is giving Mr Weil a pretty hard time and accedes to all American extradition requests except where the death sentence might be involved.

The US/Russia gangsters case

The US is trying hard to get some Russian gangsters (okay, alleged gangsters) extradited from countries around the world  and Russia is resisting this “extraterritorial application of America law”.

U.S. organized crime experts say Russian criminals working overseas often have connections within the Russian government, and that the Russian government’s defense of them is designed to keep those links from emerging in public light….

In the past six months, Russians have been a frequent target of arrest warrants executed at the request of U.S. prosecutors.

On Aug. 1, the Dominican Republic extradited 24-year-old Aleksandr Panin to stand trial in federal court in Atlanta on charges related to cyberscams using SpyEye malware, which enables the theft of online banking information. Panin is accused of stealing $5 million from U.S. banks.

In mid-August, Lithuania extradited an alleged arms dealer, Dmitry Ustinov, to stand trial in the United States for allegedly negotiating to sell restricted night-vision goggles. He faces a 20-year sentence.

Another Russian, Dmitry Belorossov, was arrested at the Barcelona airport Aug. 17 upon triggering an Interpol fraud alert. Belorossov’s extradition to stand trial in the United States is pending.

When U.S. prosecutors seized Liberty Reserve in late May, they said the company had laundered “more than $6 billion in criminal proceeds.” Liberty Reserve allowed clients anonymity and offered them a digital currency, known as an LR, to facilitate payments for criminal activity.


The US/Spain Javier Martin-Artajo case

Banker Javier Martin-Artajo now in Spain is refusing to be extradited to the United states - because the crime he is accused of took place in England. Good luck with that one. JP Morgan Chase Bank has just paid a huge fine in the US so THEY accept the crime took place there.

Posted on 11/20/13 at 10:14 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Other legal processesThose elsewhereExtradition issuesThe wider contextsItalian contextEurope contextN America context
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Differences Between Micheli, Massei, Hellmann and Nencini Courts Pointing To Almost Certain Outcome

Posted by Peter Quennell





What are the biggest differences? In fact the Supreme Court already pointed them out: science, scope, and balance.

Judge Micheli, Judge Massei and Judge Nencini all have a very extensive criminal-case background. All three have handled many cases of murder, many cases against the mafia, and many cases involving criminal science. All three have remarkable success records and have hardly ever been overturned on appeal. 

Judge Hellmann and his court are the extreme outliers. Until forced into early retirement by the Council of Magistrates, he had been a (quite good) business judge. His one major criminal case, years ago, had led to a farcical outcome, and he was ridiculed for this at the time.

Cassation made it very clear that he simply did not reflect a knowledge of the precise Italian law on scope and balance at the appeal level, and that he mishandled the science. In fact, as he actually said, the reason he appointed two independent DNA consultants was that he was at sea on the science.

That left Judge Hellmann’s panel of judges like a rudderless ship, bereft of the kind of good guidance from the lead judge on science, scope, and balance that comes only from many years of experience.

Which, given a level playing field, the pathbreaking Italian system enforces competently like almost no other.

Above all as the Hellmann Report makes extraordinarily plain, his court came to be swayed by the CSI Effect, with the help of two tainted consultants and probably the irresponsible Greg Hampikian in Idaho.

The CSI Effect is a phenomenon very, very unlikely to happen in Judge Nencini’s court.  First, take a look at this good explanation of what the CSI Effect is in the Fox Kansas City video.



Many crime shows such as the BBC mysteries and the Law & Order series and spinoffs show investigators solving their crimes in the old-fashioned way. Lots of witness interviews and alibi and database checking, and walking around and loose ends and lying awake at night puzzling. And often there’s a big stroke of luck. 

But if you watch the very popular CSI Las Vegas series and its spinoffs in Miami and New York, and the various clones on other networks, you will see something very different indeed.

When those shows first began airing worldwide in the late nineties, the producers explained that audiences increasingly appreciate learning something new when watching a show, and it is true, one sure can load up on the trivia.

But you will also see the US equivalent of Dr Stefanoni and her forensic team in those shows, roaming far beyond the narrow crime scene, interrogating witnesses and checking alibis and finding a lot of non-forensic evidence, and even at times drawing guns.

Most unreal is that, time and again, the forensic evidence testing is clearcut and takes just a few minutes and instantly clinches the case.

  • There are several articles like this one and this one on whether the Casey Anthony jury was affected by a shortfall in the starkness of the forensics when the behavioral evidence seemed so strong.
  • There are several articles like this one and this one on whether the appeal verdict outcome in Perugia might be affected in the same way.
  • There are many articles like this one and this one and this one and especially this one saying there is a tough added burden on investigators and juries without a commensurate improved outcome.

With conviction rates declining in the US and Europe, professionals are taking a scientific look at whether the CSI Effect is one big cause of that decline.

At the macro level in the US this writer doubted that the CSI Effect is fatally unbalancing takes on the wider evidence. The same conclusion was reached in this first major study at the micro level.

But the belief in the CSI Effect continues. Articles like this one on an Australian site talk of a backlash against too many acquittals. Some articles like this one argue that maybe lay juries are out of their depths.

And judges and prosecutions are taking countermeasures.

In Ohio and many other states prosecutors and judges are acting against a possible CSI Effect in their selection and briefing of juries. And an NPR report came up with these findings.

Some states now allow lawyers to strike potential jurors based on their TV habits. Judges are issuing instructions that warn juries about expecting too much scientific evidence based on what they see on TV.

In the field, Shelton says death investigators sometimes run useless tests, just to show they went the extra CSI mile.

“They will perform scientific tests and present evidence of that to the jury. Even if the results don’t show guilt or innocence either way, just to show the jury that they did it.”

This is coming at a time when death investigators in America have no resources to spare. An investigation by NPR, PBS Frontline and ProPublica shows some states have already opted not to do autopsies on suicides, others don’t autopsy people who die in traffic accidents, and many don’t autopsy people who die over the age of 60.

But Murphy, the Clark County coroner, expects things to get worse.

“You know, we’re in budget cuts right now. Everybody’s in budget cuts. Las Vegas is no different than anybody else. We’re hurting. We’re going to feel that same crunch as everybody else,” he says.

One of Zuiker’s great disappointments is that, for all its popularity, his fictional Las Vegas crime lab didn’t generate more political support to fund death investigation.

“I’ve done my job. You know, we’ve launched three shows that cater to 73.8 million people a week and is a global phenomenon and the largest television franchise in history. We hoped that the show would raise awareness and get more funding into crime labs so people felt safe in their communities. And we’re still hoping that the government will catch up.”

None of the science in Meredith’s case has ever been discredited in court. Even in Judge Hellmann’s court the agenda-driven independent consultants Conti and Vecchiotti failed - and under cross-examination admitted it.

Also remember that the Hellmann court did not get to see two very key closed-court scientific presentations (the stark recreation of the attack on Meredith, in a day of testimony, and later in a 15 minute video) which had a very big balancing effect on the Massei court. 

Right now the reputation of not one defense-campaign stooge who has attacked the science remains intact.

Greg Hampikian has headed for cover. He had widely proclaimed that he clinched the Hellmann court’s outcome, in an act which may well have been illegal. Unsurprisingly, he is now trying very hard to hide his own claimed “proof ” of shortfalls in the science, as Andrea Vogt has been showing in her Boise State University investigation, and as we will soon post more on. 

Saul Kassin is another defense-campaign stooge who falsely claimed that he clinched the Hellmann court outcome by “proving” a false confession by Knox - in an interrogation that never even took place.

Despite all of this, maybe as straw-snatching, we can again see an organized attempt to confuse American opinion on the science of the case.

Whether she did this intentionally or not, that is what the PR tool Colleen Barry of the Associated Press was doing when she omitted that the trace of Meredith on the knife is undisputed hard evidence.

Judge Micheli and Judge Massei handled the science, scope, and balance with some brilliance. In all three dimensions Judge Hellmann fell short abysmally.

What is your own bet on the outcome under the exceptionally experienced Judge Nencini?





Parts of this post were first posted in 2011 after the disputed and much examined outcome of the Casey Anthony murder trial..


Sunday, November 10, 2013

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

Posted by pat az





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rudy Guede.

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






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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My timeline of media reports on blood

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

My timeline of main events involving Guede

  • Nov 2nd, 2am – 4:30 am: Guede seen by witnesses at Domus nightclub.
  • Nov 3: Guede leaves Perugia for Germany
  • Nov 11: Guede’s cell phone tracked in Milan (Corriere)
  • Nov 12: Newspaper reports a 4th suspect.
  • Nov 19: Guede identified as suspect in newspapers
  • Nov 19: Guede skype conversation with friend.
  • Nov 20: Patrick released from prison.
  • Nov 20: Guede arrested while trying to return to italy on train in Germany.
  • Nov 21: Guede interrogated by German police; Guede admits to being at apartment, blames an italian man for murder.
  • Nov 20-Dec 5: Guede writes diary in German prison.
  • Dec 3:  Germany grants Guede’s extradition back to Italy.
  • Dec 6: Guede returns to Perugia.
  • Dec 7: Guede interrogated by Magistrate.
  • Dec 14: Guede ordered to remain in prison.
  • Dec 17: Knox is questioned by Mignini.
  • Dec 18: Police use luminol in apartment and find footprints in hallway and in Filomena’s bedroom.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Another Highly Misleading Associated Press Report By Colleen Barry Appears on 700 Media Websites

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



{Above: the AP headline. At bottom: the AP reporter, Colleen Barry; will she correct the report]


Read here what Colleen Barry of the Associated Press (image below) falsely claims.

How exactly does a second proven DNA trace of Amanda Knox on the knife prove that Meredith’s proven DNA on the knife wasn’t there?  The correct facts on the three DNA samples were posted here.

Nothing - nothing - that was said yesterday in court affected that. Two samples of Knox and one sample of Meredith on the knife are confirmed. All three are there.

In fact, Judge Nencini leaned hard on the bumbling Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova to make him stop. Dalla Vedova was repeatedly trying to trap the Carabinieri experts Dr Barni and Dr Berti into saying that Dr Stefanoni did something wrong in her test of Meredith’s DNA.  Judge Nencini had not even instructed the Carabinieri labs to look into that.

Dalla Vedova and Colleen Barry of the AP have apparently forgotten that defense observers were there at the Scientific Police labs test and testified that they saw Dr Stefanoni do nothing wrong. Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was indeed found on the blade of the knife..

Judge Nencini clearly believes that firm evidence of Meredith’s DNA is there in front of his court, and that Dr Stefanoni and Judge Massei got it right. Meredith’s DNA really was proven to be on the knife. He would not allow a clumsy red-herring argument from Dalla Vedova which lacked the slightest bit of proof.

Unlike Reuters, the Associated Press is not a public company. It issues no stock.

It is instead a co-operative jointly owned by about 1000 media groups, and its reports are carried on up to 1000 sites. It is financially not very well off, and many of its media owners are in the same boat. The AP and many of its owners are increasingly cutting corners to save a buck. Increasingly they are under-researching, failing to check, and so their viewers and their readers are ending up misled.

Does financial strain excuse the AP for hyperbole and seriously wrong claims, for reprinting of false public relations handouts and false lawyer claims as hard fact? As it has too often done before?

Would it not be better when facts are in doubt and justice on the line to not report at all?


{Below: Colleen Barry of AP Germany was the writer of the misleading piece]


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Appeal Session #3: The Carabinieri Labs Report On The DNA On The Knife

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above: an image of similar testing in the same Carabinieri laboratory in north Rome]

Final Update

So the court session does not even extend beyond the lunch hour. Good morning Seattle! At this moment it is still only 3:30 in the morning there. Only night owls will know what happened.

Yummi and Mason2 may have more for us, which will appear either here below this final update on in Comments.  Also Andrea Vogt and hopefully Barbie Nadeau will be filing longer reports in English. We will also check out all the Italian reporting.

Hard to see any game changers in today’s strong but undramatic testimony. The Carabinieri RIS DNA experts could not be shaken. All momentum remains with the prosecution and with the Supreme Court’s “givens” on the evidence, such as the presence of three attackers in Meredith’s room. 

The defenses seem to be giving up. They could have phoned it in. Sollecito lawyer Bongiorno didnt make any new fuss. And Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova was cut off by the lead judge several times, for trickily going off the point. He really is out of his depth in a criminal trial; at the same time often condescending.

And a seeming big slap in the face for the American defense stooge Greg Hampikian who seems to have illegally colluded with the disgraced Hellmann consultants Conti and Vecchiotti (who were not even mentioned today) when Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “Would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni responded “Of course”.

And Sollecito “wasted” his statement by whining about his life, showing no compassion for Meredith (despite his claimed visit to her grave), and not answering any of the dozens of open questions. Sollecito really needed to show he is both strong and compassionate and NOT a weakling under the thumb of Amanda - but he seems to have done quite the opposite. The family lawyer must not be too pleased.

Fifth Update

The opening of Frank Sforza’s trial in the same courthouse is postponed, apparently because new information on his campaign to poison opinion against the judiciary and his unsavory connections has been coming in.

