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Video: Former FBI agent: Amanda Knox is innocent

  1. Transcript of: Former FBI agent: Amanda Knox is innocent

    ANN CURRY, co-host: But first we begin now with Amanda Knox , and -- the American who was studying in Italy when her roommate was slashed to death. Well, she's behind bars and convicted of murder, but one retired FBI agent is saying that that is a travesty. We're going to meet him in just a moment, but first, NBC 's Martin Fletcher has more an Amanda Knox 's hopes and dreams if she ever does get out of prison. Martin , good morning.

    MARTIN FLETCHER reporting: Ann , good morning. Amanda Knox 's third, long, hot summer in an Italian jail is coming to a close, with her appeal scheduled for the autumn, her first chance to overturn a 26-year jail sentence . Every positive sign helps. Amanda Knox is finding new support in unlikely places. Her case is being scrutinized by Steve Moore , who was an FBI agent for 26 years.

    Mr. STEVE MOORE (Former FBI Agent): At first I believed she was guilty. I mean, I'm law enforcement .

    FLETCHER: But after studying every iota of evidence...

    Mr. MOORE: The evidence didn't just say she didn't do it, the evidence proved that she couldn't have done it.

    FLETCHER: Then there's Rocco Girlanda , an Italian lawmaker writing a book about Knox . He's visited with her in jail about 20 times.

    Mr. ROCCO GIRLANDA:

    FLETCHER: He says she's nothing like she appears in the Italian media, drugs, sex and rock and roll. She's a completely different kind of girl. He says Amanda writes poems, letters, stories. Other sources say she's practicing yoga, has learned fluent Italian and helps her American cell mate with reading and writing. She wants to be a writer, but above all, Girlanda says one day Amanda wants to have a child or even adopt. It's support that Amanda's family is hungry for.

    Mr. CURT KNOX (Amanda's Father): It's nice to hear.

    FLETCHER: And in Perugia , her father, Curt , fills in the growing picture of the 23-year-old's life in jail. She's matured, he says, but then who wouldn't in her circumstances?

    Mr. KNOX: She's actually studying with the University of Washington still. She's played guitar with the priest during some of the ceremonies that they do. And you know, she's trying to just make her time as productive as possible.

    FLETCHER: But all attention now is focused on Knox 's appeal that should begin in November, when the evidence that convicted her could be re-examined, and the former FBI agent will do all he can to help.

    Mr. MOORE: There was no way she had anything to do with the crime . I can sound an alarm. I can -- I can tell people. The only thing that is going to free Amanda is good people doing something.

    FLETCHER: But first there's another problem. In October, Knox will have to appear in court on a separate slander charge. She's looking forward to tomorrow, though. She'll get a visit from one of her university professors.

    Ann: Martin Fletcher , thank you. As you just saw in Martin 's piece, Steve Moore is a former FBI agent who says he believes Amanda Knox is innocent. Mr. Moore , good morning.

    CURRY: Good morning.

    Mr. MOORE: To give our viewers some sense of your background, you have had an extensive 25-year career with the FBI . You actually once helped take down an al-Qaeda cell and also got -- helped get a confession out of a man accused of bombing a day care center in Los Angeles .

    CURRY: Shooting up the day care center , yes.

    Mr. MOORE: Shooting it up. So why are you now taking on the Amanda Knox case?

    CURRY: Because I found out about it. It's something that I became aware of and I couldn't turn away from it.

    Mr. MOORE: No book deal, no other financial interest?

    CURRY: No, I have no -- there's no financial interest. I'm not writing a book. I'm not in this for that.

    Mr. MOORE: You're in this for justice, you say. And you say that you're speaking out now because you've looked at some of the evidence, and it shows you clearly that Amanda Knox has to be innocent. Why?

    CURRY: Because the evidence that was presented in trial was flawed. There -- it was flawed, it was manipulated. Some people think some of it was actually planted. There is nothing in that trial, in that case, that indicates that she had anything to do with this murder. And in fact, I believe the evidence, and I think most people in law enforcement who've looked at this carefully, believe the evidence precludes her involvement.

