Category: Other witnesses

Friday, August 28, 2009

Maybe Why Meredith’s House Was So Tough For Some Of The Police-Cars To Find?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Most of the police team seem to have made it with alacrity to 7 via della Pergola on the day after.

They have very fast cars and pretty good navigation. But one or two had to call in for directions.

This led to some ridicule among those who actually think that ridicule helps Amanda Knox.

Their fast route to the house is to head east up the hill from the Questura (if that is where they all came from). Then through Piazza Grimana by the School for Foreigners. And then down to via della Pergola, by way of the famous tee junction.

Click above for the route from Piazza Grimana down to the tee junction (the last several shots there are of the stone steps that Rudy ran up) and then click below for the street sign they would have encountered. 

Via della Pergola heads down to the LEFT here. The street sign says that via San Antonio begins to the RIGHT here.

And Meredith’s house is clearly off to the RIGHT.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trial: ABC News Has The Only End-Of-Day English Report

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Ann Wise’s report. “Rejected offer to leave” seems rather misleading.

In some of the Italian reports it is observed that Knox was told very soon after the death of Meredith was discovered that she was not allowed to leave Perugia for the time being, so she really had no choice but to stay. Cousin Dorothy and Ann Wise seem not to have known this.

In fact all of the key witnesses including Meredith’s English friends were told to remain in Perugia until the investigations were further advanced. Although it was very tough on them all because of a voracious media, they had to remain there for some weeks.

Only two witnesses were heard today - the second was the mobile phone specialist that Ann Wise mentions - leaving half a dozen witnesses to testify tomorrow or after the summer break.

We are told that the uncertainty about whether Judge Massei would be recovered enough to preside this Friday and Saturday resulted in several scheduling problems and forced absences. This is a busy press corps and few of them actually live in Perugia.

Apparently Judge Massei looked well and very attentive today, and interrogated the mobile phone specialist on his contribution to the timeline for the morning after.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Trial: Il Messagero Describes Testimony Of Knox Relative From Germany

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the original report in Italian on the testimony of Aunt Dorothy.

The woman, who lives in Germany, said she listened to Knox on the phone after the murder, and found her “scared and confused.”

Dorothy claimed to have suggested to Amanda to come to Germany, but she said ‘no’ because she wanted to be of help to the police and answer questions.

The relative of Amanda also said that the young American, before being arrested, wanted to “meet the father of Meredith to console him and tell him what she knew.”

Other defense testimony today will focus on the mobile phones, the effects of smoking marijuana, and the nature of the knife Sollecito carried at all times.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/17 at 01:47 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (6)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Trial: Testimony Of Sollecito’s Childhod Friends From Giovinazzo

Posted by Peter Quennell


The defense DNA experts Carlo Torre and Gino Sara have been postponed into next week.

Testifying today instead were five friends of Sollecito’s. He was born in Giovinazzo on the flat and underpopulated south-eastern coast. Giovinazzo (images) is just north of Bari, where his father practices medicine.

Four childhood friends from there testified along with one who knew him in Perugia. Some translated excerpts:

Raffaele is a romantic, shy, kind, and always available, and honest with everyone…. The television described him as a womanizer, in fact he was shy and introverted. 

He typically carries a knife in his pocket. For him it was a decorative object to be matched to his clothes. He was once wrapped in toilet paper with a meat cleaver and photographed for a joke.

He occasionally smoked a joint, but was not a habitual consumer of hashish, and would not use other drugs. The joints had a sedative effect and made him want to sleep,

Concerning his first sexual intercourse, he had told one of his friends he had been with a girl from Brindisi who lived in Perugia in 2004 or 2005.

Sollecito then issued a correction. “It was actually in 2007” he said through his lawyer.

The civil lawyer for the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca, made it clear that he was skeptical of much of the testimony.

Perhaps with good reason. Sollecito wrote in his occasional newspaper column in Bari that he was a virgin when he met Amanda Knox.



Friday, July 03, 2009

Trial: Not Even These Days Will Be Easy For The Defense Teams

Posted by Kermit



[Sollecito’s lawyers Buongiorno and Mauri last October]

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the upcoming defence “experts”, unless there’s some statement like “and then the investigator picked up the bra clasp after picking his nose”.

If I were on the jury, the first thing I would ask myself is “why are there Carabinieri - who are part of the state police structure - declaring against their brethren’s work, the investigation done by the Polizia?”.

Why? for two reasons: the different state police units all compete with one another for historical reasons. We have the same thing here in Spain between the Guardia Civil and the National Police. Organizations with different historical roots and overlapping roles which compete between themselves.

Something else to consider in the Perugia case - and probably more significant than competitiveness between police branches - is that Raffaele’s sister is a Carabinieri, and the taped Sollecito Family phone conversations show her to be one of the most active members in behind the scenes “making water flow uphill” activities.

if I were Mignini, in my turn to cross-examine the Carabinieri witnesses, the first and only question I would have is: “are you aware that the sister of Raffaele Sollecito is also a Carabinieri like you, and that the immediate famly of the accused is under investigation for perverting the course of justice?”.

It doesn’t matter how they answer.

As regards Carlo Torre, for as respected as he is, I see him simply as an “outside defense expert”, who is to be expected to counter the prosecution forensics. Carlo Torre is not a surprise figure who the Defence have just found, but he has been making comments in the press on behalf of Amanda’s team for months now. I recall - I believe - that he has also been on Matrix or another TV show opining on the case.

The jurors know it and may well take the attitude of “well even though he’s a respected scruffy old professor, he has been making PR noise for some time now in favor of Amanda, from months before the detailed technical data was released with the final investigation report”.

Mignini could have one question for Torre: “Professor Torre, please tell the jury the first time you appeared on television or you were quoted in an article concerning this crime, where you expressed an opinion on the evidence”.

He would give a date from over a year ago. In the John Follain The Times interview with Curt and Edda, they refer to Torre saying that Meredith’s DNA on the Double DNA knife “could belong to half the population of Italy”

Okay, next week may be tough. It wouldn’t be any other way, as it’s the Defences’ turn to bamboozle the jury with their smoke and mirrors show. But the jury knows that behind the curtain, there’s a meek, weak Wizard pulling a few cables and levers.

The same creaky levers we’ve been hearing over and over for over a year and a half now.



[Knox’s lawyers Sollecito’s lawyers Ghirgha and Vedova last October]

Posted by Kermit on 07/03 at 12:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesReal timelinesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (0)

The Trial Resumes: The Court Agenda For Friday, Saturday And Monday

Posted by Peter Quennell

On Friday and Saturday Raffaele Sollecito’s defense will interrogate several of the Carabinieri who will explain how they think the police made mistakes at the crime scene. 

And on Monday the forensic scientist Carlo Torre will testify for Amanda Knox’s defense team. Dr. Torre is one of the most prominent forensic scientists in Italy and some of those he has testified for have walked.

These witnesses may make a dent or they may not. It is common to have experts from within law enforcement who say, well, they would have done it another way.

