Headsup: The first 8 episodes of the RAI/HBO production "My Brilliant Friend" about a supreme alpha-girl and her "moon" of a best friend airing in 60-plus countries are proving amazingly endearing. So many colorful elements of evolving post WWII Italy on display. Yes, some violence too, but peanuts compared to say New York in that era. A real must-see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LA7 TV’s Documentary On Meredith’s Case #1 The Italian Segments:

Posted by Nicki

Below: The Corriere newspaper’s headline reads “Justice for Meredith” reflecting dominant public opinion

Below: Perugia students sitting by the fountain in the Corso Vanucci, as they do every night of the year

Below: The pressroom adjacent to the courtroom which many journalists prefer as they can type and call out

Below: Amanda Knox on the witness stand presenting testimony on her accusations against Lumumba

Below: Meredith’s mother making a statement; thereafter the family is shown being seated in the court

Below: Prosecutor Mignini is shown several times in an extended interview on misleading by FOA and US media

“The American commentators with no in-depth knowledge of the case and little if any understanding of the Italian justice system are severely clouding the issues. They show an extreme lack of knowledge of the facts of the case and of the Italian system. In this case the accusation of the prosecution is based on the existence of serious indications of guilt, and this hypothesis has been supported by the GIP (the judge heading the preliminary investigation), by the court which confirmed the remand in custody, and by the Appeals Court.”

Below: Andrea Vogt, Italy-based reporter for the Seattle PI and the Independent, comments on the process

Below:  Andrea Vogt draws attention to “blog wars” and shows the camera TJMK and PMF forum

Below: Patrick Lumumba makes some sharp remarks about the false charges against him by Knox

On Meredith: “Very reserved, a very kind person, I think. Every time when I met her she had a smile and “Ciao! How are you?” We talked like this. There was always this group of English girls. I first noticed her because she spoke to me about a Polish vodka. She to me, “Ah, you’ve got some here.” I asked her if she knew it and she replied yes, that she used to work in a bar in England where they used this vodka for making Mojitos.”

On Amanda Knox: “In this month and a half, two months that I knew Amanda, I can’t claim that I got to know her that much. But at least I spent that time with her at the bar ... and therefore I’m in the position to understand that… when she’s lying…. And I don’t believe her. She tried it, but it didn’t work.”


Below: Mention of Rudy Guede’s conviction last October and his upcoming appeal in November

Below:  Just this one brief shot of Meredith’ s house, after dark, as it was on the night in question

Below: Gates of Capanne Prison where Amanda Knox has been held during the hearings and trial

Posted on 11/10/09 at 09:34 PM by NickiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe prosecutorsGreat reporting
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

What Seattleites Are Thinking: A Sample Of Views On Meredith’s Case

Posted by Professor Snape





I am a Seattleite, and I feel very passionate about supporting the quest for justice for Meredith Kercher and her family. 

I usually never wander up and intrude upon people. But I have been tending to pick Europeans out of crowds and talk with them about the case. I have also inquired about how people feel about the case while waiting in long lines at Disneyworld in Orlando and at Disneyland in California and most recently at Whistler in British Columbia on the gondola. 

Recently I have found myself apologizing for my even being from Seattle. I have a real sense of community, and I am embarrassed by how low the Knox PR campaign actions have brought Seattle.  And I am sickened over the mischaracterizations of the lovely and spirited Meredith and of how she was brutally and excruciatingly murdered. 

Seventy-five percent of the people I have talked with elsewhere expressed zero knowledge of the case. The other twenty-five percent indicated they knew of the people in the case, found it shocking and were sympathetic to the murdered girl’s family and wondered, as we all do, how anyone could do such a horrible thing. Some expressed opinions as to guilt and others didn’t.

Ever since Edda Mellas first hung up the phone with Amanda very early on the morning of 2 November 2007 Seattleites have been the main subject of the aggression of the Knox campaign and its plot to spin webs around the media in a grand attempt to discredit anyone who speaks out against their (to me seemingly immensely disturbed) hero and, in too many cases, meal-ticket.

When the likes of the fatuous Linda Byron of Seattle’s KING 5 have propagated their ill-informed stories on the case, too many Seattleites have concluded at a very superficial level that they know everything there is to know about the case. And so they look and think no further. “Those meanie Italians… “

I don’t believe most of the people I talk with in Seattle actually outright support Knox. It is a shallow thing, and most people claim to be reserving their judgment.

That was of course also the case with OJ Simpson. Many thought OJ was probably guilty and yet they wouldn’t say it, and then it was devastating when he got off. Then everyone proclaimed they just knew he was guilty, and what a joke about the decision. They blamed the injustice on a shoddy judicial system, not on their poor monitoring of the system and the case..

While I cannot reveal who the Seattleites were, to avoid their becoming targets of payback (names are changed), I would like to share the following comments. These were made by colleagues, service providers and friends around Seattle who fell into the same percentage of interest as the other citizens and non-residents I also spoke with, so this is something of a valid sample.

****************

Seattle Editor Harry Perkins said, “My impression of the Amanda Knox trial is one of mystified amazement — the willingness to give her the benefit of the doubt at an elevated level because of her youth, her background, and her physical attractiveness shouldn’t have taken me by surprise…but it has.”

Washington State Certified Public Accountant John Dutch had a strong opinion about the case and listened fairly to what I know about it.  He wanted me to keep him up on the case and he had this to say,

“A few weeks ago I read an article in a national newsmagazine that indicated that the Italian prosecutor in another case had issues around evidence and even accused a defense attorney of being guilty of withholding of evidence when, in fact, he wasn’t. My impression, based on the article, was that the Italian process around crime scene investigation was poor and that, based on their legal tradition of Napoleonic Law, that it would be hard for a defendant to get a trial that we, in the USA, would consider fair. So, how does that relate to the Amanda Knox case? Same prosecutor, same legal tradition, ergo Amanda Knox is probably not getting a fair trial.” 



