Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Best Shot At Making Amanda Knox’s Timeline Alibi Mesh With 4 November Email

Posted by FinnMacCool

1. Circumstance Of The Knox Email

Amanda Knox’s first encounters with police and other witnesses the day after go to the very heart of her credibility.

On Sunday 4 November 2007 Amanda Knox wrote an email to a student welfare officer at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Knox related what she said had happened at the house on Friday the 2nd before the communication police arrived to establish why Meredith’s two mobile phones were tossed into a garden a kilometer away.

This email was written while Amanda was alone and under no pressure.

Copies went to various relatives and friends. For many of her supporters, it represents the essential truth of what happened, before Amanda was interrogated by the police and began changing her story.

This analysis covers the period from noon to a quarter past one on the Friday, the day that Meredith Kercher’s murder was discovered.

It compares the claims in the email with cellphone records for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the period.

2. Contents Of The Email

According to the email, Amanda and Raffaele were initially at Raffaele’s apartment at noon on November 2nd.

The email describes how Amanda spoke with Filomena Romanelli and then tried to reach Meredith Kercher by phone.

It then explains that Amanda and Raffaele returned to the cottage, where they found evidence of a break-in, alongside some bloodstains which Amanda had already noticed.

They also observed that Meredith’s door was locked. After they tried and failed to break down this door, they phoned the police.

After that, Amanda claims she called Filomena once again, who said she would return to the cottage.

Problem: cellphone records do not support this story, and nor do the police.

Two police officers arrived at the cottage to investigate Meredith’s two phones, which had been found in a neighbor’s garden. The police claim they arrived at 12:25, and video evidence appears to support this.

Amanda and Raffaele dispute the video evidence. They claim that the police arrived much later, after the call to the emergency services which Raffaele made at 12:55.

Below, we look first at the scenario described by Amanda, followed by the scenario described by the police, with a view to determining what really happened in that crucial hour between noon and one. 

3. First scenario: Knox a/c essentially true, police a/c essentially inaccurate

If we assume that the police are basically incorrect, and that Amanda Knox’s email is basically correct, in their respective rememberings of what happened on November 2 between noon and 1315, that leaves us with several puzzling questions. Here are some of them:

1. Where was Amanda at 1208?

At 1208, Amanda calls Filomena. Amanda claims that she made this call from Raffaele’s house.

However, in his prison diary, Raffaele describes the same conversation as taking place at the cottage.

Filomena says that Amanda explained, in that conversation, that she was at the cottage, and was on her way to fetch Raffaele.

2. Why didn’t Amanda call Raffaele?

Even though Amanda claims to have walked alone to the cottage, and to have been concerned enough about the bloodstains to want to bring Raffaele to have a look at them, she never attempted to phone Raffaele at all during the whole of that morning.

3. Why did Amanda stop calling Meredith’s phones?

Amanda first tried calling Meredith’s Italian phone at 12:07. At 12:08 she calls Filomena, who advises her to try Meredith’s phones. She doesn’t tell Filomena that she tried the UK phone just a minute ago (nor does she mention this in her email).

In the email, Amanda says she called Meredith’s phones after speaking to Filomena ““ cellphone records support this claim. But she also says that the Italian phone “just kept ringing, no answer”.

Her cellphone records show this call lasted just three seconds, and the call to the UK phone lasted just four seconds. (The WeAnswer Call service, which prides itself on how quickly it answers its customers’ calls, boasts that their average speed-of-answer is 5.5 seconds.)

Next, Amanda claims that she returns to the cottage with Raffaele.

But why doesn’t she try Meredith’s phones again? If the Italian phone was going to continually ring again ““ even for just three seconds ““ she’d now be able to hear it through the bedroom door (assuming Meredith had it with her).

But this doesn’t seem to have occurred to either Amanda or Raffaele.

4. Why didn’t Amanda call Filomena back?

In the 12:08 call, Amanda told Filomena she would try Meredith’s phones and then call her back.

In the email, Amanda claims that she called Filomena back three quarters of an hour later ““ after Raffaele’s finished calling the police at 12:55.

But cellphone records show that Amanda never called Filomena back at all.

On the other hand, Filomena DOES call Amanda back ““ at 12:12 and 12:20. It’s not clear whether Filomena receives an answer to these calls, or simply leaves a message ““ certainly, Amanda’s email makes no mention of having received these calls.

Then Filomena tries a third time, at 12:34, which is when Amanda tells her that Filomena’s own room has been broken into.

5. Why doesn’t Amanda mention that she called her mother in Seattle?

Her cellphone records also show that Amanda called her mother at 12:47 ““ but she makes no mention of this call in her email.

Edda Mellas claims that she told Amanda to hang up and call the police ““ but Amanda makes no mention of this advice in describing their decision to call the police.

The email describes the decision to call the police as something between herself and Raffaele, after she had tried to see through Meredith’s window, and after Raffaele had tried to break down Meredith’s door.

But in the ten minutes before Raffaele calls his sister (an officer in the carabinieri), Raffaele has received a call from his father (at 12:40:03) and Amanda has made a call to her mother (at 12:47:23) ““ neither of which calls is mentioned in the email.

Raffaele’s sister gives him the same advice that Edda Mellas gave Amanda: hang up and call the cops.

