Newcomers to this blog are advised to begin with the first two posts, Just the Facts, Ma'am and Case Solved, which explain in very general terms why I believe I've solved this case. Some important questions are answered in the following post, Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections. After that feel free to browse whatever topics might interest you (see blog archive).

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Amanda Knox -- My very last word on this case so help me

And God help me to keep that promise because I have no desire to get enmeshed in yet another Internet morass.

My final word on the murder of Meredith Kersher and the question of guilt on the part of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Solecito is admittedly influenced by my experiences with the Ramsey case, and for that reason I have to admit I could be biased. It's not always a good idea to base one's thinking regarding one case on what one has learned from another, so feel free to take my words with a grain of salt.


Aside from the absurdity of the Ramsey intruder theory, there is another very good reason for dismissing it: the complete and total absence of any conclusive evidence of any intruder anywhere on the scene. Team Ramsey went to a considerable amount of trouble to cast red herrings anywhere and everywhere  but in each and every case either their theory was refuted or deemed inconclusive. And this includes the famous "touch DNA" evidence as well. Many of their defenders have insisted nevertheless that considering all the many many possibilities that this that or the other fiber or DNA trace or whatever might well be that of "the intruder," there is at the very least reasonable doubt in that regard. My response has always been that, first, no kidnapper would enter the house without a note prepared in advance and someone out to frame John Ramsey would have forged his hand; but equally important, assuming an intruder we would have every reason to expect very clear and unmistakable signs of his presence.

If he had left a note written on paper and pen from outside the house, or he had stolen something or brought something into the house, or left clear and unmistakable traces such as fingerprints or the gobs of DNA we would expect to find all over the place as he moved through the house, that would certainly have made a difference. But nothing of that sort has ever been found.

Oddly enough we have a very strong parallel with the Kercher case -- not in our search for an intruder, because clearly there was an intruder: Rudy Guede. But in our search for evidence that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito directly assisted him in the murder. Only in this case we have a very explicit contrast between abundant evidence and the complete lack of it -- abundant evidence of an intruder in the form of Guede, and a complete lack of evidence of the presence of either Knox or Sollecito at the murder scene.The so-called "guilters" argue that the entire building must be regarded as the "crime scene," and since there is evidence of AK and RS's presence in the house, they too can be linked to the crime. This strikes me as pedantic. Yes, technically the entire house can be considered a crime scene, but the scene that really matters is the scene inside the room where Kercher was assaulted. And if AK and her friend were present while the assault was taking place then we would expect to find clear evidence of their presence in that room, to more or less the same degree as that of Guede.

In a sense the Kercher case confirms my thinking regarding the Ramsey case, in that here we have a real in the flesh intruder and, as one might expect, evidence of his presence is all over the place. And we have those who, like the Ramseys and their defenders, are all too eager to leap on anything and everything that might possibly serve as evidence despite the fact that NONE of it is actually conclusive. We have a right to expect conclusive evidence in both cases, not a long string of red herrings that might or might not possibly mean something. Yes, in the Kercher case we find footprints, bloodstains, DNA, etc. found outside the murder scene -- but inside the room where the murder took place, where we find so much evidence of Guede's presence, we find NOTHING conclusive. In fact nothing at all from Knox and only very dubious DNA evidence linked to Sollecito that might very well be due to either contamination, or indirect transfer, or even direct transfer from an earlier date. And NOTHING else of Sollecito's anywhere else in that room.

So I'm sorry. In view of the complete absence of anything conclusive that could be linked to either of these defendants at the murder scene itself, and the complete absence of any viable theory regarding motive, not only a motive to kill, but a motive to collaborate with a complete stranger in murdering a good friend, then it's all too easy to see why they were exonerated in the second trial and all too difficult to see why that decision was overturned. As far as the dubious nature of their statements and the existence of certain inconsistencies, I must say I find nothing self serving in any of it -- only evidence of anxiety and confusion.

I am of course well aware of the so-called mountain of evidence assembled against these two -- which reminds me only of the mountain of evidence assembled in the Ramsey case to "prove" the existence of an intruder. So from my perspective such arguments just roll off my back.

I could of course be wrong about Amanda and Raffaele, but fortunately my opinion does not matter and will not make a difference. For those who want to continue this discussion I advise you to do so at the only website I know of where they are willing to accept arguments on both sides: the Injustice in Perugia Public Forum. Another forum exists to present only one side only, which as far as I'm concerned makes it a joke. I lasted there for only a day or so.

I'll continue to respond to comments on this case, but not for long as I simply lack the time and also the incentive. There are many following the case who are far more knowledgeable than I, so you should save your observations and arguments for them.

127 comments:

  1. Doc,
    Your logic is completely flawed and I'll explain to you why later. The Injustice in Perugia Public Forum is a sham. Most of his arguments are extremely weak and based on incorrect facts and notions about the case. His goal in that forum is to disparage the fine people of the Italian justice system. Again, why so quick to give Amanda a pass?

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  2. doc before you form an opinion read up on this case at themurderofmeridithkercher.com You have not done your homework on this case so where is all the steam coming from? I feel very confident in Amanda's guilt but I'd prefer you to know more before I expound on it. alexandra

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    1. Yes, I've been to that site and read quite a bit there. Sorry but I'm not convinced. I feel I've done my homework, but of course there is no end to all the arguments on both sides and I simply don't have the time to get caught up in all the ins and outs, ifs ands or buts. Been there done that.

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    2. Good post Doc. Hard on the senses as everyone is Anonymous.

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  3. Doc, have you heard of the Morgan Ingram case? Her parents claim she was murdered, but others believe her death to be either suicide or an overdose. Some believe there is no mystery at all. Her mom maintains a blog about Morgan's stalking and death. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the case.
    Thanks.

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  4. I didn’t have much interest in the Amanda Knox case until it showed up on your blog. Now I might be hooked. My only comment is that I don’t think one man could hold both hands of a desperate woman who was being killed. She wasn’t unusually small, and if she screamed she wasn’t unconscious.

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    1. Sorry for getting you hooked, Darlene.

      Guede could have tied her hands behind her with his belt or some other object readily available. He could have knocked her unconscious just after she screamed and then held her up to stab her (there are no reports of continuous screaming, just one single scream, as I recall). The absence of defensive wounds does not necessarily mean there were multiple attackers. And the presence of multiple attackers does not necessarily mean Guede was assisted by AK and RS. This is what is known as a s...t...r...e....t.....c....h.

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    2. Doc, what is a stretch is all the other less plausible scenarios designed to dismiss all the substantial evidence against Knox. Do you hear yourself?.... Well, someone can actually scale the wall and get into the window if they are a rock climber.... And, all the evidence that Knox and Sollecito left in the apartment are not important because it wasn't IN the room....(yes it was) ... And, all their lies and false alibi's don't matter because they were just scared young kids being intimidated by the police..... And, Knox's false accusation against Lumumba is only normal because she panicked...... And, Kercher's DNA on the knife and only the knife could have happened by secondary transfer.... And, Knox could have made those footprints in blood some other time..... And, Sollecito could have made those footprints some other time even though he had only known them for 13 days..... And, Knox could have somehow believe Meredith always locked her door even though no one else supported that. And, Knox could have somehow known the Meredith's body had been moved even though the police hadn't determined that yet.... And, of course you could expect Knox's DNA to be mixed with the victim's blood even though only her DNA was mixed with Meredith's blood....and on and on. As Ted Simmons so eloquently put it you have to have a "whack a mole" defense in allusion to the carnival game where you are trying to whack a mole that pops up with a bat. It would have been impossible to convict her in this country even though there is monumental evidence against her because she is a pretty white female. Thank God for the Italian system that uses professional Judges and juries.

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    3. A whack a mole approach isn't necessary in the Ramsey case, because the facts and the logic trump the "mountain of evidence" of an intruder found by team Ramsey and it's supporters. No, no one could have entered or left via the basement window, no, there was no stun gun at the scene, no, all those unsourced fibers don't mean an intruder was present, no, the DNA could easily be due to innocent transfer, no, the fact that "the Ramseys" called 911 does NOT mean both were innocent. Etc., etc. If you want to get caught up in that morass, fine, then give up all hope of understanding the Ramsey case.

      Same with the Kercher case. Sure, there is all sorts of evidence supposedly pointing to AK and RS, but when you look closely at each piece, then in each case there is a serious problem. They admitted being in the house a few hours after the murder took place, so naturally you'd expect to find evidence of their presence at "the crime scene." If they'd washed down the hall, as alleged, then why didn't they also wash down Kercher's room? If Amanda lied about the room being locked, why would she have done that? what good would it have done her? The only one who could profit from a delay due to that room being locked was Guede, who fled the scene. And by the way I see no reason to assume he didn't return later, after cleaning himself up, to re-enter that room, "pose" the body, etc. Murderers are known to be drawn again to the scene of their crimes. Guede was in all likelihood stoned out of his mind at the time.

