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Tags Amanda Knox , Giuliano Mignini , Meredith Kercher , murder cases , Raffaele Sollecito

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Old 26th April 2010, 09:47 AM   #8361
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Poor Bulwer-Lytton, always getting lampooned.

I can see that an overcast and moonless night would make it harder to find a stick in woods, but it's not impossible.
But given that we don't know either way if there was a stick involved at all...
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Old 26th April 2010, 09:54 AM   #8362
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Originally Posted by Moss View Post
Poor Bulwer-Lytton, always getting lampooned.

I can see that an overcast and moonless night would make it harder to find a stick in woods, but it's not impossible.
But given that we don't know either way if there was a stick involved at all...
We know there was no stick at the crime scene. We know there was no evidence of any stick being used for the break-in. We know that fetching any stick would would have been difficult and a huge amount of trouble to go to just to on top of everything else, to break into a house of two students and two office juniors where there was very little value and a lot of risk (wouldn't a thief supposedly so brazen, industrious, determined and hard working as this be be off breaking into properties with richer pickings?). And then it all becomes rather ridiculous when one considers there was a window he could have gotten in through very easily without having to put in any of this massive effort or risk (the kitchen) all topped off by the fact that all the evidence at the crimes scene shows clearly that no intruder entered the cottage via Filomena's window (also combined with the fact that the evidence also indicates burglary was not the intent of anyone that night).
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Old 26th April 2010, 10:11 AM   #8363
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Originally Posted by Kermit View Post
.
1) If you're new, what you're missing is that there is (disputed) DNA evidence which links both Amanda and Raffaele to the crime, there are witnesses who link them to the crime, there is other circumstantial evidence which links them to the crime .... and they still don't have alibis which coincide as to their whereabouts on the night of the crime. We had a rather long debate here, which petered out once it was underlined that in addition to stating to police prior to his arrest that Amanda wasn't in his apartment between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of the crime, Raffaele's most recent pronouncement concerning their alibis was to the supreme court in early 2008 when he stated that it was erroneous to believe that they were together that evening. So the alibis are just another layer of inconsistency in Amanda's legal posture.


2) As for "Libby" Johnson's document, some noise was made here some time back by the pro-Amanda crowd, that Dr. Stefanoni's analysis could be tainted by a pre-existing belief in the guilt of Amanda and Raffaele. While I don't believe that, the pro-Amanda crowd should apply a similar posture to Johnson's paper. Here is a DNA scientist whom FOA and The Entourage want to paint as independent, however, Johnson doesn't limit herself to merely and coldly analysing peaks and noise, but includes in her report as fact debatable statements such as:

-"Her body was found the next day when her housemate, Amanda Knox, called police after noticing blood in their common bathroom, a broken window, and Meredith’s locked door. Before the police arrived, Amanda’s Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, unsuccessfully attempted to force open Meredith’s door." (evidence contrasts with this version of the suspects)

- "Police initially theorized that Amanda, Raffaele and Amanda’s boss, Patrick Lumumba, were involved with Meredith in a group sex tryst gone awry." (Knox is the one who fingered Patrick, not the police)

- "a drifter named Rudy Guede" (at the time of the crime, Rudy was living in the city that he had grown up in)

- "Although Rudy Guede has been tried and convicted of Meredith’s murder, the prosecution continues to believe that Amanda and Raffaele are complicit in this crime" (this is classic FOA spin. In fact, Amanda, Rudy and Raffaele were all tried on the basis of the same body of evidence which resulted from the same and only investigation. The only difference is that Rudy chose the fast-track trial)

Poster Hilades has claimed to have contacts sufficiently close to the action to be able to state that Johnson was "working pro bono". We have merely asked him to complete / extend his sentence and say for whom. The person, persons or group who engaged or commissioned Johnson could be part of the explanation for the totally non-scientific and very partial preamble to her document.


3) I think that Bob is merely trying to evoke a consistent response, as sometimes it seems that the pro-Amanda crowd say that the bra clasp DNA comes from crime-scene contamination (pe. household dust, fingerprints on door), sometimes from lab contamination (pe. not following "Libby" Johnson's best practises), sometimes from Amanda and Meredith swapping bras, sometimes from Raffaele kindly helping out by hanging the laundry .... but never from Raffaele touching the item on the night / morning after the crime.
Thanks for replying and yes I am new to JREF - followed the posts for awhile but have not posted myself.

The framing of Bob's question is my issue as it is not A and R's job to prove they were somewhere else. Of course it would help their case if they could.

So the physical evidence, recognizing it is disputed, of them being at the crime scene is:
  1. Double DNA Knife
  2. Bra Clasp
  3. Footprints
anything else?

Then you have the:
  1. conflicting alibis
  2. A and K statements
  3. staged break-in
  4. witnesses
anything else?

The Libby Open letter seems like it was clearly asked for by someone sympathetic to Amanda's cause for the reasons you cite. That does not make the science necessarily wrong but it should be read with such recognition. It would be more "open" if the letter provided such background. My day job is writing "independent" reports and we always state the purpose and limitations of our work.

