Saturday, May 09, 2009

Trial: At The Most Dramatic Day So Far, Bloody Footprints Seem Strong Matches To Defendants

Posted by Peter Quennell

This was a very dramatic day in court.

The footprint expert Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi [above], unit head from the Scientific Police in Rome, and Pietro Boemia were like pitbulls. The defenses were in shrill disarray,

Sollecito intervened very nervously and incredibly lamely (which did him real harm). And the judges’ eyes were glued to the presentation screen.

Click above for Nick Pisa’s lunchtime report.

Bloodstained footprints found at the house where British student Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death fit her alleged killers, a court has heard.

Forensic scientists found one imprint on a bath mat and three more in the corridor leading from Meredith’s bedroom to that of suspect Amanda Knox.

The court heard how imprints were taken of Knox, 21, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25….

Police scientist Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi told the Italian court his forensic evidence was discovered by using Luminol - a substance that turns blue in the presence of blood.

“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.

“We also found that a naked footprint found in Knox’s bedroom and in the corridor outside, again using Luminol, was compatible with the one taken from her in prison.”

Dr Rinaldi explained to the court how microscopic point to point measurements such as ‘‘heel to toe’’ or ‘‘toe and arch width’’ were used to identify the imprints.

Subsequently Andrea Vogt of the Seattle PI reported at more length:

Bloody and luminol-enhanced footprints left in the villa where Meredith Kercher was murdered are those of Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede, the director of print identity in the Rome forensic police division testified Saturday.

Over the opposition of both defense teams, Lorenzo Rinaldi demonstrated to jurors using a precise Power Point presentation why the visible bloody footprint left on the cotton bath mat in the bathroom is attributable to Sollecito, who is on trial along with Knox for murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in November 2007. Guede was convicted and sentenced to 30 years prison for his role in the crime in a separate fast-track trial last October.

“All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s.

“Those bare footprints cannot be mine,” said Sollecito in a spontaneous statement after the lunch break. He and Knox maintain they were at his apartment the night Kercher was killed. “They are not mine.”

But the next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

Two luminol-enhanced bare footprints were also found compatible with Knox’s right foot, Rinaldi said, one exiting her own room and another in the corridor outside Kercher’s door, facing toward the room.

All the bloody shoeprints in the room where Kercher was found were compatible with the size 11 Nike Outbreak 2 shoes believed to be Guede’s, Rinaldi said, except for one smaller, unattributed shoeprint found on the pillow that was under Kercher’s body.

Presiding Judge Giancarlo Massei asked Rinaldi what size that shoe print was, he responded “37 or 38.” He then asked what size Knox wears, and Rinaldi said according to other shoes sequestered from the crime scene, she wears a 37. A second print expert later testified that he believed the shoeprint to be that of a woman’s size 37.5 Asics tennis shoe. No Asics tennis shoes were among the 22 pairs sequestered by police from the three’s apartments.

Rinaldi’s detailed PPT described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints, shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.

On cross examination, one of Knox’s defense team, Rome lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova, questioned the certainty with which the prints could be considered compatible with Knox’s foot. He noted that a match with Sollecito and Guede’s footprints was excluded, but asked why the luminol print was not compared with the other two female roommates in the house.

Under cross, Rinaldi also confirmed that luminol, a substance used by forensic police to reveal non-visible traces of blood, also could react to other substances that contain iron, such as fruit juices, chlorophyll or rust, as well as bleach.

When asked what substance the print was made in, Rinaldi said he does only image analysis and such a determination would have to be made by a forensic biologist. That witness is scheduled to testify at the next hearing. Defense teams have all hired their own forensic experts to testify during their presentations.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/09/09 at 05:05 PM in Evidence & WitnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009


The Italian media are reporting that Sollecito stood up in court, as is his right, to make a statement about the prints.

It essentially consisted of “they could not possibly be mine” and he said his team will attempt to prove otherwise.

Amanda Knox has not made a spontaneous statement for some weeks now.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/09/09 at 06:27 PM | #

The trial has just concluded for the day (we should have a report on the afternoon session up later) and the next session of the court will be in 13 days, on 22 May, when the forensic expert and leader of the forensic team Patrizia Stefanoni will testify.

