The Evidence

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See also our one-page Evidence List.
"Public examinations of the evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito heard at each level"
Public examinations of the evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito heard at each level

Contents

Behavioral Evidence

Alibi

The original story that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito told police was that they were at Sollecito's apartment on his computer. They had dinner, smoked some weed, maybe had sex and then went to bed. They slept until about 10:30 am the following morning. This alibi is contradicted on several fronts. First, an examination of Raffaele's computer and internet traffic shows no activity at all for the night of the murder.[1][2][3][4] Second, two different witnesses claim to have seen them in the vicinity of the murder scene.[5] The claim that they slept until 10:30 am is also contradicted. At 5:32 am there is indisputable human interaction with Raffaele's computer.[6][7] The computer was used to listen to an MP3 file for roughly 30 minutes.[8] Both Amanda and Raffaele turned off their mobile phones the night of the murder, but at 6:02 am Raffaele's phone was turned on.[9] As such it is clear that someone was awake and active early on November 2. Their motivation for lying about sleeping until 10:30 am is likely explained by a further contradiction to their alibi. At 7:45 am that morning, a shop owner claims he saw Amanda Knox waiting for his store to open, and that she headed directly to the cleaning supplies section when he opened the store.[10]

Both Knox and Sollecito would abandon this alibi when questioned by the police.[11][12] Amanda Knox returned to this alibi quickly. Raffaele Sollecito would not confirm that Amanda Knox was with him the night of the murder for four years doing so only near the conclusion of the second trial.[13][14]

Problems With Knox's Account of Nov 2

Amanda Knox tells a story about the events preceding the discovery of the body that conflicts with evidence, and requires that one accepts that she behaved in an abnormal fashion. Certain aspects of the story are confirmed lies. This is a problem for Knox and Sollecito. To believe that they are innocent, you have to accept that a number of improbable events happened the morning after the murder, and that Knox's response to many strange events was abnormal, and lastly, that they are lying about some of the events of that morning for reasons unrelated to the murder.

To read a more detailed account, see Does Amanda Knox's Account of the Morning of Nov 2 Sound Believable?

Raffaele's Rejection of the Alibi

On November 5th the police requested that Raffaele come to the police station to address some inconsistencies in his story. He agreed to come after dinner, and arrived at the police station shortly after 10 pm. Confronted with phone records that showed he had called the police emergency number after the postal police had already arrived, Raffaele changed his story and said that his previous statement was untrue, and that he had lied at Amanda Knox's request. He was actually at home alone, and Amanda had gone out and not returned until 1 am.[15][16] He then added that she needed to borrow plastic bags in the morning when she left to do laundry. Sollecito would refuse to state that Knox was with him that night, for the entirety of the Massei trial, and only finally made a statement confirming her alibi late in the Hellmann trial, when it was clear the outcome was going to be positive. For four years Raffaele refused to explicitly confirm that Amanda was with him on the night of the murder.

Amanda Knox's Interrogation

Amanda Knox accompanied Sollecito to the police station, although her presence was not requested by the police. She was in the waiting room when Raffaele withdrew his support for her alibi. The police then asked if she would be willing to answer some questions. Confronted with the fact that Raffaele was now claiming that she was not at his apartment on the night of the murder, Amanda Knox changed her story, saying that she was at the cottage when the murder happened, and that the murderer was her employer Patrick Lumumba. He was arrested and spent two weeks in jail, before his alibi was confirmed.

Much has been said about this interrogation in the media. A lot of it is wrong. It is often reported to have been very long, with some stories claiming it lasted either 13 or 18 hours. These are simply untrue. The interrogation did not exceed 2¼ hours. There is also the claim that Amanda was interrogated without an interpreter. Again this is completely untrue. Knox had an interpreter named Anna Donnino, and this is well known since she testified at the trial. There have also been claims that Amanda was denied food and water during her interrogation. The truth is that she was offered tea, and since the interrogation took place from about 11 pm to 1:45 am, and Knox had arrived straight after eating a meal, it is unclear why food was needed. Lastly, Knox claims that she was abused and hit. Knox was unable to even vaguely identify who allegedly hit her. All others present deny that there was any mistreatment. There are claims that Knox was intimidated by a large group of police officers who participated in the interrogation. According to Amanda's own words these are also untrue, as only one female officer, and the interpreter, were present. All of these lies were told by the Knox family, and spread by the public relations firm hired by them to change public sentiment. They needed to misrepresent how the confession was obtained, to make their claim, that it was a false confession believable.

