Wednesday, August 25, 2021

2011 Hellman Appeal Verdict Annulled Misrepresentations Fog Reality Still

Posted by James Raper

Hellman Misrepresentations Explained

Here’s an interesting vignette on Hellmann’s modus operandi in his Motivation.

In the quote below he pins Guede with sole responsibility and provides Knox and Sollecito with an alibi.

Here’s what Hellmann wrote -

“In that chat, furthermore, [ed : Hellmann is referring to the 2nd Skype chat with Giocamo Benedetti] Rudy Guede states that he was in Via della Pergola between 9 and 9.30 pm; and this fact which significantly brings forward the time of death of Meredith Kercher, in respect of that held in the sentence under appeal, does not reconcile with the prosecution hypothesis in regard to the present accused who, even with the desire to recognize as credible some elements held by the prosecution in support of it’s own hypothesis, at the time were certainly at the house of Raffaele Sollecito and not at Via della Pergola.”

There are three basic elements to this argument.

1. Time Of Death (TOD) between 9.00 and 9.30 pm
2. Guede was in the cottage with Meredith between these times
3. Neither Knox nor Sollecito were.

Ergo, it was Guede, or perhaps, at a push, Guede and others but not including Knox and Sollecito, who murdered Meredith.

This is important because it appears towards the beginning of the report and, reading on through it, we can see that virtually the whole report, and the ludicrous waiving away of all the other evidence, is predicated on it.

However, what’s the evidence for these propositions - and is it reliable?

Although TOD could have been between these times there is no evidence that it was other than, as we shall see in a moment, Guede’s own words.

So, if an appeal judge can hold Guede to be reliable in this respect do the little angels have an alibi? However just check the record of that skype chat.

In Italian -

Guede - “allora siamo entrati, e penso che saranno state le otto e mezza così, le otto e venti, è stato, è stato detto che lei aveva detto alle sue amiche che era stanca che sarebbe andata a casa. Invece no, ci dovevamo vedere, ci eravamo dati puntamento la sera prima nella festa di Halloween, che abbiamo passato a casa di questi ragazzi spagnoli e posso dire anche dove, non so la via ma posso indicare dove.”

Translation -

Guede - “So we went in, and I think it was about eight‐thirty, or eight‐twenty, they’re saying that she told her friends she was tired and wanted to go home. But in fact no, we were supposed to see each other, we had made an appointment the evening before during the Halloween party, at the Spanish kids’ house, and I can also say, well I don’t know the street but I can say where it was.”

Although this does not exclude Hellmann’s time frame of 9.00 to 9.30 there is a manifest problem with Guede’s account.

Guede has himself and Meredith meeting up at the cottage by prior appointment at a time when Meredith could not possibly have been there, because she was still at the house of her english friends and she and Sophie Purton did not part ways until they were near the cottage at 9 pm.

Given what is certainly a falsehood why give credence to any of Guede’s times? But Hellmann does. It is true that in the Skype chat Guede goes on to say the following.

“R. I was in the bathroom, in the bathroom maybe five minutes. So, I really had to take this shit, but then I heard a scream, but let me tell you, a really loud scream, so loud that according to me, if anyone was passing by, nearby, they would have heard this scream, because she screamed so loud…and then, then, I got a bit worried and I got out of the bathroom right away, without even putting my pants back on, they were practically falling down, I was wearing just my underwear and my pants were falling around my…
G. But if I understand, I mean like where was this…I mean, what time do you think this happened, I don’t know…
R. Around nine, nine twenty or so, because in the meantime we had gotten to talking and all.
G. I see.
R. I think nine‐twenty, nine‐thirty, around then, and then, when I heard the scream…………”

This is where Hellmann gets his time frame for Time of Death. Hellmann does not give us the full context and details of Guede’s remark. But if one is going to give credence to these times then the context in which they arise has to be evaluated and given some credence too. This would also have to involve evaluating the impact on Guede’s account of the fact that Meredith was not at the cottage until 9 pm. Instead, what he writes is as follows -

“In fact Rudy Guede, while confiding to his friend in a moment when he did not know that the police was also listening in, and while talking about a point (the time of the assault) which he had no reason to lie about, given that he stated he was present at the time in the house of via della Pergola 7 albeit denying his responsibility, he indicates a time between 9 PM and 9:30 PM.”

However even if any of the foregoing were to be true it does not give Knox and Sollecito a complete alibi. It can not be held to be certain that Knox and Sollecito were at the latter’s flat for all of that time. The last alibi corroboration is the manual interaction with Sollecito’s computer at 9.10 pm and Guede’s “nine-twenty, nine-thirty” looks the more definite time in it’s context and given that Meredith was only in the process of arriving at 9 pm. He could perhaps seek some tenuous assistance from Curatolo’s testimony but he has already held that witness as unreliable.

