Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things said and left unsaid: Barbie Nadeau’s coverage of the Knox/Sollecito case (Part XIII)

Ms. Barbie Nadeau’s book on the murder of Meredith Kercher is now out and will be reviewed here soon. A reading of some of her Newsweek and Daily Beast articles may give a glimpse of what to expect. Early in the article Ms. Nadeau wrote, “Just days after Kercher's body was found last November in the villa Knox shared with the victim, security camera footage showed the couple buying lingerie in a local store, with Knox giggling and telling Sollecito, ‘Afterwards I'm going to take you home so we can have wild sex together.’” Ms. Nadeau’s account is misleading in several respects. Ms. Knox did not have access to her own belongings at this time (her flat was a crime scene) and needed to buy underwear and borrow jeans. The security camera did not have sound, and witnesses say that the store has very loud music, making it difficult to overhear someone’s conversation. Whether the merchant, who was a paid interviewee and the actual source of the quote, spoke English or not is disputed. However, the couple did kiss in the store, and their demeanor appears playful.

Ms. Nadeau went on, “And by her own account in a prison diary leaked to the media, she details her sexual escapades with at least seven men she'd been with in her three months in Italy before her arrest. She even wrote that she might have HIV and then she uses a process of elimination to narrow down who might have given it to her. The diary is part of the collection of evidence and could be damaging to Knox in a court trial. Recently leaked segments of her continuing tome paint a disturbing picture of her state of mind. In one entry, she writes: ‘I think it's possible that Raffaelle went to Meredith's house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints n the knife.’”

Mark Waterbury rightly took Ms. Nadeau to task for the many problems with her assertions. Ms. Knox wrote of having seven intimate partners her whole life because she was told that she was or might be HIV-positive. Ms. Knox’s diary shows her emotional distress, and to claim that it “details her sexual escapades” is so blatantly wrong that it leaves one wondering what Ms. Nadeau could possibly have been thinking. Some of the most problematic assertions, including the incorrect description of the night of the murder, were based on an English translation of an Italian translation of her diary, instead of the original. When she was contacted about the mistranslation, Ms. Nadeau claimed that there was a second diary, but she is the only reporter who has made this claim to the best of my knowledge.

The last portion of the article says as much about Ms. Nadeau as about the case. “To complicate things further, Sollecito and Knox's reported break up prompted speculation that they would testify against each other. But Sollecito's flowers may be a signal that their defense teams may actually work together to pin the blame on Guede. If that strategy succeeds, the cipher of Amanda Knox may never truly be decoded.” Ms. Nadeau’s use of the word “pin” suggests that she believed Knox and Sollecito were guilty. Her linking the potential success of their blaming Mr. Guede to the potential failure to decipher Ms. Knox leaves little doubt about her opinion on their culpability. Why Newsweek entrusted their coverage of this case to her is the real mystery.

Let us consider some of her entries at The Daily Beast more briefly and with comments interspersed. In a recent article Nadeau wrote, “Shortly after her arrest, Knox admitted to being at the Perugian villa when Kercher was murdered. The confession was later thrown out of the body of evidence because of allegations of police brutality and coercion, but much of what she said in that original statement coincides with known elements of the case, including evidence gathered by CCTV footage from a nearby parking garage.” The CCTV footage may be of Meredith entering her cottage for the last time. Yet it is what this article does not say that is at least equally troubling. Nothing about the police giving out false information and only a little to on the British press, which sometimes behaved outrageously. Meredith’s father, John Kercher, was part of the British tabloid press corps, and this may explain some of the contempt the British press exhibited toward Ms. Knox.

Shortly after the conviction, Ms. Nadeau began an article, “Is the real Amanda Knox the sex-obsessed, cold-blooded murderer that the prosecution depicted? Or worse?” This question and the title of her article are truly egregious, worthy of comparison to the Newsweek mug shot cover on the Duke lacrosse case in 2006, and that is saying something. Clearly Ms. Nadeau had access to Edda Mellas and Curt Knox, which undercuts her claim about being shut out in the article about how the media got the case wrong (see above). The rest of the article lacks a critical appraisal of the forensics. “They [the jury] wondered why Amanda’s DNA and Meredith’s blood was wiped away and recovered with Luminol. They thought it was Raffaele’s bloody footprint on the bathroom rug and his DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp. They believed the prosecutor’s testimony that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife that had Amanda’s DNA on the handle.” There is no reason to assume that a substance that tests positive with Luminol is blood; it is a presumptive test that needs to be confirmed with one that is more specific for blood.

Immediately after the conviction Ms. Nadeau wrote, “At one point the stepmother of Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s former boyfriend who was sentenced to 25 years for his part in the murder, yelled out ‘F@#k you,’” Ms. Nadeau is the only reporter who heard this; others heard, “Forte, Raffaele,” which just means strength, Raffaele. “But in the end, the two judges and six lay jurors trusted the sanctity of the DNA evidence, and doubted the words of Knox and Sollecito….For those who believed that Knox was guilty, the most damning evidence was the presence of her DNA mixed with Kercher’s blood in the house, and her statement that she was in the house at the time of the murder.” Ms. Nadeau has never written about the open letter signed by nine DNA forensics experts, but even if she is unaware of their views, she should know that the quality of the DNA evidence is very much in dispute.

Ms. Nadeau wrote about the jury’s report on its reasons for conviction, “A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.” The claim that finding Knox’s DNA mixed with Kercher’s blood means that their blood was mixed is dubious.

Quoting prosecutor Mignini Nadeau wrote, “’The window was broken from the inside, not the outside. The glass was on top of the clothes that had been strewn around the room, not under them. The break-in was staged and Knox is the one who did it.’ He also hinted that Knox and Sollecito might have been in a drug-fueled frenzy when they allegedly killed Kercher. He outlined the effects of cocaine and acid, and told the judges and jury how Knox and Sollecito ran with a crowd that often used these ‘stupificante,’ or stupefying drugs.” What drugs? Knox and Sollecito acknowledge smoking marijuana but no evidence of other drugs was presented. The notion that the window was broken from the inside is not convincing. Ms. Nadeau presents this closing argument without commenting on its many problems. This is only a reasonable approach if we accept this blog entry as pure reporting (with Ms. Nadeau reporting and editorializing are sometimes mixed. And yet after the introductory paragraph, eight of the nine succeeding paragraphs cover Mr. Mignini’s summation, whereas only one covers the defense’s summation.

“Other evidentiary problems include the lack of video or audio tapes of Knox’s original interrogation and the scientific police forgetting to pick up a bra clasp for nearly six weeks. That clasp is said to have Sollecito’s DNA on the metal hook and is the only material evidence police have tying Sollecito to the crime. While these obvious errors might well establish reasonable doubt in an American courtroom, it is unlikely they will have the same effect here in Italy, where defendants often seem to be presumed guilty until proven innocent.”

“Last July, testimony by noted forensic specialist Adriano Tagliabracci was abruptly suspended after the defense discovered that they had not been given all the prosecution’s evidence reports. Specifically, they did not have crucial evidence about Sollecito’s DNA found on the clasp of the bloodied bra that was cut from Kercher after she was stabbed.”

Saturday’s hearing ended with a dramatic exchange about whether the prosecution had given the defense key documents regarding the DNA on Kercher’s bra. The charge was seen as a blatant attempt by the prosecution to throw the defense’s witness, and it worked. The exchange ended with Sollecito’s lawyers accusing the prosecution with illegality—a move many thought was primarily to set the stage for an appeal if one or both are convicted.” These three examples show that Ms. Nadeau does report on some aspects of the case that create sympathy for the defendants.

Ms. Nadeau wrote an article about Rudy Guede, who was the only person at that time convicted of Meredith Kercher’s murder. “’He has never changed his story,’ Guede’s lawyer, Valter Biscotti, told The Daily Beast this week. Biscotti would not supply any details about the version of events Guede gave at his own, closed-door trial, but he did say, ‘He has always maintained that they were all there, but that he is not the one who killed her.’” Ms. Nadeau did not comment on this remarkable assertion. When he was in Germany, the police intercepted one of Mr. Guede’s skype conversations in which he said that Amanda was not there. The first months after his arrest he said that an unidentified man murdered Ms. Kercher when Guede was on the toilet. Months later he began to claim that the man was Raffaele Sollecito and that Ms. Knox was at least present. ABC news reported that “Guede, 25, has at different times said the Knox, 22, of Seattle, was and was not at the house the night of the murder. At one point, he also implied that Knox's co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito was at the murder scene.”

Finally, I will expand upon a point I raised in the comments section of the previous article. In response to a question during a live chat, Ms. Nadeau said, “I think it is important to remember that the same scientific police and laboratories tested the DNA for all three suspects. That is to say, if the DNA matches Rudy and is accepted, then the DNA that matches the other two should also be accepted. How she may have left so little DNA if she was actually in the room is very hard to square.”

Ms. Nadeau is asserting implicitly that all DNA evidence is equal, but this is false. We know that the knife profile is weak, has drop-ins, and has considerable imbalance in intensity between most of the pairs of alleles. We know that the bra clasp was left in an insecure location for 47 days and handled poorly when it was finally collected. As Dan Krane said, “The science of DNA profiling is sound. But, not all of DNA profiling is science.” The evidence against Guede has never been released, and one cannot pass judgment on its quality without seeing it. There is second problem with Ms. Nadeau’s assertion. Rudy Guede was only identified as a suspect after the forensics came back, but Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were already suspects (first on the basis of demeanor, then on the basis of their interrogations) before the forensics was completed. This problem is particularly acute for the bra clasp, and one has to consider the problem of confirmation bias or even outright fraud when weighing the forensic evidence. The third problem is that even within a lab, the quality of work may not be uniform. For one thing lab contamination can be a sporadic event, as it was in the Jaidyn Leskie case. For another, there may be a lone sloppy or dishonest technician in a lab full of competent, ethical ones.

Update 20 April 2010
I added a hyperlink to the Newsweek story in paragraph 1 and the word "to" in paragraph 6, line 4.

111 comments:

Joe said...

Good post again Chris!

I don't know how one could state on NBC Dateline that "We don't really know what happened in that house that night" (her words, from her mouth) and then title a book Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox.

Debrah said...

Quite a compelling and comprehensive post by Chris.

One cannot argue with what he reveals as tendentious coverage by Nadeau and others; however.......

......as someone opined inside The Diva World some time ago.......

......just because the prosecution and much of the media are scoundrels with an agenda does not automatically define Knox and Solliceto as two innocents.

Sympathetic figures, yes.

