Talk:Murder of Meredith Kercher/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

He did and he did it alone, but I've never seen him before and I wasn't there!

(Trying to get the lead right, at least) I've whinged a bit before about the sentence "They further claimed that the murder had been committed solely by Guédé, a man with whom they denied having any relationship." I tried deleting it because it looks so illogical, but got reverted on the grounds that it's apparently true. I think a much better wording would be "They further claimed that the evidence is consistent with the murder having been committed solely by Guédé, a man with whom they denied having any relationship." Any better suggestions...or am I just being overly grumpy? Bluewave (talk) 19:54, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Better to spell it out, I agree. Rothorpe (talk) 20:58, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
It is still unclear how well Guede knew any of the occupants of the flat where the murder took place, the residents of the downstairs flat, and Sollecito. How did any of them meet him? Did anyone involved in the case buy drugs from him? If not, why did they want to know him? How did Guede get into the flat where the murder took place - is it certain he didn't break in - who let him in and why? Had he been in the flat before? What did witnesses say about Guede? Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 08:29, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

All the gory details?

I'm looking at the paragraph that says:

Blood was found on numerous items in the room, including: some white tennis shoes, blue jeans and a white severed bra on the floor, a zippered blue shirt, and two towels partially or totally soaked in blood. On the bed there was a book with blood at the corner plus two blood patches on the mattress sheet, between a white terrycloth towel with blood smears and a beige woman's handbag of imitation leather (Italian: una borsa da donna in similpelle). Around the floor were patches of blood (some with the imprints of "hair formations") and 3 floormarks with blood "signs of concentric circles" (Italian: segni circolari concentrici) considered to be a foot trail of three bloody shoeprints. Underneath the body was a white pillow, containing a blood handprint. Dried blood pools were found around the wardrobe case in the outside corner of the room, with leather boots standing in the blood.

My view would be that we don't really need to go into this much detail. I don't think it really adds to the article and all it says to me is that there was a lot of blood all over the place. My preference would be to delete it or greatly prune it down to a few examples. However, I don't want to cut out a big chunk without some discussion. Any views, anybody? Bluewave (talk) 20:17, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

  • There was a lot of blood in the room where the murder occurred and small amounts in the bathroom and hallway. A misleading photo [1] was published in newspapers showing a massive amounts of blood in the bathroom. The red stains were actually a cyanoacrylate ester sprayed by technicians to reveal fingerprints. Footwarrior (talk) 21:12, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

This video clip shows shows the appearance of the bathroom during the initial investigation. [2] Footwarrior (talk) 21:15, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree, Bluewave. The paragraph can easily be summarized as something like "Blood was found in various locations in the room".--FormerIP (talk) 21:38, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Do the details above help the reader work out what likely happened? Do they prove or disprove anyone's stated version of events? Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 23:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
AFAIK, only the shoeprints were important at trial, but that is mentioned already in the article. In any case, the purpose of the article is not to prove or disprove anyone's stated version of events. --FormerIP (talk) 00:11, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

BLP and Mignini

Per WP:BLP, I have again removed content relating to the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, which seem to serve no pupose other than to attack his reputation.

Please note in particular that presentation of information about living persons must be neutral, and sources must mot be "biased or malicious".

In relation to this article, this means that material attriuted or attributable (ie second-hand reports) to Douglas Preston and Gabriella Carlizzi should not be included in the article because:

  • Mignini has taken action against both of these people - it should be noted in particular that Preston's article has been removed from the Guardian website
  • Both Preston and Carlizzi have prior history with Mignini, which means they are likely to be "biased and malicious". Preston's close colleague Mario Spezi went to jail partly on evidence collected by Mignini, and in 2001 Mignini accused Preston of perjury. According to Mignini, he has brought defamation proceedings agains Carlizzi on a number of prior occasions.
  • Mignini has given an interview here [3] (in Italian, but Google Translate will give you a flavour) in which he gives his point-by point version of events, in which he disputes the allegations made by Preston.

It should also be noted that, if allegations of misconduct against Mignini are to be included in the article, then a full effort should be made to determine the outcome of those allegations. According to Mignini (in the interview linked to above), allegations made by Spezi about illegal wiretapping and harrassment were thrown out an the beginning of the proceedings, and there is only a less serious charge outstanding (essentially, that Mignini ordered the analysis of some audio evidence when it would have been proper procedure for a judge to do this).

Please also note that this blog [4] is not an RS, and this newspaper story [5] is also not an RS, because it contains material that can very clearly be shown to be wrong (it misidentifies the Monster of Florence and incorrectly claims that he drowned) - ie it is not properly fact-checked.

Lastly, please note that where WP:BLP has been raised in good faith, the burden of proof lies with the person wishing to reinstate the material, and doing so without establishinh a consensus can lead to a block. If you wish to object to the removal of this material, the proper procedure is to raise the matter at WP:BLP/N.

Thanks. --FormerIP (talk) 01:39, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

