Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Pressure Now On Rudy Guede To Start Talking?

Posted by Peter Quennell


[click above for Guede profile]

There’s a new report in the Italian press that Guede is apparently now transferred to the sex offenders wing of the prison mentioned below.

It seems that sex offenders are not great favorites among the other prisoners, so the point of such a move might be to protect him rather than to give him an additionally hard time.

Or could this be more pressure on him to start talking? Guede seems to have made remarks to his lawyer in the last several days intended to convey to the Kerchers that he is sad for them at what happened.

Prosecutor Mignini has a reputation among people who actually know him and regard him with respect for above all wanting justice and closure for the families of victims.

And for wanting to know precisely what happened. He is not really known for being among the most vengeful of prosecutors, or for seeking particularly harsh sentences.

If Mr Mignini is not having periodic chats about what is best for Meredith’s family with the Kerchers’ lawyer Mr Maresca, it would be uncharacteristic of him.

Closure for some victims’ families can be above all a matter of knowing what happened and why, and of hearing some real contrition from the perp or the perps.

Mr Mignini seems to us just right for this kind of outcome, and the Kerchers have several times seemed to suggest that they think so, too.

May the whipsawing, if that is what it is, please continue…

Posted on 12/28/08 at 09:20 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe prosecutors
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where The Convicted Perp And The Defendants Are Now

Posted by Peter Quennell

About one hour’s drive apart.

Not that they are doing too much driving these days, of course. Due to present circumstances.

Italy’s prison system is among the more innovative in terms of the rehabilitation of prisoners. If they need one, prisoners get taught a trade skill before they bounce back into society.

So Rudy Guede, along with (if convicted) Amanda Knox and (if convicted) Raffaele Sollecito, could re-enter society as champion pizza makers.

That’ll be the very good European pizzas, of course. The wonderful Four Seasons for example. With artichokes.

That could go over very well in mid-century Seattle.

And this structure below is? Answer is below the shot.

The solar heating on Terni prison. This was the first solar heating on prisons in Italy. It would seem that Sollecito is the most snug of the three.

At least in the summer, when the sun shines the most. 

Posted on 12/27/08 at 09:57 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedAmanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

She Really Was Special… Our Thoughts Are With The Kerchers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 12/25/08 at 01:30 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memory
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Perhaps Associated Press Should Try Reporting The Odds?!

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click for larger images. Online polls on whether Amanda Knox will be found guilty. 

Gulp! The odds now [above] have become even more ominous than the odds one year ago [below]. 

Polling is by avid news followers. Probably only a small minority follow Meredith’s case specifically and seek to distort those polls

Obviously the PR campaign is doing a terrific job (!) Obviously the Associated Press is right to take it so seriously (!)

Posted on 12/24/08 at 02:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Hoaxes Knox & team20 No-PR hoaxHoaxers: media groupsAssoc PressNews media & moviesTerrible reportingThe wider contextsN America context
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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, December 23, 2008

Okay The Whole World Gets To Hear Who’s On The Jury

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

The need for security must be minimal.

And Judge Massei’s desire for transparency perhaps maximal - he has already taken pains to emphasize that the conclusions of the six Peoples’ Judges get equal wight with the conclusions of the two Court of Assizes judges when they all huddle together to decide guilt or innocence. 

La Nazione has published the names - so far, the only Italian paper to do so - and a couple of biographical details.

  • Anna Maria Artegiani (51): her profession is listed as secretary of a primary school and she lives in Marsciano. There is a prominent Perugian artist. with the same name.
  • Angelico Evangelisti (38): no details of him as yet
  • Maria Ludovica Morelli (37): no details of her as yet
  • Angela Irene Ceccarini (43): she now lives in Perugia and is originally from Todi
  • Andrea Valentini Valentini (35): he is a criminal lawyer in Perugia, and is originally from Umbertide
  • Paolo Rapetti (57): no details of him as yet; there is a Perugian footballer of that name.


Several of them have apparently not been following the case, and were uneasy at the wall of reporters’ notebooks confronting them and the coming publicity.

Judge Massei remarked that the role of Peoples’ Judge in this case is a civic duty, and with a dry smile urged enthusiasm for something that does not happen often in most peoples’ lifetimes. 

Too much publicity? Perhaps. The Italian papers have new stories several times a week. Periodically some of them do seem to go ape over what look like defendants’ stunts aimed at sympathy.

Yesterday Nicki kindly posted negative comments from Corriere della Sera on Rudy Guede’s shot at fame as a poet. The backlash could lead to more secluded digs for the perps if found guilty.

But frequent commenter DS was left wondering if the perps - one perp, anyway - could still come out way ahead of the game. 

Discussing the case on a dedicated blog is one thing, but the tabloid press have gone to town on this story… Even I’m getting sick of seeing Amanda in the press and I’m following this story like a bloodhound!!

If Amanda is found innocent, she’ll be in Italian Hello magazine showing off her fab new kitchen & her amazing figure by the end of her first week of freedom. If she is found guilty, she will be notorious and have TV movies made of her life. 

Considering that she will be out of prison even with a guilty verdict by the time she is 50, she will have a nice media-paid-for nest egg to come out to and slip into obscurity.

[Australian prisoner in Indonesia] Schapelle Corby (according to the Sydney Morning Herald libel fans!) is making piles of money by handing all her biography copyrights to her sister’s Balinese husband but then people are more assured of her innocence and she hasn’t changed her story. 

Regardless, Amanda will no doubt find a way to profit from this media interest whatever happens.  In a sick hideous way, this case is possibly the best thing that has even happened to Amanda thanks to the papers. 

They need to starve her of the publicity oxygen that her and her parents so clearly crave by their continuing to feed the media beast.

Posted on 12/23/08 at 07:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Perugia: Jury Selection May Be Completed Today

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Update: three men and three women ranging from 35 to 57 years old, including a young lawyer, have been selected. Three women and one man have been selected as alternates.

Italian media are reporting that a jury of six, with four alternates, should be announced by the close of court business today. We remain curious as to whether their names will become public.

Judge Beatrice Cristiani is now mentioned to be the second judge alongside Judge Giancarlo Massei, the President of the Court of Assize. The name we have been seeing previously was Judge Carla Giangamoni.

Also being reported is this attempt at poetry by Rudy Guede, six weeks into his 30-year sentence.

My tears are born from the darkness of solitude, full of pain. My tears, my tears. Transparent as water are my tears, but full of truth and love.

Doesn’t read to us like a confession or a reaching-out to the Kerchers for forgiveness. Reader comments under the story on the Corriere della Sera website are universally negative.

He has twenty-nine years and 46 weeks to rework it.

Posted on 12/22/08 at 11:15 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Honest, Accurate TV Coverage Has Been HIGHLY Overdue

Posted by The Machine



[Above: Anne Bremner blows smoke]

NBC have shown the other American television networks how to make an objective documentary about the case.

I know that a lot of work went into making the NBC Dateline programmes with over 40 hours of tape shot for both stories. I hope the the likes of CBS News and ABC News now follow suit.

And that they always - always - remember this: Meredith Kercher’s murder was exceptionally brutal and sadistic. Specifically:

  • She was sexually assaulted and viciously teased with a knife for many minutes before the final stab.
  • And after the torture, she died a slow and intensely painful death, clutching her neck with both hands.
  • She might still have been saved - but a conscious decision was made that she wouldn’t be.
  • And this was then followed by two days of apparent glee on the part of the two defendants.

The news channels have to get their coverage right from now on. The case is precedent-setting in several ways, and far too important for the media to play fast and loose with the facts.

Hints of anti-Italy xenophobia have abounded in the American commentary. Such abysmal coverage would never have happened if this was an all-American case - the real victim would be there front and center, not a defendant with a notably odd history.

The parents of the prime suspect should not be allowed to dictate the content of the documentaries and news reports. The media have a duty to report objectively and not be used as vehicles for the Amanda Knox PR campaign. Some of the documentaries on the case have been essentially free advertisements for Amanda’s PR company.

I hope any future documentaries don’t include an interview with Curt Knox talking with great authority about Amanda’s interrogation despite the fact he wasn’t actually present. Amanda’s lawyer has already stated for the record that Amanda wasn’t hit by the police, so Curt can’t repeat that false allegation.

Juju Chang of ABC won’t be able to repeat the wild claim that the double DNA knife has been essentially ruled out after Patrizia Stefanoni confirmed that Meredith’s DNA is on the blade of the knife and Judge Paolo Micheli accepted it as evidence.

Rudy Guede was convicted of the sexual assault of Meredith, which means that the deeply offensive and untrue claim that there was no evidence of sexual assault can’t be repeated.

Instead of Anne Bremner analysing the wrong crime scene and ranting about Italian incompetence in a desperate attempt to discredit the investigation, the documentary makers should interview somebody who is actually an expert in forensic investigations.

