The Seattle University Panel: Some Of The Ways In Which Steve Moore Got His Analysis Wrong

I have watched the clip of Steve Moore’s address at the University of Seattle seminar.

1.  Scenario of the crime

Steve Moore starts with the assertion that it is obvious what happened. Guede broke in via Filomena’s window and went to the loo.

Meredith comes home and is attacked, raped and murdered by him. Naturally he did not show a photo of Filomena’s window from outside the cottage. I wonder why?

Meredith came home at 9.30pm. She died some time after 11pm. Steve Moore does not elaborate as to what Guede was doing all the time in between. He sat on the loo for a long time and/or the sexual attack went on for a long time?  Both unlikely hypotheses.

2.  Concerning bleach

Then Steve Moore turns to what he states is “The Lie over the Bleach Cleaner”.

Whether or not the police/prosecution ever said that they thought bleach cleaner had been used is not clear to me.  Whether or not they had, it was not something that they continued to insist on. No one smelt bleach at the cottage on the 2nd November.

In any event Steve Moore has his own argument (which, to be fair, I did follow) to demonstrate from the pictures of the luminol traces that there could have been no bleach used as a cleaning agent.

“No bleach, no clean up!” The fact that one can wipe away relatively recent blood/bodily fluids without bleach escaped him. 

Having established that there was no bleach used he explains the luminol glow as being due to ..yes.. bleach!

3.  The luminol footprints

Drawing on his claimed considerable FBI experience (yet to be validated by anybody) he asserts that luminol reacts to bleach as strongly as blood.

Experienced forensic experts say that they can often tell the difference because the strength of a reaction all depends on the concentration in bleach ““ bleach which was not used in a clean up and which no one detected by sense of smell.

He then goes on to say that bleach is commonly used as a household cleaner. Yes, the main constituent of bleach is chlorine or chloride, commonly used, diluted with other ingredients, in some household cleaning fluids, though of course bleach can be bought as bleach.

Steve Moore says that Amanda Knox took a shower on the morning of the 2nd November, standing in the shower basin in diluted bleach (very diluted after a shower, one would think) and then traced that around, accounting for the luminol glow.

You do not have to be terribly clever to see that if that was the case then the luminol glow would not be all that bright due to the dilution. One can see from the photos that the glow was in fact very bright.

One also has to wonder why straight from the shower she stepped in Meredith’s invisible blood (in fact she says she scooted from the bathroom to her room on the bathmat) without the diluted bleach degrading Meredith’s DNA.

4.  Concerning TMB tests

Steve Moore asserts that Stefanoni lied about TMB tests. TMB is tetramethylbenzadine and it is used to establish whether a detected trace is blood or not.

The reactive process is the same as with luminol which has to be used to detect a trace in the first place. It is to do with the peroxadase-like activity of heme. The results look different however, TMB produces a change of colour whilst luminol produces a glow in the dark.

Steve Moore was initially appalled to think that Stefanoni did not use the TMB test on the luminol revealed traces, but then it was discovered that she had and the results were negative as to blood.

Conclusion : she lied about the TMB tests. Why?  According to Steve Moore because she knew the luminol test did not reveal blood. And was trying to conceal this fact.

I would be surprised if Steve Moore has read the trial records.  What does Massei say?  All I can find are the following:

Stefanoni did say that she could not be positive that what the luminol revealed was blood. Here I think that she was speaking very carefully as a scientist and leaving others to their conclusions. 

I do not see that she was specifically asked about TMB tests re luminol so I cannot comment on that.

However Massei quotes Amanda Knox’s expert, Dr Gino, in the following terms :

With respect to the luminol positive traces found in Romanelli’s room, in Knox’s room and in the corridor, she (Gino) states that by analysing the SLA cards “we learn, in contradiction to what was presented in the technical report deposited by the Scientific police, and also to what was said in court, that not only was the luminol test performed on these traces, but also the generic process for the presence of blood, using tetramethylbenzadine .. and this test “¦ gave a negative result.

On being asked as to why generic tests like luminol and TMB might produce different results:

She added that in her own experience, analyses performed with TMB on traces revealed by luminol give about even results : 50% negative, 50% positive.

I would have thought that Gino’s statement is statistically meaningless unless we assume that we are talking about blood traces revealed by luminol. 

So, in other words, the fact that the TMB tests were negative does not establish that the luminol-revealed trace was not blood.

From which I assume, since luminol and TMB have the same reactive process, that the prior luminol test takes precedence, be it that of course the trace might be vegetable or fruit juice, or bleach!- none of which, of course, are capable of producing a human DNA read out, whereas blood does.

