Headsup: In "Talking To Strangers" Malcom Gladwell lied to his readers with an inaccurate and venomous attack on Italian justice that gives aid to the mafias. Below is the seventh of maybe 10 posts providing the ACCURATE information Gladwell should have done. Series starts here.

Category: Knox-Mellas team

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Steve Moore Is Baffling Informed Case Observers On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

Posted by Peter Quennell





We posted a week ago querying claims first made by Steve Moore to Seattle investigative reporter Linda Byron.

Now everybody seems to be doing it.

Our own well-informed posters have been going through the various claims made to Linda Byron and reporters on the morning shows in the light of the Micheli and Massei Sentencing Reports. They have apparently not yet encountered even one Moore claim that can credibly be considered legitimate.

The lone wolf theory Steve Moore is trying retroactively to espouse was first ridiculed by our poster Kermit in his much-viewed Spiderman Powerpoints late in 2008.

And then it was methodically demolished early in 2009 by Judge Micheli, and again by Judge Massei in his own report released in Italian last March.

Our legal and law enforcement supporters in New York and Washington who have long followed Meredith’s case are also scratching their heads over Moore’s claims.

Why did he fail to master the Massei Report (which all of them have now read - and admire) before so vehemently going live?

Several also question the professional ethics and legal wisdom of accusing THE ITALIAN COUNTERPARTS TO THE FBI without hard proof of having fabricated evidence to prove his case. 

And in Italy, there have been several sarcastic rebuttals.

The latest comes from Walter Biscotti as reported by Ann Wise for ABC.

Mr Biscotti is the effective lead lawyer for Rudy Guede - who, it should be noted, ended up with a sentence of only 16 years for acting smart and somewhat penitent, while Sollecito and Knox may eventually face up to thirty.

After former FBI agent Steve Moore came forward in the United States last week, appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and other U.S. shows to defend Knox’s innocence, Italian newspapers picked up on the interviews with banner headlines.

“Amanda, new accusations from the U.S.,” read the leading daily Corriere della Sera Saturday. “A former FBI agent, who carried out a private investigation, tells American TV: ‘Rudy Guede is the murderer and evidence was manipulated to make her [Knox] look guilty,’” according to the subtitle.

That was too much for Walter Biscotti, a lawyer representing Rudy Guede, the third person—along with Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito—convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.

An indignant Biscotti contacted ABC News in Rome today in response to the headlines.

First of all, he said, he wanted to speak in defense of the Italian judicial system.  “I think it is only right that I speak out in favor of the Italian justice system, of which I am a part,” Biscotti said, “and of the courts of Perugia in particular….

Biscotti took offense with statements made by Moore, a 25-year FBI veteran with international experience, implying that evidence was planted during the crime scene investigation.

“He said that investigators manipulated the evidence, an affirmation that would get you arrested in a minute, if you said it in Italy,” Biscotti told ABC News.

“It is a serious accusation against the Italian legal system and, as a man of the law, I cannot accept this,” Biscotti added…

Biscotti also took issue, as he has done repeatedly in the past three years, with attempts to put the blame for the murder solely on his client, Guede, whom, he says, he is defending pro bono.

He said lawyers for Knox and Sollecito told the media after every hearing in their year-long trial “there is no point holding this trial because these two are innocent, the only guilty person is Rudy,” and he criticized a list of U.S. legal experts who have spoken out about the case in the United States.

We know of not even ONE similarly qualified person who has READ the Massei Report and is not impressed and convinced by it.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again: In A Time Warp Linda Byron Is STILL Actively Misleading Seattle

Posted by Peter Quennell





Click above for the “scoop” by Linda Byron and an out-of-date and unrelated video.

Linda Byron has in fact had the extraordinary Massei Report on the evidence and the sentencing reasons for Knox and Sollecito for THREE WEEKS and she even acknowledged it with thanks and said she would be sure to read it.

But apparently not yet. Amazingly, Linda Byron does not even MENTION Judge Massei’s Report here.

Linda Byron’s “scoop” on an FBI agent turns out to be about (surprise, surprise)  a claimed ex-FBI agent “Steve Moore” who (if he actually exists) seems to have zero track-record and reputation among current federal and local law enforcement who are watching the case.

Precisely these same few shoot-from-the-hip claims were made by “Steve Moore” several months ago on a website. Nothing new, nothing corrected, and still riddled with errors and false claims. They are so easy to shoot down that the posters over on PMF hardly even bothered to laugh at them before moving back to their usual careful in-depth discussions.

The Massei Report that Linda Byron studiously ignores now contradicts in very great detail the same few claims that “Steve Moore” makes - the evidence collection, the possible motives, the scenario on the night, the physical evidence, and the true nature of the interrogations.

And he simply leaves out altogether huge areas. Perhaps 80 percent of the whole.

The multiple alibis that contradicted one another and STILL contradict one another. The allegations that Knox made IN WRITING against Patrick when alone in a cell. The extensive luminol evidence and the extensive mixed-blood evidence. The telling behavior on the several days after. The sad facts of Meredith’s autopsy. The very extensive and very damning mobile phone records and transcripts. The computer records and recorded times it was switched on and off. The various eye-witness accounts. The facts and the reasoning that showed that there is no way that Rudy Guede could have acted alone. 

The few supportive comments below Linda Byron’s piece seem desperately grateful, and ultra-shallow on the real facts.  More hate-speech about Italy, of course. “The italian government and (in)justice system is regarded as one of the most corrupt in the first world. she would have gotten a fairer trial in mexico.”  Both those claims are untrue. Also as usual, very heavy promotion of a tainted and misleading FOA website apparently paid for by Curt Knox.

Ex FBI agent “Steve Moore” really should download and read the Massei Report and see why ALL of his claimed former colleagues consider this case to be closed.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is The Campaign That Ranted Against Italy For So Long Now Fearing An Italian-American Backlash?

Posted by Peter Quennell


This bizarre Seattle PI blog post suggests that the Knox PR campaign may now fear a major Italian-American backlash.

Really?!

Not exactly surprising, after first stirring up so much anti-Italy hate - remember “third world country” and “keystone cops” and “kangaroo court” and “saving face” and “anti Americanism” and “tabloid journalism” and on and on?

Not to mention “evil Mignini” hoodwinking everyone in Italy all the way up to the Supreme Court with “satanic conspiracies” that work easily in a “catholic country” implying everyone there is too prudish or simply not very bright?

When did they ever say anything about Italy that was actually nice? Or restrain their forces from being over-the-top nasty, as with the venom the white knights STILL direct toward Mr Mignini?

Really GOOD PR people seek to merely shade the truth.

They don’t ever build a campaign around a really big lie, because when the really big lie comes down, it really comes crashing down and ALL is lost. A result worse than if there had been no campaign at all.

Proof?  Read the many hard, angry and incisive comments right under that blog post. And we know that Italian Americans now are showing some sure signs of having had more than enough.

Not exactly a PR man’s dream. 

Added: Important Breaking News

We all already know that the US State Department up to and including Hillary Clinton not only finds the Knox campaign ludicrous and very unhelpful -  they also regard it as xenophobic.

Now the chief of staff of an Italian-American member of the US Congress in Washington DC (not, obviously, David Wu’s chief of staff) has sent us this request.

He would like to get every possible example of the sliming of Italy and the Italian officials on Meredith’s case, including the sliming of Giuliano Mignini.

Please could our readers email or post here below any examples you may know of? We may create a new TJMK page just for them.

This may factor into political races in November, and there may be a political motion in the US Congress to stop this vile anti-Italy campaign dead.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Anne Bremner Arrested, Locked Up, Now Complaining (Surprise, Surprise) The Cops Got It Wrong

Posted by Peter Quennell


Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner was arrested and locked up for apparent drunk-driving and now seems to be scrambling for arcane excuses.

What a surprise. Here is the report by Sara Jean Green of the Seattle Times with some very beleagured PR spin among the generally pretty sarcastic and hostile comments. 

Bremner is a showboating Seattle lawyer who injected herself into Amanda Knox’s case nearly three years ago.  She created a notoriously inaccurate website on the case and more than anyone set the Friends Of Amanda alive.

Ever since the FOA have made their mainstay in commentary on the case disingenuous misstatements of the evidence and the contemptuous sliming of Prosecutor Mignini and seemingly pretty well all things Italian.

Bremner herself was featured in a TV network rant about Italian cops disturbing the crime-scene (the upstairs apartment where Meredith and Knox lived) when in fact they were filmed clearing the way into the downstairs apartment (where Meredith and Knox did not lived).

Her claims and smears over the past three years have been immensely hurtful to a very large number of people in Italy and the UK, and the general thrust of the FOA campaign was thoroughly disliked by Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia. .

It is hard to see how her muddled and often very nasty claims ever did Amanda Knox any good. This sounds like poetic justice for sure.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Why The Media Are Wrong To Rely On Amanda Knox’s Family For Impartial and Accurate Information

Posted by The Machine


1 False claim-making endemic in support of Knox

In many posts we have been addressing the myriad false claims of Knox & family that, lies that now number up in the hundreds.

And here are 150 questions for the two perpetrators posted by our great Powerpoint creator, Kermit, just prior to their conviction. If reporters had sought answers to all of those, they might have once and for all nailed down the truth from the two, and made clear what REALLY happened.

Edda Mellas is already charged along with Curt Knox with making things up, in that pending case about slandering Amanda Knox’s interrogators. And as Finn MacCool seems to have got all the facts right in this post on Amanda Knox’s calls with Edda Mellas, it seems surprising that she is not also charged with perjury.

It’s a great pity that not more media people have put aside their emotions, and actually analyzed the numerous wild claims that come pouring out of Edda Mellas. The fact that so many professional journalists have given her a free pass and never challenged, cross-checked, or probed her claims is especially shameful.

Why has Edda Mellas been able to make so many false claims in the media without being challenged? 

One primary reason according to the Daily Beast is because journalists are required to give certain guarantees about positive coverage in order to gain any access to Amanda Knox’s family: “Of the handful of American journalists in Perugia in late 2007 and early 2008, none got access to the Knox family without certain guarantees about positive coverage.”

And another reason why Edda Mellas has been able to get away with repeatedly propagating the same core false claims is that the journalists in the US who have interviewed Edda Mellas are almost completely ignorant of the basic facts of the case. They haven’t bothered to find out enough about the case to be in a position to challenge what she says.

In fact any journalist - in fact, anyone interested in the case - can check the veracity of her claims against the official court documents, including the Micheli Sentencing Report of January 2009 (summarised on TJMK in English) and the Massei Sentencing Report of March 2010 (very soon available on PMF and TJMK in English).

And they can check the claims against the objective reporting of the various respected Rome-based journalists who speak fluent Italian and who actually attended the trial - the only Rome-based English-language reporter who has ever filed biased reports was Peter Popham, who seemed reflexively anti-Italy, and who was withdrawn two years ago.

2. Numerous False Knox-Family Claims

This analysis focuses on the claims that Edda Mellas has made in interviews with Larry King on CNN, Chris Wragge on CBS, Linda Byron on King 5, and The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone. There are other videos and text interviews that we could have drawn examples from.

We start with Edda Mellas on CNN’s Larry King Live.

Edda Mellas and Curt Knox appeared on Larry King Live shortly after the verdict last December. You can see them in the videos above and below. The timing here corresponds to the time counter at bottom-left of the video.


False claim 1 “The prosecution had changed the motive four times during the trial. and at the end they finally had to say we don’t have a motive but it doesn’t matter.” (minute 4.22 above)

Barbie Nadeau pointed out that the prosecutors had changed their theory, but only rather slightly:

“The prosecution lawyers began their case in January 2009 by arguing that Kercher was killed during a sex game gone awry. When it came time for closing arguments, they had changed the theory slightly, trying to make the case that Knox resented her prissy British roommate and killed her in hatred” A sex attack was still involved.

Prosecutor Mignini also suggested that a hards drug like cocaine might have been involved, and certainly never said that they didn’t have a motive. Co-Prosecutor Manuela Comodi said that she didn’t know precisely what the motive was, but certainly never claimed that there was none.


False claim 2:  “He (Rudy Guede) all of a sudden had money that he didn’t have earlier in the day” (minute 3.22 above)

Edda Mellas is plucking “facts” out thin air with this claim. No evidence was presented at any court hearing that showed that Rudy Guede suddenly had money that he didn’t have earlier in the day on 1 November 2007.


False claim 3:  “There is no murder weapon.” (minute 4.32 above)

Judge Massei indicates in the sentencing report that Amanda Knox’s judges concluded that the double DNA knife, the larger of the two indicated by Meredith’s autopsy, is indeed the murder weapon.

It is totally compatible with the deep puncture wound in Meredith’s neck, and according to a number of independent forensic experts, it contained Meredith’s DNA on the blade..

 


False claim 4:  “The Italian Supreme Court found the interrogation illegal” (minute 7.54 above)

Though this claim has been repeated in different ways, the Italian Supreme Court has NEVER ruled that Amanda Knox’s interrogation either as a witness or a suspect was illegal. In the suspect interview, she had both a lawyer and interpreter present.


False claim 5:  “They admit to the fact they really have no physical evidence” (minute 7.54 above)

As it took the prosecutors four or five months to present it, they have never admitted that they have no physical evidence. The stop-start-stop nature of the defense phase of the trial showed how very telling the evidence was.


