Friday, September 20, 2019

Explaining to “No Physical Evidence” Gladwell Just How MUCH There Was #2 Mixed Blood

Posted by The Machine

Meredith’s blood mixed with Knox DNA in five places

This overview of the Gladwell series lists all posts.

1. The Evidence Series

This is the second post in my series responding to Gladwell’s “no evidence” claim

We’ve already summarised what seems to be Gladwell’s position in the polemical “Knox chapter” in Talking To Strangers thus:

  • Gladwell has chosen sides AGAINST the globally respected forces of Italian justice, which the FBI cooperates with a lot.

  • Gladwell has chosen sides WITH the looniest of self-serving conspiracy theorists, with the anti-justice mafias cheering them on.

That seems to make him a classic example of his own thesis (be wary of strangers). We have listed those we suspect addled Gladwell in Part 4 (3) of this post. Widely discredited, they persist in keeping their theories online. 

2. Compelling Evidence At Trial

According to the forensic biologist team from the Scientific Police in Rome headed by Dr Stefanoni, there were five samples of Amanda Knox’s DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.

In the small bathroom a mixture of Meredith’s and Knox’s blood DNA was found in three places: on the cotton bud box, the side of the basin, and the bidet. Trial Judge Massei wrote this:

The mixed trace specimens found in the sink and in the bidet and on the box of cotton buds therefore signify that Amanda, soiled with Meredith’s blood, entered the bathroom which was right next door to the room in which Meredith had been stabbed; putting her hand against the door she left a mark on it and the dribble of blood which remained is a sign [proof] of this, and left a mark also - also with Meredith’s blood - on the light switch; she touched the cotton-bud box which was on the sink and left a mixed trace specimen of herself and of Meredith; to clean her hands she used the sink in which, through the act of scrubbing, she left her own biological trace mixed with that of Meredith, and used the bidet, most likely to wash her feet, which must have become blood-stained in Meredith’s room…

The Massei trial court, Chieffi Supreme Court, Nencini appeal court, and even Marasca/Bruno Supreme Court, all endorsed this bathroom scenario. No other was even voiced, which Gladwell “forgets” to say. 

The bathroom swabs show that Meredith and Amanda Knox MUST have both been bleeding at the same time. This is overwhelming proof that Knox was at the cottage when Meredith died and took part in the fatal attack, which Gladwell “forgets” to say.

The fourth swab of mixed DNA was in the corridor. The fifth was in the center of Filomena’s room, plus one trace of Meredith’s blood alone by the window. No Guede DNA was found in that room, which Gladwell “forgets” to say.

All DNA processing was in front of defense observers, which Gladwell “forgets” to say. Amanda Knox’s lawyers had to concede that her DNA had mingled with Meredith’s blood, which Gladwell “forgets” to say. They confined their rebuttal to suggesting arcane ways that could have happened, all with zero proof, which Gladwell “forgets” to say.

Jury members confirmed that it was damning evidence. Barbie Nadeau points out in Angel Face that the jurors accepted the mixed blood evidence as firm.

The defense’s other biggest mistake, according to interviews with jurors after the trial, was doing nothing to refute the mixed-blood evidence beyond noting that it is common to find mingled DNA when two people live in the same house. (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, page 152).

Meredith’s blood with Knox DNA in Filomena’s room

3. Confirmations By Other Experts

Dr Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the Scientific Police, reviewed Dr. Stefanoni’s investigation and the forensic findings in 2008.

He confirmed that all the forensic findings were accurate and reliable. He praised the work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team:

“We are confirming the reliability of the information collected from the scene of the crime and at the same time, the professionalism and excellence of our work.”

Additionally the DNA and forensic evidence was also reviewed by Dr Luciano Garofano the retired creator of the Carabineri’s elite laboratories in Rome and other cities.

He confirmed that Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in the small bathroom and Filomena’s room in Darkness Descending by himself and Paul Russell. He explains how he could tell.

“However, here is the electropherogram and you can see that the RFU value is very high, so the sample is undoubtedly blood, which is the body fluid that provides the greatest amount of DNA.

In some cases you see higher peaks of Amanda’s DNA than Meredith’s. Amanda has been bleeding. (Luciano Garafano, Darkness Descending, page 371).

Luciano Garofano also asserts that there was copious blood loss by Amanda Knox on the night of the murder.

“Let’s say the assassin used the basin and bidet to wash the knife: if you look at the electropherograms you’ll see that there seems to be more of Amanda Knox’s blood than Meredith’s. There is a copious blood loss by Amanda.”  (Luciano Garofano, Darkness Descending, page 374).

