Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Favorite Videos To Honor Meredith’s Nice Embracing Town Perugia At Christmas

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



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Friday, December 20, 2013

Multiple Provably False Claims About “Forced Confession” Really Big Problem For Dalla Vedova & Knox

Posted by FinnMacCool






The Breaking News

This post goes live just as the news breaks that it was Knox lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova who filed these patently false claims against the justice system of Italy with the European Court.


1. “There would be no need for these theatrics.”

Amanda Knox has not been present for any part her latest appeal against her own murder conviction. Nevertheless, she has made two meretricious contributions to the proceedings.

First, on the day that the prosecution opened its presentation of the case against her, she announced that her lawyers had filed an appeal against her slander conviction to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). ECHR hears only allegations of human rights abuses, which must be reported within six months of the alleged incident (or within six months after all local avenues have been exhausted; in this case none has even been explored).

This out-of-date application to an inappropriate body in pursuit of a groundless allegation is therefore bound to fail.

Knox’s second publicity stunt came on the day that her own defense lawyers began their own presentation. She sent a five-page email in English and Italian, with grammatical mistakes in each language, protesting her innocence and affirming that the reason she is not present in the court is because she is afraid of it.

There are many comments that could be made about the email, but perhaps its most grievous legal error comes in the aside where she claims that the “subsequent memoriali (sic), for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false ‘confession’.”

That singular document does not recant her previous statements (“I stand by what I said last night…”), but does contain further accusations against Patrick Lumumba (“I see Patrik (sic) as the murderer”), as well as seeking to cast suspicion on Sollecito (“I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand”) and an unnamed “other person”.

However, by claiming that she has been “wrongfully found guilty” on that charge of calunnia, she is refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Italian Supreme Court, which has definitively found against her on that count, and also of the Hellmann appeal court (the only court to date that has not found her guilty of the main charge of murdering Meredith Kercher).

Dr Alessandro Crini presented the prosecution’s case on November 25th/26th. It was not a particularly theatrical performance, but rather a very long summary of the many items of evidence against Sollecito and Knox.

The most theatrical element of the case so far has been when one of the defendants insisted that the judge should read out five vacuous pages of her email immediately before her own lawyers presented their case on her behalf.

This gives a certain dramatic irony to Knox’s claim, “If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics”.

Such ironies appear to be lost on Knox, however, since she seems incapable of reading back over her own work for solecisms or contradictions. (In the email itself, for example, in consecutive sentences she writes: “I had no contact with Rudy Guede. Like many youth in Perugia I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guede.”)

One of the many errors she makes in the email is to put in writing some of the wild claims that she and/or her supporters have previously made regarding the witness interview she gave on the night of November 5th/6th 2007.

The purpose of the current post is to consider that interview in greater detail, using as source material primarily Knox’s memoir “Waiting to be heard” (2013) and Raffaele Sollecito’s memoir, “Honor Bound” (2013), abbreviated here to WTBH and HB respectively.



2. “When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside.”

Amanda Knox was not even supposed to be at the police station on the evening of November 5th, 2007. She should have been attending a candlelit vigil, in which Meredith Kercher’s friends, classmates and supportive well-wishers met at eight o’clock at Corso Vannucci to process through to the Duomo, carrying candles and photographs of the victim.

A friend of Meredith’s – a young Polish student – texted Amanda Knox to invite her to this vigil, but Knox had better things to do. (WTBH: 82) She accompanied Sollecito to his friend Riccardo’s house for a bite to eat (HB: 29) where she absent-mindedly strummed a ukulele. (WTBH:82)

Knox writes of the vigil: “I wanted to be there but… the decision was made for me” because “Raffaele had somewhere else to be”. (WTBH: 82)

One consistent feature of her narrative is her refusal to accept responsibility for anything, including her failure to turn up for her murdered roommate’s vigil, but we should note also that the vigil (eight o’clock) and the dinner (nine o’clock) both take place within the timeframe of her supposed series of interrogations, which according to her email involved “over 50 hours in four days”.

By her own account, when she ignored the police’s request not to accompany Sollecito to the Questura and just came anyway, it was the first contact she had had with the police in well over 24 hours.

Let us consider what was happening in the early part of the evening of November 5th, 2007.

The police are at the station studying the evidence; Meredith’s friends are proceeding downtown with candles and photographs of the victim; and Knox is playing the ukulele at Riccardo’s house.

Far from taking part in a lengthy coercive interview, Amanda Knox had gone to her University classes as normal, had bumped into Patrick Lumumba, whom she would later accuse of Meredith’s murder, and had later skipped the vigil to have dinner with Sollecito. (WTBH:83)

Meanwhile, back at the Questura, the police could see that Raffaele Sollecito’s stories simply did not add up.

They therefore called Sollecito and asked him to come into the station for further questioning. They told him that the matter was urgent; that they wanted to talk to him alone; and that Amanda Knox should not accompany him. (HB: 29) 

Sollecito responded that he would prefer to finish eating first. (The same meal is used as an excuse for not attending the vigil at eight o’clock, and for delaying their response to the police request at around ten.) By his own account, Sollecito resented being ordered what to do by the police (HB: 29), and so he finished eating, they cleared the table together, and Amanda Knox then accompanied him to the station. (HB:30; WTBH: 83)

Naturally the police were both surprised and disappointed to see her. Their civilian interpreter, who had worked flat out through the weekend accompanying not only Amanda Knox but also the rest of Meredith’s English-speaking friends, had gone home. The only person they were planning to speak to that night was Sollecito, and even he was late. According to Knox, the police were not expecting their interview with Sollecito to take very long:

When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside, that I’d have to wait for Raffaele in the car. I begged them to change their minds. (WTBH: 83)

The police were not prepared for an interview with Amanda Knox. They had asked her not to come, and they tried to send her away when she got there. It was late on a Monday evening and there were no lawyers or interpreters hanging around on the off-chance that someone might walk into the police station and confess.

However, that’s what happened. And it is on that basis that Amanda Knox is now claiming that the interview which she herself instigated was improperly presented by the police:

I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. (Knox email, December 15, 2013)

But she wasn’t a suspect. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to be there.



3. “Who’s Patrick?”

We will now examine Knox’s claim that “the police were the ones who first brought forth Patrick’s name” (Knox blog, November 25th, 2013).

She has already admitted in court that this is not true. In fact, it is clear from her own book that the police did not even know who Patrick Lumumba was, at that point.

If they had suspected him or anybody else, they would have brought them in for questioning, just as they had already questioned everyone else they thought might be able to throw some light on the case.

The police plan that evening was to question Sollecito in order to establish once and for all what his story was. They would perhaps have brought Knox back the following day (together with the interpreter) to see how far Knox’s story matched Sollecito’s. In the event, their plan was disrupted first because Sollecito delayed coming in, and second because when he finally arrived, he had brought Knox with him.

“Did the police know I’d show up,” Knox asks rhetorically, “or were they purposefully separating Raffaele and me?” (WTBH: 83) She does not offer a solution to this conundrum, but the answer is (b), as the patient reader will have noticed.

She thus turned up to the police station despite being expressly asked not to come. The police asked her to wait in the car and she refused, complaining that she was afraid of the dark. They allowed her inside.

Today, she might complain that she “was denied legal counsel” (Knox email, December 15th 2013) as she entered the Questura, but there was absolutely no reason for a lawyer to be present, since by her own account, all the police were asking her to do is go home.

Knox did not go home. According to WTBH, while Sollecito is in the interview room, she sits by the elevator, doing grammar exercises, phones her roommates about where to live next, talks to “a silver-haired police officer” about any men who may have visited the house (she claims to have first mentioned Rudy Guede at this point, identifying him by description rather than name) and does some yoga-style exercises including cartwheels, touching her toes and the splits.

It is at this point – somewhere between 1130 and midnight – that Officer Rita Ficarra invites Knox to come into the office so that they can put on record Knox’s list of all the men she could think of who might have visited the house.

Knox takes several pages (WTBH 83-90) to explain how she went from doing the splits to making her false accusation against Patrick Lumumba. Like much of her writing, these pages are confused and self-contradictory.

One reason for the confusion is that Knox is making two false accusations against the police, but these accusations cannot co-exist. First, she attempts to demonstrate that the police made her give the name of Patrick Lumumba. Second, she wants us to believe that Officer Ficarra struck her on the head twice.

This is denied by all the other witnesses in the room, and Knox did not mention it in her latest story about applying to ECHR. In her memoriale (WTBH: 97), she claims she was hit because she could not remember a fact correctly.

But in her account of the interview (WTBH: 88), Knox explains that Ficarra hit her because, the fourth time she was asked, “Who’s Patrick?”, she was slow in replying, “He’s my boss.” This is the exact opposite of not remembering a fact correctly. Knox is so keen to make both false charges against the police stick that she fails to notice that one contradicts the other.

Knox at least provides us with two fixed times that allow us to verify the start and finish times of the formal interview. It began at 1230, when Anna Donnino arrived to interpret, and ended at 0145 when Knox signed her witness statement.

Bearing in mind that this statement would have needed to be typed up and printed before she signed it, the interview thus took little over an hour, and was not the “prolonged period in the middle of the night” that her recent blog post pretends. (We might also remember that Knox’s regular shift at Le Chic was from 9 pm to 1 am, meaning that the interview began during her normal working hours.) (WTBH:31)

WTBH also flatly contradicts Knox’s own claim that her accusation of Lumumba was coerced by the police.

According to her own account, she first mentions her boss (although not by name) in the less formal conversation, before the interpreter’s arrival, telling the police : “I got a text message from my boss telling me I didn’t have to work that night.” (WTBH: 84)

The police appear to pay no attention to the remark (which undermines Knox’s argument that the police were pressing her to name Lumumba) but instead keep questioning her on the timings and details of what she did on the night of the murder. And Knox finds those details difficult either to recall or to invent.

Donnino arrives at half past midnight, and the formal interview begins.

Again, the focus is on the timings of Amanda Knox’s movements on the night of the murder, and again she is having difficulty remembering or inventing them. Ficarra picks up Knox’s cell phones and observes: “You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?” and Knox answers, “My boss at Le Chic.” (WTBH: 86)

There is a short discussion about this text message, and then a second police officer asks her: “Who’s Patrick? What’s he like?” This time Knox answers: “He’s about this tall… with braids.” They then continue to discuss the text message, and then the police ask her a third time, “Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?” Knox again replies: “Patrick is my boss.” (WTBH: 87)

Donnino then makes the intervention about how traumatic events can sometimes affect memory. Such events certainly seem to have an effect on the memory of the police, because one of them asks Knox a fourth time: “Who’s Patrick?” At this point, Knox claims in her memoir that Ficarra struck her on the head. (WTBH: 87)

This is nothing to do with failing to remember a fact correctly, because the fact is correct: Patrick Lumumba is indeed her boss.

The police continue to believe that she is hiding something, and they ask her who she is protecting. After a few minutes of questioning along those lines, Knox has an epiphany in which she claims that the face of Patrick Lumumba appeared before her and she gasps: “Patrick – it’s Patrick.”

If we believe one of Knox’s other stories, that the police were cunningly trying to get her to name Patrick Lumumba, we might expect them to be quite pleased to have succeeded at this point. But according to Knox, their response is to ask her a fifth time, “Who’s Patrick?” The whole room must have wanted to chorus at this point, “He’s her boss!”, but according to Knox, it is she herself who simply repeats: “He’s my boss.”



4. “I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly…”

Shortly after lunch on Tuesday November 6th, Knox wrote a piece of paper (known as her “memoriale”) in which she makes her first accusation that the police hit her. She hands this memoriale to Rita Ficarra, the very person she would later name as doing the hitting. We have noted above that in her account of the interview, the context Knox provides for this alleged blow is as follows:



This singularly repetitive catechism is supposed to have taken place at around one o’clock in the morning.

However, writing the following afternoon, Knox describes the event like this:

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly. I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received. (WTBH: 97)

This makes no sense as a reflection on the interview as she has earlier described it. In her version of the interview, she claims that the police kept asking her the same simple question, to which she keeps replying with the same factual answer, and the blows to the head take place in the middle of all that. Yet in her “memoriale”, she claims that the blow was because she could not remember a fact correctly.

In case two mutually contradictory accounts of that false allegation are not enough, Knox also provides a couple more explanations for why she was hit. Her third bogus claim is that the police said they hit her to get her attention, which makes for a dramatic opening to Chapter 10 of WTBH:

Police officer Rita Ficarra slapped her palm against the back of my head, but the shock of the blow, even more than the force, left me dazed. I hadn’t expected to be slapped.

I was turning around to yell, “Stop!”—my mouth halfway open—but before I even realized what had happened, I felt another whack, this one above my ear. She was right next to me, leaning over me, her voice as hard as her hand had been. “Stop lying, stop lying,” she insisted.

Stunned, I cried out, “Why are you hitting me?”  “To get your attention,” she said. (WTBH: 80)

This is a direct allegation against a named police officer, and not surprisingly it has resulted in another libel charge against Amanda Knox. It is a strong piece of writing, too: on its own, isolated from context, it reads like a trailer for the movie version. The trouble is, that when Knox later tries to set it in context, it makes no more sense than “because I didn’t remember a fact correctly” as an explanation as for why the blow came.
 

They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,

“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.

“Why are you hitting me?” I cried.

“To get your attention,” she said.

“I’m trying to help,” I said. “I’m trying to help, I’m desperately trying to help.” (WTBH: 88)

This makes no sense. They already have Knox’s attention, and she is having no difficulty giving them a factual response to their repeated question, “Who’s Patrick?”

It is difficult to explain any logical motivation for that slap in terms of any of the three suggestions Knox has made so far: (1) because she couldn’t remember a fact correctly; (2) because she failed to answer the repeated question “Who’s Patrick?” quickly enough; or (3) to get her attention. She’d got the fact right, she’d answered the question, and they already had her attention.

Knox then provides us with a fourth version of possible reasons for the alleged slap. She describes the following encounter between herself and Rita Ficarra on their way to lunch at around two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon:

With my sneakers confiscated, I trailed [Ficarra] down the stairs wearing only my socks. She turned and said, “Sorry I hit you. I was just trying to help you remember the truth.” (WTBH: 94)

Once again, this makes no sense in the context of a blow to the head while waiting for a reply to the question, “Who’s Patrick?” It is perfectly true that Patrick Lumumba was Amanda Knox’s boss, and she had already correctly answered the same question twice, by her own account.

These are the four main WTBH versions of how Amanda Knox was struck on the head by Rita Ficarra. Perhaps she hopes that readers will choose the one they like best and will ignore its discrepancies with the others.

When testifying in court, however, Knox provided three further versions of the same alleged incident.

First, when asked to explain why she had stated in her witness account that Meredith Kercher had had sex before she died, Knox answered that the police had suggested this to her and that they hit her to make her says so in her statement (Knox testimony, June 12 2009).

Second, a few minutes later during the same testimony, she claimed that the police hit her twice before she gave the name of Patrick, to make her give a name she could not give. (WTBH: 227-8; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)

Third, later still, she tells her own lawyer that the police were screaming at her “You don’t remember”, she was struck from behind, and when she turned around she was struck again. (WTBH:227; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)

These are seven different stories Knox has told about how she was hit during her interview. Even her most generous supporters would have to admit that at least six of them must be false. Everyone else in the room at the time has testified that it did not happen.

When Knox published her fantasy claim about appealing to ECHR last month, she neglected to mention that she was hit. This essentially confirms what has been obvious for some time: Rita Ficarra did not hit Amanda Knox during the interview.

Nobody did. All seven stories are false. 



5. “She was screaming in Italian, ‘Aiuto! Aiuto!’”

However, Sollecito provides an ear-witness account of Knox’s traumatic interview, claiming that he could hear her shouting from where he was being interviewed in a nearby room. Here’s his version:

Then came a sound that chilled my bones: Amanda’s voice, yowling for help in the next room. She was screaming in Italian, “Aiuto! Aiuto!” I asked what was going on, and Moscatelli told me there was nothing to worry about. But that was absurd. I could hear police officers yelling, and Amanda sobbing and crying out another three or four times. (HB:33)

If Sollecito’s aim here is to invent a story even more ridiculous than Knox’s, he has succeeded.

For one thing, it does not match any of Knox’s seven stories about how her interview went. But even on its own terms, Sollecito’s story makes no sense. If we imagine for a moment an Italian witness or suspect being interrogated in Italian by Italian officers in an Italian police station, what possible motivation could such a woman have for shouting “Aiuto!”? Who could she be hoping might conceivably respond to her call?

How much more absurd, then, to suppose that an American woman accompanied by an interpreter would shout “Aiuto!” when by her own account she was trying to help the police with their inquiries at that point.

Perhaps Sollecito wants us to believe that Knox was offering to help the police with their inquiries, and Donnino was loudly translating it to “Aiuto!” at this point. Or perhaps, as is often the case with Sollecito, he has given so little thought to his lies that he has not made the slightest effort to make them believable.

There are other occasions when Sollecito is cavalier with the credibility of his explanations for the evidence against him. For example, when confronted with evidence that the victim’s DNA is on his kitchen knife, he suddenly remembers an occasion when he accidentally pricked her while cooking.

(Astonishingly, he repeats this absurd fiction on page 49 of Honor Bound, although he shifts the pricking to Via della Pergola and makes it a knife local to there, since it is obvious that the victim had never visited his own apartment.)

