Thursday, September 06, 2012

Dissecting The Hellmann Report #5: Their Obfuscation of Time of Death and Of Legal Blameworthiness

Posted by Cardiol MD

[View down on Meredith’s very well-lit house from the apartment above witness Madame Nara Capezzali’s]

Surreal Documentary Context

We have a very surreal situation on our hands. One perhaps without legal precedent. As previously in this series the legal document being analysed here is the Hellmann-Zanetti appeal report. 

1) No main media in the US or UK have put that appeal report into English or done any serious legal analysis.

2) Nor have they translated the original trial report by Judge Massei or done any serious analysis of that.

3) Nor have they translated the tough and detailed appeal to the Supreme Court by the Chief Prosecutor of Umbria, Dr Galat, which was summarised and analysed by Yummi here. The meticulous PMF translation team should complete its translation soon.

4) None of the books on the case at present bring the legal developments up to the present or get into the details of the very tough Galati appeal.

Meanwhile the Knox and Sollecito teams are racing to get out their books in the US, with media interviews being scheduled, presumably in the hope that this vacuum of hard facts described above continues and they can fill it with their own kind of PR spin.

Of course none of this impinges on pending legal events in Italy where interested Italians have a radically different and more informed view. Except only to make sure everything is done correctly and firmly to the letter. 

As usual, Knox and Sollecito are coming across as if they are on a different planet. Not one good lawyer seems to be explaining things to them, or even be of top of things for that matter.

On Hellmann-Zanetti on Time of Death

In this series, my previous posts explained the distortions and illogicalities in the Hellmann-Zanetti appeal report in the passages on the calunnia (false blaming of Patrick), witness Curatolo, and witness Quintavalle, and also the seeming prejudicial language used throughout. 

Vital reading in advance of this post is Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death by my fellow lawyer James Raper.

He explained the difficulties of being precise about Meredith’s time of death, and he commented on Hellman-Zanetti as follows.

The first point to note here is that Hellmann misinterprets the first Court’s findings. He ignores the fact that the first Court did determine a TOD between 11pm and 11.30 pm as probable based on the pathology alone, and gave reasons for this.

None of the expert testimony is rehearsed, let alone re-evaluated by Hellmann.  He proceeds merely to discredit the reliability of the witnesses as to the other elements such as the scream etc.

One recalls that Nara Capezzali says that she heard a scream sometime between 11 and 11.30 pm. That there was a broken down car and the breakdown driver came and went between perhaps 11 and 11.15 pm.

As mentioned earlier his hypothesizing about the other elements leads him to a TOD of not later than 10.13 pm although this time seems a very random one based on what he presents. He talks in this section about Guede’s statement that he arrived at the cottage at 9 pm.

One suspects that if Hellmann could have fixed the time of death at 9.15 pm or 9.30 pm then he would have done so as either time would be a get out of jail free card for Knox and Sollecito.  He did not, but he got them out of jail nevertheless with his hypothesizing - here and elsewhere in his report.

So perhaps not surprisingly Dr Galati in his appeal to Cassation devotes nearly 3000 words to taking apart Hellmann-Zanetti’s arguments on Time of Death, under these 4 headings:

  • Defect or manifest lack of logic in the sentencing report
  • The intercepted chat [Guede on Skype]
  • Meredith’s mobile phones
  • The testimony of the three women [Capezzali, Monacchia, and Dramis]

Hellmann-Zanetti is politely but explicitly excoriated. In Dr Galati’s summarising of his own arguments he states this:

The claimed timing of the death of Meredith Kercher demonstrates a manifest illogicality in the reasoning, contains an unfounded assessment, and is manifestly in contrast with other court documentation of the case.

