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  1. #1
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    Meredith Kercher murdered-Amanda Knox appeals conviction #20

    Please continue here.

    Here is a link to the Rules forum: The Rules - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Please take the time read/review the rules.

    Please STOP attacking each other. Attack the post, not the poster.

    It is understood that this case is highly controversial. However, that is no excuse for continuing to pound each other. Everyone is entitled to view the info/facts and interpret the data for themselves. Everyone is entitled to voice an opinion and speculate/theorize about the data.

    If you are feeling frustrated, take a walk or visit another thread, or take a look around the entire board - there are all kinds of cases here, crime, missing, unidentified. Do something to relax your mind/emotions, but don't post here and take the thread into a tailspin about things that are not relevant please.

    We are getting close to the end of the line on this case. A verdict/acquittal is about 2-3 weeks away. What ever the outcome, it is going to have an impact on everyone that followed this case so closely. And things are going to become testier and testier so I really need you to "mod" yourselves. Please, take a look at the rules and make sure your posts are within the boundaries.

    Thanks and I really appreciate your help as we move into these next few weeks.

    Salem

    Thread 18
    Last edited by KateB; 05-23-2015 at 01:00 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  2. #2
    I read the following in relation to another case but I think it is highly relevant in this case too. It makes you wonder about the break-in (which I have always believed to have been the work of RG and not AK/RS.) It is supposedly written by John Douglas of FBI profiling fame.




    http://www.crimeandclues.com/index.p...re-and-staging


    Staging
    When investigators approach a crime scene, they should look for behavioral "clues" left by the offender. This is when investigators attempt to find answers to several critical questions. How did the encounter between the offender and victim occur? Did the offender blitz (ambush) the victim, or did he use verbal means (the con) to capture her? Did the offender use ligatures to control the victim? What was the sequence of events? Was the victim sexually assaulted before or after death? When did the mutilation take place--before or after death? Did the offender place any item at the crime scene or remove something from the crime scene?

    As investigators analyze crime scenes, facts may arise that baffle them. These details may contain peculiarities that serve no apparent purpose in the perpetration2 of the crime and obscure the underlying motive of the crime. This confusion may be the result of a crime scene behavior called staging. Staging occurs when someone purposely alters the crime scene prior to the arrival of the police.

    Reasons for Staging
    Principally, staging takes place for two reasons--to direct the investigation away from the most logical suspect or to protect the victim or victim's family. It is the offender who attempts to redirect the investigation. This offender does not just happen to come upon a victim, but is someone who almost always has some kind of association or relationship with the victim. This person, when in contact with law enforcement, will attempt to steer the investigation away from himself, usually by being overly cooperative or extremely distraught. Therefore, investigators should never eliminate a suspect who displays such distinctive behavior.

    The second reason for staging, to protect the victim or the victim's family, occurs for the most part in rape-murder crimes or autoerotic fatalities. This type of staging is performed by the family member or person who finds the body. Since perpetrators of such crimes leave their victims in degrading positions, those who find the bodies attempt to restore some dignity to the victim. For example, a husband may redress or cover his wife's body, or in the case of an autoerotic fatality,3 a wife may cut the noose or the device suspending the body of her husband.

    Basically, these people are trying to prevent future shock that may be brought about by the position, dress, or condition of the victim. In addition, they will often stage an autoerotic fatality to look like a suicide, perhaps even writing a suicide note. They may even go so far as to the make it appear to be a homicide.

    For both types of crime scene investigations, rape-murders and autoerotic fatalities, investigators need to obtain an accurate description of the body's condition when found and to determine exactly what the person who found the body did to alter the crime scene. Scrutiny of forensic findings, crime scene dynamics, and victimology will probably reveal the true circumstances surrounding the deaths.

    Finally, at some crime scenes, investigators must discern if the scene is truly disorganized or if the offender staged it to appear careless and haphazard. This determination not only helps to direct the analysis to the underlying motive but also helps to shape the offender profile. However, recognition of staging, especially with a shrewd offender, can be difficult. Investigators must examine all factors of the crime if they suspect it has been staged. This is when forensics, victimology, and minute crime scene details become critical to determine if staging occurred.