False claim 6:  “They believe Meredith was killed at about 9.30pm” on Larry King Live (minute 0.54 here)

The prosecutors didn’t claim this at the trial. According to Mignini’s timeline, which he used when presenting his scenario for what happened to the judges and jury at trial, Meredith was killed at about 11.50pm.


False claim 7:  Amanda Knox didn’t know Rudy Guede (minute 1.02 here)

Unbelievably, Edda Mellas claimed that Amanda Knox didn’t know Rudy Guede despite the fact that Amanda Knox testified IN COURT that she had met Rudy Guede on several occasions.

Here’s the actual court transcript:

Carlo Pacelli (CP), Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer: In what circumstances did you meet him (Rudy)?

Amanda Knox (AK): I was in the center, near the church. It was during an evening when I met the guys that lived underneath in the apartment underneath us, and while I was mingling with them, they introduced me to Rudy.

CP: So it was on the occasion of a party at the house of the neighbors downstairs?

AK: Yes. What we did is, they introduced me to him downtown just to say “This is Rudy, this is Amanda”, and then I spent most of my time with Meredith, but we all went back to the house together.

CP: Did you also know him, or at least see him, in the pub “Le Chic”, Rudy?

AK: I think I saw him there once.

CP: Listen, this party at the neighbors, it took place in the second half of October? What period, end of October? 2007?

AK: I think it was more in the middle of October.


False claim 8:  Rudy Guede’s DNA was in Meredith’s purse (minute 3.16 here

Edda Mellas’s claim that Rudy Guede’s DNA was in Meredith’s purse is completely untrue. According to the Micheli report, which was made available to the public in January 2008, Guede’s DNA was found on the zip of Meredith’s purse and not inside it.


False claim 9:  “Even the Italian Supreme Court ruled that her rights were repeatedly violated.” (minute 5:32 above

The Italian Supreme Court has NEVER ruled that Amanda Knox’s rights were repeatedly violated. Not even her own lawyers claimed that, and no complaint was ever lodged.

The first of Knox’s two written statements couldn’t be used against her simply because she wasn’t represented by a lawyer when she made it - and she volunteered that statement, in a seeming state of panic, when she was told Sollecito was no longer supporting her alibi..

We continue next with Edda Mellas making claims in an interview for the CBS Early Show.

Whilen Edda Mellas was in Perugia, she was interviewed by CBS’s Chris Wragge. (Embedding of this CBS video YouTube on sites like TJMK is disabled, which suggests that CBS might be worried that the claims made were wrong and they should have been challenged on-air.) 


False claim 10:  The double DNA knife is incompatible with the wounds on Meredith’s body. (minute 0.16 above)

In the interview Edda Mellas made the following claim: “The knife they think is the murder weapon is way too big and demonstrated how it had to have been a much smaller knife that caused all the wounds.”

Edda Mellas’s claim above is simply not true.

Barbie Nadeau reported directly from the courtroom in Perugia that multiple witnesses for the defence, including Dr. Carlo Torre, conceded that the double DNA knife was compatible with the deep puncture wound in Meredith’s neck.

“According to multiple witnesses for the defense, the knife is compatible with at least one of the three wounds on Kercher’s neck, but it was likely too large for the other two.” (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek).

“He (Dr. Carlo Torre) conceded that a third larger wound could have been made with the knife, but said it was more likely it was made by twisting a smaller knife.” (Barbie Nadeau, The Daily Beast).

Judge Massei categorically states in the judges’ sentencing report that the double DNA knife was compatible with the large wound on Meredith’s neck.


False claim 11:  Meredith’s room was so tiny, there wasn’t enough room for four people in some kind of tussle. (minute 0.27 above)

In the same interview with Chris Wragge, Edda Mellas asserts that there couldn’t have been an attack on Meredith involving three assailants.

“The space available this crime happened is so tiny you can’t have had four people in that room in some kind of tussle.”

The Violent Crimes Unit itself used detailed images at the trial to show that there was more than enough room for an attack involving three attackers.


False claim 12:  There is no evidence of Amanda Knox at the actual crime scene. (minute 2.06 above)

“Its the fact at the actual crime scene there is no physical evidence of Amanda; not a hair, not a fingerprint, not a nothing.”

The crime scene involves the whole cottage and it isn’t limited to Meredith’s room. Knox and Sollecito were both CONVICTED of staging the break-in and tampering with the crime scene.

Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence actually placing Amanda Knox in Meredith’s room on the night of the murder: the double DNA knife, and the blood she tracked into the bathroom, the hallway, Filomena’s room, and her own room.

According to two imprint experts, there was a woman’s bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith’s body which matched Knox’s foot size.

Even Sollecito’s forensic consultant, Professor Vinci, claimed that he had found Amanda Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra.


False claim 13:  “The DNA is so insignificant. It’s this tiny spot. It’s not blood.” (minute 2.16 above)

Three independent DNA experts -  Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, and Professor Francesca Torricelli - confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was definitely on the blade of the double DNA.

The DNA charts themselves show a clear and unmistakable match. Edda Mellas doesn’t seem to understand that DNA evidence almost always involves only microscopic traces of DNA.

Dr. Stefanoni testified at the trial that the DNA on the blade could indeed have come from Meredith’s blood.

We continue next with Edda Mellas in an Interview with Linda Byron on Seattle TV station King 5.


False claim 14:  Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito maintained the same story (minute 3.17)

Edda Mellas claimed in this interview with Linda Byron that Amanda Knox had maintained the same story for over a year when she was asked whether her daughter had lied.

In another interview with Linda Byron in November 2009, Edda Mellas bizarrely claimed that Amanda Knox hadn’t changed her story. KING 5 Investigator Linda Byron asked her: “Did she change her story?”

Edda Mellas responded: “No, no. For this whole year they have maintained the story - what they did that night. They stayed at Raffaele’s, they made dinner, they watched a movie. That’s it, that’s the story.”

Edda Mellas’s statement that Amanda Knox didn’t change her story and that she and Sollecito maintained the same story is yet another incorrect and misleading claim.

Knox and Sollecito both gave three different alibis. The posts on their alibis are linked-to up at the top here. Knox gave at least three different times for when she and Sollecito had dinner on the night of the murder.

Knox gave different reasons for writing her handwritten confession, and she gave different accounts of seeing the blood in the bathroom which contradict each other.

And most devastating of all, Sollecito stopped providing Knox with an alibi on 5 November 2007.

Sollecito is STILL nearly three years later refusing to corroborate her alibi. He clearly hasn’t maintained that Knox was with him at his apartment - actually he claimed that she went out for four hours.


False claim 15 : Amanda Knox wasn’t provided with an interpreter (minute 2.37)

Edda Mellas made this false claim, which has been widely propagated by Knox groupies, in an interview with Linda Byron on King5.

It’s not difficult to prove that this claim is completely false. Knox’s interpreter on 5 November 2007, Anna Donninio, even testified at the trial. And Amanda Knox herself spoke about her interpreter when she gave testimony at the trial.

We continue next with the claims of Edda Mellas on ABC TV.


False claim 16:  “Amanda Knox is incredibly honest” (minute 11.25)

In an interview with ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas Edda Mellas claimed that her daughter is “incredibly honest”.

And Edda Mellas told The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone that “Amanda doesn’t know how to lie.”

In fact, Amanda Knox’s mobile phone records, data recovered from Sollecito’s computer, and corroborative testimony of numerous witnesses, provide irrefutable proof that Amanda Knox has lied - again and again.

For example, her lies about him directly led to Diya Lumumba, an innocent man, spending two weeks in prison - even though as recorded in prison she told her mother Edda Mellas that her claims were not true. .


False claim 17 : Amanda Knox could have left Italy, but she chose to stay and help the police.

In an earlier interview with Larry King in October 2009, Edda Mellas told him that Amanda Knox could have left Italy, but she chose to stay and help the police:

“After the murder, Mellas said, friends and family told Knox to leave Italy—to either come home or stay with relatives in Germany—but Knox refused because she wanted to help find the killer and prove that she had nothing to do with it.”

“Many people asked her to leave, but she said no. ‘I’m going to stay. I’m going to try and help. I’m going to try and finish school,’ ” Mellas said.”

Edda Mellas’s claim is flatly contradicted by Amanda Knox herself, in the e-mail she wrote to her friends in Seattle on 4 November 2007:

“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”

And along with one of Meredith’s friends who walked home with Meredith on the night, the police told Amanda Knox pretty promptly that as her status was (then) a primary witness, she was not to go anywhere.

The fact that Knox did stay was of little help to the investigation - in fact, she seemed to work hard to derail it - and one of her main concerns at the time, a pretty callous one, was whether she would be staying or moving out of the house and getting a rent refund.


False claim 18:  Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not under the influence of drugs on the night of the murder (BBC Radio)

In an interview with BBC Radio after the verdict, Edda Mellas apparently stated that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not under the influence of drugs on the night of the murder.

This is despite the fact that both Knox and Sollecito had both themselves actually claimed they had smoked cannabis. The prosecution believed they might have been on a hard drug like cocaine, which also seems the general belief around Perugia.


3. And Some Conclusions

The fact that Edda Mellas has been able to propagate so many wrong claims in the media for so long without being challenged seems to speaks volumes about the naivety and unprofessionalism of her interviewers, and of the media organisations they work for.

As they usually do,  ABC News, CBS News, CNN, King 5, and other media outlets should have interviewed objective crime-case professionals, who don’t have a vested interest in the case.

Instead they have relied again and again on Amanda Knox’s mother and other family members as primary sources.

Amanda Knox is not an innocent political prisoner who was railroaded in some Third World country for some very murky reason. She was unanimously convicted after a lengthy trial at which the evidence was absolutely overwhelming. 

As the Christian Longo and Scott Peterson cases that we posted on below go to prove, seemingly quite normal people commit horrific murders. Probably the vast majority of murders are committed by people who to many seemed normal.

It seems downright perverse that some of the journalists who have interviewed Edda Mellas treat Amanda Knox as a victim, and with cloying sympathy ask “How is Amanda doing?”  They wouldn’t dream of asking Charles Manson’s mum how the Manson girls are doing.

It is time for the sake of the truth, the legitimacy of the verdict, the relations between the US and Italy, and the peace of mind of Meredith’s family and friends, that from now on they hold Edda Mellas’s feet to the fire..


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Could Michael Heavey’s Muddled Stance Be Facilitating Future Killers?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Is Heavey’s Muddled Stance Dangerous?

Michael Heavey presumably doesn’t think so.

Read this post on TJMK and this post on The Examiner.

You will see that Judge Heavey is STILL framing this as a case of an Italian justice system intent on railroading Amanda Knox; and he as the White Knight that rides to her rescue.

But is Heavey turning a blind eye to a troubled mind?

But let Judge Heavey read Lilly’s post below and the comment thread directly underneath, about psychologically troubled potential killers, and the ways in which they can be detected and even prevented.

Then let Judge Heavey tell us if he still feels he got the framing of the problem just right. We reckon the real framing of the case should be as follows.

MEREDITH’S DEATH WAS TOTALLY PREVENTABLE. Many people in Seattle KNEW Knox was a loose canon. Meredith Kercher did NOT have to die.

Amanda Knox was for many years putting out warning signals in Seattle that all was not well in her hard wiring. Maybe it was something Amanda was born with, or maybe, as the first symptoms seemed to surface right after, it was something to do with the extreme family trauma of her parents’ ugly divorce and the ugly aftermath that followed.

Imagine if Knox’s family and her friends and her teaching faculty in Seattle had more forcefully stepped in to HELP her whenever she acted peculiar. And had prevented her from getting more and more into hard drugs. And had not sent her off to Perugia unstructured, unsupervised, under-funded, and still on drugs.

Would Meredith be in her grave and Amanda Knox in prison right now?

Amanda Knox is far from alone in putting out psychological warning signals. Each time there is a mass killing in the US we hear more about this.

If the books on charming psychopaths and the clinical psychologists have this right, there are literally millions in the US alone that have the defective hard wiring to kill in the “right” circumstances.

Many of them put out warning signs, often for many years. In their own way, perhaps, cries for help.

The Virginia Tech case reported in the video above is a lot more extreme than Meredith’s, and in fact there 32 people died. But the two cases have this one thing in common. In each case, responsible people KNEW there were ominous symptoms in the one who turned to killing.

They did not act sufficiently. And Meredith and 32 other people about her own age died. 

Court officers like Judge Heavey should presumably be encouraging universal consciousness of such warning signals, and protecting the wider public from future killers above all.

Not deflecting public attention from that vital need, and onto to a rampaging Italian justice system that exists only in his own mind.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Back In Court - And This Time In The Dock

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Perugia old-city’s smaller piazza with the court at right and Lumumba’s bar ahead down the hill]

Possible to feel some sympathy for Edda Mellas and Curt Knox for the turmoil that their kid has put them through.

Hard to feel too much, though, because of the huge sliming by their campaign of others, the concretely-proven lies they have told on TV, the damage done to the Italian image in the US, and the untold agony to Meredith’s family and friends, for whom they have still shown zero real sympathy.

