Collection: Rabid Italian media

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Netflixhoax 17: Omitted - Too Many Pesky Truths, To Inflame False Notion Italian Justice Failed Here

Posted by Corpusvile



Inside Netflix’s Silicon Valley headquarters


Amanda Knox the Netflix documentary was directed and exec produced by two ardent Knox supporters, Rod Blackhurst and Stephen Robert Morse

They have been campaigning for Knox since 2011, which has included harassing real journalists who actually covered the case far more thoroughly than they did.

The movie opens with lingering almost gleeful close ups of the bloody crime scene and goes downhill from there. It begins by trying to shape a false narrative of handy villains who all seemingly came together like the stars aligning to make innocent Amanda look so screamingly, beyond a reasonable doubtingly guilty.

In the beginning, there were the cops. It was them who railroaded and coerced poor Amanda.

Then it was the nasty prosecutor, who the documentary falsely intimates took part in Knox’s trial and appeal, whereas he only took part in her trial and was one of several prosecutors. The documentary attempts to make out he’s some Sherlock Holmes fanboy nut job.

They also mistranslate him, by having him proclaim that only a female killer would cover a female victim, when he actually said that an “unknown” male killer - within the context of a supposed burglary gone wrong - would be unlikely to cover up a victim.

Then it was the ENFSI certified forensic specialist who Knox’s fan club labeled a “lab technician”. (Oddly, though, the same forensic specialist and prosecutor seemed to do a great job testifying against and prosecuting the black guy, and sogood work guys).

Then it was Meredith Kercher’s friends who conspired against The Railroaded One, then it was the innocent victim’s innocent family themselves who were “persecuting” sweet Amanda.

Now, courtesy of Netflix, the REAL villains were the tabloid media, specifically one tabloid hack, Cockney wideboy Nick Pisa, who comes across like I’d imagine Danny Dyer’s dad would come across as and is quite hilarious, albeit totally devoid of any scruples as any tabloid hack worth his/her salt would.

The media, the prosecutor, the witnesses, THEY were the ones who were responsible for poor Amanda’s woes (and not the 10,000 pages of behavioral, circumstantial and hard physical evidence against her which the documentary brushes over in a cursory manner.)

It makes out that Knox and Sollecito were in love after an alleged five day romance. I say “alleged” as Sollecito is rather inconsistent in this regard, variously claiming a fortnight, 10 days, to a week to now apparently five days. This is hammered home by shots of what I presume to be lovebirds, complete with feel-good treacle music.

Sollecito comes across as a smirking stoned weirdo, and Knox comes across as her usual creepy quasi psychopathic self, complete with crocodile tears and loud theatrical sighs.

Knox is also her usual inconsistent self and can’t seem to stop changing her story, whether it’s droning on that she and Meredith weren’t the best of friends (after droning on in other interviews that they were “dear friends”).

Or claiming that she only knew Guede to look at and had only seen him two or three times. This despite claiming that she only saw Guede for the first time ever in court (Dianne Sawyer interview) and claiming she never had contact with Guede, in her rambling eight page email to the Nencini appellate court before claiming - in a consecutive sentence no less - that she actually did have contact with him.

She proclaims it’s “impossible” for her DNA to be on the murder weapon, disregarding that it was a matter of established fact that her DNA is on the murder weapon with Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

The film makes out that Rudy Guede, the sole person convicted for Meredith Kercher’s murder, left his DNA all over the crime scene, with funky arrows pointing here, there, and everywhere. The problem is this simply isn’t true. Rudy Guede was convicted on less DNA evidence (five samples) than Amanda Knox (six samples).

The documentary also displays quasi racism, where trial and appellate courts can be rejected for innocent Amanda, but innuendo is sufficient for black guys, as Knox lies in the documentary that Guede is a known burglar.

The documentary happily facilitate this lie by obligingly showing a mugshot of Guede with the intimation that it’s a mugshot for burglary. The problem again is, this is simply untrue. Guede has no burglary convictions, and indeed was the only one out of the trio with no prior criminal record before Ms Kercher’s murder.

Knox and Sollecito both had minor run-ins with the law resulting in fines. Guede was never even charged with the burglary, and even the acquitting court decreed that the burglary was staged, as in staged in another flatmate’s room where Amanda Knox left her presumed blood DNA mixed with the murder victim’s and where no trace of Rudy Guede exists.

Knox also claims that no biological traces of her exist in one localized area of the crime scene, specifically Meredith’s bedroom, yet ignores that by such a rationale Guede couldn’t have committed the burglary.

Knox also claims that Guede acted alone, but no court decreed this, and she claims that he broke into her home when Meredith was present, neglecting to explain how Meredith never heard the 4 kilo rock hurling through Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom and why she obligingly did nothing while Guede shimmied 13 feet up a sheer wall TWICE.

The documentary, apparently not content with trying to match the record of most lies ever told in a single documentary before, then breezily attempts to surpass such a record, by introducing the film’s saviors, Stefano Conti and Carla Vechiotti, as “independent forensic DNA experts”.

Conti hypothesizes, like he did in court, that anything is possible. It’s like totally possible that contamination could have occurred, therefore it…  DID occur. Basically a hypothesis on the basis that “anything’s possible” supersedes actual submitted evidence.

Vechiotti not to be outdone promptly contradicts Conti by attacking Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA as a science. Basically he claims Meredith Kercher’s DNA profile on the murder weapon (found in Sollecito’s flat, causing him to lie in his diary as to how the DNA got there by claiming that Meredith had cut herself cooking while at his apartment; but Meredith had never visited Sollecito’s apartment) is so tiny that it should be discarded and ignored.

LCN DNA is however now accepted by courts of law worldwide, including in the State of New York USA. Vechiotti also admitted in court that it was Meredith’s profile, and that contamination couldn’t have occurred due to the six day delay between testing.

She does a u-turn on the documentary though, claiming that contamination was likely due to Meredith’s profile being LCN and so small, despite testifying the exact opposite where it mattered the most, in court.

Problem is, Conti makes the contamination hypothesis for the bra clasp, only Sollecito’s DNA found there isn’t LCN, it’s a 17 loci match, with a US court considering between 10-15 loci sufficient enough to be used as evidence.

The doc also fails to explain how his DNA ended up only on the tiny bra clasp in such abundance and nowhere else apart from a cigarette, but mixed with Knox’s. So, too small for the knife, and hey, anything’s possible for the bra clasp.

They also make a big thing about the bra clasp lying in a sealed crime scene for 46 days, yet don’t mention that two samples of DNA evidence used to convict Guede (Meredith’s sweatshirt and purse) also lay there for 46 days. I guess there’s different burdens of proof bars for black guys.

However again the problem is that all of this (yep, again) is simply untrue. Conti and Vechiotti are not experts in forensic DNA or ENFSI certified.

Carla Vechiotti is a pathologist. Her lab at Sapienza University was shut down due to atrocious hygiene practices including honest to God corpses being strewn about the halls, I kid you not.

