Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TJMK’s Review Of John Follain’s Very Meticulous Book On Meredith And Her Case “Death In Perugia”

Posted by James Raper

[Platform behind the train at the main railway station is where Meredith first set foot in Perugia]

“Death in Perugia”  by John Follain is 433 pages long, about the same length as “Darkness Descending” There is a lengthy list of acknowledgements. The blurb on the cover reads “Uniquely based on four years of reporting and access to the case files, Death in Perugia takes readers on a riveting journey behind the scenes of the investigation, as John Follain shares the drama of the trials and appeal hearings he lived through.”

The final section (from Nov 2010) is devoted to Knox and Sollecito’s appeal (with mention of Guede’s final appeal) and is relatively short ““ just fifty pages, but it does succeed in redressing much of the misreporting of the evidence heard during the appeal, leaving the reader as bewildered as ever about the acquittal verdict.

Indeed the book ends quite suddenly, but appropriately, with the words of Judge Hellmann ““ “Maybe Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito also know what happened that night, because our acquittal verdict stems from the truth which was established in the trial. But the real truth can be different. They may be responsible, but there isn’t the evidence.”

This book amply contradicts the notion that there isn’t the evidence.

I have to say, though, that given that the court hearings contained many days, if not weeks, of testimony by, and cross-examination of, experts, particularly in relation to the DNA evidence, and that this was also covered at great length in the Massei Report, I was initially surprised that this was covered so little in the book.

It is not that he ignored it but there is no layman’s introduction to the subject of DNA, no explanation nor mention of PCRs, electropherograms, FRUs, polymerase chain reactions, peaks, drop ins and drop outs, stutters etc. The author steers clear of delving into a science which perhaps he, and no doubt most of us, do not really understand and are glad to be spared.

He concentrates more on character, events and outcomes, on what was said, written and reported. These include his own author interviews, including with Amanda’s parents and stepfather, prison officials and guards, the prison chaplain and prison inmates, and the Kercher family. He had access to the 10,000-page files of the prosecutor’s investigation, Amanda Knox’s taped meetings with her family in prison, her diaries, and a complete set of the verbatim transcripts of the first 11 month trial, much of which he attended including the appeal trial.

In particular Follain had a 6 hour interview with Sophie Purton and corresponded by e-mail with Amy Frost.

Follain states that his aim was to write an objective account, and in that he has succeeded.

Content is delivered in chronological order without editorial analysis. Topics - my own favourites being the staged burglary, the manipulation of the crime scene, and Amanda’s blood on the faucet in the small bathroom - are not given special treatment or explanation. To have done so could in any event give rise to a charge of advocacy. The reader is left to form his own judgement

Some people might argue as to whether it is a balanced account. Of course he has had to be selective with the material available and that is obviously a matter of choice in which some bias may arise. 

For instance he gives some prominence to the relationship between Meredith and Amanda and to Amanda’s's behaviour at the police station as seen through the eyes of Meredith’s English girlfriends, discussion between them afterwards as to Amanda’s's behaviour including her behaviour during the trials, and their reactions to the acquittals.

None of the English girlfriends has any doubt as to Amanda’s involvement in the murder even if they cannot figure out motive and exactly what happened. Sophie Purton obviously found everything very stressful, including giving evidence when, she says, she almost fell to pieces. If the prominence given to these girls’ accounts and observations is a bias it should be remembered that they are witnesses in their own right and -  given that Curt, Edda and Chris were constantly in front of TV cameras and giving interviews to the press asserting Amanda’s innocence, whilst the Kerchers were not ““ giving the girls a say is both illuminating and provides some balance retrospectively.

There are many interesting nuggets of information in the book. Just referring to a few of them hardly does justice. The following struck me.

Amanda appears to have admired Laura for her strong personality as well as her guitar playing, and days after arriving back at the cottage in late September after her short trip to Germany she copied Laura by having eight piercings done in one ear and three in the other, all in one go. The speed with which Amanda had copied Laura’s piercings surprised Meredith. “Amanda’s a bit obsessed with Laura. She got herself the same piercings Laura had, and they’ve only just met!” Meredith told her friend Sophie.