Renato Biondo would be the best person to interview. He provided independent confirmation that the forensic investigation was carried out correctly, following international protocol. The only person guilty of incompetence was Anne Bremner.

It is always highlighted in documentaries that Amanda’s confession was thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court. However, they never mention that one of Amanda’s statements in which she admits to being at the cottage when Meredith was murdered was not thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court.

Her note to the police on 6 November is almost identical in content to the statements that were not admitted as evidence.

And Amanda Knox was not given the nickname Foxy Knoxy by the European press. It was a nickname she used herself on her MySpace page.

It’s wrong that inconvenient and incriminating facts are airbrushed out of these programmes. There has been a deliberate attempt to mislead and manipulate the general public.

The media should always have an ethical commitment to the truth, and they should never forget that it was Meredith who was the real victim of this terrible crime.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case. Well done, NBC, for breaking the mould.

Now CBS News, ABC News, and other television networks owe it to Meredith and her poor family to get it right, the next time they cover the case.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Meredith Dateline Documentary: New Standard For All Others?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger images]

We think so. We think other TV networks would be foolhardy to now step back from NBC’s very high standard.

This is the Dateline documentary reviewed here by Skeptical Bystander on Monday. Now we have been through it almost frame by frame, and we continue to be impressed.

NBC clearly gave this one a big budget. It filled the entire hour. Meredith was very much respected in the script and the images of her. NBC flew camera teams to Seattle and Perugia, along with the precise, well-informed reporter, Dennis Murphy. The photography and the production values were excellent. There were a number of new images, and new tape-recordings of Amanda Knox. And the three consultants - Richard Owen, Clint van Zandt, and Theodore Simon - were all really on top of the case.

Now for our take on what it all means.

Richard Owen is the Rome correspondent for the London Times, with many Perugia stories to his name. Clint van Zandt is a much-in-demand crime analyst, formerly with the FBI. And Theodore Simon is a Philadelphia defense lawyer, who has defended Americans in foreign trouble and commented before on the case.

These are what they regard as the strengths of the prosecution’s case.  Meredith was known to have not liked Knox bringing strange men to the house, and to have had other differences. The several defendant alibis do not coincide. The Knox murder accusation against Lumumba not only did not help, it hurt. The break-in theory is very dubious. Knox and Sollecito kissing outside, the underwear purchase, and other post-crime behavior, all look very fishy.

The DNA on the hidden knife is very compelling. As Clint Van Zandt put it, the knife, the DNA, and its hiding make a nice prosecution package. The bleaching of the house and the footprints showing up under luminol, if linked to anyone, could almost be conclusive by themselves. As could the blood drops on the bathroom drain. The witchcraft angle as a motive, van Zandt remarked, was almost a bridge too far, but the prosecutor does have to attempt to offer a theory of how these otherwise normal kids could commit the murder.  Theodore Simon thinks the prosecutors evidence made public so far is daunting. The defense could argue a faked robbery, and a moved body, and contamination, but eventually it could become like whack-a-mole, and all of their arguments could lose force.

Only old and very familiar arguments were advanced for the defense case. Dennis Murphy noted that for a year now, Europeans have been sold a sexy heartless icon. Knox’s father said her first alibi/confession was “all but water-boarded out of a terrified young woman” and the prosecutors had been heartless, feeding one juicy morsel after another to a voracious tabloid press. He claimed the knife was found in the knives draw in Sollecito’s kitchen (not our understanding) and the DNA on the blade could be that of half the people in Italy (nor is that). And all the evidence at the crime scene had been contaminated by careless police work. The hostility of the Knox-Mellas couple for the prosecutor shone through. And an old clip showed Anne Bremner remarking (of the wrong apartment) “thou shalt not destroy evidence at a crime scene, and this appears to be the case here”.

Recordings are heard, some in Amanda Knox’s voice, and some in others, of her claims about her arrest and interrogation. Also of her dreams and denials as recorded in her diary in her first weeks in jail, when she was clearly feeling betrayed by Sollecito - this is the diary she later handed to prosecutors.

Criticisms? We have some. An image of the duvet with Meredith’s foot showing is used repeatedly. The NBC take on the case was not up-to-the-minute, and some of the clips and claims seemed old. No psychological angles were explored. The documentary did not mention the independent expert verification of the forensic evidence, or the caution of the Italian legal system, or the dozen judges who have verified the impact of the evidence. And it did not mention that most of the 10,000 pages of evidence have still only been seen by a very few.

But it finished well. Dennis Murphy remarked that we should remember the prosecutor has already convicted Guede with his sex-game argument. And that the Guede judge said the other two are implicated, which does not bode well for them at trial. And that courthouse observers, including Theodore Simon, are predicting an uphill fight for the defense.

If you click on them, all of these screen-captures open up larger in Acrobat.

Below: Dateline’s reporter Dennis Murphy in Perugia

Below: The two nice images of Meredith used repeatedly


Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy in the early-on Seattle segment

Below: Two shots of World Cup, now out of business, where Knox last worked


Below: One of the entrance gates of the University of Washington

Below: Seemingly resigned friends of Knox, giving personal testimonials

Below: Reporter Dennis Murphy at the gate of Meredith’s house

Below: Two fresh images of Perugia, representative of the many used


Below: Richard Owen, the London Times Rome correspondent

Below: Clint van Zandt, the former FBI profiler and evidence analyst

Below: Theodore Simon, the defence lawyer for Americans in foreign trouble

Below: Patrick Lumumba, looking happy and relaxed, with Dennis Murphy

Below: Zack Nowack, an American, who felt Amanda Knox was too impulsive

Below: Three new shots of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox



Below: The biological parents of Knox trudging along, seemingly resignedly

Below: A computer image of the bedroom - even here, Meredith’s foot shows

Below: Filomena’s broken window; not considered a feasible break-in route

Below: Murphy and Van Zandt discussing the possible murder weapon

Below: The Perugia police chief demonstrates the fatal stab with a knife

Below: Meredith’s and Knox’s unexplained blood on the bidet drain

Below: Murphy and van Zandt discuss the seemingly damning footprints

Below: The Knox rape short story, perhaps indicative of an attraction to violence

Below: Knox and Sollecito happily buying lingerie together in Bubbles

Below: One claimed inflammatory European headline (it seems true)

Below: Transcript of a Knox recording complaining about interrogation

Below: Murphy describing the Knox-Mellas hostility toward the prosecutor

Below: Murphy and van Zandt look at disputed police break-in downstairs

Below: The Japanese manga comic that might have influenced Sollecito

Below: A woman’s voice reading from Knox’s early 2008 prison diary

Below: Fresh image of Capanne jail, with the Perugia heights in background

Posted on 12/19/08 at 01:02 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryNews media & moviesGreat reporting
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Defendants’ High-Stakes Blame Game: Key Moves By Rudy Guede Explained

Posted by Michael




The blame game

For many months now, the defendants and their lawyers, and for that matter the prosecutors, have been playing a fascinating game of three-dimensional chess.

None of the three have fully broken from the other two - so far.  But each has been making chess-like moves that seem to be attempts to make sure they aren’t the ones - or the only ones - hung out to dry.

It is even possible that Rudy Guede’s stiff thirty-year sentence was such a move, to squeeze him to come clean at the Knox/Sollecito trial - though he may not have much to bargain with any more, if the physical and witness evidence is as encompassing as it seems. 

Guede’s first story

In November 2007, shortly before his arrest, Rudy Guede had a Skype conversation with his friend Giacomo Benedetti over the Internet. It was his second, and recorded by police.

He told his friend that he knew Meredith and Amanda and he had been to the cottage on a couple of previous occasions, visiting the boys who lived downstairs. But that he wasn’t at the cottage on the day of Meredith’s murder.

Guede’s second story

This story later changed, after his arrest in Germany. It was whilst awaiting extradition back to Italy in late November 2007, that he wrote his so-called German Prison Diary.

In this diary Guede related a second version of events.

He admitted to being at the cottage the night of the murder, supposedly on a date with Meredith. But on emerging from the bathroom to the sound of screams, he was confronted by an unknown Italian male, standing over a dying Meredith, knife in hand.

After a brief struggle, the man fled, with an unseen accomplice Guede said he heard but could not see, lurking outside the cottage.

Guede’s third story

Later, in April 2008, Guede requested an audience with the prosecutor, where he gave a third account. It was essentially the same account as the second - but with key differences.

He now stated that it was Raffaele Sollecito that he saw wielding the knife in the cottage that night. And it was Amanda Knox who was the unseen accomplice outside the house, as he had recognized her voice.

A false interpretation

According to one or two Amanda Knox defense sites, this apparently damning testimony by Guede is in reality evidence for the innocence of Knox and Sollecito.

Their argument is that because Guede did not mention the other suspects in his Skype conversation, his diary, or his initial interrogation by the Italians, instead waiting until April, this serves as evidence of the duplicity of a lone-wolf criminal taking advantage of an opportunity to pass the blame onto two innocents.

