Amanda Knox Case Frequently Asked Questions

The following list of “Frequently Asked Questions” are from the discussion on the Injustice Anywhere Forum. Join the forum if you have a question about the case that isn’t answered on this website or want help locating something in the trial transcripts, case files, witness statements or motivation reports.

General Questions

Did Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment smell of bleach?

See: Bleach Smell & Receipts Myth

Did Amanda tell people Meredith was killed by the closet?

See: Testimony Excerpts: Discovery of the body

Did Amanda have a scratch on her neck the morning after the murder?

State pathologist Dr Luca Lalli examined Amanda on November 6, 2007 and testified the mark was an “extremely non specific skin irritation” and there was no broken skin or marks from fingernail scratching. (That didn’t stop the prosecution saying it was scratch) The testimony is on pages 77, 87-89 and 112 of the April 3, 2009 transcript.

Have Laura, Filomena or Giacomo ever given interviews or talked about the case since they testified in 2009?

No.

Was there an original suspect?

Sophie Purton told police about Hicham Khiri in her witness statement on November 3. The police went to his apartment at 2am on November 4 and brought him in for questioning. He was then questioned a 2nd and 3rd time on November 4 as well his housemate, Zakaria Nazli, and alibi witness, Elisiana Babucci, on November 5. Hicham was the original suspect till his alibi checked out.

Will Giuliano Mignini and the police face any charges, investigations or disciplinary action for what they did?

Unlikely.

How much money has Italy wasted on the trials of Amanda & Raffaele?

No figures have been made public but the cost of the flawed investigation and trials would be millions.

Do defendants in Italy take an oath when testifying?

There’s no oath for defendants and they’re allowed to lie. A legal defense strategy can be built around embellishing and outright lying if it helps your case.

Criminal Law in Italy by Astolfo Di Amato

Also it must be noted in the Italian criminal system, differently from other countries, the defendant may say whatever he feels fit for his defense and may lie, since no examination under oath is provided for by the Italian Criminal Procedure System.

How many jurors are needed to convict?

In Italy a defendant can be found guilty of murder with a 5-4 vote vs 12-0 needed in most other countries. The jury is made up of 2 professional judges and 6 lay judges selected by a lottery system. The presiding judge votes twice if the decision is deadlocked at 4-4. There’s also no juror screening process before trial. A lay juror may have been openly hostile or biased towards a defendant on social media for example and still be allowed to sit on the jury.

Giuliano Mignini wanted Amanda Knox put in solitary confinement and her sentence increased? 

Giuliano Mignini at the first trial requested a life sentence + 9 months of solitary confinement for Amanda Knox and life + 2 months of solitary for Raffaele Sollecito who had already spent 6 months in solitary in 2008. People at the time speculated he wanted to send Amanda Knox in particular mentally insane before her appeal trial started. The request for solitary was under Article 41-bis of the Prison Administration Act which is normally only used to isolate Mafia bosses not model prisoners. It involves limited family visits, isolation and a video camera in the cell watching the prisoner 24 hours a day including when they shower and use the toilet. Judge Massei sentenced Amanda to 26 years with mitigating circumstances. Mignini appealed the mitigating circumstances and again requested life + 9 months of solitary. Part of the prosecution’s appeal included citing a Daily Mail tabloid article about a noise ticket Amanda received for a party in Seattle. It’s on page 7 of the prosecution 2010 appeal document. See also Call for solitary confinement of pair accused of killing Meredith Kercher UK Guardian, Nov 22, 2009.

Did Giuliano Mignini say Meredith died in a “Satanic Ritual”?

Technically no. He didn’t say “satanic ritual”. However at the pre-trial he did say Meredith’s murder was a ritualistic killing connected to Halloween. See also the excerpts from his closing arguments notes on the home page.