The internal and external inconsistencies of Hellmann’s statements on the topic constitute [yet another] violation of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Here are some examples of H/Z’s flood of reasons-to-doubt AK/RS’s guilt listed under Time of Death and not specifically mentioned in previous Dissections [my emphases]:

  • Capezzalli “…was not able to pinpoint an exact time…”
  • “…the source of those [the scream and other] noises is not certain at all….”
  • “…Monacchia’s testimony does not allow the time of the scream to be pinpointed at 11:30 PM, rather than at 11 PM or even before.”
  • “…she heard a loud scream of a woman, of which she could not however locate the source with certainty.”
  • “The witness was not more accurate about the time, she could not connect it to objective data, but in her first testimony [verbale], when she presented herself to the investigators (the transcript of November 8, 2008 used for the indictment) she mentioned [aveva indicato] ʺ… at about 11 PMʺ. Monacchia’s statements therefore increase the ambiguity, as circumstantial evidence, of Capezzali’s statements instead of resolving it.”
  • “Dramis, in fact, said that she went to sleep at around 11‐11:30 PM, and that she woke up later (without being able, however, to specify how much later, while not excluding that it could have been 11:30 PM) due to the noise of quick footsteps, but she could not specify their direction, nor if they were produced by one or more persons, and she also noted that such events are not at all uncommon in this place….. We find ourselves, therefore, confronting a piece of circumstantial evidence (scream and footsteps) [which is] extremely weak for its ambiguity, since it cannot even be placed with certainty in time.”

On Hellmann-Zanetti on Blameworthiness of Defendants.

As an example of a possible tendency under any legal system, Canadian law has already strayed-away on this subject, over a period of about nine years, and was only recently brought-back only by an Appellate ruling. So attempts to derail Italian law on this issue may be inevitable:

Canadian criminal law aims to maintain proportionality between the stigma and punishment attached to a conviction and the moral blameworthiness of an offender, in R v. Martineau (1990) the Supreme Court of Canada held that it is a principle of fundamental justice under sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that a conviction for murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a subjective foresight of death. In so doing, the court effectively declared sections 213 and 229(a)(i) and (ii) of the Criminal Code of Canada lacking in constitutional muster.[7]

Section 213(a) provided that a conviction for murder would lie for any killing that was “objectively foreseeable as a result of the abominable nature of the predicate crimes…inter alia…coupled with intentional infliction of bodily harm”.[7] . This largely equated with a Canadian form of felony murder, though it is technically closer to constructive murder in other jurisdictions.[8] .

Nevertheless s. 229(c), which provides for a form of constructive felony murder in situations where “an accused for an unlawful object did anything knowing that it was likely [on an objective standard] to cause someone’s death” is still operative, as confirmed in a 1999 appellate court decision”

Common-Law ‘Malice’ has historically required that an accused “knew, or ought to have known that the relevant act was wrong.”

In that “ought” lies an escape hatch.

What we believe as to the blameworthiness of these three offenders is obvious - they were committing a premeditated felony-sexual-assault using means which were foreseeably lethal, and actually were lethal.

Hellmann-Zanetti have already made clear what their blameworthiness opinion would be, although they have evaded reaching the issue by arguing reasonable doubt that two of the offenders were involved in Meredith’s murder, and deserve no blame for it whatsoever.

A legal issue which may eventually need to be addressed is whether a conviction for murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt using a subjective foreseeability of death standard or using an objective foreseeability of death standard.

If a subjective foresight of death were ever applied to a found-guilty AK & RS, they could plead that they just didn’t foresee that pricking Meredith’s neck with those knives could kill her; it was just a prank. For example “we were only hazing her; anyway, we were either mentally-ill or drugged or just plain dumb.”

If an objective foresight of death finding were ever applied to a found-guilty AK & RS, who were obviously committing a felonious assault using foreseeably lethal means, Meredith would get True Justice.


Thanks Cardiol.

I have to go and re-read Hellmann before I can give my full thoughts about his reasoning, but I would take issue with the notion that Knox (and possibly her accomplices) didn’t have subjective foresight of death. Two separate wounds were inflict. It’s likely that after the first the victim tried to get away, but was caught in front of the wardrobe and stabbed again even more viciously. If this isn’t subjective foresight I don’t know what is.

