Saturday, January 16, 2010

Commentary on the Knox and Sollecito case from Dr. Alexander Kekule

Professor Alexander S. Kekule wrote following commentary for the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on 9 December 2009 (http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/kommentare/Amanda-Knox-DNA-Spur;art141,2970520). Professor Kekule holds both M.D. and Ph. D. degree and is a virologist. I am very grateful to two anonymous friends, who did most of this translation.


Amanda Knox - on ice angel’s trail
The verdict against the “icy-eyed angel” has met with criticism, especially in the US. Actually, the evidential value of DNA tests is over estimated.

Last Friday one of the most controversial murder trials of recent years ended. A jury in Perugia, Italy sentenced 22-year-old Amanda Knox, and 25-year-old Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years imprisonment. The Court regarded it as proven that the American student and her boyfriend in the town of Puglia, Italy in November 2007 brutally abused and murdered a fellow student. Another accomplice, 23-year-old Rudy Guede, in a separate case, was already sentenced to 30 years. The conviction of the "icy-eyed angel" met with criticism, especially in the U.S., because the evidence was allegedly insufficient.

Under Italian law, the judge must justify the verdict within three months following the trial. However, if the reports of the process observers are correct, already the prosecution relied mainly on forensic evidence. The version presented by the prosecutor, who in the court appears to have followed essentially something that sounds bizarre, but not impossible: during the night of the crime, Knox was to have pushed her British flatmate Meredith Kercher to organize a sort of belated Halloween orgy with the two men. When she refused, Sollecito held her tightly, Guede raped her, and Knox cut her throat.

The evidence against the Ivorian Guede, who has a criminal record, appears overwhelming. Traces of his sperm were found on the dead woman, his finger and footprints in her blood. Afterwards he fled to Germany. However, he denies the murder and accuses Knox. The evidence is more scant against the American woman and her boyfriend. Knox herself came under suspicion because she claimed to have first seen a Congolese bar owner at the scene. Meanwhile, she claims not to having been at home at all that night, and to have found the corpse only the next morning. Evidence of her and her boyfriend’s finger- and footprints in the shared home are no proof since both were frequently in the apartment. Also, the smashing of the window from the inside, presumably executed by the perpetrator to fake a forced entry, could have been the doing of Guede, whom Knox and Sollecito accuse of the crime.

All this would hardly suffice for a conviction - if there were not three tiny DNA traces. Sollecito's genetic material was found on a bra closure of the victim, which had apparently come loose during a violent opening. And in Sollecito's apartment, investigators found a kitchen knife with a traces of the victim's DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle.

Indeed, confusion of individuals through "genetic fingerprinting" is almost impossible. It examines not the actual genes in the DNA (they are quite similar in all humans), but the useless segments between them (satellite DNA). Because it carries no genetic information, satellite DNA is copied sloppily and often repeatedly during the formation of egg and sperm. This results in regions of repetitive DNA, the repeat pattern of which is unique for each person. The likelihood of confusion is smaller than for fingerprinting.

But the forensic DNA analysis has its pitfalls. While a real fingerprint shows that the person has actually touched an object, DNA evidence may arise in many different ways. In the Italian murder case, the DNA on the bra clasp could also have originated from a skin scale, lost by Sollecito days earlier in the apartment. The DNA traces on the knife blade could have been transmitted through the hands of Amanda Knox, who lived together with the victim and used her boyfriend’s knife for cooking. The evidence would have more weight if in addition blood stains were found.

All three convicted have appealed the convictions. In that case, the DNA traces have to be re-evaluated, because the presumption of innocence also applies to ice angels. As the mother of the victim has rightly said: "At the end of the day only evidence counts, nothing else."

The author is Professor of Medical Microbiology and Virology at Halle, Germany, and Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology. Photo: J. Peyer

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

His understanding of some of the details may not be exactly right, but he's right on this: the DNA evidence is not so good.

The links below go to some fabulous posts. Copy and paste to have a look.

Very important points in these articles include: (1) from the comment section in Less Wrong, LCN DNA is really far out there on the fringes. Unless something has changed very recently only a handful of jurisdictions will admit this material as evidence. Those that do admit it require scrupulous procedures and specially equipped labs not found in Italy; (2) the article in Foreign Policy is terrific in pinpointing the well understood flaws in the Italian justice system and why the system falls well short of modern international standards for determining guilt or innocence.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2009/02/low-copy-dna-ht.html

http://lesswrong.com/lw/1j7/the_amanda_knox_test_how_an_hour_on_the_internet/

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/12/10/can_anyone_get_a_fair_trial_in_italy?page=0,0

Observer

Anonymous said...

I should say that those jurisdictions admitting LCN DNA, EXCEPT FOR ITALY, require scrupulous procedures and specially equipped labs...

Observer

PS Happy to be corrected if my information is wrong. And be sure to catch some of the Comments on Less Wrong. They are quite interesting.

RoseMontague said...

Observer,
Thanks for the trip to Less Wrong. Very interesting reading.

Anonymous said...

One thing I can say about LessWrong that I don't agree with. They don't put any weight on her behavior and attitude. Having been on several juries we almost always discussed our impressions of their attitude and truthfulness from our observations of them in the courtroom and during testimony. Going back and reviewing just the evidence without having the benefit of being there does not give a complete picture. So I tend to put more weight on the fact that the jury in this case found them guilty as evidence of guilt now that we are looking back on things. Less Wrong makes some strong points, but honestly, do we really want cases decided by computers that weigh probability of guilt based just on the evidence? People use common sense as well as intuition and impression when coming to a decision.

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

Didn't Collin Finnerty beat up a gay man in Georgetown? For those new to the DL case, no he did not: If the DL case taught me one thing, it is that facts matter, even when it comes to seemingly tangential issues. My point is that half of what we have heard about Amanda Knox's behavior is disputed and probably wrong. For example, there is this infamous cartwheel she is supposed to have turned. I read one report in which she said she was demonstrating gymnastics at the behest of a policeman who noticed her stretching. i am counting on the commentators here (this includes YOU, Rose) to help sift through the baloney to get to the truth. I have my hands full with the forensics. Send me an email if you would like to get started.

Chris

Anonymous said...

No problem Chris, I didn't say the evidence was not important. I just said intuition and impression are things to be considered as well. The jury had more exposure to this than we can get in looking back on the case, but we can hear some of what she said and can read as well. The fact that the jury was exposed to a press that was considerably pro-prosecution has to be considered as well.