6. How can the tour of the cottage and the arrivals of first Marco and Luca, and then of Filomena and Paola, all take place between 12:55 and 13:00?

Raffaele makes the successful emergency call (lasting nearly a minute) at 12:54:39.

Meredith’s UK phone is activated at Police HQ at 13:00 ““ as part of a conversation which the postal police at the cottage are having about that phone with staff at HQ.

This conversation mentions Filomena’s arrival, and the information she’s given them about it being a UK phone.

This means that we need to fit the following activities into those five minutes, if Amanda’s email is to be believed:

  • The postal police arrive later than 12:55

  • Amanda and Raffaele give them a tour of the cottage, including the suspected break-in and the bloodstains in the bathroom

  • Amanda writes down Meredith’s phone numbers for them, on a post-it note which Luca Altieri notices on the kitchen table when he arrives

  • Marco and Luca arrive (and they see the post-it note) and have a conversation with the police about the ownership of the phones

  • A few minutes later, Filomena and Paola Grande arrive. Filomena explains to the police about Meredith’s phones (one lent by Filomena, and the other a UK phone)

  • The postal police make contact with their HQ

  • During this call, Meredith’s phone is activated (at 13:00)

In addition, at some point, Paola sees Raffaele and Amanda emerging from Amanda’s bedroom ““ but it’s not clear whether this happened before or after 13:00. It could have been after.

But even if we move this emergence from the bedroom to after 1300, there simply isn’t enough time for all those other activities to take place in a period of less than five minutes.

4. Second scenario: police a/c basically accurate,  Amanda Knox a/cs essentially untrue

Let us take the opposite scenario, and assume that the police are basically correct, and that Amanda Knox’s email is basically incorrect.

This then provides us with answers to those puzzles above, and also fills in some of the gaps that were otherwise missing from the timeline.

We also find that this new timeline is supported by evidence from other witnesses.

1. Where was Amanda at 12:08?

Amanda was at the cottage, and so was Raffaele.

Amanda was not telling the truth when she said she was going to fetch Raffaele ““ since Raffaele was in the room with her when she made the call.

This matches with the versions of both Filomena and Raffaele, who both believed that the call was made from the cottage.

2. Why didn’t Amanda call Raffaele?

Amanda never called Raffaele that morning because they were with each other the whole time ““ just as they continued to be with each other every moment until their arrest (except when separated for interrogations).

3. Why did Amanda stop calling Meredith’s phones?

Amanda called from the cottage in the first place, so there is no longer a question of why she called Meredith only from Raffaele’s apartment.

Also, she allowed the phone to ring only for three or four seconds because she knew that Meredith would not (and could not) pick up ““ she knew Meredith was dead.

The purpose of making these calls was simply for them to appear on her own cellphone record, to help construct an attempted alibi.

4. Why didn’t Amanda call Filomena back?

This question can be answered if we accept the hypothesis that Amanda’s intention was for Meredith’s body to be discovered by Filomena and/or Filomena’s friends.

When the police found the couple outside the property “waiting”, they were really waiting for the one living person that they had called that morning ““ Filomena.

Amanda ignores the calls at 12:12 and 12:20 because she wants Filomena to arrive at the cottage and to be the one who makes the “discoveries” of the break-in, and the locked bedroom.

So that when Filomena arrived at the cottage, Amanda and Raffaele (at the front of the house) could have said, “Oh, we decided to wait for you. Let’s go in together.”

However, Amanda answers Filomena’s 12:34 call because the police are already at the cottage and have already discovered the alleged break-in.

So now Amanda needs Filomena to arrive as quickly as possible ““ and at this point she tells Filomena about the break-in and the locked door.

Unfortunately for Amanda, however, Filomena decides to call Marco and get himself and Luca to go there first ““ knowing that they will be able to reach the cottage much more quickly.

Amanda tries to delay the breaking open of the room by telling the police, and by telling Luca, that it’s normal for Meredith to lock her own door.

She does this because, when it comes to the breaking down of the door, they want the others to be the first ones on the scene - and we can see that when the door is broken down for real, Amanda and Raffaele withdraw to the kitchen.

Unfortunately for Amanda, however, she can’t resist boasting later to Meredith’s English friends that she herself was the first on the scene.

5. Why doesn’t Amanda mention that she called her mother in Seattle?

Amanda’s email is essentially fictional.

The police arrived around 12:30, which is when they said, and this is corroborated by the CCTV evidence from the car park (timed at 12:25).

So the police have been in the cottage for about a quarter of an hour when Amanda calls her mother.

Amanda is first called away from the police to answer Filomena’s 12:34 call, just as Raffaele is called away a few minutes later to answer a call from his father at 12:40.

However, it is not until the arrival of Marco and Luca that they are able to escape to the privacy of Amanda’s bedroom, where they make the phone calls first to Amanda’s mother, then to Raffaele’s sister, and then the two calls to the police.

Notice that Edda and Raffaele’s sister both give the same advice: Hang up and call the police. And that’s exactly what they do, in fact.

However, in trying to create a fictional backdrop for making the emergency calls, Amanda forgets that she’s already called her mother.

Now she tries to explain that she and Raffaele called the police because of their panic over the locked room ““ panic which seems not to exist when Amanda is telling Luca that Meredith usually locks her door.