    "Red Flags"
    Offenders who stage crime scenes usually make mistakes because they arrange the scene to resemble what they believe it should look like. In so doing, offenders experience a great deal of stress and do not have the time to fit all the pieces together logically. As a result, inconsistencies in forensic findings and in the overall "big picture" of the crime scene will begin to appear. These inconsistencies can serve as the "red flags" of staging, which serve to prevent investigations from becoming misguided.

    To ensure this doesn't happen, investigators should scrutinize all crime scene indicators individually, then view them in context with the total picture. Crime scene indicators include all evidence of offender activity, e.g., method of entry, offender-victim interaction, and body disposition.
    When exploring these issues, investigators should consider several factors. For example, if burglary appears to be the motive, did the offender take inappropriate items from the crime scene? In one case submitted to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), a man returning home from work interrupted a burglary in progress. The startled burglars killed him as he attempted to flee. But, an inventory of the crime scene determined that the offenders did not steal anything, although it did appear that they started to disassemble a large stereo and TV unit.

    Further examination of the crime scene revealed that they left smaller, and easily transported, items of far greater value (jewelry, coin collection, etc.). The police subsequently determined that the victim's wife paid the burglars to stage the crime and kill her husband. She, in fact, was having an affair with one of the suspects.

    Another factor to consider is the point of entry. Did the point of entry make sense? For example, did the offender enter the house through a second-story window, even though there was an easier, less conspicuous entrance that could have been used? Why did the offender increase his chance of being seen by potential witnesses who might alert authorities?

    Investigators should also consider whether the offender put himself at high risk by committing the crime during the daylight hours, in a populated area. If the crime scene is a place of residence, they should also evaluate any obvious signs of occupancy, such as lights on in the house, vehicles in the driveway, etc.




    Forensic "Red Flags"
    Forensic results that don't fit the crime should also cause investigators to consider staging. Personal assaults should raise suspicion, especially if material gain appears to be the initial motive. These assaults could include the use of a weapon of opportunity, manual or ligature strangulation, facial beating (depersonalization), and excessive trauma beyond that necessary to cause death (overkill). In other words, do the injuries fit the crime?

    Sexual and domestic homicides usually demonstrate forensic findings of a close-range, personal assault. The victim, not money or property, is the primary focus of the offender. However, this type of offender will often attempt to stage a sexual or domestic homicide that appears to be motivated by personal gain. This does not imply that personal assaults never happen while a property crime is being committed, but usually these offenders prefer quick, clean kills that reduce the time spent at the scene.

    Forensic red flags are also raised when there are discrepancies between witness/survivor accounts and forensics results. For example, in one case, an estranged wife found her husband in the tub with the water running. Initially, it appeared as if he slipped and struck his head on a bathroom fixture, which resulted in his death by drowning. However, toxicological reports from the autopsy showed a high level of valium in the victim's blood. Also, the autopsy revealed several concentrated areas of injury or impact points on the head, as if the victim struck his head more than once.

    Subsequently, investigators learned that the wife had been with the victim on the evening of his death. She later confessed that she laced his dinner salad with valium, and when he passed out, she let three men into the house. These men had been hired by the wife to kill the victim and to make it look like an accident.

    Often, investigators will find forensic discrepancies when an offender stages a rape-murder, that is, positioning the body to infer sexual assault. And if the offender has a close relationship with the victim, he will only partially remove the victim's clothing, never leaving her completely nude. However, despite the position of the body and the removal of some of the victim's clothes, an autopsy can confirm or deny whether any form of sexual assault took place, thereby determining if the crime scene was staged.

    If investigators suspect a crime has been staged, they should look for signs of association between the offender and the victim. Or, as is frequently the case with domestic violence, the involvement of a third party, who is usually the one who discovers the victim. For example, in the case involving the husband who staged his wife's murder to make it look like the crime was committed by an intruder, the husband did not immediately check on his wife and daughter once he regained consciousness. Instead, he remained downstairs and called his brother, who went upstairs and discovered the victim. Offenders will often manipulate the discovery of victims by a neighbor or family member, or conveniently be elsewhere when the victim is discovered.

