Category: Crime hypotheses

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meredith And Her Understanding Of The Power Of Good Thoughts

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding





“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world. (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice)

One of the most disturbing and disheartening features of this serious case has been the influence, mob-like, of malevolent misinformation and mantras that the defence has spread among their followers.

In this season of generosity and goodwill, it would be good to remember the power, also, of good thoughts.

They, too, can gather strength - the more people think them, and share them with others. The more people hold out for reason and justice (as well as compassion where appropriate), the more a momentum will be generated, and will help reason prevail.






I have often heard fragments of this poem below quoted. It speaks of this power of good thoughts, and I found the whole poem, written by the American, Henry Van Dyke (from Pennsylvania, born 1854) :

“Thoughts Are Things” by Henry Van Dyke

I hold it true that thoughts are things;
They’re endowed with bodies and breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results, or ill.

That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth’s remotest spot,
Leaving its blessings or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.

We build our future, thought by thought,
For good or ill, yet know it not.
Yet, so the universe was wrought.
Thought is another name for fate;
Choose, then, thy destiny and wait.
For love brings love and hate brings hate.”







Mrs. Mazzeo, who was Meredith ‘s teacher, remembers Meredith in Year Thirteen :

“When she was in Year Thirteen, the modern languages and music departments at the school collaborated in a cross-curricular activity called ‘Light and Dark’.

This was intended to celebrate the music and poetry of the respective languages studied at the school. The Italian department contributed with three readings from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Meredith was due to read one extract only, in Italian, from Paradiso.

But a younger girl, who was due to deliver the Purgatorio reading, had a panic attack a few minutes before she was due to read, and so was unable to participate. In a very calm way, Meredith took over this reading and read it perfectly, without any practice at all.”

Rabindranath Tagore was a prolific Indian writer, poet and musician who was born in 1861. An inclusive school he founded is now one of the great universities in India. He was very aware of the power of thought and presence:

‘The unuttered words in the vast mind of Man
Wander through space like nebulae.
Striking against the boundary of my mind,
They condense, take form,
And revolve around my study.’
(5th December 1940, Morning).

Like many Indians he seemed to have an innate appreciation of the role suffering often plays in life.  Here he wonders about suffering and pain :

‘From what workshop of suffering,
From what threshold of inflamed consciousness,
Come the darts of pain
And the bleeding wound?
Tiny is man’s body,
But how infinite his power of suffering!
In the world of Creation and Destruction,
Why does blood-red madness
Drench the earthen vessel of the body
With tears?’
(4th November 1940).

‘Nobody knows at what corner of the Universe
Is gathering every moment relentless Unforgivingness.
A fault lying hidden snaps the string
That binds all things together.
One mistake in the flash that gives the signal,
And the way for retreat is barred for ever.’
(13th November 1940)







‘Life is suffering’ is often a starting point - and one wonders - is it not precisely because of this that some of those of Indian origin will emanate a gentle strength, and go that extra mile to give and spread happiness wherever they can?

As if saying : ‘no more suffering…just for a Moment…there is already enough.’

We have another extract from John Kercher’s book, which indicates that Meredith had this quality. This is from Jayne Moore, who had employed her in the summer of 2007 :

“She was charming, because she was so unaffected and natural, and seemed to be happy all the time. She reminds me of the last few lines of a poem by Philip Larkin,.....The poem is called “Born Yesterday”, and the last lines describe
:
.... what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled
Catching of happiness is called.

And I think that is what Meredith showed to the people who knew her and worked with her.”

It must be with very heavy and sorrowful hearts that Meredith’s family and close friends approach the 28th December which would have been Meredith’s 28th birthday. She would have been four or five years by now into what looked like a momentous career.

We all sincerely hope that that whatever transpires at the Florence court in the New Year, knowing that Meredith has attracted the support of millions will go some way to lighten their path ahead.




Monday, December 16, 2013

Appeal Session #6: Case For Knox’s & Sollecito’s Guilt - The Civil Parties

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above, today: Dr Maresca, the Florence lawyer who speaks for the victim, arrives at the court]

7. Court resumes tomorrow

Court will resume at 9:30 am Italy time with the first of the summations for the defenses. When they conclude, probably in January, the prosecution will have a chance of rebuttal.

6. Reporting in English

Andrea Vogt has posted a detailed report from the court at The Freelance Desk, Scroll down to the heading “Update Dec 1t 2013”

5. Reporting in Italian #3

Report by Gazetta del Sud

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accused in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, were in the grip of a “murderous rage” fuelled by illegal drugs and alcohol, a lawyer for the victim’s family said Monday. Knox, Sollecito and a third person definitively convicted of the crime, Rudy Guede, had “no inhibitions” because of the drugs and alcohol they ingested before murdering Kercher in November 2007, charged Vieri Fabiani.

Only later did the “fear take over” and led to false explanations including a simulated break-in and robbery, and a false accusation against a bar owner in Perugia, where the murder occurred, added Fabiani. A Florence court is trying the case against Knox and Sollecito, who have been on trial twice before for the murder of Kercher. Both have said they are not guilty of the accusations.

Guede was convicted in a fast-track trial and is serving a 16-year sentence in the murder, but Italy’s top appeal court said it was unlikely he acted alone. Knox, who is in the United States and has not returned for this trial, and Sollecito each served two years in prison after a lower court convicted them of murder in 2009. An appeal court overturned those convictions in 2011 and in March, Italy’s highest court sent the case back to the appeals stage over aspects of the evidence it argued had not been properly examined before.

The supreme court ruled that the initial forensic evidence had been wrongly dismissed in the acquittal and a prosecution theory about a sex game that went wrong should be re-examined. Kercher, 21, was found dead on the floor of an apartment she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007. Guede’s DNA was found inside Kercher, on her clothes, and elsewhere in the apartment.

Fabiani said that a motive for the murder was “irrelevant” because the crime was committed while the trio were abusing substances. An Italian prosecutor has requested a 26-year prison term for Knox and Sollecito for the murder, plus a further four years for Knox for allegedly slandering bar owner Patrick Lumumba, whom she initially implicated during tough police questioning before later retracting, saying she had been confused.

The new trial opened in Florence in September, and a decision is expected on January 10.

Translation by The 411

4. Reporting in Italian #2

Report by Umbria24

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable” that Amanda Knox on her website is issuing “invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” declared Dr Francesco Maresca, the lawyer for the parents and siblings of Mez, speaking in the Assize Court of Appeal of Florence, where judicial process continues for the murder of the young British student Meredith Kercher, which occurred in Perugia on the night of November 1, 2007 .

Dr Maresca asked the Court “to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process”, meaning the media coverage of the controversy being generated in the U.S. in the legal defense of Knox, as they should also “forget the statements made in court a few weeks ago by Raffaele Sollecito, who is now returned to a “vacation” in Santo Domingo”

Dr Maresca also pointed the finger at Knox for her book, for which she signed “contracts in the millions” and also retains “a person to handle public relations”. Finally, he invited the Court to also forget “those journalists who are inspired by the freedom of delirium and not the freedom of the press.”

Many elements confirm the original verdict. “We have no doubts about the guilt of the accused - there are so many elements to confirm the sentence”.

The family of Meredith Kercher, said the lawyer, will be in Florence on the day of the judgment of the appeal for the murder of the young British student by the defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito .

This was a heinous crime committed knowingly. “We ask the Court for truth and justice for a heinous crime committed with precise awareness and desire” said the lawyer Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family… “The defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, in the process of killing Meredith Kercher, were “excited and a murderous rage was triggered” because, with the drugs and alcohol taken ” their minds were free of inhibitions”.

Fabiani focused in particular on Rudy Guede also convicted for the murder of Meredith, recalling that the judgment was delivered after the first degree trial in Perugia [in October 2008]. And on the verdict against Guede, Fabiani stated that he was sentenced in collusion with another two who “accidentally” have been identified as Sollecito and Knox, whose responsibility and presence on the scene of the crime are well documented.

Fabiani called Sollecito and Knox persons of “high criminal capacity” who have created the picture of a crime without serious motive.  Then after the murder “fear, terror, took over and they set out to simulate a theft, frame Patrick Lumumba, to mystify, however clumsily, to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

Fabiani argued that the presence of two defendants in the house on Via della Pergola that evening, and their willingness toward murder, were strongly demonstrated.

“The motive becomes irrelevant,” even if it can be identified “in the issues between Amanda and Meredith, which evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim, in an escalation”.

3. Reporting in Italian #1

Report by Blitzquotidiano

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede were ” excitedly and this unleashed their homicidal rage ” that tragic night between the first and November 2 of 2007. Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family, during the appeal session in Florence about the murder of Meredith Kercher .

Because of drugs and alcohol their minds were “devoid of inhibitions ,” argued the lawyer, according to whom the defendants should be considered ” persons of a high criminal capacity .” After the murder, fear took over, then they get to simulate a theft, to accuse Lumumba, to mystify to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

The lawyer explained that the presence of the two defendants at the crime scene and their willingness to commit murder was strongly demonstrated. “The motive becomes almost irrelevant, even though important elements can be identified” in the problems existing between Amanda and Meredith, which “evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim in an escalation”.

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable that Amanda Knox on her website makes invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” added the lawyer Maresca. He invited the Court ” to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process.” The court should “forget” the statements made in court a few weeks ago by ” Raffaele Sollecito who has returned to “a vacation” in Santo Domingo

Avv Maresca also pointed the finger at Amanda and her book thanks to which she ” has signed contracts making her a millionaire.”

2. Tweets from La Nazione

10. Amanda knows the mode of the crime because she was present

9. Motive is irrelevant, the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime is proven

8. Amanda and Raffaele in the grip of the excitement and this triggered the murderous rage

7. It is not sustainable that Rudy Guede is the only murderer

6. The lack of motive is irrelevant, there is evidence of homicidal intent

5. The ruling of the Supreme Court crushed the acquittal of appeal

4. Amanda knew the mode of the murder

3. On the knife found at Sollecito’s house there was the DNA of the victim

2. Contamination of the bra clasp is false (invented)

1. Meredith proceedings: hearing begins. Lawyer Vieri Adriani for the victim family to speak first

1. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

5. Courtroom nearly empty for closing args of lawyer representing meredith kercher family. Not much interest in their quiet suffering.

4. Maresca: “While we’re here in trial, Sollecito in Santo Domingo & Knox in US taking online donations for victim she’s accused of killing.”

3. Kercher attny Serena Perna: Meredith’s many wounds in many places (from bare hands,from knife, yet not defensive) = multiple attackers.

2. Kercher attny: Motive, or lack thereof, is absolutely irrelevant.1000 different problems could have led to fatal escalation of violence.

1. Right now lawyers for the civil parties (specifically Kercher family) giving closing arguments. Defense is to follow.



[Below: two images in the courtroom from previous sessions]






Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Meredith Might Have Survived If The Attackers Had Cared And Called For Help Very Fast

Posted by Cardiol MD



Malala Yousafzai, world-famous Pakistani victim of a Taliban assassination attempt, survived via a tracheostomy

Absence of full medical picture outside Italy

For this post I wear my medical hat - I am a cardiologist who has had many lives in the balance under my hands.

Parts of the prosecution’s evidence back at trial in 2009 were very stark. Some was presented behind closed doors and with no CCTV feed, although good summaries in Italian appeared in the Italian press.

In Italy the reporting on the trial was several times as deep as anywhere else. There were TV chat shows to review the case as it was being made, and many in Italy read the entire Massei Report when the Department of Justice put it on their website.

Nobody in Italy gives the slightest credence to the theory of the Lone Wolf. Many or most have not even heard about it, and to almost all Italians the idea that Guede could have acted alone (as Knox and Sollecito claimed in their English-only books) would seem absurd.

Many Italians were therefore quick to realize that the Hellmann court did not see the prosecution present its real case, and had been led astray by cherrypicking and innuendo by the defense and an unqualified judge. 

In contrast, as I said above, foreign reporting was not deep. The Massei report now being argued against by Knox and Sollecito (yes, this is THEIR appeal) has not yet been carried in English by even one non-Italian media site.

Even the amazing Massei report summary which PMF posters so carefully prepared appeared only here.

How this can affect the January outcome

Among the starkest items of the evidence that are well known in Italy but almost nowhere else are the autopsy findings and the whole-day crime scene recreation testimony.

They were presented (1) only in closed court in mid 2009 and (2) in the attack recreation video shown to the court late in 2009. during Summations. The highly effective video, which took months to get just right, was not entered into evidence and so no jury other than Massei’s has seen it since.

Closing this yawning chasm really matters now because (1) the Supreme Court is in no doubt that Guede did not act alone and (2) the Sollecito and Knox defense attempts to prove one or two other perps staged the attack with or without Guede have fallen off a cliff.

Here is the blunt truth:

  • Meredith’s killers at the end inflicted terrible, terrible wounds, and witnessed what she went through.

  • There is evidence that Meredith might have SURVIVED if medical help had been called very quickly indeed.

Instead of course her killers cruelly ignored her dying pain, took away her phones, locked her door, and for a while at least they simply went away, while she died.

These truths about the attack and in particular the horrific wounds is relevant both to what Meredith’s killers are guilty-of, and to what sentence would be appropriate if it is confirmed they did the deed.

Brief explanation of the medical facts

While this subject is tough for most people, it has to be viewed objectively by medical-professional care-givers and by judges, and now may be an acceptable time to objectively clarify the subject.

Such information is considered highly relevant in US courts, under Federal Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses, US state Good Samaritan Laws, and possibly in Italian courts, under Art. 593 of the criminal code ““ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance.

Even though I can find no references to Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance in the various Motivazioni, many TMJK readers may be interested in this discussion of the subject:

MK’s airway-wound, taken in isolation, was certainly survivable for hours or even days; her superior thyroid artery wound was potentially survivable if simple manual compression was quickly applied there-and-then by anyone present, and urgent professional assistance was then obtained.

MK’s dying occupied at least as much as 15 minutes; it was the combination, and proximity of the 2 wounds that was lethal.

The kind of injury to Meredith’s airway, intentionally inflicted with malicious intent, is well within the spectrum of accidental injuries seen and treated in hospital ERs.

The elective therapeutic procedure - tracheostomy - has   consequences very similar both to malicious and to purely accidental airway-injuries.

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe).

A tube is usually placed through this opening to provide an airway and to remove secretions from the lungs. This tube is called a tracheostomy tube or trach.tube.

The cutting part of the procedure is called ‘the tracheotomy’; ‘tracheostomy’ is the name assigned when the artificial tube has been inserted.

Tracheostomy is frequently performed in hospitals, all over the world. The subjects of tracheostomy cannot phonate unless the tracheostomy-opening is sealed, typically using a finger to divert the exhaled air through the larynx.

Injuries to the tracheobronchial tree within the chest may occur due to penetrating forces such as gunshot wounds, but are more often the result of blunt trauma. TBI due blunt forces usually results from high-energy impacts such as falls from height and motor vehicle accidents; the injury is rare in low-impact mechanisms.

Injuries of the trachea cause about 1% of traffic-related deaths. Other potential causes are falls from high places and injuries in which the chest is crushed. Explosions are another cause.

Gunshot wounds are the commonest form of penetrating trauma that cause TBI. Less commonly, knife wounds and shrapnel from motor vehicle accidents can also penetrate the airways.

Most injuries to the trachea occur in the neck, because the airways within the chest are deep and therefore well protected; however, up to a quarter of TBI resulting from penetrating trauma occurs within the chest. Injury to the cervical trachea usually affects the anterior (front) part of the trachea.

Notables who survived via a tracheostomy

Many public figures have received tracheostomy in the past. These are perhaps the most well-known:

  • Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives received a tracheostomy after being shot in the head.

  • Elizabeth Taylor had an emergency tracheostomy for pneumonia in 1961.

  • Stephen Hawking (physicist) received a tracheostomy because his muscles of respiration are paralysed by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as “˜Lou Gehrig’s disease’)

  • Catherine Zeta Jones (actress) when a little girl, contracted a virus that prevented her from breathing normally, and underwent tracheostomy surgery.

  • John Paul II (Pope) had an emergency operation after a breathing crisis


Others whose tracheostomy saved their lives

  • Ariel Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister)
  • William Rehnquist (U.S. Chief Justice)
  • Friedrich III (German Emperor)
  • Laura Innes (actress)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (actor)
  • Constantine P. Cavafy (poet)
  • Luther Vandross (singer)
  • Gordon Lightfoot (singer)
  • Roy Horn (Magician - Siegfried & Roy)
  • Jack Klugman (actor)
  • Roger Ebert (Movie Critic)

  • Medical and legal conclusions from this

    Repair of Meredith’s airway injury was potentially survivable, given the conditions indicated in the medical text above.

    It was the simultaneous severing of her right superior thyroid artery, and the failures not only to seek emergency care, but the abandonment by her attackers that resulted in her death.

    The right superior thyroid artery is about the same size as the radial artery of the wrist, which when severed suicidally, leads to a similarly slow death from blood-loss alone.

    In Meredith’s case, she inhaled the blood and died less slowly, by coexistent drowning.

    The Nencini Court should take her killers’ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance into account in its decisions, especially if they now try to claim it was just a prank-gone-wrong.


    Malala Yousafza who survived via a tracheostomy; the tube is visible below her chin


    Thursday, December 05, 2013

    With Sollecito’s First Plea For Mitigation Seen As A Flop, His Behavior Seems Extremely Suspect

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Sollecito headed for Dominican Republic, but stopped pending court okay

    1. Post Overview

    A week ago Prosecutor Crini had begun a two-day summary of the state’s case so stark and implacable that it had two effects on Sollecito.

    He stayed in his hotel on the second day; and he then took off like a rabbit for some destination initially unknown and repeatedly lied-about by his father (see Part 3 below).

    One of his lawyers (accidentally?) broke the secret. Sollecito had flown to the Dominican Republic. Where he just happens to have some really unsavory relatives. 

    2. High Drama In The Nencini Court

    Sollecito has not ever taken the witness stand.

    And given the minefield his foolish book and media claims amount to, don’t hold your breath expecting otherwise soon. However, last month Sollecito did use the Italian accuseds’ privilege of making an impromptu plea to the judges.

    He was not under oath and not subject to cross-examination by the prosecutors. He did not address the copious evidence, and was seen as attempting to humanize himself to perhaps get some years knocked off a final sentence.

    As always, Knox forces were left confused, thinking he had somehow helped both of them. But Sollecito repeatedly drew attention to his being an Italian and in effect to Knox and Guede not being Italians, thus once again separating himself from Knox on lines Barbie Nadeau also described here..

    Our main poster Yummi was in the court and reported in part as follows:

    One of the woman judges kept staring elsewhere and almost never watched Sollecito all the time he was talking. Sollecito’s speech itself was actually not that exciting. It was so overt that he was focused on portraying himself as a person who is so good and cannot hurt anyone, not the bad guy described in the media.  The real and only topic of Sollecito’s statement was himself, who he is, his “true” personality, he begged them to look at what a good and suffering a boy he is…

    And believe me, Sollecito was just whiny. For a big part of his speech he was just putting distance between who he is today and the person he was when he was 20 years old. He talked about the impossibility of finding a job (the job he would like to have in a corporation, obviously, not just any job) and wanted the judge to project to his condition from that of young Italians who can’t hope to see a future.

    Then 10 days ago the skilled senior prosecutor Dr Alessandro Crini fired back, and effectively demolished Sollecito’s premature statement. As we reported, Dr Crini took nearly two days to do that.

    Sollecito was again in court on the first day, but was seemingly unable to face Dr Crini’s onslaught on the second day. He remained holed up at his hotel.

    Although Dr Crini settled on a lowest-common-denominator motive - a Lord of the Flies flare-up which had escalated into mob violence and the fatal stab to Meredith - his recounting of the evidence and associated behavior of the pack was comprehensive and very hard. Translated from Cronaca:

    Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment.

    According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.

    “The mouth and neck of the victim were contained in a fierce way to avoid Meredith going berserk and screaming, and when Meredith did in fact manage to scream, she received the final fierce stab to the throat.” Two knives were used in the crime at the house in Via della Pergola on the night between 1 and 2 November 2007”...

    Dr Crini referring to the bra clasp of the victim, said that “the presence of the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito is quite certain” and explained at length why there was no “possibility of contamination”.

    Amanda Knox was at the scene of the crime, according to the identification made “‹”‹by the scientific police in Meredith’s room of an imprint of a shoe (female size 36-38 according to the results of the analysis)... On the pillowcase, the center of gravity of this bloody history, were found a palmprint of Rudy Guede and this print of the shoe.”




    3. High Drama Right After End Of Court

    Dr Francesco Sollecito was reported as being shocked by the unrelenting tone of the indictment. However, Sollecito’s plight is not nearly as bad as the ever-stubborn Amanda Knox’s.

    Knox has already served three years and was fined heavily for obstruction of justice. She could face another year for that if it is found to have been aggravating. And as the post below mentions, she could face as many as three more charges for aggravating obstruction of justice. 

    Sollecito in contrast has respected the court by actually showing up, and, unlike Knox, has lately shown restraint in accusing his accusers.

    However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s startlingly powerful summary of the case against him, it looked like Sollecito was hastily taking off out of Italy for somewhere. 

    La Nazione reported that police at Florence Airport had held back a fully loaded Air France flight to Paris while they checked with the prosecution that he was indeed allowed to leave the country.  La Nazione said the prosecutors have some concern that he might skip and not come back, but he did voluntarily come back previously from the Dominican Republic, and his family has always ensured some presence in court.

    But next TGCom24 reported that Sollecito’s father had claimed that Sollecito had already gone home to Bisceglie, although he is a free citizen still in possession of a passport and can travel anywhere if he wishes.

    But then TGCom24 reported that he had indeed flown to Paris, but had turned around and come straight back again, to stay with family friends.  And that on 8 December he will sit his final exams in computer science at the University of Verona.

    However, soon after that La Nazione reported that Sollecito’s father had been contradicted by his lawyers, and his erratic son had slipped through his fingers and flown “for his work” back to the Dominican Republic. Translation by Jools:

    1 December 2013 ““ SCOOP. Denials, lies, game by the defenders. But in the end it’s up to the lawyer Luca Maori to admit: “Raffaele Sollecito returned to Santo Domingo, as anticipated on Friday by La Nazione”

    He embarked from Florence’s Peretola Airport and made a stop-over in Paris, from where he then flew to the Caribbean island where he spent the last few months that preceded the start of the new appeals process. “But there is nothing strange - minimizes the lawyer - Raffaele went back to pick up the things he left there, will be back in ten days for the final exams and to await the judgment. With anxiety, but self-assured.”

    No escape, just a normal “work” trip. Permissible, since there is no measure that prevents the accused to leave Italy. But the departure of Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox (already sheltered in the U.S.) caused some sneering. And even the agents of the Border Police, when they saw him in front of the [departure] gate, made a phone call to the Procura to be sure whether the journey in the midst of the appeal process was really “normal.”

    IN FACT. Sollecito ‘s father, in an understandable effort to defend his already too overexposed son, slipped on the so-called banana peel, placing the young man within a few hours in various locations, but never in the true destination across the ocean: in Verona, preparing for the final exam in computer science in regard to the thesis, or in Paris, but just for a flash-stay from which he was back the day after. At Christmas, maintained the father, Raffaele will return from abroad. Maybe for the last break before the final rush of the Mark II process, which, according to calculations by the Assize Court of Appeal, could be concluded on January 15.

    Meanwhile, the hearing on 16 December is for the remaining civil parties, then double date for the defence, (December 17 and January 9) and hearing on the 10 dedicated to counter-argument. With Sollecito in the courtroom, assures the lawyer.

    Nothing strange?! Doctor Sollecito lying repeatedly, instead of explaining to the media where Raffaele went, and why he went there, and why it was a huge secret, was VERY strange.

    It should have official minds very seriously wondering why. WHAT did Raffaele have to do so secretly in the Dominican Republic - where his notorious mafia relatives from Montreal occupy a town there?



    Sunday, November 10, 2013

    The Crime-Scene Clean-Up: How Rudy Guede’s Diary Provides Even More Proof That It Happened

    Posted by pat az





    This post is crossposted from my own place. Here is one of my previous crime scene analyses on TJMK.

    Rudy Guede was ultimately declared convicted by the Supreme Court in 2010 of participating in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

    The prosecution claims the two other participants are Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito are currently appealing their conviction of the same crime.

    The case against the three of them involves a suspected clean up of the hallway in the apartment after the crime. Meredith’s blood was found in the bathroom, and half a footprint in her blood was found on the bathroom mat. However, there was no visible blood between Meredith’s bedroom and the bathroom.

    The only visible blood in the hallway were faint partial shoe prints that led directly out the front door of the apartment.

    After the murder was discovered, the media reported almost daily on developments in the case. The day of the murder, the press reported on the blood found in the bathroom and the bedroom.

    But until police used luminol at the apartment on December 18th, the media didn’t report on any significant blood found in the hallway.  Between November 2nd and December 18th, only one person stated that significant amounts of blood had been in the hallway.

    Rudy Guede.

    Rudy Guede actually wrote about it in his diary between Nov 20th and Dec 6th, after being captured in Germany.






    The police arrived at the apartment on November 2nd. According to media reports, the blood they spotted immediately was only in the bathroom and Meredith’s bedroom.  When the scene was more closely examined, after the discovery of the body, police found visible blood patterns on the floor left by Guede’s left shoe as he left the apartment.

    None of the people who arrived in the apartment on the afternoon of November 2nd reported seeing them; these footprints are not in any of the stories of the events of Nov 2nd told by Amanda Knox nor Raffaele Sollecito. So, while these prints were visible, they were not substantially obvious.

    On December 18th 2007 investigators applied Luminol in the hallway and other bedrooms. This forensic chemical is used to detect blood which has been cleaned away. The Luminol revealed several footprints in the hallway between the bedrooms of Knox and Meredith. Example below. Some of these footprints were leading towards Meredith’s door.



    They also discovered prints in Filomena’s room which contained Meredith’s DNA and Amanda Knox’s DNA. They also revealed a footprint in Amanda Knox’s bedroom. (The defense unsuccessfully contested the investigator’s conclusions that these prints were made with blood).

    On November 19 2007, an international arrest warrant was issued for Rudy Guede. He was arrested in Germany on November 20th. Guede remained in Germany until his extradition on December 3rd.

    During his stay in jail in Germany, Guede wrote a long statement that was published and translated. Guede’s writings are similar to to Knox’s jail writings in many ways - they both try to write out their own detailed version of events, while pointing blame elsewhere. 

    But Guede’s comments may in fact be confirmation of a clean-up after the murder of Meredith Kercher (emphasis added):

    I am asking myself how is it possible that Amanda could have slept in all that mess, and took a shower with all that blood in the bathroom and corridor? (Guede, Germany Diary, P21)

    The police did not find evidence of any other blood until December 18th, AFTER Guede returned from Germany. As indicated above, the luminol revealed multiple footprints in the hallway, in Knox’s bedroom, and in Filomena’s bedroom. The image below shows these results in blue. Guede’s partial footprints are shown in red.






    The conclusion is inescapable: Guede knew there would be significant evidence of blood in the hallway, before the police themselves found that evidence.

    How did Guede know there would be more blood found in the hallway, before the police found that evidence on December 18th? And why wasn’t that blood there on the morning of November 2nd?

    The courts believe the blood in the hallway was cleaned after the murder of Meredith Kercher. And the Micheli and Massei courts believed only one person had the motivation to hide this evidence: Amanda Knox.

    Here is a summary of Judge Micheli’s October 2008 indictment finding.

    In Judge Massei’s December 2009 trial finding for the original conviction of Knox and Sollecito, he also writes about the clean-up that the judges believed to have happened:

    Further confirmation is constituted by the fact that, after Meredith’s murder, it is clear that some traces were definitely eliminated, a cleaning activity was certainly carried out. In fact, the bare foot which, stained with blood, left its footprint on the sky-blue mat in the bathroom, could only have reached that mat by taking steps which should have left other footprints on the floor, also marked out in blood just like (in fact, most likely, with even more [blood], since they were created before the footprint printed on the mat) the one found on the mat itself. Of such other very visible footprints of a bloody bare foot, on the contrary, there is no trace. (Massei, Dec 09; PMF translation)

    In defense of Guede, Knox, and Sollecito, some might try to claim that Guede heard about blood in the hallway in the news. Rudy Guede was arrested 18 days following the murder of Meredith Kercher. During that time he had access to read the news and watch reports.

    I have searched for articles in the period between November 2nd and December 18 which mention blood. All of the articles I have found so far discuss blood in the bedroom or the bathroom. One or two discuss footprints leading to the front door.

    None of them discuss blood in the hallway that would justify a statement from Guede of “tutto quel sangue nel bagno e sul corridoghe” (all that blood in the bathroom and in the corridor)

    Guede himself said he went between the bedroom and the bathroom, so may have tracked blood into the bathroom and therefore known blood would be found in the hallway.

    Even that knowledge however confirms a clean-up, as there was not a trail of blood between the bathroom and Meredith’s room that justifies the footprint on the bathmat and blood found in the bathroom.

    I have my own questions as a result of Guede’s knowledge of blood in the hallway:

    Could the attack have started in the hallway? Could the first blood shed have been on the hallway tiles?

    The prosecution and courts argue that Amanda Knox had a role in the attack and murder. Knox and her supporters are very adamant that there is no trace of Knox in Meredith’s bedroom. While the courts argue otherwise, could Knox’s role have been limited to the hallway?

    Sadly, we may never know the full truth of what happened on the evening of November 1st, 2007.

    My timeline of media reports on blood

    • Nov 2nd: Meredith Kercher found. Blood found in bathroom.
    • Nov 5th: Police analyzing traces of blood from apartment below.
    • Nov 5th:  A “trail of blood” is on the inside handle of the door to the apartment.
    • Nov 7th: reports of Amanda Knox’s statements, includes finding blood in the bathroom.
    • Nov 14th: Police use of Luminol at Sollectio’s house. First reports on the knife seized by police from Sollecito’s house.
    • Nov 19th: Analysis of blood in bedroom (pillow, bra, etc).
    • Nov 22nd: Guede’s prints in blood.
    • Nov 27th: Amanda Knox’s blood on bathroom tap.
    • Nov 28th: Blood in bathroom.
    • Dec 5th: Reports of Guede’s letter to father: “there was so much blood”.

    My timeline of main events involving Guede

    • Nov 2nd, 2am ““ 4:30 am: Guede seen by witnesses at Domus nightclub.
    • Nov 3: Guede leaves Perugia for Germany
    • Nov 11: Guede’s cell phone tracked in Milan (Corriere)
    • Nov 12: Newspaper reports a 4th suspect.
    • Nov 19: Guede identified as suspect in newspapers
    • Nov 19: Guede skype conversation with friend.
    • Nov 20: Patrick released from prison.
    • Nov 20: Guede arrested while trying to return to italy on train in Germany.
    • Nov 21: Guede interrogated by German police; Guede admits to being at apartment, blames an italian man for murder.
    • Nov 20-Dec 5: Guede writes diary in German prison.
    • Dec 3:  Germany grants Guede’s extradition back to Italy.
    • Dec 6: Guede returns to Perugia.
    • Dec 7: Guede interrogated by Magistrate.
    • Dec 14: Guede ordered to remain in prison.
    • Dec 17: Knox is questioned by Mignini.
    • Dec 18: Police use luminol in apartment and find footprints in hallway and in Filomena’s bedroom.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Given The Abundant Facts, What Scenario Is The Nencini Court Considering? Probably Not Unlike This

    Posted by Marcello



    1. The “Innocence/Framing” Campaign

    It is rather sad that this case, of the violent murder of Meredith Kercher, has seen a ‘hurricane’ of noise trying to cherry-pick and disprove the more salient facts, and worse, discredit those who investigated, prosecuted and ruled on the case as well as discredit those who continue to emphasize the facts.

    Over the past six years there has been a concerted effort by the defendants in this case, and primarily by their families, their “˜groupies’ and their legal consultants, to mount and continue a public relations campaign to frame the defendants as innocent of the crime of murdering Meredith Kercher. This ‘innocence’ campaign has even gone so far as to tarnish the motives of the fine justice officials involved.

    The defendants themselves have continuously obfuscated and lied about the more salient facts, albeit inconsistently (their multiple versions fail to match up, and do not match the available facts). Lately Ms. Knox has done a number of (typically unconvincing) interviews, and her parents still seem too intent on defending the fantasy of their daughter’s innocence, all evidence to the contrary.

    Mr. Sollecito, for his part, tweets unofficial retractions about statements he made in court. Both have distastefully profited through books that are not much more than a compilation of lies (and which do not offer matching alibis). Meanwhile the legal teams for the defendants have recently leaked “˜favorable’ results from the testing of a new sample on the presumed murder weapon in order to (again) misconstrue the evidence for the general public.

    2. Media Misreporting Facilitates

    Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of this “˜innocence campaign’ has been that far too many journalists have dishonored their professional ethics by failing to do the proper research and objectively report the facts. Journalists to this day continue to misreport the facts, leave out corroborating facts, or worse, blindly repeat the distortions or lies promoted by the campaign without proper fact-checking. By and large, journalists (mostly in the US and UK) have ‘anti-reported’ the case.

    This is especially grievous given that there are multiple Court Motivations reports (a unique feature to the Italian justice system) readily available in Italian and English online, in searchable PDF format, as well as several websites like this one that have painstakingly sought to illuminate the vast amount of evidentiary facts.

    Those journalists who have failed to correctly report the case, and those involved in this ‘innocence’ campaign, have repeatedly disrespected the victim, Meredith Kercher, and her family. By contrast, the Kerchers has shown great dignity throughout these years, remaining patiently quiet and consistently insisting that the truth be revealed by the Italian justice system.

    The endless journalistic failures, and particularly the ‘innocence’ campaign, have also disrespected the Italian law enforcement and judicial systems. By contrast Italian law enforcement has demonstrated substantial deference to the defendants, especially when compared to the law enforcement and judicial procedures of other advanced countries. In response, numerous ‘groupies’ have exhibited pathetic jingoism by repeatedly denigrating a country of 60 million people based on rather uninformed attitudes.

    And it is very likely that Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, rather than confess the truth, will continue to obfuscate or lie as much as they can, as well as disrespect the Italian Court and the Kerchers by not being present at the appeal. Their ‘innocence’ campaigns will likely continue to distort or ignore the facts. And worse, journalists and talking-head ‘experts’ will continue to report falsehoods and misrepresentations.

    3. All Will Now Be To No Avail

    Fortunately, none of the fabrications, ill-conceived scenarios or numerous pieces of unprofessional, sloppy journalism will ultimately matter.

    This is because the Nencini Appeals Court will not be listening to any of the noise. The Appeals Court has a very specific program to follow, mandated by the Italian Supreme Court, which has already looked at this case four times (the detainment requests for Knox and Sollecito, the conviction of Rudy Guede and the annulment of the Hellmann Appeals Court ruling). The Nencini Appeals Court program includes:

      1) looking at all the case evidence noted in Judge Massei Trial Court’s Motivations report,

      2) considering the Italian Supreme Court’s Motivations report for the conviction of Rudy Guede, in which Guede was convicted of having a role in Ms. Kercher’s murder, but not the key role of fatally stabbing her, and that he acted in concert with others, and

      3) considering Ms. Knox’s voluntary “˜gift’ statement of November 6, 2007, in which she placed herself at the scene of the crime. (This statement follows an earlier verbal and written statement released to the police during a few hours of interrogation in the early hours of November 6th.)


    4. Big Surfeit Of Evidence

    The amount of evidentiary facts the Nencini Appeals Court will have absorbed is substantial. Unlike the Hellmann Appeals Court, they cannot cherry-pick the facts. Per the Supreme Court, they must consider all the available evidence as a whole, logically tied together like a mosaic. Significantly, one could even leave out the knife and bra clasp entirely as evidence points because:

      1) Ms. Kercher was murdered by more than one assailant. This is evident from the wounds she suffered, from the evidence in general and has been consistently maintained by three different trial judges and four different Supreme Court reports.

      2) Guede in all his various confessions has consistently hinted and ultimately confirmed the presence of Knox and Sollecito during the crime.

      3) There is no plausible scenario for the crime that involves Guede and two or more unknown assailants.

      4) All the other evidence found at the crime scene points to Sollecito and Knox being present before, during and after the crime in some fashion.

      5) Knox was at the scene of the crime by her own written admission.

      6) The break-in was staged and, by obvious implication, only Knox and Sollecito would have any interest in staging the break-in (see my earlier post listing all the problems with the break-in scenario).

    There seems no rational way that the Nencini Appeals Court can logically acquit. And Judge Nencini has not ‘pre-announced’ a non-guilty verdict like Judge Hellmann did by claiming that the defendants “˜appear to be innocent’.

    The only remaining questions are what kind of dynamics will the Nencini Appeals Court assign to the participants, and what kind of reasoning will the Italian Supreme Court provide, assuming Knox or Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Having already read the Massei Motivations report and supporting documentation for weeks, this will already be a highly informed judges’ panel. What scenario are they converging on? The following scenario is based on some of the most significant evidence, and overall seems largely unshakable.

    5. Scenario Accounting For The Most Points

    The Night Before: Halloween

    1) Guede lied about meeting Ms. Kercher on Halloween. (No such meeting was corroborated by witnesses.)

    2) Guede lied about his whereabouts in the early evening of November 1, 2007. (His claims of having appointments with friends were not corroborated.)

    Evening Prior To Attack

    3) Around 8:00 PM on November 1st, Knox left Sollecito’s place to go to work. She received Lumumba’s (her boss) text message around 8:15 PM that she was not needed at work. She responded at 8:35 PM while presumably walking back to Sollecito’s apartment. Then she turned off her phone at 8:35 PM. She was seen at Sollecito’s apartment by 8:40PM.

    4) Sollecito received a call from his dad at 8:42 PM. (According to the defendant, they discussed the broken trap in the kitchen sink and how to clean the kitchen floor, and about going to Gubbio with Knox the next day. Significant about this is that the broken trap and clean-up likely happened later. See below.)

    5) Sollecito turned off his cellphone at roughly 8:45 PM. (typically, neither Knox or Sollecito turned off their cellphones for the night)

    6) Ms. Kercher was last seen by her friend Sophie Purton at roughly 9:00 PM going to her cottage.

    7) There was no human interaction with Sollecito’s computer after 9:10 PM.

    8) Knox and Sollecito were seen at piazza Grimana, by the cottage, at roughly 9:30 to 10:00 PM, by a homeless man who “˜resided’ at piazza Grimana.

    9) Ms. Kercher’s phone made three short calls between 10:00 and 10:15 PM roughly, to check voicemail, a possible attempt to call a bank, and possibly an MMS message.

    10) A car broke down near the gate of the cottage at 10:30 PM.

    11) Knox and Sollecito were seen at piazza Grimana, by the cottage, at roughly 11:00 PM, again by the same homeless man. He noted they went several times to the railing of the piazza to look down beyond it. (The piazza overlooks the gate of the cottage.)

    12) A tow truck came at approximately 11:00 PM to tow the car. The driver of the truck noted a dark-colored car parked in front of the gate of the cottage, which he noted was slightly open. At approximately 11:15 PM the tow truck left and the family in the broken down car departed the area with other friends in a second car. (Sollecito had a dark colored Audi.) No screams were heard and no one noticed Guede, Sollecito or Knox pass through the gate.

    13) Sollecito’s dad sent Sollecito an SMS at 11:15PM. The message was not received by Sollecito’s cellphone until roughly 6:00 AM following morning.

    The Attack Upon Meredith

    14) Knox likely let Sollecito and Guede into the cottage after 11:15 PM, after the tow truck and car had left. Guede went to use the large bathroom and failed to flush his feces. The following is an assumed sequence:

    15) Ms. Kercher was restrained in her room and her screams were muffled. (There was bruising on Ms. Kercher’s nose, mouth, lips and chin, suggesting her mouth was covered by one or more persons; only one scream was ever heard from the cottage; Ms. Kercher was familiar with martial arts maneuvers and likely vigorously tried to defend herself)

    16) Ms. Kercher was choked and her head likely banged against the wall. (Bruises on Ms. Kercher’s neck suggest she was choked with small hands; Ms. Kercher had bruises to her scalp.)

    17) Ms. Kercher’s jeans may have been partially removed to restrain her legs and feet. (There were few bruises to Ms. Kerchers legs and feet, including no signs of ligature. This suggests her legs were immobilized in some other fashion.)

    18) Guede held Ms. Kercher’s left wrist, leaving DNA traces on Ms. Kercher’s sweatshirt.

    19) Guede likely held Ms. Kercher’s left thigh, brusing it, and left his DNA traces inside her.

    20) Ms. Kercher’s sweatshirt was removed and two layers of shirts she had on were rolled up to her neck.

    21) Guede left DNA traces on Ms. Kercher’s bra.

    22) At least three different types of shoe prints were left on the floor in Ms. Kercher’s room on postcards, papers and the pillowcase. None of these matched Ms. Kercher’s shoes found in her room.

    23) A witness heard a man and woman yelling from the direction of the cottage.

    24) Ms. Kercher was pricked and stabbed with a small knife in the right side of her neck.

    25) Ms. Kercher likely freed her right hand and sustained small cuts. She may have punched Knox in the nose or mouth.

    26) Ms. Kercher likely freed her left hand and sustained small cuts. She may have grabbed Knox’s hair, while perhaps ripping off an earring from Knox. (Crime scene photos show blonde hair strands in Ms. Kercher’s left hand)

    27) Ms. Kercher was able to scream at the top of her lungs. Two witnesses heard the scream. One witness believed it was around 11:30 PM when she heard it.

    28) Ms. Kercher was pricked on her neck and chin with a knife. She was stabbed on the left side of her neck with a large knife. Her neck was roughly 16” off the floor, as suggested by a blood spray pattern on the wardrobe door close to where she was found.

    29) A bloody shoeprint fitting Knox’s shoe size was left on the pillowcase. Shoeprints matching Guede’s shoes were also found on the pillowcase.

    Right After The Attack

    30) Guede may have gone to the bathroom to get two towels to staunch the blood. Guede confessed to this, though no DNA traces of his are found on the towels. Guede’s bloody shoeprints were found around Ms. Kercher’s body, and his bloody hand print was found on the pillow.

    31) At this point, Knox may have gone to the small bathroom to check a wound. Knox left traces of her blood mixed with Ms. Kercher’s blood in the bidet, edge of the sink and Q-tip box in the small bathroom. Knox left an additional blood trace on the faucet.

    32) Guede handled Ms. Kercher’s purse, leaving DNA traces of himself and Ms. Kercher, likely with Ms. Kercher’s blood. (Traces of Guede’s DNA was found on the zipper of the purse. Because the trace contains blood it was likely left after Ms. Kercher started bleeding.)

    33) Guede left bloody shoeprints leading straight down the corridor and out of the cottage.

    34) A witness heard someone running on the metal stair of the car park shortly after she heard the scream.

    35) The same witness also heard running footsteps on the cottage pebble driveway at roughly the same time.

    36) The boyfriend of another witness was bumped into by someone “˜with dark skin’ running up the stone stairs, though the time is unclear.

    37) Another witness heard people running in the street that wraps behind the car park.

    38) Sollecito likely tossed Ms. Kercher’s cellphones from his car into a nearby garden 1 km away from the cottage at around midnight.

    39) Guede was seen at the Domus night club around 2 AM.

    Evidence, Manipulated Or Overlooked

    Likely sometime later during the night Sollecito and Knox returned to the cottage to eliminate evidence and frame Guede for the crime. In so doing:

    40) Sollecito left a partial bloody footprint on the bathmat.

    41) Sollecito left his DNA on Ms. Kercher’s bra clasp after removing the bra. (Given blood patterns on the bra, the bra may have been removed after Ms. Kercher had died and certainly after she had been stabbed on the left side)

    42) Sollecito left one, possibly two, bloody footprints in the corridor.

    43) Knox left two bloody footprints in the corridor. One of these contained her blood as well as Ms. Kercher’s blood. (Knox likely bled during or after the assault and may have stepped in her own blood)

    44) Knox left a trace of her blood mixed with Ms. Kercher’s blood on the floor in Romanelli’s room.

    45) Knox likely threw Romanelli’s clothes on the floor. She likely used an inordinately large rock to break the window with the outer shutters closed. She likely placed some of the broken glass on the window sill to fake a break-in. (Romanelli and the Postal Police found glass on top of Romanelli’s clothes and laptop, suggesting the room was ransacked and then the window was broken.)

    46) Knox, perhaps inadvertently, left a piece of window glass in Ms. Kercher’s room.

    47) Knox left a bloody footprint in her room.

    48) Knox likely left her only room lamp in Ms. Kercher’s room by accident. (The lamp was found on the floor, by Ms. Kercher’s bed, and it may have been used to exam the bloodied floor around Ms. Kercher’s body to remove evidence, such as perhaps an earring and/or hair.)

    49) Knox likely wiped away all her fingerprints throughout the entire house (While a number of fingerprints were found in the cottage and verified belonging to the three other flatmates, no fingerprints were found that could be matched to Knox, not in her room or elsewhere- except for one, on a glass in the kitchen.)

    50) Knox and/or Sollecito repositioned Ms. Kercher’s body and covered it with the duvet. (Crime scene photos show from the streaks of blood that Ms. Kercher’s body was moved. There were masses of long hair mixed with blood on the floor, suggesting someone had yanked Ms. Kercher by her hair.)

    51) They likely took Ms. Kercher’s wallet, closed her bedroom door and locked it.

    Back At Sollecito’s Place

    52) Sollecito and Knox returned to Sollecito’s place to clean up. They brought back the large knife and cleaned it with steel wool, and also tried to scrape away build-up/rust by the handle. (The knife was found at Sollecito’s place, with DNA traces of Knox on the handle and by the handle/blade joint, with a DNA trace of Ms. Kercher on the blade, with scratches on the blade and pockets of cleaned stainless steel by the handle.)

    53) Sollecito likely disconnected the trap of his kitchen sink, perhaps to clean it. (The trap pipe was found disconnected.)

    54) Sollecito and Knox likely used bleach to clean the floor of any blood. (Police observed a strong smell of bleach when entering Sollecito’s apartment.)

    55) Sollecito and Knox apparently took a shower. (Knox has recounted a number of “˜ear cleaning’ and ‘shower’ stories.)

    56) Sollecito likely put blood stained clothes and shoes into one or more garbage bags and drove in the night to dump them somewhere.

    57) Sollecito used his computer at around 5:30 AM and turned on his cellphone at around 6AM.

    Events On The Next Morning

    58) Knox was seen at a nearby store at around 7:45 AM, just as the store was opening. She was noticed going to the cleaning products section, wearing clothes that were ultimately found on her bed at the cottage.

    59) Knox may have traveled back and forth from the cottage with a mop and/or garbage bags. (In her different versions, both verbal and written, she talks about ‘having to fetch a mop from the cottage’.)

    60) Knox turned on her cellphone around noon.

    The Police At The House

    61) Knox and Sollecito were discovered at the cottage by the Postal Police at around 12:30 PM.

    62) Knox told the Postal Police that Ms. Kercher sometimes kept her door closed. (This was later contradicted by Romanelli, who insisted Ms. Kercher’s door be broken down.)

    63) Knox called her mother in a panic at roughly 12:45 PM. Knox would later forget this phone call in her testimony and in her book.

    64) Sollecito called the Carabinieri at around 12:50 PM, confirming nothing was stolen in Romanelli’s room, though he could not have possibly known this for certain.

    65) When Ms. Kercher’s door was broken down, at around 1:15 PM, Sollecito and Knox were not with the group that broke the door down, and were not able to see inside the room.

    66) Knox panicked when it seemed that Guede’s feces had been flushed by accident.

    Later That Same Day

    67) At the police station, Knox yelled out that Ms. Kercher “˜bled to death’.

    68) At the police station, Knox inveighed against “˜those bastards’ after being fingerprinted, though it’s unclear whether she meant some other killers (and if so, why the plural), or the police.

    One Day Later

    69) On November 3, 2007, Sollecito lied to a reporter about how the discovery of Ms. Kercher’s body happened, recounting that Knox was the first to discover the body, and that he ‘saw blood everywhere’ even though he could not have seen into the room.

    Two Days Later

    70) On November 4, 2007, Knox emailed a narrative of the events from her point of view.

    71) During the autopsy of November 4th, the prosecutor was convinced by the number and manner of the injuries on Ms. Kercher’s body that there had to be more than one assailant.

    72) On November 4, 2007, Knox broke down when police showed her and the other roommates the knives in the silverware drawer at her cottage, to determine if any knives were missing. Knox had to be escorted outside to calm down.

    73) Knox would later confess to her parents her concern about the knife at Sollecito’s apartment.

    Three Days Later

    74) On November 5, 2007, Sollecito failed to back up Knox and changed his alibi when confronted with cellphone records. He maintained Knox left his apartment from roughly 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

    Four Days Later

    75) On November 6, 2007, following Sollecito’s interrogation, Knox blamed Lumumba for the murder, first verbally, then in one written statement, then in a second statement that she offered voluntarily without coercion.

    76) Knox failed to make an official retraction of her blaming Lumumba for the murder.

    And Subsequentially

    77) When first contacted by his friend via Skype, Guede spoke of a man with a knife who was shorter than he, and who had chestnut colored hair (like Sollecito). He also thought Knox was arguing with Ms. Kercher.

    78) When Guede was arrested, Sollecito was concerned that Guede might say strange things about him. (If Sollecito was innocent, why be concerned about Guede?)

    79) In their multiple “˜confessions’, both Knox and Guede cite Ms. Kercher’s “˜terrible screams’.

    80) In court, as a response for finding Ms. Kercher’s DNA on the knife, Sollecito made up a story of pricking Ms. Kercher’s hand while cooking and subsequently apologizing to her about it. But Ms. Kercher had never been to his apartment. Sollecito recently retracted this story on Twitter.

    81) Guede eventually confirmed that Sollecito and Knox were with him on the night of the murder.

    Some Further Considerations

    Ms. Kercher was not promiscuous and had scruples about watering the marijuana plants of the boys residing on the ground floor of the cottage. She had never expressed any interest in Guede to any of her closest friends. Similarly, Guede had never expressed any interest to any of his friends or acquaintances regarding Ms. Kercher.

    Some 40+ wounds were found on Ms Kercher’s body. Despite being physically active and knowing martial arts maneuvers, she had few defensive wounds, mostly on the right hand.

    She had bruising on her back, her left thigh, lower right leg, both elbows and wrists, the neck, the nose and mouth. She had two significant stab wounds of differing size on opposite sides of the neck, as well as various cuts on face, neck, hands.

    No ligature marks were found on her ankles or wrists. She was therefore assaulted by multiple attackers. And as the evidence and trial reports have repeatedly indicated, the attackers were Knox, Sollecito and Guede, with Guede not responsible for the fatal wound.


    Sunday, October 06, 2013

    Dr Mignini Pushes Back Against His Demonizers Trying To Ascribe Non-Existant “Satanic Theory”

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Preston left, Spezi center, and George Clooney who is at legal risk for his option on their defamatory book]

    1. Dr Mignini’s Published Statement

    To the editor of Florence Corriere

    Dear Director,

    I am Giuliano Mignini, the magistrate who performed the investigation and trials of first instance and appeal in Perugia against the people accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, as well as the investigation into the death of Francesco Narducci linked to the one performed by the Florence Prosecution Office in relation to the masterminds of the “Monster of Florence” murders.

    I saw reported the interview that the journalist Mario Spezi ““ a person accused in the Narducci case ““ did with Amanda Knox, a main defendant in the appeal trial that will start today ““ published in the Corriere Fiorentino on Sep. 29.
     
    In two recent cases the Court of Cassation has annulled verdicts, which acquitted Knox and Sollecito, and which decided [by Judge Micheli] a dropping of charge against Spezi (the parts regarding “˜lack of certainty about malice’ were annulled too).

    Therefore I don’t need to add anything further on that point.  Instead, I need to point out the falsehood of an assertion which Mr. Spezi makes at the beginning of his article, as he tries to explain the reason for a link which, in his opinion, allegedly exists between the two cases, the one related to the Monster murders and Narducci’s death, and the one about the Kercher murder.

    Mr. Spezi’s text says: “”¦ a strangely similar background, for two different cases, behind which the magistrate thought he could see satanic orgies on the occasion of Halloween for Amanda, and ritual blood sacrifices as a worship to the Devil in the Monster of Florence case”¦”.

    This is an assertion that Mr. Spezi and crime-fiction author Douglas Preston have been repeating for years, but does not find the smallest confirmation in the documentation of the two trials, nor in the scenario put forward by the prosecution in which the Meredith murder (which didn’t happen on Halloween but on the subsequent night) was the consequence of a sex hazing to which Meredith herself did not intend to take part, and, above all, it was the consequence of a climate of hostility which built up progressively between the Coulsdon girl and Amanda because of their different habits, and because of Meredith’s suspicion about alleged money thefts by Knox.

    Furthermore the object of the proceedings in the Narducci case is the scenario about the murder of the same Narducci and the attempt, by the doctor’s father and brother, to conceal the cause of his violent death, and this included the background within which the event ““ which was a homicide in my opinion and in the opinion of my technical consultant, coroner Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia ““ had developed and taken place.

    I had already denied several time assertions of such kind, but Mr. Spezi and Mr. Preston, and some people connected to them, go on repeating a lie, apparently hoping that it will become true by repeating it.

    Another astonishing fact is that, despite that I was the prosecutor in the Kercher trial together with my colleague Manuela Comodi and then subsequently with my colleague Giancarlo Costagliola [at annulled apeal], and despite that I limited myself to formulating judicial requests which were all agreed to by a multitude of judges and confirmed by the Supreme Court, I am still considered as the only one responsible for an accusation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, by twisting its content in various ways.

    In the Narducci case, in the same way, I simply limited myself to performing the investigation and requesting the remands to trial, and the trial will have to start again now because the Supreme Court has annulled the dropping of charges [by Judge Micheli] and sent back the trial to another preliminary judge in Perugia.

