The Knox Interrogation Hoax #2: Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

1. Overview of this hoax series

Knox turned up at the central police station unwanted late on 5-6 Nov 2007 and briefly helped police with a list of seven names. Her version of this has morphed into a gigantic hoax.

One highly consistent version of the brief chat was testified to by all those officials present, and accepted by all courts including the Italian Supreme Court. Knox has served three years in prison for it and the US Embassy saw nothing done wrong.

And then there is Knox’s endlessly shifting version, inflated opportunistically and erratically by herself and wannabee experts over nearly seven years now. Knox has done so in numerous interviews, in her 2013 book, on her website, in her email to Judge Nencini, and in her “appeal” to the European Court of Human Rights. And the PR shills have done so on websites, on TV, in books, and in attempts to lobby the US federal government.

This version was repudiated several times by her smart Italian lawyers (though not by her foolish American lawyers) and they did next to nothing to try to verify it when questioning those officials at trial.

See a longer summary in Post #1 here.

2. The Testimony Of Inspector Rita Ficarra

Inspector Rita Ficarra was the one who initiated and led the discussion with Knox up to when Knox made her first statement, the first implicating Patrick Lumumba. 

What follows is the cross-examination of Inspector Ficarra by the prosecution and all four cross-examining defense lawyers.

It would have been a really huge gain for the defenses at trial - a not-guilty verdict would have been almost guaranteed - if they had rattled Rita Ficarra and had her admit to Knox’s coercion. Especially by the supposed alternating tag teams. Especially of a Knox without food, drink, sleep, or breaks for the bathroom.

But note that in their cross-examinations NOT ONE defense lawyer even tried to go there. In their questioning of Rita Ficarra, that mundane scenario of the two brief sessions we describe above seems a given - their own sticking point.

Here “GCM” is Judge Massei. As the defenses fully acknowledged, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation. Claims that it was are a key part of the great hoax.

This English translation of the relevant part of Rita Ficarra’s testimony on 28 February 2009 was by main poster and professional translator ZiaK. Her full translation will appear soon on the Meredith Case Wiki.

Prosecutor Mignini Leads Testimony

Giuliano Mignini [GM]: Carry on. We have arrived at the evening of the 5th.

Rita Ficarra [RF]: The evening of the 5th, then, I returned to the Questura around 2300 hours, with another of my colleagues, and I found - when the lift/elevator door opened – I saw, I met Amanda. I saw that she was with other of my colleagues. In effect, the door of the lift/elevator opens on a lobby that is [situated] even before [you reach] the entry to the offices of the Flying Squad: there’s quite a big space.

My astonishment was that I saw, I found her there, and I found her doing – demonstrating – her gymnastic abilities: she was doing a cartwheel; she had shown the back arch, she had done the splits, and it seemed to me, sincerely, a bit out of place, that is to say given the circumstances, the moment and the place. For which [reason] I admonished her, and I even asked her what she was doing there.

She, and my colleagues also confirmed this, said to me that she had come because they had called Raffaele Sollecito, he had been invited that evening to give another recap, and she had accompanied him.

Judge Massei [GCM]: You said this to her in English or in Italian?

RF: In Italian. I reiterate that she speaks Italian, with me she speaks only in Italian. I do not understand a word of English, so … My colleagues confirm that there was Sollecito who was there in another room and in that moment the Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni and other colleagues were listening to him. And continuing to speak, the girl told me that she was rather shocked at the fact, annoyed at the fact that she had been called and recalled several times by the Police and [that] she was totally tired.

At that point, I also admonished her because I said: you’re tired, yet nonetheless you came this evening, when nobody has invited you: you could have gone to rest. And furthermore – I said – you don’t understand that we are talking about a murder, of a person that you say was your friend, [who] lived in the same house as you, it happened in your house. If the Police call you, put yourself in our shoes: we need useful information.

GCM: So there’s this …

RF: More than anything else ... Yes, in the end I had a quiet talk because I was trying to make her understand that our intention was to to seek [her] collaboration: for me, she was a precious witness precisely because she had been close to the victim, she had been – she lived – in that house, they had gone to pubs/clubs together.