I don't claim to be any DNA expert so have nothing to contribute to that debate but I would think it is obvious that a "possible" way for someone's DNA to get on an object is through direct contact. I don't agree with a line of reasoning that unless you can prove contamination did happen and how, it did not happen. Rather I see it that the prosecution needs to show appropriate procedures were made to make the risk of contamination negligible and thus the evidence reliable.
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Old 26th April 2010, 10:32 AM   #8364
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Originally Posted by Juror
The framing of Bob's question is my issue as it is not A and R's job to prove they were somewhere else. Of course it would help their case if they could.
Well, it is when evidence has been presented against them that shows they were at the cottage. Of course they don't 'have' to, but if they don't, few can really complain if they are then found guilty.

Originally Posted by Juror
So the physical evidence, recognizing it is disputed, of them being at the crime scene is:
Double DNA Knife
Bra Clasp
Footprints
anything else?
4. Amanda's blood in the bathroom
5. Meredith's blood mixed with Amanda's DNA at several points in the cottage
6. Meredith's physical injuries that show she was assaulted by multiple people
7. Amanda's lamp in Meredith's room

Originally Posted by Juror
Then you have the:
conflicting alibis
A and K statements
staged break-in
witnesses
anything else?
5. Multiple lies
6. Explanations of scenarios which are not compatible with the known facts or logic
7. Their highly questionable behaviour in the days following the murder
8. Falsely accusing an innocent man

and:

1 a: Not only conflicting alibis, but alibis that do not match the known facts (ie: lies)

You don't have to prove contamination 'did' happen, but you should have to prove there is good reason to believe something 'was' contaminated, that it is highly plausible. After all, otherwise, DNA couldn't be used in 'any' trial, since contamination is always 'possible'. Possible alone isn't good enough. A plausible source for the contamination needs to be offered.
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Old 26th April 2010, 10:35 AM   #8365
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Originally Posted by Juror View Post
The framing of Bob's question is my issue as it is not A and R's job to prove they were somewhere else. Of course it would help their case if they could.
I disagree with you here... It is Amanda's and Raffaele's job to prove they were somewhere else. There is evidence that places them at the crime scene,

In such a case you better hope tor have a real good alibi, with preferably a couple of witnesses that will vouch for you being somewhere else at time of the murder scene. Or (for A and R) stories that match to a large extend.
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Old 26th April 2010, 11:31 AM   #8366
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Originally Posted by Dan O. View Post
Looking at the evidence in front of us and not going into fairy tails about how the evidence could have been faked, there is a shutter to be opened if it wasn't open already. In the case of the shutter being closed, the burglar could climb up to the window and open the shutter or fetch a handy long stick to open it from the ground. In the case where the burglar chooses to us the stick, the stick can either be left on the ground, tossed away like a javelin or put somewhere where it would not look out of place. Since we haven't heard any stories of blind inspectors tripping over a carelessly dropped stick we can presume that the stick was either tossed away or put back where it wouldn't be noticed as out of the ordinary (and apparently not noticed at all). The case of putting the stick back where it came from just happens to be on the way to where there are a number of suitable rocks for tossing through the window so it would not be out of the way and would be the logical place to leave the stick so as not to have to carry both stick and rock at the same time.
So he threw away the stick so the burglary won't be noticed? Shame he didn't have time to get rid of the rock and replace the window pane.
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Old 26th April 2010, 11:34 AM   #8367
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
And then he used his knife to hack the little branches off of his stick to form a tool.
Then he looks around and sees a large black rock shaped like a rectangle.

Oops, sorry wrong movie.
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Old 26th April 2010, 11:55 AM   #8368
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Then he looks around and sees a large black rock shaped like a rectangle.

Oops, sorry wrong movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML1OZ...eature=related



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Old 26th April 2010, 12:04 PM   #8369
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
Well, it is when evidence has been presented against them that shows they were at the cottage. Of course they don't 'have' to, but if they don't, few can really complain if they are then found guilty.



4. Amanda's blood in the bathroom
5. Meredith's blood mixed with Amanda's DNA at several points in the cottage
6. Meredith's physical injuries that show she was assaulted by multiple people
7. Amanda's lamp in Meredith's room



5. Multiple lies
6. Explanations of scenarios which are not compatible with the known facts or logic
7. Their highly questionable behaviour in the days following the murder
8. Falsely accusing an innocent man

and:

1 a: Not only conflicting alibis, but alibis that do not match the known facts (ie: lies)

You don't have to prove contamination 'did' happen, but you should have to prove there is good reason to believe something 'was' contaminated, that it is highly plausible. After all, otherwise, DNA couldn't be used in 'any' trial, since contamination is always 'possible'. Possible alone isn't good enough. A plausible source for the contamination needs to be offered.

9. The crucial thing for me: All the evidence listed above, combined with the staging of the scene, fits in a totale plausible scenario, which involves all three convicted, whereas the scenario that only involves Rudi doesn`t make sense.
Even if you assume, that some critical pieces of evidence (for example double DNA knife, bra clasp) are flawed and all the Italian investigators/scientists being incopetent, there`s still no credible theory, that Rudi did it alone, if u take the remaining evidence into account.