However, the logic of this blame-passing argument does not stand up to close scrutiny. There was actually more going on.

RS and AK alibi problems

Amanda Knox had been arrested on 6th November, after claiming to have been in the kitchen of the cottage whilst Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the bar where Amanda worked, entered Meredith’s bedroom, and raped and then killed her.

But meanwhile, in his own interrogation, Sollecito had admitted to police that his first account (that they were together at his place all evening) had been a lie, and that Amanda had left his apartment mid-evening, not returning until the early hours of the next morning.

A court hearing then confirmed the status of Knox and Sollecito as official suspects, and denied them release or house arrest whilst the investigation unfolded. The reasons given being that there may be a flight risk, and a high potential that they may interfere with evidence and witnesses.

Case against RS and AK strengthens

From that point onwards, the case against the suspects only grew stronger, with more evidence against them emerging almost by the day. The police claimed they could place them both at the scene of the murder, and that they had what could be the murder weapon.

A large knife, found seemingly hidden in Sollecito’s apartment. Sollecito had a liking for knives, owning a collection, and admitting to having always carried one on his person since he was fourteen.

Despite Knox’s later retraction of the statement in which she had falsely accused Lumumba, their situation was steadily looking bleaker.

Rudy Guede’s new advantage

With Guede’s arrest in Germany, about three weeks after the crime, he must have known his own game could be up. Forensic evidence could link him directly to the crime scene.

At that point, he had an advantage that few suspected murderers ever have; two patsie, Knox and Sollecito, already sitting in jail and ripe for taking the fall for him.

But despite the fact that there was a case against them, and that they could not account for their whereabouts, Guede went out of his way not to actually name them.

Instead, he wove that yarn above, one that had little credibility and was widely ridiculed on the internet. Even the judge at his hearing told him his story was just not credible.

Guede still holds back

But still he avoided naming Knox and Sollecito - who if really innocent could hardly have said anything in response that would have made his situation worse. They would not have been present at the murder, and therefore, would have no counter-evidence to offer.

At that point, Guede would have had nothing at all to lose by naming them, and possibly a very great deal to gain.  So why didn’t he?

It only makes any kind of logical sense that he didn’t name names if in fact Knox and Sollecito actually were at the scene of the crime.

They would then have been able to respond to Guede’s accusations with allegations of their own, which could have jeopardised any hope he may have had of being acquitted of Meredith’s murder.

Guede suddenly reverses

So why did he suddenly change his statement, and name names, and why did he wait so many months before doing so?

The answer, it would appear, lies in a change of the tactics in this chess game being pursued by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence team.

Anxious to show that a Nike footprint found in Meredith’s room was not that of their client’s, Sollecito’s team began arguing that it was in fact Guede’s.

Other noises from Sollecito’s lawyers suggested that they were readying to point the finger at Rudy Guede as a sole perpetrator, as part of their defence strategy.

Why Guede names names

For Guede, it would not have been lost on him which way the wind was blowing. Fearing that he was going to be railroaded into taking all of the blame, he responded by naming names.

Even then, though, he did not go as far as he might have. He did not claim that he actually saw Amanda, for example, only that he heard her.

However, the move did serve as a warning shot across the bows of the other suspects.

And it was an important move in the game of chess still being played out among them.

Posted on 12/18/08 at 08:59 AM by MichaelClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedEvidence & witnessesThe two knives
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ominous Happenings At Hearst, Seattle PI’s Parent Company

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above and below, the attractive Seattle PI building, on Seattle’s wonderful waterfront.


And here are two shots (scroll down for the second) of owner Hearst’s attractive Manhattan headquarters.

We remain pretty intrigued by the Seattle PI. We can’t seem to see that it’s serving either Seattle’s or Hearst’s best interests right now.

The PI runs some of the very best stories on the Perugia case in the United States, filed by its cool, dispassionate reporter in Rome.

It also runs on its website what one reader called “the most dishonest blog in America” which is notorious for its fact-challenged one-sidedness and for fronting a secret book deal on the case.

And it has run no in-depth reporting at all on the Seattle angles of the case. 

Back here we mentioned the seemingly shaky economics of the paper, and the recent quite extraordinary drop in its readership.

Papers sold dropped by about 8 percent, in a period where the national drop was less than four (mostly related to the economic cycle), and where some media companies even saw real readership gains.

Our contacts in Manhattan’s great journalism schools seem to think the media industry’s best way forward for survival and growth is class journalism. Dig deeper, and avoid the vicarious thrills of, for example, blogs with an agenda

Our contacts regard the international Perugia case as a truly huge story. An absolute heaven-sent opportunity for the Seattle-based papers.

And they reckon that serious and imaginative handling of that story and its many intriguing Seattle angles could have dug the Seattle PI right out of its hole. And attracted a whole row of Pulitzer prizes.

Ball dropped. In a very serious and possibly life-threatening way.

So what is happening at Hearst’s HQ in Manhattan that relates to this?

Well, Hearst is privately owned, by a Hearst-family foundation, and they control most of the director seats on the board. They are said to be VERY unhappy with group performance.

Six months ago the CEO was forced out. And now there is a report that the interim CEO doesn’t meet with the family’s approval either. 

Expected outcome?

A new Hearst CEO who is expected to be be very hungry for more circulation and more Pulitzer prizes at Hearst’s seriously under-performing papers.

Such as, of course, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Time to get serious, guys…


Posted on 12/17/08 at 11:43 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesTerrible reportingMedia newsThe wider contextsSeattle contextMore hoaxers
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Perugia: The Jury Selection Has Now Begun

Posted by Peter Quennell


The evidence in the Knox/Sollecito trial starting 16 January will be heard by two judges, six jury members, and six jury alternates.

The Italian media are reporting that Judge Giancarlo Massei has now narrowed the jury pool down to 50 names.

From these 50 he will select the final twelve next week. For what promises to be a 2-to-3 day task, each month, over a number of months.

Will their names become known around Perugia? We’ll see. But preferably not.

Posted on 12/17/08 at 10:15 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe judiciaryTrials 2008 & 2009
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Monday, December 15, 2008

US NBC TV’s Fair And Factual “Mystery of Meredith’s Murder”

Posted by Skeptical Bystander





The consensus here is that the NBC Dateline presentation a few days ago was the most balanced US media treatment of the case to date.

One of the first US network presentation, by CBS on its 48 Hours program, was particularly bad and the word is out now that CBS is wrapping up its second attempt. Maybe the CBS producer will take a page from the Dateline book - or at least lose Paul the plaintive PI this time around.

Dateline did an especially good job of cutting through the fog created by the media storm over this case since the first arrests were made on November 6, 2007.

Dateline also did a good job of laying out the basics in an objective and comprehensive manner for people with no prior knowledge. There just were a couple of factual errors—for example, that DNA was found on a tampon. In fact, the swab used to obtain such samples is called a “tampone” in Italian.

The Dateline program drew on some collaborative work by the posters on the PMF forum and predecessors. Here is the pleased observation of Kermit, a major contributor there and here.

A word of congratulations to all of us, the descendants of Steve Huff’s boards. What a surprise I had as I watched the Dateline show and saw, on the projected screen behind the presenters, our measurement analysis of the Double DNA knife.

It was obviously ours, as it came out of a discussion on the original board… concerning the length of the knife. At the time of that discussion in the spring, I dug up a Matrix screen shot of the knife (easily identifiable by the red “Matrix” tag in the upper lift. Since the ILE ruler didn’t go the whole length of the knife, I doubled it, then marked 17.5 cm length that I estimated the knife blade to be.

And now NBC has used that item. Such material, along with translations and analysis you just won’t find [other than on these forums]

The crack former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt, very widely respected here in the U.S., was the anchor crime analyst on the piece. Mr Van Zandt still thoughtfully interacts with people who post comments on his own excellent blog and he had this to say there of his role:

This case has been challenged by the family, friends and supporters of Knox, some who have spoken to me to provide their version of what happened and why Amanda is innocent.  As seen on the Dateline special, Knox’s family states what they believe as truth, although, of course, they were not there. 

I have received a ton of e-mail this past year with criticism for either supporting Knox or trying to convict her.  Neither, of course, is true.  Like many of you, I only want to see justice done for Meredith and want those responsible for her death held responsible the part they played in her death.

Another excellent blog, the Eclectic Chapbook, has been offering commentary on this case within its usual eclectic mix of posts on crime and literature from the outset.  No comments - or comment deletions, unlike the notorious Seattle PI reader’s blog which was a front for a secret book till we blew its cover. Just an excellent, straightforward presentation of the facts and the plot twists.

In reviewing the Dateline program, Eclectic Chapbook caustically remarks that NBC did not escape the PR-driven parent trap, and it played into the fiction that Amanda’s parents are what the PMF commenter DLW has referred to as a modern-day Ozzie and Harriet, the American TV icons of married bliss.

