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Will Convicted Sex Murderer Amanda Knox Benefit from the CSI Effect?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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 The strange case of Amanda Knox, the 23-year-old American convicted in 2009 of killing her roommate in Italy and sentenced to 26 years in prison, may get new life. Independent forensic experts issued a report on Wednesday casting doubt on the key forensic evidence used to convict Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.


In case you’ve forgotten this sensational trial, the two were accused of killing Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student, in 2007 during sex play that went out of control, according to Italian prosecutors. The case hinged on a knife found in Sollecito’s kitchen drawer, which prosecutors said had traces of the victim’s blood on the blade and DNA from Knox on the handle. Kercher’s bra clasp, found on the floor of the bedroom, was said to have DNA from Sollecito.


The new forensics report, issued to the appeals court through which Knox and Sollecito are trying to overturn their convictions, states that testing of the DNA was below international standards and was improperly handled and became contaminated. Predictably, the defense has claimed that the report by itself will destroy the case against Knox and Sollecito, and prosecutors say that the defense is overplaying the matter. As The New York Times puts it :


Other accusers of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito said that the DNA was just one piece of evidence in the case that they built against them, based on various testimonies, their lack of an alibi and what prosecutors say is other damaging physical evidence, which has not been reviewed. During one interrogation, Ms. Knox allowed that she was in the house when Ms. Kercher was murdered, an admission she later retracted, saying she had spoken under duress.


Given the lack of a clear motive and eyewitnesses other than the defendants, the defense may have a strong case, especially if the CSI effect is real. The idea is that, because of the popular television show (which has an Italian version), jurors demand forensic evidence and value it over other kinds of evidence. Forensic anthropologist Max M. Houck, director of West Virginia University’s Forensic Science Initiative, recounted some possible examples in his July 2006 Scientific American article on the subject:


The press started to pay attention to the issue in 2003, collecting anecdotes from attorneys and judges about what appeared to be a change in the behavior of jurors. In 2005 Oregon district attorney Josh Marquis, vice president of the National District Attorneys Association, told CBS News, “Jurors now expect us to have a DNA test for just about every case. They expect us to have the most advanced technology possible, and they expect it to look like it does on television.” Indeed, jurors in a Los Angeles murder case complained that a bloody coat had not been tested for DNA, even though such tests were unnecessary: the defendant had already admitted to having been at the crime scene. The judge noted that TV had taught jurors about DNA tests but not about when they should be used. In a study in Delaware of how juries deal with evidence, one juror tangling with a complex DNA case complained that these kinds of problems did not happen “on CSI.


Attorneys blamed the CSI effect when a Baltimore jury acquitted a man of murder—testimony from two eyewitnesses was trumped by a lack of physical evidence. “I’ve seen a big change in jurors and what they expect over the last five years,” defense attorney Joseph Levin of Atlantic City, N.J., told a local newspaper. “Jurors can ask questions of the judge while in deliberations, and they’re asking about what they see as missing evidence. They want to know where the fingerprints are or the DNA. If it’s not there, they want to know why.” In the California murder trial of actor Robert Blake, prosecutors tried to persuade the jury by establishing Blake’s motive and opportunity, and they presented witnesses who testified that Blake asked them to kill his wife. But no gunshot residue or blood spatter evidence was presented, and Blake was acquitted. A juror was quoted as saying that if the prosecutor “had all that information, that would have meant [Blake] was guilty.” The defeat was the prosecutor’s first in 50 murder cases.


Although lawyers believe that a CSI effect is at play, others have their doubts:


What appears to be the first study of the CSI effect was published in February by Kimberlianne Podlas, an attorney and assistant professor of media law and ethics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Podlas concluded that the chances of, and reasoning for, acquittals were the same for frequent CSI viewers as for prospective jurors who did not watch the show—she saw no CSI effect. Several participants, however, said that a lack of forensic testing was an issue, despite the fact that physical evidence would not have resolved the hypothetical charges. Studies of real juries have been advocated, and at least five graduate students (three in the U.S. and two in England) are preparing theses examining the effect.


