Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fifteenth Appeal Session: Prosecutor Manuela Comodi Starkly Explains All The Forensic Evidence

Posted by Peter Quennell


This is a translation of key parts of a detailed report from the AGI news service - the excellent reporter is not named.

On Ms Comodi’s opening remarks to the court.

In Perugia the hearing of the appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, in the first instance [at trial] convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has resumed. This morning, the prosecutor Manuela Comodi began her part of the indictment.

“Regardless of the scientific evidence, your decision can only be the confirmation of the decision at first instance [at trial],” the prosecutor said. During the day the prosecution will make its request for a tougher sentence for the ex-lovers who are present in the courtroom next to their defence teams.

Ms Comodi on the strength of the forensic evidence.

“Quite apart from all the scientific evidence, the outcome of this process can only be at least the confirmation of the conviction of first degree”...The prosecutor judge then began to attack the independent expert report on the traces of DNA ordered by the Court.

“That ploy may have led you to believe you do not trust the results for the knife proposed as the murder weapon and the hook of the bra worn by the victim when she was killed. Those conclusions are strongly challenged by the prosecution.” Then Comodi talked of “the awkward performance of experts who have betrayed your trust… [with] their absolute inadequacy and incompetence.”

She then mentioned the lack of experience in the field of the experts appointed by the Court. “Would you trust your daughter’s wedding to a cook who knows all the recipes but has never cooked?”. In the initial phase of her indictment the prosecutor also mentioned the process carried out in England to indict Danilo Restivo…

The Guardian has a good report on how Danilo Restivo was caught in part by incriminating DNA some TEN YEARS after his crime.

And Ms Comodi on the DNA on the knife and bra clasp.

“Who wielded the knife [that killed Meredith Kercher] was Amanda Knox.” The prosecutor said in court, mimicking the way according to the defense reconstruction that knife was contested by the murderer of Meredith.

“They will tell you, She used it at some other time while staying at Sollecito’s house, but Amanda’s DNA was found in the wrong place for normal use. Give it a try, you will see that in cutting bread or meat the hand rests on the back, not there.”

“Starch on the knife? It could come from the powder present on the “vast majority” of rubber gloves used by personnel involved in investigations.” The prosecutor was recalling the words of a senior advisor to the defense of Amanda Knox, according to whom the starch was derived from the cutting of food such as potatoes and is a sign of lack of washing of the blade on which should have been found traces of blood of the victim if it was used for the crime….

“Talc is present on most sterile disposable gloves, such as those used by the scientific and the Flying Squad in Perugia. It is totally unfounded, the thesis of the non-washing of the knife.”

“The hook of the bra collected 46 days after being found missing? What of the DNA of Elisa Claps [in the Danilo Restivo case] analyzed after nearly 20 years? There is no way this could be contamination because Sollecito had not since been in the house.

Here is a very strong report from Il Mattino which after mirroring the AGI report above adds this:

“In addition to the knife and the bra hook there are other tracks that connect the presence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to the crime scene” said the prosecutor in her indictment.

“Traces of the mixed blood of Meredith and Amanda have been found in the bathroom, where there was an imprint of a foot of Raffaele Sollecito in Meredith’s blood. Footprints of Raffaele and Amanda in Meredith’s blood were found using Luminol in the hallway and the room of Amanda.”

The prosecutor pointed out that under the bed, in Meredith’s room, the lamp of Amanda was found. In Meredith’s room there already was one lamp. Amanda’s lamp was there “because they had to find something to take away, maybe a bracelet or a ring that Amanda might have lost.”

And the prosecution concluded by asking for life sentences and some solitary confinement for Sollecito and Knox as the crime was “aggravated - carried out for trivial reasons” and asking for the exclusion of the mitigating factors that Judge Massei had allowed.

Some of the Italian media reports carried headlines quoting Ms Comodi saying “They killed her for nothing”.




Comments

Reading these Italian media reports is like night and day compared to reading such English language reports as this one.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jUs57HyAaPzhrkFB5JFyBhiHr34g?docId=4decad03973941708d96ad9e2ca273c1

Alessandra Rizzo posts some interesting points on Ms Comodi’s presentation but seems too opinionated and somewhat baised toward the besieged defense view.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/24/11 at 10:55 AM | #

It seems Barbie has found a new modus operandi of being sceptic about every detail exposed by the prosecution. At one point in time she changed her attitude about AK ( ¨Ï´ve been too hard¨)

I wonder what made her change . . . . .

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/24/11 at 11:04 AM | #

Have the defence really just stated in courtroom that the cellphones were turned on by the cat ?

Posted by ncountryside on 09/24/11 at 11:33 AM | #

Hi Helder,

If one of Barbie Nadeau’s children had been stripped, sexually assaulted and slaughtered like an farmyard animal, she would have a very different perspective.

Posted by The Machine on 09/24/11 at 01:46 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau is becoming a sell-out, imho.

Thanks, Pete, for this update on today’s activities. Sounds like Comodi did a fantastic job in the courtroom today!

