At the Massei trial, only one expert witness, Professor Norelli, consultant to the civil party (the Kercher family) argued there was multiple attackers. None of the other expert witnesses agreed with him. Of the others, Dr Lalli, Dr Liviero, Professor Bacci and Professor Cingolani believed that there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion on whether there was more than one attacker. Profs Torre and Introna unequivocally argued that Meredith was killed by a single assailant. So six out of seven experts either believed that there could have been only one attacker or that there was definitely only one attacker.
Massei Report and Testimony Excerpts
Massei Report p368
The consultants and forensic scientists have asserted that from the point of view of forensic science, it cannot be ruled out that the author of the injuries could have been a single attacker, because the bruises and the wounds from a pointed and cutting weapon are not in themselves incompatible with the action of a single person. With regard to this, it is nevertheless observed that the contribution of each discipline is specifically in the domain of the specific competence of that discipline, and in fact the consultants and forensic experts concentrated their attention on the aspects specifically belonging to forensic science: time of death, cause of death, elements indicating sexual violence, the injuries present on the body of the victim, and the causes and descriptions of these. The answer given above concerning the possibility of their being inflicted by the action of a single person or by more than one was given in relation to these specific duties and questions, which belong precisely to the domain of forensic science, and the meaning of this answer was thus that there are no scientific elements arising directly from forensic science which could rule out the injuries having been caused by the action of a single person.
Prosecutor Mignini questioning
Question: Now, I’m getting towards the end but I still have some questions. On the basis of this, of the description of these, of these widespread lesions, we have seen on various parts of the body, they are of various types, on the basis of this description of these findings that you carried out, you, let’s get to the question: if these lesions were caused by one or more persons, what do you respond?
Question: One, or more than one?
Answer: So, I can say that fundamentally the basic biological data is not able to give, the examination, the analysis of the biological data is not able to provide sufficient elements to give an adequate response to this question. So, to say if it was one person, or if there were more than one who participated in the activity, let’s say carried out against the victim, it is very difficult to be able to specify. Considering the location of the wounds, etcetera, it’s conceivable that there were – this is a judgement of yours truly – conceivable that there were more than one, however there is no biological evidence that tells us: one or more than one, no.
Mignini: Of course. One more thing and then I’ll leave it to my colleague, in your reconstruction you had assumed only one author of the fact?
Torre: No I didn’t assume that, I considered it the case and in the entire case there is nothing that can make me think that there was more than one person, nothing, from every point of view one confronts .
Mignini So, from a forensic science point of view do you believe that it must be excluded?
Torre:Well if there was a person there that was watching, there could even have been someone who watched but didn’t leave any forensic signs, therefore from a technical forensic science point of view…
Mignini You can’t exclude it.
Torre: I don’t have any element that suggests to me even remotely the intervention of more than one person.
Mignini However you said… just now you said another person could have been present.
Torre: Yes, just to say there could have been…
Mignini In fact, no, the question I’m asking you is from a forensic point of view, if you can exclude the presence of other people.
Torre: I told you I see no traces of other people.
Mignini I understand, I have no other questions. I’ll let…
Judge Massei explains on page 369 why he rejected the expert opinion was because Meredith had some karate lessons when she was 17.
A first indication to be taken into account is Meredith’s physical build: the photographs of her body and the data of her approximate height and weight reveal a physique with “normotrophic muscular mass and normally distributed subcutaneous fat” (cf. declarations Lalli p. 3), a slim physique which would have permitted Meredith to move with agility. To this must be added the declarations of the parents and the sister of Meredith. Her mother, Arline Carol Mary Kercher, recalled that Meredith had practised football and karate (p. 7 hearing 6 June 2009), and her sister, Stephanie Arline Lara, stated that Meredith also did boxing, if only the once, and that “physically she was very strong” (p. 20, hearing 6 June 2009). Also her father, John Leslie Kercher, declared that his daughter was quite strong and had taken a course in karate (p. 23 hearing 6 June 2009).