Meredith, who was already in residence when Amanda arrived, was quick to include Amanda in social activities with her English girlfriends, but despite this act of inclusion it appears that Amanda started to become resentful at not being the centre of attention and to accentuate her own difference would often insist on speaking in Italian to them or singing loudly and unexpectedly. Indeed a feeling gradually developed amongst the English girls, and with Filomena and Laura, that Amanda was, well, a bit weird. [Did Amanda end up blaming Meredith for this?]

As in prison, Knox kept a diary on arrival in Perugia. The pages for October had however been ripped out.

At the police station ““  ““Oh Amanda, I’m so sorry!” Sophie exclaimed as she instinctively put her arms around her and gave her a bear hug.  Amanda didn’t hug Sophie back. Instead she stiffened, holding her arms down by her sides. Amanda said nothing.  Surprised Sophie let go of her after a couple of seconds and stepped back. There was no trace of emotion on Amanda’s face. Raffaele walked up to Amanda, and took hold of her hand: the couple just stood there, ignoring Sophie, and gazing at each other.”

“Robyn was also shocked to see the way Amanda translated the word “minaccia” (threat) for Raffaele when Meredith’s friends talked about an English media report of a threat made before the murder [the bomb threat to Mrs Lana].  Robyn saw Amanda repeat the Italian word minaccia to Raffaele several times, her face up close to his. She would say the word, then kiss him, then repeat it, then kiss him again and then they both laughed.”

“Amanda was the first to have her fingerprints taken and came back complaining that her hands were dirty”¦”¦”¦.Amanda suddenly raised her eyes to the ceiling and shouted vehemently: “Those fucking bastards!” Sophie and Samantha stared at each other bewildered.”

It emerges that Amanda was being bugged by the police almost from the start. When she and Raffaele arrived together at the police station on the 5th November they were deliberately placed together in a room with a microphone in a cardboard box on top of a cupboard. However the microphone picked up only part of their conversation ““ they often dropped their voices and the noise from a nearby playground made it difficult to hear what was being said.

As to the taped prison conversations there is, disappointingly, no further context to the “I was there” business. Indeed it seems that Amanda and her parents were aware from early on that their conversations were being bugged. On several occasions Amanda raises her voice to repeat ” I am innocent, I am innocent” for the benefit of the hidden microphone, and Edda, on one occasion, is recorded as mockingly saying “Testing, testing, anyone there?”

Four pages are given to Comodi’s cross-examination of Conti and Vecchiotti, to surprisingly good effect I thought, although Comodi became exasperated with them on more than one occasion.  For instance (C & V having agreed that Meredith’s profile was on the knife blade but, since the test could not be repeated, this was unreliable in their opinion) ““

“Vecchiotti said she had no idea that Stefanoni had carried out the so-called negative tests intended to exclude the possibility of contamination. The tests had been filed with an earlier judge, and Judge Pratillo Hellmann later admitted them as evidence at the trial.

Nor did Vecchiotti know that Stefanoni had analysed the traces on the knife in her laboratory six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA.

“Are six days enough to guarantee that a test tube doesn’t come into contact with another test tube?” Comodi asked.

“They’re sufficient if that’s the way things went,” Vecchiotti replied stubbornly.

“You can’t cast doubt on everything the forensic police write!” Comodi fired back.”

And a final, rather depressing quote ““

Mignini “felt the DNA review had very probably persuaded the court ““ assuming it needed persuading in the first place ““ to cast doubt over his entire case. [He] had looked into the chances of America ever extraditing Amanda to Italy if she was acquitted and then found guilty when the case went to the Supreme Court for a second appeal. Officials told him that yes, there was an extradition treaty between the two countries, but no, America would never send Amanda back.”