Whether or not forensics shows are measurably influencing the demands and decisions of juries, television is unquestionably giving the public a distorted view of how forensic science is carried out and what it can and cannot do.


You can listen to the Science Talk podcast interview with Houck (or read the transcript) or purchase the issue with the article here.


Image credit: creacart/iStockphoto


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  1. 1. GraceParea 4:25 pm 06/30/2011

    Will Convicted Sex Murderer Amanda Knox Benefit from the CSI Effect? Apparently Philip Yam chose to write an article about something he knows little about. Don’t feel bad about it Phill, this is not so uncommon these days. I can see by the title of your article that you choose to spin the subject. I intend to bring you up you speed and leave you totally humiliated by your ignorance, or is this just an attempt to deceive the public. Your article says "During one interrogation, Ms. Knox allowed that she was in the house when Ms. Kercher was murdered, an admission she later retracted, saying she had spoken under duress." The interrogators kept Amanda up all night screaming at her in Italian which she barely understood, and a female officer hit her in the head several times. Her screams could be heard in rooms remote to the interrogation room. The police chief said her interrogation was typical for mafia. Immediately following the horrendous interrogation she wrote a letter which stated that the so called confession "does not seem real to me". Obviously she had been brained washed. The Italian supreme court ruled the coerced interrogation was not admissible in court and here it is in your article.

    In your article you said "other damaging physical evidence". This tipped me off that you are likely you are Peter Quennelle or a member of his crew that has been spreading anti-knox propaganda and lies all over the Internet for about three years. I can see that your intention here is to down play the independent lab’s report, using a prestigious publication as a back drop.

    I will now proceed to post enough well sourced information to display that the authorities in Perugia Italy that convicted Knox and Sollecito are totally lacking integrity. I will be using quotes from their own reports to display their lies for all to see.

    Link to this
  2. 2. GraceParea 5:00 pm 06/30/2011

    The bloody footprints / false testimony / perjury in my opinion. The following honorable mention from Judge Massei’s report (motivation document) page 256-257 (English translation), indicates there were no bloody foot prints compatible with Amanda or Raffaele, and there were no bloody footprints at all except for one print on the bath mat which most accurately matches the dimension of Rudy Guede’s foot. The authorities testified in court that follow up test to determine if the substance detected with Luminol was blood were not performed, however this was not true, as you will see in the following paragraph taken from Massei’s report.

    NOTE: To understand this paragraph one must consider that the so-called bloody footprints said in court to be compatible with Amanda and Raffaele were found with Luminol in the hallway, Amanda’s bedroom, and Filomena’s bedroom. Also if a sample in question did not contain a genetic profile then it’s not possible blood was present in the area sampled. Blood contains a genetic profile, so it is not possible the area / so-called bloody footprint sampled was blood. Does anyone dispute that?

    From Massei’s motivation report (English translation) page 256-257: “With respect to the Luminol-positive traces found in Romanelli’s room, in Knox’s room and in the corridor, she stated that by analysing the SAL cards "we learn, in contradiction to what was presented in the technical report deposited by the Scientific Police, and also to what was said in Court, that not only was the Luminol test performed on these traces, but also the generic diagnosis for the presence of blood, using tetramethylbenzidine, and this test, gave a negative result on all the items of evidence from which it was possible to obtain a genetic profile"

    NOTE: A SLA card is like a work order.

    Although the scientific test indicated the substance was not blood, the judge assumed it was blood anyway. He said Amanda washed her bloody feet so the test were negative for blood, however there is absolutely no evidence to support Amanda’s feet had blood on them. None at all. Zero. This is known as conjecture.

    I learned that Peter’s crew was planning to say Meredith’s blood was found in Amanda’s bedroom. Lets nip hat lie in the bud now shall we. The above paragraph prevents you from proceeding with that lie. The victim’s blood was not found in Knox’s bedroom. Please read the above again if you don’t understand.

    Link to this
  3. 3. GraceParea 5:09 pm 06/30/2011

    This subject contains too much information to post here so I’ll see if I can post a link.