I have only one criticism of the show. One segment included an appearance by Amanda Knox’s biological parents together. I was very offended by it. I felt it was a deliberate attempt to mislead and deceive the public, because their joint appearance misrepresents the household and home environment from which Amanda Knox emerged before she traveled to Perugia.

From what I understand, Knox came out of a blended family. Each of her parents has remarried to other spouses. Amanda Knox’s home environment consisted of her biological mother and sister, plus her mother’s new spouse. This new spouse never appeared on the show at all, which I found very weird. I presume Knox may have some step-siblings, too, in addition to her natural sister.

The joint appearance by Amanda Knox’s biological parents came off as a sham, a charade and a fraud. It was an insult to the intelligence of the American Public. Blended families are not so unusual these days. I’m sure the American Public can cope with the issue

Early on, it was apparently decided that Knox’s biological parents made a better team in the role of parents on television and in press interviews, even though Curt Knox and Edda Mellas got divorced nearly twenty years ago (Amanda Knox is 21) and both have since married again.

They do sometimes look like strangers thrown together by fate. Which, come to think of it, is pretty close to reality..

Posted on 12/15/08 at 05:01 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesGreat reporting
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Meredith’s Perugia #4: The Cute, Handy Monorail Meredith Might Soon Have Ridden

Posted by Peter Quennell


Posted on 12/13/08 at 06:23 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Considerable Outrage In Italy Over Death Profiteering

Posted by Peter Quennell


Richard Owen of the Times reports.

A film starring Amanda Knox, the American student awaiting trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has caused a political row, with rightwing politicians claiming the Perugia prison where Ms Knox is held is “like a holiday camp”.

Pietro Laffranco, a Parliamentary deputy in the ruling centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, said he was tabling a question in Parliament to the Minister of Justice to demand an explanation over “this extremely serious incident”.

Follow the Italian press coverage for any length of time, and you will soon realize one thing.  Meredith is an intensely loved and very-much-missed person, to many, many Italians.

She hungered to be there, worked hard to get there, spoke very good Italian, knew much of the politics and culture, and just loved being in Perugia with its fine School for Foreigners.

And with her Mediterranean beauty, her kind consideration for others, her chaste behavior, and her zeal for hard work, she seems very, very easy for Italian moms and dads to identify with as one of their own.

So not surprisingly, the public outrage over the prison movie reflected in today’s Italian press is considerable, and it seems likely to create real repercussions.

The movie itself is unlikely to ever see the light of day. Those involved have been seriously thrown on the defensive, and they are likely to see career repercussions. The rules may be tightened for defendants and prisoners interacting with the media. The leniency that some feel Umbria shows to its prisoners may become less-so.

And Amanda Knox (who, to be fair, did not initiate this exposure, and should have been warned by her lawyers and family) may find herself more secluded if she is eventually found guilty.

In sum, this looks like a humane and perhaps overdue tilt in the system and the media toward Meredith, the silent victim in this case. And toward all silent victims like her.

Posted on 12/12/08 at 10:37 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesTerrible reportingAmanda Knox
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prison Movie Co-starring Knox Now In Slow-Motion Meltdown?!

Posted by Skeptical Bystander





For those already following the increasingly surrealistic run-up to the trial of the two remaining suspects indicted for alleged involvement in Meredith Kercher’s brutal murder, this will probably come as no surprise:

Amanda Knox, one of the two suspects, has participated (some would even say she has the starring role) in a movie featuring prison inmates incarcerated at Capanne, where Knox is being held. It was directed by Claudio Carini with grant money provided by the Umbrian regional council.

We saw this coming, in a way.

Last week, Frank Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza), who has worked in the film industry, published an “exclusive interview” with Amanda Knox, in which she seems to show an incredible command of…  broken English!

But it still comes as quite a shock. Who can possibly, for one second, ever have thought that this was okay?

Controversy is building fast now in Italy. The film was supposed to have been publicly screened, at the Perugia Batik Independent Film Festival, but Knox’s lawyers, the elected members of the Umbrian council and the director of Capanne prison have asked that the film be yanked.

Incredibly though, whether the film will ever be made public is still “pending” according to the Batik Festival’s director, Alessandro Riccini Ricci.  Director Carini claims that Knox’s participation was “coincidental” because the idea was hatched in June 2007, before she joined the inmates at Capanne.

Is it also “coincidental” that the film is said to open and close with a shot of Knox’s blue eyes?

Can this really be true?!  It reminds me of one of the most recent witnesses to come forward. He said that he saw Knox at 7:45 am on the morning of November 2 (she claims she slept in until 10 am that morning), with her “blue eyes” peeking out from behind a scarf.

The media and blogosphere have reacted immediately and overwhelmingly negatively. Web posters are wondering aloud how the Kercher family will feel when they hear that one of the suspects in their daughter’s murder volunteered for this role, had a lot of fun doing it and, in the words of Ricci, is a “magnetic actress.”

A propos the “magnetic actress”  as people have already noted wryly, including Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, actually, we already knew.

I wonder how Raffaele will react to the news? Recall that, according to one Italian source, Raffaele had this interesting conversation with his father and step-mother after his incarceration:

Mara: “It’s worth thinking about this. You must give this some thought because the Americans are a bit more advanced than we are, do you understand? They do lots of things for notoriety even if they become meteors…. tomorrow you don’t remember them anymore because someone else has taken their place.”

Raffaele: “But are you sure about this notoriety thing?”

Mara: “I’m very sure.”

Shout-out to Mara: So are we!

It will be interesting to see how the local Knox PR machine roves this latest gaffe into something not only acceptable but downright laudable. They were unavailable for comment – I guess they’re under the cone of silence, brainstorming as I write – but maybe someone could get this idea to them:

They might say that Amanda Knox has become passionate about inmate rights, and wanted to lend her brand name to this worthy cause…

We have media today that allow us to record the present. What we record not only reflects the present, but indeed can shape our perception of it and the way in which the future unfolds.

Did anyone remotely involved in this project stop once to consider the ramifications? Not the least of which for the Kercher family?  The Knox/Mellas family and supporters have complained loudly and consistently about the unfair media coverage of Amanda Knox.

Their complaints would have sharper teeth if they themselves did not seek the limelight at every opportunity.

I don’t usually agree with right-wingers, but I certainly think Italian People of Freedom party senator Laura Allegrini nailed it.She said that the film would only fuel the celebrity-style media coverage of the American ‘‘as if she were a star and not a young woman accused of a horrible crime…”

And “In all of this, the victim and her family are put in second place.’’

Posted on 12/11/08 at 06:01 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedNews media & moviesMovies on caseAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxers
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Primary Timeline: An Hour-By-Hour Guide To The Events In Question

Posted by Michael



[Above: Where Meredith said goodbye to Sophie Purton - perhaps the last friendly face she ever saw.]

This narrative below is our present best shot at listing the events, actual and claimed, surrounding Meredith’s sad fate.

The constantly-updated master version of this primary timeline is posted here on the PMF forum I co-moderate with Skep.  There are some subsidiary timelines which will also appear here soon.

The master version was first posted on the old True Crime MK Forum on Monday 14th April 2008. It built upon an original timeline by Xin, and I have frequently edited it since as the picture grows clearer.

You are really welcome to suggest edits, modifications, and additions, either in Comments below, or in a post below the master version itself.

Kermit’s excellent Powerpoint narrative of many of these same events was previously posted here.

Wednesday 31st October 2007 (Halloween)

Evening  “Amanda…sent [Meredith] numerous SMS messages.” 1900  Meredith responds to her flatmate: “I have to go to a friend’s house for dinner.” The student from Seattle persisted, “What are you doing tonight? Do you want to meet up? Have you got a costume?” She then said that she was going to Le Chic and “maybe we’ll see each other.”

Thursday 1st November 2007 (Day of the Dead in Italy)

1300 AK saw MK at their apartment (per AK)

1400 -1500 MK left

1530 Sophie Purton arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat at Via Bontempi 22

1600 Meredith arrives at Robyn Butterworth’s flat

1700 AK, RS went to his apartment (per AK)

1800 Meredith had a meal with her girlfriends “Ms Kercher was known to have eaten an early supper of pizza and ice cream with two British women friends, both fellow students, at six o’clock on the evening of her death. But Sophie Purton, one of the friends, had testified that the meal contained no mushrooms.”

1800 AK, RS left her apartment (per RS)

1836 RS at his computer, had watched ‘Amelie’ whilst also downloading the film ‘Stardust’ to watch later, would be at his computer until 0333 - (per RS & his lawyers). “He was with AK until 1800 when they had both left RS apartment to go into the centre. RS has also said that he spent the evening on his computer working on his university coursework

2018 Patrick sends text message to AK

2030 Patrick’s friend, Swiss Professor Roman Mero had a pizza and then went straight to Le Chic. (had originally claimed he was in Le Chic from 2000)

2030 - 2100 RS “Went home, smoked; had dinner.”

