Monday, April 5, 2010

The utility of electronic data files in DNA forensics cases

Part XII on the Knox/Sollecito case

“Full disclosure allows a thorough independent review of results and thereby helps assure that the underlying scientific methods are strong and appropriate, and that the laboratory’s interpretations are fair and accurate. Until the electronic data are made available, I cannot say that I have performed a complete review of the underlying evidence in this matter.”
-William Thompson, Victoria State Coroner’s Inquest into Death of Jaidyn Leskie

In a previous post (http://viewfromwilmington.blogspot.com/2010/03/interim-evaluation-of-evidence-against.html) I wrote:

Why are the .fsa files important? Technical bulletin 40-035 from Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc., is a checklist of what the laboratory is expected to provide, and it states, “Copies of all data files used and created in the course of performing tests and analyzing data in this case, including .fsa files, if applicable. These files should include all data necessary to independently reanalyze the raw data.” In response to a question on this subject, Professor Dan Krane wrote, “The biggest concern that I personally have regarding this case is the refusal of the prosecution to provide the defense with a copy of the electronic data that underlies the DNA test results -- that is virtually unheard of world-wide today and it would be especially important to review that data in a case such as this which seems to involve such low level samples.” According to a knowledgeable source, “Each tested sample has its own file. The file contains the full electropherogram trace information along with other information about the testing conditions (e.g., date, time, injection time, voltage, temperature, current, the RFU threshold used by the analyst). If you have the electronic data, you can use the DNA analysis software (GeneScan & Genotyper or GeneMapper ID) to independently analyze the electronic data. That allows you to examine the results as closely as possible (zoom in on the electropherogram to evaluate low-level results) and establish the RFU threshold of your choosing.” (emphasis added)


The knowledgable source I quoted above is Jason Gilder, and he and Dan Krane are cosigners of the open letter from a total of nine forensics scientists that is critical of the evidence in this case. I would like to reexamine this issue with respect to how these files are useful. I will have more to say about circumstances of their being withheld from the defense in the future.

Contents of fsa files
The fsa files are created by the DNA analysis instruments of Applied Biosystems, and the program GeneScan can read them. These files contain the times of and dates on which samples were (runhttp://www.nfstc.org/pdi/Subject06/pdi_s06_m01_02.htm). They also contain the peak detection threshold in relative fluorescence units. Perhaps most importantly, they contain the electronic information needed to recreate a DNA electropherogram with the parameters chosen by the analyst.

Electronic data files and the Leskie case
I would like to examine this case more extensively, both for what it tells us about contamination and what it tells us about electronic data files. Jaidyn Leskie was a young boy in Australia who was murdered n 1997. DNA from an alleged rape victim, Ms. P, was found on two items of his clothing, a bib and track pants. There is general agreement that this was the result of contamination (http://viewfromwilmington.blogspot.com/2010/01/forensic-dna-contamination.html), despite the fact that contamination did not show up in the negative control (reagent blank or no-template) samples. It is helpful to know that Jaidyn’s body was submerged in water for several months before its discover, and these conditions are not at all conducive to the stability of DNA. None of Jaidyn’s own DNA was found, only Ms. P’s.

Professor Thompson provided a report for the Leskie case (quoted above). Professor Thompson wrote (http://www.bioforensics.com/articles/index.html), “When I review the casework of forensic DNA laboratories in the United States, I typically ask for and receive copies of the electronic data collected by laboratory instruments during DNA testing. These data show the actual results of the DNA tests. By examining these data, an independent expert can check whether the forensic laboratory interpreted its results correctly and can detect a host of potential problems that would not be apparent from examining the laboratory notes. Electronic data would be particularly helpful in evaluating the present cases. Beyond allowing a cross check of the analysts’ interpretations, it would allow a detailed independent assessment of whether there is evidence of low- level contamination in any samples.”

Professor Krane provided two reports; the supplemental report was written after he was given access to the electronic data files. With respect to the negative controls not showing contamination his first report state, “there is no good reason to expect that contamination would uniformly affect all samples if and when it does occur. In much the same way, Salmonella-tainted meat placed on one part of a countertop at the beginning of food preparation does not mean that all food subsequently prepared for the same (or even a later) meal will be similarly tainted – just those items that also come in contact with the same portion of the countertop can be reasonably expected to have a chance of being tainted.” In previous posts, I have noted that the amount of DNA after it has been amplified by the polymerase chanin reaction (PCR) makes it a serious potential contaminant. However, professor Krane explained why the PCR process itself was not likely to be the source of the contamination in this instance. Professors Thompson and Krane both indicate that substrate controls would have been appropriate in this case.

It is Dr. Krane’s second report that is especially pertinent to the utility of access to the electronic data. He wrote, “My subsequent review of the underlying electronic data associated with the testing performed by the VFSC during their investigation of the death of Jaidyn Leskie in particular leaves me even more convinced that the STR-DNA profile match observed between the condom of the rape investigation and the bib in the Jaidyn Leskie abduction investigation is the result of contamination.” He went on to say, “Now that I have had an opportunity to review the electronic data from the Leskie investigation I, like Professor Thompson, do indeed find low levels of signal that are consistent with Ms. P’s DNA profile and lend substantially more credence to the already compelling proposition that she is the source of the DNA associated with the Leskie bib and track pants.” Professor Krane subsequently wrote in response to one of my inquiries that the observation of these peaks “helped strengthen the case that contamination had occurred by several orders of magnitude.” (emphasis added)

Professor Krane noted that there was a systematic difference in the peak heights depending on the software one used and the analysis options one chose: “However, I thought it might also be helpful to consider the output as it was seen by the testing laboratory primarily for two reasons: 1) no-smoothing with the Macintosh versions of the software systematically makes peak heights larger; and 2) the peak heights generated in this way should be more directly comparable with the threshold established by the testing laboratory in the course of their validation studies. As Professor Thompson points out, “Most laboratories establish a peak height threshold for reporting alleles and make it a practice to ignore peaks falling below that threshold.” I, like him, feel that this practice is appropriate but that low-level signals may also contain useful information in investigations such as this one.” It is possible that peaks could fall above the threshold in the hands of one analyst and below it in the hands of another. The sizes of the peaks in the two figures in this report vary from less than one hundred RFUs to many hundreds of RFUs, documenting the fact that profiles arising from contamination can easily be mistaken for samples arising from genuine contact.

Justification for the release of electronic files in another case

An anonymous DNA forensic expert unaffiliated with the present case had this to say in a case from several years ago:
“The laboratory has provided hard copy printouts of the data that do not allow the possibility of reanalysis by an independent expert. Certain parameters have irrevocably been applied to the data; as such it represents an interpretation by the laboratory rather than the original data. Of additional concern is the fact that the documents provided by the laboratory are represented as fully complying with the discovery request.” The expert gave several areas where independent review requires the electronic data files, including.
1. Determination of the threshold. “Not all qualified experts would necessarily apply the same threshold given identical data…The possibility of false inclusions as well as false exclusions exists if real data that happen to reside below an artificial threshold are ignored.”
2. Scale of viewing. “This ability is an important element in determining whether a particular peak represents and authentic DNA fragment.”
3. Proprietary concerns. “The data itself, as the work product of a government laboratory in a criminal matter, is clearly in the public purview.”
“Honest differences of opinion by qualified experts should be welcomed by the Court. This can only be accomplished if the independent expert is provided full and complete discovery by the government.”

Electronic data files and the Knox/Sollecito case
In response to a question, Dan Krane wrote me to say, “I would like to see that data primarily for two reasons: 1) to determine the actual heights and data collection points of all the peaks (for purposes of mixture resolution and the possibility that some are associated with pull up, respectively), and 2) to calculate a limit of detection from the data in the controls so as to determine if the lab was reliably distinguishing between signal and noise in the evidence samples.”

Professor William Thompson wrote (Tarnish on the 'gold standard:' Understanding recent problems in forensic DNA testing. The Champion. 30(1):10-16, January/February 2006), “A key aspect of discovery in DNA cases is the electronic data produced by the computer-controlled genetic analyzers that are currently used to “type” DNA samples. Analysis of the computer files can not only reveal undisclosed problems and support alternative interpretations of the findings, but also, as discussed above, these files can be crucial for detecting instances of scientific fraud, such as that committed by Jacqueline Blake and Sarah Blair.” Jacqueline Blake was an employee of the FBI whose two-year record of contamination-free work was the result of dumping a portion of the negative control down the sink. Sarah Blair repeatedly substituted a file of a contamination-free blank for the actual blank.

I can think of several things I would look for using the electronic data files. The first is what peak threshold was used for the 400+ runs and whether or not it was the same threshold as the knife blade profile. The second is to zoom in on the small peaks in the bra clasp, as Jason Gilder implied. It is conceivable that the identities of the three additional people who contributed DNA to the clasp could be ascertained. The third is to examine the negative control runs for evidence of fraud, as Professor Thompson noted could be done. The negative controls are the most common place for fraud to be detected.

State of Michigan
One exception to the general rule of complete disclosure of the electronic data files was the state of Michigan (http://www.bioforensics.com/articles/Thompson_Champion_Tarnish.pdf). In 2005 the Michigan State police Issued a statement saying that, “it is the position of the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division that any release of this (sic) data for processing with non-validated parameters is tantamount to evidence tampering.” Thompson refutes this position: “By analogy, if the police disclosed digital photos of the crime scene, it would hardly be ‘data tampering’ for a defense expert to manipulate the digital images in an effort to enhance them or bring specific details into focus…The use of proper analysis parameters might well become an issue if and when the defense decided to offer into evidence the results of its analysis of the electronic data. But to deny access to digital data on grounds that the defense might analyze it improperly eviscerates the right to discovery.” (emphasis added) I will update this post if I am able to learn whether or not the State of Michigan has changed its policy.

143 comments:

halides1 said...

To all,

This is the link to the transscript of yesterday's live chat with Ms. Barbie Nadeau of the Daily Beast and Newsweek.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-06/reader-chat-the-daily-beast-hosts-barbie-nadeau-author-of-angel-face/

“[Comment From hattie: ]
…How was Amanda able to clean up and not leave more DNA evidence in Meredith's room?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU:
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 arguing 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 (http://www.bioforensics.com/downloads/KranePhiladelphia.ppt), “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.

But there is another problem with Ms. Nadeau’s argument. 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.

Rose said...

I agree with you Chris. I can think of no reason the electronic data files would not be provided to the defense unless there is something there that hurts the prosecution's case. The fact that the defense teams did not make a bigger issue of this is also troubling.

Debrah said...

That link is excellent.

Although the interview is short in length, it provides another provocative side of the prism.

I wholeheartedly believe that much of the push-back from Knox supporters and her family is the result of the desire to downplay her apparent promiscuity.

