This is my second last statement on the appeal – the decision is announced tomorrow, Monday. I’ll follow that up with a short, one paragraph statement, once it’s delivered. No further comment is envisaged from me at this blog until/unless there is new judicial process undertaken on the matter.
There are two issues for me, aside from justice for Meredith Kercher and her family:
1. The Italian press are full of how the Knox camp, the media and a PR firm have attempted to buy tomorrow’s verdict. I’m not getting into the arguments on this again in this post but this is what’s being said in Italy and MG Miller wrote, at my place:
Is there anyone who is NOT offended by the behavior of the Knox family? Curt shoving a cameraman after the verdict, Edda droning endlessly with a “you know”, sometimes twice in the same sentence. (And mind you, this is a school teacher). It’s embarrassing! The Kercher family have been nothing but grace, and dignity, while these two buffoons; let me use a line I read, “Keep whopping it up like Slim Pickins at a chili cook off that has run out of spoons”.
This has got up quite a few people’s noses and strangely, it’s not actually Amanda Knox whom people are down on over this – it’s the appalling behaviour from that side. Even if she were not guilty of the murder [see point 2 below], then there is a deep desire that those people do not get away with this injustice.
2. The evidence. This has not altered in substance since 2009 and the 19 judges who reviewed the evidence would still essentially have that same evidence to review today and would come to the same conclusion. The way that only two pieces of evidence were reviewed this time around and yet an acquittal is on the table, is heavily prejudicial to justice, unless the other evidence is already taken as read, in which case that’s fine.
It’s as well to remember that the conviction was based only partly on two pieces of forensic evidence and very much on the totality of all evidence, circumstantial and otherwise. People have been convicted on far less than what’s available here. So let’s have another look at that evidence. Great effort has been made to debunk this but it certainly has not been to date. This is mainly from Harry Rag, a Meredith watcher of some years:
# Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on:
1. On the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts – Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli – categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.
2. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the ledge of the basin.
3. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the bidet.
4. Mixed with Meredith blood on a box of Q Tip cotton swabs.
5. Mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.
6. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the floor of Filomena’s room, where the break-in was staged.
7. On Meredith’s bra according to Dr. Stefanoni AND Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci.
# Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.
# A woman’s bloody shoeprint, which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size, was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.
# Two independent imprint experts categorically excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat could belong to Rudy Guede. Lorenzo Rinaldi stated:
“You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”
The other imprint expert print expert testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.
# An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp and the hooks on the clasp were damaged.
# According to Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani, Rudy Guede’s visible bloody footprints lead straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house. He didn’t lock Meredith’s door, remove his trainers, go into Filomena’s room or the bathroom that Meredith and Knox shared.
He didn’t scale the vertical wall outside Filomena’s room or gain access through the window. The break-in was clearly staged. This indicates that somebody who lived at the cottage was trying to deflect attention away from themselves and give the impression that a stranger had broken in and killed Meredith.
# Guede had no reason to stage the break-in and there was no physical evidence that he went into Filomena’s room or the bathroom. The scientific police found a mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood on the floor in Filomena’s room. They also found irrefutable proof that Knox and Sollecito had tracked Meredith’s blood into the bathroom.
The murder dynamic implicates Knox and Sollecito.
# Barbie Nadeau wrote the following:
“Countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, have testified that more than one person killed her based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back—no hair or skin was found under her fingernails.”
# Judge Paolo Micheli claimed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito knew precise details about Meredith’s murder that they could have only known if they were present when she was killed.
# Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. She stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed. She also claimed that Sollecito was at the cottage.
# Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito both gave multiple conflicting alibis and lied repeatedly. Their lies were exposed by telephone and computer records, and by CCTV footage. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis for the night of the murder despite three attempt each. At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment.
# Legal expert Stefano Maffei stated the following:
“There were 19 judges who looked at the evidence over the course of two years, faced with decisions on pre-trial detention, review of such detention, committal to trial, judgment on criminal responsibility. They all agreed, at all times, that the evidence was overwhelming.”
# I have some questions [writes Harry Rag]:
1. Why do you think Knox and Sollecito repeatedly told the police a pack of lies and gave multiple conflicting alibis?
2. Who do you think staged the break-in in Filomena’s room?
3. Who do you think tracked Meredith’s blood into the bathroom that Knox and Meredith shared?
# 1. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito lied before 5 November 2007, so [it] cannot [be] claim[ed] that they were “confused, scared, bullied, snowballed out of control”.
These … are explored in depth in the judges’ sentencing report. Raffaele Sollecito admitted that he and Knox had lied to the police and claimed that Knox had asked him to lie for her.
On 5 November, they were given another opportunity to tell the truth. However, they both chose to tell the police even more lies.