“Death in Perugia” is a significant addition to anyone’s overall knowledge of the case, and for this reason I urge anyone interested to buy and read it. But with the appeal court’s Motivation Report and the second appeal still pending, it is premature for it to lay claim to being the definitive account.

What it does do is leave the reader disturbed with aspects of the verdict.

Posted by James Raper on 10/26/11 at 04:37 PM in News media & moviesExcellent reporting


Great review. Seems a very timely book. The UK Amazon website is only set up for pounds sterling so we’re contacting John Follain’s publishers to explore if there might be a way for US readers to pay in $$$ or if there might follow soon a US printing.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/26/11 at 05:55 PM | #


Here’s the link to US Amazon. I purchased it from a seller in Oregon for $18.50.

Posted by Jeff Friend on 10/26/11 at 06:23 PM | #

I ordered mine yesterday. Thanks for the review James, I’m bracing myself for the frustration I’ll inevitably feel afterwards! How does Hellman sleep at night?

Posted by Melanie on 10/26/11 at 06:23 PM | #

Hellmans quote .. “Maybe Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito also know what happened that night, because our acquittal verdict stems from the truth which was established in the trial. But the real truth can be different,”... has bothered me from the day I first heard it, it really is a ridiculous thing to say. In fact it’s almost as bad as “’s the best truth I’ve been able to think” - Amanda Knox.

I feel for the Prosectution and Stefanoni, it seems they really were never in with a shot. She’ll never be sent back to Italy…

Posted by Melanie on 10/26/11 at 06:34 PM | #

Hi Melanie. “She’ll never be sent back to Italy…”

Quite possibly not but as you know that is not the only point of the second appeal and the prosecutors seems not to be deterred by it.

RS and AK and their families will have to decide whether to be present at further proceedings. So far it seems that sympathy grew for them as a familiar presence in the courtroom. If they are not there that is gone. 

If found guilty on any counts at a new trial or a rethink ordered by Cassation it will put additional pressure on RS and AK for a lifetime and may split them apart. (I think its in the cards for a rejected RS to sooner or later turn on AK.)

And theres the lifetime fugitive from Interpol thing which would not help on the career resumes and rule out most foreign travel, also for a lifetime.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/26/11 at 06:49 PM | #

Hi Jeffshana. Thanks a lot for the link. Could you post again when it comes?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/26/11 at 06:51 PM | #

Thanks Peter, as always you are correct, that makes me feel a bit better. I can’t see them staying together. One thing that did raise a smile from me the day after the acquital was when Edda’s mother was asked if Knox and Sollecito would ‘get back together’, she told the interviewer not to be so silly, how could that possibly happen when they live thousands of miles apart and only knew each other a short time. I quite liked that lady, she called him back to tell him that she never stopped thinking of the Kerchers from the very first day.

Posted by Melanie on 10/26/11 at 08:17 PM | #

Hi James,

Thanks for writing this excellent review of Death in Perugia. Along with Angel Face and Darkness Descending, John Follain’s book is essential reading.

Incidentally, the forensic police attributed one of the Luminol footprints in the corridor to Raffaele Sollecito. John is correct.


Some of the references for Sollecito’s footprint (not shoeprint) found with Luminol in the corridor are now added:

“From our investigations we were able to conclude that the footprint found on the bath mat was compatible with that of Sollecito as was one found in the corridor using Luminol,” Dr Rinaldi said.

Sky News

“Rinaldi was also further quoted as saying a second footprint, in a corridor, was also attributed to Sollecito”

Komo News

“Police scientist Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi told the court the footprints were discovered with a substance called Luminol which turns blue in the presence of blood.  He said the print on the bathmat and one in the corridor matched prints taken from Sollecito.”

Croydon Guardian

Massei report page 348

“Moving to the conclusions on the matter, the Rinaldi-Boemia consultancy (the Luminol-positive prints considered usable had the outlines of the foot absolutely defined, explained Dr. Rinaldi) expressed itself as being: in favour of the compatibility of the print in finding 2 (the only useable one of the two parallel prints, the one on the right) with the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito. “

Massei report page 349

“In this particular case, they lead to an opinion of probable identity with one subject (Sollecito with respect to trace 2, Amanda Knox with respect to traces 1 and 7) and to the demonstrated exclusion of the other two. (The Massei report, page 349).”

