Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ominous Development For Sollecito And Knox: A DNA Conviction Based On A Tiny Sample Of DNA

Posted by The Machine



[Burgess, image below, murdered Yolande Waddington and, above, Jeanette Wigmore and Jacqueline Williams]


There is a HUGE dagger hanging over Sollecito and Knox. A UK case resolved this week indicates why.

New tests on the DNA sample on the large knife found in Sollecito’s house which the independent DNA experts refused to do, and the judges failed to re-order despite a strong prosecution request, could result in Knox and Sollecito being ultimately convicted and secure Knox’s extradition to serve out her term.

Lawyers consider it a dead certainty that the Supreme Court will order those tests -  that is if they dont throw out the entire Hellman/Zanetti judgment for illegal scope, or throw out the DNA report for illegally having been ordered in the first place.


(1) Summary of the UK case

David Burgess this week was convicted in Reading of murdering Yolande Waddington, 17, some 46 years after the crime was committed, thanks to all the advances in DNA technology. Back then, he was already convicted of killing Jeanette Wigmore and Jacqueline Williams.

Burgess is the latest person in Britain to have been finally found guilty of murder years after his crime was committed. Nat Fraser, Gary Dobson and David Norris had been convicted of murder this year after evading justice for a number of years.

In September 2010, Thames Valley Police reviewed the case and with advances in DNA techniques finally gathered the evidence which resulted in Burgess being convicted of Yolande Waddington’s murder.

Forensic experts obtained a partial DNA profile from the blood samples using a new technique called MiniFiler. It differs from previous methods as it can obtain information from smaller pieces of DNA. This is ideal for older cases where samples have degraded over time.

According to the manufacturer’s website

[The MiniFiler kit] increases your ability to obtain DNA results from compromised samples that previously would have yielded limited or no genetic data. This means cold cases can come off the shelf for re-analysis and new, challenging samples have a better chance of delivering interpretable results.

When David Burgess attacked Yolande, he left blood on a number of Yolande’s items, including her hair band and comb. Tests showed the chances of the DNA found on the comb and hair band not being Burgess’s were not more than one in a billion.


[Below: David Burgess then and now who had taunted the police a year ago to “prove it”]




(2) Here are the implications for RS and AK

It puts the 46-day delay (caused by the defenses) in retrieving the bra clasp into perspective.

It’s not the first case of somebody being convicted of murder decades after the crime took place on the strength of DNA evidence. Ronald Castree was convicted of murdering Lesley Molseed 32 years later.

It also highlights the arrogant negligence of the DNA consultants Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti who had refused to carry out ordered test on the knife for flimsy reasons (“the technology is experimental” when it wasn’t) that no US or UK court would have accepted. They had been specifically instructed to do the tests if possible by Judge Hellmann.

At trial in 2009 it was accepted that Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the knife sequestered from Sollecito’s kitchen. There still is no argument about that.

And a number of independent forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Francesca Torricelli and former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano - had all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was found on the blade.

Even Greg Hampikian, a forensic expert who argues Knox is innocent, concedes that Meredith’s DNA was definitely found on the blade.

Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti didn’t know that Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife a long six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. Contamination couldn’t possibly have occurred in the laboratory after so long a gap.

At the appeal, Professor Guiseppe Novelli testified that there are a number of laboratories that now have the latest accepted technology to carry out a new test on the remaining DNA on the knife.

The fact that Judge Hellmann denied the prosecution the opportunity to present evidence to the contrary was a violation of the procedure code. Italian law states the following:

If new evidence about a point is admitted, evidence a contrario proposed by the opposing party must always be admitted too.

Dr Giovanni Galati has now argued in his appeal to the Supreme Court that Judge Hellmann should have allowed a new test to be performed because the technology is NOT experimental but cutting edge. Summary here:

The second [point concerns] the decision to not allow a new forensic investigation requested by the prosecution at the end of the ruling discussion. In the appeal to Cassation it is written that the Appeal Court’s rejection reveals “contradictoriness/contrariness and demonstrates manifest illogicality in the grounds for the judgement/reasoning report”.

