Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emmy Nomination For CBS Producer For Xenophobic And Wildly Inaccurate Reports On Meredith’s Case

Posted by Peter Quennell

Former CBS producer Joe Halderman is now in prison (see above) for a failed blackmail attempt. We posted on this here  and here.

Perhaps a worse crime was the ill-researched, highly biased, and ludicrously inaccurate reports on Meredith’s case he produced for CBS TV. We posted on those CBS reports here,  here,  here, and here, and most especially here with Kermit’s Powerpoint disection of the vesy first report.

Now, unbelievably, Mr Halderman has been nominated for an Emmy award for “the best continuing coverage of a news story”.

Right now there are over 100 stories on Google News about this Emmy nomination. NOT ONE remarks that the reporting was flatout wrong.  The CBS reporting was of course contradicted by the guilty verdict last December, and HIGHLY contradicted by the Massei sentencing report.

Way to go, Emmy nomination committee. You sure didn’t get THIS one right.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Very Telling Parallels Here With Murder Cases Like Christian Longo’s

Posted by lilly

Many of the apologist writers claiming that Amanda Knox was railroaded have made “there was no motive” a main argument of their articles.

Most recently, The Machine took apart that claim as made by Amy Jenkins in the UK and Judy Bachrach in the US.

Other posters here on TJMK and and on PMF have frequently noted that neither under Italian not under UK and US law is any proof of a motive required for conviction.

Many of the apologists have also claimed that what looked to most watchers like bizarre red-flags patterns of behavior by Sollecito and Knox before and after Meredith’s death and at trial were just, you know, kids blowing off some steam.

Really. Nothing to sweat over.

Had the writers been experts in the relevant fields, or consulted some experts, or even simply done some online research, they would have turned up hundreds of examples where a motive remained hazy or non-existent. And where the killer came across as pleased with themselves, attention-seeking, and totally self-absorbed, regardless of pain inflicted on others. 

Christian Longo is one of many examples who confused the more gullible of the watchers over his motive and mindset.

In 2001 Christian Longo killed his wife and three small children on the northwest coast of Oregon. He still won’t or can’t explain why he did it, and at first he tried hard to deny it.

The Last Psychiatrist blog (TLP) has a fascinating analysis of Longo’s story.

Longo is a pathological narcissist, and there are some interesting parallels with the way Knox has behaved before and after her conviction for the murder of Meredith.

Longo’s crime is sickening. He strangled his wife MaryJane, attempted to strangle one of his daughters, packed her into a suitcase and then dumped her, still alive, into a river.

Then he drove his other kids to a bridge, tied stones to them, and threw them still alive into the water as well.

That done, off Longo went to Mexico.

When he was finally captured by police, he was enjoying a lifestyle of socializing, snorkeling, beer, drugs and pretending to be a journalist. His behavior was highly attention-seeking, and he seemed very pleased with himself.

Longo had no prior convictions, and no history of violence.

According to TLP, Longo’s behavior is that of a classic narcissist. Narcissists don’t feel guilt. Longo doesn’t feel remorse for his crime.

Initially, Longo denied murdering his family. It wasn’t him; it was an unknown intruder. Later, he blamed his wife. It wasn’t him; she actually started it.

When that didn’t work, he claimed he couldn’t remember what happened. He gave testimony, but he never explained his actions - as if what really happened wasn’t important.

The Last Psychiatrist writes: “This isn’t a coherent defense, it’s pass interference, it’s reasonable doubt.  It’s not important what did happen, it’s only important that it wasn’t him.”

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t him. Remind you of anyone yet?

Everything Longo says in his defense is “bullshit” says TLP. “These endless words…are a way of wearing you down into giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Look, you know me, you know the kind of person I am, right?  I can go on and on about this all day; just trust me.”

Even in prison, on Death Row, he’s wearing the mask of a real nice, successful guy who’s been badly treated.

Knox is another convicted murderer who deosn’t seem interested in explaining what happened to her victim, Meredith. It simply is not important to her.

The only thing of importance is that it wasn’t her.

Immediately after the cruel murder of Meredith, Knox raised the suspicion of investigators by her oddly smug and strongly attention-seeking behavior.

From the very start, Knox attempted to upset the investigation by leading police down the wrong track. Her judges and jury (and earlier Judge Micheli) concluded that she and Sollecito cleaned up the murder scene to remove the traces of their involvement.

They moved the victim’s body. They faked a break-in to make police believe a random intruder did it. And when questioned, Knox recalled Meredith screaming, and coldly and deliberately accused an innocent man, her kindly employer Patrick Lumumba, of sexual assault and murder.

Then she claimed she couldn’t remember what had happened on the night. She early-on put this down to drugs. And in court, she said she made the claim against Patrick because the interrogating police beat her.

The message Knox gave when she had the chance to address the judges and jury at the close of the murder trial was a strong indicator of a pathological narcissistic mindset.

Given a golden opportunity to voice real sympathy for Meredith and her suffering family, Knox instead said only that she didn’t want to be forced to wear “the mask of an assassin”.

TLP makes a very interesting comment about motive in Longo’s case. Narcissists kill because they are scared of being exposed. They are scared that the masks they have carefully constructed will be ripped away or replaced. Their identities are threatened.

Knox seems to desperately need people to believe in the identity she’s carefully constructed and maintained.

In reality, sadly, she was in danger of losing her job, she was quite close to being broke, she had chosen an insignificant study-load in Perugia, she was on drugs going back to Seattle, she had not managed to make any real friends in Perugia other than Sollecito, and she had a conviction back home which could have incurred a serious penalty.

