Last week, I was riveted by Amanda Knox on CNN. She was striking and articulate. Amanda was overcome with emotion when discussing Meredith Kercher (her former roommate) and firmly stated that she had no reason to kill her.
She also pointed out that if she was there (for the murder), “I would have traces of Meredith’s broken body on me, and traces of myself around, around Meredith’s corpse. I am not there. That proves my innocence.”
But does lack of DNA prove her innocence? DNA is most easily detectable when a bodily fluid is left behind such as blood, saliva or semen. It is very difficult to detect a person’s DNA when he or she simply touched an item, unless it was handled regularly by the same person. Although skin cells that we shed may have our DNA, our current means of detecting DNA would not be able to necessarily determine that an item was touched by a particular person. The fact that Amanda’s DNA was not found on Meredith’s body or vice-versa does not prove her innocence just as it would not prove her guilty. One would only expect the attacker’s DNA to be found on the victim’s body if there was sexual contact or if the attacker suffered a cut that bled not the victim’s clothing. Likewise, a victim may not bleed quick enough to leave any DNA on the attacker. Furthermore, even if Amanda’s DNA were found on Meredith’s body, they were roommates and it is possible that DNA could have been left weeks before Meredith’s murder.
Amanda’s DNA was found, however, mixed with Meredith’s blood on the bathroom sink and bidet, as well as in the hallway. That isn’t conclusive evidence that Amanda was involved, but it is suspicious given that they cleaned their bathroom the day before the murder.
At their apartment, Amanda was concerned with Meredith’s well-being because she believed a burglary took place. Her boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, tried to open Meredith’s door, which was locked. However when the police arrived, she did not direct the police to Meredith’s door. Furthermore, it appears that the burglary was staged as broken glass was found on top of scattered items suggesting that apartment was ransacked before the glass was broken.
It is also suspicious that Amanda falsely accuses her boss, Patrick Lumumba, of the murder after she learned that her boyfriend denied being with her during the night of the murder to the police. Meanwhile, a knife with Meredith’s DNA on the blade was found at Amanda’s boyfriend’s home. He claimed that Meredith had come over to his home and cooked with him. However, multiple wtnesses said Meredith has never been to his home.
Is the evidence enough to convict Amanda? We will see what the Italian appellate court has to say.