The Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito Case

The Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito Case: This website presents the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher and a scandalous miscarriage of justice, by using case documents and transcripts to dissect the reckless police investigation into her murder, a polizio-judicial system desperate to save face and the pseudo evidence which has lead to the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, while her real killer Rudy Guede is out on day release after six years.

Introduction – ‘Case Closed!’

On November 2, 2007, Meredith Kercher, a 21-year old British student studying in Perugia, Italy, was found dead in her apartment, in a clear case of homicide.[1] Her housemate, American student Amanda Knox, and Knox’s Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, along with local bar owner Patrick Lumumba, were soon arrested and placed in solitary confinement for the murder based largely on an illegal interrogation and the police junk profiling their behavior. After the arrest of the three suspects, the police held a press conference stating they had evidence all three killed Meredith Kercher because she refused to participate in a sex game. They boasted that the case was solid. They were even bold enough to announce “case closed” to the worlds media.[2]

Police Chief Arturo De Felice as quoted in the Giornale dell’Umbria on November 6, 2007:

I have to compliment our men and our women (the interpreters) that in 4 days and 4 nights, with professionalism and integrity, have resolved the case. In these days, we have felt the weight, the pressure of the people of the city, and of the mass media. Everybody wanted an immediate and certain response. It seems to me we have responded, almost immediately.

Amanda Knox case: Meredith Kercher Murder Police Press Conference, November 6, 2007.
Meredith Kercher Murder Police Press Conference, November 6, 2007.
Amanda Knox case:  Meredith's Killer Rudy Guede
Meredith’s Killer Rudy Guede

The problem was, they had barely begun to investigate and process the crime scene. And when that evidence started coming in, the police had a problem. There was substantial evidence pointing to the presence of a 4th suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede, and almost nothing pointing to Amanda Knox, Raffaele or Patrick. Guede left a palm print and footprints in Meredith Kercher’s blood, in the room where she was killed. His DNA was found on and inside Meredith and on her purse. His DNA was also linked to feces left in the toilet. He fled to Germany two days after the murder and while on the run told a close friend in a secretly recorded Skype conversation: “Amanda had nothing to do with it [….] because I fought with a male and she wasn’t there.”

There was also another problem: Patrick Lumumba had an unshakable alibi. He had witnesses that were with him in his pub all evening.[3] At this time the authorities, led by prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, should have realized their mistake. It wasn’t a sex game gone wrong but a burglary gone wrong. Local thief and burglar Rudy Guede had broken-in and murdered Meredith Kercher when she arrived home and found him inside her house.

But the authorities, who had made such a big production to the media about solving the crime earlier, refused to admit their mistake. They simply pulled Patrick Lumumba out of their fantasy and plugged in Rudy Guede. The prosecution pushed forward to prove that Meredith Kercher was murdered by this “revised” trio in the course of a violent sex orgy, and amassed various pieces of evidence which (they claimed) supported the theory. [4]

Rudy Guede was soon convicted in a “fast-track” trial process in October of 2008, and sentenced to 30 years in prison which was reduced to 16 years on appeal, making him eligible for day release after serving 6 years.[5] [6] The case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito continued according to a standard schedule, and in December of 2009, both were convicted of participating (along with Rudy Guede) in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. [7]

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

US Senator Maria Cantwell issued a statement about the guilty verdict saying: [8]

I am saddened by the verdict and I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial. The prosecution did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Knox was guilty. Italian jurors were not sequestered and were allowed to view highly negative news coverage about Ms. Knox.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s appeal process began in November 2010.[9] The presiding Judge was Claudio Pratillo Hellmann. In October 2011, after a detailed reexamination of the case — including among other things a highly critical expert review of the DNA evidence — Knox and Sollecito were declared innocent and released immediately after nearly four years of imprisonment.[10] (Knox remained convicted of a lesser crime, calumny, for having accused an innocent person, Patrick Lumumba, of the murder under intense police pressure; for this she was sentenced to three years in prison, less than the time she had already spent there.)