La Republica reported October 20, 2008:

http://www.repubblica.it/2008/10/sezioni/cronaca/perugia-uccisa8/guede-difesa/guede-difesa.html

In the reconstruction that the prosecutors presented in the hearing on Friday, the murder of Meredith was premeditated and was a ritual to celebrate the occasion of Halloween night. A sexual ritual in which the British student was stabbed in the throat by Amanda Knox, while Rudy Guede choked and Raffaele Sollecito held her. “They killed her – said the prosecutor – because Meredith refused to participate in specific sexual games of the group.”

And in the Micheli Report on page 61 is this:

Esclusa la vittima, così come la MEZZETTI che era a Montefiascone e la ROMANELLI che passava la notte tranquillamente con il suo fidanzato, l’unico soggetto interessato a quella sceneggiata risulta la KNOX. KNOX che, pur escludendo qualunque significato della deduzione in punto di peculiare preparazione del delitto o addirittura di ipotetiche aggravanti [un po’ lumeggiate dal P.M., pur non contestandole, nella a dir poco fantasiosa ricostruzione descrittiva di riti, festini di Halloween, pubblicazioni manga ed occasioni da non lasciarsi sfuggire, magari dopo una pantomima di prova generale davanti al malcapitato KOKOMANI], era pur sempre l’unica persona in grado di sapere che quella sera MEREDITH sarebbe stata sola in casa.

Translation:

Excluding the victim, and Mezzetti who was at Montefiascone and Romanelli who spent the night with her boyfriend, the only person who would be interested in that simulation is Knox, although not giving any credence to the inference of a peculiar preparation of the crime or even of hypothetical aggravating circumstances [highlighted somewhat by the PM, though not contesting them, in the, to say the least, fanciful reconstruction of rites, Halloween parties, manga publications and taking advantage of a situation that couldn’t be missed, maybe after a pantomime rehearsal in front of the hapless Kokomani], she was still however the only person that could have known that that evening Meredith would have been on her own in the house.

What’s the truth about the interrogation of Amanda Knox and why did she name Lumumba?

See: The Interrogation

Why was Amanda’s lamp in Meredith’s bedroom?

Only Rudy Guede knows why and it’s interesting he included the lamp in his story soon after he was arrested. Guede mentions a lamp in both his German prison diary and March 2008 deposition. He possibly used the lamp to light the room for the sexual assault or to search through Meredith’s purse instead having the wall light on which would have attracted attention to the room if someone came home. Meredith’s lamp was found on the floor next to her bedside table and Amanda’s lamp was found at the foot of the bed.

Rudy Guede Prison Diary p7 – Note abat-jour is French for lamp

There was only red, nothing else. Damn, if I hadn’t gone to the bathroom, perhaps I would have opened the door, and maybe nothing would have happened. Oh my God, why all this, what had that person tried to tell me with “black man found, guilty man found?” Did he know me? I wasn’t able to see him well because the house was not well lit. Only Meredith’s room had light. I remember because the abat-jour was switched on.

Rudy Guede Deposition March 2008 p52

The light was off while when I go in the bathroom it was on. And in that moment anyway I head towards Meredith’s bedroom, I enter right into the corridor and I see this male
figure, he was a male in front of the door and there was the lamp shade inside, the lighting was dim, in other words from the lamp shade that was lighting the whole area which was however weak.

Any evidence Amanda had a shower at the cottage on November 2 like she claimed?

Head of the Organized Crime Squad, Marco Chiacchiera, testified the shower had been used but strangely wouldn’t elaborate how he knew that.

Transcript February 27, 2009:

Prosecutor Comodi: However the faeces were in which of the two bathrooms?
Chiacchiera: Of the bathrooms. Me, if I take a shower in a bathroom where there are faeces, instinctively I flush the toilet, in short.
Prosecutor Comodi: Yes, but the faeces were in the other bathroom.
Chiacchiera: Yes, yes, I understood. However, in short, in some way it comes instinctively, no?, to flush the toilet? The fact is that ….
Judge Massei: Excuse me, do you know how many bathrooms there were in the house?
Chiacchiera: Two.
Judge Massei: Two bathrooms. Excuse me, please. Do you know that a shower was taken?
Chiacchiera: Yes.
Judge Massei: How do you know?
Chiacchiera: I know because it is a thing that I cannot, I believe, report because it was ….
Judge Massei: But you checked…?
Chiacchiera: I am trying to be very very careful.