Also I would have thought that if the reactive process is the same for both then the reactive process engendered by the luminol may not leave much for a subsequent TMB test ““ but then that’s just speculation.

I am no scientist, but then neither is Steve Moore really qualified to talk of the actual scientific process despite being in the FBI for 25 years ( he says). I think that the closest he gets to science is how to use an aerosol can.

5. Other claims

The following topics were also then discussed by Steve Moore : Bathroom photos, staged break in, murder weapon versus knife mark, and contamination. More of the same.

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Much appreciated James. No wonder Steve Moore hides his resume. No wonder he was frogmarched off the Pepperdine campus. The guy just can’t cut it and yet deludes trusting good-hearted people. .

If Steve Moore was actually a qualified crime scene analyst working to solve individual murders (the FBI does very little of this, as murders are rarely a Federal matter) he would not be making these dozens of errors.

We have already demonstrated nearly two dozen on TJMK and the statement analyst Peter Hyatt took apart one of his bizarre statements, and an even more bizarre one of his wife Michelle Moore.

A Mission Impossible, should readers choose to accept it?

Please find ONE piece of analysis that Steve Moore has actually got right. Or (let’s not make this too difficult) ONE piece of analysis that he actually concedes that the Italian experts got right.

Experts from the Italian equivalent of the FBI of course. Though Steve Mooore seems uncomprehending of even that hard fact.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/07/11 at 03:22 AM | #

I thought that Amanda testified that since she didn’t have a towel, she “scooted” to her room on a bathmat. Wouldn’t that mean there would no footprints from “the shower”?

Posted by sallysjc on 04/07/11 at 03:47 AM | #

Hi Sally. Yes that was apparently what she was hoping people would believe. The claimed bathmat shuffle has been much discussed on PMF. It seems not to carry much conviction.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/07/11 at 04:33 AM | #

Hi James,

The prosecution didn’t claim that the cottage had been cleaned with bleach which is why Steve Moore is unable to support his false claim with a verbatim quote from Mignini or Comodi.

Luminol is the most sensitive blood detection technique commonly used by forensic investigators. Luminol was has been found to be five times more sensitive than TMB (Tetramethylbenzidine). This explains why the TMB tests yielded negative results.

The luminol couldn’t have been reacting to bleach anyway because bleach dissipates after a couple of days and there will be no trace left. The luminol tests at the cottage were carried out on 18 December 2007.

Posted by The Machine on 04/07/11 at 09:27 AM | #

A devastating analysis, James, thank you.

Posted by Janus on 04/07/11 at 10:52 AM | #

How Steve Shay cooks the books, example #3213 or so. One of our main posters asked him in the comments area of the online West Seattle Herald report on the panel:

1) Why can only 32 people be counted in the audience in the video when his report claimed there were over 100?

The auditorium holds 470 and the meeting was heavily promoted in a city of 3.5 million. The comment was quickly deleted.

2) Why is the Questions and Answers section of the meeting missing from the video?

The clearly irritated answer was that the WSH cameraman arrived late and could only find a two-hour parking space. Both comment and answer were then deleted.

Here is Steve Shay’s deleted answer for why no (embarrasing?!) Q&A on the video.


OK. You want the actual facts? Unvarnished? Here it is.

We arrived late to the event. In the area around the campus there is virtually no parking we could only get a 2 hour parking space. We set up the camcorder that shot this footage and fortunately the panel got a slightly late start. So we shot the footage basically uncut except for a couple of pauses while they messed around with the laptop. It’s a VERY expensive ticket. So with a reporter on hand. We left. No video.sorry.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/07/11 at 01:46 PM | #

I made a post in the comments area, too, Peter, detailing just a few of the “bizarre coincidences”(!) that tie Knox to the crime. I am now blocked from posting on that site. But, it should be noted, my comment remains.

I also made a post on the YouTube page for the video. A perfectly calm, reasonable point of view. No abuse, no nastiness. My comment was removed and I am blocked from making further posts on that video.

Posted by Janus on 04/07/11 at 03:41 PM | #

One wonders if Stefanoni is aware that, for the second time, Moore has accused her of perjury in public, as well as insulting Migini again.  Experts and prosecutors probably unaware of all such criticism of their work/characters, given that it emanates from the US though I think have read somewhere that Migini has in the past sued individuals in the US for defamatory and inaccurate comments; not sure with how much success though.