LiamG.
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:25 PM   #8370
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
Yes the chimps reaction to the rock seems similar to some peoples reaction to evidence.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:36 PM   #8371
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Originally Posted by Dan O. View Post
http://www.merrymaidsclean.com/services/faq.php#6
Q. Do you bring your own cleaning supplies, chemicals and equipment?
A. Yes, we bring everything we need to clean your home. You don't have to provide a thing.
http://www.mollymaid.com/faqs.aspx
DO I PROVIDE CLEANING SUPPLIES OR EQUIPMENT?
No. Every Molly Maid cleaning service crew comes prepared with all the cleaning supplies necessary. However, because Molly Maid is flexible, if requested and provided, we are happy to clean with your preferred products.
http://www.maids.com/aspx/cleaning-service.aspx#five
Do I need to provide my own house cleaning products?
The Maids Home Services will always arrive at your home in one of our yellow company cars with our own cleaning products and equipment. All of our products are environmentally-preferable and are safe for small children and pets. Visit our Healthy Touch® page for more information about the products our cleaning service team members will use in your home.
How about a maid service that actually operates in Italy? Any evidence that Raffaele used a maid service to employ either of the cleaning ladies? A few more questions asked of the second cleaning lady should clear this up, hopefully she will be recalled during the appeal.
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:41 PM   #8372
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
3) Actually, how it got there is answerable. He handled the bra clasp. This answer can be given because it is skin cells. Shed surface cells (the kind that can be transferred by a third party for example) are dead and therefore keretinised and so do not contain DNA profiles. Live skin cells, just under the surface contain full profiles and they only come off via direct and vigorous contact with an object (friction, or scraping). Therefore, he directly handled the bra clasp.
I think you are mistaken here. In fact, I made a similar mistake when I first read the report.

It isn't that the cells on the bra clasp could only have gotten there by direct contact by the person concerned; it's just that, however they got there, there had to be a certain amount of friction or pressure for them to have been transferred. But that certainly doesn't rule out secondary contamination. They could also have been transferred there by contact with something else that Raffaele had handled in that kind of a way (rubbing, friction etc).

For example, let's say that DNA from Meredith, Amanda and Raffaele was on the hand towels Rudy took from the bathroom (highly probable, since they'd all used the bathroom in the days before the murder). Drying your hands on a hand towel is exactly the kind of rubbing action that would shed DNA. If Rudy had trodden on one of the towels, then trodden on the bra clasp (one of the hooks was deformed, of course) that could have transferred DNA from the towels to the hook, with no direct contact from Raffaele necessary. In turn, Raffaele's DNA was more easily identified because they could use the more sensitive tests for the Y chromosome, whereas the other DNA would have been mixed female and thus tricky to correctly identify.

So no, I don't think it is actually necessary that Raffaele handled the bra clasp for his DNA to have been transferred there (although as I said, I did originally think that was what the report was suggesting).

Last edited by katy_did; 26th April 2010 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:50 PM   #8373
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*posted too fast, sorry*

Last edited by LiamG.; 26th April 2010 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:54 PM   #8374
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Originally Posted by Amazer View Post
I disagree with you here... It is Amanda's and Raffaele's job to prove they were somewhere else. There is evidence that places them at the crime scene,

In such a case you better hope tor have a real good alibi, with preferably a couple of witnesses that will vouch for you being somewhere else at time of the murder scene. Or (for A and R) stories that match to a large extend.
We may agree - just coming at it from different perspectives.

I see what matters for a conviction is the evidence that proves they are at the crime scene - not the lack of a credible alibi.
  1. Conclusive evidence and no alibi - guilty.
  2. Inconclusive evidence and no alibi - not guilty
  3. Inconclusive evidence and alibi - not guilty
  4. Conclusive evidence and credible alibi - can't have both

Agree?

Fulcanelli - thanks for expanding my list. Helps frame my perspective and summarize the issues.
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:03 PM   #8375
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katy_did -

How would Rudy have stood on the towels if he was putting them to Meredith's neck (if you believe his version of events in the first place)? How is it that it isn't Amanda's DNA on the clasp that has a higher reading then Raffaele's since they were her's and Meredith's towels?

Also, the method you are suggesting may at BEST and that's stretching things, have resulted in a very low LCN profile of Raffaele on the clasp, but it wasn't. Also, skin cells are not crazy glue, they don't just stick onto any smooth flat surface that touches them when the are embedded in material.

Moreover, Rudy couldn't step on the clasp after getting the towels since the clasp was under the pillow which in turn was under Meredith. Finally, none of Raffaele's DNA was found in any of Rudy's footprints as we'd expect to find were he 'covered' in Raffaele's DNA.

