Sunday, June 06, 2010

Knox, Anthony, and Van Der Sloot: Why Some Murder Suspects Revel In Their Sudden Prominence

Posted by Peter Quennell



Click here for Barbie Nadeau’s report on bizarre murder suspect mindsets in Newsweek.

Quite typical of charming psychopaths.

Today Barbie Nadeau starts with the Dutch murder suspect Joran Van der Sloot, possible killer of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, whose capture in Chile and extradition to Peru (video above) has been on every US newscast.

He has previously been shown on TV in an interview secretly filmed (video below) in which he gleefully pretty well admits that he killed American student Natalee Holloway in Aruba, a Caribbean island that is an integral part of the kingdom of the Netherlands.

Now, as such smug suspects often do, he seems to have killed again.

In this case, as in the case of Casey Anthony, who is charged with killing her baby daughter Caylee, there has been no murder suspect’s PR campaign, no adolescent sliming of the prosecutors, and no adolescent mis-stating of the evidence. The true victim is the one getting all the sympathy.

The far more typical stance of the US media in such cases.

Certainly no one is more famous as an irreverent celebrity suspect than Seattle native Amanda Knox, who is serving a 26-year sentence for the sexual assault and murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy.

In the early days of the Kercher murder investigation, Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, acted absurdly. Knox, with no apparent grasp of the seriousness of a murder investigation, performed cartwheels for the cops in the police station waiting room.

The two suspects admitted to being high before talking to police, as Sollecito said, “to take the edge off.” They told investigators multiple stories and lies, including Knox’s naming her Congolese nightclub boss as the real assassin.

For added flavor, she even described Kercher’s screams to investigators. During her 11-month trial, she behaved like a beauty queen on the runway, making what jurors later called a mockery of the court by her blatant disrespect of the Italian legal system.

In the final days of her trial, when things were looking grim, she started to act demure. By then it was too late.

Dupes like Oprah and Geraldo Rivera and certain others should wake up to the true danger of charming psychopaths. They do tend to kill again. And also wake up to the one true victim in Perugia, whose name was Meredith Kercher.

By the way, in a bizarre parallel, it now seems that Joran Van Der Sloot is setting out to further entangle his mother.

Posted on 06/06/10 at 12:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Calunnia Claims At The Core Of The Problem For Amanda Knox - And Her Parents

Posted by Peter Quennell



Here is Amanda Knox claiming mistreatment as the reason why she falsely fingered Patrick Lumumba.

This was the court CCTV camera feed to the press-room on 12 June 2009. It was legitimate for the reporters there to capture it.

Our Italy-based Italian-speaking posters Fiori and Nicki both observed that to many or most Italians. Knox’s two days on the stand rang pretty hollow. She apparently needed to come across as a lot more fragile for the claims in the video to ring true.

Yesterday at the first hearing to set the date for Knox’s new trial, the number of police interrogators who are considered to have been targets of calunnia Amanda Knox was stated as twelve.

They will presumably all be testifying both at Knox’s new trial in October, and at the trial of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, who allegedly repeated Knox’s claims on TV, and for whom the first hearing is coming up on 7 July.

They could face prison time and/or fines.

Judge Claudia Matteini observed that her presiding over the early hearings into Meredith’s case in 2008 (and denying Knox house arrest, a denial believed based in part on a psychological profile never made public) was not automatically a reason for her being replaced as a judge in this new case.

Knox had not made the claims you can see in the video at the time Judge Matteini was presiding. However, she agreed with what seems a reasonable defense request that a higher court should take the question of a possible conflict of interest under review.

She stated that the appeals court will issue a decision on who should be the judge for the new trial on 17 June.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Interrogation Hoax: Knox Hearing On Calunnia Charges, Then Trial To Resume June 16

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

Nick Squires in Rome for the Daily Telegraph has the report which includes this.

Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, argued that it was inappropriate for the slander charge to be heard by judge Claudia Matteini, because she had been involved in one of the preliminary hearings into the Kercher murder.

The case on Tuesday was adjourned until June 17, when another judge is likely to be assigned to the case.  The trial is likely to start on October 1. Her appeal is also expected to start in the autumn, meaning that the two cases could run concurrently.

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.

And Knox could face MORE time than 26 plus six years if the prosecution wins it on appeal. Possibly a total of forty.

So much for the PR campaign and the ongoing misinterpretation of the evidence and sliming of the prosecution by the “pro-Knox” websites. Guede of course ran no campaign, his lawyers and friends were always respectful, he took the short-form trial (an admission of some kind of guilt), and he tried some sort of apology to Meredith’s family.

And after his first appeal he emerged with only 16 years.

 


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Questions For Knox And Sollecito: Ten From Daily Beast As Knox Calunnia #2 Trial Starts

Posted by Peter Quennell





This Daily Beast report indicates that the cancelled jailhouse TV interview with Amanda Knox was a lot more firmed-up than Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas, seems to have claimed.

And it outlines the first phase of Knox’s Calunnia #2 trial which is based on charges brought by the interrogating police, all of whom testified at her trial that she was treated well during her interrogations as a witness and suspect. .

Click the image or link above above for the fine reporter Barbie Nadeau’s full article on some issues Knox has never been able to account for, including Knox’s callous skipping of Meredith’s memorial service.

The ten questions are all very tough, and each would also have been asked by the jury. Here they are:
.:

It’s back to court for Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle native currently serving 26 years in prison in Italy for sexually assaulting and murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

This week, Knox is expected to attend a preliminary hearing on slander charges lodged against her for accusing Perugia police of abuse. During her testimony at her murder trial last June, she accused the cops of slapping her on the back of the head during an interrogation just days after Kercher’s body was discovered in November 2007.

The police deny hitting her, and Knox’s own lawyers have never filed charges for the alleged abuse. If she is convicted of slander, a judge could add six years to her sentence….

Knox’s resurgence in the headlines was to coincide with a joint jailhouse interview she had granted to ABC News and the Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s Matrix program. But the bureau of prisons denied the interview in the final hour, effectively silencing Knox indefinitely.

A high-profile jailhouse interview with Knox is considered the Holy Grail by journalists covering the case, and the American and Italian networks have been vying for a chance to ask Knox a few questions on camera. Now it is unlikely anyone will get an interview before Knox’s appeal hearings this fall.

But if we did, there are a few questions we’d want her to put to rest.

1. Why did you and Raffaele Sollecito turn off your cell phones at the same time the night of November 1, 2007 and on again at the same time the next morning? You told the police that you and Raffaele slept late the morning of November 2, 2007, but phone records show that you both turned your phones back on very early that morning. How could that be?

2. Why were you bleeding? Your lawyers agree with the prosecution’s findings that at least one of the spots of Meredith’s blood found in the house where she was killed had your blood mixed with it. Your mother told me that you had your period. Your stepfather told others that your ear piercings were infected. Which was it?

3. Once you realized your mistake in blaming Patrick Lumumba for Meredith’s murder, why didn’t you tell the authorities? You told your mother that you felt bad about it, so why didn’t you alert an official so Patrick could be set free?

4. Why did you go with Raffaele to the police station on November 5? You were not called in for questioning. Did you realize at that time that you were both under suspicion?

5. Why weren’t your and Raffaele’s fingerprints found in your house after the murder if the two of you had spent time there that morning and the day before? Only one half-print on a glass in the kitchen has been attributed to you, yet you have claimed that you took a shower there that morning. How did you spend so much time there and leave virtually no trace?

6. Why did you take the mop and bucket from your house over to Raffaele’s house? You told the prosecutor during your testimony in June 2009 that you took the mop and bucket to his house to clean up a leak under his kitchen sink. But by your own testimony, the leak was miniscule and could have been easily cleaned up without it. What were you really doing with the mop?

7. What would you do differently if you had a chance to rewind the clock back to November 3, 2007? Would you go to the memorial service for Meredith? Would you still have gone to the police station with Raffaele? Would you have left for Germany when your aunt asked you to?

8. What do you think happened the night Meredith was killed? You have professed your innocence. Who do you think killed her and under what circumstances?

9. What do you really think of the Italian justice system? You told an Italian parliamentarian that you got a fair trial, and you even thanked the prosecutors for trying to solve the mystery of Meredith’s death, but your supporters at home in Seattle maintain that the Italian system is corrupt and unfair. What is your real view?

10. Is there anything you wish you would have said in court during your trial? You talked about your vibrator and about how you did not want an assassin’s mask forced on you. But in your final appeal after the closing arguments on December 4, 2010, why didn’t you say the words, “I did not kill Meredith Kercher?” Raffaele did when it was his turn to speak. Why didn’t you?

Our posting soon of the judges’ sentencing report will open up dozens of new questions for Knox. Such as: “How did you track Meredith’s blood into your own room and leave three traces revealed by luminol?”


Friday, May 28, 2010

How Tough Are Perugia’s Prosecutors? Well, They Sure Are Shaking Italy’s Ruling Party

Posted by Peter Quennell



In 2006 Italy hosted the Winter Olympics at Torino, and in 2009 it suffered a severe earthquake at L’Aquila.

In each case, some politicians of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s ruling party seem to have figured out ways of siphoning off some of the construction funds.

The Italian justice system is nothing if not tough, neutral, painstaking, and relentless.

We have shown repeatedly that not only is it prepared to take an extra step to achieve a fair process and outcome - it is often prepared to take a dozen or more extra steps, as of course it did in Meredith’s case, with an extraordinary 20-plus judges involved..

Politicians have tried hard over the years to bend the justice system or reign it in through legislation, and they have had some effect in reducing average sentences and making prison life easy for the perps - measures, ironically, that the three perps in Meredith’s case have all received benefit from.

But the system is essentially intact and unbent, and in various different ways it has been tying Berlusconi in knots for years.

To remove any possibility of the Olympics and earthquakes judicial investigations being bent, they were taken away from Rome, Torino and L’Aquila - and handed to Giuliano Mignini’s colleagues, in Perugia.

Arrests and government resignations have begun and the Perugia-driven process is unsettling even Rome’s prospects of next hosting an Olympics in 2020.

Italy’s favours-for-tenders corruption inquiry – which has already led to the resignation of a key minister – is overshadowing a decision on whether the national Olympic committee should back Rome or Venice in their bids to host the 2020 Games.

An announcement by the committee is expected as early as Wednesday. According to media reports, the capital is seen as the frontrunner because it offers better accommodation and logistics possibilities than its lagoon city rival and has more experience in organising large sporting events.

But an investigation by magistrates into suspected high-level corruption in Rome in awarding contracts to a Rome construction entrepreneur, who was among four people arrested in February, has sparked controversy over how the Olympics would be handled.

The national Civil Protection agency, which organises “grand events” as well as dealing with national disasters, is at the centre of the probe led by prosecutors in Perugia, including contracts related to last year’s swimming world championships in Rome and the G8 summit in L’Aquila. Guido Bertolaso, who is under investigation as head of the agency, has denied accepting money and sexual favours in return for awarding contracts.

All of which makes quite a mockery of the continuing sliming of Prosecutor Mignini, the last desperate mainstay of the increasingly shrill FOA apologists claiming that somehow - somehow - Knox and Solleciito were railroaded.

It is doubtful that anyone - anyone - in Italy believes Giuliano Mignini did the railroading.

Posted on 05/28/10 at 08:37 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Chilling Killing Propensities Of Sollecito’s Various Knives

Posted by SomeAlibi



[click for larger image]

The few rather puerile websites trying to make the case that Knox and Sollecito were framed all have this one thing in common.

They are all of them a mile or more wide on the facts of the evidence - but only a millimeter or so deep.

Time and again on some point of evidence TJMK and PMF have gone far, far deeper than they have - and from then on, on that particular point, deafening silence is quite usual. Here is one very good example, on TJMK, highly incriminating in itself, and highly suggestive of when and how Edda Mellas first realised her daughter was guilty.

On that point of hard evidence, almost enough to incriminate Amanda all by itself, there has never been any real comeback. The PR campaign’s Wizard of Oz moves on. 

Now we advance another in-depth analysis. This time it focuses on the really deadly nature of Sollecito’s various knives, and we’ll await the comeback if any with interest.

In effect, the deniers’ argument made is that Sollecito is not a collector or an aficionado, just a young man who might need to cut an apple with a pocket-knife. And he’s certainly not a hardcore knife collector, collecting fantasy-wish-list knives.

Carrying a pocket-knife above a certain size in public is illegal in Italy. But ignoring that technicality for a minute, let’s examine the knives of Raffaele Sollecito which were impounded during his arrest. Three knives, moving up in degrees of interest, not counting the very large knife prosecution witnesses identified as the murder weapon.

Knife Three

Take a look at the image up the top here. This knife actually hung above Sollecito’s bed.

It is a replica combat knife. The heavy t-bar protection is designed to protect the hand of the knife-user from slipping onto the blade when being used to stab another person, as well as to protect the user against another blade.

Blood grooves exist for only one purpose - as they imply, they are there for when one stabs someone deeply with the knife: they allow the blood to run out down the grooves. This breaks the seal and suction of the enclosing wound around the blade which makes the knife far easier to withdraw

That knife is specifically designed for stabbing people as well as cutting sentries’ throats etc. The female arm in the picture is Amanda’s by the way (you can find the zoomed-out version showing all of Amanda in the PMF gallery), as it was taken when she was being shown the knife in court.

She must have recognized it, of course, since it was from Raffaele’s bedroom, and would have been a rather noticeable discussion piece within view whenever Knox was in the room or laying on the bed.

Many teenagers and young adults put the objects of their highest interest and infatuation, from bands to film-stars, on their walls. Raffaele chose to put a knife designed for killing people on his wall.

It would be a lurking and incongruous presence on a small student-sized bedroom wall in the minds of the vast majority of people. The question of Raffaele’s degree of attraction to knives such that he actively chose to mount a replica combat knife on his bedroom wall doesn’t appear to need much further discussion.

And yet, it’s actually only less than a third of the equation as it was only a replica. Now let’s turn to two real knives - his so-proclaimed pocket knives - which Raffaele confirmed in his own words that he carried on him every day for years, and which tell a more subtle and deeper story.

First, consider what is the meaning of a pocket knife to you.

The phrase ‘pocket knife’ has been translated from the Italian from the transcripts / press coverage. For many, including myself, this will have conjured a mental image of a Swiss Army type knife or a simple blade and indeed this is the prevalent definition of a conventional pocket knife.

Let’s actually have a look at Raffaele’s “pocket knives” courtesy of pictures posted by poster Jools on PMF. These knives were impounded, one from the apartment and one, unbelievably, from Raffaele’s person at the Questura.

In the case of the latter, even Raffaele saw this as a devastating “own-goal” as we can read from his diary entry of 7 November 2007; “I’m not even able to offer guilt, given my deep fu**ing stupidity for the fact that I smoke cannabis I even forget what I have eaten and also for that I carry behind a knife to nock the tables and the trees and I carry it so often that I brought it also to the police headquarters.”

Knife Two



[click for larger image]

This is a 2.9 inch blade drop point, near spear point knife. At first glance (apart from the mark on the clip which should be ignored and was benign), the deniers camp might say “Well, look at it - it’s just a pocket knife even if it looks a bit sharp and so on – look, it’s even got a cute clip for the pocket, like on a pen.”

Let’s start there. The clip is actually a reversible one – it can be taken off and re-screwed to the knife to the user’s side / orientation of preference. This is already a proper knife rather than a cheap shop pick-up.

More obviously, the half-serrated edge to the blade for cutting is an active design (and purchase) feature.

