Heads-up. Unfortunately, Jessica Bennett, the conspicuously lazy NY Times reporter who wrote a slobbery 3-page ode to a mythical version of Knox recently, missed this definitively damning evidence described below.

Category: Crime hypotheses

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BBC Interview: Mignini Comes Across As Fair, Decent, Funny, And Quite Sane

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Julian Joyce’s exclusive interview with Prosecutor Mignini.

This one might have the Salty’s Restaurant crowd grinding their teeth. And Amanda Knox’s own counsel rather relieved.

Note these significant insights into Prosecutor Mignini’s thinking, situation and health.

Giuliano Mignini told the BBC he had “never visited a psychologist” and he was taking legal action against a US paper that carried the allegations.

Mr Mignini also said Ms Knox’s backers were trying to “influence” the trial. Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend are accused of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007…

Mr Mignini said he was “not happy” about a story on the West Seattle Herald’s website last month in which supporters of Amanda Knox say he is believed to be mentally unstable…

No-one at the West Seattle Herald could be reached for comment. Mr Mignini confirmed he has started an action for defamation against the newspaper.

He joked: “I am quite a healthy man. I don’t go to the doctor much and I have never visited a psychologist.”

The allegations are the latest episode in what Mr Mignini believes to be a systematic attempt to discredit him, and thus derail Amanda Knox’s trial.

He said: “These are allegations from 9,000 kilometres away from people who have no knowledge of me and to whom I have never spoken. “I would never give an opinion on someone I know nothing about.

“I regard it as trying to influence the trial. These things might happen in Italy but I really would not expect attempts to influence to come out of the United States.”

Evidence that the trial’s prosecutor is also being targeted by Ms Knox’s supporters appears prominently on the website of Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner, who represents the Friends of Amanda.

They include accusations that he leaked “false information” to the press and that Mr Mignini is under indictment for “abuse of office”. The indictment allegation is understood to refer to a previous case that Mr Mignini investigated in Florence.

But Mr Mignini said it was true that although a Florence prosecutor had brought proceedings against him, another court had already “declared non-existent” the charges of abuse of office.

Mignini is also quoted as being “in thrall to a sort of delirium” in his handling of the Florence case, in which he “fantasized amazing and complex Satanic conspiracies.”

This is believed to be a reference to Mr Mignini’s involvement in an inquiry connected to the infamous “Monster of Florence” serial killings, during which Mr Mignini is said to have consulted an alleged psychic, Gabriella Carlizzi….

But Mr Mignini said he was “not friendly” with Mrs Carlizzi, and did not share her views, even to the point of having her arrested in 2005.

“I have said these things many times to American journalists,” he said. “But there are none so deaf as those who will not hear.”

A systematic attempt to discredit Mr Mignini and thus to derail Amanda Knox’s trial? Well! Who would have thought it.

Now, about that rumored gigantic libel/slander lawsuit that London lawyers would like him to get active…


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Understanding Micheli #1: Why He Rejected All Rudy Guede’s Explanations As Fiction

Posted by Brian S


Judge Micheli has had two very important roles. He presided over Rudy Guede’s trial and sentencing, and he presided over the final hearing that committed Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox to trial.

A week ago, just within the three-month deadline, Judge Micheli made public the 106-page report that explains the thinking behind both actions. This is a public document, and in the enviable Italian legitimizing process, the public is encouraged to get and read the report and to understand the full rationales. Excellent analyses have already appeared in Italian in Italy, but no English-speaking sources on the facts of the case have either put the report into English or published more than the most superficial analysis.

These posts will examine several very key areas of the report so that we too may choose whether to buy into the rationales. The translations into English here were by native-Italian speakers and fellow posters Nicki and Catnip. The next post will explain why Micheli ruled out the Lone Wolf Theory, and why he concluded that Knox and Sollecito appeared to be implicated in Meredith’s murder and should therefore be sent to trial.

Judge Micheli maintained that from the moment Meredith’s body was discovered until his arrest in Germany on November 19th, Rudy Guede was in a position to compile a version of his involvement in events at the cottage which would minimise his reponsibilities and point the finger of guilt elsewhere.

He was able to follow the course of the investigation in newspapers and on the internet. He would know of the arrests of Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick. He would know that the investigators had found biological evidence which would sooner or later connect him to the murder, and he would know of other discoveries and evidence which had been publicised in the media.

His story as told in Germany was compiled with all the knowledge about the crime and investigation he would have sought out. On his return to Italy in December he was interviewed by the investigating authorities and gave version 2. He was interviewed again in March which resulted in version 3, and later still made a spontaneous statement to change one or two facts including the admission that the trainer footprint in Meredith’s room could be his. Judge Micheli said:

Analyzing the narratives of the accused…he is not credible, as I will explain, because his version is (1) unreliable, and (2) continuously varying, whether on basic points or in minor details and outline.

Micheli then examined the details of Rudy’s claimed meeting with Meredith which resulted in his invitation to the cottage on the evening of November 1st.

He noted there were substantial differences between his versions of December and March, particularly with regard to the location of his meeting with Meredith on the night of Halloween and his movements in the early evening of November 1st.

He considered it likely that Rudy had made these changes as he became aware of evidence which contradicted his December version. Notably, in December Rudy claimed to have had his meeting with Meredith which resulted in her invite at a Halloween party given by Spanish students.

By March it was well known that Meredith had spent her entire Halloween in the company of friends, first in the Merlin pub before they later moved on to Domus disco. In March Rudy changed the location of his meeting with her from the Spanish party to Domus, which by chance Rudy had also attended following the party. However, neither Meredith’s friends who were continuously in her company nor those who accompanied Rudy to the Domus witnessed any meeting between the two. Judge Micheli commented:

On 26 March 2008, instead, Rudy explained to the Prosecution, drawing a picture, that the group invited to the Spaniards’ house actually moved wholus-bolus to the “Domus” club, but it was right in that nightclub that he met Kercher, and not before; offering up a tour-guide description from the chair, saying, “there’s a bar for the drinks and then there’s a room, there’s an arch and a room. I walking [sic] around there, and that’s where I met Meredith”. On the facts of the meeting and the subject of the conversation, he elaborated: “I started talking to Meredith “¦talking anyway I gave her a kiss.. after which I told her how much I liked her and asked her if the next day, in all the confusion anyway, if we were going to meet the next day and she said yes (”¦), we met in the evening around half eight, like that.

While not intending to explore the question, basically irrelevant, of whether the pair had agreed to a more or less specific time (his confirmation of the suggestion of 8.30 pm in both verbal statements however allows the inference that according to Guede they had an appointment), the patent contradiction between the two versions jumps out. One context, of a room between two bathrooms, in an apartment, is completely different to that of a drinks-bar and an arch, in a pub; one might concede, perhaps, the possibility of forgetting which place it was where they last bumped into a friend, but hardly the first time there was a kiss with a girl towards whom one was attracted.

With regard to his movements in the early evening of November 1st, Rudy’s friend Alex failed to corroborate Rudy’s December claim to have visited his flat. He said he didn’t see Rudy either before or after his meeting with Meredith at her cottage.