Barbie Nadeau has the report on their own trial about to start. If their sentence is less than three years, for a first offense it would not incur prison time. However it might not have been the worst experience in the world to see them cooling their heels for a while.

We hope from now truth really breaks out and Edda Mellas gives a full explanation of this, a key aspect of the trial that no reporter and no book-writer has ever pursued (so what’s new?!)

Did Edda Mellas actually lie on the witness stand? Lie when she was under oath?


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Judge Heavey’s Open Letter To Italy With False Accusations Might Be Seen As Obstruction Of Justice

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Our post of three weeks ago on how Michael Heavey is accused of breaking his oath of office.

Here now is Michael Heavey’s response.  Good luck with this one. One of our lawyers said it reads to him as if one of Amanda Knox’s sisters had actually written it.

In his open letter to Italy (included in this document) Michael Heavey appeared to disrespect the competence and motivations of a huge number of people in the justice system. As it was on official letterhead, he appeared to be writing officially. And he put out in the public arena many “facts” that were simply not accurate.

Our lawyers on the team indicate that the standard practice if a judge has something to say about a case that is not his own is to (1) write privately (2) on his own letterhead and (3) make quite certain to get NONE of the facts wrong.

Otherwise there is the possibility of serious interference in a case before the courts - of the obstruction of justice rather than its furthering. In this case, of justice for Meredith.

No American - not one, in the course of the past two and a half years - seems to have so mis-characterized the evidence TO ITALY. Or so impugned the motives and competence of the Italian police and Italian judicial authorities TO ITALY.

That post we just linked to was written back then of course. Subsequently, both the Micheli and Massei sentencing reports have been released. They show even more dramatically just how off-target the judge’s attempted interference really was.

Perhaps we might see him apologizing to Meredith’s family, for seeking to deny their justice. Nice if the discipline panel makes this a requirement.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Amanda Knox’s Supporters Obtain Rome Embassy Cables About Knox, Prove Of No Help

Posted by True North


The American Embassy in Rome above, and the State Department in Washington below.

Ninety-nine percent of the reason why countries put embassies in other countries is because they really want to get along.

The US and Italy in fact do get along, extremely well, and there are thousands of transactions between the two countries every day. Thousands of Americans live in Italy, and millions of Americans are of Italian descent.

At the request of the US Administration, the Italian government recently put a large contingent of Italian troops in Afghanistan.

Under the US Freedom of Information Act,  any American citizen can request and usually obtain astonishing amounts of official documentation, far beyond what can usually be extracted from the bureaucracies in most other countries.

Occasionally this information has embarrassed the department concerned, or the party in power in the Congress or the White House. But usually the documents are innocuous and without drama. Conspiracies simply never show up.

The blogger History Punk on his website Historiographic Anarchy has posted some cables (pdf format) from Rome to Washington, which report periodically on the Rome Embassy’s monitoring of Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison and her trial and appeals in Perugia.

As we would expect, these cables are extremely mundane. They were sent by a middle-level official in the consular section of the Rome Embassy to the Italy desk in the State Department.

They report carefully on the careful Italian legal process, and they never remark on anything wrong. No charges or claims or complaints are relayed from Amanda Knox. There is no talk of any anti-Americanism. No instructions, questions or comments are cabled from Washington in return.

One cable was not released. It was marked confidential and the contents are unknown. Here’s a guess at its contents: “Please keep those xenophobic ranters on a chain - they are doing the American cause in Italy no good at all”. 

My first post here on TJMK and proud of it. This is a good fight I join.



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oprah Winfrey Still Snowed: Still Helping To Advance The Fiction That A BLACK Guy Did It Alone

Posted by Peter Quennell


Sad but true. A black commentator helping to revile Rudy Guede. Certainly a historic first for Oprah - though the US media is unlikely to notice.

Oprah’s emotional fawning over the Knoxes and the Mellases (with copious shots of their kids, and some misleading statements by Ted Simon) is being rebroadcast on the ABC network this afternoon.

Click here for our previous comment - plus plenty by our insightful readers.



Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Prominent Seattle Sock Puppet Michael Heavey Might Be About To Take A Fall

Posted by Peter Quennell




Michael Heavey was the Washington State judge who wrote several letters riddled with innuendo and wrong claims to judicial authorities in Italy in the second half of 2008.

These letters were ignored in Italy, and Michael Heavey soon piped down and disappeared. Then he wrote a further letter in August 2009 to the highest officials which was again riddled with innuendo and wrong claims.

Now he is back in the limelight for writing that second letter. In Seattle a complaint has been lodged, about the illegal use of his office to give a misleading aura to his letter.

1) This was our post at the end of 2008 when Judge Heavey first tried to interfere in the Italian judicial process on behalf of Amanda Knox. We pointed out just some of the things that Heavey had managed to get wrong.

2) This is the second open letter of August 2009 to the top officials in Italy (which was then ignored). .

3) This is the complaint lodged by the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct about his allegedly appearing to interfere “officially” which is a contravention of the oath of office, and so pretty serious.

4) This was the report on the complaint against Judge Heavey in the Seattle Times.

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct has filed a complaint against King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey, alleging he violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct for his support of Amanda Knox, who was convicted of killing her British roommate in Italy.

The alleged violations include writing letters on official court stationery to Italian judicial system officials on behalf of Knox, utilizing King County court staff to type the letters, and speaking publicly on the case “in an attempt to influence the proceeding,” according to the commission.

Judges may not, under the Code of Judicial Conduct, lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others, the commission notes.

According to the commission, Heavey is required to file an answer with the commission within 21 days, unless the time is extended by the commission. Once the commission receives the judge’s response it will set up a public hearing on the allegations….

The 11-member commission is an independent agency created under the state Constitution to assure the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Members are appointed by the governor, judicial associations and the Washington State Bar Association.

This has to be rather chilling for other sock puppets, if any, considering whether they too should interfere.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Calunnia Claims At The Core Of The Problem For Amanda Knox - And Her Parents

Posted by Peter Quennell



Here is Amanda Knox claiming mistreatment as the reason why she falsely fingered Patrick Lumumba.

This was the court CCTV camera feed to the press-room on 12 June 2009. It was legitimate for the reporters there to capture it.

Our Italy-based Italian-speaking posters Fiori and Nicki both observed that to many or most Italians. Knox’s two days on the stand rang pretty hollow. She apparently needed to come across as a lot more fragile for the claims in the video to ring true.

Yesterday at the first hearing to set the date for Knox’s new trial, the number of police interrogators who are considered to have been targets of calunnia Amanda Knox was stated as twelve.

They will presumably all be testifying both at Knox’s new trial in October, and at the trial of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, who allegedly repeated Knox’s claims on TV, and for whom the first hearing is coming up on 7 July.

They could face prison time and/or fines.

Judge Claudia Matteini observed that her presiding over the early hearings into Meredith’s case in 2008 (and denying Knox house arrest, a denial believed based in part on a psychological profile never made public) was not automatically a reason for her being replaced as a judge in this new case.

Knox had not made the claims you can see in the video at the time Judge Matteini was presiding. However, she agreed with what seems a reasonable defense request that a higher court should take the question of a possible conflict of interest under review.

She stated that the appeals court will issue a decision on who should be the judge for the new trial on 17 June.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Knox Hearing On Calunnia Charges Technicality, Then Trial Set To Be Under Way June 16

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Nick Squires in Rome for the Daily Telegraph has the report which includes this.

Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, argued that it was inappropriate for the slander charge to be heard by judge Claudia Matteini, because she had been involved in one of the preliminary hearings into the Kercher murder.

The case on Tuesday was adjourned until June 17, when another judge is likely to be assigned to the case.  The trial is likely to start on October 1. Her appeal is also expected to start in the autumn, meaning that the two cases could run concurrently.

If Knox is found guilty of slander, she could face another six years in jail, on top of the 26 years she is currently serving.

And Knox could face MORE time than 26 plus six years if the prosecution wins it on appeal. Possibly a total of forty.

So much for the PR campaign and the ongoing misinterpretation of the evidence and sliming of the prosecution by the “pro-Knox” websites. Guede of course ran no campaign, his lawyers and friends were always respectful, he took the short-form trial (an admission of some kind of guilt), and he tried some sort of apology to Meredith’s family.

And after his first appeal he emerged with only 16 years.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Questions For Knox And Sollecito: Ten From Daily Beast As Knox Calunnia #2 Trial Starts

Posted by Peter Quennell





This Daily Beast report indicates that the cancelled jailhouse TV interview with Amanda Knox was a lot more firmed-up than Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas, seems to have claimed.

And it outlines the first phase of Knox’s Calunnia #2 trial which is based on charges brought by the interrogating police, all of whom testified at her trial that she was treated well during her interrogations as a witness and suspect. .

Click the image or link above above for the fine reporter Barbie Nadeau’s full article on some issues Knox has never been able to account for, including Knox’s callous skipping of Meredith’s memorial service.

The ten questions are all very tough, and each would also have been asked by the jury. Here they are:
.:

It’s back to court for Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle native currently serving 26 years in prison in Italy for sexually assaulting and murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

This week, Knox is expected to attend a preliminary hearing on slander charges lodged against her for accusing Perugia police of abuse. During her testimony at her murder trial last June, she accused the cops of slapping her on the back of the head during an interrogation just days after Kercher’s body was discovered in November 2007.

The police deny hitting her, and Knox’s own lawyers have never filed charges for the alleged abuse. If she is convicted of slander, a judge could add six years to her sentence….

Knox’s resurgence in the headlines was to coincide with a joint jailhouse interview she had granted to ABC News and the Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s Matrix program. But the bureau of prisons denied the interview in the final hour, effectively silencing Knox indefinitely.

A high-profile jailhouse interview with Knox is considered the Holy Grail by journalists covering the case, and the American and Italian networks have been vying for a chance to ask Knox a few questions on camera. Now it is unlikely anyone will get an interview before Knox’s appeal hearings this fall.

But if we did, there are a few questions we’d want her to put to rest.

1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito turn off your cell phones at the same time the night of November 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 November 2, 2007, but phone records show that you both turned your phones back on very early that morning. How could that be?

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?

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 November 5? 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?

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 miniscule 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 November 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 circumstances?

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. What is your real view?

10. Is there anything you wish you would have said in court during your trial? 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 December 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?

Our posting soon of the judges’ sentencing report will open up dozens of new questions for Knox. Such as: “How did you track Meredith’s blood into your own room and leave three traces revealed by luminol?”


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

La Stampa Headline Reads: “This Is The Way That Amanda Subjugated America”

Posted by Tiziano


There’s an excellent review in Italian of “Baby Face” by Glauco Maggi in Italay’s most influential paper, La Stampa. This is the translation.

The Accusation of an American Journalist: the Family Is Spreading Misinformation.

The dense wall of the believers in her innocence, which sprung up in the USA in defence of Amanda Knox, 20 years old, during the trial in Perugia for the murder of her English friend, Meredith Kercher, 22 years old, has been subjected to the first blow from the American side. 

In the book Angel Face (Angel Face, the true story of the student killer Amanda Knox), the journalist from Newsweek, Barbie Latza Nadeau, accuses the family of the girl, condemned to 26 years for the voluntary murder, of having created “an innocentista media machine” which has tried to cancel out the heavy body of clues which built up during the trial.

“They have simply chosen to ignore the facts which were coming to light in Italy”, writes Nadeau, who has been the Rome correspondent for Newsweek and other American newspapers since 1996, from the site of the Daily Beast to major television networks (CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN). 

The accusations of the journalist are based on her direct experience as a witness, in Italy, of the conduct of the American media.  According to Nadeau, access to sources close to Amanda depended on the feelings expressed by the correspondents: the family, essentially, cooperated only with the believers in Amanda’s innocence, to the extent of the payment of travel expenses in exchange for exclusive interviews. 

An example of the climate created by the Knox family is the affair of lawyer Joe Tacopina.  Having arrived in Perugia as a “legal expert” for the ABC TV channel, at first he played the role of an unofficial of the defender of the interests of the Knoxes.  However, when he confided to Nadeau that he could not declare himself to be 100% sure of Amanda’s innocence, having studied the trial documentation, he was excluded from the family circle, which from that moment curled up like a porcupine and actively operated so that their own version would be the only one to reach the USA.

From the moment of the arrest, Nadeau writes, “Amanda and Raffaele were a pushover for the sales of Italian newspapers and of the English tabloids.  The local press reported the gossip of the lawyers and the magistrates to liven up the crime story and very soon labelled Amanda as Angel Face, encouraging a morbid fascination. 

The British newspapers, ardent in the defence of the English victim’s honour, dug into the details which Amanda had inadvertently put on the Internet, starting from her name on MySpace, Foxy Knoxy.  Phone calls to teachers and friends in Seattle provided the description of a studious, intelligent and athletic young girl.  But the social networking sites told another story.”

Nadeau unveils the video on YouTube of Amanda drunk at a party, but she strikes the most serious blow to “good girl” when she adds: “Other appearances suggest a more enigmatic and a darker personality.  Baby Brother, a film which Amanda had put
on MySpace, is not totally disturbing but contains a rather irresponsible reference to rape.” 