Back to the drawing board with that one I think.
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:08 PM   #8376
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Burden of Proof

Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
You don't have to prove contamination 'did' happen, but you should have to prove there is good reason to believe something 'was' contaminated, that it is highly plausible. After all, otherwise, DNA couldn't be used in 'any' trial, since contamination is always 'possible'. Possible alone isn't good enough. A plausible source for the contamination needs to be offered.
I agree stating that simply stating contamination is possible is not grounds for dismissing the DNA evidence.

I disagree the defense needs to prove there is "good" reason to believe something was contaminated and that such is "highly" plausible. This seems like a shift in the burden of proof to me. The prosecution needs to show proper procedures were followed so the risk of contamination was negligible.

Last edited by Juror; 26th April 2010 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Expanded thought
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:24 PM   #8377
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Originally Posted by Juror View Post
I agree stating that simply stating contamination is possible is not grounds for dismissing the DNA evidence.

I disagree the defense needs to prove there is "good" reason to believe something was contaminated and that such is "highly" plausible. This seems like a shift in the burden of proof to me. The prosecution needs to show proper procedures were followed so the risk of contamination was negligible.
Well, I think they've done that.
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:28 PM   #8378
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Originally Posted by Juror View Post
I disagree the defense needs to prove there is "good" reason to believe something was contaminated and that such is "highly" plausible. This seems like a shift in the burden of proof to me.
I don't think it's about a shift in the burden of proof, but rather establishing reasonable doubt. If RS's defense could establish that it is "highly plausible" that there was contamination, a jury might see that as reasonable doubt of his guilt.

The problem is that they haven't even tried (as far as I know) to match the unknown DNA on bra clasp with anyone involved with the collection or testing of it.
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:29 PM   #8379
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Originally Posted by Juror
I see what matters for a conviction is the evidence that proves they are at the crime scene - not the lack of a credible alibi.
Conclusive evidence and no alibi - guilty.
Inconclusive evidence and no alibi - not guilty
Inconclusive evidence and alibi - not guilty
Conclusive evidence and credible alibi - can't have both

Agree?
Well, that all depends on what you define as 'conclusive evidence', doesn't it? It is understood subjectively. For example, would you call the evidence that convicted Scott Peterson and put him on death row 'conclusive'?
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:35 PM   #8380
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It is like ping-pong. the burden of proof does shift and so it should. You make a claim and that claim is answered: the ball is now over the net and you have to play it back. Playing it back means you need to evidence your refutaton: it is not enough to assert it

Not sure if that helps but it makes sense to me
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:47 PM   #8381
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Originally Posted by Dan O. View Post
Nobody was claiming that a stick was used to open the shutters. But Fulcanelli replied with a definite claim: "no such tool of any kind was found at the crime scene". Seeing that there was indeed a sufficiently long stick there at the crime scene at the time and in plain sight, was Fulcanelli lying about what Massei said? (The google translation of page 36 mentions "The non-discovery of suitable means to achieve such opening" which could mean that the specific tool was not identified not that no tool was present). Or is Massei lying about what the prosecutor said? Or did the prosecutor lie about what the inspector reported? Or did the inspector fabricate a story about searching for sticks because that was what he was supposed to be doing. All we know is that someone in this chain is lying.

Skeptics may want to investigate this further. Guilters will want to dismiss it because no result that it leads to can support their cause.
So investigate it. Provide evidence that someone in this chain is lying.

Easier still, provide evidence that the defence teams called any of these three liars in court, and include the data they provided to establish the claim.

Otherwise it is only you who is being deceptive.
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Old 26th April 2010, 01:55 PM   #8382
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
Well, that all depends on what you define as 'conclusive evidence', doesn't it? It is understood subjectively. For example, would you call the evidence that convicted Scott Peterson and put him on death row 'conclusive'?
Thus my question for the distinct list of evidence placing them at the crime scene which I appreciate you providing. I want to understand for myself the extent of the evidence against them and part of that process is having a distinct list to consider.

I did not follow Peterson case much.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:03 PM   #8383
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Originally Posted by Amazer View Post
I'm fairly certain that the sound of breaking glass would have made it abundantly clear to any residents who were present in the house that something was up. Stick or rock makes little difference.
You're arguing with the same Dan O who postulated that the rock was thrown through the window to see whether anyone was home. I can't find that scenario but he could surely find it. I believe his theory was that RG was already in the house, having knocked on the window (using a rock from a distance of a couple metres), when Meredith came home.

I did find one of his theories where RG brought a ladder with him:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1&postcount=52.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:07 PM   #8384
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Originally Posted by Juror View Post
Thus my question for the distinct list of evidence placing them at the crime scene which I appreciate you providing. I want to understand for myself the extent of the evidence against them and part of that process is having a distinct list to consider.

I did not follow Peterson case much.
It's not the job of other posters here to do your work for you if you're unfamiliar with the case.

A good place to start would be to read the transcripts of AK's own testimony in court. They are asking her specific questions pertaining to her whereabouts on the evening of 01 NOV 2007. The next thing to consider is the Micheli Report. After that, you might want to start reading this thread from the beginning and each of its links.