The Italian media are reporting an apparent hint from the prosecution that the prosecution’s case could be completed by 5 or 6 June with the testimony from the members of Meredith’s family.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/09/09 at 06:34 PM | #

Kermit’s Powerpoints on the footprints, created and posted here last year, have today been proven to be pretty spot-on.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/10/09 at 05:53 AM | #

I’ll start by saying I believe all three are guilty but I believe there continues to be small holes in the prosecution’s case.

The Bloody Footprints.

1. Can they be 100% that the bathmat print is Sollecito’s and not Guede’s?

2. Could the prints left by Amanda from the bathroom to her bedroom be from when she took a shower as I understand it luminol picks up other substances apart from blood.

Can anyone clarify this?

Posted by mikeyverve on 05/10/09 at 02:40 PM | #

Hi Mikey,

I don’t see any holes in the prosecution’s case when it comes to the bloody footprints.

There is a considerable difference between Raffaele Sollecito’s foot size (42) and Rudy Guede’s foot size (46). It is difficult to make a positive match using shoeprints, but the identification of bare footprints is a highly accurate forensic science.

It’s clear from Andrea Vogt’s and Nick Pisa’s reports just how painstakingly precise Lorenzo Rinaldi, the director of print identity of the Rome forensic division, was:

“All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s. (Andrea Vogt, Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

Dr Rinaldi explained to the court how microscopic point to point measurements such as ‘‘heel to toe’’ or ‘‘toe and arch width’’ were used to identify the imprints. (Nick Pisa, Sky News).

Chris Mellas told me last year that Amanda Knox’s footprints were set in Meredith’s blood, so I don’t think this is in dispute. If you look at the photographs of Amanda Knox’s bloody footprints on Kermit’s excellent powerpoint presentation, you’ll see that that they are very clear and distinctive. She must have stepped into a lot of Meredith’s blood to have left such clear imprints. Amanda Knox’s bathmat shuffle story doesn’t explain how she left such clear imprints.

Posted by The Machine on 05/10/09 at 03:49 PM | #

Remember that Amanda claimed to have taken a shower and there were “some spots of blood in the bathroom”.  This was her explanation as to how her foot prints were there.  I still say, with all the blood in the bathroom, no person would want to walk into that room, let alone take a shower.  An innocent person would run from the room and immediately call for the police to come investigate!

Posted by BARBM on 05/11/09 at 07:44 AM | #


I thought that the picture of the bathroom covered in blood was taken AFTER the luminol treatment?  There was actually not much blood visible to the naked eye before the bathroom was treated with luminol, so Amanda might be telling the truth about the “spots of blood.”

Posted by CamilleGrace on 05/11/09 at 12:04 PM | #

Hi CamilleGrace,

It’s not true that there wasn’t much blood visible to the naked eye before the bathroom was treated with with luminol.

Judge Paolo Micheli didn’t believe Amanda Knox’s account and noted that she was “mucking about in the house and taking a shower with all that blood [from the murder] around”.

According to the forensic experts’ report, the tap of the wash basin was “notably stained”.

This report by Nick Squires sheds light on just how much blood there actually was in the bathroom:

Miss Romanelli told the court how Miss Knox had telephoned her on the morning after the murder – before Meredith’s body had been found – to say that she had just taken a shower and that she had noticed blood stains in the bathroom.

Miss Romanelli was away from the cottage at the time, having spent the night with her boyfriend.

“She told me ‘It’s very odd. I’ve just come back to the house and the door is open. I had a shower but there’s blood everywhere. I’m going to get Raff. Meredith is nowhere to be seen. Oh God, maybe something’s happened to her, something tragic.’”

It struck Miss Romanelli as strange that Miss Knox would choose to take a shower when the bathroom was spattered with blood.

Police forensic experts later found 13 traces of blood in the bathroom, including a 10-inch-long smear on the floor and numerous droplets.

“I thought it was odd that she’d had a shower when there was blood all over the place,” she told chief prosecutor Giuliano Mignini during cross-examination. “I really don’t think that’s normal.” (The Daily Telegraph, 8 February, 2009).

Posted by The Machine on 05/11/09 at 07:03 PM | #

Is there a place to see all the evidence listed against Rudy?