As remarked at the top, if the entire judgment or the DNA report are not thrown out for illegal scope, Judge Hellman’s refusal to allow the prosecution’s request to allow a new test on the knife will be the main reason why his verdict will be revoked.

Under Italian law RS and AK still stand accused until the Supreme Court signs off. Anyone who is concerned with the truth and justice and what Meredith stood for and the good name of Italy will want to know whether the remaining DNA on the knife is Meredith’s.

If Meredith’s DNA is identified on the knife it should make conviction and extradition a slam dunk..


[Below: ViaDellaPergola’s video first posted 18 months ago and still relevant]




Comments

Great catch Here are two key posts on the ridiculously klutzy “independent” Conti-Vecchiotti DNA review.

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/analysis_suggests_the_conti-vecchiotti_dna_review_is_weak_tendentious_/

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/is_the_conti-vecchiotti_dna_review_defamatory_stefanoni_believes_so_an/

Though he didnt admit this conflict of interest as he should have, Judge Zanetti who wrote the sentencing report is friends with one of them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/21/12 at 06:34 PM | #

I was just curious and looked up in Scopus for the list of publications for S. Conti and C. Vecchiotti. This is what I found:

Conti, S.
3 (total number of publications)
Medicine ; Neuroscience
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Rome, Italy

Conti S from University of Rome has only three publications listed. None listed on his CV in the university site (http://www.farmaciamedicina.uniroma1.it/files/CV/CV_CONTI_STEFANO_EN.pdf)

Under his skills he has listed as Personal skills and competences: Director of I°st level Department of Forensic Science – Aerospace medicine section, Flight investigations

This is really strange!

and for the other:

Vecchiotti, Carla
Vecchiotti, C.
24 (total number of publications)
Medicine ; Social Sciences ; Immunology and Microbiology; ...
Universit? degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Rome, Italy

CV has only one publication listed in Scopus in the last 5 years.

They have no joint paper (with each other). CV has some single author papers. SC has none.

Greg Hampikian by the way has only 17 publications so far, in diverse areas. A quick search shows:

Hampikian, Greg K.
Hampikian, G. K.
Hampikian, Greg
Hampikian, Gregory
17 (total publications)
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology ; Medicine ; Agricultural and Biological Sciences; ...
Boise State University
Boise, United States

Posted by chami on 07/21/12 at 07:42 PM | #

I find it almost beyond belief that the defence and all the associated groupies,hippies,wannabe journalist bloggers and friends of Amanda Knox always shout and scream about “6 weeks later” they find the bra clasp after it had been “kicked around the room” - when in fact it was they that delayed going back to the house which had actually been sealed and guarded as a crime scene!
Why would anyone walk into a sealed murder scene and start kicking the bra clasp around?
Who would do that?
Who could do that?
It was recorded that the clasp was found and needed to be collected, but it was the defence that delayed the collection.
More skullduggery on the part of the defence methinks.

Posted by Black Dog on 07/21/12 at 11:53 PM | #

Re-testing the knife shouldn’t even have been necessary since almost everyone, C-V excepted, agrees Meredith’s DNA was on the blade. But since C-V have refused to acknowledge that this DNA existed, all possible efforts to re-confirm the finding should be authorized. Honestly there are so many things that trouble me about C-V, from how they were appointed, to how their brief was worded, to their choice to emphasize contamination over reliability in their report, to their grandstanding in court, to Vecchiotti subsequently inviting Bruce Budowle to speak in Italy. I look forward to what Galati has to say but it all screams bias to me.

Posted by brmull on 07/22/12 at 12:43 AM | #

I wish someone expert could answer this. Is there really a possibility that they overtune the acquittal and get Knox/Sollecito jailed??? I have read that it won’t be easy despite the DNA test confirm AK/RS were the perpetrators.  What are the chances?

