Headsup: There are some clueless reports in main media about Dr Mignini meeting with Knox. It was really a smart move. Gives her a chance to come right, and pull back on the toxic book and paid talks. That right now might do her some good. This comment explains the carrot & stick.
Category: Various hypotheses

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A More Detailed Analysis Of Knox’s Statement 6 November 2007 Points Even More Strongly Toward Guilt

Posted by Peter Hyatt



[Above: the Perugia central police station where Amanda Knox wrote this statement]

My previous statement analyses on TJMK are available here including a first pass at this particular statement of Amanda Knox’s here.

This analysis seeks to learn if Amanda Knox was part of the murder of her then roommate.  The knowledge comes from Amanda Knox herself, who, if was at the crime scene during the murder, would give us verbal indicators.  If she was not, and did not take part in the murder, she would tell us this, as well.  Whether or not DNA was handled properly, or whether prosecutors are corrupt or not, her own words will tell us what we need to know.

Analysis Question:  Is Amanda Knox guilty, in concert, of causing or participating in the death of her roommate?

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is a principle followed from antiquity where the words in which we choose are then discerned to be truthful or deceptive.  The “heart” is the seat of the intellect and affections (emotions); what we think, and how we feel.  Statement Analysis of statements is able to discern truth from deception, including false confessions made under coercion. 

Pronouns are of particular value as they are learned in our earliest days of speech, with possessive pronouns often predating speech in young children, as they attempt to say “my” or “mine” with hand motions.  Pronouns and articles are exempt from internal subjective dictionaries (as is objective time) and are reflex in our speech with our minds dictating to our tongues what words to say in less than a microsecond. 

The Amanda Knox case is one that provokes emotional responses from both those who believe that she is guilty, and those who believe she is innocent.  When people lie, they have a reason to lie.  Here, she is brought in for a murder investigation. 

Transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.

The statement is in the blockquotes, with my statement analysis in bold type.  Words that are blodened are done so for emphasis. 

This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.

The opening line appears deceptive.

Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.  It should be noted that the word “this” indicates closeness, whereas the word “that” shows distance.  On average, we see the word “that” used more frequently with memory failure.

note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.  In a criminal investigation, innocent people (those who did not “do it” nor were involved in it) say so.  They do so quickly, and without sensitivity indicators.  Even in the most emotionally upsetting circumstances, a denial is found early.

It is comprised of: 1.  First Person singular “I”    2.  Past tense verb   3.  Event specific.  4.  Without qualifiers or sensitivity indicators.  We expect to hear this quickly in a statement.

I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement possibly an embedded admission: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”.  This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words.  Someone not at the crime scene would not frame these words, nor place herself there.

Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming and is a weak assertion.

She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.  This means that, to someone else, it would not be impossible; only to “her”, and only on the condition of being asked a few days ago.  This is a strong indication that Amanda Knox is lying.

Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”).  This is why extra words are essential in analysis.  She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.

Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event; making it weaker.

I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:

“I know” is strong and with the first person singular, it is something that she recognizes and asserts.  Notice how “I know” is unlike her other statements.  It is not “I believe” nor is it qualified with “I know that in my heart” or “I know that in my mind…” or any other additional words.  That Raffaele has said that she was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder is something strong to Knox.

Next notice that it is only “in my mind” that there are things that may be elsewhere; not just in her mind.  This is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.

When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.

On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.

Note that when the word “left” is used, it often indicates missing information.  70% of the missing information is due to time constraints, rushing, traffic, etc, with the other 30% being sensitive information.

Note whenever the number 3 enters a statement as it is known as the “liar’s number”  It should not be considered deceptive on its own, only noted in context.  When someone wishes to be deceptive and chooses a number, it is often “3” unless the subject is asked how many drinks he or she had, and then the number is “two”.  The number 3 enters such as:  “I was approached by 3 men” or “At 3 oclock on the third floor…” etc.  It is not an indicator of deception on its own, for it is possible to be approached by 3 men on the third floor; only that it should be noted and later factored into the full analysis. 

Note that the word “with” shows distance:

“My wife and I went shopping.”

“I went shopping with my wife.”

These are two ways of saying almost the same thing.  A follow up question to B will likely show why distance entered into the statement; such as “I didn’t want to go shopping” etc.  Here, the distance is between her and Raeffale: 

“Raeffale was with me” but then immediately changes it to “we” which shows closeness, except that she has a need to emphasize the closeness by explanation:  “We, Raffele and I stayed…”  This need to emphasize, along with the needless repetition is an indicator that she is being deceptive.

Note that Patrik “told” me, rather than he “said” indicates firmness; It may be that she and Patrick argued, or that she wants to emphasize authority.  But whatever the need, she uses “because” (which explains why something happened) making the statement itself, along with Patrik, sensitive.

Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.

Note that she “now” remembers which, like the word “but” (which refutes what was previously stated) stands to change her account.

Note that “goodbye”, “see you later” etc, in homicide cases can indicate the time of death. 

Note the return of “I know” which is strong.  What does she know?  She knows that it does not match up with Raffaele’s testimony.  weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.

I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

Note the pronouns:  “I told Raffaele” is strong language.  This may indicate an argument.

Note “after that” is a passage of time, or skipping over.  There is missing information at this point of her statement.

Note that “I believe” is weak; but when the weakness is added to:  “we relaxed” (which, by itself is strong) is then added “together” (redundancy), we see deception.  This needless emphasis is being made to place them together. 

Note “perhaps” is a qualifier and she is not committed to the statement.

Note that she “perhaps” made love or perhaps read.  This is more than just deceptive:  it is an indication of someone else’s presence:

Timing is an issue as she has skipped over time and withheld information (temporal lacunae).
 
Why would she need to say that she made love to Raffaele?  She already introduced him with “we”.  This is an indication of not only deception, but of the presence, within sexual activity, of more than just Amanda Knox and Raffaele.  We do not know the time frame since she has skipped time.

Note:  Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.

However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.

Note anything reported in the negative as sensitive.

Note “I admit” show reluctance and resistance overcome.

Note “with him” instead of “Raffaele and I smoked marijuana”; shows distance

Note that “these” things instead of “those” things.

Note that the entry of water into a statement is often an indicator of sexual assault.  Whether it is the washing of clothes, washing of hands, shower, bath, etc, 

Here we have the first indicator that her roommate died as part of a sexual homicide.

Note that when she was with Raffaele, she had to mention that she had sex “with him” which is an indication that during sex, at least one other person was present.  Now, with the entry of water into the statement is indicative that Amanda Knox was not simply present at the murder of Merideth, but that she was present for a sexual homicide.

Note that to be vague; indicates an attempt at deception.  She reports what may have happened, with choices such as reading or sex.  This lack of commitment indicates deception on her part.

Deception, in order to be deception, must be willful.  Amanda Knox places herself at the scene of a crime, and then gives indicators of a sexual homicide.

In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

The qualifiers resemble Casey Anthony.  “In truth” means she speaks at times outside of truth.
 
Note that ” I do not remember” is an affirmation of what she does not know.  This is a signal of deception.  Note that she does remember, but only not “exactly”

Note “we” took a shower.  This is the 2nd indicator in a short statement where water is introduced.  The element of water is often found in statements where a sexual assault or homicide has taken place.

It is significant that she tells us that Raffaele “cleaned” her.  While speaking, even when attempting to be deceptive, what is in the heart slips out and she may have been thinking of washing off blood when she gave this statement.  Those that wish to excuse her due to police misconduct, or mishandling of evidence must do so by ignoring not only the fact that she lied, but that she employed the language of a sexual homicide in doing so. 

“I dropped off (the hitchhiker), stopped to get gas and wash up.  After that, I drove down I-95 until…”

This was a statement where a hitchhiker was murdered.  The timeframe where he washed up showed the time of death.

The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind while giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went. 

One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.

The lack of commitment to the events is noted but we also see:

That which is in the negative:  when someone tells us what they did not do, did not say, did not think, particularly when offered in an open sentence, it is a strong indicator of what they did do, did think, and did say.  Here, she remembers that she did not look at the clock. 

This tells us:  She looked at the clock as time was significant. 

Note that this is something that “definitely” happened, yet she then says “I think” showing the obvious contradiction.  Deception noted.

It is like the statement where the person says “and I saw no one run across my lawn” indicating that she saw someone run across her lawn.  Always flag anything offered in the negative.

Also note that “because” is sensitive as it explains why something took place.  In a statement, we normally get what happened and not why something happened, and just as being told what didn’t happen, the “why, because, therefore, so, since, etc” is highly sensitive to the subject.

After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).

Note “I noticed” is passive.  Passive language seeks to conceal identity or responsibility.  Note that the word “but” is used to refute what was just said.  What does she refute?  Noticing blood?  It is the origin of the blood that she seeks to conceal, not the noticing.
 
Note that “after dinner” chronologically is when she “noticed” blood, but then in her statement she says “after we ate” is repeated, going back to the event.  Truthful accounts are in chronological order and can be repeated backwards and forwards.  Any time someone is out of chronological order, it should be flagged for deception. Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.

Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.

A statement has 3 general portions:

  • an introduction
  • the event
  • post event action

It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.

note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)

Note time:  she “can’t” tell us indicates that she is restricted by consequence, since we know that she looked at the clock.

The next thing I remember

Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here

was waking up

Note verb tense

the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.

Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.  This is because it is almost impossible to lie upon a lie.  She can only doubt the lies she told earlier.  Note “this” confession, rather than the expected “that” confession, had it been false.

Note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.

This is an example of an extra word, ie, one in which the sentence works without, giving away information.  She could have said “I didn’t remember a fact” but instead says “I didn’t remember a fact correctly” which would show deliberate deception.  She cannot tell us what she didn’ remember, only what she remembers, so this would place it in the negative, however, it wasn’t remembered “correctly”, indicating that she did remember it, just not “correctly”; and is another indication of deception.

Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”

I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.

However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming. But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.

Note that innocent people never accept nor excuse false work.

Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.

We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.

But the truth is,

This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed

I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:

Note that “truth” repeated, shows sensitivity and the analyst should be on alert that “truth” is a sensitive topic to the subject.

1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.

2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.

Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.  Here, she also quotes her boyfriend, though we note the embedded still: “I have said things that I know are not true” appears supported by the analysis.

I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.

Note that she does not say “Raffaele did not kill Meredith” but only that she does not “think” he did; leaving room for someone else to “think” otherwise.
 
Note that while attempting to describe him as “caring and gentle” she uses the word “with” which shows distance, but then “this”, showing closeness, to the things he was saying.  Amanda Knox brings herself close to the detail; not further away as expected with innocent people. 

Note that “but” refutes what came before it.  What came before it?  “I don’t think Raffaele killed Meredith”

She recognizes that he had a part in the killing.

Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.

Note that she says Raffaele is in need of a “way out” of the situation. 

Honestly,

Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed

I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:

1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.

This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)

The truth is,

Noted that she has a need to announce truth, which brings the rest of her statement into question.  This is something deceptive people do when they want to be believed. 

I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.

Note twice she goes to the negative:  not sure what to think and what she did not think, yet, she adds in the weakened “definitely” to what she didn’t think.

Note that the word, “someone” is gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.

I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.

Note that frequently in murders, guilty perpetrators will minimize what happened.  Meredith did not get “hurt”, she was murdered.

Note “left quickly to take care of it” can be viewed with the “taking care” of the cleaning of the person and the apartment.

Note the use of the word “perhaps” as not only used when a subject is deceptive and does not want to be pinned down in a statement, but here it is used repeatedly, showing sensitivity. 

Note that “because” is noted for sensitivity as it is outside the boundary of the general statement of “what happened” and shows a need to explain.

Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.

First, she lists possible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.

2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating.

This is similar to an admission.

And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.

Note again that “but” refutes what came first.  She wants to “stand” behind the statements but…this is where it is difficult to lie about a lie.

3. I’m very confused at this time.

Note that she is “very” confused, but only “at this time”

My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.

[illegible section]

I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:

1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?

2. Why did I think of Patrik?

3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?

4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?

3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.

I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.

If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.

Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.

The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations. She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.

Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.  She, by her own words, tells us that this is a sexual homicide, not just a homicide, and that she took part in it; present for the activity.  She places herself by the crime scene and even though she attempts to deceive, her words give her away.  She has nothing to be afraid of but lies, which would appear that she feared her lies were not bought by police. 

It is likely that she, Amanda Knox, did not inflict the final death blow, and that she is not sure who’s blow or cut was the final one that caused Meredith’s death.  This is why she said she did not “think” that Raffaele killed her, “but”.  This was likely a sexual assault that several took place in where they would each blame the other.
 
She attempts to build an alibi for herself, indicating the need for alibi, and she attempts to explain away the washing away of evidence on her part. 

Amanda Knox was part of a sexual homicide.  This comes from her own words, and is not changed if prosecutors are corrupt or honorable, nor if evidence was dropped or mishandled.  Amanda Knox, herself, has told us that she was part of a sexual homicide, was present, and that she knows hard evidence thus proves it. 

If her initial confession is thrown out, this statement itself shows her involvement.  It is difficult to imagine anyone trained in interviewing and interrogation claiming that this statement is truthful.  Mishandling evidence or dropping something, or not wearing gloves may cause difficulties, but it does not mean that Amanda Knox didn’t take part in the murder.  Her own words show that she did.

Posted by Peter Hyatt on 08/11/11 at 05:21 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesStatement analysisComments here (45)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Thinking About Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox: What Might Have Been

Posted by Ergon





This is my post on my website Man From Atlan of June 26, 2011 cross-posted here at the invitation of TJMK.

Due to my Scorpionic nature, I think, I come across a great many criminal and legal cases that grab the public attention.

It seems, also, that I get involved in the case in one way or the other, and, a great number of coincidences seem to er, follow me. Psychologists call that the ‘I was there syndrome’ and that’s fine, it’s a form of mental illness, and you can decide if I have it, or not!

But I have spent a lifetime studying the fine line between Psychic Sensitivity and Schizophrenia, and what interests me here is not only how we identify with the crime and the individuals involved, but how these cases establish themselves in the public consciousness.

And yes, I want to write about the lives wasted, and what might have been.

Whenever a person dies, there is a break in the fabric of consciousness, and all of humanity is affected. Most people learn to ignore it; some, more sensitive, get consumed by it, but we are all affected by it at some level.

A murder case may be just one individual; the devastation of an earthquake or tsunami may affect hundreds of thousands. As for me, I am an observer, but also in a way, a catalyst.

Look, you know my spiritual claims. Forget that for a moment. What I do is warn people about the fateful consequences of the psychic and spiritual damage done to our souls (or psyche) and environment, and if you don’t listen, if you don’t change, then so be it. What will be, will be. But a part of me, having seen what would happen, mourns for what might have been.

One of my patients was a girl who had Rhett’s Syndrome, a severe form of Autism. She came to my clinic and the treatments really helped, yet it was the mother who also needed help. In the end, suffering from depression, she killed her child and tried to commit suicide.

A woman two streets down from us, suffering from post partum depression, killed her husband and stabbed her two children as well. My son used to play with their dog at the local park, but curiously, I never met them.

I worked on a mayoralty campaign. The candidate, a lovely soul, came second. At the farewell party I saw something dark around him. I told his partner that he needed help, and offered. It wasn’t heard because they were, I think, already caught up in their karma. A year later he jumped off a bridge and killed himself.

Then, going from the personal to the ‘famous’ cases, and the ‘coincidences’ and lessons thereof.

I wrote in “Michael Jackson, the Drowning Man” about how I helped a famous musician with his Parkinson’s Disease in 1994 but when I asked him to introduce me to Michael Jackson, he didn’t. I was too controversial. Pity, I could have helped him before he descended into his inappropriate behavior.

OJ Simpson was the first criminal case. I lived in Santa Monica almost equidistant between him and his ex-wife Nicole Brown. I had driven around the neighborhood enough times to know the story had some inconsistencies, but I believed he was guilty. I also accepted the jury’s verdict of Not Guilty, because the principle of reasonable doubt, in American law, had to be upheld.

There also was the fact I had closed my practice in Toronto and moved to Los Angeles just to help people there, arriving in 1993 in time for the Malibu Fires and Northridge Earthquake (written in “A Spiritual Journey To The United States”) and once I knew my work was done left for Texas. And a few months later, the murder, the White Bronco slowly driving down the freeway, the media circus and all of LA enjoying a mass catharsis.

After I left the US in 1995 I shifted my focus to Europe, though Canada remained my home base. I still looked back to the US with fondness, and sadness for what was yet to come.

I was in England in 2005 when the Terri Schiavo case gripped the nation. She was in a lengthy coma, with most of her brain destroyed. Her parents were fighting to keep her on life support, while her husband wanted to pull the plug and let her die.

I tried to stay uninvolved, even though I knew her spirit wanted to be free. I felt this was wrong, for parents to keep holding on to their child. So one day, when Chloe called me about the latest developments, I said enough was enough, and helped her spirit pass on. She died that evening. And shortly after I left England, there was the London Tube bombing. Coincidence, or catharsis?

Madeleine McCann, a little girl from the U.K., disappeared from her holiday bedroom in Portugal just a few days before her 4th birthday, in May of 2007. Her parents were dining some distance away with their friends and inexplicably had left the children unattended and the door to their villa unlocked. The investigators never found Madeleine. The conclusion, absent a body, was that she had been kidnapped. There were many false sightings after that, as people assumed she had been kidnapped by child traders.

This was two months before I went to the UK with my family on holiday. I was asked what I thought about Madeleine. Would she be found? I replied that she had died that first night, and the parents were involved in a cover up. The person who asked me that question then consulted a psychic, who of course said what everyone wanted to hear: Madeleine was alive.