FormerIP twice removed the entire section on the prosecutor. While there could be questionable sentences included in the section, surely the entire section on the prosecutor is not prohibited under the BLP policy. The section mentions far more than Preston and does not mention Carlizzi at all. The objective should not be censorship of anything to do with the prosecutor. The objective should be to comply with BLP standards. It should be noted that the article also deals with three other living persons. Darryl98 (talk) 02:30, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The section was not neutrally presented, which means that the whole section was a violation of WP:BLP. Furthermore, without those sentences attributed to the sources discussed above, the section only consisted of basic information about Mignini already contained elsewhere in the article, such as his profession. --FormerIP (talk) 02:35, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The prosecutor is a public figure. He is a legitimate subject matter to discuss in this article. The prosecutor has been noted in many sources as being a very controversial figure and he has played a major role in the story. It seems that any mention of him that is critical at all is being deleted from this article. That is censorship, not BLP policy. The blog that mentions Mignini's charges against Joe Cottonwood is perfectly appropriate since the blog is by the defendant himself stating that he has been named as a defendant. To say that is not a reliable source about the fact that Mignini has charged Cottonwood is ridiculous. Only what could be potentially libelous should be stricken, not the entire section. Mignini is not immune from public discussion. Please stop with this censorship. Darryl98 (talk) 02:48, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
It is also dirty pool to remove an entire section first before having a discussion so that no one can see the content of what was removed. There was nothing wrong with that section, but now it is gone. The prosecutor is a legitimate part of the story and so needs to be included. What you are doing is censoring any criticism of him over and over. Darryl98 (talk) 03:07, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm just following standard procedure, Darryl. Material which potentially breaches WP:BLP is supposed to be deleted on sight.
Please note that I am not suggesting that any mention of anything to do with Mignini would breach WP:BLP, but that anything that is included bust be properly sourced, not from a source that the subject is suing over, and material should be presented in a non-biased manner. ie: if topics which may be controversial are to be mentioned, then presentation of those controversies should not be one-sided. There is definitely no room in the article for a section compling exclusively negative material about a lawyer in the trial (this would be character-assassination).
Please also note that it is not acceptable to include your own assessment of Mignini. You may think he is a "particularly controversial official", but this was not contained in any of the sources you provided. Even if it was, this would not be neutral, because it would clearly just be one person's opinion. --FormerIP (talk) 03:33, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Darryl, please note that you need consensus in order to re-insert any of the contentious material into the article, and that you can be blocked for edit-warring in this circumstance. --FormerIP (talk) 03:47, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
FormerIp, stop with your threats. What you are doing is clear. You have repeatedly deleted any and all information about Mignini from this article that is not complimentary. You have done so repeatedly over a period of weeks. You have done so without prior discussion, so that others cannot review the material in dispute. You have gone out of your way to delete the material in as disruptive and annoying a manner as possible, to make it clear that you will not tolerate any criticism of Mignini. What you are doing is not seeking compliance with BLP, but blocking anything that is not flattering about Mignini. At the same time, you have written and encouraged the posting of horrible things about Knox and Sollecito, none of which may be true--such as that they are sexual predators and killers. Yet they are protected by the same BLP policy that covers Mignini. You try to impose one set of standards for Mignini and a totally different set of standards for other living people. The bottom line--you are engaging in censorship to protect Mignini from any unflattering comments in this article. Darryl98 (talk) 04:40, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to defend a living person from being libelled by Wikipedia. If you believe that there is material in the article about Knox or Sollecito which breaches WP:BLP, then please raise it. If I see any, I assure you I will remove it without hesitating. --FormerIP (talk) 04:58, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at the last version of the section on Mignini you deleted. There was no possibilty of libel. It was all factually accurate. You deleted it because it was unflattering, not because it was libelous. 05:38, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
No. To describe a lawyer as "controversial" is potentially libelous - particularly if you provide no source for the claim. To report third party claims made by someone on their blog is also potentially libellous, in the event that they are not true (which you have no way of knowing).--FormerIP (talk) 06:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
It is patently false to say that calling someone "controversial" constitutes libel. I challenge you to back up that claim. That is utter nonsense. "Controversial" is a matter of opinion. The expression of opinion does not constitute libel. Also, it is ridiculous to say that reporting a charge of defamation against Joe Cottonwood can be libel. No that is nonsense too. I don't think you know the first thing about libel. You are just using "libel" an excuse for censorship. Meanwhile, you have posted some pretty awful stuff about Knox without being certain the information is true--when if it is not true she surely has been seriously defamed.Darryl98 (talk) 07:04, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I have posted any awful stuff about Knox, Darryl. Are you referring to anything in particular? "Controversial" constiutes libel if you are not able to provide any sources to back it up. Your actual claim was more specific. You said he was controversial because of his theories about halloween being related to the murder. There seem to be sources that confirm such a theory, but no sources that use the word "controversial". --FormerIP (talk) 07:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia does not "require" sources, but rather verifiability: you don't to have to source "the sky is blue" or "Sollecito was convicted of murder" because those statements can be easily verified. Sourcing of text is generally a courtesy, not a requirement. Often, people will insert a citation-needed tag ("{cn}"), but this is typically only a critical problem if the source is a rare book that needs a pinpointed page-number footnote. Otherwise, remember the requirement is "verifiability" not being footnoted to death. The German Wikipedia has almost no footnotes in articles, in comparison to the English Wikipedia which has much wider use of footnotes. -Wz777 (talk) 08:40, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The section on prosecutor Giuliano Mignini should not have been entirely deleted because he plays an important role in this case, which makes the discussion about him relevant, and because there are credible sources that call his reputation into question. I would like to see the deleted section reinstated. Clarifying unverifiable statements is understandable. However, removing all of the information about him because of some allegedly "libelous" remarks is rather excessive and seems like censorship, in my opinion. (JAR88 (talk) 09:06, 3 January 2010 (UTC))

It is NOT libel if it is true

Saying that someone is "controversial" is not libel if it is a true statement. There is a difference between libel and unflattering remarks. If you want an example of a real WP:BLP violation, consider the phrase, from the article, of the 3 so-called "killers" while they are awaiting appeals to the verdict. Hello? Describing 3 people, lumped together, as "3 killers" is not, somehow, a neutral POV. Instead, the article could have mentioned the 3 "convicted of murder" or such. Also, please note that self-righteous deletions of entire sections are a reason that would justify any vandals to remove any text from Wikipedia, such as "the whole article had several libelous remarks, so I blanked the page". For that reason, blanking and removal of whole article-sections should only be performed after consensus is reached on an article's talk-page. In an emergency situation, reword a phrase to indicate that the remark was "claimed" so that it does not appear that the text states the remark as a common fact. -Wz777 (talk) 08:40, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Length of article

A number of users have commented on how long this article is compared to its equivalents on other language Wikipedias. I totally agree.

It has been said that the article merits more detail than would ordinarily be the case for this type of crime, because it cause caused comment in the media and may have some minor cultural significance in the US. I don't dispute this, but it leaves open the question: how much is too much?

I've browsed around articles about other high-profile murders, and almost all are not even nearly the size of this one. It is currently about the same length as the articles Boston Strangler, Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Harold Shipman, Pietro Valpreda, George Joseph Smith and Alexander Pichushkin all added together. The article I find most comparable (Louise Woodward case - similar reasons for notability) is one eighth as long as this article. I can only find one murder-related article (the very thorough Moors Murders) which is slightly longer.

Seems to me that either (a) we are dealing with the second most notable murder case in history or (b) Wikipedia has managed to get something out of proportion.

There are a number of things which could be cut down in the article. There is quite a bit of repetion, unnecessarily convoluted sentences and generally too much detail. In particular, I feel that there has been a problem, especially since the conviction of Knox and Sollecito, of editors adding every detail of their defence case. This has not been helpful, and it is not in keeping with any comparable article. This level of detail would be useful if we were writing a book, but we are not. Every murder case has a defence - it doesn't normally dominate the WP article as it is doing in this case.

I am not saying that the fact that there have been some eyebrows raised about the judgment should be entirely excised from the article. However, I do think that this should be given only its due weight. The article, in essence, is about the fact that someone was killed and some other people were tried and convicted of the crime. It is not, to any greater extent than a passing mention, about the fact that Geraldo or anyone else gave ill-informed criticisms of the Italian legal system during a quiet news week in December 2009.

So, I think the article should be substantially trimmed-down. However, I also think this would best be done as a collective excercise, through general copyediting and decisions about what is significant and what is not.

Is anyone with me? Does anyone think that the current length of the article is acutally fine?