I posted on this on TJMK in July 2009.

Posted by The Machine on 10/26/11 at 09:19 PM | #

Oggi magazine out today in italy. RS says he and AK talk often on the phone and write each other almost every day. He confirmed he will be travelling to the USA to see her and is looking forward to hugging her and looking into her eyes. He says he may not even wait until Christmas to go to Seattle.

Meantime the negotiating for the first interview is underway reportedly for a million dollars. With lots more to come. They could both do an interview who knows.

Posted by mason2 on 10/26/11 at 09:38 PM | #

Great review and … quod erat demonstrandum …

… Raffaele is going to study in the US.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/26/11 at 10:06 PM | #

I’m in the middle of the book which I got from Amazon UK on Kindle. This workaround is a bit sketchy from an ethical perspective, but what I did is get a UK email address from as well as picked a random shop in London to call my home. I then registered on Amazon UK with this info as well as my US credit card and was able to buy the kindle version for about USD $11.50 including tax and my credit card’s 3% currency conversion fee. Don’t tell anyone 😉

James Raper’s review is in agreement with my impression to this point. It’s not the definitive account, but it has far fewer errors than any of the other books. The book has a very nice treatment of Meredith’s family and friends. The portrait that is painted of Knox is subtlely devastating.

PS I didn’t know that Filomena’s makeup was missing. What’s up with that??

Posted by brmull on 10/26/11 at 10:08 PM | #

mason2, This is what is referred to as a show-mance. I don’t buy it all. Zero. Not one bit. I do believe that they are both crazy, as portrayed very well in Follain’s book.

Posted by brmull on 10/26/11 at 10:12 PM | #

Interesting about Solly moving to the States. I’d say Curt and Edda are thrilled at the prospects of a double interview. However, I would imagine Amanda will tire of him quickly and I’d say he’d be a bit of a clinger-on!. You never know Peter - we might get her back to Italy after all .. if only to get away from him LOL!!

Posted by Melanie on 10/26/11 at 10:14 PM | #

thank you very much. From your link, I ordered Follain’s book.

James Raper, thank you very much for your thoughtful reflections on this book. I’m sure I’ll finish it more riled than ever that Amanda and Raf walked. As I read old posts lately, her guilt jumps out worse than ever. Shame Shame, as the Italians yelled at the verdict.

Amanda’s outright body rejection of Sophie’s hug in sympathy for Meredith is so telling.

As for the Knox brigade all back home together on the mothership in Seattle now, ha! I would hate to be a part of that miserable family with their welcome home Amanda nightmare.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/27/11 at 12:49 AM | #

@ Melanie and ncountryside.

May not be on the cards after all - yet there again this is all tabloid fodder:

Posted by thundering on 10/27/11 at 01:48 AM | #

I think both sets of parents know the truth of it. But I agree with the Doctor It makes more sense for them to stay apart, and I would believe the line that says his father would prefer him to marry an Italian.The Doctor obviously blames Knox for leading him astray, he is a weak boy - he will not disobey Papa. With regard to the actual article - shame that they are still getting it wrong re the evidence ‘contamination’ and so forth and they only gave a passing mention to the appeal implying that it’s so far away it may not happen. Here’s hoping for a rude awakening for the DM.

An afterthought, Curt says that prison hasn’t affected her, that’s very, very odd. He says she’s less trusting of authority - what authority? The people who checked her passport on the way back to the States? The only thing I can think of is that she’s worried about the appeal ... I really hope so.

Posted by Melanie on 10/27/11 at 11:42 AM | #

Hi.  Re Amazon - I have always used both US and UK sites without any difficulties at all….. am really puzzled by the posts ......