Then further reports came out, and we found that special police dogs, trained to sniff for evidence of death, had indicated she had died inside the bedroom that very night. Nothing further came to light, as political interference corrupted the whole process, and police investigators were sacked for ‘unfairly blaming the parents’

Yet, there’s a website that does just that; you be the judge. See here and here and here.

This was another example of a case that would consume the public, as so many identified with the missing child, or the parents. And, as always, my presence seemed coincidental to a whole series of events. A few weeks before we arrived in Glasgow, bombers hit Glasgow airport with a van loaded to the top with propane cylinders, the rains hit the whole country for three months straight, and the biggest floods in over a century inundated large parts of Southern England. Yet wherever we went, there was sunshine…This is the dichotomy of healing, that there can be sunshine, but also, darkness.

I had already arranged to go back to the UK for a month as a consultant. I returned to Canada on October 31.

The very next day, on November 1, 2007, British student Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, was murdered in Perugia, Italy. Her roommate, Amanda Marie Knox, was convicted of the murder, as was her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Hermann Guede, a drifter from the Cote de Ivoire in Africa.

I hadn’t read much about the case and trial, but came across it on the pages of Huffington Post, the social news website. Here was a full blown narrative: Amanda Knox was innocent of the crime, she was the victim of a corrupt Italian prosecutor, and Rudy Guede was the sole perpetrator (All untrue, btw)

What piqued me was the fingerprints of an extensive PR campaign to manipulate public opinion so as to influence the outcome of a trial in another country. Appearances by Knox’s family on Oprah, calls to boycott Italy, politicians trying to intervene in a judicial process, oh my.

And the comments on the numerous Amanda threads were funny, and so sad. These people were, in a word, disturbed. They were even foul mouthed about the victims parents, for daring to say they felt justice had been served. And they had no compunction about blatant lying and slander either.

I’d seen this so many times, the ease with which people could be led to believe, on the basis of something they saw or read, the most outlandish things.

Now I really do believe that trying to convince True Believers is a waste of time. (But arguing with them can be er, illuminating:) I’m interested in the process by which they come to that belief, but any good book on mob psychology can give you the basics, and of course, you must always read Orwell’s 1984. The same principles of propaganda used to create support for war can also be used to support a position, no matter how wrong it might seem to the intelligent observer.

So I looked at the facts of the case. Amanda Knox had falsely accused her black boss, Patrick Lumumba of the crime, she and her boyfriend had provided alibis that were later disproved, there was a staged break in to mislead the investigation, and there was sufficient DNA, blood and foot prints to prove the complicity of the other two accused.

Two courts, led by Judges Micheli and Massei, had already looked at over 10,000 pages of evidence to conclude that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had also been involved in the murder. And, the most compelling DNA evidence, Raffaele’s DNA on the victims bra, and Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s on the murder knife found in Raffaele’s flat.

The Supreme Court of Italy, while affirming Rudy Guede’s conviction, had already established that more than one attacker had been involved, and that DNA attributed to Knox and Sollecito had already been found.

I also noted that the Wikipedia page on Meredith Kercher, once reflecting the findings of guilt against all three accused, had now been hijacked by, let’s say, Amanda Knox partisans.

I have to thank the two websites TJMK and PMF for the fine work they have done compiling and translating the vast volume of Italian language transcripts of the trial and summaries of evidence. Without them, my technical knowledge of the case would have been quite inadequate. I can’t recommend them highly enough for anyone interested in learning about the case.

But I formed my opinions way before I found their sites, and I say this out of respect: I don’t want their work compromised by association with my own views.

What I write about here is first and always, spiritual in nature. I may use logic to confirm something, I will look at evidence, but ultimately I look at disturbances in the fabric to search out imbalance and untruth. And I learn to trust my instincts. It is only afterwards that I look at other factors, and if I need to adjust my views, so be it. But the patterns and the coincidences, are fascinating.

First, the Astrology. Meredith Kercher, born Dec. 28, 1985, and Rudy Guede, December 26, 1986, are both Capricorns. Raffaele Sollecito, March 26, 1984, is Aries, and Amanda Knox, July 09, 1987, a Cancer. Their signs form a T-Square, at 90 degrees to each other, which are widely seen as indicators of stress and incompatibility. The day of the murder saw widespread stressors on all their horoscopes which would lead to murder, detection, conviction and imprisonment. The Astrology even shows Raffaele’s drug dependency and mental confusion on the night of the murder, the conflict between Amanda and Meredith, and the violence and rage that simmered just below the surface of Amanda Knox’s psyche.

And the night of the murder, November 1, 2007, saw Saturn and Venus in the house of emotional excess, Uranus in the house of sudden death, and Jupiter/Pluto, in the sexual house, in an almost exact T-Square to each other. The close conjunction of Pluto to the Milky Way’s Galactic Center shows the potency of this murder in attracting the public imagination, and also, the trigger for the murder.

But Astrology is just one of many tools in Humanistic psychology. It shows patterns, yes, but mainly it gives a picture of motivations and stages of development. And sometimes, it tells us what might happen. For me, there are many tools: Psychism to know, and other tools to understand.

So I will say this about all four:

Amanda Knox’s profile is that of the self destructive individual who will fall from ‘the shattered tower’ due to her associations with others. Btw, her July 09 birthday is the same as OJ Simpson’s and they Both Wielded Knives, hmmm!

Raffaele Sollecito has powerful friends who won’t be able to help him. He almost had it too easy, and his drug use took him into some deep dark spaces. Note he wasn’t just using cannabis, but more likely a potent form called skunk weed, plus heroin and cocaine.

Rudy Guede may actually turn out to be a sympathetic individual. His is the one chart I see that leads to redemption and indescribable potential. He is, quite frankly, the most believable of the three, even though he did lie, and he was rightly found guilty.

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher was greatly loved, had the intellectual capability to go far, and would have, if she hadn’t been murdered, been a bright blazing star. RIP Meredith.

I hate to make predictions. Human beings will always have the capacity to alter the future (though truth be told, not as much as they like to think) My prophecies have to do with the future of this planet and humanity’s ability to survive and regenerate itself.

But on June 27, Rudy Guede will face Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in their appeals trial, and for the first time, be forced to answer questions directly. I believe this will be the day he begins to redeem himself.

(Update: And on that day, he placed Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito at the crime scene)

On June 30th, the DNA experts will present their findings. This will be one day before the solar eclipse in Cancer. I predict bombshells in court.

(Update: the expert’s report was presented a day earlier, on June 29, and it was interesting, to say the least. It disputed some of the DNA findings accepted by the previous court and one would think from the media reporting they prove Knox and Sollecito’s innocence. From my reading of the report, it does no such thing, only places ambiguities on some of the evidence. There definitely will be fireworks in court, as the prosecution tears into the many errors of the report)

I am struck by the coincidences of the cases I outlined: allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, disputed forensic and DNA evidence, racism and political interference, your standard trial. But they all, held a special place in the public imagination.

But in spiritism we see that it is the unquiet spirit of the victim that calls to us, and we can only hope and pray for their peace. Justice is always done.

And one can only look back at them with sadness, for what might have been.

Posted by Ergon on 07/06/11 at 07:36 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesThe psychologyThe officially involvedComments here (10)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Massei Sentencing Report For Knox And Sollecito: Part 1 Of A Summary In 4 Parts

Posted by Skeptical Bystander




Why This Long Summary

The full Massei Report can be found here.

The wiki page controversy surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher rages on in a tiny corner of the online universe, here is our own contribution to the debate.

It is a 4-part summary of the Massei report, the document that sets forth and explains the Court’s reasons for unanimously convicting Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for their role in the murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s roommate, after a long, thorough and fair trial.

Please click here for more

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So The Two Pressed Defense Teams Decide To Go Eyeball To Eyeball With Cassation

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. How Looks The Appeal?

The appeal is not looking very pretty for the defenses.

There seems no single brick in the wall of the prosecution’s case that, if pulled, will place the entire structure in doubt.

The Supreme Court ruled last December that at Rudy Guede’s trial, Judge Micheli had it right in saying that three perpetrators killed Meredith, one of which was definitely Rudy Guede.

Judge Micheli also ruled in October 2008 that only Knox had a reason to rearrange the crime scene, and Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial judge Massei ruled the same in December 2009.

The extensive forensic evidence in Filomena’s room, in the corridor, and in the bathroom Meredith and Amanda Knox shared, has so far been ruled out for re-examination.

None of it suggests Guede was ever in that bathroom or in Filomena’s room - in fact it suggests he headed straight out the front door .

Eye-witnesses other than the man in the park, Curatolo, are not to be heard from again.

Curatolo is probably not much discredited because he could say that it did not rain on the night he claims he saw Sollecito and Knox in the park watching the house (it did rain on Halloween) and that it was the night before all the cops arrived at the house. Buses were around as he described.

The only thing that might have shaken his timeline is that he might have seen a late Halloween reveler or two.

And the defenses seem to have no obvious way of explaining why Knox and Sollecito came up with so very many muddled alibis and why each at one point even ended up blaming the other.

A report today from TGCom said this on the review of two small parts of the DNA evidence:

Expert reports on the traces of DNA found on the knife held to be the murder weapon used to kill Meredith Kercher, and the clasp of the bra worn at the time of the murder, will be filed June 30.

This has been established by the 2011 Assize Court of Appeal in the Perugia trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. The new deadline was set by the judges at the request of their experts who had requested an extension of 40 days.

The experts have been in the courtroom, explaining that they have obtained all the scientific data required.

They have however also highlighted the need to consult the minutes related to the seizure of the knife and the testimony in the 2009 trial of the agents that followed the inspection at the home of Sollecito. Documents that the Court ordered are to be provided to the experts.

In front of the judges one of the experts stressed that the “maximum cooperation” was provided by the scientific police who performed the technical tests in the course of the investigations.

Nothing in that looks too promising.

2. Best Defense Options Left?

What moves are available if Knox and Sollecito are really to be sufficiently suggested not guilty?

  • Option 1: Putting both of them on the witness stand without preconditions for the first time so the appeal court can hear their stories in full, compare them, and subject Knox and Sollecito to no-holds-barred cross-examination.

  • Option 2: Putting the two prison inmates Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello on the witness stand, with several claimed corroborators, to say in Alessi’s case that Guede confided that he did it with two others, and to say in Aviello’s case that his missing brother did it with one other.

What we know of their claims so far - and police and prosecution have really checked out Alessi and Aviello and revealed nothing of what they have up their sleeves - there are only poor connects between their claims and what is described in the Micheli and Massei reports.

Each could crumble in a devastating way under cross-examination, and then be contradicted by a long line of witnesses that the prosecution could bring in to rebut them.

Here is Andrea Vogt reporting on Option 2 from the trial session yesterday which turned out to be mainly procedural: setting several new appeal court dates, and a new date for the findings of the reviews of the DNA on the large knife and bra clasp.

The parties eventually agreed to hold hearings June 18 and 27. And, surprisingly, Judge Hellmann also agreed to admit five new controversial witnesses into the appeals trial, a process normally reserved for debating contested evidence already introduced in the first trial.

The five new witnesses being requested by the Sollecito and Knox defense are all prison inmates ““ convicted of everything from child homicide to being Mafia snitches and drug dealing.

Some of the witnesses have given conflicting accounts of stories they’ve heard about the case while behind bars. At least three, however, agree on their version, that Rudy Guede told them that Knox and Sollecito were innocent (an account Guede denies).

The prosecution is likely to call for counter testimony. The decision to open up the appeal to wholly new testimony from convicted prison inmates is bound to complicate the already confused trial even more, and likely push any final decision far into the fall, toward the fourth anniversary of Kercher’s brutal stabbing and Knox’s incarceration in connection with it.

As if five convicts weren’t enough, Knox’s attorneys announced they had received yet another letter from a different inmate, Tommaso Pace, this time making bizarre and unfounded claims that victim Meredith Kercher was targeted by two unnamed brothers paid $100,000 to kill her over alleged drug debts.

The new letter from Pace (whom the judge and attorneys must still agree to call as a witness) sets up the prospect of potentially six prison inmates taking the stand in Knox’s defense over the summer””each of them with a slightly different story and motive for telling it.

Alessi’s own lawyer seems to have counseled him not to get up on the stand, presumably fearing perjury charges and additional time in his cell.

Aviello is literally unlikely to show his face.

The prosecution could bring back Rudy Guede as a witness against both, and even without Guede testifying, it looks like the prosecution might turn all five witnesses on their heads. 

So Option 2 could drag things out for some months, and try to confront the unequivocal Supreme Court finding issued last December and ported into this appeal: no one wolf.

And still have the Knox and Sollecito defenses conclusively crumble.

Meanwhile, the judges and jury could be watching a very prolonged dog-and-pony show, while impatiently wondering:

“WHY didn’t they simply choose Option 1? Then some or all of us might very quickly have gone home.”


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Explaining The Massei Report: How Motive For The Crime Is Addressed By Judge Massei

Posted by James Raper




The March 2010 Trial Sentencing Report

The Massei Report in the main I thought was excellent. He was incisive with his logic, particularly, though not exclusively, with regard to the staging of the break in and how that necessarily meant that Amanda was present at the scene when the murder was committed.

However, I thought that he was rather feeble in his coverage of the defendants’ motives as to the attack which led to this brutal murder.

Perhaps he thought it better to stick with the indisputable evidence. Since this pointed to a sex attack he surmised that Guede had a go at Meredith first, and then - because the stimulation was too much for them - he was joined by Amanda and Raffaele. This works but does seem a bit weak.

Micheli, the judge who committed Amanda and Raffaele to stand trial, was more certain in his mind as to the roles played by these three. He said that there was “an agreed plan”, “to satisfy sexual instincts” with “murderous intent” and that effectively Amanda was the instigator and catalyst.

Motive is largely an area of speculation but it is surely possible to draw inferences from what we know?  As Micheli did.  The Appeal Court and ultimately The Supreme Court of Cassation may well adopt the same reasoning and conclusion - maybe go further.

And there were, to my mind, undoubtedly many factors at work, and it is these which I wish to address. I have always been interested in the possible dynamics of just how these three came to murder poor Meredith. Pro-Knox campaigners once made much of “No Motive”. Now not so much, because the issue draws people in to a discussion of the evidence and of Amanda’s personality.

For instance, Massei asks, though he says we can not know, had Amanda egged Guede on as to the “availability” (my word, not his) of Meredith during or prior to their presence at the Cottage?

Frankly the answer to that has to be “yes” since it is a bit difficult to figure out why Amanda and Raffaele would otherwise wish Guede to join them at the cottage. I doubt that Amanda and Raffaele would have wanted Guede around if they were just going there to have an innocent cuddle and sex and to smoke cannabis, as Massei implies. The evidence is that Raffaele hardly knew Guede and in the presence of Amanda was very possessive about her. If he had known of Guede’s interest in Amanda, he would have been even less keen to have Guede around.

Also, if all was so innocent beforehand, then why would Guede have tried it on with Meredith, and then pressed the situation in the face of her refusal to co-operate? Knowing that there were two others there who could have come to her assistance?

The answer is of course that Guede knew full well in advance that there would be no problem with Amanda and Raffaele. He had been invited there, and primed to act precisely in the way he did, at least initially. Why? Well there is plenty of evidence as to why Amanda, in her mind, may have been looking for payback time on Meredith. Come to that later.

What does not get much attention in the Massei Report, other than a terse Not Proven at the end, is the matter of Meredith’s missing rent money and credit cards and whether Amanda and Raffaele stole them. It is as if the Judge (well, the jury, really) felt that this was a trivial issue that brought nothing much to the case, and thus it was not necessary to give it much attention. And indeed there is no summation of or evaluation of that evidence.

Now that does surprise me. Of course there may have been some technical flaw with the charge and the evidence. But in the absence of any comment on this then we do not know what that may be.

What I do know is that the matter, if proven, is not trivial. A theft just prior to the murder significantly ups the stakes for Amanda and Raffaele, and produces a dynamic, which, threaded together with a sexual assault, makes for a far more compelling scenario to murder. It also leads one to conclude that there was a greater degree of premeditation involved: not premeditation as to murder, but as to an assault, rather than the more spontaneous “let’s get involved” at the time of the sex attack as postulated by Massei.

What is the evidence? What evidence was before the court? I do not yet have access to trial records. Therefore I stand to be corrected if I misrepresent the evidence, or if my interpretation of it does not met the test of logic.

There were two lay witnesses to whom we can refer. The first was Filomena Romanelli, the flatmate and trainee lawyer. If there was anyone who was going to ensure that the rent was paid on time, it would have been her. She gave evidence that, the rent being due very soon, she asked Meredith about her contribution of 300 euros, and was told by Meredith that all was OK because she had just withdrawn 200 euros from her bank. Filomena assumed from Meredith’s reply that the balance was already to hand.

Is there a problem with this evidence? Is it hearsay and thus inadmissible under Italian law?

Perhaps it is not enough by itself because of course had Meredith not in fact withdrawn the money from her bank, or sufficient funds to cover the stated amount, then that would be a fatal blow to that part of the theft charge. Her bank manager was summoned to give evidence, essentially to corroborate or disprove Filomena’s testimony. I do not know what exactly that evidence was. One would assume that at the very least it did not disprove her testimony. Had it done so, that would as I have said been fatal. It is also unbelievable that Massei would have overlooked this in the Report. I am assuming that Meredith did not tell a white lie, and that the bank records corroborate this.

There may of course be an issue of timing as I understand that the bank manager told the court that transactions at a cash machine are not necessarily entered on the customer account the same day . However that does not seem to me to be significant.