So, putting his two quotes together Hellmann conveniently has Guede in the cottage between 9 and 9.30, with the same time frame for TOD. Given the verdict it is obvious why he would want to do this but equally it is obvious why Hellmann shirks from quoting what Guede had actually said, as to his time of arrival with Meredith, because of the obvious difficulty as to his credibility that causes, and as to what he was doing when he heard the scream, because if the scream (and hence TOD, if in fact the two are related) was between, say, 9 and 9.10, thus giving probably at least Sollecito an alibi, that gives us the added unlikely scenario of Guede arriving with Meredith (no earlier than 9.00 pm it now has to be) and then immediately excusing himself from the presence of his attractive date, and diving in to the toilet for a crap. But that is not how Guede has it and in that respect he is probably right.

If the scream was between 9 and 9.10, and Guede did not in fact go immediately to the toilet, then we have him turning violently upon his date within a very short space of time and then going for a crap after the murder. No, I don’t think so.

It could be speculated that Guede was already at the cottage, having broken in earlier, and being surprised by Meredith’s arrival, but a genuine break in is a dead duck topic on any rational evaluation of the evidence, not that Hellmann shirks from bringing the same MOD to that topic as well.

Before I go on there are some observations to make about a genuine break in based on what Guede said. Guede, one can reasonably surmise, would have been keeping abreast of developments in the media about the case and so would have known about the reports of a break in, none of which suggested, at the time, that it had been staged. By placing his arrival at the cottage with Meredith at 8.30 he can therefore disassociate himself from responsibility for that and, furthermore, imply that the break in was not what it seemed.

On the other hand had he broken in earlier then obviously he knew that Meredith was not there. He was taking a risk by running with a story that he and Meredith had met at the cottage at 8.30 pm when he would know, as a consequence of the foregoing, that there was at least the chance that others could vouchsafe for Meredith’s whereabouts elsewhere at the time. His state of mind on the subject may be confused by the Catch 22 situation he was putting himself in but would surely be different if he knew there had been no such break in. He would still be taking a chance but not, in his mind, such an obvious one.

But Hellmann should not go unchallenged when he states that Guede had no reason to lie.

That we know of no reason for Guede to lie about these times does not mean that he was not making it up or simply making a hash of the times (and looking at the excerpt he does seem rather unprepared for Benedetti’s question) or that he did not have a good reason to lie, especially if TOD was much later. He could have been anticipating more witnesses coming forward, like Alessandra Formica who, with her friend Lucio Minciotti, were walking down the stairs towards the cottage at around 10.40 pm when they were bumped into by a dark man rushing up the stairs. Or Nara Capezalli and Antonella Monacchia who had heard the ear splitting scream much later.

There is, of course, another obvious motive for placing himself at the cottage at 8.30 pm. He has already, in the 1st Skype chat, explicitly denied that Knox was at the cottage. Needless to say Hellmann picked up on that and accepts Guede’s word for it. However, in Guede’s account he is on the toilet when a man and a woman, whom he either did not see or was unable to identify, arrive and commit the murder. So, given that it was only the male that he actually encountered, why so positive that Knox was not there?

What he is suggesting is that others, but who could be Knox and Sollecito, did it. What benefit does Guede derive from this?  The answer, again, is the obvious one that by being more specific he would be running the risk of a counter allegation from Knox and Sollecito as to his precise involvement in the murder.

Also, just in case his explanation were not to be considered all that convincing he gives the duo, and himself, the added protection of having himself arrive at the cottage without them at 8.30 pm. That is at a time when he might well have known (from his own personal knowledge) that they would be able to put together an alibi.

In any event perhaps, as to the scream, it was not so much a question of lying as just a matter (even if only in his own mind and, we have to remember, he was just chatting with a friend, not giving a deposition) of making it seem likely with his own account. After all he has himself there with Meredith at about 8.30. Did Guede have a watch? Was he checking times? Are we supposed to believe that Guede would check on the time when he went to the toilet, and when he heard a loud scream outside and rushed out of the toilet with his trousers round his ankles. He did not say, and no-one seems to know.

Then we have the chatting, petting, searching for Meredith’s missing rent money, and then he’s off to the toilet. Perhaps he thinks an hour for that looks right and indeed most of that makes him look like the irresistible and OK kind of guy any gal would find good company and later after she finds her money missing, a good listener. Of course, Meredith did not come to the cottage until 9 pm but Guede does not factor that in. How would anyone, maybe even himself, know that anyway? So, we are actually up to 10 pm, not the 9.30 pm, when in his story he says he hears a scream.

