Problems With The Alibi

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Contents

Timeline According to Knox and Sollecito

The evening according to Knox and Sollecito can be found here.

The Alibi

  • Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's alibi is really simple. They met at the cottage, which Amanda Knox was sharing with Meredith Kercher and two other roommates, in the afternoon. Meredith was there and she left to see her friends, and that was the last time they saw her alive.
  • Raffaele and Amanda's story gets different after Meredith leaves. Amanda is insistent that they went straight from the cottage to Raffaele's. Raffaele, on the other hand, has them going for a long walk into the center of Perugia before coming full circle and ending up at Raffaele's.[1]
  • In both versions they end up at Raffaele's where they have dinner. Raffaele's father calls, and they claim to have had issues with the pipes that led to a water spill. Amanda claims that she was supposed to work that night but Meredith's friends testified that Meredith had declined an invitation to do something with Knox the evening she was murdered.[2] Knox and the bar owner had a conflict that resulted in Knox storming out without finishing her shift. Despite it being a night that Knox would normally work it is unclear if she intended to. Amanda Knox did receive a text from her boss informing her that she shouldn't bother coming in.
  • Knox and Raffaele decided to turn off their phones. They claim that they spent the night alone at Raffaele's reading, spending time on the computer, and smoking pot. Neither can remember whether they had sex. In some versions Knox thinks they did, and in others she returns to being uncertain. Knox thinks they took a shower together, but again she is not certain. They both blame their inability to remember the details of the night on drug use.
  • They both claim that they slept in until 10:30 am. At that point Amanda went to her apartment to have a shower and fetch a mop to clean up the spill from the previous night. When Amanda got to the cottage, there were a lot of clues that something was wrong, but Amanda claims she was completely oblivious to these at first.

We discuss Knox's behavior on the morning the body was found in a separate section. If you are interested in reading that section, please see Does Amanda Knox's Account of the Morning of Nov 2 Sound Believable?

What Can Be Confirmed Regarding the Alibi

Since both Amanda and Raffaele decided to turn off their mobile phones, we can't confirm much of their movements for the night of the murder. All that we know is that around 8:40 pm Amanda Knox was still at Raffaele's apartment. Jovana Popovic, a Polish student who knew Raffaele, came by his apartment to inform him that she no longer required him to give her a drive to the bus station. Jovana did not see Raffaele, and she was told he was in the bathroom by Amanda.[3] Sollecito received a phone call at 8:42 pm that was handled by the cell tower covering his apartment so he was likely at the apartment until at least 8:42 pm.[4] That is all we can confirm of their alibi.

Problems with the Alibi

While we can't confirm anything in the alibi after 8:42 pm, they do offer elements that we can show to be false.

Lack of Computer Activity

The alibi has Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito staying in and spending the night on the computer and reading. The problem with this is that we know that there was no computer internet activity after 9:10:32 pm when the video file Amelie.avi stopped playing.[5] That activity could have been caused by the movie ending without any human interaction.[6] The last computer activity that required human interaction was at 6:27:15 pm when the movie file started playing.[7] There was no computer activity for the entire night. Firefox was open but no browsing occurred. There was a P2P program active, and Quicktime connected to Apple's servers on port 80 for 4 seconds at 12:58 am, but that does not involve human interaction[8] The police contacted FastWeb, Sollecito's ISP provider, and the logs from that night show no webpage requests.[9] This is a problem for Raffaele and Amanda's version of events.

Witnesses That See Them Near the Cottage the Night of the Murder

The claim that they were at Raffaele's all night is further contradicted by two witnesses that saw them near the cottage where the murder took place.

Antonio Curatolo

Antonio Curatolo testified that he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder.[10] Curatolo was a homeless man who often spent the night in Piazza Grimana. On the night of the murder Curatolo was in Piazza Grimana smoking and reading a news magazine.[11] Occasionally he would look up and he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the square by the railing that looks over onto the cottage where the murder occurred. The first time Curatolo noticed Knox and Sollecito in the square was around 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm, and the last time around 11.00 pm -11.30 pm. When he departed at midnight, they were no longer in the square.[12] The couple returning to Piazza Grimana corresponds with the testimony of Nara Capezzali who claims that after hearing a scream at roughly 11 pm she heard two people running in different directions [13] with one set of footsteps going up the metal stairs leading to Via Pinturicchio.[14]

According to Curatolo the couple were talking animatedly and Sollecito went to the edge of the railing and looked over toward the cottage.[15] Curatolo testified that when they left he went to the edge himself to look over and see what was so interesting, but he didn't see anything. Curatolo could not state the date that this happened, but he was certain that it was the day before the forensic police arrived making it the night of the murder.[16] Two business owners testified that Curatolo was on the bench in Piazza Grimana smoking and reading on the night of November 1, 2007.

