Monday, March 28, 2011

Knox Supporters Confident & Media Skepticism Swells

A couple of days ago one of my neighbor said to me, “Hey Will, did you hear: Amanda Knox is getting out of jail in May [2011]? I heard it on the news.”

Criminologist, Casey Jordan, also said that “Amanda and Raffaele may walk free in May.”

The 26 March 2011, hearing was definitely a win for the defense, but was it as big of a win as the American media, Knox’s family, and even my neighbor make it seem?

Let’s start by noting that Curatolo had not even come on the radar until the trial started; he was not a part of the six preliminary hearings that led to a decision to try Knox and Sollecito. There was plenty of evidence to send them to trial before Curatolo emerged.

“He [Curatolo] basically blew the whole prosecution's case right then and there,” Knox’s sister, Deanna Knox, told “Early Show” co-anchor Chris Wragge. So now we are getting our legal commentary from Amanda’s little sister? This time in the case is reminiscent of a time in the original trial when Knox’s family and the American media showed the same type of optimism in the case, just before Knox’s conviction.

The fact is that Knox and Sollecito’s appeal appears to be solely based on the knife, the bra clasp, and Antonio Curatolo’s testimony. Nonetheless, neither defense team seems to be contesting any other evidence in the case.

• What about the bloody barefoot print on the bathmat that is compatible with Sollecito and is in Meredith’s blood?
• What about the 5 spots in the house that were mixed with Knox and Kercher’s DNA (3 of the spots were blood spots mixed with the genetic profiles of them both)?
• What about the plethora of lies told by Knox and Sollecito, including that they told the postal police (who arrived at 12:30pm) that they had already called 211 (when they didn’t call 211 until 12:54pm)? And let's not forget that make-believe party that Sollecito claimed he and Knox attended on the night of the murder with that make-believe friend.
• What about the staged break-in?
• What about Mr. Quintavalle, who said that Knox was in his store at 7:45a.m., the morning after the murder—when she claimed that she didn’t wake up until 10:00a.m., that morning?
• What about Knox’s written confession?
• What about the bloody shoe print found on the pillow under Kercher’s body, which experts claimed was compatible with Knox?
• What about the other 2 footprints, revealed only by luminol (1 attributed to Knox and one to Sollecito)?

Frankly, it’s ludicrous to think that Knox would win the appeal solely based on these pieces of evidence; it is like saying that she was convicted based on only these evidentiary items, which Knox supporters would like to have you believe. So if it is ruled during the appeal that the knife is discredited or held unreliable as the murder weapon and Curatola’s testimony is not reliable then there is still sufficient evidence to convict the pair. If the bra clasp, however, is held as unreliable—and this does not mean by the independent experts, necessarily, but by the judges and jury members—then the case looks much better for Knox and Sollecito, particularly Sollecito. Yet, there is still a lot of evidence against them.

It is also important to note that during the original trial one of the judge’s witnesses, forensic expert, Mariano Cingolani, testified that the knife did not match one of the two knife wounds on the right hand side of Kercher’s neck. However, he also cautioned that “no firm conclusion could be drawn without knowing the position of Kercher’s neck during the attack or the elasticity of her tissues.” I point this out because this was a judge's witness (or independent witness) from the original trial--just like the two who will be testifying--and they were still convicted.

Best case scenario, in my opinion, Knox’s sentence will be reduced a couple of years if the knife evidence is held as unreliable—which would still be considered a big win, because I strongly believe that she was involved. This is unlikely, however, as Guede’s sentence was reduced from 30yrs to 16yrs upon appeal. Guede’s sentence was reduced primarily because of Knox and Sollecito’s trial--the Italian Supreme Court ruled that there was more than one person involved in the crime, and they implicated Knox and Sollecito in their ruling; thus, diminishing Guede's role and sentence as a result. Hypothetically speaking, if Knox and Sollecito "walk" then Guede gets only 16yrs for killing Meredith Kercher. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that I am: Knox and Sollecito’s sentences both stand at the end of this appeal. In any event, May 21 (date the experts will give testimony) will be another circus-type event in Italy’s trial of the century.

In other case news, the Sollecito family criminal trial and civil trial for leaking evidence—primarily the crime scene footage showing Kercher’s naked body and close-up shots of her wounds—and for trying to persuade politicians to get key officers off of the case will both start on 29 April 2011. More on this coming soon (also covered extensively in my book).


  1. Hi Will,

    My post was too long so I put it on a web page.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Excellent post, Will.