But she wants and needs people to believe she was actually a talented student, a pretty young woman with a bright future, a popular and attractive person with a nice family back home.

Some mask, one has to say.

Meredith Kercher was the opposite of Amanda in so many ways - in fact, Meredith was a popular, well-funded, hard-working super-achiever with a very bright future. 

When we delve a little into Knox’s history, in light of the above, we see there are many possible motivations.

Her seeming callous narcissistic syndrome, often noted before she ever left Seattle. Her known growing jealousy of Meredith, whose perhaps rather disdainful presence Knox seemed to find a threat to her self-image and economic security. Fueled by drugs, strong drink, an obsession with violent rape fantasies, and risky casual sex. Coupled with a troubled boyfriend on drugs with a penchant for violent porn and a combat knife collection.

Meredith was perhaps the biggest threat to her mask that Amanda had ever encountered.

TLP says of Longo: “You want a simple answer: why did he do this?…The important question is the one no one asks anymore: What was there that would have held him back?”

Sadly now it is too late for Meredith and her family. But instead of continuing to paint Knox as a suffering innocent victim, Knox’s parents should ask themselves: Who and what should have held their daughter back?

If they’d answered that question early-on, when they should have, Meredith might very well still be alive.

Posted on 07/12/10 at 10:16 AM by lillyClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesPondering motiveThe officially involvedOther legal processesThose elsewhere
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Friday, July 09, 2010

Third Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Again, thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

This is the interview with Rudy Guede’s defense lawyer Walter Biscotti, and the continuation of the re-enactment of the crime - warning: it is very jarring, with graphical shots of Meredith’s room after the crime, and then three figures running and two later kissing.

Walter Biscotti claims to the LA7 reporter Andrea Vogt that Rudy Guede entered the house with Meredith, they talked for a while, and then they had consensual sex. Rudy later goes to the bathroom.

He hears Amanda’s voice enter the house. He hears an argument over money between Meredith and Amanda. While listening to his iPod Rudy hears a loud scream.

When he enters Meredith’s room, he sees her bleeding and tries to stench the flow of her blood with a towel. Rudy hears two people outside the house running away, and he also runs away.

Mr Biscotti cannot explain the damning evidence of Rudy found on the pillow under Meredith’s body.


Inserted by Peter: We have been told that Biscotti was trying to claim sexual intimacy not sex. Apparently there is some difference. Please read the following paras by True North in that context. Judge Micheli didnt believe ANY claim of intimacy at Guede’s trial, so Biscotti is contradicting the Micheli sentencing report without making that clear. There is ZERO proof of intimacy, and the claim is ugly and highly disrespectful to Meredith and her family. Biscotti should withdraw it.


The sex claim is old, totally improbable, not born out by any facts in evidence, or by the timeline, Meredith’s moral disposition, or her known plans for the second half of that evening. These were to complete an assignment, and then, since she had been up late the night before (Halloween) to get plenty of sleep.

Meredith never - NEVER - had casual sex and she already had a boyfriend (then traveling) who lived in the apartment down below. Even Walter Biscotti may conceivably be repulsed by this line of defense, but he seems to have no other way of placing Guede legitimately in the house, or explaining the signs of Guede having been involved in a sexual attack on Meredith.

Many have pointed out that it seems a severe weakness of the rather soft-line Italian system that Rudy Guede’s defense can continue to make such offensive claims about a victim, make no confession, offer no full apology, and still emerge with a sentence of only 16 years. Meredith’s family and friends are very ill-served by this, and it fuels a dishonest line by Knox’s supporters. 

Mr Biscotti does strongly finger Amanda Knox by name and one other person who everyone watching would take to be Raffaele Sollecito. The lone-wolf theory, also totally improbable, is not even mentioned here. Nor are the claims by convicted baby-killer Mario Alessi that Guede said he had two other accomplices.

There is of course no huge outcry among Italians over the “wrongful imprisonment” of their fellow Italian Raffaele Sollecito. People in Italy followed the trial in far more depth than they could in the UK or US, and they are not susceptible to any blown smoke, almost certainly including the nasty claims Biscotti makes.

Posted on 07/09/10 at 08:50 AM by True NorthClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesNews media & moviesGreat reportingThe wider contexts
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Second Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

This is the interview with Knox defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga at his law offices in Perugia, plus a fleeting but telling reenactment.

When the LA7 reporter Andrea Vogt asks Mr Ghirga to explain Amanda’s version of events, he emphatically responds that throughout the trial Amanda has been painted as a liar.

He says that Amanda stayed and never left Sollecito’s house between 5:00 pm and 10:00 am the next morning. He disputes the eye witnesses who claimed to have seen Amanda at the convenience store, and at the piazza above the house with Sollecito around 11:00 pm.

When Ms Vogt asks Mr Ghirga what he thinks about the quality of the evidence, he raises the fact that the bra clasp wasn’t retrieved until 46 days later. He believes the bra clasp evidence was contaminated because it had moved from its original location.

Andrea Vogt says to Mr Ghirga: “You always argued that there was only one perpetrator”. He responds that the trial forensics experts never ruled out the possibility that all of the body wounds, including those on Meredith’s neck, mouth and knees, could have been committed by one person.


Note that in this interview Mr Ghirga never states that Sollecito never left his house that night. He only mentions that Amanda never left that house. In line with the observations of our poster Cesare Beccaria that the defenses rarely give the other defenses any breaks, and often make things more difficult for them.

Both the Micheli sentencing report for RG and the Massei sentencing report for AK and RS conclude that the wounds on Meredith with two knives and the sexual assault HAD to have been done by more than one person, and that dozens of evidence points confirm this.

