Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steve Moore's Response to the Lifetime movie "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy"

I am used to seeing cases I’ve worked on portrayed inaccurately in the press, but “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” is absolutely the most inaccurate film I’ve ever seen. If it’s a “based on a true story,” I’m perplexed as to which story that is. Time after time, I groaned that half of a fact was being provided and that the most important part of the fact remained hidden. A word for this tactic is "Propaganda." The film makes as much sense as its title.

There is a truism in law enforcement: “Manipulated evidence is like a bikini; what it shows seems to be important, but what it hides is crucial.” An example in this movie is a line from the Italian investigator that suggests that a break-in is staged because glass from a window broken to gain entry “is on top of the clothes,” which were pulled out of the drawer after the glass was broken. Fair enough. Except that at the actual crime scene, almost all the glass was found UNDER the clothes. The glass on top of the clothing was simply glass from the top of desks and chests which was dislodged during the ransacking of the room. Not saying that more glass was found under the clothes than on top can only be intentional manipulation.

Half the truth plus half the truth equals no truth at all.

While I realize that Lifetime and Mr. Dornhelm have to make money to survive, it is astounding to me that they would be willing to do so at the cost of the life of an innocent girl and an innocent boy. It is possible that Dornhelm himself was manipulated by Mignini, the chief investigator. If this is true, it shows only that he is tragically and dangerously naive, and not simply avaricious. This is possible; he’s a filmmaker, not a forensic expert.

Other gross inaccuracies:
1. “Luminol” testing was conducted the day the murder was discovered, and gave valuable evidence. In fact, Luminol testing was not done for almost three weeks, and gave no evidence of culpability of either Amanda or Raffaele.
2. A statement made by the “investigator” at the crime scene was actually laughable: When told that some bloody footprints were found both visible and latent, he mutters; “So the crime scene was cleaned.” If the crime scene was cleaned, no footprints would have been found. It’s akin to saying “I’ve found a dead mouse in an eagle’s nest. It must have learned to fly, gotten into the nest and committed suicide.”
3. Gross, large amounts of blood were shown to be visible to Amanda at the cottage that morning. In reality, there were two or three individual drops in various places, not running splashes.

I could go on and on, but I ran out of paper and energy after the first few scenes. This movie was simply propaganda for the prosecutor, witting or unwitting. I’m reminded of the joke of the scientists that did an experiment on a frog. They trained him to jump on command. They would yell “Jump!” and he would leap. Then, they cut off his legs. They yelled “Jump!” and he just sat there. They came to the conclusion that when you cut off a frog’s legs, he goes deaf. That’s the kind of logic that has Amanda and Raffaele in prison. And this is the kind of logic Dornhelm used and defended.

If the movie was a sad commentary on the commercialism of media, the documentary following the movie was a tragedy. The producers of the documentary had enough information to know that Amanda and Raffaele were innocent. I know; I was in the documentary, and I gave them the information. Whoever edited the film, edited out exculpatory evidence. Period. I personally gave them photos and physical evidence which answered every question. Every single question left unanswered in the viewers’ mind in that documentary was previously answered for the producers. I am not alleging necessarily that the people who made most of the documentary made the “final edit” decisions, but somebody made them. Everybody I spoke with having anything to do with that documentary was convinced of Amanda’s innocence. Yet, the finished documentary left the question unanswered and in doubt.

The tactics used in the documentary were unconscionable. For instance, a statement was made by Barbie Nadeau, a food critic-turned crime-writer for this trial: "No fingerprints were found of Amanda, but several unidentified fingerprints were said by the prosecutors to be hers." This incredibly prejudicial statement was left unchallenged. If they were unidentified, they cannot in any court in the world be presumed to be anybody's! But not only was this incredibly malicious statement aired, it was aired without comment or rebuttal! It was if she said, "The witness didn't see the murderer. But she believes it was the defendant."

Unidentified fingerprints, by the way, or not the same as UNIDENTIFIABLE fingerprints. Unidentifiable fingerprints are smudged or unreadable and cannot be linked to anybody. Unidentified fingerprints are fingerprints where an accurate lift has been made. If they are not demonstrably linked to Amanda, it is because they were not a match for her. Period.

I cannot tell you why they chose not to air information that would so obviously have cleared Amanda and Raffaele, except to point out that “Lifetime,” who made a movie which did not show Amanda and Raffaele’s innocence, would not likely be well-served by a documentary following, which did.

Showing a movie which is simply a shill for the prosecution during Amanda’s appeal was conscienceless and a sad commentary on the commercialism of media and the avarice of individuals. But I’m sure Mr. Dornhelm can still live with himself. Why else do you think they serve alcohol at film premiers?

