Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #2

Posted by KrissyG

Long post. Click here to go straight to Comments

1. Post Overview

Previously main poster Hopeful showed up the intensely superficial grasp of the case by an Innocence Project founder who is a lusty huge booster of Knox.

We see no sign that anyone in the Innocence Project (IP) has ever done due diligence, or has any better grasp of the case than Jason Flom. We certainly don’t see any on video or in print. We see only appallingly misleading and illegal work…. and nothing else. As Hopeful said in that post:

Anyone who thinks Idaho IP representative Greg Hampikian’s seemingly illegal involvement in the court-ordered DNA re-testing was somehow competent and truth-based should read KrissyG and James Raper for two blasts of reality.

This may come as a surprise. In ten years nobody whatsoever has ever landed the slightest blow on the huge (though not pivotal) DNA component of the case.

The defenses and many others have seriously misrepresented it, yes, but that is something else.

2. Chief IP Misleader Hampikian

Nearly a year before Knox ever turned up at her first Innocence Project meeting in Oregon, we had highlighted IP Idaho rep Greg Hampikian’s very misleading work here.

Our main poster the Machine had acidly remarked about Greg Hampikian in that post:

    1. He is ignorant of most of the basic facts of the case.

    2. He hasn’t read the official court documents in their entirety, but has instead relied on Amanda Knox’s family and supporters for his information without bothering to do any fact-checking.

    3. He incessantly downplays or misrepresents the hard evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and overstates that against Rudy Guede.

    4. He doesn’t limit himself to his own narrow area of expertise, but speaks about other aspect of the case and gets basic facts wrong.

    5. Like so many in the seedy defense operation he ridicules his counterparts in Italy, most of whom are much better qualified in criminal-case DNA than he is.

Do please read all of the Machine’s very damning post. Note that Hampikian has never ever tried to answer back, though he is still as much of a self-infatuated rooster as before. I would add to the Machine’s profile of Hampikian these further revealing points:

    1. In an aura of personality cult he incessantly proclaims that he is the founder and director of the Idaho Innocence Project.

    2. He took quite a shine to Amanda Knox and went white-water rafting with her.  He broke with his wife, shortly after.

    3. This absurd claim appears on his Wikipedia page - those are often written by the “celebrities” themselves:

    During the high-profile case of Amanda Knox, on May 23, 2011, Greg Hampikian announced that, based on its independent investigation and review, DNA samples taken at the crime scene all pointed to African drifter Rudy Guede and excluded Knox and Sollecito. Upon reexamination of the DNA, he concluded that the evidence is unreliable and contaminated. Hampikian’s findings are one of the main reasons that Knox and Sollecito were set free.

    Really?! The mafias had no role? Hard to believe from this that Hampikian was never an official witness put under cross-examination at the trial or appeals. He had zero official role, and the very extensive DNA evidence really proved nothing of the sort. More DNA samples of Knox than of Guede were at the scene. No contamination was ever proven.  In fact, it was categorically ruled out by the courts.

    4. He has appeared in numerous Youtube clips in especially prepared tv shows, in which he presents himself as “the objective scientist” not letting on that he is essentially only a PR shill.

    5. Hampikian was claiming a government grant for his department at Boise State University.  Journalist Andrea Vogt suspected he was using the funds to promote Amanda Knox’s marketing.  Vogt applied for information under the Freedom of Information Act.  Hampikian evaded the demand by claiming his work was a top trade secret. Academic scientists are supposed to be transparent and make their work replicable and peer-reviewed by other scientists.  So Vogt’s instincts seem correct, given the unlikely reason.

    6. He praises himself on his wiki page as “Prof. Hampikian is also an accomplished amateur folk singer and songwriter.” Indeed, he appears on a Youtube video, sounding like a hundred cats in pain singing about his d-i-v-o-r-c-e., after his rafting expedition with Knox.  She appears grinning by his side in pictures.

    7. He has given evidence under oath in court several times (though never in Italy) claiming he was THE expert who got Amanda Knox “exonerated”.  Knox has never been exonerated, certainly not on the DNA evidence, and the mafias clearly had a role in springing the pair. So, Hampikian is not someone who takes solemn oaths seriously, although his illegal interference was real. 

    8. The defence lawyers for Paul Jenkins and Fred Lawrence are currently in court to try to pin the DNA evidence on another convict, David Wayne Nelson, with Hampikian as the “˜expert DNA witness’ claiming,

“˜“I do a lot of cases,” said Hampikian. “This is the second time I can remember one of my cases where it cleared two men and someone else is a hit to the database.”

He doesn’t say to whom he is referring in this absurd claim, but no doubt it is Knox and Sollecito with Guede as the “˜hit’.  Hampikian, thus, is a stranger to the truth, as Knox and Sollecito’s DNA at the crime scene is legally sound.

Comment by Ergon

Examples of typical dishonesty from Greg Hampikian in this article

1. “We asked the Italian lab to supply validation of such a sensitive measurement, but they never complied”.

Yes they did, though maybe not to the professor from Idaho.

2. “a new study on the knife was then ordered in Italy. This failed to repeat the DNA finding”.

They didn’t retest the “˜DNA finding’.

3. “This finding was never repeated, despite many attempts”.

There was only one attempt, which the defense accepted as all that could be done.

4. “As DNA consultant for the defence in the Amanda Knox case”.

You weren’t hired “˜by the defense’ but inserted yourself in your personal capacity using public funds.

5. “but when fingerprints and DNA from the scene were analysed, only two profiles were identified: those of the victim and Rudy Guede”

Also Raffaele Sollecito’s, and Amanda Knox’s blood DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s.

6. “Calls followed for global standards on use of low copy number DNA”.

Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA profile on the bra clasp wasn’t LCN DNA, nor was contamination proven against any of Stefanoni’s findings.

7. “a kitchen knife at Sollecito’s house. It didn’t match many wounds on the body and tested negative for blood.”

Because there were two knives, and it tested negative for blood because it was rigorously washed in bleach.

3. Who Manages Or Crosschecks Hampikian?

Hampikian seems to have a pass to claim whatever he wants in the name of the Innocence Project. No quality control, no peer review, no reporting, no accountability at all. Just a near-endless stream of lies.

If Hampikian was to be checked out and made to stop lying and acting as a PR shill, and to stick only to the truth, whose job in the IP would be that? Presumably the man at the top. Barry Scheck.

Has Barry Scheck been asleep at the switch? If so, not for the first time. .