Conti’s expertise is “computer medical science”...whatever that’s supposed to be. Nor are they independent. Conti and Vechiotti were found “Objectively biased” and “Objectively deceptive” in court by the Nencini appellate. Specifically because Vechiotti falsely claimed that the technology did not exist to re-test the murder weapon. It did indeed exist in 2011.

Vechiotti was also filmed by the BBC shaking hands with Sollecito’s father in court, no less, hardly appropriate behavior for so-called independents. Vechiotti has also been found guilty of criminal misconduct in a separate case, and was fined €150,000 for screwing up in yet another separate case, known as the Olgiatta murder.

You’ll notice in this review how I’ve rarely mentioned the victim Meredith Kercher. That’s because she barely gets a mention in this sad excuse for a documentary. Not even an RIP.

Meredith, the victim is relegated to a mere footnote and indeed a foot under a duvet.

The doc does use archive footage of her mother, Arline, and intimates that she herself is having doubts, whereas the Kerchers have made very clear on several occasions that they know who murdered their daughter.

Reprehensibly, the doc also displays close up autopsy photos of Meredith, yet the autopsy photos were never made public.

Considering only the Kerchers (who didn’t take part in Netflix’s PR makeover) and the defence - and by extension the two former defendants - had access to such material, this begs the very pertinent question: who provided two ardent Knox supporters with autopsy photos of the murder victim?

The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves for this alone, utterly contemptible behavior which comes across as needlessly and despicably taunting the victim’s family, and at the very least exploiting their daughter and sister purely for lurid effect to make their documentary more “gritty”.

So what’s the verdict on Amanda Knox the documentary?

Well, it’s a terrible, false and ultimately immoral exercise in innocence fraud, and here are some more of the facts that Knox’s PR infomercial left out:

1 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Amanda Knox was present during Meredith’s murder and may even have possibly washed the victim’s blood from her hands afterwards but it STILL can’t be proved that she did it, which begs more questions, namely why didn’t innocent Amanda call the cops for her friend and why wasn’t she charged as an accessory at least? (The same Supreme Court did not make the same allowance for the black guy though, had he washed the victim’s blood from his shoes for example.) The court also states that there’s “strong suspicion” that Sollecito was there.

2 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that the burglary was staged.

3 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith was murdered by three attackers and that Guede had two accomplices. (And you really don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to figure out who these two accomplices were, when you view the evidence in its totality)

4 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith’s murder was NOT due to a burglary gone wrong.

5 The Supreme Court’s acquitting nonetheless finalizes Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, which she was handed for falsely accusing her innocent employer of rape and murder, leaving him in prison for two weeks, and never retracting her statement, despite false reports that she did, meaning that Knox’s status is still that of a convicted criminal felon.

6 In finalizing Amanda Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, the Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Knox blamed her boss to protect Rudy Guede as she was afraid that Guede could “retaliate by incriminating” her, which of course begs some more very interesting and pertinent questions, such as how could Guede incriminate innocent Amanda to begin with?

7 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report does NOT exonerate Knox, it acquits her due to “insufficient evidence”,like Casey Anthony, OJ Simpson and that nice man Robert Durst now back on trial.

The Truth is Out There, as a fictional 90s FBI agent who investigated strange stuff once mused. The truth in Meredith Kercher’s case is out there too, specifically in the Massei and Nencini court reports.

Never have I seen a case where such overwhelming evidence existed and where all the primary sources and court reports are fully available, only for such false reporting and fawning (and equally false accounts abound). It’s like the mainstream media have collectively turned into the robotic town of Stepford.

Yet the truth often has the strangest habit of coming to light, often when we least expect it to shine. I have hopes it’ll shine in Meredith’s case, in time. The supporter fanboy filmmakers are fooling nobody who is familiar with Meredith’s case, and neither are Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito.

RIP Meredith Kercher, who along with her stoic dignified family (who have been subjected to absolutely abhorrent abuse and attacks by Knox’s supporters online) and Knox’s employer Patrick Lumumba are the only victims here.

May the truth shine in your case one day and the facts and truth come to light.


Friday, November 04, 2016

Netflixhoax 16: Omitted - How Netflix Maliciously Depicted Good Reporting As Fictitious Hype

Posted by Peter Quennell



Nick Pisa was among those who filed court reports objectively and very fast

1. Overview Of This Series

This is the first of three posts describing how in the real world various arms of the media performed.

The Netflix report showed British reporter Nick Pisa relishing some early headlines, and a scene where the solving of the crime by the national and Perugia police is announced to the press.

From those seemingly damning episodes, the audience is encouraged to make the vast extrapolation that it was a voracious media and an overzealous police that drove the whole case.

Also that this was fundamentally unfair to a self-effacing, publicity-shy Knox, and that it caused the verdicts to go the “wrong” way - twice, first in the 2009 Massei trial, and second in the 2013-14 Nencini appeal.

2. The Real Police “Slant”

The police announcement - typical of such announcements in the US and UK when the local population is freaked out - was NOT made simply to win points for the police or to isolate and slam Knox (Sollecito and at that point Patrick were also described as suspects in the crime).

There had not been a single murder in Perugia for many years. This murder was reported (rightly) as singularly depraved and (rightly) as a pack attack with knives.

Many people could not sleep at night. The immediate effect upon Perugia and in particular its huge student population (over 20,000) of Meredith’s death was that many men and women, especially women as a sex crime was (rightly) described, did indeed become freaked out.

Literally thousands began to leave town.

Both the town managers and the university managers were quite desperately demanding an early break or major assurances to stem this tide. The police announcement did in fact do that.

Thereafter the investigators went on about their work for the better part of a year, and the documentation is huge - it was put at 10,000 pages early on but is now substantially larger than that.

Here is one example of just how much work was done after the police calmed things down.

At the infamous “interrogation” of Knox on 5-6 November 2007 she in fact worked on a list of seven names of people who might be able to help the police. The police took that list and they tracked down all seven, and the cross-checking of their accounts went on for months.

Complicated, of course, because Knox most heavily pointed at Patrick, and used the list to point away from herself. Her drug dealer, which police soon found out about, did not appear on the list though he had repeatedly been at her house.

3. The Real Media “Slant”

In the next post, we shall show how there really was a huge slant - but not what Netflix depicts.

All of the Netflix’s global demonization of the media flows from Nick Pisa’s few deprecating words. No extensive checking of his reports is seen.

No Italian media disposition was examined at all - the Italian media was by far the most likely to have an effect on a jury of Italian speakers who are encouraged by the system to do some research.

Netflix maybe omitted this for their own convenience - there was little or no slant to point to at all.

Italian media reported methodically before and during trial and long thereafter on what the US and UK media mostly did not - all the crucial process steps pre-trial were reported in Italy but largely ignored by the UK and US press.

You can read about the remorselessly building evidence in this eye-opening series here.

The Netflix team dont appear to have read even one official document on the case.

The key two documents here would be the report on the Massei guilty verdict in 2009 and the report on the Nencini guilty verdict in 2014. That was respectively two years and over seven years after the early “damning” media reports. 