Posted by thundering on 10/27/11 at 02:46 PM | #

Hi thundering. There was only one post (mine!) reporting what emailers were noting, that the UK Amazon is set up to pay in pounds sterling. What currency do you pay in there?

It seems from jeffshana that Amazon US or a subsidiary has imported a small supply of the books and it would be way cheaper for US residents to buy from there.

Good old Amazon. Much loved, and one of the real bright spots of the American economy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/27/11 at 03:03 PM | #

Sollecito’s ole man puts his foot down against the lovies getting it together again. An interesting choice of words - “there will only be pain in that direction.”  Bet AK is more mad than usual.

Posted by nopassingby on 10/27/11 at 03:14 PM | #

Thanks a lot for the link nopassingby.

We reckon these ambivalences between the three are going to play out for years unless someone breaks.

Really nothing has changed since our very astute Italian lawyer poster Cesare Beccaria posted his series in May 2010.

“How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire”

In the article you link to, Doc Soll seems to be signalling how he thinks RS could break.

Alone and lonely in the US with problems finding an employer who would want him and rejected by Amanda either openly or in terms of her taking another boyfriend or a husband. He could soon be back on drugs and violent porn.

Seems they are in this kabuki dance for life unless…. just dont be walking down any dark alleys (joke, joke).

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/27/11 at 03:33 PM | #

Hi Peter.  Well, when I am home (in UK) I buy mostly from Amazon UK but go to Amazon US - and sometimes Amazon France or Germany if I need a foreign language title - if the UK site doesn’t have the book.  I just pay in the currency of the site with my credit card and the bank does the exchange.  Never had any problems.  Am now in Asia and use both US and UK sites - same method.

Posted by thundering on 10/27/11 at 04:49 PM | #

Interesting data for Amazon - there was an article I read the other day saying that Amazon was going bust because of Kindle .....

Posted by thundering on 10/27/11 at 04:57 PM | #

Some of the evidence consists of “shoe-prints”, and some consists of “foot-prints”, but both tend to be referred-to as “foot-prints”.

Aren’t they quite different things, with quite different significances?

Wouldn’t it be less confusing to make-clear which one is the case?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 10/27/11 at 07:16 PM | #

A less detailed review of John Follain’s book in today’s Guardian:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/27/11 at 10:29 PM | #

Good old abc to the rescue.

Posted by Miriam on 10/28/11 at 12:08 AM | #

Posted by Miriam on 10/28/11 at 12:11 AM | #

“She does not mention Miss Kercher by name in the letters, which were written between January 2008, shortly after she was imprisoned, and January 2011, nine months before she was released” - Daily Telegraph.

““Why am I here? It is really torture. I am being tortured. It is not right. I’m suffering so much.” - Knox.

“OK, so the police may think bad things of me, and in the meantime I understand that they want to stop me fleeing from the situation, but why in prison? I’m 20 years old. I’ve never committed a crime” - Knox.

From ...

I suggest statement analysts and psychoanalysts would have a field day with these evasion-laden prison writings. Even the apparently innocuous “I’ve never committed a crime” is highly evasive. As for not mentioning Meredith Kercher in her letters - argggghhhhhh…...............

She avoids Meredith’s name and, as far as I understand it, she avoids saying “I didn’t kill Meredith.”  Is she playing mind games and [not “or”] is she saying “i was a participant in her murder but don’t like the idea, let alone the memories?” If she in on the psychopathic spectrum, however, she may have very very little or no emotional link with the crime.

Posted by nopassingby on 10/28/11 at 12:55 AM | #

Hi Cardiol,

In the section of the Massei report entitled The Prints Highlighted by Luminol (page 344), one of the Luminol footprints in the corridor is attributed to Raffaele Sollecito:

“Moving to the conclusions on the matter, the Rinaldi-Boemia consultancy (the Luminol-positive prints considered usable had the outlines of the foot absolutely defined, explained Dr. Rinaldi) expressed itself as being: in favour of the compatibility of the print in finding 2 (the only useable one of the two parallel prints, the one on the right) with the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito.” (page 348).