[click for larger image]

Washington State Juvenile and Criminal Psychologist Calvin Richardson wrote, “I’m not sure how average I can be with regards to being a Seattleite. While I’ve lived in this state my whole life, I’ve never really considered myself a Seattleite - although I’ve worked in downtown Seattle.  I can recall the first moment I heard about the Amanda Knox case.  My memory of hearing about this incident is when it was reported that the foreign media was calling her Foxy Knoxy.”

“It made me think of how Michael Jackson was referred to as “Wacko Jacko”.  And, quite honestly, that turned me off to the entire matter.  The rest of the information I have unfortunately absorbed is that there was some sex-crazed, multi-partner-swapping party that ended with a girl being stabbed to death and American Amanda Knox is a bi-sexual, homicidal nympho.”
   
“At the point of the story reaching a sensational level where a catchy headline or title is used, the story becomes about entertainment.  My proof? Didn’t the story have a little spot on the TV. show “Entertainment Tonight”?  Help me out here: when did horrific murder scenes become entertainment (excluding Steven Segal breaking someone’s arm at the elbow - which, come to think of it, isn’t entertaining either)?”

“There can be no bigger disservice to Meredith Kercher’s family, the Knox family, or the Italian system of justice, than to turn a horrific crime into a sassy, Dr. Seuss catch-phrase so that papers can be sold.” 

“I don’t know what the “evidence” is that damns Ms. Knox; I don’t know the circumstances which profess her innocence.  And I certainly know nothing about the judicial procedures of the Italian court system.  But I do know that if Ms. Knox is found guilty, she will have to suffer the consequences of her actions.  It will be a verdict that I will probably not lose sleep over. If Amanda Knox killed Meredith Kercher, then she absolutely deserves whatever comes her way as a consequence.”

“Moreover, if Amanda Knox killed Meredith Kercher in some sex-play game gone wrong, then I am thankful that she’s being tried in Italy.  My perception of foreign judicial systems is that they keep their punishments punishing.  In my opinion,  American justice is like spending the weekend at your grandma’s house: it’s not your favorite place to be, it’s not really fun and exciting, it seems to last forever… but in the long run, it ain’t so bad.”

“I feel American Justice has lost sight of the importance of punishment.  “Justice” must maintain its punitive element of retribution, else it ceases to be just. If Amanda Knox didn’t kill Meredith Kercher, then a small part of me wants to say “That’s what you get for going to a foreign country!”  And yes, I admit, that’s not a fair statement.  But I have to be honest: I’m sick and tired of hearing about citizens from one country going to another country and then complaining about the treatment they receive.”

“Would I like to travel to Italy?  HELL YES!  It looks fantastic, I have distant family that originated from Italy, and the whole romantic aspect of Verona is very fetching.  Will I go to Italy?  Probably not: I don’t know the language, or the customs, and I would probably screw something up, get in trouble, and then I’d be just another crass American complaining that a foreign country is not more accommodating to my personal desires.  And I’m pretty sure the entire World is sick to death with hearing about it.”

“Which makes me think there might be another crime happening because of all of this.  I think that Americans are being presented as loud mouth, over-weight, egocentric, self-righteous Imperialists who feel that it is their birth-right to be entitled to Diplomatic Immunity the moment they step off their front porch.  Deserved or not, you have to know that our biggest calling card as of late is a government that manufactured evidence to gain approval to invade a foreign country and “liberate” the people with Democracy - whether they wanted it or not.”

“ I can’t think of anything more offensively pretentious… unless you want to consider Benito Mussolini’s quote: “Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hands and an infinite scorn in our hearts”.  In which case, I appeal to the people of Italy: I forgive your Mussolini, if you forgive my Bush.”

“And I’m sure the press will find a way to make that as salacious as possible.”



[click for larger image]

Ian Kendrick, an aerospace compliance officer stated, “The difficult part in understanding the trial is the sensational and sound bite manner in which it is presented.  The limited information I have seen regarding the facts on TV is encapsulated into a 3 minute sound bite at best.  The focus is then on the lurid details, and as the trial progresses it is only the oddities (she smiled in court - gasp!) that are reported not as facts, not as information, but just sensationalism.”

“This gets to the deeper point of news is it truly news any longer?  I’d argue it is simply reality show entertainment now broken down to the most sensational bite sized stories possible.  You only focus for 2 minutes on any local horror, then off to the next.  The follow up is limited and becomes ever shorter as the story grows older.”

Twenty year law enforcement veteran, Jack Bishop, summarized, “Although my law enforcement experience is limited to here in the United States and I have little knowledge of the Italian processes for jurisprudence I do believe I can comment to some degree on the phenomenon of what I call narcissistic innocence.”

“Although I believe it to exist almost everywhere it seems to be quite prevalent here in the Seattle area. When the world rotates around your mere existence and others reinforce that belief how could you be guilty of a crime? Of course not everyone gets it that you are special so you only choose to be with those who worship or at least appear to worship you.”

“These days I have both the good fortune and misfortune of working with people much younger than me. Their energy level is something I willingly try and tap into when mine is low but their level of self absorption is unbelievable.”

“This just feeds into their justification for their inappropriate actions and although I am treated with respects our culture of overvaluing youth is quite apparent. Unlike many Asian cultures that value the older members of the family here we have turned our children loose with the keys to the castle and then spend much of our time justifying our failings by justifying theirs.”