Now we are moving towards the territory occupied by the witnesses Capezalli, Monacchia, and Formica.

Hellmann’s original hypothesis was that the murder had occurred no later than 10.13 pm.

“… it is more consistent…. to hypothesize that in fact the attack, and hence the death shortly thereafter, occurred much earlier than the time held by the Court of first instance, certainly not later than 10.13 pm”.

Here Hellmann refers to the time of the last interaction on Meredith’s English phone on the 1st November, before it rang again and the ringing was noticed by Mrs Lana’s daughter the next morning.

Notice that Hellmann makes an assertion and a linkage for which there is no corroborative evidence – “the attack, and hence the death shortly thereafter”, linking this to the last interaction on Meredith’s phone at 10.13 pm. But there could have been a non fatal attack at 10.13 ( e.g a wresting of her phones away from her) followed by the fatal one a little later.

Hellmann seems to think his supposition is the more consistent. Perhaps so. We do not really know, nor do we know for how long Meredith lived after the fatal blow.

But then, dispensing with consistency, he has the TOD come forward by at least another 45 minutes. Hellmann is more than ready to brand Guede as an out and out liar, but then, making a lone exception to his (and our) distrust of everything Guede has had to say, and without any other evidence to back it up, and as if there was any credence to be given to the exercise, he asserts, without ambivalence, Time of Death as between 9 – 9.30 pm, purely as a consequence of his own uncritical thinking, deceptions, agile skipping around the evidence, and cherry picking on a liar’s say so as to when he was there, and whether Knox was, and this despite Guede’s own stated time of his and Meredith’s arrival at the cottage being demonstrably unreliable, and in Meredith’s case untrue.

Hellmann has had to leap through a number of hoops in order to stick with his own pre-formulated premise that Guede was the sole perpetrator in this murder. And indeed Guede was already definitively convicted of the murder by this time, but in “complicity with others”. Hence the attempt to posit an alibi in the argument he put forward.

Not even the 5th Chambers was prepared to countenance that.

The quotes do nothing to establish TOD or provide Knox and Sollecito with an alibi but they are an example (among many one could give) of Hellmann’s bias toward the defendants and unwillingness, or inability, as a result, to evaluate the evidence rigorously and properly, a trait which was manifest throughout his Motivation.

That was the reason why his acquittal verdicts were annulled. Surprisingly though none of the foregoing even got a mention in the appeal recourse and annulment. Perhaps because there were more egregious defects in the Motivation.

It’s not surprising that he got a backlash from his professional colleagues and resigned from the judiciary shortly thereafter. But the damage to justice had been done.

Posted by James Raper on 08/25/21 at 12:17 PM in

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Sharp eyes! I always marvel at James’s sharp eyes. The Machine, some others here, some on the PMFs, have noticed things that have taken us beyond what any one Italian could figure out - even if they had any reason to, everyone knew the Hellman outcome and the Marasca/Bruno outcome were cooked.

Neither of those bent outcomes were easy for us to see coming. Massei in 2009 and Nencini in 2014 had both done terrific jobs.

We did know Bongiorno had got to Umbria’s chief justice in 2010 to get Hellman installed (a business judge, he had only ever done one murder case - and bungled that) and the chief criminal judge pushed aside.

But, after a shaky and suspicious start, Hellman’s running of the 2011 appeal seemed to us quite promising - if pretty funny at times as things went haywire in court. Such as the Guede, Alessi and Aviello stints on the stand.

But the warning signals became loud and clear mid-2011 when Hellman (illegally) appointed outside consultants to “independently” review some of the DNA.

As in too many cases elsewhere, with the contemptible Knox slobberer Greg Hampikian providing his illegal help, DNA mumbo-jumbo was used to thoroughly confuse the appeal jury and put it totally off-track.

Italy is about the only country in the world to routinely have appeal juries. There were two in this case. They are notorious for second-guessing the previous jury, and just as the Hellman jury second-guessed the Massei jury, so did the Nencini jury (and the First Chambers of the Supreme Court) second-guess the Hellman jury.

The corrupted Hellman was edged out, as James says, but he continued to mutter on the sidelines for several years. He really should have been put on trial, along with Hampikian, Marasca and Bruno, the “independent” consultants, and the Florence prosecutor and judge who put Mignini on trial.

Oh and Bongiorno too.  The good news is that every one of those in any case went down the tubes. Only chief corrupter Bongiorno lived to meddle another day, and continue her malignant political career. But she has never really been her former self.

