Thursday, January 22, 2015
The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5: Gumbel Really A Cowardly Defamatory Shill?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1, Today In The Florence Court
Lately many of the chest-thumping PR shills have whined a lot more about themselves as victims than done anything to boost Sollecito and Knox.
Think of Preston, Burleigh, Dempsey, Sforza, Fisher, Moore, and a whole lot of other serial complainers. Now chest-thumper Andrew Gumbel seems to want to join their ranks. That is if the claim that he was ONLY a ghostwriter was made by his lawyer with his consent to the Florence judge.
2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill
Note that Sollecito gave many signs during his US book promotion tour late in 2012 that he really didn’t know much about what was in his own book.
So did Gumbel really only hang on Sollecito’s every word? Or did he talk to a lot more people than that, and get very invested in nasty, dishonest propaganda to deny justice for Meredith via the courts?
Here’s Andrew Gumbel on 1 May 2014, providing the first media opinion in the UK on Judge Nencini’s appeal report. The nasty false claims highlighted suggest Gumbel has a very strong investment in Sollecito and Knox and not a little contempt for the Italian courts.
One truth in Gumbel’s article which he must really regret? That sentence in the thitrd paragraph: “Disclosure: I am the co-author with Sollecito on his memoir about the case.”
The longer the Italian courts consider the Meredith Kercher case – and we have now had three trials, six presiding judges, two hearings before the Italian high court and a third on the way – the more the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.
Judge after judge has twisted the available evidence into extraordinary contortions of logic to assert, at different times, that Kercher – a British exchange student stabbed to death in her room in Perugia in 2007 – was the victim of a premeditated attack; that her murder happened spontaneously; that the motive was sexual; that the motive was a dispute over housework with Amanda Knox, the star defendant; that the trigger for the murder was the unseemly appetite Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had for sex and drugs; that the trigger for the murder was Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter everyone agrees was involved, knocking on the door to use the toilet.
By now, Knox and Sollecito have been convicted, acquitted and convicted again, and the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated. (Disclosure: I am the co-author, with Sollecito, on his memoir about the case.)
Still, the latest judicial document in the ongoing battle, a 337-page justification of the most recent convictions made public on Tuesday, marks a new low. Not only has Alessandro Nencini, the presiding judge of the Florence appeals court, apparently resorted to the same tortured logic as his predecessors; he has also stated things as fact that are manifestly and provably wrong.
That may be more than even the Italian justice system can stomach; judges, after all, aren’t supposed to do things like that. And it may provide Knox and Sollecito with unexpected – if still slim – grounds for hope at the very moment when Kercher’s death had seemed settled, at last, according to the law.
To read the new conviction report in detail is to enter a kind of alternate reality, where concrete facts appear ignored and alternate facts are seemingly plucked from the air. Kercher’s murder is reduced to a parlor game and all roads lead to the inevitable, if not also foregone, conclusion that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. For instance:
- On page 63, Judge Nencini claims that a partial shoeprint found at the murder scene comes from a size 37 women’s shoe and must therefore belong to Amanda Knox. But this is not based on the available evidence. In the early days of the case, the prosecution sought to show that the shoeprint was from Sollecito’s Nikes; the pattern of concentric circles on the sole was later proven to come from a different pair of Nikes belonging to Guede.
- On page 81, Nencini grapples with the question of how Knox and Sollecito could have participated in the murder but left no more than a single, hotly disputed trace of themselves at the scene. Extraordinarily, Nencini argues that Knox and Sollecito must have wiped the place clean of their DNA (but left an abundance of Guede’s) because no traces of Knox’s DNA were found anywhere in the apartment that she shared with the victim. But multiple samples of Knox’s DNA were found and presented at trial; they just weren’t found in the room where the murder took place.
- Then, on page 321, Nencini writes that the blade of the purported murder weapon – a large kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment – bore traces of both Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA. Again, this is at variance with the evidence. The most the prosecution ever asserted was that Kercher’s DNA was on the tip of the blade. Sollecito’s DNA has never been found.
The defense teams have reacted with consternation: Knox issued a formal statement decrying the lack of “credible evidence or logic” in this latest document, which arrived just ahead of the three-month deadline following her latest conviction; Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, denounced what she said were “at least ten clamorous mistakes per page”. (A Kercher family lawyer called the document “a version that we have always in some ways sustained”.)
This being Italy, however, the judicial errors are not necessarily a bad thing for Knox and Sollecito, because they give the Italian high court an opening – should the justices choose to take it – to overturn the latest conviction, and either dismiss the case, send it back to get the mistakes fixed, or order yet another trial in another court.
The high court justices will be aware, of course, that the longer the case drags on, the more suspect the process will look in the eyes of world opinion. Another trial would test the patience of even the most ardent believers in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and certainly of the Kercher family. But the process is starting to curdle – even without the spectacle of lawyers arguing, yet again, over the same controversies before a barrage of international TV cameras. That leaves the high court, which always has one eye on the integrity of the system, with a genuine dilemma.
Much has been written about Italian justice’s desire to save face in this much written-about case. To admit a miscarriage of justice, the argument runs, has become too difficult, because it would expose the mistakes of too many people, from the primary investigators to the Rome forensic lab to the prosecutors and judges.
However, as the case trudges toward the seven-year mark, one has to wonder how much appetite the institutions of justice still have to stand by what they have done. Will the high court really want to endorse Nencini’s report with all these evident flaws? Or will this finally be the moment when the justice system calls a halt to a travesty committed in its name and exonerates Knox and Sollecito, as it should have done years ago?
3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong
This letter was sent to the Guardian’s Reader Editor on 4 May 2014, and again on 3 June, 2014. The Reader’s Editor did not respond to either of the email submissions.
Gumbel’s May 1st, 2014 article in the Guardian is a thinly veiled advocacy piece for Sollecito and Knox. He left out a significant phrase from a Nencini passage he cites; this phrase he omitted undermines one of his main claims.
To the Guardian:
I’m writing to you about Andrew Gumbel’s “comment” on developments in the murder of Meredith Kercher case. Gumbel writes about the recently released Nencini court motivations document, which outlines the court’s reasoning for affirming Knox and Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.
Gumbel waits until the end of the third paragraph in his article to provide his disclaimer: that he is a co-author of the book by one of the defendants. Its hard to understand why Gumbel waited so long to disclose his vested financial interest in the innocence of one of the defendants on trial. By this time, Gumbel has already levied allegations of impropriety upon the Italian courts and judges. For example, he alleges “the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.” He continues specific allegations that “judge after judge has twisted the available evidence […]”. If Gumbel had provided his disclaimer appropriately at the beginning of his letter, readers would have had a more appropriate understanding of Gumbel’s perspective and motivations for writing his letter.
Despite being a co-author of a book by one of the two still on trial for Meredith’s murder, Gumbel’s statements on the court process are wrong. Gumbel pushes the perspective that Knox’s reps have pushed in the US; that Knox and Sollecito have been “convicted again” after an acquittal. Gumbel leaves out any mention of the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and sent the case back to the appellate level. After the acquittal was annulled, the original 2009 conviction remained in place. Gumbel is no doubt aware that the Florence court is an appellate court. (Curiously, Sollecito’s co-defendant Knox also wrongly claims on her website that the Italian Supreme Court “annulled all previous verdicts”; ref: http://www.amandaknox.com/about-contact/?).
Gumbel’s omission of the Italian Supreme Court ruling is odd, because the entire point of his article is the integrity of the judicial decisions. Gumbel left out that the Italian Supreme Court has already made one ruling regarding the integrity of a judicial decision in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t in favor of Gumbel’s co-author and defendant Raffaele Sollecito; perhaps this is the reason that Gumbel failed to mention the actual outcome of the acquittal.
Or perhaps Gumbel left out this information so he could present the evidence the way it is framed by supporters of Knox and Sollecito. Later in the the same paragraph, Gumbel expresses confusion about why evidence remains in the case. He states “the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated.” As the co-author of the book with Sollecito, Gumbel is again no doubt aware that after the appellate-level acquittal was thrown out, the original conviction (with all of the evidence) remained as a part of the case. Any decision made by Hellmann on the evidence was also thrown out of the case, including Hellmann’s conclusions on the knife DNA evidence and the Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp. Further, if Gumbel had indeed read the Nencini decision, he would have read the passage where Nencini takes to task the “independent experts” in the Hellmann trial (detailed here:http://thefreelancedesk.com/amanda-knox-trials-meredith-kercher-case/). Gumbel should be well aware after his reading of Nencini why the evidence still contributed to the Florence court upholding his co-author’s conviction.
In his second point on the Nencini decision, Gumbel leaves out a key phrase that completely undermines his claim. By this time in his article, one is forced to wonder if this omission is deliberate. Gumbel’s claim is that Nencini contradicted himself by writing that Knox and Sollecito only left a “single, hotly disputed trace of themselves” despite the other evidence that Nencini also talks about. But the start of the passage Gumbel cites is:
“Una peculiarità è, ad esempio, il rilievo che all’interno della villetta di via della Pergola quasi non sono state rinvenute tracce di Amanda Marie Knox – se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio – né di Raffaele Sollecito.”
The phrase Gumbel deliberately left out is this: “se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio”, which, roughly translated, is “except those which will be discussed and related to the murder.” The Nencini Motivations document explicitly contains a clause that accommodates the other traces related to the murder. Gumbel’s point is provably false. As someone who arguably puts himself forth as an expert on the case, this omission is highly concerning.
In Gumbel’s third point he highlights what is a minor error in the Nencini report. Calling out one word in a longer passage, Gumbel points out the report states that Sollecito’s DNA was found on the knife that is alleged as a murder weapon. If Gumbel truly read the report, as he claimed in a twitter exchange with me, he would be aware that the rest of the section that is contained in makes it clear that the finding is Knox’s DNA on the knife, not Sollecito’s. This minor error is hardly cause to overturn the full conviction.
I could continue, but the rest of Gumbel’s article is largely a diatribe against the length of the trial and the Italian justice system. Gumbel cites an article written by Douglas Preston, another author who has financially benefited by being openly critical of the prosecutor in Knox’s case. Knox and Sollecito’s case has gone through three levels of the Italian court system, and back to appeals. Cases in the US that follow a similar path have not happened any faster than the one in Italy. For example, in the Scott Peterson case in the US his defense still filed appeals eight years after his first-level conviction.
That the Guardian has allowed itself to be used as a platform to push the defense’s perspective is not only a disservice to the family of the murder victim who lives in the UK, but is also a disservice to the victim of a violent, brutal murder.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: The Angles Most Hurtful Before The Supreme Court
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Overview Of This Series And Post
Tomorrow is the day when the wraps come off the prosecutions’ targets in the book - and when Sollecito & Gumbel might or might not try to justify themselves.
For Sollecito and Knox their books actually constitute four kinds of problems; (1) their defamations of the Italian courts and justice system; (2) their defamations of many police, investigators and prosecutors who work within it, (3) their numerous lies by omission, the pesky facts they never mention; and (4) the unwitting truths and half-truths pointing to guilt, which Cassation may especially zero in on.
As mentioned in the previous post, we will open the floodgates on our own analysis of problems (1) and (2) if the court takes a significant step forward. To this many posters have contributed. Also we will have some posts on problem (3) the pesky facts never to be mentioned.
This extensive analysis below, by our main poster Chimera, addresses problem (4) the truths and half-truths in Sollecito’s book which could bite both of them in their tails.
First Chimera presents the analysis, and then a whole other way that the book could be taken by Cassation.
2. Chimera’s Examination Of RS’s “Truthiness”
[page xv] ‘’....Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting….’‘
A main criticism by the Supreme Court of Judge Hellmann was that he looked at the evidence piece by piece, rather than trying to make a story of all the evidence as a whole.
[page xvi] ‘’....She was Amanda the heartless when she didn’t cry over Meredith’s death and Amanda the hysterical manipulator when she did. Whatever she did—practice yoga, play Beatles songs, buy underwear—it was held against her.
Well, when someone does not seem upset that their ‘friend’ is murdered, and then behaves in this fashion, would police not at least have their curiosity piqued?
[page 20] ‘’... First, Guede could reasonably assume that the occupants of the house were either out for the night or away for the long weekend. Second, he had previously stayed over in the boys’ apartment downstairs—he fell asleep on the toilet one night in early October and ended up sprawled on the couch—so he knew the lay of the land. He had even met Meredith and Amanda briefly. And, third, since it was the first of the month, chances were good that the accumulated rent money for November was sitting in a pile somewhere in the house.
In the upstairs apartment, Filomena took responsibility for gathering everyone’s cash and handing it over to the landlady. And it was Filomena’s bedroom window that would soon be smashed with a large rock…’‘
This only makes sense if and only if:
(a) Rudy knew the schedules of all 8 people in the house
(b) Rudy may have slept downstairs, but implies he must have been upstairs at some point
(c) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
(d) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl. Which suggests…
A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.
[page 22] ‘’... My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.
It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line—which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way—I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.’‘
First, it is an admission that the cell phone was turned off
Second, it is an admission that had Francesco called him, he would have an alibi, suggesting he did not…
[page 24] ‘’ ... Many Italians, including most of my family, could not fathom how she could go ahead with her shower after finding blood on the tap, much less put her wet feet on the bath mat, which was also stained, and drag it across the floor.’‘
So, Amanda showered, even with blood on the tap and on the bathmat, and no one, not even Raffaele, can make sense of it. Perhaps it is just an odd way of being quirky.
[page 26] ‘’... Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar, and saw that the place was trashed. Clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere. The window had a large, roundish hole, and broken glass was spread all over the floor.
Okay, we thought, so there’s been a break-in. What we couldn’t understand was why Filomena’s laptop was still propped upright in its case on the floor, or why her digital camera was still sitting out in the kitchen. As far as we could tell, nothing of value was missing anywhere….’‘
And this would be found to be suspicious by the police. An apparent break in, but nothing seems to be missing. And we haven’t even gotten to the spiderman climb yet.
[page 27] ‘’... Amanda went into the Italian women’s bathroom alone, only to run back out and grab on to me as though she had seen a ghost. “The shit’s not in the toilet anymore!” she said. “What if the intruder’s still here and he’s locked himself in Meredith’s room?”
Interesting. Perhaps Raffaele instinctively leaves poop in the toilet as well. Why would he not flush to make sure?
[page 27 contains the following lines:]
‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘
‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘
‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘
These were supposedly in reference to the frantic attempts to see in Meredith’s room. Does anyone think there is some innuendo/hidden meaning?
[page 29] ‘’... “No, nothing’s been taken.” I didn’t know that for sure, of course, and I should have been more careful about my choice of words. At the time, though, I thought I was just performing my civic duty by passing the information along. The only reason I was on the line was because Amanda’s Italian was not good enough for her to make the call herself.’‘
This sounds innocuous enough, with the qualifiers, but without them: ‘‘No, nothing’s been taken… I should have been more careful about my choice of words.”
[page 33] ‘’.... As things spiraled out of control over the next several days, a senior investigator with the carabinieri in Perugia took it upon himself to call my sister and apologize, colleague to colleague. “If we had arrived ten minutes earlier,” he told Vanessa, “the case would have been ours. And things would have gone very differently.”
This sounds eerily like an admission that things could have been tampered with, or ‘saved’, if only the ‘right’ people had been there in time.
[page 35] ‘’... Amanda didn’t understand the question, so I answered for her, explaining that she’d taken a shower and then come back to my house. “Really, you took a shower?” Paola said. She was incredulous…’‘
However, the book does not clarify why Paola was incredulous. Take your pick.
(a) Amanda didn’t look or smell like she had a shower
(b) Amanda showered in a blood soaked bathroom
(c) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
[page 39] ‘’... In the moment, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make Amanda feel worse. The whole purpose of my being there was to comfort her. So I defended her, even beyond the point where I felt comfortable or could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’‘
This is arguably the most true part of the book. He does have to comfort her, so she doesn’t talk. And it probably was uncomfortable.
And ‘‘beyond the point where ... I could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’’ Notice that Raffaele does not say ‘‘beyond that point where I WAS looking out for my own interests. It only ‘looks’ like it, because it is very much in his interest - at that time - to pacify Amanda.
[page 40] ‘’.... Italian newspapers reporting ‘Amanda could kill for a pizza’.’‘
To most people, Raffaele could mean this signifies that killing and death did not affect her greatly, or that she is simply immature.
It could also be an admission: Meredith’s death was over something extremely trivial, and Raffaele knew it.
[page 40] ‘’...Why focus on her, and not on Meredith’s other friends? I wondered. She and Amanda were new acquaintances…’‘
Exactly. Compared to what has been portrayed, they were not close friends, or even friends
[page 41] ‘’... Amanda noticed the police’s sex obsession right away; they couldn’t stop asking her about the Vaseline pot and a vibrator they had found in the bathroom. The vibrator was a joke item, a little rubber bunny rabbit shaped to look like a vibrator and fashioned into a pendant, but the police seemed to find this difficult to accept. What about Meredith’s sex life? Amanda knew only that Meredith had left a boyfriend in England and was now involved with one of the men who lived downstairs, a twenty-two-year-old telecommunications student with a carefully sculpted beard and outsize earrings named Giacomo Silenzi. Amanda had helped Meredith out a couple times by giving her a condom from her supply. But Amanda had no idea how, or how often, Meredith had sex and didn’t feel comfortable fielding questions about it.’‘
This is creepily ‘Knoxian’ in that Raffaele is deliberately leaking extremely personal details about Meredith. Is this a desire they share: to humiliate her deeper, in the public domain, far beyond what they already have done.
[page 42] ‘’... A few days later, this episode would be distorted in the newspapers to make it seem as if the first thing we did after the murder was to buy sexy lingerie—specifically, a G-string—and tell each other how we couldn’t wait to try it out. The store owner, who did not speak English, corroborated the story in pursuit of his own brief moment in the spotlight. True, the surveillance video in the store showed us touching and kissing, but that was hardly a crime. I wasn’t making out with her in some vulgar or inappropriate way, just comforting her and letting her know I was there for her. Besides, there was nothing remotely sexy about Bubble. A much sexier underwear store was next door, and we didn’t set foot in…’‘
Interesting. Raffaele says that this was blown out of proportion, yet his defense is that we didn’t do anything sexual, but if we did, it is not a crime, and besides, there was a better place next door.
[page 43] ‘’... I realized I had not properly acknowledged my own discomfort with Amanda. I was not scandalized by her, in the way that so many others later said they were, but I shouldn’t have allowed her to climb all over me in the Questura, and I should have counseled her quietly not to complain so much. I understood the gallant side of being her boyfriend, but I could have given her better advice and protected myself in the process.’‘
Translation: Amanda, quit whining so much. And while boning you in the police station may be fun, it is seriously jeopardizing my interests.
[page 44] ‘’... She told them, quite openly, about a guy from Rome she went to bed with a few days before meeting me. She had no problem being open about her sex life, and that made her interrogators suspicious. How many men, they wondered, did she plan on getting through during her year in Perugia?
Probably true, except for the conclusion. More likely they wondered: Why does she have to bring this up now?
[page 46]’‘... My sister, Vanessa, made her own separate inquiries and felt much less reassured. The first time she called the Questura, they left her waiting on the line, even though she announced herself as a lieutenant in the carabinieri, and never took her call.
The second time, she had herself put through from the carabinieri’s regional switchboard, to make it more official. This time she got through, but only to a junior policeman clearly her inferior. (In Italian law enforcement, protocol on such matters is followed scrupulously.) “Listen,” the man told her impatiently, “everything is fine.”
“Is there someone I can talk to who is in charge of this case?” Vanessa insisted.
This sounds like a very detailed (if true) attempt at subverting justice. Way to drop Vanessa in it, Raffy.
[page 47] ‘’... The truth, though, was that the authorities were still clueless.’‘
Don’t worry, they will get a clue soon enough.
[page 48] ‘’... What did they have on us? Nothing of substance. But they did find our behavior odd, and we had no real alibi for the night of November 1 except each other, and we did not have lawyers to protect us, and we seemed to have a propensity for saying things without thinking them through. In other words, we were the lowest-hanging fruit, and the police simply reached out and grabbed us.’‘
So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?
(a) Odd behaviour
(b) No real alibi except each other
(c) Saying things without thinking them through
Can’t see why this would attract police attention…
[page 49] ‘’... Not only did they have no physical evidence, they saw no need for any.’‘
Well, odd behaviour, no real alibi,conflicting stories, and saying things through without thinking them through… oh, right, and that very detailed account of Patrik murdering Meredith, Sollecito ‘might’ be there, and Raffaele telling a pack of lies.
I guess physical evidence would be overkill (pardon the pun). Sounds very Knoxian in the ‘there is no evidence’ denials.
[page 50] ‘’... Carrying a small knife had been a habit of mine since I was a teenager—not for self-defense, mind you, just as an ornamental thing. I’d use one occasionally to peel apples or carve my name on tree trunks, but mostly I carried them around for the sake of it. Having a knife on me had become automatic, like carrying my wallet or my keys.’‘
So the rumours of having a knife fetish are true? Thanks for confirming it.
[page 50] ‘’... Besides, what kind of idiot killer would bring the murder weapon to the police station?’‘
Wow - how to begin with this one… Although, on a more manipulative level, was it not the other knife that actually delivered the fatal blow?
[page 51] ‘’... My words in Italian—stai tranquillo—were the last my father would hear from me as a free man.’‘
It could mean physically free. Could also mean not free as in forced to confront his actions.
[page 51] “You need to tell us what happened that night,” they began.
“Which night?” I asked wearily. I was getting tired of the endless questioning. I don’t think they appreciated my attitude.
“The night of November first.”
I don’t think this is a drug haze. More just being arrogant and callous.
[page 56] ‘’... I had been brought up to think the police were honest defenders of public safety. My sister was a member of the carabinieri, no less! Now it seemed to me they were behaving more like gangsters.’‘
Another sign of entitlement showing. Surely, the little brother of a carabinieri officer should not have to be subjected to this nonsense.