In March 2013, the Italian Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann acquittal and ordered a new trial to be held in Florence.[11] See Supreme Court: Factual Errors and Critical Commentary

The new trial began in Florence on September 30, 2013 and the presiding Judge was Alessandro Nencini.[12] In January 2014, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted again. [13]

US Senator Maria Cantwell again issued a statement after the verdict saying: [14]

I am very concerned and disappointed by this verdict. I am confident there will be an appeal to closely re-examine today’s decision. It is very troubling that Amanda and her family have had to endure this process for so many years. I will continue to closely monitor this case as it moves forward through the Italian legal system.

The Nencini Trial Farce in Florence

Amanda Knox case:  Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher – A beautiful young woman who had her life stolen from her by Rudy Guede in an act of pure evil.

The court released its motivation report on April 29, 2014 explaining the decision. [21] In May 2014, now retired Judge Hellmann issued a statement to CNN about the latest motivation report and guilty verdict saying: [22]

The Florence Appeal Court has written the script for a movie or a thriller book, while it should have only considered facts and evidence. There is no evidence to condemn Knox and Sollecito. It’s a verdict that seems to me is the result of fantasy and has nothing to do with the evidence.

On June 12, 2014, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito filed their appeals to the Italian Supreme Court. (See case files page for the appeal documents)

Update June 29, 2014: New book by DNA pioneer Professor Peter Gill with a chapter discussing the clasp and knife evidence. Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice

Update August 3, 2014: Summary Of Amanda Knox Appeal To Italian Supreme Court Against Conviction In Florence

Update December 2014: Change.org Petition Launched – Calling for investigation into the mishandling of the Meredith Kercher murder case by the authorities

The Killer: Rudy Guede

Amanda Knox case: Rudy Guede
Rudy Guede

The Knox-Sollecito defense teams have never been able to question the man who admitted being in Meredith Kercher’s bedroom and covered in her blood about the night of the murder. Kercher family attorney, Francesco Maresca, had no questions for him at the Hellmann trial and objected to the defense questioning him. And again at the Nencini trial, Francesco Maresca objected to him being called by the defense to answer questions. Why? Giuliano Mignini never appealed his sentence reduction from 30 years to 16 years knowing he’d get day release after 6 years. Why?

Watch Giuliano Mignini defending Rudy Guede during closing arguments in 2009 as if Guede was his client. Click here

What happened to Meredith Kercher?

Rudy Guede was an unemployed criminal on a crime spree in the five weeks before the murder linked directly and indirectly to multiple break-ins similar and in one case, almost identical to the break-in at the cottage. These include breaking into Cristian Tramontano’s apartment and pulling a knife on him and stealing his credit cards. Breaking into Maria Del Prato’s nursery where he was caught with stolen property, a knife, a woman’s gold watch and a little hammer used for breaking glass. And a second story break-in at the law offices of Paolo Brocchi where he threw a large stone through the second story window and stole a computer, cell phone, USB sticks as well as tossing clothes on the floor and going through the filing cabinets.

Amanda Knox case: Possible semen stain on the pillow fund underneath Meredith's body. The court refused to allow testing on this stain. Image achieved using crimescope technology.
Possible semen stain between the victims legs on the pillow underneath her body. The court refused to allow testing on this stain.

On the night of November 1, 2007 Guede was captured on CCTV approaching the cottage at 7.51pm. Guede admited being at the cottage at this time. He left and then returned a short time later and broke-in via Filomena Romanelli’s 2nd story window smashing it with a rock and tossing clothes on the floor just like he did at the law offices of Paolo Brocchi two weeks earlier. Meredith Kercher arrived home at 9pm while he was on the toilet which likely wasn’t flushed because it would have alerted her he was in the house. Meredith Kercher went to her bedroom and Guede attacked, stabbing her in the throat from behind. Meredith was suffocated with the blood soaked towel and then positioned on the pillow, stripped and sexually assaulted post-mortem.

Rudy Guede stole Meredith Kercher’s cash, keys, credit cards and phones and left the cottage before 10.13pm when an incoming MMS pinged off a tower that serviced the Sant’Angelo Park area where the phones were found. Before leaving the cottage, there’s reason to believe he broke-in to the downstairs apartment for a change of clothing dripping blood on the floor and bed. Later that night Guede went dancing and fled to Germany 2 days later.