Innocent?

That has yet to be proven.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

I think that should read:

Guilty?

That has yet to be proven.

Rose said...

I think Barbie is the one that needs a presumption of innocence here. Or maybe Chris has shredded that with a complete and utter hatchet job.

Trueskeptic said...

Hi Debrah,
That should be proven guilty, and they haven't been. Yes the court may have found them guilty, but the very evidence they cite, is falling apart under closer examination.
You have said some nasty things in the past. Let'e keep it respectful, here. OK?

Chris, your posts are always thought provoking!

Rose said...

In the trial the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In the appeal, after they have been found guilty, I think the responsibility is now on the defense to prove innocence or to show error with the first trial.

Debrah said...

Thank you, Rose, for correcting some of these "legal eagles".

In my comment, I said what I meant....and I meant exactly what I said.

Coincidentally, what I said just happens to be the task at hand during the appeals.

I hope that reality isn't too difficult for some of the feverish ones in our midst to comprehend.

Debrah said...

"You have said some nasty things in the past. Let'e keep it respectful, here. OK?"
**********************************

Let's get one thing straight right up front.

None of us woke up in Iran this morning.

As it pertains to this case, I, and anyone else will put forth any opinion we might have without incident.

Things got pretty "nasty" for Meredith Kercher as well.

Want to take a look at some of her autopsy photos?

People like you who show up dragging along your dictations under a pseudonymous cloak really produce strong elements of nausea.

halides1 said...

My knowledge of Italian law is not that great, but I think that the first appeal is essentially automatic. Under those conditions, even considering Knox and Sollecito guilty at this point may not be exactly correct.

Debrah said...

Perhaps this might be an example of the "nasty" to which the commenter alludes.

Seems this characterization was one begun long before Chris took up the topic on his blog.

Amanda Knox Hygiene

"[Knox] was often criticized by Meredith Kercher for her hygiene habits and her relationship with many males. Apparently Amanda Knox was not at all happy with the criticism."

Ray Turner said...

Technically, under Italian law, a defendant is presumed innocent even during their appeals stage, so it is different from the U.S. Even after her guilty verdict in Italy, Amanda is still presumed innocent until she has exhausted her appeal.

Debrah said...

Ray--

A significant illumination; however, in all candor, and for the purpose of discussion of the Knox/Solliceto case......

.......their task will still be to prove their innocence......

.......which is, necessarily, the mission of an appeal.

Even as the technicalities dictate otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Does Ms. Nadeau mention the six serious crimes committed by Rudi Guede in the 33 days prior to the murder of MK? Or is the boy from Perugia not as interesting as the girl from Seattle?
TM

Ray Turner said...

@Debrah. I think for all practical purposes, you are correct.

Ray Turner said...

To anyone who was confused as I was this morning:

Supposedly there is some new witness for Amanda's team that was referenced on ABC today (you can see the video on my blog). This person is not the same as Alessi, the murderer in prison who met with Sollecito's attorneys. Some might have assumed Ted Simon was referencing this witness, but I guess it' someone else.

No clue on who it is though. We'll just have to wait and see I guess. Just throwing the info out there because I was confused about it this morning.

Randy said...

"Amanda Knox Hygiene

"[Knox] was often criticized by Meredith Kercher for her hygiene habits and her relationship with many males. Apparently Amanda Knox was not at all happy with the criticism." "

I tend to agree with you Debrah that AK & RS are not "completely innocent". As far as guilty of the murder and sexual violence, using that link you provided, I find it hard to believe that they left no DNA or fibers on Meredith (that was some link there Debrah....I must say I liked watching the Italian tv shows with dancing girls a lot better). With Amanda's hygiene, were there real details or examples mentioned some place? I think I read in the trial testimony AK commenting about forgetting sometimes to completely clean the toilet. The ones I have seen in Italy are slightly different then the ones in the US. I could see how you would forget sometimes and definitely it would annoy the next user.

The excerpts I have read online are like what you would expect from a travel and food writer. She seems a little loose with the facts and maybe adding things that are not really there.


wow. surprise witnesses from RS and AK lawyers in the appeal...maybe Rudi's father for AK? Messi for RS?

Rose said...

A new witness. I thought the story Amanda settled on had her in Raffaele's apartment all night with nobody but Raffaele present. Is Raffaele the surprise witness?

Or maybe it was the plumber, "come to fix the sink" (cue Jaws music from SNL skit), LOL.

The only way I can see a new witness providing an alibi is for Amanda to change her story yet again. If anybody can see another possibility, let's hear it.

Rose said...

"Lawyers for Amanda Knox, the American student convicted in Italy of murdering her roommate, say they have a new witness who can prove Knox wasn't present when her roommmate was killed."

So said witness would have to be either 1. In bed sleeping with Amanda and Raffaele. or 2. Participating or watching the murder of Meredith Kercher. or 3. Amanda was confused, suffering from memory loss, befuddled by pot, and this third person memory suddenly came back to her. or 4. Somebody is a lying liar.

Am I missing something?

Debrah said...

I'm inserting this bit of news to illustrate that the justice system in many states is rotten to the core......

.......even as "officers of the court" try to wax self-righteous for the media....a...la...Brad Bannon and the other lacrosse defense attorneys for that case.

Wade Smith was a law partner of John Edwards, and a close friend of Edwards and his abusive and fraudulent wife.

Edwards turned the courtroom into a down-home carnival....and made millions doing it....as his oily show ran good doctors out of business.

They are all a part of the same rotten system and rub elbows with the sleaze---who are most often their personal friends---with great frequency.

Former Governor Mike Easley and his wife are two of the most corrupt among a group---the NC Democratic political machine---that majors in corruption.

(And I'm not a conservative or a Republican, by the way.)

Remember that Jim Cooney---high profile lacrosse defense attorney---turned around and represented Duke University right after stuffing his pockets with the take from representing Reade Seligmann.

So......when you read about all these "heroes" which have never been highlighted and covered on the lacrosse blogs realistically.......

.......just laugh.

And laugh out loud.

Debrah said...

OK....a bit of venting was done.

Just to illustrate that no matter where you are on the globe......

......."justice" is never blind.

And frequently it's unjust.

Defense attorneys are some of the most dishonest inside their own profession.

How "honest" are the Knox defense attorneys?

Or is that a rude question?

Anonymous said...

"Lawyers for Amanda Knox, the American student convicted in Italy of murdering her roommate, say they have a new witness who can prove Knox wasn't present when her roommmate was killed."

So said witness would have to be either 1. In bed sleeping with Amanda and Raffaele. or 2. Participating or watching the murder of Meredith Kercher. or 3. Amanda was confused, suffering from memory loss, befuddled by pot, and this third person memory suddenly came back to her. or 4. Somebody is a lying liar.

Am I missing something?


I suppose it would be helpful to have Knox's lawyers definition of "a new witness."

Is this an eye witness to the murder, thus proving Knox wasn't present when her roommate was killed; an expert witness (one who can testify that the forensic evidence against Knox was erroneous), thus proving she wasn't present when her roommate was killed; or is it a (pre)trial balloon, floated before the appellate trial begins?

Christiana

Anonymous said...

Regarding the new witness:

Someone on Perugia Shock said a recording of a phone call between Guede and his father will be presented. It has long been rumored Guede told his father that AK/RS were not involved in the crime.

If the recording exists, I wonder why it wasn't presented in the first trial.

Rose said...

I don't think Rudy is a reliable source. He was lying then or lying now. You think he has never lied to his father before? I don't know who this new witness is, but as "proofs" go that one is weak. At best, it may cast some small element of doubt. If you are willing to do a real stretch followed by a cartwheel or two.

One Spook said...

Of course, we don't know who the witness is, but if it is in fact Guede in a recorded telephone call with his father (perhaps it was not available earlier, who knows?) wherein he denies that Knox and Sollecito were present, that is hardly "weak" evidence.

It is quite strong evidence particularly coupled with the fact that there is no credible evidence that either Knox or Sollecito were even present at the time the crime was committed.

Consider this: Guede would have no reason to lie to his father. He would have plenty of reason to lie to the police, particularly since they sought his cooperation in implicating K & S.

There is a mountain of evidence that implicates Guede and it did prove his guilt; he knew that and the police knew that. I don't think that there is any doubt in anyone's mind that Guede killed that young woman.

Perhaps the police offered him a reduced sentence on appeal if he would implicate K & S, which is exactly what Guede ended up getting --- a reduced sentence.

"Weak?" You must be joking.

One Spook

Debrah said...

"With Amanda's hygiene, were there real details or examples mentioned some place? I think I read in the trial testimony AK commenting about forgetting sometimes to completely clean the toilet. The ones I have seen in Italy are slightly different then the ones in the US. I could see how you would forget sometimes and definitely it would annoy the next user."
*********************************

Randy,

In past skimming of articles, Knox's hygiene (or lack of) came up, but I didn't think much of it at the time.

Not until the issue of her (possible) interest in anal sex surfaced.

You see, for many "anal sex" is not viewed as a moral issue....born of anything religious at all.....but of a purely hygienic issue.

As it is a staple, necessarily, inside gay male culture, it is the main reason why same-sex marriage will always face such a hurdle among voters in this country......

.......and the main reason many do not want SSM a part of school curricula for young children.

Lesbians are not the obstacles to SSM becoming the law of the land.

It's simply the open and defiant promiscuity and anal sex grotesquerie of gay male culture that give people pause.

For heterosexuals, anal sex is a rare option for those so inclined.

For gay males, it's the staple, obviously.

People had best begin discussing such matters candidly if progress is to be made and cut the pity-parties.

Again, many of these topics are ones that Knox supporters wish to characterize as "unfair attacks" and "sensationalism".....

.......but I disagree somewhat....insofar as the personal habits of anyone accused of murder would be germane.

And in many cases, would serve to illuminate one's overall personality.

I wouldn't want to serve on a jury in such a case and would recuse myself.

Simply because leaving a dirty toilet that you're sharing with someone else and a possible interest in anal sex....along with multiple sex partners at the tender age of the early twenties......

........would provoke a negative impression right out-of-the-gate.

However, there are so many slobs in the world for whom these things are mere trivia.

They'd certainly be less Nadeau-esque in their analysis.

halides1 said...

Debrah,

According to my recollection of Barbie Nadeau’s book, Meredith’s new boyfriend encouraged her to try anal sex. Her body had signs of sexual activity, but for whatever reason it was not concluded that she was raped. The only person who had (digital?) sexual contact with her is Rudy Guede. I have no knowledge about Amanda’s sexual interests, and I am unaware of any evidence that she did or did not like any particular sex act.