In March, Rudy changed his story and claimed to have risen at 6pm(following the all-nighter at Domus) before wandering around town for an hour or so. He then said he went to Meredith’s cottage but received no answer so he carried on to Piazza Grimana in the hope he might see people he knew. He thought he arrived in the Piazza at around 7:30pm. He claimed that some time later he left Piazza Grimana and called at the Kebab shop before returning to Meredith’s cottage and arriving some time between 8:30 and 9:00pm.

He said he then waited until her arrival some time just after 9:00pm. It was noted that in both his December and March versions Rudy said he had arranged to meet Meredith at 8:30pm. Micheli noted that this didn’t sit well with another arrangement Rudy had made to meet Carlos (from the Spanish party) between 9:00 and 10:00pm.

Micheli said that neither version of Rudy’s movements could be treated as true because he changed his story to fit facts as they became known and there was absolutely no corroborating witness evidence.

Rudy claimed two situations evolved following his entry with Meredith into the apparently empty cottage:

Whilst he was having a drink of fruit juice from the fridge, he claims Meredith found that 300 euros (her rent money) was missing from her bedside cabinet. Meredith was naturally upset by this discovery and straight away blamed “druggy Amanda”. Rudy said they both checked Amanda’s room to see if the money was there. However, it couldn’t be found and Rudy sought to console her.

He says that this consolation developed into an amorous encounter which proceeded to the stage where “Meredith asked him” if he had a condom. He told he didn’t and since she didn’t either they stopped their lovemaking.

Judge Micheli had a real problem with this story as told by Guede. He found it unlikely that Meredith would be interested in lovemaking so soon following the discovery that her money was missing. He found it unlikely that it was Meredith who was leading the way in this amorous encounter as Rudy was suggesting with his claim that it was “Meredith who asked him” if he had a condom.

Surely, Micheli reasoned, if Rudy was hoping to indulge in a sexual encounter with Meredith following the previous night’s flirting, he would, as any young man of his age, ensure that he arrived with a condom in anticipation of the hoped for liason. But even if he didn’t, and it was true that events had reached the stage where Meredith asked him, then surely given his negative response, Meredith would have again gone into Amanda’s room where, as she had told her friends, condoms were kept by her flat mate. Judge Micheli simply didn’t believe that if they had got to the stage of lovemaking described by Rudy, and following his negative response to her question, they just “STOPPED”. Meredith would have known she had a probable solution just metres away.

Rudy claimed he then told Meredith he had an upset stomach because of the kebab he had eaten earlier. She directed him to the bathroom through the kitchen.

Rudy put on his i-pod and headphones as he claimed was his habit when using the toilet. In his December version Rudy said the music was so loud he heard the doorbell ring but he made no reference to hearing any conversation. A perfect excuse, Judge Micheli says, for not hearing the disturbance or detail of Meredith’s murder. However, in his March version he claims he heard Amanda’s voice in conversation with Meredith. When Rudy did eventually emerge from the bathroom he says he saw a strange man with a knife and then a prone Meredith. Micheli commented:

...it is necessary to take as given that, in this case, Kercher did not find anything better to do than to suddenly cross from one moment of tenderness and passion with him to a violent argument with someone else who arrived at that place exactly at the moment in which Rudy was relieving himself in the bathroom. In any case, and above all, that which could have been a surprise to the killers, that is to say his presence in the house, was, on the other hand, certainly not put into dispute:

Meredith, unlike the attackers, knew full well that in the toilet there was a person who she herself allowed in, so for this reason, in the face of someone who had started raising their voice, then holding her by the arms and ending with brandishing a knife and throwing her to the floor, why would she not have reprimanded/reproached/admonished him immediately saying that there was someone in the house who could help her?

“¦Meredith didn’t shout out loudly for Rudy to come and help
“¦There was a progression of violence
“¦The victim sought to fight back

If it is reasonable to think that a lady living 70 metres away could hear only the last and most desperate cry of the girl ““ it’s difficult to admit that Guede’s earphones, at 4-5 metres, would stop him hearing other cries, or the preceding sounds.

Micheli was also mystified as to why Amanda (named in Rudy’s March version) would ring the doorbell. Why wouldn’t she let herself in using her own key? He supposed it was possible Meredith had left her own key in the door which prevented Amanda from using hers, but the girls all knew the lock was broken and they were careful not to leave their own key in the door. Perhaps, Meredith wanted some extra security/privacy against someone returning and had left her key in the lock on purpose. Maybe Amanda was carrying something heavy and her hands weren’t free. Or, maybe, Rudy was just trapped by his December story of the doorbell when he didn’t name anybody and an anonymous ring on the doorbell was plausible.

The judge then took issue with Rudy’s description of events following the stabbing of Meredith. Rudy claimed that when he emerged from the bathroom he discovered a man with a knife standing over Meredith. In the resultant scuffle he suffered cut wounds to his hand. armed himself with chair to protect himself. before the attacker fled when he fell over because his trousers came down around his ankles. Micheli said that those who saw Rudy later that night didn’t notice any wounds to Rudy’s hands although some cuts were photographed by the police when he was later arrested in Germany.

Micheli found Rudy’s claim that the attacker ran from from the house shouting “black man found, black man guilty” unbelievable in the situation. In the panic of the moment it may be conceivable that the attacker could shout “Black man…, run” following the surprise discovery of his presence in the house, but in the situation Rudy describes, blame or expressions of who the culprit thought “the police would find guilty” made no sense. It would be the last thing on an unknown attackers mind as he sought to make good his escape.

Micheli considers the “black man found, black man guilty” statement an invention made up by Rudy to imply a possible discrimination by the authorities and complicate the investigation. Micheli also saw this as an excuse by Rudy to explain away his failure to phone for help (the implication being that a white man could have made the call). It was known by her friends and acquaintances that Meredith was never without her own phone switched on. She kept it so, because her mother was ill and she always wanted to be available for contact should her mother require help when she was on her own

Judge Micheli regarded Rudy’s claimed efforts to help Meredith impossible to believe, given the evidence of Nara Capezzali. Rudy claimed to have made trips back and forth to the bathroom to obtain towels in an attempt to staunch the flow of bood from Meredith’s neck. He claimed to have leaned over her as she attempted to speak and written the letters “AF” on the wall because he couldn’t understand her attempted words. His described activities all took time and Rudy’s flight from the house would have come minutes after the time he alleged the knife-man ran from the cottage.

Nara Capezzali maintained that after she heard Meredith’s scream it was only some seconds (well under a minute) before she heard multiple footsteps running away. Although she looked out of her window and continued to listen for some time because she was so disturbed by the scream, she neither heard nor saw any other person run from the house. That Rudy had run wasn’t in doubt because of his collision on the steps above with the boyfriend of Alessandra Formica. Micheli therefore considered it proven that “all” of Meredith’s attackers, including Rudy, fled at the same time.

Earlier in his report Micheli considered character evidence on Rudy given by witnesses for both prosecution and defense. Although he had been seen with a knife on two occasions, and was considered a bit of a liar who sometimes got drunk, the judge didn’t consider that Rudy had previously shown a propensity for violence, nor behaviour towards girls which differed markedly from that displayed by many other young men of his age.

However, because of the wealth of forensic evidence [on which more later] and his admitted presence in the cottage, combined with his total disbelief in Rudy’s statements, Micheli found Rudy guilty of participation in the murder of Meredth Kercher.

