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:

Forensic evidence

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

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

Other issues

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.

24 thoughts on “The actual case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

  1. Yeah, they were so panicked that they went to the store the next day and bought a lingerie, they looked relaxed and excited to have sex. Can you imagine a first time killers acting like that the next day that they killed someone? I guess not. Get over it, they’re innocent.

    You failed, along with many others,guilters and FOAkers) to take a look at the whole picture. We’ve got Guede, Knox and Sollecito, and not only Knox and Sollecito or only Guede.And when you look at the case against all three of them, it’s so obvious that Guede acted without Knox and Sollecito. They didn’t kill her. Guede did.

    • Nara,
      Narcissists don’t panic. They remain relaxed, unfazed and are without empathy. That is how they can go out for pizza and buy underwear instead of going to the memorial (fact: they did NOT go). Amanda Knox is guilty and I feel terrible about it. She can’t help the fact that she is a sociopath. It’s a crying shame.

      • Sociopaths can do and often get off on stuff like this. So, the whole “too relaxed to have sex” goes out the window. I would definitely place them in this category rather than a narcissist, but, yes, there are people who can commit such horrible acts
        and remain as if nothing has happened. Nara, have you not heard of such people as Susan Smith, or how bout Ted Bundy—Honey, they do exist

    • Psychopathy is characterized by such traits as

      lack of remorse or empathy
      shallow emotions
      low frustration tolerance
      episodic relationships
      parasitic lifestyle
      persistent violation of social norms.

      Amanda displayed all the symptoms above.

  2. How do any of us know what happened? we don’t. The only people that for sure know what happened that night are Meredith, who is dead, Knox and her boyfriend and Guede. Question where were the other roommates at the time of the murder? We can only judge by what we see and hear. For me I believe Amanda knows more than she’s telling anyone. But lets face this fact: NO matter who did what, someone lost their child, a young girls life was taken and it can never be replaced. Its a sad sad tale. Whether or not Knox is innocent will not bring Meredith back. Those who know the truth should give her justice by telling the real story. The evidence is not really evidence though, since Knox did also live at the flat, her footprints would be there, her DNA would be there. why was there blood in the bathroom? so many unanswered questions, and only god can bring the true justice.

  3. Go to Injustice in Perugia for facts or Frank Sfarzo’s Perugia Shock for an Italian journalist’s point of view. Most expert/informed opinion now is that there was police malfeasance and/or incompetence and that the case won’t hold up on appeal.

    Amanda and Raffaele would not be the first totally innocent people who were convicted of a crime.

    • I suppose you also think OJ, van der Sloot, and Charles Manson are innocent too?

      Sfarzo and IiP are both horribly biased and misstate several key pieces of evidence to sway their readers.

  4. I have read so much conflicting information my head is spinning. We have to remember that we don’t know the actual proof or even the proof in question. The only things we’re sure of is: blood in the bathroom,(there really wasn’t blood in the hallway?), the conflicting statements of Sollecito and Knox available for us to see;someone lied; was it both of them? Guede was there. That really seems all we know for sure. Since we aren’t privvy to all of the crucial ferensic clues,we can’t possibly find the truth no matter how much we may want to. I find their statements really damning, frankly. If they’re innocent, they’ve done a heck of a job seeming guilty by those statements; knowingly lying. What were they thinking? Where did they learn that was ok to do? My conclusion is similar to one of the bloggers here that Amanda’s statement shows she knows something she’s not telling. I think that it was the responsability of her lawyers to confront her on that point, and I can’t help but feel like they’re being lawyers wanting to keep the argument that neither Knox nor Sollecito were at the apartment that night.Sollecito distanced himself at first; why? I think it was because they were indeed separated at some point during the night of the murder and he also assumed she knew something she’s not saying. I also think that Mignini, the prosecutor, suspected that really only one of them was there and figured he could shock someone into a confession; but that didn’t exactly happen. One question I have, however is about memory? How much does marijuana effect memory? It doesn’t strike me as a drug connected to violence; but does it greatly effect memory? If it does, then I’ll believe them more that they’re wishy washy for a good reason besides guilt.

  5. Innocent people do not tell that many lies. And I agree, she is a narcissistic sociopath. Proven time and again with comments and statements and writings made before she was coached.
    The reason the defence is focusing so much on the DNA is it contaminated, Knox lived at the house so DNA would be there etc, is that it’s a complex/confusing science to the average person and takes all attention way from the other VERY damming evidence. For those who say we don’t have much forensic info, stop reading blogs and American propoganda and sensationalist media to base opinions and read the 397 page Massei Report.

  6. Yes, why are Amanda and Sollecito lying, for example about where they were at the time of the crime? If you accused of something (specially a murder!!!) by the police, then you better tell the truth if this is going to set you free.

    And no, marijuana doesn’t affect your memory. At least it didn’t affect mine!!! Trust me, I tried….

  7. They were coerced into changing their testimony and told the police what they thought they wanted to hear, and got confused, Why? Why did any other exonerated person do it? It happens more than you might think;

    The truth is, every piece of so called evidence is crumbling upon closer examination. She did NOT buy bleach at the store; there were NO current receipts for bleach. She did NOT use bleach in her home, she was NOT cleaning or holding a mop and bucket when the police got there, there where NO bloody footprints in the hall, the knife with her DNA on it was NOT the murder weapon. The blood, fingerprints and DNA on and around the body were NOT hers. They admit they can’t even PROVE she was ever in the room where the crime occurred.