And Mr Ghirga’s arguments at trial that Knox never left Sollecito’s house were very weak - and undermined by Knox herself and by Sollecito. Even the few straws he grasps at seem to be floating out of reach.

Posted on 07/08/10 at 10:15 AM by True NorthClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesNews media & moviesGreat reportingThe wider contexts
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

First Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

The male reporter asks Prosecutor Mignini what was the most damning evidence in this case? Mignini replies: the knife, the bra clasp, and the mixed blood traces in the bathroom.

Mignini stands firm when answering Andrea Vogt’s repeated question of what about “the low copy numbers?” He asserts that it was indisputably Meredith’s DNA on the knife. There was never any transfer or contamination of DNA on the knife because Meredith never touched it nor had she ever been to Sollecito’s house.

While admitting that the bra clasp had not been retrieved until 46 days later, there was never any transfer or contamination of DNA on the clasp. He stresses that the bra clasp never left Meredith’s room and yet still had plenty of Sollecito’s DNA on it.


Added: As suggested in Comments below, there seems very good reason to translate all of Mr Mignini’s remarks, and we will be posting a full transcript of this video one day this week.

Posted on 07/06/10 at 09:31 AM by True NorthClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe prosecutorsTrials 2008 & 2009Massei prosecutionNews media & moviesGreat reportingThe wider contexts
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Monday, July 05, 2010

Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Back In Court - And This Time In The Dock

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Perugia old-city’s smaller piazza with the court at right and Lumumba’s bar ahead down the hill]

Possible to feel some sympathy for Edda Mellas and Curt Knox for the turmoil that their kid has put them through.

Hard to feel too much, though, because of the huge sliming by their campaign of others, the concretely-proven lies they have told on TV, the damage done to the Italian image in the US, and the untold agony to Meredith’s family and friends, for whom they have still shown zero real sympathy.

Barbie Nadeau has the report on their own trial about to start. If their sentence is less than three years, for a first offense it would not incur prison time. However it might not have been the worst experience in the world to see them cooling their heels for a while.

We hope from now truth really breaks out and Edda Mellas gives a full explanation of this, a key aspect of the trial that no reporter and no book-writer has ever pursued (so what’s new?!)

Did Edda Mellas actually lie on the witness stand? Lie when she was under oath?

Posted on 07/05/10 at 09:49 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas team
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Friday, July 02, 2010

Italy’s LA7 Is Running A Series On The Rare Phenomenon For Italy Of Female Criminality

Posted by Peter Quennell

Italy’s LA7 network is running a five-part series on notorious crimes in Italy involving women.

Compared to the US and most of Europe, Italy has only a small fraction of its population in prison at any one time. And an even smaller percentage of its female population. The involvement of women in serious crimes is rare in Italy - and the subject of considerable public interest. 

The first segment (which is not yet on YouTube, although we have hopes that it will be) two weeks ago focussed on Amanda Knox’s involvement in the murder of Meredith. It was very highly rated.

The excellent American reporter Andrea Vogt was a main presenter, as she is throughout the LA7 series, and the Knox segment included interviews with Prosecutor Mignini and the lawyers for Knox and the other two perps.

The third segment, which aired this week, involved Antonella Conserva. You can see her in the image above and briefly in the LA7 report in Italian below.

She is married to Mario Alessi, who claimed earlier this year, to wide ridicule, that he had encountered Rudy Guede in prison, and that Guede had thoughtfully shared with him that Knox and Sollecito were not at the scene of Meredith’s murder.   

Antonella Conserva and her husband, Mario Alessi were convicted four years ago of the kidnapping and murder of a baby (“Tommy”) and, although she was not even present when her husband murdered Tommy, she was sentenced to 30 years.

That is generally accepted in Italy as a reasonable sentence. This could be the new sentence for Amanda Knox, revised upward from 26 years, that the prosecution might win on appeal.

Absent any confession and show of contrition, which seems to us the smart way for Amanda Knox to go, reaction in Italy would probably be neutral or positive.

Like the name “Tommy” everyone in Italy knows the name “Meredith” and no last name is required. Speak up, Amanda.

Posted on 07/02/10 at 02:18 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesPondering motiveItalian related
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Judge Heavey’s Open Letter To Italy With False Accusations Might Be Seen As Obstruction Of Justice

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Our post of three weeks ago on how Michael Heavey is accused of breaking his oath of office.

Here now is Michael Heavey’s response.  Good luck with this one. One of our lawyers said it reads to him as if one of Amanda Knox’s sisters had actually written it.

In his open letter to Italy (included in this document) Michael Heavey appeared to disrespect the competence and motivations of a huge number of people in the justice system. As it was on official letterhead, he appeared to be writing officially. And he put out in the public arena many “facts” that were simply not accurate.

Our lawyers on the team indicate that the standard practice if a judge has something to say about a case that is not his own is to (1) write privately (2) on his own letterhead and (3) make quite certain to get NONE of the facts wrong.

Otherwise there is the possibility of serious interference in a case before the courts - of the obstruction of justice rather than its furthering. In this case, of justice for Meredith.

No American - not one, in the course of the past two and a half years - seems to have so mis-characterized the evidence TO ITALY. Or so impugned the motives and competence of the Italian police and Italian judicial authorities TO ITALY.

That post we just linked to was written back then of course. Subsequently, both the Micheli and Massei sentencing reports have been released. They show even more dramatically just how off-target the judge’s attempted interference really was.

Perhaps we might see him apologizing to Meredith’s family, for seeking to deny their justice. Nice if the discipline panel makes this a requirement.

