Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Open Questions: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

Posted by SomeAlibi


If you’ve come to this website because of the Lifetime movie of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, then welcome. 

Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The movie you’ve just watched is equivocal on that matter and perhaps didn’t help you at all.

On the internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and you will find people who are passionate in their support of the prosecution. 

My own arrival

Placing my own cards on the table here: as a twenty-plus year practising trial lawyer, I am firmly a part of that latter camp.  But it wasn’t always that way.

It was information ““ evidence ““ that changed my views. What became very clear to me, early on, was that very few people in the English-speaking world are aware of anywhere near all of the evidence in this case.

I had thought I had grasped the core of the case, but I did not.  The case is deep and complex and like many criminal cases, the complete facts behind it have been only sketchily reported in the media.  The movie you may have just watched only skirts the real reasons the jury convicted.

The unanimous jury

I am sure that we all agree that no jury, in any murder case, given the awesome responsibility of adjudicating on (young) people’s lives for a multi-decade period of imprisonment, condemns people lightly.

It should be a matter of logic that the evidence presented against the accused must have been deep and satisfied the 6 lay jurors and 2 judges on the case for them to pronounce that huge judgement. That doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be the possibility of a mistrial, but clearly the evidence presented must have been substantial.

In this, we’ve already hit the first problem.  Some supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will tell you there’s no evidence against them. 

This is patently silly.  No jury ever convicts people and sends them to prison for 24 plus years without being quite convinced of the case against them.  Miscarriages of justice do happen, but the idea that there is “no evidence” can be summarily dismissed. 

The only question is whether the evidence is sufficient, true and accurate.

The voluminous evidence

So is the evidence enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?  The six lay jurors and two professional judges thought so, clearly.  What you realise, when you come to the facts of the case, is that the evidence is based not around a single key event but on multiple points. 

It can be astonishing to realise that the case is based not only on DNA evidence but also on cellphone evidence and computer records and further yet on multiple conflicting and contradicting versions of what happened that night from the mouths of the accused, not to mention falsely accusing an innocent man of responsibility for murder causing his incarceration. 

The wealth of evidence is actually extremely unusual. It goes way beyond the quite similar Scott Peterson case.

The Massei Sentencing Report

What is absolutely new to the English speaking legal world is that the reasoning for the conviction can be read in an extremely detailed 440+ page report online.  Bilingual posters at the Perugia Murder File Forum many of whom who are also key posters at TJMK translated the entire document into English over several months last year. 

It was my privilege to play an extremely small part in that work.  People from four different continents with backgrounds in forensic science, law, academia and a host of other disciplines participated. 

You can read an effective executive summary by clicking on the Massei Report link at top here and reading the conclusions from page 388 onwards:

The Knox PR campaign

If you are new to this case, you will likely be shocked how much evidence there is against the convicted parties.  Amanda Knox’s family have spent over $1m and involved a professional PR agency called Gogerty Marriot to suggest otherwise in the English-speaking media. 

You might wonder why an innocent person needs a million dollar PR campaign on their part.  Make yourself a coffee and read the conclusions of the judge’s report. It will take you about 15 minutes.  Up until you read this report, almost everything you watch, hear and read is PR spin and is quite deliberately positioned to make you believe there is no case.

When you complete it,  I believe you will have a very different take. That 15 minutes could change your ideas about everything you thought you knew about the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Now for a quick tour of the evidence.

Some of the points of evidence

Consider as you read it what is your own possible explanation for each of the following:

  • the fact that the wound pattern and the reconstruction of the attack, each presented at trial in extensive closed-court sessions, showed this absolutely had to be a pack attack; 

  • the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on Meredith’s bra-clasp in her locked bedroom;

  • the almost-entire naked footprint of Raffaele on a bathmat that in *no way* fits that of the other male in this case - Rudy Guede;

  • the fact that Raffaele’s own father blew their alibi that they were together in Raffaele’s flat at the time of the killing with indisputable telephone records;

  • the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the knife in Raffaele’s flat which Raffaele himself sought to explain as having been from accidentally “pricking” Meredith’s hand in his written diary despite the fact Meredith had never been to his flat (confirmed by Amanda Knox);

  • the correlation of where Meredith’s phones were found to the location of Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guedes’s flats;

  • the computer records which show that no-one was at Raffaele’s computer during the time of the murder despite him claiming he was using that computer;

  • Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s in five different places just feet from Meredith’s body;

  • the utterly inexplicable computer records the morning after the murder starting at 5.32 am and including multiple file creations and interactions thereafter all during a time that Raffaele and Amanda insist they were asleep until 10.30am;

  • the separate witnesses who testified on oath that Amanda and Raffaele were at the square 40 metres from the girls’ cottage on the evening of the murder and the fact that Amanda was seen at a convenience store at 7.45am the next morning, again while she said she was in bed;

  • the accusation of a completely innocent man by Amanda Knox again and again when under no pressure which she insisted on putting in writing;

  • the fact of Knox’s claim that she was aggressively interrogated for days, although she did not even have the status of a witness, and signed every page of every typed record of her mild, mundane and quite limited questionings;

  • the fact that during Knox’s very unconvincing performance on the witness stand in July 2009 she admitted she was treated well and was not abused;

  • the fact that when Amanda Knox rang Meredith’s mobile telephones, ostensibly to check on the “missing” Meredith, she did so for just three seconds - registering the call but making no effort to allow the phone to be answered in the real world

  • the knife-fetish of Raffaele Sollecito, and his formal disciplinary punishment for watching animal porn at his university so far from the wholesome image portrayed;

  • the fact that claimed multi-year kick-boxer Raffaele apparently couldn’t break down a flimsy door to Meredith’s room when he and Amanda were at the flat the morning after the murder but the first people in the flat with the police who weren’t martial artists could;

  • the extensive hard drug use of Sollecito as told on by Amanda Knox;

  • the fact that Amanda knew details of the body and the wounds despite not being in line of sight of the body when it was discovered;

  • the lies of Knox on the witness stand in July 2009 about how their drug intake that night (“one joint”) is totally contradicted by Sollecito’s own contemporaneous diary;

  • the fact that after a late evening’s questioning, Knox wrote a 2,900 word email home which painstakingly details what she said happened that evening and the morning after that looks *highly* like someone committing to memory, at 3.30 in the morning, an extensive alibi;

  • the fact that both Amanda and Raffaele both said they would give up smoking dope for life in their prison diaries despite having apparently nothing to regret;

  • the fact that when Rudy Guede was arrested, Raffaele Sollecito didn’t celebrate the “true” perpetrator being arrested (which surely would have seen him released) but worried in his diary that a man whom he said he didn’t know would “make up strange things” about him despite him just being one person in a city of over 160,000 people;

  • the fact that both an occupant of the cottage and the police instantly recognised the cottage had not been burgled but had been the subject of a staged break-in where glass was *on top* of apparently disturbed clothes;

  • the fact that Knox and Sollecito have feuded quite publicly ever since November 2007 and have shown far more anger toward one another than either has ever shown toward Guede;

  • the fact that Knox and Sollecito both suggested each other might have committed the crime and Sollecito TO THIS DATE does not agree Knox stayed in his flat all the night in question;

  • the fact of the bizarre behaviour of both of them for days after the crime;

  • the fact that cellphone records show Knox did not stay in Sollecito’s flat but had left the flat at a time which is completely coincidental with Guede’s corroborated presence near the girl’s flat earlier in the evening;

  • the fact that Amanda Knox’s table lamp was found in the locked room of Meredith Kercher in a position that suggested it had been used to examine for fine details of the murder scene in a clean up;

  • the unbelievable series of changing stories made up by the defendants after their versions became challenged;

  • Knox’s inexplicable reaction to being shown the knife drawer at the girl’s cottage where she ended up physically shaking and hitting her head despite being joyful earlier at the police station.

In conclusion

This list is not exhaustive. It goes”¦ on”¦ and on”¦ and on”¦ And yet, those supporting Knox will tell you that’s all made up, all coincidental. 

Really?  Does the weight of all that evidence sound made up to you?

If so, it must be the most over-rigged criminal case in the history of crime.  Unlikely beyond all and any reasonable doubt.

The judge’s report explains why the jury found the defendants guilty. I truly expect you will be astonished at the amount of evidence if all you’ve done is watched a film or read a few press reports. 

For any questions thereafter, please join us and post them on truejustice.org or perugiamuderfile.org .  You’ll find here a host of good people who are all working on a totally volunteer basis in memory of the only victim of this crime.

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher. RIP.


Great analysis, SomeAlibi.

