Mystery Net Community True Crime In the News Amanda Knox - Guilty or Innocent?
British college student Meredith Kercher was found dead in November 2007, her throat slashed in an Italian villa she shared with American student Amanda Knox. Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a drifter named Rudy Guede were tried for murder.
Here is a timeline of key events from the case:
November 2, 2007<
Meredith Kercher is found dead in the house in Perugia, Italy, that she shared with Amanda Knox. Police say her body is partially clothed, with her throat cut.
November 5, 2007
Amanda Knox's acquittal overturned
Amanda Knox murder trial redo
Lawyer: Knox charges 'simply unfounded'
Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are detained for questioning. Knox allegedly confesses to being at her home when Kercher was killed and implicates Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar where she worked. Lumumba is also detained.
November 20, 2007
Lumumba is released after two weeks in prison when his alibi is corroborated. He spent the night of the murder talking to a customer in his pub in Perugia, police say. He later sued Knox for libel, winning 40,000 euros ($54,000) in damages.
November 22, 2007
The text of a note Knox wrote on November 6, while in police custody, is published by CNN and other media outlets. Knox addresses an alleged confession, saying: In regards to this 'confession' that I made last night, I want to make clear that I'm very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn't remember a fact correctly.
After being caught without a train ticket in Germany, Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from the Ivory Coast, is extradited to Italy. A vaginal swab taken from Kercher matches DNA from Guede. Guede admits to police that he had sexual relations with Kercher but says another man killed her while he was in the bathroom.
July 11, 2008
Italian prosecutors formally charge Knox, Guede and Sollecito with murder.
September 6, 2008
Rudy Guede asks for a separate fast-track trial, fearing that Knox and Sollecito had formed a pact against him. In asking for the trial, his defense attorney says, "In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defense teams, and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing."
October 28, 2008
Knox and Sollecito are indicted on murder charges. Guede is found guilty of murder in his fast-track trial and sentenced to 30 years. (The sentence is reduced to 16 years on appeal in December 2009.)
January 16, 2009
Knox and Sollecito's murder trial begins. Reporters from all over the world attend, and some sit at the defense table because of limited space in the courtroom.
June 12, 2009
Knox testifies that during police interrogations she was confused and that interrogators pressured her, called her a "stupid liar" and hit her in the head. Officials have denied beating Knox. She also says some of her actions that made her look bad when described by the press were taken the wrong way. She adds that she was in shock after the murder, and that caused her strange behavior.
September 27, 2009
Final witnesses are heard in the trial.
December 4, 2009
The jury finds Knox and Sollecito guilty on all counts in the stabbing death of Meredith Kercher. Knox gets a 26-year sentence; Sollecito gets 25 years.
June 1, 2010
Knox appears briefly in Italian court to face slander charges for saying that Italian police beat her during an interrogation. She said police used the threat of physical violence to intimidate and pressure her, which led her to falsely accuse Lumumba of Kercher's murder, but officials deny these allegations.
The case officially goes to trial in November.
November 24, 2010
Knox and Sollecito's murder appeal process begins. The hearing lasts about 15 minutes before the judge adjourns until December 11 because one of the lawyers is not present. Knox's lawyer Luciano Ghirga tells reporters that rather than prosecutors having to prove she is guilty, "we have to prove her innocence, which is more difficult to do."
December 11, 2010
Knox speaks for about 15 minutes and breaks down in tears. She says that she and Sollecito are innocent and unjustly accused.
"I've been condemned for the crime I did not commit," Knox says, adding that court has made "a huge mistake."
January 22, 2011
Two forensic experts from Rome's La Sapienza University are sworn in and will retest crucial forensic evidence used to convict Knox. They will take a second look at a knife and clasp from Kercher's bra, which was cut from her body after her murder. Results from the tests are expected in May.
February 15, 2011
Amanda Knox's parents are indicted for allegedly libeling police in Perugia, Knox's mother and the family's attorney say. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas are accused of defaming the police in comments to the Sunday Times of London in a 2009 interview. A hearing in the case is set for July 4.
May 21, 2011
A jury of two judges and six citizens is scheduled to hear Knox's appeal starting in late May.