Additionally both Judge Massei and Judge Nencini who presided over the 2009 trial in Perugia and the 2012 appeal in Florence respectively regard the mixed DNA samples incriminating pieces of evidence against Amanda Knox and proof she had tracked Meredith’s blood into the small bathroom and Filomena’s room where the break-in was staged.

They believe that in one or two instances Amanda Knox’s DNA could be from “epithelial rubbing” rather than blood but either way two sets of DNA are there in five instances. (Unless we’re emitting a body fluid, epithelial DNA is all we leave, a lot, by pressing hard with a hand or a foot.)

Additionally the FINAL Italian Supreme Court ruling stated the mixed DNA evidence was “eloquent proof” she had come into contact with Meredith’s blood and had washed it off in the small bathroom, which Gladwell “forgets” to say.

Another element against her [Amanda Knox] is the mixed traces, her and the victim’s one, in the ‘small bathroom’, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing). (Judge Marasca’s Supreme Court report).

4. Discounting Rudy Guede

Guede could not have tracked Meredith’s blood into the small bathroom and Filomena’s room because his bloody footprints only led straight from Meredith’s room and out of the cottage (see my next post) which Gladwell “forgets” to say.

This fact has been noted by multiple judges and the Italian Supreme Court. The 2009 Massei trial report:

Rudy, who, on leaving Meredith’s room (according to what the shoe prints show), directed himself towards the exit without deviating or stopping in other rooms.(The Massei report, page 379).

And the 2013 Chieffi Supreme Court report:

the investigative data collected immediately after the event, such as Rudy’s shoeprints (along the path of his flight) and the traces of the victim’s blood detected in many spots in the bathroom used by Ms Knox and [49] Ms Kercher, surely carried there by third parties present in the house after the murder.“ (Judge Chieffi’s Supreme Court report, page 66).

5. Additional Posts Confirming

Click for Post:  Netflixhoax 13: Omitted - How The DNA Processes And Evidence Points Were Deliberately Misrepresented

Click for Post:  The DNA Hoax: Ways To Rebut The Drive-By Critics Of The Case On The DNA Dimension

Click for Post:  Carabineri Labs Might Prove Fourth And Conclusive Scenario For The Mixed DNA Samples In The House

Click for Post:  Beyond Massei: On The Seemingly Insuperable Mixed Blood Evidence By All The Expert Witnesses

Click for Post:  Explaining The Massei Report: The Mixed Blood Evidence Samples As Seen By Judge Massei

Click for Post:  Questions For Knox: 15 Questions That Drew Griffin On CNN Tonight SHOULD Have Asked

Click for Post:  Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #1 The DNA Evidence

Meredith’s blood alone, by window in Filomena’s room

6. Our Next Post

Click for Post:  Explaining to “No Physical Evidence” Gladwell Just How MUCH There Was #3 Footprints

Posted by The Machine on 09/20/19 at 09:15 PM in


So rock-solid. The defenses offered one or two loopy possibilities - and then hurried on. In the defense part of the trial they were noticeably down.

Those second-guessing newcomers like Gladwell don’t realise the huge impact on the 2009 court as such evidence poured out.

That applies to all the conspiracy theorists who turned up from 2010, which was most of them, so stupidly claiming “not beyond a reasonable doubt”.

RS and AK were sitting there for day after day with all jury eyes on them, not themselves knowing where to look.

The WORST for them was what was presented behind closed doors.

The Kercher’s request for a closed-door trial but getting only the WORST moved behind closed doors (dummy Massei on that count) left millions not knowing how barbaric this crime was.

The taunting and torturing are estimated to have gone on for a full 15 minutes. That’s the tale the autopsy told.

The RS and AK body languages at trial told a huge tale in themselves. You cannot read about it in Massei but they REEKED perp pretty well all the time.

Gladwell hasnt the slightest clue. What a jerk. I have a lot of contempt for him because from 2015 to 2019 the TRUTH has become really clear.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/21/19 at 10:49 PM | #

Great series, Machine.  It’s always worth reminding people of the REAL reason the pair were definitively convicted after a long fair trial.  The most common belief is that ‘police rushed to judgement and didn’t want to admit they were wrong’, when in fact the two were not even charged for about eight months.  Hardly a ‘rush’.  In any case, it is he courts that convict, not the police.  Massei bent over backwards to give the pair a benefit of a doubt but even his court - made up of a panel of jurors, both professional and randomly chosen from the Italian public - really had no alternative but to come to one conclusion.  The appeal court, Nencini, had no other conclusion either than ‘guilty beyond any reasonable doubt’.  Because of their young ages the courts were very keen to give them a huge benefit of a doubt.  Alas, there were no doubts.