(Notice that in this version, we don’t need to believe that nobody can understand what Amanda says.)

After making these calls, Amanda and Raffaele emerge from the bedroom, as described by Paola Grande.

Paola’s memory of arriving at the cottage just before one is supported by the activation of Meredith’s cellphone at 1300.

6. How can the tour of the cottage and the arrivals of first Marco and Luca, and then of Filomena and Paola, all take place between 12:55 and 13:00?

It doesn’t. The tour of the cottage takes a more realistic fifteen minutes (roughly 12:30 to 12:45).

The police spend ten minutes talking to Luca and Marco about the phones, and about the suspected break-in, and so on (roughly 12:46 to 12:55), while they await the arrival of Filomena and Paola.

The girls arrive shortly before one, as the girls said, and as the phone records support, and explain the situation of the phones to the police (roughly 12:56 to 13:00).

There follows another fifteen minute examination of the house, culminating in the breaking down of the door by Luca Altieri at 13:15.

5. The Bottom Line

This second version may or may not be accurate, but at least it is supported by external evidence, not contradicted by it.

It is easy to see why Judge Micheli’s report found that the cellphone records do not support Raffaele Sollecito’s claim to have called the flying squad before the postal police arrived.

It is also easy to see why these timings undermine other stories told by the two defendants ““ such as Amanda’s December 2007 claim that she thought the postal police were in fact the police that Raffaele had just called.

Such a claim is absurd, given that Battistelli contacts HQ with a status report less than five minutes after Raffaele’s 112 call was made.

The bottom line is that this does not look promising for Amanda Knox.


Hi Finn,

You’ve written an excellent piece; painstakingly detailed and very lucid. It will help people to gain a clearer understanding of what really happened in the crucial hour between 12pm and 1pm on 2 November. It also casts further serious doubts over the credibility and innocence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Posted by The Machine on 04/16/09 at 11:08 PM | #

Brilliant analysis Finn. Now everybody can compare the two scenarios and decide on the more credible one. As far as I’m concerned, I have no doubts as to what seems the most likely one.

A truly great post!

Posted by Nicki on 04/16/09 at 11:53 PM | #

Hi Finn, Thank you for compiling and analyzing. 

Showing both scenarios is a very fair and balanced manner of sorting out the possibilities of what could have occurred in such a short amount of time.

Unfortunately, the truth doesn’t lie - and neither do phone records.

Great job!

Posted by Tara on 04/16/09 at 11:56 PM | #

Thanks, Finn, for this painstaking analysis. I now understand why Judge Micheli ruled as he did, and why he said that the phone records of RS and AK did not support their version of events.

Even if we were to assume (contrary to testimony provided in court by several witnesses) that Knox was “coerced” into making a false accusation/confession and thereby grant her some degree of credibility, the comparison of her written account dated 4 November with phone records and witness testimony leaves no wiggle room on the call to police. This is a serious blow to her credibility as well as to Sollecito’s (though he later admitted he had called the police after the arrival of the postal police), in particular since it happened BEFORE any alleged misconduct on the part of the police that led to confusion and a forced confession. Here the confusion is created solely by Knox with no prodding or slapping by the police.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 04/17/09 at 02:22 AM | #

Hi Finn,

Thank you for this excellent detailed and logical timeline. Since the judges at trial are obliged to logical reasoning I imagine their conclusion regarding the phone activity will be very close to one of your scenarios.

Bottom line is it does not look promising for either of them!

Posted by Jools on 04/17/09 at 03:28 AM | #

Great post Finn!

It really does help to look at the phone timeline and see how much happened in so little time.  More inconsistencies which cannot be swept under the rug.

After reading your post I started thinking about contacting friends when I NEED to talk to them.  Wasn’t Amanda texting Meredith on Halloween night?  Correct me but I understood that she kept texting to meet up.  Why then, did Amanda, upon not hearing an answer but “ringing and ringing” either leave a voicemail explaining the scenario at the cottage and then follow it up with some frantic texting?  When I need to talk to someone and figure they can’t answer the phone, or won’t answer, I text them and say, ‘call me right now, emergency, etc.’ even if I know they just aren’t picking up.  This explains that it is not a basic call. 

Do you see what I mean?  I haven’t heard of any messages or texts and I think the reason is obvious.  Amanda knew Meredith was lying behind that door.  It was one step further into the reality of what she had done, and was not ready to go there. 


Posted by Jumpy on 04/17/09 at 03:57 AM | #

Just wanted to follow up on my own post that I do not psycho stalk my friends.  All of us generally act this way when there is something really serious to discuss.  Indeed many of my friends are so lazy with voice mail that they do not check.  This is why I wondered about the texting. I read an article today (sorry no link) about voice mail phasing out.  Too much time.  Oh, technology.  What will it be next?

Posted by Jumpy on 04/17/09 at 04:07 AM | #

In the US, a case has been in the news, tabloids, TV, everywhere for months, years.  Its referred to as the Tot Mom.  A mom who is charged with the murder of her 5 year old daughter.  Her alibi, story, everything are so similar to this case in that nothing makes sense. She waited a month before reporting her child missing. Claimed she left her with a baby-sitter at a location that doesn’t exist.