Take a look.

In fact try to find even ONE instance where a UK reporter writing in English for an English audience in late 2007 got inside an entire panel of Italian judges’ heads late in 2009, and again in 2014, which is what Netflix would like you to believe.

4. Nick Pisa’s Real Reports On The Case

Fortunately for the hard truth, what we often called the “Rome pool” of foreign correspondents included nearly a dozen exceptionally talented reporters (those posted in other countries usually are the cream of the crop).

Thanks to their very hard work and their incessant costly travel to Perugia, we were able to repost on the 2008 and 2009 developments with a scope far beyond what any one “man on the spot” could do (we did have several of those too).

Free-lancer Nick Pisa in fact reported from the court for a lot of media outlets in the UK, not simply one. He was the only non-Italian reporter to pretty consistently have a cameraman along, for his reports for Sky News, and some of his good video reports still show.

This kind of fast, comprehensive coverage badly rattled the Knoxes and Mellases and their camps and especially diminished their PR, and they openly displayed angry aggression at times.

We’ll describe in the next post their desperate attempts to demonize all of the few reporters they did not have on a chain as coming straight from hell. 

We have carried a total of 35 of Nick Pisa’s reports, in whole or in part. Check them all out below. Do you see ANY bias here?


Click here for post:  Trial: The Proceedings Commence: The UK’s Daily Mail Reports First

Click here for post:  Trial: Friday Morning Not A Good Start For The Knox Team

Click here for post:  Trial: Defendant Noticeably Bubblier Than Meredith’s Sad Friends

Click here for post:  Trial: Nick Pisa Of On-The-Ball Sky News Reports Early Testimony

Click here for post:  Trial: Nick Pisa Of On-The-Ball Sky News Reports On Saturday Morning

Click here for post:  Guede’s Grounds For Appeal Sound None Too Convincing

Click here for post:  Trial: Sky News Video Report On Friday’s Court Session

Click here for post:  Confirmed: Neither Knox’s Father Nor Stepfather Were So Solicitous In Seattle

Click here for post:  Trial: Prosecution Witnesses Present Many More Reports On Odd Behavior Of Knox

Click here for post:  Sollecito Gets A Birthday Card From His Co-Defendant

Click here for post:  Trial: Witness Emulates A Loud Scream She Heard On The Night

Click here for post:  Trial: Sky News’s Report On Today’s Eyewitnesses

Click here for post:  Trial: The Closed Court Sees Graphic Photos And Video Footage Of The Autopsy

Click here for post:  Trial: One Busy Day On The Court Agenda For The Judges And Jury

Click here for post:  Owner Says The House Will Be Available For Rent

Click here for post:  Trial: The Trial Agenda For Today And Tomorrow Is Physical And Forensic Evidence

Click here for post:  Trial: At Saturday Morning Session Bloody Footprints Said To Match The Defendants

Click here for post:  Trial: The Morning Report By Sky New’s Nick Pisa

Click here for post:  Trial: Court Hears Of Enormous Cruelty Of The Crime

Click here for post:  Trial: Meredith’s Family Recounts The Terrible Pain Of Her Loss

Click here for post:  Trial: Richard Owen Reports First Knox Testimony With Nick Pisa Video

Click here for post:  The Letters Between The Women’s And Men’s Wings In Capanne

Click here for post:  Trial: Dr Sollecito Testifies About The Human Qualities Of His Son

Click here for post:  Trial: Early Report By Nick Pisa On What Was Expected To Be Heard Today

Click here for post:  Trial: Defense Witnesses Testify On Cannabis Effects And Meredith’s Mobile Phone

Click here for post:  Trial: Further Expert Examinations Denied - The Report From Nick Pisa

Click here for post:  The Summations: Nick Pisa In Daily Mail Has A Late-Morning Report

Click here for post:  The Summations: Defendant Leaves Court As Prosecutor Proposes What Meredith Was Subjected To

Click here for post:  The Summations: Patrick Lumumba’s Lawyer Describes Defamation By Knox As Ruthless

Click here for post:  Could The Italian Authorities Be Starting A Wave Of Libel + Slander Investigations?

Click here for post:  The Summations: Lawyer Luca Maori Sums Up All Day Today In Sollecito’s Defense

Click here for post:  The Summations: The Two Defendants Make Their Final Pleas To The Court

Click here for post:  US Overreaction: Amanda Knox’s Own Lawyer Groans “That’s All We Need, Hillary Clinton

Click here for post:  The Controversy Over The Lifetime Movie Seems To Be Stirring Some Needed Changes

Click here for post:  Kercher Family Lawyer Walks Out As Amanda Knox Engages In What Looks Like Yet Another Stunt

Click here for post:  UK’s Sky News Carries A Pre-Session Report from Nick Pisa In Perugia This Morning

Click here for post:  A Belated Attempt To Do A U-Turn On The Misconceived Loser Of A PR Campaign?

Click here for post:  The Fourth Appeal Hearing Today Saturday: The Main Items On The Court’s Agenda

Click here for post:  Fourteenth Appeal Session: Judge Hellmann Consults Jury And Concludes They Have Enough To Wrap Up

Click here for post:  Conspicuous By Their Absence Now: Legal Commentators For Sollecito And Knox

Click here for post:  Lord Justice Leveson: In Fact MANY Press Errors Were Made In The Reporting On Meredith’s Case

Click here for post:  A Smug Killer Who Thought Perhaps He’d Escaped Justice Was Brought Down In The UK Today


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Netflixhoax 8: Omitted - Accurate Decription Of Production Team, Numerous Awkward Hard Facts

Posted by Ergon


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. As a passionate lover of movies and documentaries, I respect the right of ANYONE to create a documentary or film through the prism of their own POV.

On the other hand, they owe us, the audience, a modicum of honesty in their reporting. Otherwise, as some one once complained about deceptive editing and reporting in one of Katie Couric’s documentaries, it prevents “democratic discourse” and this is what we ask.

By all means, engage with us, but do so honestly.

Having followed the case for many years as well as attending the earlier Supreme Court hearing in 2013 I can add the following:

  • Rudy Guede’s lawyer Valter Biscotti had a lot more to say about his client being convicted ‘in conjunction with others’. This was edited out, as well as the caption Knox put alongside her blog when she posed with a machine gun, “The Nazi Within”.  Something the media reported correctly at the time, McGinn and Blackhurst not.

  • The Producer Stephen Robert Morse hid his involvement in the project with Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst since 2011. They had ALL made inflammatory comments in favour of Amanda Knox over the years, with Morse hastily deleting some (but not all) as the Netflix sale came up.

  • He even called Nick Pisa “a piece of shit” in Perugia in 2011. It was the reputable Danish production company head Mette Heide that approached Mignini and Pisa, who didn’t know of Morse’s involvement, but that gives the background to this biased ‘documentary’ and why some may feel it is less than fair or balanced in its portrayal of the protagonists.