And so I explained to her that the reason for which she had been called and recalled several times, it was because I was [sic.: NdT: typo? “ero” instead of “erano” = “there had”] emerged some significant contradictions between what she had declared and the subsequent information that other subjects had given us, that there had even emerged some lies in the end, [which were] nonetheless ascertained by the person who had carried out the crime-scene inspection, who had been on the scene of the crime, or at least in the vicinity.

I said: we are asking for collaboration. I, from the first time that I heard her, I always insisted on knowing what the victim’s associations might be, whether she knew which people had known her [i.e. the victim], with friendly relationships, with mere acquaintanceship, who had been to the house, above all subjects who had been to the house there.

GCM: Yes, activities to which ...

RF: Activities, this I say because I [will] then explain why she gave me the names, named a few persons in the end, that is to say, in the end she understood, she said. I also explained to her that some of the lies that at the beginning might be understandable, such as the fact of saying “No, I don’t use drugs”, in the end…

GCM: [You/One] cannot report, obviously, on the declarations …

RF: Yes, but if I don’t say this, it will not be understood why then [later] she told me many things in the note.

GCM: Yes, it can be said in relation to the investigations, to the investigation activities that were subsequently executed.

RF: Yes, exactly.

GCM: Only in this limit and in this limit, that is, they are not useable when you refer to [speech] from …

RF: Yes, to understand why she told me things that I was not quick enough to write afterwards; they had necessarily/therefore to be written in the later note. I’m coming to this to say that, on that evening, therefore, she understands [sic: RF uses present tense] my intentions and says to me: “Ok, I now will tell you the names of other persons” because I invited her myself to look at her mobile phone, at the phonebook/contacts list, I say [sic, i.e. “said”]: “Bring someone to your mind [i.e. = “remember”]. It’s not possible that no-one ever entered this house, or only two people. Call to mind who might have known her”.

So she runs through her mobile-phone contacts list and starts to look at a series of numbers, and then she remembers and says to me “Look, it’s come [back], there were another four-five people that I know who knew her, some of these actually came to the house, some of them I brought myself”. She gives me the references of telephone numbers and for some she also gives me references of where, in particular of Patrick Lumumba, she gives me the particulars of where, of the area where he might live.

She says to me that she even worked with him and from there she tears, that is to say she makes me this little drawing on a big notebook pad she always had with her, after which she tears it out for me and so it was then “acquired” [NdT: as an exhibit], in short, I attached/appended it to the note.

At that point I say to her: “for me it is important then that we write these [names etc down], that therefore, since you are waiting [NdT. i.e. for Raffaele], let’s go do a follow-up to the recap that you have already given me, have already submitted to me”. So I go to the office, that is to say, I go into the office room, and we begin to write. 

GM: Listen: before continuing, she wrote a note?

RF: Yes.

GM: The note: you can, I believe you can consult/examine/refer to it.

GCM: Yes, certainly, it is permitted to consult/examine/refer to her records.

GM: I am referring to everything that that note reported.

RF: Yes, I’ve already said that, in effect… The note of 6 November, at 2000 hours, I made it in the evening because having then not slept for two days, I went [straight] to bed in morning when I finished. Morning and afternoon.

The first part I’ve already related and it gives me indications about these boys, about non-Italians, about a certain PJ Peter Svizzero, who had seemingly been several times in their home and who lived nearby the area of via della Pergola 7.

Patrick, of the [sic] owner of the pub, Le Chique [sic], where she herself worked, I’ve already said, she gives me the mobile-phone information.

Then she speaks of a certain Ardak, a North African citizen, and gives me the mobile-phone information.

A certain Juve, an Algerian citizen, who worked occasionally at the Le Chique [sic] pub and who apparently lived in the vicinity of the home of another of the victim’s friends, of Sofie [sic], also for him she gives me the mobile information.

Spiros, a young lad of Greek nationality, for whom she givers me only the mobile-phone information.

Shaki [Hicham Khirir], a Moroccan citizen who works in a pizzeria, frequents the [same] pubs [as those] frequented by all the girls of the victim’s group, and [is] also friends with Sofie [sic].

