Collection: Nina Burleigh

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Serial-Burglar Arm Of The Rudy Guede Hoax: Testimony 2009 In Court Provided ZERO Proof

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Maria Del Prato in the inner courtyard in Milan from which her pre-school opens off]

1. Summary Of The Hoax

To the present day no UK or US media have ever reported properly this key segment of the 2009 trial.

Had they ever done so the now-pervasive notion of Guede as sole perp - lone wolf - would never have gained the ground that it has. UK and US followers would understand why ALL courts said three were at the scene and the breakin was faked. 

2. 2009 Trial Attempts To Incriminate Guede

All the testimony about supposed break-ins by Guede was presented by the defense on 26 July and 27 July 2009.  These were two lackluster half-days for the defense. 

3. Summary Of What It Amounted To

That trial testimony fell far short of providing the numerous Rudy Guede demonizers with all they now claim. Here are the witnesses the defenses called. 

1. Pre-school principal Maria Del Prato

She came across as understanding and fair. Maria Del Prato conceded that Guede probably had a key loaned to him by one of her staff which explained why no break-in charges were lodged.  Milan police did not just let him go, they checked his record with Perugia police (he had none and police knew little or nothing of him) and knew where he was for a possible later charge.

2. Christian Tramontano

He had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, merely a statement read, probably because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli sharply denounced him as having made things up.

3. Lawyers Matteo Palazzoli and Brocchi

Matteo Palazzoli had first encountered the break-in scene during a Sunday night visit to his office and found his computer gone. He did not elaborate very much, and seemed glad to be gone.

His colleague Lawyer Brocchi who had the least involvement talked the most - but he could be read as pointing a finger away from what he believed really happened for brownie points with the court.

Here courtesy of Miriam’s translations is the key 2009 trial testimony here and here. There are more images here. 

4. A Major Unfairness To Guede

We have knocked chips off Guede in the past, but how this testimony (albeit mild) opened the gates to a wave of innuendo was simply unfair. HE WAS NOT EVEN IN COURT.

Neither he nor his lawyers were there to cross-examine the witnesses or call more witnesses of their own and the prosecution did not ask even one question. Nobody asked what legal documents may have been involved.

This has allowed supposition to grow unchallenged, though it looked like a red-herring by the defenses at the time.

5. What Guede’s Team Could Have Brought Out

Note what Guede if his team had been present could have brought out:

1. Nobody in Italy is given precautionary custody simply for possessing several items none of which were reported as stolen which conceivably could have been passed to him by another perp. When those were later proven stolen Guede was charged and he was recently sentenced in Milan to another 16 months.

2. The French window one floor above the ground in the dark around the back would have been easy to break into on a Saturday night according to Matteo Palazzoli by simply climbing up the grill over the French window below and then using the balcony to break through.

This is very far from the supposed scenario for Guede breaking into Filomena’s window

    (1) during Perugia’s late rush-hour on a weekday evening with a lot of cars and people still around,

    (2) under a great deal of light both from the street lights and the carpark lights above,

    (3) bypassing several other much easier entrances all of them in deep dark,

    (4) while leaving no prints and no DNA anywhere outside the window or in the room,

    (5) on a day when as far as he knew all four girls were in town (in fact three of them still were).

3. Zero fingerprints were found in the lawyers’ offices though a great many items had been touched.

4. What appear to be the tools of a habitual burglar were left at the scene.

5. The burglar alarm dial-out had been disabled by someone who knew the special trick to doing that.

6. The copier was switched on and some quantity of copy paper and several USB drives with legal data were gone.

7. A front window had been opened and then not fully closed, seemingly to pass things through to someone waiting with a car.

Payback or warning by a legal opponent? Such things are not unknown. Neither lawyer ever systematically reported a theft to the police. No comprehensive investigation was ever begun.

Paolo Brocchi claimed he didnt even know that one of his cellphones was gone. Matteo Palazzoli never gave the serial number of his computer to the police. Palazzoli could only weakly testify that Guede came by - to say he was not the real thief.

Each seemed embarrassed to be put on the stand by a flailing defense and simply anxious to move on.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #2 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell



Exit route was via one of those windows; weeks later, Guede would come knocking at that door.

1. Overview Of The Post

This post provides the translated testimony of lawyer Matteo Palazzoli.

He was the owner of a Sony Vaio computer stolen from his office, which was possibly the same one that Guede was found in possession of. The previous posts on this aspect of the Guede hoax showed:

  • How similar to the back balcony route to a forced break-in of Meredith’s house was the supposed route into the Perugia lawyers’ offices.

  • How the testimony from the lawyer Paolo Briocchi on the office break-in pointed as much away from Rudy Guede as it did toward him.

There will be an overall assessment in the next post.

2. Testimony Of Matteo Palazzoli

Translation of the difficult language here and in previous posts was kindly provided by Miriam. MP stands for Matteo Palazzoli, the lawyer whose office was broken into. GCM stands for Judge Giancarlo Massei. LM stands for Sollecito defense lawyer Luca Maori. MDG stands for Knox defense lawyer Maria Del Grosso.

The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.

General information: Matteo Palazzoli, born in Umbertide, province of Perugia, October 9 1974, resident of Perugia.

GCM:  Please proceed.

LM:  Lawyer Maori, for the defense of Sollecito.  What is your profession?

MP:  Lawyer.

LM:  Where is your legal office?

MP:  At via del Roscetto no. 3, from Febuary 2007, if I am not mistaken.

LM:  Together with lawyer Brocchi.

MP:  Together with lawyer Brocchi.

LM:  Before you, Lawyer Brocchi told us of this theft you were subject to on the night between the 13th and 14th of October 2007.

MP:  Yes.

LM:  Can you give us information of what happened in that situation?

MP:  I was coming back on Sunday October 14, after being away from Perugia for 2 days, and before coming back… because I live close to the office, I keep the car parked with a subscription at the parking lot of Sant’Antonio [opposite Meredith’s house], therefore I walk down via del Roscetto regularly to return home, which is in via Imbriani [further down the hill behind the law offices]. In these circumstances, I sincerely don’t reacll the reason, I stopped at the office before returning home. I think it was 6:30, 7.00 pm, of Sunday afternoon, I don’t recall the exact time.

I went to the office, and upon entering the office, I noticed right away that something was not right, because to begin with it was October, and it was rather warm, I remember, and strangely the heaters were turned on and it was rather hot inside the office. The heaters were turned on and I immediately noticed upon turning on the light that the bathroom light was on, the restroom of the office. At that moment I didn’t notice anything else.

Then I turned my head to the right in respect to the office entrance , and I immediately noticed my jacket, a black jacket, and a jacket of Lawyer Brocchi’s laid out on the floor. Honestly I asked myself the reason for this. I went to the French window of the office that gives out to an inner courtyard of the building, and opening the inner shutters, I noticed the glass had been broken, and that the jackets had probably been laid on the floor to cover the broken glass.

At this point I ran to my office, that is in front of Lawyer Brocchi’s , and I immediately noticed, cautiously, that the only thing that was missing… besides the binders being completely opened, and the dossiers, in there turn, also were opened with papers strewn throughout the office, I noticed that my computer was no longer there, it was not where it should have been, and that the window of my office that gives out to via del Roscetto [a window in the image at top] that at first glance appeared to be closed, in reality was open. Therefore, it had been reclosed but not completely closed, probably,  don’t know why.. whoever entered, exited through my window, not closing it completely on the way out, I honestly don’t know the reason.

I did another round of the legal office, and I noticed again upon entering the restroom, the light on in the restroom. I went into the office of Lawyer Brocchi, and I remember that inside his office, on the desk of Lawyer Brocchi, there was a suitcase of his and on top were positioned, with a certain precision, certain objects, that I seem to remember were screwdrivers, I am frankly not sure if there were screwdrivers.

After having gone into Lawyer Brocchi’s office I turned and went into the waiting room that is there close to the conference room, and I noticed that there was a small pile of glass, that I don’t know where it came from, because the window of the waiting room… that is, no other window, if I remember correctly,  of the office was broken, in the office the only window that had been broken was the French window that gives onto the inner courtyard.

The window of the waiting room had not been broken and yet still, there was this small pile of glass, furthermore well arranged, in the waiting room. The copying machine was turned on, I don’t know for what reason,  several reams of paper of the copying machine were missing.

LM:  The person who entered had drunk beverages that were in the legal office?

MP:  Yes, I remember that it was a bottle of orange drink, if I am not in error, it was left in the waiting room.

LM:  Listen, you spoke of this computer that was taken on this occasion. Can you tell us what type of computer it was?

MP:  It was a Vaio, the outside cover was white. The distinctive trait is that differently… the distinctive feature of that computer is that it has a 16:9 screen that is high resolution.

LM:  It’s a Sony.

MP:  It is a Sony Vaio, that is a brand of Sony. It has a particular graphics, it is only one of a few computer that doesn’t change the type of color depending on how one roatates the screen. It was a laptop, in any case.

LM:  This laptop did you have any news of where it was… was it ever found? Was it given back to you?

MP:  In these days I have had ways to reconstruct, in my mind, the events and the only thing I have not had a way to… it happened in the succeeding days, I don’t remember exactly when, that while I was coming back from a client outside the legal office, Lawyer Brocchi called me to tell me that the police or carabinieri called from Milan saying that they had found our things, commenting: “you are always lucky, you lose everything, they steal everything, but you always recover everything”, “Okay”, I said.

I arrived back at the office and he told me about the call in detail, that it was… the police station, I sincerely don’t remember, of Milan anyway, they had called and they had found us because on the cellphone of Lawyer Brocchi… which in the immediacy of the event, we had not noticed had been taken because it was an out of commission cellphone and not used by Lawyer Brocchi, thus probably he did not remember in the immediacy of the event it had been taken, he did not realize at that moment.

Opening the cellphone, the message, if I am not in error,  “welcome Lawyer Brocchi” had appeared. Thus they were able to find us, and substantially tell Lawyer Brocchi that they had found his cellphone and my computer. Now, I said before, in these days before today’s judicial hearing I was able to gather my thoughts and furthermore I was never able to verify that the cellphone [note: he presumably means his laptop] that was found was effectively mine, because when Lawyer Brocchi and I went to the police station of Perugia to do the report, I did not have at hand, because my accountant had not given it to me, the invoice that indicated the specific model of the commuter. Thus, today I would not be able to say, if not…

LM:  Anyway the computer was not given back to you?

MP:  No.

LM:  Before you spoke of this telephone call by the Milan police station.

MP:  Made to Lawyer Brocchi.

LM:  Do you know if those [investigators] attached to the police station in Milan had discovered the perpetrator of the theft?

MP:  I sincerely don’t know, they certainly did not tell us. That is, we were told only that our things had been found, or rather, Lawyer Brocchi related to me that the police station of Milan had told him that the things we reported stolen had been found.

LM:  Lawyer, do you know Rudy Hermann Guede?

MP:  No.

LM:  Have you heard of him?

MP:  I have heard of him in relation to the renowned incident of this proceeding.

LM: Do you know that Hermann Rudy Guede was found by the police station of Milan, a few days before these matters, with your computer?

MP:  I don’t know that he was found with… or rather, at the time that Lawyer Brocchi related to me that the police station of Milan had called him, the police station did not specify the individual that was found with the computer. I think that in that circumstance they had specified that it was found on a boy that was committing a similar crime, if I am not in error, in a kindergarten in Milan.

LM:  Was it related to you by your assistant Doctor Morini, I believe that is his name, and by Lawyer Brocchi of an encounter that took place on October 29 with this Rudy Guede?

MP:  Yes, it was related… somehow in this case…when these things happen, unfortunately I am never there.

LM:  You were not present, it was only related to you.

MP:  It was related to me that a boy had come to the legal office, and a conversation had intervened between…

LM:  What kind of boy?

MP:  A colored boy, I gathered, had come to the legal office and held a conversation with Doctor Morini and probably even with Lawyer Brocchi, and declared himself absolutely extraneous to the matter and declared that he bought my computer legally , if I am not in error at the train station of Milan, I sincerely don’t know. This was related to me by my colleagues.

LM:  In any case, you exclude having had your computer returned?

MP:  No, absolutely.

LM:  That, by your knowledge, is in Perugia?

MP:  I think I remember having done a request of release [to Milan] that unfortunately was rejected.

LM:  If you do it here in Perugia, probably you will have a better result. Another question, before you spoke of the fact that when you entered the legal office on the evening of October 14th you saw lights on. The light that was on, where was it situated?

MP:  At the instant I entered the legal office, it was dark obviously, inside the office, and I had not yet turned on the light, I noticed the shining of the bathroom light on.

LM:  Had the bathroom been used?

MP:  The bathroom… honestly this I can’t tell you, that is I can’t know if it was used, from evident signs I think not, but, that is a simple supposition on my part , that does not have much value.

LM:  Thank you.

GCM:  There were no signs of it having been used.

MP:  Yes, no signs of use, no odor.

GCM:  This is what the lawyer was asking. Other questions? For the prosecution? There are no questions. Excuse me, probably just a peculiarity, the window that was broken, if you can give us a description? Are there inner shutters, outer shutters?

MP:  It is a French window that gives out to a small terrace that overlooks an inner courtyard of the building, and below our window, right in alignment, there is a door covered with a metal mesh, so much so that we supposed that whoever entered inside the legal office, one of the possible hypothesis, climbed that metal mesh, because it is a mesh, with squares not more than fifteen centimeters, thus perfectly usable for this purpose. It is a French window that has inner shutters. It doesn’t have…I don’t remember, I think it has… because there was a period when our legal office, for reasons of restoration, eliminated all the outer shutters. So I don’t remember if in that moment it had or not the outer shutters, I think not, but I would say something I don’t remember exactly.

GCM:  I also wanted to ask you, there were only the two jackets on the glass? Where there other items of clothing that indicated a search in wardrobes, or only these two jackets? 

MP:  Honestly I would not be able to remember.

GCM:  You remember of these two jackets, that one was yours.

MP:  Yes because I don’t think there were other clothingsd in the office. I don’t remember if there were others… besides the toga of Lawyer Brocchi, but it was left…

GCM:  I wanted to ask you, these jackets where [normally] were they? On a coat rack?

MP:  They were on a coat rack that is to the right of the entrance to the legal office, they were on a coat rack, a bluish jacket of Lawyer…

GCM:  Not in a wardrobe?

MP:  No, no, not in a wardrobe, on a coatrack.

GCM:  A coatrack.

MP:  A coatrack, yes.

GCM:  I also wanted to ask you, you spoke of a small pile of glass.

MP:  Yes.

GCM:  That is, what was it, a small gathered pile or scattered?

MP:  A small gathered pile of glass.

GCM:  Purposely put there?

MP:  I don’t know that.

GCM:  A little gathered pile, not scattered..

MP:  Not scattered glass as the ones…

GCM:  Not scattered glass but a small pile.

MP:  A small pile of glass.

GCM:  Originating from the broken window?

MP:  Probably yes even because there was no other broken window if not that one and there were no other bottle or other things inside the legal office.

GCM:  The computer, can you describe it? Seen as you said: “you gathered your thoughts” you remember something…

MP:  If I can see it, I will be able to say if it is mine..