The original interrogation that led to Knox putting herself at the scene of the murder and implicating an innocent man, was not allowed as evidence. After Raffaele had told the police that he had lied at Amanda's request, they should not have requested that Amanda answer questions, without informing her that she should have a lawyer present. So the content from the original statements is inadmissible. Knox though, without being questioned, decided to write an additional declaration that contained much of the same content, although this was more garbled than her original statement. This declaration was admissible as evidence.

Knox Lying to the Police about Meredith's Door

The Postal Police had come to the cottage looking for the owner of a mobile phone that had been discovered dumped in a backyard. They found Knox and Sollecito at the door of the cottage. The couple explain that the phone belongs to her roommate Meredith and that there had been a burglary. They show the Postal Police around the cottage. In the meantime Marco Zaroli, the boyfriend of a third roommate, and his friend Luca Altieri arrive in response to concerns about the burglary. While everyone is present, the Postal Police discover that there is a locked door. Amanda explains that it is Meredith's door, and that there is no reason to be concerned because she locks the door all the time, even to take a shower.[17] Based on these assurances the Postal Police ignore the door. In the meantime another roommate (Filomena) arrives. Upon hearing that Meredith's door is locked Filomena has a very different reaction than Knox. Filomena instantly goes into a panic, explaining that Meredith never locks her door, and demanding that the door be forced open.

Amanda Knox lying about Meredith's door locking-habits is by itself very damning evidence that she knew what was behind the door. The issue is made even worse for her, when taken in context with the e-mail she wrote later. In the e-mail Knox details what happened the day Meredith's body was discovered. This e-mail contains details that, if accepted as true, make Knox's attempts to delay the opening of Meredith's door even more suspicious. According to Knox's e-mail Sollecito had attempted and failed to force open Meredith's door, Knox herself had run to the downstairs apartment to seek assistance, but her neighbors were out of town, she then attempted to lean over the veranda to look into Meredith's window. Unable to gain access to Meredith's room, Knox and Sollecito then decided to call the police emergency number. Knox gives a dramatic account of all this in her e-mail, and it is impossible to reconcile this with Knox attempting to dissuade the police from opening the locked door. The police arriving with the stolen phones should have further raised her concerns about Meredith. Despite the police presence, neither Amanda or Raffaele mentioning the locked door is itself irreconcilable with Knox's account. Their silence is revealing.

The Calls to the Emergency Number

Were the Calls Made after the Police Had Already Arrived?

There is considerable debate about whether the calls to the police emergency number happened before or after the arrival of the Postal Police's. Based on the evidence, the calls were made after they arrived. This runs counter to the findings of Judge Massei, who concluded that since the Postal Police had not seen the calls being made, they must have happened before their arrival.[18] Evidence that was not presented during the trial Judge Massei presided over but which can be found in the statements witnesses gave to police have Knox and Sollecito disappearing into Knox's bedroom for a ten minute period that coincides with the telephone activity.[19] This evidence was picked up by Judge Nencini, at Knox and Sollecito's appeal, in 2013. Nencini concluded that, contrary to Massei's analysis, the 112 call had been made after the Postal Police arrived.[20]

The testimony of seven witnesses, including three officers of the Postal Police, supports the conclusion that the calls were made after the Postal Police arrived.[21] Further, a reconstruction of the events makes it nearly impossible for the emergency calls to have been made before the Postal Police arrived.[22] Lastly, there is video from a car park that shows the Postal Police arriving at a time that matches their notes, which is before the calls to the emergency number were made.[23] The defense claims to have evidence that contradicts the video evidence, but they originally elected to not present it at trial and their request to add this evidence at the last minute was denied.[24]

This is an issue that can't adequately be addressed in a summary. Readers interested in this should read the detailed version of the evidence and decide for themselves.

The Suspicious Content of the Calls

Raffaele called the emergency number twice to report that Amanda had discovered a burglary and some blood at the cottage. During his first call the police operator is immediately suspicious of Raffaele's account, and starts to ask questions. Raffaele stumbles and then the line goes dead, presumably because Raffaele terminated the call.