Posted by Lola on 04/07/11 at 07:50 PM | #

I would say that a more accurate reason would be that they realised that standing around filming a big turkey is better left ‘til Thanksgiving.

Posted by Black Dog on 04/07/11 at 08:18 PM | #

I also was blocked from that WSH page because I took some posters to task over their illogical statements. For example, the Rudy lone wolf theory which is still being repeated. I talked about this to Janus on another forum that the racism behind their conspiracy theory is subtle but very clear. Maybe I just missed it at first.

Posted by Barry on 04/08/11 at 01:01 AM | #

Personally I find it incomprehensible that these kind of events continue. I, like just about everyone here has read the posts emanating from Seattle and elsewhere. Sometime in the future perhaps there will be a discussion group in a psychological think tank in order to dissect just why this blind thinking goes on. Or as somebody has mentioned the creation of an existence where normal laws do not apply. Personally I would like to find out just what motivates these people. It cannot be at all this blind belief in innocence because I am truly mystified. There has to be something else other than the greed of personal gain going on here.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/08/11 at 03:35 AM | #

I read above that this event was highly publicized in Seattle, or words to that effect.

I live in Seattle, and I have to say that it was perhaps touted in selectively published press releases, or free neighborhood rags like the West Seattle whatever, but it was here I first learned of it.

Please bear in mind that Saint Amanda went to Seattle Prep, a Jesuit academy. Seattle University is a Jesuit school.

My impression is that Father someone-or-another probably got the auditorium arranged for the Knox/Mellas gang. They must be running low on $$$, as no one generated much media hype on their behalf. A non-event, as far as I can gather.

As I said here before, except for those who follow the case closely, (for whatever reason), Amanda is off the radar in Seattle. I think people here have generally concluded that this is just another appeal of a murder conviction, nothing more, nothing less.

In addition, I think the xenophobic, anti-Italy push and the tacky Lifetime movie, not to mention the hysterical cries touting some ill-articulated conspiracy theory, did not go down well here.

Posted by Ballard Guy on 04/08/11 at 04:06 AM | #

Is it just my hearing or did Steve say that he has put away 9 people during the time he was an ‘agent’. I dont know what number of people an agent would normally put way during their time serving, but 9 seems like an awfully low number to me!?

Posted by Giselle on 04/08/11 at 08:08 AM | #


There is something else involved but it is difficult to put one’s finger on it.

It would be unfair to describe them as a bunch of narcissists. There is, after all, some idealism involved.

What is the enduring appeal of, say, Ivanhoe, or Saving Private Ryan? Because we would all like to be heroes. It’s a common fantasy.

One should not decry that fantasy, merely the persistence with it long after the object of their desire is seen to be something different - and the misrepresentation that comes with this and with ulterior material motive.

Posted by James Raper on 04/08/11 at 03:41 PM | #

If one could get luminol prints just from taking a shower and walking around barefoot afterward, wouldn’t we all have luminol prints showing up when the CSI people came? But the fact remains, luminol rarely shows up except where there has actually been blood spilled. Mr. Moore sounds like a poor excuse for an FBI agent.

Posted by Earthling on 04/08/11 at 07:59 PM | #

“It would be unfair to describe them as a bunch of narcissists. There is, after all, some idealism involved.”

I agree, but I also think it is misplaced idealism.

There may be some aspect of narcissism involved too, in the sense that Amanda went to their schools and they don’t want to think they raised a murderer.

I am not prejudiced against Jesuitism; to the contrary, my niece went to a Jesuit college.

Posted by Earthling on 04/08/11 at 08:02 PM | #

.as to the mysterious ‘something else’ that Grahame is reaching for;
I second Barry on the Racist undertones of this case (eclectic chapbook’s button has had strong words on this particular angle. I haven’t seen much other mention elsewhere). I perceive an odorous degree of what I call “Whiteousness” in this case. (Understand, please, dear people, that I am not a racist, though I have personally been a victim of racist attack) What I have been reminded of countless times over these past 3+ years is the blind rhetoric of hate groups, of white supremacists who fervently believe Hitler’s work remains unfinished, of Holocaust “deniers” (they know—they are just baiting), of living Southern Confederates who still believe the North should have minded its own business (and that Africans are a sub-species.) Of gay-bashers who have no qualms about defaming you to your face because their pastor tells them they are right.  WTFWJD? There are soldiers in the US forces who believe, as if they were playing some kind of sick video game, that friendly fire against a “brown” is acceptable. I think I read that last one in the New York Times.
  Knox saw Guede, Patrick, and, I’m afraid, Meredith, as less lilywhite than her own, and therefore, disposable. The parents, quite frankly, can’t see the big deal. Okay, so I smashed your picture window, Mister. Can I have my ball back now? I’m just trying to get on with my game.