    Part 1 covers misleading statements about what time Meredith UK phone was found and delivered to the Postal Police Post on Nov 2 2007.

    part 2 covers misleading statements about where Amanda was around 8 pm Nov 1 2007.

    Link to this
  4. 4. GraceParea 5:20 pm 06/30/2011

    Here is some info from the lab report that Philip Yam conveniently left out od his spin / article.

    ITEM 36 (KNIFE)
    Relative to the genetic analysis performed on trace A (handle of the knife), we agree with the conclusion reached by the Technical Consultant regarding the attribution of the genetic profile obtained from these samples to Amanda Marie Knox.

    Relative to trace B (blade of the knife) we find that the technical analyses performed are not reliable for the following reasons:

    1. There does not exist evidence which scientifically confirms that trace B (blade of knife) is the product of blood.

    2. The electrophoretic profiles exhibited reveal that the sample indicated by the letter B (blade of knife) was a Low Copy Number (LCN) sample, and, as such, all of the precautions indicated by the international scientific community should have been applied.

    3. 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;

    4. International protocols of inspection, collection, and sampling were not followed;

    5. It cannot be ruled out that the result obtained from sample B (blade of knife) derives from contamination in some phase of the collection and/or handling and/or analyses performed.


    Relative to Item 165B (bra clasps), we find that the technical analysis is not reliable for the following reasons:

    1. There does not exist evidence which scientifically confirms the presence of supposed flaking cells on the item;

    2. There was an erroneous interpretation of the electrophoretic profile of the autosomic STRs;

    3. There was an erroneous interpretation of the electrophoretic profile relative to the Y chromosome;

    4. The international protocols for inspection, collection, and sampling of the item were not followed;

    5. It cannot be ruled out that the results obtained derive from environmental contamination and/or contamination in some phase of the collection and/or handling of the item.


    Prof. Carla Vecchiotti

    Prof. Stefano Conti

    Heads up, Peter’s crew plans to say Knox’s blood was found on the handle of the knife. This is not true. No one has ever said Knox’s blood was on the handle of the knife.

    Link to this
  5. 5. michellesings 5:32 pm 06/30/2011

    Phil, my husband is Steve Moore, he’s an ex FBI Agent who has become a high profile regarding this case.
    I just can’t help but not stand up and call it on this article. It’s reaaaally off.
    I encourage, as did others who commented at length to do more homework from credible sources.
    Michelle Moore

    Link to this
  6. 6. GraceParea 5:55 pm 06/30/2011

    The police crime lab that analyzed the DNA collected in the Knox case was not certified to do Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA sample analysis. This is documented in judge Massei’s motivation report. The Officer in charge of the lab said it doesn’t matter, but from the above lab report one can see that it does matter.

    Link to this
  7. 7. GraceParea 6:06 pm 06/30/2011

    It is my educated opinion that Rudy Guede alone murdered Meredith Kercher then molested her body at about 9 pm, Nov 1, 2007. Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito had nothing to do with this crime. Raffaele’s computer records provide an alibi for him and Knox until 9:26 pm, Nov 1, 2007. Guede is a known drug dealer, burglar, and known to threaten with a knife. His DNA was found on the victim’s clothing and in her body. His DNA, hand print, and shoe prints were found at the crime scene. His bloody shoe prints lead from the victim’s body to the apartment exit door. No credible evidence places Knox or Sollecito at the crime scene.

    Rudy Guede told the police investigators that he was at Meredith’s apartment waiting for her to come home. He was captured on CCTV cam arriving at her apartment two times shortly before Meredith’s image was captured on CCTV cam arriving at her driveway at 8:51 pm (corrected time). At 8:56 pm Meredith placed a call to her mom that was interrupted before her mom could answer. Her time of death depends on how long Guede let her live after that.

    Judge Massei’s motivation report says Guede’s whereabouts is not known, so he assumes Guede arrived with Amanda and Raffaele at 11 pm.