I think Amanda needed some instruction in how to clean a bidet, but I do not recall the details.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Guede is no stranger to lying. But if lied to his father, one would think his intent would be to implicate MORE people.

I mean if he were trying to please his dad, he'd be blaming others. Doncha think?

Where's all this anal sex stuff coming from? Was that one of Nadeau's tidbits?

I haven't read her book and object to paying blood money. I did read the viewable pages on Amazon (and they seem to have recently reduced the number of viewable pages). The ones I saw mentioned things I thought had been disproved.

She said there bleach receipts from the morning of the crime. I thought that was false.

She goes on to say to the bleach was probably used in the clean-up -- and I must say I find the alleged clean-up to be the most confusing part of the case. IF it happened, case closed. It's enough circumstantial evidence for me. But I can't find any unbiased verbiage about it. The guilters are quite convinced it happened. The FOA deny it.

The sample pages of the book also included a mistranslation of Amanda's diary. I can't understand why a bilingual author would perpetuate the mistranslation.

Debrah said...

"Where's all this anal sex stuff coming from?"
****************************************

It's just another aspect of the human condition.

Some might say.....unfortunately.

When you involve yourself to any great degree inside this country's culture wars, you necessarily deal in topics that are controversial.

This is a murder case........"We're not making dolls."

Although some might want to fake shock and wax self-righteous, the reality is that if there were any elements of sexual activity---forced or consensual---during the night of Kercher's murder, then this aspect of the scenario is not only curious, it's of the utmost significance.

If Kercher were a bit more discriminating than her friends with regard to sexual practices and with whom she engaged.......

.......and if there is evidence that someone was forcing her to engage in sexual activities the night of her murder (to teach her a lesson?)......

.......then the sexual proclivities of everyone around her are a vital part of the story.

The protestations from, and the personal interests of, Knox's friends and family be damned.

Debrah said...

Chris--

I'm sure everyone is waiting with bated breath for your provocative critique of Nadeau's book!

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that the hygiene of Amanda was defined as Amanda's lack of participation in the cleaning of the flat she shared with her roommates (i.e. untidy, slovenly).

As for whether Amanda or Meredith participated in anal sex - this is a personal issue - one which I don't believe either shared publicly (I believe Amanda shared in an email that the police asked her about Meredith and anal sex).

Whatever the truth concerning this subject it should have no bearing on guilt or innocence or besmirching of reputation of either person.

If the Massei Motivations contains such revelations in the staging of the crime (staging of body to simulate anal sex, anal penetration, etc) perhaps then it would be a worthy discussion.

Chrisitana

Joe said...

Christiana,

You are correct. Amanda did refer to the investigators' questioning about Meredith and anal sex in her email. She wrote something to the effect of "was Meredith into anal? WTF!" in reference to the questioning.

If anyone has links to credible sources that suggest Amanda was into this or that evidence exists to prove this, by all means post them. Otherwise, this whole dialogue about the subject is absurd.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Joe.

This is all just silly stuff...which is what Ms. Nadeau likes best.

Observer

Debrah said...

"Otherwise, this whole dialogue about the subject is absurd."
************************************

Also absurd is an academically successful girl going to Italy for "study" and winding up with friends and acquaintances who would provide an atmosphere where one would even be implicated as a young 20-something woman in such a tawdry scenario.

I suggest that people stop looking through the prism of "Midnight Express gone mad" and ask yourselves why an allegedly intelligent woman cannot verbalize effectively and present herself with a more plausible aura of "innocence" under such circumstances.

Some of you underestimate the evil that can lurk within the freshest of the freshest faces.

Get your heads out of the sand and stop expressing distaste for things that Knox and company obviously found so avant garde.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

I think the language barrier presents a problem for a foreigner to "verbalize effectively and present [oneself] with a more plausible aura of "innocence" under such circumstances" even with an interpreter present to translate. Difficult enough to be interrogated in one's own country by the police let alone a foreign one.

And yes, I agree that evil can lurk within the freshest of the freshest faces, however, I fail to see how the discussion of one's preference or one's aversion to anal sex has anything to do with evil.

Christiana

Debrah said...

"I fail to see how the discussion of one's preference or one's aversion to anal sex has anything to do with evil."
******************************

That's where freedom of speech comes in.

And that freedom leaves open the door to illuminate how very sly you think you are by combining the mention of "evil" with the mention of "anal sex" so that you can attempt to draw a conclusion, albeit unsuccessfully, that one would be making a value judgment on anal sex as being "evil".

Which is just another example of the less than intelligent tactics often used by the pro-Knox contingent.

Hoping that detractors will cower instead of furthering debate that shows that Knox is not exactly the person her obviously clueless parents thought they raised.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

I'm not equating evil with anal sex, or purity, for that matter. I thought you were making a connection between evil and anal sex. Am I wrong in that thought? If so, I apologize.

And, I am not part of the "pro-Knox contingent," but I am also not a "guilter" or "hater." I also enjoy freedom of speech but do prefer it to have some basis in truth.

Christiana

Debrah said...

"I thought you were making a connection between evil and anal sex."
************************************

You see, this is exactly why so many of us try to avoid the "compassionate" Far Left.

They choose to Procrustean-ize every argument made in an attempt to make that argument fit their preconceived views of detractors.

For without their worn and tattered socio-political playbook, they have no retort.

That would require dealing with the facts.

Anyone reading my comments with an ounce of objectivity knows I did not equate "evil" and "anal sex".

However, from the comments of some who have so engaged and dislike what the practice does to their bodies, I suppose they feel as if they've done something "evil". Who knows?

LOL!

Go back and read what I actually wrote.

That topic was one of illuminating the personal habits and lifestyle of one accused of murder.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

Perhaps those questioning my motives secretly view anal sex as "evil" and are engaged in an exercise of projection.

Randy said...

""I fail to see how the discussion of one's preference or one's aversion to anal sex has anything to do with evil."
******************************

That's where freedom of speech comes in.

And that freedom leaves open the door to illuminate how very sly you think you are by combining the mention of "evil" with the mention of "anal sex" so that you can attempt to draw a conclusion, albeit unsuccessfully, that one would be making a value judgment on anal sex as being "evil"."

hmmm...I think you are trying to read more in to what is actually written there. I think the original intent was to say that enjoying or hating that act has nothing to do with being evil and nothing more. As far as AK goes, the only mention I have noticed was when it was mentioned in that email. And the reference was to a her getting asked a question if about if Meredith liked it. I don't know all of the details of MK's autopsy but I believe it is related to something the coroner found.

The whole hygiene business is just another example of some small and possibly misunderstood issue. It gets repeated and repeated about poor hygiene and sometimes twisted to mean or imply something else. When I first moved to where I live now, I lived with 2 other guys and 1 girl all of us graduating from college within the past year or so (around 1990). The girl was the messiest of all of us! haha...she didn't become an evil person, currently she is an Assistant District Attorney in another state. It's like the cartwheel thing. Always it is cartwheels...which I would think most people would agree is unusual in a police station. But if it becomes, 1 person asked another person about being flexible and that person says I can do one of these. Someone sees it and it gets blown way out of context.

The whole "pizza" debate on the JREF...another example. AK & RS are eating pizza during MK's vigil because they are cold and heartless. They tell Giobbi hahaha we are eating pizza...but they may have been eating late afternoon and didn't go to the vigil for other reasons. Now that image gets changed.

Those are just examples of small things that can get blown up bigger to make a false image. Depending on how you look at them or what you see, you can get a different picture. Like the photo in a newspaper made up of small dots but when looked at from a slight distance makes a picture.

Sometimes people can see or hear or read the same thing and yet it looks or sounds different to each of us...just like Barbie Nadeau's book to bring it all back to Chris's original topic.

One Spook said...

Kudos to Anon; Trueskeptic, Ray, Observer, Christiana, Randy, and Joe for very excellent commentary.

Although this topic is about Nadeau’s coverage of the Knox/Sollecito case and the previous topic was about electronic data files, what you all have correctly identified is an attempt by one commentator to hijack both of those topic discussions of salient elements in this case to a discussion of irrelevant and extraneous issues of her own choosing --- the supposed salacious behaviors (hygiene and anal sex --- oh my dear, I believe I’m getting the vapors!) of a young college-age woman.

This commentator is a woman old enough to be Knox’s grandmother, but who has never borne or raised children of her own. Given that, and her having attended school way back in the 60’s, she demonstrates a glaring lack of knowledge about what constitutes normal or usual behavior of college-age persons. Like it or not, many of students today regularly smoke marijuana, behave ‘oddly’, use the “Shocker” hand gesture (I’ll leave you to look it up, it has its own Wiki page), and have more sex and sexual partners than their grandmothers did in her day. I know this because I have one son still in college and a daughter who graduated with honors, nearly three years ago.

Anyone who knows young people today should be outraged by the incredible, false and malicious fantasy ’sex orgy’ tale, for which there exists not a scintilla of proof, spun by the prosecution in this case, and by the willful and illegal effort by Italian authorities in falsely telling Amanda Knox that she had the AIDs virus and that she needed to make a log of her sexual history, which log they used to besmirch her character. In the US legal system, it is, thankfully, forbidden to introduce any information relative to a rape accuser’s past sexual history so, similarly we should be very troubled that anyone --- Italian prosecutors, the media, and a legion of commentators have focused on this behavior by Knox --- the actions of Italian authorities should be entirely irrelevant and illegal under any country’s laws.

Despite this false narrative invented out of whole cloth by the prosecution which so many drama queens on at least two continents are sadly prone to believe, the case has no credible evidence that even places Knox and Sollecito at the murder scene at the time the murder was committed --- an absolutely essential element in proving guilt in any crime.

Chris has done an excellent job on this Blog by carefully examining the salient elements of this horrific crime --- the DNA issues and related matters of forensic evidence--- matters in which he has significant expertise. I would suggest that we confine our comments to the topics at hand and ignore commentators who practice pop psychology and salacious drama in order to attract attention to them. Such behavior tells us more about that commentator than it does about this case.

One Spook

Debrah said...

Oh, well.......

......Chris, I'll let you handle the commenter above.

You told me this might happen if he began commenting here, and it should be said that no one needs to have this person bring his grudges into another arena.

Take note Chris....who has brought personal attacks to this forum?......carried over from another blog by using "concern" for the Knox case.

I haven't even entertained the thought of engaging this individual on any level, but we see the same behavior displayed now as before.