    The purpose ““ quite overt ““ of such endlessly repeated lies, is to defame the investigator, picturing him as a magistrate who is following alleged personal obsessions rather than sticking at facts, as instead he is.

    The hope that such conscious misrepresentation of reality could bring advantage to the defences (foremost that of Spezi himself) is consistent with a bad habit which has all along flourished in Italy but is now also copied abroad.

    Therefore I ask you to please publish my rectification against false and seriously defamatory information.

    Kind regards

    Giuliano Mignini

    2. Context: The Mafia Playbook Adherents

    As we have often d previously, the mafia and their handmaidens strive constantly to bring the Italian justice system down a peg or two.

    When not using dynamite, as they often did in the past, they especially favor the weapon of character assassination of witnesses, judges prosecutors and police.

    The vilification campaign being run in the United States by David Marriott, Chris Mellas, Doug Preston, Bruce Fischer, Steve Moore, Michelle Moore, Nigel Scott, and David Anderson (and from Italy by Frank Sforza) seems to be right out of the mafia playbook, whether all of them know it or not.

    How the mafia have been using the public relations campaign to their own advantage seems set to emerge further in at least five of the associated trials coming down the pike: those of Luciano Aviello, Frank Sforza, Mario Spezi, Raffaele Sollecito (his book trial) and Amanda Knox (her book trial).

    And now Mario Spezi, obviously a real glutton for punishment, once again piles on. Spezi has had incessant run-ins with the Italian law - and now he seems to have entered some kind of self-immolation end-game.

    With Doug Preston, Spezi published several editions of their Monster of Florence scenario. These are widely discredited in Italy, not least because they are such obvious attempts to apply lipstick to a pig (half of the text is about an obviously red-handed and very very scared Preston trying to prove he did not actually melt down under interrogation for his probable felony interference in a case.)

    Spezi has been charged with interfering with and hampering both the Monster of Florence investigations and the related investigation (which involved Dr Mignini) into the Narducci drowning - a clear murder (the body was found bound and another substituted) though a nefarious group worked very hard to deny that. (They were all charged as well, and the Supreme Court has recently confirmed the correctness of that.)

    In recent weeks the Supreme Court has given a firm order for both prosecutions against Spezi to go ahead. How Spezi stays out of prison if he is found guilty is anyone’s guess. Doug Preston came up with a calamity of an explanation for the arrest of Frank Sforza for domestic violence, but presumably his assistance wont be sought this time around. 

    So in face of impending prison Spezi really watches his tongue, right?

    No, in fact in a move bizarre even by his own standards, Spezi on 29 September published a surreal “interview” with Amanda Knox in Florence Corriere. It once again repeats the felony claim that the prosecution charged Knox and Sollecito in the first place based only on some “satanic theory”.

    The Perugia prosecution has never never NEVER claimed that. The Florence prosecutor has already moved into felony-investigation mode (this could cost Spezi more years in prison) and on 3 October Florence Corriere published this correction below by the defamed prosecution (translation is by Yummi).

    This unequivocal statement (far from the first but the most prominent) has its own legal status. It is a clear legal warning to the likes of Chris Mellas and Bruce Fischer that if they sustain the libel they are at risk of felony charges also.

    The statement has already had a strong ripple effect in Italy. Many former allies - some of them not very savory - now feel that Spezi has lied to and betrayed them for his own ends.


    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Why Numerous Psychologists Now Observe Knox Skeptically

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding


    Links to both ITV interviews kindly provided by Clander of PMF:  Daybreak Seattle interview and Daybreak London interview.

    Please see the key past posts here and here and also here for some context.

    Amanda Knox appeared in an English TV interview on the early morning of Monday September 23rd.

    She spoke from Seattle to a detached ITV reporter in Seattle and a tough Daybreak anchor in London - tough. though she badly lacked second questions in follow-up. The interview was, by all accounts, fair, and also duly respectful towards Meredith’s family, who are in England.

    But the girl or woman who is Amanda Knox we observed was neither calm nor happy.

    There was not one authentic smile, and not a moment when the light came into her eyes. Her hair and make-up looked good - her presentation had been considered. But her skin was not well. As most women know, the skin, especially on the face, reveals your inner health, your inner peace.

    As a psychologist, one is trained to distinguish ‘signs’, if you like, or indicators that illustrate the most crucial factors about the state of mind. One is taught to look beyond presentation and image, and too, beyond the actual words delivered, to hear what is actually being said - from the inner self or true self. Some people might prefer to use the term ‘the soul’.

    What I heard in this interview is a person struggling and deeply disturbed and unhappy. I saw someone genuinely very afraid with strong feelings of hopelessness. Anger, defiance, and combativeness also showed.

    But, newly, there were also signs of weariness with the self-elected fight. I believe Amanda is intelligent enough to realize that the weight and strength of the factual, combined evidence is stacked against her. Knowing this, as I believe she does, can only put her in an anguished state.

    At times, one could plainly observe that a pre-rehearsed ‘PR’ line was being delivered. Amanda was being ‘a good girl’, and doing what she had been told.  Examples seem to be especially where she says such things as, “I am innocent”, “my innocence has been proven”, ‘...this case is not complicated..”

    Since, by applying a little elemental logic, most of these statements can be shown to be untrue, they unfortunately sounded somewhat like mantras being delivered. Rather more that these were the things AK would LIKE to believe are true. As if perhaps, if she closes her eyes often enough and wishes hard enough, they might become true…and her nightmare would now be over.

    But, alas, childish unreality cannot last. We live in a world where we are required to become adults, and to act responsibly as adults.

    At junctions in the interview, where some of the more penetrating questions were asked involving human relations, an ‘inner adult’ Amanda could be seen trying to emerge. One point was where she was asked about what she would do if found finally guilty.

    A burgeoning sense of realism could be detected in her reply. She knows herself in this respect: she would find it unbearable to try and live as a fugitive in the free world, labeled as a murderer and a slanderer. She actually said so, with strength of feeling. It is people’s hatred of her that she can’t bear, and it is that she is protesting about so much. And indeed it must be hard to bear.

    The interviewer, Lorraine, spoke at length about the Kercher family, asking AK what she would like to say to them. When Amanda replied, also at length, she said,

    “... I would like them to give me a chance…”

    This sounded authentic to me, I felt she meant it. However, she added to this, sounding almost like an addendum, that she wanted them to believe she could be innocent. This latter phrase, added in a different voice and intonation, didn’t ring true to my ears.

    I believe that what is truly in her heart is that she longs, beyond all measure, for the Kercher family not to totally hate her. (She gives the impression that she believes they do or could hate her). She seems to truly not to be able to bear the thought of being hated, and even more unbearable, the thought that by her behaviour (as a ‘kid’) perhaps, just maybe, she might deserve that hate.

    This would seem to be the source of her anguish, and also behind many other of her statements in this interview.

    There would be a way through for her - a third way. This would be to start telling the truth, the whole truth, now. It is never too late to speak the truth, and it is never too early, either. The truth endures. This is a fact of history.

    It would indeed take enormous courage for Amanda to take this step. It would be immensely difficult for her because of the PR campaign. But if she could begin to answer the outstanding unresolved questions, factually and honestly (unembroidered and not exaggerated),  - she would, I believe, begin to heal her life, if this is genuinely what she wants.

    She might be surprised at how much forgiveness there might be if she were to find the courage within herself to take this huge step. She quoted her priest/mentor from the Italian jail, when he advised her about how, at challenging times, we can find unknown resources and strength within ourselves that maybe we didn’t know we had.

    She has a choice, and she could choose to do it. Making wise choices is what adults do.


    Sunday, September 22, 2013

    Questions For Knox: Ten Hard Questions That Knox Should Be Asked Monday On ITV’s Daybreak

    Posted by The Machine





    Amanda Knox will be interviewed for the first time in Britain on ITV’s Daybreak programme tomorrow.

    No interviewer should unquestioningly accept everything Knox says as the gospel truth. Remember Knox served three years in prison and is labeled a convicted felon for life for malicious lying.

    So let’s hope tomorrow’s interview is not yet another whiny mis-statement of the core facts, and not yet more sliming of Italian officials, of which we have just seen so many.

    There are many questions on this site which Knox has never ever answered. Some arise from the evidence and some from her dishonest book.

    See especially the tough questions here and here and here and here.  With luck the Daybreak hosts will ask Knox all of these tough questions below.

    1. Multiple false alibis

    You and Raffaele Sollecito gave completely different accounts of where you were, who you were with and what you were doing on the night of the murder. Neither of you have credible alibis despite three attempts each. Sollecito told Kate Mansey from The Sunday Mirror that you and him were at a party.

    He told the police that you and him were at his apartment. He then told them that he was home alone and that you weren’t at his apartment from around 9.00pm to about 1.00am. You first told the police that you were at Sollecito’s apartment. After you were informed that he was no longer providing you with an alibi, you repeatedly claimed that you went to the cottage with Diya Lumumba.

    You changed your story yet again and claimed that you were at Sollecito’s apartment, but he might have gone out. All the other people who were questioned had one credible alibi that could be verified.

    Extract of Sollecito’s witness statement.

    “I went home, smoked a joint, and had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. At around eleven my father phoned me on the house phone. I remember Amanda wasn’t back yet. I surfed on the Internet for a couple of hours after my father’s phone call and I stopped only when Amanda came back, about one in the morning I think.

    Question 1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito repeatedly tell the police and others a pack of lies?

    2. False accusation

    You falsely claimed that Diya Lumumba killed Meredith in two witness statements and you repeated the false accusation in your handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. You served three years in prison for this felony and your appeal to the Supreme Court was denied.

    Question 2. Why did you repeatedly accuse Diya Lumumba of murder when you knew full well that he was completely innocent and why didn’t you or your mother retract your accusation when he was in prison?

    3. The Double DNA Knife

    According to a number of independent forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor, Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian - Meredith’s Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade of a knife from Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen.

    He falsely claimed in his prison diary that he had accidentally pricked Meredith’s hand whilst cooking. Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. 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.

    Question 3. How do you think Meredith’s DNA got onto the blade of the kitchen knife?

    4. The bra clasp

    An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s on the exact part of Meredith bra clasp that was bent out of shape during the attack on her.  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. David Balding, a Professor of Statistical Genetics at University College London, recently analysed the DNA evidence against Sollecito and concluded it was strong.

    Question 4. How do you think Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA ended up on Meredith’s bra clasp?

    5. The bloody footprint on the bathmat

    According to two imprint experts - Rinaldi and Boemi - the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede. Rudy Guede’s bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house which indicates that he didn’t go into the bathroom after Meredith had been stabbed.

    See our past posts on this here and here.

    Question 5. Who do you think left the bloody footprint on the bathmat?

    6. Mixed samples of Amanda Knox’s DNA or blood and Meredith Kercher’s blood

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

    Question 6. Why were you bleeding on the night of the murder and is it a coincidence that only your DNA was found mixed with Meredith’s blood?

    7. The Luminol Enhanced Footprints

    Bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol at the cottage. Three of them are compatible with your foot size and one of them is compatible with Raffaele Sollecito’s foot size.

    Question 7. What do you think the Luminol was reacting to - Meredith’s blood or some other substance?

    8. The staged break-in

    There is absolutely no evidence that anyone stood outside Filomena’s window and climbed up the vertical wall on the night of the murder. There were no marks from soil, grass or rubber soles on the wall. The earth of the evening of 1 November 2007 was very wet, so if anybody had climbed the wall, they would have left some marks on it.

    The glass on the window sill and on the floor show no signs of being touched after the window was broken, which would have been the case if the intruder had gained entry through the window.

    There was not a single biological trace on any of the shards of glass. It would have been very likely that an intruder balancing on the window sill would have suffered some kind of injury or cut because of the shards of glass.

    If the window had been broken from the outside, there would have been shards of glass outside, but there wasn’t even one.

    Judge Massei and the panel of judges at the Italian Supreme Court specifically mentioned the shards of glass on top of Filomena’s clothes which had been tossed onto the floor in her room and regarded it as proof that the break-in was staged.

    Question 8. Who do you think staged the break-in at the cottage?

    9. Knowledge of the crime

    Umbria Procurator General Galati’s pointed out in his appeal that you knew specific details of the crime that you could have only known if you had been present when Meredith was killed.

    According to multiple witnesses at the police station, you said you were 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. But you weren’t in a position to have seen anything at all when the door was kicked in.

    In your witness statement you described Meredith’s scream. Other witnesses have corroborated your claim that there was a loud scream.

    Question 9. How did you know so many precise details of the crime?

    10. Shower and the “bathmat shuffle”

    The Scientific Police found 13 traces of blood in the bathroom that Meredith and you shared. Prosecutor Mignini and Filomena have both expressed their surprise that you showered in a blood-spattered bathroom.

    Filomena told Mignini during cross-examination:  “I thought it was odd that she’d had a shower when there was blood all over the place.”

    You told Mignini that you used the bathmat to shuffle to your room.

    Question 10. Why did you shower in a bathroom that was splattered with blood, and did you notice the visible bloody footprint on the bathmat when you used it to shuffle to your room? And why so soon after did the police notice that you were stinking?

    Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones the ITV Daybreak hosts who should confront Amanda Knox


    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    How The Clean-Up And The Locked Door Contribute To The Very Strong Case For Guilt

    Posted by James Raper





    On the 30th September the appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffele Sollecito against the convictions they received at the first instance trial will resume, this time in Florence.

    This follows the annulment by the Supreme Court of the acquittal verdicts rendered by the Appeal Court presided over by Judge Pratillo Hellmann. There is one conviction not under appeal. This is Knox’s conviction for calunnia, which is now definite.

    They are therefore both currently convicted of murder and sexual assault, and a number of lesser charges, amongst which there is the simulation of a burglary “to ensure impunity for themselves from the felonies of murder and sexual assault, attempting to attribute the responsibility for them to persons unknown who penetrated the apartment to this end”.

    There is one activity, for which there is evidence, with which they were not charged (perhaps either because it was redundant or not a criminal offence) though this was likewise to ensure impunity for themselves.

    This is the partial clean up at the cottage and it is this with which I intend to deal. I want to highlight salient observations which have been under discussion here and elsewhere and some of which may be well known to readers, but perhaps some not, or have been forgotten about. Once again, in many cases, I am merely a conduit for the observations of others, not least the first instance trial judge Giancarlo Massei.

    So let”˜s consider the observations and in doing so we can also throw some more light on the lone wolf theory.

    1. Take a look at the bloody footprint

    This is, of course, the bloody footprint on the bathmat in the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s room. 





    The heel of the right foot, if it had blood on it, is missing from where it should be on the tiled floor. It is difficult to imagine, given that the imprint of the foot on the mat is contiguous with the edge of the mat, that there was not at least some blood on the remainder of the foot such that there must have been at least some blood deposited on the floor.

    Just as difficult to imagine that casual shuffling about on the bathmat would have removed the blood so as to render it “invisible” to the use of luminol.

    Of equal relevance is that there were no connecting bloody footprints.  Why not?

    The defences have an improbable theory -  that Guede, despite his homicidal rage, was smart enough to hop about on his left foot with a clean shoe on, and the other bare but covered in blood, and that having by this means entered the bathroom and washed his bloody right foot, disastrously leaving his (supposed) imprint there in the process, he then returned to Meredith’s bedroom inadvertently standing in blood with his left shoe and leaving with a trail of bloody left shoe prints -  in which case the exercise of washing his foot was entirely in vain, on two counts, after all that careful hopping around.

    Neither is it entirely clear why his right shoe came off in the first place.

    It is far more probable that the inevitable bloody prints were deliberately and carefully removed. The reason for doing this was not just to conceal who would have made them (the print on the bathmat was, after all, left in situ) but, from a visual perspective, to conceal any blood that might be noticeable and alarming to anyone approaching Meredith’s room. Guede’s bloody shoeprints in the corridor were visible but only on close inspection.

    2. Take a look at the bathroom door

    Specifically the internal (hinge) side of the bathroom door. Take a look at this photograph.





    We see a long streak of dried blood.  Clearly the blood has flowed some distance under the influence of gravity and we can see that it looks slightly diluted, with red corpuscles gathering towards the tip of the streak. A drip of that size does not appear from nowhere.

    Indeed it is difficult to imagine how the blood got there unless it was part of a larger area of blood which most likely was on the face of the door and which was swiped to the right and over the edge of the face of the door. The cloth or towel used to do this was wet accounting for the slight dilution and length of the streak.

    3. Take a look at Meredith’s door

    It is interesting, is it not, that there is blood on the inside but not on the outside? The outside:





    And the inside:





    It is difficult to see how and why Guede touched the inside handle with a bloody hand (was it shut and if so, why?) and then closed the door to lock it without leaving a trace on the outside face of the door. Possibly he might have changed hands. The answer might also be that he visited the bathroom to wash his hand as well as his foot, save that none of his DNA was recovered from the spots and streaks of diluted blood in the washbasin, whereas Knox’s DNA was. All the more surprising given that Guede shed his DNA in Meredith’s room.

    We see some blood on the edge of the door which again might be the remnant of a trace on the outside face.

    4.  Take a look at Amanda Knox’s lamp.

    This was found inside Meredith’s room behind the door. Meredith also had a similar lamp which was resting on it’s base on the floor by her bedside table.

    The presence and location of Knox’s lamp is obviously suspicious. Had Meredith borrowed Amanda’s lamp because her own was not working, then it would not have been in the position it was found but on or more likely knocked over and lying beside the bedside table since the violence appears to have been concentrated in that area of the room. 

    Had Meredith’s lamp been on the bedside table then likewise it too would most likely have been knocked over in her life and death struggle with her sole assailant (there are blood streaks on the wall just above) and it would not have ended up sitting upright on it’s base.

    Both lamps were probably used to check the floor of Meredith’s room after the event and Knox’s lamp was probably sitting upright until it was knocked over by the door being forced open.

    This is Meredith’s lamp by the bedside table.





    And this is Knox’s lamp by the foot of the bed.




    5. Take a look at what luminol revealed

    We can state with confidence that luminol (extremely sensitive to and typically used to identify blood that has been wiped or washed away) discovered :-

    (a) three bare footprint attributable to Knox, one in her bedroom and two in the corridor, and

    (b) two instances of the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox, one in Filomena’s bedroom and one in the corridor.

    (c) a footprint attributed to Sollecito in the corridor.

    I have covered a number of elements strongly suggesting that there was at least a partial clean up, not of “invisible DNA” as the Groupies like to mock, but of what would have probably in some cases have been noticeable deposits of blood that would have attracted the eye of anyone entering the cottage and which would certainly have alarmed the observer as being difficult to explain.

    Spots of and footprints in blood, not just in the bathroom but outside it, a locked bedroom door with blood on it, and a bathroom door with blood on it’s face.

    We can include Knox as one such observer given her e-mail account of having allegedly stopped by the cottage to have a shower and collect some clothing before the discovery of the body. Such physical evidence - had it not been removed - would not have sat easy with that account, however dizzy and naïve Knox presents herself. One can envisage Knox thinking “sorted” - that her story would now work perfectly.

    Even so, there were elements that were overlooked, such as Knox’s blood on the washbasin faucet and blood generally in the small bathroom, but a door can be closed and at least these were elements amenable to some form of explanation from her perspective, whether or not convincing, as occurred in the e-mail.

    Incidentally in addition to the mixed traces in the small bathroom, Meredith’s blood was found on the light switch and a cotton bud box.  I have a hard time imagining what Guede would have wanted with the cotton bud box, less so Amanda given her blood on the faucet, ear piercings and a scratch on her throat. Knox, when asked during her trial, could not recall having switched on the light during her alleged visit to the cottage.




    6. Take a look at the items on Knox’s bed

    Massei concluded that it was likely that it was Knox who carried out the clean up, which if correct might explain why it was not central to her thinking to dispose of the bathmat with Sollecito’s bloody footprint on it!

    Knox was seen by Quintavalle at his store at 7.45 am on the 2nd November, thereby destroying her alibi. He described her as pale faced, exhausted looking, with pale blue eyes. He also added, and he would not have known this from photographs in the newspapers, that she was wearing blue jeans, a grey coat and a scarf, with a hat or cap of some sort.

    We can see from the crime scene picture of Knox’s bedroom below, that such items (minus hat or cap) appear to be lying on her bed.





    Sollecito did not accompany Knox to the store but this would be because he was known to Quintavalle whereas he was unfamiliar with her. He may however have accompanied Knox to the cottage and/or have acted as look out for her when she was there.

    7. Some conclusions

    I have included “The locked room” in the title because of a poster’s observation regarding Guede’s bloody left shoeprints exiting Meredith’s room. There is the simple observation that these footprints are going one way only and not towards the small bathroom.  But they do not even turn to face Meredith’s door, and again hard to imagine that this could be so if it was Guede who locked her door!

    We can rule out Guede as having been involved in any aspect of the clean up precisely because of that trail of footprints and other evidence of his presence left behind.

    Now that the travesty of the Hellmann acquittals has been truly exposed Knox and Sollecito face an impossible uphill task.

    The clean up and the locked door are just two of many elements in this case which combine together and corroborate each other in a manner that enables us to see the truth beyond a reasonable doubt.


    Friday, May 31, 2013

    The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: What The Newly Published Knox Writings Reveal To Professional Eyes

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding




    The New Writings

    It is good to have an opportunity to see the letters from Amanda to her social worker, Maurizio. The writing style is very different from her book which seems more abrasive, more ‘jazzed up’, pointed, in comparison - presumably the influence of the ghost writer.

    What is immediately and conspicuously obvious is that the letters make no mention of ill-treatment - a contrario in many ways. The recipient of the letters is someone whose support she needs, as is Don Saulo.

    She goes out of her way to speak to them with endearment, even flirtation, to show gratitude, to build trust, or to appear to build trust. This is a person whose need to be liked and supported is paramount. One has the feeling, therefore, that she is presenting herself in the best possible light.

    This includes being ‘good’ and saying things as they are. And they are: ‘OK’, ‘fine’, ‘bene’, ‘well enough’, ‘happy to remain’ (in Perugia) etc.

    There has been much speculation about the psychology of Amanda Knox. I am glad to say that this site has deferred, by and large, from assigning labels to her. It is not for nothing that the official court psychological profiles of 2008 have not been disclosed. To begin with, a full analysis is not possible without personal encounter. And then there is the question about the value of such labels at all, especially with new research advancing all the time.

    However, one can talk about observable patterns of behaviour, for example narcissistic behaviour. There are a number of established, well-researched traits in narcissistic behaviour which are worth discussing here.

    Observable Behaviors

    I believe the following characteristics have been observable and continue to manifest in the letters just published.  These are :

      1) Immaturity, of a degree which indicates some arrested emotional development. And connected to this, an emotional neediness and dependence. This usually manifests as insecurity where it becomes important that everyone has to like, admire, and feel affection for them - most especially those who they need to ‘look out for them’, be their support system etc. A secure personality has a healthy ego which can quietly use reasonable judgement, and only needs to be assertive where occasion demands. An insecure person has a weak and fragile ego, contrary to the appearance they try and give, which can be loud, over-confident and assertive, or proud etc.

      2) An inability to deal with shame, or admit guilt. This also connects with (in Jungian terminology) an inability to ‘own the shadow’, and admit one can and does sometimes make mistakes. The cultivation of a false sense of self or identity follows; an image projected of the ‘angelic’,‘innocent’ - always sunny and light, and, ‘special’  (cf : ‘here comes the sun’ as a mantra). Of course, a PR campaign can proliferate this advertising of the false image, and this is precisely how ‘celebrities’ make use of this process.

      3) Self-esteem which in reality is rather low - together with compensatory behaviour which includes constantly needing attention, praise and to be recognised as perhaps clever, cultured, athletic, attractive…in short, ‘superior.’

      4) Manipulation. This is connected to the lack of true empowerment, and therefore the attempt (which can seem desperate) to ‘get’ power through having power and control over others. Flirtation, seduction (and obsession with erotica) can show this manipulative tendency. Control, in this case self-control, is a prerequisite for manipulating a situation. A person’s unnatural focusing around staying in control will often belie an agenda of manipulation. A secure mind and ego can afford to allow spontaneity - an insecure one cannot.

      5) Anger management can be an issue; also a ‘show of rage’ - melodramatic - can be used as a manipulative tool. (Tantrum…as in two year old). One could write a paper just on this anger aspect alone.

      6) Feeling too different, and needing badly to be accepted by others. Rejection is unbearable. And, of course, people do reject them, even if it is just in the sense of being put off by their loudness etc, as above. Thus the problems escalate inside.

      7) Lying. In severe narcissism lying is pathological. If a child is not taught why telling the truth matters - if their childish lies are humoured and not challenged by the parent, this sets up enormous trouble in the adaptation to the adult world. Again, one could write a great deal about pathological lying, - it is a topic in itself…suffice to say, here, that AK stands as a convicted felon for lying.

    There is some interesting new research (Professor Raine) that has established a 22% difference in a specific brain layer, in people who are able to glibly lie. These people also have enhanced verbal faculties. Some people lie just because that’s what they do, (when they don’t actually ‘need’ to). It’s a modus operandi, - usually used as a tool to get what they want.

    All of these characteristics above, added together, will give a person who is first, foremost and last, concerned with their own image, their persona - how the world sees them. Hence ‘Narcissus’, gazing at his own reflection, and mistaking it for reality.  So much mental energy is orientated towards weaving together their ideal image of themselves in everything they do: ‘What people think of me’.

    Then, too, the illusion of this constructed image has to be maintained. Therefore anything that contradicts it has to be denied.  *Amanda the Innocent* - this is the image that, in this case, has been projected and maintained.

    Notice that it is the perpetuating of the Image that matters - the actual point of whether she is - in fact and evidence,- innocent or guilty takes low precedence compared to the task of getting people to believe in the image of her being innocent. AK actually says so herself (in the way she often reveals herself) : “people thought I was.. ( a murderer) whether I am or not.” She couldn’t bear people to believe such an image of herself - whether she was or not, she didn’t want people to think it

    It is what people think or believe about them that matters most to the image-creating narcissist. They cannot bear to be found faulty - they must be admired.

    The Six Published Letters

    Here are some points of interest that stood out in the published letters in the post below. (I expect others can be observed, and found also in the recent interviews, etc.) :


    Letter dated April 3rd 2008.

    This is the only letter of this group that contains a grumbling complaint. Firstly, she mentions the police thinking badly about her. It is striking yet again that what bothers her is how people think of her. She also repeats, as often, ‘I do understand that I have to be in control’. See point 4) above.

    Then a passage that contains a couple of enigmatic statements :

    “...Above all when they don’t know the truth?

    It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation. I understand the motivation, but I do not agree. “Sweet” or not it is a “TORTURE”. I am being tortured and it is not right…...

    Sorry. As I said I do suffer a lot in prison. Generally I am scared, alone, with no hope, sad, and tired, even if I am innocent.”

    This rewards some analysis. ..“Above all when they don’t know the truth?”

    No one can know the full truth, precisely because AK herself (and Sollecito) have declined, from the start, to give a full and comprehensive - let alone consistent - account of the tragic evening. So it is very illogical to then complain that the authorities are acting thus because they don’t know the truth…

    “It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation”. These two clauses seem to be non sequiturs to me. I do not see what they mean. It is dark innuendo that she ‘doesn’t agree with.’ That is all we are told. Then :

    “TORTURE”

    If I was being gravely mistreated, with due cause for complaint, I would detail the wrong-doing as simply and clearly as possible, so it could be addressed. This does not. How is one to know whether the ‘torture’ (her inverted commas) is really frustration and annoyance at the way things have turned out? It also is expressed in a self-dramatising way.

    ...“even if I am innocent”. I really did read this as an ‘add-on’ - for safe measure, in case anyone significant were to read it. The word ‘even’ is out of context. It is another example of ‘distancing’, too.


    Letter dated April 28th 2008 :

    Don Saulo is ‘a true friend and a very good man’. At this point in time AK needs Don Saulo very much. He also, probably, offers her a role model of a positive animus (Jung again), in contrast to the other menfolk in her life, he is a man with forgiveness and without anger. Obviously, later on, she no longer needs him.

    In a rare moment of veracity, AK says, “I am ignorant, unfortunately”. She also wants someone to give her explanations (for the meaning of the literature) - this indicates a passive intellect, possibly without the desire to grasp an understanding for oneself. She would rather be given the meaning, as a soundbite, almost. Then one can impress, with the knowing. Somewhat as tourists ‘get the knowledge’. I suggest, having lived in Rome, that some Americans are perhaps prone to this.


    Letter November 26 2009 :

    This is notable as, first, a copious expression of gratitude for being liked, and given support, and in continuation, as a definite plea for this support (and, she hopes, affection) to be ongoing.


    Letter dated August 10th 2010 :

    AK is first flirtatious over Maurizio’s marriage. Is she being risqué ? It seems typical of her to introduce a sexual nuance where in reality it is not appropriate.

    Next, we have one of her cultural detours. She gives a (for her) fairly detailed reaction to a book by Umberto Eco, a writer of some standing. She mentions not just once, but twice that the writing is ‘meticulously built’. This obviously is something that makes the most impression upon her. Of all the stylistic and imaginative innovation, and colour, that there is in Umberto Eco’s writing, I find it most curious that this is what impresses her.


    Letter April 20th 2010 :

    AK is very happy to be credited as a translator : this will help her be seen in a favourable light, something high on her agenda. To be fair, credit where credit is due, (although one knows nothing of the details of the translation).

    Next we have another passage of gratitude.

    Then a description of how she is happy ‘playing…out in the sun’. This is immediately followed with ‘I have made a new friend’ - all important to her, and makes all the difference, - if she is liked, accepted, and preferably admired too.


    Letter undated :

    Here, AK says ‘I feel fine’, followed again, immediately, by a description of her new cell mate who likes her, helps her, and shares as a friend, both manicure and music. This being liked and accepted obviously gives her security, and she doesn’t want to move : ’ I am happy to remain in Perugia…’

    Conclusion

    These Knox letters describe a real prison situation that is at odds with the seemingly fictional Knox book. She may have been at some inner peace there. Outside, it is hard work.


    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Demonizations By Knox: Knox Lacks Hard Proof; Sparks Widespread Anger & Contempt

    Posted by Miriam



    [Header of the Giallo article; the rest off it is at bottom; click for a larger image]

    1. The Fake Knox In Her Demonizing Book

    Amanda Knox may have felt she was “waiting to be heard” in America but here in Italy we have heard her many times, and we feel we know her pretty well.

    Her book and interviews don’t sound like her at all. They sound like nasty legal stunts and nasty PR at work. It is easy to disprove her disparagement of officials and her friends here, and an investigation by the Chief Prosecutor in Bergamo is already under way.

    So the big question for us here is not angrily “Who are these appalling police, prosecutor and prison officials, and why did they do these terrible thing?” but sadly “Why was she compelled to invent all this stuff?” and “Why is she so scared to come back?”

    2. The Amanda Knox That We In Italy Know

    I have translated six of her letters from prison just published in the crime magazine Giallo plus the introduction and the graphologist’s analysis. This is more like the Amanda Knox we know, not the invented one in the book.

    1. The Giallo magazine’s Introductory framing of Knox’s letter below

    Amanda: “Here In Prison Things Are Okay”

    So writes Knox to a friend while she was a prisoner in Perugia. [The true crime magazine] Giallo publishes her letters, and then has them commented on by a graphologist and a psychologist

    The letters you see published on these pages are from Amanda Knox, the young American accused, along with her ex boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, of the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, that took place in Perugia the 1st of Nov. 2007.

    Knox, 26 years old, was acquitted in appeal, but now Cassazione has decided that the appeal must be redone. While waiting for this complicated judicial process to restart, Amanda lives in Seattle, and is traveling around America to launch her new book Waiting to be Heard for which she was paid several million euro by her publisher.

    To the American television interviewers, the young American woman has said she is scared of coming back to Italy, because our prisons are terrible places, where she was threatened, molested sexually, and humiliated.

    Well, in the letters that Giallo publishes in an exclusive, Amanda writes to a social worker, Maurizio, who helped her, and she seems neither desperate or scared, she has friends and cellmates with which to share many interests, From reading to music, up to manicures. There is a priest, Don Saulo, with which she talks, and confesses, and helps her in her moments of discouragement.

    Sure, she suffers from the distance from her family, her loneliness and her imprisonment, but she can see her parents and speak with them frequently, and this notably relieves her suffering.

    2. Six letters from Knox to the social worker Maurizio 2008-2010

    April 3 2008

    Dear Maurizio,

    Thank you very much for that letter that for me is very interesting. I was thinking: “Why am I here?”, “why can’t I be with my mother?”, ” Yes the police can think badly about me, and meanwhile I do understand that I have to be in control, not run away from the situation, but why prison? I am 20 years old, never committed a crime, it is senseless. How can they say that I have to stay in prison like the people that can be a danger to others? Above all when they don’t know the truth?

    It really is a torture and now I understand the motivation. I understand the motivation, but I do not agree. “Sweet” or not it is a “TORTURE”. I am being tortured and it is not right…...

    Sorry. As I said I do suffer a lot in prison. Generally I am scared, alone, with no hope, sad, and tired, even if I am innocent.

    Thank you for the article. It is interesting to know how people that do not undergo this torture as I and hundreds others think. To tell you the truth, I can’t understand how some judges can sleep at night, when they very well know that it can be a grave mistake. ah… mamma mia….

    Come on! It is O.K. here. I am studying a lot and have started reading Italian Poetry.

    Another thing that I like a lot is the song “A te” by Jovanotti. “perché tu sei…semplicemente sei….sostanza dei giorni miei…sostanza dei giorni miei…. (lyric of the song n.d.r.). Have you heard it? According to me it is a live song. It is true. Simple and strong. I like it a lot.

    How are you? Do you like the change of weather? I spend more time outside reading a book and singing (I am still alone when I go outside). I am sun tanning but I’m still white white!

    Hope you are OK. Love, Amanda

    P.S. Let it be! Here comes the sun!  I know that I am not alone, even when I am alone

    April 28 2008

    Dear Maurizo,

    Thanks again for your thoughts and your gifts.

    I really like the T-shirts and the book of art. Beautiful! Mamma mia the talent of the artists always surprises me! Thanks. But you know, you do not have to buy me anything. I am happy just to hear from you.

    Really, [Priest] Don Saulo speaks to me so much about God’s gifts, especially about the strength to overcome the difficult moments, of which there are so many. He bought me a book on philosophy entitled “Umanesimo Integrale” and we speak often of my thoughts and my questions. He is a true friend and a very good man.

    It’s true, I must start to read a bit of classic Italian texts. Maybe there are some books in the library for me….......Who can explain to me about “Divina Commedia”? I know it exists and that it is famous, but more than that I am ignorant, unfortunately.

    Now my father is here with me, but he has to return to the United States, next week. In his place the husband of my mother, will come. I am happy, because from him I receive a lot of strength. He is like that.

    Today I go to the gym course (in a bit) and I have a home telephone call. My first telephone call was last week and I was so excited. The voices of the people I love are really a gift. I trembled a bit after those so little ten minutes.

    Now, I must go to the course to sweat a bit. 😊 I hope you are very well. Thanks again for your words.You are very kind.

    A hug, Amanda 😊

    P.S. Let it be! Here comes the sun! I know I am not alone, even when I’m alone.

    November 26 2009

    Caro Maurizio,

    Ciao, my friend. How are you? It’s from forever that I write you. I imagine that you must have basketball in your head, since it is the season’s sport. I send best wishes to your nephews, who play it. I am terrible at basket. I have very small hands, therefore I can’t control the ball.

    I would like to thank you for meeting with my family. Chris told me nice things about your encounter, he was impressed by your generosity. I know that it is always nice and unique, every time that somebody comes toward you and they like you, just like that. Therefore, thank you, for having welcomed him, me and my dear ones.

    Nearly, nearly there. O mamma mia, one has to remain strong in these days. I am always hoping so much, even if, in my stomach I feel sick, anxious. More than anything, the closer it gets, the more I have to reinforce my patience against the fatigue and frustration.  But I will make it.

    A lot of my family will come tomorrow to be in court. There will be my father, my mother, my stepmother and my aunt. My three sisters will be here on Dec. 2. I hope so much to be able to go home with them, finally, this time. I see it in “my third eye” the vision of being on the plane between my mother and my sister. Maybe, I am thinking to much about it.

    Anyway, I hope you are well. I must go to sleep early tonight, to be ready for tomorrow.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Your friend, Amanda 😊

    Here comes the sun! Let it be! I know that I am not alone even when I am alone,

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    April 20 2010

    MAURIZIO

    Hi! How are you? I’m happy that I made you happy with the full translation. For me it was a satisfying job, so I thank you too for the chance that you gave me. I don’t think it will be a bad thing put up my name as a translator. OK it is fine for me and yes if you like it, you can even put my second name Marie,

    Thank you very much for the towels, to be truthful I really needed them. They are beautiful. I gave one of my pillow cases to the other inmate so we have twin pillows. She thanks you too and sends her best wishes.

    Seems like that the weather is finally changing. With great pleasure I was able to wear a skirt in these days. Now people are out and we play volleyball together under the sun. I made friends with a new 19 years old girl: she is an athlete too. Every day we walk or play with the ball together,

    Next Friday my mother, father and stepfather will be here for a visit. Mi mother and father are here for a short time to be interviewed on TV at “Quarto Grado” and then will come here. Can’t wait to see them, I miss them with all my heart.

    Well, hope that you are fine. Thank you again for everything and salute you with all my affection

    Hi your friend, Amanda

    I know that I am not alone even when I am alone

    August, 30 2010

    Dearest Maurizio

    Hi dear, how are you? Do you know that yesterday I was taking with D…. about you, only because you are a very special person in this world, for all that you do for others. She told me that you got married. Congratulations! Now I have to tell to my grandmother and break her heart! 😊 Just joking!

    I am well enough here. I thank you again for the shorts and shirt that you send me. They were perfect as always. Thanks and I hope that you didn’t lighten your wallet too much. I am kind of disappointed that you spend your money on me, you are too generous. I am always the same here.

    Just finished reading a book by Umberto Eco book that I liked a lot. In Italian should be ” L’isola del giorno prima”, I read it in English “The island of the day before”; maybe the “island of yesterday”? Anyway, I was favorably moved by Eco’s organization in this novel in order to communicate so many ideas on science, philosophy, ethic, imagination, literature. It was a book very rich on thoughts, and colpi di scena during it’s path.

    I like Umberto Eco because he meticulously builds the story that he wants to tell. Of all he writes, nothing is taken for granted and this is remarkable, he has a fantastic mind to dig deep while following a long track. I saw a Sean Connery movie based on a book of his “Il nome della Rosa?” It was fantastic. Always meticulously built, deep and fascinating.

    Seems like that the newspapers know before us when the appeal proceeding will take place. We still have not been officially notified, but my lawyers told me that it should start Nov. 24th; that in the USA is Thanksgiving Day. Hope that it is a good omen even if there is a lot in my life for which I should be grateful: to be alive, having the family that I have etc…

    [Undated letter]

    Dearest Maurizio,

    I am happy to hear from you again. I use now the paper you sent me to answer you.  Sorry to make you wait.  My mother has returned to the United States nearly a week ago, and my father returns to Italy tomorrow, to see me Tuesday.

    I am happy to remain in Perugia. I do not want to restart everything in another place.  Also I? (blurred) have heard that the prisons in Rome are harsher than here. Who knows?

    I only know that at least I know some of the prison officers fairly well, after all this time. I would be sorry to leave Don Saulo. I feel fine in my new cell. I changed it so I could be with a girl my own age. We joke, cook, we do manicures. Further, she does a manicure for me, because I do not know how to do one. We listen to music a lot because she has a radio.

    Thank you for all you do for me. The paper, your words of confidence, your prayers. To Don Saulo I will send your greetings. Do you write often to him too?  I hope all is very well with you. I send you a big hug. Ciao! Thank you!

    Amanda Knox 😊

    Let it be, Let it be! Here comes the sun! (drawing of a sun)

    3. Comments by educational psychologist and graphologist Evi Crotti

    Looking at the Amanda Knox letters it is evident right away how organized and precise she is: she has a perfect handwriting, elegant and without smudges. We try to interpret it with the help of the graphologist and educational psychologist Evi Crotti.

    She explains: Her perfect, organized handwriting, without margins and few spaces indicates that we have before us a girl that is decisive, strong, who wants to dominate, and knows she can succeed in life. She puts herself In the center and leaves no place for others. Amanda displays a way of writing that is typically northamerican, in small print, called script.

    The handwriting, elegant, big and curved, reveals an extroverted personality, and with a notable sense of taste. Her language is fluid and polished, and the accuracy with which she writes, tells us that this young girl has a need to maximize and nurse her image, to the point of becoming narcissistic: after her signature she draws herself with a smiling face.

    Amanda leaves no space between the lines: this signifies an element of interior loneliness, which she attempts to compensate at any cost with approaches of verbal intrusiveness. This tells us that that her strong narcissistic behavior can escape control and lead her to present unstable behaviors. The fact instead that her handwriting is always in horizontal lines, without blurs, gives testimony to her practical intelligence and her strong tenaciousness,  that allow her to reach her goals.

    Also, the handwriting is rigid and this signifies that she knows how to use words with care and determination. Evi Crotti underlines that the handwriting is static: It is a sign of a behavior that is very seductive. Attention, the need to be attractive at all costs can make her lose sight of the objectivity of judgment , taking her to a subjective vision of circumstance reality.

    Conclusion:  Amanda seems to be in a continuous search of approval and acceptance from those who live around her. Her egocentricity, maybe pushed unto the point of a bogus personality, demonstrates that this girl possess a highly emotional immaturity that doesn’t allows her to love in an unselfish way. The handwriting slightly slanted to the left indicates a contradiction between the need to be liked and the reactive refusal toward a feminine figure: for her, probably every woman represents a rival.





















    Saturday, May 04, 2013

    The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: How TV And Book Suggest Knox Is Increasingly Far From Facing Reality

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding





    Amateurism run amoke is what the unprecedented and unwise Knox extravaganza is starting to look like. 

    Several TJMK posts below this one have already suggested that the book was rushed into print with very little fact-checking, with no restraint on damaging false accusations,  and with no strategic legal considerations.

    The same thing seems to have happened with the TV appearances.

    Knox had a year and a quarter under wraps to prepare herself and yet her many exaggerated and over-emotional TV claims contradict many things SHE HERSELF has said previously.

    She seems to have been rehearsed by handlers with little or no grasp of the extensive fact record.

    And where has all this amateurism left her? Open to slow erosion of her credibility by an increasing number of commentators while considerably upping her peril in Italy.

    Because many of her claims falsely accuse officers of the court, she could be further indicted for contempt of court, and she could see the five years which was lopped off her sentence by Judge Massei for “mitigating circumstances” reinstated.

    Those of us with psychology credentials may not have all been expecting the same thing from Knox when she finally surfaced. But none of us expected to be confronted so forcefully with a classic case of a personality in turmoil.

    My first impression after getting through to the end of the book was that it shows such serious disturbance psychologically, so much being revealed in her own words.

    It wouldn’t be possible to classify AK as clinically insane, the niceties of this being so precise - but an abnormal mind is clearly illustrated. So clear that it is actually sad - that she has been allowed and encouraged to do this.

    The ghost writing, or/and her own expression is also painful to read in terms of quality of writing. These are the main points that have emerged for me, from a psychological perspective, after reading:

    AK’s grip on reality (even without drugs) is tragically lacking. It seems that she doesn’t know what a ‘fact’ is. Every fact and event is seen through a lens of her own feeling or emotion - logical connection being absent - together with how she believes it is best to make it appear.

    ‘Her “best truth” is this over and over again. She doesn’t even understand that this is considered by normal minds to be lying. She doesn’t seem to have a concept of lying.

    • “their version of reality was taking over”... Does reality only come in versions?

    • “something didn’t feel right. it seemed made up”.  Does she not know?

    AK continually refers to herself as “different”. She is, but not for the curious or trivial things she believes. She is also obsessively concerned to be seen and classified as a “good person”. This comes up over and over.

    “I didnt want them to think I was a bad person”. Note, not: “I didn’t want to BE a bad person” but always “how will people think of me”. This is a continual theme. “I couldn’t believe anyone could think that of me”.

    It does show a dissociative and non-integrated personality, with both deep roots and serious implications.  There are also indications that she is unable to ‘read’ people’s faces /expressions with any accuracy. (Emotion recognition).

    A more sinister and disturbing facet to her personality connected to the above, which comes through in every chapter, is the automatic disparagement of anyone who displeases her (which of course happens frequently - whenever, in fact, someone has a different version to ‘her best truth’).

    Someone is then ‘useless’, ‘betraying me’, ‘stupid’, etc etc. These words are all said matter-of-factly…. as if they really are facts.  Here are some more of these words, peppered within the text:

    • ‘Repellant, self-serving’, ‘hostile’, ‘insincere’, ‘abandoned (me)’, ‘uninterested’, ‘aggressive’, ‘spiteful’, ‘curt’, ‘disdainful’

    • ‘Old perv…lecherous’, ‘glared cruelly’, ‘idiotic’, ‘insidious’, ‘controlling’, ‘condescending’, ‘mean’, ‘hateful’, ‘ruthless’....

    Note that it is not that AK finds these people to be these things, in her opinion- it is that they ARE these things.

    The sub-text is: I am a good person, and they, having displeased or disagreed with me, are ‘bad’. Thus the mechanism for strong, unrestrained projection is at work.

    Example: “The police couldn’t bear to admit they were wrong.”  Could she, though?

    Her projections are so blatant, that I quake for her lack of self-awareness. I used to read literature as a window into self-awareness, insight, philosophical depths, and questions of morality.

    Sadly this book is about as far from offering these as one could go. A PR machine missile is not a ‘book’ in the sense I used to know.

    AK reveals a very strong inner anger, the control of which is difficult, and which it would seem she is frightened of, and frightened of revealing.

    She would also seem to be based in a passive aggressive stance, which gives rise to a side seen as nice and even gentle. These two sides seem badly split.

    This would be in keeping with the Envy hypothesis (I refer to Melanie Klein’s ‘Envy and Gratitude’). There are a few definite examples of the consuming anger which Amanda herself describes graphically.

    She continually justifies it, also. Sometimes, of course, anger may be justified (‘just anger’) but as described here it is nearer to a rage or a tantrum when things aren’t going according to how she wants them to.

    This speaks of manipulation, which would be part of the same profile, and is essentially destructive and spoiling, as well as something that wells up with a will of its own.

    She often exposes her state of mind in certain phrases, without realising the implications of what she is saying. This is why I think the whole thing is so sad, as she has been used (seemingly mainly for money) in this foolish venture.

    For example: “In that instant I snapped.” when the detective said “you know who killed Meredith.” It wasn’t the pressure/abuse from the police that made her snap, it was being confronted with the truth.

    NOT her ‘best truth,’ but one that was simply unbearable to hear.  There are many other examples, littered throughout the book, of some of her inner chaos:

    • “This is my own fault. I caused the confusion”

    • “I wanted to disappear.  I didn’t want to be me anymore”.

    • “I didn’t know if I was allowed to keep my thoughts private…”

    • “Like a roller coaster ride….can’t get off. This is all my own fault”
    • .
    • ” I was furious for putting myself in this situation”.

    • Rafaelle - “He didn’t look at me. I wondered if he hated me”.  (Why should he?)

    • “We want justice. But against who? We all want to know, but we all don’t.”

    There are many others.  Amanda Knox said she loved Italy and I believe her. With adjustment she could have been a lot happier there than she perhaps ever was in Seattle. Now she is in the position of demonizing Italy and its good people there, and in the worst possible way.

    Italy was in fact very kind to Amanda Knox, and her treatment there was on the right lines to give her hope of enduring stability. What a pity that dirty PR and legal tricks and money grubbing may have pushed that out of sight forever.


    Wednesday, May 01, 2013

    A Welcome To New Arrivals: A Second Experienced Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On The Truth

    Posted by James Raper With Kermit




    Some Questions

    My legal colleague Some Alibi hammers home in the post below that the trial jury were not fools. They decided for guilt unanimously, based on many compelling evidence points.

    (1) Do you know how many hard evidence points there are? Literally hundreds. This is a very evidence-heavy case. And at trial in 2009 the prosecution did an excellent job. Between February and June, in about a dozen one-day sessions, they presented an overwhelming case and tied together all the points.

    (2) Do you know how many conclusive evidence points are required for a finding of guilt? Just ONE. If it is definitive enough, a single piece of evidence can decide any case. Some Alibi posted a damning footprint example the other day which BY ITSELF could have seen Sollecito convicted in any UK or US court. There are examples too for Knox.

    (3) Do you know how many evidence points were discredited during the trial and the anulled appeal? In fact it was NONE. A spooked defence kept well away from the alibi evidence, the cellphone evidence, the computer evidence, the mixed-blood evidence, the obvious crime-scene re-arrangement, and most eye-witness evidence. <

    Click here for the rest


    A Welcome To New Arrivals #1: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

    Posted by Some Alibi



    [Merediths window is seen on the top floor of the house in the lower foreground]

    Welcome To Common Sense

    This briefing was first posted with slightly different opening paras at the start of the annulled Hellmann appeal. New arrivals often tell us this helped them the most.

    If you’ve come to this website because of the Amanda Knox book and interview, then welcome.  Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The Knox book and interview seriously cherrypick the case, and perhaps haven’t helped you at all.

    On the Internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito; and you will find people who are passionate in their support of an exceptionally talented girl who died, of a fine justice system previously untainted by PR, and of the prosecution’s very strong case.

    Click here for the rest


    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Lawyers Are Puzzled At Why Knox Seems So Intent On Risking Extra Prison Time

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Knox doesnt need our legal advice. She has some pretty good lawyers of her own.

    So what are they telling her now? The huge risks her book and interview run are all spelled out in the Italian legal code. Accused perps dont ever, ever take their case to the court of public opinion in Italy (try finding another example) because that is a very serious contempt of the court.

    Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.

    At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.

    Those powers finally now HAVE been invoked, because of the extraordinary assault on the Italian system and judges and prosecutors and police (rejected even by his dad) by Sollecito in his book.

    They are perhaps the strongest and most extensive attacks on the court system Italy has even seen.

    This is under confidential investigation in Florence and charges expected this summer could cost Sollecito a sentence of five years or more. His book also just about kills his chances at the new appeal, because it makes several hundred wrong claims which to the prosecution will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    The defense lawyers surely know all of this. Unless they feel their chances at appeal are so bad (which could be the case) that they require desperate long-shot measures, they will surely tell Knox the same thing. 

    Publishers’ necks and ghost-writers’ necks and ABC’s necks are on the line too. HarperCollins UK seem to have been very smart in yanking the book. Their lawyers must have figured all this out.


    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Powerpoints #21: Diane Sawyer’s Very Tough Interview With Amanda Knox: ABC’s Sneak Preview!

    Posted by Kermit





    Skilled reporter Diane Sawyer does a great job here in negotiating the Knox PR minefield and eliciting a telling response. 

    No wonder Amanda Knox seems so set on not heading for the appeal court in Florence. There she might face immense pressure to answer the hundreds of open questions on the witness stand.

    This time under full cross examination, which was so strenuously avoided in mid 2009.

    For this sneak preview courtesy of ABC please click here. The Powerpoints should take maybe a minute to load. I recommend that you use the Page Down key to advance.

    if you don’t have the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded there is a download here. Interesting viewing. Thanks ABC.

    Some further reading?

    1. On the Cassation-annulled appeal verdict.

    Click for Post: 

    2. On the repeat appeal move to Florence

    Click for Post: 

    3. On the failing PR stirrer David Marriott

    Click for Post: 
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/powerpoints_13_we_now_examine_the_compelling_evidence_for/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/newsweek_report_from_italy_on_damage_shrill_campaign_is_dong_to_knoxs_/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/knox_public_relations_manager_starts_premature_crowing/

    4. On the bedraggled hair of Amanda knox

    http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/our_take_on_the_case_for_the_prosecution_4_amanda_knoxs_multiple_confl/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/how_the_media_should_approach_the_case_if_justice_is_to_be_done_and_se/

    5. On Dr Mignini’s many recent vindications

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/migninis_and_giuttaris_florence_convictions_are_overturned_as_florence/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/an_overview_from_italy_2_current_perceptions_in_italy/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/giuliano_mignini_promotion_places_him_first_in_line_for_prosecutor/

    6. On the voluntary Amanda Knox interrogation

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/disarray_and_decay_in_the_pro-knox_parade_1_bruce_fischers_epidemic_of/

    7. On the on-the-run PR shill Frank Sforza

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/disarray_and_decay_in_the_pro-knox_parade_2_key_knox-mellas_flunkie_no/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/might_frank_sforza_already_de_facto_be_banned/

    8. On the Committee to Protect Journalists

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/open_letter_to_cpjs_joel_simon_in_new_york_this_is_the_fact_finding/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/open_letter_to_cpjs_joel_simon_in_new_york_this_is_the_fact_finding_2/

    9. On the large double-DNA knife

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_limited_dna_reviews_-_what_we_believe_are_the_hard_facts_on_the_do1/

    10. On DNA consultants Conti and Vecchiotti

    http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C339/

    11. On the Amanda Knox email to Seattle

    http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/our_take_on_the_case_for_the_prosecution_4_amanda_knoxs_multiple_confl/

    12. On the Amanda Knox midnight call to Seattle

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/why_defendants_mostly_dont_testify_those_devils_that_lurk_in_the_detai/

    13. On the felonious Sollecito book

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/raffaele_sollecito_now_under_formal_investigation_for_new_crimes_appar/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/simon_schuster_seem_to_be_seriously_rattled_over_lack_of_due_diligence/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmksollecitosbook

    14. On the u-turn by HarperCollins UK

    http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/knox_book_put_on_hold_in_uk_as_legal_implications_of_blood_money_for_s/

    15. On the Knox sex-approach allegation

    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/andrea_vogt_obtains_new_rome_embassy_cables_from_state_still_showing_z/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/amanda_knoxs_supporters_incredible_shrinking_island_now_shrinks_some_m/
    http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/lifetime_movie_included_a_serious_wrong_charge/

    16. On the PR shill Doug Preston

    http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C555/


    Monday, April 08, 2013

    Experienced Trial Lawyer: There’s Far More Evidence Than UK/US Courts Need For Guilt

    Posted by SomeAlibi




    The false claim “there is no evidence”

    Some amateur supporters of Knox and Sollecito have committed thousands of hours online to try and blur and obfuscate the facts of the case in front of the general public.