That would, necessarily,---given the controversial features of this case---aggravate, and perhaps alter, potential positive coverage.

For someone's Knox's age, she seems to be as accomplished in the world of sexual experimentation as she was accomplished---albeit nothing out of the ordinary in comparison to any other good student---academically.

I have to admit that reading about Knox's interest in anal sex repulsed me somewhat.

Certainly not because of any "prudish" sensibilities. (I support the concept of expressing sexuality with fervor.)

It's simply the unadulterated unhygienic aspect of the practice. The inevitable "brown stains".

It's a delicate topic, obviously; however, speaking as a female and remembering quite well what it's like to be a twenty-something exploring your sexuality......

......one has to be a bit....how do you say?......"out there".

This gives observers a whole different impression of Knox's private life.

And in a murder case, you had better believe it's important.

It doesn't make her a murderer, obviously.

But unfortunately, it shows that she has the stomach for that which is way out of the mainstream for most 20-something girls.

I doubt very seriously that the relative "beauty" of Knox had anything to do with media coverage.

That idea I have always found preposterous.

More accurately, Knox has the outward appearance of fresh-faced wholesomeness and I think the incongruity of that aspect alongside such a crime as this one is really what observers are talking about.

It is most striking that the people responding to those polls taken during the aforementioned interview are so convinced of her guilt.

halides1 said...

Debrah,

I have only time for some quick thoughts. First, I am not aware of evidence of any drugs other than marijuana being involved in this case. I do not think any such evidence emerged at the trial. In other words, the notion that RS and AK were so out of it on drugs that they “could not tell agony from ecstasy, ” as Ms. Nadeau puts it, is nonsense worthy of Mignini. Second, Amanda had seven sexual partners her whole life, and that includes intimate acts that stopped short of intercourse, if I understand correctly. That number sounds normal to people who know more than I do Third, the police asked Amanda if Meredith were into anal sex, IIRC, because of a jar of Vaseline in Meredith’s room. I have not heard much about the evidence with respect to Mr. Guede’s DNA, but the rumor is that it was found in Meredith’s vagina and anus. Please take this information as being no better than a rumor.

Chris

Debrah said...

Thanks for your comment, Chris.

I'm sure all observers will take your words under advisement.

I suppose the fact that Knox and her friends seemed to live such a "communal" existence adds to the perceptions of promiscuity as well.

You do have such a measured way about you.

LIS!

Rose said...

Regarding the drug use, Frank had one of the more amusing comments I have seen: But what does it mean taking drugs? Who are the people who consume stupefying substances?
Let's have a little survey. In the house of via della Pergola there were four women and four men. And they were all smoking joints.
The group of Raffaele's friend was about 15 people. And they were all smoking joints. The group of Amanda's friends in Seattle was very large, let's say 50 people. And, by what it was said, they were all smoking joints.


Frankly Funny

Debrah said...

Although Chris, let me add......

.......just as a matter of course.

The very last thing needed between a heterosexual couple during typical penis-vaginal intercourse would be a jar of vaseline.

That fact should also be illuminated.

Anonymous said...

As I recall Rudy Guede was identified as a suspect by a fingerprint or DNA taken as part of his immigration to Italy from his native country. This is pretty solid stuff. The DNA at the murder scene matched Mr. Guede's DNA in the databank.

That scenario is nothing like the DNA used to convict Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito. Chris is so right...not all DNA evidence is alike. Ms. Nadeau's assertion that if we accept the results from Mr. Guede's forensic testing, we must accept the results for the knife and the bra clasp...well...I submit this as strong evidence that Ms. Nadeau is not very sharp. Frankly, I would not rely on anything she has to say.

That goes double for whatever she says about the sexual habits of these young people or any young people. Check her evidence.

Observer

Anonymous said...

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3904847&page=1

According to this news story Mr. Guede was identified through a fingerprint that was on file with the Italian police.

Is this not DNA evidence of an entirely different caliber than the knife and the bra clasp. How could Ms. Nadeau, who has been immersed in this case, not perceive this difference?????

Observer

PS Plus, as Chris points out, we don't have the full record on Mr. Guede's DNA evidence. There could have been issues, but it's not so likely since he acknowedged being with Ms. Kercher and having some kind of consensual relations with her. And then there's the fingerprint that fingered him. It would not be easy to get around that at all.

halides1 said...

Observer,

I agree; the evidence against Guede is considerable, even without DNA. Guede left a bloody handprint in Meredith's bedroom and a number of footprints in the hallway (http://injusticeinperugia.com/footprints-01.html). His bowel movement was in the toilet. He also fled the country after the murder.

Chris

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable how similar my assesment of Nadeau's credibility to some of the other posts here.
Her logic about accepting the DNA
evidence for AK and RS shows a complete disconnect with reality or in inability to process facts in her brain. I think so little of Newsweek for paying her to write that I will never buy that magazine again.
People like Nadeau in the media have contributed to this nightmare
for AK and RS.
On the other hand I hope that someday Frank Sfarzo gets the accolades he deserves.
TM

Rose said...

Interesting article from Maureen Howard that I am calling Midnight Espresso.

The resounding and anguished howl of Americans in response Amanda's conviction has been that the Italian trial wasn't "fair." That she never would have been found guilty if she had been tried in the United States.

Perhaps.

Debrah said...

TO "Rose"--

That Huffington Post column explains in more depth what I mentioned weeks ago.

There is little knowledge or respect for the way other countries function.

We revel in the art, the aesthetics, and the culture; however, little time is spent learning how their governments and legal systems function.

As a kid, I somehow understood, without any instruction, that you keep your eyes and ears wide open and though you can have a great time during your stay in foreign lands.......

........always know that you go by their rules.

Howard provides an intelligent and dispassionate analysis of this case---no surprise since her field is the law.

Ardent Knox supporters do themselves no favors by attempting to exalt her innocence without exploring other facets of her behavior which placed her in the middle of such a tawdry scenario.

Anonymous said...

http://www.crimemagazine.com/daycare.htm

This is a great link from one of the comments on the Howard article. It would seem the old Satanic ritual theory knows no historical or geographical boundaries. This piece is well worth the time it takes to read.

Ms. Howard does not seem to be familiar with the evidence in the Knox case and says as much. It's easy to be dispassionate under those circumstances. I was similarly dispassionate until December 5, 2009 when I actually began examining the available evidence.

"Ardent Knox supporters do themselves no favors by attempting to exalt her innocence without exploring other facets of her behavior which placed her in the middle of such a tawdry scenario."

The suggestion of "exploring other facets of her [Ms. Knox's] behavior"...is entirely too reminiscent of the regular refrain I used to hear about the Duke LAX team...namely the LAX team had an extensive history of horrible behavior...and further that the accusations against them, whether true or false, had to be viewed through that prism.

Even those who believed the defendants were innocent regularly excused the behavior of Duke officials and faculty on based on these widely believed reports of outrageously rowdy behavior. Professor Coleman's report that the team essentially behaved about the same as most college students who drink could not silence this drumbeat.

And we have no Professor Coleman to cut through the prejudice and salacious innuendo similarly perpetrated by many, including Ms. Nadeau, about Ms. Knox.

Reading about the Kelly Michaels case through the link posted above should remind us how damaging this thinking is.

Sometimes a jar of vaseline is just a jar of vaseline.

In my day we used it for lip gloss.

Observer

Anonymous said...

http://www.sciencespheres.com/

Sciencespheres on the "mixed blood" evidence.

Observer

halides1 said...

The vaseline might have been used to remove the make-up that Meredith seemed to have on for Halloween.

halides1 said...

Sciencespheres is right on target with its discussion of the claim of mixed blood samples. You can find this nonsense in "Darkness Descending" also.

Debrah said...

"And we have no Professor Coleman to cut through the prejudice and salacious innuendo similarly perpetrated by many, including Ms. Nadeau, about Ms. Knox."
************************************

Ah, but "Observer", even though our dear Professor Coleman was, indeed, a white hat rider early on--(and no one praised him, initially, more than I, in word and in print)---he turned a corner after he'd basked in the national spotlight and in the many appellations of "hero" cast his way.

He turned toward the view of Brodhead and Duke's administration. Yhank G/d for Stuart Taylor for coming right out and saying what I have said many times: Coleman LIED about what his past positions had been.....trying to paint UPI as inaccurate.

Some might say that is understandable.....and they can say it.

In return for his "change of heart" Coleman received a cushier spot at the law school--more "innocence project" kudos---as well as one for his wife.

All this is to say that for quite a few of the lacrosse "heroes", turning back into the fold...among the culprits and the instigators of the Duke Lacrosse Hoax, itself, has been their modus operandi.

Again, Brad Bannon is another who looks a bit scuzzy in hindsight. So cozy and openly supportive of the Durham rodent, friend, and supporter of Nifong--Kerry Sutton. Go to his Facebook page and take a look..

But who will tell the truth about all this? No one.

You don't have the kinds of "friends" they have and come up looking all that ethical......and certainly not all that heroic.

Don't you think it's time for all of us to come to terms with the fact that many of the players in the Lacrosse Hoax were in it in many respects for the recognition it brought them?

Of course Reade, Collin, and David.....as well as their families.....have long moved on.

The remaining civil suits are mere epilogue.

But some of the "heroes" are still trying to bask in the mirage they created.

The Duke Lacrosse Hoax was a criminal case and it's over.

If someone were really serious about doing something substantive---(incidentally, I see the same old men from across the country showing up for their repetitive comments on the lacrosse case)---one would be up in arms about the fact that the notorious Gang of 88 are intrenched and as powerful or more so than they were before.

Where are all those bloviating Duke alumni?

Simply showing up on blogs and talking about something over and over again does NOTHING.

No one can live off the lacrosse case for the rest of their lives.

What about some movement to actually change something?

But I digress.......this detour was simply to say---who is really qualified to criticize Nadeau?

No one was there at the crime scene in Italy.

As Nadeau, herself, has mentioned.

halides1 said...

From the link to the Kelly Michaels case, comes something I wish the Italian investigators could read:

“’The majority of the professionals were highly inaccurate,’ the researchers discovered. In other words, when watching a child who said that Sam Stone had ripped up a book, something that never happened, the child experts were as likely to say the child was telling the truth as not. The intuition and empathy of the experts turned out to be a fantasy of their own egos.”

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were made into suspects not because of forensics, but because of the way investigators read their behavior.

Anonymous said...

Professor Coleman delivered when it was critical. He delivered when he was writing his report regarding the team's behavior, and he delivered on 60 Minutes...which I still consider the turning point for the case in terms of public opinion.

It was deeply disappointing but understandable politically that after the enormous risk to the LAX defendants passed, the professor quickly became the chameleon and began framing the case in a manner more palatable to his peers and president. Alas, another flawed hero.