Posted by lulupr on 07/22/12 at 02:50 AM | #

Lulupr,

My understanding—and this is based largely on what Popper told us—is that Cassation has a lot more discretion than appeals courts in other countries.

If they say they don’t necessarily agree with Hellmann’s decision but they are powerless to reverse it, that would be a lie.

So the only question is whether justice prevails or whether politics prevails. I put the chances between 10% and 90% 😊

Posted by brmull on 07/22/12 at 03:52 AM | #

The Machine,

Could you please elaborate on this whole business of retesting the knife - there are bits I still don’t get.

Did Helmann ask C and V to test the knife, if possible? If they refused, where did the “rye bread” test come from - was this some other test? Do you know what part of the knife was tested and where was the supposed starch found, and in what quantity? The whole issue seems obscure to me, Folain doesn’t really cover it, and most of what I can read about it comes from pro Knox sources. Thanks.

Posted by John Forbes on 07/22/12 at 04:06 AM | #

Hi John,

Judge Hellmann specifically instructed Conti and Vecchiotti to carry out new tests on the knife and Meredith’s bra, if it was possible. They refused to do this even though it was possible.

Professor Novelli testified that there was another DNA trace on the blade that could have been tested using cutting-edge technology that it is available in a number of laboratories. The prosecution asked Judge Hellmann for a new test on the remaining DNA. He refused and in doing so he violated the procedure code which states that the opposing party must be allowed to admit evidence to the contrary if new evidence is admitted.

Incidentally, Professor Novelli also claims that Meredith’s DNA was definitely on the blade and he categorically excluded any possibility that contamination could have occurred in the laboratory. He said that 100 samples had been examined in the same laboratory room during the six days prior to the examination of the knife and after. He personally checked the results of all these tests and he did not find any contamination from Meredith’s DNA.

Conti and Vecchiotti didn’t visit the laboratories of the scientific police or ask about their cleaning procedures. They didn’t know that the negative tests had been filed with another judge. They didn’t know that Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA or that she last handled Sollecito’s DNA 12 days before she analysed the bra clasp. Vecchiotti conceded in court that these procedures rule out contamination in the laboratory.

Comodi said that the gloves used by the forensic police contain starch and this explains why starch was found on the knife.

Posted by The Machine on 07/22/12 at 05:14 AM | #

Good response.

The prosecution and their expert witnesses were pretty scathing over the C&V report over several days and they rocked C&V back on their heels. The defense tried to stop Dr Stefanoni testifying in rebuttal but Judge Hellman allowed it. Some posts:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/is_the_conti-vecchiotti_dna_review_defamatory_stefanoni_believes_so_an/

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

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

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

It looked to us like Judge Hellman would accept the prosecution request for the new test; or if he refused (as he did) at least reflect the prosecution position accurately to make himself secure with the Supreme Court.

But no. The Sentencing Report is weak - and we now know that Judge Zannetti did the writing. The starch was a side issue. C&V seemed completely unaware it could have come from the lubricant for the gloves and they dried up on that.

Below: Professor Novelli is called the father of criminal genetics in Italy. The startling match of Meredith’s DNA in Dt Stefanoni’s first testing can be seen in the charts in ViaDellaPergola’ss video.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/22/12 at 05:48 AM | #

Hi Chami

Yes… passing strange! Well done. That is very helpful. If there is enough of the “nothing there” this could be worth a post for sure. Over to you.

As to how Dr Conti got the job we suspect a link to Judge Zanetti. One of the Italian posters on PMF first turned that up.