Or again, on being confronted with the (incorrect) evidence that his shoeprints have been found at the scene of the crime, he speculates to Judge Matteini that someone might have stolen his shoes and committed the murder in them. (HB:42)

Even today, Sollecito is currently making a public appeal for funds for his defense, pleading financial hardship, while taking lengthy vacations in the Caribbean, with photographs of his tropical lifestyle appearing in Oggi.

In his book, Sollecito also decides to make a claim of his own that the police struck him:

One of my interrogators opened the door noisily at one point, walked over, and slapped me. “Your father is a fine upstanding person,” he said. “He doesn’t even deserve a son like you, someone who would stand by a whore like Amanda.” (HB:36)

This is actually one of his more plausible stories. He has not named the officer, and he has created an incident to which there are no witnesses; he gives the impression that he was alone in the interview room when this officer came in.

Of course, he has made no formal complaint about this, nor has he mentioned it before publishing it in his book, nor has he named the officer or given any clue as to his identity. Nevertheless, these details simply stand in contrast to Knox’s libelous allegation, in which she named the officer, gives several contradictory accounts of how the blow occurred, and there are several witnesses all of whom deny that any such blow took place.



6. “Maybe a cappuccino would help.”

Finally, it seems only fair to speak up for Anna Donnino, the much-maligned interpreter who was given the task of accompanying Knox as she made her slanderous accusation of Patrick Lumumba.

Knox describes her arrival at the station like this:

The interpreter sat down behind me. She was irritated and impatient, as if I were the one who had rousted her from bed in the middle of the night. (WTBH:86)

While someone else must have done the rousting, by Knox’s own account it is indeed her fault that Donnino was called into the police station that night. Knox was the only English-speaker present, and she had ignored the police’s request that she stay home while they interviewed Sollecito.

Although Donnino must have had every right to feel irritable and impatient, Knox gives little evidence of it in her transcript of the interview. On the contrary, Donnino patiently volunteers an explanation that might attribute Knox’s self-contradictory stories to trauma and stress rather than deliberate lying.

Amanda Knox has often repeated her assertion that police called her a liar during that interview. For example, in the movie-trailer-type excerpt at the beginning of Chapter Ten, she writes:

They loomed over me, each yelling the same thing: “You need to remember. You’re lying. Stop lying!” (WTBH:80)

However, in the more detailed version that she gives on pages 83-90, she does not mention a single police officer calling her a liar. Only once do the police even ask her “Why are you lying?” (WTBH:88) The only person to call Knox a liar, in her account, is Anna Donnino, in the following passage:

“In English, ‘see you later’ means good-bye. It doesn’t mean we’re going to see each other now. It means see you eventually.”

In my beginner’s Italian, I had had no idea that I’d used the wrong phrase in my text to Patrick—the one that means you’re going to see someone. I’d merely translated it literally from the English.

The interpreter balked: “You’re a liar.” (WTBH:87)

The verb “balked” makes no sense here, and so let us charitably call it a printer’s error for “barked”. However, that is the only instance of Knox being called a liar her entire remembered account of the interview.

It seems that she is so reluctant to admit to having said anything that her readers might think sounds like a lie that she forgets this gives the police no context for calling her a liar. This in turn means that the only “lie” she can be accused of is her demotic interpretation of the English phrase “see you later”, in which she presents herself as correct and Anna Donnino getting it wrong.

Ironically, Anna Donnino’s next intervention, for which there are several witnesses including Amanda Knox herself, is clearly intended to suggest that failing to remember the details of a traumatic event properly may NOT be an indication of lying, but instead may be the result of the stress of the trauma:

The interpreter offered a solution, “Once, when I had an accident, I didn’t remember it. I had a broken leg and it was traumatizing and I woke up afterward and didn’t remember it. Maybe you just don’t remember. Maybe that’s why you can’t remember times really well.”

For a moment, she sounded almost kind. (WTBH:88)

“Kind” is a key word for Amanda Knox, and she continually judges people by whether they are kind to her. On this occasion, she is quite right: Anna Donnino does sound kind and helpful in volunteering this intervention. It is not a kindness that Knox would repay, however. On the contrary, in her later account of the trial, she is scathing of prosecutor Mignini’s description of Donnino as “very sweet”:

As for my interrogation at the questura, Mignini described the interpreter— the woman who had called me “a stupid liar” and had told me to “stop lying”—as “very sweet.” “I remember that evening how she behaved toward Amanda,” he said. (WTBH:244)

Knox has evidently forgotten that she has failed to mention anybody at all calling her a “stupid liar” during the interview, or that anybody told her to “stop lying”. Even her claim that Donnino called a liar over a translation error is illogical and is out of keeping with Donnino’s subsequent intervention.

Knox has also forgotten that the only other mention she makes of Donnino at the questura is in the following passage, from the day before the interview. While Knox is going over the events of the night of the murder in her mind, she reports: 

“…the interpreter walked by, looked at me, and said, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?... You’re pale… Maybe a cappuccino would help. Come with me.” (WTBH: 76-77)

Once again, Knox unwittingly provides evidence that supports Mignini’s description of Anna Donnino, and undermines her own. Once again, she unwittingly provides evidence that her human rights were perfectly safe at Perugia police station.



7. “What does this say about my memory?”

The accounts of all three defendants in this case are so obviously fictitious that the subject should no longer be open for discussion. Any level of reasonable doubt that might have been acceptable to the Hellman appeal court has been removed not only by the Italian Supreme Court but even more so by the self-penned accounts published by Knox and Sollecito themselves.

Their bizarre and delusional writings will appear incredible to any objective reader who troubles to read them. The physical evidence against them - the DNA, the footprints, the knife, the faked burglary, and so on - only serves to confirm the most likely explanation for their wildly unbelievable stories - namely that they are lying to cover up their involvement in a brutal murder.

Given that his own account was patently fictitious, Guede has been fairly well advised to opt for a fast track trial which offers a reduced sentence and an abbreviated process. (Better advice might have been to plead guilty, but that is for him to choose.)

As a result, he will be eligible for parole relatively soon, even as the longwinded trials of Knox and Sollecito grind toward their conclusions. Whether or not it is right and fair for Guede to be given that parole is a separate question that will be considered in due course - even his expressions of remorse sound false and are undermined by his continuing refusal to give a plausible and honest account of what happened that night.

However justice systems all over the world are obliged to balance the rights of victims against the rights of defendants, with resultant compromises that are often uneasy and unsatisfying. Victims’ families may want the truth, but the perpetrators don’t always want to tell it.

The situation for Knox and Sollecito is different because their preposterous stories have been shored up by a coterie of supporters who in the long run have done the two defendants no favors whatsoever.

The pair have chosen the full trial process which may have postponed the final decision for several years, but which is also likely to result in much lengthier prison sentences.

It is too late now for Knox and Sollecito to opt for a fast track process, and everyone, no matter how ill-informed, can surely agree at least that the path they have chosen has been painfully slow and longwinded.

But there were many other options that, although previously open to them, have now been closed down by their supporters’ stubborn insistence that the case against them was first concocted by a vindictive prosecutor who took an early dislike to them and was subsequently supported by a vast conspiratorial network of police, judges, journalists, shopkeepers, students, friends and relatives of the victim, and so on.

This conspiracy theory is not only daft, but it provides no help at all for the two people at its core whose words and actions remain delusional and psychotic.

Amanda Knox wrote in her memoriale,  “Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?”(WTBH 98-9). These words are a clear cry for help.

Whether or not this cry was genuine, or was simply a cunning attempt to diminish punishment, is a matter that could and should have been determined at the time by a qualified psychiatrist. Instead, Knox was provided with a set of lawyers and a PR firm both of whom were set the task of claiming and proving their client’s innocence.

Her false allegation against an innocent man was then explained as resulting from a coercive police process - another ludicrous claim, contradicted by all the available evidence, including the self contradictory accounts published by the defendants themselves.

Knox and Sollecito are damaged individuals whose grip on reality is loose and whose delusional ramblings suggest that they need urgent psychiatric help. Instead, their fantasies have been cocooned by highly vocal supporters who have enabled the fantasists to maintain a series of fictions that, in the final analysis, will almost certainly fail to stand up to legal scrutiny.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Rise And Fall Of “Frank Sfarzo” And How Knox-Mellas PR Eagerly Propagated His False Claims

Posted by Ergon



[Frank Sfarzo, thinking of better days past…]

This post is also available here in Italian. It would be appreciated if the attention of Italian media could be drawn to that page.

My previous posts

Parts One and Two of this series on the increasingly erratic Francesco Sforza (called here Frank Sfarzo, his pseudonym) are here and here.

Summary of conclusions of investigation

1) The Knox/Mellas PR campaign, the Friends Of Amanda, and the activities of online commenters like Bruce Fischer and Frank Sfarzo are one and the same, coordinated to subvert the course of justice in the trial of Amanda Knox.

There is evidence of coordination of stories planted in various media, manipulation of Wikipedia, moneys paid to Frank Sfarzo; they post on his forums, he posts on theirs, and attempts to profit from the murder of Meredith Kercher.

2) The mercenary trickster Frank, who has other agendas and is flexible on the idea of guilt or innocence of the accused, inflames her gullible supporters with stories of ‘rotten’ Italian justice, and, by demonizing the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, makes them unlikely to ever reasonably look at the concrete evidence of guilt presented in court and confirmed in several trials so far. 

3) A series of lies sourced by him and the campaign then makes it into Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s books, and from there into the media, which, thinking they have been confirmed by various sources, repeat them endlessly in an attempt to sway public opinion, without doing any fact checking of their own.



(Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, co-authors, The Monster Of Florence, first set attack on legal system in process.]

Introduction to Part Three

As someone who has long been fascinated by politics and the use of PR in political campaigns, it was interesting to see similar tactics used by the campaign that sprung up around the group known as the Friends Of Amanda Knox, or, FOA.

The group, formed to battle inflammatory descriptions of Knox and counter the negative media reports about ‘Foxy Knoxy’ “ was soon indulging in pretty inflammatory rhetoric themselves, mostly through the internet.

Many trial watchers, who were used to the normal progression of murder cases, were shocked to see the virulent online campaign become the story, and translate into a wholesale attack on a foreign country’s judicial system, and an attack on one prosecutor, Dr Giuliano Mignini, and the police force of the city in which the murder took place, Perugia, Italy.

These attacks soon got picked up and repeated by a hostile media, often without the simplest fact checking, but more to do with feeding the public with an endless titillation effect of sex and violence.

Analyzing this wall of noise became an interesting pursuit for many of us. Was there truth to the allegation that these were two ‘innocent kids’ railroaded by a rogue prosecutor with an obsession with Satanism and sex, and was there widespread public support for them, or, just the semblance of it?



[Edda and Chris Mellas. Only picture of them at an FOA event, which Frank Sfarzo claims “they have no connection with”.]


And how and when did Frank Sfarzo become such a big part of the picture? Make no mistake, he was central to the PR effort, as “the only Italian reporter to attend every trial date for the two accused” and apparently a victim of “a prosecutor with an enemies list” who sent police goons to kill him (Frank Sfarzo) which only served as back story for quasi-journalists, to play out their own prejudices and excuse two people already convicted of murder.

This series of articles on the activities of Frank Sfarzo and the FOA was based on the simple philosophical equation: if some should set themselves up as watchers and experts of a murder trial conducted in a foreign language, in a country thousands of miles away, and create reams of ‘expert’ opinion that never was to be tested in court, well, who would watch the watchers?

And how important was Frank Sfarzo, as the only Italian in the mix, to give them credibility by simple parroting and agreeing with their conclusions? Who was Frank Sfarzo, anyway? (For that, see parts One and Two)

Who are the “Friends Of Amanda”?

And how did they come across Frank Sfarzo?

The FOA was originally a “group of parents whose children went to Seattle Prep School with Amanda Knox” included Tom Wright, a filmmaker, Jim Lovering, a marketing specialist, David Marriott, of the PR firm, Gogerty Marriott, and King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey, with attorney and CNN legal specialist Anne Bremner as their spokesman.

Seattle Resident and New York Times columnist Tim Egan fired off a series of xenophobic posts, which portrayed the 1st instance trial as an exercise in anti-Americanism. A sentiment regrettably echoed by Washington Senator Maria Cantwell.



[Many well known FOA members are seen here with Frank Sfarzo]


Here is Frank Sfarzo, fully converted to Amandaism by January 19, 2009, and on board on his blog Perugia-Shock: “Friends for Amanda…. A different kind of marines”

Hate and contempt, people judging, people lynching, profiteers, and jackals. But there are as well a few nice stories around the Meredith Kercher case.

There’s Meredith’s family who have not had a word of hate for who ever stolen their daughter’s life. There’s a guy like Rudy—guilty of having killed Meredith or of just not having called the 118? never mind—who lives today in repentance, and had thoughts of sorrow for the angel that we lost.

There are Rudy’s lawyers, Walter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile, able to fight with all their strength and not exactly for a fortune. There’s Rudy’s elementary teacher and her son who run to the court to testify for this unlucky guy.

There are people who go work into the jails, keeping inmates busy with any sort of activities. There are Amanda’s guards, first rough but who treat her now like a queen.



[Professor Chris Halkides, “the DNA Guy” who writes many misleading pieces on DNA evidence, with Amanda Knox and her friend Madison Paxton]


Frank Sfarzo, continuing:

There were already people in Seattle helping Amanda’s family. Now we have Anne Bremner and Amanda’s friends. They didn’t stay there just watching and complaining. They chosen to show to the world that the girl they know, the gentle and creative young woman who loves music, the outdoors and children can’t be a killer and today friendsofamanda.org, the website they built for the purpose, is ready.

“Amanda should never have been arrested,” said Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney and TV legal analyst:

“She’s on trial because Italian officials made a series of serious investigative mistakes and didn’t realize it until they had already leveled false charges. They got themselves in so deep that they refuse to get out.

Private criminal investigator Paul Ciolino used stronger words in a CBS 48 Hours interview last year: “It’s a railroad job from hell.”

The Friends of Amanda is not associated in any way with Knox’s family or her legal defense team. It includes members from the U.S. legal and judicial systems, an internationally renowned criminal investigator, a best-selling author, and other professionals and friends who believe unequivocally in Knox’s innocence.

“Many of us are parents who would be grateful for the support of a similar group if our own child was locked up 6,000 miles away in a stranger-than-fiction nightmare,” Bremner said. “Our mission is to present the international public and the Italian justice system with the solid facts and evidence that irrefutably prove Amanda’s innocence, and bring her home.”

“The killer is serving his time,” said Bremner. “He acted alone. Neither Amanda nor Raffaele was at the scene at the time. Zero evidence connects them to this homicide. We are absolutely certain that neither of them had anything to do with Kercher’s tragic death.”

“Italian authorities and the international media have presented a lurid and utterly false image of Amanda, accompanied by fantastical references to sex games and occult rituals,” Bremner added. “Everyone who knows Amanda says these stories are beyond ludicrous.”

Not really “the marines” Amanda’s lawyer was joking about but a nice story of friendship and solidarity. “America as I like it.”



[There’s a picture of Meredith to the back here, along with her accused killers’. FOA and Knox revel in phony ‘tributes’ and ‘honor’ to Meredith, knowing it will pain the Kerchers]


Of course, as we now know, Sfarzo already had been receiving moneys from OGGI, from American networks, and, very likely, the Sollecito family.

I do not agree that he changed his mind about guilt at some point along the way.

It is my opinion, that, having known Mario Spezi from his time in Florence, he returned to Perugia to find ways to attack PM Mignini, and his primary goal was to attack his credibility and affect his Monster Of Perugia investigation through a full bore attack on his handling of the Meredith Kercher Murder case.

My opinion, as I say, but there simply is too much evidence of collusion with Mario Spezi and Douglas Preston, and financial inducements via Bruce Fischer’s gullible membership, as reported earlier.

The rest of his story, and the main point made, that the FOA had no connection with Amanda Knox’s family, (or Frank to the FOA) we know to be an outright lie, as FOA>Chris Mellas>Bruce Fischer. Note Sfarzo’s nearly two month stay with the Mellases.

Judge Heavey and others making regular donations amounting to tens of thousands of dollars to Frank Sfarzo and his never ending demands to them for more.



[Bruce Fischer, center, long chained to Sfarzo, now the toothless ‘attack dog’ of the FOA campaign]


The stories sourced from Frank about ‘Mignini’s Goons’ found its way into the CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, who never retracted their claim after finding out that Sfarzo lied to them, that he had assaulted police who were called by his sister when he attacked them for trying to take her away from his clutches. Maybe this had something to do with it: 

CPJ 2009 Donors

Douglas & Christine Preston

Julia Preston

Even his stories about not receiving any commissions from newspapers turned out to be a lie, he directed the RCS Group to send royalties for all the previous photos and stories to Seattle, and his pleas to send donations to another PayPal account (controlled by his aunt) were not because PayPal was creating problems for him, but because he was trying to avoid taxes. (I saw copies of his e-mails, and he was traveling with copies of his aunt’s ID).



[Frank with Judge Michael Heavey, shortly after his arrival in Seattle.]

Judge Michael Heavey

He is an interesting subject in himself, as one of the most fervid FOA.. Not having been very successful in his political ambitions, and admonished by the Judicial Ethics Council for his advocacy for Amanda Knox, he seemed to have some sort of emotional connection to the case, and maybe, like Bruce Fischer, wanted a springboard for his next venture, which now, grandly, is called Judges 4 Justice.

Here is our full investigation of him along with a video and transcript of his pro-Knox presentation repeated at numerous Rotary Club venues. He even took Frank Sfarzo and Dr. David Anderson to one in Yakima, WA on July 25, 2012.

