Tip for IP conference on Amanda Knox. Idaho rep Hampikian's ONLY achievement was to be main cause of annulment of 2011 appeal, to anger of defense counsel. Thus he subjected Knox and RS to much tougher appeal, leading to desperate measures to bend Supreme Court. Thus Hampikian directly caused mafia involvement that Knox and RS must hide for life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Considerable Outrage In Italy Over Death Profiteering

Posted by Peter Quennell

Richard Owen of the Times reports.

A film starring Amanda Knox, the American student awaiting trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has caused a political row, with rightwing politicians claiming the Perugia prison where Ms Knox is held is “like a holiday camp”.

Pietro Laffranco, a Parliamentary deputy in the ruling centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, said he was tabling a question in Parliament to the Minister of Justice to demand an explanation over “this extremely serious incident”.

Follow the Italian press coverage for any length of time, and you will soon realize one thing.  Meredith is an intensely loved and very-much-missed person, to many, many Italians.

She hungered to be there, worked hard to get there, spoke very good Italian, knew much of the politics and culture, and just loved being in Perugia with its fine School for Foreigners.

And with her Mediterranean beauty, her kind consideration for others, her chaste behavior, and her zeal for hard work, she seems very, very easy for Italian moms and dads to identify with as one of their own.

So not surprisingly, the public outrage over the prison movie reflected in today’s Italian press is considerable, and it seems likely to create real repercussions.

The movie itself is unlikely to ever see the light of day. Those involved have been seriously thrown on the defensive, and they are likely to see career repercussions. The rules may be tightened for defendants and prisoners interacting with the media. The leniency that some feel Umbria shows to its prisoners may become less-so.

And Amanda Knox (who, to be fair, did not initiate this exposure, and should have been warned by her lawyers and family) may find herself more secluded if she is eventually found guilty.

In sum, this looks like a humane and perhaps overdue tilt in the system and the media toward Meredith, the silent victim in this case. And toward all silent victims like her.

Posted on 12/12/08 at 10:37 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingAmanda Knox
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prison Movie Co-starring Knox Now In Slow-Motion Meltdown?!

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

For those already following the increasingly surrealistic run-up to the trial of the two remaining suspects indicted for alleged involvement in Meredith Kercher’s brutal murder, this will probably come as no surprise:

Amanda Knox, one of the two suspects, has participated (some would even say she has the starring role) in a movie featuring prison inmates incarcerated at Capanne, where Knox is being held. It was directed by Claudio Carini with grant money provided by the Umbrian regional council.

We saw this coming, in a way.

Last week, Frank Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza), who has worked in the film industry, published an “exclusive interview” with Amanda Knox, in which she seems to show an incredible command of…  broken English!

But it still comes as quite a shock. Who can possibly, for one second, ever have thought that this was okay?

Controversy is building fast now in Italy. The film was supposed to have been publicly screened, at the Perugia Batik Independent Film Festival, but Knox’s lawyers, the elected members of the Umbrian council and the director of Capanne prison have asked that the film be yanked.

Incredibly though, whether the film will ever be made public is still “pending” according to the Batik Festival’s director, Alessandro Riccini Ricci.  Director Carini claims that Knox’s participation was “coincidental” because the idea was hatched in June 2007, before she joined the inmates at Capanne.

Is it also “coincidental” that the film is said to open and close with a shot of Knox’s blue eyes?

Can this really be true?!  It reminds me of one of the most recent witnesses to come forward. He said that he saw Knox at 7:45 am on the morning of November 2 (she claims she slept in until 10 am that morning), with her “blue eyes” peeking out from behind a scarf.

The media and blogosphere have reacted immediately and overwhelmingly negatively. Web posters are wondering aloud how the Kercher family will feel when they hear that one of the suspects in their daughter’s murder volunteered for this role, had a lot of fun doing it and, in the words of Ricci, is a “magnetic actress.”

A propos the “magnetic actress”  as people have already noted wryly, including Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, actually, we already knew.

I wonder how Raffaele will react to the news? Recall that, according to one Italian source, Raffaele had this interesting conversation with his father and step-mother after his incarceration:

Mara: “It’s worth thinking about this. You must give this some thought because the Americans are a bit more advanced than we are, do you understand? They do lots of things for notoriety even if they become meteors…. tomorrow you don’t remember them anymore because someone else has taken their place.”

Raffaele: “But are you sure about this notoriety thing?”

Mara: “I’m very sure.”

Shout-out to Mara: So are we!

It will be interesting to see how the local Knox PR machine roves this latest gaffe into something not only acceptable but downright laudable. They were unavailable for comment – I guess they’re under the cone of silence, brainstorming as I write – but maybe someone could get this idea to them:

They might say that Amanda Knox has become passionate about inmate rights, and wanted to lend her brand name to this worthy cause…

We have media today that allow us to record the present. What we record not only reflects the present, but indeed can shape our perception of it and the way in which the future unfolds.

Did anyone remotely involved in this project stop once to consider the ramifications? Not the least of which for the Kercher family?  The Knox/Mellas family and supporters have complained loudly and consistently about the unfair media coverage of Amanda Knox.

Their complaints would have sharper teeth if they themselves did not seek the limelight at every opportunity.

I don’t usually agree with right-wingers, but I certainly think Italian People of Freedom party senator Laura Allegrini nailed it.She said that the film would only fuel the celebrity-style media coverage of the American ‘‘as if she were a star and not a young woman accused of a horrible crime…”

And “In all of this, the victim and her family are put in second place.’’

Posted on 12/11/08 at 06:01 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Those officially involvedNews media & moviesMovies on caseAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxers
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Primary Timeline: An Hour-By-Hour Guide To The Events In Question

Posted by Michael

[Above: Where Meredith said goodbye to Sophie Purton - perhaps the last friendly face she ever saw.]

This narrative below is our present best shot at listing the events, actual and claimed, surrounding Meredith’s sad fate.

The constantly-updated master version of this primary timeline is posted here on the PMF forum I co-moderate with Skep.  There are some subsidiary timelines which will also appear here soon.

The master version was first posted on the old True Crime MK Forum on Monday 14th April 2008. It built upon an original timeline by Xin, and I have frequently edited it since as the picture grows clearer.

You are really welcome to suggest edits, modifications, and additions, either in Comments below, or in a post below the master version itself.

Kermit’s excellent Powerpoint narrative of many of these same events was previously posted here.

Wednesday 31st October 2007 (Halloween)

Evening  “Amanda…sent [Meredith] numerous SMS messages.” 1900  Meredith responds to her flatmate: “I have to go to a friend’s house for dinner.” The student from Seattle persisted, “What are you doing tonight? Do you want to meet up? Have you got a costume?” She then said that she was going to Le Chic and “maybe we’ll see each other.”

Thursday 1st November 2007 (Day of the Dead in Italy)

1300 AK saw MK at their apartment (per AK)

1400 -1500 MK left

1530 Sophie Purton arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat at Via Bontempi 22

1600 Meredith arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat

1700 AK, RS went to his apartment (per AK)

1800 Meredith had a meal with her girlfriends “Ms Kercher was known to have eaten an early supper of pizza and ice cream with two British women friends, both fellow students, at six o’clock on the evening of her death. But Sophie Purton, one of the friends, had testified that the meal contained no mushrooms.”

