Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fourteenth Appeal Session: Judge Hellmann Consults Jury And Concludes They Have Enough To Wrap Up

Posted by Peter Quennell


Judge Hellman took the jury into chambers for half an hour yesterday and they decided not to delay matters for a further DNA review.

Final arguments will therefore take place later this month (dates in our right column) and a verdict on the appeal could be announced by the end of the month.

Defenses didn’t ask yesterday to put their clients on the stand, no further impromptu remarks from the defendants were made, and no defense request for review of the very damning mixed blood traces was advanced.

Our Italian lawyers are not rating chances of a full acquittal above one or two percent. They believe the groundwork for that has simply not been laid.  The judges and jury dont have what is needed to upend the detailed outcomes of two trials and two other appeals. And the Italian system is nothing if not very cautious and lacking in surprise. 

The Supreme Court has accepted that THREE attackers had to have been present on the night. Not the slightest evidence of any perps other than the three put on trial has been advanced. No scenario has been offered in court for Guede having committed the crime on Meredith alone - in fact Guede accused the other two of being there right to their faces in court.

Free-lance reporter Nick Pisa (image above) who we often quote on the occasions when we think he’s got it right reported yesterday in the Daily Mail that Prosecutor Comodi expressed frustration with the judge and predicted an acquittal due to bias.

This is not confirmed by any Italian source and Ms Comodi is simply reported there as saying she had expected the request for further tests to be turned down and the defendants COULD still walk. Nothing more.

TJMK main poster Will Savive offered this explanation for Nick Pisa’s apparent serious mistake in a comment on our previous post.

ABC News is also reporting that they spoke to Comodi after the session and it is a big difference than what Pisa wrote.

In fact, it is ABC who has claimed that they interviewed her. According to ABC, Comodi informed them that there is “a possibility” that Knox and Sollecito could win the appeal. There is also a possibility that the sun will fall from the sky, so it is all in the context and translation of how she said it. Then ABC quoted her as saying, “I would find it very serious if they were set free.”

FOX News also reported Comodi speaking out. Sheppard Smith put Comodi’s alleged quote on the screen and it read word for word what Pisa wrote. FOX has been decent, in my opinion, thus far on reporting on the case, but Sheppard and his two cronies today were amateur at best and clearly not educated on the case.

It is very likely that Pisa twisted her quote to fit his agenda and make news; I wouldn’t be surprised!

HOWEVER…

The Seattle Times has the best piece on it I think.  In their article they write the interview as going like this:

COMODI: We did our job. I am convinced by what I have said. I am fully convinced of their guilt and I would find it very serious if they were set free. Today’s decision could lead one to think that there is more of a possibility that they be set freed.

So in essence, she never said that there is a possibility, in her opinion. She said that the hearing today “could lead one to think that there is more of a possibility that they be set freed.” It seems as though only Pisa is reporting it the way he did.

The Seattle Times included this: “Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga warned that the court’s rejection of new DNA testing was not equal to a positive outcome of the whole appeals trial.”

As discussed at length on PMF (link just below) the present Knox PR hype is very reminiscent of the hype just before Judge Massei’s blunt and unequivocal verdict was read out.




Comments

I found on a website ( http://www.kayenna.net/i-fatti-della-settimana/1730-omicidio-meredith-kercher-perizie-corte-d-appello-sentenza.html ) the decision of the Court regarding the proposal of Comodi for a new DNA review:
“La rinnovazione della perizia appare superflua a prescindere dalla sussistenza o meno delle lacune evidenziate dal Procuratore generale e condivise dalla parte civile; gli accertamenti dei periti e gli elementi di valutazione forniti dai consulenti di parte consentono alla Corte di formarsi il proprio ragionato convincimento”.

Posted by giuseppe on 09/08/11 at 10:07 AM | #

9/8/11
Wonderful report, calming after all the hype and rumor. FOA spun out superficial cheers with Curt Knox whistling past the graveyard saying he is “hopeful” but not confident. Meredith’s few media friends write discouragement and waffling, par for the course. Much noise, nothing changed.

Steve Moore is descending to ever lower depths on his gmancasefile blog, as he lays blame on the victim’s family in a show of impudent gall.

Ann Coulter said the Knox apologists are siding with barbarians.  http://patriotpost.us/opinion/ann-coulter/2011/09/08/amanda-knox-the-new-mumia/

Amanda shows the strain of prison time. She gets keyed up before pivotal court appearances and gets no sleep nor can she eat beforehand with her history of nervous stomach. That plus heat of summer makes her wan and worn out, but with every mannerism still in place. Nothing has changed, it’s merely subdued by near exhaustion. I hope the cool autumn will soon bring relief to prisoners and staff.