As far as her cart-wheels go, she did admit to some gymnastic activity which I think is rather strange. If I completely ignore her "false" confession and just look at her statement "correcting" the "false" confession, my impression is that she is either very confused or being deliberately vague. Her recall of what happened leading up to the time of the murder does not even match that of Sollecito. I am also concerned that they were waiting at the scene the next day for the police to arrive and the fact that he could not force the door open is questionable as well. I don't think he put a lot of effort into it.

Just a lot of things not adding up for me, but I agree that the physical evidence is weak.

Rose

halides1 said...

RoseMontague,

I, too, find certain aspects of Knox and Sollecito's behavior suspicious. They met at a classical music concert in late October. What was on the program, The Mephisto Waltz? Danse Macabre? Listening to such music may have been the genesis of their (one day late) Satanic ritual.

Chris

Joe said...

Rose,
In response to some of your points about behavior and inconsistencies:
People simply respond to situations differently. To say that Knox's behavior is a sign of guilt is ignoring the argument of that same behavior being a sign of nonguilt. To this, couldn't you ask that if they were guilty wouldn't one think Knox would have gone out of her way to act "normal"? Couldn't that same question be asked about the inconsistencies you wrote about, especially since they allegedly cleaned the scene and allegedly staged the break-in? These are why motive, record, opportunity, and evidence (not psychology) must take precedent over everything else. They had the opportunity, but there was absolutely no motive, no record of aggression or perversion for Knox or Sollecito (a misdemeanor for noise violation doesn't count as aggression), no record of hostility toward the victim by Knox (on the contrary, they seemed to get along), and the evidence is very weak. In fact, one has to ask if there would be any evidence if Knox and the victim didn't live together.

Joe

Anonymous said...

I for one believe the "suspicious behavior" has been grossly exaggerated. Gymnists and athletes in general often engage in physical activity to relieve tension. Actually, I think the medical establishment highly recommends this sort of activity for stess relief. Perhaps, people would be less troubled if she had rushed out to pick up a Xanax prescription?

Plus, assuming for a moment Ms. Knox is completely innocent, how could she not have been in shock? No doubt she understood that only by sheer luck was she not the murder victim herself. For most people in shock, we simply would write off any "odd behavior" to the way people behave when in shock.

So, the cartwheel does not bother me, and the comment to the housemates about whether Ms. Kercher suffered does not phase me (I think Ms. Knox's comment was entirely factual and perhaps displayed a little surprise/annoyance that the housemate could possibly believe Ms. Kercher did not suffer). Oh, and the hug with Mr. Sollecito looks like one human being comforting another to me...I see nothing sinister in it.

Finally, having watched the viciousness directed at the Duke LAX players and the gleefully damning misinterpretations of and insinuations about every single thing they did, I am far more skeptical of "behavioral/psycholological evidence" than perhaps I once was.

There's just no doubt that we interpret the behavior of an accused person entirely differently than we would if that person had not been accused of wrongdoing.

Observer

Anonymous said...

I for one believe the "suspicious behavior" has been grossly exaggerated. Gymnists and athletes in general often engage in physical activity to relieve tension. Actually, I think the medical establishment highly recommends this sort of activity for stress relief.
Does that activity include pole dancing? LOL. It is natural that we question peoples behavior and activity. CGM's behavior and actions after the alleged assault came under quite a bit of critisism, speculation, and condemnation. Maybe she was under stress?
All baiting aside, as I have said previously I have been on several juries and we always without fail discussed the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses as well as accusers and defendants. You might not be surprised to learn that most of us had very similar impressions about whether a witness was lying or trying to hide something. People are pretty good judges of these types of things regardless of education or background. And that is just the behavior in the courtroom which this jury had a lot more exposure to than we can possibly have in trying to critique their unanimous decision. The behavior that is documented prior to the crime is in my opinion part of the evidence, circumstancial though that may be.
The physical evidence obviously carries more weight, but a jury does not consider just this part.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Joe,

This is a part of the statement from Amanda I was referring to, made within 48 hours of the murder:

Now I remember to have also replied with the message: "See you later. Have a good evening!" and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: "Good evening!" What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember. I told Raffaele that I didn't have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don't think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time. In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can't be sure because I didn't look at the clock. After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele's hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn't have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can't say the time).

The next thing I remember was waking up the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this "confession" that I made last night, I want to make clear that I'm very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn't remember a fact correctly. I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.


What impression do you have of her statement?

ROSE

halides1 said...

Rose,

I think your timeline is wrong. That looks as if it might be something Amanda said on 6 November, or about five days after the murder. Also, please give sources. Some of them have to be parsed very carefully.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Geez Chis, you are on the ball. Can't slide a few days by you.

Here is the link: Amanda's Note

Rose

Joe said...

Rose,
The impression I get from the statement is Amanda doesn't remember exactly what happened on that night. Why?
1) Perhaps because she killed her roommate and is subconsciously suppressing memories of the night? This addresses my point. It is illogical to think that the alibi wouldn't be squared away to every last detail if events had occurred according to the prosecution's reconstruction. This is just me, but I know that if I killed someone, I would square away those details if I wanted to try to get away with it.
2)Perhaps because of marijuana use? I am not a doctor, but I believe smoking marijuana can cause short term memory loss. What I do know about marijuana is that it doesn't incite violence in the user. Though I haven't smoked myself, I witnessed many of my friends smoking during college and beyond? The result was always the same - total relaxation (and hunger). Never did I see a result of violence.
3) Perhaps because of the stress of the whole ordeal?

We don't know the answer. That is why motive, record, opportunity, and evidence should be the determining factors, not psychology, especially since there was not one witness or piece of evidence that pointed to Knox suffering from or exhibiting psychological problems prior to the murder.

One Spook said...

Regarding Rose/Red Rover’s comments:

*** "People use common sense as well as intuition and impression when coming to a decision."

*** “ …as I have said previously I have been on several juries and we always without fail discussed the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses as well as accusers and defendants.”

*** “The behavior that is documented prior to the crime is in my opinion part of the evidence, circumstancial though that may be.”

*** “The physical evidence obviously carries more weight, but a jury does not consider just this part.”

I’d love to see someone post a link to standard jury instructions that specify consideration of “the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses as well as accusers and defendants” and the use of “intuition and impression.”

In many situations, a jury cannot even consider “The behavior that is documented prior to the crime …”

This is laughable in the extreme. After reading those comments, do any of you wonder why many defense lawyers opt for a non-jury trial when that option is available?