Posted by brmull on 09/06/12 at 06:46 PM | #

I would treat the opinion of the pathologist with the greatest respect. They are supposed to be professionals. Other evidences, e.g., “the scream”, are only supportive elements.

If I cannot “pinpoint the exact time” or “identify the source reliably” then I am most likely telling the truth. Unfortunately the accused were not kind enough to give enough early warning so that the police could have waited with tape recorders and accurate time machines!

Life is imprecise: the court is expected to dig the truth from these imprecise statements and not discard everything that does not fit his pet theory.

About your second point, I am intrigued. What happens if I “genuinely” think that stabbing someone is fun, plain and unadulterated entertainment, do I get away from murder if this finally results in death?

I need to put it better. I am vaguely aware of the insanity defense, but do not know how it works exactly in real life. Many who claim this, only often as a last resort, how do they prove that they were actually insane when the crime took place?

Another question (I am not a lawyer): is the notion of “reasonable doubt” subjective or objective? Or, it is just a concept to be used on a “case by case” basis?

Common sense is so uncommon

Posted by chami on 09/07/12 at 02:00 PM | #

Since the pathologists found time of death between 11:00 and 11:30 pm which the first court accepted, I accept it. None of the three women ear-witnesses placed the scream around 9 pm, did they?

Posted by Hopeful on 09/07/12 at 04:37 PM | #

Hi brmull, chami , & Hopeful,

We’re agreed then:
“What we believe as to the blameworthiness of these three offenders is obvious - they were committing a premeditated felony-sexual-assault using means which were foreseeably lethal, and actually were lethal.”

We obviously believe the Objective Standard of foreseeability is applicable.

FOAK-and-RSs will disagree; especially their Lawyers, if Cassation’s response to Galati leads to restoration of their Guilty Verdict.

@ chami:
“ the notion of “reasonable doubt” subjective or objective? Or, it is just a concept to be used on a “case by case” basis?”

I’d never looked at that way - Great Q.

Now thinking about it, I believe the answer has to be Subjective-to-the-Assigned-Finders-of-Fact, integrating all the evidence allowed.

It would therefore be applied case-by-case, IMO.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/07/12 at 06:45 PM | #

Without having read Galati’s appeal on this issue, I think H-Z have discretion to accept the cell phone evidence as determinative of the time of death. Massei did the opposite and found the ear witnesses more compelling.

Where I differ with H-Z is that they seem to have granted a hearsay exception to Guede’s Skype chat while barring other statements he made that asserted a somewhat different time of death.

I think that the ear witnesses are reliable in that their testimonies tend to corroborate each other.

I agree that the autopsy data, with its large margin of error, does not preclude H-Z establishing a time outside of the one Lalli believed was most probable.

H-Z are sometimes ambiguous as to whether they are referring to time of the attack or time of death. This difference could be 30 minutes or more.

I don’t think that Curatolo testified that Knox and Sollecito were in Piazza Grimana continuously between 9:30pm and 11:00pm. Yet H-Z repeatedly argue that if Curatolo is to believed, the defendants have an alibi throughout that period.

Posted by brmull on 09/08/12 at 02:25 AM | #

I encourage everyone to contact Katie Couric via Twitter:

It literally takes seconds. I’ve just sent her one asking her to check out TJMK before she interviews Raffaele Sollecito.

Posted by The Machine on 09/08/12 at 07:57 AM | #


A number with a larger range has a very high confidence limit. I know it appears puzzling, but it is really true. Let me explain with an example.

Let us assume (for the sake of an example) that the standard error is 1 hour and the most likely time is 11:00. Then we say the time (the event occurred) is 11 +/- 1 hour with 68% confidence, 11 +/- 2 hour with 98% confidence and 11 +/- 3 hour with >99% confidence. In other words, if we want a higher confidence, we need to expand the time range. The most important point here is that the most likely time (same as most probable time) remains 11.

The standard error is determined by other methods and we need not bother here the details.

