Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trial: Friday Afternoon, More Tough Testimony From Meredith’s Friends

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Above left with Meredith: Sophie Purton

Above: Robyn Butterworth

Above: Amy Frost

Richard Owen of the London Times reports on the afternoon’s testimony.

1) Robyn Butterworth

Describing Ms Kercher’s last hours, Ms Butterworth said that Ms Kercher had joined her, Amy Frost and Sophie Purton to eat a pizza and watch a romantic film.

Ms Kercher had not made or received phone calls, and had not said that she was expecting anyone at the house she shared with Ms Knox.

She had returned home “about nine”. Ms Butterworth said they had all been tired after Hallowe’en the night before, when the friends had gone to a pub and a nightclub, returning home at 4.30am.

2) Amy Frost

Amy Frost, another witness who had flown in from Britain, said that [at the police station] Ms Knox was “giggling” and kissing Mr Sollecito.

“I remember Amanda sticking her tongue out at him. She had her feet on his lap,” the court was told. Ms Frost said that Ms Knox’s behaviour at the police station was “inappropriate”, as if she had “gone crazy”....

3) Natalie Hayward

Ms Hayward told the court that she remembered Ms Knox saying: “They slit her throat, Natalie, she would have died slowly and in a lot of pain.”

4) Sophie Purton

Sophie Purton, another close friend, said that she remembered hugging Ms Knox at the police station “but she did not reciprocate my hug, she seemed quite cold. She kept her arms at her side.” 

When she asked Ms Knox what happened Ms Knox replied: “What do you want to know, because I know everything.” She told Ms Purton “that Meredith was found in the wardrobe but only her foot was sticking out, and also that her throat had been cut”.

Since Ms Knox also said she was not there when the door of Ms Kercher’s bedroom was kicked in, Ms Purton said she assumed this information came from one of the Italian flatmates who was present.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/14/09 at 05:39 AM in Evidence & WitnessesOther witnesses15 Single alibi hoax


Was Rafaelle’s fate sealed by Psychopathia?

If Rafaelle is found guilty, what sentence should he receive?  Consider the case of Jim Jones and the Guyana mass murder.  These people were completely under the sway of this psychopathic minister.  At his instruction, mothers gave their children cyanide and then drank it themselves.  Suppose one had lived, was put on trial, and found guilty of manslaughter or murder.  What sentence is appropriate?  Life, death, or a slap on the wrist.

One in about 250 people would score high on the scale.  We encounter them all the time and most likely know one or several.  Generally, they feel OK themselves but can make the lives of the people they’re with miserable. A person is deemed more of a psychopath as they score higher on this list with three values for each:

•  superficial charm
•  self-centered & self-important
•  need for stimulation & prone to boredom
•  deceptive behavior & lying
•  conning & manipulative
•  little remorse or guilt
•  shallow emotional response
•  callous with a lack of empathy
•  living off others or predatory attitude
•  poor self-control
•  promiscuous sexual behavior
•  early behavioral problems
•  lack of realistic long term goals
•  impulsive lifestyle
•  irresponsible behavior
•  blaming others for their actions
•  short term relationships
•  juvenile delinquency
•  breaking parole or probation
•  varied criminal activity

It isn’t fair to characterize anyone as a Psychopath without working with them and knowing their past.  We can, however, look at some other people who have been so characterized.  A recent example is Bernie Madoff who convinced his friends and family to invest their money in his Ponzi scheme knowing they would probably lose their shirts.  Another is Kenneth LAY of Enron fame who convinced his trusted employees to invest everything in a company he knew was tanking.  Criminal behavior, perhaps not.

From a criminal perspective look at Elisa McNabney.  She conned or stole from many people and finally, with the help of Sarah Dutra, her husband.  She lavished money, clothing, jewelry, cars, and more on Sarah until she was “under her sway.”  They killed him but the question is the extent to which Sarah was actually responsible.  Larry had not done anything to Sarah but Elisa told her lies about how he mistreated her.  The jury couldn’t just let her go free and found Dutra guilty of Manslaughter but the judge threw the book at her anyway.