      Finally I see no reason for a guilty Amanda to place herself at the crime scene and implicate someone she knew to be innocent, especially since she would have known it was Guede's prints, DNA, etc. that would be found and not Lumumba's. Her fingering of Lumumba was a huge mistake on her part and very unfortunate for all concerned, but it was NOT the sort of thing a guilty person would do to cover herself. There are many examples of such false "confessions" in the records by now, and the psychology behind them is much better understood than in the past.

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    4. Doc,
      You're making my point. There isn't a whack a mole approach necessary in the Ramsey case. A lone wolf just doesn't plausibly explain all the evidence in the Knox case. That is why after the Guede conviction the court turned its direction to Knox and Sollecito. If they had their man why would they do this? Is the Italian justice system out to get the pretty American girl? This just doesn't make any sense. And, yes someone could have left the Ramsey house via the basement window. It is possible. Is it plausible? No. Just like someone could have climbed in the cottage via Filomena's window. Is it possible? Yes. Is it plausible? No. And, no examination of any piece of evidence in the Knox case weakens any of the evidence on close examination. Because, no explanation of the evidence has to be perfect. It just has to be the most plausible. I'm very surprised at your examination of this case. I'll say no more.

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    5. I appreciate what you're saying, but actually it was not possible that anyone could have gone through the Ramsey window without clear signs of having done so. And there were none. So, no it was not possible. Lou Smit's demonstration was a red herring, period. If there were such signs, then of course they could have been due to staging or to a real breakin, so in such a case there would be room for debate, yes.

      So the Kercher case is different. I'm sorry but in that case I don't find a real breakin to be implausible at all. I can't say it can be proven beyond a doubt, but as far as I can tell the evidence is consistent with such a breakin. Now if one could prove that such breakin took place, then that would be the end of it, I would think, and the two accused should have been acquitted forever. Is the evidence sufficient to amount to proof? I'm not well acquainted with all the evidence so I can't form an opinion on that score.

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  5. Doc, your reason for giving her a pass is there was no evidence that Knox was in the room and you make an analogy of the Ramsey case where there was no evidence of an intruder in the house. This is a bad analogy and I’ll tell you why. First, in the Ramsey case there was very little evidence against John Ramsey. There was no DNA evidence on the body. There was no semen evidence and only the hair inside the underwear. Second, in the Kercher case there is no Guede DNA evidence on the body except for the vagina swab. There were numerous bruises and abrasions around the throat, mouth and face and compression marks on the arms and body but no Guede DNA evidence there. There was DNA evidence on the sports jacket and bra and on her purse but not on her jeans even though they had been pulled off of her. There was strong Sollecito DNA on the bra clasp. The purse and jacket DNA evidence on Guede was gathered the same time as the bra clasp so you can discount that due to contamination. And, you can discount the DNA on the vaginal swab because he admitted to being intimate with her but no sex. Also, you can discount the bra DNA since they were intimate as he said and you discounted the Sollecito evidence anyway. Third, you said there was no Knox DNA in the room but her DNA was also in the Kercher blood on the bra clasp but only 10 of 16 loci which Italian courts don’t allow even though US courts do. Fourth, there was strong evidence of clean-up in the room because not one fingerprint of ANYONE could be found. And, there was Knox’s reading lamp from her room left on the floor in Kercher’s room behind the door. Fifth, you made an analogy about the Ramsey case that there was no evidence of an intruder but strong evidence of an intruder in the Kercher case. He wasn’t an intruder; he was let into the house. There was no evidence of Guede in Filomena’s room but strong evidence of Knox in the room with her DNA mixed in victim’s blood. And, also unlike the Ramsey case in which there was no evidence of an intruder anywhere in the house. There were all kinds of evidence of Knox in the house trampling and spreading the victim’s blood everywhere along with Sollecito. So your analogy is a bad analogy.

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    1. I can recall having very similar debates with Ramsey supporters on the forums. In each and every case there are two sides to the story, as you well know. I refuse to get caught up in that sort of endless debate over this case, sorry. I stand by what I've already written.

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    2. Anonymous, I think you need to read up on the case using some other sources.

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  6. Also, there was the Guede palm print in the victim's blood on the pillow but all the other fingerprints had apparently been wiped. But, this is only evidence of a clean-up. Why no DNA around the throat and face?

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  7. You can explain all the evidence easily if you assume multiple attackers. If Guede who was the strongest and who was attempting to assault her was the one restraining her from behind with an arm around her throat and mouth and the other restraining her arms and Knox and Sollecito taunting and threatening with the knives from the front. This would also explain very little Knox and Sollecito evidence in the room. If Guede was restraining her when Knox stabber her this would explain his DNA on her jacket and the blood palm print because blood started gushing when the stab occurred. Knox could easily have gotten little contaminated since she could have stabbed with only the knife touching the victim. But when she cleaned the scene up is when she tramped the victims blood around and got it on her hands so she washed herself in the basin and deposited her skin cells as she scrubbed it off her hands in the bathroom sink and tracked it in the hallway and Filomena's bedroom. With Guede being the lone attacker none of this other evidence is explicable.

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    1. All I can say is that you have a good imagination. So did the prosecutors, obviously. AK and RS were present in the house after the murder. Guede's bloody footprints were on the floor. So it's not hard to see how some of that blood could have gotten onto their shoes. And after Amanda showered, some of it could have gotten onto her bare feet as well.

      As for the cleanup of fingerprints, obviously that could have been done by Guede. Why just assume AK cleaned it up, especially as there is NO evidence linking her to the crime or that room.

      I didn't know about the trace of DNA on the bra clasp that's apparently consistent with Amanda's. That's interesting. But also consistent with what I suggested earlier regarding indirect transfer. If Sollecito's DNA had been transferred indirectly via Amanda, then we'd expect to find some trace of her DNA in the same place, which looks to be the case. What we do NOT find are the many obvious signs of the sort left by Guede, despite the (apparent) cleanup. It looks like the prosecution just took everything and anything they could find that somehow linked AK and RS to the crime regardless of what any of that "evidence" actually meant or even implied.

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    2. You don't understand the evidence.

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    3. So Guede murders her then hangs around to clean up the evidence? Then he goes into the big bathroom takes a dump and then doesn't flush and leaves his DNA on the toilet paper. Then he tracks the blood into the other bathroom then he leaves without flushing the toilet, locks Meredith's door even though no shoe prints going to the bathroom and then back to Meredith's door could be ascribed to him and then leaves out the front door and then in the bathroom where Amanda accidently tracks the blood when she takes a shower and into the hallway and she also somehow leaves Meredith's blood on the toilet mixed with her DNA. She also tracks the blood into Filomena's room and tracks it under the Filomena's belongings. She then doesn't notice Filomena's room being ransacked and doesn't call the police. Also, Raffaele comes over and also tracks the blood in the bathroom and into the hallway and on the bathmat and also doesn't call the police even though they noticed the blood and Meredith's locked door. Then when the postal police arrive unexpectedly because they had found Meredith's cell phones they then tell the postal police about the break in but they hadn't called the police yet but decide to call the police after the postal police arrive and also tell them there is nothing to be concerned about in regards to Meredith's locked door even though there had been a break-in because she always locked it even though they had been there for an hour and a half and no peep from Meredith. And, when Romanelli and her boyfriend arrive and are immediately concerned about the locked door and say Meredith never locks her door then Romanelli must have been mistaken. And, when Romanelli's boyfriend decides to break down the door Knox and Sollecito go to another area of the house because there is nothing to be concerned about. Talk about an imagination.

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  8. But she is a looker.

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    1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What she looks like to me is: innocent.

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  9. Please, Anonymous, knock it off with the "looks" remarks. Its like playing the race card against someone! DocG has never written anything even remotely indicative of being the sort of person who would defend someone because some people think she's attractive. If you can't present your own logical case, with facts put together to make a plausible case, then I think you must be the looker who's missing some brain cells. Your remarks have in no way convinced me of anything, that's for sure. You have a to make a case, and you haven't made one. And as Doc points out, there is no real case against AK and RS. If they are guilty, they can't be proven guilty, and they deserve the presumption of innocence until proven.

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  10. You knock it off genius. They already have been proven guilty. The case was already made in the courts and a verdict has already been arrived upon by thoughtful jurists.