The investigators took the stories which emerged about her past “as proof that she had at least daydreamed about it, that this was in her mind.  Add drugs and alcohol, was their reasoning, and not much was needed for these hidden thoughts would lead to action.  The picture was being formed of a shrew who was in thrall of dark impulses and the family struggled to control the storm.”  For those who did not accept the reconstructions of the Knoxes as pure gold there was ostracism: 

“The TV crews learnt to be careful in letting themselves be seen with people like me, the family would have cut them out of the circle.”


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Daily Beast’s Online Poll: Clear Majority For All Three Having Been Involved

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]




Friday, April 02, 2010

How The Strongarm Public Relations Resulted in Most Of The Media Getting It Wrong

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the full excerpt from Barbie Nadeau’s new book.

This is surely one of the worst cases of misreporting and malicious bias in all of media history. It’d be very nice (though don’t hold your breath!) if journalism schools and media owners examined the firestorm to stop it ever happening again.

Consider just the US hall of shame.

And please remember: this is the SAME media that turned a blind eye to the Micheli sentencing report on Guede, and appears to be trying hard to do the same (not one of them is translating it) to the Massei sentencing report on Knox and Sollecito.

Here is Barbie Nadeau describing how the sharp-elbowed Knox/Marriott public relations bombardment warped Americans’ take on the case.

Coverage of the crime began to diverge on the two sides of the Atlantic. From the vantage point of Perugia, it seemed as though the Knox family’s American supporters were simply choosing to ignore the facts that were coming to light in Italy….

The American press hung back, at first, objective and somewhat disbelieving that such a wholesome-seeming girl could have any connection to such a sordid foreign crime, and then, as the family stepped up its defense, increasingly divided between two camps that would become simply the innocentisti””those who believed she was blameless””and the colpevolisti, those who did not. In Perugia, these labels governed access…

Of the handful of American journalists in Perugia in late 2007 and early 2008, none got access to the Knox family without certain guarantees about positive coverage. Within months, the family decided to speak on the record primarily to the American TV networks, often in exchange for airfare and hotel bills. Most of the print press was shut out. And the TV producers learned to be very cautious about being seen with people like me, lest the Knox family should cut them off.

But as interest in the case grew, an odd assortment of American talking heads attached their reputations to Amanda’s innocence. An aggressive support group called Friends of Amanda formed in Seattle, headed by Anne Bremner, a media-savvy criminal lawyer who had cut her teeth as a tough prosecutor in Seattle’s King County Court…

Very quickly, [PR manager David] Marriott lost control of the situation. As he spoon-fed the Knox-approved message to American outlets that couldn’t afford to send correspondents to Italy, those of us on the ground in Perugia began passing his contradictory e-mails around as entertainment during the long days in the court.

[We reporters in Rome] began what would be a two-year battle against the Seattle message machine, incurring personal attacks and outright threats.

.

We rather like the Daily Beast book, for its splash of cold water on the media, and for its highly accurate accounting of the court proceedings and of the voluminous evidence the judges also describe in their report.

We also believe that although Meredith’s family did not participate, Barbie Nadeau has strong compassion for them, and a sense of real loss over Meredith.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Knox Groupie Nina Burleigh Posting The Nastiest And Least Accurate Reports

Posted by The Machine





Nina Burleigh claims she is a careful and scholarly researcher and writer.  So the absolute sloppiness and evident bias in her recent reports for Time magazine are coming as a real surprise.

We found out about her intended book on the case about a year ago and emailed her good luck. She told us then that this was her publisher’s idea and modern crime was new ground for her.

Next we heard that she was in Perugia and frequently or incessantly sitting with the Knox defense team and family. When she returned to New York she told us this was exaggerated, and also that her days in court hearing AK testify had really chilled her and had convinced her of Amanda Knox’s guilt.

Then she headed back to Perugia and again we began to hear that the AK crowd were working hard on her. She stopped communicating with us. And we began to see suggestive trends in her reports for Time which might also indicate the direction of her book.

Considering the time Nina Burleigh has spent actively researching the case - according to the Columbia Journal, so far seven months - it’s astonishing that she was able to write this paragraph in a report for Time on 30 November 2009, just a few days before the verdict, and after the prosecution had finished presenting all of its evidence:

The third person involved, Rudy Guede, left a mountain of physical evidence including fingerprints, footprints and DNA on Kercher’s body, but the material evidence against Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito consists of just two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently sliced off Kercher’s back during the attack and another speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

And Nina Burleigh included this very similar set of claims in a Time report (“Did Amanda Get A Fair Trial?”) right after the verdict.

Guede’s footprints and handprints were on the bloody scene and his DNA inside the sexually assaulted victim, but almost no similarly incriminating evidence linked the two students to the crime scene.

The most serious material evidence against Knox and Sollecito came down to two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently torn off Kercher’s back during the savage attack and another microscopic speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

There was in fact NOT a mountain of physical evidence against Rudy Guede in Meredith’s room. One of the real surprises of the case is how little evidence even Rudy Guede - who seems to have been the one most physically in contact with Meredith - left behind.

The delay in collecting the bra clasp was caused by the defenses - the investigators knew as soon as they assembled all the evidence components in the labs in Rome that the bra clasp was not among them. A negotiation to revisit the house then had to take place. 

And even people who have followed the case quite casually will know that Nina Burleigh’s claim that there are just two elements of material evidence, both of them suspect, against Knox and Sollecito is in fact utter nonsense.

1) Mixed Samples of Blood

Is it really possible that Nina Burleigh is ignorant of the mountain of mixed-blood evidence?  Its significance has been has been highlighted in the courtroom by Dr. Stefanoni and in articles by a number of journalists covering the case.

The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, called the mixed blood evidence “the most damning piece” of evidence against Knox. And Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani paid particular attention to the mixed samples of blood in their sentencing report.

The reason why the mixed blood evidence is so damning is that Amanda Knox’s DNA wasn’t outlier DNA that had been left some time earlier.

Amanda Knox herself effectively dated the blood stains in the bathroom to the night of the murder at the trial when she conceded there was no blood in the bathroom the day before.

Apparently, three of the samples were “perfect”. Dr. Stefanoni said the most compelling forensic evidence against Knox was the mixed blood sample found on the drain of the bidet.

The mixed sample of Knox’s and Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room left the criminal biologists involved in the case, and the judges and jury, in their report, in no doubt that Amanda Knox was in Filomena’s room after Meredith was stabbed and therefore involved in Meredith’s murder.

“A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.” (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek).

Amanda Knox’s DNA was also found mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

2) Bloody and Luminol Footprints

Nina Burleigh also didn’t mention another key piece of forensic evidence against Knox and Sollecito in her article for Time: the bloody luminol-enhanced footprints.

It is quite clear that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito stepped into Meredith’s blood and tracked it around the house. They both left visible bloody footprints. Raffaele Sollecito left a bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom, and Amanda Knox left a bloody shoeprint on a pillow that was found under Meredith’s body.

Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito footprints were also found set in Meredith’s blood in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

Perhaps Nina Burleigh was so busy researching the case elsewhere in Perugia that she was unable to attend the court sessions in which the mixed blood and footprint evidence was presented or read the numerous articles about this evidence that appeared in the American and British media.

3) Nasty smears of Italy

In an article for the Columbia Chronicle Nina Burleigh made the following comment:

The research was hard because no one spoke English over there, contrary to belief,” Burleigh said. “I took Italian classes and worked with a translator and I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a country where freedom of speech doesn’t exist.”

Freedom of speech doesn’t exist? Really? And it’s simply ridiculous to claim that no one speaks English “over there”. Presumably at the very least Giulia Alagna, Burleigh’s translator, speaks some English.

Nina Burleigh sounds here like an ugly American who has utter contempt for Italy, where of course everyone should really speak English.

4) More on Giulia Alagna

It should be noted that translator Giulia Alagna has worked with some of the people who were responsible for the horribly biased CBS documentaries about the case, which were riddled with factual errors.

She was Paul Ciolino’s interpreter when he performed his comical sound experiment for CBS. Apparently, Giulia Alagna has also worked as an interpreter for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas.

It seems that she was the person who erroneously informed Edda Mellas that Rudy Guede had talked to a priest and nun:  “I’ve heard two different reports now that there’s also a priest and a nun that had conversations, not confessions, conversations, where Rudy expressed the fact that he felt bad”¦ that he was feeling some guilt about the fact that he had pointed the finger at these two (Amanda and Raffaele) when they were not there,” Mellas said.

Via a Webcam, Seattle’s KING 5 talked with a researcher who was in court throughout the long trial in Perugia and is closely watching the case.

In that report Giulia Alagna calls Guede’s alleged jailhouse confession “a huge bombshell.”

There is no credible evidence to support the claim that Rudy Guede ever made a jailhouse confession - in fact, ever even met Allessi, the murderer who was jailed for kidnapping and brutally murdering Tommaso Onofri, a 17-month-old baby.

5) Circumstantial Evidence

In her article for Time, Nina Burleigh also ignores the highly incriminating circumstantial evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as if it doesn’t exist.

  • There is no mention of Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s multiple conflicting alibis or the fact they still don’t have credible alibis despite three attempts each.
  • There is no mention of the pack of lies that Knox and Sollecito deliberately and repeatedly told the police, family and friends about the night and next day.
  • There is no mention of Knox voluntarily admitting that she was involved in Meredith’s murder, in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. Knox’s lawyers knew this confession was highly incriminating and tried hard to get it thrown out - though it still stands.
  • There is no mention of Knox’s false and malicious accusation against Diya Lumumba, or the fact that she and her mother didn’t retract her allegation the whole time he was in prison despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent.
  • There is no mention of the various eyewitnesses who between them very convincingly described an ominous pattern that flatly contradicted the claims of Knox and Sollecito.
  • And there is zero explanation of who broke Filomena’s window, who cleaned up the apartment, and who rearranged Meredith’s body to make the scene look more like a sex crime

And perhaps the most damning evidence of all, the highly incriminating patter of phone calls, is also ignored in Nina Burleigh’s various shoddy and misleading accounts. 

6) Nasty smears against prosecutor Mignin

From the Sound Authors website

[An] extremely dark murder mystery involving a university of Washington exchange student accused of killing her British roommate. In a very mysterious circumstance; and the prosecutor in the case this Italian prosecutor has a very active imagination and has charged her with participating in an orgy or satanic rite and he believes there’s this satanic cult in Italy that’s existed there for centuries so its about this girl pitted against this prosecutor. 

The new world mountain climber in gortex and pot smoker basically and that’s how she got herself into trouble; pitted against this old world prosecutor who represents severe, rigid Catholicism Italian tradition, which really respects a great dark secret, and this fresh faced American girl looks like Mona Lisa.

Apart from quite possibly being libelous, this is wildly untrue. There is a mountain of evidence on TJMK - a real mountain, not one simply in Nina Burleigh’s imagination - that Mignini has done a fine job both in this case and in his small segment of the Monster of Florence case. He did NOT first raise the notion of a MOF satanic sect (that theory was out there SIX YEARS before he came to the case) and he has NEVER pointed to a satanic sect in Meredith’s sad case.

And the truth about Mignini and the key forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito are not all that Nina Burleigh has forgotten to mention.

She didn’t mention Meredith even once on her website.

Apparently, Nina Burleigh’s “Knox book” will be published in 2011. If it is anything like her biased, muddled and inaccurate articles, it simply won’t be worth anything.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

La Repubblica’s Riccardo Stagliano Reports On The Seattle End of The Case (2)

Posted by The 411



This below is a translation of this excellent report by La Repubblica’s Riccardo Stagliano which was widely watched on Italian television.

Like the article below it also follows the typical mould of Italian reporting on Seattle - polite but seemingly doubting of the FOA claims about Amanda and the case.

AMANDA KNOX SPONTANEOUS STATEMENT: “In these days, I’ve reflected a lot about what I’ve wanted to say and what came into my mind. I wrote a question that maybe still puzzled a lot of people.”

ITALIAN ANNOUNCER VOICE-OVER: But it was the entire Meredith Kercher murder story that leaves many people puzzled in spite of the triple first-degree conviction of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox.

We went to Seattle to try to see if we could enter into the world of the American 20-something girl - angel for her family, devil according to the judges.”

The obligatory first stop is the office of David Marriott, spin doctor these past two years, who has handled media relations for the family. You can’t enter into the inner circle of the girl without passing by him first.

The first interviews are with the mother and father, separated [i.e., divorced] for 20 years.

CURT: “Amanda is a person who’s always been extremely real. As her parents, it wasn’t always pleasant to hear what was said. But, she wasn’t able to hide the truth. She’s someone who takes care of others, honest, as a study habit she has an intellectual approach to things.”

“With Raff, they met for the first time at a classical music concert. They went out for about a week, before Meredith was found dead. In such a brief period, you don’t transform a beginning relationship in to [the type of] scenario made up by the judges. You don’t go from zero to an orgy. It doesn’t happen in nature…. It’s not started out in an orgy manner.”

EDDA: “Amanda and Meredith were friends. She only said good things about her. They spent their time together, going to bookstores, or hanging out around town, reading and discussing books. Everyone will say that Amanda is a type of person who couldn’t hurt a fly. She couldn’t even do aggressive sports, because she doesn’t like violence. She’s affectionate with the elderly and children. She’s a kind human being.”