Information will be exchanged that is gathered at this trial on mafiosos Luciano Aviello and at Aviello’s own trial for obstruction of justice which is now proceeding in the same Florence courthouse in parallel.

The findings and possible charges on the defamatory and dishonest books by Knox and Sollecito are due about now from the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors. Information gathered in those investigations could also be fed in to this process, or put aside for separate trials.

As both the AK and RS books are bulging with the standard PR talking points (some of which flowed from Frank Sforza and Doug Preston) in a sense it will be Curt Knox, the Mellases, Marriott, Sforza, Fischer and Moore who will be put under the microscope.

Fourth Update

A more detailed report on the DNA phase today from the Andrea Vogt website.

The RIS Wednesday deposited their forensic report on trace 36i, a spot of DNA identified (but not earlier tested) on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. “Cento Percento” (100 percent) said Major Berti, discussing compatibility. The RIS found that the DNA was compatible with Amanda Knox, and excluded that it was that of Sollecito, Guede or Kercher. 

The RIS expert was asked only a few questions from attorneys and the judge. The judge asked why the RIS had done two amplications of the DNA and not 3 or 4. Major Berti described that two is considered the minimum number of amplifications necessary, according to today’s forensic standards, doing less (or more) might have diminished the reliability of the results. The judge also asked about the age of the equipment used. Berti responded that the forensic kit used this time has been commercialized since 2010 and available for use since 2011. 

At one point the judge stopped a line of questioning by Knox’s Rome attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova, who was asking why the RIS described Knox’s DNA as “fluids” when a prior expert had said the trace did not come from blood.  Nencini said: That question was not put to the RIS by this court, it was not their job to determine that. The other experts’ reports are in the case files for everyone to read, he noted, adding: “We cannot put words in the mouth of this expert that were said by another expert.”


Third Update

Tweets from our main poster Yummi (Machiavelli)

32. Judge Nencini’s comments were always addressed at Dalla Vedova’s arguments, who was in fact a bit silly

31. The Judge declared the evidence phase closed. Next court dates are 25 November for prosecution argument and 26 for the defences with 16 and 17 December.

30. Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni: “of course”

29. Dalla Vedova said Tagliabracci was the only Italian source in the RIS report, all others are foreigners, emphasized the American labs…

28. Sollecito said his family absolutely never had issues with justice. And he is a proud ‘member’ of that family

27. He also played the ‘national’ card, as he remphasized ‘I am Italian’ twice and then addressed the court ‘I am an Italian, as you are’

26. Sollecito mentioned the defens’s arguments (he has an orthopedical issue with his foot etc.).

25. The questions of all parties to the experts were intended to elicit information to be used in arguing the unrelated previous finding

24. He mentioned Meredith’s name only once, to say he barely knew her.

23. Sollecito talked with a faint voice, a long speech in which he described himself as a victim.

22. The Carabinieri say that there are only a few governmental laboratories which have the 17025 certificate (the Carabinieri and the Police)

21. Nencini stops Dalla Vedova, points out that scientific community is international

20. Dalla Vedova tries to elicit that the good standards are not the Italian ones.

19. The RIS obtained the ISO9001 certificate in 2008, and a more specific certificate in 2012.

18. Bongiorno asks RIS to explain why two amplifications are recommended.

17. Prosecutor Crini asks if there are criteria to distinguish which labs or which experts are more competent.

16. Speaking about their software which allows to weight probabilities of attribution.

15. They note that three alleles which are ‘alien’ were drop off in one duplicate.

14. The biologic method has a ‘consensus’ interpretation and a ‘composite’ interpretation, two ways to interpret the double result.

13. They describe the methods employed, the ‘biologic’ method and the ‘statistic’ method.

12. Absence of any male trace stands out as a feature of the sample (all contributors are females)

11. They extracted two profiles in a duplicate in agreement with experts of all parties

10. Dr Berti says the sample was a low template. They have a strategy to obtain reliable results.

9. Points out that documentation says sample 36i comes from insertion of blade in the handle.

8. Dr. Berti summarizes the recovery of sample in Vecchiotti’s lab.

7. Bongiorno says Sollecito intends to release a spontaneous declaration. He will do that after the experts testimony.

6. Berti and Barni enter the court.

5. Many law students from the Florence school for Magistrates are in court to follow the hearing.

4. Sollecito had managed to enter the courtroom from side entrance eluding photographers. Carlo Torre arrives in court.

3. Giulia Bongiorno & Raff kiss each other. Giulia, Raff & Father have a worried discussion

2. I wonder… will the court withdraw his passport?

1. Raffaele Sollecito is in courtroom. Walking in empty room, few people waiting. Hearing will start 1/2h probably


Second Update

Tweets from Patricia Thomas (AP) and Sabina Castelfranco (AP)

Patricia Thomas ‏@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito - Amanda Knox and I were very carefree and isolated in our love nest.

Sabina Castelfranco ‏@SCastelfranco:  Sollecito says he is not the assassin he has been described as. Says Amanda was his first love

Patricia Thomas ‏@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito - I have been described as an assassin. Amanda Knox was my first real love in life

Patricia Thomas ‏@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito takes stand to make statement, starts complaining about media descriptions of himself


First Update

Tweets from Barbie Nadeau

35. Nov 25 - prosecution; 26 - civil; Dec 16 - Sollectio; 17 - Knox; Jan 9 - rebuttals, 10 deliberation and verdict

34. Dec. 16, 17 closing arguments for Knox and Sollecito

33. Judge closes hearing for day, says closing arguments begin Nov 25, 26, must find December dates to conclude

32. Sollecito finishes by thanking judges for their time, judge tells him he can intervene any time during rest of appeal until they deliberate

31. Sollecito says he hates the fame, how it has hurt him, how it isn’t fair

20. Sollecito says he has a difficult time looking for work, people associate him with the murder of meredith kercher

29. Sollecito says that even on his vacation in Dominican Republic, he had to defend himself like a public figure, his life is judged by all

28. Sollecito repeats twice that he never met Rudy Guede, how nothing in original trial was based on reality.

27. Sollecito takes trip down memory lane, highlights worst parts of trial and incarceration for him, has not mentioned meredith kercher yet

26. RaffaeleSollecito - I feel a persecution. It is a nightmare, beyond all imagination.

25. RaffaeleSollecito—close to tears as he testifies to court “I am fighting every day to bring out the truth” 

24. Jury totally transfixed by sollecito declaration, can’t take their eyes off him

23. Sollecito thanks and defends his family, calls amand knox his first love

22. Judge asks for Sollecito declaration now

21. Judge asks about relevance of kit they used, how old technology was, etc.

20. Judge asks what minimum testing is for validation of DNA, RIS says “at least two”

19. Judge tells Dallavedova he cannot put words in mouth of new expert that were said by previous experts, this is fresh analysis

18. Judge clarifies that RIS was not asked to reanalyze work that has been done, but to test a sample that has not been tested.

17. Dallavedova essentially kicks goal into own net, not doing amanda knox any favors by making RIS defend methods used in original conviction

16. Dallavedova manages to get RIS expert to defend Italian methods, says they are in line with global standards, this was crux of 1st appeal

15. DallaVedova asks about international protocol, backfires slightly b/c RIS expert says he doesn’t want to dis italian methods, are valid too

14. Bongiorno hammers point that international standards in DNA must be followed ([claims]they were not for meredithkercher sample on tip of knife)

13. Jury in new appeal trial for amanda knox; sollecito look totally lost, lots of daydreaming during DNA testimony, nail biting, looking around

12. Bongiorno asks RIS expert specifics of amplification of sample with an eye to trace with meredith kercher DNA that was amplified many times

11. Prosecutor asking for clarification on how samples are tested, how RIS experts are qualified, etc.

10. RIS: DNA testing as important to exclude suspects as to confirm them, in this case no question that amandaknox DNA is on knife, others’ not

9. RIS: testifying about international standards necessary to validate DNA, how they used in their examination of this particular spot on knife

8. Sollecito listening attentively and jotting notes as RIS expert testifies about the knife

7. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife (near handle) matched definitively the DNA of amandaknox in double tests

6. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife did not match meredith kercher or rudy guede or sollecito after double testing

5. RIS: Experts tested spot “H” [?] on the knife (the spot near the handle) for both the victim meredith kercher and suspect

4. RIS: DNA analysis showed no x chromosome, i.e.: no male chromosome in sample they tested on knife

3. RIS: essential in DNA testing to double test samples to validate results

2. RIS expert: explains technical details of testing DNA, how much is needed, how it is tested

1. Judge says he wants to hear from RIS experts first and then sollecito can give his declaration


Initial Post

Well, that first shot from the court at the top sure is a surprise, and maybe bad news for Amanda Knox. Where are Sollecito’s other lawyers, Bongiorno and Maori? Presumably they are off to the side talking. .

In tweets Andrea Vogt has mentioned that she is reporting for the BBC and the Associated Press TV; reporters cannot have bigger clients or more global reach than with those two. This is from Andrea Vogt’s website.

Court is now in session. Day will begin with RIS forensic debates. Raffaele Sollecito will make a statement later in the day.

Sollecito arrived in the Florence court of appeals looking relaxed and ready to make his case before the court later in the day. His father, Francesco Sollecito, also appeared visibly happy to have his son back in arms reach, after an extended stay in the Caribbean. A large number of his friends were in the audience.

Forensic experts for the defense Walter Patumi, Carlo Torre and Sarah Gino were also in attendance in preparation for debate on the new DNA evidence tested by the RIS in Rome, specifically, trace 36i on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. RIS say the DNA profile is that of Amanda Knox. Arguments today will mostly about how it might have gotten there, with prosecutors attempting to place it in the context of the murder and defense attorneys arguing it could have been transferred during normal domestic use of the utensil.

Next hearings are Nov. 25-26, with a verdict expected in mid-December.


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

RS And AK Seemingly Competing To “Appropriate” Meredith: Ghoulish, Sadistic And Very Cruel? Or…?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Amanda Knox has stated several times on national TV that she would like to visit Meredith’s grave.

Meredith’s father responded very firmly that this was quite out of the question. The family will never approve. Perhaps predictably, Raffaele Sollecito then announced triumphally that he had already been.

We can be sure that this exchange will do them no good at all in the Florence court, where the prospects of Judge Massei’s special considerations (which lopped five years off their sentences) being re-allowed by the Nencini court now seem pretty dim.

Other than as a ghoulish competition, can this be seen any other way? Last Saturday, Skeptical Bystander, no great lover of the perps, aired the suggestion that we might be seeing a new psychological phase coming into play

Skeptical Bystander

My thinking has evolved somewhat about the report that RS visited Meredith’s grave, as well as about AK’s non-stop chatter about doing so with the Kerchers and her grotesque appropriation of Meredith.

I just caught part of a documentary treatment of the Menendez case, wherein two brothers, Lyle and Eric, killed their parents. Both were sentenced to life in prison. In a probation report, Lyle is quoted as saying he has found peace by visiting his parents’ grave, asking for forgiveness, and understanding that they have forgiven him.

It is entirely possible that both AK and RS want forgiveness from Meredith and from her family. What they don’t seem to realize is that they can’t take shortcuts or be given a free pass. Lyle Menendez got sentenced for his crime and began the process of self-examination that leads to accountability.

We asked two of our posting psychologists if we could indeed be seeing something like this. With their agreement, this is their email exchange, in which they both concede that Skeptical Bystander may have had a point:

Psychologist A:

It is entirely probable they want, indeed crave, ‘forgiveness’. The problem is that dysfunctional or disturbed personalities may be able to be aware of their guilt, but not of their shame.

The guilt would want the forgiveness, but the process that leads to the resolution that is forgiveness will not occur - indeed I believe cannot occur- until the shame is ‘owned’.

Just judging from Raffaele’s and Amanda’s faces alone, I would estimate that Raff is slightly nearer than Amanda in approaching his own shame. Unfortunately I see zero in Amanda, and therein lies the huge problem.

If someone lacks sincerity, someone else or circumstances cannot make them more sincere - what I call authentic. It has to come from self-realization.

That’s my ‘take’!

Psychotherapist B:

At a certain point, this is all just speculation about someone I’ve never met, so it’s hard to say one way or another.

My best guess would be that in this case neither Knox nor Sollecito has shown any public signs of really being able to admit to themselves that they’ve done anything to be sorry for.

For what it’s worth, my overall impression, based on what’s been made public, is that Knox would likely not ever have killed anyone if she hadn’t been high and in an especially reckless period of her life and influenced by meeting Sollecito.

She might have gone on being somewhat impulsive and aggressive without ever actually harming anyone, and with luck she might have outgrown it in a few years. I think the kind of cruelty we’ve seen in this case is driven by unconscious feelings and motives.

Clearly it pains her to be seen as guilty; the idea that anyone can think that about her bothers her a lot. It’s easier for me to picture her wanting a visit to Meredith Kercher’s grave to somehow clear her of all of this upsetting suspicion, than truly wanting Meredith’s forgiveness - more wanting to get rid of shame than to atone for guilt or repair harm, if that makes sense.

When I think of forgiveness, I think of a more mature kind of experience. It takes maturity and integrity to own that you’ve done something harmful, to withstand whatever feelings of shame and guilt the realization brings, and to seek to make actual reparation. 