Seconds later Raffaele makes a second call. The content of this one is suspicious. For example, Raffaele states that there has been a burglary but is adamant that nothing has been stolen. He had no way of knowing this.

Knox's Behaviour at the Police Station the Night the Body was Found

Amanda Knox was behaving in a way that most people would find inappropriate given the circumstances. Her roommate's body had just been discovered, and everyone was at the police station and upset. Knox seemed completely oblivious to the seriousness of what was happening. She is described as kissing and hugging Raffaele, and at times laughing. This behaviour is in stark contrast to Knox's reaction when she was taken to be fingerprinted. It is standard police procedure to fingerprint those who have access to a crime scene, to exclude the ones expected to be found and focus on those that shouldn't be there. The same request was made to everyone who had regular access to the apartment. As Knox was escorted to have her fingerprints taken, she became agitated and started hitting herself on the head with her fists.

Amanda Knox Knew Details of the Crime She Shouldn't Have Known

At the police station Knox mostly stayed with Sollecito, but she did have some interaction with Meredith's friends. Her behavior was so peculiar that many of those present suggested to the police that they should consider her a suspect.

One item in particular got the police's attention. Meredith was murdered beside her closet, but sometime later her body was moved to the middle of the room. At the police station, and before this had been discovered, Knox said that Meredith had been killed by the closet. Meredith's friends repeated this revelation to police.

Knox at trial did not deny saying it. She explained to the Massei court how she came to know this: She said Raffaele had told her, but that still left open the question of how he knew. Raffaele refused to testify, so was never questioned about this in court. The court was unconvinced and the Supreme Court continues to regard this knowledge as evidence of her presence during the attack.

For further information about Amanda Knox Knew Details of the Crime She Shouldn't Have Known

Raffaele Lying to Explain the Presence of Meredith's DNA on the Knife

Once it was announced that the victim's DNA had been discovered on a knife recovered from Sollecito's apartment, Sollecito was quick to offer an explanation. He claimed that Meredith had come over to his apartment, and that while he was preparing dinner he accidentally pricked Meredith with the knife. The explanation turned out to be a complete fabrication. Meredith had never been to Raffaele's apartment, and he had never cooked her dinner.

Physical Evidence

DNA Evidence

The Double DNA Knife

A knife was recovered from Raffaele's apartment that contained the victim's DNA on the blade, and Amanda Knox's DNA on the handle. There wasn't enough of the victim's DNA for a normal DNA profile, but an LCN one was obtained. This was a definitive match to Meredith.

For a detailed discussion of the The Double DNA Knife

Mixed Blood / DNA

Knox's DNA was found comingled with the victim's blood in five places, in visible dilute blood traces in the bathroom and elsewhere in footprints revealed with Luminol. Two Luminol traces were discovered in the room where the burglary was staged; one of these is a mixed trace. These are referred to as L1 and L2. Both traces are presumed to be blood and both contained the victim's DNA. There is no plausible explanation for this evidence that does not involve Knox being at least involved in the clean up after the murder.

To read more about Mixed DNA

The Bra Hook

The DNA of Raffaele Sollecito was found on the bra hook of the victim. The match is definitive. The controversy over the bra hook stems from the fact that it was collected during the second search of the crime scene, six weeks after the first. (During this second search two items with Guede's DNA, the sweatshirt and purse, were also collected.) The defense nevertheless relied on this delay to cast doubt on the reliability of the identification of the DNA found on the bra hook, alleging that the DNA arrived there by nonspecific contamination -- the amount of DNA on the hooks is far in excess of an amount that would be reasonably attributable to contamination and is more congruent with direct transfer. As the only other source of Sollecito's DNA was mixed with Knox's on a cigarette butt removed from the house on November 2, the onus was on the defense to support its contamination allegation by identifying a likely source of Sollecito's DNA and explain how it would be transferred to the clasp in a sealed crime scene. To date they have not done this. The appeal (Hellmann) court accepted contamination anyway, and for this the appeal was overturned for lack of foundation.

Click here to read about The Bra Clasp in more detail.

Other DNA Evidence

In the small bathroom immediately adjacent to Meredith's bedroom four drops of Meredith blood were found, a drop of Amanda's blood was found, and three sample of Amanda's blood mixed with Meredith's blood were discovered. There was no Rudy Guede or Raffaele Sollecito DNA discovered in this bathroom. The discovery of Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher's blood mixed in three diverse locations makes it difficult to image an innocent explanation for these finding.