2030 – 2100 (AK “left him (per RS), saying to him that she would go to Le Chic, meet friends while he returned to his house”) “… left the house telling Sollecito that she was going to work, [but she], she was at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana.”

2035 AK text message to PL

2038 RG arrives at MK’s (per RG)

2038 PL’s cellphone pings in the area of MK’s house

2040** RS’s father phones him at his apartment on RS’s landline, the call went unanswered and instead went to answer phone. RS did not respond to the message and return his father’s call that night

2040** Young woman, Popovic (Polish after all (?)), arrives at RS’s house to tell him she no longer needed a lift to the station. (She spoke to Amanda via the intercom (?) )

2040** Serbian student, Jovanovic, ‘met’ (Could do with clarification as to whether he simply passed AK, or actually engaged with her in some way). AK on Corso Garibaldi. AK and RS were at RS’s flat at this time and before (per AK/RS)

2040** AK and RS cell phones turned off

2043 AK seen on CCTV entering her house (?)

2046 Meredith arrives eight minutes after RG arrives (per RG)

2050 RS chops up button mushrooms with his knife, and he and AK stir fry them (per Mignini)

2100 AK claimed to meet PL at B-Ball courts and [return] to her house. (per the Judge)

2100 Meredith leaves friend’s house with Sophie Purton to return home, Sophie walks her halfway

2105 Sophie Purton leaves Meredith on Via Roscetto, Meredith continues home alone

2110 Click on RS’s computer, no more activity on computer until following day

2115 Around this time MK arrives home

2130 Meredith commences phone call with mother (What time did it end?)

2141 - 0532 of the night of the crime “is not any human interaction.at RS apt” (per RS’ computer)

2200 - 2230 Meredith is either dead or dying. A breakdown truck arrives for a broken down car containing a family of three, man, woman and child. The Albanian ‘superwitness’, Hekuran Kokomani, arrives by car at the rubbish bins area a short way down the road from the cottage. HK punches RS, throws a phone and olives at AK, who threatens HK with knife. HK drives further down the road encountering RG who recognises HK and offers money to hire HK’s car, first 50, then offering 250 euros. HK hears banging sounding like ‘wood on wood’ from the house. RG says there is a birthday party at the cottage. HK refuses hire his car, driving off having seen RS in his wing mirror running at him with knife. RS persues him to the lights, where a motorist asks HK for directions. HK has to reverse his car to allow the breakdown truck, which is probably just arriving, to manoeuvre. HK leaves (per HK)

2215 SMS requesting account balance sent from MK’s mobile to her bank balance

2229 First recorded receipts at Le Chic

2230 - 2300 A witness heard “a man and a woman arguing in Italian” inside the cottage “at about 10.30 or 11.00 on the night of November 1,” followed by an “agonising scream”.

2230 “Alessandra Formica, a police witness, said her partner was almost knocked over by a black man running away from scene”. The couple also witness the broken down car and breakdown truck.

2300 (circa) A dark coloured car is seen parked outside the cottage (per garage mechanic witness - Gianfranco Lombardi). “It was about 11pm on the night of November 1, 2007, and I was in the area because I had been called out to fix a broken-down car…When I got to Via Sant Antonio, close to where the house where Meredith Kercher was murdered, I saw a dark-coloured car parked outside and I noticed the gate on the drive was open…I didn’t notice anyone in the car and I didn’t notice anyone coming or going during the eight or 10 minutes it took me to load the broken-down car onto my tow truck.” “The statement is significant because Sollecito has a dark-coloured car, but claims he was not at the house.”

2300 RS reveives telephone call from his father (per RS). Now known to be untrue as the unanswered call via landline was actually made at 2040 and went to answerphone

2300 (circa) Nara Capezalli, the woman who lives opposite MK’s, hears screams coming from the house after which “at least two people” emerged and fled “in different directions.”

2300 - 2330 AK and RS are seen on the baseball court by a sixty-year-old witness, ‘Toto’ (Antonio Curatolo), cuddling, behaving erratically, and looking towards the house…” “...their position of observation on the steps near via della Pergola overlooking the house.” “I saw Amanda and Raffaele around the square in 23-23,30 Grimana the first night of November. I am sure because the next morning the carabinieri were on the streets asking questions. ” AK and RS go down in the direction of the house (possibly joined by a third person (?))

2300 - 0100 RS claims he’s on Internet at his home

Friday 2nd November 2007

0100 AK at RS’s apt (?)

0200 Witnesses report seeing Rudy dancing down the Domus nightclub. Passers-by report loud voices from AK/MK home

0333 RS comes off of his computer and goes to bed, Amanda is ‘not’ there (per RS & his lawyers)

0430 Last sighting of Rudy at the Domus nightclub by witnesses.

0532 Internet activity noted at RS’s computer, (Googling ‘Bleach’ & ‘Blood’ perhaps ?). Phones turned back on?

Dawn Mobile phones switched back on (Would be great to have the actual time for this event)

0745 Witness places AK outside supermarket

0830 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

0915 Bleach receipt supplied by the market (?) - RS/AK in bed (per RS/AK)

1000 Woke up at RS’s in morning (per RS)

1030 AK returns to her house to wash; took empty plastic bag (per RS)

1100 AK was back at her house (per AK)

1130 AK back at RS’s house; worried—door open (per RS). Back to AK’s together. AK opens door with keys; went in together. Blood in bathroom. Attempted to break down Meredith’s door (per RS)

0900 - 1200 Sig.na Lana finds two phones in her garden and notify police, who ascertain that one is registered to Filomena Romanelli at via della Pergola

1226 “Today it was confirmed that the garage video recorded the car of the postal police arriving at 12.26…” and find AK and RS outside (but within the gate), who said they were waiting for the Carabinieri.”

1235 Filomena, having spent the night away with her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, whilst parking their car (with PG and LA) at the ‘Fair of the Dead’ in Perugia, receives phonecall (first of a series of three) from AK “who told me that she had slept at Raffaele’s house and that when she had gone back to our house she had found the door open and blood in her bathroom. She told me that she’d had a shower, that she was scared and that she was going to call Raffaele Sollecito. It seemed really strange to me and I asked her to check that the house was in order and to call the police or Carabinieri.” (Michael: “Going to call” RS when AK and RS claim they came back to the cottage together at 1130?)

1235 - 1245 Second phone conversation between AK and FR

1245 Third phone conversation between AK and FR “she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

1250 RS calls his sister in the Carabinieri

1251 RS phones the Carabinieri (for the first time)

1254 RS phones the Carabinieri again

1300 (just before) Filomena Romanelli arrives at apartment with her friends PA (Paola Grande - girlfriend of Luca) and LA (Luca Altieri). M (Marco) was present and “Amanda and Raffaele were in Amanda’s room because at a certain point they came out into the corridor and we introduced ourselves.” (Michael: Evidently, RS and AK failed to notice Meredith’s keys whilst they were hidden away in her room. Why were they in AK’s room when important actions were taking place elsewhere in the cottage, leaving non-resident Marco to deal with the Postal Police? How long were they in there for? ‘What’ were they doing whilst in there - checking it was ‘clean’?)

1305 Postal Police arrive (per RS and his lawyers)

1315 (circa) After listening to Filomena’s remarks, with Postal Police present, LA breaks down door of MK’s room

Evening PG and LA take RS and AK to Perugia police station in their car. PG and LA have stated that during the trip RS was constantly asking them questions regarding the murder and investigation of a manner that caused them to become so concerned and suspicious, they thorougly checked over the interior of the car after RS and AK got out, for ‘incriminating evidence’ they were afraid the pair may have ‘planted’ there. The ‘suspicious’ behaviour of the couple continued inside the police station, which was noted and reported by multiple witnesses

**These times must be very approximate since the 20:40 time slot is ‘very’ congested.

Posted on 12/11/08 at 09:00 AM by MichaelClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesVarious scenariosEvidence & witnessesThe timelines
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ads By Google… Misreporting By Frank?! Money-Grubbing Commences at Perugia-Shock

Posted by Skeptical Bystander




Money turns Sforza’s head

Sales and ad revenue is really what is driving so much of the very haphazard case reporting.  And not only that of the newspapers. Also ad-driven websites, for example.

Frank Sforza of the ad-driven Perugia-Shock site must have paid close attention when Candace Dempsey’s ad-driven site hosted by Hearst’s Seattle-PI noted the obvious: that Amanda Knox sells newspapers.

Frank’s latest post first describes the most recent case witnesses to emerge. He tells us why they should be discredited, even before they testify. The main reason, it seems, is that Frank is suspicious of them.

And all Frank-watchers know this: they must question everything he tells them to question, and accept all he says as gospel, or face some petulant wrath.

A phony interview

Perhaps not coincidentally, some of the new case witnesses were encouraged to come forward by journalists from one of the local newspapers Frank has somehow got on the wrong side of.

The pièce de résistance in Frank’s blog entry is his “interview” with Amanda Knox – a genuine scoop, it seems. Ms Dempsey told her readers it was “actual comments” from Amanda… the first she has seen.