    Meredith’s stomach contents indicated she was murdered no later than, first, 9 pm in Judge Micheli’s report and then later, 10 or 11 pm in the same revised reports. However, Massei has Meredith being murdered at 11:30 pm.

    How was it possible for Amanda to murder her with a knife that has obviously NEVER had blood on it, do it in a small room with Guede and not leave a trace of herself or carry any evidence away from the crime scene on her clothes or body? It is not possible. This does not happen in the real world.

    All the above is sourced from judge Micheli’s report, judge Massei’s report and various news articles. The judges did not want to discuss the CCTV cam photos, and for good reason. I’ll get to that later.

    Link to this
  8. 8. GraceParea 9:38 pm 06/30/2011

    Take a look at what a professional investigator thinks about this case, Steve More. Steve has my admiration and respect.

    I retired in June 2008 from the FBI after serving 25 years as a Special Agent and a Supervisory Special Agent. I spent several years on SWAT, was a certified sniper and undercover operative. I am a commercial helicopter, and multi-engine airplane pilot as well as a certified firearms instructor, and armorer. I have written a book on my FBI career which will be released in the Spring. I am building an airplane with which I hope to see the country and beyond.

    Link to this
  9. 9. pyam 11:11 pm 06/30/2011

    I think you have misread my post. Ignoring your misattribution of material from others to me and drawing unsubstantiated and false conclusions from that, I am pointing out that the exclusion of forensic evidence in this case works in the defendant’s favor, not just because of the type of case the prosecutors presented, but also because jurors today tend to demand physical evidence. To be clear, I am agnostic about this case, although I would not be surprised if it turns out that Knox was railroaded.

    Link to this
  10. 10. michellesings 4:09 am 07/1/2011

    Wow, I’m impressed by your response (in a good way). I am curious how you became interested in this case and how you began research. Not meant in any negative way, I can assure you. She was railroaded. What some people don’t realize or want to deny is that not only are they going to be acquitted, they are going to be exonerated beCAUSE of the investigation going on as we speak of a rail road job. I will re read you article tomorrow. Sorry if I misunderstood. I was horrified thinking of where you must have gotten your information. There are some serious weirdo’s out there with the weirdest of motives who spend all their day saying BS stuff.
    Thanks much, michelle moore :) ))

    Link to this
  11. 11. michellesings 4:16 am 07/1/2011

    oops, I meant to say "…or people who WANT to deny…".
    And lastly, I think the first thing that was upsetting when I saw this article was the knife with the blood on it. Mainly, there was DNA of Amanda on the knife (from cooking at her boyfriend’s house), but there was only pasta starch on it. No blood from Meredith.
    I’m kinda hoping the Kercher’s don’t see your pic because they’ve been and continue to go through sooo much pain. :) , michelle PS. The knife that did this was Rudy Guede’s, not a knife in Rafaele’s apt. that was randomly picked out of a drawer of knives in his kitchen. No others, just this ONE knife. Kinda weird? Yesss. :) Also, the knife wouldn’t have fit the wound.

    Link to this
  12. 12. GraceParea 6:57 am 07/1/2011

    Phil, I recognize spin when I see it, in your article and your comment. This article reads like something Peter Quennell would write, intentionally misleading..

    Link to this
  13. 13. Chris_Halkides 11:54 am 07/1/2011

    Hello Philip,

    At viewfromwilmingtonDOTblogspotDOTcom I have blogged on the many inadequacies of the DNA evidence in this case for about eighteen months. Others have correctly pointed out some of the problems in what you have written. I would only like to add that your article implies that the CSI effect only runs in one direction. This is false, and the present case is a good illustration of the problem. When they hear that the prosecutor has DNA evidence, some defense attorneys say they start looking to make a plea deal. This ignores the fact that many DNA profiles are partials, and many samples show a mixture of two or more persons’ DNA. Moreover, DNA does not carry a time stamp, nor a message saying whether it was deposited via primary or secondary transfer, or even from contamination. The presence of DNA evidence is not a permission slip to the jury to check their brains at the courthouse door.