Mr Torre may be more impressive but the forensics are only a fraction of the case and no-one else has undermined them so far.

And there is the endlessly confounding question hanging over Knox: who moved Meredith later - much later? 

A whole day of prosecution evidence on the final day was offered on this belated rearrangement of the crime scene.

It may leave Mr Torre pretty stuck for an answer.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trial: Defense Witness Testifies To Occurence In Nearby Piazza The Next Day

Posted by Peter Quennell


AGI is reporting the testimony of the final witness for today. A quick translation:

Alessia Ceccarelli, the girlfriend of the owner of the newsstand in Grimana Square (above and below; house is down the hill) stated that she had noticed a “boy” on the morning of November 2 around 7:00-7:30 who shouted on his cellphone “kill you bitch’.”

She remembered that the boy was wearing a white wool cap, a dark jacket and jeans, and had “dirty blood on the right hand.”

AGI adds that this is a fact that already emerged in the past but which, according to investigators, was found to have no connection with the crime.

On the Perugia Murder File Forum our poster Brian has posted this comment.

This guy is a total red herring. He’d just had an argument with his girlfriend. She, somewhat forcibly, threw him out of the house and he shouted “kill you bitch” into his mobile phone.

He was seen by lots of people cursing and swearing while washing his bloody arm in the fountain. He was soon picked up by an ambulance and taken to hospital. He was a known junky.




Trial: Defense Witnesses On Scream On The Night And On Relationships.

Posted by Peter Quennell


Today a Tuesday is for the first time a trial date as the momentum speeds up before the summer break. A verdict has been predicted for the end of October. 

L’Unione Sarda and AffarItaliaNI are reporting the testimony of the first two defense witnesses for the day.

Pasqualino Coletta from Rome was the driver of the car that would not start on the street above the house on the night in question and had to be towed away. He stated that he heard no scream or any sound of broken glass. He explained that he was on via Pergola between 10.30 and 11:00 pm and “was not attracted to anything in particular.”

And Marzana Marco, a student who lived downstairs, stated that he noticed no friction between Meredith and her flatmate. He also described the two times that Rudy Guede had slept on the sofa of their apartrment.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

How The Media Should Approach The Case If Justice Is To Be Done And SEEN To Be Done

Posted by Hellodalai


The American media are really playing with fire here.

This is one of the most seriously misreported cases in recent history, and a line really needs to be drawn.

Much of the media are doing no digging, consulting no Italians, repeatedly recycling discredited sources and those with a vested interest in the outcome, stating facts that are not facts, ignoring other facts that really are facts, revealing no understanding of how the Italian judicial process works, and often depicting the Italian professionals with contempt.

And so far no-one is really calling them on it.

From this perspective, I have been reading all the articles and information on this case for the past few days. I too was very disappointed in the NY Time pieces by Egan.  Rather than attempt to discuss the facts and evidence that are known so far, he painted “broad brush” strokes to argue that this trial is unfair.

The TIME magazine report just below - where the reporter basically allowed a Knox advocate to state her position unchallenged - is equally mediocre in terms of investigative and reporting quality. It was one of dozens that have done that.

Here is my own analysis of the case which I advance as the appropriate depth that EVERY reporter and print and TV analyst should aim to achieve before they start telling the rest of us what to think.

Motive

Egan points out that Amanda Knox had no motive to kill or participate in killing Meredith Kercher.

I agree that there seems to be little evidence on this issue.  One roommate testified as to tensions between Amanda and Meredith.  Roommate tensions are common, though, and rarely lead to murder.

Neither Rudy Guede, who has been convicted already, nor Raffaele Sollecito, who was Amanda’s boyfriend of less than two weeks, seemingly had motives, either.

All three were young adults who liked alcohol, music, marijuana, and sex (although Rudy has been described as a petty thief and small time drug dealer; other reports state he had no criminal convictions). None seemed likely to erupt into a murderous rage.

One of the downstairs male students testified that Guede expressed some interest in Amanda and said that Meredith was beautiful.  Sollecito wrote in a newspaper column that he was a 23 year old virgin when he met Amanda.

So Sollecito was vulnerable to Amanda’s influence.  Guede may have wanted to gain Amanda’s favor.  Add alcohol and drugs and group dynamics and - the threesome may have spun out of control.

Since the murder, Amanda’s behavior could certainly be questioned.  Who does cartwheels at a police station during an investigation of their murdered roommate?  What defendant wears a shirt to their murder trial that says “All you need is love” when the prosecution is trying to portray them as someone with out-of-control sexual behavior?

If this case rested solely on whether Amanda had a motive to kill Meredith, I would agree with Egan’s stance that the trial is unfair.  Egan seems to stop at that issue, however, and seems unwilling to examine all the evidence objectively.

DNA Evidence

One of the better reports on the case included this statement:

“But perhaps more damning even than the knife was Stefanoni’s testimony that a mix of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the floor in the bedroom of a third roommate, Filomena Romanelli. While it might not be noteworthy to find mixed genetic traces of residents of the same house, Romanelli’s room is critical in this crime.

Her window was broken with a large rock that prosecutors believe was used to stage a break-in. The mixed Knox-Kercher trace was found after investigators used luminol, a substance used in forensic science to bring out blood that had been cleaned up.

In addition, Stefanoni testified that a mixture of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood was found on the drain of the bidet, on the bathroom sink, and on a Q-Tip box in the girls’ bathroom.”

That is FOUR different blood samples with mixed Knox-Kercher DNA.  Yes, it does seem that the investigative methods were sloppy and not all samples may be reliable (I acknowledge that there are some problems with the prosecution’s case).

But I have yet to read even one article where a reputable DNA expert can explain why sloppy police procedures would result in four separate mixed blood samples.  I did read one explanation that Amanda bled from a pierced ear—thus providing some explanation, although weak, for why her blood may have been in the bathroom.  That doesn’t explain why her blood was in the bedroom of Filomena Romanelli (another of her roommates) or why her blood was found mixed with Meredith’s - or why her blood would be recoverable from an area that had been cleaned after the murder to eliminate evidence.

Similarly, the DNA evidence from Sollecito, found on Meredith’s bra clasp is not explained away by scientific reasoning.  True, the police left the clasp in Meredith’s room (which was sealed) for weeks and did not retrieve it, but DNA is not transferred by “flying DNA”; there is no “innocent” scientific explanation why Sollecito’s DNA (not sloughed dead cells, which do not contain DNA) would affix itself to a bra clasp worn by the murder victim after the clasp had been torn from her body.

As to the DNA evidence found on the knife located in Sollecito’s apartment,  the DNA sample from Meredith was very tiny, according to reports, and the DNA from Amanda could be explained by her using the knife at Sollecito’s apartment. (Sollecito explained Meredith’s DNA by stating she had come to his apartment for dinner with Amanda and that he had accidentally pricked her. But no witnesses have been found who remember Meredith ever talking about going to Sollecito’s apartment)

True, the knife is not the same size as most wounds on Meredith, but it is the same size as one wound. The knife showed evidence of bleach cleaning and some scratches (Sollecito’s apartment showed a lot of evidence of bleach cleaning, even though his maid did not use bleach to clean).

