Murder in Perugia Friends Of Amanda Associates – Internal Memo To: David Marriott From: “C” Dear Mr. Marriott, I Shrunk the Black Kid!
PROLOGUE As we discuss the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, and follow the trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, I find it distressing that certain purposefully ill-defined groups of persons try to sway public opinion with information which is often at best only partially true or at worst a crude attempt to convince the public with conscious falsehoods. This strange “Friends of Amanda” group makes for morbid fascination and raises some questions: 1)What do the more prominent members (or closely related “associates”) get out of their participation? A fast reply might include: book deals, international travel and media coverage, professional projection, public image for the next judiciary election, emotional retaliation for perceived prior humiliations, etc. …. I honestly don’t know why each one signs up, although I personally suspect it has something to do with that expression “He who has a different God, climbs a different mountain”. 2)Why do they litter their website with errors and “enhanced interpretive techniques” (ie. “spin”, also, half- truths or half-lies)? Just a fast example: they were able to update quickly their index page a few days ago with circular-feeding quotes from Timothy Egan, but they maintain text like this: “nor is there evidence of a relationship between them [Amanda and Raffaele] and Guede”.their index page Well just a couple of weeks ago, Amanda testified that she knew Rudy, that they and the boys downstairs had met downtown, then partied in the boys flat and smoked marijuana!!! Click on icon to listen to her own voice! (and click to stop listening to Amanda) FOA event phone-in-celebrity Paul “Mr. Acoustics” Ciolino should really admit that he was wrong when he said "Amanda and Raffaele never laid eyes on Rudy, never met with him and never hung out with him... didn't know him." "Amanda and Raffaele never laid eyes on Rudy, never met with him and never hung out with him... didn't know him. Likewise, FOA should modify their page to not mislead readers into thinking that Amanda had never ever met nor smoked marijuana with Rudy. The party Amanda refers to in the sound bite link was not in a big discotheque, but in the boys’ flat downstairs; in fact, one of Raffaele’s expert witnesses has just testified that the rooms were too small for three persons to attack someone … while I don’t agree with this Sollecito witness, it’s clear that Amanda didn’t get separated from Rudy amongst the crowd. Today, we’re going to look at a new page which has recently appeared on the FOA site: http://www.friendsofamanda.org/footprint.html, their latest spin offensive. (continued ….) http://www.friendsofamanda.org/footprint.html
In the recent update to the Friends of Amanda page, they (whoever “they” are … I understand that “they” include Anne Bremner, and she has stated that Judge Heavey – CLICK HERE - is with them too) have given us a lesson in the dangers of letting an unscrupulous person make use of Photoshop. In order to try to convince the readers of their website that Rudy Guede could have made the visible bloody barefoot footprint on the bathmat, one of the computer-savvy, although perhaps less-than-honest FOA members has compressed an image of Rudy’s footprint, so that could supposedly fit the big toe and the ball of the foot which can be seen on the bathmat print. However, they forgot to consider that perhaps the most significant characteristic of a foot is its length, and that by adjusting Rudy’s footprint to adapt it to the bathmat, they also shortened it to being the equivalent of Amanda’s foot (or even smaller). Months ago, in the Updated “These Boots Were Made for Walking” presentation, we analysed these footprints. We were able to conclude that whoever caused the barefoot footprints, some were compatible in length with Knox's and Raffaele Sollecito's feet (we didn't study characteristics other than length), and none were compatible in length with Rudy Guede's giant basketball player's feet (Rudy left his own, Nike shoe prints). This presentation sets straight the FOA spin on the bathmat footprint.Updated “These Boots Were Made for Walking” ============================== I recommend the following two sites which have resulted from Steve Huff’s True Crime Weblog on this tragedy: Perugia Murder FilePerugia Murder File - True Justice For Meredith KercherTrue Justice For Meredith Kercher (also, visit Steve’s current blog published by Village Voice Media: http://www.truecrimereport.com/)http://www.truecrimereport.com/ And be sure to check out the excellent analysis on this case on Miss Represented’s blog.Miss Represented’s blog Any irony or sarcasm which may be encountered in the presentation or our discussions is not meant by any means to trivialise the pain and suffering, and brutal senseless murder that Meredith experienced, nor to reduce her memory. I can only hope that there will be one single ending to this crime, that justice is served to those responsible for each of the crimes which have been determined by the Italian judiciary. I am buoyed by the fact that the victim’s family has continued to express confidence in the Italian justice system. - Kermit (21 June 2009) email: email@example.com Screen shot made on 21 June 2009
The first thing that strikes me about this new page on the FOA site is that they dedicate time, space and reader patience to evidence against Raffaele, not Amanda. Not even Luciano Ghirga (Amanda’s Italian lawyer) is dedicating much time to this. Secondly, they say that the compatibility of the bathmat print to Raffaele is “obviously” not true. I guess they mean as obvious as Amanda never having partied and smoked dope with Rudy. Finally, they say that what follows is a good yardstick for measuring the overall quality of the case against Amanda and Raffaele. If FOA really supports Amanda, I’m surprised they give up so easily. Let’s scroll down on that same page …..
