Problems With The Alibi

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The Alibi

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's alibi is really simple. They met at the cottage in the afternoon. Meredith was there and she left to go 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 centre of Perugia before coming full circle and ending up at Raffaele's.

In the end 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 was supposed to work that night but she received 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 if they had sex or not. 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 the drug use.

The both claim that they slept in until 10:30am. 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 was a lot of clues that something was very wrong but Amanda claims she was completely oblivious to this at first.

What Can Be Confirmed Regarding The Alibi

At about 8:40pm Jovana Popovic a polish student who knew Raffaele came by his appartment

Problems with the Alibi

The majority of the problems with the alibi are addressed either as part of Raffaele Sollecito's Alibi or have pages devoted specifically to them so

Does Amanda Knox's Account of the Morning of Nov 2 Sound Believable?

According the Knox she left Raffaele's apartment to have a shower and to fetch a mop despite the couple have a planned trip and Knox having her luggage at Raffaele's. According to Knox her motivation to return to the cottage was that Raffaele's shower was inadequate and they needed the mop to clean up a water mess from a spill that had happened approximately fifteen hours prior. Knox's version of events also has her taking a shower at Raffaele's the previous night before going to bed but we'll ignore that as well as the rather odd behaviour of waiting fifteen hours to clean up a water mess that apparently neither evaporated nor could be adequately addressed by anything short of a mop. For the sake of giving Amanda Knox the benefit of the doubt we'll just assume that while this seems off to objective observers it made sense at the time in a way that just doesn't translate well to people who were not there.

The Open Front Door

Amanda arrives at the cottage to find her front door wide open. Knox claims that this did not alarm her since the door had issues. The cottage was in an sketchy area of Perugia. The parking lot next to the house was often used for drug deals and needles and other drug paraphernalia are just discarded so Knox would be aware that this is not the safest neighbourhood. She also knows that two of her three roommates are away for the holiday so her and Meredith were the only two people who could have left the door improperly closed. Knox is a young female in foreign country you would expect her to be a little more concerned and maybe at least check all the rooms to make sure that no one is in the house.

The Missing Lamp

Amanda Knox's room was the smallest of all the rooms. It also had no working ceiling lights. A lamp on Knox's night table is her only source of light. As you can see from this picture taken from the door when you enter Knox's room you would be facing the night table that would normally have Amanda's lamp.

Insert Picture

On the morning of November 2nd that lamp was missing. The lamp would be found on the floor of Meredith's locked bedroom. Amanda explained that the light from her window was sufficient so she had no need to use the lamp so did not notice it was missing. Amanda by her own account enters her room three times that morning. It is impossible to make claims about what someone would or wouldn't have noticed. Given the size of the room one would expect Amanda to notice that the lamp was missing but maybe was distracted.

Taking a Shower After Discovering Blood

Where Knox's story crosses the line into unbelievable is with her decision to take a shower after discovering blood in that bathroom. At this point Knox has already returned to her house after being away for the night and knowing that two of her three roommates were also away to discover a completely open front door. She ignores that but now she is in a bathroom where there is a considerable amount of blood on the bathmat in the shape of a foot and some blood on the faucet of the sink. Blood that by Knox's own admission she knows was not there the previous day.

Knox not only ignores that blood at the conclusion of her shower when she realizes that all the towels are missing instead of just returning to her room dripping some water she instead decides to use a bath mat that is soiled with someone else's blood to stand on and slide back to her room. This use of the bath mat was a late addition to Amanda's story being added only after her footprints in the victim's blood were discovered in the hallway. It seems pretty obvious that no one would actually use a bath mat with blood on it the way Knox describes and that she fabricated this story in a desperate effort to explain a very strong piece of physical evidence against her.

The Feces in the Toilet

After Amanda makes it to her room. She gets dressed and returns the bloody bath mat to the bathroom. Knox then claim went to the bathroom that was shared by the other two roommate, Filomena and Laura, to use their hairdryer. In this bathroom she notices that there is feces in the toilet. Someone has used the bathroom and not flushed. Knox knows that both Laura and Filomena are away and she even states herself that none of the girls would have left something like that without flushing. So to recap Knox has returned to the cottage to find the front door open, blood in the bathroom, and feces in the toilet but Knox again just brushes it off. She doesn't even make an effort to ensure that she is alone in the house.

Amanda Knox claims that she wasn't concerned but she also doesn't flush the toilet. We know from Rudy's statement that he had a kebab and that it did not agree with him and that is why he had to use the bathroom. We know this feces has been there now for the entire night. The bathroom would be really smelly but rather than flush the toilet Amanda Knox would have people believe that she decided to blow dry her hair in a bathroom that smelled bad. Further, Knox knew that Filomena and Laura would not return until late that night and so the toilet would go unflushed for another day. Would you do your hair in a smelly bathroom or would you flush the toilet?

Amanda Knox's behaviour with respect to the feces gets even more suspicious. She repeatedly mentions the feces to the police as if she is afraid the police will forget about it. Knox doesn't show the same concern with the bloody footprint on the bathmat or any of the other physical evidence but she is very much concerned that the police will miss the feces. The feces had previously been outside the toilet water but at some point it slid into the water and down so it was out of sight. Knox has a mini-panic when she notices the feces is missing. She behaves as if she just lost something valuable and then is relieved when the feces is discovered further down the bowl.