As for Ms. Nadeau, I suppose we can fillet her annoying and inaccurate book excerpts as they come to light. Her lapses in logic and salacious surmisings (for which Tina Brown apparently had only praise) deserve no less.

Observer

Rose said...

Debrah,
I agree with you 100% about Amanda's behavior. To me, just reading her letter to everyone convinced me she was hiding something. It is not only the bizarre ways she acted, it is also all the lies, deceit, and forgetfulness. There is nothing wrong with questioning the evidence but ignoring her the red flags and explaining them away as if they are not important does not give a true picture, in my opinion.

Debrah said...

TO "Observer"--

If one still---in the 21st century---needs a "black hero", as opposed to just a good man who is doing the right thing, as we all should do without elevating things into sainthood.......

.......I'd say that the late Ed Bradley took a greater risk.

I remember the "60 Minutes" segment well. Bradley spent days in the Triangle interviewing people and capturing footage of the Duke campus.

It might not seem monumental to some; however, I don't need to educate anyone on the "tribal" and tendentious nature of some inside the black community.

Many openly despised Bradley after he did such a stellar and all-encompassing exposé that was sympathetic toward the falsely accused white lacrosse players.

Ed Bradley and Kirk Osborn, both now deceased, stood taller than the rest who presently skulk around the Triangle smelling the remnants of their roles as "heroes".......

......amid the gothic towers at Duke or inside a ruddy and musty Durham/Raleigh courtroom.....now supporting and schmoozing those whom most of us would view as the villains of this case.

The lacrosse defense attorneys and their janissaries will always pretend that the NC legal system is "A-OK" right now. "Big, bad Nifong" was the only one! And they "got him"!

All the much-ballyhooed "pro bono" work that some of them do---(they make sure to mention it every time they do some)--- and the incessant mention of the innocence projects they support, will not eclipse the fact that they are all a part....and have always been a part.....of the same corrupt system.

They're successful in it because they are such a longtime part of its fabric.

Anyone who uses only their take on events without employing a panoramic view of how things actually operate has no business writing about this topic.

Bannon and company will always play down the full story of the entire system in which they play such a key role.

To describe almost any lawyer as dishonest would almost be to promote that term to the level of respectability.

To describe most lawyers as pieces of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental.

Anonymous said...

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/02/from-amanda-knox.html

This is a link to the e-mail Rose finds so troublesome. Please, Rose, be more specific. The e-mail did not bother me when I first read it some months ago, nor does it bother me now.

I do notice that Ms. Knox says the police questioned her about whether Ms. Kercher liked anal sex. To which Ms. Knox replies in her e-mail, "WTF? i dont know." It seems apparent that the police have made some insinuations about the vaseline. I am not sure how anyone could read this and conclude that Ms. Knox had anything other than an aversion to the idea of anal sex...if it really matters...which it certainly does not for purposes of this case.

Please, someone, highlight the suspicious parts of this text. Where do you see dishonesty?

Observer

Debrah said...

TO "Rose"--

Yes, I can't quite explain it, but there's something about these people that screams for clarity.

Only so much can be explained away as "inexperienced youth".

Chris, "Observer", and others are keen on forensics and the "meat" of the case.

But I would argue that all those things---albeit extremely significant--are but one side of the prism.

Lastly, I think that I'm naturally inclined toward the Tina Brown-Nadeau sensationalist view of things.

Although I can be very detailed when necessary, I tend toward the opinion/analytical side of such cases.

Not everyone can be a hard-nosed expert like Chris!

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

These standards you set are tough. Must we be perfect?

Observer

Credit where credit is due...all hail to Mr. Osborne and Mr. Bradley, may they rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Why did you reject the Tina Brown sensationalism in the Duke case yet embrace it here? Cannot quite picture this at all.

I have the sense you are being rather like my mischievous canine friend who likes to scoop up my socks, plant her feet in an obvious dare and emit a low growl just to see what will happen...all in good fun of course.

If someone would like to point me to a blood spattered murder scene where a suspect's behavior was indicative of guilt but there was no good physical evidence and the suspect actually was guilty...I am all ears.

I cannot think of one off hand.

But there seems to be no end of cases where "suspicious behavior" (or a mistaken ID or a police induced confession) without real evidence led to a wrongful conviction. See practically all of the famous day-care cases, the Norfolk 4, Cameron Todd Willingham, the Central Park jogger case, etc. I cannot see why we need to tolerate this.

Observer

Debrah said...

"These standards you set are tough. Must we be perfect?"
*******************************

No, of course not.

But what such "officers of the court" should try to do is relax the BS.

They're used to gullible juries for whom they can sport a seersucker suit and a folksy line or two......

......strap back their floppy ears and smile......promising that their clients are "remorseful" and just want to "get on with their lives".

Then perhaps channel a fetus or two from the mother's womb the way John Edwards used to do.

Or something similar and equally nauseating.

You don't think the lacrosse families understand well the bullsh!t artists to whom all those millions went for attorneys' fees?

Everything is a game.

No doubt the lacrosse defense attorneys were shocked out of their minds that they actually had totally innocent clients in Reade, Collin, and David.

It probably took most of them a while to absorb it.

Their upcoming courtroom bullsh!t would actually have been truthful......had the lacrosse case progressed to trial.



.

Rose said...

Miss Represented has unlocked her door to make a brief trip to the kitchen before returning to exile. In a rather bizarre article the pendulum swings from Amanda Knox on one side to Climate Change on the other, passing the Knox PR machine in the middle and marking 360 degrees of separation in the sand.

http://missrepresented.net/blog/?p=545


And a more insane story that I somehow missed about Amanda going blind?

Victim of Vibration

And a "good Duke" story that I am going to throw in that has nothing much to do with this case:

http://www.raleightelegram.com/2010040807.html

halides1 said...

Miss Represented shows her ignorance of sites like Perugia Murder File and True Justice for Meredith Kercher in this article. Her last sentence gives away the fact that she thinks that RS and AK are guilty: "A young woman is dead and those responsible for her murder will be punished accordingly." She should be sent back to her room without supper.

Anonymous said...

http://missrepresented.net/blog/?p=486

Rose,

For me the "party line" for two years was Ms. Knox is likely guilty. I bought it as much as anyone, and I didn't have the inclination to do my own reasearch...until December 5.

No matter how you look at it the evidence in this case smells.

I submit the link above to another Miss Represented post as indicative of the sheer rubbish catching her attention and the problems within the world of psychology. This is precisely the kind of junk science that plagued the Kelly Michaels case.

You may recall that we had some supposed superstar psychologist positing that President Obama was a sociopathic narcissist...a determination based on his troubled childhood and some other nonsense without the expert ever having spoken to the man. What is it that persuades people to embrace this BS?

Anyhow, I hope Miss Represented stays in the kitchen muttering about the guilters and the innocenters.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Or goes back to her room without any supper.

O

Debrah said...

TO "Observer"--

I had a long response to your (11:40 PM), but Blogger ate it or I unintentionally hit the wrong button.

Ha!

Perhaps I'll do another one later.....for I know you will be waiting with bated breath.

RoseMontague said...

Observer/Chris,
The science of psychological profiling is sound. But, not all of psychological profiling is science. HaHaHa!!!

My father was a humanistic psychologist and my mother was an editor for a medical journal. At an early age I was drafted in as the designated sub for their weekly bridge night. I spent many nights distracted into over-bidding my hand by listening to doctors and shrinks arguing over science and behavior.

The contrast between Michel Foucault and Leon Foucault was the less than obvious comparison I was attempting to make in my pendulum reference. Still, as a kid, I know which one I would have chosen to help with my science experiment.

LOL

halides1 said...

The Cameron Todd Willingham case is also appropriate to consider here. In this case, Fire Marshall Vasquez was the one receiving mystical input from what the fire told him. Complete rubbish. Also, one or more of the eyewitnesses, including a priest, changed their testimony about Willingham's behavior once he became a suspect.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Very sorry about the loss of the response...that has happened to me, too.

Rose,

I am happy to here Haiti's original Constitution is found. They could use some good news.

I could have lived without the Mirror story, though.

My son is telling me a plane crashed in Russia with the Polish President on board. Does not sound good.

Observer

Debrah said...

"Why did you reject the Tina Brown sensationalism in the Duke case yet embrace it here? Cannot quite picture this at all."
**************************************

I don't recall rejecting Tina Brown's commentary on the Lacrosse Hoax and actually don't recall what she had to say about it.

However, since KC's Wonderland was my home away from home for several years, I posted innumerable comments on most days.....

.....so it's conceivable that I did comment on Brown regarding the lacrosse case and just forgot.

I'm not a great fan of Brown, but do respect some of her work.

Being at the helm of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, etc..... as well as writing books and articles on the late Princess Diana, among other notables......are nothing to sneeze at, but would put her inside the sensationalist arena.

There's often a treasure trove of information among those of tabloid fare if you can get beyond the cheesiness.

Just ask John-Boy Edwards and his phony, insipid, fraudulent, and power-hungry wife Elizabeth.

The mainstream media were scooped by none other than the National Inquirer on that one and so many others.

Rose said...

Another recent example would be TMZ getting the scoop on the MSM regarding the death of Michael Jackson. I look at the DailyBeast with the understanding that some things are jazzed up, just as I view FOA knowing that much is played down.

AFIAK there is not a lot of difference between doing these two things regarding a story such as this case.

Anonymous said...

I meant Tina Brown in the generic sense of sensationalist journalism...a la Wendy Murphy, Nancy Grace. I don't believe we've ever discussed Tina Brown before now. But I expect Ms. Brown plays all sides of the game. Certainly Tim Boyer (was that his name?) had a terrific piece in the New Yorker.

Observer

Observer

halides1 said...

Rose,

I have interacted with the proprietors of FOA, ScienceSpheres, and InjusticeInPerugia, as well as a site administrator and a powerpoint-maker at Perugia Murder File. The former group are willing to take criticism, admit when they don't know something, and generally act civilized. The latter group will bully and belittle commenters that disagree. They will constantly ask dissenters for citations while providing none themselves. I was even threatened one time. The difference is Night and Day.

Not every one who believes AK and RS are guilty behave this way, but some do. That is what Miss Represented did not seem to understand.

Chris

RoseMontague said...

That is a well made point, Chris, and a good time to thank you for not handling dissenting opinion in the same fashion as some of the websites that run off people who take either an innocent position or one that is undecided.

Debrah said...

"I meant Tina Brown in the generic sense of sensationalist journalism...a la Wendy Murphy, Nancy Grace."
******************************

Ugh!

Those two are easy to loathe in any circumstance.

I suppose the short answer is that right from the start, it was easy to glean....for anyone following the Lacrosse Hoax in the Triangle and the information, evidence, and coverage.....