She furthermore reports about a black South African boy, short, who plays basketball in the Piazza Grimana court, [and] who on one occasion had apparently visited the home of the boys who lived underneath the apartment.

GM: Was “South African” an exact term?

RF: No, no. In fact, I wanted to explain that she didn’t recall the particulars of this boy, or at least she did not tell me about them, so I said to her that if she recalled also any boy who had been in the home of the neighbours, of the students who lived below, because we had found out from these other boys that there had been a meeting between them; one evening they had had a little party in their home and that they had [sic], in which there was also [sic], in that circumstance there was also Amanda and Meredith.

And she said to me: “Yes, it’s true, I remember that boy. But I know neither his name nor can I give you his telephone number because I never saw him again. I can’t say anything else.” This is what she said to me, therefore she was ...

GM: But she said South African or [Côte d’]Ivorian?

RF: South African in the sense that I wanted to mean of a dark colour, that is a person, excuse me, not …

GM: Go on…

RF: South African. [It’s] nothing. Then she confided other things to me, because I had in fact - as I said earlier Mr President, that otherwise I couldn’t explain what she reported to me in the note – she had told me several times that she had never seen …

GCM: Excuse me please. She had never seen? These will not be useable, but let’s hear.

RF: In short, she never saw or smoked joints, had never used drugs, but here instead she says, contrary to what she had told me, she says to me that yes, a few times I’ve used, or at any rate I’ve used …

GCM: But only that which you have …

RF: She tells me this, I say it in the note, she tells me herself.

GCM: Yes, in the note, in this conversation…

RF: She tells me also who supplied it in this circumstance.

GCM: In the informal conversation.

RF: In that conversation, exactly.

GCM: Before the taking [down] of information.

RF: Yes.

GCM: Please.

RF: And so, she says to me that she had used substances such as hashish together with her boyfriend Raffaele. She says to me that, according to what he had confided to her, he had also used other substances in the past, but that for the moment, to her knowledge, it was only the fact that he used hashish.

GM: To narcotic substances, obviously, of various types.

RF: Yes, of the type… She tells me of hashish type, in the past, she says that he seemingly confided that had used other substances but even stronger, stronger substances.

GM: Cocaine, for example?

RF: Other substances.

GM: I ...

RF: yes, types [such as] cocaine, yes, yes, yes. I wrote that, in fact. And nothing that actually [NdT: or “currently”] instead he used only, that they together used smoke [sic – NdT: slang for “hash”].

GM: Here we go, and ok. So then she continued. What did you do… Ok, then ...

RF: Then what happens? I acknowledge/admit that Knox, following the notification of the order for arrest issued by the Public Prosecutor, actually immediately after, that it was notified to her and that its content was translated into English by the interpreter, she gives me, that is, she asks me to give her a pen and papers because she intends to write.

In my presence she did this, [and] that [i.e. presence] of the interpreter, there was Colantoni in the late morning and there was Inspector Sergio Ragni, because we were in their office. We gave her pen and paper and she began to write, honestly I didn’t understand what … What was her intention?

She asked me: “please give me a pen and paper” and says to me: “I want to give you a gift”, where by “regalo” I understood that she meant a pardon, she meant “I want to give you a thing, I want to give it to you please, I would like that you read this before accompanying/taking me to jail, so that you can have clearer ideas about what I’m thinking and about what I have already told you, and if you have any questions to ask me, you read it”.

She said to me and together with all the other policemen/women, “this way, if you have any questions to ask me because you have doubts, please ask me them first”. Justly I, apart from the fact that it was written in English, and then they were calling for me at the [very] moment she handed it over, precisely, traded [sic: NdT: “commercial” in Italian. Perhaps typo for “commensurato”? i.e. “at the very moment”] of being taken to jail.

Already they were stressing to me that it was late and we could not tarry any longer, so she gave me that sheet and pointed out to me that she would have [liked to have] delivered it to the judicial authority, because it was this [authority] that was proceeding: I could not do anything more. So this was the evening of the 5th, but here, this is it, the contents of my note. Then here, the recaps/information that she gave me earlier however should be incorporated.