Raffaele Sollecito apartment sink
Water under Raffaele’s sink

Was there evidence of a water spill at Raffaele’s apartment like they claimed?

Yes. In the crime scene video you can see under the sink was still damp and wet two weeks later.

Did Raffaele tell a journalist that he and Amanda were at a party the night of the murder?

Raffaele spoke to tabloid hack, Kate Mansey, on November 3, 2007. Mansey wrote a number of highly inaccurate articles shortly after the murder and misrepresented what he said. The story appeared on the front page of the Sunday Mirror on November 4, 2007. In the phone interceptions, Amanda can be heard telling a friend “Raffaele is seriously pissed” about what was written in the article and Raffaele can be heard in his phone interceptions telling a friend the journalist told him she worked for the same paper as the victims father and he thought he was doing a good deed talking to her. [p14 Knox Phone Intercepts, p4 Sollecito Phone Intercepts]

Kate Mansey’s old articles are no longer online but copies of them are archived on the Injustice Anywhere forum.

Did Raffaele attack a girl with scissors at his old high school like some websites claim?

Absolutely not. See: Raffaele Sollecito Scissor Attack Myth

About Rudy Guede

Why was Rudy Guede always referred to as a “drifter” in the media?

It’s how the judges who convicted him described him in the motivation reports.

Micheli Report p48

except to demonstrate that in the last days that GUEDE moved a bit as a drifter:

Borsini-Belardi Report paragraph 7 / p33 original

Once he reached the age of eighteen and was no longer under the protection of social services, he started his drifting and disorganized lifestyle, showing an aversion to every type of commitment and responsibility: He would disappear and then reappear in Perugia, leaving comfortable positions of work, found for him by people willing to help him [though always showing to these people the better side of his character] or he would get himself dismissed, he would abandon his friends, only to reappear in moments of need.

Why are there no traces of Rudy Guede in the break-in room?

Only 5 samples were collected from the bedroom, in other words, it was barely tested. Two of the samples, reps 176 & 177 were from the floor which strangely weren’t photographed and one was from the rock which the defense asked to be tested, however only 1 trace was extracted. Requests for further testing were denied. If they had of done 30-40 tests including from the tossed clothes then chances are they would have found Guede’s DNA. It also begs the question: If Knox and Sollecito staged the burglary, why did the Scientific Police have no interest in proving their presence in the room? The 5 samples tested were:

Rep 169  – 1 test on the rock. Rep.176 – Sample of presumed blood substance, revealed by luminol. Rep.177 – Sample of presumed blood substance, revealed by luminol. Rep.198 – Hair formation found between the lower corner of the left window shutter having the broken glass. Rep.199 – Sample of presumed blood substance taken of the portion of the wood of the window having the broken glass. See the Exhibit list translated to English.

Was Rudy Guede friends with the guys who lived downstairs?

The guys downstairs barely knew him other than from seeing him at the basketball court. Stefano Bonassi told police in a statement on November 4, 2007 about a guy he knew as “The Baron” who’d been in their apartment one night and fallen asleep on the toilet but didn’t know Rudy Guede’s name. See also: Testimony excerpts of Giacomo Silenzi.

What’s not known about Rudy Guede?

A lot isn’t known. The media reported a few things about his background and the trials revealed very little. It’s not known who he really associated with in Perugia or Milan or what exactly he got up to when he lived there. The media reported he lost his job in Milan and partied in nightclubs but there was no witness statements or testimony verifying anything. Virtually no one who knew him came forward and spoke publicly other than a few lines from his friend Giacomo Beneditti. His phone records and who he was in contact with aren’t known nor even what he did on November 1, 2007 before heading to the cottage. It’s not known if the police did a full background investigation into him or if they traced his cell phone pings to see if he was in neighbourhoods at the same time other violent crimes were committed. Nor is it known who pays for his attorneys or if they work pro-bono for publicity.