He sentenced him to 30 years in prison and ordered him to pay compensation of E2,000,000 each to Meredith’s parents John and Arline Kercher, E1,500,000 each to Meredith’s brothers John and Lyle Kercher plus E30,000 costs in legal fees/costs + VAT. Also E1,500,000 plus E18,000 in legal fees/costs + VAT to Meredith’s sister, Stephanie Kercher.


Amanda Knox Defence Team Strongly Objects To Seattle Sliming Strategy

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Luciano Ghirga (left) and Carlo Della Vedova.

Click for a larger image. They are apparently thoroughly ticked off. Here’s our previous post on exactly what made them so ticked.

Once again, the demand from the Amanda Knox legal team goes out: Pipe down, Seattle. And give Amanda Knox a break.

Translation below by poster Kermit is of the story in today’s La Nazione

“Those American personalities are not helping Amanda”

Lawyer Ghirga: “I have spoken with Prosecutor Mignini”

by Enzo Beretta - Perugia

“There are people around the figure of Amanda who have no formal role in the student’s defence team, which is formed by myself together with my colleague Carlo Dalla Vedova.

These people are not only not helping our client in the difficult judicial process in the Corte d’Assise in which we have to defend her, but on the contrary, they are harming her judicial position.”

Luciano Ghirga, lawyer for the American accused by the prosecutor of sexually assaulting and killing Meredith Kercher with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Hermann Guede, once again distances himself from the Stars-and-Stripes “know-it-alls” who repeatedly have tried to throw mud on the work of investigators and have even personally attacked Giuliano Mignini, head of the murder investigation.

There is strong evidence which supports the prosecution, unlike the “macaroni” pleading endlessly and one after the other on American television broadcasts, who pay lawyers, show-men and private investigators not much inclined to read the documentation.

That documentation was studied a lot by the Review and Court of Appeal judges, who confirmed preventive prison for the suspects, and the GUP Paolo Micheli, who has sentenced Rudy to thirty years in prison (with the abbreviated trial) and sent the ex-boyfriend and girlfriend to trial. This is a validation of the good work done by the investigators.

Lawyer Ghirga has not acted on a video in which the correctness of the findings of the forensic investigators is called into question, thereby attacking the protagonists of the case. But he will play his cards at the appropriate time in the trial, which resumes Friday.

“On a personal level I expressed my impressions to Dr. Mignini,” Ghirga said.

The lobbying work by Amanda’s side fits into a framework of traditional adversity by Americans when their fellow citizens are left in the hands of another country’s justice.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Knox “Friends” Paul Ciolino & Co Smear Prosecutor Mignini As “An Out Of Control Maniac”

Posted by Peter Quennell





At the Salty’s hatefest in West Seattle, Paul Ciolino whipped up the crowd with a rant about Dr Mignini being “an out-of-control maniac”.

We see no proof. We check this whole point of view almost daily but we never, ever, ever get independent confirmation.  The BBC also checked it out and found zero proof of ANY of Ciolino’s wild-eyed claims.

We are repeatedly told that Mr Mignini is tough, fair, and effective, in an Italian system of justice where things are not particularly loaded on the side of the prosecution.

And that he has the reputation of being very, very caring of the victims and their families. The Kerchers have expressed their full confidence in him.

Also that Mr Mignini’s stepping-aside would probably make just about zero difference to the momentum of the case at this point.

There seems to be just too much suggestive evidence waiting to be explained, and a dozen careful judges have endorsed it as suggestive, and the strongly dominant mood in Italy seems to be one of: let us proceed.

Amanda Knox is of course very well represented by counsel. They have already shown irritation over attacks on the prosecutor.

Calling the prosecutor a maniac sure won’t be music to their ears. Is this whole PR campaign quite loopy, or what?!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is The “Mignini Has Framed Them” Meme Now Fading?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Looks to us like it might be a strong case.

Perhaps easy to challenge the bits and pieces of the evidence. Perhaps harder now to challenge the sum of the whole.

The whack-a-mole problem.

And if Rudy Guede mounts the stand to tell all (he is to be an early witness, and wants time off his 30 years) and if Rudy’s tale cannot be seriously shaken by the defenses ...

Well, as the lead judge observed, this trial might be over by summer.

In Italy, the notion that Prosecutor Mignini somehow invented or twisted the facts of the crime to frame two of the defendants never really seemed to catch fire.

The problems with this notion are that there were too many professionals involved, the case has had to pass through too many judicial hoops, and there now seems an awful lot of evidence needing serious addressing.

Maverick Rome-based Peter Popham of The Independent (new image above - he looks better!) has seemed to be the lone media holdout for the Mignini-invented-it point of view.

But even Mr Popham is now sounding as if he’s in the dispiriting early phases of a U-turn.

This is from a skeptical piece of his just recently posted:

... how did Mr Mignini discover these salacious details? Through confessions, witness accounts, tapped telephones? Was there a video camera or tape recorder running throughout? None of the above.

None of the three accused has dropped even a hint that they were involved in an orgy, no party trash was discovered, nobody was peeking through the windows. The account seems to have emerged fully formed from the prosecutor’s imagination.

But this is from a more jaded piece also just posted.

Where did they actually pass the night, and doing what? Why did they make a start on cleaning up the murder scene next morning, and why didn’t they call the police? Amanda Knox will have to do a lot more than smile if she wants to go home.


As we mentioned yesterday, Mr Popham’s first piece above was strongly challenged by a commenter - a lawyer in the UK, who actually knew Meredith in person.

Comment by Liam O’Huigin

Title: Peter Popham: Legal Genius

“Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are on trial because Meredith Kercher died horribly, and they gave conflicting accounts of what they were doing at the time and behaved suspiciously the next day.”

Yeah, right. And I suppose everything else the Independent has reported about the pair since November 2007 has come fully formed from the brains of its journalists without the benefit of corroboration from the pair.

Before we take up Mr Popham’s invitation to consider Knox and Sollecito to be whiter than the driven snow, let’s remember, inter alia, that Knox implicated a man who could prove that he was not at the crime scene at the relevant time, that they have given a number of inconsistent accounts of their own whereabouts and activities, that the pair have fallen out between themselves, and that DNA evidence was recovered strongly suggesting their presence. If a prosecutor failed to bring a case against them, people would rightly think that some sort of cover-up was in place.

If it was Mr Popham’s daughter who was the victim of this crime, I doubt he’d be writing about the case in such a lofty and detached tone. I happen to have known Meredith, and I also happen to be a lawyer. I would be outraged if the Italians had not taken matters this far in the light of what we have so far read about the case. And unless the defence manages to produce something very special during the course of the trial I know what verdict I expect to be brought in….

Mr Popham commits an interesting Freudian slip in this article, which shows where his sympathies lie. He talks of the “three” accused, by which I assume he is including Rudy Guede: the latter is no longer an accused, having been convicted of the murder and sentenced to thirty years.

He is therefore correctly described as a murderer, or a criminal or a convict. Why does Mr Popham find that hard to do?

None of Mr Popham’s commenters, in fact, are still buying the fading “invented and framed” line. And we would REALLY like to see more of Meredith’s friends now speaking up.