GM: In fact, let’s go back to the evening of the 5th.

RF: On the evening of the 5th, after having made these declarations to me about these people who might in some way have known Meredith, might in some way have had something to do with the victim, I say to “so, let’s go in and write down the content, what you’re telling me”.

GM: Do you remember what time it was, more or less?

RF: Well, look, we had called the interpreter first/earlier, so then I started to chat with her informally at 11 when I arrived, so therefore not before one-thirty [i.e. 0130 hours], perhaps enough time ...

GM: So it was in the very early hours of the 6th?

RF: Yes, in the very early hours of the 6th, the time it took for the interpreter to join us, and we started to write.

GM: Listen, how was Amanda? I ask you [what was] her behaviour, how she was behaving, shall we say, in the various ...

RF: I repeat, I already said it earlier, about how I was astonished already when I was coming out of the elevator/lift by what I saw, and I had already admonished her. I admonished her even more so because I saw that in the preceding days she had had - contrary to all the other people that I saw there, who were all sad, all afflicted - I had always seen her either skipping around or flirting with Raffaele, smothering each other with kisses [NdT: i.e. smooching/snogging].

She had been admonished more than once for this behaviour that did not seem fitting for either the place or the situation.

GM: So, even while you were listening to her, she was as unworried/unconcerned as she had been?

RF: I told you that she was doing cartwheels…

GM: No, no, that was when you arrived. But I’m saying, even when, shortly after midnight, you had started to hear her [NdT: i.e. listen to what she had to say]?

RF: She was very calm, she was calm because we had a quiet chat, I said “Since you came here yourself, no-one called you, you’re giving me extra information, let’s write it down properly, because there could be very important details for us”. She had understood very well that ...

And she was calm, she says [sic]: “Yes, yes, ok. let’s wait for the interpreter that way we avoid misunderstandings”, and that is what we did. The problem [is] that at a certain point, the problem, that is to say, the fact that at a certain point there was a colleague from the SCO [NdT: “Servizio centrale operativo”, Central operations service], who came from the place where they were listening to Raffaele Sollecito.

And then after that came the Deputy Commissioner Monica Napoleoni, who says to me that Sollecito had said different things, that in effect he was no longer giving an alibi to Amanda, and therefore to ask Amanda, since I was recording [NdT: in the sense “writing down what was said”] her - [or] I had started to report/write down - to ask what the latter had done that evening in particular, in other words, to focus on that evening more than on anything else: we were interested in the hour more or less preceeding ...

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]: Mr President, until now we, obviously, we have not opposed each other because what was being referred to was an information [note], etc., if [i.e. perhaps] now we start the analysis of the memoranda we are “punto e daccapo” [sic. NdT: probably “punto e a capo”, i.e. “start a new paragraph”].

RF: No, I am not hurting [sic] any of those that ...

GCM: Yes, yes, excuse me. You cannot report, unless it is necessary/useful, “we are closed in this”?? [sic. NdT: possible misunderstanding from verbatim typists? possibly “if in this there were”?] in the event that there were declarations made they would not be useable.

GM: With these clarifications/explanations, you illustrate that which happened, without of course reporting the content of the declarations, save for if these are indispensable for making us understand…

RF: So, they called me to tell me that there were contradictions and I heard her [i.e. what she had to say] about these contradictions.

At the time when she was heard, she was asked to show us her mobile phone in order to check just in case whether in the memory there were messages that referred to appointments that evening, and we were able to see, myself and the other colleagues who were present, [while] scrolling through that mobile phone, that there had been easily, that there were various messages from the days preceding the 1st.

We even saw that there were messages with the victim from the 31st [October] that they should meet in some way or another, or at any rate they made a semi-appointment to see each other later, and then there were no others [messages].

GM: The evening of the 1st? The evening of the 31st?

RF: Of the 31st. On the day of the 1st, then, there was only one message. I remember that it concerned the night, around 0145 hours between the 31st and the 1st, with a subject with whom [she] said they would meet up, that they should meet up on the stairs of the Duomo, and then there are no further messages and we found a message sent around 2000-2030 hours it seems to me, around that time but at any rate it is in the files because we also photographed the mobile phone with the message where the name of Patrick appeared, and there was this message that said… Can I report it?