Clean up motives and evidence

I have yet to see a careful review of the testimony and possible conclusions that may be drawn from the known facts and circumstantial evidence, including the clean up after the murder—which, to me, are very compelling.

The neighbor has testified that she heard a very loud, long scream that night (presumably Meredith’s last), followed not long thereafter by the sounds of two to three different people running from the area (it was unusual to hear people running at that time of night).  The neighbor was 69 and could not remember exactly the date she heard the screaming, but she was firm that it was the night before Meredith’s murder was discovered.

It is not a stretch to link the screaming to Meredith, given that loud, long piercing screams are uncommon.  Also, a murderer or murderers would realize that Meredith’s scream may bring the police at any moment—so running from the crime would be expected. 

The uncontradicted testimony is that there was a fair amount of effort to “clean up” the crime scene (the defense merely claims that Knox and Sollecito were not involved). It also appears that whoever came back for the “clean up” also broke a window in Filomena’s bedroom (as mentioned, one of the two other roommates living upstairs; there were also four male students living downstairs in a separate unit), in an attempt to throw the investigating police off the scent. 

Filomena testifed that she found clothes strewn around her room the next day and that she had left the room tidy.  She testified that glass from the window broken in her bedroom was on top of those strewn clothes.  If the window was broken by someone entering the home who was intent on rape and/or robbery, then the glass would not be on top of the clothes as those clothes would not have been under the window then (Filomena also testified that she had valuables in plain view in her bedroom and that none were taken).

The evidence suggests that someone placed these clothes around the room and THEN broke the window to “stage a scene” (as there is no explanation for why anyone would have any motive to randomly take clothes and throw them around a room).

Let’s start with Guede first and the assumption that he came back to the home that night - either by himself - or with someone other than Amanda and Sollecito.

Guede’s motivation to come back to the crime scene would be to clean up the most incriminating evidence against him and to stage this crime scene to lead the police in a direction away from him.

Guede left DNA inside Meredith, bled on Meredith’s body, and left a bloody hand print on the pillow underneath Meredith’s head.  He also left feces in the bathroom toilet (the bathroom near Filomena’s bedroom - -not the “bloody” bathroom between Meredith and Amanda’s bedrooms).  He would know that if he came back to clean.  He would know that that evidence would be the strongest against him.

During this “clean up phase,” the DNA inside Meredith, Guede’s blood on Meredith’s body, the bloody hand print, and Guede’s feces in the bathroom toilet were all left untouched. 

The “clean up phase” spent a lot of time in the bathroom next to Meredith’s bedroom (it was also next to Amanda’s bedroom), the hallway, and Filomena’s bedroom, where the “break-in” was staged (it is possible at least part of this crime occurred in the bathroom, as Meredith’s blood was found on the bathroom light switch when it was in an up position - meaning it was touched when the light was on.  The bathroom had numerous droplets of her blood, some of which were commingled with Amanda’s blood.)

Despite the cleanup in Filomena’s bedroom, the police were still able to obtain DNA samples.  Guede’s DNA was not found in either the bathroom or Filomena’s bedroom.

Six bloody footprints from bare feet were identified.  One was visible to the naked eye in the bathroom and five were visible only after the police used luminol, which allows blood evidence cleaned by bleach to become visible under a special light.  The luminol did reveal five bloody footprints that had been cleaned up (one shoe print was also found under Meredith’s pillow - the print is consistent with the size of Amanda’s shoe).

None of the six bloody footprints are consistent with the size of Guede’s feet.  All six of these footprints are consistent with the size of Amanda and/or Sollecito’s feet.

Why would Guede concentrate his clean-up efforts on areas where there is little to no evidence from him and ignore the areas where there is substantial evidence of his involvement?  Wouldn’t he at least flush the toilet?

As to the staged “break-in,” would Guede be motivated to set this up?  If the police believed a “break-in” had occurred, would they then be led away from investigating Guede as a suspect?

If the police believed that a break-in had occurred, then they would focus on looking for someone who was either a complete stranger to Meredith or someone she would not readily admit to her home late in the evening if they knocked on her door unanounced.  Guede was not a complete stranger.  One of the four male students who lived in the separate unit downstairs testified that Guede sometimes came to the apartment of the four male students and met and talked to Amanda and Meredith there (the testimony is that Meredith dated one of those four male students).

The evidence suggests that Guede only slightly knew Meredith. So, Guede was not someone who could knock unannounced on Meredith’s door late at night (at least 9:30—after Meredith talked to her mother) and be readily admitted. 

Guede had no motivation to stage a “break-in” because a break-in would in no way lead the police away from his scent.  Plus, there is no evidence that Guede was ever in Filomena’s bedroom where the “break-in” was staged.  If he had participated in this staging, a footprint consistent with the size of his feet should have been illuminated by the police’s luminol.

It wasn’t.

Conclusions that jurors would normally draw from facts and the circumstantial evidence relating to the “clean up” and “break-in” point to someone OTHER than Guede participating in the “clean-up” and “staged break-in.”

Let’s now look at the assumption that Amanda and her boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, were the ones who came back for the “clean up” and “staged break-in.”

If Amanda and Sollecito were with Guede when the murder occurred (accounting for the extra footsteps running away shortly after the last scream of Meredith) and then came back to get rid of evidence of their guilt, their motivation would be to clean up their blood and DNA evidence and lead police away from their scent.

As for whether Amanda bled that night, another roommate of Amanda’s and Meredith’s, Laura, testified that she saw a a mark under Amanda’s chin the day after the murder that was not there the day before the murder; Laura testified the mark was not a hickey as a hickey would have been purple and more round. 

I have read two different comments on this issue from Amanda’s father.  One stated that the mark was merely a hickey and is evidence she spent the night with her boyfriend.  Another was that a physician examining Amanda on Nov. 6th - -the murder occurred the evening of Nov. 1st - did not note a mark under the chin.  (Interestingly, the police interrogating Amanda the next day did not report such a mark, either).

I then found a photo that was posted online taken of Amanda the day after the murder.  It clearly shows a mark under her chin—and would account for her blood being found at the apartment.



[click for larger image]

If Amanda and Sollecito did the “clean up,” they would be motivated to leave evidence of Guede’s guilt and point the police in his direction.

Forensics don’t show either way whether bleach was used to clean up Meredith and Amanda’s apartment, though it was used in Sollecito’s apartment AND on the knife found in his apartment containing the DNA of Meredith and Amanda. 

The Conad store owner reported the presence of Amanda in the household cleaners part of his store early on the morning after the murder (when Amanda and Sollecito contend they were asleep) although rumored receipts for bleach were not presented at trial.

Meredith’s body, which contained Guede’s DNA and his blood (mixed with hers) was not cleaned and Guede’s feces was not flushed from the toilet.