Third, the ‘grind’ on the top the blade shows an aesthetic sensibility to the design but also serves a functional purpose for a cutting or stabbing use in terms of reducing friction.

Fourth, the serrations or (quite aggressive) ‘jimping’ on the top of the handle, just behind the blade are there to provide thumb grip.

Quite a lot of design features on this knife for a casual “pocket knife” one might think.

Which leaves us with the odd bar code thing at the top edge of the blade and the indistinct logo on the blade. Let’s see what that logo is with a little enhancing;



[click for larger image]

‘Brian Tighe Design’. Brian Tighe?? Google sets us straight on who he is.

“You’d need a calculator to count the number of custom knife-makers who have jumped into the tactical fray over the past five years. You can tally the cream of the crop on two hands, being sure to earmark one of those digits for knifemaker Brian Tighe. In a matter of just a couple of years Tighe (pronounced “Tie”) has risen from the rank and file of edged weapons artisans to the rarefied air of the top 10 elite.”

A look at Tighe’s site shows that his own company’s knives sell for 500 dollars and up. He is a globally feted knife designer whose wait list for his knives was as high as seven years at one point.

So the design of the knife here is actually that of a noted master knife maker. Almost something one might collect, one might say. As loaded as Papa Doc Sollecito is, did Raffaele really spend over 500 dollars on such a knife?

Well no, actually, he didnt need to. This is a Columbia River Knife & Tool produced 811x series knife bearing Brian Tighe’s name. CRKT are a dedicated knife company who specialise in working with the world’s leading knife designers and producing the knives for a bigger market but still as proper aficionado pieces.

At this level of knife, there are extensive magazine, web and ‘user’ reviews. Knives like this are tested for resilience and sharpness including things like edge-on paper-cut tests where paper is cut through just like a razor from the side of a piece of paper held by one hand.

Such a knife is able to catch the edge of the paper and then slice straight through the width of the paper side-on without any tension in the paper. That’s what a knife like this is capable of. A “pocket knife” to me sounds like something picked up for 10 or 20 euro. The current model that replaced Raffaele’s now out-of-series model sells for about $80 at retail. Here’s the actual 2004 model that Raffaele had i.e. the same as the one above;



[click for larger image]

Worth looking at that for a second or two… Oh the bar code? It’s not a bar code, it a rectangular thumb stud you flick the knife open with. When you do, the knife goes to a locked position unlike many “pocket-knives”. In English speaking knife circles, these knives are not generally referred to as pocket-knives but are called “Tactical Knives” which are a cross-over of usage knives for outdoors / cutting etc but also for personal “protection”.

So, in addition to the wall-mounted replica combat knife, one of Raffaele’s daily carries (see diary / testimony) was a designer thumb-flicked locking tactical knife with jimping, top blade grind, switchable clip and a razor sharp edge costing about 80 bucks. That you can only carry in your pocket. Illegally. Some apple-cutter.

Let’s take a look now at the most worrying knife of all…

Knife One

At first glimpse, this “pocket knife” looks quite martial arts like, given the hole and the weird top edge of the blade and the spider logo.



[click for larger image]

The logo marks this as a Spyderco knife – a large premium knife manufacturer of tactical and many other types of knives. This particular model is a Delica4 Emerson Opener retailing for about $109.95rrp. Of particular note about this knife is the hole and the top edge. The hole, a Spyderco feature, allows a thumb to flick the blade open very quickly. This knife is about speed.

But actually the thumb hole is not the real speed feature – that is reserved for the top edge curl.

This is a truly specialist feature known as an Emerson Opener or “wave”. The idea is that the curl in metal catches on the edge of a pocket edge on drawing the knife and opens it immediately (see videos below).

This is a speciality feature licensed from Emerson knives – Emerson being another feted ‘name’ knife designer. The wave is only present on two of Spyderco’s 330 knives listed on their website – the Delica and the ¾ inch larger sister knife the Endura (“the best self defence knife in the world” according to one enthusiastic teenager on youtube). That’s how specialist it is.

The job of the wave feature is to provide the fastest opening knife in the world bar none – faster than a flick or spring knife in fact. This video (many similar to be found) gives a rather disturbing insight into what the real attraction of owning this knife is to a hardcore knife knut like Raffaele; (remember when you watch this for the first time that the knife is closed inside that pocket and also enable the sound on the embedded player below by clicking off the mute)

If I thought my son had a penknife, but then actually saw him with this, we would be having a very long chat..

“Enough!” the deniers say?! “You’ve still got it in for Raffaele haven’t you?” they say?! Despite the replica combat knife on the bedroom wall, the designer Brian Tighe Design CRKT drop-point and the Spyderco Delica4 with wave design)?  “You’ve used prejudicial phrases like “hardcore knife knut” haven’t you?” they say?!

Sorry, but don’t look at me. They’re not my words.

They’re the words of Spyderco itself on its own webpage. See here and below. 



[click for larger image]

Raffaele was out to impress Amanda and by his own admission both obsessive about her and a hardcore stoner. He also thought knives - proper knives with exclusive features by name knife designers not pocket knives were fascinating.

Let me show you someone else who thinks this is how you impress with a Delica4 Wave

As with all of this case and any case, you REALLY need to look at the detailed evidence.

The overwhelming prevalence of skin-deep level of analysis / downplaying of this case by much of the deniers camp will lend and always has lent itself to people dismissing serious evidence as inconsequential based on their lack of understanding of what actually is in question.

The “mere pocket-knife” impression of Raffaele’s interest in knives is a clear case in hand. Raffaele’s father testified in court that his son carried a pen-knife. Some pen-knives or pocket-knives these really were…

As always with this case, when you take the time to look at the real detail, the reality you find is something far more disturbing…..


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Sad Case Of Sonia Marra #9: Extreme Caution Over Non-Repetitive Testing In Sonia’s Case Too

Posted by Peter Quennell


It will be interesting to see if the defense observer ducks out of this examination in this case too.

La Nazione/Umbria describes a hearing last Monday in Perugia on the jacket the chief suspect was perhaps wearing on the night Sonia disappeared.

Together in the same courtroom without a word spoken between them.

On the one hand, Anna, the sister of Sonia Marra, the student from Puglia who disappeared from Perugia in November 2006. On the other hand, Umberto Bindella, who is accused of killing the girl and concealing her body.

At this preliminary hearing, Judge Carla Giangamboni fixed the date on which the police investigations will start on the jacket seized from the suspect.

Professor Giuseppe Novelli is the expert appointed by the court, the task of checking whether there are biological traces of organic material possibly due to Sonia Marra.

Prosecutor Joseph Petrazzini agreed to carry out investigations into the black jacket Bindella was wearing when first arrested, three years earlier, after the death of Sonia, in response to defense attorney Daniela Paccoi, who request the forensic examination.

They will be carried out in the laboratories of the faculty of medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The garment examination will begin on June 7.

Following the tests for the defense will Dr. James D’Agostaro, an expert in genetics…

Bindella had been in prison but he was released by the magistrate [judge Micheli] who concluded the investigators had not proved ‘serious indications of guilt’.

The jacket is now an object of tug of war between the prosecution and defense. It was confiscated by agents of the police post from the closet of Bindella before his arrest.

It was ‘“similar to that worn by the unknown assailany,” said a girl, a neighbor of Specchia student, who claims to have seen a man enter the apartment in via Purgotti where Sonia lived.

In that house biological traces of Bindella [Sonia’s former boyfriend] and the vicrim were found.

Posted on 05/20/10 at 09:30 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 4 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report appeared here. In January 2009 the trial of Knox and Sollecito sees its first session. In February 2009 the prosecutor calls Rudy Guede to testify in the trial of his presumed accomplices.

A year earlier, Guede had said, on several occasions, that he wanted to have a face-to-face confrontation with Sollecito. This time, on the contrary, he says that he will be “mute” until his appeal, although he could “say some heavy stuff regarding the two defendants, but first I have to defend myself.”

All the attorneys conveniently keep their client off the stand, except for Amanda, who does a fairly decent job. Guede is not put on the stand and no confrontation was allowed by his lawyers. Sollecito is conveniently kept on the sidelines throughout the trial except for a couple of interventions. All their words were filtered by their lawyers.

On 4 April 2009 Guede is again called to testify at the trial in Corte D’Assise, andt he exercises his right to silence. From February to December 2009 the three attorneys play their game in Court, both in the Guede appeal and in the Knox-Sollecito trial in the Corte D’Assise.

Everything they said is documented in the trial transcripts and their reciprocal accusations went on and off until the last days in the Corte D’Assise.

As we have already seen for Rudy’s trial, during the closing statements the explicit accusations re-emerges with great strength (“the only guilty person is Guede, while Raffaele must be acquitted”, says Mrs. Buongiorno) and then the ceasefire kicks right back in again, right after the trial.


In mid-December 2009 a fourth Porta a Porta program discusses the murder of Perugia.

The previous week Amanda Knox and Raffaele Solecito have been found guilty of the murder, and now Guede is waiting for his verdict on appeal.

On this program the attorneys continue with their veiled reciprocal accusations, but without being direct and too explicit. More than a ceasefire, it’s an armed truce.

Amanda Knox’s attorneys were not present on the program, but Amanda was represented by Mrs. Sabina Castelfranco, the correspondent for CBS. This time she timidly tries to venture into the usual American media propaganda and lies regarding this case, but she’s regularly contradicted, and on certain occasions even ridiculed.

Sollecito’s father is present in the studio. His father talks about the innocence of his son, and only of his son, without mentioning anything in defense of Amanda. “My son was not at that house….  Curatolo could not have seen my son because he was at his house”. He says that if Raffaele was present at the crime scene he would have helped Meredith, and so on.

The host Bruno Vespa asks Sollecito’s father why did Amanda accuse Patrick, an innocent man? Francesco Sollecito responds “You are giving me a hard task, that of being not only the defender of my son but also of Amanda Knox”.


Giuseppe Castellini, director of the Perugia newspaper Giornale dell’Umbria, says that this trial has a logic, and such logic emerged from the various judges in 2008 up to Judge Micheli (GUP) that charged them with the crime.

The judges had said that more than one person committed the crime.

“Clear elements prove than more people were involved”. There’s physical evidence at the crime scene of more than one person. Two witnesses heard the screaming and more than one person leaving the house. The GUP had asked “Who are these people?” and Castellini concludes that “all clues and all circumstantial evidence lead to only two people and to no one else”.

“This is the weird thing”, says Castellini. “Everything leads to Amanda and Raffaele. There is not a third person….  Defense then rightly tries to dismantle such pieces of evidence one by one, but this is in essence the story of this trial”.

The host Bruno Vespa asks Guede’s lawyer Biscotti “You claim that the killers are Amanda and Raffaele?” Biscotti responds: “No, actually it is the Court that has decided on first instance that Amanda and Raffaele are the killers”.


The discussion rotates around Rudy’s role and statements.

We know that Rudy Guede never took the stand at either trials and only gave a spontaneous declaration that doesn’t require any questioning on the part of the prosecutor. In court, Rudy said: “I heard the voice of both Meredith and Amanda and they were arguing over what Meredith had already told me: the money that Meredith was missing”.

Rudy says he heard Meredith saying to Amanda “We need to talk”, and Amanda responding: “What’s happening?” In his declarations in Court Guede does not mention Raffaele (as he had previously done out of trial) but merely states that he was assaulted by a young man, in a time span of few seconds, and couldn’t recognize him. (Note that in previous statements he had said that the struggle lasted few minutes and that the assailant was Raffaele).

Vincenzo Mastronardi, a criminologist hired by Guede’s defense, repeats what Rudy told him: “I heard the bell. I heard it was Amanda. I heard Meredith say ‘we need to talk’”. Bruno Vespa asks him: “Did he only hear Amanda?”, and he responds “Yes, he only heard Amanda”.

Then Mastronardi explains his discussion with Guede. He asks him “Did he have glasses? He responded ‘no’. Did he look like Raffaele Sollecito? He responded ‘I don’t know, he might look like him but I am not certain’. ‘All I am certain of, is that the voice was of Amanda’ “.


This is interesting: why does Guede confirm that Amanda was in the house, but does not confirm - in December 2009, just a few days before his verdict on appeal - that Raffaele was also in the house?

Why has he been accusing Raffaele since March 2008 and now, just before his verdict on appeal, he says (or rather, his consultants say) that he’s certain about Amanda but not of Raffaele?

Do Guede’s attorneys fear a wrong move by Sollecito’s attorneys, while being confident about Amanda’s attorneys?

At this point the host Bruno Vespa starts a heated argument with the criminologists, claiming that it is not possible that Guede could have not recognized the assailant. “Come on, you’re a criminologist” says Vespa, “you know that anyone could easily recognize the face of the person that is wielding a knife in front of you….  You have to agree that this is an element of objective fragility” he adds.

Paolo Crepet, a psychiatrist, notes that originally Rudy’s version was kind of different. “Rudy talked to his assailant. He was threatened”.

Rudy’s attorney intervenes “No, you remember wrong”. Bruno Vespa also intervenes and says to Biscotti “Wait, you must admit that there is plenty of incongruence. They didn’t give Guede 30 years for nothing”. Biscotti responds “They sentenced Guede just like they sentenced the other two”.


On the timing of the murder, Bruno Vespa asks if it is true that Guede talked about 9:00-9:30PM.

Here the attorney of Guede gives an inaccurate response that was not picked up by anyone in the studio. He says that Rudy said that the murder happened at a later time. “He didn’t have a watch, therefore he didn’t know the exact time [of the murder], but it was certainly very late”, says Biscotti.

This is incorrect. Guede has said, at the beginning and on a couple of occasions after, that he entered the house with Meredith at 21:00 and that he heard the screaming at 21:20-21:30. So why is his attorney now saying that Guede testified that the murder happened much later? Why did no-one in the studio intervene to contest his statement?

On the forensic tests, Bruno Vespa says that “Non-repetitive testing must be done, by law, with the presence of all parties, otherwise they are not valid”.

The lawyer for Meredith and her family, Maresca, responds “All tests are not disputable, since all attorneys and their consultants were notified on the time and date of these non-repetitive tests”.

And in fact no one from the defenses showed up. By law, if they are notified and don’t appear for the testing, the results are perfectly valid. Defense attorneys chose not to be present, although notified and invited, because that was seemingly part of their defense strategy.

Regardless of the outcome of those non-repetitive tests, it would have been strategically preferable to avoid being present, because if the results were favorable to their client, that would be fine. And if the tests went against their clients, they could always claimed contamination at a later time.


On 4 March 2010 Rudy Guede, following the public release of the Motivazione against Knox and Sollecito, said: “chi sa’ parli” (“those who know must speak”).

On 6 March 2010 Rudy Guede writes a letter to Mediaset following the appearance on the scene of Mario Alessi, a child murderer serving a life sentence, who was claiming Guede divulged that he was alone at the house with another accomplice. Guede ends his letter by saying that the “horrible assassination” of Meredith was done by Amanda and Raffaele.

The court reached their decisions based on testimony and evidence from the night presented at trial. Everything else, including diaries, phone calls from Germany, cartwheels and media gossips, was totally irrelevant to the judges.

Formally, Guede’s accusations of the two accomplices must be dated from March 2008, but we know very well that the reciprocal accusations started on November 2007 and they went on for the entire two trials.

Except for Amanda, the attorneys have strategically avoided their clients from taking the stand and responding to questions, confrontations and cross-examination. Raffaele never spoke one word, except for spontaneous declarations. Guede was kept silent throughout the two trials, despite various promises of “speaking out”.

