Collection: Francesco Sforza
Friday, January 06, 2017
Netflixhoax 18: Omitted - Any Mention Of The Toxic Public Relations Assaults On Italian Justice
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Nature Of The Excess
The huge public relations effort on behalf of Sollecito and especially Knox is entirely omitted from the film.
Perhaps because Netflix’s “Amanda Knox” was itself a toxic assault on Italian justice? Perhaps because the producers had themselves for five years acted as a nasty sharp end of that same PR?
Amazing omission, any way you look at it, as complete movies and books could dwell on this brutal attempt by non-legal means to set Knox and Sollecito free. The pro-Knox PR in particular, mostly in English in the US making it hard for Italians to know about, let alone respond, was taken to unique extremes.
Look at the giant scope of the PR as presented in Kermit’s masterful Powerpoint. That was created even before the 2009 trial was done, before the worst of the PR was set loose.
Note the number of strongarming threats and false talking point and outright lies. The dishonest TV appearances and misleading books. The threats and personal abuse of officials and reporters who had no easy way to hit back. The myriad hapless professionals roped in as glovepuppets, many of which we will quote in the next two posts.
And the staggering moneygrubbing, surely a world record in itself.
2. Initiation of the Sollecito PR
It is pretty well impossible to affect court outcomes in Italy with PR. Contempt of court and defamation laws are too strong. Papa Doc Sollecito and his family tried a few things, but they ended up in court in Bari, and Vanessa Sollecito was fired from her job.
Giulia Bongiorno was then the head of the powerful justice committee in the parliament. She was hired as lead counsel and acted as the spokesman for Sollecito’s cause, often (like Sollecito) dropping Amanda Knox in the drink. Other actions moved underground.
3. Initiation Of The Knox PR
The Knox PR beamed at Americans was initiated by Curt Knox before he and Edda Mellas ever left West Seattle for Perugia. Before any lawyers had even been consulted, let alone employed.
Why so fast? Well one good hunch is that Curt Knox already KNEW with his family history of dangerous volatility that Knox really could have exploded and led a pack attack that left Meredith dead.
Here is a great book on how aggressive American PR too often helps clients with financial means to win while trampling on the law.
Here is a good roadmap for what is known in the PR world as astroturfing, the techniques of which the ever-expanding Knox/Marriott public relations effort followed almost to a tee.
Prior to the start of the trial, the PR was becoming extremely shrill. Deathfish posted this. The Machine posted this. After a crazed PR event in West Seattle was reported upon, even Knox’s lawyers wanted it toned down.
In April 2010 we were hearing things similar to this description of the PR from everyone who had tried to file honest reports.
Coverage of the crime began to diverge on the two sides of the Atlantic. From the vantage point of Perugia, it seemed as though the Knox family’s American supporters were simply choosing to ignore the facts that were coming to light in Italy….
The American press hung back, at first, objective and somewhat disbelieving that such a wholesome-seeming girl could have any connection to such a sordid foreign crime, and then, as the family stepped up its defense, increasingly divided between two camps that would become simply the innocentisti—those who believed she was blameless—and the colpevolisti, those who did not. In Perugia, these labels governed access…
Of the handful of American journalists in Perugia in late 2007 and early 2008, none got access to the Knox family without certain guarantees about positive coverage. Within months, the family decided to speak on the record primarily to the American TV networks, often in exchange for airfare and hotel bills. Most of the print press was shut out. And the TV producers learned to be very cautious about being seen with people like me, lest the Knox family should cut them off.
But as interest in the case grew, an odd assortment of American talking heads attached their reputations to Amanda’s innocence. An aggressive support group called Friends of Amanda formed in Seattle, headed by Anne Bremner, a media-savvy criminal lawyer who had cut her teeth as a tough prosecutor in Seattle’s King County Court…
Very quickly, [PR manager David] Marriott lost control of the situation. As he spoon-fed the Knox-approved message to American outlets that couldn’t afford to send correspondents to Italy, those of us on the ground in Perugia began passing his contradictory e-mails around as entertainment during the long days in the court.
[We reporters in Rome] began what would be a two-year battle against the Seattle message machine, incurring personal attacks and outright threats.
Newsweek said that the PR campaign was winning over nobody in Italy and doing some real harm.
The talking points became so extreme that you’d think they would be impossible to spoof. However Chimera did the impossible here.
4. Overview Of Where Next
This brings us to a halfway point with the Hellmann appeal court, first chambers of the Supreme Court, the Nencini appeal court and the fifth chambers of the Supreme Court still ahead. The first and fourth of those courts were bent and in each case the PR played some role.
But the outcome is not cast in stone. Guede could spark a retrial for himself (we will know in a few days) in which the Knox and Sollecito teams will not even be present. A lot could be said that will set them back.
A dozen main media outlets and several hundred professional writers and TV commentators and so on came to swallow the PR bait without any checking of the truth. We will quote them at length. Netflix itself has clearly done this - it swallowed the assurances of thee cranks with axes to grind and did no due diligence in Italy before guying and airing a very unsafe product.
Both Curt Knox and David Marriott have declared the PR to have been a success. We will asses that. The PR departed so wildly from the truth and did so much harm to those it lied about that it is easy to shoot down. Look at the comments on the media threads about the Netflix movie and you will generally see a majority denying that Knox did no harm or was framed. One of various signs of a huge fail?
Archived in Overviews Powerpoint, Hoaxes against Italy, Italian justice hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main media, The Netflix hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Nina Burleigh, Michael Heavey, Steve Moore
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
How Claims By Perpetrators & Their PR That THEY Are Victims Get Equal Pushback
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]
To the considerable pain of victims and their loved ones, Italy’s has become one of the most pro-defendant justice and penal systems in the world.
That doesn’t mean that it has become a complete pussycat. Push it, and it usually pushes back harder in its search for the truth. And the quality Italian media goes along.
Time and again the ill-conceived short-term PR and legal tactics for Knox and Sollecito based on a hurricane of lies have left them in terms of the ultimate end-game worse off than they were before.
Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli (the judges in 2008) both took firm lines with the copious evidence and the psychological tests of AK and RS in front of them.
Both judges took a line as firm as the prosecution (as firm as the “evil Mignini”) in concluding that there was a drug-fueled hazing escalating to murder with sexual aspects (however short the timescale of the intent).
[Ed note: See comment by Yummi below which explains the above a little differently. PQ.]
Though his panel of judges voted unanimously for guilt, Judge Massei in 2009 did take a somewhat less firm line in the sentences, after observing one daffy defendant and one very nervous defendant sitting in front of him for nearly a year. Judge Massei for no especially convincing reason
(1) pinned the initiating of the attack on Rudy Guede (really?!) and
(2) handed Knox and Sollecito (and thus Guede) quite a break with his supposed “mitigating circumstances” (the duvet over Meredith’s body) resulting in 20 years lopped off their combined sentences.
Both the defenses and the PR were weak and largely futile in that year. But come 2010 the dirty tricks moved into overdrive.
Cassation reverted to the firmer line in January 2011 when it ruled on Guede’s final appeal: Guede was a party to the murder, but copious evidence proved he did not act alone.
The Hellmann appeal court and DNA consultancy and verdict of 2011 were corrupted (counter-measures are still quietly playing out) which fully explains its startling soft line.
Thereafter the Italian courts observed the illegal blood-money binge with the essentially fictional books of Sollecito and Knox, and two years of them each claiming to ill-prepared interviewers “we’re the real victims” on TV.
Cassation observed all of this, annulled the corrupted Hellmann court verdict, and issued instructions in June 2013 to the Florence appeal court to ensure that the firm line should be maintained. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a firm line from the chief prosecutor (Crini) and a seeming firm line from the lead judge (Nencini) in recent weeks.
In the rest of this year Italy will see at minimum these events where the court’s firm line will go on and the babbling and unhelpful legal and PR tactics may finally dry up.
- 1) RS and AK continuing to babble for a while on TV as they each dig the other one deeper. Sollecito has just said that his saliva or sneezing may explain why his DNA was on the clasp of the bra.
2) The sentencing report of Judge Nencini is due at the latest on 30 April and he seems likely to give space to rebuttals of any bizarre new claims made by Knox and Sollecito before 30 April like the one just above.
3) The obstruction of justice trials of witness Luciano Aviello and incessant meddlers Mario Spezi and Frank Sforza will continue, probably though into 2015. Each of those trials could result in others (like Spezi ally Doug Preston and Sforza allies Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore) being declared at minimum persons of interest if not actually charged.
4) Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze (image above) may soon be announcing which passages in Sollecito’s book Honor Bound criminally defame Italian officials or deliberately miscontrue hard facts in evidence in an illegal attempt to to poison public opinion against the court.
5) Similarly soon after on Amanda Knox’s book with the surreal title Waiting To Be Heard (and on Knox articles and interviews in Oggi) by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo.
6) Cassation’s First Chambers should be the one to handle Knox’s and Sollecito’s final appeal. They handle murder cases and they issued the guidance to Florence in 2010.
7) If so, they should take note of such revelations by way of Judge Nencini’s and Prosecutor Crini’s reports; and this next autumn or winter may finally declare a firm “confirmed guilty” final-appeal outcome and invite Knox to come back.
And when prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze announces which claims are radiocative, hopefully a major hush will come over Heavey, Fischer, Bremner and Moore.
Archived in Justice systems, Italian system, Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Rudy Guede, Those officially involved, The prosecutors, Appeals 2009-2015, Florence 2014+, Cassation 2015, Hoaxes against Italy, The Aviello hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxes by Sollecito, Sollecito book hoaxes, Hoaxers - main people, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Rise And Fall Of “Frank Sfarzo” And How Knox-Mellas PR Eagerly Propagated His False Claims
Posted by Ergon
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
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.
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.
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:
Douglas & Christine 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).
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..
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.
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?
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.
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? . 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.
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.
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.
Archived in Hoaxes against Italy, Evil Mignini hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main media, CPJ Joel Simon, Hoaxers - main people, Francesco Sforza, Bruce Fischer
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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
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
Archived in Hoaxes against Italy, Italian justice hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, DNA contam hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox persona hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting
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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.]
Archived in Other legal processes, Sollecito followup, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza, Michael Heavey, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, More hoaxers
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Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Appeal Session #3: The Carabinieri Labs Report On The DNA On The Knife
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
So the court session does not even extend beyond the lunch hour. Good morning Seattle! At this moment it is still only 3:30 in the morning there. Only night owls will know what happened.
Yummi and Mason2 may have more for us, which will appear either here below this final update on in Comments. Also Andrea Vogt and hopefully Barbie Nadeau will be filing longer reports in English. We will also check out all the Italian reporting.
Hard to see any game changers in today’s strong but undramatic testimony. The Carabinieri RIS DNA experts could not be shaken. All momentum remains with the prosecution and with the Supreme Court’s “givens” on the evidence, such as the presence of three attackers in Meredith’s room.
The defenses seem to be giving up. They could have phoned it in. Sollecito lawyer Bongiorno didnt make any new fuss. And Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova was cut off by the lead judge several times, for trickily going off the point. He really is out of his depth in a criminal trial; at the same time often condescending.
And a seeming big slap in the face for the American defense stooge Greg Hampikian who seems to have illegally colluded with the disgraced Hellmann consultants Conti and Vecchiotti (who were not even mentioned today) when Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “Would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni responded “Of course”.
And Sollecito “wasted” his statement by whining about his life, showing no compassion for Meredith (despite his claimed visit to her grave), and not answering any of the dozens of open questions. Sollecito really needed to show he is both strong and compassionate and NOT a weakling under the thumb of Amanda - but he seems to have done quite the opposite. The family lawyer must not be too pleased.
The opening of Frank Sforza’s trial in the same courthouse is postponed, apparently because new information on his campaign to poison opinion against the judiciary and his unsavory connections has been coming in.
Information will be exchanged that is gathered at this trial on mafiosos Luciano Aviello and at Aviello’s own trial for obstruction of justice which is now proceeding in the same Florence courthouse in parallel.
The findings and possible charges on the defamatory and dishonest books by Knox and Sollecito are due about now from the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors. Information gathered in those investigations could also be fed in to this process, or put aside for separate trials.
As both the AK and RS books are bulging with the standard PR talking points (some of which flowed from Frank Sforza and Doug Preston) in a sense it will be Curt Knox, the Mellases, Marriott, Sforza, Fischer and Moore who will be put under the microscope.
A more detailed report on the DNA phase today from the Andrea Vogt website.
The RIS Wednesday deposited their forensic report on trace 36i, a spot of DNA identified (but not earlier tested) on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. “Cento Percento” (100 percent) said Major Berti, discussing compatibility. The RIS found that the DNA was compatible with Amanda Knox, and excluded that it was that of Sollecito, Guede or Kercher.
The RIS expert was asked only a few questions from attorneys and the judge. The judge asked why the RIS had done two amplications of the DNA and not 3 or 4. Major Berti described that two is considered the minimum number of amplifications necessary, according to today’s forensic standards, doing less (or more) might have diminished the reliability of the results. The judge also asked about the age of the equipment used. Berti responded that the forensic kit used this time has been commercialized since 2010 and available for use since 2011.
At one point the judge stopped a line of questioning by Knox’s Rome attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova, who was asking why the RIS described Knox’s DNA as “fluids” when a prior expert had said the trace did not come from blood. Nencini said: That question was not put to the RIS by this court, it was not their job to determine that. The other experts’ reports are in the case files for everyone to read, he noted, adding: “We cannot put words in the mouth of this expert that were said by another expert.”
Tweets from our main poster Yummi (Machiavelli)
32. Judge Nencini’s comments were always addressed at Dalla Vedova’s arguments, who was in fact a bit silly
31. The Judge declared the evidence phase closed. Next court dates are 25 November for prosecution argument and 26 for the defences with 16 and 17 December.
30. Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni: “of course”
29. Dalla Vedova said Tagliabracci was the only Italian source in the RIS report, all others are foreigners, emphasized the American labs…
28. Sollecito said his family absolutely never had issues with justice. And he is a proud ‘member’ of that family
27. He also played the ‘national’ card, as he remphasized ‘I am Italian’ twice and then addressed the court ‘I am an Italian, as you are’
26. Sollecito mentioned the defens’s arguments (he has an orthopedical issue with his foot etc.).
25. The questions of all parties to the experts were intended to elicit information to be used in arguing the unrelated previous finding
24. He mentioned Meredith’s name only once, to say he barely knew her.
23. Sollecito talked with a faint voice, a long speech in which he described himself as a victim.
22. The Carabinieri say that there are only a few governmental laboratories which have the 17025 certificate (the Carabinieri and the Police)
21. Nencini stops Dalla Vedova, points out that scientific community is international
20. Dalla Vedova tries to elicit that the good standards are not the Italian ones.
19. The RIS obtained the ISO9001 certificate in 2008, and a more specific certificate in 2012.
18. Bongiorno asks RIS to explain why two amplifications are recommended.
17. Prosecutor Crini asks if there are criteria to distinguish which labs or which experts are more competent.
16. Speaking about their software which allows to weight probabilities of attribution.
15. They note that three alleles which are ‘alien’ were drop off in one duplicate.
14. The biologic method has a ‘consensus’ interpretation and a ‘composite’ interpretation, two ways to interpret the double result.
13. They describe the methods employed, the ‘biologic’ method and the ‘statistic’ method.
12. Absence of any male trace stands out as a feature of the sample (all contributors are females)
11. They extracted two profiles in a duplicate in agreement with experts of all parties
10. Dr Berti says the sample was a low template. They have a strategy to obtain reliable results.
9. Points out that documentation says sample 36i comes from insertion of blade in the handle.
8. Dr. Berti summarizes the recovery of sample in Vecchiotti’s lab.
7. Bongiorno says Sollecito intends to release a spontaneous declaration. He will do that after the experts testimony.
6. Berti and Barni enter the court.
5. Many law students from the Florence school for Magistrates are in court to follow the hearing.
4. Sollecito had managed to enter the courtroom from side entrance eluding photographers. Carlo Torre arrives in court.
3. Giulia Bongiorno & Raff kiss each other. Giulia, Raff & Father have a worried discussion
2. I wonder… will the court withdraw his passport?
1. Raffaele Sollecito is in courtroom. Walking in empty room, few people waiting. Hearing will start 1/2h probably
Tweets from Patricia Thomas (AP) and Sabina Castelfranco (AP)
Patricia Thomas @MozzarellaMamma: RaffaeleSollecito - Amanda Knox and I were very carefree and isolated in our love nest.
Sabina Castelfranco @SCastelfranco: Sollecito says he is not the assassin he has been described as. Says Amanda was his first love
Patricia Thomas @MozzarellaMamma: RaffaeleSollecito - I have been described as an assassin. Amanda Knox was my first real love in life
Patricia Thomas @MozzarellaMamma: RaffaeleSollecito takes stand to make statement, starts complaining about media descriptions of himself
Tweets from Barbie Nadeau
35. Nov 25 - prosecution; 26 - civil; Dec 16 - Sollectio; 17 - Knox; Jan 9 - rebuttals, 10 deliberation and verdict
34. Dec. 16, 17 closing arguments for Knox and Sollecito
33. Judge closes hearing for day, says closing arguments begin Nov 25, 26, must find December dates to conclude
32. Sollecito finishes by thanking judges for their time, judge tells him he can intervene any time during rest of appeal until they deliberate
31. Sollecito says he hates the fame, how it has hurt him, how it isn’t fair
20. Sollecito says he has a difficult time looking for work, people associate him with the murder of meredith kercher
29. Sollecito says that even on his vacation in Dominican Republic, he had to defend himself like a public figure, his life is judged by all
28. Sollecito repeats twice that he never met Rudy Guede, how nothing in original trial was based on reality.
27. Sollecito takes trip down memory lane, highlights worst parts of trial and incarceration for him, has not mentioned meredith kercher yet
26. RaffaeleSollecito - I feel a persecution. It is a nightmare, beyond all imagination.
25. RaffaeleSollecito—close to tears as he testifies to court “I am fighting every day to bring out the truth”
24. Jury totally transfixed by sollecito declaration, can’t take their eyes off him
23. Sollecito thanks and defends his family, calls amand knox his first love
22. Judge asks for Sollecito declaration now
21. Judge asks about relevance of kit they used, how old technology was, etc.
20. Judge asks what minimum testing is for validation of DNA, RIS says “at least two”
19. Judge tells Dallavedova he cannot put words in mouth of new expert that were said by previous experts, this is fresh analysis
18. Judge clarifies that RIS was not asked to reanalyze work that has been done, but to test a sample that has not been tested.
17. Dallavedova essentially kicks goal into own net, not doing amanda knox any favors by making RIS defend methods used in original conviction
16. Dallavedova manages to get RIS expert to defend Italian methods, says they are in line with global standards, this was crux of 1st appeal
15. DallaVedova asks about international protocol, backfires slightly b/c RIS expert says he doesn’t want to dis italian methods, are valid too
14. Bongiorno hammers point that international standards in DNA must be followed ([claims]they were not for meredithkercher sample on tip of knife)
13. Jury in new appeal trial for amanda knox; sollecito look totally lost, lots of daydreaming during DNA testimony, nail biting, looking around
12. Bongiorno asks RIS expert specifics of amplification of sample with an eye to trace with meredith kercher DNA that was amplified many times
11. Prosecutor asking for clarification on how samples are tested, how RIS experts are qualified, etc.
10. RIS: DNA testing as important to exclude suspects as to confirm them, in this case no question that amandaknox DNA is on knife, others’ not
9. RIS: testifying about international standards necessary to validate DNA, how they used in their examination of this particular spot on knife
8. Sollecito listening attentively and jotting notes as RIS expert testifies about the knife
7. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife (near handle) matched definitively the DNA of amandaknox in double tests
6. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife did not match meredith kercher or rudy guede or sollecito after double testing
5. RIS: Experts tested spot “H” [?] on the knife (the spot near the handle) for both the victim meredith kercher and suspect
4. RIS: DNA analysis showed no x chromosome, i.e.: no male chromosome in sample they tested on knife
3. RIS: essential in DNA testing to double test samples to validate results
2. RIS expert: explains technical details of testing DNA, how much is needed, how it is tested
1. Judge says he wants to hear from RIS experts first and then sollecito can give his declaration
Well, that first shot from the court at the top sure is a surprise, and maybe bad news for Amanda Knox. Where are Sollecito’s other lawyers, Bongiorno and Maori? Presumably they are off to the side talking. .
Iin tweets Andrea Vogt has mentioned that she is reporting for the BBC and the Associated Press TV; reporters cannot have bigger clients or more global reach than with those two. This is from Andrea Vogt’s website.
Court is now in session. Day will begin with RIS forensic debates. Raffaele Sollecito will make a statement later in the day.
Sollecito arrived in the Florence court of appeals looking relaxed and ready to make his case before the court later in the day. His father, Francesco Sollecito, also appeared visibly happy to have his son back in arms reach, after an extended stay in the Caribbean. A large number of his friends were in the audience.
Forensic experts for the defense Walter Patumi, Carlo Torre and Sarah Gino were also in attendance in preparation for debate on the new DNA evidence tested by the RIS in Rome, specifically, trace 36i on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. RIS say the DNA profile is that of Amanda Knox. Arguments today will mostly about how it might have gotten there, with prosecutors attempting to place it in the context of the murder and defense attorneys arguing it could have been transferred during normal domestic use of the utensil.
Next hearings are Nov. 25-26, with a verdict expected in mid-December.
Archived in Those who were charged, Raff Sollecito, Those officially involved, Police and CSI, Evidence & witnesses, DNA and luminol, The two knives, Appeals 2009-2015, Florence 2014+, Hoaxes against Italy, DNA contam hoax, The Aviello hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Francesco Sforza
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Monday, November 04, 2013
Appeal Court Sessions This Wednesday And Thursday Dont Look Very Promising For The Defenses
Posted by Peter Quennell
Expected proceedings and backdrop
The Carabinieri DNA report will be the main item and after an interruption from Sollecito we could see the final summations begin.
It is hard to believe that Doug Preston and other deniers of the plain facts have exulted in recent months that the Florence prosecution and court could be a big plus for the perps in their appeal. Presumably their joy was based on highly out-of-date takes on the 2010 move against Dr Mignini by a rogue Florence prosecutor in front of a rogue Florence judge.
Well, guess what? Both have been edged aside (like Hellmann and Zanetti), and the Florence Appeal Court and the Supreme Court have scathingly reversed Dr Mignini’s (and Dr Giuttari’s) faux conviction. And despite some ill-advised smearing still emanating from the Fischers, Moores, and other Knox parasites, Dr Mignini and his colleagues are seeing their careers and popularity (and 2009 success) riding very high.
