These are the raw notes that I made whilst watching the Katie Couric interview with Raffaele Sollecito, aired on U.S. television yesterday. The downloading of that avi finished about 4:20 a.m. and I wrote up these notes until about 6:30 a.m. The second post [tomorrow] will fill in the gaps and will be as a result also of reading the reactions of people around the world.
There are many numbered references through the text which I need to get the links for but at 07:42 a.m. now, I need sleep so this will be scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and the links will have to wait for the second post tomorrow.
Here are the notes to this point. Apart from times referring to my note taking, the times below through the text refer to the point in the interview being written about. Hope that’s not as clear as mud:
The Knox and Sollecito case has parallels with almost any other politics going on today – a massive narrative pushed by powerful people for reasons not immediately clear, people who are caught out in a lie by pundits who explore but which the average person just accepts as the truth.
Katie Couric is an American talkshow host but as I do not 1. have a television and 2. live in America, I can only surmise she’s the white Oprah. She appears to be more hardhitting behind a soft visage than Oprah and yet one has to be careful, as he producers are BBC types and that can mean automatic sympathy for perpetrators.
So it was with trepidation but still an open mind that I downloaded [for three hours] the interview and then discovered it needed additional components to play. Finally, at 4:19 a.m., I got to see it. Here is a link:
First up was the intro and two elements immediately leapt to mind:
1. A series of pics flashed across the screen of Knox and Sollecito kissing, loving each other and just being wholesome college kids, far from the characters who were convicted.
2. A repettition of the same false statement put out by the defence that there was “little physical evidence”.
In fact, there was substantial physical evidence and that, combined with all the other aspects which Couric does in fact allude to – the retracted confession of Knox was one – creates an instant feeling in the audience’s mind that these two were “caught up in a nightmare”.
In a second post to follow these verbatim notes is some of the evidence which answer the asterisked points below and some of the anomalies which did exist and which convicted them.
There is also this fear, one minute in, that she is not going to grill Sollecito on many of the questions which should be put [1 - next post] and that this is going to be a “feelgood” interview with prearranged q&a.
An example of the way America has bought the narrative, whereas the Italians have not, is with this contamination of DNA evidence. There was actually no contamination established, only a defence case built on the assumption that there was.
That Hellman and Zanetti, the Berlusconi appointees [2nd appeal trial], bought it and released the pair on only two main points of evidence without bothering to reexamine the case is another issue altogether, one which is currently part of the Supreme Court consideration at this moment regarding their alleged mishandling of the case.
Hellman, when questioned as to why he did this, replied that he had already read all that and there was no need to reintroduce it.
WT hell? No need to bring the evidence of the case into it?
And that is the key issue. That young man sitting there freely in that studio is a convicted murderer on substantial evidence* and is not an innocent who was “caught up in a nightmare”. To say that is to buy the Knox PR machine which was hired by the Knox family and which the American media bought into as an American apple-pie kid [Knox] versus the corrupt Italian state.
We can’t blame the defence lawyers here – their job was to find any way possible to overturn the damning evidence by constructing hypotheses and by the policy of separating the evidence into discrete bits, attacking each bit in isolation with these hypotheses and then stating that there were glaring anomalies when their strawman reconstructions don’t seem compatible with each other. [2 - James Raper's post]
The K&S defences, to this day, have not constructed their own scenario as to how the murder happened beyond blaming it all on the third person, Guede [and I'll refrain from calling him the "black crim", which has emotional connotations both ways]. The notion of only one murderer was put paid to by the Supreme Court itself in the Guede trial [3 - on more than one] and it has been the defining judgment from that moment forward.
There was more than one killer, there could only ever have been more than one and so the question is – who are the others? From the lady in a flat overlooking the house who saw people, not person, fleeing the house at the time to the sighting in the square, to things happening at the house during the time Guede was seen in other parts of the town – it’s long, it’s complicated and cannot be summarized in one talk show.
Nor in one blogpost.
It went on with the feelgood thing, asking him how did he feel being “caught up in a nightmare”, what was it like etc. Remember that the audience had got only one side of this case in the media over the years since 2007, that side was assumed as the questions began. So far [a few minutes in], I see no attempt to ask the hard questions ** but then again, did not expect to see that.