The bathroom, which even after the cleaning, contained Amanda’s blood mixed with Meredith’s and a bloody footprint which is consistent with the size of Sollecito’s foot (trial testimony was that it was “likely” Sollecito’s footprint), had a lot of cleaning activity.

The hallway and Filomena’s bedroom, which even after the bleaching contained Amanda’s blood mixed with Meredith’s and bloody footprints, was the site of a lot of cleaning activity (these footprints were all consistent with the size of the feet of Amanda and Sollecito, but not consistent with the size of Guede’s feet) .

The “cleaning” evidence, and conclusions which may be drawn from it, point to Amanda and Sollecito as participants.

Would Amanda and Sollecito have a motive to stage a break-in?  Amanda obviously had a key to the unit and did not have to break into her own apartment.  If there was no sign of a break-in, police would probably focus on people who had a key to the apartment or friends of Meredith she would readily admit to her apartment at 9:30 at night.  If there was no sign of a break-in, police would question Amanda and Sollecito at length - and they would obviously know that.

Amanda and Sollecito had a strong motive to stage a break-in to focus police on looking for a stranger, or someone like Guede who only knew Meredith very casually.

What about the next morning?  Let’s first assume Amanda was innocent and she is being truthful when she testified that she did not come home until around 11:30 the next morning.

Amanda testified that when she came home around 11:30 a.m. that the apartment door was open, that there was visible blood in the bathroom (which would have been numerous scattered blood drops, a ten inch smear on the bathroom door, and a bloody footprint on the floor) and that there was feces in a toilet.  Amanda says that she called out for Meredith and no one answered.

She then took a shower and went to Filomena’s bathroom and used her dryer to dry her hair (this is the bathroom with Guede’s feces;  this toilet is different than American toilets in that it had a large flat area so that the standing water in the toilet did not submerge the feces) and returned to her boyfriend’s apartment.

If Amanda were truly innocent when she arrived that morning, wouldn’t she also try to open the door to Meredith’s bedroom after Meredith did not answer, even when she banged on her door more than once?  Amanda’s fingerprints were not found on the door knob and she has never testified that she tried to open the door.  Sollecito testified that when he arrived later with Amanda that he tried to open the door - and his fingerprints are on the door knob.

If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she text Meredith, as she did several times two days before?  Wouldn’t she call both of Meredith’s cell phones and let them ring to see if they were in her bedroom? (Phone records show she called each phone one time; one for three seconds and the other for four seconds, despite Amanda telling Filomena that day that she had called Meredith’s cell phones and that the phones just kept ringing) 

If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she also call out for Filomena and Laura - because she would not know for sure if they might have returned that morning (she knew Filomena had spent the night in town and that Laura was in a nearby town)?  Wouldn’t she look into their bedrooms (Filomena’s door was closed that morning, according to Amanda; Sollecito says it was open) and have noticed that Filomena’s bedroom window was broken and her clothes were strewn about? (When Amanda first called Filomena she did not mention that Filomena’s bedroom had been broken into).

If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she have just flushed the exposed feces down the toilet?

If Amanda were innocent and truthful, wouldn’t her hair three hours later look like it had been washed and blow dried that day?  Look again at the photo posted above.  It was taken about three hours after the alleged washing and blow drying.  Is that the hair of a woman who washed and blow dried her hair three hours earlier?

Wouldn’t Amanda have noticed that the lamp in her bedroom, which was the only source of light for that room, was missing? (Police later found it in Meredith’s room).  Wouldn’t she have immediately noticed the missing lamp when she first entered her bedroom that morning so that she would have immediately either left the apartment without taking a shower or called the police to come over? (Police and phone records show that Sollecito didnt call them until 12:54, even though the Postal and Communications Police had been at the apartment with Sollecito and Amanda since 12:26 - the Postal Police unexpectedly showed up at the apartment because Meredith’s cell phones had been found.)

People react differently to unexpected happenings and Amanda may not have done all of those things, but surely she would have done at least one of them.

If Amanda were truthful about showering and drying her hair, wouldn’t her fingerprints be in both bathrooms? (Since these activities would have occurred AFTER the clean up).  The police only found one of her fingerprints in her residence - on a glass in her kitchen.

As to this time frame, what about the recent trial testimony of Amanda’s mother that Amanda told her in their first phone call that day that she thought someone was in her apartment?  Cell phone records place that call at 12:47, some 21 minutes after the Postal Police arrived. (A nearby video camera documents that time, as does Postal Police log records;  the defense has tried to argue that the Postal Police did not arrive until after 1:00 p.m., but do not have evidence for that position.  In fact, Filomena testified that she arrived back at her apartment before 1:00 and that the Postal Police were already there.)

Postal Police testified that both Amanda and Sollecito were in Amanda’s bedroom with the door closed at 12:47 - the bedroom with no lamp or overhead light (neither Amanda nor Sollecito mentioned to the Postal Police or Filomena when they emerged from that bedroom after many minutes that the only lamp in the room was missing).

Let’s keep assuming Amanda was innocent.  Would she have come back to her apartment with Sollecito, still not having called police, and then start a load of washing of Meredith’s clothes? (The Postal Police said the washing machine was running when they entered;  Filomena, who arrived a little later, said that the washing machine was still warm and contained Meredith’s clothes.)

Amanda has testified that she got out a mop and bucket the first time she went to her apartment that day and took it back to Sollecito’s because there was water on his apartment floor from water used in cooking pasta the night before (Sollecito said, however, that the water was from a broken pipe;  Sollecito’s diary written in prison talks of a dinner of stir fry mushrooms and vegetables).

Who has water spills from cooking pasta so large that the next day it is still puddled to the degree it needs to be mopped?  Who voluntarily carries a mop and bucket several blocks to clean up water from cooking pasta the night before? (Especially a person who has been labeled in trial testimony as messy and unkempt in their cleaning habits).

If Amanda were innocent, wouldn’t she and Sollecito have called the police after Sollecito tried to open Meredith’s locked bedroom door and couldn’t open it?

Instead of calling the police, Amanda and Raffaele went outside and stood next to the mop and bucket.  Why didn’t they just put the mop and bucket back up in the apartment when they first arrived?  Why leave it outside the apartment?  Why then go back out and stand next to the mop?

If Amanda and Sollecito were innocent, that means that Guede (and perhaps one or two accomplices) murdered Meredith, then ran away, and then came back at some point and cleaned up the crime scene PARTIALLY (but ignoring and leaving the most damning evidence against him) and THEN GUEDE CAME BACK that morning after Amanda had showered and left - so that GUEDE could do a LOAD OF WASHING of Meredith’s clothes - presumably blood stained, all the while ignoring his feces in the toilet and his bloody hand print on the pillow under Meredith’s body - only for GUEDE to then leave again right before Amanda and Sollecito arrived (so the washing machine would still be running when the Postal Police arrived a short while later).

What type of person or persons would come back to a crime scene to clean it up?

The most likely person to return to a crime scene for a clean up is someone who knows that they can do a clean up with little chance of being caught. 