......that Reade, Collin, and David could not have possibly committed the crime unless they came to the party wearing rubber suits (as I wrote in the H-S early on).

Any amateur sleuth would have picked up the impossibility of it all quite easily.

With the Knox/Solliceto case, it's not so cut and dried.

We don't have the whole story.

The innocent lacrosse players' lives were turned upside down and every fabric scrutinized before any evidence of guilt.......

.......and I would say quite objectively that Reade, Collin, and David came up looking like choir boys compared to Knox.

halides1 said...

I just read Tina Brown's introduction to Nadeau's book, and it is is clear that Ms. Brown thinks that AK and RS are guilty.

halides1 said...

http://www.williams.edu/Psychology/Faculty/Kassin/files/K-A-P%20(09).pdf

Just started reading it, but it looks pertinent.

Anonymous said...

"AFIAK there is not a lot of difference between doing these two things regarding a story such as this case."

Rose, if you can say this with a straight face, you probably have not spent enough time at TrueJustice or PerugiaMurderFile. An hour or two exploring these web sites might lead you to a different conclusion.

Debrah, what about Ms. Knox seems to be so different from our LAX boys? Rumors of all kinds swirled about them. Accusations abounded that girls ran naked through Trinity Park to escape the evil clutches of the house residents and racial epithets practically spewed from their mouths. Not only that, the team supposedly commanded so much evil raw magnetism, they turned smart Duke girls into...LAXrostitutes...I believe they were called. This seems to me a close parallel to the portrayal of Ms. Knox as she-devil, commandeering the senses of poor hapless boys seduced by her irresistible sexuality and thus tricked into commiting rape and murder...all to please her.

Furthermore, by all accounts--even Prof. Coleman's--the LAX boys were heavy drinkers. Do we put marijuana in a different category? Seriously?

Thankfully, no murder accusations were leveled at the LAX players, but, according to many, Ryan McFadden's e-mail revealed a frighteningly depraved soul capable of...almost anything. And think of how many people never figured out that Colin Finnerty's air punching scene in DC did not actually expose a deeply homophobic and violent nature.

All that stuff was sheer baloney. And most people fell for it...even people who thought the defendants innocent of Ms. Mangum's accusations.

And all of this exagerrated and invented stuff about Ms. Knox falls into the exact same category.

How is Ms. Knox any different from them...except that she did not have a Mr. Ekstrand to step up at the last minute to prevent her police interrogation?

And now we have Tina Brown and Barbie Nadeau promoting lurid pulp "non-fiction" disparaging Ms. Knox, Ms. Kercher, and Perugian college students generally...with the leverage that since Ms. Nadeau is the only American reporter who attended the whole trial and understands Italian, what she says about the case must be true.

Yet, the very fact Ms. Nadeau ignores entirely the problems with the DNA evidence should tell everyone all they need to know about her truthfulness and "objectivity."

You don't have to be as smart as Chris to figure out the forensics are flawed (although the expertise is much appreciated!!) and an inadequate basis for a murder conviction.

There is a lot of information about LCN DNA and forensics collection generally on the internet.

Perhaps Ms. Nadeau's indifference reflects the indifference of the Italian court, but we can't really call her "objective" then, can we?
That makes her representative of the Italian court and on that basis...as an apologist for the Italian justice system...her book might be of some interest. But I doubt it.

In any event she is a far cry from KC.

Observer

halides1 said...

Just finished the Kassin article I linked earlier, and it has several valuable points: People, trained or untrained, are poor judges of whether someone is truthful or not. Interrogations should be recorded, but how one records them can affect how they are perceived.

Tip of the hat to Kestrel.

Ray Turner said...

Some perspective.

Barbie Nadeau did attend most hearings in the trial--not all. She is also not the only American to do this. Ann Wise, Andrea Vogt, among American reporters were there for most sessions as well, there might be others I'm forgetting. We also know that during the prosecution's case, reporters would grab their headlines and leave before even hearing cross examinations.

Also, Barbie would have people under the impression that every person in the courtroom thought the two were guilty except for the Americans. Frank Sfarzo didn't come to this conclusion, and he actually did attend every single session. Neither did Meo Ponte. Writers for Oggi and La Republica come to mind as well.

Then you also have to assess what speaking out or criticizing authority figures in this case will do. There is a definite chilling effect among many reporters in Italy to report things not friendly to the prosecution's point of view. Even Amanda's own attorney is being sued for defamation.

I wrote this post about a month ago: http://knoxarchives.blogspot.com/2010/02/another-giuliano-mignini-defamation.html

Not exactly a friendly place for whistle blowers to come forward.

Speaking of defamation. I found it odd that Nadeau said that Amanda was probably hit in the back of the head. This is how she stated it:

"I think it depends how you define “abused.” If you mean to ask if she was flicked on the back of the head (which is a cultural norm here in schools and in criminal investigations), then yes, that very likely happened. If you mean to ask if she was abused in the way the American police have been caught on CCTV abusing detainees, then no, I do not think she was abused."

Two initial thoughts. First, if this is true, why is Knox being charged with defamation for saying the police hit her in the back of the head? Secondly, the logical fallacy implicit in her statement in comparing hitting in the back of the head to "abusing detainees" is that in the United States it's still illegal to hit suspects. Thirdly, innocent or guilty, watch what happens to your psyche and heart rate the second your in a foreign country and a police officers questioning you hits you twice in the back of the head. It's amazing to me that someone can make this kind of statement so casually.

Debrah asks: "who is really qualified to criticize Nadeau?". I would say a lot of people.

P.S. Rose, you're really good with html in your comments, could you be so kind at some point to email directions on how to add links in comment sections? I don't know how to do it still.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ray Turner, for adding some perspective and all your work.

I should add that I have not read Barbie Nadeau's book, so I am not positive she ignores the DNA problems in the book...but I have never seen her acknowledge the issues in any of her writing thus far.

The article Chris linked on interrogation is excellent. Youth, hours of questioning, sleep deprivation make one significantly more likely to become confused and offer a false confession. That's without adding the issue of a foreign language, a foreign culture and unfortunate habits of smacking suspects on the head.

Oh and the videotaping interrogation...so extremely important in helping jurors determine whose confessions are accurate.

A must read for those interested in this subject.

Observer

Ray Turner said...

Sabina Castelfranco from CBS and other outlets was there almost every day as well, if not all, and speaks perfect English and Italian and believes Amanda is innocent. Not that her belief in Amanda's innocent negates Barbie's belief in her guilt, but just to say that Barbie's inferences that everyone who attends all the trial date all come away with "guilty" is unfounded and factually incorrect.

Anonymous said...

A quick pass through Ms. Nadeau's report shows that she is aware the defense raised the issues with the DNA, but that's as far as it goes. The court accepts the DNA and so it seems without further thought or research does Ms. Nadeau.

Observer

Randy said...

from that Miss Represented blog mentioned above "...The knowledge and ‘truth’ surrounding this case has, in my view, been manipulated to suit a pro-Knox agenda with varied attempts to smear the reputation of Prosecutor Mignini, PR efforts to undermine the case in Italy, smear attempts directed at various journalists, bloggers and the Italian people."

I think a better description should be "The knowledge and ‘truth’ surrounding this case has been manipulated."

I think that is also a good description of the excerpts from Barbie Nadeau's book that appear online.

Kate said...

A slightly random link, but when I was searching for information on police interrogations I came across an episode of the TV show 'Justice' called 'False Confession', which is quite interesting and well-researched (well, in an implausibly good-looking legal drama type of way, as opposed to being a serious academic take on false confessions!). I'd never heard of the show before, but it's quite good; naturally it got canned by Fox...

P.S. Ray, to post a link use the html code: <a href="link address">Link Text</a>. More detailed instructions here.

halides1 said...

Here is another example of a false confession, and another example of a case where cell phones are a gamechanger.

.http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2008/07/recording-police-interrogations-makes.html

A seventeen year old was induced to confess that he accidently started a fire at a horse track in New Jersey. “Mr. Gravante said that once the phone records came back showing Mr. Esposito was not near the stable at the time of the fire, the head of the law firm, David Boies, did not hesitate. Mr. Gravante said that Mr. Boies’s instruction was: ‘I don’t care what kind of resources you put into the case. Win that case.’”

Anonymous said...

Link is not working, Chris. Hmmmm. I think we should name that new element CalBerkleium. What do you think?

Debrah said...

"Debrah, what about Ms. Knox seems to be so different from our LAX boys? Rumors of all kinds swirled about them."
**********************************

And that's about as close as the two cases will ever be in similarity.

But in terms of battling media frenzy and rumor, I'd say that the lacrosse players' battle was far more daunting.

One in which they---or anyone caught inside a similar web---were rendered helpless by its very nature.

In this country, when the steaming cauldron of "race" is entered into the mix, all logic and reality are tossed.

Amanda Knox and her friends only needed to play it cool and conduct themselves in a manner that would not inflame the situation......

.......as well as give the impression that they understood the gravity of it all......

......and I'm convinced that their fate would have been different.

Even though the lacrosse case took place in the United States, its hurdles were more formidable.

I don't feel sorry for Knox and company.

Some REAL detailed and honest dialogue is needed from them.

They all seemed so lackadaisical about things until Italy's justice system proved to be more al forno than al dente.

Joe said...

"Amanda Knox and her friends only needed to play it cool and conduct themselves in a manner that would not inflame the situation......

.......as well as give the impression that they understood the gravity of it all......

......and I'm convinced that their fate would have been different."

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

Debrah,

The system is seriously flawed, if what you believe is true.

I realize this isn't the case, but it shouldn't matter that a defendent is viewed as inappropriate by those judging them.

A defendent shouldn't be convicted of murder for being an a-hole.

Anonymous said...

Could somebody explain the term "calberkleium"

Debrah said...

"A defendent shouldn't be convicted of murder for being an a-hole."
************************************

You see, this is precisely why some will not voice skepticism when discussing such matters.

You deliberately Procrustean-ized my words to fit into the old......"How dare anyone voice doubt about Knox and Friends---(as opposed to Fox and Friends!)---because the Italian justice system is so archaic and corrupt."

And to that I might add....just to throw some kerosene onto this campfire.......

.......If Knox and friends had spent more time studying the present-day rules, laws, and mores of Italy rather than auditioning for a part in the Italian version of an MTV reality show, perhaps they wouldn't have found themselves in the middle of a murder scene.

Again, Joe.....I did not say that ANYONE should be convicted of murder just because they behave like irresponsible, hedonistic idiots.

I will, however, point out their behavior whenever the mood strikes.

Anonymous said...

Grits/FalseConfession

Maybe this will work for the Grits link. It's a terrific post about false confessions.

Observer

Anonymous said...