GCM:  It’s not that the invoice has…

MP:  No, my computer is a Sony Vaio with a white cover, but the model is not…

GCM:  Okay.

LM:  With regard to the question by the President…

GCM:  Please proceed.

LM:  In connection to the glass, the glass of the broken window, was this glass scattered?

MP:  In part scattered, I gather, seeing as there weren’t others…that the others clustered inside the waiting room were from that glass, but not…

LM:  So there was glass scattered both inside the room where the window was broken, and in adjacent rooms?

MP:  Let’s agree that the scattered glass, covered by the jackets, was in the corridor that leads to the administrative office, which is to the right of the entrance and is in front of the French window from where the individuals had…

LM:  So, in conclusion, there was a scattering of glass…

MP:  Yes.

LM:  … let’s say with enough range…

MP:  More than where the jackets were located.

LM:  Thank you.

MDG:  May I, President, just one question?

GCM:  Yes, please proceed, Lawyer.

MDG:  Do you remember if you had inserted a password on your computer.

GCM:  Okay, maybe the last questions, on the computer.

MDG:  On the computer model, President.

MP:  No.

MDG:  It was not inserted?

MP:  No.

MDG:  Thank you.

GCM:  The witness is excused.

There are no other questions; the witness is dismissed.

 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #1 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell



Christmas in Milan where Rudy had an ambiguous encounter in a pre-school in October 2007


Our previous post showed the giant scale and surreal flavor, and the hard facts left out of the innuendo, of the crackpots of the Knox-Mellas campaign.

Innuendo will get them precisely nowhere. All the courts that have processed the case have warned about this, except for the hapless Judge Hellmann’s, and in March 2013 Cassation was especially sharp in warning that unless there is EVIDENCE to the contrary the hard facts presented to the panels of judges must be respected.

For evidentiary reasons exclusively, Rudy Guede has never been charged with breaking and entering. Guede got no breaks, ever, contrary to myriad claims.

The one questionable location where he was found was the nursery school in Milan. As he apparently used a key from one of the staff, any breakin trial would have been dead on arrival. No law required that he be detained. (He was however later charged with being in possession of stolen property,  and just a few days ago his sentence was extended by 16 months.)

The previous post in this series showed how similar to the BACK BALCONY route to a forced break-in of Meredith’s house was the supposed route into the Perugia lawyers’ offices. It had nothing in common with Filomena’s window, contrary to myriad claims.

This post and the next in this series show how the evidentiary proof that it was Guede (and not someone with a grudge or a trial opponent) who broke into the Perugia lawyers’ office is ambiguous and contradictory. Some signs point away from Guede, not least that photocopies apparently made of legal documentation (the copier was on and copy paper missing) would have required the use of a car.

This post is on the testimony of the lawyer Brocchi (owner of the cellphone) and the third post is on the testimony of the lawyer Palazolli (owner of the Sony Vaio computer). Brocchi was quite talkative, despite his minor role, and so we will hold our highlights and interpretation for the next post.

The extensive translation of the difficult language here and in the post still to come was kindly provided by Miriam.

The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.

General Information: Paolo Brocchi born in Rome, March 2, 1968

GCM: Please proceed.

LM:  Good Morning, lawyer Maori, for the defense of Sollecito.

PB: Good morning.

LM: It is an unnecessary question, but I must ask it. The first question is this: what profession do you hold?

PB: Lawyer.

LM: Where is your legal office?

PB: In via del Roscetto no.3 in Perugia.

LM: Did your office undergo a burglary in 2007, in October 2007?

PB: Yes.

LM: Can you tell us how this burglary took place, how the thieves got in, and what was taken?

PB: Certainly, the burglary was discovered by my colleague lawyer Palazzoli, the owner of the office, he told me about it on a Sunday afternoon, because the theft took place….. It was done between the night of 13th and 14th of October 2007, a night between Saturday and Sunday. The burglary was discovered by my colleague, the lawyer Palazzoli, on Sunday afternoon, because he entered the office to look for a professional file, and upon entering he discovered the burglary. The person or persons that entered inside the office, from what we were able to reconstruct together with members of the Squadra Mobile that intervened for us at the office, they entered through a window situated in the secretary’s office that was subjected to broken glass, the glass of this window was broken with the aid of a piece of porphyry, a big rock that we found there at the spot. The window was broken, then these persons or person turned the handle. The glass clearly was spread everywhere, because it was a rather thick glass. After which, on top of these pieces of glass we found our clothes. For the most part the glass was scattered on the floor and on top of the glass were our jackets, mine and my colleague’s Palazzoli, that had been hanging on the clothes hanger in the corridor right in front of the window.

LM: Excuse me if I interrupt you, to reconstruct the dynamics of the event exactly . It would seem   that the 13th of October was a Saturday.

PB:  From what I remember, yes.

LM: Your colleague had remained in the office until….........

PB: No, I stayed in the office. Saturday I remained in the office because I had a client on Saturday   afternoon, that was something anomalous, but it was for an urgent discussion. I called for a meeting that Saturday morning, then he arrived in the afternoon, and I left the office at 8.30 pm that Saturday.

LM: 8.30 pm that Saturday and after, the following Sunday, the evening…...

PB: The day after, Sunday, I was called on the telephone by lawyer Palazzoli, who told me “Look somebody came into the office, I have already called the Carabinieri”, who then because of the jurisdiction of the old town center, as we found out, alerted the Squadra Mobile of the State Police.

LM: Does your office have an alarm?

PB:  The office was fitted out with an alarm, but that evening it was not activated, because, as I reconstruct the event, it had just been installed. That evening I left at 8.30 pm. I remember perfectly that I did not activate the alarm system. The strange thing that I can highlight in connection here is that I noticed the alarm system the next day, when we entered, was not damaged, the bright light was functioning even if it was dis-activated, and the person or persons that entered did not damage the alarm, they only dis-activated the telephonic combination, thus with this they manifested a minimum confidence, a certain competence in the subject matter of alarms, of electronics, because to dis-activate a telephonic combination without damaging the alarm, I would not be capable, even being the owner, thus I would not have this competence.

LM:  One other thing. You spoke then about a window that …..

PB:  Yes, apparently

LM:  Was that the only break in?

BB:  Yes

LM:  Is it a window that gives onto the main street or onto a private court yard?

PB:  No, this window gives out to a private court yard that is than protected from the public street by an exterior gate. So it is probable…. I don’t know if can be possible…. because close to that window there are other windows of other apartments, there are… there is a window that is about one meter from the balcony of my office, so everything is possible. But this person or persons if they came from the public street would have to open a gate that gives on private property and then, with the help of I don’t know which tools, climb up for three, four meters on a vertical wall to then arrive to the terrace ,where was located my office, where it is still located, first up to this window and then through this window enter inside my office, if this was the way in.

LM:  However this break in took place in this window, three/four meters high.

PB:  More or less

LM:  Did you find a ladder close by?

PB:  No

LM:  Did you find other tools?

PB:  No. I remember that we inspected with the Squadra Mobile crew. I should say that the property below us has a door, an armored mesh and a particularly able person could have climbed up. Could have, I don’t know, this is just an assumption.

LM:  Anyhow it was not easy to climb up.

PB:  Absolutely not.

LM:  Before, you spoke about this rock, this porphyry..

PB:  Yes

LM:  Where was it found, inside or outside?

PB:  Strangely, right on the little terrace, evidently the person or persons that entered with the help of this very heavy porphyry because a double glass had to be broken, it was not a thin glass, but it was that type of glass utilized mainly for thermal insulation, certainly not for security reasons, evidently it needed a heavy impact in order to somehow succeed in the intent, otherwise a small piece of rock would evidently have been sufficient.

LM:  What was taken from inside the office?

PB:  So, at first we noticed that the office was in a state of general disarray : all the archive was turned upside down, all the files of the offices were piled up in a heap. But from the first inventory that we did there at the moment, this was missing: a new computer belonging to the lawyer Palazzoli, a note book the brand of which I absolutely do not remember [actually a Sony], a USB flash drive used to save data, a portable Canon printer which was mine, and then a few days later, when I was contacted by a crew of the Police of Milan, agent Spesi Rita, I realized that they had also stolen a cell phone, that anyhow was not working properly, that furthermore was included in the process of investigation (SDI) of the Police Force. Therefore there was also this cell phone, that beforehad I had quit using and didn’t even remember about, that was in the drawer of my desk.

LM:  Lawyer, were money and checks stolen too?

PB: No, there were none.

LM: On this I have to challenge, that you on the complaint of the burglary indicated also checks from the Banca delle Marche [were stolen].

PB: No I will explain the reasoning. Those checks at the first moment appeared to us not present. There was a block that was finished, but then after checking with the bank, those checks had been annulled, so in reality they hadn’t been stolen. The verification that we did at the bank the Monday after, highlighted that I had annulled those checks and the bank had trace of it, so nobody took anything.

LM:  Another thing before speaking of the recovery of the computer, you told us of the small havoc done inside your office.

PB:  Yes.

LM:  You spoke of the ransacking, in addition to, as you said before, of the broken glass with your clothes on top. Was also the photo-copy machine utilized?

PB:  I am not able to say that. It was easily usable because it was not code protected, but this I am not able to…

LM:  Did they turn on the heating?

PB:  Yes, when we entered the heating system was on, as matter of fact there was a torrid temperature inside the office, because it remained on, I think, more than 24 hours, in a month, October, that was not particularly cold. Furthermore I noticed that this person or persons that entered inside my office even made use of drinks that were in a cabinet, leaving…. they even opened the cabinet of the first aid meticulously looking for everything that was inside, but more than anything else disinfectants and blood pressure gauge, this type of things, but they really did an accurate selection of the material present inside the first aid cabinet.

LM: Returning to the computer, the property of…..

PB: Of the lawyer Palazzoli, yes.

LM: Was it discovered at a later date?

PB: Well, we never saw it. I say, that the 27th of October 2007, around noon, it was a Saturday, I was in the office in a anomalous way because generally I had the first 3 hours at school and the last 3 hours are normally always….. making 6 hours Saturday morning. But that morning I left early and I was in the office. A telephone call came in on the land line, a call from the police station Venezia Garibaldi from the Milan Police, the agent Rita Spesi, who told me that they had found an individual, of whom I was not given general information, nor the gender, I was only told that certain goods were on this individual, that if I remember correctly they were found inside a kindergarten, a school, an institute of learning, and in this instance, among goods that were in possession of this individual or better held by this individual, this person also had this cellphone. Turning it on, my name appeared, and from here the police officer by way of a search of the SDI system of investigation, saw my complaint of theft of October 15th 2007, and so she asked me if proveably those goods were my property.

LM:  Therefore the telephone and computer?

PB:  Telephone without doubt, the computer was described to me, it was not mine, I manifested doubts in the sense that…... well I had never seen it, or used it, because it was my colleague’s, who had just bought it, a short time ago he had just bought it. On the computer I manifested doubts. On the telephone, on the telephone however by way of the names of the address menu, the clients and friends of mine, I was able to confirm with certainty that at least my SIM card was on that phone.

LM:  It is a Sony model…..no excuse me…..

PB: No, the telephone is a Nokia.

LM: It is a Nokia, model 6310.

PB: Nokia, for sure, the model now not….....

LM: Like this one, so to….....

PB: Yes, exactly.

LM: 6310.

PB: It is the same color, if I remember correctly.

LM: However this is not yours, it is mine.

PB: No, fine.

LM:  Was the name of the person that was stopped given to you by agent Rita Spessi?

PB:  No, absolutely not.

LM:  Did you then find out the name of this person?

PB:  No, this happened on October 27th when the police officer calls me. All ends with this telephone call in which I stated I recognized at least the cell phone. On October 29th, a Monday afternoon I am in the office and on the phone with some clients. October 29th, I may be mistaken, but I believe I mentally reconstructed the facts in this way, I did not take notes, I must be honest. October 29th my attention - I was on the phone - my attention was drawn by a commotion in the lobby, the common reception area outside the office. I hear voices in the corridor, I am still on the phone, afterward I get closer to see that an assistant of the office, Dott. Luciano Morini, is speaking with someone. Before I can realize what is happening, he tells me “Look Paolo, here is a person that says that he was found with merchandise, goods, objects that were reported stolen by you and your colleague Palazzoli, but that he bought them in Milan close to the train station in central Milan”. At which I go to the corridor and I see, at the entrance of the lobby, a colored person that has a basketball in his hands and is dressed in sport clothes. These things surprised me, because we were at the end of October and it was kind of cold, it struck me quite a bit seeing this person in sport clothes, a tank top like those used by basketball players, and a basketball. I recognized the basketball because I played basketball for twenty years, so I know how to recognize one.  At that point I say: “Look I don’t know who you are”, he answered: “I don’t know who you are either”, I replied: “ Look we are only interested in having our belongings returned” and that was all. At that point I went back to the office. I don’t know if the person stayed in front of the office, and anyhow I close the door and there it ended. A few weeks later, may be a month later, I’m not sure, some time later I see on the newspapers photographs of a person that was associated with the matters of this proceeding, from which I recognized the person that presented himself that afternoon on October 29th, before the matters that brought to this proceeding, at the office to say that, yes he was found at that location in Milan by the crew of the Squadra Mobile, of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, that he did not…. tell me but tell to my colleague Morini, that he did not take anything from anybody but those things he obtained by purchasing them.

LM:  Who is this person? Can you give us a name and surname?

PB: Doctor Luciano Morini that…....

LM: No, no, I say…....you told us of your assistant. You said that this colored person that you did not know, that you saw for the first time October 29th 2007, then at a later stage had the means to see by the newspaper who it was.

PB: Yes.

LM:  Can you give us the name and surname of this person?

PB: I believe that I recognized in that person this Mr. Rudy Hermann Guede, that is not a defendant   in this proceeding, but is involved in the other one…..

LM: Always in reference to October 29th , at the moment this person came to your studio, you said : “This person arrived , and spoke with my colleague Morini”.

PB:  Yes.

LM: And he told you: “I do not know you”. These are the exact words that you said before?

PB: When I was on the landing, I said….....

LM: That which Guede said to you.

PB: That which I said to him, because I spoke first and said: “Look I do not know who you are”. He responds: “ I don’t know who you are either”, furthermore in a perfect Italian, with a Perugian accent, something that surprised me, because been a person…… but everything is possible. To which I told him, “look let’s cut it short we are not interested. We are only interested in getting our goods back ”, end.

LM:  But naturally you knew the subject of the discussion between….

PB:  Because a moment before Dr. Morini related to me “look there is a person outside that says that he bought goods that you and your colleague reported stolen, he bought them in Milan”.

LM:  One last thing. Concerning the computer of your colleague Pazzoli, do you remember the brand, the model?

PB:  No, I’m not able to answer.

LM:  Thank you.

GCM:  Please proceed.

LG:  Excuse me Lawyer Brocchi, I am Ghirga. Your office is on which street?

PB:  Via del Roscetto, 3.

LG:  First…. You already told us the height, can you repeat it?

