Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Puzzle Of The Cell Phones: Was Rudy Doomed From The Start?

Posted by Arnold_Layne

Current thinking is that about a year after the three were arrested, Rudy Guede’s team decided to request a fast-track trial because his team thought Knox and Sollecito might craft a defense that made Guede appear more guilty. 

After he was convicted, defense supporters of course seized upon his conviction as the basis for the “lone wolf theory”.  It is possible, however, that Guede’s defense team was more correct all along than they might have realized - that he really was being set up.

What did Knox and Sollecito actually have planned?  Admittedly Sollecito had his knife fetish, and Knox’s sexuality was, well, you know.  But since none had committed any violent crimes in the past, it is unlikely that they planned to commit one quite so significant as a murder at this point. 

Contrary to what I had previously thought, Mignini may also be correct in his game theory.  Their plan might have been to coerce Meredith into having sex with someone.  If they couldn’t “talk her into it” they planned on intimidating her with the very large knife they brought along.

There is an inconsistency in the various scenarios that have been put forth.  In one scenario, all three came to the cottage intending to physically harm Meredith, and that is why they brought the knife and turned their cell phones off.  This doesn’t really make much sense because, for a murder, or even an assault with a knife, it was incredibly poorly planned. 

Additionally, and more importantly, none of these people had a criminal past and so it is unlikely they would plan on committing quite such a horrible crime.

Another scenario, which is along Mignini’s lines, is that the three planned to use the knife only to intimidate Meredith into doing what they wanted ““ which was to get involved in a sex act with Guede by coercing and threatening her.  This activity could be considered a sex game. 

If the terrifying trio had planned on going to see Meredith merely to play a game, then why did Sollecito and Knox turn their cell phones off?

They must have realized that there was a possibility that what they were setting out to do could end poorly.  If Meredith went along with what they planned, all would be okay.  Hopefully, she’d be a good sport when it was over.  If this is how it played out, there would have been no need to turn their cell phones off. 

But on the other hand, if she wasn’t a good sport, and called the police, they would be able to move to Plan B: blame Rudy, and deny that they were even there.  Turning their cell phones off fits with this outcome.

What this all suggests is that Rudy Guede really might have been set up. 

He clearly would have left evidence of a sexual attack; but the two others, not so much.  In fact, they may have planned to set Rudy up before they even asked him to participate.  Their plan right from the start might have been to bring in a third person to take the fall if things didn’t go well.

So Sollecito and Knox might have planned a plausible sequence of events as an alibi in which Guede would be the only perp and they could be at Sollecito’s smoking hash and watching Internet movies. 

So they needed someone who the police could easily accuse of the crime, and Rudy Guede filled the bill.

Why did they turn their cell phones off if they were only going to play a game?  I think they had already planned to get a bit more serious, and to implicate Guede as the perp.


Hi Arnold, thanks for this interesting and thought provoking post. I have for some time shared your growing belief that Rudy may have been to a certain extent coerced into taking part in the events at the cottage that night. Rudy has always struck me as the sort of young man that is easily suggestible and a bit of a pushover. From the things his guardian in Perugia has said, he also strikes me as a person with poor behavioural controls and might be to a certain extent gullible.

I too believe Rudy was a sort of pawn that night, this is not to excuse his actions as he did take part in a vicious and degrading assault on Meredith and could have called the police at any time. But the evidence suggesting he may have in some way ‘bottled it’ in the middle of the attack also lends credibility to the idea that he was not at all aroused by what he saw. This could in part explain the absence of semen at the crime scene. This in turng begs the question? Was he aware that Meredith was unlikely to consent to sexual activity? Or did he know and think he’d be able to handle it?

More questions: Was Rudy informed beforehand of any intention to harm Meredith or was he told that she was ‘up for it’? Did Rudy ‘bottle it’ because he was aware of what they would do to Meredith but found the entire thing extremely disturbing and frightening or did he end up on the toilet because he had no idea what was planned and became quite literally terrified?