4. Ten Quick Facts About Barry Scheck

1. Born 1949, at Yale Scheck was a “˜fervent anti-war demonstrator’.  In Los Angeles he was a key member of OJ Simpson’s “˜dream team’, which got OJ off a murder rap in 1995.

2. Barry Scheck, as a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, is a forensic and DNA evidence expert. He joined the “Dream Team” to help them “˜harness the power of forensic and DNA evidence’ to assist in Simpson’s defence.

3. Scheck is also known for his work as co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that uses DNA evidence to “˜clear the names of wrongfully convicted inmates’.

4. Scheck co-founded the Innocence Project in 1992 with Peter Neufeld, also his co-counsel on the O.J. Simpson defence team.

5. The Project claims it is “˜dedicated to the utilization of DNA evidence as a means to exculpate individuals of crimes for which they were wrongfully convicted’.

6. To date, it claims 343 wrongful convictions have been overturned by DNA testing “˜thanks to the Project and other legal organizations’.

7. The Innocence Project claims “˜it does not use legal technicalities to challenge convictions; the Project accepts only cases in which newly discovered scientific evidence can potentially prove that a convicted person is factually innocent’.

8. Scheck unsuccessfully defended British baby sitter Louise Woodward against a charge of killing a baby in her care, shortly after the OJ acquittal, leading some to perceive a “˜backlash’ against his defence methods.

9. Scheck and Neufield were heavily criticised in 1999 in a case where eight cops were charged with abusing Abner Louima or shooting dead Amadou Diallo-to benefit their own civil cases on behalf of those victims, putting the police at risk of an unfair trial.

10. Scheck and Neufield called a press conference before the criminal trial, revealing potentially incriminating evidence against the four policemen from an autopsy report, which revealed Diallo was shot in his foot and legs whilst already down. Their ethics were questioned.  Outside the press conference, 1,000 Scheck supporters chanted, “˜“No justice, no peace, no more racist police.”

5. So The Bottom Line On Scheck Is?

Thus, we have a picture of someone who sees himself as a warrior for social justice, and anti-establishment.  Scheck uses his privileged position as a lawyer and DNA expert to help the disadvantaged and oppressed.

However, after the OJ Simpson trial, which saw Scheck shoot to fame, and not necessarily in a good way, but as a silver-tongued crafty defence lawyer who could persuade a jury that night is day by any means at his disposal, regardless of ethics, there emerges a hint of a ruthless man driven by an urge to get the better of his perceived opponents.

So far so good, this is 100% of what we the public have cynically come to expect of a winning-at-all-costs lawyer.  We want them to write our “˜strong letters’ for us, or to win our compensation; perhaps get us off a rap.

We want them to “˜be on our side’, and when you are poor, dispossessed and otherwise “˜invisible’ to the establishment, finding such a high-profile lawyer to champion your case, then fawning gratitude transforms into hero-worship and cult following.

Such is the effect of Scheck’s Innocence Project, thousands of prisoners in the USA claiming to be “˜wrongfully convicted’, whether they are or not, flock to sample the “˜exoneration’ he holds out as the prize for joining up.

Add to the pot US attorneys who as part of their standards are expected to devote a substantial part of their time towards “˜pro bono’ work (free representation), then the ready pool of the poor and deprived that make up the Innocence Projects are ready made clients for them.

6. IP Does Indeed Do Some Good Work

We have shown again and again that American law enforcement, justice and incarceration systems, not their Italian equivalents, are the systems where injustices are off the charts.

Read for example the series of three posts starting here.  An estimated 200,000-plus sitting in prison because prosecutors scared them into a plea-bargain.

Barry Scheck’s target group and release rate is absolutely miniscule compared to this 200,000, but it is not a net negative on the whole. Every little bit of pushback can help. Scheck’s interviews and speeches are often good.


7. But Things Do Go Badly Wrong.

The Medill Innocence Project Case

There seems plenty of evidence that the Innocence Project is only loosely managed from the top. Other grandstanders and corner cutters and law-breakers like Hampikian are far from unknown.

And to IP host institutions like lawschools “mistakes” like this one below can bring major harm.

In the Medill Innocence project, a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, David Protess, was picked to head this.

His work had overturned convictions in a number of high-profile cases that won freedom for the “˜wrongfully imprisoned’ and earned him fame and prestige that included a TV-movie deal and a new post. From the start, Protess got his law students to were acting as amateur gumshoes, Protess dispatched them to interview witnesses and dig up new evidence.

Protess was looking for wrongful convictions.  He thought he had found one in Anthony Porter, who had narrowly escaped execution for a 1982 murder and had since served fifteen years, after winning a last minute reprieve.

Protess was keen to highlight that the State had been prepared to execute an innocent man, and he and his private eye students pinpointed an “˜alternative perpetrator’ in Alstory Simon.

“This investigation by David Protess and his team involved a series of alarming tactics,” the Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, said in her statement after Simon’s eventual release.  The Medill Innocence Project’s tactics, “were not only coercive and absolutely unacceptable by law-enforcement standards, “they were potentially in violation of Mr. Simon’s constitutionally protected rights.”

From the Daily Beast in 2014:

Perhaps the worst of those alarming tactics were used by Paul Ciolino, a private investigator working with Protess who got Simon to confess to the murder. According to Alvarez’s findings, Ciolino threatened Simon, promised him a short sentence and financial rewards for cooperating, and used an actor to play a witness who accused Simon of the shooting.

Finally, Ciolino volunteered a lawyer, Jack Rimland, to represent Simon in court. Rimland, a personal acquaintance of Ciolino, may have had a conflict of interest defending a man that his associate was trying to prove guilty, but that didn’t stop him from taking the case.

At the time, it did the trick. Alstory Simon confessed to the murder on video and within days, after more than a decade on death row, Porter walked free.

The State prosecutors then had to spend time and money retrying Porter and reaffirming the seemingly overwhelming evidence of his guilt (six eye witnesses named him).  However, the case against Porter was dropped a month later.  Following on from this case, Illinois banned the death penalty, in 2011.

More from the report in the Daily Beast.

After initially defending the program, Medill launched an investigation of its own. In the end, it was found that students working under Protess had used false pretenses in trying to elicit witness statements.

More damningly, the professor’s claim that the records from his class’s work were protected by journalistic privilege was undermined by the discovery that he’d altered an email instructing that the project’s findings should be turned over directly to defense counsels without any copies retained.