Did Rudy Guede get a deal?

The prosecution never appealed Guede’s sentence reduction from 30 years to 16 years knowing he’d be eligible for day release after 8 years. We’ll let people draw their own conclusions as to why not and if that’s evidence of him getting a deal.

Concerning Meredith Kercher

Was Meredith’s body moved hours after the murder or staged to look like a rape?

See: There was no staging of Meredith Kercher’s body

Were Meredith’s keys, credit cards and stolen money ever recovered?

No.

Were the contents of Meredith’s computer hard drive recovered?

Yes. The contents have never been made public.

Were Meredith’s clothes, books and personal possessions at the cottage returned to her family?

No. The police man handled her belongings and trashed her bedroom. All of her things were likely thrown away and disposed of by the police.

In John Kercher’s 2010 article in the Daily Mail he reveals:

Two years after her death, we were told that we could finally take Meredith’s possessions home with us. I expected a large suitcase full of her belongings, which we could all cherish. Instead, I was given a small, ­battered case. Her beloved clothes had all been taken for forensic tests. Not even her treasured ­possessions were sacrosanct.

The “Other Evidence”

Did Patrizia Stefanoni or Dr Sarah Gino say the tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) test gives false negatives 50% of the time?

Patrizia Stefanoni said at the pre-trial a negative TMB result gives certainty it’s not blood (when questioned about the knife) but said nothing about TMB sensitivity and luminol at the trial because at that point she still hadn’t disclosed the negative TMB results. Dr Sarah Gino testified that from her experience at crime scenes, luminol positive stains turn out to be negative for blood 50% of the time when then tested with TMB. In other words, luminol gives a lot of false positives.

Was there mixed blood and where’s the testimony about it?

There was no mixed blood.

The trial testimony of Patrizia Stefanoni is clear: Stefanoni was asked by the Judge if the samples were mixed blood. Stefanoni says they certainly contain blood, because a specific test was done, but they were probably more water than blood and it can’t be determined when the DNA was left, and it can’t be ascertained whether it’s blood + blood, blood + saliva, blood + exfoliated cells, etc, and the DNA from the two traces could have been left at different times.

Patrizia Stefanoni’s testimony about it is on pages 176-177 of the May 23rd transcript.

Why was only one fingerprint of Amanda’s found in the cottage?

The police fingerprint expert testified there was nothing unusual about that and there was so many prints in the house they didn’t bother photographing a lot of them.

Testimony of Agatino Giunta, Head of the Fingerprinting Section of the Rome Scientific Police page 211

Massei: … Just a curiosity, seeing as you are the expert and so can provide an opinion about this discipline, in which you are a professional. The fact that in a house, in an apartment inhabited by Amanda Knox and samples that can be attributed to her are so few, indeed only one, is it possible to explain it? Can you interpret this fact?
Giunta: Look your Honour, when we go to perform these inspections, we try, I mean we found more than 110/112 prints, consider that this is a significant amount, this quantity, among other things, it’s an even bigger quantity if you consider that many prints were not even recorded because as the fingerprint technician was viewing them, he didn’t even think it worth photographing them, because there were so many…
Massei: It was a fact that should have been inserted in this situation.
Giunta: So to clarify there can also be many other prints but maybe they are so badly formed, so smudged, so overlapping or even partial that we can’t… I mean, finding a print doesn’t mean that only one exists, maybe there will be also another 5 or 6, another 10 that we, however, didn’t consider. That one was matched however, so among the many that one was one of those that was utilized and matched because it was whole.

Understanding The Knife & Bra Clasp

Why did Inspector Armando Finzi select the knife?

Armando Finzi testified the knife appeared very clean and the first thing he did after arriving at Raffaele’s apartment was open the kitchen drawer and selected it because “investigative intuition” told him it was compatible with the wounds which he had not seen.