05:41 “Love affair with this beautiful young girl.” Oh my goodness, the soft sell. This was no beautiful young girl, as in “nice girl” – read what she had to say when asked about Meredith dying in agony [4 - quote].
06:04 OK, Katie says: “But there were some things which raised suspicions and you can understand why the two of you became the target of investigation.”
She puts the blood question and he interrupts: “No, there were only “little droplets”, “there were stains but it was not so clear that it was blood”.
What absolute bull – those traces were sheeted home to him and to Knox [5 -TJMK or PMF post] before even getting to the DNA which somehow, miraculously, flew through the air and landed on the victim’s bra clasp in her room.
The defence argued that the amount was too small by “international standards”, not that it wasn’t present. They argued that it had been contaminated. That line was not bought by the trial court because in fact, there had been no contamination established, only the defence assertion of contamination [see trial records at TJMK 6].
She asked him why Knox did not call the police. He, lulled into a false sense of security by Couric, says: “Well, she didn’t know Italian very well.” Oh my goodness. “I called the local carabinieri right after I discovered all this.”
No he didn’t. He is lying. Here is the timeline of his calls.  Then he comes back to “there were only very little droplets.” The fact that there were droplets at all after the clean-up was not mentioned. Nor how his knife, from his home, had Meredith’s DNA on it when she had not been to his home.
And so it goes on.
The Knox camp had the possible defence that DNA from her was probably mixed with Meredith’s and this was transferred by her to the knife at Sollecito’s home or even that it was not his knife. Either way is not good for the defence so they steered clear of this whole point. For a start, it points away from him and onto her. [8 - knife]
This is a key element – that the two sets of parents are not going to cooperate with each other beyond releasing their progeny and it’s become obvious that the two stories clash in key respects, e.g. the account of that evening, i.e. she told a different version to him – diametrically opposite in fact as to where she was and where he was.
The only way the defence teams could handle that was to allege police brutality in “browbeating” her into a confused confession.
And those around the world who had bought the Knox narrative from the PR company which fed the media in the States naturally assumed that police brutality had taken place. This did not happen and was shown not to have happened. 
When you clear away peripherals such as the recording of the interview which was not a charging in the first instance but an initial talk, only becoming a charge later, then you are left with not just two different stories but in the case of Knox, changing stories depending on what she calculates Sollecito was separately maintaining.
The defence puts this down to police cruelty in keeping the two lovers separated in a fearful situation. I ask how else are they going to get the stories separately, except by separating them and taking those stories in separate rooms?
He claims again he called the police but he did not do so at the point he told the Postal Police [first on the scene] he had but only called them some twenty minutes later from Knox’s room [7 again - phone records]. So he is already caught out in two lies.
I’m beginning to understand Couric a bit more and remember, this is a live blog at this point now. I shan’t go back and edit the above [except for grammar and typos] because it is my reactions as they happened. The immediate question is my own bias and let’s establish this now, before we go any further.
There was a long investigation and trial. The verdict was given by a court of law and the Supreme Court confirmed elements of the verdict in another trial, e.g. there was more than one killer. Nineteen justices perused the verdict and found it substantially correct. Actually there were more who commented, up to thirty but the number generally given is nineteen.
There was also Knox’s calumny trial and the upcoming one of her parents.
Not only Massei but Micheli also wrote reports and those reports are accessible directly and indirectly from my sidebar. Then there is the wealth of subsequent commentary on the trial evidence itself, as distinct from assertions by those who aren’t aware of the fine detail.
My view is not the view of the prosecution or the defence – it is the view of two sources:
1. the trial verdict and
2. the Kercher family who were present throughout all of it.
The Kercher family is in no doubt and they have good reason not to be. Nor am I.
There was a critical point now where she is alternately soft and inviting and then hits with a difficult question. At 08:55, she speaks of the inconsistency of Knox’s behaviour and his and you can see his reaction in the pic below:
It was put to him, oh so gently, that they were seen kissing and cuddling “right outside the murder scene right after the body had been discovered” and he replied that “Amanda was shocked.” They show footage of that and you make your own mind up whether that was a sobbing, hysterical girl or a sexual kiss.
