Friday, October 15, 2010

Is The PR Campaign Finally Now Pushing Amanda Knox Very, Very Close To The Edge?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Things seem to be getting increasingly tough for Amanda Knox.

We have already posted that she seems increasingly adrift. Now consider all that is about to hit her.

1) Next week a book of interviews with Knox will be release by an Italian politician, Rocco Girlanda (image below), who we hear comes across as more than a little obsessive toward her. 

We are told that an active Italian MP is in fact legally forbidden from meddling in an ongoing case, and it seems he started the interviews with Amanda in Capanne without her even realising she was being recorded. Who knows how this book will come across in Italy, and how she will then be regarded?

2) Next week also the slander trial of Knox’s parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, may get under way in Perugia. We have posted repeatedly lately on what seems the real reason why Amanda Knox accused Patrick Lumumba: Sollecito had just destroyed her alibi.

Only very much later did Knox start to claim that she was driven to make her demonstrably false accusation because she was being harrassed by an interrogator. This is supported by no witnesses at all. The tough confident insouciant Amanda Knox who took the witness stand last June did not manage to make this claim sound remotely credible.

In the echo-chamber occupied by such shallow grandstanding self-servers as Steve Moore (Machine’s post below) this belated accusation somehow morphed into Prosecutor Mignini himself leading the harrassment, which was said to go on for hours and hours, with no food, no water, no lawyer, and no interpreter present in the room.

So Amanda Knox herself and her two parents are now facing their separate slander trials - Knox’s own trial will recommence in November. All three seem to be between a rock and a hard place. Either they must look all of the cops right in the eyes and say “Yes you did this” or visibly freeze or melt down emotionally on the witness stand, and end up facing possible legal punishment.

3) The Sollecitos increasingly seem to be going their own separate way. The Sollecito family trial for illegally releasing an evidence video to Telenorba showing Meredith naked at the crime scene (which stirred considerable dislike for them all across Italy) will recommence on 24 February in Perugia. Raffaele’s sister Vanessa, who was fired from her job in the Carabinieri (federal police) for trying to get politicians to use their influence for Sollecito, will also be facing her own hearing.

As we have explained so many times before, Raffaele Sollecito has NEVER endorsed Amanda Knox’s final alibi - that she was with him at his place all night. The Sollecitos do NOT like Amanda Knox or her family, and they have no time at all for the strident anti-Italianism of the PR campaign, which has done them nothing but harm.

4) Amanda Knox is now said to be pretty desperate to talk in person or on the phone with Raffaele Sollecito. This has just been approved. For each, it will be their one approved phone-call a week, and it will be monitored.

Although some of the Italian media have made light of this - that this may be a sign of love’s hot embers - the far more likely explanation is that Amanda herself and the inner Knox team are desperately worried that Sollecito could cut them adrift, and come out at appeal with a show of penitence and even a sort of explanation.

So Knox reaches out to Sollecito now in what seems to be growing desperation.

5) Hayden Panettiere is hanging around in Rome waiting for the shooting of the Lifetime movie to begin, grinning vacuously for the cameras as she thoughtlessly heaps still more pain on Meredith’s family and her friends and shows zero concern for the real victim.

To their considerable credit, Amanda Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia seem to have taken a strong dislike to Hayden Panettiere, and to the timing of the Lifetime movie. We have just now heard that they have said no to a request from Hayden Panettiere to meet with Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison. This film is likely to stir enormous controversy unless it sticks to the facts, and the facts hardly seem to favor Amanda Knox.

6) There is less sign now than there ever was that the US Rome Embassy or the State Department are inclining to intervene, even if there was an obvious way open. They know the case from end to end and they believe last year’s trial was a perfectly fair proceeding.  Just a couple of weeks ago the State Department did move actively to help some other Americans in foreign trouble, but in light of the strident anti-Italianism and the Massei Report, it just isn’t going to happen here.

7) The depth and detail and precision of the Massei Report is a nightmare for the Amanda Knox defence team. Even if all the DNA and other forensic tests are repeated, the result are very unlikely to be fully in their favor, and there’s a real chance new tests will work against them.

And now we are hearing that the opportunistic prisoners Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello, one of who claims he was a cellmate of Rudy Guede who heard him confess, and the other who claims he is the brother of the “real” murderer, may STILL be the defense’s star witnesses at the appeal starting late in November. Both are very much reviled in Italy for their crimes, and each has a known history of lying.