Fulcanelli already provided you with a thumbnail of what to look for, including items that may be used as search words here or at the PMF.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:09 PM   #8385
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
How would Rudy have stood on the towels if he was putting them to Meredith's neck (if you believe his version of events in the first place)? How is it that it isn't Amanda's DNA on the clasp that has a higher reading then Raffaele's since they were her's and Meredith's towels?
As regards your first point, Rudy could easily have trodden on one of the towels in the process of mopping up the blood. He says he fetched at least two, maybe three towels on separate visits to the bathroom. Presumably, the blood-soaked towel(s) he wasn't using would just have been lying on the floor. As for your second point, the area of the towel stepped on by Guede may simply have been an area which contained a higher reading of Raffaele's DNA, an area he had directly come into contact with. I don't see that as particularly unlikely, given that he had probably used the bathroom the day of the murder. Incidentally, do we have a figure for the level of the other DNA that was found on the clasp?

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Also, the method you are suggesting may at BEST and that's stretching things, have resulted in a very low LCN profile of Raffaele on the clasp, but it wasn't. Also, skin cells are not crazy glue, they don't just stick onto any smooth flat surface that touches them when the are embedded in material.
Raffaele's DNA was only just over LCN levels, in fact (the report talks about ratios; one defence expert claimed the ratio was 8:1, which would have been LCN, while Stefanoni said it was 6:1, which wasn't. The issue certainly isn't clear-cut). But regardless, I don't think anyone has suggested that secondary transfer can only occur at LCN levels, have they? A hand towel would have an 'abundant amount' of DNA on it, after all.

The report also devotes a section to the possibility that the DNA was transferred there by someone stepping on the rug that at one stage covered the clasp. While the judge rules this out for various reasons, I don't recall the impossibility of DNA being transferred this way being one of them. That would suggest this sort of transfer is, indeed, a possibility.

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Moreover, Rudy couldn't step on the clasp after getting the towels since the clasp was under the pillow which in turn was under Meredith. Finally, none of Raffaele's DNA was found in any of Rudy's footprints as we'd expect to find were he 'covered' in Raffaele's DNA.

Back to the drawing board with that one I think.
Ah, the clasp was under the pillow when Meredith was found. But where was it when the attack happened? There were traces of blood on it, which would indicate it wasn't covered before the wounds were made. We know Meredith was probably on her side, near the wardrobe just after the attack happened. That's where she probably was when Rudy went into the bathroom, assuming that happened shortly after the attack. There is nothing to suggest the clasp was under the pillow when Rudy was messing around with the towels.

That DNA from Raffaele and the others was found on the clasp, but not in Rudy's footprints may be due to the shape of the clasp, the fact that it's quite sharp and raised, while the footprints were made on a flat surface. Hence, the level of friction achieved from stepping on the clasp would be greater than stepping on the smooth tiles, making DNA transfer more likely.

And there is another possibility there too, of course: the fact the clasp was left lying for 46 days on the same floor where the towels had been left. I would say the towels are certainly the highest contamination risk of anything we've seen so far. If one of the police officers had grabbed a towel from the bathroom and put it on the floor near Meredith's body, what impact would that have on the bra clasp evidence? I think it would throw it into very serious doubt. And yet, this is exactly what Rudy says he did...

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Old 26th April 2010, 02:11 PM   #8386
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It was nowhere near LCN levels
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:15 PM   #8387
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Incidentally, the forensic police did manage to test towels from Rudy and Raffaele's apartments. On the towels from Rudy's apartment, his DNA was found. On the towels in Raffaele's flat, his and Amanda's mixed DNA was found. I wonder what they would have found if they tested the towels in Meredith's room?
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:20 PM   #8388
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
It was nowhere near LCN levels
Oh well if you say so, I shall disregard the discussion on the subject in the report.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:26 PM   #8389
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
And there is another possibility there too, of course: the fact the clasp was left lying for 46 days on the same floor where the towels had been left. I would say the towels are certainly the highest contamination risk of anything we've seen so far.
Is there evidence that Raffaele used any of the towels in the apartment? Consider the fact that Amanda met him on October 25 and the murder happened only 7 days later.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:35 PM   #8390
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It is likely that he did since he presumably used the toilet and washed his hands, I think? Not that I have evidence to that effect but it seems likely
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:36 PM   #8391
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
Oh well if you say so, I shall disregard the discussion on the subject in the report.
1.4 ng is not near lcn levels: that is what was stated in court. If that figure has been revised in the report by all means share
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:37 PM   #8392
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Originally Posted by Katy_did
As regards your first point, Rudy could easily have trodden on one of the towels in the process of mopping up the blood. He says he fetched at least two, maybe three towels on separate visits to the bathroom. Presumably, the blood-soaked towel(s) he wasn't using would just have been lying on the floor. As for your second point, the area of the towel stepped on by Guede may simply have been an area which contained a higher reading of Raffaele's DNA, an area he had directly come into contact with. I don't see that as particularly unlikely, given that he had probably used the bathroom the day of the murder. Incidentally, do we have a figure for the level of the other DNA that was found on the clasp?
How could Rudy have trodden on the towels if they were in his hand? And when he went to fetch another, the discarded one would have been somewhere near Meredith's head and he'd have been walking in completely the opposite direction...or it would have been cast to the side and so out of his path. Morevoer, if he'd stood on blood soaked towels, how come he didn't leave footprints heading to the bath room when he went to fetch another? Why wasn't the bra clasp completely saturated in Meredith's blood if Rudy had stepped on it after stepping on the bloody towel?