With this claim in mind, I read the post, noting first that Frank said he “sent” questions to Knox in the Capanne jail. By carrier pigeon? By smoke signals? By a birthday cake with a tape recorder inside? He doesn’t specify.

And he presented the results in the form of a verbatim interview…  in broken English!

Seemingly overwhelmingly obvious to any native speaker of English - any except Ms Dempsey, it appears, who claimed this to be “the first [interview] I’ve seen in English, and not through a politician”  in a post on 3 December.

Rather more astute readers immediately asked Frank what on earth was going on.

He gave some of his trademark evasive and irritated replies - and he even wrote at one point that if readers were confused, then that was good.

Slippery “journalism”

Still, he has steadfastly maintained throughout that, in keeping with the blog’s philosophy, “sentences get reported as they are, they don’t get cleaned or improved or corrected or made understandable.”

How can we square that with the circumstances apparently surrounding the interview, as reluctantly conceded by Frank? If anyone out there can reconstruct this process based on what Frank has revealed under duress, we’d appreciate hearing from them.

Frank insists the interview contains (sic) “just the things she said, she didn’t write them, it’s sentences thrown there in the hurry about the end of the visitation. It’s not that we could record, she said them and then, we came out of there and after the second check point we tried to reconstruct the exact words, correct or not. And that’s exactly what she said, for what it may count.”

Wow. If anyone still feels confused, Frank offers this helpful insight: “Obviously I can’t speak about that and I have to confuse details and movements on purpose.”

Confusion is deliberate!

He then has the gall to ask readers to trust that “what she said is what she said,” and asserts that “the words she said were reconstructed right after, mistakes included, since it was real language and I like to report real language.”

So! Is everyone thoroughly confused by now? I hope so, because that apparently really was Frank’s purpose here.

And what about the actual puffball questions, any actual delivery mechanism aside? The strangest one, added to the original post as an afterthought, concerns a vibrator.

Ms Dempsey has claimed, on more than one occasion, as usual sans proof, that many of the journalists covering the case are males with mid-life issues. Does that also apply to Frank? 

Or perhaps it was added because details even remotely related to Amanda’s sex life sell? Did Frank simply decide to stick with what sells?

Perhaps making it all up as he went along?

Posted on 12/09/08 at 01:51 PM by Skeptical BystanderClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesFrancesco Sforza
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Formal Kercher Request That Trial Be Behind Closed Doors

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Kercher family have now formally filed the request that the trial of Knox and Sollecito be held behind closed doors.

The Kerchers’ request was filed by their extremely capable court-appointed lawyer, Francesco Maresca, with the Court of Assizes in Perugia.

The Court will announce its decision on this at the first, public, session of the Knox/Sollecito trial on 16 January.

The trial of Rudy Guede - which was also behind closed doors - largely hinged on evidence from Meredith’s bedroom and from her autopsy.

That evidence was said to have been extremely disturbing to many inside the court-room, and resulted in Guede’s very stiff 30-year sentence.

If the evidence not yet in the public domain really is as sickening as is rumored, it is hard to see the defense teams resisting the request.

And the Italian system hardly needs to prove publicly its extreme caution, carefulness, and fairness. Despite some absurd claims to the contrary.

Posted on 12/05/08 at 08:21 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Why Prominent Knox Supporter Judge Heavey Faces An Uphill Task

Posted by Peter Quennell

Judge Michael Heavey is a Superior Court judge in King County, Washington State, whose daughter was at school with Amanda Knox.

He is said to be popular and fair and someone you might want to have on your side in a fight. We wonder, however, if he is receiving the best possible advice on the case.

Last week Judge Heavey was quoted by the Seattle PI’s Levi Pulkkinen as saying:

“It borders on the diabolical… To me, it just shows [prosecutors] don’t care whether she’s guilty or innocent. They just believe Amanda needs to be convicted…”

Heavey [contends] Guede killed Kercher while Knox was staying the night at Sollecito’s home. [He views] Knox’s contradictory statements to police—claims that she “heard Meredith screaming” as she was killed—as the products of a rough overnight interrogation by Italian police…”

“When you have a heinous crime and a demonized defendant, with very little evidence, you can get a bad conviction. I haven’t been sure of too much in my life, but I’m totally convinced that she’s innocent.”

Here are just some of the problems that are now undercutting an adversarial stance against the Italian investigators, prosecutors and judges.

  • Most of the 10,000 pages of evidence (now being added-to by new witnesses) have not yet been publicly revealed. They will finally emerge during the trial which will start in Perugia on 16 January. Much of the forensic and other evidence has been independently verified by experts unconnected to the investigation
  • .
  • No single piece of the evidence already in the public domain has ever conclusively been found to be falsified. Several US experts have a rather hapless record in their attempts to demonstrate that the police and prosecutors got it all wrong. None seem to have made any recent statements on cable news or in the newspapers that they still stand by their original claims.

  • The defense lawyers who have actually been through the evidence seem to have become a lot more taciturn, and none of them - not one - has subsequently claimed that this is a railroading, or a frame-up, or the fabrication of a prosecutor desperate for a conviction.  (As a precaution against precisely this, there are actually two prosecutors)

  • Only a small part of the evidence - the autopsy, the bedroom evidence, and the neighbor who heard a scream in the night and then people running - was sufficient to result in a 30-year sentence for Rudy Guede. The judge in his case, in explaining the judgment, remarked that it was impossible for Guede to have acted alone in the murder of Meredith, in part due to the huge number of wounds on the body.

  • The additional evidence that did not even need to be taken into account in Guede’s case apparently includes computer and mobile phone activities, statements of a large number of other witness, a knife that may be the murder weapon found in Sollecito’s kitchen, post-crime defendant statements and behaviors, and the statements of those close to the defendants at the time.

  • And there might have been even more evidence. It appears that the crime scene may have been manipulated after the murder to make it look like a sole-perpetrator crime. Finger-prints, footprints, other marks, and blood evidence seem to have been removed - although much still shows up under luminol. It seems to indicate three perpetrators at the crime scene.

  • Amanda Knox actually placed herself under suspicion in her very first encounter with the police. She changed her alibi several times subsequently, apparently attempting to coincide it with Sollecito’s. The notion that she was forced into a confession after hours and hours of questioning is now generally discredited, and her own lawyers have not claimed this or lodged any complaint.

  • Amanda Knox indicated not only in an interview statement, later disqualified, but also in a written statement, still in evidence, that Patrick Lumumba was the murderer. Lumumba, her kindly employer, was in fact at the bar he owned that night, and in view of the harm done by this apparent frame-up attempt, the prosecution has charged Amanda Knox with slander.

The biggest problem of all for those claiming a frame-up or an over-zealous rush to prosecution is the extreme caution of the Italian system. The Italian judicial review process prior to trial seems to be at least three or four times more elaborate, careful, cautious, and fair to a suspect than, for example, normal U.S. processes.

The evidence in the case has already made it through a number of hoops. And repeatedly the various judges in what is a very extensive process, after days of reading and careful consideration, have verified that the evidence against the defendants is, in fact, very strong.

It is still possible that everybody has got it terribly wrong. But so far, nobody seems to be coming anywhere close to that scenario.

Posted on 12/01/08 at 08:40 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedNews media & moviesGreat reportingThe wider contextsSeattle contextAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamHeavey, Bremner
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Friday, November 28, 2008

A Reader Draws A Contrast In Sites Following The Case; Mean Perugia Shock Blog Disappoints

Posted by Peter Quennell





TJMK versus Perugia Shock, compared. Below, a reader’s comment, lifted from yesterday’s post.

It reflects emails from readers who seem frustrated at the Perugia Shock website. Many followers of the case, we included, remain deeply grateful for its excellent and dispassionate early reporting on the case.

Since then, its tone seems less certain. It appears to be frustrated at being held more at arms-length now by some of those really in the know on the case.

Seems a pity. We really still need that earlier kind of on-the-spot reporting.

To the Administrators of this site, and the bloggers here,

I found your website through an article that was published at The Croydon Guardian Newspaper. Ever since then, I’ve been regularly visting this site, reading the highly informative articles, and which have helped me settle my mind on what I think happened the night of 01.11.2007 to the poor victim.

I was always (and continue to be) intrigued by the professionalism, and sound manner in which these articles were written, and the investigation behind them was conducted.

A few days ago, I read something here about a website called Perugia Shock. I thought I’d give it a go (you know, get both sides of the story and hear other voices). I misleadingly believed that that the quality of blogs at the Perugia Shock website would be somewhat equivalent to this website. I was greatly disappointed!

I’ve since made only two blog postings there and been reading what the bloggers have to say. I was truly ‘shocked’ (more than the Perugia Murder itself) by the language, anger, spite and venom that dominated a lot of the bloggers postings there. I have therefore made my third and last posting there and sworn never to visit that site again in risk of wasting my time & breath.

