In the previous post I discussed the evidence suggesting that Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede attempted to conceal the underlying motives behind the attack on Meredith Kercher by smashing a window and scattering clothes around to simulate a burglary attempt which turned violent.

In the excellent summary of the 106 page report by Judge Micheli, he outlines his reasons why Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been brought to trial.

Two of the most significant points in the brief summary include the assertion that the victim’s body was moved after death and that she was wearing her bra at the time of death, yet when her body was discovered the bra had been cut off. There was also evidence that a cleanup attempt had occurred.

The evidence put forward seems to indicate that the perpetrator/s involved in the murder of Meredith Kercher, returned to the cottage, moved the body and cut off the bra to lead investigators to believe the bra had been removed before death. This seems to indicate that the perpetrator/s was attempting to lead the investigators to the conclusion that the motivation for the attack was rape.

I would like to emphasise that despite my belief the rape was staged, in no way do I doubt that Meredith Kercher was subjected to a cruel and degrading sexual assault by Rudy Guede most likely with the two defendants present. The aim of this sexual assault was to frighten and humiliate the victim, whose resulting reaction, coupled with the excitement and escalation of tension and violence resulted in the fatal neck wound, most likely administered by the defendant Amanda Knox.

From the evidence put forward so far, some questions about the rape remain:

Why would the perpetrator/s stage a rape when the crime scene had already been staged to look like a burglary?

I believe the burglary was staged immediately after the attack on Meredith, upon which the accused fled the scene and were reportedly seen by a number of witnesses. Meredith was wearing her bra when she was killed yet forensic evidence recovered from the scene suggests that the person/s involved returned to the crime scene and cut off Meredith’s bra in order to suggest a rape had taken place. This may have happened for a number of reasons:

Firstly it is quite common for violent attacks on women resulting in death to involve some sort of sexual assault and or rape, whoever altered the crime scene had the primary motive of concealing what took place and why. Like with the burglary, the perpetrator/s may have had some sort of preconceived or stereotyped idea about what the crime scene should look like and staged the rape make the scene consistent with the perpetrator/s individual schema.

If the rape had actually happened the person/s involved would not have been interested in making it look more like a rape, it could be suggested that the person/s covering up the actual underlying motive for the attack knew that some sort of sexual assault had taken place and wanted to steer investigators in this direction in the hope that this would become the primary focus of the investigation. Rudy Guede’s DNA was found inside Meredith, the judge believed this was consistent with manual sexual assault. Whoever staged the rape wanted investigators to focus on Guede, the best way to do this would be to draw attention to his primary role in the attack. Rape is a predominantly male crime, it could be suggested that whoever staged the rape was not expecting investigators to link the crime to a female perpetrator.

The burglary was a terrible attempt at staging the crime scene; this is evident in the testimony of Inspector Michele Battistelli who spotted it almost immediately. The perpetrator/s would have been intensely stressed and probably in a great deal of shock when the burglary was staged. Whoever staged the rape had all night to do so and probably returned to the house knowing that Guede had gone out clubbing in order to pin all the blame on him and divert attention away from themselves.

Who was involved in staging the rape? Could they just have been covering for Guede?

Witnesses report seeing Rudy Guede out on the town after the attack on Meredith. It seems he fled the scene, went home, showered and went out, probably in the naive hope that a number of witnesses would come forward to provide him with an alibi. This of course was catastrophic, both for Guede and the defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Guede had gone out and was seen by a number of witnesses in town. Forensic evidence suggests that Meredith’s bra was removed after death and when the clean up attempt began. Guede could not have been involved in this as he was in town at the time. Witnesses have placed Guede outside the cottage at this time and forensic evidence has placed Knox and Sollecito inside.