2. There is no absolutely no doubt that the break-in was staged.
There were shards of glass on top of Filomena’s clothes on the floor. In court, the prosecutors showed photographs of shattered glass on top of scattered clothes [showing] the window was broken after the room had been ransacked.
Nothing of value was taken even though there were valuable items in plain view. Sollecito already knew nothing had been stolen from Filomena’s room and he told the police that nothing had been stolen before Filomena confirmed this. The outside shutter was closed and because of a warp, it was stuck against the window sill. The burglar would have needed to climb to the window to open the shutter first, before throwing the rock.
There was no glass on the grass or ground below, but broken glass was on the window sill. This fact indicates that the window was broken from the inside while the outside shutters were closed. If the window had been broken from the outside, there would have been shards of glass outside, but there wasn’t even one piece of glass.
There is no evidence that anyone stood outside Filomena’s window and climbed up the vertical wall. There were no marks from soil, grass or rubber soles on the wall. The earth of the evening of 1 November was very wet, so if anybody had climbed the wall, they would have left some marks on it.
There was a large nail protruding from the wall. This nail would almost certainly have been used by an intruder climbing up the wall. However, there was no sign that this nail had been stepped on.
The glass on the window sill and on the floor show no signs of being touched after the window was broken, which would have been the case if the intruder had gained entry through the window.
There was not a single biological trace on any of the shards of glass. It would have been very likely that an intruder balancing on the window sill would have suffered some kind of injury or cut because of the shards of glass.
In order to open the latch, the burglar would have had to kneel while doing so, and he would have cut his knees, if he had not cleaned the window sill first. Yet that wasn’t done and if he had done this, there would have been glass on the ground below.
There was no physical evidence of Rudy Guede in Filomena’s room. He left the cottage almost immediately after Meredith screamed. However, someone tracked Meredith’s blood into Filomena’s room after she had been stabbed.
The scientific police found Amanda Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood on the floor. The criminal biologists involved in the case are in no doubt that Amanda Knox was in Filomena’s room after Meredith had been stabbed.
[There is] no evidence that Rudy Guede was “skilled in break and entry”.
3. Rudy’s Guede visible bloody footprints [led] straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house. They became progressively weaker and fainter. There is no evidence that he went into the blood-spattered bathroom.
The judges’ report has detailed analysis on why the bare bloody footprint on the blue bathmat belonged to Raffaele Sollecito and was incompatible with Rudy Guede’s foot.
Sollecito also left a bare bloody footprint in the hallway, which is further proof that he had stepped in Meredith’s blood whilst barefooted.
The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, called the mixed blood evidence “the most damning piece” of evidence against Knox. And Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani paid particular attention to the mixed samples of blood in their sentencing report.
The reason why the mixed blood evidence is so damning is that Amanda Knox’s DNA wasn’t outlier DNA that had been left some time earlier.
Amanda Knox herself effectively dated the blood stains in the bathroom to the night of the murder at the trial when she conceded there was no blood in the bathroom the day before.
Three of the samples were “perfect”. Dr. Stefanoni said the most compelling forensic evidence against Knox was the mixed blood sample found on the drain of the bidet and it certainly wasn’t the result of co-habitation.
# [The Knox camp] wrote:
“But, oh yes, there’s some 200+ samples of Guede’s DNA.”
This is complete and utter nonsense. There was a total of five instances of Rudy Guede’s DNA at the crime scene.
Both Sollecito and Knox gave completely different accounts of who they were with and what they doing on the night of the murder. These weren’t “inconsistencies”, but … lies.
Sollecito claimed that he had slept until after 10.00am on 2 November 2007. However, this lie was exposed by his telephone records and data recovered from his computer.
– He used his computer at 5.32am.
– He turned on his mobile phone at 6.02am.
– He received three phone calls at 9.24am, 9.29am and 9.30am.
Yet he lied to police about sleeping in.
# Knox and Sollecito still don’t have credible alibis for the night of the murder despite three attempts each. Sollecito is still refusing to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was with him at his apartment.
# Why did Amanda Knox voluntarily admit that she was involved in Meredith’s murder?
# Please note that Knox lied to Filomena and her friends in an e-mail before 5 November 2007. Sollecito was caught lying to his family in a bugged conversation.
# [The] argument that they lied because they were afraid, confused or being manipulated doesn’t apply to the lies mentioned above. [On top of that] they contradicted each other from the very beginning. The police were not aware of many of Knox’s and Sollecito’s lies until they got their phone records and the data from Sollecito’s computer.
# When Amanda Knox told Filomena that the window in her room was broken, Filomena told her to phone the police. Knox told Filomena that she had already phoned them. Knox’s mobile phone records proved that this was untrue.