    Mr. MOORE: She's changed her story many times.

    CURRY: No.

    Mr. MOORE: Her fingerprints were on the knife, according to prosecutors.

    CURRY: No. Her -- she changed her story once after a -- an overnight interrogation by 12 people where she claims to have been struck. She wasn't given food, she wasn't given coffee, she wasn't let go to the bathroom. It's an interrogation technique where two people go in for an hour at a time to wear the person down, overnight. There was no reason to interrogate her from 10 PM to 5:30 AM .

    Mr. MOORE: So you would throw out that changing of the story there. What about this point by the prosecutors that her fingerprints were on the knife?

    CURRY: Her fingerprints were not on the knife. They claim that her DNA was on the knife. The problem with that is the knife couldn't have made the wounds that killed the woman that -- who was the victim. There was one slashing wound which any sharp object might have made, but the stab wounds were too small for the knife that they say Amanda Knox used to have -- to have actually done the crime .

    Mr. MOORE: You also say that looking at the video of the crime scene made it very clear to you that she could not have been there. Why?

    CURRY: In a crime scene like that, when you have so much blood, the victim, the poor girl was -- had her throat cut, she was stabbed, she would have had to have lost about two liters of blood. It is as if you just threw the blood all over the floor. If Amanda Knox and her boyfriend and that drifter, the burglar, were involved in this, there would be three sets of fingerprints, three sets of footprints, three sets of handprints, DNA , hair samples. It would have been just an absolute zoo of evidence.

    Mr. MOORE: Are you saying the boyfriend is also innocent in your view?

    CURRY: Absolutely. There is, in that room, footprints, fingerprints,

    Mr. MOORE: a drifter. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito , if they were in that room, were hovering. There is no way they could have been in that room without their physical presence being obvious.

    DNA, hair samples, saliva samples, everything for one person: You also made a point that this crime does not fit Amanda Knox 's personality profile.

    CURRY: Amanda Knox does -- is not a violent person. The problem with this is that a person who is violent enough -- what they're alleging is that she came in on her roommate who was being sexually assaulted and sided with the assaulter. And not only helped him assault her roommate, but stabbed her in the throat. That kind of deviant, violent behavior does not go unnoticed for 18, 19, 20 years. Some things leak out. You see some episodes, some indication that this person has some issues. Amanda Knox never had an issue. She worked four jobs at University of Washington , when she was in the University of Washington , to go on this overseas program. She was an honor student. This is not a violent person.

    Mr. MOORE: So now as her effort is now to appeal her conviction, what will you be doing? Have you reached out to her parents?

    CURRY: I have -- I have talked to them just through e-mail. I've never met them. I will be doing whatever I can do.

    Mr. MOORE: Which is, at this point, given that we're talking about another country and about a conviction, what is it that you can do, Steve , with your -- with your position on this case?

    CURRY: I can do things like this. I can -- I feel like a person who's just woken up in a -- in a home where there's smoke all through. All I can do immediately is just wake people up and say, get out. Do something.

    Mr. MOORE: You've never met her?

    CURRY: No.

    Mr. MOORE: Why are you so passionate? Why are you -- why have you done so much work on this case?

    CURRY: I've got a daughter her age. I don't know. I just saw an injustice. I don't know how to explain it. It's as if you see a car accident in front of you. You don't care who's in the car, you are going to go over, though, and find out if they're OK. And I feel like that's what's happened. I became aware of it. It was right in front of my eyes, I had to do something.

    Mr. MOORE: And you are a man who's been in law enforcement . Steve Moore , thank you so much this morning.

    CURRY:

By
TODAY contributor
updated 9/2/2010 9:53:54 AM ET 2010-09-02T13:53:54

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.

Image: Amanda Knox
Fabrizio Troccoli  /  AP
Jailed U.S. student Amanda Knox, center, sits between her two lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, right, and Carlo Dalla Vedova during a preliminary hearing in Perugia, Italy, June 1, 2010.

“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.”

Image:
Stefano Medici  /  AP
Prosecutor Manuela Comodi shows the knife that prosecutors say was used by Amanda Knox in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

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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