Why would the 'special' area of the towel stepped on contain a higher reading of Raffaele's DNA when when Amanda would have used the towel far more often then Raffaele?


Originally Posted by Katy_Did
Raffaele's DNA was only just over LCN levels, in fact (the report talks about ratios; one defence expert claimed the ratio was 8:1, which would have been LCN, while Stefanoni said it was 6:1, which wasn't. The issue certainly isn't clear-cut). But regardless, I don't think anyone has suggested that secondary transfer can only occur at LCN levels, have they? A hand towel would have an 'abundant amount' of DNA on it, after all.
On the contary, Raffaele's DNA was 'well' above LCN levels. LCN level is below 200 pg, Raffaele's levels were 1400 pg.

A hand towel would also have an abundant amount of Amanda's DNA on it, far more then that of Raffaele and yet, at best, there is only a partial profile from her on the clasp...it should be the other way around.

You've also yet to explain how none of Raffaele's DNA is in Rudy's footprints as we'd expect to find had he got Raffaele's DNA on the sole of his foot from stepping on the towel.

Originally Posted by Katy_Did
The report also devotes a section to the possibility that the DNA was transferred there by someone stepping on the rug that at one stage covered the clasp. While the judge rules this out for various reasons, I don't recall the impossibility of DNA being transferred this way being one of them. That would suggest this sort of transfer is, indeed, a possibility.
He rules it out for GOOD reasons.

Originally Posted by Katy_Did
Ah, the clasp was under the pillow when Meredith was found. But where was it when the attack happened? There were traces of blood on it, which would indicate it wasn't covered before the wounds were made. We know Meredith was probably on her side, near the wardrobe just after the attack happened. That's where she probably was when Rudy went into the bathroom, assuming that happened shortly after the attack. There is nothing to suggest the clasp was under the pillow when Rudy was messing around with the towels.
Except the clasp was under the pillow. 'If' Meredith was on her side, then she moved on top of the pillow. Moreover, the blood on Rudy's hands probably first got there during the actual attack and therefore could have been put on the pillow before he even went to get towels and Meredith could have been on top of it by then. These are 'probablys', but they are supported by the evidence which is the fact that there are only a couple of tiny specks of blood on the clasp. This indicates it was sheltered (by being under the pillow) from a very early point in the attack, very soon after it was removed...and indicates it wasn't stepped on.

Originally Posted by Katy_Did
And there is another possibility there too, of course: the fact the clasp was left lying for 46 days on the same floor where the towels had been left. I would say the towels are certainly the highest contamination risk of anything we've seen so far. If one of the police officers had grabbed a towel from the bathroom and put it on the floor near Meredith's body, what impact would that have on the bra clasp evidence? I think it would throw it into very serious doubt. And yet, this is exactly what Rudy says he did...
I don't see what impact they'd have had. They would have been dry very quickly and also not causing friction, neither of the requirements for for DNA transference. And even were it so, we'd still expect to see more of Amanda's DNA on the clasp rather then Raffaele's.

You are also overlooking something else. None of Rudy's DNA is on the clasp either. Wouldn't his DNA also have been all over the towels?
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:38 PM   #8393
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Is there evidence that Raffaele used any of the towels in the apartment? Consider the fact that Amanda met him on October 25 and the murder happened only 7 days later.
None. It's conjecture.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:41 PM   #8394
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
I think you are mistaken here. In fact, I made a similar mistake when I first read the report.

It isn't that the cells on the bra clasp could only have gotten there by direct contact by the person concerned; it's just that, however they got there, there had to be a certain amount of friction or pressure for them to have been transferred. But that certainly doesn't rule out secondary contamination. They could also have been transferred there by contact with something else that Raffaele had handled in that kind of a way (rubbing, friction etc).

For example, let's say that DNA from Meredith, Amanda and Raffaele was on the hand towels Rudy took from the bathroom (highly probable, since they'd all used the bathroom in the days before the murder). Drying your hands on a hand towel is exactly the kind of rubbing action that would shed DNA. If Rudy had trodden on one of the towels, then trodden on the bra clasp (one of the hooks was deformed, of course) that could have transferred DNA from the towels to the hook, with no direct contact from Raffaele necessary. In turn, Raffaele's DNA was more easily identified because they could use the more sensitive tests for the Y chromosome, whereas the other DNA would have been mixed female and thus tricky to correctly identify.

So no, I don't think it is actually necessary that Raffaele handled the bra clasp for his DNA to have been transferred there (although as I said, I did originally think that was what the report was suggesting).