PB:  The office is on a raised floor, technically, it is not a first floor, is a raised ground floor, that means that from the entrance of the building you go up ten steps to enter the condominium, then on the left end side there is the entrance to the office.

LG:  An what about this terrace window?

PB:  It is on the other side of the building.

LG:  From the outside how much can it…

PB:  Let’s say that are a few meters, may be three, four, but I am not able …..because I never measured it.

LG:  But you were speaking of an access from another street that intersects Via del Roscetto?

PB:  Exactly there is an intersection, Via del Lupo, going downhill.

LG:  Via del Lupo

PB:  Via del Lupo, if I remember correctly, it goes down till you reach a dead end, it comes to a courtyard behind the building and then there is another courtyard that is private property enclosed by a gate. If these person or persons entered through here they would have had to open that gate to get inside to what I described before to get into the office.

LG:  Thank you, I wanted to clarify that.

GCM:  Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  In effect I don’t know. Seeing as I was alerted to these happenings by agent Rita Spessi of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, sometime later, together with my colleague, we filed an application for the repossession of these goods at the central penal record office of the Procura di Milano, via Manara. After 24 hours an agent, an operator, or a clerk of the central penal record office, calls me on the telephone and tells me: “Look, Lawyer, we saw the application of release, but to us form 21, does not result in any procedure”. To which I said: “How can it be that no form 21 procedure shows up ? The agents would have done a CNR, or not? At least by the end of their duty, having found a person in possession of stolen goods should have reported…”, “Look , there are no results of this procedure”

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  Form 21, subject known, in the sense that in the Procura della Repubblica there are various forms, 21, 45, 44, relative documents, etc.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  No, I looked for it as a form 21, but even then they…..I even asked: “Be patient, I will look for it on the other forms”, to which he said: “We cannot find it”. Given that some time had passed this caused me some surprise. That’s it.

PM:  But they notified you (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  No, never.

PM:  So then this procedure in any case is not a charge (inaudible - outside the microphone)?

PB:  This I don’t know. I only say that the application of release, I filed it, and that the central penal record office of the Procura called telling me that they could not find the application filed by me and my colleague as the offended parties and no other relative documents regarding this procedure.

PM:  When did this happen?

PB:  2008, last year in the spring, months and months after…..

PM:  Did you by any chance verify if there was (unintelligible audible-outside the microphone)?

PB:  No, no.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

LM:  I oppose this question by the Public Prosecutor because I would like to make it known to the court that we know that there is a penal proceeding, the Public Prosecutor D’Amico in Milan even has it. We asked for the acquisition, and we have right here……

GCM:  Excuse me lawyer, what is the motive for your opposition?

LM:  Because the Public Prosecutor is asking if there is a penal proceeding, when in reality……

GMC:  Excuse me Lawyer, but the Public prosecutor is asking questions to the witness on what he knows. That if evidences comes out from other sources, they will be acquired. The objection is rejected. Please Public Prosecutor.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  Yes, it is a palace of the 15 century

PM:  Do you know, by chance, which was the path (unintelligible – no microphone)?

PB:  I can presume it, having found the glasses in the inside, that….

Note: in this moment the PM microphone is turned on

PM:  Therefore before I could not be heard.

GCM:  The answers have been…

PM:  The answers were…

GCM:  Yes.

PM:  I understand.

GCM:  The other questions… excuse me, the Public Prosecutor was asking if something to you results…

PM:  If there is a proceeding, and you say there is not one.

PB:  No, I don’t say there isn’t one, It does not result from me because the the central penal record office of the Procura di Milan, calling me on the telephone, referred to me the day after, that up to that date there was no registration. Now, everything is possible, that they it registered it later, I don’t know.

PM:  You did not have any news, in any case…

PB:  Never, never.

PM:  Did you receive an extension of the investigation?

PB:  Never, never.

PM:  Let’s go back to the position of this… then this office is on the ground floor…

PB:  Raised ground floor.

PM:  … raised ground floor. From what point do you arrive?

PB:  On via della Roscetto there are 2 windows on the raised ground floor, on the street front, that are the rooms of my colleague Palazzoli and mine. Then there are…

PM:  What is the distance from the ground?

PB:  From via della Roscetto it is minimum 3 meters, yes 3 meters, because I am tall… well it’s 2 or 3 meters. Then going down via del Lupo, there is a slope, until this public courtyard, because via del Lupo is a dead end. Thereafter, from this side the height increases, let’s say, it increases slightly after this small slope, therefore the ground goes up and there is an internal court yard that is accessible from the public courtyard through an iron gate. Going through this gate you arrive at this private courtyard, than there is an armored door with a mesh, so that one with the mesh is on the ground floor, looking up you see this balcony, this little terrace that is outside is my office, that is situated ….. more than three meters, between three and four meters from ground level.

PM:  So, this door with the mesh is a door and not a window.

PB:  No, it is a door

PM:  Therefore all the way to the ground.

PB:  Yes

PM:  How high is it?

PB:  More than two meters for sure.

PM:  So after this door, there is another meter to arrive… or a meter and a half, two meters?

PB:  I presume at least another meter.

PM:  Another meter to arrive to the balcony.

PB:  At least.

PM:  Where was the porphyry rock found?

PB:  On the balcony, on the outside.

PM:  You said that inside … can you describe what you found? How was the…..

PB:  The situation.

PM:  So the rock was outside.

PB:  The rock was outside, the glass was inside, the glass of the window in part on the corridor and they were covered with our clothes, mine and those of Lawyer Palazzoli, placed right on top of the glass.

PM:  They were on top of the glass.

PB:  On top of the glass, and the thing surprised us, “maybe” we said “to not make noise passing over them”, I don’t know, it is only a supposition. After which they were in the room of the photocopier other pieces of fragments of glass always coming from that window, the only one broken, they were situated on a small rug that was right in front of a workplace, a computer. Then right in front of this there were drinks, real close, open, partially consumed. Then we went into the other room, where the filing cabinet is, it was completely turned upside down. All the drawers were open, all the files were taken and the papers all mixed up on the floor, there were a mountain of paper, an entire archive practically mixed up, that many things we were never able to find, some later, some first, others later. Therefore this was the situation. Then inside my room, on my desk, there was a leather suitcase belonging to me, on top of this suitcase in a very orderly way were placed some screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, facing the window, all perfectly aligned and facing the window. Even here all the papers in disarray. A chest of drawers was opened, inside were files, all the records of the law practice funds, all the annual quotas of the inscriptions, all things that we found eventually with a lot of effort, mixed one on top of the other. Even here was another filing cabinet of my dossiers that was opened and all the papers mixed up. Then inside of the administrative office there were, there are all the folders with the contracts of the intensity bills, with the deed to the office, all upside down. There was the placement of the [printer] that was… let’s say there had been activity, because we found receipts scattered close to the machine, so there had been…at the least this person or persons had gone to satisfy themselves of what that instrument was. This was…

PM:  Listen, was the cell phone given back to you?

PB:  No, I asked for the release, I deposited …

PM:  So it is in possession of the police or the procura?

PB:  Office of the body of evidence, I presume.

PM:  Fine. I don’t have any other questions.

GCM:  Questions from the civil parties? None, President. The defense can complete it’s questioning.

LM:  I would like to deposit a record that naturally is in the dossier of the Public Prosecutor and on the basis of this record then ask questions of the witness.

GCM:  Maybe put this record at…

LM:  It’s about.. this can be useful to the lawyer because the number of the penal procedure that charges Rudy Guede is indicated and a warning effected on February 1, 2008 by the Procuratore della Repubblica, the assistant D’Amico, that is carrying out the investigation with regard on Rudy Guede for the crime of theft, receiving stolen good, and for the crime of carrying an illegal weapon, law 110 of ’75. This information was also given to the Procura della Repubblica of Peruga, to Dr Mignini, with communication via fax.

PB:  When was the procedure registered? Ah excuse me,I can’t…

GCM:  Let’s see the document. So the parties have seen this document?

LM:  There is an error in the writing of Dr Mignini (“Dr Minnini”) but it can be understood that it is his fax and and it was even addressed …

GCM:  Even the defense of Knox knows this…?

LG:  (unintelligible no microphone) ?

GCM:  The question in relation to this document?

LM:  The question is this, Doctor D’ Amico makes aware that all of the confiscated material and thus the computer and the Nokia cell phone, had already on the date of February 1, 2008, prior to February 1, 2008, been passed on to the police station of Perugia.

PB:  So it is in Perugia.

LM:  The question is this, I would like to know, did you request in the first days of the year 2008 to the police station the return of…

PB:  No, I did so to the Procura di Milan, believing that it was held in the body of evidence of the Procura di Milano, because those people told me they were found in Milan and that it was probable evidence of a criminal activity. Therefore, I thought to make a request of release to the Procura di Milano.

LM:  Reading the letter sent by Dr D’ Amico , for the Procura di Perugia, both the computer and the cell phone are indicated. Can you recognize the computer, property of your colleague?

PB:  I say that the cell phone without doubt was a Nokia; the 27th of October 2007 is true because it was Saturday; the Sony Vaio I cannot be certain of the brand, because I absolutely don’t remember it, because it was not even mine, , therefore I don’t know. The attempted aggravated theft, 56, 624, 625, 648…

GCM:  Only on the objects.

PB:  Yes. No, the objects… I can only say about the cell phone.

GCM:  So only the cell phone.

LM:  I ask for the acquisition so as to demonstrate that, indeed, there is a penal proceeding.

GCM:  Agreed. Other questions?

PB:  So it is pending in Milan. The strange thing that I can say to the president is this…  I see that it includes the form 21/2007. So I don’t understand why the Penal Central Record Office told me that it was not pending…

GCM:  Excuse me layer, let’s go back to the testimonial questioning, therefore on the circumstantial facts.

LM:  Let’s go back to the reconstruction of the entry path in your office by the thief. To the question by the Public prosecutor you explained, as you explained to me, that this window is at the height of about 3/4meters from the ground floor.

PB:  From via del Lupo, yes

LM:  Then you refer to a door, an iron door which is close…

PB:  Yes, I confirm.

LM:  And this iron door at what distance is from the window?

PB:  It is perpendicular just under the window.

LM:  So therefore there were, let’s say, coarseness on this door that could allow an eventual…

PB:  A fit person, not I; a fit person, not someone like me, could have climbed up with the risk of plummeting to the ground, because there is clearly no protection, there is nothing but a vertical wall.

LM:  I do understand. One last thing, the window from which the thieves entered as you indicated, is higher than the other windows?

PB:  No, because the office is on the same level and it is exactly…you mean compared to the office or as per the window height?

LM:  Compared to the street level and the other windows.

PB:  No, at this point, when you get to little terrace you are practically at the level of the other windows.

LM:  One last thing, when that man on the 29th of October that man, Rudy Guede, came to your office…

PB:  No, not in the office, he was on…

LM:  On the landing?

PB:  Not even, he was in the entrance… on the steps between the street and the entrance of the office…part of the lobby. He did not enter the office.

LM:  His intention was to come inside the office, to come to you?

PB:  I don’t know. As a matter of fact he didn’t know who I was, because, when he rang he rang on Legal Office, because evidently somebody had told him that those goods had been… but I repeat, I did not speak with him, therefore no… they are all things told to me by Dott. Morini, so they are not of my direct knowledge.

LM:  Thank you.

GCM:  When did this take place?

PB:  This happened Monday afternoon around 5, late afternoon on October 29th 2007

GCM:  So how many days after the theft?

PB:  The theft was October 13th, this on the 29th .

GCM:  If there no other question the witness is excused.

There are no other questions; the witness is dismissed.

GCM:  The communication from the Procura della Repubblica, Tribunale Ordinario of Milano dated the 1st of February 2008 is acquired in order to be used. Who is next?

LM:  Lawyer Palazzoli



Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Denial Of Parole For Rudy Guede Could Be Yet More Bad News For Knox And Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above and below: Mammagialla prison at Virterbo north of Rome where Guede is


Rudy Guede has been in prison at Viterbo for seven years less only several weeks now.

Despite his claims via closed-circuit TV that he has had an exemplary record and has nearly finished a college degree, the Italian parole oversight board in Rome has just declined his work release application.

Rudy Guede has been treated fairly, and does seem to have behaved himself, and there is zero evidence he was on a crime wave or dealt drugs or acted as a snitch for the Perugia police.

Despite that, he has never been given any breaks in the past seven years except as described here by the current system. 

That post in fact reflects the view of a number of pro-victim Italian judges and prosecutors who personally incline toward the UK and US practice of plea bargaining under which the accused puts realistic evidence on the table and rolls over on accomplices and shows real remorse, in return for which lesser charges are arrived at.

The grounds for refusing work-release parole were not published, but if this is a way of pressuring Guede into further pressuring Knox and Sollecito? Go for it.







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Much-Demonized Rudy Guede Is Back In The News And Increasingly Threatening

Posted by Peter Quennell





Rudy Guede has long DELIBERATELY been demonized so that the attack on Meredith can be assigned to him alone.

This description of Guede’s early days in the Ivory Coast and Perugia in the excellent Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson remains the ONLY one that fully checks out. Certainly not that by the dishonest PR shill Nina Burleigh.

Guede wasn’t especially an angel, and some in Perugia were iffy about him. But he had real friends, and up north he held a real job with a real career future, until that prospect imploded and sent him haplessly back to Perugia.

Late in October 2008 Judge Micheli discounted all that Guede ever said about his role in the attack on Meredith in various conversations and statements, and sentenced Guede to 30 years.

But Judge Micheli also concluded that there was no firm evidence either that Guede acted alone or that Guede was a drifter, drug dealer, knife wielder or burglar (Micheli was very sharp with one witness who claimed Guede may - may - have broken into his house).

In 2009 through his lawyers Guede enquired of the prosecution whether he might testify at the Knox-Sollecito trial.

But the prosecutions’ hands were already tied by the indictments and they (rightly) believed they had a really strong case regardless of anything Guede could add.

At the 2009 trial the defenses pussyfooted around and never settled for a firm position on Guede. They floundered in their subdued attempts to prove that Guede or somebody else unknown was the so-called Lone Wolf.

The Lone Wolf theory is really a zombie theory with so many stakes through its heart that no court will ever take it seriously.

Guede’s steadfast fallback position before and since was that he was only in the house on the night of the attack because Meredith invited him to come in and they began love-making.

At his late-2009 first appeal and also at Sollecito’s and Knox’s 2011 appeal before Judge Hellmann, he increasingly firmly pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito as the murderers.

Guede had been initially inclined to let sleeping dogs lie after he was mysteriously beaten up in the sex offenders wing of Viterbo prison, where prisoners are meant to be kept very safe.

But Judge Massei’s scenario of the attack on Meredith in his March 2010 Sentencing Report, with Rudy Guede as the lead instigator, really bothered him.

And in mid 2010 he became even more bothered when claims were made by a fellow prisoner the baby killer Mario Alessi that Guede confided that he really had committed the murder, along with two others. Not with Knox and Sollecito.

A very angry Rudy Guede in turn wrote a letter denying this which very rapidly went public.

In 2011 there was a tense confrontation in the Hellmann court (which several times descended into chaos) when this letter, in which by now Guede firmly accuses Knox and Sollecito, was read out for him.