The other myth is ‘Italians didn’t like Amanda because she slept around and was snogging Raffaele in the car park outside of the murder cottage, not to mention giggling and turning cartwheels to de-stress at the Questura.

That does explain rich Italian boy Sollecito’s conviction, does it.  Juries don’t tend to believe a young woman is capable of a gruesome murder, so Knox had that sceptical attitude in her favour, not to mention the ‘African drifter’ as the alternative fall guy to take the rap.

You really do need to be a bit dim to believe ‘there was no evidence’.  I have enjoyed Gladwell’s previous books so it is disappointing he has come out with this unsubstantiated junk.


Posted by KrissyG on 09/23/19 at 01:31 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

Quotations from and references to the official court reports and court transcripts are conspicuous by their absence in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Talking with Strangers and in all his media interviews. In other words, he clearly hasn’t read them. We do know that he has unquestioningly believed the PR lies that have been propagated in the media without doing any fact-checking i.e. Meredith’s room was covered with Guede’s DNA and Amanda Knox didn’t know Guede.

Malcolm Gladwell and Peter Gill haven’t addressed some of the most damning physical evidence i.e. the staged break-in, the trail of Guede’s bloody footprints that led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the cottage - which proves somebody else tracked Meredith’s blood into these two rooms - and the bloody footprint on the bathmat that matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede.

Gladwell and Gill have also completely ignored the fact that Knox and Sollecito lied repeatedly to the police and others. Amanda Knox’s high-profile supporters in the media avoid talking about her and Sollecito’s multiple false alibis and numerous lies like the plague because they know there isn’t a plausible innocent explanation for their numerous lies.

Marasca says almost nothing about Knox and Sollecito’s lies in his Supreme Court report. He acknowledges that Knox lied repeatedly to the police and claims Knox falsely accused Diya Lumumba of murder in order to cover for Guede because she feared retaliatory accusations against her. He doesn’t list Sollecito’s numerous lies or explain why he lied.

It doesn’t really make any sense. If Knox and Sollecito are innocent and were just present at the cottage when Meredith was killed, why didn’t they call the police and report this horrific crime? Why would they sit in prison for almost four years to cover someone they barely knew? Doesn’t lying repeatedly to the police make them guilty of perverting the course of justice and being accessories after the fact?

The most obvious explanation for Knox and Sollecito repeatedly telling the police a pack of lies is they didn’t want to admit their own roles in Meredith’s murder. The Italian Supreme Court ascertained there were multiple attackers and placed Knox and Sollecito at the cottage when Meredith was killed. There is no evidence of anyone else being involved in Meredith’s murder.

Marasca had no choice, but to concede there was damnning evidence against Knox and Sollecito, but his report is illogical and contradictory and there are some glaring errors in it.

A leaked letter confirms that US officials intervened in the Rocky A$AP case in Sweden and secured his release from prison. I suspect the same thing happened in the Meredith Kercher case and that’s the reason why the US Department of State has refused to release a number of documents.

Posted by The Machine on 09/23/19 at 04:47 AM | #

The blood evidence is what convinced me of guilt. As The Machine and Peter Quennell point out, the logical conclusion to be drawn is of Knox being at murder scene, bleeding as Dr. Garofano the expert confirmed.

Yet logic and intellect flew out the window when personal affections and money grubbing flew in.

And if a certain Senator Cantwell or a certain King County judge who loved his official letterhead, or an FBI agent or someone known to David Marriott put in a good word for their dear Knox at U.S. State Department? (who knows?)—it would be an egregious breach of justice. After all, the Italian juries were being presented DNA and blood evidence. They were ruling on the science of the case.

They were looking at hard science not reactionary national bias or ethnic bias. The Italians were being the logical ones! It was the Knox bandwagon who were the emotional and irrational ones. They resorted to PR lies and every media trick hoping to have the very telling blood evidence dismissed.

Because pride was involved, Curt’s parental guilt involved, Marriott was defending big Marriott PR reputation. There was competitive spirit of their “honor student” daughter versus a foreign doctor’s family. Perhaps losing face at Seattle Prep was a minor consideration?

When Marriott convinced the Knox-Mellas clan they were the glorious underdogs appearing to be crushed by some foreign supertanker of malice, a theme that played well to American audiences, it was like catnip to a cat: the fame of TV talk shows and the glow of being in front of cameras and getting paid to “defend the weak one, the misunderstood wonderful daughter”. It proved a heady mixture, one with money attached. Felt like a high risk/high reward psychology. Addictive.