At one of them (transcript) he repeats the claims of ‘corrupt and dishonest police’, ‘they planted evidence’, ‘kangaroo court’, ‘14 hour all night long interrogation’ canards. He also says elsewhere: “I used to think he (Mignini) was evil incarnate” and, shockingly, says:

The criminals are those who perpetuated a false accusation against two good young people. These police and prosecutors lied, cheated, and stole the innocence of two good young people. They are the criminals.

Why did the Supreme Court of Italy send this case back? Here is the answer

. In an effort to save face, the Italian Supreme Court joined the prosecution and the police of Perugia, and perpetuated these false accusations. The Italian Supreme Court has become criminals themselves. They continue the abuse of two good young people.

My prediction, this goes back for a third trial, there won’t be too much fanfare, and the verdict will be not guilty, insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court, the Court of Cassation, does this to save face, but in reality, in my opinion, they have disgraced themselves as jurists, they continue to disgrace their country. Is this justice? I think not.

Is Judge Heavey unhinged? You can decide here..



[Frank, the loony Dr. David Anderson, and Judge Heavey at the Yakima Rotary. Anderson still attacks the victim’s family]

Bruce Fischer

Now we all have Bruce Fischer’s M.O. of intimidation and bullying behavior down pat. He is not simply an advocate for Amanda Knox, he is Chris Mellas’s surrogate in the online wars.

His enemies list, his attempts to “out” any anonymous individual who got in his way of building an Innocence-Anywhere-for-hire advocacy group. He promised to apply for charitable status, but became for profit.

His ballistic threats to expose the leakers who came forward on Frank Sfarzo’s behavior showed how important Frank Sfarzo was to their cause, there was no level he would not sink to, this has all been reported previously, in Parts I and II. The relevance, also, of the SfarzoGate Papers is that it sank Bruce Fischer.

But it was in his using of a very few volunteers to create the impression of widespread support that he undid himself. He even patently allowed the use of sock puppet accounts to out people, and to attack PM Giuliano Mignini.

And it was in his use of sock puppets to write articles for Wikipedia, and control the Meredith Kercher, Giuliano Mignini, and Candace Dempsey entries, that he exposed himself, and even, inadvertently, showed collusion with FBI agent Steve Moore.

Here is our investigation, in part on his methods.

But where Bruce really out-did himself was where FOA friends wrote numerous articles on the poorly editorially controlled (plus active collusion with the editors) Ground Report to write numerous libels about their favorite target, Dr Giuliano Mignini. (I also once got the ‘special treatment’. No biggie, I knew when I got involved this would happen, and this cause is worth it.)

Here is one comment written by an anonymous commenter “JLS1950” to another, “Heisenberg”:

JLS1950 > Heisenberg −

Sounds to me like Mignini seeks to protect the real traffickers from “competition”. I wonder if that might help shed some light on his connections to Guede…”

And who do you think was the source for this? Frank Sfarzo.

Note: “JLS 1950” is Joe Starr, a Seattle resident who was identified as being Chris Mellas’s best friend, and whose syntax, repeated libels and foul language for the last six years in various forums marks him as being one single awful person, regardless of how many ID’s he appropriates.



[Joel Simon of the now discredited CPJ, which did not fact check Frank’s allegations, then refused to retract after it turned out he lied.]

Example of major false Sfarzo allegation

this is Frank Sfarzo on Perugia Shock:

“MIGNINI WAS THERE AND THE INTERROGATION WAS VIDEO RECORDED” January 31, 2012

“I gave the order, to bring them both in together” –Giobbi revealed at the trial. “So, as soon as the room was ready, with the camera set up and everything, she was called in”

“I was in a room together with the prosecutor Mignini” –Giobbi adds– “We were watching the interrogation, so to study her reactions”.

“So, Giobbi reveals that Mignini was present! He is responsible, then, for everything that happened that night.”

But in the court transcript Dr Giobbi says nothing of the kind. The only other observer was Dr Profazio, the head of the Flying Squad. Dr Mignini was at home in bed.

And in his testimony there was zero mention of any camera. There was no recording. They were merely puzzling over Sollecito’s and Knox’s behavior.

So here’s a legal quiz.

After an investigation into a certain Perugian Blogger’s Blog is concluded, and someone wades through three years of slanderous shite, they find posts that accuse an officer of the court of consorting with drug traffickers, and protecting them, and lying about whether Amanda Knox’s interrogation was recorded, amongst many other false allegations.

In short, if he accuses said officer of the court of committing crimes.

Is that worthy of being sued for defamation, or is it not?

Steve Moore

Shortly after ex-FBI agent became convinced by his wife to look at the case in 2010, he started running illegal background checks on prominent commenters for guilt, as he admitted on his blog. His presentations on the case were uniformly, laughably, unprofessional.

There are more than a dozen posts on TJMK debunking him.

Chris and Edda Mellas

Not only do they organize and coordinate the FOA and Bruce Fischer wings of the Amandic Party, they have made it very clear that they approve and support their activities 100%.

And then they threw a party for the troops, but hid when the infamous group photo was taken, to hide their involvement. Luckily (see image of them above) we do have a picture of them there.

I blame them for their lack of respect and thinly disguised hostility towards the Kercher family, and for allowing their surrogates to attack the Kerchers as being motivated by “greed” when it was the Massei court that awarded the damages! The people who made such comments on their behalf were at that party, and they know that! The Kerchers, with their grace and perseverance, are the polar opposites of the classless Mellases.



(David Marriott, of the Marriott PR firm, who quickly lost control of the campaign as the FOA got into attack mode.)

Frank Sfarzo, again

This is before he realized it might be better to keep his mouth shut and disappear for a while:

“Damn, I’ve heard that pmfrs are slandering me seriously through one of their members, a certain “Tamale”, a certain ”Ergon and various other anonimous (sic, I am not anonymous) slanderers (people so ashamed of themselves that they don’t even have the courage of appearing with their own name and face).  Good for my lawsuit. Hey, I didn’t know I was in jail… Thank you “Michael”, hope you got valuable properties…”

No, I’m not ‘anonimous’. My photo and name’s been published on IIP since 2011, and when Sfarzo ran in to me at Cassazione in Rome on the afternoon of March 25, he couldn’t even make eye contact. He spent the whole day texting away (maybe he took a picture of me with his Blackberry? smile. Then the last I saw of him was on the Porto Umberto I bridge that night at 10:00 PM, driving away in his little Smart Car, hunched down and still texting at the stop light.

On December 16, the lawyers for the Kercher family presented their arguments, in the Appeals court of Florence. They were there, as they had been since the beginning of the trial in Perugia, to speak for the real victim, Meredith Kercher, above all.

Then on December 17, the lawyers for Amanda Knox presented their case, which amounted to more than a rehash of false arguments. It was livened only by an e-mail from Knox, to which as the judge said, if she wants to defend herself, she can present herself in court.

Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers will present their arguments January 09, and then the prosecution rebuttal January 10. From now on, nothing the few remaining FOA does will make any difference to the verdict, due January 15 approx.

The end

Who knew when I first commented on the case in 2010 where it would lead me? Yes, the case brought together all sorts of people, but in the end, it was the nastiest PR campaign I have ever observed. Amanda Knox, Chris Mellas, Frank Sfarzo, Douglas Preston, Michael Heavey, Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore all seemed to revel in this dirty fight.

One day, they may look back and ask “Was it worth it? Did it help the cases at all? The Monster Of Florence, Knox/Sollecito, against Mignini?” But somehow, I feel they are, and always will be, singularly unaware.



(Outside Cassazione, Aula No. 1, Rome, waiting for the court to return. 8:30 PM, Mar. 25, 2013. This is when the wheels fell off the PR bus.)

Acknowledgement

Much of the background is based on research on the principals conducted and reported in the pages of the PMF dot net forum,, the PMF dot org forum,, and TJMK here..

I want to mention Nell and guermantes, Kermit and James Raper, The Machine, jools, Mr. and Mrs. Fly By Night, Yummi, Peter Quennell, and brmull (who sadly is no longer commenting on the case), and many more. The rest, too many to list here, but gratefully acknowledged.

And also I was fortunate to be entrusted with information from many confidential sources about Frank Sfarzo, and to obtain more when I went to Rome to attend the hearing at Cassazione March 25-26, when the Italian Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the Umbrian prosecutor general Dr. Galati and annulled the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

This was a collaborative effort, and my thanks to all of you.

Posted by Ergon on 12/18/13 at 02:13 AM
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Appeal Session #7: The Day For Knox And Sollecito Attorneys To Show Where Prosecution Went Wrong

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above and below: images from previous sessions, here till today’s crop appears]

Long Form Reports

Website of Andrea Vogt

The court hearing reserved for Knox’s appeal defense began with the reading of an email from Amanda, reported here in the Messaggero and then widely picked up in the English-language press, claiming her innocence and explaining why she was afraid to return to Italy. The email was the only “new” aspect introduced Tuesday so made all the headlines, but at the end of the day it occupied just a small fraction of the day’s arguments. 

Several Italian court observers considered the email a considerable “own goal,” having witnessed the presiding judge raise his eyebrows in obvious annoyance at having to himself read aloud an email from Knox, who requested an appeal in his courtroom, but is refusing to attend it, for reasons she detailed.  “Those who want to speak at the trial should come to the trial,” he said. He also declined to consider the letter a spontaneous declaration because, he said, he could not ascertain if she was the true author of the letter. “I’ve never seen her. I do not know her,” he said.

After the email, Knox’s Perugian lawyer Luciano Ghirga made his closing arguments, followed by Carlo Dalla Vedova of Rome.  Most of the discussion focused on two aspects of the case they felt are fundamentally lacking: motive and murder weapon. Below are short quotes/snippets translated quickly during court.  To read the Kercher family lawyer’s arguments, scroll down to yesterday’s notes.

[Report continues on The Freelance Desk with good summaries of arguments made by Ghirga and Della Vedova]

3. Tweets from La Nazione

66. Meredith process , the hearing ends. The next hearing will be on January 9 [Sollecito team]

65. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Amanda Knox is shown to have worshipped [Meredith]”

64. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is a shortage of proof”

63. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is no evidence, with doubts you have to acquit Amanda Knox”

62. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “On the motive the prosecutor did the same as the Costa Concordia at Giglio”

61. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Room too small for the participation of more people in the crime”

60. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The victim was attacked from the front,  not from behind”

59. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “For Amanda and Raffaele, Rudy Guede was a stranger”

58. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp of Meredith is not a genuine artifact“

57. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp November 2nd was white, but 40 days after gray“

56. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Amanda knew the cut was throat because she was told by a policeman “

55. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Absurd that there are missing only traces of Amanda and Raffaele “

54.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The alleged footprint of female shoe on the pillow: pillowcase was folded over.”

53. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The broken glass from the window shows the easiest way to enter the house “

52. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “War between consultants is like “The War of the Roses” where everyone will hate “

51. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Unable for Amanda and Raffaele to commit the crime in 50 minutes “

50. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The mother of Meredith says she and Amanda were friends “

49. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never says that Amanda was in the house, even outside the interrogations“

48. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never talks about Amanda “

47.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Guede in his chats after the murder told a friend that Amanda had nothing to do with it”

46. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There are traces only of Rudy Guede at the crime scene “

45. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The witness Curatolo either is unreliable or is our alibi. Decide for yourself “

44. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Do not trust the testimony of the witness Quintavalle “

43. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Amanda did not call into question Lumumba to sidetrack the investigation “

42. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is of the same type as her roommates ”

41. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is accurate and unchanged in her deposition ”

40. Meredith appeal: the argument of Carlo Dalla Vedova, defender of Amanda Knox, resumes.

39. Meredith appeal: Judge orders one-hour lunch break

38. President Nencini asks if there are certificates for the AIDS tests done on Amanda, but there are none

37. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was said of Amanda in prison that she had AIDS, but it turned out an error ”

36. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “From the conversations in prison Amanda does not show anything, the sum of zeros ”

35. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “In 30 hours of interviews with parents in prison Amanda never was heard [incriminating herself]”

34. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was immediately admited, the mistake by the investigators”

33. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The footprint of Guede on the pillow right now is the signature of the crime”

32. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Lumumba was not to be charged, he confirmed his alibi”.

31. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “There has been judicial harassment against [my client]”

30. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Prosecution and plaintiff leverage statements of Amanda unusable ”

29. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The declarations of Amanda between 5 and 6 November are unusable ”

28. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Absurd that Amanda is joining the attack on a friend ”

27. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Changing motive is constantly an element of weakness of the prosecution ”

26. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Add up all the clues , the sum of zero is always zero ”

25. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Without connections between clues and evidences the value is zero ”

24. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “In this process there is no evidence ”

23. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “A murder without a motive is fallacious ”

22. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Absurd that the knife used for the murder was brought home ”

21. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Imaginative reconstruction of the prosecution ”

20. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “This story has been in the headlines for months ”

19. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Meredith killed in this manner is a defeat for all ”

18. The closing argument of Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova begins (Knox defense).

17. Meredith appeal: the closing argument of the Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) ends.

16. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) : “Amanda Knox was not present at the crime scene ”

15. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The judgment of Justice is the acquittal of Amanda

14. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The witness Curatolo is unreliable ”

13. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “We challenged from the outset the murder weapon ”

12. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “On the blade of the knife there is no blood and no trace of Meredith.”

11. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The expertise that revealed traces of Meredith on the knife is not trusted “

10. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The knife found at Sollecito’s house is not the murder weapon “

9. The closing argument of Luciano Ghirga defender Amanda Knox begins.

8. Amanda to the court: ” I am innocent , put an end to this enormous injustice ”

7. Amanda : “I’m not the monster he has been portrayed in recent years ”

6. Amanda: ” I did not know Rudy Guede ”

5. Amanda: “I’m not a killer , the prosecution and the civil parties are wrong , they want a conviction without proof ”

4. Amanda: ” Meredith and I have always been friends , we never quarreled ”

3. Amanda: “I have been subjected to illegal interrogation , I made a false confession extorted”

2. Amanda: “I have not killed , raped , robbed , I was not at the scene of the crime”

1. The email of Amanda : “I’m innocent , but I am not in court because I’m afraid”

2. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

3. Carlo dalla Vedova to #amandaknox appeal jury: If there is no murder motive, you must acquit.

2. Carlo dalla Vedova: We know #amandaknox is innocent. As time passes we’re even more tranquil.There are many more doubts than certainties.

1. In Florence, amanda knox lawyer holds up large knife to jury: “Starch was on the knife. It was not cleaned. It was in domestic use.”

1. Email from Amanda Knox

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, because I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and victim of injustice.

The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them before coming to a verdict. I must repeat: I am innocent.

I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people-Rafael and me.

My life being on the line and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgment:

No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I was not there and didn’t take part in the crime.

Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario. The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime

scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge.

My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance. I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer. I never thought or imagined that they would have used my openness and trust to fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed comfort, Rafael embraced me; when I was sad and scared, I cried; when I was angry, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence; when I was trying to help, I answered questions, consoled Meredith’s friends and tried to keep a positive attitude.

Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position. Twenty—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture. I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew. I was denied legal counsel- The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it illegal. I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I was told I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I was told that if I didn’t succeed in remembering what happened to Meredith that night I would never see my family again. I was browbeaten into confusion and despair. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth.

The police coerced me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which the police wrongfully interpreted (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable. I simply didn’t know what they were demanding me to know. After over 50 hours of questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

This coerced and illegitimate statement was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander. The prosecution and civil parties would have you believe that this coerced and illegitimate statement is proof of my involvement in the murder. They are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.

This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filament Romanal were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts.

I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.

This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.

It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent.

I had no Contact with Rudy Guide.

Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students

who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

I am not a psychopath.

There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their slanders against me, their personal opinions about me. They want you to think I’m a monster because it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties are both severely mistaken and wrong. They have condemned me without proof of guilt, and they seek to convince you to condemn me without proof of guilt.

If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.

The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes. Not by the experts of the defense, nor by the experts of the Court.

The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.

The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In their haste, they made mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon mistakes.

Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but their personal and highly subjective feeling, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, not Rafael Sollecito, not Amanda Knox, but of Rudy Guide. We would not be here over six years later debating inconclusive and unreliable “clues.” We would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

The prosecution’s accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years they have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should take my life away. I beg you to see the facts and reason of what I say. I am innocent. Rafael is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the truth. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/17/13 at 09:24 AM
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Monday, December 16, 2013

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

Posted by Peter Quennell



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

7. Court resumes tomorrow

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

6. Reporting in English

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

5. Reporting in Italian #3

Report by Gazetta del Sud

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

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

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

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

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

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

Translation by The 411

4. Reporting in Italian #2

Report by Umbria24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Reporting in Italian #1

Report by Blitzquotidiano

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

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

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

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

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

2. Tweets from La Nazione

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Amanda knew the mode of the murder

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

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

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

1. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

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

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

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

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

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



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





Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/13 at 08:05 AM
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why Is Appeal Prosecutor Crini So Very, Very Interested In The Precise Position Of Filomena’s Door?

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Above, we can see Filomena’s grey door, at hard left; ahead are Meredith’s & Knox’s bedrooms]


Do please bear in mind that this appeal was initiated by Knox and Sollecito, and the verdict, sentence and sentencing report they dispute is Judge’s Massei’s from the 2009 trial.

The subject of one of Dr Crini’s focuses - whether or not Filomena’s door was open at the various times Knox and Sollecito stated they went to the women’s apartment on the morning-after – is a crucial one, relevant to proving Knox’s and Sollecito’s lies and obfuscations.