1800 AK, RS left her apartment (per RS)

1836 RS at his computer, had watched ‘Amelie’ whilst also downloading the film ‘Stardust’ to watch later, would be at his computer until 0333 - (per RS & his lawyers). “He was with AK until 1800 when they had both left RS apartment to go into the centre. RS has also said that he spent the evening on his computer working on his university coursework

2018 Patrick sends text message to AK

2030 Patrick’s friend, Swiss Professor Roman Mero had a pizza and then went straight to Le Chic. (had originally claimed he was in Le Chic from 2000)

2030 - 2100 RS “Went home, smoked; had dinner.”

2030 – 2100 (AK “left him (per RS), saying to him that she would go to Le Chic, meet friends while he returned to his house”) “… left the house telling Sollecito that she was going to work, [but she], she was at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana.”

2035 AK text message to PL

2038 RG arrives at MK’s (per RG)

2038 PL’s cellphone pings in the area of MK’s house

2040** RS’s father phones him at his apartment on RS’s landline, the call went unanswered and instead went to answer phone. RS did not respond to the message and return his father’s call that night

2040** Young woman, Popovic (Polish after all (?)), arrives at RS’s house to tell him she no longer needed a lift to the station. (She spoke to Amanda via the intercom (?) )

2040** Serbian student, Jovanovic, ‘met’ (Could do with clarification as to whether he simply passed AK, or actually engaged with her in some way). AK on Corso Garibaldi. AK and RS were at RS’s flat at this time and before (per AK/RS)

2040** AK and RS cell phones turned off

2043 AK seen on CCTV entering her house (?)

2046 Meredith arrives eight minutes after RG arrives (per RG)

2050 RS chops up button mushrooms with his knife, and he and AK stir fry them (per Mignini)

2100 AK claimed to meet PL at B-Ball courts and [return] to her house. (per the Judge)

2100 Meredith leaves friend’s house with Sophie Purton to return home, Sophie walks her halfway

2105 Sophie Purton leaves Meredith on Via Roscetto, Meredith continues home alone

2110 Click on RS’s computer, no more activity on computer until following day

2115 Around this time MK arrives home

2130 Meredith commences phone call with mother (What time did it end?)

2141 - 0532 of the night of the crime “is not any human interaction.at RS apt” (per RS’ computer)

2200 - 2230 Meredith is either dead or dying. A breakdown truck arrives for a broken down car containing a family of three, man, woman and child. The Albanian ‘superwitness’, Hekuran Kokomani, arrives by car at the rubbish bins area a short way down the road from the cottage. HK punches RS, throws a phone and olives at AK, who threatens HK with knife. HK drives further down the road encountering RG who recognises HK and offers money to hire HK’s car, first 50, then offering 250 euros. HK hears banging sounding like ‘wood on wood’ from the house. RG says there is a birthday party at the cottage. HK refuses hire his car, driving off having seen RS in his wing mirror running at him with knife. RS persues him to the lights, where a motorist asks HK for directions. HK has to reverse his car to allow the breakdown truck, which is probably just arriving, to manoeuvre. HK leaves (per HK)

2215 SMS requesting account balance sent from MK’s mobile to her bank balance

2229 First recorded receipts at Le Chic

2230 - 2300 A witness heard “a man and a woman arguing in Italian” inside the cottage “at about 10.30 or 11.00 on the night of November 1,” followed by an “agonising scream”.

2230 “Alessandra Formica, a police witness, said her partner was almost knocked over by a black man running away from scene”. The couple also witness the broken down car and breakdown truck.

2300 (circa) A dark coloured car is seen parked outside the cottage (per garage mechanic witness - Gianfranco Lombardi). “It was about 11pm on the night of November 1, 2007, and I was in the area because I had been called out to fix a broken-down car…When I got to Via Sant Antonio, close to where the house where Meredith Kercher was murdered, I saw a dark-coloured car parked outside and I noticed the gate on the drive was open…I didn’t notice anyone in the car and I didn’t notice anyone coming or going during the eight or 10 minutes it took me to load the broken-down car onto my tow truck.” “The statement is significant because Sollecito has a dark-coloured car, but claims he was not at the house.”

2300 RS reveives telephone call from his father (per RS). Now known to be untrue as the unanswered call via landline was actually made at 2040 and went to answerphone

2300 (circa) Nara Capezalli, the woman who lives opposite MK’s, hears screams coming from the house after which “at least two people” emerged and fled “in different directions.”

2300 - 2330 AK and RS are seen on the baseball court by a sixty-year-old witness, ‘Toto’ (Antonio Curatolo), cuddling, behaving erratically, and looking towards the house…” “...their position of observation on the steps near via della Pergola overlooking the house.” “I saw Amanda and Raffaele around the square in 23-23,30 Grimana the first night of November. I am sure because the next morning the carabinieri were on the streets asking questions. ” AK and RS go down in the direction of the house (possibly joined by a third person (?))

2300 - 0100 RS claims he’s on Internet at his home

Friday 2nd November 2007

0100 AK at RS’s apt (?)

0200 Witnesses report seeing Rudy dancing down the Domus nightclub. Passers-by report loud voices from AK/MK home

0333 RS comes off of his computer and goes to bed, Amanda is ‘not’ there (per RS & his lawyers)

0430 Last sighting of Rudy at the Domus nightclub by witnesses.

0532 Internet activity noted at RS’s computer, (Googling ‘Bleach’ & ‘Blood’ perhaps ?). Phones turned back on?

Dawn Mobile phones switched back on (Would be great to have the actual time for this event)

0745 Witness places AK outside supermarket

0830 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

0915 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

1000 Woke up at RS’s in morning (per RS)

1030 AK returns to her house to wash; took empty plastic bag (per RS)

1100 AK was back at her house (per AK)

1130 AK back at RS’s house; worried—door open (per RS). Back to AK’s together. AK opens door with keys; went in together. Blood in bathroom. Attempted to break down Meredith’s door (per RS)

0900 - 1200 Sig.na Lana finds two phones in her garden and notify police, who ascertain that one is registered to Filomena Romanelli at via della Pergola

1226 “Today it was confirmed that the garage video recorded the car of the postal police arriving at 12.26…” and find AK and RS outside (but within the gate), who said they were waiting for the Carabinieri.”

1235 Filomena, having spent the night away with her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, whilst parking their car (with PG and LA) at the ‘Fair of the Dead’ in Perugia, receives phonecall (first of a series of three) from AK “who told me that she had slept at Raffaele’s house and that when she had gone back to our house she had found the door open and blood in her bathroom. She told me that she’d had a shower, that she was scared and that she was going to call Raffaele Sollecito. It seemed really strange to me and I asked her to check that the house was in order and to call the police or Carabinieri.” (Michael: “Going to call” RS when AK and RS claim they came back to the cottage together at 1130?)

1235 - 1245 Second phone conversation between AK and FR

1245 Third phone conversation between AK and FR “she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

1250 RS calls his sister in the Carabinieri

1251 RS phones the Carabinieri (for the first time)

1254 RS phones the Carabinieri again

1300 (just before) Filomena Romanelli arrives at apartment with her friends PA (Paola Grande - girlfriend of Luca) and LA (Luca Altieri). M (Marco) was present and “Amanda and Raffaele were in Amanda’s room because at a certain point they came out into the corridor and we introduced ourselves.” (Michael: Evidently, RS and AK failed to notice Meredith’s keys whilst they were hidden away in her room. Why were they in AK’s room when important actions were taking place elsewhere in the cottage, leaving non-resident Marco to deal with the Postal Police? How long were they in there for? ‘What’ were they doing whilst in there - checking it was ‘clean’?)