There is a faction of the Knox apologist clique who are fond of a certain type of statistical analysis called Bayesianism.  It’s a type of analysis that includes prior probability, a per cent chance of what otherwise could be coincidental evidence, followed by an adjusted probability.

Even if we discounted the dozens of evidence points that confounded the defence teams to the extent that several of their experts contradicted one another, we can still apply Bayesian analysis to the discovery of four or five separate locations containing combinations of Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA.

One hit may indeed be a coincidence.  Two spots is unusual to the point of ruling out most explainable conditions except direct contact.  Three, four, or five locations extends the improbability of anything other than direct means to the point of impossibility.  You’d be more likely to win a lottery jackpot two consecutive times.

Knox and Sollecito were supplied with the testimony of the best experts money could buy and they were unconvincing in their efforts to explain away the iron-clad forensics as mere accidents.  A motion picture that equivocates on these issues is nothing more than an insult to the memory of a beloved woman.

Posted by Stilicho on 02/22/11 at 06:14 AM | #

Good work, SA

Like you say, your list is not exhaustive.  There are some other telling points, like this short, non-exhaustive list:

1.  There was obviously a cleanup, since there was abundant blood in the bedroom. The only foot print of Raffaele was on the bathmat (there must have been plenty in between the bedroom and the bathroom), and there were two prints from Amanda’s right foot revealed by luminol in the hallway. 

2.  Amanda said, days before the autopsy results were revealed, that Meridith had a long and painful death.

3.  The bra was not removed until after Meredith was dead.  Micheli thinks not until long after death.  Who but a resident of the house would return hours later to do that?

4.  She wrote she covered her ears to muffle Meredith’s screams; it was not until sometime later that witnesses came forward who heard screams.  The manner of killing was not such that Meredith would necessarily, or even probably, have screamed.

5.  The time line on Amanda’s “efforts” to reach Meredith on the cell phones:  Sixteen-second phone call to English phone.  A little more than a minute later she phones Filomena, saying that she would call Meredith, but omitting mention of the 16-second call she had just made. Over a minute later, AK places a 3-second call to the Italian phone. 51 seconds later she places a to the English phone that she had called just three minutes before, and hangs up after four seconds.  The first call to the English phone was made to determine whether the phones had been found, the others were made to create a record.  I wonder if, since cell phone bill are in one-minute increments, she didn’t realize that the exact length of the calls would be discovered.

Posted by TomM on 02/22/11 at 08:07 AM | #

I am 1 hour into watching the Amanda Knox movie.  As much as Meredith’s family did not want this movie to air, (nor Amanda’s) I think so far it has shown some of the facts that did not make it onto American news reports. Since the movie is taking information from the official court transcripts, the portrayal so far seems right on. And since Amanda’s family would not speak to any reporters that pointed out the facts and they wanted the interview, our coverage here was extremely biased! Shame on Donald Trump, Maria Cantwell(Senator from Washington State) and others who have berated the Italian justice system and called for a boycott against Italy without knowing any of the facts of the case!

Posted by BARBM on 02/22/11 at 08:18 AM | #


This is a smokin’ hot post by SomeAlibi and an extremely helpful guide to new case followers who want to learn more. Thank you for the large effort, SomeAlibi.

I’ve just finished watching the movie followed by two episodes of “Frasier”. I took notes on the ads which were so fast and furious I could barely write down product names before the next ad appeared.

I was astounded at my reaction to the movie. It let me down. It was not the towering fireball of excitement and colorful resurrection of the case the trailer suggested.

It did treat Mignini in a very respectful way, thank goodness. It made me realize how confused Edda and Curt must have been in the early days trying to elicit from Amanda what had caused her arrest.

I thought movie would show Marcia Gay crying a lot more. It made poignant Edda’s dreadful task of having only dreadful news to impart to Amanda during the first few months locked up.

I was very glad the murder scene was diluted. I had to look away as it was.

I resented the scene of Rudy on the bed with Meredith in romantic pose, so insulting and untrue.

It wasn’t on principle alone that I was disappointed. The movie was simply not the big shakes that I thought it would be. A thousand times more interesting for me and captivating are the websites, books and blogs. Nothing can equal the raw facts, the truth and human debates.

The photos of Meredith on this site and all the other pictures posted here are worth more than all the pretended movie effects. The case is much bigger in my mind than the movie version.