The entire story is replete with inconsistencies and conflicting stories. The mom is a 22 year old who is a bad liar and a child murderer.

The facts in this case seem solid and will prevail, the defendants will pay for their actions. The sad part is, Meredith is not going to have the opportunity to be a part of time which she so richly deserves.  The only thing which accrue to the criminals in their denial is a longer sentence in time, and hell afterward.

Posted by tony on 04/17/09 at 04:25 AM | #


Thanks for the comments/clarification re: voice mail and texting. Indeed, it would have been the logical thing for her to do.

I think your last point is also very important:

“Amanda knew Meredith was lying behind that door.  It was one step further into the reality of what she had done, and was not ready to go there.” 

I think this accounts for the bizarre acting out by Knox following the murder, ie. the scenes at the underwear shop and at the police station. Using this behavior to support the claim that Knox is cold, self-centered and unfeeling (not that there isn’t some truth to this, given her extreme narcissism) and therefore capable of murder is less compelling to me than recognizing that she was desperately trying to stay in denial around what she/they had done.

I think she still is desperately trying to deny it in a reality of her own making, hence the smiles and breezy displays in the courtroom.

Posted by wayra on 04/17/09 at 05:16 AM | #

You rule, FMC!  Super contribution and resources for all. 

The way I see it the email sent stateside and her instant “unnatural” reaction give her away - totally.

I bet 99.9% of the people reading this right now having arrived at this scene would have been petrified and would be calling the cops faster than taking their hand off a hot burner. 

Only someone who is up on each and every detail of the crime could reflect such a lack of interest - rather, their energy is spent on covering their tracks.

Indeed Knox is going down one dark and scary tunnel where she will be cloaked in her true wickedness.

Unforgivable Curses!

Posted by Professor Snape on 04/17/09 at 06:01 AM | #

The VERY astute Jumpy wrote:

“After reading your post I started thinking about contacting friends when I NEED to talk to them.  Wasn’t Amanda texting Meredith on Halloween night?  Correct me but I understood that she kept texting to meet up.  Why then, did Amanda, upon not hearing an answer but “ringing and ringing” either leave a voicemail explaining the scenario at the cottage and then follow it up with some frantic texting?  When I need to talk to someone and figure they can’t answer the phone, or won’t answer, I text them and say, ‘call me right now, emergency, etc.’ even if I know they just aren’t picking up.  This explains that it is not a basic call.”

Great “call” Jumpy!

You know, when Edda Mellas recently appeared on “The View” on ABC here in the US (with an average of 3-4 million viewers daily), she made the statement that Meredith TEXTED Amanda several times to ask what was going on and if she (Amanda) wanted to get together.

Odd, but it does confirm that texting was not at all a foreign means of communication.

I think Edda got it backwards though!  From what we’ve heard as Jumpy states, Amanda kept texting Meredith.

I wonder what the phone records state about Halloween night?  We’ll see.

Posted by Tara on 04/17/09 at 06:24 AM | #

I always thought the texting was the way around too, Miss Tara. That is why the theory of Halloween night being the practice night has floated around.  I am not saying this is true - but that Nov.1st was a follow up from Halloween and a better oppportunity to play out whatever was planned. I am only stating what people have thrown out into the process, and I’m not sure that isn’t the case.  I am not saying this is true, but it will come out. It makes sense with some witness statements, but we know those are hard to pin down. 

TM?  Where are you? I’m a jumble of inconsistencies here. 😊

Posted by Jumpy on 04/17/09 at 06:44 AM | #

Tara’s report of the Edda Mellas appearance on The View demonstrates, again, what we have seen throughout this ordeal: the woman is “borderline.” She can turn anything around to suit some internal, and not particularly mature, healthy or “normal” reality, ie. when she said that Amanda was waiting to express her condolences to the Kercher family until after she was released from prison—or some such nonsense!

Here is someone who chose to marry and stay married to a man who publicly refers to her and her children as “shitheads.” One can only imagine what he calls them in the privacy of their home. It’s not difficult to see how Edda Mellas could have raised a daughter to be as disturbed as Amanda.

I’m no expert, and I realize I’m going out on a limb here, but my take on Kurt Knox’s body language is that he thinks or suspects that his daughter is guilty. Clearly, he’s incredibly uncomfortable in the presence of Edda Mellas. After all, though I don’t suppose he’s exactly a prize as a husband or father, he knows as well as anyone how crazy Edda Mellas is. Their marriage didn’t last too long.

Anyway, enough about their personal misery. The question in my mind now is how it’s going to play out with them as the evidence bears down with greater and greater weight against Amanda Knox. I hope I never find myself in their position and don’t like to judge others, but I feel like I’d be hard pressed to continue defending someone, even a loved one, who committed a heinous act like this—especially so vociferously. Even given that they seem crazy and/or immoral enough to defend her regardless of the truth, I’m having a hard time imagining how they will continue to hold out publicly that she is a wrongly accused victim, when the evidence continues to prove that she is lying. Or did I just answer my own question: that they are shameless and clueless enough to just say and do whatever works for them in their reality? Any thoughts?

My heart and prayers go out to the Kercher family. It’s a stark and sometimes shocking contrast to see the crude and self-serving behavior of Amanda’s family, and consider the dignity and restraint, in the face of unspeakable loss, demonstrated by the Kerchers.