Testimony of Armando Finzi p176 – 177

Question: What did you do?
Answer: Exactly, the first thing that I did, in that I had my back to the door, there was a kitchen drawer and I opened it, I opened the first kitchen drawer.
Question: You had the gloves on obviously, let’s just repeat that…
Answer: We had on new clean gloves. So the first thing I saw was a large knife. I should state that it was very clean.
[text eliminated about verifying knife being referred to is the same as in photo, and about size of knife]
Question: Were there other knives?
Answer: There were other knives yes however I took this knife because in the briefing that had been given to us, using investigative intuition, I took it and I showed it immediately to Dr. Chiacchiera, I said: “Doctor I would take this” and Dr Chiacchiera …
Answer: You mean it was a knife that could have been relevant?
Question: It could have been relevant in that the blade could have been by my reckoning compatible with the injuries that I had never seen however I knew they were serious.

Was the sample attributed to Meredith Kercher found in a scratch on the knife?

Patrizia Stefanoni claimed it was but was unable to locate the scratch when giving evidence. Neither could the court appointed expert at the pre-trial.

Massei p 312-313:

With respect to the existence of these scratches the defence and their consultants had voiced doubts and perplexity; moreover, Professor Cingolani, the expert witness appointed by the GIP [judge of the preliminary hearing] for the incidente probatorio [pre-trial taking of evidence], who was shown the knife, Exhibit 36, during this hearing, it having been made available at the express request of the defence, declared that he had not seen such scratches.

Was Meredith’s DNA even on the knife?

The Scientific Police report (called the RTIGF Report) detailing the lab work for all items tested was falsified regarding sample 36B and Patrizia Stefanoni perjured herself twice at the pre-trial about the quantity of the sample and how it was tested. The sample tested negative for blood and negative for human species. It was not subjected to cytomorphological examination and did not register for quantification in the Qubit Fluorometer. There’s no evidence the sample contained any biological material at all, whether the victim’s or anyone else’s. Further, a conclusion may only be properly drawn as the result of a valid scientific process, which the independent experts were unable to verify. Lastly, no raw data was provided to support the claim Meredith’s DNA was on the knife.

Conclusions (2) | The Conti-Vecchiotti Report

Taking into account that none of the recommendations of the international scientific community relative to the treatment of Low Copy Number (LCN) samples were followed, we do not accept the conclusions regarding the certain attribution of the profile found on trace B (blade of knife) to the victim Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, since the genetic profile, as obtained, appears unreliable insofar as it is not supported by scientifically validated analysis.

Was lab contamination ruled out?

No. From the independent expert report:

Assessment of the Forensic Genetic Tests Conducted by the Scientific Police on Item 36

In the case in question, it is recalled that Exhibit 36 was placed for testing into a context where a considerable number of samples belonging to the victim had already been examined; therefore, it cannot be excluded that contamination by the aforementioned methods may have occurred – all the more so because the negative controls, which should have been amplified contextually and which could have given an indication as to the absence of contamination, were not produced.

Therefore, taking into account that in this specific case:

– it does not appear that inspection procedures were carried out according to international protocols in order to minimize environmental contamination;

– international protocols of collection and sampling of the item were not applied in order to minimize contamination from handling;

– it is not known whether rigorous decontamination procedures were applied in the laboratory to minimize laboratory contamination;

[…..]

Neither, as previously explained, can it be excluded that the result obtained from this sample may derive from contamination phenomena occurring at any stage of the collection and/or handling and/or analytical procedures performed.

What was the quantity of DNA found on the bra clasp and how much was attributed to Raffaele Sollecito?

The sample was about 1 nanogram according to Patrizia Stefanoni but was a mixed sample with Meredith being the major contributor. The amount attributed to Raffaele Sollecito was 1/7th of the sample. It was never measured and only an estimate based on Stefanoni’s reading of the e-gram. 1/7th of a nanogram = 142pg making it low copy number. LCN being < 200 pg/uL. Professor Tagliabracci (Sollecito defense) testified the minor contributor (alleged to be Raffaele) was 1/12th that of Meredith (the major contributor).

Read all about the bra clasp here:

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