Posted by Earthling on 09/24/11 at 03:03 PM | #

Peter, after reading your posted article (for which our thanks) I read the article by Ms. Rizzo, whose reference you give us above.

There also one can trace out further references to learn:

(a) That Edda Mellas has characterized the prosecution’s case on Friday as a rehearsal of old lies—she who knew from her daughter of Amanda’s own “false witness against” Lumumba, dangerous though it was, & said not a word about it to aid his release.

(b) And that Curt Knox has characterized the prosecution’s case on Friday as “character assassination.”  Beyond the Lumumba episode (twice accused, as I seem to recall, & once in writing) there’s the question of the rape & assassination of Meredith Kercher in her own bedroom within the safety of a locked house to which (on that Halloween holiday) no one in Perugia had a key except Amanda.

There is no depravity of falsehood, lying & purchased propaganda to which the Knox clan will not resort in the effort to free Amanda.

But then finally: while searching abroad in my amateurish fashion I learn that Saturday’s prosecutor, beyond asking for life in prison, has requested six months of solitary for Amanda Knox (& two for Raffaele.)

That would be perfect, sans radio & TV & laptop & guitar: Amanda would be confronted with the specter of herself.  To borrow from Emerson, who once said of his own traveling (“a fool’s paradise”): “Everywhere I go my giant goes with me.”

In prolonged solitary Amanda would be faced with her own giant: it might suffice to destroy her facade of wicked lies.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/24/11 at 03:20 PM | #

I agree Ernest…Knox would surely benefit from time spent alone, without being the center of attention in her prison dorm, professing her (non)innocence and being fawned over by her fellow inmates who have gotten to know her “kind, caring and angelic pretty blue eyed” mask as she sings her little songs and plays her 1 guitar chord over and over again and speaks of helping the “other” wrongfully convicted (i don’t doubt there are some possibly wrongly imprisoned but she is clearly NOT one of them!)  oh poor little Amanda! 

Sorry, the sympathetic creature she portrays herself to be in her courtroom speeches is nothing like the real woman (not “girl” thank you very much!)that stuck a huge knife into the exposed neck of Meredith Kercher and left her to painfully choke on her own blood.  Not Everyone Is Fooled.  Knox deserves some time to really think about what she did if she EVER hopes to redeem herself.

(ok sorry, angry rant is over!  its the disgusting “news reports” that are getting to me)

Posted by rach on 09/24/11 at 03:55 PM | #

Well Barbie is at the court room, I think she has real fundamentals to write and make her mind. I am not there so I cant say if it is a good report of the trial process; and sometimes the same episode is seen different for each person and not neccesary one is correct and the other not.

I like that she appoint everything good and bad of the prosecution and the defense, because if she only highlight things good or in favor to the prosecution and bad things from the defense then she is making the same errors that reporters that are supporters of AK.

Posted by lulupr on 09/24/11 at 04:00 PM | #

Barbie just threw the blogosphere into a spin with her Tweet: “Clarification on document judge denied. A supreme court precedent was rejected not rudy’s ruling. #amandaknox”

I suspect it was a missing comma, to read “A supreme court precedent was rejected, not rudy’s ruling

Posted by Ergon on 09/24/11 at 04:22 PM | #

Hello Ergon,

What do you mean with: just threw the blogosphere into a spin with… (English is not my first language) I have her on twitter, so i read the post too but did not understand exactly what judge denied.

Posted by lulupr on 09/24/11 at 04:25 PM | #

I just read the article from Barbie, I do not understand how some of you dislike it, I understand AK supporters do so. She started:

“Amanda Knox has appeared to be sailing toward an acquittal—but the prosecution’s powerful closing argument today could alter her fate once again.”

I think it is brilliant! You have to see it in a different way… I will try my best to express how I see it… She is beginning with a statement that is widely expressed from AK supporters and bring it to the reality. So, it’s like take you up to the sky and then let you fall. She is mixing the two point of view, (after all she has to use all involved parties perspectives). But without any doubt she knows that AK is guilty.

And the final sentence: “No matter what happens, her fate will most certainly be much better than Kercher’s.” Wow I don’t see other best way to finalize the article.

Posted by lulupr on 09/24/11 at 04:37 PM | #

Hi, lulupr, the court was asked to make a ruling on the defense lawyer Della Vedova’s request to disregard the Supreme Court ruling on Rudy Guede that named Knox and Sollecito (but did not accuse them)

Barbie reports a ruling, but many of her followers are confused. What, exactly, was rejected? The defense request, or the Supreme Court ruling as it applies to K+S.

Barring clarification, I will say it doesn’t really matter. However, the court’s decision is up in the air.

Posted by Ergon on 09/24/11 at 04:54 PM | #

How can Knox be “sailing towards an aquittal”?

This comes from Barbie Nadeau who is very well acquainted with this case. I dont understand her now, I am sorry.

Perhaps you are right lulupr but I have seen a change in tack from Barbie since the C&V rubbish and this is what I cant understand considering Barbie’s knowledge of the case.

At the end of the day it is what the judges and jury think - which is based on the hard facts and evidence after all - and we all know it is mountainous.