The prosecutor asked to have Guede on the stand for questioning, but he always exercised his right to silence and, as the Massei Report states on page 389 “The defense of Knox and Sollecito did not give their consent to admitting Guede’s declarations”. This is very indicative of the trial strategy adopted: avoiding their clients to pronouncing one bad word and avoiding putting them face to face with each other.


Now for some conclusions.

There is a lot of “I don’t remember” in this horror story. Rudy doesn’t remember the face of the aggressor, but then slowly, but progressively, his mind begins to function and, at appropriate moments, he remembers his name and that of his friend by the door.

Amanda doesn’t remember if she went to Via della Pergola with Lumumba, nor if Raffaele was with her. She doesn’t remember what she did at Raffaele’s house for the entire evening and night, but then she meets a nun in jail that restores her memory.

Raffaele also has a hard time remembering what happened in those few hours. He doesn’t remember if he was home alone or if Amanda was with him. Then he changes his statement but still doesn’t remember if Amanda left and, if she did, at what time she returned.

Can cannabis give such effects in exactly the time frame in which a young woman is being brutally murdered? Why did only three people out of 84 interviewed have this incredible amnesia?


As the journalist of Corriere della Sera, Fiorenza Sarzanini, said: “the arrests happened when they were saying things like ‘I was there with Patrick but can’t remember if Raffaele was also there’.

And Raffaele saying things like ‘I was at my house all night, but I don’t remember if Amanda was with me the entire time’”.

All three have lied several times, lost their memory but then slowly regained it, and changed their stories in order to fit new information as it became progressively known.

But most importantly they all have accused each other from the very beginning.

Not only the appellate judges of Rudy Guede’s trial but even Judge Micheli in Guede’s trial of first instance said that “The defendants, more or less explicitly, have intended to defend themselves by accusing each others.”

And that Rudy Guede “was there and he knows very well what happened”

“We might think that he remains firm on his unsustainable positions in order to cover up for someone, but on the contrary” says Judge Micheli, “it was from the very beginning that he chose not to involve others, and then he changed his attitude when he understood that other people were abandoning him to his own destiny”.


It should also be considered that the defense of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito have called to trial only those witnesses that would testify against Rudy Guede and have requested only that police carry out more investigations on Guede.

Also, the Massei Report states that the defenses of Knox and Sollecito have at the end of it all “explicitly indicated Rudy Guede as the sole perpetrator of the criminal acts against Meredith Kercher”.

Rudy’s original story of the events was so ridiculous that no one could have possibly believed him. And no one did.

Despite this, he avoided naming his presumed accomplices directly, but chose instead, from the very beginning, to imply their involvement through his writings and his threats, while waiting for the appropriate time to formally accuse them of the murder.

“Guede kept quiet for as long as he could” said the Court of Appeal “because, given the deep connection of the events, accusing Amanda and Raffaele would have exposed him to their very probable retaliation”.

The court said all three should have explained what had happened in that house on the night of the murder, “at least for a sense of human compassion toward the poor victim”.

Instead, they “preferred to cram their statements (made on several occasions) with lies, reticence, half-truth, allusions, improbable occurrences and by more or less veiled reciprocal accusations”.

This is my final report. Ciao from Rome, and thanks.


Posted on 05/18/10 at 02:24 AM by Cesare BeccariaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 3 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report on this appeared here.

During the first two months of 2008, the attorneys of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito begin to elaborate their theory of the sole killer that entered the house through the window, and then raped and killed Meredith.

It is interesting that these attorneys at first didn’t mention the name of Rudy Guede though the accusation was more or less explicit.

During his chat conversations from Germany Guede had already mentioned Raffaele’s involvement. When Giacomo asked him if that was Raffaele he had replied several times “I think so”. But as the two previous posts below show, thereafter he began to pull back.

By the time of his three-hour interrogation with the prosecutor on 26 March 2008 Rudy Guede apparently has had enough, and he is done with pulling back any longer. He now formally accuses Knox and Sollecito (“I saw Amanda and Raffaele that night”).

He now shows no doubts about identifying Raffaele Sollecito as the aggressor (“that guy with the knife was Raffaele”).

When asked by the interrogators why he responded “no” to the question of Giacomo as to whether Amanda “did it”, Guede states first that he was mainly concentrated on the male figure with the knife, and second his response to Giacomo’s questions was given in a hurry.

But Rudy did mention Amanda’s name in those previous conversations from Germany, indirectly implying her involvement. Amanda Knox was also mentioned extensively in his diary written at the end of November 2007, and he described her there in harsh words.

During his interrogation by the prosecutor, Guede now adds that he heard Amanda’s voice by the door, and then he saw her silhouette from Filomena’s window (“As Raffaele walked out I heard someone waiting for him outside. Now I can say that it was Amanda Knox”).


Judge Micheli in his January 2009 sentencing report for the Guede trial points out that Guede constantly “adjusted the content of his statements to the parallel and progressive evolution of the investigations”. He conveniently adjusted the time of the murder and other claimed facts as the investigation proceeded.

Guede originally indicated the time of Meredith’s murder as having been around 9:20-9:30PM. This is what he told Giacomo during the Skype conversation. His attorneys would later push the time to 11:30PM, denying that Guede had ever talked about 9:30 and couldn’t have known the time anyway as he hadn’t had a watch on him. 

The Micheli Report states that Guede’s accusation of Amanda and Raffaele formally happened during the interrogation of 26 March 2008. The conversations from Germany were not admitted by the court, and nor was his diary. Only Giacomo’s testimony was considered.

Judge Micheli in his sentencing report considers none of Guede’s declarations as credible.

On December 7in his first interrogation on his arrival back in Italy, Rudy never made references to Amanda. He said that he looked out the window but didn’t see or recognized anyone.

Judge Micheli therefore says that the interrogation of March 26, 2008 cannot be considered a completion of his previous declaration (as his lawyers were asserting), but rather a “radical change of course”.

Why didn’t Guede accuse Amanda and Raffaele during, or right after, the interrogation of December 7?

After all, he had a great opportunity to claim to recognize a person that was arrested and accused of the murder whose name was well known to Rudy. And as Micheli states in the report, “Guede didn’t even have the natural qualms that a witness might have in cases of uncertainty, knowing that he might get an innocent person in trouble”.

So why did he reserve the right to indicate his alleged accomplices at a later time?

On 15 May 2008 Guede asks to make some new spontaneous declarations.

Among other claims, he claims to have seen Raffaele at the scene of the crime, and his new conviction about this derives from the fact that he had seen his pictures in the newspapers. He also confirms the presence of Amanda: “I heard various steps of people leaving. I went to the closest room, I looked outside and I saw the silhouette of Amanda”.


On 19 October 2008 the prosecutor at Guede’s trial in his closing statement observes that “at the beginning Amanda had intentionally covered up for Guede, sidetracking the investigators toward another black person. For his part, Rudy has tried to keep Amanda out while being more explicit in involving Raffaele”.

On 24 October 2008 Francesco Vinci, the forensic consultant for the Sollecito defense, hands over to the Court his analysis report for the DNA on Meredith’s bra hook (Evidence 165B).

He states that “the analysis clearly shows that there are profiles of three other individuals on the clasp”, adding that the genetic profiles of Amanda and Rudy are also on the clasp.

Although Vinci’s presumed intention is to try to remove from trial the evidence against his client (since too many DNA profiles are found on the clasp, making it hard to reach an “unequivocal interpretation”) in reality this intervention comes across like an attempt to involve Guede’ s other two unlucky friends.

Meo Ponte, correspondent of La Repubblica, puts it nicely: “One asks if this is an involuntary false step or if Sollecito’s defense has decided to return to their previous steps when, at the beginning of the investigations, they were looking at every possible way to separate the fate of Raffaele from that of Amanda, trying to reduce charges against Raffaele to those of a lesser crime”.

Interesting here is that four days before the verdict of the first instance against Rudy Guede (and the decision on the formal charging of Knox and Sollecito) all the attorneys for all three can be seen to be fighting a three-way war, trying to save their own clients at the expense of the others.

Mr Mignini couldn’t have asked for more. This tactic almost renders superfluous the presence and arguments of the prosecutor.

Knox’s and Sollecito’s attorneys are indirectly accusing Guede (without mentioning his name) by trying to prove the sole-killer theory. And Guede’s attorneys are definitely implicating Knox and Sollecito, and at the last day of trial explicitly accuse them of the murder.

On 28 October 2008 Rudy Guede receives a 30 years sentence, and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are formally also charged for Meredith’s murder.


The day after on 29 October 2008 the top-rated national TV program Porta a Porta (in the second of the four shows so far) discusses the trial outcome of the previous day. All the lawyers are present except for those of Amanda Knox.

Whereas during the days before the trial all the attorneys were fighting for their own client, and accusing each other’s clients of murder, during this Porta a Porta program they look fairly friendly.

Mrs. Buongiorno (the lead lawyer for Raffaele Sollecito) says that she is not saying that it was Guede who killed Meredith, she is saying that “procedural elements” conclude that there is such responsibility. “All I want to say is that Raffaele was not in that house.”

Bruno Vespa, the host of the Porta a Porta program,  asks Mr. Biscotti (Rudy Guede’s attorney) if his defense claims that Amanda and Raffaele are the two people identified by Guede on the night of the murder. Biscotti replies that Guede “heard two people”, but he doesn’t confirm that it was Raffaele and Amanda.

Why does Guede’s defense all of a sudden avoid mentioning the names of those whom until the previous day they had accused of the murder?

The magistrate on the show, Simonetta Matone, intervenes and she says: “As part of your defense strategy I remember that you have said that Amanda and Raffaele are the two people responsible for this homicide”.

The attorneys of Guede responded: “well, this is a trial dialectic (dialettica processuale)”. The magistrate then asks them “what are you talking about, trial dialectic? You have claimed that Amanda and Sollecito committed the crime”.

Mr. Biscotti (Guede’s attorney) doesn’t respond, and Mrs. Buongiorno (Sollecito’s attorney) steps in and immediately changes the subject.

Further on in the program, Mr. Biscotti says that Rudy heard Amanda’s voice, but doesn’t say that Guede identified Raffaele.

The Porta a Porta host, Bruno Vespa, asks Biscotti how could it be that Rudy was not able to see the assailant? Biscotti explains that it was dark and the assault was quick.

Bruno Vespa continues to be incredulous and insists that it is impossible for him not to have recognized his attacker.


Why does Biscotti now hide the fact that Guede saw Sollecito, when up to just a few days before he was confirming his identity? In fact, why would both Guede’s attorneys and Sollecito’s attorneys avoid discussing the reciprocal accusations that had gone on for months until just a few days earlier?

Could it be that they are both now preparing for the next trial at the Corte d’Assise, both of them hoping for an acquittal that would be beneficial both to Raffaele and to Rudy?

Right after the first verdict the ceasefire is back in place, and everyone is back out of the gray area.

It’s also interesting that during the program Mrs. Buongiorno insists in defending only Raffaele. She contests the bra clasp but never says anything about the knife. Her only concern is Raffaele.

She says “My trial is as follows: you must prove that three people committed the crime, or you must prove the presence of Raffaele in the house”.

At a certain point in the Porta a Porta program, Alessandro Meluzzi, a well known psychiatrist hired by the Guede team, intervenes during a discussion and says: “… but wasn’t there a footprint found of Raffaele?”.

Mr. Biscotti - Guede’s lawyer - blocks him immediately and says “no, no, no”. Mr Meluzzi looks around in despair and then realizes he has said something outside of the defense line and now keeps quiet instantly. Why was he stopped?

In the first session of the Knox-Sollecito trial in the Corte D’Assise of 16 January 2009 Luca Maori, Sollecito’s second attorney, begins by saying that “Raffaele’s life was destroyed on October 25, the day he met Amanda … this changed his life because of the tragic consequences and at the end [meeting her] has destroyed him”.

In the opening statement Mr. Maori makes it clear and simple: “Justice is already done. Rudy Guede, the only person responsible for the murder, has received a 30 years sentence”.

Asked by journalists about his reaction to these accusations, Walter Biscotti responded as he had done on other occasions: ”My client will speak at the appropriate time.”


On 19 January 2009 they are all back again, on the third Porta a Porta show, except (again) for Amanda Knox’s lawyers.

Guede had been sentenced in the first instance to 30 years. His lawyer Biscotti now adds a little more detail to Guede’s story. He explains that Rudy went to the bathroom and heard Amanda discussing with Meredith, put on his earphones and closed the door.

The TV host Bruno Vespa reminds Mr. Biscotti that the attorneys of Sollecito and Amanda have accused Guede, and have said that he was already convicted and therefore he must be the sole killer.

Mr. Biscotti doesn’t appear very happy: “In our opinion this has been a “cowardly procedural move (“vigliaccata processuale”)....  They took advantage of the absence of Rudy in that hearing” of 16 January, he replies.

And then he adds that their strategy would not work since the GUP has denied their clients’ release on house arrest and has issued a definite ruling on the matter.

Guede’s attorney is practically saying here that, even though Rudy was convicted in the first instance, the other two are also charged and will also have to stand trial. “We will be vigilant and we’ll observe every breath of that trial”.

(It’s funny how Biscotti refers to his accusation of the other two a few months earlier as “dialettica processuale” (dialectical) but now calls Maori’s accusation of Guede a “vigliaccata processuale” (cowardly).)

The prosecutors have announced that they will call Rudy Guede to testify at the trial of his presumed accomplices, and the Porta a Porta host Bruno Vespa asks Biscotti if Rudy will finally tell the complete truth in front of the Court of Assise.

Biscotti responds that Rudy has already told the truth and that he will next talk further in front of the judges of appeal, implying that his client will not testify at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial.

He says that since Judge Micheli didn’t find him credible, just like as he didn’t find the other two credible (they were not even called as witnesses at Rudy’s trial), Guede could exercise his right to silence at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial.


Giuseppe Castellini, director of the Perugia-based newspaper Giornale dell’Umbria, weighs in at length on this Porta a Porta show about Guede’s changing of his versions.

In the second version, Guede says that as he entered the bathroom he heard the bell ring and heard Amanda’s voice. He then was reassured because he knew it was Amanda. Guede also said in his second version that from Filomena’s room he sees Amanda and another person that he couldn’t identify, running away.

In the third version, Rudy hears the voice of Amanda (“We need to talk. What is the matter?”) and he asks Mignini to have a confrontation with Sollecito.

Mr Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, disputes Mr Castellini’s claim that the description changed and he says that Guede never changed his version, but rather “integrated it with details” and that Guede asked for a confrontation with both Raffaele and Amanda.

Mr. Gentile, the other lawyer for Guede, adds that Guede was interrogated in Germany without attorneys present (implying that what he said back then cannot be considered as a first version).

The Porta a Porta host. Bruno Vespa. notes that every one of the three accused is claiming their innocence and at the same time each accusing the other of the murder.

He then asks Luca Maori, one of Sollecito’s attorneys, if the situation of Raffaele is linked to that of Amanda or if there could be a different scenario (“she was there and he wasn’t”).

Mr. Maori responds that “Raffaele is Raffaele and Amanda is Amanda, although this does not mean that their positions could not be linked….  Raffaele was at his house and probably even Amanda, so both were at his house during the night”.

He adds that Raffaele never changed his version.


The newspaper director Giuseppe Castellini reacts strongly to this claim by Mr Maori.  He illustrates by reading Raffaele’s statements word by word that he did in fact change his version, three times.