Take note, Chris.

The rest of us are discussing elements of the case.

Unfortunately, if this commenter finds just one letter of someone's name, he will spend his days, obviously, Googling to find their "cyber DNA".

Too funny.

Do such insane individuals think they will silence opinions with this brand of misogynistic logorrhea?

This same commenter used to discuss things he thought he knew about other people and even another blog author---(watch out Chris!).

Let me say that the bizarre obsession and hatred of such a commenter are something with which only a seasoned psychiatrist should deal.

It would be counterproductive to engage this individual because although he lives far away from the Triangle, he will spend days on the fora of a newspaper outlet in a town in which he does not live, and knows nothing about, where he thinks he can display his wares.

I'm endlessly amused that such gross misogyny exists inside one of the most unattractive humans I've ever had the bad luck to view from a photo.

What a lame "debating tool".

The only way to handle someone like this is ignore them or have the blog author handle them.

And since I was in grade school in the '60s, I must say at that time as a child taking dance lessons and voice lessons did play a more important role than learning about "drugs and sex".

LOL!!!

What the hell does any of this have to do with anything?

The answer: the "grudge of sludge" has invaded this forum under the guise of "concern" for the Knox/Sollecito case.

In the future, if people on this forum disagree about the case, don't be surprised if this troubled individual tries to feebly come after you.

And don't ignore his rants or you'll never get rid of him.

In the meantime, all opinions about this case are open for expression.......

.......even though a few want to turn Chris' blog into their own "empty nest" outlet about a case they know even less about than most.

Debrah said...

Chris, the troubled commenter has made very sure to "praise" your work as he always made sure to "praise" KC as he began his methods of operation.

Let it be highlighted once again that no one but this troubled individual has resorted to personal attacks.

If these lies and attacks continue, I will be the one to do something about him.

Debrah said...

A few things pertinent to this case should be noted with the objectivity that is missing.

No tendentious and shallow "cheerleading" from either side will be helpful.

The Triangle area where I now live is home to three major universities, so, consequently, I am surrounded by university students on a daily basis.....necessarily.

Many of my friends and acquaintances are university professors......who would be the true experts on student behavior.

I've lived in Tokyo, Italy, France, and have traveled to many other countries for pleasure.......as have others.

Periodically, I've returned to those places and so, like many, believe that I would certainly be able to give the lightest of opinions on related matters of this case.

Anyone who asserts that all students are using drugs and engaging in random sex and that they think nothing of it.......is basically stating a falsehood.

This must be an attempt to try to "fit in" and seem "cool" and "cop to the hop" of the 21st century.

LOL!

Far from what some might put forth, gathered from hearsay, or from what they've read somewhere....or what a few students might have revealed.......

.......living in another country as a student and developing the kind of risky lifestyle of Knox and friends (by accounts from journalists)......

.......is not how most university students live.

halides1 said...

Debrah,

The story you linked under Amanda Knox Hygiene is very dubious in a couple of respects. If the knife were the murder weapon and then cleaned in bleach, there is no way any useful DNA would survive.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

Let's keep the discussion focused on the case at hand and respectful. Other cases and other information are OK by me, so long as the conversation does not veer off onto tangents.

Chris

Debrah said...

You're the DNA expert Chris.

I'll leave that to you; however, media coverage and accounts from journalists---no matter how seemingly biased---cannot be ignored.

None of us here was in the courtroom.

It seems the interest in the case has died down on all fronts; however, here's a tidbit from last year in which a blog author discusses the almost-obsessive behavior of some commenters on his blog in the beginning.

I also think that observers make a Pollyanna-esque mistake by automatically characterizing people in such cases as "victims".

I agree with some things mentioned in this article.

Like all accused---falsely or not---in high profile cases, they all tend to cash in on the experience.

But let's all shed a few tears in hopes the phony self-righteousness doesn't nauseate too many in the process.

halides1 said...

Rose,

With respect to Rudy's alleged comments to his father, I would point out that he also said that Amanda was not present when his skype conversation in Germany was tapped.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Chris,

What you say is true concerning Rudy and his previous statements, conversations.

I think some of Rudy's previous statements may be countered by his last letter and other statements he has given - meaning it appears Rudy is not a reliable source whether what he says favors or disfavors Amanda and/or Raffaele.

Christiana

Rose said...

Rudy has said so many different things to so many people about this, I don't believe anything he said to his dad would be considered "proof" of anything.

It will probably be another fellow inmate wanting to also move to a different prison that has "overheard" Rudy saying Amanda was not there. Who knows? My post was considering who could possibly provide "proof" that would be taken as credible. The defense had plenty of DNA experts on their side so another one offering yet another opinion would not "prove" much either.

The only other thing I can think of would be someone in the DNA lab that may have said they will come forward to testify as to improper reporting of the DNA/forensic results. Then again, it may just be that Amanda supporter/lawyer blowing smoke of the 420 variety.

halides1 said...

Rose,

I think Rudy is now doing whatever it takes to get as light a sentence as possible. I think his earliest statements are a little bit more credible than his most recent ones.

Chris

Rose said...

Not sure if someone posted this yet or not (I usually am somewhat anal about checking first), but there is a well written article at Science Spheres that is worth your time and trouble. I call it Mark sees dead people

Anonymous said...

What's interesting about Waterbury's theory is that it gives rise as to why a burglar might want a burglary look like a sexual assault.

One Spook said...

Exactly, Chris ... Guede’s earlier statements are very likely more credible because he had no motive to lie about K & S at that point. And that was exactly the argument that I advanced earlier in my commentary.

I also agree with Rose and Christiana to the extent that Guede is not a reliable witness by any measure, but at the same time, he is far less reliable now that he's trying to get a lesser sentence.

But once you strip away the fake sensational "orgy" story proffered by the prosecution, you're left with a very weak case that doesn't even establish a motive for Knox or Sollecito, or does it have any credible evidence placing either of them at the scene of the crime when it took place.

While there was a mountain of evidence that placed Guede at the scene (not to mention his previous history of criminal behavior), there is no similar evidence placing K or S at the scene.

In order to place K & S at the scene and to attempt to prove their guilt, the prosecution has presented DNA evidence.

The interesting thing about DNA evidence is that it is one of those "silver bullet" or "smoking gun" elements that any normal juror or observer would want to have present so as to remove any "reasonable doubt" and make them comfortable that they have arrived at the "truth" in the case.

Indeed when confronted with difficult decisions, it is human nature for all of us to rely on some "test" to help us prove who might best be qualified to attend a prestigious university; who might be best to study medicine or law; or who might be guilty of a crime. Such a test is the silver bullet that makes our decision for us, or makes our decision easier.

Unfortunately, most laymen and, as we saw in the Duke lacrosse case, prosecutors, police, and even a SANE nurse-in-training can easily misconstrue the nature and validity of DNA testing.

What your postings here have taught is very important --- "all DNA testing is not equal" and you have very carefully examined the actual DNA readings in the KS case to show how utterly weak the prosecution's DNA evidence actually is. You have also cited numerous examples of how easily DNA evidence can be contaminated and how the lack of electronic data files prevent other qualified examiners from being able to either confirm or disprove the test results.

Your arguments make folks uncomfortable because you have tarnished their sacred silver bullet.

In impeaching the DNA testimony, you have presented facts that make the prosecution's case virtually worthless. There is no credible evidence placing K or S at the scene of the crime when it happened.

Even before you presented your arguments here, it was troubling to me (and I believe should have been to any impartial observer) that a supposed "sex orgy" murder involving four people only produced significant DNA of two people --- the murderer and the victim.

That's all the "truth" I think anyone needs to know.

One Spook

One Spook said...

Rose ... that's a most interesting link you posted. While I'm not sure I would agree with the writer's theory, it does offer some though-provoking answers to some of the troubling questions of the KS prosecution, such as, "Why did the prosecutor's continue its weak case against K & S once they had Guede in custody along with substantial evidence that he committed the crime?"

But, even more interesting in that piece a link to this piece: ”Professional opinion From Retired FBI Agent Steve Moore”.

That is an outstanding, dispassionate examination of the investigation of this case and well worth anyone's reading.

One Spook

Rose said...

I agree much of the DNA evidence is in doubt and it is troubling to me as well.

Also troubling are the many varied stories and evasions from Amanda and Raffaele, the forgetfulness and the seeming indifference to a flatmate's murder, the staging of the burglary, the never locked door that was locked, the very important movement of the mop, the door wimpy Raffaele could not budge, the forgotten phone call to Mom in the middle of the night, and Amanda's lamp in Meredith's room.

I think if you are impartial it is fine to have doubt even enough reasonable doubt to say you would have found them not guilty of murder, but if you are truly impartial you have to be questioning this further than the disputed and admittedly weak DNA evidence on the knife and bra clasp.

One Spook said...

Rose, honestly, if you "agree much of the DNA evidence is in doubt and it is troubling to [you] as well." then what you're really saying is that you, as a juror, cannot agree that the prosecution has proved its case.

You obviously have reasonable doubt, and therefore could not vote for a conviction.

Let's presume that I share your other doubts (I don't) for purposes of discussion. Those doubts are circumstantial in nature and are not salient issues that would in anyway help the prosecution prove guilt. None of those doubts provide any proof that (1) K or S had a motive to commit this crime or (2) that they were present at the time the crime was committed.

Those two elements (1) and (2) are absolutely essential for a prosecutor to prove guilt. Although this fundamental concept remains murky to some commentators as evidenced by previous comments on this blog, at no time during a trial or an appeal is it necessary for a defendant to "prove innocence."

To convict a criminal defendant, it is absolutely necessary for a juror or judge to believe that the prosecution has proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The verdict is rendered as either "guilty or "not guilty." There is never a verdict rendered by any court of law of "innocent."

If a person cannot grasp those fundamental concepts in law, they cannot be taken seriously in any comments they make about a criminal trial.

One Spook

Rose said...

I am not on the jury One Spook, and I am not convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at this point. I do believe they are hiding something and I am trying to determine the truth. I don't have a vote to give them and I want to know what happened. Meredith Kercher deserves justice, is the only thing I know as an absolute. If Amanda played a part in that she should be punished. For me, I am still hearing the evidence and I am keeping my options open.

Rose said...

One Spook,
I would add that I think it is important to keep an open mind on this case, mainly because we have not heard all the testimony, nor have we seen all the evidence. This is not that pesky Duke LAX incident where every document and filing went into a websites data base. For us to judge this case at this point is not correct in my opinion. I learned several things I did not know just in the last few days. We have not been sent back to make a decision as that jury did. If I heard all that they heard it is quite possible I would vote for guilt.

halides1 said...