When it was all over, Protess had negotiated his retirement and left the school. His reputation bruised but with legacy of his central victory””winning Anthony Porter’s freedom””still intact.

After Simon’s release last month and the accusation that Protess helped put an innocent man in prison for 15 years, possibly freeing a killer in the bargain, his legacy may be the least of his concerns.

The IP Role

This is a perfect illustration of what can happen when badly supervised lawyers try to solve a case outside of a courtroom.  Delusion, fanaticism and a disregard for due process can blind an Innocence Project lawyer or law student to the truth of culpability.  In other words, they find themselves fighting the establishment, whatever that is, rather than true injustice.

The State prosecutor, Alvarez, said at the time:

“The bottom line is, the investigation conducted by Protess and private investigator Ciolino as well as the subsequent legal representation of Mr. Simon were so flawed that it’s clear the constitutional rights of Mr. Simon were not scrupulously protected as our law requires.”

In 2016, Alstory Simon filed a $40m lawsuit From the Chicago Tribune.

A federal judge on Tuesday gave the green light to a $40 million lawsuit alleging Northwestern University and former star professor David Protess conspired to frame a man for an infamous double murder that became one of the most significant wrongful conviction cases in Illinois history.

The lawsuit brought by Alstory Simon alleges Protess and private investigator Paul Ciolino manufactured bogus evidence, coaxed false statements from witnesses, intimidated Simon into confessing and set him up with a lawyer, Jack Rimland, who coached him to plead guilty.

In denying a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said that it was plausible the money and publicity Protess had brought to Northwestern had allowed a culture of lawlessness and unethical conduct at the university.

The Bombshell Twist

In June 2017 Chicago Tribune reported a “˜bombshell’ twist.  It was revealed that in 2014 at the time of Simon’s release a 28-page internal report wherein the deputies of the then State Attorney Alvarez had concluded, “˜there is not sufficient evidence to seek to vacate Simon’s convictions’. 

Many High-profile Innocence “˜Exonerees’ Earn $‘000’s

Simon is like so many prisoners released early, whether or not there is an “˜Alford’ deal ““ where release is on condition the prisoner accepts the State does not accept liability that the conviction was wrongful and no “˜certificate of innocence’ is provided.

This type of deal is true, for example, for “˜Sunny’ Jacobs, released from death row and finally prison for her role in the murder of two policemen in Florida, and the notorious WM3 which includes Damien Echols, who has since made millions from books and tours on the back of “˜innocence’.

Amanda Knox, Damien Echols and the other two WM3 are listed by All American Entertainment as exonerated “˜speakers’ charging up to $10,000 a time.  Yet none have had a “˜certificate of innocence’.  Thus, by Ciolino’s own words, they cannot be classed as ‘exonerated’.

Cook County “˜Wanted to Prosecute David Protess and Paul Ciolino’

The reason Cook County gives for refusing to vacate Simon’s conviction is because he failed to come clean on the deception a taking a rap for another man’s crimes in exchange for a shorter sentence.  The reports states:

Simon was not a child or inexperienced at any relevant time. As of 1982 he had accumulated an extensive criminal history. He had been arrested for robberies or armed robberies five times between 1966 and 1977. He had three felony or armed robbery convictions. ... He was 47 when he (pleaded) guilty. This certainly complicates his claims regarding coercion and being misled.

The report criticises the “˜less than ideal circumstances’ in which Ciolino tricked Simon into confessing the first time, after which Simon continued the masquarade by spontaneously admitting to firing the fatal shots for some time after his conviction.  For example, in a letter to his lawyers.

However, in spite of these reservations, Alvarez had called a news conference and announced there was “˜no other conclusion’ than that Simon should be freed.  Pointedly, she indicated that if it were not for the statute of limitations (time limit for bringing a charge) she would have prosecuted Protess and Ciolino.

Subsequently she declined to send representatives to contest Simon’s effort to win a “certificate of innocence,” a document that allows wrongfully incarcerated, factually innocent persons to collect cash damages from the state.  It was because whilst Simon probably did not commit the murders, he was part of the innocence fraud which put him in prison and which freed Porter.

Paul Ciolino Hits Back

The latest news, as of January 2018, leading on from the supposed “˜leaked’ document of 2014 which showed Simon’s convictions were merely “˜vacated’ is that Paul Cionlino is suing Simon, Alavarez, and a couple of the “˜Park’ filmmakers, a Chicago Tribune journalist and policemen for damages for “˜defamation’.

The 66-page petition mirrors the counterclaim Ciolino filed before and which was dismissed last year.  He claims his reputation and career were destroyed by the allegations in the Simon case.  Ciolino claims Simon was “˜paid thousands of dollars’ and witnesses interfered with by these anti-Innocent Project forces. 

The Murder in the Park documentary, asserts there are many other cases where “˜the wrong man is imprisoned and the right one was freed, which Ciolino claims is defamatory.  He highlights the letter to Simon’s lawyers in which he states he killed Hillard in self-defence and Green by accident.  Ciolino’s new lawsuit is described as “˜frivolous and without merit’ (Prieb) and “˜so false as to be sanctionable’ (Ekl)

Simon had alleged Ciolino impersonated a police officer and used actors as fake eye witnesses.  He claims Ciolino said if he confessed, he’d get a shortened sentence by claiming “˜self defence’ and avoid the death penalty.  He was also “˜promised large sums of money from book and movie deals’ if he played along, the suit alleges.

Paul Ciolino Acknowledges a Vacated Conviction Does Not Mean “˜Exoneration’

If this illustrates anything, it’s that Innocence Projects running parallel to the US legal system can cause all sorts of chaos and confusion.  In effect, Alvarez the State Prosecutor having freed Simon, is now refusing to vacate his conviction.  The Innocence Project does not see a vacated conviction as an “˜exoneration’ as evidenced by Ciolino suing for defamation on the grounds that “˜Simon is guilty after all’.

If a vacated conviction does not mean exoneration to people like Ciolino, then people like Ryan Ferguson, the West Memphis Three and Amanda Knox, whom the Innocence Projects spearhead as their “˜Star Exonerees’ are gods with clay feet standing on a false pedestal.

It calls into question the integrity of Innocence Project lawyers, such as Kathleen Zellner, who is said to earn more than $12m per annum as a conservative figure.  The last published Annual Report of the Innocence Project shows a turnover of $26m, with a surplus gain of >$3m in the “˜not-for-profit’ org in 2016.  Zellner is famous for obtaining “˜death bed’ confessions from prisoners on Death Row taking the rap for the alleged crimes of her clients, thus securing their release.

