The evidence is not strong against Amanda Knox in the Meredith Kercher murder case, but that won’t stop the many people devoted to finding guilt where none exists from commenting, speaking, thinking, and writing about it.
In Ted Thomson’s second article on Ground Report, published today, he pursues the line of reasoning that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have some level of responsibility in the death of Meredith Kercher, whereas in fact, and reality, it has been proven repeatedly they had nothing to do with this terrible crime.
So what motivates Mr Thomson to continue in this vein? And, what accounts for the enormous popularity of his first article, “The Evidence is Strong Against Amanda Knox in the Meredith Kercher’s Murder Case” (Ted’s spelling, and over 24,000 views at this writing, well done Ted!).
Are people attracted to view ‘The Strong Evidence Against Amanda Knox’ because they believe it exists and want to see it, or because their rational mind tells them it is non-existent and they can’t resist looking? Or, Is traffic coming from both directions, ‘innocenti’ and ‘guilters’ alike?
The best way to understand Mr Thomson’s articles, and why I’ll argue it’s safe to ignore them, is by focusing on the arguments in a slow and careful way. Rather than try to keep up with the marathon of byzantine details and intricate inferences supposedly drawn, instead focus on the major facets of the argument, and see if it holds up.
Today’s contribution from Ted carries the title; “Amanda Knox and Raffaele’s DNA Evidence and Blood at the Murder Scene”, and trumpets its concluding assertion; “The footprints are made in blood, they belong to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and they establish that the couple was involved with the murder of Meredith Kercher.”
Mr Thomson bases his contention on his belief that, as he writes; “The luminol traces are very strong evidence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher. The footprints establish that someone other than Rudy Guede was present and that these individuals had feet that are compatible with Knox and Sollecito.”
Ok, so that’s a position. Mr Thomson contends, the footprints revealed by luminol are made in blood, the footprints are compatible with Amanda and Raffaele, and this, Mr Thomson asserts, is evidence that others were present in the cottage when Rudy Guede murdered Ms Kercher.
So what is the central thesis Mr Thomson presents? The footprints revealed by Luminol testing, are made in blood. Here’s the problem with Mr Thomson’s analysis; it’s totally false.
And once having declared this false assumption, Mr Thomson leads us on a merry-goose-chase through reams of ‘evidence’ to support a contention that is demonstrably false.
Here’s the truth: Luminol is a preliminary forensic test to detect blood, but also reacts with other substances, such as bleach. Mr Thomson addresses this possibility as well.
Mr Thomson explains; “A final objection to the footprints that were revealed being blood is based on the negative results of TMB tests on the same surface, an event which happens on valid blood Luminol hits about half the time, according to Stefanoni. Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) is another presumptive test for the presence of blood.”
This statement is actually false. A second confirming test is always required to conclude a substance is in fact blood, once having been revealed in a luminol test.
TMB tests are specifically used as this second follow-up test for blood after a luminol test, it is not merely “another presumptive test” – it is used to confirm the presence of blood, in combination with a Luminol test. It is not a matter of applying one test or another, but rather the application of both tests that is required to confirm the presence of blood.
Now, as a casual reader, how does one decide whom to believe? Well, let’s turn to an actual expert, former FBI agent Steve Moore, in his contribution to the book “The Forgotten Killer; Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher”, Moore squarely addresses this exact same question as Mr Thomson, under a subsection describing the Italian police investigation entitled, “Perjury”.
Moore writes; “In open court, the prosecution characterized footprints suspected to be Knox’s as made in “the victim’s blood”. They said that they had not, however, tested the footprints to determine whether they were made in blood but strongly inferred the footprints could be made in no other substance.”
Moore continues; “In discovery, though, it was determined that the footprints were tested and that they were found not to have been blood. Whoever made the footprints did so in bleach or a similar substance, and they have no relevance to who killed Meredith Kercher. Blatant Perjury.” (Emphasis Moore).
The testing, testifying and commission of the crime of perjury on the witness stand, was performed by none other than Patrizia Stefanoni, the Rome lab technician whose work in the Rome lab in the Kercher case, has been a deep international embarrassment to Italy.
As we may imagine, this type of argument is unlikely to dissuade Mr Thomson and others of the ‘guilter’ brigades, because it doesn’t fit their worldview of guilt in the absence of any evidence.
Moore though, also helps us understand Mr Thomson’s point of view, with the very next paragraph, moving on to a new subsection entitled; “Wildly misleading and incriminating photos of Amanda Knox’s bathroom were given to the press.” (Emphasis Moore).
In this sub-section, Moore writes; “In the photos, a chemical substance used in forensics made what appeared to be blood streaks all across the bathroom – which Knox had earlier said did not have obvious blood in it”.
Mr Thomson uses the same misleading photograph in his first article (below), “The Evidence is Strong Against Amanda Knox in the Meredith Kercher’s Murder Case” (Ted’s spelling).
Below however, is the same cottage bathroom, as the police investigators originally photographed it, both before and after being sprayed with the forensic chemical that tests for blood, and then turns red after use.
In other words, Mr Thomson uses the very same misleading photograph circulated by the Italian police to the press, to unfairly infer that the bathroom was a bloody mess, when in fact – and in reality – the blood was virtually undetectable, just as Amanda Knox had said it was.
The tactic on display in Mr Thomson’s articles, is on display on the well known Amanda Knox ‘hate sites’, a phenomenon that is as deplorable, as it must surely be a legally cognizable form of stalking and reputation assault. They are no more truthful than ‘neo-nazi’ propaganda, holocaust deniers, or ‘9-11 truthers’ sites, yet they draw large numbers of viewers, and are directed against two real and innocent people. It has an unmistakeable stench of criminality, and it should be stopped.
If the law hasn’t caught up with this behavior yet, then may I suggest this is an excellent opportunity to further the legal landscape. The first order of business though, must be to take away the financial incentive for unscrupulous tabloids and other media to profit from the destruction of people’s lives. And just as importantly, to take away the financial incentive from the unscrupulous reporters who participate in the enterprise as well. They must know that at the end of the road, every ill gotten cent will be refunded threefold to the victims of their reckless profiteering, and in some cases, their sadistic glee.
But the media and reporters who peddle such tripe to the gullible among the masses, have a direct financial incentive for doing so. It’s not ethical, but it is at least understandable. The Italian prosecutor Mignini, the Perugian authorities, and the Italian judiciary have a direct motive in downplaying the responsibility of Rudy Guede in the Kercher murder, for if Mignini and the Perugians had not allowed Guede to remain free after numerous identical burglaries, Meredith Kercher would surely still be alive – as I have been arguing in my recent series of articles in these pages, and to which I will return after this piece.
But how then, can we come to understand Mr Thomson’s efforts in this same regard? What motivates individuals to attempt to harm innocent people they don’t know and have never met, and try to ruin their lives with groundless, unfair malicious slanders and attacks? It is a mystery of human nature, Mr Thomson is perhaps best able to answer, perhaps he’ll enlighten us. I encourage him to do so, assuming it’s a ‘him’.