The “ear witnesses”, as you call them, are independent observers (should I say auditors?) and are to be treated as such. We need to assume that “the scream” corresponds to the time of death and this is a very fair assumption. Independent confirmation of the same event, even with a large range of time, increases the confidence and we can now place a tighter range for the most probable time.

Mobile towers track all cell phones (and their movements) continuously but the logs are not maintained unless required by law. You can imagine what kind of logs they would have to be maintained to track all cell phones for all times! Perhaps they were maintained for a day and deleted afterwards (I may be wrong here).

Do we assume that the time of death corresponds to the time the mobile tower reported the phones at a particular place? In my opinion, this is a weaker assumption, even if time reported to the seconds!

It is even possible to guess which evidence is unreliable from statistical analysis.

There are lies, damn lies and statistics!

Posted by chami on 09/08/12 at 12:34 PM | #

@ chami, thanks for your explanation of some statistics concepts that may be counter-intuitive to some readers.

There is another interesting question re those mobile phones.

annc commented on that question on 01/11/11 at 10:35 AM [in Scenario Explaining Meredith’s Cell-Phones Dumped At The Same Address As The Toilet-Bomb Hoax]

She explained how the probability of a bomb hoax happening at the same address as the phone dump should be calculated, and why she guesstimated it to be, constructively, infinitely-small.

I tried it myself and got a similar result.

The relevant question seems to be how the various probabilities would be affected by the dumper(s) ALREADY knowing that the hoax had been perpetrated, the police informed, and that the police were dismissing it as a hoax?

There are various ways a dumper could ALREADY have known about the hoax e.g. pub-gossip re police matters, including a gossiper who had heard it on Police-Radio-Traffic, or, as I had speculated, a dumper had actually listened-in to Police-Radio-Traffic.

Please tell us.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/08/12 at 03:38 PM | #

That “the scream” corresponds to the time of the attack is a very fair assumption, but it is not the only possible explanation. That the ~10pm cell phone activity corresponds to the time of the attack is also a very fair assumption, although not the only possible explanation. I don’t see how anyone can say that one is more fair than the other.

Regarding the seemingly unlikely coincidence of the bomb hoax and the finding of Meredith’s cell phones, someone on PMF suggested that the killers saw the police responding to Lana’s call and, although they may have been intended to discard the phones anyway, in a panic threw them in Lana’s yard. I like this explanation because it shows that the two events might not be entirely independent of each other. However it only works for an attack around 10pm, because by 11pm the police had come and gone.

Posted by brmull on 09/09/12 at 04:58 AM | #

I encourage everyone to contact Katie Couric via Twitter:

It literally takes seconds. I’ve just sent her one asking her to check out TJMK before she interviews Raffaele Sollecito.

I’m a bit late to the post but shall tweet her.

Posted by James Higham on 09/09/12 at 02:38 PM | #

I’ve been thinking what questions I’d ask him if I was Katie Couric for a day….

Assuming the interview/programme lasts aournd 30 minutes. Katie will have to bring up the book, his time since jail, his time in jail, and his relationship with AK, but then it should get to the murder, and she’ll probably only have the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about it.

So can I ask, if any of you were Katie, and could ask RS a couple of questions only, but do it on national television - what questions would you ask?

Posted by Spencer on 09/09/12 at 07:49 PM | #

@ chami re:

“We need to assume that “the scream” corresponds to the time of death and this is a very fair assumption….”

Follain wrote that one of the experts testified that Mez may have lived for “as much as 10 minutes” after the fatal wound (“Death in Perugia”, p 342, Kindle Location 3396).

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/10/12 at 12:56 PM | #

@ brmull

re: “Regarding the seemingly unlikely coincidence of the bomb hoax and the finding of Meredith’s cell phones, someone on PMF suggested that the killers saw the police responding to Lana’s call and, although they may have been intended to discard the phones anyway, in a panic threw them in Lana’s yard. I like this explanation because it shows that the two events might not be entirely independent of each other. However it only works for an attack around 10pm, because by 11pm the police had come and gone. ”

This PMF panic-discard suggestion assumes that the perceived need to discard arose BEFORE they knew of a good place to do so.