So good luck to the Knox defense team with this one. Their appeal statement seems weak and disjointed. Amanda surely picks up on their despondent vibes, which hardly helps in her own struggle for emotional stability. 


So what do we ourselves hope for here? We hope that Amanda Knox finally breaks. Not calamitously, of course, but in a totally new direction. Maybe a shorter sentence for her. And certainly relief to the thousands this cruel senseless act toward Meredith has so very much damaged.


Hi Peter,

Thanks for noting the Sollecito family’s pending trial in Perugia for releasing a highly inappropriate Telenorba video of the murder crime scene and for Vanessa Sollecito’s hearing for interfering in the police murder investigation.

These two relevant developments in this case are additional smoking loaded cannons that Curt Knox, Edda Mellas and Steve Moore omit to mention.

Posted by True North on 10/15/10 at 08:27 PM | #

About 2) I wonder if they can afford the expense of a shirt, a tie, a jacket and a dress (with shoes!) at least for their trial.
About 3) but Sollecito ARE going their own separate way, except ,of course, when useful.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/16/10 at 12:34 AM | #

I very much doubt Knox or Sollecito have any chance of reversing their murder convictions…

Posted by aethelred23 on 10/16/10 at 12:48 AM | #

Hi ncountryside. On (2) you make an interesting point about the clothing. The entire Knox clan at various times turned up looking like they were dressed for a day at the beach. Terrible move.

They like to claim that the Italian media stories helped do Knox in, but this disrespect to the judges and lay judges (all of whom were robed) month after month suggested extreme callousness and uncaring.

We have never understood whether Ghirga or Della Vedova willingly went along with this strange performance or simply shrugged and moved on.

On (3) yes that does seem the perception in Italy generally - that all the reaching-out attempts are initiated by Amanda. He has not been quoted that we have seen on what HE thinks this call is to be about.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/16/10 at 12:50 AM | #


At appeal no, but at the third level, in Cassazione, finding out some errors in procedure ...

Posted by ncountryside on 10/16/10 at 02:01 AM | #

Peter Quennel

“ …. We have never understood whether Ghirga or Della Vedova …. “ imho because they feel that can’t win. For Carlo Dalla Vedova, hired because fluent in English, is the first high-profile trial in Court of Justice in his outstanding career, isn’t it? Compelled in any way ? Also their filed request for appeal sounds quiet, unwilling (and rather poorly typed). About the video released by Babbo Sollecito to TeleNorba: in italian the correct word is “porcata”. Yes, Babbo Sollecito is probably not in danger of a serious conviction,  but this fact, of showing the entire crime scene, told us that who murdered MK were true animals.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/16/10 at 03:59 AM | #

Hi ncountryside. Sure I agree on Babbo’s predicament and it was horrible what he did. The YouTube in its full version remained up for months.

Yes Carlo DV came over from successful corporate law (his Rome group has a good website) and seemed an odd choice though the reporters really like him and he cares a lot for Amanda. I know someone in Rome who knows and likes him - their kids go to the same school. Ghirga is in criminal law, but before and during trial he seemed to show boredom and lack of conviction and we thought he like Giulia Bongiorno might walk. He also seems caring of Amanda.

As you will of course know they both get on extremely well with Mignini and the various judges and the kind of sliming that Steve Moore and Bruce Fisher go in for deeply bothers and offends them. Sometimes they react angrily to the Seattle zoo because they just dont think this is how anyone in law or the police in Italy should be referred to. Although we are on opposite sides, they show class, and we like them.

There is more to Mignini’s own case than has generally come out and we have a lot of contempt for Doug Preston who lied repeatedly in his cowardly vendetta from a distance. As you know Mignini did NOT get a prison sentence and never will, he was struggling bravely with an incredibly tough case, and still he has two levels of appeal.

I smiled at how you described the grounds for appeal. It’d be nice if we chat in emails on this. You do know we have several terrific Italian lawyers on our team including two here in the US so internal chat tends to get interesting. Running rings around a million dollar PR campaign on a totally volunteer basis does have its satisfactions. Many people here will be my friends for life. The power of Meredith, again.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/16/10 at 04:27 AM | #


Thank you for some excellent points. I think that you’re very perceptive about Knox’s true motive for requesting communication with Solliceto - to keep him in the fold and lock their cases together.