Posted on 06/30/10 at 11:21 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Hoaxers from 2007Knox-Mellas teamHeavey, BremnerThe wider contextsItalian contextSeattle context
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #28: The Palm Riviera, For Her, Less Than One Hour East

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 06/27/10 at 02:35 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Amanda Knox’s Supporters Obtain Rome Embassy Cables About Knox, Prove Of No Help

Posted by True North

The American Embassy in Rome above, and the State Department in Washington below.

Ninety-nine percent of the reason why countries put embassies in other countries is because they really want to get along.

The US and Italy in fact do get along, extremely well, and there are thousands of transactions between the two countries every day. Thousands of Americans live in Italy, and millions of Americans are of Italian descent.

At the request of the US Administration, the Italian government recently put a large contingent of Italian troops in Afghanistan.

Under the US Freedom of Information Act,  any American citizen can request and usually obtain astonishing amounts of official documentation, far beyond what can usually be extracted from the bureaucracies in most other countries.

Occasionally this information has embarrassed the department concerned, or the party in power in the Congress or the White House. But usually the documents are innocuous and without drama. Conspiracies simply never show up.

The blogger History Punk on his website Historiographic Anarchy has posted some cables (pdf format) from Rome to Washington, which report periodically on the Rome Embassy’s monitoring of Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison and her trial and appeals in Perugia.

As we would expect, these cables are extremely mundane. They were sent by a middle-level official in the consular section of the Rome Embassy to the Italy desk in the State Department.

They report carefully on the careful Italian legal process, and they never remark on anything wrong. No charges or claims or complaints are relayed from Amanda Knox. There is no talk of any anti-Americanism. No instructions, questions or comments are cabled from Washington in return.

One cable was not released. It was marked confidential and the contents are unknown. Here’s a guess at its contents: “Please keep those xenophobic ranters on a chain - they are doing the American cause in Italy no good at all”. 

My first post here on TJMK and proud of it. This is a good fight I join.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Aviello Story Seems To Show The RS & AK Defenses All But Concede Guilt Of All 3

Posted by Peter Quennell

Now SERIOUSLY grasping at straws.

The Sollecito defense latched with alacrity onto baby-killer and jailhouse-snitch Mario Alessi three months ago.

This seemed to have been widely taken in Italy as a sign of the Sollecito defense’s desperate weakness, rather than as a get-out-of-jail-free trump-card for Raffaele Sollecito.

Several weeks ago the Amanda Knox defense latched onto Camorra clan-member and jailhouse snitch Luciano Aviello.

With a lot less alacrity though - his various stories have been around for a long time.  This seemed to have been widely taken in Italy as a sign of the Knox defense’s desperate weakness,

Luciano Aviello, who is now in prison, and his brother Antonio, now on the run, are or were connected to the Camorra (NBC Dateline report above) which is Naples’s equivalent of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. The Camorra is in some ways the older, larger and badder of the two arms of the Italian mafia.

Luciano Aviello and Antonio Aviello were living in Perugia at the time the crime against Meredith took place. Over a year ago, our poster Catnip posted this translation of a report from Italy on the Perugia Murder File board.

Saturday 09 May 2009

Prisoner writes: ‘I know real murderer’s name’

“I know the real name of Meredith’s killer, a fellow-brother Albanian friend of mine told me, and it’s not Raffaele Sollecito.” Luciano Aviello is Raffaele Sollecito’s ex-cellmate and, now, maybe encumbering his admirer, is writing another letter to Court of Assize president Giancarlo Massei.

A few weeks ago he had sent a letter in which he claims to have asked two of his friends to break into the murder house to prove that anybody could have done so. Yesterday, the page count of his letter jumped to five, and the tone was angrier.

He’s had it with journalists, because they’ve referred to his less than clear past, and because they wrote about his previous never-proven-true “revelations” on various important and dramatic criminal cases (like the disappearance of little Angela Celentano).

He’s had it with the police too, in whom he confided his secret about Raffaele’s innocence and who didn’t even give him the time of day.

He maintains that, actually, he has a letter written by an Albanian friend, which contains the real name of the murderer, and he wants to speak only to the court president, Giancarlo Massei, to reveal it to him.

Even the lawyer on the civil side of the case, Francesco Maresca, acting for the Kerchers, remains skeptical: “That letter ought to be re-read carefully: it’s not flour from his grainsack*”.


* This is a proverbial phrase (non è farina del suo sacco = “it’s not grist from his own mill”) meaning it wasn’t written off his own bat, and that other hands contributed to it.

And there is a video of a Sky News Italy report in Italian dated 21 April 2009 which in effect says “this isn’t any big deal’.

In Italy, Luciano Aviello and his kaleidoscopic claims thereupon went onto the back burner.

Fast forward to several weeks ago, when the Knox defense engages in a high-profile, noisy flurry of activity to get a deposition from Luciano Aviello.

This time, Luciano recalls,  it was actually his own missing brother who did it, and he himself buried some clothing and some keys.

Casting total doubt on everything Luciano Aviello ever says, his hometown newspaper Il Mattino in Naples comes out with this report. It is our translation.

“The Meredith Case - A Mariano Clan Supergrass Pops Up: “Amanda Is Innocent”

By Gigi di Fiore

In the newsroom of the Mattino he seemed at ease. Luciano Aviello was [20 years ago] just over twenty years old, and had asked to recount his experience as a “streetwise youth in the Mariano Camorra clan”.

In an earlier time, a war was in full swing in the Spanish Quarter [of Naples] between the Mariano clan, the “picuozzo” [another name for this clan after the “picuozzo” or cord around a monk’s habit] and the Di Biase family, also known as the “faiano”.