June 18, 2011
Two prison inmates testify during Knox's appeal that the American student was not actually involved in the killing of her roommate. But they offer two different accounts on who the actual killers were. Prosecutors say they doubt the credibility of the witnesses.
June 27, 2011
Guede refuses to say during testimony that Knox was not involved in the murder. The prosecutor reads a letter saying Guede thought Knox and Sollecito had killed Kercher.
Defense attorneys argue that Guede's letter was based on "a feeling" and that his accusations are not based on facts or events he witnessed. Knox takes the stand for emotional testimony after Guede speaks, saying she is "shocked" at what he said.
"The only time that Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito and I were in one room together was in a courtroom. ... He knows what the truth is. I don't know what happened that night," she says.
June 29, 2011
Forensic specialists tell the court that DNA evidence linking Knox to the alleged murder weapon is unsound, giving a boost to her appeal. Specialists say that while they agree Knox's DNA was present on the knife handle, tests for Kercher's DNA were unreliable. The prosecution contends that the knife was used to stab Kercher in the neck and that it had been cleaned.
The sample, however, was so small that forensic scientists were not able to double-test it in accordance with international forensic science norms, which Knox's legal team says raises doubts about its validity. Defense lawyers also say the tiny metal clasp from Kercher's bra may have been contaminated because it was not collected as evidence until nearly six weeks after the killing. Prosecutors had said there was DNA from Raffaele Sollecito on the clasp.
July 4, 2011
The judge in the libel case against Knox's parents resigns because he was involved in the trial of Knox and Sollecito. Paolo Micheli says he will recuse himself.
July 25, 2011
Court-appointed experts testify that police forensic scientists involved in the murder case made a series of glaring errors during their investigation.
In a point-by-point deconstruction, the experts say that because of the errors made by police during the original investigation, the evidence against Knox and Sollecito should be considered "inadmissible."
September 5, 2011
Prosecutors fighting to keep Knox behind bars defend the DNA tests. As the appeal nears its end, Kercher's sister urges people not to get caught up in the details but to "please remember our beautiful Meredith."
September 6, 2011
Italian state police forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni defends the methods and equipment used in DNA tests for the investigation. She says the machine used for the DNA examination was clean and rejects suggestions that Meredith Kercher's bra clasp had been contaminated.
September 7, 2011
Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman rejects a prosecution request for new DNA testing. He also turns down prosecution requests to introduce newly found records about the DNA tests and to hear a new witness. Knox's father, Curt, hails the rulings as "very good news for Amanda." The hearing is adjourned until September 23.
September 23, 2011
Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola begins final arguments by urging jurors to put themselves in the shoes of the parents of Meredith Kercher, "a serious, studious girl whose life was taken away by these two kids from good families." Another prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, questions why defense lawyers did not raise concerns about how evidence was collected during the original trial.
September 24, 2011
Prosecutor Manuela Comodi wraps up the prosecution summary by attacking the independent experts who questions the DNA evidence, calling their review "embarrassing, inappropriate and presented in a hostile way." She calls for Knox and Sollecito's sentences to be increased to life.
September 26, 2011
Lawyers for the civil parties to the case, including Kercher's family and falsely accused bar owner Lumumba, present their final statements. Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca presents the jury with photos of the murder victim's body that "show you the pain of Meredith." Knox avoids looking at the photos. Lumumba's lawyer Carlo Pacelli accuses Knox of having two sides one of which is "angelic, good, compassionate" and the other "Lucifer-like, demonic, Satanic."
September 27, 2011
Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno attacks media portrayals of Knox as a femme fatale, comparing her to the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, who protests, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way," in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" She says there is no physical evidence placing Knox and Sollecito at the scene of the crime, attacks the credibility of DNA evidence and says Knox's statements to police the night of the murder should be discounted because of hostile questioning by police.
October 3, 2011
An Italian jury Monday night overturns the 2009 murder conviction of Amanda Knox and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito. Knox is, however, judged guilty of defamation against Patrick Lumumba, an early suspect in the case. She had accused club owner Lumumba of killing Kercher. She leaves Italy straight after the ruling, and returns to her home city of Seattle.