That sounds like tertiary transfer, if I am understanding you correctly. Are there any peer reviewed studies showing tertiary transfer? The only thing I am aware of is Johnson's evidence in the Greineder case: did she publish ? I cannot find the study if she did. Have her findings been replicated? The latest discussion I found (linked upthread somewhere) was 2009 IIRC: is there later stuff I missed?

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Old 26th April 2010, 02:44 PM   #8395
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
1.4 ng is not near lcn levels: that is what was stated in court. If that figure has been revised in the report by all means share
The report talks about the total amount of DNA found on the clasp, and then I think discusses the amount of Raffaele's DNA found in terms of ratios (hence, the defence expert saying it was a ratio of 8:1, Stefanoni 6:1. The former would be LCN range, the latter isn't). From that I'm assuming they can only estimate the amount of RS's DNA, since obviously if they had an exact figure there would have been no discussion about it. The figure you mention may be the total amount found, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

In any case, I'm not sure the question of whether it was LCN is hugely relevant, unless contamination only occurs at those levels. My point was only that it isn't clear-cut.
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Old 26th April 2010, 02:48 PM   #8396
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
That sounds like tertiary transfer, if I am understanding you correctly. Are there any peer reviewed studies showing tertiary transfer? The only thing I am aware of is Johnson's evidence in the Greineder case: did she publish ? I cannot find the study if she did. Have her findings been replicated? The latest discussion I found (linked upthread somewhere) was 2009 IIRC: is there later stuff I missed?
I'll have to hand you over to Halides to discuss peer-reviewed studies, when he's around, as I'm not familiar with them myself.

Are you suggesting this sort of transfer is impossible? The judge discusses just such a transfer in relation to the rug which covered the bra clasp for a time, and considers the possibility that someone stepped on it and transferred Raffaele's DNA that way. From memory, the reason he dismisses it is because the hook was not visibly more deformed when it was collected than when it was found, so unlikely to have been stepped on, and that there is no reason for Raffaele's DNA to have been on the rug anyway. Also that the DNA would have been 'dry' at that point, and hence less likely to have been transferred (not the case for the bath towels, of course). He doesn't say it would be impossible for the DNA to have arrived on the clasp that way.

But if you're saying it is impossible, and have a cite for that, then fair enough.

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Old 26th April 2010, 02:57 PM   #8397
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
The report talks about the total amount of DNA found on the clasp, and then I think discusses the amount of Raffaele's DNA found in terms of ratios (hence, the defence expert saying it was a ratio of 8:1, Stefanoni 6:1. The former would be LCN range, the latter isn't). From that I'm assuming they can only estimate the amount of RS's DNA, since obviously if they had an exact figure there would have been no discussion about it. The figure you mention may be the total amount found, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

In any case, I'm not sure the question of whether it was LCN is hugely relevant, unless contamination only occurs at those levels. My point was only that it isn't clear-cut.
You are claiming that 1.4 ng is the total amount of dna on the clasp? Well presumably you have read the motvations report and of course I have not yet. If that is what it says then so be it

ETA: having read your post again your inference if not valid. If the report actually states that 1.4 ng is the total amount of dna on the bra clasp you point stands. However the discussion of the ratio is not necessarily to do with that: the significance of the ratio is that it is quite odd for his dna to be on the clasp in such huge quantities relative to meredith's. That is what is telling and why it is discussed. Indeed I do not think you can be right because I have never seen it suggested that RS's dna was tested using lcn techniques; on the contrary it was specifically stated that the amount was abundant and certainly well over what is needed for standard testing

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Old 26th April 2010, 02:58 PM   #8398
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
I'll have to hand you over to Halides to discuss peer-reviewed studies, when he's around, as I'm not familiar with them myself.

Are you suggesting this sort of transfer is impossible? The judge discusses just such a transfer in relation to the rug which covered the bra clasp for a time, and considers the possibility that someone stepped on it and transferred Raffaele's DNA that way. From memory, the reason he dismisses it is because the hook was not visibly more deformed when it was collected than when it was found, so unlikely to have been stepped on, and that there is no reason for Raffaele's DNA to have been on the rug anyway. Also that the DNA would have been 'dry' at that point, and hence less likely to have been transferred (not the case for the bath towels, of course). He doesn't say it would be impossible for the DNA to have arrived on the clasp that way.

But if you're saying it is impossible, and have a cite for that, then fair enough.
Secondary transfer can happen: tertiary is what I am asking about. But it may be I have misunderstood your point
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Old 26th April 2010, 03:17 PM   #8399
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tertiary transfer

Tertiary transfer can occur.

http://www.bioforensics.com/ downloads/ BelfastDNAworkshop.ppt

I infer that one of the scientists was Marc Taylor. Sorry cannot stay today.
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Old 26th April 2010, 03:18 PM   #8400
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Originally Posted by Fulcanelli View Post
How could Rudy have trodden on the towels if they were in his hand? And when he went to fetch another, the discarded one would have been somewhere near Meredith's head and he'd have been walking in completely the opposite direction...or it would have been cast to the side and so out of his path. Morevoer, if he'd stood on blood soaked towels, how come he didn't leave footprints heading to the bath room when he went to fetch another? Why wasn't the bra clasp completely saturated in Meredith's blood if Rudy had stepped on it after stepping on the bloody towel?
The problem is that we don't know exactly what happened, or where the towels were; it's all just conjecture. So we can't rule out him treading on the towels. He very well could have. After all, he trod on the pillow, didn't he? If there's a possibility he trod on the towel and then on the clasp, there's a possibility of contamination.