We shall trust Judge Hellman to make the right decision. Stefanoni did not give an inch, and Conti and Vechiotti only went halfway with their work. It makes the original forensics look even more professional by comparison.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/08/11 at 12:11 PM | #

Reading the Nick Pisa article I see it wasn’t a remark made to him in a personal interview but to the assembled reporters before the court began the day’s proceedings. (The website up date makes it look like it was after the judge refused the prosecution request. Again, I do not read anything negative in that)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034673/Amanda-Knox-appeal-Now-PROSECUTOR-says-Foxy-Knoxy-freed.html

Comodi:‘I can see both Knox and Sollecito being freed which will be a shame as they are both involved’

Seems like speculation: she’s saying it’s possible, unlike the headline saying Knox will be freed.

Posted by Ergon on 09/08/11 at 04:16 PM | #

Ergon,

Fair enough, but what about the quote, “The judge and his assistant are clearly against us.” If other reporters heard it, how come no one is reporting it independently?

Posted by brmull on 09/08/11 at 07:03 PM | #

Hopeful, I like your nicely written posts & your insights. And thanks for the Ann Coulter reference.

What this shows me (her Knox article came right up on Google) is that a basic & permanent shift in the American attitude has begun to take place, period.

Ms Coulter is slightly mistaken about the reason why police came to the cottage & found the two culprits—they came because of the cell phones which had been found in a garden, of course, & not because of any reported robbery.

But no matter. She has the basic story nicely in place. She states the matter firmly. Given her status in American commentary at present, this signifies.

Must admit to amusement that she blames “liberals” for barbaric defenses of criminals.  As if!

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/08/11 at 07:19 PM | #

@ brmull, he’s a reporter. I don’t think he’d invent a quote out of whole cloth (not to say that isn’t done)

More likely it was taken out of context and selectively edited. It may even have been a misquote/translation.

But all of this will be fishwrap soon anyway smile

Posted by Ergon on 09/08/11 at 08:07 PM | #

There is is an interesting retrospective being addressed by members of PMF.org.

What drew them to the case?

The answers hint at really interesting reasons. There seems to be a personal element that attracted them.

In my case, I don’t watch the news and haven’t bought a newspaper in 4 years now. But when Huffington Post brought in over 70 Knox threads a year, I was attracted to the sheer strangeness of the Knoxii. I think I made a thousand comments there, until I got tired of the um, circular nature of their thinking.

So, since I dislike the media (Huffy Puffy has really pushed the Amanda, unjustly accused line of US MSM) I wan’t influenced by them. But the three most important things that leaped out at me from the beginning were:

1) The false accusation,
2) The staged break in, and,
3) I have an ear for lies; they obviously were lying.

Posted by Ergon on 09/08/11 at 10:46 PM | #

I had read about the case back in 2007 when there were a lot of anti-Knox rumors going around. This year I happened to read some stuff about the appeal in the U.S. media which was a 180 degrees different from what I’d read earlier. On further investigation, I learned that some of the early rumors were false but I also found out about the Knox PR campaign and how that has distorted media coverage. I’m very passionate about social justice and I can’t stand to see the guilty go free because they have the money and the resources to sway the legal system. Another passion is how Wikipedia handles controversial topics and I have been editing over there to try to improve accuracy, reduce bias, and clean up the trash heap of an article that nonstop point of view wars have left behind.

Posted by brmull on 09/09/11 at 12:02 AM | #

Quote brmull:
‘Ergon,
Fair enough, but what about the quote, “The judge and his assistant are clearly against us.” If other reporters heard it, how come no one is reporting it independently?’

Comodi did say the words above, but the context was the question of whether or not the court would accept her request for a further expert report.  She felt that her request would be rejected, and in fact it was.

If we trailed through all the words Comodi is reported as uttering, we could make her say whatever we liked, if we took certain words out of context.

Here is another report of remarks from Comodi:

Dopo l’udienza, il pm Manuela Comodi si siede in un bar del centro: «Sapevo che la Corte avrebbe respinto la richiesta di una nuova perizia. Del resto, l’estrema fiducia che i giudici ripongono nei periti s’era percepita in aula: non hanno rivolto loro neanche una domanda…». Anche la sua idea, sul contributo dato dai periti all’appello, s’è percepita chiaramente: «L’ufficio del procuratore ritiene inadeguati i periti a svolgere una nuova analisi, chiediamo alla Corte di nominarne altri, perché i due già incaricati (Carla Vecchiotti e Stefano Conti dell’università La Sapienza, ndr), non hanno risposto ai quesiti della Corte».

After the hearing, PM Manuela Comodi is seated in bar in the centre [of town]:
“I knew that the Court would refuse our request for a new expert report.  Besides, the extreme faith that the judges place in the experts was noted in the court-room: they did not ask them even a single question ...”
Her own idea of the contribution of the experts at the appeal was also clearly noted:
“The office of the prosecutor holds the experts inadequate for carrying out new analyses, we ask the Court to nominate others, because the two already commissioned (Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti of the Sapienza University -ed) have not replied to the Court’s queries.”