Guede stuck to this position on the stand, and he was not required to face full cross-examination by the shrill, frustrated defenses because he was already convicted and no longer the one on trial. 

Seemingly fed up with all the dirty tricks against him and the now-incessant Knox and Sollecito mantras in the media that Guede had acted alone, he has come out with another letter.

Italy’s AGI News Service has posted this letter to an unidentified recipient, along with this report.

(AGI) Perugia, February 11 “Against me are being repeated false imaginated reconstructions of the crime for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way, in the public eye and not just in Italy.”

He apparently also posted what he wrote in his own hand on the Facebook page “Legal processes and their surroundings”...

The letter is on a sheet of notebook paper handwritten and signed by Guede.

“To my regret I am again forced to take a pen and paper and write for the sake of the truth.. to all those thousands of people who still believe in justice.”

“They can not access all the pleadings and components of this sad and extremely complex legal case which was dramatically painful for those who lived it . My sentence and judicial reasoning have been for too long subject to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings.”

“Against me are made continuous false and imaginary reconstructions for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way in the public eye and not just the Italian.”

“In the final judgment, as far as I’m concerned about these false and imaginative reconstructions, is that I was acquitted of theft and simulation of crime, a fact that I never hear mentioned in the various journalistic reconstructions.”

“I also want to point out I do not accept in any way to be passed off and continually held up as a drifter, a thief, a homeless man, seeing my person and my dignity offended continually, denigrated and stereotyped by facts and things that do not realte to me… when I had a beautiful family and precious squeaky clean and friendly relations in Perugia.”

Fast-forward to today, where reports say that Guede is getting close to day-release for study purposes and may only be months away from making more evidence against Sollecito and Knox public.

Our posting lawyer TomM has looked at the issue of Guede being allowed out to study, and finds it regular and humane in this assessment.

I respect the Italian system of criminal justice. Just as I recognize that the Italian courts have much better information than anyone posting on the internet relating to the culpability of the defendants in this case, I also think that the people who oversee Guede’s stay in prison are better informed as to his fitness to be reintegrated into society. That he would be allowed out during work days to become better educated, returning to his prison cell at the end of the day seems to me a more enlightened approach than what we do here.

We used to have training programs in prisons. I don’t know that they were “cushy”, but they did work, so that when these convicts were released they were equipped with a marketable skill and rarely re-offended. But, the public thinks these were too cushy, so more Draconian circumstances and longer sentences are now the norm. It used to be people were sent to prison as punishment, now they are sent for punishment.

Sometimes when a prisoner who has spent his or her entire adult life in prison completes the sentence imposed, they have to be physically dragged from their cells, so ill-prepared are they for anything other than doing time. With no skills, social or job-related, they re-offend—surprise, surprise. Sometimes re-offense is for the purpose of being returned a world that, for all its dangers is, to them, relative safety.

While it is certainly true that prison doesn’t have much impact on sociopaths, the one thing they are attached to is money. Taking away their money does impact their behavior, so there is an alternative to killing them.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Crime-Scene Clean-Up: How Rudy Guede’s Diary Provides Even More Proof That It Happened

Posted by pat az





This post is crossposted from my own place. Here is one of my previous crime scene analyses on TJMK.

Rudy Guede was ultimately declared convicted by the Supreme Court in 2010 of participating in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

The prosecution claims the two other participants are Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito are currently appealing their conviction of the same crime.

The case against the three of them involves a suspected clean up of the hallway in the apartment after the crime. Meredith’s blood was found in the bathroom, and half a footprint in her blood was found on the bathroom mat. However, there was no visible blood between Meredith’s bedroom and the bathroom.

The only visible blood in the hallway were faint partial shoe prints that led directly out the front door of the apartment.

After the murder was discovered, the media reported almost daily on developments in the case. The day of the murder, the press reported on the blood found in the bathroom and the bedroom.

But until police used luminol at the apartment on December 18th, the media didn’t report on any significant blood found in the hallway.  Between November 2nd and December 18th, only one person stated that significant amounts of blood had been in the hallway.

Rudy Guede.

Rudy Guede actually wrote about it in his diary between Nov 20th and Dec 6th, after being captured in Germany.






The police arrived at the apartment on November 2nd. According to media reports, the blood they spotted immediately was only in the bathroom and Meredith’s bedroom.  When the scene was more closely examined, after the discovery of the body, police found visible blood patterns on the floor left by Guede’s left shoe as he left the apartment.

None of the people who arrived in the apartment on the afternoon of November 2nd reported seeing them; these footprints are not in any of the stories of the events of Nov 2nd told by Amanda Knox nor Raffaele Sollecito. So, while these prints were visible, they were not substantially obvious.

On December 18th 2007 investigators applied Luminol in the hallway and other bedrooms. This forensic chemical is used to detect blood which has been cleaned away. The Luminol revealed several footprints in the hallway between the bedrooms of Knox and Meredith. Example below. Some of these footprints were leading towards Meredith’s door.



They also discovered prints in Filomena’s room which contained Meredith’s DNA and Amanda Knox’s DNA. They also revealed a footprint in Amanda Knox’s bedroom. (The defense unsuccessfully contested the investigator’s conclusions that these prints were made with blood).

On November 19 2007, an international arrest warrant was issued for Rudy Guede. He was arrested in Germany on November 20th. Guede remained in Germany until his extradition on December 3rd.

During his stay in jail in Germany, Guede wrote a long statement that was published and translated. Guede’s writings are similar to to Knox’s jail writings in many ways - they both try to write out their own detailed version of events, while pointing blame elsewhere. 

But Guede’s comments may in fact be confirmation of a clean-up after the murder of Meredith Kercher (emphasis added):

I am asking myself how is it possible that Amanda could have slept in all that mess, and took a shower with all that blood in the bathroom and corridor? (Guede, Germany Diary, P21)

The police did not find evidence of any other blood until December 18th, AFTER Guede returned from Germany. As indicated above, the luminol revealed multiple footprints in the hallway, in Knox’s bedroom, and in Filomena’s bedroom. The image below shows these results in blue. Guede’s partial footprints are shown in red.






The conclusion is inescapable: Guede knew there would be significant evidence of blood in the hallway, before the police themselves found that evidence.

How did Guede know there would be more blood found in the hallway, before the police found that evidence on December 18th? And why wasn’t that blood there on the morning of November 2nd?

The courts believe the blood in the hallway was cleaned after the murder of Meredith Kercher. And the Micheli and Massei courts believed only one person had the motivation to hide this evidence: Amanda Knox.

Here is a summary of Judge Micheli’s October 2008 indictment finding.

In Judge Massei’s December 2009 trial finding for the original conviction of Knox and Sollecito, he also writes about the clean-up that the judges believed to have happened:

Further confirmation is constituted by the fact that, after Meredith’s murder, it is clear that some traces were definitely eliminated, a cleaning activity was certainly carried out. In fact, the bare foot which, stained with blood, left its footprint on the sky-blue mat in the bathroom, could only have reached that mat by taking steps which should have left other footprints on the floor, also marked out in blood just like (in fact, most likely, with even more [blood], since they were created before the footprint printed on the mat) the one found on the mat itself. Of such other very visible footprints of a bloody bare foot, on the contrary, there is no trace. (Massei, Dec 09; PMF translation)

In defense of Guede, Knox, and Sollecito, some might try to claim that Guede heard about blood in the hallway in the news. Rudy Guede was arrested 18 days following the murder of Meredith Kercher. During that time he had access to read the news and watch reports.

I have searched for articles in the period between November 2nd and December 18 which mention blood. All of the articles I have found so far discuss blood in the bedroom or the bathroom. One or two discuss footprints leading to the front door.

None of them discuss blood in the hallway that would justify a statement from Guede of “tutto quel sangue nel bagno e sul corridoghe” (all that blood in the bathroom and in the corridor)

Guede himself said he went between the bedroom and the bathroom, so may have tracked blood into the bathroom and therefore known blood would be found in the hallway.

Even that knowledge however confirms a clean-up, as there was not a trail of blood between the bathroom and Meredith’s room that justifies the footprint on the bathmat and blood found in the bathroom.

I have my own questions as a result of Guede’s knowledge of blood in the hallway:

Could the attack have started in the hallway? Could the first blood shed have been on the hallway tiles?

The prosecution and courts argue that Amanda Knox had a role in the attack and murder. Knox and her supporters are very adamant that there is no trace of Knox in Meredith’s bedroom. While the courts argue otherwise, could Knox’s role have been limited to the hallway?

Sadly, we may never know the full truth of what happened on the evening of November 1st, 2007.

My timeline of media reports on blood

  • Nov 2nd: Meredith Kercher found. Blood found in bathroom.
  • Nov 5th: Police analyzing traces of blood from apartment below.
  • Nov 5th:  A “trail of blood” is on the inside handle of the door to the apartment.
  • Nov 7th: reports of Amanda Knox’s statements, includes finding blood in the bathroom.
  • Nov 14th: Police use of Luminol at Sollectio’s house. First reports on the knife seized by police from Sollecito’s house.
  • Nov 19th: Analysis of blood in bedroom (pillow, bra, etc).
  • Nov 22nd: Guede’s prints in blood.
  • Nov 27th: Amanda Knox’s blood on bathroom tap.
  • Nov 28th: Blood in bathroom.
  • Dec 5th: Reports of Guede’s letter to father: “there was so much blood”.

My timeline of main events involving Guede

  • Nov 2nd, 2am – 4:30 am: Guede seen by witnesses at Domus nightclub.
  • Nov 3: Guede leaves Perugia for Germany
  • Nov 11: Guede’s cell phone tracked in Milan (Corriere)
  • Nov 12: Newspaper reports a 4th suspect.
  • Nov 19: Guede identified as suspect in newspapers
  • Nov 19: Guede skype conversation with friend.
  • Nov 20: Patrick released from prison.
  • Nov 20: Guede arrested while trying to return to italy on train in Germany.
  • Nov 21: Guede interrogated by German police; Guede admits to being at apartment, blames an italian man for murder.
  • Nov 20-Dec 5: Guede writes diary in German prison.
  • Dec 3:  Germany grants Guede’s extradition back to Italy.
  • Dec 6: Guede returns to Perugia.
  • Dec 7: Guede interrogated by Magistrate.
  • Dec 14: Guede ordered to remain in prison.
  • Dec 17: Knox is questioned by Mignini.
  • Dec 18: Police use luminol in apartment and find footprints in hallway and in Filomena’s bedroom.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Questions For Knox and Sollecito: Why Claim Rudy Guede Did It Alone When So Much Proof Against?

Posted by Marcello




1. Problems Of Your “Guede did it alone” Mantra

Your attempts to frame Guede for the entire attack sound racist, and they fly in the face of a multitude of hard facts.

Why are you and your more untethered supporters arguing to the media that Rudy Guede alone attacked Meredith (he could not have), that he was a drifter (he wasnt), a burglar (he wasnt), and drug dealer (he wasnt), and that his DNA traces are “all over Meredith’s room” (they werent)?

There are surprisingly few DNA traces of Guede in there, and outside Meredith’s door there is only evidence of (1) his prior use of the south bathroom, and (2) his shoeprints headed straight for the front door.

There is zero evidence that Rudy Guede was ever in the shared bathroom (the one with Sollectio’s bloody footprint on the bathmat) and zero evidence he was in Filomena’s room (the one with the broken window and the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox). 

2. Evidence Against You Is Far, Far Stronger

Explain if you can about Sollecito’s bloody footprint. Explain if you can about the evidence of cleanup. Explain this and this about your multiple contradictory alibis.

Explain if you can why YOUR own witnesses Alessi and Aviello were such disasters for your side in court. Explain your cell phone actions (or non-actions) and the timing and content of your phone calls, and your computer actions (or non actions).

Explain why in Sollecito’s book he claims he sent several emails throughout the night; but there zero records of such emails with his email provider. Explain why both Sollecito and Knox framed Dr Mignini.

There are three compelling reasons above all why the Massei court and the Supreme Court will remain totally unbending on the point that Guede did NOT attack Meredith alone, and that it had to be a pack attack on Meredith.

  • One is the full day of closed court testimony at trial by crime-scene experts from Rome who accounted for every point of evidence in Meredith’s room with a depiction of a 15 minute pack attack involving three people. This seriously upset the jury and your own defense was left essentially speechless.

  • One is the prosecution’s video shown in closed court during Summations of the recreation of the attack on Meredith, which accounted for every point of evidence with a 15 minute pack attack involving three people.  This seriously upset the jury and your own defense was left essentially speechless
  • .
  • One is that the entry of an attacker via Filomena’s room is so absolutely unbelievable. Your own defense always knew this, and barely tried to make that sale (hence the witnesses Alessi and Aviello).

There are seven other routes for a burglar to enter the house, all of them faster and quieter and five of them darker. You can see five in these images below: two via the east windows, three up onto the balcony and into the house via the louvre door or the kitchen window.

All seven routes would be obvious to any burglar, long before he walked all the way around the base of the house to beneath Filomena’s window (which he did several times in your scenario). 

3. The Numerous Questions From Which You Hide

On or after 6 November you have both promised to appear in the appeal court in Florence. You are apparently too nervous to face cross-examination under oath, but you have said you intend to try to explain things.

    1) Rudy Guede had been to the apartment at least twice already on prior occasions and knew the boys who lived in the lower story. Why did Guede choose to NOT break-in to the lower story where he knew (or could ascertain) that all four boys were away on holiday, and therefore could break-in and rummage with some certainty of not getting caught?

    2) Why did Guede choose to break-in to the upper story of the villa when he surely knew Knox and Kercher would be staying at the villa for the holidays and could have returned at any time to “catch him in-the-act”?

    3) Why did Guede not check the cottage to make sure no one was there before attempting the break-in? Surely he would have verified that no one was present by circling the cottage and checking if any lights were on in the windows.

    4) If Guede did circle the cottage to make sure no one was there before attempting the break-in, why would he then choose the most visible and more difficult path of entry through a second story window, as opposed to the more hidden and easier path of break-in at the back of the villa, which he would have noticed while circling the villa?

    5) Why would Guede choose to break-in through a second story window that was highly exposed to the headlights of passing cars on the street as well as exposed to night lighting from the carpark?

    6) Ms. Romanelli testified that she had nearly closed the exterior shutters. Assuming her memory is correct, there is no way a burglar could easily verify if the windows were latched and if the inner scuri were latched to the window panes, which would make access to the window latch impractical unless one was armed with a core drill or an ax. Why would Guede, who was certainly familiar with such windows, choose to attempt the break-in through a window that he could not easily verify would allow him quick access?

    7) Assuming the shutters were closed, Guede would have to climb up the wall and open the shutters before smashing the window with the rock. The night of the murder, the grass was wet from rain the previous day. Why was there no evidence of disturbed grass or mud on the walls?

    8) Guede had Nike sneakers, not rock climbing shoes. How did he manage the climb up the wall with that type of footwear?

    9) If the shutters were closed, or somewhat closed, how did Guede manage to lift himself up to the sill with only an inch of sill available to grab onto?