Click on the links in my comment just above yours here and read what Dr Stefanoni had to say about the dismal pair. It will make you laugh.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/22/12 at 07:54 AM | #

Very good answers. Just to add regarding the “rye bread” test: What C-V did that Stefanoni didn’t do was to look at the swabs from the knife blade under a microscope. There they saw starch granules in several places. They also saw some debris which could not be further identified. Any type of vegetable matter contains starch, and the gloves used in labs are often coated with starch to make the gloves easier to put on. As far as I know, sophisticated chemical testing to identify the exact type of starch was not done. This means the “rye bread” story is another FOA lie.

The quantities of starch were small, except for sample H which was taken at the point where the knife blade meets the handle. Small amounts of DNA were also detected which could have potentially been identified with new technology. These include samples A, D, H and especially I (the latter is also where the blade meets the handle). From the quantification it looks like both male and female DNA was present, so it’s really a gamble hoping that some of it is Meredith’s DNA despite two previous swabs. The new ultra-high sensitivity methods could turn up DNA from technicians in which case the re-test would backfire on the prosecution.

Posted by brmull on 07/22/12 at 07:57 AM | #

Pete,

Regarding the authorship of the “Hellmann Report” I noticed on page 93 of the original Italian (the DNA section) Hellmann is referred to as “the President”. Zanetti is not quoted by name in the report at all. When there was something Zanetti said in court, it’s phrased as “it was said”, for example. Since people don’t usually refer to themselves in the third person, this seems like further evidence that Zanetti wrote the DNA section.

Posted by brmull on 07/22/12 at 08:32 AM | #

In earlier days, talc was the material of choice (strange but true, it is a lubricant) but soon starch was used instead of talc as it is cheaper. In all likelyhood, the startch used is from corn (the cheapest source) but in some countries potato starch is more often used. The basic purpose (i) is to prevent the plastic films sticking with each other thereby making it difficult to open (ii) and more importantly acting as a dessicant to absorb the moisture released as sweat/ perspiration making it more comfortable to use.

Yes, you cannot conclude the source of the starch without extensive and expensive testing. Just deciding on the basis of the shapes and sizes of the granules is not usually conclusive.

There is no firm evidence of “rye-bread”. After cooking and baking, the granules break and becomes a glue like consistency. I doubt if any intact granules could be present in baked rye bread.

Posted by chami on 07/22/12 at 09:19 AM | #

Brilliant - just been finishing text for today based on yours and Cardiol’s and this:

***

http://nourishingobscurity.com/

Judge Hellmann specifically instructed Conti and Vecchiotti to carry out new tests on the knife and Meredith’s bra, if it was possible. They refused to do this even though it was possible.

Professor Novelli testified that there was another DNA trace on the blade that could have been tested using cutting-edge technology that it is available in a number of laboratories. The prosecution asked Judge Hellmann for a new test on the remaining DNA. He refused and in doing so he violated the procedure code which states that the opposing party must be allowed to admit evidence to the contrary if new evidence is admitted.

Incidentally, Professor Novelli also claims that Meredith’s DNA was definitely on the blade and he categorically excluded any possibility that contamination could have occurred in the laboratory. He said that 100 samples had been examined in the same laboratory room during the six days prior to the examination of the knife and after. He personally checked the results of all these tests and he did not find any contamination from Meredith’s DNA.

Conti and Vecchiotti didn’t visit the laboratories of the scientific police or ask about their cleaning procedures. They didn’t know that the negative tests had been filed with another judge. They didn’t know that Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA or that she last handled Sollecito’s DNA 12 days before she analysed the bra clasp. Vecchiotti conceded in court that these procedures rule out contamination in the laboratory.

Comodi said that the gloves used by the forensic police contain starch and this explains why starch was found on the knife. </em></blockquote>

***

...  just adds the last touch.

The further and further one goes into Hellman and Zanetti, let alone C&V, the more ludicrous it seems.  Schoolboy stuff.  Whatever were they thinking, expecting that to be the last word?

Posted by James Higham on 07/22/12 at 11:22 AM | #

Chami

Stefano Conti’s curriculum vitae from italian sources.

Born in Rome on 28th February 1952.