So to some extent justice for Meredith has already been served. More to come.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/27/21 at 09:05 AM | #

OT:  Title for Raffaele’s book: “Lies are my Honour”.

Chris Robinson’s sequel to “War of the Encyclopaedists”: “Who’s Afraid of Amanda Woolf?” 

Raffaele’s next book: “How to Punish Dad for Mom’s Suicide”.

Knox’s sequel: “Flip the Bird to your Church School”

Robinson’s best seller: “Why I Married a Jailbird”

Posted by Hopeful on 08/28/21 at 09:04 AM | #

James Raper, right on. And who would believe a word that chronic liar Guede said?

Your examination of Hellmann’s faulty logic is rigorous and refreshing. I have always admired your extraordinary command of English. Your writing style is clear as crystal, a real gift. You are articulate and able to express complex matters in terms easy to grasp. Thank you. Your logic is impeccable as well.

Hellmann built a big house on the sand of Guede’s self-serving chats with his friends. Guede was a known liar, and as you say, he might have also just been confused at times and thrown out lies to a friend for mulitiple purposes. He was sharp enough to be reading the media about the case which so closely involved himself. He spoke to anticipate partial truths he had read in the newspapers. His every word was one drama after another, trying to make himself important by a false picture of a friendship or near love affair with Meredith, to throw off suspicion he helped kill her.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/28/21 at 09:30 AM | #

Good one Hopeful on the titles. Add one for RS: “How I applied for a job with the Canadian N’Drangheta but was snubbed for only being a bungling second-rate murderer.”

It was pretty amazing that Rocco Sollecito still agreed to be in the same presence as the toxic loudmouth RS in 2014. Had Rocco lived RS might not have been around for much longer. His own murder, gunned down in an SUV in Montreal, and that of his predecessor, shot at home by a long-distance sniper, were not bungled - even now no-one knows who did them.

The titles set me to thinking. RS and AK each had book agents each of whom seemingly propagated the grand lie to the publishers and to the media with great conviction. When we get the final jigsaw pieces from Perugia they may be quick to throw the pair to the dogs.

Not only did Knox bizarrely go to that jesuit school, she got strong support from the principal and the chief benefactor though NOT from many of the parents who wanted Knox’s connection to the school to be disappeared fast. The University of Washington also. Knox will be the skunk at any class reunions.

RS’s and AK’s real titles each had a not-so-hidden sting in them. “Waiting To Be Heard” implied RS or someone else was doing all the talking.

“Honor Bound” implied (pretty strongly) that Knox alone murdered Meredith and yet Sollecito honorably stuck with her even though his family and lawyers and especially the prosecutors all wanted him to turn on her.

But HOW exactly?!! How to turn on her in any way that he was not doing already? He never ever gave support for her third alibi, that she had spent the entire evening at his house. Also his team right in court labeled Knox a coke user - and Jessica Rabbit.

(No offense, Ms Rabbit.)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/28/21 at 05:03 PM | #

Yes, Guede felt his way forward in the early days, that is for sure, though the fact of RS and AK incessantly trying to beat one another’s brains out as from the night of their arrest must have relieved him and perhaps even amused him.

The defense lawyers had to battle throughout the entire multi-year legal process to keep RS and AK focused on Guede as the bad guy rather than on each other. Amazing that with a couple of honorable exceptions no US reporter ever dropped to this, though it played out very publicly in Italy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/28/21 at 05:21 PM | #

Meredith must be laughing as she looks down on Knox whose whines and grievances against movie “Stillwater” grow louder than ever. Knox now equates the rip-off of “her story” to the movie “Norma Rae”.

The woman in that movie was a union activist who got angry when her life was fictionalized. Knox, the crafty liar, who fictionalizes truth for a living, is livid that Tom McCarthy and Matt Damon who create “Stillwater” have confiscated her lying life. Gee, I thought Knox liked creative writing. Nope, not if Stillwater makes a bundle of dough $$ not shared with Knox. She bemoans she’s now a public figure and is hampered from suing for invasion of privacy or similar exploitation of “her story, her life, her face”. She invaded Meredith’s privacy, now hers is destroyed. Meredith’s life story was stolen from her, now Knox weeps that she has lost control of her life story, and the money goes to others, just as all that would have been Meredith’s money goes to others.