Thanks. --FormerIP (talk) 00:34, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I think this should stay a long article. It is not fully comparable to the cases you mentioned, due to the length of the coverage and how widespread it has been. It has been a very high-profile case for over two years, in three countries. Most of those mentioned were never high-profile outside the country they occurred in. The Louise Woodward case was high-profile in two countries, it happened before Wikipedia existed, and was a much simpler case due to her being the only killer. The length of this article reflects the fact that there is so much online information about it, and so much interest taken in this case by the general public in the US, UK and Italy. If The Madeleine McCann case is considered a murder, then it is the only murder case of the past few years that has been given more coverage by the UK media than this one. That many other articles are shorter than they should be means that they should (where possible) be expanded, not this one shortened. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 02:37, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
It is not comparable to Boston Strangler, Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Harold Shipman, Pietro Valpreda, George Joseph Smith, Alexander Pichushkin or Louise Woodward case due to the length of coverage? Are you being serious? Do you also think it is twice as notable as Peter Sutcliffe, four times as notable as Gary Ridgeway and 25% more notable than Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy? That is what the wordcount would suggest. --FormerIP (talk) 03:06, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
It is not comparable to some of those cases becuase of length of coverage, not comparable to others because of limited scope of coverage (one country). The Lawrence case is of very little interest outside the UK, Valpreda is almost unheard of outside Italy. Of course this case is not as notable as the serial killer cases you've listed, but in the case of Jack the Ripper no-one knows his identity, there was no trial and the murders took place over a hundred years before the internet was invented, which is why a lot of the info about that case is not online. Wordcount does not equate to notability; some cases have more people interested in them than others. This article has existed for almost all the duration of the media coverage and legal proceedings. When Sutcliffe was committing murders and was tried, the internet didn't exist. By the time Wikipedia came into existence, he had already been convicted nearly two decades earlier. Bundy died over a decade before Wikipedia started. When years have elapsed since a killer is convicted and the case is closed, and he is well into his sentence or dead, interest in them is nothing like what it was at the time of the killings and trials. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 03:40, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with FormerIP that the article is too long. My recent edits started with the thought of shortening it but, in the short term, may have actually made it a bit longer (sorry!) I think in the past few days I have noticed a point of principle which perhaps divides editors and which, if resolved one way or the other, might resolve much of the conflict surrounding this article. In the discussion about blood stains, above, Lkjhgfdsa says, "Do the details above help the reader work out what likely happened?" I would say, "It is not the job of an encyclopaedia to help the reader work out what likely happened." I think, if we could get a consensus on whether we are trying to help the reader work out what likely happened, we would know how we should edit the article. In my view, it's the job of the police to work out what likely happened. It's the job of an encyclopaedia to to report what the police concluded and, if there is a body of opinion that thinks the police got it wrong, it is also our job to say that is the case. It is not our job to tell people who is right, or even give them enough information to judge who is right. If it were indeed our job to "help the reader work out what likely happened" (ie to get a more objective understanding than even the court could do), I think we would need to include all the contents of two trials spanning over a year; all the evidence presented by the 250 witnesses at the trials; the 10,000 pages of evidence which the prosecution presented to the court at the start of the Knox/Sollecito trial, etc. If you look at other articles on controversial issues, I don't believe that they set out to enable the reader to decide who is right (I'm thinking of something like the Rendlesham Forest Incident for example, or even Jack the Ripper). But maybe I'm wrong. I would really, really welcome other people's views on this, because, I think if we could settle this point, we would resolve a lot of the conflicts that have occurred on this page. Bluewave (talk) 12:49, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
The media disagree a great deal regarding who did and said what. In the latter part of last year, some newspapers switched from feeling sure Guede, Knox and Sollecito were guilty, into saying that Knox, and perhaps Sollecito as well, were innocent and were unjustly convicted by a primitive judicial system. Many readers of this article will have already read conflicting media reports, and come here for a well-written, comprehensive, balanced, neutral account of events. This is a very popular, high-profile article. We should try to make this a significantly better article than it currently is; I can't see how it is possible to do that if the article is significantly shortened. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 01:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, I think one of the reasons that the article is over-long is that there is a lot of flabby phrasing and duplicated information. Today I removed over 3K of content mainly by rephrasing convoluted sentences, only looking at a few sections (although I also removed one or two unsourced claims).
Secondly, I am not saying that properly sourced information about controversies in the US media should be entirely excluded. I am saying, however, that we do not need to include every claim made by the defence. These claims are of varying significance. Some of them are weak claims which are easily dismissed (and have been dismissed at trial). Where claims amount to nothing, rather than including them and then including the rebuttal, I feel we should just ignore them. Other claims may be more significant because they could give rise to an appeal (for example), and these should probably be included. What I am proposing is collaboration between editors to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Claims which originate in the idea that the Italian legal system is primitive are tabloid nonsense and have no place in the article. If I have learnt anything from taking an interest in this case, it is that Italy has a legal system that is sophisticated and modern. It is not fascist, nor is it remotely related to the inquisition. If anything, it can be criticised for placing too great a burden on prosecutors - apparently higher than in the US or UK - and for lenient sentencing. --FormerIP (talk) 01:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Paragraph about bleach

I've removed the sub-section claims of bleaching the crime scene, mainly because the central claim on which it hangs is unsourced. It is true that witnesses (not "rumours", witnesses) testified that bleach had been used to clean the crime scene and that there was evidence that Knox and Sollecito purchased bleach the morning after the murder. It is also true that there was blood and other mess at the crime scene. However, the text conjoins these two statements with the words "despite the fact that...", suggesting an inconsistency in the prosecution case. I cannnot find any source that suggests an inconsistency on this particular basis, so the whole section appears to me to be original research.

Also, the paragraph includes information that Sollecito's cleaner had left bleach at his flat. This appears to be verifiable, but it is not clear how it would be important. What does the presence of bleach at Sollecito's flat have to do with the presence or otherwise of bleach at the Knox/Kercher flat?

Here is the text I removed:

After the murder, there were reports in the media of claims that the Kercher house had been cleaned with bleach, as an attempt to destroy evidence. These claims or rumors persisted despite the fact that blood smears and blood drops remained present on walls, doors, floors, sinks and light switches in the Kercher house.[22] During the Knox-Sollecito trial, many witnesses talked about the possible use of bleach, but no conclusive evidence was presented.[109] Police found 2 bottles of bleach at Sollecito's apartment. There was speculation and rumor that he bought the bleach within hours after the murder. However, during a trial hearing on 26 June 2009, Sollecito's former housekeeper testified that she had asked Sollecito to buy bleach months earlier for general housekeeping purposes.[109] She further testified that when she stopped working for Sollecito in September of 2007, there were one and a half bottles of that bleach remaining in the house unused,[109] two months before the murder.

--FormerIP (talk) 21:15, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

That was not a valid removal. It was not OR. There were certainly these reports. All you should have done was to change the word "despite". I am reverting and editing. --Red King (talk) 21:19, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by saying there "were these reports". Some of the facts in the para are definitely true, but the central claim that there was a significant controversy (the section is titled "various controversies") about bleach does not appear to have a source. If you can find a source, then that may be a different matter. I could edit the paragraph so that it was factually accurate and sourced. The issue then would be that it would not contain any controversy, so it would not belong. --FormerIP (talk) 21:27, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The non-loaded word you seem to be grasping for is "assertion". "Claim" infers the assertion is disputable. "Fact" infers the assertion is beyond dispute. LeadSongDog come howl 22:04, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Got it in one. --Red King (talk) 22:10, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, it is hard to tell whether it is a claim, and assertion or anything else, since there is no source containing it. --FormerIP (talk) 22:13, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, I wasn't looking for a "non-loaded word" in particular. I was looking for the word "claim", and I found it. --FormerIP (talk) 22:37, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The contemporary Telegraph report reports an allegation that the bleach was to clean the knife and the murder scene itself. It doesn't have to be true, just that a newspaper did say it. --Red King (talk) 23:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, that is verifiable and probably true. I don't object to the article noting this. My objection is to the suggestion that this is inconsistent with the claim that there was still blood in the flat and therefore the prosecution case is flawed. No RS makes this claim. There is no inconsistency. There was blood still in the flat because Knox and Sollecito had not finished cleaning and were surprised by the arrival of the police. --FormerIP (talk) 23:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Washing machine