Amanda Knox's behaviour at this point is simply not believable. No one would act this way. Amanda Knox left the feces in the toilet so that it would be evidence that someone other than her and Sollecito were at the cottage.

Discrepancy Between Knox and Sollecito's Account

In Amanda Knox's account she left the cottage and returned to Raffaele's where they prepared breakfast and it was only while having breakfast that she recounted the strange things she had seen at the cottage and become concerned. Raffaele's version Amanda Knox is already panicked when she returns to his apartment. According to Raffaele Knox came running back to get him obviously forgetting about the existence of mobile phones.

Normally in situations like this you would expect that there would be differences in the two accounts. In fact if the two accounts are too perfect you'd be suspicious that it was rehearsed and a fabrication. The problem is that the discrepancy here can not be explained as two people remembering events differently. There is no way to confuse your girlfriend coming back in a panic with we cooked and had breakfast. The difference between the two accounts is not in minor details but in something significant. The only possible explanation is that they are both lying -- that none of this actually happened.

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 for after 9:10:32pm when the video file Amelie.avi stopped playing.[1] That activity could have been caused by the movie ending without any human interaction.[2] The last computer activity that required human interaction was at 6:27:15PM when the movie file started playing.[3] 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 12:58am but there was no human interaction[4] The police contacted FastWeb Solliceto's ISP and the logs from that night show no webpage requests.[5] 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[6] which is roughly 100 meters from the cottage. Curatolo was reading a current events periodical and he first saw them after 9:30pm and as he would look up from reading they were still in Piazza Grimana until about 10pm. After 10pm Curatolo did not see Amanda and Raffaele until 11pm when he saw them entering Piazza Grimana. Both times that Curatolo saw the couple they were at the far edge of the public square closest to the cottage and looking down over the edge towards the cottage. According to Curatolo they also appeared to be arguing.

Hekuran Kokomani

Hekuran Kokomani testified that he saw Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede together the night of the murder meters from the cottage with Meredith was killed.[7] Kokamoni claims that Knox acting abnormal and that she pulled a 16-inch knife from a green bag and was holding it above her head but not threatening him with it.[8] Kokomani testified that Rudy Guede then offered him money to borrow his car for the night but Kokomani declined. The situation got confrontational and Kokamani felt threatened and defended himself by punching Raffaele and drove away.

The narrative of Kokamani's escape appears embellished to add flare and excitement to his harrowing escape but the overall testimony of seeing the three of them and having some confrontation is reliable. Kokamani is Albanian and had previously had legal issues so he immediately contacted his lawyer after the confrontation. The lawyer would also testify and while it would have been easy to dismiss Kokomani's at times confusing account on its own the lawyer's testimony makes it much harder to dismiss. Kokamani is likely taking creative freedoms with the details but that he saw the trio together and had an interaction with them that ended in a conflict sufficiently serious to warrant calling his lawyer is true.

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 10:30am. This though is contradicted by physical evidence. At 5:32:09am someone attempted to play a MP3 file using the program VLC on Raffaele's computer.[9] This results in VLC crashing. There are two additional attempts to play the file using VLC that also lead to the program crashing.[10] The individual using the computer then switched to iTunes and successfully plays the MP3 file which is roughly 30 minutes long.[11] So despite the claim that they slept in until about 10am someone was awake and playing music in Raffaele's apartment at 5:30am.

The second indication that they were awake much earlier than their alibi maintains is that at 6:02:59 Sollecito's mobile phone was activated.[12] Both Raffaele and Amanda had both turned off their mobile phones the night of the murder and now at 6am someone, presumably Raffaele, had turned on his phone.

Getting up early though 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 10:30am is likely related to an effort to deny the testimony of Marco Quintavaelle who testified that Amanda Knox was outside his store at 7:45am waiting for the store to open and that she went directly to the cleaning products section. Quintavaelle was not near the cashier so does not know if Knox purchased anything but two bottles of bleach that Raffaele's maid denies was there before were recovered from Raffaele's apartment.

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

Pretending To Call Meredith's Mobile Phone

Calling the Police After Police had Already Arrived

Lying to the Police To Delay the Discovery of the Body

Around 12:30pm two officers of the Postal Police presented themselves at the cottage because they had recovered a phone belonging to Amanda's roommate that had been tossed from the road into someone's backward. This interaction eventually led to the Postal Police inquiring about Meredith's locked door. Amanda Knox lied to the police to discourage them from inquiring any further about the door. The only reason for Knox to lie to the police is that she knew what was behind the door and she was attempting to delay the discovery.

For a more detailed discussion of Knox Attempting to Delay Discovery of Meredith's Body

Notes

  1. Massei p304
  2. Massei p304
  3. Massei p304
  4. Massie p305 and 310
  5. Massei p306
  6. Massei p79-82
  7. Falconi, Martra Witness: Amanda Knox brandished a knife The Seattle Times 29 March 2009
  8. Falconi, Martra Witness: Amanda Knox brandished a knife The Seattle Times 29 March 2009
  9. Massei p306
  10. Massei p306
  11. Massei p306
  12. Massei p317