This from:

http://www.quotidianamente.net/cronaca/fatti-dallitalia/stop-a-nuove-perizie-«ora-amanda-knox-spera»-4568.html

It’s not easy to find out who said what when, let alone what they meant, when much that is quoted is taken out of the original context.

Posted by Tiziano on 09/09/11 at 12:33 AM | #

Thank you so much Tiziano. I think we can conclude that this particular Pisa piece is a piece of garbage.

Adding to my post above—What evidence conviced me that Guede did not act alone? Exhibit O (the broken glass on the windowsill). The way the glass is lined up perfectly, the outer shutters had to have been closed when the window was broken.

Posted by brmull on 09/09/11 at 12:41 AM | #

@ Ergon

What drew me to this case was that it made no sense.  Most murder or manslaughter cases are fairly straightforward.  Jealous spouse/lover, robbery gone bad, argument that escalates, grievance that boiled over, organized crime hits, etc.  But this one, this one is very strange.  It is a fascination with abomination, I guess.

I am also curious why neither defendant turned on the other.  I do not know anything about the Italian criminal justice sentencing, but here in the states (I’m an attorney), the one who flipped would get a deal on the years. 

I am also pretty sure that each one blames the other for the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Posted by jamesepowell on 09/09/11 at 01:56 AM | #

I try to translate in english the decision of the court about the request of the prosecutor for a new expert report.

“La rinnovazione della perizia appare superflua a prescindere dalla sussistenza o meno delle lacune evidenziate dal Procuratore generale e condivise dalla parte civile; gli accertamenti dei periti e gli elementi di valutazione forniti dai consulenti di parte consentono alla Corte di formarsi il proprio ragionato convincimento”.

The renewal of expertise is unnecessary, regardless of whether the gaps highlighted by the Prosecutor and shared by the plaintiffs exists or not. The findings of experts and the evaluation data provided by the experts of the parties enable the Court to form their own reasoned conviction.

I am not a lawyer but it should mean that even if all the gaps underlined by the prosecutor in the expert report exist, the Court has enough elements to decide about the case.

Posted by giuseppe on 09/09/11 at 03:21 AM | #

Exactly Giuseppe, but the Daily Mail is a tabloid, and wants to exploit to the full this refusal of the Prosecution request.

Its headlines are:
‘An ill wind is blowing’: Now even PROSECUTOR says Foxy Knoxy will be freed

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034673/Amanda-Knox-appeal-Now-PROSECUTOR-says-Foxy-Knoxy-freed.html#ixzz1XR5YnNhq

Note the capitals for PROSECUTOR, the words “even” and “will be freed”. 

Comodi was expressing a possibility, when she said that the Knox conviction “could be” overturned. And of course it could: this is after all an appeal against the conviction, which must have as its logical aim the overturning of the Assize Court judgement.

But explaining the finer points of the way the Italian courts operate has never been a priority in the popular press in either the UK or the USA.

Posted by Tiziano on 09/09/11 at 04:02 AM | #

@jamesepowell

I like your list of reasons for “most murder & manslaughter cases” because it illustrates just the kind of thing the Knox argument looks for when it complains of Amanda’s conviction because she “had no motive” for this pathological crime.

@Ergon

But I respond also to the words, “What drew me to this case…”  It’s because I want to make a basic point although one not always—not commonly—shared.

Haven’t the faintest idea how I came upon this case but what holds me is an almost stupefying contrast between the psychopathic murder (to speak of psychopath) & the quite normal & attractive appearance of the convicted.

This in turn speaks to my own perspective (& my deepest interests) as a former minister who for internal reasons chose to abandon the ministry. As such I make my point:

Amanda Knox, although guilty of a psychopathic murder in collusion with another person of similar leanings, not only “looks” normal but—& here at last my paradoxical point: SHE IS NORMAL. And this is the monstrous normality & disfigurement which has taken over whole swaths of our society.

I call it also, death-of-God in awareness of Nietzsche’s myth as “commentary” on the ordinary state of popular religion.  Example: I am a former Lutheran (then Unitarian) minister & remember a boy of 13 (I think) who shot & killed fellow students kneeling in prayer in a high school hallway.  A lawyer’s son (!) he had only recently been confirmed in the Lutheran church.

When I have called for Amanda’s yet to be written Confession, I’m not intending a dashed off acknowledgement of her role in inciting rape & committing murder.  I am thinking of the Truman Capote model & his years of research before finishing In Cold Blood, his greatest book by far. The research would have to be carried out by Amanda herself, would require tremendous courage & a perfect, searching, resolute veracity.