[page 56] ‘’... Something was exciting the police more than my pocketknife, and that was the pattern they had detected on the bottom of my shoes. By sheer bad luck, I was wearing Nikes that night, and the pattern of concentric circles on the soles instantly reminded my interrogators of the bloody shoe prints at the scene of the crime, which were made by Nikes too.
I had no idea of any of this. All I knew was, the rest of the interrogation team piled back into the room and told me to take off my shoes.’‘
Shoeprints placing a person at a crime scene? Why would that possibly be considered evidence?
[page 59] ‘’... Then, at some point after midnight, an interpreter arrived. Amanda’s mood only worsened. She hadn’t remembered texting Patrick at all, so she was in no position to parse over the contents of her message. When it was suggested to her she had not only written to him but arranged a meeting, her composure crumbled; she burst into uncontrollable tears, and held her hands up to her ears as if to say, I don’t want to hear any more of this.’‘
Depending on whether or not you believe Amanda’s ‘version’ of events, this could either be corroboration of her events, or corroboration she faked her fit.
Minor detail: Sollecito was in a totally different part of the Questera, but hey, it’s just semantics.
[page 61] ‘’...When I first found out what Amanda had signed her name to, I was furious. Okay, she was under a lot of pressure, as I had been, but how could she just invent stuff out of nowhere? Why would she drag me into something I had no part of? It soon transpired, of course, that she felt similarly about me. “What I don’t understand,” she wrote, as soon as she began to retract her statements, “is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie. . . . What does he have to hide?”
It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn’t blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense…’‘
-If Amanda got me locked up, I would be mad too
-Yes, she did make stuff (about Patrik) out of nowhere
-I was angry when Amanda asked ‘what I have to hide’
-Yes, police tend to play suspects off each other
-Yes, suspects try to avoid implicating each other
-Yes, Amanda only spouted dangerous nonsense after you took her alibi
This section is almost 100% true
[page 62] ‘’... Even before dawn broke on November 6, the authorities had us where they wanted us. True, neither of us had confessed to murder. But what they had—a web of contradictions, witnesses pitted against each other, and a third suspect on whom to pin the crime—was an acceptable second best.’‘
Also true, and great police work.
[page 63] ‘’... I asked to talk to my family again. I said I needed at least to inform my thesis director where I was. “Where you’re going, a degree’s not going to do you any good,” came the answer.’‘
Curious, he has just been arrested for murder and sexual assault, and among his first thoughts is his thesis. And didn’t he end up doing his Master’s thesis ... on himself?
[page 64] ‘’... As soon as we walked into my apartment, a policeman named Armando Finzi said loudly that the place stank of bleach. That wasn’t correct. My cleaning lady had been through the day before and cleaned the tile floor with Lysoform, not bleach. Still, he insisted on mentioning the bleach a couple more times—the clear implication being that I’d needed something powerful to clean up a compromising mess.’‘
Perhaps overanalysing this, but could Raffaele be flippantly thinking to himself: Nope, the cleaning lady used lysoform to clean up the mess. Wasn’t bleach, dudes.
[page 77] ‘’... Even before Judge Matteini had finished reading the complaint against me, I blurted out that I didn’t know Patrick Lumumba and that any prints from my shoes found at Via della Pergola could only have been made before November 1. Immediately I ran into trouble because I had in fact met Patrick at his bar, on the night Amanda and I first got together. And I had no idea that the shoe prints in question were made in blood. In no time, I was flailing and suggesting, in response to the judge’s pointed questions, that maybe I picked up some of the blood on the floor when I walked around the house on November 2, the day the body was discovered. Even more unwisely, I speculated that someone might have stolen my shoes and committed the murder in them. It just did not occur to me that the shoe print evidence was wrong.
At Raffaele’s first hearing:
-He claims not to Patrick, but admits he has met
-He suggests that he may have picked up blood on the floor
-He claims the shoes were stolen
Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?
[page 78] ‘’... I felt like a fool describing my extensive knife collection and even described myself as a testa di cazzo, a dickhead, for having so many. My judgment and my self-confidence were sinking fast.
“Perhaps the worst moment came when I was asked, for the umpteenth time, if Amanda had gone out on the night of the murder. I still had no clarity on this and could not answer the judge’s repeated questions without sounding evasive.”
[page 80] ‘’... Matteini swallowed the prosecution’s story whole. The break-in was staged after the fact, she asserted—just as Mignini had. The murderer or murderers must therefore have got into the house with a set of keys, and Amanda was the only keyholder without a solid alibi for the night in question. Patrick Lumumba had the hots for.
Meredith, Matteini theorized, and Amanda and I tagged along to experience something new and different. From my testimony at the hearing, Matteini concluded I was “bored by the same old evenings” and wanted to experience some “strong emotions.” (She moved my blog entry from October 2006, the date marked on the document, to October 2007, just weeks before the murder, which bolstered the argument.) She didn’t ascribe a specific motive to Amanda, assuming only that she must have felt the same way I did. The bloody footprints “proved” I was present at the scene of the murder, and my three-inch flick knife was “compatible with the possible murder weapon.” The house, she wrote, was “smeared with blood everywhere.”
Substitute in Rudy Guede for Patrick, and this sounds somewhat plausible.
[page 83] ‘’... Amanda recovered her lucidity faster than I did. The day we were arrested, she wrote a statement in English that all but retracted what she had signed the night before. “In regards to this ‘confession,’ ” she wrote, “I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.” She was still conjuring up images of Patrick as the murderer, but she added, “These things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or just dreams in my head.”
The next day, she wrote a second, more confident statement: “I DID NOT KILL MY FRIEND . . . But I’m very confused, because the police tell me that they know I was at my house when she was murdered, which I don’t remember. They tell me a lot of things I don’t remember.” Then she gave a substantially more accurate account of the night of November 1 than I was coming up with at the time.’‘
All this does is confirm that much of the confusing, manipulative statements from Amanda exist. Gee thanks Raffaele.
[page 86] ‘’... short story about date rape that Amanda had submitted to a University of Washington creative-writing class was held up as evidence of her warped criminal mind. A Myspace video of her boasting about the number of shots she had downed at a party became an excuse to depict her as an alcohol-fueled harpy. I was described as “crazy,” based on a line I’d written in a blog entry, and held up to ridicule for a photograph, taken during a high-spirited moment of fun in my first year in Perugia, in which I was wrapped from head to foot in toilet paper, brandishing a machete in one hand and a bottle of pink alcohol in the other.’‘
“Amanda does lots of alcohol, write rape stories, and I dress in toilet paper, wielding a machete. Nothing to see here, people.”
[page 87] ‘’... I knew a lot of the coverage of the case itself was flawed. It was reported, for example, that the police had found bleach receipts at my house, strongly suggesting I had purchased materials to clean up the crime scene. But my cleaning lady didn’t use bleach, and the only receipts the police found from November 1 onward were for pizza. I wouldn’t have needed to buy bleach, anyway, because I had some left over from my previous cleaning lady. It had sat untouched for months.’‘
“Nope, I didn’t need to buy bleach for the cleanup, I already had it.”
[page 88] ‘’... Then came Maori. He told me that he too carried pocketknives from time to time. But he didn’t seem too interested in connecting with me beyond such superficial niceties. I felt he didn’t entirely trust me. His game plan, which became clear over a series of meetings, was to dissociate me as much as possible from Amanda. And that was it. He did not have a clear strategy to undermine the prosecution’s evidence on the knife and the shoe print, because—as he indicated to me—he believed there might be something to it. ‘’
Which means: “I don’t really believe you are innocent, the evidence seems too strong. But for your sake, separate yourself from this mentally unstable woman.”
Sounds very likely.
[page 90] ‘’... I even allowed myself a little optimism: my computer, I decided, would show if I was connected to the Internet that night and, if so, when, and how often. Unless Amanda and I had somehow made love all night long, pausing only to make ourselves dinner and nod off to sleep, the full proof of our innocence would soon be out in the open.
According to the police, it showed no activity from the time we finished watching Amélie at 9:10 p.m. until 5:30 the next morning.
That sounded all wrong to me, and my defense team’s technical experts would later find reasons to doubt the reliability of this finding. But there would be no easy way out of the mess Amanda and I were now in.’‘
Wishful thinking to form a coherent alibi or defense. Indeed, if only it was that simple.
[page 91] ‘’...Still, there was something I could not fathom. How did Meredith’s DNA end up on my knife when she’d never visited my house? I was feeling so panicky I imagined for a moment that I had used the knife to cook lunch at Via della Pergola and accidentally jabbed Meredith in the hand. Something like that had in fact happened in the week before the murder. My hand slipped and the knife I was using made contact with her skin for the briefest of moments. Meredith was not hurt, I apologized, and that was that. But of course I wasn’t using my own knife at the time. There was no possible connection.’
I imagined this happened? Is amnesia or hallucinating contagious? I’m surprised he did not have a vision that he saw Patrik attacking Meredith.
On another note: giving a blatantly false account of how a victim’s DNA ended up on your knife seems a bit suspicious.
[page 93] ‘’... The nuts and bolts of the investigation, the hard evidence, kept yielding good things for us. We were told that my Nikes had tested negative for blood and for Meredith’s DNA. So had my car, and everything else I had touched around the time of the murder. Even the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth on the morning of November 2, an object of particular suspicion, was reported to be clean.
Well, I have no doubt that the AMERICAN media reported this to be the case….
And ‘the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth…?’
[page 94] ‘’... During a conversation with her mother in prison, they reported, Amanda had blurted out, “I was there, I cannot lie about that.” She seemed not to realize the conversation was being recorded, and the police picked up on it right away.’‘
Amanda again places herself at the scene, but again, there is a simple explanation. Amanda being Amanda?
[page 94] ‘’... his time the papers quoted what they said was an extract fromher diary. “I don’t remember anything,” the passage read, “but maybe Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped and killed her, and then put my fingerprints on the knife back at his house while I was asleep.”
Of course, Amanda writes that someone planted her fingerprints. Odd, as I think that no one ever claimed her prints were on the knife. Why would she think they were?
This needs to be said: What the hell is U of W teaching in their ‘creative writing’ program?
[page 97] ‘’... I remember watching the news of Guede’s arrest on the small-screen TV in my cell and seeing the Perugia police all puffed up with pride about catching him. If anything, I felt happier than they did, because Guede was a complete stranger to me. The relief was palpable. All along I had worried the murderer would turn out to be someone I knew and that I’d be dragged into the plot by association. Now I had one less thing to worry about. Not that I wasn’t still wary: so much invented nonsense had been laid at my door I was still half-expecting the authorities to produce more.’
The ‘real’ killer is caught, and you are worried more things may be invented? Interesting.
[page 98] ‘’...Lumumba had every right to be angry; he had spent two weeks in lockup for no reason. He had been able to prove that Le Chic stayed open throughout the evening of November 1, producing an eyewitness, a Swiss university professor, who vouched for his presence that night. One would expect his anger to be directed as much toward Mignini, who threw him in prison without checking the facts, as it was toward Amanda. But Lumumba and his strikingly aggressive lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, could find only vicious things to say about Amanda from the moment he got out of jail—even though he had not, in fact, fired her and remained friendly with her for several days after the murder.’‘
True, except why be mad at Mignini? It is Amanda who falsely accused him, not Mignini. But again, minor details.
[page 107] ‘’... Papà was spinning like a dervish to clear my name, but not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped. One consultant whom he asked to monitor the Polizia Scientifica demanded eight thousand euros up front, only to prove reluctant to make overt criticisms of the police’s work, the very thing for which he’d been hired. A forensic expert who also seemed a little too close to the police charged four thousand euros for his retainer with the boast, “I’m expensive, but I’m good.” He wasn’t. A computer expert recommended by Luca Maori didn’t know anything about Macs, only PC’s.’‘
That first line is a bit disturbing. ‘Not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped.’ This can be easily interpretted as shopping around for an expert of ‘hired gun’.
[page 110] ‘’... Amanda and I came in for what was by now a familiar drubbing. The judges said my account of events was “unpardonably implausible.” Indeed, I had a “rather complex and worrying personality” prone to all sorts of impulses. Amanda, for her part, was not shy about having “multiple sex partners” and had a “multifaceted personality, detached from reality.” Over and above the flight risk if we were released from prison, the judges foresaw a significant danger that we would make up new fantastical scenarios to throw off the investigation. In Amanda’s case, they said she might take advantage of her liberty to kill again.’‘
Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.
[page 112] ‘’... Since I had no such testimony to offer, I did the Italian equivalent of taking the Fifth: I availed myself, as we say, of the right not to respond.
I found some satisfaction in that, but also frustration, because I had at last worked out why Amanda did not leave—could not have left—my house on the night of the murder. She didn’t have her own key, so if she’d gone out alone, she would have had to ring the doorbell and ask me to buzz her back in. Even if I’d been stoned or asleep when she rang, I would have remembered that. And it didn’t happen.’‘
Hmm… I swear I am innocent, but plead the fifth ammendment. And I am not positive Amanda did not leave, but ad hoc have worked out that she must not have.
[page 112] ‘’...Obviously, I wanted to shout the news to the world. But I also understood that telling Mignini now would have been a gift to him; it would only have bought him time to figure out a way around it.’‘
“I could tell a certain version of events to the prosecutor, but if I did that now, he would only have time to discover the holes in that story.”
[page 113] ‘’... I knew the Kerchers had hired an Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, whom they picked off a short list provided by the British embassy. I addressed my letter to him, saying how sorry I was for everything that had happened and expressing a wish that the full truth would soon come out.
I was naive enough to believe that Maresca would be sympathetic.’‘
Knox was criticised for fake attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, and had been told to act more like a defendant. Interesting that it started so much earlier.
[page 115] ‘’... Regrettably, Guede’s shoes were not available, presumably because he ditched them; they were not at his apartment and they were not among his possessions when he was arrested in Germany.’‘
Very interesting. Raffaele believes that the ‘murderer’s shoes’ were not available, and may have been ditched. This seems to be more than just speculation on his part.
[page 117] ‘’... Mignini questioned Amanda again on December 17, and she, unlike me, agreed to answer his questions in the presence of her lawyers. She was more composed now and gave him nothing new to work with. She couldn’t have been present at the murder, she insisted, because she’d spent all night with me.’‘
How does this not sound incredibly incriminating? I refused to talk, though Amanda agreed to, but only with lawyers. And does this not sound like Amanda was better able to stonewall the investigation?
[page 121] ‘’... Instead, he tried to control the damage and talked to every reporter who called him. “The most plausible explanation,” he said to most of them, “is that the bra had been worn by Amanda as well, and Raffaele touched it when she was wearing it.”
There were two problems with this statement. First, it was so speculative and far-fetched it did nothing to diminish the perception that I was guilty. And, second, it showed that my father—my dear, straight-arrow, ever-optimistic, overtrusting father—still couldn’t stop assuming that if the police or the prosecutor’s office was saying something, it must be so.
There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.
(a) This entire scenario was made up, and like the ‘my shoes were stolen’, only leaves everyone shaking their heads in disbelief.
(b) Amanda actually had worn the bra BEFORE and returned it without washing it. Remember what this woman tends to think when she sees blood. Ew.
(c) Amanda wore the bra AFTER Meredith was murdered, and that she and Raffaele fooled around after. Not too farfetched when you remember that Raffaele kept the murder weapon as a souvenir.
[page 122] ‘’... Along with the Albanian, we had to contend with a seventy-six-year-old woman by the name of Nara Capezzali, who claimed she had heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from Meredith’s house at about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the murder, followed by sounds of people running through the streets.’‘
Yes, this confirms at least part of Amanda’s account that night. Yes, she seemed to vaguely remember Patrik killing Meredith, and wasn’t sure if Raffaele was there, but the scream detail is corroborated.
[page 125] ‘’... As my time alone stretched out into weeks and then months, I had to let go of everything that was happening and hold on to other, more permanent, more consoling thoughts: my family and friends, the memory of my mother, the simple pleasures I’d enjoyed with Amanda, the peace that came from knowing that neither of us had done anything wrong.
If they want to kill me this way, I remember thinking, let them go ahead. I’m happy to have lived life as I did, and to have made the choices I made.’‘
Hmm… so he finds peace being locked away for things he did not do?
More likely, Raffaele is coming to terms with the inevitable consequences of life in prison.
[page 129] ‘’... The one victory we eked out was a finding that we should have been told we were under criminal investigation before our long night of interrogations in the Questura. The statements we produced would not be admissible at trial.’‘
Do I really need to explain this one?
[page 150] ‘’... I talked about Amanda with Filippo, my cellmate, and he listened, just as I had listened to his problems. One day, though, he told me he was bisexual, and his eyes started to brighten visibly when he looked at me. Then he burst into tears and tried to caress my face.’‘
Given the overlap between Waiting to be Heard and Honor Bound, did the ‘authors’ collaborate?
[page 151] ‘’... My father hired a telecommunications expert to help resolve a few other mysteries from the night of the murder. The prosecution had given no adequate explanation for a series of calls registered on Meredith’s English cell phone after she’d returned from her friends’ house around 9:00 p.m., and many of them seemed baffling, assuming they were made—as the prosecution argued—by Meredith herself. We believed Meredith was dead by the time of the last two calls, and our expert Bruno Pellero intended to help us prove that.’‘
This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.
[page 154] ‘’... She also acknowledged that a contaminated or improperly analyzed DNA sample could, in theory, lead to an incorrect identification.’‘
Wait, weren’t those same people involved in the finding the evidence against Guede? Right, that evidence is clean.
[page 156] ‘’... Judge Micheli issued his ruling at the end of October. On the plus side, he found Guede guilty of murder and sentenced him to thirty years behind bars in an accelerated trial requested by Guede himself. Judge Micheli also accepted our evidence that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to throw a rock through Filomena’s window and climb the wall.
But, Spider-Man or no Spider-Man, he still didn’t believe Guede got into the house that way. He argued that Filomena’s window was too exposed and that any intruder would have run too great a risk of discovery by climbing through it. Therefore, he concluded, Amanda and I must have let him in. There seemed to be no shaking the authorities out of their conviction that the break-in was staged.’‘
So, Judge Micheli is a fine judge who saw Rudy Guede for who he is and convicted him, yet he is so poor a judge he ruled that Amanda and I had to be involved?
Didn’t Knox say very similar things in her December 2013 email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini?
[page 160] ‘’... Still, the prosecution jumped all over [Quintavalle] and later put him on the stand to bolster the argument that Amanda and I had spent that morning wiping the murder scene clean of our traces—but not, curiously, Guede’s. It was one of their more dishonest, not to mention absurd, arguments, because any forensics expert could have told them such a thing was physically impossible. Still, it was all they had, and they single-mindedly stuck to it.’‘
Depending on how you view this, it could be an ad hoc admission that yes, selectively cleaning up wasn’t really possible, as the evidence was all intermingled.
[page 167] ‘’... I was pushing for another sort of change, a single trial team to defend Amanda and me together. I was told right away that this was out of the question, but I don’t think my logic was wrong. The only way either of us would get out of this situation, I reasoned, was if we stuck together. If the prosecution drove a wedge between us, we would more than likely both be doomed.’‘
This seems to justify Guede’s suspicions that his co-defendants would team up on him.
[page 169] ‘’... Stefanoni and Mignini were holding out on that information, and we needed to pry it from them quickly before more damage was done. The shots would ultimately be called by the judge, and we hadn’t had a lot of luck with judges so far.’‘
Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?
[page 173] ‘’... No matter how much we demanded to be heard, no matter how much we sought to refute the grotesque cartoon images of ourselves and give calm, reasoned presentations of the truth, we never escaped the feeling that our words were tolerated rather than listened to; that the court was fundamentally uninterested in what we had to say.’‘
That is probably true. No one cares why Amanda’s vibrator is on full display.
And yes, you did demand to be heard. Perhaps, if you had agreed to full cross examination, you would know what the judges and prosecutors would be interested in hearing.
[page 173] ‘’... A week later, Meredith’s English friends took the stand and testified with such uniform consistency it was hard to think of them as distinct individuals. Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, and Sophie Purton all said that Meredith had been unhappy with Amanda’s standards of hygiene, particularly her forgetfulness about flushing the toilet. It sounded almost as if they were reading from a prepared script. Meredith, they agreed, had found Amanda a little too forward for keeping her condoms and what looked like a vibrator in their shared bathroom. And, they said, Amanda had acted weirdly in the Questura.
That was it. They mentioned nothing positive about the relationship. No word on Meredith and Amanda’s socializing together, or attending Perugia’s annual chocolate festival, or going to the concert on the night Amanda and I met.’‘
Yes, the prosecution case does seem stronger when their witnesses are consistent. Absolutely right.
Strangely, Meredith’s English friends also did not talk about how compassionate Amanda was at the memorial. Wait a minute….
[page 174] ‘’... Amanda arrived in court wearing a T-shirt with the words ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE emblazoned in huge pink letters, to mark Valentine’s Day. It seemed she wanted to find a way to defuse the English girls’ ill will toward her, but it didn’t work.’‘
[page 186] ‘’... Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.’‘
Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.
“The truth we agreed on”?? Come on, you actually put this in the book?
[page 193] ‘’... My father was all over the place. He knew exactly how bad the news was, but he wanted to shield me as best he could. “Whatever happens, don’t worry,” he told me. “There’s always the appeal. The work we’ve done won’t go to waste.”
And indeed, the first (now annulled) appeal did ‘save’ them.
[page 195] ‘’... Mignini had to scrabble around to explain how Amanda, Guede, and I could have formulated a murder plan together without any obvious indication that we knew each other. Guede, he postulated, could have offered himself as our drug pusher.’‘
“I can explain that. Amanda and I are admitted drug users. We smeared Guede as a drug dealer. Reasonable people might believe that there is some connection to drugs.”
[page 204] ‘’... The next piece of bad news came down within three weeks of our being found guilty. Rudy Guede’s sentence, we learned, had been cut down on appeal from thirty years to sixteen. The thinking of the appeals court was that if Amanda and I were guilty, then Guede couldn’t serve a sentence greater than ours. If I had supplied the knife and Amanda had wielded it, as Mignini and Comodi postulated and Judge Massei and his colleagues apparently accepted, we needed to receive the stiffer punishment.’‘
Yes, the thinking of the courts, and those pesky short-form trial sentence deductions that are mandatory.