Guede might have known that the four male students downstairs were all away due to his occasional appearances there.  But how would Guede know that Filomena and Laura, the other two upstairs roommates, would not come back either that night or in the morning?

Amanda and Sollecito, on the other hand, would know that everyone who lived in the house would be gone and that they could do a clean up that would take some time and have a good chance of not being caught in the act.  Only the unexpected appearance of the Postal and Communications Police interrupted the mopping and cleaning (as there was still a ten inch blood smear on the bathroom door near Meredith’s bedroom and numerous visible blood droplets).

No one else other than Amanda and Sollecito, and who may have been involved, had such knowledge.   

Conclusion

     

The facts, testimony, and conclusions that may reasonably be drawn from the evidence, including circumstantial evidence (that is what juries do all the time), lead me to believe that Amanda will be found guilty.

Let any reporter or analyst run the case through their minds at this depth and then make sure that at a minimum, they keep their cool and don’t misrepresent.

When I read an article or blog in the New York Times or Time magazine, I expect thorough, well-reasoned, well-researched, investigative journalism. Judicial cases DEMAND it.

Instead, here I have found articles that IGNORED the evidence and some very mediocre journalism. What happened to journalistic standards?  Where is the public outcry against the U.S. media’s handling of this case? 

For the sake of true justice, a line now needs to be drawn.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Trial: The Testifying Parents Of The Defendants Arrive At The Courthouse

Posted by Peter Quennell



[courtesy AP, click for larger image]



[courtesy ANSA, click for larger image]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/19 at 03:49 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (2)

Trail: TGCOM Reports On The First Of Edda Mellas’s Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report in Italian. A quick translation of the first testimony of Mrs Mellas:

After the murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox never thought of leaving Italy. So said the mother of the young American, Edda Mellas, testifying before the Court of Assizes of Perugia.

The woman is responding assisted by an interpreter. She reported that her daughter had a good relationship with Meredith and the other flatmates…

Edda Mellas spoke of the conversation with Amanda in prison November 10. “She was feeling badly for the fact that Patrick had been dragged into this brutal story,” she explained. “She felt badly for having advanced the name of Patrick”...


Trial: Dr Sollecito Testifies About The Human Qualities Of His Son

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click image above for the first brief report from the Associated Press.

The father of an Italian man accused of killing a British student in Italy says his son was never violent and would not “hurt a fly”...

Francesco Sollecito told the court Friday that his son is not violent. He said his son liked to carry “small knives” in his pockets, a habit he picked up when he was younger.

This testimony is of less interest, perhaps, in the UK and the US than the Knox-Mellas testimony coming up. But Italy is following this with some fascination.

Why the interest?

Well, in part because Dr Sollecito and several of his family might come under indictment for interfering with the case.

Added: A quick translation of the testimony from TGCOM

He spoke of “gross errors that are causing his son to be in prison… [He] referred in particular to a shoe imprint attributed initially to his son but then found to be a Rudy Guede print.

“We were always convinced as to the absolute innocence and total strangeness of the allegations against Raffaele. We have been in compliance with the law, to find any way to help him.”

[he] referred to a dossier prepared to show that the scene of the crime was amended by the forensic teams between the first and second visit.

Some images, such as those of the victim’s body were then distributed by Telenorba and that possible illegal action is being investigated by the prosecutor of Perugia for breach of privacy and abetting.

Raffaele pampered Amanda Knox like a baby…. According to the Pugliese doctor “there was a nice story” between the two ex-lovers. “Raffaele talked with Amanda as he had never done with other girls.”

And Nick Pisa reports further in the Evening Standard:

Mr Sollecito, from Giovinazzo near Bari, told the court: “Raffaele told me he had just started a beautiful love story with Amanda. He loved her and he adored her.

“He spoke to me about her in a way that he had never done about other girls. Raffaele had a certain affection towards Amanda.”

Mr Sollecito also told the court that his son had a habit of carrying knives. When he was arrested in connection with the murder a flick-knife was found in his pocket.

He said: “It’s a habit he has had since childhood. He grew up in the country and he always carried a knife. He is not violent, he would not hurt a fly. I had told him not carry a knife around.”

The knife found on Sollecito is not the murder weapon.

Instead, a 30cm kitchen knife found at his house with DNA from Meredith on the blade and DNA from Knox on the handle is said to be compatible with the wounds to her neck.

Mr Sollecito is himself under investigation for leaking material relevant to the investigation to journalists in Bari and defended his actions in court.

He said: “To me and my family it is obvious that some very big mistakes have been made and my son is innocent. He has spent nearly two years in jail for something he did not do.

“Everything I did was in complete respect of the law. Once I saw the film of the scene from the first search after the murder and the subsequent one in December it was clear that mistakes had been made.”

Mr Sollecito also said he knew his son had taken drugs in the past, adding that he had received a letter from police in Giovinazzo advising him about his son’s drug habit.

 


Monday, April 27, 2009

Italian Media Is Reporting On The House Now The Owner Has It Back

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]




Above: the panoramic view, from north-east to north-west, that Meredith would have looked out onto from her window.

The last shot above is approximately in the direction of her family and her home in the UK.

Meredith’s room and other places in the house where there was still trace-evidence of her murder were cleaned over the weekend.

Her books, photos and other personal items, all of which her family want back, were long ago removed as evidence. They are in police custody and all will end up in their possession.

This afternoon the owner through her lawyer made the house available to the two other women who lived upstairs and the men who lived downstairs. They and their families and representatives were invited to come by and collect all their possessions.

ANSA reports that only Knox’s father Curt Knox showed up.

Meredith’s two flatmates Filomena and Laura did not appear, though it is believed that they still live in Perugia. Apparently none of the boys showed up either.

Knox’s father filled a plastic bag and a suitcase with Amanda Knox’s gear. He left the house in the rain. “Personal things of my daughter,” he said to journalists without wanting to reveal what they were.

Apparently the items did include mountain-climbing gear. Knox to our knowledge had not done any climbing in Europe prior to her being arrested.

The interior of 7 Via della Pergola has apparently so far not been made available to any journalists. But it seems the owner has received big offers for exclusive pictures.

Craftsmen have already begun installing bars on the windows, to make the house more secure in the future. They are also assessing the interior work needed to make the place once again rentable.

A woman who was apparently the wife of one of the craftsmen entered the cottage with a holy picture. She left it in the room where Meredith breathed her last.

A pity that the owner seems less caring.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Steel Stairs That Suspiciously Clanged On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click above for the series]

Neighbor and witness Nara Capezzali has testified that she heard feet running across the top deck of the parking facility and up some steel stairs.

Despite some truly absurd claims to the contrary we believe every word of this testimony.

Click here for a series of images of the route Ak and RS appear to have followed.

The top of the parking facility at night is well, deathly quiet. You can hear anything that moves. And those steel stairs are so noisy, you would think they had been designed as a giant musical instrument.

Because of something the witness in the park said, we think it was TWO sets of feet: Knox’s and Sollecito’s. What the witness in the park said was that Knox and Sollecito approached the park from the street ABOVE the park.