Rose,

I see nothing suspicious about Amanda's remembering only two of three phone calls to her mother.

Chris

Rose said...

I find it suspicious that she can't remember the call after her Mon reminded her of it and some of the conversation they had.

One Spook said...

Rose:

I appreciate your concept of keeping an open mind. I've learned a few new things as well, but not a single thing that overrides the salient elements of proving a murder, which the prosecution failed to do because they cannot prove something that never happened.

I hadn't really formed any views on this case until after Guede was arrested and tried, and then K & S were not released. It reminded me of when the DNA reports of the lax players came in 100% negative and yet the prosecution continued. It was a similar WTF? moment for me.

What I have learned since only convinces me more that two people have been convicted of a crime that they did not commit.

As the former FBI agent, applying Occam's Razor, commented in the link I cited earlier, "The simplest answer is usually the correct answer. Crimes are only this complicated in James Bond movies. Amanda would not even have been a suspect in any US investigation. A sex murder occurs and your prime suspect is the female roommate?

What I cannot understand is why some folks get caught up in minutiae that are entirely irrelevant to proving that someone committed murder.

As an example, and with all due respect, your comment that you find Amanda's failure to remember the call to her mother "suspicious" falls squarely into the irrelevant category where it, sadly, has a good deal of company.

One Spook

Rose said...

If that was the only thing I found suspicious, I would tend to agree. I listed many other things and that was just a quick post where I was not even trying to detail everything I found troubling with Amanda.

In any case, I appreciate your comment and I value your opinion. I think Steve Moore's article is a good one and it makes some valid points. One point I would stress is that human behavior is not 100% predictable and there are no absolutes when it comes to who may commit a crime against whom. I understand that at least 2 more articles from Mr. Moore are coming and I look forward to reading them. In the meantime I think the Science Spheres article increases the troubling nature of this case. The possibility that Rudy was a police informant and was allowed to continue an unchecked crime spree leading up to Meredith's murder, if true, will cast even further doubt on anything said by the Italian authorities. I have not seen proof of this, however, and that remains in the area of speculation as far as I am concerned.

Debrah said...

"I would add that I think it is important to keep an open mind on this case, mainly because we have not heard all the testimony, nor have we seen all the evidence."
***************************************

Rose--

That's not being done here.

It's never been done here.

There's always lots of rapturous rhetoric about
"keeping an open mind", but both you and I, as well as any objective observer, know that is not the case.

This is why I mentioned above that a blogger early in this case was inundated with thousands of comments from angry and vicious people (as we've seen) who simply will not entertain the thought that this case could be anything but a gross injustice.

And this might truly be the case. There's much evidence that leans toward innocence, or (not guilty for legal purposes).

Chris brings analyses and evidentiary aspects to his blog and he comments in a dispassionate way.

He appears to tease responses......rather than direct them, which is a wise move.

Most comments are emotional fare and the constant cutting and pasting of work done by others......or cutting and pasting the opinions of others.

Then a few self-righteous overtones of outrage of their own to add to the mix.

That's because no one here was in Perugia and no one really knows what happened.

The emotional and repetitious pro-Knox effulgences are all they have.....along with, once again, pasting the words of other people or high-five-ing their tendentious case allies.

And beyond prosecutorial misconduct---(whether or not Knox and Sollecito are guilty)---is the only thing any intelligent person can say is related to the lacrosse case.

The Knox/Sollecito case does not contain the culture war elements of this country which were infinitely more daunting than anything faced in Perugia, Italy.

Debrah said...

Perugia is a vibrant area with all the elements of modernity mixed with the old. I doubt this Knox case suffers from archaic views from those who harbor stereotypes of young Americans.

Perugia is full of people who speak English as well as you and I and it's only about 55 miles from Siena which is where the guy who owns The Siena Hotel in the Triangle is from.

I should probably give Longiotti a call, if he's around and not galavanting, and get a few insights and anecdotal fare from him on some cultural issues as well.

Cases like this one and the lacrosse case, unfortunately, attract every retiree, empty nester, and any parent who has raised a few problem kids, yet overall "good kids", as they say.

And I'm quite sure many of them are people who are actually old enough to be the grandparents of Knox and friends.

Perhaps cases like these fulfill a need in them to vent in ways they cannot with their own families.
Otherwise, one recoils in puzzlement from some of the vehemence. LOL!

You have to indulge these people and feel compassion because they are essentially living through their children, and by extension, any other "troubled" youth.

Cases like this one benefit from those who have been out in the world and can view such cases from an emotional distance.

And with the clarity of those who don't look at life from the insular prism of "parenthood".

And make no mistake, some parents have no life outside of "Mama" and "Papa". When you suggest that their spawn or the spawn of others might be less than stellar kids in some way......

.......well, you get the idea.

The lacrosse blogs were often weighted down with this mentality and people from all over the U. S. showed up trying feebly to kibitz on the Triangle when all they had was what they had read and heard.....

......gathered by others.

I would suggest that is the same thing we have here.

However, the Knox case is not as incendiary or as sensational. Therefore, I don't think the "Mama and Papa Army" can feed off this one as long.

Again Rose, you and I might not agree on much about the past lacrosse case; however, It's certainly refreshing to see your authentic objectivity in this case.

Debrah said...

" One point I would stress is that human behavior is not 100% predictable and there are no absolutes when it comes to who may commit a crime against whom."
*********************************

This should be placed in bold relief somewhere on this blog.

And anyone who cannot, or refuses, to understand it really needs to refrain from commenting on such cases.

For all they have are accounts from others and similar silly emotional fare.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Besides the relationship of prosecutorial misconduct between the Knox/Sollecito case (possible misconduct in the Knox/Sollecito - I don't think that has been proven) and lacrosse case there is also the relationship of putting the case in the media spotlight by the respective defense teams.

It was/is important for the defense in both cases to get their stories and facts to the media rather than wait for a trial to do so. That tactic changed public perception in the lacrosse case, I'm not sure how effective it has been in the Knox/Sollecito case.

Rose said...

If I were to compare the 2 defense teams regarding the use of media to influence public opinion, I would have to say the Lacrosse lawyers did a much better job.

The problem with Amanda's defense team media strategy was two-fold. First, the battle had to be waged on two fronts with both the Italian and American media bought in. They had no problem with the American media, yet their efforts on the Italian side have been almost non-existent. That was the wrong strategy, in my opinion. Second, the Lacrosse team had some pretty smart kids and smart families on their side, who knew how to present themselves and when not to shoot their mouths off. Other than a rare moment of anger or occasional outburst, so many people here handled themselves very well. Then you have Amanda and her family's behavior. Yikes, is all I can say about that. I almost pity the defense team on this one.

Debrah said...

".....the Lacrosse team had some pretty smart kids and smart families on their side, who knew how to present themselves and when not to shoot their mouths off.

"Then you have Amanda and her family's behavior. Yikes, is all I can say about that. I almost pity the defense team on this one."

*********************************

This is key.

I can argue with nothing on these points.

No one wants to admit that Knox's family and some supporters behaved like a bunch of yahoos.

That never plays well in the media, nationally or internationally.

Yet all apologists spend their time making excuses for them.

Review Knox's behavior and compare it to Reade Seligmann's.

I don't buy the assertion that ALL people behave erratically in tragic situations.

Just as an example among many that I've heard from other people from their life experiences......

......I was 21 years old coming home from running a marathon....all tan and ready for a night on the town....when my mother called to tell me that my father's sailboat had capsized in Puget Sound and that he had a heart attack swimming to shore. He was dead.

What did I do?

Whether from shock or for emotional and psychological survival, I immediately went into mental cruise control.

Taking care of ancillary, yet necessary, tasks to which some might not have given a thought after receiving such news.

I called the dry cleaner to have clothes delivered sooner because I would be out of town.

I went to buy a pair of wider-rimmed sun glasses because I knew I would want to hide my eyes at the funeral.

Then I went to find a black dress that was more understated than the ones I already had.

Life was now abrupt.

Unworldly in its magnitude of grief.

So shocking because my father was only 52 and was so great looking when I saw him just months before.

Intelligent young adults know when to "rein it in" and "take stock" of circumstances that will now make their lives very different.

I just don't buy all the excuses for Knox and company.

And only navel-gazing people who have had to make constant excuses for their own offspring......will continue to "suffer", vicariously, through the parents of another in such a situation........

.......rather than just admitting that not everyone behaves like blooming idiots in tragic situations.

Anonymous said...

Rose,

I agree with all you have said (I wrote the prior post above your answer). While I make no excuses for Amanda's behavior I wonder how it might have been influenced and interpreted considering she was under another country's judicial system and language.

Would Amanda have behaved differently had the crime taken place in the U.S. (post-crime)? I can't answer that. But familiarity with a country and its judicial system would be a benefit in one's defense.

And Debrah, you are correct - not everyone behaves like blooming idiots in tragic situations, however, there are enough people who act like blooming idiots in everyday situations so I wouldn't necessarily put much stock on the fact that they behave that same way when a tragedy strikes.

Debrah, your sharing of your father's death and how you handled it was a good example of how one can conduct oneself during tragic circumstanes. I am sorry for your loss.

Christiana

One Spook said...

Rose:

I recognize that you have listed other aspects of the case that are troubling to you. I didn't mean to imply that the phone call issue was the only one. And you and I are certainly in agreement that "Meredith Kercher deserves justice. and that if anyone else had any part in her murder, they should be punished. We are both equally troubled by the “Guede as police informant” theory. If true (and I’m not sure it is), that would seem to me to be yet another element in favor of the defense.

Where we perhaps differ is that I have a tendency to take a more pragmatic approach to the facts and evidence of the crime, not unlike the very practical opinion of former FBI agent Moore --- that’s probably why I favored his views. Moore’s comments remind us that in order to convict someone of a crime, you’d better have some damn good evidence to bring to court.

And, I believe our legal system demands that approach, rightly or wrongly, in establishing a huge burden of proof of guilt on the prosecution. Our system places this burden on the prosecution as a balance against the awesome power of the state to use its vast resources against a private citizen who must defend himself against that power. I’m not convinced that the Italian legal system is as ‘defendant friendly’ as our system might be characterized.

And so I look at this case with a very simple question: Did the prosecution prove its case in accordance with the very high burden of proof necessary to permit the state to take away the freedom of a private individual? To me, answering that question demands that one separate the wheat from the chaff --- ignore the sensational stories and character assassinations directed at the defendants that are designed to persuade drama queens and instead, focus on very hard, factual evidence that is presented --- the salient elements of proof.