1305 Postal Police arrive (per RS and his lawyers)

1315 (circa) After listening to Filomena’s remarks, with Postal Police present, LA breaks down door of MK’s room

Evening PG and LA take RS and AK to Perugia police station in their car. PG and LA have stated that during the trip RS was constantly asking them questions regarding the murder and investigation of a manner that caused them to become so concerned and suspicious, they thorougly checked over the interior of the car after RS and AK got out, for ‘incriminating evidence’ they were afraid the pair may have ‘planted’ there. The ‘suspicious’ behaviour of the couple continued inside the police station, which was noted and reported by multiple witnesses

**These times must be very approximate since the 20:40 time slot is ‘very’ congested.

Posted on 12/11/08 at 09:00 AM by MichaelClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Crime hypothesesVarious scenariosEvidence & witnessesThe timelines
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ads By Google… Misreporting By Frank?! Money-Grubbing Commences at Perugia-Shock

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

Money turns Sforza’s head

Sales and ad revenue is really what is driving so much of the very haphazard case reporting.  And not only that of the newspapers. Also ad-driven websites, for example.

Frank Sforza of the ad-driven Perugia-Shock site must have paid close attention when Candace Dempsey’s ad-driven site hosted by Hearst’s Seattle-PI noted the obvious: that Amanda Knox sells newspapers.

Frank’s latest post first describes the most recent case witnesses to emerge. He tells us why they should be discredited, even before they testify. The main reason, it seems, is that Frank is suspicious of them.

And all Frank-watchers know this: they must question everything he tells them to question, and accept all he says as gospel, or face some petulant wrath.

A phony interview

Perhaps not coincidentally, some of the new case witnesses were encouraged to come forward by journalists from one of the local newspapers Frank has somehow got on the wrong side of.

The pièce de résistance in Frank’s blog entry is his “interview” with Amanda Knox – a genuine scoop, it seems. Ms Dempsey told her readers it was “actual comments” from Amanda… the first she has seen.

With this claim in mind, I read the post, noting first that Frank said he “sent” questions to Knox in the Capanne jail. By carrier pigeon? By smoke signals? By a birthday cake with a tape recorder inside? He doesn’t specify.

And he presented the results in the form of a verbatim interview…  in broken English!

Seemingly overwhelmingly obvious to any native speaker of English - any except Ms Dempsey, it appears, who claimed this to be “the first [interview] I’ve seen in English, and not through a politician”  in a post on 3 December.

Rather more astute readers immediately asked Frank what on earth was going on.

He gave some of his trademark evasive and irritated replies - and he even wrote at one point that if readers were confused, then that was good.

Slippery “journalism”

Still, he has steadfastly maintained throughout that, in keeping with the blog’s philosophy, “sentences get reported as they are, they don’t get cleaned or improved or corrected or made understandable.”

How can we square that with the circumstances apparently surrounding the interview, as reluctantly conceded by Frank? If anyone out there can reconstruct this process based on what Frank has revealed under duress, we’d appreciate hearing from them.

Frank insists the interview contains (sic) “just the things she said, she didn’t write them, it’s sentences thrown there in the hurry about the end of the visitation. It’s not that we could record, she said them and then, we came out of there and after the second check point we tried to reconstruct the exact words, correct or not. And that’s exactly what she said, for what it may count.”

Wow. If anyone still feels confused, Frank offers this helpful insight: “Obviously I can’t speak about that and I have to confuse details and movements on purpose.”

Confusion is deliberate!

He then has the gall to ask readers to trust that “what she said is what she said,” and asserts that “the words she said were reconstructed right after, mistakes included, since it was real language and I like to report real language.”

So! Is everyone thoroughly confused by now? I hope so, because that apparently really was Frank’s purpose here.

And what about the actual puffball questions, any actual delivery mechanism aside? The strangest one, added to the original post as an afterthought, concerns a vibrator.

Ms Dempsey has claimed, on more than one occasion, as usual sans proof, that many of the journalists covering the case are males with mid-life issues. Does that also apply to Frank? 

Or perhaps it was added because details even remotely related to Amanda’s sex life sell? Did Frank simply decide to stick with what sells?

Perhaps making it all up as he went along?

Posted on 12/09/08 at 01:51 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Crime hypothesesFrancesco Sforza
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Formal Kercher Request That Trial Be Behind Closed Doors

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Kercher family have now formally filed the request that the trial of Knox and Sollecito be held behind closed doors.

The Kerchers’ request was filed by their extremely capable court-appointed lawyer, Francesco Maresca, with the Court of Assizes in Perugia.

The Court will announce its decision on this at the first, public, session of the Knox/Sollecito trial on 16 January.

The trial of Rudy Guede - which was also behind closed doors - largely hinged on evidence from Meredith’s bedroom and from her autopsy.

That evidence was said to have been extremely disturbing to many inside the court-room, and resulted in Guede’s very stiff 30-year sentence.

If the evidence not yet in the public domain really is as sickening as is rumored, it is hard to see the defense teams resisting the request.

And the Italian system hardly needs to prove publicly its extreme caution, carefulness, and fairness. Despite some absurd claims to the contrary.

Posted on 12/05/08 at 08:21 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Those officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Why Prominent Knox Supporter Judge Heavey Faces An Uphill Task

Posted by Peter Quennell

Judge Michael Heavey is a Superior Court judge in King County, Washington State, whose daughter was at school with Amanda Knox.

He is said to be popular and fair and someone you might want to have on your side in a fight. We wonder, however, if he is receiving the best possible advice on the case.

Last week Judge Heavey was quoted by the Seattle PI’s Levi Pulkkinen as saying:

“It borders on the diabolical… To me, it just shows [prosecutors] don’t care whether she’s guilty or innocent. They just believe Amanda needs to be convicted…”

Heavey [contends] Guede killed Kercher while Knox was staying the night at Sollecito’s home. [He views] Knox’s contradictory statements to police—claims that she “heard Meredith screaming” as she was killed—as the products of a rough overnight interrogation by Italian police…”

“When you have a heinous crime and a demonized defendant, with very little evidence, you can get a bad conviction. I haven’t been sure of too much in my life, but I’m totally convinced that she’s innocent.”

Here are just some of the problems that are now undercutting an adversarial stance against the Italian investigators, prosecutors and judges.

  • Most of the 10,000 pages of evidence (now being added-to by new witnesses) have not yet been publicly revealed. They will finally emerge during the trial which will start in Perugia on 16 January. Much of the forensic and other evidence has been independently verified by experts unconnected to the investigation
  • .
  • No single piece of the evidence already in the public domain has ever conclusively been found to be falsified. Several US experts have a rather hapless record in their attempts to demonstrate that the police and prosecutors got it all wrong. None seem to have made any recent statements on cable news or in the newspapers that they still stand by their original claims.

  • The defense lawyers who have actually been through the evidence seem to have become a lot more taciturn, and none of them - not one - has subsequently claimed that this is a railroading, or a frame-up, or the fabrication of a prosecutor desperate for a conviction.  (As a precaution against precisely this, there are actually two prosecutors)

  • Only a small part of the evidence - the autopsy, the bedroom evidence, and the neighbor who heard a scream in the night and then people running - was sufficient to result in a 30-year sentence for Rudy Guede. The judge in his case, in explaining the judgment, remarked that it was impossible for Guede to have acted alone in the murder of Meredith, in part due to the huge number of wounds on the body.

  • The additional evidence that did not even need to be taken into account in Guede’s case apparently includes computer and mobile phone activities, statements of a large number of other witness, a knife that may be the murder weapon found in Sollecito’s kitchen, post-crime defendant statements and behaviors, and the statements of those close to the defendants at the time.

  • And there might have been even more evidence. It appears that the crime scene may have been manipulated after the murder to make it look like a sole-perpetrator crime. Finger-prints, footprints, other marks, and blood evidence seem to have been removed - although much still shows up under luminol. It seems to indicate three perpetrators at the crime scene.