She’s light years away from this now & I think it is only confirmation of the original verdict that could bring her to face the possibility of seeking her redemption (her human redemption) this way. Would cast light on exactly the social-religious condition into which our society has so largely sunk. Would be invaluable.

Understand, please, I am no Puritan who write this. I am most grateful for an understanding & forgiving wife whom I have lost to death now eight years ago—already then an old couple. She was a kind of Heavenly opposite to the Amanda Knoxses of this world.  Just as daffodils of the freshest beauty may blossom on a dungheap.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/09/11 at 04:04 AM | #

What drew me to the case, was the clash of cultures behind it. Since my childhood I am very aware of American Loudness in entertainment (music, movies). When I grow up I saw the American Loudness of industries and media. ( I do like Frank Zappa as a remake of !!!!American Loudness!!!!)
Now I learned about the Loudness of American students abroad,the Loudness of pr driven media, the Loudness of a silly, (for me unattractive btw) girl, the Loudness of her family . . . .
And I learned about us, Peter, you posters and commenters and . . . . I love you wink
I appreciate the depth and fine tone here. People here are decent reasoning. I read about a pro knox journalist, who got a death threat and I knew immediatly, it can not be one of us.
After all . . . it helps self reflecting my own loudness;-)

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/09/11 at 05:12 AM | #

Check out Amanda’s dark sly look in this recent Guardian piece which was up & down in the news very quickly:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/08/amanda-knox-appeal-rejects-dna-test

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/09/11 at 01:05 PM | #

Your observation that the present Knox PR hype is very reminiscent of the hype just before Judge Massei’s unequivocal and unanimous verdict was read out is spot on.

However, there are a few major differences this time around. Firstly, we have the majority of evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito standing uncontested in the appeal.  Secondly, the political climate in the USA is entirely different this time around, which will destroy any anticipated political support via the Knox PR effort back home.

With major elections coming in the Fall of 2012 we will certainly not see the likes of Senator Maria Cantwell jumping back on the highly controversial Knox bandwagon when Knox’s conviction is re-confirmed this fall.

Posted by Fly By Night on 09/09/11 at 03:40 PM | #

I try not to watch the tv news(or pay attention to mainstream media in general, for the obvious reasons!) but I have tuned in a few times this past week. Last night there was a brief piece about vandalism in a Seattle neighbourhood—not my own, for a change. Residents heard noise out in the street but noone directly observed what I assume were several individuals running alongside parked cars and smashing in the rear windscreens on what looked to be a dozen or so vehicles. Valuables were left untouched in plain view.
Comment by an interviewed victim asked “WHY?” But does it matter why? I think that knowing WHO, and holding them to make reparations is far more important than understanding their pointless motive, don’t you?

Posted by mimi on 09/09/11 at 04:18 PM | #

“Amanda Knox, although guilty of a psychopathic murder in collusion with another person of similar leanings, not only “looks” normal but—& here at last my paradoxical point: SHE IS NORMAL. And this is the monstrous normality & disfigurement which has taken over whole swaths of our society.”

Ernest Werner’s remark reminds me of Hannah Arendt’s horrific conclusion about the banality of evil (in her book on “Eichmann in Jerusalem”).

First things first, though. I also agree with mimi that “knowing WHO, and holding them to” account (if I may change a phrase)“is far more important than understanding their pointless motive.” Whatever the motive of Knox and Sollecito, it was pointless.

Posted by P. Mela on 09/09/11 at 05:21 PM | #

I’m sick and tired of people from the American pro Knox media saying over and over,  how Amanda is such a smart girl!   
I believe she is guilty as charged!
Now that being said, with all her lies and her actions throwout the investigation, if she were to be innocent, she would have to be one of the stupidest girls you have ever known!     
So what is it Knox supporters is amanda guilty and smart or innocent and borderline retarded? 
I believe she is very GUILTY!
also I’m a little miffed at the way people have made the Italian justice system out to be sub par compared to the American system!
My parents are from Rome, and people on twitter say boycott Italia. Believe me I don’t think they would mind if you stayed home

Posted by Mike/Canada on 09/09/11 at 08:32 PM | #

Hello, I’m new here. I live in Southern California and very fascinated with this case. Every night I read new posts here.

I too believe that Amanda and Rafaelle are, with Rudy G., guilty of murder of beautiful, beautiful Meredith. I pray that their convictions are upheld in the next 3 weeks. Amanda’s lack of an alibi, her continued lies and strange behavior has convinced me of her guilt.

Having said that, I keep wondering, why authorities couldn’t find the smallest trace of Meredith’s blood at all in Rafaelle’s apartment (clothing, washer, floor), except for the tip of the knife - while Meredith’s blood was all over Rudy. This has bothered me for awhile.