‘’[page 204] ...I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but this was an extra slap in the face and it knocked me flat. Not only were Amanda and I the victims of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, but Meredith’s real killer, the person everybody should have been afraid of, was inching closer to freedom. It wasn’t just outrageous; it was a menace to public safety.’‘
Yes, it was a miscarriage in that Amanda and I didn’t get the life sentences Mignini called for, and that Meredith’s real killer, Amanda, would soon get her freedom via Hellmann.
[page 219] ‘’... My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous:’‘
Although the deal itself is illegal, I have no doubt that the Sollecito family at least explored the option.
[page 258] ‘’... Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue.’‘
That is true, with one huge omission: the defense only cherry picked a few small pieces of evidence. Yes, it ‘knocked down every piece of evidence we chose to contest.’
3. Chimera’s New Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”
(20) The robbery that night was perfect, assuming the perp had the inside info.
(22) My cellphone was turned off.
(22) If my father called the land line I would have an alibi.
(24) I cannot make sense of showering in a bloody bathroom.
(26) Despite the break in, nothing had been taken.
(27) Someone did not flush the toilet, and I won’t either.
(27) The following dialogue:
‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘
‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘
‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘
(29) I should have been more careful about my choice of words when I said
‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘
(35) The police were shocked/disbelieving Amanda just took a shower.
(39) Things would be okay if my Carabinieri sister had helped.
(40) I defended Amanda, beyond the point of looking after my own interests.
(40) Amanda could kill for something minimal, even a pizza.
(40) Amanda and Meredith were not friends, despite living together.
(41) Amanda and I share embarrassing sexual information about the victim.
(42) We weren’t misbehaving in the lingerie shop, but if we were, it was taken out of context.
(43) Amanda whined, and we fooled around in the police station. Maybe not a good idea.
(44) Amanda does not shut up about her sex life.
(46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.
(47) Prior to our arrest, the authorities were clueless.
(48) We behaved oddly, had no real alibi, and said things without thinking.
(49) We are not guilty only because there is no physical evidence.
(50) I like to carry knives.
(51) I had trouble remembering the date Meredith was killed.
(56) My sister works for the carabinieri. Why am I even here?
(56) My shoes are similar to ones found at the crime scene
(59/60) Amanda gave the false statement regarding Patrik.
(61) The police got Amanda and I to say things against each other.
(62) Amanda and I spun a web of contradictions.
(63) This is going to mess up my graduation.
(64) The smell wasn’t bleach, it was lysoform
(77) I never met Patrik, my co-accused (or did I)?
The shoes might have dragged blood, or might have been stolen.
(78) I collect a lot of knives, and don’t remember if Amanda left.
(83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.
(86) Amanda and I engage in alarming behaviour, such as writing rape stories, and taking photos with weapons
(87) I had access to bleach, receipts or not.
(88) My lawyer thinks the evidence is strong, and wants me away from Amanda.
(90) I hope there is evidence on my computer that clears me.
(91) I imagined that the DNA on the knife came from a cooking accident.
(93) Amanda and I carried a mop back and forth for some reason.
(94) Amanda, in a jail recorded call, places herself at the scene.
(94) Amanda writes that I may have planted her fingerprints on the knife.
(97) Rudy Guede is caught, but I fear I may get named in other things.
(98) Lumumba is released, angry at Amanda for false accusation.
(107) Dad tried to cherrypick experts who would get me out.
(110) The courts saw us as unstable and potential flight risks.
(112) I decline to answer.
(112) I don’t want the prosecutor checking my story
(113) I creepily tried to reach out to the Kerchers, despite being accused, just like Amanda.
(115) Rudy should have kept his shoes in order to exonerate Amanda and I.
(117) I still refused to talk. Amanda did, with lawyers.
(121) Amanda has been wearing Meredith’s underwear and without washing it.
(122) A witness heard Meredith scream, just as Amanda described.
(125) I am at peace with everything.
(129) The courts threw out our statements at the police station.
(150) I had a memorable encounter with a bisexual inmate (same as Amanda)
(151) My dad tried to find an alternate explanation for the phone evidence.
(154) The evidence against Rudy Guede is rock solid. The evidence against me is contaminated.
(156) Micheli is a great judge. He convicted Guede.
(156) Micheli is an idiot judge. He believes Amanda and I were involved.
(160) It was foolish to think we could selectively clean the crime scene.
(167) In order to save ourselves, Amanda and I teamed up against Rudy.
(169) We weren’t getting the judges we wanted.
(173) We did not shut up, but had nothing helpful to say.
(173) Meredith’s English friends gave consistent testimony that did not help us.
(174) the ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE t-shirt was a bad idea.
(186) I worried about Amanda testifying, saying dumb things, and deviating from our ‘version’
(193) We knew the trial was doomed, but there was the appeal. (Hellmann)?
(195) For all the ‘drug dealer’ and ‘drug user’ name calling, prosecutors seemed to think this might be about drugs.
(204) Guede’s sentence was cut from 30 years to 16. What an injustice for us… I mean Meredith.
(219) Legally speaking, it would be better to split from Amanda.
(258) Hellmann’s report knocked down the evidence we chose to present.
4. Chimera On Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further
The real reason Sollecito goes no further could be in as in the title ‘‘Honor Bound’‘. Many altruistic people may interpret this as behaving, or conducting themselves honourably.
But take a more shallow and selfish view. It could just refer to being SEEN as honourable. I think everyone here would agree that RS and AK are quite narcissistic and arrogrant. And how manly to be protecting the women in your life.
The truth does set you free - except only when the truth is much worse than what the assumptions are. I repeat, the truth sets you free, except when it is actually worse.
What could be worse? Premeditation. Far beyond what has been suggested.
1) Raffaele himself suggests that doing a robbery at the house at that time would be ideal.
This makes sense if:
(a) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
(b) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl.
So, by this reasoning, there would be over 1000 Euros in cash at that time. Of course, the average household does not carry that much, and normally, there would be no reason to think so. The date had to be planned. It also lends credence to the theory that this really was about money, and he had help.
2) The fact that Laura and Filomena were gone, as were the men downstairs. Really, how often does it happen, and how would an outsider know?
3) The trip to Gubbio. Does anyone know if either AK or RS were heavily into travel, or was this a one time thing? My point being that it could have been to establish an alibi, they just didn’t expect to still be there when the police showed up.
4) The fact that Rudy Guede was brought in, when he had no legitimate reason to be upstairs. RS could explain away DNA or prints, but not RG. Even if it really was just about stealing money, would there not be some trace of him left when the theft was reported.
And if murder was the plan all along, there would still be some trace of him.
5) Purchasing bleach. Everyone had assumed that it was done after the fact to clean up, but there is another thought. What if there already was bleach available in the home, and this purchase was merely a replacement as an afterthought?
6) The knife in Raffaele’s home. What if Amanda chose to bring a knife that Raffaele would not be able to ditch, simply so that should suspicion fall on them, there would be a knife to implicate Raffy? Remember, Amanda already made statements that point to him. Maybe those weren’t her first attempts.
Of course, I did make the suggestion that they were keeping the knives for trophies.
7) The ‘alibi’ email home. Sure, it could have been written on the spot. However, it seems too long and detailed for that. Yes, some details would need to be added (like the poop), but who is to say she didn’t start working on it BEFORE the murder?
8) Keeping the text to Patrik to say ‘see you later’. Amanda says she doesn’t keep messages on her phone, but she had this one, and several days after the murder. Could this have been saved as a ‘backup plan’ in case naming Rudy does not work for some reason. Besides, don’t all black guys look the same? (sarcasm).
9) Yes, there was a bloody shoeprint (believed to be AK), but I don’t recall anyone saying her shoes were missing, or any other clothes she had. And she supposedly did not have many clothes. So, did she have ‘extras’ for that night?
10) Wiping down the home (even if it was botched), would take time, and ‘supplies’. A chronic slob just happens to have all these cleaning supplies on hand, or were they acquired before?
So, I suspect the real refusal to talk is that the full truth is a lot worse than any game or drugged up prank. The time and location is chosen, no clothes are ‘noticed’ missing, and Amanda has at least 3 potential patzies: Rudy, Raffaele, and Patrik. Remember, Guede and Lumumba are on ‘the list’ Knox ended up writing for Rita Ficarra. And AK and RS are scheduled to go on a trip that would take them away with a plausible alibi. Cleaning supplies may already be there.
Call me cynical: but I see all the signs of staging, and premeditation. Yes, the act itself was messy, but there are very obvious marks of forethought.
So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?
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Sunday, January 18, 2015
The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3: Targeted Claims On Which Sollecito & Gumbel May Fold
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. The Court Contenders
Judge Dolores Limongi will preside over Sollecito’s new trial in Florence this thursday and Dr Giuliano Bartolomei will prosecute.
No word about whether the hapless bungler Andrew Gumbel will attend, but Sollecito has said he will be there. Sollecito’s defense team seems rather weak. After Sollecito’s own lawyers for his murder trial publicly renounced the most damaging claims in his book (see below) his family turned to Alfredo Brizioli for help.
Brizioli is a Perugia lawyer who was accused of being one of those trying to disguise the murdered Narducci’s involvement in the Monster of Florence killings. That shadowy group has just taken another hit in Italian eyes - a Milan court has ruled that Narducci, the probable murderer in the Monster of Florence crimes, was indeed himself murdered and there exists powerful evidence for this.
2. The Specific Charges
Charges against Sollecito are of two kinds: criminal defamation of both the justice system itself and of some of those who work within it. In US and UK terms criminal contempt of court comes close.
Criminal contempt charges become separate charges from the underlying case. Unlike civil contempt sanctions, criminal contempt charges may live on after resolution of the underlying case.
One charged with criminal contempt generally gets the constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel, right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial in certain cases. Charges of criminal contempt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, incarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided. Depending on the jurisdiction and the case, the same judge who decided to charge a person with contempt may end up presiding over the contempt proceedings.
Criminal contempt can bring punishment including jail time and/or a fine.
In this case a guilty verdict can open the tidal gates to criminal prosecutions and civil suits against Sharlene Martin and the Simon & Schuster team and all those many who repeated ANY of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims as gospel in their own books and online in the US and UK.
3. Nature Of The Claims
Typically the modus operandi of Knox and Sollecito and their factions in their US campaign (this falls flat in Italy) is to make some very damaging core claims, while leaving hundreds of pesky truths ignored.
Pesky truths helpfully ignored by most of the US and UK media too who apart from freelance Andrea Vogt have still done almost zero translation of their own. The previous post below shows a good example of this. Sollecito makes 20 false claims in a few pages. Dozens of facts that would belie those claims are simply left out.
The false claims continue (with considerable duplication for emphasis) throughout the 250-plus pages of the book.
Sollecito’s claims were published only in English. That was in the apparent hope that things would be reversed by political pressure from the US. Perhaps the US would let Sollecito come and live and stiff the Italian courts.
The Italian flagship crime show Porta a Porta wrecked that unusual and in-itself damaging strategy only 10 days out - with Francesco Sollecito’s and Luca Maori’s help.
The three worst-case examples quoted here and some others became public when Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters pointed to them after an October hearing. Page numbers are for the hard-cover book.
4. Example Claim One
Our brief response to this for now is that this felony attempt to frame the prosecutor for a serious crime was entirely made up. His own father and both his trial lawyers publicly said so. There was never a police or prosecution bias against Knox or toward Sollecito. As was very obvious at trial in 2009 the case against both was equally strong (an example of a key fact left out). Knox herself would seem to have a reason to get mad with Sollecito for this shafting - and in fact she did.
[ Page 219-222] My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous: the more I distanced myself from Amanda, the better. The legal community in Perugia was full of holes and leaks, and my family learned all sorts of things about the opinions being bandied about behind the scenes, including discussions within the prosecutor’s office. The bottom line: Mignini, they were told, was not all that interested in me except as a gateway to Amanda. He might indeed be willing to acknowledge I was innocent, but only if I gave him something in exchange, either by incriminating Amanda directly or by no longer vouching for her.
I’m glad my family did not include me in these discussions because I would have lost it completely. First, my uncle Giuseppe approached a lawyer in private practice in Perugia - with half an idea in his head that this new attorney could replace Maori - and asked what I could do to mitigate my dauntingly long sentence. The lawyer said I should accept a plea deal and confess to some of the lesser charges. I could, for instance, agree that I had helped clean up the murder scene but otherwise played no part in it. “He’d get a sentence of six to twelve years,” the lawyer said, “but because he has no priors the sentence would be suspended and he’d serve no more jail time.”
To their credit, my family knew I would never go for this. It made even them uncomfortable to contemplate me pleading guilty to something I had not done. It was, as my sister, Vanessa, put it, “not morally possible.”
The next line of inquiry was through a different lawyer, who was on close terms with Mignini and was even invited to the baptism of Mignini’s youngest child that summer. (Among the other guests at the baptism was Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, who had long since aligned himself with Mignini in court.) This lawyer said he believed I was innocent, but he was also convinced that Amanda was guilty. He gave my family the strong impression that Mignini felt the same way. If true - and there was no way to confirm that - it was a clamorous revelation. How could a prosecutor believe in the innocence of a defendant and at the same time ask the courts to sentence him to life imprisonment? The lawyer offered to intercede with Mignini, but made no firm promises. He wasn’t willing to plead my cause, he said, but he would listen to anything the prosecutor had to offer.
Over the late spring and summer of 2010, my father used this lawyer as a back channel and maneuvered negotiations to a point where they believed Mignini and Comodi would be willing to meet with Giulia Bongiorno and hear what she had to say. When Papà presented this to Bongiorno, however, she was horrified and said she might have to drop the case altogether because the back channel was a serious violation of the rules of procedure. A private lawyer has no business talking to a prosecutor about a case, she explained, unless he is acting with the express permission of the defendant. It would be bad enough if the lawyer doing this was on my defense team; for an outside party to undertake such discussions not only risked landing me in deeper legal trouble, it also warranted disciplinary action from the Ordine degli Avvocati, the Italian equivalent of the Bar Association.
My father was mortified. He had no idea how dangerous a game he had been playing and wrote a letter to Bongiorno begging her to forgive him and stay on the case. He was at fault, he said, and it would be wrong to punish her client by withdrawing her services when I didn’t even know about the back channel, much less approve it. To his relief, Bongiorno relented.
My family, though, did not. Whenever they came to visit they would suggest some form of compromise with the truth. Mostly they asked why I couldn’t say I was asleep on the night of the murder and had no idea what Amanda got up to.
5. Example Claim 2
Our brief response to this for now is that the case against Sollecito was being driven by Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli, not Dr Mignini (an example of a key fact left out) and they got their information directly from the police. More than a year prior to Sollecito’s book coming out, a Florence appeal court had totally annulled a vengeance conviction against Dr Mignini [“there is no evidence”] and the Supreme Court had endorsed the result (an example of a key fact left out).
[2. Page 176-177] One of the reasons our hearings were so spread out was that Mignini was fighting his own, separate legal battle to fend off criminal charges of prosecutorial misconduct. He and a police inspector working on the Monster of Florence case stood accused of intimidating public officials and journalists by opening legal proceedings against them and tapping their phones without proper justification.
To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks.
Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings. In response, Mignini accused Spezi himself of involvement in Narducci’s murder - even though the death had been ruled a suicide. It was a staggering power play, and the international Committee to Protect Journalists was soon on the case. Spezi was not initially told why he was being arrested and, like me, was denied access to a lawyer for days. Even Mignini, though, could not press murder charges without proving first that a murder had taken place, and Spezi was eventually let out.
I firmly believe that our trial was, among other things, a grand diversion intended to keep media attention away from Mignini’s legal battle in Florence and to provide him with the high-profile court victory he desperately needed to restore his reputation. Already in the pretrial hearing, Mignini had shown signs of hypersensitivity about his critics, in particular the handful of English-speaking investigators and reporters who had questioned his case against us early on. He issued an explicit warning that anyone hoping he would back off the Meredith Kercher case or resign should think again. “Nobody has left their post, and nobody will,” he said. “Let that be clear, in Perugia and beyond.”
Just as he had in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every tool at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. He spied on my family and tapped their phones. He went after Amanda not just for murder, but also for defaming Patrick Lumumba - whom she had implicated under duress and at the police’s suggestion. He opened or threatened about a dozen other legal cases against his critics in Italy and beyond. He charged Amanda’s parents with criminal defamation for repeating the accusation that she had been hit in the head while in custody. And he sued or threatened to sue an assortment of reporters, writers, and newspapers, either because they said negative things about him or the police directly or because they quoted others saying such things.
Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.
6. Example Claim 3
Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).
[Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.
She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”
For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive
To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.
To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.
7. Looking Forward
More posts to come. We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.
Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.
In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book.
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Friday, January 16, 2015
The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2: False Accusations From The First Few Pages
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages
We count several hundred malicious claims throughout that can easily be proved wrong. These twenty examples all appear in the book’s preface, which is only seven pages long.
Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate. Many sharp eyes here set about identifying them and are credited in the TJMK Liewatch page for Sollecito which will be switched on again when the secrecy requirement described in Part #12 below is relaxed by the court next week.
1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out
This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation. It’s that simple. And that absurd.
No advantage was taken of them. The two stood themselves out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.
They were questioned quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.
A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.
2. That the preventive custody was very harsh
On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.
Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.
All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7: “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”
Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.
3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair
In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.
In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.
The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.
4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.
By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.
“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.
The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.
On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.
5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.
Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.
An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets.
What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright? That she slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?
Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”
6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.
We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty. But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.
Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.
Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take. Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take. The Lifetime movie got this strident angle of Knox pretty straight.
Remember, Meredith had enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week. They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks, nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.
Seemingly unable to reverse herself, Knox was headed to being among the least popular of students (or part-time students) in Perugia. It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.
7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.
Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.
There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.
And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later. In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.
So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.
8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.
But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.
There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.
How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police. And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.
9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.
This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.
This is laughable. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed by the Supreme Court.
Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.
There is no proof Guede intruded anywhere. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north. His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.
The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward. From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives? And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).
10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame
Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.
Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.
The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.
Four more untrue claims. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element, and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.
Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was proven falsified, no item at all.
Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was in reality taking a year off.
11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.
Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.
Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,
But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.
12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.
It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.
Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US? Every judge and/or jury seeks to zero in on a viable scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime. The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. Hardly a requirement to be sneered at.
Gumbel and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.
13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.
It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?
This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.
14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.
The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.
WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and perhaps some in the media, and none have the slightest gain to make from convictions arrived at through a hoax.
15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant
The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.
Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY. There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is citizens not lining up to pay taxes. Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison system size is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?
The legal process would have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about; and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.
And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.
The Constitution and the judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so. Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports, and for all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.
This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.
16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists
For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.
So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.
There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”
- 1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.
2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians. Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.
Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.
What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).
Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.
17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers
Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.
Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.
All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered.
18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.
Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.
As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.
Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:
For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough” were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.
In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.
Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.
However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.
The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).
Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.
19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.
Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.
Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.
There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.
Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.
And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.
Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here. Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”
Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence! What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent?
There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”? As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.
And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox. NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.
Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)
20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.
Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.
Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.
Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.
You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State. The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism.
Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials. This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?
Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.
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Thursday, January 15, 2015
The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
The Latest Legal Developments
A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.
Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.
See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.
This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk.
For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.
The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.
Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal
In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.
This illegal trial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.
On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go.
This was despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up.
Firmly edged out and still the target of possible charges, Hellmann has been pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since.
Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track
Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.
After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.
Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin, who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA.
Sollecito’s Italian lawyers did not have a clue what was going on - lately a very angry Giulia Bongiorno has made that very plain.
Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.
Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.
Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.
On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)
Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.
The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here. The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..
Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.
Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.
You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.
Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track
The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).
In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble
The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.
Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges
Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.
Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.
Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.
Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.
But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.
Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges
Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book - one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.
Italy Officially Reacts
Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.
That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.
Next post: numerous examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Probable Legal Scenario If The Crime Against Meredith Had Taken Place Somewhere In Canada
Posted by Chimera
Overview Of This Post
Much has been made about the differences between the American and Italian criminal justice systems.
This post offers some different perspectives, from the Canadian system, the one I know most about as I reside in Canada, as do many readers here. While I am not a lawyer, I do know a fair amount about the system here.
I explain first the Canadian system, and then what would have happened to those accused of Meredith’s death under this system. I am making no judgements as to which system is the best, as all have their pros and cons. Please take this article as a source for broadening perspectives.
Some History Of Our System
a. Canada is part of the British Commonwealth. Although the Queen of England is still our official head of state, and her representative, the governor general, the head of Canada’s military, the roles are largely figurative.
b. Although most of Canada is governed by Common Law, from the British model, the province of Quebec uses its own regulations, based largely on the Civil Code from Napoleonic times.
c. Because of the differences in the Common Law and Civil Codes, by law, the Supreme Court of Canada MUST contain both judges from Quebec and from the other provinces.
d. Although in the past cases settled in the Supreme Court of Canada could still be appealed to the UK, that is no longer the case.
Is Criminal Law a Federal, Provincial, or Municipal matter?
Criminal Law is made up, and amended exclusively by the federal government, however, administrating the courts, and trying cases is a provincial matter. The rules spell out clearly what is a federal v.s. provincial responsibility. Stepping outside these boundaries often leads to tension, and having the new rules struck down.
Are prisons and probation/parole offices federal or provincial?
It depends on the sentence. A jail term of 2 years or more is a federal sentence, in which case federal corrections is put in charge of the person. Naturally, these are for much more serious or repeat crimes. A jail term (or conditional sentence) of under 2 years is a provincial sentence, and the respective province deals with the person.
Probation and parole rules and regulations are set out differently, and it depends on what the person has received in terms of prison time. If no prison time is given, then probation is the responsibility of the province.
How Are Offences Classified?
