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Amanda Is Not Afraid Of The Truth

 Amanda Knox’s dad, Curt Knox, has said these words over and over from the moment she was arrested for the slaying of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. For nearly four years he and his entire family have sought the truth of how Meredith died and now the Perugian courtroom, resided over by Judges Claudio Patrillo Hellmann and Massimo Zanetti, would listen to the long-awaited Independent Review.

The defense had been denied the right to access of the DNA Evidence during the Trial of First Instance. Not anymore. Welcome Fair Play, it’s good to have you here.

On July 25th the judges presided over a tense and excited courtroom, portions of the report had already been leaked to the press and speculation agreed that it looked bad for Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, the police DNA expert. At one point Judge Hellmann slammed his hand down on the desk saying "Quiet!" to yet another interruption by the prosecution. Professor’s Conti and Vecchiotti finished their report unmolested as the prosecution sat sullenly.

At the core of the expert’s 145-page report were 54 instances of forensic protocol being mishandled or not followed, including changing gloves after the collection of each piece of evidence. Dr. Stefanoni testified in the trail of first instance that she changed gloves only if they were "especially bloody." The use of plastic storage bags was also at issue, protocol is a paper bag so that condensation does not occur and the bra clasp was destroyed by storage in a plastic bag. And a crime scene video, long available on Youtube, clearly showed several examples of improper collection of evidence, including the bra clasp.

The video shows Dr. Stefanoni and her assistants collecting the bra clasp from under a dirty rug, 46 days after the murder, handing it back and forth, then setting it back down on the floor to photograph before putting it into a plastic bag, the close-up shows obviously dirty gloves.

Correspondent Elizabeth Vargas put it succinctly; "There are three things that can destroy DNA’s value, moisture, heat and law enforcement."

Chuckling and gasps were heard in the packed courtroom as the experts showed a DVD of their findings and verified what the defense has always maintained: collection and processing of the infamous knife and bra clasp did not meet international standards. The experts alluded that there was reason to believe that that contamination occurred at the crime scene itself, in Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni’s lab or by malice. Read that as: the evidence was planted.

So what does that say about the rest of the DNA evidence?

The testimony about the knife elicited laughter from the courtroom as it came to light that the DNA found on it was from starch. Rye bread to be exact and an Italian-American Innocent Supporter summed it up succinctly, "Today it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt that someone stabbed a loaf of bread." The experts also confirmed that the knife had not been bleached, but merely wiped after cutting the bread, leaving an abundance of Rye bread DNA and not a trace of blood.

Every single one of us yukked it up because there was just no way to not laugh at what was found on that infamous and hated knife.

Although the prosecution’s sordid case is now in tattered shreds, they refuse to give up. The key evidence has fallen, the witnesses have been discredited, the prosecution has failed to proved motive (or Satanism), the Supreme Court said the interrogations were against the law, the investigation is shown to be sloppy and mismanaged and forensics did not follow international protocols. There is nothing left. So what did the prosecutors do? They relied upon the words of Rudy Guede, the murderous burglar and liar whose DNA is the only DNA found at the crime scene and they threatened to sue the court-appointed experts for slander. Really?

On the 26th, the Perugians sent two squads of police to Rome to try and seize the DVD used by the experts in court. They were unsuccessful and, after Judge Hellmann was alerted, were simply given a copy by the court. Their intimidating behavior has not gone unnoticed.

On the 27th came the shocking news that one of the prisoners who testified in court in June, Luciano Aviello, said that the Sollecito’s had paid him 30,000 Euros for his testimony so that he could get a sex-change operation. Not only is this a blatant lie, but can be backed up by the fact that the Sollecito’s finances are tied up in court, the same as the Knox’s, and no one has extra money lying around to pay off a habitual liar. Plus why would the Sollecito’s screw up what are obviously positive proceedings in the appellate court.

Then on July 28th, Francesco Maresca, the prosecutor who is also the lawyer for the Kercher family, announced that he was seeking life in prison for Amanda and Raffaele. During the trial of first instance and the appellate sessions, Maresca became renowned for his theatrics by yelling, interrupting and distracting the court proceedings and witnesses. He is the same person that caused Judge Hellmann to slap his hand on the desk and call out, "Quiet!" It was also reported that when asked whether he was "seeking vengeance over seeking justice" no answer was given as he "glared and turned away."

By Saturday, July 30, you could sense some desperation from the prosecution, we had been watching their gyrations during the previous week with a curious mix of amusement and concern, wondering, "What will they do next?"

The Next was prosecutor Maresca presenting a loophole to the court that allowed questioning of the independent experts. The display of foot-dragging that followed featured a seemingly endless procession of meandering questions by Prosecutor Comodi to the experts. But the bombshell was when she produced a document claiming that it was the negative control tests. This test is done to rule out contamination and, for years, Dr. Stefanoni has said that she did not do it. The defense complained that they had never been given access to what was evidentially a very poor-quality photocopy, so the court recessed for 30-minutes to search for the original documentation. No original could be found and it became clear that the ‘lost’ test results had been forged. The judges were not happy. The defense was angry by the deception. The prosecution was humiliated.

All of this distraction and vindictive behavior underscores what the Knox’s have been dealing with for nearly four years and brings into question if is money or justice for Meredith Kercher and her family that the prosecutor’s seek. If it is justice, then they should recognize that Rudy Guede is the only killer, as there is no DNA evidence of Amanda or Raffaele at the crime scene, while there is an abundance of Guede’s.

If it is money, then there is a despicable injustice occurring in Perugia. We hope that judges Hellman and Zanetti will put an end to this heinous behavior whose only real aim, it seems, is to keep two innocent kids in prison simply to preserve reputations.

Edda Mellas, Amanda Knox’s mother, told CBS News that the family is becoming more hopeful, but warned, "It’s not a done deal until Amanda walks out. She’s still locked up there, (it’s) still horrible for her, especially now when she can see an end. Sitting there and waiting, it’s horrible." Edda is in Perugia for the summer and was joined in court by several family members. Because the prosecution is trying to draw out the drama as long as possible, Amanda and Raffaele must remain in prison while the Italian court takes its break in August. One more hot, humid summer in prison. It is a heartbreaking shame.

The court will resume around Sept 5th and Judge Hellmann has ruled that once in session, he will convene a hearing everyday until the conclusion. Highly unusual, given that court was held on Saturday, with an occasional weekday thrown in.

But we have hope, throughout the appeal the judges have been fair and allowed access to evidence that had previously been denied. We hope that court will reign in further antics by the prosecutors and simply finish. Everyone is very tired of the circus and we are ready for a decision. We are hoping for an innocence verdict, but if the worst happens and someone somewhere is able to throw a wrench in the works, we will keep fighting. All the way to the Italian Supreme Court.

We are continuing to encourage all of our supporters to write to the White House and protest the State Department’s handling of Amanda’s case. In short, the behavior of the Rome Embassy to not intervene on her behalf and lodge protests to the State Department is reprehensible. By one count nearly Ten Protests should be sitting on the desk of Secretary Clinton and to date there are Zero. Had the embassy done their job, there is every indication that Amanda would not be sitting in prison today. Please email the White House at and express your concern as Italy hosts many Islanders on a yearly basis and their safety is at stake as well as justice for Amanda.

And we encourage Islanders to support the Knox’s by donating to; many Americans have also donated to

Amanda Home in the fall? Now there is a lovely thought. Hold that close to your heart and continue to pray for fair play, your support is welcome and cherished. And please remember something that Amanda has said over and over:

"I would never harm my friend."