“The only direct contact we have now is 10 minutes every Saturday morning, in which we all try to tell her we love her and we all say “hi” quickly because there’s such little time. And then there are the letters. She’s written a lot of them to us, and we try to do the same.”

VOICE OVER: An important turning point for Amanda’s life was high school - attended at Seattle Prep, a Jesuit school attended by all the offspring of the upper middle class, which, later, would mobilize for The Cause.

We met Kris Johnson, her Literature teacher for two years, who let us see in the classroom where she taught, a letter, in very childish handwriting, that she sent from prison.

KRIS JOHNSON: “Amanda was an enthusiastic student who loved to learn..It really affected her. She sent me a lot of emails after class. She was simply excited by learning. She was fascinated by characters and people because she wanted to become a writer….as if she wanted to train for it, continuously.  It is not at all possible that the person I knew in class could even THINK of the things that the media has portrayed.”

VOICE OVER: Before coming to Italy, Amanda studied at Washington University and she lived near campus. There she met and became friends with Madison Paxton, the official friend, the only one Marriot lets journalists come close to.

MADISON: “One of the reasons that we became such good friends is that we had opposite views of life and people. She’s a very trusting person, while I’m not. In the end, we balanced out each other.”

“As for her man-eater reputation, when she came to college, she had less romantic experience than the average student. In high school, she hardly went out with anyone, and in college, she had a total of two boyfriends.”

VOICE OVER: Not all of Seattle, however, is so united in their outraged defense of their famous fellow citizen. Among the despised critics of the family is Peggy Ganong, a doctoral student in French at the University, who moderates the forum “Perugia Murder File” where information is gathered about leading stories on the case.

PEGGY: “One of the things that aroused my suspicions was that the family issued a press release the day after the arrest. I found it strange- and interesting. And then I discovered that a Public Relations firm was recruited to manage the Amanda image - a firm known to use techniques, I don’t want to say unethical, but let’s say unconventional,  in order to reach their objective.”

“I think that the incredibly one-sided coverage of the case in the American media is the result of this massive PR activity that cost more than a million dollars. What Marriott and the family have done was to say from the moment that the tabloids demonized Amanda, we’ve painted her as an angel. That’s why they’ve constructed an image of a typical American girl, which is probably just as false as the demonized image of her, which the tabloids have perpetuated.”

VOICE OVER: Ms. Ganong is not the only one to think that way, and to say it publicly. Among the skeptics, there’s Charles Mudede who’s in charge of the cultural pages of “The Stranger,’ a popular weekly newspaper…. We meet him at the Quarter Lounge, near his workplace.

CHARLES: “She didn’t grow up as the classic American girl. She played soccer, which isn’t a national sport here. In fact, it’s fairly non-traditional. And then, yoga, which speaks of a Far Eastern influence, rather than of praying.”

“You might expect from a classic American girl that she’d be very focused on the Christian side [of things]  “”she on the other hand did a mixture of different things, typical of the liberal cosmopolitan girls of Seattle.”

PEGGY: “The reason why many of our well-known local people have mobilized in her defense, organizing fund-raising dinners, putting together groups of people on her behalf all goes back to Seattle Prep.”

“People who pay $13,000 a year to send their children to high school so they can prepare them to go to the best colleges do not want to see the value of that investment go down, as a result of that type of scandal. Seattle Prep was the school where Judge Mike Heavey’s daughter went, [a girl] who was quite friendly with Amanda. As were the children of Tom Wright.  I believe worrying about saving the good name of the school is a good part of the [motivation behind the] ‘Innocentisti Movement’ in Seattle.

“Although it’s important that these influential people on her side have made a big splash, they don’t really represent the entire city.”

VOICE OVER: Anne Bremner, former prosecutor and current TV legal commentator is the spokeswoman for the Friends of Amanda, a site where counter-information regarding trial facts is continually updated.

ANNE: “An injustice in any part of the world is an injustice in all of the world.  I personally felt it was important to lend a hand, to expose the absolute lack of evidence. In other words, someone who has absolutely nothing to do with this horrendous crime. What has happened since the verdict? Nothing, except to increase the passion, that much more. We will never, ever abandon Amanda.”

SUBTITLES OF STATE DEPARTMENT PRESS CONFERENCE - A REPORTER ASKS: “Today Senator Cantwell spoke of contaminated evidence”¦ of unsequestered jurors and a questionable prosecutor”¦ additionally, we’ve seen jurors wearing tri-colored sashes”¦ and there was anger in the Italian press and all this indicates that there hasn’t been a fair trial”¦and all of you in the State Department claim the opposite”¦”

VOICE OVER: In the meantime, they continue their tireless lobbying activity, recruiting the most varied of advocates. Senator Maria Cantwell has expressed such serious doubts about the judicial system, that Anti-Americanism contaminated the case, also making Hillary Clinton more aware of the case.

Fortunately, she [Hillary] was too busy dealing with Afghanistan and Iran to offer an opinion on the matter. [There are] even VIPs, like Donald Trump, who proposed a boycott of Italy, until the girl comes home.

SUBTITLE OF STATE DEPARTMENT PRESS CONFERENCE: “Italy has its own justice system, different than our own.”

VOICEOVER: No one remembers one detail—that at least Italy doesn’t have the Death Penalty.

Nor does anyone seem to remember the many cases when America made great efforts to collaborate with Italian judges, including such times as [after] the Disaster of Cermes, and the [after] the killing of Agent Nicola Calferi by [American] soldier Mario Lozano.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

La Repubblica’s Riccardo Stagliano Reports On The Seattle End of The Case

Posted by Nicki



[click for larger image]

La Repubblica’s cool and objective reporter Riccardo Staglione visited Seattle recently to meet all the parties, and he filed this balanced and unequivocating report.

Seattle, In The World Of Amanda

By Riccardo Stagliano

Seattle. The fabulous world of Amanda Knox is a catalog of goodwill skits. Amanda, whose worst fault is to trust everyone. Amanda, so sincere as to become self-damaging. More about Amanda, comforting a lonely child and pampering her old zen master. All she wants to do is work and study more and more. She finds love at a classical music concert, not at a Black Sabbath rave.

Such a mirrored biography tends to become dazzling, to the point that it seems to have been rinsed in Photoshop. Only the end doesn’t add up. A retroactive, corny and sanctifying portrait to the point that one finds it natural to look for the scriptwriter’s signature. But the end doesn’t add up.

She has been convicted of murdering someone of her same age, stabbed in the house that they shared . A devilish tail springing out of her angelic body. As if the first part of the movie had been directed by Federico Moccia [an Italian writer and movie maker specialized in corny, sentimental plots] and the second part by Dario Argento [Italian horror movies director].

At the beginning of March, the first degree judges [judges for 2009 trial] will explain in the motivations of their sentence why they believe that this 20 year old from Seattle who went to Perugia for a student exchange is guilty. The Court of Appeal judgment will confirm or deny.

Here we ‘ll talk about the environment where the girl was born and grew up, and why in her city and starting from the same premises, some people have reached opposite conclusions about her, and how this event has put the US and Italy up against each other.

This low intensity war started in newspapers. With a scandalized Timothy Egan asking on the New York Times “In which century are we? Haven’t Jeanne d’Arc, the Inquisition and witch hunts taught a couple of things to civilized nations relatively to sexual hysteria with devilish nuances?”. Needless to say [according to Egan] we are the uncivilized hysterics.

Next it was the VIP’s turn, such as tycoon Donald Trump, who has recently proposed a boycott of Italy until the girl will be freed. And politicians such as Senator Marie Cantwell, who has expressed “serious doubts on the Italian judiciary system and the circumstance of anti-americanism that may have contaminated the process” and who has tried to involved Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, luckily too busy with Afghanistan and Iran to look into it.

This is the climate and it is the second thing to be noted upon arrival in this city after the scenographic skyscraper Space Needle: the direction of the reconstruction of this nasty story, very professional and entrusted to a proven spin doctor, whose fees according to local sources are about $ 100,000 a year. David Marriott is the journalists tamer that has been managing the family’s relations with the press for two years.

His first question is if one has spoken with anyone else and if so who they are. His black list has grown long with time. In order to finish up on this list, it’s enough not to go with the official tales, or to raise doubts or point out inconsistencies.

In his posh PR offices even the paintings speak eloquently. On a poster from the 40’s a soldier warns against the risks of espionage : “Someone has talked”. There, it’s important that only authorized people speak, and that they have been instructed about what to say.

The first to arrive in the meeting room is Kurt Knox, relaxed in his black leather jacket. After about 10 minutes Edda Mellas rushes in, breathless.

Mom and Dad, separated for 20 years, seem to only have in common the white plastic bracelets claiming “free Amanda”. And some key words that we’ll hear from the mouths of the other witnesses carefully selected by the PR people. “Amanda? Her main characteristic is to always say the truth, even when it is not convenient” they say, first the father and then the mother, his eyes dry, her eyes shedding tears. It’s the woman giving more details about how Amanda cannot simply restrain from commenting if she didn’t like a dress or a hair cut , how she is not capable to say those white lies that make life easier. A problem for a shrewd manipulator such as she has been described.

In the same way, how could she be a knife wielding murderer, she who is “incapable of violence?”. She didn’t even enroll in the kickboxing course that all her friends were attending, her mother recalls. ” If she found a spider in the house what would she do?” her father asks, with the expression of one who is holding a royal flush. “Well, Amanda would never squash one”.

The third quality of Amanda that is once again discussed is her being booksmart, more comfortable with books that with real life. Is such a girl capable of killing someone? Absolutely not.


Parents are clearly doing their job, a tough job nowdays, and that deserve respect. They meet only on Saturday mornings, just for the 10 minutes weekly call from the prison. Then, they stick to the defense line agreed upon with the communication strategist, and they are very careful and ready to bite their tongue when there’s something to say about Giuliano Mignini who has already sued them for some declarations believed to be slanderous

They are emotionally and financially devastated, says Kris Johnson, who taught Amanda English at Seattle Prep, the exclusive Jesuit high school which costs about $ 20,000 a year. She is number one on Marriot’s approved list. In the tiny cafe near the school where they serve cappuccino in cups as big as soup bowls she pulls out an envelope sent from the Capanne prison and sealed with a drawing of a laughing heart.

“Do you see the handwriting? How could do someone with such a handwriting harm anybody?” . In the two pages the ex student reasons with melancholy about the grey colors of winter she sees during her daily two hours outside her cell, with many more spelling errors than what one would expect from an honor student, as she has been depicted.

But the teacher tells me instead about the boldness of some Italian males when in 1972 in Florence they were proposing her to become their umpteenth lover. It’s not a casual memory and she explains: “Italian men have strange ideas about American females”. She is thinking about the jurors, the prosecutor, the public opinion that are all seeing a witch instead of the sensitive youngster that she knows. “She reads a lot of books, she thinks a lot. She could only attend one course but she was following two. She was writing me emails to comment on the classes. It was a pleasure to teach her”

The fourth word that she introduces is the adjective that Amanda university mates will use: “trusting”, even too much. Madison Paxton is the kosher friend, the one that the careful Marriot casting has approved. I met her at the Cafe on Ave, a couple of blocks from campus, very close to the dorms where she met Amanda in 2005.

“The main difference between us, what was really fascinating is I was very wary, she was the opposite.” An attitude that during the year and a half they were socializing was never a problem. This petite photography student, with honey colored hair and wearing dark shades, seem not to possess an ounce of malice. She would seem the ideal character witness, one everybody could believe. She tells of when Amanda was waiting outside the darkroom because she was afraid to return home alone at night. She is laughing thinking about Amanda as a man eater, she only dated a couple of boys when she was in college “actually a number below the average “.

And if the Italian public have remarked how she didn’t seem contrite during the trial, it’s only because they don’t know “the girls from the North West, they are raised not to cry in public and to behave like guys”. In a letter from jail, Amanda wrote to her not to despair: “even if I’ll be locked in here until I am 46, I’ll still have a big chunk of life ahead” .

If she’ll be freed earlier, one who is ready to hire her right away is Rick Kirsten. She worked for this art gallery owner for two months. but he’s betting on her qualities, as if he has known her forever. “I put an ad, I had 31 applications and I chose her. She used to finish her work in half the time and she would ask for more. And she knew how to deal with people”. His favorite episode-that Amanda’s parents recommended he tell me is about a 8-10 years old girl that seemed to be lost in the crowd at the gallery.

“I was getting ready to go to take care of her, but a client stopped me, and Amanda was there already and the child was happily laughing.” Not to speak of Amanda’s kindness to his father, a 90 years old painter and zen meditative that was often at the gallery

The beatification front is coherent and uniform. If the tabloids, especially the British ones. depicted during the first months after the murder the image of a heartless, shrewd and bad girl, the Foxy Knoxy from MySpace, then the American counteroffensive is aiming at an immaculate picture. Amanda Santa Subito (Amanda Saint Now).