    Their goal is simple: to create an overwhelming meme that there is “no evidence” against the accused, and thereby try to create a groundswell of support. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas and Ted Simon have all made this “no evidence” claim many times.

    At least some some of the media have eagerly swallowed it.

    The amateur PR flunkies make up myriad alternate versions of what created single points of evidence, often xenophobic scare stories designed to trigger emotional reactions, which they hope will be repeated often enough to become accepted as “the truth”.

    And where things get really tricky, another time honored tactic is to go on at great length about irrelevant details, essentially to filibuster, in the hope that general observers will lose patience with trying to work it all out.

    But time and again we have shown there is actually a great deal of evidence.

    Evidence is the raw stuff of criminal cases. Let me speak here as a lawyer. Do you know how many evidence points are required to prove Guilt? One evidence point if it is definitive.

    A definitive evidence point

    If you’re new to this case or undecided, what is an easy example of ONE definitive evidence item that might stand alone? Might quickly, simply, and overwhelmingly convince you to invest more time into understanding the real evidence, not that distorted by the PR campaign?

    In fact we have quite a choice. See the footprint which was second on that list.

    Now see the table above. I recommend the use of this table of measurement to avoid the lengthy back and forward of narrative argument which so lends itself to obscuring the truth. I would like to present you with this single table of measurements to give you pause to question whether this line that there is “no evidence” is really true or whether it might be a crafted deception.

    I present here a summarized view of critical evidence which suggests with devastating clarity that Raffaele Sollecito was present the night of the murder of Meredith Kercher. No lengthy text, no alternate versions, just measurements.

    This FIRMLY places Sollecito in the very room where Meredith was attacked and killed.

    In the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s bedroom was a bathmat. On it was found a bloody naked right footprint of someone walking straight towards the shower in the bathroom. The blood is that of Meredith.

    The footprint is not Amanda Knox’s - it is too big - but we can compare it to the prints taken of Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito.

    In Judge Massei’s report the multiple measurements were detailed in the narrative over many sentences and, in that form, their immediate cumulative impact is less obvious. It is only by tabulating them, that we are forcefully hit by not one but two clear impressions:

    The measurements are extremely highly correlated to the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito in twelve separate individual measurements. In themselves they would be enough for a verdict of guilt in all but a few court cases.

    But they also show a manifest LACK of correlation to the right foot of Rudy Guede, the only other male in that cottage on the night. Have a look for yourself.

    If you were the prosecution, or indeed the jury, and you saw these measurements of Raffaele’s foot versus the print, what would you think? Answer the question for yourself based on the evidence admitted to court.

    Then, if you compare further, exactly how plausible do you find it that the measurements of the bloody imprint are Rudy Guede’s instead?

    Not only are some of the individual measurements of Rudy’s imprint as much as 30% too small, but the relative proportions of length and breadth measurements are entirely wrong as well, both undershooting and overshooting by a large margin (70% to 150%).

    Conclusions that must follow

    Presented with those numbers, would you consider those measurements of Rudy Guede’s right foot to show any credible correlation to those of the footprint on the mat?

    Supporters of the two have tried frantically to create smoke screen around this - the wrong technique was used they say (ruled not so by the court) / they are the wrong measurements (all 32 of them? that Raffaele’s are matching exactly or within a millimetre but Rudy’s are out by as much as -30% to +50%...?).

    The severity of the impact on the defence is such that there was even a distorted photoshopped version circulated by online supporters of Raffaele and Amanda until they were caught out early on in coverage. But it is hopeless, because these are pure measurement taken against a scale that was presented in court and the data sits before you.

    Have a look at the measurements and understand this was evidence presented in court. Whose foot do you think was in that bathroom that night? Rudy Guede? Or was it Raffaele Sollecito on twelve counts of measurement?

    And if you find for the latter, you must consider very seriously what that tells you both about the idea there is “no evidence” in this case and who was in the cottage that night…


    Monday, March 25, 2013

    After Bizarre Hellmann Outcome Hard Questions That Meredith’s Family Now Face

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Above: Stepahnie Kercher at end of first appeal in late 2011 with Meredith’s second brother Lyle]


    Judge Massei came out with a clear scenario for Meredith’s death after trial in 2009.

    Judge Hellmann attempted to pick it apart but left no sensible scenario in its place. That is the toughest and legally most crucial argument of today’s prosecution appeal: that the 2011 appeal judges attempted to run a whole new trial - but essentially only listened to the defense.

    In this context as Tom Kington reports the Kercher family lawyer in Perugia Dr Francesco Maresca has made this series of comments:

    Francesco Maresca, a lawyer representing the Kerchers, claimed the acquittals of Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito were “defective” and “lacked transparency”, adding he was pushing for a retrial.

    The appeal court rejected key evidence against Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito after ordering new expert analysis of traces of DNA found on a knife belonging to Mr Sollecito, and on Miss Kercher’s bra strap.

    “There are many parts of the judge’s ruling that are defective,” said Mr Maresca. “For example, why did they only review those two bits of evidence? What about the blood in Miss Kercher’s bathroom and traces in the rest of the house?”

    Mr Maresca also suggested the appeal court judge had buckled under pressure from supporters of Miss Knox in the US.

    “There was a lot of external pressure and the judge showed a will from the start to acquit,” he said.

    Dr Maresca also passes on a statement from Meredith’s sister Stephanie:

    “We all still miss Meredith terribly… Unfortunately nothing will bring her back.”  Miss Kercher said her family continued to receive support from around the world and had set up a Meredith Kercher Fund to help pay their legal fees, adding the fund could be turned into a charity foundation when the case concludes in Italy.

    “A beautiful young girl, my little sister, was taken from us far too soon in such a brutal way with too many unexplained factors,” she said.


    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    An Overview From Italy #3 Dr Michel Giuttari Speaks Out About The Trumped Up Florence Case

    Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)



    [Dr Michele Giuttari, former head of the Mobile Squad in Florenece and prominet authoer]


    Dr Giuttari and Dr Mignini are connected because they both investigated the Monster of Florence case - and because a nasty case trumped up in Florence in retaliation has just been killed by the Supreme Court. .

    The erratic Mario Spezi and his timid colleague the sniper from afar Doug Preston have blown up that case to gigantic proportions, as have the Knox and Sollecito forces, and most recently (very foolishly and ill-timed, as his claims may constitute contempt of court) Raffaele Sollecito himself.

    Some important background can be found in Overview #2 and Comments here.

    Michele Giuttari started his police career in the 1970s’ as a mobile squad detective in Calabria; after 15 years of “Calabrian ” experience he was appointed to the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, and subsequently became the head of the Mobile Squad in Florence.  During his Florentine service time, following investigation guidelines under the direction of prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna, he produced a solution to the “˜Monster of Florence’ case, but also brought the investigation to an unexpected turning point.



    [Former Florence chief prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna created the “monster of Florence” term]


    As Vigna deduced, the MoF was not really one serial killer, but rather the manifestation of the killing activity carried on by a small group of people, at least three.  In fact three people were found guilty for taking part to the murders;  but both prosecutor and judges were not entirely satisfied: because there was evidence ““ so the court concluded ““ that someone else was involved too, who remained unknown.

    The investigation into the death of Dr Francesco Narducci was opened in Perugia in 2005 as a routine cold case, because of Narducci’s wife’s and relatives’  doubts about the “official” version of his “accidental” death in Lake Trasimeno. 



    [Former Perugia doctor Francesco Narducci found drowned in Lake Trasimeno]


    Points of contact between Narducci and the MoF emerged independently from two directions, from the Perugia investigation, and from Giuttari’s findings from the previous Florence investigation.

    Crossed analysis with the data bank collected by Michele Giuttari showed that several people were common witnesses both in the Narducci and the MoF case, while many things in the Narducci case were not adding up (for example, the unburied body was found to have died by strangulation, not by drowning, his trachea and hyoid bone were crushed). 

    Something even more unexpected was that the investigation into the Narducci case revealed - and partly itself triggered - a network or other collateral crimes. A number of people were caught engaged in criminal activities with the purpose of plotting cover-ups and obstruction of justice on this cold case.  Among them were law enforcement officers and lawyers. 

    But most surprising and peculiar, there was a fierce reaction from some magistrates among the Florence judiciary, in an attempt to stop the Perugia investigation. 

    The first wild accusations launched by a Florentine prosecutor against Perugia offices were proven false, so the most serious charges were dropped by a preliminary judge as obviously unfounded. 

    But a second wave of legal action followed, alleging that Giuttari and Mignini’s wiretapping recordings were false;  this accusation was also proven false in a trial, as expert technicians demonstrated the authenticity of all material.

    But after ignoring the objection about territorial competence the judge managed to let one accusation stand ““ that of abuse of office, a charge less serious than the previous ones, which was not formulated on points of facts but only on points of law ““ at the first degree trial.

    After some years,  this charge was canceled, as the courts finally declared the whole investigation illegitimate, and they nullified both the first degree trial, and the investigation and indictment itself.

    A last attempt by the Florentine prosecution to further delay closure was ended by the recent, final Supreme Court verdict.  Meanwhile, a couple of Florentine magistrates were successful in stopping the investigation into the Narducci case, for a total of seven years.   

    Unfortunately these happenings are not entirely new to the Italian judiciary. This one resembles other happenings ““ possibly more serious ““ that affected the system in recent Italian history (the most famous examples are the Elisa Claps, or the plots known as “Toghe Lucane” targeting known magistrates such as Luigi De Magistris and Henry John Woodcock). 

    The system shows symptoms of stress from the whole extreme political instability of the country, but so far it still manages to fiercely resist those drifts.

    Michele Giuttari is also an author.  Albeit he is not the top crime fiction novelist for sales in Italy (the Italian market has top-class masters in the genre), yet he is the top-selling Italian crime writer in the English speaking world. Curiously, the best-seller among all his titles published in Italy ““ the non-fiction book about the history of the true MoF investigation ““ is the only one in his books which has so far been rejected by American publishing houses.   



    [The top-selling Michele Giuttari book, the non-fiction Il Mostro]


    His last book bears the title “The Evil Dreams of Florence” [image of cover at bottom] and he might have chosen it as a metaphor of what he was drawn into by some people within the Florentine authorities and some in high positions.

    After the final Supreme Court verdict on Feb 8., he posted a long comment about it in Italian on his Facebook page, in which he addresses his criticism mainly toward the head of police Antonio Manganelli . 



    [Chief of Italy’s civil police Antonio Manganelli]


    I agree with Giuttari about the shame police chief Antonio Manganelli brought on his administration through the terrible handling of the case of the Genoa G8 violence.  In 2001 some police corps attacked and tortured peaceful demonstrators in Genoa, following political inclinations, in what was called by Amnesty International “the most serious violation of civil rights committed by police forces in Western Europe” after WW2.

    The leader of the Democrats (the main opposition party) at the time called it “state violence with a fascist mark”. Recently Cassation definitively called the event a “shame”, and prominent journalist Marco Travaglio wrote an open letter to Antonio Manganelli, saying “I beg you to kick out from your police force the authors of such henious crimes” . 



    [Police violence against peaceful protestors at Group of 8 meeting Genoa 2001]


    Yet Manganelli (ironically his name means “batons” in Italian, and the Diaz School night assault is now remembered as “la notte dei manganelli”) ““  a man who apparently has the quality of being friends with many high-profile politics ““ had chosen to “help” them, to defend and protect from prosecution the proven authors of political violence, while at the same time, apparently he didn’t care about what was going on in Florence and quietly pulled a curtain of silence on a “politically uncomfortable” issue. 

    I add that Manganelli was recently found to be the most paid public employee of the Italian State (with a wage of 621,000 euros per year).

    Dr Giuttari expressed his outrage against Manganelli in a comment on his Facebook page which I translate below.

    He makes this statement on behalf of Dr Mignini as well. 

    Seven years of deafening silence by the head of State Police Manganelli

    On February 8. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassation, by declaring them inadmissible, put the final seal on the investigations that the Florentine prosecution had “illegitimately” carried on against myself, on the basis of mere accusatory theories about absurdly formulized charges of abuse of office which, allegedly, I committed concurring together with Perugia Public Minister Giuliano Mignini in the course of official activity, during my enactment of the written orders of a PM [supervising magistrate] at the time when I was responsible for a special team which had been created by the head of the police through a Ministry decree. 

    And this [Supreme Court] decision confirms, in a certain and incontrovertible way, on the one hand the “instrumental” nature of the judicial events, and on the other hand the fact that we should not ever have been investigated; and, what’s worse, that we should not ever have been tried in Florence by magistrates who weren’t impartial at all: and this is exactly what Cassation has asserted, addressing the investigators with a clear message, even if they did it by using the available legal formula of territorial incompetence (functional rectius)! 
         
    So ended a case of Italian miscarriage of justice, which, besides causing damages to we the defendants, it also caused ““ and this is even more serious and absolutely unforgivable ““ the stopping in 2006 of the ongoing investigation into the death of the medical doctor Francesco Narducci in Lake Trasimeno, which was believed to be connected to the serial murders of couples around Florence (the so-called monster of Florence). 

    It was seven long years of bitterness.  Seven long years of blocked investigation.  Seven long years of denial of justice to the victims’ relatives.

    Seven long years during which the head of State Police held to deontologically [ethically] reprehensible behavior, which was especially serious since we are talking about a man [Manganelli] supposed to be an institutional point of reference for many people who put their lives at risk on a daily basis ““ who was appointed to occupy a top post (by the way, as we recently learned, a financially very, very well paid post), and he simply abandoned to his fate one police officer [myself] who had a professional history not inferior to his own, though not to his predecessor who held the same post before him.

    This officer ““ leaving aside the solving of the monster of Florence case ““ was

    (1) honored in the fight against the “˜ndrangheta [the Calabrian mafia] (on July 10. 2009 the Chief Prosecutor of Reggio Calabria declared publicly that Giuttari as a detective “created a turning point in the history of fight against “˜ndrangheta”);

    (2) honored in the fight against the camorra (when responsible for the judiciary police department of the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, I was appointed on request of the national Anti-mafia prosecutor Bruno Siclari for travel to South America for an important and dangerous investigation about an international drug traffic and an impressive series of murders);

    (3) honored in the fight against the Cosa Nostra, and in particular the investigation of the 1993 mafia massacres of Florence, Rome and Milan (chief prosecutor Vigna, as he concluded the preliminary investigation, sent a letter to the head of the Anti-mafia Division ““ letter #8/95, sent on 2.2.1995 ““ where he stressed the officer’s important contribution);     

    I could go on.

    They were all “pure” investigation , with no contribution from mafia turncoats or cooperators!

    And what about the head of the state police?

    He didn’t do what he was supposed to in his function as the police chief:

    (1) protect his officer, from risks including those deriving from the important police activities accomplished; answer ““ or make someone answer for his office ““ the explanatory letters that were sent to him, very detailed letters which had a judicial corroboration today (letters were sent directly to him on 2.20.2010 and 5.20. 2010);

    (2) protect him from professional and economical damage (for example by paying in advance, as was his duty, the legal expenses)  since he knew very well that the officer operated in an institutional role, in the name of and on behalf of his administration.

    He remained deaf to the various requests which were forwarded by the Minister of Interior himself at that time, he didn’t do anything. Inexplicably, he ignored everything. 

    And further, I cannot keep quiet about the punishments against the cooperators in my working team.

    None of them was allowed to go back to the Mobile Squad, they were all appointed to totally unrewarding duties such as guard work.  All these humiliations were offenses to the personal dignity of hard working people, as humble servants of the state let alone being police officers. And moreover it was true professional competences that were lost. 

    A deafening silence.

    I might go on but I want to recall instead what Manganelli did ““ even at the cost of his own public exposure ““ in favor of those colleagues who were involved in the Genoa G8 events, the saddest page in the history of Italian police to my memory!

    They were actually promoted in their rank and functions! I think about what he did for them, even paying thousands and thousands of euros in advance for their legal expenses and for the provisional damage payments, as reported in newspapers (Il Secolo XIX of 5. 22. 2010, p.6).

    A deafening silence.

    These of the head of police are conducts reasonably leading anyone to conclude that he used a double standard, he considered his employees, involved in different cases, as divided between “sons and stepsons” (the Genoa case ended with definitive convictions of all on all charges, the case where I was involved was shown to be a judicial flop). 

    Or even better put (it is incorrect to call his behavior a “double standard” or a different treatment for “sons and stepsons”)  it was actually two opposite policies, on situations that were opposites to each other.

    No, that’s really not good at all. That’s not how it should be. 

    And you should not ignore your own employees while you listen to those who are criminally indicted, you have your personal secretary call to fix a hearing at the Ministry with them, and you listen to them while they complain against others who were investigating them by written orders of the Public Minister ! (in the trial papers ““ no longer officially secret ““ there are phone call recordings with unequivocal meaning).

    the head of police Manganelli was utterly disappointing to me, since he revealed himself to be light-years distant from the man and the officer I happened to know at the beginning of the eighties, before his drift into pernicious “political” things.

    Hopefully, soon or later, a parliament inquiry on the Perugia and Florence judicial events will be appointed, to search into the behavior of some institutional personalities. I’ll be ready to offer my contribution to that.

    And I’m sure Dr. Mignini will do the same too.

    I conclude with a twofold question:  Will the head of police now feel some guil, at least morally as a person? Doesn’t he think he should respond ““ if not to an ordinary court ““ to the most severe tribunal of his own conscience, within his internal judgment?

    Michele Giuttari,  ex-head of the Florence Mobile Squad

     



    [Cover of Michele Gittari’s book “The Evil Dreams of Florence “]


    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Raffaele Sollecito Now Under Formal Investigation For New Crimes Apparently Unprecedented

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    Breaking news. The Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Dr Quattrocchi (above and below) has taken this investigation of Sollecito behind the scenes. Dr Quattrocchi is actually under no compulsion to make any of the Perugia and Rome complaints public before his investigation is complete. He has ordered all documents removed from the public domain. This is specifically to give the defense and their PR no advantage, and to make sure those others in Perugia who are going to complain about being defamed do so without harm.

    Overview

    This is a contempt of court case as court officials have been impugned. This is Wikipedia’s definition of “contempt of court” under US and UK common law.

    Contempt of court is a court order which in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court’s authority.

    Often referred to simply as “contempt,” such as a person “held in contempt,” it is the judge’s strongest power to impose sanctions for acts which disrupt the court’s normal process.

    A finding of contempt of court may result from a failure to obey a lawful order of a court, showing disrespect for the judge, disruption of the proceedings through poor behaviour, or publication of material deemed likely to jeopardize a fair trial.

    A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.

    We may now find out much more about the equivalent under Italian law.

    When Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were released at the end of 2011, the prosecution filed a Supreme Court appeal within the allotted period. This automatically meant that Sollecito and Knox still stood accused of crimes until the Supreme Court finally signs off.

    Typically Italian defendants in such a legal status get good legal advice, on the lines of “Shut up and keep your heads down. We need to be the only ones doing the talking here.” 

    Here such advice may or may not have been forthcoming, but the public record strongly suggests it was not. In fact Sollecios entire legal team is credited by both himelf and his shadow writer Andrew Gumbel with helping. This is what Gumbel wrote in his Acknowledgments:

    Donatella Donati in Luca Maori’s office gave up many hours to make the official documentation available and to present it all in a cogent order. She’s a largely unsung hero in this story and deserves recognition for her extraordinary efforts on Raffaele’s behalf. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.

    In the same Acknowledgments Sollecito credits the following.

    I was lucky to have a crack legal team who showed their devotion to the truth and, in some cases, did not even request payment. The team of lawyers and consultants included Adriano Tagliabracci, Francesco Vinci, Bruno Pellero, Francesco Introna, Giulia Bongiorno, Maurizio Parisi, Daniela Rocchi, Luca Maori, Donatella Donati, Marco Brusco, Aldo Poggioni, Delfo Berretti, Tiziano Tedeschi, and Antonio D’Ambrosio.

    Interestingly, Luca Maori has already left Sollecio’s legal team, and all eyes are now on Giulia Bongiorno. Buy plenty of popcorn. Lawsuits could fly between lawyers and family. 

    Since the end of 2011 Curt Knox’s forces seem to have have gone full steam ahead with their own vilifications of the Italian prosecutors, police, judges, and witnesses - in fact almost anyone who had any role in 2009 in finding them guilty, or came to believe that was a fair finding. Ourselves included.

    In late 2012 Curt Knox apparently invited all the most fervent of these attackers to Seattle, including Frank Sforza and Bruce Fischer, as some sort of reward for their legally very ill-advised campaign. Buy plenty more popcorn. Lawsuits could fly here as well. 

    Raffele Sollecito’s forces in Italy had been a lot more restrained.

    But at a stroke, the shrillness of Raffaele Sollecito leapfrogged that of Amanda Knox’s forces, with the publication of his book Honor Bound by Simon and Schuster in English in the UK and US last September,

    INSTANTLY the book became notorious in Italy, because excerpts were read out by an Italian reporter in New York on the national television show Porta a Porta. Raffele Sollecito’s father Francesco was on that show, and he was increasingly forced to admit a key claim in the book was invented. It simply never happened. His son made it up.

    The false claim by his son that Francesco was made to repudiate - it reappears over many pages - concerned a claimed deal engineered by his family and offered by the prosecution to Sollecito.

    The deal he claimed was to roll over on Amanda Knox, and if Sollecito did so, he would be home free.

    Following the Porta a Porta show, the book (obtainable on UK Amazon, where many false claims are repeated in the reviews) began to make its rounds in Italy. It took some time before many official parties accused of crimes by Sollecito obtained copies and started to explore their own legal possibilities. They are apparently still far from finished.

    At the end of last week, the Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Giuseppe Quattrocchi received the first official request from Perugia, which is to investigate 12 very serious claims in the book against the prosecution and the legal institutions of Italy. The complaint nominates a number of witnesses.

    The Prosecution office of Florence now has a maximum of six months to investigate whether there is a case against Sollecito and other named parties. If so, they will steer it through the hoops of the Italian process.

    The potential ripple effects of this appear to us to stretch on and on. They could come to engulf both legal teams (credited in the book with helping) and all of the PR for both defendants. Sollecito’s publisher and shadow writer are specifically named in the complaint

    If Amanda Knox is not let off the hook by the Italian Supreme Court late in March (the outcome we consider most likely, given the great strength of the appeal) the smart way for Knox to go in light of this could be to junk all her websites, her book, and her interviews, and throw her supporters under the bus. Plus maybe get smarter lawyers - the aggressive and inexperienced Dalla Vedova does her no favors.

    Keeping Amanda Knox’s head out of this deadly new line of fire may be very late - but maybe better late than never.




    Wednesday, February 06, 2013

    Should The Amanda Knox Defense Maybe Point The Finger At An Angry Daddy?

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Given a level playing field Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are almost certainly going down for the final count.

    There is not the slightest sign that their defenses know how to contend with the Supreme Court appeal filed by Umbria’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati. One has already walked (Maori) and the fact that the others don’t respond publicly to Galati speaks volumes to Italian lawyers.

    If the first appeal (called in Italy the second level) is rerun in whole or in part, Sollecito and Knox could see Judge Massei’s “mitigating factors” annulled and find themselves each facing 30 years inside or even life.

    The whole thrust of Sollecito’s ill-timed book (subtitle “how to shoot oneself in both feet”) is that he deserves to serve less time than Amanda Knox (who he “nobly saved”) and preferably to serve no time at all.

    The sliding scales of all discussion of the case

    Many bright people follow the case. We have many lawyers and crime experts and even judges read here. Many took a long time to settle on a “guilt” point of view and approached it very professionally (reflected in many of the posts written by professionals here). This is contrary to the klutzy, amateurish FOA campaign and their inaccurate rants about “haters”.

    There are various great sliding scales or continuums in considering all aspects of this case. A lot of what we talk about on PMF and TJMK is where, precisely, we should all come down on each of these various scales at the end of the day. Especially of course how the judges in Rome and Perugia should calibrate them.

    Via Dr Galati’s appeal and especially Sollecito’s book, we now have a new one. If reconvicted, should Sollecito and Knox serve equal time? Or should one or other serve more? Let us approach this by considering first some of the most-discussed of the sliding scales.

    1) Was Knox a good friend of Meredith or increasingly a pariah?

    Many here incline strongly to pariah.

    Knox has an obvious tin ear and sharp elbows, was doing little study in Perugia, was making life hell for all her flatmates, was bringing noisy threatening lowlife men home (the other three virtually never brought men home), was disturbing Meredith’s studies, was hitting on patrons in Patrick’s bar, and was definitely into drugs to the extent that she might already have become an addict.

    2) Pre-meditated murder or a hazing or spontaneous spiral initiated by Guede?

    At least some here incline to the view espoused by some psychologists that Knox and Sollecito were probably both at minimum fantasizing violence, Knox against Meredith, and Sollecito long-term generically.

    Knox had become threatened by Meredith in several different ways: Meredith was prettier, was much funnier, had won the best available boy, was brighter, had a tougher study regime, was more directed and ambitious, and had left Knox in the dust on all fronts. Hints that Meredith was about to get Knox’s job at Patrick’s bar could have been the last straw.

    To most here, Knox has always seemed the initiator and the leader in the rage against Meredith, and the other two were possibly drawn in by group dynamics.

    Judge Micheli certainly believed this. Judge Massei might have done, and his pointing at Guede (espoused in spades by Hellmann and Zanetti) and Massei’s “mitigating factors” both seemed “humane” stretches to give them a few years off - stretches which Chief Prosecutor Galati in his appeal and the Supreme Court in their finding on Guede have already both rejected.

    3) Isolated crime/unique family or does American society incline this way?

    Statistics show that society here in the US is separated out between super-rich and the other 99% more than at any time in the past 80 years and although productivity has been going up amazingly, all fruits of growth have gone to those super-rich. Many of them have a mindset that basically tells them they made it on their own, and government roles in their success and that of their creative hard-working employees dont matter a damn.

    The situation and the anger in the US has been worsening, and absence of true growth for most people also have European and Japanese societies in disarray

    In the US one can see heightened levels of anger in the losers of the Superbowl, in the renewed buying of guns, in conspiracy theories on the Internet, in the success of the very thought-provoking Hunger Games books and movie (small people against rich and a captured, cruel over-militarized government), in politics (of course!), and in the vitriolic flames on the IMDB movie forums now against the front-runner movies and actors for the Oscars.

    We may not see this at major play here in the crime against Meredith, though, except in the over-competition sense, and the sense that Knox grew up in slight poverty (see below) and was burning through her savings with all the cocaine use (Perugia cops think it was cocaine)

    4) Mental ill health in the perps and/or families or original evil?

    Sollecito’s dad has long admitted that Raffaele is not normal, and he has struggled to keep him off drugs and focussed hard on his studies. His dad also admitted to all Italy that Sollecito included defamatory lies in his book.

    An open and shut case? Seems so. Raffaele now looks “uncomplicatedly” psychopathic and the myriad wrong and nasty claims in his chest-beating book really hammer this take on him home.

    That book seems to be his equivalent of Knox’s abrasive, uncaring two days on the stand in 2009 which so damaged her with the Massei jury.

    Knox’s mental health seems more complicated. She was widely known to be “quirky” as a kid and then she became pretty wild in Seattle after she moved to live near the university. That certainly wouldn’t have helped.

    Most recently, Knox seems to be sliding away into a bubble world without any possibility of admitting she needs treatment, which seems to explain her being kept well out of sight for a year now and not working or studying.

    Generally the PROSECUTION in Perugia has been the side to suggest she is not mentally fully well (after the psychological tests in Capanne Prison in 2008) and the DEFENSE and FAMILY has been the side that shrugs this off and hasn’t made it any part of her defence.

    Knox seems to have given off plenty of signs in the days after Meredith died that she was alternating between glee and horror. So she seemingly did know what she was doing on the night, and our guess is that it was she who pushed the knife in. In these circumstances the original verdict and sentence seem appropriate.

    However!

    5) Knox made herself what she was or did her family contribute?

    Curt Knox’s seeming blind rage at Edda during their marriage and for years after are an open secret among some in Seattle. He apparently had one of the worst records in the entire US in not paying child support to Edda for Amanda and Deanna, and had again and again to be taken to Superior Court by Edda to be forced to make his monthly payments.

    Here are two public records showing two instances of him being taken to Superior Court by Edda.

    And we are told that Curt Knox was counseled by one or more judges to get himself some anger management therapy. Apparently he wasn’t formally required to take anger management therapy. He may have done so, though there seems no record that he ever did.

    Okay. Not all kids growing up in such toxic family situations suffer, but some do, and a few end up with their hard wiring seriously messed up. Some even end up as drug-takers and murderers.

    The classic example recently was the mass killer Anders Breivek in Norway, whose early childhood in a toxic family situation was not entirely unlike Knox’s. (In that case also, the prosecution thought maybe he was nuts, and the defense, successfully, argued otherwise.)

    Italian lawyers tell us that it would be for the DEFENSE to bring this up in Perugia if it is a possible mitigating factor, and that it doesnt impinge on the prosecution’s case.

    But how could they?

    Curt Knox was apparently the one who shushed Amanda Knox at their first meeting in Capanne Prison, Curt Knox was apparently the one who misled her about the world-wide skepticisim against her (she didnt know about that until she came out of prison), and Curt Knox was apparently the one who drove the nasty PR bus - and most recently hosted all of the worst of the rabid PR nuts (including Sforza and Fischer) in Seattle.

    Curt Knox has apparently consistently instructed the defense lawyers and PR honchos to keep the pedal to the floor, even though Chris Mellas once openly argued against that. Amanda Knox may have pushed the knife in, but Curt Knox for five years has not come clean about his own possible role in any mental condition.

    Our present conclusion

    Without a lot more information on Amanda Knox’s early days in her broken home in Seattle, and her current mental condition and condition back in 2007, it is pretty hard to calibrate this. It is not really possible to be precise about where she should be on any sliding scale of time deserved in prison if she is finally convicted.

    It is really incumbent upon the defense counsel in Italy (their lawyers’ code of ethics requires this) to push hard for this information, and if they think it relevant to present it to court at any rerun of the appeal trial.

    Amanda Knox herself should want this.


    Monday, January 21, 2013

    An Overview From Italy #2: Current Perceptions In Italy, Justice Perverters Fail, Mignini Vindicated

    Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)





    My previous report on the bad news remorselessly building here for the defense was on the Procura Generale appeal to the Supreme Court.

    One year ago ““ between the end of December 2011 and beginning of January 2012 ““ there were only rare idle comments in the Italian press about the Meredith Kercher case, more or less sarcastically noting the “suspicious” circumstances of the Appeal trial.  I recall how a mention of the topic was dropped into the last number of “ll Venerd씝 of 2011.

    “Il Venerdì di Repubblica” is the weekly magazine issued together with the newspaper “La Repubblica” (thus probably the most read magazine in Italy).

    The cover theme of that week was provincialism ““ or better “the provincials” - the adjective used to assemble a sample of seven little cities (Cuneo, Voghera, Rimini, Jesi, Perugia, Benevento, Partinico), picked from different regions, and taken as examples on the theme, that is stories of “local colour”;  what goes on in small “provincial places”.  A few characters and stories are brought in to depict the local life of each place, and the voices of local authors adds something about the places.

    The article about Perugia (at pages 62-68) was by Luca Cardinalini. In that number of Il Venerdì, having stories of “local colour” as weekly theme, there were shades of ironic tones for each city, often through the voice of local intellectuals. As Perugia is described, the Meredith trial is quickly recalled among its local stories; the reader can’t miss how this is viewed as in connection with another most remarkable feature of the city, that is Masonry.

    According to Luca Cardinalini and Enrico Vaime, Masonry is called a “Specialty” of Perugia, like chocolate. Local author Enrico Vaime intends to convey the people’s perception about shady powers existing in the city, about a local environment saturated by plots and informal powers, as something behind recent strange judicial decisions such as the Hellmann verdict and the apparent dropping of the Narducci case.  The widespread belief of Perugians that the Public Minister (prosecutor) is the righteous one shines through the words of Enrico Vaime.

    Also notice how racism appears to be another key perception about the verdict. Quality media press in Italy has a typical style of understatement.  This comment hints that it seems obvious that the Appeal was a racist verdict - and it was “expected” that they would find a way to blame the black one and the outcast. 

    Some of Perugian “provincialism” seems to include a very narrow localism of Perugian identity: a person from Orvieto is reported to be called “a foreigner” ; but this is because the cultural viewpoint is based on the assumption of a personal knowledge of all people.  In among this, there is Vaime’s knowledge about how rooted Masonic tradition and power is in the city, in a scenario of “brotherhoods” and “tribes” (the article includes a photo of the most known “Masonic” monument in Perugia: the gryphon or griffen ““ the emblem of Perugia ““ grabbing a toppled Pope’s Tiara in a sign of rebellion). 

    The report by Vaime is objectively correct : the concentration of members of Masonic lodges in Perugia is the highest in the world, about 5 times the national average of Italy (which is anyway very high). 

    In Vaime’s wording decent people in Perugia are ‘Christians’ or ‘Communists’ ““ these are the names he uses to address the main categories he sees as “good” people, two transparent moral systems.  He devolves skepticism toward the less transparent allegiances, the murky and informal connections to powers. 

    I believe these perceptions from one year ago, in this colorful article about Perugia, should be most interesting to the readers of this site.

    The first part of the article on Perugia is not that interesting - it speaks mostly about a local character named Ivano Massetti, nicknamed “Savonarola of Umbrian football”,  the director (“boss”) of a local TV network and leading showman of his own soccer talk show. I skipped this first part with depictions of local folks, and get to the point at p.66 where the Kercher case is first mentioned. 

    This is my translation of the article from this point:

    [”¦](p.66 line 17):

    As Enrico Vaime ““ a 100% Perugian, a writer, and among many other things fiercly provincial ““ already knows: “Only in Perugia do you hear people saying “actually Tizio [random guy] was not a native from Colombella, but from Piccione”, which is three times further”. And when his grandfathers (farther of his father) bearing the same name Enrico Vaime, moved his formal place of residence [to Perugia] from Spello, on the official documents they wrote “emigrated to Perugia and married to a foreigner from Orvieto”.

    The roots are extremely deep. “Still today” Vaime says “when I say to my family “we go back home”, I mean here, in Perugia, where I have not owned a house for decades. And I still call the roads and shops with the names they had when I was a child, even if now the owners are foreigners, from Shangai or, as I say, from Terni”.

    Vaime is cross with the bad reporters who described Perugia, in the Meredith murder case, as a capital of corruption and vice: “An invasion of charlatan journalists who, as they believed they were visiting a remote and lost province, they painted it as a sort of Chicago on the Trasimeno Lake”.

    [The fact] that no Perugian was involved in that sad story, to them that was an irrelevant detail. And the trial ended just the way many Perugians expected: a black guy first wrongly put in jail, another black one convicted, the two white, good-looking, wealthy and well defended young people, free.

    So it was that the Public Minister Giuliano Mignini became a target. He’s a Perugian whom the Perugians know as the dominus of the other judicial case ““ this also is, yes, entirely local ““ about which everybody talks and knows, but always in a low voice: the death of doctor Francesco Narducci,  the one suspected of having ties to the crimes of the Monster of Florence. From the judicial point of view that was - by half ““ just another hole-in-the-water [a failure] for which some critics have hastily put the blame on some alleged lunacy of the public minister.

    But”¦  however”¦ meanwhile, this [Naducci] corpse-swap was indeed found to have been for sure, a kind of unique case in the criminal history of the country. And, for what concerns the recent acquittals of those characters involved in this death, well, after almost a year and a half we are still waiting for the verdict motivations. All of the suspects were esteemed high-class professionals. That’s a perfect mix of strange deaths, sex, lead-astray investigations, and Masonry; this is in the city with the highest number of Masonic lodges in Italy.

    Vaime sighs: “Masonry is something alien from me, but I have many friends who are in it. In Perugia it works as a compensation chamber for various powers, but also as an effort for the surge of the spirit to many decent people. Masters, masons and “33”, but all of them decent Perugians”.  Masonry is considered a local specialty, just like the bruschetta or the Etruscan arch.

    “One day you find out that that mediocre employee of your acquaintance, or the one who performed an incredible career in the public administration or in politics, is a “˜son of Horus’. Then you either laugh, or you slap yourself on the forehead just like saying to yourself “Wow! [how could I ] think about it!”. “That travet* [*a generic mediocre opportunist employee], too” 

    Vaime says “to me it is a strange Perugian, with little interest for the Egyptian god compared to his covet for entering inner circles of a certain world. Their internal motivation is “I want to see how the lords sit at the table”. But in there [Masonry], you see, there are also good Christians and good Communists; as has always happened in this province, which has the art of living together in its genes”.

    [”¦. ]



    This month ““ Jan 2013 ““ the Italian press returned to the topic of the case again in a few brief articles. This time it was because of Sollecito’s book.

    After Maurizio Molinari’s report from New York on the book in September, and the busting by Bruno Vespa on Porta a Porta of Francesco Sollecito, who ended up openly contradicting his own son’s statements, another hint appeared in the local press about what is cooking up backstage. 






    This article in Perugia Today has a neutral take, but the same understatement and kind of vagueness as it anticipates that something very likely will happen.

    What I find most delightful is the quotation marks in the title around the word “author” ““ journalist Nicola Bossi doesn’t believe for a moment that Sollecito actually wrote the book: 

    Meredith Case: “author” Sollecito at risk of criminal lawsuit

    The recounts about an alleged negotiation in order to pin the main charges on Amanda Knox, and unproven violence by the Perugia Police are under target. Mignini is considering criminal lawsuit.

    Written by Nicola Bossi ““ Jan 4. 2013  

    The Meredith case is not closed, and this despite books and movies almost tend to drop it after the acquittal in second instance of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito - who were convicted in first degree for the murder of the English girl that took place in Via della Pergola.

    On upcoming March the 25th the Court of Cassation of Rome will have to decide on the request for a re-opening the trial, submitted by the Procura with the authorization of Public Minister Giuliano Mignini.

    In the environment of the magistrates there is confidence about a [guilty] verdict that many ““ in Italy and in the USA - have heavily attempted to discredit. But from the same environments around them, they talk about a greatly serene Mignini making assessments about the next strategic moves, following the attacks directed against him ““ and against those in Law Enforcement who cooperated with him ““ contained in the book by Raffaele Sollecito.

    An upcoming criminal defamation lawsuit is becoming more and more likely every day, especially about some particular paragraphs. The material published by Sollecito has already resulted in discussions and clamor above all about claimed negotiations [with the prosecution]  aiming to shift the blame onto Amanda alone, to be rewarded with his immediate release.

    But there are also accusations against the Police about violence during his interrogations. “If you dare get up and walk, I beat you up in a bloody pulp and I kill you. I leave you in a pool of blood”. This is what you read in the book “˜Honour Bound’ issued in the US, as what Sollecito attributes to the Perugian officers.

    “They wanted me to lie so they could frame Amanda”: this is the premise of the claimed negotiations claimed to indirectly involve Mignini too, which he always denied. Allegedly this would have been enough to get [Sollecito] out from prison soon, leaving the American woman in trouble.

    So, these are grave accusations which Mignini apparently does not intend to let go unpunished. The criminal lawsuit is likely to be filed earlier than the date of Cassazione [25 March].

     

    Another small piece of news is this article below published in Leonardo and written by Valentina Cervelli: 

    It seems basically a “commented” version of the Perugia Today article. Cervelli adds a few polite lines on her own thoughts in this piece, published on the Bbooks page of Leonardo,it; this is my translation:

    Is Raffaele Sollecito going be sued soon for “Honor Bound”?

    By Valentina Cervelli -  6. Jan 2013

    Are there troubles in sight for Raffaele Sollecito? His “Honour Bound” book is going well in the United States in terms of sales, but here in Italy it might be soon result for him in a lawsuit for defamation by the Law Enforcement forces and by the Public Minister Giuliano Mignini.

    As we know already, in Honor Bound ““ My journey to hell with Amanda Knox and return Raffaele Sollecito has reconstructed the whole judiciary story from his point of view, telling in his autobiography what [he says] is his own truth.

    On March 25 Cassation in Rome will decide on the [prosecution] request for the re-opening of the trial submitted by the Procura authorized by Giuliano Mignini, after the acquittal in the second instance of the two main accused, Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

    The young woman has returned back to her country and we bet it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get her back in our country even in case of retrial after Cassation and a possible conviction. But lets leave aside this possible dispute and lets focus on the book. In Raffaele’s book Mignini is iimplicated because he reportedly comes out discredited. In the material published by Sollecito in his book he even talks about alleged negotiations in order to blame Knox alone, obtaining in reward a quick release.

    And what about the allegations of Police violence during interrogations? Of course we don’t get into the merits, but it seems obvious that parties that may be considered offended would tend to launch a counter-attack to defend their dignity and their work. At the moment no lawsuit has been submitted. But with much probability that will be done before the decision of Cassazione.

    By now we can only wait for the publishing of the book in our country, in order to assess with our minds what Raffaele Sollcito has written and the “hot” material published in his made-in-the-US autobiography.

    By the way; one thing Valentina Cervelli might get wrong is the purported good sales of Sollecito-Gumbel’s book.

    The Amazon.com site is reliable as quick indicator of a product’s success;  the price of a new copy of “Honor Bond” on Amazon.com is now $ 3.51 (last week it was 3.76; the cover price is $ 24). It suggests sales are not quite as expected.  The drop speed is significant if you consider that the book has been out for only four months.



    [Above: the Florence Palace of Justice]


    While many honest magistrates seem to be working in Florence, there is still some strange behavior by one or two people in the Florence prosecution office.

    Iin particular by the chief prosecutor there were some unexplainable decisions.  As people reading this site know, Giuliano Mignini and Michele Giuttari were convicted (of some of the charges) in the first degree trial in Florence. 

    The motivations document was disconcerting because: besides the proof of their innocence on the main charge, what was described as the evidence on the remaining charge constituted extremely weak and vague arguments for what was claimed about Giuttari, while they were totally non-existent about Mignini. 

    In the second instance appeal as we know the court completely crushed the trial case.

    The case against them collapsed not because of a technicality, as the FOAs falsely claimed. In the figment of their imagination the Knox supporters erroneously thought that the Florence court had an “option” to overturn the case, to find Mignini and Giuttari innocent, but that they instead decided to pass the judgment on to some other tribunal.

    The pro-Knox believers are probably also ready to believe blindfolded that there was some kind of evidence against Mignini.

    The Knox believers are wrong. What in fact happened in Florence is something almost unique in a judge’s career. The first remarkable event was the decision by the Florence court of nullifying the first degree verdict. They did not simply overturn the verdict (neither change, or “reform” it as we say) since an overturning would imply acceptance that a previous verdict actually existed and was legitimate.

    The cancellation was in fact an in limine act about the validity , which does not require an assessment about it correctness. The court went way beyond. In fact they nullified the whole trial, not only the previous one in terms of judgment, but also the preliminary hearing, and the indictment; and even the request of indictment. 

    It is a legal outcome not comparable to a simple change or overturning because it is a ruling that the whole proceeding was illegitimate from the very roots. The investigation itself of Mignini and Giuttari was declared illegitimate. 

    If elements were found for the opening of an investigation, the prosecutor would be entitled to carry on their duties, though the investigators should be from another territory.  This is important because the Florence court found evidence that people from the same office were involved in cases against Giuttari and Mignini, both as offended parties and as prosecutors. 

    Because of a basic conflict of interest, the local prosecutors were incompatible and the Procura of Florence had no jurisdiction. Not even Genoa would be compatible.

    Florentine prosecutors therefore had no right to bring cases against Mignini and Giuttari. The investigation files now must now be sent to the competent jurisdiction ““ where they should have been sent from the beginning ““ which is Turin; there other legitimate prosecutors will decide if and how there is anything to investigate about, and if there are any charges to bring against anyone.  The Florentine trials should have never taken place. The court ordered that the legitimate investigators are the Procura of Turin. 

    In addition, they also ruled that the court of Florence would be an incompetent jurisdiction in any further possible case that stems from that investigation: since the competent prosecution is Turin, in case elements for the indictment of anyone for any charge are found, in the future, everything should go to a court in Turin ““ this, only if there will be any charge to bring to court . 

    This decision in Florence was a total debacle for the Florence prosecutors.  It is in fact “politically” much worse than an overturning of a verdict. It is not just a like a different conclusion on the merit, it is the decision to take away even the investigation from them, a kind of implicit censure of their work as highly illegitimate.

    But at this point in the procedings, something even worse and even more strange happened.  The Procura of Florence did something even more unusual, in fact unprecedented as far as I know. 

    Apparently the Florence prosecutors are not happy at all to pass the investigation file on to Turin. For some reason they seem instead to want to do unnecessary and irrelevant hard work instead.  The Florentine prosecutors impugned the decision and revisited this at the Supreme Court against the Florentine judges.

    This step is almost unheard of because the decision of the Florence appeal court is of a type that manifestly cannot be impugned at the Supreme Court. The recourse is obviously going to be declared inadmissible. If that submission was done by a private citizen, they would get a heavy fine for that.

    Here it is a power in the Florence judiciary branch making this inadmissible move; for unknown reasons. 

    I’d like to know the real motive behind the latest Florence move, the only effect of which can be a waste of time (and money), a delay, of at least one or maybe two more years, which only makes the failure of the whole proceeding against Mignini and Giuttari more likely due to lapse on an expiration terms.

    I say “I’d like to know” but in fact one motivation stands out as obvious:  the whole proceeding against Giuttari and Mignini, from the first bringing of the charges at the lower courts, appeared as having a wasting of time among its purposes. 

    One practical effect - maybe a practical purpose - of pushing the charges against Mignini, was taking the file about the Monster of Florence case links with the Narducci case away from Perugia. By this move, the Florentine prosecutors managed to factually put their hands on the Narducci-MoF file and remove it from the investigating powers in Perugia.

    Another effect of this was delay. Now this latest move looks as if its purpose were to delay, as much as possible, the transfer of the legal documents to Turin.   

    What is the ultimate event that, by all this, they seem to be seeking to delay?  I can’t know for sure, I can only guess; in fact, I have only one answer, which also stands out as something obvious for those who know a bit of the backstage: 

    Giuliano Mignini is not an ordinary magistrate, he belongs to the Anti-Mafia Territorial Division of Umbria, and recently was selected for a further promotion by the Supreme Council of Magistrates.

    In fact what is delayed is the advancing of Mignini’s career:  in fact he has been already promoted to a directive function; but, by the rules, his taking the post was frozen while awaiting the outcome and conclusion of the Florentine prosecution. 

    Prosecutor Mignini is de facto already functioning as a prominent Magistrate in Perugia and considered as such; but formally he has not been given the directive power.  Several people ““ among them Spezi and a number of his journalist friends, but possibly also other much more important people too ““ are likely not at all eager to see Mignini awarded further power.

    About the latest endeavor by Raffaele Sollecito, who became liable for criminal defamation by writing false allegations about Mignini and others in his book, I expect - as logically unavoidable ““ that several powers and subjects will basically have no option but taking legal against him.

    There will be a strategic necessity to doing this in order to prevent extradition issues in the future, but also, above all, on principle, because Sollecito made false claims about public institutions that needt to have their names cleared.  Considering the kind of allegations against the judiciary as an institution, and considering that Mignini is a judge of the Anti-Mafia Division, this is the kind of lawsuit that I see as likely to be submitted on a national level, in Rome. 

    If that is the case, it would not be the only strange thing that the courts of Rome will deal with.

    It seems like there is a kind of “curse”  on proceedings related to the Narducci case. All sections of the Supreme Court which have been asked seem to have attempted to declare themselves “˜incompetent’ about re-opening the cases related to the Perugian doctor. The Cassazione is a huge office with a hundred judges working there, but maybe not so many of them are eager to deal with this case.

    This could be only a coincidence. It only brings up to my mind, through a free association of thoughts, a more generic question ““ a personal question of mine ““ that is whether the words “Masonry” and “Politics” have an echo in Roman corridors too.

    *****

    Finally I want to add another significant piece of Italian news. 

    The news a week ago was that the Procura of Florence is investigating a possible corruption/mafia plot involving construction enterprises and politicians that revolves around the building of a new high speed railway in Florence.

    Some 31 people are being investigated and among them is the former governor of Umbria. A huge drilling machine ““ nicknamed the “Mona Lisa” ““ used to dig subway tunnels in Florence was sequestrated by the Procura. 

    In the last couple of years Perugia’s prosecution office had a main role in fighting political corruption, but it seems that the Florence Anti-Mafia division is also active, just as it was in the times when the prosecutor Vigna worked with them.

    Vigna was the one who first evolved the “secret sect” scenario in the Monster of Florence case, raising unexpected problems among the Procura staff.


    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    How Much Or How Little To Blame Rudy Guede? The Defenses’ Immense Headache Coming Up

    Posted by Cardiol MD



    [Photo by Andrea Vogt as in December 2010 Supreme Court decides that Rudy Guede didnt act alone]


    On a scale of 0% to 100% how much of the blame for the crime against Meredith has been heaped on Rudy Guede?

    Well, it sure varies.

    In trial court and first-appeal court it was never ever 100%. Seemingly very scared of the harm Guede could do to their clients, if they provoked him into telling all, defense lawyers have acted consistently since 2008 and more-so since December 2010 as if they walk on eggshells around him.

    In fact among the defendants and their teams only ONCE was Guede ever blamed 100%. 

    Sollecito’s bizarrely-titled Honor Bound 2012 book, the factually unchecked one which now is causing him and his defense team so much trouble, was the first instance ever among those accused to try to blame Guede for the crime 100%.

    Our next post will look at the categoric claims against Guede in that book. Meanwhile, here, let us start at the beginning.

    Commencing from when they were arrested, Amanda Knox pointed decisively at a black man, but of course she pointed at the wrong one: Patrick Lumumba. Make that 0%. Not long after they were arrested, Knox and Sollecito were strongly questioning the role of one another. So 100% against each other, but still a zero against Mr Guede.

    In his messages from Germany Guede blamed two hasty intruders though he had no choice but to say he was there. Perhaps 33% at this point.  After Guede was captured, Sollecito implied that they were at the crime scene together because he was worried that Guede would implicate him. Make that 50%.

    At Guede’s short-form trial In October 2008, Judge Micheli blamed Guede 33% too. In sending Knox and Sollecito to full trial he dismissed the lone wolf theory (never really to be revived in court again) and he tentatively believed the evidence pointed to their being equally guilty.

    In fact Judge Micheli tentatively blamed Knox for instigating both the attack on Meredith and the rearrangement of the crime scene.  In effect he allocated 50% of the blame to Amanda Knox and 25% each to Guede and Sollecito. 

    Throughout trial in 2009 the Knox and Sollecito defense teams seemed to take great care not ever to blame Guede 100%, perhaps because (for murky reasons not made public) Rudy Guede had refused to testify against their clients.

    Judge Massei assigned Guede 33% of the blame as he concluded that Guede had initiated the attack but that Knox and Sollecito had wielded the knives and that one of them had struck the final blow. 

    During trial and thereafter, the defense lawyers for the three were often on Italian TV and as our main poster the Italian lawyer Cesare Beccaria exhaustively charted in a four-part series, each “gently” blamed the other two.

    We can assume that is either 33% or 50% but never more than that.

    On February 24. 2011, in the Supreme Court report, on its rejection of Guede’s final appeal of his sentence for involvement in killing Meredith, blamed Rudy Guede and two others equally. Some 33% of the blame each.

    The Supreme Court relied upon three facts: the physical evidence of Guede’s presence at the flat, Guede’s actual admission of his presence, and Guede’s implicit admission of shared-guilt in his documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 (“I was scared that they would say I was the only guilty person”).

    In a nutshell, the situation at the start of the Sollecito and Knox appeal before Judges Hellmann and Zanetti in 2011 was this:

    • The Supreme Court had decided that Rudy Guede acting ALONE could not have attacked Meredith with several knives over an estimated 15 minutes, left so little physical evidence upon her, staged the break-in via the absurd route of Filomena’s window while leaving zero DNA in her room, placed Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, engineered several traces of Knox’s and Sollecito’s footprints outside the room, and placed the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox in several different locations outside Meredith’s locked door.
    • But there remains zero evidence that perps two and three which the physical evidence strongly pointed to were anyone other than Knox and Sollecito. There’s really not one speck of hard evidence to the contrary. Defenses somewhat desperately tried to engineer some at first appeal from the seemingly perjured testimony of jailbirds Alessi and Aviello and some smoke-blowing over the DNA testing, but in terms of HARD evidence came up empty-handed. Alessi did a meltdown on the stand, while Aviello turned completely cuckoo, and Judges Hellmann and Zanetti had to invent arguments frantically to dig Knox and Sollecito out of that hole.

    I have done a series of posts (to be read from the bottom upward) on the Hellmann-Zanetti outcome covering many other aspects of their strange arguments.

    Back in late 2010 some of us at TJMK were impressed at the alacrity with which Judge Hellman selected Conti and Vecchiotti.

    We were thinking that “he had already thought it all out” [we seem to have got that-much right], and that he was “being prudently responsive to the legal and political pressures bearing down on him, and knows the ruling also calls the defendants’ bluff.”

    I had posted that the defenses of Knox and Sollecito seemed to be trying to exclude evidence that they themselves tried to destroy, essentially on the grounds that their destructive attempts failed to destroy all of it, and left behind only some of it.  Their argument had boiled down to whether the disputed DNA evidence is more unfairly prejudicial than probative.

    It was my opinion that because it was the defendants’ deliberate conduct that nearly succeeded in extinguishing all their DNA, any US and UK courts would admit this highly relevant evidence, and let the participants duke out its fairness, in open court, in front of a jury.