Judge Nencini and Prosecutor Crini are both hardened anti-Mafia battlers, and the not-so-hidden hand of the mafia in the Italian media campaign to poison public opinion against the court will not have escaped their attention for sure.
At least half a dozen of the parties on the defense bandwagon are known fellow-travelers of the mafia, and at least two are already headed for court - Luciano Aviello is already there for obstruction of justice, and Mario Spezi is headed there soon for a false and very elaborate framing of murder, a charge which could put him (and maybe Preston) away for a long while. The editor of Amanda Knox’s favorite mouthpiece, Oggi, is another we may see.
The same Florence prosecutors and courts will also be putting Frank Sforza on trial starting this wednesday with a preliminary hearing at which the details of the charges against him will enter the public domain. We will post then at more length. Our past commentary on Sforrza can be read here.
Frank Sforza has been a very close ally of some of the more hotheaded and misleading Amanda Knox supporters (both the Mellases, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, Michael Heavey, among others) and if he squeals to keep himself safe and out of jail, their own legal fortunes could take a big fall.
Frank Sforza is also required to appear for trial both in Perugia and Seattle, in both jurisdictions for physical abuse. If he fails to show in Florence (his Rome address is quite well known) we expect to see him nabbed by the police and sent on his way in handcuffs to all three trials.
The same Florence prosecutors and courts are also contemplating new charges against Raffaele Sollecito and his publishing and PR bandwagon for the wild claims in his book, which were designed to poison public opinion agains the court and make him a ton of money. Those claims are a real minefield for Sollecito when he gets up and talks as they conflict both with what his team has said in court and what Knox said in her book.
Knox’s book, which was also designed to poison public opinion against the court and make her a ton of money, is being investigated by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo up north. At a minimum, the Florence prosecutors and judges will already know of this attack on the chief prosecutor which seems enough for a guilty verdict all by itself.
Contexting the DNA report
The main findings of the Carabinieri labs were summarised in the post directly below.
This further take on the context, and on who is up and who is down, was kindly contributed by one of our Italian court-watchers, who has many connections in Florence and Rome, and who sees the prosecution DNA teams as riding high now, and the defense forces and Vecchiotti and Conti as left with with no place to hide.
Dr. Barni and Dr. Berti, the two court-appointed Carabinieri RIS experts, are the authors of various internationally-circulated articles about presumptive blood tests, where they prove the opposite of some of the things the Sollecito—Knox sycophants deny. For example that bleach does decompose quickly when exposed to air and does not react to luminol after some 1-2 days.
Patrizia Stefanoni also has respected publications as a scientific author. In fact, in 2011 she was in the top 25 hits of forensic science with her publications, she has been even in first place with this report.
The Carabinieri RIS note that the refrigerator has no temperature log; from this detail, albeit small within the overall report, we can deduce that Vecchiotti’s laboratory cannot have had ISO 9001 certification or any other international certification, given that the standards would require a temperature log. Apparently the refrigerator doesn’t have an accurate thermometer either, since the Carabinieri measured the temperature using one of their own.
Another detail noted at the beginning is this: the Carabinieri RIS expected the sample volume to be 24 microliters, since this was the remaining volume declared by Conti and Vecchiotti, while Barni and Berti found it to be only between 16 and 17 microliters. They infer that Vecchiotti and Conti might have been inaccurate on the estimation of the remaining amount after quantization, or hypothesize that the content might have evaporated over the last two years because the samples were not wrapped inside a protective film.
Vecchiotti and Conti had been already discredited, and have no credibility in the present appeal trial. However, the RIS finding might deliver a further blow to whatever might be their residual credibility. They had already previously been completely discredited because:
1. They were appointed by judges who are now completely discredited, whose conduct was found illegitimate for reasons of unprecedented gravity, and who received a devastating bashing from the Supreme Court;
2. Vecchiotti and Conti were also discredited by Prosecutor Manuela Comodi in her court cross-eamaination in 2011, as the speciousness and falsehood of their arguments was exposed (this was the famous hearing where they claimed contamination on the ground that “everything is possible” and where Vecchiotti admitted she didn’t request negative controls)
3. Vecchiotti and Conti were discredited scientifically by Novelli’s argument, as he explained that they should have tested the 36-I sample, and as he also explained that that he found no trace of contamination in the Scientific Police laboratory’s work, or any reason to suspect contamination of Meredith Kercher’s DNA, and he explained that attribution could be done accurately based on bio-statistical calculation without requiring a second confirmatory test.
4. Finally, Vecchiotti and Conti were egregiously discredited by the Supreme Court which addressed a manifest issue in their “intellectual honesty“. Here is the Supreme Court ruling, page 65: “ ... a member of the panel of experts could not assume any responsibility for unilaterally narrowing the scope of the mission, which was to be carried out without hesitation or reservation, in full intellectual honesty, giving a complete account of the possible insufficiency of the material or unreliability of the result. (...) “
The court mentions sardonically the judge-appointed expert’s “intellectual honesty”, and that is a very striking comment when found in a Supreme Court ruling: since the Cassazione is not a fact-finding panel, they don’t write about factual conclusions unless they appear prima facie as manifest and undisputable.
So the Supreme Court considers there are problems of intellectual honesty in the work of Vecchiotti and Conti, something manifest and obvious; the Court acknowledges they are obvious, something that anyone can see, which does not require a fact-finding by a judiciary organ to be pointed out.
Now the Carabinieri RIS report may bring further discredit upon Vecchiotti and Conti, if they have any credibility left. There are at least two reasons for this:
1) Because the finding of a reliable DNA profile belies the assessment that was given by Vecchiotti and Conti that extraction of a profile would be impossible, and demonstrates that in fact it was possible to extract a reliable profile; incidentally the fact that a Carabinieri RIS test was ordered itself implicitly denies Hellmann-Zanetti’s assessment that any result from 36-I would anyway be useless because contamination could have occurred outside the laboratory; but also it credits Novelli while it discredits Veccchiotti and Conti on a scientific level, because it explicitly denies the idea that small (Low Template) DNA amounts are unreliable.
2) Because the Carabinieri RIS test employs the method proposed by Novelli, that is to couple Stefanoni’s ‘biologic’ analysis method with the statistical probability assessment method, in order to come to a certain attribution. Moreover, the Carabinieri RIS also point out that they can do this by assessing only 11 loci from a complex trace which also has foreign alleles (whereas trace 36-B analysed by Stefanoni was a ‘clean’, non-mixed profile matching a 17-loci sequence).
The Carabinieri RIS ran the test in ‘duplicate’ while Stefanoni made a single profile extraction. The Carabinieri point out that they can do this – divide even a smaller and more complex trace, and test it for comparison even on a smaller number of loci - because they now have “a system with extremely higher analytical performance which is able to provide result quantitatively and qualitatively better compared to previous systems”.
Archived in Evidence & witnesses, Other witnesses, DNA and luminol, Appeals 2009-2015, Florence 2014+, Hoaxers - main people, Conti & Vecchioti, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza
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Sunday, October 06, 2013
Dr Mignini Pushes Back Against His Demonizers Trying To Pin To Him False “Satanic Theory” Claim
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Preston left, Spetzi center, and George Clooney who is at legal risk for his option on their defamatory book]
Previously on the mafia playbook:
As we have posted previously, the mafia and their handmaidens strive constantly to bring the Italian justice system down a peg or two. When not using dynamite, as they often have, they especially favor the weapon of character assassination.
The vilification campaign being run in the United States by David Marriott, Chris Mellas, Doug Preston, Bruce Fischer, Steve Moore, Michelle Moore, Nigel Scott, and David Anderson (and from Italy by Frank Sforza) seems to be right out of the mafia playbook, whether all of them know it or not.
How the mafia have been using the public relations campaign to their own advantage seems set to emerge further in at least five of the associated trials coming down the pike: those of Luciano Aviello, Frank Sforza, Mario Spezi, Raffaele Sollecito (his book trial) and Amanda Knox (her book trial)
And now Mario Spetzi, obviously a real glutton for punishment, once again piles on. Spetzi has had incessant run-ins with the Italian law - and now he seems to have entered some kind of self-immolation end-game.
With Doug Preston, Spetzi published several editions of their Monster of Florence scenario. These are widely discredited in Italy, not least because they are such obvious attempts to apply lipstick to a pig (half of the text is about an obviously red-handed and very very scared Preston trying to prove he did not actually melt down under interrogation for his probable felony interference in a case.)
Spetzi has been charged with interfering with and hampering both the Monster of Florence investigations and the related investigation (which involved Dr Mignini) into the Narducci drowning - a clear murder (the body was found bound and another substituted) though a nefarious group worked very hard to deny that. (They were all charged as well, and the Supreme Court has recently confirmed the correctness of that.)
In recent weeks the Supreme Court has given a firm order for both prosecutions against Spetzi to go ahead. How Spetzi stays out of prison if he is found guilty is anyone’s guess. Doug Preston came up with a calamity of an explanation for the arrest of Frank Sforza for domestic violence, but presumably his assistance wont be sought this time around.
So in face of impending prison Spetzi really watches his tongue, right?
No, in fact in a move bizarre even by his own standards, Spetzi on 29 September published a surreal “interview” with Amanda Knox in Florence Corriere. It once again repeats the felony claim that the prosecution charged Knox and Sollecito in the first place based only on some “satanic theory”.
The Perugia prosecution has never never NEVER claimed that. The Florence prosecutor has already moved into felony-investigation mode (this could cost Spetzi more years in prison) and on 3 October Florence Corriere published this correction below by the defamed prosecution (translation is by Yummi).
This unequivocal statement (far from the first but the most prominent) has its own legal status. It is a clear legal warning to the likes of Chris Mellas and Bruce Fischer that if they sustain the libel they are at risk of felony charges also.
The statement has already had a strong ripple effect in Italy. Many former allies - some of them not very savory - now feel that Spetzi has lied to and betrayed them for his own ends.
To the editor of Florence Corriere
I am Giuliano Mignini, the magistrate who performed the investigation and trials of first instance and appeal in Perugia against the people accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, as well as the investigation into the death of Francesco Narducci linked to the one performed by the Florence Prosecution Office in relation to the masterminds of the “Monster of Florence” murders.
I saw reported the interview that the journalist Mario Spezi – a person accused in the Narducci case – did with Amanda Knox, a main defendant in the appeal trial that will start today – published in the Corriere Fiorentino on Sep. 29.
In two recent cases the Court of Cassation has annulled verdicts, which acquitted Knox and Sollecito, and which decided [by Judge Micheli] a dropping of charge against Spezi (the parts regarding ‘lack of certainty about malice’ were annulled too).
Therefore I don’t need to add anything further on that point. Instead, I need to point out the falsehood of an assertion which Mr. Spezi makes at the beginning of his article, as he tries to explain the reason for a link which, in his opinion, allegedly exists between the two cases, the one related to the Monster murders and Narducci’s death, and the one about the Kercher murder.
Mr. Spezi’s text says: “… a strangely similar background, for two different cases, behind which the magistrate thought he could see satanic orgies on the occasion of Halloween for Amanda, and ritual blood sacrifices as a worship to the Devil in the Monster of Florence case…”.
This is an assertion that Mr. Spezi and crime-fiction author Douglas Preston have been repeating for years, but does not find the smallest confirmation in the documentation of the two trials, nor in the scenario put forward by the prosecution in which the Meredith murder (which didn’t happen on Halloween but on the subsequent night) was the consequence of a sex hazing to which Meredith herself did not intend to take part, and, above all, it was the consequence of a climate of hostility which built up progressively between the Coulsdon girl and Amanda because of their different habits, and because of Meredith’s suspicion about alleged money thefts by Knox.
Furthermore the object of the proceedings in the Narducci case is the scenario about the murder of the same Narducci and the attempt, by the doctor’s father and brother, to conceal the cause of his violent death, and this included the background within which the event – which was a homicide in my opinion and in the opinion of my technical consultant, coroner Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia – had developed and taken place.
I had already denied several time assertions of such kind, but Mr. Spezi and Mr. Preston, and some people connected to them, go on repeating a lie, apparently hoping that it will become true by repeating it.
Another astonishing fact is that, despite that I was the prosecutor in the Kercher trial together with my colleague Manuela Comodi and then subsequently with my colleague Giancarlo Costagliola [at annulled apeal], and despite that I limited myself to formulating judicial requests which were all agreed to by a multitude of judges and confirmed by the Supreme Court, I am still considered as the only one responsible for an accusation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, by twisting its content in various ways.
In the Narducci case, in the same way, I simply limited myself to performing the investigation and requesting the remands to trial, and the trial will have to start again now because the Supreme Court has annulled the dropping of charges [by Judge Micheli] and sent back the trial to another preliminary judge in Perugia.
The purpose – quite overt – of such endlessly repeated lies, is to defame the investigator, picturing him as a magistrate who is following alleged personal obsessions rather than sticking at facts, as instead he is.
The hope that such conscious misrepresentation of reality could bring advantage to the defences (foremost that of Spezi himself) is consistent with a bad habit which has all along flourished in Italy but is now also copied abroad.
Therefore I ask you to please publish my rectification against false and seriously defamatory information.
See also this overview of the two cases requested by our poster Kmcvick.
Archived in Appeals 2009-2015, Florence 2014+, Hoaxes against Italy, Florence MOF hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, More hoaxers, Other legal processes, Sollecito followup, Knox followup
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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Amanda Knox Dithering Over Court Appearance For Appeal Going Over Very Negatively In Italy
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Above: the outspoken political leader of the region of Umbria Lignani Marchesani warns Amanda Knox]
Amanda Knox has her name on a book that maliciously slimes everybody she ever encountered in Italy. Then she repeatedly goes on TV whining about how people dont like or trust her.
Guess what? Italians are seeing those same wild accusations as being one self-created reason why Knox seems to lack the guts to head for the appeal court. She would be put face-to-face with many of those that she slimed. How embarrasing.
The other reason of course has applied since 2009: Italians believe she really did lead a very cruel murder pack, killed someone vastly more gifted and worthwhile than herself, and now is lying to the American public in the hope that they will insist their government ignores any arrest warrant for Knox from Italy.
She sure has a real knack of making things worse for herself. No-shows are very rare in Italy and they are seen as not only very cowardly but a sure sign of the person’s guilt. Our main poster Jools translated this tart threat from the leader of Umbria’s regional government which is posted on the regional assembly website.
MEREDITH KERCHER MURDER: “IF AMANDA KNOX DOES NOT COME BACK TO FACE THE NEW TRIAL, PERUGIA SHOULD REVOKE THE SISTER CITIES-TWINNING- WITH SEATTLE”.
The chief regional councillor Andrea Lignani Marchesani (Fd’I) seeks to revoke the twinning of Perugia with Seattle, if Amanda Knox does not return to Italy to stand trial for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher.
“Headlines were not needed nor a crystal ball to forcast that Miss Amanda Knox would carefully refrain from returning to Italy to face the new appeal process. The annulment of the judgment at the Supreme Court shows how the references to international pressures were not unfounded and a clear abdication of our sovereignty for the sake of interests that have nothing to do with justice.
“No need to emphasize once more how the city of Perugia, the Umbria [region] and the University have damage to their image and finances from this tragic event, without forgetting the human aspects and family of the victim.”
Andrea Lignani Marchesani calls to revoke the twinning between the cities of Perugia and Seattle, birthplace of the American woman on trial in Italy. According to Lignani, “The city of Seattle, linked in a sister cities twinning for twenty years with Perugia, lost no time during the time Amanda was in custody to criticize our capital city, either by revoking of the naming of a park [in honor] of the city of the Griffon or by petitions tending to the withdrawal of the twinning itself.
“Perugia has no need for undesirable relationships and should, in this situation where a wound of its recent history is being reopened, should proceed to counter offensive.
If Amanda, as is almost certain, does not show up at the trial and does not face the verdict of the Italian justice system, Perugia must withdraw it’s twinning with Seattle. Court judgments are meant to be respected and must be executed, this is what is repeated every day, and this must also apply to the Seattle citizen Amanda Knox.”
As explained in the post below, the Italian court has many ways of applying its own powerful pressure. It could for example put Knox’s entire defaming entourage on trial, including her own dad, and see them all labeled as felons worldwide.
More on this in our next post, about Frank Sforza, which explains all the grief his own meltdown in court could rain down.
Archived in Reporting, media, movies, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza
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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Expected Calunnia And Diffamazione Trials Could Reverse Another Attempt To Take Justice Down A Peg
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Stance of the Supreme Court
Criminal enterprise?! Don’t take our word for it. That is what the Italian Supreme Court considers it may be, and is prompting strong measures normally held in reserve for mafia-type assaults on the justice system.
The Italian Supreme Court is nothing if not remorseless in its mandated pursuit of justice and the truth. We saw this the other day when a prison sentence was allowed to stand against the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who had long thumbed his nose at the courts.
We also saw it in the convictions allowed to stand against the many CIA operatives and their Italian counterparts who kidnapped Abu Omar and flew him for torture to Egypt. Though most of their sentences were permitted to be reduced, most are still left with a felony record for life - and the lead CIA operative is now a world-wide fugitive.
We can now see this same strong reaction against contempt of the courts in the Meredith Kercher case and the Monster of Florence case and the hairbrained “defense” campaigns nominally run for the perps in those two parallel cases.
Italian officials have various reasons to believe not only that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are surely guilty, just as Judge Massei described, but also that they and their American supporters are foolish pawns in some much bigger and even nastier games, and deeply in over their heads.
In its annullment of the Hellmann/Zanetti appeal and its instructions to the Florence Palace of Justice, Cassation reveals its own suspicion that some very unsavory elements may be attempting to take the Italian justice system down a peg and it wants fast decisive action to stop this. A high-stakes new trial described at bottom here is a first huge warning shot.
The “usual suspects” with anti-justice interests
As we explained three months ago in this post the “usual suspects” pretty openly working to take Italian prosecutors and police down a peg or two can be bunched into these seven groups.
- The three regional mafias;
- A few defense lawyers and well-funded defendants;
- Politicians shielding corruption;
- In some instances the freemasons.
- Those wanting investigations like MOF/Narducci to drop dead;
- Muckraking magazines like Oggi;
- Some anti-Italy foreigners.
If we look closely - a lot closer than all the UK and US media and most of the Italian media - we can spot attempts to further the interests of all seven of these groups in the campaigns against justice for Meredith and especially against justice for the Monster of Florence victims.
- The three mafias have their toe in the door in various ways including but not only the mafioso witness Luciano Aviello (on which more below), and the Narducci 22 including Spezi, and the editors of newspapers like Oggi who have long done their handiwork for them.
- The defense forces and the well-funded, sneering, money-grubbing defendants Knox and Sollecito are very well-known to us here; their myriad dirty tricks go as far back as early 2008 and the list has not yet stopped growing.
- The Berlusconi loyalist and fervid Knoxaholic Rocco Girlanda wrote to the President, asking that he order that the Perugia prosecutors be investigated; Girlanda also tried to cut the national police budget before he was voted out of office..
- Both the judges in the annuled appeal were freemasons and our main poster Yummi described the furtive freemason fingers in the pie (some freemasons feud strongly with catholics, which Perugia police and prosecutors are) in his well-researched posts here and here.
- Those who wanted the MOF/Narducci investigations to drop dead used the ever-willing “useful idiot” Doug Preston to ridicule the investigations in a strident book and numerous media appearances; also they tried hard to take down Dr Mignini, their most recent nemesis though the Supreme Court has totally reversed that for reasons explained here.
- The notorious editor of Oggi has a long history of sneering and essentially fact-free reporting, aimed at undermining the courts and the police; playing to his advantage, there is a smallish but terminally paranoid readership for such conspiracy myths in Italy.
- And as for anti-Italy foreigners with their fingers in the pie, well, where to begin? Doug Preston? Nina Burleigh? Candace Dempsey? Greg Hampikian? Paul Ciolino? Judy Bachrach? Bruce Fischer? David Anderson? Joel Simon? Donald Trump?
All seven groups were happily on a roll up to around the end of 2011, when Knox and Sollecito were released, and many (including Curt Knox’s PR guru David Marriott, Hampikian, and Fischer) prematurely declared that they had won total victory.
But it is astounding how much matters have reversed in the past year and a half. Take a look at the state of play for them as it is now.
Their reversals in Meredith’s case:
Knox has served three years, will be labeled a felon for life, faces an enormously tough new appeal against an excellent prosecutor, and has her name on a book which commits against Italian officials THE EXACT SAME CRIME she served three years for: false accusations of crimes. She is expected to be charged soon by Bergamo prosectors.
Sollecito in his own book committed some of the same crimes as Knox did in hers (did we mention criminal enterprise?!) plus another one (accusing the prosecution of wanting him to roll over on Amanda) which his own father has renounced on national TV. He is expected to be charged soon by Florence prosecutors.
Everybody involved in the writing and publishing of the two criminally defamatory and very self-serving blood-money books (illegal in Italy) could soon be about to take a fall, both in the Italian criminal courts and in the US civil courts. The foolish publishers and deal-makers included, of which Curt Knox himself is one.
If neither RS nor AK turn up for the new appeal in Florence later in September, they risk warrants being issued for their re-arrest. If they DO turn up they could well turn on one another, and their books will help the prosecution and hamper the defenses no-end - with those mad claims, how can they possibly take the witness stand?
Criminal defamation charges are still pending against Amanda Knox and against both of her two biological parents. Corruption charges are pending against Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele’s sister Vanessa for attempting to use political means to up-end the Perugia prosecutors.
Judge Hellmann has been eased out ignominiously, and Judge Zanetti demoted. Conceivably both may face charges, along with Conti & Vecchiotti and maybe Hampikian. And all the defense lawyers are in a ton of trouble for helping AK and RS to write their books, Giulia Bongiorno especially. The former MP Rocco Girlanda is of course long gone.
Many of the Knox defense forces have exited or ended up as being of no consequence: Frank Sforza (on the run from the law in the US and Italy); Halkidis and Hampikian (see Machine’‘s posts below), the hapless two Moores, the proven phoney Bruce Fischer, and so on and on.
And US officialdom, not least the State Department and the US Embassy in Rome, still show not the slightest interest in intervening. Any judge is expected to approve extradition of Knox if her refusal to face trial and prison is sustained in face of a final guilty verdict.
Their reversals in the Monster of Florence case.