One must also think that the bank manager was asked what other cash withdrawals had been made if the credit cards were taken at the same time as the money.

I understand that there is of course a caveat here: my assumptions in the absence of knowing exactly what the bank manager’s evidence was.

It would be useful also to know how and when the rent was normally paid. It sounds as if it was cash on the day the landlord came to collect.

We do know that the police did not find any money, or Meredith’s credit cards. Had Meredith, a sensible girl, blown next month’s rent on a Halloween binge? Unlikely. So somebody stole it. And the credit cards? Again, just as with the fake break in, when according to Amanda and Raffaele nothing was stolen, who and only who had access to the cottage to steal the money? Yes, you have guessed it. Amanda, of course.

Does the matter of missing rent money figure anywhere else? There is the evidence of Meredith’s phone records which show that a call was placed to her bank late on the evening of her murder just prior to the arrival of Amanda, Raffaele and Guede. Why? I have to concede that there is no single obvious reason and that it may be more likely than not that the call was entirely unintentional.

But if, as may seem likely, the credit cards were kept with her handbag, and the money in her bedroom drawer, then on discovering that her money was missing she may have called her bank in a funk, only to remember that the cards were safe and that no money could be withdrawn from her account.

The missing money also figured in the separate trial of Guede. He made a statement which formed the whole basis of his defence. Basically this was that he had an appointment with Meredith at the cottage, had consensual foreplay with her, and was on the toilet when he heard the doorbell ring etc, etc. What he also added was that just before all this Meredith was upset because her rent money had disappeared and that they had both searched for it with particular attention to Amanda’s room.

Now why does Guede mention this? Remember this is his defence. Alibi is not quite the right word. He had plenty of time to think about it or something better. His defence was moulded around (apart from lies) (1) facts he knew the police would have, ie no point denying that he was there, or that he had sexual contact with Meredith: his biological traces had been left behind; and (2) facts known to him and not to the police at that stage, ie the money, which he could use to make his statement as a whole more credible, whilst at the same time giving the police a lead. He is shifting the focus, if the police were to follow it up, on to the person he must have been blaming for his predicament, Amanda.

If all three, Amanda, Raffaele and Guede, went to the cottage together, as Massei has it, then Guede learns about the missing rent money, not in the circumstances referred to in his statement, but because Meredith has already discovered the theft, and worked out who has had it, and challenges Amanda over it when the three arrive. Perhaps this is when Guede goes to the toilet and listens to music on his Ipod. After all he is just there for the sex and this is all a distraction.

Although Micheli thought Guede was a liar from start to finish, he did not discount the possibility that Guede was essentially telling the truth about the money. Guede expanded upon this at his appeal, telling the court that Amanda and Meredith had an argument and then a fight over it. It is a thread that runs through all his accounts, from his Skype chat and initial statements in Germany to his final appeal.

Guede’s “evidence” was not a factor in the jury’s consideration at Amanda’s and Raffaele’s trial. Although he was called to give evidence he did not do so. Now his “evidence” and the findings and conclusion of the courts which processed his case come in to play in the appeal of Amanda and Raffaele.

When were the money and credit cards stolen?

I have to accept that, as to the money, at any rate a theft prior to the murder is critical to sustain the following hypothesis. The credit cards were in any event probably taken after the attack on Meredith.

According to Amanda and Raffaele they spent Halloween together at Raffaele’s, and the next day went to the cottage. Meredith was there, as was Filomena.  Filomena left first, followed by Meredith to spend the evening with her friends, and Amanda and Raffaele left some time afterwards.

So Amanda and Raffaele could have stolen the money any time after Meredith left and before she returned at about 9.30pm - the day of her murder. Incidentally Filomena testified that Meredith never locked the door to her room except on the occasions she went home to England. Meredith was a very trusting girl.

What motive had Amanda for wanting the money, apart from the obvious one of profit?

There are numerous plausible motives.

To fund a growing drugs habit which she shared with Raffaele? Not an inconsiderable expense for a student. Both Amanda and Raffaele explained during questioning that their confusion and hesitancy was due to the fact that they had been going rather hard on drugs. Mignini says that they were both part of a drugs crowd.

Because her own financial circumstances were deteriorating, and to fund her own rent contribution?  She was probably about to be sacked at Le Chic, where she was considered by Lumumba to be flirty and unreliable, and to add insult to injury would likely be replaced by Meredith. In fact Meredith was well liked and trusted by all, whereas Amanda’s star was definitely on the wane. 

But maybe Amanda just also wanted to get her own back on Meredith.

Filomena testified that Meredith and Amanda had begun to have issues with each other.

Here are some quotes from from Filomena in “Darkness Descending”.

At first they got on very well. But then things began to take a different course. Amanda never cleaned the house, so we had to institute a rota… then she (Amanda) would bring strangers home… Meredith said she was not interested in boys, she was here to study.

Meredith was too polite to confront Amanda, but she did confide in her pal, Robyn Butterworth. Robyn winced in disbelief when Meredith said that the pair had quarreled, because Knox often failed to flush the toilet, even when menstruating. Filomena began noticing that Amanda could be odd, even mildly anti-social.

It seems that Amanda did not like it when she was not the centre of attention. It was observed that, comically if irritatingly, she would sing loudly if conversation started to pass her by, and when playing her guitar would often strum the same chord over and over again.

On the evening of Halloween, Amanda texted Meredith enquiring as to whether they could meet up. But Meredith had other arrangements. Meredith appeared to be having a good time, whereas Amanda was not.

Indeed there has been much speculation that Amanda has always had deep seated psychological problems and that after just several weeks in Perugia her fragile and damaged ego was tipping towards free fall.

With Meredith’s money, both Amanda and Raffaele could have afforded something a little stronger than the usual smoke, and I speculate that they spent the late afternoon getting stoned.

Of course Amanda was still an employee of Lumumba, and she was supposed to turn up that evening for work, but perhaps she no longer cared all that much for the consequences if she did not.

Again I speculate, that she, with or without Raffaele,  met Guede at some time - perhaps before she was due at work, perhaps after she learnt that she was not required by Lumumba -  and discussed Meredith’s “availability” and agreed to meet up again on the basketball court at Grimana Square.

The notion that Amanda and Guede hardly knew each other seems implausible to me. We know that they met at a party at the boys’ flat at the cottage. Guede was friends with one of those boys and was invited there on a number of occasions. He was ever-present on the basketball court in Grimana Square, which was located just outside the College Amanda and Meredith attended, and just metres from the cottage. He was known to have fancied Amanda, and Amanda was always aware of male interest.

What else did Amanda and Raffaele have in mind when arranging the meeting or when thinking about it afterwards?

Guede was of course thinking about sex and that Amanda and Raffaele were going to facilitate an encounter with Meredith later that evening. However Amanda and Raffaele had something else on their minds. The logic of their position vis a vis Meredith cannot have escaped them. They had taken her money whilst she was out.

Had she not already discovered this fact then she would in any event be back, notice the money was missing and would put 2 and 2 together.  What would happen? Who would she tell? Would she call the police? How are they going to deal with this? Obviously deny it, but logic has its way, and the situation with or without the police being called in would be uncomfortable.

They decided to turn the tables and make staying in Perugia uncomfortable for Meredith? Now the embarrassing, for Meredith, sexual advances from Guede were going to be manipulated by them in to a sexual humiliation for Meredith. Meredith was not going to be seriously harmed, but as and when they were challenged by Meredith over the missing money, as inevitably they would be, she was to be threatened with injury or worse. Knives come in useful here.

Amanda may have fantasized that Meredith would likely then give up her tenancy at the cottage, perhaps leave Italy. Whether that looks like the probable and likely outcome, I leave you to judge, but the hypothesis is that they were starting to think and behave irrationally and that this was exacerbated by the use of drugs.

In the event there came a point when neither Amanda nor Raffaele had any other commitments anyway. They got to the basketball court. They waited for Guede.

We know Amanda and Raffaele were on the basketball court the evening of the 1st November. This is because of the evidence of a Mr Curatolo, the second lay witness. He was not precise about times but thought that they were on the basketball court between 9.30pm and 10pm and may have left around 11.00 - 11.30pm and then returned just before midnight.

In any event he testified to seeing Amanda and Raffaele having heated arguments, and occasionally going to the parapet at the edge of the court to peer over. What were they looking at? Go to the photographs of Perugia on the True Justice for Meredith website, and you will see. From the parapet you get a good view of the iron gates that are the entrance, and the only entrance as I understand it, to the cottage.

So why the behaviour observed by Mr Curatolo? They may have been impatient waiting for Guede to arrive. Were they actually to go through with this?  Was Meredith at home, alone, and had she found the money was missing and had she called the police or tipped off someone already? Who was hanging around outside the entrance to the cottage and why?

There was, apparently, a car parked at the entrance, a broken down car nearby with the occupants inside awaiting a rescue truck, and the rescue truck itself, all present around 11.00pm. Amanda and Raffaele did not wish to be observed going through the gates with these potential witnesses around.

We of course cannot know for certain what went on in the minds of Amanda and Raffaele between the time of them leaving the cottage and their departure from the basketball court to return to the cottage. It has to be speculation, but there is a logical consistency to the above narrative if they had stolen Meredith’s money earlier that day, and their meeting up with Guede just before leaving the basketball court does not look like a coincidence.

From there on in to the inevitable clash between Amanda and Meredith over the money.

It is my opinion that at the cottage Amanda came off worse initially: that she got caught in the face by a blow and suffered a nose bleed.

Experts Stefanoni and Garofano both say that there was an abundant amount (relatively speaking) of Amanda’s blood in the bathroom washbasin, and to a lesser extent the bidet.  Whereas most of Amanda’s blood in the bathroom was mixed with Meredith’s, the blood on the washbasin tap was Amanda’s alone. Both of a quality and quantity to discount menstrual (from washed knickers) or bleeding from ear-piercing. Their conclusion was that Amanda bled fairly profusely though perhaps briefly at some stage.

Possibly Amanda may have cut her feet on glass in Filomena’s bedroom but if so it’s difficult to see how blood from that ends up as a blob on the basin tap and in the sink, and cut feet are painful to walk on and she did not display any awkwardness on her feet the next day.

Amanda’s blood may have come from a nick by a blade to her hands. I think the nick would be obvious the next day. If so, she was not hiding it. She was photographed the next day outside the cottage waving her hands under the noses of a coterie of vigilant cops.

She might have got a bloody nose during the attack in Meredith’s bedroom save that there is no evidence of her blood there.

On the other hand if she got into a tussle with Meredith (say in the corridor outside their rooms and where there was little room for other than the two to be engaged) and was fended off with a reflex blow that accidentally or otherwise connected with her nose, Amanda’s natural reaction would be to disengage immediately and head for the bathroom sink to staunch the flow of blood.

A nose-bleed need not take too long to staunch, especially if not serious and if there is no cut (certainly none being visible the next day). Just stuff some tissue up the offending nostril. A nose bleed is not necessarily something of which there would be any sign the next day.

Raffaele fusses around her, whilst Rudy briefly plays peacemaker. But Amanda is boiling. As furious with Raffaele and Guede as she is with Meredith. She eggs Guede on and pushes him towards Meredith.  Raffaele proudly produces his flicknife, latent sadistic instincts surfacing.

Is a scene like this played out inside the cottage or outside? I think of the strange but sadly discredited tale told by Kokomani.

In any event motive is satiated and the coil, having been tensed, is sprung for the pre-planned, but now extremely violent, hazing of poor Meredith.

I am also thinking here of Mignini’s “crescendo of violence” and where a point is reached where anything goes ““ where there is (from their warped perspectives) almost an inevitability or justification for their behaviour. A “Meredith definitely needs teaching a lesson now!” attitude.

Psychology is part of motive and there is much speculation particularly with regard to Amanda and Raffaele. They have both been in prison for well over three years now and during this time psychological assessments will certainly have been carried out.

Based on specific incidents and and general patterns of behaviour, speech and language, and demeanour, some preliminary conclusions will have been reached correlated with the facts of the crime.

If their convictions are upheld, these assessments may be relevant to sentence insofar as they shed light on mitigation and motive.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giuliano Mignini’s Trumped-Up Conviction For Guessing Right In The MOF Case

Posted by TomM





We previously posted on the case here and here and here.

Giuliano Mignini became involved in the Monster of Florence case only years after many people had already come to believe a satanic sect in Florence might be behind the MOF murders. But he pursued it with a vengeance when a body that in 1985 mysteriously washed up on the shore of a lake in his jurisdiction showed signs of murder.

And when the crime fiction writer Doug Preston injected himself into the case under a pseudonym and appeared to be planting evidence, Mignini gave him a very brief shaking up and Preston timidly removed himself from the case and from Italy - to turn to inventing a whole lot of fiction about it from safely across the Atlantic. 

Here now is the fine Italian journalist Adriano Lorenzoni, describing The Strange Conviction of PM Giuliano Mignini by the prosecutor whose frustrated conversation was captured (the recording seemed to prove there was indeed a satanic sect in Florence) in objective terms that prove sympathetic to Mr Mignini.

Translation here is with the kind help of my fellow poster Clander.

The Perugian investigation of the instigators of the crimes of the Monster of Florence has, in effect, been stopped.

In January of 2010 the Public Prosecutor of Perugia, Giuliano Mignini, and the former head of the flying squad of Florence, Michele Giuttari, were sentenced by the Court of Florence on the charge of abuse of office in an investigation into some Perugians connected to the “instigators” of the crimes of the Monster of Florence. According to the prosecution’s theory, Mignini and Giuttari illegally wiretapped and investigated journalists and law enforcement officials to influence their activities.

These are abnormal proceedings, since the Public Prosecutor Mignini had been properly authorized by the Investigating Magistrate of Perugia to use wiretaps for his investigation, actions that he had the duty to carry out. Abnormal proceedings also because leading the investigation against Mignini and Giuttari was the same Public Prosecutor’s Office [Procura] that Mignini [PM di Perugia], had investigated the head of, Ubaldo Nanucci. Not by chance did Dr Mignini object to the jurisdiction of that Office [Procura] to carry out the investigation and raise objections of the legitimacy of the judgment. The Court of Appeal of Florence will hear the appeal next November 22 [2011].

This all springs from a recording made by Michele Giuttari of one of his conversations with a Deputy Prosecutor of Florence, Paolo Canessa, in which Canessa states that his boss was not a free man and admits to having been hindered by the then Prosecutor General, Ubaldo Nannucci, regarding the requests of Dr Giuttari into the investigation of the crimes of the Monster of Florence.

Giuttari [then] sent the recording to Mignini, who turned it over to the Prosecutor’s Office of Genoa which had been authorized to investigate the magistrates of Florence. Prosecutor Nannucci was then investigated [verrà  inquisito] for having slowed down, or rather obstructed, the investigation of the Monster of Florence. Genoa promptly dismissed [archivierà ] it.

Giuttari continued to complain to Mignini about the conduct of the police commissioner of Florence, De Donno who, as ordered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, should have set up a new wire tapping room for the GIDES (serial crimes investigative unit) where Giuttari and his men were working [si erano sistemati]. De Donno never set up the new room [cosa che non fa]. Mignini charged him and sent the file to Florence.

A question comes to mind: where is the abuse of office in all of this?

It is also puzzling why there was such an apparent lack of interest in the investigations conducted by Michele Giuttari, even when they are not being obstructed. “The instigators must not be investigated because there are only conjectures, a fruitless waste of time,” Giuttari is told.

Astonishing. As long as the [lowlife] “snack buddies” are being investigated [for the MOF , all is well. It’s fine to investigate Pacciani, Lotti and Vanni; but when the investigation tries to produce greater results [si alza il tiro], problems start to arise. Michele Giuttari was even relieved of his post and transferred.

Prosecutor Mignini’s office is searched and documents from an ongoing investigation into the death of the Perugian doctor Fransesco Narducci are seized, documents which Mignini had without success objected were secret.

Another question comes to mind: why so much fear (in Florence and in Perugia) about the investigation of the death of Francesco Narducci?

According to the Perugian Public Prosecutor [Mignini], Francesco Narducci was connected in some way to the Monster of Florence case.  Giancarlo Lotti, one of the [lowlife] snack buddies, asserted that some doctor was given the amputated parts of a female body, in exchange for money.

Crimes, therefore, on commission [i.e. murder or mayhem for hire] by a doctor. A real doctor, not the mere pharmacist, Francesco Calamandrei, of San Casciano val di Pesa. Among other things, during the investigation it emerged that Calamandrei and Narducci knew one another. Narducci then died in unclear circumstances on October 13, 1985. Drowned in the waters of Lake Trasimeno. One month after the last murder committed by the Monster of Florence.

Suicide was claimed at that time. A truth considerably less than believable. So much so that while the Preliminary Investigations Judge [GIP], Marina De Robertis, dismissed the case for lack of enough evidence [con formula dubitativa] the hypothetical murder case against certain suspects (the journalist Mario Spezi, the pharmacist from San Casciano, Calamandrei, and others) and declared it time-barred, still, evidence exists of other crimes committed at the time: the concealment and abduction of a corpse and the falsification of numerous public records.

Moreover, since last April, we have been waiting to learn the reasoning with which, for different reasons, including claimed lack of evidence, the Preliminary Hearing Judge, Paolo Micheli, acquitted twenty people (including Narducci’s father and brother) of charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy, dereliction of duty, and concealment of a corpse.

Against this decision of the Preliminary Hearing Judge, Public Prosecutor Mignini will most likely file an appeal as soon as the sentencing reports are lodged which should have been lodged last July 20 [2010].