And, after Rose/Red Rover’s own comment on Jan 11 @ 1:50 PM that he was looking forward to a discussion of the Knox case “Looking forward to our discussion on the Knox case.” [his bold], he just could not resist regurgitating the old lame argument about those who questioned poor old “CGM’s” behavior in doing pole dancing a few short days after allegedly having been brutally raped, sodomized, and beaten by three big male athletes in a bathroom. Regarding "suspicious behavior," Red Rover/Rose writes: "Does that activity include pole dancing? LOL. It is natural that we question peoples behavior and activity. CGM's behavior and actions after the alleged assault came under quite a bit of critisism, speculation, and condemnation. Maybe she was under stress?"

I believe any reasonable person would and should question behavior like pole dancing by an accuser a few days after having suffered such an alleged “brutal” assault. It is entirely and completely relevant.

But we're not discussing the Duke case here. We are discussing the very biased treatment of a young woman on trial in Italy where jurors were allowed to hear sensational, speculative narratives by the prosecution and listen to and read equally ridiculous fantasies about the accused in the Italian media.

That is an injustice.

Thus, focusing on the factual evidence in a trial as American juries are instructed to do remains the only hope for Amanda Knox's appeal. The factual evidence in the Knox case is scant at best.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

One Spook,
It is interesting to note that you feel it is OK to judge CGM by her actions and behavior and not Knox. This behavior is a part of the evidence and although it may not be physical it may still be factual. It appears you also missed the part of my response when I said "All baiting aside". Perhaps in your case, you only look at such things as cartwheels and pole dancing when it helps your preconceived notions of guilt or innocence?

A jury is not required to believe every thing that a witness says, if that were the case every trial that the defendant pleads not guilty would have reasonable doubt. The credibility and veracity of a witness are important and sometimes the past actions and behavior of a witness come into play. The problem that I had with LessWrong is they seemed to only rely on the physical (or lack of) evidence. Little if any weight was given to non-physical or circumstantial evidence.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Joe,
I appreciate your response. My impression is that her statement is all over the place. She claims not to remember much of the events of that night but insists she didn't do it. My impression is that she is using smoking pot as an excuse and she may have been hiding something.

There are some people that are very good at being deceptive and coming up with a pat story and there are others that are not good at such things. Most people can get a story straight if they are telling the truth.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Rose, I know you are mostly joking about CGM and the relevance of her pole dancing, and it is always a good exercise to see if the algebra works just as well when we are no longer sympathetic to the main variable.

Of course, there is no similarity between Ms. Mangum's poledancing and Ms. Knox's cartwheels. As I am sure we all well remember, Ms. Mangum claimed to be in great pain after alleging "rape," sought strong medication for this pain from two emergency rooms, persuaded a nurse and several "journalists" that she had been brutally traumatized both physically and emotionally and yet was filmed pole dancing in a most limber and provacative fashion shortly after the "rape." The significance of this supposed "victim's" behavior in determining whether a crime was committed is clear and requires no subjective projections on our part.

Also, I believe Ms. Mangum's thick medical file detailing her mental health history and medications was highly pertinent information. So this sort of behavioral and psychological evidence is important.

And then there was so much other evidence supporting the conclusion that Ms. Mangum was completely incorrect in her claims.

In the case at hand, though, we seem to see something more akin to the subtle shifting of behavioral reading that happens when someone falls under suspicion and otherwise innocent acts suddenly get interpreted as something sinister and indicative of guilt.

I know juries examine the demeanor of the witnesses, and that is one reason for the the exclamation from (I believe) Clarence Darrow to the effect: If you give me the jury, you can have the evidence. He well understood that personal prejudices of jury members were critical to the outcome of the trial...this is after all why we have voir dire and jury consultants can earn a fine living.

If lie detector tests are not admissible in court because of problems with reliability, it seems we should be pretty wary of assessing truthfulness through opinions of demeanor as well.

Have we forgotten the lessons of the witch trials?

Observer

Anonymous said...

Rose, I know you are mostly joking about CGM and the relevance of her pole dancing...

Yes, mostly joking. My initial thought on the 'cartwheels' was that she was just flirting.

Have we forgotten the lessons of the witch trials?

Yes, Amanda (Marcotte)fits that bill very well.


Rose

halides1 said...

To all,

Here is a lengthy excerpt from Amanda Knox’s trial. I would like to highlight the point where she says, “I just wanted to sign and go home.” This is very similar to what one would expect from people who make false confessions (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/08/weekinreview/08SAUL.html). I think her testimony says a good deal about Ms. Knox’s state of mind during her police interrogation.

From the PMF site (link at bottom):
[Quote]

LG: Now what interests me is that you should be precise about the term "hit",
because being hit is something...was it a cuff on the head, two cuffs on
the head? How precise can you be about this "hitting"?

AK: So, during the interrogation, people were standing all around me, in front of
me, behind me, one person was screaming at me from here, another person was
shouting "No no no, maybe you just don't remember" from over there, other
people were yelling other things, and a policewoman behind me did this to
me [you hear the sound of her giving two very little whacks].

LG: Once, twice?

AK: Twice. The first time I did this, I turned around to her, and she did it
again.

LG: I wanted to know this precise detail.

AK: Yes.

LG: After all that, that whole conversation, that you told us about, and you had
a crying crisis, did they bring you some tea, coffee, some cakes, something?
When was that exactly?

AK: They brought me things only after I had made some declarations. So, I was
there, they were all screaming at me, I only wanted to leave because I was
thinking that my mother was arriving, and I said look, can I have my telephone,
because I want to call my mom. They said no, and there was this big
mess with them shouting at me, threatening me, and it was only after I made
declarations that they started saying "No, no, don't worry, we'll protect you,"
and that's how it happened.

LG: Then you stayed in the Questura?

AK: Yes.

LG: Then, at midday, or one o'clock, we don't know exactly, they brought you a
paper called an arrest warrant. When they served you this warrant, it must
have been around twelve, one o'clock. Do you remember?

AG: So, all papers they brought me to sign, at that point, they were all the same
to me, so I can't even say what I had to sign, arrest warrant, declarations,
whatever, because at a certain point, I just wanted to sign and go home.

LG: Right. But instead?

AK: Instead, no. After a while they told me I had to stay in the Questura, so I
had to stay, and I rolled up in a fetal position to try to sleep, on a chair,
and I fell asleep, then I woke up, and I was there thinking and some people
were going in and out, and during this period of time, I was telling them:
"Look, I am really confused, these things don't seem like what I remember,
I remember something else." And they said "No no no no no, you just stay
quiet, you will remember it all later. So just stay quiet and wait, wait,
wait, because we have to check some things." And at that point I just didn't
understand anything. I even lost my sense of time.
[Endquote]

http://perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&p=31515

So if the police badger, (I mean interrogate) a suspect for a long time and make them confused, and then the rest of us jump on their inconsistencies as proof of guilty, who needs actual evidence?