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    1. They were also found innocent. In the US that would have been enough, but for some reason in Italy such a case can drag on forever.

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  11. You would really do yourself a favor if you would take the time to understand the context of everything regarding this case and the Italian justice system. Higher courts like their Supreme Court allow decisions to be reversed if the appeals court states a logical basis for the decision. The Hellman Court (appeals court) overturned the Massei Court but that was only a provisional ruling. They were not found innocent. It had to be sent to the Supreme Court to review. The Supreme Court sent it back to the appeals court saying well you really didn't show any basis for this and this and this. The appeals court re-looked at these particular areas and basically said "we overly weighed defense evidence without any real basis." For instance, regarding you're argument that Knox could have made the footprints in the hallway some other way. The Supreme court said well you can't just accept that possibility but you have to say why and present a plausible way or when that could have been done. Once these factors were reviewed again the appeals court just recently ruled Jan 30, that the Massei decision stands. That is the Italian Supreme court requires (just like our Supreme Court) some foundation for a lower court to be over turned. The case will have to have a final review of the Supreme Court but the Massei Court decision is expected to stand. So, she wasn't found innocent.

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  12. Anonymous,

    You would do yourself a favor to think clearly about each of the various trials. AK/RS were found guilty at trial one. On appeal, that conviction was overturned and they were released from prison - e.g. they were not guilty. Doc is correct that in the US that would be the end of it. It is true that courts don't find people innocent, they find them not guilty, so you have a valid point there, but the net effect is the same. They are not guilty for now, and are not in prison. RS remains free, though he cannot leave Italy.

    "For instance, regarding you're argument that Knox could have made the footprints in the hallway some other way. The Supreme court said well you can't just accept that possibility but you have to say why and present a plausible way or when that could have been done."

    Well, we know the footprints were not made in blood. Stefanoni (sp?) lied about that at the first trail. We don't really know they were Amanda's foot prints, but even if they are, we know they were not made in blood, and contain no DNA of Kercher, which naturally they would had it been Kercher's blood.

    So, since they weren't made in blood it doesn't really much matter how they were made. They don't contain Kercher's dna.

    Since luminol lights up when contacting bleach, and bleach is used to clean showers, it seems very likely the prints are showing bleach residue. That seems quite plausible to me.

    While miscarriages of justice happen in many countries, and while the courts concerned in this case can't be said to be representative of Italy as a whole, it's quite clear that the courts involved in the AK/RS prosecution are a joke.

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    1. Well genius let me ask you a couple of questions since you are so knowledgeable about science and the case:
      1) Can you provide one shred of factual evidence that Stefanoni lied during the trial? (By the way you do know Stefanoni is not the one who examined the footprint evidence.)
      2) How did the luminol react with bleach when the murder occurred on November 2 and the luminol wasn't sprayed until December 18?

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    2. The only thing that is a joke is the ignorance of the American public and their perception of the Italian Criminal justice system.

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  13. In the US, you have the presumption of innocence. You don't have to prove your innocence per se; rather the prosecution has to prove you guilty and you must defend yourself. As an American, you do not want to find yourself falsely accused in a country like Italy. None of the court proceedings mentioned above change the facts in this case. The courts just keep changing the way they look at the facts. I can accept that AK and/or RS could be guilty. As Doc always points out, anything is possible. But I don't think there is a convincing/conclusive case. Also, as in the Ramsey case, AK and RS are being treated as "one." Why must one believe they were both involved? The bra clasp DNA is suspicious, but suspicion does not equal guilt. There are other ways the DNA could have gotten there. As a juror, I would have reasonable doubt and I could not convict RS. Same with AK, I would have plenty of reasonable doubt about her involvement.

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    1. You seem like a very thoughtful and introspective person. However, I believe if you had been a juror in the Kercher case you would have voted to convict because you would have seen the evidence actually presented at trial and not all the speculation, false narratives, second and third-hand accounts, false re-enactments, etc. etc. When you just look at the facts and only the facts, Knox had a lot of explaining to do and she couldn't. The Italian justice system is a very fair system. I had a totally wrong perception about it until I started researching this case. They are even more defendant friendly than even the American system. I could go through all of the evidence they threw out in this case that wasn't even allowed to be presented because they are so defendant biased. And, their sentencing guidelines are very lenient. Knox was sentenced to 25 years but she'll probably be able to appeal it down to 16 or less and she'll get out on work release in 8 years. This is for capital murder. What reason would the Italians have for falsely accusing an American college student? The answer is none. American tourism is too important to them and it strongly influence the Hellman court. But, even though Italians go very light on the convicted they also have a strong sense of duty to achieve justice. This is because of their many decade fight to stamp out the mafia and corruption in the country. Esteemed scientists like Stefanoni and jurists like Massei and Magnini are national heroes. And, for a reason. They have risked their lives and their honor to bring justice to that country. To impugn their reputations is not only ignorant but despicable.

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  14. P.S.-Even Knox didn't attempt to explain the bloody footprints in the hallway mixed with Kercher's DNA as due to bleach. Her defense attorneys were stupid enough to go there. But, her explanation wasn't plausible either.

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  15. Sorry-her defense attorneys were not stupid enough to go there.

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  16. "Well genius let me ask you a couple of questions since you are so knowledgeable about science and the case:
    1) Can you provide one shred of factual evidence that Stefanoni lied during the trial? (By the way you do know Stefanoni is not the one who examined the footprint evidence.)


    2) How did the luminol react with bleach when the murder occurred on November 2 and the luminol wasn't sprayed until December 18?Well genius let me ask you a couple of questions since you are so knowledgeable about science and the case:
    1) Can you provide one shred of factual evidence that Stefanoni lied during the trial? (By the way you do know Stefanoni is not the one who examined the footprint evidence.)
    2) How did the luminol react with bleach when the murder occurred on November 2 and the luminol wasn't sprayed until December 18?"

    1. http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/FBI6.html

    -"But Patrizia was not deterred by logic and fact. In court, she said that she knew that the luminol stain was blood “…because of its color.” Every trained forensic investigator (except, apparently Stefanoni) knows that luminol glows blue. Only blue. Not a different shade of blue for different substances…just blue. What Stefanoni said, she knew to be false, or she was so incompetent that she should not have been allowed to destroy a crime scene. "

    So there is your proof she lied (or is unbelievably incompetent.

    2. Because there were still traces of bleach. We know there were traces of something because the luminol showed blue. We know it wasn't blood or they'd have said they tested for blood and found it positive. They tested only for DNA and didn't find Kercher's which they would have found, had it been her blood.

    So, there you are "genius". I have to say it really seems like you don't know anything at all about the case and are just sort of winging it.

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  17. Are you serious? You pulled something off of Hendry's site and expect it to be factual? Have you even read the testimony of Dr. Stefanoni? She says nothing of the sort in her testimony. She says luminol only fluoresces blue in her testimony. Read her testimony. She discusses bleach specifically in her testimony and how it can also fluoresce blue. They discuss bleach at length. But she like every other competent forensic scientist in the world knows:

    The luminol chemiluminescence presumptive test for blood is based on the mild peroxidase activity of hemoglobin in basic peroxide solution. However, this test is subject to interference by strong oxidants, certain transition metal ions, and true peroxidases. This paper reports methods for reducing the interference caused by hypochlorite-containing bleaches. Amines such as 1,2-diaminoethane react rapidly with hypochlorite without interfering significantly with the hemoglobin-catalyzed oxidation. Thus, addition of 0.1 mol/L 1,2-diaminoethane to a standard luminol-peroxide spray lead to almost complete inhibition of hypochlorite-induced chemiluminescence while satisfactory chemiluminescence was still observed from bloodstains. If time allows, an alternative method for reducing interference from hypochlorite bleach is to wait several days until the bloodstains have dried thoroughly, by which time the hypochlorite will have decomposed.

    Journal Forensic Science Jan 2003


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    1. So, who doesn't know about the case?

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    2. P.S.-They waited 46 days genius.

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  18. I ask you to find me one shred of evidence that Dr. Stefanoni lied and you quote something off of Hendry's webpage that he's pulled out of context. There is nothing factual on Hendry's webpage other than Meredith Kercher was murdered. After that, nothing is factual. Don't you understand? Dr. Stefanoni's character is beyond repute. Her reputation is exemplar. Anyone who would impugn her is repugnant. The defense lawyers didn't even attempt to do that. They wouldn't dare. She runs the top genetic forensics crime lab in the country. They don't give that position to just anyone.

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    1. She wouldn't lie for the state, or the defense. She wouldn't lie for anyone. She is not even capable of that.