Mignini and Giutarri were acquitted of the charges of abuse of office (and Mignini also of aiding and abetting Giuttari) because it was not proven that any crimes were committed [i fatti non sussistono] (and the Florence Prosecutor’s Office did not appeal).

[The abuse of office charges] related to their so-called parallel investigations to those of the Genoa Prosecutor’s Office, which was investigating the former head of the flying squad of Florence for false acts [falso] due to the recording of the conversation with the deputy [Prosecutor] Canessa (of which we have spoken above) which, according to the indictment, had been tampered with. This investigation then led to the search of the office of the Public Prosecutor of Perugia [Mignini’s office] and the seizure of numerous investigation documents.

Needless to add that the proceedings against Giuttari and the two police officers concluded with a judgment of non-suit for absolute lack of foundation of fact, as proclaimed by the Genoan Preliminary Hearing Judge Roberto Fenizia. The “aberrant” conviction of Giuliano Mignini does not have immediate disciplinary consequences of any kind. The disciplinary proceeding is in fact suspended until the resolution of the criminal case on which it depends.

And Public Prosecutor Mignini is able to continue to carry out his functions, in trials of great importance and of international interest, such as that relating to the death of the English student, Meredith Kercher.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lifetime’s Misleading Portrayal Of Knox HIV Leak: One Of Many Dishonest Knox-Team Leaks

Posted by Michael



Above and below: images from the two misleading scenes

1. Movie Advances HIV & Sex Partners List Hoax

The Lifetime movie nicely depicted Meredith and Dr Mignini, and was not tough on Knox, though it seemed to leave many viewers sensing the possibility of guilt.

However, there were several seriously wrong scenes in the Lifetime movie, and also in the associated Lifetime documentary. Two scenes advanced the HIV-test and sex-partners-list hoax.

    1. In a first long and emotional scene, the film depicted Amanda Knox being told by the doctor at Capanne that in a routine test she tested positive for HIV. It implied the test was a form of pressure. It showed Knox being told she should write down a list of her previous partners.

    2. In a second long and emotional scene, the film depicted a confrontation between an angry Amanda and the doctor when he told her she was all clear. And thereafter depicted that it was the the prosecution that leaked the sex partners list.

These implied criminal actions on the part of both the Capanne Prison medical staff and the prosecutors, and aroused a lot of false sympathy for Knox.

2. The Hard Facts About Knox’s HIV Testing

1. Lifetime V Reality: Knox Had Herpes When She Was Tested

Lifetime simply depicted Amanda Knox being told by the doctor at Capanne that she tested positive for HIV. It implied the test was unusual.

In fact, on her admittance to Capanne Prison, Knox was simply routinely tested for HIV and some other possible conditions, as all prisoners are, for their own good.

Knox had herpes at the time, visible on her lip in many photographs, and herpes can result in a false positive result for HIV.

2. Lifetime V Reality: Proof Knox Warned Positive Test Maybe False

Lifetime did not depict Knox being warned about false positives. But Knox’s diary reads:

Last night before I went to bed I was taken down to see yet another doctor who I haven’t yet met before. He had my results from a test they took which says I’m positive for HIV.

First of all the guy told me not to worry, it could be a mistake, they’re going to take a second test next week….

3. Lifetime V Reality: Knox Herself Creates Sex Partners List

Lifetime claimed Amanda Knox was told to write down her list of partners by the doctor.

But in Amanda Knox’s own words, you can read how it went down: She chose herself to create the sex partners list. The doctor never instructed Amanda to write out that list. Her diary reads:

Thirdly, I don’t know where I could have got HIV from. Here is the list of people I’ve had sex with in Italy [strike Italy] general:...

4. Lifetime V Reality: There Was No Angry Confrontation

Lifetime depicts a yelling, pointing Knox, who has to be restrained.

The doctor merely conveyed the news of a negative results and Knox cheerfully went off. He had no ill intent, she did not get angry, and no accusations were made.

3. The Hard Facts About Who Leaked The Results & List

Lifetime implied that Knox’s diary with the list of partners was leaked by the prosecutors to the public.

We know this to be false. We know that it was instead Amanda Knox’s own lawyers that leaked the diary with the sex partners list (to journalists like Barbie Nadeau). And that the family effort leaked it to people like Frank Sforza (who duly published Amanda’s diary page on the previous sexual partners), and Candace Dempsey, and even tried to leak it to us!

Amanda’s lawyers leak like sieves, always have, and they’ve rarely, if ever, asked Amanda permission to do so. It isn’t actually required, since she’s already given them permission to act on her behalf. In a way, it’s a bit like electing a politician. Once you’ve elected them, they don’t have to come back to you (the electorate) for permission every time they want to pass a bill, create a new policy or enter into negotiations.

When we had our own reporter (Stewart Home) attending the trial, the defence happily showed him anything in the case file he asked to see. In fact, many times they offered without his having to even ask.

In addition, Amanda’s family have been doing quite a lot of ‘leaking’ themselves. Frank Sforza and Candace Dempsey got most of their data from them, as did Charlie Wilkes, Mark Waterbury and Bruce Fischer. And this leaking by the family started long before the trial.

It needs to also be pointed out, Sollecito’s family and lawyers have also been doing their share of leaking.

However, the Knox family and their followers have been only too happy to publicly blame all this leaking on Italian law enforcement (ILE) and cite this as another injustice against their daughter. The US media have been only too happy to carry these accusations, without question. This is how the ILE have been framed and it stinks.

4. Relevant Misleading Scenes In The Lifetime Film

Top and below: the first partly imaginary scene




Above and below: the first partly imaginary scene




Below: the second very misleading scene




Below: the second very misleading scene



5. Bottom Line: One Of Many Knox-Team Hoaxes

Amanda’ Knoxs family know the truth of this, but have not yet come out and corrected a seriously wrong pervasive impression.

And Lifetime repeated the lie of the sex partners list, leading millions to believe the ILE deliberately terrified, tricked and humiliated Amanda Knox.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Open Questions: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

Posted by SomeAlibi


Welcome

If you’ve come to this website because of the Lifetime movie of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, then welcome. 

Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The movie you’ve just watched is equivocal on that matter and perhaps didn’t help you at all.

On the internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and you will find people who are passionate in their support of the prosecution. 

My own arrival

Placing my own cards on the table here: as a twenty-plus year practising trial lawyer, I am firmly a part of that latter camp.  But it wasn’t always that way.

It was information ““ evidence ““ that changed my views. What became very clear to me, early on, was that very few people in the English-speaking world are aware of anywhere near all of the evidence in this case.

I had thought I had grasped the core of the case, but I did not.  The case is deep and complex and like many criminal cases, the complete facts behind it have been only sketchily reported in the media.  The movie you may have just watched only skirts the real reasons the jury convicted.

The unanimous jury

I am sure that we all agree that no jury, in any murder case, given the awesome responsibility of adjudicating on (young) people’s lives for a multi-decade period of imprisonment, condemns people lightly.

It should be a matter of logic that the evidence presented against the accused must have been deep and satisfied the 6 lay jurors and 2 judges on the case for them to pronounce that huge judgement. That doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be the possibility of a mistrial, but clearly the evidence presented must have been substantial.

In this, we’ve already hit the first problem.  Some supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will tell you there’s no evidence against them. 

This is patently silly.  No jury ever convicts people and sends them to prison for 24 plus years without being quite convinced of the case against them.  Miscarriages of justice do happen, but the idea that there is “no evidence” can be summarily dismissed. 

The only question is whether the evidence is sufficient, true and accurate.

The voluminous evidence

So is the evidence enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt?  The six lay jurors and two professional judges thought so, clearly.  What you realise, when you come to the facts of the case, is that the evidence is based not around a single key event but on multiple points. 

It can be astonishing to realise that the case is based not only on DNA evidence but also on cellphone evidence and computer records and further yet on multiple conflicting and contradicting versions of what happened that night from the mouths of the accused, not to mention falsely accusing an innocent man of responsibility for murder causing his incarceration. 

The wealth of evidence is actually extremely unusual. It goes way beyond the quite similar Scott Peterson case.

The Massei Sentencing Report

What is absolutely new to the English speaking legal world is that the reasoning for the conviction can be read in an extremely detailed 440+ page report online.  Bilingual posters at the Perugia Murder File Forum many of whom who are also key posters at TJMK translated the entire document into English over several months last year. 

It was my privilege to play an extremely small part in that work.  People from four different continents with backgrounds in forensic science, law, academia and a host of other disciplines participated. 

You can read an effective executive summary by clicking on the Massei Report link at top here and reading the conclusions from page 388 onwards:

The Knox PR campaign

If you are new to this case, you will likely be shocked how much evidence there is against the convicted parties.  Amanda Knox’s family have spent over $1m and involved a professional PR agency called Gogerty Marriot to suggest otherwise in the English-speaking media. 

You might wonder why an innocent person needs a million dollar PR campaign on their part.  Make yourself a coffee and read the conclusions of the judge’s report. It will take you about 15 minutes.  Up until you read this report, almost everything you watch, hear and read is PR spin and is quite deliberately positioned to make you believe there is no case.

When you complete it,  I believe you will have a very different take. That 15 minutes could change your ideas about everything you thought you knew about the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Now for a quick tour of the evidence.


Some of the points of evidence

Consider as you read it what is your own possible explanation for each of the following:

  • the fact that the wound pattern and the reconstruction of the attack, each presented at trial in extensive closed-court sessions, showed this absolutely had to be a pack attack; 

  • the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on Meredith’s bra-clasp in her locked bedroom;

  • the almost-entire naked footprint of Raffaele on a bathmat that in *no way* fits that of the other male in this case - Rudy Guede;

  • the fact that Raffaele’s own father blew their alibi that they were together in Raffaele’s flat at the time of the killing with indisputable telephone records;

  • the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the knife in Raffaele’s flat which Raffaele himself sought to explain as having been from accidentally “pricking” Meredith’s hand in his written diary despite the fact Meredith had never been to his flat (confirmed by Amanda Knox);

  • the correlation of where Meredith’s phones were found to the location of Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guedes’s flats;

  • the computer records which show that no-one was at Raffaele’s computer during the time of the murder despite him claiming he was using that computer;

  • Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith Kercher’s in five different places just feet from Meredith’s body;

  • the utterly inexplicable computer records the morning after the murder starting at 5.32 am and including multiple file creations and interactions thereafter all during a time that Raffaele and Amanda insist they were asleep until 10.30am;

  • the separate witnesses who testified on oath that Amanda and Raffaele were at the square 40 metres from the girls’ cottage on the evening of the murder and the fact that Amanda was seen at a convenience store at 7.45am the next morning, again while she said she was in bed;

  • the accusation of a completely innocent man by Amanda Knox again and again when under no pressure which she insisted on putting in writing;

  • the fact of Knox’s claim that she was aggressively interrogated for days, although she did not even have the status of a witness, and signed every page of every typed record of her mild, mundane and quite limited questionings;

  • the fact that during Knox’s very unconvincing performance on the witness stand in July 2009 she admitted she was treated well and was not abused;

  • the fact that when Amanda Knox rang Meredith’s mobile telephones, ostensibly to check on the “missing” Meredith, she did so for just three seconds - registering the call but making no effort to allow the phone to be answered in the real world

  • the knife-fetish of Raffaele Sollecito, and his formal disciplinary punishment for watching animal porn at his university so far from the wholesome image portrayed;

  • the fact that claimed multi-year kick-boxer Raffaele apparently couldn’t break down a flimsy door to Meredith’s room when he and Amanda were at the flat the morning after the murder but the first people in the flat with the police who weren’t martial artists could;

  • the extensive hard drug use of Sollecito as told on by Amanda Knox;

  • the fact that Amanda knew details of the body and the wounds despite not being in line of sight of the body when it was discovered;

  • the lies of Knox on the witness stand in July 2009 about how their drug intake that night (“one joint”) is totally contradicted by Sollecito’s own contemporaneous diary;

  • the fact that after a late evening’s questioning, Knox wrote a 2,900 word email home which painstakingly details what she said happened that evening and the morning after that looks *highly* like someone committing to memory, at 3.30 in the morning, an extensive alibi;

  • the fact that both Amanda and Raffaele both said they would give up smoking dope for life in their prison diaries despite having apparently nothing to regret;

  • the fact that when Rudy Guede was arrested, Raffaele Sollecito didn’t celebrate the “true” perpetrator being arrested (which surely would have seen him released) but worried in his diary that a man whom he said he didn’t know would “make up strange things” about him despite him just being one person in a city of over 160,000 people;

  • the fact that both an occupant of the cottage and the police instantly recognised the cottage had not been burgled but had been the subject of a staged break-in where glass was *on top* of apparently disturbed clothes;

  • the fact that Knox and Sollecito have feuded quite publicly ever since November 2007 and have shown far more anger toward one another than either has ever shown toward Guede;

  • the fact that Knox and Sollecito both suggested each other might have committed the crime and Sollecito TO THIS DATE does not agree Knox stayed in his flat all the night in question;

  • the fact of the bizarre behaviour of both of them for days after the crime;

  • the fact that cellphone records show Knox did not stay in Sollecito’s flat but had left the flat at a time which is completely coincidental with Guede’s corroborated presence near the girl’s flat earlier in the evening;

  • the fact that Amanda Knox’s table lamp was found in the locked room of Meredith Kercher in a position that suggested it had been used to examine for fine details of the murder scene in a clean up;

  • the unbelievable series of changing stories made up by the defendants after their versions became challenged;

  • Knox’s inexplicable reaction to being shown the knife drawer at the girl’s cottage where she ended up physically shaking and hitting her head despite being joyful earlier at the police station.


In conclusion

This list is not exhaustive. It goes”¦ on”¦ and on”¦ and on”¦ And yet, those supporting Knox will tell you that’s all made up, all coincidental. 

Really?  Does the weight of all that evidence sound made up to you?

If so, it must be the most over-rigged criminal case in the history of crime.  Unlikely beyond all and any reasonable doubt.

The judge’s report explains why the jury found the defendants guilty. I truly expect you will be astonished at the amount of evidence if all you’ve done is watched a film or read a few press reports. 

For any questions thereafter, please join us and post them on truejustice.org or perugiamuderfile.org .  You’ll find here a host of good people who are all working on a totally volunteer basis in memory of the only victim of this crime.

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher. RIP.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Italian Media Reporting Injunction And 100 Million Euro Suit Filed In NYC By Sollecito Defense Team

Posted by Peter Quennell


This above is the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street in downtown.

It is adjacent to the Borough of Manhattan Federal Supreme Court for which we posted an image previously. Italian media including the newspaper Il Giorno are reporting from New York that an injunction request to stop tonight’s showing of the Lifetime film has now been filed at this court by Sollecito’s defense team, with a request that damages for 100 million Euros (about $137 million) be awarded if Lifetime proceed tonight with the airing.

Most of Il Giorno’s long article describes scenes which may or may not be true and damaging and the possible effects on the appeal of Raffaele Sollecito, which has been showing some hints that it may depart from the appeal grounds of Amanda Knox - which to some extent, on the matter of alibis, it already has.

The Lifetime producer Craig Piligian has already spoken out that the film script followed the official record closely (especially the Massei report) and concludes with the verdict and various questions left open. 

We should have more on this later today. We doubt that a Federal judge will grant an injunction to stop the airing of the movie, but not much in this case has proved predictable.


Andrea Vogt In New York Post Finds Lifetime Movie Fairish Though Hurtful To Kerchers And Ill-Timed

Posted by Peter Quennell


Andrea Vogt reminds us that the legal process is very exhaustive, very balanced and far from complete.

Also that Mr. Mignini is a reasonable person, that an extraordinary number of careful judges have been a party to the process, and that US State Department have monitored the case and not seen any reason to try to intervene - though it is doubtful they could have any influence over the judiciary.

During filming in Rome last fall, the Knox chattering classes speculated whether it would favor “innocentisti or colpevolisti” (the innocents or guilty). As the first clips emerged, everyone was upset. Producers clearly took factual liberties (in real life, Amanda and Raffaele didn’t attend the memorial vigil for Meredith, but in the film they do, for example).

But the communal outrage is nothing new. All the parties agree: it is inappropriate to air this film before completion of appeal. Knox was convicted of murder and sentenced in an Italian court based on the scenario of all three being involved, as described in the judge’s ruling. Lifetime attempted to re-enact this in their own way…

That said, the US State Department has been monitoring the case as more than two dozen judges have considered the evidence and determined (to varying degrees) that Knox was involved…

Unfortunately this case exists in a cultural time warp where fiction races ahead of fact. In the US, everything happens too fast; a film is thrown together in months. In Italy, everything happens too slow: a case can take seven years to get to the Supreme Court. The final judicial decision about who murdered Ms. Kercher and how is still years away.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/21/11 at 02:29 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesExcellent reportingMovies on caseComments here (2)

NY Post Review : Amanda Knox Movie “Offers Almost No Reason To Believe She Was Not Involved”

Posted by Peter Quennell


The Massei Report in English (link above) has been downloaded from PMF and TJMK over 20,000 times now - and finally its full force seems to be hitting home.

This factual and accurate review by New York Post critic Sean Daly is one of several we have already seen which doesn’t incline the preview critic toward Amanda Knox’s non-involvement or innocence. Some excerpts:

As portrayed by the seriously adorable Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”), Knox, currently serving a 26-year sentence for killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, is portrayed as a drug-abusing honors student who flaunted her sexuality and mysteriously showed little emotion after the brutal murder…

Details of the Massei Report were discussed openly among the cast and crew during the 23-day shoot near Rome last fall. “Basically we argued every day about whether she was innocent or guilty,” says Marcia Gay Harden, who plays Knox’s mother, Edda Mellas…

The film depicts the Seattle native as almost unaffected by the grizzly killing “” and more concerned with shopping for lingerie than mourning a lost friend. “I was physically ill when I saw [clips on TV],” Knox, 23, told her stepfather Chris Mellas in a phone call from Capanne prison. “I thought I was going to throw up.”