8. My Conclusion About This Above

Given these pressures and these possibilities for mismanagement, what of the IP’s illegal intervention into the case in Italy? What of the false touting of an “innocent” Knox? What of the trashing of Italian justice, in witting or unwitting harmony with the mafias?

Another IP trainwreck waiting to happen. And happen it did.

9. Tip For IP Contributors

On Amanda Knox. Innocence Project Idaho rep Hampikian’s ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.

10. Next post in this series.

Click for Post:  Innocence Project: Seven Years Clutching Knox And Trashing Italian Justice To Joy Of Mafias #3

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Greg Hampikian slimes Rudy Guede again and again. He is one of the worst. He misrepresents the Guede facts in dozens of ways.

Several are obvious above. Guede’s DNA was all over the crime scene? No, there was more of Knox. Guede was a drifter? No, he was not, he had zero criminal record, unlike Sollecito or Knox, and he had just returned from a good job up north which had tanked through no fault of his.

This blatantly racist tendency of Hampikian is the more remarkable because a majority of those the Innocence Project liberates appears to be black.

Let’s hope the DECENT members of the Innocence Project reading here tell him just how despicable this is. Perhaps even frogmarch the fraud out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/20/18 at 08:42 PM | #

Very nice Krissy,

This quote from Greg Hampikian above is the sure sign of a partisan hack

During the high-profile case of Amanda Knox, on May 23, 2011, Greg Hampikian announced that, based on its independent investigation and review, DNA samples taken at the crime scene all pointed to African drifter Rudy Guede and excluded Knox and Sollecito. Upon reexamination of the DNA, he concluded that the evidence is unreliable and contaminated. Hampikian’s findings are one of the main reasons that Knox and Sollecito were set free.

(a) all samples point to Rudy Guede

(b) the samples—presumably regarding AK and RS—are contaminated

So…. from these statements, we can reasonably infer that Guede was wrongly put away too?  Nope, guess not.

Interesting observation here: Paul Ciolino, who ‘‘has’’ browbeaten at least one confession out of someone, stands by Knox”.  No cognitive dissonance?

Yes, Andrea Vogt’s instincts do appear correct.

Posted by Chimera on 03/21/18 at 12:33 AM | #

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Greg Hampikian is a harmless idiot savant when you first hear him being interviewed, but when you do a little research, you’ll realise he is extremely perverse and odd.

He has carved a lucrative niche for himself representing a number of convicted sex offenders, including two child rapists - Bradley Roberts and Dennis Dechaine - and convicted killers.

Posted by The Machine on 03/21/18 at 12:36 AM | #

Several levels of dishonesty from Greg Hampikian in this article:


“Amanda Knox legal fight highlights fallibility of DNA forensics”
Greg Hampikian
13 May 2015

1. “We asked the Italian lab to supply validation of such a sensitive measurement, but they never complied”.

Yes they did, though maybe not to the professor from Idaho.

2. “a new study on the knife was then ordered in Italy. This failed to repeat the DNA finding”.

They didn’t retest the ‘DNA finding’.

3. “This finding was never repeated, despite many attempts”.

There was only one attempt, which the defense accepted as all that could be done.

4. “As DNA consultant for the defence in the Amanda Knox case”.

You weren’t hired ‘by the defense’ but inserted yourself in your personal capacity using public funds.

5. “but when fingerprints and DNA from the scene were analysed, only two profiles were identified: those of the victim and Rudy Guede”

Also Raffaele Sollecito’s, and Amanda Knox’s blood DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s.

6. “Calls followed for global standards on use of low copy number DNA”.

Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA profile on the bra clasp wasn’t LCN DNA, nor was contamination proven against any of Stefanoni’s findings.

7. “a kitchen knife at Sollecito’s house. It didn’t match many wounds on the body and tested negative for blood.”

Because there were two knives, and it tested negative for blood because it was rigorously washed in bleach.

Dishonest, much, Dr. Greg Hampikian?

Posted by Ergon on 03/21/18 at 05:20 AM | #

Hi Ergon

Good list. Some of those examples are laugh-out-loud especially #5. It is SO OBVIOUS that he was not at the 2009 trial or the 2013 appeal and is ignorant of the real results.

I have not seen Hampikian “credited” in even one single official document. Has anyone? There were well over a dozen DNA investigators and consultants and he is nowhere on that list.

We have documents from all of them - none from him, except the total nonsense seemingly with his fingerprints on it from the final Sollecito appeal the Supreme Court stupidly used.

Dr Stefanoni presented a huge rebuttal of all nonsense points near the end of the 2011 appeal. Hampikian appears ignorant of that also.

NO WONDER Hampikiain avoided testifying in court in 2011 or 2013 and thus avoided having his credentials checked and especially any cross-examinations.

Barry Scheck is good at cross-examination. This could be his best first question: “WHY did you not testify in court and have the prosecution test your credentials and theories?”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/18 at 07:17 AM | #

Thank you Hugo from .net for the following interesting link.


Incidentally the 140 picograms referred to in the link comes, it seems, from an Amandaknox website. Another sleight of hand. Sollecito’s DNA was well over 500 picograms.

It was never Low Copy Number and nobody ever said it was other than Professor Tagliabracci for the defence, who made a howler with his arithmetic.

Author Justice on Trial: The Final Outcome

Posted by James Raper on 03/21/18 at 01:48 PM | #

Here is another Hampikian false claim from dot net (by Max) to add to Ergon’s list above.


“But on one swab from the blade, a minuscule trace of DNA was detected, just once during many analyses. It had some that was consistent with the victim’s.”

“It had some”??? What is he even trying to say? Nowhere he explains that the result was a full profile, and because of the quality of the result it was accepted.

Nowhere he explains what the chances would be to get someone’s full profile by accident. It is impossible and he knows it.

Why does a grown man like him just keeps on lying and lying like that? He has no shame.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/18 at 03:12 PM | #

Hampikian’s movements and contacts remain extremely murky, and he has several times corrected or contradicted himself.

Here is Hampikian in a KTVB (Boise Idaho) video of a duration of about four minutes aired in September 2016.


PatAz on his excellent website (we have cross-posted from there several times)  posted a commentary. See these excerpts.


Hampikian previously stated that his research and previous report was rejected by the Italian court, which leaves the question of how did the independent investigators obtain Hampikian’s research?...