Yummi mentioned some in the post linked to above, including the trouble rained down on the heads of the prosecutor and judge who put on trial Giuttari and Mignin, whose convictions were scathingly reversed by a very angry Supreme Court.
The Narducci case was put back on track by the Supreme Court and a prison sentence seems a sure thing for Mario Spezi and up to 2 dozen others. A prison sentence might be incurred by the delusional weakling and serial defamer Doug Preston.
The “theory” of the MOF case Dr Mignini has good reason to hold is that the murders were not those of one single serial killer. This perception of a shadowy self-protecting group is absolutely mainstream in Italy, and is reflected in the excellent Guittari book on the case (Il Mostro) which could soon with good reason (it tells the truth) push the silly Preston MOF book off the US and UK bookshelves.
That theory is espoused by all the current prosecutors in Florence.
The one media outlet which never fails to take an anti-prosecution stance, Oggi, Is being investigated and could be put on trial for publishing Knox’s false charges against the Perugia and national police and prosecutors and may have problems hanging in there.
Dr Mignini looks set to be promoted to becoming the next attorney general of Umbria, the region of which Perugia is the capital. And the hold of the freemasons and the mafias over Italian justice is not getting any stronger, just as most Italians prefer.
And the stick of dynamite now in a Florence court
Former Sollecito witness Luciano Aviello could be the direct cause of a lot of people ending up in jail.
His trial for perjury and contempt of court is happening now in Florence. His trial has been fast-forwarded as a direct result of the Supreme Court declaring that getting to the bottom of his erratic day in court in 2011 with too-familiar mafia-type allegations must be a top priority. His forthcoming defense is expected to be explosive.
We have posted extensively on Aviello since he first surfaced. A mafioso since his teens in Naples, now aged about 40, he has spent most of his adult years in prison. (He is back there again right now - for killing a dog and extortion.)
As police and prosecutors all know, Aviello has a very long record of making things up to try to give himself some breaks and to keep in with the mafia. He has been repeatedly convicted for perjury.
He was the witness summoned by a hapless Giulia Bongiorno to try to arrive at an explanation that fits with the prevailing conclusion of the Supreme Court that THREE people had attacked Meredith on the night.
What Aviello came up with on the stand was that his own missing brother and one other habitual criminal had unintentionally committed the murder. They were trying to steal some artworks, but they got the address of the house wrong.
Raffaele Sollecito was so thrilled at this (palpably false) testimony by Aviello that he says in his book that he sent Aviello an embroidered handkerchief, perhaps because Aviello has urges toward a sex change operation.
On the witness stand in mid 2011 Aviello really roasted the police and prosecution in mafia-type terms for failing to come down on his side and follow up on his allegations (actually they had already followed up, but found nothing).
Then two fellow inmates at his prison near Genoa testified for the prosecution that he had told them that the Sollecitos had offered or paid large bribes for any false testimony helpful to their boy getting sprung.
Extraordinarily, Judge Hellmann brushed all of this under the rug, and hurried on to other matters less embarrassing to the Sollecitos and Bongiorno. This REALLY caught Cassation’s attention as there have been strong suspicions in Perugia and Rome that Hellmann and/or Zanetti were in the pocket of one of the families.
Why did the unqualified Judge Hellmann replace the excellent Judge Chiari, suddenly and inexplicably decided upon by Chief Judge Di Nunzio? Why are seemingly all of the lead players bending things to the Knox-Sollecito side freemasons?
Were Hellmann and Zanetti and Aviello and Aviello’s fellow inmates among those who received some sort of inducement to bend RS’s way? What was Giulia Bongiorno’s precise role in all this?
Directly, Aviello could be in a position to bring down both families, both defense teams, and both appeal judges. He could even make a guilty verdict for RS and AK a sure thing.
Criminal enterprise indeed. We will continue reporting. Oh and make sure to watch your back, Luciano.
Archived in Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Those officially involved, Hoaxes against Italy, Florence MOF hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, The Aviello hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox interrog hoax, Knox no-PR hoax, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxes by Sollecito, Sollecito book hoaxes, Hoaxes re Guede, Guede sole perp hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Other legal processes, Sollecito followup, Knox followup, Italian related
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Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Very Appropriate Casting Of Doug Preston As The Fredo Corleone Wannabe
Posted by Kermit
Preston as Fredo
In the image above, from the first Godfather movie, Michael’s brother Fredo watches his father Don Corleone get into a Mafioso tussle.
Fredo, after fumbling, juggling, and dropping his revolver without firing a single shot, proves himself useless and incapable of achieving the basic objective of taking care of his kindred souls.
In the same manner, as Douglas Preston fumbles about protecting the interests of his “Family” (and taking care of his own income), he shows the public that the sci-fi writer can’t load his own pen with Truth - or even Believable Lies.
Whenever I see an article published by the sci-fi thriller novelist and pro-Amanda Knox “point-of-view journalist” (his own words) concerning either the murder of Meredith Kercher or the Monster of Florence case, I can’t avoid being reminded of “Fredo” the bumbling brother who lets his family down.
Whoever set Douglas Preston up for his histrionic defense of Amanda Knox, or his attacks against the personal and professional integrity of Deputy Prosecutor General Giuliano Mignini, or his defense of his hapless friend Mario Spezi’s curious “investigative” techniques in uncovering “dirt” on the decades old “Monster of Florence” case should have found a much better soldado than Preston.
Preston’s histrionic pamphlet
Douglas Preston has recently posted an article on The Slate website, promoting a pamphlet that in the end he had to self-publish through Kindle since no one else would publish it (he had told me at the end of last year in an unsolicited email that he was hoping The New Yorker or The Atlantic would print it as an article).
I seriously thought of writing this TJMK post as a self-published Kindle article that could be downloaded for 99 cents, but I refrained from doing so for two reasons:
- 1) I wanted it to get more exposure than Preston’s nickel-and-diming effort has
2) I will never want to earn any blood money off the backs of crime victims, even if it’s only the grand total of 99 cents from the Kindle copy my mother buys
Preston’s The Slate article and Pamphlet are basically an attempt to undermine the PMF and TJMK websites which have taken a pro-victim posture in the online discussion concerning the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.
As such he stumbles and fumbles with the Truth in promoting his “Family” causes, with as much dexterity and morality as the low-grade Mafioso “Fredo” from The Godfather, unable to load his writer’s gun properly, in a comic show of futility.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #1: Tell Favorable, Out-of-Date news from the Past
Novelist Preston starts telling his unconvincing twisted half-truths before he even finishes the title and subtitle of The Slate promotional article:
Burn Her at the Stake - Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder. Why do so many people still hate her so much? (Source: The Slate)
That title has as much truth as Preston writing another self-promotional article today announcing to the world “I turned 21 years old” … it may be true that years ago in the past he was 21 years old, but that is hardly a current truth for readers.
While it may be the case that accused murderer Amanda Knox was acquitted of that charge in 2011, it is now an old truth, after the Supreme Court of Italy in March chastised the appeals verdict of Judge Hellman (now forcibly retired from the judiciary) and annulled that acquittal, putting her status back to the conclusion of her initial murder trial.
(Later in the article Preston makes a brief mention that she will be retried, barely associated with the headline message he sends to the world in the title to his article. Knox’s current situation is the polar opposite of being acquitted; rather, she is still fully charged with murdering Meredith.)
Preston, the public wants you to start broadcasting the truth, the current, real truth, in messages that are for once free of highly misleading insinuations.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #2: Use Weak Statistics To Support Insinuations
Preston does a number of Google searches and becomes shocked, shocked that he gets hundreds of thousands of hits with combinations like “Amanda Knox” and “pervert”, or “Amanda Knox” and “slut”.
Preston knows full well, as do the readers of The Slate (and the handful of persons who have read the long version of The Slate article, paying 99 cents for the 10 minute read), that you always get hundreds of thousands or millions of Google hits for just about any Google search, however shocking the search terms may be.
Preston says “The extreme viciousness of the anti-Amanda commentariage is startling”.
Here are two public figures: Knox on the left has been in the news for 6 years … she would probably be a forgotten figure, just another semi-anonymous American abroad with problems if it hadn’t been thanks to the expensive corporate PR campaign that her own family has waged. That PR campaign has propelled the number of overall appearances of her name, and has pushed Internet commenters of all types to opine on her.
Hillary Clinton on the right has been in the news for 3 decades or so, as reflected in the proportionally higher number of Google hits on her name. In spite of not being accused of sexual assault and murder, she still receives a relatively high number of sexual/sexist descriptors.
Knox is not in the news because she has worked on public health reform, or because she has been a Secretary of State, or because she lived in the White House with her husband. Knox is accused of sexual assault and murder. She is also a convicted felon, having served 3 years in an Italian prison (no further appeals) for falsely accusing her boss of murdering Meredith, in Knox’s presence.
Knox outdoes Hillary in percentage of hits for “bitch” and “slut”, but Hillary betters her for “pervert”. Who cares? In Internet, any public person can get Google hits for just about any descriptor, especially if you are accused of a sexual crime.
Let’s extend our test a moment, and do an additional Google search: “Douglas Preston” “slut” –“Knox” . By eliminating references to “Knox” we eliminate any testing contamination from Amanda’s Perugia murder charges and the ensuing online discussion and reporting. Preston shouldn’t be surprised to learn that compared to Amanda Knox’s 380,000 “slut” hits, Preston has 73,400 of his own “slut” hits. Not bad. Of course, all of these results require analysis, which is exactly what Preston doesn’t provide in his pamphlet.
Here’s one of Preston’s “slut” Google returns, his own sci-fi novel texts:
“The town slut. She was in this cell just last month, wasn’t she, on a drunk and disorderly. Like mother, like daughter. Guess the apple never falls far from the tree. Or in your case, the shit never falls far from the asshole … the murderer might be local. Maybe a devil worshiper. You fit the bill, with that fucked-up purple hair and black eye makeup. Is that what you do at night? Go out and do mumbo-jumbo? … Bitch,’ Brad muttered … ‘no man would ever want to screw you, you freak.’” … (Poor tormented Preston; that’s from his book Still Life with Crows that he curiously dedicated to Mario Spezi.)
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #3: Tell Contrasting Stories About Personal Suffering at the Hands of An Abusive Prosecutor
In an interview in The Atlantic in 2006, well before Meredith’s murder, Douglas Preston was asked about Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini:
Question: “Judge Giuliano Mignini, the public prosecutor who interrogated you, is another important player in the case. Was Mignini just doing his job? How much weight do you give to the idea that Mignini had it in for Spezi and you?”
Preston: “…. As for Mignini himself, I think he’s a sincere man and an honest and incorruptible judge. I don’t think that he’s a bad man …. I think he was doing his job the best he could. I think in many ways he was badly misled by Giuttari, the police officer who was running the investigation.”
At that point in time, the Bad Guy for Spezi and Preston had been and still was Police super-inspector Michele Giuttari. But that didn’t seem to sell. They needed something to spice up their tales about the Monster of Florence, which weren’t achieving whatever objective they may have set themselves. The breakthrough for Preston and Spezi came with Meredith’s murder. Preston today with his Pamphlet admits to being recruited early on by the pro-Amanda Knox movement just after Meredith’s murder:
“A few days after Amanda Knox was arrested for murder, I got a call from a man named Tom Wright … a well-known filmmaker … (who) knew her family … (he) begged (Spezi and me) for help …. I felt like I had to become involved.” (Source: Preston’s Pamphlet on Kindle)
[Image above: Thomas Wright’s “famous” screenplay skills seem to rival only Preston’s writing skills that we’ve seen.]
Preston has never admitted this early recruitment contact before. In his Afterword to the English-language version of their tale The Monster of Florence, Preston writes about a different call that he got just after Meredith’s murder:
“A few days after the crime, I got a call from Niccolò Capponi … ‘My dear Douglas … I bet you a bottle of ’97 Chianti Classico that before the week is out someone will connect this poor girl’s murder with Monster of Florence’”.
Capponi, whose relation with Spezi and Preston deserves its own tome, couldn’t have been more astute. The Friends of Amanda movement didn’t need anyone other than Douglas Preston to crow out to the world that Mignini wasn’t actually a benign, “sincere”, “honest” and “incorruptible judge” (Preston’s own prior words up until then). Instead, Preston rewrote his own storyboard and retroactively turned the Mignini of early 2006 into one really nasty guy:
“The police then picked me up on the streets of Florence and hauled me in before Mignini, where he interrogated me for hours, with no attorney or interpreter present. He demanded I confess to a string of crimes, including being an accessory to murder, and when I refused, he indicted me for perjury and obstruction of justice and suggested I leave the country.” (Source: Preston’s Pamphlet, on Kindle)
Preston has changed his tune about how his Perugian questioning in 2006 was arranged. In his earlier book from five years ago he described a different ambience that pleasant day on his way to Perugia, with a notable absence of jackboots “hauling him in”, originally stating that it was actually a family-outing:
…. “The next day I drove to Perugia with Christine and our two children, passing the shores of Lake Trasimeno on the way. Perugia, a beautiful and ancient city, occupies an irregular rocky hill in the upper Tiber valley ... Christine planned to sightsee with the kids and have lunch while I was interrogated”. (Source: Preston and Spezi, The Monster of Florence)
Driving down to Perugia with your wife and family contrasts with being “hauled in” after being picked up in the streets of Florence, yet Preston, it seems, adapts the truth and insinuations to the required needs and circumstances.
By the way, Mr. Preston, what murder did Prosecutor Mignini accuse you of being an accessory to? You keep repeating it, and we’re still waiting to hear. What murder?
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #4: Use illogical deduction and dodgy Internet sources for your facts
Preston makes some amazing logic relationships in his pseudo-scholarly study of pro-victim Internet voices. When describing a book that the pro-Knox forces seem to find against their interests, Preston says:
“While the book included no footnotes or bibliography, it appears to have used information sourced from anonymous bloggers — identifiable as such because it was incorrect.” (Source: Preston’s 99 cent pamphlet)
I don’t think that the reasonable public out there requires any analysis of this fatally flawed “if-then” logic. Preston-Fredo needs to go back to school, either to grade school to do basic maths, or to the Daisy Hill School of Influencing People and Spreading Convincing Propaganda.
This is an important lesson for Preston, who often relies on the daisy-chaining, circular, internal feeding of “facts” amongst pro-Knox promoters. Preston himself, like a post-modern journalistic alchemist, turns wishful opinion into “fact”, using as raw material the opinion posts of “Friends of Amanda” anonymous bloggers who use various identities.
Let’s take a look at three of the most active and factually flawed pro-Knox bloggers who people like Preston have helped turn into Knox-Urban-Legends, dragging along their pro-Knox fictions.
The photo below comes from a FOA-Fest last summer on Vashon Island where Amanda could thank all her limited number of close supporters for their help in springing her from prison. On the left is Bruce Fisher, or Bruce Fischer (depending on the day). One of his most hilarious affirmations which he vehemently defended until it was impossible to continue to do so, was that a box of Dixan detergent that he spotted in a photo of Sollecito’s sink would explain why Sollecito’s cutlery may have smelled of bleach … except that Dixan is clothes washing detergent!
The hilariousness of Fisher/Fischer’s Internet postings can also take on sinister results when passed on to the hands of either an inexperienced or ethically challenged journalist or a “point-of-view” journalist. Preston refers to a post by Fischer as if it were fact when he publishes in his 99 cent Kindle pamphlet that a prominent pro-victim blogger “had a restraining order placed against him” for a non-existent harassment of a ballet dancer.
Why doesn’t Preston also say that the web-site where this post was placed by Fisher/Fischer quickly removed it when it received the corresponding complaint? Why didn’t Preston ask Fisher for any proof of the “restraining order”? Why didn’t he cross check his facts/falsehoods?
Why should a best-selling sci-fi novelist stoop so low? Money? Anger? Envy?
Another of Preston’s anonymous or multi-alias bloggers whom he has quoted or protected is Francesco (“Frank”) Sfarzo / Sforca / Sforza. Take your pick of the last name as he has used them all in public documents.
“Frank’s” supposed beating at the hands of a squad of goon cops beholden to Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini was curiously covered by the Committee to Protect Journalists in prominent website posts and a public letter to the President of Italy, with no effort whatsoever to investigate the claims or speak with the local Italian authorities.
CPJ’s reputation remains tarnished as they refuse to this day to recognize their massive screw up. Shame on Joel Simon, director of the CPJ! Is there no governance in that organization?
Should a financial contributor to CPJ such as Preston also be permitted to be a figure in the anti-Italian judicial lobbying that CPJ has consciously or unconsciously ended up participating in?
Preston’s role in this laughable attempt to frame Mignini is only made all the more tragic by the fact that “Frank’s” arrest in Italy (which Mignini had nothing to do with) was related to a complaint of domestic violence.
He left Italy, and – staying at Amanda’s family home in Seattle for a couple of months, then travelling to Canada, Hawaii, then back to a shared residence in Seattle - racked up an impressive set of arrests and police interviews related to further domestic violence complaints during his travels.
[Image above: Preston’s pet blogger “Frank” is not at all a victim of violence, but rather to the contrary, has an arrest warrant out to face charges for instigating it]
Amongst “Frank’s” contribution to the “point-of-view” journalism supporting Amanda Knox has been his visit to Piazza Grimana, the square near the cottage crime-scene, where “Frank” took a photo that supposedly demonstrated that Knox and Sollecito could not have monitored the entrance to the cottage from there on the night of the crime, since you can’t see the cottage gate according to “Frank”.
Any person who goes to Piazza Grimana in Perugia knows perfectly well that if you step just a couple of metres to the left, you have a perfect view of the cottage gate, barely hidden in “Frank’s” photo behind the corner of the house on the right.
Yet another case of the danger of Preston using pro-Knox bloggers and friends as sources of unreliable information is that of the G-Man, ex-FBI agent and ex-college security guy, Steve Moore.
In the sake of honesty, of the three pro-Knox bloggers referred to in this post (we could go on forever about the menagerie of Knox Internet personalities), Moore is the least anonymous, although it should be said that his “G-Man” aura he promotes is perhaps self-deprecating humour (think of an adult guy using a nickname like “GI Joe”).
G-Man has developed an elaborate tale of how he became interested in the case and began to study detailed documentation and images to come to the forensic conclusion in his living room that the Italian investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder was flawed and that Amanda Knox was innocent. (Moore’s experience before he left the FBI as far as I’m aware is escorting suspects to court, sniper training, and flying helicopters … I don’t believe he has worked as a forensic specialist.)
Like in the case of Bruce Fisher/Fischer, there are semi-comical aspects to G-Man’s appearances on the Internet supporting Amanda Knox. This happens when you get someone who is not a forensics specialist looking at photos and making conclusions:
Unfortunately, Steve Moore was analyzing an image that was not “Amanda and Meredith’s sink”! This example of errors in G-Man’s contributions to FOA finding Amanda innocent is far from being the only one.
In Preston’s Pamphlet, he presents the anecdote of a pro-victim Internet commenter who made what Preston claims is a “threatening” comment concerning the quality of G-Man Steve Moore’s daughter’s song lyrics. In the light of honesty and telling all the truth, Preston should have stated that after Mom and Dad Moore, the next most prolific pro-Knox poster of the Moore family is their daughter, who has made posts on both pro-Knox and pro-victim sites, on Twitter and on Facebook, including posts with coarse language.
She seems to be an adult, but if she isn’t, then Mom and Dad Moore should start acting like better parents, being aware of their offspring’s internet activity, putting a filter on their home router and telling her to not make posts on sites that deal with a sexual assault and murder case. Nor should they allow their daughter to leave her own pages open for comments and or to post videos about the murder. And if their daughter is an adult, then Preston shouldn’t insinuate to his few readers otherwise.
By the way, the “threatening” post was a return of a phrase used by a pro-Knox poster that “Steve Moore plays for keeps” after a playful criticism of the quality of lyrics written by Miss Moore.
This is a lesson to Douglas Preston: any journalist, even that special lobbyist category of “point-of-view journalist” such as himself, is only as credible as his sources.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #5: Claim That You Have Already Made Any Needed Explanations
Preston says in his Slate article: “Like a fool I waded into the (Internet) fray, defending Amanda and myself. I attacked my attackers and countered their criticisms.”
(Why does Preston have to “defend” Amanda? I thought he was now presenting himself as a journalist. Oh, I forgot, he wrote that he now considers himself a “point-of-view journalist” – his terminology - which sounds a lot like “lobbyist”.)
Actually, Preston has never countered any serious criticism. I ask readers to take a fast look at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ comment page concerning the CPJ’s fiasco accusing Prosecutor Mignini of directing a vicious, violent attack on “Frank” the blogger by a squad of rogue police beholden to the prosecutor.
Preston went wacko when he saw the Internet world laughing out loud at the CPJ’s allegations, and when he saw that the Internet provided different proofs to show that the now fugitive blogger was at best making up his story, or had other persons close to the action making it up for him.
Take a look at Preston’s emotional replies to CPJ readers’ comments.
[Image above: on the left we see CPJ’s director Joel Simon, who accused Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini of sending a police squad to beat up “Frank” the blogger (second from left). “Frank” is a family friend of the Knox-Mellas families, taking care of much of their logistics in Perugia, setting up photo shoots, etc. “Frank” stayed at the Mellas home (Chris Mellas, second from right) for a couple of months during his arrest-ridden trip out of Italy, when his domestic violence trial started up there. On the right, Preston, the glue that links “Frank” to the CPJ.]
On the web pages of CPJ, we see that not only does Preston not reply to the contradictions and lies that the Internet world points out in his words and actions, but he also puts conditions on doing so.
The best “countering” of criticism that Preston provides online is pretty pathetic. He says that the demonstrated errors in his and the CPJ’s texts “are distortions, falsehoods, and crackpot opinion presented as settled fact.” Period. No explanations of why he says one thing in one place and something completely different in another. No transparency concerning his documented relationship with the CPJ. No honesty concerning the real, sad domestic violence case that “Frank” has had before him, brought on by his own family in Italy (in addition to his U.S.A. problems).
We’re still waiting for any real clarifications of Preston’s serious problems with the truth, the whole truth, the current truth and nothing but the truth.