But anyone can feel haunted by having done a bad thing, and want someone to take the haunting away. I’m reminded of Bill in Oliver Twist - after he kills Nancy he feels sorry for himself and overwhelmed by the fear of retribution, but you couldn’t say he’s exactly seeking forgiveness - well, maybe a two-dimensional version of it.

Psychologist A:

Yes, quite right. It is all dreadfully disheartening, and still shockingly cruel.

I agree deeply about the unconsciousness of what is going on. One would expect immature adolescents to be acting a lot from their unconscious, and one of the troubles with the joint denial of events is that they are preventing themselves (and others) from growing or becoming more conscious, but instead ‘freezing’ themselves at that awful time 6 years ago.

You: “He feels sorry for himself and overwhelmed with the fear of retribution, but you couldn’t say he’s exactly seeking forgiveness—well, maybe a two-dimensional version of it. “

I see true forgiveness as a powerful phenomenon which occurs at a crucial stage of a healing process. I think it is something that occurs, that happens to one, is experienced, and is far greater than anyone’s ego.

I would think that someone who had hardly begun, or who had not at all commenced, upon this process would actually have no idea about what forgiveness might actually look or feel like, or be, in fact - let alone how to arrive at it.

Their consequent confusion might then manifest in ,as you say, wanting a two-dimensional version of it, that could be summed up as merely ‘not wanting to be seen as bad’. So perpetuating the ‘good image(s)’ of themselves, which is a gross evasion.

They certainly want not to be hated, as probably anyone does. But it is a huge chasm to actually doing something about that, and learning to behave in a way that people with conscience find acceptable.

Psychotherapist B:

I think you’re absolutely right about forgiveness - thank you for saying it so well.


Monday, November 04, 2013

Appeal Court Sessions This Wednesday And Thursday Dont Look Very Promising For The Defenses

Posted by Peter Quennell




Expected proceedings and backdrop

The Carabinieri DNA report will be the main item and after an interruption from Sollecito we could see the final summations begin.

It is hard to believe that Doug Preston and other deniers of the plain facts have exulted in recent months that the Florence prosecution and court could be a big plus for the perps in their appeal. Presumably their joy was based on highly out-of-date takes on the 2010 move against Dr Mignini by a rogue Florence prosecutor in front of a rogue Florence judge.

Well, guess what? Both have been edged aside (like Hellmann and Zanetti), and the Florence Appeal Court and the Supreme Court have scathingly reversed Dr Mignini’s (and Dr Giuttari’s) faux conviction. And despite some ill-advised smearing still emanating from the Fischers, Moores, and other Knox parasites, Dr Mignini and his colleagues are seeing their careers and popularity (and 2009 success) riding very high. 

Judge Nencini and Prosecutor Crini are both hardened anti-Mafia battlers, and the not-so-hidden hand of the mafia in the Italian media campaign to poison public opinion against the court will not have escaped their attention for sure.

At least half a dozen of the parties on the defense bandwagon are known fellow-travelers of the mafia, and at least two are already headed for court - Luciano Aviello is already there for obstruction of justice, and Mario Spezi is headed there soon for a false and very elaborate framing of murder, a charge which could put him (and maybe Preston) away for a long while. The editor of Amanda Knox’s favorite mouthpiece, Oggi, is another we may see.

The same Florence prosecutors and courts will also be putting Frank Sforza on trial starting this wednesday with a preliminary hearing at which the details of the charges against him will enter the public domain. We will post then at more length. Our past commentary on Sforrza can be read here.

Frank Sforza has been a very close ally of some of the more hotheaded and misleading Amanda Knox supporters (both the Mellases, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, Michael Heavey, among others) and if he squeals to keep himself safe and out of jail, their own legal fortunes could take a big fall.

Frank Sforza is also required to appear for trial both in Perugia and Seattle, in both jurisdictions for physical abuse. If he fails to show in Florence (his Rome address is quite well known) we expect to see him nabbed by the police and sent on his way in handcuffs to all three trials. 

The same Florence prosecutors and courts are also contemplating new charges against Raffaele Sollecito and his publishing and PR bandwagon for the wild claims in his book, which were designed to poison public opinion agains the court and make him a ton of money. Those claims are a real minefield for Sollecito when he gets up and talks as they conflict both with what his team has said in court and what Knox said in her book.

Knox’s book, which was also designed to poison public opinion against the court and make her a ton of money, is being investigated by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo up north. At a minimum, the Florence prosecutors and judges will already know of this attack on the chief prosecutor which seems enough for a guilty verdict all by itself.

Contexting the DNA report

The main findings of the Carabinieri labs were summarised in the post directly below.

This further take on the context, and on who is up and who is down, was kindly contributed by one of our Italian court-watchers, who has many connections in Florence and Rome, and who sees the prosecution DNA teams as riding high now, and the defense forces and Vecchiotti and Conti as left with with no place to hide.

Dr. Barni and Dr. Berti, the two court-appointed Carabinieri RIS experts, are the authors of various internationally-circulated articles about presumptive blood tests, where they prove the opposite of some of the things the Sollecito—Knox sycophants deny. For example that bleach does decompose quickly when exposed to air and does not react to luminol after some 1-2 days.

Patrizia Stefanoni also has respected publications as a scientific author. In fact, in 2011 she was in the top 25 hits of forensic science with her publications, she has been even in first place  with this report.

The Carabinieri RIS note that the refrigerator has no temperature log; from this detail, albeit small within the overall report, we can deduce that Vecchiotti’s laboratory cannot have had ISO 9001 certification or any other international certification, given that the standards would require a temperature log.  Apparently the refrigerator doesn’t have an accurate thermometer either,  since the Carabinieri measured the temperature using one of their own.

Another detail noted at the beginning is this: the Carabinieri RIS expected the sample volume to be 24 microliters, since this was the remaining volume declared by Conti and Vecchiotti,  while Barni and Berti found it to be only between 16 and 17 microliters.  They infer that Vecchiotti and Conti might have been inaccurate on the estimation of the remaining amount after quantization, or hypothesize that the content might have evaporated over the last two years because the samples were not wrapped inside a protective film.

Vecchiotti and Conti had been already discredited, and have no credibility in the present appeal trial. However, the RIS finding might deliver a further blow to whatever might be their residual credibility. They had already previously been completely discredited because: 

    1. They were appointed by judges who are now completely discredited, whose conduct was found illegitimate for reasons of unprecedented gravity, and who received a devastating bashing from the Supreme Court;

    2. Vecchiotti and Conti were also discredited by Prosecutor Manuela Comodi in her court cross-eamaination in 2011, as the speciousness and falsehood of their arguments was exposed (this was the famous hearing where they claimed contamination on the ground that “everything is possible” and where Vecchiotti admitted she didn’t request negative controls)

    3. Vecchiotti and Conti were discredited scientifically by Novelli’s argument, as he explained that they should have tested the 36-I sample, and as he also explained that that he found no trace of contamination in the Scientific Police laboratory’s work, or any reason to suspect contamination of Meredith Kercher’s DNA, and he explained that attribution could be done accurately based on bio-statistical calculation without requiring a second confirmatory test.

    4. Finally, Vecchiotti and Conti were egregiously discredited by the Supreme Court which addressed a manifest issue in their “intellectual honesty“. Here is the Supreme Court ruling, page 65:  “ ... a member of the panel of experts could not assume any responsibility for unilaterally narrowing the scope of the mission, which was to be carried out without hesitation or reservation, in full intellectual honesty, giving a complete account of the possible insufficiency of the material or unreliability of the result. (...) “

The court mentions sardonically the judge-appointed expert’s “intellectual honesty”, and that is a very striking comment when found in a Supreme Court ruling: since the Cassazione is not a fact-finding panel, they don’t write about factual conclusions unless they appear prima facie as manifest and undisputable.

So the Supreme Court considers there are problems of intellectual honesty in the work of Vecchiotti and Conti, something manifest and obvious; the Court acknowledges they are obvious, something that anyone can see, which does not require a fact-finding by a judiciary organ to be pointed out.

Now the Carabinieri RIS report may bring further discredit upon Vecchiotti and Conti, if they have any credibility left. There are at least two reasons for this:

    1) Because the finding of a reliable DNA profile belies the assessment that was given by Vecchiotti and Conti that extraction of a profile would be impossible, and demonstrates that in fact it was possible to extract a reliable profile; incidentally the fact that a Carabinieri RIS test was ordered itself implicitly denies Hellmann-Zanetti’s assessment that any result from 36-I would anyway be useless because contamination could have occurred outside the laboratory; but also it credits Novelli while it discredits Veccchiotti and Conti on a scientific level,  because it explicitly denies the idea that small (Low Template) DNA amounts are unreliable.

    2) Because the Carabinieri RIS test employs the method proposed by Novelli, that is to couple Stefanoni’s ‘biologic’ analysis method with the statistical probability assessment method, in order to come to a certain attribution. Moreover, the Carabinieri RIS also point out that they can do this by assessing only 11 loci from a complex trace which also has foreign alleles (whereas trace 36-B analysed by Stefanoni was a ‘clean’, non-mixed profile matching a 17-loci sequence).

The Carabinieri RIS ran the test in ‘duplicate’ while Stefanoni made a single profile extraction. The Carabinieri point out that they can do this – divide even a smaller and more complex trace, and test it for comparison even on a smaller number of loci - because they now have “a system with extremely higher analytical performance which is able to provide result quantitatively and qualitatively better compared to previous systems”.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Knox Apologists Attempt To Bend Congress; But Nobody Important Turns Up

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





From the left: Steve Moore, John Douglas, and Michael Heavey.

In a room for hire at the Congress they made presentations of their misleading takes on the case to a near-empty room.

Senator Cantwell was apparently there briefly but took off as soon as she could. No other elected leaders were seen to be there.

There was seemingly no media coverage except for a sole post by another Knox apologist on the Infamous Ground Report.

These are hardly the most impartial or for that matter truthful and accurate observers of the case.

Click through for our numerous takedowns of the hapless Steve Moore, and John Douglas, and Michael Heavey. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why DNA Test Results 6 November May Leave No Further Argument Over Knox And Sollecito Guilt

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: an image of similar testing in the same Carabinieri laboratory in north Rome]


The official results of the tests by the Carabinieri laboratory will be made public by Judge Nencini in court on 6 November.

The report and attachments are reported to be more than 100 pages long. Andrea Vogt has already warned that no assumptions should be made yet that we know the full story. But already for the defenses, matters do not look pretty.

    1) It sounds like the result of the DNA near the top of the blade (see images below) shows conclusively that it is another sample of Knox’s DNA. Given where the sample came from it could be blood DNA and add further proof to the notion that Knox was injured while struggling with Meredith.

    2) The low-copy-number amplification technique used was almost identical to that used by Dr Stefanoni to prove that it was Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife - actually that was a larger sample. Judge Massei’s court accepted this, Judge Hellmann’s consultants tried very hard to undermine it, and the Supreme Court ruled that they did not even come close.

Earlier this year, our main poster Fly By Night in a post worth re-reading explained just how conclusively the results of that first testing pointed to both Meredith and Knox.

As is typical of all DNA analyses, Stefanoni proceeded to amplify the results to a point where an electropherogram would reveal meaningful “peaks” and found that a resultant 13 pairs of peaks corresponded precisely to peaks derived from a known sample of Meredith Kercher’s DNA!

In this case it is pointless to attempt to argue that Stefanoni somehow exceeded the amplification limits of her equipment. As outlined in the DNA discussion above, the typical problems associated with an amplification of low levels of DNA are related to peak imbalances, enhanced stutter, allele drop-outs, or allele drop-ins.

In this case there was nothing but a perfect match for Meredith that even Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti could not deny in court.

Stefanoni had clearly identified an identical match for Meredith’s DNA on the blade of Sollecito’s kitchen knife, leaving Vecchiotti and Conti no other option than to argue for “contamination” in court.

However, it was convincingly demonstrated by Stefanoni and all evidence handlers that from knife collection through laboratory analysis no reasonable opportunity for contamination with Meredith’s DNA existed.

Dr Stefanoni’s testing of all the DNA from the crime scene was done in front of some defense observers. Those who were there saw her do nothing wrong. Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian have all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife.

It looks as if the prosecution has now achieved a clean sweep of all of the of DNA testing. Meredith’s DNA on the lower blade of the knife seems even more conclusively a firm given, and so does Knox’s on the upper blade and the handle.

We are where we were back in 2008 before trial, where other defense lawyers might have suggested to their clients to select a trial of the short form type - the same choice that will see a somewhat penitent Guede out on work release in two years, no more.

But instead, their clients could now be facing life sentences for that bad choice.


Image: looking along the blade toward the handle, both sides of the knife




Here is an image showing the I trace in the location described in the post with credit to Iodine of PMF and the Case Wiki




Monday, October 28, 2013

Some Hard Truths Sollecito PR Shill Sharlene Martin Omits In Her Misleading Invite To The Congress

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Dear Sharlene Martin:

Please dont say we didnt warn you before. In this notice of a Congressional “briefing” (read: paid highly misleading PR) you once again gloss over a number of hard truths.

