Series Perugia context

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trial: Nick Pisa Reports Knox Sisters’ Macabre Posing Where Meredith Was Killed

Posted by Peter Quennell



Deanne, left, and Ashley Knox at the cottage in Perugia where Meredith Kercher was killed


From Nick Pisa’s report in the Daily Mail today.

The sisters of murder suspect Amanda Knox have posed for photographs outside the cottage where British student Meredith Kercher was brutally killed.

Americans Deanne and Ashley Knox were taking part in a photoshoot for an Italian magazine.,,,

Francesco Maresca, the lawyer representing Meredith’s family, said: ‘Amanda Knox’s sisters posing for photographs outside the house where the murder took place is macabre.

‘I accept that the Knox family has a right to give interviews. But there are other places where they could have been photographed. Outside the prison where Amanda Knox is being held would have been better.’

The behaviour of Knox’s sisters was criticised earlier in the case when they attended court wearing shorts and ‘revealing’ tops.

One observer in court at the time said: ‘It’s not what I would choose to wear if my sister was in court accused of a sex murder. It was very revealing.’

 

Posted on 07/13/09 at 12:02 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Knox on standHoaxers from 2007Knox-Mellas teamThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Increasing Drug Clampdown In Perugia - Is It Case-Related?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Perugia has taken a lot of knocks in the past one-year-plus for being way too tolerant of drugs.

“Cocaine capital” and other comparisons hardly encourage the tourism or (we hope!) the student enrolments.

Click above for the latest (in Italian) in a stream of stories suggesting a major hit-back is now in progress. This story involved two pairs of drug-dealers (one Albanian, one Tunisian) dealing in large quantities of hashish and cocaine.

A connection? We don’t know. Cops don’t talk readily about this kind of stuff. But the size of the clampdown is unusual.

Posted on 05/04/09 at 12:34 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedPolice and CSIThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Italian Media Is Reporting On The House Now The Owner Has It Back

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]




Above: the panoramic view, from north-east to north-west, that Meredith would have looked out onto from her window.

The last shot above is approximately in the direction of her family and her home in the UK.

Meredith’s room and other places in the house where there was still trace-evidence of her murder were cleaned over the weekend.

Her books, photos and other personal items, all of which her family want back, were long ago removed as evidence. They are in police custody and all will end up in their possession.

This afternoon the owner through her lawyer made the house available to the two other women who lived upstairs and the men who lived downstairs. They and their families and representatives were invited to come by and collect all their possessions.

ANSA reports that only Knox’s father Curt Knox showed up.

Meredith’s two flatmates Filomena and Laura did not appear, though it is believed that they still live in Perugia. Apparently none of the boys showed up either.

Knox’s father filled a plastic bag and a suitcase with Amanda Knox’s gear. He left the house in the rain. “Personal things of my daughter,” he said to journalists without wanting to reveal what they were.

Apparently the items did include mountain-climbing gear. Knox to our knowledge had not done any climbing in Europe prior to her being arrested.

The interior of 7 Via della Pergola has apparently so far not been made available to any journalists. But it seems the owner has received big offers for exclusive pictures.

Craftsmen have already begun installing bars on the windows, to make the house more secure in the future. They are also assessing the interior work needed to make the place once again rentable.

A woman who was apparently the wife of one of the craftsmen entered the cottage with a holy picture. She left it in the room where Meredith breathed her last.

A pity that the owner seems less caring.

Posted on 04/27/09 at 09:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesThe locationsOther witnessesThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Owner Says The House Will Be Available For Rent

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click for the report by Nick Pisa.

Seems to us a sad and rather disrespectful move. But the owner (who is retired) may have her own pressures. Apparently some compensation from the state will be claimed.

And it is again wrenching to read about the state of the interior, and the fact that some terrible signs of Meredith’s final fight for her life have never ever been removed.

There have been suggestions in the past that the action most respectful to Meredith would be to simply pull the place down, and add the land to the existing orchard.

Kermit did a Powerpoint presentation of why this rather strange house came to be, just outside of and below the city wall.

Our own shots of the house are here and here and here.

Posted on 04/24/09 at 12:59 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedEvidence & witnessesThe locationsThe wider contextsPerugia contextAmanda Knox
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

End To A Long And Unnecessary Charade Over The House

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

ANSA is reporting that the Court of Assizes of Perugia has acceded to the request of the owner of 7 Via Pergola to have his house back.

Well over one year ago the prosecutors had no objection to this. The crime scene had been thoroughly processed many weeks before, and there was no further evidentiary value.

However, the defense teams claimed they might want to run various tests and inspections. These happened only many months later. We posted on them here and here.

Nothing of value that we are aware of ever emerged from these exercises. If anything, they failed, rather conspicuously.

During the period of the very long defense-induced delay, the house was suspiciously broken into, twice, and the contents was severely disarrayed. Amazingly, defense supporters tried to win points out of this.