Offences in Canada are classified as such in the criminal code
- 1. Summary Offences: Minor in nature, in America called a ‘‘misdemeanor’’
- 2. Indictable Offences: Much more serious, in America called a ‘‘felony’‘
- 3. Hybrid Offences: The prosecutor has discretion in how to proceed
6. Who hears criminal appeals in Canada?
The appeal will likely be heard in the province’s court of appeals, the provincal ‘‘top court’‘. Please do not mistake ‘‘provincial supreme court’’ as being the top court. That is an American naming.
A trial court hears witnesses, while an appeals court is called a ‘paper court’. It works from transcripts.
1. Generally, there are 2 main trial courts, the lower court, and the higher (Superior or Supreme) court. As the names imply, the lower courts generally take on less serious cases, while the higher courts take more serious cases, such as murder.
2. If a case is tried summarily (a less designated case) and in the lower court, the case may be appealed to either the Provincial Court of Appeals, or to the High Court (Superior or Supreme)
3. If a case is tried by indictment (felony), or in Superior/Supreme Court, then appeals MUST go to the Provincial Court of Appeals.
- (a) For example, a major case in Ontario will be tried in Ontario Superior Court, and if appealed, it will go to the Ontario Court of Appeals.
(b) For example, a major case in British Columbia will be tried in the BC Supreme Court, and if appealed, will go to the BC Court of Appeals.
(c) Other provinces also have trial courts, then a court of appeals
4 In any case, it may be further appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada
- For some perspective: Imagine Amanda Knox lived in Toronto, Ontario.
Her rock throwing riot in Seattle, if here would likely have landed her in the Ontario Court of Justice, and the prosecutors would likely have gone summarily against her, although a more serious charge (assault) would be a hybrid offence. If she chose to appeal, the Superior Court (which is also a trial court), would likely hear her appeal.
Her sexual assault and murder charges, if in Ontario, would automatically have been tried as indictable offences and she would be in Superior Court. Her first appeal would be with the Ontario Court of Appeals
5. A defendant has the right to appeal a criminal conviction to the provincial appeals court. However, this is more like the U.S. than Italy, in that these appeals are not automatically granted. The Court first has to determine that there is some merit to the appeal. If it is baseless, it will be dismissed. In the case of Knox and Sollecito, it would likely not be allowed to proceed.
6. A defendant has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada after a Provincial Court of Appeals rules. However, the S.C.C. usually declines to intervene, unless the facts are extremely controversial, or of significance. This is especially true if it is just a rehash of the Provincial appeal.
What are your rights if arrested in Canada?
Section 10 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that you have the right to be informed of the reason, the right to retain a lawyer without delay, and have the validity of the detention challenged by way of habeas corpus.
Are people’s name shielded from press?
In some circumstances
- The person was a minor at the time of the offence (though an adult sentence annuls that protection)
- In sexual assault cases, the victim(s) name(s) CANNOT be released publicly
- In highly sensitive cases (like treason or terrorism)
- If it would put someone in danger or compromise a witness
Can you give press conferences or talk to the media if accused of a crime?
While possible, this is not recommended. For example, and appeals about adverse publicity or not being able to get a fair trial will not be taken seriously. Also, contempt charges will be quite likely.
While the media does cover serious cases, the coverage has generally been pretty neutral in Canada.
Can you write a book or get a movie deal?
No these deals would be considered profit or proceeds from crime.
Can you be forced to take the stand in Canada?
As a defendant, no. 11(c) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects against forced self incrimination (in America, it is called ‘‘taking the 5th’‘).
Interestingly enough, there are no real protections for witnesses who just don’t want to testify.
Does Canada grant bail to accused criminals?
Usually. 11(e) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that reasonable bail should not be denied without just cause. In practice, this means unless the person is a flight risk, a threat to the public, or the offence is extremely shocking to the public, they can get bail.
However, if a person has a prior criminal record, it becomes harder to get bail each time.
Note: Bail hearings are usually done by J.P.s (Justices of the Peace). They are not judges, but can make some legal decisions. Bail decisions can usually be appealed to a judge,
Does Canada have the ‘Double Jeopardy’ law?
Yes and no. Refer to 11(h) in the Charter or Rights and Freedoms. It says that if a person is finally acquitted of the offence, or finally found guilty and punished, not to be tried again for the same offence.
The key word here is finally, as in, all appeals have been exhausted.
The appeal will likely be heard in the province’s court of appeals, the provincal ‘‘top court’‘. Please do not mistake ‘‘provincial supreme court’’ as being the top court. That is an American naming. For example, a major case in Ontario will be tried in Ontario Superior Court, and if appealed, it will go to the Ontario Court of Appeals.
If a person is convicted, and chooses to appeal, that case will likely be heard by the provincial court of appeals.
Note: Notice of an appeal must generally be filed within 30 days of the verdict. If no notice is filed, then the acquittal/conviction is considered final.
Note: It is possible, but very rare for a prosecution to appeal an acquittal, or to appeal a Provincial Appeal Court ruling. Basically, the prosecution must prove that the trial court (or first appeal court) made fundamental and very serious legal errors. It cannot just be a another shot at a conviction. The Appeal Court can then do many things, including sending it back for a retrial, amending the sentence, or throwing out a conviction. Or it can confirm the acquittal.
Does Canada have a plea bargaining system?
Yes, Crown Prosecutors and defence attorneys can sign what is called a ‘‘joint submission’‘, and give it to the judge. This is an agreement of the facts and sentence. While judges usually accept these submissions, they are not obligated to, and can reject them if far too lenient or harsh.
Can defendants testify or make spontaneous declarations?
They can testify (and must be sworn in), but they cannot make the kind of challenge free remarks like in Italy.
Does the short form trial exist in Canada?
As in the 1/3 deduction… No. However, judges routinely give breaks for guilty pleas, or for some kind of remorse or contrition.
There is a diversion program, which is an alternative to going through the trial process (essentially getting treatment), but reserved for minor offences. Sexual offences, or serious violent ones are not eligible.
Do defendants awaiting trial get psychologically assessed?
Sometimes, and it can happen for a few reasons
- (1) The defendant is pleading not criminally responsible (insanity)
(2) The defence has applied for bail, but the judge has reservations about granting it
(3) The defence wants to use it as a mitigating factor, or in sentencing
(4) Prosecutors can request it, but this is rare
Can an Appeals Court increase a jail sentence?
This is extremely rare, but yes they can, if the opinion is that the trial judge simply went too soft. A couple cases in Canada are these:
- Paul Coffin who pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud, related to the previous Liberal government. He originally got house arrest, but it was overturned on appeal, and substituted for 18 months of real jail time.
Graham James a notorious pedophile and infamous hockey coach who sexually abused his players. He got 2 years at one trial, which the prosecution appealed, and had increased to 5 years (still very light though)
Much more common though, is that an appeal will either be dismissed, of the judges will knock some time off the sentence. Full reversals are not the norm.
Do judges have to justify a conviction/acquittal and a sentence?
Yes, in a bench trial (trial by judge), the judge does have to explain how he/she came to these conclusions.
Yes, there are fairly rigid sentencing guidelines to follow, and (cc 718), follow these:
- (a) to denounce unlawful conduct
(b) to deter the offender and others from committing similar conduct
(c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary
(d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders
(e) to provide reparations for harm done to the victims and the community
(f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgement of the harm done to victims and the community
Note: Many serious offences have mandatory minimum jail sentences, which limit the discretion available to the judge.
What is the punishment for killing someone in Canada?
1. First degree murder:
This is a premeditated murder, or happens during a sexual assault, or when the victim is restrained.
Punishment: A life sentence, with no parole for 25 years (or 15 years under the ‘‘faint hope clause’‘)
2. Second degree murder
This is when the act is intentional, but not planned out
Punishment: A life sentence, but the parole eligibility baseline ranges from 10 to 25 years.
This is not an intentional killing, but happens while committing an illegal act
Punishment: No mandatory minimum, but can get prison up to and including life.
Note: There are other things, such as impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, and the punishments are severe, but they do not apply here.
While Canada no longer has the death penalty, we do have something called a dangerous offender designation. The prosecution applies for it, after a conviction, and a judge may or may not grant it. Essentially, it is a special title, saying that the person presents a high risk to the public and should be locked up indefinitely.
Many killers have gone received life sentences without the dangerous offender title, but many (violent) criminals have gotten the dangerous offender title without killing anyone.
We also have ‘‘long term offender’’ designations, which are meant to keep someone on probation for a long time (up to 10 years). These are usually reserved for sex offenders.
So To The Probable Scenario In Canada
If Knox, Sollecito and Guede had committed this crime in Canada, all of the following conditions would probably apply:
- They would be arrested, would have to be informed why, and could contact an attorney as soon as they reached the police station
- Because the murder happened during a sexual assault, while Meredith was restrained, it would be 1st degree murder
- Because of the sexual assault and restraint, premeditation would not be necessary to prove 1st degree murder
- They could apply for bail (before a J.P.), but under the circumstances, would likely be denied
- They could appeal to a judge for a review of the bail, but again, would likely be denied
- Because of the serious nature, the trial would be in the provinces Supreme/Superior Court
- There is no fixed time before a trial would start. Murder trials have been known to start 2-5 years after arrest
- Defendants could testify against each other, and prosecutors could make deals with them
- The kind of antics that went on in the 2009 trial would not be tolerated
- The defendants could testify under oath, and be cross examined, but free statements are not allowed
- If found guilty, all 3 would receive life sentences, and MUST serve 25 years before parole eligibilty.
- There is ‘‘faint hope’’ which is parole after 15 years, but a murder like this would definitely not qualify
- Because of the sexual assault component, they would be registered sex offenders for life
- They would be prohibited from owning weapons for life
- If any chose to appeal, it would go to the province’s Court of Appeals
- They could apply for ‘‘Appeal Bail’‘, but it would likely be denied
- If the Hellmann Appeal is any indicator, the appeal grounds are so weak the appeal would be dismissed
- They could try the Supreme Court of Canada, and likely get declined
This a brief overview of how criminal law works in Canada and how it could have worked in Meredith’s case. Quite smilar to the U.S., but then both systems are based on English Common Law.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Unsavory Company Knox Would Be Foolish To Aspire To: 160 Americans On The Run From Interpol
Posted by Peter Quennell
They are all the subjects of Interpol Red Notices. Right now Interpol has 322 active Red Notices, some 160 of them for Americans, of which 51 are women.
If they have not yet been to trial, they are considered innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. At the same time many have cash rewards on their heads and private citizens are warned not to apprehend them.
None of those eight women above are charged with murder or already found guilty of murder - their alleged crimes include kidnapping, drug-smuggling, fraud and insider trading.
Red Notices are sometimes issued for killers, but they very rarely prove necessary. Regardless of the status of mutual extradition treaties, countries who find they are harboring killers tend to regard them as hot potatoes, and most usually simply arrest them.
Some on the list of 322 may be dead, and many will be living close to poverty. We posted here previously on Interpol and here previously on how the ex CIA chief in Italy Robert Lady was forced out of Panama by an impending arrest for a Red Notice.
Robert Lady has lost everything. Seems better to face the music, and end the doubletalk.
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Monday, January 12, 2015
The Scale Of Evil By Forensic Psychologist Professor Michael Stone Of Columbia University NYC
Posted by Mark
1. Who Is Dr Stone
Dr Stone is increasingly on American TV and in American courts as demands for better answers to heinous crimes grow.
He has published a lot and is a partner in a research clinic in New York. These are Dr Stone’s professional credentials as posted on Psychology Today.
Dr. Michael Stone is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia. His specialty is personality disorders - most especially “borderline personality disorder.” But in recent years he has concentrated as well on the extremes of personality, as shown by persons who show antisocial, psychopathic, and sadistic traits. This led to an interest in the kinds of people committing murder - spanning the spectrum from jealousy murders to serial killers and torturers. Recently he served as the host of the Discovery Channel show, “Most Evil,” for which he was sent around the country interviewing serial killers and murderers of other types.
This experience, plus his research over the past twenty years, led to his writing The Anatomy of Evil (appearing in July of 2009). The book explores the “why” factor: what are the inborn and environmental factors that cause certain people to commit murder and, at the extreme end, to behave with uncommon cruelty toward their fellow man. Modeled after Dante’s Inferno, the book progresses from the least to the most “evil” crimes, and contains a chapter devoted to recent contributions from neuroscience toward understanding the mind of the psychopath.
2. Interviews On Radio And TV
In the video above, how Dr Stone explained his scale of evil on a Canadian interview show, and below how he explained it on American National Public Radio.
Perhaps no surprises for Americans in the names of the killers in the examples. How they divide up confirms some postings we have had here before. For one thing, most don’t fit in the full-blown psychopathic group (Group 4).
Columbia University professor Michael Stone knows evil. He’s a forensic psychologist — the type of expert that provides testimony on the mental state of accused murderers when a declaration of insanity can mean the difference between life and death row.
Inspired by the structure of Dante’s circles of hell, Stone has created his own 22-point “Gradations of Evil” scale, made up of murderers in the 20th century. “I thought it would be an interesting thing to do,” he says.
His scale is loosely divided into three tiers. First are impulsive evil-doers: driven to a single act of murder in a moment of rage or jealousy. Next are people who lack extreme psychopathic features, but may be psychotic — that is, clinically delusional or out of touch with reality. Last are the profoundly psychopathic, or “those who possess superficial charm, glib speech, grandiosity, but most importantly cunning and manipulativeness,” Stone says. “They have no remorse for what they’ve done to other people.”
Stone hopes the scale could someday be used in prosecutions. “The people at the very end of the scale have certain things about their childhood backgrounds that are different,” he says, from those who appear earlier in the scale. And because the scale follows a continuum of likelihood a killer will kill again, courts may be able to better categorize the risks posed by releasing a psychopath.
Conspicuously absent from Stone’s scale are wartime evil-doers. “My scale is a scale for evil in peacetime,” he says. That’s because assessing wartime evil from a criminal-psychological standpoint is more complicated because of factors like culture, history and religion.”
And in war, there are often two sides. Take Hitler, Stone says. “He thought we were evil, we thought he was evil.” But, he adds, “in that particular case, we were right.”
The Scale Of Evil
1. NOT EVIL
1. Justified Homicide
The least malevolent: Those who have killed in self-defense and do not show psychopathic features.
Long Island native Cheryl Pierson had been repeatedly molested by her father after her mother died. He was a domineering man with rigid and bizarre rules — for example, he insisted she eat three items on her dinner plate incrementally in a clockwise rotation; if she didn’t he would become violent. In desperation at age 17, she paid a classmate $400 to kill her father. She was sentenced to six months in jail for what was, in Stone’s words, “in effect a self-defense killing.”
2. IMPULSIVE MURDERERS
People who are not really psychopaths, not subject to routine unspeakable acts without remorse. “Ordinary people that get caught in some terrible situation,” Stone says.
2. Jealous Lovers, Non-Psychopathic
Though egocentric or immature, evildoers in this category committed their crimes in the heat of passion.
School director Jean Harris led an exemplary life before she became romantically involved with “Scarsdale Diet” doctor Herman Tarnower. But when she found another woman’s panties in his dresser, she snapped. Harris shot her lover to death in a crime of passion — and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
3. Willing Companions Of Killers
Still far from psychopathic, some have antisocial traits and an aberrant personality. They’re often driven by impulse.
Jack Olsen’s 1987 book Cold Kill describes Cindy Campbell as a manipulative, chaotic woman. She claimed she was the victim of incest and was accused of enlisting her lover, David West, to kill her parents in their sleep. Both she and West were convicted of murder.
Susan Cummings. Larry Morris/AFP/Getty Images i
4. Provocative “Self-Defense”
These people kill in self-defense, but they aren’t entirely innocent themselves; they may have been “extremely provocative” toward their victim.
A shy, tomboyish daughter of a billionaire arms trader, Susan Cummings fell in love with an Argentine polo player, Roberto Villegas. But after two years together, they fought: She was stingy and began to refuse sex; he would get angry and verbally abusive. Finally she shot him to death in her kitchen in 1997. Originally charged with first-degree murder, she was ultimately convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
5. Desperate Measures
These are traumatized, desperate killers of abusive relatives or others — but they lack “significant psychopathic traits” and are genuinely remorseful.
Susan Wyche was a topless dancer who married and had a child with Jeff Wright, a successful carpet salesman from Houston. He used cocaine, had affairs, gave Susan herpes and was physically abusive. In 2003, she reached a breaking point, and in a fit of rage stabbed him 193 times. Portrayed as a battered wife by the defense and a vicious seductress by the prosecution, she was given a relatively light sentence: 25 years. A new punishment hearing is set for October.
6. Hot Heads
Killers who act in an impetuous moment, yet without marked psychopathic features.
Born in Japan, Issei Sagawa was pampered by his mother, but became highly irritable and prone to tantrums. In high school, he developed cannibalistic fantasies, and in 1981 he was accused of carrying one out in Paris. His victim: a Dutch student named Renee Hartevelt. He lured her to his apartment, shot her to death, sexually assaulted the body and then began eating her muscle tissue. He was declared legally insane in France and sent back to Japan, where he was released from a mental institution in 1986. He’s now a minor celebrity and has written books and magazine articles about his experience.
Highly narcissistic killers who are often possessive, not distinctly psychopathic, but “with a psychopathic core.” They typically kill loved ones or family members out of jealousy.
In 1968, college student Prosenjit Poddar met Tatiana Tarasoff at a dance class in California. They dated briefly but she rejected him. Poddar then told his therapist about wanting to kill her. His therapist wanted to commit him to hospital, but Poddar convinced campus police he was not dangerous. In the summer of 1969, after she returned from a vacation, Poddar stabbed Tarasoff to death with a kitchen knife. Poddar was convicted and deported back to India after his conviction was overturned. Her parents sued the campus police for failing to warn that their daughter was in danger. This led to the famous Tarasoff decision, which ruled physicians now must warn potential victims of a psychiatric patient.
8. Fit of Rage
Non-psychopathic people, who live with an underlying, smoldering rage, then kill when that rage is ignited.
In 1966, ex-Marine Charles Whitman gunned down his wife and his mother, then ascended a tower at the University of Texas and began shooting people with a rifle. He killed 14 people and wounded 32, before being shot and killed by police. His early life was plagued by physical abuse by his father. A UT psychologist who met with Whitman before the murders described him as “oozing with hostility.” An autopsy revealed that he had a brain tumor, which may have contributed to his rage.
Those who show a “fair number” of psychopathic traits — grandiosity, superficial charm, or general lack of remorse.
9. Jealous Lovers, Psychopathic
The scale’s first foray into psychopathic territory, these killers are jealous lovers but with marked psychopathic features.
Paul Snider “discovered” Dorothy Stratten when she was working at a Dairy Queen at age 17. He became her manager and steered her to Playboy magazine, where she became Playmate of the Year in 1980. They married, but their relationship soon deteriorated, and she became involved with film director Peter Bogdanovich. In a jealous rage, Snider lured her to his apartment and shot her to death with a rifle before killing himself. Bob Fosse made a film about her tragic life, Star 80.
10. “In The Way” Killers, Not Fully Psychopathic
Killers of witnesses or people who are simply “in the way.” These evildoers are egocentric, but not totally psychopathic.
Born in 1925, John List was described as rigid, joyless, angry and a neighborhood crank. A failed accountant with poor executive ability, he kept losing jobs, yet bought a big house for his wife and three children — which he couldn’t afford. Caught between his indebtedness and his monstrous pride, he decided to kill his family. In 1971, he shot and killed his mother, wife and children, and fled to Colorado under an assumed name. He was at large for 18 years, until an image constructed by a forensic anthropologist was broadcast on America’s Most Wanted. He died in prison in 2008 at age 82.
11. “In The Way” Psychopaths
Psychopathic killers of people “in the way.” Premeditation is not usually a major factor in their killings.
An Army Green Beret doctor named Jeffrey MacDonald began showing signs of violence and hatred of women in his adolescence. In 1970, was accused of killing his wife and daughters, and then staging the scene to look like a cult slaying in the mold of Charles Manson. MacDonald was convicted of murder, but his case — the subject of the book Fatal Vision — has dragged on for four decades. In August 2010, his lawyers filed a brief in federal court asking for a new trial and claiming that DNA evidence could prove MacDonald’s innocence.
12. Power-Hungry And Cornered
Power-hungry psychopaths who kill when “cornered,” or placed in a situation they wouldn’t be able to escape with their power intact.
Born in 1931, Jim Jones was attracted early on to a Pentecostal religious group that practiced “speaking in tongues.” He later became a charismatic leader of the Peoples Temple. Grandiose and fanatic, as well as psychopathic and paranoid, he gathered a large group of followers and moved with them to Guyana. In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan and his entourage went to Guyana to investigate; he and four others were shot and killed. Cornered, Jones told his followers to commit group suicide. In all, 914 people died, 276 of them children. He also took his own life.
13. Inadequate And Rageful
Murderers with shortcomings that follow them throughout life, who also express psychopathic impulses and are prone to rage.
Karla Faye Tucker
Karla Faye Tucker was born the illegitimate daughter of prostitute and abused drugs since she was 9. She married at 16 — by which time she had already had a hysterectomy for pelvic inflammatory disease. She divorced at 20. In 1983, she and boyfriend Daniel Garrett invaded the apartment of Jerry Lynn Dean while the two were high on methadone, valium, heroin and alcohol. Tucker and Garrett killed Dean and the woman he was with, using a hammer and pickaxe. After 14 years on death row, she was executed in 1998. She was the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.
Ruthlessly self-centered and psychopathic, schemers stop at nothing to deceive, con and steal.
Sante Kimes was born in 1934 and soon became a self-trained con artist. Briefly married to Lee Powers, she had a son, Kenny. Many more thefts followed, along with use of numerous aliases. She made her son into a kind of slave; the two became “grifters” — accomplished at stealing. In 1998 she and her son conned their way into the good graces of Irene Silverman, a wealthy Fifth Avenue widow in New York City. They got her to sign over her property and then killed her, disposing of her body. Kimes is a classic psychopath, and is considered responsible for other murders besides that of Silverman. She and her son are serving life sentences.