You might well be advised to head to higher ground. The US Congress and the Administration will soon be left in no doubt about the correct facts of the case against Sollecito and Knox, as Italian law enforcement start to reach out to their counterparts in the FBI, and as they charge mischief-makers with obstruction of justice in the case, and as more and more reporters in the US and UK media wisen up.

Against your client, this was always a very strong case. And this alone has your client cooked. Here are some other corrections and correct background to the false claims you have just made.

    1) Senator Cantwell was already burned by associating too closely with your radioactive group. She spoke out daffily for Amanda Knox several years ago - and then, duly warned, she went quiet again. Ask her congressional staff for the story to that. And read our past heads-ups for Senator Maria Cantwell here and here.

    2) Your client Raffaele Sollecito wrote the most defamatory and misleading book about an Italian case in many years. Key claims have been repudiated by his own father on Italian TV. As his case is ongoing Sollecito is meant to fight it in the (very fair) Italian courts, not poison public opinion to lean on those courts. Sollecito is being considered for charges of obstruction of justice for the book and much else in the media, and you and the publishers may be charged too.

    3) This is NOT a third trial. It is a re-run of a first appeal. If the very well-run and highly decisive Massei trial of 2009 had been run in the US or UK it is hard to see what grounds if any, any appeal judge would accept for appeal. Your client would be near the end of his sixth year in prison. And it is known that the Hellmann Appeal and the DNA consultancy were both bent by Sollecito’s and Knox’s own teams (corrective measures have been taken with more to come) so the 6-year process is essentially your own team’s fault.

    4) John Douglas’s highly self-serving chapters on the case are among the silliest ever written in a crowded field. The very vain Douglas starts with the totally false premise that Knox was forced to confess after many many hours, and from there on out it is all downhill. He takes a faux position essentially identical to that of Saul Kassin. Read about Kassin’s own spurious and highly self-serving take on Knox’s “forced confession” here and here and here.

    5) Steve Moore lacks the correct expertise to analyse this case and he was never the ace crime scene investigator you claim. A dozen or more posts here show how unreliable and rambling he is. Among other things he appeared on a disastrous panel (with a team almost identical to yours - and an audience that peaked at 35) at Seattle University a couple of years ago. Read what two very astute lawyers thought of his man-in-a-bubble performance here and here.

    6) The hapless Michael Heavey was officially reprimanded for his bizarre intervention in the case. He was also on the disaster of a panel at Seattle University. He has got the basic facts wrong again and again and again. Here he is getting the facts wrong five years ago.  Here is his association with Frank Sforza, a key mis-stater of the key facts of the case and serial defamer of the Italian officials involved, who he was financially supporting - and who now faces three separate trials of his own.

    7) And the hapless John Q Kelly? This is a tough field in which to come out ahead but John Q was perhaps the silliest talking head for Knox and Sollecito on TV. He babbled on in the media about a railroading that never took place. Read how even his own colleagues considered him to have been duped here and here.

A Congressional briefing panel that is not made in heaven, that is for sure. Stay tuned. There is more to come.



Posted on 10/28/13 at 11:06 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtRaff SollecitoHoaxers from 2008Sollecito teamHeavey, BremnerMore hoaxersSteve MooreJohn Douglas
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Friday, October 25, 2013

John Kercher’s Excellent Book “Meredith” On Meredith’s Employer And Her Circle Of Friends

Posted by Hopeful





Robyn Butterworth who had also been at Leeds University with Meredith, went to Perugia and roomed with Amy Frost. Often Meredith would go to their flat for lunch. She “often brought a kebab with her, which we found amusing; she loved them.”

(p. 77)  “Occasionally, we would go to see a British film at the cinema, and the one in Perugia was like an old theatre, a lovely place.” Robyn Butterworth was in some of the same Perugia University classes with Meredith.

Only a few days before her death, Robyn said that “Meredith had been talking to me during our evening phone call about a university trip to Turin, and we discussed the possibility that she might be able to see the famous Turin Shroud. Unfortunately, she discovered that the trip was fully booked, and so she was hoping to get on the next one. Meanwhile, I was urging her to go to Venice…”

(p. 78) On the first night Robyn met Meredith in Perugia, she and Meredith and Amy who already knew Meredith went out for pizza. Robyn said, “I instantly warmed to Meredith and she was really amusing…She and Amy were the witty ones….In the evenings we would sometimes go to the Merlin Bar in Via del Forno, a place which was a cross between a pizzeria and a bar.”

“Pasquale Alessi, a co-owner of Merlin’s, has said: ‘Meredith was a really nice girl. She liked to go out with her friends. But I never saw her with any problems; never saw her drunk. She always liked to go out with Sophie and Robyn, but she would watch out for them.

“She was the careful one. ‘Now we have to go home,’ she would say, ‘as we have to get up tomorrow and go to class.’”

(p.78) Sophie recalled going to the main street cafes to have a coffee or chocolate with Meredith. “Meredith loved her chocolate,” Sophie said. “There was also a kind of refectory at the University for Foreigners where you could get cheap lunches.”

Mr. Kercher begins Chapter 4 of his book with the heading “The Investigation”. He outlines how difficult it was due to the language barrier and the far distance in England to get news of what was really happening in Perugia.

Their lawyer Maresca spoke on the phone to Stephanie Kercher who understood Italian, or the family had to talk to him using his interpreter. (p.81) We were also getting fragmented details on the Internet of events as they unfolded, but these were difficult to trust and we did not know where the truth lay. At this stage, most of the web information we could find came through translations of the Italian media, particularly the newspaper “La Repubblica”.

(p. 82)  “How had Meredith died? How had she been discovered? Who was responsible?” These were the questions that our family was debating. Though we lived apart, we spoke to each other every day, if not to keep abreast of new developments, then only so that we could share our utter disbelief that this had happened. At this stage, we didn’t realize that Meredith’s housemate Amanda Knox and her boyfriend were becoming the police’s prime suspects. All we could think of was, who would have done this terrible crime and why? Meredith was the last person in the world that anyone would want to harm. Everyone loved her.”

...“Perugia…had not seen a killing for more than twenty years,” so the small town of Perugia was equally in shock.

(p.88) Sophie Purton and Robyn got a call from the police and were told to meet the police at the university. In the early confusion and aftermath of finding Meredith’s body, the police were saying the murdered girl was Welsh. Sophie, Amy, and Robyn then were driven to the police station in a plain police car. “We still didn’t know where we were going and still didn’t know what had happened to Meredith. This was about 6 o’clock in the evening. When we arrived at the police station we were put into a waiting room. That was Robyn, Sophie, and me (Amy). Then Meredith’s housemate, Laura, walked in. She was crying.” They then realized it was their friend Meredith Kercher who had been murdered.

Monica Napoleone (p.89) testified of Amanda’s behavior at the police station, ‘Amanda had complained that she was feeling tired…I told her that she could go if she wanted to, but she said that she wanted to stay and wait for Raffaele. A few minutes later, I walked past a room…and I saw Amanda doing the splits and a cartwheel.’

Monica Napoleone continued, ‘She and Sollecito had had a bizarre attitude throughout the whole time. They seemed completely indifferent to everything. They were lying down, laughing, kissing, pulling faces at each other, and writing notes to each other. They were talking to each other in low voices for the whole time. It was impossible that they were behaving like this when a dead body was in Amanda’s house.” (p.89)

(p.90) Robyn said, “I remember how Amanda kept going on about how she had found the body. It was as if she was proud to have been the one who found it….When I went into the waiting room, Amanda was talking at the top of her voice in English to everyone there.”

Later (p.92) Mr. Kercher describes how Amanda changed her stories and kept embellishing them with Patrick being the culprit and herself cowering in the kitchen. She said, “I coud hear Meredith screaming” in her written statement to police.

Amanda also said (p.92) about this scenario of her with ears covered in the kitchen: “These things seem unreal to me, like a dream. The truth is that I am unaware of the truth.” Then she goes on to say that she didn’t kill Meredith and adds, “In these flashbacks I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer, but I do not remember for sure if I was at my house that night.”

The police then arrested Patrick Lumumba.

(p. 93)  “Back in England, this was the first big piece of news we had heard concerning the investigation…Pictures of Lumumba were being shown on television, and at our separate family homes we looked on in disbelief, not knowing whether to believe that we were seeing images of the man who killed our daughter. I spoke with Arline on the phone and neither of us could believe that we were looking at the killer. He did not look like a violent man…had short hair, ...a slightly plump face. I have never before had to question if I was looking into the eyes of a killer, and it struck me how normal he looked. He appeared to look confused when we saw film footage….I felt anger. ...Was this really the man who had taken Meredith’s life away?”

(p. 94) Lumumba told police he had never been to the house where Meredith lived. “I only saw Meredith about four times…” he said. “I had told her to come to the bar on the Friday where we could make her special mojitos”. It seems Meredith had spoken about making mojitos for the bar owner in an evening phone call to her dad. She had some bar experience and Mr. Kercher says “she could make wonderful mojitos. In fact, she knew how to make about twenty different cocktails.”

Lumumba pled with police that he was not the killer, that “It’s not true what Amanda says, that I wanted to be with (Meredith).... I shut the bar… I went home.”

“Suspicious of the conflicting stories being told to them by Sollecito and Knox, requests for their arrests…were made. Until this point, Knox and Sollecito had been regarded as ‘witnesses’....Five days after the horrific killing, Judge Claudia Matteini granted the request for their arrests…” (although they were not yet officially charged with murder but held as flight risks, while Lumumba was already being held.

The Kerchers were now being made aware that not only had Meredith been killed, but subjected to a sexual assault. (p.95) “It felt as if, with every news report or detail that was coming out of Italy, things were becoming more and more terrible. That Meredith was gone was tragedy enough…”

Two weeks later Lumumba was released by Mignini for lack of evidence. Lumumba said, (p. 97) “I believe that Ms Knox had the idea of implicating me when we had met outside the University for Foreigners…. I had been discussing with one of the university teachers whether I woud be a suitable person to act as a translator for reporters from Britain, who did not speak Italian. At this moment, I saw Amanda arriving and I asked her if she liked the idea. She said, “No” and went off smiling. Perhaps that was the moment when she decided to land me in it.”

(p. 97) “I think that Amanda wanted to derail the investigation. That’s what I think, ” said Lumumba. “she must have realised that the investigation was leading to her and thoguht that, if she mentioned me, then the investigators’ attention would shift to me.”

“I can tell you that she wants to be the centre of attention. I think that she is a person capable of doing anything to be in the spotlight.”

Lumumba said, “Amanda hated Meredith because people loved her more than Amanda. She was insanely jealous that Meredith was taking over her position as Queen Bee.” (p. 98)

(p. 99) The Kerchers begin to learn about Amanda Knox’s “double life”. Clint Van Zandt, who had been a long-serving employee of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, told NBC News’s Dennis Murphy: ‘Realise that this is a woman wearing two masks. One mask is Amanda the good girl, in a Catholic school, an athlete, does what her mother says. And then you’ve got the other mask that, when she gets to Italy, it’s “I’m going wild. I’m having fun. This is where i sow my wild oats.”

(p. 100) The double life of Raffaele Sollecito begins to reveal itself. Not only is he the quiet bespectacled student with a privileged background and prominent family with medical doctor father, but he describes himself as “sweet but sometimes absolutely crazy” on social networking sites, and posts photos of himself holding a meat cleaver. Police later find a collection of Japanese manga comics, some of which depicted acts of extreme violence. “One, which attracted particular attention, was concerned with the killing of female vampires on Halloween. It was not lost on police that Meredith had been dressed as a vampire to celebrate Halloween only one night before she was murdered, and they later went on to say that the scene they discovered at the cottage was reminiscent of the scenes depicted in Sollecito’s comics. Upon learning this, we could not help but wonder if Meredith’s murder had been premeditated….”

(p. 102) The Kerchers learn of a fourth suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede. He had arrived in Italy from the Ivory Coast in 1992 at age 5. His father had left him alone in Italy and returned to Africa when Rudy was 15. Mr. Kercher quotes the wealthy Italian, Paolo Caporali, who had taken Rudy in like an adopted son and tried to help him for years. “I thought that I could help him build a future, but I realised that I had made a mistake. He was a tremendous liar…”

Rudy fled toward Mainz, Germany when police detained him and extradited him back to Italy. It seems Rudy’s German stay along with Amanda’s German visit and Raffaele’s time in Germany as student were all scenes of foolishness and curtailed.

” All these events had been unfolding as we waited in England for the return of Meredith’s body.”  (p. 107)

Posted on 10/25/13 at 09:28 PM by HopefulClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyThe officially involvedVictims family
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Questions For Sollecito: Do You Stand By Your Smear Of Reasonable Doubt In Italian Law?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



The Italian Supreme Court is seen here at rear-right with the Vatican in the foreground]


How the tough questions for you only grow, and grow… We have 12 posts already in our questions for Knox series and 11 posts already in our questions for Sollecito series.

We also have increasing confirmation that this thrust is paying off and is helping to meet a widespread felt need in the media. Ask Katie Couric, and Diane Sawyer, and the CNN legal talking heads, and the BBC, and an increasing number of others in the media.

