Murder in Italy a few weeks ago, and based on everything in the book - if it is indeed factual - I just don't see how Amanda and Raffaele were convicted.
Everything I based my guilty opinion on, what I heard and read in the news seems to be false information. These are some things I didn't know, or was misinformed. Amanda and Meredith only lived together for a month, hardly what I would call enough time for a deep hatred to grow and fester. The DNA evidence, where there is any, is so minute or possibly contaminated, or obvious (Amanda's DNA in her own bathroom?) is so weak it doesn't do enough to explain all of the other missing holes.
Patrick Lumumba was introduced into the scenario by the police, not by Amanda, based solely on a text message where she replied, "Ok, see you later. Have a good night." The police pushed the story that Amanda, by writing *see you later* was setting up a meeting later that evening. As we all know, *see you later* is like goodbye or ciao. Amanda's *confession* which is not even a confession was never admitted in court. The police arrested all three suspects, based on some hypothetical theory they insisted Amanda create, and then paraded them through Perugia, sirens and horns blaring in celebration.
Once Patrick's alibi checked out, and evidence pointed to Rudy Guede, Patrick was released. The police merely substituted one black guy for another into their bizarre story. The major problem with this is there are no text messages linking Amanda to Rudy - nothing that hints at a meet up, or that they even knew each other, except for a brief introduction, days/weeks prior. Instead of starting back at the very beginning, building a case with actual evidence, the police merely plopped Rudy into Patrick's place, and into their scenario of a scheduled meet up with Amanda.
with a large kitchen knife in her purse, bumped into Rudy, decided to, without knowing each other, rape and murder Meredith, using a second knife (not the one Amanda supposedly carried to the crime scene). That they then staged a break in and Amanda managed to clean the entire apartment, but oh so skillfully managed to leave an entire set of Rudy's prints throughout the entire house.
They never tested the stains that they attributed to Amanda, the shoe print they attributed to Raf is so clearly not his, and identical to those of Rudy. The tiny piece of DNA they attributed to Raf was on the bra clasp, which was seen in numerous photos, over 45 days, tossed around the room, mixed in with piles of junk.
The postal police, who were the first officers on the scene, allowed Amanda, Raffaele, two Italian female roommates, and three Italian men walk around the apartment before they discovered Meredith's body, locked behind her bedroom door. They sent the Italian roommate, Filomena*, into her room (the room with the broken window - point of entry) three times to retrieve her items and to check whether anything was missing. She recalls seeing broken glass on her clothes that were scattered on the floor.
The boyfriend of one of the Italian roommates is the one who broke down Meredith's bedroom door. Amanda and Raf didn't see her body, and when Amanda was told what the roommates saw, she cried. Amanda spent days and hours in the police station and became a suspect when she got up to stretch, after sitting for hours on a hard chair. That, combined with a text message sent to Patrick, a suspect they realized was innocent, are the two major pieces of information that led to Amanda becoming suspect, and public enemy number one.
Meredith left her friends house at 9pm, with a book she borrowed, to go home and study. By approx. 10pm she was dead. And we are supposed to believe that Amanda, Rudy and Raf, in a random chance meeting, concocted this twisted premeditated (the knife in the purse) plan of rape and murder? It just doesn't make sense. I for the life of me can not figure out how they got convictions.
The stories of receipts for bleach were lies. The witnesses placing Amanda and Raf at the scene were BS. The stories we heard of Amanda at a store and a laundromat were false. I thought they were all partying together, drinking, smoking pot, and things got out of control. None of that is true. Witnesses place Amanda and Raf at his house, having dinner and watching movies. Raf was going to drive a friend to the airport, and had stopped by before and after Meredith was killed, placing them at his house.
Rudy had been arrested for breaking and entering in the weeks leading up to the murder, carrying a knife. He had been kicked out of his adopted home. He was friends with the Italian boys who lived downstairs and played basketball in the court across the street.
Because November 1 is an Italian holiday, the college town was almost deserted, most of the Italian students going home for the four day holiday. The four Italian boys who lived below Amanda had gone home, as well as the two Italian female roommates - leaving only Meredith and Amanda at home.
The blood in the bathroom was so minuscule it is almost impossible to see, and not the bloodbath the photos and media led to believe. There was one footprint on the bathmat, and other than that, tiny spots that could easily have been missed.
I believe that Rudy thought the house was empty, and was looking for a place to crash and to rob. I believe he knew the Italian roommates were all away for the weekend, and Amanda had been sleeping at Raf's. Meredith had gone out the night before for Halloween, and was at a friends the night of the murder- he most likely thought the entire house was empty.
climbed up the iron grate on the lower window (something easily accomplished, despite media reports) and ransacked the room he entered.
I believe he then, most likely, went into the bathroom that is right next door to Laura's room, and went to the bathroom. I then believe, the most obvious scenario, that Meredith, while Rudy was in the bathroom, came home. Upon hearing someone enter, Rudy did not flush the toilet - hence the finding of his poo in the toilet. He then, most likely, crept down the hallway to her room, startling her in the middle of changing her clothes, preparing to study. (Description of the red and blue dots here.)
There was a phone call to Meredith's bank around 10pm. The bank automatically calls back at 10:15pm and no one answered her phone. Was Rudy trying to see how much money she had in her account, so he could use her ATM and steal her money? Her phones were then dumped around 10:30, in the yard next door.
DNA from Rudy was found inside Meredith, although not semen. The autopsy could not prove rape or assault. She was covered with a duvet, and was left to bleed to death.
I do not believe two knives were involved. I do not believe this wild story of orgies and murder (which I never believed even when I thought Amanda was guilty). I don't believe this was based on anti-Americanism, but I definitely believe there was an anti-Amanda sentiment. I believe the prosecution concocted their scenario and instead of starting back at the beginning once Patrick was absolved of any involvement, they just built their wacky theory based on no evidence.
There is no physical evidence linking Amanda to the murder. There is no evidence linking her to it, at all. No text messages setting up meetings. No proof of animosity between the two. No reason, no sense, at all. She definitely suffered for the fact that she only lived there for one month, and no one really knew her. She is a strange bird, with quirky habits, but a murderer? And Raffaele might be a bit of a nerd, but he was dating Amanda for 6 days... After six days this normal guy would suddenly kill for her?
The police have Rudy. His DNA was everywhere. He admitted to being there. He fled the country (Amanda chose to stay, even when her mother tried to get her to come home). Rudy has a prior arrest for breaking and entering. His footprints, and his alone, are in the blood surrounding her body, and they are tracked throughout the house. His finger prints are in the blood, all around and under Meredith's body. The break-in was not staged, there was glass in the bedroom, and a rock, and it was quite easy to climb up through the window. He didn't have anywhere to sleep, or a job.
I just don't get why or how they convicted Amanda and Raffaele. They have the real killer in jail. It is a tragedy that Meredith was murdered. And it is a tragedy if two innocent people are sitting in jail.
It just does't make any sense.
H/T Injustice in Perugia and Italian Woman at the Table
*Corrected, previously said Laura's room. Thank you to Candace! :O)
Update: I've received a lot of traffic and comments about this post, and as you can see, there are still a lot of people who don't know that actual facts on what was presented in court. I highly recommend reading Murder in Italy. I have passed on my copy and think everyone should pick one up. We really were told a lot of misinformation on the news.