I had first thought to forego the movie out of respect to the Kerchers, but my daughter mentioned she would like to watch it. Since the film is all the info she will have, I thought I could discuss it with her.

Movie left me feeling like adult who returns to a place that seemed large when he was a child. On returning, it looks shrunken, disappointing.

The movie isn’t entirely wretched. I hope it helps Meredith’s case somehow.

Posted by Hopeful on 02/22/11 at 09:13 AM | #

I couldnt watch the movie because I dont think it belongs on the air. It would just make me angry.

Posted by Barry on 02/22/11 at 11:06 AM | #

Hello all.  I found this site while researching the case recently and it is in my opinion, the most informative and non judgmental. Peter, the contributors and the “commenters” present the facts and debate accordingly.  Everyone is respectful and thoughtful.  Kudos to you all for making this a truly wonderful memorial for Meredith and her family. 

My interest was spurned recently by the Lifetime movie, although I had heard bits and pieces of it in the news.  And I remember, more importantly, that it was portrayed as Knox being the victim of an unjust system.  In a nutshell, I would say my reaction to her, the case and the Knox-Mellas clan could be best described by Shakespeare; “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much”.  Her attempt at deflection, and then that of her family’s, was transparent at best.

After several days of research, mostly here, I am just disgusted.  Most astonishing is the misrepresentation by our press here in the states.  Recently I saw the interview with Imus and Lis Wiehl (?) and was just dumbfounded.  Especially after learning everything that I had to date.  And not just her complete lack of regard to the facts of the case, her demeanor.  Flirty, arrogant, flippant and so amazingly disrespectful to the Kerchers.  I can’t even believe it aired. 

Speaking of aired…  Lifetime’s movie wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful.  I am grateful that they did not portray Knox in an angelic light.  HP actually followed her instincts with this role and she did well to do so.  She came across as likable, but always “off”.  Which as we know, Knox is both of these things.  RS fared pretty well actually.  I would imagine his attorneys threw enough of a fit that they backed off of him quite a bit.  Only going in to his drug use for a brief moment and not mentioning the questionable porn found on his computer previously.  For the most part they left him as being the silent tag along of Knox. 

More interesting was the documentary following the movie.  It would not surprise me if this is why the Knox camp stopped fighting it.  This documentary was obviously pro AK.  As a matter of fact, still misrepresenting facts, such as the fact that they did not call 112 until after the communications police had arrived, had not been proven.  As least the makers of “Murder on Trial” attempted to stay on point.  Yes there was some “poetic license” taken, however it seemed to portray Knox in an unfavorable light.  For example, the scene that was bothering some, the one where they “went” to Meredith’s memorial.  They actually didn’t go.  They were coming back from the lingerie shop and laughing and flirting and they just stumbled upon it.  Knox asks “What’s this?”, while looking at a very large picture of Meredith.  Rafaellle answers in almost a whisper, “Meredith”, almost incredulous he is.  Then they quickly skip off, laughing, after sharing another kiss right in front of the memorial.  Interesting because of what we have seen of these two in the past, it was plausible.  It almost made me wonder if this account isn’t in one of their diaries. 

I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the lack of truth and unanswered questions.  I am sure I am not alone in this.  This is a place where we can share that and hopefully answer some questions along the way.  For us and hopefully for Meredith’s family.  In spite of the images in the movie, she will be remembered for the strong, vibrant woman and spirit that she was.  Equally important was to show Knox without her “mask” and that could only be done with some of those images.  People have to see that.  It’s too easy to deny something you put out of your mind. 

SomeAlibi, excellent post!  Concise, thought provoking and well written.

Posted by tiggeralli on 02/22/11 at 12:31 PM | #

Hi SomeAlibi,

Thank you writing for such a brilliant piece that helps newcomers the case to understand just how much evidence there is against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Nobody has been able to provide a plausible innocent explanation for Knox’s and Sollecito’s lies before and after 5 November 2007.

Just for the record, Amanda Knox was questioned from 11.00pm to 1.45am on 5 November 2007. She wasn’t questioned again that night. There was no all-night interrogation. Her witness statement at 5.45am specifies that she is making the statement spontaneously:

“I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick, the African boy who owns the pub called “Le Chic” located in Via Alessi where I work periodically.”

It should also be pointed out that the defence experts were unable to prove there had been any contamination at the trial. Alberto Intini, head of the Italian police forensic science unit, pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it does not exist.”