FalseConfession/Grits

What a disappointment. Let's try this one.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! Thank you, Kate, for the instructions.

Now back to the case.

It's my turn to take the socks.

".......If Knox and friends had spent more time studying the present-day rules, laws, and mores of Italy rather than auditioning for a part in the Italian version of an MTV reality show, perhaps they wouldn't have found themselves in the middle of a murder scene."


"...and if the LAX team had spent more time studying the present-day rules, laws, and mores of Durham, NC rather than auditioning for a part in the Durham version of a SpringBreak/MTV reality show, perhaps they wouldn't have found themselves in the middle of a rape hoax."

Grrrrr.

Observer

Joe said...

Debrah,

I've reread your comment and can not read it as meaning anything other than Knox was convicted because of her behavior after the fact. Maybe that is just me.

By the way, who should have to study a country's laws to know that murder is illegal?

I am not questioning your doubt about Knox. You can think anything you want of her.

The antics of Perugian authorities cause me to seriously question their credibility with regard to this case, and all other cases for that matter.

They perpetuated misinformation, half-truths, and lies, with the help of corrupt media, to convict Knox in the court of public opinion long before the trial began.

1. The bloody bathroom fallacy: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-508528/Chilling-pictures-Meredith-murder-scene-reveal-apartment-bloodbath-horror.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n71ZJPBq8uk
2. The bleach receipts lie:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2894139.ece
3. The Harry Potter book ruse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHleYhBJy8k
4. The seizing of Knox's prison diary, which was released to the press and then mistranslated to make it look like Knox was blaming the murder on Sollecito. The following link provides the actual excerpt from her diary:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ao9lVn4yOZY/SwBqg6ocugI/AAAAAAAAACI/RsEHxVln7Ho/s1600-h/diary_excerptcrop.gif
5. Other misinformation, such as the washing machine was running when police arrived and Knox and Sollecito were caught cleaning when the police arrived. This information may have originated from authorities, or it may have been just made up by the media or bloggers.

Amanda Knox may have killed her roommate and lied about everything. On the other hand, she may be innocent and telling the complete truth. Or, maybe the reality is somewhere in between. Perugian authorities (not the entire Italian justice system) have ZERO credibility to say otherwise.

The physical evidence from my perspective - which is based on the analyses of Frank, from Perugia Shock, who was at every trial session - doesn't convince me that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. If his analyses and interpretations are incorrect, then my rationale is incorrect.

I believe their is a strong possibility that Knox and Sollecito are being railroaded. If that makes me a friend of Amanda, then so be it.

Joe said...

correction:

I believe there is a strong possibility that Knox and Sollecito are being railroaded. If that makes me a friend of Amanda, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Calberkleium

It may take years for a hot link to the new heavy element

Debrah said...

"By the way, who should have to study a country's laws to know that murder is illegal?"
**************************

Joe--

I fear that we'll soon be compelled to cut off this conversation if you cannot do more than create diversions and wordplay.

The quote from you above is unadulterated bovine excrement.

A deliberate, calculated load.

Let me further clarify:

NO---that MURDER IS ILLEGAL requires no study.

However, if people are so very "smart", schmoozing the locals and setting up house with virtual strangers......as well as picking up bar flies in foreign countries and bringing them home with you......

........might not be the best way to go.

But hey, I've always wanted to live as long as possible.

I realize how odd that concept may be.

Anonymous said...

Observer,
Thanks for the Grits link, very interesting. Congrats on the hot link diploma heading your way. Chemists, on the other hand, take years just to name a new element and probably decades to learn how to create a link that actually works.

halides1 said...

Debrah,

Picking up barflies, does that come from Ms. Nadeau by any chance? I am reading her book, and her description of Ms. Knox's sex life does not hold up to logical scrutiny. More on this later.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't want to overstep my bounds, but it was not exactly brilliant to invite the felon, drug addicted, unstable, prostitute, Ms. Mangum, to 610 North Buchanan Blvd. As we know, this NCCU college graduate and single mother (credit where credit is due) is now charged with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, resisting arrested, child abuse and other offenses.

TrueConfessions

Not that I really understand what, if anything, invitations to unsavory characters had to do with the crime in Perugia. Mr. Guede, I believe, was hanging out on occasion with the boys in the apartment below. And I understand there was no evidence at all that the man had anything more than the most superficial interaction with the girls upstairs...until the night of the murder.

At any rate Ms. Mangum had a more checkered history than did Mr. Guede...probably because she was older and had more time to fill out her resume.

Observer

Debrah said...

Chris--

Didn't Knox have some regular association with a local bar?

With Guede and his friends who hung out in the same bar?

I don't wish to put this issue in bold relief. It was merely a way to explain the vibe observers get when looking at the way these people are said to have interacted.

Perhaps I read this info from something that Nadeau wrote or perhaps another journalist. At the time, I didn't think anything of it.

Who cares, really?

Just another feature of the lives of people who are accused---falsely or not---of a serious crime.

How did they live?

With whom?

What were their daily habits?

Would any of those habits reveal character dynamics that would enable them to actually be involved in a murder and also possess the necessary facility to subsequently cover it and lie about it with ease?

That's why some of the minutiae would be of interest.

You're reading her book? I assume you will then post a critique?

Debrah said...

There is no comparison between the Duke Lacrosse Hoax and the documented circumstances in Perugia, Italy.

We're going to have to move beyond the Duke case someday.

Sometimes I think Stuart Taylor is the only adult in all this. He co-wrote a book, made appearances and gave some lectures about it......and then moved on with his life.

I realize that the Duke case can always be referenced when discussing any case of prosecutorial abuse and misconduct; however, it contained so many more dynamics.

The Lacrosse Hoax was a petri dish containing today's culture wars.

The only element that was left out and should have been included was "sexual orientation".

Race/class/gender/sexual orientation should be the sequence used.

The push with a vengeance against "heteronormativity", especially among some inside the academy, is as strong an element as any other.

White, male, hetero athletes are a special target.

Reade, Collin, and David were falsely accused. A fact, not just a hunch.

Organizing and attending a Spring-break party where there would be tons of people is not exactly putting yourself in danger.

Coach K's guys had been doing the same thing for years---hiring strippers and having parties.

This isn't very risky behavior.

Knox was in an atmosphere that included a small circle of people. Some not so savory.

Anything can happen to a girl under such circumstances.

The only unsavory element of the lacrosse party was Mangum......and the lacrosse players didn't ask for her "type", if you recall. She just showed up.

Yet they were accommodating and gentlemanly enough to settle for what came to their door.

And taking that fork in the road made all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Knox worked at a bar-restaurant owned by Patrick Lumumba called Le Chic. So did Ms. Kercher, although I believe she had just been hired. No suggestions have been made that Mr. Guede had anything to do with Le Chic.

From the accounts I've read Mr. Guede played basketball a couple of times with the boys downstairs. Ms. Knox barely knew him at all, and Mr. Sollecito had never met him.

That is one of the pieces to this case that is most troubling. Not only was there no relationship between the three supposed perpetrators, there was no evidence of any e-mail, cell phone, texting, twitter contact either. It is very difficult to imagine that the three just happened to meet on the night that Ms. Knox unexpectedly got the night off and decided to instigate a sex game gone bad with Ms. Kercher.

Mr. Guede claims that he met Ms. Kercher at a Halloween party the night before the murder and made a date with her for the following night. There is no evidence to support this aside from Mr. Guede's claim, although some will claim the sexual contact between Mr. Guede and Ms. Kercher may have been consensual...until, of course, she was killed.

Also, there was an idea floated that Ms. Knox must have let Mr. Guede in the apartment because Ms. Kercher surely would not have opened the door for him. I am not aware of any evidence related to this.

I am aware that Mr. Guede had some history of breaking and entering. I am not sure why he could not simply have broken into the girls' flat on his own...it happens all the time. In fact, that seems to me the most likely scenario.

And re the Duke case: it is and will be the touchstone case for the railroading of innocent defendants...especially innocent college students. The DNA evidence in the Knox/Sollecito case is only slightly more compelling regarding Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito than the DNA evidence in the Duke case...which is to say not very. And that is why I am so disturbed by the conviction.

Observer

Kestrel said...

Debrah,

Amanda met Raffaele at a classical music concert. Is that OK with you?

You seem to have picked up the idea that Amanda and Rudy were close from somewhere. There is no evidence to support this. Amanda may have run into Rudy a couple of times, but they didn't socialize together. Nor was Rudy a friend of Meredith. Rudy did know the boys downstairs, but he had never visited the upstairs apartment in the cottage before the night of the murder. The witness that claimed to have seen Rudy, Meredith, Amanda and Raffaele together a couple days before the murder was completely discredited at trial.

Anonymous said...

I will go even further and say that the lack of solid, untainted DNA evidence connecting Knox and Sollecito to the blood spattered crime scene works to exonerate them, not to implicate them.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Mignini's Enemies List Found on His PC

Those who read The Monster of Florence will find this interesting. BTW it's hard to really understand Mr. Mignini without reading that book.

Observer

Rose said...

I still have significant problems with Amanda's various stories. The most significant version of events is (in my opinion) her email to everyone sent 2 days prior to her arrest. Every time I read this, I find it less credible.

"email for everyone"

I previously outlined the many problems and the plethora of stories regarding the mop and the "water spill" as well as the tremendous importance given to these items by both Amanda and Rafaele in their various versions of events. Nobody has been able to give me a satisfactory explanation regarding this. Here is another issue I have with her email "statement". Amanda said: "when i entered i called out if anyone was
there, but no one responded and i assumed that if anyone was there,
they were still asleep. lauras door was open which meant she wasnt
home, and filomenas door was also closed. my door was open like always
and meredith door was closed, which to me weant she was sleeping."

I find this interesting that she thinks Filomena is not home because her door is closed but as far as Meredith door being closed, she just assumes she is sleeping. Much was made over Amanda's disagreements with her roommates over Meredith locking her door or not when she was not at home. Why is she assuming Meredith is just "asleep" this time because her door is closed. She has already called out to see if anyone is home and nobody answered her call. At this point we can only assume she does not even know that the door is locked because she has not tested it to see if it will open.

My next issue is with this quote: "i started feeling a little uncomfortable and so i
grabbed the mop from out closet and lef the house, closing and locking
the door that no one had come back through while i was in the shower,
and i returned to raffael's place."
This is after she sees the bllod and the crap left in the toilet. She is now uncomfortable and locks up like nobody is home and despite being uncomfortable, by her own prior statement she thinks Meredith is asleep in her room. This makes no sense whatsoever and is very telling, in my opinion. Her next statement regarding Meredith's door comes after she goes back to Rafaele's place with her trusty mop and is convinced that something bad may have happened and returns back to the flat and finds Filomena's room trashed. She said: at first i thought she was alseep so i knocked gently, but when she
didnt respond i knocked louder and louder until i was really banging
on her door and shouting her name. no response. panicing, i ran out
onto our terrace to see if maybe i could see over the ledge into her
room from the window, but i couldnt see in. bad angle."
She still thought Meredith was asleep? After seeing Filomena's room trashed? what on earth is going through her mind with this?

