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RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES

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Offline Michael

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 4:27 pm   Post subject: RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES   

RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES



Author: SomeAlibi



A feature of this case that what we have seen time and again is a standardised pattern of denial and down-playing on the part of the Campaign for Amanda and Raffaele. For any given suggestion, everything is downplayed, denied, poo-pooed as the over-fevered imagination of rabid guilters.

One example of this from the pro-camp has been that Raffaele was not someone who had a fascination with knives but someone who just carried a pocket-knife - an innocent pursuit for a young man. He’s not a collector or an aficionado, the suggestion goes, just a young man who might need to cut an apple with a pocket-knife and he’s certainly not a hardcore knife knut collecting fantasy-wish-list knives, you deluded guilters!

Carrying a pocket knife on the person in public is illegal in Italy but ignoring that technicality for a minute, let’s examine over a couple of posts, three knives of Raffaele Sollecito which were impounded during his arrest. Yes that’s three knives moving up in degrees of interest. Oh, I nearly forgot; Let me mention - I won’t be talking about the identified murder weapon at all.


Knife Three: The Display Combat Knife

The suggestion from many in the pro-camp is that Raffaele wasn’t interested or barely interested in knives. Here’s a funny thing he had mounted on his bedroom wall which many pro-camp (although not the hardcore) are not aware of. The picture is from the courtroom of Amanda and Raffaele's trial.






This is a replica combat knife, plain for all to see, with the heavy t-bar protection designed to protect the hand of the knife user from slipping onto the blade when using it to stab another person as well as being a protection against another blade. The trench-like shape in the middle of the blade is a blood groove. Blood grooves exist for only one purpose - as they imply, they are for when you stab someone deeply with the knife: they allow the blood to run out down the grooves which breaks the seal and suction of the enclosing wound around the blade which makes the knife far easier to withdraw.* That knife is specifically designed for stabbing people as well as cutting sentries' throats etc. The female arm in the picture is Amanda’s by the way (you can find the zoomed-out version showing all of Amanda in this pic in the PMF gallery), as it was taken when she was being shown the knife in court. She must have recognised it of course, since it was from Raffaele’s bedroom and would have been a rather noticeable discussion piece and within view whenever laying on his bed unless it was directly over the bed head...

Any teenager or young person puts the objects of their interest and infatuation, from bands to film-stars on their walls. Raffaele chose to put a knife designed for killing people on his wall. It would have been a rather lurking and incongruous presence on a small student sized bedroom wall during Amanda and Raffaele’s passionate relationship in the minds of the vast majority of people. The question of Raffaele’s degree of attraction to knives such that he actively chose to mount a replica combat knife on his bedroom wall doesn’t appear to need much further discussion. And yet, it’s less than a third of the equation since it was a replica. In the second post, let’s turn to real knives which Raffaele, by his own words, carried on him every day for years and which tell a more subtle but deeper story.



What is a Pocket Knife to You?

The phrase ‘pocket knife’ has been translated from the Italian from the transcripts / press coverage. For many, including myself, this will have conjured a mental image of a Swiss Army type knife or a simple blade and indeed this is the prevalent definition of a conventional pocket knife. Let’s actually have a look at Raffaele’s “pocket knives” courtesy of pictures posted by Jools. These knives were impounded, one from the apartment and one, unbelievably from Raffaele’s person at the Questura. In the case of the latter, even Raffaele saw this as a spectacular own-goal as we can read from his diary entry of Nov 7, 2007; "I'm not even able to offer guilt, given my deep fu**ing stupidity for the fact that I smoke cannabis I even forget what I have eaten and also for that I carry behind a knife to nock the tables and the trees and I carry it so often that I brought it also to the police headquarters." But lets move on to look at the knives;


Knife Two






This is a 2.9 inch blade drop point, near spear point knife. At first glance (apart from the mark on the clip which should be ignored and was benign), the pro-camp might say “Well look at it - it’s just a pocket knife (even if it looks a bit sharp and stuff) – look it’s even got a cute clip for the pocket like on a pen.”