Posted by wayra on 04/17/09 at 07:46 AM | #

what can i add, Finn, except that i agree with the above. concise and clear, just the way i like them! thanks

Posted by mojo on 04/17/09 at 10:34 AM | #

Finn a great piece of work very well done….

Pete can I just say this site just gets better and better whereas others without needing to name them just appear to get lower and lower….

It is amazing when following a true and just cause without money and fame being your driver and motivation what can be achieved!!

Best regards to all


Posted by Love Wolf on 04/17/09 at 11:16 AM | #

Excellent timeline! Thanks for this. These are the types of things that will prove innocence or guilt. Please excuse my ignorance, but I still just don’t see a motive. *That’s not to say I believe A&R;are innocent as this timeline gives me good reason to believe they are guilty as sin,* but I would like to see a more convincing reason for the murder. We’ve heard several possibilities:
-Sex game
-Rape gone bad (I believe this one only applies if it is proved Rudy acted alone which this timeline does seem to disprove)
-Prank gone bad
I’m not sure any of these convince me for a number of reasons. They all just seem kind of flimsy except for the one involving Rudy acting alone. Does anyone have any other ideas? Obviously there is always the chilling thought that this heinous act was done for no reason at all. Anyway, just wondered if I could get some thoughts on this. Again, excellent post and website. It’s the first thing I read in the morning.

Posted by memphis05 on 04/17/09 at 03:55 PM | #

Unfortunately there are many examples of murders committed without motive, this wouldn’t surely be the first one - nor will be the last. Some people kill for petty motives, other when seeking extreme thrills. No real motive is required.

Posted by Nicki on 04/17/09 at 05:01 PM | #

Hi memphis05,

I think it’s a mistake to assume there must be one clear cut motive for Meredith’s brutal and senseless murder.

Miss Represented, who is a professional psychologist, has analysed the possible motives behind Meredith’s murder on her excellent blog Lies Our Mothers Told Us:

Posted by The Machine on 04/17/09 at 05:15 PM | #

It should be added that Judge Micheli paid little attention to the question of motive for any of the three: Guede, Knox, or Sollecito.

In judging Guede, he accepted a minimalist motive and then ran with the evidence. He started with what he saw in the room and moved outward. He considered all of the evidence, but it is obvious he didnt need much of it to be clear in his own mind about what happened.

The CBS 48 Hours report and in particular Doug Preston sounded barking-mad, to say the least, about this notion of satanic rituals.

Preston, a foreigner in Italy, interfered in a previous case that had nothing to do with him, and in my view rightly (and amusingly) Mignini put a pineapple up his tail.

In that case Mignini actually had a minor role, and he was not the one to start talking about satanic rituals - which may actually have applied there.

In this case there are some minor hints that Halloween could have played a part in one or two of the actions. Mignini said that, but he didnt take it much further. He has NEVER said that satanic rituals were the cause here.

In our lawyers’ view Mignini has a very clear shot at CBS and Doug Preston if he cares to take it - and rumors from London are that he very well might.

Also in my view Doug Preston has done a MASSIVE amount of damage to a good defense for Amanda. Pinning all your hopes on destroying a prosecutor - one of two on the case - is quite nuts.

A lot of the investigation here was done (in our view pretty well) by “federal” crime investigators and laboratories. Quite possibly many of them did not even know Mignini’s NAME when they went about their work.

This is NOT a case of a prosecutor out of control and manipulating hundreds, or of a satanic covern at work. Italian judges are as tough as they come and VERY hard to fool.

So get a grip please FOA if there are any of you still left! And please chain up Doug Preston.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/17/09 at 09:07 PM | #

Posted for our poster Nicki in Milan

Bravo Pete,

Very straightforward and clear message. Mignini might have been going down pretty heavy on Preston and Spezi, but after all they had been suspected of interfering with a serial killer investigation by conducting parallel investigations, concealing/planting evidence, and Spezi illegally using a tape recorder - if I remember well, he was caught with a tape recorder in the bathroom - having taped his conversation with a prosecutor!

More bravo, for spelling it loud and clear: the Satanic rituals were never mentioned by Mignini, he merely hinted the festivity of Halloween could have somehow influenced the murderers, that’s all. The word “satanism” has only appeared on certain press and blogs, it surely hasn’t come from the prosecution.

I have to agree with Biscotti and Gentile, Preston is using the Perugia murder case to advertise his book - by the way, a book that never made the top list in Italy. Exploiting an horrific murder for commercial reasons… I have no words for this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/18/09 at 12:25 AM | #

Nicki is referring above to a loud complaint made yesterday about the antics of Preston in Italy by Guede’s two lawyers. Preston was referred to as a wannabee Lieutenant Colombo.

Preston has emailed us on occasion, and I was struck by the general nastiness of his tone, his questioning of our motives (that from someone seemingly desperate to make money out of this tragedy!) and his tenuous grasp of the facts of this case.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/18/09 at 12:46 AM | #

Hi all,

This case is like a pandora’s box indeed-

Does anybody know if there is any significance in Giacomo’s wounded cat and bloody mattress etc downstairs?

And are AK and RS not in court this weekend? Or are they still on Easter break?