    If nothing else, this case teaches us that rules requiring the discovery of the electronic data files in cases where DNA evidence is introduced, is absolutely essential to a fair trial. The files were not released to the defense in the first trial, but it appears that the independent experts have at long last received them. Otherwise, it is questionable whether or not they could have produced the detailed and devastating analysis that they did.

    Link to this
  14. 14. Chris_Halkides 11:57 am 07/1/2011

    One more thing. The ordinary kitchen knife tested negative for blood. It is very unlikely that a knife that was used in a murder would be cleaned in such a way that blood would be removed but that DNA from the crime would remain.

    Link to this
  15. 15. GraceParea 12:37 pm 07/1/2011

    In his report Micheli points out that Raffaele did, in fact, make a call to his sister at 12:50pm, followed by two calls to “112″ reporting a possible burglary at 12:51 and 12:54pm, 15 minutes after the arrival of the postal agents. Micheli said the postal police were shown into the cottage by Raffaele and Amanda.

    Raffaele’s attorney provided the court with indisputable proof that this was a not true. The police arrived after Raffaele called the police’s emergency number.

    Link to this
  16. 16. GraceParea 12:46 pm 07/1/2011

    The lab scraped the cracks between the blade and the handle and found starch / vegetation. The did not find a trace of blood. Obviously the knife was not the murder weapon but the cooking weapon.

    Link to this
  17. 17. GraceParea 12:55 pm 07/1/2011

    Eleven high ranking members of the Italian government requested an investigation of the prosecutors office due to this fiasco and previous shenanigans by the prosecutor..

    Link to this
  18. 18. GraceParea 1:02 pm 07/1/2011

    Guiliano Mignini has filed a defamation lawsuit against Perugia Shock, a blog created and maintained by Frank Sfarzo, in his latest attempt to silence those who disagree with him. Bowing to pressure, Google took Frank’s blog offline. While Google’s motto has always been “Do No Evil” it seems they are willing to provide censorship and [...]

    According to Frank who attended the hearings and reported on his blog, Perugia Shock, the cops had pushed him, kicked him and said you are pissing us off. Later they went to his home and beat him. They took him to the hospital, and attempted to get him declared insane, but nobody would do it, so they took him to jail and charged him with slander and beating up five cops.

    Link to this
  19. 19. GraceParea 1:11 pm 07/1/2011

    The police said Raffaele’s shoes matched the bloody shoe prints leading from the victims body to the exit door, so they arrested Raffaele. His shoe prints did not match the bloody shoe prints. They were the shoe prints of Rudy Guede. When this was learned they grabbed a bra clasp left in the floor of the crime scene for 47 days and said it has Raffaele’s DNA on it. As we have learned Raffaele’s DNA was not on it.

    Link to this
  20. 20. GraceParea 1:13 pm 07/1/2011

    The police said the clothes Amanda wore he previous evening were missing. The clothes in question can be seen laying on her bed in a police crime scene video.

    Link to this
  21. 21. GraceParea 1:18 pm 07/1/2011

    The police said the book Amanda said she was reading at Raffaele’s flat the evening of the crime was not at his flat. The book can be seen in a crime scene video laying on a table in Raffaele’s flat.

    Link to this
  22. 22. GraceParea 1:31 pm 07/1/2011

    Judge Massei’s report said the postal police knew of the second phone found based on a phone call from the family that found the phones to the postal police post at 11:50 am. The phone was not found until 12:07 pm (per judge Massei’s report which was published later), approximately 15 minutes later. At 12:11 pm the girl that found the phone called her mother who was shopping. The phone was delivered to the postal police post later that afternoon around 12:46 pm. No communication with the family was documented in the police log from the time the second phone was found until the phone was delivered. The phone connected with a cell tower at 12:43 pm that indicated the phone was still at the home where it was found. This all has to do with the postal police arriving before Raffaele called the police. I’ll not explain that here. I just wanted you to see the lies.

