Amanda Knox: Evidence Uncollected by Forensic Police
Filed Under: Opinion, World | Posted: 09/25/2011 at 10:59AM
Comments | Region: Italy
A video has been produced that shows the shocking truth: Forensic police left behind and failed to test several pieces of critical evidence until six weeks after Meredith Kercher’s murder.
An early crime scene photo taken November 2nd, 2007 shows Meredith Kercher lying on the floor, covered with a duvet except for one foot sticking out. Her attacker had forcibly removed all of her clothing but for a long sleeve T-shirt, which he had pulled up to expose her breasts. Police found the torn-off clasp of her bra under the pillow that her assailant had placed her hips on. They found one of her socks underneath her back. Forensic police photographed the rest of her removed clothes encircling her body in clear view on the floor (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Forensic police photographed Meredith Kercher’s body encircled by her clothing
Shockingly, police did not collect as evidence within the first few days of the investigation several pieces of clothing Meredith Kercher was wearing when attacked. These include a light-blue Adidas jacket, socks, a bra clasp, Puma shoes, a brown leather purse, and a tote bag. They also failed to collect a rock thrown through the window, which her attacker used to gain entry into the cottage. Police left behind all of these items until a second search was conducted 47 days later on December 18th, 2007:
- Police originally videotaped the light-blue Adidas jacket on the floor by the wardrobe corner, close to where Meredith’s head was found resting on a brown boot. Her assailant had turned the sleeves inside out when he pulled it off of her. The neck cuff was soaked in blood from Meredith’s bleeding wound. She was wearing the jacket when he stabbed her. Forensic police video taken December 18th shows them removing it from a laundry hamper, where they had tossed it in November instead of collecting it. The forensic officer then dropped it on the floor before the forensics team later gathered it as evidence. Rudy Guede’s DNA was found on a cuff. Figure 2 shows the jacket’s location on November 2nd versus December 18th.
Figure 2. Rather than collect it as evidence, police threw the jacket in a laundry hamper
- Police photographs taken November 2nd, 2007 show a brown leather purse on the bed with blood near the zipper. Her attacker removed Meredith Kercher’s cash, credit cards and cell phones. Forensic police did not see this as important evidence and did not collect it until December 18th, 2007. Since November 2nd, police had moved the purse into the wardrobe and then to the empty bed rails. Once police finally collected the purse as evidence, they found local thief Rudy Guede’s DNA on the purse.
- Police originally photographed Meredith’s red and white Puma shoes on the floor near the duvet on the right side of the room. One of the shoe’s laces was still tied. By December 18th, police had tossed the shoes into a large pile of shoes by the bed. The shoe’s laces were no longer tied. They had also thrown the bloody brown boots on which Meredith’s head was found resting into the same pile of shoes.
Figure 3. Rather than collecting Meredith’s shoes as evidence, police piled them together
- On November 2nd, police found one of Meredith’s socks under her back. They found the other sock on the throw rug by the tote bag and Puma shoes. Both socks had blood on the cuffs from the bloody hands that removed them. Even with blood on the cuffs, police did not collect the socks for DNA testing. Police videotape taken on December 18th shows the first sock tangled in the same throw rug as the bra clasp (near the desk). The videotape shows the second sock crammed under the empty bed rails with many other items.
- Police photographs taken on November 2nd show the clasp from the bra that the attacker ripped off of Meredith. It was under the pillow she was lying on. However, police video taken on December 18th shows that police had carelessly moved the bra clasp to a location underneath a piled up throw rug by the desk. Police claimed that Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was on the bra clasp, and the prosecution used that evidence to convict him. Independent DNA experts have now dismissed that evidence as flawed due to multiple DNA profiles and contamination.
- On November 2nd, Police found on the floor near the duvet the tote bag Meredith Kercher used the night she was murdered. She had pulled a book from the tote bag, and placed it on her bed. She might have hung the tote bag on the back of the desk chair before it came loose in the attack. Even though her murderer might have searched through the tote bag, police did not collect it as evidence until March 14th, 2008. A sweatshirt Amanda Knox was wearing on Nov 1, 2007 was also retrieved in March. This proved the police mistaken in claims that she had discarded it.
- On November 2nd, 2007, police found in a tipped over shopping bag the rock used to break the window and gain entry into the cottage. They finally retrieved the rock for forensic testing on December 18th, 2007.
Figure 4. Police waited six weeks to collect as evidence the rock used to break into the cottage
When forensic police returned for a second search on December 18th, 2007—six weeks after the murder—police had tossed the cottage upside down and trampled it. They had carelessly moved clothes originally photographed encircling Meredith’s body to new locations—unprotected from contamination.
In a show of careless disregard and incompetence, forensic police did not immediately or correctly collect critical evidence in the Meredith Kercher murder. Incredulously, there was a semen stain found on Meredith’s pillow which has never been tested. The stain was found smeared by Rudy Guede’s shoe pattern using a crimescope by defense forensic expert Francesco Vinci. The defense has requested the stain be tested since the first trial. This also should have been found and tested within the first days of the investigation. How would anyone feel if their daughter, sister, or mother was murdered and the police did not collect as evidence clothing forcibly removed by their murderer?
Luckily, Meredith’s killer left a bloody palm print made on her pillow. That palm print did lead the police to her killer. Rudy Guede is currently serving a 16 year sentence. The shocking lack of forensic standards shows how lucky they were that he had left a palm print.
Justice needs to be served, not only for Meredith Kercher and her family, but for the guilty and innocent involved. It is the responsibility of the prosecution and forensic police to do their job completely and correctly. It is clear they failed at both. Hopefully, with the independent review done by the court-appointed forensics experts in the appeal, true justice will be served, and Amanda and Raffaele will be set free.