On the first version, of November 5 (which is actually the second version if we exclude the statement in which he said he spoke “a lot of rubbish”) Raffaele said he went home alone, while Amanda went to meet her friends. He says he surfed the web all evening and Amanda returned at 1:00AM.

Days later, police hear from Jovana Popovic, who testified that she rang the bell at 8:40PM and Amanda answered the door, and therefore Amanda must have been home at that time.

Mr Castellini observes that now Raffaele changes his version again and notes how he had said “on November 5 I lied because I was under a lot of pressure”. Mr Castellini says that Raffaele had stated that Amanda was with him all that night, but now, in his latest version, he doesn’t remember if she went out that evening and for how long.

Bruno Vespa asks how can it be possible that a person cannot remember, after just a couple of days, if his girlfriend was with him or not, what time she left, and what time she returned?

“Everyone is able to remember where they were when the man landed on the moon. And that was forty years ago….  Raffaele should have been able to describe minute by minute what happened on that evening”.

The answer of Sollecito’s attorney Mr. Maori is as follow: “Someone must have killed poor Meredith. This someone is certainly not Raffaele Sollecito, because there are no evidences that put him inside the house of the murder. Everything else is details”.

It’s interesting to note that Mr. Maori hardly mentions Amanda Knox.

Even when asked if Amanda was with Raffaele he doesn’t give a straightforward answer, he just repeats that his client is not guilty. Throughout the two hours of the Porta a Porta program, he keeps saying that his client was not at the crime scene: “We will prove in court that he wasn’t there, and that he did not commit the crime.”

The CBS correspondent on the TV show, Mrs. Castelfranco, keeps trying to insert Amanda into the discussion (“Amanda wasn’t there either”) but Maori was not confirming this, he was not even listening.


The host Bruno Vespa tells Maori that there was more than one person reported by a witness as leaving the house and therefore “the killers must have been more than one”.

Mr. Maori’s answer is: “We are not alone in saying that the killer is only one. It’s the judge that has sentenced just one person”.

Guede’s attorney replies: “Oh, come on, Maori ! How can you say these things?.

A very important issue is now brought up by the host, Bruno Vespa.

Talking about Amanda, he says that it’s very strange that a person says “I was there” and then days later denies being there.

“Usually people say ‘I was not there, I know nothing, I have seen nothing’ and then eventually they admit that they were there”, says Vespa. “Instead Amanda [at first] says ‘I was there’ and the killer is Lumumba”.

No one in the Porta a Porta studio contests Mr Vespa’s claim that this is strange, including Maori and the CBS correspondent.

And the reason is very simple: while the U.S. media has justified Amanda’s behavior by claiming that she was forced to name Lumumba under brutal police pressure, the Italian media has never reported this because there is zero evidence that it ever happened.

The widely known and believed fact is that Amanda named Lumumba voluntarily, when the police asked her to verify her cell phone activities and was asked who that person was. This is a given and indisputable fact, confirmed by various witnesses.

Even Mrs. Castelfranco, the CBS correspondent, is very careful in not repeating the false claim of the U.S. media. She says instead that Knox was “young and confused”.  The CBS correspondent adds that after all none of them remember well what happened that night.

The host Bruno Vespa interrupts her: “One thing is remembering single details. Another is remembering if she was there or not. Being at the house [of the crime] or sleeping at the house of the boyfriend, are two enormously different things…. It is very striking that her first instinct was that of saying ‘I was at the house of the crime’”.

The CBS correspondent remains silent.


At this point, Mr. Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, says that while Rudy admits to being in the house, the other two each deny their presence although there is evidence that unequivocally confirms both of their presences.

Mr Vespa asks Biscotti if their trial strategy is that of proving Rudy’s innocence, or if it would be convenient to them to also demonstrate the culpability of Amanda and Raffaele.

Guede’s lawyer Biscotti responds: “We don’t want to prove their guiltiness. But since there is no other individual whose evidence in the house is proved, we must make a logical inference”.

The host reminds Biscotti that they have explicitly accused Raffaele and Amanda during Guede’s trial. Biscotti responds: “Well, the logical inference tells us that Amanda and Sollecito are the guilty ones”.

Mr Vespa asks “Therefore the person that ran into Rudy (whom he did not fully identify) would be Sollecito?”.

And Biscotti responds “In our opinion, since we were not there and could not have seen it, by linking all the circumstances that emerged from the investigation of the prosecutor and those that emerged from the preliminary hearing, this leads to the conclusion that whoever killed Meredith could not have been other than the other two defendants”.

Francesco Maresca, the attorney for the Kercher family, makes it plain that in his view all three defendants are without any doubt responsible for Meredith’s murder.

My next report appears here.


Posted on 05/16/10 at 08:21 AM by Cesare BeccariaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, May 14, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 2 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report on this appeared here. On 12 November 2007 Guede has a first chat conversation on MS Messenger, from Germany, with his friend Gabriele.

His friend asked him why he keeps running away, and Guede answers “I can’t”.  “You can’t what?” asks his friend. Guede replied “you know [why]”. “What should I know” asks his friend, but with no further reply.

Up to that moment the media knew nothing about Rudy Guede’s involvement, but he certainly felt that police were already investigating him. He knew that thus far Amanda and Raffaele had not mentioned his name.

On 15 November the investigators identify the finger print on the pillow as belonging to Rudy Guede.

On 16 November Giacomo, another friend of Rudy, was informed that Guede could have had something to do with the murder, and on the 18th he is interrogated by the prosecutor.

On 18 November Raffaele writes in his diary: “As I am thinking and rebuilding [my thoughts] I think that Amanda always remained with me. The only thing I don’t remember exactly is if she left during the evening for few minutes”.


At this point police know that Raffaele and Amanda were together at his house when Jovana Popovic arrived at 8:40PM. But they were also found together at Raffaele’s house when Jovana rang the bell in the afternoon between 5:45-6:00PM.

Why then would Raffaele say at first that he went home alone at 9:00PM, and then that “maybe it was 8:30” and Amanda was with him, and now he thinks that Amanda was with him the entire time, but he doesn’t remember if she left and, in the event that she did, at what time she returned?

Was he desperately attempting to dissociate himself from Amanda? Was he then being told to retract, but just not too much?

“I am certain that she cannot have killed Meredith and then returned home” says Raffaele. “I hope that truth emerges. None of us three [meaning also Patrick Lumumba] have anything to do with this”.

Here again we find this supposition regarding Amanda. A week before he said “It would be fabulous if Amanda hasn’t done anything” and the previous day he said: “I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone”.

What is the need of all these quasi affirmations? And why does Amanda make the exact same quasi affirmations in her own diaries?


On 19 November Guede has another chat conversation on MS Messenger, this time with Giacomo. He explains to Giacomo what had happened that evening, and that neither Amanda nor Patrick are involved.

Why does he explicitly deny Amanda’s involvement in the murder? Could he be covering up for her, since she also hasn’t ever mentioned his name up to this date?

On the same chat session, Rudy describes the aggressor as an Italian of young age. When Giacomo asks if that person was Raffaele, his reply was “I don’t know, but I think so”. He repeated “I think so” several times as Giacomo kept asking him if he was sure that person was Raffaele.

Soon after, Giacomo and Rudy started a conversation via Skype, the online video phone system. This conversation was recorded, and made public.

A couple of parts are very important. First of all, Rudy puts a lot of emphasis on the money stolen, and on Meredith being upset with Amanda. Why would he be so insisting on this matter?

Rudy adds that “Amanda never mentioned the money issue, nor did Raffaele” implying that he somehow knows this information first-hand, since it had not ever been reported in the media up to that day.

Rudy then tells Giacomo that he went to the bathroom, and heard the doorbell ring and Meredith opening the front door. Rudy adds that “It could have been anyone … it could have been Amanda”.

So again he explicitly mentions Amanda. Why would he say “It could have been Amanda”?


On that same conversation Guede reads a paragraph to Giacomo from a media article mentioning the laundry, the break-in and the undressing of the victim, Meredith.

Guede says “If all this really happened, it must have been done by Amanda or Raffaele… they have done it”. Giacomo asks “Why would they have done this”? And Guede replies “Because when I left she [Meredith] was dressed”.

Giacomo says “So they killed her while she was dressed”. And Guede says: “Yes, here it says that they [clothes] were washed in the washing machine, but that’s not true. She was dressed”. And then he explains to Giacomo how she was dressed and adds: “That means that they have washed them [Meredith’s clothes]”.

Then Giacomo asks “But why did they wash her clothes if she [Amanda] has nothing to do with this”, and Guede replies “What the hell do I know”. And finally Guede adds: “ … then after, from what I read, someone came back, because when I left the window was not broken. That means that someone broke it, and it wasn’t me”.

Again, here we have Rudy Guede mentioning Amanda and Raffaele. Why would he mention their names, and assume that they staged the break-in, undressed the victim, and did some laundry?

On 20 November Raffaele writes “Today they finally caught the real killer of this incredible story. They found him in Germany. But at the moment I am not 100% tranquil because I fear that he might make up strange things”.

Why would Raffaele fear that the killer might fabricate some strange things?

On 20 November Rudy is arrested in Germany. He is interrogated for the first time, in Koblenz, where he repeats the same version he had given to Giacomo on the phone, except that he does not mention Amanda or Raffaele.


During his detention he writes a memorandum in which he describes the events of the night of the murder.

This document is of extreme importance, since this time he does mention Amanda again, this time with serious threats.

First, he includes “kind words” for Meredith

To see these written in a memorandum while denying his own role in her death and failure to save her seem simply repulsive. They seem about the lowest thing that a man with a minimum of decency could ever write.

He was undeniably there when she was killed, and according to the judges he participated to the murder. His story of using an I-Pod when going to the bathroom and not hearing things and then hearing things seem simple stupidity.

Second, Guede indicates that Amanda’s story of being at the house with Patrick is not true.

He knows that Patrick has been recently released. Why then does he ask “How could Amanda have slept in that place full of blood”? Also, why is he blaming Amanda for not calling the ambulance?

Also, Rudy knew that Amanda stated that she heard Meredith screaming. Why would he tell Giacomo on Skype that he heard “a scream so loud that it could have been heard from the street”?

Third, in his writings, Rudy asks Amanda for the reason for her account of Meredith being raped. “Meredith and I just talked that night” Rudy writes. Then he adds “Say the truth, what are you hiding”.


We see here another important statement that Guede is making. Why would he be upset that Amanda said that Meredith was raped? Also, why would he want to clarify the fact that with Meredith they “just talked”?

Guede sounds as if he’s extremely upset about Amanda’s story of rape, and about the accusation of a black man. To him all this must appear as if Amanda was giving clues to the prosecutor to look further into Guede as the possibly killer.

We should note that Amanda did make a partial retraction when she states that her story could have been an imagination of her mind. But she never fully retracted her story, or her accusation against a black man.

Guede knows that Amanda’s story is not just partially but totally untrue. For this reason he writes a harsh criticism of Amanda and asks her, in a threatening way, to talk and speak the truth.

Guede is also angry about what he read regarding the staged break-in, the undressing of the victim, and the laundry, and quite probably about the evidence left intact in the toilet.

To him, the sum of these events and statements by Amanda probably looked like a direct attempt now to accuse him of the murder. “You already knew who to blame” he asks.

And then in turn he blames Amanda for the killing. “Did you hate your friend so much to the point of killing her or wishing her death?”.

All this was written as early-on as 20 November 2007.

Raffaele is also mentioned by Guede in his prison diary. He writes: “that AF, AF, could have been his name?”. Rudy adds: “what the hell happened that night. Talk and say the truth. What are you hiding. If it wasn’t Raffaele with you that night, who was it?”.

So we can clearly see that the reciprocal accusations began long before March 2008. Much less than one month after the murder of Meredith, they were already threatening one another and accusing each other.


And there’s more.

On 23 November 2007 three days after Guede is arrested in Germany, Raffaele requests an appointment with the prosecutor because he wants to clarify his position.

Mignini sets the appointment for 6 December 2007.

On 3 December 2007 Walter Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, announces on the Porta a Porta show (the most popular television program in Italy) that his client has important revelations to make, and that he “saw the killer and might be able to identify him … Rudy didn’t tell me his name … on his return I will show him the pictures and I imagine that he will be able to recognize him”.

But hadn’t Rudy already seen Raffaele’s pictures on the media while in Germany? Didn’t Giacomo ask him if it was Raffaele, to which he responded “I don’t know but I think so”?

On 5 December 2007 Guede meets his father in Mannheim.

According to “Il Messaggero” and “Il Mattino”, Rudy is quoted as saying: “I want to return to Italy as soon as possible and tell everything I know. I want to indicate the murderer of Meredith. I saw him and I could recognize him. Someone else was with him”.

When journalists ask Rudy’s attorney if he has seen the photos of Raffaele, he responds that all this is a matter for the prosecutor.


On 6 December 2007 Raffaele is questioned by Mr. Mignini - but he exercises his right to remain silent! Although it was he that asked to be interrogated in order to “clarify his position”.

On 7 December 2007 Guede arrives in Italy and is interrogated by the prosecutor.

Everyone is expecting Rudy to announce the name of Raffaele, but he doesn’t. He never even mentions Amanda. Rudy’s attorney tells the journalists that his client “did not give out the name of the killer because there is no name to give”.

So why did Guede announced from Germany some “important revelations” and that he saw the killer and could identify him - and then he doesn’t?

Why did Raffaele ask to be interrogated and then, after Rudy’s threat, and the day before Guede’s arrival, he exercises the right to remain silent once he sits down, face to face, at his own request, with the prosecutor?

Walter Biscotti tells the prosecutor that any “possible procedural action of recognition will be subject to subsequent interrogation” (“eventuali attivita’ processuali di riconoscimento saranno oggetto di successivo interrogatorio”).

Does this mean that Rudy is reserving the right to indicate the killer sometime in the future?

During the trial, Mr. Biscotti specifically noted that the name of Amanda Knox was not brought up by Guede only late in the day, since during the interrogation of 7 December 2007 by the GIP (the judge for the preliminary hearings) the attorney had stated that his client would be “available to provide further clarifications” right then.

Only the working schedule of the prosecutor made the interrogation slide to March 2008. 


On 7 December 2007 Rudy Guede was interrogated by the GIP for seven hours, and he claimed his innocence. He explains his byzantine version of the events on the night, and he never mentions Amanda or Raffaele.

Guede says “I don’t know who the killer is and I cannot give a precise description because I was concentrating on looking at the knife”. Guede says that he heard two people talking outside the house, but he couldn’t even tell if those voices were of a male or a female.

In response to many other questions, his recurrent phrase was “I don’t remember”. He also explained his knowledge of Meredith’s missing money, which Rudy knew way before it became of public knowledge as he revealed in the conversation with Giacomo from Germany.

Amanda had previously said she had been at the house on the night of the murder, and she had never mentioned the name of Rudy, accusing instead another black man.


On 14 December 2007 Guede is heard by the Tribunale del Riesame.

He repeats that he didn’t see the aggressor because it was dark but that he could create an identikit. He confirms that two people were present, but doesn’t name Amanda or Raffaele.

The judge warns him that he must reveal the truth by telling the names of the people involved, but he refuses, saying that he never met Raffaele, and that he didn’t know Amanda had a boyfriend. 

The Tribunale rejected his plea of house arrests because he was not coming clean.

A few days after his return to Italy, Guede receives a visit in prison from his friend Giacomo. During the conversation, Guede tells him that his memory was improving and that he saw Amanda at the house.