Until they had attacked Meredith, Meredith had screamed, and they had lethally wounded her, they would hardly have perceived a need to discard anything at all, let alone her cell-phones.

The need to discard the cell-phones did not arise until AFTER they had lethally wounded her.

If they already knew, though pub-gossip or whatever, of a good place to discard Meredith’s phones that works for the attack occurring after 11pm.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/10/12 at 01:17 PM | #


You have given me a tough assignment!

The fact is that we have too little information to compute any meaningful probability for this event. Without additional information, the comment made by annc is correct. Let me elaborate in detail (I am not a statistician, but then if I were a statistician, you would think that I am writing in Greek or Hebrew!).

There are two events that took place (within a short time frame): bomb-hoax and phone-dumping. We need to assume that these two events are independent (a la annc) and then we can compute that the probability of both the events taking place within a short time frame is indeed small.

If the “dumper” has some prior information about the bomb-hoax, then these two events are no more independent (as you have mentioned or suggested) but then we need some information on the correlation (the “dumper’s mind”)- if there were no bomb-hoax, would he or would he not, decide to dump the telephones somewhere?- or anywhere? This information cannot be calculated because only one such event has so far taken place.

It is best to approach the problem in the reverse way. A dumper is in possession of a phone he wants to dump anyway. Bomb-hoax or no bomb-hoax, he would have dumped the phone somewhere nearby anyway.

The dumper wants to get rid of the phone at the earliest. Then the probability of finding the phone at a far away place is less (inverse square) than finding at a place close by.

Now we introduce the two possible cases: (i) he is aware of a bomb-hoax at a nearby place (ii) he is not aware of the bomb-hoax.

If he is aware of the bomb-hoax, he may decide for or against dumping the phone there. We do not know his thinking and/or reasoning style, and I shall not speculate. on the other hand, if he is not aware of the bomb-hoax, any nearby convenient place is good enough for him.

The bomb-hoax event has already occurred at a place “X”. The appropriate question to ask is what is the probability that the dumper is going to dump the phone at the same place “X”. This question does not concern with the probability of a bomb-hoax. An event that has already taken place is having a probability of 1 (certainty).

Looking this way, the probability that the dumper dumps the phone at “X” is far from minuscule. However, I cannot elaborate more than this, because I do not have enough information.

I also believe that this is the correct way of looking at the problem.

TEACHER : Now, Chami, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?
CHAMI: No sir, I don’t have to, my mom is a good cook.

Posted by chami on 09/10/12 at 02:02 PM | #

I have read that the bomb hoax was traced to a phone number in Rome. I’m not sure what the source was for this, but it suggests the killers could not have known about the hoax.

Lana’s house was an obvious place for someone travelling down the footpath to throw the phones, since her property is the point at which the path reaches the road.

Qualitatively we can say that the chance of the two events not being independent is vastly higher than the likelihood that they are independent, there the former is probably true.

Posted by brmull on 09/10/12 at 06:48 PM | #

I’m not really sure I understand what incentive the attackers would have had to dump the cellphones in Lana’s yard (or anyone’s yard, for that matter), if we assume they had somehow found out about the hoax.

I can only come up with cons, actually:

- higher chance that the phones would be discovered and reported immediately, since the home owner was already alerted and in contact with the police

- possibility of being connected with a different crime (bomb hoax) until details were ironed out

Although the probability of these two events happening on the same residential lot must be extremely small, I’m inclined to think that it was indeed a freak coincidence, and not something that the attackers intended, for the reasons above. 

I’ve never been there and I have pretty poor spatial imagination, but it seemed to me that the attackers simply tried to toss the phones into the ravine, thinking no one would look there (large area, small objects, probably lots of branches, leaves, stones, etc.). 

At the same time, this wasn’t an act performed by a calculating person (or they’d have taken the phones apart and dumped them into a sewer instead).  So who knows, they might have seen some advantages to dumping the phones in Lana’s yard, although I’m pretty skeptical.

