The Meredith Kercher Murder Case
This website presents the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher and a scandalous miscarriage of justice, by using case documents and transcripts to dissect the reckless police investigation into her murder, a polizio-judicial system desperate to save face and the pseudo evidence which has lead to the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, while her real killer Rudy Guede is out on day release after six years.
Introduction – ‘Case Closed!’
On November 2, 2007, Meredith Kercher, a 21-year old British student studying in Perugia, Italy, was found dead in her apartment, in a clear case of homicide. Her housemate, American student Amanda Knox, and Knox’s Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, along with local bar owner Patrick Lumumba, were soon arrested and placed in solitary confinement for the murder based largely on an illegal interrogation and the police junk profiling the behavior of Knox and Sollecito.
After the arrest of the three suspects, the police held a press conference stating that they had evidence that all three killed Meredith Kercher because she refused to participate in a sex game. They boasted that the case was solid. They were even bold enough to announce, “case closed” to the worlds media.
Police Chief Arturo De Felice as quoted in the Giornale dell’Umbria on November 6, 2007.
I have to compliment our men and our women (the interpreters) that in 4 days and 4 nights, with professionalism and integrity, have resolved the case. In these days, we have felt the weight, the pressure of the people of the city, and of the mass media. Everybody wanted an immediate and certain response. It seems to me we have responded, almost immediately.
The problem was, they had barely begun to investigate and process the crime scene. And when that evidence started coming in, the police had a problem. There was substantial evidence pointing to the presence of a 4th suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede, and almost nothing pointing to Amanda, Raffaele, or Patrick. Guede left a palm print and footprints in Meredith Kercher’s blood, in the room where she was killed. His DNA was found on and inside Meredith and on her purse. His DNA was also linked to feces left in the toilet. He fled to Germany two days after the murder and while on the run told a close friend in a secretly recorded Skype conversation, “Amanda had nothing to do with it [….] because I fought with a male and she wasn’t there.”
There was also another problem: Patrick Lumumba had an unshakable alibi. He had witnesses that were with him in his pub all evening. At this time the authorities, led by prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, should have realized their mistake. It wasn’t a sex game gone wrong but a burglary gone wrong. Local thief and burglar Rudy Guede had broken-in and murdered Meredith Kercher when she arrived home and found him inside her house.
But the authorities, who had made such a big production to the media about solving the crime earlier, refused to admit their mistake. They simply pulled Patrick Lumumba out of their fantasy and plugged in Rudy Guede. The prosecution pushed forward to prove that Meredith Kercher was murdered by this “revised” trio in the course of a violent sex orgy, and amassed various pieces of evidence which (they claimed) supported the theory.
Rudy Guede was soon convicted in a “fast-track” trial process in October of 2008, and sentenced to 30 years in prison which was later reduced to 16 years on appeal, making him eligible for day release after serving 6 years. The case against Knox and Sollecito continued according to a standard schedule, and in December of 2009, both were convicted of participating (along with Rudy Guede) in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively.
Knox and Sollecito’s appeal process began in November 2010. The presiding Judge was Claudio Pratillo Hellmann. In October 2011, after a detailed reexamination of the case — including among other things a highly critical expert review of the DNA evidence — Knox and Sollecito were declared innocent and released immediately after nearly four years of imprisonment. (Knox remained convicted of a lesser crime, calumny, for having accused an innocent person, Patrick Lumumba, of the murder under intense police pressure; for this she was sentenced to three years in prison, less than the time she had already spent there.)
In March 2013, the Italian Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann acquittal and ordered a new trial to be held in Florence. See Critical commentary on the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Knox-Sollecito trial.
In January 2014, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted again. The presiding Judge was Alessandro Nencini. The court released a motivation document on April 29, 2014, explaining the decision.
The Nencini Trial Farce in Florence
- Only 1 witness heard, transsexual ex-mobster Luciano Aviello;
- Some testimony about 1 DNA sample from the knife showing once again it was not the murder weapon;
- 3 investigations launched into Judge Nencini’s post conviction comments;
- All defense requests denied except for photographs of Raffaele Sollecito’s fingernails;
- Jurors who knew nothing about the case;
- Rudy Guede not heard or seen and a dangerous sex predator continues to be protected.
In May 2014, Judge Hellmann issued a statement to CNN about the latest motivation report and guilty verdict:
The Florence Appeal Court has written the script for a movie or a thriller book, while it should have only considered facts and evidence. There is no evidence to condemn Knox and Sollecito. It’s a verdict that seems to me is the result of fantasy and has nothing to do with the evidence.
