Raffaele Sollecito’s changing alibi

On November 4th, 2007, as the police in perugia were in day three of the murder investigation, the Sunday Mirror in the UK published an article by reporter Kate Mansey. According to her article, Mansey happened to run into Raffaele, who told her about the evening of the first and the morning of the 2nd, when Meredith was found murdered.

According to this version of events from Raffaele, he and Amanda went to a party on the evening of November 1st:

Raffaele had spent the night at his own house on the other side of the city with his girlfriend, Meredith’s American flatmate Amanda Knox, 22. He said: “It was a normal night. Meredith had gone out with one of her English friends and Amanda and I went to party with one of my friends.”The next day, around lunchtime, Amanda went back to their apartment to have a shower.”

It is not known if the perugia police were aware of Mansey’s article and Raffaele’s stateements in it; but this version of Rafaelle and Amanda’s actions on November 1 clearly contradicted with whatt Raffaele had already been telling them. The Italian Police may have been watching international reports, like the Italian press was. In fact, the “foxy knoxy” reporting started in the UK; this was not the Italian media attaking Amanda, but the Italian media were reporting on what had been published in the UK media. The UK tabliods found Amanda’s MySpace profile and published headlines about “Foxy knoxy” in the first few days after the murder.

On day three of the investigation, Raffaele had already been into the station and given a witness statement on Nov 2nd.  In that statement to the police, Raffaele said that he and Amanda walked into town on the evening of the 1st before returning back to his house, something not mentioned in Mansey’s article.

On November 5th, day four of the investigation, the police call in Raffaele to the station to answer some further questions, where he will give his third version of what he and Amanda did the night of Nov 1st.

FT.com / Reportage – The role of remorse in court convictions

According to John Harding, former chief probation officer of the Inner London Probation Service (now the London Probation Area), a demonstration of remorse at trial can often depend on the defendant’s mental state. In the UK, most murders are committed by youths under 21 years old and, he says, “remorse is not necessarily an emotion that is very evolved with these individuals”.

This might help explain the much commented-upon behaviour of Amanda Knox, the young American student convicted by an Italian court last year of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007, when Knox was 20 years old. Knox was widely criticised for her lack of remorse, a lack that was proven – so the argument goes – by her performing cartwheels at the police station after being brought in for questioning. Although Knox maintained her innocence at trial, her failure to appear sufficiently contrite was frequently cited. Prosecutors have now filed an appeal against the 26-year jail term she received, arguing it is too lenient, reportedly in part because she showed no remorse.

via FT.com / Reportage – The role of remorse in court convictions.

What we don’t know…

…about what the jury saw may be bigger then what we do know. For example, testimony about fingerprints can be a big deal in setting the scene. However, we don’t know about the fingerprint testimony, as to where the various finger prints were found and what was even tested. The news reports I’ve seen i get the sense that the forensic testimony on fingerprints only lasted a day or two, and we don’t know what other documents were entered in as evidence.

In this case, Knox’s lamp was found in the victim’s room. Its significant enough that Knox was questioned on it on the stand.  Was the lamp dusted? What was revealed? Fingerprints at all? Fingerprints that couldn’t be determined? If there was an absolute lack of evidence on the lamp, it would point to a partial clean-up of the scene. If only the victim’s prints were found on the lamp, it would be inconclusive for the offense and for the defense, as the victim may have moved the lamp herself when she got home that evening.

Deducing from what I’ve seen so far,  since the prosecution didn’t make it part of the case (from what i’ve seen so far) the only possibility might be that the lamp wasn’t dusted, or that the victim’s prints were found on the lamp. If knox’s prints were the only one on the lamp, and she didn’t know how it got into the room, it would have been part of the case; futhermore the prosecution has stated only one of knox’s prints was retrieved from the scene.  If the lamp was wiped clean, it would have been part of the evidence of someone disturbing the scene. With the victim’s prints on the lamp, the case can be made that it was moved that evening by the victim. Only one of Guede’s prints was retrieved; so either his print isn’t on the lamp, or it wasn’t dusted.