Degree in Medicine in 1986 (no trace of “summa cum laude” nor PhD in his records)

Assistant professor (“ricercatore”) in University of Rome “La Sapienza”  since 30th April, 2002.

The committee during that selection, held in Rome in 2002, was composed of :
professor Paolo Martini, president;
professor Elvira Della Casa, member;
professor Colomba Calcagni, secretary.

Candidates were:
Rossana Cecchi;
Costantino Ciallella;
Stefano Conti;
Alessandro Del Rio;
Francesco Paolo Iapichino;
Enrico Marinelli;
Monica Nicoletti.

Now, let we see: 2002-1952 = 50 thus, this man – who is N_O_T a professor, full or associate - became assistant professor at age of 50 when a decent student reaches this position at age of 28.

About the Europass CV please note that in Italy, as far as I know, in hospitals jargon, director of 1st level means “doctor” while director of 2nd level means “director” (“primario” in the past).

Posted by ncountryside on 07/22/12 at 02:31 PM | #

Chami.

Gia’ che ci siamo vediamo pure:

Carla Vecchiotti’s curriculum vitae from italian sources.

Born in Capena on 5th July 1951.

Degree in Medicine in 1976 with “summa cum laude” (no PhD in her records)

…...

Inspector of Italian Railway “Ferrovie dello Stato” in 1978.

…...

Assistant professor in 1983 University of Rome “La Sapienza”

…...

>> Selection for Associate Professor held in Second University of Naples on 12th September 2001.

The committee during that selection, held in Naples in 2001, was composed of :
professor Marcello Canale, president;
professor Ranieri Domenici, member;
professor Goffredo Sciaudone, member;
professor. Alessandro Bucarelli, member;
professor Cosimo Lore’, secretary.

Candidates were:
Bruni Maurizio
Campanile Vito Antonio
Carella Prada Ozrem
Cialella Costantino
Crisci Antonello
Fattorini Paolo
Fedeli Piergiorgio
Feola Tommaso
Furnari Carmelo
Landi Raffaele
Marinelli Enrico
Pietralunga Susanna
Vecchiotti Carla
Villanova Matteo
Zaami Simona

Carla Vecchiotti failed.

>> Selection for Associate Professor held in University of Bologna on 11th October 2005.

The committee during that selection, held in Bologna, was composed of :
professor Giovanni Beduschi;
professor Alberto Cicognani;
professor Guglielmo Masotti;
professor Elisabetta Bertol;
professor Ernesto D’Aloja;

Candidates were:
Susi Pelotti;
Carla Vecchiotti.

Winner Susi Pelotti

>> Carla Vecchiotti “called” in Rome “La Sapienza” as associate professor on 30th October 2007 and confirmed on 29th August 2011. (While it is easy to find documents in Bologna about that selection, it is “strangely” impossible to find anything about the “call” in Rome)

Now, let we see again: 2011-1951 = 60 thus, this woman became associate professor at age of 60.

Posted by ncountryside on 07/22/12 at 02:42 PM | #

Hi ncountryside,

Here are Professor Novelli’s academic credentials:

Giuseppee Novelli is Head of the Human Genetics Research Unit at The Tor Vergata University of Rome (Italy) and Dean of the Medical School in the same University. He graduated with a BSc in Biology from Urbino University in 1981 and achieved his PhD in Medical Genetics at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1985.

Since 1981, Professor Novelli has collaborated with Unité de Recherches de Biologie Prénatale INSERM U.73, Paris (France), Groupe de Génétique Moléculaire INSERM U.91 Créteil (France), the University ofSouthern California (Los Angeles, USA) and the Catholic University of Rome.