Today’s post returns, certainly not for the last time, to your wildly inaccurate book.

1. What You Wrote in Honor Bound On Reasonable Doubt:

Amond the absurd legal babble in your absurdly titled book Honor Bound this legal babble especially stands out.

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause. For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.


2. How Lawyer James Raper With Yummi Disagreed

From their post last January before Cassation uttered its final word, which also takes to task Hellmann’s and Zanetti’s interpretation. 

What he is implying (in a manner gratuitously insulting to the intelligence of his compatriots) is that were the above statement not true then he, and Amanda, would have been acquitted in the first instance.

Oh, really?

It seems that we are also being asked to believe that Sollecito and his ghostwriter, Gumbel, are historians of Italian jurisprudence. So, let’s quickly examine what substance there is to the claim.

It will be seen that the concept of “reasonable doubt” is understood well enough in the courts of Italy, though unfortunately less well understood by the former Umbria Appeal Court judges Hellmann and Zanetti.

Not only that but those two judges made pointed remarks at the outset of the appeal also garbling the concept, which were very disturbing. I shall look into that in a moment.

Sollecito‘s remark does have some context but it is wildly inaccurate and unfair. 

We know that the Italian legal system is based on the inquisitorial system common to continental Europe, whereas the anglo-saxons amongst us are used to the adversarial system. It is also true that the specific expression “beyond reasonable doubt” was not introduced into the Italian criminal procedure code until 2006.

It is Article 533 of the Criminal Procedure Code: “The judge pronounces sentence of conviction if the accused is guilty of the offence charged beyond all reasonable doubt.”

Now let me defer to our Italian poster Yummi who can explain the historical context. He writes -

The current Italian system is the result of a procedure code reform introduced in 1989. This reform introduced several features of the adversarial system into a new criminal procedure code. One of the features of the new code was the abolition of the “not proven” verdict. This factually had been working very effectively as the version of “reasonable doubt” in the Italian system.

In an inquisitorial system the court is a council headed by professional judges and it’s task is not just to deliver a verdict, but to deliver a written rationale or dossier aimed to provide “a judicial truth”.  Typically “reasonable doubt” is a formulation coming from systems where juries do not issue a written rationale while systems that have motivation reports on verdicts usually don’t have it: it was commonly agreed that the absence of doubt should be understood from the rationale. Absence of doubt is not a quality that is inherent in the internal conviction of a juror, but instead is understood to be a feature of the logical proof provided by the written rationale. It was believed that the absence of doubt in the judge’s mind should be shown by the fact that a motivation report is logical.

No Italian scholar would ever maintain that the “reasonable doubt” standard is a recent introduction in the Italian system.  Only the acknowledgement of it’s wording is relatively recent.  In the Italian system the formulation “reasonable doubt” was starting to be used explicitly in Supreme Court jurisprudence in the early nineties; a change of wording in honour of the adversarial reforms, but in fact a continuation of the long jurisprudence tradition of the “not proven” standard.”

In fact in the adversarial system “beyond reasonable doubt” is really an instruction to the jurors that they must arrive at a certain evidentiary standard if they are to convict. Any system that would produce a “not proven” verdict would mean that the standard has not been met.

In the adversarial system no written rationale for a verdict is required to accompany the verdict. That the Italian system retains this requirement is very much a safeguard for the accused as well as for the State both being thereby protected from perverse or capricious convictions or acquittals.

Second here is Judge Zanetti at first appeal:

The only certain and undisputed fact is the death of Meredith Kercher.

So said Judge Zanetti on the opening day of the appeal. It was a statement that brought gasps of astonishment from those in court, particularly from the reporters present who deemed it to be an admission that reasonable doubt existed.

In fact, of course, there were a lot of certain and undisputed facts. No one denied that there was evidence, most of it undisputed. What was disputed was the interpretation of that evidence.

That, being so, why did not Zanetti say that? Clearly the remark was injudicious, and cogent only in its intended impact.

What of the Massei Motivations Report one might ask? is it toast?

That remark not only helped to set the tone for the entire appeal - what was said soon after by his senior colleague was even worse. 

Compliance with article 533 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Judgement of conviction only if the defendant is guilty of the offence complained of beyond a reasonable doubt) does not allow (us) to share fully the decision of the Court of Assize of First Instance.

(In Italian: il rispetto dell’articolo 533 del Codice di procedura penale (pronuncia di condanna soltanto se l’imputato risulta colpevole del reato contestatogli al di la ogni ragionevole dubbio) non consente di condividere totalmente la decisione della Corta d’Assize di primo grado”)

That was said by Judge Hellmann on the third day of the appeal before even the evidentiary and discussion stage had opened. And thanks again to Yummi for the above quote.

It seems that the presiding judge had felt compelled to expand upon his colleague’s stark opening remark but in doing so he had opened a can of worms. He had just made things even worse. Unfortunately the prosecution decided not to challenge the remark and the appeal proceeded. They should have done so.

Article 533 relates to verdict. The verdict (to be) is not to be hinted at or discussed at the opening of any trial or appeal and certainly not as pointedly as this. So serious is this faux pas that I have it on good authority that the prosecution considered impeaching the presiding judge for incompatibility and incompetence. It seems that they did not because of the furore this might have caused and perhaps also because they were confident of the strength of the case in any event. In retrospect a grave mistake.

What in fact was Hellmann saying? Let us consider.

“Compliance with article 533.…..…does not allow us to share fully the decision of the Court of Assize of First Instance.” 

I believe that what we see here is the first indication of the judges’ manifest misunderstanding of what should have been the correct approach to an evaluation of the evidence in the case and the application of the “reasonable doubt” standard.

I do not intend to deal with that in any detail. It is set out cogently in the Galati appeal.

Suffice to say that the “reasonable doubt” standard applies only to the culpability of the accused for the offence with which he/she is charged. Article 533 makes this abundantly clear and this is no different from how our own adversarial system deals with it. It is not a standard to be parcelled out to each item of evidence or inference drawn. That the appeal judges thought they could do (and did) precisely that is implicit in Hellmann’s remark.

How can one not “share fully the decision of the lower court”?

Hellmann could have said that he did not fully share the decisions of the lower court as regards each element of evidence rather than “the decision“, which can only be a reference to the actual verdict. But “the decision” is what he says, linking it specifically to article 533 where only the singular use of the noun would have any meaning. So on the face of it this can only be about the verdict of the lower court. And yet, how can one not fully share a verdict? A verdict cannot be parcelled out. One either agrees or disagrees with it.

Despite it’s manifest inappropriateness, no doubt the remark was meant to acknowledge that there was some doubt about the validity of the verdict in their minds. Well at least that’s honest but in that case, was it not incumbent on them to specify what it was that concerned them? I would have expected that. True, it was already clear that the DNA on the knife and bra clasp, and Curatolo’s credibility, were specific issues, as they had allowed these to be examined, but beyond that there was no disclosure as to what other doubts on the evidence they had in mind. We know now from the Motivations that there were others and what these were ( Quintavalle and the staged break-in, just for example) - and I think it would be pretty disingenuous of them to pretend that they did not exist at the time.

Already one sees elements of confusion, incompetence, mis-procedure, misleading the prosecution and coded messages (for the media and politicians?) to the effect that the appeal judges had already rationalized an acquittal in the appeal.

And if, with their doubts, they had in fact done so then what, pray, was the point of :-

1. Ordering a review of the DNA evidence on the knife and the bra clasp

2. Re-hearing Curatolo

3. Hearing from Aviello and Alessi

……other than that they were seeking that elusive “reasonable” element of doubt.

It is almost as if the entire appeal was tailored to suit and a sham. It certainly looks that way in retrospect, particularly as the element of reasonable doubt still remains elusive on close examination.

Yet it may just be that the appeal judges were just incompetent and that their incompetence (with the incompetent assistance of Conti & Vechiotti) infected the entire proceedings.

We shall see what Cassation thinks of the garbling of this fundamental concept when the prosecution appeal is entertained on 25 March.

3. How The Cassation Motivation Report Also Disagrees

The Supreme Court doesnt buy your smear of Italian law either, though we doubt your book was a hot item there. The concept of “reasonable doubt” was fully respected in the Massei trial where your guilt was firmly established - and the concept was trashed by the unlamented Hellmann & Zanetti.

This is from the Cassation report on the decision to annul the Hellmann appeal.

2.2.3 ‐ Manifest lack of logic and inconsistency in the reasoning in reference to the use of the principle of reasonable doubt in sustaining the order of 18.12.2010. [According to the lawyers for the Civil Parties], the verdict of conviction beyond a reasonable doubt could have been reached even after the outcome of the expert report arranged for in the second instance trial, inasmuch as the examination of the circumstantial evidence ought to have been global and consistent, the hypothetical defect of any one of these being acceptable, provided that the remaining elements were – as they ought to have been deemed – sufficient to reach the required level of certainty, [29] since what is asked of isolated elements of proof being evaluated is that they display the credentials of correspondence with real events, at least with predominant probability. Proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt can rest on items of circumstantial evidence that are not all equally certain, that is, not all established with the same level of probability.

So, Raffaele Sollecito, you jobless failure in all walks of life: would you care to correct all these fine lawyers?

Posted on 10/25/13 at 01:29 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Justice systemsItalian systemHoaxes Sollecito etcSollecito 1.0Sollecito Book
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Meredith Case Wiki: A Highly Objective Summation Of The Case From Original Docs And Transcripts

Posted by James Raper





Some of our readers may not have noticed the new link to The Meredith Case Wiki to be found in the left hand column of this front page. I had not noticed it myself until recently.

This is an important link to a new website that is now a vital additional resource for those interested in understanding this case.

The website - The Murder of Meredith Kercher - is run by Edward McCall, with the assistance of other contributors, and TJMK is pleased to acknowledge and promote its distinctive and concise approach to presenting the facts of the case.

The site is modelled on the format of a page from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia.  As with a Wiki page it is easily navigable. The data presented under the various headings is the consequence of much research but it still remains a work in progress. Wherever possible the material used is referenced in footnotes.

It starts on the Main page with a Mission Statement and an Introduction to the case. It then considers the evidence and has a good section entitled Myths Debunked.

The reader can easily access significant court documents: the Massei Report, the Hellmann Report, the Galati Appeal and the Supreme Court of Cassation Motivations Report. There is an accessibly summary of the Matteini and Micheli Reports.

In particular, for the researcher, there is a most welcome section entitled Court Transcripts. Here can be found transcripts of witness testimony from the Massei and Hellmann trials, experts reports, and the various writings and testimony of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede. At least that is to be the hope ultimately as there exist a good number of gaps at present.

Already some of the witness statements have been translated from Italian to English but there are a number of transcripts still to be translated. If there are any translators who would wish to help, please contact us and we shall be pleased to put your name forward.

McCall wishes to acknowledge the massive contribution made by True Justice for Meredith Kercher. TJMK has perforce grown organically and exponentially over the years and has accumulated a breadth and wealth of data, in-depth analysis and informed comment on the case which is unsurpassed on the internet, or indeed anywhere.

It will continue to do so and report developments until the conclusion of all aspects of the case.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Given The Abundant Facts, What Scenario Is The Nencini Court Considering? Probably Not Unlike This

Posted by Marcello



1. The “Innocence/Framing” Campaign

It is rather sad that this case, of the violent murder of Meredith Kercher, has seen a ‘hurricane’ of noise trying to cherry-pick and disprove the more salient facts, and worse, discredit those who investigated, prosecuted and ruled on the case as well as discredit those who continue to emphasize the facts.

Over the past six years there has been a concerted effort by the defendants in this case, and primarily by their families, their ‘groupies’ and their legal consultants, to mount and continue a public relations campaign to frame the defendants as innocent of the crime of murdering Meredith Kercher. This ‘innocence’ campaign has even gone so far as to tarnish the motives of the fine justice officials involved.

The defendants themselves have continuously obfuscated and lied about the more salient facts, albeit inconsistently (their multiple versions fail to match up, and do not match the available facts). Lately Ms. Knox has done a number of (typically unconvincing) interviews, and her parents still seem too intent on defending the fantasy of their daughter’s innocence, all evidence to the contrary.

Mr. Sollecito, for his part, tweets unofficial retractions about statements he made in court. Both have distastefully profited through books that are not much more than a compilation of lies (and which do not offer matching alibis). Meanwhile the legal teams for the defendants have recently leaked ‘favorable’ results from the testing of a new sample on the presumed murder weapon in order to (again) misconstrue the evidence for the general public.

2. Media Misreporting Facilitates

Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of this ‘innocence campaign’ has been that far too many journalists have dishonored their professional ethics by failing to do the proper research and objectively report the facts. Journalists to this day continue to misreport the facts, leave out corroborating facts, or worse, blindly repeat the distortions or lies promoted by the campaign without proper fact-checking. By and large, journalists (mostly in the US and UK) have ‘anti-reported’ the case.

This is especially grievous given that there are multiple Court Motivations reports (a unique feature to the Italian justice system) readily available in Italian and English online, in searchable PDF format, as well as several websites like this one that have painstakingly sought to illuminate the vast amount of evidentiary facts.