  • Mignini was referring to the Monster of Florence case when he talked of people coming up to shake his hand, the film makes it look like they were congratulating him for putting away Amanda Knox.

  • He was referring to it being an inside job when he said an “unknown” man (edited out to make him seem misogynistic) would not have covered Meredith with a blanket.

  • The film emphasized his Catholic beliefs to make it seem he was making a moralistic judgement about her. As he pointed out, the evidence was somewhat overwhelming. It also made it seem like his love of Sherlock Holmes was proof of him following a hunch. Um, that’s what investigators sometimes do, especially when faced with the numerous prevarications and failed alibis of Amanda Knox. Obscuring the evidence to match your narrative is dishonest to the extreme.

  • The ‘independent’ DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti were given lots of room to claim contamination though that was never proved in court, only inferred. Also left out: Vecchiotti’s sentence for not maintaining sterile conditions in HER laboratory. Her switching a suspect’s DNA with another in one of Italy’s worst murder cases in order to falsely exonerate someone with ‘connections’. The tests had to be redone to obtain a conviction. As they make fun of Nick Pisa for ‘not fact-checking’, should they not have fact-checked before they placed her on camera?

  • The biggest laugh the Toronto audience gave was WITH Nick Pisa when he said “I mean, she’s (Knox) a complete and utter loon”.

  • This follows the Netflix template of creating reasonable doubt as it did with “The Making Of A Murder”. By over emphasizing the defense case, and ignoring the prosecution’s, it reads like propaganda.

  • This is neither fair nor balanced, nor is it original. It adds nothing to our knowledge, being a rehash of her book and numerous TV interviews, and already covered in Michael Winterbottom’s “The Face Of An Angel” in his fictionalized ‘the making of a movie within a movie’ adaptation of reporter Barbie Nadeau’s book. Oh, and producer Morse insulted HER too.

  • There were several prosecutors and numerous judges helped convict her, not just prosecutor Mignini. Nor was it an exercise in misogyny, the case was largely driven by five women: Judge Claudia Matteini, co-prosecutor Manuela Comodi, Scientific Police DNA lab technician Patrizia Stefanoni, homicide Inspector Monica Napoleoni, and Inspector Rita Ficarra.

  • This exercise in PR looks like an Amanda Knox Production, with her playing the lead role, director, producer and writer. Yet she fails to see how she comes across with her melodramatic styling and emotive pauses and outbursts. She is neither believable nor sympathetic, no matter how hard they all try.

  • Two stars out of ten for production values and slick cinematography, none for the film itself.

In the end, the picture belongs to Meredith Kercher, remembered by her family with a grieving Arline Kercher, her mother saying how she just could not understand how there could be two convictions and two acquittals; justice denied.

And a haunting video of Meredith, taken in the full bloom of her youthful promise by Amanda Knox. She didn’t want to be filmed, but as Knox admits in her book, she took the video anyway. (And included in her film).

Meredith Kercher, RIP.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Netflixhoax 4: Omitted - Stephen Robert Morse Defamed Reporters & Italian Officials For Years

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.

Pretty funny, that last tweet above. Almost nobody has painted a larger legal target on his own back over many years than the blustering Netflix producer Stephen Robert Morse himself.

The first two tweets are of course both defamatory lies. See the two posts below for an honest take on Dr Mignini, not the mafia’s one which Morse parrots. .

As he was lying about an officer of the Italian court in the first two tweets, he could in theory be charged with contempt of court on the same basis as Frank Sforza and Andrew Gumbel have already been charged.

He could certainly be made to sweat pounds off in a British or Italian civil court. Hot potato in waiting for Netflix there.


Sunday, January 04, 2015

That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Curt Knox spins the day in court; prosecutors are forbidden to correct him or explain “their side”

1. How The Supposed Leaks Began

On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.

That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.

Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.

False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.

But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.

And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.

On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).

Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up. Judge Ricciarelli confirmed that that was all correct.

In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.

Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.

All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.

2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?

The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.

How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?

In fact NONE. Not one.

Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.

In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.

And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.

3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?

Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.

The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims. 

And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.

The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop. 

Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.

But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here.  In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).

4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame

In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.

Christian Tramontano, who 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, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.

Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.

But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.

Despite this Tremontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.

This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:

The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.

Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.

But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.

The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]

Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.

Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

An Overview From Italy #3 Dr Michel Giuttari Speaks Out About The Trumped Up Florence Case

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)



[Dr Michele Giuttari, former head of the Mobile Squad in Florenece and prominet authoer]


Dr Giuttari and Dr Mignini are connected because they both investigated the Monster of Florence case - and because a nasty case trumped up in Florence in retaliation has just been killed by the Supreme Court. .

The erratic Mario Spezi and his timid colleague the sniper from afar Doug Preston have blown up that case to gigantic proportions, as have the Knox and Sollecito forces, and most recently (very foolishly and ill-timed, as his claims may constitute contempt of court) Raffaele Sollecito himself.

Some important background can be found in Overview #2 and Comments here.

Michele Giuttari started his police career in the 1970s’ as a mobile squad detective in Calabria; after 15 years of “Calabrian “ experience he was appointed to the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, and subsequently became the head of the Mobile Squad in Florence.  During his Florentine service time, following investigation guidelines under the direction of prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna, he produced a solution to the ‘Monster of Florence’ case, but also brought the investigation to an unexpected turning point.



[Former Florence chief prosecutor Piero Luigi Vigna created the “monster of Florence” term]


As Vigna deduced, the MoF was not really one serial killer, but rather the manifestation of the killing activity carried on by a small group of people, at least three.  In fact three people were found guilty for taking part to the murders;  but both prosecutor and judges were not entirely satisfied: because there was evidence – so the court concluded – that someone else was involved too, who remained unknown.

The investigation into the death of Dr Francesco Narducci was opened in Perugia in 2005 as a routine cold case, because of Narducci’s wife’s and relatives’  doubts about the “official” version of his “accidental” death in Lake Trasimeno. 



[Former Perugia doctor Francesco Narducci found drowned in Lake Trasimeno]


Points of contact between Narducci and the MoF emerged independently from two directions, from the Perugia investigation, and from Giuttari’s findings from the previous Florence investigation.

Crossed analysis with the data bank collected by Michele Giuttari showed that several people were common witnesses both in the Narducci and the MoF case, while many things in the Narducci case were not adding up (for example, the unburied body was found to have died by strangulation, not by drowning, his trachea and hyoid bone were crushed). 

Something even more unexpected was that the investigation into the Narducci case revealed - and partly itself triggered - a network or other collateral crimes. A number of people were caught engaged in criminal activities with the purpose of plotting cover-ups and obstruction of justice on this cold case.  Among them were law enforcement officers and lawyers. 

But most surprising and peculiar, there was a fierce reaction from some magistrates among the Florence judiciary, in an attempt to stop the Perugia investigation. 

The first wild accusations launched by a Florentine prosecutor against Perugia offices were proven false, so the most serious charges were dropped by a preliminary judge as obviously unfounded. 