GCM: Yes, did you see it?

RF: Yes, certainly I saw it. We saw it together. It said “Certainly”...

GM: We saw it or else I will show you it if ....

RF: Yes. “Certainly. See you later. Good evening.” [Certo. Ci vediamo più tardi. Buona serata.]. It was the only [message] of that evening, and we asked who this Patrick was, and this seemed to us an appointment, see you later, certainly, in response to another [message]. We did not find any messages received around that time, so we did not find the message to which she was responding.

We found only that one sent by her. She, in the moment in which was, she was given the mobile into her hand, so it was said who is this person, so did you go out later or not, she said the name of Patrick Lumumba and gave the declaration that then ...

GM: And what behaviour did she then adopt/assume?

RF: She suddenly put her hands to her head, burst out crying and said to us “It’s him, it’s him, it was him, he killed her”. It was the only time that I saw her cry.

GM: This behaviour, did she then continue like that during the course of that morning, by now we were at what time?...

RF: No, she was as if she was giving vent in that moment, she cried, she began to say that he was crazy, he was crazy.

LG: No, that’s not possible, excuse me…

GCM: No, the question ...

GM: I was still talking about the behaviour.

GB: The behaviour is [described] in all the reports.

GCM: No, the behaviour, what was it?

RF: But this is not in the reports.

GCM: Sorry, the behaviour, what was it [like]?

RF: The behaviour was that she brought her hands ...

GCM: Were there fits of crying, were there ...

RF: Yes, yes. She brought her hands to her head, she started to “sgrullare” [NdT: Tuscan dialect: = either “shake” or “hit”] her head, she started to weep, she burst out crying and said that it was him.

GCM: Please.

LG: And suspends the report.

RF: I suspended the report obviously so that she could say what she said to me.

GM: There you go. And after that, what happened?

RF: After that, that morning, she then at a certain point said to me that she needed to rest because she was tired, and I left her rather than take her down to the cells below.

GM: Did she make any further declarations?

RF: I suspended the report, we took the declarations together with you, Doctor [Mignini], she maintained the same behaviour, and also there she began again to cry then.

GM: So we have arrived [at the point] after the “hearing” [i.e. the questioning], the spontaneous declarations, she wanted to sleep, wanted to rest?

RF: Yes, she wanted to rest. She said to me that she was tired, wanted to rest, felt a bit ill. We made her take something warm from the bar, it was already the early hours, it was well into the morning in short. I joined some chairs/seats together for her, I made her rest/lie down.

I tried to close the door so no-one would enter, because otherwise there was too much coming and going of people since they were going about preparing other reports/files, so at a certain point we were left [with] just me and Inspector Ragni, who arrived in the morning, and we did the reports, the arrest reports, we did them in there while she was resting.

GM: After which?

RF: Afterwards, when she got up, I took her to the bar to eat something and I was even admonished for that, because I took her without, that is I calmly [took her] here and there even though she was already under arrest.

GM: Do you recall, shall we say, that night between the 1st and then the spontaneous declarations and then the order for arrest, who and what was with her, other than you, whether there were other subjects that spoke with us, how they behaved? Did [she] undergo/experience violent [sic: NdT: “violente” in Italian, probably typo for “violenze” = “violence/force/assault”] by any chance?

RF: Absolutely not.

GM: Was she intimidated, threatened?

RF: No. I, as I said earlier, I came in that evening and there were some colleagues from the Rome SCO, I was with Inspector Fausto Passeri, then I saw come out, that is come out from the entry-door to the offices of the Flying [Squad] the Assistant Zugarini and Monica Napoleoni, who appeared for an instant just outside there, then we went back in calmly, because the discussion we had with her was quite calm.

Everything that she asked [for] we gave it to her, I repeat, she was treated with firmness and severity whereby by “severity” I mean that she was admonished in the moment when circumstances called for admonishment. She was treated with kindness and courtesy by all, because nothing was denied to her that she wanted.