And also, two witnesses have confirmed that it was Rudy Guede who ran up the stone steps alone, and bumped into one of them.

Across the deck, up the steel stairs, through the arch, up the street, past the gelateria, and down a few of the stone steps to the park.

About a half of a kilometer or a quarter of a mile in total.

By the way, from the point by the arch up the street and down the stone steps, this is the route that MEREDITH also followed that evening, not long before, on her final way home from the English girls’ place.


Monday, March 30, 2009

The Locations That Various Witnesses Have Been Talking About

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the full series, all shot within 300 meters of Meredith’s house.

Four witnesses on Friday, three on Saturday, and several previously have testified that they saw things in these areas.

This shot above is where Sollecito and Knox may have been seen sitting on a low wall on the night. Near the railing there is a good view down to the gate of the house.

As with all our shots on TJMK, these will expand when you click on them.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Four More Eeyewitnesses

Posted by stewarthome2000

[click for larger image]

On Saturday the court heard from Antonio Curatolo, Fabrizio Giofreddi, Antonio Aiello, and Hekuran Kokomani, and Sollecito made another statement.

1) Antonio Curatolo (above)

He is a fixture in Perugia. He is a vagrant that spends most of his time hanging around Corso Garibaldi (the street where Sollecito lived) and Piazza Grimana (the piazza in front of the School for Foreigners within eyeshot of the gate of Meredith’s house on Via della Pergola).

The crowd murmured as he was helped in by court assistants, uncleaned and dressed in an old jacket and winter knit hat. His skin was dark against his long un-groomed white hair, beard and mustache. But once he opened his mouth, you knew that this guy was no slouch. He spoke clearly, concisely and directly, and was very certain of what he saw.

His testimony never swayed and was consistent even under cross examination. In short, his appearance was one thing, his articulate convincing testimony was another.

He stated that he has been a regular hobo (for lack of a better term) around that part of Perugia for about 8-9 years. He testified that he was in Piazza Grimani around 9:30-10:00pm when he saw across the piazza two people, a man and a woman. He described them as a couple from the way they were sitting next to one another.

He was asked to describe them and he turned and looked at Amanda, just a few feet away, and said calmly, “it was her”, and then looked at Sollecito and said “and him.” He stated that having been in that area he had seen them before separately, but this was the first time he saw them together. But he was certain it was them.

He said also that, although he did not watch them all the time, he did see them again “poco prima di mezzanotte” or “just before midnight” at the same place. He originally said that they were there from 9:30 through midnight, but clarified that they were there at 9:30-10:00pm and may have left around 11-11:30 and then returned to be there just before midnight.

After midnight, he left the piazza to go to the park and sleep.

The next day, he arrived at his faithful piazza around 12:00pm, and eventually, around 1:30 or so, he saw the carabinieri pass by, and the police and crime scene staff, and stated that he watched them at the scene, including the CSI people dressed in the full-white suits.

Under cross-examination, Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno may have thought she had an easy target. But in fact he held up extremely well. She asked, “how could you possibly know it was 9:30?” and he responded “Because the sign next to the piazza has a digital clock. I look at it often to check the time”.

He stated that “when I sat on the bench to read I looked at my watch and it was just before 9:30pm”¦.and I saw them shortly afterwards.” He said he knows what he saw, and he saw those two! No more questions.

2) Fabrizio Giofreddi

He was also a pretty good witness, confident and unwavering in his testimony. He stated that on October 30th he parked his car right at the junction where Via Della Pergola begins and the street leads up to the piazza Grimana, which he described as being across from the pub “contropunto”.

He was sure of the date because when he was leaving he scratched the car next to him and left a note for the driver of the other car and wrote down the information (license plate etc.) and the date and time. He said that he arrived and parked around 5:00pm and saw four people coming from the driveway of the house walking on to the road.

He said that he saw Amanda, Raffaele, Meredith, and a black man which he believes was Rudy as he had seen him before, but could not be 100% sure. He did say he was 99% sure, but could not say “cento per cento” or “without any doubt”. He stated that he noted them so well he could even state what they were wearing.

He said that Meredith had jeans and a dark coat and high heels, Amanda had a red coat with large buttons (which he described as 60’s style) and jeans, and Raf had on a long dark jacket and dark pants. He stated that because the black person was behind the rest, he saw his face but did not see well what he was wearing. He then locked his car and went on his way. He pointed to both Knox and Sollecito in the courtroom and stated it was “him and her”.

(Note: oddly, he said he had seen Rudy before, giving out flyers in front of the University, but few have seen Rudy do that while many have seen Patrick do that many times)

Under cross-examination, he was also asked as with other witnesses “why did it take so long for you to come and tell police this information?” He stated that he was not following the homicide, and had no idea his testimony had any bearing on the case.

He told his Spanish professor, who was following the case religiously, what he had seen. and she told him to go and talk to the police immediately, which he did, albeit nearly a year later.

3) Raffaele Sollecito

There was a break and upon everyones’ return, Sollecito made a spontaneous statement. He addressed the court and stated that it was impossible that Giofreddi had seen him with Rudy Guede that evening.

He had never met Rudy Guede, let alone spent any time with him. He also stated that he has never seen Amanda wear a red jacket ever. Grazie. His statement was short and to the point.

4) Antonio Aiello

He is a lawyer and close friend of Hekuran Kokomani and was testifying as a character witness for Mr Kokomani. He explained the he has known Mr Kokomani for many years and although he is in jail right now for beating his girlfriend, he is really a “decent person”. Mr Aiello came to testify on his behalf about the circumstances which led to Mr Kokomani’s desire to talk to the police and his original testimony.

He said that shortly after the murder, around the middle of November, Mr Kokomani contacted him and said the he wanted to talk before he left for Albania. Mr Aiello was very busy at the time and said that if it was urgent, he would address the issue now, else he asked Mr Kokomani if it could wait till his return from Albania in January. Mr Kokomani agreed it could wait.

Upon his return, in January, Mr Kokomani told Mr Aiello everything that he observed that night, which as it turns out was most likely October 31st as we will later see based on Mr Kokomani’s testimony. Mr Kokomani went to Mr Aiello first because he is an attorney and close friend, and Mr Kokomani did not want to have any problems and asked Mr Aiello’s advice and if he would go with him to the “questura” (police station) to make his statement. Mr Aiello naturally agreed.

In trying to explain what Mr Kokomani recounted, Mr Aiello stated that even he had difficulty understanding Mr Kokomani as to what actually happened that night.

5) Hekuran Kokomani

Note: This is the one witness where I must add some personal commentary to his testimony. It has to be placed in the context in which it was given. Mr Kokomani stated he was born in Albania in 1969 and has been in Italy for 15-16 years. Even having lived in Italy for so long, he needed an interpreter, especially during the difficult questions of cross examination.

I will say right from the start that I really don’t know what to think of Mr Kokomani’s testimony. It was all over the place, contradictory, and if I use the word jumbled, I am being kind. It seems it was a combination of his inability to understand the question and his eagerness to make rushed statements that later diverged from things he said just minutes before. It was painful to get through his testimony, but also entertaining. Something tells me he tried his best.

