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 led to the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, while her real killer gets closer to freedom.

Update March 27, 2015: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were declared innocent by Italy’s Supreme Court. Case closed! See our Media Archive for all the post acquittal news and articles.

Latest News & Activities
May 16, 2014
Nencini Report Analysis
Jun 04, 2014
Amanda Knox Appeal Summary
March 2015
Raffaele Sollecito Appeal Summary
March 30, 2015
Supreme Court Verdict

Introduction – ‘Case Closed!’

 Meredith Kercher Murder Case Closed Police Press Conference
“Case Closed” – Meredith Kercher Murder Police Press Conference, November 6, 2007

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: [3]

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.

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 another suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede, and almost nothing pointing to Amanda Knox, Raffaele or Patrick. There was also another problem: Patrick Lumumba had an unshakable alibi. He had witnesses that were with him in his pub all evening. [4]

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 boldly announced to the media that the crime was solved, refused to admit their mistake. They simply pulled Patrick Lumumba out of their fantasy and plugged in Rudy Guede. They then attempted to find evidence to support their theory and ignored, suppressed and destroyed evidence that didn’t. At the center of the prosecution’s fantasy was a violent sex orgy involving the three defendant’s and Meredith. [5]

Rudy Guede

Rudy Guede arrest
Rudy Guede

Rudy Hermann Guede was born in Agouk, Ivory Coast, December 26, 1986. At the age of 6 he moved to Italy and settled with his father.

He became a suspect in the Meredith Kercher murder investigation after his bloody palm print was discovered on the pillow under Meredith’s body. Guede also left bloody shoeprints in the room where she was killed. His DNA was found inside Meredith and on her bra, jacket and purse. His DNA was also linked to feces left in the toilet. Two days after the murder he fled to Germany and told a close friend in a secretly recorded Skype chat: “Amanda had nothing to do with it [….] because I fought with a male and she wasn’t there.”

When the police tried to contact him they discovered he’d fled to Germany and on November 20, 2007 he was arrested after trying to board a train without a ticket. [6] He was almost immediately extradited back to Italy and confronted with the overwhelming evidence that placed him at the crime scene. He said he was at the cottage on a “date” with Meredith and a man he couldn’t identify killed her while he was on the toilet listening to his Ipod. At this point he knew Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were innocent and probably expected them to be released like Lumumba had been.

At the time of the murder he was an unemployed criminal on a crime spree linked to multiple break-ins including one almost identical to the one at the cottage. They were:

The Knox-Sollecito defense teams were never able to question the man who admitted being in Meredith Kercher’s bedroom and covered in her blood about the night of the murder. In his March 2008 deposition at Capanne prison in the presence of his two attorneys, Rudy Guede admitted having his hands on Meredith’s neck as she died. 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. The prosecution also never appealed his sentence reduction from 30 years to 16 years knowing he’d get day release after serving only half of that.

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

The Murder of Meredith Kercher

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.
Putative semen stain between the victims legs on the pillow underneath her body. The court refused to allow testing on this stain.

Rudy Guede admitted leaving his apartment after 7.30pm and heading to the cottage where he was captured on CCTV at 7.51pm. He left and then returned a short time later and broke-in via Filomena Romanelli’s 2nd story bedroom window, smashing it with a rock and tossing clothes on the floor just like he did at the law offices two weeks earlier. Meredith Kercher arrived home at 9.01pm and after going to her bedroom to settle in for the night, Guede attacked, stabbing her in the throat from behind. Meredith was positioned on the pillow, suffocated with the blood soaked towel and then undressed and sexually assaulted post-mortem. In May 2009, the defense discovered a semen stain on the pillow which the prosecution never disclosed and has objected to it being tested ever since.

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 as well for a change of pants and left blood on the floor and bed. Later that night witnesses saw Guede dancing in a nightclub.

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 a burglary to look like his modus operandi is absurd.

See the complete Meredith Kercher Murder Timeline for November 1, 2007.

Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito Alibi

Both were at Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment the entire evening. At 6pm Raffaele offered to drive a friend, Jovana Popovic, to the bus station to pick-up a suitcase at midnight. At 8.40pm, Popovic dropped by the apartment again to say she no longer needed the ride later that evening. She saw and spoke to Amanda who invited her inside but she declined. Computer records show both were watching the movie Amelie between 6.26pm and 9.10pm while Amanda waited to go to work at 10pm. At 9.26pm, a Naruto cartoon was opened on Raffaele’s computer. [7]

The Prosecution’s 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 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 a magazine. Somewhere at an unknown time they teamed up with Rudy Guede and went to the cottage.

The three defendants 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 was stated as 11.30pm based on an ear witness, Nara Capezzali, who claims to have heard 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 in Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom 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 cash, keys, 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 is alleged to have called the Carabinieri (police 112) pretending to report a break-in which the Postal Police had discovered 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. For this she was charged with a crime in Italy called “Calunnia”.

The Motives

Prosecutor Alessandro Crini
Prosecutor Alessandro Crini – “Meredith murdered because Guede didn’t flush the toilet.”

For the Italian Supreme Court, it was a “group-led erotic game which exploded out of control” [8]

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, the murder was a ritualistic killing connected to Halloween: [9]

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 heard Amanda and Raffaele having sex in her bedroom and became aroused so decided to make a move on Meredith and they spontaneously joined him attacking her. Judge Alessandro Nencini’s fantasy had Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito having sex at the cottage (after already having 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 because of a fight over Meredith Kercher’s stolen rent money.