Knox wrote in late July 2021 an article in The Atlantic where she bemoans this tragic turn of events (her loss of $$ for “her story” and how others twist the Perugia saga into fictions she doesn’t approve of) said in The ATlantic that the media fictionalized an idea of Knox that sold better than the truth. The media’s version of her was her “doppleganger” but since the police couldn’t clap handcuffs on a ghost, they cuffed her and put her in a prison cell. She hammers on the word “doppleganger” who was convicted twice for murder. I looked up the word and it means a whole lotta bad stuff, like harbinger of death; an astral being or some myth that it’s a ghostly double of a person who takes up residence after killing a person…wow, good word choice, Knox. She said she was also seen as a cardboard cutout of Foxy Knoxy.

Meredith must be laughing at Knox’s thwarted desires to control the narrative, and pocket the money, after all Knox stole from Meredith. Knox is looking for a big lawsuit somewhere, somehow, anywhere and the Matt Damon movie the distribution of which she is trying to oppose, appears to her like just another giant platform to climb on top of and keep her face in the media that she uses as much as she condemns. The Norma Rae union activist at least had a case with clean hands and a real cause for complaint. Knox is just angry she is being rewritten by movie producers and guess what, according to Liar in Chief Knox, they aren’t telling the truth in their fictionalized accounts loosely based on her. Imagine that.

She again compares herself somehow with the disgraced and disgusting Monica Lewinsky, blaming the power differential between her and President Clinton to Knox’s struggle? and an echo of the MeToo movement where anyone in power is the cause of someone else’s bad behavior. Knox has her Labyrinths and her patreons that support it. She’s gonna write a hundred letters in her own lovely handwriting to the first one hundred patreons, has done about eighty plus so far iirc.

Meredith must be laughing.  Somehow Knox just can’t seem to force Matt Damon to come on her podcast to defend a fictional script for a fictional movie based perhaps on more fictions from a renowned liar who spent four years in prison for lying about a man in a murder investigation.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/01/21 at 02:00 PM | #

There is another aspect of the evidence as to the timing of Meredith’s death which I omitted to mention and Hellmann’s treatment of it does not fit well with his definitive assertion of a TOD between 9 and 9.30 pm.

Meredith’s phone records.

At 9.58 pm there was an attempted call to the mobile phone’s answering service.

At 10 pm the number which, according to the phonebook of both the phones she used, corresponds to the user “Abbeybank”, was dialled.

Both calls were made from the cottage.

The defence scenario was that these two calls were made accidently during the attack on Meredith. Hellmann, for obvious reasons, eschews this and hypothesizes that they were the result of a hand unfamiliar with the phone after the attack. That, of course, means Guede.

Really? Given that Hellmann has TOD no later than 9.30 then we have to assume that Guede hung around for another 30 minutes, waiting to be caught out by anyone (there were 5 other occupants of the cottage, as to whose whereabouts and movements he could not have been cognizant) who might happen to turn up. Perhaps he was attending to the staging (which Hellmann does not recognize as a staging) except that any such staging by Guede would not serve any purpose since he left abundant forensic evidence as to his presence at the cottage.

Posted by James Raper on 09/07/21 at 06:52 AM | #

@James Raper, I’ve never understood what those quickie phone calls on Meredith’s cell phone meant. Who would be interested in her mobile’s answering service?  What would a call to them achieve?

Was the call to Abbeybank long enough for someone to access Meredith’s bank records, her current balance?

Could both of these calls have been accidents caused during a struggle if the phone were in her jeans’ pocket or jacket pocket? I’ve never been clear.

Do you think the calls indicate Meredith made the calls and was still alive at 10ish, long after Hellman thinks she was deceased? I thought she died closer to 11:30pm, but memory is getting rusty.

It’s highly unlikely that Guede hung around the cottage for half an hour after Meredith died, no matter what time she passed away. He claims he was trying to help her at the end and was using towels on her wounds to stanch the blood, holding her as she made the “Aff, aff” sound of gasps (that has been contradicted as impossible to aspirate if her throat was cut, but maybe she made that sound earlier and it affected Rudy, burnt into his memory).

But if he was with Meredith in her final moments out of some inherent kindness, if any of that’s true, he probably panicked when he saw all hope was gone. It must have become very real very fast at that point, the horror.

Surely Rudy wouldn’t want to stay alone at night there in the disaster zone with all the blood he later described, when his accomplices who might have given him false courage in the fight, had fled the scene already. Too spooky and scary.

Plus if his self-preservation kicked in, he knew it was smart to leave before somebody discovered him there alone with a dead body.

As you say he had no way of knowing exactly when any of the occupants might return, and they all knew him.

(not sure how well Laura or Filomena knew him but the Marche boys from downstairs knew him well, he’d smoked weed with them, hung around their room played basketball with them. He was “the Baron”.)