Not only does this further annihilate the lone wolf theory it also seriously implicates Knox and Sollecito in the murder of Meredith Kercher. Why? Because the defendants would have absolutely no motive to implicate themselves in a murder investigation and commit a fairly serious criminal offence by covering up for Rudy Guede. Even if one of the accused attempted the ‘I was just a cleaner’ defence it would implicate the other defendant in both the murder and in the admission that at least one of the defendants knew Rudy Guede prior to the murder of Meredith Kercher. Something both defendants adamantly deny.

Amanda and Raffaele freaked, panicked and returned to the cottage to begin the cleanup operation. Evidence seems to suggest that Amanda and Raffaele didn’t do a terrible job of cleaning up their own involvement I suppose the job was made infinitely easier by the fact that any fingerprints found would be relatively easy to explain away considering Amanda lived in the same house as Meredith. Unsurprisingly plenty of Guede’s DNA, footprints, a bloody handprint on a pillow as well as his faecal matter was left in the toilet for investigators to find. The defendants moved the body, cut off Meredith’s bra and staged the rape. They covered the body, took the knife and left.

What does the staged rape tell us about the defendants and the underlying motives behind the crime?

As with the burglary, the staging of the rape implies a prior relationship between the defendants and the victim, this is further supported by the fact that Meredith was found partially clothed and not fully naked. Research and analysis of previous cases indicates that offenders who stage a crime scene to look like rape are extremely unlikely to leave the victim completely naked and are much more likely to cover the body than offenders who have committed violent sexual homicides. This is because the person/s staging the crime scene often knows the victim personally. This was not a random attack, whoever covered Meredith’s body didn’t want to look at her (or couldn’t).

The fact that a rape was implied may indicate that rape fantasies were involved or that rape was the primary objective of the attack. It has been suggested that bruising on the victim is consistent with being forcibly held, with a knife to the throat and an attack from behind. Media coverage of the case also indicated that Guede attempted to rape Meredith. Guede may not have been able to go through with the attack for a number of reasons: he may have been put off by the presence of the two defendants or he may have been scared. Similarly, Meredith may have attempted to scream. It does appear that a rape was attempted and tensions escalated which culminated in the fatal would.

The original motivation behind the attack may have lead to the idea of staging the rape in order to implicate Guede who was certainly out of his depth and in his panic, presumably sloppy about any trace evidence he left behind. This could certainly have been exploited by the cleverer Knox and Sollecito who would have both been desperate to conceal their involvement in what had happened.

The staging of the rape also provides an interesting insight into the defendant’s rape schema. If a rapist had broken into the apartment and attacked Meredith there would be no real need to remove the bra to complete the rape. If the rapist had a particular need to expose the breasts why not cut the bra off at the time of the attack? The bra did not come off until much later and was cut off at the back indicating a further schema about how a bra is ‘supposed’ to come off, surely a rapist with a need to expose the breasts would remove the bra at the time of the attack and in the most convenient way possible, not wait until after death to move the body and cut the bra off at the back. DNA evidence found on the bra clasp has implicated Raffaele Sollecito.

Furthermore, a lot has been made of Amanda’s ‘Baby Brother’ short story, which despite its plotline being virtually impossible to follow does provide an interesting and unique insight into her individual rape fantasies. Rape fantasies are very common amongst young women and Amanda may have been driven to act upon them during the attack and probably when staging the crime scene.

What really happened?

I fear that we will never really know what happened to Meredith Kercher or why. The evidence available so far seems to indicate that this was a complex, unique and multilayered crime. The tragic death of Meredith Kercher has certainly captured the attention of people all over the world.

Though the details of what happened to poor Meredith are extremely unpleasant, we must remember that she died a slow and agonising death and for what? Seemingly no reason at all? Questions must be asked and evidence followed in order to ascertain why this beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her was attacked and killed in such a brutal way.

I firmly believe that Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede were equally culpable in what happened to Meredith that night and that Amanda and Raffaele had motive and opportunity to conceal what they had done by attempting to stage the rape and blame Rudy Guede. Justice must be served. The defendants need to stop hiding behind large wads of cash.

Let the evidence speak for itself.