One TV critic has written an article saying the film made Knox look guilty:


There were countless of tweets from people saying the same thing. I’m not surprised Amanda Knox’s family have released a press statement condemning the film. They have been allowed to suppress the truth and lie to the public for far too long.

Posted by The Machine on 02/22/11 at 02:42 PM | #

An excellent tour and summary of some of the basic facts in this case.

In addition there is indisputable logic that the objective mind will grasp at once.

Apply reasoning to the following :-

1. Who but only who would deem it necessary to hang around and/or return later to -

(a) Stage a fake break in?
(b) Walk round in bare feet and clean up self incriminating traces i.e the missing bloody footprints between Meredith’s bedroom and Raffaelle’s footprint on the bathmat, the mixed traces of Meredith’s and Amanda’s blood in the hall later revealed and confirmed by luminol and DNA testing?

2. Who and only who would have had access to the cottage by key (there being no sign of a forced entry other than the staged break in) to -

(a) be there when Meredith was attacked
(b) stage the fake break in
(c) clean up only self incriminating

If you are in any doubt the answers are to be found in the Massei Report.

It seems that Knox/Mellas did not get their hour on TV immediately following the airing and have now described the film as shameful and inaccurate.

Posted by James Raper on 02/22/11 at 02:54 PM | #

Does anyone see the irony when the Knox/Mellas people slam this movie as “selfish and shameful”? (from the related telegraph.co.uk article, 2 22 11)

It is evident that they don’t have a problem using the media airwaves to promote their cause, but if another party does the same and they deem that it doesn’t support their cause, they howl in protest.

They seem to expect a double standard, not realizing that media coverage is a sword that cuts both ways.

Posted by giustizia on 02/22/11 at 03:14 PM | #

Also, the Friends of Amanda conspiracy theorists try to discredit the mixed genetic traces evidence found in Amanda Knox’s bathroom by saying that they could not be dated and could have been deposited through innocent means.

It was Amanda Knox herself, who dated those bathroom blood samples used in her conviction, by testifying that she saw no blood in her bathroom, the day before Meredith was murdered.

Posted by True North on 02/22/11 at 04:43 PM | #

Seems like the movie is finally airing today but I couldn´t watch it even if I wanted to. The only US channel available to me is CNN . Bad luck, Lifetime!

Posted by aethelred23 on 02/22/11 at 06:22 PM | #

Once again,  This TV movie is an example of something that is now ‘out there’ and is something the Marriot PR Co. could not get their manipulative mits on.

All the money you have spent Edda and Curt, for this!

It is plain to see the Knox/Mellas families are a tad miffed (to say the least) that something has now been broadcasted in America which they could not influence in such a way as to portray their daughter in the absolute image of sainthood they have zealously manufactured from day one of this case.

Losing control perhaps?

Yes, and about time toO.

R.I.P. Meredith Kercher.

Posted by Black Dog on 02/22/11 at 07:56 PM | #

Despite my initial intention not to see the movie, I decided to go through with it last night. It was more objective than I thought it would be, however I felt it leaned in favor of AK at the end.

No matter what facts were presented, many viewers will walk away with an emotional pity toward AK based on the final scenes where first Hayden P gave an emotional performance as she recited word for word AK’s final statement to the court before being taken away to prison.

Then they continued to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings in the very last scene as her mother desperately broke through the crowd of reporters to talk to her daughter (unsuccessfully) as AK was shuffled into a security vehicle with bars on the back, showing her looking bewildered and shocked as she looked out toward her mother in the crowd.

Perhaps this is why Hayden P commented that “even if she is guilty, she believes she is innocent” to justify how she presented the “bewildered” AK in this portrayal.

Posted by Kazwell on 02/22/11 at 08:32 PM | #

Hi Kawell. That final scene was one of the many areas of poetic licence, some done for understandable reasons of abbreviation and some as here to simply tug at the hearstrings.

AK did not get nearly as emotional in court during the trial as Lifetime depicted. That was part of her problem. Much of the time she appeared quite flippant, and in her two days on the stand she seemed to be hard, self-absorbed, and uncaring.

And when she was led away with Sollecito after the verdict and sentence, she was not taken out to a prison van in front of a crowd. She was led away down below the court and put in a van at the level of the tunnel that passes under the massif.

Here are images of their actual departure for Capanne after they were sentenced. They are 3 or 4 levels below the court. Nobody but police were around.



Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/22/11 at 09:31 PM | #

Thanks Peter for posting the pics.

Is there any one thing that really stood out to you in the movie that appeared a complete or partial fabrication that could sway an objective viewer to leaning toward believing AK was, if not completely innocent, not completely guilty of the charges filed against her?

Posted by Kazwell on 02/22/11 at 10:03 PM | #

Hi Kazwell. We will be doing at least one review and will need to look at the movie again several times. There were many instances in the first 100 minutes of “Knox” appearing callous and unable to explain. Many were well written and acted.

But there were two looong scenes to do with AK being told she might have HIV and yet none at all in the square or at the school. AK and RS are never shown drugged to the eyeballs as they probably were several times. AK’s probable fear of losing her job and running out of money are not shown. Nor are the reasons why she was virtually friendless except for Sollecito.

And in the final 20 minutes “each side” in court got to lob perhaps 10 soundbites on the evidence and that was often unfair to the prosecution. As one example Dr Stefanoni had to leave the bra clasp at the house for 40-plus days because it proved so hard to line up the defence witnesses to come along, not because she didnt know about it or was incompetent.

Lifetime generally followed Massei, but not quite closely enough at the end there, and it would have been a more cathartic movie if they had. Still, we are not on the whole displeased.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/22/11 at 10:21 PM | #

Hello Peter. I missed the movie, but going by what you stated and some others I might give it a view.

Posted by Barry on 02/23/11 at 01:06 AM | #

An excellent post. I don’t know if anyone’s ever raised this point, but it seems to me that everything that was tossed in the room- clothing- was stuff that it would be almost impossible to get fingerprints from. Whereas the places where valuables would actually reside were not opened nor tossed about the room.

Posted by Pat_Az on 02/23/11 at 04:49 AM | #

I’m glad this post was written. It’s good to have a calm and thorough recap of just how overwhelming the evidence is against AK and RS, and just how wildly conflicting their various statements of what happened are.

The lengths to which Knox went to cover up the crime - which ultimately ended up exposing her part in it - are really very chilling and I’m not surprised she wasn’t granted house arrest.

Posted by lilly on 02/23/11 at 10:43 AM | #

It’s Wednesday night and I just went to CBS News. They have a “fact check” on the movie that distorts the truth. They tell people to go to the Seattle PI for the “truth,” evidently.

Some of you who have all the facts at your fingertips should go there and leave comments. I didn’t look at the other news stations.

Posted by NCKat on 02/24/11 at 01:45 AM | #

Hi NCKat. The CBS story. Laughable points. This is by Doug Longhini, the producer of the several worst reports ever done on the case, which each had at least 10 times the errors.

We’ll have our own assessment of how well the movie did given time constraints and poetic license on Friday. Comments on media threads by those not too familiar with the case seem to be running 3 or 4 to one in favor of guilt. Initially persuaded not so much the evidence points in the movie as the callous demeanor, which Knox has nevere ever been able to shake off, and which Panettiere depcited pretty well.

Then SomeAlibi’s excellent list of evidence points above hammered home for many that this is a strong case. CBS smearing the movie can’t hide that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/11 at 04:19 AM | #

Peter, in your view, why do you think the US media seems to give Amanda a complete pass? is it just because she’s an american or do you think there are other reasons?

Posted by Barry on 02/24/11 at 04:46 AM | #

I personally think its a combination of White Knight/Damsel in Distress syndrome (which also provides the basis of the “missing white woman” syndrome of the US media) and the fact that the US popular media is first and foremost a for-profit entertainment business; and only a distant second is it a journalism business. There is no positive feedback loop for accuracy- there is only a positive feedback loop for ratings. Thus the most sensationalistic news or angle will get the ratings, and hence make the $$

Posted by Pat_Az on 02/24/11 at 05:53 AM | #

I would add that there has been an almost complete lack of pushback with the real victim’s family not being in the US and the prosecution in Italy making no attempt to get its case out here.

Law shows like Nancy Grace’s and Jane Velez Mitchell’s do serve a strong pro-victim purpose normally even if it can be rough justice. Here for too long the PR campaign filled a vacuum.

By the way I recorded a Jane Velez Mitchell segment the other day and it was obvious that she has become hesitant and cautious - her strident “she was railroaded” stance was all gone.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/11 at 07:34 AM | #

SomeAlibi, Outstanding!

