While American Amanda Knox continues to languish in an Italian prison after being convicted of killing her British roommate, a former FBI agent has come forward to say Knox’s claims of injustice in the case are undoubtedly true.
Speaking with Ann Curry on TODAY Thursday, Steve Moore, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, said that in examining the case, he has no shadow of doubt that the 23-year-old Knox is innocent.
“The evidence doesn’t just say she didn’t do it; the evidence proved that she couldn’t have done it,” Moore told Curry. “The evidence that was presented in trial was flawed, it was manipulated,” he told Curry. “Some people think some of it was actually planted.”
Knox was convicted last December of murder and sexual assault in the 2007 death of Meredith Kercher, the roommate she lived with while studying abroad. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and although she has an appeal with the Italian courts coming up in November, she’s nonetheless spent her third summer locked up in Perugia, Italy.
Moore, who had a distinguished career with the FBI before retiring, said he initially became interested in the case as a result of his wife’s watching the news reports on Knox’s trial. He previously told TODAY that as a veteran law enforcement man, “I’m kind of cynical about people who say they’re innocent,” but when he began delving into the case on his own, he came to believe that Knox was railroaded into a guilty verdict.
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Prosecutors claimed that on Nov. 7, 2007, the night of the murder, Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito met at the apartment, where a drifter named Rudy Hermann Guede was present with Kercher. Prosecutors said Knox and Kercher began arguing, and that Knox joined the two men in brutally attacking and sexually assaulting Kercher while they were under the influence of drugs.
Guede pled guilty before the trial that found Knox and Sollecito guilty and is currently serving a 30-year sentence. Moore said he is convinced it was Guede and Guede alone who committed the crime.
The crime scene itself precludes Knox’s involvement — and her boyfriend Sollecito’s as well, Moore said.
“In a crime scene like that, when you have so much blood, it’s as if you threw blood all over the floor,” he told Curry. “If Amanda Knox and her boyfriend and that drifter were involved in this, there would be three sets of fingerprints, three sets of footprints, DNA, hair samples. It would have been an absolute zoo of evidence.
“There was, in that room, footprints, fingerprints, DNA, hair samples, saliva samples, everything for one person — a drifter. There is no way they could have been in that room without their physical presence being obvious.”
Curry asked Moore about the prosecution’s account that Knox repeatedly changed her story of what happened that night. Moore responded by saying Knox was browbeaten into it after she was arrested.
“She changed her story once after an overnight interrogation by 12 people where she claims to have been struck,” Moore said. “It’s an interrogation technique where two people go in for an hour at a time to wear the person down overnight.”
Moore added that one piece of key prosecutorial evidence — that Knox’s DNA was found on a knife used to commit the killing — is deeply flawed. “The stab wounds were too small for the knife that they say Amanda Knox used to have done the crime.”
Adding to the questionable evidence, Moore said Knox’s personality profile does not fit someone who would kill in a violent rage.
“This was an honor student; she is not a violent person,” Moore said. “What they are alleging is that she not only helped assault the roommate, but stabbed her in the throat. That kind of deviant, violent behavior doesn’t go unnoticed for 18, 19, 20 years. Some things leak out; you see some episodes, some indication that this person has issues.”
Moore insists he isn’t trying to profit or draw attention to himself through the Knox case, saying, “There’s no financial interest; I’m not trying to write a book.”
But as Knox’s appeal comes up, he says he’s ready to make as big a noise as possible to show that Italian courts erred in convicting Knox of murdering her roommate.
“I will do whatever I can do,” he told Curry. “I feel like a person who’s just woken up in a home where there is smoke all through; all I can do immediately is just wake people up and say, ‘Get out.’
“I’ve got a daughter her age. I just saw an injustice. There is nothing in that trial, in that case, that indicates that she has anything to do with this murder. In fact, I believe the evidence and I think most people in law enforcement who have looked at this carefully believe the evidence precludes her involvement,” adding that “the only thing that is going to free Amanda is good people doing something.”
Meanwhile, Knox is making the best use she can of her time. Her father, Curt Knox, said that his daughter practices yoga, is becoming fluent in Italian, plays guitar at prison church services and continues her college education through correspondence courses.
Italian lawmaker Rocco Girlanda hopes to shed further light on Amanda’s life when he publishes his book, “Take Me With You — Talks With Amanda Knox in Prison,” later this fall in Italy and America. The book is based on some 20 jailhouse interviews he conducted with Knox after she was convicted.
Girlanda told The Associated Press that Knox hopes to be a writer and become a mother by adopting children when she is finally free. He said he wrote the book to try to defuse some of the international fallout over the case.
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