I personally don’t need to see more verbiage from Preston, but I would have thought that he would be concerned about the public’s view of his credibility. It will probably help future “True Story” book sales if he were to clear up the confusion he causes about both the Monster of Florence case and aspects of the investigation and trials related to the murder of Meredith Kercher.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #6: Write Any Incorrect Gibberish That Doesn’t Get Error-Checked If You Think that Unknowledgeable People Will Swallow Your Errors
Preston once crowed concerning the quality of his texts:
Before publication, it was minutely vetted by no less than five attorneys in two languages in Italy, the U.K., and the United States. Since publication, it has been read by millions of people in many European languages. In all that time, and with all the millions who have read the book, not one significant error of fact came to light. Mario Spezi and I stand by every single assertion of fact in that book today just as strongly as we did when it was first published three years ago.” (Source: Preston on CPJ)
I once suggested to Preston that he ask his five error-checking lawyers for his money back, after the multiple mistakes and falsehoods of The Monster of Florence came to light and it became apparent that it should be reclassified to “Fiction”.
It seems that both Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox used the same error-checking lawyers in their memoirs, and that once again Preston and Spezi have employed them for their underwhelming, unknown tome in German Der Engel Mit Den Eisaugen (The Angel With Icy Eyes). No other market seems to have wanted to hear more from the Dynamic Duo of murder “point-of-view journalism”. As you can expect, their book about the murder of Meredith Kercher is not about the victim, but about the star, from their point of view, Amanda Knox.
[Image above: Preston and Spezi are sure bets for winning The Novelists’ Error Marathon, especially given the finish line they’ve set for themselves. (By the way, I will state the obvious here, that this satirical image is the only photo that has been “photoshopped” in this TJMK post)]
In the Forward to their limited market book, Preston kicks off the marathon, asserting first of all that Perugia is surrounded by … the hills of Tuscany (“In der schoenen alten Stadt Perugia, umgeben von del Huegeln der Toskana”). Where’s a smiley when you need one? To all readers of this post, I ask you that we keep the secret, and let Preston and Spezi figure out by themselves what’s wrong with their statement. I guess the Duo were in a hurry to get the book to market.
Slightly further down the same first page, Preston falsely asserts that the Prosecutor Office (“Staatanwaltschaft”), understood to be Mignini, called a triumphant press conference where “case closed” was victoriously declared to the microphones of the Press.
Of course, neither Mignini nor any other prosecutor held such a press conference, nor was he present at any other press conferences at that time. My only explanation for this error by Preston is that he is so obsessed to assign just any supposed bad behavior to Mignini that he sees visions of the prosecutor doing wrong and turns those visions into “True Story” words.
The problem with that explanation of “visions” is that it is how Amanda Knox justified her false accusation against Patrick Lumumba for murdering Meredith, and that false accusation got her three years in the Capanne Prison Spa.
Just another 4 lines below that, Preston claims that within those immediate days after the arrests, Prosecutor Mignini put forward a scenario of Satanic sexual rites for describing the human dynamics on the night of the crime (“das eine amerikanische Studentin namens Amanda Knox mit zwei anderen Personen in den Mord verwickelt sei, den die Staatsanwalt als eine Art sexuelles-satanisches Ritual unter Drogeneinfluss bezeichnete”).
Again, Preston got confused. Or, maybe he wrote exactly what he was wanting to write, even if it was wrong.
Let’s not leave Mario Spezi out of the Novelists’ Error Marathon. Spezi tries to keep up with Preston in the home stretch, in Chapter 1: when emphasizing how isolated he feels that Perugia is from the outside world, he describes Umbria as “the only Italian region that does not border with the sea”. Spezi must have had a football scholarship at school, because it seems that he forgot about Lombardia, Piemonte, Val d’Aosta and Trentino & South Tirol. These regions account for about a quarter of Italy’s population and include large cities such as Milan and Turin.
We’ve barely started looking at their Icy Eyes book, but we’ll leave a more exhaustive review for the future.
Maybe Preston and Spezi hope that the few German readers of the book (who may have received their copies as free review copies) won’t know or care. It’s possible that they won’t even finish the book.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #7: Apply Your Own Words to Others in Order to Distract from the Central Issue
Preston claims in The Slate article about pro-victim Internet posters: “Almost all the nasty comments about (Knox) follow a pattern. Even though she did nothing to them, they are all demanding her punishment.”
Personally, I don’t “demand Knox’s punishment”. Preston and the rest of FOA know that by now. What the pro-victim Internet posters want is for the Italian Justice system to be left to do its job, without any outside interference by a corporate, multimillion dollar public relations campaign, or – if we get to the point where Italy asks for Knox’s extradition – non-juridical or non-treaty political interventions to interrupt this normal administrative procedure.
Of course, those persons who are found guilty of sexually attacking and murdering Meredith should get the punishment that the Italian legal system foresees in such cases.
The pro-Knox camp has been outraged that Rudy Guede may be released from prison as early as 2014, insinuating that he has struck a deal to frame Knox. Any honest and informed opiner on this case would know that Rudy has only followed the well established legal and penitentiary procedures in Italy that apply to all convicts, and had Knox followed the fasttrack trial as he did, she also could have been looking at early freedom.
If the pro-Knox camp is so outraged that Guede may get free in 2014, I would suggest that they lobby that sentence reduction procedures be changed so that murder convicts serve their whole prison sentence. Somehow, I don’t think that the pro-Knox camp will undertake such lobbying.
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #8: Don’t be transparent or precise
Preston describes in his Pamphlet how in 2000 he moved to Italy with his family and soon after became fascinated with the Monster of Florence serial killings case and teamed up with journalist Mario Spezi to investigate the case and write a book.
“Giuliano Mignini did not like our investigation”, he states as the start of a series of supposed abuses they suffered at the hands of the prosecutor.
Maybe Preston should state that after moving to Italy in 2000, he didn’t meet Spezi until 2001, and up until 2004, over the course of three years, it seems he drank a lot of coffee with Spezi, drove to a couple of the decades old Monster crime sites in the country roads around Florence, spoke to the mother of one of the victims, kept a scrap book of what the real, active reporters on the case were doing … and not much more.
Only after almost four years following his arrival in Italy, does it seem that Preston’s active “investigation” suddenly started and kicked into high gear in January of 2004 when Spezi’s friend Francesco Calamandrei, the pharmacist of San Casciano, was drawn into the Monster of Florence investigation. Spezi woke up on the Monster case, did an interview with Calamandrei, and got it published in La Nazione within 24 hours on 23 January 2013. Without mentioning that he was a friend of Calamandrei.
It should be noted that the prosecutor who ordered this “wake-up call” for Spezi wasn’t Prosecutor Mignini from Perugia, but rather Prosecutor Paolo Canessa from Florence, the central prosecutor for the Monster of Florence case.
Preston’s rewriting of history and intertwining fiction and half-truths related to the Monster of Florence case and fiction and half-truths related to Meredith Kercher’s murder in Perugia has brought him time and time again to present Mignini as the key figure in the Monster of Florence case:
Mignini theorised that this satanic cult consisted of powerful people – noblemen, pharmacists, journalists and freemasons – who ordered the Monster killings because they needed female body parts to use as the blasphemous wafer in their black masses. Putting himself in charge of the investigation, Mignini became so obsessed that he crossed the line of legality, wiretapping journalists and conducting illegal investigations of newspapers. (Source: The Guardian)
(It should be said that Preston really should clean up his old message, and tell readers that any and all abuse of office accusations against Mignini were thrown out: he has neither been found, nor now even been accused of any wrongdoing in relation to the Monster of Florence case - quite the opposite, the rogue Florentine prosecutor who initiated the cancelled proceedings against Mignini may have some questions to answer).
Again, Preston’s own words belie his transformation of Prosecutor Mignini. Remember that before Meredith’s murder, Preston’s Bad Guy with satanic theories wasn’t Mignini, but Police Inspector Michele Giuttari.
You can imagine that had Mignini not been the prosecutor of Meredith’s murder case, but Giuttari had been involved in the police investigation into Meredith’s murder, that Preston and Spezi could have saved their whole effort in demonizing Mignini, because they were already halfway there with Giuttari.
Why did Spezi and Preston suddenly get on the case and start sculpting their Monster of Florence tale in early 2004 following Calamandrei getting caught up in the police investigation? I would love to know.
Why did they apply a pre-existing Monster of Florence theory developed by English fiction writer Magdalen Nabb many years before?
Nabb was referred to as “Ethel”, a Belgian writer, in the Italian version of Spezi and Preston’s tale, while Nabb was still alive. Preston simply eliminated Nabb completely by the time they translated and published the tale in English, after Nabb’s death. In an eerie and weird manner, some of the years-old Nabb-Spezi, Master-Apprentice conversations in the Italian version of MoF seem to be transformed into current Spezi-Preston Master-Apprentice conversations in the English version of their “True Story” tale, almost as if they took on her personality.
I guess they weren’t too worried about presenting as their own, current “investigation”, ideas and theories (correct or not) that had been floating around for a decade and developed by other – now unacknowledged - much better writers.
[Image above: In Preston’s and Spezi’s English language book The Monster of Perugia they morphed English author Magdalen Nabb’s Carabinieri contacts, as well as Nabb’s theories and conversations concerning the MoF into their own, with neither direct nor indirect recognition of Nabb’s existence, nor her work done nearly 10 years earlier. Maybe they felt that since she had passed away, the world wouldn’t notice their intellectual theft.]
Preston’s Weird “Truths” and Fumbling Propaganda – Technique #9: Use corporate media as a means to legitimize false claims
The CPJ’s false and unverified accusation against Mignini for supposedly sending a goon squad to beat up the Perugian blogger is exactly the sort of feed that the Friends of Amanda and the Gogerty&Marriott corporate PR campaigns needed. These groups repeated the invented injustice wherever they could within the ongoing campaign.
That’s where we find a link between the PR campaign and the “mainstream” American media and showmen. If you Google “Doug Longhini” and go to the CBS News site associated with him, you’re not quite sure at first glance if he’s an ethical traditional journalist, a “point-of-view” journalist, a CBS producer, or an external businessman. What is clear is that it seems that most of whatever it is that he does at CBS is dedicated to Amanda Knox and, in second place, in general the crime in Perugia.
However, when you start reading some of his articles or news reports, like the one below, you realize that he’s not a traditional journalist who checks his facts and tries to get all angles on a news story.
I used to be impressed with the effort that went into the 48 Hours type of investigative programs. Not any more. Describing “Frank” Sforca/Sforza/Sfarzo as an “independent journalist” when this pro-Knox blogger acted as the logistics manager for the Knox-Mellas clan in Perugia, including organizing photo shoots for the daughters, stayed with the Knox-Mellas family a couple of months in Seattle, and was the beneficiary of ongoing funding from pro-Knox circles even after he was a no-show for his latest court session last December in Seattle, is stretching the definition of “independent”.
This Longhini article almost reads as if Douglas Preston had written it … I would have hoped that Longhini might have made some reference to his sources for his description of “Frank” being handcuffed and beaten, or that Longhini would have looked into the true reports of “Frank” being arrested, not on orders of Mignini, but simply because he bit a police officer who was responding to a domestic violence complaint.
Doug Preston is no stranger to Longhini’s CBS 48 Hours pro-Knox shows, having appeared together with another shared acquaintance, a certain Paul Ciolino. Paul’s role in the Knox CBS shows was supposed to be the implacable investigator who knows the truth that the Italian authorities want to hide.
However, Ciolino’s on-screen antics for many viewers are in detriment to the argument he tries to make.
For example, what serious television detective in the world, not speaking the local language, would go calling at the door of unsuspecting murder witnesses at nighttime, vehemently exhorting them to reply to questions? Paul did:
Where does this leave the state of modern megamedia journalism in America? It has been transformed into entertainment, into a vaudeville show. The confirmation comes in Paul Ciolino’s own self-advertising:
The only thing missing is Liza Minnelli singing “Cabaret” in her black stockings.
Back in America, Preston’s friend Ciolino smears the good name of Signora Nara Capezzali, the elderly lady who he tried to interview under the cloak of darkness (if he really needed to interview her, couldn’t he have arranged to meet her through prior arrangement, during the daytime?):
After describing Prosecutor Mignini as a “convicted felon”, Paul Ciolino speaks of Signora Capezzali at the 1h42’47” mark of a Seattle University pro-Knox forum on 4 April 2011: “The crazy woman (Capezzali) who had ... I don’t think she ... did she ever testify? They never did bring her in because she is crazy.” (Source: Seattle University FOA panel video.) Ciolino’s speech was notable if only for the almost complete absence of any truths.
In fact, yes, Signora Capezzali did testify in court in Knox’s and Sollecito’s murder trial, two years earlier in March 2009 (Source ABC News ). It’s not necessary to add that in spite of Ciolino’s vaudeville show affirmations, witness Signora Capezzali is not crazy.
My Concluding Suggestions
1. To Joel Simon, the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists:
Rather than doing false posts that are never retracted or corrected about benign regional Italian prosecutors in Italy, the CPJ should realize that there is a much, much greater, real and true threat to journalists and journalism due to the transformation of the profession in America into a concentration of commercial enterprises with links to lobbying groups, who use vaudeville-style “entertainers” to wake up murder witnesses in the dark of night and then publicly call them “crazy”.
Mr. Simon, really, it’s time for you to implement some governance in your organization. Here are some common sense suggestions that I humbly submit:
- 1) Don’t allow your financial benefactors to be part of the cases that you take special interest in, except with independent review of your analysis and claims.
2) If you’re a journalism organization, follow basic journalistic ethics by checking your facts and contrasting allegations, especially when you are making claims that seriously affect the reputations of persons.
3) When you realize that you have made a terrible mistake and have falsely accused someone of sending a goon squad to beat up someone else, then be man enough to admit it and correct your false accusation. Start now and apologise to Prosecutor Mignini for the slanderous gift you made to Amanda Knox PR campaign.
4) Take some time as a collective representative organization, to consider and reconsider whom you represent and why … are self-described “point-of-view journalists” (lobbyists) part of the body of professionals you wish to represent? Will they cause you a conflict of professional or moral interest at any point? Do you want these people giving money to your organization?
2. To Douglas Preston, an amateur crime fighter obviously out of his league.
My impression from what we’ve seen is that your attempts at playing in the big lobbying leagues have all ended up with pie in your face, or a “kick-me, I’m stupid” yellow Post-It on your back:
- 1) As we have seen in this post, ethical, traditional journalism gives way in your recent The Slate post and Kindle 99 cent pamphlet, to obvious and ineffective pro-Knox lobbying. In my opinion, the propagandistic shots you’ve fired have neither been convincing nor contain real, true facts unfettered from insinuation and half-truths and falsehoods.I
2) In prior TJMK posts, we’ve seen how you have told two completely different beginnings to your Monster of Florence tale, complete with quoting different persons at different times in different places. You have ended the story with a confusion of errors and falsehoods. See my posts on this here and here.
3) It seems you’re famous in Italian judiciary circles for having lost control of your sphincter in your questioning in Perugia years ago. Is that one of the reasons you’re so mad at Prosecutor Mignini and say just about anything about him, regardless if the message to your readers is true?
4) Like Fredo, you were always the last member of the gang to find out what was going on. Your supposed “5 year” investigation with Spezi into the Monster of Florence seems more like a rehash of old theories developed by others, done in a short period of time by Spezi only from 2004 onward (notwithstanding your scrapbook of other reporters’ work), who would inform you at the last minute of his larvae studies, his TV appearances, or of his “A-Team” investigative squad comprising an ex-con and an ex-cop, who you realized existed only when their months of work had finished.
Fumbling Fredo’s handlers in The Godfather realized the terrible damage he was doing to the Corleone Family’s interests. Is Preston damaging the true, long-term interests of Amanda Knox?
What about his other interests, in the Monster of Florence case … is he truly aware of all of the interests in that case, beyond his own – repeatedly voiced – hope of seeing George Clooney play Preston?
Archived in Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting
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Monday, March 04, 2013
Disarray And Decay In The Pro-Knox Parade: #2 Key Knox-Mellas Flunkie Now AWOL On 2 Continents
Posted by Peter Quennell
That was the header of our post of 19 December. This is the excerpt on Perugia Shock blogger “Frank Sfarzo” who like Bruce Fischer is unwillingly outed under his real name (Frank Sforza) and found to be exceedingly mundane.
Sforza hides behind the name Frank Sfarzo as an intemperate and rarely accurate blogger on the case. He brings no known professionals skills to the task. He is reported to be the target of criminal charges relating to alleged abuse of the sister and mother with whom he lives. His unsavory reputation and desperate finances mushroomed openly the other day, when he was reported in personal confrontations while visiting Canada and Hawaii.
Sforza now faces a defamation suit as well, for claiming to the whole world via Doug Preston and Joel Simon of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York that he was being persecuted by a prosecutor back in Perugia. The prosecutor was not even involved. Seems to us an open and shut case.
While on the west coast of the United States and Canada and Hawaii late last year, Sforza attracted the attention of the police in three cities.
Meanwhile his legal trouble in Perugia escalated. He failed to show for court hearings in Perugia in December and January and his lawyer walked. He was to face charges of violence against the police when they were called to quell a rampage. They were called by his mother and sister.
Now Frank Sforrza has again failed to show up in court, this time in Florence, and police will be actively looking for him. This case concerns one of his craziest “scoops” which was that Mignini was in cahoots with drug dealers, whereas exactly the opposite is true, Perugia drug dealers fear Mignini and he has taken a number of them down.
Sfrorza was initially cocksure (like Sollecito) on his return to Italy late 2012 and made taunting posts on Facebook and Fischer’s Misinformation Forum (like Sollecito) early 2013 but he has since gone very quiet and fled the internet (like Sollecito) as the deep legal trouble he is in slowly seeps in.
Back in 2007 and 2008 those of us who were here then followed Frank’s Perugia Shock postings and it was only late in 2008 that for murky reasons he jumped the shark and switched his sweaty attentions over to Amanda Knox. Read his first posts here. Scroll down for English.
They were actually at times accurate - and he clearly did think Sollecito and Knox were up to their ears in it. Read his headline on the last image below. On 10 November 2007 he even penned this satire.
A: Shit, my roommate is dead, do you mind if I sleep at your place?
R: Sure, so we can have another couple of joints. The guy just supplied me.
R: Hey what are those cellpones?
A: Oh, it’s her cellphones. Do you think I should hide them?
R: Give them to me… Uuuuhuuuh! (he throws the cellphones away).
A: Oh my goood, what have you done? You’ve thrown them in that garden! They gonna find them!
R: Naaa, don’t worry. My sister is Carabiniere, I know how to handle such things.
A: Hey, you should throw away your knife too.
R: What? Throw my knives away? I’m from Puglia, you know? I always have a knife with me.
I can’t believe you just said that. You know what? You better sleep at your place.
A: Oh no, please, don’t make me sleep at my place. There’s blood in the bathroom. I’ve already got my sweater dirty. I had to throw it away, can you believe it? I don’t’ wanna loose another sweater.
R: Oh right, good, ok, sorry, you can sleep at my place. By the way what happened to your roommate?
A :She made everything dirty with her blood, and then she stopped moaning about one hour ago.
R :Hey I was there with you at that time.
A: Are you sure?
R:Yes, don’t remember? We were… you know?
R: We were having sex. Did you already forget?
A: I’m not sure.
R: Actually I’m also not sure too, now, I’m too smoked.
A: We should do something than. They’ll come to take us.
R: Naaa. Are you kidding? I’m from Puglia. There’s mafia in Puglia, you know? My sister is Carabiniere! And My father is a doctor, you know? DOCTOR! He makes a call and I’m not gonna have any problem.
A: What about me? Well, if you save me too I’m gonna give you anything you want. You can have me anytime, no problem.
R: Actually I’d prefer some joints. By the way, no problem. Now we break the window and they’ll think was some thieves.
A: What if they don’t buy it?
R: Don’t worry, I know how this things go.
A: Yes, your sister is Carabinieri. Well, anyways, I’ve sent a message to Patrick so they can still think was Patrick.
R: Fine. He’s such a perfect suspect. Now let’s go to sleep. I’ll set the alarm so tomorrow I’m calling my sister.
A: Are you gonna remember that?
R: I’ll put a note on the fridge.
A: However… Are you sure that wasn’t us to hurt her with your knife?
R: To hurt who?
Archived in Hoaxes against Italy, Florence MOF hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox interrog hoax, Knox no-PR hoax, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxes re Guede, Guede sole perp hoax, Hoaxers - main media, CPJ Joel Simon, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza, The wider contexts, Seattle context
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Disarray And Decay In The Pro-Knox Parade: #1 Bruce Fischer’s Epidemic Of Malicious Claims
Posted by The Machine
The Knox supporters’ leader-of-the-parade spirals up
Back in October 2008, in our first long post ever on Meredith’s case, Skeptical Bystander highlighted the crazed pro-Knox attack sharks that were starting to appear on Candace Dempsey’s blog.
Psychologists warned us that a competitive leader-of-the-parade spiral was wittingly or unwittingly being encouraged by the Curt Knox/David Mariott/Anne Bremner campaign, and that this could be far from the worst we’d see.
Sure enough, late in 2008, Frank Sforza (timidly posting anonymously as “Frank Sfarzo”) did a u-turn on his blog Perugia Shock from nicely supporting Meredith and the prosecution to angrily supporting Amanda Knox and vilifying the prosecution and pro-Meredith sympathizers. (A u-turn for which he now pays dear.)
At a West Seattle Knox fundraiser in January 2009 a really angry Paul Ciolino wowed the crowd with red meat. He attempted to leapfrog all the other pro-Knox hotheads with a vicious personal attack on the prosecution. Ciolino sounded so crazed that even Amanda Knox’s defense lawyers had to distance themselves from him.
Soon after, Doug Preston, long a timid sniper safe on the other side of the Atlantic from Italy, published his angry, error-ridden Monster of Florence with its surreal Afterword on Meredith’s case.
From that point on, slamming the Italian police and police experts and prosecution without any restraint (for which there has been zero parallel in US or UK legal history) became a cowardly passion across the Atlantic which any ill-informed hothead could play. The Italian MP Rocco Girlanda next leaped to the head of the parade with easy access to Knox in prison, and some of his slobberings were so bizarre that even the Knox-Mellases for once thought to check that supporter out.
Fischer attempts to elbow his way to the front
First mention of “Bruce Fisher of New York” on Perugia Murder File was in a comment by myself on 7 March 2010. Even back then, Fischer had a whole handful of basic facts about the case wrong but heeded no advice.
Fischer arrived after the 2009 Massei trial was done, and from that time on he tried to absolutely dominate the pro-Knox parade. His fundamental effort is to muddy the water on the hard evidence and inflame American public against Italy and its cops, court, and ustice officials.
Such inflammatory actions are in fact illegal under Italian law and especially so when very senior justice officials are falsely accused of crimes.
Fischer wrote a joke of a book, the very worst on the case. He has posted endless badly-written posts on his own websites and forums, with no correction when they proved wrong.