“That the Knox family would try and raise the level of the conversation on a political premise should come as no shock. In fact I would almost be surprised that they wouldn’t, what else could they do? That a community of like-minded narcissists would fall in line behind them is also not a surprise, I have seen it before when someone of affluence or power is charged with a crime in this environment.”

“People of affluence are determined to get their way; they always have and believe they always will. Only in this case they won’t. I can all but guarantee that Amanda Knox will be found guilty of this crime. The sad part is that much of the world will once again be exposed to what we should be most ashamed of, our arrogance.”

“I say let the Italians handle their own affairs. If they can make a clothes processor that serves both functions of washing and drying in one then I’m confident they can sort through the Amanda Knox trial without our help.”

“So what do I think about the case? Nothing.  I do not have enough in depth information to make a reasoned statement about it.  Instead it only serves to illustrate how poorly what we call “news” informs us.”

Karen Reid, a veterinarian working for a rural animal hospital said, “What do I care about the trial? Nothing except for the way the girl died was so shocking. I would hope the Italians will lock up whoever had anything to do with it.  It’s as bad as all the kids being killed by their own families, sick.  I hope the Italian courts are better than ours.”

“I’ve only seen news reports about the girl from Seattle. Her father is like always looking like he’s going to cry, it seems pretty staged if you ask me.  And why is she always smiling?  Geez, who has a big grin on their face in court particularly when charged with murder?  That’s pretty spooky though I don’t think that alone makes her guilty.”

“And I heard there were no finger prints in the house.  Come on, that’s a no brainer how that most likely happened!  I think whatever the outcome Italy should not be bashed, it’s not like pro Italian and anti American.  It’s a horrific crime and someone did it.”

****************

My own conclusions from all of this?

Most share a common thread of perceiving the Seattle media as being nothing short of a farce. So it is not surprising that few can form a true opinion of to the trial. 

If it is also the Seattle media who are on trial here, then they are seventy-five percent guilty of dishing out slander and uninvestigated PR spin, and only twenty-five percent reporting accurately and fairly. 

That is not a good ratio for a city that is meant to make a good living from its smarts.

Posted on 11/07/09 at 01:37 AM by Professor SnapeClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009The wider contextsSeattle context
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Is “Victims Rights Advocate” John Q Kelly Hiding Behind A Wall Of Silence?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

We do hope not.

That would seem a very cowardly thing for New York lawyer John Kelly to do. And intensely disrespectful to the real victim here, Meredith Kercher, and her poor family.

We discussed this post on some wild-eyed claims John Kelly made on CNN’s Larry King (the YouTube of which has now been disappeared) with a dozen or so successful and very ethical lawyers who follow the case.

They all in effect concluded that John seemed to them to have acted either incompetently or unethically in sliming the judges and the prosecution and mis-stating the hard facts of the case. And that John really seemed to them to owe the Kercher family and the Italian authorities an explanation or an apology. 

They remarked that if the victim and her family in this case had been American and not British, then John Kelly would probably have been in front of a camera again within a day to say how very wrong and how sorry he was.

Of course the family are across the Atlantic in London and perhaps easy for John Kelly to ignore. But ignoring them WOULD seem to be rather cowardly.

Plenty of space here for you, John. When you decide to do the decent thing.


Posted on 11/05/09 at 02:25 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Hoaxers from 2007More hoaxersHoaxers: media groupsCNN Network
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Half A U-Turn In Guede’s Appeal Grounds? Perhaps Guede IS Growing A Brain

Posted by Peter Quennell


A week ago we posted that Guede’s intended claims were really ugly.

Guede then was still intent on claiming consensual intimate relations with Meredith as his reason for being in the house at the time, even though nobody, especially not Judge Micheli, seems to believe that.

Now we seem to be getting a new and revised version from Guede’s lawyers [image below]. Il Messagero has the interview in Italian (links here and here) and the translation below is by our poster Tiziano.

Though there is no new explanation why Guede was there, this version seems to drop the very ugly claim that he was there for consensual relations with Meredith. It also seems to admit that he was a part of the struggle with Meredith, even though he still says he saw Knox only in silhouette.

And he never saw the final event coming, he was slashed by one of the others [see image at bottom], he attempted to save Meredith’s life with some towels, and he then fled in a panic. (He then of course went home, cleaned up, and headed out to a discotheque.)

For this to be a full U-turn to the truth and serious time off his 30-year sentence, Guede still presumably has to admit that (1) he was in the house nefariously, (2) he did see the attackers very close-up, (3) he can give a PRECISE accounting of the motive, and (4) he has VERY serious remorse.

He should look the Kercher family right in the eyes and say how infinitely sad and sorry he is that he played a part in Meredith’s passing.

Perhaps Rudy is getting there. He still has two weeks to do so. By the way, it is interesting, as in the image below, how often Guede’s two lawyers are being seen together these days with Mr Maresca, the Kercher family’s lawyer.

Verrry interesting.

RUDY ON THE ATTACK: “AMANDA WAS THERE, I TRIED TO SAVE MEZ”

Tuesday, November 3rd 2009

By: ITALO CARMIGNANI and VANNA UGOLINI

PERUGIA - Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the young girlfriend and boyfriend, are the murderers of Meredith. “That night I was attacked by a young man who was armed, I heard the voice of Amanda and I saw her outline from the window.”

A little more than two weeks before Rudy Guede’s appeal, the young Ivorian already condemned to thirty years for the sexual assault and murder of student, Meredith Kercher, continues to defend himself, going on the attack.  He does so above all denying having “exonerated” Amanda during that chat, the Internet exchange with a friend while he was on the run in Germany.