Now we see three footprints lined up side by side: - Raffaele’s (from prison) - the bathmat - Rudy’s (from prison) What’s wrong with this photomontage? ….. First and most importantly, the complete LACK of measurement or scale, even though that is readily available. Secondly, we already have seen in prior presentations that the apparent “narrow” big toe on the bathmat is in fact due to the raised tufts, and a more detailed look at the lower stain shows a wide big toe like Raffaele’s. (see Annex to this ppt.) Up until now, the FOA Photoshop operator hasn’t done anything really bad, other than not reading other presentations out there which - surprisingly? - seem to have better resolution images of the bathmat, with the detail of the wide big toe. It should be pointed out that those images were obtained from public news webs (should FOA read more news to get more precise information on Amanda?).
THIS IS THE MAGIC MOMENT FOA HAS BEEN WAITING FOR ….. And now, let’s introduce some metrics into the FOA graffiti, to reveal the true implications of their Photoshop fun, implications which even they didn’t have the common sense to consider before posting this new page on their website. Hey, for someone doing the Photoshop tutorial, that bit of digital manipulation wasn’t bad (that is, turning Rudy’s print pink, squashing it until it fits the bathmat print, and overlaying it on the bathmat). But for a group under the watchful leadership of one of the 25 most intelligent persons in Washington State, herself supposedly a hot-shot lawyer, NO ONE is impressed with this digital graffiti. Like I said, check out the annex to this powerpoint, and you’ll see detail from the big toe print on the bathmat which shows it is much wider than the washed out FOA version.
All we have to do is to rotate it and extend it proportionally, in order to obtain a measuring ruler in centimeters. We see that the floortiles used in the north wing of the cottage are 16 cm. in width. Some of this most of us have already seen. FOA - it seems - has neither seen it nor considered it. Let’s pull out our precision measuring instrument from last autumn’s presentation on the 6 Luminol prints. The ruler is based on ILE marker “C” for one of the visible shoeprints in the victim’s room.
Let’s confirm the tile width and calibrate our ruler on this grid, at 16 cm. per tile width, on the bathroom footprint photo. 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
Let’s move the image down the screen a little, to give us room to work (FOA has forgotten that Rudy’s foot is really BIG!) 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm Now we’ll place our ruler over here on the side while we work.
6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm Let’s place the FOA bathmat image over the larger, calibrated image of the bathmat. (Some FOA stomachs are starting to sink as they read this.) I personally don’t like the image, but it’s the one they used, and we see that there is no difficulty in lining up the two photos.