We can again see therefore that Amanda is mentioned, way before March 2008.

Guede also adds that Amanda accused Lumumba because, most likely, the assailant told her that a black man was in the house. Guede tells Giacomo that he had never met Sollecito before.

This discussion in prison took place on 7 December 2007 though it was brought out at trial only much later, through Giacomo’s testimony.

On 25 January 2008 Sollecito’s attorneys allow him or make him to say “I don’t know Rudy Guede but I am ready for a face to face confrontation with him”.

Obviously it was just a bluff.

Raffaele never talked, was never cross-examined, and was always kept off the stand. All we know about his statements was either through his lawyers or his father.

My next report appears here.


Posted on 05/14/10 at 03:48 AM by Cesare BeccariaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


Most people in Italy believe the two trials ended correctly because they have been exhaustively reported-to throughout.

Also they have been able to follow the machinations and the twists and turns of the three defendants and defenses in real time. And the court documents and transcripts are all issued in Italian, and some are officially posted on the Internet.

The media coverage in Italian in Italy exceeds the media coverage in English in the UK and USA by a factor of five or ten. And there have been a number of very highly rated and balanced TV talk-shows on the case, in the course of which the defenses were not able to muzzle or slant the discussions - even if they ever considered doing such a thing.

These TV talk-shows on the case have included the most prestigious of all such shows in Italy, Porta a Porta, which offered hours of discussion by all the legal players except for Amanda Knox’s team in December 2007, October 2008, February 2009, and December 2009.

The Porta a Porta discussions are at various points referred to here, and the images used here are from those shows.

This is a four-part analysis, based mostly on Italian-language sources, of the many twists and turns of each of the defendants (as they then were) and their defense teams when intent on giving themselves an edge while often slyly selling out the others.

This interplay has been evident almost as much between Knox and Sollecito and their teams as it has between either of them and Rudy Guede, though rather less hostile.

It is worth pointing out two things up-front. First, that this is still far from played-out, more twists and turns can be expected, and we still might see the complete flying-apart and separation of all three. And second, that public maneuvering like this by three people accused of a crime is REALLY unusual and there have been few real precedents. This behavior sure is not typical of innocent parties.


So to begin…

“Guede has kept quiet for as long as he could” said the Court of Appeal in its recent motivation report “because, given the deep connection of the events, accusing Amanda and Raffaele would have exposed him to their very probable retaliation”. (“Guede, finché ha potuto, ha taciuto, poiché, stante la profonda connessione degli eventi, accusare Amanda e Raffaele lo avrebbe esposto a più che probabili dichiarazioni ritorsive da parte di costoro”).

This phrase in boldface is extremely important in understanding the connection of the three actors to this horrible story.

Their attorneys have done an excellent job so far (the best they could) and will continue on appeal to try to convince the judges of their innocence, or at least for a substantial reduction of their sentence. Rudy Guede’s attorneys have already obtained what they needed. He will probably be out on parole in less than five years now.

The other defense have played a very delicate game in this trial. From the beginning, they could have asked for a finding of “preterintenzione” (a sort of non-intentional second-degree murder). But this would have forced their clients to admit the truth without the certainty of the judicial outcome. Hence they opted for the not-guilty plea.

Their first strategic action was in each case (RS and AK) to stop the damages that their clients were inflicting upon themselves with their statements.

The next strategic action was that of not appearing at the lab for the non-repetitive testing for the DNA, with the obvious intention (almost habitual in Italy) of refuting ex-post each and every forensic finding that could have been adverse to their client.


The third strategic action flowed from the major problem all the attorneys were facing in defending their own client: the risk of reciprocal retaliation. Like concentric circles, they all came to share a gray area that was tacitly considered off-limit for everyone else, like a haunted house that no one else dared to enter.

At first, this tacit accord was respected. But when various defense necessities emerged, the breaching of the accord began. The process was gradual but inexorable, leading to two brief but clear breaches: Guede’s explicit accusations against the other two in March 2008, and reiterated right after the disgraceful intrusion on the scene of Mario Alessi earlier this year.

This tactic was observed by the Appellate Court that heard Guede’s appeal. In their recent motivation report.

The judges reprehended all three offenders by stating that all three should have explained what had happened in that house on the night of the murder, “at least for a sense of human compassion toward the poor victim” and that instead they had “preferred to cram their statements (made on several occasions) with lies, reticence, half-truth, allusions, improbable occurrences and by more or less veiled reciprocal accusations”. (“Gli imputati hanno invece preferito infarcire le loro dichiarazioni, rese in diverse occasioni, di bugie, reticenze, retromarce, mezze verità, allusioni, prospettazioni inverosimili, accuse reciproche, più o meno velate”).

Rudy Guede was questioned in Koblenz, Germany, right after his arrest. He was also interrogated on December 7, 2007 and on March 26, 2008, and made spontaneous declarations on May 15, 2008.

At first he did not formally accuse anyone, and he remained very vague about his accomplices. He chose to go on trial first and so he had a slight advantage over the others.

Rudy Guede is undoubtedly a compulsive liar. He told his version of the events to perfectly fit his case, and adjusted his inconsistencies according to the changing development of events.

He first says Meredith was killed around 21:20 and then his attorneys made him change the time to 23:30. According to his absolutely improbable account, he met with Meredith at 21:00 and within TEN MINUTES they managed to talk about her mother’s health, go around the house looking for the missing money, had oral sex, and then suddenly had an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Then he puts his I-Pod on at high volume while doing his business in the bathroom of a girl he barely knew.


In this implausible story, Guede doesn’t explicitly name his accomplices. Amanda and Raffaele also told their fair share of lies, but at the beginning they didn’t directly accuse Guede either.

Things changed when the various attorneys started to slowly penetrate inside the off-limit zone.

Guede’s memory began to function as the lone-wolf theory was materializing. Apparently the volume of his I-Pod was not loud enough now to impede him from recognizing Amanda’s voice. His vision became clearer and he began to recognize her silhouette from the window and the identity of the aggressor.

The more Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys were elaborating their theory to reinforce their defensive strategy, the better Guede’s memory became. Every time allegations of the sole killer emerged, Guede’s attorneys were ready with their rounds of ammunitions, needed to keep the other attorneys at bay.

Now, if we take a closer look at the chronology of events, we can observe a possibility that has been largely overlooked but is of extreme importance. 

Maybe the staged break-in was not necessarily made with the intention specifically to frame Guede. (Judge Micheli actually advanced this notion, as Amanda and Raffaele most likely had no knowledge of Guede’s earlier break-in in Milan.).

And yet it is without doubt that some one person or several persons intentionally tried to mislead investigators and with a good degree of certainty these people took also part in the crime. And for obvious reasons Guede was not among them during the staging and the cleaning.


Let us now look more closely at the chronology of the events in order to understand why it is clear that Guede did not act alone. Also to see that he did mention Amanda and Raffaele way before the interrogation of March 2008. We can also observe how the three defendants have tried in various ways to accuse each other from the very beginning, through their voluntary statements and through their “prison diaries”.

It should be noted that it is highly unrealistic that lawyers let their clients write “prison diaries” without their consent, especially after all the lies and inconsistencies they have told to police and prosecutors until they took over. Those “prison diaries” sound anything but spontaneous.

Raffaele changed his versions of the events at least three times. At first he confirms Amanda’s original deposition. But then, under interrogation on 5 November he admits to having spoken rubbish in his previous statement, because, he claimed, Amanda convinced him of her version and he didn’t think of the inconsistencies. And that he went home alone around 9:00 PM, smoked a joint, ate and surfed the net, and finally Amanda returned at 1:00 AM.

Amanda then is told by police that Raffaele had just blown her alibi. But instead of refuting Raffaele’s statement, she immediately takes the opportunity to accuse Patrick Lumumba, adding that Raffaele was probably with her at the crime scene.


Let’s now look at Amanda’s statement given to police on 6 November 2007.

Amanda writes: “I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying I was not with him on the night of the murder … there are things I remember and things that are confused … what happened after I know does not match with what Raffaele was saying”. Amanda goes on to explain what happened at Raffaele’s house in a very confusing way and with many “perhaps”, I’m not sure” and “I don’t remember”.

She goes on to write: “my boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true … I never asked him to lie for me … What I don’t understand is why Raffaele would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me”.

She adds: “I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time Meredith was murdered in incriminating”. Raffaele as well states that he cannot recall precisely what he did at his own house that evening.

Amanda remembers that she noticed blood on Raffaele’s hand, “but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish”. Amanda then asks: “is there any other evidence condemning Patrick or any other person. Who is the real murderer?”


A week later, when the knife was found, Amanda goes even further. She now wonders if Raffaele could have killed Meredith and then put the knife-handle in her hand while she was sleeping. “Was Meredith’s DNA on the knife?” Raffaele had asked “Maybe, because one time I accidently pricked her”.

“It’s impossible that Meredith’s DNA is on the knife”, says Amanda, “because she’s never been to Raffaele’s apartment. So unless Raffaele decided to get up after I fell asleep, grabbed said knife, went over to my house, used it to kill Meredith, came home, cleaned the blood off, rubbed my fingerprints all over it, put it away, tucked himself back into bed, and then pretended really well over the next few days, well, I just highly doubt all of that”.

Doesn’t all this sound like a reciprocal veiled accusation? Why would two people accused of murder, with exactly the same fate, write down their doubts about the innocence of their presumed accomplice? Why doesn’t Amanda mention Patrick or Rudy at all in her diary?

On 7 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito begins writing his own diary. His most recurrent phrases are “I don’t remember”, “maybe I did this, maybe I did that”. The prosecutor has already reminded him that he has given three different versions of his story, in particular about Amanda. He is still not sure if Amanda left the house, and if she did he now doesn’t remember how long she was out for. “Why don’t they investigate on her”, he asks.

On 11 November 2007 Raffaele recalls that someone told him that on the morning of November 2 Amanda went home to take a shower and then went to a public laundry with some Argentinean guy and he put a pair of blue Nikes in the washing machine.

“All this makes me totally lose faith in Amanda, after she keeps on lying”, Raffaele writes. Adding that “I know little of her, but although I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone she could be capable of lying in order to hide the fact that she has relations with [hangs out with] disreputable people”.

We note here Raffaele saying: “I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone“, while a few days before Amanda wrote: “I don’t think he killed Meredith”. Why would they both have the need to make such conjectures? It is very unlikely (if not impossible) that lawyers would allow them to make any written statements, including diaries, without their consent.

Raffaele goes on to write: “I worry about two things: if Amanda that night remained with me all night, we might (although that is a very remote hypothesis) have made love all evening and all night, stopping only to eat. That would be a mess because there would be no server connections during those hours.” (How can a twenty-three years old boy not remember if he made love “all evening and night”?). Four days earlier Amanda wrote: “perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him”.

Raffaele’s second worry is that “Amanda could have stolen my knife and gave it to the son of a bitch that killed Meredith, although even this hypothesis sounds like science fiction, but possible, therefore I am not at ease.”


Amanda writes in her diary that the encounter in prison with a nun made her memory function all of a sudden.

She says: “In my cell I was waiting for an answer to come to my head when a sister arrived at my door. She told me to be patient because God knows everything and would help me remember the answer … and then it hit me. Everything came back to me like a flood one detail after the other … I cried, I was so happy. I wrote everything I could remember and an explanation for my confusion previously … Police think that I’m involved … But now at least I know it’s not true. I remember what I did that night and there’s no way that they can prove that I was there, in Meredith’s room”.

“They really think I’m involved and its sad, because it means they still have no idea what happened. They really don’t know who killed my friend”. Then she continues to ask herself why Raffaele is lying, what is he afraid of.

This reciprocal accusation of lying is also repeated. We will see that in his diary Rudy also accuses Amanda of lying. Why do they constantly accuse each other of lying? And why do they also insist on the recurrent phrase: “what are you hiding”?

On 12 November 2007 Raffaele gets 90% of his memory back.

He says: “I am 90% sure that on my second declaration I said rubbish”, and that his first version (that Amanda was with him) is the right version. It should be noted that in his second police interview he said the exact contrary, stating that his claim that Amanda was with him was rubbish.

Now Raffaele changes his story again and adds: “the fact that Amanda induced me to tell her version is rubbish … I’m realizing that probably Amanda was with me all night, without ever leaving. And I am certainly not the one that lies in order to help the investigations and put everyone in trouble. On the contrary, it would be fabulous if Amanda hasn’t done anything”.

The memory loss claim now surfaces. Raffaele adds: “I realize that if we all ended up in jail is also my fault regarding the facts of that evening and also because me and Amanda smoked many joints.” “I lived in weightlessness an event that I could not believe it could have been real”. Raffaele is basically saying that it’s also his fault if he cannot remember what happened that night. As we have seen, Amanda wrote something similar when she acknowledge that her lack of memory could be “incriminating”.

Not only Raffaele, but also Amanda and Rudy have this mysterious amnesia on the events of that evening. All three of them don’t remember well. All imagine that certain things happened … but maybe not. No one is able to recall even the most impossible things to forget (was it Raffaele the aggressor with the knife? Was Amanda home with Raffaele? Was Amanda at the cottage with Lumumba? Was Raffaele with her? Did they really make love all night?).

My next report appears here.


Posted on 05/12/10 at 01:31 PM by Cesare BeccariaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #27: Half A Day’s Drive North - The Italian Lakes

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Posted on 05/08/10 at 06:55 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Sad Case Of Sonia Marra #8: Bindella Hearing Tomorrow - Prosecutor Won’t Ask For Incarceration

Posted by Peter Quennell


Our previous posts are here. There is a surprise move in the case.

The prosecutor leading the Sonia Marra investigation, Joseph Petrazzini, has withdrawn his appeal to the court of review against the decision of the investigating judge, Paolo Micheli, to release Sonia’s boyfriend, Umberto Bindella, pending further investigations.

The scheduled hearing on this appeal will still be held tomorrow in Perugia, but it is expected that all that will happen is that the withdrawal of the prosecutor’s appeal will be noted. So Bindella will continue living at home.

Two reasons for this are being hypothesized. One, that Bindella won some sympathy when he recently disappeared and drove his car down a steep slope. He did not really seem to have the makings of a great getaway artist.

And two, that there may be problems with such evidence as there is against him, or possibly a new line of investigation is opening up in this difficult, frustrating case.

Sonia’s sister Anna (right above) is part of a nationwide missing persons support group. Someone she may have known - the mother of a girl, Paola, who disappeared 17 years ago in Turin - has now taken her own life.

Anna remarked in sympathy: “No, I do not think it was hopeless for her I think that she just had not found anyone who listens. That’s what happens all too often to the families of missing persons.”

Posted on 05/06/10 at 11:04 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

From The Book Darkness Descending: The Insights On Rudy Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above and just below: Abidjan, the very attractive West African city where Rudy Guede was born and where he lived until he was five.

Darkness Descending includes this well-researched and revealing portrait below of Rudy Guede and the two traumatic experiences that really threw him: his moving in with the Caporali family, and the collapse of the restaurant in northern Italy which briefly employed him.

No claims here about Rudy Guede being a drifter or drug-dealer or dangerous knife-wielder or petty criminal.

None of those things are confirmed by the record or the Micheli report, and few or none in Perugia or Italy generally seem to believe Rudy Guede was the sole perpetrator or even the main perpetrator of Meredith’s death. 



(Above: the downtown of Abidjan, the economic and former political capital of the Ivory Coast)


From Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson (Pocket Books) pages 292 to 296

Unlike Amanda and Raffaele, the background of Rudy Hermann Guede seemed to inspire a degree of sympathy in readers and viewers.