I have already outlined the problems with the locked door or never locked door stories including Rafaele's statement to a reporter prior to his arrest that they were concerned because she never locked her door. I have also noted the problems I had with poor whimpy Rafaele not being able to bust open that cheaply made thin door with an almost non-existent lock on it. so on to the next issue I have. She said: "i was in the kitchen stadning aside, having really done my part for
the situation. but when they opened merediths door and i heard
filomena scream "a foot! a foot!"
I have several problems with this. What exactly does she mean by having done my part? It sounds to me like she knew what they were going to find and didn't want to pretend to be surprised by it.

Any thoughts you guys have on this would be appreciated.

halides1 said...

About the doing my part business, she had called Filomena by then, had she not? I would also bear in mind that Amanda's recollections of her actions prior to the discovery of the body might have been influenced by the subsequent events.

Rose said...

yes, Chris. she had called Filomena before then. I am not sure how she knew Filomena was not home asleep since her door was also closed just as she had assumed Meredith was home asleep with her door closed. That assumes of course that she didn't already open Filomena's door before she left and discovered the trashed room and broken window. But of course she was uncomfortable enough to leave without checking to see if either roommate was actually in their room with the door closed and were OK.

Then again it appears pretty obvious that she knew Filomena wasn't in her room. LOL. Yes, just that pesky forgetfulness and blurred memory caused by smoking pot 24 hours a day.

halides1 said...

Possibly the police had already questioned her about the mop by the time she wrote the email. I still don't see what the big deal is. If you have a spill, you swab it up with whatever is handy. But you might go back and clean the floor properly with a mop.

halides1 said...

Here is a bit of Raffaele's diary, which is over at Perugia Murder File:

"Nov 18 2007
they are keeping me in jail because there is a kitchen knife with a
trace of Meredith's DNA. It seems like a horror movie ... Looking back
and remembering it came to mind that the night dad sent me an sms
message of goodnight to be indiscreet (knowing that I was with
Amanda), then the day after Amanda repeated to me that if she had not
been with me at this time she would be dead."

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be boring but I find nothing odd about the e-mail...

snip-

Amanda said: "when i entered i called out if anyone was
there, but no one responded and i assumed that if anyone was there,
they were still asleep. lauras door was open which meant she wasnt
home, and filomenas door was also closed. my door was open like always
and meredith door was closed, which to me weant she was sleeping."

snip-

Where does she say she assumes Filomena is out? She says that she assumes Laura is out because her door is open. If she does assume Filomena is out, it's probably because Filomena would ordinarily be with her beau on a long holiday weekend.

I believe the comment about Meredith locking/not locking her door was likely a misunderstanding.

snip-

This is after she sees the bllod and the crap left in the toilet. She is now uncomfortable and locks up like nobody is home and despite being uncomfortable, by her own prior statement she thinks Meredith is asleep in her room. This makes no sense whatsoever and is very telling, in my opinion. Her next statement regarding Meredith's door comes after she goes back to Rafaele's place with her trusty mop and is convinced that something bad may have happened and returns back to the flat and finds Filomena's room trashed. She said: at first i thought she was alseep so i knocked gently, but when she
didnt respond i knocked louder and louder until i was really banging
on her door and shouting her name. no response. panicing, i ran out
onto our terrace to see if maybe i could see over the ledge into her
room from the window, but i couldnt see in. bad angle." She still thought Meredith was asleep?

snip-

This just seems to indicate an escalating fear that something is wrong. The blood in the bathroom was not very much...most people would not assume a little blood in the bathroom indicated a murder had taken place.

But enough things seem odd to raise some concerns. And that anxiety just continues to grow. Hasn't that ever happened to you?

Re: Raffaele's inability to break down the door...doesn't trouble me. This is a rented house. I doubt it's all that easy to break down a door.

And as for Amanda feeling she has done her part...she's called several people...the police are there now...they are in charge. Fine.

All seems reasonable to me. I am looking for much better evidence of guilt.

Observer

Randy said...

the knowledge and truth of this case has been manipulated...I say that over and over again reading all the different theories and comments at different sites. (general comment not directed at anyone here at all)



maybe Filomena told Amanda she wouldn't be around...or it was normal for her to take off for the weekend...the Postal Police didn't seem too alarmed to break down the door based on what they could see. AK said she I think her first thought wasn't that someone had been killed. I think that is fairly normal...


RS saying MK's door was usually open, how would he know that? Sometimes I wonder if the whole locked door thing got started as a misunderstanding. Some people may say a door is locked when it is just closed. Maybe that was a misinterpretation? Sort of like how the "see you later" sms meant one thing to the Italian police and another to AK...just a thought.



some news from over in College Park, MD regarding police charges and videotape.

from my local paper the Washington Post's website

"Charging documents say McKenna and Donat provoked the beating by attacking officers on horseback. The video clearly shows the officers rushing McKenna and beating him, although the teenager had not touched any of the mounted units.

The charging documents also say that the horses injured McKenna and Donat and make no mention of the beating by the officers. The video shows no aggression by the horses.

The documents sworn by McAleavey allege that McKenna and Donat were running and screaming in the middle of Route 1, prompting an unruly crowd to form.

As two officers on horseback from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police tried to regain order, McKenna and Donat "struck those officers and their horses causing minor injuries," McAleavey wrote. "

the video (if anyone has not seen it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAPwyodTkYA

I'm not saying the police in Perugia behave the same way as some of the ones in Prince Georges County, MD...but it does show how things can be distorted by the police.

Joe said...

There is a very detailed analysis of Filomena's room and the broken window on Injustice in Perugia.
http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/window.html

halides1 said...

http://www.injusticeinperugia.com/FBI.html

another good article at the same site.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links to Injustice in Perugia. I agree with those pieces 100%.

I have never understood how the break-in could have been staged (by two insanely high people supposedly) and still the glass fell all over the inside of the room. The prosecution claimed the rock was thrown from the inside of the room out...which meant that the glass should have fallen mostly outside the room on the pavement below.

Steve Moore's piece was terrific.

What is so difficult for many to believe is that so much of the Italian justice system could have gotten so many things completely wrong...but those who watched the Duke case unfold know that this is precisely what can happen.

You really have to put aside these natural prejudices and do the research and analysis from scratch.

These poor kids.

Observer

Rose said...

I have several issues with the update at injusticeinperugia regarding the staged break in.

First, Bruce believes that the room must have been already trashed before the break in. This is contradicted by the evidence and testimony. Filomena has no reason to lie about this. And even Amanda doesn't float this possibility. I do not see it as even remotely possible that this theory is fact.

Second, I do concede the possibility that an athletic person such as Rudy could have used the security bars of the window below to climb to the point that his head was at the lower level of Filomena's window and he could have pulled himself up by his arms and slithered through the window. However, the broken glass clearly visible still on the window sill would have been scraped off. And the simple fact is there was no evidence that Rudy did this. I see it as very unlikely he could have slithered through that window over the glass fragments and left the glass there and also left no fiber evidence or evidence of any kind that that occurred. Looking at the pictures, I don't see it as possible that he could have positioned himself to go in feet first, avoiding the glass and avoiding leaving at least some fiber evidence or cutting himself on the glass, leaving some blood evidence. That window is also clearly visible from the road and I believe it would have taken him some time to get himself in there. The chances of him being seen are pretty strong, considering this would have had to have occurred at a fairly early time in the evening.

The FBI article is a good one and he talks about making conclusions and fitting the facts to the conclusions. In my opinion, Bruce is guilty of this regarding the staged break in.

halides1 said...

Rose,

RG had some sort of injury on his hand when he was arrested, IIRC. Another possibility is that he may have thrown the rock to see whether or not anyone was home then entered via a jimmied door, though my hunch is that this is less likely than entering through the window.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

That this picture was hung at the headquarters of the forensic police in Rome is deeply troubling:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20002467-504083.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

Chris

Rose said...

Is there any source other than CBS for this story? CBS does not have an impartial view of this case. The story sounds either incomplete or contrived. Just my opinion.

Rose said...

I see that Bruce Fisher has joined the discussion at JREF and is defending his theories on the staged break in. It seems there are other posters also not buying into the spin he has put on this one. Or perhaps i should call it a real stretch.

halides1 said...

Now Mignini is appealing. He wants a life sentence for Ms. Knox:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1266257/Italian-prosecutors-launch-appeal-Amanda-Knoxs-lenient-26-year-jail-term.html

halides1 said...

Rose,

Can you find a documentary called, "Sex, Lies, and Meredith Kercher?" It may be there.

Not to be confused with "Sex, Lies, and Duke."

Chris

halides1 said...

Rose,

One of the commenters at JREF does not seem to be taking into account the possibility that the collision between the rock and the shutter is not perfectly elastic.

Chris

Anonymous said...

By the forensic police? This is scary.

RoseMontague said...

halides1 said...

Rose,

One of the commenters at JREF does not seem to be taking into account the possibility that the collision between the rock and the shutter is not perfectly elastic.


It had to be one of those boomerang rocks, Chris. That would explain why it just looks like it was busted from the inside. Or just too much pot or maybe the rock was just confused or something.


halides1 said...

Rose,

Amazer at JREF said, "That is precisely the point, the rock doesn't travel far. Which means that the rock at the time of impact had little velocity/power. How then did it damage the shutter to the extend that it has?"

I admit to being a little rusty with physics, but this strikes me as wrong. How about you?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Robert Hanophy Opinion on Admissibility of LCN DNA

An opinion to chew over.

I concerns the admissibility of LCN DNA...in a case of first impression for NY. It seems the lab is especially equipped (completely rehabbed in 2004) to do the testing, has done it for years and has a lengthy history of correct results...plus there were several samples of LCN DNA obtained...not just one...the results were "replicable."

Plus, the accused had a very sound motive for the murder and had made threats to the victim and her family.

When I see the precautions taken in this NY case, it makes the Knox/Sollecito case all the more disturbing.

I am not sure the judge is completely correct about how widely accepted the LCN DNA testing is world wide. That is not how it appeared to me from a quick romp through the peer reviewed literature, but maybe I was wrong.

And even with the clearly enunciated precautions, the NY judge allows that although the evidence is admissible, it may be weighted differently than HCN DNA as evidence.

See what you think.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Oh, and there was also HCN DNA submitted as well in the NY case.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Candace Dempsy on the "staged break-in."