Write to us, or for us, if you want to win one for her.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Trial: The UK Sunday Times Reports The Prosecutions’ Possible Scenario of The Crime

Posted by Peter Quennell

Excerpts from the report by John Follain in Perugia.

Meredith was “Softened up for Fatal Sex Game”

Prosecutors allege that Amanda Knox instigated an ‘erotic game’ with her housemate and became violent when she resisted. Amanda Knox says she is glad ‘the hour of truth’ has arrived. She denies killing Meredith Kercher

New details about a sex game that allegedly led to the murder of Meredith Kercher, the British exchange student, have been revealed by an Italian prosecutor.

Giuliano Mignini, the official leading the case, alleges that Amanda Knox, Kercher’s American housemate, instigated the “erotic game” and probably persuaded an accomplice into “softening up” the 21-year-old Briton.

Reconstructing the student’s final moments, Mignini alleges that Kercher’s killers became “incensed and violent” after she resisted their advances….

Mignini gave his account of the murder at committal hearings which were closed to the public. However, details of his reconstruction will appear in a book called Meredith: Lights and Shadows in Perugia.

It is written by Vincenzo Maria Mastronardi, a forensic psychiatrist, and Giuseppe Castellini, editor of the Giornale dell Umbria newspaper, and will be published this week.

Mignini said Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was likely to have been irritated with Knox for allegedly bringing Sollecito and Guede to the cottage the young women shared late on the night of the murder in November 2007.

Knox, whom Guede was always trying to please, probably pushed him into “softening up” the English girl and preparing her for the erotic “game” . . . while Knox “dedicated” herself to Sollecito, said Mignini.

And when Guede failed because of energetic resistance by the victim, the three became incensed and violent.

They grabbed Kercher by the neck and tried to strangle her. Sollecito grabbed her violently in the back and on a breast, deforming her bra clasp and then they finished her off with the violent knife stab to the left part of the neck. Kercher gave a last desperate scream, which was heard by [a neighbour].

The prosecutor said that just before the final blow, Kercher suffered a cut to the right hand as she tried to free herself and pushed away the knife which Knox allegedly held.

A minute after the last stab wound, the three allegedly fled the cottage, with Knox and Sollecito returning later to stage a fake robbery by breaking a window, said Mignini.

The prosecutor singled out the placing of a duvet over Kercher’s body as “extremely important from a psychological point of view”. He argued it indicated pity and respect for the victim: “Amanda, especially as a woman, couldnt bear that naked, torn female cadaver.”

Both Knox and Sollecito insist they were at his home on the night of the murder. Their defence teams dispute DNA evidence linking Knox to a knife, which investigators say may be the murder weapon, and Sollecito to Kercher’s bra clasp.

Last week Knox told her lawyer Luciano Ghirga: “At last the hour of truth has arrived. I’m not afraid. I hope that the whole truth will come out because I’ve always been a friend of Meredith’s and I didn’t kill her.”

However, Mignini alleges that on the morning after the murder Knox tried to delay the body’s discovery by telling other housemates that it was normal for Kercher’s bedroom to be locked.

When the door was kicked down, Knox and Sollecito were too far away to see into the room, where Kercher’s half-naked body lay on the floor under a beige duvet, according to witnesses quoted by Mignini at the committal hearings last October.

“When those present go outside after the body is found, Knox and Sollecito are also outside, intent on kissing and caressing each other, as they did subsequently during police searches.”

“A very strange way of behaving which started the very moment the victim’s body was found . . . and at a time when all the other young people were literally overwhelmed by that discovery” said Mignini.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Another Dog-And-Pony Show Friday: A Second Defense Attempt At Filomena’s Window

Posted by Peter Quennell





Kermit has already analysed the first, failed attempt for us.

It’s just been reported in the Italian media that a second defense test has been scheduled for 12:30 this Friday. If they fail that test for a second time, it will be pretty obvious to the known universe that:

  • There never was a burglar who covered up a burglary with a sex crime, a bizarre move almost unknown in the annals of crime as the penalties are so very much harsher.

  • There really was a rearrangement of the crime scene in an attempt to point the finger of blame at a single perpetrator who had just taken to his heels up some local steps.

A lot is riding on this one. We guess the burglar the defense hired for the job will be in real fighting trim.

Update: Did the defense blink?! Today’s show simply involved engineers, Giovanni Lombardi and Pasquale di Francesco, apparently retired police technicians.

They took measurements to see if that 4-kilo rock could have been thrown from wherever to land where it did in Filomena’s room.

Why not just, you know, bite the bullet, and actually try throwing the rock?!

No prizes are offered for the answer to that one. There was no Spiderman act, no lawyers were present, and no glass was broken.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Meredith Dateline Documentary: New Standard For All Others?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger images]

We think so. We think other TV networks would be foolhardy to now step back from NBC’s very high standard.

This is the Dateline documentary reviewed here by Skeptical Bystander on Monday. Now we have been through it almost frame by frame, and we continue to be impressed.

NBC clearly gave this one a big budget. It filled the entire hour. Meredith was very much respected in the script and the images of her. NBC flew camera teams to Seattle and Perugia, along with the precise, well-informed reporter, Dennis Murphy. The photography and the production values were excellent. There were a number of new images, and new tape-recordings of Amanda Knox. And the three consultants - Richard Owen, Clint van Zandt, and Theodore Simon - were all really on top of the case.

Now for our take on what it all means.

Richard Owen is the Rome correspondent for the London Times, with many Perugia stories to his name. Clint van Zandt is a much-in-demand crime analyst, formerly with the FBI. And Theodore Simon is a Philadelphia defense lawyer, who has defended Americans in foreign trouble and commented before on the case.

These are what they regard as the strengths of the prosecution’s case.  Meredith was known to have not liked Knox bringing strange men to the house, and to have had other differences. The several defendant alibis do not coincide. The Knox murder accusation against Lumumba not only did not help, it hurt. The break-in theory is very dubious. Knox and Sollecito kissing outside, the underwear purchase, and other post-crime behavior, all look very fishy.

The DNA on the hidden knife is very compelling. As Clint Van Zandt put it, the knife, the DNA, and its hiding make a nice prosecution package. The bleaching of the house and the footprints showing up under luminol, if linked to anyone, could almost be conclusive by themselves. As could the blood drops on the bathroom drain. The witchcraft angle as a motive, van Zandt remarked, was almost a bridge too far, but the prosecutor does have to attempt to offer a theory of how these otherwise normal kids could commit the murder.  Theodore Simon thinks the prosecutors evidence made public so far is daunting. The defense could argue a faked robbery, and a moved body, and contamination, but eventually it could become like whack-a-mole, and all of their arguments could lose force.

Only old and very familiar arguments were advanced for the defense case. Dennis Murphy noted that for a year now, Europeans have been sold a sexy heartless icon. Knox’s father said her first alibi/confession was “all but water-boarded out of a terrified young woman” and the prosecutors had been heartless, feeding one juicy morsel after another to a voracious tabloid press. He claimed the knife was found in the knives draw in Sollecito’s kitchen (not our understanding) and the DNA on the blade could be that of half the people in Italy (nor is that). And all the evidence at the crime scene had been contaminated by careless police work. The hostility of the Knox-Mellas couple for the prosecutor shone through. And an old clip showed Anne Bremner remarking (of the wrong apartment) “thou shalt not destroy evidence at a crime scene, and this appears to be the case here”.