Posted by Devnet09 on 09/09/11 at 09:16 PM | #

Call me a cynic, but sadly this case has evolved from doing justice with conviction in the initial trial,to corrupting the system by any means possible by defense agents. There is always more money to be made acquitting a celebrity murderer than convicting. The first challenge for the defense PR machine was to make a common murderer into a celebrity. When that didn’t work, subborn perjury from witnesses with bribes or extortion? The only question remaining is whether the court now has the integrity and fortitude to withstand any defense agent improprieties and PR pressure to free the celebrity in whom they have invested big money to bring home book, movie,talk show,and tabloid deals. Any rational person understands that the odds of Sollecito’s dna being on Meredith’s clasp ” accidentally” are about one in a billion. Also the court must be mindful of the fact that a defense agent witnessed the original dna testing of the knife which positively profiled Meredith. The only way these smelly red herrings will fly for the defense is if they are stuffed with money given the bulk of the other evidence.

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

Is there anything Steve Moore,the sorry caricature of a wannabe a celebrity, retired FBI agent,will not say to get a microphone or a pat on the head from Anne Bremner,Dave Marriott, and Ted Simon.

Posted by jennifer on 09/09/11 at 10:14 PM | #

@ Ernest Werner: I am truly sorry for the loss of your wife.

Yes, it is the juxtaposition of examples of good that contrast so clearly when laid beside the dungheap.

I already said what drew me to the case, but it is this, that keeps me here: The dignity of the Kerchers contrasted by the lack of dignity and respect shown by the Amanders. If there is anything I can do to give them peace after so losing their daughter I would do so, and one way we can do that is to fight for justice to be given to them.

And after that I will also pray for the redemption of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. That can only happen if they pay for the crime they did. Otherwise, they will have learned nothing.

On a more personal note to everyone, we all have crises of faith, but, we will also always have, hope.

Posted by Ergon on 09/09/11 at 10:57 PM | #

From Seattle:
After they misleading the americans with a totally absurd reporting from Perugia:
Amanda hopes to be home for Thansgiving (which year???)
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/129556983.html,

they made up a poll in the local newspaper, so the americans could decide if AK is guilty or not:
http://www.komonews.com/home/poll/129560423.html?t=a&submit=Submit&mr=1&oid=2&pollpg=y&pid=129560423&cid=3031
It is just unbelievable…

Posted by Hungarian on 09/10/11 at 12:10 AM | #

I love the tender and respectful tone of so many posters here.  Concern for Meredith’s family and for justice keep us together. In the unlikely event that the appeals court overturns the original verdicts, can the prosecution still apppeal to the Supreme Court?  If ao, would Knox and Sollecito remain in prison while awaiting that appeal to be heard?

Posted by Sailor on 09/10/11 at 12:23 AM | #

Devnet09

Meredith’s blood was all over Rudy? Well maybe and there were of course Rudy’s bloody shoeprints at the cottage but what forensic evidence is there to corroborate your statement?

Rudy’s apartment was subjected to forensic examination and not one trace of Meredith was found there.

Posted by James Raper on 09/10/11 at 05:16 AM | #

@ Ernest Werner - I also wish to express my sorrow for the loss of your wife.

@ Devnet09 - I think most people believe that Rafaelle and Amanda showered in the bathroom at the cottage - hence Meredith’s blood found in there, some mixed with Amanda’s blood. Their clothing could have easily been put in a bag and stuffed in a public garbage somewhere. They had a few days to clean the knife back at Rafaelle’s flat.

Posted by bedelia on 09/10/11 at 08:55 AM | #

Hi James,

When I said that Meredith’s blood “was all over Rudy” I should of said her blood was on his hands, right?  Don’t forget Rudy’s bloody handprint on the pillow. Rudy must have had quite a bit of Meredith’s blood on him. So, if Amanda and Rafaelle were there when MK was stabbed in the neck, they would of had her blood splattered on them as well (i.e. soles of feet, clothing) via blood spatter.

Didn’t Amanda do a load of laundry the morning after? Was forensics done on the laundry and/or washer?

That is why I asked why NO trace of MK’s blood was ever found in RS’s apartment.

I have tried to read everything on the case, sometimes I think I may have missed something.

RIP Meredith and GUILTY to AK and RS!

Posted by Devnet09 on 09/10/11 at 06:04 PM | #

Hi former bad girl,

Did I miss the part that said that MK’s blood was in the shower as well? I thought I read that blood was in the toilet, bidet and sink. From seeing the bathroom pics, there was blood everywhere. Of course, there would be no blood in the shower - it would surely have washed down the drain, but did they find any trace in the shower?

As for AK’s blood, I’m guessing it’s from the infected pierced ear? Did they examine her ear to determine truth?

And the skin cells mixed with MK’s blood in the bidet - can they get DNA from skin cells?