I found the idea that AK and RS were able to clean up their own involvement but leave Rudy’s intact very hard to swallow when I first started reading about the case, but then I considered that if someone was watching where he put his hands , what he touched and where he’d stood on the tiles in Meredith’s room it would be quite easy to identity and leave most of these traces.

Imagine trying to remember where you have put not only your own hands and feet but someone else’s too and especially if the victim was struggling, I firmly believe someone was watching Rudy Guede very carefully that night. I think it’s highly likely that Rudy was the intended fall guy all along and any realisation of this over the last few months would have made him feel extremely stupid indeed it may also have been a factor in why he fled Perugia and why he refuses to talk now.

Great post and I look forward to reading your next one.

Posted by Miss Represented on 05/06/09 at 10:36 AM | #

I have thought back and forth, on this case. Personally I think Amanda is the key person in this drama.

IF it is true that her boyfriend (I laugh at the word used after 2 weeks friendship) was a virgin at age 24 doesn’t anybody react to this? Raffaele, the boy being so sorry because of his mother’s death, went into the trap? Guede was just a part of the requisites needed? Wow, Guede also went into the trap?

A black man, raping an innocent, intelligent and sexy woman under the eyes of the SOB, gave her satisfaction? The hatred of a person who cannot accept that there are other sexy girls around, made her blind?

Poor Knox family. The Kerchers seem to be able to stay strong, but I know in their hearts they cry.

Sansrival Aka Christina Helsinki

Posted by Sansrivale on 05/06/09 at 02:21 PM | #

I’d agree that there’s no way Meredith’s murder was planned.

I’m actually beginning to think that Amanda Knox has told the police the truth - one of the times that is.

It was as soon as I heard that she had to be removed from kitchen when one of the officers opened a drawer. This seems to tie in with her story of being in the kitchen with her hands over her ears in her confession.

I think they all intended on a sex game of some kind. It then went too far. Amanda left the room and did nothing to stop it. Rudy and Rafaelle were then left alone with Meredith.

Meredith was murdered, Amanda could hear her screams and put her hands over her ears in the kitchen, just as she said she had in her confession and just as she did when the officer opened the drawer.

They all fled, but Amanda and Rafaelle returned to clean up the crime scene - unaware of course that their bloody footprints would show up under Luminol.

Posted by mikeyverve on 05/06/09 at 04:36 PM | #

Hi Mikey,

If the people who took part in the exceptionally brutal attack on Meredith are depraved and evil enough to sexually assault, torture and murder her, then they are certainly capable of planning it. There are clearly no limits to the evil that they are capable of.

The facts don’t support your belief that Amanda Knox was in the kitchen covering her ears.

Patrizia Stefanoni has categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the double DNA knife and Amanda Knox’s DNA was on the handle. Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the scientific police in Rome, has provided independent confirmation that this forensic finding is accurate and reliable.

The implications of this piece of forensic evidence are abundantly clear: Knox either slashed or stabbed Meredith. The prosecutors and the police believe that Knox dealt the fatal blow.

The autopsy reports and detailed analysis of the crime scene by the Violent Crime Analysis Unit of the scientific police led them to conclude that Meredith was was attacked by three people. They believe that Knox wielded the knife, Guede sexually assaulted Meredith and Sollectio restrained her.

I believe Knox’s numerous shaking fits at the police station when she spoke to the police officers and the interpreters, and when she was questioned by Mignini, as well as her shaking fits at the cottage on Via della Pergola are hugely significant. I think the sheer enormity of what she had done dawned on her at these moments.

Knox also hit herself violently on the head at the police when Sollecito was being questioned and later on when she was being questioned. She was clearly extremely agitated by something she had done to Meredith on the night of the murder and it seems she was filled with intense self-loathing.

If Knox, Sollecito, or Guede had played a lesser role, they surely would have come clean. The fact that they haven’t strongly indicates that all three played very active roles in the murder of Meredith.