    I had thought that was what the Massei Court had already done, and was what the Hellmann/Zanetti court was then doing. The Hellmann/Zanetti court was doing that - but that was not all it was doing, as we now know and regret.

    I had believed that the defendants would bitterly regret their petition for such DNA Expert-Opinion Review.  We should know in March 2013 if they regret it at all, let alone “˜bitterly’. So far they may not, but Sollecito’s current venture into special-pleading journalism in his book seems likely to accelerate their journey to a bitter and regretted destiny.

    We were less impressed with how Judge Zanetti started the appeal hearings.

    To his eternal discredit Judge Zenetti uttered words to the effect that “the only thing that is “˜certain’ in Meredith’s case is that Meredith is dead.” Nothing else. In effect, illegally promising a whole new trial at appeal level - very much frowned on by the Supreme Court.

    Unless the word “˜thing’ is a mistranslation, that is not the only thing that was already certain in Meredith’s Case; Many Things were then certain in her case. 

    For example, it is certain that the first-ever documented references to Meredith’s scream just before she was killed had already come both from the mouth of Amanda Knox herself, and from the hand of Amanda Knox, in the case of her contemporaneous personal hand-written notes.

    Guede, himself, had certainly already made a documented reference to Meredith’s scream.

    It was also certain that Guede had made documented references to his actual presence when Meredith screamed.

    Some of these already-certain facts inconveniently undermined Hellmann’s and Zanetti’s already-assumed conclusions, so they then proceeded in-turn to undermine the “˜reliability’ of those facts, e.g. “˜it is not certain that the scream was Meredith’s scream; it could have been someone-else’s scream’; or even Amanda’s scream?

    The Massei court had exhaustively presented the evidence from all sources in their conclusion that Knox and Sollecito were the ones who shared Guede’s guilt. But Hellmann/Zanetti then contradicted ALL the previous finders-of-fact with regard to Guede, essentially using five ploys in arguing:

    • That Guede was Unreliable: “for example, in the questioning before the Prosecutor, he denies being known by the nickname of Baron, “¦.so as to result in a version completely incompatible with the reality of the facts as perceived and heard…” [Is that ever giving birth to a mouse?], and
    • That the Supreme Court had “held Rudy Guede to be an Unreliable person”, and
    • That “therefore, among the evidence against the two accused, the testimony given at the hearing of June 27, 2011 by Rudy Guede cannot be included because it is Unreliable, nor can the contents of the letter written by him and sent to his lawyers”, and
    • That concerning Guede’s documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 “”¦ the contents of the chat between Rudy Guede and his friend Giacomo Benedetti on the day of November 19,  2007,  also listened to by the Police,  can be considered in favour of the two accused”, because “he would not have had any reason to keep quiet about such a circumstance,”
    • And that “So, in the course of that chat with his friend….. Rudy Guede does not indicate in any way Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as the perpetrators…..” and “.....he would not have had any reason to keep quiet about such a circumstance….. he being…. certainly the perpetrator….. of the crimes carried out in via della Pergola, that if Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had also participated, that he would at that moment have revealed this to his friend.”

    So, summarising Hellmann and Zanetti, they have absurdly argued a contradiction:

    • Because of Guedes notoriously unreliability, the public evidence in which he did accuse Knox and Sollecito cannot be considered as evidence of their guilt, but
    • In spite of Guede’s notorious unreliability, because Guede did not accuse Knox and Sollecito in a private conversation this must be considered as conclusive evidence of their innocence.

    We are not the audience to which Dr Galati’s appeal against Hellmann and Zanetti to the Supreme Court is directed. Most of us probably have some difficulty with its legalese, translated into English, so bear with it.

    Dr Galati’s appeal against Hellmann and Zanetti refers to Guede’s documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 as follows:

    The Hellmann/Zanetti court, “has”¦ made “¦. completely anomalous use of the Skype call, accepting it for the time of Kercher’s death, but not for other circumstances which are also extremely relevant for judgment purposes, but which have been totally ignored.

    In fact, in the call, Guede recounts having heard Meredith complaining about her missing money and of her intention of asking Ms Knox, with whom she had quarrelled, for an explanation (p. 10 of the call [transcript]), of having seen Meredith look in vain for the missing money in her drawer (p. 18), then of having seen Meredith look, still in vain, for her missing money in Amanda’s room (pp. 18-19 of the call [transcript]), and of having heard a girl enter the house, who could have been one of the roommates, thus Amanda (p. 11 of the call [transcript]), while the Ivorian found himself in the bathroom, just before hearing Meredith’s terrible scream which would have caused him [59] to exit the bathroom, about five minutes after the girl’s ingress (p 12 of the call [transcript])”... .

    The Court has, in practice, without reason thrown the responsibility onto Guede for throwing the rock and clambering in (see pp 121-122 of the appealed judgment): in the same Skype call, Guede, however, repeatedly denies having seen the broken window in Romanelli’s room during the whole time in which he was in the house at Via della Pergola on that evening (pp 8, 20, 34 of the call [transcript]). Not only that: Rudy Guede also said that he was at Knox’s many times”› (pp 88 of the call [transcript]).

    If the Court held the Ivorian citizen to be sincere in the tele-conversation with his friend Benedetti, then why not also believe him when he denies having broken in, or when he recounts Meredith having it out with Amanda, or when he says that he had been at the latter’s place many times”›?

    Dr Galati’s appeal to the Supreme Court argues that the Hellmann/Zanetti appeal judgment, apart from being manifestly illogical, is manifestly contradictory with respect to the contents of the case file referred to (Article 606(e) Criminal Procedure Code). Here is what it says about their tortured interpretations of Rudy Guede.

    And in the Skype call with Benedetti, intercepted unbeknownst to him, there emerge circumstances that confirm Guede’s court declarations. The Court takes the Skype call with his friend Benedetti into examination, valuing it “šin favour of the two accused”› both for what it does not say and also for what it does say, and this it does building from one, not only unexplained, datum but which would have taken little to deny: since Rudy was outside of Italy, he was in some sense safe”› and thus could well have been able to tell the whole truth (p 40 of the judgment).

    Not in the least does the Court depart from the presupposition that in this call Rudy would have been telling the truth and, because in this call he would not have named the current defendants, these have got nothing to do with the homicide. The Court does not explain, though, that even in this call Rudy was tending to downplay his responsibility and, if he had named his co-participants, that would have easily allowed, by means of investigations and subsequent interviews, the bringing out of his causal contribution and of his responsibility.

    [91] Of the things said in this Skype call, the Court seems at one moment to want to value the chronological datum from 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM to affirm that this would therefore have been the time of death of Meredith; successively, though the appeal judges, following the principle of plausible hypothesis, in relation to the outgoing calls on the victim’s English handset, have moved it to 10:15 PM, but they have not altered the reliability of the time indicated by Guede.

    In truth, during the course of the conversation, Rudy recounts having heard Meredith complain about the missing money and of her intention to ask Knox, with whom she had argued, for an explanation (p 10 of the call); of having seen Meredith look in vain for the missing money in her drawer (see p 18); of having seen her search, again in vain, for the missing money in Amanda’s room (pp 18 and 19 of the call) and of having heard a girl enter the house ““ who must have been one of the flatmates, thus Amanda (p 11 of the call), ““ while he was in the bathroom, a little before hearing Meredith’s terrible scream which would have induced him to exit the bathroom, about five minutes after the ingress of the girl (p 12 of the call).

    And also, on the subject of the break-in in Romanelli’s room ““ thrown without explanation onto Guede’s back (see the judgment being appealed from, at pp 121 and 122) ““ can remarks by the Ivorian citizen be found in the transcription of the intercept. Guede repeatedly denies having seen the broken window in Romanelli’s room for the whole time in which he was in the house at Via della Pergola that evening (pp 8, 20, 34 of the call).

    If the [Appeal Court] had held as reliable what Rudy narrated in the Skype call relating to the time in which Meredith was killed, it supplies no reason at all, on the other hand, for why it does not believe him as well when he denies [92] having committed the break-in or when he recounts the quarrel of Meredith with Amanda.”

    None of this changes my own beliefs that there are even many more things in evidence that are “˜beyond any reasonable doubt’.  For example:

    • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that Meredith was restrained by hands other than the knife-wielding hand(s); and that Meredith was restrained by the hands of two, or three persons as she was killed.
    • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that steps were taken to clean away smears made by Meredith’s blood in the place where she was killed, and tracks of Meredith’s blood transferred by her killers to other places.
    • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that steps were also taken to simulate a break-in that never-was.

    In the next post, we examine Dr Galati’s appeal further and the strident claims against Guede made in Sollecito’s own book which contradict some of the positions of HIS OWN LAWYERS. Note that Dr Galati has argued in the appeal that it was ILLEGAL for Hellmann and Zanetti not to have taken the Supreme Court’s ruling on three perps fully into account and having innored it or brushed past it. 

    Verrrry tough situation for defense counsel to be in.


    Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    Perugia’s Exceptional Uni And Economy May Have Made RS And AK Feel Small Frogs In Big Pond

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Multi-millionaire success story Brunello Cucinelli and, below, his Perugia-area factory and a typical store]


    Few crime specialists seem to see the pattern of the attack against Meredith as being absent of intense anger.

    There is no way that attack represents the pattern of a lone burglar or for that matter of a single perp of any kind. The Supreme Court already KNOWS that and they know that at first appeal the Knox and especially Sollecito lawyers tried desperately to prove that two or three other perps were there, either with Rudy Guede (witness Aviello) or without (witness Alessi).

    For months now, apparently unnoticed by the FOA sheep, the defenses have been sounding absolutely feckless in the face of the juggernaurt prosecution appeal submitted to Cassation by Perugia’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati.

    We’re betting that if they had it all over they would have urged Knox and Sollecito to take the short-form trial and one of the olive branches offered by the prosecution (that it was a sex-based attack which went too far, not an intentional preplanned murder).

    They could have entered known facts about Sollecito and Knox to show that at the least they had tin ears and had always been callous, jealous and quirky. They might have advanced a drug-based excuse - the other olive branch advanced by the prosecution was that they were on cocaine and not marjuana that night and cocaine can induce rages leading to murder.

    They might also have advanced the notion that both AK and RS were being remorselessly frozen out by their peers, who increasingly looked down on them, not least of course Meredith whose sleep and studies were constantly disrupted by the thoughtless, sharp-elbowed Knox.

    Consider first who were their peers. Perugia is a city of driven high performers and it may not be the most comfortable environment for low-performing layabouts. In its own small way it is about as hustling as Manhattan.

    It is one of the brightest cities in Europe with an extremely high median IQ. It is one of the top-performing cities in the Italian economy, in part because of the advanced scientific research at the very large university, and in part because it is the home to some brilliant international entrepreneurs.

    Both these faces of Perugia are constantly in the Italian news. A search of the past week’s news for the university turns up reports on medical and mathematical and space-science breakthroughs and as usual a number of international conferences in the works.

    And a search of last week’s news for Perugian businesses turns up for example this report on Brunello Cucinelli the highly sucessful and innovative fashion-goods entrepreneur who is now talking of doubling his factory.

    Sollecito was never really a part of either. He had few friends and no girlfriends, he was a year or two behind his age-group in his studies, and he needed his back watched at all times - though from his book it is obvious that he felt needled by his highly successful doctor-father.

    And Knox arrived with poor Italian despite all the claimed studies back in Seattle, she took on only a light and unimpressive study-load (compare Knox’s to Meredith’s) and she was rapidly shedding friends and the goodwill of her tolerant, well-meaning employer.

    Neither had a credible and impressive career path in mind, and for that matter, still don’t. It is tough enough to know you are not making it, that can induce in many quite a rage.

    But it is even tougher when all your peers around you notice it, and in American street parlance you get to feel “dissed”.












    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Powerpoints #20: On Contradictions, Here Preston Contradicts Preston

    Posted by Kermit



    [James Frey, Stephen Glass and Clifford Irving; writers caught playing fast-and-loose with the truth]


    This is the second in a new Powerpoint series. Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

    In the first question that we posed to fiction thriller writer (and now, self-described “point-of-view journalist”, whatever that euphemism means) Douglas Preston a few days ago, we asked him about his and Spezi’s Afterword to their book The Monster of Florence.

    It appears to be full of errors and insinuations in linking the MoF to the Meredith Kercher murder case. A book that is based on a “True Story” should not be found to be derelict in presenting errors or fiction as true fact, neither at its end, nor in its beginning, nor in any other point between.

    In this, the second question that we pose to Preston (and Spezi, if he’s available for replies), we go to the start of the story, where Preston recalls how he met Spezi, in the smoky haze of a backroom of the Caffè Ricchi in the centre of Florence and first learned of the existence of the monster “¦ or did he? 

    The problem is that in equally emphatic terms, you can also hear Preston on an NBC Dateline documentary describe how a few months earlier (I calculate) than the Caffè Ricchi tête-a-tête, he describes hearing about the Monster of Florence for the first time from his neighbours in the town he lived in in Italy.

    And this, in an interview with Stone Philips of NBC with a camera crew and their equipment on-site in Italy in front of his old rented house. At a time when Preston was already telling the rest of the world that he couldn’t return to Italy, banned by Mignini! In my opinion, things can’t get much more cynical than that.

    The contrast between Preston’s two clear, explicit and totally mutually-exclusive descriptions of how he learned of the Monster of Florence may seem like a trivial point, but it really is not.

    Every writer knows that the key factor at the start of a book is engaging and maintaining the reader’s interest so that it lasts to the very end. A fiction writer is free to use whatever mechanism he may need to make that engagement. However, authors who describe their tale as a “True Story” as do Preston and Spezi should realize that reader trust is ““ poof! ““ lost if you load the start of the True Story with something that isn’t so.

    Recent history has seen a number of writers who push and cross the limit of the Truth and rush headstrong into Truthiness, Mistruth, or Lies, peddling stories that attract our interest and are human, daring .... yet end up being exposed as blends of truths and half-truths.  Together with insinuations and a lot of out and out fibs:

    • Clifford Irving went to jail for his unauthorised and totally false “autobiography” of Howard Hughes, see the Richard Gere movie poster below..
    • The New Republic magazine fired Stephen Glass after determining that at least 27 of 41 stories written by Glass for the magazine contained fabricated material.
    • James Frey’s publisher has had to reimburse those purchasers of “A Million Little Pieces” who bought it believing it true (it was commercialized as such).

    Where will Spezi and Preston take us with The Monster of Florence? All it takes is for one reader to question: could this really have happened as they are making us think it happened? Why when I read the Italian version of the book do I understand something completely different? Why in Italy is Il Mostro considered the better, much more accurate book?

    From there the truth in the story starts to unravel. As we already see in the Powerpoint presentations, the start and end of the English-langage MoF book don’t exactly encourage us to take any of its contents at face value.

    Now that the Meredith Kercher murder case approaches its final appeal, it looks like Preston and Spezi are moving to develop some sort of MoF sequel that could be titled The Monster of Florence: The New Generation starring Amanda Knox and of course Preston and Spezi. And including fresh new “True Stories” by the pair. 

    Personally, I feel that they could spare both us and Amanda’s cause their “truth” ““ Amanda and her legal team have more than enough to think about right now, with the Supreme Court appeal and the mess the Raffaele Sollecito book dams them in.

    I believe that the shrillness of Preston’s and Spezi’s tales of “truth” will increase its pitch as we approach the March final appeal of Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as suspects in the murder of Meredith (Knox has already been found guilty of one crime and has served her prison sentence for falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith). 

    This is going to be a very tough appeal ““ I urge readers to take a look at the English translation of Prosecutor Galati’s request for the appeal. It is surprising in its strength and balance. The Knox and Sollecito legal teams must be busy (will either defendant dare to be in Italy at that time?) and they know they are going to have a rough time of it in March.

    How nice for all concerned if all the fictions now drop dead.




    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Powerpoints #19: Placing The Noisy Claimant Doug Preston In The Hot Seat

    Posted by Kermit





    This is the first in a new Powerpoint series. Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

    This curious incident instigated this series:

    A week or two ago I received an unexpected email from Douglas Preston, co-author with Mario Spezi of The Monster of Florence (Spezi also wrote an Italian version that seems to conflict at points with the English version) and a heated champion of the attempt to free Amanda Knox, who is stlll accused pending Supreme Court appeal of the murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia on 1 November 2007.

    Preston explained that he wanted to write a “piece” about the “Knox case” and that he would like to do a 10 question email interview with me.  I got the hunch that Preston and Spezi are going to be active over the next few months in the media as their cause is increasingly thrown in disarray. Along with, I presume, their possible movie based on the Monster of Florence book.

    I was surprised that Preston said he would “quote you accurately, honestly, and in context, and represent your views respectfully and accurately”. 

    Hmmm. We all have in our memory Preston accusing me (see his comment April 28 2011 at 6:57 pm) of “distortions, falsehoods, and crackpot opinion presented as settled fact. Kermit’s open letter contains many out and out lies”.

    He also claimed, erroneously, that I hide behind a “screen of false IP addresses and various other hacker tricks” (what, has Preston tried to hack me?) and that I had “demonstrated a long history of falsehood and dishonesty” (I have?!).

    Given that past experience, would you trust Preston? Silly me, I’m ready to give anyone another chance.

    In return I proposed that the interview be two-way, and that we each proceed question by question on the issues that we wanted to clarify for us to publish in due course. I included a first question on seeming significant errors and mistruths in the “Afterword” or epilogue chapter of his and Spezi’s Monster of Florence book.

    Very disappointingly, he didnt respond in kind. Nothing useful came back. He concluded “as for my (Preston’s) ‘objectivity,’ I am a point-of-view journalist in this case. People know where I stand and they know my bad history with Mignini. I don’t pretend to be objective”.

    Should Preston really call himself a journalist or an opinion maker, or a lobbyist?  Why can’t people just respect the Italian legal process, which right now is not (and never was) firmly in the hands of Prosecutor Mignini, Preston’s perceived nemesis?

    As we seem set to be subjected once again to seeing Preston and/or Spezi regularly sharing their rancid opinion of Prosecutor Mignini and Italians officials on the case with the public, I decided to get out in front, with this series pre-emptively checking their versions of the “truths”.

    The Monster of Florence book is labeled (see above) a “True Story”, and while it does include historical facts related to the MoF murders in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s,  the two authors also personally intrude themselves into events.

    This series should help the public to decide how seriously (if at all) they should accept Preston’s and Spezi’s opinions expressed in their media appearances where they interject themselves into Meredith Kercher’s murder case.

    And to see if any of Preston’s self-described “point-of-view journalism” truths he shares with Spezi really stand up.

    Please check back to TJMK every few days as we pose new questions to Preston and his co-author Spezi.


    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Translation Of Dr Mignini’s Interview After Takedown Of Sollecito Book On Porta a Porta

    Posted by Ziak.





    This is my translation from the original In Affaritaliani

    Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor in the Meredith case, speaks: “No bargaining with Sollecito”

    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    It has been claimed that Dr Mignini had seemingly bargained with Raffaele Sollecito in order that he would accuse Amanda Knox in exchange for a lighter sentence.

    But now the prosecutor in the Meredith case, Giuliano Mignini, has chosen Affaritaliani.it as the forum to break his silence: “No bargaining. It suffices to read the book attentively to understand that I have nothing to do with it. I am disconcerted by this distortion of the facts.”

    And further: doubts about Amanda’s guilt? “If I had them [doubts], I would ask for absolution. I have always believed in the responsibility of both of them.”

    The pressure while awaiting the sentence was enormous: “I believe that trials should take place in the halls of justice, not outside”. Both Amanda and Sollecito have written books about the murder: “These are choices that each person makes, and for which they are responsible”.

    THE INTERVIEW

    by Lorenzo Lamperti

    In the past few days, Prosecutor Mignini, it has been written that you apparently bargained with the family of Raffaele Sollecito, offering a lighter sentence in return for testimony against Amanda Knox.

    “I must say at this point that I am disconcerted [dismayed] by this distortion of the facts. It suffices to read what Sollecito has written in his book in order to understand that I have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Furthermore, Raffaele’s father has denied the existence of any bargaining.

    However, I continue to see newspapers which publish these things. Let’s forget about the American newspapers, over which it would be best to draw a pitying veil, however it surprises me that even here in Italy facts are talked about which have never been checked.

    Sollecito’s father denied this live on television, and yet there weren’t even any starting points to support something [claims] of this sort.

    Thus there was an exploitation is Sollecito’s account?

    “That seems clear to me. And yet the event of the Kercher process was preceded by that of the Monster of Florence [the Cassation Court will deliver its verdict on 22 November, editor’s note]. That was what started everything: I never said anything, but I’m fed up, sick and tired at this point. There has been too much superficiality on the Meredith story.”

    Raffaele Sollecito speaks of a lawyer who apparently bargained/negotiated with his family…

    “These are merely conjectures on conjectures. And yet, I don’t understand how Sollecito’s account can have been interpreted as referring to me. Looking carefully at things, it could almost be said that it is me who is the person offended by a boast.”

    Are you considering legal action?

    “I have 90 days. I will consider it. Certainly, I must take note of Dr Sollecito’s denial.

    What his son wrote, or at least, what the newspapers report, has not been libelous with regard to me. The problem lies in the interpretation of his text that has been made. It would suffice to read [the book] correctly in order to understand that we are talking of simple impressions, not of facts.

    The only concrete references are made to a few persons who are not me.”

    Therefore you rule out the existence of a secret bargain?

    “Indeed! in the most absolute manner possible. What for, why after the conviction and the appeal request for life sentencing, would I seemingly started to negotiate?!  What would I negotiate about?

    Thus you have never had any doubts about Amanda’s guilt?

    These doubts don’t exist. If I had doubts, I would have asked for absolution. I have always believed in the responsibility of both these two.”

    The Cassation appeal is also based on Amanda’s conviction for calunnia.

    “This is one of the fundamental aspects of the appeal [our appeal against Hellman] which is moreover based on numerous other reasons. The appeal has been made very well. We’ll see what the Cassation decides on 25th March next year.”

    The fact remains that a striking situation has been created, in which Rudy Guede has been convicted for contributing to a murder, but according to the courts there are no [other] contributors, or at any rate, Amanda and Raffaele are not contributors…

    “Yes, yes. Indeed. Rudy Guede is convicted as having participated. Sollecito and Knox were acquitted. Furthermore, Rudy Guede, as we have seen, was not even convicted of having carried out the simulated break-in…

    These are problems that arise with the fast-track trial system, when one part of the case is separated from the other part. This case, on the contrary, is a unitary whole [a single case].

    There was very considerable pressure brought to bear on the trial process. Do you believe that it might in any way have had an influence on the sentence?

    “I don’t know if it influenced it. I know that the Court had that idea, that conviction, which I don’t share. Certainly the pressure brought to bear was extreme. I believe that trials should take place in the halls of justice, not outside.”

    You rashly spoke of an “almost predicted” sentence.

    “Those who followed the appeal process can make their own assessments. According to us, the first instance sentence was correct and complete. We’ll see what Cassation decides, but, over and above the process I cannot accept certain insinuations.

    I was exclusively made the butt of attacks. I remain dismayed, for example, when reference is still made to comments I denied having made years ago, in which I reportedly linked Meredith’s murder to satanic rites. This is something I never said, but which is still continuously written.”

    Is it a case of errors, superficiality, or of something more?

    It is no longer possible to talk of errors, because it has been years since I disclaimed those comments. At this point, the thing confounds me.”

    Many people, faced with Sollecito’s book and the one by Amanda which will come out shortly, turn up their noses and consider it wrong to profit from a tragedy such as the murder of Meredith. What do you think?

    “These are choices that each person makes, and for which they are responsible. I will limit myself to saying that the process is still under way, and we must await Cassation.”


    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Powerpoints #18: Katie Couric Interviews Raffaele Sollecito! We Already Have A Sneak Preview!!

    Posted by Kermit





    Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is Powerpoint Viewer.

    We are not really too surprised that Sollecito caves, as we observe the Sollecito camp increasingly panicked now by the appeal of Dr Galati, Still, thanks a lot Katie insiders! Thanks a lot Sollecito-camp insiders! 

    And a great job on the couch, Katie Couric. You managed to winkle out the truth and respect the REAL victim even if Raffaele seemed a little tongue-tied…


    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA In Meredith’s Room Could Be Definitive Proof Of Guilt For New Appeal Jury

    Posted by James Raper





    Have you followed our series on the hapless independent DNA consultants Conti and Vecchiotti?  And our series on the hapless appeal judges Hellmann and Zanetti?

    And our series on their formidable nemesis, Umbria’s Chief Prosecutor, Dr Galati? Who may very well convince the Supreme Court to throw out all of their work?

    This post explains why their work probably deserves to be thrown out as it applies to Sollecito’s DNA in Meredith’s room, which still lacks an alternative non-damning explanation for it being there, and which could see him back serving his term in Capanne or Terni Prison before too long. 

    I want to start this analysis with the following verbatim quote taken from John Follain’s Death In Perugia.

    “Comodi asked Vecchiotti about the alleged contamination of the bra clasp: “Is it possible for [Raffaele’s] DNA to end up only on the bra clasp?”

    “Possible”, Vecchiotti said.

    Comodi insisted: “Probable?”

    “Probable”, Vecchiotti retorted.

    Anyone who has read the Conti-Vecchiotti Report will be amazed by Vecchiotti’s above reply under cross-examination by Prosecutor Comodi. This for the simple reason that the said report did not at all evaluate the “probability” of any contamination of the bra clasp. It merely did not rule out contamination.

    The Conti-Vecchiotti report with regard to the bra clasp: “It cannot be ruled out that the results obtained derive from environmental contamination and/or contamination in some phase of the collection and/or handling of the exhibit.”

    On any level of understanding, if one can not rule something out then that makes it possible. But it certainly does not make it probable.

    Worse was to come, with the conclusion of Hellmann-Zanetti, that contamination was probable. This though was not so surprising in as much as Hellmann-Zanetti had already indicated in their reasoning underlying the need for an independent report that they would accept the independent experts’ conclusions.

    Which they did, apparently accepting Vecchiotti’s above statement on oath as definitive and which, as we can see, they appear to subsequently improve on, since the circumstances referred to below were not mentioned in the Conti-Vecchiotti Report.  From Hellmann-Zanetti:

    In the opinion of this Court contamination did not occur during the successive phases of treatment of the exhibit in the laboratory of the Scientific Police, but even before it’s collection by the Scientific Police.

    Note that (1)  the suggestion is that contamination occurred when there was no video recording (thus permitting free speculation), (2) the word “probably” is omitted here seemingly making it a definite occurrence, and (3) “even before” does not exclude contamination when the Scientific Police were there, but the circumstances described below make it, in the opinion of Hellmann-Zanetti, even more probable, it seems. Again from Hellmann-Zanetti:

    ..it is certain that between the first search by the scientific police, directly after the discovery of the crime, and the second search by the police, on the 18th December, the house at villa della Pergola was the object of several other searches directed towards seeking other possible elements useful for the investigation, during which the house was turned topsy-turvy, as is clearly documented by the photographs projected by the defence of the accused, but actually made by the Scientific Police. And, understandably these searches were made without the precautions that accompany the investigations of the Scientific Police, in the conviction that at that point the exhibits that needed to undergo scientific analysis had already been collected. In this context it is probable that the DNA hypothetically belonging to Raffaele Sollecito may have been transported by others into the room and precisely onto the bra clasp”¦”¦”¦..the fact that [this] is not an unusual occurrence is proven by studies cited by the expert team and also by the defence consultants”¦”¦..

    So Hellmann-Zanetti are talking about the ordinary police investigators being primarily responsible.

    As the Vecchiotti quote at the beginning of this post is not put in any context, it is impossible for me to know whether she was referring to the Scientific Police as seen in their videos or whether she was alluding to other recorded searches, say, by the ordinary police, but which were not on video.

    What we know of the police searches is as follows. From the Massei trial sentencing report:

    While forensic activity was still in progress (Note: it having been going on since the 2nd) “the house was accessed on November 4th 2007 involving, accompanied by staff from the Perugia Police Headquarters, the three occupants and housemates of the victim.

    The days of November 6 and 7 were taken up by the search activity of personnel from the police headquarters of Perugia”¦.on November 6” (Note: the day after conclusion of the Scientific Police activity) “no-one entered Meredith’s room other than the three performing the search. On November 7 there was another entry into the house “for the problem of the washing machine, to collect the clothes; but I (Napoleoni) know that they did not go into the other rooms…..

    They wore gloves and shoe covers….

    Massei also records that Profazio stated that whilst he was aware from Stefanoni that the bra clasp had not been collected, nevertheless he had not seen it on the 6th and 7th.

    As we know, the Scientific Police returned to the house on the 18th December specifically for the purpose of collecting the bra clasp (the first thing they did) and using luminol, and in addition to this being on video the defence lawyers were watching the live recording outside. It was observed by the defence lawyers at that stage that the mattress was in the living room and that articles had been moved around (topsy-turvy) in her bedroom.

    From the above it might be reasonable to conclude that it was not only the Scientific Police who took the photographs but that it was predominantly they who had already moved items around and taking - it not having been demonstrated to the contrary (because not on video) - such precautions appropriate to their field of expertise (or at least such as may be determined from the videos).

    However the point is, of course, what entitles Vecchiotti and Hellmann-Zanetti to talk about probable contamination at all?

    Incidentally, pause here to notice that Hellmann-Zanetti give no credence to environmental contamination, in the sense of DNA floating around on specks of dust, by virtue of not mentioning this at all.

    It would seem that the notion that a speck of dust, with Sollecito’s DNA attached, floated into the room and landed bang on a tiny hook, somehow adhering to it, is improbable to even them. It is transfer by manipulation (  tertiary transfer, about which more later) - basically that someone must have stepped on or touched the bra clasp or hook - about which they are talking and as a result of which they deem contamination to have probably occurred.

    Without that probability -  that is if it remained only a possibility - then the case for direct transfer (directly from the owner of the DNA to an object), rather than tertiary transfer (where the DNA is collected after direct transfer and transferred to another object), would not be undermined as the more probable scenario. This is because, in this context, no-one can rule out possibility, ” possibility” being firmly rooted in the abstract.

    What Hellmann-Zanetti think entitles them to talk about the probability of contamination are, and as it transpires only are, the precautions which they say were not followed in collecting and handling the exhibit and for which they suppose the non-scientific police were most likely responsible.

    Compliance with these, they say, “guarantees” the reliability of the result. They refer to the Do’s and Do Not’s of successful crime scene management as listed by Conti-Vecchiotti and taken from guidelines from the Louisiana State Crime Police Laboratory, from the U.S Department of Justice, and more relevantly from Evidence Manuals from the New Jersey State Police, Missouri State Highway Patrol and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.


    There is a predominance of American references but they do also refer to the Good Practice Manual for Crime Scene Management promoted by ENFSI (European Network of Forensic Science Institutes). From Hellmann-Zanetti -

    Regarding above all the identification of a genetic profile in an exhibit, it is important that the entire procedure be followed with complete observance of the rules dictated by the scientific community, which are not, to be sure, juridical rules (it is not a law of the State, as Dr. Stefanoni observed), but which do represent a guarantee of the reliability of the result. And since these rules also contain precautions necessary in order to avoid possible contamination, one can understand that the respect of these precautions cannot simply be assumed, but must be proven by anyone who bases his accusations on this result.

    Rules and guidelines are not quite the same thing, still less are there standardised guidelines dictated by the scientific community, but let’s not be pernickety. What compliance with the guidelines does, of course, is reduce the risk (the “possibility” and yes, if there are elements supporting it, “the probability”) of contamination, not guarantee that there is not contamination. As any expert in the field will concede, contamination is always possible.

    Conti-Vecchiotti listed, apparently, some 54 examples of breach of the aforesaid guidelines. Significant among these (because we know of them and the most was made of them) are the following listed by Follain in his book Death In Perugia-

    1. The team failed to put on new gloves after bagging each sample ( probably, as with 2 below, accounting for the great majority of the examples, and Stefanoni admitted this did not happen every time).

    2. Items were handled by more than one person without changing gloves (again, as above, admitted).

    3. There was a smudge on one of the fingertips of one of the gloves which touched the clasp, so the glove was dirty.

    4. The officer who picked up Meredith’s bra clasp passed it to a colleague before placing it back on the floor and then bagging it.

    5. Stefanoni’s gloves were smudged with blood and split over her left index when she picked up a sample ( this need not detain us since it is an irrelevant and highly speculative and prejudicial observation, if not entirely erroneous, based on what can be seen from the video).

    6. The officer filming the police video walked in and out of Meredith’s room without changing his shoe covers.

    7. No security corridor was created for internal access with anti - contamination criteria between the various environments.

    8. The initial position of discovery on the floor of the clasp was not the same after 46 days.

    The idea of a security corridor which, given the confines of the cottage, and particularly the access to Meredith’s room, would mean, for instance, placing planks on the floor, is a good one, and obviously not followed in this instance though not actually a specific recommendation (though it can be inferred) in any of the guidelines referred to by Conti-Vecchiotti. It would have reduced the risk of carrying DNA into Meredith’s room on the soles of shoe covers.

    The alleged breaches were not, of course, outlined in the Conti-Vecchiotti report. They were only mentioned in oral evidence accompanying the showing of the crime scene video in court.

    Hellmann-Zanetti, in their report, mention two specific cases only, 3 and 8 above. In respect of “the smudge” they acknowledge, interestingly, that there is an unresolved issue of interpretation as to whether this is a shadow or prior staining! But why even posit a prior staining when it is obvious that the operative had to finger the fabric of the clasp (which was “dirty”) in order to pick the clasp up and show it to the camera? What was the dirt and what was the meaning of this in the context of a transfer of Sollecito’s DNA to the hook? They neither discuss not evaluate. They simply accept Conti-Vecchiotti’s observations as being pertinent and damning without question.

    In contrast to Hellmann-Zanetti Massei does discuss and evaluate the probability and the logistics of contamination, with regard to the bra clasp. In fact he spends quite a bit of time on the subject. But before turning to that, let’s have a brief look at the subject of DNA transfer and then remember what Stefanoni (as quoted by Massei) says on the subject.

    Primary transfer might occur between a subject (such as myself) and an object. I touch or sneeze over it. Secondary transfer could occur if the said object was moved and “placed” against yet another object so that my DNA is transferred from the first to the second object. Tertiary transfer could occur if someone touched my DNA on the first object and then touched the second object. There are three steps there but one can imagine scenarios with four or perhaps more such steps but with the inherent limitation that the quantity of DNA being transferred is going to reduce with each such step.

    It is obvious that when the prosecution produce DNA evidence they are going to argue primary transfer by the accused and just as equally obvious that the defence are going to try and argue contamination, i.e that the presence of their client’s DNA is the product of secondary or tertiary transfer.

    Stefafanoni said that secondary or tertiary does not happen unless (1) the DNA is in a substance which is still fresh and reasonably watery after primary transfer, not dried, and/or (2) there would have to be more than mere touch but friction, or at least pressure, as well. Whilst there could be isolated exceptions in practice this makes a lot of sense to me as a layman but in addition I also note that she was not contradicted, at the trial, by any of the defence experts, nor has she been contradicted by Conti-Vecchiotti in their report.


    Returning to Massei.

    Sollecito was at the cottage 3 or 4 times prior to the murder though on each occasion with Knox. It is thus possible that he left his DNA somewhere there. There is no evidence that he was ever in Meredith’s room before the murder. Thus, if he was not involved in the murder, one must hypothesize that his DNA from somewhere else in the cottage was transferred into Meredith’s room and onto the bra clasp by someone other than him.

    Apart from the clasp there was only one other place where his DNA was to be found, mixed with Knox’s DNA, which was on a cigarette stub in an ashtray sitting on a table in the kitchen. From Massei, my numbering:

    (1) Certainly, it can be observed that every single place in the house was not tested, and one might think that Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA might have been located in some other places. One can consider the possibility that his DNA from some other place that was not found was transferred onto the bra clasp, but this would have to have been done by someone manipulating the object.

    (2) But simple contact between objects does not transfer DNA. Amanda’s and Raffaele’s DNA were both found on the cigarette stub, not just one of them, transferred by the other. It is also important that the bra was the one that Meredith was actually wearing, and the clasp was found under the pillow which was under Meredith”¦”¦. At this point it should also be mentioned that the piece of bra was (then)  found under a small rug in Meredith’s room [which protected it] “¦”¦”¦.

    (3) It is also observed that the small rug did not show itself to be a good transmitter of DNA. Underneath it there was a sock, and analysis proved that on this sock there were only DNA traces of Meredith. Also the circumstance by which DNA was found on the (tiny) hooks - so on a more limited and rather less absorbent surface than the material attached to them - tends to exclude that Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA could have landed on the hooks, precisely on the hooks, by contamination or by transfer from some other unspecified object.

    (4). “¦”¦.any transfer of DNA from the surface of the rug under which the small piece of bra was found would imply that between the two objects there was more than simple contact, touching of each other, but an actual pressure exercised on the rug under which the piece of bra lay. This hypothesis was set aside after Dr. Stefanoni reported “¦”¦.. the deformation of one of the hooks was the same. Vice versa, if some pressure had been exerted on top of it, if in one of the police activities someone had stepped on it—then that deformation would not have remained identical; but the small piece of material and the hooks and eyes had the same form, the exact same type of deformation “¦”¦.. she additionally stated that, having seen the small piece of bra in the early hours of November 3rd rather quickly, the images of it taken on that occasion allowed her a more prolonged and attentive observation, enabling her to declare that the deformation had remained unmodified and unchanged, as did the side on which it was set on the floor.

    (5) Objects were moved, necessarily moved, but every object that was in a room, if it was not actually taken away, remained in the same room, without ever moving to another room, or being taken out of the room and then back in. The only parts of the house through which operators from the various places all passed were thus the living room and corridor. One might thus assume that some DNA of Raffaele Sollecito that had been left somewhere in the living room or corridor was moved, and ended up on the hooks. Such a movement of DNA and its subsequent repositioning on the hooks would have had to occur either because one of the technicians walking on the floor on which the DNA was lying hit it with his foot or stepped on it, causing it to end up on the hooks, or because by stepping on them, he impressed onto them the DNA caught underneath the shoe-cover he had on in that moment.

    But these possibilities cannot be considered as concretely plausible: to believe that, moving around the house, the DNA could have been kicked or stepped on by one of the technicians, who in that case would have been moving about, and to believe that this DNA, instead of just sticking to the place it had been kicked or stepped on by (probably the shoe, or rather, the shoe-cover), having already been moved once from its original position, would then move again and end up on the hooks, seems like a totally improbable and risky hypothesis.

    (6) “¦..and more importantly, none of the operators, after having touched some object which might have had Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA on it, then touched the hooks of the small piece of bra so as to make even hypothetically possible a transfer of DNA (from the object containing Sollecito’s DNA to the gloves, from the gloves to the hooks). In fact, none of the operators during the search of November 6th and 7th even took note of that little piece of bra, and thus in particular no one picked it up.” [Note that this observation is a direct contradiction of the unproven suspicion that this had in fact occurred - Massei had, of course, also watched the crime scene videos, seen the relevant clip and heard the argument.]

    (7) Movement of objects, in particular of clothing, may have induced the movement of other objects, and this is what the Court considers to have occurred with respect to the piece of bra which was seen on the floor of Meredith’s room on November 2nd-3rd and left there. Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, referring to the search of November 6th, has declared that she recalled the presence of a bluish rug; one can thus conclude that this rug was looked at during the search and entered into contact with the operators making the search, and like other objects, was moved from its original position, but always remaining on the floor of the room; during this movement it must have covered up the piece of bra (which was on the floor of the same room and yet was not noted during the search), thus determining by its own motion the accompanying motion of the small piece of bra, making it end up where it was then found during the inspection of December 18th: under the rug, together with a sock, in the same room, Meredith’s room, where it had already been seen. So it underwent a change of position that is, thus, irrelevant to the assertion of contamination.

    Now, whatever one makes of Massei’s observations, he has at least considered, on a plausible level, the dynamics of secondary and tertiary transfer, generally and in this case - unlike either Hellmann-Zanetti or Conti-Vecchiotti. Furthermore, and in consequence, he concluded that contamination was simply not probable.

    We should also recall the following words with regard to second and tertiary transfer, in the quote from Hellmann-Zanetti above”¦”¦”¦”¦”the fact that this is not an unusual occurrence is proven by studies cited by the expert team and also by the defence consultants”¦.”

    What studies? Unfortunately Hellmann-Zanetti do not elaborate on these studies, and the proof therein allegedly contained, nor can we see them cited in the Conti-Vecchiotti report!

    This leads me to the suspicion that Hellmann-Zanetti are trying to pull the wool over our eyes here. Yes, certainly secondary and tertiary transfer is not an unusual occurrence but the circumstances as to when this is likely, or not, is not discussed, let alone evaluated. It seems to me that this is not unimportant and the omission is surprising.

    What Conto-Vecchiotti actually say about the subject in their report is mind-boggingly amateurish, trite and misleading. So much so that one doubts that they are really experts.

    The relevant section about contamination (such as it is) in Conti-Vecchiotti is under the heading “Notes On Inspection And Collection Techniques”. Reading this I note, in the second paragraph, being in, it would seem, Conti-Vecchiotti’s own words:

    The starting point is always Locard’s Principle according to which two objects which come into contact with each other exchange material in different forms. Equally the same principle scientifically supports the possibility of contamination and alteration [of the scene] on the part of anyone else, investigators included, who comes into contact with the scene.


    Far from being just a starting point Locard’s Principle seems to be all that Conti and Vecchiotti know about the transfer of DNA.

    For what it is worth Edmond Locard established an early crime lab in 1910 ( being a fan of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories) and wrote many articles as a result. However he never actually wrote any words approximating to “with contact there is an exchange of material” (which is not exactly a law of physics in the same manner as the laws of motion are) nor did he mention anything concerning a principle.

    What he did write was “It is impossible for a criminal to act, especially given the intensity of the crime, without leaving traces of his presence.”  Sherlock Holmes would have said the same.

    Incidentally it is science that supports a principle, and not the other way around. I would have expected Conti-Vecchiotti to know that.

    I have surfed the internet for articles on the subject of tertiary transfer and there does seem to be “a lack of published data on the topic”, to quote one site I found.

    Furthermore if they existed one might expect to find that they are referred to by the scientists in the FOA camp, but again I do not see these or that those that are referred to, eg by Halkides, add anything to what has already been discussed above.

    Which leaves the “probability” element of contamination undemonstrated. Whatever the opportunities for contamination that there may have been arising from breach of guidelines (contentious in some if not all cases) these remain hypothetical whilst the probability of contamination remains undemonstrated.

    But for Hellmann-Zanetti, conveniently, there is no need to demonstrate anything, because of the following:

    Now, Prof. Novelli and also the Prosecutor stated that it is not sufficient to assert that the result comes from contamination; it is incumbent on one who asserts contamination to prove its origin.

    However, this argument cannot be accepted, insomuch as it ends up by treating the possibility of contamination as an exception to the civil code on the juridical level. Thus, one cannot state: I proved that the genetic profile is yours, now you prove that the DNA was not left on the exhibit by direct contact, but by contamination. No, one can’t operate this way.

    In the context of a trial, as is well known, it falls to the PM who represents the prosecution before the court (the terminology is used in Art. 125 of the implementing provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure), to prove the viability of all the elements on which it is based, and thus, when one of these elements is completed by a scientific element represented by the result of an analytic procedure, the task is also to prove that the result was obtained using a procedure which guarantees the purity [genuinità ] of the exhibit from the moment of collection right through the analysis.

    “¦”¦.. when there is no proof that these precautions guaranteeing that the result is not the fruit of contamination were respected, it is absolutely not necessary to also prove the specific origin of the contamination.

    The use of the word “absolutely” is interesting, as if this was the last word on the matter, and any evaluation is to be declined.

    Now I sense the presence of a premise which is already a conclusion. This being that because there are (as Hellmann-Zanetti hold) breaches of guidelines, then the DNA result is unreliable for that reason.

    As it happens, this is exactly what Conti-Vecchiotti say. But as it stands this is an unargued proposition. For this to be a valid deduction “for that reason” should be explained by the inclusion of another premise which we can at least accept as true - “A breach entails that the possibility of contamination cannot be excluded”. Then we can formulate a simple deduction, though it would be unsound until we can answer the question “Does the possibility of contamination render the result unreliable?”

    A scientist may explain what “unreliable” means to him. But I want to answer the question in juridical terms, and this can be done quite simply.

    Any element of evidence in juridical proceedings is weighed only by the probability that it represents the truth. The possibility that it does, or it does not, is simply to be discarded as having no weight either way. Accordingly, for the purpose of the argument, and for any proceedings in court, it cannot be accepted that the possibility of contamination renders the result unreliable. Whether it is unreliable or not has to be looked at in a different way, according to the balance of probabilities.

    Getting back to the quote, I would say that both Hellmann-Zanetti and Novelli are right, and they are also both wrong.

    Hellmann-Zanetti are of course right in that the burden of proof remains with the prosecution with regard to all elements.

    And the way Prof. Novelli puts it is somewhat incorrect, but only because he is a scientist and not a lawyer.

    That the burden of proof remains with the prosecution does not alleviate the defence of any burden with regard to an issue such as contamination.

    There is also an issue to be discussed as to whether the burden on the prosecution is to demonstrate non-contamination beyond a reasonable doubt or merely that contamination is not probable.

    Let’s start with whether there is any burden on the defence.

    There is a general principle to which even criminal proceedings are subject. “Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat.”  My Latin is not great but roughly translated “the onus of proof is on he who says it, not he who denies it.”

    Dr Galati, in his Supreme Court Appeal Submissions, puts it this way (more forcibly than I would) -

    In other words, if a piece of circumstantial evidence must be certain in itself, and if therefore even scientific proof must be immune to any alternative-explanation hypothesis, this does not alter the fact that this hypothesis ought to be based on reasonable elements and not merely abstract hypothetical ones. And if the refutation of a scientific piece of evidence passes via the affirmation of a circumstance of fact (being the contamination of an exhibit), that circumstance must be specifically proved, not being deducible from generic (and otherwise unshareable) considerations about the operative methodology followed by the Scientific Police, absent demonstration that the methods used would have produced, in the concrete, the assumed contamination.

    I do not myself think it is realistic for the defence to have to prove a specific contamination path from point A to point B. That would be unrealistic. But certainly if the issue of contamination is to be raised the defence must go beyond an abstract hypothetical explanation that in the event, as is the case here, is devoid of known origins for the contamination. (Save for the trace on the cigarette stub, so that if that was the source there would be Knox’s DNA mixed in with Sollecito’s on the clasp). Otherwise how is the prosecution to respond? With what level of proof?

    Should it be beyond reasonable doubt? How Hellmann-Zanetti would wish! “Beyond reasonable doubt” is the standard to be applied to the prosecution’s case in its entirety, to any attribution of culpability for the crime to the accused. It is not parcelled out to each and every element.

    The correct standard to apply to an element such as contamination (as it is for any piece of circumstantial evidence) is “the balance of probability having regard to other elements”. The alleged breaches of crime management guidelines are in themselves only circumstantial, requiring, for any weight to be attached to them, corroborative or supporting elements as to which, as I see it, there are none. So the correct question is: Is contamination probable or not? (This is not to exclude that there may sometimes, somewhat rarely, be circumstances where it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt)

    So we are back to probability again. It is a battle (if at all)  of probabilities and we must not confuse what is possible with what is probable, however much our eyes are opened to what is possible.

    That it is such, is tacitly acknowledged by Hellmann-Zanetti when they argue that Sollecito’s DNA being on the bra hook but not on the fabric of the clasp is improbable. My response to that would be to say that it is far more probable than that there was contamination of the hook.

    The absence of any argument as to probability may have been a thought that popped into Vecchiotti’s head when she retorted “probable” (feeling a bit sick about the answer afterwards I hope). However that she could make that assertion does not fill one with much confidence when considering that she also maintains that there were errors in Stefanoni’s interpretation of the electropherogram result, even whilst accepting that Sollecito”˜s profile was there, not least because his Y chromosome was as well.

    Don’t expect Conti and Vecchiotti to be re-invited if there is any replay of the appeal trial.


    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Rebutting Saul Kassin’s Substantive Claim Of Forced Confession

    Posted by Fuji




    This was first posted on 12 January 2011 (see 30+ comments under that post).  It shows in effect that EVEN IF the timeline on the night of Knox’s “confession” in which she actually blamed Patrick Lumumba resembled Saul Kassin’s fantasy timeline there is no sign that Amanda Knox is one of the very few with the “right” psycho-sociology to cave quickly under police interrogations.

    My original post pre-dates by some month Dr Kassin’s erroneous, self-serving claims to Seattle radio and CBS 48 Hours, and by over a year his misleading KEYNOTE address (scroll down) to the John Jay College global conference last month (see page 31 of the program).

    We don’t know yet when Saul Kassin’s submission to the Hellman court via Amanda Knox’s lawyers was made, or the nature of its impact on judges and jury, if any. Dr Kassin is welcome to try to explain all of Amanda Knox’s other “confessions” as described here. Also to try to explain all of Sollecito’s “confessions” as described here.

    Meredith’s case is absolutely riddled with fabricated false myths. 

    They are now found by the hundreds on some misleading websites, and they simply make experienced law enforcement and criminal lawyers laugh. 

    For example “Police had no good reason to be immediately suspicious of Knox simply because the murder occurred at her residence”.  And “The double-DNA knife is a priori to be disregarded as evidence, because no murderer would retain possession of such a murder weapon.”

    One of the most strident and widespread myths is that Amanda Knox’s statements to the Perugian investigators on 5 and 6 November 2007, placing her at the scene of Meredith’s murder, are to be viewed as the products of a genuinely confused mind imbued with a naïve trust of authority figures.

    The apparent certainty with which many of Amanda Knox’s most vocal supporters proclaim that Knox’s statements are actual “false confessions” as opposed to deliberate lies is not supported by even a cursory reading of the pertinent academic literature regarding false confessions.

    What actually are “false confessions”?

    Richard N. Kocsis in his book “Applied Criminal Psychology: A Guide to Forensic Behavioral Sciences” (2009), on pages 193-4 delineates three different kinds of false confessions:

    First, a voluntary false confession is one in which a person falsely confesses to a crime absent any pressure or coercion from police investigators….

    Coerced-compliant false confessions occur when a person falsely confesses to a crime for some immediate gain and in spite of the conscious knowledge that he or she is actually innocent of the crime….

    The final type, identified by Kassin and Wrightsman (1985), is referred to as a coerced-internalized false confession. This occurs when a person falsely confesses to a crime and truly begins to believe that he or she is responsible for the criminal act.

    The first problem facing Knox supporters wishing to pursue the false confession angle as a point speaking to her purported innocence is epistemological.

    Although much research has been done on this phenomenon in recent years, academics are still struggling to come to terms with a methodology to determine their incidence rate.

    The current state of knowledge does not support those making sweeping claims about the likelihood of Knox’s statements being representative of a genuine internalized false confession.

    As noted by Richard A. Leo in “False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Implications” (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009):

    Although other researchers have also documented and analyzed numerous false confessions in recent years, we do not know how frequently they occur. A scientifically meaningful incidence rate cannot be determined for several reasons.

    First, researchers cannot identify (and thus cannot randomly sample) the universe of false confessions, because no governmental or private organization keeps track of this information.

    Second, even if one could identify a set of possibly false confessions, it is not usually possible as a practical matter to obtain the primary case materials (e.g., police reports, pretrial and trial transcripts, and electronic recordings of the interrogations) necessary to evaluate the unreliability of these confessions.

    Finally, even in disputed confession cases in which researchers are able to obtain primary case materials, it may still be difficult to determine unequivocally the ground truth (i.e., what really happened) with sufficient certainty to prove the confession false.

    In most alleged false-confession cases, it is therefore impossible to remove completely any possible doubts about the confessor’s innocence.

    The next problem Knox supporters face is that, even allowing for an inability to establish a priori any likelihood of a given statement being a false confession, the kind of false confession which is usually attributed to Knox is in fact one of the LEAST likely of the three types (Voluntary, Compliant, and Persuaded, as Leo terms the three different categories) to be observed:

    Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions.

    Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, Knox and her statements do not in fact satisfy many of the criteria researchers tend to observe in false confessions, particularly of the Persuaded variety:

    “All other things being equal, those who are highly suggestible or compliant are more likely to confess falsely. Individuals who are highly suggestible tend to have poor memories, high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, and low assertiveness, personality factors that also make them more vulnerable to the pressures of interrogation and thus more likely to confess falsely…

    Highly suggestible or compliant individuals are not the only ones who are unusually vulnerable to the pressures of police interrogation. So are the developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired, juveniles, and the mentally ill….

    They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations… ordinary police interrogation is not strong enough to produce a permanent change in the suspect’s beliefs.

    Most significantly, there is one essential element of a true Persuaded False Confession which in Knox’s case is highly distinctive:

    To convince the suspect that it is plausible, and likely, that he committed the crime, the interrogators must supply him with a reason that satisfactorily explains how he could have done it without remembering it.

    This is the second step in the psychological process that leads to a persuaded false confession.

    Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory.

    He or she may suggest, for example, that the suspect experienced an alcohol- or drug-induced blackout, a “dry” blackout, a multiple personality disorder, a momentary lapse in consciousness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, or, perhaps most commonly, that the suspect simply repressed his memory of committing the crime because it was a traumatic experience for him.

    The suspect can only be persuaded to accept responsibility for the crime if he regards one of the interrogators’ explanations for his alleged amnesia as plausible.

    Knox did not in fact claim drug or alcohol use as the source of her amnesia - rather, she claimed to have accepted the interrogators’ attribution that this was due to being traumatized by the crime itself, and she offers no other explanation for her selective amnesia:

    This is from Knox’s statement to the court in pretrial on 18 October 2008 with Judge Micheli presiding.

    Then they started pushing on me the idea that I must have seen something, and forgotten about it. They said that I was traumatized.

    Of course, Knox’s initial statement went far beyond being that of being merely a witness to some aspect of Ms. Kercher’s murder, as the interrogators at first seemed to believe was the case.

    Rather, her statement placed her at scene of the murder during its actual commission while she did nothing to avert it, which naturally made her a suspect.