The article states the washing machine was on final cycle. Reading what is said in the reference, "Reports said the police heard the washing machine" sounds more like a rumor. Was this fact confirmed during the trial? If not, the statement should be removed. Footwarrior (talk) 00:27, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

The source is clear on saying that Kercher's clothes were in the machine. It uses the word "reports" in relation to the claim that "it was heard spinning at the end of its cycle". If you want to break a new record for hair-splitting, then please delete the claim that it was at the end of its cycle. However, please ensure that the claim that Kercher's clothes were in the machine remains in the article. Cheers. --FormerIP (talk) 01:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
By the time Romanelli arrived on the scene, it had finished spinning but was still warm. She identified Kercher's clothes in it. This was evidence at the Knox/Sollecito trial.[6] Bluewave (talk) 15:00, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

NPOV of Rudy Guédé profile

This article seem so owe its flaws from being made of sometimes very inaccurate English speaking news sources, badly reporting from the Italian. One of the seriously tainted parts is the ‘Rudy Guede background’. This piece gives a colour or picaresque picture that does not match the judicial sources nor the Italian reports. For example the quote (Telegraph) that police had refused to fill previous complaints by a witness – the process files are completely different, and the pre-trial judge dismissed the witness as, on the opposite from what reported by Telegraph or Times, his identification of Rudy as the perpetrator was not made to the police but month late to the prosecution, in uncertain terms, and the testimony was deemed not credible in itself. The bartender’s name in the Wiki article is even mistaken (not Crisian Tramantano but Christian Tramontano). Such a history of petty crime by Guede doesn’t belong to the actual record. The habit of stealing from women’s handbags is totally non-existent in known information, such a detail is unsupported in the first hand reports and in court and is not found in the Italian press. Whilst on the law enforcement authorities record there wasn’t a single indictment or charge in previous Guede’s life. Even for definitions of ‘drifter’ or ‘drug-dealer’ I couldn’t find a correspondence in an Italian source. But as you read this article it seems as if that sources indicate that Rudi had known history of petty crime or violence. I am very perplexed for this lack of check on sources. Aki 001 (talk) 01:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Aki. If you are confident, I would suggest being WP:BOLD and deleting text that is not accurate. However, I would also suggest being prepared to defend such deletions and demonstrate why they are appropriate. In particular, the suggestion that Guede was a drug dealer has a number of sources. You are likely to need a very convincing argument that this is mistaken.--FormerIP (talk) 01:51, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Guede was a criminal before he killed Kercher; he was known to have committed crimes and was arrested by Italian police. Reliable sources, including The Times, describe him as a drug dealer and thief. It seems he was never convicted of anything prior to the murder, which does not make sense. The article should, if possible, state what happened when he was caught by the police, and why. Any evidence of the theory that Guede had been a paid informant for the police should be added. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 02:44, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I am asking authors to quote some Italian sources. Yes I could make a research through Italian pres to look up if there is any trace. But it is not corret to assume I shall be more 'convincing' than the current, starting from a basis of unconfirmed translated news reports. I think that an allegation about somebody being a drug dealer must have some convincing ground on a source in some judicial context, or at least a non anonimous human source. Otherwise it's rumors, which is inherently not neutral. Yes even the source that indicates Guede as a drug dealer seems to me extrmely dubious among the Italian reports. There is certainity possibility to quote a report for drug abuse on Sollecito by the questura of Bari, as well as the downstairs neihbours cultivating cannabis, but a single testimony on Rudi being a drug dealer? Not to speak about the rest.Aki 001 (talk) 03:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

The article states what reliable sources state, and they say Guede was a drug dealer in the time leading up to the murder. Details of that would be useful, such as for how long and which drug(s). Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 03:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
This article states that Guede was used to steal fom women's purses. How can you define 'reliable' a source reporting such false information? This one must be absolutely deleted from the page. Either you find any identifyiable source, at least a local press report, or delete the quote. Many other statements are questionable in the article and sometimes do not even math the quotes. My position is that a Wikipedia page is not a press release summary. It shall stick to enciclopedic standards, not follow the line of lurid reports and journalism, and have its own verification on reliability of information. Cannot just quote any series of press reports as if they were facts. Some information in Times, Telegraph and so on are totally unfounded, often the article chose to quote a comment or rumor quoted anonimously, a quoting of a second-hand unverified quote in an English paper. Please check. (talk) 12:42, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Considering that Guede had no previous convictions, the article does a pretty good job of blackening his name! Yes, it is all from sourced material, but the balance is wrong. I have said in a previous section that all three defendants were without apparent motive, none of them had previous convictions for violent or sexual crimes, all have protested their innocence, all have said that the evidence is insufficient to convict them as murderers, all were tried and all found guilty. All were given equivalent sentences (Guede's reduced because he opted for a fast-track trial). A measure of the neutrality of the article is how equally it treats the three of them. At present it is nowhere near. Bluewave (talk) 12:58, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Is there a reliable source that states Guede had no convictions prior to the murder? If so, add it. It is certainly true that he did commit crimes before he murdered Kercher; Italian police have it on record that he was arrested. It was definitely a crime when he broke into a property that he had no right to be in. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 01:41, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Just my interpretation...All three defendants appear to have had records for minor criminal offences. All three appear also to have been of "previous good character" for legal purposes. That is to say, they had no record of significant criminality. Guede got his sentence reduced on appeal mainly for this reason. The article currently contains conspiracy theories that Guede was a serious criminal but was protected by the Italian police. In my view, this content is not appropriate and should be removed, in part at least. The information is not helpful to readers who are likely to be looking for clear, factual information. --FormerIP (talk) 02:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Guede being caught committing crimes yet never prosecuted is the apparent reason for the informant theory. I believe that there is no evidence of him ever being a paid informant, nor evidence against it. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 04:47, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
So that surely means there is a case for excluding the material from the article. Plus, even though Guede is a convicted murderer, WP:BLP still applies. --FormerIP (talk) 16:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Apart from blogs, I could only find that Daily Mail article as a source. They are quoting Knox's defence team. So it sounds like the defence team have floated the idea to a journalist in the absence of anything firm enough enough to use in court. Given that its a theory that has a single source; the source is unnamed; it has never been presented in court; and even if it is true, it has not prevented the supposed informant from being sent down for murder, I don't think it can be claimed to have any importance to the article. Bluewave (talk) 19:08, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I've removed several paragraphs detailing the alleged criminal history of Guede. Although minor details were sourced, the most significant allegations were unsourced. It is possible that the information was just added by an editor who was unaware of the importance of providing sources. But, all the same, I felt it had to be deleted. Leaving only the sourced claims would have let to a series of statements making no sense. --FormerIP (talk) 01:46, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

PS Ticked "minor edit" by accident. --FormerIP (talk) 01:47, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Looking at the Italian page nearly all of the news sources there are also from the English speaking press. So that page's contributors are reading English press and translating to Italian. It looks like you even translated sections of this page when you doubled the length of the Italian version. Kwenchin (talk) 04:27, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Did Sollecito 'take the stand'?