  • Amanda Knox actually placed herself under suspicion in her very first encounter with the police. She changed her alibi several times subsequently, apparently attempting to coincide it with Sollecito’s. The notion that she was forced into a confession after hours and hours of questioning is now generally discredited, and her own lawyers have not claimed this or lodged any complaint.

  • Amanda Knox indicated not only in an interview statement, later disqualified, but also in a written statement, still in evidence, that Patrick Lumumba was the murderer. Lumumba, her kindly employer, was in fact at the bar he owned that night, and in view of the harm done by this apparent frame-up attempt, the prosecution has charged Amanda Knox with slander.

The biggest problem of all for those claiming a frame-up or an over-zealous rush to prosecution is the extreme caution of the Italian system. The Italian judicial review process prior to trial seems to be at least three or four times more elaborate, careful, cautious, and fair to a suspect than, for example, normal U.S. processes.

The evidence in the case has already made it through a number of hoops. And repeatedly the various judges in what is a very extensive process, after days of reading and careful consideration, have verified that the evidence against the defendants is, in fact, very strong.

It is still possible that everybody has got it terribly wrong. But so far, nobody seems to be coming anywhere close to that scenario.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Reader Draws A Contrast In Sites Following The Case; Mean Perugia Shock Blog Disappoints

Posted by Peter Quennell

TJMK versus Perugia Shock, compared. Below, a reader’s comment, lifted from yesterday’s post.

It reflects emails from readers who seem frustrated at the Perugia Shock website. Many followers of the case, we included, remain deeply grateful for its excellent and dispassionate early reporting on the case.

Since then, its tone seems less certain. It appears to be frustrated at being held more at arms-length now by some of those really in the know on the case.

Seems a pity. We really still need that earlier kind of on-the-spot reporting.

To the Administrators of this site, and the bloggers here,

I found your website through an article that was published at The Croydon Guardian Newspaper. Ever since then, I’ve been regularly visting this site, reading the highly informative articles, and which have helped me settle my mind on what I think happened the night of 01.11.2007 to the poor victim.

I was always (and continue to be) intrigued by the professionalism, and sound manner in which these articles were written, and the investigation behind them was conducted.

A few days ago, I read something here about a website called Perugia Shock. I thought I’d give it a go (you know, get both sides of the story and hear other voices). I misleadingly believed that that the quality of blogs at the Perugia Shock website would be somewhat equivalent to this website. I was greatly disappointed!

I’ve since made only two blog postings there and been reading what the bloggers have to say. I was truly ‘shocked’ (more than the Perugia Murder itself) by the language, anger, spite and venom that dominated a lot of the bloggers postings there. I have therefore made my third and last posting there and sworn never to visit that site again in risk of wasting my time & breath.

To this effect, I would like to congratulate both the administrators and the bloggers here for their wonderful, calm, professional, polite, and very informative views - what a difference this marks, in comparison to the ‘Perugia Shock’ type of discussions! I am glad I found this website first.

Please continue the excellent work!


Posted on 11/28/08 at 08:36 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Hoaxers: tools & dupesKnox-Mellas teamSollecito teamFrancesco SforzaNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Does Her Leaked Prison Diary Talk To Knox’s Mental Condition And Bullying By Those “Near And Dear”?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Corriere magazine has excerpted a new book by Fiorenza Sarzanini on the state of AK’s and RS’s psychology. Italian origiinal here. Click the image above for a Google translation.

A prison diary by Amanda Knox which Knox herself may have handed to the prosecutors is quoted in the article, and much more extensively in the book. It might be manipulative if she didn’t leak it, but it also seems a window into the state of her mental condition.

Amanda Knox seems to be describing Mellas family trauma, and she seems to points the finger at one person in particular: Chris Mellas.  His apparent nickname for her was “obtuse retard”.  This seems to us to ring true, as he is known on the internet for his abusive posts..

From The Sunday Times for November 30, 2008 (the link is now broken) our main poster Jools kindly translated this:

Diary reveals Foxy Knoxy’s sex secrets
A book explores the desires of the student accused of killing her UK housemate
John Follain

On the eve of a fateful summer journey to Italy, the American student Amanda Knox drew up a list of things to do before she left home in Seattle. Top of the list, according to her diary, was visiting a sex shop.

A book published in Italy last week quotes leaked extracts from Knox’s diary and portrays her as a young woman for whom sex is a key part of life. Knox, 21, will go on trial in January along with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24, accused of sexually abusing and murdering the Leeds exchange student Meredith Kercher in November 2007.

Kercher, 21, stabbed in the throat, was found half-naked in her bedroom in the Perugia cottage she shared with Knox. Rudy Guede, 21, an Ivory Coast drifter, has already been jailed for 30 years for the crime. All three pleaded not guilty.

The book, Amanda and the Others by Fiorenza Sarzanini, a journalist on Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, quotes previously unpublished extracts from diaries Knox kept from August 2007 until a few weeks after the murder. They have been seized by investigators.

Knox’s family protested at the publication of “Amanda’s personal and private property” and said they had no means to judge their authenticity.

“This seems to be yet another example of the continued leaks designed to harm Amanda’s character as there is no evidence to tie her to the brutal and senseless murder of Meredith Kercher. She is innocent,” they said in a statement.

Sarzanini said yesterday: “Knox isn’t obsessed with sex but she sees it as one of the predominant aspects of her life. This has influenced her life in the sense that it influences her relationships with both men and women.”

Before leaving Seattle, Knox, who is fond of making lists and called herself Foxy Knoxy, wrote that buying condoms was one of her priorities. On October 18, 2007, she lists four men with brief descriptions, including an American boyfriend.

Sarzanini comments: “It’s as if you [Knox] were always hunting men. You list your conquests as if you were displaying them like trophies.”

Knox writes to one boyfriend: “I’m waiting for you, I want to see something porno with you and put it into practice with you.” In another list, Knox names four men in Seattle and New York, and three in Florence and Perugia with whom she has had sex.

Knox writes: “Interesting isn’t it? I think it means that my sex life doesn’t correspond to my romantic emotional life. An obvious statement because the only one I’m in love with (even if in truth he isn’t the only one I want to have sex with) is incredibly far away . . . Sex is useless, well not useless but always disappointing unless I manage to establish emotional contact with someone.”

The book quotes testimony to police from Amy Frost, a British student friend of Kercher. She describes an episode on the day of Knox’s arrival at the cottage: “Meredith told us that Amanda put down in the bath-room a beauty-case in which there were condoms and a vibrator. They were visible and it seemed a bit strange to Meredith.” Kercher later told Frost: “Isn’t it odd that a girl arrives and the first thing she shows is a vibrator?”

In a sign of tension between Knox and the victim, Frost also relates that a few weeks before the murder Kercher had learnt from her housemates that one of them, Giacomo Silenzi, fancied her. When Kercher told Knox, she replied: “I like Giacomo too, but you can have him!” The remark upset Kercher, who later started a relationship with Silenzi.

Several witnesses quoted in the book depict Knox and Sollecito as not only failing to show any grief immediately after Kercher’s death, but also constantly cuddling and kissing as they sat waiting to be questioned at police headquarters, a few days before they were accused of the crime. “[Amanda] was in front of Raffaele. I remember that she stuck her tongue out at him, she made faces and then they’d laugh and kiss each other. In that moment I thought she was going crazy, that she was really crazy,” Frost testified.