“In this particular case, they lead to an opinion of probable identity with one subject (Sollecito with respect to trace 2, Amanda Knox with respect to traces 1 and 7) and to the demonstrated exclusion of the other two.” (page 349).

I added this to my first comment eighth from the top above with some media references.

Posted by The Machine on 10/28/11 at 03:28 PM | #

Hi The Machine,

Thanks for your “not shoeprint” addition, including the left/right distinction.

My main concern was the potential confusion between Guede’s “prints” and Sollecito’s, found in many other posts and sources.

Sollecito’s were bare-footprints; Guede’s were shoeprints.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 10/28/11 at 04:56 PM | #

I believe USA might extradict Knox, even Nancy Grace thinks she’s involved. But it annoys me that the 2 of them can now communicate with each oter,and even meet, they are propably plotting together what to say in next court hearing,fixin their alibis so that they are supporting each other, and they propably try to hide more evidence if possible, like what happened to the computers, or pay for some criminals to give them alibis, or even take the blame, like they paid for that Alessi or who ever.If only someone could read their emails what are they writing to each other now, or bug their phones to hear how they confess this murder. Would it be legal to do it? Could police or some private detector bug their phones and solve this case for good??

Posted by Poppins on 10/28/11 at 05:11 PM | #

Another idea: would it be legal for some one in Bari, to go outside to Rafaelle’s room, and listen to his conversations with private detective hearing aid-machine (the thing they use in movies from the car).I’m not recommending this if it’s illegal obviously.Or just simply stand behind his window and listen?? 😊 I’m a bit tired in this case, that’s why it came to my mind.

Posted by Poppins on 10/28/11 at 05:19 PM | #

I have edited out my remark about Follain perhaps making a mistake about a luminol enhanced footprint in the corridor belonging to Sollecito. Thank you Machine for your response. Apologies to Follain.

Posted by James Raper on 10/28/11 at 05:30 PM | #

If this case had been conducted in an English-speaking courtroom, we would not be having this problem. I.e., having to wait four years for the facts to come out. Sigh. This is just all so distressing, especially for Meredith’s family.

I hope this book gets wide circulation in the English-speaking world. I think my two local library systems are going to soon get a new request.

Posted by Earthling on 10/28/11 at 05:44 PM | #

Problemo. Some 5 star reviews on Amazon of the book would help to counter Marriott’s campaign which has already begun there to try to mark it down to 2 or 1 stars.

It seems only those who already bought the book from Amazon can add reviews. Might some readers help out by posting positive reviews?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/28/11 at 07:53 PM | #


I don’t think only people who have bought the books from Amazon can post reviews there. I have posted reviews for products that I brought elsewhere (while mentioning that I did not purchase it from Amazon). It is true that you need to sign up but I am pretty sure anyone can register. Infact, when I logged in to my account and clicked on “create review”, it opened up alright but since I have not read the book yet, I could not post a review. I intend to do so soon. Are you saying there is some restriction which prevents you from actual submission?

If not, I request people who have read the book to please register with Amazon and post reviews. Already, people from AK’s camp have started posting negative reviews. It is pretty evident that they are from the support camp since most are from US (one is from Seattle in particular) and have just signed up to post this review with no other reviews to their name. If the book gets lot of negative reviews, people who do not know much about the case will be discouraged from buying it. It’s worth the hassle to sign up to prevent this.


Posted by Sara on 10/28/11 at 08:35 PM | #

Ah, I see that I was kinda wrong. You don’t need to purchase the book from Amazon but you need to have made some purchase from Amazon at some point :(. Well, if you have a kindle you could just buy some cheap books for a dollar or two to give yourself the privilege I guess. There are loads in the kindle store.