Knox and Sollecito will remain in prison where they belong.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 09/24/11 at 05:03 PM | #

Clarification from Barbie Nadeau:

Barbie:  “Supreme court ruling in #amandaknox case: prosecution wanted to enter a document outlining precedent where an appellate court ruled against supreme court, which would be the case if this appellate court ruled against supreme court ruling on Rudy Guede that three were involved. #confusedyet ?”

So, the Supreme Court ruling remains entered into evidence. It does not mean the court will accept or be ruled by the Rudy decision.

Posted by Ergon on 09/24/11 at 05:09 PM | #

In Barbie’s descriptions the pile of evidence (!) is dull and wordy. Comodi is pandering the jury, Mignini is pandering the press.

The short and desperate efforts of the defense are described as noble and smart.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/24/11 at 05:42 PM | #

Deathfish2000 ... she said: “appeared”, she did not said: AK is sailing… for me the connotation is different. In Puerto Rico, we use the “proverb” or “saying”: You cannot cover the whole sky with your hands.

We can’t deny that not everything that happens in the court is in favor of the prosecution. That’s why is so interesting the analysis of trial cases.  For example, the issue with the DNA is something serious, all of us know the facts after read the explanation of Dr. Stephanoni and prosecutors, or maybe a closer look at that report; but before that, I am sure that all of us think: “Oh God! That’s damming”.

The same with Curatolo, is not the best scenario when he sat on the appeal and mixed Halloween with the murder day. Ok, we can agree that his testimony is still credible, but it would have been better if he was a teacher or a store owner (anyone except a homeless, drug addict confessed). I remembered Barbie’s opinion in that in particular, she said that she thinks that his testimony won’t be considered reliable, although we do not agree with her and we have our solid arguments or in fact the judge consider it reliable, her opinion is not baseless.

We know for sure that all the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, but in the trial the defense teams also win some battles. A good reporter has, needs and must report everything. I like her work much, and she was very brave to confront US Media. My opinion is, if she has reported things that are favorable for the defense or changed her mind a little bit is for a reason, but if you read the articles still are more favorable to the prosecution overall. 

For a long time I have this doubt; I remember when I got involved in the case (without have any opinion of AK) and read Micheli report and learned that several people/neighbors heard the scream, my 1st reaction was: They heard a terrible scream, and nobody called the police….. So my doubt is, nobody called?

Posted by lulupr on 09/24/11 at 08:11 PM | #

Lulu, this is known as the “Genovese syndrome” or “bystander effect,” in reference to the murder of Kitty Genovese, witnessed by several people, none of whom thought about calling the police (they assumed someone else already had).

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

I noticed that both Nadeau and Vogt were often critical of Comodi today in their tweets. It doesn’t seem like she said anything new or outlandish, but that she went over physical evidence in detail. Nadeau was fairly sarcastic more than once.  I guess we’ll see what her next few articles are like.

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

For those who don’t follow PMF, this is a nice interview with one of Meredith’s friends from Perugia, Natalie Hayward, in The Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8786940/Meredith-Kerchers-friend-Perugia-can-be-a-dark-place.html

Posted by Vivianna on 09/24/11 at 08:55 PM | #

Thank you Peter for another excellent post!

My apologies if this has been posted (I havent seen it), but I thought this was AS significant as the judges rejecting the prosecution’s request to re-examine the DNA…I didnt read to far into that and I will refrain from celebrating here - but this must have been a HUGE blow to the defenses. IMHO it means the judges already know what they need to know to make up their minds and they dont need any excuses or justifications either way.

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Supreme court ruling in #amandaknox case: prosecution wanted to enter a document outlining precedent where an appellate court ruled against supreme court, which would be the case if this appellate court ruled against supreme court ruling on Rudy Guede that three were involved. #confusedyet ?

Long post from Deck.ly   14 hours ago   View on Twitter

Posted by Giselle on 09/24/11 at 11:03 PM | #

” ... it’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”

They’ll walk free! I have just worked it out.

the appeal was focused on 2 bits of DNA evidence.

Now, the court allows re-testing even though according to Magnini the request ought to have been immediate and is an appelate point.

Furthermore, the Court appoints 2 knuckleheads to review the evidence. Why? Wy would you not appoint experienced practioners and instead opt for theoretical in-experienced ‘experts’.

They rubbished the police forensics ‘in line’ with all the media speculation.

When the prosecutor requested a re-testing with advanced technology the Judge responds that it’s ‘superfluos.’

Why did the defence get a re-testing but not the prosecution? I say this favours the defence.

All the body language tells me that they will walk!

And I’m sickened on behalf of Meredith.

Posted by Zoff on 09/24/11 at 11:51 PM | #

What body language? You have been in court? I think they have more possibilitties of walk out than in the 1st trial but still the odds (for me) is that conviction will be held. But who knows. I just pray to God that justice prevails.

Posted by lulupr on 09/25/11 at 12:27 AM | #

Hi Zoff. Hmmm. That seems a “bad news bear” analysis. We have known all those facts for weeks. At the start the consultants seemed an okay choice. It was we who first unearthed they seemed to be lacking.

