Fly by Night wrote:An excellent analysis of motivation and intent, Giglio. Your last paragraph sums the situation up nicely and flies directly in the face of Entourage Repetetive Repulsive Obtuse Rhetoric (ERROR).
I'm not going to post a link but there are several regarding the use and meaning of alibis, too. The gist of it is that there is a qualitative strength of an alibi (from the Latin word "somewhere else" just as the English "alias" is from the Latin word "someone else"). The strength of the alibi becomes essential to establishing the basis for further investigation.
Roughly, the strength of the alibi is based on how connected the person or instrument is to the suspect and the ease in which the evidence may be tampered with.
In the case of AK and RS, and because they had no credible alibi otherwise, they chose each other as their alibi. This is a rookie mistake that most experienced criminals who work in concert rarely make. The alibi is weak to begin with because each person is literally connected intimately with the other. Contrast their alibis with those of Mr Lumumba. His alibi was a combination of a till receipt, the hours of operation of his business, and an acquaintance who was not a blood relative or otherwise personally affected by the suspect's actions.
There's more, too. Once the pair were questioned separately, their weak alibis turned into no alibi. This is part of the purpose of a police interview. The alibi is either strengthened or weakened by investigation.
Again, a contrast with Mr Lumumba is in order. He was questioned and his alibis were noted. They were pursued. The evidence from his business was neither strengthened nor weakened but the unconnected acquaintance was later tracked down and confirmed independently Mr Lumumba's claim of being somewhere else.
RS and AK chose essentially to retract their alibis once inconsistencies began to appear. Hence all the documentation and testimony from their pens or their lips refer only to vague visions or hash-clouded memories. That's one of the reasons I never would have allowed AK to take the stand in her own defence and claim no alibi. I just don't think she knew how bad that comes across. But, as has been argued here, it probably wasn't her lawyers' idea. Another reason to trust your lawyers explicitly before you enter a courtroom.
I could find some *.edu sites that explain alibis thoroughly in case anyone's interested but you can locate them fairly easily just by Googling.
The first rule of alibis is that they should be true which is the essential qualitative difference comes between AK+RS and Patrick
Having said that, AK and RS didn't have much option about which story to tell and they were inherently weakened by a number of factors, none of which are new, but when you lay them out one after another, you can see why they were in such trouble on the subject of alibis:
1) The crime wasn't pre-meditated according to the court, so they had no time to set up a well rehearsed story.
2) The murder took place at night in Amanda's own flat so she had nowhere she could "be" in her alibi - she couldn't have "gone for her walk" for all of that time in the winter evening, "gone for a drive" (they couldn't be sure witnesses wouldn't have placed the car still in Perugia) or have been in a public place (because she wasn't). Ergo, the boyfriend's flat is pretty much the only option that's possible.
3) Whatever their pre-existing character defects (and I am consistently amazed at the really quite frequent strong fantastical elements to all 3 of their writings which are just really *odd*), the magnitude of what they did that night would have utterly thrown their logical thought processes. (Anyone who has been involved in a trauma accident / very high stress event / suffering from severe grief / depression may have experienced this). Therefore the quality of their thinking in setting up the alibi at the flat would have been low and ill-thought through, hence the "we can't remember anything at all because we were stoned" - a move of desperation to try and keep the examinable detail level of the alibi low since they knew they wouldn't be able to sustain the story.
4) They were interrupted by the postal police while they had returned to complete the clean-up and hadn't finished rounding off their story making the likelihood of holes larger. We can see the later extensive email home written in the middle of the night / early morning is Amanda trying to get a highly detailed version down to try and cover off all the minutiae that by that time she had started realising she was going to have to provide. The timing of that email shows how worried she is, trying to work away at the alibi in the dead of night before the morning brings the chance of more direct police interrogation.
5) They had been up late cleaning up really quite comprehensively (sorry Donnie) and then got up again at 5.30am on very little to no sleep to start the process again. (Computer activity / bombed out faces in the photos) so they would have been operating with tired brains when starting to relate the alibi. Not tactically a good place to be at.
6) When the police were questioning them outside the apartment, it looks to me like Amanda is "over-explaining" from the photo of her active hands (mirrored interestingly in the More4 documentary a couple of years later by Edda when questioned about the first phonecall by Amanda and can't hold eye contact or keep her hands still). "Over-explaining" is a sure tell to good police and lawyers. People in their situation should have been highly shocked and their explanations would have trailed off in the middle of sentences / would have burst into tears at seemingly random moments / would have got upset or illogically focused on tiny details. She's explaining too much about her and not relating enough about Meredith. From that moment on, the police instincts would have been quivering. I'd put a £100 on the first time one of the police said to another "I think she might have done it" was on the first day.
7) They had no experience and got a proper police questioning where repeated questions blow holes in the consistency of a made up alibi even with experienced criminals. Cross-examination by an unsympathetic female officer who already knew instinctively that Amanda had been involved would have been a very very tough experience psychologically. Almost no-one can withstand it when they are on foundations of sand. The atmosphere in a room where a client's alibi has just given way or been thoroughly shown up is something I've experienced many times. It's almost pheremonal in quality and excruciatingly uncomfortable because the logical conversation continues to be conducted at one level but the animal instincts in the people are communicating non-verbally but very powerfully "I know you are lying and you know I know" and the acknowledgement of the subject is just *there*.
8) They were traumatised by what they had done (AK hands on ears and shaking when shown the knife draw) and recognised they simply had not done enough homework to carry off a convincing explanation. They knew they weren't being convincing hence some of the very early desperation (starting, I believe, with the first "unremembered" phonecall to Edda which Edda now can't speak plainly about whatever happened in it, nor will Amanda recognise it happened - either because she knew she was being taped in jail (probable) and / or that she simply can't 'go there' with her mother because of whatever it was she actually said). No, they knew they were not credible and in a hopeless position, therefore the 'gift' of the written explanation AK, the 'bullshit' stories admitted to by Raffaele, and maybe the 'it's stupid I was there' comment to Edda. Right up until legal counsel stopped them.
9) They then played a little virtual mexican stand-off with each other with some media-reported thinly veiled threats to blow the other up if they didn't continue to support the core alibi. I often wonder now if Chris Mellas is doing the web stuff for Family Raffy on the basis that you keep your friends close but your (potential) enemies closer. The alibis crumbled further in this period.
10) And for a nice round 10), back to the beginning, there wasn't an alibi - there were several and they were inconsistent and mutating. And if the best alibi is the true one, then the worst one is the one that doesn't stand up and you keep on changing.
So even when making my initial posts here (as FOA
) I'd already chosen my nick precisely because I could see, even with much less knowledge of the case at that point, that they had, to use a bit of London vernacular, totally, comprehensively and permanently stuffed their alibis up already.