Professor Novelli is member of the National Committee on Cloning (Italian Ministry of Health) consultant to the Criminal Police Division of Science and DNA analysis, Rome; member of the National Committee (Italian Ministry of Research) in Molecular Genetics; consultant to GlaxoWellcome (Verona, Italy); Reviewer of INSERM (France) for scientific projects; member of the National Committee of Cell Stem Research (Italian Ministry of Health); member of the National Committee of Post-Genomic Project (Italian Ministry of Research); director of the Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Tor Vergata Hospital School; member of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development); member of National Committee Biotechnology, President of Italian Ministry; member of National Committee on Genetic Testing; member of the «GROUPE D’EXPERTS EN GENETIQUE MOLECULAIRE» Maladies neurologiques, musculaires, neuro-sensorielles et retards mentaux. Ministère de la santé, de la famille et des personnes handicapées (France). He’s also reviewer of many international journals and a member of the American Society of Human Genetics (USA); the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG); the American Association for the Advancement of Science (USA); the Human Genome Organization (HUGO); the Italian Society of Human Genetics (SIGU); and the World Muscle Society (WMS). He is member of Pharmacogenetics Working Party (PgWP), the CHMP Expert Group on Pharmacogenetics for EMA (European Medicines Agency).

http://www.bio-nmd.eu/partners/university-of-rome-tor-vergata/

Posted by The Machine on 07/22/12 at 03:47 PM | #

@ncountryside,

These experts (CV and SC) do not add to the credit (should I say glory) of the court.

If I say that they were selected not for their expertise in the subject area but for their pliability, plasticity and maellability, will I be offending anyone?

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

Posted by chami on 07/22/12 at 05:45 PM | #

“If Meredith’s DNA is identified on the knife it should make conviction and extradition a slam dunk..”

I would love for that to be the case, but im afraid that politics will survive…...And I can’t believe that the US government would extradite her…There would be too much backlash, no matter how sad that is….

Posted by Admire on 07/22/12 at 06:54 PM | #

Hi Admire,

If the American government refused to extradite Amanda Knox, they would be publicly condoning sexual assault and murder. However, I think there will be a shift in public opinion towards Amanda Knox in America, if Meredith’s DNA is identified on the knife.

Posted by The Machine on 07/22/12 at 07:42 PM | #

Hi Admire

We strongly dont take that point of view on extradition. We dont believe political pressure if any was high-level and nor would it ever be. Hillary Clinton at one point refused to act on the request of Senator Cantwell. The level of the American embassy in Rome is most looked at. Here is a further analysis first posted last thursday.

********

Extradition issues are handled by the judiciary and it would up to a judge to decide.

The State Department might argue against but there is no obvious reason why. If any new appeal trial is fair why should they?

Judicially and in police terms Italy and the US really get along. And they both need for their extradition treaties to work to get their own perps on the lam sent back.

If AK was not sent back a worldwide warrant would be issued through Interpol and AK would never be able to do any foreign travel in her life.

My guess is if she has her own way she would go back and serve her term.

Italian prisons aint so bad, she’d be out in just a few years, she’d be miles away from creeps like Bruce Fischer, and as Italy is very forgiving she could decide to live there the rest of her life.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/22/12 at 11:24 PM | #

Why were Conti and Vecchiotti appointed by Judge Hellmann when they are considerably less qualified and less experienced than the prosecution’s experts?

http://perugiamurderfile.org/download/file.php?style=8&id=6617

http://perugiamurderfile.org/download/file.php?style=8&id=6618

Posted by The Machine on 07/23/12 at 01:03 AM | #

Machine and Brmull,

Thanks for the replies. I wasn’t aware that Hellmann had specifically asked for a retest. I had read about the gloves and talc. I was wondering as to the quantities of starch/talc found. If these were minuscule, would it not be more in keeping with the prosecution’s argument that the blade had been vigorously washed.

Posted by John Forbes on 07/23/12 at 03:00 AM | #

James Higham has picked up the baton nicely.

http://nourishingobscurity.com/2012/07/22/amanda-knox-giovanni-galati-and-the-wheels-of-justice/

Troll alert on the commenters though. One of them (Bob M) tries to make this perpetually wrong point.