    BY SALEM: Adding another link here because the one above did not work for me: http://www.crimeandclues.com/index.p...re-and-staging
    Last edited by Salem; 09-17-2011 at 10:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for re-opening the thread, Salem. I think all but one of my posts in this forum are now lost in the previous incarnation, and I can no longer recall my train of thought!

    Frankie, do you think anything about the Perugia crime scene was really "staged"? I know Meredith's body was covered with a duvet, but I'm not sure that counts. As for the rest of it, what evidence is there that anything was staged? A lot of people were running all over that crime scene in the early stages, and the forensic examination was hardly meticulous. Why is it assumed that anything isn't just as it seems?
    Pi still doesn't equal three even if a court rules that it does.

  4. #4
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    To change the subject slightly, does anyone have any thoughts as to what we expect to hear during the arguments at the end of this week?

    I'd love to hear what everyone thinks the prosecution, defense teams, and victim's family's lawyer will highlight during their arguments. If I remember the schedule, Prosecution should go on the 23rd, followed by the victim's family, the two defense teams, and then a rebuttal day. Verdict expected on the 30th.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Hellis View Post
    I read the following in relation to another case but I think it is highly relevant in this case too. It makes you wonder about the break-in (which I have always believed to have been the work of RG and not AK/RS.) It is supposedly written by John Douglas of FBI profiling fame.
    It's interesting to note that John Douglas has looked into this case and stated publicly that he believes that AK and RS are innocent.

    The prosecution has certainly tried to make the case that the burglary was clearly staged. Otherwise they would be left with the extraordinary coincidence of burglary happening in the same apartment as a murder with no connection between the two crimes. That would be as hard to believe as Rudy's story of having a secret date with Meredith and being on the toilet when some bushy haired stranger barged in and killed her.

    So what on this list of red flags actually fits this case?

    The items actually stolen from the victim were cash, credit cards and cell phones. All lightweight, valuable and easy to carry. The body was moved and covered, but the evidence points to this being done while the victim was still bleeding. Not hours later as has often been claimed. Entry was via a second floor window, but the so called easy option for entering this apartment was from second floor balcony directly lit by a streetlight.

    If AK and RS staged the crime, why wouldn't they just stay away and let someone else discover the murder? We know for a fact that Amanda called her roommate Filomena and told of her concerns. Sometime later, Raffaele called the police. When the Postal Police arrived, the couple showed them the broken window, blood and other evidence. People have claimed this is evidence of guilt. But isn't showing the cops why you called them exactly what any normal person would do?
    Last edited by Footwarrior; 09-17-2011 at 05:35 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
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    Frankie Hellis

    ETA - interesting reading about staging, etc....
    Last edited by OldSteve; 09-17-2011 at 06:05 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Footwarrior View Post
    It's interesting to note that John Douglas has looked into this case and stated publicly that he believes that AK and RS are innocent.
    True - quite inconsistent isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Footwarrior View Post
    The prosecution has certainly tried to make the case that the burglary was clearly staged. Otherwise they would be left with the extraordinary coincidence of burglary happening in the same apartment as a murder with no connection between the two crimes. That would be as hard to believe as Rudy's story of having a secret date with Meredith and being on the toilet when some bushy haired stranger barged in and killed her.
    Why are they left with the extraordinary coincidence of burglary happening in the same apartment as a murder with no connection between the two crimes? Who says there has to be no connection? You seem to be overlooking the possibility of the burglary being staged AND connected to the crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Footwarrior View Post
    So what on this list of red flags actually fits this case?

    The items actually stolen from the victim were cash, credit cards and cell phones. All lightweight, valuable and easy to carry. The body was moved and covered, but the evidence points to this being done while the victim was still bleeding. Not hours later as has often been claimed. Entry was via a second floor window, but the so called easy option for entering this apartment was from second floor balcony directly lit by a streetlight.
    Oh come now. You should at least admit there are aspects which fit this case.

    - inconsistencies in forensic findings
    >glass on top of clothes
    >large shards of glass on sill making it difficult to maneuver through window
    >clothes strewn all over room but nothing taken from the room that was the point of entry (why was there no attempt to take the laptop, especially since that was Rudy's M.O.? why pull clothes out of cabinets as opposed to opening drawers where valuables are typically kept?)

