That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?
Posted by Peter Quennell
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.
We dont yet have a handle on all the money that changed hands but it was clearly at world-record levels.
A lot of greedy hands were outstretched, and not only in Perugia - Ergon turned up proof of the greedy hands of Sforza and Fisher, and there were the astronomic sums paid for the RS and AK books, and media who had no interest in access to RS or AK heard that for those who did have interest a greedy hand would come out every time.
One can see real demonization of perps (and even ex-perps like Casey Anthony who was found not guilty) for hours a day on the US cable-news crime shows. Knox supporters have worked hard to come up with examples of demonization of Knox but have only a tiny handful of 2007 reports in UK tabloids to show for this. They had zero effect on the 2009 trial. Knox’s showing-off at trial and her two arrogant, callous days on the stand are what hurt her. Sollecito was always disliked in Italy and his remaining semi-chained to Knox proved the foolish place to be.
Elements of the US TV networks ABC and NBC (breakfast show) and CBS (20/20) all tilted heavily pro-Knox as did CNN until recently; all seem a lot less eager now though, and Marriott’s tips and offers of access seem to have lost most of their traction. A number of reporters are way better informed and believe it or not are actually reading the Nencini Report and other documents which the PMF team translated.
We believe in 2007 and 2008 the defense teams may have wanted to go the way the prosecution hinted: plead limited responsibility because of drugs and impaired mental capacity. But none were allowed by families to do so, and so their sentences were so much stiffer.
Maybe just as well Marriot is retiring. Hard to believe there will ever again be a long line of those accused of murder wanting his services. But ultimately though it was Curt Knox and the Mellases who made all the wrong calls blinded by hubris. Some in the Knox forces say all in the families have chilled a bit on Amanda.
The smarter Dr Francesco Sollecito tried to play a better game but his leaking of a photo of Meredith’s body to Telenorba was nasty and anyway his loose-cannon son kept disrupting him. There were half a dozen examples where he was openly frustrated, see this one:
Here is perhaps the most extreme example of Raffaele acting dopey, though his book which accused police and prosecution of crimes and his attempts to answer questions about it on TV probably equal it and had his father separating from him.
Of course for their excesses and lie-telling Curt and Edda, Sollecito, Sforza, and others have trials ahead of them. Amanda Knox faces at least two more trials, both for calunnia, hardly smart as that was what she served three years for.
Italy is not a vengeful place, far from it, but ignoring or over-ruling the best advice of defense lawyers about pushing the system too far has not proved fruitful.
More on Tramontano. Do you know why defenses did not want him present in the court for cross-examination and why they surely knew he was lying?
Because Judge Micheli had zeroed in on the fact that Tramontano had no explanation for how “Guede” either entered or exited his apartment. No window was broken or levered open, and Tramontano himself said the front door downstairs was locked. He claimed to have chased “Guede” but to exactly where?
Nevertheless taking such self-serving witnesses with hidden agendas or security-guard-complex (also Steve Moore’s problem) as gospel is done again and again and again by Knox and her groupies.
Below, some examples of someone ignoring Judge Micheli’s scathing rejection of Tramontano and the absence of any police report or court cross-examination, and dishonestly promoting Tramontano’s account as gospel.
Here is Amanda Knox herself doing it.
Sep 27: Rudy Guede breaks into Christian Tremontano’s apartment in Perugia and threatens him with a pocket knife before fleeing the scene.
Here is HH on Knox’s blog doing it.
Rudy had a history of breaking and entering. He was caught in the act of breaking and entering twice. Both times he had a knife in his possession. When he was caught breaking into the house of Christian Tramantano, he actually threatened Christian with the knife.
Here is Patrick King doing it.
On September 27, bartender, Christian Tremontano, was awakened in the middle of the night by sounds of someone in his apartment. On coming downstairs, Tremontano discovered a young black man whom he later learned was Rudy Guede, going through his possessions. Being confronted, Rudy first grabbed a chair to fend Tremontano off, as a lion tamer might, then pulled a pocket knife on the man and managed to get out the door. Tremontano reported the break in to police officer, Monica Napoleoni who asked him to come in to file an official complaint. When Tremontano arrived at the police station, the line was too long and he gave up the idea. He had not been injured and nothing was stolen.
One night Tremontano recognized Rudy at the Domus Disco and had him removed by the bouncers. He also kicked him out of the bar, Merlin, where Tremontano, himself, worked.
Here is Joseph Bishop doing it.
Perhaps the most important incident involving Guede prior to the murder occurred in the early hours of September 27, 2007 at the residence of Perugian bartender Christian Tramontano. Tramontano had been asleep upstairs at his home with his girlfriend when he was awoken by the sounds of someone rummaging through his belongings downstairs. Tramontano confronted the intruder, who he later identified as Guede, and a struggle ensued. Guede was able to escape when he threatened Tramontano with a pocket knife. Tramontano did call the police emergency number but police did not dispatch a patrol car to the residence. They simply told him to come to the police station the next day and fill out a form, advice he apparently did not follow up on because of long lines at the station.
Here is Karen Pruett doing it.