So the crime scene was processed well over one year ago, and everything since was pure distraction. And where Meredith lived for two months has been thoroughly desecrated.

We’re glad the defenses are FINALLY calling it quits on this sad charade.

Posted on 04/23/09 at 06:04 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesEvidence & witnessesThe locationsThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Italian Taxpayers To Alleviate Some Pain Of False Accusation Of Murder

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the details.

Apparently Patrick was hoping for more. We’re happy that he got something, poor guy. His suit against Knox is the real one to come.

Collateral damage of the night in question just ripples on and on.

Posted on 03/17/09 at 07:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe judiciaryEvidence & witnessesOther witnessesThe wider contextsPerugia contextItalian context
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Amanda Knox’s Controversial Stepfather Arrives In Perugia To Help Out

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Very much anticipated. Chris Mellas (center above) has something of a reputation on the internet for sharp elbows.

It sure will be interesting to watch all the Knox and Mellas body-language here - and to hear all the questions intrepid reporters put to him. Knox seemed to imply in her diary that she may have hated the guy. Rumors around Seattle seem to suggest at least something at home was seriously not right.

A few days ago in this comment, Skeptical Bystander offered this take on Chris Mellas.

Perhaps you should go at him, reporters? He may prove a real gold-mine - and don’t let him spin you! Most especially not you, Peter Popham.

Posted on 03/13/09 at 12:57 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe wider contextsPerugia contextSeattle contextAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas team
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Patrick Lumumba Seeks Damages For His Time In The Big House

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the story.

Knox is being tried on a charge of calunnia for her false implication of Patrick (see an explanation of calunnia at bottom). Patrick was of course the owner of the Le Chic bar, now closed because of the heap of trouble that his former waitress Amanda Knox dropped on his head.

He was held in Capanne Prison for about two weeks as a suspect, after she alleged (voluntarily, in writing) that she had seen him in the house on the night of the crime. And heard Meredith’s screams as he committed the murder.

Might he perhaps not have been so ticked if she had recanted the accusation any time in the next two weeks? Maybe. Maybe not. But Knox might easily have done. Nobody was pressuring her to do otherwise.

This seems an open-and-shut case. The evidence is all there. So Knox lives and learns. We hope.

Explanation of calunnia

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

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

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

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


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cutting Through The Confusion Over Knox’s Status In Perugia

Posted by stewarthome2000



[Shots: School for Foreigners; bottom shot from above Meredith’s house]

The media have now repeated countless times that Amanda Knox was on a “study abroad program”.

In fact, as these things are defined, she was not. It is precisely that she was NOT on a study-abroad program that she was able to adopt a lifestyle that seems to have led her to where she is now.

To go on a study-abroad “program” means that you attend an organized and SUPERVISED curriculum and agenda, most often with peers, faculty and/or at the very least a local administrative staff person assigned to periodically look after the participants’ behavior and well-being.

In fact the University of Washington does not even have a study abroad “program” in Perugia. It merely suggests to UW students that the Universita per Stranieri is a possible destination and place for students to go on their own, and if asked helps out with some administration.

Knox took the “non-conformist” path to study abroad. I recall reading that she did not want to go on a program so as to not follow the group, so to speak. So she did study abroad, but cheaply, and outside an organized program by the University of Washington. She was basically in Perugia on her own.

This is characteristic of at least two type of people, those who are adventurous, exploratory and want a true full-immersion experience into the cultural side of the host country (usually Italian majors), and those who want to be untethered and to have total freedom and no one to answer to so they can do as they wish.

Her casual attitude to her studies and other strong hints in her behavior and writings suggests that she was the latter type.

And presumably her biological parents understood all of this and signed off on it, even before Amanda Knox ever left Seattle.

Parents especially should know that if Knox had attended a UW-operated or US-University run study abroad program with supervision, her attendance in class would have been monitored, and any behavior that would upset roommates may have been reported.

In these programs for the most part there are strict housing rules such as no overnight guests, let alone bringing guys home to sack up with. Most of the time roommates will complain on the spot or get back to the American administrators that they have an out-of-control roommate bringing guys home, drinking excessively, or doing drugs.

In addition, programs with the proper supervision have enough of a presence to let the participants know that someone is at least checking up now and again. And as a result they watch their behavior.

Furthermore, in well-run programs, students are given significant preparation about living in the specific host country and city with pre-departure materials and perhaps meetings, talking with ex-participants, and attending an extensive multi-day orientation where staff and even local police lecture them about the many pitfalls of living in a foreign and new environment away from home.

They are reminded that the laws are different in other countries, and more importantly that there are some bad people walking the streets. They are told to enjoy themselves and learn, but also to be careful, stay alert, stay out of trouble, and so on.

I myself work in study abroad and we know what unleashed unsupervised colleges students get themselves into. We are trained to look for potential problems and we visit all students accommodations at least once per month and speak with everyone there.

We have open-door counseling and professionals with years of experience on staff. We watch out for all our students regularly… we know what behavior to look for, and when to intervene, at least most of the time.