    Link to this
  23. 23. Kaosium 1:52 pm 07/1/2011

    Phillip, I think perhaps you might have picked the absolute worst case possible to write your article about. :)

    Perugia, of course, is in Italy, where they don’t necessarily watch CSI, though dubbed re-runs are probably available, thus it is much less likely a true CSI effect could occur. There *may* have been a ‘magic DNA’ effect, but the more insightful approach as Joseph Levin noted was entirely missing. As was any forensic sign whatsoever Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito were involved in a violent death struggle in a tiny dorm-like room along with another man who left traces all over the scene. That man left shoeprints in blood all over the room, (how did these kids dodge them when engaged in combat?) when the Polizia Scientifica was finished with their sweep they’d found his DNA on and inside the victim as well as mixed in blood on her purse and a bloody handprint on the wall. In contrast they found absolutely nothing in that room that could be attributed to Raffaele and Amanda, who supposedly were helping every step of the way in this brutal rape murder.

    However, they claimed they found 10 picograms of DNA of the victim on a cheap kitchen knife in Raffaele’s drawer which was too big to cause two of the wounds and the third could have been inflicted by anything from a box-cutter to a broadsword. It didn’t have any traces of blood on it, which is nigh to impossible being as it still bore the DNA of Amanda and supposedly the victim–which precluded a thorough cleaning. Being as attempting to compile a legitimate profile from 10 picograms with a 28 cycle Identifiler kit is practically akin to picking up a radio station in Tokyo with a cheap transistor radio, it may have been the most ridiculous ‘murder knife’ in the history of forensics–but they still said it had that ‘Magic DNA’–which was all they needed, even if they didn’t.

    The bra clasp was no better, having a soup of alleles to choose from, by about four contributors on something the size of your pinky nail, and having been handled like they were trying to contaminated it after it wandered around the murder room over the course of 40 days. However it they could still say it had the ‘Magic DNA!’ Thus a total of 210 picograms, none of which were found in the murder room until they were desperate and *had* to find something, totally outweighed all the absurdities of their Magic DNA and the fact it was absurd to assume that’s all they left in the process of that brutal rape-murder in that tiny room.

    Link to this
  24. 24. Kaosium 1:59 pm 07/1/2011

    The rest of the forensic evidence amounted to the fact that Amanda lived there and thus it was entirely expected that Rudy Guede would mix Meredith’s blood with Amanda’s DNA in her own sink, or that they could find bare footprints that tested negative for blood and DNA but still pretend were made of blood because luminol can light up about 250 different household items and you’re bound to find something somewhere in any home, and then you can say they could be blood, or turnip juice–as long as you hide the TMB and DNA negatives.

    Thus in this case, the fact they pretended they had DNA evidence (and it’s not even close Phillip–these aren’t technicalities the DNA was disqualified on) nullified every other forensic consideration. That they can tell the New York Times they have other compelling physical evidence is simply a sign of delusion, and of course unless they were dismissing the case they’d naturally pretend they did regardless.

    As for why they might, google Giuliano Mignini once and all should become clear….

    Link to this
  25. 25. lundrup 6:51 pm 07/1/2011

    I don’t understand how anyone can be so sure of themselves as GraceParea. I certainly am not.

    One piece of evidence that I am fixated on is the bloody print of a bare foot on the bathmat. All the other evidence indicates that
    Guede was wearing sneakers all the time. Furthermore, the various dimensions of the foot better match (albeit by a few millimeters) the dimensions of Sollecito’s foot. There is not indication that Guede was barefoot in the victim’s room, washed himself in the little bathroom, and then exited the cottage.

    Link to this
  26. 26. lundrup 7:52 pm 07/1/2011

    I don’t understand how anyone can be so sure of themselves as GraceParea. I certainly am not.

    One piece of evidence that I am fixated on is the bloody print of a bare foot on the bathmat. All the other evidence indicates that
    Guede was wearing sneakers all the time. Furthermore, the various dimensions of the foot better match (albeit by a few millimeters) the dimensions of Sollecito’s foot. There is not indication that Guede was barefoot in the victim’s room, washed himself in the little bathroom, and then exited the cottage.