    In other words, in the absence of any of her other testimony which indicated that she was only a witness to the murder, her own self-admitted rationale for providing a false confession was that she was traumatized by the commission of the murder itself.

    Perugia judges will be familiar with all of the above and we can be sure that they brief the lay judges on the remote circumstances and incidences of false confessions.

    If I were a Knox defense attorney, I would find it to be a far more fruitful line of argumentation to argue that she was simply lying, rather than claiming the supremely unlikely provision of an actual internalized false confession.

    **********

    First posted by Fuji on 12 January 2011. Everything in this post applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.


    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Saul Kassin: An Example Of How The Knox Campaign Is Misleading American Experts And Audiences

    Posted by The Machine





    It has happened again and again.

    Seemingly good, well-qualified lawyers and experts in police science have repeatedly been made to surface to spout inanities and wrong “facts” put out courtesy of Curt Knox’s “public relations” campaign.

    It seems that Dr Saul Kassin is yet another of these naive dupes.


    Who is Dr Saul Kassin?

    The Social Psychology Network website states that he is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the John Jay Criminal Justice College in New York City. The website outlines his impressive academic credentials which include a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

    Curt Knox’s chief hatchet man Bruce Fischer, himself notoriously unqualified in every field relevant to the case who for a long time masqueraded pompously under a false name, claimed on his website that Saul Kassin gave help to Amanda Knox’s lawyers in Perugia.

    Also that his work was presented to the court during the 2011 Hellman appeal.

    Many may not know this but Sarah was instrumental in bringing Kassin in to analyze Amanda’s interrogation. His work was presented during the appeal..

    The family had asked that we not release Kassin’s work to the public until they received clearance from the attorneys. I know I often state that this case is over but the attorneys rightfully want to keep everything professional until the Italian Supreme Court confirms Hellmann.

    Last October, Saul Kassin did speak at length about Amanda Knox’s interrogation in an interview with John Curley on Radio Kiro FM.

    In this post we’ll examine ten of the false claims which have long been circulated by Curt Knox’s campaign, with Bruce Fischer’s site as the central clearing house, and which were regurgitated by Saul Kassin in that interview.


    False Claim 1: They brought her in for that final interrogation late at night.

    No they didn’t.

    Neither the police nor the prosecutors brought Amanda in for questioning on 5 November 2007. Amanda Knox herself testified in court that she wasn’t called to come to the police station on 5 November 2007.

    Carlo Pacelli: “For what reason did you go to the Questura on November 5? Were you called?”

    Amanda Knox: “No, I wasn’t called. I went with Raffaele because I didn’t want to be alone.”

    Amanda Knox went with Raffaele Sollecito because she didn’t want to be alone. Kassin’s false claim is the first red flag that Saul Kassin is very confused or has been seriously misled when it comes to this well-documented and well-handled case.


    False Claim 2: The so-called confession wasn’t until 6:00am.

    No it wasn’t.

    If Saul Kassin had actually read Amanda Knox’s first witness statement, he would have known that it was made at 1:45am. Knox had admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed some time before this.


    False Claim 3: She was interrogated from 10:00pm to 6.00am.

    No she wasn’t.

    According to the Daily Beast Amanda Knox’s questioning began at about 11:00pm.

    Since Knox was already at the police station [in the company of Raffaele Sollecito] the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m.

    After Amanda Knox had made her witness statement at 1:45am, she wasn’t questioned again that evening. That was it.

    However, Amanda Knox herself then wanted to make further declarations and Mr Mignini who was on duty on the night sat and watched while Knox wrote out her declarations.

    Mr Mignini explained what happened in his email letter to Linda Byron, another who was factually challenged.

    All I did was to apply the Italian law to the proceedings. I really cannot understand any problem.

    In the usual way, Knox was first heard by the police as a witness, but when some essential elements of her involvement with the murder surfaced, the police suspended the interview, according to Article 63 of the penal proceedings code.

    But Knox then decided to render spontaneous declarations, that I took up without any further questioning, which is entirely lawful.

    According to Article 374 of the penal proceedings code, suspects must be assisted by a lawyer only during a formal interrogation, and when being notified of alleged crimes and questioned by a prosecutor or judge, not when they intend to render unsolicited declarations.

    Since I didn’t do anything other than to apply the Italian law applicable to both matters, I am unable to understand the objections and reservations which you are talking about.

    In Amanda Knox’s written witness statement, she explicitly states that she’s making a spontaneous declaration:

    Amanda Knox: “I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick, the African boy who owns the pub called “Le Chic” located in Via Alessi where I work periodically.



    False Claim 4: They banged her on the back of the head.

    No they didn’t.

    All the numerous witnesses who were actually present when Amanda Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, testified under oath at trial in 2009 that she wasn’t hit. She has never identified anyone who hit her and on several occasions confirmed that she was treated well.

    Even one of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, confirmed that Amanda Knox had not been hit: “There were pressures from the police but we never said she was hit.”  He never ever lodged a complaint.


    False Claim 5: All the other British roommates left town.

    No they didn’t.

    The police also told Sophie Purton that they needed her to stay on in Perugia on precisely the same basis as Amanda Knox. In chapter 19 of Death in Perugia, John Follain states that Sophie Purton was questioned by Mignini and Napoleoni in the prosecutor’s office on 5 November 2007.

    Sophie had been counting on leaving Perugia to fly back home as soon as her parents arrived, but the police called to tell her they needed her to stay on; they would let her know when she could leave.



    False Claim 6 : Amanda Knox stayed back to help the police.

    No she didn’t.

    This claim is flatly contradicted by Amanda Knox herself. In the e-mail she wrote to her friends in Seattle on 4 November 2007 she categorically stated she was not allowed to leave Italy.

    i then bought some underwear because as it turns out i wont be able to leave italy for a while as well as enter my house

    Knox actually knew on 2 November 2007 that she couldn’t leave Italy. Amy Frost reported the following conversation (The Massei report, page 37),

    I remember having heard Amanda speaking on the phone, I think that she was talking to a member of her family, and I heard her say, No, they won’t let me go home, I can’t catch that flight.

    It’s not the first time that the myth that Knox chose to stay behind rather than leave Italy has been claimed in the media. And incidentally, lying repeatedly to the police isn’t normally considered to be helping them.


    False Claim 7: Amanda Knox had gone 8 hours without any food or drink.

    No she hadn’t.

    Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 1 March 2009

    Ms Napoleoni told the court that while she was at the police station Ms Knox had been ‘treated very well. She was given water, camomile tea and breakfast. She was given cakes from a vending machine and then taken to the canteen at the police station for something to eat.’

    Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 15 March 2009.

    Ms Donnino said that Ms Knox had been “comforted” by police, given food and drink, and had at no stage been hit or threatened.

    John Follain in his meticulous book Death in Perugia, page 134, also reports that Knox was given food and drink during her questioning:

    During the questioning, detectives repeatedly went to fetch her a snack, water, and hot drinks including camomile tea.



    False Claim 8: The translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox.

    No she wasn’t.

    Saul Kassin offers no evidence that the translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox and there is no evidence that this was the case. Nobody at the questura has claimed this. Amanda Knox’s own lawyers have not claimed this.

    Even Amanda Knox herself has never ever claimed that Anna Donnino was hostile towards her although she had every opportunity to do so when being questioned on the stand.


    False Claim 9: The translator was acting as an agent for the police.

    No she wasn’t.

    Saul Kassin offers no evidence to support this claim, which by the way in Italy is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits. Do ask Curt Knox.


    False Claim 10: The police lied to Amanda Knox.

    No they didn’t.

    The police didn’t mislead Amanda Knox. They told her quite truthfully that Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, and that he had just claimed in the next interrogation room that that she wasn’t at his apartment from around 9:00pm to about 1:00am.

    This also is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits


    Some Conclusions

    Saul Kassin clearly hasn’t been directed to any of the official court documents like the Massei report, available in accurate English on PMF and TJMK, or the relevant transcripts of the court testimony.

    Worse, he clearly hasn’t even studied Amanda Knox’s own witness statements before claiming to the media that they were coerced.

    What he seems to have done is to fall hook line and sinker for the fantasy version of Amanda Knox’s interrogation which has been propagated in the media by Amanda Knox’s family.

    He has then mindlessly regurgitated this false information in this interview. For somebody with Saul Kassin’s academic qualifications and educational background, it’s inexcusable that he gets so many facts wrong.

    He needs to use much more reputable sources or, as so many other dupes before him have done, simply shut up. Of course, it would be professional for him to admit his mistakes.

    He is welcome to do that right here.

    [Everything in this post applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]


    [Below: Dr Jeremy Travis the president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC]




    Wednesday, July 04, 2012

    The Hands Of Time Video With Screenplay By Amanda Knox - A Confessional Obsession?

    Posted by Fly By Night & Thundering





    Amanda Knox rarely, if ever, mentions her “˜close friend’, murder victim Meredith Kercher. Perhaps out of her self-proclaimed desire to “˜move on with her life’.

    So the recent Hands of Time (H.O.T.) music video The Mistral Blows which was posted on YouTube with a screenplay attributed to the Seattle native is nothing if not astonishing.


    Whilst there is some discussion as to whether Amanda Knox wrote the entire screenplay, or a section of it, or whether the screenplay was created through a merging of several versions, the screenplay is clearly attributed to her in the credits that appear on the video.

    Crediting Amanda Knox with the screenplay is repeatedly emphasized by H.O.T. themselves who posted multiple Twitter entries:


    And this screenplay does Amanda Knox and her claims of innocence in the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher no favours at all. 

    Although provisionally “˜acquitted’ at the trial of second instance, Amanda Knox still stands accused of a capital crime, aspects of which she seems compelled to continue to portray in her various writings. 

    The hapless band H.O.T. might be well-advised to disassociate themselves from this endeavour and drop the video like a hot potato.  The more-so as they have already burnt their fingers, tampering with the so-far elusive Brand Knox, finding themselves “˜forced to remove [clips of Knox dancing in Capanne] from the file, after a sudden, unexpected and “very strange” last-minute opposition from Amanda’s entourage.’

    They state with a hint of bitterness:


    The result?  A compromise.  The image of Knox dancing with carefree abandon in Capanne Prison (easily retrieved from other internet sites) remains, but is obliterated by a large “˜censored’ notice.


    The reasons to attempt to disappear this video or, at the very least, any identifiable links with Knox, are abundantly clear to anyone having followed this dreadful case over the last four and a half years.

    1) The video is riddled with allusions to the crime itself and features an easily-identifiable Amanda Knox as “˜heroine’ or “˜victim’ as she may now prefer to be seen and depending on how you look at it.

    2) Any pre-book-release publicity will potentially devalue the carefully branded and preserved Amanda Knox product.

    A cursory look at the video demonstrates the depraved audacity of the writer, a person who simultaneously insists she was found innocent of the crime of murder and of which she still stands accused.

    The video features a Knox look-alike ““ recognizable by her clothing - in a prison-cum-house of horrors.


     

    It opens with the heroine sitting down, colouring pictures in a prison cell.  Amanda Knox was reported to spend time colouring pictures of her hands whilst in prison.


     

    From there she leaves the cell and embarks on a journey through a range of horrifying experiences, until she finally flees the house but not the prison to which she is eternally condemned.

    As she runs through the house of horrors she encounters:

    1) Ghost-like figures lurching out at her hinting at the night of Halloween before the murder and the ghouls and demons of the house of horrors both in which the crime took place and in which she is forever imprisoned.

    2) A tall, faceless black-haired figure dressed in black carrying an umbrella resembling Meredith Kercher dressed as a vampire on her last night alive, the red belt reminiscent of the fake costume blood and the actual blood spilled the night of the murder.


     

    3) A faceless butcher figure dressed in a blood-stained apron holding a knife, who hands her a maggot-infested apple, reminiscent of the photograph of co-accused Raffaele Sollecito as posted on his Facebook page.  The apple is suggestive of the poisoned apple offered by the witch to the innocent Snow White ““


     

    4) Or a subliminal suggestion of Raffaele’s guilt in handing her the infested and poisonous apple “¦.. Remember: she claimed Raffaele may have pressed the murder knife with Meredith’s DNA into her hand whilst she was sleeping.


     

    5) A figure tied to a chair covered in a red cloth hinting of the pools of blood and of Meredith unable to move to defend herself.  As she reaches out to lift the red cloth the bound figure screams, sending her running out down staircases and steps and out of the house.

    In the same way, witness Nora Cappezzali heard Meredith’s desperate, blood-curdling scream, followed shortly afterwards by running footsteps out of the house of horrors and onto the steel staircase near her home.


     

    The video ends with the Knox look-alike remaining in prison.  Both real and imagined.


     

    H.O.T. suggest that the video and screenplay are a means of documenting the tale of the events in Perugia and, of course, Amanda Knox hopes to chronicle the nightmare in which she “˜innocently’ found herself.  In so doing, she inadvertently describes the crime and the images, sounds and memories that will seemingly not leave her alone.

    Not only are there many references to the crime, but there seems as well a clear jealous obsession with Meredith, given the numerous references and comparisons to Kristian Leontiou’s video Some Say in which Meredith hauntingly starred.

    The Knox look-alike emulates Meredith from the Some Say video both in her dress and appearance as well as in her actions.  She descends an old staircase, appears in doorways and through arches reminding us of the shots of Meredith and the church of the “˜Some Say’ video. 


       


     


     

    Emulation is a form of envy.  Guilty or innocent, it seems Knox cannot exorcise her memories of the crime, and remains compelled to depict it in screenplays and short stories.  Knox is seemingly still jealous of Meredith which had proved her original undoing.  Here, in a bizarre reversal of reality, Meredith becomes the foreboding, frightening presence, whereas Knox is the shocked and terrified victim. 

    At a time when a tough Galati appeal to the Supreme Court and a $4 million book deal are on the table, the memory of Meredith and the crime seem to haunt and obsess Amanda Knox who may reveal a deep-seated need to confess.  But while still accused, Amanda Knox cannot afford to engage in such obsessive, confessional activity.

    Could this prove to be her final undoing?


    Friday, June 15, 2012

    In Trial For Killing Of 77 Norway Very Complexed About Whether Admitted Perpetrator Is Barking Mad

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Above and below: this is the courthouse in central Oslo where Anders Breivik is currently been tried]


    In Norway a judge and jury and those tens of thousands personally affected by the bombing and shooting deaths of 77 people, mostly in their teens, are trying to calibrate the personality of Anders Breivik.

    The self-confessed killer has under Norwegian court procedures been allowed to say a lot about himself during his trial. And to mount a defense which in effect implies that he is the one who is normal, and that everybody else in Norway is either stupid or blind.

    There is a sort of Catch 22 situation here.

    If the judge and jury and those affected accept that Breivik really IS normal and merely a common or garden Nazi-type fanatic, he can only be sentenced to 21 years x 77 with the sentences to run concurrently. He could be out of prison at only 54.

    Even Breivik has said that is pathetic and he would be joyously executed rather than be diminished like that.

    But if they accept that he is insane, then he can be sent away to a prison for the criminally insane, and unless he in effect grows a totally new brain, he could be kept locked up for the rest of his natural life.

    So if prosecution psychologists can prove him to be what the British like to call barking mad, he could get in effect the maximum time behind bars: life. But blame for a deed which most see as pure evil would in effect be dilute.

    Breivik of course is trying very hard to prove that he is NOT mad. But he is not being helped by the testimony of either his mother or his father (who separated in great anger in London a few months after he was born) who have each thoroughly rejected his defense. His mother says he simply lies all the time, and his father says he should have committed suicide.

    Nor is he helped by the 1517 page manifesto that he wrote (in English) and emailed to everybody in his address book a few hours before he set out on his attack. 

    Dr Avner Falk lives in Jerusalem, Israel, and he is perhaps the most published in the world in the fields of long-distance psychohistory and political psychology. 

    On his personal website Dr Falk has just posted this long and deeply researched essay exploring Breivik’s psychology.

    Although of course the analysis was done 1/4 of the way around the world, it is difficult to read this essay without concluding that these really are the main facts about what is in Breivik’s head - and that he really is barking mad.

    More scientifically, his psychology seems situated somewhere between borderline personality disorder and paranoid schizophrenic.

    Dr Falk shows how Breivik may have got that way, and what was driving him to kill (don’t laugh, read the essay first: he became psychotically angered over repeated shows of lack of love by his father, who when Breivek was 16 cut him right off, and too much love by his mom, which Breivek thinks sissyfied him).

    And why it would seem to be the safest thing to do to put Breivek away for life.   

    So. Is any of this relevant to Meredith’s case? More below.






    In Meredith’s case there also seems to be a sort of Catch 22.

    First off, it seems that nobody holding any point of view about Knox or Sollecito can see the makings of a credible insanity defense.

    One reason many dont want to go down that road is that Italian prosecutions are always facing long odds, and they fear that it could too easily at the end of the legal process leave the accused-perps off the hook and free to go, and to publish whatever they will.

    Some fear the same could happen with a defense based on too much alcohol or psychosis-causing drugs.

    But at the same time, many also believe that AK and RS were not the social and psychological paragons that many in the obfuscatory PR campaign have tried for a long time to make out.

    Even those eager henchmen in Curt Knox’s campaign have had to turn cartwheels to explain why Knox did cartwheels and so quickly put so many people in Perugia right off her, or to explain why Sollecito was so friendless and so obsessed with violent comics and porn and always carried a concealed knife.

    And yet despite that, a sort of stealth psychological defense DOES seem to have been mounted, and with Judge Hellman’s interim appeal verdict it does seem to have helped them to be provisionally sprung.

    In a process a little reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day where the “villain” has to keep repeating the same day over and over until he gets certain things just right, the public audience and the judges and juries were presented with several different Amanda Knoxes and Raffaele Sollecitos and the 2011 versions seem to have worked.

    • In 2008 the images that dominated were of two cold-hearted or hot-headed jealous abusers who had gone way too far in the remorseless 15-minute struggle with Meredith. Magistrate Matteini and Judge Micheli both firmly took this view, which was confirmed by psychological tests on RS and AK in Capanne Prison that concluded that Perugia would be safer if they stayed behind bars pending their trial.
    • The images that dominated the trial in 2009 was of a mild and slightly daffy Sollecito and a mostly milder and decidedly daffier Amanda Knox, strongly supported by their large and loving families spread out all around the court. That seems to some extent to have worked on Judge Massei, and RS and AK were rewarded with some years off their sentence for a supposed kindness to Meredith’s dead body. In the sentencing report, Rudy Guede became the somewhat villainous initiating attacker of Meredith on the night.
    • The image that dominated the appeal in 2011 was of two serious studious very normal bambinos falsely being tied together with an extremely villainous Rudy Guede, now a notorious drifter and drug dealer who carried knives. The accused in effect dressed in shades of grey, and there were never any smiles or jokes in court. Italian judges and juries and watching audiences have a reputation for leniency toward bambinos, and Judge Hellman’s report suggests that attitude did intrude.

    The Italian Supreme Court doesnt usually get to set eyes on those who are appealing or (as in this case) appealed against. More often than not they calibrate a legal and psychological position about as hard-line as the investigating magistrate (Matteini) or the judges at the first level (Micheli and Massei).

    Now Knox and Sollecito might not return to the court for any re-run of the appeal trial. But if they don’t, the original images of themselves, those advanced in 2008 which a clear majority of Italians still hold to, could be the version of their personalities that a second appeal judge and jury get to “see”.

    Tough call for Knox and Sollecito and their tribes. Their Catch 22.

    But either way, assuming a level playing field, a fair outcome seems reasonably assured.

    *****

    Below: a crowd of 40,000 gathered in central Oslo to sing a song “Children of the Rainbow”.

    That is the song by Norwegian folk singer Lillebjoern Nilsen (based on Pete Seeger’s “Rainbow Race”) which Breivek claimed in his manifesto shows the decadence of Norwegian youth. 


    Friday, June 08, 2012

    A Case In Which The Accused’s Team Used A Psychological Condition Maybe Similar To AK’s Or RS’s

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes





    The wealthy Durst family develops tall buildings in Manhattan including the Bank of America tower in midtown and the new One Wold Trade Center in downtown which will soon reach 1776 feet high.

    Robert Durst is one of the heirs of the founder of the Durst Organization who died in 1995 and his brother Douglas now runs the company with a cousin. Here is a brief summary of Robert’s early life from Wikipedia.

    Durst grew up, one of four children, in Scarsdale, New York and attended Scarsdale High School. He completed his undergraduate degree at Lehigh University and attended graduate school at UCLA.

    Durst reportedly witnessed his mother’s apparent suicide at age seven; she either fell or jumped off the roof of the Scarsdale family mansion.

    According to Reader’s Digest, Durst underwent extensive counseling because of his mother’s death, and doctors found that his “deep anger” could lead to psychological problems, including schizophrenia.

    Durst went on to become a real estate developer in his father’s business; however, it was his brother Douglas who was later appointed to run the family business. The appointment in the 1990s caused a rift between Robert and his family, and he became estranged. His earlier schizophrenia diagnosis was incorrect.

    In 1982 a seeming dark side to Robert Durst began to appear. Also from Wikipedia:

    In 1973, Durst married Kathleen McCormack, who disappeared in 1982. Her case remained unsolved for eighteen years when New York State Police reopened the criminal investigation.

    On December 24, 2000, Durst’s long-time friend, Susan Berman, who was believed to have knowledge of McCormack’s disappearance, was found murdered execution-style in her Benedict Canyon California house. Durst was questioned in both cases but not charged.

    According to prosecutors, he moved to Texas in 2000 and began cross-dressing to divert attention from the disappearance of McCormack.

    Both the Kathleen Durst and Susan Berman cases remain open, and New York and Los Angeles police still work on them.

    From the Galveston Texas Daily News here is a timeline for the movements of Robert Durst for late 2001 and early 2002.

    Sept. 30 “” A 13-year-old boy spots a man’s torso floating near the shoreline of 81st Street and Channelview Drive. Nearby, police find garbage bags containing human limbs, along with a number of items investigators later trace to an apartment house in the 2200 block of Avenue K.

    Oct. 5 “” Officials identify the body parts as the remains of Morris Black, a 71-year-old South Carolina native who lived at the apartment house.

    Oct. 9 “” Police arrest Robert Durst, 58, who lived in an apartment across the hall from Black. Durst is charged with murder and possession of marijuana, but leaves jail that night after posting $300,000 bond.

    Oct. 16 “” Durst becomes a fugitive when he fails to appear at a court hearing in his case. A grand jury indicts him on charges of murder and jumping bail.

    Oct. 17 “” A man in Mobile, Ala., rents a red Chevrolet Corsica, using the name Morris Black.

    Nov. 30 “” Police in Pennsylvania arrest Durst and charge him with the shoplifting theft of a small bandage, a sandwich and a newspaper.

    Dec. 5 “” Galveston detectives leave for Philadelphia, armed with a search warrant for the red Chevrolet Corsica police seized from the parking lot of the Pennsylvania grocery store where Durst was arrested.

    Dec. 7 “” A search of the car reveals numerous pieces of identification in the name of Morris Black, an undisclosed amount of marijuana, two handguns and about 80 bullets.

    Dec. 17 “” State District Court Judge Susan Criss issues a gag order in the murder case, barring officials, attorneys and potential witnesses from talking about the case.

    Jan. 25 “” Durst waives his right to an extradition hearing, agreeing to return to Galveston to face charges.

    Jan. 27 “” Durst arrives at the county jail.

    New York Magazine adds this bit of color.

    At the time of Black’s death, Durst was living as a deaf-mute woman known as “Dorothy Ciner” who communicated with the landlord via handwritten notes. During the trial he startled jurors by growling loudly like a dog and snorting like a pig.

    Later, in prison, he became known for doing nude calisthenics in his cell.

    In 2003 he was found not guilty of the murder of Morris Black. From Wikipedia:

    During cross-examination, Durst admitted to using a paring knife, two saws and an axe to dismember Black’s body before dumping his remains in Galveston Bay. The jury acquitted him of murder.

    Specifically he was found not guilty because the jury bought into the idea of a mental condition. CBS News describes how the jury saw it.

    Is Durst a cold-blooded killer with a string of victims over more than 20 years? Or is he somehow a victim himself?

    Last spring, Correspondent Erin Moriarty talked to Durst’s closest friends and the defense psychiatrist who examined him. The Durst fortune, valued at more than $2 billion, is in the same league as Donald Trump’s fortune. And it’s certainly more than enough for the best legal defense that money can buy.

    His high-powered defense team - Dick DeGuerin, Mike Ramsey and Chip Lewis ““ say that early on, they had difficulty communicating with Durst. So they hired Dr. Altschuler, a well-known Houston psychiatrist, to find out why.

    Altschuler says he met with Durst almost on a weekly basis, and spent more than 70 hours examining him. His conclusion: Durst suffers from a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. It’s a fairly uncommon disorder that leaves a victim’s intellect intact, but limits his ability to interact socially.

    “Emotion is very difficult to him. He doesn’t know what happy is,” says Altschuler. “He can feel it, but almost as if he were feeling it as we would feel fingers through a glove. It’s very dulled, at best, to him “¦ His whole life’s history is so compatible with a diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder.”

    The jury apparently bought it. They were convinced that Durst, in a panic, dismembered Black’s body.

    Many people with Asperger’s self-diagnose themselves and learn to adjust and most have good lives and careers, many in computers and math-based professions. (Probably a coincidence but Knox’s parents are both in math-based professions, as is Chris Mella.) But some apparently do have flash rages when they yet again encounter in themselves an inability to connect or to win people over. So there are some murders that have been ascribed to this condition.

    Both Knox and Sollecito may have had childhood trauma which their families, naturally, seem not too keen to have exposed. Or one or other might have been born wrong-headed.

    Note how both of them in Perugia had isolated themselves from just about everybody else when Meredith died - Sollecito with his dark sullenless and Knox with her sharp elbows and brash, grubby, offputting ways.

    Note Sollecito’s sordid history of beasty porn, and his knife fetishes, and violent manga comics and films, and lack of close friends, and endless drugs, and slow school progress, and attempted close supervision by a struggling father, and a loyal sister who he has left decimated and jobless without even a shrug.

    Note how Amanda Knox seems to have tried all her life to be liked and has never understood why she is so often successful for just a short time. Note the reported riotous behavior off campus in Seattle, the shortage of school and college friends who speak up for her, the strange tale of her walking off the intern job in the German parliament, and the searching for love in all the wrong places

    Note her willingness to let Patrick Lumumba rot in jail for weeks. Note how she bought hot underwear while giggling, and how she chose to miss the remembrance service for Meredith in favor of a pizza. Note how the prison tests in 2008 seem to have found both her and Sollecito to be continuing dangers. Note her flippant narcissistic demeanor at the trial, and her various bizarre statements.  Note her reported self-imposed isolation and odd deportment and hygiene while in prison.

    Note how her sense of right and wrong seems to be completely at odds, comparatively speaking, with the rest of the human race. Note how she seems unable to exhibit any emotion, or take any responsibility for her actions, even when challenged directly and her veracity called into question.

    Finally, note her seeming never-ending lack of empathy for Meredith and her family, observed and remarked on both when Meredith was found and at trial and in the months and years afterwards. Meredith came from a hard working loving family who encouraged her to work hard and gave her every break and certainly never brutalised her. She was talented and made friends easily because of her wonderful sense of humor and her positive view of life.

    Meredith was the complete antithesis of Knox. Well adjusted, liked, highly intelligent, very diligent and disciplined,  and driven to succeed. A remarkable success story in process, whicht Knox seemingly could not even begin to relate to.

    So are Robert Durst and either of the still-presumed-guilty perps in any way similar? Were either of them born wrong in the head or made that way by childhood trauma?

    Or was a mental defense simply an easy way for the entitled but awkward Robert Durst to have got off the hook for a cruel murder, and one that the Hellman jury (and those in the FOA) subliminally bought into for Knox and Sollecito as well?

    I leave it to you to decide.


    [Below: Robert Durst’s missing wife, and a murdered Los Angeles friend]


    [Below: Some new Durst organization buildings in New York including at center 1 WTC]


    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    A Smug Killer Who Thought Perhaps He’d Escaped Justice Was Brought Down In The UK Today

    Posted by The Machine



    [Above and below: Arlene Fraser and husband Nat who today was again convicted for her murder]


    Today at the High Court in Edinburgh Nat Fraser has been been found guilty for the second time of murdering his estranged wife Arlene in 1998.

    He was originally was found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison. However, after a long appeal process, his conviction was quashed last year by five judges at the Supreme Court in London.

    They sent the case back to the Scottish Court of Criminal Appeal, where the jurors have just taken approximately five hours to reach a majority verdict after a six-week trial.

    It’s not the first time this year that someone in Britain has been finally found guilty of murder after initially escaping justice.

    In January, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence in 1993 by a jury at the Old Bailey. Dobson had been acquitted of Stephen Lawrence’s murder in 1996 but the Court of Appeal quashed the acquittal. (The case against David Norris collapsed before it reached court.)

    David Harvie the director of serious casework at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal, said:

    The Crown is absolutely determined to ensuring that criminals are brought to justice for crimes they have committed, no matter the passage of time nor the legal complexities involved.

    I have no doubts that Chief Prosecutor of Perugia, Giovanni Galati and the Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Giancarlo Costagliola are just as determined to ensuring that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are brought to justice.

    The cases above are a reality check for anyone who assumes that Knox and Sollecito are innocent simply because they were provisionally acquitted. It’s a fact of life that killers are sometimes acquitted. It’s also a fact of life that for them things often come full circle.

    And if anyone thinks that cases of people being convicted of murder after escaping justice don’t happen in Italy, they are seriously mistaken. Barbie Nadeau outlined the case of Angela Birikova, who was convicted of murder after being acquitted at her first trial, in a November 2010 article for the Daily Beast:

    In the meantime, the Seattle native’s lawyers say she is anxious to get back to court. She has reportedly been getting to know a new cellmate, Moldovian native Angela Biriukova, herself a celebrity criminal in Italy. Dubbed the Black Widow by the Italian press, Biriukova was tried for murdering her wealthy older husband by stabbing him 16 times.

    Her DNA was found on a cigarette butt near the corpse, but nowhere else at the murder scene. Unlike Knox, however, Biriukova was acquitted during her first trial. Knox might take comfort in what happened next: The prosecutors appealed and Biriukova’s acquittal was reversed””after being set free, she was convicted during the appellate process. Should Knox’s appellate trial yield the same dramatic reversal, it will be a stunning conclusion to a trial whose narrative has often sharply turned on twists of fate.

    It should noted that there is considerably more undisputed evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito than there is against the various convicted killers that are mentioned above.

    Apologist journalists like Nick Pisa and Nick Squires, and especially Michael Day, would do well to remember this, before glibly dismissing the case against the still-accused pair.


    [Below: convicted killer Angela Biriukova who Knox reportedly made a friend of in Capanne]


    Friday, April 13, 2012

    In Close Parallel To Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony Faces Court Action For Falsely Fingering Another

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Both recent images. Above the plaintiff Zenaida Gonzalez; below the defendant Casey Anthony


    Amanda Knox provisionally got off on the main count (the murder of Meredith) but anyway was sentenced to three years (which she served) for fingering Patrick Lumumba.

    Casey Anthony definitively got off on the main count (murdering her infant daughter Caylee, see previous posts) but anyway was sentenced to some time in prison for time-wasting and expensive misleading of the police officers.

    She received no sentence for falsely fingering a nanny, Zenaida Gonzalez, for making off with Caylee, and as she had never even met Zenaida Gonzalez it is unclear how she came up with Zenaida’s name.

    The Orlando Sentinel reports an issue is whether or not Anthony identified Gonzalez specifically enough when she talked to her parents when they visited her in jail.

    Anthony’s attorney said details offered by Anthony did not match Fernandez-Gonzalez and clearly showed Anthony wasn’t talking about her. Gonzalez’s attorneys say she still was damaged as the only person with that name interviewed by investigators.

    Fernandez-Gonzalez had never met Anthony. Investigators believe Anthony may have seen the name on an apartment rental application.

    During Anthony’s trial last year, her attorney Jose Baez said Anthony made up the story about the babysitter and that Caylee truly drowned in the family pool. Anthony was acquitted of murder and other serious charges.

    Nevertheless, yesterday a judge in Orlando, Florida, ruled that Zenaida Gonzalez may sue Casey Anthony for defamation of character, and the case is scheduled for January 2013.

    In Amanda Knox’s case she absolutely did know Patrick Lumumba, her kindly employer who gave her a job without a work permit, and she and her mother let him languish in prison for several weeks.

    Pretty hard to look worse than Casey Anthony, but in her cruel act of framing Patrick, Amanda Knox certainly does.



    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    My Letter To Claire Wachtell of HarperCollins Protesting How Distasteful Knox’s Book Promises To Be

    Posted by mimi





    Ms Claire Wachtell
    HarperCollins Publishers
    10 East 53rd Street
    New York NY 10022

    Dear Ms. Wachtel,

    I am guessing, and in fact hoping, that you are receiving many letters similar in content to the one I am about to write. I hope, also, that you have been inspired by these letters to look further into the matter of Meredith Kercher’s cruel and untimely death, and at the bizarre and disrespectful behaviour of her flatmate and purported friend, in the hours subsequent to Ms. Kercher’s murder.

    None of us witnessed the attack - had we been there, we would surely have intervened on her behalf - and, therefore, we cannot absolutely finger Ms. Knox and/or her “boyfriend” as the attackers, in spite of a curious amount of suggestive and incriminating circumstantial and physical evidence.

    We can, however, express our considerable distaste at the idea of Ms. Knox benefitting financially from exploiting the sordid tale of a misadventure that resulted purely from her own irresponsible and reckless behaviour. Please consider:

    • She arrived in Europe and proceeded to revel in her newfound sexual identity, indiscriminately associating with men unfamiliar to her flatmates. She behaved without consideration for her own safety, let alone theirs. She laughed off their concern as prudishness.
    • With her “boyfriend” (the term could only be taken in the loosest sense, as she had met him barely a week before the murder), she proceeded to experiment with narcotics, to the extent that she apparently believed that to tell the police investigating a vicious murder which took place in the bedroom adjacent to her own, that she was “too stoned too remember” her whereabouts or actions, was a wise course to take.
    • While Meredith’s tortured body lay upon a cold slab in the coroner’s, Ms. Knox saw it as fitting conduct to galavant about a lingerie shop with her “boyfriend”, holding up g-strings and giggling about wild sex. She absented herself from a candlelight memorial held for Meredith, attended, respectfully, by close friends as well as people who certainly had less of a personal connection to the slain woman than did her own flatmate. She concocted ridiculous and contradictory accounts, both for the increasingly frustrated police and for friends, family and acquaintances back home (in a 4 page email, which I highly recommend you read), which not only illustrated her callous disregard for Meredith and of the seriousness of her own situation, but pointed to clues as to her involvement.
    • She had no one but herself to blame for her repeated questioning and subsequent arrest. Had she behaved like any normal person (and one need only look to the plentiful examples of Meredith’s other friends and neighbours in Perugia for inspiration: Filomena Romanelli, Laura Mezzetti, Giacomo Silenzi, Robyn Butterworth, Sophie Purton, Amy Frost, Samantha Roddenhurst, all of whom were aghast at Knox’s coldness) she had ample opportunity to say,“Please, I am upset, I’m in shock; someone was stabbed and left to die in the room right next to mine! I don’t know who it was, but, dear god, it was not me!” Instead, she made up stories about mops and doors that were normally locked or unlocked, about being terrified of her employer whom she had described only days earlier as being a kind and good person. She sat in the police station with her lover of the week, and in whispers tried to incriminate other acquaintances - anyone they could throw to the wolves to save their own hides.
    • The DNA evidence may not have been abundant, but it was ample and most certainly was not absent. Their lies were indeed abundant, contradicting not only one another’s alibi accounts but their own. The circumstantial evidence against them is most disturbing.
    • Despicable only in second place to the behaviour of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito was the conduct of their immediate families, subsequent to their understandable arrest.

    I live in West Seattle and have witnessed firsthand the distasteful circus that was the Gogerty-Marriott PR circus designed to recreate Amanda Knox as the Ivory Snow Girl, while grinding Meredith Kercher, who deserved nothing she suffered on 1 November 2007, into utter obscurity.

    The Sollecitos went even lower than paying a set of spin doctors, when they released forensic video footage of the crime scene, including unmistakable images of the victim’s nude and battered body, to the Bari television network, Telenorba, which proceeded to air the footage several times. Imagine how you would feel, as the parent, sibling, or friend of a young stabbed, strangled and sexually violated individual, to learn that this is her only value to the world after her death. Shock entertainment to a television viewing audience?

    So, having read this, I ask you, honestly, what is the value to the world of a ghostwritten (as she lacks the ability to compose a coherent sentence, unaided) memoir by Amanda Knox?

    • She can’t tell us what we want to know about Meredith’s final hours (unless she wishes to revert to the alibi version in which she WAS at the cottage, blocking out the screams).
    • She wouldn’t have the nerve, four years on, to suddenly gush on again over how horrible it must have been for Meredith, how terrifying and agonising to be mutilated in such a manner, and left to die without hope of attracting attention or alerting aid from outside her bedroom walls.
    • She wouldn’t have the gall to offer her condolences to the Kerchers within the same covers of a volume whose main thrust is to whine to the world about how miserable it was to spend 4 years in prison because her brain was so addled by narcotics she was unable, throughout her police and courtroom questioning, to come up with a scenario that made one iota of sense.

    I don’t know your opinion on her conviction, which, until the Supreme Court has rendered a decision, still stands, but I sincerely hope that you are not viewing this book project as an enjoyable opportunity to work with an ebullient and bright Amanda Knox, or, worse, to put the “real truth” before the public.

    In either case, I fear you will be gravely disappointed and sorrowfully mistaken.

    Yours, Mimi (full name in the original)

    [Below: the seemingly hornswoggled Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtell of the HarperCollins house]


    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Excellent Sunday Times Report On The Many Killer Questions The Second Appeal Next Year Might Answer

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Rome: St Peter’s and Vatican in foreground; Supreme Court large white building in right background by River Tiber]


    It really ain’t over until it’s over, and knowing the hyper-cautious Italian justice system, maybe not even then.

    Now the drama moves to Rome.

    Before any verdict and sentence in the case can become final, under Italian law and the constitution the verdict and sentence must be endorsed by the Supreme Court of Cassation.

    If either the prosecution or defenses demand that issues be looked at by Cassation (as we know, the prosecution will) Cassation will do so, and it may punt the case back down to the first appeal court to re-examine questions or even run a complete re-trial at first appeal level.

    At Cassation level the prosecution is likely to have at least five advantages.

      1) A confusing Hellman sentence report seems likely which won’t be able to dispose of the Massei and Micheli reports because the Hellman court did not re-examine all issues

      2) Cassation’s ruling on the final appeal of Rudy Guede which points to three perps, and Cassation’s general tendency to side with trial courts against first-appeal courts.

      3) The likelihood that only the prosecution will file issues for consideration by Cassation and not the defenses and so the prosecution will dominate all proceedings.

      4) Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and entourages seem unlikely to be there in person for the Cassation hearings or a retrial, and emotive factors would be less in play.

      5) The Italian media and Italian public opinion and increasingly UK and US opinion seem to be taking the position that the Hellman appeal decision was unsatisfactory.

    Two days ago, the Sunday Times ran this fine analysis below by their reporter on the case, John Follain, of the open issues that will be facing Cassation and possibly again facing the lower appeal court. 

    With a dozen books out John Follain has by far the largest and most impressive book publishing record of any reporter on the case.

    Publishers Hodder and Stoughton have announced that his book Death in Perugia: The Definitive Account of the Meredith Kercher Case will be released first in the UK later this month - on 25 October.

    KILLER QUESTIONS; The acquittal last week of Amanda Knox only deepens the confusion surrounding the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher. John Follain, who has investigated the case for four years, unpicks the evidence How could one man pin Meredith down and inflict those injuries?

    By John Follain in Perugia.

    They may have been coached to hide their true feelings, but the expressions of the judges and jurors were an open book. Surprise and shock registered on the faces of the appeal tribunal in Perugia as they watched a video taken by the forensic police who searched the whitewashed cottage where Meredith Kercher was murdered.

    That summer’s day in the medieval, vaulted Hall of Frescoes was the pivotal scene of the 10-month appeal trial of Amanda Knox, 24, and Raffaele Sollecito, 26 “” the moment that freedom suddenly became possible, if not probable, for the former lovers.

    The rotund, bespectacled Stefano Conti, one of two specialists in forensic medicine appointed by the court to review two crucial traces of DNA evidence, gave a sardonic running commentary on the behaviour of the Roman scientific squad searching for clues in the cottage. They failed to use clean protective gloves to handle each item of evidence or biological sample, Conti pointed out. They passed Meredith’s bra clasp to one another before placing it back on the floor where they had found it. The officer who picked up her bra wore no gloves at all.

    As the senior appeal judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, recalled last week after acquitting Knox and Sollecito of sexually abusing and murdering Meredith, the DNA review was “the most difficult moment” of the trial.

    “The prosecutors understood that their case was at risk, and it was at that moment that the trial became a battle with no holds barred,” he said.

    The courtroom fight over this international cause célèbre ended with a sobbing Knox being rushed out by guards and flown home to a heroine’s welcome in Seattle.

    But, far from resolving the mystery of how and why Meredith died, the acquittal has fuelled the unanswered questions over her fate. Are we “back to square one”, as Meredith’s brother Lyle said after the verdict? What are the mysteries still to be resolved? And will we ever know what truly happened? MEREDITH, a 21-year-old language student from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found lying virtually naked, her throat cut, in her bedroom in the house she shared with Knox and two other young women on the afternoon of November 2, 2007. “Case closed,” an overoptimistic police chief proclaimed just four days later.

    The investigators thought Knox had handed them the keys to the mystery. Under questioning she placed herself at the crime scene on the night before the body was found. She had been in the kitchen, with her hands over her ears, she said, while Patrick Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner for whom she worked as a waitress, killed Meredith.

    Police promptly arrested Lumumba, Knox and her boyfriend. But Knox later went back on her testimony, insisting she had been with Sollecito at his flat all night.

    Investigators were forced to release Lumumba after witnesses testified he had been working at his bar on the night of the murder. Knox and Sollecito stayed behind bars.

    Forensic evidence then prompted the arrest of another African immigrant, Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast drifter. Part of his palm print was on a cushion under Meredith’s body, his DNA was in her body where he had apparently groped her sexually, and his DNA was mixed with hers in drops of blood inside her shoulder bag.

    The prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, accused Guede, Knox and Sollecito of killing Meredith when she resisted their attempts to force her into a sex game.

    Certainly, there appeared to be compelling evidence that Knox was lying. She had tried to frame Lumumba. The defence now claimed that an intruder had broken into the cottage and attacked Meredith; but the break-in had clearly been staged. Amateurishly, a room had been ransacked before the window into it was smashed “” the glass lay over the strewn clothes instead of under them. Was this to cover Knox’s tracks? There were mixed traces of Knox’s and Meredith’s blood in the bathroom and another room. Bloody footprints had been left by Knox and Sollecito in the bathroom and in the corridor. Knox had behaved bizarrely at the police station after the murder, kissing and caressing Sollecito and doing yoga exercises. Sollecito had said he spent much of the murder night on his computer, but this was disproved by experts.

    Still, this was all circumstantial evidence rather than proof. The Rome forensic police came to the rescue of the prosecution team. They reported that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of a kitchen knife found at Sollecito’s flat “” and Knox’s was on the handle. This was believed to be one of the murder weapons.

    Forensic pathologists said Meredith’s wounds had been caused by two knives, pointing to more than one killer. The team from Rome also reported that Sollecito’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp. (Only much later would it emerge that the police had retrieved this from the bedroom floor a full 46 days after first spotting it.) The case rapidly became a sensation. The prime suspect was an intelligent and alluringly pretty American, only 20 at the time, who, reporters joyously discovered, had been nicknamed “Foxy Knoxy” back home in Seattle. That this was for her skills on the soccer pitch was lost in the rush to find out more.

    Dozens of witnesses and expert consultants passed through Perugia’s Hall of Frescoes during the first trial, which lasted for much of 2009.

    Knox was portrayed by the lawyer for the bar owner, Lumumba, as an unscrupulous and manipulative she-devil, and by her defence team as “a wholesome girl” wrongly accused.

    The prosecution case was that Kercher, a hard-working young woman from a modest background, had become exasperated by Knox’s slovenly and promiscuous behaviour as a housemate.

    She had remarked to her father that “Amanda arrived only a week ago and she already has a boyfriend”. She told friends that Knox left a vibrator and condoms in the bathroom and brought “strange men” to the cottage. Investigators leaked Knox’s diary, in which she had listed seven sexual partners, three of whom she had slept with after her arrival in Italy, including a man she had met on the train on her way to Perugia. On Facebook she had put down as her interests: “Men.” Unable to prove exactly what had happened on the night of the murder, Mignini offered a plausible scenario based on Meredith’s 43 knife wounds and bruises.

    He suggested that an argument between Meredith and Knox escalated when Guede and Sollecito joined the American “under the influence of drugs and maybe of alcohol” in trying to force Kercher into a heavy sex game that ended in murder. The sensational 11-month trial ended in guilty verdicts and jail sentences of 26 years for Knox and 25 years for Sollecito.

    Some months later, in August 2010, I met Knox briefly in Capanne women’s prison, which is a short drive from Perugia. She had cut her hair and looked younger and more frail than during her trial. She wore a red Beatles sweatshirt, black leggings and silver nail varnish.

    When I arrived, she was pushing a trolley down a corridor.

    A guard explained that her job was to collect orders from other prisoners for small goods they could buy: newspapers, cigarettes, coffee, magazines and “” at that time of year “” strawberries. We were allowed to talk for only a few moments, but a guard told me: “She’s pretty well. Amanda’s confident that the future will bring freedom for her. She doesn’t break down in tears. It’s nothing like the night of tears after the verdict, when we had to comfort her.”

    I was told she had been reading “” in Italian “” the 427-page summary by the two judges at her trial, who had dissected the inconsistencies in her evidence.

    This summary included the judges’ own reconstruction of what might have happened on the night of the murder, based on the evidence that had been put before them.

    They suggested that Knox, Sollecito and Guede had arrived at the cottage at about 11pm. Knox and her boyfriend had gone to her bedroom to have sex, and, excited by a situation “heavy with sexual stimulus”, Guede had walked into Kercher’s room wanting to have sex with her.

    Kercher rejected him “” she was tired, and had a new boyfriend anyway “” but Knox and Sollecito intervened to assist him. According to the judges, they were probably drugged on hashish and seeking “erotic sexual violence”. Forcing Kercher to yield to Guede was a “special thrill that had to be tried out”.

    They suggested Sollecito cut Meredith’s bra with a small knife he always carried “” collecting knives was a hobby. As Guede sexually assaulted Kercher with his fingers, Sollecito stabbed her in the neck. Kercher screamed “” a neighbour heard her “” and Knox stabbed her in the throat with a kitchen knife, the judges argued. She took several minutes to die as she inhaled her own blood.

    THAT was the lurid and damning case that Knox had to fight when she returned to the Hall of Frescoes last November for her appeal.

    Her demeanour had changed. Gone was smiling and self-confident “Foxy”, whose manner may have helped secure her conviction. After three years in prison, Knox was much more demure.

    The appeal hearing began auspiciously for her when the deputy judge remarked: “The only certain and undisputed fact is the death of Meredith Kercher.”

    The comment prompted prosecutors to complain that the court had already made up its mind, but it was a portent of what was about to be revealed.

    The appeal court’s decision to grant a defence request for an independent review of two items of DNA evidence “” the kitchen knife and the bra clasp “” proved devastating for the prosecution’s case.

    The two experts “” Conti and Carla Vecchiotti, from La Sapienza University in Rome “” said the DNA trace on the knife blade could not be attributed to Meredith because it was too slight. They said Sollecito’s Y chromosome was on the bra clasp, but it could have been the result of contamination by police mishandling of the evidence. From then on, the prosecutors fought a losing battle to discredit Conti and Vecchiotti.

    Outside the courtroom the Knox camp’s media offensive exploited the experts’ conclusions.

    Knox’s family “” her mother, father, stepfather and friends “” had come well primed for battle. Homes had been remortgaged and funds raised.

    With the help of a PR company in Seattle, they dominated prime-time shows on the leading American TV networks, dramatically influencing public opinion there “” so much so that the prosecutor Mignini thundered in court that he had never seen a convict hire a PR firm to prove her innocence.

    Mignini himself was a key target. In what appeared to have been a turf battle with prosecutors in Florence, he had been given a suspended 16-month prison sentence for abuse of office after tapping the phones of police officers and journalists in a separate investigation into a serial killer. It was a reflection of the fragmented and politicised condition of the Italian justice system.

    The prosecutors tried but failed to switch the focus away from the forensic evidence by introducing Guede, the third party to the murder. He had been prosecuted separately because he had opted for a “fast track” trial that offers a lighter sentence as an incentive. Jailed for 16 years for murder, he had appealed to the Supreme Court in Rome “” Italy’s highest court “” which confirmed his conviction, ruling that Guede had sexually abused and murdered Kercher with “unidentified accomplices”.

    This was an insight into the mystifying processes of Italian law. How could justice be served by trying Guede separately? Why had he not been brought to give evidence at the first Knox trial? Why were his accomplices “unidentified” when Knox and Sollecito had been convicted of joining him in the murder? The answers lay in the fact that his supreme court appeal started just after Knox’s appeal began in Perugia “” and the two cases overlapped, a bizarre way of seeking out the truth.

    Once Guede’s Supreme Court appeal had been dismissed he was summoned to the witness box in Perugia, where his contribution was damning yet so limited that it did not sway the judges and jury.

    Rather than taking him through the events of the killing, Mignini read out a letter in which Guede had written of “the horrible murder of a ... wonderful girl by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox”. Challenged by one of Knox’s lawyers, Guede stood by the letter, saying: “It’s not as if there is my truth, and the truth of Tom, Dick and Harry. What there is is the truth of what I lived through that night, full stop.”

    A lawyer for the Kerchers detailed the injuries Meredith suffered, arguing it would have been impossible for Guede to hold her down, sexually assault her, try to suffocate her, try to strangle her and wound her with more than one knife.

    But it was too late. The appeal panel of judges and jurors had made up their minds. A juror confided after the “not guilty” verdicts had been delivered that the court had decided to acquit because of doubts over the forensic evidence, and because it saw no motive for the murder.

    Pratillo Hellman explained: “To convict, the penal code says you have to be persuaded beyond every reasonable doubt. The smallest doubt is enough to not condemn.”

    But he added enigmatically: “Maybe Knox and Sollecito know what happened that night, because our acquittal verdict stems from the truth which was established in the trial. But the real truth can be different. They may be responsible, but there isn’t the evidence… So, perhaps they too know what happened that night, but that’s not our conclusion.”

    The judge’s comments earned him a new nickname, which investigators texted to each other delightedly: “Pontius Pratillo”, after Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of responsibility for the execution of Jesus Christ.

    The prosecution scored one potentially significant victory. The court found Knox guilty of slandering the former bar owner Lumumba by initially claiming he had killed Kercher. It sentenced her to three years in prison, but released her as she had spent almost four years behind bars.

    “That’s absurd, absurd,” Mignini fumed. “Knox accused Lumumba to throw the police off her tracks. Why else would she accuse him?” IN PERUGIA, at least, the prosecution can count on overwhelming backing. After the verdict, a crowd several thousand strong massed outside the courts, amid jeers at defence lawyers and chants of “Assassini, assassini!” (murderers, murderers) and “Vergogna, vergogna!” (shame, shame). In bars across the picturesque city, and on the main cobbled street, Corso Vannucci, many dissected the case for days afterwards “” the consensus was that Knox and Sollecito were at the cottage when Meredith died, but no one agreed on what role they played.

    For the Kercher family no outcome could have been more bewildering. As Knox flew home, Meredith’s mother Arline, her brother Lyle and her sister Stephanie spoke to me.

    “It almost raises more questions than there are answers now,” Lyle said, “because the initial decision was that [the murder] wasn’t done by one person but by more than that. Two have been released, one remains in jail, so we’re now left questioning: who are these other people or person?” Did they believe that Knox and Sollecito were guilty? “In a way we have to believe what the police say because they are the ones compiling the evidence,” Arline replied. “We haven’t a clue. I think that’s what he was saying. It’s the police “” it’s their job.”

    “It’s difficult for anybody to make a valid opinion on any case, not just this one, unless you’re a trained expert,” Lyle echoed. “There are forensics, detectives, psychological profilers and so on, who are trained to do this and read the information and draw the hypotheses from that, which of course no lay person really is. So if that’s the conclusion they come to, then we’re happy to stand by that.”

    “We have to accept, don’t we, just like now we have to accept this,” Arline said.

    “And that’s why it’s so disappointing, because we don’t know,” Stephanie added.

    It is not over for the Kerchers.

    Last week’s acquittal is far from the last word on the case. The judges have 90 days to draft a report explaining the reasons for the verdict. Then the prosecution and the defence will have a further 45 days to lodge a new and last appeal. Only rulings by the Supreme Court are considered definitive in Italian justice.

    Guede’s lawyers said he would appeal for a new trial if the Supreme Court confirmed Knox’s acquittal “” on the grounds that it would contradict the Ivorian’s conviction for killing Meredith alongside unidentified accomplices. “So I’m supposed to be Meredith’s only assassin?” Guede is reported to have told a prison visitor. “I’m supposed to have struck that poor girl with a knife 40 times? I confessed my responsibilities and I accused those who were in the house with me.

    “I’m in prison, and the others are free and happy at home. If it wasn’t them in the house that damned evening, who are the other accomplices supposed to be? The money made available to Amanda and the media strategy helped to free her.”

    Many investigators and lawyers admit privately that the Italian judicial system may simply never come up with a full and convincing explanation of Meredith’s death.