# Knox and Sollecito lied to the police from the very beginning, which is a fact that was acknowledged by Sollecito. He claimed that Knox had asked him to lie for her. Please note that he didn’t attribute his lies to confusion and fear.
# Knox’s and Sollecito’s accounts of what happened on 1 November didn’t match up. For example, Sollecito told the police that he and Knox had left the cottage on Via della Pergola at 6.00pm and that they went for a walk downtown and passed through Piazza Grimana, Piazza Morlacchi and the main fountain in Corso Vannucci.
# Knox told the police that they had left the cottage at 5.00pm and that they went straight to Sollecito’s apartment.
# Knox also lied in an e-mail to friends on 4 November 2007.
# She claimed that when she called Meredith’s Italian phone it “just kept ringing, no answer”. Her mobile phone records show this call lasted just three seconds. She didn’t make a serious attempt to contact Meredith because she knew that she was dead.
# She also claimed in this e-mail that she had called Meredith’s phones after speaking to Filomena. Her mobile phone records prove that this was untrue. Marc Quintavalle’s testimony about seeing Knox at 7.45am on 2 November is corroborated by shop employee and defence witness Ana Maria Chiriboga, who says that he spoke about seeing Knox that morning.
# Sollecito claimed that he had downloaded and watched Amelie during the night. Marco Trotta, a police computer expert, said the film had been watched at 6.30pm.
# Knox and Sollecito have given three different versions of events for the night of the murder and they have all been shown to be untrue. Can you think of another murder case where the defendants have given three different alibis?
# Sollecito’s lawyers didn’t want him to be cross-examined in court.
# [Not only is there no evidence] that Amanda Knox took a shower at the cottage on 2 November [but] if Knox wanted a shower, she could have had one at Sollecito’s apartment. Furthermore, the police officers who spoke to Knox on 2 November said that she smelt badly.
# Of course Rudy Guede claimed that Knox and Sollecito weren’t at the cottage at first. I’ll let the Italian Court of Appeal explain why:
“Guede has kept quiet for as long as he could” said the Court of Appeal in its recent motivation report “because, given the deep connection of the events, accusing Amanda and Raffaele would have exposed him to their very probable retaliation”. (“Guede, finché ha potuto, ha taciuto, poiché, stante la profonda connessione degli eventi, accusare Amanda e Raffaele lo avrebbe esposto a più che probabili dichiarazioni ritorsive da parte di costoro”).
# No evidence was mishandled and Amanda Knox wasn’t abused at the police station.
# [Much has been made of the bra clasp DNA by the defence but] his DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Judge Massei pointed to the extremely clear RFU peaks associated with the DNA test, the lowest of which was 30% higher than the RFU test widely used for minimum reliability and the highest of which was more than 200% higher. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17. Dr. Torricelli for the Kerchers affirmed that the alleles (peaks) in the sample constituted the biological profile of Raffaele Sollecito.
Nor will Meredith’s British friends in Italy forget Knox’s reply when one expressed the hope that she hadn’t suffered too much. ‘What do you think?’ she said. ‘She f*****g had her throat cut. She bled to death.’
The retort was not merely insensitive but seemed to suggest Knox knew rather too much about the manner in which Meredith died. In a phone-call to her mother, she also described how the body had been found in or near the wardrobe.
She had been standing behind several police officers, flatmates and friends when the bedroom door was kicked in, and her view of the bedroom was obscured. So how could she know these details?
Defenders of Knox come out with statements like [drawn from my comments threads]:
Even if someone IS a sociopath, this does not mean she is guilty. You can’t convict someone based on how they act or “seem”.
There is this constant theme that:
1. There is no evidence linking Knox and Sollecito to the house but this is contradicted many times above plus this is a sleight of hand. They mean the room, which had been cleaned. There was plenty of evidence in the rest of the house and that indicates that the thing started out there and the body was moved. It proves nothing what was in the final room.
Plus, who put Amanda’s lamp under Meredith’s bed?
2. She is being convicted for being a sociopath, which is clearly not so – she was convicted on the sum total of the evidence.
All three are as guilty as hell on the evidence alone but quite apart from that, what alternative is there, given that the Supreme Court already accepts beyond doubt that there were three people? The Knox camp says there weren’t but the Supreme Court begs to differ.
This could go on forever and ever, with the Knox camp raising spurious objections on things which have already been decided and they would do this, as a drowning man will clutch at any straw. It’s clearly upset some that I have accepted the evidence reviewed by nineteen judges rather than the spin of the Knox machine – in fact I’ve been called misogynist for having the temerity not to be swayed by the beautiful Amanda’s “come-on” [her own defence team’s expression].
If she walks tomorrow, very great injustice will have been done to the Kercher family who have surely suffered enough as it is.