The actual case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
Update 1/31/2014: I will be producing an updated version of this post in the coming week. Follow me on twitter at @pataz1 or enter in your email address in the subscribe box to be notified of the update!
The evidence of Guede in the apartment and his involvement in Meredith’s murder are widely accepted; Guede himself admits to being at the apartment that night. However the prosecution and the first court in Amanda Knox’s trial believed that Guede was not alone based on many points of evidence. The involvement of additional people, i.e. that Guede did not act alone, has also been accepted in Guede’s trial AND in both of his appeals.
One of Knox’s own first statements placed her at the scene of the crime, coming after Sollecito changed his story and no longer provided her an alibi. While Knox’s first statement was not admittable in the trial, her written statement was, and she admitted she couldn’t not confirm any of her actions the night of the 1st:
“I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating.”
Knox also questioned her own memory:
And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house. (…) Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?
Some of the points in the Massei report:
The forensic evidence points to additional participants in the murder and staging the scene afterwards.
- Sollecito’s DNA found on the bra hook of the cut-off part of the bra
- Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA found on a knife in Sollecito’s apartment
- Half a bare footprint on the bathmat in the bathroom, however Guede’s tracks from his shoes lead directly from the bedroom out the front door.
- Bare footprint not a match for Guede’s foot
- No other bare footprints or blood in hallway or bathroom leading up to bath mat; potential signs of a clean-up
- Luminol tests done 45 days later revealed a footprint in the hallway the size of Knox’s foot.
- Knox’s DNA, not Guede’s or the other roommates, found mixed with Meredith’s blood in the bathroom, hallway, and in the room with the “break-in”
The knife is one of the most contested parts of the case. The knife was found in Sollecito’s house, not Knox’s, and contained Knox’s DNA. The examiner also found Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife, though the sample was small, and the defense contends that therefore contamination cannot be ruled out. However, even if the DNA is excluded, Sollecito made a damning statement when he claimed:
The fact that Meredith’s DNA is on my kitchen knife is because once, when we were all cooking together, I accidentally pricked her hand,
Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment.
Knox & Sollecito alibi problems
Knox’s alibi of being at Sollecito’s all evening is was not corroborated by Sollecito during the trial. His own story changed multiple times. His final story during the trial had Knox going out for a portion of the evening. However, multiple points contradict both of their alibis:
- Cell phone records indicate Knox received the text from Patrick from a different part of town then Sollecito’s apartment is in
- Witness Curatolo puts them in the basketball court that evening
- Computer records contradict Sollecito’s story of being on the net all evening, and do not provide alibi for the time of the murder
- Cell phone and computer records contradict Sollecito’s story of sleeping until morning of the 2nd, as both show activity at ~5-6am
- Owner of shop places Knox at his shop early in the morning of the 2nd, a time Knox said she was sleeping
There are other considerations regarding Knox and Sollecito the Massei report takes into consideration:
- Knox & Sollecito “panic” at not knowing about Meredith and attempting to break-down Meredith’s door not witnessed by any of the police or other people who arrived the afternoon of the 2nd. (“panic” per Knox’s email home).
- Knox & Sollecitio not reporting the attempt to break down the door to the police, her roommate, or others when they arrived
- When Knox called up F. the morning of the 2nd to report the strangeness of the house, Knox did not tell F. that she’d already tried to call Meredith’s phone, and said that she would try calling her after she got off the phone with F.
- Knox shifted the time of dinner on the 1st from 9:30pm to 11pm; however Sollecito’s father had a phone conversation at 8:42 pm and recalled Sollecito reporting a water leak from washing dishes, an event the Massei report believes took place after dinner- thus putting the dinner significantly before when Knox reports it happened.
- Sollecito received a phone call from his father at 9:30 am the morning of the 2nd, an event Knox makes no mention of, though she contends she was with Sollecito until she woke at 10am.
- Knox & Sollecito claim they were planning on going out of town the morning of the 2nd, but their activities don’t support that action: Knox returning home for a change of clothes, Knox taking a shower at home though she took one at Sollecitos, sleeping in late though Knox was reportedly an early riser.
- Sollecito emphasized in the phone calls to the police that “there was no theft” and “nothing has been taken”, then when the postal police show up they’re told of a possible burglary.
- Knox called her mother at 12:47, before the door had been broken down. In a jailhouse conversation with her mother on this phone call, Knox states “I was in shock”, and her mother replies “But this was before anything had happened…”
Against the lone-wolf scenario
Both the Micheli report from Guede’s trial and the Massei report from Knox/Sollecito’s trial rejected the argument that Guede acted alone. There are many reasons for this; chief among them that the argument that this was a break-in was rejected and instead the disarrayed room was staged to make it appear there was a break in. Guede would not have a reason to stage a break-in to deflect attention while at the same time leaving unassailable evidence of his presence, including in the bathroom. Therefore, Guede would have had been provided access to the house, and the Massei report argues that it is improbable that Meredith let Guede in.. therefore whoever let Guede in was at the house that night and was responsible for staging the break-in to deflect attention from themselves. Amanda was the only resident without an provable alibi.
The signs that the burglary was staged include:
- No footprints in the grass below the window (and no ground dirt tracked in)
- An undisturbed nail sticking out on the outside wall under the window, which seems unlikely if someone pulled their body up over that wall
- A lack of scuff marks on the wall that would have been climbed
- Glass still sitting on the window sill that a climber would have had to pull themselves over
- No glass was found on the ground outside the window
- What was disturbed in the bedroom with the “break-in” was only clothes; boxes and drawers remained closed and unchecked
- Valuables, including computer, were not taken
- The shutters on the window with the broken glass were argued to be closed; this would have required climbing the wall twice.
- Someone breaking in would have to rely on the chance occurrence that the inner shutters were not locked, and thus not preventing access once the window was broken.