    Italian justice is agonisingly slow. Judges and lawyers attend several trials in the same week, with the result that the appeal trial saw 20 days of hearings over no fewer than 10 months. It is also full of safeguards for defendants, including long preliminary hearings enshrined in the post-war constitution to eradicate the caricature of justice delivered by the courts under Mussolini.

    Many of the most notorious cases in Italy’s post-war history have yet to be resolved in court. Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire prime minister, is embroiled in a string of corruption, fraud and sex offence investigations and trials, and claims that leftist prosecutors are plotting to oust him.

    This week Berlusconi will push through parliament a bill banning publication of phone and other intercepts before a case reaches trial “” a measure that has become a priority for him, as investigators are expected to release within a few weeks dozens of intercepts of reportedly embarrassing conversations between Berlusconi and a convicted drug dealer.

    In such a climate Italian justice itself is on trial. The truth of what happened to Meredith Kercher may emerge one day, but it’s no safe bet that it will do so in an Italian court of law.


    Friday, October 07, 2011

    US And UK Media: Make RS & AK Answer The HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS Of Open Questions

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





    It seems Judge Hellman has begun sweating.

    Maybe Judge Hellman already sees as much of the Italian public and commentators do that he’ll have a REALLY tough time answering all the open questions in his December sentencing report as he is required to.

    Constitutional requirement of Ministry of Justice never met?

    That so many questions exist but are not generally even known about, especially in the US and UK, is because a key requirement of the usually very careful Italian justice system seems to have been (illegally) ignored.

    The key requirement is built into the justice system by the Italian constitution. It is that trial and appeal sentencing reports MUST be made available to the maximum extent, so that the general public (usually only the Italian public) can readily check on the legitimacy of trial outcomes.

    Italy is the only country in the world that has that public check and balance on trials.  Under that requirement, if it existed in the US, Barry Scheck of the US’s Innocence Project would likely find that most of the travesties of justice his team uncovers would never have happened in the first place.

    Here is how things are meant to work. 

    Back when the Micheli Report on the Rudy Guede sentence was released in January 2009 with Judge Micheli’s reasons for remitting Knox and Sollecito to trial it was released in THREE formats.

      1) It was released digitally (in a Word Doc) to the media with the one requirement that it not be posted in full. We translated most of our copy and posted an extensive summary (scroll down) in English in four parts (three by Brian and one by Nikki) in September 2009.

      2) It was released in printed document form by the Ministry of Justice in Rome and anyone in Italy could buy a copy.

      3) It was also posted on the website of the Ministry of Justice in text and Acrobat document format. It appears that this Internet version was checked out by hundreds of thousands and quite possibly even by millions.

    Now when the Ministry of Justice in Rome released the Massei sentencing report for Knox and Sollecito (links at top of this page) in March 2010, they released it in only ONE format.

    The Ministry of Justice released it ONLY on paper, and it was obtainable ONLY by the press and by those in the general public who managed to figure out how to buy a copy of the book-sized document from the Ministry.

    To our knowledge the Ministry of Justice never ever posted the required Internet version.

    The effect of this serious and seemingly illegal shortfall by the Rome Ministry has been that even in Italy few people have ever read the Massei Report. The number of Italian readers might be only in the hundreds and at most in the low thousands. Way, way less than ever read Micheli.

    As a result only very few people in Italy may have ever realized how powerful, logically complete and conclusive that report is. Probably few or no peers of the lay judges in Perugia have ever read it. The most important document in the entire case is essentially unread.

    In August 2010 a PMF team finished translating the Massei Report and made available the Masssei report in English in Acrobat format on the PMF forum and on TJMK.

    In June 2011 Skeptical Bystander and a PMF team posted a Massei summary in text on TJMK and PMF.

    This English language version has been downloaded close to 30,000 times and there are many people in the US and UK who are very well informed on the conclusions.  Every lawyer we know who has read the report has agreed that it arrived at the right conclusions. Many say and several do right here in these posts (scroll down) that the case would have been way more than enough for a US or UK conviction.

    A slam dunk in effect. Evidence overkill.

    But few of the busy people in the US and UK media have read the Massei Report and no one in the media to our knowledge has extensively analyzed or quoted from it. None of the books out so far go into the Massei Report in depth.

    WHY did the Italian Ministry of Justice fail to fully distribute the Massei Report, and in particular not post it on their website? And is the Supreme Court of Cassation aware of this huge shortfall in its distribution?

    This is such a serious mistake that our Italian lawyers believe that the Supreme Court or even the President of the Republic of Italy if he is petitioned could throw out the entire Hellman proceedings, verdict and sentence.

    The hundreds and hundreds of open questions

    Arising from the Massei Report are literally hundreds of questions for the released defendants and their teams. They have been around since early 2010. The defense teams and PR campaign have never ever tried to answer these questions, or for that matter to produce a convincing alternative scenario that hangs together implicating Guede but not Knox or Sollecito.

    Here are four lists of the many, many outstanding questions.

    Here from the Daily Beast are those ten questions with the Beast’s annotations showing how they are STILL unanswered:

    1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito turn off your cell phones at the same time the night of Nov. 1, 2007, and on again at the same time the next morning? You told the police that you and Raffaele slept late the morning of Nov. 2, 2007, but phone records show that you both turned your phones back on very early that morning. How could that be? This question was never addressed fully in the appellate process except when Giulia Bongiorno for Sollecito said that perhaps the cat stepped on the phone and turned it on. At that time the prosecutor Manuela Comodi quipped, “I’ve got a dog and he has never done that.”

    2. Why were you bleeding? Your lawyers agree with the prosecution’s findings that at least one of the spots of Meredith’s blood found in the house where she was killed had your blood mixed with it. Your mother told me that you had your period. Your stepfather told others that your ear piercings were infected. Which was it? Even if this mixed blood drop is contentious in its genetic makeup (all blood or blood mixed with DNA), the appellate court was shown a picture of a drop of blood attributed entirely to Knox on the faucet.

    3. Once you realized your mistake in blaming Patrick Lumumba for Meredith’s murder, why didn’t you tell the authorities? You told your mother that you felt bad about it, so why didn’t you alert an official so Patrick could be set free?

    4. Why did you go with Raffaele to the police station on Nov. 5, 2007? You were not called in for questioning. Did you realize at that time that you were both under suspicion?

    5. Why weren’t your and Raffaele’s fingerprints found in your house after the murder if the two of you had spent time there that morning and the day before? Only one half-print on a glass in the kitchen has been attributed to you, yet you have claimed that you took a shower there that morning. How did you spend so much time there and leave virtually no trace? Much of the crime scene has since been determined to have suffered from sloppy investigative work, meaning the absence of fingerprints in any room of the house may be due to that rather than any sort of cleanup.

    6. Why did you take the mop and bucket from your house over to Raffaele’s house? You told the prosecutor during your testimony in June 2009 that you took the mop and bucket to his house to clean up a leak under his kitchen sink. But by your own testimony, the leak was minuscule and could have been easily cleaned up without it. What were you really doing with the mop?

    7. What would you do differently if you had a chance to rewind the clock back to Nov. 3, 2007? Would you go to the memorial service for Meredith? Would you still have gone to the police station with Raffaele? Would you have left for Germany when your aunt asked you to?

    8. What do you think happened the night Meredith was killed? You have professed your innocence. Who do you think killed her and under what circumstance? Your supporters say Rudy Guede was the lone killer. Do you agree? Or do you think there are still others out there who were involved in your roommate’s murder?

    9. What do you really think of the Italian justice system? You told an Italian parliamentarian that you got a fair trial, and you even thanked the prosecutors for trying to solve the mystery of Meredith’s death, but your supporters at home in Seattle maintain that the Italian system is corrupt and unfair. In your appellate hearing you said you lost faith in justice and the police. Now that you are out, what do you really think of the system that has both convicted and acquitted you?

    10. Is there anything you wish you would have said in court during your (initial) trial (in which you were convicted)? You talked about your vibrator and about how you did not want an assassin’s mask forced on you. But in your final appeal after the closing arguments on Dec. 4, 2010, why didn’t you say the words, “I did not kill Meredith Kercher”? Raffaele did when it was his turn to speak. Why didn’t you? You have said on many occasions during the appellate trial that you did not kill her and you have never hurt anyone. This question has been addressed with your denials. What about the rest?

    Judge Hellman may be able to answer all of these unanswered questions AS HE MUST under Italian law in his sentencing report. He cannot simply address points defense raised about small parts of it. He must be able to explain the totality of the evidence or his report risks being thrown out by Cassation and a retrial at the first appeal level ordered.

    Possibly Judge Hellman might be able to achieve this. But why do we seriously doubt it?


    Sunday, September 04, 2011

    An Overview Of Modern Thinking On The Criminal Mind

    Posted by Ergon



    [Above: an image of the influential researcher Dr Abram Hoffer]
    l

    Introduction:

    The question of criminality has been much in the news lately, as wild gangs of youth rampaged through British cities, and wild gangs of feral financial speculators rampaged through the world’s economies.

    As a scientist I wonder about the pathologies involved, and as a spiritual person I wonder about root causes.

    So this is about where we are going as a society. Are we descending into criminality, and is the problem getting worse? I also wonder about the connection between criminality and mental illness.

    In the course of trying to find a treatment for my own children’s Autism, I came to the following conclusion: conventional medical science has no clue about the causes or effective treatment of mental illness.

    Therefore I had to range further into alternative medicine to find solutions, and serendipitously, I did. Yet, when my son’s autism reversal was confirmed by psychologists, no one seemed to want to know how. Neither the media, nor the conventional establishment.

    Never mind. My findings were presented, for free, to various alternative medical doctors and clinics, reported in journals and books, and confirmed by them. The protocol has great possibilities in the treatment of other neurological illnesses. It is possible to reverse brain disease.

    At my clinic in Toronto as well as other countries, I treated hundreds of young people with Autism, ADHD, Aspergers, and other psychological disorders, using holistic medical methods alone. Many of them went on to have normal lives; most improved significantly. And, when I have the time, I will write a book about this journey, and share it with everyone.

    Which I already did in fact.  See here. But this is by way of background. I do not claim to have cures, or answers; I’m a searcher for knowledge, which I wish to share with others.

    The question:

    So: Is there such a thing as a criminal mind? This was a question much pondered as the new field of psychology came into being. In opposition to religious belief that crimes were caused by man’s original state of sin, and provoked by deadly sins like avarice and lust etc., it tried to define abnormal behaviour as a function of upbringing and environment.

    It was only later as research into the nature of the brain emerged that new theories were formed; could neurological deficits explain criminal acts? Along with other suppositions of nurture and nature, addictions and abuse?

    The answer:

    According to these studies yes there is..

    The release today of a study by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) showing than 64 percent of local jail inmates, 56 percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners have symptoms of serious mental illnesses is an indictment of the nation’s mental health care system. It is both a scandal and a national tragedy.

    The figures are worse than those generally believed in the past, in which estimates of the total number of inmates with mental illnesses have been approximately 20 percent. The study reveals that the problem is two to three times greater than anyone imagined. What is even more disturbing is the number of these inmates that have served prior sentences, committed violent offenses, or engaged in substance abuse.

    This is not an ideological statement, nor is it an attempt to avoid the serious problem of crimes in society. We have to have a system of laws and justice, and we have to protect the innocent. But the present system of crime and punishment doesn’t work, either.

    So, how do we measure the criminal mind? Could there possibly be genetic, neurological, behavioral or even, physiognomic markers? I was 10 years old when a gentleman took one look at certain bumps on my head and said I “was very perceptive; could look at a scene and see what others could not"Cool, and this was my introduction to phrenology.

    This was where 18-19th century researchers sought to determine racial and emotional differences through the study of skull size, shape and protuberances. And yes, they did believe the criminal’s head was different than that of normal people. This later became the field of craniology and craniometry as scientists tried to avoid making unsavory determinations.

    The scars left after World War II by these atrocious programmes of research meant that the study of human skull shape and size fell into disrepute. Human variation, the core subject of anthropology, was increasingly explored through genetics and other biological markers, and became functional and adaptive in orientation rather than a search for racial affinities.

    In recent years, however, the introduction of new computer-based techniques of measurement, and the greatly enhanced power of statistical analysis, has meant that there has been a resurgence of interest in this subject, and, stripped of its non-Darwinian and racist past, the study of the human head remains a topic of major importance.

    So now, scientists are using cranial measurements to determine mental illness as shown here:

    Recently, Harvard researchers reported that children with autism have a wide range of genetic defects, making it nearly impossible to develop a simple genetic test to identify the disorder. Now, University of Missouri researchers are studying 3-D imaging to reveal correlations in the facial features and brain structures of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which will enable them to develop a formula for earlier detection of the disorder…

    When you compare the faces and head shapes of children with specific types of autism to other children, it is obvious there are variations. Currently, autism diagnosis is purely behavior based and doctors use tape measurements to check for facial and brain dissimilarities. We are developing a quantitative method that will accurately measure these differences and allow for earlier, more precise detection of specific types of the disorder,” said Ye Duan, assistant computer science professor in the MU College of Engineering.

    Then you have “The Criminal Brain-Understanding Biological Theories of Crime”, by author Nicole Hahn Rafter, New York University Press (October 2008)

    What is the relationship between criminality and biology? Nineteenth-century phrenologists insisted that criminality was innate, a trait inherent in the offender’s brain matter. While they were eventually repudiated as pseudo-scientists and self-deluded charlatans, today the pendulum has swung back.

    Both criminologists and biologists have begun to speak of a tantalizing but disturbing possibility: that criminality may be inherited as a set of genetic deficits that place one at risk for theft, violence, and sexual deviance.

    If that is so, we may soon confront proposals for genetically modifying “at risk” foetuses or doctoring up criminals so their brains operate like those of law-abiding citizens.

    Wow. Now this really frightens me, to see scientists, once again, barking up the wrong genetic tree, but there you go any way.

    Brain Injury as a factor in crime:

    Alternative physician Dr. Russell L. Blaylock:  Vaccines, Depression and Neurodegeneration After Age 50

    Previously, it was thought that major depression was secondary to a deficiency in certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly the monoamines, which include serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. While alterations in these important mood-related neurotransmitters is found with major depression, growing evidence indicates that the primary culprit is low-grade, chronic brain inflammation.

    In addition, we now know that inflammatory cytokines can lower serotonin significantly and for long periods by a number of different mechanisms.

    I would agree with him there, since it has been my observation that mental illness is often accompanied by inflammatory disorders or auto-immune illness. I also believe the changes in vaccine schedules may have led to increased neurological deficits and genetic damage passed on to subsequent generations, but that is an argument for a separate article. I do not blame vaccines alone, as I will explain here.

    There is research that shows criminal minds and behavior issues are often accompanied by brain damage.

    Brain injury is a condition that involves microscopic damage to brain tissue that can only be seen in life through the lens of the patterns of the injured person’s life. Chris Henry, the former NFL wide receiver whose autopsy results confirmed he was living with brain damage, may have finally made that clear.

    “Limbic Abnormalities in Affective Processing by Criminal Psychopaths as Revealed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging” by Kiehl, et al, (PDF)

    Results: Compared with criminal nonpsychopaths and noncriminal control participants, criminal psychopaths showed significantly less affect-related activity in the amygdala/hippocampal formation, parahippocampal gyrus, ventral striatum, and in the anterior and posterior cingulate gyri. Psychopathic criminals also showed evidence of overactivation in the bilateral fronto-temporal cortex for processing affective stimuli

    The brains of autistic individuals show similar defects:

    The two research teams have noticed an intriguing abnormality in the brains of the small group of autistics they have examined: The cerebellum, a portion of the brain involved with muscle coordination and the regulation of incoming sensations, contains fewer neurons known as Purkinje cells. There are also preliminary indications that growth in parts of the limbic system, which oversees emotion and memory, is arrested while autistics are still in the womb

    Likewise in schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

    New research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or other of the two illnesses..find that thousands of tiny genetic mutations ““ known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) ““ are operating in raising the risk of developing the illness.

    “Early Signs of Psychopathy” argues that signs can show at an early age.

    A twenty-five year study, published this month in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, demonstrates that, as early as the age of three, there are temperamental and physiological difference between those who show psychopathic tendencies as adults and those who don’t.

    Not only do psychopaths lack emotions of conscience and empathy, but research has shown that these individuals consistently display certain aspects of temperament including a lack of fear, lack of inhibition and stimulus seeking behavior.

    A lack of a hormone that affects empathy:

    We’ve long accepted that hormones can make you amorous, aggressive, or erratic. But lately neuroscience has been abuzz with evidence that the hormone oxytocin—which also acts as a neuromodulator—can enhance at least one cognitive power: the ability to understand the gist of what others are thinking. In this week’s Mind Matters, Jennifer Bartz and Eric Hollander, two leading researchers in this area, review the many and surprising ways in which oxytocin seems to influence both our openness to others and our understanding of them.

    For inherently social creatures such as humans, the ability to identify the motives, intentions, goals, desires, beliefs and feelings of others is not a nicety but an essential skill. We must understand “where others are coming from” not only to pursue our individual goals but also to facilitate social harmony more generally. Specifically, we need to recognize that other people can have thoughts, beliefs, desires and feelings that differ from our own…

    And it may be this that drives psychopathy, or the criminal mind.

    Cleckley in Psychopathy: Two lengthy checklists of psychopathic, or anti-social personality disorder:

    Cleckley’s original list of symptoms of a psychopath:

    1. Considerable superficial charm and average or above average intelligence.
    2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
    3. Absence of anxiety or other “neurotic” symptoms considerable poise, calmness, and verbal facility.
    4. Unreliability, disregard for obligations no sense of responsibility, in matters of little and great import.
    5. Untruthfulness and insincerity
    6. Antisocial behavior which is inadequately motivated and poorly planned, seeming to stem from an inexplicable impulsiveness.
    7. Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
    8. Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience
    9. Pathological egocentricity. Total self-centeredness incapacity for real love and attachment.
    10. General poverty of deep and lasting emotions.
    11. Lack of any true insight, inability to see oneself as others do.
    12. Ingratitude for any special considerations, kindness, and trust.
    13. Fantastic and objectionable behavior, after drinking and sometimes even when not drinking—vulgarity, rudeness, quick mood shifts, pranks.
    14. No history of genuine suicide attempts.
    15. An impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated sex life.
    16. Failure to have a life plan and to live in any ordered way, unless it be one promoting self-defeat.

    Hare in The Psychopathic Personality:

    A psychopath can have high verbal intelligence, but they typically lack “emotional intelligence”. They can be expert in manipulating others by playing to their emotions. There is a shallow quality to the emotional aspect of their stories (i.e., how they felt, why they felt that way, or how others may have felt and why).

    The lack of emotional intelligence is the first good sign you may be dealing with a psychopath. A history of criminal behavior in which they do not seem to learn from their experience, but merely think about ways to not get caught is the second best sign.

    The following is a list of items based on the research of Robert Hare, Ph.D. which is derived from the “The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, .1991, Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.” These are the most highly researched and recognized characteristics of psychopathic personality and behavior”:

    1. glibness/superficial charm
    2. grandiose sense of self worth
    3. need for stimulation/prone to boredom
    4. pathological lying
    5. conning/manipulative
    6. lack of remorse or guilt
    7. shallow emotional response
    8. callous/lack of empathy
    9. parasitic lifestyle
    10. poor behavioral controls
    11. promiscuous sexual behavior
    12. early behavioral problems
    13. lack of realistic long term goals
    14. impulsivity
    15. irresponsibility
    16. failure to accept responsibility for their own actions
    17. many short term relationships
    18. juvenile delinquency
    19. revocation of conditional release
    20. criminal versatility

    What is Emotional Intelligence?

    Is it becoming a rare quality among young people? It certainly seems to be declining in society.

    Emotional intelligence “is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Mayer & Salovey, 1993: 433). According to Salovey & Mayer (1990), EI subsumes Gardner’s inter- and intrapersonal intelligences, and involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains:

    Self-awareness: Observing yourself and recognizing a feeling as it happens.

    Managing emotions: Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.

    Motivating oneself: Channeling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self control; delaying gratification and stifling impulses.

    Empathy: Sensitivity to others’ feelings and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.

    Handling relationships: Managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.

    And according to Goleman (1995: 160), “Emotional intelligence, the skills that help people harmonize, should become increasingly valued as a workplace asset in the years to come.”

    The last words belong to the educators, of course.

    Howard Gardner (July 11, 1943 - ) American Psychologist and Educator

    Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) proposes that intelligent behavior does not arise from a single unitary quality of the mind, as the g -based theories profiled on this Web site suggest, but rather that different kinds of intelligence are generated from separate metaphorical pools of mental energy.

    Gardner derived this conceptualization of intelligence in part from his experiences working with members (of) extreme populations, in which certain cognitive abilities are preserved (often to a remarkable degree) even in the absence of other, very basic abilities. For example, some autistic savants display extraordinary musical or mathematical abilities despite severely impaired language development and social awareness. Likewise, individuals with localized brain damage often demonstrate severe deficits that are circumscribed to a single cognitive domain (Gardner, 1983/2003).

    And Piaget, who inspired me many years ago: Jean Piaget (August 9, 1896-September 16, 1980) Swiss Biologist and Child Psychologist

    Definition of Intelligence:  Intelligence is an adaptation”¦To say that intelligence is a particular instance of biological adaptation is thus to suppose that it is essentially an organization and that its function is to structure the universe just as the organism structures its immediate environment” (Piaget, 1963, pp. 3-4).

    Intelligence is assimilation to the extent that it incorporates all the given data of experience within its framework”¦There can be no doubt either, that mental life is also accommodation to the environment. Assimilation can never be pure because by incorporating new elements into its earlier schemata the intelligence constantly modifies the latter in order to adjust them to new elements” (Piaget, 1963, p. 6-7) (Including, imo, ‘criminal intelligence’)

    Major Contributions:

    The Theory of Genetic Epistemology.  Piaget also believed that intellectual development occurs in four distinct stages.

    The sensorimotor stage begins at birth, and lasts until the child is approximately two years old. At this stage, the child cannot form mental representations of objects that are outside his immediate view, so his intelligence develops through his motor interactions with his environment.

    The preoperational stage typically lasts until the child is 6 or 7. According to Piaget, this is the stage where true “thought” emerges. Preoperational children are able to make mental representations of unseen objects, but they cannot use deductive reasoning.

    The concrete operations stage follows, and lasts until the child is 11 or 12. Concrete operational children are able to use deductive reasoning, demonstrate conservation of number, and can differentiate their perspective from that of other people.

    Formal operations is the final stage. Its most salient feature is the ability to think abstractly.

    It is my opinion that emotional intelligence development also follows these four distinct phases. This is where nurture and nature come into play, and any trauma, abuse, neglect, that occurs during these phases can lead to an emotional stunting where the child is unable to progress to the next stage of development.

    In the same way, a positive home and school environment can help children grow to be more harmonious members of society, once you adjust for any biological and neurological deficits. Early recognition and treatment is key…

    Having worked as a volunteer in the public school system, I can tell you what teachers and educators have been telling me for years: the number of learning disabled and emotionally disturbed children is increasing exponentially..

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the world has become an increasingly disharmonious place lately?

    But the last word might well come from a book written by a Norwegian judge, Jens Jacob-Sander:  The Criminal Brain: A View from the Bench…  Exploring the Criminal Mind

    What goes on in the minds of criminals? This question raises perennial philosophical issues about human behavior in general and criminal conduct in particular. Do criminals act the way they do because of how and what they think and feel? And, are these internal forces of thought and feeling caused by the states of their brains, which in turn are predetermined by biology, chemistry, and genetics? Is the problem, in short, what used to be called bad blood?

    Or, are the thoughts, feelings, and actions of criminals caused by external factors such as parents, education, and other influences in the environment that mold and shape malleable brains, which, in turn, give rise to the criminal personality? In other words, is the real culprit for criminal behavior what used to be called society?

    With the emergence of brain science over the past 50 years, including brain imaging technologies and the study of brain chemistry, perhaps we can return to these profound questions with new hope of making progress toward answers.

    At the present time, although some scholars of brain science lean heavily toward a reductionistic biological determinism, others call attention to the plasticity of the brain and its capacity for change. Even if we cannot ever uncover a single satisfactory answer to how the criminal mind works, perhaps we can begin to diminish the devastation caused by criminal behavior.

    An exploration of the criminal mind might yield insights, ideas, and innovative hypotheses worthy of serious consideration and further study. It might also provoke us to reconsider how we think about the questions we ask about the causes of criminal behavior. Instead of polarizing the discussion by pitting determinism (biological or social) against free will as mutually exclusive explanations of criminal conduct, we might discover that biological predispositions and habits of thought can be influenced by education, cognitive retraining, and behavior modification. Whatever our current state of knowledge, isn’t it worth our effort to try to formulate better theories and more effective forms of intervention?

    That daunting task has been undertaken in a new e-book titled Exploring the Criminal Mind and subtitled Advances of Brainscience and Mental Procedures of the Criminal Personality: A Unified Brain-Mind Theory. The author and publisher, Jens-Jacob Sander, is a judge in the Norwegian Courts of Justice, located west of the city of Oslo. Judge Sander tells us in the foreword to his book that it grew out of his frustration with trying to understand the criminal mind while he was engaged in a major international fraud-hunt in 1989 that, although successful, was apparently hampered by the lack of adequate information and insights about criminal minds.

    Perhaps we can return to these profound questions with new hope of making progress toward answers, indeed.


    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    A More Detailed Analysis Of Knox’s Statement 6 November 2007 Points Even More Strongly Toward Guilt

    Posted by Peter Hyatt



    [Above: the Perugia central police station where Amanda Knox wrote this statement]

    My previous statement analyses on TJMK are available here including a first pass at this particular statement of Amanda Knox’s here.

    This analysis seeks to learn if Amanda Knox was part of the murder of her then roommate.  The knowledge comes from Amanda Knox herself, who, if was at the crime scene during the murder, would give us verbal indicators.  If she was not, and did not take part in the murder, she would tell us this, as well.  Whether or not DNA was handled properly, or whether prosecutors are corrupt or not, her own words will tell us what we need to know.

    Analysis Question:  Is Amanda Knox guilty, in concert, of causing or participating in the death of her roommate?

    “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is a principle followed from antiquity where the words in which we choose are then discerned to be truthful or deceptive.  The “heart” is the seat of the intellect and affections (emotions); what we think, and how we feel.  Statement Analysis of statements is able to discern truth from deception, including false confessions made under coercion. 

    Pronouns are of particular value as they are learned in our earliest days of speech, with possessive pronouns often predating speech in young children, as they attempt to say “my” or “mine” with hand motions.  Pronouns and articles are exempt from internal subjective dictionaries (as is objective time) and are reflex in our speech with our minds dictating to our tongues what words to say in less than a microsecond. 

    The Amanda Knox case is one that provokes emotional responses from both those who believe that she is guilty, and those who believe she is innocent.  When people lie, they have a reason to lie.  Here, she is brought in for a murder investigation. 

    Transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.

    The statement is in the blockquotes, with my statement analysis in bold type.  Words that are blodened are done so for emphasis. 

    This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.

    The opening line appears deceptive.

    Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.  It should be noted that the word “this” indicates closeness, whereas the word “that” shows distance.  On average, we see the word “that” used more frequently with memory failure.

    note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.  In a criminal investigation, innocent people (those who did not “do it” nor were involved in it) say so.  They do so quickly, and without sensitivity indicators.  Even in the most emotionally upsetting circumstances, a denial is found early.

    It is comprised of: 1.  First Person singular “I”    2.  Past tense verb   3.  Event specific.  4.  Without qualifiers or sensitivity indicators.  We expect to hear this quickly in a statement.

    I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

    Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement possibly an embedded admission: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”.  This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words.  Someone not at the crime scene would not frame these words, nor place herself there.

    Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming and is a weak assertion.

    She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.  This means that, to someone else, it would not be impossible; only to “her”, and only on the condition of being asked a few days ago.  This is a strong indication that Amanda Knox is lying.

    Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”).  This is why extra words are essential in analysis.  She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.

    Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event; making it weaker.

    I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:

    “I know” is strong and with the first person singular, it is something that she recognizes and asserts.  Notice how “I know” is unlike her other statements.  It is not “I believe” nor is it qualified with “I know that in my heart” or “I know that in my mind…” or any other additional words.  That Raffaele has said that she was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder is something strong to Knox.

    Next notice that it is only “in my mind” that there are things that may be elsewhere; not just in her mind.  This is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.

    When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.

    On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.

    Note that when the word “left” is used, it often indicates missing information.  70% of the missing information is due to time constraints, rushing, traffic, etc, with the other 30% being sensitive information.

    Note whenever the number 3 enters a statement as it is known as the “liar’s number”  It should not be considered deceptive on its own, only noted in context.  When someone wishes to be deceptive and chooses a number, it is often “3” unless the subject is asked how many drinks he or she had, and then the number is “two”.  The number 3 enters such as:  “I was approached by 3 men” or “At 3 oclock on the third floor…” etc.  It is not an indicator of deception on its own, for it is possible to be approached by 3 men on the third floor; only that it should be noted and later factored into the full analysis. 

    Note that the word “with” shows distance:

    “My wife and I went shopping.”

    “I went shopping with my wife.”

    These are two ways of saying almost the same thing.  A follow up question to B will likely show why distance entered into the statement; such as “I didn’t want to go shopping” etc.  Here, the distance is between her and Raeffale: 

    “Raeffale was with me” but then immediately changes it to “we” which shows closeness, except that she has a need to emphasize the closeness by explanation:  “We, Raffele and I stayed…”  This need to emphasize, along with the needless repetition is an indicator that she is being deceptive.

    Note that Patrik “told” me, rather than he “said” indicates firmness; It may be that she and Patrick argued, or that she wants to emphasize authority.  But whatever the need, she uses “because” (which explains why something happened) making the statement itself, along with Patrik, sensitive.

    Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.

    Note that she “now” remembers which, like the word “but” (which refutes what was previously stated) stands to change her account.

    Note that “goodbye”, “see you later” etc, in homicide cases can indicate the time of death. 

    Note the return of “I know” which is strong.  What does she know?  She knows that it does not match up with Raffaele’s testimony.  weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.

    I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

    Note the pronouns:  “I told Raffaele” is strong language.  This may indicate an argument.

    Note “after that” is a passage of time, or skipping over.  There is missing information at this point of her statement.

    Note that “I believe” is weak; but when the weakness is added to:  “we relaxed” (which, by itself is strong) is then added “together” (redundancy), we see deception.  This needless emphasis is being made to place them together. 

    Note “perhaps” is a qualifier and she is not committed to the statement.

    Note that she “perhaps” made love or perhaps read.  This is more than just deceptive:  it is an indication of someone else’s presence:

    Timing is an issue as she has skipped over time and withheld information (temporal lacunae).
     
    Why would she need to say that she made love to Raffaele?  She already introduced him with “we”.  This is an indication of not only deception, but of the presence, within sexual activity, of more than just Amanda Knox and Raffaele.  We do not know the time frame since she has skipped time.

    Note:  Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.

    However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.

    Note anything reported in the negative as sensitive.

    Note “I admit” show reluctance and resistance overcome.

    Note “with him” instead of “Raffaele and I smoked marijuana”; shows distance

    Note that “these” things instead of “those” things.

    Note that the entry of water into a statement is often an indicator of sexual assault.  Whether it is the washing of clothes, washing of hands, shower, bath, etc, 

    Here we have the first indicator that her roommate died as part of a sexual homicide.

    Note that when she was with Raffaele, she had to mention that she had sex “with him” which is an indication that during sex, at least one other person was present.  Now, with the entry of water into the statement is indicative that Amanda Knox was not simply present at the murder of Merideth, but that she was present for a sexual homicide.

    Note that to be vague; indicates an attempt at deception.  She reports what may have happened, with choices such as reading or sex.  This lack of commitment indicates deception on her part.

    Deception, in order to be deception, must be willful.  Amanda Knox places herself at the scene of a crime, and then gives indicators of a sexual homicide.

    In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

    The qualifiers resemble Casey Anthony.  “In truth” means she speaks at times outside of truth.
     
    Note that ” I do not remember” is an affirmation of what she does not know.  This is a signal of deception.  Note that she does remember, but only not “exactly”

    Note “we” took a shower.  This is the 2nd indicator in a short statement where water is introduced.  The element of water is often found in statements where a sexual assault or homicide has taken place.

    It is significant that she tells us that Raffaele “cleaned” her.  While speaking, even when attempting to be deceptive, what is in the heart slips out and she may have been thinking of washing off blood when she gave this statement.  Those that wish to excuse her due to police misconduct, or mishandling of evidence must do so by ignoring not only the fact that she lied, but that she employed the language of a sexual homicide in doing so. 

    “I dropped off (the hitchhiker), stopped to get gas and wash up.  After that, I drove down I-95 until…”

    This was a statement where a hitchhiker was murdered.  The timeframe where he washed up showed the time of death.

    The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind while giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went. 

    One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.

    The lack of commitment to the events is noted but we also see:

    That which is in the negative:  when someone tells us what they did not do, did not say, did not think, particularly when offered in an open sentence, it is a strong indicator of what they did do, did think, and did say.  Here, she remembers that she did not look at the clock. 

    This tells us:  She looked at the clock as time was significant. 

    Note that this is something that “definitely” happened, yet she then says “I think” showing the obvious contradiction.  Deception noted.

    It is like the statement where the person says “and I saw no one run across my lawn” indicating that she saw someone run across her lawn.  Always flag anything offered in the negative.

    Also note that “because” is sensitive as it explains why something took place.  In a statement, we normally get what happened and not why something happened, and just as being told what didn’t happen, the “why, because, therefore, so, since, etc” is highly sensitive to the subject.

    After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).

    Note “I noticed” is passive.  Passive language seeks to conceal identity or responsibility.  Note that the word “but” is used to refute what was just said.  What does she refute?  Noticing blood?  It is the origin of the blood that she seeks to conceal, not the noticing.
     
    Note that “after dinner” chronologically is when she “noticed” blood, but then in her statement she says “after we ate” is repeated, going back to the event.  Truthful accounts are in chronological order and can be repeated backwards and forwards.  Any time someone is out of chronological order, it should be flagged for deception. Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.

    Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.

    A statement has 3 general portions:

    • an introduction
    • the event
    • post event action

    It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.

    note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)

    Note time:  she “can’t” tell us indicates that she is restricted by consequence, since we know that she looked at the clock.

    The next thing I remember

    Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here

    was waking up

    Note verb tense

    the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.

    Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.  This is because it is almost impossible to lie upon a lie.  She can only doubt the lies she told earlier.  Note “this” confession, rather than the expected “that” confession, had it been false.

    Note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.

    Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.

    This is an example of an extra word, ie, one in which the sentence works without, giving away information.  She could have said “I didn’t remember a fact” but instead says “I didn’t remember a fact correctly” which would show deliberate deception.  She cannot tell us what she didn’ remember, only what she remembers, so this would place it in the negative, however, it wasn’t remembered “correctly”, indicating that she did remember it, just not “correctly”; and is another indication of deception.

    Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”

    I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.

    However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming. But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.

    Note that innocent people never accept nor excuse false work.

    Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.

    We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.

    But the truth is,

    This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed

    I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:

    Note that “truth” repeated, shows sensitivity and the analyst should be on alert that “truth” is a sensitive topic to the subject.

    1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.

    2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.

    Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.  Here, she also quotes her boyfriend, though we note the embedded still: “I have said things that I know are not true” appears supported by the analysis.

    I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.

    Note that she does not say “Raffaele did not kill Meredith” but only that she does not “think” he did; leaving room for someone else to “think” otherwise.
     
    Note that while attempting to describe him as “caring and gentle” she uses the word “with” which shows distance, but then “this”, showing closeness, to the things he was saying.  Amanda Knox brings herself close to the detail; not further away as expected with innocent people. 

    Note that “but” refutes what came before it.  What came before it?  “I don’t think Raffaele killed Meredith”

    She recognizes that he had a part in the killing.

    Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.

    Note that she says Raffaele is in need of a “way out” of the situation. 

    Honestly,

    Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed

    I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:

    1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.

    This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)

    The truth is,

    Noted that she has a need to announce truth, which brings the rest of her statement into question.  This is something deceptive people do when they want to be believed. 

    I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.

    Note twice she goes to the negative:  not sure what to think and what she did not think, yet, she adds in the weakened “definitely” to what she didn’t think.

    Note that the word, “someone” is gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.

    I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.

    Note that frequently in murders, guilty perpetrators will minimize what happened.  Meredith did not get “hurt”, she was murdered.

    Note “left quickly to take care of it” can be viewed with the “taking care” of the cleaning of the person and the apartment.

    Note the use of the word “perhaps” as not only used when a subject is deceptive and does not want to be pinned down in a statement, but here it is used repeatedly, showing sensitivity. 

    Note that “because” is noted for sensitivity as it is outside the boundary of the general statement of “what happened” and shows a need to explain.

    Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.

    First, she lists possible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.

    2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating.

    This is similar to an admission.

    And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.

    Note again that “but” refutes what came first.  She wants to “stand” behind the statements but…this is where it is difficult to lie about a lie.

    3. I’m very confused at this time.

    Note that she is “very” confused, but only “at this time”

    My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.

    [illegible section]

    I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:

    1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?

    2. Why did I think of Patrik?

    3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?

    4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?

    3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.

    I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.

    If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.

    Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.

    The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations. She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.

    Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.  She, by her own words, tells us that this is a sexual homicide, not just a homicide, and that she took part in it; present for the activity.  She places herself by the crime scene and even though she attempts to deceive, her words give her away.  She has nothing to be afraid of but lies, which would appear that she feared her lies were not bought by police. 

    It is likely that she, Amanda Knox, did not inflict the final death blow, and that she is not sure who’s blow or cut was the final one that caused Meredith’s death.  This is why she said she did not “think” that Raffaele killed her, “but”.  This was likely a sexual assault that several took place in where they would each blame the other.
     
    She attempts to build an alibi for herself, indicating the need for alibi, and she attempts to explain away the washing away of evidence on her part. 

    Amanda Knox was part of a sexual homicide.  This comes from her own words, and is not changed if prosecutors are corrupt or honorable, nor if evidence was dropped or mishandled.  Amanda Knox, herself, has told us that she was part of a sexual homicide, was present, and that she knows hard evidence thus proves it. 

    If her initial confession is thrown out, this statement itself shows her involvement.  It is difficult to imagine anyone trained in interviewing and interrogation claiming that this statement is truthful.  Mishandling evidence or dropping something, or not wearing gloves may cause difficulties, but it does not mean that Amanda Knox didn’t take part in the murder.  Her own words show that she did.


    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    Powerpoints #17: Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged

    Posted by James Raper With Kermit





    Please load Powerpoint Viewer if not on your system, and click here for the slides. The Powerpoints consist of 150 slides, the outcome of many hours of work, and should open in 30 to 60 seconds. 

    Impartial lawyers like myself tend to look at a tough case like this and think, “Now what would I have done differently?” The problem for the defences here is that there are literally hundreds of evidence points, many created by the appellants themselves as they behaved erratically both on the night Meredith died and subsequently.

    The Knox family legal advisor Ted Simon (who in our view was brought in far too late to be of real help after all the bull-in-a-china-shop damage of the PR) himself recognized this, on Dateline NBC late in 2008, when he said that a whack-a-mole approach to creating reasonable doubt would fall short in this case. (Whack-a-mole is a popular fairground game where “moles” keep popping up out of various holes, and you win if you can whack them all.)

    Judge Micheli set out a big picture for the conviction of Rudy Guede in October 2008 and the remitting of Knox and Sollecito to stand trial. Judge Massei clearly created a big picture in all of the fine detail he neatly tied together in his 425-page report. The Supreme Court of Cassation understood the big picture in declining Guede’s final appeal.

    The defences have never really managed to respond with their own big-picture approach. Nitpicking of a few evidence points, which is really all the defence and the campaign have done, will only very rarely destroy such an edifice. At the end of the DNA rebuttal this September, the DNA collection and analysis is unlikely to be fully discounted, and already it seems that more ethical and competence question marks hang over the independent consultants than over Dr Stefanoni and her team.

    This for your consideration is an overview of all of the main evidence. Check it out as you go through and you will see that after the nine long months of the appeal process it is all almost entirely left standing. If they really want to see Knox and Sollecito released, the defence lawyers now need to bite the bullet and prepare their clients properly and let them try to explain from the stand.


    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    Thinking About Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox: What Might Have Been

    Posted by Ergon





    This is my post on my website Man From Atlan of June 26, 2011 cross-posted here at the invitation of TJMK.

    Due to my Scorpionic nature, I think, I come across a great many criminal and legal cases that grab the public attention.

    It seems, also, that I get involved in the case in one way or the other, and, a great number of coincidences seem to er, follow me. Psychologists call that the ‘I was there syndrome’ and that’s fine, it’s a form of mental illness, and you can decide if I have it, or not!

    But I have spent a lifetime studying the fine line between Psychic Sensitivity and Schizophrenia, and what interests me here is not only how we identify with the crime and the individuals involved, but how these cases establish themselves in the public consciousness.

    And yes, I want to write about the lives wasted, and what might have been.

    Whenever a person dies, there is a break in the fabric of consciousness, and all of humanity is affected. Most people learn to ignore it; some, more sensitive, get consumed by it, but we are all affected by it at some level.

    A murder case may be just one individual; the devastation of an earthquake or tsunami may affect hundreds of thousands. As for me, I am an observer, but also in a way, a catalyst.

    Look, you know my spiritual claims. Forget that for a moment. What I do is warn people about the fateful consequences of the psychic and spiritual damage done to our souls (or psyche) and environment, and if you don’t listen, if you don’t change, then so be it. What will be, will be. But a part of me, having seen what would happen, mourns for what might have been.

    One of my patients was a girl who had Rhett’s Syndrome, a severe form of Autism. She came to my clinic and the treatments really helped, yet it was the mother who also needed help. In the end, suffering from depression, she killed her child and tried to commit suicide.

    A woman two streets down from us, suffering from post partum depression, killed her husband and stabbed her two children as well. My son used to play with their dog at the local park, but curiously, I never met them.

    I worked on a mayoralty campaign. The candidate, a lovely soul, came second. At the farewell party I saw something dark around him. I told his partner that he needed help, and offered. It wasn’t heard because they were, I think, already caught up in their karma. A year later he jumped off a bridge and killed himself.

    Then, going from the personal to the ‘famous’ cases, and the ‘coincidences’ and lessons thereof.

    I wrote in “Michael Jackson, the Drowning Man” about how I helped a famous musician with his Parkinson’s Disease in 1994 but when I asked him to introduce me to Michael Jackson, he didn’t. I was too controversial. Pity, I could have helped him before he descended into his inappropriate behavior.

    OJ Simpson was the first criminal case. I lived in Santa Monica almost equidistant between him and his ex-wife Nicole Brown. I had driven around the neighborhood enough times to know the story had some inconsistencies, but I believed he was guilty. I also accepted the jury’s verdict of Not Guilty, because the principle of reasonable doubt, in American law, had to be upheld.

    There also was the fact I had closed my practice in Toronto and moved to Los Angeles just to help people there, arriving in 1993 in time for the Malibu Fires and Northridge Earthquake (written in “A Spiritual Journey To The United States”) and once I knew my work was done left for Texas. And a few months later, the murder, the White Bronco slowly driving down the freeway, the media circus and all of LA enjoying a mass catharsis.

    After I left the US in 1995 I shifted my focus to Europe, though Canada remained my home base. I still looked back to the US with fondness, and sadness for what was yet to come.

    I was in England in 2005 when the Terri Schiavo case gripped the nation. She was in a lengthy coma, with most of her brain destroyed. Her parents were fighting to keep her on life support, while her husband wanted to pull the plug and let her die.

    I tried to stay uninvolved, even though I knew her spirit wanted to be free. I felt this was wrong, for parents to keep holding on to their child. So one day, when Chloe called me about the latest developments, I said enough was enough, and helped her spirit pass on. She died that evening. And shortly after I left England, there was the London Tube bombing. Coincidence, or catharsis?

    Madeleine McCann, a little girl from the U.K., disappeared from her holiday bedroom in Portugal just a few days before her 4th birthday, in May of 2007. Her parents were dining some distance away with their friends and inexplicably had left the children unattended and the door to their villa unlocked. The investigators never found Madeleine. The conclusion, absent a body, was that she had been kidnapped. There were many false sightings after that, as people assumed she had been kidnapped by child traders.

    This was two months before I went to the UK with my family on holiday. I was asked what I thought about Madeleine. Would she be found? I replied that she had died that first night, and the parents were involved in a cover up. The person who asked me that question then consulted a psychic, who of course said what everyone wanted to hear: Madeleine was alive.

    Then further reports came out, and we found that special police dogs, trained to sniff for evidence of death, had indicated she had died inside the bedroom that very night. Nothing further came to light, as political interference corrupted the whole process, and police investigators were sacked for ‘unfairly blaming the parents’

    Yet, there’s a website that does just that; you be the judge. See here and here and here.

    This was another example of a case that would consume the public, as so many identified with the missing child, or the parents. And, as always, my presence seemed coincidental to a whole series of events. A few weeks before we arrived in Glasgow, bombers hit Glasgow airport with a van loaded to the top with propane cylinders, the rains hit the whole country for three months straight, and the biggest floods in over a century inundated large parts of Southern England. Yet wherever we went, there was sunshine…This is the dichotomy of healing, that there can be sunshine, but also, darkness.

    I had already arranged to go back to the UK for a month as a consultant. I returned to Canada on October 31.

    The very next day, on November 1, 2007, British student Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, was murdered in Perugia, Italy. Her roommate, Amanda Marie Knox, was convicted of the murder, as was her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Hermann Guede, a drifter from the Cote de Ivoire in Africa.

    I hadn’t read much about the case and trial, but came across it on the pages of Huffington Post, the social news website. Here was a full blown narrative: Amanda Knox was innocent of the crime, she was the victim of a corrupt Italian prosecutor, and Rudy Guede was the sole perpetrator (All untrue, btw)

    What piqued me was the fingerprints of an extensive PR campaign to manipulate public opinion so as to influence the outcome of a trial in another country. Appearances by Knox’s family on Oprah, calls to boycott Italy, politicians trying to intervene in a judicial process, oh my.

    And the comments on the numerous Amanda threads were funny, and so sad. These people were, in a word, disturbed. They were even foul mouthed about the victims parents, for daring to say they felt justice had been served. And they had no compunction about blatant lying and slander either.

    I’d seen this so many times, the ease with which people could be led to believe, on the basis of something they saw or read, the most outlandish things.

    Now I really do believe that trying to convince True Believers is a waste of time. (But arguing with them can be er, illuminating:) I’m interested in the process by which they come to that belief, but any good book on mob psychology can give you the basics, and of course, you must always read Orwell’s 1984. The same principles of propaganda used to create support for war can also be used to support a position, no matter how wrong it might seem to the intelligent observer.

    So I looked at the facts of the case. Amanda Knox had falsely accused her black boss, Patrick Lumumba of the crime, she and her boyfriend had provided alibis that were later disproved, there was a staged break in to mislead the investigation, and there was sufficient DNA, blood and foot prints to prove the complicity of the other two accused.

    Two courts, led by Judges Micheli and Massei, had already looked at over 10,000 pages of evidence to conclude that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had also been involved in the murder. And, the most compelling DNA evidence, Raffaele’s DNA on the victims bra, and Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s on the murder knife found in Raffaele’s flat.

    The Supreme Court of Italy, while affirming Rudy Guede’s conviction, had already established that more than one attacker had been involved, and that DNA attributed to Knox and Sollecito had already been found.

    I also noted that the Wikipedia page on Meredith Kercher, once reflecting the findings of guilt against all three accused, had now been hijacked by, let’s say, Amanda Knox partisans.

    I have to thank the two websites TJMK and PMF for the fine work they have done compiling and translating the vast volume of Italian language transcripts of the trial and summaries of evidence. Without them, my technical knowledge of the case would have been quite inadequate. I can’t recommend them highly enough for anyone interested in learning about the case.

    But I formed my opinions way before I found their sites, and I say this out of respect: I don’t want their work compromised by association with my own views.

    What I write about here is first and always, spiritual in nature. I may use logic to confirm something, I will look at evidence, but ultimately I look at disturbances in the fabric to search out imbalance and untruth. And I learn to trust my instincts. It is only afterwards that I look at other factors, and if I need to adjust my views, so be it. But the patterns and the coincidences, are fascinating.

    First, the Astrology. Meredith Kercher, born Dec. 28, 1985, and Rudy Guede, December 26, 1986, are both Capricorns. Raffaele Sollecito, March 26, 1984, is Aries, and Amanda Knox, July 09, 1987, a Cancer. Their signs form a T-Square, at 90 degrees to each other, which are widely seen as indicators of stress and incompatibility. The day of the murder saw widespread stressors on all their horoscopes which would lead to murder, detection, conviction and imprisonment. The Astrology even shows Raffaele’s drug dependency and mental confusion on the night of the murder, the conflict between Amanda and Meredith, and the violence and rage that simmered just below the surface of Amanda Knox’s psyche.

    And the night of the murder, November 1, 2007, saw Saturn and Venus in the house of emotional excess, Uranus in the house of sudden death, and Jupiter/Pluto, in the sexual house, in an almost exact T-Square to each other. The close conjunction of Pluto to the Milky Way’s Galactic Center shows the potency of this murder in attracting the public imagination, and also, the trigger for the murder.

    But Astrology is just one of many tools in Humanistic psychology. It shows patterns, yes, but mainly it gives a picture of motivations and stages of development. And sometimes, it tells us what might happen. For me, there are many tools: Psychism to know, and other tools to understand.

    So I will say this about all four:

    Amanda Knox’s profile is that of the self destructive individual who will fall from ‘the shattered tower’ due to her associations with others. Btw, her July 09 birthday is the same as OJ Simpson’s and they Both Wielded Knives, hmmm!

    Raffaele Sollecito has powerful friends who won’t be able to help him. He almost had it too easy, and his drug use took him into some deep dark spaces. Note he wasn’t just using cannabis, but more likely a potent form called skunk weed, plus heroin and cocaine.

    Rudy Guede may actually turn out to be a sympathetic individual. His is the one chart I see that leads to redemption and indescribable potential. He is, quite frankly, the most believable of the three, even though he did lie, and he was rightly found guilty.

    Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher was greatly loved, had the intellectual capability to go far, and would have, if she hadn’t been murdered, been a bright blazing star. RIP Meredith.

    I hate to make predictions. Human beings will always have the capacity to alter the future (though truth be told, not as much as they like to think) My prophecies have to do with the future of this planet and humanity’s ability to survive and regenerate itself.

    But on June 27, Rudy Guede will face Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in their appeals trial, and for the first time, be forced to answer questions directly. I believe this will be the day he begins to redeem himself.

    (Update: And on that day, he placed Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito at the crime scene)

    On June 30th, the DNA experts will present their findings. This will be one day before the solar eclipse in Cancer. I predict bombshells in court.

    (Update: the expert’s report was presented a day earlier, on June 29, and it was interesting, to say the least. It disputed some of the DNA findings accepted by the previous court and one would think from the media reporting they prove Knox and Sollecito’s innocence. From my reading of the report, it does no such thing, only places ambiguities on some of the evidence. There definitely will be fireworks in court, as the prosecution tears into the many errors of the report)

    I am struck by the coincidences of the cases I outlined: allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, disputed forensic and DNA evidence, racism and political interference, your standard trial. But they all, held a special place in the public imagination.

    But in spiritism we see that it is the unquiet spirit of the victim that calls to us, and we can only hope and pray for their peace. Justice is always done.

    And one can only look back at them with sadness, for what might have been.


    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    The Massei Sentencing Report For Knox And Sollecito: Part 1 Of A Summary In 4 Parts

    Posted by Skeptical Bystander




    Why This Long Summary

    The full Massei Report can be found here.

    The wiki page controversy surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher rages on in a tiny corner of the online universe, here is our own contribution to the debate.

    It is a 4-part summary of the Massei report, the document that sets forth and explains the Court’s reasons for unanimously convicting Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for their role in the murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s roommate, after a long, thorough and fair trial.

    Click here for the rest


    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Dear Ken Jautz Of CNN: Full CNN Interview With Mignini That CNN SHOULD Have Reflected #3

    Posted by Skeptical Bystander


    The previous post is here.

    CNN’s report is downloadable here. The first hour is here and the second hour here..  Our translators were PMF posters Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

    0’28’’ CNN: you certainly made no secret about intimidating Preston and Mario Spezi

    0’49’’ Mignini: Well, I do not understand what intimidation. So, well look. For starters, this proceeding near Florence has nothing to do with this issue. So this is a non-issue. So, as for Mario Spezi, and I’ll come to Preston later, Mario Spezi was subjected to an investigation that, in relation to this matter is not closed yet since it is still pending, and following [in relazione a] this investigation, a precautionary measure was requested, which the investigating judge granted. Then the re-examination Court [Tribunale del Riesame] instead reversed the decision. While, in Amanda’s case, [the precautionary measure] was confirmed. As you can see, in Spezi’s case, the re-examination Court [Tribunale del Riesame] canceled the precautionary measure on grounds of default. In the Court’s view, there were not enough serious indications of guilt on the subjective aspect [of the crime].There were [indications of guilt] on the objective aspect of the crime of calunnia [false accusation], the crime for which he was being prosecuted. On the subjective aspect, i.e. the bad faith, there were not. And thus the court, the re-examination Court, reversed this measure.

    But during the investigation, even before a measure against Spezi had been requested, a relationship between this writer, Douglas Preston, and Mario Spezi had emerged. And Preston, a writer, was summoned as a “person informed about the facts”, I do not remember, I think it was February 2006. And he was, just like many other people “informed about the facts”, he was interrogated by me. During the interrogation, this time he was questioned by me as if he were, let’s say, a witness, during the examination as a person informed about the facts, evidence of guilt emerged against Preston. And, in particular, Preston’s answers were not consistent. They appeared to me, in that moment, they did not appear to be true. So at that point I stopped the examination. Look, the examination lasted approximately twenty minutes, not more. I met Preston only on that occasion. About twenty minutes ... I told him: “I must suspend this examination.” Just like the Police did with Amanda, always according to art. 63. “I must suspend your hearing because evidence of guilt has emerged in relation to the crime under art. 371 bis of the Penal Code”. Now, pay close attention to this [missing words]. “And thus you must appoint a lawyer”.