Though not a Jesuit,my boyfriend attended Seattle U and Kennedy HS (catholic). I think it messed with his head.
Incidentally, a day or two ago I met a woman sporting a Seattle Prep jacket. Couldn’t help noticing the two inch wide scar on her neck. She explained that she’d had surgery to fuse her spine. Couldn’t help asking if the recovery was painful.  I Thought about the amazing work surgeons undertake to cautiously reconstruct our suffering bodies, cure and correct our ailments and save our lives (I have had two abdominal surgeries, one as an infant, to undo a tortion in my bowel) all under anaesthesia and under the watchful care of nurses and highly trained personnel. How very different to having one’s throat gashed and lacerated savagely, while conscious, by amateur criminals.

Posted by mimi on 04/08/11 at 08:48 PM | #

In the above screen shot the Wicked Witch of the West, Candace Dempsey is attempting to kick away Toto who is underneath her table and biting at her feet.

Evidently, Steve Shay failed to mention that Toto, the ever-loyal dog for true justice to Meredith Kercher had opened the curtain and much to everyone’s disappointment, revealed that the Wizard of Seattle was really Steve Moore, who is just another opportunistic enabler of Amanda Knox.

Good dog Toto, good dog!

Posted by True North on 04/09/11 at 12:00 AM | #

@ mimi
Yes, you´re right modern medicine is amazing ...ah if only someone had called an ambulance and a surgeon to save Meredith on time . I dated a medical student once but nothing much came of it. :(

@ True North
that was a very funny comment .Toto the faithful dog.And that Candace Dempsey is a weird woman.

Posted by aethelred23 on 04/09/11 at 03:23 AM | #

Finally.  Can someone tell me the motivation behind events such as this. Oh sure I know what the real motivation is supposed to be, but to my mind there is a hidden agenda and it is this.

Initially Knox showed great interest in being the centre of attention during the proceedings against her.

My take on Steve Moore, Candice Demsey and now Judge Heavey as that they are also painted with the same brush. In otherwords in order to bolster their obviously shallow lives they crave the limelight just as Knox does. It would seem, given the overwhelming evidence against Knox and Sollicito. That they are more interested in their perceived versian of fame and fortune and they will do anything to accomplish their goal.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/09/11 at 08:35 AM | #

Hey all,

Here is that Seattle forum. It’s about 2hrs long. Check out minute (1hr & 42 minutes) where Paul Ciolino (You know, the guy who proclaimed adamantly that Knox never met Guede—this claim came only days after Knox herself testified that she knew Guede ) claims that Nara is crazy, which he was allegedly told by Nara’s niece and nephew. P.S. This goof! I’m talking about Ciolino, actually says (at 1hr & 42 ½ mins), “The crazy woman [Nara Capezzalli] who didn’t, [turns to stage right and asks] I don’t think she even, did she even testify? She didn’t even, they didn’t even bring her in cause she’s crazy.”

He doesn’t says Nara’s name, because he probably doesn’t know it, but I am assuming he is talking about her because he calls her the star of the prosecutions case. Not only do I think he is lying about what he was told by witnesses (just my opinion), but he is clearly clueless about this case! Oh, and get this…at 1hr & 36 mins he claims that Raffaele met Rudy for “one-hot-minute” on the first floor of the flat). Really Paul??? Do tell…

He also declares definitively that he “talked to a guy [probably Christian Tramontano] who Rudy had broken into his house and held him at knife-point in the middle of the night.” Paul, you mean the guy who wrote in his statement that he “was not sure if it was Guede or not who he had encountered at his place that night?” Yet, Christian told you that it was definitely Rudy? Hmmmm…He also claims that Knox didn’t implicate Patrick and infers that Knox was interrogated for 19 hours when he asks the crowd, “You want to spend 19 hours with 7 cops screaming at you? [1hr & 39 mins]” Seriously, everything that comes out of this guys mouth is a load of crap…I can’t stomach to listen to anymore, but I’m sure you all will find way more inconsistencies than what I’ve listed.

“A forum of forensic and scientific experts, and authors gathered at the James C. Pigott Pavilion on the Seattle University campus Monday afternoon, April 4 and spoke to an audience of about 120 about the innocence, in their view, of West Seattle-raised Amanda Knox, convicted of killing her roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy.”

Posted by willsavive on 04/21/11 at 05:59 AM | #
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