Suddenly the nobodies were all well known, came out of their shells, their boring lives, went abroad, met new and interesting people, saw their faces all over the magazines.

And in a case of unintended consequences it’s possible the devasted Knox/Mellas family could use their flights to NYC to film tv talk shows, do interviews as their own way to compete and overshadow in importance the horrid daughter who was distressing them and ruining their lives.
Her crisis did have an upside that provided flight money, hotels, an expense account for meals, a shakeup of their boring routine in Seattle exchanged for sudden adventures in notoriety. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

There were a lot of competitive spirits rising up in the Knox dual households; perhaps Curt wanted to prove to Chris Mellas that Curt’s daughter wasn’t a killer.

Don’t let the tears in the eyes fool you. Histrionics like Edda and her daughter will find a platform.

With other people there was too much money to be made from “she’s a tormented innocent, can’t you see?”

This was their preferred narrative because it was a headline generator—a hysterical, twisted script.

The saddest competition was police vs police as it seemed in the case of Steve Moore who then deluded the aging John Douglas. A few U.S. “investigators” who considered themselves hotshots wanted to prove the Italian investigators morons.

Hayden Panettiere did made for TV movie who found deep pocket sponsors $$$.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/23/19 at 11:23 AM | #

Hi Hopeful

This is exactly the sort of weaponized mass emotion that psychologists and journalism schools should be study for years (and PR firms hopefully not!). And the bloodmoney is up in the may millions now.

BUT! What comes around goes around too. Hegel and Karl Marx made a lot of that dialectic, the yin and yang, and in the UN I saw it all the time, often in 10 to 20 year timespans.

A zigzag process. First this, which takes things too far, then that, which does the same, and third often the Goldilocks outcome, into which most of the people will buy.

However, not always. More zigs and zags have to play out. The world is STILL reverberating from neo-colonial actions post-WWI that left both Arabs and Jews hung out to dry (and Indians too).

If the Jews had had their homeland right after WWI as promised in the Balfour Declaration, chances are no Holocaust. If Saudi and Iraq and Egypt and Algeria had not had to fight for the promised independence, Arab religion and governments would be middle of the road.

I’d say the mood clearly has moved against the Knox forces now. Gladwell & co are like deer in the headlights. Anger is growing at the huge scam. Italy gets some defense at last.

Say Trump sends Knox back to Italy, could she face 50 years for her literally hundreds now of crimes?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/23/19 at 12:24 PM | #

Hi Machine

Mafia poodles like Bruce Fischer who maybe got to Gladwell talked about Dr Stefanoni and her team “targeting” the Knox and Meredith DNA to fit Dr Mignini’s “crazy” theory.

So the Stefanoni team managed to not target Patrick’s DNA, just to frame Knox. What fiends!

Any comeback? Nobody in the real world seems to have a method for “targeting” invisible DNA that I can see.

Besides Dr Mignini had an open mind and zero theory when the first processing was done - even after Knox broke on 5-6 Nov it seemed to all including first judges based on a claimed witness that maybe Patrick alone had attacked Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/23/19 at 12:31 PM | #

Hi Pete,

I trust the expert opinions of Dr Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr Renato Biondo, Professor Luciano Garofano, Professor Giuseppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli and Professor David Balding over the opinions of Bruce Fischer - who has no forensic qualifications or forensic experience.

Selling fur coats and getting countless basic facts wrong on Injustice in Perugia doesn’t make Bruce Fischer a forensic expert. The last I heard he was working at a garage. He’s welcome to fill my car up with petrol or even wash it if I’m ever in Chicago, but I’d never rely on anything he says about the DNA and forensic evidence.

I haven’t checked Fischer’s ramblings for years. In one article, he suggested the DNA evidence was contaminated AND fabricated. I hope he doesn’t wear his tin foil hat when goes to work.

He also claimed the break-in at the cottage wasn’t staged. He said Filomena was a messy and untidy person who had left her clothes on the floor of her room - which contradicts her testimony. Of course, he has never been able to substantiate his claim.

Posted by The Machine on 09/23/19 at 01:49 PM | #

We’ve been told Fischer panicked after the mafia angle became known, and Knox and her families stiffed him for cash, and at Knox’s big Vashon Island 2012 welcome-back Knox was chummy with Sforza and Hampikian, not him. Most of his ramblings are for “members” only now. Lucky them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/23/19 at 08:11 PM | #

I was set to thinking today about what Meredith would make of the huge security around the UN this week which all the staff have to make their way through, every year for a week. It was sorta fun, making it in the door.