If they found Rafaelle’s blood on the floor outside the bedroom in the hallway that still does not mean his was in that bedroom.

There are 2 explanations…if they are the killers then I would assume Amanda and Rafael’s footprints would have been found in the bedroom.  That’s how they got blood on their feet and then they left traces behind down the hallway and in the bathroom.

However if A & R’s footprints are not found in the bedroom, how did they get her blood on their feet?? I would assume their lawyers will argue that the next morning when they were trying to locate Meredith, they stepped in her blood that was left outside the room from Rudy. 

The source of the blood, meaning how their feet got bloody in the first place, is most important. 

Were their footprints found in her bedroom?  Were Rudy’s footprints found in her bedroom?

Unless they found A&R;s footprints in the actual room, that is not necessarily incriminating.

Posted by kao555 on 05/11/09 at 09:03 PM | #

Hi kao555,

You should read Barbie Nadeau’s excellent article about the bloody footprints on the Daily Beast website to help you understand the significance of the evidence.

Raffaele Sollecito’s bare footprints were set in Meredith’s blood in the hallway and on the blue bathmat in the bathroom, so he couldn’t have stepped into Meredith’s blood on 2 November because he didn’t take his shoes off. They didn’t find his blood at the cottage.

There were two bloody footprints in Meredith’s room:

A woman’s bloody shoeprint, which is compatible with Amanda Knox’s foot size, was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body.

A man’s bloody shoeprint, which has been attributed to Rudy Guede.

Barbie Nadeau noted that the bloody footprint evidence against Knox and Sollecito was “damning”:

“In what may be a pivotal CSI moment in the courtroom in Perugia on Saturday, the jury heard damning evidence against both American student Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, who are being tried for the murder.”

The articles on TJMK about Judge Paolo Micheli’s official report will help you understand his reasons for finding Rudy Guede guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith, and sending Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to trial.

Posted by The Machine on 05/11/09 at 09:55 PM | #

This evidence only shows that Sollecito and Knox have walked in the corridor barefoot. The prosecution themselves admit that the analysis can pick up other kinds of footprints besides “bloody footprints.” And nobody has said that these footprints are timestamped to the day of the murder. The absence of footprints inside the bedroom actually speaks in the defendants’ favor.

Furthermore, wasn’t it said that Knox and Sollecito had attempted to clean up the scene? So they want us to believe that Knox and Sollecito managed to clean up only their own invisible-to-the-eye footprints but not Guede’s? Now the prosecution is just contradicting themselves. If they had tried to clean up the crime scene, there should be few to no footprints at all, Guede’s or otherwise.

I have been skeptical of the case against Knox and Sollecito from the start. The reason? No motive. As someone who herself was a highly naive American study abroad student 10 years ago, I can tell you that Knox’s behavior is not that unusual. I just thank God that when I was her age, I was never flung into such an awful predicament and was never the victim of such horrific violence.

Posted by berrinchuda on 05/12/09 at 07:29 AM | #

Dear Berrinchuda,

Many of us have been - and are - sceptical about how Knox and Sollecito are described in the media. But your little note above seems more to be a configuration of your self and your situation 10 years ago, than it has anything to do with the situation of AK and RS. By this, you just confirm the widespread idea of the ignorant american who react on a seemingly ‘nationalistic’ impetus, disregarding all indications which is not in their liking - and that is absolutely not helping AK.

Factually, your statement “The absence of footprints inside the bedroom ...”  is wrong: there is a footprint - most likely belonging to AK - inside the bedroom, under MKs body.

Being a university teacher in Europe for 20 years, with experience of many - also naive - american students, I will straight forward contradict you: I have never met anyone behaving as Amanda reportedly has done.

Best, Fiori

Posted by Fiori on 05/12/09 at 11:40 AM | #

Hi berrinchuda. I would add to Fiori’s helpful response that Meredith was the victim of horrific violence, not Knox, as you perhaps meant to say. Several very plausible motives have been widely discussed, and Miss Represented goes into each in some depth on her blog.

The prints must have been laid down very soon after the depraved act. Those in bare feet were demonstrated to be Knox’s and Sollecito’s, so the jury will be asking: why were they there in bare feet so soon after the crime against Meredith?