    -Another factor to consider is the point of entry. Did the point of entry make sense? For example, did the offender enter the house through a second-story window, even though there was an easier, less conspicuous entrance that could have been used? Why did the offender increase his chance of being seen by potential witnesses who might alert authorities?

    >Why not the easier entry point? both were visable from the street. For that matter why not enter the downstairs flat? All indications are Rudy knew there would at least be drugs down there. Where there's drugs there's usually money too.

    -Personal assaults should raise suspicion, especially if material gain appears to be the initial motive. These assaults could include the use of a weapon of opportunity, manual or ligature strangulation, facial beating (depersonalization), and excessive trauma beyond that necessary to cause death (overkill). In other words, do the injuries fit the crime?

    -Sexual and domestic homicides usually demonstrate forensic findings of a close-range, personal assault. The victim, not money or property, is the primary focus of the offender. However, this type of offender will often attempt to stage a sexual or domestic homicide that appears to be motivated by personal gain. This does not imply that personal assaults never happen while a property crime is being committed, but usually these offenders prefer quick, clean kills that reduce the time spent at the scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Footwarrior View Post
    If AK and RS staged the crime, why wouldn't they just stay away and let someone else discover the murder? We know for a fact that Amanda called her roommate Filomena and told of her concerns. Sometime later, Raffaele called the police. When the Postal Police arrived, the couple showed them the broken window, blood and other evidence. People have claimed this is evidence of guilt. But isn't showing the cops why you called them exactly what any normal person would do?
    You know the standard answer to this question: they wanted to control the discovering of the body, etc. Doesn't Amanda strike you as someone who just might think she is smarter than the police and/or can charm her way out of anything?

    FH

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    Thank you for re-opening the thread, Salem. I think all but one of my posts in this forum are now lost in the previous incarnation, and I can no longer recall my train of thought!

    Frankie, do you think anything about the Perugia crime scene was really "staged"? I know Meredith's body was covered with a duvet, but I'm not sure that counts. As for the rest of it, what evidence is there that anything was staged? A lot of people were running all over that crime scene in the early stages, and the forensic examination was hardly meticulous. Why is it assumed that anything isn't just as it seems?

    Some of the things I find particularly troubling are the choice of windows, the failure to even attempt to take the laptop and the locking of Meredith's door. If the narrative is that Rudy broke in to burgle, why did he not pick up that computer or rifle through Filomena's drawers? Why would he pull clothes out of the cabinets? If the laptop had been found in another room, even the bathroom for Pete's sake, I think it would look more realistic. Why would he climb up to break in up there when he could have entered the downstairs flat so much easier? And really, look at the climb up to that patio area. It just bothers me because I cannot put all the pieces together without having one or two either left over or jammed into place.

    FH

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSteve View Post
    Frankie Hellis

    ETA - interesting reading about staging, etc....
    Thank you Steve!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Hellis View Post
    Some of the things I find particularly troubling are the choice of windows, the failure to even attempt to take the laptop and the locking of Meredith's door. If the narrative is that Rudy broke in to burgle, why did he not pick up that computer or rifle through Filomena's drawers? Why would he pull clothes out of the cabinets? If the laptop had been found in another room, even the bathroom for Pete's sake, I think it would look more realistic. Why would he climb up to break in up there when he could have entered the downstairs flat so much easier? And really, look at the climb up to that patio area. It just bothers me because I cannot put all the pieces together without having one or two either left over or jammed into place.

    FH
    IIRC, the downstairs flat had bars on the windows. I think the balcony window and Filomena's window are six of one and half a dozen of the other in terms of which would be the best entry point (balcony: probably an easier climb, but directly above the boy's front door and no quick way to flee if someone was home; the shutters could've been latched; and there's a lamp right next to it. Filomena's window: more difficult climb, but the shutters wouldn't latch, and easy to get away if someone was home and heard the window break).