There are some reports of ad hoc statements from Sollecito at his trial, but did he ever take the stand and give his side of events (and allow cross-examination)? A couple of the more reliable blogs say he didn't, but I can't find a citable source that settles the matter. It would be worth a mention (whether he did or he didn't) if there is a source. Bluewave (talk) 14:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Eighth paragraph in this: [7] --FormerIP (talk) 14:58, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not sure how these things work in an Italian trial, but this looks like a kind of appeal to the jury at the end of the trial, not Sollecito actually giving his account of what happened on the night of the murder. I was really wondering whether he had ever had to account for the discrepancies between his statement and that of Knox, for example. Bluewave (talk) 15:12, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Under Italian Law (articles 497 and 503 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), a defendant is not examined and cross-examined. Only witnesses can be interrogate, that is to say examined and cross-examined; they must swear they will tell the truth under penalty of perjury. Those who are parties to the trial - that is to say, first of all, the defendant, but also the injured party and those who, under certain circumstances, can be held civilly liable for damages or fines - cannot be interrogate, but esaminate - which would translate as examined, but it is just a false friend -. This means that they can refuse to take the stand, they don't have to take an oath, so, even if they lie, it is not technically perjury.
In short, the defendant doesn't have to take the stand, if he does not wish to do so. But he can, nonetheless, choose to render spontaneous statements (article 494 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure); he doesn't have to take any oath, doesn't have to tell the truth and doesn't have to answer any questions the prosecutor should ask him. Salvio giuliano (talk) 15:51, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for explaining that. It sounds as though Sollecito and Knox never had explain the discrepancies between their statements, then. At least, not under oath. Bluewave (talk) 16:11, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Precisely. Salvio giuliano (talk) 17:05, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Several conspicuous errors

If I recall correctly, according to the trial transcript, no bleach was found in Mr. Sollecito's apartment. Rather the cleaning woman reported that "...Mr. Sollecito did not want [her] to use bleach, instead, he desired that she use some cleanser other than bleach..." Briefly, no bleach was found in Mr. Sollecito's apartment. [Except for the trace amounts found on the knife.]

Additionally, although Ms. Knox's DNA was found in the building in which she resided (and in which the murder took place), her fingerprints were found only on a single drinking glass located in that apartment. The question then begs, why no fingerprints even in her own bedroom? I am not being prejudicial here, just rational; I am quite certain that my fingerprints exist in my home even after the maid has completed her cleaning.

Indeed, it seems highly unlikely that the bra clasp could have been contaminated after the fact even though it was not recovered by police until well after the murder had taken place [46 days]. That is, if Mr. Sollecito had never been in Ms. Kerchner's bedroom, how could his DNA place itself upon her bra clasp which was found therein? How could such an eventuality occur? Especially in light of the fact that Mr. Sollecito's DNA was found in only one other location in the entire house. On a cigarette butt in an ashtray in a separate room. Once again there exists evidence of complicity as a result of a lack of evidence.

Furthermore, Mr. Quede's sentence was reduced as a result of "extenuating/mitigating" circumstances. Briefly, as a result of his fast-track trial, upon conviction of the "alleged" accomplices, his sentence was automatically reduced by 1/3 of that of the maximum of his co-conspirators, e.g., Ms. Knox received 26 years (24 years for the murder and 2 years for other reasons) therefore, 1/3 of 24 is 8 and 24 minus 8 is 16. The sentence he initially received (30 years) was only effective until the sentencing of his accomplices, if any.

According to A. Vogt (12/15/09), "At one point, in intercepted prison conversations (by police) with his family about the knife found [in his apartment] with Ms. Kercher's DNA, Sollecito suggested he may have accidentally cut Kercher's finger with a knife once while cooking fish."

The 160 page Judge's report of the Knox/Sollecito trial(written in Italian) describes in detail the thought extant behind the verdict of guilty. Both the trial transcripts and the Judge's report should be read closely in order to piece this tragedy together. As is often the case in the USA, we are presented with only the truth generated by the marketing corporations.Trimturtle (talk) 19:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

The gist of what you are saying is correct, but a few points...
  • The story of the bleach is quite confused, with the police having leaked some details to the press (such as the existence of receipts) but not producing them in court. I don't actually think there is a transcript of the trial in the public domain. If you've seen one, please tell us where it is.
  • Quede is actually Guédé.
  • Yes, the reason for the reduction in his sentence is well understood by the editors of this page (see earlier discussion)
  • The report (I think it's only 106 pages) is actually from Guédé's trial. We won't see the one from the Sollecito/Knox trial, probably, until almost 3 months from the end of the trial.
  • "We" are not all from the USA and are presented with various versions of the truth.
Bluewave (talk) 19:56, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Is the original verdict/Judge's report of the (Knox/Sollecito) trial available somewhere? I can't find it in the footnotes (this kind of primary source should probably go into an "external links" section). Averell (talk) 13:30, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Not yet avalaible, as far as I know. Salvio giuliano (talk) 17:06, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd just like to weigh in on this: after reading a lot of sources on the internet, I couldn't find anything substantiating the Times' quote from the police about receipts for bleach having been found. The receipts are quoted as fact in this Wikipedia article, but the Times article only says the police stated they found receipts for bleach. I vaguely recall from reading trial transcripts etc that in court a shop owner stated that he sells bleach for 1.09 Euros. Then the receipts were not produced by the prosecution. Perhaps not itemized and the police just assumed they were for Bleach...but when the shop-owner recalled the price is 1.09 the prosecution declined to present the receipts?

I strongly believe the article should be amended to say that police reported to the media that receipts for bleach had been found, but not that such receipts had been found unless this is clarified.

Also (separately) the article should clarify the issue with the LCN DNA analysis is that such a small microscopic sample of DNA might have been residually present in the instruments. This is what the article that is cited says.

A point someone should think about: the judges seem logical and careful, but invalid arguments should not be allowed to be presented to a jury. For example Knox DNA on the handle of a kitchen knife is suggestive but logically meaningless. Many things in this case logically meaningless but suggestive to a lay jury, that is where a judge has responsibility. (talk) 22:29, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

My question again: Where can one find those transcripts? I agree that it would be much better to use those primary sources than the English translation of what some Italian newspaper read from them. But remember that this isn't the place to speculate on the importance of the evidence or what the judge should have done. Averell (talk) 10:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Averell, I posted some transcripts a while ago and they got deleted, I posted them in case they disappeared from the website where they were. Lots of primary sources can be found on 'perugia murder file.' Much is in Italian but can be translated pretty easily.

