Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trial: Another Objective Report From ABC News

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Images above and below: the lay judges and lawyers tour the crime scene]

Rome-based Ann Wise reports.

1) More on the issue of the second knife.

With journalists unable to attend the hearing, information on what Dr. Bacci said in court today came from lawyers as they emerged from the courthouse and, as always, interpretations differed.

Francesco Maresca, who represents the family of Meredith Kercher, is a firm believer in the prosecution’s theory that the murder was the result of a sex game gone wrong between all three defendants—Knox, Sollecito and Guede. He told journalists outside the courthouse that Dr. Bacci told the court that whoever attacked Kercher first tried to strangle her, and then stabbed her in the throat, possibly with two different knives.

Bacci said that the knife the prosecutors believe is the murder weapon is compatible with the largest and deepest cut in Kercher’s throat but is not compatible with another, smaller wound. This is the first time a witness for the prosecution has mentioned the possibility that more than one knife might have been used…

Maresca also told reporters that according to Dr. Bacci “injuries suggest” that Kercher had probably participated in a nonconsensual sexual act before she died.

Luca Maori, one of Sollecito’s lawyers, told journalists that based on Dr. Bacci’s conclusions, the knife prosecutors believe is the murder weapon is “only abstractly compatible” with the wounds found.

2) And more on the visit by the judges, jury and lawyers to the house - sadly, extremely disarrayed, it seems..

The afternoon was the occasion for the court in its entirety—minus the two defendants, who chose not to attend—to visit the scene of the crime. A small crowd, comprised of the two judges, six jurors and their substitutes, the prosecutors and a bevy of lawyers, gathered outside the charming cottage-with-a-view on the edge of old-town Perugia. On the road just above, another crowd of journalists and photographers and some hangers-on watched as policemen activated a generator (the electricity in the house has been cut off) and opened the door to the house.

“The court looked closely at the inside and the outside of the house,” [Prosecutor] Comodi said. The court spent a good amount of time in the room where the murder took place and discussed the position of the corpse. Carlo Dalla Vedova, a lawyer for Amanda Knox, told reporters the house “was a mess, and it was important that the jurors see this. Amanda’s clothes were thrown all over the place.”

There have been many press reports of bad forensic work and bad handling of the scene of the crime on the part of investigators, and this is expected to be an important part of the case the defense will make. The house where the crime took place has also been subjected to two break-ins in recent months, adding to the sorry state of the premises. The house is in “terrible condition,” Bongiorno said. “The mess made by the searches was compounded by the two beak-ins.”



Bottom shot above is interesting. They are looking at Filomena’s window. The one where a real or a simulated break-in might have taken place. Below the window is a considerable drop-off, not visible in this shot.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/19/09 at 12:40 AM | #

Il Messaggero reports that the defense will be allowed to take a copy of the hard disk of RS’s computer, directly from the computer itself, rather than from the copy made by the Scientific Police.

The copy will be made by a Swiss company (to ensure no foul play?)

Presumably, this is to see if there is any possible way that the damming evidence, on the disk,  that there was no human activity on the PC between 21.10 and 05.30 on the night of the murder, could be wrong?.

Next hearing will be on the 23rd according to Il Messaggero (why not friday as usual?) when the Scientific Police will testify .... perhaps we’ll hear the DNA evidence findings from the house?

Posted by Kevin on 04/20/09 at 12:27 AM | #

Meredith was strangled.  She put up quite a fight!

It has been suggested that Meredith might have been strangled in addition to be stabbed by possibly two knives.  This confused what I felt was a nice, straightforward timeline.  As previously proposed, RS held her, RG did his thing, and AK tortured her with a small knife.  Then, when the three couldn’t constrain her, Meredith screamed and AK plunged the large knife into her neck. 

  I can’t tell from what has been said whether the neck wounds were inflicted to torture her or to try to kill her.  Was she strangled before of after the small knife wounds?  When did RG realize the fun (for him) part was over?

  In the first Gulph War, Norman Schwarzkopf talked about the “fog of War.”  H e said something to the effect that battle plans, no matter how complete, only last a short time into the battle.  Then the enemy starts to do the unexpected.  I don’t know what RSAK expected, but it does not at all appear that that is what Meredith did.  Meredith was one brave woman presenting these three cowards with a struggle beyond what they could possibly have expected. 

The strangling and neck wounds seem, at least to me, to be an indication of the fight she put up.  It is possible though that she overcame RS and started to get to her feet.  At this point, all bets were off.  RG must have realized the fun (for him) was over.  RSAK must also have realized they had to go to plan B.  They may also have begun to realize the extreme gravity of their situation. 

