Monday, September 24, 2018

Knox’s Lamp: The Very Incriminating Evidence Found INSIDE Meredith’s Locked Room

Posted by James Raper


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1. The Elephant In The Room Of Which No-one Speaks

Throughout the case it has frequently been claimed that there was no actual evidence of Knox’s presence in the “the murder room” or the “scene of the crime” defined (wrongly) as Meredith’s bedroom alone.

However, this is to omit, among other things, the highly incriminating presence of the black desk lamp, which was found, without any fingerprints on it, behind the door. (There was only one print of Knox in the entire house; there were none in her own room or bathroom or kitchen except on one glass.)

The bald facts are that (1) Knox had such a lamp, (2) Meredith had two working lights of her own; (3) Knox grudgingly admitted ownership of the lamp at trial in 2009, (4) it was the only working source of illumination for her own room, and (5) when Meredith’s locked door was forced open, there it was, knocked over on the floor.

The omission of this incriminating evidence spreads surprisingly far, almost as if the highly regimented Knox-Mellas PR had ordered: “There must be no attention drawn to this.”.

The prosecution questioned Knox about it at trial (see Part 3 below) but the defenses had not one question in rebuttal or explanation of their own.

Knox makes no mention of it in her book. Preston makes no mention of it in his. Candace Dempsey makes no mention of it in hers. John Douglas (see the Machine’s telling posts below) makes no mention of it in either of his. Mark Waterbury makes no mention of it in his. Nina Burleigh makes no mention of it in hers. Bruce Fischer makes no mention of it in his. Raffaele Sollecito makes no mention of it in his.

Steve Moore avoids mentioning it in his stints on TV. Michael Heavey never makes mention of it on TV. Greg Hampikian avoids mention when he is on TV. Anne Bremner has avoided talking about it as well.  Frank Sforza never mentioned it on his abandoned blog. There is a foolish mention on the malicious Ground Report site, the intent being somehow to frame Guede with it - but there were those two working lights in Meredith’s room, and there is no footprint evidence that he stepped next door.

What precisely was the lamp doing there? If Knox or Sollecito carried it there, what were they doing with it that Meredith’s lights were of no help?

At trial and at pre-trial questionings Knox always failed to explain (see trial testimony in Part 3 below). Nor could she explain how she failed to notice it missing from her own room.

Regrettably this purpose of the lamp was not a question ever adequately addressed by any of the judges when considering Knox’s complicity in the crime. Let us redress that oversight.

TJMK has previously carried 16 other posts listed in Part 4 below with significant mentions of the incriminating lamp.

This is my eighth evidence post on TJMK; the seven prior posts are listed in Part 5 below. Other posts have been on the forensics, behaviours, and court outcomes. My ebook is linked-to in Part 6.



Red star indicates position of lamp

2. An Exercise In Deducing Amanda Knox’s Role

Knox denied knowing that her lamp had been in Meredith’s room and has never offered a plausible, indeed innocent, explanation for it being there. Accordingly we can rule out that Knox had lent it to Meredith at any time.

Other possible options are that Meredith or Rudy Guede had taken it from Knox’s bedroom, without her consent.

But if Meredith, why would she have done this? She had a wall light above her bed and her own desk lamp, neither of which were not working. Even if she had, why on the night of (and in the no more than two hours before) her murder? Only to leave it on the floor behind her door? There is no reason at all to believe that Meredith had borrowed the lamp just prior to her death and left it on her own floor.

Likewise, no plausible explanation can be offered for Guede taking the lamp.

If Knox was unaware that her lamp was there, could she really also have been unaware that it was not in her room? 

Two days after the discovery of the murder, and before her arrest, this is what Knox wrote in her e-mail, referring to the discovery of Filomena’s broken window after she and Sollecito had returned to the cottage –

“Convinced that we had been robbed I went to Laura’s room and looked quickly in, but it was spotless like it hadn’t even been touched. This, too, I thought was odd. I then went into the part of the house that Meredith and I share and checked my room for things missing, which there weren’t.”

How could she possibly have missed it? Her own room was quite small and cramped, and the desk lamp should have been either on her desk or her table by the bed. It would have been a fairly prominent item and it’s absence would be impossible to miss even if, while checking, she was only paying minimal attention at the time.

Furthermore, according to her account she had been in and out of her room when visiting the cottage earlier that morning. Her room was sunless at that time of day.