By the way, I am v. confused about this case and am starting to think....slightly...that the suspects are intentionally obfuscating things but I don't know why. I can't get a clear picture of anything they are saying took place the next morning. Where and when were the various mops, phones, cloths, people the morning Meredith was found? Did AS and RS make a number of rapid phone calls from her room while the postal police were there and then deny doing this? Denied even phoning her mom then? That is not any proof of murder, but why all the noncooperation or confusion, why can't it get cleared up? (talk) 19:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Averell. The judges report hasn't yet been released, but I believe it is due within the next six weeks. It will be in Italian and the official version should appear online. I expect English versions of key sections will appear on the internet. Footnote 19 in the article links to the report from the Guede trial, which dicusses much of the evidence also presented at the Knox/Sollecito trial. --FormerIP (talk) 23:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Another question about the Italian judicial process

At the beginning of the trial, it was reported that the prosecution presented the court with a 10,000 page (I think) statement of the prosecution case. My question is whether this document would be considered by the court, in its entirity, even if some parts were never full covered in the court case itself. There were various claims by police, such as the finding of receipts for bleach, which were never presented in open court. I am wondering if some of these might have been in the written case and, if so, whether they would have been considered by the court. If so, there may be large chunks of evidence that we are unaware of. Could Salvio Giuliano, or someone else who understands the law better than me please comment. Thanks! Bluewave (talk) 17:25, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

I think it was not considered in Court.
Under article 111 of the Italian Constitution, "in criminal trials, evidence may only be established according to the principle of confrontation between parties". This means that all the evidence gathered during the preliminary investigations, since it has not been gathered according to the principle of confrontation between parties, and it doesn't matter if it has been gathered by the Prosecution or by the defense, can be produced only before the Giudice per le Indagini Preliminari, when he issues a precautionary measure, and before the Giudice per l'Udienza Preliminare, when he determines whether there is enough evidence for a trial. Then, all this evidence is, basically, thrown away: the Giudice del dibattimento - the one who actually convicts or acquits, never gets to see it. Only exceptions to this rules are the pieces of evidence that cannot be renewed - so the Code of Criminal Procedure describes the process of regathering, according to the principle of confrontation between parties, every single piece of evidence needed -, for instance the results of an autopsy or the report of a search and seizure. Other exceptions to the rule are: 1. when the piece of evidence cannot be renewed because of an action of the defendant (e.g., for he threatened the witness into changing his testimony) or 2. when the parties agree on not abiding by that rule as far as a given piece of evidence is concerned. It is the Giudice dell'Udienza Preliminare who determines what can and what cannot be shown to the Giudice del dibattimento, by transferring evidence from the fascicolo del pubblico ministero - the file that contains all evidence gathered so far and that will never be shown to the Giudice del dibattimento - into the fascicolo del dibattimento - the trial file, that contains the only evidence the Judge can use to determine if the defendant is or is not guilty -. Salvio giuliano (talk) 13:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks for an excellent explanation! Bluewave (talk) 16:09, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

"Murder of Meredith Kercher" to "Meredith Kercher"?

Is the use of "Murder of" in the article name giving it an NPOV slant? Or should it be renamed to "Meredith Kercher"? I'm just checking because apparently some editors think that the term "murder" gives such articles an NPOV slant and are quoting this rule to justify their view, even though all news sources report it as a murder.Zhanzhao (talk) 10:34, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the mention of murder indicates a lack of neutrality. I have never seen any source that raised the slightest possibility of the case being something other than a murder. And surely the murder is the notable thing - if it wasn't a murder, there wouldn't be a Wikipedia article. Just naming it "Meredith Kercher" would imply that it was a biographical article about the person. It isn''s an article about the murder. Bluewave (talk) 12:29, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Please, not again. The naming is standard practice, and in particular this is not a page about Meredith Kercher, but on the crime. Averell (talk) 17:01, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you able to point to evidence ins support of what tou say, Zhanzhao? Agreed, there may be cases where a similarly formulated page title might be objectionable under NPOV (eg "Murder of Dr David Kelly"), but this doesn't seem to be the case, since there does not seem to be any significant doubt that Merdedith Kercher was murdered (as noted by Bluewave). There seem to be a lot of "Murder of..." pages on WP. --FormerIP (talk) 17:14, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Murder of 'x' is the typical title for articles about murders. There is no POV issue in describing Kercher's death as a murder; AGF has nothing to do with it. Whilst many people have disputed who killed her, no-one could honestly claim that she was not murdered. Calling the article Meredith Kercher would be wrong as the article is centred on her murder, not her life. She does not warrant a Wikipedia biography of her own as she is not notable; she was just an ordinary student. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 22:07, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Just to note: I had some discussion with Zhanzhao elsewhere. It turns out that he was trying to get views on the issue to support his argument on another talkpage, and was not trying to propose a name-cahnge for this article. He should really have used NPOV/N, I think, but he was in good faith and the issue on the other article is now resolved. --FormerIP (talk) 22:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Bleaching of the crime scene

Hi, I made two very precise edits of this section and Rothorpe decided to do an undo saying 'rv good-faith edits unnecessary.' Not sure what that means. I should probably have signed in and done it properly and will do that if that is the issue.

I posted a long explanation of the logic behind the edits which seem to me to be prudent edits along the lines of making things more precise and less misleading, I posted it to Rothorpe's talk page. Basic point that a shop owner testified in court that he sells bleach for 1.09 and had seen Knox in his shop the relevant morning but did not know what she had purchased. No till receipts for 1.09 were produced by the prosecution nor was there further confirmation subsequent to 2007 of the story that till receipts were found. Made sense then not to make a big deal out of this but just to change the assertion that they were found to the assertion that a November 19, 2007 story in the Times stated so. No subsequent assertion to the same effect was made so it seemed sensible to replace the statement of fact "till receipts were found" to say that such-and-such article stated that police had found till receipts. Similarly I changed 'the supermarket' to 'a supermarket' as it isn't established if the supermarket of the till receipts is the same one of the shop owner who said he sells bleach for 1.09 and had seen Knox in his shop the morning after the murder (but did not notice what she had purchased).

I'm not biased on the issue of this case one way or the other, I find it frustrating that the defendants can't tell a straight story but I also find it a bit frustrating that Wikipedia isn't making a clear effort to separate fact from fiction either. Between the assertions of Mignini and those of the defendants this is nonsense upon nonsense. Journalists also can add nonsense. Things stated to be established as fact should be things that are really established in a pretty absolute sense. That is really all I care about regarding this article, as a reader who had found it frustrating the amount of misinformation on both sides. (talk) 20:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi. Do you have a basis for saying that the receipts weren't presented by the prosecution or that their existence was only reported by the Times? It seems to be that you ought to convince other editors before doing the relevant edits.
You are right in terms of the potential for "nonsense up nonsense" in the article. At the moment, it is a general problem. However, I don't think this can be solved by making edits where the only justification offered is "I believe this to be nonsense". Cheers. --FormerIP (talk) 21:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

OK, thanks, that is a good point. I should go and try to find all the documents I was looking at. I'm a bit tired to do it tonight. Thanks for explaining why the edit was undone. Makes sense. (talk) 21:53, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

OK I am properly logged in, and I have the quote I had found which made me wish to change the statement that till receipts had been found to the statement that the Times article from November 19, 2007 stated that police had found till receipts.