    However, if I may point one issue: Guede's sentence was reduced due to a large part because of he opted for the a fast-track trial. Option for this speedy type of trial affords a one-third reduction in time compared to Knox's and Sollecito's sentences (who opted for a longer trial).

    Knox got 26 years; and Guedes was reduced to 16 years, so this is approximately one-third less time.

  3. Yea, I broke it down on my podcast a few days ago and on on 4/2...

    It is my understanding that the sentencing that Guede originally received was 30 years—24 for murder and 6 for sexual assault. The appeals court had reduced Guede’s sentence to 24 years—after finding the mitigating circumstances to be equivalent to the alleged aggravating circumstances, and thus re-applying the reduction for the [fast-track] trial to the maximum penalty for a non-aggravated murder—and cut one-third off of the 24yrs as is customary when defendants opt for a fast-track trial.

    Knox and Sollecito were given 24yrs as well. Knox and Sollecito both received an extra year for simulating a burglary at the scene and Knox got an extra year for falsely blaming Lumumba for the murder—26 Knox and 25 Sollecito.

  4. Hello Bruce,

    You can find my response at:

  5. Will, It is apparent that you are locked into the True Justice/PMF mindset. You mention that your book offers different opinions than your blog. I would suggest putting the same opinion forward on both. It doesn't serve you well to have differing opinions. Now that I have clarified that you are locked in with Peter Quennell, I really have no urgency to debate you. Your views are clearly written in stone. Well I guess it all depends on whether one reads your blog or your book. Either way, you are entitled to your opinion.

    Massei is not the expert of all things. If the judge's report was always accurate, appeals would be non existent.

    Just one more thing, please provide proof that Amanda's blood was mixed with Meredith's blood anywhere in the cottage. Please show me the scientific test results that prove that point. If you can do that for me, I will promote your book on the front page of my website.

  6. Likewise Bruce, it appears that you are locked into the Knox supporter mindset, and you are as well certainly entitled to your opinion. I appreciate your suggestion, but I have my own course to follow and I am not currently looking for advisors. I have not offered you any suggestions on how you should approach the material. And I’m only locked into what I believe after extensive research on the subject and gravitate towards those I believe to be in line with my thinking on the case, just as you have gravitated towards Knox’s family and the Knox supporters. As I said, I have read your website as well, and I think you did good work; although, I don’t agree with many of your ideologies and interpretations of the evidence.

    You are correct, Massei is not an expert on all things and I am assuming neither are you—and I certainly do not claim to be, I have worked hard in this field in my studies to be able to provide my analysis, that’s the best I can do—and I make no apologies for that.

    It is certainly not my responsibility to provide proof—other than Massei’s report detailing Dr. Stefanoni’s findings—of the mixed blood. Moreover, I believe it is you that would need to provide the proof of your assertions—that there “was no mixed blood”—in light of that fact that this is what you stated, and Massei’s report and Dr. Stefanoni’s testimony indicated otherwise. The question then remains—since you know where my findings come from—where did your results come from on the “lack-of” mixed blood?

  7. Bruce, thank you for an interesting article. I, too believe that the Italian courts got it right on the three of them, however, a good many people refuse to believe in AK's guilt based on the motive of "sex crime". I believe it started out as a burglary. I think they waited in the park to assure Meredith came home alone. Guede caught up with them and was invited along. I believe they wanted her purse, which contained her rent money and the keys to the downstairs apartment which Meredith had to water marijuana plants. The Massei report (PP191/192) indicates there was mixed DNA of Guede and Meredith on her purse, and her keys are still missing. Was there blood found on the purse? If not, this would indicate to me that the murder took place AFTER the burglary. I think Meredith caught them out. What ensued was tragic. But I believe burglary was the initial motive.

  8. So sorry for above error. It should have read:
    WILL, thank you for your interesting article.
    My apopogies.

  9. No problem CJ, thanks for your post. Guede’s DNA was found on Meredith’s purse; however, Meredith was known to keep her money stashed in her room. She had recently withdrawn money from her bank in order to pay the rent. It is unlikely that she was carrying around that type of cash in her purse. More likely that if Knox was involved, she knew where Meredith hid her money. Remember, their rooms were very tiny. In fact, Guede says that after discovering that her money was missing, Meredith suspected Amanda and went into Amanda’s room to look in her stash to see if the money was there. Not that we should 100 percent believe Guede, but it is a telling statement. In any event, burglary could have been the motive.

  10. Thank you again, Will. I look forward to reading your book. And a special thanks to a James Raper of TJMK for his post today on the money issue. I get it, I finally get it.

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