Which brings us to Raffaelle.  Amanda seems to be racking up some good scores on the list above.  For example, does suddenly doing yoga or playing the guitar while watching TV with others show a need for stimulation?  Probably not in and of itself but we’ll see if there arev other examples during the trial.  My question is, if found guilty, to what extent he was under Amanda’s sway and how much that should influence his sentence.  If true, her actions after the murder certainly seem like she was trying to keep him in line and keeping her close to him.

Psychopathia, btw, can not be used as part of an insanity plea in court.  Psychopaths weigh short term pleasure much higher than long term pain.  AK may smile in court because of all the attention being paid to her but she may not realize how much a life behind bars will suck; unfortunately, Rafaelle does.

Posted by Arnold_Layne on 02/14/09 at 10:34 PM | #

Actually, in Dutra’s case, she was asked to help after the wife had already poisoned her husband.  In this case, if fould guilty, Rafaelle seems to have been involved from the start as turning off his cell phone before he left his house would indicate.

Posted by C3PO on 02/14/09 at 10:49 PM | #

If found guilty they would get life.

Raffaele is what is described as a ‘filgo di papa’ or daddy’s boy in Italy. Father pays for him to ‘study’ whilst providing him with apartment, flash car etc. The italian press talk about ‘easy exams’ in Perugia (serious IT students go to Pisa Uni, I’m in IT, worked in Italy 10 yrs, so I know). His family would probably let him do that until he is in his 30’s .. not unusual.

We don’t know as much about Raffaele as Amanda, however a ‘filgo di papa’ usually acts like a 15 year old in any other country, never had to be responsiblity ... his family fix everything for him.

A good indication is his choice of reading .... i.e. comics ... and the cartoons he watches. A letter from jail has him watching only cartoons on TV.

The Japanese comic found in his apartment Manga: The Blood, last of the vampires, led the prosecutor to believe he could have been influenced by it.

Apparently his mother committed suicide ... which was what he refers to in his diary.

A book on the case, just published in Italy by a phsycologist from Rome and a director of the local Perugia newspaper, is reported to support the idea that RS was only involved with the cleanup (one of his versions of events has AK leaving his flat about 21:00 and returning at 01:00).

This is probably based on the idea that Raffaele is too much of a ‘filgo di papa’ to do anything on his own.

Amanda? Well the more I read and see of her, the less she seems in touch with reality . wearing that tee shirt ‘All you need is love’ to court when faced with a murder charge?.

Just read some new stuff in the Italian magazine Panorama about RS’s family and an email from Amanda on 4th Nov ‘07 (before her arrest). I’ll summerize it and post it.

Posted by Kevin on 02/14/09 at 11:53 PM | #

Thanks for that summary if you are able to post it Kevin. What also fits the profile you are interested in is those particular manga comics.

They are all sold here in the comic shops in Manhattan, and I bought one and looked at some others. They are well-done and interesting enough, but very tame on the whole.

I asked the sales guy in one store who buys them, and he said, well, pretty-well no-one does over the age of 14.

Also the movie Amelie that he/they may have downloaded and watched is something of a cult-favorite - of girls in the low teens.

And again here the speculation surfaces: was Raffaele really present? Of course Micheli thinks he was, because of some strong DNA traces in particular.

But if he wasn’t, is there an easy way he can get himself downgraded to bit-player?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/09 at 04:59 PM | #


If Raffaele was present, you could imagine him having a ‘15 yr old’s tantrum’; but with the strength of a 24 yr old and a knife in his hand. I think that is what the prosecutor sees.

If he was only involved with the cleanup, maybe, Bongiorno thinks he won’t be believed after previously changing his story and the nonsense about hash induced amnesia; better to say nothing and see if they can discredit the prosecution evidence?.

Posted by Kevin on 02/15/09 at 06:41 PM | #

Hi Kevin,

Raffaele Sollecito lied repeatedly to the police and was unable to provide a credible alibi for the night of the murder. He definitely wasn’t at his apartment, surfing the Internet from 11pm and 1am. The fact he still doesn’t have a credible alibi will be interpreted as a clear indication that he was at the cottage when Meredith was killed.

This is by far and away the most likely scenario. Judge Paolo Micheli, who had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000 page report, concluded that the forensic evidence placed Knox, Sollecito and Guede at the cottage when Meredith was murdered.

Posted by The Machine on 02/15/09 at 07:47 PM | #

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