You could also read things entirely the other way, as we have consistently done. Judge Hellman did not open the gates to many reconsiderations that could have helped the defences, and he did not want the remaining DNA retested because the jury found the original tests persuasive.

As we posted, none of our lawyers can conceive of a scenario under which they walk. This has been a very circumscribed appeal, and except for a Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson situation (“let’s teach the police a lesson”) which is very rare in Italy, the grounds for compplete overturn don’t seem there.

This is quite a minefield for Judge Hellman and his co-judge and jurors who will have to explain their thinking in great depth in writing.They could face a Supreme Court reversal or massive Italian skepticism for the rest of their lives. Hard Italian reporting is reflected in the hard Italian mood.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/25/11 at 12:38 AM | #

I believed prosecutors made a mistake in ask for 6 months of solitary confinement for AK and only 2 for RS. This is not proportional. Jurors can think that they are more hard on Akn specially if there are womans in the juror panel which I do not know.

Posted by lulupr on 09/25/11 at 12:53 AM | #

Hi Lulu. Yes there are several women on the jury though women apparently do not always judge other women too lightly.

For the reasoning for this difference in requests for solitary confinement you really have to go back and read Judge Micheli. He argued that but for Amanda Knox, Meredith would still be alive, as she was the only one with the motive and access and the reason to rearrange the crime scene. 

The prosecution seems to continue to think she was the ringleader and the one who wielded the large knife, and both Guede and Sollecito seem to hint at it. Judge Massei read the motivation for the crime differently, naming Guede as instigator and giving Amanda a small break in the mitigating circumstances which lopped maybe 5 years off a life sentence.

Maybe the request was also a pushback against the PR campaign as well. If either appellant wants to be certain they won’t end up sitting in solitary, there is an easy way forward. Explain what happened in a single coherent way, and show to Meredith’s family some remorse.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/25/11 at 01:19 AM | #

@lulupr: ‘body language’ - i meant it as a metaphor.

@peter Quennell: I hope you are right !!!

Please, can you ask the lawyers if it’s true that if they walk, they can leave the country?

And, why does the prosecution have to wait 90 days ‘before’ it can appeal? Sounds absurd.

Posted by Zoff on 09/25/11 at 01:46 AM | #

The Supreme Court level of appeal is automatic. Look around and you’ll find posts about it here.  It will happen next year. Only the Supreme Court can impose the verdict and sentence.

The parties dont wait 90 days to request the appeal, they merely file their requests after the judges’ sentencing report comes out. That takes a maximum of three months.

Previous instances of release on first appeal who left the country resulted in them being sent back. We know of none on the lam. It is very unlikely the US would refuse to extradite. The State Department and Rome Embassy have seen nothing untoward.

Look around and you’ll find we have posted several times on how the US and Italy work closely together on law enforcement issues, and the US probably needs Italy as an ally more than Italy needs the US.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/25/11 at 01:58 AM | #

Excerpt from article in Sydney Morning Herald today :

” At a recent concert by Italian rock group Hot at the women’s prison in Perugia, Knox and others danced “wildly” according to the band’s signer Leonardo. She has even written a scenario for one of the band’s upcoming music clips “

I thought prison life was supposed to be hard - no luxuries. A concert at the prison is a bit of a joke really. Also, I think the accused should be wearing prison clothes when they come into court - no chance to wear casual clothes of their choice. Choice being something you should be deprived of in prison in all respects.

Posted by gabster1971 on 09/25/11 at 02:57 AM | #

Overall I think lulupr’s discriminating post of 7:11 pm is a good one.

Thanks to Vivianna for the Telegraph which quotes one of Meredith’s friends (a Miss Hayward) who breaks her silence to say:

“I remember her talking to her stepfather on the phone and saying that she had found the body and it was in the cupboard and it was in a blanket.
It was odd because she hadn’t been in the room. We were so traumatised we didn’t take it in at the time.”

Amanda will not walk. A world now oversaturated by paid-for publicity will be startled when confirmation of her verdict will burst like thunder from the skies.
God speaks.

I rather doubt that her sentence will be shortened. Amanda Knox on my view of the evidence is the sole instigator of the crime, although rape at knife-point may well reflect Sollecito’s influence. As for murder under the circumstances, with or without the scream: inevitable. And in that sense however covertly or subconsciously: foreseen.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/25/11 at 03:15 AM | #

I like the fact that the prosecutors took two days to remind the jury of all of the evidence, and the fact that next week the lawyers for Meredith’s family and Patrick will get a chance to speak.  All of these speakers are pleading for the verdicts to be upheld. After these three “pro-guilt” days, Sollecito’s and Knox’s lawyers will each have a turn.  Mignini spent five hours detailing the evidence. Will the defense spend five hours saying the knife and bra clasp evidence was flawed?  If that’s their only argument how can that be effective?

