Friday, June 19, 2009

Trial: Defendant’s Mother Recounts Her Version Of Phonecalls The Day After

Posted by Peter Quennell

[courtesy AP, click for larger image]

Click for the report by La Nazione in Italian. A quick translation:

Edda Mellas said three phone calls were made to her by Amanda on the morning of November 2 Perugia time when Meredith’s body was discovered without life in the house on via della Pergola.

“The first call arrived at 4 am, I do not know that time in Italy. Amanda told me that she had a suspicion that someone could be in the house because the door was open. It was just a suspicion as the main door had a troublesome lock and sometimes it did not not close. “

Mrs. Mellas recalled that Amanda had said in the first call that she found unusual things while taking a shower,

“There was blood in the bathroom, and I thought it could be from the cycle of one of the girls who then did not clean up well, but I suspect more it could have come from the edge of the bath,”

Amanda then said she had come from Raffaele’s where she had spent the whole night.

“The second call came an hour I think after the first. Amanda was completely desperate because in the room of Meredith, the inspectors had found her body.”

Shortly after, Amanda again called her mother in Seattle.

“A few minutes later she called again. She was crying that they had found her body in the room of Meredith. She was completely distraught.”

On a recent post here on TJMK Finn McCool tried hard to make sense of the timing and content of those calls to Seattle. 

Today, the description and timing of those calls still seems to remain a problem. 

On the Perugia Murder File Forum Michael is pointing out that Mrs Mellas might have dropped her daughter in the soup.

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NICE!!!!!! “Mum there is someone in the house”. And it’s 4am. But I thought she was sleeping at Solecitos and only arrived the next morning 😊

Also, why didnt she clean up the blood in the bathroom?! She went to great lengths with the bleach at some point, but left the blood in the bathroom? CSI theatre by Amanda.

Posted by LIBBY on 06/19/09 at 06:41 PM | #

4am US is I think 10 or 11am in Italy Libby

I cannot access Micheals comments in PMF but would love the Knox clan to have scored an own goal and tripped up of the web of deceit and lies… of which there is bucket loads!!

Posted by Love Wolf on 06/19/09 at 06:46 PM | #

There may not be too much more out of Perugia today. Here is a heads-up on the next few posts coming up here.

1) Perhaps later today and certainly tomorrow, more on the testimony, with links to the reports in the dailies and weeklies. Several media outfits have started their own new reporting.

2) Tomorrow or sunday, a new legal analysis of some of the aspects of the case.

3) And sunday or monday, all the components of the case made by the prosecution, our best summary of them, in full.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/19/09 at 06:47 PM | #

Finn in his post explains the time difference between Perugia and Seattle on the day these calls were made.

Around 8 or 9 hours which places them some time after noon in Perugia.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/19/09 at 06:51 PM | #

I know it 10am, (or give or take 2-3 hours for daylight saving.)

I just like the “I dont know what time it was (is) in Italy.” What is the first thing you ask someone calling you from overseas at 4am?

Posted by LIBBY on 06/19/09 at 07:56 PM | #

Also, isnt it quite plausible that cunning Amanda is merely using her mother as a set-up alibi.

She’d hardly call her mother and say “Mum we just killed someone”.

Posted by LIBBY on 06/19/09 at 08:00 PM | #

Why didnt she call Solecito if there was someone in the house? Her mother can hardly come over from Seattle and help her fend off an intruder.

And then she just went in anyway, saw a lot of blood and had a shower? Yuh, right.

Posted by LIBBY on 06/19/09 at 08:06 PM | #

4 am in Seattle is 1 pm in Italy…showing Amanda didn’t call her mom til after the police had already arrived.  Is she so naive to think that the police can’t put 2 + 2 together using her cell phone records??

Posted by chira385 on 06/19/09 at 08:23 PM | #

Chira wrote:

“4 am in Seattle is 1 pm in Italy…showing Amanda didn’t call her mom til after the police had already arrived.  Is she so naive to think that the police can’t put 2 + 2 together using her cell phone records??”

Normally this is true but on Nov 2, 2007 the time difference was only 8 hours because the US had switched to winter time but Europe had not. Check the website I think the police have already figured this out. If it was before 4 am, as Edda says, then it was before noon in Perugia. And Amanda did not try Meredith’s cell phone until 12:07. As Judge Micheli noted in his decision to indict, the two suspects were betrayed by their cell phone records, which are at odds with their story. And with Edda’s it seems.

Edda said:
“The second call came an hour I think after the first. Amanda was completely desperate because in the room of Meredith, the inspectors had found her body.”

In fact, the second call came 37 minutes after the first one.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 06/19/09 at 08:56 PM | #

Skeptical Bystander,

Thanks for pointing out the daylight savings time issue.  I wasn’t aware that Britain hadn’t yet made the switch. 