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  19. Yes, I can see Dr. Stafanoni presenting at these forensic conferences around the world: I want to introduce myself, my name is Patrizia Stefanoni and I want to present this little review about a case in Perugia where I had to lie because the evidence wasn't strong enough on it own merit. You see we have to do that a lot in Italy because we like to falsely accuse and incarcerate American college students and scare the American public about our justice system. You see during the testimony I had to just make stuff up and I wasn't worried about my professional reputation because I knew you would understand because I know you like us hate Americans and like to get back at them every chance we can get.

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    1. Clearly this sort of debate can go on forever. The real question is: was there any blood found associated with any of the footprints that were not made by Guede? And if so, whose were they and how did the blood get there?

      According to Hendry, the luminol is used basically to pinpoint an area that MIGHT have blood. And then there is a followup test to determine whether blood is actually present or not. And according to Hendry either that test did not show blood, or the test was never done. Whether bleach was a factor is beside the point if there was no specific sign of blood. And luminol in itself cannot determine that.

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    2. One more point. How do bloody footprints from the crime appear in the hallway without similar prints appearing in the room where the assault took place? If Amanda's footprints in the hall carry blood from the attack, one would expect to see her bloody footprints in Meredith's room as well. That's what we see when we follow Guede's prints, no?

      And if Amanda had gone to the trouble of cleaning up her prints from that room, as alleged, why wouldn't she have done the same with her prints elsewhere? If incriminating blood was cleaned from both areas one would expect to see the same signs of it in both.

      Also if they are going to all that trouble to clean up, why would they leave a possibly incriminating footprint so obviously visible on the bathmat? Why not simply get rid of it?

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    3. Yes but what Hendry doesn't point out is that luminol is designed to fluoresce with blood. It will also fluoresce with bleach and a certain type of enamel paint and particular vegetable extracts. However, the luminol was sprayed 46 days later so it could not have been bleach. And, the defense provided no possible scenario or evidence where the defendants could have stepped in plant extracts or enamel paint and made the prints. The prosecution provided the scenario and evidence of the dead victim, copious amounts of her blood present and testimony from the apartment mates that no sign of blood or prints were visible the day before. And, they had expert testimony from the scientific police and other credible scientists that in their expert opinion the luminol tracks were the victim's blood. The court accepted their opinions since they were the only plausible opinions presented.

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    4. I'm sorry, I don't quite understand this. Why couldn't it be bleach after 46 days?

      CH

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  20. Do you want me to start speculating? You can also make the opposite argument. If the police were manufacturing evidence against them then why not manufacture it in Meredith's room? You can also ask why did they make the incriminating statements? Why did they not support each other's alibi's. You made such a big deal in the Ramsey case about sticking with the facts. Why don't you do that in this case?

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    1. Well, first of all, I think you make a reasonably convincing case that Stefanoni was neither incompetent nor corrupt. I won't argue with you on that score. Nevertheless, serious questions remain regarding the luminol tests, which I will get to in another comment.

      As far as the facts are concerned, I do stick with the facts, most certainly. But it's not always easy to separate facts from assumptions. Just because the luminol lit up in certain places, that does NOT make the presence of blood a fact -- that's an assumption, which has been disputed. What makes something a fact to me is that it is NOT a matter for dispute. So in the Ramsey case, for example, there is no dispute that Patsy is the one who called the police. Nor is there any dispute regarding the presence of Amanda's footprints in the room where Meredith was murdered. All parties agreed that there was no such evidence.

      Another arrow in my quiver is logical inference, based on the facts. On that basis I find a contradiction in the prosecution's interpretation of the blood evidence. No trace of AK's or RS's footprints, bloody or otherwise, was found in Meredith's room. Yet their bloody footprints were allegedly found outside that room. If the blood originated in the room where the murder took place, then how can we account for this discrepancy? Even if there was an attempt to clean up, we would nevertheless expect the luminol to show similar results both inside and outside that room. This is a serious logical contradiction, which as far as I can see completely undermines the attempts of the prosecution to tie these two individuals to the murder.

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    2. As far as the inconsistencies in their testimony are concerned; and also with respect to Knox's false implication of Lumumba, which was admittedly very regrettable; this too is disputable and has been disputed. It is therefore NOT a fact that they lied or gave false testimony to cover their culpability in this crime. There IS good reason to believe that they changed some details of their stories but in every case this cannot be construed as an effort to make themselves look more innocent than they might be. RS was clearly confused about whether or not AK was with him all night. Assuming the two of them are conspiring, then each would be the other's alibi and under those circumstances RS's statement of confusion destroys that alibi. And he would know very well, if they are both guilty, that once Amanda hears what he has said, she might well implicate HIM. So, if he's guilty, why would he change his story? It looks to me as though they were both very high on weed and had trouble recalling exactly what happened that night. And, trying to be as helpful as possible, RS sincerely "confessed" that he could not be sure whether Amanda left at some point or not.

      Something similar must have happened with Amanda, though in more drastic terms. But here again, if she were guilty and trying to cover her ass, there is no reason why she would have placed herself at the murder scene. She could simply have said she went for a walk. And if she were actually confessing, then why wouldn't she have placed RS and RG with her at the scene? Why go along with what the police wanted to hear and name PL?

      Another reason why I prefer to stick with the FACTS rather than try to speculate on what the real meaning of this or that piece of evidence or testimony "really means."

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  21. One thing people have to understand about the Italian system is it is set up to be defendant friendly. The prosecution has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. These professional judges and juries(lower judges) in the Italian judicial system have seen lots of cases. They understand forensic science and know what is plausible or not. Their cases are reviewed and critiqued by their superiors and peers. They have to continually improve their knowledge and skills going to seminars and conferences and partake in continuing education. Their decisions and analyses are reviewed by judicial panels. They have done this because of years of past corruption and jury tampering and struggles with combating organized crime. Their professionalism and reputation are beyond doubt. If you are innocent of a crime then Italy is where you want to be tried. If you are guilty then Italy is not where you want to be tried.

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    1. But Italy is also a place where you can be both innocent AND guilty. And yes I know this can be "explained" by the way the system works, but I'm sorry there seems something very wrong with such a system. In the US the prosecution does not have the right to appeal a verdict of not guilty, and for good reason.

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    2. Doc, you're right but it wasn't a verdict of not guilty. The verdict was guilty and it was an overturn by the Appeals Court. Appeals Courts rulings can be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had a scathing rebuttal of the Hellman report. You ought to read it. For instance Hellman ruled that the break-in wasn't staged because Guede had been already convicted for the murder when the court that convicted Guede concluded that the break-in was staged.

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    3. For a review of double jeopardy law in the US, see this post: http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/when-double-jeopardy-protection-ends.html

      Here is the relevant excerpt:
      "Every defendant has the right to at least one appeal after conviction. If the conviction is reversed on appeal for insufficient evidence, it is treated as an acquittal, and further prosecution is not permitted. However, a defendant may be re-prosecuted when the reversal is not based on lack of evidence."

      So, you tell me: was the appeal decision based on lack of evidence or not? As I understand it, it was. Of course we can't expect Italian law to be the same as US law, but it looks to me as though, under US law, they could not have been retried.

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    4. That is an incorrect understanding of double jeopardy in the US which closely mirrors Europe and Italy. The government can't retry once jeopardy is attached unless the case does not conclude. And, in the US even an appellate reversal for sufficiency can be appealed to a higher appellate court. However, this was not the case here. The appeals court reversed the lower court based on an examination of copious evidence. So, sufficiency wouldn't apply in this case.

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  22. Also, Hendry's assessment about luminol is incorrect too. Luminol is a test for blood. Like all tests it can have false positives and false negatives. Luminol is a much more sensitive test for blood than the TMB test he keeps referencing. It will detect blood down to 10ppb. Knox's team didn't even try to argue the prints were not the victim's blood. She tried to explain in her testimony presented by the defense that she was shuffling with the bathmat after a shower and she stepped off the bathmat and into the victim's blood. The evidence didn't support this account and the court didn't accept it.

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    1. Here again we have results that are under dispute and therefore would not be regarded by me as facts. And if you feel the dispute is bogus, then I'll direct you to the following blog, where a specialist in protein chemistry questions the prosecution's findings: http://viewfromwilmington.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-sensitivities-of-presumptive-and.html

      Here are some excerpts from this blog post:

      "Positive presumptive blood tests indicate the possibility of blood, but only confirmatory tests allow for the conclusion that blood is present. Modern confirmatory testing of blood is extremely sensitive, yet was apparently not used on the luminol-positive areas in the present case. The reported sensitivities of presumptive tests for blood have varied widely. . . .