I would hate to be in the defense lawyers’ shoes.  Will they deal with the evidence point by point: no alibi, cell phone records, bloody footprints, mixed blood evidence, Amanda at convenience store early in the morning when she said she was asleep, false accusation of Patrick?  Instead of dealing with these damning pieces of evidence, they will probably spend all of their time on the experts’ report.  I think if they don’t deal with the bulk of the evidence directly, the evidence will stand and lead the jury to uphold the convictions.

Posted by Sailor on 09/25/11 at 03:34 AM | #

Peter, thanks for this run-down on the prosecution closing arguments.  Below are the closing comments from a long and thorough article on Corriere della Sera.
A complete summary of the article on PMF.

EXTREMELY TOUGH CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Killing was for “nulla”, a choice to do evil to satisfy low and reprehensible instincts; trivial reasons for stabbing to death a girl of barely 20 years old, totally inexplicable criminal conduct by the accused [who are] extremely dangerous to society.

The Prosecution demonstrated good reason to plead for the strengthening of the sentences to life for both, with 6 months solitary for Knox and 2 months for Sollecito.

Posted by Tiziano on 09/25/11 at 06:35 AM | #

Tiziano - amen to that.

Posted by James Higham on 09/25/11 at 07:31 AM | #

Zoff - I know what do you mean with body language, I wish to know what do you see that make you think that. The faces of jurors? Deffendants? Journalists?Peter, I know that everything appoint she was the mastermind but she DID not put a gun in the head of the other 2 and obligated them. They are all guilty, period. as a matter of fact, Sollecito could stop her if he not agree.  When I read the difference of the months 6 to 2 it bothered me a lot, it might happen to some jurors unless the sympathize with RS which I doubt.

Posted by lulupr on 09/25/11 at 09:39 AM | #

Thanks Tiziano. Not only the toughness of their arguments but also the exceptionally effective nature of their oratory of these very dedicated, very professional prosecutors is reflected in some other translations over on page 3 of the current PMF thread.

http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=420&start=500

The immense heat placed on them by Curt Knox’s and Chris Mellas’s cruel PR campaign really seems to be redounding now. Way to go to really turn all of Italy against you.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/25/11 at 10:16 AM | #

Hi everyone
        It would seem to me that given the media circus worldwide and the absolute “Nazi Propaganda” ala; Joseph Gobbles, emanating from Seattle then Judge Hellman and Justice Mignini have been extra careful concerning getting all the evidence out in full view. This would account for the granting of the an additional look at the DNA evidence. it is laughable that the court appointed Experts??? did not use up to date methods. This fact after all is easy to rebut.  But in doing so the court has shown that they were open to additional input. My belief is that they did this in such a way so they could blow holes in this later. Seattle grabbed onto this like a drowning man grabs onto straws and I believe this was a red herring provided by the prosecution. They are not stupid after all, far from it and interference by another country will certainly stir the anger of any foreign court system in particular the Italian one (Hot Blooded Countries etc;) It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are literally hundreds of people involved in both the prosecution and the defense. Pissing them off by slander from the US is not the very best way to gain impartiality and the USA treating all other countries as they they were the same as the USA is stupid in the extreme. No, I think it’s a setup. If I’m right then it’s a good one.

As to another observation. The CNN interview with Edda Mellas was once more on the air. This once more turned my stomach, not because she wishes to protect her daughter which is understandable but the outright refusal to offer any official condolences to the family of Meredith Kercher. This proves to me the the apple did not fall too far from the tree. It is my fervent wish that justice be done in this case to the fullest extent of Italian Jurisprudence.

As to the request for six months solitary for Knox… Well sometimes it’s wise to ask for more than you really want in the hope that you might get something.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/25/11 at 10:56 AM | #

Lulu, I don’t think the solitary confinement will be granted, to be honest, and I don’t think the prosecution expects it to be granted.  I think it’s mostly symbolic - a reminder of the gravity of their crime.

While Knox may not have literally put knives in their hands, there is something to be said about psychological manipulation.  We have to take into account the fact that for some people, the need to be accepted can override any moral impetus.  Sollecito, I think, is one of these people.  There was probably a lot of frustration bottled up in that young man, and a lot of desire to show everyone, and especially his father, that he too was able to do some adult things (like have a relationship). I think that his relationship with Knox was far more important to him than to her, and that impressing her was a very strong motivator for him.  Despite his propensity for knives and violent entertainment, I don’t see him initiating something like this. He seems to me more like a voyeur - the kind of guy who’d pay a subscription fee to see the livestream of a murder. In a group of men, he might have stood back and watched.  But in this situation, there was more at stake - Amanda would have left him if he didn’t participate, and he could not afford to lose Amanda at this point.

On the other hand, I have a hard time understanding why Guede got involved.  On his own, he never did anything particularly serious - just some petty thieving, small-time drug selling, and unwelcome groping at clubs. He’d had more opportunity to engage in serious crime than AK or RS, but he probably had his limits.  He was likely a lot more secure in his masculinity than RS and I don’t imagine that his infatuation with AK ran deeper than sexual desire. So I don’t know why he went as far as assaulting Meredith.  Maybe I’m giving him too much credit, but I suspect that he didn’t take part in the stabbing per se, and that he ran when he realized how far things had gone.  I think he didn’t call an ambulance because he knew everything would be pinned on him.  In his case, fear and self-preservation must have overridden any humane impulse.