But a second wave of legal action followed, alleging that Giuttari and Mignini’s wiretapping recordings were false;  this accusation was also proven false in a trial, as expert technicians demonstrated the authenticity of all material.

But after ignoring the objection about territorial competence the judge managed to let one accusation stand – that of abuse of office, a charge less serious than the previous ones, which was not formulated on points of facts but only on points of law – at the first degree trial.

After some years,  this charge was canceled, as the courts finally declared the whole investigation illegitimate, and they nullified both the first degree trial, and the investigation and indictment itself.

A last attempt by the Florentine prosecution to further delay closure was ended by the recent, final Supreme Court verdict.  Meanwhile, a couple of Florentine magistrates were successful in stopping the investigation into the Narducci case, for a total of seven years.   

Unfortunately these happenings are not entirely new to the Italian judiciary. This one resembles other happenings – possibly more serious – that affected the system in recent Italian history (the most famous examples are the Elisa Claps, or the plots known as “Toghe Lucane” targeting known magistrates such as Luigi De Magistris and Henry John Woodcock). 

The system shows symptoms of stress from the whole extreme political instability of the country, but so far it still manages to fiercely resist those drifts.

Michele Giuttari is also an author.  Albeit he is not the top crime fiction novelist for sales in Italy (the Italian market has top-class masters in the genre), yet he is the top-selling Italian crime writer in the English speaking world. Curiously, the best-seller among all his titles published in Italy – the non-fiction book about the history of the true MoF investigation – is the only one in his books which has so far been rejected by American publishing houses.   



[The top-selling Michele Giuttari book, the non-fiction Il Mostro]


His last book bears the title “The Evil Dreams of Florence” [image of cover at bottom] and he might have chosen it as a metaphor of what he was drawn into by some people within the Florentine authorities and some in high positions.

After the final Supreme Court verdict on Feb 8., he posted a long comment about it in Italian on his Facebook page, in which he addresses his criticism mainly toward the head of police Antonio Manganelli . 



[Chief of Italy’s civil police Antonio Manganelli]


I agree with Giuttari about the shame police chief Antonio Manganelli brought on his administration through the terrible handling of the case of the Genoa G8 violence.  In 2001 some police corps attacked and tortured peaceful demonstrators in Genoa, following political inclinations, in what was called by Amnesty International “the most serious violation of civil rights committed by police forces in Western Europe” after WW2.

The leader of the Democrats (the main opposition party) at the time called it “state violence with a fascist mark”. Recently Cassation definitively called the event a “shame”, and prominent journalist Marco Travaglio wrote an open letter to Antonio Manganelli, saying “I beg you to kick out from your police force the authors of such henious crimes” . 



[Police violence against peaceful protestors at Group of 8 meeting Genoa 2001]


Yet Manganelli (ironically his name means “batons” in Italian, and the Diaz School night assault is now remembered as “la notte dei manganelli”) –  a man who apparently has the quality of being friends with many high-profile politics – had chosen to “help” them, to defend and protect from prosecution the proven authors of political violence, while at the same time, apparently he didn’t care about what was going on in Florence and quietly pulled a curtain of silence on a “politically uncomfortable” issue. 

I add that Manganelli was recently found to be the most paid public employee of the Italian State (with a wage of 621,000 euros per year).

Dr Giuttari expressed his outrage against Manganelli in a comment on his Facebook page which I translate below: 

Seven years of deafening silence by the head of State Police Manganelli

On February 8. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassation, by declaring them inadmissible, put the final seal on the investigations that the Florentine prosecution had “illegitimately” carried on against myself, on the basis of mere accusatory theories about absurdly formulized charges of abuse of office which, allegedly, I committed concurring together with Perugia Public Minister Giuliano Mignini in the course of official activity, during my enactment of the written orders of a PM [supervising magistrate] at the time when I was responsible for a special team which had been created by the head of the police through a Ministry decree. 

And this [Supreme Court] decision confirms, in a certain and incontrovertible way, on the one hand the “instrumental” nature of the judicial events, and on the other hand the fact that we should not ever have been investigated; and, what’s worse, that we should not ever have been tried in Florence by magistrates who weren’t impartial at all: and this is exactly what Cassation has asserted, addressing the investigators with a clear message, even if they did it by using the available legal formula of territorial incompetence (functional rectius)! 
     
So ended a case of Italian miscarriage of justice, which, besides causing damages to we the defendants, it also caused – and this is even more serious and absolutely unforgivable – the stopping in 2006 of the ongoing investigation into the death of the medical doctor Francesco Narducci in Lake Trasimeno, which was believed to be connected to the serial murders of couples around Florence (the so-called monster of Florence). 

It was seven long years of bitterness.  Seven long years of blocked investigation.  Seven long years of denial of justice to the victims’ relatives.

Seven long years during which the head of State Police held to deontologically [ethically] reprehensible behavior, which was especially serious since we are talking about a man [Manganelli] supposed to be an institutional point of reference for many people who put their lives at risk on a daily basis – who was appointed to occupy a top post (by the way, as we recently learned, a financially very, very well paid post), and he simply abandoned to his fate one police officer [myself] who had a professional history not inferior to his own, though not to his predecessor who held the same post before him.

This officer – leaving aside the solving of the monster of Florence case – was

(1) honored in the fight against the ‘ndrangheta [the Calabrian mafia] (on July 10. 2009 the Chief Prosecutor of Reggio Calabria declared publicly that Giuttari as a detective “created a turning point in the history of fight against ‘ndrangheta”);

(2) honored in the fight against the camorra (when responsible for the judiciary police department of the Anti-Mafia Division of Naples, I was appointed on request of the national Anti-mafia prosecutor Bruno Siclari for travel to South America for an important and dangerous investigation about an international drug traffic and an impressive series of murders);

(3) honored in the fight against the Cosa Nostra, and in particular the investigation of the 1993 mafia massacres of Florence, Rome and Milan (chief prosecutor Vigna, as he concluded the preliminary investigation, sent a letter to the head of the Anti-mafia Division – letter #8/95, sent on 2.2.1995 – where he stressed the officer’s important contribution);     

I could go on.

They were all “pure” investigation , with no contribution from mafia turncoats or cooperators!

And what about the head of the state police?

He didn’t do what he was supposed to in his function as the police chief:

(1) protect his officer, from risks including those deriving from the important police activities accomplished; answer – or make someone answer for his office – the explanatory letters that were sent to him, very detailed letters which had a judicial corroboration today (letters were sent directly to him on 2.20.2010 and 5.20. 2010);

(2) protect him from professional and economical damage (for example by paying in advance, as was his duty, the legal expenses)  since he knew very well that the officer operated in an institutional role, in the name of and on behalf of his administration.

He remained deaf to the various requests which were forwarded by the Minister of Interior himself at that time, he didn’t do anything. Inexplicably, he ignored everything. 

And further, I cannot keep quiet about the punishments against the cooperators in my working team.