“There is evidence of one, and only one, person in the bloody bedroom where the assault/murder took place–Rudy Guede, a known drifter in desperate need of money. Thus, a burglary gone wrong–unfortunately, this happens all too often.”

Actually it is Bob M’s mistake that happens all too often. Even the Knox and Sollecito defenses didnt ever ever ever argue this.

Even the defenses didnt believe in the lone wolf theory. They knew it wouldn’t fly. They avoided the mixed blood and rearranged bedroom and missing footsteps evidence like the plague, of course.

But most damningly for th e lone wolf theory, contradictory witnesses Aviello and Alessi were both introduced BY THE DEFENSES to explain the obvious fact of three attackers in the room and marks on Meredith’s body.

(And of course Rudy Guede wasnt a “known drifter”. He had an apartment of his own, nar Sollecito’s, and hadnt been back in Perugia from his job up north very long.)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/23/12 at 03:56 AM | #

John,

I would characterize the starch granules as occasional, except at the base of the blade where they are more numerous.

You probably know about the IIP translation of the C-V report. You can see the microscope photos starting on page 30:

http://knoxdnareport.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/translation-of-the-conti-vecchiotti-report2.pdf

Starch is a sticky substance and when it gets caked on it can be hard to wash off. In contrast, blood cells lyse in plain water and would come off a blade very easily, unless the blood has been allowed to dry on the blade, in which case it might be harder.

It seems plausible that the molecules of Meredith’s DNA that Stefanoni found were embedded in the speck of debris she saw on the blade, which shielded this DNA from the cleaning.

How vigorously the knife would have needed to be cleaned depends on how much blood was on the knife to begin with and how quickly it was cleaned. As you may know there are different opinions around here as to how extensively this knife was used in the attack.

Posted by brmull on 07/23/12 at 05:57 AM | #

I keep getting the feeling that the appointment of Hellman and C&V was the establishments way of brushing this under the carpet.

Posted by starsdad on 07/23/12 at 05:09 PM | #

Hi Starsdad.

Thats not really our take. There’s no sign that the establishment conspired either to frame the pair or to convict them or now to let them off.

And it is hard to think of anyone in Italy who is more establishment than Dr Galati. His appeal is not designed to make the case go away.

Judge Zanetti wrote the report and presumably is the one with a soft spot for the pair. He was an odd choice for the appeal trial, as we have been discussing, and his friend the DNA consultant Dr Conti was equally odd.

Judge Zanetti has a history of using such consultancies, over in his regular civil trials. There they make some sense, if you want to break a stalemate between litigants or experts. Here though the consultancy made no sense at all.

There would have been zero room for dispute if only all the defense had witnessed Dr Stefanoni’s tests. And as our appeal post below explains, it was probably not legal at all at the appeal stage.

The consultancy report seems to have been ghost written in America and to have fallen far short. It conclude only with innuendo, and as the Machine above said C&V didnt even know some basic facts.

As Cardiol shows in the first post in his analysis, shooting the Zanetti report down is like shooting fish in a barrel. A target-rich environment. Dr Galati obviously concluded the same thing.

It looks like the appeal is in good shape.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/23/12 at 07:11 PM | #

When RS learned that the police had collected his knife from his flat, he casually attributed the presence of Meredith’s blood (“if it is there, it is because…) to “accidentally pricking her hand while we were cooking together at home”.

As I understand it, he volunteered this explanation (to Papa?) without even having been asked. Upon hearing this tale (from whom??) AK shot it down by confirming that Meredith had never set foot in Raf’s bedsit.

Was any of this ever discussed in court? Or was it just worried chitchat between the perps and their parents on visiting day?

Posted by mimi on 07/24/12 at 12:47 AM | #

mimi,

As Popper explained it, Raffaele’s statements could not be introduced because the defense refused to let him take the stand.