He also posted endless badly-written posts on other blogs and group blogs like Technorati (evicted), Gather (evicted) and Ground Report, with no correction when they proved wrong. And he posted dozens of videos on Youtubes with no correction when they proved wrong.
Fischer set out to hijack the Amanda Knox Wikipedia page, which to knowledgeable Italians now looks absolutely bizarre. He recruited a raft-full of confused and uncurious nitwits like Steve Moore, Nigel Scott, Ron Hendry, David Anderson, Saul Kassin, and Michael Wiesner.
All of them are now lesser people than they once were.
Fischer is clearly a clinically deeply angry man (he has in his past little education, a disaster of a career, several bankruptcies, and a house repossession) so not unexpectedly most of Fischer’s prolific output has been in the form of vicious personal rants.
Revealed 18 months ago to be merely Bruce Fischer, a shop assistant in a mall store on the far outskirts of Chicago, with not a single honorable accomplishment to his name, he chilled somewhat. But his personal rants all still remain online, and so does his epidemic of wrong claims.
Lately he has been trying frenetically to shore up the edifice of the seemingly unstable Frank Sforza. Sforza is now on the run from the American law and facing several trials in Italy; Sforza’s own site has fled behind the scenes.
This first post in the series nails 20 of Fischer’s malicious claims intended to inflame public opinion against the police and prosecution which he has long pushed hard on his websites and other websites and forums.
Bruce Fischer on Amanda Knox’s interrogation
On his website under the heading The Illegal Interrogation of Amanda Knox, Bruce Fisher gives what appears to be a very detailed eyewitness account of what happened to Amanda Knox when she was questioned at the police station on 5 November 2007.
The problem is Bruce Fischer wasn’t actually present when Knox was questioned and he doesn’t know what happened. His account is repeatedly contradicted by numerous witnesses who were actually present. These witnesses include Amanda Knox’s interpreter, Anna Donnino, numerous police officers from different units from Perugia and Rome and Amanda Knox.
Malicious Claim 1: Amanda Knox repeatedly told the truth
Bruce Fischer’s claim that Amanda Knox repeatedly told the truth is complete and utter nonsense. Even a simpleton could understand that Amanda Knox’s repeated claims that Diya Lumumba killed Meredith are not true and that it’s not possible for her to be in two different places - Sollecito’s apartment and the cottage on Via della Pergola - at the same time.
Judge Micheli, who presided over Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial and sent Knox and Sollecito to trial, noted that they had given multiple alibis and had lied in attempt to cover for each other. The mobile phone records, the data recovered from Sollecito’s computer and the corroborative eyewitness testimony provide irrefutable proof that she lied repeatedly.
Judge Massei outlined numerous examples of these lies in his report: she falsely claimed she received a text message from Diya Lumumba when she was at Sollecito’s apartment (322); there are various discrepancies in her statements about the time she and Sollecito ate dinner (78); her claim that she and Sollecito had a peaceful night of continuous and prolonged sleep is contradicted by Sollecito’s activity on his computer, the turning on of his cell phone and the testimony of Marc Quintavalle (85).
Even Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, conceded that she had given conflicting accounts to the police:
All of the lawyers have imposed on Amanda the gravity of her situation, and the gravity of accusing other people. They have all told her that she needs to tell the truth because there have been differences in the statements.
According to Anna Donnino, her interpreter, she denied responding to a text message from Lumumba.
She had denied responding to an SMS message from Mr Lumumba telling her there was no need to come to work because there were few customers, leaving her free for the evening. But she broke down when police said phone records showed that she had done so, Ms Donnino said.
Malicious Claim 2: The interrogation of Amanda Knox was illegal
No court in Italy has ever ruled that any of Amanda Knox’s questioning on 5 and 6 November 2007 was illegal. This explains why Bruce Fischer is unable to support his claim with any reference to a court ruling.
Malicious Claim 3: Amanda Knox was told Diya Lumumba killed Meredith and she did not give Patrick’s name to the police. His name was suggested to her.
According to the corroborative testimony of multiple witnesses, including her interpreter Anna Donnino, Amanda Knox voluntarily and spontaneously accused Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith.
After hearing and weighing up the testimony of these witnesses and Amanda Knox, Judge Massei stated that it couldn’t be claimed that “Amanda Knox was persuaded by the investigators to accuse Diya Lumumba aka Patrick, by means of various pressing requests which she could not resist.” (The Massei report, page 388.)
He noted that there had been “no corroboration of the pressing requests which Amanda was seemingly subjected to in order to accuse Diya Lumumba of the crime committed to the detriment of Meredith.” (389).
Judge Massei concluded that Knox had freely accused Diya Lumumba of Meredith’s murder.
Malicious Claim 4: Amanda Knox was slapped on the back of the head.
All the witnesses who were present when Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, testified under oath at the trial that she wasn’t hit. Even Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, distanced himself from these allegations:
There were pressures from the police, but we never said she was hit.
Malicious Claim 5: This abuse went on for hours until Amanda was finally broken.
Leaving aside Fischer’s unsubstantiated claim that Amanda Knox was abused for hours, she was questioned for approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes on 5 November 2007. According to Barbie Nadeau Amanda Knox’s questioning started at about 11.00pm:
Since Knox was at the police station, the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m.
Knox questioning was stopped at 1.45am when she became a suspect and made her first witness statement. She wasn’t actively questioned again that night. Mignini later witnessed another statement but no questions were asked.
Malicious Claim 6: Amanda Knox was suffering from extreme exhaustion with no food or water.
A number of witnesses who were present when Knox was questioned, testified that Knox was given something to eat and drink. Even Amanda Knox admitted this was the case in court.
Ms Napoleoni told the court that while she was at the police station Ms Knox had been ‘treated very well. She was given water, camomile tea and breakfast. She was given cakes from a vending machine and then taken to the canteen at the police station for something to eat.’ (Richard Owen in The Times, 1 March 2009).
Also from Richard Owens in The Times.
Ms Donnino said that Ms Knox had been “comforted” by police, given food and drink, and had at no stage been hit or threatened.
John Follain in his meticulous book Death in Perugia also reports that Knox was given food and drink during her questioning:
During the questioning, detectives repeatedly went to fetch her a snack, water, and hot drinks including camomile tea. (Death in Perugia, Kindle edition, page 134).
Malicious Claim 7: The Italian Supreme Court stated that the interrogation was illegal because Amanda did not have an attorney present.
The Italian Supreme Court has never stated that Amanda Knox’s questioning on 5 November 2007 was illegal. Bruce Fischer eventually admitted this was not true on PMF.net
When it comes to the admissibility of the written statements, you are technically correct. The interrogation itself was never ruled illegal.
However, he still hasn’t corrected this Malicious Claim on his website.
Malicious Claim 8: Sollecito couldn’t support Knox’s alibi because he was sleeping.
Bruce Fisher’s claim that Sollecito was only speaking about when he was sleeping is completely contradicted by Sollecito’s witness statement:
Amanda and I went into town at around 6pm, but I don’t remember what we did. We stayed there until around 8.30 or 9pm.
At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner. (Aislinn Simpson, The Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2007).
Police said Raffaele Sollecito had continued to claim he was not present on the evening of the murder. He said: “I went home, smoked a joint, and had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. At around eleven my father phoned me on the house phone. I remember Amanda wasn’t back yet. I surfed on the Internet for a couple of hours after my father’s phone call and I stopped only when Amanda came back, about one in the morning I think. (The Times, 7 November 2007).
At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment.
Knox maintains that she spent the night of Nov. 1, 2007, at Sollecito’s house. Sollecito did not take the stand during this trial, and his lawyer told NEWSWEEK that it was, at least in part, because he could not corroborate Knox’s alibi. (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek).
Malicious Claim 9: Amanda Knox gave in to the interrogators demands by describing an imaginary dream or vision.
Contrary to Bruce Fisher’s claims that Knox described an imaginary dream or vision, Amanda Knox makes no mention of an imaginary dream or vision in her two witness statements. She categorically states that she met Diya Lumumba at Piazza Grimana and that they went to the cottage on Via della Pergola. In her first witness statement, she claims that Lumumba killed Meredith.
Bruce Fischer on the double DNA knife
Malicious Claim 10: No other knives were taken from Raffaele’s apartment.
Fischer makes yet another demonstrably Malicious Claim. He clearly hasn’t read the Massei report in its entirety because Judge Massei discusses a jack-knife that was 18cm long with an 8cm blade at some length and the results of the DNA tests that were carried out on it:
He (Armando Finzi) recalled they found another knife whose total length was 18cm, with an 8cm. blade… (106).
On the jack‑knife, 4 samples were taken, with negative results where blood-derived substances had been looked for; on the fourth sample, which involved the handle, the genetic profile was found to be of Sollecito plus Knox…
Four samples were taken from the jack-knife and only one yielded a positive genetic result: the sample taken from the belt clip. The trace did not turn out to be blood and it yielded a mixed genetic result: Sollecito plus Knox. To confirm the presence of result the Y profile of Sollecito. (194).
Andrea Vogt reported that another knife was taken into evidence in article for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
A small knife was taken into evidence from Sollecito’s bedroom, along with other items. (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 28 February 2009).
Malicious Claim 11: The knife was chosen from the drawer because it looked clean.
Fischer is desperately trying to discredit the police investigation by dismissively and falsely claiming that the knife was chosen because it simply looked clean. Armando Finzi was the police officer who bagged the knife. He testified that he thought it was the murder weapon because it was compatible with the wound on Meredith’s neck. Andrea Vogt explained this in the same article:
Armando Finzi, an assistant in the Perugia police department’s organized crimes unit, first discovered the knife in Sollecito’s kitchen drawer. He said the first thing he noticed upon entering the place was a “strong smell of bleach.” He opened the drawer and saw “very shiny and clean” knife lying on top of the silverware tray.
“It was the first knife I saw,” he said. When pressed on cross-examination, said his “investigative intuition” led him to believe it was the murder weapon because it was compatible with the wound as it had been described to him. With gloved hands, he placed the knife in a new police envelope, taped it shut with Scotch tape, then placed it inside a folder, he said. There were smaller and bigger knives in the drawer, but no others were taken into evidence from the kitchen, he said.
(Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 28 February 2009).
Malicious Claim 12: No DNA was on the blade.
Bruce Fischer’s bizarre claim that there was no DNA on the blade is contradicted by numerous DNA experts. Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the Scientific Police, Professor Francesca Torricelli, former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano and Professor Novelli have all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife.
Even Greg Hampikian and Elizabeth Johnson’s letter confirm that the DNA on the blade of the knife was consistent with Meredith’s DNA. Carla Vecchiotti also acknowledged that there was a complete DNA profile on the knife, but claimed it was unreliable because it should have been tested two or three times.
After categorically stating that there was no DNA on the blade, Fischer goes on to claim that the DNA on the blade came from the laboratory. However, Dr Stefanoni analyzed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory. In court, Carla Vecchiotti accepted that six days was sufficient to avoid contamination.
Malicious Claim 13: No additional testing will ever be available.
Professor Novelli testified that there are a number of laboratories with cutting-edge technology that could have carried out a test on the remaining DNA on the knife. (Galati-Costaglio Appeal, UK Version, page 26).
Malicious Claim 14: No control tests were done
John Follain points out in Death in Perugia that the control tests had been filed with another judge:
The tests had been filed with an earlier test, and Judge Pratillo Hellmann later admitted them as evidence. (Death in Perugia, Kindle Edition, page 409).
Forensic scientists Professor Novelli and Emiliano Giardina specifically who were consultants for the prosecution stated in an article in an Italian newspaper il Fatto Quotiano that the negative control were performed and these tests excluded the possibility that Meredith’s bra clasp was contaminated in the laboratory.
Bruce Fischer on the bra clasp
Malicious Claim 15: They (the Scientific Police officers) pass it (the bra clasp) around with contaminated gloves.
How could Bruce Fischer possibly know that these gloves were contaminated? He is not a forensic scientist. He didn’t quote any DNA tests on the gloves. There is no evidence that these gloves were contaminated and predictably Fischer provides no scientific findings to support his assertion.
Bruce Fischer on the Luminol footprints
Malicious Claim 16: None of the bare footprints detected with luminol tested positive for Meredith’s DNA.
Bruce Fischer gets his facts wrong for the umpteenth time and proves that he’s ignorant of the facts concerning the DNA evidence. The Luminol footprint in the corridor contained Meredith’s DNA. This information is contained in the Massei report:
Amanda (with her feet stained with Meredith’s blood for having been present in her room when she was killed) had gone into Romanelli’s room and into her [own] room leaving traces [which were highlighted] by Luminol, some of which (one in the corridor, the L8, and one, the L2, in Romanelli’s room) were mixed, that is, constituted of a biological trace attributable to [both] Meredith and Amanda… (380).
Malicious Claim 17: “Yet the court concluded Amanda purchased bleach anyway.”
Judge Massei made no such claim. On the contrary, he argued that the fluorescence given off by Luminol was due to the presence of blood, not bleach (284).
To support his argument that bleach had not been used to clean the cottage, he pointed out no-one entering the house had not noticed any smell of bleach (283) and noted that if bleach had been used to clean the house, many traces would have been highlighted by the Luminol (284).
Malicious Claim 18: Quintavalle states that he only saw the side of Amanda’s face.
This claim is completely untrue. Galati pointed out in his appeal that Quintavalle’s own witness statement contradicts this claim:
A further observation on which the CAA bases its assessment of unreliability (thus, of low reliability) appears completely arbitrary, because contradicted by the statements of the witness. Quintavalle would have seen the young woman out of the corner of the eye and never from the front.
From the examination of the statements made by Quintavalle in the first instance trial completely different facts emerge because Quintavalle affirms what was referred to by the Court of Assizes on p. 71, when the young woman was still outside the store (cf. transcripts of the hearing 21 March 2009, p. 72) adding: “this young woman when she came inside, I looked at her to greet her; I mean I saw her at a distance of one metre, 70-80 cm”. (Galati-Costaglio Appeal, UK Version, page 39).
Malicious Claim 19: “He (Curatolo) said Amanda and Raffaele were chattering from about 9:30 pm to right before midnight on the basketball court near the cottage.”
Antonio Curatolo clarified in court that he didn’t watch Knox and Sollecito the whole time in Piazza on the night of the murder. Barbie Nadeau reported that he saw them on a couple of occasions:
...he (Curatolo) placed Amanda and Raffaele there, testifying that the two stood at the gate and watched the house around 9:30pm and again at around 10:30pm on November 1. (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, Kindle edition, page 116).
Malicious Claim 20: “During closing arguments, after all of his different theories had fallen apart, Mignini told the jury: “There is no motive.”
Mignini never told the jury that “there is no motive”. Barbie Nadeau pointed out that the prosecutors had changed their theory, but only rather slightly:
The prosecution lawyers began their case in January 2009 by arguing that Kercher was killed during a sex game gone awry. When it came time for closing arguments, they had changed the theory slightly, trying to make the case that Knox resented her prissy British roommate and killed her in hatred” A sex attack was still involved.
The Knox supporters’ leader-of-the-parade spirals down
Only 20 Malicious Claims are taken apart above but there are at least several hundred more. When you consider the sheer number of Malicious Claims that Fischer has made and how much these claims differ from the actual hard truths, you cannot trust anything he says.
And yet many of Fischer’s Malicious Claims have been unquestioningly widely accepted as fact, and have been repeated by many in the media. For example, Journalist Nathaniel Rich stated that Sollecito claimed that Knox could not have left his apartment for several hours while he was sleeping. A key Fischer claim.
More of Nathaniel Rich’s paroting of Fischer’s claims is dismembered here. Steve Moore’s paroting of Fischer’s claims is dismembered here. Saul Kassin’s paroting of Fischer’s claims is dismembered here. Michael Wiesner’s parotting of Fischer’s claims is dismembered here.
The credibility of Bruce Fischer and his disastrous leadership of the Knox parade have been completely shot to pieces. Any journalists who use Bruce Fischer as a source in the future should hang their heads in shame.
Archived in Evidence & witnesses, The two knives, Hoaxes against Italy, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox interrog hoax, Hoaxes re Guede, Guede sole perp hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Bruce Fischer
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Saturday, February 23, 2013
An Overview From Italy #3 Dr Michel Giuttari Speaks Out About The Trumped Up Florence Case
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)
[Dr Michele Giuttari, former head of the Mobile Squad in Florenece and prominet authoer]
Dr Giuttari and Dr Mignini are connected because they both investigated the Monster of Florence case - and because a nasty case trumped up in Florence in retaliation has just been killed by the Supreme Court. .
The erratic Mario Spezi and his timid colleague the sniper from afar Doug Preston have blown up that case to gigantic proportions, as have the Knox and Sollecito forces, and most recently (very foolishly and ill-timed, as his claims may constitute contempt of court) Raffaele Sollecito himself.
Some important background can be found in Overview #2 and Comments here.
Michele Giuttari started his police career in the 1970s’ as a mobile squad detective in Calabria; after 15 years of “Calabrian “ experience he was appointed to the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, and subsequently became the head of the Mobile Squad in Florence. During his Florentine service time, following investigation guidelines under the direction of prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna, he produced a solution to the ‘Monster of Florence’ case, but also brought the investigation to an unexpected turning point.
[Former Florence chief prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna created the “monster of Florence” term]
As Vigna deduced, the MoF was not really one serial killer, but rather the manifestation of the killing activity carried on by a small group of people, at least three. In fact three people were found guilty for taking part to the murders; but both prosecutor and judges were not entirely satisfied: because there was evidence – so the court concluded – that someone else was involved too, who remained unknown.
The investigation into the death of Dr Francesco Narducci was opened in Perugia in 2005 as a routine cold case, because of Narducci’s wife’s and relatives’ doubts about the “official” version of his “accidental” death in Lake Trasimeno.
[Former Perugia doctor Francesco Narducci found drowned in Lake Trasimeno]
Points of contact between Narducci and the MoF emerged independently from two directions, from the Perugia investigation, and from Giuttari’s findings from the previous Florence investigation.
Crossed analysis with the data bank collected by Michele Giuttari showed that several people were common witnesses both in the Narducci and the MoF case, while many things in the Narducci case were not adding up (for example, the unburied body was found to have died by strangulation, not by drowning, his trachea and hyoid bone were crushed).
Something even more unexpected was that the investigation into the Narducci case revealed - and partly itself triggered - a network or other collateral crimes. A number of people were caught engaged in criminal activities with the purpose of plotting cover-ups and obstruction of justice on this cold case. Among them were law enforcement officers and lawyers.
But most surprising and peculiar, there was a fierce reaction from some magistrates among the Florence judiciary, in an attempt to stop the Perugia investigation.
The first wild accusations launched by a Florentine prosecutor against Perugia offices were proven false, so the most serious charges were dropped by a preliminary judge as obviously unfounded.
But a second wave of legal action followed, alleging that Giuttari and Mignini’s wiretapping recordings were false; this accusation was also proven false in a trial, as expert technicians demonstrated the authenticity of all material.
But after ignoring the objection about territorial competence the judge managed to let one accusation stand – that of abuse of office, a charge less serious than the previous ones, which was not formulated on points of facts but only on points of law – at the first degree trial.
After some years, this charge was canceled, as the courts finally declared the whole investigation illegitimate, and they nullified both the first degree trial, and the investigation and indictment itself.
A last attempt by the Florentine prosecution to further delay closure was ended by the recent, final Supreme Court verdict. Meanwhile, a couple of Florentine magistrates were successful in stopping the investigation into the Narducci case, for a total of seven years.
Unfortunately these happenings are not entirely new to the Italian judiciary. This one resembles other happenings – possibly more serious – that affected the system in recent Italian history (the most famous examples are the Elisa Claps, or the plots known as “Toghe Lucane” targeting known magistrates such as Luigi De Magistris and Henry John Woodcock).
The system shows symptoms of stress from the whole extreme political instability of the country, but so far it still manages to fiercely resist those drifts.
Michele Giuttari is also an author. Albeit he is not the top crime fiction novelist for sales in Italy (the Italian market has top-class masters in the genre), yet he is the top-selling Italian crime writer in the English speaking world. Curiously, the best-seller among all his titles published in Italy – the non-fiction book about the history of the true MoF investigation – is the only one in his books which has so far been rejected by American publishing houses.
[The top-selling Michele Giuttari book, the non-fiction Il Mostro]
His last book bears the title “The Evil Dreams of Florence” [image of cover at bottom] and he might have chosen it as a metaphor of what he was drawn into by some people within the Florentine authorities and some in high positions.
After the final Supreme Court verdict on Feb 8., he posted a long comment about it in Italian on his Facebook page, in which he addresses his criticism mainly toward the head of police Antonio Manganelli .
[Chief of Italy’s civil police Antonio Manganelli]
I agree with Giuttari about the shame police chief Antonio Manganelli brought on his administration through the terrible handling of the case of the Genoa G8 violence. In 2001 some police corps attacked and tortured peaceful demonstrators in Genoa, following political inclinations, in what was called by Amnesty International “the most serious violation of civil rights committed by police forces in Western Europe” after WW2.
The leader of the Democrats (the main opposition party) at the time called it “state violence with a fascist mark”. Recently Cassation definitively called the event a “shame”, and prominent journalist Marco Travaglio wrote an open letter to Antonio Manganelli, saying “I beg you to kick out from your police force the authors of such henious crimes” .
[Police violence against peaceful protestors at Group of 8 meeting Genoa 2001]
Yet Manganelli (ironically his name means “batons” in Italian, and the Diaz School night assault is now remembered as “la notte dei manganelli”) – a man who apparently has the quality of being friends with many high-profile politics – had chosen to “help” them, to defend and protect from prosecution the proven authors of political violence, while at the same time, apparently he didn’t care about what was going on in Florence and quietly pulled a curtain of silence on a “politically uncomfortable” issue.
I add that Manganelli was recently found to be the most paid public employee of the Italian State (with a wage of 621,000 euros per year).
Dr Giuttari expressed his outrage against Manganelli in a comment on his Facebook page which I translate below:
Seven years of deafening silence by the head of State Police Manganelli
On February 8. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassation, by declaring them inadmissible, put the final seal on the investigations that the Florentine prosecution had “illegitimately” carried on against myself, on the basis of mere accusatory theories about absurdly formulized charges of abuse of office which, allegedly, I committed concurring together with Perugia Public Minister Giuliano Mignini in the course of official activity, during my enactment of the written orders of a PM [supervising magistrate] at the time when I was responsible for a special team which had been created by the head of the police through a Ministry decree.