15. Cold-Blooded Spree
Murderers who kill multiple people calmly and with a psychopathic motive. Often pathological in their denial of guilt or inability to confront reality.
Charles Manson was born in 1934 to a troubled family. At a young age, he began stealing, ending up in reformatories then jail and prisons. In his 30s he began to attract a following of waif-like women who were in his thrall. Then in 1969 he had his group invade the home of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, killing her, her unborn baby and four friends. Later they killed Rosemary LaBianca, scrawling “Death to Pigs” in her blood around the house. He received the death penalty, later commuted to a life term in Corcoran Prison in California.
Fully psychopathic by every modern definition.
16. Vicious Psychopaths
Those who commit multiple vicious acts that may also include murder, rape or mutilation.
Born in 1962 into a wealthy Japanese family, Miyazaki Tsutomu had a congenital hand defect, such that he was unable to hold his hands palm-up. He was ostracized as a child and began to lurk around young girls, stalking them. In 1989, he kidnapped and murdered four young girls, mutilated their bodies and drank the blood of one victim. When his crimes were discovered, his father committed suicide out of shame. Miyazaki coldly regarded that as “just punishment” for not raising him correctly. He was executed in Tokyo in 2008.
17. The Sexually Perverse
Serial killers with some element of sexual perversion in their crimes. In males, rape is usually the primary motive and killing follows to hide the evidence. Torture is not a primary motive.
Ted Bundy was born in 1946, performed well in school and was acutely shy. His sexual homicides began in earnest in 1974, near his alma mater, the University of Washington. He worked his way down to Florida, luring, raping and killing at least 28 girls en route. He escaped from a Colorado prison in 1977, and continued killing until identified and apprehended (thanks to bite marks that matched his teeth) in 1978. He was executed in Florida in 1989.
18. Torturing Murderers
Though psychotic, they do not typically prolong their torture. Murder, not torture, is their primary motivation.
Gary Ridgeway, a.k.a the “Green River Killer,” grew up in Washington state. He was troubled by his sexual attraction to his mother and of his feelings of lust and humiliation. He’s one of the serial killers showing the famous childhood “triad” of bed-wetting, fire-setting, and animal torture. He began serial killing of prostitutes in earnest after a third divorce in 1982. Some investigators believe he may have killed as many as 90 women, subjecting some to bondage or necrophilia. He’s now serving 48 life sentences plus 480 years.
19. Non-Homicidal Psychopaths
Psychopaths who fall short of murder, yet engage in terrorism, subjugation, intimidation or rape.
Gary Steven Krist
Gary Steven Krist had served prison time for robbery and fraud in three different states before he was 18. Out of prison in 1968 at age 23, he planned a ransom kidnapping. His victim was Barbara Mackle. Krist buried her underground, allowing her to breathe using a tube, while he awaited a $500,000 ransom from her father. She was rescued after 83 hours buried alive. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled and later convicted of importing cocaine into the United States. He’s in a federal prison in Florida, with a planned release in November 2010.
20. Murdering Torturers
Psychotic (legally insane) and primarily motivated by their desire to torture.
From a young age, Joseph Kallinger’s foster family abused him so severely that at age 6 he suffered a hernia inflicted by his foster father. He was psychotic and schizophrenic, and when he married and had children, he was equally brutal. In 1972 he was held on charges of child abuse but was later released. In 1974, he and his 13-year-old son Michael began to break into houses in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Jersey, where they terrorized and tortured four families, and then sexually assaulted and killed a 21-year-old nurse. Finally arrested, he was sentenced to life, and then sent to a mental hospital where he died in 1996 at age 59.
21. Pure Torturers
Not all torturers murder. These psychopaths (evaluated to be in touch with reality) are preoccupied with torture “in the extreme,” but never convicted of murder.
Cameron Hooker was born in 1953. As he grew older he read pornography, particularly that which portrayed women being tortured. He married his wife, Janice, in 1975. He fantasized about having his own sex slave and allegedly reached an agreement with his wife that she could have a baby if he could have a sex slave. After the birth of their child, Hooker kidnapped 20-year-old Colleen Stan in 1977 and kept her captive for seven years. She was whipped, strangled, burned, electrically shocked and raped. For much of that time, she was locked inside a box for 23 hours a day. She and Hooker’s wife fled together in 1984. He was convicted and sentenced to 104 years in prison.
22. Psychopathic Torture-Murderers
Defined by a primary motivation to inflict prolonged, diabolical torture. Most in this category are male serial killers.
Born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer was sexually molested by a neighbor when he was 8. At 10, he was decapitating animals and mounting their heads on stakes in the backyard. At 17 he committed his first murder, a male hitchhiker whom he bludgeoned, strangled, dismembered and buried. After a failed stint in the Army, his serial killing began in earnest in the late 80s, ending up with at least 17 victims — all males, some homosexual, like Dahmer. Finally arrested in 1991, he was convicted the next year of 15 murders and sentenced to 936 years in prison. In 1994, another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin bludgeoned Dahmer to death with a bar from a weight machine.
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Friday, January 09, 2015
From David Marriott’s Parrot: Latest Talking Points To Be Beamed At The Unbelieving
Posted by Chimera
David is out of office right now. He is sitting naked with Curt and Chris in the sauna, trying to lose that manic redness which is so telling.
As our incessant jeering at Italy is losing so much traction, David has asked me to keep repeating these new talking points until even the dimmest bunny Karen Pruitt gets them..
Talking points #31779
For those of you who believe that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are sex killers, and who doubt that Rudy Guede did the horrible crime alone, or that Mignini was a dedicated prosecutor, I will fully explain all the discrepencies in the case. Please bear with me.
For those of you claiming that AK and RS are pathological liars, trying to evade responsibility for a horrible deed, you need to see things from their point of view, and keep an open mind. Again, please be patient.
If after reading these explanations, you are still convinced that AK and RS were involved in Meredith Kercher’s murder, then you are by definition too clueless to be helped and part of the problem.
1. This should have been an open and shut case. According to Amanda (May 2014 interview with Chris Cuomo), Rudy Guede was “known to police” for doing many burglaries where he climbed through second story windows, using a rock to break in, and wielding a knife. It made no sense that he wasn’t the immediate suspect for Meredith’s murder, however, we have 3 alternatives that explain it.
(a) Perugian police truly did not see any connection between second story break ins with knives and rocks, and second story break ins with knives, rocks, and a dead woman. The logical connection was too simplistic to make.
(b) Perugian police did know about Guede’s habit of second story break ins using knives and rocks, but thought it so minor they never bothered to write it up.
(c) Perugia is filled with people who commit second story break ins using knives and rocks. This is normal. It would take time to get around to Guede.
However, I am not sure which explanation Amanda believes is true at this minute, or what is her best truth. Rotate the three of them. And blame the police.
2. Serial ‘‘Spider-Man’’ burglar Guede chose his latest target well. According to Sollecito (Honor Bound book), Guede “knew” that the 4 women in the upstairs part of the house would each have 300 Euros after the end of the month for the rent. He also knew where Meredith kept her money, and he knew it would all be in cash. He knew that the house would be empty for the holiday, and it would be a great opportunity to break in and steal the money around 8:00 pm when everybody is still around.
You might ask how Guede had this inside knowledge, or how Sollecito knew it either, or how Sollecito knew that Guede knew. After all, Guede and Sollecito did not know of each other, right? Though they lived 100 meters apart. And actually only one flatmate was out of town. Hmmm. And 8:00 pm is kinda an odd choice for a breakin time and Filoemna’s window the worst place. Label all such pesky points irrelevant and rush on to the next subject.
3. Serial ‘‘Spider-Man’’ burglar Guede knew about marijuana growing in the downstairs apartments (Honor Bound book). Guede was attracted to the house because he knew about the drugs. And being a drifter and drug dealer (according to Knox, Sollecito and FoAK), it made sense to target the home. After all, who would report their drugs stolen in a home robbery.
So, the drug dealing serial burglar ignored the drugs in the bottom floor, climbed up to the second floor, but didn’t take anything. He just took a dump without flushing, attacked Meredith, and then left. Label all such questions as irrelevant as Guede is obviously such a bad guy. Again blame the police and move to the next subject.
4. Serial ‘‘Spider-Man’’ burglar Guede really is Spider-Man. For those of you who used to watch cartoons, you’ll know that Spider-Man would sometimes mutate into an actual spider, and would grow 4 extra arms, all with super strength. That is how at one and the same time Guede kept Meredith restrained, kept her from screaming, held 2 knives at opposite sides, and from behind assaulted her.
Pesky critics have wondered about this: few defensive wounds, no ligature marks (Meredith wasn’t tied down), no sign she was drugged or knocked unconscious as signs to be skeptical, no DNA. However, they clearly did not watch the right cartoons when they were younger. Six arms is the answer to this.
5. Rudy Guede got a break by testifying against Knox and Sollecito, and his false testimony was the bulk of the reason they were convicted. It also got his sentence reduced from 30 years to 16.
2008 - Guede gets 30 years (short form equivalent of life) from Judge Micheli
2009 - Guede offers to testify against AK and RS, but prosecutors say no
2009 - Sollecito and Knox get 24 years (with extra time for staging, theft and callunia)
2009 - Appeals court reduces Guede’s time to 16 years (24 same as AK and RS, with 1/3 off deduction)
2011 - Guede is finally called to appear at AK and RS 2011 appeal
So obviously Mignini gives Guede the break for testifying, but doesn’t actually call Guede in 2009. Or maybe he gave the break with action pending, hoping there would be an appeal in 2011 and that he might be needed. This is not rocket science.
6. Even though Guede’s plan all along was to frame Knox and Sollecito for Kercher’s murder, he was so freaked out that he asked to sever his case, and go for the short form trial separate from their trial which then involved them framing him.
Yes this does seem odd at first glance. Sollecito supposedly didn’t know Guede. Amanda had no contact, despite once crossing paths (see December 2013 email to Nencini). Three people who don’t really know each other are all convinced the other is trying to frame them. And they are so spooked, none of them agree to testify fully. Really all such questions only for subtle minds and we have only a few of those to convince. Move on to the next subject. And blame the police.
7. Amanda Knox was actually the perfect patsy for the crime. Keep in mind that she had only been in Perugia for about 5 weeks, never did drugs, and was overwhelmed by the emerging events. She was 20 years old, but was ‘‘just a kid’’ (May 2013 interview with Diane Sawyer).
Okay its true police officer Rita Ficarra seemed to contest this, saying that Knox spoke Italian, and during her interviews spoke to her only in Italian (2009 trial transcripts). But be realistic, Knox is not a native Italian speaker, and being a 20 year old kid, didn’t know she was expected to cooperate fully, though actually she entered the conversation with Ficarra very eagerly to point her to seven other possible perps.
8. Knox was also a target to blame for other reasons. She was a foreign exchange student and her single language course would result in a full year of transfer credits (Waiting to be Heard book). However, her mind is easily rattled (though not by use of drugs, dont mention them). She is prone to having visions about vaguely remembering someone killing her friends (her 2007 statement), and isn’t sure if she is at home, or if her boyfriend is. She also has trouble with her truth, her best truth, the real truth, the truth she thinks is closest to the truth.
Yes depending on which pesky statement of hers you read, either she left Raffaele’s alone to meet Patrick, or she is not sure if Raffaele is with them. And she thinks she remembers being outside Meredith’s room, with her hands over her ears to drown out the screams.
Many people have accused Amanda of being a bullshit artist, and of being deceptive. However, she is taking creative writing, and it teaches her to think in possibilities, and that her feelings are what matter not hard facts.
9. Knox’s odd hygiene habits also made her a perfect target. Apparently, she was in the habit of leaving her blood around the home (menstrual blood I assume. Ew.). (read her November 2007 mass email). However, this came back to haunt her as Rudy Guede left tons of Meredith’s blood throughout the upstairs floor, and some of the spots happen to be where Amanda left hers. Ew, I know. Hence the mixed DNA in several places. But Amanda wasn’t a total slob, she liked to wipe everything down out of cleanliness, including her own lamp which, for some reason we forget the explanation of, ended up in Meredith’s locked room. And of course, Rudy, being a man, took a large interest in a woman’s period habits.
Police and prosecutors have claimed that mixed blood and absence of normal fingerprints are evidence of a struggle, and partial clean up. They completely misconstrued Amanda’s quirky ways, and Rudy’s diabolical nature. Here again, blame the police. Foolish police.
10. Much has also been made about the email that Amanda sent on November 4, 2007 to about 25 people. It was a long, rambling, illogical message, and many of the recipients were learning for the first time Meredith was dead. Both the tone, and content raised eyebrows.
But really it makes perfect sense. Her internet plan only allows her so much data, so she must use it wisely like this. Besides, separately emailing all those people would take a lot of time, and hey, she had to get on with her life. Besides, there was some Ooh-la-la with Raffy, and a ukulele that needed strumming, though no time for Meredith’s memorial. Bottom line: just Amanda being Amanda may work here again.
11. Sollecito made a great frame-up victim as well, due to his faulty memory. There was the added bonus that he was the boyfriend of Knox, who also had memory problems. Sollecito’s mind is so scattered, that to this day he has trouble remembering where he was when the murder ocurred.
Pesky facts for us here.
- RS claimed he was at a party (not sure which one)
- RS claimed he was with AK at his apartment (AK isn’t sure if she read or made love)
- RS claimed AK went out and asked him to lie for her (November 2007 statement)
- RS refused to say where AK was (Massei 2009 and most of Hellmann 2011)
- RS claims he has questions about her account (February 2014 interview)
- RS claims he meant AK was only with him that “evening” and not “that night” starting at 9:00 pm (July 1, 2014 press conference)
Obviously, claim what total sh*t Sollecito’s brain is. What better person to blame this on, one who is too confused and lacks any real sense of time. Dump on him.
12. Sollecito received a lot of attention for bringing a knife into the police station, and it was determined later that it could be one of the knives used on Meredith Kercher. Raffaele, quite lucidly, wrote in his book (Honor Bound), what kind of idiot brings the murder weapon to the police station?
Okay, normally we would agree with Amanda, that this case is actually not complicated. However in this case, Knox is also right, things are actually more complicated than they appear (see her September 2013 Daybreak interview). In this case we point out that Guede took Sollecito’s knife, on the offhand chance he would have to kill someone. He then broke into Raffy’s girlfriend’s home, killed her roommate, cleaned the knife, and then returned the knife to Sollecito, all without Raffaele noticing.
13. On a related note, Sollecito also sees things that ‘‘his mind made up.’’ When asked about Meredith’s DNA on his knife, he envisions that Meredith came to his apartment to cook, and that she pricked herself. Even though Sollecito realizes later that it didn’t happen, it still kind of comes up in his mind.
It is not proof of a coverup! RS and AK are just doing some hard drugs that make them vaguely remember or confusedly remember things. Both were on and off high right through to being arrested but we need to hide that. Amanda had a terrific drug source and a cash-free way of paying for them. So blame the police. It was really the pressure from the police, and the pressure of being in solitary confinement, that addled their brains.
14. Guiliano Mignini was the prosecutor in the original trial. He has taken flak in some U.S. circles for trying to railroad two innocent ‘‘kids’’ (in reality 20 and 23), when he should have focused on the 20 year old ‘‘man’’ who really, really did it. Here is proof of this gross misconduct.
- During the investigation of the house, Mignini told CSI’s to be careful collecting evidence that would incriminate Guede, but ordered them to mishandle evidence that would incriminate Knox and Sollecito. Apparently Mignini is so wise, he can glance at evidence and know who it came from.
- Mignini pressured Knox to incriminate Lumumba, despite his being at home right then. (Read her November 6, 2007 statements). Apparently, when he did come in, his mere presence was so overwhelming, that Knox proceeded to write out two more statements.
- Despite what must be a very time consuming job as a prosecutor, Mignini apparently moonlights as Perugia’s Mayor (Waiting to be Heard book).
- Mignini telepathically caused Judge Claudia Matteini to decide Knox, Sollecito (and at the time, Lumumba), were such dangers that they should be locked up in preventative detention. He also caused the psychologists to give bad reviews regarding AK and RS mental health, despite not being there.
- Mignini caused Knox (December 2007 interview), to give wildly contradictory statements when he questioned her with her attornies squirming right there..
- Mignini caused the Italian Supreme Court to agree (April 2008), with Judge Matteini that AK and RS should remain locked up.
- Mignini caused Knox (see her June 2009 testimony), to behave in a cold, callous and deceptive manner, and get the Massei court to completely disbelieve anything she said. Hey, blood is YUCKY, but AK only knew Meredith for a month, and good grief she just wants to get on with her life.
- Mignini had the Italian Supreme Court (March 2013), annul the 2011 Hellmann verdict, despite not being present.
- Mignini had the Florence Appeals Court (January 2014), confirm the 2009 conviction, despite not being present.
- Mignini will likely cause the ISC to confirm Nencini’s ruling (coming in March 2015), despite not being present.
- Mignini is as we all know omnipresent and all-knowing.
So to summarize the main points here
- Guede is known as a knife and rock using burglar, yet the police don’t suspect him.
- Guede naturally had inside knowledge about the large amount of cash inside the home.
- Guede is a drug dealer, but didn’t break into the room he knew had drugs.
- Guede used his 5 or 6 arms to overpower and restrain Meredith.
- Guede got a reduced sentence, for not appearing against Knox and Sollecito.
- Guede tried to frame AK and RS, but feared they would frame him.
- Knox is just a kid, who didn’t know how to behave properly or speak Italian.
- Knox is scatter-brained, but only when asked pointed and direct questions.
- Knox has the quirky habit of leaving blood around the house, and wiping everything else clean.
- Knox just likes to get it all out, so she doesn’t have to repeat herself a hundred times.
- Sollecito has trouble remembering even today where he was during the murder.
- Sollecito’s knife was stolen, used in the murder, then returned to him.
- Sollecito had a vision that Meredith pricked herself while cooking, it was caused by police pressure, in solitary confinement.
- Mignini is apparently the Mayor as well, and has railroaded RS and AK, despite not being involved in the case for years.
So there you have it. Proof to widely propagate that an evil prosecutor and evil police can team up with a serial super burglar, and the result is two completely innocent kids are railroaded for a murder they did not commit.
FREE KNOX AND SOLLECITO NOW!!!!!
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Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Sound Familiar? Callous Attacker Who Smirked At Trial Turns Into A Whiny Victim
Posted by Mark
Above, shooting victim popular Yancy Noll, about to do a skydive; killer Dinh Bowman images at bottom
Dinh Bowman has just been sentenced in Seattle. See the before-and-after images at bottom. This is from the KOMO News website
A man who killed another driver in what prosecutors called a random thrill-killing was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison Friday in King County Superior Court.
The sentencing comes after Dinh Bowman was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the August 2012 shooting of Yancy Noll, 43, a wine steward who was driving home in Seattle. The jury reached its unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for a little over one day….
Before learning his fate, a sobbing Bowman asked the judge for mercy but didn’t ask his victim’s loved ones for forgiveness
A student at the University of Washington, Bowman seems to have been to the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito/Steve Moore Crime School.
- He cleaned up the crime scene (his car)
- He turned off his cell phone
- He destroyed evidence.
- He smirked repeatedly at his trial.
- He thought he could fool jurors.
He won’t have the opportunity to write a book explaining how he was so much smarter than the law, but he clearly fantasized violence as both Knox and Sollecito did. Again from KomoNews.
The judge said he tended more toward the maximum sentence because of aggravating factors in the killing - what he described as the random nature of the crime, Bowman’s “utter detachment” from the devastation he caused and “absolutely no empathy” for the victim or his family.
Noll was shot four times as he waited at a traffic light and was found dead with his hands still on the steering wheel. Bowman sped away in his own car after the shooting, but he was eventually identified and prosecuted.
Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson said the case was “particularly frightening because Yancy Noll could’ve been any of us sitting at a stoplight on our way to work.”
She presented evidence showing that Bowman was a student of murder who read manuals on how to kill and avoid capture.
Richardson said the “Death Dealers Manual” was found on Bowman’s computer, which told how shooting someone in the temple could result in death. Noll was shot in the temple.
Just three hours after the shooting, Richardson told the jury, Bowman was reading reference materials he stored on his computer on ways to avoid arrest. She said he was creating a false identity in the middle of the night after the shooting.
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Sunday, January 04, 2015
That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. How The Supposed Leaks Began
On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.
That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.
Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.
False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.
But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.
And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.
On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).
Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up.
In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.
Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.
All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.
2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?
The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.
How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?
In fact NONE. Not one.
Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.
In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.
And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.
3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?
Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.
The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims.
And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.
The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop.
Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.
But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here. In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).
4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame
In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.
Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.
Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.
But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.
Despite this Tremontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.
This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:
The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.
Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.
But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.
The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]
Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.
Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.
Archived in Officially involved, The prosecutors, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, American context
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Friday, January 02, 2015
The Serial-Break-in Arm Of The Rudy Guede Hoax: Testimony In Court Far Short Of Smoking Gun
Posted by Peter Quennell
That trial testimony fell far short of providing Guede demonizers with all they now claim. All the testimony about supposed break-ins by Guede was presented on 26 July and 27 July 2009. These were two lackluster half-days for the defense.
Pre-school principal Maria Del Prato came across as understanding and fair. Lawyer Matteo Palazzoli, who encountered the break-in scene during a Sunday night visit to his office and who lost his computer did not elaborate very much and seemed glad to be gone. Lawyer Brocchi with the least involvement talked the most, but he could be read as pointing a finger away from what he really thought happened.
Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.
Maria Del Prato conceded that Guede probably had a key loaned to him by one of her staff which explained why no break-in charges were lodged. Milan police did not just let him go, they checked his record with Perugia police (he had none and police knew little or nothing of him) and knew where he was for a possible later charge.
Nobody in Italy is given precautionary custody simply for possessing several items none of which were reported as stolen which conceivably could have been passed to him by another perp.