He does so in an effort to explain why there are mainly traces of him in that room, dirtied by blood, where Meredith was slowly dying: his genetic imprint on the victim’s body and other articles, the print of his shoe with its bloody sole.

The prosecution has interpreted these signs as a type of signature from the murderer, but according to Rudy’s lawyers Nicodemo Gentile and Valter Biscotti [images below] the presence of these traces must be read in a different way.

“The explanation is clear,” says lawyer Nicodemo Gentile.  “The judge [Micheli] does not take the trouble to face up to this situation in his reasons for condemning Rudy.  But the only plausible explanation is this:  the other two accused strike the fatal blow to Meredith and almost simultaneously run out of the house, frightened by the victim’s harrowing scream.  On the other hand, Rudy stays in the room after struggling with one of the attackers, he plays for time in the attempt to staunch the wound with towels, he moves around the Meredith’s bleeding body.  This is why Rudy leaves traces and the others do not.”

Well then, why does Rudy flee instead of calling the police?  “Because he is afraid, he’s distraught.”  The lawyers have foreshadowed the fact that they will call for a psychiatric report about Rudy’s behaviour after the murder, about his disorganised and “disassociated” flight, which is regarded by the judge, however, as a serious indication of guilt.  “This is the disassociated flight of a young man who is overcome by what he has seen, not that of an assassin.”

According to Gentile, the two young people then “run away straight after the mortal blow, and then come back to alter the scene of the crime with all the precautions of the case.  The fact that the two move around bare-footed proves this, as is evidenced by the discovery of sole prints enhanced by luminol which belong to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”  Furthermore, “this reconstruction is perfectly compatible with the accounts of Mrs Capezzali and Curatolo.” 

The former gave evidence that she heard a scream and then the noise of someone running on the gravel in front of Meredith’s house (but a further four witnesses say that neither saw nor heard anything).  Curatolo claims that he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana between 9.30 and 11.30 PM, in a way giving the two young people an alibi.  Yet the accused do not confirm this alibi: they claim that they were at home on the night of the crime.

[A problem for Guede is that] when the police entered the house at Via della Pergola and discovered Meredith’s lifeless body, there were no signs of the aggression Rudy claims to have sustained from the murderer… That is, there were no overturned chairs nor was any blood found in the living room of the house in Via della Pergola.  This is another reason the judge did not find Rudy’s confession credible. 

But, according to Rudy and his lawyers, among other things the cuts on his hands, still visible when he was arrested in Germany, are evidence that there was an attack by the murderer…  For Gentile “the wounds photographed and described at the time of the arrest in Germany are unequivocal signs left by the attacker’s knife.” 

So Rudy will present himself at the Appeal Court on November 18th with the intention of talking and he will say: “That night I was attacked by a young fellow armed with a knife, I heard Amanda’s voice from outside and I saw her silhouette through the window.”



Posted on 11/03/09 at 11:24 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Guede appeals
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Two Years Since Meredith Was Taken From her Family And A World In Need Of Her

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[click above for her video]

Italy’s AGI reports that the Kerchers will attend a mass only for themselves in south London, and then place some flowers on her grave. This statement was released by the family.

The two years since the death of Meredith have gone fast. We miss her more than ever, and we still find it difficult to understand what happened and why.

We can only hope now that there is a final outcome in the next five weeks so that we can finally dedicate ourselves to remember Meredith for the person we all knew, and not as a victim or a news item.

The anguish in that speaks volumes. This thing has taken a terrible toll. Our condolences to the Kercher family, and to Meredith’s many grieving friends.

None of us here ever knew Meredith. And yet we so very much miss her.

Posted on 11/01/09 at 12:11 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer family
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Those Who Reach Out For Meredith Are Now From 130-Plus Countries

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Click above for our readership statistics by country of reader for the past one month

.

Posted on 10/31/09 at 07:46 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyThe wider contexts
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Meredith’s Perugia #19: A Song As A Tribute To Meredith By Perugian Rodolfo Susta

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


This is a touching story, which seems appropriate to the day.

Redolfo Susta is a talented and popular songwriter and singer in Perugia with a big heart who was deeply saddened by the loss of the bright promise that was Meredith and the media chicanery that clouded her memory..

As we have done by way of this website, to try to even the balance in Meredith’s favor, Redolfo has done by way of a song which he has repeatedly sung in Perugia. His audiences all know of Meredith, and they in turn have been moved and inspired.

The link to his song “Meredith” is presently at top-center of Rodolfo’s MySpace page and the story of how the song was created is at bottom here (click for “more”)..

He has offered the song either virtually through the web or perhaps in person one day to Meredith’s grieving family.


Click here for more

Posted on 10/31/09 at 07:45 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer PerugiaThe wider contexts
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prediction: Guede’s Appeal Will Totally Fail - His Intentions Ugly And Likely To Anger

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Rudy Guede opted for the fast-track trial in front of Judge Micheli last October. His side of things went approximately as follows at the time.

  • Guede was legitimately at the house on the night to have consensual intimate relations with Meredith.
  • He was on the toilet when a bizarre murderous intrusion took place that seemed to involve Sollecito and Knox

That was about it. Judge Micheli didn’t believe a word of it. In his 106-page report he described the voluminous evidence for this being a three-perpetrator crime. And he found it totally unlikely that Meredith would have had consensual relations with Guede that night.

Nothing at all known about Meredith’s intentions that night (she had an urgent assignment to complete) or her chaste moral behavior supports Guede’s claim, and his trashing of the poor victim seemed to anger Judge Micheli.