To this effect, I would like to congratulate both the administrators and the bloggers here for their wonderful, calm, professional, polite, and very informative views - what a difference this marks, in comparison to the ‘Perugia Shock’ type of discussions! I am glad I found this website first.

Please continue the excellent work!

Socrates42

Posted on 11/28/08 at 08:36 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Hoaxers from 2007Knox-Mellas teamSollecito teamFrancesco SforzaNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Does Her Leaked Prison Diary Talk To Knox’s Mental Condition And Bullying By Those “Near And Dear”?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Corriere magazine has excerpted a new book by Fiorenza Sarzanini on the state of AK’s and RS’s psychology. Italian origiinal here. Click the image above for a Google translation.

A prison diary by Amanda Knox which Knox herself may have handed to the prosecutors is quoted in the article, and much more extensively in the book. It might be manipulative if she didn’t leak it, but it also seems a window into the state of her mental condition.

Amanda Knox seems to be describing Mellas family trauma, and she seems to points the finger at one person in particular: Chris Mellas.  His apparent nickname for her was “obtuse retard”.  This seems to us to ring true, as he is known on the internet for his abusive posts..

From The Sunday Times for November 30, 2008 (the link is now broken) our main poster Jools kindly translated this:

Diary reveals Foxy Knoxy’s sex secrets
A book explores the desires of the student accused of killing her UK housemate
John Follain

On the eve of a fateful summer journey to Italy, the American student Amanda Knox drew up a list of things to do before she left home in Seattle. Top of the list, according to her diary, was visiting a sex shop.

A book published in Italy last week quotes leaked extracts from Knox’s diary and portrays her as a young woman for whom sex is a key part of life. Knox, 21, will go on trial in January along with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24, accused of sexually abusing and murdering the Leeds exchange student Meredith Kercher in November 2007.

Kercher, 21, stabbed in the throat, was found half-naked in her bedroom in the Perugia cottage she shared with Knox. Rudy Guede, 21, an Ivory Coast drifter, has already been jailed for 30 years for the crime. All three pleaded not guilty.

The book, Amanda and the Others by Fiorenza Sarzanini, a journalist on Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, quotes previously unpublished extracts from diaries Knox kept from August 2007 until a few weeks after the murder. They have been seized by investigators.

Knox’s family protested at the publication of “Amanda’s personal and private property” and said they had no means to judge their authenticity.

“This seems to be yet another example of the continued leaks designed to harm Amanda’s character as there is no evidence to tie her to the brutal and senseless murder of Meredith Kercher. She is innocent,” they said in a statement.

Sarzanini said yesterday: “Knox isn’t obsessed with sex but she sees it as one of the predominant aspects of her life. This has influenced her life in the sense that it influences her relationships with both men and women.”

Before leaving Seattle, Knox, who is fond of making lists and called herself Foxy Knoxy, wrote that buying condoms was one of her priorities. On October 18, 2007, she lists four men with brief descriptions, including an American boyfriend.

Sarzanini comments: “It’s as if you [Knox] were always hunting men. You list your conquests as if you were displaying them like trophies.”

Knox writes to one boyfriend: “I’m waiting for you, I want to see something porno with you and put it into practice with you.” In another list, Knox names four men in Seattle and New York, and three in Florence and Perugia with whom she has had sex.

Knox writes: “Interesting isn’t it? I think it means that my sex life doesn’t correspond to my romantic emotional life. An obvious statement because the only one I’m in love with (even if in truth he isn’t the only one I want to have sex with) is incredibly far away . . . Sex is useless, well not useless but always disappointing unless I manage to establish emotional contact with someone.”

The book quotes testimony to police from Amy Frost, a British student friend of Kercher. She describes an episode on the day of Knox’s arrival at the cottage: “Meredith told us that Amanda put down in the bath-room a beauty-case in which there were condoms and a vibrator. They were visible and it seemed a bit strange to Meredith.” Kercher later told Frost: “Isn’t it odd that a girl arrives and the first thing she shows is a vibrator?”

In a sign of tension between Knox and the victim, Frost also relates that a few weeks before the murder Kercher had learnt from her housemates that one of them, Giacomo Silenzi, fancied her. When Kercher told Knox, she replied: “I like Giacomo too, but you can have him!” The remark upset Kercher, who later started a relationship with Silenzi.

Several witnesses quoted in the book depict Knox and Sollecito as not only failing to show any grief immediately after Kercher’s death, but also constantly cuddling and kissing as they sat waiting to be questioned at police headquarters, a few days before they were accused of the crime. “[Amanda] was in front of Raffaele. I remember that she stuck her tongue out at him, she made faces and then they’d laugh and kiss each other. In that moment I thought she was going crazy, that she was really crazy,” Frost testified.

Robyn Butterworth, a British friend of Kercher who saw Knox at police headquarters, gave evidence that Knox “seemed to me to be completely lacking any emotion”. Butterworth added that Knox and Sollecito “sent each other kisses by smacking their lips. At a certain point she stretched out on a few chairs and he caressed her feet. It was strange, it wasn’t a nice thing to watch”.

Prosecutors have argued that Knox’s alleged coldness after the murder, as well as her DNA on the handle of a knife that may be the murder weapon, points to her guilt. Knox’s parents have said Knox was in shock and was simply seeking comfort from her boyfriend.

In another diary that Knox started in prison on November 8, 2007, shortly after her arrest, there is a rare passage about Kercher in which she imagines her raped and killed.

She wrote: “I can only imagine what she felt in those moments frightened, injured, raped. But I imagine more what she went through when the blood went out of her. What did she feel? And the mother? Desperation? Did she have the time to find peace or in the end did she have only terror?”

Posted on 11/27/08 at 02:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxThe officially involvedHoaxes against Italy8 No motive hoaxHoaxes Knox & team13 Demonized hoax
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

“They Were Held For A Year Without Even Being Charged!!” How Italian Justice REALLY Works

Posted by Nicki



[Above and at bottom: the Italian Supreme Court Of Appeals}

A misleading mantra

This frequently quoted claim above is maybe the most mindless and misinformed of all the mantras on the case.

Much of the US media and some of the UK media - sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes with reserve - has parroted the claim that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were “held without charges” for nearly a year.

Perhaps bringing to mind the notion of two innocent bystanders to the crime being arbitrarily arrested? Locked up in cockroach-infested jails by abusive police? Led on by an evil prosecutor with endless powers up his sleeve, and nothing at all to slow him down? Lost and forgotten by any judges in the case?

Well, good luck with that one, if it’s designed to sway the process.

It irritates just about everybody here in Italy, the judiciary and the media included. And it is doing the defendants no good at all.

Negative stereotypes like these really should not be applied to a country that is one of the founding members of the EU, of NATO, and of the European Council, and of the G-7, G-8, OECD, and United Nations (the non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2007-2008).

So for media reporters and commentators, please let us get the facts straight. Once and for all?!

Origin of Italian jurisprudence

Italian jurisprudence developed from Roman Law. It was shaped in the course of history to become a modern and very fair system. Judicial powers are subjected to a very complex and extremely pervasive set of checks and balances, which really assure maximum protection of every citizen’s rights.

Comparing the US and UK common law system - a model founded on non-written laws and developed through judicial proceedings - with this system which arose from the Roman Law model - based on a written civil code - is really like comparing apples to oranges.

They were both conceived to protect individual’s rights at a maximum level, while seeking justice for the victims. But with entirely different processes.

One is not necessarily better or worse. But there are legal experts who think the Italian system is distinctly fairer - much more weighted toward the defendants. In the US and the UK the prosecutor usually has to make it through only one pre-trial hoop. In Italy the prosecutor has to make it through a whole row of pre-trial hoops.

Legal status of a witness and a suspect

Let’s see what happens in Italy to the legal status of a person who, while considered a “persona informata dei fatti” which means “a person who could yield useful information” in relation to a brutal murder, suddenly becomes a suspect in the eyes of the police.

If while interviewing the “person who could yield useful information” the suspicion arises that such person could have played an active role in the crime, their status then turns into that of a suspect. The police can then detain that suspect up to 48 hours.

Those 48 hours are the period within which a prosecutor - if he believes that the evidence of guilt is meaningful - can request a validation of the arrest by the Judge of Preliminary Investigation (the GIP).

If the judge agrees with the prosecutor that a serious indication of guilt exists, a warrant for the arrest is issued by the judge, and the person’s detention is thus validated.

Immediately, as soon as the status of “person who could yield useful information” status changes into the status of a suspect, the suspect person has a right to legal counsel. This legal counsel normally immediately appeals for the release of the suspect.