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

Here is a link with respect to the infamous cartwheel, about which there are several different versions of what actually happened. It sounds as if she was stretching, a policeman saw her, and asked her about her background in gymnastics, or something like that. That puts the cartwheel into a different light, IMHO.

My recollection is that Amanda’s testimony at the trial partially supports the version here. IIRC, she says that she met the policeman while waiting for Raffaele, but she may not have testified to anything more than that. Maybe someone like RoseMontague can sift through her testimony and see.

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/03/amanda-knox-finally-admits.html

Chris

Anonymous said...

If you'll recall, one of the great strokes of luck in the Duke LAX case is that Durham lawyer Bob Ekstrand happened to hear from a LAX player who was in the office for consultation about an unrelated noise violation that the team had to go talk to the police about the "rape accusation" and further that the team had been advised not to call their parents or consult their own attorneys. This odd advise came from Duke's fixer-lawyer whose name escapes me right now. But because Mr. Ekstrand leapt into high gear contacting players, parents etc, the appointment for this police interrogation was postponed. It is rather awful to think of how much more complicated resolution of the case might have been had the police had the opportunity to "interrogate" the players as originally planned.

Observer

halides1 said...

Rose at 7:58 PM,

The reason why these few days is important is that I have heard that Ms. Knox was consistent in what she said up until her lengthy interrogation. So 2 days after the crime is before her interrogation, but 6 days is after her interrogation.

Chris

Debrah said...

".......one of the great strokes of luck in the Duke LAX case is that Durham lawyer Bob Ekstrand happened to hear from a LAX player who was in the office for consultation about an unrelated noise violation......."
**********************************

An insightful point and just one of the many layers of that complex case---(which above all else was a virtual petri dish from the culture wars of this country and beyond)---that contributed to the positive outcome.

Anonymous said...

The reason why these few days is important is that I have heard that Ms. Knox was consistent in what she said up until her lengthy interrogation. So 2 days after the crime is before her interrogation, but 6 days is after her interrogation.


I wish I had a transcript of her oral statements as well, Chris. Everything I have seen has many things that have been contradicted by the evidence and other things that don't match with Sollecito's statement. However, the Knox defense team made sure that the oral statements would not be admitted at trial, so I highly doubt that they are favorable to her defense.


Rose

Anonymous said...

Interesting insight on the defense team:

Knox's original witness list contained 35 names but defense lawyers have retracted 23. Sollecito's chief forensic consultant walked away from the case (and stuck lawyers with a 50,000 euro bill) in May because he disagreed with the defense strategy. The witnesses who actually testified for the defense caused even more confusion: two forensic scientists placed on the stand contradicted each other. (Sollecito's expert told the jury that Kercher was killed by a single assailant from behind; Knox's said Kercher was killed from the front.) Among the lawyers, chaos reigns: Sollecito's lead attorney, a parliamentarian in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party, has not been in court for weeks, and his other two attorneys have dismantled their joint practice during the course of this case.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/206765

Another quote regarding the defense team:

talian courts are respectable institutions where rules of decorum are strictly followed. But Knox behaved boorishly throughout the trial, and the jury will have noticed. She enters the courtroom like a beauty queen, pandering to the cameras and sometimes answering journalists' questions with a coy smile. She also wore a "Let It Be" T shirt on Valentine's Day, and has been spotted passing around chocolates, winking at Sollecito, and laying her head down on the defense table. The Italian press has had a ball with Knox's courtroom antics (and those of her family). The jury is not sequestered, and the members are free to read about the case, which means they will certainly have been exposed to rampant criticism of her conduct.

Did the defense team coach Amanda and her family on how to behave, what to wear, etc. Sounds like such a simple thing.


http://www.newsweek.com/id/216903/page/1

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

The Italian Supreme Court threw out Knox’s statement made at 5:45 AM on 6 November because, now a suspect, she did not have a lawyer (http://www.perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2008/04/amanda-q-and-with-supreme-court.html). She also made a statement at 1:45 AM. This is a pretty strange time to be interrogating someone, and I would like to know what went on between those two times. Also, the police should have recorded her interrogation by Italian law once she was detained, but claimed to have overlooked this in the haste and excitement of arresting Lumumba, who had nothing to do with the crime. This looks like the-dog-ate-my-homework excuse from the police, and I do not find it credible.

Here is another useful link about Ms. Knox’s statements: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1569137/Meredith-murder-suspect-withdraws-confession.html

Chris

Anonymous said...

Is this the Article
you are referring to, Chris? It seems to me to indicate that her initial statement does not match that of her boyfriend.


Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

By initial statements, I mean PRIOR to her interrogation on 5-6 November. I believe that Sollecito was questioned separately at the same time. I do not believe that AK and RS made conflicting statements up until that time.

From the link which we both provided, I found the following quote: "Sollecito, who is another suspect in the case, has told police that he did not see Knox between 9pm and 1am that night." I think Sollecito said this during his interrogation on 5 or 6 November. Maybe you can look into this and let us know when he said this.

No one disputes that they made conflicting statements during their interrogations. The better questions IMHO are whether there were material contradictions made by them before then, or during their trial testimony.

Chris

Anonymous said...

This article puts together 2 articles originally from the truejustice site regarding the many statements by Knox and Sollecito. Caution: "A Load of Rubbish" to follow:

Load of rubbish

Some of what is claimed in this article I have not been able to verify through non-biased sources. Some of what is claimed I have seen elsewhere taken as fact. It is difficult to tell in this case what is fact and what is spin or pure fiction. It is clear that many of the websites have a pro-defense or pro-prosecution bias and it is beyond difficult to sift thru the "rubbish" to find the jewel of truth.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Here are the separate links quoted in my preceding post:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/amanda_knox_trapped_in_her_own_words/

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/raffaele_sollecito_trapped_in_his_own_words/

And to correct my previous false confession, I am not sure if there are any completely non biased sources in this case. If you have one, let me know.

Rose

One Spook said...

Rose writes:

It is interesting to note that you feel it is OK to judge CGM by her actions and behavior and not Knox.

No. Please allow me to clarify how I feel in my own words.

I feel it is OK to judge CGM by her actions and behaviors that are relevant to her role as a defendant in this case. I also feel that it is OK to judge Knox in exactly the same manner.

CGM was depicted in very early media accounts solely as a "college student" and a "hardworking mother of two." It later came to light that she was a prostitute; had falsely accused other men of rape; had a record of serious mental problems; and her own statements about her sexual behavior prior to her false accusations were proven to be false by objective scientific evidence.