    Perhaps Meredith arrived home before Rudy had a chance to do more than rifle through Filomena's room.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Hellis View Post
    - inconsistencies in forensic findings
    >glass on top of clothes
    >large shards of glass on sill making it difficult to maneuver through window
    >clothes strewn all over room but nothing taken from the room that was the point of entry (why was there no attempt to take the laptop, especially since that was Rudy's M.O.? why pull clothes out of cabinets as opposed to opening drawers where valuables are typically kept?)
    I haven't seen proof of glass on top of clothes that wouldn't already have been out. Have you looked at pictures of FR's room? It looks to me that she had more stuff than she had room for. Not really messy, but certainly cluttered. The problem with using the fact that there was reportedly glass on top of clothes, etc. that suggests staging is that the police appears not to have documented anything in this regard.

    And really if they want to assert that this is a staged, as opposed to real burglary, the onus is on the prosecution to prove it. They didn't, IMHO.

    The items taken seem just as consistent with a "burglarly gone bad"-- if RG intendent to burgle, was surprised my MK and assaulted and murdered her, I can imagine much of his original intent went to the wayside. I, personally, have only had my home robbed once and the only thing they took was cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Hellis View Post
    You know the standard answer to this question: they wanted to control the discovering of the body, etc. Doesn't Amanda strike you as someone who just might think she is smarter than the police and/or can charm her way out of anything?

    FH
    I don't know AK -- but she does not strike me as that type at all. I am not a big fan on doing this sort of personality analysis via the internet, so I will not comment further. It may be a case of seeing what you want to see.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Hellis View Post
    Some of the things I find particularly troubling are the choice of windows, the failure to even attempt to take the laptop and the locking of Meredith's door. If the narrative is that Rudy broke in to burgle, why did he not pick up that computer or rifle through Filomena's drawers? Why would he pull clothes out of the cabinets? If the laptop had been found in another room, even the bathroom for Pete's sake, I think it would look more realistic. Why would he climb up to break in up there when he could have entered the downstairs flat so much easier? And really, look at the climb up to that patio area. It just bothers me because I cannot put all the pieces together without having one or two either left over or jammed into place.
    Rudy was friends with the young men who lived in the downstairs apartment. He may not have wanted to steal from his friends. Rudy may also have figured out that a standard police question would have put him on the short list of suspects. Who knew you were going to be away this weekend?

    As for the balcony, the problem is that it's well lit by the nearby streetlight. A burglar standing there would be in direct view of the road for quite a distance with no place to hide if a car came along. Fire up google street view and approach the cottage from the east to see what I am talking about.

    Filomena's window was in the shadows at night. The area below it is hidden from the road. A nice spot to hide if a car comes along. A defective exterior shutter that couldn't be latched made breaking in easy. (All the windows downstairs had burglar bars). Toss a rock through the window, climb up, move a bit of glass, reach inside and flip the latch and pull yourself inside. Once inside, pull the exterior shutter closed and the broken window is hidden.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaly99 View Post
    Perhaps Meredith arrived home before Rudy had a chance to do more than rifle through Filomena's room.
    Crime scene photos show the top dresser door in Laura's room was pulled out. Clearly out of place in an otherwise immaculate and orderly room.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Footwarrior View Post
    Rudy was friends with the young men who lived in the downstairs apartment. He may not have wanted to steal from his friends. Rudy may also have figured out that a standard police question would have put him on the short list of suspects. Who knew you were going to be away this weekend?

    As for the balcony, the problem is that it's well lit by the nearby streetlight. A burglar standing there would be in direct view of the road for quite a distance with no place to hide if a car came along. Fire up google street view and approach the cottage from the east to see what I am talking about.

    Filomena's window was in the shadows at night. The area below it is hidden from the road. A nice spot to hide if a car comes along. A defective exterior shutter that couldn't be latched made breaking in easy. (All the windows downstairs had burglar bars). Toss a rock through the window, climb up, move a bit of glass, reach inside and flip the latch and pull yourself inside. Once inside, pull the exterior shutter closed and the broken window is hidden.
    It would only take a minute to climb onto the balcony. What is suspicious about someone standing on the balcony?

    Filomina's bedroom window had interior and exterior shutters. There was no way for anyone to know whether they were both locked or unlocked.

  15. #15
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    The balcony choice was the one that was well lit by both street lamps and the cottage lamp just a few yards away. Filomena's window was not well lit at night as I showed in some video screenshots. Either could be seen from the roadway, the well lit one one be the more risky choice in my opinion.

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