How can we say with certainty that’s what happened? Because it’s what the crime scene photos show, the autopsy says and what the timeline and evidence proves. Raffaele Sollecito didn’t know Rudy Guede and Amanda Knox had briefly met him once through the downstairs neighbours. The prosecution’s theory of them randomly teaming up with a guy they didn’t know and sexually assaulting and killing Meredith Kercher and then by coincidence staging the crime scene to look like his modus operandi is absurd.

What were Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito doing?

Computer records show both were watching the movie Amelie between 6.26pm and 9.10pm at Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment while Amanda waited to go to work at 10pm. At 8.40pm, a friend, Jovana Popovic, dropped by to say she no longer needed a ride to the bus station later that evening. Amanda invited her inside but she declined. At 9.26pm, a 23 minute Naruto cartoon was opened on Raffaele’s computer and they spent the evening at his place. After replying to Patrick Lumumba’s text at 8.35pm, Amanda switched off her phone in case Lumumba asked her back to work for the night.

What does the prosecution claim happened?

Amanda Knox case: Prosecutor Alessandro Crini - "Meredith murdered because Guede didn't flush the toilet."
Prosecutor Alessandro Crini – “Meredith murdered because Guede didn’t flush the toilet.”

The prosecution claims Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (two students who had been dating for about a week) left Sollecito’s apartment at 110 Corso Garibaldi after 9.26pm with a kitchen knife and went to Piazza Grimana located near the cottage where they were seen by homeless heroin addict, Antonio Curatolo, while he was smoking cigarette’s and reading l’Expresso. Somewhere at an unknown time they teamed up with Rudy Guede and went to the cottage.

The three defendants in conspiracy murdered and sexually assaulted Meredith Kercher with Amanda Knox delivering the fatal knife wound to Meredith Kercher’s neck while Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito held her down. The time of death has been stated at 11.30pm based on ear witness, Nara Capezzali, who claimed to hear a scream.

After the murder Rudy Guede left the cottage while Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito stayed behind ‘cleaning and staging’ the crime scene removing traces of themselves and simulated a burglary by breaking Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom window to mislead investigators.

The prosecution claims two knives were used, one of which wasn’t recovered, while the kitchen knife was cleaned and returned to Sollecito’s kitchen drawer because the landlord might have noticed it missing. Knox and Sollecito are alleged to have stolen Meredith Kercher’s keys, money, credit cards and phones which at some point during the night were tossed into Elizabeth Lana’s garden.

The following day they were caught by surprise when two Postal Police officers arrived at the cottage enquiring about the dumped phones. In a panic and when the two officers weren’t looking, Raffaele Sollecito called the Carabinieri (police 112) pretending to report a break-in which had just been discovered by the Postal Police minutes earlier.

Lastly, on the night of November 5, 2007 during an all night interrogation, Amanda Knox attempted to derail the police investigation by placing herself at the scene and accused her boss and local bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, after hearing Raffaele Sollecito had dropped her alibi.

What was the motive? (There’s been so many…)

For the Italian Supreme Court, it was a “group-led erotic game which exploded out of control” [23]

The outcome of such an osmotic assessment will be decisive, not only to demonstrate the presence of the two defendants at the crime scene, but to possibly delineate the subjective positions of those who acted with Guede, before the range of situations which might be hypothesized, from a genetic agreement on the death option, to the modification of a plan which originally envisioned only the involvement of the young Englishwoman in an unwanted sexual game, to solely forcing her into an extreme, group-led erotic game which exploded, going out of control.

For Giuliano Mignini at the pre-trial, it was a ritualistic killing connected to Halloween. [24]

And it must be highlighted that, in any case, for individuals morbidly attracted by mingling sex and violence, it is far from being unlikely the connection of such a project with the Halloween tradition, because, if it is true that the night between October 31 and November 1st had passed (and Meredith had spent it with her fellow countrywomen), it is as much true that, at about 9 pm on November 1st and for the following three hours, it was still All Saints’ Day and that what had not been done on the night of the eve of All Saints’ Day [i.e. Halloween’s night] could be realized on the night between the latter and the Day of the Dead.”