Knox's exercise activity, her prior sexual activity, and the fantasy stories spun by the prosecution and media in her case were not in any manner relevant, and to me, therein lies the difference.

If, for example, Knox and Sollecito had been active members of a S/M Sex Club; had engaged in “torture sex games” etc. etc, that prior behavior would have been entirely relevant to the case.

But that was not the situation with Knox. The sensational, mostly fabricated “stories” about her were false, outrageous, damaging, and should not have been permitted in a court of law.

Anyone should know that (to quote Rose) “A jury is not required to believe every thing that a witness says …” and that “sometimes the past actions and behavior of a witness come into play.” but courts in the United States also go to great lengths to prohibit certain information about an individual’s past that is irrelevant and in some cases, circumstantial, including past convictions, sexual behavior, and so on.

I continue to believe that the treatment of Knox in the Italian courts and media represents a great injustice.

One Spook

One Spook said...

I made an error in my previous comment.

CGM was an accuser in a previous case (prior to the lax case) wherein she accused several men of raping her. The case was not brought to trial, but it was never determined that she had made a false accusation.

I apologize for the error.

One Spook

inmyhumbleopinion said...

It has "come to light" that One Spook has fallen victim to the "sensational, mostly fabricated 'stories' about [CGM] that were false, outrageous, and damaging." hahaha.

imho

One Spook said...

I deserve the flogging with a wet celery stick that "the self-described adorable imho" has given me.

May I have another, ma'am?

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Rose,

In case you haven't noticed, "TrueJustice" has turned into about the most biased source of info out there.

If you haven't read Doug Preston and Mario Spezi's book, The Monster of Florence, by all means DO! It is highly relevant to understanding Mr. Mignini and by extension this case.

Oh, and according to the latest TrueJustice post, Ms Knox has been charged with slander related to the testimony Chris just quoted about the little hits on the head. An additional two years in prison is at stake for her.

Observer

Anonymous said...

One more thing, Rose,

Did you notice how the Newsweek article cites Ms. Knox's behavior as being "boorish" among other uncomplimentary things? And then did you notice what her bad behavior was specifically according to the article? It was smiling at people, handing out candy, wearing a Beatles t-shirt, putting her head down on the table.

Does anyone get that?

Observer

halides1 said...

To all,

With respect to the TJfM links that Rose posted, I have some problems, but let me mention just three for now. From Rose’s link above, “Lie eight. Sollecito claimed that he was surfing the Internet from 11pm to 1am. The Kercher’s lawyer, Franco Maresca, pointed out that credible witnesses had shattered Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder. Sollecito still maintains he was home that night, working on his computer, but computer specialists have testified that his computer was not used for an eight-hour period on the night of Meredith’s murder.” The phrase “incredible witnesses” is probably closer to the truth, according to Ms. Dempsey’s blog (http://blog.seattlepi.com/dempsey/archives/149984.asp). Moreover, the TJfM site conveniently neglected to mention that the supposed computer experts destroyed three hard drives in this investigation (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234298/Amanda-Knox-The-troubling-doubts-Foxy-Knoxys-role-Meredith-Kerchers-murder.html#ixzz0cdE4eFK8). This article also discusses the witnesses. On the issue of what Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito did on the evening of 1 November, they claim to have watched “Amelie” and “Stardust.” But the police accidently erased key information about when the last time “Stardust” was watched (http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/09/computer-places-knox-and-sollecito-at.html).

Also from the same site, “Lie two. Sollecito then claimed that he was his apartment with Amanda Knox. This alibi is flatly contradicted by a silent witness: forensic evidence. According to the scientific police, there are six separate pieces of forensic evidence, including an abundant amount of his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, that place him in the cottage on Via della Pergola on the night of the murder.” Among the many problems with the bra clasp as evidence are that it was collected 47 days after the murder (and the clasp had been moved, indicating that the crime scene was not secure), and it was handled very frequently by the forensic team that gathered it.

With respect to Ms. Knox, this site said, “Line nine. Amanda’s supporters claim that she confessed to a lesser role in Meredith’s murder, and blamed Diya Lumumba, because she had been ‘smacked around’ or put under pressure by the police…If it had been true that Amanda had been ‘smacked around’ by the police during questioning, why haven’t her lawyers ever filed a complaint? It was very telling that Amanda dropped her allegation of being hit by the police at her recent court hearing, and instead just claimed she had been put under pressure.” If you poke around, you can find comments from PMF regulars to the effect that the interrogation was not harsh and that interrogators even offered her food. To which I say, “Baloney.” In her testimony I quoted above, Ms. Knox says that she was only offered food after making a statement. From Newsweek on 15 November (http://www.newsweek.com/id/70610/page/2), “’Initially the American gave a version of events we knew was not correct,’ Perugia police chief Arturo de Felice told reporters. ‘She buckled and made an admission of facts we knew were correct and from that we were able to bring them all in. They all participated but had different roles.’” I would note that the chief of police thought that Lumumba (not Guede) was the third participant at this point. In other words, at this point the chief of police is saying things about the case that are later shown to be utterly false. Moreover, his use of the word “buckled” is a tacit admission of police pressure of some kind. I am under the impression that Ms. Knox has not dropped the allegation that she was cuffed on the head and verbally abused. Yet even if she had, I would not be surprised, given how free the police are about accusing the Knox family of defamation.

I think one has to parse the words at TJfM with extreme caution.

Chris

Ray Turner said...

Hey Chris,

You might want to check this entry out by Frank: http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/05/giobbi-i-gave-order.html

It may shed some light on the truthfulness of the police when testifying about the interrogation. From detective Giobbi's account, it was not exactly chamomile and cookies. Also important is that Giobbi gave the order to have them called in, which contradicts the notion that they were just "witnesses" when being interrogated.

Anonymous said...

Observer,
Preston is an interesting side character in this case. He seems to believe that Knox winning on appeal is pretty much a done deal (PDF Guardian article). In my opinion this is somewhat naive on his part.

In his interview with 48 hours he states: "You can't believe the hysteria, the anger against Amanda Knox. All my Italian friends think she's guilty," Are his 'friends' trying to save some Italian face as well?

Of course, he did make reference in another article to which the link somehow escapes me comparing the Knox case to that Lacrosse thing, just as someone did earlier on this blog. He must be right, just because of that.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Chris said: "I think one has to parse the words at TJfM with extreme caution."

I agree. You can almost see the spin just from the titles of some of their posts, take Occam's razor versus Knox's behavior for example.