None of them was allowed to go back to the Mobile Squad, they were all appointed to totally unrewarding duties such as guard work.  All these humiliations were offenses to the personal dignity of hard working people, as humble servants of the state let alone being police officers. And moreover it was true professional competences that were lost. 

A deafening silence.

I might go on but I want to recall instead what Manganelli did – even at the cost of his own public exposure – in favor of those colleagues who were involved in the Genoa G8 events, the saddest page in the history of Italian police to my memory!

They were actually promoted in their rank and functions! I think about what he did for them, even paying thousands and thousands of euros in advance for their legal expenses and for the provisional damage payments, as reported in newspapers (Il Secolo XIX of 5. 22. 2010, p.6).

A deafening silence.

These of the head of police are conducts reasonably leading anyone to conclude that he used a double standard, he considered his employees, involved in different cases, as divided between “sons and stepsons” (the Genoa case ended with definitive convictions of all on all charges, the case where I was involved was shown to be a judicial flop). 

Or even better put (it is incorrect to call his behavior a “double standard” or a different treatment for “sons and stepsons”)  it was actually two opposite policies, on situations that were opposites to each other.

No, that’s really not good at all. That’s not how it should be. 

And you should not ignore your own employees while you listen to those who are criminally indicted, you have your personal secretary call to fix a hearing at the Ministry with them, and you listen to them while they complain against others who were investigating them by written orders of the Public Minister ! (in the trial papers – no longer officially secret – there are phone call recordings with unequivocal meaning).

the head of police Manganelli was utterly disappointing to me, since he revealed himself to be light-years distant from the man and the officer I happened to know at the beginning of the eighties, before his drift into pernicious “political” things.

Hopefully, soon or later, a parliament inquiry on the Perugia and Florence judicial events will be appointed, to search into the behavior of some institutional personalities. I’ll be ready to offer my contribution to that.

And I’m sure Dr. Mignini will do the same too.

I conclude with a twofold question:  Will the head of police now feel some guil, at least morally as a person? Doesn’t he think he should respond – if not to an ordinary court – to the most severe tribunal of his own conscience, within his internal judgment?

Michele Giuttari,  ex-head of the Florence Mobile Squad

 



[Cover of Michele Gittari’s book “The Evil Dreams of Florence ”]


Friday, September 21, 2012

CNN’s Jane Velez Mitchell Has A Nervous Sollecito And Then TWO Guests Who Think He Did It

Posted by Peter Quennell



A lively debate! CNN Headline News tonight around 7:30. No “I wuz beaten up by meanie policemen” claims this time by Sollecito.

Mistakes were made by all the speakers, but super-lawyer Wendy Murphy and the crime blogger Levi Page gave the case for guilt their best shot. Even the third commentator thinks the timing of the book is insane.

Wendy Murphy didnt know about the Meredith book, but it was published only in England and transgressed no Italian law. She did vigorously get across just how much evidence there is, and not for the first time. See her tough article here and tough interview here where she assesses Knox as dangerous.

Jane, Mignini is NOT in a ton of trouble and never was. No satanism, repeat, no satanism. Your senior CNN colleague Nancy Grace believed Knox did it. Your CNN colleague Drew Griffen set Mignini up. See here and also here.

There were no leaks - at least not by Mignini. He never leaks. There were no tabloids, at least not in Italy. The only 2-3 were in the UK, and they affected no jury. There was no invented Foxy Knoxy - that was her own Internet presence.

Sollecito couldnt get his story out? But he maintained a code of total silence for four years - could THAT have been the problem? And Sollecito did NOT support Amanda’s alibi - he sold her down the river in a heartbeat when a policeman looked at him funny (kidding - just a little).

And what’s with your squealing, Jane?! He isnt THAT adorable. Not if you are at the wrong end of a knife.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear CEO Gary Pruitt: Could The Associated Press Try To Report Right A Little Harder?

Posted by Peter Quennell





The New York-based Associated Press (headquarters shown at bottom) bills itself as the world’s oldest and largest news-gathering organization.

[From the AP website] More than one billion people look to The Associated Press (AP) for news each day. Founded in 1848, the AP is the world’s foremost information resource with more than 3,700 employees at 242 bureaus worldwide serving 121 countries 24 hours a day, seven days a week via newspaper, radio, television and the Web.

The AP is a co-operative owned by over 1,000 newspapers and, like most of the mainstream media it serves, the AP rather has its back against the wall. From the Wikipedia entry:

The AP lost $14.7 million in 2010 as revenue plummeted for a second consecutive year. 2010 revenue totaled $631 million, a decline of 7% from the previous year. This is despite sweeping price cuts designed to bolster revenues and help newspapers and broadcasters cope with declining revenue.

That image above is of Gary Pruitt. A lot is riding on him to sustain a quality service and deversify in any way he can to pump those revenues back up. Right now, he is a senior media executive in Sacramento, California, but he will become the president and CEO of the AP in two months.

Most Americans hear far more about Meredith’s case from the AP than they do from any other source. Typically the AP sends out a story every few days when the case is live in Perugia. Typically these stories then get posted on 200 to 2,000-pus media websites in the US and around the world.

The AP also sends out many video reports, which are broadcast by the many member TV stations, and the AP also posts them on YouTube. If you search Google Video for “associated press meredith kercher” you will get 30,000 hits, and if you search “associated press amanda knox” you will get ten times that amount.

The AP reports on the case have at times veered to the deeply trivial. Here is a post about Amanda Knox’s 2008 Christmas in prison which included only a single sentence about the real victim Meredith and her family. Within hours it was up on 800 websites.

The AP reports have also at times included seriously wrong facts.  Sometimes it corrects them, sometimes not. Here is a post about a correction of a mistake which appeared on about 2,000 websites. The apology has been removed but the story when posted was inaccurate and it has been re-written to hide that. .

But the real gut problem in AP reporting on the case is one of deep superficiality and of leaving an awful lot unsaid.

Here is a report by the AP cultural and publishing correspondent Hillel Italie (image below) in New York.  It is essentially correct so far as it goes, but it is a good example of the republishing of press releases while leaving an awful lot unsaid.

Here are just three examples of what the AP could have covered in this report and its many other reports but so far hasn’t.

  • All trials and appeals have concluded with a sentencing report in Italian explaining what the reasons of the judges were. The AP has not only done no translation (it has bilingual reporters in Italy); of the reports’ very existence, the AP audience would never know.

  • There is a lot of legal activity just ahead in the Supreme Court appeal against RS and AK and the calunnia and perversion of justice trials. The once-convicted perps are now looking at a formidable new prosecutor, though the AP audience would never know.

  • There has been a costly, huge and highly onesided PR effort which has been unfairly hard on Italy and its justice system and its police and prosecutors and experts, to the point often of defamation, but the AP audience would never know.

Anyone who gets their news on the case only from the AP would essentially know NOTHING of the facts we have advanced in all the recent posts on the books and shortly before that in all the recent facts on the appeal and family trials. They would know only a tiny fraction of the full universe of facts and much of what they do “know” is flat-out wrong. 