I do not see Knox conceding that she lied about the police abuse - if she says she lied, than her other statements are suspect as well, and I do not see the clan supporting this move. Knox may backpeddle, and go for something like, I thought they gave me a cuff on the head, but I’m all so confused about what happened and I can’t quite remember…

From what I’ve read, the Italian police have stated that they didn’t touch her at all…I think that Knox is the type that even if they had a video of her at the crime scene caught in the act, and police confronted her with the evidence, she would still deny, deny, deny…

Posted by giustizia on 10/16/10 at 06:48 AM | #

Remember RS’s sneering remark, ‘‘Those stupid policemen didn’t even take my knife’‘? (Being too stupid himself to realise that the police might be listening to his conversations)

RS is not the sharpest tool in the box. Computer geek perhaps, but virtual reality appears to be not just what he studied but where he lived as well. He is still to step out of doors. When his half-baked and impulsive attempts to explain away evidence and create an alibi dug him in deeper he and his team resorted to clamming up and staying that way. He appears to have made little contribution to a defence that just relied on a ‘you cannot prove it’ approach.

All the reaching out by AK to keep him onside may be yet another indicator that she was indeed the prime mover and has most to lose if anything like the truth emerges. As the straws to clutch at become progressively thinner, she must fear him opening his mouth. If somebody does talk she will want it to be her to keep control of events and the spotlight. But RS has been sitting on his hands with his mouth shut hoping that Papa’s connections and a lack of evidence will see him walk. For three years! The money has failed to make the water flow uphill as expected and it is already risen over RS’s head. His ace up the sleeve expired when the prosecution ended the game. The time for pleading that he had a lesser role and that it was the others who took things over the edge before he could stop them has long since passed. His moment was very early on when the evidence was mounting and the alibiis fell apart. I know nothing of Italian law but he could possibly have got himself a shorter sentence by co-operating and wrapping up all the loose ends. A lack of brains, a lack of foresight, a lack of contact with the real world, a lack of decency, and a lack of moral courage from a particularly weak character. Tough and bullying to make himself feel good when on top, disgustingly cowardly when the tables turn.

I have always been curious about the questioning that he and his lawyers requested. When they turned up he refused to answer any questions. What was the motivation for the change of heart between requesting the interview and turning up for it? Or were they just playing games to use up the number of interviews the police are allowed to make before making a charge? I read that there is a limit but as with everything else in this case what gets reported in the press may be a long way from the truth. Use up the interviews and hey presto, if anything else leaks from the sieve they cannot do another full interview.

‘Charge me, go on I dare you. I’m saying nothing. You know you don’t have enough. Stupid policemen. Oh! You ARE charging me’.

Instead of accepting that the game was up he sat in the alibi mid way house, simultaneously linked to AK but with an attempt at separation with the story that she went out alone. He cannot back track now without making himself look even worse and relinguishing those hopes of a fine outcome that probably keep him going. He cannot claim he was only part of a cleanup. Nobody cleans up somebody else’s murder scene and spends three years in prison because they fancied a pretty girl of two weeks aquaintance.

RS doesn’t have the guts to do anything but simper along as usual. Ludicrous gestures like the chocolate passing in court to show what innocent lovers they are is about all he can manage. While not retracting his story that she went out of course. He has his own family pressures. Not as public as the Knox media roadshow but probably all the more insistent. The myth of wronged innocence will be a lot easier for Papa and the other relatives to put up with than an acceptance of and association with the whole sordid truth. RS has not got the courage for independent or decisive action. The succession of straws to clutch has not improved his position one jot but they eat up time. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to turn. I think he will opt for walking away from it all internally as he cannot do it literaly. I would put him down for a prison suicide attempt in a few years. But he’ll probably muck it up. Still not able to make a firm decision either way.

Posted by Faustus on 10/16/10 at 11:49 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)


In Part two of his series of posts “How each of the three subtly but surely pushed the other two closer to the fire” (  Cesare Beccaria indicates that Sollecito’s request to be interviewed on (made on 23rd November) and refusal to answer questions at the subsequent interview on 6th December was part of a dance, if you will, where Sollecito was preparing himself to give his side of the story if Guede, who was arrested on 20th November, were to have spilled the beans.  That is my understanding anyways.  All part of one big, evil, nasty dance between the three - a dance that continues to this day - a dance to hide the truth.