And on page 370 says there was virtually no defensive wounds:
Compared with these almost non-existent defensive wounds (cf. report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos), there is an injured area which is impressive by the number, distribution and diversity, specifically of the injuries (bruises and wounds) on the face and neck of Meredith.
Meredith’s defensive wounds on her hands listed in the autopsy report were the following:
The small wounds to the hands: to the left index finger; to the right thumb and palm.
The lesion to the index finger of the left hand is linear. It can derive from the action of a knife’s blade like with any pointed object when used in a swiping manner.
The lesion to the right thumb does not have the appearance of a cut: there are no “fishtails” and the edges are irregularly jagged. It has the appearance of a small wound from a tear or from a pointed object.
In our personal experience we have observed that long and deep wounds from grabbing the blade are often noted in attacks carried out with long knives (case observed by Torre).
The images shown by the experts of UACV. Also in these cases the length of the wounds to the skin suggest the use of knives with a large blade.
The prosecution’s entire multiple attacker theory is a claim that Meredith couldn’t have been sexually assaulted unless she was restrained because she would have resisted the single attacker (Guede) and had more defensive wounds. This reasoning is absurd. Research on defensive wounds shows that absence of them is normal when there’s a sudden attack, often from behind, and in this case, Guede’s sexual assault was after he murdered her.
Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences,3V Set ONLINE Page 105
Defense Wounds / U Schmidt, Freiburg University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany 2003 Elsevier Ltd.
If, in spite of multiple stabs, no defense injuries are found, it has to be considered that the victim may have been unable to react or impaired in his ability to defend himself already before the use of sharp force: for example, in knife attacks on a sleeping person, in unexpected assaults, and in victims made unconscious before the attack. The absence of defense wounds is also observed when the victim was held or tied.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Forensics, 2E
By Alan Axelrod, Guy Antinozzi
Penguin, Jan 1, 2007 – 368 pages
Absence of defensive wounds may suggest that either the victim was taken completely by surprise and was killed before he could offer resistance or that the victim did not expect an attack because the assailant was someone the victim knew and trusted.
Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crime
By John Douglas (Author), Ann W. Burgess (Author), Allen G. Burgess (Author), Robert K. Ressler (Author)
131: SEXUAL HOMOCIDE, ORGANIZED
The term organized when used to describe a sexual homicide offender is based on assessment of the criminal act itself, comprehensive analysis of the victim, crime scene (including any staging present), and evaluation of forensic reports. These components combine to form traits common to an organized offender: one who appears to plan his murders, targets his victims, and displays control at the crime scene. A methodical and ordered approach is reflected through all phases of the crime.
132: SEXUAL HOMICIDE, DISORGANIZED
The term disorganized when used in reference to a sexual homicide is based on the same factors that defined organized: victim and crime scene analysis, forensic evaluation, and assessment of the act itself. The unplanned, spontaneous nature of the disorganized perpetrator’s crime is reflected in each of these factors. This “disorganization” may be the result of youthfulness of the offender, lack of criminal sophistication, use of drugs and alcohol, or mental deficiency.
Victimology. The victim of a disorganized offender may be known to the offender since he often selects a victim of opportunity near his residence of employment. The victim is often from his own geographical area because this offender acts impulsively under stress and also because he derives confidence from familiar surroundings to bolster his feelings of social inadequacy.
If there are multiple victims of a disorganized offender, the age, sex, and other characteristics will show greater variance due to the more random nature of his selection process.
The risk factor of a disorganized sexual homicide victim is situational in the sense that by crossing the path of the offender, her risk is greatly elevated. The victim essentially becomes a casualty because he or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other considerations when assessing victim and offender risk are as detailed in classification 131.
Crime Scene Indicators Frequently Noted. The crime scene of disorganized sexual homicide reflects the spontaneous, and in some cases symbolic, quality of the killing. It is random and sloppy with great disarray. The death scene and the crime scene are often the same.
The victim location is known since it usually is where he or she was going about usual daily activities when suddenly attacked by surprise. There is evidence of sudden violence to the victim, a blitz style of attack. Depersonalization may be present, as evidenced by the face being covered by a pillow or towels or in a more subtle way, as with the body rolled on the stomach.