6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm Now we copy on top, the FOA Photoshop “common sense” adjusted image of Rudy’s footprint. Any questions or problems with what we have done so far? I hope not. That is FOA’s photomontage, I have not changed its perspective in any way, I have simply fitted it to a larger, calibrated photo of the bathmat
And now we take our ruler from the right and measure the FOA footprint and we get …… 23 cm.!!!!!!!!!! 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
47c. 28,8 46c. 28,4 4527,9 4427,3 4326,7 4226 4125,7 4025,4 3925,1 38,524,8 3824,5 3723,8 3623,5 3522,8 Rudy Foot size Footprint F Raffaele Victim Amanda Footprint F Footlength in cm. FRIENDS OF AMANDA HAVE JUST SHRANK RUDY’s FOOT TO AMANDA’s SIZE!!!!! LOGICAL RESULTS: F.O.A. RESULTS: Our proportional analysis last autumn put the bathmat footprint at about 26 cm., which is Raffaele’s size. Dr. Rinaldi has similar and probably much more precise results. Friends of Amanda have taken Rudy’s footprint, and Photoshopped it to fit the bathmat ball of foot and big toe … however the resulting footlength is 23 cm., which corresponds to …. Amanda’s size (or even smaller) !!!! 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
Someone from the peanut gallery didn’t like my 23 cm measurement of FOA’s Photoshop Fun shrunken footprint which makes Rudy shorter than Amanda. So, I have redone the measurement with the police marker, and get the same result: 23 cm.: this artificial FOA Hobbit foot is smaller than Amanda’s. These people are getting desperate.
Rudy’s foot in real life (not in Hobbit-land) measures about 28.5 cm. Let’s place his footprint at it’s real proportions over the bathmat 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
Now we clean out the FOA junk … and if you click back and forth to the next slide, you’ll see that Rudy’s foot clearly doesn’t fit the bathmat print.
EPILOGUE (1 of 2) The first version of this presentation (three days ago) must have hurt some feelings in the Friends of Amanda group. In the last day, they have added an explanatory note at the bottom of the Rudy’s Hobbit Foot page: “The above image of the bathmat is from an official source.” Okay, I assume they really mean “we got these images from Amanda’s family, who in turn obtained them as part of the investigation file”. In that sense, these are second- hand images, as official as the images I may get from La Nazione newspaper, whose reporter might have a contact with one of the legal teams. The note continues: “They did the color enhancement”. Why are they telling us this? If the image is “official” or if “they” (whoever “they” are) did the color enhancement, that has nothing to do with what FOA had actually done: they took the basic investigation images, squashed up Rudy’s footprint, and squeezed it like a Chinese emperor’s concubine’s bound foot onto the smaller visible bathmat print. SPIN SPIN SPIN. Reminds me of the food blogger who was seen at one of the FOA fundraisers, and to deny having been there, shrilly and vehemently announced that she had not arrived in a police car (even though no one had ever said she did). first version of this presentation (three days ago) must have hurt some feelings in the Friends of Amanda group. In the last day, they have added an explanatory note at the bottom of the Rudy’s Hobbit Foot page: “The above image of the bathmat is from an official source.” Okay, I assume they really mean “we got these images from Amanda’s family, who in turn obtained them as part of the investigation file”. In that sense, they second-hand images, as official as the images I may get from La Nazione newspaper, whose reporter might have a contact with one of the legal teams. The note continues:
EPILOGUE (2 of 2) The Friends of Amanda group defines itself in the following, vague manner: “Who we are: Friends of Amanda is a group of people who recognize that Amanda is innocent. We are not affiliated with her family, and no one is paying us. We simply want to see justice.” If they want to provide the public with a maximum of explanatory information concerning the case in general, and about specific items of evidence, I would have thought that they would refrain from doing the Hobbit Foot. The last part of the newly added note at the bottom of the Hobbit Foot page says: “The image has been cropped and enlarged but otherwise has not been modified for this presentation.” And I ask: if you want to provide a maximum of explanatory information, why only give readers the Hobbit Foot, and not the full, uncropped image? Ah …. I see. If FOA had left the police measurement marker, then a FOA web page reader would quickly realise that the Hobbit Foot – at 23 cm – is only a little longer than the width of the floor tiles in the north wing of the cottage (16 cm), and that this foot length is either a young girl’s or a Hobbit’s.
ANNEX 1 (These are the slides from the last presentation, the Bathmat Footprint Study. If you have that presentation, then you’ve seen these slides, although it’s worth it to click through to the very last slide with the updated Bongiorno vignette!)