The French window one floor above the ground in the dark around the back would have been easy to break into on a Saturday night according to Matteo Palazzoli by simply climbing up the grill over the French window below and then using the balcony to break through.
Hardly the scenario for breaking into Filomena’s window during Perugia’s late rush-hour on a weekday evening with a lot of cars and people still around, under a great deal of light from the street and the carpark above, while leaving no prints and no DNA, on a day when as far as he knew all four girls were in town (three of them were).
Zero fingerprints were found in the lawyers’ offices though a great many items had been touched. What appear to be the tools of a habitual burglar were left at the scene. The burglar alarm dial-out had been disabled by someone who knew the special trick to doing that.
The copier was switched on and some quantity of copy paper and several USB drives with legal data were gone. A front window had been opened and then not fully closed, perhaps to pass things through to someone waiting with a car.
Payback or warning by a legal opponent? Such things are not unknown. Neither lawyer systematically reported a theft - Paolo Brocchi claimed he didnt know that his cellphone was gone and Matteo Palazzoli never gave the serial number of his computer to the police. Were they each anxious to just move on?
Note that Guede was placed at a disadvantage here. Neither he nor his lawyers were there to cross-examine the witnesses or call more witnesses of their own and the prosecution did not ask even one question. Nobody asked what legal documents may have been involved.
This has allowed supposition to grow unchallenged, though it looked like a red-herring by the defenses in the court. Certainly no smoking gun, other than that Guede had some items later proven stolen. For those he was recently sentenced in Milan to another 16 months.
Archived in Officially involved, Rudy Guede, Trials 2008 & 2009, Prelim hearings, The Micheli report, Massei prosecution, The many hoaxes, The Guede hoax
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Thursday, January 01, 2015
Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #2 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Overview Of The Post
This post provides the translated testimony of lawyer Matteo Palazzoli.
He was the owner of a Sony Vaio computer stolen from his office, which was possibly the same one that Guede was found in possession of. The previous posts on this aspect of the Guede hoax showed:
- How similar to the back balcony route to a forced break-in of Meredith’s house was the supposed route into the Perugia lawyers’ offices.
- How the testimony from the lawyer Paolo Briocchi on the office break-in pointed as much away from Rudy Guede as it did toward him.
There will be an overall assessment in the next post.
2. Testimony Of Matteo Palazzoli
Translation of the difficult language here and in previous posts was kindly provided by Miriam. MP stands for Matteo Palazzoli, the lawyer whose office was broken into. GCM stands for Judge Giancarlo Massei. LM stands for Sollecito defense lawyer Luca Maori. MDG stands for Knox defense lawyer Maria Del Grosso.
The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.
General information: Matteo Palazzoli, born in Umbertide, province of Perugia, October 9 1974, resident of Perugia.
GCM: Please proceed.
LM: Lawyer Maori, for the defense of Sollecito. What is your profession?
LM: Where is your legal office?
MP: At via del Roscetto no. 3, from Febuary 2007, if I am not mistaken.
LM: Together with lawyer Brocchi.
MP: Together with lawyer Brocchi.
LM: Before you, Lawyer Brocchi told us of this theft you were subject to on the night between the 13th and 14th of October 2007.
LM: Can you give us information of what happened in that situation?
MP: I was coming back on Sunday October 14, after being away from Perugia for 2 days, and before coming back… because I live close to the office, I keep the car parked with a subscription at the parking lot of Sant’Antonio [opposite Meredith’s house], therefore I walk down via del Roscetto regularly to return home, which is in via Imbriani [further down the hill behind the law offices]. In these circumstances, I sincerely don’t reacll the reason, I stopped at the office before returning home. I think it was 6:30, 7.00 pm, of Sunday afternoon, I don’t recall the exact time.
I went to the office, and upon entering the office, I noticed right away that something was not right, because to begin with it was October, and it was rather warm, I remember, and strangely the heaters were turned on and it was rather hot inside the office. The heaters were turned on and I immediately noticed upon turning on the light that the bathroom light was on, the restroom of the office. At that moment I didn’t notice anything else.
Then I turned my head to the right in respect to the office entrance , and I immediately noticed my jacket, a black jacket, and a jacket of Lawyer Brocchi’s laid out on the floor. Honestly I asked myself the reason for this. I went to the French window of the office that gives out to an inner courtyard of the building, and opening the inner shutters, I noticed the glass had been broken, and that the jackets had probably been laid on the floor to cover the broken glass.
At this point I ran to my office, that is in front of Lawyer Brocchi’s , and I immediately noticed, cautiously, that the only thing that was missing… besides the binders being completely opened, and the dossiers, in there turn, also were opened with papers strewn throughout the office, I noticed that my computer was no longer there, it was not where it should have been, and that the window of my office that gives out to via del Roscetto [a window in the image at top] that at first glance appeared to be closed, in reality was open. Therefore, it had been reclosed but not completely closed, probably, don’t know why.. whoever entered, exited through my window, not closing it completely on the way out, I honestly don’t know the reason.
I did another round of the legal office, and I noticed again upon entering the restroom, the light on in the restroom. I went into the office of Lawyer Brocchi, and I remember that inside his office, on the desk of Lawyer Brocchi, there was a suitcase of his and on top were positioned, with a certain precision, certain objects, that I seem to remember were screwdrivers, I am frankly not sure if there were screwdrivers.
After having gone into Lawyer Brocchi’s office I turned and went into the waiting room that is there close to the conference room, and I noticed that there was a small pile of glass, that I don’t know where it came from, because the window of the waiting room… that is, no other window, if I remember correctly, of the office was broken, in the office the only window that had been broken was the French window that gives onto the inner courtyard.
The window of the waiting room had not been broken and yet still, there was this small pile of glass, furthermore well arranged, in the waiting room. The copying machine was turned on, I don’t know for what reason, several reams of paper of the copying machine were missing.
LM: The person who entered had drunk beverages that were in the legal office?
MP: Yes, I remember that it was a bottle of orange drink, if I am not in error, it was left in the waiting room.
LM: Listen, you spoke of this computer that was taken on this occasion. Can you tell us what type of computer it was?
MP: It was a Vaio, the outside cover was white. The distinctive trait is that differently… the distinctive feature of that computer is that it has a 16:9 screen that is high resolution.
LM: It’s a Sony.
MP: It is a Sony Vaio, that is a brand of Sony. It has a particular graphics, it is only one of a few computer that doesn’t change the type of color depending on how one roatates the screen. It was a laptop, in any case.
LM: This laptop did you have any news of where it was… was it ever found? Was it given back to you?
MP: In these days I have had ways to reconstruct, in my mind, the events and the only thing I have not had a way to… it happened in the succeeding days, I don’t remember exactly when, that while I was coming back from a client outside the legal office, Lawyer Brocchi called me to tell me that the police or carabinieri called from Milan saying that they had found our things, commenting: “you are always lucky, you lose everything, they steal everything, but you always recover everything”, “Okay”, I said.
I arrived back at the office and he told me about the call in detail, that it was… the police station, I sincerely don’t remember, of Milan anyway, they had called and they had found us because on the cellphone of Lawyer Brocchi… which in the immediacy of the event, we had not noticed had been taken because it was an out of commission cellphone and not used by Lawyer Brocchi, thus probably he did not remember in the immediacy of the event it had been taken, he did not realize at that moment.
Opening the cellphone, the message, if I am not in error, “welcome Lawyer Brocchi” had appeared. Thus they were able to find us, and substantially tell Lawyer Brocchi that they had found his cellphone and my computer. Now, I said before, in these days before today’s judicial hearing I was able to gather my thoughts and furthermore I was never able to verify that the cellphone [note: he presumably means his laptop] that was found was effectively mine, because when Lawyer Brocchi and I went to the police station of Perugia to do the report, I did not have at hand, because my accountant had not given it to me, the invoice that indicated the specific model of the commuter. Thus, today I would not be able to say, if not…
LM: Anyway the computer was not given back to you?
LM: Before you spoke of this telephone call by the Milan police station.
MP: Made to Lawyer Brocchi.
LM: Do you know if those [investigators] attached to the police station in Milan had discovered the perpetrator of the theft?
MP: I sincerely don’t know, they certainly did not tell us. That is, we were told only that our things had been found, or rather, Lawyer Brocchi related to me that the police station of Milan had told him that the things we reported stolen had been found.
LM: Lawyer, do you know Rudy Hermann Guede?
LM: Have you heard of him?
MP: I have heard of him in relation to the renowned incident of this proceeding.
LM: Do you know that Hermann Rudy Guede was found by the police station of Milan, a few days before these matters, with your computer?
MP: I don’t know that he was found with… or rather, at the time that Lawyer Brocchi related to me that the police station of Milan had called him, the police station did not specify the individual that was found with the computer. I think that in that circumstance they had specified that it was found on a boy that was committing a similar crime, if I am not in error, in a kindergarten in Milan.
LM: Was it related to you by your assistant Doctor Morini, I believe that is his name, and by Lawyer Brocchi of an encounter that took place on October 29 with this Rudy Guede?
MP: Yes, it was related… somehow in this case…when these things happen, unfortunately I am never there.
LM: You were not present, it was only related to you.
MP: It was related to me that a boy had come to the legal office, and a conversation had intervened between…
LM: What kind of boy?
MP: A colored boy, I gathered, had come to the legal office and held a conversation with Doctor Morini and probably even with Lawyer Brocchi, and declared himself absolutely extraneous to the matter and declared that he bought my computer legally , if I am not in error at the train station of Milan, I sincerely don’t know. This was related to me by my colleagues.
LM: In any case, you exclude having had your computer returned?
MP: No, absolutely.
LM: That, by your knowledge, is in Perugia?
MP: I think I remember having done a request of release [to Milan] that unfortunately was rejected.
LM: If you do it here in Perugia, probably you will have a better result. Another question, before you spoke of the fact that when you entered the legal office on the evening of October 14th you saw lights on. The light that was on, where was it situated?
MP: At the instant I entered the legal office, it was dark obviously, inside the office, and I had not yet turned on the light, I noticed the shining of the bathroom light on.
LM: Had the bathroom been used?
MP: The bathroom… honestly this I can’t tell you, that is I can’t know if it was used, from evident signs I think not, but, that is a simple supposition on my part , that does not have much value.
LM: Thank you.
GCM: There were no signs of it having been used.
MP: Yes, no signs of use, no odor.
GCM: This is what the lawyer was asking. Other questions? For the prosecution? There are no questions. Excuse me, probably just a peculiarity, the window that was broken, if you can give us a description? Are there inner shutters, outer shutters?
MP: It is a French window that gives out to a small terrace that overlooks an inner courtyard of the building, and below our window, right in alignment, there is a door covered with a metal mesh, so much so that we supposed that whoever entered inside the legal office, one of the possible hypothesis, climbed that metal mesh, because it is a mesh, with squares not more than fifteen centimeters, thus perfectly usable for this purpose. It is a French window that has inner shutters. It doesn’t have…I don’t remember, I think it has… because there was a period when our legal office, for reasons of restoration, eliminated all the outer shutters. So I don’t remember if in that moment it had or not the outer shutters, I think not, but I would say something I don’t remember exactly.
GCM: I also wanted to ask you, there were only the two jackets on the glass? Where there other items of clothing that indicated a search in wardrobes, or only these two jackets?
MP: Honestly I would not be able to remember.
GCM: You remember of these two jackets, that one was yours.
MP: Yes because I don’t think there were other clothingsd in the office. I don’t remember if there were others… besides the toga of Lawyer Brocchi, but it was left…
GCM: I wanted to ask you, these jackets where [normally] were they? On a coat rack?
MP: They were on a coat rack that is to the right of the entrance to the legal office, they were on a coat rack, a bluish jacket of Lawyer…
GCM: Not in a wardrobe?
MP: No, no, not in a wardrobe, on a coatrack.
GCM: A coatrack.
MP: A coatrack, yes.
GCM: I also wanted to ask you, you spoke of a small pile of glass.
GCM: That is, what was it, a small gathered pile or scattered?
MP: A small gathered pile of glass.
GCM: Purposely put there?
MP: I don’t know that.
GCM: A little gathered pile, not scattered..
MP: Not scattered glass as the ones…
GCM: Not scattered glass but a small pile.
MP: A small pile of glass.
GCM: Originating from the broken window?
MP: Probably yes even because there was no other broken window if not that one and there were no other bottle or other things inside the legal office.
GCM: The computer, can you describe it? Seen as you said: “you gathered your thoughts” you remember something…
MP: If I can see it, I will be able to say if it is mine..
GCM: It’s not that the invoice has…
MP: No, my computer is a Sony Vaio with a white cover, but the model is not…
LM: With regard to the question by the President…
GCM: Please proceed.
LM: In connection to the glass, the glass of the broken window, was this glass scattered?
MP: In part scattered, I gather, seeing as there weren’t others…that the others clustered inside the waiting room were from that glass, but not…
LM: So there was glass scattered both inside the room where the window was broken, and in adjacent rooms?
MP: Let’s agree that the scattered glass, covered by the jackets, was in the corridor that leads to the administrative office, which is to the right of the entrance and is in front of the French window from where the individuals had…
LM: So, in conclusion, there was a scattering of glass…
LM: … let’s say with enough range…
MP: More than where the jackets were located.
LM: Thank you.
MDG: May I, President, just one question?
GCM: Yes, please proceed, Lawyer.
MDG: Do you remember if you had inserted a password on your computer.
GCM: Okay, maybe the last questions, on the computer.
MDG: On the computer model, President.
MDG: It was not inserted?
MDG: Thank you.
GCM: The witness is excused.
There are no other questions; the witness is dismissed.
Archived in Officially involved, Rudy Guede
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Sunday, December 28, 2014
Meredith’s 29th: She Might Confidently Have Expected To Have Come Far By Now
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
I had never heard of the ‘white feather’ phenomenon until some years ago. The story goes – or so I was told – that when somebody close to you dies, they occasionally send you a white feather to let you know that they are fine and thinking of you. Whether this was true or not, I could have no idea.
In the days after we were allowed to bring Meredith home and bury her, I went to the cemetery alone and, when I returned to my car, a small white feather was fluttering by the driver’s door. Soon after, I visited Meredith again – and again I saw a single white feather. After this, it happened on several occasions – but I always thought that it was simply a coincidence.
That was until, sometime later, Stephanie and I were sitting in the garden at a table, and as we talked, a pure white feather floated down and settled between us. I looked up into a clear blue sky. There were no birds. For the first time, I wondered if Meredith really was communicating with us. It was so easy to think that this was a stupid superstition, but I would not stop myself wondering if it was something more.
Then, quite recently, I had a coffee in London with one of Meredith’s friends from Perugia, Natalie Hayward. We had been talking generally and about Meredith. When we left and stood outside South Kensington Underground Station, to my amazement a white feather suddenly floated down between Natalie and myself and settled on her hand. I looked up. Once again, the sky was pure blue and there was not a bird in sight.
After Natalie left, I stood at that point for a full ten minutes, looking skywards, and not one bird appeared. Since then, I have heard and read of other people’s similar experiences. From this moment on, I like to think that, in some comforting way, Meredith truly is communicating with me. You may think me stupid or superstitious, but it is an experience I have never had before, and for every white feather I see, the feeling grows stronger.
Sometimes other people can say things better than you can yourself, because you are too close to events. This was certainly the case when a complete stranger, a middle-aged American woman whose name we do not know, wrote to us and managed to capture the entire essence of the person Meredith was. Her message, unsolicited but so appreciated, was so poignant that it made us cry. Here is what this American woman wrote about our daughter, which I am proud to publish.
Meredith was an exceptional young woman, who was intelligent, friendly and loving, beginning the adventure of a lifetime. She emerged into the independence of young adulthood with a remarkable ability to make good on all of the advantages that life had given her: a loving family, physical beauty and vitality, intelligence, grace and wit and a desire to excel.
Along with others, I have felt drawn to learn more about this extraordinary young woman, who did everything that she could, it seemed, to be happy, to achieve and to create goodwill among everyone that she encountered. By all accounts, she was conscientious and generous, possessing a grace and sense of responsibility unusual for her age, while retaining a youthful joy and spontaneity.
Over time, I became aware of another, deepening aspect of her story working through me. I thought about how beautifully Meredith moved through the world: her dedication to her studies and focus on future goals; her commitment to family and the value that she placed on all relationships. These were qualities that became a touchstone for me, qualities that I aspired to strengthen in myself. I felt drawn to her radiance as a guiding force for good in my own life.
Most of us will never enjoy, in such abundance, or with such seeming ease, the beauty, joy and success that Meredith possessed and achieved in her short life. But what Meredith knew, what Meredith was, can become a universal lesson. What Meredith, the woman and her life, can teach us, and has certainly taught me, is the value of moving in the world from a place of light and joy. Meredith has set an example, a standard that challenges and inspires us to live in the world differently. Every time that I think of her, I am reminded of this. For those of us who open ourselves to receiving the gift of her radiant beauty, she can serve as a source of inspiration, and a light toward which we can strive.
Upon reading this, I was overwhelmed. I wondered if this lady was clairvoyant, for she had somehow captured the essence of Meredith so perfectly. I could not have written anything better.
It is moments like this that make me believe that it is right that, as a family, we still vow to get justice for our Meredith – who, in death, has somehow changed the lives of so many people, without them having even known her. How these people are so perceptive about her, I do not know, but the fact that she has touched so many unknowns means that, in some way, she still goes on.
Archived in Concerning Meredith, Her memory, Her family
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Friday, December 26, 2014
Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #1 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede
Posted by Peter Quennell
Christmas in Milan where Rudy had an ambiguous encounter in a pre-school in October 2007
Our previous post showed the giant scale and surreal flavor, and the hard facts left out of the innuendo, of the crackpots of the Knox-Mellas campaign.
Innuendo will get them precisely nowhere. All the courts that have processed the case have warned about this, except for the hapless Judge Hellmann’s, and in March 2013 Cassation was especially sharp in warning that unless there is EVIDENCE to the contrary the hard facts presented to the panels of judges must be respected.
For evidentiary reasons exclusively, Rudy Guede has never been charged with breaking and entering. Guede got no breaks, ever, contrary to myriad claims.
The one questionable location where he was found was the nursery school in Milan. As he apparently used a key from one of the staff, any breakin trial would have been dead on arrival. No law required that he be detained. (He was however later charged with being in possession of stolen property, and just a few days ago his sentence was extended by 16 months.)
The previous post in this series showed how similar to the BACK BALCONY route to a forced break-in of Meredith’s house was the supposed route into the Perugia lawyers’ offices. It had nothing in common with Filomena’s window, contrary to myriad claims.
This post and the next in this series show how the evidentiary proof that it was Guede (and not someone with a grudge or a trial opponent) who broke into the Perugia lawyers’ office is ambiguous and contradictory. Some signs point away from Guede, not least that photocopies apparently made of legal documentation (the copier was on and copy paper missing) would have required the use of a car.
This post is on the testimony of the lawyer Brocchi (owner of the cellphone) and the third post is on the testimony of the lawyer Palazolli (owner of the Sony Vaio computer). Brocchi was quite talkative, despite his minor role, and so we will hold our highlights and interpretation for the next post.
The extensive translation of the difficult language here and in the post still to come was kindly provided by Miriam.
The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.
General Information: Paolo Brocchi born in Rome, March 2, 1968
GCM: Please proceed.
LM: Good Morning, lawyer Maori, for the defense of Sollecito.
PB: Good morning.
LM: It is an unnecessary question, but I must ask it. The first question is this: what profession do you hold?
LM: Where is your legal office?
PB: In via del Roscetto no.3 in Perugia.
LM: Did your office undergo a burglary in 2007, in October 2007?
LM: Can you tell us how this burglary took place, how the thieves got in, and what was taken?
PB: Certainly, the burglary was discovered by my colleague lawyer Palazzoli, the owner of the office, he told me about it on a Sunday afternoon, because the theft took place….. It was done between the night of 13th and 14th of October 2007, a night between Saturday and Sunday. The burglary was discovered by my colleague, the lawyer Palazzoli, on Sunday afternoon, because he entered the office to look for a professional file, and upon entering he discovered the burglary. The person or persons that entered inside the office, from what we were able to reconstruct together with members of the Squadra Mobile that intervened for us at the office, they entered through a window situated in the secretary’s office that was subjected to broken glass, the glass of this window was broken with the aid of a piece of porphyry, a big rock that we found there at the spot. The window was broken, then these persons or person turned the handle. The glass clearly was spread everywhere, because it was a rather thick glass. After which, on top of these pieces of glass we found our clothes. For the most part the glass was scattered on the floor and on top of the glass were our jackets, mine and my colleague’s Palazzoli, that had been hanging on the clothes hanger in the corridor right in front of the window.
LM: Excuse me if I interrupt you, to reconstruct the dynamics of the event exactly . It would seem that the 13th of October was a Saturday.
PB: From what I remember, yes.
LM: Your colleague had remained in the office until….........
PB: No, I stayed in the office. Saturday I remained in the office because I had a client on Saturday afternoon, that was something anomalous, but it was for an urgent discussion. I called for a meeting that Saturday morning, then he arrived in the afternoon, and I left the office at 8.30 pm that Saturday.
LM: 8.30 pm that Saturday and after, the following Sunday, the evening…...
PB: The day after, Sunday, I was called on the telephone by lawyer Palazzoli, who told me “Look somebody came into the office, I have already called the Carabinieri”, who then because of the jurisdiction of the old town center, as we found out, alerted the Squadra Mobile of the State Police.
LM: Does your office have an alarm?
PB: The office was fitted out with an alarm, but that evening it was not activated, because, as I reconstruct the event, it had just been installed. That evening I left at 8.30 pm. I remember perfectly that I did not activate the alarm system. The strange thing that I can highlight in connection here is that I noticed the alarm system the next day, when we entered, was not damaged, the bright light was functioning even if it was dis-activated, and the person or persons that entered did not damage the alarm, they only dis-activated the telephonic combination, thus with this they manifested a minimum confidence, a certain competence in the subject matter of alarms, of electronics, because to dis-activate a telephonic combination without damaging the alarm, I would not be capable, even being the owner, thus I would not have this competence.