Perhaps she couldn’t stomach the graphic images of Kercher laying on a bedroom floor with her throat slit, coughing up blood.

Another scene shows “Foxy Knoxy” perched on boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito’s lap, kissing in an Italian police station while Kercher’s grief-stricken friends sob. Moments later, the couple, who were both convicted of the slaying, along with Rudy Guede, are shown smoking pot before a sexy romp in bed…

Despite [executive producer Trevor] Walton’s insistence that facts were presented “as impartially as possible,” the movie shows Knox in various reenactments of the crime, and offers almost no reason to believe she was not involved.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/21/11 at 02:57 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesThe officially involvedMovies on caseAmanda KnoxComments here (12)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Daily Beast’s Barbie Nadeau Weighs The Pros And Cons Of The Lifetime Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Lifetime TV has an office suite in this giant hitech building which Google is presently purchasing]

We doubt if we are going to rate this film very highly. Already there are critical reviews.

And the Massei report shows overwhelming guilt, the grounds for appeal are slim indeed, and the Supreme Court of Cassation has ALREADY accepted that all three were part of the attack.

Barbie Nadeau’s report upon seeing a preview seems to confirm that the film will at least in part blow smoke and mislead the viewing audience by failing to convey those hard facts.

The movie does a commendable job slaloming between guilt and innocence as it stitches together known details of a very complicated case. It doesn’t shy away from controversial facts like how Knox accused Patrick Lumumba of the murder, or just how tough the Perugian police were on the 20-year-old American during her interrogations…. Lifetime lands squarely on the side of reasonable doubt when it comes to Knox’s conviction, but the network also does a fair job showing just why the jury in Perugia found her guilty.

Reasonable doubt? In fact that is a term that applies only to juries who were present in the courtroom the whole time, and in this case the guilty verdict was already unanimous. They had no reasonable doubt.

Sadly, John and Arline Kercher’s worst fears about the movie dwelling upon the graphic violence done to Meredith seem fully justified.

Indeed, the movie features globs of often-gratuitous violence around their daughter’s tragic death. Sure, it is a TV dramatization bent on ratings about a now-legendary murder, but the CSI-style black-and-white autopsy shots and a disturbing scene where Guede watches Meredith choking on her own blood are unsettling, even for those of us who have covered this case from day one. It’s one thing to see the crime scene video and hear testimony about how it might have happened, but it’s quite another to watch someone act it out in gruesome detail.

There seems to be little mention of the million-dollar public relations campaign that has so misled the public, and none at all of the inflammatory anti-prosecution anti-Italy bias of much of the UK and US media. 

Not all is bad. Mr Mignini and his team are shown as “smart, capable investigators caught up in a terribly complicated crime….”. The Knox family are portrayed as “even-tempered and wholly genuine in support of their daughter”. Hayden Pantierre does “an admirable job playing the quirky Seattle native.”

But Amanda Knox herself apparently comes across as vague and someone who “could have simply been in the wrong place doing the wrong things at the wrong time.” We have already remarked in a previous post “We will be curious to see if Lifetime somehow depicts what a sad drug-driven slide into dependency and desperation the seemingly not-quite-right Amanda Knox appeared to be embarked on.”

However Meredith is said to be infectiously played, by Cambridge University graduate Amanda Fernando Stevens (image below), who we believe really did give the classy depiction of Meredith all she could.

Fortunately, Lifetime also focuses a fair amount of attention on Meredith, painting a portrait of a bright and beautiful young woman who was far more serious than her American roommate, but who had an infectious sense of humor and enviable charm. That careful attention to her charisma makes her murder all the more tragic.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/17/11 at 01:16 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesExcellent reportingMovies on caseComments here (9)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Perhaps Heeding Meredith Family Pleas And Our Open Letter Lifetime Claim Movie Now Less Shrill

Posted by Peter Quennell


If we are reading this somewhat cagey explanation by Lifetime executive producer Craig Piligian correctly, the scenes with Meredith have almost disappeared.

Lifetime is set to premiere the movie on February 21, but the channel has slightly altered their marketing in response to criticism from both Knox’s lawyers and the family of victim Meredith Kercher.

The channel recently removed the original teaser-trailer for the movie, which stars Hayden Panettiere as Knox, from its website and YouTube, and today replaced it with a new, slightly edited version.

The new promo no longer includes scenes depicting Kercher being assaulted, which caused a stir in the U.K., where she is from, and which her father called “absolutely horrific.”

If this is true then we have to thank you, Lifetime, for a kind gesture that matters a great deal to Meredith’s family and her many supporters worldwide.

Mr Piligian says the movie will air in the US starting 21 February and the UK and some other markets, but no longer in Italy.

Insiders also confirm that Amanda Knox will not air in Italy due to legal reasons, because Knox’s case is ongoing. Knox’s lawyers had sent a letter to Lifetime, asking the network to pull the clips down, arguing that the movie’s depictions might jeopardize her chance of a fair trial. A Lifetime spokesman confirmed that the network received the letter, but beyond that, they have not commented on the controversy.

We also presume that Lifetime had no wish to pin a calunnia target on their own backs,  as the Italian police and investigators and prosecutors may have quietly warned them. 

The producers and cast continue to make some rather loopy claims about how controversial the evidence actually is.

“This is a factual drama and we feel we did a very fair and balanced telling of the story, crafting a script from court records and other public documents,” executive producer Craig Piligian tells TV Guide Magazine.

“At the end of the movie people will be wondering whether she really did or didn’t do the things she’s accused of,” he says. “We weren’t leaning one way or another, but took a very even, fact-based approach, which ultimately allows the viewers to make their own decision.”

Amanda Knox is simply accused? Actually she already was unanimously convicted. The Supreme Court of Cassation has already accepted that all three were party to the attack.

Certainly the conviction is not final until Cassation confirms it (probably by late summer 2012) but that existing Cassation position really means it is all but game over. And Capanne Prison continues of course to be Amanda Knox’s home.

But the auspices behind the movie say they’ve made sure not to take sides in the debate over Knox’s guilt or innocence… Piligian said he screened the movie internally to his staff, and even in-house there’s no consensus on whether or not Knox was involved in the crimes. “Everyone’s divided, and the viewing public will likely be divided as well… That’s what makes this such a great story.”

No consensus? Try again. Read the voluminous evidence rather than simply watching a hedging semi-fictional film

We are finding that maybe 98 out of every 100 bright people who read the Massei report and the Micheli summaries do not have the slightest difficulty seeing that the case has been made and the first verdict a fair one.

We will watch the Lifetime movie for sure on 21 February.

We will be curious to see if Lifetime somehow depicts what a sad drug-driven slide into dependency and desperation the seemingly not-quite-right Amanda Knox appeared to be embarked on.

What a deservedly friendless, obsessive and bizarre person the heavy drug user Raffaele Sollecito seemed to be, despite all his deeply concerned father’s best efforts, in real life.

And what an exceptional fast-track student with an amazing future already mapped out the real victim, Meredith, really was.  We believe Lifetime may have picked up some strong vibes of that.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On The Effects On Amanda Knox Of Her Movie Alter Ego Hayden Panettiere

Posted by Hopeful


An ABC News headline: “Amanda Knox Felt Ill When She Saw Herself Portrayed in New Movie”

Nikki Battiste.states that Knox was tearful in her weekly phone call home after having seen the trailer of the movie on prison TV news. Chris Mellas quoted her, “I was physically ill when I saw the images. I thought I was going to throw up.”

This reaction seems to spring from the strange feeling Knox had when seeing “a girl who looked like her, dressed like her, playing her life.” Mellas explains her frustration at having no control over her life or how her life is portrayed.

Perhaps this seeing herself through objective eyes is shaking up her fragile sense of identity. She explored that theme in her appeal speech, all too fully for the occasion. She’s not “that girl” painted by the prosecution.

Maybe in this movie she is reminded of all the glories that were lost seeing the colors and happy scenes of bouncing carefree Hayden/herself flitting around Perugia at the university that she so loved; and the love scene with Raffaele, the picturesque architecture of Perugia with the film’s golden lighting, even her long hair as Hayden wears wig, treasured times of joy.

This film renews those days of wine and roses, however brief, and it must be horrifying to have traded all that freedom for the current reality.

Nikki Battiste reports, “Her family said she is not aware of the magnitude of the press surrounding her life, and that she avoids watching television and reading newspapers.”

That sounds inaccurate or blatantly false, because she faces a jungle of reporters and cameras each time she enters the courtroom and her family has been in constant contact with her for three years giving ample time to discuss how she is perceived, the press they are surrounded with.

She has probably been informed of every bit of the internet interest in her case, both pro and con. We know this because she refers to the media coverage of her reputation in her appeal speech. Her access to newspapers in prison is no doubt limited, but overall she must surely be apprised of the hubbub about her trial. So her being “not aware” is a total exaggeration, so too perhaps is her reported reaction.

If she sees the movie as veering from the truth of what happened the night of the murder, her reaction may be mixed: grateful that the real details are not known but fearful that even the false rendition makes a case for guilt, and wondering what effect this may have on her appeal, if any.

Case of sowing and reaping here?

She may be bearing the brunt of lies in this movie after having told so many herself. She may be a great deal more envious of Hayden Panettiere than she ever was of Meredith, and resent this lovely actress’s freedom to vicariously take over her life and her sufferings while getting famous and paid for it.

It’s like two actresses vying for a juicy role and one losing out to the other, the loser being Foxy, ironically she being the authentic character and born to play the role. She may hate to lose her claim to fame and the spotlight to Hayden.

She may envy Hayden’s looks and charisma, and feel she has been overshadowed once again, beaten at her own game. It’s hard to imagine how conflicted this movie must make Amanda feel. If she knows her family has received financial benefits from it with some trickle down benefits to herself, that may be some consolation.

Identity confusion from seeing oneself portrayed by another is a powerful mirror held up to the self even if one is innocent. If one is not very self-aware to begin with, seeing oneself caricatured or portrayed by another like a game of charades could make a person feel unbalanced and discombobulated.

Amanda is fortunate to have plenty of quiet time without media frenzy or court dates so she can process this dramatic development.

It’s equally possible that her tears and nausea are an act equal to Hayden’s, initiated by her shrewd instinct. They could be a falsehood concocted by her family to camouflage the fact that she’s secretly revelling in every minute of increased notoriety. She may be silently thanking Hayden for promoting her status on TV.

For that matter it might not be mutually exclusive, this love of the limelight once again, but anger that she has been cut out as scriptwriter. The issue she has with “no control over her life…how her life is portrayed” does sound rather like the bitter tears of a wounded egomaniac.

Posted by Hopeful on 02/09/11 at 05:28 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesThe officially involvedMovies on caseAmanda KnoxComments here (10)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Open Letter To Everyone Remotely Involved In Lifetime’s Crass Enterprise “Murder on Trial in Italy”

Posted by Peggy Ganong


Video version and all co-signatories of the letter below

The parents of Meredith Kercher are not the only ones who are appalled and saddened by the making of the soon-to-be aired Lifetime movie “version” of their daughter’s brutal murder, which occurred in 2007 while she was an Erasmus scholar in Italy. Though we cannot begin to truly imagine the depth of their ongoing pain, we can certainly empathize with them. And we can share their outrage at the very idea of showing graphic footage that purports to depict “what happened” to their beloved daughter. That John Kercher, Meredith’s father, was led to believe otherwise just makes matters worse.

At the risk of creating yet more publicity ““ which could ultimately play into the hands of the producers and others associated with this telefilm, commissioned by and scheduled to air on the US cable channel Lifetime ““ we wish to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, everyone who has played a role in bringing this crass enterprise to fruition. The film is not just premature and untimely ““ though it is indeed both, since two of the three unanimously convicted in December 2009 for their role in Meredith’s death are currently awaiting the first of two appeals, which are automatic in Italy ““ it is also just plain wrong. And it will continue to be so in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time.

What possible justification could there ever be for inflicting this kind of pain on the real-life, grieving family of Meredith Kercher? Does it enhance our understanding of this heinous crime in any way? No, it does not. Does it serve to dissuade others from engaging in such acts? No, it does not. On the contrary, it breeds the kind of callous disregard for human life and lack of empathy that led to this gratuitous act of violence in the first place and that apparently characterizes those who have produced, directed and otherwise participated in the project.

In some respects, the damage is done as far as Meredith’s family are concerned. The footage is out there thanks to the efficiency of the World Wide Web. Now, there are two ways to bring partial reparation and maybe a little consolation to the Kercher family: one is to immediately remove all of the offensive footage from the internet, as John Kercher has politely requested. The other is to simply refrain from watching the film when it is broadcast on the Lifetime channel. Use the time to let the people at Lifetime know that you are unhappy with their lack of basic decency and fellow feeling, and that you plan to impose a personal ban in your house on the channel. There is a third way, but only the people at Lifetime can bring it about: that is to quietly but quickly pull the film from its line-up.

Just over three years ago, Meredith Kercher was a living, breathing, joyous young woman. She was also, and still is, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s friend and someone’s neighbour. From what we have heard, she brought joy to all who knew her. None of these people deserve the gratuitous pain and suffering that this film and this footage will surely produce. Adding insult to injury, the film apparently focuses in particular on one of the three convicted killers, contributing indirectly to the well-financed and well-orchestrated PR effort intended to garner sympathy for and turn her into a “minor celebrity.” We wonder why, if Amanda Knox’s family and friends are opposed to this celebrity status and tabloidization, they did not do more from the outset to nip this project in the bud. The world knows by now that they have easy and apparently unlimited access to the media. Why have they not used just a few minutes of this access to let it be known that they think Lifetime should scrap the project? Why have they not threatened a lawsuit, claiming that until all appeals are exhausted this kind of film could turn the jury against Amanda Knox?

Like Arline Kercher, Meredith’s mum, we wonder why only the name “Amanda Knox” appears in the title of the film when the victim is named Meredith Kercher. And finally, we wonder why, if Amanda Knox’s family and friends are unassociated with this project, as they claim to be, they are being given an hour of airtime directly following its scheduled showing?


By Peggy Ganong, Seattle

Cosignatories with more to come

Neville Sprigg, England

Dr. Kathy Graham, B.C. Canada

Jane Blakelock Ohio

Claire Bennett, Bristol, UK.

Ann-Marie Thornton, Turkey

Rich Towle, California, USA

Neil Kazwell, St. Louis, MO

Cathy Armer, Boston MA

Nick Kitto, Barcelona, Spain

Mara Loughridge, Florida, USA

Dr. Craig Gerard, Boston, Massachusetts

David Llewellyn Smith, Scotland

Lola Kassim, Cheshire, England

John Crawford, Kent, England

Kevin Mackintosh, Va, USA

Barbara Taylor, Ohio, USA

Sylviane Pompei, France

Andrew James, Germany

Doug Clement, Portland

Samantha Andrews, Derbyshire UK

Patrick Critien, Sliema, Malta

Janet Chapman,Sheffield UK

Theo Stobbe, The Netherlands

Renate Lauditsch, Austria

Laura Watkins, Berkeley, California

Rachel Ross, California, USA

Dr Rosemarie Levine New York, NY

Miriam Bell Khounsary, Seattle

Robert Harrison Kingston-Upon-Hull UK

Amy Revell, United States

Julia Perez, southern Spain

Beth Zaring, Wellston, Ohio

Martha Shamp, Auburn Alabam

Stanley Champ.Garryhinch, Ireland

Heather Good, Whatcom County, WA, US

Katherine Phillips, Barry, Wales

Kris Arnason, Seattle US

Maria Fifield, Buxton, Derbyshire

Simon Gardner Oxford UK

Peter Quennell New York

 


Lifetime TV Appear To Have Lied And Invented False Facts For Their Horrific Knox TV Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell



These are all of our previous posts on this hapless film, which defense lawyers had said they might sue to be put on ice until after the appeals are all done.

There seems to be growing outrage in the media (read the many angry comments down below there) over what seems the sensational promotion and the offensive and misleading content of the film.

The film was made in Milan and Rome and it is due to air in the US on Monday 21 February, and thereafter in various other countries around the world. .This is the film that both Arline Kercher and John Kercher had spoken out very strongly against. It appears from the trailer and the still images to contain various manufactured scenes seemingly designed to enhance Knox.

1) This scene at the top certainly did NOT take place,  as Sollecito and Knox bizarrely chose to go for a pizza rather than join the grieving crowd at the memorial service for Meredith.

Among all who knew Meredith who were still in Perugia, they were the ONLY ones to refuse to attend. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have ever shown genuine sympathy for Meredith or for her family and friends.

2) This scene idepicts Meredith in an amorous position on top of Rudy Guede. This did NOT take place. Neither the Micheli court NOR Guede’s two appeal courts NOR the Massei court accepted that. Four courts rejected it as a lie and a defamation of the victim.

If Meredith were still alive, this would certainly be defamatory. Meredith had a headache that night and was tired after staying out most of the night before (Halloween), and she intended to finish a homework assignment and go to bed. She already had a boyfriend that she liked, and unlike Knox had zero history of sleeping around.

3) Lifetime told Meredith’s father John and many others in a public statement (they have never ever been in touch with the family quietly and directly) that the film would NOT depict the crime against Meredith, regardless of what angle Lifetime took toward Knox. The timeline would stop short of that.