In fact I made her sleep, I took her down for breakfast, I took her back [NdT: down to the canteen] before she left for jail to eat something because it was late by then. It seems to me that nobody in there treated her badly, absolutely [not].

GM: Listen, then after that there was the arrest, after how much time?

RF: The arrest happened after midday, she, immediately after the notification of arrest, after having read the contents in English, was there saying to me: “Please, can you give me some paper, I must write [something]”/

GM: Listen, this “memoriale” [NdT: a report/a note/a memoir] of the 6th, do you know if there were checks carried out, what was done in relation to this “memoriale”?

RF: Look here, on the che… the “memoriale”  was in English, so surely it was … I gave it to the Murder Section, so to the Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, who looked after sending it to the judicial authority with the related translation, clearly, the translation in Italian, the checks were surely carried out.

GM: In relation to Lumumba’s position?

RF: Yes. What should I say?

GM: Whether you know [sic]. Do you know whether the checks were carried out regarding this “memoriale” on Lumumba’s position?

RF: That night?

GM: No, subsequently.

RF: Subsequently, yes. I even did some myself. I went to carry out a search at Lumumba’s house, I went to carry out a search at the pub. We heard/questioned various witnesses on the possible opening or closing of the Pub during the incriminated [sic] evening.

GM: So that memoriale gave you the prompting/cue/idea/starting point for carrying out these investigations on Patrick?

RF: Certainly, because …

[Dr Mignini’s questiong moves on to what happened next]

Defense attorney Maori [LM] crossexamins

LM: I heard, in your answers to the Public Prosecutor, you were very precise, accurate, so you had a photographic vision/image of that situation, and so on the basis of these you have also prepared very detail reports and service notes.

So, how many times did you see Miss Amanda from the moment when you [NdT: or also “she”] actually arrived at the Questura?

RF: I already said it earlier, I saw her on the 2nd when I heard/questioned her, in the afternoon, on the 3rd.

I don’t remember clearly whether it was the 3rd or the 4th that I accompanied her at the instruction of the judicial authority to Via della Pergola. Then at any rate, the 2nd in the afternoon, I heard her again, then on the 3rd…

At any rate, when I saw her I always took minutes/wrote a report with her[NdT: RF actually seems to use “verbalizzare” in the sense “talk with” or “question”, but I have used the correct translation as “report on/take minutes on”], except on that occasion…

LM: The 4th?

RF: No, the 4th, no. I did not take minutes/write a report on her the 4th.

LM: And also on the 6th, you saw her.

RF: And the night of the 5th, so between the 5th and the 6th.

LM: For how long did you remain together with Amanda, in the sense of [being] in the same room?

RF: Quite a bit.

LM: So you saw the person of Amanda Knox for quite some time?

RF: Yes.

LM: Did you see that the latter had any wounds or had any scratches or ...

RF: No.

LM: Or some ...

RF: Where?

LM: I asked you if she had any wounds or any scratches and you answered no. Thank you.

RF: You’re welcome.

Inspector Ficcara’s testimony continues in Post #3.


The dogs that didnt bark….  these defense lawyers must have been dying slow deaths.

They cannot hide that they were flying blind, uncertain of anything that Knox had told them.  Here are three points unhelpful to Knox and the other hoaxers

1. Little questioning; Knox was only questioned by Ficarra 3 times

RF: I already said it earlier, I saw her on the 2nd when I heard/questioned her, in the afternoon, on the 3rd.

I don’t remember clearly whether it was the 3rd or the 4th that I accompanied her at the instruction of the judicial authority to Via della Pergola. Then at any rate, the 2nd in the afternoon, I heard her again, then on the 3rd…

At any rate, when I saw her I always took minutes/wrote a report with her[NdT: RF actually seems to use “verbalizzare” in the sense “talk with” or “question”, but I have used the correct translation as “report on/take minutes on”], except on that occasion…

LM: The 4th?

RF: No, the 4th, no. I did not take minutes/write a report on her the 4th.

LM: And also on the 6th, you saw her.

RF: And the night of the 5th, so between the 5th and the 6th.