One who definitely doesn’t tolerate it, breaking the city chain of solidarity is Peggy Ganong, a doctoral student in French at the university, a translator who has lived for 20 years in Paris, she is the spoiler who has taken up the task to dismantle the “consensus machine” on her internet forum perugiamurderfile.org.  “I don’t know if the girl is guilty I only know that this rabid activity of image management to bleach her reputation is not convincing, actually, it is suspicious”

[Amanda’s] family - that between airplanes, lawyers, press offices appears to have spent more than $ 1,000 000, and claims it is deep in debts - is only partially responsible for the operation, as several local potentates whose path have crossed Amanda’s in the classrooms of the Jesuit high school have taken action to defend the future possible convict. It seems that Amanda was very fond of the daughter of judge Michael Heavy. He was the first one to write an outraged letter to the Italian magistrates and to inspire the group Friends of Amanda, together with Tom Wright, a tycoon with interests in the movies industry whose children were at Seattle Prep.

“In order to defend the reputation of an institution that prepares the local ruling class” Ganong explains, “they have organized fund raisers to pay some of the costs necessary to sell the image of the typical naive American girl which, regardless of how things went, it’s totally false”.

“We are not in Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia nor in any other puritan area of the US. The middle class here is liberal, open, cosmopolitan…. Amanda was practicing yoga, she played soccer and was studying abroad. Not really typically American, but rather a Seattle behavior”, Charles Mudede from the weekly magazine the Stranger explains: “But it was more convenient to present her like a standard girl because this would have triggered national solidarity and the suspicion derived from the ignorance that America nurtures towards everything situated outside its border”.

Thus also subduing diffidence toward that other foreign land, adolescence, that for the average American is the dungeon of evil. Mudede is not ideologically a colpevolista, he has been to Perugia, followed the case and objects to the patriotic critics against the Italian judiciary system: “They had Lumumba, a black from Congo and Amanda, a white American. If they wanted a murderer at any cost, which of the two was the easiest target?


The FOA don’t see it this way. Their spokeperson Anne Bremner, a sort of super-blond and sharpened Crudelia Demon that was a prosecutor and TV commentator, cites Martin Luther King: “An injustice in any place is a threat to justice everywhere else”. She claims that with such scarce evidence nobody would have been found guilty anywhere else in the world. She promises that they won’t stop, they will get to the White House.

Meanwhile, they keep recruiting witnesses that describe us [Italians] as the savages of jurisprudence. But have these people who are pointing their sharp little fingers ever heard of the Cermis deaths [details here], and of the US marine Lozano who killed Nicola Calipari [details here] just to name a couple of cases of “lack of judiciary collaboration between Washington and Rome”?

If there is something besides our national health service about which we do not feel inferiority complexes towards the USA it is our justice, slow, at times fallible, but at least without the death penalty. Amanda knows it and in fact she writes to her friend Madison that in the worst case she will be out by the time she is 40. Her lawyers know it too, and so do the spin doctors who hope to shake the fragile probatory evidence on appeal. For her the outcome is still to be determined.

The one for whom is definitely closed is Meredith Kercher, in this grim drama the least quoted protagonist by the Seattle guarantists.


Friday, February 26, 2010

The Prosecution’s Case Is VERY Formidable - Oops, The Prosecution’s Case Makes No Legal Sense

Posted by Peter Quennell

(1) Ted Simon’s objective and accurate statements on the strength of the case against Amanda Knox (Dec 2008)

(2) Ted Simon’s shrill and misleading statements on the strength of the case against Amanda Knox (Feb 2010).


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Common View In Legal Circles: Knox Campaign Often Talks Legal Nonsense - As On Oprah

Posted by Peter Quennell


(1) This is the position lawyer Theodore Simon took in December 2008 on NBC Dateline as an impartial commentator then being straight with the American public.

“Theodore Simon thinks the prosecutors evidence made public so far is daunting. The defense could argue a faked robbery, and a moved body, and contamination, but eventually it could become like whack-a-mole, and all of their arguments could lose force.”

(2) This is the position Theodore Simon takes on the Oprah Winfrey show in February 2010 now that he is on the payroll and seemingly trying hard to mislead the American public. “The case makes no legal sense.”

The recent appointment of Theodore Simon as the US legal adviser to the free-Knox campaign met with some ridicule in Italy.

We certainly begin to see why.

Ted Simon’s performance on the Oprah Winfrey show sounded to us a lot like the hapless John Q Kelly. How grounded in either the very hard evidence or the very-different Italian law really is he?

The highly-respected Spokane lawyer Bill Edelblute (who we have quoted before) now weighs in forcefully on the New York Examiner website on the many claims made on the Oprah Winfrey show.

He pretty well reflects here what many other good lawyers are telling us: Don’t take any legal advice from that campaign - not if you actually want to win some…

Concerning the callous uncaring attitude to the Kerchers

Mr Edelblute starts by examining an arrogant and almost pathologically callous remark made by Curt Knox about the family of Meredith.

The parents of Amanda Knox lament the limited contact they now have with their daughter due to her imprisonment, while awaiting the upcoming appeal.  Only near the end of at least the ABC news account of the interview do they give any mention of the victim and the Kercher family. 

Here’s what they have to say in comparing their loss with that of the relatives of the murdered beautiful British student.  In commenting on the fact that they would not welcome a call from the Kerchers, Curt Knox explains it this way:

“We still have a chance with Amanda, and they don’t with their daughter,” he said, and that any such discussion might be best to take place only if the Kerchers are positive Amanda is innocent. “We still have a chance with Amanda, and they don’t with their daughter.”  No, they don’t have a chance with Meredith Kercher, because someone murdered her.  Amanda Knox has been convicted of that murder, subject to appeal.

Let’s see - - the victim’s parents are supposed to believe Amanda is innocent before they ever dare speak to the parents of Amanda Knox.  Guilty or innocent, the parents of Amanda Knox did not murder anyone, so why would they place conditions on what the Kerchers have to believe before ever speaking to them? 

Hint - the reaction of the Kerchers to the verdict was one of believing justice has been done, not of believing the trial went horribly wrong.  Don’t expect them to change their belief anytime soon. 

The Kerchers did not make Amanda Knox turn cartwheels, make out with her boyfriend a few feet from where the body was just discovered, or to change her story several times, or to say that she heard Meredith scream, and that a black individual was in the bedroom with Meredith.  It was scientifically proven with DNA that a black man, Rudy Guede, was in that room, and he said Meredith was screaming, just like Amanda said.  Who is at fault for all that?  The victim’s parents, or Amanda’s sisters?

The chances that the Kerchers feel they need to speak to anyone about the murder of their completely blameless daughter who has not been shown to have done anything other than act like a normal college student, with normal boundaries on her behavior, are nil.

The Kerchers have nothing to explain, but deserve more than an apology from anyone who has made the rights of their daughter a non-issue. And the parents of an accused also have nothing to explain, but when they decide to conduct a media campaign, do they set conditions for the parents of the victim?

Concerning Amanda Knox’s sisters

Bill Edelblute contends with a couple of the often-loose claims of Deanna Knox, well worth reading in the original, and then has a long commentary on the use of young children as sockpuppets. He concludes “When comedy fundraisers for Knox don’t do the trick, try making a kid cry.”

Concerning Oprah’s performance

Next he assesses Oprah Winfrey as host - like us, he clearly believes Oprah was under-researched and under-briefed and fell into several traps. He commends her for not simply taking an “she’s innocent” stance and for asking a few blunt questions, concluding:

  • She aired a written statement by Lyle Kercher, brother of victim Meredith Kercher, who apparently was invited to appear or speak live, but declined.  However, this was at the end of the segment when it probably belongs right smack in the middle. A photo of Meredith was flashed only very briefly.

But much of how Oprah handled the show he clearly did not like - becoming mushy over Amanda, misleading her audience on the sequestering of juries, and making an anti-Italy crack.                                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Oprah made a unequivocal statement that the jury was not sequestered, as it would have been in America.  That is not true.  Even in murder cases, juries are not routinely sequestered throughout the trial.  It is possible a judge would grant such a request upon motion by attorneys.  It is possible a jury might have been sequestered during deliberations, but not during the trial, or both, or neither….
  •  
  • When Edda Mellas told Oprah that Amanda said in a phone call to “tell Oprah I love her” Ms. Winfrey displayed what was clearly a flattered smile.  You are just told that someone who has been convicted of murder, albeit subject to appeal, likes you, and you react as though someone’s puppy has taken an immediate liking to you, or have received a much sought after complement.  We don’t know what Meredith Kercher thinks of Oprah or her show, as her life was taken and she is not here to groom and manipulate others, as is Amanda Knox even from a prison cell.  (Nor would Meredith need to do so.)
  •  
  • For the banal statement, while turning to the audience: “If you want to be tried - you want it to be in the U.S.A.!”  Sure about that?  Amanda will get two levels of appeal as a matter of right in Italy.  In her home state of Washington, she would have only one. Oprah’s statement clearly implies the Italian system is not fair compared to that of the U.S., when there is no evidence of that, and implies there are more procedural protections, when there is no evidence of that.

We could have added this one: Oprah ignored the huge money-making operation and where all the money is going - for example, the very large sums that seem to be spent to mislead the American audiences.

Concerning Elizabeth Vargas

He then takes a look at the quality of the reporting of ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, who is notorious for repeatedly omitting key facts, muddling what the jury hears in court with what the media says outside, denigrating Italy and the Italian players, taking a very one-sided position (she is believed to have an exclusive deal with the PR campaign, one never made public on-air), and in general misinforming ABC’s viewers.

He judges her commentary as follows: “Ms. Vargas is loose with the facts.  There is almost no value of any kind in what Ms. Vargas had to offer, and negative value, when it comes to attacking a legal result with nothing to back it up, murdering the truth.” 

Concerning Theodore Simon

Bill Edelblute then has serious contention with many of the remarks of Ted Simon, again well worth reading in full.

On Knox pointing to a black man, Patrick Lumumba, now, as our post below underscores, replaced as the sole perp of choice by another black man, Rudy Guede.

Oprah asked him if the fact that Amanda “pointed at an innocent man” reflected on her integrity.  His answer: “Quite to the contrary.”  So it meant she had good integrity, being to the contrary of reflecting poorly upon it?  The tired old refrain that the police forced her to know that it was a black man in Meredith’s room does not mean Amanda was of good integrity, even if believed.  Simon’s answer just means his gun was cocked to say “to the contrary” to any evidence against Amanda.  Amanda would let an innocent man rot in prison, potentially for the 26 years she is doing, if he hadn’t been able to convince the court of his alibi. 

Yet it is “to the contrary” to suggest she has no integrity to allow Patrick to unjustly be deprived of his freedom, business, and reputation? Simon pointed out there had been no interpreter.  Knox didn’t say she had been misunderstood when accusing Lumumba.  She testified she made the false accusation only after being hit on the back of the head by a policewoman who she could not identify. What does lack of an interpreter have to do with the point of accusing an innocent man?  He was in prison two weeks.  Did Knox ever say during that time - no, he’s not involved, you’ve got an innocent man in prison?  His bar that employed Knox is now closed.  A product of Knox’s false accusations.

On Ted Simon on the physical evidence in the house.

Simon rattled off a list of things not found in the room where Meredith was found, such as Amanda’s hair, DNA, sweat, etc.  He did not mention that no murder weapon, which had to have once been in the room, was found in the room either. 

So is Meredith still alive? Simon did not mention the DNA of Amanda and the victim being on a knife where Amanda claimed at times she had spent the night of the murder.

He could have added - as our DNA experts here have often pointed out - that there was zero reason for Knox’s DNA to be in Meredith’s room if she was simply standing there with a knife, goading the men on and taunting Meredith. And that a bloody footprint of Knox’s size was found in the room, on a pillow. And that the mixed DNA of Knox and Meredith was found at five locations - and that mixed DNA had to have been deposited very recently.

And that it had to have been Knox who moved Meredith’s body - nobody else had a need to. And that Amanda Knox’s bedside lamp was found in Meredith’s locked room, presumably used in the cleaning up and rearranging of the crime scene - of which there is no doubt.

He continues on the physical evidence.

Simon does not identify any rule of law that says the sweat of the accused has to be found in the room where the the victim’s body is found.  Yet, he says the case “makes no legal sense.” 

This is a case in which there is an admission of being at the scene, of the DNA of the accused and a victim being on a knife, of knowledge that Meredith screamed while a black man was in a bedroom with Meredith. 

A black man was in a bedroom with Meredith, Rudy Guede, as shown by his DNA.  Guede, though denying murder, says he heard Meredith scream.  Knox said she screamed, before Guede was known by police to be involved.  How did she know what Guede knew?...

There is no legal element missing, it is more a question of the independent strength of certain pieces of evidence, all put together the jury was convinced, and that is their role in the system.

Hmmm. That seems to make a lot of legal sense.

And concerning Curt Knox and Edda Mellas

Finally Bill Edelblute questions many of the claims of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas of bias in the legal process and the Italian media. Please see his original post. He comments further on Curt Knox’s almost pathologically callous remark with regard to Meredith’s family.

While the comments above about the Kerchers could be construed as acknowledging their loss of their daughter, of having “no chance”, as worse than the situation of the Knoxes, I’m not so sure.  Because clearly Curt Knox then says that to speak to them, the Kerchers would have to acknowledge Amanda was innocent. 

That thinking is the product of a different kind of mind.  the Kerchers don’t have to do anything, it is not a question of why Curt Knox would not lower himself to talk to them, it is a question of why the Kerchers would bother.