She had undressed for a shower in her room but had to return for a towel, and then return to her room again to get dressed. Never noticed that her lamp was missing? She would say she had no reason to actually check on that occasion.

Knox was, of course, lying (there are many aspects of her e-mail which are simply not credible), but she really had to say that she checked her room because there had been a burglary, did she not?

She has to convey the impression that she herself believed, innocently, that there had been a genuine burglary and in doing so she was hoping to draw the investigators’ attention away from two important matters.

The first was that the burglary was staged. That is now a settled judicial fact in the case.

The second was that there had been a post murder manipulation of the crime scene by the removal of blood traces (ultimately though the 2015 Supreme Court did not accord this the status of a judicial fact, largely due to omission of facts and obfuscation on its part).

Furthermore the 2015 Supreme Court did not even mention Knox’s lamp at all.

Obviously its presence, in the position in which it was found, in Meredith’s room, plays into the notion of a post murder manipulation of the crime scene. If Meredith is a most unlikely agent for it being there, then how do we rate Knox’s and Guede’s agency?

Knox’s lamp and Meredith’s lamp were both on the floor, at either end of Meredith’s bed. This suggests that they were being used to check under the bed, as this area, with the wall light on, would have been in shadow at night.

It is difficult to imagine what incriminating item Guede would have been looking for and why it would have been of particular importance to him, to the extent that he ignored everything else.

We have to bear in mind that the room already had incriminating forensic traces of his presence there, and fairly obvious ones at that, which it never occurred to him to remove. We know that he had blood on the sole of his left shoe but the positioning of these prints did not indicate that he was looking under the bed, or had anything to do with the lamp.

It is admittedly speculation but Knox might have been looking for an earring on the floor. She’d recently had her ears pierced several times and from a photograph of her taken by the press outside the cottage after the crime we can see that one of her earrings was missing then.

The very presence of that lamp there has to be considered as potentially incriminating, and of Knox. It is a fact that has to be assessed and evaluated, and Knox would surely have appreciated that questions would be asked and that adverse inferences could be drawn.

That this is obvious is recognized even by her own supporters whose response when not ignoring the lamp is to take Knox’s e-mail at face value and claim that her lamp was a plant by the police.

Yes, really.

The lamp is part of the overwhelming circumstantial case against Knox and, I would argue, has had a particular resonance for her since, so much so that she has sought to ignore it always.

Why would she leave it in there? Behind a locked door?

Probably for the same reason that she did not get around to removing the trace of her own blood on the faucet of the sink in the small bathroom. Not thinking clearly because she was shattered, having been up all night and, probably, also as a result of having indulged in drugs and/or alcohol.

She might not have realized that the blood could be identified as hers, but the lamp would be a different matter, hard to explain.

In any event it was seemingly unwittingly left behind. An oversight which, at some point, must have occurred to her.

When might that have happened? It would have had to be when she was no longer in possession of Meredith’s keys, or, at least not in a position to retrieve these in time given the train of events set in motion next.

A perpetrator would not want to be found in possession of those keys. Still less, Sollecito. The knife could be cleaned, but the keys would be damning. 

On the face of it the keys could have been taken by Guede, but clearly the keys had remained in the possession of those who had arranged the staged burglary, and the post murder manipulation of the crime scene, and it is very improbable (as argued elsewhere) that Guede had any involvement with that.

Very probably the keys were tossed away into heavy undergrowth afterwards, or disposed of down some drain and then, some time later, Knox had the sudden realisation that this had left her and Sollecito with a problem. She could not simply retrieve the lamp and return it to her room without breaking down Meredith’s door.

Actually that could have been done, though not without some difficulty, and it would have fitted with a burglary and a violent assault on Meredith.

Though here the intelligent observer would have to assume from the circumstances, and no doubt Knox and Sollecito would have pondered on this, that Meredith had surprisingly been unable to thwart the lone intruder, had locked herself in to her room with her phones still with her, and would have undoubtedly called the emergency number for the police, while all this and the breaking down of her door, was going on.

However when exactly the oversight occurred to Knox needs to be considered. I personally believe that it was much later than most people would think. Certainly not just after the murder.

When was the plan to stage a burglary and remove the blood traces from the corridor put into operation?  Was it before or after they had listened to music for half an hour from 5.30 am and Knox had been seen by Quintavalle at his store at 7.45 am?