Recordings are heard, some in Amanda Knox’s voice, and some in others, of her claims about her arrest and interrogation. Also of her dreams and denials as recorded in her diary in her first weeks in jail, when she was clearly feeling betrayed by Sollecito - this is the diary she later handed to prosecutors.

Criticisms? We have some. An image of the duvet with Meredith’s foot showing is used repeatedly. The NBC take on the case was not up-to-the-minute, and some of the clips and claims seemed old. No psychological angles were explored. The documentary did not mention the independent expert verification of the forensic evidence, or the caution of the Italian legal system, or the dozen judges who have verified the impact of the evidence. And it did not mention that most of the 10,000 pages of evidence have still only been seen by a very few.

But it finished well. Dennis Murphy remarked that we should remember the prosecutor has already convicted Guede with his sex-game argument. And that the Guede judge said the other two are implicated, which does not bode well for them at trial. And that courthouse observers, including Theodore Simon, are predicting an uphill fight for the defense.

If you click on them, all of these screen-captures open up larger in Acrobat.

Below: Dateline’s reporter Dennis Murphy in Perugia

Below: The two nice images of Meredith used repeatedly


Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy in the early-on Seattle segment

Below: Two shots of World Cup, now out of business, where Knox last worked


Below: One of the entrance gates of the University of Washington

Below: Seemingly resigned friends of Knox, giving personal testimonials

Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy at the gate of Meredith’s house

Below: Two fresh images of Perugia, representative of the many used


Below: Richard Owen, the London Times Rome correspondent

Below: Clint van Zandt, the former FBI profiler and evidence analyst

Below: Theodore Simon, the defence lawyer for Americans in foreign trouble

Below: Patrick Lumumba, looking happy and relaxed, with Dennis Murphy

Below: Zack Nowack, an American, who felt Amanda Knox was too impulsive

Below: Three new shots of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox



Below: The biological parents of Knox trudging along, seemingly resignedly

Below: A computer image of the bedroom - even here, Meredith’s foot shows

Below: Filomena’s broken window; not considered a feasible break-in route

Below: Murphy and Van Zandt discussing the possible murder weapon

Below: The Perugia police chief demonstrates the fatal stab with a knife

Below: Meredith’s and Knox’s unexplained blood on the bidet drain

Below: Murphy and van Zandt discuss the seemingly damning footprints

Below: The Knox rape short story, perhaps indicative of an attraction to violence

Below: Knox and Sollecito happily buying lingerie together in Bubbles

Below: One claimed inflammatory European headline (it seems true)

Below: Transcript of a Knox recording complaining about interrogation

Below: Murphy describing the Knox-Mellas hostility toward the prosecutor

Below: Murphy and van Zandt look at disputed police break-in downstairs

Below: The Japanese manga comic that might have influenced Sollecito

Below: A woman’s voice reading from Knox’s early 2008 prison diary

Below: Fresh image of Capanne jail, with the Perugia heights in background


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Primary Timeline: An Hour-By-Hour Guide To The Events In Question

Posted by Michael



[Above: Where Meredith said goodbye to Sophie Purton - perhaps the last friendly face she ever saw.]

This narrative below is our present best shot at listing the events, actual and claimed, surrounding Meredith’s sad fate.

The constantly-updated master version of this primary timeline is posted here on the PMF forum I co-moderate with Skep.  There are some subsidiary timelines which will also appear here soon.

The master version was first posted on the old True Crime MK Forum on Monday 14th April 2008. It built upon an original timeline by Xin, and I have frequently edited it since as the picture grows clearer.

You are really welcome to suggest edits, modifications, and additions, either in Comments below, or in a post below the master version itself.

Kermit’s excellent Powerpoint narrative of many of these same events was previously posted here.

Wednesday 31st October 2007 (Halloween)

Evening  “Amanda…sent [Meredith] numerous SMS messages.” 1900  Meredith responds to her flatmate: “I have to go to a friend’s house for dinner.” The student from Seattle persisted, “What are you doing tonight? Do you want to meet up? Have you got a costume?” She then said that she was going to Le Chic and “maybe we’ll see each other.”

Thursday 1st November 2007 (Day of the Dead in Italy)

1300 AK saw MK at their apartment (per AK)

1400 -1500 MK left

1530 Sophie Purton arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat at Via Bontempi 22

1600 Meredith arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat

1700 AK, RS went to his apartment (per AK)

1800 Meredith had a meal with her girlfriends “Ms Kercher was known to have eaten an early supper of pizza and ice cream with two British women friends, both fellow students, at six o’clock on the evening of her death. But Sophie Purton, one of the friends, had testified that the meal contained no mushrooms.”

1800 AK, RS left her apartment (per RS)

1836 RS at his computer, had watched ‘Amelie’ whilst also downloading the film ‘Stardust’ to watch later, would be at his computer until 0333 - (per RS & his lawyers). “He was with AK until 1800 when they had both left RS apartment to go into the centre. RS has also said that he spent the evening on his computer working on his university coursework

2018 Patrick sends text message to AK

2030 Patrick’s friend, Swiss Professor Roman Mero had a pizza and then went straight to Le Chic. (had originally claimed he was in Le Chic from 2000)

2030 - 2100 RS “Went home, smoked; had dinner.”

2030 ““ 2100 (AK “left him (per RS), saying to him that she would go to Le Chic, meet friends while he returned to his house”) “”¦ left the house telling Sollecito that she was going to work, [but she], she was at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana.”

2035 AK text message to PL

2038 RG arrives at MK’s (per RG)

2038 PL’s cellphone pings in the area of MK’s house

2040** RS’s father phones him at his apartment on RS’s landline, the call went unanswered and instead went to answer phone. RS did not respond to the message and return his father’s call that night

2040** Young woman, Popovic (Polish after all (?)), arrives at RS’s house to tell him she no longer needed a lift to the station. (She spoke to Amanda via the intercom (?) )

2040** Serbian student, Jovanovic, ‘met’ (Could do with clarification as to whether he simply passed AK, or actually engaged with her in some way). AK on Corso Garibaldi. AK and RS were at RS’s flat at this time and before (per AK/RS)

2040** AK and RS cell phones turned off

2043 AK seen on CCTV entering her house (?)

2046 Meredith arrives eight minutes after RG arrives (per RG)

2050 RS chops up button mushrooms with his knife, and he and AK stir fry them (per Mignini)

2100 AK claimed to meet PL at B-Ball courts and [return] to her house. (per the Judge)

2100 Meredith leaves friend’s house with Sophie Purton to return home, Sophie walks her halfway

2105 Sophie Purton leaves Meredith on Via Roscetto, Meredith continues home alone

2110 Click on RS’s computer, no more activity on computer until following day

2115 Around this time MK arrives home

2130 Meredith commences phone call with mother (What time did it end?)

2141 - 0532 of the night of the crime “is not any human interaction.at RS apt” (per RS’ computer)

2200 - 2230 Meredith is either dead or dying. A breakdown truck arrives for a broken down car containing a family of three, man, woman and child. The Albanian ‘superwitness’, Hekuran Kokomani, arrives by car at the rubbish bins area a short way down the road from the cottage. HK punches RS, throws a phone and olives at AK, who threatens HK with knife. HK drives further down the road encountering RG who recognises HK and offers money to hire HK’s car, first 50, then offering 250 euros. HK hears banging sounding like ‘wood on wood’ from the house. RG says there is a birthday party at the cottage. HK refuses hire his car, driving off having seen RS in his wing mirror running at him with knife. RS persues him to the lights, where a motorist asks HK for directions. HK has to reverse his car to allow the breakdown truck, which is probably just arriving, to manoeuvre. HK leaves (per HK)

2215 SMS requesting account balance sent from MK’s mobile to her bank balance

2229 First recorded receipts at Le Chic

2230 - 2300 A witness heard “a man and a woman arguing in Italian” inside the cottage “at about 10.30 or 11.00 on the night of November 1,” followed by an “agonising scream”.