    Link to this
  27. 27. GraceParea 9:59 pm 07/1/2011

    Lundrup, It is obvious that blood squirted out of the victims throat onto Guede’s leg which ran down into his shoe. The blood on the bath mat was diluted with water. Guede washed his leg and foot. When he returned to the victims bedroom he molested her body, stole her rent money, cell phones, keys, stepped in her blood, locked her door then left a trail of his bloody shoe prints from the body to the apartment exit door. He fled to Germany and threw away his shoes there likely because they were stinking. He likely bought new shoes with her rent money. Guede did not have a job and could not pay his rent. He had been breaking into houses and offices but apparentely had little luck selling the stolen items. When he was caust in the school he still had a laptop PC, and a cell phone that he stole from a law office. He also had a woman’s watch and a large knife. Apparently he was successful with stealing but having little luck selling. He could not pay his rent.

    Link to this
  28. 28. Kaosium 2:01 am 07/2/2011

    Lundrup, who was it that had blood all over them? The one who left his DNA on and inside the victim and tracked bloody shoe-prints everywhere. That’s the one who needed to clean up, and in the process took off his shoe. There is no trace of Raffaele whatsoever in the murder room, and only a cigarette butt already accounted for in the entirety of the cottage. There’s no logical way to connect Raffaele Sollecito with the bathmat stain, and in fact the partial print is a better match for Rudy Guede, have you looked at it? The ‘expert’ who found it ‘compatible’ (which just means possible in Italian legal parlance) with Raffaele was not given Rudy’s footprint as a comparison, notably because that would have imperiled the prosecution’s contention.

    Link to this
  29. 29. lundrup 6:00 am 07/2/2011

    Thanks for the responses. I re-did the analysis discussed at

    and agree that the long vertical dimension on Rudy’s foot should be about 56 mm rather than 66.7 mm as labeled.
    (I concluded this because the other 3 dimensions all agree on the pixels per mm, except this measurement). Thus the basic dimensions of Rudy’s and Raffaelle’s foot are very close and one cannot immediately conclude who made the bathmat print.

    One also notices that for the horizontal dimension of the big toe on the bathmat image, the police analyst, extends the measurement into the region that is smudged (by water?). This makes it artificially seem closer in size to Raffaelle’s.

    Link to this
  30. 30. johhnymagnifico 2:11 pm 07/2/2011

    Lundrop, you wrote "Thus the basic dimensions of Rudy’s and Raffaele’s foot are very close and one cannot immediately conclude who made the bathmat print."

    This is not quite complete. If the print is compatible with Rudy Guede (and Raffaelle Sollecito, and many other people for that matter), and there is conclusive forensic evidence that Rudy Guede committed the crime, and there is zero forensic evidence that Raffaelle Sollecito (or any other person) was involved in the crime, one can conclude with high probability that the print was made by Rudy Guede, and one can conclude with certainty that the print was made either by Rudy Guede or some other UNKNOWN person.

    Given that there is NO forensic evidence that anyone besides Rudy Guede was involved in the crime, no other inferences can be drawn from this "mysterious" footprint.

    Link to this
  31. 31. DWS_DENVER 3:23 pm 07/2/2011

    Hey Grace,

    Your outline is outstanding!

    I too am getting so tired of the ignoramuses that still follow the original charges fabricated by a narcissistic madman, Giuliano Mignini.

    Philip Yam, please remove the picture of a fictitious knife you have posted dripping blood. The suspected knife had no blood at all, just a few cells planted by the Mignini thugs. A real knife used for killing would have been soaked in blood. If any cells were left from cleaning, they would have been under the handle, not conveniently on the blade.

    I don’t know why some are adamant Knox haters; I guess Hitler and Mussolini had loyal followers too?

    The truth is blatantly clear, Amanda Knox is a sweet all American girl that was railroaded!


    She will be coming home soon!

    Link to this
  32. 32. DWS_DENVER 3:26 pm 07/2/2011

    Hey Grace,

    Your outline is outstanding!

    I too am getting so tired of the ignoramuses that still follow the original charges fabricated by a narcissistic madman, Giuliano Mignini.

