DNA Expert Greg Hampikian discusses Amanda Knox- 12/16 Show Recap

We are joined today by Dr. Greg Hampikian, who will discuss his role in the exoneration of Amanda Knox. Dr. Hampikian is a professor at Boise State University. He is also the director of the Idaho Innocence Project. DNA in general is defined and dissected by Hampikian as well.

  • Dr. Hampikian is introduced, where he gives us a brief overview of the beginning of the Amanda Knox case. (1:45)
  • Dr. Hampikian goes on to discuss the evidence processing videos he watched and explained the importance of this in regards to DNA. (4:15)
  • DNA I Dr. Hampikian’s work is detailed. His work has helped exonerate ten people including Amanda Knox. (6:36)
  • The validity of DNA on the knife in evidence is explained by Dr. Hampikian. (6:10)
  • A key piece of evidence collected has no video recording documented, or photographed. (10:20)
  • Dr. Hampikian’s involvement in the Amanda Knox case. (12:10)
  • The structure of DNA in the 19th century is broken down. (18:00)
  • Listeners begin to call in to ask Dr. Hampikian questions. (23:43)
  • Dr. Hampikian discusses DNA software programs and their functions. (29:45)
  • Mitochondrial DNA is defined, along with its role. (39:35)
  • Nuclear markers are discussed. (40:50)
  • The accreditation of labs and their significance is covered. (45:00)
  • Dr. Hampikian tells us about his impressive work at the university, among other projects, such as The Idaho Innocence Project. (46:36)
  • Next weeks guests are announced. (57:46)

About behindtheyellowtape

Joey Ortega started his investigative career early at the age of 18 working as an apprentice investigator for local detectives. He started out doing insurance fraud investigations and background investigations. Proving adept in the areas surveillance and information gathering, Joey continued to seek further investigative challenges. From there he went on to do internal investigations for a number of companies that include; Sears, Roebuck Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, and K-mart. He was largely responsible for investigating issues of internal theft, embezzlement, workers comp fraud, and crime ring investigations. His success eventually earned him a position as a national investigator for a cellular chain, investigating crime rings on a national level. Trained in the Reid technique (interviewing/interrogation), Joey was able to gain confessions consistently without a single prosecution ever being challenged in court. Throughout his career as an internal investigator Joey continued to work for various private investigative agencies. Moving away from insurance fraud, Joey began developing his skills in the areas of criminal defense investigation, fidelity investigation, missing person’s investigations, and stalker investigations. It was the area of stalker investigations that Joey began to discover his passion for computer crime investigations. Having to learn quickly how to trace harassing and threatening emails, Joey began see that this is where the future of crime and justice was heading and decided to throw himself deeply into the subject. As a result, Joey’s clientele began to include those who were victims of internet fraud and cyber attacks. Joey is also the co-founder of The Ullemeyer Group, Inc. an investigative and training firm based in Santa Barbara, California that specializes in forensic training and consulting.
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One Response to DNA Expert Greg Hampikian discusses Amanda Knox- 12/16 Show Recap

  1. Harry Rag says:

    Greg Hampikian is ignorant of the basic facts of the Meredith Kercher case. For example, he has falsely claimed that Rudy Guede’s DNA “was all over the victim”. If he had read the official court reports such as the Micheli report and the Massei report, he would have known that there was only one sample of Guede’s DNA on Meredith’s body.

    Hampikian has also falsely claimed that the only evidence that implicates Amanda Knox is the knife. This is clearly not true.

    Amanda Knox gave three different alibis which all turned out to be false and repeatedly accused an innocent man of murder. She didn’t recant her false and malicious allegation against Diya Lumumba the whole time he was in prison. She acknowledged that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.

    After Knox was informed that Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, she stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed.

    Procurator General Galati noted that Knox knew specific details of the crime that she could have only known if he had been present when Meredith was killed. According to multiple witnesses at the police station, Knox said she was the one who had found Meredith’s body, that she was in the wardrobe, that she was covered by the quilt, that a foot was sticking out, that they had cut her throat and that there was blood everywhere. Knox wasn’t in a position to have seen anything when the door was kicked in. Galati pointed out in his appeal that Knox described the spot where Meredith was murdered and described the state of the body, the room and the injury to Meredith’s throat. He concluded that Knox knew everything because she was in the room at the time of the murder and when Meredith was left in the condition in which she was discovered. The judges at the Italian Supreme Court who annulled the acquittals also noted that Knox had known these details and that Judge Hellmann had ignored these clues.

    According to the prosecution’s experts, there were five instances of Knox’s DNA or blood with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage. Even Amanda Knox’s lawyers conceded that her blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood. In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were both bleeding at the same time.

    Knox’s and Sollecito’s bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol in the hallway. The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede.

    An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp. His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17. Professor Torricelli testified that it was unlikely the clasp was contaminated because there was a significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on it. Professor Novelli analysed the series of samples from all 255 items processed and found not a single instance of contamination, and ruled out as implausible that a contaminating agent could have been present just on one single result. Professor David Balding, a Professor of Statistical Genetics at University College London, recently analysed the DNA evidence against Sollecito and concluded it was strong.

    The knife and bra clasp are still in evidence and remain compelling evidence against Knox and Sollecito.

    The independent experts Conti and Vecchiotti never proved there had been any contamination. They didn’t visit the laboratories of the Scientific Police or ask about their cleaning procedures. They didn’t know that the negative tests had been filed with another judge. They didn’t know that Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA or that she last handled Sollecito’s DNA 12 days before she analysed the bra clasp. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory. Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment, so contamination away from the laboratory was impossible.

    Alberto Intini, the head of the Italian police forensic science unit, pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it doesn’t exist.

    Professor Novelli also pointed out that contamination has to be proved:

    “The contaminant must be demonstrated, where it originated from and where it is. The hook contaminated by dust? It’s more likely for a meteorite to fall and bring this court down to the ground.”

    Galati made the following common sense observation in his appeal:

    “It is evident that the “non-exclusion” of the occurrence of a certain phenomenon is not equivalent to affirming its occurrence, nor even that the probability that it did occur.” (The Galati appeal, page 57).

    He goes on to explain that unless there is proof of contamination of the knife and bra clasp, you can’t simply claim there was in order to nullify this evidence:

    “…if one is not able to [67] affirm where, how and when they would have happened, they cannot enter into a logical-juridical reasoning aimed at nullifying elements already acquired, above all if scientific in nature.” (p57).

    The Italian Supreme Court explained how DNA evidence should be assessed in court i.e. contamination must be proven with certainty not supposition. The burden of proof is on the person who asserts contamination, not the person who denies it. In other words, if the defence lawyers claim the DNA evidence was contaminated, they must describe the specific place and time where it could have plausibly occurred. Nobody has ever proved that the bra clasp and knife evidence were contaminated and it’s difficult to see how the defence experts are going to do this at the new appeal.

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