If the independent lab indeed received the research done by Knox innocence advocate Greg Hampikian, and the Italian investigators simply replicated Hampikian’s research [really?] as stated by the Boise news report, it raises serious questions about the validity of their “independent” research…

Dr. Hampikian has advocated for Knox’s innocence, but his true role in Knox’s case has not been known. News reports have claimed that he was pivotal in Knox’s acquittal and that he actually analyzed the DNA in the case. Despite his many media appearances, Dr. Hampikian’s true role and activity in defense of Amanda Knox still isn’t known….

Hampikian actually started his advocacy for Amanda Knox as early as November 2009, when he signed on to a letter in questioning the DNA evidence against Knox. Hampikian, in an interview, stated that this letter and Dr. Hampikian’s subsequent reports were rejected by the Italian court.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/18 at 05:52 PM | #

So let us see if we have a handle on the pivotal role Hampikian repeatedly tells the world about.

1) His snakeoil was REJECTED by the Massei court.

2) His snakeoil was REJECTED by the Hellman court for the contract C&V got.

3) His snakeoil was slipped under the door illegally for Conti & Vechotti. The Hellman outcome was in part bent thus.

4) His snakeoil was REJECTED by the First Chambers. Oh he never mentions that?

5) His snakeoil was REJECTED by the Nencini appeal court. Oh he never mentions that?

6) Seemingly only Gill’s snakeoil made its way to the Fifth Chambers. That outcome was in part bent thus.

Never any testifying under oath or cross-examination. The incompetent’s way forward. Everything done with stealth.

So Scheck & Co gave RS & AK no real help, but have benefited for 7 years from mafia and State Department shenanigans - and trashing of Italy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/18 at 07:53 PM | #

Re Hampikian, Peter, here he is saying how he influenced the case:

Salem News Jul-27-2011
DNA Expert on the Amanda Knox Case

(ROME) - “The Independent DNA Experts review of the Kitchen Knife and the Bra Clasp evidence has been turned in and the first court date discussing the results was on July 25.  Dr. Greg Hampikian is a DNA expert who co-authored an Open Letter on 19 Nov 2009 along with Dr. Elizabeth Johnson and 7 others. 

<u>The Conti-Vecchiotti DNA review report’s findings are very much in line with the Open Letter.</u>  The independent experts found the forensics flawed because international protocols were not followed, contamination and erroneous interpretation.

Dr. Hampikian is also the founder of the Idaho Innocence Project and an advisor for the defense.  He will be able to explain the findings in the report better than any other.  He has a cordial, humorous and accessible way of explaining forensics to non-scientists.”

Hampikian’s letter and pictures of him with Mellas and Charlie Wilkes in Perugia can be found on the latest posts at PMF dot net.


Posted by Ergon on 03/22/18 at 02:24 AM | #

Appreciated, Ergon

The omissions in the 2009 Elizabeth Johnson “study” and “open letter” with Hampikian on both DNA and other evidence were so huge one could drive a truck through them.

The Machine is quoted in Krissy’s post above flaming that tendency

And as the Machine has often posted here, even Elizabeth Johnson admitted to Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife.

But both of them refer to the Sollecito DNA on the clasp as minuscule. It wasn’t. The kind of sleight of hand James Raper denounces above is evident again.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/22/18 at 04:09 AM | #

Even Sollecito lawyer Bongiorno had little time for Hampikian’s shenanigans in 2011. We posted this:


Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno seems very frustrated with Sollecito’s appeal which is doing her no good politically. With the bizarre claims of “superwitnesses” Alessi and Aviello on the stand and thereafter (one of which is that the Sollecito family offered Aviello a bribe, not yet rebutted) and an “independent” DNA report seemingly channeling Greg Hampikian and already partly discredited, she seems far short of landing a knockout blow.

The sloppy testing and non-testing by consultants C&V and their bizarre performances on the stand channeling Hampikian became an open joke late in 2011. Bongiorno was actually mad as hell.

That was the major reason why Mignini, Comodi, and Galati (then their boss) all rightly predicted an annulment. That really was Hampikian’s only achievement. That annulment, and the much tougher Nencini appeal, and the bending of the Supreme Court.

Gee, Hampikian, you WERE about to tell us this? Your real achievements?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/22/18 at 04:34 AM | #

The 2009 Hampikian Open Letter Ergon mentions is exceedingly amateurish, ignorant and misleading.  If I were him I would want to crawl away and hide in a hole. Ah, but not Hampikian! He is too full of himself. He prefers to be photographed white water rafting with Amanda!

The DNA in 36B is “consistent with”, and only a “partial profile of”, Meredith’s DNA?! What bollocks!

What sort of expert is this? As expected he talks only of the RFU. Nothing about the STR data. The STR data cannot be misread or misinterpreted. It is what the machine “sees”. The STR data matched Meredith’s profile in 29 out of 30 alleles from her 15 unique chromosomes. A 96.6 % match whether LCN or not. Really, what would be the point of a repeat other than out of academic interest??

As we can see here he is also responsible for the notion that the DNA was tested for blood and was negative. Not true, had he bothered to read Stefanoni’s testimony.

Author Justice on Trial: The Final Outcome

Posted by James Raper on 03/22/18 at 12:13 PM | #

In the end,  the disturbing truth is that the mass of public imbibers of media care only that there is something called The Innocence Project which rescued Amanda Knox, “that pretty American honors student who was framed and wrongfully convicted by chauvinist and corrupt Italian police and courts.”. 

In the era of fake news, a pleasing fabrication has more weight to most than facts.  All of the terribly important facts spoken about above are completely buried and unknown to most of the public(excepting those willing to research, read here, etc.).

Posted by CBHeidegger on 03/22/18 at 05:55 PM | #

Good comment CBHeidegger.

But a fickle crowd at best. If there comes a tipping point they will all be gone.

We have never been closer than now to engineering a tipping point in several different ways.

The most obvious way today is for Barry Scheck and Jason Flom to throw Knox and Hampikian under the bus.

With their assocation with the mafias which Hampikian engineered, Scheck and Flom and the IP movement generally can take very little heat.

My guess? This wont be Knox’s and Hampikian’s favorite conference of all time. Sleepless nights ahead.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/22/18 at 06:54 PM | #

Hi CBHeidegger,

The public seems to have an insatiable appetite for documentaries about people who have been convicted of murders they allegedly didn’t commit. Filmmakers and producers know there is no story and no controversy, if they agree with the juries who convicted the likes of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, Adnan Syed, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey and the WM3. There is only a story if these cases are presented as wrongful convictions.