Posted by mojo on 02/24/11 at 09:30 AM | #

Can anyone confirm the viewing figures?

I read somewhere (I am afraid I think it was Dempsey’s most recent blog) that it was 2.4 million. I think also that Peter mentioned a projected catchment of 10 million.

If 2.4 is right the figure seems pretty low given the controversy it was generating in a nation with a population of 305 million.

I presume that this is not entirely an issue of apathy or disgust but is to do with the multiplicity of independently owned local channels and that the film will roll out across the States in due course.

I take it that the Seattle area was covered in this first showing?

Posted by James Raper on 02/24/11 at 11:19 AM | #

The movie was made for a specific cable channel, Lifetime, and is only going to be shown on that channel.
It was playing nationally, and that 2.4 million is all it got.
I believe they did repeat it the next night, and probably will do so several times more, but it is strictly in re-run territory now.
It does seem like a low number of viewers—some people have cited Lifetime’s similar movie about the Craigslist killer as pulling well over 5 million on its first showing.
My guess is, PR effort notwithstanding, there just isn’t all that much interest in the murderer.

Posted by lauowolf on 02/25/11 at 07:02 AM | #

It will not be too long before SomeAlibi’s excellent article disappears from prominence. Not without trace but still not so easy to find unless you know where it is or take the trouble to look for it.

This will be a shame because the article is rather like a Statement of Case which visitors to the site should get on to immediately or at least without any difficulty. Once they have read that, and with their appetites whetted, they can then go researching through all the excellent other articles.

On the pro-Knox sites their case (such as it is and there isn’t much of it) is easy to find and absorb and I suspect this fact leaves it’s mark on the impressionable and gullible.

Some time ago someone asked for a summary of the Massei Report rather than have to read through the whole thing or to have to go researching on posts.

Perhaps something like a Statement of Case i.e why this site believes without a reasonable doubt in the guilt of all three, could take pride of place just above or in the left hand drop down menu?

Posted by James Raper on 02/25/11 at 01:26 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)


This post is top of the “Vital must read posts” section (right hand menu).

It is an excellent introduction to the case - thank you Some Alibi.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 02/25/11 at 04:07 PM | #

Hi James. On the Lifetime movie.  With reruns the US total figure might eventually amount to five million. On top of that there are various international sales.

A major network like CBS or NBC might have hoped for 10 million for a sunday-night showing, but this was Lifetime, a cable channel with a checkered past. As we mentioned in past posts many men don’t like it and many more-educated women would not think of watching it. 

Lauowolf seems right on Amanda Knox fading sharply as the draw card. Given her heavy promotion and self-promotion she did have a shelf life of several years, but the fascination with her as a victim or a personality has peaked due to over-exposure and a widening sense that hers was actually a well-handled trial with no railroading.

A majority of comments on media threads about the case suggest this. So does the trend in the media stories themselves - less of them, and many of them somewhat balanced, if still invariably replete with mistakes. At the same time there is rather more now on Meredith and thankfully fewer reporters fail to mention her name.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/25/11 at 04:09 PM | #

Hi James. On the key posts like SomeAlibi’s. Innai above has sharp eyes! Your helpful post on motive is included there. Various Massei summaries are there. We have some early posts still to be included at the bottom.

The site now is the equivalent of about 500 pages and the links in the right column often themselves lead into a sea of material. The best way would seem to be to provide a sitemap divided into the key areas with brief text and links to vital posts.

We’d also want to relate to the good resource collection on PMF. This new sitemap should be up in a few days. Let us know then how you think it works.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/25/11 at 04:34 PM | #


Not so much a case of sharp eyes as I need a new pair of glasses! Also I meant to say right and not left. Thanks.

Posted by James Raper on 02/25/11 at 05:25 PM | #

First of all, thanks to SomeAlibi for that very useful summary of the key points of evidence leading to the guilty verdict for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.  Because the case was so complex, it’s difficult to keep in mind at any one time all the damning evidence against the two. 

The Massei report certainly demonstrates in abundant detail the painstaking care the prosecution took in analyzing the forensic evidence, in evaluating the actions and statements of the accused, and in weighing the reliability of testimony of the various witnesses.  It is also admirable that the report gives a sense of Meredith’s character and seriousness as a student through descriptions such as “had studied the Italian language as well as Latin” and “very conscientious, very intelligent.” 