About the Author: Steve Moore is a retired FBI Agent who has 25 years of investigative experience. His experience includes the investigation and prosecution of violent crime, from murder to mass-murder and terrorism. Steve has researched the Meredith Kercher murder case extensively. I was very pleased when Steve accepted my request to write about his knowledge of this case for Injustice in Perugia. Steve has agreed to join our effort and will continue to work with us to set the record straight about this case. I would like to personally thank Steve for providing this invaluable information. Steve's expert opinion is one that comes from years of experience and one that must be respected when it comes to crimes of this nature. 

Steve's expert opinion can also be read in my new book, Injustice in Perugia
Available now at Amazon.com.


Anonymous said...

"at the actual crime scene, almost all the glass was found UNDER the clothes"
Sorry, but this is nonsense. According to all the eye witnesses including Filomena Romanelli (whose room it was) and the police who were first on the scene (and who were actually there, unlike Steve Moore), there was glass on top of a pile of clothes and there was glass was on top of her computer. The notion that the room was already in a mess when the "break-in" took place as suggested by Steve Moore is guess work, but more importantly it would mean that Filomena was lying. Why on earth would she do this, when it would mean incriminating her friend?

Anonymous said...

Steve Moore has all the information on the case. I think I'll believe an experienced investigator over a roommate who was saying random things all over the place. She got a lawyer fast enough but didn't seem inclined to help Amanda do the same.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't know why she would do that? But Filomena is to have said she was allowed to take her computer out of the flatt the day in question. So as to weather there is glass on top or under can't be quite right, can it. Why did the police say there were bloody foot prints when there were not? Why did Stephnapoi change the parameters of the DNA machine for one item and not all items? A base line is necessary! Why did the police not have a audio or visual recording when italian law requirers one? Why did the supreme court say the interrogation of Amanda Knox was illegal but Italy continues to use that interrogation as evidence? Why has none of the interrogation of Rudy Guede been publicized or allowed and when did Rudy Guede retain a lawyer and how? Was he there when he got off the train? By who's recommendation? Why did Patric Lumbuia attorney end up as second seat for the prosecution, and who's paying her? Why is a bo-dunk lawyer who instigated this entire affair and broke numerous written Italian laws sitting in the court at this time as a litigator of the law? I could go on, but Why is Amanda Knox in jail? Because the Regime says so!

Anonymous said...

I guess a movie about a small time drug dealer and petty thief breaking into the house and killing Meredith and then fleeing the country,which is of course what really happened,wouldn't be a movie anyone would want to watch.There is still no explanation after three years of how Amanda and Raffaele met Guede that night or how three people could all be guilty of the same murder when there is only one fatal stab wound.The idea that the break in was staged is ludicrous.Why would Amanda and Raffaele stage a crime that looks just like Guede's previous burglaries.As Paul Ciolino said,"The idea that this crime was committed by a group masterminded by Knox is self evidently ridiculous but they love conspiracies in Italy.The more bizarre and silly the better they like them." Fortunately it doesn't sound like the new judge believes in this garbage.How could anybody after reading the Massei report which is filled with absurd and preposterous nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Vince the question arose that is really pertinent. If there were large amounts of blood, why did the postal workers not immediately call it in and vacate the scene. Reason, it wasn't that alarming. Secondly, why if Raffaele is trying to cover something up he wouldn't one not allow the postals in and two not report blood. Shes not here is a simple answer to the postal police. No, though there is mystery around the events there is not intent to cover up or evidence of involvement. Thats why the police made up the evidence and have gone to such lengths to cover up their own mistakes in doing so. The prosecutor wanted to control the outcome but it went viral.

Joni Martin- Iowa said...

I just wanted to state that I watched this movie. While watching it I did NOT for one second assume that all facts were 100% correct because lets face it, it's a movie. In reguard to facts like the glass and blood, I assumed it was the proscution/poice POV. When the credits rolled on this movie I felt strongly that Amanda Knox was innocent. And I was moved enough to start researching on the internet. Now, only 24 hours later I am CONVINCED she is innocent. If this movie is not all accurate, I understand the frustration of people who know the real evidence, but if it gets people interested enought to go online and read, then isn't it doing something possitive anyway?? That is just my opinion of course.

Michelle Moore said...

I think that ultimately this movie (I haven't watched it however) (or the documentary), will end up HELPING Amanda and Rafaelle because, regardless, it's stirring up public interest. Normal people will figure it out pretty darned quick. I thought they were going to take out the murder scene, and I considered watching it, but found out there were still disturbing pictures of Meredith in it. I DO think this was wrong... I still feel sad about it, however, I know that Amanda and Rafaelle are innocent.