And yet this scene show Meredith being savagely attacked by three people - exactly what Meredith’s family had feared most.

Right after the movie, Lifetime will apparently give the Knox-Mellases a full hour to sell their usual self-serving fabrications and half-truths. 

And meanwhile, still not one word from Lifetime for the family of the real victim. Lifetime is a smallish network with a mostly elderly female demographic, and it mostly focuses with varying sympathy on women who have been hurt or killed. The REAL victims.

So what happened here?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/04/11 at 12:48 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesMovies on caseComments here (28)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Don’t Perpetrators Say They’re Sorry? A Psychoanalytic Perspective

Posted by Carol Poole


[Image: In downtown Leeds, a city in which Meredith was extremely happy]

A disclaimer: I do not intend these remarks as commentary on any specific individual(s). I’m offering them as food for thought, for anyone who (like me) struggles to understand both the human capacities for destruction and for healing

Why don’t abusers apologize when they’re caught? Even when it would be in their own best interest to show remorse?

Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes people own their crimes and take responsibility. The less shameful the crime, the more likely this is. As Johnny Cash sang, “I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die.” When he sang at Folsom Prison, no doubt his audience nodded along, sharing a general sense that shooting or getting shot in a bar is the kind of thing that any man might find himself doing on a bad day.

But no one sings about molesting a child. Or rape. Even the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, was offended when officers suggested he had raped the women he murdered—women, most of them young, all of them working the hardest of jobs and deserving much better.

So there are some crimes that no one brags about—or apologizes for, either, which is a shame, since the survivors and loved ones are left to try to understand what has happened. In my work as a psychotherapist for trauma and abuse survivors, I seek answers for this difficult question: how can people do such terrible things to others, and show no remorse?

This is especially hard when the perpetrator seems like a nice, “normal” person, a respected member of society. We can more easily understand when an act of violence is committed by someone in the grip of a psychotic delusion. It’s just a terrible accident then, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Likewise, we don’t lose sleep trying to understand a coldly sociopathic attack: we don’t have to wonder why a mugger steals a purse.

But it baffles and hurts us deeply when someone we should have been able to trust commits violence against one of us. Especially when the crime is covered up by denial, adding injury to injury by robbing the injured parties of something they need in order to heal: acknowledgment of the truth of what’s happened.

Dori Laub, a psychoanalyst who survived a childhood in concentration camps in the Holocaust, observed that when our faith in goodness is shattered, we feel abandoned by the world of goodness, and lost in a kind of desert of the soul, a deathly state that feels empty of all life except for the malign presence of the perpetrator.

And he pointed out something he must have learned by experience: there is something about trauma that messes with our ability to recognize it when it’s happening. Our minds sometimes cannot see it, refuse to put together the picture that is right in front of our eyes, perhaps because we fear that if we see the truth, it will destroy our hope that the world is the good place we need it to be.

This, I believe, is why good people sometimes collude with abuse by refusing to see it. The refusal is happening at such a deep instinctive level that it’s rarely an entirely conscious choice.

And in a sense, it’s also why perpetrators of the worst crimes so rarely own what they’ve done. Research has shown that abusers have a curious relationship with remorse: they may have formidable defenses against feeling guilt, which is feeling bad about what you’ve done. But they are highly prone to shame, which is feeling bad about who or what you are.

The kind of people who are most likely to abuse others are those who are absorbed by a damaged sense of self. They lash out in a crude effort to fend of feelings of being bad, in a kind of magical thinking: If I put the badness in you, it won’t be in me anymore. If I make you hurt, then I won’t have to hurt. To a very childish state of mind, to hurt is to be bad. We all make that equation when we’re very small, but most of us grow a mature sense of self that integrates our many different feelings into a whole picture.

Having a mature sense of self means being able to say, “I sometimes do things that aren’t good. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. At least I can try to repair the harm I’ve done, and learn not to do it again.” The same sense of integration is what prevents us from acting out our worst impulses. We can safely want to strangle people from time to time, knowing we will never do it.

When someone’s sense of self is so badly damaged that they can be violently abusive, they aren’t able to hold together a whole story about themselves, or about what they’ve done. It’s only after years of therapy (or other means of growth) that such a person might become able to really put together the picture of their own violence, and take responsibility for their actions.

Which means that people who have been harmed by violence have to find ways to take care of themselves and heal, even though the perpetrator has an infuriating, baffling way of seeming not to have been there at all. It’s as though nothing happened.

It’s natural to wish that the perpetrator would be sorry. It would help so much to hear their apology. But there’s a trap, too, in waiting for help from that quarter. It’s no good trying to get such a person to hear you or understand that gravity of what they’ve done. It’s like trying to get a clear reflection out of the fragments of a shattered mirror.

Instead, what helps survivors and loved ones heal is to tend their souls, and work their way back toward everything that makes life full: love, trust, gratitude, hope. Which means finding a way to grieve the losses.

We don’t grieve in the cold shadows of the death zone; we grieve when we remember our love and our hope for the future.

It helps to have a sense of community acknowledging our loss. It helps if we can find a way to bring something good out of the devastation—if we can at least bring some meaning to the loss by letting the tragedy inspire us to do good.

It’s only at the end of the movie, when the mother and child embrace, that we can let down and weep for everything they had to go through to find each other again, and weep too for the ones we miss.

Posted by Carol Poole on 01/28/11 at 02:55 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesThe psychologyComments here (7)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letter From Italy: Explaining Why My Pro-Women-Victims Focus In My Forthcoming Movie Samhain

Posted by Stefano Torrese



[Above: Stefano Torrese (right) and his co-author and co-producer Diego Antolini discuss Samhain]


While reading Mr. Kercher’s open letters [here and here] we found so many resonances with our ideas and feelings about the sad drama that occurred to Meredith, feelings which had led us to initiate the film project “Samhain - A Halloween Tale”.

Our starting point was to write a story which could deliver a strong message on behalf of all women whose life had ended because of the violence and ignorance of others; to provide our contribution to making people think and re-think about the society we live in, where nobody is safe, children or students or workers.

Then, as we deepened the research into the subject, and more material came out about the judicial case and the trials, we witnessed, as John sadly remarked, a singular yet logical - for our society - phenomenon, that of the rising of a celebrity, who is in fact charged for murder and sentenced to many years in prison.

Last spring we started to see the first buzz in the US about our movie project and those of others. A few months later we heard the inevitable: an American TV production decided to shoot a documentary about AMANDA KNOX’S trial paths.

As fall approached, we trimmed and refined our story into a thriller with a moral, and a big, positive twist in the end, which developed furthermore a strong message. This message we made clear during our first press conference on last October 28, in the Palazzo della Regione of Perugia, the most important institutional house of local government.

We said that our movie is not - and will never be - a movie about Amanda Knox; as a matter of fact it is not even a movie about Meredith in the sense of the exploitation of her image for economic purposes.

“Samhain - A Halloween tale” is a tale with a moral in the classical form, inspired by a true fact (obviously Meredith’s murder) but then touching many other topics like the very ancient celtic name of Halloween “Samhain”, the possibility to mold the timeframe, and other esoteric elements.

The story turns around former FBI agent Bryan Nolan, who left the US following the personal drama of the disappearance of his little sister Susan.

Once in Perugia, he hears about the murder of a young student and after a series of signs and signals, he realizes the spirit of the young girl is trying to establish contact with him; the spirit seeks for peace and justice, and it is also the key to understand what really happened to Bryan’s sister.

As you can tell from this brief synopsis, our story doesn’t contain the Hollywood-like sparkling and kitsch elements prone to making the protagonist a star or a celebrity. Our movie is difficult, and will be difficult to make because it talks about life, death, and the afterlife.

During the last few months we have received pressure from local and international press about what we really want to make, and so we wanted to be clear: if our movie has ever to be linked to Meredith, it would be in her honor, dedicated to her memory, and it would not use her image.

We said this after noticing the hideous growth in terms of popularity of people who are in jail for murder, and yet became a money machine, and also the attitude of the general audience who are being misled and manipulated into the belief that these people in jail shouldn’t be there.

This shocked us and prompted our more immediate action: we can write and we can make movies, so we will make our contribution to the truth by the means of telling a story and deliver a message to the audience:

A GIRL WAS MURDERED, DIED, AND NOT ONLY HER BODY BUT HER MEMORY IS ABOUT TO BE BURIED AND NEVER COME OUT TO LIGHT AGAIN.

We cannot accept that, what happened to Meredith happened - and is happening - to many other girls in the world. We need to remember this. We need to remember Meredith and through her memory, keep this feeling of hope alive, that what happened to her will eventually cease to happen.

We need to disseminate the message as strongly as we can, and perhaps things could change so that Meredith’s drama would not have occurred in vain.

Our hope here is to respectfully share with Meredith’s family and friends an explanation of what’s behind our project, let them know what we are doing before they read it possibly wrongly put in the papers; and encourage their feelings if they wish to guide us.

A good project about a person without deep caring and respect for that person - be she alive or not - would be a failure to begin with. Meredith evokes our deep caring and respect.

[Below, Stefano Torrese and his co-producer Diego Antolini discuss the Italian film industry]

[Below, the interim trailer for Stefano Torrese’s movie Samhain: A Halloween Tale]

[Below, the poster for Stefano Torrese’s movie Samhain: A Halloween Tale]

Posted by Stefano Torrese on 01/26/11 at 03:08 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Various hypothesesExcellent reportingMovies on caseComments here (4)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The New 80,000 Pound Gorilla In The Room Introduced By The Italian Supreme Court

Posted by Our Main Posters



[St Peter’s and the Vatican in background; Palace of Justice, large white building by river in left foreground]

What is the biggest headache for the defenses?

That their areas of appeal, already circumscribed by Judge Hellman, could all explode in their faces? The low-credibility witnesses Alessi and Aviello? The limited DNA retesting? The re-examination of the witness in the park who had no cause to make anything up?

Or that Rudy Guede gets totally ticked off by Alessi’s claims that Rudy Guede said he did it with one or two others, and so Guede tells the court all that REALLY happened?

No, it looks to us that the defenses’ biggest headache by far is that the court of final appeal in Rome (the Supreme Court of Cassation, which is superior to the Perugia appeals court and will hear the second and final appeal) has ALREADY accepted that Rudy Guede’s sentencing report of January 2009 holds up.

And that all three of them attacked Meredith.

The written report from Cassation on that December 2010 decision on Guede’s final appeal (due soon), plus Judge Micheli’s Sentencing Report for Rudy Guede of January 2009, plus all that associated evidence, now gets automatically ported by law straight into Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal.

Judge Micheli took a hard line toward Rudy Guede, and he sentenced him to 30 years. He also remanded Knox and Sollecito to trial, and his report explains the basis for that remand.

Judge Micheli’s remorseless and tightly argued report (see summaries below) very comprehensively backed up his decisions. (Later reductions in sentence were automatic and they flowed from the terms of Guede’s short-form trial, and some controversial mitigating circumstances advanced by Massei for Knox and Sollecito.)

The prosecution’s appeal against the Knox and Sollecito sentences argues that the acceptance of mitigating circumstances by the Massei court should be thrown out, and that Knox and Sollecito should be subjected to a longer sentence. Remember that even in the case of Alessi’s wife, who was not even present when he beat the kidnapped baby to death, she received a sentence of 30 years.

So here is how it is stacking up:.

  • For the prosecution, four courts including the Supreme Court of Cassation have ruled that three people participated in the crime against Meredith, plus all of the evidence from both the Guede and Knox Sollecito trials now comes in, plus the prosecution is appealing for tougher sentences, which seems well justified based on precedents.
  • For the defenses, just those few areas the defenses want to challenge which have been allowed by Judge Hellman NONE of which are sure things.

Really not very much going for the defenses here. No wonder they already seem to be phoning it in.

Our meticulous summaries of the Micheli Report by main posters Brian S and Nicki were based on our own translation. A huge amount of work. They were posted nearly two years ago. Periodically we link to them in other posts or we point to them in an email.

Those who do read those posts fresh are often stunned at their sharpness, and for many or most it becomes case closed and the verdict of guilty is seen as a fair one.

We think those posts on Micheli are so key to a correct grasp of Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal prospects that they should now be reposted in full.



[St Peter’s and the Vatican in foreground; Palace of Justice, large white building in left background]

Understanding Micheli #1: Why He Rejected All Rudy Guede’s Explanations As Fiction

By Brian S

Judge Micheli has had two very important roles. He presided over Rudy Guede’s trial and sentencing, and he presided over the final hearing that committed Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox to trial.

A week ago, just within the three-month deadline, Judge Micheli made public the 106-page report that explains the thinking behind both actions. This is a public document, and in the enviable Italian legitimizing process, the public is encouraged to get and read the report and to understand the full rationales. Excellent analyses have already appeared in Italian in Italy, but no English-speaking sources on the facts of the case have either put the report into English or published more than the most superficial analysis.

These posts will examine several very key areas of the report so that we too may choose whether to buy into the rationales. The translations into English here were by native-Italian speakers and fellow posters Nicki and Catnip. The next post will explain why Micheli ruled out the Lone Wolf Theory, and why he concluded that Knox and Sollecito appeared to be implicated in Meredith’s murder and should therefore be sent to trial.

Judge Micheli maintained that from the moment Meredith’s body was discovered until his arrest in Germany on November 19th, Rudy Guede was in a position to compile a version of his involvement in events at the cottage which would minimise his reponsibilities and point the finger of guilt elsewhere.

He was able to follow the course of the investigation in newspapers and on the internet. He would know of the arrests of Amanda, Raffaele and Patrick. He would know that the investigators had found biological evidence which would sooner or later connect him to the murder, and he would know of other discoveries and evidence which had been publicised in the media.

His story as told in Germany was compiled with all the knowledge about the crime and investigation he would have sought out. On his return to Italy in December he was interviewed by the investigating authorities and gave version 2. He was interviewed again in March which resulted in version 3, and later still made a spontaneous statement to change one or two facts including the admission that the trainer footprint in Meredith’s room could be his. Judge Micheli said:

    Analyzing the narratives of the accused…he is not credible, as I will explain, because his version is (1) unreliable, and (2) continuously varying, whether on basic points or in minor details and outline.

Micheli then examined the details of Rudy’s claimed meeting with Meredith which resulted in his invitation to the cottage on the evening of November 1st.

He noted there were substantial differences between his versions of December and March, particularly with regard to the location of his meeting with Meredith on the night of Halloween and his movements in the early evening of November 1st.

He considered it likely that Rudy had made these changes as he became aware of evidence which contradicted his December version. Notably, in December Rudy claimed to have had his meeting with Meredith which resulted in her invite at a Halloween party given by Spanish students.

By March it was well known that Meredith had spent her entire Halloween in the company of friends, first in the Merlin pub before they later moved on to Domus disco. In March Rudy changed the location of his meeting with her from the Spanish party to Domus, which by chance Rudy had also attended following the party. However, neither Meredith’s friends who were continuously in her company nor those who accompanied Rudy to the Domus witnessed any meeting between the two. Judge Micheli commented:

    On 26 March 2008, instead, Rudy explained to the Prosecution, drawing a picture, that the group invited to the Spaniards’ house actually moved wholus-bolus to the “Domus” club, but it was right in that nightclub that he met Kercher, and not before; offering up a tour-guide description from the chair, saying, “there’s a bar for the drinks and then there’s a room, there’s an arch and a room. I walking [sic] around there, and that’s where I met Meredith”. On the facts of the meeting and the subject of the conversation, he elaborated: “I started talking to Meredith “¦talking anyway I gave her a kiss.. after which I told her how much I liked her and asked her if the next day, in all the confusion anyway, if we were going to meet the next day and she said yes (”¦), we met in the evening around half eight, like that. While not intending to explore the question, basically irrelevant, of whether the pair had agreed to a more or less specific time (his confirmation of the suggestion of 8.30 pm in both verbal statements however allows the inference that according to Guede they had an appointment), the patent contradiction between the two versions jumps out. One context, of a room between two bathrooms, in an apartment, is completely different to that of a drinks-bar and an arch, in a pub; one might concede, perhaps, the possibility of forgetting which place it was where they last bumped into a friend, but hardly the first time there was a kiss with a girl towards whom one was attracted.

With regard to his movements in the early evening of November 1st, Rudy’s friend Alex failed to corroborate Rudy’s December claim to have visited his flat. He said he didn’t see Rudy either before or after his meeting with Meredith at her cottage.


In March, Rudy changed his story and claimed to have risen at 6pm(following the all-nighter at Domus) before wandering around town for an hour or so. He then said he went to Meredith’s cottage but received no answer so he carried on to Piazza Grimana in the hope he might see people he knew. He thought he arrived in the Piazza at around 7:30pm. He claimed that some time later he left Piazza Grimana and called at the Kebab shop before returning to Meredith’s cottage and arriving some time between 8:30 and 9:00pm.

He said he then waited until her arrival some time just after 9:00pm. It was noted that in both his December and March versions Rudy said he had arranged to meet Meredith at 8:30pm. Micheli noted that this didn’t sit well with another arrangement Rudy had made to meet Carlos (from the Spanish party) between 9:00 and 10:00pm.

Micheli said that neither version of Rudy’s movements could be treated as true because he changed his story to fit facts as they became known and there was absolutely no corroborating witness evidence.

Rudy claimed two situations evolved following his entry with Meredith into the apparently empty cottage:

Whilst he was having a drink of fruit juice from the fridge, he claims Meredith found that 300 euros (her rent money) was missing from her bedside cabinet. Meredith was naturally upset by this discovery and straight away blamed “druggy Amanda”. Rudy said they both checked Amanda’s room to see if the money was there. However, it couldn’t be found and Rudy sought to console her.