The DDA (Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia or Distict Anti-Mafia Directorate) did not yet exist, but Federico Cafiero de Raho was already employed as prosecutor in the investigations into organized crime.

It was he who dealt with that bloody war. Twenty years later, Aviello had become a news-magazine character. Now in his own words, he claims to have a rolet in the Perugia trial for the Meredith Kercher case as a “decisive” witness.

On 19 April of last year, he addressed two little hand-written pages to the President of the Court of Assizes of Perugia, Giancarlo Massei. He declared himself ready to tell the truth, and revealed that he had twice given some friends of his the task of breaking the seals on the house where the crime took place.

On 31 March of this year, Amanda Knox’s defense team video-recorded the declarations made by Aviello, who is now 41 years old. As the weekly news-magazine “Oggi” writes, he said: “It was my brother who murdered Amanda [sic]. I can recover for you the knife used in the crime and the keys of that house”.

This fellow arrived on the third floor of via Chiatamone [Editor’s office of the Mattino] wearing casual clothes with a pretence of elegance: he never retracts anything, always seeking to find suitable words to best describe his “revelations”.

Contact lenses, slim, a cousin killed because he was affiliated to the Mariano clan, Aviello spoke, revealing an outline personality, in a shadow world of braggadoccio, always on the sidelines of the dealings and violent acts of those in power among the clans of the Quarter at that time.

He ended up in jail, having confessed to a murder. It wasn’t true, but they had promised him 5 million lira, a lawyer and an annuity.

The clan didn’t respect the pact, and so he began to talk freely. Enticed by the good life, he began to act as a gofer/go-between selling “black lottery” tickets. He felt important. He earned 500 thousand lira per week.

It wasn’t bad. Then he did “embassies” [message-running], little services, but never great criminal leaps. The clans considered him “not very trustworthy”.

He was implicated in the investigation into the Spanish Quarter Camorra, and convicted.

Today, Federico Cafiero, now deputy prosecutor and DDA Coordinator for the investigations into the Caserta province clans, says of him: “He was altogether untrustworthy, although every so often he would invent a new one [new story]. A revelation, as he would call it, which would subsequently reveal itself to be out and out nonsense”.

Such as when he said that he knew where Angela Calentano was to be found, or that he knew the hideouts of the main fugitives of the D’Alessandro di Castellammare clan.

For his “revelations” against Tiziana Maiolo, ex president of the Justice Commission of the Chamber, he was hit with a trial, in 1997, for calumny.

Two years ago, he fired off his biggest tale yet: he accused a public prosecutor from Potenza in the famous trial on “dirty robes” between Catanzaro and Salerno. He was given an audience by the prosecutor Rosa Volpe in Salerno.

He had announced revelations. His contradictions were immediately exposed.

On those occasions also, the sources of his stories were newspaper articles or gossip with his cell-mates. Such as Raffaele Sollecito, or Gennaro Cappiello for the “dirty robes” investigation.

A compulsive liar, a seeker of publicity?

Twenty years ago, Aviello seemed to be a self-centred person, proud to present himself as a witness to “important facts”. But he never managed to arrive at a scheme of constant collaboration.

For various crimes, he has so far served 17 years in jail. Now the Perugia case appears. Who knows?

Our poster SomeAlibi seems to have had the last meaningful word on the absurdity of this tale. SomeAlibi posted this rather devastating satire on the PMF forum.

I can see it now..

Ghirga: “Well thank you Mr Luciano Aviello, that testimony I think the court will find extremely interesting concerning why Amanda Knox couldn’t have done the murder because it was your brother who was responsible. Despite the fact he’s missing. But thank you and I believe we’re finished.”

Luciano Aviello (quietly): “We ain’t finished”

G: “Uh?”

LA: “So, about this de-fa-may-shun thing.”

G: “Uh?”

LA: “She didn’t do it.”

G: “Sorry?”

LA: “She didn’t dooo it.”

G: “But Mr Aviello we brought you here to talk about the murder not the—”

LA: ”—see it sounds like you ain’t hearing me too good. Perhaps you need a little airation of your ears to help you with that. How would a 22 millimetre hole strike ya? She didn’t say nothing. She didn’t doooo it, capice?”

G: “But, she said it in interview. And in court. I mean, we were all there”

LA (putting tooth-pick on witness stand) “See, now you are making me repeat myself and I don’t like that at all, no I don’t. But I am a tolerant man, so maybe once more for luck ok? She didn’t dooooooooo it.”

G: “All of us were there!... She doesn’t actually disagree she said it…. hello… Mr Aviello… hello… what are you…. what are you doing… why are you counting?”

LA: “Now requiring this many pine boxes ain’t going to be ecologically acceptable my friend, so I suggest EVERYONE here learns to listen up real good ok?”

Court (all): “Huh?”

LA: “Repeat after me. She didn’t dooooooooooooooooo iiiit”

Court (all): “Like hell she didn’t”

LA: “Wise guys, huh?”

Well… that certainly went very well! This all reads like an Italian movie called in English Johnny Stecchino by Italy’s favorite funny actor Robertio Benignii  He accidentally finds himself confused with a mafiosos in Sicily, sees his days are very numbered, and starts talking fast. Very fast..

He gets out of it, somehow, but the real mafioso still takes the hit. Nice knowing you, Luciano…

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why UK Media Deniers Like The Independent’s Amy Jenkins Come Across As Bigoted And Nasty

Posted by The Machine

“I can’t personally prove that Amanda Knox is innocent but I would bet every penny I own that she is.”

Bet away, Amy Jenkins.

The meme that Amanda Knox was being railroaded or framed was not too difficult to whip up in the United States.