2. Knox focused the police not only on Patrick and they checked other possible suspects.

GB: Inspector, with respect to all these names that Amanda gave you, and that you reported in this note with your signature, what type of checks were carried out?

RF: On these people? There were made, I know, checks on every one of these people, however not personally by me.

3. It resembled a sex crime scene and then Knox said Patrick had a sexual interest

RF: Yes, on the crime scene, from the outset it was clearly a sexually-motivated crime, the declarations by Amanda in some way gave us to understand that the person that she had indicated had a sexual interest with regard to the victim, there had been the declarations that said in effect, in corroboration with the mobile phone, that there had been an appointment, that they had seen each other.

Knox sat placidly in court not interrupting or contradicting anything that is said.

See in very sharp contrast her email 17 December to Judge Nencini which we’ll rebut in this series.

In the email Knox lies with almost every word, and even babbles about torture. 

From the post by FinnMacCool - also click to read Finn’s point by point rebuttal:

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/13/14 at 10:49 PM | #

These last posts were informative - and make it even more clear what happened on the night of ‘torture’.

Do you have somewhere the testimony of Antonio Curatola?  From the trial?  Did he get on the witness stand?

[Good questions. Sure he did; the testimony is on the Wiki in Italian and an English translation is coming. PQ.] 

I find it so strange that he lived on the streets for years, in cardboard boxes, taking heroin, and then as soon as he was in jail he died (at only 56 years old).

Was it a drug overdose?  Sometimes people who take heroin and stop, but then start again seem to overdose quickly.  I can’t remember what happened.

Posted by believing on 05/14/14 at 05:03 PM | #

Merve Emre, the film editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books who wrote an admiring review of Amanda Knox’s book a while back, has just written a treatise in favour of “The Female Sociopath”

“the functional sociopath isn’t “dismissible” as a slave to her emotions. She is not outwardly violent. Patently remorseless, clear-eyed and calculating, she is chameleonic in the extreme, donning one feigned feeling after another (interest, concern, sympathy, simpering insecurity, confidence, arrogance, lust, even love) to get what she wants”

There’s a lot more, but essentially, it seems the author feels that in order to reverse gender inequality, women need to er, embrace their inner sociopath. It might explain much of Lizzy Davies of the Guardian and Nina Burleigh’s writing too, they admire Knox.

No matter what she did.

Posted by Ergon on 05/14/14 at 06:27 PM | #


Shocking, and unworthy. And the opposite of the enhancement or advancement of things truly feminine. It has been said that for our intelligence to evolve now, it is imperative we develop empathy alongside.

So such a derisory approach as you say Emre advocates would be completely regressive. It would be to admire the primitive, inhumane and uncivilised. Since when is civilised life about ‘getting what you want’? How dreadful.

Do they mean, not ‘outwardly violent’ but ‘overtly physically violent’?  I’m sure such a stance is very violent indeed.

Non-violence begins as a silent thought inside the mind, and so does violence - long before it becomes visible.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/14/14 at 07:26 PM | #

The dogs that didn’t bark indeed Peter.

I believe it was the fawning Ghirga who stated to the press that Amanda Knox wasn’t treated badly or hit in any way.

It was also Ghirga who publicly stated to the press that he had advised Amanda Knox to stick to one story, as opposed to the multiple differing stories she was blabbing to all and sundry at the police station and in the media.

Posted by DF2K on 05/15/14 at 07:23 AM | #

Merve Emre writes on the female sociopath

Her previous idolising review of the book by Knox:

Shocking and unworthy is a perfect description of Emre’s article.  I’d also say that it’s incredibly narrow-minded and incapable of grasping the fact that women, just like men, are complex human beings who exist at the intersection of multiple axes.  Empathy isn’t incompatible with logic, self-determination, ambition, or confidence. 

The idea of subverting a system from within is neither new nor original.  It was brilliantly explored by Suzette Haden Elgin in her Native Tongue series, through which she wanted to test the Sapir-Whorf theory from a feminist perspective (i.e. a number of women living in a dystopian world in which they have no human or civil rights create a secret language which reflects female perceptions and expresses a female worldview; Elgin wanted to see if such a language could actually transform the world around its users and create a new reality).