The attack on Meredith was clearly planned. The double DNA knife was taken to the cottage and used to stab Meredith. This shows intent to harm or kill Meredith.

Knox and Sollecito turned off their mobile phones at approximately the same time shortly before Meredith was killed. The only explanation I have for this is that they didn’t want to be disturbed or have their whereabouts traced via the mobile phone masts.

The date seems to be signifcant too. Meredith was attacked and killed on an evening when the Italian housemates and the boys downstairs were staying elsewhere. There was no chance that Knox, Sollecito and Guede were going to disturbed by one of the housemates or boys going back to the cottage.

Two people crossed Amanda Knox in her eyes: Diya Lumumba for offering Meredith work at Le Chic and demoting her, and Meredith for accepting the job offer. Meredith was murdered and Diya Lumumba was falsely accused of her murder.

I believe the catalyst for the terrible events that night was Diya Lumumba’s text message at 8.18pm. Shortly afterwards, Knox’s and Sollecito’s mobile phones were switched off and the double DNA knife was taken from Sollecito’s kitchen and used to stab Meredith.

Posted by The Machine on 05/06/09 at 08:32 PM | #

Thanks for your reply Machine.

I’ve believed for a long time that all three are guilty but never understood to what extent.

I’m not dismissing Amanda for any other reason than to try and find a plausible scenario.

That seemed like a plausible scenario and the fact that her DNA is on the handle could be that she was the one that took on the job of cleaning the knife.

I just find it hard to believe that there was ever any intention to threaten or harm Meredith into taking part in a sex game. The second it moved from persuasion to force then the only way it could end would be with Meredith’s murder otherwise as all three would be implicated by Meredith the next day so again, I find it hard to believe they’d made their decision that they were willing to go to that stage before they even arrived at the house.

But, as you say, someone brought the knife to the house so someone was willing to let it get that far from minute one.

I believe 100% that all three are involved. With all the evidence I really don’t feel there’s any disputing that. But I’ve not heard any scenarios so far that ring true.

For Meredith’s family’s sake I hope they get the answer to the one question they must be asking - Why?!

Posted by mikeyverve on 05/06/09 at 09:14 PM | #

You have to be kidding.  Rudy a pushover young man.  He had been in trouble before for robbing people with a knife. That’s exactly what happened here.  He tried to rob her, she fought back, he killed her.

When was it proven that the DNA knife found at Rafael’s place is the murder weapon?  I thought it was too big to match the bloody knife print foudn on the pillow/sheet. 
They found Rudy’s prints in her room.  How were all 3 involved yet their prints weren’t in the room only on the door handle?  Then all along they have you thinking Rafael’s bloody footprints were in the room becuase he had Nike shoes.  yet in court you find out Rudy had the same shoes.  It’s easy for a footprint to look smaller if only the front half of the shoe left a mark.

All they have on these 2 is a bloody footprint that could belong to either of the 2 men.  Amanda’s blood was not found mixed with Meredith’s in the bathroom it was Amanda’s DNA which is much different.  Her DNA would be all ovr the bathroom and Rudy then probably dripped her blood into the sink and it mixed with DNA. 

I honestly have not read one concrete proven fact.  It just troubles me that this was such a violent struggle yet Amanda and Rafael left no evidence in that ROOM.  No hair, no fingerprints, they were not bruised.  In my opinion the DNA on the bra clasp is tainted.  If all 3 were involved then there should be equal evidence in that room yet 90% of it matched Guede.  Amanda and Rafael had been in that apartment b4 there is a reasonable explanation for their DnA to be in the house.

I thought I read somewhere that early in the evening Rafael was supposed to drive his friend to the airport but at the last minute she cancelled. So when was this planned attack supposed to happen if Rafael was supposed to be at the airport?

Posted by kao555 on 05/07/09 at 12:12 AM | #

Hi kao555. Sollecito is more associated with knives than Guede - he clearly had a knife fetish and even took one to the police station. Knox has more convictions than Guede - she has one, and he has none at all. The somewhat aimless individual portrayed by Arnold and Miss Represented above seems closer to the real Rudy than your version.