Amanda Knox was not the first to get some Americans exercised over the notion that foreign meanies were picking on an American “just because he or she is American”.

Historically there have been a few cases for real. And it was easy to research the US dimensions of Meredith’s case in Seattle, and much harder to research the London, Leeds and Perugia dimensions. London, Leeds and Perugia are over there and in Perugia the language is Italian. 

But in London it is much easier to research Meredith, and to nail down the truth about this case.

Meredith was an exceptional person, with a very bright future ahead. And Amanda Knox probably had underlying issues even before she left Seattle, she was certainly on drugs and quite possibly an addict, she was running desperately short of money in Perugia, she quite possibly thought she had been fired because of Meredith, and in her relations with Meredith (and the other two girls in the flat) she was already like oil and water.

Meredith’s family have given some interviews with reporters who won their trust (you can see an image of one in this post) and people who knew Meredith in London and Leeds have talked about her with reporters who won their trust (you can see several in this post).

So it is always a real shock to read those stridently anti-evidence, anti-prosecution, anti-Italy, and frankly anti-Meredith pieces being pushed by a BRITISH journalist.  .

There have been maybe half a dozen British media deniers so far, and the online comments below their reports usually point out in spades how they got many many hard facts wrong. With the exception of the frankly peculiar Peter Popham of The Independent, toward whom not even one good journalist seems to have respect, they are then heard from on the case no more.

But their pieces hurt, and they do real damage. They are hurtful to Meredith’s friends, they have to be very hurtful to her family, and they are hurtful to Italy, the cause of justice, the memory of Meredith, and (in terms of equal and opposite reaction) to Amanda Knox herself. In Italy they do her no good whatsoever.

One of the WORST was this recent article in The Independent by the London-based freelance writer Amy Jenkins.

False claim: Amy Jenkins’s qualifications

Usually she writes about lifestyle, and particular about her own, concerning which she seems to have endless fascination - her articles are usually riddled with “I’ and “me” throughout. The photo below, with her kid for a prop, was actually posted with one of them.

Needless to say, these pieces don’t require very much in the way of research.

Here are some of the non-qualifications for Amy Jenkins to, all of a sudden, for the very first time, focus her attention on a foreign crime.

  • She appears to have no history of criminal research and no special knowledge of the law (she dropped out of law school in the first year) 

  • She has never stepped foot inside the courthouse in Perugia or attended any of the many court sessions.

  • She hasn’t had full, if any, access to the the prosecution’s 10,000 plus pages of evidence.

  • She obviously hasn’t read the Micheli report of January 2009 or the Massei report of March 2010.

  • She seems not to have a clue who the true victim Meredith Kercher really was or reached out to any of the very handy UK sources.

In other words, Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the real facts of the case. She seems to be knowledgeable ONLY about the list of spurious facts disseminated by the FOA, the PR campaign, and the adolescent bunch of Knox groupies..

Any even half-competent journalist would surely have enough common sense and cynicism not to accept what they are told without question, and would independently check all their facts to make sure they are accurate and reliable. She didn’t.

Any even half-competent journalist would also make sure to research all dimensions of a story before settling for a point of view - especially for a very strident, inflammatory, libelous and hurtful one. She didn’t.

False claim: “No forensic evidence”

If any proof was needed that Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the case, she provides it right up front by bizarrely and erroneously claiming that that there is no forensic evidence.

If she had actually bothered to read the judges’ sentencing report, which has been available to the public since 4 March, she would have known about all of this forensic evidence:

  • The double DNA knife which had Knox’s DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

  • The detailed medical reports that led the judges to conclude that Meredith must have been stabbed with two different-sized knives.

  • The evidence of countless forensic experts who testified that Meredith was attacked by multiple attackers.

  • The five instances of Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations of the cottage.

  • Knox’s DNA had united with Meredith’s blood into one single streak on the basin and bidet which means they were deposited simultaneously.

  • Knox’s bare bloody footprints which were revealed by luminol in the hallway.

  • Three traces of Meredith’s blood in Knox’s room which were revealed by luminol.

  • According to two imprint experts, the woman’s bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith’s body matched Knox’s foot size. It was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

  • Rudy Guede’s visible bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the cottage which means he couldn’t have staged the break-in in Filomena’s room or gone into the blood-spattered bathroom.

  • The abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp which proves that Guede and Sollecito were both involved in the stripping of Meredith and her sexual assault.

  • The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat which matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possible belong to Rudy Guede.

The forensic and other evidence against Sollecito also implicates Knox. Computer, mobile-phone and forensic evidence provided irrefutable proof that Sollecito’s and Knox’s alibis were false and that they had lied repeatedly to the police.

False claim: “There was no motive”

Actually there were PLENTY of possible motives for Knox at minimum starting a violent taunting of Meredith, and the Miss Represented website suggested a while back that both Sollecito and Knox may have fantasized it.

And while Amy Jenkins seems to think that the prosecutors have to prove a motive in order to secure a conviction, prosecutors in America, Britain and Italy DON’T have to prove a motive. One of the reasons for this is that no-one apart from the murderer or murderers ever really knows for definite why they killed their victim.

Judge Massei suggested the motive was “erotic sexual violence” and that Knox and Sollecito were acting under the influence of drugs, but he could have advanced no firm conclusions and his reasoning and verdict would still remain intact.

False claim: “No previous trouble with the law”

One of the reasons why Amy Jenkins thinks Amanda Knox is innocent is because Knox had no previous legal record. This is argument is quite frankly ridiculous. There have been countless murders throughout history committed by people with no previous record. And in fact Amanda Knox DID have a record.