    He signed. Present in my office, which was not the one you saw this morning but it was another one, also on that floor, were my assistant, the clerk, Dr. Daniela Severi, there was the captain of the Carabinieri, Antonio Morra, there was a police [woman] officer from Florence, and I think there was a magistrate in training that I think was training with me, I do not remember this now. However, there was the captain, a police officer and the clerk. He signed [the statement]. I accompanied him to the door and to try to explain to him, he had told me that he spoke Italian but, in my opinion, but he did not [missing word] Italian. He believed he could speak Italian but he did not fully understand this procedural aspect. I told him, I remember we were by the door, “you must now appoint an attorney. This process that I am now opening against you for making false statements to the prosecutor, Article 371-bis, will remain suspended by the law, because the law provides that this offense, if one makes false statements to the prosecutor in a criminal case, this process that has been opened for false declarations will remain suspended until the main proceeding in which these statements were made is defined”. He did not understand this detail and he, I was really surprised and amazed by this fact, he thought that I was encouraging him, and he then said that I had encouraged him to flee, that I would arrest him. I never said such a thing because this charge does not provide for arrest. And that’s all.

    Then I followed what he said throughout this matter which is completely [..missing word.. ] .. completely misrepresenting what happened, and then I dismissed the case because there was no… I decided to terminate the proceeding and there was nothing else. It’s all there, the Preston matter ends there.

    07’37’’ CNN: I interviewed Preston and, according to him, this is not true. He said the interrogation lasted two hours. And (reading what Preston said): “I started to sweat, the prosecutor began to ask again the same questions, worded in a different way” he insisted with his secretary for [having her] repeat what he had said, which is the truth? “I started to feel that I was looking like a liar by the way my voice was trembling”. He had to write a statement in Italian, he had to do it several times because the person who was writing it did not understand well. Is he lying?

    09’20’‘Mignini: Well, you have listened to Preston, I had the assistants, I did not think to bring them with me, but they can tell you everything. I do not remember now how long the interview was, I think about twenty minutes, perhaps half an hour, perhaps, perhaps, I do not know, an hour or so, I do not know, I have to look at the record.

    However, what is certain is that when you make a statement, a few things are asked and the person must tell the truth and I challenged some of the things he said. I do not remember now in detail because it is of no [word missing], I have had other things to deal with [and] I do not even remember it. I challenged some of the things he said, I remember that I made him listen to a few phone calls that had been intercepted, phone calls in which he was speaking with Spezi, and what he was saying was not credible, it did not seem to be credible to me. I put it on record, because I had to dictate the statement to the assistant, who wrote the statement, and Mr. Preston signed [it] and he therefore recognized the validity of the statement, because he signed it, he did not refuse to sign it. Therefore an interrogation was made and a few statements were challenged.

    The person, Preston, made a few statements that were not [missing word], that did not appear to be at all credible to me. I made him listen to, to prove that according to me he was not telling the truth, a few intercepted phone calls and I do not recall seeing him particularly [missing word]. Then if he was in a state of mind that a person is in when interrogated by a magistrate, if he felt troubled, I do not know. If that were to be the case, I am sorry but I’m afraid that it is like this in my line of work. Interrogations are made, one must hear [missing word], the person must tell the truth. And if [a person] does not tell the truth then objections must be raised. What is clear is that I challenged these facts, we put [everything] on record. Others were present: the assistant, the clerk, the Carabinieri captain, the police woman, therefore there is no point in discussing this, there is nothing more than what has emerged, than what came out in the statement. Preston signed the statement.

    12’02’’ Then, the thing that struck me is that I subsequently received a few requests asking me, and I read this on a few Internet websites as well, if certain statements had been made. I really do not wish to comment on those statements because I do not wish to get into an argument here. I would like to try to explain that, if he had come back, because he had to flee because he would have been arrested if he had come back to Italy: this is a pure fiction, a total fabrication, non-existent. Furthermore, I dismissed his case and therefore I do not see how [missing words]. While the other proceedings, the proceedings against Spezi, are still pending.

    13’00’’ This is the situation, I remember that I [missing words], subsequently he [Preston?] even asked me for an interview, to which I, to this request, did not respond.


    14’16’’ CNN: it sounds very similar to what Amanda Knox described.

    14’22’’ Mignini: It is completely different because I interrogated Preston [while] Amanda was interrogated by the Police. In Amanda’s case, her interrogation was halted by the Police. In Preston’s case, his interrogation was stopped by me. Preston was not arrested, Amanda was [arrested]. The two things are completely different. They have absolutely nothing in common apart from the fact that I was the prosecutor in both cases. But this is all. Just like in many other proceedings. There is not the slightest element in common.

    15’23’’ CNN: you have just said that your job is to make sure that a witness tells the truth but at the same time you did not verify what was said by the homeless man and by the two neighbors”¦

    Mignini: A person tells me that he saw her, he tells me that he saw what they did, he tells me the times, and he tells me things that no one has denied. If Mrs. Capezzali, Capezzali I think, relates what she heard and the thing is confirmed by another witness who lived below her and no one denies this. And that’s not all”¦ there are two Calabrian girls who lived in [missing words], almost where the metal staircase ended, the one that was presumably used by one of the young people. These two girls as well say that they heard running. Therefore, there is the scream, heard by two people, the repeated footsteps that were heard, the scream and the footsteps that were heard by Capezzali and by these two Calabrian girls.

    Whereas in Preston’s case there were the telephone calls that contradicted his statements. In that moment I had the telephone calls and if someone says something [missing words], this is contradicted by these telephone calls. I do not remember now in detail because I did not, I do not remember in detail these aspects but they were documented. In that case, I therefore had the elements to say: “you are telling me things which are not true”. In the other case, there were never any [contradictory elements]. The homeless man, the two Calabrian girls, Mrs. Capezzali and the teacher Monacchia were heard, they were subject to examination and cross-examination and they confirmed everything. This means that their statements became evidence, witness evidence. Whereas Preston made those statements that were contradicted by the intercepted telephone calls and I challenged those statements. It emerged immediately there, I objected, it’s very clear. There is no [missing word].

    18’41’’ CNN: In your opinion, do you believe that Narducci was involved in the Monster of Florence murders?

    18’50’’ Mignini: This matter was the subject of a criminal proceeding, proceeding number 1845 0821, which was dismissed, for those were investigated, due to lack of evidence [formula dubitativa] in the case of the murder and due to the statute of limitations for the other crimes. This means that the crimes had been committed, they had been attributed to certain people but too much time had gone by and the offences had become statute-barred. In this proceeding, the GIP fully sustained the Prosecutor’s (that was me) request, which was: the three fundamental points were that Narducci had been murdered because the autopsy that was performed demonstrated that there was a fracture of the left superior cornu of the thyroid cartilage which cannot be caused by accidental impacts but it can only be caused by a restricted, localized and increasing pressure because it is [in] a protected location and the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation; the GIP acknowledged that the body pulled out of the water, which had been officially established as being that of Narducci, was not Narducci after all; and that Narducci was involved, the GIP said, in the case of the double homicide murders of the couples. This order was appealed by Narducci’s relatives, not by his wife but by his relatives. However the Supreme Court of Cassation rejected the appeal as inadmissible. Therefore, the matter is now closed at this point.

    20’48’’ CNN: Yes, but the question is if you think”¦

    20’50’’ Mignini: It is what I maintained. I maintained it and the GIP acknowledged it. He accepted these aspects. Then, regarding the whole matter, since there is another pending proceeding, it will not add anything more. I will only say that this aspect was the subject of a proceeding in which I maintained these things and the GIP acknowledged them. He accepted the whole accusatorial framework [impianto accusatorio].

    21’55’’ CNN: The body in the lake was not Narducci’s?

    22’00’’ Mignini: let me explain. The coroner who performed the autopsy is Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia, head of the Forensic Medicine department at the University of Pavia, and other consultants, among them Brigadier General Luciano Garofano, who determined, from different points of view, the following things: the corpse that was pulled out of the lake on October 13, 1985, was that of a person who was almost bald, size 60, which means that it was in a state of bloating decomposition, was wearing specific clothing and was in such a state that the coroner, before he opened the coffin, thought he would be in the presence of a corpse that could no longer be effectively examined. Conversely, once he opened the coffin, he found Narducci’s body, with thick hair and it was wearing size 48/small belted pants. Around the waist the body was in excellent cadaver condition. In particular, the encephalon did not contain any diatoms which would have been present in a drowning case.

    Therefore, the consultant who performed the autopsy stated that this situation, the dimensions of the corpse, the different clothing and the different state of cadaver preservation, indicated that the correspondence between the corpse that had been at the time recovered from the lake, as described by witnesses, and Narducci’s body was at best uncertain. To further ascertain whether or not the body recovered from the lake was Narducci’s, an anthropometric examination was conducted by a Pavia Forensic Medicine assistant, Dr. Cristina Carlesi, and then by the Parma RIS Commander, General Garofano, at that time a colonel. [The examination] confirmed that the corpse [recovered from the lake] had dimensional characteristics that made it incompatible with Narducci’s body examined [rinvenuto] during the autopsy. These aspects have been subject to multiple tests.


    25’39’’ CNN: Dr. Mignini, do you like a good conspiracy theory?

    25’42’’ Mignini: AHA! Here comes the conspiracy”¦ Listen, there is no conspiracy here, I do not know what that means. A size 60 person does not fit in a pair of size 48/small pants. There is no conspiracy here!

    26’08’’ Mignini: There is not a conspiracy. This is reality. Fairy tales are another matter but this is reality. The reality is that one must examine the reality. Unfortunately, the reality is that when I started these investigations, which are different from the ones we discussed now, I did not have, I said: “let’s see what there is”. And the medical examiner told me these things. A corpse that has been under water for five days and that is in an advanced state of decomposition is in the emphysematous phase when it surfaces again which means that there is also abdominal bloating and a pair of size 48 pants cannot fit. And this one had hair, the other one did not. The point is that [missing words] if one drowns, you have diatoms but this one did not have any. And then there is the matter of the hyoid bone fracture”¦ This is not a conspiracy. I do not know what you mean by conspiracy.

    27’16’’ CNN: Or rather a very imaginative reconstruction, one says, sorry, let me be clearer: in English one uses a lot [missing words]

    27’31’’ Mignini: Look, there would have been a conspiracy if I had led with this idea. But I did not start off with this idea. I took note of, I always say this, take note of what is reality, of what can be touched, of what can be seen. That is, I cannot make up reality. If reality tells me that that person is wearing a pair of size 48 pants and it is preserved in perfect condition, eh! Forensics tell us that there is something that does not make sense.

    0’11” Mignini: Pardon, if I might add, it’s the exact opposite of what he said. It is exactly because I take notice of the outcomes, I don’t have a predetermined idea. And so I take notice of what is there. And so if they say, “˜Look, that can’t be so’, his wife tells me, “˜he was wearing other clothes when I saw him leave for the last time. I’ve never seen these clothes before that I can see here in the photo of the recovered body’. Ah, so there is no conspiracy, it’s reality and it needs to be taken note of.

    1’03” CNN: You’ve never said that Meredith’s death was a satanic rite?

    1’08” Mignini: I have never said that. I have never understood who has and continues to say that. I read, there was a reporter, ““ I don’t know his name, I mention it because I noticed it, ““ who continues to repeat this claim that, perhaps, knowing full well that it’s not like that. I have never said that there might have been a satanic rite. I’ve never said it, so I would like to know who made it up. This is a conspiracy, a fantasy, to my detriment though, to my detriment. Simply a sexual act. And maybe I have always said, I maintained this in the first-instance trial, there was a relationship which deteriorated between the two girls. I’ve always maintained that. I’ll tell you this because”¦

    2’54” CNN: The discussion of the news that came out yesterday, of the non-DNA that they found on the knife”¦

    3’03” Mignini: Well, then I’ve said that I would prefer not to speak about the current phase of the case. Although I’ll tell you this, that when the tests were carried out by Forensics at the time, Forensics used, with cross-checking of the parties involved, all the genetic material present on the knife and the [bra-]clasp. That is, on the clasp there was a lot of it, so a part of it was used, but on the knife all the material that was there was used. It was an unrepeatable test, that exactly why it was unrepeatable [was] because all the material was used, because, taking all of it, a more reliable finding could be made, unable to be repeated. And so it came to be done with cross-checking of the parties involved. If this material was collected up three and a half years ago, what could have remained of this material? Nothing. The material on the clasp turned out then, I believe, to have deteriorated due to the presence of rust. And the rust could not have been prevented because, if one uses an anti-rust product, it would have burned the genetic material that remained. So I, I won’t enter into the merits of this discussion although, the test that was done at the time, was a definitive test, unrepeatable. The Court ruled that it was admissible to try and see if there was the possibility, to see if there were some material, some portion of material remaining. Probably there’s none left because it was used to do the tests at the time. That’s it. So it’s quite simple.


    5’48’’ Help me to understand how is it possible that there was none found (DNA) in the room?

    5’57’’ Mignini: How is it possible? It is possible, to begin with on the knife. The knife was in the room, means it was used. If the knife is the murder weapon, the knife was in the room. If that genetic material [is] like Dr. Stefanoni said, the genetic material of the victim on the blade and that of Amanda on the handle was in the room. The bra clasp contains the genetic material of Sollecito, and it was in the room. It was moved by one meter, because police can’t…. this can happen when there are so many items in these checks, but the bra clasp was in the room. There was genetic material of Sollecito there, of Rudy, and of the victim. So it is not true that there was no genetic material in the room, there was genetic material belonging to Sollecito, for example. And then if the knife is the murder weapon, as we found in the investigation process, the knife was on the scene of crime.

    7’04’‘And then, anyway at one meter [distant] from the scene of the crime, in the corridor and in the small bathroom, there was: the mixed blood of Amanda… how is that possible? And so now I put the question to you, I return the question: how is it possible that there is mixed blood of Amanda, that mixed blood of Amanda and the victim was the small bathroom, which is very near, next to the murder room? That in the bathroom there is a footprint on the little mat dirty with blood, which is attributed to Sollecito? That in the corridor in front of the door of the crime room there are bloodied footprints attributed to Sollecito and Amanda? How is it possible to find these elements if they were not there? [That is a] question. I would like an answer from you but I’ll tell you.

    Only a question ““ but I would like an answer to that ““ I ask you this:

    08’52” Mignini: but that blood”¦., Amanda says that she did not see it on the night of the first; she saw it in the morning [of the 2nd] when she says she went into the room. How is it possible, if they stayed the night in Sollecito’s house, they spent the night in Sollecito’s house, that there can be mixed blood victim/Amanda in the little bathroom?

    Sollecito’s blood-stained footprint on the bath mat? And the prints of Amanda and Sollecito in the corridor? Eh eh, we always come back to that?

    09’42” Mignini: In any case, the law is not an exact science, as you can see, because it is capable of being appraised, the pieces of evidence are capable of being evaluated in various ways. The day there is a centralized computer, we will have fewer trials, we will feed the data into the computer and it will give an answer. Although it is clear that there are differing evaluations because the facts can be evaluated in different ways, the testifying, this happens in all trials.

    10’40’’ CNN: is it possible for a prosecutor, who is facing problems on his own, to take this opportunity, of a so sensational case…

    10’58’’ Mignini: I have not taken any opportunity, since that day I was [on duty] on my shift. We have a one-week long shift, so I have not taken this opportunity. I had been on duty since the previous Monday, and my shift would end on the following Monday, which was the 5th. I think, and since the crime was discovered on the 2nd it was me who had to intervene. Then if you tell me: how is it that there is a procedure of this type, in which there is an acquittal which I would like to be talked about, because, I notice, that nobody speaks about this acquittal. And instead the whole truth must be told, because [in] this procedure against us which, let me tell you the whole truth, this as a process is a bit strange, anyway there is an acquittal. A full acquittal of which no one has spoken. The conviction instead is temporary and is undergoing appeal.

    Now, the Italian procedure provides that whenever there is a disciplinary proceeding against a magistrate, when disciplinary action would be, as in this case, merely related to a criminal proceeding, i.e., you have a criminal proceeding, there is automatically disciplinary procedure, the disciplinary procedure is suspended until the determination of the criminal proceeding. So, for one part there was a full acquittal, not “doubtful acquittal” [insufficient proof] but full, ascertained objectively. For another part there is an ongoing appeal, in which we have objected to the jurisdiction of the court of Florence. That is, the court of Florence shall not judge in this process because prosecutors in Florence were involved in the case in various ways. They could not deal with the proceeding in Florence because you can’t have a trial in your own home.

    13’53’’ Mignini: after that I would like to add one more thing, if it helps. During the trial, I never [*avoided questioning], I have always undergone examination. That is, I said: ‘just put questions, I have no problem’. Because I have no problem about this case, I have done the investigations that were needed to be done. So, there was no attitude of intimidation, in the most absolute way, because, among other things, I explain to you, you can’t put pressure on a person by performing activities that will remain secret for that person, even a child understands this. Maybe my children [little girls], even the smaller ones would understand this. So I cannot intimidate a person if I try to put pressure on that person through an activity that the person knows nothing about; I am not intimidating anyone, you see, this thing is just unrealistic. Thus I never [*avoided] I have always undergone questioning and I have the utmost confidence in [*justice] because I always had the utmost confidence in the judiciary activity. I was always ready to undergo examination, I said ‘ask me what you want’, I have put all the acts at their disposal.

    Those are investigations that require you to understand them, because they are complex investigations and a judicial authority that didn’t do these investigations won’t understand them. So much that I had a confirmation - now I won’t say much about this, I won’ explain in detail this aspect - I had a confirmation that, about this case that I dealt with, the magistrates who have dealt with did not grasp the range of it, and they assessed that these acts were acts unrelated to this case. I may add to this, since this is for the purpose of explaining the picture the Italian legal system [ .?. ]: ‘the crime of abuse of office’ [...] I’ve seen many times when they were explaining “convicted” [repeats “convict” in English] I think, of “abuse of power” [in English in text]. It is not abuse of power.

    The “abuse of office” is a misdemeanor in Italy, that is, before the 1997 reform, it was a very indeterminate crime, and then one could even, giving a wrong interpretation, even configure a charge of this type. Today, in order to configure a charge of abuse of office, conditions are required such that the charge is unlikely to be configured because it requires a breach of the law in real time ... that is a law that has to be immediately “preceptive”, which means not a procedural violation, such as those that have been charged against me. This violation must have resulted in unjust harm as a direct result of that violation of the law. And the subject who committed the violation must have accomplished this action with willful malice. That is, they must have done it primarily in order to harm another person. But I cannot harm or intimidate someone by performing an activity that will remain unknown to the person. This I… it is just logic, not a matter of [ .?.]


    18’16’’ CNN: Don’t you have even the slightest doubt that perhaps you accused two people who maybe are innocent?

    18’32’’ Mignini: Look, I want to make you a [ .?. ], I want to be, I am very sincere, so, I’m very, very fair and very sincere when talking. I have the [.?. *certainty?], since I made some requests I had the absolute certainty that they were responsible. Thus, otherwise, if I had a doubt, this is my assessment, I would have asked for an acquittal with dubitative formula. I tell you another thing, though I was told this, I have not seen the movie, I do not know [if] this movie will be aired in Italy, about how is that one of the Life Time movie like… I was told that in that film the actor who plays me was smiling when Amanda was convicted. I was told that, I haven’t seen it, I don’t know if it’s true. Is it true, did you see it?

    CNN: No.

    Mignini: I was told that the actor smiles. I did not smile instead because it was a duty to make this request, but a judge who makes a request of conviction does not do it, let’s say, lightly, far from that. Because they are two young people whose families I can see and hence the suffering of these families. But I do it because it is my duty, I deemed to do it, so I did not have the slightest doubt. But it’s not true that I was happy. I mean that I was [not] like the actor that I was told about who smiles, because asking for the sentencing of two youths who could be my children, in short, is not something that makes you happy. This I would like to make it clear. That is I did it because I was sure, I did it but .... These are weighty matters. Because the judge who asks for a conviction does it with a, how to say it, a feeling of necessity It is a duty, but it’s not that one is happy about it. This is, I would like to make this clear. (...)

    22’45’’ CNN: But at the same time, can you sleep at night thinking you did the right thing?

    22’53’’ Mignini: I have a clear conscience, yes. You, I remember you were present when I made the request for conviction, the sentencing request, I have ... I explained it, it happened to me because I was the most senior judge, that was not the colleague, my colleague had carried out her work, her scope: the matter relating to genetic testing, cells phones, computer investigation. I had to do the investigative part, let’s say that by the event, the part dealing with the evidence collection. And then at the end I had to make the final request, I tell you, I have four daughters, so I know what it means, I am”¦ I have a clear conscience because I asked, and I did, what I deemed [it had to] be done. I asked what I deemed and this is my assessment, I am ... who knows me knows that there is a way to persuade me: to convince me rationally. I am ... and those who know me know it, one who, when faced with a rational assessment, I often happened to concede that the person who has proven it to me was right. But I must be convinced. If I am not convinced, I am not convinced and I have my position. My position [is one] that I draw from the analysis of the elements, never by a preconceived or conspiracy-oriented assessment, anyway from the facts, from facts alone absolutely.

    25’32’’ Mignini: I hope that, I do not know if it’s over, think it’s over, I hope that there was a [..?.. *question] ..., there is one, a lot of different views, including the interpretation of events that occurred, that are very different. I tried, I didn’t have means because the judge is not allowed to speak much, and not much freely. I had read many times, I also received messages that were not exactly pleasant. Then also I read a lot of things that were totally unfounded and I hope I made a contribution. That means, you can have different opinions. I [think]”¦ Sure, you can have different opinions, I, as the magistrate who works as a prosecutor; it was me in the investigation at the first instance trial and now as an assistant on appeal. You can have different opinions, I respect opinions but I expect that you do not put into question the good faith and intellectual honesty of the investigators, because there are no [*prejudices? reasons?] towards those young people who were totally unknown.

    We did what we deemed [was right] doing, what we found, which one may not subscribe to. I respect all opinions, but the ones who were responsible for conducting the investigation and supporting what is called the accusation, that anyway, let’s repeat it, is not an accusation but an organ of justice, [those ones] are us. And we took the responsibility for doing what we asked for. There is a colleague who worked with me, she was very useful because she helped me on some issues, from a biological standpoint, she is a colleague with whom we work together in the executive council of the National Association of Magistrates. So I hope that, I don’t know, but I wish, just hope, that at least I have been able to help in clarifying [the matter]. That is, that at least something could be said [missing words] that is not exactly what we thought. This is what I would like, at least I hope.


    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Dear Ken Jautz Of CNN: Full CNN Interview With Mignini That CNN SHOULD Have Reflected #2

    Posted by Skeptical Bystander


    The previous post is here.

    CNN’s report is downloadable here. Our contexting and the first hour are posted here..  Final post Tuesday. Our translators were PMF posters Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

    0’40’’ English question [Translator’s note: These words are in English in the Italian transcript of which this document is a translation.]

    0’48’’ CNN: You didn’t interrogate Amanda?

    0’50’’ Mignini: Oh, the police interrogated her. I was told about it. I wanted to explain this. I remember that I had gone to sleep and the director of the flying squad, Dr. Profazio, called me, because he tells me: “There are developments; Raffaele in fact has denied what he had said before”. So I went down and the head of the flying squad told me what had happened. At some point they tell us that Amanda has made this statement.

    And thus her interrogation as a person informed of the facts was suspended by the police in compliance with Article 63 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure [c.p.p. - Codice di Procedura Penale], because if evidence appears that incriminates the person, the person being questioned as a person informed of the facts can no longer be heard, and we must stop. “Everyone stop! There must be a defense attorney [present]”. And thus the police stopped and informed Amanda, who had placed herself on the scene of the crime and who said that she had accompanied Lumumba and let him in and that then Lumumba, in the other room, allegedly committed a sexual act and killed Meredith. This is what she said.

    2’11’’ Then I was called, I was informed about this, I went to Amanda who, I remember how she was, what she looked like, I remember her very well, she remained imprinted in my memory, I still remember then two things about Amanda that struck me at the time: first, she looked like she was relieved of a burden and second, she was like, and this is another detail that was impressive, it seemed as if she was terrified of Lumumba.

    20’48’’ Then I, as I had in some way to, let’s say… this police interrogation had been suspended. At that point I remember that… they made me notice that Amanda, because she wanted to go on talking, I remember she had, like a need to. So I told her: “you can make statements to me; I will not ask questions, since if you make a spontaneous statement and I collect it, I will collect your statement as if I were in fact a notary”. She then repeated [her story] to the interpreter, who was Mrs. Donnino, I remember there was a police woman officer who wrote the statement down [verbalizzava], I did not ask questions. She basically repeated what she had told the police and she signed the statement. Basically I didn’t ask Amanda questions. Not before, since the police asked them and I was not there, and not after, since she made spontaneous statements. Had I been asking her questions, a defense attorney should have been there. This is the procedure.

    05’24 CNN: She had an interpreter during the whole time?

    05’26’’ Mignini: Yes.

    05’29’’ CNN: She says no.

    05’32’’ Mignini: Look the interpreter was there, when I heard her there was the interpreter. The interpreter Anna Donnino, who is an interpreter for the police; she was hired by the police.

    Just like I believe that there was [before], I do not have the minutes now, but yet now this is a fact, it is undisputed that there was an interpreter.

    06’02’’ CNN: Amanda Knox says she was interrogated for 14 hours…

    06’11’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. At 1 a.m., the minutes of Nov 6th has started at 1 a.m. and I arrived, 14 hours that cannot be, we are really… that’s absolutely impossible. So the minutes were done at one o’clock, then the minutes of the spontaneous declaration was taken at 5.45, it maybe lasted half an hour because no questions were asked. She made her statements; they were translated; then at around 8 a.m., I think, at approximately 8, I drew up the detention order. Thus it is… well, she had been heard earlier, so she had been questioned as a person informed of the facts at around one forty-five a.m. She had previously been heard by a female police officer, but [that’s] because she had gone voluntarily to the police and she reported that, she said things quite relevant to the investigation of Raffaele and was heard by the inspector [Rita] Ficarra. However this [event] ... I was not there, I do not know [about it]. But remember, there are the minutes. Then the minutes in which she was questioned as a person informed of the facts starts at 1:45 of November 6, and cannot have lasted 14 hours ... in no way whatsoever. Then she was arrested at around 8 a.m. or at about 9 a.m. or so.

    08’16’’ Mignini: Look, I remember what I saw when I saw her personally, because she said, I told her: “you can make, if you deem it [necessary], a spontaneous statement, because Italian law provides for this. If a person is aware that he/she is suspected [under investigation], may request to speak before a magistrate, it happened many times, they came also to me, and they say “I want to make a statement”. Very well, I listen. If I listen, I wanted this to be highlighted…. to be clear, I listen and that’s all, and I ask no questions, the defense attorney may be not present. But if I ask questions and I object to the facts [of your answers], it is like an interrogation and thus we would need a defense attorney.

    09’10’’ CNN: was [Amanda Knox] scared?

    09’11’’ Mignini: Well, I recall this feeling that I had in that moment which, [as] I am explaining to you, in the spirit in which I am doing this interview, to explain to you the acceptance [adozione] of our requests [provvedimenti], what was, why the trial went in a certain way. [Translator’s note: The Italian in the CNN transcript is nearly incomprehensible. We have provided the foregoing on a best effort basis.]

    09’36’’ She was, she seemed to me like she was uplifted, freed of a weight, and terrified of Lumumba. That’s an impression that has stayed with me, yet I don’t understand. I remember that there was a policeman who was called, from the SCO [Servizio Centrale Operativo] in Rome, who made an impression on me because he was very fatherly. She was crying as though freed of a great weight, and he was trying to console her. I remember there was also a policewoman who, well, she…[missing word?] and I’m sure that.. [missing word?] .. well, all that picture how it was described later… at that moment it wasn’t like that. Right then, there was a situation in which I was trying to console her, to encourage her, because actually we believed that she had told the truth.

    11’03’’ CNN: No one hit her?

    11’06’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. I can state this in the most positive way, and then, let’s say”¦ I wasn’t there when she was being questioned by police, the rooms are quite far away”¦ you don’t know but I was”¦ it’s quite far, there’s a corridor, and I was with the director, Dr. Porfazio, and she was being questioned in a different place. I also remember that passing through, I also saw Sollecito who was alone in a different room; he was also being questioned, as I recall. I don’t exclude”¦well”¦it’s clear that I wasn’t there, but I don’t believe that anything whatsoever happened, and in my presence absolutely not.

    11’55’’ On the contrary, there was an attitude of”¦ I mean they gave her [some] ... [missing word?] then she was like, you know, like someone crying from a sense of liberation, as though she had been freed. That was the attitude.


    12’51’’ CNN: Why wasn’t there any video or transcript of those hours?

    13’00’’ Mignini: Look, that’s, I was at the police station, and all the”¦let’s say”¦when I made investigations in my own office, I taped them. I taped them, we have an apparatus for that, and I transcribed them. For example, there’s the interrogation of the English girls, Meredith’s friends, it was all taped. The interrogations of Amanda in prison were taped, and then transcribed, and we have the transcripts of”¦ But in a police station, at the very moment of the investigation it isn’t done, not with respect to Amanda or anyone else. Also because, I can tell you, today, even then, but today in particular, we have budget problems, budget problems that are not insignificant, which do not allow us to transcribe. Video is very important”¦I completely agree with you that videotaping is extremely important, we should be able to have a video recording of every statement [verbale di assunzione di informazioni] made Because what is said is very important, but it’s maybe even more important how it is said, the non-verbal language. Because from the non-verbal language you can [missing words].

    15’14’’ Mignini: It isn’t only Amanda, it’s always like that. But I wanted to say that I agree with him that it’s fundamental, only there’s a problem, especially when the witnesses are so numerous, and in fact just recording, I mean recording the sound, isn’t enough according to me.

    15’38’’ CNN: It doesn’t cost much, he says.

    15’40’’ Mignini: Well we have significant budget problems, that’s what it is.

    15’38’’ CNN: So in the end, you did get a confession. But then, everything that was written in the confession became a lie?

    16’16’’ Mignini: But then, there was the fact that she placed herself at the scene of the crime, and Lumumba wasn’t there, together with the three of them, the two of them, but Rudy was there, according to the facts that emerged later. But the fact of having accused”¦and she’s even accused of calumny in regard to Lumumba, was an element that was very important from the point of view of her legal position at the trial. Why accuse someone of participating in a crime, placing yourself at the scene of a crime? Because with those declarations, she placed herself at the scene, at the place of the crime. And she placed someone there who was a complete stranger to it. Why did she do that? There is one detail that’s particularly significant. Above all when Lumumba was arrested and no one ““ if it hadn’t been for the Public Prosecutor’s Office that conducted the investigation, and that is mandated to seek elements in favor of the accused, Lumumba would have stayed in prison. But we investigated, and we saw that Lumumba wasn’t involved, that he was the object of calumny and so he was freed and the case against him was archived.

    18’15’’ CNN: Was she asked to imagine what might have happened?

    18’24’’ Mignini: No, absolutely not. Either you saw a person or you didn’t. I can’t ask someone what they imagine because it would be a question that doesn’t mean anything, that I even don’t understand.

    18’44’’ CNN: Do you think Amanda Knox is bad?

    18’46’’ Mignini: Look, by the way we did make some personality assessments, we usually do make them, but they are only for investigative purposes. About Amanda I can tell you that she is a very, extremely intelligent girl, I always said so, about being bad, I don’t .... I wouldn’t, I couldn’t say anything. It seems to me that going beyond this would be a personal judgment, devoid of significance. What is important is the fact, what is important is why an event takes place which is a crime, a crime accomplished without premeditation. So I don’t”¦ any”¦ I mean, I don’t want to do it, I don’t think it would be right to say that someone is good or bad, absolutely not.

    20’09’’ This means the assessments that we did make were made only in order to ascertain responsibility, but what someone’s personality is, the personality of the accused, that deserves great respect and we don’t, the evaluations that we do we only make them to ascertain responsibility and then for the sentencing. At that stage in fact the personality of the criminal is taken into account, for the purpose of establishing penalty, in Italian law, but we did that in the request for a guilty verdict. There, there was one element that has some relevance to the psychological aspect; it was the fact that a crime was alleged that was committed for futile motives, which is an aggravating circumstance. And we did hold that this was an aggravating circumstance, but it was only for this purpose that we made personality assessments, not for any other purpose.

    21’26’’ During the investigation, I heard them being made, and I read articles, they kept attributing judgments to the investigators that were never made; certainly I never made judgments like that. I have the greatest respect for the persons of the accused.

    22’30’’ CNN: The accusation [Translator’s note:  non-grammatical question] is like: once it was proven that Lumumba was basically a lie of Amanda’s, you should have started again from scratch. Once all the DNA evidence of Rudy Guede came out, you should have said we’ve found the culprit, because of the fact that there just wasn’t any trace at all inside the room, and then, according to the defense, the defense says that you became fixated on Amanda and Raffaele, almost obsessional.

    23’19’’ Mignini: No, absolutely not. I did what I did and now I’m talking about the past, about what the investigation showed, about what happened at the first instance trial, because I am, I was and I am, I did what I did because I’m convinced, on the basis of the evidence collected, that they were responsible, in the most absolute way. There isn’t”¦how was Rudy involved? Rudy was one element, but the crime, I repeating, one can’t say any longer that this crime was committed by a single person. Now we have a judgment from the Court of Cassation, the Supreme Court, saying this crime was committed by Rudy together with other people, and it then indicates, by confirming the verdict and sentence of the Court of Appeal which condemned Rudy, that it is incidentally speaking of Amanda and Raffaele. So from now on, this crime must be seen as having been committed by more than one person, one of whom is Rudy.

    24’36’’ So what has been assessed was held, I want this to be clear, precisely for the purpose of reconstructing the facts: I am called[C1] , I issue the warrant of arrest, for the arrest of Amanda, Sollecito and Lumumba, it goes in front of the Judge for the Preliminary Investigations who rules on the grounds of the warrant for arrest, so there’s a request to validate the arrest and permit a precautionary measure; the judge for the preliminary investigation validated the arrest and allowed the precautionary measure. Then Lumumba was removed from the picture because we conducted our investigation and saw that he wasn’t involved, so he was out. So, when we had collected the elements that convinced us, me in particular since I was the one who made the request, the archiving request, first his release and then the archiving of the proceeding against him.

    25’37’’ If that had been, but I don’t accept that attribution, there isn’t any, there isn’t any [missing word?]. If the magistrate, if that attribution were true, having started with Lumumba I would have had to continue with Lumumba. But in fact, it isn’t that way because Lumumba had nothing to do with it. So, the precautionary measure was challenged before the re-examining tribunal, where three judges preside for each of the accused. On the order of the re-examining tribunal, Sollecito, Rudy and Amanda appealed the precautionary measure to the court of Cassation, but the court of Cassation confirmed it [Translator’s note: i.e., denied the appeal]. The measure was also taken for Rudy, and the court of Cassation confirmed it.

    Then there was the judge of the preliminary hearing who sent the case to trial, condemned Rudy, rejected a request to revoke the measure, and finally the first instance trial ended with a guilty verdict. Here, eight judges, i.e., two magistrates [giudici togati] and six lay judges, recognized that the accusations were well-founded. So, when there are elements that had to be archived, we did request that they be archived. So there is no such attitude [Translator’s note: i.e., obsession], absolutely not. This is what I can [do?]. If there were, if there were some true or even just credible elements, because I would need something like that, which hypothetically could prove that they had nothing to do with the crime, I would take account of it and would act accordingly, I would have acted accordingly. In the most absolute way.

    27’48’’ I’ll tell you what happened, and please believe me, because around this event there have been a lot of things which are unfounded, to say the least. According to me, intellectual honesty is the main quality in a magistrate.


    29’53’’ CNN: Is Antonio Curatolo a trustworthy witness?

    29’59’’ Mignini: But the witness takes an oath and assumes his responsibility, if he says something false then he is committing the crime of perjury and calumny, at the limit, if he’s explicitly accusing an innocent person of a crime, so in our, in Italian law, the witness is considered to be trustworthy, authentic, until the point at which you can’t prove he said something false. Unfortunately, however, or fortunately, we don’t know, the person who was in the piazza, who has lived in that piazza for ten years, at least ten years, who knew everything about that piazza, was this homeless guy. So the homeless guy is a bum so that’s no good. But that’s not right, he’s a witness like the others. The woman what’s her name, the witness who lived there, near the house, the one who heard the scream, is a totally credible person, a very normal lady who told what she had heard coherently. The school teacher, the one who lived nearby, is a totally credible, trustworthy witness.

    With witnesses, it’s not that we can choose their testimony. Witnesses are the people who are, by chance, able to give some indications. And for that matter, Curatolo is someone who actually lived there, and his declarations are altogether pretty credible, and confirmed by other people. Other witnesses were also heard, who were, I don’t know, for example Gioffredi, a perfectly normal person. So I don’t see”¦basically, it’s the testimony of a perfectly normal person which has to be weighed according to what it says, and its coherence with a reconstruction [of the events, translator’s note], and we have to believe it unless it’s proven wrong.

    32’26’’ Because if he says that he saw something, he exposes himself, he’s under oath so he exposes himself to an accusation of perjury if he’s not telling the truth, so we have to believe him. Otherwise justice, without witnesses”¦it’s not as though we had a film of the crime, if only that could be the case.

    33’30’’ CNN: Was Toto being investigated [sotto inchiesta] when he gave his testimony?

    33’42’’ Look, I know that at the moment in which he gave it, I believe that there were some lawsuits against him, but in the stage of appeal, I think he had been condemned but was appealing, so, then later the sentence became definitive, but he gave his testimony when the sentence wasn’t definitive yet. I don’t know, those are details that I wouldn’t know about exactly”¦but I know for certain that the sentence was not definitive, so was still being contested.

    34’34’’ CNN: Did Toto give his testimony hoping to obtain some kind of favor?

    34’36’’ Mignini: Non, there was no favor, absolutely no favor. This didn’t happen”¦the witness presented himself and made his declarations, that’s all. We took note of them, because they were relevant declarations.

    35’17’’ CNN: So, you believed the testimony of a heroin-addict bum?

    35’25’’ Mignini: Well, on let’s say the legal position of this person, I have nothing to say because he was judged for something different, for a true and totally different fact, having nothing to do with the present one. For this one, he was a witness. And it’s true that it’s completely different in that he was heard as a witness, with no lawyer. If it had been a related fact, he would have had to be assisted by a lawyer and he would have had the choice to abstain from making declarations. But for this event, he is a plain and simple witness. Then, also, I wouldn’t want to, because the witness, it’s not that we ask the witness if he has a previous record, previous condemnations. We can ask that to the accused, to the accused, amongst the other questions that we ask the accused, we ask him if he has a previous record, but we don’t ask witnesses this question, except during the defense’s investigations. This is the”¦so he’s just a witness who made declarations. His declarations have remained quite, rather credible.

    There’s also for example the fact that, well, take for example the rain. Curatolo remembers that the evening during which he saw the two young people, it wasn’t raining, and it’s true that on the evening of the crime it wasn’t raining. Vice versa, and they say this, also other witnesses say this, on the previous night, only in the town of Perugia, there was a limited weather phenomenon; in the late afternoon of October 31, it rained. And even I remember that, because I remember that the street was wet. So, this is to say that this is a detail which was confirmed by”¦there. I’m giving an example to tell you that also a person who has a criminal record”¦and then, one would have to go see all the witnesses who were heard at the first degree trial, all of them, to see if they had them. We don’t do it because it isn’t relevant.


    38’45’’ CNN: From the response of the bum, I assume that you took the responses of the two ladies as valid, and never went to check in their apartments if it was possible to hear footsteps with the shutters closed.

    39’04’’ Mignini: So, the question of Curatolo is one thing, the declaration of Mrs. Capezzali, what’s her name, I think Capezzali, is something else. You say, she’s quite an elderly woman, she said she heard a scream, the scream that”¦ She lives, I don’t know if you know the area, but, I don’t think you know it, she lives above the garage and looks over the house on via della Pergola, where there’s a kind of, something like an amphitheater. So the sounds coming from below can be heard with particular clarity and she heard the scream perfectly. She said so. And that same scream was heard by a very young teacher who lives lower down, in a street in the direction of, towards, let’s say towards via Pinturicchio. And around the same time, she also heard a scream like that. Then she went down to her parents who were in a different part of the house and they said they hadn’t heard anything.

    40’26’’ CNN: He wants to know if you went to the house.

    40’28’’ Mignini: Did I go? I have taken note of this witness’s statement and also of the other and, being two statements from persons who had no reason to lie and being these statements entirely credible since they are very similar to each other, the houses are very close to Via della Pergola, this statement was deemed fully reliable. There was then a request for an expert opinion, now I will not go into the merits of the trial events, but this thing was assessed during the investigation, by the Gup, and by the Assize Court that heard this person, who was cross-examined, she said, she repeated what she said. An absolutely believable person, who obviously [missing words]...further, as here [missing words]”¦an experiment on the possibility of hearing was not done. We are, we took note of the fact that she told about this, about the scream that she heard. She confirmed it, she gave her, her, we say word, that she took an oath in court, to have heard this scream.

    The same thing was said by another witness. What should we have done? Have an expert [perizia] ascertain, under different, not repeatable conditions, that which was heard at the time? The witness said what she heard. And, then, neither I nor the Court of Assizes considered submitting [missing words]. The Assize Court decided instead to do something very important. And this is a detail which I consider [missing words]. When I inspected the house on Via della Pergola, which in my opinion was a very important initiative, very crucial for the decision. That is, that was an opportunity to make an inspection to see that house as it was, how was this window through which this unknown subject would have climbed, which then would have been Rudy. And the court was aware that this reconstruction was, in my opinion, unlikely.

    43’35’’ CNN: Would it have been easy to conduct [fare] the experiment?

    43’38’’ Mignini: But let’s say if a person has made these statements and it was this way. Because, you see, I’ve listened to this person, she was recorded, among other things, she was cross-examined during the trial. She was very precise. She said that she constantly used to hear, even during other nights, that she used to hear the noises of the youngsters who made quite a noise in the garage, in the parking lot. So. ... These things, these noises, she was used to hearing them. She stated this. There was no reason, she did not know the victim, she did not know the accused, what reason could she have had to [missing words]?

    44’44’’ CNN: not that she lied but this is a fundamental question for your work. Is your job finding the truth and solving the problem or is it following your intuition and trying to incriminate the first person you find suspicious?

    45’16’’ Mignini: Well this is, in the Italian legal system, the prosecutor is not a lawyer for the accusation. He/she is an organ of the judiciary who must also seek evidence in favor of the suspect. Which we have done, particularly in the case of Lumumba. And all the people, all the witnesses who were suggested by the accused, were heard in cross-examination. A very long preliminary investigation was made, extremely thorough, verifications of all kinds were made, [including] verifications on the phone cells. I have not spoken of the phone cells, for example, but that is another point that showed people’s movements, people’s location, that were confirming the accusatory hypothesis, as we say. So, [after] all these evaluations, the prosecutor, made a few requests. I did nothing. I made an order of detention, I asked for [its] confirmation. Then the judges had to confirm everything. And the Preliminary Hearing judge should have considered, he would have had to, if there had been any grounds of non-credibility of witnesses, they should have been pointed out, they should have highlighted this. But the Preliminary Hearing judge evaluated the indictment request, I asked for an indictment but is was the GUP Micheli who [actually] indicted the defendants.

    There was the trial before the Assize Court, which took place, it was a proceeding that lasted a year, a trial that lasted a year, during which the case was examined thoroughly from every possible angle and therefore this is the [missing words]. The magistrate, the prosecutor has an obligation, let’s say, in the current legal system, to seek, he is an impartial body, that has the obligation to seek the truth and if new elements emerge which make [a person] appear to be credible, which make a person appear to be unrelated to a crime, [then the prosecutor] has the obligation to request that all charges be dropped or, if during the trial, [to ask for an] acquittal. I myself have come across many times, during a trial, in light of witnesses, new witnesses, who were produced again in other cases, I asked for an acquittal. Anyone who knows me knows that this has occurred many times. But in this case I had, let’s say, during the investigation phase and during the trial, I made, we made our requests, we explained them, we justified them, and the court gave, acknowledged the validity of this case. Then there is an instance of appeal. There is the appellate level. Now, I will not discuss this because it is on-going.

    49’11’’ Mignini: The phone call, for example, another thing that had a considerable influence on the investigation was the phone call that Amanda had with her mother in the middle of the night in Seattle, even before [the body] was discovered. This is another element that comes to mind, even before the body was found.

    49’52’’ There is a call that is made in an hour, now I do not remember, it was I think, I do not remember exactly, I think it was 3 AM in Seattle, I think.


    50’58’’ CNN: In 2006, you were found [missing words], let’s move on now to the other case, the prosecutor of Florence said that you would do anything to defend yourself in front of those who criticize the way you investigate…

    51’43’’ Mignini: Well, I will not comment on this statement, I do not know when it was made. The proceeding that this person brought against me and Dr. Giuttari, ended in part with a full acquittal because no crimes had taken place [i fatti non sussistono], for one part. And this is a final acquittal because the prosecution did not appeal. So, this part of the allegations that were made, which were formulated, which was the most important part and led to the searches in the offices of the prosecution and also in Giuttari’s police offices, this part has totally collapsed. A search was carried out, a seizure was made, which had already been annulled by a court in Florence.

    Then the court of Florence acquitted us because no crimes had been committed, with a full acquittal. And this acquittal is final. A part of the charges formulated against us remains, that I honestly find hard to understand, because they say [si dice], we were accused of having carried out investigations that had no relevance according to the theory [impostazione] of the Florence prosecutor’s office, I make this distinction, they had no bearing on the investigation we were conducting. I say that they had a full relevance and among these files there were interceptions that were all authorized by the competent magistrate. So this conviction was based on alleged offences [ipotesi di reato] to which we object, we have appealed, objecting to the jurisdiction of the prosecutor of Florence that conducted a trial although magistrates from the very same Florence Public Prosecutor’s office were involved in this very trial. And this cannot be done.

    54’26’’ Because when there is a magistrate who is involved for different reasons in a matter, the trial must be moved [to another city]. So, if there is a magistrate from Perugia, the trial is moved [si va] to Florence, but if there is a magistrate from Florence, one goes to Genoa. And if there is a magistrate from Genoa involved as the offended party, as it was in this case, you go to Turin. And this is not what they did in Florence. We have objected to the jurisdiction of the Court of Florence for the violation of article 11 of the c.p.p. and if this jurisdiction should be recognized, everything comes to be nullified, and everything goes to Turin.

    55’14’’ In addition there are other aspects that I do not wish to, well, you asked me the question about Preston, then I spoke, and I would like a moment

    56’05’’ Mignini: Then I would add one thing, listen well to this. If I want to do something intimidating, meaning that I want to do an investigation that has an intimidating purpose [carattere] against a person because that person speaks against [me], no? If I want to do an act of intimidation, I have to do an act which that person feels, that that person understands, knows, perceives. I must, hypothetically, carry out a search, make a seizure, do an inspection ... Instead, I performed [faccio] a wiretap that was secret, I heard a witness who remained secret. How can I intimidate a person if I carry out an investigation that remains secret? Because the investigation must be secret. This activity is not like a search that is immediately known by the person. If I want to intimidate a person do you think that I carry out an investigation that remains secret? And how can I intimidate him? It’s a contradiction in terms. So someone will have to explain to me the meaning of this accusation.

    57’32’’ The problem is that at the origin of these proceedings there was [missing words], I do not mean the whole Florence Prosecutor’s office with which I have very good relations. I’m talking about a time when [missing words] I talk about a conflict between offices, a conflict that has ended up in front of the Supreme Court Prosecutor General’s Office because the Prosecutor General of Florence. That is, the Florence Prosecutor’s Office wanted us to hand over to them a case we had,  the one regarding the death of doctor Narducci. We said no, the competence is ours. The prosecutor general of the Supreme Court, Dr. Febbraio, on July 29, 2005, agreed with Perugia.

    So at the origin of this matter there is a conflict of jurisdiction and there is an indictment brought by us, I would like to make this clear, the Perugia Prosecutor’s Office had indicted the Florence Chief Prosecutor at that time, and this proceeding, at the origin of this proceeding, there is this fact. And this person also filed a civil lawsuit against me and Dr. Giuttari. This is the ... there is a contrast between offices, there was.

    The next post is here.


    So The Two Pressed Defense Teams Decide To Go Eyeball To Eyeball With The Supreme Court Of Cassation

    Posted by Peter Quennell


    The appeal is not looking very pretty for the defenses. There seems no single brick in the wall of the prosecution’s case that, if pulled, will place the entire structure in doubt.

    The Supreme Court ruled last December that Rudy Guede’s trial judge Micheli had it right in saying that three perpetrators killed Meredith, one of which was definitely Rudy Guede.

    Judge Micheli also ruled in October 2008 that only Knox had a reason to rearrange the crime scene, and Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial judge Massei ruled the same in December 2009. The extensive forensic evidence in Filomena’s room, in the corridor, and in the bathroom Meredith and Amanda Knox shared, has so far been ruled out for re-examination. None of it suggests Guede was ever in that bathroom or in Filomena’s room - in fact it suggests he headed straight out the front door .

    Eye-witnesses other than the man in the park, Curatolo, are not to be heard from again. Curatolo is probably not much discredited because he could say that it did not rain on the night he claims he saw Sollecito and Knox in the park watching the house (it did rain on Halloween) and that it was the night before all the cops arrived at the house. Buses were around as he described. The only thing that might have shaken his timeline is that he might have seen a late Halloween reveler or two.

    And the defenses seem to have no obvious way of explaining why Knox and Sollecito came up with so very many muddled alibis and why each at one point even ended up blaming the other.

    A report today from TGCom said this on the review of two small parts of the DNA evidence:

    Experts report on the traces of DNA found on knife held as the murder weapon used to kill Meredith Kercher and clasp of the bra worn at the time of the murder will be filed June 30. It was established by the Assize Court of Appeal in the Perugia trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. The new deadline was set by the judges at the request of their experts who had requested an extension of 40 days.

    The experts have been in courtroom, explaining that they have obtained all the scientific data required. They have however highlighted the need to consult the minutes related to the seizure of the knife and the testimony in the first trial of the agents that followed the inspection at the home of Sollecito. Documents that the Court ordered to be provided to the experts.

    In front of the judges one of the experts stressed that the “maximum cooperation” was provided by the scientific police who performed the technical tests in the course of the investigations.

    Nothing in that looks too promising.

    Best defense options left if Knox and Sollecito are really to be sufficiently suggested not guilty?

    • Option 1: Putting both of them on the witness stand without preconditions for the first time so the appeal court can hear their stories in full, compare them, and subject Knox and Sollecito to no-holds-barred cross-examination.

    • Option 2: Putting the two prison inmates Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello on the witness stand, with several claimed corroborators, to say in Alessi’s case that Guede confided that he did it with two others, and to say in Aviello’s case that his missing brother did it with one other.

    What we know of their claims so far - and police and prosecution have really checked out Alessi and Aviello and revealed nothing of what they have up their sleeves - there are only poor connects between their claims and what is described in the Micheli and Massei reports.

    Each could crumble in a devastating way under cross-examination, and then be contradicted by a long line of witnesses that the prosecution could bring in to rebut them.

    Here is Andrea Vogt reporting on Option 2 from the trial session yesterday which turned out to be mainly procedural: setting several new appeal court dates, and a new date for the findings of the reviews of the DNA on the large knife and bra clasp.

    The parties eventually agreed to hold hearings June 18 and 27. And, surprisingly, Judge Hellmann also agreed to admit five new controversial witnesses into the appeals trial, a process normally reserved for debating contested evidence already introduced in the first trial.

    The five new witnesses being requested by the Sollecito and Knox defense are all prison inmates ““ convicted of everything from child homicide to being Mafia snitches and drug dealing.

    Some of the witnesses have given conflicting accounts of stories they’ve heard about the case while behind bars. At least three, however, agree on their version, that Rudy Guede told them that Knox and Sollecito were innocent (an account Guede denies).

    The prosecution is likely to call for counter testimony. The decision to open up the appeal to wholly new testimony from convicted prison inmates is bound to complicate the already confused trial even more, and likely push any final decision far into the fall, toward the fourth anniversary of Kercher’s brutal stabbing and Knox’s incarceration in connection with it.

    As if five convicts weren’t enough, Knox’s attorneys announced they had received yet another letter from a different inmate, Tommaso Pace, this time making bizarre and unfounded claims that victim Meredith Kercher was targeted by two unnamed brothers paid $100,000 to kill her over alleged drug debts.

    The new letter from Pace (whom the judge and attorneys must still agree to call as a witness) sets up the prospect of potentially six prison inmates taking the stand in Knox’s defense over the summer””each of them with a slightly different story and motive for telling it.

    Alessi’s own lawyer seems to have counseled him not to get up on the stand, presumably fearing perjury charges and additional time in his cell. Aviello is literally unlikely to show his face. The prosecution could bring back Rudy Guede as a witness against both, and even without Guede testifying, it looks like the prosecution might turn all five witnesses on their heads. 

    So Option 2 could drag things out for some months, confront unequivocal Supreme Court findings issued last December and ported into this appeal, and still have the Knox and Sollecito defenses conclusively crumble.

    Meanwhile, the judges and jury could be watching a very prolonged dog-and-pony show while impatiently wondering: “WHY didn’t they simply choose Option 1? Then some or all of us might very quickly have gone home.”


    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Dear Ken Jautz Of CNN: Full CNN Interview With Mignini That CNN SHOULD Have Reflected #1

    Posted by Skeptical Bystander


    Introduction: Judgment and credibility

    Candace Dempsey recently claimed that viewers would be able to “judge the credibility of Mignini [”¦] when CNN airs Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story”. In support of her claim, Dempsey provided an excerpt of the interview at end of her reader blog entry of May 6, 2011.