Guede’s shoeprint would have been obvious, and an easy one to leave. The bleach used seems to have been a mild detergent/bleach mix in a spray bottle, which is not as effective as pure bleach, which could explain why there are some prints but not more.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/12/09 at 01:49 PM | #

Hi Peter,

Thanks for clarifying what I said rather clumsily, which is that the victim of violence is obviously Meredith. I commend this site for keeping her front and center throughout this case.

As for Fiori, I’m not sure why the ad hominem insult towards me was necessary. I suppose I could have hidden my bias in my post. I don’t know if it serves anybody’s interest to hide this information. We all have our biases, and these are not unique to Americans, naive/ignorant as we may be. Furthermore, based on your remark, it sounds as though the expectation on this site is to hide one’s biases. I urge any casual reader to be skeptical of posts in which the writer’s agenda or bias is NOT disclosed.


P.S. I read about the footprint under the pillow. It sounded to me as though that was not definitively matched, but rather strongly hinted at being matched, to Knox. If it is a match, I wonder why they have not stated this more definitively. It leads me to believe that they do not have sufficient evidence to make the match, and so are depending on innuendo to make the case for them.

P.P.S. I have read many of the hypotheses on the site, including that of Miss Represented. A hazing ritual based on co-eds’ sex-crazed appetites? It reminds me of the early propaganda against marijuana (Reefer Madness!). This is all fine for the pulp thriller novel, but this is a real crime. When you examine such motives with a critical eye, they do not stand up to common sense.

P.P.S.S. Is this statement based on the science? “The prints must have been laid down very soon after the depraved act.” If that has been printed in the media, I missed it.

Posted by berrinchuda on 05/12/09 at 05:40 PM | #

If the tests can pick up footprints that are not necesarilly bloody that definitely helps the defense.  If they find Amanda’s naked footprints around who is to say when those were left.  She may have been walking around the day b4 the murder with no shoes on.  I agree with Berrinchuda that the lack of their footprints in the room also help the defense.  I have not read anywhere that there is a confirmed Amanda footprint in the room.  It’s reasonable that Rafael may have stepped on some blood while trying to get into her room the next day.  They only found his fingerprints on the outside door handle, which is consistent with his story.

It also helps the defense that the footprints are naked.  They would not take off their shoes the night of the murder and then run away with bare feet. If they took them off the next day while cleaning the crime scene how would they know which footprints are Rudy’s and not clean those?

People need to be careful the way they read into Amanda and Rafael’s explanations.  The police are not simply asking her, how did your DNA get mixed with Merediths’ blood in the sink.  Why are your footprints in the hallway?  She is spewing out every possible scenario as to how her footprints could be in the hallway….one of her answers is well I took a shower.  They always ask murder suspects if they cut themselves or bled recently.  Amanda said maybe it came from my pierced ear.  There is many ways to manipulate a persons explanations to make it seem like they are trying to hide something.

IF your roommate is murdered and your fingerprints are in her room….you are going to list off every possible reason why they would be in there.  Some might be….I would go in there to borrow her clothes, or to help with homework….etc.  Then the media takes the most outrageous of all the answers and runs with it…..  Oh, they shared clothese they must be lovers…maybe she was killed in some kinky sex game.

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

Hi kao555,

The prosecution claim that Amanda Knox’s footprints were set in Meredith’s blood. The evidence for this will be presented at the next hearing. As I have already stated, Chris Mellas told me last year that Amanda Knox’s footprints were set in Meredith’s blood, so I don’t think this is in dispute.

Knox’s and Sollecito’s bare bloody footprints don’t help the defence at all. The prosecution aren’t alleging that Knox and Sollecito ran away in bare feet. They are claiming that they returned to the cottage after they had run away to tamper with the crime scene and stage the break in. They believe Knox and Sollecito stripped off and carried out the clean up naked so as not to get any of Meredith’s blood on their clothes.

You haven’t understood the significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint in Meredith’s room. This is a huge problem for the defence because it completely debunks the myth that Meredith was murdered by a lone wolf.

