A Detailed Look at the Physical Evidence Regarding the Break-In
By Ron Hendry
Part four of four - A step by step reconstruction of how Rudy Guede gained entrance to the cottage.
By Ron Hendry
It is around 8:35pm on the night of November 1, 2007, as Rudy Guede walks around the two floor cottage flat at #7 Via Della Pergola and sees no sign that anyone is home at either level. So he walks around to the door entrance overhang area near the window to Filamena Romanelli’s room. (Rudy had previously selected Filomena’s window as the best option for gaining access to the upstairs flat because it was the only location he could easily toss a rock through while being in a position to safely leave if someone was at home upstairs or downstairs in combination with it also being a location that he felt he could climb into and enter.)
At the door entrance, Rudy climbs atop the two foot high concrete planter under the roof overhang and near Filamena Romanelli’s window. Rudy carefully positions himself next to and facing the corner of the brick wall. Then he leans out with his left hand while holding onto the brick wall corner with his right hand until he reaches the right outer window shutter. He grabs the shutter and pulls it to a fully open position.
Rudy drops down from the concrete planter onto the walkway entrance. He walks around to the near edge of the parking lot and steps down onto the dirt fill between the parking lot and roof overhang entranceway. He picks up a large rock and then steps back up on the outer edge of the parking lot.
After striking the inner solid wood shutter, the large rock snags the top half of a large paper bag containing several stored clothing items. The heavy rock induces a tear into the top of this paper bag as it overturns the bag. The rock finally impacts the floor and portions of it flake off upon impact with the floor. The rock comes to rest about one foot beyond the window and about two feet from the window wall.
Upon observing the window shattering and the inner shutter fly open to the inside, Rudy looks and listens for signs someone had been asleep inside either flat level and awakened by the noise. Seeing or hearing no one around, he steps back down onto the dirt fill area that has some grass cover along with a light blanket of fallen tree leaves.
He makes his way down the sharp incline to the window directly below Filomena’s window. He grabs the bars on this window and begins his climb up the wall. Once he has his feet on the bottom horizontal bar, Rudy reaches upward from there and grabs hold of Filomena’s outer open window shutter.
With one hand on the shutter and the other on the edge of the window sill, Rudy steps up onto the top horizontal bar on the lower window.
With both feet on the top bar, Rudy’s armpits are almost even with Filomena’s window ledge. From here, Rudy opens the other outer window shutter. Then he props his arms on the ledge to support much of his body weight as he raises himself up a few more inches. In doing so, his shoes begin making scrubbing contact with the top edge of the outer wooden window frame casing of the downstairs window.
From this position, Rudy inspects the broken window pane and sees a large section broken out by the rock but several dangerous jagged shards remain on both sides and the bottom. (A burglar tossing a rock at a window needs to be prepared to enhance and or enlarge a window opening to gain access.) Rudy carefully removes most of the jagged pieces of window shards from both sides and the bottom edge of the window sash and places some on the outer ledge next to the window pane while dropping others inside the room.
The photo above was taken from an early video of the broken window with the time record saying it was taken about two hours after the discovery of Meredith Kercher’s body. Left arrow locates open wardrobe door. Right arrow locates solid wood shutter.
At this point, Rudy attempts to reach in and open the latch with his right hand while propping himself up with his left arm. If the latch is not reachable from this position and or the broken window opening needs to be enlarged, then Rudy grabs hold of a bared section of the window sash frame and pulls himself up until his knees are resting on the outer window sill. He may have used gloves in grabbing hold of the sash frame to hoist himself.
From here, (if the window opening needs enlarging on the left side near the latch) he takes out his glass breaking tool (which may be a feature of his pocket knife) and strikes the broken window pane in a couple of places on the left upper side. He strikes the broken window pane hard enough to locally notch the glass but not enough to shatter it. This breaks more shards from the remaining pane and enlarges the opening near the latch. Then he removes the additional broken pieces and drops them into the room. Once the window opening is shaped as he wants, he carefully reaches in with his right hand and opens the casement window latch.
Once both casement windows are opened, Rudy places one or both hands down on the window sill, elevates his legs and rotates them into the darkened room. In the process of stepping down to the floor one foot snags a television coaxial cable that is hooked over the edge of the wardrobe closet. The snagged television coaxial cable jerks the television atop the wardrobe closet rearward into some stored boxes and induces some twisting jostling of the closet such that some of the overstuffed clothing falls to the floor.
As his feet reach for the floor, Rudy also stumbles onto one or more items left on the floor next to the window. One item he stumbles on may have been a notebook computer case that had been left upright by Filomena and later found by her laying down with glass on it. Rudy’s entry also drags a few pieces of broken glass from the inside window ledge into the room.
Rudy may have also lost his balance upon stumbling and reached over and grabbed the open wardrobe closet doors for stability and this may have caused several clothing items to fall down.
Once in the room, Rudy is leery of turning a light on as he knows its window is easiest to monitor by anyone walking up or driving into the parking lot.
It is now about 8:50pm. Rudy may have briefly checked around for easily found cash or Hashish and may have noticed the notebook computer as a possible item to steal. However, shortly after getting inside he decides to go out into the hall and check the front door to see if he has an easier exit pathway. (Burglars often check for alternate exit routes immediately upon entering a residence.)
The photo above shows the open outer shutters to Filomena’s window. Also shown is the ground outside the window including the light blanket of fallen tree leaves. At lower left is the outer edge of the parking lot along which Rudy stood to toss the rock into the window.
The photo above shows a view of Filomena’s window and the concrete planter boxes. The outside shutters are pulled together in this photo taken shortly after the initial investigation of the crime.
The photo above shows a demonstration of how Rudy could have climbed the bars of the lower window to access Filomena’s window. Note that the man in the photo is standing straight on the second bar from the top with his shoulders almost even with the window sill. Once he stands straight on the top bar his armpits would be almost even with the window sill.
In the photo above, the arrow shows a discoloration in the top wooden casing surface that possibly occurred during Rudy’s actions leading to entry through Filomena’s window.
The photo above shows the broken window more clearly such that one can see the almost total lack of dangerous broken shards remaining in the sash grooves.
There he positions himself at a location only a few feet from Filamena’s window where he can toss the almost 9 pound rock at the window. The position Rudy chooses is at about a 15 degree angle from directly opposite the window.
Before tossing the rock, he takes a last look over his shoulder to see if anyone is coming into the parking lot. Seeing no one approaching, Rudy leans forward and tosses the large rock a few feet where it smashes into the lower portion of the right window pane and shatters the glass in the locale of the impact.
The large rock also impacts the partially open inside solid wood shutter and causes it to sharply rotate on its hinges and slam into the end of an open door of the nearby freestanding wardrobe closet. This slamming action induces a twisting jostling of the closet which causes several clothing items in the overstuffed storage shelves to fall to the floor.
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Professional Opinion From Forensic Engineer Ron Hendry