At least once the undercurrents of reactionary racism had run its course and readers were able to identify with Guede the individual.

Guede had been dragged up a virtual orphan. He seemed to be luckless, directionless, prone to following others into trouble, his carers said. He’d never had a paternal figure to look up to or guide him.

That, and the fact that once he’d been caught he seemed to be at least trying to tell the truth about his involvement with Meredith, gave him a certain credibility.

He was often given a fair hearing in the papers for not trying to evade guilt by changing his story. Editors and readers seemed to appreciate that he had not relied on high-powered family connections to duck out of one of the most tragic cases that had ever come before them.



(From Piazza Italia at the south end of the walled city - Rudy Guede first lived off there to the south-east)

Guede came to Italy in 1992, when he was five years old. His father Roger had emigrated from the Ivory Coast a few years before at a time when the Italian economy needed new manpower to fuel the country’s post-industrial boom…

Roger Guede had trained as a teacher in the former capital city of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan, where his wife still lived with little Rudy, but in Italy he found work as a bricklayer.

Life was hard because of exploitation, denial of workers’ basic rights and rampant illegal labour.

After five years he was granted a regular resident’s permit and returned to Abidjan to his wife, to see if he could take the young Rudy back to Italy with him. She agreed that in Italy he would have a chance of a better life.

Roger and Rudy found a flat in the shabby low-lying suburb of Perugia called Ponte San Giovanni. The neighbourhood was not at the top of the hill, with its wide vistas, ancient buildings and air of academia.

Roger’s life had no room for aspiration or fanciful gap-year adventures. He settled for a seedy new-build on the valley floor near the railway station. An unhealthy stream meandered through the projects like a sewer.

Still, it was better than the shanty town where Rudy’s mother was eking out a bare existence.



[Shots here and just below of Ponte San Giovanni, the town just to the east where Guede first lived]

New to immigration, Italy’s attitude to race relations has often been schizophrenic. Far-right extremists have been known to whip up dissension. But in Perugia, a small community like many that made up the backbone of Italian society, Roger and his son were welcomed.

His presence stimulated the lively cutiosity of Italians, not their hostility. The kindness of his neighbours and the willingness of social services to offer him childcare were proof of that, and he was free to hit the road to find building-site work.

During these absences Rudy was fostered by local families. One of his first full-time carers was a Mrs Mancini, who had been his maths teacher at school. She never lost interest in him and was to be like a second mother.

Rudy also struck up a lifelong friendship with her son Gabriele and another schoolmate, Giacomo Benedetti. The fabric of a closeknit Italian working-class community felt like a protective cloak and Rudy thrived.

His teachers and foster families all say that he was a quiet child, well behaved and responsible. He had moments of daydreaming stupidity, but no more than other kids.

He was good at basketball - tall, athletic and serious. The local professional basketball team was sponsored by one of Italy’s most successful companies, Liomatic, who manufactured coffee dispensers - a link that would later change the course of his life.

One day, Rudy’s dad went home to Abidjan to renew his passport, but civil war broke out when he was in the country and instead of spending two weeks away from his son he was trapped for six months, as strife raged in the Ivory Coast.

Back in Italy, the social services stepped in with a view to formalizing Rudy’s foster status and finding a long-term home for him.

Rudy was unhappy but he coped with the loneliness and uncertainty with admirable courage. He didn’t complain. And he was soon rewarded. Astonishingly, he was catapulted into the heart of one of Italy’s richest families.



[Another shot of Ponte San Giovanni, where Guede in his early days apparently lived happily]

His change of fortune was like something out of the plot of the musical Annie. Rudy had met one of the Caporali sons at basketball. Now the family wanted to officially take him in as one of their own. He never lived with Roger again.

The change wasn’t smooth. Rudy found it difficult to adapt. When he moved out of Ponte San Giovanni, he lost touch with many of his old friends, which he found particularly hard.

They had been the bedrock in what had so far been a rather unstable family life. He soon missed the informality, the lack of pressure to succeed and the maternal bonds that Italian families are famous for.

It wasn’t long before his new father figure, Paolo Caporali, was calling Rudy ‘an inveterate liar’. He skipped school and spent his time in front of the television or on PlayStation. Caporali’s wife and kids were much kinder in their view:

Rudy was introverted and shy. He lied to protect himself, but not maliciously to hurt others or gain personal advantage.

The move from a poor area to the home of the super-rich Caporali family had confused Rudy and, to some degree, had embarrassed him.

His basketball trainer Roberto Segolini said Rudy was friends with everyone and never missed a training session. Where he could prove his worth and show success to his new high-status family, Rudy thrived.

With such a chequered school career, Rudy would find it hard to find a job that suited him once he left school. But at the age of nineteen he went to stay with an aunt in Lecco and landed a job as a waiter in Pavia.



[Shot of Lecco north of Milan where at age 19 Rudy Guede moved to live with an aunt]

Finally, he had found his way. He was ecstatic. He was now going to prove that he could knuckle down and stand on his own two feet. He thought about learning the trade and one day opening a restaurant.

But as soon as he settled in, the rug was pulled from under him - his employer was arrested and the business folded.

To someone with a fragile view of himself, this chance setback took on a great and doom-laden significance. Rudy blamed himself and worried about how he would explain his bad luck to the Caporalis.



[Shot of Pavia south of Milan where Rudy Guede worked as a waiter till the restaurant collapsed]

Confidence shattered, he fled back to Perugia in shame. It was July 2007 and the beginning of the long summer that would end in tragedy.

The Caporalis were desperate to bolster his self-esteem. In August they found him a gardener’s job at a restaurant they owned out of town.

He stayed with the Mancinis, where the father and mother made sure he got up early to catch the bus. But the rot had set in; he wanted to live where the excitement was.

He was distracted by the scallywag antics of the lads in Perugia, who never seemed to work but always had money, and by the beautiful students from allover the world who were descending on the University to find digs and party.

Amanda and Meredith would be among them. Once he failed to go to work for a whole week, claiming he had flu and snivelling unconvincingly over the phone. He was sacked.

He lived off his savings until 2 November, when the murder and his doomed getaway would end any hopes he had of turning his life around.



[Shot of Mainz on the Rhine between Frankfurt and Bonn where Rudy Guede was captured]

Posted on 05/04/10 at 01:13 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, May 03, 2010

From The Book Darkness Descending: The Insights On Knox And Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell


This is Hamburg above. And that is Berlin and its parliament (the Bundestag) below. 

Amanda Knox speaks German and she spent several months in these two cities, staying for some weeks in in Hamburg with her relatives, and several days in Berlin, before moving to Perugia to start her study period there.

Darkness Descending is the book on Meredith’s case by two British writers from which we excerpted on Meredith a few days ago.

As far as we know the writers did not visit Seattle, and their focus is more generally on Italy and to some extent the UK. But they did offer this brief take on Amanda Knox, and also one on Raffaele Sollecito.


**********

From Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson (Pocket Books) pages 291 and 292

Meredith had enjoyed making the pop video with her University of Leeds friends, but Amanda’s summer job, before travelling around Europe and going to Perugia, had not been so successful.

A politically well-connected uncle in Hamburg had got her an internship to die for - a job working for a German MP at the Bundestag. Kindly Uncle Uwe also set Amanda up with a flat on the .outskirts of Berlin.

Astonishingly, two days later, his seemingly ungrateful niece walked out on the job without telling anyone, moaning that she had nothing to do and she wasn’t sure if she was getting paid. Again, money was a big feature in her thoughts.

She’d spent most of the time reading Harry Potter and showed no curiosity about how the parliament or the high-powered people in there worked. She ignored conversations about its history and architecture.

After walking out, she spent her time drinking wine in the local bars and reading more Harry Potter.

Two days later she left Berlin for Hamburg, where her uncle was waiting for her. He was furious - she had let him down.

It seems Amanda craved excitement on her terms, usually based on getting drunk and goofing around.

Her friends said she simply feared boredom like any young girl. She showed a healthy streak of youthful carelessness, they said, no worse or better than anyone else. A video posted on YouTube showed her drunkenly giggling in a friend’s kitchen after downing shots.

On campus, back in the US, Amanda had been fined for being drunk and disorderly at a party held in a fellow student’s house. During the incident she had also insulted the police.

However, her defenders gave another version, portraying a magnanimous Amanda. They said that in fact she was courageously fronting up for her underage friends, who were in no state to talk to the police; she was the only one sober enough to handle the situation.

A big plus in her character assessment, they said, possibly displaying a sense of chivalry that would later get her into deeper trouble in Perugia.

Despite her college party lifestyle, there was no denying that Amanda was clever and that she could compartmentalize her life.

She made the Dean’s List, an elite commendation of the University of Washington reserved for the institution’s brightest students, and an honour that would ultimately qualify her for a prestigious and sought-after place on the study-abroad exchange programme.

If Amanda wanted something, she would go all out to get it, no messing around.

Raffaele Sollecito’s later years were quite different: he seemed to laze around and evade responsibility.

He posted pictures of himself on the internet wrapped in blood-covered bandages, brandishing a meat cleaver, and wrote a weird story to go with the images. In a blog he expressed satisfaction at once being lodged in the same hostel as the infamous ‘Monster of Foligno’, a murderer who slaughtered two youths in the 1990s.

And yet his new-found fascination with gory horror and violent comics would have surprised the friends he left behind at Licea Scientifico Einstein secondary school at Molfetta.

They said Raffaele suffered from excessive softness - his kickboxing instructor recalled that he even hesitated when kicking out, for fear of hurting the hardened expert.


***********

A few interesting insights there, though we could use more on Sollecito.  For most of it, this is a pretty good book, the weak part being the closing analysis of the evidence. Two small corrections.

  • The house where the notorious rock-throwing party took place was where Knox herself was living at the time. See here.

  • Knox was not on an official University of Washington study-abroad program, as the university has rather anxiously tried to make plain. See here.

If Knox had indeed been on a proper study-abroad program - something many caring parents actually insist upon - her behavior might have been more restrained. She may not have moved in with Sollecito for one thing.

She may not have hit the drugs so hard. And she would not have run so desperately short of money, just when Patrick was apparently about to hire Meredith to replace her. No monthly checks were arriving from Seattle. 

Maybe the second correction is not such a small one.

In fact, it is a pity that no writers have really explored all of this - there is, if anything, a surfeit of motives in this case, and the writers might be able to narrow them down.

Although he went to highschool in Molfetta (bottom shot here) and the book is correct on that, Raffaele Sollecito actually comes from Giovinazzo which is ten minutes drive south along the coast.

Both are north of Bari, where his father practices medicine.   





Sunday, May 02, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #26: Amazing Tuscany, Just To The North And North-West Of Perugia

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Meredith would surely have explored Tuscany. Probably even within her intended one year in Perugia - parts of Tuscany are mere minutes away.

Florence of course is in Tuscany (its capital). So are most of these sunflowers.  Also Pisa, and also Siena, the hilltop university city that most resembles Perugia.

The singer on the second video, Andrea Bocelli, comes from Tuscany - specifically from Lajatico, a village in the heart of the sunflower area.

He went fully blind at the age of twelve. We hope these sights linger in his mind.


Posted on 05/02/10 at 05:14 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amazon Reviewers Of New Dempsey Book Don’t Seem Universally Impressed

Posted by Peter Quennell



Click above for the Amazon customer reviews - there are nine reviews right now.

Oddly, the several reviewers that rate the book five stars are all writing their very first Amazon review - and their.language reads suspiciously similar.

In contrast, the reviewers that rate the book only one star seem to be genuine enough - all of them have a previous track-record of Amazon reviews.

So perhaps we could quote from a couple.


*********

By Amazon reviewer Norbert

Public Relations Spin by a Knox Family Acquaintance

Friends and family may appreciate this book for its sympathetic portrayal of convicted killers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Unfortunately, Ms. Dempsey’s bias is so obvious that she lacks all credibility.

Readers interested in truth and justice would be wasting their time here; this book is 100% spin. It constructs a kind of alternate fairy tale universe in which Knox and Sollecito are innocents abroad ... in a “holiday mood” on the morning after the murder.

This imaginary place is full of Italian stereotypes: Raffaele’s proud and loving parents, the bumbling & malevolent police, the paparazzi, the courtroom crucifix, and a demented prosecutor.

Ms. Dempsey’s between-the-lines message: the black guy did it!

Candace Dempsey is a Seattle-based food & travel writer who happens to be acquainted with the Seattle-based Amanda Knox clan. She is essentially a member the Knox defense team. And she’s moved way beyond her pay grade.

With a superficial knowledge of Italian and one or two visits to Perugia, she pretends to be a competent crime reporter.

The intention of the book (aside the profit motive) is to portray Knox as charming innocent abroad - while ignoring or distorting the mountain of evidence and testimony that led to a unanimous first degree murder conviction by an Italian jury on December 4, 2009.

Essentially “Team Knox” is trying to do for Amanda Knox what F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran did for O. J. Simpson.


*********

By Amazon reviewer Retired Farmer

Blatantly Biased, Shallow, and Inaccurate Version of Events

This book is the third one I have read on the Knox Case, and by far the worst.

The Seattle based author is apparently convinced of Ms Knox’s innocence and makes every effort in this book (and in her Seattle newspaper blog) to bring all readers to the same conclusion.

She does so by deliberately overlooking… irrefutable, obvious facts to the contrary .

Many have reported that Seattle based Ms Dempsey’s Seattle newspaper blog, and now her book pretty much totally conforsm to the media briefings and talking points of the large Seattle based public relations firm that the Knox family employed to publicly paint a favorable impression of Ms Knox and to promote a belief in her innocence here in the US.

This firm tightly controls access to the Knox Family, and very selectively allows very few approved spokespersons to speak with authors and reporters in the US media that the PR Firm works in.

Ms Dempsey apparently believes few of her readers are aware of the PR Firm and their self described ‘sometimes unorthodox’ methods.  I say this because she promotes herself and her book by bragging about this Family access.

In fact, many have observed that she has sadly and shamelessly traded her objectivity for this Knox family access.

My suggestion to interested readers is to now obtain a good translation of the Motivations Report written by the Judges.

You will see for yourself the true reasons that Amanda Knox has been unanimously convicted of this horrific murder, as well as the innumerable inaccuracies and blatant bias in Ms Dempsey’s shallow, self serving, erroneous, dry and dreary version of these events.

Finally, IMHO, the PR Firm, their minions and some Seattle zealots have grossly distorted book reviews, ratings, and comments on this site, as well as engaging in some sad school yard name calling.


*********

By Amazon reviewer M C Rogers

Author is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family

Potential readers of this “story” would be well-advised that Ms. Dempsey is a friend of the Knox/Mellas family and approved by the PR firm hired by the Knox/Mellas family. This is hardly an unbiased piece of work.

Throughout the book, self-proclaimed feminist Dempsey refers to Knox and Meredith Kercher as “girls”.

She does her best to portray the victim, Meredith Kercher, as a stuck-up prude, and Ms. Dempsey paints Ms. Kercher’s British friends with the same brush, instead asking us to believe that Amanda Knox and her family somehow knew Ms. Kercher better than even her friends did.

Ms. Dempsey, while all throughout her blog on the subject, decries the tabloids and their treatment of the case, uses quotes from the Daily Mail to make what she must consider overwhelming proof of the family’s PR missive.

Readers have the right to know Ms. Dempsey’s ties to the family of Amanda Knox. For her to not make this connection known is deceptive and portrays Ms. Dempsey’ attempt at serious journalism in a very negative light.