In the end, after quite a few laughs and a lot of frustration, the court seemed to manage to distill what he wanted to say overall. If I have got this wrong, I could barely understand his Italian myself.

Basically he said that he was on the road heading out to a bar, and it was around 9:30pm or so. He was driving along Via della Pergola and at a speed of about 40-50 km/hr (about 25-30 mph) he approached what looked to be a black sack in the middle of the road. He stopped suddenly to discover that the dark object was in fact Raffaele and Amanda lying down.

First Sollecito came to the driver’s side of the door, and winding his window down, Mr Kokomani hit Sollecito, complaining that he himself was almost hit. Amanda Knox then appeared on the passenger’s side of the car and pulled out a large knife, which he described as the same as the one he saw in the paper sequestered from RS’s apartment.

She raised it above her head with both hands, holding both the handle and blade, and began to curse at him in Italian, uttering various threats. He then proceeded to throw olives at Amanda’s face, and then he threw his old Nokia phone and managed to hit her in the forehead. He took a snapshot of Amanda and Raf with his other phone (an Ericsson) and then moved along a bit.

He next saw Rudy Guede at the top of the driveway, and at the same time he could hear yelling, one person. yelling by herself or himself, perhaps moaning about something. He asked Guede what that was, and he responded it was just music at the house and that Knox had the knife because they had used it to cut a cake at a party at the house.

Mr Kokomani looked at the house and saw that a light was on. He then proceeded on his way, shaken by what just happened. He showed the picture to people at the bar, and they said “oh it’s just the Pugliese kid…. no worries” and since the picture was dark he deleted it.

He also apparently testified about seeing Amanda and Raffaele together in a bar or café in August or later, most probably late September, with her uncle who was described as robust and 50-60 years old. I could not make heads or tails if that was what was actually said or not. Mr Kokomani’s testimony took forever to extract, and had to be interrupted by a break.

Ms Buongiorno seemed to see a fish in a barrel here and she began to shoot. To give you an idea of how all over the place the questions and answers were, when asked “what color is your car” his response literally “black blue”. When asked again he said “I paid only two hundred Euro for it”. When asked at what time do you usually eat dinner, he said “when I get hungry”.

When asked what color Amanda’s eyes were, forgetting the fact that she was sitting 5 feet away, he says “occhi bianchi” (white eyes). When asked how he knew the time when he was on the street, he stated, “I have a clock on my dashboard”, but when asked what time it said, he responded, “it does not work”. When asked if he spoke to reporters, he said “NO”, then “maybe”, then “I dont think so”. The defense then showed him being interviewed by a Canale 5 reporter, and his final answer was “yes”.

Who knows quite what he saw that night, which he described as raining. In the end we deduced that since he worked that day and the next day was a holiday (November 1st was the “Fest dei Morti”) this incident must have occurred in one form or another on the 31st of October (Halloween) and not on the 1st of November. Exit this witness in handcuffs.

Note: His testimony cannot be completely dismissed though, I just dont know quite what to make of it. I am surprised the defense did not request his testimony be completely eliminated, given what occurred in court, and given the fact that even Judge Paolo Micheli blocked him out of the equation when deciding if there was enough evidence against Knox and Sollecitto to proceed to trial.

6) Coming up next week

It appears that next Friday, April 3rd, the court will hear the medical examiner Dr Lalli testifying, and on Saturday the 4th supposedly Rudy Guede himself. Then on the 18th the court may arrange for the jury to visit Meredith’s house, without the presence of Sollecito and Knox. This may not yet be firmly decided.

Posted by stewarthome2000 on 03/29 at 07:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (7)

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Testimony Of Witnesses On The Night

Posted by stewarthome2000



[Meredith’s house down at right; Ms Capezzali’s apartment above the cars at center, one floor above ground level]

On Friday the court heard from Nara Capezzali, Maria Luisa Dramis, Antonella Monacchia, Giampaolo Lombardi, Francesco Tavernese, Leonardo Fazio, and Antonio Galizzi.

1) Nara Capezzali

She is a 69 year old widow who lives with her daughter in an apartment just above the San Antonio parking facility which is located across the street from the house in Via della Pergola. She cannot see the entire house, but she is able to see the roof.

Note: There was no doubt that Mrs. Capezzali does not have the best memory in her aging years, but she was sure of what she had seen and heard those days, even though the times that she testified may have been a bit off here and there. She seemed to testified with heart and sincerity.

She stated that on the evening of November 1st she had gone to bed, as usual, around 9:30pm or so. About two hours later, she woke up to go to the bathroom and testified it was about 11-11:30 or so as she usually gets up at this time because she takes a diuretic before bed that kicks in about 2 hours afterwards. She also sometimes wakes up from the late night noise outside her window and stated that it was not unusual for her to be woken up at night because of noise.

But she said that what she heard on November 1st was not the usual noise. She stated that on her way to the bathroom she passed by her living room window, and heard a loud and horrible scream. It was not a short scream, it lasted rather longer and it was quite shocking to her.

She went to the bathroom and looked out the window, but saw no-one. A minute or two later, she heard footsteps running, not just one set of footsteps, but two or more. One set came from the metal stairs next to the parking facility on the right, the other in the opposite direction on the pavement through the foliage.

She was so shaken by this ghastly scream that she could not sleep. She stayed up a while until in the early morning hours she made herself a chamomile tea and finally managed to get to sleep.

She then testified that she woke up the next morning around 7:30-8:00am, maybe later, and then she went to get some bread at the store and it was at that time around 11:00am that she was told by people who she met at the magazine kiosk in Piazza Grimana that there was a murder at the house in Via della Pergola.

She said she returned to her house and watched the police, the carabinieri, CSI, and so on at the house. She said she saw Sollecito and Knox standing by the house and also on the parking-facility deck while the police where at the house. (Note: We are not sure that RS and AK were ever on the parking-facility deck roof, that is unconfirmed.)

Under cross-examination, Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno tripped her up on the times and the fact that she never mentioned the chamomile tea in her written testimony, and also grilled her on why she waited 20 days to come to talk to police. Ms Capezzali insisted that her testimony of what she heard on the night was the truth and began to cry when Ms Buongiorno read her original testimony of the incident.

Note: She clearly cried because she had grasped fully that the horrible scream coincided with the last moments of Meredith’s life. She may have been confused about the exact times and calendar date, but overall her testimony was very believable, and she struck a chord with all those present.

2) Maria Luisa Dramis

She is a young woman who also lives above the parking facility and though her bedroom window faces the via del Melo at back where her front door is, the “back” of her apartment faces north over Via della Pergola, and she can see the roof of the house and the top part of the doorway.

Her testimony was relatively short. She stated that on November 1st she went to the movies with a friend, and she returned home around 11:00-11:30pm. She had gone to bed shortly after arriving at home and was woken shortly afterwards by someone running up or down her street. She did say that it is not unusual to hear people on the street below, but this time someone was running.