Click here to read about Other DNA Evidence in more detail.

Footprints

The Luminol Traces

A series of footprints in Amanda Knox's room, and in the hallway between her and Meredith's room were discovered when luminol was applied to the hallway and Knox's room. Luminol is used by crime scene investigators to detect blood that is invisible to the naked eye. This established that someone with blood on their feet walked between the two rooms. These footprints are compatible with the bare feet of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, but not with Rudy Guede's. Some of these footprints contained Amanda Knox's DNA, and one footprint contained both her and Meredith's DNA.

Click here to read about the Luminol Traces in greater detail

The Bathmat Footprint

A bathmat with a bloody, barefoot print was discovered in the bathroom shared by Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher, adjoining Meredith's room. Police experts determined that the footprint didn't match Rudy Guede's right foot but that it was compatible with Raffaele Sollecito's.

Click here to read about the bathmat footprint in more detail.

The Footprint on the Pillow

A shoe print made in blood was discovered on the pillow found under Meredith's body. Two police experts testified that this print was made by a woman's shoe of the same size as Amanda Knox's. The defense expert testified that the print was compatible with Rudy Guede's much larger shoe. Judge Massei acknowledged both positions, but chose to not make a finding on this matter. All three experts testimonies are available to read in our Court Transcripts section. It is our opinion that after reading those three transcripts an objective reader will conclude that the police expert's testimony is more believable.

The Staged Burglary

The burglary was determined to be staged. The reasons supporting this determination include, but are not limited to, an illogical point of entry, glass distribution that makes a proposed entry through the window impossible, no evidence that an entry was even attempted, the ransacked room that does not look like an authentic burglary, and the presence of glass on top of the clothing strewn over the floor indicating that the room was ransacked before the window was broken. This leaves little doubt that the burglary was staged.

With staged burglaries suspicion naturally falls on individuals who would normally have access to the scene of the staging. The purpose of staging the burglary was to divert suspicion from the residents and explain how a stranger gained entry. Amanda Knox was the only tenant of the cottage (apart from Meredith) present in Perugia on the night of the murder. Suspicion also fell on the occupants of the apartment beneath of the cottage amongst whom was Meredith's boyfriend. The murder happened on an Italian holiday. so the downstairs apartment was empty as the boys had all gone to visit their families. Amanda Knox was the only person with legitimate access to the cottage in Perugia that night.

Click here to read about The Staged Burglary in greater detail.

Why Rudy Could Not Have Acted Alone

Multiple Attackers

The assault of Meredith involved more than one assailant. While the various experts were unable to definitively rule out a single attacker, Massei concluded that, based on Meredith's wounds and injuries there were two or more assailants. While this by itself does not directly implicate Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, it does exclude the possibility that Rudy Guede acted alone.

For additional details of why there was Multiple Attackers

Other Evidence That Indicates the Presence of Others

There are several items of evidence that indicate that Rudy Guede was not alone.

  • The door to Meredith's room was locked. This would have required that Rudy turn and face the door to lock it. Rudy had blood on his shoes but his tracks lead directly out of the cottage, and there is no evidence of any footprints compatible with him having locked the door. These missing footprints indicate that someone other than Rudy locked Meredith's door.[25]
  • A witness saw the three accused together on the night of the murder, meters from the cottage where the murder happened.
  • A witness testified that she heard a scream at a time compatible with Meredith being attacked. This scream was followed by the sound of footsteps running in different directions.
  • There are indications that there was an attempt to selectively remove evidence. Some bloody footprints were cleaned while others were left untouched, and the bathroom was cleaned fairly thoroughly. Rudy Guede had no reason, nor the time, to do any of this.
  • Some time after she died, Meredith's body was moved and arranged to make it more obvious that she had been sexually assaulted. Rudy, who had sexually assaulted her, had no reason to do this. Someone else must have moved and rearranged Meredith's body. Furthermore, all this happened a considerable time after her death, which precludes the possibility that Guede was responsible for it. The evidence shows that Rudy left the cottage soon after the attack and never returned.

