I looked at this case closely way back when it was first beginning and up until Amanda was given her long sentence. Shortly after that, it was too painful for me to keep up with it, and I have forgotten a lot of the particulars.
But, at the time, it became clear to me that this was a simple burglary gone wrong. I think that Rudy was planning to rob the house that night because I think he expected the house to be empty with all the roommates gone for the holidays. He was in the process of leaving his usual calling card in the bathroom when Meredith unexpectedly walked in. I was interested to see someone here suggest that Meredith locked the door, locking him in. That was something I hadn't thought of before. If that is the case, perhaps Rudy wasn't intending on killing anyone that night, if he could have escaped unseen.
Unfortunatly, Meredith would have recognized him as he had occassionally visited the boys downstairs [maybe to deal drugs? I can't remember why]. This would mean he would either do time for burglary or need to silence her. If Amanda had walked in instead, she, too, would likely have been killed.
The police arrested Raffeale and Amanda before they figured out that the one person they had forensic evidence on was Rudy. By the time they realized it was Rudy, they had already concocted this crazy theory involving sex, threesomes, a loose American girl, and--I can't remember--but wasn't witchcraft and demons thrown in there somewhere? Anyway, the fewer the forensics the more complicated the crime theory, it seems. And, the crime theory always gives an insight into the mind of the prosecutor when it is not based on evidence. Foxy Noxy--a harmless childhood nickname--became fodder for the tabloids. Everyone loves a good story.
Now I am revisiting this, and am very grateful that Amanda has finally been released. I read her and Raffeale's books in my sleep--both great books and highly recommended. And, I am beginning the Monster of Perugia and the Monster of Florence.
Although I know I will not live long enough to understand the Italian system of justice, the counterpoint to ours makes us look like geniuses. Justice should be blind, and to that end, all high profile juries should be sequestered, but, other than that, God Bless this great country of ours.