      The luminol-positive areas in this cases tested negative by TMB; moreover, there was no reported testing of these areas by confirmatory experiments. Therefore, the luminol-positive substance or substances is (are) more likely to be something other than blood. . . .

      The lack of confirmatory testing greatly weakens greatly the prosecution's conjecture that the luminol-positive areas in the Knox/Sollecito case were the result of blood. A true confirmatory test was apparently never performed on these areas; therefore, one cannot conclude that luminol-positive material was blood. These areas also returned negative results in the TMB tests."

      Even if there were some traces of blood found there by the police, we know that Guede left his bloody prints there as he left, and we know there was a bloody print on the bath mat. So it's not difficult to see how Amanda's shoes and also her bare feet might have picked up some traces of Meredith's blood. What counts most for me is the contradiction between the results obtained in the hall and those obtained in the bedroom. Such a difference makes sense ONLY if AK and RS were not in the bedroom at the time of the murder.

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    2. Well in order for you to assume the luminol prints were contaminant you have to present a plausible scenario of where and when this contaminant came from and how you logically ruled out the most likely source-the victim's blood. Also, your contradiction isn't even logical. You argue above that the luminol positive results were not blood and then subconsciously accede they must have been when you say there is a contradiction between the hallway and the results obtained in the bedroom. Also, have you examined photographs of the prints? Many of Knox's and Sollecito's prints are full prints. So are Guede's. It is difficult to fathom how Knox and Sollecito picked up traces from Guede's prints when the prints had already dried and then formed full prints with her own feet. Also, dried blood can't be re-wetted with an agent like water and readily re-solubilize as blood-they are just dried blood cells in water. The only way Knox and Sollecito's prints could have been formed is if they were made with fresh blood and this is what the court concluded.

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    3. If you would read the transcripts of the case and not Hendry's site you will see they discussed all of this ad nauseam during the trial. They discussed all the physical evidence, witness testimony, defendant testimony and statements, police testimony, expert testimony and weighed all the evidence looking at it from both sides. Again, Massei is a very thoughtful judge. No view from Wilmington is going to have a better understanding of the evidence than he did.

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    4. You know you could take the pro Knox forces in this country who are just an outgrowth of innocents projects and they believe almost no one is guilty in this country. They could have half the public believing that Charles Manson is not guilty in the Sharon Tate murder because of the shoddy evidence collection techniques of the police.

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    5. P.S.-I'm really surprised you have aligned yourself with this bunch.

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    6. Question? How can luminol produce a false negative?

      My understanding of luminol is that it's a test for the possibility of blood. It will fluoresce from other substances as well. so if a "hit" is obtained then that "hit" needs to be tested to see if it is in fact blood.

      My question then is when would there be a false negative? It would either fluoresce or not, wouldn't it? IOWs it would either react with something that causes it to fluoresce, or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, then that's a negative, but in what sense is it false?

      Thanks in advance for any explanation.

      CH

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    7. "Also, your contradiction isn't even logical. You argue above that the luminol positive results were not blood and then subconsciously accede they must have been when you say there is a contradiction between the hallway and the results obtained in the bedroom."

      Excuse me? What I said was that, even if blood was found associated with Amanda's footprints, there would nevertheless be an inconsistency between what was found inside the bedroom and what was found outside it, based on the luminol testing. In other words, if blood had gotten onto the soles of her shoes during the murder, then we would expect to find traces of her footprints leading to the door and then outside the door. As with Guede's prints, there would be a pathway in blood between the bedroom and the hall.

      But no trace of such a pathway or anything like it was found.
      And this tells us something about the shoe print you mentioned earlier, because if blood got on her shoe during the murder, and left an imprint on the pillowcase, as the police argued, then they should have found traces of that blood on the floor as she exited the room, as with Guede. Since no such traces were found it seems obvious that this was Guede's shoe and not hers. Perhaps that was the argument offered by the defense expert, which would explain why that print was never entered into evidence.

      So the only possibility that makes any sense is that either she never picked up any blood on her shoes or feet, or what she picked up was some trace from what Guede left, both in the bathroom and the hall. Perhaps the blood hadn't completely dried. OR perhaps the luminol test was misleading and there was no blood associated with her footprints. I see no other alternative.

      If some other alternative was discussed during the trial, and since you claim to be so familiar with the testimony, you can paste in the portion of the testimony where this contradiction is discussed and where some alternative explanation is offered. Sorry, but I'm not about to go looking for such a needle in a haystack myself. Life is too short.

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    8. "The only way Knox and Sollecito's prints could have been formed is if they were made with fresh blood and this is what the court concluded."

      But where did that blood come from? Why aren't similar prints found leading to the door in the bedroom and then outside it into the hall? And if you want to argue that they cleaned up those prints, why wouldn't they have cleaned up their prints in the hall as well? Did the police catch them in the act of cleaning up when they unexpectedly arrived? Was there a bucket on the scene, a scrub brush and some cleansing agent? If so, I suppose you could call it "cleanup interruptus." :-) Now THAT would be evidence!

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    9. From the victim. Because they cleaned the room. Maybe they didn't realize they had tracked the blood into the hallway. The blood wasn't evident until sprayed with the luminol. Knox was observed by an eyewitness buying cleaning supplies on the morning of Nov. 2.

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    10. "Maybe"???? If they tracked blood directly from one room to the other then obviously the signs of that would be just as clear in one as in the other. So how could they not have noticed that?

      Not to mention how unlikely it is that they would be able to clean up so selectively as to leave Guede's prints untouched and completely obliterate theirs, to the point that luminol tests showed NO sign whatsoever of their footprints at all in that room, bloody or not.

      There is no way I can think of to explain the inconsistency of footprint and/or blood evidence between the bedroom and the hall if we assume the blood supposedly found in the hall originated in the bedroom. Cleanup or not, we would expect the evidence inside the bedroom to match the evidence outside. But that is NOT the case. How can you possibly claim they would not have noticed the blood in the hallway while cleaning up the blood in the bedroom? There would certainly have been a clear continuity from one room to the other -- how could they have missed that?

      As far as the eyewitness is concerned, even the anti-Knox website concedes that this eyewitness allegedly observed Amanda (or someone resembling her) heading toward the cleaning supplies. If that person had actually bought cleaning supplies, why wouldn't the witness have recalled that?

      Also, from what I've read in a CBS News report (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/amanda-knox-latest-news-lifetime-movie-full-of-mistakes-says-cbs-news-producer/),
      "When the store owner was first interviewed by the police, he did not mention Knox coming into his store to buy cleaning supplies. The shop's other worker testified that Knox never came into the store the morning of the murder." If the witness was interviewed shortly after the day of the crime, then it would have been clear in his mind that Knox had purchased cleaning supplies, but he only reported seeing her go in that direction. If the witness was interviewed some time later, then it's not difficult to see how he could have recalled what happened on a different day. So this purchase of cleaning supplies can hardly be regarded as a fact.

      Also, what happened to these cleaning supplies? If you want to argue they were discarded, then please explain why the murder knife wasn't also discarded at the same time -- along with their bloody clothing, which also would have to have been discarded. And where??? Guede probably packed all his bloody clothes into a suitcase and then took off for Germany, where he could have discarded everything with no problem. But AK and RS made no attempt to flee. So where would they have discarded all that incriminating evidence? And yet also fail to discard the murder weapon.



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  23. Here is an example of a piece of evidence Massei didn't rule on:

    A shoe print made in blood was discovered on the pillow found under Meredith's body. Two police experts testified that this print was made by a woman's size 7 shoe. The defense expert testified that the print was compatible with Guede's larger shoe. Massei chose not to make a finding on this matter. Their testimonies are available to be read. I've read them and the scientific police analyses seems much more thorough and plausible but Massei decided not to rule on this evidence.

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    1. Well, obviously the defense expert's testimony was convincing. If you want to say Massei chose to ignore this evidence for no particular reason, then once again you will need to defend the system of Italian justice. Obviously he had a reason or else he had no business presiding over such a case.

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  24. I'm sure he had a reason. And, he acknowledged both sides experts. He just chose not to weigh it either way. Just like the blood print on the bed sheet. The prosecution believed it was an imprint of the knife confiscated from Sollecito's apartment. And, it sure seems to match the knife. But Massei didn't accept the prosecution's claim as in his mind they did not prove it. He's a very thoughtful judge. You have to prove your case to him beyond a reasonable doubt.

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  25. http://viewfromwilmington.blogspot.com/2011/06/independent-dna-experts-weigh-in.html

    It appears to me, given the statements of the independent DNA experts, that we can say the lab work was not competent.

    Or, the independent experts are wrong.

    I'll put my money on the independent experts.