February 17, 2012
Knox signs a deal with HarperCollins to write a memoir about her trial, conviction and acquittal for murder. The book, based in part on journals she kept, will give never-before heard details about her "harrowing experience" while in custody there, the publisher says. The book has yet to be published.
March 26, 2013
Italian Supreme Court judges rule that American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito should stand trial again for the death of her former roommate in Italy. Knox's lawyer said the 25-year-old was "upset and surprised because we thought that the case was over" but was ready to fight to prove her innocence.
(2 previous messages)
I can only say, I've no idea if this woman is guilty. When you have "experts" giving opposing opinions, all of this suing for libel going on, an initial acquittal & years later a jury overturning her earlier conviction...I don't think she'll return to go through all of it again unless the US hands her over to Italy...not sure there will ever be true justice re this case.
Bella, thanks for pointing out the bra clasp. For some reason, I was thinking the blood was found on Knox's bra clasp. It being on the victim, that is a little harder to explain. But are we ever going to know whose blood it is? They say they used up the sample for testing.
Ruby, I agree. I don't think she will return for trial either. As I understand it, they can try her in absentia and if convicted, they can appeal to the US for extradition.
Bella, why don't you go ahead and put up a discussion for the Arias case? I will do some research because I have not been following that so that I can contribute there.
I found a timeline for Arias. I will go set it up.
Thanks Fran ...
Well I hope all of you watched CNN's Anderson Cooper's Special on Amanda Knox. I was floored at what I saw and heard. Here is a summary of what I thought was the most important facts.
1. The real Killer was a local petty criminal named Gavet. The bloody handprint on the wall of the victim's room was Gavet's DNA and print. The DNA from Meredith's 'body' was Gavet's and his only. They even found his DNA in his feces that he left unflushed in her toilet. And on her purse and on toilet paper. His was the ONLY DNA or prints at the crime scene.
2. The Prosecutor Manini came to the scene within hours and he said in an interview that using his detecting skills he just knew that Amanda and her boyfriend Rafeal had commited the murder during a sex game.
Manini was also the same Prosecutor that was in Douglas Preston book The Monster of Florence. He and his investigator were questioned and did arrest them and tried Spetzy for the murder of all those victims over 2 decades simply because Manini felt Spetzy knew too much about the murders. He said that Douglas was withholding evidence and tampering with evidence. Douglas fled with his family back to the US and says he will never go back to Italy.
3. The only evidence that Manini has against Amanda is her so called confession. Here are the facts. Amanda was held in interrogation for almost 24 hours without food or water or sleep. They told her they would give her water and let her go if she could "imagine" different ways that the murder happened. Finally she broke and admitted that she was there that night but that was the extent of her confession. As soon as she had water and food and slept a few hours she began to tell everybody that she made it up to get relief and a chance to call her parents. BUT Manini arrested her. Also before any evidence was collected or tested (that bra clasp was not found until a month and a half,there are no records to prove there was any DNA on it but Meredith's) before Manini declared at a press conference that Amanda Knox was the actual killer. Later we find out that all of the DNA was Gavet's.
4. What is left is the entry to the victim's room was a window that had been broken in with a huge rock and the door to her room was a heavy wooden door LOCKED from inside. Then there is the testimony of a witness that says he saw Amanda and her boyfriend run out of the house. Turns out he is a homeless heroin addict that was in jail by Manini who gave him a lesser sentence after he said he witnessed Amanda run from the house. The other evidence was a so called print and Dna on a knife in her boyfriends kitchen .. there are no actual tests on the knife only a write up they say the knife and the clasp cannot be tested again because they have been destroyed.
My opinion now is that she is innocent and was framed by a powerful Prosecutor Manini. I would never allow them to get her back to Italy.
Oh, wow, thanks, Bella. I wish I had seen that. If the crime scene was supposed to be so horrific, why is there so little blood to test. It had to be a miniscule sample for them not to have enough to test more than once. The whole deal sounds a little shady to me and I hope she does not go back for trial and that she is not forced into being extradited. I had no idea there was so much evidence supporting her.
Since she is in the US, double jeopardy should apply. They have already tried her and found her not guilty. Even if they try her in absentia, the US can not be compelled to send her back if found guilty.
Mystery Net Community True Crime In the News Amanda Knox - Guilty or Innocent?