OK, now comes the moment where he explains that he was not comfortable with Knox’s behaviour because “it was not the right moment” and just as I was thinking: “Well, that’s at least decent of him,” and he understands that cartwheels at the police station is not appropriate behaviour, he adds: “The detectives had eyes on us from the beginning.”
So it was a strategic objection to her behaviour.
At 11:01, the producers flash the clip of Knox in tears returning to America and thanking everyone for supporting her and believing in her. No counterbalancing clip of the Kercher family in tears or anything to do with the victim whatever and this is what gets up our noses. There is a complete bias one way only in the American perception of this case.
Where was Stephanie Kercher being interviewed? Her father, brother, mother? Where is the unbiased coverage?
She says something now which is slanderous. “I know the police [and others] tried to get you to turn on Amanda but you didn’t.”
OMG – Couric is presenting it as a love affair which stood the test of time in the face of unfair pressure, the world against them. My notes:
1. The police did no such thing. They followed the procedure where there were anomalies in the stories of the two and they wanted to know why. Yes, the police told her that what she had just said was not borne out by his story and how does she explain that?
Now you weren’t in there and neither was I but that is precisely what the police should have explored strongly. Here were two inconsistent stories and she was changing her stories every so often to suit the circumstances.
Caught in a lie, she roped in her employer – I was there with Patrick.
2. He is now in America and Knox wants nothing to do with him. Why? And why is he in America and not in Italy? He alleges the “media” is against him. That can only be the Italian media he’s referring to.
At this point, it is only fair to note, as she did at the start of the interview, that English is not his first language and I’m not going to take the line that he “showed guilt” or “nervousness” etc. That has little place in this interview – it is the substance of what he said that is important and the questions he fails to answer.
His answers show he understands the import of the questions and if he didn’t, he would have asked her to repeat it.
The seemingly innocent question: “What do you think happened that night?” [13:24] is actually very clever – very clever indeed and hats off to Katie Couric.
Because that is precisely the question the defence has avoided all along – they have refused to construct an alternative scenario, choosing instead to divide the elements and attack each element as a separate issue, i.e. they analysed and attacked the prosecution case in separate bits but at no time presented an alternative for things such as the blood, the DNA, the movements, the phone calls, the sightings, the changing stories, the behaviour.
So here he is in this interview, being asked precisely what the defence has avoided. Well done Katie.
His reply is that his defence team found that the guy who did it [Guede] also did a “burglary to an office”. That also has been addressed. He was certainly not a good person, Guede and is one of the three convicted but he was no itinerant – he had been living in Perugia for some time.
“This scenario was almost the same,” says Sollecito. This is a reference of course to the “break-in” which no one involved at the time, to this day, sees as anything more than a fiction and an impossible one at that, given how the murderer had to climb a wall he’d need a ladder for, the way the glass was scattered consistent with an internal blow, the strange presence and lack of various DNA in Filomena’s [the flatmate's] room.
This scenario of the burglary has been debunked by everyone from Filomena herself to the courts. If Guede did it himself, he did not use the window, he came in through the door, which is Guede’s line of course. The burglary is purely and simply Sollecito’s line, unchallenged by Katie Couric.
She asks a leading question now and I find myself defending Sollecito. He’s asked if he thinks the sentence on Guede should have been longer. You’ll see why she asks that, of course. He answers that he doesn’t want to get into that and he’s right in that respect.
However, at 14:17, he still hasn’t presented a counter-scenario beyond burglary as the motive.
15:23 A ticker tape flashes across the screen now that the conviction had been overturned. This is false in that it is not the whole truth and many of us warned Katie Couric not to make unfounded assertions.
The situation is that he has not been acquitted because the Supreme Court has not written off the verdict. There was the original conviction, then the defence appeal and now the Supreme Court has before it a very long case of the myriad Hellman/Zanetti appeal court anomalies and miscarriages of court procedure.
So he is not off the hook, he knows he’s not and Knox does too. She has actually gone to ground and is giving no interviews at this time.