I see considerable evidence that Knox and Sollecito argued about how to proceed in the aftermath of the killing. Knox wanted to go all in with the cover-up. Sollecito blamed Knox for involving him and didn’t want to dig himself in any deeper. Good for him, because the “fish story” shows that he is a horrible liar.

Posted by brmull on 07/24/12 at 01:40 AM | #

Oh how I hope the Supreme Court orders more tests on the knife, as Hellmann hadnt wanted. If that knife has Meredith’s DNA on it, we have undeniable proof that Amanda and Raf one or both used the knife on her and carried it away from the crime. It seems with so much hanging in the balance about this knife, any amount of testing is justified to reach scientific certainty that would stop politics from calling the shots.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/24/12 at 03:28 AM | #

“I am convinced that she could not have killed Meredith and then come back home. The fact that there is Meredithʹs DNA on the kitchen knife is because on one occasion, while we were cooking together, I, while moving around at home [and] handling the knife, pricked her hand, and I apologized at once but she was not hurt [lei non si era fatta niente]. So the only real explanation for that kitchen knife is this one.”

Page 9 of Raffaele’s prison diary of 7 November 2007 which starts: “Dear father and big sister mainly, and all those who will read these lines.”

Download: http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?p=59966#p59966

That diary sure backs up brmull’s remark that after they were arrested no love was lost between the two.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/24/12 at 04:49 AM | #

The “fish story” is Sollecito’s acknowledgment that Meredith’s DNA could have been on the knife. He goes on to acknowledge that Meredith’s DNA could also be found on “rags”, etc. Fortunately for him the police didn’t find it. As I tell the innocentisti who don’t believe the police could have been so lucky as to recover Sollecito’s DNA from the bra clasp: You win a few, you lose a few.

Posted by brmull on 07/24/12 at 06:28 AM | #

Wow. So he actually wrote “the FACT that there is M’s DNA on the knife”? No wonder they muzzled him. And she was “not hurt”. Bleeding, but not complaining of pain? Even a papercut hurts!

I happened to watch Inspector Lewis last night. (Grew up on Morse). As with most British murder mysteries, you know that the body count will rise exponentially as the episode continues. Being set at Oxford, the victims in Morse and Lewis inevitably include students. Much as they try to put the victims into a family/ relationship context and show that someone is grieving their demise, it always comes off, at least to me, as gratuitous waste of life for the sake of a plot.

I have the impression that AK watched far more telly than RS. I never saw CSI (her favorite?) but I think that she was able to distance her emotional reaction to Meredith’s death as though it were just another write-off for the sake of the plot. Her suffering still grips me, and I think it is a fundamental aspect that the FOA and KM’s have closed their minds to. Meredith was not a rabbit that ran into the road. We will never let them forget that!

Posted by mimi on 07/24/12 at 07:17 AM | #

Well said Mimi.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 07/24/12 at 12:38 PM | #

This is good news of course and while I do not wish to digress there is another aspect of this case which has almost been forgotten. Certainly the forces of evil wish to sweep it under the carpet. That is the forgotten fact the Rude Guede didn’t flush the toilet yet he is in jail among the general prison population and easily threatened thereby.

If you intuit the human condition failure to flush
either before or after a crime is the complete height of stupidity and Guede being at least ‘Street Smart’ enough not to be caught, would think of that. Point is I believe his story, at least in part, and one day soon he will be free and able to tell the truth. Therefore if you consider the above article (congratulations by the way) taken with the eventual freedom of Guede then it is only a matter of time.

Of course there are people such as the mysterious Bruce fisher and the hysterical non-entity Michelle Moore who will do anything including slander to get their little blue eyed angel off.

But that is coming to an end since there is no statute of limitations on murder. When the truth comes out particularly Guede’s eventual freedom and the improved methods of DNA analysis I fully expect Amanda Knox to just disappear only to be eventually caught following the old British mob rule called ‘The Hue and Cry’

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/24/12 at 07:48 PM | #


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