Moreover the three, and particularly Sollecito, were, all of them, addicted to the erotic-homicidal “cultural” suggestions we have talked about and that night was still All Saints’ Day, the catholic “heir” to Samhain, the celtic New Year’s Day, with all the implications having their focus on the eve of the celebration, that is on the night between October 31 and November 1st.

Other motives theorised by the prosecution and judges include theft, hatred, a sex game gone wrong, they killed for nothing, Meredith got upset because Rudy Guede didn’t flush the toilet which lead to a fight, Amanda Knox directed the murder from the hallway and Judge Massei’s ridiculous theory in his motivation report where Rudy Guede knocked on the door and became aroused hearing Amanda and Raffaele having sex in her bedroom so Guede made a move on Meredith and they spontaneously decided to join him attacking her. The latest fantasy from Judge Alessandro Nencini has Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito having sex at the cottage (after already had sex at his place first – yes he writes this in the motivation report) while virtual stranger Rudy Guede roamed around inside and the murder was triggered by a fight over Meredith Kercher’s stolen money.

Nencini Report: Dissection of a conviction (excerpt)

1 – Foreword

The ruling begins with a foreword dealing with the scope of the trial (page 73 of the Cassation ruling quashing the acquittal is almost integrally quoted) and with what relevance the definitive judgment concerning Rudy Guede may or may not have in the trial concerning Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Nencini considers “generic and abstract” Hellmann’s assessment that Guede’s ruling, having been “held under the fast-track system, so that the judges who considered the position of Rudi Guede were not able to conduct the investigations of a [ordinary proceeding] trial — in particular the independent expert review that we performed– either at the first level or at the present level, despite the complexity of the case, at least with regard to the current defendants” (Hellmann page 27) and instead states he sticks with the opinion of the Court of Cassation as expressed in ruling 7993/2012.

The gist of Nencini’s position is best expressed by the following paragraph (page 36): “In conclusion, if in point of law this Judge expresses adherence to the principle mentioned above, adhering to its precepts, in point of fact the existence of a definitive judgment attributing the murder of Meredith Kercher to a specific culprit, Hermann Rudi Guede, in complicity with other people, makes unquestionable the assumption that any fact finding having to be carried out with reference to the evidentiary compendium emerging from the documents of this proceeding will have to be performed having as an inescapable reference point the aforementioned judicially ascertained fact, and hence facing the datum, definitively established in the proceeding, that Rudi Hermann Guede participated, along with others, in the murder of Meredith Kercher .

The language is convoluted in Italian too, so it is not one hundred percent straightforward to “decode” it, however my interpretation can be obtained by putting together the parts in bold: they speak for themselves. Continue reading →

The Investigation

Amanda Knox case: The Forgotten Killer Rudy Guede
The Forgotten Killer Rudy Guede.

The Amanda Knox case according to retired FBI agent Steve Moore in his new book: The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher

As I began to delve into the case, I learnt to my dismay that the investigation was botched at a level I have rarely seen outside of totalitarian or Third World countries. The forensics, “interrogation”, and conclusions of the detectives were at best completely and nightmarishly wrong, and at worst, intentionally corrupted. The conclusions and prosecutions in the Kercher murder investigation were based solely on (flawed) intuition, profound ignorance about the science of investigation, social and religious bias, superstition, corruption, and self-preservation.

Former FBI Agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker had this to say about the Meredith Kercher murder case in their book, Law & Disorder.

I have never seen a judge’s ruling so bizarre or nonsensical. It defies reason that it could have been conceived and written by an adult with any logical capacity whatsoever, much less an experienced jurist. To think that these two young people would be sentenced to spend a quarter of a century each in prison based on such a flight of fantasy is nothing less than sickening.

Violent crimes aren’t that elaborate or far-fetched. Never. A few basic things happen that lead to tragedy. Convoluted, counterintuitive scenarios are what happen in fiction. Given a certain set of evidence, which is a more coherent narrative— one of the explanations the prosecution or judges bought into, or that a local disco guy without a job, with a history of burglary and drugs, broke into a house he already knew, stole money, found one of the women residents home, began to sexually assault her, panicked and killed her, then escaped?

