Judge Giancarlo Massei was the presiding judge at the first trial. Italian courts have a post-trial obligation that is not seen in the United States. The court is required to write a report called a motivation explaining the reasoning that led to their conclusions. In this case, the court’s motivation document was released to the public on March 4, 2010. The report is also referred to as the Massei report because Judge Massei was its primary author. It contains over 400 pages of speculation and conjecture and goes to great lengths to explain away any doubt regarding the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. No one can argue that the report is short on words, but one thing it most certainly lacks is common sense.
The court dismissed the prosecution’s theory that Meredith was murdered because of a sex game gone wrong and there’s no suggestion that Amanda resented Meredith or there was any animosity between the girls. The court also makes no mention of the three alleged attackers meeting up at any time prior to the attack as the prosecution suggested. The court believed that Rudy Guede was the instigator and Amanda and Raffaele just spontaneously decided to join in. In order for this theory to work, common sense must be thrown out the window.
Amanda and Raffaele had been dating for just under a week at the time of the murder. During that time, Amanda had been sleeping at Raffaele’s so the two could be alone. The court suggested that Amanda and Raffaele decided to change their routine on the night of the murder. Instead of enjoying the complete privacy of Raffaele’s apartment, the court believes that they went to the cottage to be intimate in Amanda’s room. Why would Amanda and Raffaele leave the privacy of Raffaele’s apartment to go the cottage where Amanda’s roommate would be home? Meredith hadn’t told anyone she planned to be away. To suggest that Amanda and Raffaele would prefer the cottage over Raffaele’s apartment makes little sense.
The court’s theory of the attack is mind-boggling. The court suggested that Amanda and Raffaele were being intimate in Amanda’s room when they heard Meredith getting attacked by Rudy Guede. At that moment, they both went to Meredith’s room and witnessed the attack in progress. Influenced by smoking marijuana along with Raffaele’s memories of violent comic books, they decided to join in the attack on a friend with a guy they didn’t know.
Massei stated “It is a crime that happened without any planning, without any animosity or rancorous feeling against the victim that in some way could be seen as a preparation and predisposition to the crime”
Massei’s suggestion that the murder wasn’t premeditated, meant he needed a reason for Raffaele’s kitchen knife to somehow make it over to the cottage so it could be used in the murder. Massei’s report states that Raffaele most likely suggested to Amanda that she should carry the knife in her purse for protection. Really? How many women carry large bulky kitchen knives around in their purse for protection? There is absolutely no proof to suggest that Raffaele ever encouraged Amanda to carry his kitchen knife for protection. The idea was completely fabricated by Massei.
Massei’s theory is not just ridiculous, his theory is insane. Why would Amanda spur of the moment help a virtual stranger attack and murder her friend? Why would Raffaele go along? How would they have known that Guede would not attack them? Are we really supposed to believe they both entered the room and saw the attack in progress, and not only had absolutely no fear of the attacker but also decided to assist in the attack?
In conclusion, the court agreed with the prosecution in part, by buying the trio portion of the story, but disagreed on who instigated the attack. The court also decided to create an even more absurd scenario than the prosecution’s when theorizing about how the attack began. Sadly Massei was willing to further complicate the story line, forever clouding the truth, in order to to prevent the system from having to admit to a mistake.
Meredith Kercher’s murder was brutal but it’s not complicated. The case only became complicated when two innocent people were included in the equation.
Raffaele Sollecito About Massei’s Theory
We received the sentencing report in early March 2010. I doubt an Italian court has ever published 427 pages quite this shameful, illogical, or flat-out ridiculous. It was not exactly a surprise to be ripped to shreds by Judge Massei (when he cared to remember that I existed), or to see him endorse Patrizia Stefanoni’s forensic results, or to read yet another account minimizing Rudy Guede’s actions and responsibilities. What I did not expect was to laugh out loud at the sheer absurdity of his arguments.
The biggest surprise, which my lawyers saw as a huge benefit moving toward the appeal, was that Massei did not accept Mignini’s theory of the crime. Massei had clearly paid attention to Giulia Bongiorno when she said I could not have planned a murder with Guede because I did not know him. So, instead of endorsing the premeditated crime conjured up by the prosecution, Massei imagined a spontaneous one. Amanda had not, in his telling, stoked the flames of hatred in her heart over an unflushed toilet, or otherwise marked Meredith for death over a period of days or weeks. Rather, the whole tragedy came about because Rudy Guede needed to take a **** on a cold night.
Bear with me, because the judge’s reasoning is every bit as crazy as it sounds. First, he claimed that Amanda and I spent the evening of November 1 at Via della Pergola. We were, he said, making love in Amanda’s room while Meredith was minding her own business in hers. What evidence did he have for this? Precisely none. “But,” he noted, “there is nothing to confirm that Amanda and Raffaele were anywhere else late that evening.” Massei appeared to have forgotten it is incumbent on the prosecution to prove its case, not simply to say there is no evidence to the contrary. But let’s leave that to one side for a moment; the story gets better.
Rudy Guede, in his account, was wandering the streets of Perugia when he realized he needed to go to the bathroom. Or decided he wanted to spend time with Amanda and me (even though he did not know me). Or was looking for a place to sleep (even though he had an apartment of his own just a few minutes’ walk away). Whatever the precise reason— Massei said there was no way of knowing for sure— he rings the doorbell of the girls’ apartment. And Amanda and I, even though we are busy having sex, decide we have to pause to pull on our clothes and let him in. Did we think it would be rude not to open the door to him, even though it was eleven o’clock at night and we barely knew him? Was there some reason why Meredith, whose bedroom door was still open in the judge’s account, would not answer instead? Massei’s report is entirely silent on the mechanics of this.
In any case, Rudy comes in, goes to the bathroom, and takes a dump. We, meanwhile, go back to our lovemaking. Rudy supposedly finds this a turn-on, to the point where he forgets to flush, comes out of the bathroom, and decides he wants to get it on with someone.
“Lured by the atmosphere of sexual solicitation and giving way to his own concupiscence,” Massei writes in painfully precious terminology, he barges into Meredith’s room to see if she’s willing.
She’s not. Soon, she’s fighting him off and yelling. That gets our attention. But, instead of stepping in to defend Meredith, we take Rudy’s side. We have, after all, been smoking pot— what other spur to irrational violence do two otherwise blameless college students need? Amanda produces my kitchen knife, which she just happens to be carrying around in her handbag, I pull out a pocketknife, one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, Meredith is dead. “This Court,” Massei concludes, “can only take note of the choice made to engage in extreme evil.” That, for him, was our motivation: extreme evil. Even Mignini had tried harder than that.
What is perhaps most extraordinary about Massei’s scenario is that it was not based on anything heard in court. It was his own imagination at work, from start to finish. Nothing in the Italian justice system prevents judges from taking off on such flights of fancy, but it certainly doesn’t look good. Such sentencing reports effectively say, I don’t like the way the evidence has been presented, so I’ll come up with my own version, which I’ll pluck out of thin air if I have to. Naturally, Massei’s report begged question after question, some of which he attempted to answer, however tentatively.
Gumbel, Andrew; Sollecito, Raffaele (2012-09-18). Honor Bound (Kindle Locations 2970-2992). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.