And, let’s not forget the very important sequence of events in this case. The prosecution began with charges against two students and there emerged an individual who had fled the country and whose DNA had been found all over the victim inside and outside her body. Imagine for a moment that if prosecutors in America had charged a popular athlete who was a spokesman for Hertz rent-A-Car with murdering his ex-wife and a friend and there emerged an individual whose DNA was found on both murder victims; do you believe that the charges against that spokesman would have continued? Even without such an individual, the “real killer,” emerging to this day, the prosecution was not able to prove the guilt of O.J. Simpson. That result represents a travesty to many observers of that case, including me, but such is the burden of proof required in a trial in the US.

And, in the present case, once one dismisses the fantasy story spun by the prosecution --- a tale so fantastic that it would have never been permitted to be presented in an American court of law, we are left with highly questionable, scant DNA evidence, convincingly impeached by Chris Halkides, as the only remotely credible evidence against the defendants. Meanwhile, there is an individual in jail convicted of the crime based on ample, hard, pragmatic evidence, including a motive and absolute proof that he was present during the crime --- evidence that clearly proves his guilt.

How then, does the extremely dubious prosecution of Knox and Sollecito advance the cause of justice for Ms Kercher?

One Spook

One Spook said...

Rose:

Your comparison regarding the handling of media in the Lax case vs. the K/S case is most apt.

I would add that it is important to note that the efforts of the lax defense was necessitated by the prosecution’s extensive and unethical use of media, an effort that was extraordinary in a criminal case and which was found to be so egregious that it led to the disbarment of the Durham prosecutor on ethics charges directly related to his use of the media. No such prosecutorial ethics appear to burden Italian prosecutors.

And, I would agree with you that some of the parents of the lax players were far more sophisticated and familiar with the law than Knox’s family, indeed, several of the parents were trained lawyers.

I believe that Knox’s parents’ lack of sophistication and understanding of the gravity of the situation all but doomed their daughter, not only in her unfortunate public behavior in front of the media (but let’s also not forget the ridiculous and absurd “perp walk” photos of the lax players attempting to cover their faces from cameras --- on advice from a local attorney), but also in her dealings with the Italian police and other “authorities.”

Recall that in the lax case, after the house residents had given statements to police, it was decided by the parents, as a group, that there would be no further cooperation with the police. That decision was not unanimous, but it held, giving rise to the oft-mentioned “blue wall of silence” critique. (I should mention here that there exists a most cogent and important theory as to why that “no-cooperation” decision was recommended by a lax parent who was himself an attorney, but that theory is outside of the purview of my comment here). In the end, the lax players, I believe wisely, did not cooperate with authorities.

We can argue forever the merits of that decision, but most criminal lawyers will advise a defendant to not speak to police without a defense attorney present. Knox would have been better served to have acted similarly.

Had Knox’s parents, immediately upon hearing of their daughter’s plight in Italy, dispatched an American attorney, fluent in the Italian language and conversant with the Italian legal system, much of the sensational, and I would add, totally irrelevant yet damaging information about her personal life, would never have seen the light of day.

Notice that very little similar information about Sollecito exists apart from that which was obtained from Knox --- his wealthy parents immediately secured an Italian attorney to represent him and his cooperation with the police seems far less than that of Knox.

Some, maybe most, people seem have a rather na├»ve view of our legal system and media. Many believe that “Well, I am not guilty and therefore have nothing to hide.” That’s perhaps a wonderful, albeit unfortunate, departure from reality, and unethical prosecutors and police can use it to their advantage. Recall Nifong saying in the early days of the lax case, something to the effect of “Why do they need lawyers if they have nothing to hide?”

What happened to Amanda Knox provides an excellent answer to that question.

One Spook

halides1 said...

Although I am largely in agreement with One Spook's last two comments, I might differ somewhat with respect to the younger Mr. Sollecito. He was foolish to be interrogated by police without an attorney on the night of 5 November, just as Amanda was. Since then, he wrote a prison diary with some contradictory strains of thought that can support different interpretations.

He also did not testify in his own defense. I am not sure whether or not this was a wise decision. It has given people like Barbie Nadeau just enough room to claim in her book that AK and RS have contradictory alibis. I think that her position is not consistent with all of the facts, but it would be unsupportable if Raffaele Sollecito had testified to the effect that the two of them were together.

Chris

One Spook said...

Chris:

I appreciate that correction. Those were facts of which I was not aware.

Thanks!

One spook

Debrah said...

Hi Christiana--

Yes, some details of events are never obscured by the passage of time.

Thanks for your sentiments.

Rose said...

I think there are two issues here, and perhaps we are debating two different things. The first issue is, did the judge/jury reach the correct conclusion in this case based on the evidence presented? Was there, in fact, reasonable doubt?

The issue I am more interested in is did Amanda have something to do with Meredith's murder? And has Meredith's family received justice? The example of the first OJ case is a good one. I believe it is a debatable issue if the jury had reasonable doubt, regardless if I believe it is not debatable they made the decision that was closest to what actually happened.

Anonymous said...

snip-

The issue I am more interested in is did Amanda have something to do with Meredith's murder? And has Meredith's family received justice? The example of the first OJ case is a good one. I believe it is a debatable issue if the jury had reasonable doubt, regardless if I believe it is not debatable they made the decision that was closest to what actually happened.

snip-

Rose, I do not understand what this means.

Observer

halides1 said...

Rose,

Rudy left DNA evidence in Meredith and elsewhere. Rudy left hand and shoe prints in Meredith’s room. Rudy admits to being in Meredith’s room on the night of the murder. Rudy fled the country (which also explains the missing money).

Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp is the only thing that ties him to Meredith’s room, and the value of this evidence is in dispute. Raffaele left no shoe or handprints in Meredith’s room. Raffaele never said he was there. Raffaele did not flee.

Amanda left no DNA in Meredith’s room. Her DNA on the knife means only that she used it, not when. Amanda left no shoe or hand prints in Meredith’s room. Amanda never said that she was in the room. Amanda did not flee, although at some point prior to her arrest, she was legally required to stay.

As for the broken window and its evidence that the break in was staged, it seems as if much is being made about the lack of glass outside the house. Based upon things like allowing the CCTV footage to be overwritten and not taking Meredith’s body temperature until two days after she was dead, I am not confident enough in the quality of the investigation to conclude that there was in fact no glass outside. As for the mop, there would be no reason to take it outside if one were using it to clean up a crime scene inside the cottage. The prosecution never got close to reasonable doubt, IMHO. As to whether or not AK or RS had anything to do with the crime, that is highly debatable.

The only time I know that I agreed with Mike Nifong was when he said that a murderer destroys two families, the victim’s and his own. In the present case, however, I am strongly inclined to say that the murderer destroyed four.

Chris

Rose said...

Observer,
I was making the distinction between the jury making the correct decision based on the evidence presented vs me wanting the know the truth of the matter, regardless of the decision made by the jury.

Rose said...

Chris,
I agree with you on the question of Rudy's guilt. I don't believe he touched that mop at all.

Anonymous said...

"it is not debatable they made the decision that was closest to what actually happened."

Rose,

Does this refer to the OJ case or the Knox/Sollecito case. It seem to me your comment is wrong in either instance...but maybe I am misunderstanding something.

Observer

Panacea said...

Professor Halkides gives us a very interesting and educational explanation of the case in Perugia. I would tend to agree with him that the media have blown the case out of proportion.

Only someone in his field will soon be able to see the many things that don't add up. But there is still proof I don't think that AK and RS didn't have anything to do with what happened to poor Meredith. We seem to forget what her parents have endured.

Moving on to another issue, my husband and I have daughters and they have turned out beautiful, successful and happy---so far. Although no kids are perfect I tend to agree that a young adult Mr's Knox's age must have parents who are negligent in a few areas because someone who has achieved success academically and is supposed to be smart would not have such poor personal habits. I have to agree with Debrah on that.

Other issues brought into this discussion are ones that would get many participants banned from a blog and I hope Chris doesn't fall for it.

Like Debrah I was a child in grade school during the time in the 60's. People in this group were the upwardly mobile "Yuppies", along with "Generation X". People who reached adulthood in the 60's like that person who commented here maybe raised their kids with more leniency. I don't know and don't care.

But I take great offense when someone would pretend that my generation is old enough to be someone like AK's grandparent as a way to pick a fight. This same person once tried to pretend that a photo of Debrah's breasts was taken a long time ago when it was actually taken recently. I see Debrah frequently at the local market, and she is one of those who is lucky enough to be ageless and it often irritates other people. I own a business and I see men try to do this to women frequently. What embarrassing behavior we have seen here as a way to argue!

I hope this will not be tolerated here. Otherwise there are many legal options these days. Keep up the good work, Professor Halkides.

Renegade said...

I can't get too frantic about injustic these days as it seems to have always been with us. Thank goodness the Perugia case doesn't include the issue of race like we saw was so much a part of the Duke Lacrosse case.

The same people who caused all the problems for those innocent men have been doing the same things for years and still make money from writing books that consist of fabrications. This man (Timothy Tyson) still operates the same way as always even though he slandered and libeled the lacrosse team. He can do all these things because there is never any justice or punishment for the damage done and done deliberately for profit. This is the same man who stands by his lies in this book about people who were also found innocent of a crime just as he has done in the
lacrosse case.

Ms. Knox and her family are very lucky that race is not a part of this story or she would never begin to hope for justice.

halides1 said...

Renegade,

Defenders of AK and RS are sometimes smeared as racists, because Rudy Guede happens to be a black man.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

Amanda mentioned that Meredith asked her for condoms on one occasion, IIRC. This is evidence (admittedly indirect) against the theory that Meredith was disapproving of Amanda's sex life. It is also worth stressing that Ms. Nadeau exaggerated Ms. Knox's number of sex partners. Compare Nadeau's claims against Amanda's own list.

Chris

Randy said...

"I think there are two issues here, and perhaps we are debating two different things. The first issue is, did the judge/jury reach the correct conclusion in this case based on the evidence presented? Was there, in fact, reasonable doubt?

The issue I am more interested in is did Amanda have something to do with Meredith's murder? And has Meredith's family received justice? The example of the first OJ case is a good one. I believe it is a debatable issue if the jury had reasonable doubt, regardless if I believe it is not debatable they made the decision that was closest to what actually happened."