The night she was murdered Meredith had come home to study for class the next day.

As to the Lifetime film (which I did not see), I wonder how they can justify the scene (however brief it may have been) portraying Meredith on her bed romantically with Rudy Guede.  It would seem to call into question the claims that they read the Massei report frequently on the set.  Did they just gloss over the section containing, for instance,  excerpts like the following (from p. 158 of the translation so thoughtfully provided by the TJMK site)?

“During the course of the examinations performed on Meredith’s lifeless body, Dr. Lalli made a gynaecological examination and took vaginal swabs which were then given to Dr. Stefanoni for biological analysis. In one of these swabs was found biological material belonging to a male subject identified as Rudy Hermann Guede….

The fact that this behaviour occurred against Meredith’s will can be derived from what was observed in the course of forensic pathology examinations and also from the comprehensive evaluation of the scene as immortalised in the photos, which showed the almost entirely naked body of Meredith Kercher, the bloodstains, and the cut and torn bra. In his study of the body, Dr. Lalli noted the presence, in the lower region of the vagina, of small areas of ecchymosis indicative of a non-consensual sexual activity on the part of the girl.” 

Did those involved in the film really have any understanding of what Meredith Kercher went through that night?

Posted by Tullia on 02/25/11 at 10:11 PM | #

Hi Tullia. Correct. There are a couple of hints of what Meredith went through but nothing like the cruel and raging hell it must have been.

The autopsy reports in both Micheli and Massei are extremely hard going. We posted summaries here and here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/11 at 01:58 AM | #

Hi I have just finished reading the massei report, but havent read the micheli report yet. The prosecution scenario of what happened suggests a random meeting of RG & AK + RS. The prefered view is that in the house AK + RS retire for some intimacy, RG decides he wants some too and hearing MK being assaulted, AK + RS spontaneously decide to carry out a brutal sexual assault and violent murder.

Can anyone confirm if this is the conclusion of the Micheli report as well?

I was expecting to see a more plausible sequence set out based on the forensic findings.  Is there a link anywhere to the official version of what was accepted to have happened once the 3 killers were inside the cottage?

Thanks for any guidance

Posted by niktendo on 04/06/11 at 08:40 AM | #

Hi niktendo,

You are not alone in thinking the scenario painted by Massei is a bit weak. The only “official” version for the time being is Massei.

The prosecution produced a computer animated video at the trial showing how the attack, in it’s view, happened. That is not available for viewing. At any rate I have not seen it.

The trouble here is that with motive we are into speculation and we may never know what “drove” the attack though there are a number of plausible inferences: hangovers, drugs, sex, egos, jealousies, missing money etc.

If you have not already done so you might like to read my post under Pondering Motive. In addition I postulate that in an initial skirmish in the cottage AK got struck in the face and suffered a minor nose bleed as a result of which she got even more angry. It should not be forgotten that AK’s visible blood was in the bathroom right next to Meredith’s room.

Posted by James Raper on 04/06/11 at 11:22 AM | #

Hi Niktendo. This is the link to James’s excellent post on motive, perhaps the best scenario we have on the site.

Micheli put Knox front and center in his scenario and he saw Guede as a roped-in player. We translated most of Micheli (our Italian poster Nicki) but at the time did not feel compelled to finish it in legalese (a very long process) in the way the PMF team did with Massei.

You perhaps know there is a summary in four parts by Brian and Nicki under the “Micheli Report” link in the right column.

Here is the prosecution’s summation at the AK + RS trial on Friday 20 November 2009. We left out the very graphic depiction of Meredith’s final struggle. She died holding her hands to her neck.

Why Massei departed from the Micheli scenario and even more from this scenario of the prosecutors in putting Guede as the prime instigator is not entirely clear.

His report is of course a consensus report of two professional judges and six lay judges, and it is possible that several or some saw Knox and maybe Sollecito as cases needing treatment rather than out-and-out villains or Meredith’s murder as a drug-driven accident beyond the intentional hazing.

In the current appeal, the prosecution has asked for a winding back of the mitigating circumstances that Massei allowed. So AK and RS might end up with the kind of sentence Micheli would have awarded, and if that happens the Micheli scenario (which the Supreme Court of Cassation has already endorsed) would become the only one standing.

It would then be what you refer to as the official version.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/06/11 at 04:44 PM | #
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