Observer

Anonymous said...

halides1 said...

Rose,

Amazer at JREF said, "That is precisely the point, the rock doesn't travel far. Which means that the rock at the time of impact had little velocity/power. How then did it damage the shutter to the extend that it has?"

I admit to being a little rusty with physics, but this strikes me as wrong. How about you?


In this case assuming the rock was thrown at an angle but upward in any case against gravity we can probably assume that the velocity of the rock was lower at the impact with the window than the speed at which it left the thrower's hand.

force = mass x rate of change of velocity

Still, this was a heavy rock and would most likely not have to have much velocity at all to both break the window and damage the shutter. The key element here is the relative mass of the rock. Throwing a pebble weighing 20 times less would have to have 20 times more rate of velocity at impact to generate the same force. The distance it traveled means nothing, just the velocity. As the velocity is not constant, the rate of change in velocity is the other key element in determining the momentum of the object at impact. <br.
Fortunately, Rudy was evidently an Olympic shot-putter as well as a basketball star.

halides1 said...

From Candace Dempsey's site, linked above, "In his decision, Judge Micheli also noted that a burglar could easily throw the rock from the parapet next to the house and then climb up into the window. There was no reason to carry the rock up or throw it from the ground 20 feet below--as the prosecution contends in photo ops."

My earlier point about the rock was that it might have transferred momentum to the shutter, assuming that the shutter swung open on impact. Also, the marks on the shutter (seen in the photos at Bruce Fisher's site)suggest that the collision was partially inelastic. Someone with a better background in physics might want to comment also.

Rose said...

That is an excellent observation. Even Amanda could probably have thrown that boulder from the parapet after (of course) trashing Filomena's room and then just walking back into the apartment. Just a quick toss when no cars were coming by.

halides1 said...

Rose,

You can see the Knox photo in the third of five installments of the "Sex, Lies..." documentary at roughly four minutes into the clip.

Anonymous said...

Just to make sure everyone has a chance to read the pertinent parts....

---snip---

The photo shows Knox, dressed in a navy blue V-neck sweater, talking with a group of law enforcement agents in the driveway of the crime scene house. The young American is gesturing with both hands, but the photo isn't a compelling action shot. It is a simple image of police listening to a potential witness.


Nonetheless, this Amanda Knox photo found its way to Rome. It was enlarged, neatly laid out on white matting paper, and put in an attractive wooden frame. Amazingly, it was then hung on a wall in the headquarters of the Italian forensic police in what can only be called a hall of shame - a photo gallery of many of Italy's most notorious criminals who the police had brought to justice.


That was long before Knox was actually charged with murder.


"I could not believe my eyes when I saw the picture," says CBS consultant and Chicago private investigator Paul Ciolino. "There's a photo of Amanda Knox, an honor student from Seattle, hanging along side of photos of Italy's most vicious killers, kidnappers and mafia kingpins. It was unbelievable. I mean, the girl hadn't even been charged with a crime at the time, yet she'd become one of the big trophy criminals they'd bagged."


Ciolino saw the photo display for himself when he was at the Rome forensic police headquarters in February 2008.


The Italian Constitution affords those in Italy the same right the American system of justice protects -- a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


"If that is the case," asks Ciolino, "then why is Amanda's picture up on the wall? Looks like she's been singled out as guilty from the start. Especially when you consider there were no trophy photos of her co-defendants, Rudy Guede or Raffaele Sollecito, hanging in the hall of shame. It's just her."


The Roman forensic police literally nailed Knox to a wall just three months after she was arrested and eight months before she was formally charged with any crime.


To Ciolino, it's a case where one picture really is worth a thousand words. He notes, "This is the forensic police after all; the scientific cops. Their main job is to be objective. Ask yourself, were they? Amanda's hall of shame photo screams bias against this young American girl. She never stood a chance."

---snip---

From the CBS story.

Observer

Joe said...

Filomena's room appears to be cluttered to me. Looking at the photos on Bruce's update, you can see the table, nightstand by the bed, and the bed to be cluttered with stuff.

The 11th photo shows the armoire to still be nearly full of clothes. Were pieces of clothing selectively pulled out of the armoire to trash the room?

Photos 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13 show two spots on either side of the window where the clothes are marked with a white substance. Where did that white substance come from? Did investigators compare this substance with the white substance on the brick wall?

According to a previous post by Frank, on Perugia Shock, sunset in Perugia at the end of October was around 5:05 pm, and it was fully dark by 5:30.

Rose said...

Thanks Chris, saved me from listening to too much of that creepy music. Your point is well made with this one. Poor Amanda.

Rose said...

That white dust could be from the rock hitting the interior shutter and removing some of that obviously old white paint. Bruce points out that about half the window sill does not have glass on it. I believe Rudy is too wide to slither in without getting more of that glass off the sill. The half of the sill that has glass on it is of course, the half where the window was broken.

Anonymous said...

Correction: Not only was the lab rehabbed in 2004, an entirely new, state of the art lab was built in 2007 to do LCN DNA testing, and, according to the opinion, amplification was only 31X.

What was the amplification for the Knox LCN DNA again?

Keep in mind when you read the opinion referenced above, all this analysis was done BEFORE the evidence was introduced in court.

For a refresher in how different the LCN DNA NY case is from its Perugian cousin see Mark Waterbury's piece here Ms. Stefanoni's LCN DNA Procedures under a Microscope

And the electronic data files have been withheld.

Unconscionable.

Observer

Joe said...

When old paint is removed from wood, it falls away in flakes.

Sanding old paint would cause it to fall away in the form of dust. Hitting it with a rock would not cause dust.

Anonymous said...

Talkleft on the Knox/Sollecito case

FYI

Observer

halides1 said...

I disagree with Seahawk2 about one thing. I think that Mignini and Comodi are appealing the sentence so that they can participate in the process. I do not believe they could, otherwise.

Randy said...

I think the pictures posted on injusticeinperugia show that is more likely the rock was thrown from outside.

I still believe that RG threw the rock to see if anyone was there. The famous photo of someone trying to climb up the wall shows I feel too much distance to cover if you didn't have to do so.

RG throws the rock. Meredith shows up later. RG goes in the house with Meredith. RG uses the bathroom. Perhaps MK sees Filomena's room, yells something. RG exits bathroom with unfinished business in there. RG and MK fight and she meets her sad demise.

If the rock was thrown from inside, I believe there would be more damage to those outer shutters. I would think glass embedded in the shutters also. I don't see why AK & RS would leave the rock on that bag if it was staged...seems like more in the middle of the room. And if they think about the rock position, why leave a bathmat with blood on it? why leave any blood on the sink in the bathroom? The cellphones- why toss them away. How about smash them up or something?

Filomena's room...I thought I read that she testified it was clean when she left. Of course, if you give testimony in the biggest case in Italy, would you tell your whole country you are messy? Italians do take pride in a clean house. But with a holiday, I can see Filomena cleaning up after she got back home. And it wouldn't surprise me, if they cleaned the floors a couple times each week I might add. (smells like bleach!)

Rose said...

When I have scraped old paint away I get both dust and flakes. I haven't tried removing it by throwing rocks at it but it would make an interesting experiment. However the red bricks outside appear to be painted over with white paint (does anyone else see another possibility) so I am not sure if in this case the dust would show up as paint regardless.

Rose said...

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

Flatmate's evidence

Anonymous said...

Good news from Frank at PerugiaShock:

--snip--

Mignini and Comodi will not represent the public prosecution in the appeal trial, though there are speculations that one or both of them could be called on to complement it.

--snip--

Observer

Rose said...

A translated portion of the judges motivation report has now seen the light of day. This deals with the investigation of the staged(?) break-in. Single post view.

pages 36-44

Joe said...

Rose,

I've read the section of the motivations you linked to.

My questions from my previous post remain.

Per the motivations, where is the new damage to the inside of the exterior shutters if the rock was thrown as described? There is new damage, as pointed out by Bruce, on the outside part of the interior shutter.

Filomena testified that her computer was not as she left it, her clothes were on the floor, and each of these had glass on top of them.

What if Filomena was mistaken about where she left her computer?

There was no mention by Filomena that her clothes were not on the floor before she left. The armoire is nearly full of clothes and the contents of the nightstand by the bed were untouched. I'll ask again. Did the windowbreaker selectively and neatly pull clothes out of the armoire to trash the room? Another question - what did Filomena normally do with her dirty clothes? I only ask because I don't see a laundry hamper in any of the photos posted by Bruce.

I know. The friends of Amanda scream conspiracy. Everybody is lying. I'm not accusing Filomena of lying at all. She simply stated the facts that clothes were on the floor and glass was on top of them. Was she mistaken about the computer?

The motivations also stated that there would have been mud on the exterior wall because it rained on Oct. 31. Depending on the severity of the rain, wet ground would dry the next day. I have no reference to how severe the rain was that day. The investigator examined the wall and observed no mud or grass marks. Did they examine the white substance on the two places pointed out by Bruce? There was no mention of this in the motivation.

Too many questions remain about this room to to prove that the B&E was staged.

Rose said...

Joe,
I see this differently. I believe the report makes it very clear that it is highly unlikely that Rudy entered this room through the window. It indicates to me that there was a very good chance that the window was broken from the inside and the room staged to appear as if a burglar had entered the room from the window and searched for valuables.

The claim that Bruce made that the police just did a cursory investigation of this room is far from the truth of the matter, in my opinion.

halides1 said...

Here are three links on the defense’s appeal, from aol
, from Andrea Vogt
, and from Bob Graham
. The third one has a discussion of the lack of release of the fsa files.

Rose said...

OMG
(Not the missing fsa files)
But the non-missing hot links.

Anonymous said...

From the link to the motivations.
I'm very perplexed about this statement. The judge quotes Filomena. "It was a really stupid thief; not only did he not take anything, the broken glass was actually on top of the things."
This must be a mistranslation.
TM

Anonymous said...

Here is another thought about the glass. We are suppose to believe glass was moved later and that is why none is in the pictures. So every one of those pieces were moved. EVERY ONE OF THOSE PIECES.
EVERY ONE OF THOSE PIECES WERE MOVED BY FILOMENA! SO NOW THE PHOTOS SHOW NONE!

Rose said...

TM,
The glass being on top of the clothes and the computer simply means the room was trashed before the glass was broken (the break-in was staged).

I couldn't hear that next comment for some reason.

Debrah said...

"The glass being on top of the clothes and the computer simply means the room was trashed before the glass was broken (the break-in was staged)."
*******************************

Precisely.

halides1 said...

Bob Graham has a brief second article, which is on some of Rudy Guede’s other crimes.

Joe said...

Rose,

You are so convinced from the motivations and from Filomena's testimony that the B&E was staged. Could you answer the following questions with confidence?