Barbie Nadeau highlighted the significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint in her article for the Daily Beast:

“When the judge asked Rinaldi the size of an unidentified bloody shoeprint found on the pillow below Kercher’s body, he responded, “Between 36 and 38.” The judge then asked Rinaldi what size shoe Knox wears. “The Skecher shoe we sequestered belonging to Amanda Knox corresponds with size 37.”

You haven’t understood the significance of Raffaele’s bare bloody footprints either. Raffaele has never claimed that he was barefoot in the cottage on 2 November.

Posted by The Machine on 05/12/09 at 08:26 PM | #

Dear Berrinchuda,

Re. insult:  nationality is very often mentioned as a component playing an important role in this case. It is mentioned by FOA, journalists, and many blogg’ers.

When you write “As someone who herself was a highly naive American study abroad student 10 years ago, I can tell you that Knox’s behaviour is not that unusual”, you implicitly (well, really explicitly) stresses that the nationality of AK seems to be one of the more significant components determining her behaviour. But many qualities together makes up the identity of a student and shapes her/his behaviour: being a woman, being blonde, being white, being slim, being into yoga, being intelligent, having siblings, being a liberalist, etc. etc. It seems to me, that nationality seems to be more significant for Americans than for others.

For example: In the news piece (link to be found somewhere on TJMK) where (a.o.) Whoopi G and Nancy discusses this case, Whoopi quickly stresses the nationality of AK as a significant component, whereas Nancy - who follows this case close - mentions ‘young’, and ‘pretty’ as components significant for causing the huge interest in Italy for this case. Compare with today’s main post: “A German Case-Watcher’s Point Of View” – which signifies “a beautiful woman who is intriguing and a touch diabolical”.

I’m non-Italian presently living in Firenze, Italy, and everyday I deal with many foreign students, whereas far the largest group is Americans. When tragic incidents happens, like the drug-motivated killing in Firenze three days ago, it is STATISTICALLY not surprising that an American student is involved, but I do not ex ante presume that American students are more disposed for being involved in crimes in Italy (or other places). Neither do I find that Italy shows xenophobia towards American students or US in general.

Re. ‘bias’ I find arguments - i.e. positions evolving with reference to things-taken-as-facts - to be the crux of the matter. My position is that AK (and RS) is involved in the murder of MK:  I have concluded that they are directly involved in staging a crime - possibly a rape - and that they (if they were not directly involved in the killing) as a minimum knew what was going on in the cottage, that they cleaned up the crime scene and that they tampered with evidence. This I find convincingly demonstrated by the elements of the case presented so far.

Best, Fiori

Posted by Fiori on 05/13/09 at 12:27 AM | #

Hi Fiori,

I know I have read somewhere that the clothes dryer was running, or at least was warm when the police arrived at the cottage.  I also read that it had Meredith’s clothes in it.  Have you any information on this?

Thank you,

Posted by BARBM on 05/13/09 at 09:15 AM | #


Barbie Nadeau wrote about the washing machine in her one of Newsweek articles:

“The prosecution had also introduced evidence about the washing machine in the villa where the murder took place. Filomena Romanelli, the Italian from whom Knox and Kercher sublet rooms in the villa, testified that the washing machine was warm when she arrived on the scene. She later identified the contents of the washing machine as Kercher’s even though the Briton had been dead for at least 10 hours before her body was found, implying that someone else started the laundry.” (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek, 20 February, 2009).

Posted by The Machine on 05/13/09 at 09:30 AM | #

Fiori, in his last statement above, sums up my shared bias on this case. I urge anyone who is not blind to take a wee shufty at those footprints. They are a glaring match. Doesn’t anyone wear socks, anymore? If I walk into the home of one of my Asian friends, I slip out of my shoes, as respectfully requested, and pad about in stocking feet, but never barefoot. It seems to me normal only to be barefooted if a) having been in sandals, b) preparing to shower, c) turning in for the night, d) preparing to have sex (unless with a shoe fetishist, perhaps?) or e), when attempting to clean up one of those messy murder scenes without contaminating one’s footwear.

The crime was messy, the cleanup was haphazard, the perpetrators were disorganised and sloppy. Good. The more mistakes and bloodied missteps they made, the better their chances of eating their just desserts. What became of the story of a Guede and Knox sighting at a launderette, sometime after the murder? Was it ever made definitive? If it was that pair, perhaps that is when Knox slipped Guede enough of Meredith’s rent money to make his getaway, while assuring him that she and R would clean up all incriminating evidence. Why Germany for his hideout?