Finn, I too want to say thanks to you ,Pete, Skep, Love wolf,Machine, Tara, Nicki and everybody else posting here for the enlightening ideas and dedication to this cause.

I get shivers down my spine every-time somebody mentions Curt and Edda might suspect Amanda’s innocence- how the demons must haunt them at night….to have such blood on ones hands cant be easy

Posted by Tammy on 04/18/09 at 12:48 AM | #

Hi Tammy, today is a holiday in Italy. The trial resumes tomorrow: more closed-door testimony on the autopsy, and the jury’s visit to the house. We may have photographs.

The best hypothesis I ever read on the cat’s blood and the break-in downstairs was by Michael on PMF. He suugested the break-in was by the defendants, either to obtain a mop or to blow smoke over what had happened upstairs. And that the cat was hungry and leapt through the hole in the glass.

I will see if we can get Michael to post it here. He wrote it up like a real thriller.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/18/09 at 01:11 AM | #

Thats great, its almost like we now have all the pieces of the puzzle- just need to find where they all fit in together

Posted by Tammy on 04/18/09 at 01:16 AM | #

Regarding the post about motive: envy is hardly an emotion to be dismissed as “flimsy” under any circumstances. Human history is full of crimes committed by people acting out of envy, greed, resentment—the list goes on.

I think Amanda was deeply envious of Meredith. Amanda is and Meredith was very intelligent and physically attractive. But Meredith had a very bright light. She came from a strong and loving family and radiated inner beauty and joy. Amanda is clearly troubled, driven by and into inner turmoil, apparent from the excessive drug and alcohol use, sexual acting out and generally erratic behavior. It would be easy for her to want to bring Meredith down to her level and I think it got out of control. She wanted to snuff out the light that she felt put her in shadow. But it wasn’t Meredith’s light that shadowed her and she’s finding that out now, big time.

This case seems to me to be a “perfect storm” moment. These three characters came together: one envious and seeking thrills (AK), one saturated with repressed violence and seeking to please his *sexy* new girlfriend (RS), and one, a petty criminal seeking sexual contact with Meredith (RG).

I agree that the initial impulse, if you can call it a motive, is, in the end, irrelevant. I just think that these three, together, were a disaster waiting to happen. On the evening of November 1, a window of opportunity opened up for them to victimize Meredith and they went for it with tragic consequences.

Posted by wayra on 04/18/09 at 03:54 AM | #

p.s. and let’s not forget that the three accused murderers were most likely very high on something—something not pot.

Posted by wayra on 04/18/09 at 04:03 AM | #

Wayra: “Amanda is and Meredith was very intelligent and physically attractive. But Meredith had a very bright light. She came from a strong and loving family and radiated inner beauty and joy.”

Close friends of Meredith widely talk of her in those kinds of terms. Especially the light: she seems to have been quite radiant.

Wayra: “This case seems to me to be a “perfect storm” moment. These three characters came together: one envious and seeking thrills (AK), one saturated with repressed violence and seeking to please his *sexy* new girlfriend (RS), and one, a petty criminal seeking sexual contact with Meredith (RG).”

Works for me. First time I’ve seen “perfect storm” applied to the group dynamic, and I like it. That a very strange and unusual group dynamic can take over on occasion has been compellingly explained by our psychologists.

And the effects of “something not pot” being capable of lasting several days is also very indicative.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/18/09 at 09:21 AM | #

Thanks for taking the time to lay this out!  It quite clear from this which timeline is possible.. thanks.

Good choice of pic of amanda - every time I see one of these pictures of Amanda outside of the cottage on the morning Meredith was discovered (RIP dear Meredith) it is quite obvious to me, from one who has stayed up her share of long long nights, that Amanda was clearly UP ALL NIGHT and not “SLEEPING” at Rafaelle’s til 10:30am” as she claims - -her eyes give her away.

In no other photo of her since that morning have her eyes looked as they do in the “Cottage Morning After” pictures.  Very telling to me.  Apparently she never slept after she murdered that poor girl - she stayed up scrubbing like a madwoman - -if she had actually slept she might have had a clearer head to come up w/ a better “alibi”. Better for those that want justice for Meredith that she didn’t sleep!

Posted by rach on 04/20/09 at 03:39 PM | #

I’m not sure that a few hours’ sleep would have helped AK come up with a convincing story. What shows in her email (presumably written after she had indeed slept, if less than soundly) is that her mind is all over the place. (Menstruating, “eww”? This from the girl who didn’t flush her own waste down the toilet! )

If you managed to catch a peek at her prison diary, or her pre-infamy short story, “Baby Brother”, you will clearly see a clueless fantasist who can’t write her way out of a paper bag. She is trying to impress herself, among others, with how worldly and shocking she can be ( why else display her condom supply in a shared bath, unless she was playing Family Planning Fairy for her naive gentle housemate???).

Her ignorance is vast (herpes=good sex?) Did she ever personally know someone who had been raped? Does she honestly believe that women need men to tell them what they want? Did she want RS to tell her what SHE wants? She obviously, desperately wants and needs approval ( from teachers, family, coaches), attention (from men, from the media, and from the talent scouts she imagines are lurking outside the prison walls to hear her belt out “Let It Be”.).