2230 “Alessandra Formica, a police witness, said her partner was almost knocked over by a black man running away from scene”. The couple also witness the broken down car and breakdown truck.

2300 (circa) A dark coloured car is seen parked outside the cottage (per garage mechanic witness - Gianfranco Lombardi). “It was about 11pm on the night of November 1, 2007, and I was in the area because I had been called out to fix a broken-down car…When I got to Via Sant Antonio, close to where the house where Meredith Kercher was murdered, I saw a dark-coloured car parked outside and I noticed the gate on the drive was open…I didn’t notice anyone in the car and I didn’t notice anyone coming or going during the eight or 10 minutes it took me to load the broken-down car onto my tow truck.” “The statement is significant because Sollecito has a dark-coloured car, but claims he was not at the house.”

2300 RS reveives telephone call from his father (per RS). Now known to be untrue as the unanswered call via landline was actually made at 2040 and went to answerphone

2300 (circa) Nara Capezalli, the woman who lives opposite MK’s, hears screams coming from the house after which “at least two people” emerged and fled “in different directions.”

2300 - 2330 AK and RS are seen on the baseball court by a sixty-year-old witness, ‘Toto’ (Antonio Curatolo), cuddling, behaving erratically, and looking towards the house…” “...their position of observation on the steps near via della Pergola overlooking the house.” “I saw Amanda and Raffaele around the square in 23-23,30 Grimana the first night of November. I am sure because the next morning the carabinieri were on the streets asking questions. ” AK and RS go down in the direction of the house (possibly joined by a third person (?))

2300 - 0100 RS claims he’s on Internet at his home

Friday 2nd November 2007

0100 AK at RS’s apt (?)

0200 Witnesses report seeing Rudy dancing down the Domus nightclub. Passers-by report loud voices from AK/MK home

0333 RS comes off of his computer and goes to bed, Amanda is ‘not’ there (per RS & his lawyers)

0430 Last sighting of Rudy at the Domus nightclub by witnesses.

0532 Internet activity noted at RS’s computer, (Googling ‘Bleach’ & ‘Blood’ perhaps ?). Phones turned back on?

Dawn Mobile phones switched back on (Would be great to have the actual time for this event)

0745 Witness places AK outside supermarket

0830 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

0915 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

1000 Woke up at RS’s in morning (per RS)

1030 AK returns to her house to wash; took empty plastic bag (per RS)

1100 AK was back at her house (per AK)

1130 AK back at RS’s house; worried””door open (per RS). Back to AK’s together. AK opens door with keys; went in together. Blood in bathroom. Attempted to break down Meredith’s door (per RS)

0900 - 1200 Sig.na Lana finds two phones in her garden and notify police, who ascertain that one is registered to Filomena Romanelli at via della Pergola

1226 “Today it was confirmed that the garage video recorded the car of the postal police arriving at 12.26…” and find AK and RS outside (but within the gate), who said they were waiting for the Carabinieri.”

1235 Filomena, having spent the night away with her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, whilst parking their car (with PG and LA) at the ‘Fair of the Dead’ in Perugia, receives phonecall (first of a series of three) from AK “who told me that she had slept at Raffaele’s house and that when she had gone back to our house she had found the door open and blood in her bathroom. She told me that she’d had a shower, that she was scared and that she was going to call Raffaele Sollecito. It seemed really strange to me and I asked her to check that the house was in order and to call the police or Carabinieri.” (Michael: “Going to call” RS when AK and RS claim they came back to the cottage together at 1130?)

1235 - 1245 Second phone conversation between AK and FR

1245 Third phone conversation between AK and FR “she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

1250 RS calls his sister in the Carabinieri

1251 RS phones the Carabinieri (for the first time)

1254 RS phones the Carabinieri again

1300 (just before) Filomena Romanelli arrives at apartment with her friends PA (Paola Grande - girlfriend of Luca) and LA (Luca Altieri). M (Marco) was present and “Amanda and Raffaele were in Amanda’s room because at a certain point they came out into the corridor and we introduced ourselves.” (Michael: Evidently, RS and AK failed to notice Meredith’s keys whilst they were hidden away in her room. Why were they in AK’s room when important actions were taking place elsewhere in the cottage, leaving non-resident Marco to deal with the Postal Police? How long were they in there for? ‘What’ were they doing whilst in there - checking it was ‘clean’?)

1305 Postal Police arrive (per RS and his lawyers)

1315 (circa) After listening to Filomena’s remarks, with Postal Police present, LA breaks down door of MK’s room

Evening PG and LA take RS and AK to Perugia police station in their car. PG and LA have stated that during the trip RS was constantly asking them questions regarding the murder and investigation of a manner that caused them to become so concerned and suspicious, they thorougly checked over the interior of the car after RS and AK got out, for ‘incriminating evidence’ they were afraid the pair may have ‘planted’ there. The ‘suspicious’ behaviour of the couple continued inside the police station, which was noted and reported by multiple witnesses

**These times must be very approximate since the 20:40 time slot is ‘very’ congested.

Posted by Michael on 12/11 at 04:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Crime hypothesesVarious scenariosEvidence & WitnessesReal timelinesComments here (17)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ads By Google… Misreporting By Frank?! Money-Grubbing Commences at Perugia-Shock

Posted by Skeptical Bystander




Money turns Sforza’s head

Sales and ad revenue is really what is driving so much of the very haphazard case reporting.  And not only that of the newspapers. Also ad-driven websites, for example.

Frank Sforza of the ad-driven Perugia-Shock site must have paid close attention when Candace Dempsey’s ad-driven site hosted by Hearst’s Seattle-PI noted the obvious: that Amanda Knox sells newspapers.

Frank’s latest post first describes the most recent case witnesses to emerge. He tells us why they should be discredited, even before they testify. The main reason, it seems, is that Frank is suspicious of them.

And all Frank-watchers know this: they must question everything he tells them to question, and accept all he says as gospel, or face some petulant wrath.

A phony interview

Perhaps not coincidentally, some of the new case witnesses were encouraged to come forward by journalists from one of the local newspapers Frank has somehow got on the wrong side of.

The pièce de résistance in Frank’s blog entry is his “interview” with Amanda Knox ““ a genuine scoop, it seems. Ms Dempsey told her readers it was “actual comments” from Amanda… the first she has seen.