Update June 29, 2014: New book by DNA pioneer Professor Peter Gill is out with a chapter discussing the clasp and knife evidence. Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice
Update August 3, 2014: Summary Of Amanda Knox Appeal To Italian Supreme Court Against Conviction In Florence
Update December 2014: Change.org Petition Launched – Calling for investigation into the mishandling of the Meredith Kercher murder case by the authorities
Nencini Report: Dissection of a conviction (excerpt)
Written by Luca Cheli
1 – Foreword
The ruling begins with a foreword dealing with the scope of the trial (page 73 of the Cassation ruling quashing the acquittal is almost integrally quoted) and with what relevance the definitive judgment concerning Rudi Guede may or may not have in the trial concerning Knox and Sollecito.
Nencini considers “generic and abstract” Hellmann’s assessment that Guede’s ruling, having been “held under the fast-track system, so that the judges who considered the position of Rudi Guede were not able to conduct the investigations of a [ordinary proceeding] trial — in particular the independent expert review that we performed– either at the first level or at the present level, despite the complexity of the case, at least with regard to the current defendants” (Hellmann page 27) and instead states he sticks with the opinion of the Court of Cassation as expressed in ruling 7993/2012.
The gist of Nencini’s position is best expressed by the following paragraph (page 36): “In conclusion, if in point of law this Judge expresses adherence to the principle mentioned above, adhering to its precepts, in point of fact the existence of a definitive judgment attributing the murder of Meredith Kercher to a specific culprit, Hermann Rudi Guede, in complicity with other people, makes unquestionable the assumption that any fact finding having to be carried out with reference to the evidentiary compendium emerging from the documents of this proceeding will have to be performed having as an inescapable reference point the aforementioned judicially ascertained fact, and hence facing the datum, definitively established in the proceeding, that Rudi Hermann Guede participated, along with others, in the murder of Meredith Kercher” .
The language is convoluted in Italian too, so it is not one hundred percent straightforward to “decode” it, however my interpretation can be obtained by putting together the parts in bold: they speak for themselves. Continue reading →
The Charges Against Rudy Guede
The Knox-Sollecito defense teams have never been able to question the man who admitted being in Meredith Kercher’s bedroom covered in her blood and watching her die about the night of the murder. Kercher family attorney, Francesco Maresca, had no questions for him at the Hellmann trial and objected to the defense questioning him. And again at the Nencini trial, Francesco Maresca objected to him being called by the defense to answer questions. Why? Giuliano Mignini never appealed his sentence reduction from 30 years to 16 years knowing he’d get day release after 6 years. Why?
Watch Giuliano Mignini defending Rudy Guede during closing arguments in 2009 as if Guede was his client. Click here
The Charges Against Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito
A) multiply-aggravated murder of Meredith Kercher, in material conspiracy [concorso materiale] with Rudy Guede;
B) carrying a knife, allegedly constituting the murder weapon, taken from Sollecito’s residence without a justifiable reason.
C) sexual violence, in conspiracy with Rudy Hermann Guede in the role of [primary] perpetrator, against Meredith Kercher, aggravated under the present circumstances [ipotesi aggravata] in the sense of C.P. Article 609-ter no. 2 due to the use of the knife under Charge B, employed to accomplish [mettere a segno] the violent and threatening behavior [le condotte di violenza e minaccia].
D) theft of property belonging to Meredith Kercher (two cellular telephones, a sum of money, two credit cards from British banking institutions) ;
E) the crime under C.P. Article 367 with the aggravating circumstance of [criminal] purpose [nesso teleologico, lit. “teleological nexus”], assuming that the defendants had staged an attempted burglary in the bedroom of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox’s roommate (Filomena Romanelli) with the aim of attributing the responsibility for the murder and hypothesized sexual violence suffered by Meredith Kercher to the unknown persons [who would have] penetrated the apartment;
F) for Amanda Knox only, the crime of calumny against Diya Lumumba, known as “Patrick”, an offense charged as a continuation [nella forma continuata] in that the alleged false accusations, regarding Lumumba’s responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher, were contained in several statements made by Knox to investigators on November 6, 2007 and in a note [memoriale] presented to the Police on 11-6-2007; a crime aggravated in the sense of C.P. Article 61 no. 2 given that it was hypothesized that, with this false accusation, Amanda Knox sought to obtain impunity for herself, for Raffaele Sollecito, and for Rudy Hermann Guede.
The Prosecution Case
What does the prosecution claim happened?
The prosecution alleges Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (two students who had been dating for about a week) left Sollecito’s apartment at 110 Corso Garibaldi after 9.26pm on the night of November 1, 2007, with a kitchen knife and went to Piazza Grimana located near the cottage where they were seen by homeless heroin addict, Antonio Curatolo, while he was smoking cigarette’s and reading l’Expresso. Somewhere at an unknown time they teamed up with a third man, Rudy Guede, and went to the cottage where Meredith had arrived home at 9pm after spending the evening with girlfriends watching a movie.