He says that this consolation developed into an amorous encounter which proceeded to the stage where “Meredith asked him” if he had a condom. He told he didn’t and since she didn’t either they stopped their lovemaking.

Judge Micheli had a real problem with this story as told by Guede. He found it unlikely that Meredith would be interested in lovemaking so soon following the discovery that her money was missing. He found it unlikely that it was Meredith who was leading the way in this amorous encounter as Rudy was suggesting with his claim that it was “Meredith who asked him” if he had a condom.

Surely, Micheli reasoned, if Rudy was hoping to indulge in a sexual encounter with Meredith following the previous night’s flirting, he would, as any young man of his age, ensure that he arrived with a condom in anticipation of the hoped for liason. But even if he didn’t, and it was true that events had reached the stage where Meredith asked him, then surely given his negative response, Meredith would have again gone into Amanda’s room where, as she had told her friends, condoms were kept by her flat mate. Judge Micheli simply didn’t believe that if they had got to the stage of lovemaking described by Rudy, and following his negative response to her question, they just “STOPPED”. Meredith would have known she had a probable solution just metres away.

Rudy claimed he then told Meredith he had an upset stomach because of the kebab he had eaten earlier. She directed him to the bathroom through the kitchen.

Rudy put on his i-pod and headphones as he claimed was his habit when using the toilet. In his December version Rudy said the music was so loud he heard the doorbell ring but he made no reference to hearing any conversation. A perfect excuse, Judge Micheli says, for not hearing the disturbance or detail of Meredith’s murder. However, in his March version he claims he heard Amanda’s voice in conversation with Meredith. When Rudy did eventually emerge from the bathroom he says he saw a strange man with a knife and then a prone Meredith. Micheli commented:

    ...it is necessary to take as given that, in this case, Kercher did not find anything better to do than to suddenly cross from one moment of tenderness and passion with him to a violent argument with someone else who arrived at that place exactly at the moment in which Rudy was relieving himself in the bathroom. In any case, and above all, that which could have been a surprise to the killers, that is to say his presence in the house, was, on the other hand, certainly not put into dispute: Meredith, unlike the attackers, knew full well that in the toilet there was a person who she herself allowed in, so for this reason, in the face of someone who had started raising their voice, then holding her by the arms and ending with brandishing a knife and throwing her to the floor, why would she not have reprimanded/reproached/admonished him immediately saying that there was someone in the house who could help her? “¦Meredith didn’t shout out loudly for Rudy to come and help “¦There was a progression of violence “¦The victim sought to fight back If it is reasonable to think that a lady living 70 metres away could hear only the last and most desperate cry of the girl ““ it’s difficult to admit that Guede’s earphones, at 4-5 metres, would stop him hearing other cries, or the preceding sounds.

Micheli was also mystified as to why Amanda (named in Rudy’s March version) would ring the doorbell. Why wouldn’t she let herself in using her own key? He supposed it was possible Meredith had left her own key in the door which prevented Amanda from using hers, but the girls all knew the lock was broken and they were careful not to leave their own key in the door. Perhaps, Meredith wanted some extra security/privacy against someone returning and had left her key in the lock on purpose. Maybe Amanda was carrying something heavy and her hands weren’t free. Or, maybe, Rudy was just trapped by his December story of the doorbell when he didn’t name anybody and an anonymous ring on the doorbell was plausible.

The judge then took issue with Rudy’s description of events following the stabbing of Meredith. Rudy claimed that when he emerged from the bathroom he discovered a man with a knife standing over Meredith. In the resultant scuffle he suffered cut wounds to his hand. armed himself with chair to protect himself. before the attacker fled when he fell over because his trousers came down around his ankles. Micheli said that those who saw Rudy later that night didn’t notice any wounds to Rudy’s hands although some cuts were photographed by the police when he was later arrested in Germany.

Micheli found Rudy’s claim that the attacker ran from from the house shouting “black man found, black man guilty” unbelievable in the situation. In the panic of the moment it may be conceivable that the attacker could shout “Black man…, run” following the surprise discovery of his presence in the house, but in the situation Rudy describes, blame or expressions of who the culprit thought “the police would find guilty” made no sense. It would be the last thing on an unknown attackers mind as he sought to make good his escape.

Micheli considers the “black man found, black man guilty” statement an invention made up by Rudy to imply a possible discrimination by the authorities and complicate the investigation. Micheli also saw this as an excuse by Rudy to explain away his failure to phone for help (the implication being that a white man could have made the call). It was known by her friends and acquaintances that Meredith was never without her own phone switched on. She kept it so, because her mother was ill and she always wanted to be available for contact should her mother require help when she was on her own

Judge Micheli regarded Rudy’s claimed efforts to help Meredith impossible to believe, given the evidence of Nara Capezzali. Rudy claimed to have made trips back and forth to the bathroom to obtain towels in an attempt to staunch the flow of bood from Meredith’s neck. He claimed to have leaned over her as she attempted to speak and written the letters “AF” on the wall because he couldn’t understand her attempted words. His described activities all took time and Rudy’s flight from the house would have come minutes after the time he alleged the knife-man ran from the cottage.

Nara Capezzali maintained that after she heard Meredith’s scream it was only some seconds (well under a minute) before she heard multiple footsteps running away. Although she looked out of her window and continued to listen for some time because she was so disturbed by the scream, she neither heard nor saw any other person run from the house. That Rudy had run wasn’t in doubt because of his collision on the steps above with the boyfriend of Alessandra Formica. Micheli therefore considered it proven that “all” of Meredith’s attackers, including Rudy, fled at the same time.

Earlier in his report Micheli considered character evidence on Rudy given by witnesses for both prosecution and defense. Although he had been seen with a knife on two occasions, and was considered a bit of a liar who sometimes got drunk, the judge didn’t consider that Rudy had previously shown a propensity for violence, nor behaviour towards girls which differed markedly from that displayed by many other young men of his age.

However, because of the wealth of forensic evidence [on which more later] and his admitted presence in the cottage, combined with his total disbelief in Rudy’s statements, Micheli found Rudy guilty of participation in the murder of Meredth Kercher.

He sentenced him to 30 years in prison and ordered him to pay compensation of E2,000,000 each to Meredith’s parents John and Arline Kercher, E1,500,000 each to Meredith’s brothers John and Lyle Kercher plus E30,000 costs in legal fees/costs + VAT. Also E1,500,000 plus E18,000 in legal fees/costs + VAT to Meredith’s sister, Stephanie Kercher.


Understanding Micheli #2: Why Judge Micheli Rejected The Lone-Wolf Theory

By Brian S

And so decided that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox should face trial.

First, just to recap: Judge Micheli presided over both Rudy Guede’s trial and sentencing to 30 years and the final hearing that committed the two present defendants to trial.

Ten days ago, Judge Micheli made public the 106-page report that explains the thinking behind both actions. This is a public document, and in the enviable Italian legitimizing process, the public is encouraged to get and read the report and to understand the full rationales. Excellent analyses have already appeared in Italian in Italy, but no English-speaking sources on the facts of the case have either put the report into English or published more than the most superficial analysis.

These posts are examining several very key areas of the report so that we too may choose whether to buy into the rationales. The translations into English used here were by native-Italian speakers and fellow posters Nicki and Catnip.

Right at the outset of his Sentence Report on the conviction of Rudy Guede, Judge Micheli stated that it was neither the place nor his intention to make the case against either Raffaele Sollecito or Amanda Knox. He said he must necessarily involve them to the extent that they were present at the discovery of Meredith’s body. He said he must also examine evidence against them where he saw it as indicating that Rudy Guede was not a lone wolf killer and implicated them as his possible accomplices in Meredith’s murder.

Judge Micheli described the sequence of events laid out by the prosecution which lead to the discovery of Meredith’s body:

Early on the morning of November 2nd, Signora Lana Biscarini received a bomb threat call made to her home at 5A Via Sperandio. (This later transpired to be a hoax.)

Some time later Signora Biscarini found a mobile phone in her garden. She “had heard” that bombs could be concealed in mobile phones and so she took it to the police station arriving at 10:58am as recorded by ISP. Bartolozzi

The postal police examined the phone and following removal of the SIM card, discovered at 11:38am that it belonged to a Filomena Romanelli who lived at the cottage at 7 Via della Pergola. Following a call by Signora Biscarini to check with her daughter who was still at home, it is in the record at 11:50am that neither say they know the Filomena in question. At around noon Signora Biscarini’s daughter rings her mother at the police station to say she has found a second phone.

The second phone (Meredith’s) is collected from Via Sperandio and taken to the police station. Its receipt there is logged by ISP. Bartolozzi at 12:46pm. During its examination Meredith’s phone is also logged as connecting to the cell of Strada Borghetto di Prepo, which covers the police station, at 13:00pm. At 13:50pm both phones, which have never left the police station following their finding, are officially seized. This seizure is entered in the log at 14:00pm.

Separately, as part of the bomb hoax investigation, agents of the postal police are dispatched to make enquiries at Filomena’s address in Via della Pergola.

They are recorded in the log and filmed on the car park camera as arriving at 12:35pm. They were not in possession of Filomena’s phone, which remained at the police station, nor of Meredith’s which at this time was being taken from Via Sperandio to the police station for examination as part of the bomb hoax enquiry.

Judge Micheli said that some confusion was created by the evidence of Luca Altieri (Filomena’s boyfriend) who said he saw two mobile phones on the table at the cottage. But, Micheli said, these two phones either belonged to the others who arrived, the postal police themselves or Amanda and Raffaele. They were NOT the phones of Filomena or Meredith.

On their arrival at the cottage, the agents of the postal police found Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox standing outside the front door.

The two seemed surprised to see them (the postal police had come to talk to Filomena about a bomb hoax which potentially involved her phone, plus they had recently been informed of the discovery of second phone in the same garden), but then they explained they had discovered suspicious circumstances inside the cottage.

Raffaele said he had already phoned the police and they were awaiting their arrival in connection with that. Elsewhere in his report Micheli points out that Raffaele did, in fact, make a call to his sister at 12:50pm, followed by two calls to “112” reporting a possible burglary at 12:51 and 12:54pm, 15 minutes after the arrival of the postal agents.

Judge Micheli said the postal police were shown into the cottage by Raffaele and Amanda. They pointed out the traces of blood around the apartment, the state of the toilet and the disturbance to Filomena’s room. They said they didn’t think anything had been taken. They pointed out that Meredith’s door appeared to be locked, Raffaele said he had tried to open it, but Amanda said Meredith used to lock the door even when she was going to the bathroom to shower.

Shortly afterwards Luca Altieri and Marco Zaroli arrived. Luca said he had just been contacted by his girlfriend Filomena, who in turn had just been contacted by Amanda Knox about the possible break in. A few minutes later, Filomena herself arrived with Paola Grande. Micheli noted that Filomena had immediately contradicted what Amanda had told the postal police and she said that Meredith never locked her door. She also told the postal police that the phone found with a SIM card in her name was in fact Meredith’s 2nd phone, that she had given Meredith the SIM as a present. The postal police said that they didn’t have the authority to damage property and so the decision was made that Luca would break down the door.

This he did. The scene when the door flew open was instantly obvious, blood everywhere and a body on the floor, hidden under a duvet except for a foot and the top of Meredith’s head. At that point ISP Battistelli instantly took charge. He closed the door and forbade anyone to enter the room before contacting HQ.

Following his description of the events which lead to the discovery of Meredith’s body, Micheli then dedicates quite a few pages of his report to detailing the exact locations, positions, descriptions and measurements of all the items, blood stains, pools and spots etc.etc. found in her room when the investigators arrived. He also goes into precise details on the injuries, marks, cuts and bruises etc. which were found by Lalli when he examined Meredith’s body in situ at the cottage before she was moved. Despite their extent, it is obvious these details are only a summary of the initial police report and also a report made by Lalli on the 2nd November.

It is these details which allowed the prosecution to lay out their scenario for the events which they say must have happened in the room. It is also these details which convince Micheli that it was impossible for this crime to be carried out by a single person. In his report, he dismisses completely the scenarios presented by the defences of Amanda and Raffaele for a “lone wolf killing”. Micheli says that he is convinced that Meredith was sexually assaulted and then murdered by multiple attackers.

Judge Micheli also explains in his report how the law will decide on sexual assault or rape where the medical report (as was Lalli’s) is somewhat inconclusive. Else there would be no point in a woman reporting rape unless she had serious internal injuries. His conclusion: Meredith was raped by Rudy Guede manually.

So why does Judge Micheli believe that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollicto were possible accomplices of Rudy Guede and should be tried for the murder of Meredith Kercher?

In his report, he doesn’t look at the evidence which involves just them, nor does he analyze their various stories in his report. He doesn’t look at events involving them which occurred between the 2nd and 5th November. He does note a few items here and there, but these aren’t given as the major reasons for his decision to indict them.

He notes Raffaele’s apparent lies about the time he made the 112 phone calls. He dismisses Raffaele’s defense claim that the disposal of Meredith’s phones didn’t allow time for Raffaele to get to the cottage after watching his film, kill Meredith, and then dispose of the phones in Via Sperandio before the aborted call to Meredith’s bank. He noted that the cell which picked up the brief 10:13 call to Meredith’s bank also picked up most of Meredith’s calls home.

He asked whether it was possible for anybody to believe that each time Meredith wanted to phone home, she walked down to Via Sperandio to make the call. He notes that the police found Amanda and Raffaele’s behaviour suspicious almost straight away. He notes that Filomena said that the relationship between Amanda and Meredith had deteriorated by October. He says he doesn’t believe at all that cannabis caused any loss of Amanda’s and Raffaele’s memories.


Judge Micheli says he bases his decision on the following points of evidence:

[Note: The following paragraph numbers form no part of Micheli’s report. They are used in the context of this summary to identify the points of evidence contained in his report which will be examined and summarised in greater detail in follow-up posts]

1) Judge Micheli, after hearing both prosecution and defense arguments about Meredith’s and Amanda’s DNA on the knife and Raffaele’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, accepted the prosecution argument that that both were valid evidence. He did note, however, that he fully expected that the same argument would be heard again at the full trial. In his report, Micheli dedicates several pages to explaining the opposing arguments and how he made his decision to allow the evidence. It is a detailed technical argument, and it is not proposed to examine it any closer in this post.

2) Judge Micheli explains that blood evidence proves that Meredith was wearing her bra when she was killed. Nor is it just the blood on her bra which demonstrates this. It’s also where the blood isn’t on her body. He says that Meredith was wearing her bra normally when she laid in the position in which she died, and she was still wearing it for quite some time after she was dead. Her bra strap marks and the position of her shoulder are imprinted in the pool of blood in that position. Meredith’s shoulder also shows the signs that she lay in that position for quite some time.

He asks the question: Who came back, cut off Meredith’s bra and moved her body some time later? It wasn’t Rudy Guede. He went home, cleaned himself up and went out on the town with his friends. Judge Micheli reasons in his report that it could only have been done by someone who knew about Meredith’s death and had an interest in arranging the scene in Meredith’s room. Seemingly who else but Amanda Knox?

She was apparently the only person in Perugia that night who could gain entry to the cottage. And the clasp which was cut with a knife when Meredith’s bra was removed was found on November 2nd when Meredith’s body was moved by the investigators. It was right under the pillow which was placed under Meredith when she was moved by someone from the position in which she died. On that clasp and its inch of fabric is the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. Micheli reasons in his report that Raffaele and Amanda seemed to have returned to the cottage some time after Meredith was dead, cut off her bra, moved her body, and staged the scene in Meredith’s room.

3) Judge Micheli explains his reasoning on the method of Rudy’s entry into the cottage. He says that Rudy’s entry through the window is a very unlikely scenario and the evidence also indicates otherwise. He says the height and position of the window would expose any climber to the full glare of traffic headlights from cars on Via della Pergola. He asks, why wouldn’t a thief choose to break in through a ground floor window of the empty house? He says the broken glass and marks on the shutter both demonstrate the window was broken from the inside, some of the glass even falling on top of Filomena’s clothes which had been thrown around the room to simulate a robbery.

But his major reasoning for believing Rudy’s entry was through the front door are the bloody bare footprints which show up with luminol and fit Knox’s and Sollecito’s feet. These suggest that they entered Filomena’s room and created the scene in there after Meredith was killed. Allessandra Formica witnessed Rudy run away shortly after Meredith was stabbed. Someone went back later, left those footprints and staged the scene.

This, when considered in combination with the knowledge that person demonstrated of Rudy’s biological involvement with Meredith when they also staged the sex assault scene in Meredith’s own room indicates that that person was present when Meredith was assaulted and killed. He said it also demonstrated an attempt by someone who had an interest in altering the evidence in the house to leave the blame at Rudy’s door. Micheli reasoned, the only person who could have witnessed Rudy’s earlier sex assault on Meredith, could gain entry via the door and had an interest in altering the crime scene in the house appeared to be Amanda Knox. In his report, Micheli states that this logic leads him to believe that Amanda Knox was the one who let Rudy Guede into the cottage through the front door.

4) Judge Micheli examines the evidence of Antonio Curatolo. He says that although Curatolo mixes up his dates in his statement, he does have a fix on the night he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana sometime around 11:00 to 11:30pm. Curatolo is certain it was the night before the Piazza filled up with policemen asking if anyone had seen Meredith. In his evidence, he says they came into the square from the direction of Via Pinturicchio and kept looking towards the cottage at Via della Pergola from a position in the square where they could see the entrance gate.