Knox’s desire to speak to Sollecito and the phone call they are now allowed to have is just the next step in this dance - and you can bet your shoes that it will be carefully choreographed by the legal teams on both sides.  I see it being a stilted conversation, with anything beyond a simple “Hi, how are you?” being carefully worded and carefully analysed by those monitoring their words.

I have often hoped that Sollecito would be the one to speak out, he doesn’t seem to have a particularly strong character to me, but I think you are right, his time has passed.  His defence expert witness failed to convince the court this was a sole attacker crime, the court concluded that their were two people with knives and one further attacker - he must tell the full truth, explain all the evidence, I hope he will, but it is a faint hope. 

Your comment that Knox would want to be the one to speak out to keep as much control as possible is very interesting.  I have always thought she was the one who dominated the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, it is not hard to see that desire for control continuing.

Peter this is a fascinating and very thought provoking post - I shall comment more later, there is so much to digest from what you have written.  Thank you for continuing to keep us all informed of all angles of this sad case.

I sincerely hope that Meredith’s family and friends find peace.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/16/10 at 02:26 PM | #

Hello Peter,

Regarding 4), it is my understanding that Raffaele Sollecito filed the request, not Amanda Knox. So he seems to be the one wanting to talk to her. I am surprised he filed the request, as I agree fully with Faustus’ last comment. It always seemed that she was the dominant one in the relationship and being in control. Taking into account that it is her DNA on the murder weapon and not his, I certainly believe she is the one who has to be worried of being exposed by him. Surprisingly enough he is the one who requested a “private” conversation with her. If he was to cut her loose, why would he talk to her first? I don’t imagine him informing her beforehand that he is going to spill the beans. So what is this about?

It would be so relieving if they would admit it and accept their responsibilities. To think that they might talk in code to plan another defence strategy together makes me feel sick. I feel for the family of Meredith Kercher.

Posted by Nell on 10/17/10 at 09:35 AM | #

Hi Nell. We did know that that claim surfaced too after the first reports made her look nervous. We have good reason to believe that Amanda Knox did make the first two moves. Then the “news” leaked out that she did not want to forfeit her one phone call a week talking to him which you assume is fact.

The Knox and Sollecito supporters are not always talking with one voice, or even two, which is why we always check. Lawyers for each side reluctantly if at all help the other side, and often subtly trip them. Read Cesare Beccaria’s excellent four-part analysis of this last May starting here. Nothing changed.

And the Italian authorities have pretty well negated any conceivable purpose anyway by making it only a phone call, which will be monitored.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/17/10 at 10:10 AM | #

Absent from the list of happenings in the post above but perhaps worth mentioning is another wild card. Rudy Guede’s second appeal.

This is scheduled to commence on 16 December and Rudy Guede remains in a state of fluctuating irritation that there are still these many shrill claims that the black guy did it alone. Remember he has already flatly accused both AK and RS of having been there and RS of having done it.

Alessi’s claim that Alessi heard Guede admit to doing the crime alone jumped his irritation quite a few notches - at precisely which point the prosecution chose to take his recorded deposition, something not yet made public. Suggesting that if “the black guy did it alone” gets pushed to extremes in the AK + RS appeal then both Rudy Guede and the prosecution may hit back pretty hard.

The police may have bungled a few moves - murders don’t often happen in Italy compared to the US and do tend to take everyone by surprise - but this sure is a prosecution that works to cover all the bases. The conspiracy theorists don’t just have it wrong about a bumbling prosecution. They have it wildly wrong. This is a very smart prosecution.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/17/10 at 11:55 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Mr. Girlanda’s book is said to include passages written by Knox - what insights such writings may give into her state of mind could be very interesting.  If this book was completely outside of any control from Knox’s wider family it might be a very different view of Knox than we are shown from Seattle - even if that view is “slanted”.  I can see a lot of reaction to this book - maybe ten percent of which will be from Italy and I suspect much of that will be relating to the author not the subject.

The discussion of clothing is interesting to me.  I have seen comments criticising the “jurors” for wearing “sashes” of the colours of the Italian flag; these commenters saw this as being anti-American - obviously unaware that the lay-judges are required to wear such robes and the colours of the Italian flag indicate that the lay-judges represent the people of Italy.  The fact that the Knox clan, as you call them, wore very casual clothes seemed to indicate their attitude to the proceedings.  The lay-jurors were representing their country, they dressed smartly and wore the robing reflecting that; the Knox clan looked casual.  I have seen pictures of them snapping away on their cameras as if they were on a day trip.  That always looked so very peculiar to me.