    10) Assuming Guede opened the shutters, how did Guede verify if the inner scuri where not latched to the window panes, which would prevent access to the window latch? There was no light inside Ms. Romanelli’s room to reveal that the scuri were ajar.

    11) Assuming Guede managed to check that the inner scuro behind the right-hand window was not latched, how did he manage to break the glass with a 9 lb rock with one hand while hanging on to the sill with the other?

    12) Assuming Guede managed check that the right-hand inner scuro was not latched, how did he break the glass with the rock without having glass shards fly into his face?

    13) If Guede climbed down to the lob the 9 lb rock at the window from 3 meters below, how would he do so to avoid glass shards raining down on him?

    14) If Guede climbed down to the lob the rock at the window from below, why would he choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to lob up to a window 3 meters above him, with little chance of striking the window in the correct fashion?

    15) If Guede climbed down again and climbed back up to the carpark (up a steep slope with slippery wet grass and weeds) to lob the 9 lb 20 cm wide rock from the car park, why is there no evidence of this second climb down on the walls?

    16) Why did Guede choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to throw from the car park, given that a large, heavy rock would be difficult to lob with any precision? Especially considering that the width of the glass in the window pane is only 28 cm wide, surely anyone, experienced or not, would have chosen a smaller, lighter rock to throw with greater precision.

    17) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Guede would have been roughly 11-12 feet away from the window, in order for the lob to clear the wood railing at the carpark. If the rock was thrown with some velocity, why is the upper 1/2 of the glass in the window pane intact, without any fracture cracks at all?

    18) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Why is there so little damage to the scuro the rock hit, so little damage to the terrazzo flooring impacted by the rock, and so little damage to the rock itself, which surely would have fractured more on impact with a hard terrazzo floor?

    19) Why was there no evidence of glass shards found in the grass below the window?

    20) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window, how does he manage to hoist himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill?

    21) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, hoisted himself onto the sill, tapped the glass with a 9 lb rock to lightly break the glass in a manner more consistent with how the window was broken, why did he throw the rock into the room, rather than let it fall into the grass below?

    22) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found on the window sill?

    23) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found in Romanelli’s room?

    24) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window again, hoisted himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill, unlatched the window and stepped inside Filomena’s room, how did he manage to get glass on top of Romanelli’s clothing that was found under the window sill?

    25) Why would Guede, who would have spent a good 10 minutes trying to break and enter with the climbing up and down from the carpark, waste valuable time throwing clothes from the closet? Why not simply open the closet doors and rifle through the clothes without creating more of mess?

    26) Why did he disregard Romanelli’s laptop, which was in plain view?

    27) Why did Guede check the closet before checking the drawers of the nightstand, where surely more valuable objects like jewelry would be found?

    28) Why were none of the other rooms disturbed during the break-in?

    29) Assuming Ms. Kercher arrived to the cottage after Guede’s break-in, presumably when Guede was in the bathroom, why did she not notice the break-in, call the police and run out of the cottage?

    30) Assuming Guede was in the bathroom when Ms. Kercher returned, why go to the extent of attacking Ms. Kercher in her room rather than try to sneak out the front door, or through the window he had just broken, to avoid if not identification, at least more serious criminal charges?

    31) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, why did she not call the police the moment she heard the rock crash through the glass, loudly thud to the terrazzo floor and investigate what was happening in Romanelli’s room while Guede was climbing back down from the car park and climbing back up to the window?

    32) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, Guede could have been on the sill already because he had tapped the glass with the 9 lb rock to break it. Therefore perhaps Guede was already partially inside Romanelli’s room when he was discovered by Ms. Kercher. In this case Guede follows Ms. Kercher to her room in an attempt to dissuade her from calling the police and the assault ensues. But then, if this scenario is correct, when does Guede have time to rifle through Romanelli’s clothing and effects?

    33) Why is there a luminol revealed footprint in Romanelli’s room that has mixed traces of Knox’s and Kercher’s DNA ?

    34) Why does this footprint not match Guede’s foot size?

    35) If multiple attackers were required to restain Ms. Kercher, holding her limbs while brandishing two knives and committing sexual violence, then who else was with Guede and why no traces of this 4th (or more) person(s) were found, either in shoeprints, footprints, fingerprints, DNA or otherwise?

    36) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why has Guede not acknolwedged them, and instead consistently hinted that, and finally admitting that Sollecito and Knox were with him during the assault?

    37) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why do the other shoeprints, footprints, DNA traces and fingerprints all point to Knox and Sollecito being present during the assault, in one way or another?


4. Italy Is Not Buying The Racist Mantra

If your racist mantra remains “the black guy did it alone” and “Italians are corrupt and stupid” you need to PROVE that. If you cannot answer all of these questions above, this will deservedly cook you.

You could be facing 30 years with the “mitigating factors” canceled and the new penalties you will incur for your dishonest books and PR campaigns.


[Five easier ways in: 3 via balcony (note two drainpipes, window grid below), 2 via side windows]










Friday, April 19, 2013

Tips for The Media: In Fact Guede Absolutely Couldnt Have Attacked Meredith Alone

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Bongiorno in 2011 trying to rattle an unshakable Guede claiming Knox and Sollecito did the crime]


The convicted murderer Rudy Guede to this day claims that Meredith let him into the house, so we cut him no slack for that.

But at the same time he was no drifter or serial knife carrier, he had no police record in 2007 (unlike Knox and Sollecito), and no drug dealing or breaking-and-entering has ever been either charged or proved.

In October 2008 Judge Micheli mistrusted and sharply rebuked a witness who claimed it just might have been Guede who broke into his house.

Guede seriously discounted his role on the night of Meredith’s death, but some physical evidence (not a lot) proved he had played a part in the attack. Thereafter his shoeprints lead straight to the front door.

Neither Judge Micheli nor Judge Massei nor the Supreme Court believed he acted alone or had any part in the very obvious cleanup that had been carried out.

The Knox and Sollecito defenses failed miserably to prove he climbed in Filomena’s window, and they never even TRIED to paint him as the lone attacker. That is why in 2011 we saw two of the most bizarre defence witnesses in recent Italian legal history, the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello, take the stand

Alessi got so nervous in claiming Guede told him Guede did it with two others that he was physically sick and had to take time off from the stand.

Aviello claimed his brother and another did it (not Guede) but then claimed the Sollecito family via Giulia Bongiorno floated bribes in his prison for false testimony.

Tellingly, although Bongiorno threatened to sue Aviello, she never has. Even more tellingly, Judge Hellmann himself initiated no investigation and simply let this serious felony claim drop dead.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of 20 reasons why Rudy Guede did not act alone, and why not one scrap of evidence has ever been found for any other two other than Knox and Sollecito themselves. 


1.    Included in Guede’s Supreme Court’s Sentencing Report was the fact that Meredith sustained 43 wounds

This fact was omitted from the Hellmann & Zanetti [H/Z] Report, for reasons that readers can only guess. This fact was also omitted from the Massei Report, probably out of humane respect for the feelings of Meredith’s family.

Its inclusion in the Supreme Court’s Report reflects the report’s factual completeness.  The PMF translation reads, in relevant part:

c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone….

Including the number of minutes occupied by an initial verbal confrontation, the escalation of that confrontation into taunting and then the physical attack, leading to the infliction of 43 wounds, and to the fatal stabbing, how many minutes would all of this occupied?

The prosecution estimated it took fifteen.


2.    Meredith had taken classes in dance and played sports (football, karate)

See the Massei Translation, p23


3.    Meredith was a strong girl, both physically and in terms of temperament

See the statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie (hearing of June 6, 2009). and description of her karate “sustained by her strong character” (Massei Translation, pp23, 164, 366, and 369).


4.    Meredith must have been ‘strongly restrained’

See the Massei Translation, p371; p399, in the original


5.    Meredith she remained virtually motionless throughout the attack

That was in spite of Meredith’s physical and personality characteristics [Massei Translation p369]  [Massei Translation p370-371].


6.    The defensive wounds were almost non-existent

See the report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos. Massei Translation p370.


7.  One killer alone could not have inflicted the 43 wounds with so few defensive wounds.


8.    There must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime

See the Massei Translation p377.


9.    A lone killer would have to use at least one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to hold one knife.

To use 2 knives a lone killer would have to place 1 knife down, leaving blood-stain[s] wherever it was placed, and then reach for the other knife. Even wiping the blades on the killer’s clothes, using the one hand, and later scrubbing of the knives would not erase all the blood, as has already been demonstrated.


10.    Two killers could divide their attacks by one killer using both hands/arms to restrain Meredith

Meanwhile the other killer used one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to use the various knives. Could a lone killer accomplish all that?


11.    The clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear) had been removed.

See the Massei Translation p.370

“It is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.” [Massei Translation p.370]



12.    Meredith’s sweatshirt had been pulled up and removed.

See the [Massei Translation p.370


13.    Meredith’s bra had been forcibly unhooked

See the Massei Translation p.370


14.    Meredith’s bra had been torn

See the Massei Translation p.370


15.    Meredith’s bra had been cut

See the Massei Translation p.370


16.    Violence to Meredith was revealed by the genital swab.

See the Massei Translation p.370

.
17.    In the H/Z Appellate Proceedings, not only did Sollecito’s Lawyers not allege a lone killer

They themselves brazenly introduced false testimony to the effect that there were two other killers.


18.    Even H/Z did not deny the complicity of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Even H/Z seemed to conclude they are probably guilty, but not beyond a reasonable doubt:

… in order to return a guilty verdict, it is not sufficient that the probability of the prosecution hypothesis to be greater than that of the defence hypothesis, not even when it is considerably greater, but [rather] it is necessary that every explanation other than the prosecution hypothesis not be plausible at all, according to a criterion of reasonability. In all other cases, the acquittal of the defendant is required.” [H/Z p.92]



19.    Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial, found that Guede did not act alone

And that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.


20.    Judge Massei’s court found that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

He concluded they were joint perpetrators with Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher


Overwhelming, right? Is it really reasonable to claim as Sollecito did in his book that Guede was a lone-killer?  Doesn’t all this contradict the lone-killer theory beyond a reasonable doubt?


Monday, April 01, 2013

One Final Word On Nina Burleigh In Response To Those Saying She Got It Right And We Wrong

Posted by The Machine





Actually Burleigh didnt get very much right. I’ve dipped into the book and read various articles and they all stray from the truth.

Here is our review of one major aspect of the book which shows what damage to the truth it does.

Many of the pro-Burleigh commenters on the Time website and also many reviewers on Amazon dont seem to realise just how hard and fast Burleigh played with the facts.

Poor understanding of the evidence, poor grasp of the law, terrible fact checking, emotions run wild, and zero grasp of the Italian language, account for her very inaccurate work. This really is her Achilles heel.

As our responses scroll fast in comments at Time and we have only so many hours in the day, here below are ten quick examples for Burleigh supporters of how easily she screws things up.

The book is being officially examined and Nina Burleigh will surely in due course be confronting a much longer list.

    1. She falsely claimed in her book The Fatal Gift of Beauty that Meredith Kercher was born on 28 December 1986 (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, Dramatis Personae).

    According to the Massei report, her actual birthday is 28 December 1985 (p23).

    2. She falsely claimed in her book that Rudy Guede was on 26 December 1983 (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, Dramatis Personae).

    According to Rudy Guede’s sentencing report, he was born on 26 December 1986 (p2).

    3. She falsely claimed that Rudy Guede’s DNA was inside Meredith’s purse (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, p14).

    According to the Massei report, his DNA was found on Meredith’s purse (p43). The Micheli report specifies that his DNA was found on the zip.

    4. She falsely claimed that Rudy Guede’s prints were on Meredith’s walls (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, p14).

    The Scientific Police were unable to identify any fingerprints on Meredith’s walls. Guede was identified by a bloody palm print on a pillow case. (Micheli report, pages 10-11, The Massei report, p43, Rudy Guede’s sentencing report, p5).

    5. She falsely claimed on the Sound Authors website that Mignini charged Knox with participating in a satanic rite.

    Mignini has never claimed Meredith was killed during a satanic rite. In fact, he has specifically denied ever claiming this. In his letter to LInda Byron, he stated the following:  “On the “sacrificial rite” question, I have never said that Meredith Kercher was the victim of a “sacrificial rite”.

    Mignini told Drew Griffin the following in an interview on CNN:  “I have never said that there might have been a satanic rite.”

    6. She falsely claimed that Amanda Knox described a “vision” in her handwritten note to the police (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, XXIV Timeline).

    Amanda Knox never claimed she had a “vision” in her handwritten note or any of her witness statements.

    7. She falsely claimed in an article for Time that there were only two elements of “material evidence” against Knox and Sollecito - Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp and Meredith’s DNA on Sollecito’s kitchen knife.

    According to the prosecution’s experts, there were five instances of Knox’s DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage. Even Amanda Knox’s lawyers conceded that her blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood.

    In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were both bleeding at the same time.

    According to the imprint experts, the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede.

    Knox’s and Sollecito’s bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol in the hallway.

    8. In the same article, she falsely claimed that the knife was picked at random.

    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.

    9. Another false claim from the article was that Rudy Guede left fingerprints at the crime scene.

    He didnt. None at all.

    10. In an article for the Columbia Chronicle  she falsely claimed that freedom of speech doesn’t exist in Italy.

    Pretty bizarre. She should learn to read some Italian. They have as many freedoms as those in the US and UK. And the incarceration rate is 1/7 that of the US.

    11.She falsely claimed in a Time article that the prosecutors painted Amanda Knox as an “angel-faced she-devil”.

    It wasn’t prosecutors who painted who Amanda Knox as a “she-devil”, it was Carlo Pacelli, the lawyer who represents Diya Lumumba, at the trial in 2009.

    Carlo Pacelli’s comments were widely reported by numerous good journalists who were present in the courtroom, so this would have been really easy to check. .

    Barbie Nadeau describes the moment he referred to Knox as a she-devil in some detail in Angel Face: “Who is the real Amanda Knox?” he asks, pounding his fist in the table. “Is she the one we see before us here, all angelic? Or is really a she-devil focused on sex, drugs, and alcohol, living life on the edge?”

    “She is the luciferina-she devil.” (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, page 124).

 

Posted on 04/01/13 at 11:59 AM by The MachineClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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Friday, March 29, 2013

More On The Ill-Considered Campaign of Vilification By The Sour Knox PR Shill Nina Burleigh

Posted by Peter Quennell





REALLY not a good time for the sour PR shill Nina Burleigh to be entering into attack mode. Much better to be covering her tail.

One book is already being investigated by the chief prosecutor of Florence (the same one that will oversee the repeat appeal) for contempt of court in attempting to interfere with an ongoing legal process.

Sollecito and his team might face years in court and millions in awards - and Burleigh’s defamation-riddled The Fatal Gift Of Beauty which flatly accuses many Italian officials of crimes is already a candidate for a similar outcome. 

Good luck with that one. She could be paying out for years. Nina Burleigh now seems to me a tad delusional - making things up, not for the sake of lying for an advantage, but simply because her mind sorta works that way, and so she shoots herself in the foot.

Skeptical Bystander of PMF has already rebutted Burleigh’s claims against her, in this post immediately below. This was my own experience with Nina Burleigh.