I think this is what the prosecution might be seeing as well. The normal impulse for many of us, when a young woman with a respectable background is involved in a horrible crime, is to look for mitigating circumstances.  Maybe she was forced and threatened.  Maybe she was a silent spectator, too terrified for her own life to call for help.  This is exactly the type of picture that Amanda worked very hard to create in our minds.  It’s not a normal reaction to say that she was the driving force.  And precisely because it’s not an instinctive reaction, because it’s something we arrived at by examining both physical evidence and psychological aspects, I don’t think it can be dismissed as discriminatory.

This is why I don’t buy the FoA talking point that the police had their sights on Amanda from the very beginning of the investigation.  She was simply a person of interest, like the other housemates and friends, by virtue of having been close to Meredith.  But I imagine that in the first moments, before Amanda helped them out with her shenanigans, they must have wondered - “was this a random violent rapist? was it her boyfriend? was it a guy she’d turned down?,” not “was this one of her female roommates?”

Posted by Vivianna on 09/25/11 at 11:00 AM | #

Sailor, I think the defence will deal with the damning evidence.

They will say the forensics are wrong with regard to the footprints i.e they don’t match, the mixed blood is to be expected as Amanda and Meredith shared a house, luminol can come up with false positives for blood, conflicting statements were because Amanda was placed under unbearable pressure by the police, and so on.  It is the job of the judges and professional jurors to see through the ‘smoke and mirrors’, something that ordinary jurors in the adversarial system sometimes struggle with.  These judges will sift through all the evidence, previous judgements and arguments from both sides and will conclude that ‘all roads lead to Rome’.  Each piece of circumstantial evidence tells its own story and taken together, with or without the disputed knife evidence, leads to one conclusion - guilt.  The Supreme Court in Guede’s final appeal found the footprint evidence against all three accused compelling, and came back to it time and again.  The judges in this appeal have their reputations to think about, it takes years to build one and only moments to destroy it.

This reprehensible crime will not go unpunished in spite of all the ‘noise’ to the contrary, especially in the US.  This is a case of ‘joint enterprise’ and the subsequent attempt by each perpetrator to minimise their involvement in their minds and with their supporters.  I will be shocked if the convictions are overturned but I don’t expect to be.

Posted by Intuition on 09/25/11 at 11:37 AM | #

Vivianna, I respect your knowledge of the case, buy my friend too much credits for RS and RG, specially RS. Is he was part of the plan since the beginning, he is as guilty as her, specially when he knows how competent is local police and having himself a sister who was part of law enforcement. Is we accept that he has “emotional challanges” then we have to accept AK has their own too. They participated beacuse they were enjoying the game.  Perhaps, you are right that Rudy ran when he realized how far things had gone. That might be corroborate with the time of people hear Meredith scream and the testimony who saw him walking fast.

I read all articles post in youtube and news website, I always try to read the comments I noticed the “fights” between some of this website mebers and FOAs. Some of them offensive from each way. My opinion is you will not change their minds, as well they won’t change yours. But the people that was in the middle (as I was) are easy targets. Those people will know the truth if they read the Massei or Micheli report, not small comments fighting each other. I have been there, and as Puerto Rico is part of USA I was more vulnerable to US Media, but when I read the Massei/Micheli Report I made my mind instantly.

My advice is that you add the link everywhere, with a neutral post so people don’t get what if your side. (I did it yerterday in twitter). Examples: Hello everyone! I guess you have, like me, some doubts about which evidence was admissible or not,  I recommended reading the trial evidence report, so you can be the judge. Find it at: http://truejustice.org/ee/documents/perugia/TheMasseiReport.pdf

If the website does not allow links, eliminate the http (it functions sometimes): truejustice.org/ee/documents/perugia/TheMasseiReport.pdf

Or write: I recommended reading the trial evidence report, so you can be the judge. Google: the massei report english  

Of course FOAs will know the resource, but people who are not affiliate will be curious. Our goal should be people READ that report.

Posted by lulupr on 09/25/11 at 02:10 PM | #

Vivianna, you raise interesting points.  Like you I have always had trouble understanding Guede’s involvement.  Also, why, when AK and RS cleaned up did they leave such direct pointers to Guede?

As to Amanda being an initial point of interest it would seem that the police’s first and most obvious person to question was Meredith’s Italian boyfriend.  I also seem to remember that Meredith’s English friends were very concerned about an Argentinian that Amanda Knox had brought to the house.

One assumes that both these men were subject to a very direct line of questioning.

I think that Maganini implied that all the potential suspects, including Meredith’s English female friends, were questioned forcefully.  It was, he continued, only Amanda who complained about this.  Usually when you are telling the true your answers are clear, comprehensive and convincing …. perhaps it was only AK and RS who had difficulty explaining themselves …

Peter O

Posted by Peter Oliver on 09/25/11 at 02:18 PM | #

I have two questions.