The reaction to the slander trials will also be very interesting.  It seems to me that many people don’t understand why Knox’s parents were charged, and they see it as more aggression from the prosecutor.  This is of course, rubbish, there has never been any aggression, just a desire to see justice done - which is the prosecutors duty.  There are things you can’t say without repercussion, if you say such things you have to face the consequences.  In this case: answering a charge of slander.  Knox’s case is a civil case brought by the police, I understand, I’m not sure who precisely has bought the case against Knox’s parents.

Regarding the Sollecito family, I think it is only right they have to face the music for the crime scene video ending up on television.  Such an incredibly cruel thing to have done. 

It is a fact that people who believe Knox and Sollecito are joined at the hip in this often forget:  Sollecito has not supported Knox’s story for a very, very long time.  I am still digesting the fact that the two are getting to speak -  as I mentioned above I feel it is going to be quite a stilted conversation - Knox needs Sollecito onside, Sollecito’s legal team will probably spend a long time with him telling him exactly what he is allowed to say and with the conversation being monitored anything beyond a general “hey, how are you?” will be carefully analysed, I am sure.  And they will know that the conversation is being monitored.  As Janus reminds us, Sollecito is hardly onside right now, he is “sitting on his hands with his mouth shut”.  And as Peter says he is harmed by association by the campaigns for Knox.  He has nothing to gain by standing by Knox as far as I can see.

I am glad that Knox’s very able legal team have stopped an actress looking to portray Knox in a, at best, badly timed film from meeting with her.  They have no control over the existence of the film, the best they can do for Knox is distance her from it.  As always they are doing their best for her.  I think you are right, Peter, to say that her lawyers do seem to care for her.  That must make dealing with unhelpful antics from afar so much more frustrating.

The Massei Report is something I am very impressed by.  The requirement to produce a sentencing report such as this gives such clarity and transparency to the entire process.  In this case it does not seem to give much room for the defences to appeal.  I am sure that the two prisoners who claim to have information have been checked by the authorities as well as by the defence teams….

It has been reported that Knox has received Consular visits and that her trial and detention has been monitored; standard Consular assistance that is afforded to American citizens who find themselves in legal jeopardy overseas.  As you mention, Peter, the US State Department does step in when they see it is necessary; despite monitoring this case they have seen no reason to step in.  I am sure that the US. Embassy in Rome will continue to monitor this case through the appeals process on behalf of the State Department; continuing to afford Knox the Consular support to which she is entitled as an American citizen. 

Having just seen Nell and Peter’s comments re: the requester of the phone call, if Sollecito requested the call it seems to me that this does not necessarily mean that Knox is the less dominant one in the relationship, I can see him looking for direction from her even now.  Although I can’t see him making a request such as this without his legal team’s permission.  I can understand Knox’s reluctance to forfeit her one phone call a week as it is harder for her family to make actual visits, although they do seem to make sure that someone is around at all times in Perugia.  Of course, at this time her parents are both in Perugia.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/17/10 at 11:58 AM | #

Regarding the clothing issue - Knox was rarely dressed suitably for court, which is very puzzling since dress appearance in court (especially for a murder trial) is extremely important in the United States, so that issue can not be attributed to a cultural difference.

I did read that Edda Mellas, her mother, was in charge of all the clothing choices (!) worn in court - from the babydoll shirts to the “all I need is love” t-shirt Knox wore on Valentine’s Day, often topped with girlie pigtails and braids.

Did Mellas really think the jury and court could be fooled that her petite 20 year old daughter was really a 10 year old? Was the vacation casual attire used from ignorance of basic court etiquette? Or just a spectacular lack of respect for the situation, the Italian court and judicial process? I’m also puzzled that her legal counsel did not put their feet down and insist on more sober attire.

Conclusion: Knox’s holiday casual and babydoll attire did not influence or impress the jury of her innocence.

Posted by giustizia on 10/17/10 at 05:11 PM | #

A report on Rocco Girlanda’s new book on Amanda Knox.

Not only does Girland irritate the Kerchers’ lawyer Mr Maresca and risk the “wrath” of Meredith’s family. He also risks being charged with a crime for interfering as an MP in an ongoing criminal case.