And this [Supreme Court] decision confirms, in a certain and incontrovertible way, on the one hand the “instrumental” nature of the judicial events, and on the other hand the fact that we should not ever have been investigated; and, what’s worse, that we should not ever have been tried in Florence by magistrates who weren’t impartial at all: and this is exactly what Cassation has asserted, addressing the investigators with a clear message, even if they did it by using the available legal formula of territorial incompetence (functional rectius)!
So ended a case of Italian miscarriage of justice, which, besides causing damages to we the defendants, it also caused – and this is even more serious and absolutely unforgivable – the stopping in 2006 of the ongoing investigation into the death of the medical doctor Francesco Narducci in Lake Trasimeno, which was believed to be connected to the serial murders of couples around Florence (the so-called monster of Florence).
It was seven long years of bitterness. Seven long years of blocked investigation. Seven long years of denial of justice to the victims’ relatives.
Seven long years during which the head of State Police held to deontologically [ethically] reprehensible behavior, which was especially serious since we are talking about a man [Manganelli] supposed to be an institutional point of reference for many people who put their lives at risk on a daily basis – who was appointed to occupy a top post (by the way, as we recently learned, a financially very, very well paid post), and he simply abandoned to his fate one police officer [myself] who had a professional history not inferior to his own, though not to his predecessor who held the same post before him.
This officer – leaving aside the solving of the monster of Florence case – was
(1) honored in the fight against the ‘ndrangheta [the Calabrian mafia] (on July 10. 2009 the Chief Prosecutor of Reggio Calabria declared publicly that Giuttari as a detective “created a turning point in the history of fight against ‘ndrangheta”);
(2) honored in the fight against the camorra (when responsible for the judiciary police department of the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, I was appointed on request of the national Anti-mafia prosecutor Bruno Siclari for travel to South America for an important and dangerous investigation about an international drug traffic and an impressive series of murders);
(3) honored in the fight against the Cosa Nostra, and in particular the investigation of the 1993 mafia massacres of Florence, Rome and Milan (chief prosecutor Vigna, as he concluded the preliminary investigation, sent a letter to the head of the Anti-mafia Division – letter #8/95, sent on 2.2.1995 – where he stressed the officer’s important contribution);
I could go on.
They were all “pure” investigation , with no contribution from mafia turncoats or cooperators!
And what about the head of the state police?
He didn’t do what he was supposed to in his function as the police chief:
(1) protect his officer, from risks including those deriving from the important police activities accomplished; answer – or make someone answer for his office – the explanatory letters that were sent to him, very detailed letters which had a judicial corroboration today (letters were sent directly to him on 2.20.2010 and 5.20. 2010);
(2) protect him from professional and economical damage (for example by paying in advance, as was his duty, the legal expenses) since he knew very well that the officer operated in an institutional role, in the name of and on behalf of his administration.
He remained deaf to the various requests which were forwarded by the Minister of Interior himself at that time, he didn’t do anything. Inexplicably, he ignored everything.
And further, I cannot keep quiet about the punishments against the cooperators in my working team.
None of them was allowed to go back to the Mobile Squad, they were all appointed to totally unrewarding duties such as guard work. All these humiliations were offenses to the personal dignity of hard working people, as humble servants of the state let alone being police officers. And moreover it was true professional competences that were lost.
A deafening silence.
I might go on but I want to recall instead what Manganelli did – even at the cost of his own public exposure – in favor of those colleagues who were involved in the Genoa G8 events, the saddest page in the history of Italian police to my memory!
They were actually promoted in their rank and functions! I think about what he did for them, even paying thousands and thousands of euros in advance for their legal expenses and for the provisional damage payments, as reported in newspapers (Il Secolo XIX of 5. 22. 2010, p.6).
A deafening silence.
These of the head of police are conducts reasonably leading anyone to conclude that he used a double standard, he considered his employees, involved in different cases, as divided between “sons and stepsons” (the Genoa case ended with definitive convictions of all on all charges, the case where I was involved was shown to be a judicial flop).
Or even better put (it is incorrect to call his behavior a “double standard” or a different treatment for “sons and stepsons”) it was actually two opposite policies, on situations that were opposites to each other.
No, that’s really not good at all. That’s not how it should be.
And you should not ignore your own employees while you listen to those who are criminally indicted, you have your personal secretary call to fix a hearing at the Ministry with them, and you listen to them while they complain against others who were investigating them by written orders of the Public Minister ! (in the trial papers – no longer officially secret – there are phone call recordings with unequivocal meaning).
the head of police Manganelli was utterly disappointing to me, since he revealed himself to be light-years distant from the man and the officer I happened to know at the beginning of the eighties, before his drift into pernicious “political” things.
Hopefully, soon or later, a parliament inquiry on the Perugia and Florence judicial events will be appointed, to search into the behavior of some institutional personalities. I’ll be ready to offer my contribution to that.
And I’m sure Dr. Mignini will do the same too.
I conclude with a twofold question: Will the head of police now feel some guil, at least morally as a person? Doesn’t he think he should respond – if not to an ordinary court – to the most severe tribunal of his own conscience, within his internal judgment?
Michele Giuttari, ex-head of the Florence Mobile Squad
Archived in Those officially involved, The prosecutors, Hoaxes against Italy, Florence MOF hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Rabid media hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza, Other legal processes, Italian unrelated
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Monday, February 18, 2013
Raffaele Sollecito Now Under Formal Investigation For New Crimes Apparently Unprecedented
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Breaking news. The Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Dr Quattrocchi (above and below) has taken this investigation of Sollecito behind the scenes. Dr Quattrocchi is actually under no compulsion to make any of the Perugia and Rome complaints public before his investigation is complete. He has ordered all documents removed from the public domain. This is specifically to give the defense and their PR no advantage, and to make sure those others in Perugia who are going to complain about being defamed do so without harm.
This is a contempt of court case as court officials have been impugned. This is Wikipedia’s definition of “contempt of court” under US and UK common law.
Contempt of court is a court order which in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court’s authority.
Often referred to simply as “contempt,” such as a person “held in contempt,” it is the judge’s strongest power to impose sanctions for acts which disrupt the court’s normal process.
A finding of contempt of court may result from a failure to obey a lawful order of a court, showing disrespect for the judge, disruption of the proceedings through poor behaviour, or publication of material deemed likely to jeopardize a fair trial.
A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.
We may now find out much more about the equivalent under Italian law.
When Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were released at the end of 2011, the prosecution filed a Supreme Court appeal within the allotted period. This automatically meant that Sollecito and Knox still stood accused of crimes until the Supreme Court finally signs off.
Typically Italian defendants in such a legal status get good legal advice, on the lines of “Shut up and keep your heads down. We need to be the only ones doing the talking here.”
Here such advice may or may not have been forthcoming, but the public record strongly suggests it was not. In fact Sollecios entire legal team is credited by both himelf and his shadow writer Andrew Gumbel with helping. This is what Gumbel wrote in his Acknowledgments:
Donatella Donati in Luca Maori’s office gave up many hours to make the official documentation available and to present it all in a cogent order. She’s a largely unsung hero in this story and deserves recognition for her extraordinary efforts on Raffaele’s behalf. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.
In the same Acknowledgments Sollecito credits the following.
I was lucky to have a crack legal team who showed their devotion to the truth and, in some cases, did not even request payment. The team of lawyers and consultants included Adriano Tagliabracci, Francesco Vinci, Bruno Pellero, Francesco Introna, Giulia Bongiorno, Maurizio Parisi, Daniela Rocchi, Luca Maori, Donatella Donati, Marco Brusco, Aldo Poggioni, Delfo Berretti, Tiziano Tedeschi, and Antonio D’Ambrosio.
Interestingly, Luca Maori has already left Sollecio’s legal team, and all eyes are now on Giulia Bongiorno. Buy plenty of popcorn. Lawsuits could fly between lawyers and family.
Since the end of 2011 Curt Knox’s forces seem to have have gone full steam ahead with their own vilifications of the Italian prosecutors, police, judges, and witnesses - in fact almost anyone who had any role in 2009 in finding them guilty, or came to believe that was a fair finding. Ourselves included.
In late 2012 Curt Knox apparently invited all the most fervent of these attackers to Seattle, including Frank Sforza and Bruce Fischer, as some sort of reward for their legally very ill-advised campaign. Buy plenty more popcorn. Lawsuits could fly here as well.
Raffele Sollecito’s forces in Italy had been a lot more restrained.
But at a stroke, the shrillness of Raffaele Sollecito leapfrogged that of Amanda Knox’s forces, with the publication of his book Honor Bound by Simon and Schuster in English in the UK and US last September,
INSTANTLY the book became notorious in Italy, because excerpts were read out by an Italian reporter in New York on the national television show Porta a Porta. Raffele Sollecito’s father Francesco was on that show, and he was increasingly forced to admit a key claim in the book was invented. It simply never happened. His son made it up.
The false claim by his son that Francesco was made to repudiate - it reappears over many pages - concerned a claimed deal engineered by his family and offered by the prosecution to Sollecito.
The deal he claimed was to roll over on Amanda Knox, and if Sollecito did so, he would be home free.
Following the Porta a Porta show, the book (obtainable on UK Amazon, where many false claims are repeated in the reviews) began to make its rounds in Italy. It took some time before many official parties accused of crimes by Sollecito obtained copies and started to explore their own legal possibilities. They are apparently still far from finished.
At the end of last week, the Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Giuseppe Quattrocchi received the first official request from Perugia, which is to investigate 12 very serious claims in the book against the prosecution and the legal institutions of Italy. The complaint nominates a number of witnesses.
The Prosecution office of Florence now has a maximum of six months to investigate whether there is a case against Sollecito and other named parties. If so, they will steer it through the hoops of the Italian process.
The potential ripple effects of this appear to us to stretch on and on. They could come to engulf both legal teams (credited in the book with helping) and all of the PR for both defendants. Sollecito’s publisher and shadow writer are specifically named in the complaint
If Amanda Knox is not let off the hook by the Italian Supreme Court late in March (the outcome we consider most likely, given the great strength of the appeal) the smart way for Knox to go in light of this could be to junk all her websites, her book, and her interviews, and throw her supporters under the bus. Plus maybe get smarter lawyers - the aggressive and inexperienced Dalla Vedova does her no favors.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, Those who were charged, Raff Sollecito, Those officially involved, Police and CSI, The prosecutors, Hoaxes against Italy, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, DNA contam hoax, The Alessi hoax, The Aviello hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox interrog hoax, Nasty-prison hoax, Hoaxes by Sollecito, Sollecito book hoaxes, Hoaxes re Guede, Guede sole perp hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza
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Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Should The Amanda Knox Defense Maybe Point The Finger At An Angry Daddy?
Posted by Peter Quennell
There is not the slightest sign that their defenses know how to contend with the Supreme Court appeal filed by Umbria’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati. One has already walked (Maori) and the fact that the others don’t respond publicly to Galati speaks volumes to Italian lawyers.
If the first appeal (called in Italy the second level) is rerun in whole or in part, Sollecito and Knox could see Judge Massei’s “mitigating factors” annulled and find themselves each facing 30 years inside or even life.
The whole thrust of Sollecito’s ill-timed book (subtitle “how to shoot oneself in both feet”) is that he deserves to serve less time than Amanda Knox (who he “nobly saved”) and preferably to serve no time at all.
The sliding scales of all discussion of the case
Many bright people follow the case. We have many lawyers and crime experts and even judges read here. Many took a long time to settle on a “guilt” point of view and approached it very professionally (reflected in many of the posts written by professionals here). This is contrary to the klutzy, amateurish FOA campaign and their inaccurate rants about “haters”.
There are various great sliding scales or continuums in considering all aspects of this case. A lot of what we talk about on PMF and TJMK is where, precisely, we should all come down on each of these various scales at the end of the day. Especially of course how the judges in Rome and Perugia should calibrate them.
Via Dr Galati’s appeal and especially Sollecito’s book, we now have a new one. If reconvicted, should Sollecito and Knox serve equal time? Or should one or other serve more? Let us approach this by considering first some of the most-discussed of the sliding scales.
1) Was Knox a good friend of Meredith or increasingly a pariah?
Many here incline strongly to pariah.
Knox has an obvious tin ear and sharp elbows, was doing little study in Perugia, was making life hell for all her flatmates, was bringing noisy threatening lowlife men home (the other three virtually never brought men home), was disturbing Meredith’s studies, was hitting on patrons in Patrick’s bar, and was definitely into drugs to the extent that she might already have become an addict.
2) Pre-meditated murder or a hazing or spontaneous spiral initiated by Guede?
At least some here incline to the view espoused by some psychologists that Knox and Sollecito were probably both at minimum fantasizing violence, Knox against Meredith, and Sollecito long-term generically.
Knox had become threatened by Meredith in several different ways: Meredith was prettier, was much funnier, had won the best available boy, was brighter, had a tougher study regime, was more directed and ambitious, and had left Knox in the dust on all fronts. Hints that Meredith was about to get Knox’s job at Patrick’s bar could have been the last straw.
To most here, Knox has always seemed the initiator and the leader in the rage against Meredith, and the other two were possibly drawn in by group dynamics.
Judge Micheli certainly believed this. Judge Massei might have done, and his pointing at Guede (espoused in spades by Hellmann and Zanetti) and Massei’s “mitigating factors” both seemed “humane” stretches to give them a few years off - stretches which Chief Prosecutor Galati in his appeal and the Supreme Court in their finding on Guede have already both rejected.
3) Isolated crime/unique family or does American society incline this way?
Statistics show that society here in the US is separated out between super-rich and the other 99% more than at any time in the past 80 years and although productivity has been going up amazingly, all fruits of growth have gone to those super-rich. Many of them have a mindset that basically tells them they made it on their own, and government roles in their success and that of their creative hard-working employees dont matter a damn.
The situation and the anger in the US has been worsening, and absence of true growth for most people also have European and Japanese societies in disarray
In the US one can see heightened levels of anger in the losers of the Superbowl, in the renewed buying of guns, in conspiracy theories on the Internet, in the success of the very thought-provoking Hunger Games books and movie (small people against rich and a captured, cruel over-militarized government), in politics (of course!), and in the vitriolic flames on the IMDB movie forums now against the front-runner movies and actors for the Oscars.
We may not see this at major play here in the crime against Meredith, though, except in the over-competition sense, and the sense that Knox grew up in slight poverty (see below) and was burning through her savings with all the cocaine use (Perugia cops think it was cocaine)
4) Mental ill health in the perps and/or families or original evil?
Sollecito’s dad has long admitted that Raffaele is not normal, and he has struggled to keep him off drugs and focussed hard on his studies. His dad also admitted to all Italy that Sollecito included defamatory lies in his book.
An open and shut case? Seems so. Raffaele now looks “uncomplicatedly” psychopathic and the myriad wrong and nasty claims in his chest-beating book really hammer this take on him home.
That book seems to be his equivalent of Knox’s abrasive, uncaring two days on the stand in 2009 which so damaged her with the Massei jury.
Knox’s mental health seems more complicated. She was widely known to be “quirky” as a kid and then she became pretty wild in Seattle after she moved to live near the university. That certainly wouldn’t have helped.
Most recently, Knox seems to be sliding away into a bubble world without any possibility of admitting she needs treatment, which seems to explain her being kept well out of sight for a year now and not working or studying.
Generally the PROSECUTION in Perugia has been the side to suggest she is not mentally fully well (after the psychological tests in Capanne Prison in 2008) and the DEFENSE and FAMILY has been the side that shrugs this off and hasn’t made it any part of her defence.
Knox seems to have given off plenty of signs in the days after Meredith died that she was alternating between glee and horror. So she seemingly did know what she was doing on the night, and our guess is that it was she who pushed the knife in. In these circumstances the original verdict and sentence seem appropriate.
5) Knox made herself what she was or did her family contribute?
Curt Knox’s seeming blind rage at Edda during their marriage and for years after are an open secret among some in Seattle. He apparently had one of the worst records in the entire US in not paying child support to Edda for Amanda and Deanna, and had again and again to be taken to Superior Court by Edda to be forced to make his monthly payments.
Here are two public records showing two instances of him being taken to Superior Court by Edda.
And we are told that Curt Knox was counseled by one or more judges to get himself some anger management therapy. Apparently he wasn’t formally required to take anger management therapy. He may have done so, though there seems no record that he ever did.
Okay. Not all kids growing up in such toxic family situations suffer, but some do, and a few end up with their hard wiring seriously messed up. Some even end up as drug-takers and murderers.
The classic example recently was the mass killer Anders Breivek in Norway, whose early childhood in a toxic family situation was not entirely unlike Knox’s. (In that case also, the prosecution thought maybe he was nuts, and the defense, successfully, argued otherwise.)
Italian lawyers tell us that it would be for the DEFENSE to bring this up in Perugia if it is a possible mitigating factor, and that it doesnt impinge on the prosecution’s case.
But how could they?
Curt Knox was apparently the one who shushed Amanda Knox at their first meeting in Capanne Prison, Curt Knox was apparently the one who misled her about the world-wide skepticisim against her (she didnt know about that until she came out of prison), and Curt Knox was apparently the one who drove the nasty PR bus - and most recently hosted all of the worst of the rabid PR nuts (including Sforza and Fischer) in Seattle.
Curt Knox has apparently consistently instructed the defense lawyers and PR honchos to keep the pedal to the floor, even though Chris Mellas once openly argued against that. Amanda Knox may have pushed the knife in, but Curt Knox for five years has not come clean about his own possible role in any mental condition.
Our present conclusion
Without a lot more information on Amanda Knox’s early days in her broken home in Seattle, and her current mental condition and condition back in 2007, it is pretty hard to calibrate this. It is not really possible to be precise about where she should be on any sliding scale of time deserved in prison if she is finally convicted.
It is really incumbent upon the defense counsel in Italy (their lawyers’ code of ethics requires this) to push hard for this information, and if they think it relevant to present it to court at any rerun of the appeal trial.
Amanda Knox herself should want this.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Those officially involved, Amanda Knox, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza
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Saturday, January 05, 2013
We Mean You No Harm. Please Take Us To Your Leaders… Oh Yes, But Of Course…
Posted by Kermit
- Scammer Number One is physically absent without officlal leave. He may be hiding out in or near Perugia, probably broke and without a good lawyer as his lawyer walked off the job, facing court dates starting later this month and possible imprisonment in two countries and now also a further defamation suit - he in effect already lost one defamation suit last year when a court ordered Google to take down a site it hosted for him for all the defamation it had contained.
- Scammer Number Two is also physically absent without official leave, and may be hiding out in or near Verona, attempting on Facebook to make out that he is free and relaxed as a bird after nipping across to Manhattan for the New Year. Also that he is and always was loyal as hell to Amanda (give us a break) and that the devastating prosecution appeal and the devastating row of defamation suits about to hit him and his publisher and team sparked by his overheated book dont bother him or his dad a bit.
- Scammer Number Three is mentally absent without official leave. He is to be found squealing and blubbering these days in the stock-room of a fur-store on the north-west outskirts of Chicago, running low on new people to blame, his money-grubbing scams now publicly revealed for the toxic dishonesties on which they were based, his obergruppenführer presence on his internet boards despised now by many who had once gone along with his act, with the biggest defamation target of all on his own back as his vitriolic personal rants still populate the web, and with no Curt Knox or other deep-pockets any longer on his side.
First, here is an understanding word or two for the FOA sheep.
Dear sheep. Of course we dont mean to be unkind or unsympathetic in implying that the broad body of your movement which was elevating these three to gods in their own minds were simply sheep. Many FOA seem to us to be very nice and very well-meaning, if maybe a tad naive. The jaw-dropping revelations of the sums of money that you have been shelling out suggests that the myths you had been made to swallow had stirred your kind hearts to the core.
As a way of disengaging from the flock, and to fill the deliberate vacuum of hard facts, we would highly recommend that you now read all these posts and especially all of these posts here. Our strongest advice to any ex-sheep would definitely be this.
Don’t shell our any more of your hard-earned cash to those three imposters listed here at the top. They all face suits now for going way too far. Dont get mixed up in that.
Okay. Back to Number One.
We are told that Frank may not even have made it to the viza section of the American Embassy in Rome. But let’s say it were true that Frank actually made it across the Atlantic and he showed up at the international arrivals zone of an American airport hours before his date with American justice last December 31.
Then any honest attempt to justify Frank’s non-appearance in court would take into account that Frank knew he wasn’t coming as a tourist, and that as someone with an arrest record (and seemingly having way overstayed a prior visa waiver for a visit limited to 90 days), he would have lots of paperwork to request a visa.
Yet, going back to the end of November when he was being released on bail from the Seattle jail , Frank and his pro-Knox handlers were in a huge hurry to hustle him out of the country following his latest arrest and questioning by police for domestic violence incidents, probably knowing that this might affect whether he could return.
The world waits for some coherent and direct explanations from this cornerstone of the public image defence of Amanda Knox.
Meanwhile, there’s absolute silence from Knox’s corporate PR firm Gogerty Marriott who continue to use the Knox contract as a showcase example of how successfully they work (they are joking, right?).
Many public figures and sheeples have been photographing themselves with Frank over the months presuming that he was in the US on a tourist visa for goodwill. Meanwhile, he was carrying on what the Committee to Protect Journalists has insisted is his money-making and therefore taxable profession, and also earning at the same time “donated” income and gifts maybe up into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Mr Taxman please note.
Meanwhile, the vacuum left by Frank, a god in his own mind in the woven fabric of the Knox PR image, is turning that fabric into tatters. Someone will have to tie up the loose ends, and in particular give an explanation on where Frank’s absence leaves the very serious accusations of improper and abusive treatment by Prosecutor Mignini and the Flying Squad (neither were involved in his arrest).
Those false accusations all stem from Frank and Doug Preston and similar accusations of abuse are the main components of just about every explanations for Knox’s many conflicting alibis and her bizarre reactions to Italian investigators following the murder of Knox’s roommate Meredith Kercher.
As you may know, Frank claimed to have been beaten up by officers of the Flying Squad beholden to the “rogue” Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini because Mr Mignini was allegedly sufficiently upset by “Frank’s” many blog posts in favour of Knox to have sent his henchmen over to Frank’s house.
After promoting this fiction for months and now years, even many pro-Knox commenters are admitting bashfully that in fact the person who complained to Italian police about abuse by “Frank” was actually a female family member in his own home.
Mr Mignini was NOT involved, the Flying Squad was NOT involved, Frank was NOT beaten up (the wounds in evidence were on the cops) and he was NOT taken to a hospital to have him certified as mad. One big body of lies.