Don’t waste your money. Take that $7.99 and make a donation to an organization that works hard for women who are victims of rape and abuse. RAINN is a good one, as is your local women’s shelter.

Dempsey is a woman who followed the victim’s family around, taking sneaky photographs of them.

Shameless.

Posted on 04/29/10 at 11:31 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seattle Parks Commissioner Who Angered Perugia Resigns - Amid Plenty Of Anger In Seattle

Posted by Peter Quennell


So the controversial Seattle parks commissioner Tim Gallagher bites the dust.

He seems to have shot himself in, well, three feet.

  • He espoused a clearcut-and-rebuild policy (video above) when Seattelites are increasingly seeing the natural beauty of their city as a resource

  • He made an expensive trip to Australia to look at some parks just when Seattle’s park system is financially tanking - very likely because of his style of management.

  • He was very quick to blink and put a heavy-handed stop to the naming of a small city park “Perugia Park” when Seattle’s (very small) anti-Perugia faction howled.

Mr Gallagher’s last action was widely noted in Perugia (Seatle’s twin city), the Mayor of Perugia made an angry statement, and a Facebook-based movement was created, to lobby to end the twin-city arrangement.

Comments about his short reign as parks commissioner on the West Seattle Blog (scroll down) seem almost uniformly negative.

The Mayor and many others he irritated in Perugia might be pleased to take note…

Posted on 04/28/10 at 09:30 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #26: Florence, A Very Pretty One Hour Train Ride To The North

Posted by Peter Quennell


Italy seems to have more of these high-quality, lovingly created videos online than any other country in the world. These videos show the true face of Italy, one of the gentler, more welcoming places on earth.

You might like to watch the previous videos. Perugia itself comes across really well, as do Rome, Venice, Naples, and the Italian Riviera. Real surprises even for us have been Sicily, and the extreme south-east.

To our knowledge, all of these places except for Rome and of course Perugia still lay ahead for Meredith. They do hammer home the effect of a fine life so stupidly cut short.

Posted on 04/25/10 at 08:06 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meredith’s Early Days In Croydon, South London, And How Special She Was To Family And Friends

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





The photos here are of Meredith’s school - Old Palace School, the private school on two campuses in the Croydon area.

In American terms, this is a kindergarten-to-12th grade (K-12) all-girls school, so it was the only school that Meredith ever attended. It has an outstanding reputation.

Meredith would have worn that same green uniform that you can see in some of the shots.

Meredith was not actually born in the very lively borough of Croydon. She was born about 8 miles north, in Southwark (scroll down here) on the south bank of the Thames - which is if anything even livelier.

Her family moved south to the Coulsdon part of Croydon, and she spent almost all of her first 18 years here, after which, she headed to Leeds.

Meredith’s family’s very strong emphasis on education and excellence in general had already paid off for Meredith in two impressive ways.

  • Meredith was admitted to the very hard-to-get-into Leeds University which is often rated fourth in the UK after Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

  • And she won one of Europe’s much competed-for Erasmus scholarship which assured she was very well-funded in Perugia.

In June of last year, her father, John, said that Meredith’s emerging aim on graduation was to head for the international organizations in Brussels. Brussels of course is where the European Community has its headquarters, and there are probably more international bodies located there than in any other city in the world. (Geneva would probably come second.)

if Meredith made it to Brussels, she could have become a real mover and shaker.. Earthling seems to have had it just right in this post last November.


The UK writers Paul Russell and Johnson had access to Meredith’s family and friends in writing their generally very good book Darkness Descending.

Here below they describe how really special Meredith was to her family and to her friends. 


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


When Meredith turned seven years old in 1992, Britain was in the grip of a recession. Croydon, however, still remained an unusually busy suburb of London. The town was a hectic meld of mini-skyscrapers, retail parks and giant housing estates, the rumble of the London A roads and M25 motorway never far away in the background.

Meredith was a busy, active child from an early age. She .went to ballet, liked reading, and was generally known for her all-round vitality. When she took up karate, unlike many kids, she stuck to it. By her early teens, she had attained her third belt.

Meredith inherited her father’s flair for the written word. At school she wrote poetry and her fiction compositions were highly thought of. But mostly, Meredith was known for her bubbly personality, and her sense of humour - she had an imaginative sense of the ridiculous, according to her family.


Meredith may have been educated at a £10,000-a-year private school but she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her mother and father sacrificed almost all of their income and savings to give their youngest daughter, as well as her older siblings, the best education they could get

For all four children the fees climbed into the £100,000s over the years. In effect, John and Arline Kercher gave up the family’s material aspirations - the dream of owning a well-kept, well-appointed house in a smart part of London, nice cars, expensive foreign holidays, a fat pension to look forward to, a comfortable inheritance to pass on ...

Arline put her social life on hold. John chose to work instead of taking annual leave. His haymaking years iri Fleet Street were dedicated solely to putting his kids through school and university. He did well to keep the whole show on the road on a single freelancer’s wage, not only paying his own expenses in Croydon but also contributing to the upkeep of Arline and the kids at the old home a few miles south in Coulsdon.

Arline was too busy being a full-time mum of four to go back to work. Following their divorce, both of them lived in reduced circumstances in order to give Meredith more than they could really afford.

But both teachers and schoolfriends alike say Meredith benefited immensely from the school’s renowned approach of concentrating totally on the individual and supporting pupils to a degree that the state sector educators can only dream of.

A family friend, who knew Meredith when she was in her early teens, said:

    Meredith was the kind of girl who could have coped going to the local comprehensive. She wasn’t a snob at all. She was very much heads down when it came to school and homework, a can-do, resourceful type of person. No moaning or skiving off She wasn’t laid back, by any means. However, I don’t think she would have turned out as wellrounded and confident as she was, if she’d gone off to any old school.

    I think John was very proud that he’d taken the decision to send his girls to a good one. Everything revolved around education in the family. That was pardy down to Arline. She wasn’t pushy but she realized the value of qualifications, especially coming from Pakistan, where families want their kids to do well. I got the impression it was a case of: ‘If we give our kids a good education, that’s the best we can do for them.’


Though the Kerchers didn’t have much money, neighbours remember the house as being full of life. It only had three bedrooms between four kids and one adult, but it was one of those homes where friends always came to play, because it was welcoming and exciting. Family friends said that Meredith and Stephanie were always going to parties when they were kids rather than playing out in the street.

The Old Palace School in Croydon is a rarefied oasis in a gnarl of urban sprawl. Meredith’s creativity was allowed to bloom in an atmosphere of learning, where pupils are encouraged to be independent whilst being somewhat protected from the outside world.

One former pupil, who graduated from university just before Meredith moved to Perugia, said:

    I’m not surprised she chose to study abroad. A lot of girls would be put off, but she was quietly capable all along. You learn to be like that at the OPS [Old Palace School]. The school prides itself on churning out self-contained women who can stand on their own two feet, especially when they move into the outside world. It’s not like Rodean or somewhere totally up there. But Mez was like that in Years Eight and Nine.

The Elizabethan buildings, standing in the shadow of Croydon Parish Church, are home to perfectly manicured gardens, an indoor swimming pool and five state-of-the-art IT suites. The high walls and intercommed security gates cut the school off from the local area, a run-down mix of high-density terraced houses and flats, of closed-down pubs and a High Street dominated by charity shops, pound stores and cheap fast-food restaurants.


Though the school has a strong religious tradition - founded by an archbishop, supported by a Christian foundation and for 600 years the summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury - Meredith wasn’t particularly committed. One of the school’s mottos is ‘For the Church and People of God’. But she did help out with fundraising for the Catholic charity Caritas, through the school’s long-established links with international aid programmes.

Curiously, one of the suspects later accused of her murder would seek refuge in a Caritas centre abroad whilst he was on the run.

The financial sacrifices took their toll on John and Arline. The family home, a 1930s-style suburban semi in Fairdene Road, Old Coulsdon, where Arline lived with the kids, fell into disrepair. The gutters hung off the roof and porch and Arline made do with tatty black curtains that covered the front windows, the glass bevelling under the weight of the old lead inlays.

The street was not in the poshest part of Coulsdon. The residents were a mixture of proud homeowners with tidy lawns, commuters who travelled from South Coulsdon station at the end of the street to good jobs in London, and poorer renters.


The situation was exacerbated when Arline fell into ill-health with a kidney condition.

John Kercher moved into a newly built townhouse in a shabby part of West Croydon with a large ethnic population. There is a photographic warehouse at one end of the busy slip road and a large cemetery at the other.

Today neighbours complain of the shootings and violence between gangs in Croydon and nearby Thornton Heath. Amid the weedy gardens, littered with abandoned mattresses and bed frames, John Kercher’s house stands out as being smart. The walls are covered in creepers and high bushes, preserving a quiet space. He often retreats into his small rear garden to write.


But the sacrifices were worth it. The sight of the Kercher sisters sitting on the bus to school, wearing their smart dark-green school jumpers over light-coloured collared cotton dresses, with their hair immaculately groomed, stuck in people’s minds.

So much so that after her death one former pupil called Christina from Eastbourne wrote:

    1 didn’t know Meredith but 1 used to go to OPS and remember seeing her and her older sister on the bus on the way to school when they were very young. 1 just wanted to say to Stephanie that 1 couldn’t get the image of you and your little sister out of my head all day.

The other motto of the school is ‘The End Crowns the Work’. Meredith was good at creative writing. The staff remember her as a model pupil, self-disciplined and focused, even in her formative years. A former staff member said:

    Meredith was never in any trouble whatsoever. She was always smiling, just like you see on the photographs. She was very popular. Meredith favoured the humanities over maths or science. She was an innovative, bright thinker.

    Leadership qualities are encouraged at school and that rubbed off on Meredith. She wasn’t a pushover or a follower. She would have gone far in her chosen profession. We knew she would go far.


Though the school is very competitive - it won Independent School of the Year in 2005/06 - and many pupils take their GCSEs early in Year 10, Meredith took it all in her stride. Pals say she wasn’t competitive but she did enjoy netball and running.

Almost all of Meredith’s friends remember her as ‘the girl who was always smiling’ or ‘the girl with the beautiful smile’. They call her simply Mez. One schoolfriend remembered how Mez pulled her through the stress of coursework and exams at school:

    Mez was warm. I’d say the word is cosy or cuddly; she had that kind of aura. She would give you a hug and she was more interested in you than talking about her. I remember when I was burnt out doing revision and Mez helped me get organized. Mez liked doing coursework in English, English Lit and history. Very even-tempered, I don’t know anyone who ever fell out with her the whole time we were at school. I think because she was youngest in a big family, she was practical, a quick learner, or rather, well organized.

    There were some girls there, proper Surrey girls, who waste their time and get through with extra help. But Mez was hard-working and steady. Her mum and dad weren’t rich - she was there to get on.

One memory of her, from younger days, particularly stood out for her father. Meredith really liked Halloween. She made costumes from bin liners, carved out pumpkin lanterns with her family and played trick-or-treat on the neighbours.

Later John Kercher would describe it as ironic and tragic that she would die so terribly only one day after Halloween.


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

From pages 129 to 134 of the Pocket Books book Darkness Descending.

Posted on 04/22/10 at 03:09 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Knox Appeal Points Seem Essentially Points That Gained Limited Traction In The Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell


And the fact that the prosecution will get a shot at firming up their case does seem to have caught the defenses off-balance.

US-based Knox family legal advisor Ted Simon has appeared several times on US networks in the last few days, seemingly clean out of new ideas for how to get Amanda Knox off.

No motive? Well, a motive does not have to be confirmed in Italy, but Micheli, Mignini and Massei all suggested credible motives, each involving an escalation of violence, and each probably involving drugs as one component - drugs like enhanced (skunk) cannabis, crystal meth, and cocaine increasingly seem to be triggering psychotic episodes that can lead to murder.

No DNA in the room? Well, most murders take place with no DNA left behind, and if Knox was the one simply holding the large knife and uttering threats, there is no reason why her DNA should have have deposited. Rudy Guede left only a few microscopic traces of DNA, but clearly he too was in the room. And there was plenty of forensic evidence implicating Knox right outside of Meredith’s door.

And as usual, Ted Simon skirts the very problematic rearrangement of the crime scene, and the testimony of various key witnesses, and the very incriminating pattern of phone calls, and the major discordance between all the alibis.

Pity that the US reporters never ever seem to press him on these things.

And in Perugia, it seems that Mr Ghirga and Mr Della Vedova are also only going through the motions - recycling just a few of their points that were already not too convincing at the trial. Andrea Vogt reported on the grounds for their appeal in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The 220-page document filed with the of Court of Appeals in Perugia on Saturday morning is a total appeal of all the points of the sentence, said Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga from Perugia in an interview with the Seattlepi.com.

“It includes the first days of the interrogation, the DNA and the traces detected with luminol. We re-iterate the innocence of Amanda and remain convinced there is not proof of her presence at the scene of the crime,” Ghirga said….

The hotly contested forensic evidence presented in the trial played an important role in the jury’s reasoning but was not the only element that led them to convict. Inconsistent statements, witness testimony, Knox’s placing the blame on an innocent man, which she maintains she did under police pressure, and the staging of the crime scene were also cited as key factors by the jury.

Knox’s legal teams are expected to contest all points, but are also asking for a third-party review of the forensic evidence. Such a request was rejected once already during the 9-month trial, but a different appeals court judge could decide to grant such an independent review. In Knox’s case, lawyers are contesting the kitchen knife that prosecutors said was the murder weapon that had Knox’s DNA on the handle and a trace amount of Kercher’s on the blade.

Knox’s lawyers also contest the luminol-positive traces discovered in the corridor (footprints) and the spot in the roommates room where prosecutors say Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, later staged a break-in to make the scene look like a rape-robbery to throw off investigators. Police biologist Patrizia Stefanoni testified during the trial that these luminol-positive traces had mixed genetic material of Knox and Kercher.

Posted on 04/19/10 at 07:16 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Italian Media Reporting Impartially On Prosecution Appeal Filed For Increased Sentences

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Prosecutor Manuela Comodi.]

In light of the judges’ sentencing report (due soon here and on PMF in English) the prosecution have filed an appeal that Knox’s and Sollecito’s sentences be revised upward to life.

Life sentences were their original request to the court last November, and the Italian media in November and early December largely anticipated at least 30 years. The 26 years for Knox and 25 for Sollecito came to many as a surprise.

First legal advice from the Italian lawyers on our team is that at minimum this could firm up the existing sentences, and at maximum Knox and Sollecito actually could be looking at life behind bars - such upward revisions do happen. 

Remember that the Italian public are way better informed on the cruel depravity of the crime than the British or American publics.

And that Knox’s cold smug antics on the stand, during which she spoke flippantly and callously of Meredith’s passing, seemed to leave few in Italy feeling any real sympathy.

Grounds for the appeal are twofold: (1) That the judges’ arguments for the granting of extenuating circumstances was a stretch (such as the conclusion that the duvet placed over Meredith was a sign of remorse), and (2) That the judges’ dismissing of aggravating circumstances was in effect a shortfall (such as the possibility that Meredith could have been saved if they had not removed her phones, locked the door, and walked off).

The posters here and on PMF may be the largest group in the English-speaking world so far to have actually read the judges’ sentencing report.

Typically we are finding the description of the evidence to be extremely detailed and quite remorseless. There is very, very little room for argument about it, and the defense teams in the appeals will have an even tougher time laying a paw on it than they did in the course of the trial.  We are highly impressed by this - this case NEEDED this to put an end to the endless myth-mongering, and to give Meredith’s family and friends hope of some respite.