Posted by The Machine on 03/22/18 at 10:32 PM | #

@PeterQuennell:  At long last! 😉

@TheMachine:  Yes, all part of the culture of Victims.

Posted by CBHeidegger on 03/23/18 at 05:24 AM | #

Hi Machine.

I do agree, there has been a very big demand for some of these “wrongful conviction” cases. The Netflix “Amanda Knox” episode did well.

But is that trend near done?

Demonizing any justice system only goes so far.

Most Americans are mostly concerned that their own protective systems are under seige. School shootings are #1.

Entertainment media here are often noting how hard it is to get a new case like the Netflix Avery series high in the ratings.

And Avery is still locked up.  And Avery was a highly tilted series - but skeptics about his innocence abound. That’s a downer for sure.

And Netflix’s business prospects still look glum.


As of February 2018, Disney netted $8.7 billion in TTM free cash flow, and Netflix had negative $2 billion.

Where IS the Next Big Thing? Maybe this?


Though that really is more our cup of tea - a pro justice angle, showing up guilt for what it is.

On several cable TV channels and in supermarket tabloids such pro-justice stories air every day.

The Innocence Project has not really been on our radar, as we are not US-focused. If not for its enabling Knox we would not go there.

But KrissyG points out that its efforts and results are surprisingly small. Of those estimated to be wrongly locked up LESS THAN A TENTH OF ONE PERCENT.

And their ONLY case big in the news recently has been the Paul Ciolino case Krissy describes. Ooops!!.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/18 at 05:29 AM | #

Hampikian and Ciolino, apart from both being sleazy frauds, and both biggies in Scheck’s IP, have in common that they both messed up terribly on our case.

Among the two worst.

I dont know how connected Ciolino was to the Innocence Project back in 2007-2009 (does anyone know?) but he was part of the notorious CBS “48 Hours” team that aired all the most dishonest reports - straight undiluted PR.

Ciolino was the one that maxed out on their demonizations of Mignini and again and again calling him “insane” and referring to the case as “the railroad job from hell”.

After all these years I still find the immense anger of some of these people hard to understand.

Perhaps they KNEW there would be no pushback as Italian justice officials are forbidden to do that (except in court). Plus US prosecutors are mostly elected and immensely tough, so compared to the actual tricks prosecutors can play, there is almost no pushback by the Hampikians, Ciolinos, and other crazed conspiracy theorists at all.

Trashing Italy is their big macho chance to let it all hang out. If you are interested in digging deeper:

(1) See the Machine’s crescendo on Ciolino and CBS here:


(2) The full group of Ciolino posts are here - the blistering top post is again by the Machine:


(3) And if you havent yet DO watch Kermit’s brilliant Powerpoint on the real railroading here (click).


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/18 at 05:35 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau has spoken at length about the case in an interview with Monocle:


Posted by The Machine on 03/25/18 at 12:32 AM | #

Barbie Nadeau came across very well in the interview. She is clearly an intelligent and articulate journalist who has an ethical commitment to the truth. She said there was enough evidence to convict Amanda Knox. She pointed out that Amanda Knox placed herself at the cottage when Meredith was killed and she knew specific details about the crime.

It’s a shame she didn’t mention other key pieces of evidence e.g. the mixed blood-evidence, the knife and bra clasp, the bloody footprint on the bathmat, the bare bloody footprints which were revealed by Luminol and the staged break-in because it would have helped anybody who isn’t acquainted with the facts of the case to understand why Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder by multiple experienced trial judges in Perugia and Florence.

I don’t agree with Barbie with regard to her claim that the lay judges in Perugia were swayed by the Italian media who had already convicted Knox and Sollecito because it has always been an open and shut case or her claim that the lay judges at the first appeal were more savvy. The Supreme Court slated the reasoning behind Hellmann’s acquittals. The lay judges at the first appeal are gullible simpletons who allowed Knox and Sollecito to get away with murder. I don’t know how they can sleep at night.

Posted by The Machine on 03/25/18 at 04:38 PM | #

Thanks for that link TM.

The radio interview is in two parts. The first is about the Meredith Kercher case and the second is about her book which I think was entitled “Sex, Guns and Drugs” or something like that. At any rate it was about people trafficking from Africa (specifically Nigeria) to Italy. This was definitely worth listening to and a bit of an eye opener for me. Most of these africans are women trafficked for prostitution in Italy and Europe, and this is controlled from the Italian end by organised crime and, in particular by the Mafia.

Her discussion of the Meredith Kercher case was pretty good. As you say, TM, she is intelligent and articulate. She overplays, perhaps because she is a reporter herself, what she thinks was media influence on the judicial process. She mentions, as examples of how that might come into play, the fact that none of the juries were sequestrated and that she was able to have conversations over coffee with one of the jurors in the trial, which is an interesting anecdote. However what she didn’t go into much was the difference between the two judicial systems to put some perspective into this.

In the anglo-saxon system we can have sequestration (although not all that frequent) and subjudice rules. One can see why that would be desirable given that we never get to know what is the rationale for a jury’s verdict, and hence can never be sure that outside influences did not come into play. Under the Italian system there has to be a fully rationalised motivation for the verdict. We can look at that to see if the rationale stands up to scrutiny on the evidence that was actually presented in court. If it does we can dispense with any notion that media influence played any part.

Personally I think that the media had little to no influence other than when they reported the opinions of extra-judicial, so-called “experts”, but even here I think these opinions got into to the case through avenues the media had not much to do with i.e through individuals who were directly involved in, or had personal connections to other individuals directly involved in, the case or the administration of justice generally.

Another fascinating anecdote was her mention of the horrendous and vile personal attacks and death threats she received in e-mails and text messages after she wrote her book “Angel Face”. She mentions that several of these (though not, I think, death threats) were from Chris Mellas.

She was also quite out of order in referring to “horrendous mistakes” by the forensic police. She did not say what these were, but the only mistake I can think of was the failure to collect the bra clasp immediately. Perhaps she thinks it was a mistake not to audio record the so-called interrogation? Perhaps she also buys into the notion that the police wiped all the computers? Who knows, but she would be wrong if she did.

As you say, TM, she didn’t really have anything to say about the evidence, other to say that it had led to her own personal conviction that Amanda Knox was involved in Meredith’s murder.