3) Antonella Morlacchia

She is a young woman who lives with her parents in Via Pinturicchio, the street behind the parking facility and houses that overlook it. The apartment is large and a portion of it looks down over Via della Pergola. She can see clearly from her window the house with its roof, terrace, window, doors, driveway, and so on.

She testified that around 10:00pm she heard people arguing. It seemed to be a man and a woman; she looked outside her window and did not see anyone. But the arguing was definitely coming from Via della Pergola. She could not say for certain it was coming from the house, though she did look at it and notice that the house was dark.

She said that after the loud arguing she went back to bed. She did not come forward to submit her testimony for nearly a year after the crime, as she did not think it was relevant, but a journalist friend following the case then convinced her to come forward.

4) Giampaolo Lambrotti

He is the tow truck driver who went to Via della Pergola on the evening of November 1st to assist a car in distress parked on the opposite side of the road only a few meters from the entrance to the house. He said he received the service call around 10:30-10:40pm and it took him about 15-20 minutes to arrive at the location.

The car was located just before the parking facility entrance/exit so he had a clear view of the entrance to the house as he was working practically across the street from the gate. There were two couples waiting for him (two guys, two girls) who told him that that they were from Rome and on vacation.

As he prepared the car for the tow, he noted that in the driveway across the street ““ the entrance to Via della Pergola ““ there was a small dark-colored car parked in front of the driveway gate. The gate was slightly opened. He finished his work and went on his way. He could not identify the type or color of car for sure, only that it was there and it was a dark color.

5) Francesco Tavernese

He is the director of the men’s ONAOSI student center for university students in Perugia where Sollecito was housed from 2003 to 2005.

Note: ONAOSI is basically a non-profit entity created by medical professionals which has support facilities for their children when they are students at several universities. The facilities are located in a few towns in Italy, including Perugia, and include dorms, cafeteria, sports facilities, library, computer lab, theater, medical doctor, and etc. all on site. They are designed to give these students an advantage and make up for the extra-curricular shortfalls of Italian universities. Sollecito’s father is a urologist, so of course he was eligible for participation.

The director described Sollecito as introverted, “taciturno” (basically none-talkative), shy and often blushing. He said it took a while for Sollecito to settle into life away from his home in Bari. He seemed homesick at first, but he matured quite a bit and began to find his place. He was into films and sports, especially kick boxing. The staff did periodic drug checks of his room but never found anything. They found a number of movies, some of which were porno, some perhaps extreme, some perhaps reflecting the normal curiosities of post adolescents.

6) Leonardo Fazio

He is a young man of Sollecito’s age who became friends with him during his time at ONAOSI. He described Raf as introverted and “tranquilla” but sportive and liking to go to the gym. His testimony had to do with him seeing Sollecito and Knox two or three days after the murder, carrying on normally and seemingly completely undisturbed by the incident. He contradicted himself a number of times and just lifted his shoulders in ignorance when his testimony discrepancies were pointed out.

7) Antonio Galizzi

He is the captain of the carabinieri station in Giovinazzo, a town just up the coast from Bari, where Sollecito grew up. He did not have much to report except the arrest in 2003 of Sollecito and some friends for possession of 2.657 grams of hashish. He had nothing negative to say about Sollecito, and he recalled him in grammar school as a normal student, never in trouble and “tranquilla”. He knew the Sollecito family fairly well, and he personally investigated the death of Sollecito’s mother, which was untimely and the result of heart problems.

8) Observation on Knox and Sollecito

During the break, when no one was obstructing their view of one another, Sollecito and Knox had a long conversation from afar (3 meters or about 10 feet away from each other). They communicated with hand signals, silent mouth gestures and smiles galore.

I watched as she seem to congratulate him and say happy birthday, and they asked how each other was doing. Knox indicated she was sleepy but okay. It was the longest conversation I think they have had since their incarceration. It seemed as if nothing had changed between them.

Posted by stewarthome2000 on 03/29 at 01:59 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (2)

Trial: Sky News’s Report On Today’s Eyewitnesses

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/29 at 01:12 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (0)

Trial: The Man In The Square And The Man In The Car

Posted by Peter Quennell


1) Mr Curatolo: the eyewitness in the square

Antonion Curatolo, 53, who testified that he spends most of his time in a Perugia, Italy square near the cottage where Knox and Kercher lived, placed the young couple near the murder scene on Nov. 1, 2007… Curatolo’s testimony contradicted Knox and Sollecito’s contention that they were at Sollecito’s home that night…

On the night before Kercher’s body was discovered, he said, he was sitting on a bench in Piazza Grimana, reading a news magazine and smoking cigarettes. The plaza was busy with young people, he said, but he noticed one couple, whom he identified in court as Knox and Sollecito, talking animatedly. At one point Sollecito went to a railing at the edge of the square and looked down in the direction of the house where Kercher was killed, Curatolo said.

2) Mr Kokomani: the eyewitness in the car

Driving past Knox’s cottage on either the night of the murder or the night before, Kokomani said, he noticed what looked like a large garbage bag in the middle of the road. He tried to brake, he said, but skidded on the wet road and bumped into the bag. At that point he realized that it was not a bag, but two people, whom he identified in court as Knox and Sollecito.

Sollecito approached his car in a threatening manner, he said, and he punched Sollecito. Knox then pulled a large knife out of her green handbag and brandished it at him, holding it with two hands, he said. “I grabbed some olives that were in my car, and threw them at her,” said Kokomani. “And I also threw a Nokia cell phone at her.”

At that point he saw Rudy Guede, Kokomani said, whom he had met before. When he asked Guede what the two young people were doing with the knives, “He told me they were having a party, and the knife was for the cake,” Kokomani testified.

According to Kokomani, Guede offered him $400 to borrow his car the next day. Then he said he saw Sollecito in his rear-view mirror approaching the car with a knife. Kokomani said that at that point he drove away….Ghirga, Knox lawyers, called Kokomani’s testimony was “an example of catastrophic testimony.”

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/29 at 12:17 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (0)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trial: Italian Media Reporting Events In The Park On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Basketball court: house is down straight ahead, steps are far right, benches are far left]

The Italian media are reporting Antonio Curatolo’s testimony.

Quick translation: Mr Curatolo, who is homeless, has slept for eight or nine years on a park bench. Around 9:30 on the night, while he was reading a newspaper, he looked up and saw the two defendants sitting on a low wall near a streetlight.

At times the boy got up and headed toward the outside railing in the direction of the cottage in via della Pergola. He saw the two together up to 11:30 pm or so. “I was sitting on the bench,” Mr Curatolo said, “I was reading the Express. I looked up four to five times and each time I saw the two together. I do not like to take advantage of others. I state that what I say do not say this to hurt anybody.”

He also reported that the next day around 12:30, he saw the in the street by the house an ambulance and police, and the arrival of a team in white overalls.

[Below: the view of the gate of the house from the park]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/28 at 01:28 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (9)

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