She seemed to think her roommate needed sexual instruction. The leap from instruction to what peaked in the acts of torture and murder I read as the drug-assisted eruption of her repressed anger, blended with a projection onto Meredith of her own strained conscience.( She reveled in her sexual freedom, but at the same time must have felt that Jesuit guilt, and poor Meredith stepped into the absent parent role.)

I have given up hope that she will confess, mostly because I fear that she has deluded herself into believing her own innocence. I do hope, even so, that she can get the help she needs, in spite of wanting to see her, and her cowardly cohorts hang from the Algerian hook for what they did to Meredith.

Posted by mimi on 04/22/09 at 06:42 AM | #

The short story “Baby Brother” is indeed a singularly out-of-the-ordinary submission for an assignment! We have never posted it or linked to it because we are not sure what to make of it. Odd that the writer would want to post it on Facebook, though it is true others have also had Facebook entries backfire on them.

There are two schools of thought on where AK and RS were in the six hours or so before 5:30 or so the morning after. They might have been at the house doing the first stages of the clean-up, or they might have been at RS’s attempting to snatch some sleep or talking things through.

What we know of the incomplete clean-up suggests that its duration might - might - have lasted only several hours, and therefore it could all have taken place on the morning after. The washing machine was of course still running when the communication police arrived, and the bathroom AK and Meredith shared still contained blood visible to the eye.

The manager of the Conad supermarket testified that AK was hanging around outside the store when it opened, and it is possible that she then bought some bleach - it is believed to have actually been a spray-bottle of bleach and detergent, in which the bleach component is fairly mild.

If it was the spray bottle, that would explain why the luminol turned up various footprints. Pure bleach would probably have eliminated all blood and DNA traces where it was applied, and luminol would not have turned up anything.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/22/09 at 02:05 PM | #

New commenter Scout, we have had to hide your comment directly above this one, as you made what our lawyers consider a libelous statement against one of the two prosecutors. He already has one lawsuit ongoing for precisely such remarks and may have others in the works.

Not only have we posted previously, refuting what you stated as fact, but both teams of defense lawyers have protested such remarks and asked that they stop. And no-one has used the term “satanic” to hypothesize the motives in this case.

Please email us if you would like to revise the comment and repost it, though it seems unrelated to the post above and you agreed not to hijack threads when you registered.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/25/09 at 02:04 PM | #

Hi Scout,

Your post contained numerous inaccuracies:

There is no evidence that Rudy Guede or anybody else had broken into the cottage. However, there is clear evidence that somebody staged a break in at the cottage. It’s physically impossible for anybody to gain entry to Filomena’s room by scaling the vertical wall outside. The wooden shutters were damaged from the inside and there were shards of glass on top of Filomena’s clothes, which had been scattered on the floor.

Rudy Guede has no convictions for drug dealing and he hasn’t had many run ins with the law.

It is not true that Amanda Knox does not have a criminal record. She was arrested for hosting a party that got seriously out of hand, with students high on drink and drugs, and throwing rocks into the road forcing cars to swerve. The students then threw rocks at the windows of neighbours who had called the police.

The situation was so bad that police reinforcements had to be called. Amanda was fined $269 (£135) at the Municipal Court after the incident - Crime No: 071830624.

Raffaele Sollecito was known to local police for his drug use. I certainly wouldn’t describe him as normal. Not many men are obsessed with knives, have a hard core pornographic DVD, featuring bestiality, or name a notorious Italian serial killer as someone they admire.

It should be noted that some of the judges who have been involved in the case have remarked upon Knox’s and Sollecito’s mental unstability.

The claim the crime scene was compromised has been vigorously refuted by the scientific police. They claim that they have followed international protocols throughout. They recorded the investigation as it happened, changed tweezers when they needed to, and duly informed the defence of every finding.

Independent forensic expert Renato Biondo stated: “We are confirming the reliability of the information collected from the scene of the crime and at the same time, the professionalism and excellence of our work.”

Do you have any evidence to support your libellous comments about Giuliano Mignini? Incidentally, he hasn’t spoken about a “satanic ritual sex killing”. It was Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori,  who spoke about a “satanic rite” and his comments were erroneously attributed to Mignini.

Posted by The Machine on 04/25/09 at 02:16 PM | #

Well, Scout, it looks like The Machine had time to read your comment. If you want to revise it in the light of his rebuttals, I am not sure there will be much left. Good luck, though.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/25/09 at 02:39 PM | #

Thanks for writing this up- it provides a very clear argument to the fact that Amanda is making up stories about what she did that evening.

One question, though- early reports mentioned that Amanda had gone inside the house, taken a shower in the bathroom that she shared with Meredith, and then called Raffaele over because she was scared about what the blood may mean.  Is this still a story that she’s sticking to?  If not, why?  And if so, why isn’t it listed above?

Posted by HannahDix on 04/27/09 at 03:43 PM | #

Hannah Dix,

Thanks for that comment.

Regarding your question - Amanda’s versions of what happened don’t always tie up, but why should they? Amanda’s supporters are quick to point out that nobody remembers things precisely, and I think they have a fair point. But some of her supporters claim that the email represents a fair, honest representation of the truth as she remembers it, so that’s what I took as a starting point.