This line of physical abuse and malicious fabrications after the fact certainly fit with Frank’s more recent episodes of being arrested and/or questioned for complaints of domestic violence in Canada, Hawaii, and, now, Seattle. Looks like, by his own hand, Frank is finally cooked.
More news in future posts about Scammers Two and Three.
Archived in Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, More hoaxers
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Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Might Frank Sforza Already De Facto Be Banned From Ever Reentering The United States?
Posted by Kermit
If the disastrous last few hours of 2012 are any indication, 2013 will be a nightmare year for the Amanda Knox PR campaign and their associated income streams.
As regards the latter, with Knox’s memoirs book set for going on sale next April, there will have to be some serious rewriting or respinning if any mention is made of her family’s stalwart friend and logistics handler in Perugia. The man of many aliases, amongst which is his blogging name of “Frank Sfarzo”.
“Sfarzo” (real name Sforza) did not show up yesterday – New Year’s Eve 2012 - in court in Seattle for his preliminary hearing for a double charge of Assault 4-Domestic Violence related to his latest arrest associated with violence (domestic violence or against law enforcement officers) in different countries and continents.
Already the few remaining “Friends of Amanda” spinners on Bruce Fischer’s TrashForCashVictimsAnywhere forum not yet chilled by his escalating legal comeuppance are desperately justifying “Frank’s” bouts with domestic violence arrests as being the fault of the alleged victims.
One of the victims, Peter H in Canada, who had trustingly contributed to Sforza a very large sum, has now said “enough is enough” and bit the bullet in terms of personal embarrassment and posted a highly abusive and dishonest email from Sforza which passes for truth in his pathological world.
This is reposted with thanks from PerugiaMurderFile.net and deep appreciation to Peter H.
Yes, unlike you, abandoned and avoided like pest by everyone, I’m having fun. And anyway it’s not your business if I’m having fun or not, since the idea of you making my business makes me puke, as everyone who looks at you can only be disgusted by your scary appearances and, if they know you, even more by your person.
You are a zero, in BC nobody knows you, you never produced anything in your life, you just live out of a disability check, you have no money, you save on the electricity, you calculate how much water your victims, who accept to reach you in that barn, consume.
Your “friend” Bill Gates doesn’t have any idea who you are as well as your other “friend” Steve Jobs didn’t.
It’s only your imagination of mythomanic, paranoid, perverted, drunkard, old fool, as you rightly define yourself.
You are a disturbance for every one who has the bad luck to come across you, or who falls in the traps in which you attract them. You harassed Betttina, you harassed me, you are violent, dangerous, you have hallucinations because you are crazy, you are a snitch and a slanderer at once, you called the police at 4am while I was in bed telling them that I had stolen your wallet and cellphone. And that’s in the records of the police of BC. You were so clever to call the police after having made crimes against me, exactly as the other drunkard did. That’s the proof that you are stupid. You are so stupid you are not even able to make up an accusations against your victims. How can someone who has to stay in your house steal your cellphone and wallet, what does he do with your cellphone and your wallet if he’s staying in your house out of the world?
Uh? What? You don’t understand? If you were able to understand you would have produced something in your life, you would have someone close to you instead of having to pay people to get there.
Old disgusting drunkard and fool, remove immediately all my contact information from your email and cellphones. Remove within 48 hours the emails to me or from me you have been publishing online (because you are a nobody mythomaniac who wanted to show to the world that you were my friend). I never authorize you to publish my emails,I told you that you could post them only on the private discussion of IIP, where there are my friends, not on the public one. Remove those emails withing 48 hours or I’m gonna sue you. Never contact me again. You can’t answer this email, you can’t talk about me or say anything about my person with anyone. Next email or any attempt of communication in any form from you towards me will be evidence of your further disturbance to me, I’ll pass the border and I’ll report you to the police, who luckily know you very well.
We checked and Sforza’s malicious description of Peter H is not remotely akin to the truth. Many others can testify that, in terms of Sforza’s endless stream of threatening and abusive emails, that one is very much par for the course. Could Michael Heavey be next?
No wonder more and more one-time supporters of “Frank” and the Bruce Fischer forum TrashForCashVictimsAnywhere and in general the Amanda Knox cause are becoming more and more revolted with an immoral and borderline illegal campaign.
On New Year’s Eve, “Frank’s” Seattle court appointed lawyer initially tried – do give her credit – to arrange a week’s delay in the hearing, alleging “customs” problems that “Frank” was said to be suffering. However, Judge Ed Mckenna probably believed that with a month to prepare for any such problems, the blogger known as “Frank” should have foreseen them and been in court on schedule.
In reality, Frank likely had no problems with the American Customs. There are only three or four grounds. See the form below.
It is doubtful that even he would fly to the US for a domestic violence preliminary hearing and at the same time tried to introduce those prohibited or restricted goods into the country. Given “Frank’s” dependence on other peoples’ earnings, it is unlikely he introduced excessive levels of cash into the US. It is unlikely he tried to introduce livestock, vegetables, or disease agents.
Instead of being allowed a week for Sforza to make it through Customs, the judge gave Sforza’s lawyer only three and a half hours delay in starting the proceedings against him on New Year’s Eve. However, by 1:30 p.m., she had to concede that she couldn’t ensure that Frank could be anywhere in particular at any particular time. She did not even know where he was.
As a result, Judge McKenna had no other option than as prosecution requested to issue a bench warrant for “Frank’s” arrest.
Click for a larger image. That shows that the Amanda Knox PR asset known as “Frank” is now officially wanted under an arrest warrant covering any jurisdiction in the United States. If spotted any police can arrest him on sight. Anyone with any information concerning his whereabouts may inform the nearest law enforcement agency.
However! He may still be in Italy, or he made already be in some other country, indeed even under cover in the United States. In fact, his personal Facebook page currently lists a visited location in the New York area, although given his track record of deception that may or may not be where he really is.
One is the basis on which “Frank”, a foreigner with a recent record of domestic violence arrests, could be released on bail last November following his arrest for attacking two housemates in Seattle.
Just as Amanda Knox was held in preventive prison in Italy to avoid her entourage of fulfilling their promise to get her out of prison and Italy in whatever possible way, why was “Frank” – a foreigner with arrest and legal issues growing around the world – allowed out on only $2,000 bail when it was very likely that what could happen has actually happened: he left the country and hasn’t returned on time for his court preliminary hearing in Seattle. Who facilitated this questionable decision to offer him bail in November?
Having left the country, both the judge who freed “Frank” on bail in November and “Frank” himself should have been more than aware that should “Frank” leave the country – exactly as he seems to have done hours after getting his bailed freedom in November - that he could have serious and lengthy paperwork to prepare should he want to return and face the American justice system?
A justice system that Fischer’s TrashForCashVictimsAnywhere and the Amanda Knox PR campaign has so often favourably compared to what they paint as a corrupt, abusive Italian justice system.
Entering the US if you have an arrest record – as is definitely the case of “Frank” – is difficult and requires much more extensive paperwork than simply filling out the ESTA VWP forms online like an average tourist. Anyone in “Frank’s” situation should have been responsible enough to identify potential problems in returning to the US to face his Domestic Violence charges …
- ...unless the entourage around him (I’m not referring to his court appointed lawyer) felt that in fact the best option of those available is to not have “Frank” go through a difficult trial that could further damage the Knox PR campaign and have a negative impact on upcoming sales of Knox’s memoir “tell all” book and her odds on appeal.
or unless the US Rome Embassy or Immigration decided (not at all for the first time) that it would be way cheaper and safer for everybody concerned to simply keep him out.
The final question is: where actually is “Frank”?
He has an upcoming trial in Italy for biting a police officer who responded to a domestic violence complaint phoned in by a female member of “Frank’s” own family. A prison term is a real possibility. He has an American arrest warrant issued against him. A prison term is a real possibility. He’s certainly not wanted back in Canada.
His attempted point of entry into the USA if there was one is not publicly know. He has not been seen publicly in Perugia for some weeks.
Archived in Other legal processes, Those elsewhere, The wider contexts, Seattle context, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers
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Monday, December 31, 2012
Judge Ed McKenna Issues A Bench Warrant For The Arrest of Court No-Show Frank Sforza
Posted by Peter Quennell
Before the afternoon session began, Frank’s court appointed lawyer and the court bailiff informed interested parties that he would not be making an appearance. The KING5 cameraman decided to leave before hearing the adjudication. With court in session, the lawyer apologized to the judge for wasting the court’s time on her no-show client by requesting the half-day delay.
In the morning session the lawyer initially requested a one week delay due to Frank having “customs” problems, but could provide no further information for the court regarding Frank’s absence in the afternoon session. The judge was aware of Frank’s legal issues in Hawaii, but could find nothing in Frank’s record that would have prevented him from making it to court and therefore disregarded the claims of “customs issues”.
The judge was willing to entertain any additional excuses or suggestions on Frank’s behalf, but unfortunately there were no supporters to be found, leaving his lawyer to state, “I have no further suggestions, your honor.”
The judge then asked the prosecution for a recommended course of action. The response was, “issue a bench warrant for Mr. Sforca’s arrest”, and the judge agreed, issuing a bench warrant for Frank’s arrest on New Year’s Eve 2012.
Hmmm. Unfortunate that there was not even one supporter to be found…
Frank Sforza has apparently not been seen in Perugia either since his flight out of Seattle a month ago. He also failed to attend a court hearing in Perugia on his (more serious) resisting-arrest charge there.
If he fails to appear in court on the new date next month a Perugia judge is expected to issue a warrant for his arrest. Its is possible that he could be declared an international fugitive if there are more no-shows.
Oddly, Frank Sforza is apparently still sending out his trademark abusive emails to his former fans and financial helpers. Will that come to include Judge Heavey and Curt Knox?
Archived in Other legal processes, Those elsewhere, The wider contexts, Seattle context, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers
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Will Frank Sforza Show In Seattle Court? If Not Arrest Warrant And Freedom Revocation Probably Next
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Live from the Seattle Municipal Court: Sforza a no show this morning.
Attorney requests one week delay, says Frank is having customs problems and interpreter is not available this afternoon.
Judge asks if Frank’s English is good enough to function without interpreter and then resets for 1:30 today.
Will he show? KING 5 cameraman was there.
2. Fly By Night reports
Frank Sforza is a no show this afternoon as well. This time, there’s no KING camera to record the non-event. Waiting for Judge McKenna to make an appearance.
If there were supporters in attendance, they were being very discreet.
Archived in Other legal processes, Those elsewhere, The wider contexts, Seattle context, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza
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Saturday, December 29, 2012
One Of The Serial Defamers of Italian Justice Must Face Some Hard Truths Of American Justice
Posted by Kermit
This has not been a good year at all for the increasingly beleaguered Knox and Sollecito campaigns.
As interest in Amanda Knox and her case dwindles precipitately in the United States, her image handlers seem to realize that a major final push effort must be made for their final challenge to be successful: a profitable sales kickoff for Knox’s “tell-it-all” book now promised for April 2013.
At this point, the tough prosecution appeal in the case against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher seemingly hardly interests the PR campaign, apart from any market “churn” that it can help to develop for the book..
Raffaele’s own US book promotion tour three months ago was little short of a complete disaster. On the one hand, his heated text has provided massive new defamatory material against innocent persons, and on the other he has introduced new affirmations that totally contradict his defence team’s posture throughout the murder trials.
Now, the Perugian Blogger known variously as “Frank Sfarzo”, “Francesco Sforza” and “Francesco Sforca” (real name Sforza) has been arrested and has spent time confined in Hawaii and Seattle jails, in addition to being questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada. In Seattle he may face more time.
These arrests and questionings are in addition to his arrest and charging in Perugia for attacking police officers coming to investigate a complaint for alleged domestic violence phoned-in by a female member of his own family. That trial is now pending.
[“Frank Sfarzo” with his fellow serial belittlers of Italian justice, Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore]
Frank’s Canadian Caper and his Hawaiian Punch adventure were of thematic note. In one case, it was an elderly Canadian gentlemen who was acting as Frank’s host who made the phone call in the wee hours to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, because he feared that the often scantily clad and more-and-more argumentative “Frank” was a real physical threat to him. In the other case, a woman had Hawaiian police alerted and had claimed that she was pushed around by “Frank” in the hotel where she had put him.
What is really surprising is that in both cases the victims of alleged aggressions were fervent supporters of Amanda Knox! And in both cases, the victims had given “Frank” substantial monetary gifts: $5,000 by the Canadian man, and air tickets to Hawaii by the American woman.
In both cases, the victims were followers of the absurdly named “Injustice in Perugia” blog run by the beleaguered pro-Knox Chicago-suburbs blogger Bruce Fisher/Fischer. Fischer is actually a mall store assistant and wannabe sleuth who like “Frank” makes use of more than one name in grandly presenting a faux front to the world.
Back when he claimed online to be the upscale “Bruce Fisher of New York”, Bruce carried out many nasty and in-effect anonymous attacks on individuals, mostly women, who did not share his point of view. The “Fischer of Chicago”, now exposed, continues more cautiously in public, but in his little private forum he continues to rant against anyone who doesn’t share his untethered take on Amanda Knox’s total innocence and a vast Italy-wide conspiracy. This authentic Fischer has a fairly unexotic lobbying base and Internet connection for promoting his pro-Knox cause: the suburban-mall fur-shop where he works.
Fisher/Fischer is now maintaining that the plea on his blog for the “Frank Sfarzo Fund Drive” is to help the Perugia Shock blog and not “Frank” the blogger who runs it – however, that’s not what the Fund Drive description says:
[Above: Amanda Knox advocate Bruce Fisher/Fischer has been a key enforcer of donations to the Perugian Blogger]
As is often the case of persons who suffer domestic physical and psychological abuse at the hands and mouth of someone they implicitly respected, it must have taken a major act of self-questioning and doubt before the Hawaiian and Canadian victims were able to make themselves step forward and decry the abuse they allegedly suffered and were humiliated by.
Both of those cases were talked about a lot on several web discussion boards. Not surprisingly, Fisher/Fischer, who has invested heavily in the particular versions of the crimes against Meredith that he promotes to “save” Knox (and, as a necessary side-effect, Raffaele Sollecito) could only try and explain/justify the Perugian Blogger’s behavior, while at the same time directly accusing the two real victims of provoking the Blogger’s “quirky” personality. Fisher/Fischer’s take on Knox and his related income stream would otherwise be at stake.
Perhaps Fischer should be more worried about the potential liability for wrong claims he makes about third parties in this case, especially those in Rome and Perugia, and about the potential for the Perugian Blogger to cause further cases and more victims of domestic violence, given the blogger’s alleged record.
In spite of the statement of “Probable Cause” by the arresting police officer in Hawaii (see image above), in the end, under a great deal of heat, charges were not pressed by the victims against “Frank” in Canada or in Hawaii.
However, what Fisher/Fischer and other pro-Knox PR assets did not reveal in what I consider to be their hypocritical justification of “Frank’s” known violence in his North American travels is that he actually had one further legal case, still going forward in Seattle at this date.
It started to receive public scrutiny only when it was unearthed by Internet commenters on the pro-victim side.
Following his problems in Canada and Hawaii, on November 27 “Frank” was arrested yet again, in Seattle, after allegedly having a physically violent encounter with the persons with whom he had arranged a room when he returned to Washington State after his disastrous emergency exit from Hawaii. He spent over 24 hours in a Seattle jail before being bailed out thanks to donated funds.
The Seattle police report concerning this most recent incident and the arrest of “Frank” states thus:
“(VI – Victim1) said that he was sitting on the couch talking to the District Attorney’s Office when S/Sforza became agitated and slapped the phone out of his hand. S/Sforza then jumped on top of him and punched him in the face approximately four times. V I was able to push S/Sforza off of him and stand up but S/Sforza pushed him back on the couch causing pain to his right shoulder. S/Sforza then jumped on top of V II (Victim 2) and began slapping in the face and scratched him on the temple. While V II struggled to get away he scraped his left knuckle but was able to get to his room. While in his room he grabbed his phone to call 9-1-1. As he was walking out of his room S/Sforza tried to push him back in the room and grabbed him by the throat using both of his hands. S/Sforza then left the house and 9-1-1 was called. V II had a visible red scrape to his right temple, a visible scrape to his left knuckle and redness around his neck. Both victims declined medical attention at the scene.
[ed note. Sforza called 911, informing police that he would meet them] ... at 36th Ave W and W Mcgraw where he said he would be waiting. S/Sforza said that both V I and V II had been giving him a hard time since he returned from his trip. He said they told him that he wasn’t able to leave his room. He stated that V II had tried to force him to leave the house and choked him. S/Sforza did not have any visible signs of assault and did not have any redness around his neck. S/Sforza said the police were called to the house yesterday for a disturbance. A report was written on that incident (12-403658).
S/Sforza was placed under arrest and transported to the West Precinct… Persons took pictures of the injuries to V II and sent them for processing to the SPD Photo Lab via the Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS). 2 Domestic violence Supplemental forms were completed by Officer… S/Sforza has a passport from Italy and requested Consular notification.”
“Frank” has hinted in online conversations that he may be coming to Seattle for the purpose of celebrating New Year’s Eve. He has even gently jibed Amanda’s co-murder suspect (pending final appeal) Raffaele Sollecito for not being sure if it’s worth it to go to Seattle for just a few days at year’s end:
However, if The Perugian Blogger, a man of at least three aliases and now a number of arrests relating to domestic violence, is going to be in Seattle on December 31, it will actually be because he has a court hearing on New Year’s Eve for two counts of Assault 4 – Domestic Violence.
This time, it seems that the alleged victims won’t hold back or be humiliated into letting the crime go unchallenged and have the charges withdrawn.
“Frank” has been a central figure to the pro-Knox forces ever since a few months after the murder of Meredith he decided instead to advocate for Knox in conjunction with other elements of the Knox PR campaign. This was a shocking and sudden 180 degree U-turn for someone who had up until then been strongly pro-Meredith and favorable to the prosecutor. Mr Mignini, on the case.
What incentive did he have to make such a rapid, stunning, radical change? Leaving many former followers behind?
I don’t know, but do note that nobody can account for how he paid his bills these past 4 years since he claims that no Italian media buys his articles. With “Frank” seemingly living off of the kindness of others and/or the PR campaign, and seemingly not having a particular long-term address of his own… Does the term “drifter” come to mind?
In time, the integration of “Frank’s” Perugia Shock blog with the Knox PR campaign was openly evidenced – before its current aesthetic makeover after it briefly was forced down – by the incorporation of key Knox lobbyist Jim Lovering into the blog credits thus:
[Above: Will “Frank’s” campaigner colleague and local resident Jim Lovering appear in court next Monday to support him?]
The Perugian Blogger has been useful to the pro-Knox campaign. In spite of American thriller novelist Douglas Preston’s strange affirmations that Italy has been coming over to Amanda’s side in her legal battle, the truth is that few non-American and specifically no Italian faces have come out strongly in favour of Knox, except for her own lawyers of course.
“Frank” quickly became a local enabler for the Knox-Mellas clan in Perugia, helping out with the most mundane activities, from revealing secret insider “knowledge” or “facts” on his blog, to babysitting the younger Knox-Mellas girls, or involving the girls in paid-for photo shoots.
In return, he was often referred to in pro-Knox circles as a “journalist”. This faux title was certainly a step up from “Frank’s” prior life of maintaining a website dedicated to selling truffles or capitalizing on the Italian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
[Image above: “Frank” before Meredith’s murder: a mundane life of waiting for his 10 minutes of fame]
Following Meredith’s murder, and with the Knox-Mellas clan desperately in need of a facilitator for their everyday logistics in Perugia, “Frank” became their handyman and, in time, almost part of the Knox-Mellas clan.
[Image: Perugian Blogger “Frank” and Chris Mellas, Amanda Knox’s stepfather.]
“Frank”, however, was not merely a passive enabler. He asserted himself, and he pushed his envelope of fame and ownership of knowledge, even though he was mostly a receiver of the tidbits of information the Knox-Mellas clan would throw him when convenient.
His particular claim to “ownership” of information given to him got to the ridiculous point of claiming copyright to court documents that he received and posted on his blog. Court officials might find that pretty cheeky!
The official image of the knife later resurfaced in a great video by ViaDellaPergola here.
It seems that befriending “Frank” became the “in” thing to do, for a brief moment anyway, with many FOA-types and Knox Entourage hangers-on. He must have seemed quite exotic, and also, surprisingly, on their side. After all, the rest of Italy was clearly not.
Bruce Fisher/Fischer the blogger and Knox lobbyist has increasingly isolated himself in supporting “Frank”, and has been working around the clock to justify “Frank’s” string of domestic violence arrests and police questionings, after having published and vouched for “Frank’s” need for financial assistance.
Will Fisher/Fischer and Steve Moore continue to befriend and support “Frank” the blogger? Moore once stated that he would trust Amanda Knox as a roommate to his own daughter. Would he trust “Frank” to spend time alone overnight with his own daughter, now that Moore is aware of Frank’s arrest record for domestic violence? Does he approve of “Frank’s” way of living … is it simply “‘Frank’ being ‘Frank’”, or something that a father might be worried about?
Another of “Frank’s” close confidantes in the US has been Candace Dempsey, a person with a personal food blog on the Seattle Post Intelligencer website who hastily erased most of her culinary blogging past in order to get on with her new found life as a pro-Knox writer.
[Food blogger Candace Dempsey has attempted to recycle her professional focus in parallel with “Frank”]
Dempsey continues to dedicate herself – for the moment at least – to writing about Amanda Knox’s involvement in the Meredith Kercher murder case from a pro-Knox point of view. Will Candace be at Frank’s hearing in the Municipal Court of Seattle on December 31? It would be a fine way of supporting someone she has shared so much fellowship with.
Followers of Meredith’s murder case all remember how Dempsey’s man-in-Perugia “Frank” stalwartly supported her affirmation that it would have been impossible for Amanda and Raffaele to stake out any movements of persons entering or leaving the cottage following Meredith’s murder, due to the entrance to the cottage grounds supposedly not being visible from the Piazza Grimana … in spite of every eye-witness observation and evidenciary photo to the contrary.
Another pro-Knox asset who has been supportive of “Frank” in many ways is Seattle’s King County Judge Michael Heavey. Heavey once received a stern official reprimand for sending, on State of Washington stationary, private accusations of judicial negligence to Italian authorities, where he accused Prosecutor Mignini of grave mismanagement of the Meredith Kercher murder investigation, without providing any evidence to support his wild and defamatory claims. Heavey continues his pro-Knox support in a vocal manner, with appearances at university forums that are prepackaged to support Knox, or speaking at local Rotary Club meetings (luckily we saved the video).