And so the judge handed Guede the maximum sentence available, thirty years, for murder and a sex crime, and wrote up the case against him in a pretty ironclad way.

Now Andrea Vogt is reporting from Perugia that in effect Rudy Guede will testify to the following at his appeal.

  • Guede was legitimately at the house on the night to have consensual intimate relations with Meredith.
  • He was on the toilet when a bizarre murderous intrusion took place that seemed to involve Sollecito and Knox

Huh? The ONLY way forward now in the opinion of our legal watchers which could get Guede years off his sentence is at this point to tell the truth.

Which seems to our legal watchers and us to be that Guede might have been somewhat accidentally there at the house, and might have been somehow roped in by the other two to a planned taunting and humiliation of Meredith.

That might have then led to her cruel death.

Truth and real penitence and great sorrow and sadness shown to the Kercher family, and a real respect for Meredith’s memory, might win him some points in his appeal.

But this above? If Guede proceeds with those intentions, his thirty years in the sex-offenders wing will be confirmed for sure, and he will face a lifetime of contempt. 

Grow a brain, Rudy. Try to do yourself some good. And maybe get yourself some new lawyers.

The quality of your legal advice seems atrocious.

Below: Guede’s lawyers Biscotti and Gentile with the Kerchers’ lawyer Maresca

Posted on 10/29/09 at 10:20 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Guede appeals
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Smart Lawyers Are Asking: What On Earth Possessed Lawyer John Q Kelly?

Posted by The Machine



[click for larger image]

Many very smart lawyers have been dropping by TJMK for over a year now to get a good take on the case.

Many of them email to us, some of them post comments, and several have posted front-page posts. They appear to appreciate the dispassionate tone here, the huge caring for the real victim and her family and friends, and the genuine appreciation for how the case is being handled in Italy.

And many of them really like how we have presented the evidence,  technically and logically. Some have even said that they would love to have the likes of Kermit, Brian, Nicki, Finn, and Pete and, well, myself at their elbow when preparing their own trial arguments and presentations.

Without any exception now they are remarking to us that, yes, there really IS a strong case against Knox and Sollecito, and the defenses have left dozens of questions unanswered.

So it was a jaw-dropping experience for them to see John Q Kelly, a respected Manhattan defense lawyer and strong proponent of victims’ rights, bound onto Larry King’s show on CNN and make wild-eyed accusations like this one.

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.”

John Kelly then, seemingly rather nervously, tries hard to paint Amanda Knox as the victim. The name of the real victim, the one who died very slowly and painfully, clutching her neck while the life-blood ran out, barely passes John Kelly’s lips.

John Kelly appeared to know little of Italy’s very careful pre-trial process or the very damning Micheli report. or the strong case the prosecution presented or the real facts about Mr Mignini or anything about Amanda Knox’s lifestyle in Perugia or her disastrous stint on the stand that persuaded nobody in her favor.

And he seemed to know nothing at all about the amazing and hyper-talented young woman who went by the name of Meredith Kercher.

Let us examine each of John Kelly’s claims on Larry King’s show to see if they make any sense.

KELLY: “Well, as I said, it’s almost because Amanda showed too much stoicism after the death of her roommate, who she barely knew. These were two girls living together less than eight weeks.”

“And, you know, Larry, you’ve always seen this in these murder cases and things like the husband didn’t cry enough, or they weren’t upset enough when the children went missing. This is one of these things where, I guess, under the Italian culture, she did not respond the way they wanted her to respond. And they sort of put together a case with, you know, gum and toothpicks to try to make a case against her. And it is outrageous.”

I do recommend that John Kelly actually takes the time to read the eyewitness accounts of Amanda Knox’s behavior in the days following Meredith’s murder. There were a LOT of odd actions. For example mere moments after Meredith’s lifeless and mutilated body was discovered, Knox and Sollecito were kissing and caressing each other.

Many have come to feel that her bizarre and callous actions then point to a psychological disorder, perhaps a form of psychopathia, and they were certainly something that Prosecutor Mignini rightly and understandably found very strange:

“When those present go outside after the body is found, Knox and Sollecito are also outside, intent on kissing and caressing each other, as they did subsequently during police searches.

“A very strange way of behaving which started the very moment the victim’s body was found . . . and at a time when all the other young people were literally overwhelmed by that discovery,” said Mignini

(The Times, 18 January 2009).

It wasn’t just Mr Mignini or the Italian officials who found the behavior of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito strange:

“I found Amanda’s behaviour very strange,” said Robyn Butterworth… “I found it difficult to be with her because she showed no emotion when everyone else was really upset. We were all crying but I didn’t see Amanda cry,”

“She and Raffaele were kissing and joking together, there was laughter at some point, I remember Amanda stuck her tongue out at Raffaele. She put her feet up on his lap and they were kissing and cuddling and talking.”

“Amanda kept saying ‘I found her, how do you think I feel?’...She seemed proud to have found the body. I heard her say that Meredith was in the closet with a blanket over her. I also remember her talking on the phone and she was saying things like ‘It could have been me.’”

Another friend, Natalie Hayward, had expressed the hope that Miss Kercher had not suffered when she died. Miss Knox allegedly replied: “What do you think? She fucking bled to death.”

Amy Frost, another witness who had flown in from Britain, testified that at the police station Ms Knox was “giggling” and kissing Mr Sollecito. “I remember Amanda sticking her tongue out at him. She had her feet on his lap,” the court was told. Ms Frost said that Ms Knox’s behavior at the police station was “inappropriate”, as if she had “gone crazy”....