LM: One other thing. You spoke then about a window that …..
PB: Yes, apparently
LM: Was that the only break in?
LM: Is it a window that gives onto the main street or onto a private court yard?
PB: No, this window gives out to a private court yard that is than protected from the public street by an exterior gate. So it is probable…. I don’t know if can be possible…. because close to that window there are other windows of other apartments, there are… there is a window that is about one meter from the balcony of my office, so everything is possible. But this person or persons if they came from the public street would have to open a gate that gives on private property and then, with the help of I don’t know which tools, climb up for three, four meters on a vertical wall to then arrive to the terrace ,where was located my office, where it is still located, first up to this window and then through this window enter inside my office, if this was the way in.
LM: However this break in took place in this window, three/four meters high.
PB: More or less
LM: Did you find a ladder close by?
LM: Did you find other tools?
PB: No. I remember that we inspected with the Squadra Mobile crew. I should say that the property below us has a door, an armored mesh and a particularly able person could have climbed up. Could have, I don’t know, this is just an assumption.
LM: Anyhow it was not easy to climb up.
PB: Absolutely not.
LM: Before, you spoke about this rock, this porphyry..
LM: Where was it found, inside or outside?
PB: Strangely, right on the little terrace, evidently the person or persons that entered with the help of this very heavy porphyry because a double glass had to be broken, it was not a thin glass, but it was that type of glass utilized mainly for thermal insulation, certainly not for security reasons, evidently it needed a heavy impact in order to somehow succeed in the intent, otherwise a small piece of rock would evidently have been sufficient.
LM: What was taken from inside the office?
PB: So, at first we noticed that the office was in a state of general disarray : all the archive was turned upside down, all the files of the offices were piled up in a heap. But from the first inventory that we did there at the moment, this was missing: a new computer belonging to the lawyer Palazzoli, a note book the brand of which I absolutely do not remember [actually a Sony], a USB flash drive used to save data, a portable Canon printer which was mine, and then a few days later, when I was contacted by a crew of the Police of Milan, agent Spesi Rita, I realized that they had also stolen a cell phone, that anyhow was not working properly, that furthermore was included in the process of investigation (SDI) of the Police Force. Therefore there was also this cell phone, that beforehad I had quit using and didn’t even remember about, that was in the drawer of my desk.
LM: Lawyer, were money and checks stolen too?
PB: No, there were none.
LM: On this I have to challenge, that you on the complaint of the burglary indicated also checks from the Banca delle Marche [were stolen].
PB: No I will explain the reasoning. Those checks at the first moment appeared to us not present. There was a block that was finished, but then after checking with the bank, those checks had been annulled, so in reality they hadn’t been stolen. The verification that we did at the bank the Monday after, highlighted that I had annulled those checks and the bank had trace of it, so nobody took anything.
LM: Another thing before speaking of the recovery of the computer, you told us of the small havoc done inside your office.
LM: You spoke of the ransacking, in addition to, as you said before, of the broken glass with your clothes on top. Was also the photo-copy machine utilized?
PB: I am not able to say that. It was easily usable because it was not code protected, but this I am not able to…
LM: Did they turn on the heating?
PB: Yes, when we entered the heating system was on, as matter of fact there was a torrid temperature inside the office, because it remained on, I think, more than 24 hours, in a month, October, that was not particularly cold. Furthermore I noticed that this person or persons that entered inside my office even made use of drinks that were in a cabinet, leaving…. they even opened the cabinet of the first aid meticulously looking for everything that was inside, but more than anything else disinfectants and blood pressure gauge, this type of things, but they really did an accurate selection of the material present inside the first aid cabinet.
LM: Returning to the computer, the property of…..
PB: Of the lawyer Palazzoli, yes.
LM: Was it discovered at a later date?
PB: Well, we never saw it. I say, that the 27th of October 2007, around noon, it was a Saturday, I was in the office in a anomalous way because generally I had the first 3 hours at school and the last 3 hours are normally always….. making 6 hours Saturday morning. But that morning I left early and I was in the office. A telephone call came in on the land line, a call from the police station Venezia Garibaldi from the Milan Police, the agent Rita Spesi, who told me that they had found an individual, of whom I was not given general information, nor the gender, I was only told that certain goods were on this individual, that if I remember correctly they were found inside a kindergarten, a school, an institute of learning, and in this instance, among goods that were in possession of this individual or better held by this individual, this person also had this cellphone. Turning it on, my name appeared, and from here the police officer by way of a search of the SDI system of investigation, saw my complaint of theft of October 15th 2007, and so she asked me if proveably those goods were my property.
LM: Therefore the telephone and computer?
PB: Telephone without doubt, the computer was described to me, it was not mine, I manifested doubts in the sense that…... well I had never seen it, or used it, because it was my colleague’s, who had just bought it, a short time ago he had just bought it. On the computer I manifested doubts. On the telephone, on the telephone however by way of the names of the address menu, the clients and friends of mine, I was able to confirm with certainty that at least my SIM card was on that phone.
LM: It is a Sony model…..no excuse me…..
PB: No, the telephone is a Nokia.
LM: It is a Nokia, model 6310.
PB: Nokia, for sure, the model now not….....
LM: Like this one, so to….....
PB: Yes, exactly.
PB: It is the same color, if I remember correctly.
LM: However this is not yours, it is mine.
PB: No, fine.
LM: Was the name of the person that was stopped given to you by agent Rita Spessi?
PB: No, absolutely not.
LM: Did you then find out the name of this person?
PB: No, this happened on October 27th when the police officer calls me. All ends with this telephone call in which I stated I recognized at least the cell phone. On October 29th, a Monday afternoon I am in the office and on the phone with some clients. October 29th, I may be mistaken, but I believe I mentally reconstructed the facts in this way, I did not take notes, I must be honest. October 29th my attention - I was on the phone - my attention was drawn by a commotion in the lobby, the common reception area outside the office. I hear voices in the corridor, I am still on the phone, afterward I get closer to see that an assistant of the office, Dott. Luciano Morini, is speaking with someone. Before I can realize what is happening, he tells me “Look Paolo, here is a person that says that he was found with merchandise, goods, objects that were reported stolen by you and your colleague Palazzoli, but that he bought them in Milan close to the train station in central Milan”. At which I go to the corridor and I see, at the entrance of the lobby, a colored person that has a basketball in his hands and is dressed in sport clothes. These things surprised me, because we were at the end of October and it was kind of cold, it struck me quite a bit seeing this person in sport clothes, a tank top like those used by basketball players, and a basketball. I recognized the basketball because I played basketball for twenty years, so I know how to recognize one. At that point I say: “Look I don’t know who you are”, he answered: “I don’t know who you are either”, I replied: “ Look we are only interested in having our belongings returned” and that was all. At that point I went back to the office. I don’t know if the person stayed in front of the office, and anyhow I close the door and there it ended. A few weeks later, may be a month later, I’m not sure, some time later I see on the newspapers photographs of a person that was associated with the matters of this proceeding, from which I recognized the person that presented himself that afternoon on October 29th, before the matters that brought to this proceeding, at the office to say that, yes he was found at that location in Milan by the crew of the Squadra Mobile, of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, that he did not…. tell me but tell to my colleague Morini, that he did not take anything from anybody but those things he obtained by purchasing them.
LM: Who is this person? Can you give us a name and surname?
PB: Doctor Luciano Morini that…....
LM: No, no, I say…....you told us of your assistant. You said that this colored person that you did not know, that you saw for the first time October 29th 2007, then at a later stage had the means to see by the newspaper who it was.
LM: Can you give us the name and surname of this person?
PB: I believe that I recognized in that person this Mr. Rudy Hermann Guede, that is not a defendant in this proceeding, but is involved in the other one…..
LM: Always in reference to October 29th , at the moment this person came to your studio, you said : “This person arrived , and spoke with my colleague Morini”.
LM: And he told you: “I do not know you”. These are the exact words that you said before?
PB: When I was on the landing, I said….....
LM: That which Guede said to you.
PB: That which I said to him, because I spoke first and said: “Look I do not know who you are”. He responds: “ I don’t know who you are either”, furthermore in a perfect Italian, with a Perugian accent, something that surprised me, because been a person…… but everything is possible. To which I told him, “look let’s cut it short we are not interested. We are only interested in getting our goods back ”, end.
LM: But naturally you knew the subject of the discussion between….
PB: Because a moment before Dr. Morini related to me “look there is a person outside that says that he bought goods that you and your colleague reported stolen, he bought them in Milan”.
LM: One last thing. Concerning the computer of your colleague Pazzoli, do you remember the brand, the model?
PB: No, I’m not able to answer.
LM: Thank you.
GCM: Please proceed.
LG: Excuse me Lawyer Brocchi, I am Ghirga. Your office is on which street?
PB: Via del Roscetto, 3.
LG: First…. You already told us the height, can you repeat it?
PB: The office is on a raised floor, technically, it is not a first floor, is a raised ground floor, that means that from the entrance of the building you go up ten steps to enter the condominium, then on the left end side there is the entrance to the office.
LG: An what about this terrace window?
PB: It is on the other side of the building.
LG: From the outside how much can it…
PB: Let’s say that are a few meters, may be three, four, but I am not able …..because I never measured it.
LG: But you were speaking of an access from another street that intersects Via del Roscetto?
PB: Exactly there is an intersection, Via del Lupo, going downhill.
LG: Via del Lupo
PB: Via del Lupo, if I remember correctly, it goes down till you reach a dead end, it comes to a courtyard behind the building and then there is another courtyard that is private property enclosed by a gate. If these person or persons entered through here they would have had to open that gate to get inside to what I described before to get into the office.
LG: Thank you, I wanted to clarify that.
GCM: Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.
PM: (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
PB: In effect I don’t know. Seeing as I was alerted to these happenings by agent Rita Spessi of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, sometime later, together with my colleague, we filed an application for the repossession of these goods at the central penal record office of the Procura di Milano, via Manara. After 24 hours an agent, an operator, or a clerk of the central penal record office, calls me on the telephone and tells me: “Look, Lawyer, we saw the application of release, but to us form 21, does not result in any procedure”. To which I said: “How can it be that no form 21 procedure shows up ? The agents would have done a CNR, or not? At least by the end of their duty, having found a person in possession of stolen goods should have reported…”, “Look , there are no results of this procedure”
PM: (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
PB: Form 21, subject known, in the sense that in the Procura della Repubblica there are various forms, 21, 45, 44, relative documents, etc.
PM: (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
PB: No, I looked for it as a form 21, but even then they…..I even asked: “Be patient, I will look for it on the other forms”, to which he said: “We cannot find it”. Given that some time had passed this caused me some surprise. That’s it.
PM: But they notified you (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
PB: No, never.
PM: So then this procedure in any case is not a charge (inaudible - outside the microphone)?
PB: This I don’t know. I only say that the application of release, I filed it, and that the central penal record office of the Procura called telling me that they could not find the application filed by me and my colleague as the offended parties and no other relative documents regarding this procedure.
PM: When did this happen?
PB: 2008, last year in the spring, months and months after…..
PM: Did you by any chance verify if there was (unintelligible audible-outside the microphone)?
PB: No, no.
PM: (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
LM: I oppose this question by the Public Prosecutor because I would like to make it known to the court that we know that there is a penal proceeding, the Public Prosecutor D’Amico in Milan even has it. We asked for the acquisition, and we have right here……
GCM: Excuse me lawyer, what is the motive for your opposition?
LM: Because the Public Prosecutor is asking if there is a penal proceeding, when in reality……
GMC: Excuse me Lawyer, but the Public prosecutor is asking questions to the witness on what he knows. That if evidences comes out from other sources, they will be acquired. The objection is rejected. Please Public Prosecutor.
PM: (unintelligible - no microphone) ?
PB: Yes, it is a palace of the 15 century
PM: Do you know, by chance, which was the path (unintelligible – no microphone)?
PB: I can presume it, having found the glasses in the inside, that….
Note: in this moment the PM microphone is turned on
PM: Therefore before I could not be heard.
GCM: The answers have been…
PM: The answers were…
PM: I understand.
GCM: The other questions… excuse me, the Public Prosecutor was asking if something to you results…
PM: If there is a proceeding, and you say there is not one.
PB: No, I don’t say there isn’t one, It does not result from me because the the central penal record office of the Procura di Milan, calling me on the telephone, referred to me the day after, that up to that date there was no registration. Now, everything is possible, that they it registered it later, I don’t know.
PM: You did not have any news, in any case…
PB: Never, never.
PM: Did you receive an extension of the investigation?
PB: Never, never.
PM: Let’s go back to the position of this… then this office is on the ground floor…
PB: Raised ground floor.
PM: … raised ground floor. From what point do you arrive?
PB: On via della Roscetto there are 2 windows on the raised ground floor, on the street front, that are the rooms of my colleague Palazzoli and mine. Then there are…
PM: What is the distance from the ground?
PB: From via della Roscetto it is minimum 3 meters, yes 3 meters, because I am tall… well it’s 2 or 3 meters. Then going down via del Lupo, there is a slope, until this public courtyard, because via del Lupo is a dead end. Thereafter, from this side the height increases, let’s say, it increases slightly after this small slope, therefore the ground goes up and there is an internal court yard that is accessible from the public courtyard through an iron gate. Going through this gate you arrive at this private courtyard, than there is an armored door with a mesh, so that one with the mesh is on the ground floor, looking up you see this balcony, this little terrace that is outside is my office, that is situated ….. more than three meters, between three and four meters from ground level.
PM: So, this door with the mesh is a door and not a window.
PB: No, it is a door
PM: Therefore all the way to the ground.
PM: How high is it?
PB: More than two meters for sure.
PM: So after this door, there is another meter to arrive… or a meter and a half, two meters?
PB: I presume at least another meter.
PM: Another meter to arrive to the balcony.
PB: At least.
PM: Where was the porphyry rock found?
PB: On the balcony, on the outside.
PM: You said that inside … can you describe what you found? How was the…..
PB: The situation.
PM: So the rock was outside.
PB: The rock was outside, the glass was inside, the glass of the window in part on the corridor and they were covered with our clothes, mine and those of Lawyer Palazzoli, placed right on top of the glass.
PM: They were on top of the glass.
PB: On top of the glass, and the thing surprised us, “maybe” we said “to not make noise passing over them”, I don’t know, it is only a supposition. After which they were in the room of the photocopier other pieces of fragments of glass always coming from that window, the only one broken, they were situated on a small rug that was right in front of a workplace, a computer. Then right in front of this there were drinks, real close, open, partially consumed. Then we went into the other room, where the filing cabinet is, it was completely turned upside down. All the drawers were open, all the files were taken and the papers all mixed up on the floor, there were a mountain of paper, an entire archive practically mixed up, that many things we were never able to find, some later, some first, others later. Therefore this was the situation. Then inside my room, on my desk, there was a leather suitcase belonging to me, on top of this suitcase in a very orderly way were placed some screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, facing the window, all perfectly aligned and facing the window. Even here all the papers in disarray. A chest of drawers was opened, inside were files, all the records of the law practice funds, all the annual quotas of the inscriptions, all things that we found eventually with a lot of effort, mixed one on top of the other. Even here was another filing cabinet of my dossiers that was opened and all the papers mixed up. Then inside of the administrative office there were, there are all the folders with the contracts of the intensity bills, with the deed to the office, all upside down. There was the placement of the [printer] that was… let’s say there had been activity, because we found receipts scattered close to the machine, so there had been…at the least this person or persons had gone to satisfy themselves of what that instrument was. This was…
PM: Listen, was the cell phone given back to you?
PB: No, I asked for the release, I deposited …
PM: So it is in possession of the police or the procura?
PB: Office of the body of evidence, I presume.
PM: Fine. I don’t have any other questions.
GCM: Questions from the civil parties? None, President. The defense can complete it’s questioning.
LM: I would like to deposit a record that naturally is in the dossier of the Public Prosecutor and on the basis of this record then ask questions of the witness.
GCM: Maybe put this record at…
LM: It’s about.. this can be useful to the lawyer because the number of the penal procedure that charges Rudy Guede is indicated and a warning effected on February 1, 2008 by the Procuratore della Repubblica, the assistant D’Amico, that is carrying out the investigation with regard on Rudy Guede for the crime of theft, receiving stolen good, and for the crime of carrying an illegal weapon, law 110 of ’75. This information was also given to the Procura della Repubblica of Peruga, to Dr Mignini, with communication via fax.
PB: When was the procedure registered? Ah excuse me,I can’t…
GCM: Let’s see the document. So the parties have seen this document?
LM: There is an error in the writing of Dr Mignini (“Dr Minnini”) but it can be understood that it is his fax and and it was even addressed …
GCM: Even the defense of Knox knows this…?
LG: (unintelligible no microphone) ?
GCM: The question in relation to this document?
LM: The question is this, Doctor D’ Amico makes aware that all of the confiscated material and thus the computer and the Nokia cell phone, had already on the date of February 1, 2008, prior to February 1, 2008, been passed on to the police station of Perugia.
PB: So it is in Perugia.
LM: The question is this, I would like to know, did you request in the first days of the year 2008 to the police station the return of…
PB: No, I did so to the Procura di Milan, believing that it was held in the body of evidence of the Procura di Milano, because those people told me they were found in Milan and that it was probable evidence of a criminal activity. Therefore, I thought to make a request of release to the Procura di Milano.
LM: Reading the letter sent by Dr D’ Amico , for the Procura di Perugia, both the computer and the cell phone are indicated. Can you recognize the computer, property of your colleague?
PB: I say that the cell phone without doubt was a Nokia; the 27th of October 2007 is true because it was Saturday; the Sony Vaio I cannot be certain of the brand, because I absolutely don’t remember it, because it was not even mine, , therefore I don’t know. The attempted aggravated theft, 56, 624, 625, 648…
GCM: Only on the objects.
PB: Yes. No, the objects… I can only say about the cell phone.
GCM: So only the cell phone.
LM: I ask for the acquisition so as to demonstrate that, indeed, there is a penal proceeding.
GCM: Agreed. Other questions?
PB: So it is pending in Milan. The strange thing that I can say to the president is this… I see that it includes the form 21/2007. So I don’t understand why the Penal Central Record Office told me that it was not pending…
GCM: Excuse me layer, let’s go back to the testimonial questioning, therefore on the circumstantial facts.
LM: Let’s go back to the reconstruction of the entry path in your office by the thief. To the question by the Public prosecutor you explained, as you explained to me, that this window is at the height of about 3/4meters from the ground floor.
PB: From via del Lupo, yes
LM: Then you refer to a door, an iron door which is close…
PB: Yes, I confirm.
LM: And this iron door at what distance is from the window?
PB: It is perpendicular just under the window.
LM: So therefore there were, let’s say, coarseness on this door that could allow an eventual…
PB: A fit person, not I; a fit person, not someone like me, could have climbed up with the risk of plummeting to the ground, because there is clearly no protection, there is nothing but a vertical wall.
LM: I do understand. One last thing, the window from which the thieves entered as you indicated, is higher than the other windows?
PB: No, because the office is on the same level and it is exactly…you mean compared to the office or as per the window height?
LM: Compared to the street level and the other windows.
PB: No, at this point, when you get to little terrace you are practically at the level of the other windows.
LM: One last thing, when that man on the 29th of October that man, Rudy Guede, came to your office…
PB: No, not in the office, he was on…
LM: On the landing?
PB: Not even, he was in the entrance… on the steps between the street and the entrance of the office…part of the lobby. He did not enter the office.
LM: His intention was to come inside the office, to come to you?
PB: I don’t know. As a matter of fact he didn’t know who I was, because, when he rang he rang on Legal Office, because evidently somebody had told him that those goods had been… but I repeat, I did not speak with him, therefore no… they are all things told to me by Dott. Morini, so they are not of my direct knowledge.
LM: Thank you.
GCM: When did this take place?
PB: This happened Monday afternoon around 5, late afternoon on October 29th 2007
GCM: So how many days after the theft?
PB: The theft was October 13th, this on the 29th .
GCM: If there no other question the witness is excused.
There are no other questions; the witness is dismissed.
GCM: The communication from the Procura della Repubblica, Tribunale Ordinario of Milano dated the 1st of February 2008 is acquired in order to be used. Who is next?
LM: Lawyer Palazzoli
Archived in Officially involved, Rudy Guede, Public evidence, The witnesses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The many hoaxes, The Guede hoax
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Calling Planet Knox: Maybe Chris Mellas And Bruce Fischer Need To Rein In Their Crackpot Brigade #1
Posted by Peter Quennell
Here is some chest-thumping babble on the reliably dishonest website GroundReport by one of Chris Mellas’s crackpot gang, the singularly foolish crackpot Jay.
Today I examine the role of the Italian judiciary in the framing of Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher, the skillful way Giuliano Mignini used the Italian media to hold the entire judiciary hostage to his career ambitions, and why I believe the Italian judiciary may finally be ready to fully exonerate Amanda and Raffaelle of any involvement in the murder of Ms Kercher.
This case has been out of the hands of Dr Mignini for over five years - if it ever was fully in his hands. He initially took a decidedly mild stance against Knox, who he thought, through drugs and mental problems, had got in over her head and Meredith’s death was not planned.
In fact from the day after Knox’s arrest the no-nonsense Judge Claudi Matteini led the case all the way to trial. Judge Matteini got all her information directly from THE POLICE. In light of hard evidence and a psychological report she insisted a potentially dangerous Knox be kept locked up. In April 2008 Cassation very strongly agreed.
Pretty bizarre to see a Mignini witchunt in this, or a judiciary about to reverse itself on years of meticulous work.
At the time of the Meredith Kercher murder on November 1, 2007, the Italian judiciary was was locked in a struggle with the Perugian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Mignini was facing charges for abuse of office, relating to his ‘Narducci Trail’ investigations.
This is more chest-thumping babble by the crackpot Jay. Dr Mignini rarely even talks to the media and he is regarded by good reporters as especially careful with the truth. The Italian justice system is not only one of the world’s most careful and most pro-victim-rights, it is very popular and trusted in Italy second only to the President who is also the Justice System’s top dog.