Given the nature of the headbanging rock music, may this have been a celebration of the stagings already accomplished, or were they nerving themselves to return to the cottage and put their plan into operation?

Personally I favour the notion that it was after listening to the music. When they finished the staging I have no idea, but it would still have been at a time in the morning when it was unlikely that anyone i.e Filomena would come calling. And they could still have cleared off to Gubbio for the day.

Perhaps it was always the case that Knox and Sollecito needed to be present when the murder was discovered, and in circumstances they could control in such a manner as to convince others of their complete lack of complicity in what had happened.

Maybe much of what then happened had already been pre-planned, including the story of Knox visiting the cottage to have a shower etc.

If one assumes this, and that it was then that Knox realises her mistake with the lamp, then what subsequently transpired makes a lot more sense.

A discovery process which had initially seemed manageable became, with her error, laden with danger. The lamp had to be retrieved but, with Sollecito’s assistance, this could still be achieved in the confusion of Filomena and her friends attending the cottage and breaking down the door themselves.

Should Filomena have perhaps baulked at the idea of doing any damage, then I suspect Knox and Sollecito would have pressed her to authorise this, if not actually gone right ahead to do this themselves - and see how innocent that would have then made them look! Win-win!

What would complicate matters was if the police were also there, and so the possibility of anyone alerting the police had to be delayed.

Now let us look at the phone records with the above in mind.

From 12.07 until 12.35 am on the morning of the discovery of the murder, Knox and Filomena exchanged telephone calls, whereby Knox slowly ramped up the worry on Filomena’s part as to what was going on and Meredith’s safety.

As a consequence of the first call, by Knox, made from Sollecito’s bedsit, Filomena asked her to check certain things out e.g ring Meredith’s phones and keep her informed, but otherwise had not heard enough to indicate that she herself needed to return to the cottage, or that the police needed to be involved.

Incidentally, Knox had misled Filomena when asked by her whether she had yet tried calling Meredith by phone. Had Knox told Filomena the truth, that she had just tried Meredith’s english phone (for 16 seconds) Filomena would undoubtedly have been more than worried given that would have been after midday, when surely Meredith would have been up and about.

Was that the point of the omission, because Knox did not require Filomena to be that concerned yet? Time had yet to pass for Knox and Sollecito to compose themselves and for them to engage in the panic and search ritual which they were ready to describe. 

However Filomena remained concerned and called Knox twice more until Knox answered her from the cottage at 12.35 to inform her that her bedroom window had been broken and her room had been trashed.

Knox would have been fully aware what the effect would have been of the latter call. Filomena was adamant. Knox had to call the police. More importantly, for Knox, Filomena would now definitely be returning to the cottage, and quickly. Who would get there first? Filomena or the police? The answer, for Knox, would not be in doubt.

At 12.47 whilst awaiting the arrival of Filomena, Knox called her mother.

The circumstances of that call are extremely puzzling. In retrospect I think the call was simply to fill in time and to keep her nerves steady.

As to that call (4.47 am Seattle time, while Edda and Chris were still asleep, and prior to the discovery of Meredith‘s body) Knox not only did not mention that in her e-mail but in taped conversation with her mother and in her trial testimony she steadfastly declined to recall that it had occurred.

Ostensibly the call would have been, of course, to report the break in. So what would be the problem with that? Indeed, Edda’s frustration with her daughter was eloquently expressed in her response during the taped conversation - “But nothing had happened yet!”  Knox clearly did not want to discuss her motive for the call, neither then nor later, nor as to what had transpired in conversation with her mother (and stepfather) before the discovery of Meredith’s body.

Not only was the timing of the 12.47 call inconvenient to her mother but I found it interesting to note from Knox’s phone records (covering 2nd Oct - 3rd November) that mother and daughter do not appear to have called or texted each other once by phone up until that 12.47 call.

It would appear then that in so far as they remained in direct communication with each other for that period it must have been by e-mail or Skype. Indeed Knox has referred to such communication being via internet café. One can therefore imagine that her mother was very surprised to receive that call.

It is also very difficult to accept that Knox could not recall a phone call she was not in the habit of making.

Until Knox published her book the only information that was available about the 12.47 call (apart from the phone log which showed that it lasted 88 seconds) came from her mother (who reported that her daughter was concerned about the break in) and her stepfather Chris Mellas.