    CH

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    1. Well, CH, that is the difference between my approach and the approach of most others. I refuse to get involved in disputes regarding which experts are right and which are wrong. I assume from the start that experts can make mistakes and we know that because in so many cases they disagree. I focus, as I've said so many times, on the known facts and the logic that enables us to interpret these facts. And when I find a contradiction then I don't care how great a reputation any expert has, I need to find some explanation for why that contradiction exists.

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    2. amen! I don't take much stock in debators who resort to name calling (as in sarcastically calling people genius) and who evade questions that warrant an answer or position by changing the subject to "my expert knows more than yours." I read this blog for the thoughtful debate and for Doc's analysis. Some of us writing here could very well be geniuses. it doesn't mean we know everything but it does mean that logic is something we can apply to a debate without insulting others.

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    3. Well, that's a good way to proceed. There are quite a few people questioning the competence of the forensics but you're right, why argue about that.

      CH

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    4. Does that include Prof. Novelli genius?

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    5. I don't know who Novelli is, genius. Tell me about him.

      CH

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    6. Anonymous,

      Are you "Vern's father" ? You sound like him.

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    7. Ha ha, I thought the same - must be Vern or his daddy. Someone who likes to grind axes on blogs. God forbid he ever be placed on trial and be subjected to systems that involve humans and things can go wrong. John Ramsey (nor Patsy) ever even had to face trial. AK and RS, while they could be guilty, are not getting due process IMHO. Maybe the judges are excellent, maybe the forensic experts are very good at what they do. But someone still has to make the case. I don't see a case being made. Some of the facts provide avenues to explore, but when explored, don't yield a case against these two. It doesn't mean they are innocent, it means there is not a convincing case. BTW, I read Doc's comments as saying the same: there is no convincing case. If a case can be made, of course we can agree that justice should be served. No one here is fighting for guilty people to be exonerated, right?

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  26. Yes you are right Doc the only opinions that matter are those of the court. And, currently the appeals court reversal has been set aside. She will be extradited unless the Executive Branch interferes with the extradition and I don't expect that to happen.

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  27. Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, one of the significant differences between the US and Italian legal system is jury sequestration. The jury in the AK/RS trail was not sequestered. One has to at least wonder if "News" stories have influenced the jury.

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  28. Judges aren't sequestered here. Does that influence their decisions?

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  29. Judges don't decide guilt or innocence, unless it's a bench trail, so I don't see what the point is.

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    1. And appeals. That is my point.

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    2. Quite a point.

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  30. Some questions, for anyone, regarding the footprints in the hallway - the footprints made visible by luminol, not the one's known to be made in blood by RG.

    If the footprints were made in blood it would have to be Kercher's blood, since no one suggests AK/RS/RG were bleeding. If made in Kercher's blood, why is there no Kercher DNA found in the footprints? If the prints were bleached, thus destroying Kercher's DNA, how was it possible to find AK's DNA in the footprints?

    CH

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    1. You are really totally misunderstanding the context of the case and the evidence and how it was presented. I have been a little hard on you and I can now see you are really trying. My suggestion is spend a little time reviewing all the aspects of the case. First, start by reading the Massei Report. It is a very large report in PDF format and will take a little bit to down load. Then there are other reports like the Michelli, Giordano, Hellman, Supreme Court of Cassation, etc. The Nencini report hasn't been posted as far as I know. Then go to the transcripts of the police investigations and the many statements and also the transcripts of the trials. There are English language translations for almost every piece of witness, police and expert testimony. I can't say I've read every page of all of this but I've read probably 75% of it. Much of it is very fascinating and much of it is very dry. I have been at this for about three years now. I was like you and Doc at first. I believed Amanda to be innocent and railroaded by an inept system. But, the more I read and researched and understood the case and the Italian justice system I started having doubts. Start with the Massei report. I read the Massei Report before the Hellman decision. Once that decision came out and I read the Hellman report I said this doesn't make sense. The Massei report is long, 400 pages, but he is no idiot I can assure you. Hellman on the other hand, it is hard to fathom he was appointed to that position after you read some of his logic. You might ask, why did you do all this? It is just a hobby. I find it fascinating and a mind exercise and a stress relief. Also, I can't stand stupidity and illogic. There seems to be a lot of this in this world of web sleuths. I would hate to see Knox skirt justice because of an ignorant and misinformed American public.

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    2. I mean I can spend several pages with you just exploring the false alibi's of Amanda with regards to her cell phone calls on November 2. You wouldn't understand any of it because it is somewhat complicated. Go do your research then come back.

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    3. I'm sorry but I have no patience for someone who keeps reminding me to read a ton of literature and then come back to discuss the case. I've read quite a bit already, thank you, and from both sides. And I don't have time to relive three different lengthy and complicated trials, life is just too short for that.

      What I have found are all sorts of references to things like DNA evidence, the staging of a breakin, eyewitness reports contradicting the suspects' version of where they were when, inconsistencies in the suspects' testimonies, the implication of an innocent person, etc. Anyone reading that long list is likely to jump to the conclusion that they MUST be guilty. The evidence does seem overwhelming. But when one applies a measure of critical thinking to each of these elements, and above all to what is KNOWN to be the case beyond any dispute (the facts), then the prosecution's case crumbles. If you lack critical thinking skills then yes, it's easy to be convinced.

      Yes there are inconsistencies in the testimony of the suspects. But I see nothing in these inconsistencies that's consistent with guilt. When we ask ourselves what the individual had to gain by changing his or her story or by implicating an innocent person, then I can't see that as evidence of guilt, sorry. Implicating Lumumba was no help to Amanda at all. And neither was her "confession" of being present at the murder scene, obviously. What her "confession" did was give her interrogators the response they felt they needed, because at that time they suspected Lumumba. So it's not difficult to see that she was probably manipulated and harassed into making that clearly false statement. Etc., etc., so much of the "evidence" sounds good at first, but on closer inspection turns out to be misleading, as in this case.

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    4. Meanwhile, I asked you a simple question that goes to the heart of the prosecution's case and you've failed to respond. If you are so well prepared, why can't you offer a reasonable explanation? If AK and RS were involved in the murder, then we can expect them to have been literally covered in blood. And we would expect at the very least to see their footprints alongside those of Guede. And those footprints would lead out of the bedroom and into the hall, like those of Guede. But we do NOT see that, or anything like that. Moreover, it's impossible in the midst of such a mess to selectively clean up all the signs of their own presence and yet leave Guede's. If they cleaned up they would have cleaned it all up, because that would have been the only way to do it.

      Then, regardless of whether they were in fact able to accomplish such a difficult selective cleanup, we would expect them to have continued their cleanup into the hallway. Which means that, no matter how you want to see it, the results in the hallway should match those in the bedroom. If they managed to clean the bedroom so thoroughly that no blood remained associated with their footprints, then that would have been the case for the hall as well. The difference between the bedroom evidence and the hall evidence is crucial. And that difference calls into question BOTH the evidence from the bedroom and evidence from the hall.

      So you can't claim that, "well, they cleaned up the bedroom, but we still have evidence of their bloody footprints in the hall." Because the "bloody footprints" in the hall could only have come from the bedroom. Yet there is no link between the lack of evidence in the bedroom and the "evidence" found in the hall.

      This means that there was either something very wrong with the interpretation of the luminol results, or there was no blood associated with AK or RS found in that hallway. In either case, this discrepancy makes it impossible to place AK or RS at the murder scene, regardless of how you interpret the "scientific" findings of the "scientific" police.

      You can read the transcripts of every trial until you're exhausted and nothing will matter unless that discrepancy can be explained.

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    5. That comment wasn't directed at you but at the other anonymous. Do you want me to speculate what I believe? Have you read Rinaldi's testimony regarding the footprints? I'm sorry but you are not going to understand the case unless you read the transcripts of the testimonies and the facts of this case. You seem a little more informed than most I have discussed the case with but I have little patience educating people who haven't spent very much time researching the case. There is a lot more to digest here than the Ramsey case because there were actual evidence collection and trials and testimonies and police interviews. If you want me to tell you what I believe happened with regard to the footprints I can but it is only speculation regarding as to why they did what they did. You seem to want to only weigh evidence from the room when there was clearly evidence that the room had been cleaned. And, the evidence in the room clearly tying Sollecito to the crime and probably Knox you want to marginalize it and say it was contaminated with providing no plausible scenario of how that could have happened. And, you seem to want to discount the evidence in the rest of the house as if it has less weight. I can't read the minds of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and know why they did what they did. I can speculate if you want me to but I can't explain it. But, you are way over weighing the supposed lack of crucial evidence. Many murder convictions hinge on one piece of evidence and in this case there is evidence not only forensic but linguistic and circumstantial all over the place. And, you want to exonerate them because their footprints nor fingerprints were found in the victim's room. Their problem is they didn't cover all their tracks.