The break-in theory seems to be dead. And the forensic, DNA and luminol evidence you dispute has mostly not even been presented at trial yet, so it’s not surprising you are still looking for proof. Judge Micheli saw much more of the evidence than we ever have, and in his extensive report on Guede (very damning parts of which we never posted) he observed that the wounds alone proved three parties had to have done it, and that it was a highly sadistic crime. A mere thief? He certainly thought not. 

Our DNA poster Nicki has repeatedly pointed out that DNA does not just shed, so there’s no special reason why anyone’s DNA other than Merediths’ should be in the room. And Judge Micheli concluded that only Knox had any cause for a clean-up. Guede was by then long gone - and in the process of being framed!

By the way, Arnold’s post was actually about cell phones, and about what the simultaneous turning-off implied. That implicates them too.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/07/09 at 03:18 AM | #

I lean towards the planned attack.  But the girl wanting a lift to the bus station (or whereever it was) - that throws a little monkey wrench in it.

It’s probably a safe bet to say AK and RS and RG had a date that night. 

Perhaps RS was going to meet RG for a deal, Amanda found out she didn’t have to work (maybe she’d decided not to go in anyway), and went along with RS.

Meredith got mad.  I believe the drugged up tart business.  Maybe she tried to slap Amanda, maybe it was the shaking of a finger in Amanda’s face, maybe it was telling Amanda that she would need to leave and not come back.  Meredith knew who took her money.  She was angry, and that anger killed her. Amanda told RS to grab her, or he did it of his own accord to keep her off Amanda.  Amanda pulled the knife out - then probably started giving orders. She had a plan before she ever sent the final blow; she couldn’t let meredith walk away and talk bad about her to the other roommates.  Amanda needed the money - or just simply wanted the money.

She’s a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

Posted by mylady007 on 05/07/09 at 03:55 AM | #

AK was supposed to work that night. RS was to pick up a package for a friend.  Both of these prior commitments were cancelled in that evening. So, does that rule out premeditation?  I don’t think it does.  It only allowed this to happen earlier in the evening instead of 3 or 4 in the morning.  It would be hard to plan this when there are so many roommates in the cottage. AK knew that Meredith would be home and the other roommates were staying away that night.

What amazes me is how after 2 weeks, AK could have such power over RS.  RG seems to have come under her control also.  The silence pact between them is intriguing.  I know that RG is filing an appeal.  I am sure that AK and RS will be filing appeals when they are found guilty.  I would think that one of the 3 would finally break down and confess as to what happened. 

Does anyone think after all the appeals are over that the truth will come out from one of the three?

Posted by BARBM on 05/07/09 at 08:35 AM | #


I don’t think it does rule out premeditation after all the knife was taken to the cottage from Raffaele’s apartment despite the fact that there were plenty of knives at the cottage, plus there is still the question of the second knife and who brought it with them.

With regard to them planning it for three or four in the morning it could be a possibility, but we should also consider that Rudy Guede allegedly had no phone. I’m fairly sure that as it seems the group convened at the cottage at roughly the same time that evening, that something was planned in advance. Had the plan been to frighten, scare or hurt Meredith at 3 or 4 in the morning then Rudy would have been expecting to meet up with the others around that time. But he didn’t, he arrived hours earlier.

If the plan had suddenly changed because Amanda no longer needed to go to work and Raffaele no longer needed to give someone a lift to the train station, then someone surely would have had to find a way of informing Rudy Guede, doing this discreetly could have been a problem as he had no phone. I’m sure that had the ‘event’ actually been planned in advance that neither of them would have been stupid enough to run up the road and tell him in person.