Request for assistance from Nina Burleigh

Burleigh really didnt have any good cause to pick a fight with me as I have always treated her extremely well.  I met her personally only once - in August 2009 - but we emailed frequently though most of 2009.

The meeting grew out of this post.  I emailed the link to that post to Nina Burleigh via her blog;  and also to John Follain, who thanked me politely.

She emailed back that she was surprised to have landed the assignment, as she had no expertise in that area, but her publisher had recommended it. She said she could use any help. I said I would see if our contacts in Rome and Perugia could help her.

She moved to Perugia in the spring for a month or two and as she has no Italian some arrangement was made for an interpreter. She attended some of the court sessions. As agreed, I emailed various contacts asking if they might want to help her.

The reaction across the board however was no. 

Burleigh was being seen constantly in the Knox-Mellas entourage and was already regarded as a doubtful reporter at best, one who had already lost her cool.


Burleighs request for a meeting

She returned to New York, after Knox had been two days on the stand, to rustle up more money and take her family back with her. She emailed me for a meeting to share tips and information, and was hoping we might open a way to the Kerchers. (We never do.)

I asked her if she was neutral and independent, or working for the PR scheme. I would not have met with her if she hadn’t promised by return that her mingling with the Knox-Mellas crowd was for show, just an act, really she was secretly neutral.

Based on that guarantee, she and I met for an afternoon and evening at her summer place in the Delaware gorge two hours west of New York.

We had lunch in the village, when she presented me with a signed book, and then we moved to the kitchen of her house, a converted schoolhouse. Her children were playing in there so we moved upstairs to sit at a table in her bedroom.


Burleigh says Knox seemed psychopathic

I explained the case from the prosecution side and she seemed to do her best to follow along, busily generating notes. She VOLUNTEERED that she had concluded that Knox was a psychopath during Knox’s stint on the stand. She said the realization had kept her awake at nights some.

I didnt prompt her or make that up - how would I have possibly known? In fact until then I didnt even know she’d been in the court.

She did tell me this assignment would be a financial strain. None of her books had covered their costs. The publishers’ advance was a small one, Italy is expensive, and she joked that she might have to give up her Manhattan apartment.

Oddly, she managed to stay in Perugia for most of a year. Wonderful how those savings stretched out so.


Subsequent emailing between us

We kept in touch for a few months after she went back to Perugia with her family. She asked me for some more help in making contacts. Here below is an email exchange late in October - ten weeks after we had met.

This is also six week after she claims she questioned the bucket and mop claims on this site and concluded we had facts wrong and were not to be trusted (she never actually emailed a question, and we never did make the “bucket and mop” claim she invented). 

1 MY EMAIL 21 OCTOBER

>>    Long time no talk. I still owe you some stuff and my knowledge seems to grow daily. I just drove to Seattle, and had nearly a week getting in deeper there.
>>
>>    Are you staying on there in Italy until the whole thing is done?  The other publishers’ publicists have been emailing me, and we have talked several times.
>>
>>    I could be in London soon and if so in Perugia.
>>
>>    Pete

2. BURLEIGH REPLY 21 OCTOBER

>> Hey {Pete
>>
>> I’ll definitely be here for the verdict! Send me any stuff you want to share. I am still hoping to talk to the British friends at some point, but only if they want to, I don’t want to bother them.

>> cheers,
>> n

3. MY REPLY 21 OCTOBER

> Thanks Nina! How nice.
>
> How much do you actually have on Meredith? Its not just (I hope!) only all about La Knox? The friends might talk but I’d need assurances on this angle.
>
> And what is the title and the publish date now? We foresee now three okay books coming out in January with no firm date on John Kercher’s about Meredith.
>
> Pete

4. BURLEIGH REPLY 21 OCTOBER

> Meredith. Not much at all! Really just what’s been in the press and that’s not good because I want to bring her character into the story, who she was, what the world has lost. It is a big hole in my repoirting. Anything you can do would be so appreciated.

> As for date, its really dependent on when I get key interviews. I am more interested in getting the good, true story than beating quickie crime book competition in january.

> So grateful to you for keeping up with me, and it will be really nice to see you here.

> All best
> Nina



Rebutting claims in Burleighs Time attack

Actually it has never had a down day: the Knox-hating websites have been passing along innuendo and cherry-picked factoids for six years now.

What innuendo and cherrypicking? What hate? Let us see some examples. We deal in hard facts and key documents and Italian translations here. Dozens of reporters and lawyers read. And TJMK was created only four and a half years ago, in direct response to the hyper-aggressive PR scheme. 

The other acronym you will encounter is TJMK, which stands for “True Justice For Meredith Kercher”—the young British woman murdered in this case–and is run by a New Jersey-based Englishman who claims that at one time he consulted at the United Nations.

I dont claim that. I was on the permanent staff of UN development for over 20 years, and then I left to consult with governments on growth directly. Burleigh KNEW that by the way. An example of this supremely under-qualified womans’ attempts in her article at personal put-downs of others.

These sites host extremely active avatars, many proclaiming to be lawyers, forensic experts, criminologists, but who never reveal their true identities.

Anyone can tell at a glance that real names are used here where they can professionally tolerate personal put-downs like Nina Burleigh’s.  They ARE lawyers and experts, they state their experience, and nobody else questions this. They all have better qualifications than Burleigh’s.

In 2009, I sat down with TJMK founder Peter Quennell, who has always claimed he started the site to make sure that no one forgot the victim.

We sat down only at her pleading request. There was really little in it for me. And TJMK DID make sure Meredith is not forgotten. I didnt just claim that.

A stout, ruddy Englishman living in New Jersey, he had been holding out the carrot of introducing me to the elusive Kercher family.

I am not stout, ruddy or English, and I live looking across to Manhattan. What carrot? She hoped for contact with Meredith’s family, and I offered and promised nothing.

After a month in Italy doing reporting, however, I realized that some of the “facts” on Quennell’s website didn’t seem to be in the police record in Italy. I emailed him to ask where he had found out that Knox and Sollecito met police standing outside the murder house with a mop and bucket in hand. That damning incident was nowhere in the record, not even the prosecutor would confirm it, nor had Italy’s Polizia Scientifica ever tested such items, which would surely have offered up some useful DNA evidence, had they been used to clean blood.

So where is that famous email? This would be two months BEFORE the emails quoted above. Does she sound questioning or suspicious or rejecting in those?

Try searching “bucket” on this site and see what you find. Did we really make the bucket a big deal? There is ONE mention in a media report of someone’s evidence of a bucket having been at the door. All the other mentions are of the bucket in Sollecito’s flat.

Quennell then accused me by email of being on the Knox family payroll, informed me that his sources in Perugia had seen me consorting with Amanda’s mother (I had in fact met with her once, in a public place, by then) and eventually started writing about how he was going to “train his scope” on my apartment in Manhattan, and closing emails with “how are the kiddies?”

That joke email preceded all of those emails above. I didnt accuse Burleigh then of being on the Knox payroll. She is presumably thinking of the question I put to her months ago, before we ever met.

To which she had promised me she WAS neutral. Not just a PR shill.

Posted on 03/29/13 at 10:51 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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What’s Nina Burleigh Got Against Women? A Bizarre Time Report Suggests Deep Problems In Her Psyche

Posted by Skeptical Bystander





We depart from our scheduled posting for a few hours to contend with a bizarre attack by Nina Burleigh. 

I get up quite early because my clients have a nine-hour head start on me.

Today I woke up to the usual flurry of work-related emails plus a message directing me to Nina Burleigh’s Time blog post devoted to the “haters” – i.e., the many people around the world who have expressed their support for the family of Meredith Kercher and who are convinced that Italy’s first instance court got things right when it convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for their role in Meredith’s brutal murder.

Italy’s highest court has just overturned the acquittal and definitively upheld Knox’s conviction for the felony offense of falsely accusing an innocent man of murdering Meredith Kercher. In that false accusation, Knox placed herself at the scene of the crime. 

In her blog post, Burleigh once again misquotes an off-the-record conversation with me, though I set her straight the first time she did it and asked her to cease. She also wrongly asserts that I am a “housewife” and “former” translator.

For those who may have missed them the first time around, the two blog posts I wrote that got Nina Burleigh all riled up can be found at TJMK or at my personal blog (http://skepbystander.blogspot.com/), under 2011 posts.

First, a bit of background: Burleigh spent a lot of time in her book maligning two of the best reporters covering the case, one of whom, like Burleigh, wrote a book about it. Since I wrote my review of Burleigh’s book and then pointed out that the New York Times was critical of her advocacy masquerading as journalism, time has passed.

According to her online news site (thefreelancedesk.com), which focuses on current events in Italy, where she lives, Andrea Vogt has been working as a reporter for 20 years and writes for, among others, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Seattle Times and The BBC.

As for Barbie Latza Nadeau, in addition to her frequent reporting for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, she is also a regular contributor for CNN. Both are excellent journalists whose work speaks for itself.

But what’s up with Nina Burleigh? I honestly don’t know what she was thinking when she decided to belittle their accomplishments in print, not to mention her decision to misrepresent my own rather more modest ones. Is she just angry because she got this case so wrong? Is this a simple case of sour grapes from a sore loser?

It probably doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things. But I would caution anyone who talks to a reporter off-the-record to beware. I have talked to many reporters off-the-record, and they have all respected this agreement, except for Nina Burleigh. In addition to breaking a promise, she misrepresented what I said.

And now that she has had her public snit, may I suggest that the focus now shift from these petty personality clashes - between Knox’s fan base and anyone who doesn’t share their views - and onto the facts? I think the tone needs to change as well: facts are best discussed rationally, calmly and respectfully.

And for the record, I have nothing at all against women who choose to be homemakers.

In the final analysis, however, Nina Burleigh has done Meredith Kercher and the truth a huge favor by attacking her supporters as “haters” and, in doing so, giving our efforts a plug. It is too bad that she could not resist plugging Knox’s upcoming book as well, and thus proving the point made by the New York Times: that Ms. Burleigh has been treading what she must know - as a seasoned reporter - to be a very dangerous line, that which separates journalists and advocates

She seems to have lost her way and, instead of figuring out how to get back on track, has decided to lash out at those advocating for truth in reporting.

Posted on 03/29/13 at 02:08 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

How Much Or How Little To Blame Rudy Guede? The Defenses’ Immense Headache Coming Up

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Photo by Andrea Vogt as in December 2010 Supreme Court decides that Rudy Guede didnt act alone]


On a scale of 0% to 100% how much of the blame for the crime against Meredith has been heaped on Rudy Guede?

Well, it sure varies.

In trial court and first-appeal court it was never ever 100%. Seemingly very scared of the harm Guede could do to their clients, if they provoked him into telling all, defense lawyers have acted consistently since 2008 and more-so since December 2010 as if they walk on eggshells around him.

In fact among the defendants and their teams only ONCE was Guede ever blamed 100%. 

Sollecito’s bizarrely-titled Honor Bound 2012 book, the factually unchecked one which now is causing him and his defense team so much trouble, was the first instance ever among those accused to try to blame Guede for the crime 100%.

Our next post will look at the categoric claims against Guede in that book. Meanwhile, here, let us start at the beginning.

Commencing from when they were arrested, Amanda Knox pointed decisively at a black man, but of course she pointed at the wrong one: Patrick Lumumba. Make that 0%. Not long after they were arrested, Knox and Sollecito were strongly questioning the role of one another. So 100% against each other, but still a zero against Mr Guede.

In his messages from Germany Guede blamed two hasty intruders though he had no choice but to say he was there. Perhaps 33% at this point.  After Guede was captured, Sollecito implied that they were at the crime scene together because he was worried that Guede would implicate him. Make that 50%.

At Guede’s short-form trial In October 2008, Judge Micheli blamed Guede 33% too. In sending Knox and Sollecito to full trial he dismissed the lone wolf theory (never really to be revived in court again) and he tentatively believed the evidence pointed to their being equally guilty.

In fact Judge Micheli tentatively blamed Knox for instigating both the attack on Meredith and the rearrangement of the crime scene.  In effect he allocated 50% of the blame to Amanda Knox and 25% each to Guede and Sollecito. 

Throughout trial in 2009 the Knox and Sollecito defense teams seemed to take great care not ever to blame Guede 100%, perhaps because (for murky reasons not made public) Rudy Guede had refused to testify against their clients.

Judge Massei assigned Guede 33% of the blame as he concluded that Guede had initiated the attack but that Knox and Sollecito had wielded the knives and that one of them had struck the final blow. 

During trial and thereafter, the defense lawyers for the three were often on Italian TV and as our main poster the Italian lawyer Cesare Beccaria exhaustively charted in a four-part series, each “gently” blamed the other two.

We can assume that is either 33% or 50% but never more than that.

On February 24. 2011, in the Supreme Court report, on its rejection of Guede’s final appeal of his sentence for involvement in killing Meredith, blamed Rudy Guede and two others equally. Some 33% of the blame each.

The Supreme Court relied upon three facts: the physical evidence of Guede’s presence at the flat, Guede’s actual admission of his presence, and Guede’s implicit admission of shared-guilt in his documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 (“I was scared that they would say I was the only guilty person”).

In a nutshell, the situation at the start of the Sollecito and Knox appeal before Judges Hellmann and Zanetti in 2011 was this:

  • The Supreme Court had decided that Rudy Guede acting ALONE could not have attacked Meredith with several knives over an estimated 15 minutes, left so little physical evidence upon her, staged the break-in via the absurd route of Filomena’s window while leaving zero DNA in her room, placed Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp, engineered several traces of Knox’s and Sollecito’s footprints outside the room, and placed the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox in several different locations outside Meredith’s locked door.
  • But there remains zero evidence that perps two and three which the physical evidence strongly pointed to were anyone other than Knox and Sollecito. There’s really not one speck of hard evidence to the contrary. Defenses somewhat desperately tried to engineer some at first appeal from the seemingly perjured testimony of jailbirds Alessi and Aviello and some smoke-blowing over the DNA testing, but in terms of HARD evidence came up empty-handed. Alessi did a meltdown on the stand, while Aviello turned completely cuckoo, and Judges Hellmann and Zanetti had to invent arguments frantically to dig Knox and Sollecito out of that hole.

I have done a series of posts (to be read from the bottom upward) on the Hellmann-Zanetti outcome covering many other aspects of their strange arguments.

Back in late 2010 some of us at TJMK were impressed at the alacrity with which Judge Hellman selected Conti and Vecchiotti.

We were thinking that “he had already thought it all out” [we seem to have got that-much right], and that he was “being prudently responsive to the legal and political pressures bearing down on him, and knows the ruling also calls the defendants’ bluff.”

I had posted that the defenses of Knox and Sollecito seemed to be trying to exclude evidence that they themselves tried to destroy, essentially on the grounds that their destructive attempts failed to destroy all of it, and left behind only some of it.  Their argument had boiled down to whether the disputed DNA evidence is more unfairly prejudicial than probative.

It was my opinion that because it was the defendants’ deliberate conduct that nearly succeeded in extinguishing all their DNA, any US and UK courts would admit this highly relevant evidence, and let the participants duke out its fairness, in open court, in front of a jury.