Judge Micheli reasons in his report that their arrival from Via Pinturicchio ties in with the evidence from Nara Capazzali that she heard someone run up the stairs in the direction of that street. He also reasons that they were likely watching the cottage to see if Meredith’s scream had resulted in the arrival of the police or other activity.

5) Judge Micheli examines the evidence of Hekuran Kokomani and finds him far from discredited. His says the testimony is garbled, his dates and times makes no sense but…. that Hekuran Kokomani was in the vicinity of the cottage on both 31st Oct. and 1st Nov isn’t in doubt. Furthermore, Micheli says that when he gave his statement, the details which he gave of the breakdown of the car, the tow truck and the people involved weren’t known by anyone else. He must have witnessed the breakdown in Via della Pergola. The same breakdown was also seen by Allessandra Formica shortly after Rudy Guede collided with her boyfriend.

This places Hekuran Kokomani outside the cottage right around the time of Meredith’s murder and he in turn places Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede together outside the cottage at the same time. His evidence also places all three outside the cottage at some time the previous night.

Judge Michelii found that all this evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.


Understanding Micheli #3: How Damning Is The DNA Evidence Coming Up?

By Nicki

Probable answer? Pretty damning.

Judge Micheli has had two very important roles. He presided over Rudy Guede’s trial and sentencing, and he presided over the final hearing that committed Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox to trial.

Late January, Judge Micheli made public the 106-page report that explains the thinking behind both actions. These posts are examining several very key areas of the report so that we too may choose whether to buy into the rationales.

The trial to establish the truth about the murder of Meredith continues next Friday. As we’ve reported, various human witnesses have already been heard from: the Postal Police who discovered Meredith’s body, Meredith’s two Italian roommates, and her seven British friends.

Coming up soon is a more silent witness, one very important to both the prosecution and the two defenses: the DNA evidence.

Specifically the DNA belonging to Meredith, Knox, Sollecito, and Guede which was found at the scene of the crime, and on the suspected murder weapon found, apparently hidden, in Raffaele Sollecito’s house.

Traces of Meredith’s DNA have been found on a knife compatible with the wounds that caused her death. Amanda Knox “˜s genetic material was identified on the knife handle. DNA belonging to Sollecito has been found on the clasp of the victim’s bra. And more DNA showing Rudy Guede’s genetic profile was found on the victim’s body and elsewhere in the house.

In summary, the biological sources and locations where DNA belonging to the three defendants was found are these:

  • Guede’s DNA (from epithelial cells) was found inside Meredith, on toilet paper, on the right side of Meredith’s bra, mixed with Meredith’s DNA on the her purse zip, and on the left cuff of Meredith’s light blue sweater
  • Sollecito’s DNA (from epithelial cells) was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, mixed with Meredith’s DNA, and on one cigarette butt found in the kitchen
  • Knox’s DNA (from epithelial cells) was found on the knife sheath, and close to the blade junction. It was not possible to ascertain both the haematic and epithelial source of Meredith’s DNA on the knife blade, due to the scarcity of the sample. But Judge Micheli noted that reasonable doubt persist that blood could have been present also.
  • Other significant biological traces belonging to Meredith - for example, DNA originating from the blood-trace footprints revealed by luminol found in Filomena’s bedroom, as already reported at trial.

Claims of contamination and “poor matches” of the DNA samples were raised by the Sollecito and Knox defenses, although not by Guede’s. The DNA expert Dr. Stefanoni’s arguments in reply to the defenses’ claims are summarized in Judge Micheli”˜s report.
 
Dr Stefanoni reported that the locus ascribable to Meredith and identified on the knife blade shows readings of 41 and 28 RFU. Conventionally, RFU values lower than 50 can be defined as low. But she maintained that the profile matched Meredith’s by explaining that there is no immediate correlation between the height of the peaks obtained by electropherogram and expressed in RFU, and the reliability of the biological investigation.

In fact “even if statistically - in most cases - the RFU data is directly proportional to the possibility of a certain interpretation of the analysis result, on the other side many cases of high peaks of difficult interpretation exist (because of background noises), as well as low peaks that are objectively unquestionable, hence the need to proceed to the examination of data that is apparently scarce, but that mustn’t be considered unreliable per se.”

*The use of multiplex PCR and fluorescent dye technology in the automated detection and analysis of short tandem repeat loci provides not only qualitative information about the profile - i.e. which alleles are present - but can provide also quantitative information on the relative intensities of the bands, and is therefore a measure of the amount of amplified DNA.”

So if on one side Dr Stefanoni admits that the RFU readings are low, on the other her experience suggests that many cases of unquestionable matches exist showing readings lower than 50 RFU, and this appears to be the case with Meredith’s DNA sample on the knife.


Contamination in the laboratory is categorically excluded by Dr Stefanoni. The samples were processed with maximum care in order to avoid any contamination during lab procedures. Contamination during the collection phase is excluded by Judge Micheli, as the samples were collected by different officers at different times in different places (example Via della Pergola at 9:40am on Nov 6. 2007, and Sollecito’s apartment at 10:00am, on the same day, by a different ILE team).

As for Sollecito’s DNA found on the bra clasp, the match is unquestionable, according to the lab reports. Samples from crime scenes very often contain genetic material from more than one person (e.g. Rudy Guede’s DNA has been identified in a mixture with the victim’s DNA in a few places), and well-known recommendations and protocols exist in order to de-convolute mixed samples into single genetic profiles.

So if the lab reports indicate that unquestionable biological evidence of Sollecito’s DNA was found on the bra clasp, at the present time we have no reason to believe that these recommendations weren’t followed and that therefore the reports are not to be trusted.

As to cells “flying around” depositing themselves ““ and their DNA content - here and there around the murder scene, there have been some imaginative theories advanced, to say the least.

The reality though is that although epithelial cells do shed, they don’t sprout little wings to flock to one precise spot, nor grow feet to crawl and concentrate on a piece of evidence. There needs to be some kind of pressure on a surface in order to deposit the amount of biological material necessary to yield a reliable PCR analysis result. A simple brushing will not do. 

As a matter of fact, Dr Stefanoni agreed with Guede’s defense that Guede”˜s genetic material found on the left sleeve of Meredith’s blouse was minimal; and this was because the DNA found there belonged to the victim and was not a mixture. In the situation where there is a clear disproportion between quantitative data of two DNA’s coexisting in a biological trace, the PCR will amplify the most abundant DNA.

As agreed by Dr. Stefanoni and Guede’s defense, the conclusion here was that on the left sleeve there was plenty of Meredith’s DNA but very little of Guede’s. (This was used by his defense to deny that Guede had exerted violence on Meredith’s wrist).

After listening to the arguments of the prosecution and the defenses, Judge Micheli provided reasons why he rejected the contamination claims and ruled that all the biological traces identified as reflecting Sollecito’s and Knox’s DNA are admissible as evidence. He arrived at the conclusion that the DNA evidence is sound and, considered along with the non-biological proof, he decided there was more than enough evidence to order Knox and Sollecito to stand trial. 

Regarding the biological significance of the traces, we are now looking forward to hearing the Knox and Sollecito defenses’ counter-arguments.  But as we understand it now, the DNA evidence for the trio having all been involved in the murder seems pretty damning.


Understanding Micheli #4: The Staged Scene - Who Returned To Move Meredith?

By Brian S

Please be warned that this is sad and hard-going, although many other passages from the Micheli report we will never post on here are even more harrowing.

Just to recap. Judge Micheli presided over Rudy Guede’s trial and sentencing and the final hearing that committed Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox to trial.

Late January he made public the 106-page report that explains the thinking behind both actions. These posts are examining key areas of the report so that we too may decide on the rationales.

This post is about the final position of the body. Why this matters so much is that if the evidence holds firm, all by itself it will prove that there was a major rearrangement of the crime scene, to try to throw investigators off the trail.

This is as near to an 80,000 pound gorilla in the room as we are likely to see in this trial. And it may even be on the trial agenda for this coming Friday and Saturday.

Reports by the crime-scene investigators and Dr Lalli are summarised in Judge Micheli’s report. They describe the detail of the scene discovered in Meredith’s room. The investigators measured and photographed the position and state of everything, including blood, as it was in the room before anything was moved.

Amongst the items noted was a white bra. Some parts were soaked in blood, particularly the right shoulder strap and the outside of the left cup. They also noted that a portion of the backstrap with its clasp fixings was missing. Meredith herself was lying on her back midway between the wardrobe and the bed, without her jeans, a pillow under her buttocks and her top rolled up to reveal her chest.

Following this survey, Meredith’s body was then turned and moved by the investigators. This revealed the other items on which her body had lain. A tennis shoe, a white sheet from the bed and a blue zipped top, all with blood stains. Also a green bath towel and an ivory bath towel, both soaked in blood, and underneath the pillow was the missing clasp section of the bra back-strap.

Judge Micheli notes that Amanda’s defence claimed that “the small round spots of blood” apparent on Meredith’s chest indicated that she was not wearing her bra when she was killed. He agreed that it was likely that these spots fell from Meredith’s gasps for breath as she lay on her back after she had been stabbed. However, he could not agree with their conclusion that her bra had been removed before this time, as similar small round spots were also found on Meredith’s bra.

Micheli reasoned that this indicated that Meredith was still wearing her bra as she gasped for breath, but that her top was rolled up and the bra moved also. Thus indicating the sexual nature of the original attack, but also allowing the small round spots to fall on both chest and bra. Furthermore, other blood evidence involving the bra indicated that it wasn’t removed until some time after Meredith had died.

He said that Meredith’s bra was found by investigators away from other possible blood contamination on the floor, near to her feet. Photographs of Meredith’s body show clear white areas where the bra prevented blood from falling onto Merediths body. These white areas corresponded to those areas where blood was found on her bra. This was particularly true in the area of the right shoulder strap which was soaked from the wound to Meredith’s neck.

Micheli said that evidence showed that Meredith had lain on one shoulder near the wardrobe. She lay in that position long enough for the imprint of her shoulder and bra strap to remain fixed in the pool of blood after she was moved to the position in which her body was finally found. Photographs of blood on her shoulder matched the imprint by the wardrobe and her shoulder itself also showed signs that she had remained in that position for some time.

Based on all this, Judge Micheli concluded that there could be no doubt that Meredith’s body was moved away from the wardrobe and her bra removed quite some time after her death.

Neighbor Nara Capezzali had testified that people fled from the cottage within a minute of Meredith’s final scream. There was no time for any alteration of the crime scene in those very few moments.

Judge Micheli asks in his report, who could have returned later and staged the scene which was found? Who later moved Meredith’s body and cut off her bra? He reasons it could only be someone who had an interest in changing what would become a crime scene found at the cottage. Who else but someone who lived there, and who wanted to mislead the coming investigation?

It couldn’t have been Laura, she was in Rome. It couldn’t have been Filomena, she was staying with her boyfriend. It was very unlikely that it was Rudy Guede, all proofs of his presence were left untouched.


The culprits ran from the cottage in different directions and there is no reason to believe they met up again before some or one of them returned. Judge Micheli stated that, in his opinion, this just left Knox who would seem to have an interest in arranging the scene the police would find.

Bloody footprints made visible with luminol in Filomena’s room contain Meredith’s DNA. This indicated to Judge Micheli that the scene in Filomena’s room was also staged after Meredith was killed.

In Micheli’s opinion the scene in Meredith’s room was probably staged to point the finger at Rudy Guede. All evidence related to him was left untouched, and the pillow with a partial palm print was found under Meredith’s repositioned body.

But whoever later arranged that scene in Meredith’s room also unwittingly indicated their own presence at the original sexual assault. Who else could have known that by staging an obvious rape scene, they would inevitably point the investigators towards Rudy’s DNA which they knew could be found in Meredith?

Micheli asks: Seemingly, who else could it have been but Amanda Knox? And this in part is why she was committed to trial, for her defense to contend this evidence.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Claims Amanda Knox’s Confessions Resemble “False Confessions” Not Backed Up By Any Criminal Research

Posted by Fuji



[Above: Perugia’s central police station where Knox, Sollecito and Guede were all interviewed]

Meredith’s case is absolutely riddled with fabricated false myths. 

They are now found by the hundreds on some misleading websites, and they simply make experienced law enforcement and criminal lawyers laugh. 

For example “Police had no good reason to be immediately suspicious of Knox simply because the murder occurred at her residence”.  And “The double-DNA knife is a priori to be disregarded as evidence, because no murderer would retain possession of such a murder weapon.”

One of the most strident and widespread myths is that Amanda Knox’s statements to the Perugian investigators on 5 and 6 November 2007, placing her at the scene of Meredith’s murder, are to be viewed as the products of a genuinely confused mind imbued with a naïve trust of authority figures.

The apparent certainty with which many of Amanda Knox’s most vocal supporters proclaim that Knox’s statements are actual “false confessions” as opposed to deliberate lies is not supported by even a cursory reading of the pertinent academic literature regarding false confessions.

What actually are “false confessions”?

Richard N. Kocsis in his book “Applied Criminal Psychology: A Guide to Forensic Behavioral Sciences” (2009), on pages 193-4 delineates three different kinds of false confessions:

First, a voluntary false confession is one in which a person falsely confesses to a crime absent any pressure or coercion from police investigators….

Coerced-compliant false confessions occur when a person falsely confesses to a crime for some immediate gain and in spite of the conscious knowledge that he or she is actually innocent of the crime….

The final type, identified by Kassin and Wrightsman (1985), is referred to as a coerced-internalized false confession. This occurs when a person falsely confesses to a crime and truly begins to believe that he or she is responsible for the criminal act.

The first problem facing Knox supporters wishing to pursue the false confession angle as a point speaking to her purported innocence is epistemological.

Although much research has been done on this phenomenon in recent years, academics are still struggling to come to terms with a methodology to determine their incidence rate.

The current state of knowledge does not support those making sweeping claims about the likelihood of Knox’s statements being representative of a genuine internalized false confession.

As noted by Richard A. Leo in “False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Implications” (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009):

Although other researchers have also documented and analyzed numerous false confessions in recent years, we do not know how frequently they occur. A scientifically meaningful incidence rate cannot be determined for several reasons.

First, researchers cannot identify (and thus cannot randomly sample) the universe of false confessions, because no governmental or private organization keeps track of this information.

Second, even if one could identify a set of possibly false confessions, it is not usually possible as a practical matter to obtain the primary case materials (e.g., police reports, pretrial and trial transcripts, and electronic recordings of the interrogations) necessary to evaluate the unreliability of these confessions.

Finally, even in disputed confession cases in which researchers are able to obtain primary case materials, it may still be difficult to determine unequivocally the ground truth (i.e., what really happened) with sufficient certainty to prove the confession false.

In most alleged false-confession cases, it is therefore impossible to remove completely any possible doubts about the confessor’s innocence.

The next problem Knox supporters face is that, even allowing for an inability to establish a priori any likelihood of a given statement being a false confession, the kind of false confession which is usually attributed to Knox is in fact one of the LEAST likely of the three types (Voluntary, Compliant, and Persuaded, as Leo terms the three different categories) to be observed:

Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions.

Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, Knox and her statements do not in fact satisfy many of the criteria researchers tend to observe in false confessions, particularly of the Persuaded variety:

“All other things being equal, those who are highly suggestible or compliant are more likely to confess falsely. Individuals who are highly suggestible tend to have poor memories, high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, and low assertiveness, personality factors that also make them more vulnerable to the pressures of interrogation and thus more likely to confess falsely…

Highly suggestible or compliant individuals are not the only ones who are unusually vulnerable to the pressures of police interrogation. So are the developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired, juveniles, and the mentally ill….

They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations… ordinary police interrogation is not strong enough to produce a permanent change in the suspect’s beliefs.

Most significantly, there is one essential element of a true Persuaded False Confession which in Knox’s case is highly distinctive:

To convince the suspect that it is plausible, and likely, that he committed the crime, the interrogators must supply him with a reason that satisfactorily explains how he could have done it without remembering it.

This is the second step in the psychological process that leads to a persuaded false confession.

Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory.

He or she may suggest, for example, that the suspect experienced an alcohol- or drug-induced blackout, a “dry” blackout, a multiple personality disorder, a momentary lapse in consciousness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, or, perhaps most commonly, that the suspect simply repressed his memory of committing the crime because it was a traumatic experience for him.

The suspect can only be persuaded to accept responsibility for the crime if he regards one of the interrogators’ explanations for his alleged amnesia as plausible.

Knox did not in fact claim drug or alcohol use as the source of her amnesia - rather, she claimed to have accepted the interrogators’ attribution that this was due to being traumatized by the crime itself, and she offers no other explanation for her selective amnesia:

This is from Knox’s statement to the court in pretrial on 18 October 2008 with Judge Micheli presiding.

Then they started pushing on me the idea that I must have seen something, and forgotten about it. They said that I was traumatized.

Of course, Knox’s initial statement went far beyond being that of being merely a witness to some aspect of Ms. Kercher’s murder, as the interrogators at first seemed to believe was the case.

Rather, her statement placed her at scene of the murder during its actual commission while she did nothing to avert it, which naturally made her a suspect.

In other words, in the absence of any of her other testimony which indicated that she was only a witness to the murder, her own self-admitted rationale for providing a false confession was that she was traumatized by the commission of the murder itself.

Perugia judges will be familiar with all of the above and we can be sure that they brief the lay judges on the remote circumstances and incidences of false confessions.

If I were a Knox defense attorney, I would find it to be a far more fruitful line of argumentation to argue that she was simply lying, rather than claiming the supremely unlikely provision of an actual internalized false confession.


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