On Sept 27, 2007, in Perugia, Christian Tramontano awoke in the middle of the night to the sounds of a prowler and found Guede going through his things. Guede grabbed a chair to fend off Tremontano, holding it in front of him as though he were a lion tamer, then pulled out a pocketknife and threatened the homeowner. Guede managed to get to the door and escape. Tremontano reported the break-in to police officer, Monica Napoleoni, who told him to file an official complaint. But when he arrived at the police station he was put off by the long line and decided that since he hadn’t been injured and nothing was stolen it was not worth the wait. During the month of October Tremontano, a bartender at Merlin’s disco, recognized Guede when he came into the establishment and had the bouncer throw the thief out.
These wannabes get no joy from any of the judges. Judge Micheli didnt believe Tramontano for the reason given at the top here, and there was no police report to support him.
Defenses only introduced a brief deposition from Tramontano at trial; they didnt want him there personally to avoid prosecution’s cross-examination (Guede was not there and had no lawyer in that court).
Judge Masseri didnt care in the least whether Tramontano told the truth in the deposition - he merely concluded the whole story was totally irrelevant to the staging of the breakin through Filomena’s window for which evidence he then listed was overwhelming.
One lie begets a hundred. Finally all lies collapse under their own weight.
I sometimes suspect that some sort of a deal was made with RHG. He told plenty of lies but added some truths as spice to make them believable. For example, he never denied that he was there but never added the details. Why?
AK fingered PL perhaps with a purpose; just to give some time to RHG to get away. But alas, the rope is too short and the arm of the justice perhaps too long. Remember how the kid boy, aka RS was feeling nervous when RHG was arrested?
How much Christian Tramontano was paid? He did not file a police complaint because the queue was too long? And the all volunteer army has gone gaga over that?
I sincerely believe if the papa were given a full and free hand, he could have done a much better job than our gregarious Gregory!
Very good post Pete. I agree with you that all the U.S. networks who supported her have now backed off, as you also mention reporters are now actually reading the court documents.
On the subject of the P.R. campaign I read somewhere that Alan Derschowitz mentioned that in all his years in law he had never seen a campaign so underhand and vicious as Knox has embarked upon,
That to me is a very telling statement.
Very like the increasingly shrill mafia snitch Luciano Aviello in 2011 (now on trial for precisely this) Tramontano seems to have escalated.
First he didnt report the breakin (if it ever happened) because “nothing was stolen”.
Then it became that he went to a police station, but there was a long line (which one, out of interest? there are rarely any lines in Perugia).
Then it became that he went to the police station four times after he recognised Rudy Guede but there was always a long line.
Then it became that he talked to Inspector Monica Napoleon and other police officers though there was no record of this.
And then it became that none of them would take his stories seriously. Maybe because he had no clue how “Guede” entered or exited.
So Tramontano says it was the cops’ fault?! Not so smart for a guy now out of work because cops knew of his mafia connections.
And then? Well then of course all the exceptionally foolish Knox enablers took one or other of Tramontano’s versions as gospel.
And then (very typical) not ONE of them asked even ONE question of any police officer to see if there was any truth in it.
Much better to use as your single unconfirmed source a mafia fellow traveler. By the way, that is not at all for the first time in this case.
Thanks for the tip on Dershowitz, Forres. And of course he is normally defense counsel who is practiced at TV angles.
His close colleague and friend Wendy Murphy across the river at Boston U is an ex prosecutor and has a book out on dirty campaigns.
She told me over a year ago that many of the FOA would be sitting in prison in the US for contempt of court, obstruction of justice, bloodmoney and stalking of the family of the victim.
The same arm of the Italian police that first arrived at Meredith’s house, the crack national Communication Police, has been instructed to get involved. They work with the FBI of course which has officers posted in Rome.
Trials in absentia can be mounted in Italian courts (think of the CIA case) and in the event of convictions perps can be extradited or simply labeled worldwide as felons.
The interview with Dershowitz on CNN last night was interesting. He has been accused, along with the Prince of Wales, of having sex with an underage woman in several places world wide.
He is suing for contempt of course. The point being that over time Dershowitz has been vilified for saying Knox was guilty. The very vehemence of his response should be a vast warning to members of the FOA and individuals such as Bruce Fischer for example. it’s all coming down on their heads sooner or later but it is coming. They have continued under the misapprehension that since the Italian Justice system has done nothing in response they can get away with it. In other words give a man enough rope etc; and they have become emboldened as a result. the next three months are going to be very interesting.
Also I note that the latest blog which contains the usual drivel about innocence by Dopre and jrppp or whoever whateve has been taken down. That’s because the dissenting comments were probably too close to the truth, since they cannot be countered by the ignorance of the groundreport children regurgitating nonsense. And that in the faint hope that someone will believe them.
yes, we’ve been following the Dershowitz case here as it’s been front page, owing to our royalty being dragged in.
It is actually the Prince of Wales’ younger brother, Prince Andrew, who is named,- forgive my mentioning this correction.
very glad to see this distinguished lawyer"s firm and clear rebuttal though. He calls a spade a spade, and a serial liar, a serial liar. Good.
Oh right. Sorry for the confusion. I meant Prince Andrew. Him being implicated is laughable of course since he wasn’t even in some of the countries mentioned. They also didn’t file until the day before the New Year so that nobody would notice. Fat chance.
Thanks for another interesting piece.
I would not be at all surprised if Goggerty Marriott released some of the info to make poor Amanda seem victimized..
I have been a busy girl on GR, posting info bits from TJMK. On behalf of JLS1950, I would like to thank you. He can’t speak right now, he is busy attempting to regain his wits..lol
Good to be back with y’all. [removed]void(0);