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    6. Yes, please, Anonymous Feb 14, 2014 at 10:04 AM, I would love to hear your speculations and what you believe happened. You appear to be very well read on the case, and I'd welcome your thoughts.
      Thanks!
      -SP

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  31. Following up, I see that I've already made a mistake - there is no claim that the footprints in the hallway contain Amanda's dna.

    CH

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  32. One final thing and I'll leave you to believe whatever you want as you have the right to do and I can see no amount of discussion is going to change your position. The prosecution presented its case, all the witness testimonies, forensic evidence, interviews, declarations, etc. etc. The court then said to the defense it looks pretty strong could you "explain it." Amanda Knox testified at the trial. The defense made attempts to discredit some of the testimony and evidence. She had a very good legal team and they did have their expert witnesses. All of the evidence was disclosed to them pre-trial. The problem with their case is their explanations and testimonies didn't fit the evidence. And, their defense didn't even support the other's. And there has been so much misinformation regarding the case that even some of the so called experts like DNA experts and forensic experts at some of the sites like Hendry's who have evaluated the case ex post facto are basing their analysis on second or third-hand information or only part of the testimony. I personally hope her extradition is allowed. She has a lot of explaining to do and she hasn't done it. (But, I have enjoyed your analysis of the Ramsey case and your logic is incontrovertible.)

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    1. I want to tell you that, despite our differences, I very much appreciate your willingness to go out of your way to argue for your interpretation of what happened in the Kercher case, and your obviously sincere, and also well informed, efforts to get me to change my mind. I was hoping for a debate of this sort when I began posting at the Justice for Meredith Kercher forum, but that door was shut when it was quickly determined that I was a "troll" and I was banned.

      This has been an interesting, challenging and informative discussion, and I want to thank also, the others who joined in, on one side or the other. I haven't changed my mind, but I must admit that I can now better understand the position of those insisting on guilt. This is by no means a simple matter.

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  33. true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing

    socrates.

    (not directed at docG or ch)

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    1. Certainly applies to me evej, though I can always use a reminder.

      CH

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  34. It does seem to me the Doc has zeroed in on the most fundamental question about the evidence. How can AK/RS footprints be in the hall but not in Kercher's bedroom? This of course has not been answered. How could they selectively clean up their own DNA and footprints but leave Guede's? This too has not been answered.

    As an aside, I've asked a few questions, of much less importance which also go unanswered.

    It strikes me that the case against AK/RS is similar to the Ramsey case in yet another way; In Ramsey the solution can be figured out from "Just the Facts", a scant few facts that everyone agrees on. In the Knox case we can figure out from a few uncontested facts that Amanda was not in the room when Kercher was killed. It's also highly doubtful RS was in the room.

    As Doc points out, there is a basic inconsistency that the "guilters" are unable to explain.

    CH

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  35. Guede confessed, didn't he? And isn't he serving time now? Perhaps that's why I am not as interested in this case as I am in the Ramsey case. I'd love to get back to that. There'a a murderer walking free in that case and if we continue to probe that case, there eventually might be something discussed that would persuade the DA's office to indict JR, finally.

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    1. Agree, but the case as it stands now, as summarized by DocG here and in his book, is beyond persuasive. It is simply a matter of politics now -- there have been such gross failures in the Ramsey case, along with embarrassments, that no DA will put his/her career on the line. Until Boulder gets a DA with integrity, who is interested in justice, especially justice for little children, will anyone pay attention to the facts. And lets face it, DAs are not engineers or mathemeticians, schooled in critical thinking and logical analysis. The more I think about it, it is not the DA we need to convince, it is the Boulder police. We need to get them to review this information and see the light.

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    2. Well said. I just hope I live long enough to see that happen. I want so much to see justice for Jon Benet. And even for Patsy, who I think suffered on so many levels, but mostly from being accused herself.

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    3. Exactly. And for John to go free after the lives he has destroyed is just despicable.

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  36. In the Ramsey case, one could make a strong case that PR or BR committed the crime, even though I believe that to not be true. The same can be said about Amanda Knox in that she lived with MK, but that doesnt make her guilty. The prosecutor of this case was the same prosecutor that tried the "Monster of Florence" case and thought it was someone committing satanic rituals due to rocks found at the crime scene. Those rocks were later found all over Italy and had nothing to do with anything Satan related.
    It should be guiltly beyond a reasonable doubt and in the Knox case, there is DOUBT all over the place. Could she be guilty? Yes, but the case wasnt made that she is.

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  37. I don't see how the same can be said of AK. There is no AK-DNA in Kercher's bedroom, as there almost certainly would be had AK held Kercher, and/or stabbed her. There are no AK hairs in Kercher's room. There are no AK clothing fibers in Kercher's room. There are no AK footprints, made in blood or in any other substance, in Kercher's room.

    Somehow, for AK to be guilty, there has to be an explanation as to why there isn't a trace of her in the murder room. I've yet to hear a reasonable explanation.

    AK could not have cleaned only her dna and only her footprints from the murder room, leaving the evidence of Guede behind and untouched.

    We do have another similarity in the two cases. In both cases many people are willing to believe there is an intruder despite the lack of evidence. In Ramsey, people believe in an unidentified intruder, despite lack of evidence of an intruder. In the Kercher case people are willing to believe Amanda intruded into Kercher's room, despite the complete lack of evidence.

    Moral: People don't need physical evidence to believe an intruder scenario.

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  38. Most people believe what they want to believe. If the average IQ is 100, then 50% of people have a below average IQ and aren't equipped to analyze a set of facts objectively and logically. Not judging; just saying it. I'm sure most of the bloggers who show an interest in this case are indeed equipped, but there is no way of assuring justice all of the time when humans with varying abilities (and motives) are involved. AK is a victim of such human failure. Her personality and behaviour traits give people a reason to justify their own faulty opinions and analyses.

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    1. First if the average is 100 that doesn't mean 50% of the people are below average. It's the "mean" not the average, which represents the point at which half the people are above, and half are below.

      I won't engage in the cheap shot by saying that your lack of knowledge of the mean vs the average shows you to be in below the mean. It doesn't. It just shows you don't know elementary statistics. But that's true of lots of very smart people.

      The second half of your statement is more problematic, because being below the "average" point doesn't indicate lack of ability to analyze objectively and logically. One would have to have an IQ low enough to be regarded as mental retardation before we'd doubt their innate ability to reason logically, and not necessarily even then.

      In my opinion most people are pretty objective at first, then confirmation bias kicks in and they start to "believe what they want to believe".

      I do agree that people use her behavior to justify faulty analysis.

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    2. I know what the mean is, and I think you know what I mean about people not being able to reason logically. Just read the comments on this blog.

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  39. Doc, I don't mean to open up yet another murder mystery, but because you have shown such intelligence in your analyzations of both the Ramsey and Knox cases, I am very curious what your thoughts are on the Oscar Pistorius case. I realize there is no mystery as to who committed this crime, but there does appear to be a "mystery" as to what Oscar's real motive was that night when he shot his girlfriend. I'd love to hear what you think about this case, especially since the trial begins tomorrow. If you're not interested in commenting, I completely understand.

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    1. Well, I'm hoping not to get sucked into researching yet another case, but the Pistorius case IS intriguing. I'm familiar with the broad outlines but not familiar with most of the details, so anything I say at this point is provisional, as I could easily change my mind. So anyhow, for whatever it's worth at this point:

      I'm not a lawyer, so I can't speak to the legal implications. However: Any time anyone grabs a gun and fires it, there is a huge responsibility associated with that. It is irresponsible to fire a gun in the direction of someone you cannot see, so that's no excuse, because it is your responsibility to know precisely what the situation is before you shoot. It's no excuse to claim "the gun just went off on its own, it was not my intention to fire it," because as someone with a gun in his hand, it is your responsibility to make sure it does not go off accidentally. Thus, regardless of what Pistorius' intentions were, his actions were irresponsible so I at this point have no sympathy for him, regardless of whether or not he actually had criminal intent.

      With respect to intent, which seems to be the crux of this case, it is always possible for someone who kills someone else to claim that this was not his intent. "Oh yes, I shot the guy, but I thought he was going for a gun so I aimed at his arm. Unfortunately I missed and shot him in the heart. Terribly sorry about that." Since anyone who shot and killed someone could make such a claim, it doesn't really count for much.

