Friday, July 03, 2009

Trial: Prosecution Giving Defense Expert Hard Time Over Guede Break-in Theory

Posted by Peter Quennell

Italian media are reporting on a tough cross-examination of a defense expert this morning.

Francesco Pasquali, a former marshall, showed a video to the court, with three simulations of a large rock being thrown through Filomena’s window, and a theory of how a burglar could have scaled the 4-meter wall and entered the room through the window, leaving no body evidence or any blood where the glass was broken.

For the experiment, the consultant explained, a window and bedroom similar to those of the house (same size, same material and same paint) were constructed. Shots were made with two cameras, one external and one internal to the room, which is in same size and the same decor as Ms Romanelli’s….

The prosecution, represented by Giuliano Mignini and Manuela Comodi, presented a number of objections to the thesis of the expert, such as that in the reconstruction of the events the presence of curtains on the window were not taken into account.

The curtains would have presumably stopped any glass fragments from flying into the room.

It is also being remarked that the defense has not, either for-real or in today’s simulation, had anyone actually climb the 4-meter-high wall and enter through the window, and then place the glass fragments on TOP of Filomena’s clothes scattered around the room. 

As Kermit explained there are actually FIVE easier entry-points to the house (1) all more in the dark and less observable from the street, (2) each of which would have required less in the way of acrobatics or walking back and forth, (3) all might have caused no noise or broken glass.


Pete.  Does not sound like that Pappy Raffy’s money is being well spent you can see now why he and the ‘family’ were trying to address matters outside of the court now!

Posted by Love Wolf on 07/03/09 at 05:35 PM | #

I am roughly the same height as Rudy.My reach is about 7 feet 1 inch(ground to tips of my fingers).My kitchen window is exactly 13 feet from ground level.Either I would have to have a 72 inch vertical leap(NBA Basketball average is 28 inches) or have a 6 foot tall person balance me on the top of their head,and that would only get me to the window ledge with at least another 12 to 18 inches to unlatch the window.Kind of dashes the LoneWolf theory.Funny that the only person with documented climbing experience is… guessed it AMANDA

Posted by fotomat on 07/03/09 at 07:37 PM | #

Hi. I find Judge Micheli’s conclusion that only Amanda could have gone back to ‘rearrange’ the crime scene, granting that, which is arguable.

Why is it so difficult to imagine that Guede went back to the crime scene, throw a rock at the window just to test whether the house was occupied?

It seems to me that while your site does try to be objective that many opinions are still biased.  It seems many are fixated with the theory of a sex orgy gone awry.

For example, the hypothesis that Amanda had to come come back to ‘mislead’ investigators’ is hinged on an assumption that requires proof.

In any case, your efforts are appreciated.

Posted by vikinglogarta on 07/03/09 at 11:45 PM | #

Ciao Vikingloqarta,

Interesting that you can ask the question why Rudy was not the one that arranged the crime scene.

I would argue that this is perhaps the least controversial part of the different ideas about what happened that night. I haven’t heard anybody argue - also not the defence - that Rudy went back and threw the stone to see if anybody was at home. The defence argues that the crime scene was not staged, because this is the only logically way to exclude Amanda’s involvement.

Micheli argues LOGICALLY: A murderer does not return to the scene of his crime for no reason. Why should Rudy return? He didn’t steal anything, and he did not cover his tracks. He just risked getting caught or incriminating himself further in a murder he seems to have gotten away with.

And PRACTICALLY: We know that Rudy did not return as he went to a local discotheque.

The only logical solution is that IF there was rearrangement of the crime scene, Amanda must have participated. And there are a lot of evidence pointing to that a rearrangement of the crime scene occurred several hours after Meredith died in the blood spots on Meredith and in the footprints.

A practical hypothesis does not need ‘proof’ as this is not natural science. A hypothesis needs to be substantiated, reasoned and supported by evidence.

Re your claim of ‘orgy’: I don’t see any person on this blog (or elsewhere) argue that there was an ‘orgy’. I see that there exists some kind of consensus about that a kind of ‘sexual intent’ initiated the crime, and that this escalated into a fight that ended in murder.

Are you aware of the fact it is not rare to find that women participate in ‘setting up’ other woman; luring them into situations with a sexual innuendo in the intent to harass, humiliate or punish them. This you can see if you check some of the US crime sites; there are numerous examples of women luring a woman into such situations, where some end up in murder. 