[“Frank” the Perugian Blogger and host Judge Michael Heavey pose together.]
Will Judge Heavey be present at “Frank’s” hearing for charges of domestic violence on December 31? Will he use his good offices to help Frank bear the state of Washington’s justice in the lightest manner possible?
Anti-Mignini novelist Douglas Preston, a patron funder of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), appeared (how coincidental) in a strange CPJ open letter to the world by Joel Simon to Italian authorities, complaining that a mysterious police squad that supposedly reports to Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini had beaten up “Frank” and had him arrested on trumped up charges.
]Novelist Douglas Preston – now a self-described “point-of-view journalist”]
Preston was a central source in a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) open letter which transformed the domestic violence complaint of a female member of the Perugian Blogger’s family into a case of harassment by Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. It’s hard to make up crazier tales, yet the CPJ stands by the unsubstantiated claims fed to it. In most jurisdictions that’s called defamation.
Now is a good time for the CPJ’s Executive Director Joel Simon to show his face and admit his embarrassing error by recognizing that “Frank’s” arrest for violence against police officers in Perugia while resisting arrest was under the responsibility of Prosecutor Paolo Abbritti and his team.
Mr Mignini who “Frank” and Preston and Simoin smeared globally had no role at all and may well have not even have known about it. “Frank’s” domestic and anti-authority violence in Italy is consistent with his domestic violence related arrests in North America.
No one, not even CPJ’s Joel Simon could ever have seriously considered that the provincial civil servant Mr Mignini has a private goon squad of rogue policemen who report to him and beat up persons on his request.
By recognizing his error, Joel Simon would be making a positive gesture to classic journalistic standards (not gonzo point-of-view journalism standards) of correcting errors, and he would also be doing a great service to victims of domestic violence around the world. Joel, I ask you please to finally do what is right, and not what a financial benefactor of your organization wants you to do.
It is also important to hear what Preston’s response if any is to “Frank’s” current legal woes in the US. So far, no word from him. Will Preston continue to see the long arm of Mignini in all these arrests? Or will he distance himself from a person Preston considers a fellow “point-of-view journalist” in the Meredith Kercher case?
Preston recently contacted this writer, saying he was writing an Afterword to a book by Mario Spezi about what he calls the “Amanda Knox case”. He said this chapter would be dedicated to the key online players on both sides of the case. (Preston was first invited, see here and here and here, to correct some of his previous error-laden work.)
There is probably no other online personality more prominently associated with the Amanda Knox PR campaign than the blogger who goes by the nickname of “Frank Sfarzo”.
If Preston can’t make it to Seattle to support “Frank”, I guess we will have to wait for his new Afterword in Spezi’s book or his magazine article to catch his angle on “Frank’s” travails with the law, or at least what he thinks about “Frank” after they appeared together in the CPJ open letter - after which, Preston wrote some vigorous followup emails about the CPJ’s open letter concerning “Frank”.
If it had not been for Preston the fictionalist and “Frank” the recycled truffle blogger, there would have been no inaccurate and highly unfair demonizing of Prosecutor Mignini, and that would have taken the air out of Bruce Fisher/Fischer’s own very nasty campaign.
It goes on and on. The list of pro-Knox PR assets who have used “Frank” in their own particular contributions to Amanda’s cause is extensive. Will any of them be in Seattle Municpal Court [image below] with the Perugian Blogger this Monday at 10:00 am?
A pro-Knox commenter who goes by the penname of “KayPea” is trying to rally the pro-Knox troops who are now starting to back off in a very natural manner from “Frank” and the string of domestic violence incidents that “Frank” seems to have been involved in. On the “IIP” blog, she exhorts them to remain in the fold. If we believe her, she is speaking for herself - and remarkably, also the Knox and Mellas families:
“several of you good people [she’s referring to pro-Knox readers] seem to be trying to make up your mind about Frank’s credibility as the author of Perugia Shock as it is juxtaposed on his personal life and this crazy mess with Bettina, Peter and the nutters at the boarding house [ed note: these are respectively the pro-Knox Hawaiian, Canadian, and Seattlietes who are now non-grata … it seems that if you want to make sure that you are allowed to be a groupie, don’t let yourself to get into a situation where “Frank” the Perugian Blogger can abuse you].
Please know that the people who know him the best, Amanda’s family and friends, have been at his side throughout the past few months. COME. WHAT. MAY. They, and I, accept all of Frank’s personality quirks ...” (IIP, 27/12/2012)
However, the owner of the blog, Bruce Fisher/Fischer, seems to be trying frantically to isolate the impact of “Frank’s” “personality quirks” on the IIP emporium. Fischer has stated thus:
“lets lay this out in simple terms. Amanda and Raffaele are free. Nothing that happens in Frank’s life at this point has anything at all to do with anything that took place in the past with regard to the case. Nothing happening in Frank’s life has anything at all to do with Meredith Kercher.”
(Bruce Fisher/Fischer – IIP blog – 27/12/2012)
It’s as if Fischer in his surreal bubble is claiming that “Frank” never really ever existed. Never fought tooth-and-nail for years to deny Meredith and her family their justice.
If I were “Frank”, I would be thinking that maybe not very many of my once long list of FOA friends will be showing support during the New Year’s Eve court appearance.
Will they be joining him for drinks later after the court hearing is done? Or maybe further contact would put them at risk of being pushed into being the next “Bettina” or “Peter” in Canada, more victims of domestic violence.
Does anyone reading believe any longer the wild, uninvestigated claim of Douglas Preston’s friends at the CPJ? That the Italian Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini was behind the complaint placed by female members of “Frank’s” family in Italy? Which eventually led to his arrest there after attacking police officers?
Or is that simply another falsehood from the pro-Knox PR myth factory?
Domestic violence is a terrible, terrible issue in our society. We should never try to explain it away, or blame the victim or any third parties who had nothing to do with the violence. To do so only degrades the victim, and distances yet further the perpetrator from correcting his criminal behavior.
Let’s hope that if someone shows up at the Perugian Blogger’s court hearing this Monday December 31, even if all of his erstwhile FOA friends have disappeared, that victims of domestic violence are there with true supporters, demonstrating that they have no fear of decrying this degrading, despicable criminal behavior.
Final question. Will the Knox-Mellas families really continue to support Frank? Will they let him stay at their homes? Would Amanda let him sleep at her apartment or even visit without her boyfriend or anyone else present?
In fact will any of the Knox-Mellas clan members be at “Frank’s” court hearing at the Seattle Municipal Court at 10:00 am this Monday December 31? In particular, will Amanda be there? Or does Frank, as is rumored, have her freaked?
Archived in Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main media, CPJ Joel Simon, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza, Nina Burleigh, Michael Heavey, Other legal processes, Those elsewhere, The wider contexts, Seattle context
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
False Allegations Against Italian Officialdom Sparking Increasingly Tough Legal Reaction
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Maybe none of the above. But whoever came up with the hairbrained idea that a pedal-to-the-floor assault on the officlals handling the case would lead to a tranquil outcome for the accused was maybe not thinking very well on that day.
The Italian System
It is a very fair, carefiul and painstaking system, staffed by well-trained professionals all the way up from cops through investigators through prosecutors through judges through the Supreme Court to the President of the Italian Republic himself.
The Italian system may be the least likely justice system IN THE WORLD for rogue police or rogue prosecutors or rogue judges to hijack it and bend things their way. Even ex-PM Berlusconi tried but his charges still plague him.
Prosecutors again and again see their cases tested in front of administrative magistrates, and those magistrates make all of the decisions. Everything is very public, and judges explain how they decided (ask a typical US or UK jury to do that!) and how they arrived at their theory of the crime.
In the Perugia case the judge for Guede developed one theory of the crime, the judges for Knox and Sollecito at trial a second, and the the judges for knox and Sollecito at first appeal a third. In fact none of them swallowed the tentative prosecution theory wholesale, though many of our lawyers found it quite sound.
Those Who Attack
Now we have three Italians either already facing charges or soon to face charges - Mario Spezi, Frank Sforza and Raffaele Sollecito, each in several suits. These are in addition to the three Americans who have already been charged - Amanda Knox, Edda Mellas, and Curt Knox.
So the present total is six.
Spezi is the Italian sleuthing partner of the American fictionalist Doug Preston who for his uninvited interference in what was an ongoing police investigation of the Monster of Florence case has faced legal woe after legal woe in recent years.
Spezi has already lost one defamation suit to the former MOF investigator and prominent novelist Michele Giuttari, he must in February face another, and he may have to face up to another half dozen more after that. We don’t expect Spezi’s losing streak to end any time soon.
Sforza hides behind the name Frank Sfarzo as an intemperate and rarely accurate blogger on the case. He brings no known professionals skills to the task. He is reported to be the target of criminal charges relating to alleged abuse of the sister and mother with whom he lives. His unsavory reputation and desperate finances mushroomed openly the other day, when he was reported in personal confrontations while visiting Canada and Hawaii.
Sforza now faces a defamation suit as well, for claiming to the whole world via Doug Preston and Joel Simon of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York that he was being persecuted by a prosecutor back in Perugia. The prosecutor was not even involved. Seems to us an open and shut case.
Sollecito still stands accused in Meredith’s death unless and until the Supreme Couirt signs off. It may not do that any time soon.
Flowing from his new book, Sollecito will apparently face a ton of defamation woes in the next few weeks. These may come to ensnare his defense team (who are credited with helping put together the book) and his shadow writer, his Seattle supporters, and his publishers Simon & Schuster of New York.
Our emerging book corrections page shows how riddled with wrong claims we find Sollecito’s book. We estimate up to 300 wrong claims. If and when Sollecito sees all the defamation charges filed, we will know from court filings who among Italian officialdom claims passages in the book defame them.
Maybe the cases against these six could eventually all dry up and then there will be no more. But we sure wouldn’t lay any bets. Do an Internet search and you’ll instantly turn up plenty more defamatory idiocy. Many media sites may be very vulnerable and may be sued to retract and pay up.
Italian anger is riding high - and it sure ain’t against the prosecutors or cops.
Archived in Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxes by Sollecito, Sollecito book hoaxes, Hoaxers - main media, CPJ Joel Simon, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers, Reporting, media, movies, Other legal processes, Sollecito followup, Knox followup, Italian related
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
How Doug Preston’s Wrong Claims In His MOF Afterword Were Often Contradicted In The Past
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
[Above: Said to be Doug Preston’s nice workshop in coastal Maine where he apparently makes his stuff up]
This is our own “afterword” to Kermit’s Powerpoint post below on Preston’s Afterword in which Kermit quoted original sources to back up all his claims.
Our profuse quoting of original sources, including many translated ONLY by PMF and TJMK from the original Italian, is what gives PMF and this site such strength as points of reference used regularly by media on both sides of the Atlantic.
Preston doesn’t really seem to be able to provide references for his own work.
In his deeply anti-Italy MOF book, he offers no bibliography, no footnotes, no overview of key documents, few sourced quotes, and interview quotes that often seem stretched and maybe flat-out wrong (as with the one with Madame Bene in the Afterword, about the claimed non-investigation of the screaming drug addict in the square).
In a rather self-congratulatory comment Preston posted on the CPJ website 18 months ago, he claimed this.
Before publication [The Monster of Florence] was minutely vetted by no less than five attorneys in two languages in Italy, the U.K., and the United States. Since publication, it has been read by millions of people in many European languages. In all that time, and with all the millions who have read the book, not one significant error of fact came to light. Mario Spezi and I stand by every single assertion of fact in that book today just as strongly as we did when it was first published three years ago.
Really? Well, without sources to check, what exactly did all those lawyers do? The Afterword claims were published only in English, so that very few Italians who do know Italy and the case ever got a chance to provide alternative points of view - a few did, though, and there are several sarcastic Italian reviews on Amazon. In Italy, the more credible Guittari version outsells it 10-to-1.
Preston’s lurid and under-researched claims then of course went viral.
You can see his claims about Rudy Guede and the “14 hours” interrogation and the meanie Mignini and junk Italian reporting and the incompetent Italian justice system and anti-Italianism generally disseminated all over the web. Read things by Candace Dempsey and Nina Burleigh and Michael Heavey and Saul Kassin and Bruce Fischer and Nigel Scott and Joel Simon and you will see the Preston claims parroted there.
Even in Raffaele Sollecito’s book we are turning up some of the claims!
And yet literally dozens of correct statements of fact that contradict Preston’s MOF Afterword have been posted on PMF and TJMK and other sites and in various books over the past four years. These are just a few on the 14-page Afterword posted on this site alone.
1) Contradicting Preston’s claims about the incompetence of the Italian System.
- Click “They Were Held For A Year Without Even Being Charged!!”
Click Why The Italian Judiciary’s Probably Less Prone to Pressure Than Any Other In The World.
Click Why The Prosecutors In Italy Are Relatively Popular.
Click The Chief Enforcer Of The Constitution And The Rule Of Law is Wildly Popular Throughout Italy.
Click Italian Campaigner For Victims And Their Families Says The System Is Denying Them Justice.
Click A Token Balance In The Italian System: The Voice In The Court For The Victim
Click Compared To Italy, Say, Precisely How Wicked Is The United States?
Click Why The Totality of Evidence Suggests Knox And Sollecito Are Guilty Just As Charged.
Click An Overview From Italy Of The Galati-Costagliola Appeal To The Supreme Court Of Cassation
2) Contradicting Preston’s claims about the Knox “14 hours” interrogation
- Click Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #3 Raffele Sollecito’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis.
Click Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #4 Amanda Knox’s Multiple Conflicting Alibis.
Click This Testimony Does Not Seem To Have Gained Much Traction Here In Italy.
Click Italy Shrugs: Why The Defendant’s Testimony Seems To Have Been A Real Flop.
Click Dr Galati: Note An Example Of How Curt Knox’s Campaign Is Misleading American Experts And Audiences.
Click Dr Galati: Attacks On Prosecution By Curt Knox’s Hatchet Men Becoming Shriller, More Fictional #1
3) Contradicting Preston’s claims about Rudy Guede and his central role in the events
- Click Understanding Micheli #2: Why Judge Micheli Rejected The Lone-Wolf Theory.
Click A Visual Guide To The Staged Break-In Via Filomena’s Window.
Click Powerpoints #6: Trace Evidence Seems To Confirm More Than One Perpetrator At Scene.
Click Powerpoints #7: Forced Entry Via Filomena’s Window Fails The Giggle Test.
Click Powerpoints #10: Telling Evidence Against Sollecito The Experts Seem To Have Got Absolutely Right.
Click Powerpoints #12: The Telling Case Of The Doctored Footprint
Click The New 80,000 Pound Gorilla In The Room Introduced By The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation.
4) Contradicting Preston’s claims about the large knife and DNA in the house
- Click Understanding Why The DNA Is On The Knife.
Click What We Believe Are The Hard Facts On The Double DNA Knife.
Click Setting Out What We Know About The Mixed Blood Evidence Samples From The Massei Report.
Click Conti-Vecchiotti DNA Review Is Weak, Tendentious, Cites Non-Existent Standards
Click An Overview From Italy Of The Galati-Costagliola Appeal To The Supreme Court Of Cassation
5) Contradicting Preston’s claims about an evil Mignini and satanic illusions
- Click BBC Interview: Mignini Comes Across As Fair, Decent, Funny, And Quite Sane.
Click Prosecutor Mignini Offers Some Helpful Advice To A Factually Challenged Reporter
Click New Mignini Interview Makes Doug Preston Look Increasingly Incompetent And Vindictive.
Click What His Florence Conviction Means For Giuliano Mignini And The Case.
Click That Widely Watched LA7 TV Interview With Giuliano Mignini
Click Open Letter To CNN Head Ken Jautz: Reports As Terrible As Drew Griffin’s….
Click Full CNN Interview With Mignini That CNN SHOULD Have Reflected
Click Mignini’s And Giuttari’s Florence Convictions Are Overturned As Florence Court Had No Jurisdiction.
Click Dr Galati: Please Check Out What Looks Like A Mischievous Defense-Inspired Global Hoax.
Click A Ten Part Series Showing How Mignini Was Misrepresented By Preston, Sforza and CPJ.
Click Powerpoints #13: We Now Examine The Compelling Evidence For The REAL Railroading From Hell
Archived in Hoaxes against Italy, Florence MOF hoax, Hoaxes by Knox, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main media, CPJ Joel Simon, Hoaxers - main people, Preston & Spezi, Francesco Sforza, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting, The wider contexts
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Monday, September 24, 2012
Strong Trend: Increasingly The Good Lawyers Are On One Planet And The PR Shills Are On Another
Posted by Peter Quennell
This may surprise you. Jane Velez Mitchell is not herself a lawyer. In fact, she has only a possible journalism degree awarded by New York University.
She claims she was hooked after she “read his book until 2:30” and encountered him in some elevator - we have been puzzling over which elevator and when, for if it was an elevator in the Time Warner building in New York why was he not right there in the studio?
Of the three lawyers she had on the show, the two who did know the case (Wendy Murphy and the crime blogger Levi Page) came down very decisively against Sollecito. The third (Joey Jackson) knew nothing about the case, though even he thought the book was terribly timed.
In effect, Jane Velez Mitchell was carrying on like another PR shill. She really wasn’t any less amateurishly invested than Saul Kassin. Another non-lawyer - Saul Kassin is actually a psychologist.
Where ARE the lawyers for Knox-Sollecito?
All of them seem to have gone awol. Our main poster James Raper, himself a lawyer, sent out this invitation to speak up. In the five months since he posted that, not ONE lawyer has come forward.
Well, except for one strange burble from Anne Bremner, about RS and AK watching Amelie and that being their alibi - though the watching of Amelie took place three to four hours earlier. Even RS and AK didnt claim that.
Knox family legal advisor Ted Simon sounds rattled every time he talks, which he hasnt done since late in 2011. And poor lost Michael Heavey still can’t get to grips with the facts.
In contrast, we now have two of the foremost legal talking heads in the US - Wendy Murphy (a former prosecutor) and Nancy Grace (a former prosecutor) - saying the evidence is overwhelming.
In Italy the Sollecito lawyer Giulia Borngiorno, in face of the Galati appeal and possible legal trouble of her own over Aviello and judge-shopping, has become seriously silent. And Sollecito lawyer Luca Maori just had to distance himself from Sollecito, in conceding that Sollecito in his book had been lying.
Where are the PR shills for Knox-Sollecito?
Though they seem to have shadow-written much of the Sollecito book ostensibly shadow written by the real shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, Curt Knox’s hatchet men have become so nasty and so distanced from the real facts that they now repel classy media company.
To her great credit, a week ago Katie Couric was repelled - and she showed it.
However there are still a few out there shilling for Knox and Sollecito. We would include in the active shill group Andrew Gumbel, Sollecito book agent Sharlene Martin, and maybe the publisher’s own promoters (if any).
Also Jane Velez Mitchel of course now. Saul Kassin (a flagship shill who may have gone silent). And the shrillest of all the shills, David Anderson, Bruce Fischer, Frank Sforza, Nina Burleigh, and Candace Dempsey.
They all seem to have big chips on their shoulders, and of course financial stakes. Maybe that is what it takes to be a shill here? Sort of the opposite of a degree in law?
[Below Two Sollecito shills: ghost writer Andrew Gumbel and literary agent Sharlene Martin]
Archived in Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting, Straight reporting, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers
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Friday, July 27, 2012
Heads-Up To The Amanda Knox Forces: A Case Showing How Closely The US and Italian FBIs Co-operate
Posted by Peter Quennell
Meet Doctor Mark Weinberger.
That report about his arrest in Italy was broadcast in 2009. We last posted on him here.
Weinberger was apparently a wildly successful doctor who ran a sinus clinic in Indiana and lived a wildly affluent lifestyle a few milers north outside Chicago. In 2004 he disappeared off his large yacht which was then anchored at a Greek marina, and for six years his (very impressive) wife Michelle presumed he was dead.
In the meantime she had found out that he had actually been running a huge fraud, scamming health insurance and the US government via false billing and unnecessary surgery (often botched) for many millions. And that far from being left comfortably off, she was financially wiped out.
In 2006 in absentia she divorced Weinberger and started over.
In 2009 Weinberger was captured in the Alps by the Italian equivalent of the FBI and returned to the United States as soon as his extradition was requested. In perhaps 99 percent of all US-Italian extradition cases, the fugitives are handed over by both governments very promptly. This sure wasn’t any exception.
Weinberger began to lose the first of numerous civil suits a year ago, and on wednesday he pleaded guilty to 22 criminal charges in federal court.
His prison term is set at ten years.
One moral of the tale apparently still not learned by Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and their hapless ship of fools, so desperate for approbation, is this: much or most of the time it is the fine Italian equivalent of the FBI that they are misrepresenting and defaming.
In the past two weeks alone, we have seen new ramblings by Saul Kassin and Nigel Scott (engineered by Bruce Fischer) that to any informed lawyer are quite crazy. Kassin and Scott clearly didnt have the slightest idea WHO they were defaming or accusing of crimes.
Or how much more determined thier defaming makes the Italian FBI and other law enforcement agencies and the courts to give Amanda Knox (or Curt Knox or Edda Mellas) no special breaks.
The daffy Steve Moore first introduced this confusion way back here. And of course Bruce Fischer, Curt Knox’s hotheaded chief hatchet man, sustains it up to this day.
Eighteen months ago, Chris Mellas (whose business in Seattle is doing well) sensibly recommended from Perugia that the Knox campaign should finally acquire some cool heads and some REAL experts, and toss the trouble-making grand-standers they had acquired over the side.
Perhaps predictably, Curt Knox (whose business in Seattle is doing badly) reacted red-faced and steaming, and shot this seemingly quite smart idea down. So the abrasive, misleading, very amateur campaign goes on.
Added. We are now told that Frank Sforza and David Anderson are in Seattle, and Sollecito will be there soon, to actually jack up the level of defaming in the RS and AK “we were the victims” books being written.
Wow. THAT is Curt Knox’s end-game?l He ran that one past Chris Mellas? It seems universally believed in officialdom in Rome and Perugia that Curt Knox KNEW all along that Amanda did it. Apparently with good evidence.
Archived in Those officially involved, Police and CSI, Appeals 2009-2015, Other legal processes, Those elsewhere, Extradition issues, Amanda Knox, Knox-Mellas team, Francesco Sforza, More hoaxers
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