1st issue- judge/jury...They voted unanimously for guilty. What influence the 2 professional judges had over the members is hard to say I think. But certainly, 1 can assume their opinions would be weighted more then say the other jury members. The professional judges should theoretically be the least effected by the "trial by media" information in the newspapers and on tv. Since independent review of the DNA evidence was not allowed, they have to trust there is nothing wrong with any of it. Would anyone speak up about doubts with any of the DNA during the deliberation? Personally, I have nothing but reasonable doubt about AK & RS being guilty of the murder of Meredith. I do have questions about what they did that night.

2nd issue- MK's family I think said they believed in the verdict..."Asked whether the verdicts gave the family “justice for Meredith”, Stephanie replied: “As much as it can do. We have faith in everyone who had made efforts in this trial.

“It does bring a little bit of justice for us, for her. But we know it’s not over yet.” " from the UK telegraph website...did AK have something to do with the murder? I guess we all wonder what the real answer is...will we ever know? I agree with Meo Ponte (I think he was in that video- Sex, Lies and the Murder of Meredith Kercher)on that video from the BBC...we won't know what happened until 1 of the 3 in jail turns on the other ones. The only way the blanks and mysteries of this case will be revealed. With Rudy, just about every time he opens his mouth now, I think he lies. Maybe he says 1 true thing for every 2 made up things. RS- he hasn't really been talking much. AK- she does most of the talking and her story really hasn't changed much once the trial started.

AK's involvement changed from ritualistic murder, to revenge on Meredith, to sex game accident...to me, as long as the prosecution had to put together Amanda's reason for killing Meredith, they would have been consistent. It's like they always tried to fit AK & RS in to a solution of this terrible puzzle instead of fitting all of the correct pieces.


regarding race and this case...it has only been on the periphery with the claims that AK tried to blame Patrick because he was black. RG has at times has brought up race. Patrick talked about being racially abused in 1 of his newspaper interviews but he later denied those claims or never brought them up again.

"At 6.30am on Tuesday, November 6, the bell to his fourth-floor flat in the town buzzed insistently and a woman's voice outside demanded he opened the door. He had barely had time to do so when the woman, assisted by, Patrick estimates, 15 to 20 others, barged their way in.

"They were wearing normal clothes and carrying guns," he says. "I thought it must be some sort of armed gang about to kill me. I was terrified.

"They hit me over the head and yelled 'dirty black'. Then they put handcuffs on me and shoved me out of the door, as Aleksandra pulled Davide away, screaming."

from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-496218/I-fired-Foxy-Knoxy-hitting-customers-Patrick-Lumumba-reveals-framed-Merediths-murder.html

but it's the dailymail...so take that for what it's worth...

Rose said...

Observer,
Good observation. I have no idea what I was trying to say with that. It sounded good at the time.

Debrah said...

Randy--

Thanks for those references.

I hadn't read anything about the issue of "race" surfacing in the Perugia case.

Certainly, none of those examples cited comes close to what we have here in the U. S. when career race hustlers begin to work their magic.

"Race" is nothing less than a lucrative cottage industry......and, unfortunately, many want to continue the magic on into the 21st century.

Which is very sad.

The quote, "They hit me over the head and yelled 'dirty black'.".............

........comes off as dialogue from an Antonioni film.

LOL!!!

In the states, can anyone imagine "racist" language so muted?

Rose said...

halides1 said...

To all,

Amanda mentioned that Meredith asked her for condoms on one occasion, IIRC. This is evidence (admittedly indirect) against the theory that Meredith was disapproving of Amanda's sex life. It is also worth stressing that Ms. Nadeau exaggerated Ms. Knox's number of sex partners. Compare Nadeau's claims against Amanda's own list."


I am not sure if I wouldn't take this "evidence" with a grain or pound of salt, Chris (Hey Obsever, just checking to see if you are paying attention). From what I gather Meredith had one recent boyfriend that spent the night on at least one occasion. That boyfriend lived downstairs with 3 other young men. It would seem to me that if a condom was needed the most likely scenario has him going downstairs to get one. I don't have the impression that Amanda and Meredith were close enough to give each other condoms (or borrow bras for that matter). Do we have any other evidence that this happened other than Amanda's statement?

Debrah said...

"Do we have any other evidence that this happened other than Amanda's statement?"
************************************

And if there is no other evidence beyond her fluctuating statements, then most certainly take it with a grain of salt......or an ocean of sea salt.

Joe said...

With regard to comments about Amanda's fluctuating statements:

Are they actually Amanda's statements or what Perugian authorities say she stated?

As I have stated in previous comments, Amanda may have murdered her roommate and be lying about everything. On the other hand, she may be completely innocent and telling the complete truth. Perugian authorities have zero credibility to say otherwise. I have cited, in previous comments, several examples of their malfeasance to support my opinion.

With regard to this case and the Pergugian authorities, I'll believe what I see and hear, not what someone asserts.

They say she freely blamed the murder on Patrick. Play the recording of the interrogation. It doesn't exist? Then to me, the interrogation doesn't exist.

Murder trials and convictions should be based on facts which can be proven, not on assertions and conjecture.

halides1 said...

Joe,

Good point about the interrogation. I have heard that the excuse for the interrogation tape not being made was that the police were so excited about arresting Patrick, they forgot to make it. This, precisely, does not make sense. How were they to know what she had not yet said.

One Spook,

A former student here who is now setting up a forensics lab told an interesting anecdote. One of the members of a jury in a drunk driving case asked why there was no DNA evidence. As highly as I think of DNA evidence, sometimes we are in danger of making more of it than it will bear.

Chris

Chris

Renegade said...

Chris, if supporters of AK and RS are accused of being racists just for trying to get to the truth I guess that further proves how desperate and dishonest Mr. Guede is.

Maybe he can get some tips here from Tim Tyson, the expert in using race for profit.

One Spook said...

(Part One)

Chris writes:

"A former student here who is now setting up a forensics lab told an interesting anecdote. One of the members of a jury in a drunk driving case asked why there was no DNA evidence. As highly as I think of DNA evidence, sometimes we are in danger of making more of it than it will bear."

Exactly, Chris ... and that anecdote clearly describes the "silver bullet" concept that I mentioned before. And that concept is an entirely 'human' desire to have. No normal person wants to be on a jury and make a wrong decision that would take away the freedom (and in some cases, the life) of a defendant.

DNA evidence has convicted many, many defendants and it has also freed a good number of previously convicted persons where that evidence was not used and/or available at the time of the original trial.

As such, DNA becomes the ‘new’ sliver bullet, much as fingerprinting became years ago.

But, fingerprinting and DNA evidence are not infallible, and that's a lesson I do not believe the average person who might sit on a jury understands, or even wants to understand. It is clearly our human nature to desire some "magic test" that will help us understand a complex problem or virtually make a decision for us.

We see this in many many situations, ie. "my kid is doing poorly in school" --- so test the kid for dyslexia, reading disability, ADD, etc. etc; or "I can't get pregnant" --- so give a couple complex fertility tests, etc. etc. etc.

This is how we're "programmed" as it were.

Unfortunately we do not like the idea that a test, any test, might be fallible; that it might be wrong.

To me the K/S case turned on two key elements ---(1) a fantasy story of a sex-orgy-turned-into-murder committed by three people --- a story for which there is not one scintilla of credible proof that two of the people were even present for that supposed event; and (2) DNA evidence that was horribly weak, but that was not properly challenged to the extent that it should have been in order for judges and jurors involved in the case to be able to fully understand the infallibility of that evidence.

Recall that in the Duke lacrosse hoax that when Nifong realized that the DNA evidence did not match any of the lacrosse team who had been tested, he made an attempt to discount the value of such evidence, and then boldly stated that he would try the case "the old fashioned way."

(continued)

One Spook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
One Spook said...

(Part Two)

Defenders of the lacrosse players knew exactly what that meant --- that Nifong would attempt to impanel of jury of local folks who would not take kindly to the idea of fancy rich white boys from the North coming down to Durham and defiling a hard-working local mother of two small kids who was struggling to put herself through school. It would be "her word against theirs" in front of a highly sympathetic jury. It was at this time that lax defense attorneys petitioned for a change of venue.

The Italian “old-fashioned way” in this case was simply to paint Amanda Knox in the most unflattering light as possible to play off of a very commonly held belief among Italians --- that American women are morally loose at best. I’ve lived and traveled in Italy and I know this to be true. Italians are wonderful people, but they have a highly patriarchal society that is very keen on protecting the supposed “virtues” of its women. American women are far more casual in nature than Italian women, by a long shot, and this casual nature is interpreted (particularly by Italian males) as “loose.”

Thus the placing of Knox’s photo among known sensational criminals; all of the overt focus in the media on her demonstrative and casual demeanor and behavior; her sexual history; her drug usage; the “Foxy Knoxy” meme; on and on, was done entirely to inflame opinion against her with any potential jurors. And that prejudiced characterization of Knox is exactly equivalent to the race, class, and gender ploys that Nifong (with a big assist from professors at Duke) used frequently in his own comments and sought to exploit in any trial of the lax players.

I honestly believe that the prosecution in Italy could have gotten a conviction of K & S on that fantasy story alone, but they included the weak DNA evidence as icing on the cake to support their fantastic, false narrative. That DNA evidence was horribly weak, and it is a shame that the defense did not was not able to impeach that very poor evidence, much as Chris has done on his blog.

To me, before one even broaches all of these ancillary theories of moving mop buckets, breaking down doors, varying accounts, telephone calls, rock-throwing, etc. etc. etc. you have to explain very simply if you believe that three people sexually assaulted and murdered a young woman, why is it that no credible physical evidence of two of those supposed murderers exists, while substantial evidence of one person so charged and convicted, exists in droves.

To me, if you believe that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of this crime, you would also have to believe that three big lacrosse players could each sexually assault a young woman in a small bathroom and yet magically leave no trace of evidence either.

One Spook

Marco said...

The point that Chris made about DNA should be kept in mind. It's often depended on as a be-all and end-all when such trace evidence often falls short of what is demanded of it.

And the point about Italy being patriarchal I would say not so in the modern hubs and cities and I understand that Perugia is as cosmopolitan as Rome or Milan. That is a stereotype that some won't let go of.

Maybe decades ago that would have been true but not today. The odd behaviors by the defendants would be questioned by more people than those who are so called patriarchal.

With all due respect there are no real comparisons between the two crime scenes of Perugia and the Durham house full of people and fellow lacrosse players as witnesses, phone records and ATM video which served as proof and all kinds of reasonable doubt.