Robyn Butterworth, a British friend of Kercher who saw Knox at police headquarters, gave evidence that Knox “seemed to me to be completely lacking any emotion”. Butterworth added that Knox and Sollecito “sent each other kisses by smacking their lips. At a certain point she stretched out on a few chairs and he caressed her feet. It was strange, it wasn’t a nice thing to watch”.

Prosecutors have argued that Knox’s alleged coldness after the murder, as well as her DNA on the handle of a knife that may be the murder weapon, points to her guilt. Knox’s parents have said Knox was in shock and was simply seeking comfort from her boyfriend.

In another diary that Knox started in prison on November 8, 2007, shortly after her arrest, there is a rare passage about Kercher in which she imagines her raped and killed.

She wrote: “I can only imagine what she felt in those moments frightened, injured, raped. But I imagine more what she went through when the blood went out of her. What did she feel? And the mother? Desperation? Did she have the time to find peace or in the end did she have only terror?”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

“They Were Held For A Year Without Even Being Charged!!” How Italian Justice REALLY Works

Posted by Nicki

[Above and at bottom: the Italian Supreme Court Of Appeals}

A misleading mantra

This frequently quoted claim above is maybe the most mindless and misinformed of all the mantras on the case.

Much of the US media and some of the UK media - sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes with reserve - has parroted the claim that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were “held without charges” for nearly a year.

Perhaps bringing to mind the notion of two innocent bystanders to the crime being arbitrarily arrested? Locked up in cockroach-infested jails by abusive police? Led on by an evil prosecutor with endless powers up his sleeve, and nothing at all to slow him down? Lost and forgotten by any judges in the case?

Well, good luck with that one, if it’s designed to sway the process.

It irritates just about everybody here in Italy, the judiciary and the media included. And it is doing the defendants no good at all.

Negative stereotypes like these really should not be applied to a country that is one of the founding members of the EU, of NATO, and of the European Council, and of the G-7, G-8, OECD, and United Nations (the non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2007-2008).

So for media reporters and commentators, please let us get the facts straight. Once and for all?!

Origin of Italian jurisprudence

Italian jurisprudence developed from Roman Law. It was shaped in the course of history to become a modern and very fair system. Judicial powers are subjected to a very complex and extremely pervasive set of checks and balances, which really assure maximum protection of every citizen’s rights.

Comparing the US and UK common law system - a model founded on non-written laws and developed through judicial proceedings - with this system which arose from the Roman Law model - based on a written civil code - is really like comparing apples to oranges.

They were both conceived to protect individual’s rights at a maximum level, while seeking justice for the victims. But with entirely different processes.

One is not necessarily better or worse. But there are legal experts who think the Italian system is distinctly fairer - much more weighted toward the defendants. In the US and the UK the prosecutor usually has to make it through only one pre-trial hoop. In Italy the prosecutor has to make it through a whole row of pre-trial hoops.

Legal status of a witness and a suspect

Let’s see what happens in Italy to the legal status of a person who, while considered a “persona informata dei fatti” which means “a person who could yield useful information” in relation to a brutal murder, suddenly becomes a suspect in the eyes of the police.

If while interviewing the “person who could yield useful information” the suspicion arises that such person could have played an active role in the crime, their status then turns into that of a suspect. The police can then detain that suspect up to 48 hours.

Those 48 hours are the period within which a prosecutor - if he believes that the evidence of guilt is meaningful - can request a validation of the arrest by the Judge of Preliminary Investigation (the GIP).

If the judge agrees with the prosecutor that a serious indication of guilt exists, a warrant for the arrest is issued by the judge, and the person’s detention is thus validated.

Immediately, as soon as the status of “person who could yield useful information” status changes into the status of a suspect, the suspect person has a right to legal counsel. This legal counsel normally immediately appeals for the release of the suspect.

Subsequent hearings by different judges

Thus setting in motion what can be a LONG sequel of hearings - for which in US and UK common law there is no such equivalent. Each hearing is headed by a different judge. This judge examines prosecution and defence arguments, and decides if the suspect may be released on any of these bases:

  • Seriousness of the clues presented by prosecution

  • Likelihood of repeating a similar crime

  • Likelihood of fleeing the country during the ongoing investigation

  • Danger of tampering with, or fabricating evidence

If every one of the defence appeals fails, in front of a number of different judges, in a number of different hearings, and the investigation is officially closed, the suspect then goes on to a pre-trial hearing.

Once again here, yet another judge rules either to clear and release the suspect by rejecting the submitted evidence, or to send the suspect to trial on the basis of that evidence, thus making the charges official.

Judicial decisions on bail, house arrest, or jail

Now that the charges are official, the judge can decide if the defendant must await trial under house arrest, or in freedom, of if the defendant must remain in jail.

If the judge, based on their knowledge of the crime and the defendants, estimates that the chances of re-offending or fleeing the country are high, the suspect must remain in jail.

So nobody in Italy can be detained without a reasonable suspicion, a long series of judicial hearings (any one of which could set them free) or eventual official charges.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have not in fact been incarcerated for over one year due to zealous police or a bizarre prosecutor or the complicity of a number of judges throughout the process.

They have been incarcerated because an articulate and balanced process of law has officially and very fairly established there are strong indications that they willingly participated in the vicious murder of Meredith Kercher.

Failure of defenses to persuade judges

Their own lawyers have put up a tough fight for Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox throughout the judicial process.  But they have simply failed to convince the judges throughout that process.

One that actually seems strongly weighted in their favor.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So The Trial Date IS Postponed, Now It’s 16 January

Posted by Peter Quennell

This is a translation of the report from La Stampa.

Meredith process, hearing postponed

Amanda and Raffaele have to answer to the charge of murder

The case against Amanda and Raffaele is postponed to allow for the reading of additional investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor

Postponed to January 16, 2009, is the hearing for the murder of Meredith Kercher, which initiates the trialproceedings against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who are accused of murder in the taunting and violence against American student (Rudy Guede has already been sentenced to 30 years jis trial having been expedited, ed.)

The presiding judge, Giancarlo Massei, deferred the opening session to enable the parties to get to know the contents of the additional investigations carried out by the prosecutor of Perugia. Tomorrow is the deadline for the submission of lists and texts that will amount to a total of about a hundred.

And a brief summary of some of the other recent developments in the case….

  • A witness who knew her claims to have seen Amanda Knox in a supermarket early on the day after the crime

  • A second witness claims to have heard a scream on the evening of the crime, this one stating a precise time

  • A witness claims to have seen Knox, Sollecito and Guede together previously - if so, they did know one another

  • A cut was apparently seen on Knox’s neck by another house resident; autopsy and scenario are being reviewed

  • A fund-raising event in Seattle apparently raised $11,000 to help defray Knox’s parents’ defense and travel costs

  • And a Kercher family request for a closed-door trial - permitted in Italy for sex crimes - is now being reviewed

One of the great areas of conjecture is whether the alleged defendants actually pre-planned an assault on Meredith.  Or whether it was perhaps just a taunt, one that took on a deadly spiral.

There was an apparent simultaneous switching-off of their mobiles earlier in the evening, for a reason not so far explained. And now an apparent prior three-way relationship between the two charged and the one sentenced? This does not look good. 

Posted on 11/25/08 at 08:48 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Those officially involvedVictims familyEvidence & witnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Does The Defense Campaign Really Have ANY Plan B?

Posted by Deathfish2000

[Added: This was posted in November 2008 after which the demonizers really got carried away; five years later, see how they are all in the soup]

The only ones to claim on the airwaves and in the papers lately that the defendants are being framed seem to be those who seem very out of touch with the facts as they look now.