Ok well let’s start there; the clip is actually a reversible one – it can be taken off and re-screwed to the knife to the user’s side / orientation of preference. This is already a proper knife rather than a cheap shop pick up. More obviously, the half-serrated edge to the blade for cutting is an active design (and purchase) feature. Third, the ‘grind’ on the top the blade shows an aesthetic sensibility to the design but also serves a functional purpose for a cutting or stabbing use in terms of reducing friction. Fourth, the serrations or (quite aggressive) ‘jimping’ on the top of the handle, just behind the blade are there to provide thumb grip. Quite a lot of design features on this knife for a casual “pocket knife” one might think.

Which leaves us with the funny bar code thing at the top edge of the blade and the indistinct logo on the blade. Let’s see what that logo is with a little enhancing;





‘Brian Tighe Design’. I wonder who he is? Google sets us straight;

“You'd need a calculator to count the number of custom knife-makers who have jumped into the tactical fray over the past five years. You can tally the cream of the crop on two hands, being sure to earmark one of those digits for knifemaker Brian Tighe. In a matter of just a couple of years Tighe (pronounced "Tie") has risen from the rank and file of edged weapons artisans to the rarefied air of the top 10 elite.”

A look at Tighe’s site shows that his own company’s knives sell for 500 dollars and up. He is a globally feted knife designer whose wait list for his knives has been as high as seven years at one point. So the design of the knife here is actually that of a noted master knife maker. Almost something one might collect, one might say. As loaded as Papa Raffy is, did Raffaele spend over 500 dollars on such a knife?

Well no, this is a Columbia River Knife & Tool produced 811x series knife bearing Brian Tighe’s name. CRKT are a dedicated knife company who specialise in working with the world’s leading knife designers and producing the knives for a bigger market but still as proper aficionado pieces. At this level of knife, there are extensive magazine, web and ‘user’ reviews. Knives like this are tested for resilience and sharpness including things like edge-on paper-cut tests where paper is cut through just like a razor from the side of a piece of paper held by one hand. Such a knife is able to catch the edge of the paper and then slice straight through the width of the paper side-on without any tension in the paper. That's what a knife like this is capable of. A "pocket knife" to me sounds like something picked up for 10 or 20 euro. The current model that replaced Raffaele’s now out-of-series model sells for about $80 at retail. Here's the actual 2004 model that Raffaele had i.e. the same as the one above;





Worth looking at that for a second or two... Oh the bar code? It’s not a bar code, it a rectangular thumb stud you flick the knife open with. When you do, the knife goes to a locked position unlike many “pocket-knives”. In English speaking knife circles, these knives are not generally referred to as pocket-knives but are called “Tactical Knives” which are a cross-over of usage knives for outdoors / cutting etc but also for personal “protection”.

So, in addition to the wall-mounted replica combat knife, one of Raffaele’s daily carries (see diary / testimony) was a designer thumb-flicked locking tactical knife with jimping, top blade grind, switchable clip and a razor sharp edge costing about 80 bucks. That you can carry in your pocket. Illegally. Some apple-cutter.

I'll now turn to having a look at the most worrying knife of all...


Knife One

At first glimpse, this "pocket knife" looks quite martial arts like given the hole and the weird top edge of the blade and the spider logo.





The logo marks this as a Spyderco knife – a large premium knife manufacturer of tactical and many other types of knives. This particular model is a Delica4 Emerson Opener retailing for about $109.95rrp. Of particular note about this knife is the hole and the top edge. The hole, a Spyderco feature, allows a thumb to flick the blade open very quickly. This knife is about speed.

But actually the thumb hole is not the real speed feature – that is reserved for the top edge curl. This is a truly specialist feature known as an Emerson Opener or “wave”. The idea is that the curl in metal catches on the edge of a pocket edge on drawing the knife and opens it immediately (see videos below). This is a speciality feature licensed from Emerson knives – Emerson being another feted ‘name’ knife designer. The wave is only present on two of Spyderco’s 330 knives listed on their website – the Delica and the ¾ inch larger sister knife the Endura (“the best self defence knife in the world” according to one enthusiastic teenager on youtube). That's how specialist it is. The job of the wave feature is to provide the fastest opening knife in the world bar none – faster than a flick or spring knife in fact. This video (many similar to be found) gives a rather disturbing insight into what the real attraction of owning this knife is to a hardcore knife knut like Raffaele; [remember when you watch this for the first time that the knife is closed inside that pocket and also enable the sound on the embedded player below by clicking off the mute]




If I had thought my son had a penknife but then actually saw this, I think I would now have a very heavy sit down.