The three defendants in conspiracy murdered and sexually assaulted Meredith Kercher with Amanda Knox delivering the fatal knife wound to Meredith Kercher’s neck while Guede and Sollecito held her down. The time of death has been stated at 11.30pm based on ear witness, Nara Capezzali, who claimed to have heard a scream.
After the murder Rudy Guede left the cottage while Knox and Sollecito stayed behind ‘cleaning and staging’ the crime scene removing traces of themselves and simulated a burglary by breaking Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom window to mislead investigators.
The prosecution claims two knives were used during the murder, one of which wasn’t recovered, while the kitchen knife was cleaned and returned to Sollecito’s kitchen drawer because the landlord might have noticed it missing. Knox and Sollecito are alleged to have stolen Meredith Kercher’s keys, money, credit cards and phones which at some point during the night were tossed into Elizabeth Lana’s garden near Sant’Angelo Park.
The following day they were caught by surprise when two Postal Police officers arrived at the cottage enquiring about the dumped phones found by Elizabeth Lana’s daughters. In a panic and when the two officers weren’t looking, Sollecito called the Carabinieri (police 112) pretending to report a break-in which had just been discovered by the Postal Police minutes earlier.
Lastly, on the night of November 5, 2007, during an all night interrogation, Amanda Knox attempted to derail the police investigation by placing herself at the scene by accusing her boss and local bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, after hearing Raffaele Sollecito had dropped her alibi.
What was the motive? (There’s been so many…)
Supreme Court – The Chieffi Report
The outcome of such an osmotic assessment will be decisive, not only to demonstrate the presence of the two defendants at the crime scene, but to possibly delineate the subjective positions of those who acted with Guede, before the range of situations which might be hypothesized, from a genetic agreement on the death option, to the modification of a plan which originally envisioned only the involvement of the young Englishwoman in an unwanted sexual game, to solely forcing her into an extreme, group-led erotic game which exploded, going out of control.
Giuliano Mignini’s closing arguments at the pre-trial:
Transcript – page 46
And it must be higlighted that, in any case, for individuals morbidly attracted by mingling sex and violence, it is far from being unlikely the connection of such a project with the Halloween tradition, because, if it is true that the night between October 31 and November 1st had passed (and Meredith had spent it with her fellow countrywomen), it is as much true that, at about 9 pm on November 1st and for the following three hours, it was still All Saints’ Day and that what had not been done on the night of the eve of All Saints’ Day [i.e. Halloween’s night] could be realized on the night between the latter and the Day of the Deads.”
and page 49
Moreover the three, and particularly Sollecito, were, all of them, addicted to the erotic-homicidal “cultural” suggestions we have talked about and that night was still All Saints’ Day, the catholic “heir” to Samhain, the celtic New Year’s Day, with all the implications having their focus on the eve of the celebration, that is on the night between October 31 and November 1st.
Other motives theorised by the prosecution have included theft, hatred, a sex game gone wrong, a ritualistic killing, they killed for nothing, Meredith got upset because Rudy Guede didn’t flush the toilet which lead to a fight, Amanda directed the murder from the hallway and Judge Massei’s ridiculous theory in his motivation report where Rudy Guede knocked on the door and became aroused hearing Amanda and Raffaele having sex in her bedroom so Guede made a move on Meredith and they spontaneously decided to join him attacking her. See Massei vs Common Sense. The latest fantasy from Judge Alessandro Nencini has Amanda and Raffaele having sex at the cottage while virtual stranger Rudy Guede roamed around inside and the murder was triggered by a fight over Meredith Kercher’s stolen money.
The Defense Case
So what really happened?
Rudy Guede was an unemployed criminal on a crime spree in the five weeks before killing Meredith Kercher and is linked directly and indirectly to multiple break-ins similar and in one case almost identical to the break-in at the cottage. These include breaking into Cristian Tramontano’s apartment and pulling a knife on him and stealing his credit card. Breaking into Maria Del Prato’s nursery and being caught with stolen property, a knife, a womans gold watch and a little hammer used for breaking glass. And a second story break-in at the law offices of Paolo Brocchi where he threw a large stone through the second story window and stole a computer and cell phone as well as tossing clothes on the floor and helping himself to the fridge.
On the night of November 1, 2007, Guede was captured on CCTV approaching the cottage at 7.51pm. Guede admits being at the cottage at this time. He left and then returned a short time later and broke-in via Filomena’s Romanelli’s 2nd story window smashing it with a rock and tossing clothes on the floor just like he did at the law offices of Paolo Brocchi two weeks earlier. Meredith Kercher arrived home at 9pm while he was on the toilet which likely wasn’t flushed because it would have alerted her someone was in the house. Meredith went to her bedroom and Guede attacked, stabbing her in the throat from behind. He dragged and positioned the body on a pillow and then sexually assaulted her post-mortem.