During the 2011 appeal Judge Hellmann allowed a defense request to have Antonio Curatolo re-examined. Curatolo's testimony at the Hellmann appeal was less coherent. Shortly after testifying at the Hellmann appeal Curatolo passed away.

Hekuran Kokomani

Hekuran Kokomani testified that he saw Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede together the night of the murder, only a few meters from the cottage where Meredith was killed.[17] Kokomani's testimony was confused and at time contradictory. Kokomani had testified at the preliminary trial and the judge declared that Kokomani was not a reliable witness.[18]


Kokomani claims that he was driving in front of the cottage and that he had to stop quickly because there was a black garbage bag in the road.[19] When he stopped he realized the garbage bag was actually two people that Kokomani identified as Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.[20] Kokomani claims to have punched Sollecito because he did not like his attitude.[21] Amanda Knox pulled a 16-inch knife from a green handbag and was holding it over her head with both hands.[22] Kokomani said Knox had the knife but was not threatening him with it only holding it above her head.[23] Raffaele Sollecito tried to assure Kokomani that there was no reason to be concerned by stating that Knox was only a girl. Kokomani went on to say that he then threw some olives and a cell phone he had in the car at Knox before driving away.[24]


According to Kokomani he then saw Rudy Guede. Kokomani asked Guede why the other two had knives and according to Kokomani Guede told him that the knife was to cut a cake for a celebration they were having at the cottage.[25] Kokomani also testified that Rudy Guede offered him money to borrow his car because they wanted to move some furniture the next day.[26] At this point Kokomani saw Sollecito approaching his car from behind so he took off. Kokomani claims he took a video knife but that he later deleted it.[27] Kokomani found out about the murder a few days later and called his lawyer Antonio Aiello to report what had happened.[28] Aiello was leaving for a vacation so did not deal with Kokomani's statement until January. Kokomani had problems with the law and was reluctant to go to the police but his lawyer encouraged him to.


Both Kokomani and Kokomani's lawyer Antonio Aiello testified that before Kokomani's name was public someone was offering €100,000 to either get the witness to not testify or for the name of the witness.[29][30] Kokomani testified and Aiello confirmed that Kokomani sought counsel a few days after Kokomani's name was made public because he was receiving threats and his wife and children in Albania were also threatened.[31][32] Kokomani had told a reporter that he was offered a bribe and there is evidence of Sollecito's family influencing the testimony of several witnesses.[33]


The story as told by Kokomani is hard to understand but completely ignoring it is problematic as well. Kokomani is confirmed to have been in the area on the night of the murder. He also did not want to go to the police so injecting himself into the trial for attention seems unlikely. At the same time the story as told is difficult to follow and confused. Parts of the story seem embellished but the core of the story that he saw Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede and that there was some kind of altercation seems truthful. So why would Kokomani embellish what happened the night of November 1? There are a few possible explanations. The first could be that he is just lashing out at the prosecution because of Kokomani's own arrest. In March of 2009 when Kokomani testified he was in prison having been arrested and convicted of drug offenses a few months after making his statement to the police.[34] It is possible that Kokomani who was reluctant to begin with now had no interest at all in helping the prosecution. A second possibility is Kokomani took the threats seriously so alter his testimony into the unbelievable jumble. As a final option there is also the possibility that Kokomani is just one of those characters who on every telling of a story makes it more fantastic. Kokomani refusing to use an interpreter did not help. The testimony had to be stopped multiple times so the interpreter could explain the meaning of works to Kokomani. Many questions were not answered because after repeated attempts Kokomani still did not understand what was being asked so the court moved on.

Lying about When They Had Dinner

Knox insists that they had dinner very late. She claims it was around 11 pm, and that she is certain of this. We know that is untrue based on the testimony of Sollecito's father, and it further contradicts both Knox and Sollecito's earlier statements. Around 11 pm is a significant time, as that is when the police believe Meredith was murdered. Amanda wants to make the claim that they could not have killed Meredith, because they were at Sollecito's having dinner. Previously Knox had claimed that they had dinner at 9:30 pm. We know from Sollecito's father, that when he called at 8:42 pm, the couple had already eaten dinner, and were in the process of washing the dishes. So Amanda is lying about having dinner, when Meredith is believed to have been murdered, and unlike the rest of the events, she claims that this one fact she is certain of.