But the motives assumed in the sentencing report, the judges’ timeline (which differs from both Micheli’s and Mignini’s), and the instigating role given to Rudy Guede, were interpretations the sentencing judges made which the appeals judges may not buy into.

The defense teams will not be resting any easier in light of this. The pressures may be mounting for the lawyers and defendants to finally split three ways - we will have a major post next week on their three-way herding of one another over the past two-plus years.

And perhaps enough pressure on each of the defendants to show real remorse and finally tell their version of all. 

Posted on 04/16/10 at 01:57 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe prosecutorsTrials 2008 & 2009Great reportingHellmann 2011+
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Judy Bachrach Appears THE Most Adamant That Mr Mignini Has Somehow Hoodwinked All Of Italy

Posted by The Machine



Hmmm. Isn’t Mr Mignini already suing people for hurtful claims about him not unlike those made very dogmatically in the video above?

And the similar hurtful claims made very dogmatically in the two videos down below here? Certainly Mr Mignini would seem to have what you might call a not-unstrong case.

  • First, the numbers of police, investigators and judges hoodwinked would have to have been truly huge. This case has a VAST cast of characters in Italy seeking true justice for Meredith - a jury, for example, and twenty judges by present count, and a nationally known and respected co-prosecutor.

  • And second, nothing in the judges’ sentencing report, which PMF and TJMK are in the final laps of translating into English, appears to back up her claims. Judge Micheli’s report a year ago, which explained Guede’s conviction and the reasons for sending Knox and Sollecito to trial, was already an almost unassailably tough document. And the report by Judges Giancarlo Massei and Beatrice Cristiani? It is even tougher.

Judy Bachrach has popped up repeatedly to straighten out us lesser beings on the case. For her, it appears to be almost a small industry. She is perhaps the most vehement and impervious of all the proponents of the notion that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are somehow being railroaded, by a corrupt prosecutor, Mr Mignini, and an incompetent legal system.

Wouldn’t you expect Judy Bachrach, as a professional journalist and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair,  to research her articles more meticulously? And to verify every single one of her claimed facts? In the same way that the Italy-based reporters we like to quote have incessantly managed to do - really quite brilliantly?

We have been analyzing Judy Bachrach’s many, many articles and TV commentaries about the case, and they all seem to point to the following conclusions. 

  • That she hasn’t ever read the Micheli report and doesn’t seem to have actually ever mentioned it.

  • That she hasn’t had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000-plus pages file of evidence, and maybe she has had no access at all.

  • That she didn’t attend the key court sessions in which highly incriminating forensic and circumstantial evidence was presented.

  • That she hasn’t absorbed the numerous factual newspaper and magazine reports about the key forensic and circumstantial evidence.

  • That she seems to rely either a lot or totally on sources with vested interests who feed her wrong theories and false information.

  • And that she comes across to us as the reporter most often showing on US media outlets the most complete ignorance of the case.

Quite a track record. We wonder if she is really very proud of it. She seems to sound so. Now to examine the details of some of her small jungle of wrong claims.

False Claim #1

Judy Bachrach made the following claims in an article entitled “Perugia’s Prime Suspect” for for Vanity Fair.

Rudy Guede’s DNA would be found all over her dead body the next day….“His DNA was found not only all over the British girl’s body but also in his bloody fingerprint staining one of her cushions and on the straps of the bra she wore the night of her death.

Judy Bachrach’s claims that Rudy Guede’s DNA was all over Meredith’s body have long been demonstrably false. According to the Micheli report here quickly translated here there was only ONE instance of Rudy Guede’s DNA on Meredith.

Where exactly did Judy Bachrach get that false information from? It clearly wasn’t from the DNA results from the tests carried out by Dr. Stefanoni and her team, or any official court documents, or the Micheli report.

And why exactly did she propagate it? Was she perhaps deliberately trying to exaggerate the evidence against Rudy Guede? Whilst playing down or completely ignoring the forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito?

False Claim #2

In the same Vanity Fair article, Judy Bachrach makes the claim that “Amanda had tried three times to reach Meredith by cell phone, without success.”

If Judy Bachrach had examined the mobile phone records which are part of the prosecution’s 10,000 page report, as the court did and as we have done, she might have concluded otherwise - that Amanda Knox never ever made even one genuine attempt to contact Meredith.

Two of Knox’s phone calls lasted only 3 seconds and 4 seconds.

Judy Bachrach would have also realised that Knox’s claim that Meredith’s Italian phone “just kept ringing, no answer” was in fact a lie. And that Knox’s e-mail version of events at the house on 2 November is totally contradicted by what is in those mobile phone records.

Our poster Finn MacCool rather brilliantly drew attention a year ago now in this post here to how very, very incriminating those phone records are. (They also seem to incriminate Amanda Knox’s mother. Why doesn’t a good reporter actually ask her about this?)

Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani certainly don’t believe that Knox made a genuine attempt to contact Meredith. And they provide a very detailed explanation of why they don’t, in the sentencing report we are now translating.

And as you will soon see in that report, they also pull totally apart Knox’s email version of the events on 2 November to her friends and family in Seattle.

 


False Claim #3

Judy Bachrach has claimed that the bra clasp in Meredith’s bedroom was “discovered” only in January 2008.

But to complicate matters, a forensics team took a second look around the House of Horrors in January; this time they discovered a clasp that had been cut off the same bra. On that clasp they found Raffaele’s DNA.

House of Horrors? A callous way to refer to the sad place where a remarkable girl with a grieving family and many grieving friends was tortured and then deliberately left to die.

And in actual fact, Dr. Stefanoni was fully aware that the bra clasp was missing from the time she reviewed in the Rome labs the evidence collected from the crime scene - early in November. The clasp couldn’t be collected until the defense experts had agreed upon a date.

There was no other cause to the delay, and the bar clasp was never simply “discovered” at the second evidence visit in January. The forensic team went there specifically to get it. And it was actually recovered on 18 December 2007.

False Claim #4

Perhaps the reason why Judy Bachrach gets so many of the basic facts like those above wrong is that she seems to rely very heavily on sources who feed her false information. One example:

But three legal sources in Perugia (two unfriendly to Amanda) tell me the injuries sustained by Meredith were inconsistent with the blade of that knife.

All of Judy Bachrach’s “three legal sources”  provided her with wrong facts.

The double DNA knife found in Sollecito’s apartment is fully compatible with the deep puncture wound on Meredith’s neck. This has been widely reported by a number of journalists in the British and American media. For example “According to multiple witnesses for the defense, the knife is compatible with at least one of the three wounds on Kercher’s neck, but it was likely too large for the other two.” (Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek).

The sentencing report of Judges Giancarlo Massei and Beatrice Cristiani also now confirms that the knife is absolutely compatible with the large wound on Meredith’s neck.

False Claim #5

Judy Bachrach claims that when Knox and Sollecito changed their versions of events they did so because things got rough.

Simultaneously, in a separate room, Raffaele, too, was questioned by police. Like Amanda’s, his version of events seemed to change whenever things got rough.

Raffaele Sollecito actually changed his version of events most dramatically on 5 November 2007 when he was confronted with the telephone records that proved that he and Knox had lied. It was then that he in effect threw Knox under the bus, and he has never really backed her versions of events on the night fully ever since.

And Amanda Knox in turn changed her version of events most dramatically when she was informed that Sollecito had admitted that they had both lied, that he was wrong to go along with her version, and that he was in effect no longer providing her with any alibi.

Knox and Sollecito’s multiple conflicting alibis did NOT happen because “things got rough”. They actually happened because Sollecito and Knox were both repeatedly caught lying. And they changed their stories periodically merely to fit the new information as it became known - and at pretty well no time after they were first caught out in their lies did the stories of the two ever match. .

By the way, wait for something of a bombshell. Judges Giancarlo Massei and Beatrice Cristiani in their sentencing report expose more lies and contradictions by Knox and Sollecito which haven’t as yet been reported in any of the English-language the media.

False Claim #6

Judy Bachrach wrote an article about the case for the website Women on the Web headlined Amanda Knox’s Abusive Prosecutor.. (Hmmm. Smart title.)

Amanda was also told if she didn’t confess she would get the maximum – 30 years in prison. And – oh yes – at a time when, having just arrived in Italy, she spoke pitifully little Italian, she wasn’t provided with a translator.

Judy Bachrach clearly wasn’t in the courtroom when Amanda Knox’s interpreter, Dr. Anna Donnino, gave her evidence as to all the work she did on the night of the interrogations. And Judy Bachrach clearly hasn’t read the numerous articles that actually describe the interpreter’s testimony.

False Claim #7

Judy Bachrach claims that an Italian reporter was thrown into prison for being critical of Mignini. She is clearly referring to Mario Spezi.

Mignini is no special friend to journalists. One Italian reporter who especially upset the prosecutor a while back was thrown into prison — in isolation. An American journalist who was that reporter’s friend was interrogated so harshly that, fearing incarceration himself, he hopped the next plane back to the United States, where he started a campaign (ultimately successful) to free his friend. Their crime? They were critical of Mignini.

Spezi is currently on trial for disrupting the investigation into the Narducci case. He has NOT been charged with criticising Mr Mignini.

Judy Bachrach has made a number of television appearances on CNN and other networks in which she was scathing towards Mr Mignini and the Italian legal system. As with her articles, Judy Bachrach makes many wild and inaccurate claims.

False Claim #8

She incorrectly asserts that the defence teams weren’t allowed to produce evidence of their own DNA experts - despite the fact that the Knox and Sollecito defenses each had large teams of DNA experts testify. From the videos in this post:

The defence wasn’t even allowed to produce evidence of their own DNA experts.

Gino Professor, Carlo Torre and Walter Patumi were some of the DNA experts who testified at the trial on behalf of Amanda Knox. Professor Vinci, Adriano Tagliabracci and Francesco Introna were some of the DNA experts who defended Raffaele Sollecito.

False Claim #9

Judy Bachrach has repeatedly claimed (you can see her do so in these videos) that Amanda Knox was kept in prison for two years before her trial.

They kept her in jail for two years even before trial [although] there isn’t an ounce of real hard evidence against her” And “It was decided to keep Amanda Knox in jail for two years prior to her trial.

If Knox and Sollecito had been kept in prison for two years before their trial as someone “decided” their trial would have started in November 2009. The reality is that their trial started in January 2009 and it was originally scheduled for December 2008, just two months after Guede’s. 

Judy Bachrach is not the only American journalist who is ignorant of the basic facts of the case, and responsible for some of the serious misinforming of the American public, both about the crime and about Italy.

But she sure does seem to be the only one to have made it into a little industry..

By the way, we sure look forward to the YouTubes of Candace Dempsey and Nina Burleigh propagating their own books on the case when those books are released. Will they now finally be describing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but?

Don’t hold your breath.

Posted on 04/15/10 at 07:56 AM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Hoaxers from 2008More hoaxersHoaxers: media groupsCNN NetworkNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

La Stampa Headline Reads: “This Is The Way That Amanda Subjugated America”

Posted by Tiziano


There’s an excellent review in Italian of “Baby Face” by Glauco Maggi in Italay’s most influential paper, La Stampa. This is the translation.

The Accusation of an American Journalist: the Family Is Spreading Misinformation.

The dense wall of the believers in her innocence, which sprung up in the USA in defence of Amanda Knox, 20 years old, during the trial in Perugia for the murder of her English friend, Meredith Kercher, 22 years old, has been subjected to the first blow from the American side. 

In the book Angel Face (Angel Face, the true story of the student killer Amanda Knox), the journalist from Newsweek, Barbie Latza Nadeau, accuses the family of the girl, condemned to 26 years for the voluntary murder, of having created “an innocentista media machine” which has tried to cancel out the heavy body of clues which built up during the trial.

“They have simply chosen to ignore the facts which were coming to light in Italy”, writes Nadeau, who has been the Rome correspondent for Newsweek and other American newspapers since 1996, from the site of the Daily Beast to major television networks (CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN). 

The accusations of the journalist are based on her direct experience as a witness, in Italy, of the conduct of the American media.  According to Nadeau, access to sources close to Amanda depended on the feelings expressed by the correspondents: the family, essentially, cooperated only with the believers in Amanda’s innocence, to the extent of the payment of travel expenses in exchange for exclusive interviews. 

An example of the climate created by the Knox family is the affair of lawyer Joe Tacopina.  Having arrived in Perugia as a “legal expert” for the ABC TV channel, at first he played the role of an unofficial of the defender of the interests of the Knoxes.  However, when he confided to Nadeau that he could not declare himself to be 100% sure of Amanda’s innocence, having studied the trial documentation, he was excluded from the family circle, which from that moment curled up like a porcupine and actively operated so that their own version would be the only one to reach the USA.

From the moment of the arrest, Nadeau writes, “Amanda and Raffaele were a pushover for the sales of Italian newspapers and of the English tabloids.  The local press reported the gossip of the lawyers and the magistrates to liven up the crime story and very soon labelled Amanda as Angel Face, encouraging a morbid fascination. 

The British newspapers, ardent in the defence of the English victim’s honour, dug into the details which Amanda had inadvertently put on the Internet, starting from her name on MySpace, Foxy Knoxy.  Phone calls to teachers and friends in Seattle provided the description of a studious, intelligent and athletic young girl.  But the social networking sites told another story.”

Nadeau unveils the video on YouTube of Amanda drunk at a party, but she strikes the most serious blow to “good girl” when she adds: “Other appearances suggest a more enigmatic and a darker personality.  Baby Brother, a film which Amanda had put
on MySpace, is not totally disturbing but contains a rather irresponsible reference to rape.” 

The investigators took the stories which emerged about her past “as proof that she had at least daydreamed about it, that this was in her mind.  Add drugs and alcohol, was their reasoning, and not much was needed for these hidden thoughts would lead to action.  The picture was being formed of a shrew who was in thrall of dark impulses and the family struggled to control the storm.”  For those who did not accept the reconstructions of the Knoxes as pure gold there was ostracism: 

“The TV crews learnt to be careful in letting themselves be seen with people like me, the family would have cut them out of the circle.”


Friday, April 09, 2010

Part Of Meredith’s Emerging Legacy?  A Kind, Caring, Safe, Well-Run Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell



Meet Wladimiro Boccali. The mayor of Perugia.

A year ago when Mr Boccali ran for office (video above) it was in the context of a city-wide desire for prosperity, public safety, support for the police and the court system, the enhancement of Perugia’s reputation, and the clamping down on drug dealing and student excesses.

A mood that very much flowed from the shock of Meredith’s passing. A sense that certain things had gone too far.

Since then, Mr Boccali has been in the Italian national news almost daily, and he is coming to be seen as the kind of political leader Italy could really use in a turbulent future.

He is in the news again right now, because there was a riot in the main piazza of the old city by some drunks late last saturday night. 

In part inspired and encouraged by good town leadership, Perugia’s economy is now one of the more thriving city economies in Italy. Perugia’s median IQ is extremely high (Perugia is probably one of the smartest cities in Europe) and a lot of very advanced research goes on there.

Perugia’s town administration does many caring things, such as the special city council meeting for Sonia Marra.

And seemingly attracted by all of this, people are moving to Perugia in droves - its population is increasing at double the national growth rate.

So. Meet the new Perugia. Meredith’s own qualities, writ large.

Posted on 04/09/10 at 08:45 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryThe wider contextsPerugia context
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