Those journalists who have failed to correctly report the case, and those involved in this ‘innocence’ campaign, have repeatedly disrespected the victim, Meredith Kercher, and her family. By contrast, the Kerchers has shown great dignity throughout these years, remaining patiently quiet and consistently insisting that the truth be revealed by the Italian justice system.

The endless journalistic failures, and particularly the ‘innocence’ campaign, have also disrespected the Italian law enforcement and judicial systems. By contrast Italian law enforcement has demonstrated substantial deference to the defendants, especially when compared to the law enforcement and judicial procedures of other advanced countries. In response, numerous ‘groupies’ have exhibited pathetic jingoism by repeatedly denigrating a country of 60 million people based on rather uninformed attitudes.

And it is very likely that Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, rather than confess the truth, will continue to obfuscate or lie as much as they can, as well as disrespect the Italian Court and the Kerchers by not being present at the appeal. Their ‘innocence’ campaigns will likely continue to distort or ignore the facts. And worse, journalists and talking-head ‘experts’ will continue to report falsehoods and misrepresentations.

3. All Will Now Be To No Avail

Fortunately, none of the fabrications, ill-conceived scenarios or numerous pieces of unprofessional, sloppy journalism will ultimately matter.

This is because the Nencini Appeals Court will not be listening to any of the noise. The Appeals Court has a very specific program to follow, mandated by the Italian Supreme Court, which has already looked at this case four times (the detainment requests for Knox and Sollecito, the conviction of Rudy Guede and the annulment of the Hellmann Appeals Court ruling). The Nencini Appeals Court program includes:

    1) looking at all the case evidence noted in Judge Massei Trial Court’s Motivations report,

    2) considering the Italian Supreme Court’s Motivations report for the conviction of Rudy Guede, in which Guede was convicted of having a role in Ms. Kercher’s murder, but not the key role of fatally stabbing her, and that he acted in concert with others, and

    3) considering Ms. Knox’s voluntary ‘gift’ statement of November 6, 2007, in which she placed herself at the scene of the crime. (This statement follows an earlier verbal and written statement released to the police during a few hours of interrogation in the early hours of November 6th.)


4. Big Surfeit Of Evidence

The amount of evidentiary facts the Nencini Appeals Court will have absorbed is substantial. Unlike the Hellmann Appeals Court, they cannot cherry-pick the facts. Per the Supreme Court, they must consider all the available evidence as a whole, logically tied together like a mosaic. Significantly, one could even leave out the knife and bra clasp entirely as evidence points because:

    1) Ms. Kercher was murdered by more than one assailant. This is evident from the wounds she suffered, from the evidence in general and has been consistently maintained by three different trial judges and four different Supreme Court reports.

    2) Guede in all his various confessions has consistently hinted and ultimately confirmed the presence of Knox and Sollecito during the crime.

    3) There is no plausible scenario for the crime that involves Guede and two or more unknown assailants.

    4) All the other evidence found at the crime scene points to Sollecito and Knox being present before, during and after the crime in some fashion.

    5) Knox was at the scene of the crime by her own written admission.

    6) The break-in was staged and, by obvious implication, only Knox and Sollecito would have any interest in staging the break-in (see my earlier post listing all the problems with the break-in scenario).

There seems no rational way that the Nencini Appeals Court can logically acquit. And Judge Nencini has not ‘pre-announced’ a non-guilty verdict like Judge Hellmann did by claiming that the defendants ‘appear to be innocent’.

The only remaining questions are what kind of dynamics will the Nencini Appeals Court assign to the participants, and what kind of reasoning will the Italian Supreme Court provide, assuming Knox or Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court.

Having already read the Massei Motivations report and supporting documentation for weeks, this will already be a highly informed judges’ panel. What scenario are they converging on? The following scenario is based on some of the most significant evidence, and overall seems largely unshakable.

5. Scenario Accounting For The Most Points

The Night Before: Halloween

1) Guede lied about meeting Ms. Kercher on Halloween. (No such meeting was corroborated by witnesses.)

2) Guede lied about his whereabouts in the early evening of November 1, 2007. (His claims of having appointments with friends were not corroborated.)

Evening Prior To Attack

3) Around 8:00 PM on November 1st, Knox left Sollecito’s place to go to work. She received Lumumba’s (her boss) text message around 8:15 PM that she was not needed at work. She responded at 8:35 PM while presumably walking back to Sollecito’s apartment. Then she turned off her phone at 8:35 PM. She was seen at Sollecito’s apartment by 8:40PM.

4) Sollecito received a call from his dad at 8:42 PM. (According to the defendant, they discussed the broken trap in the kitchen sink and how to clean the kitchen floor, and about going to Gubbio with Knox the next day. Significant about this is that the broken trap and clean-up likely happened later. See below.)

5) Sollecito turned off his cellphone at roughly 8:45 PM. (typically, neither Knox or Sollecito turned off their cellphones for the night)

6) Ms. Kercher was last seen by her friend Sophie Purton at roughly 9:00 PM going to her cottage.

7) There was no human interaction with Sollecito’s computer after 9:10 PM.

8) Knox and Sollecito were seen at piazza Grimana, by the cottage, at roughly 9:30 to 10:00 PM, by a homeless man who ‘resided’ at piazza Grimana.

9) Ms. Kercher’s phone made three short calls between 10:00 and 10:15 PM roughly, to check voicemail, a possible attempt to call a bank, and possibly an MMS message.

10) A car broke down near the gate of the cottage at 10:30 PM.

11) Knox and Sollecito were seen at piazza Grimana, by the cottage, at roughly 11:00 PM, again by the same homeless man. He noted they went several times to the railing of the piazza to look down beyond it. (The piazza overlooks the gate of the cottage.)

12) A tow truck came at approximately 11:00 PM to tow the car. The driver of the truck noted a dark-colored car parked in front of the gate of the cottage, which he noted was slightly open. At approximately 11:15 PM the tow truck left and the family in the broken down car departed the area with other friends in a second car. (Sollecito had a dark colored Audi.) No screams were heard and no one noticed Guede, Sollecito or Knox pass through the gate.

13) Sollecito’s dad sent Sollecito an SMS at 11:15PM. The message was not received by Sollecito’s cellphone until roughly 6:00 AM following morning.

The Attack Upon Meredith

14) Knox likely let Sollecito and Guede into the cottage after 11:15 PM, after the tow truck and car had left. Guede went to use the large bathroom and failed to flush his feces. The following is an assumed sequence:

15) Ms. Kercher was restrained in her room and her screams were muffled. (There was bruising on Ms. Kercher’s nose, mouth, lips and chin, suggesting her mouth was covered by one or more persons; only one scream was ever heard from the cottage; Ms. Kercher was familiar with martial arts maneuvers and likely vigorously tried to defend herself)

16) Ms. Kercher was choked and her head likely banged against the wall. (Bruises on Ms. Kercher’s neck suggest she was choked with small hands; Ms. Kercher had bruises to her scalp.)

17) Ms. Kercher’s jeans may have been partially removed to restrain her legs and feet. (There were few bruises to Ms. Kerchers legs and feet, including no signs of ligature. This suggests her legs were immobilized in some other fashion.)

18) Guede held Ms. Kercher’s left wrist, leaving DNA traces on Ms. Kercher’s sweatshirt.

19) Guede likely held Ms. Kercher’s left thigh, brusing it, and left his DNA traces inside her.

20) Ms. Kercher’s sweatshirt was removed and two layers of shirts she had on were rolled up to her neck.

21) Guede left DNA traces on Ms. Kercher’s bra.

22) At least three different types of shoe prints were left on the floor in Ms. Kercher’s room on postcards, papers and the pillowcase. None of these matched Ms. Kercher’s shoes found in her room.

23) A witness heard a man and woman yelling from the direction of the cottage.

24) Ms. Kercher was pricked and stabbed with a small knife in the right side of her neck.

25) Ms. Kercher likely freed her right hand and sustained small cuts. She may have punched Knox in the nose or mouth.

26) Ms. Kercher likely freed her left hand and sustained small cuts. She may have grabbed Knox’s hair, while perhaps ripping off an earring from Knox. (Crime scene photos show blonde hair strands in Ms. Kercher’s left hand)

27) Ms. Kercher was able to scream at the top of her lungs. Two witnesses heard the scream. One witness believed it was around 11:30 PM when she heard it.

28) Ms. Kercher was pricked on her neck and chin with a knife. She was stabbed on the left side of her neck with a large knife. Her neck was roughly 16” off the floor, as suggested by a blood spray pattern on the wardrobe door close to where she was found.

29) A bloody shoeprint fitting Knox’s shoe size was left on the pillowcase. Shoeprints matching Guede’s shoes were also found on the pillowcase.

Right After The Attack

30) Guede may have gone to the bathroom to get two towels to staunch the blood. Guede confessed to this, though no DNA traces of his are found on the towels. Guede’s bloody shoeprints were found around Ms. Kercher’s body, and his bloody hand print was found on the pillow.

31) At this point, Knox may have gone to the small bathroom to check a wound. Knox left traces of her blood mixed with Ms. Kercher’s blood in the bidet, edge of the sink and Q-tip box in the small bathroom. Knox left an additional blood trace on the faucet.

32) Guede handled Ms. Kercher’s purse, leaving DNA traces of himself and Ms. Kercher, likely with Ms. Kercher’s blood. (Traces of Guede’s DNA was found on the zipper of the purse. Because the trace contains blood it was likely left after Ms. Kercher started bleeding.)

33) Guede left bloody shoeprints leading straight down the corridor and out of the cottage.

34) A witness heard someone running on the metal stair of the car park shortly after she heard the scream.

35) The same witness also heard running footsteps on the cottage pebble driveway at roughly the same time.

36) The boyfriend of another witness was bumped into by someone ‘with dark skin’ running up the stone stairs, though the time is unclear.

37) Another witness heard people running in the street that wraps behind the car park.

38) Sollecito likely tossed Ms. Kercher’s cellphones from his car into a nearby garden 1 km away from the cottage at around midnight.

39) Guede was seen at the Domus night club around 2 AM.

Evidence, Manipulated Or Overlooked

Likely sometime later during the night Sollecito and Knox returned to the cottage to eliminate evidence and frame Guede for the crime. In so doing:

40) Sollecito left a partial bloody footprint on the bathmat.

41) Sollecito left his DNA on Ms. Kercher’s bra clasp after removing the bra. (Given blood patterns on the bra, the bra may have been removed after Ms. Kercher had died and certainly after she had been stabbed on the left side)

42) Sollecito left one, possibly two, bloody footprints in the corridor.

43) Knox left two bloody footprints in the corridor. One of these contained her blood as well as Ms. Kercher’s blood. (Knox likely bled during or after the assault and may have stepped in her own blood)

44) Knox left a trace of her blood mixed with Ms. Kercher’s blood on the floor in Romanelli’s room.

45) Knox likely threw Romanelli’s clothes on the floor. She likely used an inordinately large rock to break the window with the outer shutters closed. She likely placed some of the broken glass on the window sill to fake a break-in. (Romanelli and the Postal Police found glass on top of Romanelli’s clothes and laptop, suggesting the room was ransacked and then the window was broken.)

46) Knox, perhaps inadvertently, left a piece of window glass in Ms. Kercher’s room.

47) Knox left a bloody footprint in her room.

48) Knox likely left her only room lamp in Ms. Kercher’s room by accident. (The lamp was found on the floor, by Ms. Kercher’s bed, and it may have been used to exam the bloodied floor around Ms. Kercher’s body to remove evidence, such as perhaps an earring and/or hair.)

49) Knox likely wiped away all her fingerprints throughout the entire house (While a number of fingerprints were found in the cottage and verified belonging to the three other flatmates, no fingerprints were found that could be matched to Knox, not in her room or elsewhere- except for one, on a glass in the kitchen.)

50) Knox and/or Sollecito repositioned Ms. Kercher’s body and covered it with the duvet. (Crime scene photos show from the streaks of blood that Ms. Kercher’s body was moved. There were masses of long hair mixed with blood on the floor, suggesting someone had yanked Ms. Kercher by her hair.)

51) They likely took Ms. Kercher’s wallet, closed her bedroom door and locked it.

Back At Sollecito’s Place

52) Sollecito and Knox returned to Sollecito’s place to clean up. They brought back the large knife and cleaned it with steel wool, and also tried to scrape away build-up/rust by the handle. (The knife was found at Sollecito’s place, with DNA traces of Knox on the handle and by the handle/blade joint, with a DNA trace of Ms. Kercher on the blade, with scratches on the blade and pockets of cleaned stainless steel by the handle.)

53) Sollecito likely disconnected the trap of his kitchen sink, perhaps to clean it. (The trap pipe was found disconnected.)

54) Sollecito and Knox likely used bleach to clean the floor of any blood. (Police observed a strong smell of bleach when entering Sollecito’s apartment.)

55) Sollecito and Knox apparently took a shower. (Knox has recounted a number of ‘ear cleaning’ and ’shower’ stories.)

56) Sollecito likely put blood stained clothes and shoes into one or more garbage bags and drove in the night to dump them somewhere.