He describes when he met her again and allowing for his reasonable but not good English, he says that the Amanda he hugged this time was not the Amanda he remembered during those years.
Absolutely, Mr. Sollecito – she’s on home territory now and running things the Edda Knox way. She’s no longer a free agent.
Now he says: “It’s not her fault.” The fault is “from the detectives”. Though he could be expected to say that, it is actually the substance of the upcoming calumny case and is the N1 bone of contention between prosecution and defence. The defence has never established that the police acted improperly. They have never established “contamination”, nor that either party was browbeaten.
They have made assertions about the chief detective which have been a slur on him and whether or not they were true, they have not been established, therefore they cannot be touted as fact.
Now [16:41], Katie Couric says something quite, quite wrong. She says that the prosecution is appealing their acquittal and then she adds that the chances are “quite remote”.
How on earth can she know that? How? Has she read the appeal notes? 
In fact, quite the opposite is the case and there is every chance this appeal [of the defence under Hellman/Zanetti] will be overturned.
She now asks what he thinks of the people who still believe in their guilt. He says that he is “pretty sure they just follow the media.”
No, Sollecito, it is the American public which have followed the media which has been almost completely pro-Knox. Following the media means that you believe in Knox’s innocence. Those of us who are sure you did it have followed the evidence [TJMK link]. It’s there for him to go through should he care to.
Unless he menas the Italian media of course.
He now says that the media “created a story” that “doesn’t exist”. Problem is that he’s right – the media did create that story from the Knox PR firm which pumped that narrative out.
He meant the opposite of course and this is the technique of telling the diametric opposite of the truth. The bigger the lie …
“To keep the audience and make money.”
Wow, wow. [Pauses for breath and stares at the Quicktime clip]. This is stunning. The sheer insolence of this statement!
He says that those believing in his guilt are doing this to make money. OK, who is bringing out the book? Him. Who else is bringing out a book? Knox. Where is prosecution book deal? Where? The only people making money are these two.
Who is being interviewed on national television? Him. Where is the Kercher family? The Kercher father wrote of his loss of his daughter in a book which you can access from the sidebar but where is the slick meida campaign promoting it? Compare that to Knox and Sollecito.
Now can you understand the deep anger many of us who have gone deeply into the evidence on this case feel? These are minor lies and yet substantial in their cumulative effect.
“All the details were spread around, without any circumstance around them.”
Really? Care to look at the timeline? [Insert my post on timeline]. Care to look at the Micheli Report? [Insert link].
“They were disconnected to each other and they created a fog of nonsense.”
This accusation of the prosecution is precisely what the defence was doing. Again, separating the separate elements so that there can be no connection the way they’re strawmanned and yet the prosecution did take the whole scenario, all of it, from the physical evidence to the phone calls and changing stories and the story as it emerges from the evidence is entirely different to what this young man is trying to portray.
One can’t blame him for doing so, of course.
“So I wrote a book to give me the opportunity …”
“To give your side of the story,” adds Katie.
18:08. Finally, in a 20 minute interview, Katie Couric says:
“It seems to me that one person who has been forgotten in all of this is 21 year old Meredith Kercher.”
“Her family is still looking for answers.”
No they’re not, Katie, and you haven’t asked them. If you did, they would say, as they have always said, that they accept the trial verdict and that two of the three killers, through slick PR campaigns and much money are still roaming free.
There is no closure for the family whatever as the killers are here before our eyes, there are no others and just process must go through its contortions before the family finally gets that closure with these two back behind bars. It will take months – a year perhaps.
“Me and Amanda were not there during that night.”
If he means the evening, then she very much was and his DNA says he was too. So that is an utter fabrication, shown by the court accepted evidence to be untrue.
If he means the night, as in the small hours, then that is another thing.
As Judge Micheli said, someone returned to move the body from the cupboard to it’s final resting place. That was between midnight and when the Postal Police arrived next midday.
Someone moved that body. Who? A ghost? Guede returning to the house? And who bought the bleach next morning?
OK, tired and those are the notes. I’m not going to find the references today [indicated by numbers]. You can find them by putting Knox in the search engine and get them at TJMK. They’ll be in the second post tomorrow.
Filed under: Society & human issues