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Why would the 'special' area of the towel stepped on contain a higher reading of Raffaele's DNA when when Amanda would have used the towel far more often then Raffaele?
Would she have? Bathroom towels are washed quite frequently, remember, usually weekly. She'd been seeing Raffaele for a week, and he'd visited the cottage at least 4 or 5 times (per Laura, though he probably visited at times she wasn't there, too). If anything in the bathroom would contain Raffaele's DNA (as well as the DNA from anybody else who'd used the bathroom in that time) we'd expect it to be the hand towels.

As to one area of the towel containing more of Raffaele's DNA, well, why not? It may just have been the area of the towel he used. It would be unlikely that DNA from everyone who'd used the bathroom that week would have been distributed equally across the towel and in exact proportion to the number of times they'd used the bathroom.

Incidentally, I asked before but do you know the level of DNA found from other people on the bra clasp? I'd assumed the amount of RS's DNA was a lot greater, and that was why they'd identified him, but it turns out they identified him because of his Y chromosome. That's why I'm now wondering about the DNA from the other people.
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On the contary, Raffaele's DNA was 'well' above LCN levels. LCN level is below 200 pg, Raffaele's levels were 1400 pg.
Hmm, I'm going to have to check that. I'm curious as to why, if they had an exact amount of Raffaele's DNA, they were arguing in court about ratios. Wouldn't that be a bit pointless if they knew exactly how much DNA had been found from him? I know there was some confusion about the *total* amount of DNA, and the amount of DNA from Raffaele. But as I said, I'll have to check that.

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A hand towel would also have an abundant amount of Amanda's DNA on it, far more then that of Raffaele and yet, at best, there is only a partial profile from her on the clasp...it should be the other way around.
I've probably addressed this already, but this isn't necessarily the case. Raffaele's DNA ''stood out' because they identified his Y chromosome. As I said, his DNA may just have been on that area of the towel.

And after all, if we're going to ask those sorts of questions, shouldn't we also be asking similar questions about why Amanda and Raffaele's DNA wasn't found anywhere else on Meredith's body or in the room, even though they're supposed to have participated in this bloody murder? That's also totally illogical. If the answer to those questions is 'it just happened that way', then that same answer should apply here.

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You've also yet to explain how none of Raffaele's DNA is in Rudy's footprints as we'd expect to find had he got Raffaele's DNA on the sole of his foot from stepping on the towel.
Yes, I did. It would have taken a degree of friction to transfer Raffaele and the other people's DNA to the bra clasp, as we know. Stepping on a sharp, raised metal bra clasp would have done it; stepping on a smooth flat tile probably wouldn't. They weren't even able to get a positive response to blood on some of the footprints, never mind DNA.

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He rules it out for GOOD reasons.
But not because it would have been impossible, which is the point.
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Except the clasp was under the pillow. 'If' Meredith was on her side, then she moved on top of the pillow. Moreover, the blood on Rudy's hands probably first got there during the actual attack and therefore could have been put on the pillow before he even went to get towels and Meredith could have been on top of it by then. These are 'probablys', but they are supported by the evidence which is the fact that there are only a couple of tiny specks of blood on the clasp. This indicates it was sheltered (by being under the pillow) from a very early point in the attack, very soon after it was removed...and indicates it wasn't stepped on.
But how can we possibly know any of this? Perhaps Rudy moved the pillow as he stepped on it, and we know the bra clasp was very close to the pillow. So we know Rudy was stepping with bloody shoes in the area where the bra clasp was found, and we don't know exactly when the clasp ended up under the pillow. Hence, the possibility he trod on it.

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I don't see what impact they'd have had. They would have been dry very quickly and also not causing friction, neither of the requirements for for DNA transference. And even were it so, we'd still expect to see more of Amanda's DNA on the clasp rather then Raffaele's.

You are also overlooking something else. None of Rudy's DNA is on the clasp either. Wouldn't his DNA also have been all over the towels?
I think the towels would have stayed wet longer than any of the blood stains on the floor. Just think about how damp a towel stays after you've been swimming, for example. It soaks up moisture. And wouldn't the mildew have occurred as a result of them being damp? (not sure about that, I'm just speculating).

Rudy's DNA would only have been on the towels if he'd rubbed his hands on them, not (necessarily) just from handling them.There's no indication he used them to dry his hands, which would certainly have left DNA on them. And of course, his DNA may indeed have been on areas of the towels, for all we know. Difficult to say, since they weren't tested.

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