Yes, it costs more to attend the Universita per Stranieri or any overseas university through a US-college or US-university monitored program with local on-site staff and supervision.

But the situation Amanda has created, or at least found herself in, is much less likely to happen to students on a supervised and accredited study abroad program.

Let’s face it, at the age of 20, 21, or 22, many young adults are still really more or less kids. Naive and vulnerable, especially those who have yet to explore their “wild side”, they sometimes see this as an opportunity to make up for lost time.

This is exemplified in the fact that many pass out from drinking in the days after they arrive. Bottom line, they need guidance, and no more so than when they are 8000 miles from home and on their own.

Knox took the “I am too good to go on study abroad program with fellow students” route and the cheapest way overseas.  And it is not proving so cheap anymore.

Her biological parents really should have known better. All parents should either make sure the students are mature enough, or make sure they have a structured environment that can assist them while abroad. It is well worth the extra cost and peace of mind.

So the media should please get this straight from now on.

  • Amanda Knox was NOT on a study abroad “program” while in Perugia.  She was at most “studying abroad” as that term is used very loosely.
  • She took a leave from the University of Washington to study Italian at what is essentially a glorified language school which anyone can attend.
  • She was totally unsupervised in a high-risk situation where it would have seemed obvious to any supervisor that she was looking to break away.
  • And she most likely would have had a very difficult time getting any credit for her studies from the University of Washington at the conclusion.

So. The worst possible deal for any student abroad. The parents signed off in advance.  It seems to have exploded on Knox. And poor Meredith died.







Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Next-Day Press: A Good Profile Of Guede, Now Starting His 10,950 Days

Posted by Peter Quennell



By Nick Squires in Perugia

9:09AM GMT 29 Oct 2008

Within days of Meredith Kercher’s half-naked body being found in Perugia last November, key suspect Rudy Hermann Guede, 21, fled the Umbrian hill town and jumped on a train to Germany.

His flight across the Alps sparked an international manhunt. Italian police wanted him in connection with Miss Kercher’s brutal killing, having found his bloody hand print on a pillow at the scene of the crime.

During a desperate few days on the run, he slept rough in empty train carriages and on a barge on the Rhine.

At one point he was contacted on Facebook by journalists, including the Daily Telegraph’s correspondent, and engaged in an online chat in which he protested his innocence.

On November 20, nearly three weeks after the murder, he was stopped on a Frankfurt-bound train near Mainz after a conductor found him without a ticket.

He was arrested, held for two weeks in a German prison and extradited back to Italy to face charges of murder and aggravated sexual assault.

It was all so different from the life of opportunity his immigrant father had envisaged when he left his native Ivory Coast in the early 1990s with five-year-old Rudy in tow.

Leaving his wife behind, Pacome Roger Guede settled in Perugia, Umbria’s provincial capital, and found work as a building site labourer.

He put down roots in the university town but after a decade decided to return to West Africa, leaving the teenage Rudy in the care of an Italian family, who looked after him as their own son.

For all their good intentions, he developed into a troubled youth, skipping school, dabbling in drugs and dropping out of courses in accountancy and hotel management.

He lived for a time in Milan and proudly posted on his Facebook site a photograph taken of him with Giorgio Armani in the fashion guru’s bar.

His adoptive father, wealthy local entrepreneur Paolo Caporali, 63, told the Italian national newspaper La Repubblica: “It is pointless to hide the fact that for me, Rudy was a disappointment. I hoped to help him build a future. I thought I had given him an opportunity. But as the months passed I understood I was mistaken, that my hopes were all met with delusion.

“He said he was at school, but he skipped class. He preferred to spend the day in front of the television or with video games. He had little wish to study, and even less to work.”

Rudy was thrown out – cut loose from those who cared for him for the second time in his life - and drifted into a rootless existence of part-time work, petty crime and drug dealing.

In the evenings and at weekends he mingled with the thousands of students who are drawn to Perugia each year to learn Italian at the town’s University for Foreigners.

He played basketball on the concrete court just up the hill from the house which Miss Kercher shared with Miss Knox and two other students, becoming friendly with the people living in a basement flat.

Through them he met Miss Kercher in a bar at a Halloween party, the night before the murder.

Four days before the party, he was in Milan and broke into a nursery school so that he could spend the night there.

He was armed with an 11-inch kitchen knife, telling police he had to “protect” himself against thieves.

In a 25-page handwritten note he gave to police after his arrest, Guede said he regretted leaving Miss Kercher to die from her injuries. “Had I been a man, I would have saved Meredith”. Instead, he fled the scene and did not call the emergency services.

He described the scene he came across in chilling terms. “When I closed my eyes, I could only see red. I have never seen so much blood. All of that blood on her beautiful face.”

And the inevitable bluster about appealing. Good luck on that one, Rudy.

Posted on 10/29/08 at 09:53 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Appeals 2009-2015Guede appealsThe wider contextsPerugia contextItalian contextRudy Guede
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