This Perugia case is full of murky accounts and changing stories. The stories of the lacrosse defendants did not change. There's no correlation between the cases, save for stirring up the same kind of drama some think has been stirred up against AK and RS.

Can someone not find a better case to use for a comparison?

halides1 said...

Marco,

I respectfully disagree in part. You are quite correct in that no proof of innocence has emerged in this case, unlike the Duke lacrosse case. However, there are some parallels. A partial profile that did not exclude David Evans was culled from a fingernail worn by the complaining witness in this case. In addition there was semen in the bathroom, an unsurprising occurrence in a house occupied by college-age males. These two unremarkable pieces of data are sometimes cited as evidence that something happened in the bathroom of that house. How much better the bra clasp and knife are as evidence is for each of us to determine. My answer should be clear by now.

Chris

One Spook said...

Ok, Marco.

Obviously we disagree about the nature of the Italian culture. That's fine; we can respectively disagree.

So, for purposes of discussion, let's dismiss that point.

And similarly, let's agree that the crime scenes in Perugia and Durham are different. They certainly are, but I made that comparison only to the extent that it proves the incredulity of the DNA evidence in both cases, and because a number of the follower's of this Blog are familiar with that case.

But again, for purposes of discussion, let's dismiss that specific comparison of cases also.

Now though, explain to me (1) just what evidence the prosecution has presented in the Perugia case that supports the fantastic story that a four-person orgy took place in Meredith's Kurcher's bedroom?

And further, (2) please explain how, whether the crime scene is in Perguia, Italy; Paint Post, Vermont; Wooden Shoe, Holland; or Cario, Egypt, just how it could be that two persons supposedly involved in a four-person orgy can leave no DNA on the body of the victim, while one person, who was convicted of the murder, left a substantial amount of DNA outside and inside of the victim?

The body of Meredith Kercher showed no traces of DNA, clothing fibers, hair, or any other measurable, credible forensic evidence of the presence of either Knox or Sollecito at the crime scene when the murder was supposed to have taken place.

How can that be? What magical wiping and cleaning method could eliminate forensic traces on the body of the victim of two of three people supposedly physically restraining the victim and participating in an orgy, yet leave substantial amounts of such traces from only one of those persons?

Just to be charitable, I would even accept any "murky accounts and changing stories" you or anyone else can can come up with ... anything.

I would just like to hear a cogent, serious answer (from you or anyone else) to the two questions, (1) and (2), I've posed above.

One Spook

One Spook said...

On re-reading my 10:40 PM comment above in the light of day, it makes me sound a bit smug.

I don't mean to come across that way.

My major concern in all of this is that I believe we need to have a justice system, whether it is in the US, Italy or anywhere, that abides very carefully to guilt proven "beyond a reasonable doubt."

The thin level of so-called "proof" presented in this case by Italian prosecutors is alarming and should greatly trouble any reasonable person who believes in our system of justice. Given the facts, I would submit that there exists far, far more than even reasonable doubt that Knox and Sollecito had any part in this vicious murder.

There is no justice present when two people can be deprived of their freedom on "evidence" as thin as has been seen in the Perguia case.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Rose,

LOL!!!

High fives to One Spook and Chris...I see the Perugia case as a close parallel to Duke but without the alibi evidence. Too bad we have no key card data, ATM and restaurants receipts and records of phone calls. That is partly the result of not having an accurate time of death. I believe there is some alibi evidence if, as many of us suspect, the time of death was earlier in the evening...right about the time Ms. Kercher made the call to her mother. Alibi evidence also is lacking because sometimes you just aren't out doing stuff that generates receipts and time stamps, you are home cooking and eating dinner and enjoying the evening with a new beau.

Of course alibi evidence helped prove beyond any doubt the Duke boys were innocent...but that is not how justice is supposed to work.

The lack of DNA at the murder scene plus the fact the rest of the evidence is unbelievably weak plus the fact the DA is a Nifong leaves me convinced of Knox/Sollecito innocence.

Observer

Joan said...

Thanks Chris! Finally the sweet voice of reason. It seems to me that a very complicated storyline has been manufactured from a very simple (albeit terribly brutal) murder case. Rudy Guede's forensic material was all over Meredith Kercher's bedroom and body. If Ms Kercher was murdered as the prosecution alleges, Amanda Knox & Rafaele Sollecito's forensic material would also be all over the room and on the body. It was not...end of story.

I guess I don't understand why those of us who do not believe Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito were involved and comment that way receive such hysterically outraged reactions (as well as ugly personal attacks) from those who believe all the lurid tales created by the psychotic prosecution, Barbie Nadeau et al and the Italian and British tabloids? Why does this one young, (rather ordinary actually) woman spark such heated reaction?

Anyway, again thanks for putting it all in clear and reasonable perspective.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really neutral about this case? I think there's a ton of projection from both pro- and anti- camps. And really no way to be sure about any of the assertions made.

One point that seems clear to me, though, is that there was a bloody footprint in the victim's blood on the bathroom mat, and this footprint was shown in court to be compatible with Sollecito's footprint but was demonstrably not Guede's. If this is true it's pretty damning. If it's not true, I have not heard that the defense was able to demonstrate in court that the footprint wasn't Sollecito's. If you have information on this point it'd be a good thing to write about.

halides1 said...

anonymous,

What makes you think that the print cannot be Guede's?

Chris

Joe said...

Is anyone really neutral about this case? I think there's a ton of projection from both pro- and anti- camps. And really no way to be sure about any of the assertions made.

One point that seems clear to me, though, is that there was a bloody footprint in the victim's blood on the bathroom mat, and this footprint was shown in court to be compatible with Sollecito's footprint but was demonstrably not Guede's. If this is true it's pretty damning. If it's not true, I have not heard that the defense was able to demonstrate in court that the footprint wasn't Sollecito's. If you have information on this point it'd be a good thing to write about.

May 8, 2010 11:44 PM

-------------

Anonymous,

The prosecution's footprint experts confirmed that a footprint such as the partial print on the bathmat can only be used to exclude a suspect. They acknowledged that a characteristic, the axis of the big toe, of Sollecito's footprint excluded him. They simply ignored this characteristic though.

Go to the link below to Perugia Shock to read Frank Sfarzo's analysis of their testimony.

I would also recommend reading all of Frank's posts from the beginning. He followed this case from day one and attended every hearing during the entire process.

Frank believes Knox and Sollecito are not guilty, but he didn't believe that at the beginning. You will see by reading through his posts that he came to that conclusion by applying logic to and analyzing the evidence and testimony.

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/05/footprint-is-mr-sollecitos.html

halides1 said...

Anon. at 11:44 PM,

I dealt with the footprint on the bathmat in my March 16 post on luminol. I am not an expert, but it looks more like Mr. Guede's print to me.

Chris

Joan said...

I believe they both had Nike shoes, but the print contained a number of circles which ae evidently printed on the bottom of the shoes. Raffaele's shoe only had 3 circles which were 5-6 less than those showing up on the print.

It would be very difficult, I would think, for Raffaele and Amanda to have been in Meredith's bedroom with Rudy, committed such a bloody, butal murder but only Rudy's forensic material is found all over the bedroom and the body. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Mrs. Michelle Moore said...

If I were Barbie, I'd be writing a new book called, "I was wrong". Sophie Purton, a friend of a friend of Meredith Kercher's HATED Amanda Knox. Now, she, of all people actually had the balls to create a group called "I was wrong, Amanda Knox is Innocent".
Too bad Barbie doesn't have those kind of scruples. PS The person who wrote this was young, but much much wiser. And she, of all people had reason to hate....she felt the same pain (or almost) that the very Kercher's felt.

Chris Halkides said...

Michelle,

There is a fine episode of StarTrek (City on the Edge of Forever) in which William Shatner tells Joan Collins that a novel will be written in a hundred year’s time which says that the three most important words in the world are “Let me help,” even more than “I love you.” Sometimes I wonder whether or not “I was wrong” ranks right up there with the other two. So difficult to say, and yet so important.

Anonymous said...

The reviewer is as bad as the author, if conviction about guilt or innocence is a mortal sin for an author of true crime stories. And the omissions by the reviewer in his recitation of the evidence are just as glaring as the author, and he certainly can go tit for tat with her as far as misleading statements are concerned. What the heck is the matter with people that they do not have enough introspection to see that what Peter says about Paul is truer about Peter than it is about Paul. .

Chris Halkides said...

anonymous at 4:43,

Would you supply some specifics? Here is a link to an article on the Daily Beast and its coverage of this case. Ms. Nadeau has recently claimed that she spoke to dozens of forensic scientists who told her that one could somehow tell whether a DNA profile came from blood or another biological tissue. This is nonsense, and Ms. Nadeau should indicate who told her that, and let us judge her and them accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Just some random thoughts . Yes, the Italian judicial system is effed up . Just study the Monster Of Florence case and you will cringe . Amanda Knox very well could be innocent . It will be interesting at the least to see the outcome of the retrial.
Note to ALL mom's : read Ms. Knox's memoir . You will get an education on what all you need to warn your daughters not to do when sending them off to school, college...... This young woman was a reckless idiot. Smoking Pot, unprotected sex ,sex with strangers in a country with a massive AIDS epidemic . You name it she did it . She might not be a murderer but she is a sad example of our youth. She certainly is not a feminist . She is everything I have taught my daughter , who is 18 , not to be. So far my daughter has refused to drink, do drugs or have sex. She does not feel the need to be the tramp next door. Knox did. For this she contracted Herpes , thought she had AIDS and put herself in with a group that she should have been leary of .
This is mainly a tail of a aging justice system and how it works , right or wrong . This is also a tail of what happens when parents spoil , overindulge and neglect to educate their children of the dangers of everyday life. Yes young people have sex and many who are educated do it safely . But when you have a young woman like Ms. Knox running loose you kind of get disgusted . Again , a murderer ? Probably not . A loose canon in a world of drugs, STDS and violence ? Yes ! She is extremely lucky she was not the homicide victim. I hope her experience has changed her. I hope she knows her herpes is hers for life , can spread, is usually co-morbid with other STDS and she will share it with any man she is with and possible any children she has. Live free but do it safely.

Anonymous said...

And if she is innocent I wish her all the best . Just reading her book reminded me of being young and foolish. I just wasn't her type of foolish . I know she is scared for her life right now . I hope she is o.k.
She really could be an amazing help in teaching our youth on the dangers of unprotected sex, recklessness and other issues facing them as they enter adulthood. I know many reading this will laugh but you all would be surprised at those who do not have a mom, dad or elder warn them of what to be carefull of in life.