Subsequent hearings by different judges

Thus setting in motion what can be a LONG sequel of hearings - for which in US and UK common law there is no such equivalent. Each hearing is headed by a different judge. This judge examines prosecution and defence arguments, and decides if the suspect may be released on any of these bases:

  • Seriousness of the clues presented by prosecution

  • Likelihood of repeating a similar crime

  • Likelihood of fleeing the country during the ongoing investigation

  • Danger of tampering with, or fabricating evidence

If every one of the defence appeals fails, in front of a number of different judges, in a number of different hearings, and the investigation is officially closed, the suspect then goes on to a pre-trial hearing.

Once again here, yet another judge rules either to clear and release the suspect by rejecting the submitted evidence, or to send the suspect to trial on the basis of that evidence, thus making the charges official.

Judicial decisions on bail, house arrest, or jail

Now that the charges are official, the judge can decide if the defendant must await trial under house arrest, or in freedom, of if the defendant must remain in jail.

If the judge, based on their knowledge of the crime and the defendants, estimates that the chances of re-offending or fleeing the country are high, the suspect must remain in jail.

So nobody in Italy can be detained without a reasonable suspicion, a long series of judicial hearings (any one of which could set them free) or eventual official charges.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have not in fact been incarcerated for over one year due to zealous police or a bizarre prosecutor or the complicity of a number of judges throughout the process.

They have been incarcerated because an articulate and balanced process of law has officially and very fairly established there are strong indications that they willingly participated in the vicious murder of Meredith Kercher.

Failure of defenses to persuade judges

Their own lawyers have put up a tough fight for Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox throughout the judicial process.  But they have simply failed to convince the judges throughout that process.

One that actually seems strongly weighted in their favor.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So The Trial Date IS Postponed, Now It’s 16 January

Posted by Peter Quennell


This is a translation of the report from La Stampa.

Meredith process, hearing postponed

Amanda and Raffaele have to answer to the charge of murder

The case against Amanda and Raffaele is postponed to allow for the reading of additional investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor

Postponed to January 16, 2009, is the hearing for the murder of Meredith Kercher, which initiates the trialproceedings against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who are accused of murder in the taunting and violence against American student (Rudy Guede has already been sentenced to 30 years jis trial having been expedited, ed.)

The presiding judge, Giancarlo Massei, deferred the opening session to enable the parties to get to know the contents of the additional investigations carried out by the prosecutor of Perugia. Tomorrow is the deadline for the submission of lists and texts that will amount to a total of about a hundred.

And a brief summary of some of the other recent developments in the case….

  • A witness who knew her claims to have seen Amanda Knox in a supermarket early on the day after the crime

  • A second witness claims to have heard a scream on the evening of the crime, this one stating a precise time

  • A witness claims to have seen Knox, Sollecito and Guede together previously - if so, they did know one another

  • A cut was apparently seen on Knox’s neck by another house resident; autopsy and scenario are being reviewed

  • A fund-raising event in Seattle apparently raised $11,000 to help defray Knox’s parents’ defense and travel costs

  • And a Kercher family request for a closed-door trial - permitted in Italy for sex crimes - is now being reviewed

One of the great areas of conjecture is whether the alleged defendants actually pre-planned an assault on Meredith.  Or whether it was perhaps just a taunt, one that took on a deadly spiral.

There was an apparent simultaneous switching-off of their mobiles earlier in the evening, for a reason not so far explained. And now an apparent prior three-way relationship between the two charged and the one sentenced? This does not look good. 

Posted on 11/25/08 at 08:48 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedVictims familyEvidence & witnessesOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Does The Defense Campaign Really Have ANY Plan B?

Posted by Deathfish2000





[Added: This was posted in November 2008 after which the demonizers really got carried away; five years later, see how they are all in the soup]

The only ones to claim on the airwaves and in the papers lately that the defendants are being framed seem to be those who seem very out of touch with the facts as they look now.

As previously pointed out here, those very few in Perugia who actually have had access to the full tidal wave of evidence, in the still-sealed 10,000 pages, seem to go notably more quiet.

And not one of them has emerged yet to resume the cries of frame-up.

There have been three possible defenses. A mental or psychological defense, which might have flown, but which no-one has touched. A cool and dispassionate contending of known facts, and a shot at mitigating circumstances such as, it wasn’t planned, and, we were doped. And this peculiar and seemingly now failing “frame-up-of-true-innocents” defense.

The prime suspects in the case, Amanda Knox and her then flick-knife carrying boyfriend of the time, Raffaele Sollecito, now await the trial that starts in about 10 days. With prospects, frankly,  that do not now seem to be looking good at all. Plan A seems to be failing - and there seems to be no other plan.

They are jointly charged with murder, sexual violence, simulation of a crime, and theft - with Amanda Knox facing an additional charge of slander against the former employer she hurt. This was after an astonishingly cautious pre-trial phase, with the evidence being run past judge after judge and found credible again and again.

Rudy Guede was dispatched to serve his 30 year prison term for his part in the crime after opting for his separate fast track trial. His lawyer stated they had chosen that route as they believed Knox and Sollecito were conspiring to frame Guede. It seemed like it might turn out to be a smart strategy - perhaps the first in this case.

But he got no break from the judge. Why did he not - why did he get a stiff 30 year sentence?

Three possible reasons. One, the evidence is tough and very extensive,  it hangs together, and points to a truly depraved scene in the house. Two, Guede and his lawyer chose to contend some of it, but that “some” was quite marginal at best. And three, Guede chose not to come clean over what happened, even in the slightest, or to show any remorse.

Although they were not immediately taken into custody after the murder was discovered, Knox and Sollecito managed to make themselves into almost instant suspects. They themselves really knocked the pins out from under any good “they were framed” defense. Nearly a year ago now.

On initial questioning by the police as witnesses, Knox and Sollecito told conflicting stories, with Knox stating she was with Sollecito at his apartment all night.

Then Sollecito stated that Knox left around 9PM and returned at around 1AM (the period of the murder window).

In light of the failure of Alibi #1, Knox then claimed to have been in the house when Meredith was killed, and covered her ears to mask Meredith’s screams, as the kindly employer who she fingered, Patrick Lumumba, raped and then murdered Meredith.

This disarray in the alibis led to the arrest of all three as suspects - Lumumba of course was soon released though, as he really DID seem to have been framed. By Knox.

And since their arrests, Knox and Sollecito have both changed their stories several times. Knox has stated she is “confused” and suffered memory loss during the time when the murder happened. She finally reverted back to the statement she made early on, that she was at Sollecito’s all night, as the “best truth I can think of” story.

Her story would have changed again, if not for the intervention and advice of her then lawyer - fired by the Knox family for stating to reporters that Knox indeed intended to change her story again, and that Knox really must now start telling the truth.

None of this above is exactly a strong foundation on which to base a “they were framed” defense.

Knox’s mother has frequently appeared on TV in tears claiming no evidence, a position that really should have been moved away from months ago. And her father, notably in a British TV interview for Channel 4 TV, described the knife-obsessed and flick-knife carrying Sollecito a “nice kid” although he had never met him. He dismissed his flick knife and dagger collection as simply “art pieces”. Art pieces?

Equally indicative of a wrong strategy is the absence of any message of condolence to the Kercher family over the loss of their daughter and sister. Truly extraordinary. A great way to go - if you want to look callous, and by extension make your own daughter look callous. Did they get no good advice on this point, from any of their many advisers?

Since Meredith’s death, a veritable cottage industry based on the framed-innocent concept has sprung up in Knox’s home town of Seattle, with the “Free Amanda” campaign, the “Friends of Amanda Knox” and the “Amanda Defence Fund” to name but a few.

Are the Knoxes getting the financial help they say they need? It is hard to tell. The website asks for your donations of money and air-miles, and it displays images of Amanda Knox as a child, the implication being that an innocent child is not capable of such a crime as this.

Someone does seem to be doing very well. Online, you can buy tee-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, trucker caps, handbags, coffee mugs and teddybears all stamped “Made in the USA”. Emblazoned with an infamous image from the crime scene - the seemingly drug-addled Knox looking nervously at the camera. Tee shirts are available in any colour you like, and have “Free Amanda” printed underneath.

Who on earth invented this somewhat surreal and increasingly losing defense campaign? Whoever really though it would fly? Whoever thought it would keep Knox from a lifetime in jail - or knock even one year off her sentence if found guilty?

The strategy looks all the more incongruous when you look at the enormous contrast of the family of Meredith. The ones who really are victims in this horrific affair. 

Since the news of the senseless and tragic murder of Meredith hit the news just over one year ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that her family - the Kerchers, are nothing short of remarkable.

The inner strength and dignity they have displayed in their conduct this past year has moved so many people so much that websites like this have come to exist. To honor Meredith and the family, and to help to push back against those who would dismiss or dishonor them or make a profit from their grief.

Not once, not ever, have they lost their composure in what must be the worst situation for them to endure as a family that they have ever experienced in their lives. The loss due to a brutal moment of madness of their beloved daughter and sister, Meredith.

Quite a contrast with those who have not suffered equally, and whose campaign seems to increasingly comes across as illogical, unbelievable, and losing.

RIP to dear Meredith Kercher…



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