He is already looking to some in Italy like some sort of sexual pervert - he is well over twice Amanda’s age, and his slobbering over her should (we would have thought) at least worry her parents.

When they belatedly heard about the book, we believe they did make haste to try to find out what he was up to. He’s not the only slobberer of course. We have a post on all of this coming up. 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/17/10 at 06:09 PM | #

More news. Girlanda is an MP for Umbria and a member of Berlusconi’s fragile and unpopular governing party. There will be an election within 6 months.

Already his opponent is quoted as saying that he has acted unethically or has broken the law here. There may now be a complaint.

Girlanda’s pro-Knox stand is an unpopular one in Italy, where the Knox case is now politically a sort of third rail (ask Giulia Bongiorno) (1) because they almost all think Knox did it and (2) because of all the anti-Italianism.

We need to think up a generic name for these lemmings. Girlanda looks to score a perfect 10.  Maybe he beats out Steve Moore?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/17/10 at 07:24 PM | #

And here is the first excerpt.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/17/10 at 07:40 PM | #

Peter:  ” La situazione politica in Italia e’ grave ma non e’ seria. ”  by Ennio Flaiano (

Posted by ncountryside on 10/17/10 at 08:28 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

(This is linked from the except ncountryside mentioned above - a second page on the same site.)

Mr. Maresca is so very caring towards Meredith and her family - I am not surprised this book doesn’t win his approval. 

Mr. Girlanda may or may not have broken the law but I suspect his political opponent is right when s/he suggests that writing this book is unethical.  If for no other reason than the appeals process still continues.  I am sure there will be more from Italy and from the US in the coming weeks as this book is published.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/17/10 at 08:53 PM | #


Yes, I agree “... there will be more from Italy…”, in fact this religious, catholic editor is well-known and respected in Italy.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/17/10 at 09:33 PM | #

@Peter: Here’s a handful of suggestions for a generic name of the type of defender/opportunist of the murderers of Meredith Kercher:

The shams?
The flim-flam artists (can be shortened to “the flim-flams)?
The dull crayons?
The wannabe has-beens?
The soft-soaps?
The lame-brains?
The kooks?
The delusionals?
The odd-birds?
The obtuse ones?
The low-brow folk?
The carpet-baggin’ knights?
The maudlin morons?

Odd bird as well as the carpetbagger knight seems to sum up a lot of the type of person that flocks to defend or profit from this tragedy, but I’ll leave the editing to Peter’s capable hands.

Posted by giustizia on 10/17/10 at 11:46 PM | #

Hi giustizia. I smile at the ones that hint at kinkiness, and at a sleight of hand that seems to be failing them all now. We are on top of all the reports on the book that have come out today, and without exception that we can see, the facts line up with the Massei Report, now out in way over 10,000 copies.

One US report remarked seemingly sardonically that Amanda Knox mentions Meredith only ONCE in the entire book. In conjunction with the cancellation of her planned trip with Sollecito out of Perugia that day.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/18/10 at 12:18 AM | #

Not only that, Peter, but she apparently only mentions Meredith in the context of (in her alleged words) “Meredith’s case”.

Clearly, Meredith is someone that Knox would sooner forget. There are no prizes for guessing why.

Posted by Janus on 10/18/10 at 12:36 AM | #

Hard to believe that Piemme Milano is going to release such a book written by “Peon” Girlanda. (“Peon” used here in italian meaning = unimportant MP).

Posted by ncountryside on 10/18/10 at 12:41 AM | #

Thanks a lot ncountryside, your links are very useful (please add a line or two of English translation?) and the politics and law we are still checking out do seem to be against Girlanda.

At the Italian-American Association meeting Girlanda organized in Rome last March, his highly effusive remarks on Amanda Knox apparently raised more than a few eyebrows. If he wants to convince a crowd, he needs to be 1-2 degrees warmer than they are, not ever 50-100%, or he really does tend to look like a pervert.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/18/10 at 01:21 AM | #

Peter, sorry.

The first excerpt is about two poems, originally written in English and translated to Italian.

A second excerpt is expected on October, 19th.

The book is printed in Italian and in English but as ebook. The editor is quite surprisedly Piemme, a serious catholic editor; they don’t publish rubbish. Piemme is now owned by Mondadori (=Berlusconi).