It’s obvious RG didn’t act alone - he wore sneakers, someone else had no shoes on. It’s also obvious that the timing of the attack on MK was coincidental to all the dwellers of the cottage upstairs and downstairs being out of town - except for AK and MK. I mean, who would want to stage an attack like that if they were afraid someone who lives there would walk in on them?

They are Guilty!

Posted by Devnet09 on 09/10/11 at 06:11 PM | #

Devnet, I can’t help but notice some FOA talking points in your questions.  If they are innocent questions, then please accept my apologies; coincidences do happen occasionally.

Meredith’s DNA was not found at either RS or RG’s apartments (and certainly not all over Rudy, who was not interviewed and swabbed the very next day).  Even if they had found it, it would not have been incriminating unless it was blood.  It’s not a crime to have someone else’s hair on your clothes, for example, especially when she lives with your girlfriend (you could get it simply from giving her a hug).  That knife, however, was extremely important because knives were used in the murder (and also, because it’s a lot harder to explain the DNA of a murder victim on a knife than a strand of hair on your sweater).

What was incriminating, however, was THEIR DNA at the cottage.  Footprints from both of them, RS’ DNA on the bra clasp, RG’s DNA on Meredith, etc. That places them at the crime scene, without a doubt.

The blood on the sink, bidet, etc. was not from AK’s ears.  Small piercing infections don’t result in blood streaming from your lobes. And we can see from AK’s pictures the next day that her ears don’t have monstrous wounds which would have justified a lot of bleeding.  Also, the blood spots contained both AK’s and Meredith’s DNA, which cannot be explained by AK bleeding from her ears.  However, it can be very well explained by AK bleeding during the murder (which, as you know, also involved Meredith bleeding).

As far as DNA from skin cells go, you can definitely get DNA from living cells.  I am not sure about dead cells, like dead skin.  If they do contain DNA, it’s not much.  If what you’re getting at is that Meredith’s dead skin cells floated around, mixed with dust, and landed precisely on Amanda’s blood in the bathroom, the probability is so low, it’s ludicrous.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/10/11 at 09:36 PM | #

Vivianna,

For the record, I am no FOA, never was, never will be.

We’re talking about a lot of bloodshed here. Rudy must have been covered in it the night of the crime obviously, because his hands and soles of his shoes were. Look at the quantity of blood in the bathroom, covering the sides of the sink, bidet and the white drawer in the background. AK and RS would have been splattered with blood as well. All it would take is one drop of MK’s blood on RS’s or RG’s apartment in addition to MK’s DNA on the knife tip and that would have been automatic conviction.

Was AK bleeding the night she murdered MK?

I read on this site that skin cells are keratinized and therefore contain no DNA. So what did they get from the bidet and toilet - AK’s skin cells from her hands and feet? Did they do a match with AK’s skin with what they found? Did they find RS’s skin cells too? He was barefoot as well and must have also scrubbed his feet in the bathroom. I think they’re both guilty regardless.

I have another thought. Since the blood was tracked by RG (wearing sneakers), did forensics try to track the fading bloody footprints downstairs and at ground level to determine the direction RG may have taken? Surely there must have been some trace of MK’s blood on the ground maybe several feet or yards away?

Posted by Devnet09 on 09/10/11 at 11:41 PM | #

Hi Devnet09,

A number of DNA experts claim that Amanda Knox was bleeding on the night of the murder and that her blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. You can read about the mixed blood evidence here:

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/beyond_massei_on_the_seemingly_insuperable_mixed_blood_evidence/#comments

Posted by The Machine on 09/11/11 at 10:33 AM | #

What drew me to this case is that I was an Erasmus student once. Others Erasmus students feel like family to me.

@Ernest Werner : have you seen the documentary about Adolf Eichmann entitled “The specialist”, or read or heard about Hannah Arendt’s theory of the banality of evil ? According to both, Eichmann was a very normal person who nonetheless consistently went along with organising mass murder. The way you portrayed Knox made me think of that.

Posted by Sylviane on 09/11/11 at 11:43 AM | #

Devnet - thank you for clarifying and I apologize if I made you uncomfortable.

It’s not clear if Rudy was covered in blood.  Based on the reconstructions I’ve read (forensic and psychological), it doesn’t seem like he inflicted the knife wounds, although he’s the one who sexually assaulted Meredith. He obviously touched some blood, but it was probably just on his hand and sneakers.

I don’t know how far they were able to track his footprints, but it was clear that after the murder, he ran straight out (which implies that he didn’t stay for the clean-up).  His movements that night are known - several people placed him at a dance club and mentioned that everyone was avoiding him because he smelled bad.  After that, he fled the country, so they couldn’t interview him the next day.  He became a suspect later on, when his DNA was identified at the crime scene.  All it would have taken for him to not leave traces was to wash his hands and leave his sneakers outside his apartment while he was packing his bag. The blood on them would have been dry at that point, but he could have also thrown away the mat.