    There IS a policeman who seems to have no qualms about letting misinformation fly about. Who has shown to be over zealous, superstious and proud. I’m appalled that the Italian people seem so avid to believe all this so easily. Anti-American sentiment at it’s best! So quick to call her narcissistic when what they really mean is they think Americans are narcissistic.

    Why is Guede not being asked to provide proof of how and where/when he met this couple – or better yet, WHY was his sentence reduced??

    I hope that when she is cleared, all the people who helped spread these lies are held to account. Number one on my list is the shop keeper who claimed she purchased bleached twice that morning but yet has NO receipts for anyone buying cleaning products that morning.

    This adds up to no more than a modern day witch hunt. Her crime? Being born American and beautiful.

    The only devils in this case are the ones pointing the finger!

  8. I think many of you should face up to the fact that she may well be guilty. We should remember that a young woman has been brutally murdered here, she should not be forgotten in this case. If Amanda was innocent why has she lied about so much and so often? She certainly didn’t behave in a way appropriate to someone who has just had a friend murdered. As for beautiful, this is a very superficial thing and means nothing. Do all murderers have to look ugly?

  9. I guess this blog is dormant, which is a shame as it’s now Oct 5, 2011 and the convictions of Knox and Sollecito have been overturned. The posting of Millstream on 21 June states the evidence situation clearly, and as it stayed: no evidence the Knox or Sollecito were in the room where the crime occurred, yet Guede’s evidence all over the place. I find the Italian court’s analysis shockingly illogical: “Guede couldn’t have acted alone, as he had no reason to fake an entry” — a conclusion drawn from unproven premise: that the entry was faked. Accept the forced entry, accept simple explanations rather than complicated ones, and it all just reduces to a simple burglary that becomes a murder when Meredith Kercher came home, alone — to find a burglar murdered her to get away. The only thing I don’t understand, is why the Italian police ever pursued an elaborate, three-person sex crime and cover-up when there was such a straight-forward (if undramatic) explanation. The other travesty is that Guede had his sentence reduced, because he was ‘the only one to express regret “for not going in to rescue her” ‘ — when actually he very likely not only did all the stabbing, but then simply left the victim to die slowly. His is the case that should be reviewed, and the sentence increased.

      • I don’t believe that any of those points argued the window was difficult to climb. The Channel 5 video does not recreate the full situation on 11/1 in two important ways: there were no window bars on 11/1, and there was a significant amount or broken glass in the very place where this demonstrator reaches up to pull himself over. We are supposed to believe Guede pulled himself up to the window and crawled over it, yet didn’t disturb the glass that was found on the window sill the next morning?

    • The full crime scene is the entire house- if you use the footprints in blood going out the door against guede, then knox’s DNA found mixed with M’s in other rooms is also evidence.

      • Footprints with mixed DNA tested negative for blood. (Reading M. Report since yesterday). Shoe print were clearly blood and matched Rudy’s Nikes. And M’s DNA. Hardly comparable IMO.

  10. Well Richard what did Guede get away with? If he came into rob, what did he take? Why would a robber not run away as quickly as possible? Why engage in an elaborate and prolonged murder? And if it became a sex crime that eventually turned into a murder in which someone was stabbed 16 or more times, why didn’t he ransack the house to try and find money to get away? This case is very curious. I don’t believe there was sufficient evidence to convict Knox. And there certainly is not a good motive for the crime. But there are quite a few unanswered questions. It would certainly be worth it for the press to spend some time talking to Guede to try an validate or dismiss his statements. Maybe there is still someone else out there.

  11. Re: Richard Wright – quite. It really is baffling that the police and prosecutor went to such lengths to keep their original (bizarre) theory going. I think it likely that had they collared Guede earlier then the three person theory would never have emerged. The timeline for their theorisation is telling. I wonder if they thought it better to pin the bulk of the guilt on another foreigner and thereby lessen the implied responsibility of Italians as hosts, if that makes any sense at all?

    Another oddity of the case is how polarised the debate over the credibility of the conviction became. Clearly both sides are guilty of this to an extent but the pro-innocence side can at least point to the fact that this was a (now adjudged) miscarriage and therefore up to an extent, their actions were justified. I find it staggering how vehement pro-guilt advocates remain even now. The extent to which they have bought into the Massei report is also astonishing. The report reads (IMO) as speculative narrative from the start (i.e. from an objective summation of the evidence) and without the now trashed DNA evidence would have been utterly ridiculous.

    • There has been absolutely nothing that conclusively proves Knox and Sollecito were NOT involved. Thus in the absense of a proven alibi and evidence that points to their involvement (and NOT to the involvement of the other roommates who lived in the house for FAR longer) then the focus on them is entirely understandable.

  12. In the end, 1 or 2 of them is guilty. But there is no burden of proof. In the U.S. state of law they are not guilty. Even thought the people may believe their guilt like so many cases in the U.S.

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