As previously pointed out here, those very few in Perugia who actually have had access to the full tidal wave of evidence, in the still-sealed 10,000 pages, seem to go notably more quiet.

And not one of them has emerged yet to resume the cries of frame-up.

There have been three possible defenses. A mental or psychological defense, which might have flown, but which no-one has touched. A cool and dispassionate contending of known facts, and a shot at mitigating circumstances such as, it wasn’t planned, and, we were doped. And this peculiar and seemingly now failing “frame-up-of-true-innocents” defense.

The prime suspects in the case, Amanda Knox and her then flick-knife carrying boyfriend of the time, Raffaele Sollecito, now await the trial that starts in about 10 days. With prospects, frankly,  that do not now seem to be looking good at all. Plan A seems to be failing - and there seems to be no other plan.

They are jointly charged with murder, sexual violence, simulation of a crime, and theft - with Amanda Knox facing an additional charge of slander against the former employer she hurt. This was after an astonishingly cautious pre-trial phase, with the evidence being run past judge after judge and found credible again and again.

Rudy Guede was dispatched to serve his 30 year prison term for his part in the crime after opting for his separate fast track trial. His lawyer stated they had chosen that route as they believed Knox and Sollecito were conspiring to frame Guede. It seemed like it might turn out to be a smart strategy - perhaps the first in this case.

But he got no break from the judge. Why did he not - why did he get a stiff 30 year sentence?

Three possible reasons. One, the evidence is tough and very extensive,  it hangs together, and points to a truly depraved scene in the house. Two, Guede and his lawyer chose to contend some of it, but that “some” was quite marginal at best. And three, Guede chose not to come clean over what happened, even in the slightest, or to show any remorse.

Although they were not immediately taken into custody after the murder was discovered, Knox and Sollecito managed to make themselves into almost instant suspects. They themselves really knocked the pins out from under any good “they were framed” defense. Nearly a year ago now.

On initial questioning by the police as witnesses, Knox and Sollecito told conflicting stories, with Knox stating she was with Sollecito at his apartment all night.

Then Sollecito stated that Knox left around 9PM and returned at around 1AM (the period of the murder window).

In light of the failure of Alibi #1, Knox then claimed to have been in the house when Meredith was killed, and covered her ears to mask Meredith’s screams, as the kindly employer who she fingered, Patrick Lumumba, raped and then murdered Meredith.

This disarray in the alibis led to the arrest of all three as suspects - Lumumba of course was soon released though, as he really DID seem to have been framed. By Knox.

And since their arrests, Knox and Sollecito have both changed their stories several times. Knox has stated she is “confused” and suffered memory loss during the time when the murder happened. She finally reverted back to the statement she made early on, that she was at Sollecito’s all night, as the “best truth I can think of” story.

Her story would have changed again, if not for the intervention and advice of her then lawyer - fired by the Knox family for stating to reporters that Knox indeed intended to change her story again, and that Knox really must now start telling the truth.

None of this above is exactly a strong foundation on which to base a “they were framed” defense.

Knox’s mother has frequently appeared on TV in tears claiming no evidence, a position that really should have been moved away from months ago. And her father, notably in a British TV interview for Channel 4 TV, described the knife-obsessed and flick-knife carrying Sollecito a “nice kid” although he had never met him. He dismissed his flick knife and dagger collection as simply “art pieces”. Art pieces?

Equally indicative of a wrong strategy is the absence of any message of condolence to the Kercher family over the loss of their daughter and sister. Truly extraordinary. A great way to go - if you want to look callous, and by extension make your own daughter look callous. Did they get no good advice on this point, from any of their many advisers?

Since Meredith’s death, a veritable cottage industry based on the framed-innocent concept has sprung up in Knox’s home town of Seattle, with the “Free Amanda” campaign, the “Friends of Amanda Knox” and the “Amanda Defence Fund” to name but a few.

Are the Knoxes getting the financial help they say they need? It is hard to tell. The website asks for your donations of money and air-miles, and it displays images of Amanda Knox as a child, the implication being that an innocent child is not capable of such a crime as this.

Someone does seem to be doing very well. Online, you can buy tee-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, trucker caps, handbags, coffee mugs and teddybears all stamped “Made in the USA”. Emblazoned with an infamous image from the crime scene - the seemingly drug-addled Knox looking nervously at the camera. Tee shirts are available in any colour you like, and have “Free Amanda” printed underneath.

Who on earth invented this somewhat surreal and increasingly losing defense campaign? Whoever really though it would fly? Whoever thought it would keep Knox from a lifetime in jail - or knock even one year off her sentence if found guilty?

The strategy looks all the more incongruous when you look at the enormous contrast of the family of Meredith. The ones who really are victims in this horrific affair. 

Since the news of the senseless and tragic murder of Meredith hit the news just over one year ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that her family - the Kerchers, are nothing short of remarkable.

The inner strength and dignity they have displayed in their conduct this past year has moved so many people so much that websites like this have come to exist. To honor Meredith and the family, and to help to push back against those who would dismiss or dishonor them or make a profit from their grief.

Not once, not ever, have they lost their composure in what must be the worst situation for them to endure as a family that they have ever experienced in their lives. The loss due to a brutal moment of madness of their beloved daughter and sister, Meredith.

Quite a contrast with those who have not suffered equally, and whose campaign seems to increasingly comes across as illogical, unbelievable, and losing.

RIP to dear Meredith Kercher…

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hearst’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Now On The Defensive?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Seattle tip: The newsroom seems to despise the blog “reporting” described below and to think it is hurting the paper. If incorrect, newsroom, and you really do love it, please feel free to correct it.

[click for larger images]

Above at the right is Seattle PI editor David McCumber. Seems like a nice guy, with a distinguished career.

Yesterday we received a rather tart email from a staff-member. The tone made us curious. It seemed a little defensive. So we have taken a closer look.

We’ve already posted here on the paper and the case. We noted then that the paper is part of New York’s privately-owned Hearst empire. Our header box on the post noted this:

Normally, the Hearst papers are famous for CHAMPIONING victims’ rights and memories. Not for abusing them, in a defense blog they host.

We gave the paper an F grade for that performance. And an A grade for the excellent post-Guede-trial reporting indicated here.

The Seattle PI’s circulation has taken quite a dive this year. The paper has seen a drop of 7.8 percent in papers sold, to just 117,572 in October.

Its one competitor, the Seattle Times, also privately owned, saw a similar percentage drop, to 198,741 in October.

However, the Times sells a lot more newspapers, and it seems fundamentally stronger. 

Since 1983, the P-I and The Seattle Times have been run under a “Joint Operating Agreement” (JOA) whereby advertising, production, marketing, and circulation are run for both papers by the Seattle Times Co. They maintain separate news and editorial departments. The papers publish a combined Sunday edition, although the Times handles the majority of the editorial content while the P-I only provides a small editorial/opinions section.

If only one Seattle newspaper is left standing in the long run, which one might that be?

And might the Seattle PI be vulnerable, by way of that blog? It seems possible that its own legal people now think that it might be.

The so-called “reader’s blog” to which we have recently drawn attention is actually copyrighted. It has just bred a book deal, without consultation with the Kerchers. And it runs with some very high-impact paid advertising, flashing right alongside.

The paper seems to shrug the blog off as none of their business. Lawyers in New York here seem to doubt this attempted separation would carry far.

The blog was much criticized by readers in its early days, for seemingly being unable to mention the victim’s name. It’s attempting a lot of catch-up now, which seems to be fooling no-one.

It also has a bizarre history of ridiculing the prosecutor. Not something we’d have thought helpful to the ill-served Amanda Knox, now sitting in jail, awaiting his case against her.