In the email, Amanda claims that she took the shower and then went home, cleaned up the kitchen floor, had breakfast, and then over breakfast mentioned the strange goings on at the house. So it’s only at that point (back at Raffaele’s apartment) that the events described above begin.

Raffaele remembers it differently. He says that Amanda came back and told him about what was happening, so they went back to the cottage and only then began the phone calls to Meredith and Filomena that are described above. So his version would be more along the lines of those early reports you mention.

Filomena’s version chimes more with Raffaele’s version than with Amanda’s - she says that Amanda was at that cottage, and was about to call for Raffaele. Again, this would confirm those early reports you’re thinking of.

But that leaves us with three different versions. Some people would claim that this just goes to show how unreliable eyewitnesses are.

But phone records aren’t unreliable, they’re just plain old facts. And for that half an hour, the phone records show that half a dozen phone calls took place that Amanda has no memory of in her email.

As regards what story is Amanda sticking with - who knows? Maybe the next time she testifies (if indeed she decides to) we’ll get to find out.

Posted by FinnMacCool on 05/05/09 at 10:58 PM | #

  Thanks for commenting back to me.  You cleared it up for me.  Her versions of the what happened keep changing, and I was trying to put logic where there is none!

Posted by HannahDix on 05/12/09 at 07:25 PM | #

I know this thread hasn’t been commented on in 2 years, but it seemed the best place to ask my question (rather than putting it on a recent but unrelated thread.)

Firstly, other posts on the site have talked about the locations of cell tower coverage and how they helped to determine somebody’s location when they received texts and calls. For example, it was shown that AK was enroute to Le Chic when she received Patrick’s text telling her not to come into work because the text was directed by a cell tower which did not cover RS’s house, but did cover the street she would be expected to take. I was just wondering whether this is the case when some places a call (rather than a text) as well? In the above piece AK and RS’s location when making crucial calls is debated, so I just wondered whether the phone records might be used to show that they were at the cottage when they said that they were at RS’s house? Also, can the same kind of technology be used simply to show where a person’s phone is, when it is turned on but not actually in use for a call or text? It has been well documented what time RS and AK turned their phones on, so just wondered what else it is possible to tell.

I’m fairly clueless when it comes to technology(!)

The other thing I have always been interested in is the mop. Does anyone know if the mop head was analysed? I assume it must have been but can’t recall ever reading anything about the results.

Hope somebody chances upon this and has the answers…



Posted by janeelisabeth on 05/02/11 at 03:52 PM | #

Hi Jane,

These two articles about the mobile phone evidence in the Soham case on the BBC website are very informative:

Posted by The Machine on 05/02/11 at 04:14 PM | #

Thanks to Jane for bringing me to this post by FinnMacCool. The post is very interesting but I just have some questions and I wonder if anyone can assist.

It is stated that M’s english phone was activated at 13.00 hours during a call by the postal police (at the cottage) to HQ. I am trying to find the source for this. And what does activated mean?

I presume it probably means “switched on” rather than it was tested with a call made to it.

Reading Massei there is no mention of M’s phone receiving a call at 13.00.

Furthermore it is stated in Massei that the postal police at HQ were not able to ascertain the number of the phone nor the owner of the service when it was handed in after the two postal police had left for the cottage. Why? Would not the number be under “Own Number” in the phone’s directory or somewhere?

But of course if they had the number they would still have had to establish the owner and that was the reason for the call to HQ once the the two cops ( who by now had been alerted by HQ as to the existence of a second phone)  had a number to ring or a number for matching from…..would it have been Amanda or Filomena?

At any rate once the 13.00 timing is established then the notion that RS called the carabinieri before the postal police arrived becomes somewhat absurd.

RS called the carabinieri (the 112 call) at 12.54.39, (well, actually his first call was to his sister at 12.51 but we can discount that as a genuine police alert).

This gives us 5 minutes 21 seconds left to 13.00 hours. But the 112 call lasted 2 miutes 49 seconds and the postal police did not see him on his phone as they arrived. So if RS placed the 112 call before the postal police arrived then the postal police must have arrived with only 2 mins 32 seconds left to 13.00 hours.

In this 2 mins 32 seconds they are supposed to have walked down the approach drive (in no particuler rush), to have engaged in friendly conversation with AK and RS as to why they were there, to have been invited in and be shown the mess in Filomena’s room and the blood in the bathroom ( not to mention Guede’s poop in the other bathroom lavatory), to have stood around as Altieri, Zaroli, Filomena and Paola all piled in firing off their questions as to what was happening, to have re-iterated the reason for their presence and obtained confirmation of the existence of M’s english phone and the number and to have phoned HQ and wait for M’s phone to have been switched on.

Not likely!

Posted by James Raper on 05/03/11 at 03:08 PM | #

Ah great, thanks machine. So it seems, in a nutshell, that cell masts records when you switch a phone on or off, when you make or receive a call, and when you send or receive a text (but not when your phone is just on but not in use.)

So that would mean that a few of the questions above about where AK and RS were when they made or received calls should be answerable?? This is unless RS and AK’s houses were covered by the cell, but I seem to remember from other posts that they weren’t. (forgive me if this has all been covered somewhere else, I know this is an old thread.)

But no news on the mop :(

Posted by janeelisabeth on 05/05/11 at 08:29 PM | #
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