Wasn’t the staged break-in to Filomena Romanelli’s room glaringly obvious? In the early morning of November 2nd, 2007? In spite of the Knox/Sollecito obfuscations?  There is much information in Massei on this question, pointing to many very obvious obfuscations.

Now, for the legal requirements of beyond-reasonable-doubt (BRD) actual, literal quotations are needed. Much relevant information can easily get ‘lost in translation’ not only at the superficial level of paraphrase, as in “They said that…..”, but also at the more subtle level of the formats used for quotations.

Some of the Massei Report as translated consists of the actual oral quotations of witness statements, some are quotations of the content of written documents, but some consist only of paraphrases of both oral statements and of written documents.

For some quotations, especially nested-quotations the translation uses various formats, beginning either with a comma or an apostrophe, ending with an apostrophe, and, in my copy, some back-slashes.

This mixture can be confusing to some readers, and Knox and Sollecito are seasoned veterans of exploiting such translational losses. That is a major factor in their continuing obstruction of justice: using chronic obfuscation.

He said, “She yelled, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ “


This quotation-format has been substituted in this post where it seems appropriate. It is hoped that when this format is used only to indicate editorial irony it will be self-evident.

John Follain and Will Savive also make a number of relevant references, and so do some Wiki articles whose authors are too modest to identify themselves though ‘Underhill’ has been mentioned as a co-ordinator.






Of course, the members of the Florence Appellate Court have access-to, have probably already read, thousands of pages of evidence, including the actual verbatim witness-transcripts, and that Court will make up its own mind independent of what is written elsewhere.

Here are some of the Massei ‘door’ instances - this is a selection of a relevant 6 out of a grand total of 192 instances:

Massei Page 28: [Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito – said that they were waiting for the carabinieri whom they had called since “coming back to the cottage in the morning because they had been away for the night” and finding “the entrance [15] door open and then the window broken” (see declarations by Battistelli, hearing of February 7, 2009, page 64).]


Access to the Court Records would help us better-understand this passage, but Follain (Page 67, Kindle location 939), indicates that Battistelli is actually quoting Sollecito, substituting ‘they’ for ‘we’, so it seems that Sollecito was already obfuscating the facts, encouraging the inference that their shocking observations began only when both he and Knox arrived together and discovered together both the open apartment entrance-door, and from inside Filomena’s room, the broken-window, so we are all being steered away, by Sollecito, from the true answer to our question.

Massei Pages 29-30: [Around midday(Nov, 2nd, 2007), at ten past twelve, when they had not yet arrived at the car park of the Fair, and she(Filomena) was in the car with her friend Paola Grande, she received a phone call: it was Amanda letting her know that there was something strange. She had arrived and had found the door open: she had had a shower and it had seemed to her that there was some blood; moreover she said that she was going [17] to Raffaele’s place (declarations of Romanelli page 31, hearing of February 7, 2009).
To her (Filomena’s) question about where Meredith was, she had answered that she did not know.]


Filomena had apparently not been told by Knox, in this 1st phone-call, about the broken pane, the stone, and the bedroom-disarray, as if Knox was not yet aware of these stunning facts. The obfuscation continues.

Massei Page 30: [Marco Zaroli, who was without a car because Ms. Romanelli had taken it, had called his friend Luca Altieri and they had gone together to the house in Via della Pergola, where they arrived around 1:00 pm, at almost the same time as Filomena Romanelli and Paola Grande. In the house there were the also the two present accused and – as we have seen – Inspector Battistelli and Assistant Marzi. The presence of the latter two was linked by Ms. Romanelli to what Amanda had told her about the open door, the broken pane, her own room in a mess.]


When Knox first told Ms. Romanelli about her visit, she had omitted reference to Laura’s and Filomena’s doors, whether they were open, whether they were openable, whether Knox opened them, and whether Knox looked inside and saw the broken pane, the stone, and the bedroom-disarray. It is implausible that Knox tried only Meredith’s door and not the others.

It is also implausible that Knox even took a shower at the women’s apartment, colder as it was than Sollecito’s. Amy Frost testified that hours after the body was discovered Amanda Knox told her that she never took the shower, because when she noticed the blood that had stopped her from showering.

The Postal Police commented that Knox also emanated an unpleasant, ‘post-shower’ odour, inconsistent with Amanda having recently had a shower anywhere, implying Knox was lying about taking the shower.

Knox is steering Ms. Romanelli away from these crucial facts which logically demanded that their ‘discoverer’ flee (again), and call the Police. Knox is obfuscating by selective piece-meal feeding-of-the-facts to Filomena.

Massei Page 38: [On the day of November 2, 2007 at police headquarters, Amanda was also there and she said that that night she had been with her boyfriend Raffaele and that the next morning at around 11:00 am she had gone back home to get changed. She had found the entrance door open and this seemed strange to her: she had gone into the house and into her room and she had taken a shower and had seen drops of blood.

She said that after the shower she got dressed and noticed that Meredith’s door was locked. She went into the other bathroom and said that there were faeces in the toilet. Then she went into another room and noticed that the window had been broken and that there was glass inside. She told these things to her and the other girls present. Then she related that she had gone back to Raffaele’s house and had rung Filomena. She remembered that on that occasion at police headquarters Raffaele was very calm, silent.]




When Knox first called Filomena, Knox had omitted any mention of the most significant information - the (staged) break-in, as if she had not ‘noticed’ it.

Now, later, paraphrasing, Massei states: “Then she went into another room and noticed that the window had been broken and that there was glass inside.”

Had Massei not paraphrased, but had written “Then I went into Filomena’s room and ‘noticed’ that her window had been broken and that there was glass inside.”, we could use it as BRD evidence.

The actual, verbatim quote should be among the many thousands of Court Records relied upon by Massei; Nencini’s Court should use such Record in reaching its decision.

Massei Page 65: [Upon returning home, she [Amanda] noticed that the door was wide open. She thought someone had gone to take the trash out or gone to the floor below, closing the door behind them but not locking it. She asked loudly whether anyone was at home, but no one answered. The door to Meredith’s room was closed, and this meant she was sleeping. She undressed in her own room and took a shower in the bathroom, (the one) nearest to (both) her room and to Meredith’s.

When she got out of the shower, she realised that on the little bath mat where she had placed her feet, there was blood and also, there were drops of blood on the sink and the faucet. She left the bathroom and went to get dressed in her own room. Then, she went in the other bathroom to dry her hair, where there was a blow dryer. It was at this time that she noticed feces in the toilet, which surprised her. She then took the mop and returned to Raffaele’s home, locking the door (on the way out.)

She told Raffaele what she had seen and he suggested that she call one of her friends. She then called Filomena Romanelli, who said that she had been out with her boyfriend and that Laura Mezzetti was also away, in Rome with her family. She then realised that the only one to have spent the night in Via della Pergola was Meredith, about whom, however, nothing was known. Filomena seemed worried, so Amanda (Page 66) told her that she would call Meredith, who would then call her back.

She then called the two cellphones that Meredith had, but without getting any response (from her). She then returned home, this time with [55] Raffaele. Upon returning home, she opened the door to Filomena Romanelli’s room and saw that the window was open and completely broken: there was chaos, ‚but her computer was in its place on the desk.‛ Convinced that there had been a burglary, she went into the other rooms: Laura’s room was in order, and nothing was missing from her own room.

However, Meredith’s door was closed. She began to knock and to call out, without receiving any answer. She was then seized with panic and went on the balcony to see if she was able to see anything, but she couldn’t see anything. She went down to the apartment below to ask someone, but no one was there. She therefore went back inside and Raffaele said that he wanted to try to break down the door of Meredith’s room, but he wasn’t able to. It was then that they decided to call the police, which is what Raffaele did. She let Filomena know about this, asking her to come home.]

Now, only after returning “home, this time with [55] Raffaele.” does Knox allege that she had then “opened the door to Filomena Romanelli’s room and saw that the window was open and completely broken: there was chaos, ‚but her computer was in its place on the desk.”

Knox continues to obfuscate by selective piece-meal feeding-of-the-facts.

Massei Page 66: [While they were waiting, two police officers arrived (at the scene) and she showed them all that she had seen. Then Filomena arrived with her boyfriend and two other friends, and they broke down the door of Meredith’s room.]

True.  There are a number of other Massei references to Filomena’s door and room, but they are basically repetitive of information already in the above references.

This seems to be enough for Nencini’s Court to reach its verdicts re Knox and Sollecito.


[Below: the area from which Knox would have been looking at Filomena’s door]

Posted by Cardiol MD on 12/14/13 at 04:50 PM
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

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

Posted by Cardiol MD



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

Absence of full medical picture outside Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How this can affect the January outcome

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

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

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

Here is the blunt truth:

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

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

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

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

Brief explanation of the medical facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notables who survived via a tracheostomy

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

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

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

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

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

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


Others whose tracheostomy saved their lives

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

  • Medical and legal conclusions from this

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Posted by Cardiol MD on 12/12/13 at 04:47 PM
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    Monday, December 09, 2013

    The Rise And Fall Of “Frank Sfarzo” And His Disastrous Trip To The US And Canada

    Posted by Ergon



    [Frank Sforza riding high in his first days in the US]


    Part II on Frank

    My Part 1 post in this series is just below this post, and others will follow. Much of this first emerged on PMF dot Net. TJMK has posted about Frank in early days, and about the Seattle court.


    Who is the real Frank Sfarzo?

    Born July 04, 1963, in Rome, his real name is Francesco Sforza. This is confirmed by his passport data which I saw. He tried for years to hide it, and it is of public interest since, when arrested for assault, he again, deliberately misspelled his name. Like Bruce Fis(c)her, he tried to hide his many slanderous and libelous accusations on his blog behind the handle ‘Frank Sfarzo’.

    The son of a doctor (like Raffaele Sollecito) he got a degree in philosophy from the University of Perugia (Candace Dempsey, Murder In Italy). Then his peripatetic lifestyle took him from Florence to Naples, a stint in the US, and work as a director of production in the troubled 2006 movie And Quiet Flows The Don.

    When the Meredith Kercher case broke late in 2007, he was the first blogger, on his new site Perugia Shock, to write about the case. Moving back from Florence to Perugia, he managed a student flophouse, then he lived with his mother in a flat paid for through her pension check - his pattern for some time had been to live off the patronage of women.

    These articles are based on a series of posts I wrote on PMF dot Net  - the SfarzoGate Papers. They are also based on interviews of many people who knew him personally - one common theme was how financially insecure he was, often to the point of stealing from their wallets/purses, and getting caught shoplifting from a local Coop store (September 06, 2010)



    [Perugia Shock in 2008 stiil supportive of Meredith, sarcastic of Knox]


    Insertion into the case

    Despite receiving lots of moneys from US supporter networks for his local intelligence (I saw evidence that pointed to a leak from inside the Questura, for which the prosecutors began an investigation against him in January 2009) his big dream was a) to own property and b) write a book/movie about the case.

    It was this that drove him into the arms of the Friends Of Amanda (see forthcoming Part III about their support for him and his blog Perugia Shock coming shortly) and to literally ‘turn on a dime’ in 2008 from being convinced of Amanda Knox’s guilt (he has always maintained Raffaele Sollecito’s relative innocence) to becoming, not just a pro-Amanda Knox blogger, but allying himself with the anti-Mignini forces in Perugia who wanted to impede his Monster Of Florence murder investigation.


    The war upon Dr Mignini

    The MOF series of ritualistic sex based murders took place in the Florence area in the 70’s, and it fell to the prosecutor Dr Giuliano Mignini, with ace criminal investigator Michele Giuttari, to carry on the work of earlier prosecutors. Much of the misreporting on the MOF case was sourced to Mario Spezi, who, allied with American writer Doug Preston, started a campaign of slander against Mignini from 2006 on that continues to this day.

    My sources tell me that Frank knows Spezi quite well, and as well he is allied with the Berlusconi forces who wanted to carry out their attack on the Italian judiciary. But, seeing how Doug Preston supposedly got a movie deal with Tom Cruise’s company, then after that with George Clooney, to film The Monster Of Florence, he hoped to have a similar movie made about the Amanda Knox case, with him working on it of course.

    Neither movie looks to be made now, which adds to much bitterness in some quarters.



    [Knox in Seattle with Frank; she came to mistrust him]


    The Perugia domestic dispute

    Then, as tends to happen, the wheels came off the PR bus. Frank’s sisters, concerned about how he was taking advantage of his mother, tried to intervene, he became abusive, the police were called for the domestic dispute September 10, 2010; he went ballistic, and attacked them.

    It was this incident, with the resulting assault charge he has managed to avoid so far, that he has spun into a web of lies about ‘Mignini’s persecution’ with the assistance of his muse, Candace Dempsey, author of Murder In Italy, the Friends Of Amanda Knox and Bruce Fischer, the co-owner with Sarah Snyder of the for profit Innocence-Anywhere (formerly Injustice In Perugia) website.



    [The initial accomodation the Mellases hoped Frank would accept]


    His begging for money

    His sisters having whisked his mother off to their own home, he was without funds and about to lose his apartment. From a begging e-mail of Frank’s, Feb. 23, 2012: “They knew my sister was against me, the women in my family are unfortunately bad, you guys are saving me, I will always be grateful, I will be filing the complaint to have ‘Piggy’ and his gang tried, I will write the movie about this case, we will do great things together”.

    He also claimed it was his sisters who were stealing the family funds, and that Mignini’s actions in the Meredith Kercher case were ‘criminal’ (which is the reason for the criminal defamation lawsuit he must now appear for in Florence).

    Pleas for financial assistance ensued, along with hints he might be closing down his rejigged website and moving to the United States for “other journalistic projects”. He actually asked for 10,000 Euros through Bruce Fischer’s website!


    His attempt to move to US

    The reality was, Italy beginning to pall, and with the outstanding assault charge, he hoped to make a permanent move to the US, with the help (he thought) of his prominent American supporters.

    Funds began to flow, and by my estimation he has received ‘donations’ in the tens of thousands of dollars. Which never, sadly, was enough. Just one Canadian supporter, who was abused by Frank after arrival, sent him 7000 dollars (confirmation posted by him on dot NET) in the form of 500 Euro monthly payments, plus his return air ticket.



    [The Vashon Sportsmens Club where Frank & the FOA met]


    Frank arrives in Seattle

    The supporter gave the date of his arrival at Seattle Air Port July 20, 2012, along with fellow Knox supporter Dr. David Anderson, with whom he’d been staying in Perugia.

    Frank managed to invite himself to the Mellas household, promising to reveal all about the investigation that would blow it wide open. He also claimed to have copies of the Amanda Knox ‘interrogation’ by the police and PM Mignini, which also, turned out to be a lie.



    [The FOA publicity planning meeting inside the bar]

    His first accomodation

    Offered a bunk in Chris Mellas’s boat parked in his driveway, he threw a fit, and demanded to be housed in their home.

    Where he ended up, staying with them for two months beginning July and including the Canadian interlude. Judge Michael Heavey who also had been sending regular monthly contributions (I am told around 300 Euros) escorted him around Washington State, then took him and Dr. Anderson to another of his pro-Knox anti-Mignini Rotary Club Club meetings on July 25, 2012.

    The problem was that the Mellas clan and Bruce Fischer had already planned the big Vashon Island get together at the Vashon Sportsman’s Inn, Saturday July 28, 2012, to plan and coordinate the PR push for the shortly to be released books, and thank her supporters.

    Therefore, not wanting to risk a blowup, they tried to placate him, while complaining to themselves about his behavior.

    Knox stepdad Chris Mellas even told the Canadian supporter that Frank was a ‘difficult house guest’, this a week after he’d arrived (!) while Candace Dempsey, sitting next to them, nodded agreement.



    [The FOA publicity group photo inside the bar. Some in hiding, we have other photos]


    Frank Sforza and Amanda

    Frank sat all day next to Amanda, who seems in her pictures to have a horrified fascination with Frank, who posed front and center for many group photos, and grandiosely boasted how he was going to ‘reveal all about the gang of criminals’.

    The supporters, who numbered over 60, including Judge Heavey, Steve Moore, Tom Rochelle, Joe Bishop, and Bruce Fischer, all lapped it up. Later, when the infamous finger salute Group Photo was taken, it was with the instruction to “send a message to Mignini”. Shouts of “Pignini” rang out.

    Frank was working very hard after that to find a way to stay in the US. He looked into obtaining a Green Card, but most of the female supporters were already married/not interested. Photos taken of him with them at the time show an adoring, rapturous group, though that changed after the stories came out.



    [Frank points to Screech Rum bottle from “Bill Williams” in kind host’s house. He looks very angry]


    Frank’s Canadian interludes:

    His first visit over the border for a week, went well. His Canadian supporters, one of whom, “Bill Williams” (a Canadian reverend) posts thousands of Groupie posts, met him with a bottle of “Screech Rum”.

    The second visit, though, was when it all began to unravel.

    A Canadian border service agent intercepted Frank, and, not believing his story why he was visiting Canada, seized his passport, and ordered him to report back to the agency the next day, August 25, with his Canadian sureties, “Bill”, and “Peter”. He was allowed to stay over, but things began to unravel after that. (I saw the passport seizure document)

    Frank became increasingly erratic. Not satisfied with the money already received from his host, “Peter”, he requested a ‘business loan’ of $25,000 to set up a beach bar. “Peter”, a successful retired businessman, was struck by Frank’s lack of business acumen, said the plan was unfeasible, and declined.