Oops, never-mind. Saw that one somewhere else.

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

I chose that title as a summary of the Less Wrong article, in which one finds the following quote: "The fact is that what this comes down to is an utterly straightforward application of Occam's Razor."

Chris

Anonymous said...

I do not know the Italian appellate system well enough to have an opinion on the likely outcome of the Knox/Sollecito appeals. Mr. Preston would have a lot more information about that. I do know that we would have expected a reversal on appeal had the Duke defendants been tried and convicted. But I cannot imagine our having the confidence in the NC Appeals Court that Mr. Preston expressed in the Italian system.

The Preston article is quite interesting...the book is even more so. From the book the reader gets a much fuller context for the "saving face" impulses of Mr. Mignini and cohorts. Also, the reader gathers quite a bit of information about Italian law enforcement's approach to crime scenes, evidence collection, case building, response to criticism, etc. all of which predates the Kercher murder and yet relates most obviously and directly to the Kercher murder investigation and the Knox/Sollecito trial. Systemic failures that led to major flaws in the investigation of the serial murderer, the Monster of Florence, are repeated dutifully and obssessively in the Kercher investigation.

Just curious, has anyone ever heard of a law enforcement system or a prosecutor operating in a free and democratic country that wiretapped, interrogated, threatened and jailed journalists as Mr. Preston and Mr. Spezi most credibly state Mr. Mignini and the Perugian law enforcement apparatus have done?

Mssrs. Preston, Spezi and Lamumba have offered public accountings of Perugian/Mignini interrogations that bear a striking similarity to the interrogation Ms. Knox described, but as far as I know the two little smacks on the head were not part of their experience. Perhaps, at least one interrogator felt Ms. Knox was still enough of a child that a little smack or two would straighten her out. All night interrogations might even impair impulse control for interrogators. The same interrogator might not be so cavalier in broad daylight with a journalist or a business man in the hot seat. Just the all night interrogation seems odd and abusive to me, even without the little back of the head smacks.

Observer

PS Rose, your teasing and little taunts aside, anytime you see a solid, persuasive piece of evidence, I'm all ears...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your comments, Observer. One thing that has bothered me about Sollecito's story is that he claimed to have been unable to break down Meredith's door when they had 'suspected' a burglary (blood and broken window) and Meredith would not answer.
This is a link to a pic that shows some of that door, you can actually see where it is cracked from being kicked in. It appears to be a standard flimsy (cheap) interior door, certainly not solid wood.

The hard door to crack

Your thoughts?

Rose

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Well, I do not know much about this subject. That he claims to have tried and failed to force open the door does not surprise or trouble me. He's not really a big, muscular guy. Is the inability to crack the door bothering you?

Observer

Anonymous said...

Nevermind, Rose, I just reread your comment which specifically says the inability to break down the door bothers you. Pourquoi?

Less Wrong has another post on the Kercher murder case that you will find most interesting. It seems the Less Wrong blog is completely unconnected to the case and the folks there just like to think through interesting problems as attentive and rational thinkers. Here's the link:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ir/you_be_the_jury_survey_on_a_current_event/

I like the way they think.

Observer

Anonymous said...

molti problemi, sì

The email from Amanda on November 4th prior to her arrest may be the closest documented "statement" we have from her prior to the false confession and the following retraction:


email for everyone


It also mentions that pesky door that poor wimpy Sollecito could not possibly get open.

Montagna Rossa

halides1 said...

Montagna Rossa,

Interesting reading. What is your take on it?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris,
I am trying to put together a comparison to other statements and the 'facts' or at least mutually agreed upon circumstances. I have been trying to find something from her that would be considered not tainted by interrogation since you had mentioned it a few days ago.

This has been the closest thing I could find to date, in any case.

In the meantime, one comment on that other interesting reading at Less Wrong. It has been fun sifting through various posts on a variety of subjects. Every time I leave I have the urge to give them the Vulcan hand signal and say "Live Long and Prosper". LOL.

I did find one post not on this subject to be very interesting called 'Lonely Dissent'. The comparison used in that one is wearing a clown suit to school. They should have used a more distinctively mundane comparison like majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Economics in my opinion.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Mr Mignini has been CONVICTED. A little over a year in jail...

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/

Observer

Anonymous said...

But apparently even though he is sentenced he doesn't really have to serve the time in jail, nor does he have to give up his prosecutorial responsibilities. Incomprehensible.

Plus, he is appealing, of course.

Observer

Anonymous said...

No jail time, keeps his job, probably gets a raise. I think Mr. Nifong would trade his punishment for that of Mignini any day. I wonder how Preston will react to this? If you see something, let us know.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you guy's missed this, but Frank from Perugia-shock updated his entry about the slander charge:http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-proceedings-against-amanda-knox.html

Here he interviewed Comodi, the co-prosecutor in the case, who confirmed there was absolutely no investigation into the slander charge.

Anonymous said...

Rose,

Thanks for the e-mail from Ms. Knox and thank you to whoever added the update on the slander investigation from Perugia Shock.

Here is a fascinating link from a commenter at Perugia Shock regarding an assessment of an Italian police interrogation and a forced confession.

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/EveryOne%20-%20Report%20Police%20Violence%20in%20Italy_ENG.pdf

Debrah said...

To "Observer"--

It's simply amazing that so many comments under the post that you linked, Mignini Convicted, mirror those of the straggly contingent in the Lacrosse Hoax who still subscribe to the "something happened" insanity.

Uncanny, that.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200607/florence-murder/6

If you don't have time to read The Monster of Florence, this will give you a flavor of the book.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Several things strike me as very curious about Amanda's email statement. One thing that interests me is the whole mop story. First she goes to great lenghts to let her friends and family know why she needed that mop. Here is the first quote:

the next morning i woke up
around 1030 and after grabbing my few things i left raffael's
appartment and walked the five minute walk back to my house to once again take a shower and grab a chane of clothes. i also needed to grab a mop because after dinner raffael had spilled a lot of water on the floor of his kitchen by accident and didnt have a mop to clean it up.


A couple of comments. She evidently feels that the issue of the mop and her reason for needing a mop is very important to have explained. The spill itself happened in the Kitchen the night before and it was a lot of water. I am not sure how much is a lot but I suppose just for the sake of argument a couple of gallons at least would be a lot. I am not sure how you can spill that much water but anyway I concede I don't know. What I do know is that you don't really need a mop to soak up a water spill. Dry towels will do in an emergency because most people don't want a lot of water on their floor overnight where it might cause some damage to wood floors, furniture or drywall. You could even use a quilt or a blanket if need be. A mop is not neccessary, the water is not like he spilled a big pot of MamaMia sauce on the kitchen floor.