Where is the damage to the inside of the exterior shutters if the rock was thrown as described in the motivations?

Did the window breaker selectively and neatly pull clothes out of the armoire (which was nearly full of clothes in the photo) to "trash" the room?

Is it possible that Filomena could have left her computer lying down, not standing up, instead of "standing up, not lying down?"

Does rain one day guarantee the ground will be muddy the next day?

I won't ask about the white substance again. Maybe you could let us know after you conduct your experiment.

Joe said...

"The claim that Bruce made that the police just did a cursory investigation of this room is far from the truth of the matter, in my opinion."

April 18, 2010 8:20 AM

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

Rose,

So, they thoroughly investigated this room?

Just like they thoroughly investigated whose shoes the shoe prints belonged to?
They did check Sollecito's shoes, but no match was made. Then, they just attributed them to Sollecito. Sollecito's uncle discovered the type of shoe by matching up the tread pattern, from the photos, with shoes in shoe stores.

Just like they checked the local hospitals and clinics after the murder to see if anybody had received treatment for knife wounds? No, they didn't do this. How do we know this? Local reporter Francesca Bene discovered this when interviewing hospital personnel for an unrelated matter. Even the Keystone Cops would probably check the local hospitals or clinics after a knifing.

Just like Dr. Stefanoni didn't test the luminol-positive stains for blood?
From the following article: http://www.chem.lsu.edu/htdocs/people/rlmccarley/mccarley/Chemistry%202001/Articles_SP2008/Barni_Talanta_Luminol_Forensics.pdf “The most problematic chemicals for a correct interpretation of luminol test results are those which provoke intensification of a generation of a chemiluminescence emission even if blood is not present, leading to false-positive results. Due to the possible presence of these substances at the crime scene, the luminol test must not be considered sufficiently specific to permit an unequivocal identification of blood.”
This was a murder investigation and trial. Doesn't justice demand a thorough investigation - to be more definitive than just stating "presumably in blood" at the trial? Now this would be less of an issue if there was evidence that these footprints originated from Meredith's room, such as visible or luminol-positive footprints in her room or leading out of the room.

Just like they didn't ask for DNA samples from the other two flatmates to compare with crime scene samples? There may be some constitutionality issues with this, but Filomena and Laura supposedly had rock solid alibis. So this shouldn't have been a problem, if they really wanted to help. This is important because of the mixed luminol-positive stain in Filomena's room.
According to Frank in a quote from a conversation with Professor Giuseppe Novelli, considered a prominent DNA expert in Italy, “The DNA is a perfect test. The only possibility it may be wrong are when there is amplification and when there’s a mixture of profiles.” It gets subjective when the DNA is mixed. Dr. Stefanoni said this stain showed DNA profiles compatible with Meredith and Amanda and it was made "presumably in blood." (There's that pesky "presumably in blood" again.) How do we know this stain didn't contain the DNA of Meredith and Filomena, or Filomena and Laura?

Just like they left the bra clasp?

Just like they didn't get elimination footprints from Filomena and Laura?

Maybe the investigators were too busy frying computer hard drives to do all those things.

I believe it is a considerable stretch to say the investigation was thorough. That's just my opinion.

I have serious issues with the subjective nature of shaping evidence and testimony to support a theory.

Show me hard, "unassailable" evidence and I'll support a guilty conviction. I haven't seen it yet.

Joe said...

I wonder if Mignini will appeal the extenuating circumstances granted to Rudy in his first appeal trial?

Maybe not because of that apology?

Randy said...

"halides1 said...

Bob Graham has a brief second article, which is on some of Rudy Guede’s other crimes.
April 18, 2010 9:25 PM"

what are the odds if Guede was in jail for 1 of the the crimes, this whole nightmare would never have taken place?



from the Sept. 14, 2009 "too low" write up at perguia shock...

"And yes, both defenses tried to do something, they explained that without raw data, without knowing the setting of the machine we still don't know how we got to that result. And they filed a claim to the judge. A little claim, simply the annulment of Micheli's decree of trial. Which means to cancel the whole process and send everyone home, free. As a sub-claim they asked to invalidate the sole DNA results.

So, following the request the judges went to deliberate.
It was a particular feeling pretending to believe that everything could just finish today, and in one hour or so we could all go toasting at the bar with tarallucci & vino, together with Amanda and Raffaele.

One thing is dreams, another the reality. It was already amazing that, at the last hearing, Massei had allowed the suspension of the trial and the production of additional data. Maybe the coincidence with the summer break helped in that occasion. The defenses, following that successful move, were confident in another favorable decision for today.

But the time for vacations is over and Massei doesn't make gifts anymore, he doesn't feel like hearing subtleties. And came back with his ruthless verdict: the trial continues, the DNA results are fine like this. Whether we like it or not we have to trust Stefanoni. And that's it. This was, after all, his original position, which he suspended (or pretended to suspend) only for vacations...

Stop kidding, back to work, the trial resumes from the point at which it was stopped: Adriano Tagliabracci and his analysis of the DNA tests. At least, though, he is now able to use the new data."

http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2009/09/too-low.html

what is he talking about- new data? most of the writing seemed to imply that the defense was still missing some data. Is the "new data"- data that was given to the defenese during that Summer break? Reading the blog, led me to believe that the defense still didn't have all the raw data and wanted to at a minimum get rid of the DNA results or their main goal of ending the trial right then and there.

Rose said...

That is a terrific find Randy. Thank you. It appears to support the claim that the defense did not get all the data they wanted.

halides1 said...

Ann Wise
of ABC news
has two stories from September on the DNA evidence. In the first one Wise wrote, “The trial reopened with an attempt to have the case thrown out, but it was rejected after the judge and the jurors deliberated for 90 minutes. Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito became animated in their assertion that evidence had been withheld from them. Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, addressed the court for 20 minutes arguing that the defense was not provided with crucial details of Sollecito's DNA allegedly found on Kercher's bra hook until July 30. The rights of the defense were damaged, she said, when ‘documents regarding the quantity of biological material on the bra hook and documents regarding the procedure used to attain DNA results were not made available to the defense.’”

There is also a quote in the first of the two stories that has echoes of the DL case. “’She used to have utter faith in everybody and I can tell you know that she has lost faith in people of responsibility. She was attempting to help the police and it was literally turned on her,’ Curt Knox said. He later added, ‘She'll never be the way she really was. But I also think she'll live a really hearty life.’”

Anonymous said...

To Rose and Debrah
Do you say when you car is broken into "What a stupid thief he left glass on the seat?
TM

Debrah said...

TM--

I don't know what I'd say if someone broke into my car.

Probably "OMG!!!".

However, if the thief broke a window instead of doing a clean break-in through the door lock, the pattern of the resulting shattered glass inside the car would reveal a bit about the thief's MO.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,
To me the statement of Filomena is illogical or contrived and then perhaps sinister. The judge makes a big deal about this statement in his arguement of a staged break- in but I see a coached testimony with a slip-up.
TM

Rose said...

TM said: To Rose and Debrah
Do you say when you car is broken into "What a stupid thief he left glass on the seat?
TM


Only if I left the car unlocked.

Anonymous said...

Did Filomena leave the window open.
TM

Rose said...

She admitted that the exterior shutters would not close all the way. The window and interior shutters were locked.

Rose said...

Taking your car example further, the thief is really one of your kids who uses your keys to unlock your car door and take something out of the glove compartment. In the process he dumps everything else in your glove compartment onto the seat of the car. Now to make it look like a robbery he smashes the window on that side dumping glass all over the glove compartment stuff.

Joe said...

Taking your car example further, the thief is really one of your kids who uses your keys to unlock your car door and take something out of the glove compartment. In the process he dumps everything else in your glove compartment onto the seat of the car. Now to make it look like a robbery he smashes the window on that side dumping glass all over the glove compartment stuff.

April 22, 2010 8:21 PM

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

But what happens when you look at a photo of the glove compartment and see that it is nearly full?

Do you wonder where all that stuff on the seat came from or whether it was there to begin with?

Rose said...

TM,
It being your car I would trust you to remember the state you left your glove compartment and seat of the car in. I don't believe you have any reason to lie about it. I don't see that Filomena has any reason to lie in her testimony either.

Rose said...

Correction, post should be addressed to Joe. My bad.

Joe said...

TM,
It being your car I would trust you to remember the state you left your glove compartment and seat of the car in. I don't believe you have any reason to lie about it. I don't see that Filomena has any reason to lie in her testimony either.

April 22, 2010 8:40 PM

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

The motivations stated that Filomena was "usually tidy" and that when she entered the room her clothes were on the floor. This may be splitting hairs, but she never stated that her clothes were not on the floor when she left her room. I never accused Filomena of lying. She simply stated that when she returned her clothes were on the floor and she saw glass on them.

The question still remains. Did the window breaker selectively and neatly pull clothes out of the armoire (which was nearly full of clothes in the photo) to "trash" the room?

Anonymous said...

Joe,
Thanks for replying. What does filomena's statement about the thief being stupid beacause he left glass on top of things mean to you?
Now a stager could be stupid for leaving glass. And a thief can be stupid for not taking things. Are we to surmise that filomena suspected a staging from the beginning?
There are a lot of strange things in this case,
but I find this statement(which the judge thought was so impotant to cite) to be one of the stangest.TM

Joe said...

Joe,
Thanks for replying. What does filomena's statement about the thief being stupid beacause he left glass on top of things mean to you?
Now a stager could be stupid for leaving glass. And a thief can be stupid for not taking things. Are we to surmise that filomena suspected a staging from the beginning?
There are a lot of strange things in this case,
but I find this statement(which the judge thought was so impotant to cite) to be one of the stangest.TM

April 22, 2010 9:21 PM

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

TM,

I don't know what to make of that statement.

So much weight has been placed on Filomena's testimony that glass was on top of the clothes.

At first glance, when looking at the photo of the whole room, with the doors of the armoire open, it does appear that the room had been trashed and that clothes were pulled out of the armoire and onto the floor. But when I look at the photo that shows the armoire nearly full of clothes and those clothes stacked neatly inside, I wonder if those were simply dirty clothes left on the floor before the window was broken.

As mentioned in the post above, the motivations does make reference to Filomena being "usually tidy." What Filomena didn't explicitly state was that she didn't leave the clothes on the floor and that the room wasn't cluttered before she left the flat prior to the murder.

I also have other questions put forth in some of my other comments on this post. Too many questions remain to say unequivocally that the B&E was staged.

I'm not accusing Filomena of lying at all, but I am wondering if her testimony was shaped to fit the prosecution's theory.

Anonymous said...

Joe,
I agree that there was shaping going on and it this instance they were not to clever about it. And in other areas of Filomena testimony (the she said she said parts) perhaps there was also some shaping.
TM