      Since it's impossible to know for sure what Pistorius' intent was, then I would think one would need to know more about the situation prior to the shooting and here I must admit I don't know much. Did they argue? Was one cheating on the other? Were there signs of a scuffle? Are there inconsistencies in his story? Of course there is no way to prove for sure what he was thinking or what his intent was, then this aspect does seem to pose a legal dilemma. But as I said, it's a dilemma any jury would be faced with any time someone who shot someone else claims it was only an "accident" or, as in this case, a mistaken identity. It will be interesting to see how the case plays out.

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    2. Thanks Doc. I totally respect you thoughts on a person's responsibility when firing a gun. In this day and age, I believe our "right to bear arms" has been abused by many and our forefathers would probably roll over in their graves if they knew the extent to which we use guns today and the fall out that has come from it. I also respect the fact that you always give a fair analysis --- never quick to jump to any conclusions about whether a person or persons are guilty -- always seeking out the true facts and evidence in a case. You would definitely make a perfect juror!

      I watched Dateline last night which laid out a few of the facts of this case. More than anything, I cannot get my mind past one thing: once Oscar shot the first (of four) shots at that bathroom door, he would most certainly have heard screams or moans coming from his girlfriend, Keeva, inside the bathroom and would have ceased firing immediately. And why he would opt to call a friend first, after the shooting, rather than an ambulance or police, seems out of character for someone who has just accidentally shot a loved one.

      Yes, we'll see how it all plays out. The prosecution seems to be pretty confident with much evidence to put before the judge. There will be no jury in this case.

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  40. Before this case is over Sollecito is going to spill the beans:

    In a recent exclusive interview on an Italian TV news broadcast, Sollecito said he has several “unanswered questions” for his former girlfriend, Amanda Knox. This adds yet another waiver to the many different explanations Sollecito provided over the years about the same details.

    In the official story, in the part that remained consistent, Knox and Sollecito both claimed that Knox left his flat the morning after Kercher’s murder and returned home, where she noticed the door left wide open and witnessed blood spots in the bathroom. Knox claimed that she found it odd and just assumed that one of her roommates was menstruating and left blood behind. She proceeded to take a shower and returned to Sollecito’s flat and ate breakfast.

    “Certainly I asked her questions,” Sollecito explained in his latest interview. “Why did she take a shower? Why did she spend so much time there?” When asked what responses he had for these question Sollecito replied, “I don’t have answers.” In the interview, Sollecito said Knox left his apartment to take a shower, then returned hours later looking “very agitated.”

    Yet, in an interview with Kate Mansey just two days after the murder, Sollecito said, “But when she went into the bathroom she saw spots of blood all over the bath and sink. That’s when she started getting really afraid and ran back to my place because she didn’t want to go into the house alone.” This is a far cry from what Knox said in her email to friends and family, Knox wrote:


    I returned to raffael’s place. after we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen i told raffael about what i had seen in the house over breakfast. the strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit left in the toilet. he suggested i call one of my roommates, so I called filomena.” (6th paragraph).

    The discrepancies between Knox’s version and Sollecito’s version is strikingly different. Raffele claims Knox was visibly distraught when she returned and that this was the focus of discussion (i.e. being the first thing they discussed). Knox, on the other hand, claims that she did not even bring up the bizarre circumstances back at her apartment until “after” they finished mopping the kitchen floor.



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    1. If RS was going to spill the beans, he'd have done so the first time he was facing a long stretch in prison.

      No matter who said what to whom, when, in what order, etc. etc. you can't get around the fact that there is no AK dna in Kercher's room. No AK clothing fibers. No AK hair. Not a single thing to indicate AK was ever in Kercher's room.

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    2. The guy was obviously smitten with Knox. There are many instances in the annals of crime where a young man (or woman) will put themselves in jeopardy because they are consumed with passion for the other. So, not a stretch at all.

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    3. You've completely misunderstood the term "stretch" as sued in the post you replied to.

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    4. It's called a play on words. You said he'd have spilled the beans long ago to avoid a long stretch in prison. I implied it wouldn't be a stretch to believe he would.

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  41. These discrepancies mean very little to me. Any two people are going to remember the sequence of a conversation differently. It may have taken all of 3 minutes to mop the floor and Amanda never said she was not agitated. so what's your point? If one of them is lying on purpose, it could be Rafael, right?

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    1. They might mean very little to you but they mean a lot to the police when they are investigating a murder. When you talk to seasoned investigators they will tell you that is exactly how they find the perpetrators of crimes-inconsistencies in their statements, false alibis, changing stories, etc. That is why they zeroed in on Knox and Sollecito. They were the only ones in the vicinity of the crime, who had a means, who provided misinformation and false alibi's, and who left evidence at the scene of the crime. That might mean very little to you but investigators would tell you there is very rarely a video of the crime.

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    2. Nonsense. Guede also was in the vicinity, had means, provided misinformation and left evidence not only in the house but specifically in Kercher's room, which can't be said of AK, and RS only left a trace of dna, most likely from contamination.

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    3. Yes. They left a lot of contamination.

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    4. Guede was their accomplice.

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  42. Very true. When you're telling the truth your story doesn't have to change.

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  43. In his latest statement, Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox, believing that there is far more evidence against her than against him.

    “You all know that the focus was only through Amanda to her behavior, to her peculiar behaviour, but whatever it is, I’m not guilty for it. “Why do they convict me? Why do put me on the corner and say that I’m guilty just because in their minds I have to be guilty because I was her boyfriend. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

    Sollecito forgets to mention the bloody barefoot prints at Knox’s apartment, found to be in Kercher’s blood attributed to him, the knife found in his apartment that scientists say was the murder weapon, his DNA found on Meredith Kercher’s bra that was found in her room, even though Sollecito claims that he was never ever in that room, and his own strange behavior, which includes providing a false alibi (saying he and Knox were at a party with a friend on the night of the murder) and several conflicting versions.

    But what’s there to question if you [Raffaele] were with Knox the whole day and night of Meredith Kercher’s murder?

    It appears as though Sollecito is alluding to the notion that he knows something far more than he is saying; yet, he is being very careful with his words—only providing us with a hint of this. His latest statement is a clear attempt to distance himself from Knox.

    Sollecito appeared on Twitter recently, for what he claimed was to answer questions and clear his name. He was very outspoken of his innocence and had no problem in his witty, sarcastic responses to those who questioned his innocence.

    However, when I asked him about the Mansey interview he denied claiming that he was with Knox at a friend’s party on the night of the murder.

    Sollecito disappeared for a couple of days, came back writing only in Italian, and ceased responding to any more questions.

    Is it possible that Sollecito will turn on Knox altogether at some point when the pressure mounts over the next year? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

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    1. It seems to me the whole case is a waste of time and money and
      mental energy. In a sane world the proper motivation would have
      been made by Mignini for Rudy Guede to tell the truth and then
      all would have been clear and that is that. Unfortunately this case
      has never been about truth and there you go...

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    2. Yes, I agree. Guede initially said Knox was not there, but later, after his arrest, changed his story. They deny it, but it sounds like he cut a deal to get a lighter sentence.

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    3. The Italian system is much different than our system. Much more fair. Prosecutors would tend to never use a convicted felon as a witness in a trial. They let the facts of the case speak for themselves and would not rely on a convicted felon's testimony. How could he be trusted one way or the other?

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  44. Doc, a little off topic here, but have you ever posted as DocEagle elsewhere on the net? I've seen several postings by this person and he/she writes a lot like you.

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    1. No. In fact I've never heard of DocEagle. What does (he/she) have to say?

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    2. Sorry, I should have been clearer. It's not WHAT this person writes (he/she was not writing about the Ramsey case), it's more HOW. DocEagle sounds like he/she could be you. I'm no expert in writing analysis, but this person has a style very similar to yours, so I thought I would just inquire. Thanks for the reply.

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. You say there is a "complete lack of evidence of any intruder". That is not what I have read in the FBI evidence lists online. They list a book called "Tai-Pan" (by author James Clavell) whose presence the Ramseys couldn't account for, and there was a black baseball bat found in the yard that none of the kids in the neighborhood could identify. Other evidence and corollations of the Australian Paul Douglas Peters as a possible intruder are detailed on this youtube documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2adP2irYQ

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  47. Franklin, you keep repeating your posts. I'm not sure why. I've deleted the copies. If you'd like to join the conversation I suggest you post on the last Open Thread, so everyone can find it. I also urge you to read more in this blog, which will give you a clearer idea of my thinking on this case. Sorry but I don't think the similarities you see in the note you've provided in the youtube video are significant. I believe the Ramsey note to be a compilation of different elements derived from previous ransom notes, both genuine and from the movies. If you read further here you'll see why there could have been no intruder.

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