With this claim in mind, I read the post, noting first that Frank said he “sent” questions to Knox in the Capanne jail. By carrier pigeon? By smoke signals? By a birthday cake with a tape recorder inside? He doesn’t specify.

And he presented the results in the form of a verbatim interview…  in broken English!

Seemingly overwhelmingly obvious to any native speaker of English - any except Ms Dempsey, it appears, who claimed this to be “the first [interview] I’ve seen in English, and not through a politician”  in a post on 3 December.

Rather more astute readers immediately asked Frank what on earth was going on.

He gave some of his trademark evasive and irritated replies - and he even wrote at one point that if readers were confused, then that was good.

Slippery “journalism”

Still, he has steadfastly maintained throughout that, in keeping with the blog’s philosophy, “sentences get reported as they are, they don’t get cleaned or improved or corrected or made understandable.”

How can we square that with the circumstances apparently surrounding the interview, as reluctantly conceded by Frank? If anyone out there can reconstruct this process based on what Frank has revealed under duress, we’d appreciate hearing from them.

Frank insists the interview contains (sic) “just the things she said, she didn’t write them, it’s sentences thrown there in the hurry about the end of the visitation. It’s not that we could record, she said them and then, we came out of there and after the second check point we tried to reconstruct the exact words, correct or not. And that’s exactly what she said, for what it may count.”

Wow. If anyone still feels confused, Frank offers this helpful insight: “Obviously I can’t speak about that and I have to confuse details and movements on purpose.”

Confusion is deliberate!

He then has the gall to ask readers to trust that “what she said is what she said,” and asserts that “the words she said were reconstructed right after, mistakes included, since it was real language and I like to report real language.”

So! Is everyone thoroughly confused by now? I hope so, because that apparently really was Frank’s purpose here.

And what about the actual puffball questions, any actual delivery mechanism aside? The strangest one, added to the original post as an afterthought, concerns a vibrator.

Ms Dempsey has claimed, on more than one occasion, as usual sans proof, that many of the journalists covering the case are males with mid-life issues. Does that also apply to Frank? 

Or perhaps it was added because details even remotely related to Amanda’s sex life sell? Did Frank simply decide to stick with what sells?

Perhaps making it all up as he went along?

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 12/09 at 08:51 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Crime hypothesesFrancesco SforzaComments here (27)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Powerpoints #9: Defense Claim That AK And RS Couldn’t Have Disposed Of Meredith’s Phones Is Wrong

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

It looks like justice for Meredith will get a very strong push from what the mobile phones tell the court.

We don’t know all of this evidence. Possibly not by a long shot. The huge majority of assembled evidence remains sealed until trial, starting just over two weeks away.

A police wiretap on Amanda Knox’s mobile picked up her words “I cannot do it any more” to Raffaele Solecito, which resulted in her being taken in for questioning. The investigation was almost foreshortened right about then.

Triangulation of phone whereabouts seemed to confirm that her employer who Amanda Knox fingered as the perp, Patrick, was actually there near the house. That defense strategy soon fell through.

The mobiles of Meredith, Knox, and Sollecito (Guede did not have one) all seem to have experienced some strange atypical usage and some suspicious switchings-off-and-on on the night in question.

And that formidable national police force, the Polizia delle comunicazioni, first started investigating when two mobiles surprisingly started ringing in a garden the morning after the crime.

That garden - that house -  is about one kilometer from Meredith’s house (you can just see it between trees near top-left above). And less than 100 meters from Guede’s apartment and 200 meters from Sollecito’s apartment (in the center house below), by way of a small city gate.

The Sollecito and Guede defenses maintained that, because that gate is locked at night, there’s no way their clients could have tossed the phones in the garden.  So. Someone else must have done it. Both that and the crime.

Once again we use Powerpoints to examine the possibilities here.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Powerpoints #6: Trace Evidence Seems To Confirm More Than One Perpetrator At Scene

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

This is Judge Paolo Micheli explaining his sentencing of Rudy Guede on 28 October:

[Judge] Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker….  adding that while footprints there [in the house] might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.

Will the judges and jury in the Knox and Sollecito trial early next year reach the same conclusion? It does look probable.

This Powerpoint is a hypothesis about six of those footprints. There seems to have been some sort of clean-up to try to hide them.

But they were revealed by luminol on the floor of the house. An analysis of evidence already in the public domain (there may be more) does point to the presence of three pairs of feet.

A sole-perpetrator theory of the crime might just be viable with two pairs of feet. But it is hard to see how a lone-perpetrator theory can hold up if there were three pairs of feet.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Powerpoints #5: A Graphical Tour Of The Crime Scene Itself

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

Now this is a walk-through of the inside of the fateful house.  This tour of the scene of the crime includes shots of each room of the house, and the police investigators’ evidence markers, with some explanations of what they refer to.

Items seen here and the autopsy and luminol evidence left Judge Paolo Micheli very convinced that this crime involved several perpetrators, and not just the one.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Powerpoints #4: A Very Odd House, In A Very Odd Location

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

This is a presentation on the house and its neighborhood, and why they evolved in the strange way they did.

As a point of departure, take a look at this shot below of the English girls’ house. This is where Meredith spent her last evening.

There must be a dozen apartments in that place.  Hard to imagine any prolonged violence ever taking place in there. Sounds of torture and depravity would travel very easily. Neighbors would be banging on the door in five seconds flat.


In contrast, Meredith’s house was really quite isolated. Arrive from any of three directions - east, west, and down from the walled city - and you chance upon it suddenly and quite counter-intuitively.

Its location below the street and the parking facility, and its almost fort-like, semi-soundproof construction, seem like facilitating factors of the crime - even though we do believe Madame Nara heard something.

Posted by Kermit on 11/09 at 04:41 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Overview PowerpointsCrime hypothesesEvidence & WitnessesOther physicalComments here (1)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Powerpoints #3: A Minute By Minute Visual Guide To The Events On The Night

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

This is a visual hypothesis of the events in Perugia that culminated in Meredith’s violent death.

Every media outfit covering the case might benefit enormously if they were to use such a recreation as their point of departure. Some have long been out of the starter box, of course, and some, especially in the US, have taken off in misleading directions.

But our take on the media now is that they are becoming notably more cautious in face of 10,000 pages of still-sealed evidence and Rudy Guede’s conviction.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Powerpoints #2: A Comprehensive Guide To The Relevant Locations

Posted by Kermit





Perhaps nothing will ever beat walking Perugia to understand where and how this utterly incongruous crime took place. But here is a great second best.

Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tip For Good Reporters: Ground Disappearing From Under Knox-Sollecito Defense

Posted by Peter Quennell





Judge Paolo Micheli has now been interviewed by Messaggero Umbria, a newspaper published in Perugia.

The judge really seems to have arrived at a very clear conception of how the cruel, senseless deed took place.  Observe in particular these findings below.

All of them are devastating to the talking-points of Friends Of Amanda recently parroted in dozens of news outlets.

Three attackers were present

I took the opposite approach to that of the defence teams. The lawyers claimed that there was no proof of conspiracy between the three because they didn’t know each other and Kokomani’s testimony wasn’t reliable. They also said that it would have been impossible for them to have organised the crime since they had previous commitments which then fell through. My starting point was the three’s presence in the room where the crime was committed.