    Frank Sfarzo, who had never held a long term job or owned property in his life, began to insult him, calling his $750,000 home a ‘barn’ and other personal insults. Yet all he did in the nearly a month he was there was watch soap operas all day long, plus work on his blog, which his supporters helped him edit.

    In the end, when one of Frank’s tirades became too unbearable, his host, concerned for his safety, called the RCMP at 4:00 AM in the morning, who then escorted Frank, uttering threats of “suing” everybody,  to the border, and expelled him from Canada. He is now barred from entering the country. In turn, Frank accused his 71 yr. old host of sexually molesting him! The police didn’t believe him, of course.


    Frank is back in Seattle

    Frank returned to Seattle, where he was asked to leave the Mellas home after making a pass at Amanda Knox. Chris Mellas famously called him a “mooch” and an “exploiter”, and asked the Hawaiian supporter to delete Amanda’s personal information from Frank’s telephone, but everyone was too scared of him to do much else.

    Frank then stayed a few days Edda Mellas’s sister, Janet Huff’s home (he calls her and her daughter a ‘bitch’) then various homes until he ended up in a rooming house owned by another supporter, at 2283 Viewmont Way W. Seattle, on a three month lease beginning October 01, 2012 at $525 a month (paid for by the FOA, Frank’s funds were running low)



    [The hotel where Franks kind host paid his bill]


    Frank’s Hawaiian adventure

    Frank’s visitor’s permit running out, he accepted an invitation from another American supporter, then a long standing member of Bruce Fischer’s forum. He thought she was rich, she thought he was a misunderstood soul who corresponded with her regularly (she paid for a month’s rent, sent a ticket as well to Kona airport).

    Frank arrived November 08, 2012, on a seven day ticket. He was due to return November 14, but his plans were to get married, and obtain a Green card.

    Surprise. She wasn’t rich, wasn’t interested in marriage, and lived off the land in a little mountain community. He started the usual pattern of verbal abuse. They were peasants, she was a ‘loser’, etc. The people there were going to beat him up, she saved him from that. Even the dogs hated him.

    Trying to salvage the trip, she took him to a hotel room (which she paid for) for the last day on the island. Frank started with the abuse again, struck her, she fled to the desk and called the police. She just wanted him removed and to catch his flight, he threatened to sue the police, they arrested him for assault. He claimed she threw luggage at him, but it was she who had the bruises to show to the police. She fled the room right after.

    He was held overnight, released the next day and told to appear in court the next week on assault charges. Which he did, and she, just wanting to have him leave the island, declined to press charges, which can still be reinstated, should she chose to do so. Copies of all his arrest warrants and charges have already been published on PMF dot NET and PMF dot ORG.



    [Seattle Municipal courthouse where Frank was supposed to attend trial December 31, 2012]


    Denouement:

    When the news of his arrest broke, there was shock all around at PR central and Bruce Fischer’s ORG. Bruce tried to cover it up, deleted his forum member’s allegations (I found and saved it in the hour it was up)

    I expressed sympathy on PMF dot Net, she read it, contacted me, and the rest, as they say is history. Bruce tried to intimidate her by revealing her past sexual history, which Frank passed to him (so she posted it herself, she’s a victim of sexual assault, and decided she didn’t ever want to be a victim again)

    Then when Peter, the Canadian host spoke up on her behalf, Bruce tried to pass it off as ‘just too much to drink on both sides’ and this caused an uproar in his own forum, as members, appalled, quit in droves. And some of them, contacted me.

    Of course, Bruce, who likes to intimidate and abuse, (as former friend Steve Shay found out) allowed Knox ‘family friend’ Karen Pruett to reveal the accuser’s identity, even though we had obscured her name in our reporting.

    Frank got into an argument with two men at the rooming house who called him out on his behavior, he sucker punched one from behind and bit another, a disabled person. He was arrested and charged with assault, held overnight, arraigned the next day, probable cause found, and he was told to appear in court December 31, 2012. Which he didn’t, having fled back to Italy.

    Just like in Hawaii, he provided false ID and was charged as “Francesco Sforca” though we were able to locate the court records anyway. His supporters say he was stopped at the border from returning, but that is a lie. He was in Italy throughout that time, my sources tell me. Someone is out $2,500 bail money.



    [Seattle airport where Frank took off from after arrest, never to return]


    Postscript

    Francesco Sforza, also known as Frank Sfarzo, who travelled with and left behind files, photos and videos of a murdered girl in three different cities, should know that all his ‘property’ has been forwarded to the authorities to return to their rightful owner, whoever that might be. I do not know whether that forms or is part of an investigation into his activities, nor do I care.

    (To be continued in Part III, Frank Sfarzo and the FOA, due sometime this weekend)

    Posted by Ergon on 12/09/13 at 01:59 PM
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    Thursday, December 05, 2013

    The Rise And Fall Of “Frank Sfarzo” And How “Sfarzogate” Ripples On And On

    Posted by Ergon



    [Image is from Francesco Sforza’s early days in Seattle last year when he felt he was riding very high]


    December 06, 2013. Francesco Sforza also known as Frank Sfarzo is due to appear today in a Florence criminal court.

    He is charged with aggravated defamation (art. 595 of the Italian Criminal Code) against the Deputy Prosecutor General for Umbria (Perugia’s region)  Dr Giuliano Mignini, because he is a very senior officer of the court, with the alleged intention of obstructing justice on Knox’s behalf.

    The charges refer to multiple accusations of criminality Sforza made online on his now hidden or defunct blog “Perugia Shock”. A prison term is unlikely if found guilty at this one trial, but the problem is that he faces a trial for violence against police in Perugia as well.

    Who is Frank Sfarzo? Is he “a Perugian blogger and investigative journalist” and “personable black haired man with intense brown eyes”? (Candace Dempsey, who relied extensively on his personal contacts and blog for her book “Murder In Italy”)

    Or as journalist Andrea Vogt wrote in a May 27, 2009 Seattle PI article,

    Dempsey was one of the first U.S. bloggers to post key court documents. (Sourced from Sfarzo) She is now writing a book on the case. The other defense site is Perugia Shock, the first blog about the case, which started Nov. 2, 2007. Perugia Shock’s comment threads are home to some of the most heated Knox-related exchanges online.

    Perugia Shock is hosted on a California server and financed by an American firm, according to the Perugia-based blogger who covers the case and operates the site under the alias “Frank Sfarzo.

    “Also known as Frank Sfarzo, this home-spun blogger set up his blog “Perugia Shock” the day after (sic) Meredith’s body was found. The Knox family initially relied on his local intelligence, and he exchanged videos and information with pro-Amanda Seattle blogger Candace Dempsey”. Source: Darkness Descending page 324.

    The journalist Barbie Nadeau has this to say about Sforza in “Angel Face” pages-89-91:

    The first blog dedicated to the crime, Perugia Shock, was set up on November 02, 2007, the day Meredith’s body was discovered. The blogger, Frank Sfarzo, a skeletal man with a waxed crew cut, ran a student flophouse in town and believes that he missed a call from Meredith while she was looking for lodging.

    When I later asked him in an e-mail why he started the blog, he explained the connection and described how Meredith had looked at the coroners: “Seriously, she was so beautiful and sweet, she seemed to be alive, with the mascara on her eylashes (sic), just like ready to go out.

    “Sfarzo hid behind the handle, “Frank the blogger,” and he would never confirm whether he actually saw Meredith on the autopsy table or simply saw the coroner’s photos. (He saw the photos, and obtained copies) He ingratiated himself with several clerks and cops around town and, curiously, often had a document no one else could get or a scoop that beat out the rest of the press.

    He started out as an objective observer, slightly sympathetic to Meredith, but became a rabid proponent of Amanda’s innocence. He was the quintessential blogger—a smart, cryptic, insomniac. Even the chief prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, read his posts.

    Mignini always believed that Frank’s blog was intellectually inspired and financially subsidized by Mario Spezi, the Italian journalist who covered the Monster of Florence serial killer for La Nazione. During the 1970’s and 80’s, several couples were murdered as they made love in their cars in the foothills around Florence. Spezi followed the investigation for years and pinned his reputation on a theory of the case that Mignini disputed. Eventually, Mignini had Spezi jailed for obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.

    Note: this is how the American fiction writer Douglas Preston got involved with Spezi, and latched on to the Meredith Kercher murder case as a way of getting back against Mignini, also supporting Frank Sfarzo behind the scenes.

    Why is Frank Sfarzo so important to this case? It is about public perception about the guilt, or innocence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, and how he was the source of many of the myths about the case and prosecutor Giuliani Mignini that have made it into the mainstream media. Yes, he had many police files, improperly obtained, and insecurely kept.

    This article is the first of a series of posts about his activities in that regard, the true story of his so called ‘persecution’ by Dr Mignini, and the financial and other support he received from the supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, and their families. He even hid his relationship with OGGI magazine.

    It reveals why he really fled Italy to America, attempting to get a green card in the process, and the many cases of assault that are still outstanding against him. It details the story of his arrests for assault in Perugia, Hawaii, and Seattle, and the circumstances of his expulsion from Canada.

    It will tell how he received tens of thousands of dollars in ‘donations’ from prominent supporters of Knox and Sollecito funneled through Bruce Fischer’s organizations “Injustice in Perugia” and “Injustice Anywhere” as well as his and other people’s PayPal accounts (I have the details) And it will detail the behind the scenes efforts to influence the case using Frank Sfarzo as a source for the allegations against Mignini through websites like IIP and Ground Report, which then made its way into the media.

    This series will also reveal much about Frank Sfarzo, the man. Someone who believed primarily in Knox’s guilt (with Sollecito as the roped in sex-slave) it shows a flawed being willing to compromise himself to make money, and also, fulfill his long held dream to have ‘books written and movies made’.

    In the course of this investigation, I met with and interviewed many previous supporters who now wish they had never met him, and some, who even, conclude that his reporting on the case was based on self-serving lies. The behavior of those that enabled him also comes under scrutiny, and, their attempts to intimidate people into not speaking up about his actions. 

    They indeed, had much to hide.

    This report is based on the hundreds of posts I made on him at PMF dot Net , with much help from the posters and editors there and at PMF dot Org. It was heartening to see the cooperation between the two sites and thanks are due to them, and also to Peter Quennell, who first invited me to join the Meredith Kercher community three years back (I’d been posting on the case at Huffington Post previously)

    What will happen to Frank in court? I do not know, but it does appear, that the falsehoods he spread are beginning to unravel. I see he has surfaced again, after hiding from the authorities for so long. Reporting on Bruce Fischer’s blog, he writes “they attack me for speaking up”. No, I’m sorry. In this, as it always has been, the blogger Francesco Sforza, also known as Frank Sfarzo, is the author of his own misfortune.

    Part II of the series, “The Sfarzo~Gate Papers”, will be published here next week. ~Ergon


    [Below: This picture has a story behind it. Frank Sfarzo stayed almost two months at the Mellas household, and was later shunted off to various supporters when he made a sexual move on Amanda Knox.]


    Wednesday, December 04, 2013

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

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Sollecito has not ever taken the witness stand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment. According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s indictment, it looked like Sollecito was taking off out of Italy like a rabbit. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More grief for Papa Doc…. In the movie Groundhog Day the obnoxious hero had to repeat a single day of his life again and again till he hit upon the right things to do and say. Judge Nencini did leave Sollecito an opening to address the judges again.

    It is in Sollectto’s own best interests to go back to court, and try and try and try to look and sound chastened till he gets it right. Knox too. 







    Saturday, November 30, 2013

    Note For Strasbourg Court & State Department: Knox Herself Proves She Lies About Her Interrogation

    Posted by James Raper





    In our previous post Kermit nicely shows how, under the European Court of Human Rights’ own guidelines, Amanda Knox’s “appeal” won’t put her out of reach of the fair and painstaking Italians. 

    If any of the busy, hard-pressed ECHR investigators do choose to press beyond the ECHR guidelines, they will almost instantly establish that in her voluntary interview on 5 November 2007 Knox was treated with complete fairness.

    Also that her false accusation of Patrick (which she never retracted) was entirely of her own doing.

    And also that she is not only trying to throw sand into the wheels of Italian justice during an ongoing judicial process (a felony in Italy) but she is trying to welsh out of paying Patrick his damages award of $100,000 (a contempt of the Supreme Court) thus foolishly risking two more charges of aggravated calunnia.

    This post derives from a post of mine last May. In another post, we showed that Dr Mignini was not present for the interrogation that night, and Knox maliciously invented an illegal interrogation at risk of a third aggravated calunnia charge.

    In fact Dr Mignini met with Amanda Knox only briefly, later, to charge her and to warn she should say no more without a lawyer. He asked her no questions.

    I will compare the various accounts of the interrogation to demonstrate that Amanda Knox is indeed lying to the ECHR, just as she did repeatedly in her book this year and also on US and European television.

    • There are two main bodies of truth about the interrogation: (1) all of those present at various times on that night and (2) Knox’s own testimony on the witness stand in mid 2009.

    • There are two main bodies of lies about the interrogation (1) The Sollecito book and (2) the Knox book, which by the way not only contradict one another but also contradict such other accounts as those of Saul Kassin and John Douglas.

    The police had called her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in to the station for questioning and Knox had accompanied him because she did not want to be alone. They had already eaten at the house of a friend of Sollecito’s.

    Knox’s interrogation was not tape recorded and in that sense we have no truly independent account of what transpired. The police, including the interpreter, gave evidence at her trial, but we do not yet have transcripts for that evidence other than that of the interpreter. There are accounts in books that have been written about the case but these tend to differ in the detail. The police and the interpreter maintain that she was treated well. Apart from the evidence of the interpreter all we have is what Knox says happened, and our sources for this are transcripts of her trial evidence and what she wrote in her book. I shall deal with the evidence of the interpreter towards the end of this article.

    I am going to compare what she said at trial with what she wrote in her book but also there was a letter she wrote on the 9th and a recording of a meeting with her mother on the 10th November which are relevant.. What she wrote in her book is fairly extensive and contains much dialogue. She has a prodigious memory for detail now which was almost entirely lacking before.  I am going to tell you to treat what she says in her book with extreme caution because she has already been found out for, well let us say, her creative writing if not outright distortion of facts. I shall paraphrase rather than quote most of it but a few direct quotes are necessary.

    Knox arrived with Sollecito at the police station at about 10.30 pm (according to John Follain). The police started to question Sollecito at 10.40 pm (Follain).

    In her book Knox describes being taken from the waiting area to a formal interview room in which she had already spent some time earlier. It is unclear when that formal questioning began. Probably getting on for about 11.30pm because she also refers to some questions being asked of her in the waiting room following which she did some stretches and splits. She then describes how she was questioned about the events over a period from about the time she and Sollecito left the cottage to about 9 pm on the 1st November.

    Possibly there was a short break. She describes being exhausted and confused. The interpreter, Knox says, arrived at about 12.30 am. Until then she had been conversing with the police in Italian.

    Almost immediately on the questioning resuming -

    “Monica Napoleoni, who had been so abrupt with me about the poop and the mop at the villa, opened the door. “Raffaele says you left his apartment on Thursday night,” she said almost gleefully. “He says that you asked him to lie for you. He’s taken away your alibi.””

    Knox describes how she was dumfounded and devastated by this news. She cannot believe that he would say that when they had been together all night. She feels all her reserves of energy draining away. Then -

    “Where did you go? Who did you text?” Ficarra asked, sneering at me.

    “I don’t remember texting anyone.”

    They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.

    “You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

    “My boss at Le Chic.”

    Stop right there.

    How were the police able to name the recipient of the text? The text Patrick had sent her had already been deleted from Knox’s mobile phone by Knox herself and Knox hasn’t yet named Patrick. In fact she couldn’t remember texting anyone.

    It is of course probable that the police already had a log of her calls and possibly had already traced and identified the owner of the receiving number for her text, though the last step would have been fast work.

    In her trial testimony Knox did a lot of “the police suggested this and suggestd that” though it is never crystal clear whether she is accusing the police of having suggested his name. But she is doing it here in her book and of course the Knox groupies have always maintained that it was the police who suggested his name to her.

    The following extract from her trial testimony should clear things up. GCM is Judge Giancarlo Massei.

    GCM: In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?

    AK: No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”

    GCM: But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?

    AK: Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone…………………..

    GCM : But they didn’t literally say it was him!

    AK : No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”

    GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?”

    AK : Well, first I started to cry…....

    And having implied that it was the police who suggested Patrick’s name to her, she adds….. that quote again -

    “You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

    “My boss at Le Chic.”

    Here she is telling the Perugian cops straight out exactly to whom the text was sent. “My boss at Le Chic”.

    But that does not quite gel with her trial testimony -

    And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!”

    At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember…..

    Doesn’t the above quote make it clear that the police were having considerable trouble getting Knox to tell them to whom her text message was sent? It would also explain their growing frustration with her.

    But perhaps the above quote relates not to whom the text was sent but, that having been ascertained, whether Knox met up with that person later? Knox has a habit of conflating the two issues. However there is also the following quote from her trial testimony -

    Well there were lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?”

    Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman and she gave me another blow to the head.

    The woman with the long hair, chestnut brown hair, Knox identifies in her book as Ficarra. Ficarra is the policewoman who started the questioning particularly, as Knox has confirmed, about the texted message. “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Again, surely this is to get Knox to identify the recipient of the text, not about whether she met up with him?






    In the book though, it is all different.