Here is from March 2009, here is the link and here is the quote about the testimony of the shop-owner Quintovalle

Quintovalle had asked his cashiers if they remembered her or what she had bought that morning, but they did not remember anything. Quintovalle stated that detergent bleach is sold in his store for 1.09 euro per bottle and he carries only one kind (ACE), and they are all 1.09 per bottle. Comment: if the prosecution introduces a till receipt for a 1.09 euro item sold at approximately 8:00am on November 2nd this would be very telling. So far such a receipt has not been introduced. The Police sequestered the till receipts, but have not officially released the findings. A possible problem is that many places don’t even ring up the items on the register to save the taxes

It is a reprint of an article written by Harry Rag for The article does not appear to be biased, Harry Rag reports things that are negative for the defendants freely, and there is no reason to think he is hiding anything he knows or found out. Note that he says "The police have sequestered till receipts but have not officially reased the findings." This is two years subsequent to the Times article saying that till receipts had been found.

The jury reads Wikipedia (esp the Italian one) and it is *absolutely* *not* *correct* for Wikipedia to report as fact things that have been stated to journalists but not officially released as evidence.

There are two very serious difficulties with this case. One is that there are contradictions among statements made by the defendants which are quite difficult to resolve. A second is that there are contradictions between statements made by the defendants and by the prosecution, and between statements made by the prosecution, or by the prosecution and by journalists.

Anyway, it is *not* an established fact that any till receipts specifically for bleach were found, and I am therefore, I hope with permission of the editors, going to undo the undo of my edit.

This means that the statement of what the Times article says will be replaced by a direct quote from the Times artcle. It is a fact that the Times article stated that receipts for bleach were found.

I am also reverting 'the supermarket' to 'a supermarket' because I really do not know which supermarket the till receipts which the Times article refers to are from. For example, maybe both RS and AK bought bleach, at two different supermarkets. Maybe neither did. I just do not know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Createangelos (talkcontribs) 11:56, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Createangelos. I appreciate you taking the time to do some research. However, there are couple of problems with the source you have found.
Firstly, it is a self-published source, falling under WP:SELFPUB. True Justice is an anonymously-produced blog, meaning that it can't be used as a WP:RS (Reliable Source) for claims about the case. I agree that the material you have referenced is probably accurate (the site is very well-produced), but it is not usable for Wikipedia purposes.
On a more practical, less bureaucratic level, imagine if we gave a green light for "pro-Kercher" and "pro-Knox" blogs to be routinely cited for information about the case. This certainly would not help the problems with the article you have correctly identified above.
Secondly, what you are claiming does not actually seem to be supported by what you have found on True Justice in any case. You say that the receipts were not produced in court. However, the True Justice story was published in March 2009, seven months before the end of the trial, so it is hard to see how it can be used to support this claim. It says "The Police sequestered the till receipts, but have not officially released the findings" - this doesn't tell us anything about whether they were produced during the trial.
The Times is an WP:RS and what it says is clear: "Till receipts found at the flat of Raffaele that he bought two bottles of bleach allegedly used to clean the murder weapon at a time when he claimed to be asleep". Having personal doubts about this is all well and good, but we can only report what Reliable Sources have said.
I think, though, that it would not be unreasonable to change the reference to "a supermarket".
The article contains a lot of information which is sourced but which may well not be accurate. There's a limit to how much we can do about this. However, any statement that can be shown to be false using Reliable Sources can be excluded from the article. It is also full of things that were reported by newspapers but not mentioned at trial. I agree that this in unfortunate, but newspapers are a Reliable Source for information about news stories. Can you see how it seems inconsistent to question the reliablility of newspapers (not that this is entirely unreasonable) and then produce a blog in support of a different version of events? --FormerIP (talk) 12:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi, Thanks for your comments. I have not reverted the undo as yet, until it is clear what is best.

By the way, my proposal, the change which I suggested, and which I propose we should revert to, is to include exactly the statement you quote from the Times. That very quote, which you give here in the talk page, is what was deleted when I inserted it.

Just to be very clear: my proposal is to include the quote from the Times article. I know that this is complicated, but the reason I have just now cited the anti-knox article about the Till receipts is because that article says as yet they have not been produced. Therefore the salient fact is that on 19 November 2007 the Times wrote "Till receipts found at the flat...claimed to be asleep."

I propose precisely that we should revert to my edit, which was to put in the article, in place of an editors' paraphrase of the Times article, the exact quote from the Times article.

My mentioning that anti-Knox blogs and articles concede that no such receipts were produced in court as of March 2009 is not because I care about what those blogs or articles say. The events in court include testimony of a shopkeeper and so-on, and I am also not proposing to include these. I am proposing just being very very clear, straightforward, and accurate as you have just been in your post above, and including the word-for-word statement that appeared in the times, in place of an editors' paraphrase.

It is an absoulute fact that on a particular date, a particular article was published stating a particular sentence. If there is any question here, as there certainly is, we should quote what that sentence says verbatim, just as you have done. Createangelos (talk) 14:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I wonder if people agree with this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Createangelos (talkcontribs) 14:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

In the absence of a reliable source saying the till receipts were presented as evidence at trail, should the article even mention them at all? Footwarrior (talk) 14:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The Times is a Reliable Source. :
I think there's an important thing to add here. The Times article talks about receipts found at Sollecito's flat. The True Justice site talks about receipts sequestered from the shop. These would not be the same receipts. They would be the copy given to Sollecito and the copy retained in the till, presumably. So, there is no inconsistency between the Times site and the blog. Plus the blog is not an RS in any case.
The blog says that it had not been confirmed whether there had been a repsonse to the sequestration, as at March. We can't use this info in the article, however (no RS), and we can't offer our own speculation as to what this implies or use it to throw properly-sourced information into doubt. So we really are left with just the Times to go off. There is no reason attribute this, because there is no particular reason to doubt it (that said, I also don't like the fact that we have so much newspaper reporting in the article - but we should be consistent - all kinds of claims are made in the article on a similar basis). If we put "according to the Times..." in there, we would by the same reasoning need an "according to.." in every other sentence or thereabouts.
We only report what has been said in Reliable Sources - we don't do investigative journalism.
It should not be long before the judgment in the Sollecito-Knox case is published, and hopefully that we clear a lot of things up. Cheers. --FormerIP (talk) 14:35, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

OK, I'm not sure if I'm still logged in but anyway I'll go along with the suggestion made not to undo the revert as far as attributing the truth of the assertion that receipts were found to the Times (though I personally am unsure whether the Times was just wrong). But we'll leave it. And I'll do what was suggested and undo just the revert to change 'the supermarket' back to 'a supermarket' as there really is no information suggesting that the Times supermarket is the one run by Mr. Quintovalle. Createangelos (talk) 15:43, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh..I see someone has done it for me already. Good. Then I guess that really is the consensus. Createangelos (talk) 15:45, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Cool. I'm not saying you are being unreasonable by the way. IMO it would be good take out some of the detail in the article. We'll have to wait adn see if that can happen over time, I think. --FormerIP (talk) 16:01, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi, Thanks for your voice of support. By the way, someone reverted it again to 'the supermarket' and I am now pleased that they did re-revert my edit as I realize it was more correct after all to say 'the supermarket', as Sky News and the Telegraph both reported in March that the supermarket which relates to the receipts claim from 2007 is indeed the Conad store in Via Garibaldi, which is run by Marco Quintovalle.