In Finn’s timeline piece, he says that Amanda called Edda at 12:47 pm Perugia time.  With the 8 hour difference to Seattle, that makes it 4:47 am Seattle time.  The trial quote from Edda in the article above says Amanda called at ~ 4 am Seattle time, but if what Finn says is true, it was more like 5 am Seattle time.  I think it’s more likely Amanda called from Perugia at 12:47 pm rather than 11:47 am because if the second call to Edda came 37 minutes later (in which Amanda tells her they found Meredith’s body)that puts the time at 1:24.  This agrees with Finn’s report that the door was broken down ~ 1:15 pm. 

If, as Edda claims, she received the first call at 3:47 am, the second call would arrive at 4:24 am Seattle time or 12:24 Perugia time.  This does not fit with the timeline, as the police have yet to arrive and Meredith’s door has not yet been broken down.  If Edda’s account is true (highly unlikely), Amanda has some serious explaining to do, as the body wasn’t discovered yet.

Is Edda giving misleading information about the timeline with the intent to confuse the jury? Seems like confusion and giving vague timelines runs in the family. In any case, that won’t work, since the phone records are far more reliable than her testimony.

Posted by chira385 on 06/19/09 at 09:25 PM | #

Well… on the 1st phone call, she said there may still be someone in the house. However, she had taken a shower!!! Would you?

Posted by Patou on 06/19/09 at 10:56 PM | #

Chira 385:
In fact, it turns out that in 2007 the US switched its rules and decided to change the clocks later, on Nov 4. So when Edda says it was just before 4 am in Seattle, it was just before 1 pm in Perugia. But still, after the arrival of the postal police!

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 06/19/09 at 11:07 PM | #

Oh my!  Daylight savings time can get so confusing!

Posted by chira385 on 06/20/09 at 12:28 AM | #

Hi All:  I have been following this case since day 1 and this is my first post here, so please bear with me.  I work in the legal field (30 years), so I understand the concept of presumed innocent until proven guilty.  But I’ve also heard many attorneys describe criminal defendants thusly:  if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and acts like a duck, it probably is a duck. 

IMO the vast majority of people accused of a crime are generally found to be guilty.  Prosecutors and law enforcement don’t just randomly pick innocent people to charge for no good reason.  There has to be enough evidence to do so. Their careers and responsibility to the people they serve would be in jeopardy if they haphazardly and randomly charged people for convenience sake.

Another thought, and I really haven’t seen much posted on this, is the issue of AK’s friends and family saying they could not conceive of her being involved in this crime or doing anything violent towards another person. 

My observations of AK from reading much of the coverage of this case, seem to show her as someone with a very distinct and disturbing personality disorder, possibly bi-polar illness, possibly something else, possibly diagnosed or not… 

For example, within the last few years I became aware of a close person whose behavior and actions became increasingly bizarre and concerning.  Before that time, I would have never thought this person capable of anything negative, mean or violent.  However, I have found this person to be a compulsive liar, a forger, dishonest, angry, violent, narcissistic, takes extreme risks financially and sexually, manipulative and self righteous, to name a few. 

But this person projects a very different facade to those who are outside the inner circle.  Everyone thinks this person is bright, funny, friendly, accomplished, sophisticated, generous, honest, etc.  You get the picture.  This person is completely in denial of their outrageous behaviors and always has an excuse or someone else to blame for their misdeeds. 

This was kept hidden for many years until, as one person told me, the cream always rises to the top, the truth always, eventually, will be revealed.  Needless to say, once I confronted the person about these issues, I was painted as the liar, the cheater, the manipulator.  People with these issues are masters at hiding what they don’t want others to see, but when the mask is removed, it all becomes so obvious.

This could explain why someone so seemingly “angelic” could be capable of the charges.  I do believe the truth will be revealed in the end, and I hope the Italian Court takes into consideration all of the evidence and makes its judgment based on the facts of the case alone.

I am not making any judgment of AK, just saying that it is easy to fool the people you want to when it works to your advantage.

Posted by pierogigrrl on 06/20/09 at 12:41 AM | #

This is so right! I also know someone who appeared to be “this” and was secretely “that”. It took years to come to the surface, an event that triggered the whole thing.

I would like to apologize to have mislead everyone with my earlier comment: the Italian version said that Amanda called her mother to say “someone could have been in the house” not “could be”. Therefore, the fact she took a shower is a little bit more normal, if anyone could consider normal to take a shower if you found a door open and blood on the pavement, and just left another appartment where surely there was a shower as well!

Posted by Patou on 06/20/09 at 12:56 AM | #

Amanda is “angelic” looking? To which demographic exactly? Merdiian Italians perhaps.

I don’t think she’s “angelic"looking at all. Quite probably to some Italians this might be the case.

I doubt people in mid-west America, Ireland or other Ango-saxon countries would call her angelic looking.

And Im sure many others are capable of reading her better than that.

It is also historical knowledge that the work ‘Anglaise’ or something similar, from which the word English is derived, comes from the Latin, and there is a story a bout a Pope tottling on his throne after seeing a fair English child for the first time and claiming he had seen an angel.

Posted by LIBBY on 06/20/09 at 04:51 PM | #

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