Perhaps the reason why Amy Jenkins claimed Knox had no previous record was to highlight Rudy Guede’s alleged criminal background?

It seems to be totally obligatory for all Innocenisti journalists to sooner or later refer to Rudy Guede as a “drifter” and a “drug dealer” and to claim that “his DNA was all over” Meredith or the crime scene. Amy Jenkins is no exception:

“Rudy Guede was a drifter and a minor drug dealer. He was on the run and his DNA was all over the murder scene.” 

These two sentences are straight out of the FOA’s handbook. The same terminology has been parotted over and over again by Innocentisti journalists. It seems so obvious that the PR campaign and/or the FOA are spoon feeding these gullible journalists with lines.

Amy Jenkins is clearly ignorant of the fact that Rudy Guede had lived in Perugia since the age of five, and he had his own apartment. Also that he didn’t have a criminal record for drug dealing or any other crime at the time of Meredith’s murder. And also that his DNA was NOT all over the crime scene - there were in fact very few traces..

Amanda Knox is the only one of the three who had a record at the time of Meredith’s murder. She was charged with hosting a party that got seriously out of hand, with students high on drink and drugs throwing rocks into the road, forcing cars to swerve. She was fined $269 (£135) at the Municipal Court after the incident: Crime No: 071830624.

Raffaele Sollecito also had a previous brush with the law. He was stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a small quantity of drugs.

False claim: “Amanda Knox had no lawyer or interpreter”

Amy Jenkins further betrays her ignorance of the case by making the following claim: “She was interrogated with no lawyer and no translator present. She made a phony confession.”

Precisely as in the US or UK, the police weren’t required to provide Knox with a lawyer in the first (quite short) interrogation, because she was being questioned as a witness then, and not as a suspect.

And in fact Knox WAS provided with an interpreter, Anna Donninio. Anna Donninio’s testimony was widely reported-on by the British and American media. In fact Knox herself spoke about her interpreter when she testified at the trial. She says it right here in the video - she actually says the interpreter was trying to help her..

This was very widely reported. If Amy Jenkins had followed the case in the media, she would have known about this. Ten minutes in the archives of The Independent would have turned this fact up.

False claim: “Amanda Knox’s confession was phony”

Amy Jenkins claims that Knox made a phony confession. Hoever it did not escape the judges’ and jury’s attention that Knox’s several confessions contained significant elements of the truth.

  • Knox claimed that she was in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder, which was corroborated by Antonio Curatolo.

  • She claimed that there were three people at the cottage when Meredith was killed: herself, Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba.

  • The police were already suspicious of Knox and Sollecito, but they were not aware that there was a third person.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted before the results of Dr. Lalli’s autopsy report were presented to the court on 8 November 2007.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted by an African man.

  • Knox claimed that she heard Meredith screaming. Nara Capezalli and Antonella Monacchia testified that they heard a loud scream on the night Meredith was murdered.

  • Knox stated she heard thuds and this would explain how Meredith received wounds to her skull. The prosecutors believe that Meredith was banged against the cupboard.

And Amy Jenkins has completely ignored the fact that Amanda Knox made a false and malicious accusation against an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, and NEVER withdrew it while he was inside..

Knox admitted that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison, in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.

She and her mother both KNEW that her accusation was inaccurate and unjust and that she was responsible for it. However, she didn’t recant the allegation the whole time that Lumumba was in prison.

False claim: “Knox was charged because of frivolous behavior”

Amy Jenkins here willfully misrepresents the prosecution’s case by suggesting that they they thought Knox was guilty simply because she turned a cartwheel at the police station:

“she turned an inappropriate cartwheel. In a Catholic country, it’s clearly not such a leap to go from there to stabbing your room-mate in the neck during a violent sexual assault – because that’s the leap the prosecution made.”

So the anti-Catholic venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Knox wasn’t found guilty because of an “inappropriate” cartwheel and it is not mentioned anywhere in the judges’ sentencing report.

Jenkins reveals a simplistic and superficial knowledge throughout of Italian law. “If convicted of this “slander” the Italians will add six years to her sentence.”

This claim is simply not true. Six years is the maximum sentence. It’s not automatic.

False claim: “It was all because of a need to save face”

“However, at this point the rumour mill about Knox and her boyfriend had been in full flood for 18 days and the authorities had already put Knox behind bars….  To save face, Knox and her poor boyfriend had to be somehow levered into the frame.”

So the anti-Italy venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Amy Jenkins didn’t even attempt to provide any counter arguments to the mountain of forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Instead she put forwards a silly conspiracy theory:

The notion that several police departments in Perugia and Rome, the three interpreters, and more than TWENTY different judges, including the judges of the Italian Supreme Court, are involved in some huge, sinister conspiracy to frame two innocent people (one of whom is Italian) so that they can all of them save face, is utterly preposterous - and almost certainly it is libelous.

Diya Lumumba was released from prison because unlike either Knox or Sollecito he had an airtight alibi and there was absolutely no forensic evidence linking him to the crime scene. But if the authorities simply wanted to save face they could have kept him in prison instead.

It’s unforgivable for Amy Jenkins or any other journalist for that matter to get basic facts wrong about the case when they can read official court documents.

There is some very bad news on the horizon for David Marriott and the FOA: the judges’ sentencing report will soon be published in English - and very widely disseminated.. They won’t find it so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible, lazy, bigoted journalists like Amy Jenkins in the future.

If Amy Jenkins has even the slightest decency, she will apologize to Meredith’s family and friends.

Posted on 06/18/10 at 01:44 PM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe wider contextsMore hoaxers
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Commentary by The Most Widely-Read English-Language Website In Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Knox campaign seems to have divided out into three pieces, none of them seemingly at all effective.