According to the Harry Rag article he attended court on 21 March 2007 and heard the testimony, including Marco Quintovalle stating that bleach in his shop costs 1.09 Euros. The Sky News article from the same day states "It is of interest that when police searched Sollecito's house days after the murder, they found a receipt for cleaning products from the shop where Knox was allegedly seen." The pro Knox site says that no such receipts were ever produced in court, and that their existence stems from a unique source, the 19 November 2009 Richard Owen article. The Harry Rag account states that he witnessed Marco Quintavalle stating in court on 21 March that he saw Ms. Knox in his shop, she had been there waiting for the shop to open, and that the cost of bleach in his shop is 1.09 Euros. Rag also quotes Mr. Quintavalle as saying in court that he only sells one brand of bleach, ACE brand.

If we must accept that reporting by a news organization like the Times, the Telegraph, or Sky is to be taken as fact, this does mean that the relevant receipts should be for the amount of 1.09 Euros. Here is from the Telegraph on the same day of 21 March, reporting Mr. Quintavalle's testimony to Judge Gincaarlo Massei, quoting the testimony and stating then that the shop is the same one as the police had found the receipt for cleaning products.

"For me the girl in the newspapers was the same girl."
Asked by trial judge, Giancarlo Massei, if he recognised
 the girl from the supermarket in court Mr Quintavalle  
 said: "It's her, I'm sure of it," there was no reaction
 from Miss Knox. Police who searched Mr Sollecito's house,
  just a few minutes walk from the murder scene, days after
 the murder found a receipt for cleaning products from the
 shop where Miss Knox was allegedly seen.

Note that the Telegraph article says Knox was 'allegedly seen' in the shop, but there is no 'allegedly' about the receipt which had earlier been reported by Mr. Owen in the times.

A slight majority of informal websites and blogs refer to the 'bleach receipt' as an example of misreporting/journalistic irresponsibility, not in connection with proving guilt or innocence of the defendants, but in regards to obfuscating attempts to clarify information and to determine the reliability of information.

In other words, the 'bleach receipt' journalism is in a slight majority of informal websites and blogs viewed with the same frustration as the Lumumba accusation of Knox, the satanic ritual theory of Mignini. Cannot anyone tell the truth? In my case, the question, cannot Wikipedia tell the simple truth?

Generally speaking, what is the standard of truth here? To my view, a convicted killer is a convicted killer. That is very slightly different from a killer, logically speaking. A news story stating that a receipt has been found, is a news story stating that a receipt has been found. It is not, in itself a receipt.

Wikipedia has an opportunity to be something different than a newspaper or a court. Something higher. I am a bit disappointed that even Wikipedia has not been able to rise above the nonsense upon nonsense propogated by all three sides in this case: the defense, the prosecution, and the Third Estate. Createangelos (talk) 23:35, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The Fourth Estate, you mean. You are right that a story that a receipt has been found is not a receipt. We don't have direct access to the hard evidence, and we are not here to reconstruct the trial (a problem with the article at present). We just report what others have reported before us and try to bring it into a whole. What are you thinking of exactly when you say we should be "something higher" than a newspaper or a court? We should maybe do a better job in terms of distilling what is really important in an article like this, I would agree, but we are at least in a position to aspire to that. --FormerIP (talk) 11:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, the article is pretty good actually, if a person reads it and also reads the references. If a person interprets "x is true" and a reference as meaning "reference y says x is true," there is considerable wisdom in this and other Wikipedia articles about controversial subjects. The statement after all is in a section headed controversies. Then an article should be allowed to have mutually contradictory statements of truth without people worrying about how to resolve them. It does make sense and it is the same idea as the notion that 'according to Wikipedia...' should be considered a vacuous and meaningless phrase. No judgement is made about credibility of sources, all reports from reliable sources reported as facts even if they are disputed by other less reliable sources. In that sense some facts may contradict other facts, and it is to the reader to reconcile it all, not an editor. I think it's OK actually. Createangelos (talk) 13:23, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I do feel v. slightly uneasy leaving it at that, though, even though I know it is right, so just for the record, I'll summarize. According to the reliable reporting (combining the Owens Times article, the Telegraph article, the Sky report and others), a receipt was found by the police in the apartment of Raffaele Sollecito, with the date of 2 November 2007, for the amount of 1.09 Euros, the time of 8:30 AM, from the Conad store in Via Garibaldi which is owned by Marco Quintavalle, for the purchase of a bottle of ACE bleach.

According to a great amount of less reliable reporting (blogs, websites, etc) no such receipt has ever existed.

The existence of the questions -- essentially a challenge for someone to produce the receipt -- on informal sites and blogs mean that the statement that the receipt exists is put in a section about controversies, but it remains an assertion of truth because it should be treated just like any other assertion of truth from a reliable source. Is that a correct summary of how things were done? I don't think I disagree with it, and I do see that it means there should be no attempt to reconcile 'facts' to make any particular consistent story. Createangelos (talk) 13:44, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Does this comment from an Italian source help?[8]
Luca Maori, il legale dello studente di Giovinazzo, giura poi che gli scontrini trovati dalla polizia nel monolocale del ragazzo (tre in tutto e datati in tempi lontani dal delitto) non hanno nessuna importanza nell' inchiesta.
Translation from Google seems to indicate the dates didn't match the time of the crime.
Luca Maori, the lawyer for the student Giovinazzo, then swears that the receipts found by police in the studio for the boy (three in all and dated in time away from crime) have no importance in the 'investigation.
Could someone fluent in Italian confirm that the translation is correct?Footwarrior (talk) 23:46, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Fluent, hmm, but I'd say more or less: Luca Maori, the lawyer for the student from Giovinazzo, then swears that the receipts found by police in the boy's bedsit (three in all and bearing dates distant from that of the crime) have no importance in the investigation. Rothorpe (talk) 01:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

It is interesting that it is from the same date as the Times article by Richard Owens, which claims that the receipts are from the morning after the murder and even from 'a time when he claimed to be asleep.' The Owens Times article puts the title partly in quotes

Suspect `bought bleach to clean murder weapon after Meredith Kercher's death.' 

But there is no particular quote to that effect in the article. I'm pleased people are continuing to think about this subsequent to my being curious about it. It should be a matter of simple fact, a receipt is a written document. I wish we had it to display on the side of the page so it doesn't need to be discussed so abstractly, and sorry for taking up so much space about it. Nice one by the way Rothorpe. I didn't know you know Italian.

Also I know this is only a talk page but I'll also 'indent' this quote since I have made the times quote prominent on the talk page

Repubblica — 19 novembre 2007   pagina 13   sezione: CRONACA  
"(three in all and bearing dates distant from that of the crime)"  
[with round parentheses as in the article, not sure what the parentheses signify this is part of the quote]

Createangelos (talk) 19:28, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Since we have a reliable source claiming the receipts were not dated the morning after the crime, I added a mention of that to the article. The witness that testified that Knox wasn't at the store that morning should also be mentioned to keep this part of the article neutral. Footwarrior (talk) 09:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Should one change 'police recovered' to 'police reported' in the ref to Owens Times article? Rothorpe? Createangelos (talk) 20:52, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

No, & I've already changed it back to 'recovered'. It's a matter of linguistic collocation: police make statements, which journalists report. Rothorpe (talk) 21:34, 24 January 2010 (UTC)