Posted by Hopeful on 09/07/21 at 05:11 PM | #


The 10 pm call to Abbeybank failed, if you remember, because the country code had not been dialled in.The earlier 9.58 call to the answering service was an attempt to connect to the service. So both quickies and rather unlikely to have been made by Meredith.

No-one can ever know what was going on. Only the perpetrators of the attack know that.

Personally I hold to the view that there was a rolling and escalating situation and that Meredith had inadvertently, but understandably, played a part in this. I do not think that any of the three had gone to the cottage with her death in mind but that as the evening wore on it became, in a sense, and taking into account the animus of each of them, but particularly that of Amanda Knox, inevitable that things would get well, and fatally, out of hand.

I subscribe to the hypothesis that Meredith had discovered that her money had gone missing and that when Amanda arrived she had challenged her about this. This is the one part of Guede’s account that rings true and is supported by other evidence. I think that Meredith threatened to report the theft, and her suspicions, to the police whereupon a general unpleasantness developed between the two. Perhaps Meredith made a show of doing precisely that unless the money was returned to her toute de suite. Perhaps, and as part of the deception, she phoned her answering service only for Amanda to make a grab for the phone. A tussle developed and ultimately the phone, and her other phone, were taken. Meredith was pushed back into her room, her keys taken, and she was locked in.

There was another interaction on Meredith’s phone at 10.13 pm the cause of which is unknown but according to Massei it was compatible with cell coverage for the cottage, but not Mrs Lana’s garden. However there was evidence that the same coverage was available in the St Angelo park. I think the park is where the three disappeared to while they plotted their next move.

Returning to the cottage they may have briefly encountered Kokomani.

Meredith was not completely without means of communication. She had a computer but she probably did not think there was any need to use this since the three had to return and release her before long. She was right about that but was surprised by their aggressive behaviour (and that Raffaele had collected his knife to threaten her with)when they did turn up.

There was a fight and Amanda got biffed which is when (if not already) things got completely out of control.

Posted by James Raper on 09/08/21 at 05:22 AM | #

A two part attack, very interesting and very possible. I also agree that money was the flashpoint, and thanks for your theory of the crime. You explain well how Knox could have grabbed at Meredith’s phone and thus aborted the calls when she thought Meredith was calling the police. Meredith might have been calling her bank to verify her bank balance to make sure Knox hadn’t “borrowed” Meredith’s bank card and somehow stolen money from Abbeybank?

It would be so like Knox to remove Meredith’s phones in a panic, lock her in the bedroom and then leave the cottage to have time to think. Is it possible she discussed the crisis with Raffaele and he offered to take the 300 euros out of his own ATM to repay Meredith but as you suggest, went back to grab a knife from his apartment to threaten her with as in, “here’s your money, do not dare to report my girlfriend to the police or you may lose more than cash”..

Then Meredith might have become indignant and rejected the payoff, the hush money, told him, “nice try, but too late, I refuse to live here any longer with a thief. I can never trust Knox again.” Then things got ugly. Raf would have done almost anything to prevent his newfound lover from having to leave Perugia.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/09/21 at 08:14 PM | #


Remember that in her Memorial Knox wrote - “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.”

I wonder what she had in mind. What “situation”? She likes to talk of situations, as in (from her e-mail) - “I was [standing] aside really having done my part for the situation.”  I think she deploys the word as a sort of double entendre, having one meaning for others, but another one (knowing and secretive) where she is conversing with her own psyche.

It is not a stretch to think that what she really meant by “the situation” which Raffaele had walked into was that she had already gone out on a limb (that is, without Raffaele’s knowledge or involvement) and had, on her own, stolen Meredith’s cash for drugs.

Raffaele may well have not had a clue as to the “situation” until Meredith made it abundantly clear at the cottage.

Raffaele had not just “walked” into the situation. He had, because of his infatuation for her, been dragged into it by Amanda. This is not to excuse the inexcusable of what then happened.

I suspect the foregoing is the only instance, in her own way, of Amanda being apologetic for anything.

Posted by James Raper on 09/10/21 at 04:46 AM | #

James thank you for your thoughts, it’s very satisfying to hear proper reasoning applied to Guede’s stories and what that implies about what actually happened that night. It really makes a lot of sense what you’re saying about why he gives an earlier time for being at the house. They were really in a literal prisoners dilemma!