Nice going, Associated Press. Your worst performance ever, perhaps? But then, why bother, when only an entire very civilized country and hundreds of its officials and truth and justice are being slimed?

What most Italians know of the details of the case is maybe ten times more detailed and comprehensive and fair and accurate than what most Americans and many Brits know. Italian reporting and interviews and media investigations are very fair. In contrast the AP is proving lazy and sloppy and inaccurate. Not to mention very dishonest.

Mr Pruitt, please ensure that AP reporting learns something from this? Right now, they are falling seriously short. 

[Below: the Associated Press cultural and publishing reporter Hillel Italie in New York]

[Below: part of the main AP press room located on 33rd Street on the west side of Manhattan]

[Below: the AP occupies space in that large square dark building immediately behind the Hudson Rail Yards]


Friday, October 28, 2011

A Famous Black Widow Confirms What MP Girlanda Told Us First: Italian Prisons Are Pretty Nice Places

Posted by Peter Quennell




Florence is 70 miles north of Perugia along a winding roller coaster of an autostrada which everyone drives at great speed.

If you take more than 1/2 an hour you are a sissy. (Just kidding.) The global luxury goods empire House of Gucci with stores in New York, Shanghai, and many other main cities was founded in Florence in 1921.

In 1998 Maurizio Gucci the grandson of the founder who was then aged 46 was executed by a hit man in Milan.

He had sold financial control of the empire he had managed to greatly expand to a Bahrain group in 1993 and then turned to doing other things. That included several girlfriends or mistresses which greatly distressed his wife.

Patrizia Reggiani was subsequently tried for initiating the hit and she was sentenced to 29 years which was reduced on appeal to 26. Nick Squires in the Daily Telegraph picks up the story from there.

Patrizia Reggiani has been in jail ever since being convicted of the killing in 1998. More than a decade later, she was the prospect of day release from Milan’s San Vittore prison, if she will accept a menial job such as working as a waitress.

But the 63-year-old, whose extravagant tastes included spending 10,000 euros a month on orchids, told a court in Milan: “I’ve never worked in my life and I’m certainly not going to start now.”

Her peremptory refusal of the day release deal echoed one of her more famous quotes: “I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.”

Instead she intends to serve the rest of her 26-year sentence in her jail cell, where she reportedly lavishes affection on a collection of pot plants and a pet ferret.

She will continue to be allowed to make twice-monthly visits to her ageing mother, who lives in a lavish palazzo in central Milan – a reminder of the cosseted lifestyle Mrs Reggiani used to enjoy.

A not-unpopular figure in Italy, she may soon be depicted by Angelina Jolie in a new Ridley Scott film to be called “Gucci” with Leonardo di Caprio as the hapless Maurizio. 

The description of Patrizia’s prison life comes with no surprises. If you are going to be a prisoner anywhere in the world, Italy does seem the place of choice. .

The prison population is very small (proportionally only 1/6 that of the US) and prisoners often get their own bathroom and even a kitchen attached to their cell. They can watch TV and walk outside (in many prisons cell doors are kept open all day) and get their hair done professionally and attend rock concerts and plays. They can learn a trade if they lack skills, study for a degree, and even work on a computer all day.

Knox and Sollecito are believed to have done all of these things. Not least because the Italian MP Rocco Girlanda often visited Knox in Capanne and publicly told us all so. Mr Girlanda regularly visited to inspect conditions and then he declared Knox to be very well off. (He in return ended up with enough material for a book which nowhere depicted prison life as hell.)

These sob-stuff stories on torrid life at Capanne suddenly emerging from Seattle sure smack of an instant rewrite of history. Perhaps Angelina Jolie could check them out.


[Image at bottom: the Gucci museum in Florence which recently had a celebrity opening]








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.   


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Slanted Associated Press Paroting Of Knox PR Campaign Release Achieves Over 800 Google Hits

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Marta Falconi’s rather slanted AP report.

At time of posting it appears on at least 800 news websites. It opens with these paragraphs sympathetic to Knox’s Christmas plight:

The family of an American student accused of killing her British roommate says she is heading into her second Christmas in jail disappointed at a trial delay but “holding up pretty well under the circumstances”.

Knox is planning to attend an in-jail Christmas Day Mass, the family said in a recent statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Visitors are not allowed to bring in wrapped presents, but Knox’s parents are trying to get her “warm sheets, slippers, cold weather underwear, wool socks and a sweater.”

Trial delay? Of course the trial might have happened very much faster if (1) the defendants had not told several differing stories, (2) the crime scene had not been extensively rearranged to make it look like a sole-perpetrator crime, and (3) more and more witnesses had not kept coming forward.

But the AP story does not mention any of this.

It instead implies that the Italian slowness is unfair. But luckily, our plucky heroine “is holding up pretty well under the circumstances.”

Then we get this single sentence - one suggesting cold indifference - on the Christmas plight of Meredith Kercher’s sad, bereft family.

For their part, Kercher’s family will be spending their second Christmas without Meredith.

Finally, to their slight credit, the Associated Press conclude with the prosecutor’s scenario of the crime.

Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say Guede tried to sexually assault Kercher, and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.

Prosecutors say Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the slaying, while Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade.

For that slight attempt at corrective balance, we reckon Falconi’s story rates an E grade rather than an F.

The AP is notorious for parroting press releases rather than for doing any real digging. American newspapers are relying on it more and more as they cut back on their own reporting operations..

It is the main source for news and analysis of Meredith’s case for most American newspapers. The case reporting has been spasmodic and indifferent at best. To its credit, the New York Times has not usually published the AP releases.

The Associated Press would welcome your feedback on the story here. So would the 800-plus newspaper sites that carried the story.

They do pay for AP’s reporting, of course.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The New York Times Finally Visits The Case

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above: the New York Times reporter Rachel Donadio]

Finally, after nearly a year, the Times comes out with a piece on the Meredith case that is more than two paragraphs long - and there have only been two of those.

The New York Times has an enormous influence on the preoccupations of the rest of the American media. The standard of Its reporting is usually pretty fine. If the Times picks up a story and runs with it, the thundering hordes in the TV and print media are usually not far behind.

Not that the Times always gets it right, however. It made a huge mess of the Clinton Whitewater affair, where after years of innuendo an independent counsel found that there was no crime.

However that opened the way to the Ken Starr investigation of the Monica Lewinsky affair where again… there was no crime.

And it bet seriously wrong on the recent Duke University spurious-rape-claim case, in which it sided with an out-of-control prosecutor, now fired, disbarred, and having his tail sued off.

Parts of Rachel Donadio’s story echo the familiar complaint from the Knox PR that the investigation was compromised and somehow Amanda Knox is not getting a fair deal.

As in the unresolved case of Madeleine McCann, the 3-year-old British girl who disappeared in Portugal during a family vacation last year, the investigation has drawn accusations of incompetence. “I’m not impressed,” said Joseph Tacopina, an American lawyer who was paid by ABC News to examine the case. He said Italian authorities had violated the crime scene. “They trampled all over that place,” he said. “That makes forensic evidence unreliable”...