  I still think the kitchen knife wound was in response to Meredith’s scream.  It was an act of desperation.  They may not have gone there to murder her but that is ultimately what they did.

  So, the strangulation and stabbing in the neck may very well give moot testimony to the fight Meredith put up.  Meredith, I am sorry that the humans around you cold not have treated your goodness and great abilities with more humanity. 

Arnold Layne

Posted by Arnold_Layne on 04/21/09 at 01:58 AM | #

My biggest problem with this case is how do they know who killed her?  I am sure nobody is going to reply to this becuase anytime I bring up facts people ignore the post and talk about random theories. 

If all 3 were in the room with her, how are they so certain it was Amanda who stabbed her?  You have a young girl who has never really been in trouble bf and then you have a man that has been arrested previously for ***robbing people and is known to carry a knife*****. I think that is exactly what happened.  He robbed and killed her.  I’m not convinced the 2 of them had anything to do with it. 

What about the clothes they wore that night, they were spotted by witnesses.  Was that tested for blood?

Posted by kao555 on 04/21/09 at 06:53 PM | #

Kao, nobody here is ignoring facts. We have wrestled with them endlessly, both here and on the PMF forum.

Perhaps you need to converse yourself more with what is on the site and also what is coming out in the courtroom. You seem to be going right past Machine’s and Finn’s meticulous posts. Perhaps they are inconvenient to you.

We have not yet heard either the DNA evidence or the luminol evidence which seems convincing that there was a clean-up. Judge Micheli dismissed the lone wolf theory and he gave many reasons why. He also pointed to AK as the only one having the motive for a clean-up.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/21/09 at 09:18 PM | #

“I’m not convinced the 2 of them had anything to do with it.” 

Hi, you should really read the post about Micheli’s report. He lays out in detail why it is very unlikely that the murder was done by a single person from the degree of injuries sustained. Micheli also observes there is evidence the Meredith’s body was moved after death, and further that the scene was posed to suggest a sexual crime. Further, there is definite evidence that the crime scene had been cleaned after the event. The key question is who would move the body and clean the scene, and who had motive and opportunity?

SO I have a lot of questions, and I really want Amanda and Raffaele to provide a coherent account of their whereabouts and actions.

I have followed several cases where innocent people are accused, and invariably the accused has a single consistent story which they maintain throughout, even when it is contradicted by witnesses. By complete contrast, AK and RS have consistently failed to provide a coherent account - an account which should have been easily corraborated by phone and computer records.

AK and RS have also attempted to adapt their story as they go and tied themselves into knots. When asked why Merediths DNA was on one of Raffaeles knives, instead of saying “that is impossible”, he provided an explanation which itself is impossible. None of this is the behaviour of innocents being framed.

I appreciate behaviour is not proof. The key questions for me are who moved the body and why, and who cleaned up? I am waiting on the defense to provide some explanation before making a definite conclusion.

Posted by bobc on 04/22/09 at 09:50 PM | #

Among other evidence analyzed by Micheli, the blood on Meredith’s trunk, that didn’t stain the duvet.This indicates that someone went back to the house after a certain amount of time, enough for the stains to dry and then covered her body (Nara heard people running away right after the blood curling scream). WHy would anybody do that, unless they planned to be “busy” for sometime on the murder scene?

Posted by Nicki on 04/22/09 at 10:50 PM | #

Sorry for the random question, but I have been wondering this for some time now…I apologize if it’s already been discussed on here.  I have been following the case since it began but am new to this website.

If you are facing the cottage, what is that red brick 2 story building directly to the right?  It looks to me like an abandoned house or some sort of shed and is covered by wooden slats on the side closest to the cottage.  I’m assuming no one lived there, but it looks like a good hideout spot as there is really easy access to it.  I remember seeing video of investigators pulling back the slats.  Just wondering what that building is and if any evidence was found in there.

Posted by chira385 on 04/22/09 at 11:25 PM | #

Thank you guys for laying out the physical evidence.  It’s tough to go back and search for all that stuff, so I just wanted a response with here’s the Phyiscal evidence…....

Once again I want to play devil’s advocate.  If the prosecutor is willing to make the huge speculation that Amanda was the one that made the fatal stab wound, what else is he speculating?  There is no way to which one of the 3 actually used the knife.