I had thought that was what the Massei Court had already done, and was what the Hellmann/Zanetti court was then doing. The Hellmann/Zanetti court was doing that - but that was not all it was doing, as we now know and regret.

I had believed that the defendants would bitterly regret their petition for such DNA Expert-Opinion Review.  We should know in March 2013 if they regret it at all, let alone ‘bitterly’. So far they may not, but Sollecito’s current venture into special-pleading journalism in his book seems likely to accelerate their journey to a bitter and regretted destiny.

We were less impressed with how Judge Zanetti started the appeal hearings.

To his eternal discredit Judge Zenetti uttered words to the effect that “the only thing that is ‘certain’ in Meredith’s case is that Meredith is dead.” Nothing else. In effect, illegally promising a whole new trial at appeal level - very much frowned on by the Supreme Court.

Unless the word ‘thing’ is a mistranslation, that is not the only thing that was already certain in Meredith’s Case; Many Things were then certain in her case. 

For example, it is certain that the first-ever documented references to Meredith’s scream just before she was killed had already come both from the mouth of Amanda Knox herself, and from the hand of Amanda Knox, in the case of her contemporaneous personal hand-written notes.

Guede, himself, had certainly already made a documented reference to Meredith’s scream.

It was also certain that Guede had made documented references to his actual presence when Meredith screamed.

Some of these already-certain facts inconveniently undermined Hellmann’s and Zanetti’s already-assumed conclusions, so they then proceeded in-turn to undermine the ‘reliability’ of those facts, e.g. ‘it is not certain that the scream was Meredith’s scream; it could have been someone-else’s scream’; or even Amanda’s scream?

The Massei court had exhaustively presented the evidence from all sources in their conclusion that Knox and Sollecito were the ones who shared Guede’s guilt. But Hellmann/Zanetti then contradicted ALL the previous finders-of-fact with regard to Guede, essentially using five ploys in arguing:

  • That Guede was Unreliable: “for example, in the questioning before the Prosecutor, he denies being known by the nickname of Baron, ….so as to result in a version completely incompatible with the reality of the facts as perceived and heard…” [Is that ever giving birth to a mouse?], and
  • That the Supreme Court had “held Rudy Guede to be an Unreliable person”, and
  • That “therefore, among the evidence against the two accused, the testimony given at the hearing of June 27, 2011 by Rudy Guede cannot be included because it is Unreliable, nor can the contents of the letter written by him and sent to his lawyers”, and
  • That concerning Guede’s documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 “… the contents of the chat between Rudy Guede and his friend Giacomo Benedetti on the day of November 19,  2007,  also listened to by the Police,  can be considered in favour of the two accused”, because “he would not have had any reason to keep quiet about such a circumstance,”
  • And that “So, in the course of that chat with his friend….. Rudy Guede does not indicate in any way Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as the perpetrators…..” and “…..he would not have had any reason to keep quiet about such a circumstance….. he being…. certainly the perpetrator….. of the crimes carried out in via della Pergola, that if Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had also participated, that he would at that moment have revealed this to his friend.”

So, summarising Hellmann and Zanetti, they have absurdly argued a contradiction:

  • Because of Guedes notoriously unreliability, the public evidence in which he did accuse Knox and Sollecito cannot be considered as evidence of their guilt, but
  • In spite of Guede’s notorious unreliability, because Guede did not accuse Knox and Sollecito in a private conversation this must be considered as conclusive evidence of their innocence.

We are not the audience to which Dr Galati’s appeal against Hellmann and Zanetti to the Supreme Court is directed. Most of us probably have some difficulty with its legalese, translated into English, so bear with it.

Dr Galati’s appeal against Hellmann and Zanetti refers to Guede’s documented Skype InstaMessage to Giacomo Benedetti on Nov. 19, 2007 as follows:

The Hellmann/Zanetti court, “has… made …. completely anomalous use of the Skype call, accepting it for the time of Kercher’s death, but not for other circumstances which are also extremely relevant for judgment purposes, but which have been totally ignored.

In fact, in the call, Guede recounts having heard Meredith complaining about her missing money and of her intention of asking Ms Knox, with whom she had quarrelled, for an explanation (p. 10 of the call [transcript]), of having seen Meredith look in vain for the missing money in her drawer (p. 18), then of having seen Meredith look, still in vain, for her missing money in Amanda’s room (pp. 18-19 of the call [transcript]), and of having heard a girl enter the house, who could have been one of the roommates, thus Amanda (p. 11 of the call [transcript]), while the Ivorian found himself in the bathroom, just before hearing Meredith’s terrible scream which would have caused him [59] to exit the bathroom, about five minutes after the girl’s ingress (p 12 of the call [transcript])”... .

The Court has, in practice, without reason thrown the responsibility onto Guede for throwing the rock and clambering in (see pp 121-122 of the appealed judgment): in the same Skype call, Guede, however, repeatedly denies having seen the broken window in Romanelli’s room during the whole time in which he was in the house at Via della Pergola on that evening (pp 8, 20, 34 of the call [transcript]). Not only that: Rudy Guede also said that he was at Knox’s many times‛ (pp 88 of the call [transcript]).

If the Court held the Ivorian citizen to be sincere in the tele-conversation with his friend Benedetti, then why not also believe him when he denies having broken in, or when he recounts Meredith having it out with Amanda, or when he says that he had been at the latter’s place many times‛?

Dr Galati’s appeal to the Supreme Court argues that the Hellmann/Zanetti appeal judgment, apart from being manifestly illogical, is manifestly contradictory with respect to the contents of the case file referred to (Article 606(e) Criminal Procedure Code). Here is what it says about their tortured interpretations of Rudy Guede.

And in the Skype call with Benedetti, intercepted unbeknownst to him, there emerge circumstances that confirm Guede’s court declarations. The Court takes the Skype call with his friend Benedetti into examination, valuing it ‚in favour of the two accused‛ both for what it does not say and also for what it does say, and this it does building from one, not only unexplained, datum but which would have taken little to deny: since Rudy was outside of Italy, he was in some sense safe‛ and thus could well have been able to tell the whole truth (p 40 of the judgment).

Not in the least does the Court depart from the presupposition that in this call Rudy would have been telling the truth and, because in this call he would not have named the current defendants, these have got nothing to do with the homicide. The Court does not explain, though, that even in this call Rudy was tending to downplay his responsibility and, if he had named his co-participants, that would have easily allowed, by means of investigations and subsequent interviews, the bringing out of his causal contribution and of his responsibility.

[91] Of the things said in this Skype call, the Court seems at one moment to want to value the chronological datum from 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM to affirm that this would therefore have been the time of death of Meredith; successively, though the appeal judges, following the principle of plausible hypothesis, in relation to the outgoing calls on the victim’s English handset, have moved it to 10:15 PM, but they have not altered the reliability of the time indicated by Guede.

In truth, during the course of the conversation, Rudy recounts having heard Meredith complain about the missing money and of her intention to ask Knox, with whom she had argued, for an explanation (p 10 of the call); of having seen Meredith look in vain for the missing money in her drawer (see p 18); of having seen her search, again in vain, for the missing money in Amanda’s room (pp 18 and 19 of the call) and of having heard a girl enter the house – who must have been one of the flatmates, thus Amanda (p 11 of the call), – while he was in the bathroom, a little before hearing Meredith’s terrible scream which would have induced him to exit the bathroom, about five minutes after the ingress of the girl (p 12 of the call).

And also, on the subject of the break-in in Romanelli’s room – thrown without explanation onto Guede’s back (see the judgment being appealed from, at pp 121 and 122) – can remarks by the Ivorian citizen be found in the transcription of the intercept. Guede repeatedly denies having seen the broken window in Romanelli’s room for the whole time in which he was in the house at Via della Pergola that evening (pp 8, 20, 34 of the call).

If the [Appeal Court] had held as reliable what Rudy narrated in the Skype call relating to the time in which Meredith was killed, it supplies no reason at all, on the other hand, for why it does not believe him as well when he denies [92] having committed the break-in or when he recounts the quarrel of Meredith with Amanda.”

None of this changes my own beliefs that there are even many more things in evidence that are ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’.  For example:

  • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that Meredith was restrained by hands other than the knife-wielding hand(s); and that Meredith was restrained by the hands of two, or three persons as she was killed.
  • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that steps were taken to clean away smears made by Meredith’s blood in the place where she was killed, and tracks of Meredith’s blood transferred by her killers to other places.
  • It is beyond any reasonable doubt that steps were also taken to simulate a break-in that never-was.

In the next post, we examine Dr Galati’s appeal further and the strident claims against Guede made in Sollecito’s own book which contradict some of the positions of HIS OWN LAWYERS. Note that Dr Galati has argued in the appeal that it was ILLEGAL for Hellmann and Zanetti not to have taken the Supreme Court’s ruling on three perps fully into account and having innored it or brushed past it. 

Verrrry tough situation for defense counsel to be in.


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.

In addition, the pro-Knox books written by would-be opinion benders Nina Burleigh and Candace Dempsey would have been very different or impossible to develop as they are.

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?








Monday, October 10, 2011

Media Starting To Take A Closer Look At The Knox PR Shills With Nina Burleigh Exhibit One

Posted by Skeptical Bystander





Click on the image above for the report on the PR role of Nina Burleigh by the New York Times’s Kate Zernike.

In the news media’s frenzy surrounding an Italian court’s decision last week to free Amanda Knox, the American exchange student convicted of killing her roommate in Perugia, the journalist Nina Burleigh was a near-constant television presence. Her face looped in and out of shows like “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20” and “Anderson Cooper 360.” She made appearances on NPR, the BBC and MSNBC.

With her emphatic defense of Ms. Knox (criticizing the “appalling” treatment of her by the Italian courts and news media, insisting “the evidence didn’t exist,” that the “jury rubber-stamped a conviction”), Ms. Burleigh seemed at times to move from journalist to advocate, treading what she knew, as a longtime reporter and author, was a dangerous line.

Nina Burleigh has certainly had a busy, busy week - playing advocate for Amanda Knox, plugging Burleigh’s own book on the case, and helping CBS sell the first of many (many more than anyone wants to see) pre-packaged Knox pieces that dutifully toe the Marriott Party line.

Those looking for facts are advised to watch major league baseball on Sunday night.

Burleigh found herself facing a dilemma before she penned the first paragraph of her book: Team Marriott, firmly in place by then, would only allow access to advocacy journalists. So Burleigh took that path, a disastrous one for everything but television exposure and perhaps book sales.

Burleigh jumped on board late, does not speak Italian, attended only a handful of trial sessions, and even got the birthdate of the victim, Meredith Kercher, wrong. Worse, she used the Knox’s friendly translator as her interpreter! That trail is a loop that leads to a predictable place.

For authors claiming to be journalists, this excellent NY Times piece should serve as a warning: Advocacy is not journalism. It leads to conflict of interest and turns journalists into shills. And this is bad for all of us.

This book should be on the bedside table of anyone who aspires to be a journalist.



Friday, September 02, 2011

Nina Burleigh: View From A Broad Who Doesn’t Seem To Like Broads Or Being Abroad

Posted by Peggy Ganong





In Burleigh’s shoddy book on the murder of Meredith Kercher, she gets the victim’s birthday wrong. But that’s not all she gets wrong. From what I can tell, Burleigh simply skips over much of the key evidence in favor of gossiping about and criticizing other journalists who have covered the case.

She is particularly hard on female journalists, which is odd given that she prides herself on being a modern feminist. I find it very telling, for example, that she indicates what Barbie Nadeau and Andrea Vogt’s husbands do for a living (one works for the UN and one is a university professor), but does not see fit to provide us with any information on what the wives of any of the male journalists do.

The implication is clear: these two “females” took up writing as a sort of hobby after trailing behind their menfolk to Europe. Worse, Burleigh notes that though they are both American born, they are more European in “style” and “craft” which, aside from being absolute nonsense, remains unsubstantiated by any analysis whatsoever. It amounts to saying “they’re sooooo European”. What does that mean?

Well, once you know that Burleigh is a relentless and mindless cheerleader for the superiority of all things American, it becomes clear that what she means is that they are inferior journalists because all things European are inferior to all things American. Burleigh also claims that what she calls Nadeau’s “cosmopolitan speech affect” is an attempt to hide her Middle American roots (in Burleigh’s words, her “rural South Dakota accent”). She says the “statuesque redhead” Vogt looks like she could play the role of Brenda Starr.

In other words, Burleigh is trying to suggest that these two are imposters, merely playing at journalism by dressing up like a cartoon journalist or putting on airs and trying to talk like a big city slicker instead of a sharecropper.

In fact, Vogt has been a working reporter for fifteen years, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in journalism, is trilingual and has published in English, German and Italian. I don’t know much about Nadeau’s academic training, but she currently writes on a variety of topics for both Newsweek and the Daily Beast. And the excellent Christopher Dickey thinks quite highly of her.

Meanwhile, back to Burleigh and her seemingly endless supply of sour grapes. At one point in her book, she mentions an Italian female reporter, but only to comment on her boots! One starts to wonder what she has against women, especially her professional peers.

Her male peers do not get a free pass, either, at least those who work in that dreadful country Italy where, according to Burleigh, freedom of speech does not exist. She criticizes foreign journalists based in Italy, basically calling them a bunch of cowards, so fearful of the Mafia that they confine themselves to writing about la dolce vita—food, wine and bunga bunga. This is absolute bollocks, of course.

John Follain, who has covered the case for the Times, has written two books about Italy in the fifteen or so years he has lived there: one is about the Mafia, while the other takes on the Vatican. Vogt investigated the White Supremacy movement in Idaho and has written an excellent book about it, not without exposing herself to danger. As for Nadeau, she has covered Italy’s garbage crisis, and in one gritty, unforgettable article for Newsweek describes walking through some of the most dangerous Mafia neighborhoods.

All three have been viciously attacked by Knox supporters. Meanwhile, Nina Burleigh is happy to fixate on what her fellow journalists are wearing and eating and drinking. Come to think of it, when she was a correspondent in France, she was obsessed with complaining about and criticizing French women, probably for not instantly recognizing her innate superiority.

It is too bad Burleigh opted to focus on this kind of crap instead of actually discussing much of the real evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Frankly, hers is the most disappointing and surely the nastiest book on the tragic murder of Meredith Kercher that has been published to date. After reading what Burleigh wrote about Nadeau and Vogt, I was left wondering why she has such an ax to grind with them.

Is it because they are at least a decade younger than she is? Is it because they live in Europe and she doesn’t? Is it because they are fluent in foreign languages and she isn’t? I really don’t know, but the book sure has a bitter stench to it.

The good news is I didn’t even have to buy it. In fact, I don’t want to be seen reading it in public. Thanks to Google books, I was able to find many of the offending passages on line. In addition, I can discreetly skim at my local bookseller’s. All in all, I have found it a pretty dull exercise. The book is glib, superficial and gossipy. One walks away feeling dirty and sad, wondering where one would be placed within Burleigh’s social and class hierarchy. Hopefully at least a hair above middle class.