If you have time to waste on October 26th, then this is for you: (ehm, humble remark: as taxpayer I have to pay for all that).

Anyway Rocco Girlanda is married and they have five sons. Of course Janus is right, but, not naming Meredith, Kercher family cannot sue her, at least in Italy. Smart move.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/18/10 at 03:16 AM | #

Thanks, terrific, ncountryside. I dont want to jump the gun on the next post (which wont be by me) but a passage in the book already in the reports makes it sound like Amanda Knox may be regretting hanging Patrick Lumumba out to dry.

Wow. You dont get a lot of accused slanderes saying that right before their (and their parents’) slander trial for accusing the cops of browbeating it out of her. And her lawyer Ghirga has come out and again said how very troubled and nervous Amanda now is.

Ncountryside, if that meeting in Rome on the 26th with some of the same panel as last March is to put to bed some of the rabid anti-Italianism. discussing a book with an Italian MP who says the Italians messed up is a bizarre way of so doing.

This is beginning to feel like “Alice Through The Looking Glass” country.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/18/10 at 03:29 AM | #

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/17/10 at 03:10 AM | #

Hi Nell. We did know that that claim surfaced too after the first reports made her look nervous. We have good reason to believe that Amanda Knox did make the first two moves. Then the “news” leaked out that she did not want to forfeit her one phone call a week talking to him which you assume is fact.

The Knox and Sollecito supporters are not always talking with one voice, or even two, which is why we always check. Lawyers for each side reluctantly if at all help the other side, and often subtly trip them. Read Cesare Beccaria’s excellent four-part analysis of this last May starting here. Nothing changed.

And the Italian authorities have pretty well negated any conceivable purpose anyway by making it only a phone call, which will be monitored.


Hi Peter, It seems that you are hinting that even though Raffaele Sollecito has filed the request, he might have only done so at her behest, is that right?

Furthermore you write: For each, it will be their one approved phone-call a week, .... I am not familiar with the prison regulations, but if they both only have one phone call and the phone call between them counts as one for each, how does Amanda not forfeits her phone call to her family by talking to Raffaele? What does she gain by asking Raffaele Sollecito to file the request?

Do they distinguish between outgoing and incoming calls? So if Raffaele would call Amanda, would she be able to receive his call and make a phone call to her parents once a week?

Posted by Nell on 10/18/10 at 04:46 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)


My understanding is that each prisoner gets one 10 minute call to an approved number/person/group of people (eg their family) once a week.  I think this special call between Knox and Sollecito, which I understand has been approved by a magistrate and will be monitored, is, for each of them, their one weekly phone call.

I presume this call is to happen in the relatively near future - if that is the case, Knox’s parents are in Perugia for their own hearing so will be able to visit her in person which may well make up for the pain of losing the 10 minute weekly call home.

I don’t think that there is any gain for either side by being the one to request the call or not.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/18/10 at 10:10 AM | #

Hi Innai,

Thank you for your response.

I personally find it odd that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox want to talk. They haven’t talked in years, so why would they now? I am inclined to believe it has something to do with their upcoming appeals. I am surprised that Raffaele Sollecito’s father didn’t convince him otherwise.

Posted by Nell on 10/18/10 at 12:13 PM | #

I think that Amanda’s request for a phone call is so that she can gauge Raffaele’s “temperature” in terms of whether he will throw her under the bus to save his own skin.  I think that they are expecting Rudy to verbally do them both in at his final appeal and then it will come down to which of them, maybe both, throws the other to the lions. 

This situation reminds me of a saying I heard many years ago, attributed to a Mafia member, that “three can keep a secret if two are dead”, meaning that there will always be one that will sacrifice others to save himself/herself.  I have expected all along that when the appeals near the end that at least one will spill the proverbial beans.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 10/18/10 at 01:31 PM | #

Although forbidden to have private conversations AK and RS did in fact exchange a few words at several points in the trial, and they have been allowed to correspond in letters that are all monitored.

Typically it has been AK who wants to say something. RS seems to spend most of his time in a sulky shell, put there probably partly by his family and partly by his own sense of grievance at having been caught and/or misunderstood. Nell, we have suggested in this post above and several others recently how AK reaching out now relates to the appeal. RS has never supported her final alibi which may help him but certainly doesn’t help her.