The body being moved…from what I read int he Micheli report it seems there could be differing expert opinions.  Maybe she was unconscious for a while bleeding and then tried to crawl.  I am sure the defense is going to have an expert that says the body was not moved.  Also who knows how long Ruede was in that house, obviously long enough to sit on the toilet.  Just becuase somebody heard people runnign does not mean that was the killer(s).

Is there “definitive” proof that the crime scene had been cleaned because I think once it’s the defense turn they will have a different answer?  If A and R’s footprints were found in Filomena’s room there should be a trail from Meredith’s room to Filomena’s room?  There was evidence of a sexual crime, but that in no way should implicate Amanda.

I really doubt they asked Rafael why did we find M’s DNA on this knife ONCE?  I’m sure he said that is impossible….they said that is not good enought….kept asking and asking and asked for him to maybe guess or how it"possibly” could be there.  Same thing with Amanda, originally she said was not home but they kept pushing and told her to come up with a scenario that could have happened, hence Patrick.  Interrogators don’t simply ask yes or no questions. For example, they say “okay so you say you were not there but if were going to commit this crime how would get in the house….?  That is why you should always ask immediately for a lawyer.  Their job is to trip you up.

Finally the lone wolfe theory I again think is a jump to conclusions. She has so many marks on her body that one person could not do that.  Again we do not know how long Guede was in that room.  If they claim she had so many marks and fought back then why did Rafael and Amanda not have bruises on them?  She probably had so many marks becuase she was trying to fight back.

Posted by kao555 on 04/22/09 at 11:44 PM | #

Emailed by Nicki as a response to Kao555’s rather fantastical what-ifs:

-DNA matching Meredith’s on the blade and Knox on the handle doesn’t seem a “huge” speculation to me, but rather a serious clue.

-Crawling, with that kind of a wound? Please!

-Among the tons of evidence, we have the duvet that wasn’t even stained with blood? But guess what? The stains had dried when Meredith’s body was covered some time later during the return and cover-up that Micheli describes.
- Raffaele said that it was impossible for Meredith’s DNA to be on the blade? But were you there? The truth is that he immediately made up some lame excuse that then turned out to be another lie.

- Knox and Sollecito didn’t have any marks? Besides the fact we don’t know that, since they were arrested days after the murder, and therefore had a physical after any superficial scratch/ slight bruise could have disappeared, I would think when someone is constrained by three people at knife point, the chances of causing injuring to the attackers are pretty slim. Especially when two of them are guys and therefore overpowering a victim already paralyzed by terror.

Let’s be serious please.

Above posted on behalf of Nicki. Kao555 you really think there is any doubt about a clean-up? You even pointed to evidence yourself - twice! Luminol footsteps in Filomena’s room, and a shortage of prints it between. Please read Micheli etc before further long posts of this kind. Pete

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/23/09 at 01:57 AM | #

“I really doubt they asked Rafael why did we find M’s DNA on this knife ONCE?  I’m sure he said that is impossible…”

Neither you nor I have seen the transcript of the interview, so that is wild speculation. I comment on what has been entered into evidence.

The marks on Meredith show that she was held by at least two people - they are “restraint” injuries - while also being attacked with a knife. It’s physically impossible for one person to create all those different types of injury, unless they had at least 5 hands.

The bloodstains indicate that Meredith was killed with her bra on, but her body was found with the bra cut off. Is it likely Meredith did that?

There are simply too many points of evidence for random objections to be credible. There needs to be a coherent story to explain all these and I am still waiting to hear it.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of news coverage in some quarters which has repeatedly focussed on irrelevancies instead of presenting the evidence, so many people are unaware of the amount of forensic evidence that there is.

If you are into speculation, can you speculate why AK and RS have failed to provide a coherent account, and have repeatedly lied about it? And they lied even before interrogation, so I won’t buy suggestions of police pressure.

Posted by bobc on 04/24/09 at 11:54 AM | #

to k(eep)a(manda)o(outofit)555:
I find you not so much a “devil’s advocate”, as you claim, as an apologist for the accused. Why?
“There was evidence of a sexual crime, but that in no way should implicate Amanda”.  You must lead a very sheltered life. Sexual crimes against women (as well as consentual acts) can, and have been committed by women! Rape, in case you didn’t know, is as much, in fact quite often MORE about violence than about gratification. And I guess you missed just how flattered lovely Amanda was to by the come-ons from her strictly female cellmates. I wonder if she has taken any of them up on it.

Posted by mimi on 04/24/09 at 11:22 PM | #

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