This was no behavior just slightly out of the ordinary. It was nothing remotely like stoic. John Kelly’s assertion that the Italian authorities fabricated a case against Amanda Knox simply because she didn’t respond the way she was expected to in Italy seems pretty ridiculous.

Amanda Knox actually made herself into a suspect because she admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed, and she voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007.

The police already strongly suspected that Knox and Sollecito were involved in Meredith’s murder because they had given contradictory and conflicting witness statements and their telephone records proved that they had told the police what Sollecito himself described as “a pack of lies”.

Now for John Kelly’s next claim.

KELLY: “There’s no forensic evidence. There’s no physical evidence…. There’s no substantive evidence whatsoever against Amanda….”

“I think the only forensic evidence they had was a small portion of Amanda’s DNA on the handle of a knife in Raffaele’s apartment, where she was all the time. And it’s not even consistent with the murder weapon that was used.”

“The murder weapon was a three and a half inch knife. This is a six and a half inch knife that had a minute portion of Amanda’s DNA on it, and inconclusive tests that on the tip of it there was some of Meredith’s blood.”

There are so many factual errors in John Kelly’s comments above that it is hard to know where to begin. For starters, John Kelly contradicts himself by saying there is no forensic evidence, and then saying that the knife is the only forensic evidence.

The knife sequestered from Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment is in fact compatible with the deep puncture wound on Meredith’s neck. This was a point that even the defence forensic experts conceded.

The tests on the DNA found on the blade of the knife were not inconclusive. Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni testified at the trial that the DNA on the blade of the knife has been reliably identified as Meredith’s

Both Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA Unit of the scientific police, and the Kerchers’ own DNA expert, Professor Francesca Torricelli, provided independent confirmation that this forensic finding is accurate and reliable.

The double DNA knife is far from the only piece of incriminating forensic evidence.

There were five instances of Amanda Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage, including in Filomena’s room where the break-in was staged.

Furthermore, there was a woman’s bloody shoeprint compatible with Knox’s foot size on a pillow in Meredith’s room. This bloody shoeprint was not compatible with Meredith’s own foot size.

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp.

Two bloody footprints were attributed to Raffaele Sollecito. One of them was revealed by luminol in the hallway, and the other one was easily visible to the naked eye on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s and Knox’s shared bathroom.

Now for John Kelly’s next claim.

KELLY: “There’s no opportunity.”

Actually there was. Plenty. Amanda Knox’s and Raffale Sollecito’s mobile phone activity on the night of the murder point to their making an opportunity. They both turned off their mobile phones at approximately at 8.40 pm, shortly before Meredith was killed and turned them on again the following day at around 6.00 am - although they claimed they slept in late.

They both claimed conveniently that they couldn’t remember much about the period during which Meredith was killed because they claimed they were suffering from cannabis-induced amnesia (whatever that is) though what they actually did claim to remember differed wildly between the two of them.

Even now after the defense phase of the trial the defendants STILL don’t have credible alibis - despite three attempts each. Sollecito is still refusing to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment all that night - in Sollecito’s last alibi, he claimed that Knox left his apartment at 9 pm and returned only at around 1.00 am.

Now for John Kelly’s next claim.

KELLY: “There’s no confession.”

Actually there is. John Kelly clearly hasn’t read Amanda Knox’s handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007 which was entered in evidence. In that, she voluntarily admitted that she was present at Meredith’s murder: “Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.”

Strong victims-rights proponent John Kelly appeared on the Larry King show to rant and make wild claims without seeming to have even a basic grasp of the facts. Really that was a pity.

The real victim here, Meredith Kercher, could use a heavyweight like him in her corner right about now.


Posted on 10/27/09 at 10:59 AM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #18-B: That Weekend Destination Meredith Might Have Loved, Here At Night

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


A mere four or five hours from Perugia, and another of those wonderful destinations in Italy that foreigners are so quick to make their own. Posted previously in daylight. 

Italy surely leads the world now, with France a close second, in the quality and the extent of its amazing urban floodlighting.  As usual, click for the larger images.


















Posted on 10/25/09 at 05:46 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Producer Of CBS Reports On The Case “Crazy, Desperate, Stupid, And/Or Unscrupulous” ?

Posted by The Machine



[click for larger image] 

Meet Joe Halderman. A CBS producer in New York. He now stands accused of blackmail.

None of the four US networks that have attempted coverage of Meredith’s case has a good record for impartial reporting, or anything remotely like a firm grasp of the prosecution evidence as actually presented.

Not one of them seems to be aware of the very careful pre-trial process or the very damning Micheli report. 

Nevertheless, the overall records of NBC, ABC and CNN seem to show some slight attempt at balance.

NBC produced two extremely good Dateline documentaries, which still represent the standard to beat. ABC has a reporter in the court in Perugia, Ann Wise, who we often quote on TJMK because her reporting is generally impartial and good.

And although CNN aired the one-sided Larry King Show last week, and the wild-eyed Jane Velez Mitchel panel discussion (now disappeared from YouTube) in which the lunatics appeared to be running the asylum, CNN did have some good reporting in the early days of the case, and we hear they will attempt to report better.

CBS undeniably is the worst of the worst. CBS has repeatedly spread bias and misinformation and slimed Italian professionals and witnesses, and for that matter Italy itself, throughout the past two years.

Here is our post on one disaster of a CBS report. And here,  here,  here,  and here are our posts on another.

Joe Halderman of CBS (above) co-produced both of them.

Several weeks ago, Joe Halderman was arrested and charged with blackmail for apparently attempting to stiff CBS comedy host David Letterman for two million dollars.