57) Sollecito used his computer at around 5:30 AM and turned on his cellphone at around 6AM.

Events On The Next Morning

58) Knox was seen at a nearby store at around 7:45 AM, just as the store was opening. She was noticed going to the cleaning products section, wearing clothes that were ultimately found on her bed at the cottage.

59) Knox may have traveled back and forth from the cottage with a mop and/or garbage bags. (In her different versions, both verbal and written, she talks about ‘having to fetch a mop from the cottage’.)

60) Knox turned on her cellphone around noon.

The Police At The House

61) Knox and Sollecito were discovered at the cottage by the Postal Police at around 12:30 PM.

62) Knox told the Postal Police that Ms. Kercher sometimes kept her door closed. (This was later contradicted by Romanelli, who insisted Ms. Kercher’s door be broken down.)

63) Knox called her mother in a panic at roughly 12:45 PM. Knox would later forget this phone call in her testimony and in her book.

64) Sollecito called the Carabinieri at around 12:50 PM, confirming nothing was stolen in Romanelli’s room, though he could not have possibly known this for certain.

65) When Ms. Kercher’s door was broken down, at around 1:15 PM, Sollecito and Knox were not with the group that broke the door down, and were not able to see inside the room.

66) Knox panicked when it seemed that Guede’s feces had been flushed by accident.

Later That Same Day

67) At the police station, Knox yelled out that Ms. Kercher ‘bled to death’.

68) At the police station, Knox inveighed against ‘those bastards’ after being fingerprinted, though it’s unclear whether she meant some other killers (and if so, why the plural), or the police.

One Day Later

69) On November 3, 2007, Sollecito lied to a reporter about how the discovery of Ms. Kercher’s body happened, recounting that Knox was the first to discover the body, and that he ‘saw blood everywhere’ even though he could not have seen into the room.

Two Days Later

70) On November 4, 2007, Knox emailed a narrative of the events from her point of view.

71) During the autopsy of November 4th, the prosecutor was convinced by the number and manner of the injuries on Ms. Kercher’s body that there had to be more than one assailant.

72) On November 4, 2007, Knox broke down when police showed her and the other roommates the knives in the silverware drawer at her cottage, to determine if any knives were missing. Knox had to be escorted outside to calm down.

73) Knox would later confess to her parents her concern about the knife at Sollecito’s apartment.

Three Days Later

74) On November 5, 2007, Sollecito failed to back up Knox and changed his alibi when confronted with cellphone records. He maintained Knox left his apartment from roughly 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Four Days Later

75) On November 6, 2007, following Sollecito’s interrogation, Knox blamed Lumumba for the murder, first verbally, then in one written statement, then in a second statement that she offered voluntarily without coercion.

76) Knox failed to make an official retraction of her blaming Lumumba for the murder.

And Subsequentially

77) When first contacted by his friend via Skype, Guede spoke of a man with a knife who was shorter than he, and who had chestnut colored hair (like Sollecito). He also thought Knox was arguing with Ms. Kercher.

78) When Guede was arrested, Sollecito was concerned that Guede might say strange things about him. (If Sollecito was innocent, why be concerned about Guede?)

79) In their multiple ‘confessions’, both Knox and Guede cite Ms. Kercher’s ‘terrible screams’.

80) In court, as a response for finding Ms. Kercher’s DNA on the knife, Sollecito made up a story of pricking Ms. Kercher’s hand while cooking and subsequently apologizing to her about it. But Ms. Kercher had never been to his apartment. Sollecito recently retracted this story on Twitter.

81) Guede eventually confirmed that Sollecito and Knox were with him on the night of the murder.

Some Further Considerations

Ms. Kercher was not promiscuous and had scruples about watering the marijuana plants of the boys residing on the ground floor of the cottage. She had never expressed any interest in Guede to any of her closest friends. Similarly, Guede had never expressed any interest to any of his friends or acquaintances regarding Ms. Kercher.

Some 40+ wounds were found on Ms Kercher’s body. Despite being physically active and knowing martial arts maneuvers, she had few defensive wounds, mostly on the right hand.

She had bruising on her back, her left thigh, lower right leg, both elbows and wrists, the neck, the nose and mouth. She had two significant stab wounds of differing size on opposite sides of the neck, as well as various cuts on face, neck, hands.

No ligature marks were found on her ankles or wrists. She was therefore assaulted by multiple attackers. And as the evidence and trial reports have repeatedly indicated, the attackers were Knox, Sollecito and Guede, with Guede not responsible for the fatal wound.

Posted on 10/20/13 at 08:00 AM by MarcelloClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

When You Get In A Deeeep Hole, Best To Stop Digging: Did Anyone Think To Tell Knox?

Posted by James Higham



[Florence courts in winter; how they might look when the appeal verdict comes down]


Not sure the Knox machine quite understands what trouble their charge is in.

She’s already done three years for calumny and is at it again.  Her recent slurs on Italian courts and the police have brought further litigation down on her head.

Then there is the little matter of the court award to Patrick Lumumba for false accusation of murder, which she has not paid to this day, despite earning huge amounts from her fiction work published in America.  Every one of us knows what happens when we default.

See how this stands up as her reason not to pay up:

I have already appealed to him to tell him that I didn’t go to the Police Headquarters with the aim of accusing him of a murder he did not commit. What was dragged out of me was dragged out from me without my wanting to harm him.

I only wanted to help and I was completely confused so that I didn’t know what was true and what was not true at that point. Therefore I didn’t want to harm him. I … (MAXI-SIGH) … His.. His name came out only because my mobile phone was there and we exchanged some SMS.

She says: “Vorrei che lui [Patrick]può capire in che situazione io mio trovavo.”  I’d like him to understand the situation I’m in.  Pardon?  A man wrongfully banged-up in prison and owed $80 000 by her should understand the situation she is in?

She was asked what happened and answered, “My best truth is …”  My best truth?  She invented an entire situation with Mignini which simply did not happen according to eyewitnesses, including her translator.  Simply did not occur that way.  She volunteered a statement but in the light of subsequent events weeks later, changes that, upon advice, to her being browbeaten.

Hence the calumny charges.

Main poster Stilicho adds:

Knox can’t even be honest about her time in prison. She was not in prison because she was wrongly convicted for murder but because of the calunnia she committed against Patrick and as a precaution against her fleeing the country or killing someone else before her trial was completed. She sang and danced and was frequently visited by politicians and other dignitaries. By all accounts, it was the most productive time in her life.

When confronted with her lies, she says, “I was confused.”  Sorry – courts don’t buy such things.  They deal in truth or non-truth.  None of this “it seemed to me”.  She interprets this real-world reaction as hurtful, hateful to Amanda.

In short, she appears to be emotionally or socially retarded, not fully understanding what she has got herself into.  Should she be released on a technicality, as Casey Anthony was, she still faces years inside because of the libel and slander which is piling up.  Her own people are also being litigated.  Peter Quennell:

We don’t see any sign that David Marriott or Robert Barnett or Ted Simon have the slightest clue about Italian law. They are all liable too for the felonies in the book and all of them could be charged too by the Bergamo judge.

Her advisors need to shut her up before she makes it any worse for herself.  In that accusation of Lumumba, she said she was there, in the next room with her hands over her ears because she couldn’t bear Meredith’s screams.  It was a clear description, clear enough for the police to arrest Lumumba and put him in prison.  The screams coincided with those the neighbours reported.

If one was to substitute Guede and Sollecito, whose bloodied footprint was on the bathmat, for Lumumba, that might be close to the truth of what happened, it would explain no DNA found of hers in the actual room..

Except that there are multiple mixed blood traces and her DNA twice now on the murder weapon, along with her panicked reaction when the cutlery drawer was opened, plus her words to her mother that they’d found a knife and that she was very worried about it.  Why would she need to worry if she wasn’t there?

She might be able to explain away the pattern of where her DNA was found on the knife – a stabbing grip near the blade – as a weird way of cutting vegetables.  Then there was Sollecito’s admission over Meredith’s DNA in the scratch as an accident when he pricked Meredith in the hand whilst cooking at his place.

Except Meredith had never been to his place.  And he still maintains that Knox was not with him that evening at his own home.

So, despite the sweeping statements by her minders of “no evidence”, which are then syndicated all over the world by their media entourage, inc the Wail, there’s actually copious evidence.  After you get past the conflicting stories, the cellphone activity and the witness identifications, there is still the matter of the mixed blood traces.

There was no blood the night before, by Knox’s own admission.  Meredith was out that early evening, the two had not been together.  These are the sorts of minor anomalies she can only explain with “it seemed to me” or “I imagined”.

Then there is the little matter of the hand marks on the neck, too small for the men although there were other marks too.

The horror for Amanda Knox, in her infantilized state – look at her handwriting – is that she cannot see consequences, not unlike a child.  She doesn’t understand that you can’t go killing someone and get away with it.  She’s constantly on about being seen as a good person, as every child and every adult would like and so many of us do not see it that way.

Like a child, she just wants it all to go away and that childlike appearance is what strongly drags in most people’s sympathy – here is a State and nasty people worldwide being cruel and mean to a young innocent.  Yet she’s getting on for 30 now and is no child.  And she still spreads the libel with no thought of consequences, just as she saw no consequences on that night, just the there and then.

The role of drugs cannot be downplayed in this effect on her mind.  She’s almost a poster girl for today’s youth and the early sex and drugs, with the dumbing-down at school at the same time.

She’s a mess and it’s hard not to sympathize with that and want help for her … except for one pesky problem.  She’s a convicted murderess.

The reaction to these posts will be sympathy for her and anger at the bully who is writing it.  It should actually be disgust at what she did and neutrality towards the reporter writing the post.  How does it shift from one to the other?

Natural chivalry.  Yet in this sympathy for her, there is still the question of her victim choking on her blood once the screams had stopped.  And that is what maintains our interest in the case – it is unresolved as yet, it is close to the end.

She might get off on a technicality if her lawyers are good enough.  She’ll then go into that limbo state of Casey Anthony and all the other broken children of today, the blame for which many of us lay at the door of Them and their narrative.

For sure there is a sadness to it, which a new commenter, David Berlin mentions:

Knox is a hamster on a wheel, in a cage, endlessly condemned to repeating the same nonsense. In an earlier post I saw her as a character in Beckett’s ‘Play’ and the more she opines the more apt that seems. Endlessly repeating a story, fixed in her lines, unable to find an exit.

Commenter Goodlife writes:

Her life now does not seem all that different from her days in prison in that most aspects of her life seem to be under the control of someone else. But does anyone believe that she is any happier or more content now? She is now nothing more than a performing monkey, dishing out the script given to her by her supposed nearest and dearest.

An Italian commented:  “Young Italian actors should learn from Amanda Knox. She is a great actress.”

She’d stare at that comment in horror.  She uses the term bambina for herself, rather than ragazza, sheltering within this childlike status.  At 20.  At nearer 30 she is still doing it.  She said in an interview that she was la più piccola [the littlest] instead of la più giovane [the youngest].  Littlest evokes more sympathy.

She’s in a prison of her mother’s and her estranged father’s making.

She’s caught up in an international horror story and she’s the leading player.  This will always garner sympathy.

She asks why everyone hates her.  They don’t hate her – that’s child talk.  They are appalled by the machine she has behind her and their antics and believe she should take responsibility and start paying off the debt to the dead girl.

Meredith by name.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Amanda Knox Risks Penalties For Felony Claims No Different From What Already Cost Her 3 Years

Posted by Peter Quennell




Here is the Amanda Knox Skype interview transcribed for us from the video in Italy. The interviewer is mushy (too much so) and really distorts key facts, and so does Knox. You can see her claim she was framed. Her denials are without substance and seem mechanical and half-hearted. Time for Plan B?

A common question on forums today is “Can Amanda Knox make these very public false charges and suffer no penalty?”

The short answer seems to be no. First, she has made the possibility of early arrest to put a stop to that more likely. If Judge Nencini saw the Porta a Porta TV program last night he will be giving thought to his options. Negotiating on arrest is ruled out by law

And second, for the dozens of false charges in her book and numerous TV and print interviews, she could be facing some more time in prison quite regardless of how the Nencini appeal works out for her.  And a guilty verdict there could cost her 30 years and damages.

One thing nobody thought to point out on the rudderless and badly informed Porta a Porta show last night is that Knox is already being investigated for identical false charges.

EVERYTHING she says now is added to that “treasure trove” of actionable accusations. Penalties for these felonies vary; but if one has a prior conviction, some prison time is almost inevitable.

Sorely missing from the Porta a Porta panel last night was their usual magistrate, Simonetta Matone, who has always raised tough questions.  Was there a deal not to have her present on what was a distinctly tilted panel?

Knox seems to have committed at least one felony in her book with the pages-long accusation that the investigating prosecutor Dr Mignini was not only present at her interrogation (he wasn’t) but leaning on her to frame Patrick (not being there, of course he didn’t.).

Why didn’t anyone on Porta a Porta introduce that false accusation last night, which was widely reported in the Italian media after her book came out? Or mention her lamp behind Meredith’s door lacking fingerprints, or the mixed-blood traces outside Meredith’s door which seem to strongly relate to what the Carabinieri labs in Rome are now investigating?