Dr Mignini’s past caseload as a prosecutor was quite mundane as Kermit’s meticulous and powerful Powerpoint showed. Perugia and its region of Umbria are among the most prosperous and least crime-ridden in Italy toward which the very popular Dr Mignini contributed a great deal over the years.
Dr Mignini rose to his present seniority of Deputy Prosecutor-General in Umbria because on his merits he consistently excelled. He is often on national TV (among other things ridiculing conspiracy theories and the too-ready blaming of crimes on satanism) and has high-level professional friends and supporters throughout Italy, not least in Florence where he has known senior colleagues since law-school.
Mignini and his colleague Michele Giutarri had both been indicted after Mignini had Mario Spezi arrested and briefly imprisoned, in connection with the Monster of Florence crimes. Spezi was released just three weeks later, after an intense media campaign by his writing partner the American author Douglas Preston.
But rather than back off of his satanic sect Narducci trail investigations, Mignini instead plowed ahead with still more satanic sect cases. At the time of the Kercher murder, Mignini had a case unravelling in Florence against a pharmacist and friend of Spezi’s named Francesco Calamandrei.
When the Calamandrei case was dismissed in 2008, Mignini pressed his next ‘satanic sect’ case against the 20 innocent people in Florence, including Spezi and members of the Narducci family. Mignini had also tried at first to link the Kercher murder to “rites related to Halloween”.... It is these two convictions, these two false convictions, which the Italian judiciary is in my view trying so desperately to protect.
More chest-thumping babble by the crackpot Jay. The vast majority of Italians believe the truth of the Monster of Florence case is as set out in the exceptional book Il Mostro by Michele Giuttari in which there really was and is a shadowy group. It was for proving this that a desperate Florence prosecutor took Mignini and Giuttari to court.
We have shown repeatedly that the fading fiction-writer Preston often does not tell the truth. After his near-arrest for falsifying evidence to seek to make Spezi and himself world-famous for “solving” the MOF case, Preston took off out of Italy like a terrified rabbit and has tried to prove he actually has a backbone ever since.
Italians know that in his one brief formal interview with Dr Mignini Preston melted down. He blubbered and wailed while he lied and lied, and was considered so incompetent and naive he might as well be given a break.
Here from a public document arguing for custody of Mario Spezi (the “brains” of the two, if that is not a stretch) is a conversation between the publicity-hungry Inspector Clouseaus (through public sources we have also obtained the tapes) thinking here that they have made the cops look like foolish dupes:
[The word “passeggiata” (leisure walk) in the context of these statements makes little sense literally; in fact, it is a code word by which both Spezi and Preston mean the police visit to Villa Bibbiani that Spezi and Zaccaria are plotting to trigger by way of a letter they wrote reporting false incriminating testimony, and by way of which they expect the police to find the false pieces of evidence contained in six boxes that they are going to place in the villa. Preston is aware of this intended fraud, and he is happy about it, because he presumably expects that from such an operation their “Sardinian track” theory would gain visibility as a media scoop and he and Spezi would become world-famous from it, sell a lot of books, and make a lot of money out of it. So “passeggiata” is really the police eating their bait, going there, and finding their forged false evidence in the house.]
In conversation n. 17077 of Feb. 18. 2006, PRESTON calls Mr. SPEZI, who informs him, expressing satisfaction:
“We have done everything.. I mean… we went and we did it… you know my telephone is ugly [sic]…”
and Mr. PRESTON, still in a chummy and allusive tone:
“Oh yes, I understand perfectly, yes, hey… the… the… the ‘passeggiata’ isn’t that… isn’t that… we have … someone has done the ‘passeggiata’?”
and the journalist pointed out, interspersing that with chuckles of satisfaction: “No, no, no, but… they are going to do it!!”
and Mr. PRESTON: “Yes, yes… but… isn’t that interesting wow….”
and Mr. SPEZI: “…. We told them to do it !”
At PRESTON’s question about when they would be going to do the ‘passeggiata’, SPEZI answers: “Well… I don’t know but I hope soon” and at a further question by PRESTON, he says: “In.. within.. within the 24th”
SPEZI again answers: “I hope yes”, laughing.
Then, Mr. Preston adds: “It’s fantastic!... Oh the end maybe, I don’t know but…”
and Mr. SPEZI: “That would be beautiful!” still sniggering, and Mr. PRESTON agrees enthusiastically.
After his charging, in conversation n. 17231, Mr. PRESTON calls SPEZI and tells him that they need to speak about it in person.
The criminal operation stands out even more egregiously in conversation n. 16950 of February 13. 2006, between Mr. SPEZI, the deviser of the plot, and his right hand man Nando Zaccaria; and when RUOCCO gives Mr. SPEZI “information” about the name of the person who allegedly attended the villa, Mr. SPEZI himself calls Mr. ZACCARIA, and, while making him understand that Mr. Gianfranco Bernabei had already been contacted and the report-complaint had been given to him, he adds: “So he called me.. not him Gianfranco… the other guy, we have an appointment at 2:30pm, because he knew about the name”; and ZACCARIA cries out: “Beautifullllll!” with satisfaction.
In conversation n. 17095 of February 19. 2006, Mr. SPEZI calls Mr. ZACCARIA again and urges him to explain him (to the Flying Squad chief) thoroughly about the “six small boxes”, that is to convince him that the objects are related to the murders. Mr. ZACCARIA tells him that he already explained it to the other guy and says: “If they go there they must look very well.. at everything…”, and Mr. SPEZI: “What I mean to say… if he finds a hairpin this doesn’t mean anything to him…”, making him understand that he will need to “work” him out.
Mr. ZACCARIA adds in the end: “Then I told him, well while we go… when it’s… when you are going… he says anyway he advises us”. Mr. SPEZI says he agrees and Mr. ZACCARIA reassures him saying he [Bernabei] doesn’t know anything about the case and never dealt with it, then he complains about that the nowadays officers are incapable of doing their job. Thus the chief of the Flying Squad, Dr. Fillippo Ferri, will need to be led by “malicious” Mr. ZACCARIA. Then Mr. SPEZI asks Mr. ZACCARIA to advise him when he goes there (to the Villa). Anyway we remand to the unequivocal content of the conversation, at pages 6, 7 and 8 of request n. 114/06 G.I.De.S.
Back to analysing more from the crackpot Jay.
And Mignini, by continuing to file ‘Narducci trail’ cases, and invoking the same ‘satanic sect’ conspiracy theory, was holding the judiciary hostage to his unprincipled career ambitions. The challenge Mignini presented to the Italian judiciary, was how to stop Mignini’s witch hunt of innocent citizens, without also discrediting the ‘satanic sect’ convictions of Vanni and Lotti in the Monster of Florence cases.
The task of acting as a kind of judicial baby-sitter to Mignini, fell to Judge Paolo Micheli [who] presided over Rudy Guede’s fast track trial in 2008 – which was also the pre-trial hearing against Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito, to certify the case against them as warranting a full trial. The challenge for Judge Micheli, was to walk Mignini back from the edge, but without so completely devastating Mignini’s reputation, that the public might begin to question the validity of the satanic sect theory which had been used in the convictions in the Monster of Florence murders.
This is 180 degrees wrong. Judge Micheli is believed to have been leaned on but ultimately the courts at all levels came round to confirming that Dr Mignini had no choice but to act and he acted quite right. The notion of a satanic sect goes way back and Dr Mignini was more doubtful about it than most.
Judge Micheli’s ruling was scathingly overturned by Cassation, and some of the cases against malicious meddlers were resumed. Spezi has been in court after court - just a couple of weeks ago, he lost yet another defamation case brought by Michele Giuttari.
But Judge Micheli allowed Mignini’s case against Knox and Sollecito to go forward to trial. Had Judge Micheli simply done his job, properly heard and investigated Mignini’s case, the only fair outcome would be full dismissal. What Mignini has pulled off is a kind of blackmail. Mignini wanted his promotion at all costs, and was willing to convict and imprison dozens of innocent people to get his way. Amanda and Raffaele are only two of Mignini’s more recent victims, but there are scores of damaged lives left behind in the wake of Mignini’s lust for career advancement.
The crackpot Jay has defamed American prosecutors too? Probably not. Typical of the cowardly Mellas-Fischer gang he writes in English in the United States in a language and from a distance which makes him feel safe. Dr Mignini has zero record of overzealous or wrongful prosecution, and very, very few cases reversed on appeal, and nobody at all in Italy would buy this defamatory crap.
After Michelli dismissed the case against the Florence 20 in 2010, Judge Hellman’s appeal court fully acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito for any involvement if the murder of Meredith Kercher in October of 2011.
Hello?! Hellman’s verdict was ANNULED for terrible law, and for illegally trying to repeat the complete trial (absent the witnesses, who he ridiculed) instead of sticking to the few points that had been appealed. Cassation annuls very, very few cases, and reversing this corrupted overstretch was universally seen in Italian law circles as right.
Extraordinarily, Judge Micheli waited over one year to release his motivation report, only doing so about two months after the Hellman court released its motivation report in favor of acquittal. Motivation reports in Italy, are normally due in 90 days. I believe Judge Micheli’s delay in releasing his motivation report, was to allow him the opportunity to conform his report to that of Judge Hellman.
Good grief. What is the crackpot Jay on about here? Judge Micheli was leaned on, and he knew he had got the law wrong, and he presumably expected to be overturned - which Cassation very scathingly did. No wonder his homework was not handed in on time; he feared losing his job and serving time.
The Narducci trail case of the Florence 20, was sent back down absent the element of criminal conspiracy among the defendants. In essence, the case was rigged for dismissal, a fact confirmed by Michele Giutarri in a magazine interview earlier this year. Whereas the case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito was rigged for conviction.
A previous cassation ruling against Rudy Guede in his fast track process where Guede’s defense waived the right to challenge the evidence, determined that Guede had killed Meredith along with others. Cassation ruled that Knox and Sollecito’s trials should be bound by that finding, which is grossly and patently unfair.
There was nothing unfair. This is a foolish meme. Cassation simply ruled that two others had been involved and that had been proved. It was proved in the 1/4 of the trial that was held behind closed doors where two recreations connected all the dots of the vicious 15-minute taunting attack on Meredith. Both defenses without argument accepted this.
As irrational as the cassation ruling overturning the Hellman acquittal may seem, there may be a deeper reason behind it. In an article from CBS news earlier this year, Doug Longhini writes: “Following the verdict, judge Hellmann didn’t pull punches. He declared: “the evidence was nonsense.” Suddenly, several prosecutors and judges became the targets of criticism claiming they had mishandled the case from the beginning.” ...
For his part, Berlusconi and his party were at war with Italy’s prosecutors and judges. The Prime Minister was trying to reign in their investigative powers. Prosecutors, for their part, were trying to put Berlusconi in jail.” Seen in this light, the court of cassation reversing the acquittal of judge Hellman is not an act of judicial wisdom, but one of self preservation. To avert a political investigation among their own members, Italy’s court of cassation had to reverse Judge Hellman’s acquittal.
The addled Doug Longhini is consistently out to lunch both on the excellent Italian system and the Perugia case as have been the entire CBS team - no wonder they have said very little for several years.
The courts at all points have simply done the right thing and public opinion has been very solidly behind them. Almost every Italian knows that RS and AK carried out the attack. The courts are not in self-preservation and charges against the toothless Berlusconi still stand.
One can sense the political pendulum swinging first in favor of conviction, then back towards acquittal, then back again towards conviction. And events that unfolded just this year, cause me to believe that the Italian judicial-political pendulum is once again swinging back in favor of acquittal. Giuliano Mignini has received his promotion. In his new role, he will never again prosecute a case or lead an investigation, he is only allowed to sit with other judges on appeals courts. So the judiciary can be confidant there will be no more Mignini led witch hunts.
Only recently in the past few weeks, the last of the criminal charges against Mignini have been allowed to languish, due to statute of limitations. So Mignini is out of legal jeopardy. Despite the fact that the only trial on the merits resulted in a conviction and jail sentences for both Mignini and Giutarri, neither will be going to jail, or being held accountable for the crimes they were found to have committed at their first level trial. In the end, it may be said that the Italian judiciary found it easier to promote Mignini, then to jail him
More babble. Dr Mignini was NEVER in legal jeopardy as everyone in Perugia knew - a judge had signed the wiretap of the prosecutor who unwittingly confirmed a Florence cabal and Dr Mignini and his boss and all his colleagues KNEW he would overturn the spurious conviction on appeal.
Dr Mignini did overturn the verdict in Florence on appeal - the appeal judge’s ruling was the hardest-line “there is no case” - and as with ex-Judge Hellmann, both the rogue prosecutor and the rogue trial judge are now out.
Dr Mignini commendably kept pushing back and he won and won and won against the malicious meddlers in the MOF case. On 3 December the great reporter Andrea Vogt posted this:
Those following the side trials that have spun off or become entangled in the Amanda Knox trial might be interested to know that the now infamous and often-cited abuse of office investigation against Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, which once made such big headlines in the U.S. and UK media, has officially resulted in no charges, and the investigation has been closed.
An initial conviction stemming from 2006 wiretaps and the Monster of Florence investigation was overturned and annulled in Florence on appeal [in 2011]. The court ordered that the case be transferred to Turin for any future investigation. Earlier this year he was acquitted of nearly all the accusations. The Turin court on Tuesday chose to shelve the last remaining question regarding the wiretapping of a La Stampa journalist earlier this week, ruling it was time barred.
The court’s ruling finally settles the long debated question of Mignini’s record: He has no abuse of office conviction, and there is no longer any active investigation into such allegations.
The other protagonist, Mario Spezi, on the other hand, still has quite a few problems on his hands. His 2006 arrest eventually resulted in the high court (cassation) ruling No. 865/2013 deeming that the following crimes occurred: aggravated interfering with public investigation from Febuary 2004 to summer 2006, aggravated attempted judicial fraud between February and May 2004 and aggravated slander and defamation for naming Antonio Vinci as linked to the Monster of Florence homicides in 2006.
For this last charge, Spezi could be held liable in civil court. But he will never be sentenced for any of these crimes, because after the cassation sent it back down for trial at the appeal level, the appeals court in Perugia shelved the case, ruling that the statute of limitations had passed for any further prosecution. And once again, true justice grinds to a halt, caught up in the gears of Italy’s slow and messy system.
In the meantime, Spezi’s faulty thesis on the Monster of Florence case has landed him in court in several other jurisdictions, where ex-Florence homicide cop Michele Giuttari has been pressing forward with slander and defamation charges related to accusations made about him in his now discredited Monster of Florence yarn that Spezi and his American co-author, Douglas Preston made into a bestseller, pinning the blame on an innocent man in the process. [Bold added here]
And so the plot thickens. Giuliano Mignini was made into a convenient media villain when a high-profile American was being tried across the courtroom from him . . . on trumped up allegations that have since fallen unceremoniously to the wayside. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who Mignini initially prosecuted, await the decision of their final appeal before the court of cassation in March 2015.
Back to analysing more from the crackpot Jay.
In short and to sum things up: Mignini has gotten his promotion which he valued above the liberty of the innocent; Mignini’s Narducci Trail investigations are over for good; the Monster of Florence convictions against Vanni and Lotti claiming their participation in a non-existent satanic sect are safely in the past; and the war between the Italian judiciary and Burlesconi is in a state of a truce.
For all of these reasons, I believe the pendulum of Italian politics has again swung in the direction of acquittal, and the Italian judiciary is once again in a position to finally recognize, and exonerate, Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito.
It may be a good idea for the crackpot Jay to not hold his breath on this. Cassation and the Florence appeal court have been the most hardline on this. And it was Judge Matteini with the police not Dr Mignini who drove the case forward in 2007 and 2008. As explained above, Dr Mignini had almost no guiding hand, and on 17 December 2007 gave Knox a real break. A shot to get herself off - which she herself tanked.
Prior to that long conversation with Knox on 17 December at her request, where Dr Mignini played eminently fair and she had to be stopped as she was incriminating herself, they had barely spoken any words. Once briefly at the house on the day of the crime, once briefly when Knox was shown the knives, and once briefly when Dr Mignini presided over the reading of her rights on 6 Nov. That was it. From the post directly below, see also this:
In a move serially misinterpreted by the dimwits of the Knox brigade, the prosecution, suspecting she was both mixed up and high on hard drugs, in effect offered Knox and her team a way to a lesser count, when they said that the murder could have been a taunting attack which spun out of control.
As explained near the top here, from 7 November it was Judge Matteini, not Dr Mignini, in the saddle, and she got all of her information for her various reports directly from the cops. Prior to the Guede and Knox/Sollecito trials Dr Mignini did not guide the process, impossible though that seems for the Mellas/Fischer crackpots to believe.
These facts, and in conjunction with the ECHR soon to take up the conviction of Ms. Knox for Calumnia in the European Court of Human Rights, provides the Italian Court of Cassation, in March of 2015 when they hear the appeal from conviction of Knox and Sollecito, with the opportunity and incentive to quietly discharge the case, and reinstate the verdict of Judge Hellman, finding that Knox and Sollecito are innocent of any involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and innocent of the crime of ‘staging a crime scene’ because the crime does not exist.
Reinstate Judge Hellmann?! He is being investigated for his suspect role in bending the 2011 appeal right now! Again, it may be a good idea for the crackpot Jay to not hold his breath on this.
The appeal to the ECHR in Strasbourg is dead in the water because Knox herself made up all the claims of the supposed violations of her human rights. She has ZERO case. Read this series here.
By the way, for his wild defamations and his contempt of court, Crackpot Jay opens himself to the exact-same charges Knox and Sollecito and Knox’s parents and Sforza all still face.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, More sockpuppets, The many hoaxes, Italian justice hoax, Spezi/Preston hoax, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog. hoax, The Guede hoax
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Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Dangers Of Not Extraditing Convicted Felons Labeled An Explosive Threat To Other People
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Lessons From Australia
It looks like several Australian judges may have wrecked their careers for allowing Man Haron Monis to be at large even though police said he should be denied bail.
Man Haron Monis was the former Iranian who took 17 hostages in downtown Sydney and caused the death of two others and himself. Coming to light is how many times previously the Australian justice system had treated him with kid gloves for major crimes.
Iran tried to extradite the gunman behind Sydney’s deadly hostage crisis years ago, Tehran’s top cop said, amid questions over how the self-styled cleric had found his way to Australia but not onto a watch list…
Monis grew up in Iran as Mohammad Hassan Manteghi. In 1996, he established a travel agency, but took his clients’ money and fled, Iran’s police chief, Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, told the country’s official IRNA news agency Tuesday.
Australia accepted him as a refugee around that time. The police chief said Iran tried to have Monis extradited from Australia in 2000, but that it didn’t happen because Iran and Australia don’t have an extradition agreement.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he wanted to know how Monis had been granted permanent residency and why he had been receiving welfare benefits for years, despite being able-bodied “if not necessarily of sound mind.”
Monis had a gun licence, a rarity in Australia - and he walked free after being charged for writing letters of hate to families of dead Australian soldiers, and for having a hand in the killing of his wife.
2. The Relevance Of This To Knox
Regardless of extradition treaty situations, countries almost universally extradite convicted murderers. They dont want dangerous people to have another chance to cause deadly havoc in their own midst.
Knox is already a felon for life. If Knox is confirmed guilty of murder next March she will be a DANGEROUS felon for life.
The Italian-US extradition treaty gives a US judge no wiggle room other than to check if the paperwork is in order and then send her on her way.
But another bent judge could again throw a spanner in the works.
How dangerous is Knox? Our psychologists generally think that, untreated, she is not good news. Not a latent serial killer, or one who sits around and plots, but one who could again explosively hit back when she imagines or exaggerates slights.
More than anyone in Perugia, Meredith tried to get along with Knox. But Knox showed no sign of a learning curve. The very heavy drug use went on, the sleeping with a drug dealer went on, the dirtiness and laziness around the house went on, and the noisy sex episodes with strangers through paper-thin walls went on.
She really was the housemate from hell.
For a month or two after Meredith died, Knox was highly erratic about her role in that death, and showed an extreme eagerness to talk with the prosecution which resulted in the long session with Dr Mignini on 17 Dec.
In a move serially misinterpreted by the dimwits of the Knox brigade, the prosecution, suspecting she was both mixed up and high on hard drugs, in effect offered Knox and her team a way to a lesser count, when they said that the murder could have been a taunting attack which spun out of control.
In her book, Knox describes how the family and lawyers worked hard on Knox to destroy all elements of trust. By the summer of 2008 she was in a mood of full-blown paranoid mistrust, and all chances of a lesser charge were gone.
At trial in 2009 Knox was daffy and uncomprehending, making irrelevant interventions and really shooting herself in the foot when she took the stand. Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, almost the last two in Perugia to still give her the time of day, both said she was very odd.
Knox was mentally tested in Capanne Prison and apparently scored high on the psychopathic chart. The three courts hardest on Knox all knew this - the Matteini court, Cassation, and the Nencini court - which was a major reason why Cassation did not allow bail in April 2008.
Assuming she killed once, in what was an exceptionally barbaric attack, Knox may or may not kill again. She is certainly inciting or condoning a massive amount of dangerous hate toward Meredith’s family and toward the Italian officials of the court.
One unhinged attack has already occured - that of the disturbed Michele Moore against Dr Mignini in the Perugia court - and the British resident David Anderson has screamed at meetings and runs an incessant campaign to stir up hate. Court officials have received messages of hate, and there is a small mountain of false and dangerous accusations against them on the web.
Left untreated and unpunished, a convicted but not extradited Knox would be a killer walking loose on American streets and could continue to condone or incite violence for the rest of her life.
If Knox killed and remains loose, could she kill again or cause others to kill? Any extradition judge needs to ask as the Australian judges did not:
Do we REALLY want to find out?
Archived in Italian justice v others, Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The many hoaxes, No-extradition hoax, Other legal cases, Others elsewhere, The wider contexts, American context
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