On a different note, it’s coincidences like this which make me wonder about the possibility of divine plans smile It’s as if the phones landed somewhere where they were likely to be found.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/10/12 at 07:08 PM | #

@brmull:  “That “the scream” corresponds to the time of the attack is a very fair assumption, but it is not the only possible explanation. That the ~10pm cell phone activity corresponds to the time of the attack is also a very fair assumption, although not the only possible explanation. I don’t see how anyone can say that one is more fair than the other.”

That’s not a fair assumption at all since there was more than one point at which Meredith’s phones showed activity after 20:56.  One of those was fifteen minutes before the other and H/Z suggest that both were caused by the assailant.  What was the assailant doing with Meredith’s phones in the intermittent fifteen-plus minutes?

Massei was correct in deciding Meredith’s cell phone activity could not be accurately connected to time of death because the quantity and quality of alternate explanations, combined with the witness statements placing screams and footfalls later, and moreover combined with both the forensics expertise of the medical examiner and even of Introna—the defence expert, suggest the later interval.

Finally, of course, it’s pointless for H/Z to establish any meaning to the unconnected phone activity since they place such emphasis on Guede’s timing of 21:30 or even earlier.

Posted by Stilicho on 09/10/12 at 07:44 PM | #

Hi James and Spencer. Thanks. We have 2-3-4 posts for the kind attention of Katie Couric now of ABC starting tomorrow through to her RS interview one week later. Questions really welcome.

We are presuming her staffers will read here and at PMF - Oprah’s did, and one producer got in touch. Although she didnt cancel the Knox-Mellases, she seemed relatively cold toward them.

Ad even if it doesnt affect the ABC segment itself there will be a new audience looking for hard facts on the case. The FOA crowd seem very dispirited and their sites continue to suck - and be read in Italy, hardly helpful to AK or the parents who all still face their own trials.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/10/12 at 08:40 PM | #

It is my understanding that by 11pm on Nov 1, 2007, the Perugia Police had ALREADY traced the call to a teen-age boy near Rome, and had ALREADY concluded it to have been a “Prank”.

Here is some other information that has lead me to conclude that AK/RS may well have ALREADY known, and probably did know about the above Perugia Police conclusion BEFORE Mez was killed:

1.  Remember that our sources of information written in the English Language are often based on translations from Italian.

2.  What we have referred-to as the Bomb Hoax, or Bomb Prank, was referred-to in some English MSM as a Bomb Threat.

3.  The Italian word for “threat” is “minaccia”.

4.  In chapter 14 of Death in Perugia, John Follain writes: “Robyn was also shocked to see the way Amanda translated the word ‘minaccia’ – threat – for Raffaele when Meredith’s friends talked about an English media report of a threat made before the murder. This was in fact the phone call received by Elisabetta Lana who lived near the cottage, telling her not to use the toilet ‘because there’s a bomb inside’ – police quickly established it was a prank. It was in her garden that Meredith’s mobile phones had been found. Robyn saw Amanda repeat the Italian word ‘minaccia’ to Raffaele several times, her face up close to his. She would say the word, then kiss him, then repeat it, kiss him again and then they both laughed.”  Follain, John (2012-08-21). A Death in Italy: The Definitive Account of the Amanda Knox Case page 95 (Kindle Locations 1333-1334). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

Isn’t this highly suggestive?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/11/12 at 01:12 AM | #


It’s suggestive of a person who’s off her rocker, not much else IMO.

As everyone here is probably tired of hearing, my theory is that Knox and Sollecito took the phones because they thought Meredith had tried to call for help at 21:58 and 22:00, and possibly at 22:13 (although the activation of a different cell tower suggests the last call could have been made accidentally by the killers themselves.)

So the killers were running down the footpath when they saw the police car. Being intoxicated and not very smart, they probably assumed the police were tracking the phones, so they threw them in Lana’s yard, not realizing that the police were actually bound for Lana’s to investigate the bomb hoax.