    Philip Yam, please remove the picture of a fictitious knife you have posted dripping blood. The suspected knife had no blood at all, just a few cells planted by the Mignini thugs. A real knife used for killing would have been soaked in blood. If any cells were left from cleaning, they would have been under the handle, not conveniently on the blade.

    I don’t know why some are adamant Knox haters; I guess Hitler and Mussolini had loyal followers too?

    The truth is blatantly clear, Amanda Knox is a sweet all American girl that was railroaded!


    She will be coming home soon!

    Link to this
  33. 33. Chris_Halkides 5:19 pm 07/2/2011


    Your headline is needlessly inflammatory. There is no evidence that Mr. Guede was in contact with Mr. Sollecito or Ms. Knox on the night of the murder. The sex-game-gone-wrong is 100% conjecture. Mr. Sollecito and Ms. Knox were convicted by the court of first instance but still are innocent under Italian law.

    The DNA evidence was the best of a sorry lot. Without it the case against the two is as weak as the case against Mr. Guede is strong.

    Link to this
  34. 34. lundrup 6:32 pm 07/2/2011

    Thanks, 30. johnymagnifico.

    So you want me to focus solely on the forensic evidence in Meredith’s room. And now that the bra clasp evidence has been discredited, there remains none pointing to Raffaele and Amanda.

    Next, help me with the break-in. That window is very high and it is difficult to imagine, climbing into it (let alone without leaving any traces) using the bars of the lower window.

    Link to this
  35. 35. lundrup 8:26 pm 07/2/2011

    For the record, I just read Ron Hendry’s analysis of the break-in at——2.html

    and many facts are consistent with a break-in rather than a staging. Though I couldn’t climb into that window, a six foot athletic man could.

    Link to this
  36. 36. michellesings 5:44 pm 07/3/2011

    Again, there was no blood whatsoever on the knife. Kercher’s Attorney is a 5 yr. old.
    Peter Quennell is one of the main persons responsible for trying desperately to keep the lies, the horrid images of Amanda Knox alive.

    Watch this:

    Link to this
  37. 37. michellesings 5:14 am 07/4/2011

    This a great article and I want to encourage you sweetie to keep up the good work. I’m very impressed. Steve Moore would be proud too.

    Link to this
  38. 38. HubertB 8:38 am 07/6/2011

    Contrary to old B grade movies, confessions obtained using torture are no longer permitted in a court of law in the United States, only in Guantanamo.

    Link to this
  39. 39. alexmedwin 11:24 pm 07/15/2011

    This is a bit of a farce this case. You good people vocalise the facts , or un facts , very well indeed. Why are these two still in prison ? If most of everything that is keeping them in prison, is rubbish, how can they not be freed ? …. Why is this case not on the judges desks ? Or am I being unrealistic ? I’d like to see her out btw, just based on my own humble opinion. Which is about 20% common sense. This girl was a 19 yr old "american" girl, her years in prison have gone. Always r.i.p. Meredith.

    Link to this
  40. 40. Chris_Halkides 10:45 am 07/16/2011


    One has to hope that Meredith would want the guilty to be punished and the innocent to go free. Reversing a miscarriage of justice is always a slow process; just look at the Norfolk Four. I wish Scientific American would take a long hard look at the Knox/Sollecito case as it relates to the future of DNA profiling. That would be a nice intersection of science and law.

    Link to this
  41. 41. sueowens 3:12 pm 10/4/2011

    She got away with murder!

    Link to this
  42. 42. Jonas C 11:53 pm 03/28/2013

    I understand someone say DNA checking standards did not reach international standards, even though we’re not speaking of an underdeveloped country. However, I do not understand how Amanda Knox DNA could have gotten there (‘contamination claim’). I do not understand why she and her italian boyfriend had to turn off their cells exactly during the period which the police determined as the crime time. I do not understand why someone would declare having heard the victim’s screams, and later say her mind ‘was clouded’ or change her story, start using a crucifix and say she got pressured by italian police. Hey, are we all idiots?

    Link to this

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