Injuries to Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox had a scratch on her neck. According to her roommates it was not present on the morning and early afternoon of the day of the murder, but it was present on the following day. Knox claims that the neck injury was a hickey. The injury was photographed and bears no resemblance to a hickey. Icon External Link.png Aida Collantone, one of the police interpreters involved in the case, also confirms having seen this scratch on November 4, 2007 when Knox was being interviewed at the police station. [26] [27]

Amanda Knox's blood was found on the crime scene, in the small bathroom. She claims this was due to the several ear piercings she had made in the days prior to the murder, the blood having dripped from one or more of these piercings.

The Bleach

When Raffaele Sollecito's apartment was searched, the police reported that it smelled strongly of bleach.[28] During the search two bottles of bleach were found under the kitchen sink. The police interviewed Natalia, who had taken over the job of cleaning Raffaele's apartment from his previous maid.[29] Natalia started cleaning the apartment in September and said she had never seen the bleach. Additionally when she took over the job from the previous maid, she was told to never use bleach.[30]

The police also interviewed Kiriboga, Natalia's predecessor, who, originally told the police that she knew nothing about the bleach.[31] After meeting with Raffaele's lawyer Kiriboga changed her story, saying that the bleach had been at Raffaele's apartment when she used to work there and she had purchased it.[32] When the police asked why she had changed her story, she claimed that she had not remembered the bleach, and that it was only when Raffaele's lawyer asked her about it that the memory came back to her.[33]

Notes

  1. Massei report translation, p.310
  2. Bossi, Nicola. Meredith - Dirigente Polizia postale smentisce alibi di Sollecito in fatto di utilizzo del computer durante delitto Umbria Left Feb 6 2009
  3. Staff. Omicidio Meredith, si torna in aula Raffaele si dichiara ancora innocente La Stampa Feb 06 2009
  4. Staff. Amanda Knox: the middle-calls American student turned murderer Belfast Telegraph Dec 05 2009
  5. Massei report translation, pp.79-82
  6. Massei report translation, p.306
  7. Bossi, Nicola. Meredith - Dirigente Polizia postale smentisce alibi di Sollecito in fatto di utilizzo del computer durante delitto Umbria Left Feb 6 2009
  8. Massei report translation, p.309
  9. Massei report translation, p.317
  10. Massei report translation, pp.83-84
  11. Amanda's Statement to the Police
  12. Raffaele Sollecito's Statement to Police
  13. Matteini Hearing (English)
  14. Squires, Nick Kercher trial: Knox back in court The Telegraph Feb 28, 2009
  15. Simpson, Aislinn. Suspect statements in Kercher murder case The Telegraph 7 Nov 2007.
  16. Staff.[http://www.corriere.it/cronache/07_novembre_07/meredith_verbali_sarzanini.shtml Perugia, la verità di Amanda: lei era con Patrick e gridava] Corriere Della Sere 7 Nov 2007
  17. Testimony of Luca Altieri as reported in Massei p.93
  18. Massei PMF Translation p89
  19. Dempser, Candance. Timing Is All: Murder suspects Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito (Updated) Seattle Pi. October 15, 2008 quoting Paula Grande's police statement. Also seeWhy Massei's Reasoning in Finding the Calls Happened Before the Postal Police Arrived Is Flawed.
  20. See The_Nencini_Sentencing_Report_(English) p.174.
  21. See Filippo Bartolozzi's Testimony,Michele Battistelli's Testimony,Fabio Marsi's Testimony,Marco Zaroli's Testimony,Filomena Romanelli's Testimony,Paola Grande's Testimony and Luca Altieri's Testimony. Also see Reconstructing what happened between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm on November 2, 2007 for a aggregated timeline based on the testimony of these seven witnesses.
  22. Is It Even Possible For the 112 Calls to Have Been Made Before The Postal Police Arrived?
  23. Mauro Barbadori's Testimony
  24. Summary of October 9, 2009
  25. Missing Bloody Footprints Makes It Impossible For Rudy To Have Locked The Door
  26. Aida Colantone's Testimony (English)
  27. Aida Colantone's Testimony
  28. Testimony of Oreste Volturno
  29. Testimony of Oreste Volturno
  30. Testimony of Oreste Volturno
  31. Testimony of Oreste Volturno
  32. Testimony of Oreste Volturno
  33. Testimony of Oreste Volturno