Posted by James Raper on 03/25/18 at 06:03 PM | #

Hi James,

The fact the bra clasp wasn’t collected immediately is irrelevant because DNA doesn’t fly and the cottage was a sealed crime scene.

Manuela Comodi pointed out in a recent interview with a journalist that it’s not unusual for the Scientific Police to collect evidence from sealed crime scenes over a period time .

Nobody has batted an eyelid over the fact David Burgess was convicted of murdering Yolande Waddington 46 years after the crime was committed thanks to the advances in DNA technology and Ronald Castree was convicted of murdering Lesley Molseed on the strength of DNA evidence 32 years later. These cases put the 6-week delay into perspective.

The burden of proof gets raised to an impossibly high level when it comes to the two white people - Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito - and gets lowered when it comes to the black man - Rudy Guede.

DNA evidence that was collected after 46 days can used as evidence against the black man, but it can’t be used against the white man.

LCN DNA evidence can be used against the black man, but it can’t be used against the white woman.

The crime scene is limited to Meredith’s room when considering the evidence against the two white people, but it includes the whole of the cottage when it comes to the black man.

Posted by The Machine on 03/25/18 at 07:23 PM | #

Great comments.

Barbie KNEW it was Chris Mellas stalking her because she received an abusive text message in court and turned around and there he was, phone in hand, grinning like a wolf at her (even Knox herself complained of his abusive tendencies). 

Anyway. She means a lot to us. Barbie’s name appeared in the title of 15 posts and in the content of about 50 others. The Rome group of foreign reporters with the two exceptions of Peter Popham (who didnt mater; one outlet) and Collen Barry (who did matter; the Associated Press has 2000 outlets) did an excellent job of the real-time stuff, and occasionally got into longer explanations. 

Half a loaf from Barbie in this interview seems to me pretty good in light of the following.

Barbie was one of the least equivocating (she did get tremendous backstopping by the powerful NY publisher & editor Tina Brown).

But anyone who resides and works in Italy is still forced into equivocating somewhat (more than us!) on the case, on the one hand, on the other hand, on the third hand…

(1) by the difamazione and colipendio laws which, for example Marasca and Bruno, could use against those openly saying their court was bent (fire away guys!);

(2) by the shadowy forces that actually bent that court and also Hellman’s and Boninsegna’s;

(3) by the the PR campaign’s endemic roared threats of lawsuits, up into the hundreds and maybe even thousands; and

(4) by the horrific stalking and threatening by the Fischer thugs, who tried hard to make unemployed any reporter who published hard truths.

Barbie has a fifth reason and sixth reason also.

(5) Guede had an unexplained roughing-up which caused him to withdraw somewhat. So did Barbie. Not a physical one, but some cops arrived at her place in Rome one night and seemed to have been put on to her to intimidate her. 

(6) The subtitle of “Angel Face” is “The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox”. In theory there could be legal moves against that (though the movie was “fictional based on…”).

However, the chances of any legal moves ever by the Knox forces seem extremely remote - as are the prospects of

(1) any reversal recommendations by the ECHR favoring Knox (which Marasca & Bruno of all people said should be dismissed); and

(2) any claim for damages by Knox for wrongful imprisonment, especially after RS’s claim was sharply shot down.


Here are some of the Barbie-related posts which are maybe worth rereading in this context. She interviewed the Kerchers several times.







Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/18 at 08:08 PM | #

Further to James’s media point.

There is an illusion that there were these nice cherubs faced with a unified media resembling a flaming hellhole.

But US and UK media often went head to head with one another and Italian reports (we quote many) were implacably factual. 

There were plenty of pro-Knox and pro-Sollecito stories. They had easy access to the outside and RS even ran a blog from prison.

All the leaks came from the defense PR.  And the PR was forever putting “Daffy Knox” out there. (That one was disappeared for the Hellman appeal.)

Meredith’s birthday was never noted; but we all got to hear what Knox was having for Christmas dinner.

And Knox, Sollecito and Guede all used the media to try to turn opinion against the two others.



At what point did millions of Italians come off the fence on Knox’s guilt in a hurry?

When they could see Knox on the stand on live TV for two days. No media intermediary. She came off as hard, brazen, callous, and dishonest.

Here was someone arrogantly and testily making the unbelievable claim that when a cop said boo to her, she was so weak and timid and confused that the result was a forced confession.

Quite a disjunction. Straight from the horse’s mouth. No media intervention. Naturally all eyes rolled upward.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/18 at 08:51 PM | #

Thank you, Krissy G. You shred Hampikian’s credibility. Ergon reveals Hamp’s blatant dishonesty. The Machine and James Raper add facts about DNA that nobody can refute, like the STR shows 29 out of 30 of Meredith’s alleles which is 96.6% certainty it’s her DNA on the knife.

Hampikian goes blind to this fact and worse, tries to shroud it with double-talk about low copy number.

Then there’s Ciolino jumping into the Innocence Project with both feet on behalf of Angel Face Miss Wiles aka Miss Not Sorry for Anything Knox. The result of Ciolino’s farcical blindness: now he’s being sued for bouncing way over the limits of ethics to get Simon to confess to murder to spring an already incarcerated murderer, and he influenced Simon with carrot and stick tactics, false promises of fame and various deceptions which have backfired. Now it has embroiled Ciolino in lawsuits.

He rushed to Perugia to pound on the door of an older lady earwitness to prove she couldn’t have heard Meredith scream from her not so distant apartment. He eyeballed the cottage. Then he was a trumpet of derision against Amanda’s prosecutors.

Hampikian tried to shred the firm DNA evidence against Knox with decoy reasoning and smoke grenades, verbal distractions.

Barbie Nadeau is now talking again about the case. Peter Quennell’s reminder of how Nadeau’s hands were tied by stringent libel laws and tight Italian standards, highlights Nadeau’s courage at the time of the Perugian trial when she was one of very few voices of reason who saw the case for guilt.

Flom and Hamp have a case of Typhoid Mary Marie Pace Knox. She works some bad juju on anybody led into her orbit as facile yes-men. You wouldn’t want to be there when they wake up and smell the coffee.

The Innocence Project may do a lot of good but like all large organizations, they are not infallible. Barry Scheck needs to double-check his team and insist on honesty, kick offenders to the curb.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/26/18 at 02:13 AM | #

@Hopeful: Too true - good summary.

Note on Instagram Knox and Partyrock showing off, and posing as champions of ‘truth’ and ‘justice’.

No doubt she sees herself as a heavyweight ‘exoneree’, as a murderer annulee, someone who never served her time for her despicable crime.