Mr Halderman, a producer for the real-life crime show 48 Hours, entered his plea as he appeared in court in Manhattan on a charge of attempted grand larceny.

Speaking earlier, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said that the offence, if proven, was punishable by a prison term of five to 15 years. “Our concern here is extortion and that’s what we’re focusing on,” he said.

Mr Halderman was arrested following an undercover police “sting” operation at a New York hotel, during which he was allegedly recorded setting out his blackmail demands to Letterman’s lawyer.

Now it is being reported in New York that Joe Halderman’s story is taking a really bizarre turn.

One of the last 48 Hours stories that CBS Newsman and accused David Letterman blackmailer Joe Halderman worked on - airing just one month before he allegedly launched his plot to extort the late-night host - involved a ransom scheme…

It’s a run-of-the-mill true-crime tale of murder and deception, but it features one detail that seems strange in retrospect: The sister of one of the victims, who never got her brother’s remains from the Philippines after his murder, at one point received creepy anonymous e-mails from someone claiming to have her brother’s ashes, and offering to sell them to her….

The strange thing is, in the story Halderman reported, the ransom scheme goes haywire: The man behind the e-mail ends up attracting attention to himself and gets arrested for Rios’ murder….

We came across the weird synchronicity between Halderman’s day job and his after-hours scheming while going through his old 48 Hours segments and looking for signs that they may have been produced by someone crazy, desperate, stupid, and/or unscrupulous enough to engage in blackmail.

Hmmm. Apparently Joe Halderman is crazy, desperate, stupid, and/or unscrupulous enough to mislead a large segment of the American population about the real facts of Meredith’s murder.

Real crime seems a small step from there. 

Three others who Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau might also want to keep a close eye on are CBS junior producer Sara Ely Hulse, CBS reporter Peter Van Sant, and CBS consultant detective Paul Ciolino!

All have shown themselves extremely ignorant of the basic facts of the case.

Email exchanges with the obviously obsessively pro-Knox producer Sara Ely Hulse have suggested to us that, among many other key facts of the case, she was not aware of the following:

  • Amanda Knox had a criminal record in Seattle.
  • Amanda Knox had met Rudy Guede on a number of occasions.
  • Amanda Knox was not questioned for 14 hours without an interpreter.
  • A woman’s bloody shoeprint in Knox’s size was found on a pillow in Meredith’s room.

The seemingly extremely amateurish detective Paul Ciolino was responsible for conducting the farcical experiment in Perugia in the first CBS documentary linked-to above where he could not even get the STREET right before claiming this was a railroad job from hell.

And reporter Peter Van Sant channeled some of the worst libels about Prosecutor Mignini - baseless claims about satanic sects and so on - without even being able to spell Prosecutor Mignini’s name properly!

It seems to us very odd that both Sara Ely Hulse and Paul Ciolino appear to be members of the Free Amanda Knox Facebook group. Does CBS have any guidelines at all on ethical matters or standards of reporting?

On second thoughts…. Do we REALLY have to ask?



Above: CBS reporter Peter Van Sant who repeated online unfounded libelous smears about Prosecutor Mignini



Above: Junior CBS producer Sara Ely Hulse, an obsessed Knox fan who participated in CBS’s two fiascos.



Above: CBS consultant Paul Ciolino who ran a farcical test in Perugia and also slimed prosecutor and police



Above: Indecisive CBS producer Doug Longhini who with Joe Halderman produced CBS’s two fiascos

Posted on 10/23/09 at 12:51 PM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

John Follain’s Book And At Least One Other On Meredith’s Sad Case Due Out In January

Posted by Peter Quennell


The verdict in the case is tentatively expected around the end of the first week in December and the first of the books will be out about six weeks later.

Please expect detailed reviews of all the books here on TJMK.

Our criteria for judging all the books is really pretty simple. One, will they be accurate on all the evidence and fair to the Italian system? And two, will they tell us sympathetically much more than we already know about the wonderful person that was Meredith? Or will they simply obsess further about the two defendants? 

Everything we know about John Follain (above), the Italy correspondent for the UK Sunday Times, from John’s past reporting on the case, from his past books, and from comments about him by those who work with him in Rome and greatly respect him, is that John is scrupulously fair, never ever sensational, and increasingly well researched on who Meredith really was.

We are still waiting to see what angle Nina Burleigh will be taking in “Cottage in Perugia” but we are hopeful. And we can probably kinda anticipate what one-note angle Candace Dempsey’s “Murder In Italy” will be taking.

Oh and this just for the record. Nearly a million people dropped by TJMK seeking to know Meredith in the past year.

Posted on 10/21/09 at 12:46 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #18: Yet Another Wonderful Weekend Destination That Meredith Might Have Loved

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[click for larger images]

















Posted on 10/18/09 at 11:02 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reporters: Seven Areas To Pinpoint With Curt Knox, Edda Mellas And Chris Mellas

Posted by Kermit




Tough questions for reporters to get beyond the incessant spin

Area To Pinpoint #1

Don’t you think that Amanda’s latest of several defence positions is weakened by the fact that her new alibi - that she was with her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito all night - does not coincide with the alibi of Raffaele?

He has used his right to not declare in their trial but stated just after the crime that he was at his apartment all night, and that Amanda left between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of the murder?

(Raffaele’s defence lawyers and his father have confirmed to journalists covering the trial that while they have some defence issues in common with Amanda - for example, questioning the DNA analysis - Raffaele’s defence is not necessarily supportive of or in line with Amanda’s.)