(1) The jury system in Italy is different. That’s a given. But am I correct in thinking that the jurors in Italy are apprentice judges given the fact that the juries in Italy are actually engaged in a profession???

(2) Has Knox been psychoanalyzed while in jail? Of course that would be confidential, but we all know just how information can be leaked to anyone interested enough to figure out their adversaries.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/25/11 at 02:26 PM | #

A friend visited today and I have to say that he’s proved himself quite astute many times on such things.  He’s not following closely but he has read all my posts on the matter. 

He thinks she was the brains behind it, the needy one, the one who manipulated and got them to do her bidding - Vivianna mentioned such above.

In another way, it reminds me of Leslie van Houten.  Obviously she was a needy follower.  She let her companions do the murder and then thrust the knife in a few times to show she was part of it.

The bit Natalie Hayward said and she admitted it doesn’t prove anything but was just indicative was:

Miss Hayward, deeply upset and trying to comfort her grief-stricken friends, said she hoped that her friend had not suffered too much. Knox allegedly replied: “What do you think? She f****** bled to death.”

If that is accurately reported and not biased or embellished, then that says all you need to know about Knox.

Posted by James Higham on 09/25/11 at 03:28 PM | #

Hi Intuition,

Nobody has ever provided a plausible innocent explanation for Knox’s and Sollecito’s numerous lies. The defence lawyers can’t attribute their lies to unbearable police pressure because they both lied before and after 5 November 2007. Furthermore, Sollecito admitted that he had lied and said Knox had asked him to lie for her.

There is no direct or indirect evidence of Rudy Guede in Filomena’s room or the blood-spattered bathroom. There was not one fingerprint, palm print, footprint, shoeprint, hair follicle, speck of DNA etc belonging to Rudy Guede in these two rooms.

There is further proof that Guede didn’t enter these two rooms after Meredith had been stabbed. His bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house. This means somebody else must have tracked Meredith’s blood into these two rooms. According to the prosecution’s experts, Amanda Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room and in three different places in the bathroom. Even though Judge Massei didn’t accept these findings, he regarded the five mixed DNA samples as damning forensic evidence against Amanda Knox. This DNA evidence is not being reviewed by the appeal court.

It is an indisputable fact that the break-in was staged. There is corroborative eyewitness testimony stating that there were shards of glass on top of Filomena’s clothes. Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani and the panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court regarded the staged break-in as highly incriminating evidence against Knox and Sollecito. 

The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Rudy Guede. This is damning evidence against Sollecito.

The defence lawyers can come up with counter arguments, but they cannot provide plausible ones. Claiming Sollecito’s cat turned on his mobile phone is possibly the most ridiculous claim ever made in a courtroom. I wonder if they are going to claim the cat also listened to music on Sollecito’s computer for half an hour.

Posted by The Machine on 09/25/11 at 03:36 PM | #

Lulu, what I wrote is strictly my opinion, hence the tentative language.  For people who are new to this case, the best sources are the court reports and the lists of factual evidence.

I am not arguing that RS and RG are not guilty; I think they are and the court seems to agree. However, I think that guilt can be nuanced, and intent/premeditation are things usually taken into account when deciding a sentence. What I wrote was mostly to explain why I think the prosecution asked for different sentences and why I didn’t think it was unfair or sexist.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/25/11 at 10:50 PM | #

Is that the back of AK’s head in the photo with MC?

Posted by thundering on 09/26/11 at 02:11 AM | #

Long time reader, first time commentor here. First of all, I´d like to thank everyone for their deep and insightful articles, presentations, and translations.

Some have wondered about Guede´s involvement… this is my speculation on what may have happened.

We know that Guede, Meredith and Amanda had come across each other once or twice before, hanging out with the guys at the flat below. Guede admits to fancying Meredith. I think Amanda may have noticed this - maybe he even asked her, as her flatmate and (as he believed) friend, whether she thought he had a chance.

There were growing tensions between Amanda and Meredith. One of the issues in which they disagreed was morals - Amanda´s attitude to casual sex vs. Meredith´s. Meredith had broken up with her boyfriend before leaving for Italy, so she would not be unfaithful to him; Amanda had not done the same with her US boyfriend. Both fancied the same guy from below, he preferred Meredith. Amanda was frustrated and either felt inferior to Meredith herself or believed that Meredith considered herself better.

I think Amanda - together with Raffaele - devised a plan to get together with Meredith and get her drunk (maybe slip something in her drink) and set things up so she would find herself the next morning next to a stranger, for example Rudy. Perhaps she told Rudy she´d help him get with Meredith in exchange for some drugs, perhaps she even told him Meredith was into kinky stuff.

That way, Meredith - believing herself to have drunk too much and have had casual sex, just like Amanda - would no longer be in a position to complain about or “feel better” than Amanda. If she had wanted to keep this a secret from her Italian boyfriend, she would have to do Amanda many many favours in exchange for her silence; if she was open about it, hopefully it would cause a rift between the two and at least Mez wouldn´t have the guy Amanda couldn´t get, either.