    Viewers who managed to sit through the Drew Griffin/Doug Preston/CNN treatment of the Meredith Kercher case saw bits and pieces of what CNN risibly tried to pass off as an exclusive: access to one of the prosecutors, Giuliano Mignini, who indeed agreed to answer questions. What CNN failed to mention was that Mignini was actually interviewed for two-plus hours, and that he answered Mr. Griffin’s questions openly and without hesitation, not knowing that his answers would be severely and ruthlessly edited and cherry-picked to reflect something very different from what he actually said.

    Not only did CNN fail to reveal this fact, Drew Griffin actually said (according to Dempsey) that “Mignini doesn’t really answer questions,” adding that Mignini “”¦talks and talks, going round and round and returning to certain things. I had to keep bringing him back to the evidence, to what’s actually being presented in court.”

    This post and the next two to follow contain the original Italian transcript, authored by Turner Broadcasting and apparently then transcribed by a human being or by software (perhaps CNN will clarify). Whichever it was, the resulting document, which we obtained in the form of a word file, was clearly not subsequently corrected for errors, as readers of Italian will see. Presumably, the “three different interpreters” who “looked at Mignini’s interview to make sure that he was quoted correctly” did not read this transcript version of the interview.

    Perhaps CNN can be persuaded to clarify the process or even to provide the actual audio and/or video of the interview. In the meantime, our translators demanded that we issue this translation with a giant red flag to signal that the transcript authored by Turner Broadcasting does not appear to be in complete and correct Italian. There are missing words, repeated words, and clearly wrong words. This may be because it was compiled by a non-native speaker. Again, only the folks at CNN can shed light on the process.

    As you read the transcript or the translation of it, which was done by a team of volunteers (PMF posters Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip), it is important to keep this in mind.

    Also keep in mind that, according to Dempsey (based either on what Griffin told her or the cherry-picked interview snippets in the CNN program; perhaps Dempsey will clarify) “”¦instead of talking about hard evidence, Mignini kept returning to Amanda’s odd behavior; her relationship with Raffaele Sollecito, her Italian ex-boyfriend; and even her eyes (which, since they are blue, the Italian press called “icicle eyes”)”.

    Griffin to Dempsey: “He truly believes she was the criminal mastermind behind the murder and that Raffaele was infatuated and under her spell.”

    More Griffin to Dempsey: “Prosecutor Giuliano Miginini [sic] is, in my opinion, a rambling, confused individual.” (Drew Griffin to Candace Dempsey).

    Dempsey:  “Griffin was surprised by Mignini’s willingness to say all sorts of things about Amanda that were not part of the trial.”

    Griffin: “The kind of things that, if a prosecutor came to court in the U.S. and put before a judge, would get his whole case thrown out.”

    And don’t forget what Candace Dempsey told potential viewers: that they would be able to make their own judgment calls when the documentary aired on Sunday, May 8, 2011.

    We beg to differ.

    We think that the viewers will have a much better basis on which to make a judgment call if they take the time to read the complete transcript and/or our translation of it. Then ask yourselves these questions:

    Is Prosecutor Mignini evasive?

    Does he give unclear responses?

    Does he ramble?

    Does he seem confused?

    Compare the full interview with what viewers were shown. Then make your judgment call. Like us, you might be more tempted to make one about the people who did the cherry-picking, the packaging and the publicity for this hatchet job.

    The remaining hour and a half will be posted in two more posts, one after saturday’s appeal session report, and one after the weekend.





    First hour of the interview

    4’09’’ CNN: There have been many stories about this crime, about what people think happened. What do you think really happened?

    4’20’’ Mignini: Well, I am a magistrate for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who found himself ... I was on duty at the time and thus I happened to be dealing with this matter randomly. For me it is a criminal proceeding that I dealt with, and I am currently working on it today at the appeal level.

    4’49’’ What happened was that a crime was committed for which we conducted an investigation in the best way considering the situation. And there was a trial which, in the first instance, resulted in conviction with full acknowledgement of the theory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. I know there have been books, there were also films on the subject, but this is something for which I have limited interest. My job is to be a prosecutor for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who dealt with this case. I am interested in it from this point of view, nothing else.

    6’30’’ CNN: But exactly how was the crime like, what you and your assistants, I do not say [missing words: *what happened?] ... but [what] you understood, who are the murderers, and the reason for this murder?

    6’46’’ Mignini: I can tell you our impression when I arrived on the scene. I arrived basically, I believe, I think around 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, and I found myself facing a crime that obviously looked like - this is the impression I got in the first place and it was subsequently confirmed by the investigations and the proceeding - a murder of a sexual nature, in which there was this girl who was undressed or nearly so, a young woman who was covered with this, with this quilt. And the other thing which struck us, which was of immediate interest, I said this on other occasions and I repeat it because I’ve said it also at the first trial, was the break-in. And it appeared immediately ““ the climbing, the simulation of climbing, with a stone thrown through the window, through two shutters that were there, that left open quite a narrow space, rather limited room between them ““ immediately that appeared to us to be a simulation.

    8’38’’ So there was this crime of a sexual nature and a simulated burglary. That is, the perpetrators or perpetrator, at that moment we were making a preliminary assessment, was someone who attempted, that appeared to be the situation to us, he had attempted [missing words] So that appeared to be the situation, an investigation of unknown persons; whereas instead the house, the house door was completely intact, there had not been a been a breaking open, and this made us think, then, as the investigations progressed, because as investigations go, by approximation you slowly get closer to it, to the ascertaining of the facts, it was, we thought it was someone who knew the victim and had an interest in orienting the investigation toward strangers.

    09’44’’ Then the investigation went on. There were other important issues ... [missing word: *facts?] that have occurred [missing words]; they remained as key aspects of ... of what is called the basis of the charge. Which, by the way, for us is not the side of the accusation; we are an office that also has the task of ascertaining facts in favor of the suspect during the investigation.

    10’19’’ What struck us besides the issue of the simulation was a series of endless contradictions, of inconsistencies, in the story of the two young people, the two young people who later became suspects and then defendants. And then, in particular, the calunnia [false accusation], then, what turned out to be such, a false accusation, made by the accused against her employer, a black man, Lumumba, Patrick D. Lumumba.

    10’53” Here it is, this is it. Then, the elements of which there is much talk today, the elements which consist of forensic evidence, there was also evidence. There are the fingerprints, the [foot] prints, the phone cell records. These elements are ..., especially the forensics, they arose at a later time. This means, from the beginning what oriented the investigations toward these people, and later toward the black subject, Rudy, Rudy Herman Guede, who ... [missing word?] they were, that of Herman Guede was identified through the forensic material that was found.

    The two youths were, let’s say they became objects of…[missing words?] the perpetrators of the murder, based on the findings that emerged at the beginning of the investigation, namely the simulation, the contradictions found especially in Amanda’s story, especially when she tells of having spent some time in the house, having taken a shower, in spite of everything. And then the call, the behavior that they maintained, especially the girl, upon the arrival of the postal police. And then the accusation, which was obviously a false accusation against Lumumba. So all these factors then they have, they led to the formulation of these accusations against them, which were later substantiated by the results of forensic tests, scientific evidence, were made by the scientific police, that is, the scientific police, which is that at the top of the national scientific police, which operates directly under the department of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior. We also had the local scientific police, but the one which operated was the scientific police placed under the command of Public Safety, thus at the central level.

    16’34’’ CNN: Before there was the evidence from the forensic police, did you arrive at your conclusions with respect to Amanda Knox by instinct?

    17’00’’ Mignini: The scientific elements were coming in, as I recall, they were coming in gradually. Now, I would not be able to tell you [missing words] ... I think, for example, that the issue of the knife, and then the sample, the genetic profile of the victim on the blade and the genetic profile of the defendant on a spot where the handle of the knife is close to the insertion of the blade, I think that was entered quite later compared to the initial investigation. But in fact the order of detention, ... which I ... which is the act by which, under which the two young people and, at the time, also Lumumba who was later released, were taken to the house of preventive detention, that is in prison. In this detention order, there was no mention of any DNA analysis [indagini genetiche], obviously.

    18’08’’ There is, in the detention order and in the hearing before the Judge of the Preliminary Investigation [GIP] on the validity of the detention and then in the first months, the first weeks of investigation, that is our belief, mine and the flying squad, that the behavior of two young people and in particular, this actually is [missing words]... it was a detail that was even more obvious regarding Amanda, [we thought] was such that the two were considered involved in the crime. Thus before that, it was an initial assessment of those elements that we had at the beginning to orient the investigation toward them. Then confirmations came. And there were many elements of corroboration at the end; they were very significant, very numerous. But at the beginning we had these elements, again, in particular the issue of simulation.





    20’13’’ CNN: And what was the proof, because from what we understand the scientific evidence does not point to them ... the two of them?

    20’25’’ Mignini: Well, then: so now I,  to list all the evidence [elementi] that was found, it would be [missing words] on the other hand they have been mentioned in the First Instance sentence report by the Court of Assize. Mmm, then ...

    20’50’’ The issue of the simulation ... The issue of the simulation, in that house just in those days, i.e. 1, 2 November, the second was a Friday, the third was a Saturday, the fourth was a Sunday, on that weekend in 2007 there was only Meredith and Amanda in the house in Via della Pergola. Since the two Italian girls were away from home: Filomena Romanelli was with her boyfriend in another part of town, she was staying there overnight, while Laura Mezzetti was in the province of Viterbo.

    21’36’’ So in the house that night there was only Amanda and the victim. Amanda said she was in Sollecito’s house, which is actually a five-minute walk from the house of Meredith. Because of the distance, we must take into account the distance, you shall go to see these places, you see that the distances are very short, very limited. So who might have an interest in simulating intrusion by a stranger? Only a person who might be worried about being implicated in the crime.

    There was no sign of forced entry through the front door, so this is an extremely significant element. Then we have again the inconsistencies that can be detected in the statements. There is the fact, then during the investigation the homeless man, the homeless man came in, who very precisely identified the two young people, he said he saw the two basically the night between the 1st and 2nd, a few meters from the house where the crime happened, in which it was committed, presumably at a time compatible with the crime. While instead the two young people stated they had remained all the time at Raffaele’s home. There is another detail which at the beginning of the investigation [was] something that has, let’s say, intensified the elements for us; it was the fact that Raffaele at the beginning had attempted, let’s say he attempted to state that he stayed at home while Amanda had been out and she returned to Raffaele’s house I think at about two a.m.

    Then this approach has been kept by Raffaele during the hearing for validation of arrest, and afterwards was abandoned as Sollecito’s defense line became more, let’s say, supportive of Amanda. But at an earlier stage Raffaele stated this position of separation between the two.

    Then other elements are given by the fact, were given by the fact that the homeless man saw them on the night of the crime in a location a few steps, a few meters away from the crime and at a time shortly before the murder occurred.

    There is a statement of the neighbor lady who lived nearby, who heard a scream at a time compatible with that specified, with what we thought could be the time of death of Meredith, that is between 23.30 and midnight. And this, this lady, heard footsteps, there is a whole description that now I will not repeat because it has been explained ... rather, it was described at length in the first trial, she heard the footsteps of some people who are moving, running, along the clear ground facing the house of the crime, others were running up the stairs, almost simultaneously, running on the metal stairs which are above the garage and basically end up in via Pinturicchio. I do not know if you are familiar with the city of Perugia, but I guess not. So this scream the lady heard, a terrible scream and also another neighbor heard it, at a consistent time, I repeat, and this simultaneous running of subjects on opposite sides, from different, distant areas, basically corroborated the fact that there were multiple murderers.

    26’09’’ Rudy himself, in his questioning has, while remaining vague, more or less vague with respect to Sollecito, however later during the various interviews he more or less indicated quite clearly that Amanda was present.
    Then [we had] the questioning, then there were questionings that were done. I remember one of them, that of Amanda in prison which was an interrogation that has made me… you asked what elements did I use to let’s say support the charge, saying in quotes the prosecution, there was also an interrogation in prison, Amanda, in inverted commas let’s say the accusation in the presence of the defense attorneys of course, and which confirmed the profound shock in which she always fell every time she had to tell what happened that night.

    And then there were the results… well, fingerprints ... footprints, the footprints on the rug of the bare foot stained with blood, an especially important detail which I see many have not talked about but which is extremely important, is the mixed stains of blood in the small bathroom close the scene of crime, those of the defendant and the victim.

    31’00’’ CNN: In the room [missing words]

    31’05’’ Mignini: But let’s say I may reverse the issue: how do you explain the DNA, the genetic profile of the victim on the knife found in Sollecito’s house, together with the genetic profile of the defendant located at the area of the blade [possibly meaning: handle] where force is applied, not where you cut…

    31’40’’ CNN: Are you sure that one was the knife?

    31’44’’ Mignini: That it was for us, I can say this: first you have to start from a premise: Amanda and Sollecito knew each other only since October 25. That is, we think, because this detail is very significant with respect to the relevance of this finding, since we [may just] think it was a relationship, usually we don’t think of the fact that actually they had known each other for a week. And thus this knife was never touched in conditions ... I tell you what we found in the investigation, I am talking about what we ascertained during the investigation - this knife was never touched by Meredith under normal circumstances. It was never brought to Meredith’s home, this is what the two Italian housemates say, and so why, [since] Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s house, why was Meredith’s genetic material found on the blade by the forensic police, and the genetic profile of the defendant on the spot of the handle that is where the hand would press not as you apply pressure from top down, but from back to the front, that is in a condition similar to that when you strike a blow, like this. So this…

    And I have… during the first trial I tried to show very clearly that this knife, the witness, the inspector I think whose name was Armando Finzi, he’s the one who conducted the search at Sollecito’s and found this knife. And I asked: did you put on your gloves at the time, was it the first pair of gloves you were using, in that search that was the first pair of gloves, he went [there], he started the inspection, he had not touched anything else, he opened the”¦ the cupboard where this knife was. I do not remember if he took away several, but he picked up this knife that was immediately - and thus with the gloves that he was wearing in that moment ““ it was immediately closed and sealed, was brought to the flying squad, where another police officer, the superintendent, I think, Gubbiotti, using the same technique, put it into a sealed container which was then carried to… was then analyzed. So this was, let’s say because I wanted this to be highlighted and I think the Assize Court says so, I wanted to show that there was no possibility of contamination by the police, by the flying squad, with regard to this item.

    35’04’’ Also because, I would like this to be noted, from the perspective of Italian law, evidence of contamination must be given by the person who invokes it. This means: I found the genetic profile, you as defense attorney say ‘there could be contamination’, you must prove it. That is, the burden of proof is reversed: it is you, the one who invokes the contamination, the one who has to give evidence of it. And this evidence was never given and cannot, I think, it cannot be given. That is, the one who claims a fact must prove it, onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat. [Translator’s note: This sentence was spoken in Latin and translates as “the burden of proof is on those who assert something, not on those who deny it”.]





    36’50’’ CNN: Was it certain the genetic material was that of Meredith, and not genetic material that might be consistent with that of Meredith?

    37’01’’ Mignini: No, no, it was like that. It was ascertained as such by the scientific police.

    37 ‘20’’ CNN: So your detectives went into the apartment ...

    37’28’’ Mignini: No, the knife was collected, then it was brought to the scientific police, it was sent to the scientific police in Rome.

    37’ 40’’ CNN: Yes but your detectives entered the apartment and they selected right this very knife…

    37’49’’ Mignini: I believe samples were taken from several, that is, not only that particular knife. I think, if I’m not mistaken. I think more knives were tested; however, one of those was definitely exhibit 36, the famous exhibit 36. And on this exhibit is where [a sample] was recovered from, and here it’s the scientific police that did the evaluation of that evidence and I retain, I digress. About [case] aspects, at the end of the investigation phase I asked, given the complexity of the case, the resonance of the case, I felt it was appropriate to have a colleague join me, a deputy [public prosecutor] like myself. Let me clarify, I’m not the chief prosecutor; I am a deputy prosecutor, since I’ve been presented as the chief prosecutor, but I am not the chief prosecutor. Then I requested the assistance of a colleague, Manuela Comodi, and we divided up the tasks. She has remarkable aptitude for these aspects of a genetic nature.

    And so in this regard, I don’t know if you notice it in the first instance trial, my colleague did the questioning regarding the genetic aspects. I instead handled the more generic aspects of the case and aspects of a more investigative nature. This is why I remember all the details of the investigation, because I carried out the investigations of people. But for these aspects of genetics and scientific nature, we rely on the scientific police and we retain that the scientific police acted with utmost professionalism. I can recall, for example, going to the crime scene, I was at the place, and I also had to wear overalls, shoe-covers and a kind of cap, not just once but several times, at the same time when we did the inspections, ... I remember having worn many times, for example, the shoe-covers. And I had to… also because, those who worked on the scene did have their DNA samples taken as well, so there is also my DNA [sample]. Dr. Stefanoni took DNA samples of everyone to rule out in case, there could be DNA discovered belonging to some operator who had nothing to do with this matter.

    40’38’’ Therefore, I have the utmost confidence in the scientific police because the top of the scientific police in Italy, especially Dr. Stefanoni who acted with great professionalism and these findings on the biological material were carried out in cross-examination with consultants for the defense team, always. The defense consultants, as I recall, and I was present, as far as I can remember, they had no objections if not in later analysis; they had no objection to anything at all at the time. For example, when the famous bra clasp was discovered, the defense consultants were there, for Sollecito there was a consultant who afterwards was replaced, I don’t remember his name, he was quite good, and I remember that he did not make any objections. Therefore, all these findings were carried out in cross-examination and the other parties had the opportunity to challenge what the scientific police biologist was doing, the scientific police expert in forensic genetics.

    42’06’’ So I think. I distinctly remember that, in the first trial, I tried to prove that the knife had been collected with the utmost correctness. And I believe that afterwards the same thing happened in the scientific police laboratory when it was analyzed.

    44’16’’ CNN: I still have trouble understanding how you can have a crime so horrendous and so bloody without two of the suspects leaving any trace.

    44’30’’ Mignini: Look I should then add, it must be also said, at the time. In the bathroom of the two foreign girls, that is Meredith and Amanda, which is attached, next to the room of the murder, blood material was discovered of Amanda and Meredith, mixed. Why is this material important? It is important because in her own account told, in her own deposition Amanda makes in, I think, in early June of 2009, during the first instance trial, she says that when she left the house on the afternoon of November 1st, those spots were not there. She says so herself. So she returns in the morning, says she went back in the morning and sees those spots of blood. Those spots of blood are mixed Amanda and victim.

    Also, in the small bathroom, there is a blood stained footprint, which the scientific police attributed to Raffaele, on the bath mat next to the murder room. On the corridor leading to the murder room, [and] leading to Amanda’s room, there are footprints, I’m not sure now, there are even in Amanda’s room, I think, there are footprints that were attributed to the two youngsters by the scientific police, of feet stained in blood. And, by elements, there is also a print of shoe and that one, was inside the murder room. Elements there are, that is, how to explain the presence of these elements if the two youngsters were not involved in the murder, [and] stayed at home? And another detail: it is a crime, this was established at the time by the Supreme Court, then we can no longer put into question at this point, it is a crime committed by several persons. I have, during the first instance trial, I heard this line of approach, and I also opposed this approach, which extended to holding that Rudy was the only one responsible.

    The “only one responsible” is not one person, but [transcription error] they are several persons and Rudy is among them. This is now procedurally beyond dispute.





    48’48’’ CNN: He also wants to know if you also found [missing words], that is, Sollecito perhaps, had a few cuts, did you check to see if he had any cuts?

    48’56’’ Mignini: The”¦yes. Well, now: Laura Mazzetti, that is the Italian girl from Viterbo, [said] that it was a scratch, however, she remembers having seen on Amanda’s neck, she told this account and afterwards was also heard [as a person informed], it’s sort of a scratch just few days later, I think it was three or four days, she remembers seeing this scratch on Amanda’s neck that had been also seen, I think, by one of the boys from the Marches region. And in one of the photos taken during the house search by police, I think it shows something. Nevertheless, Laura Mazzetti indicates the presence of a scratch or something like a scratch. That is, she remembers seeing that Amanda had this little injury to the neck.

    50’20’’ CNN: None of your investigators noticed it?

    50’25’’ Mignini: The investigators did not notice it, because at the time, Amanda kept herself covered, she was, as described by the shopkeeper Quintavalle, covered up. However, Laura Mazzetti saw it and it was also seen, I think if I’m not mistaken or was said, by the young guy from the Marches who was living downstairs.

    This girl saw it [the scratch/mark] and she stated this later in the courtroom. Moreover there is even a photo.

    51’44’’ CNN: Knox was in contact with the police for several days after the murder. She was interrogated. Was she always wearing something that covered her neck?

    52’00’’ Mignini: I think so, to be fair, this was a mark that it was not very visible. Laura Mazzetti said she saw it well. Keep in mind also that we did not focus on it automatically, because it was not like a visually striking mark. She was questioned like Raffaele Sollecito and like all the people who were more or less, that had to be questioned in those days, after the murder, a long series of people were questioned, among which the [girl] friends of Meredith, the English girls she was with the evening of Nov 1 and the night before Oct 31. And, among these people who had been questioned, also several times, Amanda and Sollecito were questioned, Amanda in particular was questioned several times: the evening of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and then on the evening of 5th and the morning, or early hours of the 6th. But look, what I wanted that [??], just for the purposes of explanation, that under Italian law, we must take into account the totality of the findings.

    Therefore there is the scientific evidence, there are statements made by people, examination of witnesses, there is the formal interrogation, there’s the conduct of the accused. All of these elements, it is not only the genetic aspect that comes into consideration. The genetic aspect [is], together with many others, must be altogether; it is a whole spectrum of various findings, which should converge towards an affirmation of a reality that is undisputable. This is how it should be, this is important from a judicial point of view. So it is not that the proof consists of the genetic evidence; it is not like that. There are items of proof from witnesses, there is the fact that there couldn’t be only one perpetrator, and this is now indisputable, and one of the positions of the defense of the two suspects always tended to say there was only one murderer who committed the deed, who climbed through in that totally absurd way, [that’s] not credible.

    56’10’’ CNN: About Amanda’s interrogation, on the fifth day, what was it is that triggered you, made you begin to feel suspicious, and led you to conduct a more aggressive interrogation?

    56’26’’ Mignini: I see you don’t… so, I’ll repeat to you what happened. On the evening of November 5th, the police were going to question Sollecito, and on the evening of the 5th, as I was saying before, the attitude of Sollecito at the beginning was an attitude of, let’s say, different than the one he would assume later, meaning a defense line supportive with Amanda’s; at that moment, he had a different position. That is, on the evening of Nov 5th. Sollecito made a statement saying “I was at home, Amanda wasn’t”. Amanda at that time had followed; she had accompanied Sollecito to the police station and she waited outside [of the room]. As the police heard this version of Sollecito’s, who basically, Sollecito ... with that statement, also this approach by him in practice more or less had become part of the process too, as Sollecito made this statement, the police became suspicious.

    That is: why did Sollecito tell us this, and why is he now telling us that Amanda was not home with him? So then they called Amanda, and Amanda was heard by the police as a person not under investigation, thus with no defense attorney, because the person”¦ the witness, the person informed of the facts during the investigation ““ is not called a witness, he is called a person informed of the facts - she was heard by the police who pointed out to her, they confronted her with this question: why is Raffaele saying something else? Now you say you were with him and Raffaele says you were not there, that he was at home and you were not there? This is the point.

    58’44’’ So she did, she was heard in a way, let’s say for long enough, I cannot remember for how long, in the earliest morning hours of November 6, 2007. I was not there when Amanda was interviewed by the police. I was, perhaps I was coming, because I had been called by the director of the flying squad that night. I do not remember what time I arrived at the flying squad, but I think that… I think I got there, maybe I arrived when Amanda’s questioning had already started. But the flying squad is pretty big; I was not in the room where Amanda was being questioned, but rather in the office of the director of the flying squad. We were talking about the investigation and were trying to plan the investigation for the coming days. So now, at some point, they call me, if I remember correctly, they inform me that Amanda had given the name of Lumumba, she had basically confessed that she was at the crime scene in the company of, with Lumumba, whom she had let into the house, that is it. Now I go on, I wanted to explain how I operate. So it’s not me, I did not do the questioning.

    [Translator’s note: the transcript in Italian contains these words in English at this point: Starts with ****’* translation. This notation suggests that there is either a second journalist, who does not directly understand the answers, or that **** is using a translator, human or automatic. **** is used in the place of the individual’s name, which elsewhere is given as CNN. This is the only change that has been made to the transcript as delivered.]

    The next post is here.


    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Open Letter To CNN Head Ken Jautz: Reports As Terrible As Drew Griffin’s Risks All CNN’s Credibility

    Posted by James Raper




    Attention Of Mr Ken Jautz
    Executive Vice President Of Time Warner Inc For CNN
    CNN Headquarters
    Atlanta Georgia


    Dear Mr Jautz:

    Concerning Drew Griffin’s CNN report on Amanda Knox viewable or downloadable here with a transcript here.

    As a practicing lawyer with a deep knowledge of the case, I watched your report two sundays ago (Murder Abroad ““ The Amanda Knox Story) with a growing sense of disbelief.

    So when I watched the report I really expected that CNN might have very sensibly turned over a new leaf. Instead, Drew Griffin presented what seems to me to have been the most unprofessional report on the case ever done.

    It was as if the expensive and relentless Knox PR campaign had phoned in the entire script, and as if Drew Griffin’s sole role was to parrot it. 

    If it had been an openly avowed and paid-for public relations exercise on behalf of the Knox/Mellas camapign, it might have won a few points. But the report was promoted as a new investigation. That was a fundamental misdirection. It was in fact the most extraordinarily biased and one-sided presentation that I and I expect many others have encountered.

    There were so may errors, omissions, sneers and blatantly misleading suggestions - all leading to a complete lack of balance -  that no viewer, other than those who would already be knowledgeable about the case, had a hope of being able to form an impartial and informed view of the case.

    One could write a book about the omissions made by the programme, but I will enumerate just some of these, and the errors and blatantly misleading suggestions, as I go through the repprt here below.


    Quick summary of the report

    First, here is the thrust of the Griffin report. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are the victims of a rush to judgement by an obsessive prosecutor, some circumstantial evidence,  a discredited star witness, wrong media reports, and limited scientific evidence that is inconclusive and unreliable.

    Oh and there was some nasty behaviour, inducing a false confession, by the police towards Amanda which mirrored the nasty behaviour that had terrified the novelist Doug Preston whilst he was in Italy preparing for his book “the Monster of Florence”. 

    And most, if not all, of this was the fault of the Public Prosecutor, Mignini.  The foregoing is also the basic thrust of the Amanda Knox PR campaign which has been repeated over and over again elsewhere.

    There were a mere poor fleeting cursory images of the real victim, Meredith Kercher, and maybe three or four dozen highly manipulative images of Knox and her siblings (see several here) going back to when they were tots.

    Apart from Dr Hampikian of the Idaho Innocence Project, Doug Preston, and Mignini, and a cameo non-contentious appearance from Meredith’s lawyer, all of the contributors were family or close family friends. None of the defence lawyers partook, perhaps expecting the embarrassing worst, which was duly delivered.

    Meredith’s family and friends were not even mentioned, let alone interviewed by Drew Griffin.



    Reactions of the prosecutor of the case

    CNN interviewed many, with almost endless montages of a young Knox, to attempt to undermine the case.

    Although there are dozens of lawyers and experts and reporters that could explain why in the first round Knox and Sollecito were unanimously found guilty, Griffin unprofessionally chose to interview only ONE for that side of the case. He was Mr Giuliano Mignini, one of the two prosecutors on the case, who speaks no English and was thus easy for Griffin to condescend to and seriously mischaracterize.  (A full transcript of that interview, translated, will be our next post; be prepared for surprises Drew Griffin clearly wanted to hide.) 

    I thought that Mr Mignini dealt with Drew Griffin’s unbelieving and cynical stare and his loaded and intentionally unsettling questions ( to which I shall later refer) quite well in the circumstances, since it was obvious right from the start that the unprofessional Drew Griffin was setting him up. At least he dealt with the situation gracefully, and at times even with a little amusement.

    As a taster, the first question thrown at him was “Is Amanda Knox evil?”  The prosecutor shifted in his seat, thought about this philosophical question for a bit, and then wisely decided to ignore it.





    Points of error and omission in the report in the order in which they arise

    (1) The most vital document on the case of all, a 427 page judgment on Knox and Sollecito known as the Massei Report, which can be viewed via the link at the top here, was not mentioned at all.  It seems that neither Drew Griffin nor any of the programme’s producers have ever cast an eye over this document. If they have, they have blithely ignored it. 

    The Report contains a detailed resume of the evidence presented at Amanda’s trial and the jurors’ evaluation of it.  It does not cover all the evidence that was heard by the court, which was huge, but certainly that sufficient to warrant the verdicts that were handed down.

    There are also at least two other vital documents, also ignored, which all set the stage for the present mandatory appeal. They are the Micheli report on Rudy Guede’s judgment, and a recent Supreme Court report endorsing that report and accepting that there were THREE perpetrators of the crime.


    (2) There was a photograph of the cottage. In fact, in all there were seven still shots of the cottage, and two showings of a film of the cottage, taken from a vehicle approaching along the road outside from right to left, from east to west.

    All had one glaring omission in common.

    None showed the west side of the cottage with Filomena’s bedroom window through which Rudy Guede is supposed to have broken in. That this was blatantly intentional was demonstrated by the editing of the film which cut out just as the side of the cottage with the window was coming in to view.


    (3) The staging of the break in was a crucial piece of evidence against Amanda Knox dealt with at some considerable length in the Massei Report. Quite apart from that, it is evident from a simple inspection that the climb up to the window would have been extremely difficult and dangerous for even an athletic burglar and indeed there is much evidence that this was not attempted (Massei).

    It would have been far simpler for Rudy Guede, a frequent visitor to the boy’s flat on the lower floor of the cottage, to have broken into the girls’ flat via the balcony (as seen in the still shots) on the other side of the cottage. He could have done that unseen and unheard in well under one minute.

    The glass window was not shattered by a rock thrown from the outside, because the clothing tossed inside the bedroom had glass on top of it, which in itself is hard evidence that the break-in was staged.  That such a break-in was highly improbable was demonstrated by an attempt by the defence to reconstruct the climb up to the windowt that failed miserably. 

    The only person who could have had an interest in staging a burglary would be one of the occupants of the flat. This is a sore point for Amanda’s supporters, amongst whom I must now assume are Drew Griffin and the producers of Murder Abroad.





    (4) It was good to hear from Dr Hampikian that the “police did a good job in processing the crime scene and collecting evidence”.  Unlikely that on the basis of this observation he will be making any submissioms to the two independent DNA experts appointed by the court to review the DNA evidence concerning the knife and the bra clasp. Particularly as his other observations were quite ludicrous or fell outside his field of expertise.

    Consider this: “They didn’t like the way Amanda behaved, whatever that means, and so they wanted to investigate her, and Raffaele and her boss. When the DNA is finally processed it is not any of their suspects. And so what do you do? What would you do?  [laughing] You let them go.”

    Really?

    Can he, you, or anyone else, think of a police force anywhere in the world which would want to release a suspect in circumstances where a staged burglary, inappropriate behaviour and language pointing to an insider’s knowledge as to the circumstances and manner of the victim’s death, an alibi that no longer held up, and the framing of an innocent man for murder, clearly points to her involvement. 

    In addition there was early evidence of Amanda’s blood in the bathroom next to the Meredith’s bedroom, as a drop on the sink faucet and mixed with Meredith’s blood elsewhere. Contrary to Dr Hampikian’s contention (and he is not a lawyer) there was sufficient evidence to charge or at least prefer a holding charge pending further investigation. This happens frequently in the USA and UK. In addition Dr Stefanoni was aware that there was further evidence to be collected from the crime scene.

    In murder cases suspects are very rarely released on bail for fear that they may abscond. Particularly a suspect who is not resident in the country.

    A question for Dr Hampikian.  How would you like it if a suspect in the murder of your daughter was granted police bail and skipped the country to return home and evade justice? Make no mistake about it. That is what would have happened.


    (5) The DNA evidence was not finally processed, as Dr Hampikian knows, until after the final DNA evidence was collected on the 18th December, weeks after Amanda’s arrest. That was when the bra clasp was collected together with samples from traces identified by luminol. That delay was entirely attributable to the necessity of having to arrange for the defence lawyers and experts to be present to collect further samples, and not incompetence on the part of police or prosecution.

    “Forensic expert Greg Hampikian says finding DNA (Amanda’s and Meredith’s) but no blood makes it highly unlikely that the knife was used in a bloody murder. He also says it is surprising that the prosecutor was even allowed to admit such a small unexplainable sample (Meredith’s on the blade) as evidence.” “Would this have made it into a US court? I don’t think it would have made it into a US lab report”.

    Not make it into a lab report? Is he trying to be funny?


    (6) Well there is the evidence of the police that the knife smelt heavily of bleach which, with its particular size and the fact that it looked so clean, was what made them interested in it. How many people wipe down an item of kitchen cutlery with bleach? I do not know but in my lifetime I have never known anybody do this. Washing up liquid works just fine for me.

    Dr Hampikian is of course referring to the Low Copy Number (cell count) DNA reading but the fact is that the graph produced by the DNA electropherogram was a clear match for Meredith’s DNA profile.

    Dr Hampikian might be interested to know that LCN DNA is admissible in evidence in at least one jurisdiction in the USA and there is growing support for it with the advances in DNA forensics. The majority of the experts who testified at the trial said that it was clearly Meredith’s DNA.


    (7) Furthermore Raffaele explained the existence of the sample by saying that he had accidently pricked Meredith with the knife whilst cooking at his flat. Untrue.  Amanda herself testified that Meredith had never been to Raffaele’s flat, and there was no evidence that she had. Nor was there any evidence or suggestion that, prior to the murder, the knife had been to the girl’s cottage.This evidence would in most courts make the DNA evidence admissible.


    (8)  Dr Hampikian again, on the bra clasp (with Raffaele’s DNA on it) ““ “If that’s all there is it’s a very weak piece of evidence”. “And it’s inconsistent with every other piece of evidence in the case”.

    Well, there is the bloody footprint on the bathroom mat which the trial court accepted as being consistent with Raffaele’s footprint rather than Rudy Guede or, for that matter, Amanda. As to the DNA on the bra clasp this was, in forensic terms, an abundant amount, and no one, but no-one, has disputed that this was Raffaele’s DNA.

    Perhaps Dr Hampikian can explain how Sollecito’s DNA comes to be there considering that his DNA was not found anywhere else in the flat (other than on a cigarette stub in the kitchen and on Meredith’s door handle) in a quantity even close to the amount found on the bra clasp?

    He was clearly advancing the lone wolf theory espoused by Amanda knox supporters given that Guede’s DNA was found in Meredith’s room and on her person. Funny how that DNA evidence is accepted by them but the bra clasp DNA is not. As a forensic biologist perhaps he might also want to comment on the fact that ““


    (9) There was not one single trace of evidence, DNA, fingerprint, footprint or otherwise, relating to Guede found on the window sill, window, glass, or any item located in, or anywhere else in, Filomena’s room. And yet a mixed sample of Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA was found on the floor there. Explain that! 

    Without question Dr Hampikian’s soundbite contributions to the program were scientifically very inept for someone in his position, but I am sure that he knew what he was doing.




    (10) Drew Griffin’s loaded, error strewn and unsubstantiated commentary continued -

    • DG: Amanda was “confronted (by the police) with evidence of criminal activity which the police didn’t have.”

    Amanda was questioned by the police as a witness in the immediate aftermath of the discovery of the murder along with others such as her flatmates Filomena and Laura, and Raffaele and three of Meredith’s English girlfriends. These were not interrogations. The questioning of Amanda for 52 hours (suggesting intensive interrogation) as mentioned by her father at the beginning is an exaggeration if not a fabrication. 

    Amanda was questioned (interrogated, if you like) at the police station on the 5th November from around 11.30pm to 1.45 am when the questioning stopped because she had become a formal suspect due to her disclosure that she had been at the cottage when Meredith was being murdered by Patrick Lumumba. She was not questioned again other than in court.

    A question for Drew Griffin.  “During the aforesaid period what evidence was she presented with that the police did not already have?” I, for one, do not know what he is talking about.

    • DG: “The case against Amanda Knox appears to be falling apart.”

    Really?  News to me.

    • DG: “The tabloid press is beginning to tell a different story.”

    Well, they are reporting (and sensationalising in some cases) developments (such as they are)  in the appeal.  But a different story?  Again news to me.

    • DG: “The case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito seems to be hanging on two very small pieces of DNA evidence.”

    Actually Drew, that’s what you would like people to think. It would be far more accurate to say that it is the validity of any defence that is hanging on this evidence, and that what crumbs they may be thrown as a result of the review will not really damage that evidence nor alter the soundness of the convictions.

    There is plenty of other evidence, all omitted in this biased documentary.

    (11) Drew Griffin next remarks: “Curatolo’s evidence was laughable”.

    Really? In what way? He seems to have got the date and times and identifications right. Explain that. In fact whatever the appeal court now makes of his testimony there was nothing laughable about his evidence. He was indeed confused in parts but very clear that he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito arguing together in Grimana Square the night before the police and forensic teams arrived in the square and at the cottage.

    The confusion that arose was that he introduced elements of Halloween (the night before that) including a costume he saw in his recollection of the said night. However he was also certain that it was not raining when he saw the two together. It did not rain on the night of the 1st November whereas it did on the night of the 31st October.

    • DG ““ “He revealed that he was under investigation by Mignini’s office at the exact moment he became his star witness.”

    I sensed several slurs coming up and I was not wrong.

    • DG ““ “Did he get any favours?

    Like what? The promise of a reduction in sentence? It looks like he didn’t.

    • DG ““ “So you believe the testimony of a homeless heroin dealer?”

    Yes, for the reasons given. Drew, it does not matter what Mignini really believed or believes now. Testimony is heard and evaluated by the court not by prosecutors. Mignini is not heading the prosecution team on the appeal and he certainly has no influence otherwise on judges and jurors anyway.


    (12) Another fatuous claim. “But almost immediately after the arrests Mignini had a problem. The third suspect, Patrick Lumumba had an airtight alibi. He was in his crowded bar that night. He could not have been involved.”


    Actually the bar was not so crowded. Pretty empty really.  Patrick was fortunate that of the few customers who turned up one was a Swiss professor, Roman Mero, who travelled all the way back from Zurich to give police Lumumba’s airtight alibi. But for that Lumumba might have stayed in the frame-up longer thanks to Amanda. She did not ever admit to the police that she had lied about him.


    (13) Another fatuous claim. “Knox stated that she was denied a translator when referring to her interrogation/arrest.”

    Knox testified on the stand in June 2009 that she DID have a translator at that time, by the name of Anna Donnino.

    (14) We then had the introduction of Doug Preston, co-author of “The Monster of Florence” (another inadvertent plug ““ sorry) whose book is in the planning stage for a movie with a star role for this financial donor to The Committee to Protect Journalists. Preston is to be played by George Clooney in the movie.

    I do not intend to dwell on this section. It is irrelevant to the Murder of Meredith Kercher and to do so would be to give this pompous individual more of the self publicity he craves It’s sole purpose was to portray the Perugia police and in particular Mignini as arch villains. It might occur to many that Doug Preston has a financial interest in doing this.

    We were treated to the following gems ““

    “Police interrogated people brutally and extracted suspect confessions from them” (in the Monster of Florence case ““ sorry, another plug)

    “I was terrified. I thought these people have the power to put me in prison for the rest of my life.”

    Mr Preston obviously does not like having to answer questions or to have to account for himself. Well nobody does really but we are in wimp territory with Preston.

    George Clooney could not possibly play such a wimp. Instead the scene in the movie will have to be “sexed up” with Mignini being portrayed as overbearing, obsessive, corrupt and demented.

    Hardly the picture he presented in his interview - that is, the two hour long interview that was not shown.

    It is not accurate to say the Preston has never returned to Italy as a result of his brush with Mignini. He has been back with Dateline NBC to tape a show on the Monster of Florence (4th and last plug!).





    The following are some of the other facts omitted - all pursuant to testimony at the trial or verifiable from other easily obtainable sources. Take note first that there were extensive investigations by experts of cellphone and computer activity and their findings were admitted as evidence. Also it may be helpful to know that Meredith Kercher had two mobile phones, an Italian phone given to her by Filomena and her own UK phone.

    These were stolen by her killers and discarded elsewhere. However they were found and handed in to the Postal Police who ascertained that the Italian phone was registered to Filomena and consequently two officers were dispatched to the cottage where they found Amanda and Raffaele.


    (15) the fact that Amanda claimed that she returned to the cottage on her own at 10.30 am before the discovery of Meredith’s body to have a shower and collect a mop to clear up a spill of water at Raffaele’s flat the night before”“ which Massei found unlikely given that by her own testimony she had arranged with Raffaele to visit Gubbio that day and had testified that she had already had a shower at Raffaele’s the evening before; and furthermore that Raffaele employed a cleaner who kept a mop and cleaning equipment at his apartment block.


    (16) the fact that cell phone records show that Amanda called Filomena at 12.08 pm (on the 2nd November) to report the front door being open, blood on the bathroom mat and Meredith’s door being locked.  She was at Raffaele’s flat at the time.  Filomena tells her to try Meredith’s phones. Records corroborate that Amanda did call each of Meredith’s phones in turn,

    But these two calls lasted just 3 seconds and 4 seconds respectively. Does this sound like a genuine attempt to get hold of Meredith?  One also has to wonder why she did not attempt to call Meredith’s phones again once she and Raffaele had arrived together at the cottage when she might have assumed that they would be heard ringing in Meredith’s bedroom.


    (17) the fact that Amanda and Raffaele claimed that Raffaele had called the carabinieri to report a burglary before the postal police arrived. This 112 call was later discovered as timed at 12.51 pm after the arrival of the postal police.


    (18) the fact that Amanda told the postal police that Meredith always locked her bedroom door even when she went to the bathroom. This was flatly contradicted by Filomena who said that the only occasion when Meredith had ever locked her door was when she returned to visit her mother in England.


    (19) the fact that when the postal police looked into Filomena’s bedroom Raffaele told them that nothing had been stolen. That was true - but why had he been so certain?


    (20) the fact that Amanda telephoned her mother from the cottage at 12.47 pm (around 4 am in the morning Seattle time), before the discovery of the body. Why did Amanda wake her mother up in the middle of the night? Edda was subsequently puzzled as to why Amanda was unable to remember this call when, as she put it “Nothing had really happened”.

    Amanda persisted even with her parents in denying the existence of the call, but then eventually said that she could not remember it. 

    Edda says that Amanda mentioned in the call that there appeared to have been someone in the cottage, and that she told Amanda to call the police. Amanda did not mention, according to Edda, that the postal police were already there.


    (21) the fact that in her 2,900 word e-mail home of the 4th November she professes to have been in a panic about Meredith’s locked door and her whereabouts (calling out her name, banging on her bedroom door, and running out on to the balcony and leaning over the rail and trying to look through Meredith’s bedroom window), but according to the witnesses exhibited no particular concern about Meredith when the postal police arrived, nor raised any concerns with them, rather quite the opposite, before the discovery of Meredith’s body.


    (22) the fact that in the same e-mail she says that during her 10.30 am visit to the cottage she noticed the blood “smeared” on the sink faucet, drops in the sink and the bloody foot print on the bathmat. “Ew! but nothing to worry about” she says. She attributes the blood to perhaps Meredith having menstrual issues.Does that really make sense? A footprint in menstrual blood? Meredith? who was always so clean and tidy and who had admonished Amanda for her uncleanliness in the bathroom.


    (23) the fact that she claims in the e-mail that Raffaelle tried to force Meredith’s door before the arrival of the postal police and failed, despite the fact that one of the other witnesses forced it quite easily.


    (24) the fact that (if Amanda’s account of returning to the cottage at 10.30 am is to be believed) notwithstanding blood in the bathroom (which by Amanda’s own admission was not there when she left the cottage the day before), the front door being open, Meredith’s bedroom door being locked (when it was usual for it to be unlocked),and unflushed feces in the large bathroom toilet (which,she says, made her feel uncomfortable about the situation), Amanda did not think of attempting to contact Meredith by phone (on the assumption that she had gone out that morning) nor take a decision to notify anyone other than Raffaele for up to an hour and a half, until a 12.07 call to Meredith and the 12.08 phone call to Filomena. Does this seem credible?


    (25) the fact that the 12.07 call was to Meredith’s UK phone and lasted 16 seconds but oddly she does not mention this call to Filomena seconds later. Nor, before calling Filomena, does she try Meredith’s italian phone. The italian phone was, Amanda knew, the phone Meredith used to make and receive local calls. Massei infers that there was no need to try Meredith’s italian phone because Amanda knew that both phones had been disposed of together. This explains why the first call (immediately prior to calling Filomena) was 16 seconds long (to check whether or not both phones had been found), and why the subsequent two calls (after the call to Filomena) were both very short.


    (26) the fact that Filomena was worried enough to call Amanda twice at 12.12 (36 seconds) and at 12.20 (65 seconds) without Amanda picking up the calls.  Amanda did pick up the final call at 12.34. Why did she not answer the first two calls?


    (27) the fact that Amanda told Meredith’s English friends at the police station details of the body and wounds, although but for a foot it was covered by a quilt and despite her not being in line of sight when the body was discovered, and not having been told any of these details by anyone afterwards.


    (28) the fact that when 3 days after the murder Amanda, Filomena and Laura were requested by the police to accompany them to the cottage to check out some details, Amanda, on being shown a drawer of knives in the kitchen, appeared to have had a psychotic incident, putting her hands over her ears and trembling.


    (29) the fact that Raffaelle told a British Sunday newspaper in an exclusive interview that on the night of the murder he was at a party with Amanda and not at his flat. He also said that Amanda had gone back to her own flat the next day at midday, and not at 10.30am as she claimed.


    (30) the fact that having told the police that she had been with Raffaele all night on the 1st November, sleeping with him until 10.00 am the next morning, Raffaele then proceeded to destroy this alibi on the evening of the 5th November by telling the police that on that night Amanda had gone out and had not returned to his flat until 1 am.




    (31) the fact that Raffaele’s own alibi was not corroborated by computer evidence. He claimed to have spent the night indoors, using his computer until late and then going to sleep. In fact all human interaction with the computer ceased at around 9.15 pm and the computer was not re-activated by him until 5.32 am the next morning when it was used for half an hour for music to be played.


    (32) the fact that both Amanda’s and Raffaele’s mobiles were switched off sometime shortly after 8.42 pm and were not switched back on again until after 5.32am in the case of Raffaele who activated a text message his father had sent him late the previous night.


    (33) the fact that Raffaele’s father had telephoned Raffaele at 8.42 pm and had testified that during the conversation his son told him that while he was washing the dishes he had noticed a leak of water on the floor. This times the dinner Amanda and Raffaele had together as being prior to this whereas Amanda had claimed first that dinner was a liitle after 9.15 pm and then again that it was quite late, perhaps 11 pm (close to the time that Meredith died).


    (34) the fact that Amanda’s claim that she slept in until 10 am does not fit easily with the fact that Raffaele was playing music on his computer from 5.32 am nor with the evidence of Mr Quintaville, the food store owner, who says he saw Amanda when he was opening up his store at 7.45 am.


    (35) the fact that Amanda and Raffaele were both using drugs. There were multiple corroborating statements to that effect.


    (36) the fact that Amanda and Raffaele were constantly together ““ in a symbiotic relationship as Massei put it.


    (37) the fact that Raffaele was a knife aficionado in the habit of carrying a pocket penknife. Indeed he was carrying one on him when he was interviewed at the police station on the 5th November.


    (38) the fact that Raffaele watched animal porn videos and this so concerned his university that his subsequent behaviour was monitored.


    (39) the fact that Raffaele posted a picture of himself on Facebook dressed up as a mummy carrying a butchers’ chopper.


    (40) the fact that Amanda had also written a bizarre short story about the drugging and raping of a young girl which she had posted on her web page.


    (41) the fact that Amanda and Raffaele have both suggested that the other might have committed the crime.


    (42) the fact that when Rudy Guede was arrested Raffaele did not celebrate his pending imminent release but wrote in his diary that he worried that this man, whom he says he had never met, “might make up strange things about me”.


    (43) the fact that there are two instances of Amanda’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s identified by luminol (a powerful presumptive test for blood); in the corridor and in Filomena’s bedroom.  The luminol also identified three footprints, one in Amanda’s bedroom and two in the corridor which tested positive for Meredith’s DNA, the footprints being comparable to the shape and size of Amanda’s right foot.


    (44) the fact (as mentioned by me before but not in your programme) that Amanda’s blood was found in the bathroom. Amanda’s blood was on the washbasin faucet, and the mixed blood of Amanda and Meredith was in the washbasin, the bidet, and on the cottonbud box.


    (45) the fact that not only was Raffaele’s DNA found on the bra clasp but that in the electropherogram chart there were ten out of sixteen loci having peaks corresponding to Amanda’s profile. Though this is not as decisive as the DNA result for Raffaele, it does give rise to the hypothesis that Amanda touched the bra clasp as well. Amanda’s defence team may consider themselves fortunate that the bra clasp can not be re-tested.


    (46) the fact that a shoeprint on Meredith’s pillow was estimated in the area of size 37, or 38.  Amanda’s shoe size, not the other two.


    (47) the fact that (according to Massei) the nature of the wounds and injuries sustained by Meredith ( who was a fit girl and who had trained in karate) meant that more than one attacker had to be present to inflict those ( knife wounds, strangulation, bruising to her lips and inner thighs) and to subdue her and attempt sexual intercourse.


    (48) the fact that Massei also concluded from the wounds that there were at least two different knives used and that exhibit 36 (the knife on which Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA was found) was compatible with the wound that ultimately caused her death through blood loss and asphyxiation.


    (49) the fact that there were blood spots (from coughing up blood as a result of the fatal knife wound to the throat) on Meredith’s chest and bra. This and other evidence shows that her body was moved, and her bra and some other clothing removed after she had died or at least as she lay dying.This suggests that the evidence of a sex attack is, in part at least, staged.


    (50) the fact that there was a footprint (Raffaele’s)  in Meredith’s blood on the bathmat but none leading from Meredith’s room to the bathroom. Highly suggestive, if not proof, that there had been a clean up operation.


    (51) the fact that the discovery of Amanda’s arced reading lamp in an upright position on Meredith’s bedroom floor (as if for close inspection) is also highly suggestive of a staging or clean up operation.


    (52) the fact that Meredith’s stolen mobile phones were found in a garden within a few hundred yards of Guede’s and Raffaele’s apartments. The apartments are within 30 seconds walking distance of each other, much closer to each other than either are to the girl’s cottage.


    (53) the fact that the other two girl occupants with keys to the flat had rock solid alibis whereas Amanda had not.


    (54) the fact that according to witnesses the relationship between Meredith and Amanda had started out well enough but had started to deteriorate, be it over petty things.


    (55) the fact that the placing of a duvet over Meredith’s corpse is indicative of some relationship between Meredith and her killer.





    Some conclusions on the case and Griffin report

    Most of the foregoing may be circumstantial evidence, but taken together it is powerful circumstantial evidence, more than enough to secure a conviction in any court in the USA.


    Who would have the motive to stage a break in, stage further evidence of sexual assault for an invesigator’s benefit, carry out a partial clean up, and lock the victim’s bedroom door? 

    Curatolo’s evidence that he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Grimana Square, a few metres away from the cottage, having what appeared to be a heated argument,  at various times between 9.30pm and 11.pm, is helpful to the prosecution case but by no means essential.

    All the emphasis on the admittedly unhelpful and salacious tabloid newspaper reporting is irrelevant. It is a distraction.

    In addition Rudy Guede, in his evidence, did indeed implicate Amanda Knox (starting well before the Italian police got their hands on him), and all the evidence from his fast track trial and appeals is now part of the evidence to be considered in the current appeal.

    I think that the Italian Justice system would resent the insinuation in the programme that Guede received a reduced sentence because he was co-operative with the police and prosecution in implicating Amanda.

    It should be noted that if Mignini, in his alleged rush to judgement, got things seriously wrong, then he would have had to manipulate the evidence of the prosecution witnesses to fit his erroneous hypothesis. A grand conspiracy! -  a laughable hypothesis. The following is a list of such witnesses. It is indicative, not exhaustive.

    Filomena Romanelli, Marco Zarelli, Paola Grande, Laura Mezetti, Luca Altieri, Inspector Battistelli (Postal Police), Monica Napoleoni (Head of Perugia Murder Squad), Sophie Purton, Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, Jovana Popovic, Antonio Curatolo, Marco Quintavalle, Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia, Inspector Finzi, Superintendent Gubbiotti, Commissioner Bartolozzi, Marco Trotta, Claudio Trifici, Gregory Mirco, Dr Luca Lalli, Chief Inspector Latella, Dr Profazio, Dr Patrizia Stefanoni (Police Forensic Service in Rome and prosecution DNA expert), and Dr Torricelli (DNA expert for the Kercher family).

    This particular murder case is unusual not just in the interest it has generated worldwide but also to the extent to which it has been discussed and argued over on the internet and in the manner in which on occasions it has been presented (rather than reported on) in the media. It is also unusual that the family of one of the accused has not only taken part in such activity but has hired a public relations firm to help bring this about.

    There have been a number of books already but I predict that in future a number of these, and the media generally, will also deal with these additional features of the case in some detail.

    Sadly for CNN I expect that “Murder Abroad ““ The Amanda Knox Story” will often be quoted and held up as an example of how bad things got.

    I dare say you are free to broadcast what you like and perhaps Drew Griffin’s presentation wrought an overpowering sense of injustice in viewers and improved ratings.

    With hindsight, however, I am sure that CNN will regret this shoddy little “documentary”.

    It would be nice to think, when Amanda’s conviction is upheld, that CNN will broadcast a detailed corrective documentary. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours etc

    James Raper

    c/o True Justice for Meredith Kercher


    Page 2 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›