In other words, why would Meredith’s family WANT to reach out to the family of a possible charming psychopath found guilty of killing their daughter, who still shows zero remorse? Especially when her family seem to display some chilling psychologies of their own.

Fine brave careful humane work by Bill Edelblute and the Examiner. which is helping to re-educate a huge component of the American public on the stark realities of the case.  Reader comments on the Examiner website and every other website we have looked at are running at least four or five to one against Oprah, Curt Knox, and Edda Mellas.

Something in their campaign must be broken. Perhaps they should just pack up and stay home.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oprah Gets Snowed: Why Was She Not Made Aware of The Race Card Being Played?

Posted by Peter Quennell





Previous posts on Oprah’s intervention here and here.

We will have a detailed takedown of the large number of disputable claims made today on Oprah Winfrey’s show posted here in a day or two. 

Meanwhile, we must say that it was a pretty weird experience to witness Oprah Winfrey, of all people, being taken in by the “of course the black guy did it” meme.

  • Is she aware that the poor black guy Rudy Guede has no prior convictions and that all three have had prior brushes with the police?

  • Is she aware that there is NO reliable evidence that the poor black guy Guede has ever done drug dealing or burglary in Perugia or for that matter wielded a knife?

  • Is she aware that there is no REMOTELY feasible scenario under which a lone wolf like the poor black guy Guede could have done this crime all alone?

  • Is she aware that there is EXTENSIVE evidence that Knox and Sollecito rearranged the crime scene and moved Meredith’s body - while the poor black guy Guede was reliably reported at a disco?

There seems to be a nasty race card deliberately being played here to deflect blame from Amanda (remember Patrick Lumumba?) which Oprah’s staff should have picked up on in a mere 15 minutes of research.

This was the REAL story here - that blaming it all on the black guy is a theory that just doesn’t fly - and Oprah should have been onto this one like a hungry dog onto a bone.

Hopefully next time she will be.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Extreme Tastelessness Being Decried Of Knox Comedy Fundraiser In Seattle Tonight

Posted by Peter Quennell


Great to see Spokane lawyer Bill Edelblute speaking out for justice, taste and common sense once again.

Here Mr Edelblute comments in

today’s Examiner on tonight’s very widely-criticised laugh-in about Meredith’s death.

Murder a laughing matter for Seattle, comedy fundraiser for Amanda Knox January 27th

Apparently help is not on the way from Senator Maria Cantwell or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fast enough.

Or, Amanda Knox’s fans would not be holding a comedy fundraiser at the “Comedy Underground” in her hometown of Seattle tomorrow night, January 27th.  Believe it or not, but that is what is reported by KING 5 News of Seattle.  And see the ad posted by Comedy Underground for the event “starring SUSAN JONES, GEOFF LOTT,BILLY WAYNE DAVIS plus Xung Lam, John Gardner & Renee Perrault.”  Lott publicly calls women four letter obscenities.

Renee Perrault is a comedienne who used to work with Curt Knox, the convicted murder’s father.  She helped with a baby shower when Mr. Knox and his wife, now Edda Mellas,  were expecting Amanda.  (And, now, a “murder shower?”)

At $50 a head, Perrault hopes to raise $10,000 for Amanda’s appeal fund.  Though Perrault says there will be no jokes about the murder, it seems a strange mix.  It would seem difficult to not visualize the demise of Meredith Kercher while attending a fundraiser for legal fees arising from charges for that incident.  If that doesn’t suppress the laugh reflex, something is wrong no matter what you think about the trial result so far.  Perrault’s sense of humor seems a little off, in parallel with Knox’s seemingly inappropriate smiling during the trial.

Featured “comedian” Geoff Lott calls women four letter obscenities

But wait, it gets worse.  Geoff Lott, another performer slated for the event, has a blogspot in which he responds to critics of the appropriateness of the performance.  He says maybe they should get “physical” instead of just “textual” and ” maybe your arguments begin to hold the amount of water your fat dumb asses do.”  And this classy, professional, Knox supporter says ” if you get in my face about doing what I choose to that in no way effects, disrespects, or discredits you, then you better stay off my shoes, c*nt.” 

While this last word, even in abbreviated form is extremely offensive, in order to report on the nature of the performers for this event, it was deemed necessary, as you probably would have never dreamed of it.  To anyone planning to take any impressionable young people, then it should serve as a warning.  He in “no way ... disrespects” you, just calls you a filthy name, degrading to females?

Please, America, and the world, do not judge all of Seattle or Washington by this.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perugia Police Requirement To Protect Their Good Name: Another Calunnia Suit Now In The Works

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the Daily Mail report. Good except calunnia (defined at bottom here) and not slander is the charge

Jailed student killer Amanda Knox is to be charged with slander after she claimed she was beaten by police

Today prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who led the case against her, confirmed that Knox had been formally notified that the slander investigation had ended.

The step is the first procedure under the Italian legal system before being formally charged and gives a defendant time to contact lawyers and work out a defence.

Mr Mignini said: ‘On two occasions during her trial Amanda Knox claimed that she had been beaten during questioning - a claim which was denied by all the officers involved.

‘There was no proof to back up her allegation and to protect the good name of the police department a slander investigation was started and this has now been complete.

‘Knox has been informed of this through her lawyers at the jail where she is being held and a formal charge against her will be made within the next few weeks.’...

Under Italian law slander is punishable with a fine and or a prison sentence of between two and six years….

In November it also emerged that Knox’s divorced parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, had been placed under investigation for defaming police by claiming in an interview with a British Sunday newspaper their daughter had been beaten.

Explanation of calunnia

The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone”Ÿs reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Sockpuppet Timothy Egan Gets A Splash Of Cold Water - From A Respected Washington State Lawyer

Posted by Peter Quennell


Seattle and Spokane are at opposite ends of Washington State.

Spokane is the second largest city in the state, some 280 miles to the east of Seattle, and it is nicely located and landscaped. These spectacular falls are just one block away from the downtown.

As our Seattle posters have been showing, a majority in Seattle seem to be settling now on some hometruths, such as that justice for Meredith has actually been rendered.

The “Knox framed by evil Italians” meme is looking like an imperiled species even there, where the PR campaign did its absolute darndest with the help of quite a handful of sockpuppets.

Spokane seems to have brushed off the PR campaign almost entirely, and it has never ever seen a strong “framed” constituency emerge.

Now a highly respected Spokane lawyer, Bill Edelblute, takes on the many ill-informed claims of Seattle-based blogger Timothy Egan - claims which among others may have swayed Senator Maria Cantwell.

Unlike many of the absurdists who posted once and then clearly felt, well, absurd, Timothy Egan posted several times, increasingly strained and defensively. How his contemptuous attitude toward Italy paid off was described in our posts here and here and here.

Mr Edelblute posts eleven reality checks in response to Egan’s various claims. His article starts as follows - questioning the attempt to make Maria Cantwell, Hillary Clinton and even Barack Obama into the ultimate sockpuppets for the cause. 

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, was “saddened” by the verdict convicting Amanda Knox of the murder of Meredith Kercher.  Her spokesman later issued another statement about the lack of a fair trial in Italy, and Cantwell appeared on television reiterating that the proceeding was unfair.  And, she was going to enlist Hillary Clinton, apparently believing fair legal proceedings mean outside influence is exercised by non-judicial authorities.

Why does an elected official in high office like Cantwell believe this, what is she going on?  One of the often cited sources for the “railroad” job are the articles by Tim Egan, a best-selling author living in Seattle, who did not attend the trial.  Is it this type of American journalism that Cantwell has swallowed, hook, line and sinker?

The proliferation of writers who casually attack the Italian justice system, and its treatment of the Kercher murder case, such as Tim Egan, also focus on the supposedly unfair press in Europe. Imitation must be the sincerest form of flattery. Egan’s articles attack the Italian news treatment of the case as being factually inaccurate and sensational. Where did they learn it, from the U.S.? Witness the O.J. Simpson case, etc. Ever watch the Nancy Grace show? Are the supermarket tabloids in the U.S. imported from Italy?

Egan is loose with the facts, and makes assumptions about an entire populace with no need for the tedious obligation to back it up with any logic or truth

Mr Egan of course is not a lawyer, and Mr Edelblute of course actually is. Here is Mr Edelblute’s entire article. It is well worth reading in full.


 

Click here for the rest


Friday, January 08, 2010

A Month Has Passed And Senator Cantwell Still Hasn’t Answered Constituents’ Hard Questions

Posted by Highly-Concerned Washington-State Voters


On December 9, 2009 five well-informed constituents of US Senator Marie Cantwell sent her an Open Letter.

It asked some questions about the reasoning behind her December 4th press release on the verdict in Meredith’s case.

The public release of this letter to Maria Cantwell garnered international attention, and it was quoted-from in various stories and reports published in Europe..

On December 10, a Cantwell Senate-office staff member in Washington DC, John Diamond, provided the one and only direct response to inquiries about it.

Mr Diamond claimed “Our staff has checked every possible in-box and not turned up the letter. We get lots of mail and email sent through to us every day, so I don’t know what the problem was. We now have your letter so it’s a mute point. We will get back to you.”

Rather bizarrely, on December 11th, Mr. Diamond then forwarded to the authors of the Open Letter a Knox/Mellas Family Press Release. It was issued by the paid Seattle PR man David Marriott, and Ms Cantwell’s office seemed to be endorsing it.

The release stated among other things, “We would like to publicly thank Senator Maria Cantwell for her support of Amanda, support of the family, and her continued work on our behalf.” 

No other response has ever been received by the authors of that Open Letter, other than one auto-reply email from Mr. Diamond saying, “I will be out of the office through Labor Day.” (Labor Day is the first Monday in September, then a full nine months away.)

On December 15th the Seattle PI’s Andrea Vogt in her story “The debate continues over Knox’s guilt”  reported that instead of repeating the harsh complaints of her press release, Cantwell’s spokesperson Katharine Lister was now saying this:

“Senator Cantwell believes that Amanda Knox deserved a fair trial, and now deserves a fair appeal by an impartial tribunal; all in keeping with the Council of Europe and the European Union’s treaties to which Italy has long been a signatory. While she certainly understands that the legal system and practice in Italy is different than in the U.S., she believes it is the responsibility of the U.S. government to press for fair treatment for any U.S. citizen facing legal jeopardy overseas. She will continue to press to ensure that Amanda gets a fair appeal, by an impartial tribunal.”

On December 24, 2009 the following new inquiry was sent to Senator Cantwell, reiterating the concerns of the original letter and a desire for a response from Senator Cantwell, and repeating the request to meet with Senator Cantwell herself or a senior member of her staff. 

To this letter Senator Cantwell’s Seattle area constituents are still awaiting her reply more than two weeks later.

Dear Senator Cantwell:

Last December we submitted an Open Letter and had some contact with John Diamond regarding your press release concerning the Amanda Knox guilty verdict in Italy for the murder of Meredith Kercher.  We have yet to receive a response other than an email from Mr. Diamond simply forwarding a press release from the Knox/Mellas Family. Five of your Seattle area constituents authored that Open Letter to question the reasoning behind statements made in your press release.

We did not feel as though we were well represented by that press release and are still awaiting a response to the issues we raised, including a request to meet with your Chief of Staff.  Now that the holiday break is upon us I think it’s a great time to revisit these issues since we haven’t seen any additional press releases from your office and are left wondering if the situation has progressed or if you have adjusted your position on the issue of the Amanda Knox guilty verdict in light of ongoing events and news coverage.

As a recap, here are the key points from your press release and a few of our questions regarding the rationale behind your points:

1. “I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial.”

If you are requesting a full briefing on the principles of Italian justice it seems that there are far better places to ask than in what might be construed as a xenophobic press release. To our eye, you seem to be suggesting that anti-Americanism in Italy is a serious ongoing problem and I am wondering what evidence you have to support this perception and, specifically, how it would apply to the Amanda Knox (American) and Raffaele Sollecito (Italian) murder trial.

2. “The prosecution did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Knox was guilty.”

How can you justify making such a statement?  You seem to be indicating here that you were following the case quite closely, but elsewhere you indicate that you weren’t.  Do you state this as an opinion or as a fact?  I am concerned because Curt Knox and Edda Mellas have been charged with defamation by the Italians for making similar unfounded accusations against the Italian justice system.

3.“Italian jurors were not sequestered and were allowed to view highly negative news coverage about Ms. Knox.”

What special knowledge do you have to make an informed critique of the Italian justice system? Our impression, having closely followed of the murder trial for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, was that the jury behaved honorably and was somewhat restrained and lenient in issuing their ruling. We expect to find some justification for this impression in the lengthy and detailed summary of findings that the court will issue within 90 days of the ruling.

Regarding press coverage, our personal observation is that the media battle waged by the Knox family and David Marriott was, in fact, very effective in highlighting the concerns of the Knox family in outlets around the world, to the extreme point that whatever Curt Knox and Edda Mellas have to say about the murder case is reported verbatim, without question or verification.  We also believe that media coverage during the lengthy trial itself focused heavily on the prospect of an “innocent” Amanda Knox and the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

4.“Other flaws in the Italian justice system on display in this case included the harsh treatment of Ms. Knox following her arrest; negligent handling of evidence by investigators; and pending charges of misconduct against one of the prosecutors stemming from another murder trial.”