But "Enough!" you say – "You’ve still got it in for Raffaele haven’t you?" (despite the replica combat knife on the bedroom wall, the designer Brian Tighe Design CRKT drop-point and the Spyderco Delica4 with wave design). "You’ve used prejudicial phrases like “hardcore knife knut” from the off haven’t you? Bloody guilter!" Sorry, don’t look at me. They’re not my words. They’re the words of Spyderco itself on its own webpage http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=227 congratulating anyone interested enough to look into such a speciality knife as its own Delica4 Emerson Opener;





Raffaele was out to impress Amanda and by his own admission obsessive about her and a hardcore stoner. He also thought knives - proper knives with exclusive features by name knife designers not pocket knives were fascinating. Let me show you someone else who thinks this is how you impress with a Delica4 Wave





As with all of this case and any case, you need to look at the detailed evidence. The overwhelming prevalence of skin-deep level of analysis / downplaying of this case by much of the pro-camp will lend and always has lent itself to people dismissing serious evidence as inconsequential based on their lack of understanding of what actually is in question. The “mere pocket-knife” impression of Raffaele’s interest in knives is a clear case in hand. Raffaele's father testified in court that his son carried a pen-knife. Some pen-knives or pocket-knives these really were...

As always with this case, when you take the time to look at the real detail, the reality you find is something far more disturbing indeed...
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Offline Michael

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 4:48 pm   Post subject: Re: RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES   

As an editorial note, PMF Administrator Skeptical Bystander posted a picture of her husband's only pocket Knife:





Just compare this to the kind of knives Raffaele favoured.

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"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." ~ Winston Churchill mike


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Offline BobTheDnky


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:37 am   Post subject: Re: RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES   

I feel it necessary to interject something here.

I'm an Eagle Scout. As a Scout, I frequently carried folding knives with me - and still do. I have a taste for quality, well designed knives. In fact, I have 3-4 pocket knives floating around my house/garage that I use for different, specific purposes. I also have a Navy issue survival knife that I use for camping/diving.

None of Raffaele's knives indicate, in any way, shape, or form, that he is more likely to be a killer than I. A knife is a tool to accomplish specific tasks, that is it.


These are pictures of the knives I own, do they make me more likely to be guilty of murder simply for owning them?





And here's the knife I carry on my person probably 75% of the time I'm not at home:




While I do not believe Raffaele is innocent, not in any way. I believe it's important that fallacious arguments are not presented for/against him. In this case, we have poisoning the well, bald assertion, and probably a few others. While I do believe his taste in pornography could be an indication of violent tendencies, there is no evidence that this is true. Surely, he is not the only person to have ever watched violent pornography, nor are the other watchers of said pornography more, or less, likely to be murderers.
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Offline Michael

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:01 pm   Post subject: Re: RAFFAELE SOLLECITO'S KNIVES   

BobTheDnky wrote:
I feel it necessary to interject something here.

I'm an Eagle Scout. As a Scout, I frequently carried folding knives with me - and still do. I have a taste for quality, well designed knives. In fact, I have 3-4 pocket knives floating around my house/garage that I use for different, specific purposes. I also have a Navy issue survival knife that I use for camping/diving.

None of Raffaele's knives indicate, in any way, shape, or form, that he is more likely to be a killer than I. A knife is a tool to accomplish specific tasks, that is it.



Yes Bob, but with respect:

1) You keep YOUR knives in your house/garage and only take them out of there for very specific purposes, such as camping/scouting/diving, valid uses, whereas Raffaele carried his on his person on the streets every single day.

2) Raffaele's knives can hardly be described as tools, as their primary design, their core purpose is clearly as weapons (what 'tool' for example, boasts a design that enables it to be withdrawn from the pocket and placed in an offensive position in the blink of an eye? That is a requirement for a weapon not a tool).

3) You are not accused of having stabbed someone to death and threatening another individual with a knife. If you were, you may well appreciate that you and your knives would come under very close and justifiable scrutiny indeed.
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