    In the book, the police having told her that the text is to someone called Patrick, Knox is a model of co-operation as, having already told them that he is her boss at Le Chic, she then gives a description of him and answers their questions as to whether he knew Meredith, whether he liked her etc. No reluctance to co-operate, no memory difficulties here.

    Notwithstanding this, her book says the questions and insinuations keep raining down on her. The police insist that she had left Sollecito’s to meet up with - and again the police name him - Patrick.

    “Who did you meet up with? Who are you protecting? Why are you lying? Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?”

    Remember again, according to her trial testimony the police did not mention Patrick’s name and Knox still hasn’t mentioned his name. But wait, she does in the next line -

    “I said “Patrick is my boss.””

    So now, at any rate, the police have a positive ID from Knox regarding the text message and something to work with. Patrick - boss - Le Chic.

    Knox then refers to the differing interpretations as to what “See you later” meant and denies that she had ever met up with Patrick that evening. She recalls the interpreter suggesting that she was traumatized and suffering from amnesia.

    The police continue to try to draw an admission from Knox that she had met up with Patrick that evening - which again she repeatedly denies. And why shouldn’t she? After all, she denies that she’s suffering from amnesia, or that there is a problem with her memory. The only problem is that Sollecito had said she had gone out but that does not mean she had met with Patrick.

    Knox then writes, oddly, as it is completely out of sequence considering the above -

    “They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,

    “You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

    That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.”

    A couple of blows (more like cuffs) to the head (denied by the police) is mentioned in her trial testimony but more likely, if this incident ever happened, it would have been earlier when she was struggling to remember the text and to whom it had been sent. Indeed that’s clear from the context of the above quotes.

    And this, from her trial testimony -

    Remember, remember, remember, and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me.”

    In the CNN TV interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox was asked if there was anything she regretted.

    Knox replied that she regretted the way this interrogation had gone, that she wished she had been aware of her rights and had stood up to the police questioning better.

    Well actually, according to the account in her book, she appears to have stood up to the police questioning with a marked degree of resilience and self- certainty, and with no amnesia. There is little of her trademark “being confused”. 

    So why the sudden collapse? And it was a sudden collapse.

    Given the trial and book accounts Knox would have us think that she was frightened, that it was due to exhaustion and the persistent and bullying tone of the questioning, mixed with threats that she would spend time in prison for failing to co-operate. She also states that -

    (a) she was having a bad period and was not being allowed to attend to this, and

    (b) the police told her that they had “hard evidence” that she was involved in the murder.

    Knox has given us a number of accounts as to what was actually happening when this occurred.

    In a letter she wrote on the 9th November she says that suddenly all the police officers left the room but one, who told her she was in serious trouble and that she should name the murderer. At this point Knox says that she asked to see the texted message again and then an image of Patrick came to mind. All she could think about was Patrick and so she named him (as the murderer).

    During a recorded meeting with her mother in Capanne Prison on the 10th November she relates essentially the same story.

    In her book there is sort of the same story but significantly without mention of the other officers having left the room nor mention of her having asked to see the texted message again.

    If the first two accounts are correct then at least the sense of oppression from the room being crowded and questions being fired at her had lifted.

    Then this is from her book -

    In that instant, I snapped. I truly thought I remembered having met somebody. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I didn’t understand that I was about to implicate the wrong person. I didn’t understand what was at stake. I didn’t think I was making it up. My mind put together incoherent images. The image that came to me was Patrick’s face.  I gasped. I said his name. “Patrick—it’s Patrick.

    It’s her account, of course, but this “Patrick - It’s Patrick” makes no sense at this stage of it unless it’s an admission not just that she had met up with Patrick but that he was at the cottage and involved in Meredith’s death.

    And this is from her trial testimony -

    GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?

    AK : Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of Patrick I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation.

    There is a clear difference between these two quotes.

    The one from her book suggests that she was trying hard but that the police had virtually brought her to the verge of a mental breakdown.

    Her trial testimony says something else; that a scene and an idea was forming in her mind brought on by her naming of Patrick.

    In her book she states that a statement, typed up in Italian, was shoved under her nose and she was told to sign it. The statement was timed at 1.45 am. The statement was not long but would probably have taken about twenty minutes to prepare and type.

    The statement according to Knox -

    ... I met Patrick immediately at the basketball court in Piazza Grimana and we went to the house together. I do not remember if Meredith was there or came shortly afterward. I have a hard time remembering those moments but Patrick had sex with Meredith, with whom he was infatuated, but I cannot remember clearly whether he threatened Meredith first. I remember confusedly that he killed her.

    The fact that the statement was in Italian is not important. Knox could read Italian perfectly well. However she does insinuate in the book that the details in the statement were suggested to her and that she didn’t bother to read the statement before signing.

    Apart from what has been mentioned above, there are some other points and inferences to be drawn from the above analysis.

      1.  Knox’s account destroys one of Sollecito’s main tenets in his book Honour Bound. Sollecito maintains that he did nothing to damage Knox’s alibi until he signed a statement, forced on him at 3:30 am and containing the damaging admission that Knox had gone out. But Knox makes it clear that she had heard from the Head of the Murder Squad that he had made that damaging admission, at or shortly after 12.30 am. Or is Knox is accusing Napoleoni of a bare-faced lie?

      2.  It is valid to ask why Knox would not want to remember to whom the text had been sent. Who can see into her mind? Perhaps Knox realized that discussion of it would confirm that if she had indeed gone out then it was not to Le Chic, where she was not required. However even if she thought that could put her in the frame it’s not what an innocent person would be too worried about. Perhaps she did just have difficulty remembering?

      3.  If there was no fuss and she did remember and tell the police that the text was to Patrick, and the questioning then moved on to whether she met up with Patrick later that evening, what was the problem with that? She knew the fact that she hadn’t met up with him could be verified by Patrick. She could have said that and stuck to it. The next move for the police would have been to question Patrick. They would not have had grounds to arrest him.

      4.  Knox stated in her memorial, and re-iterates it in her book, that during her interrogation the police told her that they had hard evidence that she was involved in Meredith’s murder. She does not expand on what this evidence is, perhaps because the police did not actually tell her. However, wasn’t she the least bit curious, particularly if she was innocent? What was she thinking it might be?

      5.  I can sympathise with any interviewee suffering a bad period, if that’s true. However the really testy period of the interview/interrogation starts with the arrival of the interpreter, notification of Sollecito’s withdrawal of her alibi and the questioning with regard to the text to Patrick, all occurring at around 12.30 am.  There has to be some critical point when she concedes, whether to the police or in her own mind,  that she’d met “Patrick”, after which there was the questioning as to what had happened next. Say that additional questioning took 20 minutes. Then there would be a break whilst the statement is prepared and typed up. So the difficult period for Knox, from about 12.30 am to that critical point, looks more like about 35 to, at the outside, 50 minutes.

      6.  Even if, for that period, it is true that she was subjected to repeated and bullying questions, and threats, then she held up remarkably well as I have noted from her own account. It does not explain any form of mental breakdown, let alone implicating Patrick in murder. In particular, if Knox’s letter of the 9th and the recording of her meeting with her mother on the 10th are to believed, that alleged barrage of questions had stopped when she implicated Patrick.  An explanation, for what it’s worth, might be that she had simply ceased to care any longer despite the consequences. But why?

      7.  A better and more credible explanation is that an idea had indeed formed suddenly in her mind. She would use the revelation about the text to Patrick and the consequent police line of questioning to bring the questioning to an end and divert suspicion from her true involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She envisaged that she would be seen by the police as a helpless witness/victim, not a suspect in a murder investigation. As indeed was the case initially.  She expected, I am sure, to be released, so that she could get Sollecito’s story straight once again. If that had happened there would of course remain the problem of her having involved Patrick, but I dare say she thought that she could simply smooth that over - that it would not be a big deal once he had confirmed that there had been no meeting and that he had not been at the cottage, as the evidence was bound to confirm.

    At the beginning I said that we also have a transcript now of the evidence of the interpreter, Anna Donnino. I will summarise the main points from her evidence but it will be apparent immediately that she contradicts much of what Knox and her supporters claim to have happened.

    Donnino told the court that she had 22 years experience working as a translator for the police in Perugia. She was at home when she received a call from the police that her services were required and she arrived at the police station at just before 12.30 am, just as Knox said. She found Knox with Inspector Ficarra. There was also another police officer there whose first name was Ivano. At some stage Ficarra left the room and then returned and there was also another officer by the name of Zugarina who came in. Donnino remained with Knox at all times

    The following points emerge from her testimony :-

      1. Three police officers do not amount to the “lots of people” referred to in Knox’s trial testimony, let alone the dozens and the “tag teams” of which her supporters speak.

      2. She makes no mention of Napoleoni and denied that anyone had entered the room to state that Sollecito had broken Knox’s alibi. (This is not to exclude that this may have happened before Donnino arrived)

      3. She states that Knox was perfectly calm but there came a point when Knox was being asked how come she had not gone to work that she was shown her own text message (to Patrick). Knox had an emotional   shock, put her hands to her ears and started rolling her head and saying “It’s him! It’s him! It’s him!”

      4. She denied that Knox had been maltreated or that she had been hit at all or called a liar.

      5. She stated that the officer called Ivano had been particularly comforting to Knox, holding her hand occasionally.

      6. She stated that prior to the 1.45 am statement being presented to Knox she was asked if she wanted a lawyer but Knox said no.

      7. She stated that she had read the statement over to Knox in english and Knox herself had checked the italian original having asked for clarification of specific wording.

      7. She confirmed that that she had told Knox about an accident which she’d had (a leg fracture) and that she had suffered amnesia about the accident itself. She had thought Knox was suffering something similar. She had also spoken to Knox about her own daughters because she thought it was necessary to establish a rapport and trust between the two of them.

    The account in Knox’s book is in some ways quite compelling but only if it is not compared against her trial testimony, let alone the Interpreter’s testimony:  that is, up to the point when she implicates Patrick in murder. At that point no amount of whitewash works. The Italian Supreme Court also thought so, upholding Knox’s calunnia conviction, with the addition of aggravating circumstances.




    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Amanda Knox Lies Again To Get Herself Into Another European Court “But Really, Judge, Its Only PR”

    Posted by Kermit



    [Amanda Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga (right): “Amanda wasn’t hit, we made no complaint”]

    Introduction

    This is the first of two posts on Knox’s claim to have sent an appeal to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    Last Monday the main event that followers of the Meredith Kercher murder case were awaiting was the closing argument by Prosecutor Alessandro Crini in Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s appeal trial.

    Dr Crini’s structuring of the prosecution’s case in 16 points demolished the defendants’ efforts to present the volume of evidence against them as an incredible, long series of mistakes, coincidences and misunderstandings.

    It seems, however, that Amanda Knox and her people didn’t want the public to be too fascinated by Dr Crini’s devastating argument.  They really wanted them to be distracted by what can only be seen as an ill-judged public relations move, breaking yet more laws along the way.

    Knox attempted to blow smoke over the prosecution’s arguments by grandly announcing “today, my lawyers filed an appeal of my slander[sic] conviction with the European Court of Human Rights.”  That explanation of her PR ploy calls for a close review of her eligibility (here) and her so-called proof (next post).

    Knox’s eligibility or otherwise

    The European Court of Human Rights, is a supranational European tribunal dedicated to – as its name suggests - human rights.

    It is not dedicated to criminal or civil proceedings on murder, sexual assault, theft, simulation of a crime, or any of the other charges that Knox faces.

    In fact, to avoid the many unnecessary or spurious applications which hamper real cases getting attended to, the ECHR provides a number of online resources on who may apply and how and why.

    One of the first issues that its advice underlines is that it is not a glorified appeals court:





    It is strange then, that Amanda Knox claims that her lawyers have “appealed” her case to the ECHR.

    Either Knox’s legal advisors are just ignorant (which ones? The Italian professionals, or the American media hacks?) or this is simply a last-ditch Hail Mary action as an extradition request moves inexorably closer.

    If the ECHR makes clear that it isn’t a court of appeal, there shouldn’t be any direct correlation between the Supreme Court confirming her as a convicted criminal and her application to the ECHR.

    If that is in fact the basis of their application, it will not go far before rejection. In fact, the vast majority (more than 95%) of applications get rejected:

    “For a number of years now, and owing to a variety of factors, the Court has been submerged by individual applications (over 130,000 were pending as at 31 August 2010). The overwhelming majority of these applications (more than 95%) are, however, rejected without being examined on the merits for failure to satisfy one of the admissibility criteria laid down by the Convention.

    This situation is frustrating on two counts.

    Firstly, as the Court is required to respond to each application, it is prevented from dealing within reasonable time-limits with those cases which warrant examination on the merits, without the public deriving any real benefit.

    Secondly, tens of thousands of applicants inevitably have their claims rejected, often after years of waiting.” 

    It would be a outrageous if other, real human rights cases were delayed due to a Public Relations ruse as part of an extra-judicial strategy to undermine a request for Knox’s extradition.

    Other ECHR on-line resources help potential applicants decide if they be eligible to be heard at the Court.

    Below, a work-flow chart presents the main steps, including various “Admissibility Criteria”:



    [Click for larger version]

    A first admissibility criterion

    The first Admissibility criterion is that an applicant has exhausted “domestic remedies” in pursuing the recognition and correction of the human rights he or she feels have been abused.

    Knox in her application to the ECHR directly relates the Italian Supreme Court final confirmation of her “calunnia” sentence (three years for obstruction of justice for framing her kindly boss Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher, thereby throwing off the course of the investigation) to her application to the ECHR.

    But what were the supposed human rights abuses suffered? What did she do to remedy them?

    The first requirement of exhausting “domestic remedies” means that the rights abuses that Knox alleges she has suffered have been pursued in Italy, and that all possible instances of reclamation in Italy have been visited.

    However, as far as the public knows, Knox has not even placed a formal complaint concerning supposed civil rights abuse. Certainly her own Italian lawyers have said they havent.

    The US and Italian publics would be interested in seeing her specific claims to the ECHR and whether there is any registration of such claims or complaints with the Italian police or other administrative or NGO offices.

    Knox’s needling stepfather, Chris Mellas, stated in April 2008 on a precursor to the PMF discussion forum that a complaint had been filed concerning Amanda being hit during questioning.



    [Click for larger version]


    However, nothing more has ever been heard of this complaint, which definitely would have been a starting point for pursuing domestic Italian remedies to the claimed rights abuse.

    Since it appears zero rights abuses have been pursued in Italy, and the date of Knox’s application to the ECHR is in effect unrelated to her “calunnia” sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court, the six month limit beyond national remedies related to the rights abuse for applying to the ECHR is irrelevant here.

    It should be noted that when Prosecutor Crini asked this week for an addition to Knox’s confirmed sentence for “calunnia”, adding another year to the three years already served by the convicted criminal, this is not a reopening of the “calunnia” case or an example of “double jeopardy”, but rather the reassessment on appeal of a separate, pending issue related to the basic calunnia charge: whether it should include an additional year of sentence for being aggravated.

    Since this aggravation addition to the charge is awaiting determination, and follows from instructions of the Italian Supreme Court (and could result in an additional year in prison), it is not part of the prior, confirmed sentence.

    A second admissibility criterion

    Now just in case Knox or her lawyers would like to allege any perceived human rights abuse whatsoever in their ECHR application, the Strasbourg court insists on the reclamation in question being directly related to one of the sections of the European Convention on Human Rights

    I’ve gone through it and I see chapters related to illegal detention (detention permitted only following arrest) and torture, but nothing related to getting cuffed on the back of your head.

    If such an event ever occurred, it shouldn’t have, but quite likely one of the other authorities or rights bodies listed by the ECHR may be better equipped to deal with it.

    This is a second Admissibility Criterion that filters out many applications: one can’t simply run to the ECHR saying “my rights have been abused” – the issue at hand must be directly related to the European Convention on Human Rights.

    I seriously doubt the “hitting” event ever occurred because Knox’s own Italian lawyer Luciano Ghirga denied it, stating to the Press on 21 October 2008:

    Amanda wasn’t hit. There were pressures fom the police, sure, but we never said she was hit.

    As our next post here on this same subject will show, even Knox herself admitted she was treated well. 



    [Above: Amanda Knox’s Italian courtroom lawyer stating to the Press in 2008 that she had not been hit.]


    If Knox hasn’t even tried to remedy being allegedly hit in Italy by suing or making formal complaints, nevertheless the Italian police certainly have acted upon such suggestions.

    A number of legal processes are under way against Knox and her family members for slander and calunnia. Knox might face two more charges of aggravated calunnia. Why do I doubt that Knox has even mentioned those other legal processes in her application to the ECHR?

    Those charges would of course have to be taken care of (as part of “exhausting domestic remedies”) before the ECHR would be able to consider her application, assuming it surmounted all of its other shortcomings to get to the ECHR judges’ hands.

    A third admissibility criterion

    Another Admissibility Criteria is the “Significant Disadvantage” filter. If an alleged rights abuse is minimal – compared to the very serious issues that the ECHR was created to consider – the application will go no further.

    The only violent description of Knox’s alleged beating was given by her stepfather, Chris Mellas: “She was interrogated, and hit, and threatened,” he typed. “Tortured.  Physically and mentally”.

    However, there was never any medical or forensic notification of such “torture” before or after her incarceration in Capanne Prison.

    Rather, Knox spent her time in prison receiving regular visits from a lovelorn Italian politician who befriended her, and participating in prison musical and theatrical activities.