DNA on the bra clasp was RS’s

I don’t believe [the bra clasp] was contaminated. The dna either came from outside or it was in the room. It’s not possible that Raffaele Sollecito’s dna was in that room. He had no reason to go there.

No contamination of the knife DNA

It’s true that Amanda’s dna was also on another knife found at Sollecito’s home but there can’t have been contamination. I checked both the objects seized from the cottage in via della Pergola and Sollecito’s apartment in corso Garibaldi. Only once, on Nov6 last year, were objects taken from both locations on the same day and the officers who entered the two buildings were not the same.

Guede was not unknown to other two

The fact that there were no calls [with Rudy] is easy to explain; since Oct27, Rudy hasn’t had a mobile phone. It was taken off him by the police. One of the couple knew Rudy. Meeting people in Perugia is easy, it could have been a chance meeting too.

There was definitely sexual assault

There are some doubts about the dynamics and the position of the victim’s body when she was stabbed. These are however not sufficent to repudiate the hypothesis of sexual assault…. Sexual assault is also an “˜invasion’ of the body as was described in the autopsy. It is certain that the rapist pulled the victim’s top up. Some blood had also run down onto the trousers. It’s therefore plausible to think that whoever violated the victim put their hand down her trousers.

Why there was no rape

Why didnt they complete a rape?] Because she screamed. Also with a knife at her throat and being held down it’s likely that she shouted out. There is a witness, Nara Capezzali, who said she woke up and was shocked by this scream.

Meredith was restrained while taunted

On the victim’s right-hand there was one small cut, a few milimetres long, in between two fingers. On the left-hand, there were four clearly visible cuts. Also the tip of the finger had blood on it. This indicates that the victim’s right-hand was being held as she tried to defend herself with the left. After the fatal stab, she put her hands on the wound.

That last remark really drives home the true horror of Meredith’s incredibly cruel last few minutes. Someone was ferociously slashing away at Meredith like a maniac with a knife. And then did nothing at all to save her.

Walked out on her while she was still alive, clutching her neck to stop the life-blood flowing out of her.

After months of murky semi-silence from police and prosecutors, now the sentencing dossier quoted below and this interview seem like a fire-hose of information.

Is the judge signaling to the defense that a long-form trial will not work to their advantage? That they should simply cave now? Plead guilty, and hope?

And if they don’t, how on earth can they fight THIS sad, sick, depraved stuff?


Friday, October 24, 2008

Powerpoints #1: A Witness Trashed By Paul Ciolino For CBS In Fact Looks Very Credible

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

The CBS Network is right now at Number One in the American TV network audience wars.

CBS is one of the very best parts of the Viacom brand. It has come to be so liked, watched and respected in the US in part because it has long been dominant in the area of fine investigative reporting.

So why has CBS’s 48 Hours coverage of the Meredith Kercher case been so uniformly appalling? So biased, so emotional, so full of hyperbole and so FACTUALLY FLAT-OUT WRONG?

We frankly don’t know. But we continue our series examining past CBS reporting of the case, and revealing it for the almost consistent junk it has been.

[ADDED: CBS HAS REMOVED THE VIDEO, POSSIBLY BECAUSE IT MADE WILD CLAIMS AGAINST THE POLICE WHICH COULD SEE CBS IN COURT]


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Key Reporting: La Repubblica 22 November 2007

Posted by Peter Quennell

Rudy, the DNA test confirms
“There was a sexual relationship”

Rudy, the DNA test confirms
“There was a sexual relationship”

Rudy Hermann Guede
PERUGIA - The DNA test confirms: Rudy Guede had a sexual relationship with Meredith Kercher the night the girl was killed. These are the first results of the examinations conducted on the young man from the Ivory Coast arrested in Germany. The DNA, taken from the toothbrush seized in Perugia in the boy’s apartment, has been identified in the laboratories of the Scientific Police. That arrived in the evening, is the answer of the comparison between the DNA of the boy and that partial DNA that had already been detected during the autopsy of Meredith and on the scene of the crime. Precisely that partial DNA, which was already known to be of a man, which did not correspond either to Raffaele Sollecito or to Patrick Lumumba, which had been collected with specific tests on the victim’s body. And that testified to a sexual relationship that, as learned, had been incomplete and violent. The same DNA was on the toilet paper in the bathroom. It would seem therefore confirmed that, that evening, Guede forced the young woman to a relationship, before his death. The imprint of his bloody hand on the pillow had already confirmed the presence of the young Ivorian in the murder room.

Meanwhile, from Koblenz, where he is detained , Guede tells his truth: “He was an Italian boy”. “I went to the English girl’s house and we went together,” she tells the German judge. “As soon as I entered, I got a stomach ache and when I was in the bathroom, I heard a shout: there was a young Italian in the house, one I do not know who attacked the girl, stabbed her and ran away. I tried to save her, I picked her up, tried to reanimate her, but then, panicked, I ran away “.

He declares himself innocent, Rudy Guede. The accusation seems to be addressed to Raffaele Sollecito, although a Polish student has confirmed to the police that “Amanda remained in Raffaele’s house at least until 20.40 on the first of November”, more or less the hour of the crime. The investigating judge, however, presses: Rudy “can strike again”.

The judge of Perugia, Claudia Matteini, does not believe in the innocence of the young Ivorian. In the precautionary custody order, in which he orders the arrest of the young man, we read: “From the cruelty of the crime, from the agony in which the victim was left and to the personality of the suspect taken from the quick escape after the crime - wrote the magistrate to justify the provision signed a few days after the murder - there is a real danger that the suspect commits crimes of the same species as that for which it proceeds “.

To collect the testimony of Rudy, the Perugia judges will have to wait a couple more weeks. After the Wednesday hearing, which formally ascertained his identity, Guede will have to appear before the magistrate in Koblenz who will examine Italy’s request for delivery. He will be extradited to Italy not before December 10th.

Meanwhile, the words used by the investigating judge of Perugia remain: Rudy “felt a strong attraction for Amanda”; he used to go to the house that the American student shared with the same age then killed and, the magistrate unveiled, that night Rudy also slept drunk in the apartment in Via Pergola. But it is not written in the ordinance which link binds the attraction that the young black man had for the victim’s friend, and the possibility that he would come back to kill.

It seems clear that the investigators think that the crime is circumscribed between Amanda and Raffaele and Rudy, with roles all to be attributed. That Amanda is the pivot on which revolves the reconstruction of what happened, it seems obvious: his genetic code was discovered on the handle of a kitchen knife by Raffaele, along with the DNA of Meredith. But she keeps repeating that she is not a murderer. In his memorial , tries a desperate defense, then confesses: “I am exhausted and perhaps I confuse the dream with reality”.

Raffaele remains a controversial figure. He swears that that night, in Meredith’s apartment, he did not set foot as he was at his computer , but the results of the checks on his pc would have shown that no one was at the keyboard. Out of the prison there is only one of the four suspects, Lumumba. Arrested in the aftermath of the crime, with Raffaele and Amanda, he was released from prison after two weeks of detention. It remains investigated but, as the investigating judge wrote, “the clues are missing” to keep him in the cell.

( November 22, 2007


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