I’m also intrigued by your idea about what happened on the night- particularly regarding them potentially leaving and coming back later to finish the job. It does fit with Kokomanis testimony- who said something about hearing moaning in the background when he saw them outside the house; and perhaps too the eye witness who saw K&S above the house several times into the evening; and furthermore provides time for them to go back to get knives once the situation had escalated. The fact that they had knives had always made me think the murder was planned, or at least prepared for, but your idea about leaving & coming back allows for this.

One piece of evidence, seemingly, in favour of ‘premeditated’ though is K&S turning off their phones at the same time before they’d gone to the house. It does seem to imply they were planning for something serious to happen, as does the film playing that they weren’t watching. Is there a more innocent explanation for the phones going off that I’m missing?

I agree that the stolen rent money seems like the most plausible explanation for setting off an escalating argument culminating in the murder. If Knox stole the money earlier in the day, it gave her a strong motive to immediately go back to the house as soon as her work was cancelled as she knew Meredith would have probably found out by then- a confrontation set up, ostensibly over money, but perhaps really over Meredith having rejected Knox the previous night on Halloween. 

One of the things that’s always confused me was why and how Guede was involved. It sounds as if he was strongly attracted to Knox and would have done what she said, but why include one more person- muscle perhaps? He also didn’t, appear, to have a phone- was it just coincidence that he came across K&S which Knox, I believe, suggested in her Lemumba fabrication, someone who she later suggested she was confusing with Guede.

Posted by HotAir on 09/15/21 at 05:42 PM | #

@ HotAir

We don’t know for certain that their phones were switched off. What we do know is that for certain periods their phones were inactive in that no calls, texts, messages, or whatever were made or received.

If there is any other way of knowing, retrospectively, that (in 2007) a phone was switched on, I am not qualified to say.

In Knox’s case nothing happened between 8.35 pm on the 1st Nov until 12.07 pm on the 2nd. In Sollecito’s case between 8.42 pm on the 1st until 6.30 am on the 2nd.

That they were switched off is a matter of inference based on the following -
1. they were together during these times, at least according to them
2. Sollecito was sent a text by his father at 11pm which his phone did not receive until 6.30 am the next day

It is not a case of him being unaware that there was a message waiting for him. His phone could not log it. The inference that it was switched off is a strong one, notwithstanding his defence trying to argue that the phone had found it’s way in to a reception black spot inside his flat.I think one would have to look pretty hard to find a reception black spot.

If his phone was switched off then it is likely that Knox’s phone was too: that it was a joint decision to switch off. We cannot be certain when that decision was made, but it would have to be before 11 pm.

There are also, of course, innocent explanations that can be given, and were duly given, for the phones being switched off, which rather torpedoes the claim that they were not switched off.

In my scenario of more than one visit to the cottage, the duo, having decided in the park to intimidate and threaten Meredith to stay silent about her money, went to Sollecito’s flat to collect weapons (ie the knife) and maybe checked and turned their phones off at the same time as well. Why? I don’t know. No calls or messages to deal with later and there had been none anyway. Maybe they had just thrown Meredith’s phones away? Perhaps they thought, like that, that it was a clever thing to do. One can hardly imagine that they were thinking rationally.

However, all in all I don’t think that their phones being switched off is all that significant, either way.

Posted by James Raper on 09/16/21 at 04:47 PM | #

Thanks for your response James, and for improving my knowledge of the case.

I hadn’t realised that the phones being switched off was purely an inference, although a logical one, and the time at which they probably went off was at least before 11 rather than 9. That does change things. I seem to remember Follain and others referring to the phones going off and that Knox had never turned her phone off before in her trip, which did seem to imply significance from that moment before 9pm as if a premeditated plan, including trying to prevent tracing, was being put into action.

What I always found strange about a premeditated plan was that Knox wasn’t originally planning to go to the house at 9pm. I suspect there was some sort of plan to go over though since she immediately did so on realising she was free, and RS’s friend Popovic ‘s description of AK as looking very happy and RS as looking sad and unlike his normal self, just before, somehow always made me think RS had been talked into something he didn’t want to do. Although neither incident really means there was a plan.

Given RS was a computer nerd, I suspect he would have suggested turning the phones off given the tracing issue. The film playing suggests a similar sort of deceptive logic, and from an earlier time in the evening which may bring us back to the idea of a plan from earlier in the eve/day if so (although it’s possible he was watching it of course).

I agree they may have turned them off around the same time as they took Merediths phone though as it may have brought the phone issue to mind.

Could you talk me through what the main things are that make you think they went and came back during the fight? (I don’t mean during the clean up)

I struggle with the idea that they thought they could threaten Meredith into not talk about the rent money, surely she would just report them later on? And also the idea of them locking her in her room seems incredibly risky for them and open to her escaping or alerting someone perhaps?