Mellas says that he interrupted the conversation between mother and daughter to tell Amanda to get out of the cottage. In her book Knox tells us (her memory now having returned) that he yelled at her but that she was “spooked” enough without that.

But what had really happened to spook her? It was just a burglary after all, even if the matter of Meredith’s whereabouts was as yet unresolved. None of her own possessions had been stolen. Furthermore Filomena was on her way to take charge.

The call she made to her mother after the discovery of the murder (the one she remembered) was perfectly understandable, the prior call, without further context, less so. 

Readers will already know where I am coming from, but I believe that it was whilst walking back to the cottage with Sollecito that Knox realised her mistake with the lamp. However, it could have been earlier than that.

In any event this realisation would have set the cat amongst the pigeons for her. So, it was both a comfort and a rehearsal call, not simply because there had been a burglary, but because she knew a hazardous set of events was about to unfold on Romanelli’s arrival at the cottage. The fact that her mother and stepfather already had the jitters was not a good omen.

Still, retrieving the lamp and returning it to her own room remained feasible, provided the police were not there. However Romanelli had yet to arrive and time was running out.

Both Knox and Sollecito knew that any further delay in calling the police would look suspicious. Finally they did so, at 12.51, though it is probable that the postal police had unexpectedly arrived before then.

In my book I have argued that the likely time of arrival of the postal police was probably about 12.48-9. Indeed that may have been why Knox brought her call to her mother to an end.  (“Looks as if someone is coming. Gotta go now.”) 

I wonder if that is another reason why Knox would not want to remember the call, particularly during the taped conversation with her mother in the prison. She would not want to prompt her mother to that recollection. That wouldn’t fit with the claim, as related to the postal police, that they had already called the Carabinieri.

In any event, the opportunity to retrieve the lamp had been lost.

I have always thought that the oddities in Knox’s own account of events reveal and explain much even if, ostensibly, she appears to be giving an innocent account of everything. In her e-mail she refers to her panic and specifically links this to concern over Meredith’s whereabouts and safety.

However the panic suddenly subsided, and her concern was significantly lacking, non-existent actually, when the postal police made their surprise entrance before the arrival of Filomena and her friends. We can also see why she says, before that, that Sollecito would want, and allegedly attempt, to break Meredith’s door open.

Had I been in Knox’s shoes, and with a mutual alibi with Sollecito, I too would have thought the discovery of the murder of “my best friend” would have been manageable, but for that damned lamp. There would be questions to be answered, of course, but she had already thought all that through, hadn’t she?

As it happened, things did not turn out too bad for her in the immediate aftermath.

She was not, she thought, under immediate suspicion as she must have feared she would be. Seemingly nobody had twigged to the lamp business, nor to the staged burglary.

She must have thought the police immensely stupid for her to have got away with that, as she thought she had. She was also the centre of attention and coping reasonably well, but for that dicey moment when she was shown the drawer of knives in the kitchen.

Her confidence had soared sufficiently for her to even claim that she had checked her room and had found nothing missing!

But wait! What were those “hard facts” she claims the police had mentioned later during her interview?

Let me see. Hmm. Suspicions, certainly. Her alibi gone deep south. The locked door, the lamp, the quilt, the staged burglary? An e-mail in which she is just a bit too full of herself and the content of which, in places, was just a bit too unreal, daffy and lah-di-dah, to be true? The strange behaviour at the police station? Phone records? God, could they have phone records?

No wonder she didn’t ask the police to elaborate.




3. Amanda Knox Questioned On The Lamp At Trial

Giuliano Mignini:  Okay. Okay. Listen, another question. The lamp that was found in Meredith’s room, a black lamp with a red button, that was found in Meredith’s room, at the foot of the bed. Was it yours?
Amanda Knox:  I did have a lamp with a red button in my room, yes.
GM:  So the lamp was yours.
AK:  I suppose it was.
GM:  Was it missing from your room?
AK:  You know, I didn’t look.
GM:  Did Meredith have a lamp like that in her room?
AK:  I don’t know…

GM:  Now, another question. You told us before, this story about the door, about knocking down the door, that Raffaele tried to break down the door. You said that you tried to explain that sometimes she did have her door locked, you told us about this point. Now, I want to ask you this question: Raffaele didn’t by any chance try to break down the door to get back the lamp we talked about?
AK:  [perfectly calm reasonable voice] No, we didn’t know the lamp was in there.
GM:  You didn’t know that your lamp was in there?
AK:  In the sense that the lamp that was supposed to be in my room, I hadn’t even noticed it was missing. I tried—
GM:  You didn’t see that it was missing?
AK:  No, I didn’t see that it was missing.