Stilicho—I agree that H-Z’s argument for an attack time before 22:13 is flawed, at least as far as it depends on Guede’s statements. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Introna put the time of death at 22:50 which is within an hour of both the Massei ToD and the H-Z ToD. The ear witness testimony suggests an argument in Italian was followed by a scream, which was followed by running on the iron stairs and (according to Capezalli) running on the gravel. This sounds to me like the idiots arguing between themselves, whereupon Knox screamed (we know from Sollecito’s diary and her verbales that she had a tenuous grip on reality), then they ran off, possibly in different directions. If it was Meredith who screamed, it’s hard to see how there could be an argument beforehand, since the killers were engaged in the attack. Of course we can’t be sure so it comes down to which explanation fits the rest of the timeline better.

Posted by brmull on 09/11/12 at 05:07 AM | #

@Cardiol on 09/10/12 at 11:56 AM

The scream…

...but Justice Hellmann disagreed…

I am not sure, but he commented that the witness evidences are “unreliable”.

I am unable to figure out whether he meant (rather implied, by extension)

1. There was no scream (witnesses imagined the scream);
2. The scream was real but the time was not established;
3. The scream was real but the origin was not established;
4. He doubted the witnesses (fake witness)

He did not elaborate and we cannot proceed further as I need to dissect the report like a scientific paper. Unfortunately the report is a tangled mass (shoudl I say mess) and is highly unreadable. Follain wrote the book in a very professional manner- I first read it quickly (scanned it so as to get a summary in my memory) and then read it again to locate the details. H-Z report is a good medicine for the insomniacs.

That is the reason I mentioned “it is a fair assumption…”. H-Z report appears to try to shift the time of death to another point not supported by the pathologist’s report. This constitutes a bias on his part. We need to know what are the reasons for this opinion.

Posted by chami on 09/11/12 at 05:36 AM | #

@ chami:

Thanks for your thoughts – they clarify mine.

The hoax-site-phone-number was probably picked at random from some economically permissible zone, e.g. All-Italy, in which case we could plug-in the total number of phones in that zone.

However, as you explain, that pick had already been made, is not an independent factor, and its p-value = 1, as you explained.

If the offenders picked that dump-site BECAUSE they knew about the “Prank-call”, that choice isn’t an independent factor either, is it?

Whatever their “reasoning”, hasty, panicky, or stupid etc., isn’t that irrelevant?

Doesn’t the issue hinge on whether they made their pick BECAUSE of the Prank-call?

If it was BECAUSE, doesn’t the p of their choice =1?

What do you think?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/11/12 at 10:53 AM | #

@ brmull :

Yes the person is off her rocker, but that’s not all she is.

My point hinges on whether they knew about the Prank-call BEFORE the killing.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/11/12 at 10:56 AM | #

what question would I ask Sollecito? I’d ask him about the title of his book, “Honour Bound”.

Whose honour is he bound to protect? Is he trying to save his father and family from the disgrace of having a murderer for a son? Is he trying to protect his own honour by denying any part in Meredith’s death? Is he trying to protect Amanda’s honour by shielding her from the murder charge? If so, is this because she swore him to fealty. Did Amanda and Guede do the actual killing and then did Amanda beg and plead with Raffaele to promise promise promise to help get her out of the situation, which she probably lied to him about explaining it all as an unfortunate “accident”. Did he buy her lies and give her his pledge?

As I drove back from the beach yesterday Meredith’s favorite song came on the car radio: “With or Without You”. It’s a very haunting, strangely worded song whose meaning I can’t readily grasp.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/11/12 at 12:21 PM | #


Your suspicions are probably true. The lack of blood traces made by Sollecito in the victim’s room suggests that he was not a knife-wielder. The lack of obvious blood on the bedside drawer, cell phones and on the front door suggests that one of the attackers did not have blood on his hands. That person was probably Sollecito. If, as seems likely, Knox found this attack sexually stimulating it wouldn’t be surprising if she did not want her “boyfriend” cast in the role of the rapist.

Posted by brmull on 09/12/12 at 11:18 PM | #

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