Also, how much do you trust Kokmani’s testimony? It seems to support your idea, or at the very least that perhaps they all got cold feet mid fight and ran out only to return to finish the job. Is there a good reason why he might have made it up? Was he there to deliver to drugs? It just seems somehow too neat seeing all 3 of them with a knife and with moaning coming from the house.




Posted by HotAir on 09/17/21 at 11:21 AM | #


I examined Knox’s phone records several years ago (gosh, yes, several years ago!) and learned two things of interest which modified certain things I had come to believe. The first was that when Knox called Meredith she nearly always called Meredith on her english phone, rather than the Italian one which Filomena had allowed Meredith to borrow for local calls. That surprised me because presumably doing that is more expensive. Did she do this to annoy Meredith or was it some way of cementing or enhancing what she thought was a special relationship? Did Meredith’s english girlfriends also do the same? I doubt it. It leaves me with the impression that despite the brashness Knox presented to the outside world, she was really a very insecure person.

Secondly, Knox was not in fact in the habit of making and receiving phone calls during the hours when most people are abed. So I don’t think we can hypothesize any special reason for her not wanting to be disturbed. Sollecito said he switched his off so that they would not be disturbed by his father. Knox said it was to save her battery. So at least both agreed that their phones were switched off, and that would have to be before 11 pm otherwise the text from Sollecito’s dad would have nestled in Sollecito’s phone memory at the same time it was sent, not 6.30 am the next day.

I do not recall any technical evidence being presented, other than when calls were logged, enabling anyone to be more precise. Had the prosecution been able to demonstrate that their phones were switched off almost simultaneously shortly after Sollecito’s dad called him at 8.42 pm and Knox’s text to Lumumba 7 minutes before that, then that would look suspicious, given that it would be well before bedtime.

Some people may think that is what they did but we should not mistake speculation for inferences.

I don’t see how Meredith might have escaped from her room if she was locked in, and I don’t see why, and if my scenario is correct, she would think that she was in any immediate danger at that time.

No. I don’t think that Meredith would have been impressed by threats and knives being waived at her and that may have been the little angels’ misjudgement.

As for Kokomani I think we have to accept that he was an unreliable witness. One does wonder though.

Posted by James Raper on 09/17/21 at 06:44 PM | #

That’s interesting to know about Knox calling the English phone, I didn’t know this about the phone/s either. I seem to remember seeing the call logs and texts as one block, possibly simplified for ease of use. I found them a fascinating window into Knoxs relationships.

I agree she probably felt, at some point, as if she had a special relationship with Meredith which was then broken, perhaps repeatedly and to her great anguish. I always thought it was interesting that Knox almost immediately formed an overly close relationship with RS after being (in her mind perhaps) abandoned by Meredith at the interval of a concert. It indicates, to me, the important role Meredith occupied in Knoxs mind- really as an attachment figure to this lost child, but one who could quite easily become a figure to be hated when she disappointed or disapproved of her.

Good to hear your further thoughts on coming and going theory, I will have to look again at the timeline- I’m getting drawn in again to this case again, oh no 😊

Posted by HotAir on 09/17/21 at 08:19 PM | #

@James Raper @HotAir I learn something from every comment. Yes, Knox loves the vague word, “situation”, doesn’t she? Can massage it to mean anything and keep all in doubt, her favorite game. She may have felt so grateful that RS was shielding her with false alibi, that she did want to express in some roundabout way her sympathy for his having been dragged into her “situation”.

The Popovic woman, thank you HotAir for illuminating her reaction to the brief visit she made to Raf’s apartment about her luggage. I knew she had found Knox cheery and upbeat but I didn’t realize that she reported Raf as glum or downcast and not his usual self. Wow, food for thought. Your reasoning for that sounds so right, that Knox was excited for some wild crazy plan she had cooked up for her sudden time off from work, which didn’t appeal to Raffaele at all.

I agree that Meredith would be the type person to be enraged and indignant should a knife be waved at her and threats made to “shut her mouth about money stolen”. But she might have pretended to acquiesce to calm things down, but then K&S decided they’d already assaulted her to the point they couldn’t depend on her silence. Maybe they’d grabbed her chin which later showed bruises, slapped her around, but not cut her at that point? Then they had to leave to get space to think, and stole her phones before they locked her inside her bedroom. Maybe they then found Rudy to be the “enforcer”?

@Peter Quennell, thanks for link to Vitamin C needed for glutathione production. It seems to be life-giving. God bless Italy’s lemons and Florida oranges. Not to mention pink grapefruit.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/21/21 at 09:45 AM | #

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