Area To Pinpoint #2

Why did Amanda cut short a questioning session (where she was accompanied by her lawyer) in December 2007, near the beginning of the investigation, and maintain silence - as is her right under Italian law - until the trial was well underway in 2009?

Area To Pinpoint #3

Why do you need a costly, professional PR campaign aimed at an American audience, when your daughter is in an Italian trial? Some observers feel that since the legal case against Amanda is strong, your only hope is to influence the State Department and obtain its political intervention in this case.

However, American diplomats - beyond providing basic, standard consular support - don’t want to touch this case with a ten-foot pole.

Area To Pinpoint #4

Why do you question the honor and professionalism of the Prosecutor of Amanda’s murder trial through your Amercian focused PR campaign, when Amanda’s Italian defence lawyer had to apologise to Prosecutor Mignini for this campaign?

This campaign extrapolates the slight that an American fiction author (Douglas Preston) felt when he was momentarily arrested after ensnaring himself in a police sting operation to do with planting false evidence when he was using a false name.

This arrest was recently rejected for separate legal action against Mignini. On the basis of Preston’s bad feelings, the PR campaign tells us that Mignini has a “history” of inappropriate behaviour.

Do you agree that this smells of “spin”? Why can’t you fight Amanda’s legal battle on the basis of a solid, coherent alibi?

Area To Pinpoint #5

Why would Amanda call you in the middle of the night in Seattle to tell you about what was still supposedly only a break-in in her house (before Meredith Kercher’s door was broken down by the police who soon arrived), when Amanda was accompanied by her Italian boyfriend who would know better than her how to react?

Why to your great surprise at Capanne Prison could Amanda not even remember making that call? And why on the witness stand did it take you many minutes to summarize that 88-second call?

Area To Pinpoint #6

Before the trial started, Amanda’s Italian defence lawyer publicly stated that Amanda had not been hit by police during her questioning on 5 November 2007.

During that session she stated she was in the cottage when Meredith was murdered, and she falsely accused Patrick Lumumba of being the murderer - an accusation which has given rise to an additional charge against her).

Once the trial had started, and coinciding with the arrival of Amanda’s stepfather Chris Mellas in Perugia, Amanda made a spontaneous statement in court that she had been slapped on the back of her head during this questioning, and her Italian lawyer had to incorporate these statements into her testimony.

Are you satisfied with the Italian defence team? Are they aligned with the talking points of the PR campaign?

Area To Pinpoint #7

The justification that Amanda has been held in preventive custody since she became a suspect is due to the possibility that she may flee Italy (in addition earlier on in the investigation to the possibility that evidence may be tampered with).

On various occasions you have publicly regretted not getting Amanda out of Italy before she was arrested.

Also, Seattle King County Judge Heavey (associated with the “Friends of Amanda” campaign) sent a letter to the Italian judiciary on State of Washington letterhead where he decried alleged irregularities and illegalities in the investigation (nobody knows what he based these allegations on).

Such an official letter would suggest to Italian authorities that were Amanda ever to find herself in the United States before her legal processes have finished, that it could be difficult or impossible to extradite her back to Italy.

Are some of the public statements made on behalf of Amanda counterproductive to obtaining her early freedom?

Posted on 10/15/09 at 06:36 PM by KermitClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Croydon Guardian The Kerchers’ Hometown Paper Continues To Report Objectively

Posted by The Machine


Click above for the factual report. The Croydon Guardian has posted way over 100 stories and regular readers will be among the best-informed in the UK.

The Croydon Guardian was the first newspaper anywhere to mention True Justice For Meredith Kercher, which helped put TJMK on the map in November of 2008.

It is also good to see the journalist Kirsty Whalley doing what so many journalists covering the case have failed to do, namely sticking to the facts. No spin. She writes a balanced account and is not afraid to unequivocally state that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the knife and Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra clasp.

It’s no secret that Amanda Knox’ family and supporters have tried to exert a stranglehold over the media and angrily control what journalists can and cannot write. So it’s refreshing to read an article in a small local paper that hasn’t been hijacked for once by Curt Knox, Edda Mellas, Anne Bremner or Doug Preston.

Incidentally, Anne Bremner needs to prep up on Italian law after getting a basic fact wrong in a recent interview on ABC News when she claimed that the Italian legal system has eight jurors and two judges. Bremner seems to have the unfortunate habit of messing up whenever she’s interviewed about the case.

Who can forget her stridently analyzing entirely the wrong crime scene on NBC last year?

The editors of two of the newspapers in Seattle - the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the West Seattle Herald - could also learn a thing or two from reading Kirsty’s article. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will not now allow any of its readers to comment about the case - something that online reporter Monica Guzman was commendably unhappy about.

Italy has been portrayed as being a backward country by elements in the US media and especially by a vociferous minority in Seattle. Perhaps the people of Seattle should be more concerned about being denied the right of freedom of speech, a basic constitutional right, by one of their main newspapers.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s readers deserve to know whether Amanda Knox’s family was behind the decision to ban all comments about the case. It has already been well-documented on TJMK that the Seattle-Post Intelligencer hosts a strident and highly inaccurate “reader’s blog” which has had a record of trashing poor Meredith and her silently-grieving family.

The West Seattle Herald hasn’t fared much better with bumbling reporter Steve Shay covering the case. Shay’s pieces are more like Knox family newsletters than newspaper articles. Shay landed The West Seattle Herald in hot water by making unfounded comments about Mignini, which resulted in Mignini suing the newspaper

If it relies on its own local paper, Croydon essentially knows the truth of what is going on. And Seattle unfortunately doesn’t if it relies on its own dismal reporting.

Posted on 10/14/09 at 05:41 PM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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