That scenario is clear-cut and logical: Rudy needed money. He went to the house on Via della Pergola, didn’t see any signs of habitation, so he broke a window with a rock and climbed up and in Filomena’s room. He was a lithe, athletic basketball player so this was hardly the feat of herculean skill the police and prosecutors seemed to think. It was the beginning of the month so it was likely rent money would be lying around. But first, as he had done on other occasions—past behavior predicts future behavior— he helped himself to food in the kitchen. His DNA bears this out. He then had to use the bathroom, and was probably surprised when he heard someone enter the house. This explains the toilet not being flushed; either he rushed out suddenly to see who it was or didn’t want to alert the other person that she was not alone.

He then had to neutralize the other person, who turned out to be Meredith. It could have been any of the four women— the scenario and outcome would have been the same.

It is clear from the crime scene that Meredith did not submit meekly. There is blood all over the place, which indicates she bravely fought like hell. Once she was rendered helpless, he could have had his sexual way with her, or even masturbated on or over her body as she was dying. The scene also tells me that he didn’t even leave right away then. He probably continued to look around for anything he might want to take, and threw the blanket haphazardly over her body so he wouldn’t have to look at her and confront what he had done. He was sophisticated enough to lock Meredith’s bedroom door, delaying discovery of the body. He went home through a circuitous route so as not to be spotted, and along the way ditched the two mobile phones he had stolen. When he got to his room he cleaned up and changed clothes. Anyone involved with this scene would have been covered with blood. Perhaps he even broke into the downstairs and took clothing belonging to one of the men. Then from home, he went out to the clubs to dance the night away.

Douglas, John; Olshaker, Mark (2013-02-26). Law & Disorder (pp. 369-370). Kensington. Kindle Edition.

Map Of Perugia Showing Key Locations

Map of Perugia
Map of Perugia – Click To Explore

References

[1] Italian police investigate fatal stabbing of British student The Guardian, November 3, 2007
[2] Meredith, sms, bugie e trace i punti oscuri dell’indagine La Repubblica, November 9, 2007
[3] CCTV Footage Shows Roommate Entering Apartment on Night of British Student’s Death Fox News, November 12, 2007
[4] Italian prosecutors seek murder indictment against Amanda Knox Seattle Times, July 11, 2008
[5] Man sentenced to 30 years for Kercher murder The Guardian, October 29, 2008
[6] Court cuts Rudy Guede’s sentence for Meredith Kercher murder The Guardian, December 23, 2009
[7] Italian Jury Convicts U.S. Student of Murder NY Times, December 4, 2009
[8] US Senator Maria Cantwell releases statement on Amanda Knox case West Seattle Herald, 2009
[9] Amanda Knox begins murder sentence appeal UK Telegraph, November 24, 2010
[10] Amanda Knox Leaves Italian Prison Following Acquittal ABC News, October 3, 2011
[11] Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Acquittal of Amanda Knox NY Times, March 26 2013
[12] Amanda Knox retrial over killing of Meredith Kercher begins in Italy CNN, Septmeber 30, 2013
[13] Amanda Knox Is Re-Convicted of Murder in Italy NY Times, January 30, 2014
[14] Cantwell Statement on Amanda Knox Verdict Senate.Gov January 30, 2014
[15] Transgender ex-mobster tells court her brother killed Meredith Kercher, not Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito News.com.au October 5, 2013
[16] New forensic tests find no traces of Meredith Kercher’s DNA on knife NY Daily News, November 2, 2013
[17] Judge who sentenced Knox, Sollecito under fire for remarks CBS News, February 5, 2014
[18] Judge and lawyers statements in Meredith Kercher murder case Daily Mail, October 3, 2013
[19] Berti-Barni Transcript October 4, 2013 p22-23 – “I think I’ve understood, but with all the limits of my total ignorance of the subject”
[20] Omicidio Meredith, parla il giudice: «Amanda e Raffaele l’hanno uccisa perché quella sera non avevano niente da fare» Il Messaggero, February 2, 2014
[21] Amanda Knox, roommate fought night of murder, court says USA Today, April 29, 2014
[22] Amanda Knox says, ‘I did not kill my friend’ CNN, May 4, 2014
[23] The Chieffi Report – Conclusions
[24] Giuliano Mignini pre-trial closing arguments October 18, 2008 p 46 & 49

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