The ludicrously shrill David Marriott campaign, the ludicrously shrill Anne Bremner/FOA campaign, and the adolescent internet rantings of the Knox groupies. All three seem to be painting themselves into a corner.

Meanwhile, Amanda Knox’s two lawyers in Italy seem to be going their own sweet way, quite impervious to the above, and it is clear that the Massei sentencing report has given them very much food for thought.

Italian-language reports as they have mostly done for two-plus years vary between strict neutrality and the occasional caustic comment on Knox or Sollecito.

Italy’s biggest English-language internet outlet, read by tens of thousands of residents and visitors who don’t speak very much Italian. has also adopted the same cool objective tone.

This is today’s thoughtful, well written commentary by Rome Journal contributor Rebecca. 

We had closely followed the first trial, in which Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of murdering her British flat mate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia.

This was one of the most dramatic and internationally observed Italian trials of this decade, and Italy as the scene of crime and trial had come under close scrutiny, and had been at the centre of a bizarre media frenzy covering the case.

Now, Amanda Knox is back in court. She faces slander charges against the police, who she claims hit her during the questioning a few days after the killing in November 2007. Italian police strongly denied that Knox was subjected to any physical abuse, which is supported by an external inquiry.

If Knox is found guilty of slander, she could face another six years in jail, on top of the 26 years she is currently serving.

Knox’s defense lawyers filed a motion to prevent the presiding judge, Claudia Matteini, from hearing Knox’s slander case because of her involvement in the preliminary hearings into the murder. A hearing today will take the final decision about whether Matteini is the appropriate judge to hear this case. The trial is likely to start on October 1….

What is particularly unnerving about this case is the sense that much of the testimony is contradictory: All three convicted of the murder deny their involvement, but cannot explain their inconsistent testimonies, and keep changing their account of what happened on the night of the murder.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, a journalist who has followed the case from the start and has always provided excellent coverage and analysis, asks ten questions that Amanda Knox has never answered, even though they could set her free. That she never addressed them, indicates that her involvement in the murder may have been substantial.

Whether the lies aim to conceal that the convicted did partake in the murder – which frankly didn’t work – or whether they intend to cover up something else, remains a mystery. Any hints regarding the truth in this matter, even if they come from a separate trial, will be of high interest.

What are your thoughts on the trial? Why do you think Amanda Knox keeps lying? If she is truly innocent, why not tell the truth?

Posted on 06/17/10 at 03:35 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxThe officially involvedHoaxes Knox & team20 No-PR hoaxNews media & moviesGreat reporting
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Decision On Who Will Be Amanda Knox’s Judge At Her Forthcoming Slander Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above and below: Amanda Knox entering the court area less than an hour ago. The decision is due momentarily.

Our previous post on the slander trial was here.  The Appeals Court should be announcing the decision on which judge right about now>

Added: ANSA and other Italian news services are reporting that Knox made one of the spontaneous statements the Italian law allows her, and that the decision on a judge will take another five days. 

“I just wanted to defend myself”. So said Amanda Knox, back in court once more, this time for defamation. “I’m sorry that the matter has reached this point,’ said Amanda before the Court of Appeals in Perugia

The court will within another five days decide on the request of her defense team to replace the preliminary hearings judge, Claudia Matteini, for the trial of the Seattle student who is accused of slander against various police officers.

Posted on 06/17/10 at 01:17 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe judiciaryAmanda Knox
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Legal Analysts Abrams & Kelly Who Reported Badly On Meredith’s Case Turn “Expertise” To Peru

Posted by Peter Quennell

1) Dan Abrams

Above: NBC’s legal analyst Dan Abrams on recent developments in Peru. Immediately below: Dan Abrams after the Knoc-Sollecito verdict last December.

Last December, Dan Abrams exaggerated the Italian media depictions of Amanda Knox and their effects - has he ever watched the CNN and Fox crime shows at home in New York?!

But he essentially got it right on the hard evidence presented and on the legitimacy of the verdict. He did not slam the prosecution or Italy in general, and he displays at least some token understanding of how the Italian legal system works.

Missing only was any mention of the (then forthcoming) judges’ sentencing report, and the key fact that that report represents the point of departure for the appeals. A report that is strongly loaded against the flaky scenarios of “who REALLY did it”.

By the way, Dan Abrams here followed some minutes of appalling reporting by NBC’s Keith Miller, who has surely been the worst and most biased reporter in Perugia. Miller is apparently based in London, a freelance, and not Italy, and he speaks no Italian.

If you so wish you can see Paul Miller here fawning over the Knox family and Amanda Knox, and misrepresenting just about every “fact” he selects to mention.

2) John Q Kelly

Below: John Q Kelly, a New York lawyer who is often on the airwaves, generally with a heavily pro-victim slant, talking about the Lima and Aruba murder cases in which Joran Van Der Sloot is the one suspect in each. 

On Meredith’s case John Q Kelly got it very screechily very wrong.  That was probably the single worst lawyer’s commentary on Meredith’s case (leaving aside Anne Bremner’s absurd rants) that we have ever seen.

KELLY: “My thoughts, Larry, it’s probably the most egregious international railroading of two innocent young people that I have ever seen. This is actually a public lynching based on rank speculation, and vindictiveness. It’s just a nightmare what these parents are going through and what these young adults are going through also.”

Not surprisingly, John Q Kelly has not since said another word on Meredith’s case.

Posted on 06/15/10 at 01:08 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesNews media & moviesMedia newsOther legal processesThose elsewhereThe wider contexts
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