“They’re brutalizing her in the press,” Curt Knox, Amanda’s father, said in an emotional interview here last week. He said his daughter had cooperated with the police and never expected to be implicated. “She is 100 percent innocent,” he said. Mr. Knox, an executive at Macy’s, and Amanda’s mother, Edda Mellas, a Seattle schoolteacher, have taken turns living in Italy to visit their daughter in prison.

Wow. Knox cooperated? The Times is already channeling the PR?  There is much more to the case than this.

Comments below transferred from our former Truthwatch page

Actually, I thought Rachel did a pretty good job all things considered.

There is one fact worth checking—did Knox or did she not have an interpreter during questioning? The family has said yes and no and yes and no and for part of the time and maybe… It’s pretty hard to keep track when they don’t.

The police have said yes, she did, and this affirmation was picked up by both CNN and the BBC.

Also, Rachel describes the Knox interview from which she took her sound bite as “emotional.” I think this has been the case (perhaps understandably) for all of the family’s public appearances and throughout its media campaign, and I think this constant emotional charge is part of the problem.

I’m not saying their emotion is not genuine, but it stands in stark contrast to the Kercher family’s disciplined silence. It must be so hard for them to remain silent, and yet they have managed to do so.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 09/30/08 at 11:58 AM | #

This report is actually old news from the New York Times reporter. It’s the initial attack strategy of the Knox team from day one of this case.

“They’re brutalizing her in the press” are they Curt?

Perhaps “they” have seen what Knox HERSELF has published on the internet for all to see.

The SELF NAMED “Foxy Knoxy”, the stories of abuse and drugging and rape of a young woman she wrote by her own hand,the image of Knox laughing crazily as she wields a machine gun at the camera titled “the nazi inside”.

Casual chit chat on her myspace page about her housemate complaining that she “can’t get laid”.

Caught on CCTV as happy as Larry just hours (so soon after, that they are both still wearing the same clothes they were photographed wearing at the murder scene) after the murder buying sexy underwear and proclaiming loudly for all the store to hear that she’s going to give Sollecito wild sex when they get home.

I could go on for ever, do some research Rachel and produce a balanced and true report.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 09/30/08 at 01:08 PM | #

A couple of points about Joe Tacopina:

Firstly, does he have an expertise in forensic science that gives him the authority to speak so knowledgeably about the crime scene being “violated” and “trampled on”?

Secondly, I think it’s worth pointing out that Joe Tacopina is a consultant for the Knox family and therefore not quite the objective investigator with no vested in the case who was hired to carry out an impartial examination of the case by ABC News.

Thirdly, despite being a self-confessed expert in forensic science, he doesn’t actually explain how the crime scene was violated or trampled on. He should give specific examples to support his point of view, otherwise he just sounds like a layman (which exactly what he is) making uninformed comments. The crime scene covered quite a large area: Meredith’s bedroom, the corridor outside, two bathrooms, Filomena’s bedroom etc. Is Joe Tacopina suggesting all these rooms were “violated”?

Finally, Joe Tacopina uses very emotive words like “violated” and “trampled on” to rather glibly dismiss the police investigation. He relies on rhetoric and not on actual facts to make his claims, which along with his professional relationship with the Knox family, raises serious questions about his credibility.

Posted by The Machine on 09/30/08 at 03:41 PM | #

I agree that citing Joe Tacopina was a mistake. It surprises me that a reporter from the NY Times would bother to interview and then quote such an incorrigible showboater. After all, he’s a semi-regular fixture in the NY Post, a tabloid!

In fact, Tacopina has made statements at various times to the effect that he is acting as an informal advisor to the Knox family, or has allowed such statements to be made about him by Barbie Nadau of Newsweek. In fact, members of the Knox/Mellas family have stated that he is not advising the family in any capacity. If he is not, then the credibility of the article suffers.

Tacopina at one point claimed to have attended a hearing on behalf of Knox (the April 19 hearing), but this was a closed hearing and sources on the ground in Perugia have noted for the record that Tacopina was nowhere near the courthouse on that day. In fact, he had flown to Italy in a failed bid to put together a consortium of buyers for an Italian football club.

Moreover, although Tacopina has an office in Rome he is not a member of the Italian bar and thus is not licensed to practice law there. Nor is he an expert on the Italian legal system or this case. He is just a guy who is always looking for the limelight, always ready with a sound bite. Surely the NY Times—my favorite newspaper in the world along with Le Monde—can do better.

Finally, I agree with TM above about Tacopina’s use of inflammatory rhetoric to describe the work of the Italian police. He also makes unsubstantiated claims about this investigation. I hope that either the national police guild or the national association of magistrates sues his ass for repeatedly making such irresponsible statements. He stands among those people who think that, because justice is supposedly blind, they can pull the wool over our eyes.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 09/30/08 at 04:54 PM | #

Quote by Amanda Knox: Most chicks don’t know what they want”

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 10/01/08 at 05:05 AM | #

“They’re brutalizing her in the press,” Curt Knox, Amanda’s father, said in an emotional interview here last week.

Amanda hasn’t been brutalized in the press or anywhere else for that matter. I think it’s quite telling that Curt Knox and Joe Tacopina resort to hyperbole when proclaiming Amanda’s innocence. They are seeking to appeal to people emotions by attempting to whip up hysteria rather than logically arguing their point of view and using facts to support their opinions. Curt Knox’s use of the word “brutalized” is particularly inappropriate when you consider that Meredith was sexually assaulted and murdered.

Curt Knox does not know that Amanda is 100% innocent. If Amanda is innocent, why did she lie repeatedly to the police?

Posted by The Machine on 10/01/08 at 03:29 PM | #

  Most chicks don’t know what they want

Can anyone give us the precise quotation? Deathfish made me very curious about the context but Google doesn’t return anything under that wording.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/01/08 at 05:33 PM | #

Here is the precise quotations:

“A thing you have to know about chicks is that they don’t know what they want,”

I tried to find Amanda’s short story, Baby Brother, from which the quotation is taken on the Internet, but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared. Amanda’s mirrored MySpace page and blog also seem to have vanished into thin air.

Posted by The Machine on 10/01/08 at 05:47 PM | #

Thanks Machine. I am pretty sure I have the Baby Brother short story. I’ll check tonight.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/01/08 at 05:51 PM | #

Here you go. Baby Brother by Amanda Knox Scroll down - it is about half-way down, and there is another literary piece right after it.

How does it shape up as literature, by the way? I have not yet read a literary critique. I think a Knox or a Mellas said it was a class assignment? What grade did it attract?

We have a save of that web page for future reference, by the way, if the link mysteriously goes dead. You know, for possible future reviews in our respected Literary area….

Rachel, when you come by again, this would seem to be a significant exhibit in any in-depth discussion of brutalization.

Posted by Fast Pete on 10/01/08 at 06:00 PM | #


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