So it seems to follow that as the ‘group’ convened at the cottage at approximately the same sort of time that something was planned in advance for that time. The issue with Amanda having to go to work and Raffaele having to give someone a lift to the train station really doesn’t complicate things too much. Amanda may have been quite happy to have skipped work, thought about calling in sick or not turning up, (hey it wouldn’t be the first time remember the Bundestag?) it may have just been a bonus that Lumumba told her not to go in. It could also have irritated her so much that she decided that she decided to take a knife with her to the cottage, we’ll never know.

Similarly, a lot of people assume that as Raffaele had agreed to give someone a lift to the train station that he would actually do it and if he did, what’s to stop him popping out and coming back later? I’d understand the reluctance to believe anything was pre-planned for the evening if Amanda and Raffaele had concert tickets, but all he had planned for the evening was giving someone a lift to the train station? That’s hardly a 500km pilgrimage across the Siberian desert.

Posted by Miss Represented on 05/07/09 at 12:24 PM | #

Hi MR. I agree, no Siberian desert trek! Taking either of the two fast routes to the station (the one outside the city wall and the one down behind the School for Foreigners) Raffaele could have been there in less than five minutes.

The other variable of course is the time Meredith arrived home. AK knew she was at the English girls’ house for dinner, and might have expected her back rather later than nine-ish. Meredith seems to have arrived home (1) after the cell phones went off (2) after the knife was transported (3) after all 3 had assembled at the house. But before or during (4) just what?? Was this a plan, interrupted? Or fast-forwarded on the seats of their pants, perhaps as MyLady suggests? Certainly it seems (a) any plan did not work out like clockwork, but (b) harm to poor Meredith was intended, regardless.

I had long wondered if Guede was (still) there just by accident - if he should have done his transaction, whatever it was, and been long gone. But Arnold shows how useful his presence actually was. It is still confounding things now.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/07/09 at 04:02 PM | #

Hi Barb. Yes, the appeals of Guede and, if convicted, the other two are automatic under the Italian systems and are apparently quite elaborate. Biscotti has already declared what he thinks are Guede’s best arguments, which sounded pretty thin to us. Who talks, if anyone? My guess is no-one will ever be able to force themselves to say all. Denial or shame will outlive all perps.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/07/09 at 05:09 PM | #

I’m making a guess that the plan may have evolved from playing some sort of Halloween trick on Meredith, like scaring her with knives while wearing costumes. Thus the repeated phone calls from AK to MK on Halloween. This didn’t work out.

The other plan, possibly separate, was to steal Meredith’s money and buy drugs (mushrooms?). Thus even though RS had never met RG before, AK had smoked pot with him downstairs. Perhaps she found out while smoking and talking that he could provide various drugs.

They were doing their drug deal and Meredith arrives home and finds her rent $ missing and her roomate buying drugs. She accuses Amanda of the theft. A fight breaks out and the 3 defendents attack MK. Things get out of hand since they may be high on mushrooms.

This doesn’t seem like a stretch to me.

Posted by bedelia on 05/07/09 at 05:33 PM | #

I am also tempted on leaning towards an idea about Amanda’s theft of the money as an attempt to stir things up and get a reaction out of Meredith. Once Meredith saw her money was missing and the obvious culprit being either Amanda or one of the vagabonds Amanda had brought to the house she would have been angry and may have actually said something to Amanda. Once confronted Amanda then has an excuse to lash out or threaten Meredith and start the ball rolling toward Mez’s death. It would be harder to attack a person out of the blue compared to if they confront you.
Of course this is merely speculation but if I am annoyed at someone I usually do something to wind them up and make them snap at me first so then I am fired up to have it out with them- its much harder to just walk in a room and start a row, almost justified.
This would also account for the knife being close at hand;
Amanda: “I dare her to say anything to me about the money. If she tries to have a go just wait til she sees what I’ve brought along, that’ll soon bring her down a peg or two”

Posted by Ginny on 05/07/09 at 06:04 PM | #

The more I see from pics and reports, re todays´trial, I think the real victims are; Meredith of course, her family and Curt Knox.

Amanda and Raffele´s only chance is that they are convicted as insane people.