And the blog has seen repeated waves of purges of comments in the past. HTML captures of the blog prior to these purges (there are many such captures) suggest the point of them is to eliminate any dissenting opinion or correction of wrong facts.

And perhaps to give a wrong impression of the blog’s viewpoint to any first-time readers. Or of the increasingly convincing state of the evidence.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer seems to host THE ONE NEWSPAPER SITE IN THE WORLD to carry comments deeply hostile toward the Kerchers themselves.

Not by the blogger, true. But they were long allowed to stand, and their right to stand was defended.

In the past several days, however, they have suddenly disappeared. And the google search below now no longer produces results.

Hmmm. Is yet another of the website’s many comment purges going on here? And this time, a legally-inspired purge?

Covering your tails, finally, are you Seattle PI? Legally, it makes very good sense. But another F grade for now.

One day we might upgrade you. But it’s the reporting we want to see change. And the blog toast.

Posted on 11/21/08 at 08:54 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingThe wider contextsSeattle contextMore hoaxers
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meredith’s London #2: More On Where She Came From, And Probably Had Some Fun

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

These shots show the rest of the Thames-side area fronting the neighborhood where Meredith was born.

Behind all of this? Some brick row houses and some older concrete blocks. The area was badly bombed in World War II, and although it’s moving up now, it has a way to go to match this out front.

We think that if Meredith did walk this fun area, or visit these important attractions (a common destination for London school parties), it is this riverfront she would have known best.

The National Theater is in the top shots. Then the Tate Modern Gallery, both outside and inside. And then the new Globe Theater. And finally the Greater London Authority, in the round building at bottom.

Important and interesting. Very crowded on summer evenings. This entire waterfront would take 20 minutes walking fast there. But who walks fast there?!

We’re not including Coulsdon in Croydon, south London, where Meredith grew up, as Meredith’s family still lives there.

You can see what a nice modern town she lived in via Google’s images here. This was her very-much admired school: the Old Palace.

Nice neighborhoods all. Meredith’s Leeds is here, and Meredith’s Perugia is here. More to come.

Posted on 11/20/08 at 03:42 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer England
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meredith’s London #1: Her Connection With This, The Coolest Part Of Town?

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Appropriate to a significant life (and Meredith’s life is becoming VERY significant) she lived in three quite spectacular cities.

In London (18-plus years), in Leeds (two years), and of course in Perugia (two months).

London is evolving fast these days, and some of the developments there have a real beauty. No part of London is changing more spectacularly than the south bank of the Thames (left above).

Meredith’s main connection with this precise area? She was born here. In Southwark. Her family later moved south, but this is where she is from.

Meredith would later pass through this area a lot if she took the train to central London, just north, to get to the theaters and museums and Oxford Street stores.

She might very well have hung out here with friends. Everybody does. It is one of the number one places for walking and talking and looking in the evenings.

And we’d be surprised if Meredith never ever rode The Eye. The National Theater and the Tate Modern museum (next posts) are just a few steps from here to the east.

At night, with the parliament over there, and all the soft floodlighting, this is a place of quite haunting beauty. 

She chose well…  Meredith’s Leeds is here, and Meredith’s Perugia is here. More to come.

Posted on 11/19/08 at 03:17 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer England
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Candace Dempsey’s Grief-For-Profit Industry Is Not So Busy, Today, Perhaps…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Hard to believe the sordid money-grubbing “friends” industry is not now bothering even the defendants’ families. Hard to believe the wannabe author is today on the same terms with the Knoxes and the Mellases as two days ago.

Hard to believe the Kercher family will allow her within many miles of themselves now, if they can possibly help it. Hard to believe she will still have a free hand to roam around Perugia, and to “objectively” report on the trial.

Hard to believe any putative insider contacts will not go quiet now, and keep her at very extreme arms’ length. Hard to believe the fiasco of the book-deal is not seriously bothering Penguin, and chilling some other book deals.

Yes. Perhaps we have won one here. For Meredith. And for the Kerchers.

Posted on 11/18/08 at 11:13 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Hoaxers: tools & dupesKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxersNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Powerpoints #9: Defense Claim That AK And RS Couldn’t Have Disposed Of Meredith’s Phones Is Wrong

Posted by Kermit

Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

It looks like justice for Meredith will get a very strong push from what the mobile phones tell the court.

We don’t know all of this evidence. Possibly not by a long shot. The huge majority of assembled evidence remains sealed until trial, starting just over two weeks away.

A police wiretap on Amanda Knox’s mobile picked up her words “I cannot do it any more” to Raffaele Solecito, which resulted in her being taken in for questioning. The investigation was almost foreshortened right about then.

Triangulation of phone whereabouts seemed to confirm that her employer who Amanda Knox fingered as the perp, Patrick, was actually there near the house. That defense strategy soon fell through.

The mobiles of Meredith, Knox, and Sollecito (Guede did not have one) all seem to have experienced some strange atypical usage and some suspicious switchings-off-and-on on the night in question.

And that formidable national police force, the Polizia delle comunicazioni, first started investigating when two mobiles surprisingly started ringing in a garden the morning after the crime.

That garden - that house -  is about one kilometer from Meredith’s house (you can just see it between trees near top-left above). And less than 100 meters from Guede’s apartment and 200 meters from Sollecito’s apartment (in the center house below), by way of a small city gate.

The Sollecito and Guede defenses maintained that, because that gate is locked at night, there’s no way their clients could have tossed the phones in the garden.  So. Someone else must have done it. Both that and the crime.

Once again we use Powerpoints to examine the possibilities here.

Posted on 11/18/08 at 08:46 AM by KermitClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Overviews PowerpointCrime hypothesesEvidence & witnessesCellphone activity
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Malicious Candace Dempsey Fictions: How COULD You Stuart Agency? How COULD You Berkley Books?

Posted by Peter Quennell

A book by one of the worst of the PR shills. The dishonest and incompetent Candace Dempsey. Click above for the announcement. In part:

Seattle reporter Candace Dempsey’s MURDER IN ITALY: The Story Behind the Murder of Meredith Kercher, the Case Against Amanda Knox, and the Strange World of an Italian College Town, a gripping account of the notorious 2007 murder of a British exchange student in Perugia, Italy, and the American girl accused of the crime, to Shannon Jamieson Vazquez at Berkley, for publication shortly after the trial concludes, by Andrew Stuart at The Stuart Agency

We seriously doubt that this will be nice news for the much-grieving family of Meredith Kercher.

Andrew Stuart of the Stuart Agency and Leslie Gelbman of Berkley Books might like to check out this post. And this one.

Seems a sordid tale of anti-victim bias there. The Stuart Agency and Berkley Books both have very fine reputations.

We hope Andrew and Leslie are kind enough now to consult with the Kerchers.

Posted on 11/17/08 at 09:49 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Hoaxers: tools & dupesMore hoaxersNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

The HUGE Problem With The “There Is No Evidence” Hoax

Posted by Peter Quennell

Startling new evidence…

Today reports are surfacing in Italy that a witness (one of the hidden 100) seems to have seen Amanda Knox in this Conad supermarket (lower right and below) at 7:45 on the morning after the crime.

Knox apparently claimed she was asleep in Sollecito’s apartment to around 10:00 am.

This supermarket (right above) is maybe 50 meters from the School for Foreigners (ahead above). About 600 meters from Raffaele Solecito’s apartment (behind above). And about 300 meters from Meredith’s house (left above).

It sells, among other things, laundry detergent (laundry of Meredith’s clothes may have been happening when the cops arrived) and bleach (the place might have been bleached to hide evidence). 