While this language was not successful in the real world, I think Elgin touched upon something important and which is indeed happening, albeit at a much slower and natural pace.  English, at least, has come to reflect the fact that certain attitudes are unacceptable, not only with regards to women, but also to various ethnic groups and groups which have suffered discrimination in the past (and still do, but to a lesser extent). 

The part that I think she missed is that, in order to be truly successful, a language must be able to reflect a multitude of perceptions, experiences, and worldviews - male and female alike.  The kind of language which doesn’t relegate women or any other groups to second-class status is a language capable of expressing concepts relating to humanity in general, to equality, understanding, mutual respect, etc.

Therefore, anyone embarking on a mission to subvert the current system needs to understand how others function, what their insecurities and desires are, and to provide solutions which appease and unite.  I’m not exactly sure how a sociopath is supposed to do that, when they are incapable of understanding how said others truly function (beyond a series of stereotypes and approximations).  This is probably why people with sociopathic tendencies can attain power, but not always maintain it, and why their falls tend to be so brutal (usually stemming from a severe and fatal overestimation of other people’s ability to tolerate injustice and exploitation).

Another thing about sociopaths is that, despite the illusion of a glittery social life, they must be terribly alone.  Surrounding oneself with sycophants and servants is akin to living on the edge of a knife.  Vulnerabilities will always be exploited and, unfortunately, no one is forever young, strong, and able-minded.  Thinking that being in that position is somehow desirable is ridiculous.

As a last note, I should have realized how superficial Merve Emre’s thinking was as soon as I saw her citing Cersei Lannister as an example of a functional sociopath.  Either she hasn’t read the books or she doesn’t get what this character is about.  Cersei might come across as cruel and calculated, but this is what happens when you take a perfectly normal human being, with dreams and hopes and aspirations, and use her as a pawn to further your own political goals.  Her relationship with her brother isn’t there for cheap shock value, but to indicate that the only person she can trust, and the only one who can understand and value her as a human being is her own mirror image.  Their children, of course, are the result of a narcissistic relationship, and she loves and protects them fiercely partly because they are a double reflection of herself. 

Cersei is the product of a world in which personhood comes second to strategic value.  She can’t afford to be what we would consider a decent person because no one around her is decent.  Betrayal is an excellent teacher to every character who starts out innocent and well-meaning, and it hardens even those with the most potential for justice and empathy.  But even in that world there is some space for genuine human connections.  Let’s not forget that the last thing left in Pandora’s box was hope.

To glorify sociopaths, functional or not, born or created, is to wish that sort of world into existence, and that is absolutely insane and runs counter to some of the most deeply-rooted human needs.

Also, despite temporary success, history isn’t kind to the unjust.  This is a lesson that Knox is learning herself, since the good and beautiful human being she sought to destroy is much more beloved in death than Knox will ever be in life or beyond.

Posted by Vivianna on 05/15/14 at 12:46 PM | #

Knox has lied all along.  We know this because her story changes over time.

In her book, Knox includes a lengthy conversation with Mignini prior to the 05:45 statement that simply did not occur.  It’s not included in her court testimony and is nowhere to be found in any of the other voluntary declarations or prison diaries she kept.

She continuously refuses to accept responsibility for her own words or the pain and suffering they have caused to the victims of her crimes.

Posted by Stilicho on 05/15/14 at 02:25 PM | #

Ergon and Vivianna

On Merve Emre’s adulatory review of Knox’s (shadow written) book and now this ode to female sociopaths (not the first to try to see a feminist hero in Knox and all men as gone wrong):

Merve Emre clearly had no idea of the REAL Knox who is nothing remotely like the invented person in her book. Knox hit Perugia for the notorious drug scene back then, and nothing else.

Merve Emry might claim that the pathetic little Nina Burleigh, who is one of the more gushy and subservient people in the world, misled her by entirely missing that.

But as Vivianna notes, Merve Emry also missed who Meredith was, her much superior talents, and the fast track she was on. Had Merve Emry known, no adulation of her killer would make sense.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/15/14 at 06:49 PM | #

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