Posted by Sara on 10/28/11 at 08:47 PM | #

I also ordered a copy of the book at amazon germany. I’m gonna write a reaview after I read it.
Thank you so much for this site! Here in Germany you hear nothing about this case. It has been on the TV News just twice this year. First time when Mario Alessi appeard, and of course a few weeks ago after the verdict.
I’m very happy that I have found this site, it is very informative. There are so many sites (of course the pro-Knox sites) that just concentrate on the double-dna-knive and the bra-clasp. But there is so much more on this case to concentrate on.
I have a huge family in Sicily, and they all think that the Knox-Clan paid to free Amanda. They all think that she is guilty and they all think that a huge amount of money is involved.

I have a question: As far as I know there will be an appeal next year at the supremecourt in Rome. Of course Knox don’t will be present in court, but what if the Judge says that she is guilty?
I guess that nothing changes for her, as long as she dosen’t travel to Italy her whole life.
Am I right??? If for example she travels to germany or an other EU-Country, could they send her to Italy???
I apologize if my english isn’t understandeble 😊

Posted by Terry on 10/28/11 at 11:54 PM | #

@ Terry,

My very limited understanding is that the Italy has extradition treaties with the US, and likely within the EU. Whether such treaties are honored is another matter.

Posted by Marcello on 10/29/11 at 04:44 AM | #

Even my limited understanding is that US will not extradite her as they have a very poor record of extraditing their citizens in criminal matters. I don’t know if other EU countries can take the liberty of extraditing her on behalf of US if she visits those countries but I don’t think it would be a realistic scenario in any case. If a country is likely to extradite her, she would not come anywhere close to it. I am sure she won’t travel without finding out all that information beforehand if she is declared guilty in absentia. This is probably what everyone means by her international travelling abilities getting “extremely limited”. It is a very very small consolation though, in my opinion.

Posted by Sara on 10/29/11 at 07:16 AM | #

Very informative link, thanks Peter re: Really nothing has changed since our very astute Italian lawyer poster Cesare Beccaria posted his series in May 2010.

“How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire”

I was wondering if any new evidence might be found if the clothing were retested, at least for a civil case if not the second appeal.  How is it possible there was no DNA but MKs on the bathmat print? 

Look at this cold case solved after 24 years on the basis of new fingerprints:

Posted by believing on 10/29/11 at 07:20 AM | #

Interesting factoid from Follain’s book regarding where Sollecito’s fingerprints were found:

-Outside of Meredith’s door (I get that one)
-Inside the fridge (hmm…)
-Inside of Laura’s door (I don’t get this at all)

If one assumes that Knox and Sollecito didn’t actually search the house because they already knew what happened, then perhaps Sollecito went into Laura’s room looking for a window to stage the “break-in” (would have been much easier than Filomena’s except Laura’s window has a grate).

Another very interesting tidbit is Jovana Popovic’s statement that she stopped by Sollecito’s apartment at 5:45 and they were both rather standoffish, but when she returned at 8:40 Knox was chatty and giddy. This fits with the theory that they turned off their phones because they were on drugs and couldn’t hold it together to interact with sober people.

Posted by brmull on 10/29/11 at 11:22 AM | #

@believing: “How is it possible there was no DNA but MKs on the bathmat print?”

Kind of suspicious isn’t it? You’d think Knox’s DNA would be there. It supports the theory that the bathmat was washed. But why didn’t Knox destroy the bathmat when it wouldn’t come clean? All I can think is that she’d been up all night and wasn’t thinking clearly, or maybe she decided it didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t *her* foot.

Posted by brmull on 10/29/11 at 12:03 PM | #

@brmull - I thought they only tested the bloody footprint on the mat left by Guede for DNA.  I would imagine that AKs and Guedes DNA should be on that mat.

Posted by Martinogg on 10/29/11 at 12:31 PM | #

When you do the mixed blood analysis, a small sample is carefully collected (this is the most critical part of the whole process) and the DNA is extracted and amplified and processed.  The final “product” is put in the machine which gives a series of peaks that are next matched against the individual (reference sample) peaks.  If the output from the machine matches two sets of references we can conclude that the original sample has two different sources of DNA. However,...