A scenario like this may be why Amanda repeatedly called Meredith on Halloween, trying to get together with her. I´m not sure if she planned to call Rudy to join them later, or if any stranger would have done and meeting Rudy by chance the next day and knowing he fancied her brought him into the equation.

But the following day, some additional factors had entered the situation and eventually caused it to escalate.

I believe that Amanda had “borrowed” the rent money that Meredith had taken from her account, with the intention of replacing it before she noticed. But Meredith noticed too soon and confronted Amanda that night when she got home.

Amanda had just been told she was not needed at Patrick´s and probably felt angry at having been “replaced”, having had to play second fiddle once more in favour of Meredith. I guess the trio had already had enough to drink or smoke to lower their inhibitions, and then the tragedy took its course.

I´d love to hear your thoughts.

Posted by Steffie on 09/26/11 at 06:49 AM | #

@grahame Rodhes:
(1) The jury system in Italy is different. That’s a given. But am I correct in thinking that the jurors in Italy are apprentice judges given the fact that the juries in Italy are actually engaged in a profession???

No, in this case there are 8 judges (2 professionals + 6 not professional (giudici popolari)) and they together form a single board. The not professional judges are people taken from some data base random (like a lottery)from 30ys to 65ys (they only must have attended school before university, they must not be professional judges, and not employed in the justice offices, they must not be military, not be priests or professional religious, etc.). Once a person is selected, he/she can not refuse.
you can see “corte d’assise”.

Posted by giuseppe on 09/26/11 at 09:16 AM | #

9/26/11
Steffie, your examination of Amanda’s jealous plan to get Meredith drunk or dazed with drugs, then find a fellow to take advantage of her, in this case Rudy, who was already smitten and all too available, was the most helpful description I have ever read. It accounts for everything we know about Knox’s queen bee entitled attitude, her use of pranks, her control freak status, her connection with Rudy to allow him in the cottage and all in all the reason for this entire disaster. You explained it so well, especially the envy part, how Amanda wanted to see Meredith embarrassed in front of Silenzi, cause a rift between those two and put an end to Meredith’s “holier than thou” track record in sexual relationships that continually threatened Amanda although Meredith’s sense of superiority in this matter may have been nothing but a figment of Foxy’s imagination. 

It is very helpful to hear scenarios from other people like you. It gives shape to all the vague ideas we’ve had for years of what might have happened. It’s a huge help to hear it from other lips, other minds. Sometimes it will click from some particular word choice others have used. Thanks. I think you have hit on what was absolutely the closest account to the truth of Knox’s mental workings, and it makes sense of that stream of Halloween phone calls from Knox. The fact she made many calls to Meredith on the night before her death shows us something intense was brewing.

Knoxy thought the fact everyone was “out of town” or out of the cottage over the holiday was to her advantage. It ended up pointing straight at her as the only culprit left. The power of the negative. It’s what is NOT there that counts, or what we can’t see that hurts us. I’ve always thought this case turned on these kinds of hard to grasp “negatives”, like photo negatives. The coloring is opposite to what the original truth is. Another mental rule of thumb I have for this case is, if Knoxy shows us a tiny bit of something, it is hugely significant. She tends to show us very little and her effort has always been to hide the truth. She mimics Curt in this. So if the slightest thing reveals itself, multiply it by a factor of 1,000.

Steffie, thank you very much, and welcome aboard.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/26/11 at 11:35 AM | #

Hopeful, I think that calling Rudy “smitten” with Meredith is a bit of an overstatement.  He’d seen her around and probably found her attractive, but he also had an interest in Amanda.  I suspect his interest in Amanda was stronger because she was more sexually available.

However, I think that the scenario Steffie described has merit.  There’s no evidence that any of them was in possession of roofies, so I’m not sure that drugging her was necessarily part of the plan.  They also couldn’t have really gotten Meredith drunk if she had no intention of drinking.  But it’s certainly possible that Amanda may have told Rudy that Meredith was interested in him, just to lure him to the cottage and put Meredith in an uncomfortable position.  Perhaps, going off Steffie’s scenario, Amanda meant to have Rudy in Meredith’s room just to spread rumors about her cheating on Giacomo.

Then there’s the stolen money bit, which may have complicated whatever scenario they had in mind.

Regarding Halloween, I think it’s possible they were already plotting a prank on Meredith at that point.  But given Amanda’s wandering around that night, I’m more inclined to think she simply wanted to attach herself to Meredith’s group.  She didn’t have a lot of friends at that point, and everyone else was going to parties.  Perhaps it was this rejection which acted as a last straw for Amanda.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/26/11 at 01:00 PM | #

Have I missed something along the way? I was under the impression that Rudy was keen on AK, I have never read anywhere (to the best of my knowledge) where it says that he was smitten with Meredith. Could someone clarify this for me..

Thanks
Jo

Posted by distemper on 09/26/11 at 01:47 PM | #

@Graham Rhodes

With regards to the “red herring” I had the same thoughts. If true , and I do so hope it is, then it is a very shrewd move.

Posted by jhansigirl on 09/26/11 at 07:48 PM | #


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