Amanda Knox may have been seen in that detergent and bleach area, by someone who knows her, and then seen exiting in the direction of her house - Meredith’s house.

New evidence should really not come as much of a surprise.

Despite claims to the contrary - that it has all been leaked, and found wanting - the evidence in this case is actually more like an iceberg.

Eighty-plus percent of it is still out of sight. Little of what is in those 10,000 pages of sealed evidence, added to daily by new witnesses, is known to outsiders.

Much of what we HAVE seen of it hangs true.

And those few who are insiders seem to get noticeably more quiet and cautious when they do see it. Rudy Guede’s lawyers were bullish about his prospects - until they saw it.

And then Rudy Guede got handed 30 years.

The defendants really deserve a GOOD defense. By their lawyers. And hopefully, at long last, by their friends.

Sliming Italy and the players in the case looks like a slow-motion train-wreck to us.  Available evidence deserves to be gone over without reflexive shoot-from-the-hip dismissal.

So. No evidence? Perhaps that mantra should now be laid to rest. It’s increasingly looking to be flat-out wrong.

And a quick shortcut to a life behind bars.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meredith’s Perugia #2: The Lively Side Of The Place That She Never Really Saw

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 11/15/08 at 02:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Yet Another Smear Campaign By Candace Dempsey On Hearst’s For-Profit Defense Blog

Posted by Peter Quennell

This infamous area of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a long history of trashing the prosecutor and witnesses.

And seemingly intent on trashing anyone seeking justice in the Meredith Kercher case. Even trashing the victim herself.

Now it comes up with another sneering story about the Kercher-case prosecutor, Mr Mignini, in a minor scrape on a totally unrelated case.

Paid advertisements run conspicuously alongside the piece.

Giuliano Mignini is the kind of hard-driving, results-getting, really-caring prosecutor most victims would die for. That is, if they were actually still alive.

Meredith’s interests could not be served better. He just put Guede away, for a stiff 30 years.

Only a tiny minority of readers seem to go along with that callous blog writer. Most who seek fairness seem to simply get deleted.

And it seems to be doing the defendants no good at all. These were the first two comments to appear under the piece.

I honestly have no idea of what this blog article is about as regards the Kercher case.

Mignini authorised a wire-tap in that other case. The correctness of that authorisation has been called into question.

What does that have to do with the Perugia case?

I agree with [the comment above] on this one. I tend to think that the whole Monster of Florence story has been very unhelpful to the defense of Amanda Knox, because it has sidetracked many of her supporters into following a completely irrelevant story.

What would have been more useful, from Amanda’s point of view, would have been if those same supporters had spent the same time and energy looking at the evidence in the Meredith Kercher case, and in building a credible defense for Amanda Knox.

Posted on 11/14/08 at 07:36 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Hoaxers: tools & dupesMore hoaxersNews media & moviesTerrible reportingThe wider contextsSeattle context
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La Nazione Is Reporting There Will Be Nearly 100 Witnesses

Posted by Peter Quennell

Including a possible three new eye-witnesses in the vicinity of the house on the night in question.

And that the lawyer for the Kercher family, Mr Maresca, says they would prefer no TV cameras in the courtroom.

English translation here if and when we get one. But that is the main news in the piece.

Posted on 11/14/08 at 08:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Evidence & witnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009
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Powerpoints #8: Forced Entry Via Filomena’s Window Fails The Giggle Test

Posted by Kermit

One of the more bizarre defense dog-and-pony shows of the past few months was a defense attempt to show that a burglar may have entered by the window.

Please click here for the Powerpoint presentation.

Also click on the images below for larger versions. The first is of the window of Filomena’s room. Broken on the night with a huge rock, found lying inside. (The prosecutors think it was all staged from the inside.)

If you ever see that window for yourself, you might find yourself giggling in disbelief. First, even a gymnast from the Cirque du Soleil would find it tough to climb up via the (normally closed) window far below.

And then reach up, open the window through a small opening in the broken glass (without cutting themselves) and so pull themselves up and inside. Leaving zero scuff marks and zero DNA and zero broken glass below.

And second, there is a total of FIVE much easier points from which to break in. 

You can see two of them in the second image below: a bathroom window and a bedroom window. Both would have been in the dark. A third - a very dark balcony easy to climb up onto at night - is behind those olive trees to the right.

And there are two more ways in out the front: the front door, and the laundry-room window. A break-in via Filomena’s window is BY FAR the most difficult. Nobody - nobody - has come close to showing how it is done that way.

In this Powerpoint we examine the window from the inside. From that angle this is an especially hard sell. To open it requires a major contortion, made very dangerous by the glass still in the window.

(if you don’t have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded, here is the Viewer download.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Powerpoints #7: DNA Evidence - A Very Clear Intro To A Vital Subject Here

Posted by Nicki

If you can’t see the Powerpoints as intended, please install the latest version of the Powerpoint Viewer which is downloadable here

This is a short sharp presentation of how criminal DNA analysis works.

It is widely known that DNA analysis has been done on the luminol-enhanced footprints that Kermit analyzed for us yesterday.

Also on the knife found in Sollecito’s apartment, on some items of clothing, and on some fittings and fixtures in Meredith’s house. And possibly on other items too.

The defenses seem to be indicating that they will argue at trial in December that the DNA samples might be too small, or might be too contaminated, or might be less than 100 percent of a match.

In two respects, this may not change matters very much.

  • First, there will be many other areas of evidence to be considered at the trial. Alibis, eye-witness accounts, the autopsy, defendant behavior and psychology, computers, and cell-phones, all will factor in.
  • And second, DNA analysis is hard to challenge on the grounds the defenses seem to be suggesting. DNA analysis is a pretty precise science. It does not result in percentages of match of the samples - either they match or they don’t match.

And the provisional perception is this: many DO match.

Posted on 11/13/08 at 12:16 PM by NickiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in Overviews PowerpointCrime hypothesesEvidence & witnessesDNA and luminol
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Powerpoints #6: Trace Evidence Seems To Confirm More Than One Perpetrator At Scene

Posted by Kermit

Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

This is Judge Paolo Micheli explaining his sentencing of Rudy Guede on 28 October:

[Judge] Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker….  adding that while footprints there [in the house] might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.

Will the judges and jury in the Knox and Sollecito trial early next year reach the same conclusion? It does look probable.

This Powerpoint is a hypothesis about six of those footprints. There seems to have been some sort of clean-up to try to hide them.

But they were revealed by luminol on the floor of the house. An analysis of evidence already in the public domain (there may be more) does point to the presence of three pairs of feet.

A sole-perpetrator theory of the crime might just be viable with two pairs of feet. But it is hard to see how a lone-perpetrator theory can hold up if there were three pairs of feet.

Now Our Website Is The Subject Of A Russian Wire Service Story

Posted by Peter Quennell

This story has just been posted on the NewsRu-dot-com website. Meaning it will be picked up by other media in Russia.

Welcome to new readers from that great country. True Justice for Meredith is already read in about 20 countries. These are today’s readers to noon NYC time.

The Russian piece seems essentially a fair take on what we are about. If we read it right, though, it does seem to suggest we have questions about the investigation by the Italian authorities.

Actually, no. That is not us.

Readers of our site here can see that we continue to think that the Italian investigative and judicial processes have been fair and exemplary. Our evidence posts below essentially only go to show that they seem to have it right.

It has been the contempt heaped upon those processes over the past year in some arms of the media that has been our special inspiration here.

That and Meredith. The one and the only victim in this case.

Posted on 11/12/08 at 01:04 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Archived in News media & moviesGreat reportingMedia news
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