There is no set plan of action deterring detection. The weapon is one of opportunity, obtained at the scene and left there. There is little or no effort to remove evidence, such as fingerprints from the scene. The body is left at the death scene, often in the position in which the victim was killed. There is no attempt or minimal attempt to conceal the body.
Staging. Secondary criminal activity may be present, but usually it is more indicative of less sophisticated offender (disorganized offenders are often below average intelligence) than staging to confuse law enforcement.
The body may be positioned or deposited in a way that has special significance to the offender based on his sexually violent fantasies. (on pillow, exposed breasts) It may be intended to make a statement or to obscure certain facts about the crime, for example, to disguise post-mortem mutilation he is uncomfortable with. This should not be confused with staging, since the offender is generating a personal expression (personation) rather than deliberating trying to confuse the police. (under blanket, on pillow)
Another example of the disorganized offender”s personation of his ritualized sexual fantasies is the excessive mutilation of the breasts, genitals, or other areas of sexual association, such as the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and the neck. This overkill is the enactment of his fantasy.
Common Forensic Findings. The disorganized offender is often socially inept and has strong feelings of inadequacy. These feelings of deficiency will compel him to assault the victim in an ambush, blitz style, that will immediately incapacitate her or him. Injury effected in a disorganized sexual homicide is usually done when the offender feels the least intimidated and the most comfortable with the victim. This will be when the victim is unconscious, dying, or post-mortem. In addition, sexual assault will probably occur at this time for the same reasons.
There may be depersonalization, which entails mutilation to the face and over-kill (excessive amount or severity of wounds or injury) to specific body parts. The face genitals, and breasts are most often targeted for overkill. Body parts may be missing from the scene.
The blitz style of attack common to this homicide is often manifested by focused blunt trauma to the head and face and lack of defensive wounds. There is a prevalence of attack from behind. Since death is immediate to establish control over the victim, there is minimal use of restraints.
Sexual acts are post-mortem and often involve insertion of foreign objects into body orifices (insertional necrophilia). This is often combined with acts of mutilation – for example, slashing, stabbing, and biting of the buttocks and breasts. Since these acts often do not coincide with complete acts of sexual penetration, evidence of semen may be found in the victim’s clothing or (less frequently) wounds.
Most frequently death results from asphyxia, strangulation, blunt force, or the use of a pointed, sharp instrument.
The disorganized offender usually lives alone or with a parental figure. He lives or works within close proximity to the crime scene. He has a history of inconsistent of poor work performance. He also has a past that demonstrates a lack of interpersonal skills, which may be manifested by involvement in relationships with a partner much younger or older than he.
Pre-offense circumstances demonstrate minimal situational stress and change in lifestyle. He will be considered odd by those who know him. This offender usually is sloppy and disheveled, with nocturnal habits such as walking aimlessly around his neighborhood.
Post offense behavior exhibited may be a change in eating habits and drinking habits (more alcohol consumption) and nervousness. He may also have an inappropriate interest in the crime, for example, by frequently engaging in conversation about it.
Disorganized behavior may be evident in victim selection, crime scene, and forensics due to youthfulness, drug or alcohol impairment external stressors (for example, fear of discovery), or lack of criminal sophistication.
Injustice in Perugia Independent Expert Analysis
Ron Hendry is a retired Forensic Engineer (aka Accident Reconstructionist) with 28 years of experience at evaluating and reconstructing serious to fatal incidents based on the physical evidence. For Ron Hendry, the evidence is clear: Meredith Kercher was murdered in a sudden attack by a single perpetrator.
Ron Hendry unravels the mystery: What really happened to Meredith?
Steve Moore a retired FBI agent has written articles on the evidence which should have existed if Amanda and Raffaele had killed Meredith. Moore has argued that Meredith lost vast amounts of blood during the attack. If three people were struggling with Meredith, it would have been impossible for these people to avoid contact with blood which means there should have been bloody footprints and handprints of three people and not just one.