I’ve also wondered: what was the proposed duration of Knox’s Perugia stay? I’m sure she has long out-stayed that time, but if it was to have been only 6 months or less, that could have accelerated the pace and pressure to partake to the fullest before having to return to her Seattle persona.

Oh. Just remembered one roommate I had who liked to walk about in her bare feet. She was all about freedom, comfort and pleasure. But I would not call her normal. In addition to eating her cigarette butts after putting them out (yes, eating, as in putting them into her lipsticked mouth and ingesting), she had these familiar-sounding habits: inviting strange men (and women) home to the flat for sex, not one of them lasting more than 2 or 3 visits; loudly enjoying her vibrator, with her bedroom door open;bursting into song or innappropriate cackling laughter in public places; decorating the bathroom floor with her bloodied Kotex; screaming in my face when I had insulted her with my bland, peasant cooking; suggesting, in front of boyfriend # 6 that they tie me up naked and invite some friends over; and reminding me, through clenched teeth, of her family’s mafia connections. (I moved out as soon as was feasible, at great inconvenience, but it may interest some of you to know that this woman, who upon our early meeting had embraced me like family, has since been institutionalised for mental illness. Her former boyfriend #6 was arrested, not for violent or sexual crime, but for breaking and entering.

Posted by mimi on 05/13/09 at 07:27 PM | #

I have been continually puzzled about the issue of “nationality bias” in this case. I tend to refrain from commenting on this, since discussion of nationality is usually more inflammatory than illuminating.

While the FOA et al make a big issue over nationality, I really don’t think this is an issue for others. I can understand that Americans would want to show support for a fellow, I am sure any other country would too. Normally this would at least take the course of demanding a fair trial, if not expressions of innocence.

FOA supporters seem to go a lot further, and essentially suggest Amanda is being persecuted because she is American. This is odd, because at least in the UK the attitude towards Americans is actually quite positive - since half our TV and most of the movies etc are American, we share a lot of the culture. So far from being biased against Amanda, if anything she gets the benefit of the doubt. And I don’t think because of her we think all Americans are crazed killers - they are plenty of other sources which would create that impression.

Unfortunately, the FOA do play into the international stereotype of Americans as being brash, arrogant and exhibiting gross double standards when it comes to issues like human rights, and certain other international politics. Amanda may be regarded as an errant individual, but it is the smears arising from FOA that really create a bad impression abroad.

Whenever a foreigner is tried in the US, we are both told that US justice will provide a fair trial and in any case anyone committing a crime in the US should follow due process in the US, which most people accept. I think it only fair that similar courtesy should be shown to other (and allied) Western states.

Posted by bobc on 05/14/09 at 12:02 AM | #

Hi bobc,

I really liked your post.It is very true the attitude towards Americans in Europe, and specifically in Italy is very positive, but unfortunately the contemptuous FOA-fueled comments, repeatedly made by some US media towards the Italian justice system and Italy in general e.g. recently calling the current Court of Assize a ” kangaroo court” - as heard on the latest US talk show about the Perugia murder - have only managed to insult Italians deeply.  Sadly, this thoughless behavior has only succeeded to propagate the perception of America as a country of ignorant, double-.standard and arrogant bullies, throughtout Italy and Europe.

Posted by Nicki on 05/14/09 at 01:20 AM | #

Unfortunately, the stereotype of Americans being brash, arrogant and exhibiting gross double standards is TRUE and is many times over!

Being from Seattle tosses me a double-pow punch.  I am automatically thrown into the cesspool of the FOAK circus unless I fight dangerously for the right to share my own opinion, different than theirs, because I both am an American AND a Seattleite.

With my declaration that NOT EVERYONE IN SEATTLE SUPPORTS AMANDA KNOX I have earned the “Chris Mellas and his sidekick donkey Goofy the “Intimidation” badge which I wear well earned.

I had my name along with my on line identity posted on the Perugia Shock blog all done so in a very threatening manner, as they have done with other Perugia Murder File members in a relentless pursuit of the very ugly “Amanda, the victim demands Justice” campaign.