During the sample collection and preparation it is practically impossible to ensure that the in the sample two sets of DNA are present in reasonable proportion.  If one of the DNA is less than 10% of the other, then we get two sets of peaks that are (approx) 10 times less in intensity.  One set of peaks will be high intensity (the major contribution of DNA) and the other set will be low intensity (the minor contribution of DNA).  AND if the signals are low, the defence is going to claim that it is a contamination. Now we have a way to separate the individual DNA(s) and amplify them and study them but this technology has not been used in this case. Also if we collect sample that are clearly not blood, then the excuse will be that AK is living there and it is occurring “naturally”. 

Blood has a tendency to clot and removal of blood is VERY difficult from rough surfaces (including bathmats).  Normal cells sticking to the surface loosely will be easily washed off.  I think that is precisely that has happened in this case.

Metal grille on windows are placed to deter thieves.  They look ugly (Italians are very fussy about looks) and the window without the grille was considered inaccessible and therefore the grille was not put.  If I have to choose a room first, I would choose the room with the best view.

It must have been the owner’s opinion that the window is inaccessible and hence decided that there is no need to “ugly-fy” the window and the room.  After all this is an old building has it has its own appeal.

Posted by chami on 10/29/11 at 06:49 PM | #

@Martinogg, There are at least five pieces of evidence that the footprint on the bathmat isn’t Guede’s:

-Dr. Rinaldi’s testimony that it’s consistent with Sollecito but not Guede
-Lack of Guede’s DNA in the bathroom
-Evidence of a partial clean-up in the bathroom
-Guede’s footprints go straight out the door
-Guede claimed towels were kept in the bathroom, when there were not

Posted by brmull on 10/29/11 at 09:18 PM | #

@Martinogg, Make that six:

In their early accounts, neither Knox nor Sollecito described the blood on the bathmat as a footprint—suggesting they left the bathmat because they didn’t realize it was a footprint that could be tied to Sollecito.

Posted by brmull on 10/30/11 at 01:50 AM | #

This part is really disturbing to me from the post above:

“Robyn was also shocked to see the way Amanda translated the word “minaccia” (threat) for Raffaele when Meredith’s friends talked about an English media report of a threat made before the murder [the bomb threat to Mrs Lana].  Robyn saw Amanda repeat the Italian word minaccia to Raffaele several times, her face up close to his. She would say the word, then kiss him, then repeat it, then kiss him again and then they both laughed.”

Very odd behavior.  For those pro-defense FOA people who argue that they were innocent but that Amanda at 20 was extremely emotionally immature, yes, OK, mayyyyyybe, she sure was, but Raphael was at least three years older, 23, and was he so besotted with Amanda who would finally give him a sex life, and stoned all the time that he couldn’t think for himself? to be so callous as to be joking and laughing like this at the police station in front of everyone after the shocking event of MK’s death is extremely strange.  Like the whole event that night was a big barrel of fun and games.  That really bothers me.  I hadn’t read that before and I don’t know why something like that wasn’t discussed at the trial.

Posted by believing on 10/30/11 at 05:36 AM | #

James, thank you for this review. The fat lady ain’t singing yet, which means this is far from over.

I have been onto Amazon uk and put a 5 star review on, as well as commented on the low star reviews in an attempt to shift the balance from the PR Knox campaign.

Shame on them for their disgraceful agenda.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 10/30/11 at 08:08 PM | #

@ Martinogg re your 10/29/11 at 05:03 AM:

‘I thought they only tested the bloody footprint on the mat left by Guede for DNA.  I would imagine that AKs and Guedes DNA should be on that mat.”

Hoping to clarify:

Guede’s bloody “footprint” was a shoeprint, from which no Guede DNA was recovered.
[see Massei Report [English trans]. e.g. p.379, ## 2 & 3

Posted by Cardiol MD on 10/31/11 at 02:19 AM | #


Got my copy of the Follain book today.

Posted by Jeff Friend on 11/01/11 at 03:05 AM | #

I got mine also!!

Posted by Melanie on 11/01/11 at 07:48 PM | #

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