RS and AK are a different story, and I agree with you that they must have been splattered with blood.  But they had time to shower and either wash their clothes or simply dispose of them (RS had a car and I imagine Perugia has a daily garbage pick-up schedule like most cities, so he could have tossed them in a bin scheduled for pick up next day at 6).

Regarding the skin cell/blood question, this passage from the article linked by the Machine has the answer:

“Forensic police biologists testified about five spots where they had detected samples of “mixed blood” genetic material—spots of blood of both Knox and Kercher’s—in the bidet, on the sink, on the drain tap, on the Q-tip box in the bathroom and in a spot where prosecutors argued Knox and Sollecito staged a break-in. (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 29 May 2009).”

So it seems that when they talk about mixed DNA, they’re talking about blood, not simple skin cells or hair.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/11/11 at 02:38 PM | #

In order to best inform any newcomers to the case, I have to post this objective and uncontested fact:


There was no mixed blood of Miss Kercher and Miss Knox.


According to the Massei Report, in reference to the shared, small bathroom, Page 277:

“On the right side of the inside doorframe there was a tiny droplet of the victim’s blood.
[299] Also on top of the toilet-seat cover of the toilet there was blood from the victim.
In the bidet there was a substance which appeared to be diluted blood, and which was shown to be a mixed trace specimen having the biological profiles of Amanda and Meredith.
Also in the sink, there was a substance which appeared to be diluted blood, and which was shown to be a mixed trace specimen with the same result.
On the front part of the tap of the sink, there was coagulated blood which was shown to belong to Amanda.
On the box of cotton buds/Q-tips sitting on the sink/washbasin there were stains and these showed the presence of blood and a mixed trace from Amanda and Meredith.
On the light switch in the same bathroom there was a mark which proved to be the victim’s blood.
The sky-blue mat found in that bathroom was stained with blood which was shown to be from the victim.”


The only blood of Knox’s found at the scene was also described as so, Page 280:

“...Amanda’s blood on the tap of the sink. This consisted of a spot of coagulated blood, with respect to which Amanda explained that it came from her own ear having been pierced; this spot, furthermore, was located towards the inside of the sink: distinct, separate and morphologically different, therefore, from the trace found in the sink itself.”


This site has added too much value for the case to be spreading this one false rumor. And I don’t mean that in an accusing manner - this case is extremely complex!

Posted by Hume on 09/13/11 at 04:35 AM | #

I have pierced numerous people’s ears and I have never known ears to drip blood. If the pierced area becomes infected it can seep fluid but it is unlikely to drip. I have 3 piercings in each of my ears (the folly of youth) and they did not drip blood. More often than not there is literally not a drop of blood from a piercing. If her ear had bled sufficiently to drip onto the tap, why was she leaning over the tap and did not some of the blood fall on her clothes first ie her shoulder? An isolated drop of blood from an ear to a tap? Although not strictly impossible it just doesn’t sound likely. I would be interested to know of anyone else’s experience with piercings. Love to you all.

Posted by pensky on 09/13/11 at 05:30 AM | #

Hi Hume,

You need to get your facts straight before you claim something is an uncontested fact. The prosecution experts testified that Amanda Knox’s blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. Distinguished DNA expert and former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano has confirmed this had happened. Even Amanda Knox’s lawyers conceded that her blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. The jury in the first trial regarded the mixed blood evidence as particularly damning evidence.

Posted by The Machine on 09/13/11 at 11:42 AM | #

Hi Machine,

It seems I have been guilty of neglecting certain ocuments. I can’t stand reading the vast and numerous articles in the media, mainly because the majority are heavily biased. I am fan of objective thought and relatively new to the case, thus only trusting court documents, primarily the Massei Report.

Can you please refer to me which documents confirm what you say? I know PMF has a lot of court documents, so even a title would suffice.

Thank you for the courteous reply as well (breathe of fresh air after reading some other sites comments).

Posted by Hume on 09/13/11 at 04:39 PM | #

Hi Machine,

It seems I have been guilty of neglecting certain ocuments. I can’t stand reading the vast and numerous articles in the media, mainly because the majority are heavily biased. I am fan of objective thought and relatively new to the case, thus only trusting court documents, primarily the Massei Report.

Can you please refer to me which documents confirm what you say? I know PMF has a lot of court documents, so even a title would suffice.

Thank you for the courteous reply as well (breathe of fresh air after reading some other sites comments).

Posted by Hume on 09/13/11 at 04:39 PM | #

Hi Machine,

It seems I have been guilty of neglecting certain ocuments. I can’t stand reading the vast and numerous articles in the media, mainly because the majority are heavily biased. I am fan of objective thought and relatively new to the case, thus only trusting court documents, primarily the Massei Report.