    [Click for larger version]


    In underlying the “significant disadvantage” requirement, the ECHR states in its examples of rejected claims, that it can’t be distracted by the French driver who lost a point on his driver’s licence, or the Romanian who claims 90 euros from the State, when the Court has real and serious Human Rights cases to deal with such as:

    • El-Masri v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Article 3 of European Convention on Human Rights:  Torture and inhuman and degrading treatment during and following applicant’s extraordinary rendition to CIA)

    • Hirsii Jamaa and others v. Italy (Article 4 of Protocol No. 4: Return of migrants intercepted on the high seas to country of departure)

    It’s almost certain that Knox has not pursued on an Italian level any remedies to her alleged human rights abuse (whatever it was), nor is there any evidence that the investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder and the subsequent trials of Knox, Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito were affected in their outcome by the rights abuse.

    This is especially the case if the limit of Knox’s human rights suffering is that described by a talky ex-FBI helicopter pilot turned ex-college security guy turned Amanda Knox groupie, Steve Moore.

    Moore describes the “frightful” circumstances of Knox’s witness questioning on the night of 5 November 2007 for the couple of hours (perhaps even somewhat less) that it lasted:

    No food, no coffee, no bathroom breaks – nothing.





    Above is ex-college security man Steve Moore, right, together with PR flunkie Bruce Fischer, left, both flanking “Frank Sfarzo”, a Knox-Mellas family friend.

    Francesco Sforza is currently a fugitive from the Seattle courts on two counts of Assault-Domestic Violence, who continues to support Amanda in ongoing Internet blog posts, from wherever he may be.

    See below. Click for larger. In purple, my corrections to Knox’s “what-I-want-the-World-to-believe” post about applying to the ECHR.



    [Click for larger version]

    In conclusion

    Between the manifest doubtfulness of the acceptability of Knox’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, on one hand, and the falsehoods and half-truths in her announcement, on the other, why do I get the feeling that the only reason and hope she and her team have in announcing the application (whether really filed or not) is to distract the attention of the followers of her appeal trial from the prosecution’s weighty arguments?

    This will have little if any effect on the wheels of Italian Justice, and probably even less on a State Department more concerned with maintaining good relations with European allies while diplomatic challenges occur in the Middle East and Asia, than with a lobby plan to prevent Knox’s extradition.


    [Below: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg France]


    Meredith’s Perugia #35: A Main Draw For Her, The Exuberant Baroque And Renaissance

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 11/27/13 at 02:10 PM
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    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Appeal Session #5: Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Proposes 30 Years For Knox And 26 For Sollecito

    Posted by Peter Quennell




    Assessment by main poster SeekingUnderstanding

    The case put forward by the prosecution and reported to us by Yummi is almost startling in its lucid and concise approach.

    It couldn’t be more in contrast to the equivocations and disingenuousness, as well as irrelevant sentimentality that we have unfortunately become used to witnessing. The cutting use of logic was therefore refreshing, and gives grounds for optimism, albeit it tempered by unknowns.

    All the issues seemed to be addressed from the base line, as if from primary considerations. And many points were simply politely dismissed as being unimportant to the true case in hand -which is the establishment of the guilt (or not) of the accused. For example, it was great to hear that the reason why the knife had been brought to the cottage need not be examined - it was enough that it was there.

    It seemed that where the defence had challenged the evidence, for example suggesting contamination of DNA, it was here that Crini spared no detail, and took time in bottoming out the logic, and dispensing with their points. His arguments certainly carried conviction to me.

    I was glad to see motive and behavioural dynamics looked at, as indeed Cassation had requested. It seemed good too that Crini ruled out premeditation, and reduced the dynamics to something highly plausible and believable as well as simple. There are just two points I might observe :

    First, it would seem within character for Meredith to have been both open and direct in confronting issues of hygiene, drug use, infringement of privacy and noise etc., (or even theft of rent money, another possibility). I am not convinced that she would necessarily have been aggressively confrontational. Someone who is relaxed within themselves, accepting of their self, is well able to be assertive in a non-provocative manner. That is quite British too - especially old-fashioned English.

    Secondly, bearing in mind the possible or probable profiles of the defendants, it would not have taken more than one small trigger of reasonable confrontation to release the consequent temper-tantrum or drug fuelled rage. I do not think we are dealing with something proportionate - and this is also why it escalated in the terrifying way it did. I don’t think it is essential to hypothesize as to what in particular Meredith raised an objection to (e.g. Rudy’s bathroom event). It is probable that Meredith’s concerns were reasonable, and then the overly defensive and angry reaction to any criticism whatsoever was unreasonable. I personally think this is enough.

    I liked the way Crini said that even though a source is unreliable or not credible in some ways, that does not mean they do not (inadvertently as it were) give out information that is also true and useful. Possibly other statements from Guede might be taken into account in this way?

    As a psychologist, it would seem dialogue with Rudy might yet be fruitful, but, with things the way they remain with the other two, it does not seem the time now for further words. Something else needs to happen.

    Assessment by main poster James Raper

    Crini spent about 10 hours in total addressing the court and was certainly very thorough. Maresca was so impressed that there was no need for him to add anything further.

    Crini came to the prosecution case without the baggage of having presented any previous scenario or of having had his reputation sullied and slandered by the Knox PR machine. He reviewed the evidence dispassionately and found it compelling.

    Clearly he also found the previous machinations of C&V and the Hellmann court objectionable and went in hard here, even discussing previous cases where Vecchiotti and Conti had goofed up. Hellmann had tried so hard to avoid that coming out during his appeal.

    He was not, however, averse to taking a different tack where he thought this was appropriate. A sign of his intellectual honesty which may have impressed the court.

    For instance, he thought that there was no need to nail TOD down to 11.30pm as Mignini had sought to do. He allowed for an earlier TOD.

    He was of the opinion that coming up with an exact time line for a period in which there is no alibi, and when there is already evidence of involvement in murder, is of only marginal interest.

    He spent well over an hour discussing the knife. He did not think it necessary to mull over how it came to be at the cottage. That is speculation that need not detain anyone if the knife is accepted as the murder weapon, and he thinks that on all the evidence it is.

    He ruled out premeditation, even as to a hazing, and presented a very simple scenario as to motive and the dynamics behind and during the attack on poor Meredith. Keeping it simple makes it understandable to everyone. Elaborate further and you risk alienating someone who disagrees with the elaboration and thinks they have a better theory.

    My only objection is that it is a tad ridiculous to believe that Meredith objected to poop being left in the toilet, the toilet she didn’t use. But yes, the objectionable behaviour of a trio of drunken/drugged up louts invading her space would most likely have triggered argument, unpleasantness and then a fight.

    There is plenty of character evidence to support that scenario and with a little imagination, and some recollection of one’s student days, one can easily see how this might have gone. In a way, and Crini admitted to this possibility, Meredith’s own behaviour, or misreading of the situation, may also have been a trigger. Whether one agrees with this or not, it is at least a believable and honest suggestion.

    So he set out base camp for the court (bearing in mind that Cassation had suggested that behavioural dynamics be given serious consideration by the appeals court) and whether the judges elaborate further (perhaps by conjecturing a possible range of equally valid motives and dynamics) is up to them.

    Assessment by main poster Hopeful

    Crini is magnificent! He’s absolutely crushing the defense. He nails Knox as having left her bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith.

    He accepts Novelli who found Meredith’s trace on the knife. He believes Knox left DNA on the knife. He quotes from Gill and Balding and says Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp stands.

    He describes a small, very sharp knife that he believes was used to cut off the bra in several places. He says the knifeprint on the sheet was from the big kitchen knife.

    Crini contends that the strong bruise marks around Meredith’s mouth were from restraining her and blocking the scream.

    He believes this fight was caused by Meredith angrily reacting to Knox’s constant dirty ways in the cottage and Guede’s nasty toilet habit along with his and Sollecito’s unwanted presence in the cottage that night.

    Crini argues a crime of rage when Knox was confronted by Meredith, citing Laura Mezetti’s remarks about the cleaning conflicts. Crini says that Meredith’s scream is what caused the fatal knife blow to silence her.

    Not premeditated, the murder was the final result of the perps’ terror that they had gone too far during the raging fight. He’s asking for 30 years for Knox and asks to increase sentence for calunnia to 4 years, inclusive in the 30.

    He almost laughs at Knox’s weak excuse over the drops of her blood found in the bathroom, saying she would surely have known if she bled.

    He confirms the storekeeper did see Knox early in the morning after the crime. He finds no proof of Sollecito being firmly at his computer sending emails during the crime. He blasts the Knox and Sollecito alibis as being a tissue of lies.

    Crini has another ex-Supreme Court justice standing with him in the Florence courtroom! (Baglione).  Crini has worked extremely hard. He has conquered this convoluted pack of lies and distortions and his diligence shows. He upturned the applecart of Conti-Vecchioti nonsense and thoroughly redeemed Stefanoni’s findings.

    He has completely severed the heads of this Medusa Gorgon mess, Crini is the bomb!

    Tweets from main poster Yummi

    114. This means a total request of 30 years for Knox and 26 years for Sollecito

    113. [Propose] 26 years for both for the murder

    112. The murder is contextual, their was no premeditation, and no futile motive

    111. Because of their staging and denials, they should not be given generic mitigation for murder.

    110. Requests to increase the penalty for [Knox] calunnia to 4 years

    109. But experience tells statements of unreliable perps do contain revelations about the truth. The ‘argument’ between girls, why such context?

    108. Rudy Guede has no credibility, even if the Supreme Court is right that this cannot depend on his refusal to answer.

    107. Crini cites Laura Mezzetti about the ‘annoyance’ caused by Knox on house cleaning issues.

    106. Meredith was the one triggering an argument because of the ‘impolite’ invasion and behavior. She accused Knox .

    105. Rudy was not sober, quite high, a bit annoying, and was acting the same disgusting way he behaved downstairs days before.

    104. Meredith Kercher was sober, fully awake. The others were at least ‘smoked’, a bit high, Rudy was there in the house.

    103. The motive is not futile, the motive is terror, it is the consequence of the prior aggressive action in which they were involved.

    102. Nothing points to an agreed plan among the three that run out of control; the first cause was an aggression, a clash, impetus of rage

    101. Crini: there is a prosecution duty to conjecture a motive.

    100. The blood drop on the tap: a point is Knox does not explain, guesses, while she must be aware that she bled in the bathroom.

    99. Crini believes the shoe prints on the pillowcase are from a female’s shoe as suggested by police

    98. Knox’s DNA between the blade and the handle (36-i)is very significant. It’s not from sweat or contact.

    97. The print on the bed sheet is compatible with the kitchen knife.

    96. Crini: we don’t need to figure a reason for a kitchen knife to be carried from one apartment to the other..

    95. The bra straps are cut in multiple points, not with a kitchen knife.

    94. Sollecito cut her bra with a knife in multiple parts. hold bra to cut it - no Guede’s DNA in that point - used a small very sharp-edge knife

    93. Rudy did not stab her, because he wad used both his hands, which were unarmed

    92. Wounds indicate she was immobilized by multiple people, they killed her because failing to do so completely, were terrified by her scream.

    91. Criticizes Torre’s theory that the large wound could be caused by a small knife: improbable, the wound has clear margins.

    90. There were two knifes, one was small, not much fit to kill.

    89. Ridiculous to think that Rudy Guede - which she knew - could intimidate Meredith totally to that point. She would react.

    88. Specific indicator: no defence wounds; means bruises are not from fight but restraint.

    87. Description of bruises and lesions around her mouth, indicates extreme force to prevent from screaming. Rest of body was also immobilized.

    86. She was still wearing a blue sweater which was removed subsequently.

    85. Analysis of blood drop pattern and position of victim when stabbed; body moved in a different position.

    84. Location of crime - space between the bed and the wardrobe - is peculiar, analysed by UACV

    83. Crini says will sketch a dynamic of events of the crime.

    82. Crini says - implying Vecchiotti, Pascali - some experts should be “hold where they belong”

    81. Crini recall Pascali working on the Olgiata and the Claps case (2008, 2010);

    80. There is no instance of transfer of Sollecito’s DNA anywhere on the scene

    79. Crini cites the Olgiata case.

    78. Contamination must be deduced from context of finding and collection. You must think a practical way for Sollecito’s DNA to be transferred

    77. Tagliabracci defends Vecchiotti saying the RIS statistical techniques were not used at the time; Crini cites Gill and Balding

    76. Guede’s Y haplotype in victim’s vagina alone was used to identify him.

    75. Sollecito’s DNA is certainly on the clasp for the police; Vecchiotti doubts but considers X separately from Y haplotype

    74. The bra clasp: the first objection was the interpretation of the mixed/complex trace

    73. Crini says he learned a bit of genetics working on cold cases

    72. Vecchiotti and Tagliabracci have a reliability problem in relation to the case, for different reasons

    71. Vecchiotti said she obtained all cooperation she required. Raw data could be accessed by accessing the machine itself as Stefanoni offered.

    70. Crini says he found out the negative controls were deposited, the court will find the document of deposit etc.

    69. Vecchiotti omitted to note the censures/observations written by the other consultants, this procedure is incorrect

    68. Vecchiotti’s approach to the I-trace (refusal to test it ) was ‘ideological’, ‘weak’, ‘insufficient’

    67. Interpretation of profile is for complex result. For non-complex profiles there is actually no ‘interpretation’.

    66. Crini recalls answers by the RIS, defence tried to elicit approval of CV, but RIS said multiple test only if possible, compromise for result

    65. Novelli cited saying the profile of Meredith is certain.

    64. Meredith’s profile came out clean on a single amplification, means the trace is clear.

    63. The meaning of test repetition is its necessity when you have a ‘dirty’, uncertain sequence like Knox’s profile on the knife

    62. Novelli knows very well about double and triple amplification protocols, and Stefanoni knows well too

    61. Guidelines are an indication that guide your driver, but then you have to drive

    60. Someone who keeps a refrigerator like the one Vecchiotti has, should be less critical about laboratory practice

    59. Crini: should we toss any result in the garbage, no matter how important and clear, whenever the test is not repeated?

    58. Speaks about the single amplification by Stefanoni versus guidelines.

    57. The presence of human DNA in a scratch on the blade of a knife itself is not usual

    56. Crini: another introduction specific on DNA; notes btw that the new RIS finding is ‘important’ because adds information

    55. Crini makes an introduction about circumstantial evidence

    54. Discussion on DNA and remaining evidence will start in 1h.

    53. Francesco Sollecito [in interview] was shocked, said he never expected so aggressive arguments from PG [the Tuscany Prosecutor General]

    52. Yesterday, Crini spent the first hour to argue about logical ‘method’: how assess evidence altogether, examples, quotes of SC sentences

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/26/13 at 08:58 AM
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    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Appeal Session #4: Today Lead Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Summarises The Prosecution’s Case

    Posted by Peter Quennell




    Good reporting on the court today

    Andrea Vogt has posted an objective report here and Barbie Nadeau an objective report here.  We will post excerpts from both and other sources after the appeal session on Tuesday is done.

    Warning about AP’s Colleen Barry

    The Associated Press’s Colleen Barry is once again filing highly biased reports from the court. This is an appeal by Knox and Sollecito AGAINST a guilty verdict (by Judge Massei) and not an appeal by the prosecution to “reinstate” a guilty verdict. Get a grip.

    Final post from the court today

    It is 5:30 pm in Italy. Judge Nencini has declared today’s session at an end and he has allowed the prosecution to resume its presentation tomorrow. Prosecutor Crini has about 1/3 of his presentation on the evidence still to come.

    Tweets from main poster Yummi

    Yummi has warned us that the wireless internet bandwidth inside and just outside the courtroom gets overloaded late in the day as the reporters get busy on their reports.  Yummi does have a way around this but it involves leaving the courtroom when key arguments might be made and walking some distance away. So there might be some slight delays.

    [More pending; Dr Crini has alerted that his presentation will be in 16 chapters]

    51. [Judge] Nencini suggests to interrupt and go on tomorrow with following prosecution’s points. New schedule.

    50. Chapter 11. is DNA. Crini says we may have evidence enough by now anyway

    49. Crini censures Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about calunnia (why not indicate the real culprit?). Says H-Z committed ‘physical violence’ on trial file

    48. Knox’s calunnia is a strategy protracted over time says Crini

    47. Dreamlike component in Knox’s statement, fish blood, are devices needed to surround a calunnia strategy

    46. Knox needed to put some additional content into the ‘calunnia’, says Crini, or wouldn’t be believed, so she puts in pieces of truth

    45. Knox spoke about a scream an a sexual violence before anyone knew. Sollecito said nothing was stolen before they knew.