This recent graphic spread is thanks to Il Messaggero. In addition to bringing new images into our analysis, there is a key element which these photos contribute, which is metrics. I was happy to see the measurements on the footprints and the defendants should be happy too, as it will allow them to pursue their own defence strategies concerning this key evidence. In this presentation we’ll make use of the images associated with Raffaele Sollecito.
Let’s keep in mind as we advance the importance of the texture of the bathmat, and its 3 dimensional impact on the footprint.
Let’s zoom in on the bathmat photos, and the detailed scale of our ruler. 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm Now we’ll try and compare specific measurements between the bathmat footprint and Raffaele’s footprint as taken in custody.
The first line we will draw will be the one from behind the ball of the foot to the point between the big toe and the second toe. I suggest we draw the line from the clearest end-point, which would be behind the ball of the foot. Let’s the mark the line and stop when we get to the end point at the front of the ball of the foot.
Now let’s measure this line … and we get … 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm … 55 mm. Mmmmmmmm… okay, that’s fairly near the police custody ball-of-the-foot measurement of 57 mm. Now, I’ll accept it if someone says that while the starting point of the line is quite obvious, the end point isn’t necessarily clear. More on that later.
6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm Now let’s draw the horizontal line in a manner which looks for concordance … you’ll see, it makes sense. First of all, like with the other line, we start from the clearest end point. Concordance? Since the extreme end of the bathmat line is ill- defined, let’s draw the line with exactly Raffaele’s measurement: 95 mm.
I guess you call this our first test: are the measurements from Raffaele’s police custody footprint approximately compatible with the bathmat footprint? I think it would be imprudent to exclude the possibility. Now, what about that big toe? Last week I was thinking that it was a crooked, elongated toe …
Spend a few seconds looking at this zoom of the unenhanced bathmat photo. Specifically, try to follow the limit of the footprint from behind the ball of the foot, around to where the big toe joins the foot, then try to identify exactly where the print of the big toe reaches. That’s enough for now. This isn’t a trick request, in fact it’s quite the opposite. In my case I’m surprised with myself, that until now, I hadn’t tried such a simple exercise on a zoom of the photo.
? ? I’ve marked with green arrows where I think it’s quite obvious that the bloody footprint is in that point. I’ve marked with pink arrows where it’s clear that the bloody footprint doesn’t reach. I’ve put a couple of question marks on the inside of the big toe, where the limits of the big toe are not exactly clear. Click back and forth a few times between this screen and the previous one. Do we all agree on these limits to this part of the footprint?
Now let’s trace that limit to the footprint. This leaves a somewhat different impression than the “crooked, elongated” toe.
Let’s combine all three of the lines we have drawn: And now, the spooky part. Let’s overlay a semi- transparent copy of Raffaele’s police custody footprint over the bathmat print.
Now let’s apply the bathmat image which Rinaldi used for his measurements. Unfortunately, on the copy which we have available from Il Messaggero, only one of the measurements is readable … 50 mm from behind the ball of the foot to the end of the bloodstain between the big toe and the 2nd toe. Rinaldi was more honest than I (55 mm), as he stops his line where the blood visibly ends. (our photo wasn’t as defined there) 6 cm 12 cm 18 cm 24 cm
Let’s summarise and click through the images: Rinaldi’s measurements on the bathmat
Let’s summarise and click through the images: Raffaele’s police custody footprint
Let’s summarise and click through the images: Our lines and delimitation of big toe (it’s not crooked!)
I’m not a forensic expert - I’ll leave that to Dr. Rinaldi. And while I don’t feel in a position to say definitely that that is Raffaele’s footprint on the bathmat, I do believe that the bathmat print is compatible with his footprint. Minor differences, like the point of measurement for the line between the big toe and the 2nd toe, can be justified by the texture of the bathmat, its raised tufts, and the “valley” just at that point of measurement.
I jokingly put this tag to this image in a prior presentation: “Ms. Bongiorno - can I call you Giulia? - I assume you have a plan for this …” And thanks to FOA, we have Bongiorno’s reply: “Don’t worry, Raffaele, we’ll let Amanda’s team take care of it.”