I don’t know if the UN would even have occurred to her as a place to work, but she was the archetype of the generations that came after me, and the Brussels establishment of the EU did interest her and that’s where some recruits came from.

If Brexit had happened prior to 2007 Meredith would presumably have had no Erasmus scholarship (I believe about $20,000 a year?) and maybe not made it to Perugia, and the waiting Knox.

But a hard Brexit bothers many here in NYC, it seems suicide for the UK economy, the US will be in no shape to help out. The polling suggests older people thumping their chests, while younger people see their work prospects sharply cut. Only Putin gains… but what do we know?!


I’ll be glad when today’s Bing image is gone. I scampered up that Inca pyramid like everyone else, but it is a real shocker coming down, when everyone realizes that a false step and one will bounce on one’s head all the way down. There have been some deaths, maybe helmets could work - oh, I see climbing is now banned. For the best.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/23/19 at 08:27 PM | #

I went to a Wendy’s for late lunch. Their big screen TV had U.N. General Assembly news story flashing large. There’s much happening with that, weren’t President Trump’s entire group of children seen sitting at the opening of U.N. a few days ago? Today was UN statement on climate change. Yes, I bet Meredith would have been a peacemaker working through some big organization like U.N.

It was interesting to hear an approximate money amount of Erasmus scholarship (possibly $20,000/year?) Wow, not bad. Meredith was set, didn’t have to worry about money while in school in Italy if she lived by need not greed. She might have planned to return to England for the summer to work. Many U.S. students take the summer off from the books and return in the fall for the next semester.

Meredith seemed to know the value of money, she was thrifty. An English friend said Meredith would walk all the way down the hill in Perugia to get a less expensive meal.

It’s even possible that Knox asked Meredith about her money situation and the Erasmus scholarship; maybe Meredith obligingly told her the amount. With Knox struggling to work at the bar late hours,  the contrast of Meredith’s comfortable situation might have chafed, especially as it was due to Meredith’s brains and character or community service or whatever else the scholarship is based on. Meredith was smart to have applied for it, and probably needed sponsors to recommend her.

Knox is competitive. Thinking Meredith had plenty of funds she had gotten “for free” might inadvertently have created envy in Knox.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/25/19 at 04:53 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

Interesting thoughts. I think that the core fact might be that Knox REALLY needed that job and on the night in question something snapped and a hazing of Meredith at least was suddenly in the cards.

Not all Perugia employers would hire staff with no work permit; she could have been back in Seattle broke within weeks.

But Knox made her choice on such funding or no funding back in Seattle and perhaps fooled her parents about that - why did they not CHECK??? Knox Priority One seems to have been to not have the supervision which such funding entailed.

And had Knox had a UW supervisor that Meredith and the others in the house could alert about Knox and the drugs and dealer then the tragedy would have been avoided for sure.

We talk of system change as Meredith’s one legacy. There was very extensive systems change caused here. Should these US-wide adjustments carry Meredith’s name?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/25/19 at 05:30 PM | #

UW learned faster than their erstwhile student, Knox. They made new rules: “Department chair has to sign off on program. Insurance is required. So is a cell phone. No program money can be used to buy alcohol, just for starters”, according to the link above. UW after the Knox fiasco put in serious systems change, hired a travel security and info officer to oversee student emergencies abroad; found a way to streamline communications (should be easy with smartphones, skype, instagram, Twitter, etc.). They began mandatory training for all faculty who took students abroad.

Great “Meredith Reforms” as you say.

I think every student abroad should have a pre-paid airline ticket home (a copy of ticket kept with the school in case of loss or theft).

And what about a health emergency? Illness is very complicated in foreign hospitals, with language barrier.

Another issue is depression, loneliness, isolation. Some students who go abroad then experience emotional breakdowns or meltdowns and want to quit the program but are afraid to. Perhaps an every 2 or 3 week check-in with their sponsor might avert a crisis.

Student could discuss failing grades, money problems, get advice in dealing with strangers who may be harrassing them or trying to take advantage of a foreign student’s youth and naivete. They’d get a morale boost even by once a week phone contact with University sponsor, might prevent a drink or drugs bender.

If student is fearful of someone in his housing, he could report that.

These young kids dashing abroad to face a brand new world need more psychological support and practical guidance. Some of them go nearly mad, drunk with freedom and delusions of being above the law, or unsure of the laws in the new country. Some meet lovers and have their first fling or heartbreak, and can be devastated and become unhinged. The embarrassment of this becoming known “back home” adds to the stress.

Meredith might not have felt so far from home as Knox did, although Knox had previously travelled to Japan.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/26/19 at 12:43 PM | #

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