It is really sad for Americans to know the FOAK have been successful with getting their message out at the expense of our last possible shred of respect given the well earned “bad’ press left over from our previously administration. 

Chris, Goofy and their supporting cast will celebrate the perceived victory and dance on any grave they can, sadly, no matter whose.
They are the lowest of the lowest on our planet and I apologize they come from our neighborhood.

True justice is coming, Meredith Kurcher.

Posted by Professor Snape on 05/14/09 at 05:57 AM | #

Professor Snape…you are not alone! I am American and live in Gig Harbor (it is a small, picturesque waterfront community on Puget Sound, with marinas, a view of Mt. Rainier, and is about 40 miles from Seattle).  I actually lived in White Center 30 years ago!  2 of my cousins live in West Seattle.

My daughter will be applying to the U of W, in architectural engineering in 2 years.  She wants to backpack throughout Europe for a few months before her junior year in college.  We have also talked about studying abroad for a year. Perugia is a beautiful city, but I worry that the stigma with being American and from the same school as AK might not be the best idea. I wonder if Perugia will remain a sister city of Seattle.  FOAK may cause enough uproar that they reject Seattle in the future.  My daughter is learning French and Arabic, but really wants to learn Latin! (the root of all language!)  She is upset that the only place where it is an official language is Vatican City.
We have talked about this tragedy, and while it is a unique case, the fact remains that is can be dangerous to go overseas.  But, as you know, Seattle isn’t the safest place either.  I have tried to raise her to be aware of the dangers that exist.  These are everywhere, including at the University of Washington.  Just a few months ago, 3 Fort Lewis army soldiers were arrested for robbing and pistol whipping UW students.  The students were told to keep in groups and not walk alone. 

I have been informing friends/co-workers of this website.  They all believe AK is guilty.  I think FOAK are trying to save face!  Hard to admit you are wrong when you throw a fundraiser at Salty’s asking for donations for her defence fund.

I do see where FOAK are coming from regarding the witnesses.  I would question why it took the shop owner a year to come forward about AK being at the store at 7:45am. The neighbor who heard the scream and then people running away didn’t come forward right away and didn’t call the police even though the scream made her skin crawl.
Then, the hobo in the basketball court, well here we know that homeless people are invisible to our society and not to be trusted or believed.  The Albanian witness, with his story of Amanda and the knife, throwing olives and a phone, just seems too crazy to be true. So, when you get Paul Ciolino with the backing of 48 hours television show, it is easy to try and discredit the witnesses. If it weren’t for this web-site, I might still believe she is innocent!

But, the DNA evidence, bloody footprints, changing of stories, lies along with the witness testimony do add up to AK, RS, and RG’s guilt.

Does Paul Ciolino of 48 hours still think AK is innocent?  Has any attorney, even if they are working pro bono, admit their client was guilty? (After appeals, of course!)
It will be interesting to wait and see.

Hang in there Professor, you won’t be the only one getting hate mail!

Posted by BARBM on 05/15/09 at 12:56 AM | #


OT: I think your daughter is very wise in wanting to learn Latin. It is a logic, precise language and a great help in developing analytical skills. It will be much easier for her to learn Latin- derived languages like French, Italian and Spanish. Plus, if she ‘s ever going to be involved in science, she’ll have a much easier time understanding and memorizing scientific terms, they are all either derived from/or in Latin.

I studied Latin and it has helped me greatly in my academic studies and in learning four foreign languages, including German-even if it doesn’t derive from Latin, sentence structure and nouns declinations are easier to understand with even a basic knowledge of Latin.

I don’t think you should worry about any stigma attached to Americans and Seattle in Perugia as a result of this gruesome murder. Besides being old news, people here understand well that a whole country cannot be blamed for just one’s wrong-doing. Surely Italians have generally been displeased with the contemptuous attitude by the US media about their country.But they tend to shrug off those remarks in the same way they would treat a spoiled child loud cries. And besides, holding grudges is not the Italian way 😊

Should your daughter choose Perugia or Italy for her study abroad experience, she will be as safe as anywhere else in America. Probably, even safer.

Posted by Nicki on 05/15/09 at 03:25 AM | #

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