Posted by Fiori on 07/04/09 at 12:57 AM | #

Hi Fiori,

This is where we disagree, You take as law that criminals never return to the scene of the crime. Pray tell is that a law of physics or chemistry or biology? What if he or she left something? So if Amanda returned, she wasn’t a criminal, yet, then? If Rudy returned,he could have thrown the rock or stone as a probe for the presence of others? Logical? In any case logic can only be used to discern truth given fact but cannot replace it. Agree?

Also, examples illustrate a tendency but DO NOT preclude probability. Thank you for your time.

Posted by vikinglogarta on 07/04/09 at 05:26 AM | #

It’s possible that Rudy returned to get something.  But why would he rearrange the body?

Posted by bobc on 07/04/09 at 11:13 AM | #

Ciao Viking,

I find it is wrong to use the term ‘law’ in this case. It is reasonable from logic and practical circumstances, that Rudy did not return to this crime scene. This kind of logical deduction, if science, it is in the domain of behavioural science, in where ‘universal laws’ are not part of the metaphysics. 

Logic in regard to behavioural reasoning is not a mathematical logic, excluding all other possibilities, but it is a contextual and holistic logic; it cannot be otherwise. Extremely many types of actions are possible in the meaning of generally and speculatively ‘imaginable’: Yes, Rudy could have returned and thrown the stone. Or the stone could have been thrown by some naughty juveniles from the neighbourhood. Or by a lovesick friend of Filomena’s in a Romeo and Juliet style.

One of the most common defence strategies are to try to open up a case for multiple interpretations, EVEN if the possibilities are only speculative. For example when the defence cross-examines the prosecution’s expert witnesses: “Is it possibly that this DNA belongs to somebody else than the defended?” The answer is likely to be, ‘Yes, it is possibly, but we can provide some statistics showing that this possibility is very, very small’. But again, it IS possibly, because one can never completely rule out that there is a possibility. Elaborating this ‘possibility of the imaginary’ is the core matter of creating ‘reasonable doubt’, and that is what defence lawyers are paid to do when defending a suspect in a murder.

But from a juridical and behavioural point of view, we are not interested in what is ‘possibly’ in the meaning of ‘imaginable’. We are interested in ‘possibly’ in the meaning of ‘reasonable’: is this action likely under the circumstances and time schedule? Does it fit the pattern of the crime? Is it supported by other evidence? And here the juridical institutions look upon experiences from similar cases and other relevant material (profiling for example). In light of the case, the personal characteristics, and general experiences from crime cases, the conclusion that Rudy did not return and throw the stone, is logic.


Posted by Fiori on 07/04/09 at 04:42 PM | #


If I recall, it was said that the stone was pretty heavy. So, throwing the stone through the window from below would have asked for a good strength, and the weight combined with the velocity would have generated a pretty important impact.

I felt the hole was not that big, and did not look like such an impact had taken place. It could be possible that they did not even throw the stone from inside but just banged it.

Posted by Patou on 07/04/09 at 05:56 PM | #

Hi Patou. There is a mismatch between the hole and the rock and you are right to be skeptical! Take a look at this Acrobat of the window.

The defense theory is that someone hurled a 4-kilo (9-pound) rock across the gap from that corner of the carpark. Then they walked all the way around the house, down a lot of steps, passing four other better entry points (five including the balcony) and climbed up 4 meters (12 feet) from below without a ladder.

The hole made was not very big. A rock that size from that distance would probably have taken out the entire window, regardless of any closed shutters or closed curtains. This would not have been a very quiet burglary…

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/04/09 at 08:17 PM | #

It’s interesting that Guede has committed some “break and entry” burglaries.

The staged break in was presumably to disguise the fact the perpetrators were known to the victim, and therefore freely entered the cottage. If Guede was involved in the murder, perhaps he decided to stage a break-in (or made the suggestion if others were involved). In this case, I think he would have made it look more convincing since he has direct experience of this type of break-in. He would surely have chosen a more accessible window.

In an alternative scenario, Guede was involved in the murder with Knox and Sollecito. Knowing of Guede’s background, the break in was staged in order to frame Guede. In this case, Knox and Sollecito may have guessed how such a robbery was committed, but made significant errors in details. For Knox and Sollecitos later story to hold, the break in could not be made in too obvious a way, because they needed to time to clean and arrange the cottage.

Posted by bobc on 07/05/09 at 04:43 PM | #

Do we know if this 4 kgs stone that was used to break the window has left damages on the floor? It should have ...

Posted by Patou on 07/06/09 at 10:36 PM | #
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