Computer and Phone Activity When Knox and Sollecito Claim to be Sleeping

In every version of the alibi Amanda and Raffaele claim they slept in until about 10:30 am. This though is contradicted by physical evidence. At 5:32:09 am someone attempted to play an MP3 file using the VLC program on Raffaele's computer.[35] This results in VLC crashing. There are two additional attempts to play the file using VLC that also lead to the program crashing.[36] The individual using the computer then switched to iTunes and successfully plays the MP3 file, which was roughly 30 minutes long.[37] So despite the claim that they slept in until about 10:30 am, someone was awake and playing music in Raffaele's apartment at 5:30 am.

The second indication that they were awake much earlier than their alibi maintains, is that at 6:02:59 am Sollecito's mobile phone was activated.[38] Both Raffaele and Amanda had turned off their mobile phones on the night of the murder, and now at 6 am someone, presumably Raffaele, had turned on his phone.

Getting up early, however, is not a crime, and while it is uncommon for young people with little responsibility to get up so early, lying about it, and continuing to insist on the lie even when computer and phone records establish without a doubt that they were awake earlier, makes no sense on its own. The motivation for why they insisted, that they were sleeping until 10:30 am, is likely related to an effort to deny the testimony of Marco Quintavalle, who testified that Amanda Knox was outside his store at 7:45 am waiting for it to open, and that she went directly to the cleaning products section. Quintavalle was not near the cashier, so he does not know if Knox purchased anything, but two bottles of bleach that Raffaele's maid denies were there before, were recovered from his apartment.

Witness That Sees Amanda Knox at His Store When She Claims to be Sleeping

Amanda and Raffaele claim that they slept until 10:30 am, but someone was playing music on Raffaele's computer from 5:30 am until 6:00 am, at which time Raffaele's phone was turned on. At 7:45 am Marco Quintavalle was opening his shop, and he claims to have seen Amanda Knox outside his store waiting for it to open.[39] When Quintavalle opened the store, Knox went directly to the cleaning products section. Quintavalle did not see Knox leave, he does not know what she purchased, or even if she purchased anything. What he stated was that Knox was outside his store waiting to get in when he opened the store.

In early reports, there was a claim that bleach receipts had been located at Raffaele's apartment. This is not true. During the search of his apartment, the police did photograph and collect a series of receipts, but none of them were for bleach. The police also collected two bottles of bleach, which according to Raffaele's maid should not have been there. The reporting, that the receipts for the purchase of bleach were recovered, was incorrect.

Notes

  1. Matteini Hearing (English)
  2. Popham, Peter. Friends of murdered girl arrive to incriminate Knox The Independent February 14, 2009
  3. Staff."Amanda Knox promises 'wild sex' after Meredith Kercher death" The Sunday Telegraph 25 Nov 2007
  4. Massei report translation, p.310
  5. Massei report translation, p.304
  6. Massei report translation, p.304
  7. Massei report translation, p.304
  8. Massei report translation, p.305 & p.310
  9. Massei report translation, p.306
  10. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  11. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  12. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  13. Nara Capezzali's Testimony
  14. Nara Capezzali's Testimony
  15. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  16. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  17. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  18. Wise, Ann. Homeless Man Puts Knox Near Crime Scene ABC News March 28 2009
  19. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  20. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  21. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  22. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  23. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  24. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  25. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  26. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  27. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  28. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  29. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  30. Antonio Aiello's Testimony - direct
  31. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  32. Antonio Aiello's Testimony - Dalla Vedova cross-examination
  33. See Fabio Leonardo's testimony as well as the testimony of Ana Marina Chiriboga's Testimony who previously testified that there was no bleach at Raffaele Sollecito's apartment but then after meeting with Sollecito's lawyer changed her statement to claim that there was bleach. Also see the Luciano Aviello affair. Luciano Aviello testified that his brother was the real killer. That was contradicted by several inmates who testified that Aviello was bragging about being given money by the Sollecito family for a sex change operation in exchange for him making these false statements. Aviello himself would later admit that he accepted a bribe from the Sollecito family to give false testimony. Then in 2013 now in the process of gender reassignment Aviello again testified that it was his brother who killed Meredith and denied accepting a bribe. For more information on Aviello see The Prison Informants.
  34. Wise, Ann. Homeless Man Puts Knox Near Crime Scene ABC News March 28 2009
  35. Massei report translation, p.306
  36. Massei report translation, p.306
  37. Massei report translation, p.306
  38. Massei report translation, p.317
  39. Massei report translation, p.83