Laughing in the court?? when accused of murder! Seems to me both are so insane that neither parents or lawyers are able to stop them, the best place probably is a mental hospital.

Amanda Knox seems to be a psychopath, able to manipulate, professors of UW, close friends, if any, mother and virgin guys from Italy.

Curt Knox, stay strong, your ex-wife and toyboy have got a part of this horrible story.

Posted by Sansrivale on 05/08/09 at 02:09 PM | #

I’m not sure where to put this comment. I have have read in the past that Rudy was a small-time drug dealer, although I am not sure that this is the current belief. I have wondered, since Amanda and Raffaele seem to have been short of cash and even really indulgent parents might take it amiss if they were asked for additional money because the allowance had been spent on drugs, if instead of the so-called sex game the following scenario might have played out.

Amanda meets Rudy at the neighbors downstairs. Rudy indicates to Amanda that he is interested in sex with Meredith but she’s not interested or he doesn’t know how to arrange the liaison. (Given Amanda’s history, the subject of sex might well have come up.) Amanda says, “oh, that’s easy, you supply us with drugs and I’ll set you up with Meredith.” Knowing Meredith might be reluctant, the knife goes in the purse as a persuader, Amanda lets Rudy in while she and Raffaele stand by to assist should Meredith object…and then Meredith screamed and the whole thing got out of hand. The money might have been snatched from Meredith’s purse after the killing, after all, Rudy would need something to aid in his escape or possibly it was shared between the three. Given that nothing I have read so far indicates that Amanda, Raffaele and Rudy socialized much as a group, so a sex game between friends seems a little unlikely.

Posted by beans on 05/10/09 at 02:37 AM | #

Has it been discussed that maybe the lack of fingerprints on or near the body could be that the perps wore gloves? It’s very obvious there was a cleanup to remove evidence in other parts of the house. Hopefully, every person involved in this heinous crime will be punished to the max.

Posted by Mama P on 05/10/09 at 05:20 AM | #

Hi Beans. Rudy Guede had no drug convictions, of course. He seems to have eyed both Meredith and Amanda Knox at some point, but I have not heard that he had a fetish for Meredith.

Miss Represented in her latest post quotes from the extensive literature on assaults and sex crimes, and points to evidence that Guede was an incidental player or latecomer who seems to have found himself in over his head. And Arnold in this post wonders if he was brought in as the fall guy.

If you study the PMF forum a few months back you will see that there was some hope that Guede would prove to be the more incidental player and the one to come clean if anyone did. This was in part because of what seemed to be a part-accurate account he wrote up while in Germany.

But the mood moved seriously against him after he was sentenced, and especially after Judge Micheli’s report on him (which we posted on) which dismissed that diary as mostly lies came out at the end of January.

So he seems a very bad dude and a contributor to the terrible tragedy of Meredith but possibly not the instigator.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/10/09 at 05:46 AM | #

Hi Mama P. Yes it is widely presumed that those who did the clean-up wore gloves. I will have to check within the group and see what precisely is known about this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/10/09 at 05:50 AM | #

Hi Peter,
Thanks for checking into this and I apologize for not making myself clear. I was asking if you think Amanda and Raffaele wore gloves during the attack on Meredith.

Posted by Mama P on 05/11/09 at 03:55 PM | #

Hi all - I’ve been lurking and reading for a long time, but what I can’t get my head around is why Rudy hasn’t said anything.
As far as I remember, he opted for the fast-track trial to avoid all the blame being put on him, and got 30 years. The other two haven’t based their defence on the lone wolf theory, as far as I can see. Is there something legally against them pushing the statement,“You’ve already got your murderer” at every opportunity? If not, then it appears to me they’re not doing it for a reason.
Did they convince Rudy that he wouldn’t be safe in Italy unless he was in prison?
Where did he get the money to flee to Germany?
I can’t work out his silence, unless someone’s got something worse than 30 years on a murder and sexual assault charge on him??

Posted by NearlyNeville on 06/20/09 at 10:50 AM | #
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