The Trials

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

In October of 2008, Rudy Guede was convicted in a ‘fast-track’ trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison, later reduced to 16 years on appeal. [10] [11] Witnesses were called and testified he was prone to excess and was often drunk and used drugs including cocaine and would hassle girls and steal their handbags. [12] Other witnesses testified he had stopped playing basketball and was showing signs of mental illness. In December 2014, the Italian Supreme Court confirmed a separate conviction against him for receiving stolen goods in a crime that pre-dates Meredith Kercher’s murder and his sentence of 16 months was upheld. [13]

The case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito continued according to a standard schedule, and in December of 2009, they were convicted by Judge Giancarlo Massei for participating (along with Rudy Guede) in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. [14] US Senator Maria Cantwell issued a statement after the guilty verdict saying: [15]

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 and the presiding Judge was Claudio Pratillo Hellmann. [16] In October 2011, after a detailed re-examination 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. [17] (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. [18] The new trial started on September 30, 2013 and the presiding Judge was Alessandro Nencini. [19] The trial was a farce with only 1 witness called, transsexual ex-mobster Luciano Aviello. [20] There was some testimony about 1 DNA sample from the knife showing once again it wasn’t the murder weapon. [21] All defense requests were denied except for photographs of Raffaele Sollecito’s fingernails [22] Judge Nencini admitted “total ignorance” about DNA when questioning his own court appointed experts. [23]

In January 2014, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted again. [24] In a stunning admission after the Florence trial conviction, Judge Nencini revealed in an interview with Il Messaggero that jurors were coming to him saying they were confused and what they were hearing on TV about the case was different to what they heard in the courtroom. [25] Nencini’s interviews sparked 3 post conviction investigations for inappropriate comments regarding the Sollecito defense strategy. [26]

US Senator Maria Cantwell again issued a statement after the verdict saying: [27]

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 court released its motivation report on April 29, 2014 explaining the decision. [28] In May 2014, now retired Judge Hellmann issued a statement to CNN about the verdict saying: [29]

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 appeal documents with the Italian Supreme Court totaling 450 pages with 24 grounds for appeal. [30]

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] Giornale dell’Umbria November 6, 2007
[4] CCTV Footage Shows Roommate Entering Apartment on Night of British Student’s Death Fox News, November 12, 2007
[5] Italian prosecutors seek murder indictment against Amanda Knox Seattle Times, July 11, 2008
[6] 20.11.2007, 16:17 – Kriminaldirektion Mainz: Mainz/Koblenz, In Italien gesuchter Tatverdächtiger eines Tötungsdeliktes als Schwarzfahrer festgenommen
[7] Sollecito defense computer expert report by Professor Alfredo Milani
[8] The Chieffi Report – Conclusions
[9] Giuliano Mignini pre-trial closing arguments October 18, 2008 p 46 & 49
[10] Man sentenced to 30 years for Kercher murder The Guardian, October 29, 2008
[11] Court cuts Rudy Guede’s sentence for Meredith Kercher murder The Guardian, December 23, 2009
[12] Meredith Kercher murder trial: Rudy Guede ‘was violent to women’ UK Telegraph, September 2008
[13] Caso Meredith, Rudy Guede condannato per ricettazione La Nazione, December 9, 2014
[14] Italian Jury Convicts U.S. Student of Murder NY Times, December 4, 2009
[15] US Senator Maria Cantwell releases statement on Amanda Knox case West Seattle Herald, 2009
[16] Amanda Knox begins murder sentence appeal UK Telegraph, November 24, 2010
[17] Amanda Knox Leaves Italian Prison Following Acquittal ABC News, October 3, 2011
[18] Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Acquittal of Amanda Knox NY Times, March 26 2013
[19] Amanda Knox retrial over killing of Meredith Kercher begins in Italy CNN, Septmeber 30, 2013
[20] Transgender ex-mobster tells court her brother killed Meredith Kercher, not Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito News.com.au October 5, 2013
[21] New forensic tests find no traces of Meredith Kercher’s DNA on knife NY Daily News, November 2, 2013
[22] Amanda Knox retrial: judge allows new DNA test on alleged murder weapon – “But, in a blow for Knox and Sollecito, the court rejected almost all their lawyers’ requests for further evidence or testimony.”
[23] 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”
[24] Amanda Knox Is Re-Convicted of Murder in Italy NY Times, January 30, 2014
[25] Omicidio Meredith, parla il giudice: «Amanda e Raffaele l’hanno uccisa perché quella sera non avevano niente da fare» Il Messaggero, February 2, 2014
[26] Judge who sentenced Knox, Sollecito under fire for remarks CBS News, February 5, 2014
[27] Cantwell Statement on Amanda Knox Verdict Senate.Gov January 30, 2014
[28] Amanda Knox, roommate fought night of murder, court says USA Today, April 29, 2014
[29] Amanda Knox says, ‘I did not kill my friend’ CNN, May 4, 2014
[30] Meredith/ In oltre 450 pagine i ricorsi di Sollecito e Knox contro le condanne Umbria Left, June 16, 2014

 

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