Even the defense lawyers are seeing culpability growing, as they are given full credit for helping to write the defamatory books.  They all made themselves scarce last night, did anyone notice that? 

Do you ever wonder why Knox or Sollecito don’t push their own lawyers forward to take on this challenge?


Below: Pro-prosecution Magistrate Simonetta Matone suspiciously absent last night]


Monday, October 14, 2013

Carabineri Labs Might Prove Fourth And Conclusive Scenario For The Mixed DNA Samples In The House

Posted by Peter Quennell





Lab work is believed to have continued today in the absence of the defense observers, and will continue on and off through to October 30th.

The defense observers may not have a further role at the laboratory. Most or all of the analysis leading to firm attributions of the DNA will be done by the Carabinieri team electronically.

It is that final attribution that the defenses are widely rumored to be so terrified of. That Knox’s DNA is there seems a given. The cliffhanger is whether Meredith’s DNA is there also.

Another possible mixed trace. If so it would be the sixth one.

Judge Massei did not arrive at a full scenario for how the five mixed blood traces at the crime scene could have been created. He described what was found by crime scene investigators and moved on.

After the 2009 Massei trial some further analysis was conducted. 

With great help from Luciano Garofano’s DNA chapter in Darkness Descending and Barbie Nadeau’s and Andrea Vogt’s excellent reporting, we posted a comprehensive update mid-2011.

The locations of the five mixed traces at the crime scene are as follows.

1. Bathroom near Meredith’s room:

  • On the drain of the bidet
  • On the Q-tip box located at the ledge of the sink
  • On the edge of the sink

Elsewhere in the apartment:

  • In a luminol-enhanced bare footprint in the hallway outside Kercher’s room
  • In a luminol-enhanced spot found in Filomena Romanelli’s room

Three sources for Knox’s blood have long been suggested: some bleeding from her ear, some bleeding from a possible nosebleed, some bleeding from the open scrape on her neck. .

All three of them could theoretically have been inflicted by Meredith as she struggled with the trio to save her life. None seem to explain why there were repeated MIXED traces.

That has remained a huge puzzle. But now we are looking at a fourth scenario: that Knox cut her hand with the top end of the blade as she stabbed at Meredith’s neck.

That could explain once and for all where Amanda Knox’s blood came from AND why it was mixed with Meredith’s blood. It happened right there.


[Click for larger image. Handle as from the blade direction. Sample is apparently from gap on sharp side.]

Posted on 10/14/13 at 04:15 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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DNA Tests: Umbria24 Reporter Francesca Marruco Provides A Balanced Overview Of Possible Prospects

Posted by ziaK





It may be that today or any day this week a definitive analysis of the seeming mixed DNA sample appears from an authoritative source.

Perugia-based Francesca Marruco did a lot of careful balanced reporting from Perugia early in the case. She has excellent official sources. She suggests in this report that the world might have to wait for the last day in October (deadline for the labs to report their analysis) or 6 November (next scheduled court session) for the official bottom line.

This is my translation. I am Italy-based also.

Kercher trial: unconfirmed reports on Amanda’s DNA: The experts will lodge their report [their truth] on the 30th [October]

By Francesca Marruco

The “I” trace identified on the blade of the knife could have come from the American woman, however the data could lend itself to contrary interpretations. The sentence could arrive before 30 November.

In order to obtain the definitive results of the analyses that the carabinieri of the RIS in Rome are carrying out on the “I” trace identified on the blade of the knife which is considered to be the weapon with which Meredith Kercher was murdered, we will have to wait until 30 October - the day on which the experts appointed by the Assise Appeal Court of Florence will lodge their conclusions. Already on Friday, the day on which the analyses were begun in the experts’ laboratories, uncomfirmed reports began to be leaked concerning the origins of that tiny quantity of DNA.

These leaks would like to ascribe it [the DNA] to Amanda Knox, the American student who was initially convicted and subsequently acquitted for the homicide of her flatmate, Meredith. But there is, as yet, neither certainty nor officiality, and - as this long case has taught us - even in the presence of officiality, opposing interpretations may be formed. If, in fact, as is being rumoured, those tiny biological particles did actually belong to Amanda Knox, this information could be interpreted in many ways.

Opposing interpretations - The defence would hasten to say that since Amanda had spent time in Raffaele Sollecito’s house - where the knife was discovered - there would be nothing strange if her DNA were to be on the blade. Just as - and this, at least, has been clearly seen - Amanda’s DNA was found on the handle of the weapon. Its presence could be explained by any banal procedure in the kitchen.

And indeed, Knox’s own defence has always maintained that the highly-contested trace “H” - the other trace identified on the blade, and which according to some is Meredith’s DNA - is nothing more than potato starch.  Thus, Amanda would seemingly have left her trace on the knife while peeling potatoes.

Traces - It is very clear, however, that the Prosecution could claim that precisely that presence of Amanda’s DNA on the blade of the knife could be proof that Knox touched it. To peel potatoes, or to kill her flatmate Meredith, as the Prosecution holds? If it is confirmed, one can bet that the data [found by the RIS] will give rise to an “earthquake” and it will fall to the judges of the Florentine court to clear up the resuting debris.

On the other hand, they might decide not to consider it [the data] any more than the other elements [of evidence], since it effectively lends itself to a multiplicity of [possible] interpretations which cannot be confirmed at this point in time. Certainly, if that trace were that of the victim, Meredith Kercher, the proceedings might take a different direction, since there would then be two [traces] at that point, and not just one trace of the victim’s DNA which would have ended up on the blade of a knife which she never touched during her lifetime.

The certainties, or rather, the conclusions, of the experts will be lodged on 30 October. It is the 6th of November, however, which has been appointed for the hearing during which these results will be discussed before the Court and the parties.

Towards the verdict - Raffaele Sollecito may also be present in court on that date, as he announced via his lawyers, Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. Sollecito intends to make various spontaneous declarations in order to affirm once again his non-involvement in the barbarious murder of Meredith Kercher, for which only Rudy Hermann Guede is currently in jail, with a sentence of 16 years in prison which has been confirmed[by the Supreme Court]. 

After the hearing in which the results of the tests entrusted to the Rome RIS will be discussed, it is very probable that the trial will travel rapidly towards sentencing - the fifth sentence pronounced by an Italian court with regard to Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. The Court President [leading judge], Alessandro Nencini, said during the first hearing that “this is a trial for matters of undeniable seriousness. Over and above the media circus, is Court’s desire to give all parties the most space possible for discussion, because there was a very significant sentence/conviction originally.”

By November -  For this reason, “in order to obtain every possible factor for the matter we are trying here, the Court orders that the trace should be examined by the staff of the RIS in Rome”. The Florence Court’s sentence could thus arrive by the end of November, or at the latest by the end of the year. It is very unlikely that Amanda Knox will decide to be present at any of the hearings, and probably she will await the verdict in Seattle.

Perhaps the final word shall never be pronounced on the most Press-covered trial in Italian legal history. After this latest sentence, in fact, nothing prevents anyone from making further appeals to the Supreme Court.

Posted on 10/14/13 at 01:02 PM by ziaKClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, October 12, 2013

More About Meredith With Thanks To John Kercher and Stephanie

Posted by Hopeful




First, the letter in Italian from Stephanie to Judge Nencini at start of appeal.

Dear Dr Nencini,

We have talked a lot in our family in order to come to make the difficult decision not to come to Italy for the beginning of the trial. My mother is in dialysis three times a week and this has an enormous impact on her health. My father has had two strokes in the past. This period is particularly stressful for us all and we desperately want to discover the truth and find justice for Meredith, who was taken away from us so brutally and unnecessarily. We have thus decided to support each other in the family here in the UK and to follow the trial from here, keeping close contact with lawyer Francesco Maresca and his colleagues.

We are confident that the evidence will be re-examined and that all the other requests for tests will be allowed, so that all the unanswered questions may be clarified and that the Court may decide on the next actions in this tragic case. These have been the six most difficult years of our lives and we want to be able to find a conclusion and remember Meredith as the really marvellous girl who she was, rather than remembering the horror associated with her.

It is a continuous battle every single day, struggling with our emotions, happy memories and desperately sad ones, and the only way in which our pain and suffering can at least begin to to be alleviated is to come to a clearer understanding of the tragic events of November 1st, 2007. Nothing can bring back our beautiful Meredith, and we keep her in our hearts always and in our memory, but we need to know what happened and she deserves at least the dignity of the truth.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

Stephanie Kercher and Family

Second, more on Meredith from John Kercher’s fine book.

Italy had always been important to Meredith. Her Italian teacher from senior school, Lucia Mazzeo, remembers how much Meredith enjoyed learning Italian, right from the start of her lessons in Year Nine. She was already good at French—in fact Mrs. Mazzeo had noticed that both Stephanie and Meredith seemed to have a natural flair for languages—but Meredith had quickly shown a delight in Italian culture and language.

A year after beginning Italian, at the age of fourteen, the school organized a two-week exchange visit with Taddeo da Sessa school in the town of Sessa Aurunca, in the southern Italian region of Campania.  Built on the southwest slope of an extinct volcano, fifty miles from Naples, it is a beautiful, quintessentially Italian town, and has the ruins of a bridge with twenty-one arches and a Romanesque cathedral. The girls were to stay with Italian families whose daughters attended the Taddeo da Sessa school.”


Isn’t it wonderful how many rich experiences Meredith had in her young life? She seemed to cram a lifetime of treasures into a few years. Mr. Kercher goes on to say on Pages 50 and 51,

Mrs. Mazzeo noticed how quickly Meredith fitted in, getting on well with Italian staff and students alike. ‘They clearly feall in love with her smile, good nature and sparkling personlity,’ she told me. ‘Her sense of humour was a factor too…..

As part of this trip, and a subsequent one three years later, Meredith and her school travelled along the beautiful and picturesque Amalfi Coast. (oh, I am a bit jealous, having never seen Amalfi Coast.)  They also travelled to Monte Cassino and to Rome, where Meredith’s time management skills were put seriously to the test, fitting in visits to the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Forum and the famous Fontana di Trevi.” Yes, Meredith threw a coin in the fountain to assure a return trip to Rome!

The party of English and Italian students, with extra friends, staff and even some parents, also visited Pompeii on their final full day in Italy. Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79….It is a powerful place for anyone to visit, and it had a special meaning for Meredith because she knew Arline had done restoration work there in her youth.” (So I’m assuming Arline worked on archaeological sites?)

The spectacular Caserta Palace, with its wonderful symmetrical gardens and 1,200 rooms, built for the Bourbon kinds in the eighteenth century, also impressed her (Meredith). Italy was everything that Meredith had expected it to be.

These exchanges were more than just sightseeing holidays: they gave the girls a real experience of Italian life. For two days on each visit, they became pupils at the Taddeo da Sessa School, where they were expected to attend lessons with their Italian partners, and even participate in sporting activities and drama presentations. Many of the girls bonded with their host families and for Meredith it was a transformative experience.


Mr. Kercher next relates Meredith’s almost precognition that Italy will have immense meaning in her life. Page 52:

Mrs. Mazzeo tells a story that I find very poignant. ‘What I shall never forget,’ she goes on, ‘was the departure day from Italy, on Meredith’s first trip to Sessa when she was fourteen years old. Almost all of the girls on the coach were crying. This was a difficult moment every year on these trips, as after being a part of someone’s family for so long, saying goodbye was not easy.

Yet we all noticed that Meredith was smiling. She didn’t seem to be sad at all. I told her that she had the right attitude. Her reply was remarkable: “After this experience,” she said, “I know that Italy is going to be a part of my life for ever. I’m not sad because I’m coming back this summer and, some day, when I’m older, I know that I am going to live here.


During the following summer Meredith went back to Italy at age 15 with a school friend. She went back to stay with the same host family, She was truly in love with Italy, and at the most impressionable age. Page 53:

When she was in Year Thirteen, the modern languages and music departments at the school collaborated in a cross-curricular activity called “Light and Dark”. This was intended to celebrate the music and poetry of the respective languages studied at the school. The Italian Department contributed with three readings from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

Meredith was due to read one extract only, in Italian, from “Paradiso”. But a younger girl, who was to deliver the “Purgatorio” reading, had a panic attack a few minutes before she was due to read, and so was unable to participate. In a very calm way, Meredith took over this reading and read it perfectly, without any practice at all


Later Mrs. Mazzeo lost the script of these readings, but five years later only a few weeks after Meredith’s death, she found the script and said that reading Dante’s “Paradiso” brought her comfort during the most difficult moments following Meredith’s tragedy.

It has been fun reading about Meredith’s work to promote Lynx products (she got part-time jobs to pay for schooling at Leeds and joined a couple of promotions agencies, one of which later liked her photo and got her the part in the Leontiou music video). They also got her a job at Gatwick Airport helping passengers find their gates for departure.

One day she politely asked some big rugby players to move so passengers could have access. When they ignored her she “laid into them verbally and onlookers were amused to see the musclebound sportsmen suddenly remember their manners.” (page 45)

Meredith was kind, but she was no coward.

Posted on 10/12/13 at 10:17 PM by HopefulClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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