    44. Points out Sollecito says Romanelli’s door was wide open; Knox doesn’t notice theft. Crini highlights the ‘combination’ of inconsistencies

    43. Knox thinks locked door is normal; does not flush toilet when finds feces; does not notice blood before having a shower; thinks blood is ok

    42. Notes Knox’s statements are inconsistent and ommisive before her interrogation.

    41. Crini speaks about Knox’s declarations. Interested in the timings. Says too much was repeated to be coerced.

    40. Crini speaks about chapter 9, the statements of Sollecito. His call to her sister. His alert was late but even so preceded the postals arrive

    39. Bathmat print and luminol prints were chapter 7. of Crini’s argument; 8. is the staging of theft.

    38. The most significant stain may be the one in Romanelli’s room, says Crini.

    37. Speaking of a female’s print left in luminol, Crini sounds outraged, saying other substances is vague unsubstantiated conjecture [eg it was blood not bleach]

    36. Guede’s sentencing was not well calibrated says Crini. But a Guede alone scenario is not tenable

    35. Does it make sense for Guede to leave there the evidence of (putative) theft, and clean footprints?

    34. The unitary sense made by elements like the bloody print, is a cleanup. Considers the lone-perp scenario: inconsistent

    33. Crini: starts talking about the isolated bloody print; calls it a ‘talking element’. Why is that print alone?

    32. Suspects are only ones with a ‘logistic’ capability and an interest to ‘clean’ the murder scene. They aimed at ‘diminishing’ the evidence mass

    31. Knox’s lamp was the only light in her room.

    30. Crini: the perp(s) organized a rather complex plan to clean up and ‘sidetrack’ at the murder scene.

    29. Still to be determined if calunnia was “occasional” due to pressure, or “aggravated” [sidetracking]; Crini saya a ‘depistaggio reale’ (sidetracking) occurred

    28. Crini: suspects’ statements are extremely interesting: RS’s statements; AK’s e-mail, internet statements, [Knox’s] memoriale

    27. Crini: a most fertile chapter of analysis is the ‘post-factum’ actions and behaviors of defendants

    26. Crini has unfolded five chapters. Says he has a total of sixteen

    25. Quintavalle, details of his testimony and woman’s description are exceptional indicators of accuracy.

    34. Crini: it is unlikely that Quintavalle got it wrong. Because of contextual elements.

    23. It is incorrect to dismiss a witness a priori because late. But for reasons totally different. Sometimes late is symptom of reliability.

    22. Wants to deal with the issue of the fact that he came forward late, urged by an acquaintance

    21. Crini: fifth argument is Quintavalle. He says he is sure about his testimony. Is a different kind of witness

    20. Crini accepts both alternatives on time of death, after 23.15 or before 22.30 (but seems to prefer the earlier one)

    19. Crini: Do not overestimate importance of timings that are not anchored accurately or cannot be proven

    18. Crini: timeline is marginal to the case. All unproven timings to be taken cautiously.

    17. Crini starts fourth theme: timings. Says they are very vague, except the tow truck

    16. Crini: Curatolo is no ‘super-witness’, but can contribute to helping the court to draw their scenario

    15. Curatolo saw a couple discussing and this memory is very specific, peculiar

    14. Curatolo did not confuse night with Halloween, because it was big party in piazza the previous night, and because it did not rain

    13. Crini: the court saw Aviello, shows what top [level] of unreliability is; the SC suspected so unreliable that calunnia elements had to be assessed

    12. Crini: many trials could not exist if drug addicted testimonies were dismissed

    11. Crini: the H-Z court assessed Curatolo a priori based on him as a person, stemming from questions of the court itself

    10. Crini about Curatolo, describes Piazza Grimana; he was an habitual presence of the piazza, proven reliable in other cases

    9. Crini: computer records and alibi point to Sollecito being not at home but on murder scene

    8. Crini cites the log files of Fastweb: no internet activity, only automatic connections.

    7. Crini: failure of computer alibi is evidence against, not just lack of confirmation.

    6. Nencini notes prosecution did not ask to interrogate Sollecito. Crini cites D’Ambrosio’s computer expert report. No interaction before 5am

    5. Sollecito gave computer alibi days later, and words his statement in the singular form.

    4. Crini: first theme he deals with is presence of crime scene; alibi, if it’s false it is evidence no matter why false (cite from Guede trial)

    3. Crini attacks the method of logic reasoning of annulled appeal: parceling out evidence, parrots aspects of civil procedure

    2. Crini: Supreme Court censure was against the foundations of appeal , all parts not just some errors; appeal was ‘razed to ground’.

    1. Crini: this appeal is unusual, not because of the case but for the course followed. Usually appeals are narrow, this SC annulment is not.

    Tweets by Andrea Vogt

    3. At Crini’s side in amandaknox appeal today is veteran Florentine prosecutor Tindari Baglione. Before this, he was in Cassazione.

    2. Prosecutor Crini in Florence: don’t repeat error of Perugia appeal. Consider evidence wholly, including Curatolo.

    1. Will prosecutors ask life sentences in amandaknox appeal today? Will Sollecito’s presence in court benefit him? Verdict January 10.

    First post

    This is the prosecution’s day. Sollecito is reported as being in court but low-key.

    Various reporting notes the significant presence of Dr Tindari Baglione, formerly with the Supreme Court, about whom we posted on in September as follows:

    The new Prosecutor General of Tuscany (Florence’s region) Dr Tindari Baglione, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany’s appeal court, is selecting the prosecutors for the appeal. He arrived in Florence in May of this year. He is said to be formidably unbending. He recently imposed tough sentences on 27 people for the environmental damage caused by illegal work in Mugello on the high speed rail link between Florence and Bologna.

    Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/25/13 at 09:29 AM
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    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    John Kercher’s Excellent Book “Meredith” On Meredith’s Friends Lloyd, Natalie, And Helen

    Posted by Hopeful





    Mr. Kercher’s biography of his daughter continues to charm and amaze.

    It seems Meredith almost got married before she went to Italy. Her suitor was a dance teacher, named Lloyd Thomas. He was nineteen years old and they met at Leeds University on the dance floor. Mr. Thomas was teaching break-dance to the crowd and Meredith and her friends went out on the dance floor and began to dance. (p. 66)

    Lloyd said, “I…thought that she looked like a movie star.” They had never spoken, but he had seen her once before, a month previously. Obviously the lovely lady had stayed in his mind. In the winter of 2006, at dance class, he struck up a conversation with her and called her later.

    They decided to meet on the steps of Leeds University and began one of their many rich long talks, which later blossomed into going steady. “I was so taken with her amusing conversation,” he said. (p. 66) “After our third date, we saw each other about four evenings every week and we were always together, although she had a lot of university work to do.”

    Mr. Kercher relates how Meredith was able to go with Lloyd and his parents to a hotel called Ponden House, “set in Charlotte Bronte country in West Yorkshire, for a weekend…She really loved it.” She rang Mr. Kercher to tell him how beautiful the scenery was.

    Lloyd said (p. 67) that Meredith “never really spoke much about what she wanted to do when she graduated, but she had her heart set on going to Italy as part of her studies…”

    About seven months into their relationship, Lloyd realized he wanted to marry Meredith. He booked a table at a Japanese restaurant in Leeds and proposed to her “with a ring that I had bought. I think that she was somewhat surprised and didn’t say yes or no. She kept the ring for a couple of days, but didn’t wear it, and then she politely returned it to me.”

    (p. 67) Mr. Kercher explains that naturally things changed between Lloyd and Meredith after that decision, but that Meredith was just being practical. “Despite her obvious affection for Lloyd….She still had her current year at university to complete, a year in Italy studying, and then a further year of her degree, before she graduated. She was simply being sensible.

    Yet the two of them remained friends and a couple of weeks later in January 2007, Lloyd joined our family and Meredith in an Italian restaurant in Croydon to celebrate her 21st birthday. Stephanie had arranged a special cake with a photograph of Meredith as a one-year-old superimposed on it…”.

    “Who would have dared to think that this would be Meredith’s last birthday?” writes Mr. Kercher (p.67).  In retrospect, it seems appropriate that the young man who admired Meredith so much at Leeds University and wanted to marry her, should be at her final life celebration.

    ***

    We know that Meredith a few months later in August flew to Rome, on wings of hope and dreams. She went from there to the University for Foreigners in Perugia. She settled in to her first home in Italy, the Via della Pergola cottage. Even before that while still at a Perugian hotel she was calling Mr. Kercher “enthusing to us how beautiful the city was.” As was her habit, Meredith called Mr. Kercher every evening and talked about how she was getting on. She also called her mom and sister with frequency.

    (P. 69) In one call she elaborated to Mr. Kercher about the Eurochocolate Festival that stretched “from Rocca Paolina to the Carducci Gardens, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza IV Novembre.” Meredith was fascinated by the chocolate statues and sculptures and all the candies sold at the stalls.

    At the end of the festival the chocolate statues were happily broken up into pieces and given to the public. Meredith had bought some of Mr. Kercher’s favorite chocolates to give to him when she returned to England a few weeks later for Arline’s November birthday. That trip never happened, as tragedy intervened.

    ***

    Meredith met Natalie Hayward while in Perugia. Natalie had gone to study in Perugia “because I had heard that it was beautiful and romantically old, in addition to being quite international.” (p. 70) Natalie had been studying history and Italian at the University of Sussex. She had found an apartment in Perugia with a couple of Italian girls, and began studying at the University for Foreigners where she met Meredith and Amy Frost.

    Natalie said, “Because the three of us were the only English students in the class, we became known as ‘Little Britain’.”

    Natalie said, “I was so encouraged by the fact that Meredith accepted me, because I wasn’t a particularly confident person. But she was always texting me to come out with her and other people and trying to include me in things, which I appreciated.”

    Despite a known tendency to be late for lectures, Natalie says that Meredith “was exceptionally good at taking lecture notes. You might not have thought it, but she worked so hard. I was jokingly jealous of her note-taking. The Italian lecturers would speak so quickly and be quite complicated, but Meredith could keep up with them.”

    More accolades from Natalie, (p. 71): ‘Socially, Meredith was wonderful to be with. She was always smiling and making us laugh. She was never judgemental. And she and Amy would walk miles for a low-price meal!” Mr. Kercher earlier says that Meredith asked him to check on rental rates to make sure the deposits for the Pergola cottage were a normal rate. Meredith seems to have been quite thrifty and not one to squander her resources.

    After Meredith’s murder, Natalie went back to England to finish her studies there. No doubt she was desolate at the loss of this kind and tender friend who had sincerely reached out to her.

    ***

    Helen Power was another British student who met Meredith September 1, 2007 in Perugia. Helen had finished a language course and had one day to relax in Perugia before flying back to England for a couple of weeks. Amy Frost had invited Helen Power out to dinner and Meredith met them by the fountain in the center of town.

    (P.72) Helen said,  “As it was too early for us to eat, we sat outside and enjoyed some aperitivi from the cake shop on the main street. I remember that Meredith said she had forgotten to pack socks and that she hoped her dad would bring some out when he came to visit. Despite being tired from travelling, she was chatty, friendly, always smiling and making witty jokes. You only had to meet Meredith once to be struck by her beauty, quick wit, and infectious smile.”

    The three girls ate a huge dinner at Il Bacio restaurant. Later in September, Helen’s mother visited Perugia and was introduced to Meredith at Piazza Italia as they waited for a minibus. She said, “Meredith made a lasting impression on me as we chatted. Not only did she show a genuine interest talking to us but she was so bubbly and full of life…I was so pleased to think that Helen had met such a delightful girl to be friends with during her Erasmus year.” (p. 73)

    Meredith even noticed that Helen had gotten her hair cut and mentioned it at the Erasmus welcome meeting. Helen said, “I was surprised that Meredith had noticed. I thought that it was extremely observant of her, as she had only met me once, three weeks earlier. But that was the kind of girl she was; always making time for other people and taking note of even the smallest things.” Later they went out to dinner and dancing. Helen says, “...no one could out-dance Meredith.”  (p. 74)

    Halloween night immersed in parties and excitement was the last time Helen saw her. She said (p. 75), “At the age of twenty, it never crossed my mind that it might have been the last chance to see a friend again. Those first two months were such a wonderful and happy time and, although I didn’t know Meredith for very long, I shall never forget her, and I have learnt so much from {her being} such a strong woman…I make certain that I enjoy and appreciate life and those around me and, most importantly, smile.”


    Friday, November 22, 2013

    US Judge Startles Legal Watchers By Overturning A Unanimous Verdict: Is This Hellmann Part Deux?

    Posted by Peter Quennell




    Martha Moxley’s murder 1975

    Martha Moxley’s is a case with quite a few similarities to Meredith’s case - and after 38 years it has once again flashed back into the US news.

    Greenwich, where 15-year-old Martha lived, is a few minutes drive up the Long Island Sound shoreline from New York City. Great wealth resides there. It is the US zip code with the highest family income and net wealth, and there are many mansions set in large estates.

    The brutal murder of Martha happened on Halloween Night of 1975. She was beaten to death with a golf club by someone around 10:00 pm soon after leaving a Halloween party at the Skakel house across the street. No physical evidence ever tied anyone to the crime.

    The main suspects in the case

    Michael Skakel was a close neighbor (with his large family, he lived in a mansion diagonally across Walsh Lane from Martha’s smaller one-storey house) and a school classmate of the same age as Martha. He had a troubled record of misbehavior and substance abuse (he was later sent to a special school) who Martha’s diary later revealed had a history of pestering her. The golf-club came from the Skakel house.

    He was not the only suspect. A new tutor at the house was long considered. And Greenwich police first interviewed and polygraphed his brother Tommy, who was very friendly with Martha, and with whom she was seen flirting at the party at the Skakel’s house the same night. Between the two brothers, there was bad blood.

    Read here the final entries in Martha’s diary which seem to show her attraction to Tommy but none at all to a jealous Michael.

    Michael Skakel’s conviction in 2002

    Michael Skakel over the years (seemingly proud of himself, and sounding quite like Sollecito) came to hint and even openly claim more and more that he was the one that killed Martha. Skakel also claimed to have been up in a tree or a treehouse peeping through windows on the same night. An alibi that he was across town during the party at his house fell through.

    In 2002, after these pointers to himself reached critical mass in police investigations and various books and reports, he was put on trial and unanimously found guilty by a jury, and then (controversially) sentenced as an adult to 20 years to life. As with Sollecito and Knox in Italy, the vast majority of the population thought it was a fair cop.

    There are of course some differences between the two cases.

    In Perugia the police and prosecutors really did do a good job and didnt blink under the considerable pressure of TWO families and TWO defense teams playing all manner of dirty tricks. They never backed off, whereas the Greenwich police (who never called for outside help) seem to have become timid and indecisive and simply wanting the case to go away. And in Martha’s case DNA has not yet reared its intrusive head.

    But the two cases also have a lot in common.

    Commonalities of Martha and Meredith cases

    1) Martha was younger than Meredith but given time would have emerged to be a very similar girl. She also was ambitious, talented, hard-working, eye-catching, witty, and the apple of their eye of various boys which might have sparked jealousies in some.

    2) The attack involved a number of ferocious blows over several or some minutes with a golf-club, suggesting not a burglar or prowler who did not know Martha but someone who did know her who was in a considerable rage. The golf-club broke, and the shaft was thrust through her neck. She was then dragged alternatively face up and face down quite a few feet to a place under a tree. There was a lot of blood, and as some of her clothes were down there may have been a simulation of a sex crime.

    3) The rich and connected Skakel family (among which Michael did not stand out as the major achiever) was not especially helpful in the investigation, and they blocked certain important moves by the Greenwich police. They have spent huge sums of money (possibly up in the millions) on lawyers and detectives and still do. Theirs was a fairly sharp-elbowed media campaign and it looks as if it was driven more by family reputation (the Skakels are related to the Robert Kennedys by marriage) than by deep conviction that Michael was a good boy.

    4) The evidence presented was a mosaic that had been accumulated over time. Alibi and behavior mattered a lot. It required very close attention to absorb it all and to assemble it into an incriminating pattern. At trial prosecutors did a good job. In this case no incriminating DNA was found at all, although it is possible that for the new trial new tests will be done on Martha’s clothes.  The conviction by 12 jurors was unanimous. They did a very careful job, and their deliberations lasted four days. Those who seek to argue that they have it wrong usually pick on isolated points. 

    5) Various books have been published to explain the case. The most-read book is by ex-police-detective Mark Fuhrman titled Murder in Greenwich published by HarperCollins (Amanda Knox’s publisher) in 1999. He claimed he broke the case though police said they needed no help.

    6) There are several websites like PMF and TJMK with no vested interest at all which seek to keep the victim’s presence alive, and to seek justice for her in face of many attacks and dirty tricks.  See the forum Campy Skakel here and the website MarthaMoxley dot com which is or was being run by Tom Alessi who was a classmate of Martha at school.

    And the sudden new situation

    Now Connecticut’s Judge Bishop has decided that Skakel didnt get the best of defenses by the high-profile legal talking head Mickey Sherman (who back then seemed to be hired for his high public profile) and noted several things Sherman could have done. Also the evidence seemed to Judge Bishop to be slim (what, no DNA?!). So he has ordered that Skakel can face a new trial.

    A second judge has just released Michael Skakel on $1.2 million bail and he must wear an electronic bracelet in case he decides to skip. He will apparently head for a secret location to wait for the new trial to begin.

    Although Judge Bishop is well qualified (unlike Hellmann) and seems impartial and detached, he has startled the legal community and crime followers by going against both a well-informed trial jury which really saw a lot of evidence and against a whole row of previous judges who had considered and declined Skakel’s requests for appeal.

    Judge-shopping till the “right one” appears is often how big money wins out, and the general US reaction to the annulled verdict seems to be “What?! Not again?!”

    Michael Skakel may perhaps win at a new trial with new lawyers and a new strategy - there is still a theory that his brother Tommy really did the crime, though the Skakel lawyers may not be allowed to play that card.

    However, as in Meredith’s case, legal and public opinion is against him, and Martha’s mother and the victim websites still fight on bravely. 


    [Below: Michael Skakel(right) with defense lawyer Mickey Sherman in 2002 who he now says let him down]




    [Below: Directly ahead is where the crime took place; a new mansion has replaced the Moxley home ]




    [Below: The Skakel mansion, which is diagonally across Walsh Lane from the old Moxley home]




    [Below: Mark Furman’s diagram of his scenario of the murder in “Murder in Greenwich”]




    [Below: Judge Bishop of the Connecticut courts who has ordered a new trial for Skakel]


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