RS has really agreed to next to nothing in taking this call. A brief monitored call where they don’t discuss strategy (something their lawyers dont want them to do) and don’t see one another face-to-face. The one positive thing for either of them is that it might shore up AK’s spirits and/or mental health at a time when she is finding it very tough going. RS doesn’t have an interest in her complete breakdown - and so he agrees to make or take the call.

As Mo colorfully put it the chances of one or other making a slip-up or breaking down or partially or wholly spilling the beans (especially if Rudy Guede does in his own second appeal in December) remain really strong.

AK may not be the one to break but she is under by far the strongest pressure.  She has to face those cops with her harrassment claim at her trial for perjury early next month, which could be made materially more difficult depending on what her parents claim is the truth at their own trial this week.

The conspiracy theorists like to paint this as all very cruel or vengeful or more “evil Mignini” but it really isn’t.

Italian justice is very much geared to hitting very hard to get the full truth out in the open, and so it digs far deeper than the UK and American systems. Once the truth gets out, penitence and lower sentences and good chances of rehabilitation then follow.

And the family of the victim, in this case Meredith’s family, are no longer part of a lurid confrontatation in which facts fly in or out of the window. They get some closure. In fact EVERYBODY seems to have an interest, recognised or not, in AK breaking down at this point.

It will be cathartic, and then, with continuing tributes to Meredith, we all get to move on.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/18/10 at 03:13 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

I suspect both will have conversations with their legal teams about what they can/can not say in this conversation. 

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Guede says on 16th December at his second appeal.  I suspect it may depend greatly on the appeals process for Knox and Sollecito - as you suggest. 

I believe the “lone wolf” theory was thoroughly demolished by the Micheli Report, but it has repeatedly been hinted at and used as a defence - if the appeals push the “lone wolf” theory it would not surprise me if Guede were to speak, it is, after all, his last appeal.

I don’t believe either Knox or Sollecito will gain anything strategic with this phone call - as Peter suggests, it may well be just a chat that raises spirits by hearing each other’s voices.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/18/10 at 03:25 PM | #

Very important informed comments on the phenomenon that is or was Steve Moore have now been added by Lauowolf and Kazwell.

They are right now the bottom two comments below the Machines Ten Examples post just below.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/18/10 at 06:09 PM | #

Cast complete.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/19/10 at 02:29 AM | #

Here the translation:

Beginning on October, 25th.

Raffaele Sollecito = Paolo Romio
Giuliano Mignini = Vincent Riotta
Amanda Knox = Hayden Panettiere
Edda Mellas = Marcia Gay Harden

Posted by ncountryside on 10/19/10 at 02:36 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Thankyou ncountryside.

Still being billed as “The Amanda Knox Story” by that article - and the casting seems to reflect that.

My heart goes out to the Kercher family.  This is a disgrace.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/19/10 at 10:02 AM | #

Here is the second of the Girlanda book excerpts to download from the publishers’ website. It is only in Italian:

And some, negative, comments.

Posted by ncountryside on 10/20/10 at 09:28 PM | #

Thanks Ncountryside on the Girlanda book and there’ll be a post up soon by Cesare Beccaria, one of our Italian lawyers who has many connections.

Is the PR campaign really setting out to capture the sexual perverts constituency? They often seem to play to that constituency subversively (our psychologists often remark on it) but here with this book it really seems to be coming out into the open.

Excerpts already out in reports like Nick Pisa’s in the Daily Mail reflect the deep distress of the Kerchers, the naivete or manipulation of Amanda Knox and her parents, and the hints of obscene lust on the part of Girlanda - Knox’s most frequent prison visitor in Capanne Prison in the past few months.

Some of Girlanda’s slobbering fantasies about Amanda Knox are posted right there in Nick Pisa’s article. His wife and five children must be really thrilled.

Girlanda is actually paid by the Government of Italy to represent a part of Umbria north-east of Perugia. He gives most of his constituents a lot less attention than this, and none of Knox’s fellow prisoners. His political opponent is making an official complaint that he is interfering with the process of justice.

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, Girlanda was reported as heatedly fantasizing about Knox after her release in front of at the meeting of his Italy-America Association last spring. Everyone else in the room could see it very clearly and it became very uncomfortable.

The final report mentioned of the meeting none of this and it was quite neutral on her guilt or otherwise (four months after a guilty verdict)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/20/10 at 10:42 PM | #

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