Francesco Maresca:  In your room in via della Pergola, was there a central light?
Amanda Knox:  There was one but it didn’t work, so I used the little bedside lamp.
FM:  The lamp.
AK:  The little lamp, yes.
FM:  And you previously stated that you didn’t look for the lamp either; you only looked for your computer when you went into your room. You didn’t look for your money, you didn’t look for your lamp.
AK:  So, I saw the window only the second time that I entered the house. The first time I went into the house I didn’t even think of looking to see if anything was missing, because I saw going into the living room, it really looked like someone had just gone out of the house, everything was in order, just as I had left it. But the second time, I didn’t even think of looking for the lamp: the computer was the important thing for me. All my documents were in it.
FM:  But the first time, when you took your shower and then you returned to your room, first you undressed and then you dressed, all this, you did it without any light?
AK:  It was the middle of the morning, there was already light.
FM:  Did you open your shutters or were they already open?
AK:  I don’t remember.
FM:  To get to your room, to get to the window, you walked in the dark?
AK:  But it wasn’t dark in my room. Often—
FM:  I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
AK:  All right. Usually I only turned on that little lamp at night. Really at night, or in the evening, when I wanted to…So I didn’t even think of turning it on. It really wasn’t dark in my room when I went in.
GCM:  It wasn’t dark, but where was the light coming from? Natural light?
AK:  Natural.

4. Prior Posts With Significant Mention Of The Lamp

1. Click for Post:  Trial: Highlights Of The Testimony On 6 February And 7 February

2. Click for Post:  How The Media Should Approach The Case If Justice Is To Be Done And SEEN To Be Done

3. Click for Post:  Open Questions: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

4. Click for Post:  Fifteenth Appeal Session: Prosecutor Manuela Comodi Starkly Explains All The Forensic Evidence

5. Click for Post:  How The Clean-Up And The Locked Door Contribute To The Very Strong Case For Guilt

6. Click for Post:  Amanda Knox Risks Penalties For Felony Claims No Different From What Already Cost Her 3 Years

7. Click for Post:  Given The Abundant Facts, What Scenario Is The Nencini Court Considering? Probably Not Unlike This

8. Click for Post:  Appeal Session #4: Today Lead Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Summarises The Prosecution’s Case

9. Click for Post:  Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz And Philly Lawyer Ted Simon Both Claim The Devil’s In The Details

10. Click for Post:  Knox & Sollecito Actions In The Week Prior To Arrest: An Incriminating Behavior Pattern For Sure

11. Click for Post:  Judge Nencini Issues Harsh Warning To Tell The Truth - So Amanda Knox Does The Precise Opposite

12. Click for Post:  Fifty Of The Most Common Myths Still Promoted Without Restraint By The Knox PR Campaign

13. Click for Post:  From David Marriott’s Parrot: Latest Talking Points To Be Beamed At The Unbelieving

14. Click for Post:  Questons For Knox: Adding A Dozen More To The Several Hundred Knox So Far Avoided

15. Click for Post:  A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #5

16. Click for Post:  Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book #12: Finally, We Nail Knox’s Self-Serving 2015 Afterword

5. My Prior TJMK Posts On The Physical Evidence

1. Click for Post:  Powerpoints #17: Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

2. Click for Post:  Despite Disinformation From Apologists And Even Supreme Court, Law & Science Support Damning DNA

3. Click for Post:  Multiple Attackers and the Compatibility of the Double DNA Knife (Exhibit 36)

4. Click for Post:  The Suspicious Behaviour And Evidence Contradicting the Mutual Alibis Of RS And AK

5. Click for Post:  Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

6. Click for Post:  How The Clean-Up And The Locked Door Contribute To The Very Strong Case For Guilt

7. Click for Post:  Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death

6. My Book Of Which This Is A Part

Amazon US:  Justice on Trial: The Final Outcome - Evidence and Analysis in the Meredith Kercher Murder Case


Posted by James Raper on 09/24/18 at 11:07 AM in


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