I almost forgot to mention the pièce de résistance in Burleigh’s sliming of the two female journalists who did not roll over for the Knox family PR supertanker. Burleigh also asserts that these two small-town American imposters, after acquiring their polished “style” and “craft” by living in Europe, were “appalled” by the way AK and her family “flouted” Italian mores, implying that this snobbery tainted their reporting.

While I recall both journalists providing good analysis of how and why some of the antics of AK and her family were not good strategy under the circumstances – for example, AK’s decision to turn up in court one day wearing an over-sized “all you need is love” t-shirt or her sister Deanna’s choice of courtroom attire on July 4 (red-white-and-blue hotpants outfit) – I have never read anything suggesting they personally disapproved of or were appalled by the American and her family.

Since this snide and non-sourced aside appears on the same page as Burleigh’s claim that Nadeau tried to hide her “rural” accent with a “cosmopolitan speech affect”, it is fair to say that Burleigh’s real goal is to discredit them as objective reporters. It is almost as if she - Burleigh - were taking dictation from Doug Preston! And if Burleigh finds this to be a sexist remark, then I suggest she take a long, hard look in the mirror.

In the same section of the book, Burleigh describes John Kercher as a tabloid reporter and notes that neither he nor his family even “attempted” to learn Italian, relying instead on their lawyer to tell them what was going on.

Yes, you read that right: Burleigh thinks that the grieving Kercher family should have set aside their grief and contacted Berlitz straight away! And she implies that it is a mistake to rely on their legal counsel for information or advice. (At least Italy gives the victim’s family a legal voice.) I guess Burleigh would prefer that the Kercher family turn to people like Amanda’s stepfather Chris Mellas, or the various profiteers riding the PR supertanker: David Marriott and Doug Preston to name just two. This is apparently what Burleigh did.

It is clear from what I have read that Burleigh is not concerned with the victim Meredith Kercher or her family. She seems more interested in passing judgement on those she considers inferior in station to herself (just about everyone),complaining about life in Italy and taking pot shots at other journalists. My guess is that deep down she likes Italy about as much as she liked France, which is to say not much, maybe not at all. Burleigh is that quintessential Ugly American. I saw early signs of it in her reporting on this case for Time.

Incidentally, she did not begin until June of 2009, when the trial was well under way and almost two years after the murder itself. I had never heard of Burleigh, so I decided to have a look at her earlier work, especially that on life in France. I truly was flabbergasted by her utter inability to cope in a strange land.

She took an instant dislike to the French in general and was unable to understand the culture, in part because she was unable or unwilling to learn the language. I find it ironic – and appalling – that she faults the Kerchers, of all people, for not learning the language of the country where their daughter/sister was murdered when she herself could or would not learn the language of the country she was residing in under happy circumstances.

Is it class or gender or nationality that Burleigh most has a problem with?

Hard to say, since she seems to have a sense of superiority that encompasses all three. Speaking of disapproval, Burleigh treats the Knox women and Meredith’s British friends in the same haughty, catty manner as she treats her professional peers. In fact, she refers to the Knox clan collectively as “a hair on the low side of middle class”. I guess from the throne upon which she has placed herself, Burleigh is able to make these fine distinctions and, in addition, finds it necessary.

And how about this fine value judgement on page 33? “Amanda was the sole member of the gaggle of menstruating, jealous, bitchy, angry, loving, needy females around Curt who could keep her emotions in check”. I’m not making this up; Burleigh actually wrote those words. One pictures hapless Curt surrounded by the seven dwarves (Jealous, Bitchy, Angry, Loving, Needy, Bloody and Amanda).

While I believe that Amanda Knox was rightly convicted for her role in Meredith Kercher’s death, and though I have been critical of her family’s decision to hire a PR firm that has attempted to manipulate public opinion, I certainly think they are entitled to a little more respect and empathy than this. Speaking of entitled, that is how Burleigh herself comes off throughout this book.

Moving on to Meredith’s British friends, Burleigh dismisses them en masse with this tightly packed bundle of sexism and stereotyping: “tweedy peaches-and-cream complected sylphs who moved as a pack”. How Burleigh would even know how they moved is beyond me, since she was not covering the case in the days or even months that followed this brutal murder. Perhaps, if they did stick together, it was for mutual comfort. That’s what the little people do, Nina.

Italian women are not spared either. In addition to her fixation on a local reporter’s boots (perhaps because she could not read her work?), Burleigh describes Police Chief Monica Napoleoni’s style as “part dominatrix, part donatella Versace with a badge” and another Italian policewoman as a “thick-bodied woman”. Nina’s motto: When in Rome and unable to follow what’s going on, focus instead on making disparaging comments about the way other women look.

Burleigh pretentiously dedicates her book to the victims of sexual violence, an odd choice since she does little more here than perpetuate the sexist and sexual stereotypes that underlie this phenomenon. I am all for supporting the victims of sexual violence and will do so by not buying Burleigh’s nasty piece of work, which adds nothing to our knowledge of the case anyway.

Anyone who really wants to read a good book on the murder of Meredith Kercher should try Darkness Descending and/or Angel Face, both out for some time now. In addition to these works, John Follain, who has lived in Italy since the mid-90’s and covered the case from the outset, has a book coming out soon. I seriously doubt he will be focusing on women’s boots.


Friday, April 02, 2010

How The Strongarm Public Relations Resulted in Most Of The Media Getting It Wrong

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the full excerpt from Barbie Nadeau’s new book.

This is surely one of the worst cases of misreporting and malicious bias in all of media history. It’d be very nice (though don’t hold your breath!) if journalism schools and media owners examined the firestorm to stop it ever happening again.

Consider just the US hall of shame.

And please remember: this is the SAME media that turned a blind eye to the Micheli sentencing report on Guede, and appears to be trying hard to do the same (not one of them is translating it) to the Massei sentencing report on Knox and Sollecito.

Here is Barbie Nadeau describing how the sharp-elbowed Knox/Marriott public relations bombardment warped Americans’ take on the case.

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.

.

We rather like the Daily Beast book, for its splash of cold water on the media, and for its highly accurate accounting of the court proceedings and of the voluminous evidence the judges also describe in their report.

We also believe that although Meredith’s family did not participate, Barbie Nadeau has strong compassion for them, and a sense of real loss over Meredith.   


Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Writer And Time Reporter Nina Burleigh Posting The Nastiest And Least Accurate Reports

Posted by The Machine



Nina Burleigh has the reputation of a careful and scholarly researcher and writer. Above, she describes one of her books.

So the absolute sloppiness and evident bias in her recent reports for Time magazine are coming as a real surprise.

We found out about her intended book on the case about a year ago and emailed her good luck. She told us then that this was her publisher’s idea and modern crime was new ground for her.

Next we heard that she was in Perugia and frequently or incessantly sitting with the Knox defense team and family. When she returned to New York she told us this was exaggerated, and also that her days in court hearing AK testify had really chilled her and had convinced her of Amanda Knox’s guilt.

Then she headed back to Perugia and again we began to hear that the AK crowd were working hard on her. She stopped communicating with us. And we began to see suggestive trends in her reports for Time which might also indicate the direction of her book.

Considering the time Nina Burleigh has spent actively researching the case - according to the Columbia Journal, so far seven months - it’s astonishing that she was able to write this paragraph in a report for Time on 30 November 2009, just a few days before the verdict, and after the prosecution had finished presenting all of its evidence:

The third person involved, Rudy Guede, left a mountain of physical evidence including fingerprints, footprints and DNA on Kercher’s body, but the material evidence against Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito consists of just two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently sliced off Kercher’s back during the attack and another speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

And Nina Burleigh included this very similar set of claims in a Time report (“Did Amanda Get A Fair Trial?”) right after the verdict.

Guede’s footprints and handprints were on the bloody scene and his DNA inside the sexually assaulted victim, but almost no similarly incriminating evidence linked the two students to the crime scene.

The most serious material evidence against Knox and Sollecito came down to two elements: a microscopic speck of Sollecito’s DNA on a bra clasp that was apparently torn off Kercher’s back during the savage attack and another microscopic speck of biological substance compatible with Kercher on a kitchen knife picked by police at random from Sollecito’s drawers after his arrest, with Knox’s DNA on the handle.

There was in fact NOT a mountain of physical evidence against Rudy Guede in Meredith’s room. One of the real surprises of the case is how little evidence even Rudy Guede - who seems to have been the one most physically in contact with Meredith - left behind.

The delay in collecting the bra clasp was caused by the defenses - the investigators knew as soon as they assembled all the evidence components in the labs in Rome that the bra clasp was not among them. A negotiation to revisit the house then had to take place. 

And even people who have followed the case quite casually will know that Nina Burleigh’s claim that there are just two elements of material evidence, both of them suspect, against Knox and Sollecito is in fact utter nonsense.

1) Mixed Samples of Blood

Is it really possible that Nina Burleigh is ignorant of the mountain of mixed-blood evidence?  Its significance has been has been highlighted in the courtroom by Dr. Stefanoni and in articles by a number of journalists covering the case.

The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, called the mixed blood evidence “the most damning piece” of evidence against Knox. And Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani paid particular attention to the mixed samples of blood in their sentencing report.

The reason why the mixed blood evidence is so damning is that Amanda Knox’s DNA wasn’t outlier DNA that had been left some time earlier.

Amanda Knox herself effectively dated the blood stains in the bathroom to the night of the murder at the trial when she conceded there was no blood in the bathroom the day before.

Apparently, three of the samples were “perfect”. Dr. Stefanoni said the most compelling forensic evidence against Knox was the mixed blood sample found on the drain of the bidet.

The mixed sample of Knox’s and Meredith’s blood in Filomena’s room left the criminal biologists involved in the case, and the judges and jury, in their report, in no doubt that Amanda Knox was in Filomena’s room after Meredith was stabbed and therefore involved in Meredith’s murder.

“A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.” (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek).

Amanda Knox’s DNA was also found mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

2) Bloody and Luminol Footprints

Nina Burleigh also didn’t mention another key piece of forensic evidence against Knox and Sollecito in her article for Time: the bloody luminol-enhanced footprints.

It is quite clear that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito stepped into Meredith’s blood and tracked it around the house. They both left visible bloody footprints. Raffaele Sollecito left a bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom, and Amanda Knox left a bloody shoeprint on a pillow that was found under Meredith’s body.

Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito footprints were also found set in Meredith’s blood in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

Perhaps Nina Burleigh was so busy researching the case elsewhere in Perugia that she was unable to attend the court sessions in which the mixed blood and footprint evidence was presented or read the numerous articles about this evidence that appeared in the American and British media.

3) Nasty smears of Italy

In an article for the Columbia Chronicle Nina Burleigh made the following comment:

The research was hard because no one spoke English over there, contrary to belief,” Burleigh said. “I took Italian classes and worked with a translator and I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a country where freedom of speech doesn’t exist.”

Freedom of speech doesn’t exist? Really? And it’s simply ridiculous to claim that no one speaks English “over there”. Presumably at the very least Giulia Alagna, Burleigh’s translator, speaks some English.

Nina Burleigh sounds here like an ugly American who has utter contempt for Italy, where of course everyone should really speak English.

4) More on Giulia Alagna

It should be noted that translator Giulia Alagna has worked with some of the people who were responsible for the horribly biased CBS documentaries about the case, which were riddled with factual errors.

She was Paul Ciolino’s interpreter when he performed his comical sound experiment for CBS. Apparently, Giulia Alagna has also worked as an interpreter for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas.

It seems that she was the person who erroneously informed Edda Mellas that Rudy Guede had talked to a priest and nun:  “I’ve heard two different reports now that there’s also a priest and a nun that had conversations, not confessions, conversations, where Rudy expressed the fact that he felt bad… that he was feeling some guilt about the fact that he had pointed the finger at these two (Amanda and Raffaele) when they were not there,” Mellas said.

Via a Webcam, Seattle’s KING 5 talked with a researcher who was in court throughout the long trial in Perugia and is closely watching the case.

In that report Giulia Alagna calls Guede’s alleged jailhouse confession “a huge bombshell.”

There is no credible evidence to support the claim that Rudy Guede ever made a jailhouse confession - in fact, ever even met Allessi, the murderer who was jailed for kidnapping and brutally murdering Tommaso Onofri, a 17-month-old baby.

5) Circumstantial Evidence

In her article for Time, Nina Burleigh also ignores the highly incriminating circumstantial evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as if it doesn’t exist.

  • There is no mention of Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s multiple conflicting alibis or the fact they still don’t have credible alibis despite three attempts each.
  • There is no mention of the pack of lies that Knox and Sollecito deliberately and repeatedly told the police, family and friends about the night and next day.
  • There is no mention of Knox voluntarily admitting that she was involved in Meredith’s murder, in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. Knox’s lawyers knew this confession was highly incriminating and tried hard to get it thrown out - though it still stands.
  • There is no mention of Knox’s false and malicious accusation against Diya Lumumba, or the fact that she and her mother didn’t retract her allegation the whole time he was in prison despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent.
  • There is no mention of the various eyewitnesses who between them very convincingly described an ominous pattern that flatly contradicted the claims of Knox and Sollecito.
  • And there is zero explanation of who broke Filomena’s window, who cleaned up the apartment, and who rearranged Meredith’s body to make the scene look more like a sex crime

And perhaps the most damning evidence of all, the highly incriminating patter of phone calls, is also ignored in Nina Burleigh’s various shoddy and misleading accounts. 

6) Nasty smears against prosecutor Mignin

From the Sound Authors website

[An] extremely dark murder mystery involving a university of Washington exchange student accused of killing her British roommate. In a very mysterious circumstance; and the prosecutor in the case this Italian prosecutor has a very active imagination and has charged her with participating in an orgy or satanic rite and he believes there’s this satanic cult in Italy that’s existed there for centuries so its about this girl pitted against this prosecutor. 

The new world mountain climber in gortex and pot smoker basically and that’s how she got herself into trouble; pitted against this old world prosecutor who represents severe, rigid Catholicism Italian tradition, which really respects a great dark secret, and this fresh faced American girl looks like Mona Lisa.

Apart from quite possibly being libelous, this is wildly untrue. There is a mountain of evidence on TJMK - a real mountain, not one simply in Nina Burleigh’s imagination - that Mignini has done a fine job both in this case and in his small segment of the Monster of Florence case. He did NOT first raise the notion of a MOF satanic sect (that theory was out there SIX YEARS before he came to the case) and he has NEVER pointed to a satanic sect in Meredith’s sad case.

And the truth about Mignini and the key forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito are not all that Nina Burleigh has forgotten to mention.

She didn’t mention Meredith even once on her website.

Apparently, Nina Burleigh’s “Knox book” will be published in 2011. If it is anything like her biased, muddled and inaccurate articles, it simply won’t be worth anything.

Posted on 03/29/10 at 12:21 PM by The MachineClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time’s Nina Burleigh Has A Take On Some Of The Courtroom Participants

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Nina Burleigh’s interesting report from the courtroom.

Nina Burleigh is researching a book on the case. She is an experienced and objective researcher with several excellent books to her name, who is unlikely to be swayed by the strong emotions and spin in Perugia.

Posted on 09/30/09 at 11:05 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Massei defenseNina BurleighMore hoaxers
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