Anyway, I guess they just used a ferry the rest of the night and the next morning to get to their fridge because it was obviously not a big enough deal to use something other than a mop to get it up.

The other thing about water is that it is always going to spread, no floor is perfectly level, it will seep into cracks and be absorbed by other things it encounters and some of it is just going to evaporate and go away. In this case it still mush have been a swimming pool sized disaster the next morning to still require a mop.

Nex 'mop' quote, same email: i started feeling a little uncomfortable and so i
grabbed the mop from out closet and lef the house, closing and locking
the door that no one had come back through while i was in the shower,
and i returned to raffael's place. after we had used the mop to clean
up the kitchen i told raffael about what i had seen in the house over
breakfast. the strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the
shit left in the toilet.


Ok, so she sees the blood all over the bathroom and crap in the toilet, Meredith doesn't answer her door so she feels uncomfortable like maybe something bad has happenned so she grabs the mop goes running back to her boyfriends place and procedes to mop up that awfully important water spill that only this mop can get up, then tells raffael she thinks maybe something bad has happened over at her place.


Does anybody else find this story a tad more than a bit suspicious? The question becomes why stage the movement of the mop? I left out the whole bleach issue because the purchase of the bleach was never proven.

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

According to the FOA site (http://www.friendsofamanda.org/cleanup.html) the pipe beneath Raffaele's sink came loose. Raffaele did use towels but this was somehow insufficient. I can speculate that the mop was used to clean the floor, as opposed to merely soaking up the water.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Yes I have seen it stated previously as a busted pipe. I used the water spill Chris because that is what she said in an email to friends and family without police coercion or knocking her about the head. Does it not make you the least bit suspicious?

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

Yes, a little, but not very much. She had already been interviewed by the police at this point, who may have asked her about the mop. I also have problems with the theory that Amanda and Raffaele could produce a selective cleanup, one that erased their tracks but not Rudy's.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Yes, the mop does seem a bit odd. But on the other hand if you just killed someone would you want to travel back and forth with a mop.

Anonymous said...

It may have been used to clean up blood over at Raffael's. Take off bloody clothes and all of a sudden you have a bloody floor. I agree the theory of a selective cleanup at Meredith's place is a big stretch. Someone moved the body several hours after Meredith died based on forensic evidence that I have not seen anyone dispute.

halides1 said...

Anonymous,

Can you elaborate about the reason why it is believed the body was moved several hours after her death? The temperature of Meredith's body was not taken for two days after the murder, making the time of death very difficult to estimate by this means.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Chris, there is something about this case that intrigues me and maybe you can help out. Can we look at Rudy' s behavior after the crime and make deductions about what the scene was after the crime.
We know that rudy was there. Would his actions after the crime be the same if he was the lone wolf versus having two people know he did the crime or was a witness. Likewise could we make deductions about
AK and RS if they knew rudy could return,confess,kill them etc

halides1 said...

Anonymous,

I have been wondering about Guede myself, these past few days. I don't know much, but this is kind of an open thread so feel free.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Rudy's actions seems consistent with the lone wolf theory. He stops at a night club. Yes for an alibi but this does not seem to have that heightened panic that would be associated with the fear of two other people knowing you did the crime. I mean were I come from he would have killed AK and RS . As far as AK and RS , how would you feel sitting around a police station knowing that rudy could walk in or be brought in and implicate you. I would be so scared I could not handle it. And there would be lots of other examples of this heightened fear in their actions.

Anonymous said...

One of the primary reasons this case bothers me so much is that the prosecutors' theories invariably seem significantly more absurd that the defendants' explanations.

Re: the mop. If the mop had blood on it, I would be interested in the mop story. But this is not the case. There was no blood on the mop. Further, do I believe two kids (high or not) cleaned up only their own DNA from the scene with a mop or anything else? I do not. That's absurd.

And if I somehow believed they had used the mop to clean up the murder scene, do I believe Ms. Knox then would take the mop over to Mr. Sollecito's. Ummm, no, I do not. For what on earth purpose would she have transported the mop back and forth after supposedly using it to clean up blood? I cannot think of one. The broken pipe at least sounds reasonable. Mr. Mignini's mop theory sounds as ridiculous to me as the magic towel in Duke LAX where the suggestion was the defendants had cleaned up the DNA on Ms. Mangum and at the crime scene with a towel that magically left not a trace (except for Dave Evans DNA in the bathroom where he was a resident). I don't believe in magic towels or magic mops.

Observer

Anonymous said...

I believe it was the Micheli report that brought up the evidence about Meredith's body having been moved after she was killed. "He said that Meredith’s bra was found by investigators away from other possible blood contamination on the floor, near to her feet. Photographs of Meredith’s body show clear white areas where the bra prevented blood from falling onto Merediths body. These white areas corresponded to those areas where blood was found on her bra. This was particularly true in the area of the right shoulder strap which was soaked from the wound to Meredith’s neck.

Micheli said that evidence showed that Meredith had lain on one shoulder near the wardrobe. She lay in that position long enough for the imprint of her shoulder and bra strap to remain fixed in the pool of blood after she was moved to the position in which her body was finally found. Photographs of blood on her shoulder matched the imprint by the wardrobe and her shoulder itself also showed signs that she had remained in that position for some time.

Based on all this, Judge Micheli concluded that there could be no doubt that Meredith’s body was moved away from the wardrobe and her bra removed quite some time after her death."


As far as the mop/blood test goes, I am unable to find any confirmation that it was even tested. If you have seen something about this let me know.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Rose,

I don't know if the mop was tested. But if there was a test that could have connected the mop to the murder, how could that information not be out? How peculiar it would be to argue the mop was part of a cleanup but not test it for a connection to the murder.

Observer

Anonymous said...

This is from TrueJustice:

-Snip-

Clean up motives and evidence
I have yet to see a careful review of the testimony and possible conclusions that may be drawn from the known facts and circumstantial evidence, including the clean up after the murder—which, to me, are very compelling.

The neighbor has testified that she heard a very loud, long scream that night (presumably Meredith’s last), followed not long thereafter by the sounds of two to three different people running from the area (it was unusual to hear people running at that time of night). The neighbor was 69 and could not remember exactly the date she heard the screaming, but she was firm that it was the night before Meredith’s murder was discovered.

It is not a stretch to link the screaming to Meredith, given that loud, long piercing screams are uncommon. Also, a murderer or murderers would realize that Meredith’s scream may bring the police at any moment—so running from the crime would be expected.