No wonder she can’t stop grinning.

Posted by KrissyG on 03/26/18 at 02:15 PM | #

Hopeful mentions Ciolino’s ludicrous intervention early in our case.

He was not in Perugia with a CBC cameraman in factfinding mode. He was out to get the police.

In a Powerpoint Kermit explained how badly he messed up. His “test” had runners running in the wrong place.

Click the image to view.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/18 at 06:15 PM | #

I wonder if there is even a single person in Perugia who does not see guilt. It just exploded out of the court day by day.

There were numerous exchanges at trial which had Knox & Sollecito looking like deer in the headlights. Too often their counsel as well.

The Italian media often helped out. Here on 7 February 2009 is how one telling exchange was reported. Knox had not knocked on Meredith’s door of course.

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

Filomena said she replied “But Amanda. I don’t understand. Explain to me, because there’s something odd. The door’s open. You take a shower. There’s blood. But where’s Meredith?... The door’s open. I go in. There’s blood. I take a shower? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think that that’s normal.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/28/18 at 09:28 PM | #

Excellent comments on a nice post from KrissyG.

One thing that makes me want to scream is the fact, never disputed by Sollecito to my knowledge, that his kitchen knife (one of the murder weapons) had been scrubbed with bleach.

In all my years of washing kitchen utensils, I have never, not once, used bleach to scrub anything which would then come into contact with my mouth. Never mind the horrible taste/smell that bleach would taint any food with, its also dangerous. Admittedly though, leaving the knife a long time under a running tap would wash the vast majority of the bleach away, rendering it a minor irritant at worst.

The officer who discovered the knife reported “a strong smell of bleach” from it suggesting that it would indeed have tainted any food it came into contact with. Funny stuff bleach, it certainly lingers.

Maybe it’s just me but washing kitchen utensils with bleach strikes me as highly abnormal and an activity only undertaken by someone who is trying to mask something else on said utensil.

I only use bleach on my toilet!

Posted by davidmulhern on 03/29/18 at 02:19 AM | #

Hi davidmulhearn:

Yes, despite the red-flag nature of a knife with a bleach smell to it, it remains one of the few “shiny objects” the dopey Knox apologists incessantly point to as incriminating - of the police.

Remember Sollecito didn’t say “that’s impossible” or “we bleached it” he actually did say he pricked Meredith with it when cooking - though she had never been to his place.

Another chunk disappears from the amazing shrinking island of the apologists.

And another one. Here’s our post back on 21 April 2009 when the knife evidence was being presented. It explain why, despite any bleaching, Meredith’s encrusted DNA had every chance of remaining on the knife.

[Post 21 April 2009]

Our DNA poster Nicki has been careful not to exaggerate the impact as evidence of the DNA on the knife found in Sollecito’s apartment.

She accepts that in the eyes of the court there could be question marks over the size of the sample and the fact that the tests could not be repeated.

However, as the knife appeared to have been thoroughly cleaned with bleach, some remain intrigued that any DNA at all was found.

Here is a short piece explaining why. This article by Juliet Lapidos was posted on the Slate site in November 2007. But we haven’t seen better, and it is still often referred to.

Slate 20 Nov 2007
How To Clean a Bloody Knife: Does DNA come off with soap and water?
By Juliet Lapidos NYTimes Staff Writer

Investigators in Perugia, Italy, have found new evidence linking a 20-year-old American exchange student, Amanda Knox, to the brutal stabbing death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher. According to the latest reports, Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raphael Sollecito, cleaned the alleged murder weapon—an 8-inch black-handled kitchen knife—with bleach. Nevertheless, police discovered Kercher’s DNA on the tip and Knox’s DNA by the handle. Is it possible to clean DNA off a knife?

Yes, if you know what you’re doing. Knox and Sollecito were on the right track: Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, an extremely corrosive chemical that can break the hydrogen bonds between DNA base pairs and thus degrade or “denature” a DNA sample. In fact, bleach is so effective that crime labs use a 10 percent solution (one part commercial bleach to nine parts water) to clean workspaces (PDF) so that old samples don’t contaminate fresh evidence. Likewise, when examining ancient skeletal remains (PDF), researchers first douse the remains in diluted bleach to eliminate modern DNA from the surface of bones or teeth.

So, why did Knox and Sollecito’s bleaching gambit fail? It’s difficult to swab a knife thoroughly. Dried blood can stick to the nooks and crannies in a wood handle, to the serrated edge of a blade, or become lodged in the slit between the blade and the hilt. With help from a Q-tip, it’s possible to eliminate most stains, but what’s not visible to the naked eye might still be visible to a microscope, and sophisticated crime labs need only about 10 cells to build a DNA profile.

Bleach is perhaps the most effective DNA-remover (though evidently no methodology is failsafe), but it’s not the only option. Deoxyribonuclease enzymes, available at biological supply houses, and certain harsh chemicals, like hydrochloric acid, also degrade DNA strands. It’s even possible to wipe a knife clean of DNA-laden hair follicles, saliva, and white blood cells with generic soap and warm water. The drawback to this last method is that the tell-tale cells don’t just disappear once off the knife. They linger on sponges, in drains, and even in sink traps, where wily investigators search for trace evidence.

[More from post April 2009] There appears to be a great deal more DNA evidence than merely what is on the knife, of course, and early in the trial the known luminol-evidence universe also expanded.

The court was told that AK-sized and RS-sized footprints appeared under luminol on the floor of Filomena’s room.

Nicki’s two Powerpoints on the DNA can be seen here and here and Kermit’s Powerpoint (pre the new evidence) on the luminol can be seen here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/29/18 at 03:45 PM | #

Yeah, absolutely Pete, I recall vividly Sollecito’s ludicrous nonsense about Meredith pricking her hand whilst cooking fish at his place. A lie further embellished by him saying that she had said “it’s ok” or something similar when he administered first aid.

I think it was years later that he admitted that she had never been to his apartment and that he had made the story up. He must have caught Knox’s “best truth” disease although he very clearly just panicked that something might be found on the knife and tried to get ahead of it with the wholly made up cooking story. The boy is a moron.

Posted by davidmulhern on 03/31/18 at 02:23 AM | #

@davidmulhern Actually, it was Amanda Knox who dropped Raff in it.  She told police Meredith had never been at his apartment, before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’.

She was very good at grassing on everybody around her.

Posted by KrissyG on 03/31/18 at 10:07 PM | #

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