Can you please refer to me which documents confirm what you say? I know PMF has a lot of court documents, so even a title would suffice.

Thank you for the courteous reply as well (breathe of fresh air after reading some other sites comments).

Posted by Hume on 09/13/11 at 04:40 PM | #

Hi Hume,

Journalists Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau were present in the courtroom in Perugia when the prosecution’s experts testified and they have summarised the findings of the scientific police in several articles. Barbie Nadeau mentioned the mixed blood evidence in her book Angel Face and in this interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgnw9EM_qbg

DNA expert Luciano Garofano discusses the mixed blood evidence in Darkness Descending and explains how he can tell that it was Amanda Knox’s blood that was mixed with Meredith’s blood.

Posted by The Machine on 09/13/11 at 06:50 PM | #

Thanks again Machine for the information.

I’m don’t put my faith/or trust in reporters (pro-guilt or pro-innocent), but a DNA expert is a different story.

Curious: Why wasn’t the mixed blood evidence mentioned in the Massei Report?

I would agree with the first jury that this is/would be, by far, the most damning evidence…I mean, it doesn’t take much to give someone a nose bleed, explaining why there were no marks on Miss Knox when inspected (unless you count the hicky). Which makes this mixed blood even more odd that it wasn’t specifically told in the Massei Report (numerous instances of DNA mixed, but never mentions ‘mixed blood’).

Any idea why this is?

Posted by Hume on 09/22/11 at 02:13 AM | #

Hume,

You are right that Massei did not talk about mixed blood - and I am not sure why not.

It has of course to be said that neither did Stefanoni. Indeed she specifically avoided talking about blood, certainly in relation to AK’s DNA wherever it was found. The only exception being AK’s blood on the faucet.

TMB tests were conducted on the mixed traces of DNA identified by luminol and these were negative though the results do not exclude blood. All that can be said is that TMB did not show that they were blood.

What I am saying is that it seems Stefanoni stuck to being scientificallly accurate. Perhaps even if she was asked as to her opinion. I assume she must have been asked her opinion at some stage.

Likewise the defence experts were not able to exclude blood but proffered alternative explanations.

Massei didn’t say it was blood. He didn’t say it was not blood. He stuck closely to the way the experts had talked about the subject, perhaps out of respect for their professional approach and expertise.

I can understand the scientists. For their credibility they have to remain professional and not draw inferences which is really what the judges are there to do.

However it is clear - I think on any reading of Stefanoni’s evidence - what Stefanoni would have said had she not been putting her reputation to the test as the principal prosecution scientific expert. She undoubtedly thought it was blood and covered the topic in enough detail in her evidence for that inference to be drawn.

I am sure Massei and the jury drew the inference but I am disappointed with them for not making this explicit.

I am likewise disappointed with Massei as regards the matter of AK’s blood on the faucet. It looks as if he ducked out of drawing inferences in connection with that as well.

If I were presenting closing arguments for the prosecution - bearing in mind that we cannot know for certain where the judges are going with the knife and bra clasp - I would take the opportunity, as part of my presentation, to hammer home the evidence where I think the Massei Report was a bit weak on appropriate inferences, such as :-

1. AK’s blood on the faucet
2. The mixed traces have to be blood
3. The fact that in his diaries Raffaele -
 
(a) was so worried about the knife that he   invented the clearly false story about pricking Meredith with it.
(b) lied about receiving a call from his father at 11pm on the 1st November (disproved by phone records)

4. Another item of evidence as to the clean up as recently brought to the attention of readers on PMF, being a long drip of Meredith’s blood on a side of the small bathroom door which can only realistically be explained as residue from blood on the face of the door which has been cleaned off. Actually, to be fair to Massei, he did pick up the point, but I feel the court would need to be reminded.

I am sure that there are other many things to highlight and that the prosecutors are working on all these elements for the closing speeches.

For a review of how to draw what I would say are the appropriate inferences as to the mixed DNA evidence, you can visit, or re-visit, An Analysis of the Physical Evidence at the Cottage, and in particular The Luminol Results, in the powerpoint summary of evidence by myself and Kermit (which I think is still on the front page - lower down).

Posted by James Raper on 09/22/11 at 07:23 AM | #

Hi Hume,

Judge Massei did not accept the claims made by the prosecution’s experts that Amanda Knox’s blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. However, this evidence was presented in court.

Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau were both in court when the prosecution’s experts testified and they both have access to the 10,000 page dossier known as the Digital Archive. They have both specifically referred to the mixed blood evidence on a number of occasions. There is no reason to believe that they are mistaken.

I already have some of the prosecution’s documents. I will try to get hold of the documents and data concerning the mixed blood evidence and post them on TJMK.

Posted by The Machine on 09/22/11 at 02:17 PM | #


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