The uncontradicted testimony is that there was a fair amount of effort to “clean up” the crime scene (the defense merely claims that Knox and Sollecito were not involved). It also appears that whoever came back for the “clean up” also broke a window in Filomena’s bedroom (as mentioned, one of the two other roommates living upstairs; there were also four male students living downstairs in a separate unit), in an attempt to throw the investigating police off the scent.

Filomena testifed that she found clothes strewn around her room the next day and that she had left the room tidy. She testified that glass from the window broken in her bedroom was on top of those strewn clothes. If the window was broken by someone entering the home who was intent on rape and/or robbery, then the glass would not be on top of the clothes as those clothes would not have been under the window then (Filomena also testified that she had valuables in plain view in her bedroom and that none were taken).

The evidence suggests that someone placed these clothes around the room and THEN broke the window to “stage a scene” (as there is no explanation for why anyone would have any motive to randomly take clothes and throw them around a room).

-snip-

Tellingly, the writer is not troubled by the lack of evidence from the prosecution regarding a cleanup, the writer is troubled that the allegations from the prosecution regarding a cleanup have not been adequately refuted by the defendants.

This was the best I could find at TrueJustice on the cleanup.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Go here for the FOA discussion of the cleanup. According to them, no evidence of a cleanup was presented at trial.

http://www.friendsofamanda.org/cleanup.html

Anonymous said...

From a comment on Less Wrong:

-Snip-

Feh20 December 2009 06:53:57AM2 points [-]
brazil84's points 1, 2, and 3 are false in my opinion, I have insufficient knowledge about #4 (the allegedly postmortem removed bra) but my reaction is "so what?" and "how does the investigator know the bra wasn't removed post-cut rather than postmortem?"), and here is my take on #5, the mop and bucket...

The allegation that Amanda and Rafael were found with a mop and bucket outside the crime scene apartment is reported on truejustice.org (which has been accused of bias in some of the comments here.) Truejustice.org claims to be paraphrasing a judge's statements about pretrial hearings. This alleged fact apparently did not come up in the actual trial. In the actual trial, Rafael's maid said she found a mop and bucket underneath the sink at his apartment, and said he explained that they had cleaned up some leaked water. The maid testified that there was a clear liquid in the bucket. My wild guess at the truth here is that indeed Amanda and/or Rafael had taken a mop and bucket from Amanda's apartment to Rafael's apartment to clean up a leak, and the maid saw it when she came in the morning (she cleaned around 11:00 on certain days, as I recall.) And then, possibly, and unfortunately for them, Amanda or Rafael brought the mop back to Amanda's apartment shortly before the police arrived. But your guess is as good as mine.

-Snip-

I suppose we are to infer the cleanup from the luminol revealed footprints that could have been made in a number of ways (and at a number of times). The prosecution should have had some real evidence of a cleanup if there was one...

Observer

Anonymous said...

So the witness was 69 and still had good enough hearing to know if it was more than one person running from the cottage.

Anonymous said...

I believe the 48 Hours piece on this case recreated the running from the scene with a camera crew and show host in the apartment where the witness lived. They could not hear the running.

observer

halides1 said...

Observer at 11:21 PM,

Agreed about the mop. And I do not believe in magic cleaning fluids that remove blood but not DNA from knives. The prosecution thinks otherwise.

Chris

Anonymous said...

I think the evidence is pretty suggestive that the burglary was staged and the positioning of the body was staged after the murder. I don't see any hard evidence of a selective cleanup. The whole issue with the mop is significant to me only because she went to such lengths to stage the positioning and the movement of the mop. I give it the importance she does in her email.


I believe Occam's Razor would tell us that it is likely that the same person or persons staged both the body and the break in. The staging of the mop appears to point suspicion towards Ms. Knox as a master stager here.


At the same time it appears the police may not be above a little staging game themselves, Chris mentioned the fact that they destroyed 3 computer hard drives making it impossible for the defense to counter what computer information they did (selectively) obtain.


At this point I am still convinced that Knox and Sollecito are hiding something. The what and why of the hiding is a mystery to me.

Rose

halides1 said...

Rose,

Someone will have to help me out on this one by looking into it further. Right now I am close to finishing my next post, which I hope to put up this evening. However, the evidence that the burglary was staged is disputed, IIRC. Filomena was allowed back into her room to retrieve some personal items. Some have suggested that she disturbed her own room, inadvertantly messing up a crime scene and confusing the break-in issue.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

Here is a good post on the slander charge:

http://knoxarchives.blogspot.com/2010/01/co-prosecutor-manuela-comodi-confirms.html

Chris

halides1 said...

A couple of links from the site I mentioned above:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6947979.ece

http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/blog-post/1565742/a-question-guilt

Chris

Anonymous said...

Clint Van Zandt wrote the following article on November 23, 2009, two weeks before the Knox/Sollecito verdict. He does a summary of the trial and elicits comments at the end, some of which Van Zandt responds to.

Note commenter Harry Rag's 17 reasons why he/she feels Knox is guilty and the responses from others which refute those reasons.

http://clintvanzandt.newsvine.com/_news/2009/11/23/3533889-amanda-knox-guilty-or-innocent

Christiana

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Christiana. The comments are perhaps more interesting than the article itself. It is also interesting that an almost civil discussion took place despite the difference of opinion on guilt or innocence. Nice to see.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Regarding your comment on the 'staging' of the break in, here is what Romanelli had to say about it at trial:

She said that, knowing by then that the window of her bedroom had been smashed, her first instinct on returning to the flat had been to go to her room. What she saw was "a disaster". Her clothes were on the floor and her cupboard was open. But none of her jewellery was missing, nor her designer sunglasses and handbags. Her laptop was among the clothes. She said there was glass on top of the pile of clothes: "I remember that in lifting the computer I realised that I was picking up bits of glass because there were bits of glass on top and it was all covered with glass.

Her testimony seems credible to me, I just don't see her lying about this. Point being, it appears her room was ransacked and then the window was busted.


Rose

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

At PharmaTech we believe that medication should be affordable and convenient. By connecting you with UK and US doctors, you can now buy Viagra, Cialis, Levitra for Impotence Treatment, buy Xenical for Obesity Treatment, Order Propecia for Baldness Treatment, buy Tamiflu for Influenza Treatments, buy Chantix for smoking cessation treatment and buy Intrinsa online for treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction. As we only dispense medication from our two pharmacies, located in the UK and US we can guarantee that all our medication is genuine. [url=http://www.web-levitra.onlinepillguide.info]Enter Site.[/url]