What specific systemic flaws are you referring to here, and in comparison to what system?  We’re wondering what your specific recommendations would be to the Italian Foreign Minister and where you will find the time to research and author them. 

While we’ve seen the claims of harsh treatment and abuse in the media we are unable to verify any of these allegations.  We have noticed, however, that Amanda Knox has been charged with and investigated for making false allegations, and convicted in the instance of accusations made against her former employer Patrick Lumumba. Can you clearly detail any specific incident of harsh treatment Amanda Knox received, either before or following her arrest? 

Can you provide specific examples of the negligent handling of evidence that clearly compromised Amanda Knox’s right to a fair trial? We have followed this case closely from the beginning and while certain investigative elements could have been better handled we are not aware of anything suggesting that the Italians are fundamentally incapable of properly documenting and evaluating a crime scene, or conducting a fully “fair trial” for that matter.

In addition, we would appreciate a detailed description of your understanding of the alleged charges against prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and the relevant connection you are trying to make between that legal proceeding and the Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito murder trial.

In regards to Amanda Knox, Mignini was one of two prosecutors in a case that involved the coordination of a variety of completely separate entities in Italian law enforcement and legal systems.  According to our understanding of Italian legal processes, the charge against Mignini relating to the other murder trial case seems somewhat routine, rather insignificant, and could very well be dismissed later this month.

5.“I will be conveying my concerns to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

What was Secretary Clinton’s response to you?  It has been our understanding that the US State Department and US Embassy in Rome have been following this case from the beginning, have visited Amanda Knox in prison, and have attended court sessions.

We’re wondering what compelled you to insert yourself so publicly into an international situation when your press release gives the strong indication that you were not fully briefed before issuing it and appear to know very little about what has actually been going on with the case.

In the sole interest of providing you with our valid and informed perspective, we remain very interested in meeting with you and/or your Chief of Staff to discuss these issues in detail and share the facts as we understand them.  As your concerned constituents, please us know if this will soon be possible.

[signed by five constituents in the original]


Thursday, January 07, 2010

The False Accusation By Amanda Knox Against Patrick Lumumba

Posted by The Machine

This incisive video by our main poster ViaDellaPergola explores Amanda Knox’s accusations against Patrick Lumumba - made even though she knew very well he had then been at his bar.

These accusations resulted in Patrick’s arrest and imprisonment on the morning after the night that she first voiced them. Knox first made the claims as a WITNESS and so no lawyer was present, and so the statement was not entered into evidence.

But later on 6 November 2007 when she was in her prison cell as a SUSPECT she wrote her claims all out again. This purely voluntary written statement (alibi version 4)  by definition puts her at the scene of the crime. 

This written statement WAS entered into evidence - and not retracted or modified in any way until all believability had flown, and Patrick was already back home with his family.

In fact, it was not until she was on the stand on June 12 and 13 2009 that Amanda Knox came up with Alibi Version 5. This is the one never supported by Sollecito - where she claimed she was at his place all night.  Amanda Knox STILL has no alibi that stands firm.

Knox is being prosecuted by the Republic of Italy, not by Lumumba, on a calunnia charge. 

Explanation of

calunnia

The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone”Ÿs reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

American Lawyer Ted Simon Appointed To Help Out Italian Team On Appeal

Posted by Peter Quennell


A couple of US media websites and many in Italy are reporting that Theodore Simon is joining the Ghirga-Della Vedova defense team in Italy for Amanda Knox’s appeal.

The Press Association quotes him as follows.

Mr Simon said: “Amanda’s conviction stands as a tragic example of a wrongful conviction which requires meaningful review.  “I look forward to working with Amanda and her family and with her Italian legal team, as we approach an appellate process that is designed, capable and empowered to ‘right this wrong’ which hopefully will result in her deserved release.”

Three points here.

First, Theodore Simon came across well in NBC’s excellent second Dateline report on Meredith’s case last year when he was then more neutral and even a tad pro-prosecution.

Mr Simon then predicted an uphill fight for the defense, and he explained the real danger of a whack-a-mole defense, where all the effort is put into trying to discredit a few straw-men elements when the body of the whole remains unshaken.

Second, the Ghirga-Della Vedova team never seem to have shown any appreciation for the “help” offered from the US which has seemingly turned many Italians off and possibly made their own task harder.

And third, Theodore Simon himself now seems to have moved sharply into his own whack-a-mole mode. When another prominent US defense lawyer attempted an intervention, we pointed out the real strength of the entire body of evidence.

John Q Kelly has been invisible on the case ever since.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Vicious Destruction of Curt Knox, The Father

Posted by Danusunt


Picture Amanda Knox’s father, Curt Knox, as he nervously adjusted his posture when a cameraman snapped, “Sit up straight,” before Curt’s first appearance on global television.

He may have been in a corporate video or two in the past, perhaps some family videos. But this was big time. People behind and around the cameras weren’t smiling. The feeling of all business must have felt less than sympathetic.

Imagine how someone from make-up yanked hairs out of Curt’s nose, and how a snotty producer cut Curt off mid sentence to bark, “Try not to say, ‘Ummm’ so much.” In the background imagine someone saying, “Curt, that LA lawyer lady is on the phone again.”

Thrust into the spotlight, things escalate from embarrassing to overwhelming to Gloria Allred pretty quickly. But the image of Curt Knox squirming under the lights and in front of the cameras cannot be so nightmarish as what happened to Curt Knox next. Curt Knox, the father.

His reflex would come as it would to most fathers, to protect his little girl’s reputation; and, himself being a VP at Macy’s, perhaps a little bit of his own. As it would play out, by throwing himself into the fray, he was putting himself in the witness stand, and would either be deemed a reliable, or an unbelievable witness.

From the beginning, Curt Knox appeared a little disheveled as he laid out the boilerplate. ‘She just couldn’t do this. She doesn’t have it in her,’ he’d say.

He and his ex wife, a math teacher from West Seattle Vanity Fair writer Judy Bachrach found ‘perpetually baffled,’ would drone on and on about how perfect and innocent Amanda is. Then relatives, then friends, then friends of friends, and ultimately people pulled off Seattle streets, waxed poetically about the outgoing little girl who’s favorite piece of clothing was a slightly rusted My Little Pony chastity belt.

But imagine Curt’s face as he listened to someone tell him, “Amanda boned seven dudes, one of them at least on a train, and another, that Raffaele guy, a couple hours after she met him. And it’s gone public. It’s everywhere.”

Jesus. To hear that about his own daughter after sticking his neck out proclaiming she is as pure as snow that’s yet to hit the ground. How awful to learn you’ve been made a liar by your own flesh and blood, and that daddy’s little girl has been whoring around.

And with not even the chance to recover, there on video for the world to see was his little darling, fingering lacy panties in a trendy store, as that Raffaele guy told her, loud enough for others to hear, that the sex that night was sure to be pretty good. Some may recognize that as a common West Seattle girl’s need after a roommate’s murder. But most wont, least of whom, the Italians.

Curt was a VP at Macy’s, and held a position whereby honesty and integrity were key. Of course this didn’t look good for his daughter. But what about Curt? Curt the man? Curt the father? Curt the VP? Curt the guy who makes his living with a perceptive awareness of everything around him. What kind of impact did this have on his standing as a reliable character witness? How does a guy make eye contact after something like that?

I imagine Curt walking the halls of his office, wanting to yell at his fellow muckity mucks, “Your daughters are boning just like mine. Don’t kid yourself goddammit!”

But he stayed the course, again and again selling his daughter’s innocence into the camera, playing up her honesty, and perhaps playing the smart card in sticking to his own story. VPs don’t blink. Part of me admired him for that. But the majority recognized the great mistake he was making.

Now imagine Curt’s face as he listened to someone tell him, “Your daughter keeps telling different stories of where she was. She was at that Raffaele’s house smoking drugs. Or, no, she was at home, smoking drugs. She slept in late, no, she was at the store first thing buying cleaning supplies. No, she listened as a black man raped and murdered that girl, and fingered her boss as the guy. They arrested him . . . oh, they let him go. He’s going to sue for defamation. Now she says she was so high she can’t remember anything.”

To make matters worse, the nighttime tabloid shows found the story juicy enough to pour their hearts and wallets into, and it was everywhere in HD, starring the crazy lying tramp American girl with multiple stories and a myriad of personalities. And emerging as the man who knew her least was Curt Knox the father, who by now was clearly an unreliable witness.

The harder Curt Knox worked to proclaim his daughter’s innocence, the harder she worked to refute it. Curt and his ex wife said she got along great with her roommates. Truth was the roommates found her annoying, and dirty. Curt claimed she was loved by all, but many in Perugia called her troia, or bitch. The more they painted their daughter a victim, the more came out that they didn’t know their daughter at all - the exceptional Ugly American.

It bordered on perjury.

Curt and his ex wife claimed there was anti-American sentiment. And if there wasn’t, they were working hard to get it. Or somebody was. And they had lots if help, mostly from knee-jerk dirt hustlers at small Seattle stations, to the larger-than-lifes at the mega corps. That kind of help turned Amanda Knox the poor little confused victim, into Amanda Knox, the big screw you from all of here at USA dot com.

It didn’t take long for the wolf effect to happen. The louder they cried their faith in their daughter, the louder was Amanda’s response with shame, the louder and clearer appeared her guilt in an Italian court. It got to the point that if Curt Knox and his ex wife said one thing, the immediate opposite was looked forward to with great anticipation. And of course, Amanda delivered.

I imagine Curt Knox roaming the halls wanting to scream, “What are you looking at! You know what your daughters are doing at their dorms, don’t you! You know what your daughters are doing in their sororities! They’re drinking! They’re smoking! They’re FUCKING!” And I can’t blame him. I imagine him kicking and punching and throwing things through doorways and out windows. I imagine his rage to be unfathomable, the pain so far out of reach. And I for one would hold his hand through the worst of it, Amanda’s guilt and all.

It wasn’t surprising when Americans started whining about the state of Italian CSI. Specialists started cashing checks as on-camera experts on criminal investigations. They went so far as to point at grainy video and cry foul at how things were handled. Americans have grown so fond of the sexy edgy forensic crime dramas that these people had no problem feeding hysteria to the bloodthirsty masses that wanted lasers and massive glistening breasts and bulging slacks covering the scene as only Americans can do. No Horatio, no deal.

But Italians don’t see things the same way. I suspect the Italian prosecutors viewed the defense’s cry about DNA evidence as a stroke of good luck, and knew they’d won the case when America at large started chanting it. The louder the cry, the greater the insult to the Italian process. In reality Amanda had already hung herself with her mouth, but American pride continued to spit blood and snot into the face of Italian common sense. All of this was just gravy.

Maybe even Gloria Allred saw that and said, “Shit. She’s toast.” Maybe Curt should have taken her call.

At some point, someone somewhere made a different call, and suddenly the American media that had immediately smelled a shit-stinking rat in Amanda Knox, was now smelling and selling sweeter and more patriotic, if not nationalistic bunny farts. On every channel were gossip-level shows pandering to the American idiot that the Euro wolves had captured their purest stray lamb, and a team of the brave should go get her.

I kept waiting for Curt Knox to at least go silent on the advice of a qualified PR agent. Silent like the murder victim’s family. Silent like that Raffaele’s father, a prominent Italian doctor who for sure could have raised quite the stink in his own country if he felt there were foul play. But you’ll notice that Raffaele’s father, Curt Knox’s counterpart, was nowhere to be found in the American media.

But Curt and his ex wife kept whoopin’ it up like Slim Pickins at a chili cook-off that had run out of spoons. Many called it a coordinated media campaign, which included an impotent Larry King handing over the national stage to Curt and his ex wife to increase focus on that which, in the end, was doing more harm than good. Great for the ratings, bad for their daughter. It was as if some Hollywood screw was walking the two of them over every possible mine in the field just for giggles and grins.

CNN reported that Della Vedova, a member of Team Knox, reminded the jury of its obligation to church law, and to be “morally certain of their decision.” Again, probably another mistake, being that the majority of Amanda Knox’s transgressions had been of the moral nature. She had proven herself a liar, had bared false witness, and had clearly established herself a Jezebel. By continuously singing Amanda’s praises, Americans more so crucified her as they did come to her rescue.

There would be better judges to evoke than they of the Church. Perhaps Horatio Caine. But anyway, that’ll be 486,987 Hail Marys and 25 years in what is a pretty nice prison by any standards.

I imagine Curt Knox now, a burned-out tree trunk of a man sitting alone in his car in his VP parking spot. The wipers have stopped in the middle of the windshield and he stares at them with squinted eyes. He’s had the screaming matches with his ex wife over what she must have done to fuck up his daughter. He’s had the fights with the lawyers who couldn’t put a stop to it. He’s had the hugs and sobs with the foreign diplomats who really aren’t going to go to bat on this one. But deep inside, his anger rests on something he just can’t lash out at.

Amanda Knox had left home on Daddy’s dime no doubt, with a farewell to be remembered - “peace out suckers, loves Amanda.”

How does Curt Knox recover from something like that? Curt Knox the man. Curt Knox the father. Curt Knox, the sucker.


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