He stole Meredith’s cash, keys, credit cards and phones and left the cottage before 10.13pm when an incoming MMS pinged off a tower that serviced the Sant’Angelo Park area where the phones were found. Before leaving the cottage, there’s reason to believe he broke-in downstairs for a change of clothing leaving blood in the downstairs apartment. Later that night Guede went dancing and fled to Germany 2 days later.
How can we say with certainty that’s what happened? Because it’s what the crime scene photos show, the autopsy says and what the timeline and evidence proves. Raffaele didn’t know Rudy Guede and Amanda had briefly met him once through the downstairs neighbours. The prosecution’s case of them randomly teaming up with Guede who they didn’t know and sexually assaulting and killing Meredith Kercher and then by coincidence staging the crime scene to look like his modus operandi is absurd.
For a more detailed crime scene reconstruction about the murder and break-in read Ron Hendry’s expert analysis here.
What were Knox and Sollecito doing?
Computer records show both were watching the movie Amelie between 6.26pm and 9.10pm at Sollecito’s apartment while Amanda waited to go to work at 10pm. At 8.40pm, a friend of Sollecito’s, Jovana Popovic, dropped by the apartment to say she no longer needed a ride to the train station later that evening. Amanda invited her inside but she declined. At 9.26pm, a 23 minute Naruto cartoon was opened on Raffaele’s computer and they spent the evening at his place. After replying to Patrick Lumumba’s text at 8.35pm, Amanda switched off her phone in case Lumumba asked her back to work for the night.
The investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher according to retired FBI agent Steve Moore in his new book, The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher:
As I began to delve into the case, I learnt to my dismay that the investigation was botched at a level I have rarely seen outside of totalitarian or Third World countries. The forensics, “interrogation”, and conclusions of the detectives were at best completely and nightmarishly wrong, and at worst, intentionally corrupted. The conclusions and prosecutions in the Kercher murder investigation were based solely on (flawed) intuition, profound ignorance about the science of investigation, social and religious bias, superstition, corruption, and self-preservation.
Former FBI Agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker had this to say about the Meredith Kercher murder case in their book Law & Disorder:
I have never seen a judge’s ruling so bizarre or nonsensical. It defies reason that it could have been conceived and written by an adult with any logical capacity whatsoever, much less an experienced jurist. To think that these two young people would be sentenced to spend a quarter of a century each in prison based on such a flight of fantasy is nothing less than sickening.
Violent crimes aren’t that elaborate or far-fetched. Never. A few basic things happen that lead to tragedy. Convoluted, counterintuitive scenarios are what happen in fiction. Given a certain set of evidence, which is a more coherent narrative— one of the explanations the prosecution or judges bought into, or that a local disco guy without a job, with a history of burglary and drugs, broke into a house he already knew, stole money, found one of the women residents home, began to sexually assault her, panicked and killed her, then escaped?
That scenario is clear-cut and logical: Rudy needed money. He went to the house on Via della Pergola, didn’t see any signs of habitation, so he broke a window with a rock and climbed up and in Filomena’s room. He was a lithe, athletic basketball player so this was hardly the feat of herculean skill the police and prosecutors seemed to think. It was the beginning of the month so it was likely rent money would be lying around. But first, as he had done on other occasions—past behavior predicts future behavior— he helped himself to food in the kitchen. His DNA bears this out. He then had to use the bathroom, and was probably surprised when he heard someone enter the house. This explains the toilet not being flushed; either he rushed out suddenly to see who it was or didn’t want to alert the other person that she was not alone.
He then had to neutralize the other person, who turned out to be Meredith. It could have been any of the four women— the scenario and outcome would have been the same.
It is clear from the crime scene that Meredith did not submit meekly. There is blood all over the place, which indicates she bravely fought like hell. Once she was rendered helpless, he could have had his sexual way with her, or even masturbated on or over her body as she was dying. The scene also tells me that he didn’t even leave right away then. He probably continued to look around for anything he might want to take, and threw the blanket haphazardly over her body so he wouldn’t have to look at her and confront what he had done. He was sophisticated enough to lock Meredith’s bedroom door, delaying discovery of the body. He went home through a circuitous route so as not to be spotted, and along the way ditched the two mobile phones he had stolen. When he got to his room he cleaned up and changed clothes. Anyone involved with this scene would have been covered with blood. Perhaps he even broke into the downstairs and took clothing belonging to one of the men. Then from home, he went out to the clubs to dance the night away.
Douglas, John; Olshaker, Mark (2013-02-26). Law & Disorder (pp. 369-370). Kensington. Kindle Edition.
Map Of Perugia Showing Key Locations