The Italian murder trial of American college student Amanda Knox enters its fifth month today with an eerie, at times grisly, video of the murder scene as the camera panned around the apartment and settled on the bloody corpse of Knox's roommate.
Knox looked away when her slain roommate came into view while her co-defendent and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito continued to watch intently.
The head of forensics for the Perugia police, Claudio Cantagalli, testified that he videotaped the crime scene just hours after Meredith Kercher's body was discovered on Nov. 2, 2007.
The video shown in court today goes through each room of the little cottage that Knox shared with Kercher, 21, and two Italian women, zooming in on places where blood or fingerprints were found.
Knox, 21, and Sollecito, 25, watched the video along with the jurors and court spectators. The courtroom silence was broken only occasionally by comments by Cantagalli as it moved from the entrance door leading into the house, the kitchen and living area to the bedroom where investigators found a the broken window and what looked like an attempted robbery.
From there the video moved to the room where Kercher's body was found covered by a duvet with her bare foot sticking out. Blood stains on the wall and floor could also be seen. The video rolls as the coroner walks over and lifts the quilt to reveal Kercher's face with her eyes still open.
Knox, seated in court between her lawyers, watched the video attentively, but she looked away anytime the video showed Kercher's covered body. Sollecito did not look away.
The disturbing video was shown as the trial, which opened on Jan. 16, began concentrating on what is perhaps the most important evidence -- the finding of fingerprints, footprints, blood and DNA.
Both Knox and Sollecito deny any involvement in the murder. A third person, Ivory Coast citizen Rudy Guede, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the crime.
The first forensic expert called today was Alberto Intini, director of the national forensic police, who outlined the forensic work carried out on the crime scene and said that the "best resources and manpower in every required field" were involved in the investigation.
Intini repeatedly stressed that he did not believe the crime scene was contaminated by investigators in any way on their various visits to the scene.
Pressed a number of times by the defendants' defense lawyers who argue that DNA contamination took place at the crime scene, Intini said "it is possible in the abstract that there could have been contamination, but until this is proved, it does not exist."
Defense lawyers have suggested that repeated visits by investigators to the house and improper evidence collection coupled with investigators moving continuously between the rooms in the house could have meant they inadvertently transported the DNA from one room to another.
"DNA does not fly around like pollen. It is found inside a cell," Intini said. And to prove how expertly the investigators worked, he explained that no "fingerprint, footprint, genetic profile or any non-identifiable marks were found during the lab work which could be traced to any of the investigators on the scene."